judgement day

i’ve been helping judge a photography contest for the past week now for River to Well, an annual event held to raise money to fund wells in south africa. last year the event raised over $5,000. i blushed when katie’s sister asked me to help judge, but i’m really glad she did because i’ve had a blast analyzing photographs. good and bad. and spending hours color-coding and foldering. example: so far so good, but i’m having a terrible time narrowing down to the top 4 for each sub-category of student, amateur and professional. tomorrow the judges are getting together to show each other what we’ve chosen and fight for our favorites.

i wanted to talk more about what i’ve thought about the judging process, but i’ll hold off until the competition is over. vague is good. esp when you might already be breaking rules for showing your color coded folder system..

lastly, because i am i judge i couldn’t enter my favorite photograph from my trip. i wouldn’t have won, but i love how it turned out. so much color! mm take me back plz

taken with my pentax film camera

film review

Top foreign films I’ve recently watched:

La Vie en Rose
True story of Edith Piaf! A wonderful french singer with a life and a voice that gives you goosebumps. It was a great movie, but I couldn’t help but get frustrated with the different circumstances she was faced with. But how can you argue with a true story.. Great movie, great music! I definitely recommend this one!

The Edukators
So awesome! Easily one of my new favorite movies. Condemning and inspiring at the same time, 3 twenty somethings take it upon themselves to break into wealthy people’s houses, move things around and leave messages. They are always looking back at the revolutionaries from the 60’s and wondering why people never stand up for things anymore. One of their gigs goes wrong, and it turns out to be a wake up call. Great movie!

Le Premier Jour du Reste de Ta Vie
The American title for this movie is: The First Day of the Rest of Your Life. It’s a great story about a dysfunctional family going through the usual struggles; midlife crises, sibling rivalries, romance and growing up generalities. The youngest son also happens to be the cutest boy with a ponytail that I have ever seen. And he does air guitar competitions.

Love in Thoughts
This story is very romantic, very poetic and very messed up. The setting is Germany in the 20’s, and Daniel Brühl (LOVE HIM) plays a young college poet, Paul, who falls in love with the sister of his best friend, Günther. Günther is gay, and his sister, Hilde, is wild and flirty, and has no desire for love and relationships. So she says. It turns out that Günther and his sister Hilde are both in love with the same man. Oh Snap! This movie is dark, and romantic, and worth a watch just for the ending, if not just because Daniel Bruhl is in it..

The main character, Kristoffer, is never without his video camera. Him and his best friend do crazy stunts like the Johnny Knoxville Show, and his roommate has an irrational fear of leaving the apartment complex. During one of their stunts, the security guards in the TV2 station catch them jumping out the multiple story window into the bin where TV2 had been throwing out foam insulation pads. Kristoffer drops a few tapes on his desperate sprint out. It’s a cute and romantic movie because of how pathetic he is with relationships, but I more so enjoyed the relationship between him and his best friend and his scared roommate, Stig Inge. Not life changing, but fun to watch.

top 5 travel quotes
“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” Mark Jenkins

“Not all those who wander are lost.” JRR Tolkein

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” Marcel Proust

“I shambled after as I’ve been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!'” Jack Kerouac

“Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.” Cesare Pavese
mal organisée

I think I’m scared of writing because it makes me organize the thoughts in my head. Thus the long hiatus.

It’s not that things aren’t happening in my life. Quite the contrary—the world is turning, the snow is melting, finally. I’ve started my internship at Willoughby, which has really changed my views on working for a design firm in the future. I’ve been losing sleep over what to do with my life after I graduate. My grandparents and my parents are always asking what my plans are, and its just so easy to tell them what they want to hear. “Oh, you know, just going to stay in the safe mid-west, work for a big secure design firm and settle down as far away from Africa as I can.” Blah. Lets make a list of my least desirable life course:

1:settling down
2:not being in Africa
3:getting a real job right after I graduate

The thought of staying places that are considered “safe” is not my main priority when I think of what I wan’t to do with my life. It’s not that I’m reckless or not educated about all the dangers that exist in foreign countries. Life isn’t about always wanting to feel safe, or comfortable. I want to throw myself into situations that I’m completely unprepared for. I want to learn the unordinary life lessons and come out with stories I’m still telling when I’m 80. I want to get rid of the romantic views of foreign places that I’ve filled my head with from Hollywood, Disney movies and saturated Travel Channel vignettes. I want to meet real people, and see real places—the good and the bad. And hopefully along the way do some good.

People are so scared of everything. Oscar Wao said it best, “Fear is the mind killer.” Fear keeps people from moving forward and changing anything. I’m not going to promise to stay in America, or not travel alone, or not talk to strangers, or not hitchhike. I will. I already have. And I’m going to keep doing it until I’m old and wrinkly, and people can look in my eyes and know that I’ve been places, and see my hands and know that I’ve done a lifetime of work.

Get out of my head scared-y cats! I’m GOING to live in Africa. I’m GOING to help people who need it no matter where they are, and I’m GOING to be alright without a “real job”. But for now I’ll keep lying because it’s just so much easier.
Trader Joe’s Dunkers

My favorite thing about Nashville: Trader Joe’s and their chocolatey dunkers. Trader Joe’s is like a whole foods filled with healthy organic and natural foods, but they are cheaper and awesome! They have many products under their own brand, including these milano shaped cookies, and dipped one one side in chocolate, that have changed my life and the way I eat. I have noticed that I get hungrier faster, and eat my meal quicker just so i can sit down with the beautiful tub of cookies and my favorite mug with french pressed coffee, and dunk until my hearts content.

Thank you Nashville.