Friday, October 14, 2011

Woman vs. Machine

Lauren Olivia Designs
Most of my courses in college required reading and writing. But this one time I took a class that required me to use a needle and thread in place of a pen and paper. Interesting. Basically, I took this beginning sewing class because I needed a filler class, and I thought I could pick up a new skill along the way. I knew it would be time consuming, and it was. But I'm not sure I realized how hard it would be. Or, maybe I knew how hard it would be but didn't realize how time consuming it would be. Not really sure, this was a while ago. Whatever, you get the point.

I felt like the dumb one in the class. I always had trouble with the tension on my sewing machine; I could never remember how to thread my bobbin, and it took hours for me to demonstrate I could somewhat complete all the hems, finishes and stitches required for our portfolios. It probably didn't help that I sat next to this girl who had been sewing for years.

Sewing became a class I started, well ... not liking. I just wanted the class to be over with. At the end of the semester, I ended up getting an A, but it was through a lot of hard work. Throughout the class, I made a pillowcase, pajama shorts, a shirt and a skirt. I love my skirt and I use the pajama shorts. I've used the pillowcase before but the shirt ... yeah. It's not as bad as the shirt Denise made Theo in The Cosby Show. Actually, it's not nearly as bad. The fabric and the buttons are super cute, it just wasn't the best execution. But sewing a blouse is HARD.

It's funny though, now I can honestly say that I love sewing. It's easier to like it when you're not under a time constraint and have actually learned to master your machine. Sure, it still can be frustrating, but it's so fun to take nothing and turn it into something.

I got my own sewing machine for Christmas last year. Since then, I have sewn quite a bit and am getting better. The only thing is fabric stores have become a weakness. If I can't find it in a store, I want to sew it. (I still am not brave enough to attempt another shirt). If I see a beautiful fabric, I find a pattern that it would work well with. Shoe-buying weakness, meet fabric store weakness.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Rest in Peace, Steve Jobs

As I was wrapping up the previous post, I found out Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, has died. Rest in peace, Steve Jobs. You did amazing things. I am an Apple lover and am proud to say that I once lived in Cupertino. Your impact on the world is immeasurable.

I remember when my elementary school library got new Apple computers and we were all so amazed. Playing Oregon Trail on those computers was the best. So was trying to get the best score in the class on our typing quizzes. For my high school graduation gift, I got my first iPod and it has been a most trusted friend ever since.

My iPod has carried me through different music phases of my life. It has also been with me in every other way possible. I'm not one of those people that has trouble "unplugging" from technology, but listening to my iPod was the only thing that kept me sane during some 8-hour work days, long bus rides, airplane rides, car rides and solitary walks.

My love for Apple carried with me into my college years and was solidified when I began taking journalism classes. It was hard to get used to a Mac at first, but after a few days it stole my heart. I did many homework assignments and work projects on a trusty Mac. I used my personal PC laptop at home, only if I got kicked out of the Spori building on campus because it was nearing curfew. True stuff.

And now, I sit here writing this blog on my own MacBook Pro which was a college graduation gift from my parents. (Thanks, mom and dad!) The influence of Steve Jobs and Apple will live on, but the world will surely miss Mr. Jobs.


Good Happenings

Life is good. Life is beautiful. Life is a mystery.

It has been a rather good day for me.

It began with the rain. If you've ever seen Gilmore Girls, you'll know that Lorelai has a special relationship with snow. I am officially declaring a special relationship with rain. It is beautiful and magical and romantic.

The rain started last night. It was so relaxing to fall asleep to the sound of the rain, rather than trying to fight flashbacks of my knee injury. It rained again today—actually it poured. I had to document this magnificent moment, so I went out in my backyard and took some photos. I got soaked, and it was wonderful.

Also, this morning I met with the editor of The Orangevale View. I will be volunteering for the newspaper while I am home taking care of my knee. This is such a blessing for me because I am building my portfolio, strengthening my skills, contributing to my community and opening doors for future opportunities. Along with writing, I will be able to contribute photographs and InDesign knowledge. And because it is a volunteer position, I will have the flexibility to do what I need to take care of my knee, which is my first priority.

I am so excited for this opportunity, and I hope to do a lot of good things. My first assignment is tomorrow. I will be covering a Chamber of Commerce networking breakfast hosted by Senator Ted Gaines. I will also be writing a story on a local haunted house this Friday. For right now, I will let you guess whether it is a real haunted house or if it is a Halloween presentation. Either way, my knee brace WILL be worn. If I feel the impulse to run, I will be better equipped.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Dear Life, This is Going to be a Lot of Lemonade. Sincerely, Thanks for the Lemon Basket.

If Life has 1,000 lemons and gives Lauren three-fourths of the lemon crop, how many lemons does Lauren have?
    A) 100 lemons. Enough for Lauren to perfect her lemonade-making skills.
    B) 250 lemons. Enough for Lauren to make a lemonade stand.
    C) 500 lemons. Enough for Lauren to spare a couple hundred to throw at the car that cut her off.
    D) 750 lemons. Enough for Lauren to get really creative with making lemonade, lemon cake, lemon pie, lemon squares, lemon cookies and probably a few lemon chickens.
Any good lemon recipes, anyone?

I've worked hard my whole life. I've done all I can to make sure that I could make it in this world. Essentially, that means I needed a good job offer. As a post-grad, I was anxious to get out there and start working. A few great job leads came my way, and I had several interviews. Then it came. The validation that I had done everything right. Someone wanted me. All those physical, emotional, mental and social sacrifices I gave to further my education and experience paid off.

I accepted the job. I had a house lined up, was looking for a car, had reunions planned and visions of myself walking into the office in my dang-cute, new high heels and black dress. Then I found out that I needed knee surgery. It was going to be really tricky trying to mesh my anticipated recovery time with the job responsibilities.

(Cue the extra prayers, pro/con list, emotional breakdowns and parental advice.)

My answer came as if it was the only option. I had to give up the job. It wasn't a forceful, "You have to give this job up now. It's not for you." It was a voice that came into my heart and spoke to my mind in a gentle, peaceful, comforting tone that said, "Give up the job."

It was hard to do. It frustrates me that I have to put my completely independent life on hold for another block of time. But for some reason, this is what my Heavenly Father wants me to do. Why did I feel good about accepting the job offer when He was eventually going to tell me otherwise? Why did I even get the offer in the first place?

I don't know the answer to these questions and probably won't for a long time. In this economy, most people would call me crazy for turning down a good job offer because God told me.

I can understand that. The person I know myself to be would usually be freaking out with a stress level that would enable me to squeeze all 750 lemons dry in one hour. But for some reason, I'm not worried. I'm grateful that my knee will get taken care of. I can't give one-hundred percent to anything on a bad knee. And I'm still scared to do anything on it. So I'm trying to look at this as a blessing. But why does it have to happen in the exact time of my life when I'm trying to transition into becoming a fully-functioning adult?

Again, I don't know. But I'm grateful that I feel my Heavenly Father near me. His peace is comforting and is the only thing—aside from my family—that is keeping me sane.