“GOOAAAL” Is Universally Understood Whether It’s Liga Live, Telemundo, or Fox Sports

I have a complicated relationship with men’s professional soccer as a whole.

As an Oregon Native, I love me a Timbers win. I love when Seattle (and subsequently Vancouver) loses almost as much. As far as rivalries are concerned, being a fan of the Portland Timbers and wearing green and gold as an Oregon State Grad can be challenging. Oregon State’s rival, the University of Oregon’s school colors are scotch broom green and yellow, slightly different than the Timbers. As a Beaver, any instance of wearing green and yellow together raises an eyebrow and suspicion long before the context of Timbers allegiance registers by passersby so I typically avoid the color combination outside of Providence Park.

I saw an infographic some time ago that showed, by county in Oregon, the team preference of the University of Oregon vs. Oregon State Civil War and with the exception of Benton County where Oregon State is based out of, there was an overwhelming majority for the University of Oregon. As a Beaver grad, I’m accustom to rooting for the underdog.

Most days, my knowledge of soccer wins for my teams rarely expands beyond “Oh. Timbers tied at home today.” Or “Thorns won away 3-1.” If it’s a Thorns home game at Providence Park, there’s a decent chance I’m there in the stands but I rarely know stats beyond overall wins or if it’s close to playoffs, what score standings are needed to advance to the playoffs. I’m shaky at best at naming all the soccer positions (but am steadfast about soccer teams being comprised of 11 players and a few other crucial things) but I am far from a fanatic. I am also far from being someone who has grown up in a soccer culture all my life.

In the United States, soccer trails behind football, basketball, and baseball according to a recent Gallup Poll. But the composition of who is a modern-day soccer fan becomes interesting when broken down by age. According to the survey, “those who determine the future of spectator sports — 18- to 34-year-olds — are the age group least likely to favor football. But even among them, football tops all other sports by a comfortable margin. Soccer and baseball show meaningful differences by age, with soccer appealing more to adults younger than 55 and baseball more to adults aged 55 and older” and that’s a statistic I am very at home being a part of.

In a matter of minutes, the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final will begin between France and Croatia. This World Cup has been a doozy to say the least. Brazil got knocked out in the quarterfinals and the semi-finals were all European teams. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, some of the best players of all time will not be making appearances in the championship final. My guess is France is likely to win, but with the way things have unfolded this World Cup, Croatia could pull it off and a victory would be well earned.

While I’m slightly bummed that the United States Men’s National Team failed to qualify in this World Cup and kind of sucks overall (Vox’s words), the fact that I have cheered for multiple teams to advance over the last few weeks reminds me of some of the strengths of soccer—bringing people together in spectatorship wrapped up in almost, if not more, national pride than food and as uniting or divisive as policy- foreign or domestic.

I’m currently watching the opening minutes of this final game from Tagbilaran City in the Philippines, almost seven thousand miles from home. Three years ago, I watched the US Women’s National Team win the final from my then-apartment in Cebu and before that I watched a game with family in the Monkey Room in NYC when Brazil hosted the 2014 World Cup. Before that, games of the 2010 World Cup hosted in South Africa with family just down the street from the house I grew up in.

I realize few things in life are constant. Time moving on at a steady pace is one of them, but so is a Men’s FIFA World Cup every four years, and a Women’s FIFA World Cup the following year (and also every four years) and somewhere in there, every four years the Summer Olympics brings yet another international display of athleticism and soccer prowess to the forefront where more people are brought together by one world event than most others. To some extent, many life events happen in and around notable soccer events, World Cups or Olympics, and I find comfort in that, even if my country’s team isn’t competing on the world stage, hazy memories are cataloged between bookends of soccer events and not just presidencies or where I am in education.

Maybe someday I will get to experience an international professional soccer on my home turf. With North America hosting the 2026 World Cup, it’s certainly a possibility and something I hope I might get to someday cross off my bucket list. The 2019 Women’s FIFA World Cup is in France. I doubt I’ll be there in person, but I hope I can carry on this semi-tradition of collecting diverse and faraway places where I can catch a World Cup Game or two on the TV. I hear Quebec, a French-speaking province, is nice in July. Maybe I’ll watch the 2019 Women’s Championship from a time zone more in sync with the host country.

Anyways, it might be useful to know the time difference between Paris and the West Coast, USA is nine hours.

Ferment Fest February 2017: Five Stops In Six Hours

There are college-town bar-crawls and then there are sip trips. Both are intense for various reasons, including endurance. One focuses on how drunk you can get how fast and the other centers on how to pace yourself over the course of an afternoon.

One weekend this past winter, four family friends and I went and checked out five different sip spots around my college town: A distiller, two breweries, a ciderhouse, and a meadery. It was a belated “Hey kid! You’re 21 now. Let’s hit the town.”

We rated our beverages on a scale out of 10 and included our thoughts. Our results are below. Sheets may or may have been misplaced between stops.  Other times we may have just straight up forgotten to include a stop. Oh well.

The First

Neil Gaiman wrote in his blog some years ago: “I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”

Gaiman’s words sum up what I want this new year. 2017 has been ushered in with a jokester vandalizing the famous Hollywood side into Hollyweed. I think this is just the kind of light spirits we can all benefit from as we usher in a new calendar year.

This year is going to bring unprecedented changes. A new president, for one. New chances at travel. Lots of good food that I’m going to do my best to keep track of and share my inventions. The new year is also going to bring a new slew of life events. Victories and triumphs, mistakes and failures. Heck, for all I know, I’ll be done with college sometime within the next 364 days. And I couldn’t be more excited to see is going to happen.

So in the best spirits, cheers! Welcome, 2017. 

Solace and Solidarity in Music

My first music concert was in November 2006 at the Anaheim House of Blues. I went with my dad and sister and we saw Thomas Dolby and BT, and the opening local band did some song about strawberry jelly. The show was roughly nine years ago today (best guess from memory was that it was one of the last days of the month of November), and I have been going to concerts ever since.

I find the question, “What’s your favorite concert that you’ve every gone to?” a difficult question to answer. At difference stages in my life, different shows have stood out to me. My fist concert was with family and countless others have been as well. Music has been a critical element of my identity since I was born. My senior year of high school I stumbled into a “right place at the right time” opportunity to run a music venue for under age musicians in a bar heavy hometown. I freelance write for a label on occasion. Last spring I helped organize Pink Martini at one of the theatres on campus. Music helped me feel connected to my friends back home while I was in the Philippines.

I took an anthropology course this term focused on comparing music of resistance and solidarity in Brazil, Jamaica, Hawaii, and Cambodia. The class has been offered for several years now and I think the solidarity of music is coming through particularly strong in the last few days. The interconnectedness of it all. I look forward to class on Tuesday.

The Barclays Theatre is a venue many of the bands I admire have some history with. Whether they played there weeks ago, months ago, three nights in a row some years back- it seems to be one of those venues with shared experiences. A piece of my anthropology class that is resonating most strongly right now with me is music of solidarity and the solidarity of music. The events in Paris on the night of November 13th, 2015 and events in Syria, Beirut, Mexico, Japan and countless others this week, music seems to help at least some of us heal. Music is something I have fallen deeply in love with and have found personal peace through music. I found out about the events in Paris through the newsbreak on an Australian radio stream. And on my personal feed, it seems that some of the world is at least finding strength and peace through music.

Davide Martello traveled over 400 miles from Germany to Paris to play John Lennon’s Imagine on a grand piano outside the Barclays Theatre and the rendition is incredibly beautiful. The cover has been appearing on my social media feed, from friends, to musicians who have played the theatre in years past. The original by Lennon has appeared on several playlists focusing on Peace, shuffled between the likes of “Peace Train” by Cat Stevens and “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield.

The events of late have been heartbreaking but it is slightly reassuring to see so many people come together around something like music as we all process through the anger and sadness and frustration as the world keeps on spinning. I know for me personally, going to a show at a historic theatre last night in my college town, just blocks from where I live and work was foundation for a lot of reflection and was more positivity than I could have asked for. I was happy. I was smiling. I was thinking about the amazing people who I was there with and everyone else who was there because of our love for music.

The world we wake up in every day is not the world it was yesterday. The solace and solidarity of music is a beautiful constant I’m thankful I can appreciate. It is times like these I love music more than anything else and I want nothing more than to make a career out of it. The hope and light I’ve seen in the past few days and it’s been sound tracked incredibly well. And I think in the mean time, the best thing I can do is turn the music up as it helps stitch a broken world a little closer together.

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Freedom of Fear

I can never say that I was too interested in history growing up. But one of the rare moments from my relationship with history that profoundly stands out to me was in the 5th grade when we read about some guy named Norman Rockwell and some of his famous paintings. It was one of the first times my reaction wasn’t to shrug it off and say, whatever. Granted, I was ten or eleven years old at the time so not much of this made sense, but I distinctly remember The Four Freedoms paintings Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear. The paintings have cropped up elsewhere since then, but there was something about the quartet that struck a cord with me. And over the last few days I have been thinking about the one that resonates loudest, Freedom from Fear.

The paintings are based on a speech from 1941 from Franklin D. Roosevelt to the United Nations and appeared on the Saturday Evening Post over four consecutive weeks in 1943. Seventy-two years later, both Rockwell and the paintings are cornerstones of classic Americana. After the events of Thursday, October 1st, 2015 I have been thinking about Freedom from Fear and how we have more to fear in the present day than in 1943, half way through the Second World War.

On May 21st, 1998, a full year before the Columbine Massacre, which set the world stage for large scale violence, the Thurston High School Shooting occurred fifty-three miles from where I currently sit, right now, in the safety and comfort of my dorm room, and seventeen years in the past.

It is commonly accepted that a “mass shooting” is four or more people shot in relation to gun violence. And depending on where you look, numbers suggest that there has been a mass shooting every week for the year 2015, or there have been some 142-school shootings since Sandy Hook, or there has been a gun related tragedy every day this year. The numbers rarely agree beyond, “This happens to often and something needs to change.”

In just the last few years I remember where I was when the news of the South Carolina church shooting broke this summer. Where I was when headlines broke about Sandy Hook, the Isla Vista Killings in 2014 at the University of California Santa Barbra, Aurora Theatre, the Arapahoe High School shooting in 2013 because of the effects it had on the National Speech and Debate Association of which I was a member, the Clackamas Mall Shooting, which also happened too close to home for comfort.

The fact I can name so many without having to look at an official list is saddening. The fact that the most recent tragedy happened so close to home is heartbreaking. My university is closely connected with Umpqua Community College both for its dual enrollment program and because so many students are from the area. The increased presence of Oregon State Police on campus is just a reminder of the fact we are not free from fear. Mass shootings can happen anywhere, at any time, often with little warning. My university has recently started a campaign of what to do if there is a shooting, which in an ideal world would not be necessary.

What really hit home last Thursday came from talking with my mom.

                                    “I told your sister last week how difficult it is                                                                      as a parent to send your kid off to school,                                                                            wishing them a good day, and hoping you                                        see them safe, at home later that day.”        

 The conversation I had with my dad was equally numbing. “Parents shouldn’t have to bury their children. It goes against the natural order of things.” I now feel an obligation to keep in touch with my parents more frequently because of fear. I am afraid of something happening and them getting horrible news because of the status quo and even vice versa.

Before details reach reporters, we can often guess reoccurring elements of mass shootings since they are so frequent and often go one of only a few ways. Mass shootings have become formulaic. As someone who follows the news, it is merely a waiting game of when the next one unfolds since this country has become so numb to what should not be a regular or frequent occurrence.

I think Stephen Colbert has said it best since Thursday. Between John Oliver and Colbert, the sobering fact is finally coming to the forefront from these two well-known comedians- something has to change and after a mass shooting is the worse time to talk about mental health. My hope is that Umpqua will be a turning point for change, especially with the upcoming election year, and that UCC might be the last scar on this country before something finally changes for the better. And I hope that some day in the near future the Freedom of Fear is once again just a painting and a guaranteed freedom.

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IMDB’s Top 250 Films

Rank & Title Date Seen
1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
2. The Godfather (1972)
3. The Godfather: Part II (1974)
4. The Dark Knight (2008)
5. 12 Angry Men (1957)
6. Schindler’s List (1993)
7. Pulp Fiction (1994)
8. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
9. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
10. Fight Club (1999)
11. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring(2001)
12. Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back(1980)
13. Forrest Gump (1994)
14. Inception (2010)
15. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
16. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
17. Goodfellas (1990)
18. The Matrix (1999)
19. Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)
20. Seven Samurai (1954)
21. City of God (2002)
22. Se7en (1995)
23. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
24. The Usual Suspects (1995)
25. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
26. Life Is Beautiful (1997)
27. Léon: The Professional (1994)
28. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
29. Interstellar (2014)
30. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
31. American History X (1998)
32. Spirited Away (2001)
33. Casablanca (1942)
34. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
35. Psycho (1960)
36. City Lights (1931)
37. Rear Window (1954)
38. The Intouchables (2011)
39. Modern Times (1936)
40. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
41. Whiplash (2014)
42. The Green Mile (1999)
43. The Pianist (2002)
44. Memento (2000)
45. The Departed (2006)
46. Gladiator (2000)
47. Apocalypse Now (1979)
48. Back to the Future (1985)
49. Sunset Blvd. (1950)
50. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
51. The Prestige (2006)
52. Alien (1979)
53. The Lion King (1994)
54. The Lives of Others (2006)
55. The Great Dictator (1940)
56. Inside Out (2015)
57. Cinema Paradiso (1988)
58. The Shining (1980)
59. Paths of Glory (1957)
60. Django Unchained (2012)
61. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
62. WALL·E (2008)
63. American Beauty (1999)
64. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
65. Aliens (1986)
66. Citizen Kane (1941)
67. North by Northwest (1959)
68. Princess Mononoke (1997)
69. Oldboy (2003)
70. Vertigo (1958)
71. Das Boot (1981)
72. M (1931)
73. Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983)
74. Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
75. Amélie (2001)
76. Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
77. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
78. Braveheart (1995)
79. Toy Story 3 (2010)
80. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
81. Taxi Driver (1976)
82. Double Indemnity (1944)
83. Requiem for a Dream (2000)
84. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
85. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
86. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
87. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
88. The Sting (1973)
89. Amadeus (1984)
90. Bicycle Thieves (1948)
91. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
92. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
93. Snatch. (2000)
94. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
95. The Kid (1921)
96. L.A. Confidential (1997)
97. Rashomon (1950)
98. For a Few Dollars More (1965)
99. Toy Story (1995)
100. Inglourious Basterds (2009)
101. The Apartment (1960)
102. All About Eve (1950)
103. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
104. A Separation (2011)
105. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
106. Metropolis (1927)
107. Yojimbo (1961)
108. The Third Man (1949)
109. Scarface (1983)
110. Batman Begins (2005)
111. Some Like It Hot (1959)
112. Unforgiven (1992)
113. 3 Idiots (2009)
114. Up (2009)
115. Raging Bull (1980)
116. Downfall (2004)
117. The Hunt (2012)
118. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
119. Chinatown (1974)
120. The Great Escape (1963)
121. Die Hard (1988)
122. Good Will Hunting (1997)
123. Heat (1995)
124. On the Waterfront (1954)
125. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
126. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
127. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
128. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
129. Ran (1985)
130. The Gold Rush (1925)
131. Ikiru (1952)
132. The Seventh Seal (1957)
133. Blade Runner (1982)
134. The Secret in Their Eyes (2009)
135. Wild Strawberries (1957)
136. The General (1926)
137. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
138. The Elephant Man (1980)
139. Casino (1995)
140. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
141. Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
142. Warrior (2011)
143. Gran Torino (2008)
144. V for Vendetta (2005)
145. The Big Lebowski (1998)
146. Rebecca (1940)
147. Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)
148. A Beautiful Mind (2001)
149. The Deer Hunter (1978)
150. How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
151. Cool Hand Luke (1967)
152. Gone with the Wind (1939)
153. Fargo (1996)
154. Trainspotting (1996)
155. It Happened One Night (1934)
156. Dial M for Murder (1954)
157. Into the Wild (2007)
158. Gone Girl (2014)
159. The Sixth Sense (1999)
160. Rush (2013)
161. Finding Nemo (2003)
162. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
163. Mary and Max (2009)
164. No Country for Old Men (2007)
165. The Thing (1982)
166. Incendies (2010)
167. Hotel Rwanda (2004)
168. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
169. Life of Brian (1979)
170. Platoon (1986)
171. The Wages of Fear (1953)
172. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
173. There Will Be Blood (2007)
174. Network (1976)
175. Touch of Evil (1958)
176. The 400 Blows (1959)
177. Stand by Me (1986)
178. 12 Years a Slave (2013)
179. The Princess Bride (1987)
180. Annie Hall (1977)
181. Persona (1966)
182. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
183. Amores Perros (2000)
184. In the Name of the Father (1993)
185. Million Dollar Baby (2004)
186. Ben-Hur (1959)
187. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
188. Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (2009)
189. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
190. Shutter Island (2010)
191. Diabolique (1955)
192. Sin City (2005)
193. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
194. Gandhi (1982)
195. The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
196. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
197. Stalker (1979)
198. Donnie Darko (2001)
199. Wild Tales (2014)
200. Strangers on a Train (1951)
201. 8½ (1963)
202. Jurassic Park (1993)
203. The Avengers (2012)
204. Before Sunrise (1995)
205. Twelve Monkeys (1995)
206. The Terminator (1984)
207. Infernal Affairs (2002)
208. Jaws (1975)
209. Memories of Murder (2003)
210. Groundhog Day (1993)
211. The Battle of Algiers (1966)
212. Monsters, Inc. (2001)
213. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
214. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)
215. Throne of Blood (1957)
216. The Truman Show (1998)
217. Fanny and Alexander (1982)
218. Barry Lyndon (1975)
219. Rocky (1976)
220. Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
221. The Imitation Game (2014)
222. Ip Man (2008)
223. The King’s Speech (2010)
224. High Noon (1952)
225. La Haine (1995)
226. A Fistful of Dollars (1964)
227. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
228. Notorious (1946)
229. Castle in the Sky (1986)
230. Prisoners (2013)
231. The Help (2011)
232. Roman Holiday (1953)
233. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
234. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring (2003)
235. The Night of the Hunter (1955)
236. Beauty and the Beast (1991)
237. Papillon (1973)
238. La Strada (1954)
239. Anatomy of a Murder (1959)
240. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
241. Before Sunset (2004)
242. The Hustler (1961)
243. The Graduate (1967)
244. Gangs of Wasseypur (2012)
245. The Big Sleep (1946)
246. Elite Squad: The Enemy Within (2010)
247. Akira (1988)
248. Departures (2008)
249. Underground (1995)
250. Three Colors: Red (1994)


Twenty Something

Tomorrow, September 17th, I turn 20. I’m a firm believer in not just using the start of a new calendar year for a chance to take up new goals, so I’m incorporating some into my birthday! A whole new decade. And my parents are already gushing on baby photos and, “I remember the day you were born,” stories. I will say that it has been one of those semi-birthday traditions to shower or take a bath on the day before your birthday to “wash away” the previous year of life. And I think that’s one of the cooler aspects of getting older- you can start to make things you thought were “silly” when you were younger into traditions you keep for yourself as you get older.

  1. Read new 20 books for fun (outside of an academic requirement), by authors both living an dead, in both fiction and non-fiction genres
  2. Watch 20 new-to-me films off IMDB’s Top 250 Movies. A post of films I have seen prior to turning 20 is available here.
  3. Take one significant step forward towards my dream career, may or may not be academic related.
  4. As always, travel somewhere new – both instate and out of state.
  5. Go on an adventure that includes seeing the sun set and rise in the same go. Cannot be academic related.
  6. Invest in decent stationary and use it (often) for thank you notes.
  7. See something on a stage other than a concert- the ballet, a play, etc.
  8. Apply and get accepted into Pro-School.
  9. Add at least two new stamps to my National Parks Passport (bonus if I add to my US passport).
  10. Move out- vacate my room at my parentals taking all my stuff with and, with my own money, buy a new piece of furniture for my new living arrangements.
  11. Get certified in something- Motorcycle endorsement or dive certified are very likely contenders.
  12. Pick up a new ‘adult’ skill- knowing my luck, probably car related. Otherwise most likely DIY at home
  13. Visit one of the places significant to my parents. Bonus points if it’s the Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Clinton Street Theatre in Portland.
  14. Attend as many sporting events as possible and hit the Big Three at least once- Football, Basketball, and Baseball. Keep the ticket stubs
  15. Attempt to save all full coffee punch cards for use when I’m no longer living in the residence halls and things cost “real” money.
  16. Take up the valiant quest to raise my GPA- 3.41 and a goal of 3.5 of higher.
  17. Sign up for a class has nothing to do with my major and or minor. A 101 probably doesn’t count. I’m looking at you Biology.
  18. Take summer classes and start Fall Term 2016 ahead of where I need to be to graduate on time (Spring 2018).
  19. Register to vote and participate in the necessary preliminaries for the 2016 Presidential election. Because Oregon is weird.
  20. Take care of myself. Life’s hard and it’s a rarity when it’s easy. Life’s too short not to be happy and content with everything. Challenge by choice. Know when to say no, but say yes more often.

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Never is the shortcut actually shorter

Holy smokes what a weekend. Yes, I know it’s 11pm on Tuesday after Labor Day weekend, but it really took a day’s worth of training to actually look at all the stuff that happened.


An absolutely glorious game against Weber State, in beautiful weather, closed out with a victory and Seth Collins proving his worth as a freshman player. A fellow staffmate got me hooked on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D after the game as we worked on door decorations.


I woke up relatively early for me for a Saturday around 9am to the sound of the clock tower a block over. I went to the Farmers Market to get more jalapeños to pickle and ended up losing my drivers license. Spoiler alert: it got turned in to a local shop and I didn’t know about it until Sunday evening. I didn’t get stressed out about losing my ID, despite $40 cash being wrapped around it. I just tried to remain calm as I retraced my steps and waited for it to turn up, all the while mentally preparing myself for the steps I would go through if I did have to go to the DMV to replace it. Some staff and I dropped someone on staff off at the train station, went out for tacos at an amazing taqueria in Albany, and in light of having less than a stellar start to my Saturday we stopped for ice cream on our way back. Those of us who returned from the train station regrouped with the staff and went to Buffalo Wild Wings as more staff bonding. The evening concluded with Super Smash Bros.


Sunday was a slow and easy morning of sleeping in and staying in bed longer to read. The staff line up shuffled again and we went out into the Corvallis wilderness to hike, ending up in Peavy Arboretum instead of where we initially thought we would. Plan A included a waterfall, but Oregon had other plans and the weather wasn’t quite up to par for such a hike so we made a new plan and went off on a hike none of us had really done before. About four and a half miles of almost straight uphill, through the area of the forest used for lumberjack games and logging competitions, known as Cronemiller Lake.

After several hours of monotonous (at least for me, I have a very short stride and like a Hobbit, never really walk with much sense of urgency, so the going is always slow and I usually have to budget extra time to walk somewhere around campus if I don’t want to be late), we did take a nice break to rally for what we thought would be the next leg of the hike but instead proved to be the turning point. While the down hill was faster than the up, as are many things in life once you know the way and how far you have left to go, that is not always the case. Sometimes, a “shortcut” actually makes the journey longer- in a very Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took type fashion- that only adds to the journey. In our case, the shortcut took us to the main parking lot of the arboretum and we trekked back along the side road for almost a mile to get back to the highway shoulder / pull off where we had parked in front of the gate for our original way up. Almost eight miles and over three hours later, I think this was the most insightful bonding moment of our staff during the weekend.

We eventually ended back at our residence hall, regrouped with yet another line up of staff and head to the dining hall for dinner. At one point that evening we started Big Hero 6 but most of us fell asleep halfway through so it was an early night for many.


The end of my long weekend started with coffee with a professor to catch up on summer travels and adventures before a trip to Freddie’s, and meeting up more staff for lunch on the South side of campus. The afternoon included a trip to Target as part of our collection party from the train station, where I acquired the Original Trilogy (Star Wars), which is something I have been hunting for for the better part of a year, and I guess it took the reboot to actually find in the stores. Target, being Target, was offering a $10 coupon if you spent $50 on Star Wars merchandise, and being the person that I am, I thought what better way to bridge the ten dollar difference between the promotional minimum and the cost of the discs than through buying ten dollars worth of Star Wars pasta macaroni and cheese. Why? Because college. The math worked out that I essentially got twelve boxes of mac and cheese as a bonus for buying movies I was likely going to buy off Amazon before the end of the month anyways. Yay coincidence. There was another staff dinner together and after that I holed up in my room watching A New Hope and working on my, “Don’t let the Muggles get you down” motivational bunting for my wall. Yes. I do now have a whole section of my wall dedicated to Harry Potter and I’m very excited. Portlandia coined, “Put on a bird on it,” while I’m drifting towards lightning bolts and courageous lions on e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.

And the spirit of a lovely weekend concluded this morning when I woke up to news from one of my favorite bands that goes on tour just about never, that they have scheduled a fall tour and will be in Portland in November. Good vibes are happening under the watch of the Virgo constellation (something near and dear to my heart) and I have a really good feeling about this (unlike the unofficial tag line of Star Wars, where in the don’t) upcoming year and my staff- which, like Hogwarts, is like my family.

The biggest take away from the weekend was insightfulness of the ‘shortcut’ of the hike. While we may have bypassed the way we knew and instead took the unknown route thinking it would be easier, it instead proved to be more challenging, since unlike our original turning point to go back, we did now know the way. But we survived. And we endured. Like many aspects in life, the most rewarding moments come from the unforeseen adventures. I believe the important part is to not underestimate one’s abilities. I rarely hike and to go from no hike to 7 + miles is a big difference, and I think building up to more miles and BEING PREPARED is worth the investment and the time.

Like losing my drivers license, which I should have back by the end of the day Wednesday- weird overlaps of the store being closed on Monday and me being busy during their hours on Tuesday, and blindly jumping into more of a trek than my body is used to the biggest thing is to stay calm, breathe, and take things in stride. Six months ago when something similar to losing my license happened, I was an emotional wreck and now I can handle surprises like that much better.


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Arts, Crafts, And What Happens When I Have This Many Drawers

My little sister turned 18 yesterday. Hard to believe she’s not so little any more. In two weeks I will turn 20 and it seems like the summer just passed by barely taking the time to wave and in part because it did. Lots of my stuff that was in my freshman room never made it out of the boxes I packed it out of with the exception of what went with me on my travels, and much more of it was unpack just to repack so in that regard. Blink and you’d miss it.

Today, Friday, marks the end of week two of staff training. Tonight OSU plays Weber State, and holy moley do I hope for a win and as always Go Beavs. As I settle back into the college life, as the sole occupant of a space, I’m finding immense satisfaction in just how much I can make this space my own. It’s not quite the freedom that comes with apartment life- my current room is such that I don’t have the space for much furniture that didn’t come issued with the room outside a shelving unit, a fridge, and a folding chair that I stash under my bed- but the sky is the limit with decorating. Two Harry Potter, a Shakespeare inspired, and a David Bowie poster later my room is looking less generic and more like ‘home’ and the best part is I still have a few more to put up. I’m particularly fond of staying organized with varying degrees of success and much to my contentment I realized I had the space to micro-organize some of what usually resides in my desk into its own designated drawer and boy howdy did I make a wonderful mistake.

The end result of my efforts is a bulletproof arts and crafts drawer. Pens, pencils, high lighters, and sharpies oh my! Stencils, a paper cutter (a ‘grown up’ purchase I have had on my mind since last summer) varying sizes of note cards and post it notes, little tins for small things like staples and pushpins. A cubbie for Command hooks and other things that ‘stick’. A cubbie for binder clips and other things that bind like zip ties (the fact I have hardware things in my craft drawer is sure to make my mother very proud) and binder clips; a whole wide array of tape, crayons, twine, different types of glue, fishing line. All these things together and I am over the moon now that I have a designated space for all the things.

My goal is that before residents move in a little less than two and a half weeks, I have my space organized enough that I charge head first into my second academic year and actually hit the ground running (one more math class and then I’m done with math forever). If I had known I would find such inner peace just from the extent in which I organized my art supplies, I can’t wait to have the time this three-day weekend to further organize. I moved in last week on Monday and did what I needed to get through the first week of training. Last weekend I moved furniture into a more practical configuration and now I’m in the stage of focusing on other drawers I store things- my whole desk is currently empty!

Classes start twenty days from today- it seems to be the magic number of the month- and I’m feeling really good about things. Even just a week ago I was agitated about wanting things to fall into place on the macro so I could figure everything out and plan, and after tonight’s run in with the craft supplies on the micro scale, the coming crusade of finding a place for everything and putting everything in its place is really helping. I can’t wait for the amazing year that is at my doorstep, but first a weekend and probably a little crafting.

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