Ireland pt. 2 – Still Rainy and Beautiful, Now with more cows.

Now that schools started up again (and I’ve been hit smack in the face with deadlines and grad school and thesis) I’m taking a journey down memory lane…

Here are some of my favorite photos from our last journey to Ireland.

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This was my third time back there and I have to say, I fall in love with it more every time. Here’s hoping I get to go back soon, but for now these photos will just have to do…

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XOXO

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Nah Trang, Vietnam

The working title for this post was The Sea is Beautiful, and other new thoughts. Fair warning: I basically just word vomited onto this page and attached images of the sea.

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Pretty much everywhere painting done since we figure out how to do that cool light trick. 

It’s spring break time! Which means instead of donning my bikini and heading to the beaches of Mexico, I donned my sensible one piece (with coverup and swim shorts) and headed to the beaches of Vietnam.

For my dad’s 60th birthday, he wanted the whole family back together and exploring someplace new. Having lived in Hong Kong for a while now (and taking advantage of it’s nearness to other countries), it’s always exiting to visit someplace i’ve never seen before – especially somewhere as beautiful as Nha Trang. Forgive the cliche sunset and ocean photos, but it’s literally the only thing I wanted to take pictures of, it was so beautiful.

It is funny writing this, because I am overwhelmingly aware of the Grand Historical Tradition (Tm) of writing about the sea. It seems impossible that I should add anything new or overwhelmingly salient, but, like any other aspiring writer, here I am to throw my two cents into the overcrowded hat ring.

I may have my metaphors mixed up, but I’m sure you understand.

(What is a hat ring, anyway?)

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I watched this dude straight up murder a spider, to constantly remind you that nature will always be waiting.

There are always two things I think about whenever I am lucky enough to be near the ocean. the first is the Grand Literary Tradition, and how much I feel like a heroine whenever it is overcast and I struggle bravely across the sand. The second is how surprising I always find the ocean. Even just looking away for ten second, it always manages to take your breath away. I think you could live every day for the rest of your life by the sea, and constantly be shocked by how beautiful it was.

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View of the National Park ain’t bad either

Most of my thoughts over the break were spent freaking out over internships, enjoying a variety of fruity cocktails and pondering the immense weight of time and history, so here’s a brief aside about the weirdest spa experience I have every had. Due to my sunburn and dry skin (only one arm! and everywhere, respectively), I asked for a hydration treatment, where I assumed they’d just give me some lotion and a head massage and send me on my way.

Ohoho, boy was I wrong. Two hours later I emerged into the sunlight, thoroughly moistured. Thoroughly. I lay there for 90 minutes while a very strong and tiny vietnamese lady poured pure coconut oil into my hair (a traditional treatment, I have regrets on that front, my hair was Snape-like for days) while I lay there covered in mud. At one point she spent ten minutes jiggling the fat on my cheeks. Maybe for fun? By that point I was so confused by everything else that had happened it seemed totally normal. It was the strangest thing I’ve every experienced but so help me I emerged a beautiful greasy baby with fresh new skin.

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I’ve heard if you drink eight of these, you’ll see God behind the Walmart parking lot.

In conclusion, this post is dedicated to one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever drank, which is vietnamese coffee. You watch it drip into a glass and then pour condensed milk into it and it’s like a gut punch of caffeine. Anyways, I’m in love and if I ever figure out how to recreate it in America that’ll be the end of my everything, I’m fairly confident.

Happy Birthday Dad! XOXO

Amy VS. The Sophomore Slump

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So I guess I’m an upperclassman now. Time flies, and all that jazz. It’s a bit…odd, looking back over my sophomore year and what I think of it. When I was putting together this post, I don’t think I truly appreciated how much of a wringer sophomore year was. Honestly, if my second year at college were an album, it would get mixed reviews. The bands just starting to get it’s sound together, but there’s a long amount of work ahead before a billboard 100 number.

And this metaphor has completely escaped me.

In retrospect, it’s been the most tumultuous year I’ve had since, well, freshman year (pause for cricket noise in place of laughter). Alright, that’s simply not true at all. Freshman year was a blur of ‘i’m at college’ fueled with desperation tinged adrenaline rushes. Sophomore year was like getting sucker punched by reality after getting off that roller coaster. I think the thing I struggled with the most was how transitory and stationary it felt – no one warns you about how much things change. All of a sudden you’re off this high and trying to figure out what’s actually happening – do you really like your friends? Or your classes? Are you sure that’s what you want to major in?

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I’ve lost contact with friends I could have sworn would one day attend my wedding. I experienced the biggest emotional downswing I’ve ever had. I felt frustrated at virtually every point – with classes, with art, with friends, with myself. I suffered a injury that meant I couldn’t exercise anymore, which had a profound impact on my happiness. More than anything else, sophomore year has been about getting over myself and what I envisioned and getting on with things. I literally like like that last grim faced survivor clambering out of the evil cabin into the watery light of a new dawn (or I’ve been watching too much Evil Dead with my dad).

On the other hand, sophomore year has kind of rocked. I’ve spent so much time focusing on the negative that when I was looking over the year, I couldn’t believe how much love and beautiful things I was able to experience. I pushed myself harder this year than any prior, but here’s a quick recap for future posterity (and when I start feeling whiny about my life). I wrote a ten minute play. I was in my first musical. I scripted, directed and acted in a web series. I was the editor for the school journal. I got my writing published in a literary magazine. I was given a grant to do special research that still gives me inspiration and opportunities today. I started a new job – and learned how to sew. I started a podcast. I was able to travel to Siem Reap. I saw my best friend more than once. I saw my other best friend nearly everyday. I saw BEYONCE. I was lucky enough to have my life filled with amazing people – many new, extraordinary friends – who continually pushed and supported me. This may sound like a paragraph full of bragging but I’m proud of the work I did. I’m proud of the way I pushed myself, and struggled to improve. But more than anything, I couldn’t have done it without the never-ending support and love of everyone in my life, and I want everyone to know how much I appreciated them.

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Anyway we’re all beautiful butterflies who are constantly in a state of metamorphosis and self growth blah blah blah whatever you get it. Thank you to anyone who was involved on my journeys, or simply for being there and reading this jet-lagged fueled spew of words. So mostly my mom and the friends she forwards these things to. Hi Mom’s friends! And also Junior year, apparently. I get to do this all again!

From the bottom of my heart – thank you, I love you, goodnight.

XX

 

Paradise – Ireland Through Photography.

I was looking through my photos and found some shots of Ireland that I just had to share. This is a purely indulgent (and sponsored by fond memories) post about how beautiful my trip was.

 

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A real life fairytale…

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Met the cutest little puppy

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I’ve never seen so many different shades of green

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Even the buildings were overflowing with the color

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Along the Wicklow Way…

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Even through fog

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and rain

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and more fog..

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Ireland remains one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.

There were times I had to pinch myself, I couldn’t believe how lucky I was. Sorry about this mostly wordless post, although I did end up creating a sort of avant garde poetry through the captions (haha).

As always,

Love, Amylia.

Life Lately

Hello!

While I’ve been busy scrambling to get my posts together, I thought I’d just do a quick little recap of everything that’s been happening for the last couple of months.

HALLOWEEN

That’s right! Rolling into November with a halloween post, what a good indication of how well I time my posts. In any case, my friends and I went as characters from Inside Out. Our Joy and Sadness absolutely won (I wasn’t committed to dying my hair green!). Later during the night I changed and went as Mabel Pines from one of my favorite cartoons, Gravity Falls. My roommate went as Dipper, and we were adorable, if I do say so myself.

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Birthday Shoutout to one of my favorite people :)

We also celebrated the fact that this one is officially not a teenage anymore!

 

El PESCADOR Y LA LLUVIA

 

Santa Monica Sunset

I spent the weekend shooting a short film for my professor (which I will share with you guys as soon as the release event happens). It’s one of a collection of shorts, all centered around the environment. Mine was focused on the drought in central California, and I was lucky enough to get to go to the beach for filming. The sunset was beautiful, and the film looks incredible. Very pleased with how it came out. It’s funny – when I’m filming things I never actually know how they’ll turn out. It’s a lot of guesswork on my part, so whenever I see a finished product it’s like a flash to the past.

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RAIN

 

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The weather over here has been steadily changing for the winter season, which is a blessing and a curse at the same time. While it’s wonderful to not feel like my face is melting (thanks, non-airconditioned dorms!), it’s now getting a little bit too cold for comfort. I’m all about sweater weather, but could do without freezing my butt off on the ten minute walk to class. That being said, I woke up a couple of days to this view from my window. There’s something almost fantastical about rain in California. It just never happens, and when it does it’s magical. Waking up and seeing the rain coming down outside felt like a balm.

WORK

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I was talking to a a friend of mine about being in a creative rut. Since finished with Details (You can check it out HERE), I haven’t had anything creative that I’m looking forward to. It’s probably the worst part about being an artist for me, is the crash landing after the buzz of a performance or exhibition. These last few days I’ve been feeling incredibly lethargic and unmotivated. (It doesn’t help that the midterm slam took a lot of my energy away). I saw this comic and couldn’t stop laughing at how accurate it was. Here’s hoping this slump ends sometime soon.

 

So yes, just a brief catch up on what life has been like lately. I’m hoping to share a couple more of my writing with you guys (The feedback to my poem Monday was phenomenal! Much love to everyone, and be sure to look after yourself). I’m also hoping to post a book review this weekend (Ah, I remember reading fondly). There will also be a post later on the year about El Pescador, so keep an eye on this space.

 

Happy Wednesday!

 

XOXO

A Message from the Future.

Alternatively: Advice I’d give to 16 year old me.

  1. Red lipstick is both a shield and a weapon. Use it judiciously, and wear it proudly.
  2. Not everyone will like you.
  3. And that’s fine.
  4. Go outside and stand in the sun, plant your feet in the grass and look up.
  5. Laugh as loud as you want. There’s nothing better than happiness, and there isn’t any reason to hide that.
  6. High heels, while they may make you feel powerful, are also very bad for your knees. Use with caution.
  7. This too will pass.
  8. Going to the bank is incredibly adult, as is rewarding yourself with ice cream afterwards.
  9. Friends are the family you make. Surround yourself with love, but don’t forget to give it back.
  10. For that matter, love yourself the way you love others. You are just as worthy of your own love as they are.
  11. Learn how to cut your own hair.
  12. Additionally: figure out how stocks work.
  13. You are braver than you think, smarter than you believe and kinder than you know. Who you are now is not who you will be in two weeks. Do not be afraid.
  14. Reach out to the people in your life. This is not something you have to do alone.
  15. Buy the song you’ve been humming underneath your breath for the last two days. You’ll still be listening to it in two years.
  16. Driving isn’t as scary as you think.
  17. You are burned and battered, but still unbroken. Hold your head up, and keep walking.
  18. There will come a moment when you are driving down the highway. You crest the hill and then you see the sea. Light flashing off it, the salt wind stinging your face. The wind is in your hair and you are singing along to a song you haven’t listened to in years. The world will seem infinite, cresting the top of that hill.
  19. Don’t forget to care about the bees.

Ireland: Rain and Sheep on the Wicklow Way.

At the beginning of the planning process for this trip, Mom sat us down and asked a very serious question ‘Do you want to do a walking trip?’.

Starting off into the Wicklow Mountains

Starting off into the Wicklow Mountains

Fortunately, I agreed. Four months later I found myself on the Wicklow Way, dumbstruck at the sheer beauty of the Irish mountains and countryside.

Reaching the summit

Reaching the summit

It was a far cry from our stay at Edinburgh. Gone were our friends. It was just my mother, my father and me for the next week or so. We’d be hiking a beginners trail, but navigation and pace would be set by us. Before we started, I was nearly certain that this would be one of worst possible ideas for family unity.

This was a common sight on the trip - turns out neither of my parents are brilliant at reading maps...or admitting they'd been wrong.

This was a common sight on the trip – turns out neither of my parents are brilliant at reading maps…or admitting they’d been wrong.

Instead, it turned out to be an incredible hike. I can’t express to you how beautiful the Irish countryside is. Everyday seemed like we were walking in a fairytale. Luckily for us, it didn’t rain as much as we were expecting. But enough about that – I’ll let the pictures do the talking…

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Isn’t it gorgeous? That’s just a bare fraction of all the photos I took. Here’s hoping I find myself wandering the wicklow way again in the future.

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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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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