Friday, July 16, 2010

Homecoming



After a long and hot 21 hour drive through high plains, mountains, fields, and prairie, I arrived home this morning after six months of absence.

As the canyon spit me out of my beautiful Wasatch mountains, Salt Lake valley appeared before me.  The city spread out to the west, almost grasping the foothills of the Oquirrhs. The city eagerly sat, as if waiting for my arrival. The sunlight glinted of the buildings and cars, making Salt Lake shine. The smog desperately tried to cloak the beauty of the valley but it failed; smog was present but the mountains still boldly stood. The sky was clear of clouds and blue - bluer than dear Minnesota's - and the sun beat down, successfully reaching 103 degrees today.

And I was so happy. So happy. Even though my back was sore from driving, even though I missed my boyfriend, even though I had only eaten candy for breakfast and was starving, I was completely joyful. I couldn't stop smiling. While driving the familiar streets, the familiar neighborhoods, I rolled down the windows and listened to my favorite radio stations. I took my time driving home and obeyed the speed limit which I had neglected the whole way to Utah.

This was the exit I took to get home after exhilarating days of snowboarding. There is where I ate some damn good pizza with a love once. Here is where I bought all my groceries. There is where I had many birthday meals. Over there is where my childhood friend lives. And on and on and on, I remembered and smiled at the familiar places and memories.

There is nothing like homecoming, and there is no place like home.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Meant to be


THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN HERE FOR ME SINCE I WAS UNBORN...


Some of my most enjoyable memories are the ones spent with my family. I love it when my grandma, brother, and I get together with her brothers, sisters, and their kids. Stories are told, Scrabble is played, and significant  places are visited. I learn lots about my family and savor the time to relax and listen. As my family gathered from Utah, Idaho, Minnesota, and Perth, Australia today, I had a wonderful time visiting with them.

I've spent time in this small town in rural Minnesota since I was a little girl. On top of my childhood memories here, I have my college ones as well. It's strange how everything came together. My great great grandparents lived in this area and now I do too.  I would not have known about this fantastic college unless I'd been visiting this place my whole life. This school turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. I've met wonderful people that have affected my life and have had really great opportunities (research, clubs, education...) that I wouldn't have had anywhere else.

It's "coincidences" like these that don't make me believe in coincidence at all. Things - good, bad and downright ugly - happen for a reason. Whether it was from my parents being addicts so my grandmother had to raise my brother and I to almost getting in a car wreck to avoid another deadly one further down the road, things happen for a reason.


THE OLD SCHOOL HOUSE THAT MY GREAT GRANDMA ATTENDED DANCES AT.




 
ME ON THE FRONT STEPS OF THE HALL.


 


MY GRANDMA ON THE LEFT AND HER ONLY LIVING SIBLINGS.




THE CORN IS HIGH FOR THIS TIME OF THE YEAR.





 THE ARTISTE - MY GREAT UNCLE BY HIS PAINTING FROM THE 1960s THAT HE PAINTED AND SOLD TO THE SCHOOL, HANGING IN THE FINE ARTS BUILDING.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Mini Golf SpectacuLAR

I have had many unpleasant mini golf experiences. Well, I wouldn't say unpleasant. Boring is a better word. All the golf courses seem the same. Cheesy decorations, fake waterfalls, dinky bridges, and a windmill where timing is key to have a successful putt. Cool - nothing more - playing the first time around but monotonous anytime after that.

Today's mini golf experience was different.

When my boyfriend's mom said that she wanted to take us to a mini golf game outside of the city, I was a little skeptical. I was happy to spend time with them because they are lots of fun, but mini golf? There was something to look forward to though. It was mini golf but with sculptures. After the beautiful drive and we arrived, it turned out to be a great place and so much fun. I'll let the photos do the talking.
















Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Fourth

This past fantastic Fourth of July consisted of...


 The perfect red, white, and blue outfit.


A beautifully warm and clear night in Minneapolis.


Lots of sparklers :D


video

And a perfect firework display watched from a bridge on the Mississippi.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Taste


               Slug in the green hoodie on stage. 

I had a Taste of Minnesota's music scene last night; P.O.S. and Atmosphere! The festivities were held on Harriet Island on the Mississippi in St Paul. The evening was warm and mostly sunny. There were lots of people but it was still comfortable.

During the show, John and I were about 30 feet from the stage. I hate being that far away. I always try - and usual do - get a spot close. Making eye contact with the performers, making it feel as though they're performing for only you takes a show to another level. Being further away from the stage, you don't get that experience. Plus, being 5 ft 3, it's difficult to see the musicians over all the tall people :(

So I did what I have never done at a show before. I got onto someone's shoulders. John had me up for almost an entire song. It was AMAZING. I could see e v e r y t h i n g. Nobody was as tall as me at that moment. I could see Slug and he could see me, no interference between us. The crowd looked like a giant mass instead of a few people standing around me. I felt self-conscious being high enough that everyone, I mean EVERYONE, could see me. It was worth it though, totally spectacular.
P.O.S. was great but atmosphere was my favorite.

"There's still some sun shine left outside..." Slug said, as Sunshine began. I love that song. It reminds me of South Minneapolis sunshine.The song is so light and true. I love "riding my bike around the lakes" and listening to the "breeze penetrate the south side trees" as he does :) You can listen here: Sunshine by Atmosphere

Here's a snippet of Sunshine. My camera died four seconds in though. Gr.

video


Another favorite was Not Another Day. This is embarrassing: I listened to it today and started crying. It hits home to me and probably many others. Listen: Not Another Day

Slug is great. One of the cool things about staying in South Minneapolis is knowing that he's probably around. Also, I love hearing all the references in Atmosphere's music to Minneapolis. It's a "I've been there! I know what you're talking about!" sort of thing.


The show was fun, one of the best hip hop show I've been to.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Minnesota Nice


                            Lilypads in bloom on Lake of the Isles.

I had never heard of the stereotype of "Minnesota nice" until I came to Minnesota. Although I don't like stereotypes - nothing can be true for every single person in a group - some generalizations about a group of people seem right. LA drivers are rude  (not all but those few who are make it seem correct), Australians are nice (all I met there are), and runners are hard workers (haha, well, the majority are!). Minnesotans, in general, are nicer than people from other states.

In the past week, three different people have complimented me on my tan. Back home, I don't remember strangers complementing it ever. When my car was stuck in the snow on the side of the road this past winter, five people stopped within five minutes to offer help. Today I was complemented on my tattoo by two older women [I say this because they usually don't like them] while stopped at a light on my bicycle. I wasn't in the best of mood at first but afterwards it made me feel so much happier!

I love nice people, they can change your mood for the day which does greater good than just for you. It may start a chain reaction of kindness. Let's all act Minnesotan and say something sweet to a person each day this week :D