I am the Pumpkin Queen.

Hey wonderful people! Taking a quick break from all the posts about my summer vacation to talk a little about a trip that happened a lot more recently. This past week I just returned from a quick weekend jaunt from Oregon, where I was lucky enough to stay in a sorority, walk around OSU and go to my first pumpkin patch! (Or at least the first one I can remember- no matter what Mom says, things that happen when I’m so young I don’t remember them happening, it doesn’t count).

 

We couldn't figure out why this pumpkin just had this leaf attached.

We couldn’t figure out why this pumpkin just had this leaf attached.

 

I have to start this post off with a confession – I don’t really get the pumpkin thing. Why is it when it turns to October american’s go bananas for pumpkin? If it’s so popular, then why isn’t it available year round? It just seems strange to me. Whenever I tell my friends I think pumpkin is just alright, they look at me like I’ve personally hurt them. That being said, I found the whole trip out there hilarious and super fun.

The pumpkin patch was definitely nothing like I was expecting. Although in hindsight, I’m not really sure what I was expecting from an event called ‘A Pumpkin Patch’. Seems pretty explanatory, I admit.

 

This post is brought to you by my Dad's oversized 80's sweater.

This post is brought to you by my Dad’s oversized 80’s sweater. Also feat. the corn maze we couldn’t figure a way out of.

 

We pulled up onto a patch of dirt. There are moments in my life where I’m truly struck by how American some things are. That same feeling washed over me as she turned the ignition off and turned to look at me. From my view as we drove by, I’d just seen a whole bunch of hay and a small field stretching out into the distance. This was a far cry from Hong Kong – and also from LA. The first thing we saw was a massively fat turkey. I immediately started laughing – I always laugh whenever I see a turkey. All I can think about is how it could have been the national animal of America, per the wish of Ben Franklin. (To quote: I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character). It makes me giggle to imagine the turkey on any official document. It just also hammered in the fact that I was firmly in America.

 

All of my best american moments happen with this girl!

All of my best american moments happen with this girl!

 

We wandered through the pumpkin patch leisurely. It was nice, the feeling of leisure that seemed washed over the patch. It was such a family place. We were almost certainly the only college aged kids I saw wandering around. Little kids everywhere were running around giggling, with parents wandering after.

I discovered something about myself that day. I am terrible at mazes. Just flat out awful. We kept running into dead ends and giggling at how long it was taking us to get through. By the time we’d finished three mazes, it was official: if I was ever forced to run into a maze for safety, I would definitely get murdered). I think one of the funnest things about the mazes was hearing everyone else trying to figure it out. From the know-alls who follow the left turn rule, to the kids giggling about being lost, to the mom’s trying to figure it out. It was just so interesting being a part of such a group activity, while remaining separate.

After we freed ourselves from our corn and hay cages, the next stop was the main attraction – the pumpkin patch itself. Wandering around the field, K inspected pumpkins with the eye of an expert. This one was too lumpy, the other not orange enough. She seemed to know what she was doing, so I wandered happily behind.

 

My contribution to the great pumpkin hunt.

My contribution to the great pumpkin hunt.

 

In a super coincidence, we ran into a family from Hong Kong. It was so wild meeting people from my home town – especially people who haven’t been back in years. It’s always exciting to catch up on what’s changed and listen to their memories. it just goes to show what a small world it actually is. After a few missed chances (the pumpkin below was sadly left behind…) we found two small pumpkins. Well, more like one small pumpkin and an incredibly misshapen gourd that made both of us laugh so hard we had to bring it home. The guys who weighed the pumpkins looked incredibly unimpressed when we put our choices on the scale.

 

Our rejected pumpkin - strange but lovable.

Our rejected pumpkin – strange but lovable.

 

And of course, what would be an american tradition without some form of food? We bought the largest bag of caramel corn I think I’ve seen, and some hot drinks. Sitting on a hay bale, drinking apple cider and looking over a field of pumpkins definitely made me see why american’s love fall. It’s just so wonderful to have opportunities to go out and enjoy something like that. It’s something I know that I am so pleased to have experienced, and can’t wait to go to another pumpkin patch. Hopefully next year I’ll actually get to carve something.

 

XOXO.

 

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LONDON: Alexander McQueen, Bend It Like Beckham, and Tea

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Overlooking the Victoria & Albert.

I can’t tell you how excited I am to share photos from my most recent trip to London. It was just incredible – full of wonderful theatre outings, fashion exhibitions and lots and lots of walking around. London is one of those places where everywhere is an adventure. Nothing ever really disappoints.

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Wouldn’t it be a dream to live here?

Mom and I (cheekily) snuck off to London without my father. It was wonderful just being able to walk around the city with her. I think as I get older and older, the more my mom is becoming one of my best friends. We certainly had a fantastic time, just the two of us.

Beautiful where ever we went.

Beautiful no matter where we went.

Literally the day we landed we both rushed off the the exhibition at the Victoria and Albert. Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty certainly lived up to all the hype. It was such a dream getting to see his art in real life – and art it is. It is such a sad thing that we lost such a talented and creative designer. Every single piece of his in the exhibition was just breathtaking. I’m sorry for the photo dump but it was too hard to choose one…

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We both had pretty terrible jet lag, but it’s ok because our apartment was the cutest place ever! Coming back for a restorative cup of tea has never been so nice.

It was small, but perfectly sized for the two of us!

It was small, but perfectly sized for the two of us!

Funnily enough, I think the two places Mom and I spent the most time at was the V&A. Can you blame us? There was another exhibition just about shoes! And of course, the wonderful history and cultural opportunities. It’s strange, but I think that european museums and art places have some of the best cafeteria food I’ve eaten – it surely beats american food by a long shot.

The National Portrait Gallery - one of the few days it was cloudy.

The National Portrait Gallery – one of the few days it was cloudy.

Apart from visiting the museum, we also did a lot of walking. Lots and lots of walking. Not something to complain about though – apart from a few brief spots of rain, the weather was beautiful.

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The view of the London Eye from the park.

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Having huge envy over how green London was…

Of course, an aspiring actress can’t visit London without catching a few West End productions. It’s something I look forward to every time we go to a big city like New York or London. The opportunity to see some of the best theatre in the world – and my gosh, the pickings this time around were incredible. Imelda Staunton in Gypsy, Benedict Cumberbatch in Hamlet…the list could go on. I think I could happily just spend a week there living and breathing the theatre. As it was, the two shows that Mom and I picked are significantly off our regular theatre path.

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variety.com

Bend It Like Beckham – the musical! Was one of the most surprising and entertaining things I think we saw on our trip to Europe. Of course, I’m a huge fan of the movie, but I actually think I liked the musical better. The music, the girls kicking butt…what’s not to love? It was just so much fun to watch all these incredible ladies running across the stage and singing about how they were worth it. Probably the highest amount of females I’ve ever seen on the stage alone together. And the Bollywood theatre mixes were the catchiest thing ever. So yes, I did boogie my way down the aisle after the show ended.

The beautiful ceiling of Westminster

The beautiful ceiling of Westminster – probably the most traditional sightseeing we did.

Hey Ladies...how you doing?

Hey Ladies…how you doing?

The other show we saw was The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. I don’t think we could have chosen a more different play to go see. But it was such an incredible production. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a show that brilliantly staged. Let’s just say this – there were times when I gasped, when I cried, and when I was on the edge of my seat. It’s hard to make an audience member do that. The cast were just superb, and the lead – who plays a young boy with autism – was one of the most talented actors I think I’ve ever seen.

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Eventually my dad came to join us…ruining our ladies trip…

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I’m just kidding Dad (I love you!)

My parents are the cutest. Also, I wasn’t sure how to assure you guys that we drank tea – but believe me. We drank a lot of tea.

Scotland: The Fringe, Castles and Maps.

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One of the most beautiful cities – Edinburgh!

I promised I’d try and get this post up sooner than I got to it. Oops. Regardless, here are some photos from the summer trip I went on. For nearly a month I was able to travel around England, Scotland and Ireland. It was unbelievable!! I couldn’t believe how much fun it was. Not only were my parents able to join me, but my best friend and her family also flew out. It was quite possibly one of the best summer’s I’ve had for a while.

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Ignore the gloomy skies – it was actually quite lovely!

 

Always wonderful getting to spend time with my mom!

Always wonderful getting to spend time with my mom! (It was a little windy, can you tell?)

I spent most of the trip completely enamored with the Fringe Festival. I cannot even begin to describe the feeling of celebration and artistry that was happening. Everywhere we went, there were people going to or coming from performances, absolutely buzzing with excitement. Every street yielded a street performer or musician (some were…better than others, for sure). It was just amazing!! As an actress I didn’t ever want to leave. We managed to see some incredible shows – Shitfaced Shakespeare was my absolute favorite though. And I’m not saying I want to try drinking half a bottle of vodka and seeing how well I know my Lady Macbeth, but I’m not not saying it…

 

Checking out some of the street performances.

Checking out some of the street performances.

 

Aside from some incredible performances, we also did the requisite amount of sightseeing. Climbing up to Edinburgh castle definitely took some work, as we had to push through the throng of people waving flyers. By the time we got to the top I was thrilled to see the view of Edinburgh. Scotland is such a beautiful country, and the history!

 

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The castle looking appropriately gothic.

 

This was one of the least busy looking photos of the festival...

This was one of the least busy looking photos of the festival…

 

As a history nerd, going to Scotland and getting to walk around all the old buildings was just a dream. It’s both daunting and comforting to look at a building and realize that it’s centuries older than you are. That you’re just a speck in the history of the world, and not even a consideration when compared to how old Edinburgh is. For example: there was a pond – a pond! – right by where we were staying that was created before the American Revolution was even a consideration.

 

Stopping on the roof of the National History museum to snap some photos.

Stopping on the roof of the National History museum to snap some photos.

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It was hilarious traveling with my best friend and her family. Perhaps the best description of just how opposite our families can be came from a day trip we took to a small castle. While my dad and I worked our way through every plaque possible and chatted about the history of the place, the others were outside running around. Definitely very different travelers, for sure!

 

A lord standing protector over his domain, centuries later.

A lord standing protector over his domain, centuries later.

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waiting in one of the many, many lines…

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Scotland was an unbelievable experience. I am so thrilled that I got to go, and really hope to be back again some day. As a performer? well, that would be a dream come true…

 

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An Open Letter from Helen of Troy

 

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i am no whore with a heart of gold,

nor patchwork of sinew and sorrow,

my words sting and my hands are cold,

Cassandra will spend her days in the trenches,

crying out for wounds no man will know come tomorrow.

 

 

They called me Helen, who destroyed the mighty Troy,

veiled and heartless as the world screamed high,

an overthrown a husband in favor of a white-handed boy,

stained ichor on the ground below,

the feed a hunger the gods will never satisfy.

 

One day i will leave a prayer to faithless Zeus,

on behalf those who were struck down without a choice,

those who loved the wrong way, or died in vain of bitter truth

those who fought against the silencing of our voice.

 

The war won,

and the gods watched from afar.

 

 

 

The Importance of Star Trek.

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I hope you readers will forgive the massive geek out about to happen.

I was talking to a friend about Star Trek today and just got really sad all of a sudden. For me, Star Trek has been a part of my childhood – my dad introduced me to it, and I grew up watching it. One of my earliest memories was watching Jean Luc Picard assimilating into a borg and feeling scared out of my wits. Another is laughing with glee at Kirk and Spocks reunion. But more than that, I remember how inspirational it was, to watch this old junky show with it’s bad special effects and terrible costumes. It had so much heart, and hope. How wonderful to imagine the future and see humanity looking forward, establishing peace with other planets, not just races. To imagine technology so advanced that it could connect loved ones across the reaches of space, or medicine capable of curing plagues.

For me, Star Trek was a love letter to the future. It was like someone wrote down all the hopes for the future and truly believed that it could come true. That humanity could persevere against all of the horrible things we commit against each other and rise above. That humanity wouldn’t ever be perfect – but by god we could try to be better.

Halfway through the conversation, I realized that it had been so long since I last read anything that seemed hopeful about the future. Almost every novel I read within the sci-fi or young adult world deals with dystopia, or apocalyptic scenarios. Don’t get me wrong – I understand the importance of such narratives, and the conversations that erupt around them, especially when pertaining to current events. I guess I just got sad because it seemed like we’ve all given up on dreaming about the future. Whenever we look forward, it’s to a black and merciless sky. How tiring to always be facing such a bleak bleak future. How frustrating to keep believing in humanity’s brilliance, or compassion, or hope.

In times like this, I think it’s easy to become dispirited by all the awful, awful things you see and hear near constantly. That’s not to say that we should turn our eyes away from the many important issues our world faces. There are so many problems, but there are also so many wonderful, ordinary people fighting to create a better tomorrow.

I suppose halfway through my conversation I started wondering when I had forgotten to look at the world the way Star Trek had taught me to – as one wonderful, broken, unimaginable vast cosmic mystery.

XOXO