11 December 2011

feeling grateful

Talking with some good friends tonight has made me miss old friends dearly and feel very appreciative for the incredible love and support I have in my life.

So, my dear friends,

Thank you for the the good talks and cuddles,

for all of the absurdity and laughs

for the dancing and the music

for the love, support, good food, and adventures.

I love you, and I miss you, and I will love you and support you even from afar.

"To be surrounded by beautiful curious breathing laughing flesh is enough…" (Walt Whitman)


Travis and I have this joke about him being "Jedward" - the best of both Jacob and Edward. (Yes, we've both watched all the movies, and we've seen the last two in the theatre with my mom. Well, I've seen them all in the theatre with my mom, but Travis has been with us for the last two. It's a bonding thing.)

His mother takes family photos for Christmas cards every year, and asked us to send her a photo to put in the card, so we had our friend Elena take some photos for us, and little did I know, Jedward would make an appearance:

lazy lucy and chatty cathy

Finishing the semester has had two major effects on me:

1) A burst of supreme laziness complete with hours on end of Korean dramas, Chopped reruns, and the movies I didn't want to pay for to see in the theatre. I skipped showers (more than usual) and didn't wash dishes for a couple days.

2) A burst of sociableness. I like people, I do. But I like staying at home and hanging out with Travis more sometimes. Especially if I am tired and have  homework. But now without that excuse, I spent the whole night on the phone calling my family and Trav's family, and texting a million friends at once. And I am going to three parties this week.

A side note, I bought these amazing leggings that are pretty much sweater pants. Like comfort for my legs:

25 November 2011


Two posts in a row with TV show titles. I wasn't even planning that.

Anywho, anyone who is friends with me on Facebook may have already noticed I cut my hair.

I know that I told everyone and their mom I was growing my hair at least to my elbows. And I tried very hard for the past 3 years.

You see, this is what I expected my hair to look like as it grew longer (except blonde):

But this is really what my hair looked like (and this is on a really good day):

It was not very thick, thinning at the ends, and very dry and damaged on the ends. The longer it got, the thinner and wispier it got.

So I chopped it:

And now it is much healthier, softer, and fuller. But last night I watched Tangled for the first time (LOVED IT!) and now I want to grow it out again. I think yes!!


So Wednesday Travis and I drove to my parents' house in Iowa. Well, their temporary home. They moved this summer to SW Iowa near Omaha, and are currently renting a farm house while their new home is being built.

Now, just to give a bit of background, I have never been that great at reading maps. Remember those basic skills tests they make you take from elementary through high school? With math, science, reading, vocabulary, social studies, and map skills? Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I was always really good at those tests. I always got somewhere between 96-99% and tested way above my grade level...Except for the map tests. I ALWAYS got only about 70% on map tests. This has always been really difficult for me.

However, we had made this drive before and I paid really close attention to the roads. I studied a map before we left, and I had our route memorized. You see, I wanted to have my ipod plugged in for the drive, and the ipod and the GPS cannot be plugged in at the same time.

So finally, we were about 10 miles from Mom and Dad's house and we needed to turn onto J20. I told Travis to keep his eyes peeled for it, and as I said it, we passed the sign. So we turned around, went back, and saw that J20 went only in one direction. This was easy - let's just turn down the road. So we drove and drove and drove. For a REALLY long time. I called my mom to make sure we were headed the right direction, and she said we'd know if we went too far because we'd end up in the town just 5 miles past their house. I felt reassured and Travis told me to ask for their address so we could put it in the GPS. I didn't ask. I told him "No, she said we'd know if we passed it. We must be okay."

So we drove for awhile longer and ended up just outside a town. Except this was not the same town where my parents work. I called my parents to discover I had driven about 20-30 miles in the wrong direction. Apparently there are two separate entrances to J20 - each about a mile apart and heading in opposite directions. Back we went to the other J20 entrance. I was very upset by this point. We have been on the road for over 7 hours already. It's been a long several days. I was tired. I was grumpy. My ego was hurt. I thought I knew where we were going and I took us in the wrong direction and I was too proud to just use the GPS.

And this time we drove and drove and ended up near another town. This time 15 miles past my parents' house in the other direction. Apparently J20 has a third turn that is difficult to see at night, and we missed this one. I was a wreck at this point and Travis insisted on driving. I was sobbing about how incompetent I am and how sorry I was. And wonderful Travis was so patient and didn't care at all that I added a total of 80 miles onto our drive. My dad drove out and met us where we were and we followed him home.

And naturally, everyone made fun of me. I am definitely using the GPS on the drive home.

17 November 2011

skype sesh

Sara celebrated her 4th birthday on Tuesday, so we skyped with her to ask her about her special day. Some highlights:

S: "Travis, Erta, I don't really miss you guys that much."

S: "I was a Chinese girl for Halloween."

S: "I went to Chuck E. Cheese and played the ball game for you. And I won you lots of tickets to get you surprises."

S: "We can share this bracelet when we live in the same house, if you want."

S: "I am four-years-old already."
E: "Oh wow. You are getting so old. Are you my grandma now?"
S: "NOOOOO! I'm not your grandma!"
E: "Oh, I'm sorry. That's right. You're my uncle now. My old uncle."
S: "Nooooo! I'm not your grandma or your uncle! I'm your sister!"

Well she's not my sister either, but she is the coolest little girl I know. And I miss her very much.

16 November 2011

the pickup line game

I find horrible pick-up lines and then Travis tries to pick me up with them. He tries as many voices as possible and I let him know whether or not it was (surprisingly) attractive. And whoever laughs loses.

Travis could not make it through this line:
“Your eyes are blue, like the ocean. And baby, I’m lost at sea.”

And when he delivered this one:
“You must be Jamaican, cause Jamaican me crazy” 
I had to kiss him. It was actually really adorable in a super weird way. 

Another favorite game is "the Butt Game"
We stick the word "butt" into any sign we see when driving. Ex: "Rick's Auto Shop" becomes "Rick's Butt Shop" 

Yes, I know. We're such mature grown ups.

summer lens

I call my fisheye camera my "summer lens." For some reason the fisheye aesthetic has always breathed summer to me.

i recently developed a new roll of film. these photos are autumn, not summer, but still beautiful i think.


Wicker Park Renegade Craft Fair

The new home...for now

My man skating

Multiple exposure

30 October 2011

scarecrow fest

A few weeks ago Travis and I went to St. Charles for Scarecrow festival.

St. Charles was SOOO beautiful!
Travis and I stuffed a scarecrow. We put it on the porch and scared the neighbors. It's a really good scarecrow.
Travis had funnel cake for the first time...But took a picture of me.

We paid a little too much many for a ferris wheel ride. (It was worth it and the man let us stay on extra long.) 
And then we looked at all the cool scarecrows

And Travis did the tango with our scarecrow in the elevator. I hope there were security cameras.

10 October 2011

some things

:: - I am now eating kale and asparagus on the daily. Finally learning to like veggies.
:: - Chicagoland drivers are REALLY bad. I don't understand how people in the Midwest can be bad drivers. 90% of people have to drive to get anywhere. How can you be so bad at driving, Chicagoland? Speeding at minimum 20 mph over the limit, not using your turn signals, eating, and talking on the phone are all super dangerous - especially at the same time. Please remember cars are tons of metal and explosive things that can easily kill you and other people. Please.
:: - Travis and I are on a homemade pizza kick.
:: - We haven't seen our roommate Amber for more than five minutes in a week or so. She's really busy.
:: - Why is listening to the radio painful? Maybe I don't know which stations are good?
:: - Only people under the age of 4 think I'm funny. And mostly only when I'm dancing. I think I'm okay with this.
:: - The day after I decided to audition for the Glee Project, I got the flu. And then a cold. And now I have a bad cough. I haven't been able to sing for a couple weeks now.
:: - I am writing this instead of the conclusion of my paper. Why am I procrastinating those last few sentences?
::- I am an enabler. If you want to eat a brownie but say you shouldn't, I will support you in eating that brownie. Don't feel like exercising? Come watch a movie with me. Struggling to write that paper? Take a break and get back to it later.
::- Seeing St. Vincent live was terrifying. I always thought she seems sweet and quirky. She was angry and I half expected her to kill everyone in the audience with her music.
::-There are too many good bands coming to the Chicago area. We actually have to pick and choose because it would be too time consuming and expensive to go to every show. We did however fork out the cash for Feist, Portugal the Man, and Bon Iver. And we're probably going to go to Lykke Li with First Aid Kit. And maybe the National with Local Natives (if it isn't sold out).
::-I get to see my parents and my dog next weekend!
::- Here is a really funny picture:

26 September 2011

dear internet

Thank you for helping me to keep in touch with my friends living everywhere. I get so excited when I see posts from my friends in Utah, or Hawaii, or Canada, or Korea, and who knows where else. I love reading more details about your life than photos on Facebook give me. Sorry I do not update as much, but I will try to do better. If I expect my dear friends to post at least once a week because it makes me happy, then shouldn't I be writing for my friends too?

Life right now is mostly class and work. I am working at a children's fitness center, which some close friends and family will find quite amusing considering I am not a "kid person." I am the baby of my family and have never spent much time around children. I never took moms up on their offer to hold their baby, and I usually did not do more than smile at kids who crossed my path.

But that changed when I lived with three kids under the age of nine for a year. Having a three year old insist on teaching me how to write my own name, tucking me into bed, and giving me zombie smooches broke down my child proof walls.

My boss and the moms I see at work compliment me on how great I am with kids. I can make kids participate that won't for the other teachers. I can make the kid who won't smile dance with me. I am constantly chased around the gym by giggling 2 year olds.

While working with children is not what I want to do for a career, I think I am getting some good practice for later.

Classes are interesting - right now I am doing research for exhibitions on beer, repurposing objects, and apocalyptic art.
The hardest part is actually doing my homework when I'd much rather be hanging out with Travis. Or playing on Pinterest. 

22 September 2011

wicker park

Trav, Ting, and I went to Wicker Park for a ridiculously over-priced craft festival:

I knew that leaving Hawaii would be hard, but I really felt it was time to move on. I wasn't happy at work and I wanted to return to school, but there was no other job for me there and no other schooling for me there. Time for another adventure.

And even though I was sad to leave, I knew that I'd always have family to return to, and I had already decided I want to move back one day. Hawaii is where I want to settle and have a family. I know it may  not have the best schools in the country, but the community really supports its youth. Everyone is family, and that is a really comforting feeling - to know that my kids could go to the park by themselves and whatever aunty or uncle is at the park that day will watch out for them.


I was hardly prepared for how difficult it would be to go from living with 11 other people to living by myself, and then to living with two other people. I had no idea how difficult it would be to say good by to the family who took me in for the past two years. As I finished packing my suit case before I left for the airport, Sara (niece, age 3) packed herself a suit case too and said she was coming with me. And it broke my heart to tell her that she couldn't. And it broke my heart again when we skyped a couple weeks later and she asked me to be her date to her birthday party this fall. And then it kills me to be missing Waylen's (brother, age 9) football games - he started tackle football this fall. I had no idea how hard it would be not to hear Ciera (niece, age 9) singing every day. I miss talking with her and hearing her stories about her day. I had no idea how hard it would be to miss Michele's (sister, age 15) junior year of high school. I even miss Sean (brother, age 21) playing video games all night and yelling at the tv. I miss hearing him play the guitar, and I miss his laugh. I had no idea how hard it would be to hug Chantel (sister, age 29) goodbye while we both cried. And of course then there's Mama, Aunt Aud, Chase, and Chelsea. I keep expecting Mama to come home from work, Aunt Aud to be making something amazing in the kitchen while she gives the best advice. And what about Chelsea and Chase? Shouldn't they be in the other room?

Even though I am happy to be on a new adventure, I cannot wait to be back in my Hawaii home again.

I'm totally going to be that mom who cries on her kid's first day of school. 

28 August 2011

i get to see travis tomorrow!

and i am so excited. i have not seen him in over a month now, and that is the longest I have not seen him in two years.

this pretty much sums up how i feel right now:

21 August 2011

my name is erika, and i have a problem

i'm addicted to korean dramas.

19 August 2011

clean start

i am still unpacking and putting life together, but here are some photos of my house, campus, and the city
welcome rug

campus (hogwarts)

flowers on campus

view of adams outside union station

art institute museum

evening falling

the magnavox 

putting the bookshelf together

buckingham fountain