Wednesday, August 31, 2011

An accidental audience member.

(The above picture is our school bookstore.)
I have made the long and arduous journey to Cafe Rachel, Chatham's cafe which pays tribute to our most famous alumni.  And by arduous, I mean arduous.  This is called Stephanie telling the truth. 

Anyways, I walked down several flights of stairs and down a sizable hill and up another sizable hill (perhaps more sizable than the last?) and up another flight of stairs and landed in our cafe.  And here I will remain until some caffeine shoots into my body with the force of a thousand eagles.  I don't know if that metaphor makes sense.

Tonight is Chatham's first big musical event.  An artist who's business card is a Polaroid of himself (well done, sir) is going on in a few minutes and I will invariably be one of his audience members.  I completely forgot about it and now I feel bad about walking out.  It's not that I find cafe performances unbearable; I'm just more interested in listening to some of my own little musical library whilst I write this thoroughly uninteresting blog post for the world to see and mock.  Guys, be nice.

There aren't very many people in here, too.  That is only adding to my guilt.  I want to be a supporter, an enthusiastic listener, a starry-eyed, hand clapping, amen preaching audience member but the call of my bed is stronger and I think I may be forced to succumb to it in a little while. 

So, my first week of real university.  It's been long.  It's only Wednesday night and it already feels like we've been here for months.  My classes are all so wonderfully focused on the arts and it makes me feel like my aspirations aren't so laughably ridiculous after all.  The people here are preposterously friendly and the campus is painfully beautiful and my residence hall is disgustingly picturesque.  Nearly every square inch of the campus is adorned with draping trees and rolling green hills and the sound of cicadas constantly amidst the noise of conversation.  Almost all of the buildings are old mansions donated to the university.  Cracked paint and stereotypically Victorian boarding school-esque classrooms fill the buildings.  It's all exactly how I imagine my favorite boarding school novels (and, let's face it, there is an undeniable charm about that life).  Which may sound nonsensical to some, but to those who know what I'm talking about: yeah, it's like that.

I'm taking two back-to-back photography courses and one of them is a black/white film class and it is the most beautiful thing.  We ventured to the university's darkroom the other day and I fell in love.  It was one of those 'oh hey, this is what I want to work in for the rest of my life' kind of moments.  The last time I experienced something like that I was 7 years old and I wanted to be Britney Spears.  MOM, THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO DO OKAY.  Clearly I evolved past those delusions. 

GUYS.  The artist is packing up.  He went on an hour ago and was sticking around to talk to his amen preaching fans.  Farewell, guilt.  Farewell.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sin Francisco

Hello Stephanie/the world. And by the world I mean our one follower. Which, I mean, is like 100% improvement from last week’s follower count of zero. AWWW YEAHHH … is what I have to say to that.

So anyways, my last day at the ol’ job was Friday and it was pretty great. They made me a going away cake that can only be accurately described through the art of the photograph: 

It says, “We’ll miss you bitch,” in case anyone was wondering. *sigh* … I’ll miss those bitches too. Also, I'm not sure they accurately captured the length of the Scottish man's arm hair but I'll find out soon enough. Anyways we all went out for drinks after the work day was over, got a little sauced and then the next morning it was off to San Francisco to see the two bests from my college years, Ashley P and Lexie.

Night one was dedicated to something I haven’t done since I was five … a scavenger hunt. However, going into this unfamiliar territory did not appear to be daunting. I mean, how bad could it possibly be? We’re probs just going to find a few landmarks, snap some shots, take some shots, and be on our way right? Nah. I quickly realized my error in supposition when we entered the venue where we were all to meet. As my eyes grazed the room I noticed a slideshow of photos from scavenger hunt’s past and suddenly felt a wave of realization and cowardice overtake me. The list of photos that immediately come to mind is as follows: men taking shots off of other men’s unmentionables (covered unmentionables mind you but unmentionables nonetheless), groups of people humping statues, and random bouts of nude running.

I of course responded the way any normal, healthy person would — I sat down at the bar and ordered a Long Island. Within minutes it was time to head out on the streets with our team that included two strangers and us. Our tasks included finding a German, having the tallest female (me) feed a stranger with chopsticks, having seven strangers spell out “I <3 SF” with their bodies, taking our shirts off and make bread bowl bras, outperforming a street performer, taking a picture with a family of seven (a task that we far exceeded when we found a Mexican family of 20), taking pictures with a clueless Asian tourist, being as obscene as possible with the mermaid fountain in Ghirardelli Square, and finding Batman.

Even now I’m not sure how we were supposed to accomplish that last one.

Anyways, here’s the proof that I made a mermaid go downtown on me while Lexie licked another one’s nipple and Ashley P went through the back door … if you get me.

The rest of the night went about the same with a few more highlights. One of the last acts of the night was the bread bowl bra — let me just break that one down for everyone. While running down Fisherman’s Wharf we came across a bread-bowl-making factory/ restaurant called Boudin and we knew it was time to get down to business. As all the tourists stared intently through the large glass windows that looked in on the bread making process, Lexie and I got the attention of one of the chef’s and began to mouth that we needed two bowls to cup over our boobs. Of course he acted like he had no idea what we were saying until we pointed to our breasts and then somehow he seemed to understand completely … weird.

The best part of the entire night may have been watching the faces of the restaurant-goers as Lexie and I ran into the baking room fully clothed and then ran out five minutes later still struggling to put our shirts back while carrying a bag full of bread bowls.

Note to Stephanie/follower: we didn’t take out shirts all the way off … we’re not quite that crazy. Or are we? Nah we’re not.

Anyways we lost the scavenger hunt. But the weekend was still really great. Lots of catching up, eating, shopping, cart wheeling, etc. Also, it was my last full weekend here in the states. I’m glad I got to spend it with some of the greats.

I’m off to watch “Don’t be Afraid of the Dark,” with the mama now. Wish you could come with us Steph … EXCEPT I DON’T. Nah, I do.

Until next time.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Stephanie waits in airports. Humid airports. (And later unpacks.)

Hello, readers.
This post is brought to you by George Bush and his gracious wi-fi that only lasts 45 minutes.  Never have I been so grateful for Texan Internet.

I am currently perched next to a window covered in the humid morning dew of Houston, Texas.  This is where I connect to my Pittsburgh flight.  (Did a cute boy just talk to me about first class?  Affirmative.  Liveblogging my experiences, isn't this just so magical?) I couldn't be more nervous about this whole thing called moving across the country.  The whole independent I-can-buy-my-own-shit-and-use-it-any-way-I-want-but-it-comes-with-a-price-called-a-quarter-life-crisis business isn't entirely new territory to me, but it is still rather terrifying.  I've approached the harbor of that land, if I may, but I've yet to fully explore it and its many existential break-downs. 


Unfortunately, I had to stop there.  They were like GET ON THE DAMN PLANE and I was like JESUS CHRIST OKAY MAN.  So, I had to abandon my writings until I reached my destination.

So, this blog post is now brought to you by my beautiful dorm room at Chatham University.  All of our dorm halls are mansions donated to the school so they're all beautiful and old and have that sort of 'character' I sometimes hear about on HGTV.  Blame my parents and their obsessive love for HGTV and their descriptors of architecture, not me.

I miss home already but people tell me that's to be expected.  This room is already starting to feel like home, though.  I think the whole it used to be a home thing is a contributing factor.
This building is the kind of building I always wished I could live in.  Soft lighting, airy rooms, white-washed walls and the sound of the chapel bell every hour.  As soon as I find my camera cord I will give you the grand tour of the campus.  It may have to be in several installments, however, as the campus is quite mountainous and I am laughably sedentary (despite having lived in the Sierras for the past decade).

I have begun the not-so-laborious task of moving in my things.  I wasn't able to bring anything huge because of that whole living 3000 miles away business, but I did bring the entirety of my wardrobe and bedding.  Space bags: they work and they are lovely and they are just so great.  As seen on TV: space bags are black holes of awesome.

I've been leaving this and coming back and leaving it again, so I'll take my inattentiveness as my cue to end this blog and eat something.  Eleven hour flight, 30 minutes of sleep, a bag of Chex Mix and some pathetic excuse for coffee = Stephanie consumes her bed and some of her socks because she thinks they're a whopper and a coke.

Just kidding I despise soda.

Everyone say hello to Ashley for me.

Monday, August 22, 2011

... and I'm Ashley

HelooOOOoo. My name is Ashley, I’m 23, and I’m here to party. My sister Stephanie/crap-face is leaving tomorrow at midnight to start her new (crap) life in Pittsburgh. Just kidding … her life is going to be great. And although I’m going to miss her stupid face, I’m excited for her. She’s starting a new volume and so am I (I was going to say chapter but I didn’t … see how edgy I am?). After she leaves, I’ll only have a little over a week to get ready for my new life as a student at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. I’m going to pursue my MFA in creative writing and she’s going for her B.A. in photography. It’s going to be a raging good time.

A little about me before I peace the eff out — I graduated a year ago from Pepperdine with my degree in journalism and realized that that was just not my cup-a-joe.  After moving back home to northern California this time last year, my life has been consumed with grad school applications, waiting on the status of grad school applications, lingering self-doubt, student loan payments, quarter-life crises, more quarter-life crises, and watching horror movies with Stephanie. Also, sometimes I would have quarter-life crises while watching horror movies with Stephanie but we won’t get into that. 

So now here we are — two sisters on the brink of discovery/destruction, ready to take on the world two continents at a time. There will be ups, there will be downs, and there with be like REALLY bad downs but one thing’s for certain … you’ll be able to read all about it here. So you better read it. Or else you’re just being rude. And we aren’t friends with rude people. Well, some of Stephanie’s friends are rude. Just kidding.

Until next time.


Well hello there, I'm Stephanie.

Greetings, new blog.  I'm Stephanie, the other and younger half of this blog.
I'm sitting next to Ashley, the older and more decrepit half, while she writes her own greeting.  Will mine be better than hers?  Time can only tell.

Will this faux-sibling rivalry last?  Time can only tell.

Ashley and I.  We're sisters.  We have this wrestling chant that we made up when we were young sprouts and we used to amuse ourselves by playing 'giant worm vs giant leech' in sleeping bags.  (I was the leech, in case you were interested.)  We've lived in the city and we've lived in the mountains.  The city has presented us with terrifying nights in a morally questionable neighborhood and the mountains have presented us with terrifying nights with morally questionable arachnids.  Neither of us looks much like our parents, but we look like each other.  She made me eat soap when I was 4 and it was the worst thing I have ever experienced.  We drive around aimlessly sometimes when we're bored and those days are good days.  I once ruined Christmas morning for her when I burst into her room screaming "WE GOT BIKES FOR CHRISTMAS" and she was like "STEPHANIE GODDAMN DON'T TELL ME".  Except in a more G-rated fashion because we were rather young. 
You get the picture.  Sisters.  Spiders.  Soap.

Moving on.  Hello, new (and presently nonexistent, but hey I'm not counting) readers.  I'm a soon-to-be 20 year old and tonight is my last night at home.  I move to Pennsylvania for college tomorrow night and I couldn't be more nervous or excited or NERVOUS about it.  This will be my first time leaving everything behind and it's rather terrifying.  I'm, like, 95% sure my roommates aren't budding serial killers, but who knows.

I am majoring in being homeless for the rest of my life--I MEAN, I'm majoring in visual arts with a concentration in photography at Chatham University in the great city of Pittsburgh (unconfirmed, but Wikipedia is leading me to believe it's pretty swell).  We live in California, so if I experience a bout of homesickness I'm going to have to man up and deal with it.  Or try to run back home and die of exhaustion somewhere around Indiana.  Maybe Ohio.  I should exercise more.

We're doing this for us, but if you want to tag along then I promise we'll make room.