12 September 2009

I'm leaving!

I get set apart as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints tomorrow at 8pm. Wow. The "hitting me" is baaarely starting make itself known. I think by tomorrow I might realize that I'm actually going on a mission! I realize in waves, you know? Anyway, I have almost everything packed. I'm sure I'll forget things, but I have 9 weeks in the MTC to have stuff sent to me.

Well I'll be off "the nets" for a year and a half. Which really isn't that big of a deal cause no one really read my blogs anyway :) Okay if you didn't already see this on facebook, here's how to write to me:

Best way: www.DearElder.com (FREE)

Dear Elder Instructions

- Go to www.dearelder.com
- Choose a mission from the drop-down menu (mine is Provo MTC* until December 2009, then POLAND WARSAW)
- Click "Write a Letter"
- Fill out your return address and my name (Sister Laurel Hulme) and anything else that needs to be filled out
- Just write a letter and send it!

You can visit my mission site too for the other addresses, and info: www.missionsite.net/sisterhulme. My family will update it while I'm gone, probably.

06 September 2009


Someone please tell me HOW this is possible. How does every website get away with charging us processing fees? I've paid anywhere between $3-$15 in processing fees while buying tickets, passes, and other things. What kind of crap is that? I'm the one printing out my ticket. Their stupid site isn't doing anything other than creating an image for me to print... I'm the one using the ink and paper. I can understand if I have to pay for them to send it to me (in which process they make approximately 10x more than the cost they pay to send it), but when I'm doing the printing? It's just ridiculous. I'm pretty sick of it. Who could I even complain to about this? I feel like there should be some internet committee that says: "OKAY, this is just wrong. You can't get away with this anymore." I mean, there are laws for other things. The laws of the internet are seriously lacking. It's ridiculous, because everyone knows that if you want to get tickets to many good things (and get good seats), you have to order them online to beat others to it. You can't always buy tickets at the door, or the front. So of course you end up paying the stupid fee because there's nothing else you can do.


People make me mad. I hate being cheated. Why doesn't anyone believe in integrity? ERG.

01 September 2009

Designing the Future

Design Finalists

This is kind of fun!

By the way, received my CommArts Photography Annual in the mail a few days ago. The Photo Anual is one of my favorites.... I guess that all of the Annuals are great. But... wow, we live in a world of very talented people. I hope to acheive something great in the same vein one day. I've started thinking more about packaging design. I love it! I think it's something I'd really enjoy doing. But, I enjoy all types of design. Apparently there's some pretty good design coming out of Poland... maybe I can head back there after I graduate. Haha. Just a crazy thought. Really crazy. But I'm not ruling it out. Annnyway.

2 weeks almost exactly until I report at the MTC. It's going to be a lot of work. Before I go out in the field, and after. It'll be tough (more than I realize, I'm pretty sure... everyone keeps warning me, it's like the first thing they tell me ["they" being elders that have served there]). But an amazing experience nonetheless! Okay............ somuchtodobye.

Learning Polish--Yes, I'm a Mormon Missionary.

From Polish Blog (Do Poles Like It When Foreigners Learn Polish?)

So yeah, we’re proud of our language. We (and here I am generalizing, of course) think it’s a very difficult language. No, scratch that, not think. We KNOW it’s a very difficult language. Go to any Polish shopping mall on any given Saturday and listen to the young and old, and you’ll see just how difficult Polish is. So difficult, in fact, that the great majority of Poles tends to simplify it a great deal and use just several chosen words to express, well… just about everything. One of those words (and probably one of the very first words of Polish, if not the only word, that a native Pole will teach you) is so versatile it functions as a verb, noun, adjective, adverb, conjunction, exclamation, and probably a few other things too. So yes, now you know why. The “k” word is so immensely popular, because Polish is just too difficult and complicated, even for the average Pole.

And because our language is so difficult even for us, we simply consider it to be impossible to learn for anybody else.

What is this "k" word that they're speaking of? Maybe when I actually learn Polish, they'll be impressed that it wasn't impossible for me to learn. Although, there's no way I'll be able to speak it perfectly (looking forward to the grammar) ... I don't even speak English perfectly. But I definitely try.
Oh yes, foreigners can learn the basics, like ordering “pięć piw” (five beers) or explaining why they’re in Poland to their brand new girlfriends – “uczę angielskiego” (I teach English). Add to that a couple of popular tongue twisters (to amuse their Polish drinking buddies) and you have the level of Polish skills that most Poles expect from a random foreign person. The problems begin if said foreign person speaks Polish more or less fluently. The natives raise their eyebrows and look on with obvious suspicion. “Why are you learning Polish?” or “How the heck did you manage to learn our language so well?” (implying – ‘do you have a Polish grandfather or are you a Mormon missionary?’) are two of the most common reactions.
Nice. I guess they're expecting me.

A foreigner speaking Polish is nothing but a direct attack on the very fierce Polish pride (remember? our language is supposedly one of the most difficult in the world and supposedly impossible to learn). And as odd as it may sound, that is the reason why some Poles (not all, but some, and the percentage is surprisingly high) will knowingly sabotage the foreigner’s efforts to learn more. It may be done through incomprehensible lectures and explanations, always ending with “eh, you won’t get it anyway, you’re not Polish.” It may be done through showing the foreigner that his/her knowledge and studies (even if said foreigner is an expert in a particular field) will never be a match for the knowledge of an average Pole. And when all else fails, they try to snow you with grammar. This bizarre one-upmanship when it comes to our beautiful (albeit very convoluted) language seems to be a national obsession.
Excellent. They're going to make it as hard for me as they can.

The problem is that most foreigners get put off instead of taking it for what it really is – reverse psychology to motivate you to study harder, learn more and reach true native-like fluency.
Well, alright, I guess I'll just study harder then. Maybe by the last few months, I'll pass off as a Pole... almost.

30 August 2009

26 August 2009

lab rats

Lomography <-- click me!

This is just one of the pages. There are tons of great ideas for the darkroom on lomo. <3

22 August 2009

Adventures in Europe: The Movie!

Music video I made of my sister's and my trip to Europe during the month of May (see my travel journal posts a ways down). Fun!

Music by Cartel and Jack Peñate.

21 August 2009

It's about time...

I'm starting to get really antsy. I really just want to go on my mission instead of telling people about it.

17 August 2009

12 August 2009

Shadow Sk8rs and the Dying Life

As I sit here, dying of some inexplicable illness, I figure that I might as well write something, since I have nothing better to do, or at least no ability to do something better. Being sick makes me mad. I’m drinking soda, and I hate soda. [I wonder what percentage of the U.S. calls it “pop” and which percent calls it “soda” and which ridiculous percent takes the time to call it “soda pop.”] But I think the soda might actually be helping. I at least feel better than I did at 2:33 this morning, and definitely better than I felt at 4:30 this morning. There’s a blessing in disguise though… I did need cans to decorate my sister’s getaway car, and I was just going to dump soda out. But now I can use these!

This is a sweet find. I love graffiti. They designed these to make sense when the shadows are at certain points—I am amazed by the vision that some people can have… this has turned into a world of interaction, and I get pretty dang excited when someone creates something of which you can discover new aspects. Modern graffiti often accomplishes that.

Whatever happened to my writing days? I used to write all the time. Granted, it was often for school, but I still enjoyed it, and I didn’t feel like I was really being forced into anything. Writing essays sucked at first, because most teachers don’t know what a real essay is, and they teach you all wrong. My teacher of my junior and senior year was phenomenal. That’s when I really learned to analyze things, and now I intentionally overanalyze everything (including very specific definitions of feelings, experiences, perceptions, etc.), but I don’t really care. I enjoy it. Someday I want to start writing semi-analytical biographies. I write short ones in my journals or elsewhere, because it’s more interesting than mere descriptions of behavior, and I am sometimes curious… writing things out helps me work through things until I can come to a [n often not conclusive] conclusion.

(proof that I loved to write, whether I could spell or not)

Sometimes I start writing out notes on things that I wish to address. That’s how “On Atlantis and Hell” was written—I started taking notes while I was listening to Atlas Shrugged. A collection of meaningful quotations from the novel was enough to inspire my written “philosophy.” I should post that essay to my blog. I currently wish to write on the topic of self-reliance. I wrote an essay on it in high school, based on the philosophies of Emerson and Thoreau, and I’ve decided that I should expand it, adding things I’ve since learned, and an entirely new aspect. I don’t know when I’ll get around to this—probably after my mission—but I will say that the most important consideration preceding the foreseen essay (the same consideration accompanying the original essay), is this: self-reliance is absolutely distinct from self-sufficiency. I think that people mistake one for the other consistently. I will leave that thought with you, and hope that you will consider it, and divine your own [not necessarily conclusive] conclusions.

Until my next dying moment, at least, and hopefully before.

06 August 2009

05 August 2009

Rocks Tonic Juice Magic

I'm mad at my website.

While I was in Idaho I spent TEN HOURS STRAIGHT working on it in the iComm office (felt like old times...), and got it to be exactly how I wanted it (for the time I had at least). It even put to the net correctly; I checked it on like 3 computers. So I was feeling great, and the next day, I wanted to look at it again, for the satisfaction or something stupid, and it was wrong. I don't understand. Only the homepage is wrong, and everything else is right. But the homepage links to all these other pages that I don't want up there. If you click on anything, and then click "home," that links to the correct homepage. I don't understand why the other page is up. Especially since I deleted all of the other pages--they don't even exist, but somehow they're still showing up? This probably doesn't make sense to anyone but me. I spent 3 hours doing everything I could to fix the problem, and I still don't know why it's happening. Whatever. People don't understand why I want my website fixed before I leave either. They think it's pointless, but hey I want my site as updated as it can be, you know? I mean it's out there, it might as well look presentable. I know no one will look me up while I'm gone, but it still bugs me. Anyway, if you happen to visit my website, just go to one page and then click "home" to get my reeeal site. Annoying. But I don't have time to fix it, and I've already done everything I can think of. But pssst I have favicons now! Yes!

Weddings... the hard thing about Mormon culture is that sometimes engagements stop being exciting. Actually, very often. It's hard not to think, "oh, another one." So many people get married (which is great, cool, essential to life, [but]) that I stop getting excited by it sometimes. I could even say that it's exhausting. Usually when it's someone close to me I get more excited, though. I guess it makes sense for me not to be excited for people I don't even know that well. I love it when there are two awesome people, and I love both of them, and they decide to marry each other. I'm like, "yes. Yes, this will be great." My best friend's brother just got married, and that was actually really cool and fun. They'd been dating for 2 years (call me crazy, but I get a lot more excited by a 2-year relationship than a 4-month one...), and he baptized her a while back and they waited to be married so that they could be sealed in the temple. It was a very happy occasion.

My best friend (I guess I have a few of those), a.k.a. other half and sister Debbie, is getting married in 9 days. It definitely hasn't hit me. At ALL. I've been doing tons for the wedding, I've seen her in her wedding dress (I had a 4 second teary moment that passed) ... it just really hasn't hit me. We haven't been together all summer since we backpacked Europe, and we're having fun now that she's home, but no matter how much I try to think about it, I can't picture her really being gone. I know nothing will ever be the same again. I don't know when it will hit me. Maybe in the temple on the actual day. It had better. Otherwise, I'll leave on my mission for 18 months, and when I get back, everything will be different. Baaah why can't it hit me?

There are probably more interesting things for me to write about right now. Remember when I planned on always contributing something to make my web presence more meaningful? I know. I kind of fail. But here's something cool. I mostly am excited that I know where Ljubljana is, thanks to my memorizing capitals endeavor.

<- click me!

http://www.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/audio.pl?ggljub01.wav=Ljubljana (if you don't know how to pronounce Ljubljana)

I didn't know that the online dictionary does pronunciations, but I think it's a fun discovery. So great!

Rocks Tonic Juice Magic - Saves the day it's just good.

03 August 2009

Get Your Move On!

Suz told me that this vid reminded her of me. :) I love it!

I'm excited that YouTube is letting us put colored borders around our videos if we want. That's fun.

I definitely have a muuuuch longer blog to write, but I'll leave this for now. I'm lazy and I haven't had super-frequent internet access for the last two weeks so now I don't feel like writing about all of the stuff I was going to write about before. Anyway... enjoy the vid. Polaroid love forever.


P.S. After I got called to Poland, I subscribed to this blog, and I think it's just hilarious... I can't wait to live in Polska. http://polandian.home.pl/index.php/2009/08/03/the-polish-foot-fetish/

19 July 2009

Twitter Link (and, apparently, a lot of other stuff...)

YES! Twitter is officially my link between blog and website.

- www.twitter.com/hulmerous - www.laurelch.com

I liked the designs of both (sort of), and really didn't want to redesign either. Plus, my former design for twitter was fairly awful. An attempt at being artsy gone wrong, in fact. But now *evil laugh* they relate! Designing things [successfully? <- I only mean that in a fist-in-the-air-"SUCCESS!" kind of way] makes me laugh evilly? At least tonight. Maybe it's not evil. Maybe it's smug (unjustifiably so: none of the designs is particularly great).

So, normally I'd just push all this aside and say, "well, I'll do it later." But as I'm leaving in September to embark on an LDS mission to Poland, and will have no access to these things for 18 months, I figured I should pull things together so I look at least slightly professional while I'm gone. I'm supposed to be working on my website too. I downloaded a trial version of Dreamweaver and installed it on the computer that has enough space and not too much attention, but I haven't used it yet. I'm hoping that the trial only starts when you first use the program. Otherwise... that was a huge waste. I'm also hoping to do some designing while I'm at BYU-Idaho visiting, since the computers there have Dreamweaver installed, and they're huge pretty iMacs that are much better for designing. I just want my website to look good while I'm gone, in case anyone looks me up. Which is super unlikely. Anyway, it still has crappy stuff on there from Visual Media--honestly, my worst work. I really need to fix it. I wish I had time to completely redo it and even make my website completely flash-based (I don't care what She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named says, it looks more professional, and anyone I care about seeing my website has fast enough internet that they can deal with the flash). I did design a Favicon for my website! I really need to get it up, but I'm afraid of tripping the activation on DW. I spent quite a while on it, trying different designs and seeing what I could do to tie it into my theme, even though it's so tiny. I finally got one I love, and I just need to get it up asap. *Smile* I quite like my twitter page now. And it brings me great satisfaction to flip between my website, my twitter page, and my blog.

You know, I REALLY do hate that word. "Blog" blogblogblog. Say it out loud. It's disgusting. Despicable. Wow. Oh wooow. Spellchecker still insists that I capitalize internet. Well, forget it. Back to the horrible word "blog." Say it quickly, say it slowly, say it once, say it over and over. It doesn't matter how you try to say it. It will always come out sounding like the result of a stomach illness. *Shudder* For those unaware, it comes from the word "weblog," which is a decent word--not spectacular, but decent. And it makes sense. That's not essential, but it gives it a little something extra. I insert here a hunching over and resigned sigh. I may be giving in to using the word "blog." I know I sound ridiculous when I say, "weblog" or "[web]log" but it's become a matter of pride, I think. Maybe I'll just let it go. It's such a commonly used word now, but I guess someone could use that against me when speaking of some swear word that I find offensive. Yes, BLOG has almost become offensive to me. I know, I'm ridiculous. At least I match my mannerisms. I may just begin forcing "blog" out, the way a child stuffed full forces cold mashed potatoes down their throat. Wow. I didn't mean for this ........ ugh..... blog post to become so editorial.

Okay so that's about it. Random stuff for me to talk about after not posting in such a long time.

Oh, I could write about the awesome Arroyo Seco water-boulder-hike-swim thing that I did this weekend. I bought a disposable water camera and am getting it developed tomorrow. I'm pretty sore, and my knees are shot. Yeah Arroyo Seco OWNED me, but I still had an amazing time. I have never done anything like it before, and it was quite the experience! If you don't know ("you"? who am I talking to? my imaginary readers!), it's this hike that people do down the river/through the canyon, so it's more like swimming. We hiked on the trail though going upstream because we never would have been able to do both in one day. That part (3 miles) was FREAKING HOT, and pretty grueling only for that reason (very few trees, super dusty, etc.), and all I wanted was to jump in the river--too bad it was thousands of feet below me (I was thinking, "wait why did we decide not to go up the river???"). Obviously 3 miles is nothing, but it becomes a lot more of a something when it's that hot.

So that only took us about 30-40 minutes, right? As far as I know, we were all surprised by how fast this was going, and were thinking that we'd be done by 2:30 at the rate this was going. Well, not so. Going down the river back to the cars took us SIX HOURS. By the end, we could not believe that we weren't there yet. But I don't want to talk about the end yet. So we finally got to the trail marker that said "Arroyo Seco" 3 miles, so we knew we'd gone the distance, and there was a trail going down to the river. THAT trail was dang long too! I was so hot and just wanted the water sooo badly. (insert: I LOVE MY CAMELBAK) So three of us got down there first, and I just walked straight into the water. It felt amazing. My fingers, by the way, tend to swell up pretty badly when I'm hiking in hot areas. I laugh... they were so huge... Anyway, I tried to catch some fish with my hands but they were a little too fast. I was wearing sneakers, board shorts, a swimsuit top and a tank top. It was pretty good for this type of hike (if any(female)one wants to do it, that's what I recommend). We all blew up our kiddie rings (heehee) and set off on the second half of our adventure. Or maybe you could say this is where it started.

(the gorge from above, usgs.gov)

So we just waded in the water (I had no idea what to expect!), and sometimes it would be ankle-deep, sometimes waist-high, and sometimes we were swimming. It was a huge relief having those inflatable rings though, because it would have been exhausting if we couldn't float sometimes. Paul jumped off every high rock he could find, into the deeper pools, and he was really funny about it. Alan was hilarious too--he didn't bring anything. Just went on his way with his unexplainable hick accent, no shirt, and a pair of red shorts. Chris got to come with us which was really awesome too, because we've been meaning to do some hiking (still planning on Skyline to the Sea!) all summer, but haven't got around to it yet. Tricia is my new favorite friend, so I was sooo glad that we got to hang out on this trip! And I got to know everyone else pretty well too. Crazy N8 had some unfortunate trouble with his electronics.... hey, they SAY not to put electronics in those drybags... But his Powershot was in a watertight case, so I think he got some really sweet pictures from the trip.

We stopped halfway to eat something and dry off on the rocks, and then started up again. The second "half" (way more than half...) was WAY harder. Or maybe I was just tireder. There were so many rocks that we had to climb over, and they're SO mossy and slippery... bah. It got to be quite a pain. My knees are totally bruised up, not even from falling on rocks, but from scraping over them as I was swimming. Worth it, though. So... what else? We all started to get REALLY tired, and just wanted the end to come. Even though we were having fun, we were like, "what the heck we've been out here five hours already, how long can it take?" And we still had another hour after that, haha. But it makes sense. We really were going terribly slow on the river, plus we had the extra distance of it winding around. We started walking on the banks as often as possible to save us time (faster than trying to work our way over giant slick rocks).

All in all, it was an amazing experience. There were some places where the walls were completely sheer on each side of us, and those were the most beautiful, I think. Other parts, we could have a little fun boulder-hopping, and other places were gushing water with currents so fast that they dragged us under and on their path. Those were marvelous fun, though often painful (hips! ow!). I don't know what else to say about it! I didn't even mention camping the night before--campfire, s'mores, sleeping under the stars, toilet paper pillow--but I'll say now that that was really fun too, and the perfect way to begin the adventure. I have a great singles ward, and it's a lot of fun to make new friends. Everyone I talked to today was sore, just like me :D But I've been worse.

I highly recommend this experience though. It'll definitely be a few years before I'll want to attempt this again, though. As Paul said, it's like ice camping... takes you 10 years to recover from. Haha, nah it was great, just intense and a big commitment.

Hey coool, my only spelling errors were nonexistent words! I love that! Well, I ended up writing WAY more than I planned... I actually initially planned to write only my current tweet, "K twitter is officially my link between blog and website. ...Yes, I used the word "blog" even though I hate it. I may be giving in..." but WOW, I wrote a lot more here. I guess blogging does that to me. I start, and just decide to write about more things, which remind me of other things.

Okay, I'm going to bed. I can't wait to live in Poland!


07 July 2009

My CommArts Illustration Picks

Received the Illustration Annual of CommArts in the mail yesterday. Here are some of my favorite pieces:

(To see all, visit CommArts.com)

Tara McPherson, illustrator / Tim Moss, art director / The Melvins, client

Andrew Zbihlyj, illustrator / Antonio Bonifacio, art director /Doreen McKenney, art buyer / Dentsu America, ad agency / JVC Jazz Festival, client

Karen Klassen, illustrator / Dan King, art director / Kristen Ruggles, designer / Zero Gravity, ad agency / Market Mall, client

Lino, illustrator / François Picard, designer /Epicentre, design firm / Théâtre PÀP, client

Jason Nitti/Neel Williams, illustrators /Jason Nitti, art director / Neel Williams, writer / Young & Rubicam, ad agency / South Central Alaska Beard & Moustache Club, client

Sam Weber, illustrator / Anthony Swaneveld, art director / Soulpepper Theatre, client

Gianni De Conno, illustrator / Beatrice Masini, art director / RCS Libri, publisher

(for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland) Maggie Taylor, illustrator /Connie Hwang, designer / Connie Hwang Design, design firm /Modernbook, publisher

(Upside Down) Chris Buzelli, illustrator / SooJin Buzelli, PlanAdvisor magazine, art director / Maynard Kay, designer / PlanAdvisor magazine, client

(Back to Prison) Brian Stauffer, illustrator /David Herbick, art director /Herbick Design, design firm /Stanford Social Innovation Review, client

(Fragility) Jean-François Martin, illustrator /Pomme Mignon, art director /Panorama magazine, client

Ronald J. Cala II/Katie Hatz, illustrator/designer / Ronald J. Cala II, art director / Somewhat Awesome Design, design firm
Just the fact that the design firm is called "Somewhat Awesome Design"...

Johan Potma, illustrator

(Grimm's Fairy Tales, on scratchboard) Scott McKowen, illustrator / Karen Nelson, art director / Sterling Publishing, client

Amazing work, everyone. These are all incredible pieces. I <3 CommArts.

03 July 2009

From me, to my [very] small world.

As I sit listening to Xymox and trying to convince myself that I don't need to drink a Naked Juice Green Machine at 2:30 in the morning, I think about my favorite discoveries on the internet. My favorite [web]logs (yes, I still hate the abbreviated word), statuses (that is the correct word in American English) and tweets are the ones that share interesting findings on the web. @rainnwilson has had some great ones, and some my friends (kooky, eccentric, and the most interesting) have an impressive ability to find things online that I am fascinated (slash amused slash pleased) by.

It's a principle [my principles are more my pals than my principals have ever been] that I'm trying to adopt. If you're going to have a web presence, contribute. I'm trying to contribute by spreading what I think is interesting. The fact that I only have three followers on both my [web]logs combined is sad, but doesn't really bother me, and hasn't been the reason for these thoughts. It actually started with Twitter. Why do people want to know what I'm doing? Why would they care? My life really isn't that interesting. I appreciate it when people tweet about things that have meaning beyond their own interest.

Yes, I will still tweet about what I'm doing in my very unexciting life. I will still write posts about what is happening in my world and how this has somehow affected my life philosophy. And, most likely, no one will read these. But I hope that I can discover things that fascinate slash amuse slash please me, and share them with my [very] small world.

<-- Click me!
Apparently this is in Praha. Another confirmation (they come nearly daily) that I need to spend a good 3+ weeks in my favorite city in the world (aside from home). I left too soon, I left too soon.

This happened to me (last year). I don't even know why I still have an anti-virus program. I only used it because I had a problem which ended up being with the monitor. Anyway, I got this email from Norton, saying that my year subscription was up, and that they had (I paraphrase) taken the liberty of charging my card and renuing my subscription. I was like, "excuse me??" But I didn't do anything about it because I decided I wanted to renue it. It was majorly out of line on their part, though. I'm glad someone pushed the issue. [AntiVirus Article]

I've been making changes to my [web]log to make it prettier... does anyone know how to make the space between the header and the posts bigger? Let me guess - 0 comments.

Gothic darkwave from the Netherlands is just what I love at 3 AM.

29 June 2009

Post-it Stop Motion

I love this concept. He really pulled this off... amazing!

23 June 2009

what the FREAK.

This is what I woke up to this morning.

22 June 2009

Feel it feel it

I just wanna wriiiite! So I'm going to! I'm supposed to be designing a wedding invitation. Which I'm looking forward to. But... I got distracted by facebook (I set my official URL, by the way: www.facebook.com/laurel.hulme ... isn't that exciting? No, not really.). And then I thought, "well... it's already 10pm... do I want to start designing now?" And maybe I do. Sometimes my best work is done throughout the late late night; that's especially applicable when I'm editing videos.

Look out! We are! Rhythm! Bandits! B B B B B B B B BANDITS!!!

Sometimes I get this crazy burst of energy. It's kind of weird. When it happens it makes me want to write anything and everything and, yeah, that's why I started writing this [web]log in the first place. Or sometimes I just jump up and down.

So, for at least a year, I've been watching Imogen Heap's videoblogs on YouTube, and they're absolutely fantastic. In case you haven't heard of them, she has been making videos every week outlining her process of inventing the innovative, funky and brilliant songs that will be on her new album. I just watched the one where she finished her album. It's kind of crazy to think of that album being finished, since I've been watching her process this entire time. I feel like this is going to be so much more rewarding for me to get this album--I already have songs that I'm specifically looking forward to; not only that--I have SECTIONS of songs that I'm looking forward to--I have instruments that my ears are anticipating, moments that my soul is seeking. I am genuinely going to miss her vBlogs. Sad to see them go. She also was the reason I started tweeting, and on her very very very last vBlog, she said something about a crazy live show where she will improvise and tweet on stage. Cool. I may or may not have teared up when she played us out at the end of that video.

She's so crazy. I can't believe some of the instruments she's used on this album, and some of the not-instruments she's been crazy enough to try. I love it. This one time, being a typical percussionist, I took two nails that I found in the laundry room and walked around the room beating wildly on the walls, detergent bottles, water heater, pipes, window, doornobs, and countless other things, in crazy sporatic rhythms. It was exhilirating. And there were some awesome sounds found in that. I love that Immi has taken her ear for musical paint and thrown everything unexpected onto her canvas. It's going to be such a piece.

[] I have now written three things that I have erased, and I'm not sure what to really write. I'm thinking about how I like a lot of musicians who have really bad voices. Funny, cause sometimes I hate it when people can't sing. But I guess if they're not trying to be good, they don't have to be. I was going to start the next sentence with "every once in a while" but I'd better start it with "quite often" instead. Quite often, I define things very specifically... and sometimes during that process, I realize that I've defined a case in which the exact opposite of what I said is also true. Example? Um.... okay, ... um.... I can't think of any. So I think that maybe that's confusing. What the? Why am I even writing in here. No one reads these. Seriously sooo pointless.

I had a Xanga back in the day. I reread some of the things there. Fun. I was awkward for a good deal of my life. I still am. But I liiike it. Whateverrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Wow, addict. I couldn't stop hitting that R. But my point about the Xanga thing was that it's kind of fun to see what I was up to and read some old things. Okay, I'm really done here. I think I'll come back tomorrow and erase half of this. Maybe. But I might leave it and come back and actually get what I meant on this fine Monday evening. I mean, I get it now, but what I love about myself, is that I'll get it in 5 years too, and maybe even remember this moment. Is it wrong to feel a funny little affection toward your future self, as if it is a different person entirely?

I read somewhere that Chris Kirkham was listening to Sleepwalk, a Robot. I've actually never listened to them before, and something happens to me when I see a band name that I don't recognize: I have to discover. Sleepwalk, a Robot is a great band. I feel kind of happy listening to them. Then I miss you a little bit too.

I decided today that I don't drink enough water. So I went kind of crazy and drank my CamelBak (bottle) full in 30 seconds. And then I refilled it. A few times. So apparently it builds up. I went to the park to sit and write, and I had to go to the bathroom 4 times within an hour. And then the ranger closed the bathroom and I almost threw Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince at his car. I was forced to drive home to use the bathroom. I have to go again. This was a bad experience with becoming healthier by drinking an absurd amount of water. But I'll probably do it again tomorrow.

I just decided to have a photoshoot with Erika and Sam at 6am at the coast on Friday. Awesome.

K I really have to go. Suddenly this post title has a whole new meaning.

One day, I'm going to be applying for a really important job, and someone really important is going to stumble on this post, and there will be an awkward moment in a really important job interview.

21 June 2009


[ I wonder how many of them were fathers. ]

I don't feel like I can say much. But this is the first time I've looked at a list, and it changes things when you're staring at your own city wondering what those people might have wanted to do with their lives. It changes things when you think about 4,296 people who wanted to live. I wonder how many of them were fathers, or wanted to be. And I feel really blessed to have mine.

17 June 2009


I miss Praha.

Just found out that one of my friends just moved there for a semester. Mad jealous.

Love it here. But. I miss Praha.

13 June 2009

Missing Idaho

I could combine my two [web]logs but... I'm not going to. I like to keep the photo and the writing separate; and sometimes they complement each other. So here's a link to my photo one; my recent post is about missing Idaho a bit:


Secondly, this is fantastic:

11 June 2009

Happy Things

I've been able to hang out with my mom a lot since I've gotten home from Europe. I love that girl so much. She's so awesome. I just feel like she's become such a good friend in the last several years. We go hiking together, watch movies together, talk about books, make plans, and laugh all the time. For the most part, Dad isn't a big fan of my music, so I don't really play it around him. But mom likes the music mixes I make for her, and sometimes I catch her dancing in her seat when my music's on. She jokes now more than ever and sometimes we see or hear something and bust up laughing at the same time. And last night I accidentally sent my text to her instead of Twitter, and she thought it was funny, so as she walked out of the room to go to bed, she texted me, "Nite." Hahaha. I swear she gets younger every year. And you know, it's not just that. Sometimes I get frustrated with her (she's family, right? Cause it makes perfect sense to get angry at the people you love most... I'm an idiot.), but she takes it and lets me get over it when I need that time, or else puts me in my place. It means a lot to have someone who supports and loves me so much, who is proud of my freakish quirkiness and really believes that I am unstoppable. There's nothing like a mother. And definitely nothing like this one. I could go onnnn but I'll let you find out for yourself. She's completely awesome.

Today she made wheat bread from wheat she ground herself, and it's the best frickin thing in the world. I had it with honey from Mike and Katie's bees in Concord. Holy homemade heaven bread!

I... was about to start a huge paragraph about personally meaningful nothingness, but I changed my mind. I'm going to bed. Goodnight world!

05 June 2009

The Last Installment of the Travel Journal

Italy, Greece, and the end of the trip

19 May

Alright, I have a lot to catch up on. Italy kind of sucks. Well, I guess that's not fair. I had a lot of fun while I was there, and there was some wonderful scenery on the train. But I would be fine never going back there on vacation again. Maybe to learn Italian or something. It’s just really dirty. Venice was fun, but Italy in general is pretty blegh. [what? Blegh isn’t a word? It should be…]. Rome really sucked. Although it was fun to see some of the sites. And I did have an Italian lover downstairs. … I’m glad we left when we did. His friend from the restaurant came and asked if we wanted to have drinks with them after they got off work; shame we had an early train. Yeah that conversation would have been interesting, considering the fact that he spoke like 20 words of English. He was one beautiful Roman, though. So after Rome, we took a train to Brindisi (um, pretty sure they have siesta there), and the place was pretty sketchy, and the roads were completely abandoned, with a few super-friendly people from Nigeria walking around. We did have some really good bruschetta and paninis. Like the best food we’d had in a looong time (Rome thinks they’re so cool with their tiny servings and outdated pastries and hours of waiting… but they’re NOT!).

Oh! I should mention that Vatican City is great. St. Peter’s Basilica is quite spectacular. I paid a few euros to go to the top and walk around the dome (I chose not to take the elevator to save myself 2 euros and be [adventurous?]. holy hundreds of steps!), and that was really cool. There are tons of these pictures made entirely of little tiny tiles, and paintings all over, on the ceiling and all… and the Sistine Chapel… Okay, I half hated it because there were TONS of people in there, and it took forever—forever—walking through the Musei Vatican—up and down, around, straight, through fifty rooms, back up… goodness gracious. The parat in the center with God and Adam touching fingers, The Creation of Adam … it’s really beautiful. I couldn’t stop looking at it. [inserted note: I just finished East of Eden, and … wow, what a novel. Really incredible, and I love the parallels to be found]

So. Back to Brindisi. Great food, abandoned streets, lots of very polite people from Africa, crazy-driving Italians (taxi driver), you know. Same ole same ole. Took an overnight ferry to Patras. So, there were something like 10 passengers, and all the other people were truck drivers and merchant marines. It was so fun! They were all really nice. Got to Patras in the morning, met a very nice Greek woman who helped us get to Piraeus. We took a train (after having a mini-church, complete with everything except the sacrament :P) to some random village where we had to get on a shuttle bus to another place where we caught a train toward Athens, which luckily, continued on to Piraeus. Oh, while in that random village, there was an earthquake. That was cool. Love earthquakes.

In Piraeus, we stayed at Anita’s Hotel, and our room was bright pink, with giant pink flowers on the wall, pink shades, bedcovers and stools. Really crazy. We watched this TV show that was pretty fair (CSI kind of style), but at the end the main character’s husband died—for NO reason whatsoever. It was completely unnecessary to the plot, and they hadn’t even developed his character that much (or their relationship), so instead of being sad, it was just startling. Debbie and I just burst out laughing.

Next morning, we took a ferry to SANTORINI! Where we are right now. It’s amazing. The sea just fades into the sky and it’s like a dream. It’s windy and sunny, and the smooth white hosues are sprinkled or grouped throughout the grassy landscape… there are vineyards and orchards and flowers all over the place. The view from Fira of the volcano island in the ocean is spectacular. The locals just farm or run their little businesses with a friendly, relaxed attitude. Santorini is really a very enjoyable place to be, and is lovely.



Deb and I have been sitting on our beds for hours after a hard day of fourwheeling and napping, and she’s reading aloud Confessions of a Shopaholic. It’s delightful. Deb should read books aloud as a career. She’s bloody brilliant. We’re ridiculous.

“The truth is… I’m being stalked. By a man named… Derek Smythe.”


20 May

We were going to finish Confessions, but apparently we were laughing really loud, and the walls are very thin, and at 4:15 this Asian girl finally knocked on our door and said, “can you please lower your voices? I really cannot sleep.” And we felt so bad, and we already felt guilty because that book just does that to you, so we felt awful and went to bed.

This morning, they came in to clean, and I was hanging some laundry, and Deb was reading, so we were both on the balcony, and the door was banging from the wind, so the guy looked at me and made a “I’m going to close this, okay?” face, and I nodded, and then… they finished cleaning, and left. … WITHOUT unlocking the balcony door!!! We thought they were going to come back but they never did!! We were so sad and miserable, knocking on the door, calling out, “help!” and in desperation trying to figure out escape routes, but no ledge was big enough to scoot along, and every distance below threatened a broken leg. It was hopeless. We could even see through the balcony door that they had left the door of our room open. Finally (it felt like an hour later), a large Greek woman, a confused Asian, and another woman were outside—we scrambled—“help! Can someone please come up here and open our door??” The large Greek woman didn’t get it and, annoyingly, ignored us and just kept saying, “telephone, telephone.” We’re like, “if we could freaking get to a telephone we wouldn’t be locked out here, genius.” and desperately “just-come-upstairs-and-open-our-door!!!” (if you want to get the expression right, try saying it within .05 seconds in a slightly maniacal tone). Finally the Asian guy realized and tried to get the woman to help us… holy miscommunication. So the other woman came up and started laughing when she saw us stuck out on the balcony and let us in… oh my gosh. I can’t believe they locked us out there. That little snotface! I’m going to get him.

Okay, “Not the Same” by Ben Folds is …. a great song.

“Coffee, tea, wine—PLEASE!!!” –Poppy

22 May 2009

It’s our last night in Santorini. Yesterday we rode the four-wheeler to Fira and parked it, and then walked down through some old-town-style shopping places toward the old port. We then decided to ride the rest of the way… on donkey. Awesome. Foot travelers would be advised never to use this path. I’ll never forget the man who was clearly disgusted and terrified by donkeys, shoving the poor thing away from its blundering path straight toward him. What a classic expression. The man leading our string of donkeys was portly and silly, with a striped blue and white shirt, and a little beret.

We then boarded a faux-traditional ship, which took us to the volcano island off of Santorini. We hiked to the top (difficult on crumbly volcanic rock), had a look (what a view of Thira!), and came back down to swim in the hot (lukewarm) springs. We had to jump off the boat to swim over to the springs. All in all, quite enjoyable. We returned and took a cable car back up, getting a marvelous view of the other islands and the other side of Fira/Thira with its little white houses clinging to the side of the oceanview cliffs. We ate the (seriously) most amazing gyros ever for lunch. Our room has a little fridge and sink, so we’ve been having a lot of meals here—it’s cheaper that way; although Greece is definitely the cheapest place we’ve stayed so far. 5 nights here = 1 night in Rome (I told you they have big heads), and this place is way nicer (what an understatement).

Today we finally went to the beach! We’ve been along the coast and had all the views, but we finally went to the beach to be at the beach. It was one of the black beaches, and it was amazing. It was all rock, no sand, and it was radiating heat (it’s so windy here that it hasn’t really been warm enough to go to the beach). The water is so clear; it’s unbelievable—clear as a swimming pool—and the water isn’t very cold. It’s hard to get out because the rocks just crumble under you—nothing is packed very tight.Then we laid out and got dry in the sun… ahhh… best feeling in the world. I’ve been reading East of Eden. I love John Steinbeck. I got a good deal of it in, laying out there. Sigh.

I’m dying to watch a movie. Our TV has like 4 Greek stations. Today I listened to a whole MGMT album at an internet café, and some others. I miss my iPod too. Just 5 more days left of our trip. Goodness!


[from church in Athens] –haha they played “Come, Come Ye Saints” so fast, it was crazy. And then after the closing prayer they always play one verse again, so the pianist played the verse again and then ended it with a “duh DUH!” (octaves)… it was so chipper and out of place… haha hilarious.

We were talking about the distance of temples, and the closest one to Athens is in Germany, or Switzerland. Isn’t that crazy? I am amazed at the sacrifices that people make to get to the temple, and it’s only an hour away for me. At least they’re building one in Rome. I love going to church at these little branches. The people are so faithful and friendly, and there is lots of translation, and we get to wear the little devices so we can understand, and we all just sit in the little room, learning together… love it. It’s an amazing relief to see the little plaque “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” especially after you’ve been searching for a long time. The branch here was only a couple of minutes from our hostel! And right in the middle of all the Athens sites.

We went up to the Acropolis (short walk from the hostel), and there were just fields of trees in a dry field… olive trees, I think. Kind of felt like California a little bit… Quicksilver area, where I go running sometimes—or those hills behind Blossom Hill, right in the middle of summer when all the grass is dead. Love home. We were trying to spend as little money that day as possible, but we knew it was our only chance to see the Acropolis. When we got to the entrance gate, they told us it would be €12, and that we could get the tickets behind us at the other window. We started to leave, but turned back to ask, “Oh, and where is Mars Hill?” and the lady there said, “it’s down there, but come in here free.” We were like, “huh?” and she said again, “come in free.” We still don’t know why she let us in free—just a Sunday miracle, I think. Spent under €15 that day—only for food. It was incredible to see all those buildings… I mean, it seemed incredibly out of reach to me, and Deb agrees. I never thought I’d be in that part of the world, let alone standing in front of the Parthenon… It was *there* but I couldn’t see myself there, not really. There’s this strange feeling that comes while you’re up there… like you could close your eyes and just see ancient Greece, right in front of you, and on Mars Hill, Paul giving a sermon, on rough rock that is now smooth where so many have walked. There really is quite a remarkable feeling that comes when you walk in such a historical place. And… what beautiful architecture. I am in awe.


27 May 2009

We’re on the Aer Lingus plane to Heathrow, where we’re catching a flight to San Francisco. Our trip is finished! 2 days ago we went from Manchester (there you are, love) to Dublin, and yesterday we visited Cork. We kind of stayed in the city center for most of the day, but then we walked out to a more residential area as well. Ireland is so dang lovely. They have steps up to paths to the houses (I don’t think anyone uses them, though—garages on the other side) that are completely overgrown with baby tears and all kinds of other beautiful ground coverings and flowers.

When we got back from Cork we went and saw Star Trek. We hadn’t seen a movie in so long, and we decided in Santorini that we’d see one as soon as we got back to Dublin. It was great! So we’re headed home now; we’ve been talking a few days now about how great it will be to use hairdryers and curling irons, wear something outside our backpack-wardrobe and actually look cute for the first time in a month. It’ll be nice to be home. We are saving the last Lion for when we fly into San Francisco. Wow. I have a newfound fearlessness in me. I have new muscles and stories to tell.

Laurel Christina Hulme