July 18, 2017

The Latest: Reflecting on Past Summers

Yesterday I had what my twelve year old self would have called a "real summer day". I played some video games, I watched Game of Thrones simultaneously with my friend in Scotland (we had first begun watching it together when we both lived in Paris!), watched some CSI, watered the plants, had a nice long shower, cooked a hearty dinner with a glass of wine in hand.... and honestly not much more than that. It was glorious.

I also felt a bit guilty, though. I have a lot of things on my plate and the idea of not doing work towards ANY of it made me feel as though I wasted an opportunity for focused work. But I think I've been focusing for a long time, so a day to myself to turn my brain off was probably exactly what I needed. Today, I woke up feeling invigorated and made a collage first thing in the morning before work. Then I painted at work. And now, I have plans to dive into some reading for my thesis work. And later, dinner with my fella!

It's strange to think back to my younger self who would play Sims and watch TV all day, almost all summer, and never get bored of it. How was that possible!?! I honestly can't imagine. Instead my summers are filled with seeing friends, being outdoors, drinking and eating delicious things, painting drawing and making, going on adventures around the city (and out!), and of course, as an adult - there is still work! It's been like that for years, of course, but for some reason this week I have been reflecting on what it was like as a young teenager. I probably also did some social outdoors things, but for the most part I was a real proponent of doing NOTHING AT ALL, ALWAYS. Except play Sims. I loved the Sims. I used to make cheesy little movies from video captured in the game.... I was a bit of a nerd, ok?

Anyway, I thought I'd also just share this photo of me and my friend's pug Susan. She was such a darling, and ow great of a name is Susan for a pug? Also, she actually wasn't as terrified of me as she seems here - I don't think! My friend Krista (Susan's human mama) is moving to New York soon, so I'm trying to soak up as much Krista and Susan time as I can before that.

What's up with you lately? Let me know in the comments!

Fun fact: I still like the Sims, just a little less obsessively I suppose.... ;)

July 10, 2017

Summer To-Do List • 2017

I love summer, and I love lists! As such, a to-do list for summer activities was just a natural choice. Plus, I made this one pretty! So here we go:

• Read a ton: I've got a summer of reading ahead of me as I develop my thesis proposal, and I'm excited! I also am hopeful that I will have time to read some things just for fun, too.

• Visit my grandma more often

• Go camping: CHECK! I've been wanting to do this again for years, and finally had the time a couple of weekends ago. It was a really great time and I felt very refreshed after some time in the wilderness!

• Go to the beach

• Make horchata (again!): I made some DIY horchata a couple of weeks ago and it was SO delicious, I've been dreaming of it ever since! I want to perfect my recipe and make more.

• Ride a bike: I recently started going to spinning classes, and I LOVE it. I haven't ridden bikes outside in a long time, and I'm' a bit nervous about handling it in the city traffic. But I really want to get back at it!

• Host a girl's craft night

• Make more smoothies for breakfast

Just a little list this year, but all things I'd really like to tick off my to-do list!

What's on your summer to-do list this year?

July 9, 2017

Gallery Chat: Venus/Experiencing Sexism

I recently had a conversation with someone, this person being notorious for inflammatory and outrageous remarks, and it was a surprisingly wholesome and interesting idea. Except he intentionally left out women/girls. Which was hilarious to me because there I am, a young woman, listening to this man's "great" idea for our youth, but only young men - NOT women, only men (his words). I'm sitting there wondering what he would suggest the young women do instead then - what would you have me doing right now, sir? I didn't want to know. I wasn't prepared for confrontation so I simply left the conversation. But man did I want to pull out the big guns and shred his idea to pieces.

It isn't often that I experience blatant sexism in my circle, and for that I am privileged and so fortunate. Unfortunately it also means I'm not usually prepared to fight against it, especially when it is coming from someone older than me who clearly assumes power over the situation.

I've had these conversations with my brother about the wage gap and representation in the film industry (his area of interest). We discussed what other issues he finds important to him, and we discussed why it's hard to understand when you don't experience what women experience. The same way I have to listen to people of colour and the lgbtq community and other people who experience marginalization, learn from them, and accept that I will never understand it the same way they do, it is important for my brother to realize that he doesn't know what it's like to have someone harass him when he walks home at night based on the length of his skirt. He doesn't know what it's like to wear your favourite pair of jeans and have people visibly gawk at you when you're just trying to get some damn groceries. He doesn't know the implicit threat involved in such little gestures. He can't understand the way it feels to have male professors celebrate only the men in your class, or celebrate you for all the wrong reasons. And so on. It's nice to have these conversations with my brother because he is learning, and wants to learn. I've even had these conversations with my dad, my uncles; people who are open to listening and learning.

So how sad is it, that there are so many people out there who can't take the time of day and don't want to learn. And how easy it is to pick up on that, to clam up, and stay silent.

How easy it is to shut up when you know they won't listen.

I'm not sure what my solution is to these feelings, but I want to find more strength in times when I am negotiating these weird sexist spaces. And I wonder; how do you navigate these conversations? Do you experience them often? Please feel free to share (respectfully!) in the comments...