March 20, 2014

Spring break is finally here. Yipeee!!

I can't believe how fast this quarter went by. It's finally over!!!! The last tests have been taken and my last paper has been turned in. Hallelujah! Spring break can officially commence. Although, I have a feeling that I'll still have that feeling that I need to be doing something hovering over me. *SHIVERS*

Last quarter, I was dreading every single second. This time around, I learned to embrace it and just take it as it comes. That's not to say I haven't been stressed or unhappy, but it wasn't quite as heavy and miserable. But, as happy as I am that the quarter is over, I'm always a little sentimental to see any kind of chapter come to a close.

I was starting to get used to my schedule, I was clicking with the people in my classes-we had a flow going, and I was finally starting to not feel so overwhelmed with the workload. But, now it's time to change everything again. The season is obviously changing from winter into spring, and I'm hoping that also means a good change is coming in terms of next quarter.

Lately, I've just been feeling as if I'm simply trying to survive. But, I want to do more than that. I want to feel empowered, I want to feel determined, I want to feel like I can conquer the world and I want to feel passionate about writing. I want to do something different that is going to change my campus or at least the people around me. I want to be more confident in myself and the decisions I make. I want to help inspire other people to be excited about what they're going to school for.

Here's just a little of what I've learned/observed this quarter:

  • It's important to speak up about things that you're interested in and even just your opinions. People are very opinionated in college, especially communications majors. You have to speak up and tell people who you are and to not be ashamed of that. You have just as much right as anyone else.
  • Having said that, it's good to have opinions and to speak about your passions, etc. But, it doesn't mean you have to do it all the time. If you're quiet, then that's who you are…But, don't let that hold you back and don't get too comfortable there. Find a balance. 
  • It's okay not to be okay all the time. But, you shouldn't let that feeling get you down every single day or discourage you. Mope a little, then dig a little deeper. Why are you feeling like this? As soon as you know, move on and do something about it.
  • It's okay to doubt yourself. Some of the greatest and most successful people out there have struggled more than anyone and look where they are. Those who struggle often have better stories to tell. They had something that set them apart. After all, you don't learn much in your wrinkle free days, right? I think when you're struggling and doubting, and going through obstacles where everything seems to be going against you, you're about to come into something really great that God has set up. 
Now, it's time to unwind and to start preparing for what lies ahead. Let the relaxation begin. 

This is what I hope to accomplish over spring break:
  • Organize my closet
  • Set a plan of what I hope to do in the newspaper as editor
  • Newspaper room clean-out day
  • Coffee and heart-to-hearts with friends
  • Catch up on Once Upon A Time (I think I'll accomplish that tonight)
  • Get artsy/feel inspired - Make collages, write, listen to music, etc. 
  • Talk with Pastor Wendy at church
I'm determined to make this the best week of my life and to do as much, yet as little as possible. I want to come back better than ever and ready to push forward in my career. Let's do this. 

That's all for now,
Shelby :)

Parks & Recreation Paley Fest

Tuesday was one of the greatest and strangest experiences ever. My mom and I went down to Los Angeles for the day for the Parks and Rec Paley Fest, but everything in between and around was just very different than our normal trips.

Usually, we have to wake up incredibly early to make it to a taping or book signing, but that wasn't the case with Paley, since we had guaranteed seats. I woke up closer to 9, took my time getting ready, had breakfast, and we were ready to go around 10. Well, then we ran into a small road block (metaphorically speaking) and had to come home for a little while. Once everything was taken care of, we were free to go. I was so excited!
My Leslie Knope inspired outfit.

Now that the quarter of school is almost finished, I felt like I could enjoy myself a bit more, without worrying about what assignments I had coming up or having to finish up assignments, though I did have a final the next day and another paper to write…

We made it to LA around 12:30, or possibly a bit sooner. Our first stop was the store, It's A Wrap, which is where many shows donate their clothes after they've wrapped or are finished with them. It's a magical wonderland and I could spend HOURS in there, just browsing. Not only are some of my favorite shows featured, but they just have really good deals. We had only been there once before, but didn't have much time to look at everything, and this time we had more than enough. Each time you go, there's something different to check out and this time, I almost passed out when I read they had clothes from "The Office." Those who know me know that my love for that show runs deep. I was like a kid in a candy store, with my eyes growing wide at every sign I read, and then I saw the sign, which read, The Office. My mom was browsing at one rack, so I hurried over to my beloved show's and started looking through the items, trying to remember what episode each item was from. I also googled a few of the characters to do some digging.

Then, one of the guys who worked there asked how I was doing. I smiled and replied, "Good, how are you?" He replied "Good. Thanks for asking," then told me I had a beautiful smile. That made me feel pretty good.

We looked all around the store for quite some time, and I was actually able to buy a few things for pretty cheap: a Cornell shirt (that must've been part of Andy Bernard's wardrobe), a green shirt that was a dollar (though I have no idea what show it was on) and two ties from The Office (and I'm crossing my fingers that one of them belonged to Steve Carell) HA!

The street that It's A Wrap is on has a ton of quirky shops and thrift stores, so my mom and I decided to go in a few of them. We didn't find anything, but it was fun to look around. Plus, in one of the thrift stores we saw Maria Canals-Barrera (the mom on Wizards of Waverly Place). I'm so proud, because my mom is the one who spotted her and told me. LOL. We were already out of the store when I realized who she was trying to describe, and it would've been a little awkward to walk back in the store to ask for a picture, so I just glanced back instead.

After that, we were starting to get hungry. So, we made our way over to Studio City to try Lemonade. I've been dying to try it for the longest time, but never made it over. This was actually a newer location that had just opened, because one of my favorite places, Kings Road Cafe, used to be there. It's a prime spot, so I love that something good took its place. The setup for Lemonade is a bit different. It's almost like buffet-style; you can choose from side dishes, sandwiches and other hot items (soup, meatballs, etc). Since we had never been there before, we went a little overkill and decided that we could definitely cut back next time. I had some sort of pasta salad, salad with strawberries, and hot mac n cheese. My mom also let me sample some of hers. I had a pomegranate lemonade, which was delicious and my mom had the traditional. Such a tasty, yet healthy meal. I can't wait to go back.
We didn't have anything planned for after, so we just wandered along Ventura Blvd, which really is one of the best streets, and it was your typical, sunny California day. There are so many great boutiques, and since I'm a broke college student, it's fun to just imagine and daydream that someday, years from now I'll be able to have shopping sprees in places like that. We went in Brandy Melville, which I follow them on Instagram and have looked on their site quite a bit, but had never been in a store. They're like "hipster chic" with plenty of plaid shirts, loose coverings, jeans, etc. I'm also pretty sure I saw Lucy Hale's best friend, Annie, in there. HAHA! Random. We then went into Paper Source, one of the coolest stationary stores, which just reminded me of how I'd like to open a store like that of my own someday. Imagine the people you'd be able to meet, as they browse for that perfect card or knick-knack for their loved one. We went in GAP and glanced in the window of a few other places, then decided to make our way over to the Hollywood and Highland shopping center. I was hoping to "stalk" the Brentwood Country Mart, but because of traffic, we would have been pushed for time. 

We parked in the garage, then walked along Hollywood Blvd (after getting stopped at one of the makeup stores in the shopping center, who wanted to do this long demonstration, then was irritated that we didn't buy anything. Uh, you stopped us). I wanted to see Sandra Bullock's handprints at Mann's Chinese Theater, so that's exactly what we did. It's fun to be touristy, even in a place you've been to a million times. Seeing it through different eyes helps appreciate it more. We looked at all of the different handprints, snapping pictures. I was so excited to see the hand/footprints of Sandra, Jennifer Aniston and Tom Hanks. We also went into the Disney store/Malt shop next door to El Capitan. I haven't been over there in forever, so it brought back a lot of childhood memories when we used to go (The Lizzie McGuire premiere, 101 Dalmatians, High School Musical 3, The Jonas Brothers/Hannah Montana,etc). We got a free sample of chocolate, which was yummy, and I was starting to crash, so I needed the sugar. The entire time, I'd had a headache, but kept thinking it would go away. I used to deal with really horrible ones back when I was younger, but haven't had them as bad lately…Until that day. I had taken medicine earlier at lunch, and thought it was just all of the excitement; it would go away after Paley Fest started. 
Sandra Bullock!:)
Oh, hey, my good buddy Tom Hanks ;)
Jennifer Aniston!! :)
Johnny Depp!! :)
Johnny Depp's wax figure
My mom and I on Hollywood Blvd.
I had to send a picture of this to my best friend. She introduced me to my future husband ;) HAHA! 
Dolby Theater!!! It will always be Kodak to me, though. 
The Walk of Fame
The new "Best Picture" with 12 Years A Slave
Being cheesy….
The red carpet area...
We went back to the car, so I could get my program and the tickets for the evening, then went back down to the theater entrance spot, where the press/media were already lining up. We decided to grab something to drink and eat our macaroon from Lemonade that we'd picked up, and sat down for awhile, checking updates on our phones from Facebook and Twitter (of course). We were laughing and joking around, while some really great tunes played through the loud speaker. 

I had to take a picture of the Julia Roberts picture in the lobby :)
Nick Offerman
Adam and Retta! 
Around 6, we went upstairs to our level and went inside. There was a crowd waiting around the staircase, and down below, the red carpet was set up for the Parks and Rec cast to walk in. We waited further back for a few minutes, then when a couple in front of us left, we moved up against the railing. Apparently, Jim O'Heir (Jerry) had walked in and so had Nick Offerman (Ron Swanson), but we didn't get a chance to see them. It kept getting later and later, and I was debating on whether we should head inside to get our seats, but I figured they can't start without the stars. So, we waited. Retta (Donna) walked the carpet, then Nick Offerman came back out; waving to the fans, then spun around in circles for everyone. He's fantastic! A few minutes later, my heart almost stopped, because I saw Adam Scott (The amazing and adorable, Ben Wyatt). He stopped to say hi to Retta and someone else, though people had been calling his name. I shouted his name one more time, and he seemed to glance around, then looked right up at me and waved. He seemed genuinely shocked that everyone was cheering. He smiled and waved, wished one girl a happy birthday, then headed to the carpet. A few minutes later, Amy Poehler walked in. Everyone shouted for her, so she turned and smiled for a bit, then headed to the carpet, too. As soon as I saw them, the anticipation and excitement really set in. We went inside the auditorium, and there it was in all of its glory. Home to the Academy Awards. The stage where John Travolta said Adele Dazeem. The infamous selfie with the biggest celebrities. All great moments. 

Mom and I waiting for the show :)

Finally, the event started. Patton Oswalt, the moderator for the night walked out, and gave a short introduction, then the creator, Michael Schur introduced the new episode we were able to watch, called "Galentine's Day." We were the first audience to be able to see it, since it doesn't officially air until tonight. Let me just say, it's HILARIOUS; probably one of my favorites of the season. There's even a guest appearance from Rashida Jones. YAY! Our favorite best friends are back together again, at least for a little while.

The cast
For some reason, it's like my body can't handle when I get excited. It's like I'm on overload, my heart starts pounding really weird and I feel like I was going to pass out. Obviously, I was excited that night, so I felt like I was going to pass out, and my head pounding like it was, was not helping anything. But, I was in the same room as one of my favorite television casts. It was very surreal.

After the episode ended, they didn't waste anytime bringing the cast out, complete with short introductions! So, here's who showed up: Billy Eichner, Ben Schwartz, Jim O'Heir, Retta, Adam Scott, Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt and the series creator, Michael Schur. All of them were completely shocked at how packed it was. Amy Poehler looked like she was getting pretty emotional looking out at everyone. They talked about some of the behind-the-scenes stories that everyone wants to know about, their favorite guest stars, the couples/relationships, how the show came to be, and answered several questions from the audience. They were pretty flabbergasted that the cast was actually acknowledging them, we'll put it that way.

Amy Poehler is just as smart as she is funny. She gave the perfect answer for everything she was asked, serious or not. She knew just how to answer it. Adam Scott seems a little on the quieter side, not really adding much to the conversation unless he was directly asked a question. They laughed and shared many stories, and it was easy to see why they get along so well on the show. They all have such fantastic chemistry with one another and are almost just like their characters. Who knew Nick Offerman actually builds whatever Ron Swanson does? Or that Ron's wood shop is actually Nick's?! WHAT?! I was very impressed, especially with the gift he gave to "Chris" and "Ann." And Chris Pratt is even more adorable in person and seems to have that kid-like approach to life.

Nick Offerman
Chris Pratt! 
A couple hours seemed to fly by, because before we knew it, the cast was walking off, waving to everyone. All of a sudden, a crowd swarmed to the stage (obviously they had been before and knew how it worked, so we followed their lead). My mom and I walked down with the rest of them to wait for them to come back out for autographs. They had decided to show a longer clip of Patton Oswalt's guest appearance on the show, which seemed to go on forever and ever, and by that time I was feeling SO sick, and it didn't look like anyone was going to come out after all. I thought, "What are the chances? our first time here, and no one comes out…" But, I was still holding on to a little bit of faith. After the clip ended, Jim O'Heir came out. Then, Ben Schwartz, Retta and Chris Pratt.

They were all signing as much as they could, making their way down the line. You basically just had to shove whatever you wanted them to sign, up in the air for them to see it. I was able to get everyone, except for Chris Pratt :( He was trying to sign, and I had mine right in front, but then others would stick their books up right after, so it was hard to tell who was there first, and he had to make it to the end. Just as I ran down to where he was, they said he had to go. He was so sweet about it though, and thanked everyone for coming. After the others finished signing, security was telling the cast it was time to go and they were pushing everyone else out; it was time to leave.

I think I was getting too excited/nervous. Everything of Chris came out blurry!

Selfie with Retta…Kind of! 
Where the infamous Oscar selfie happened! 

He cleans up very nicely! 
I was so bummed that I didn't meet Amy or Adam, the two I had been crossing my fingers for since we bought the tickets and I have been hoping to meet in general. But, by the time we walked out of the auditorium, my headache had turned into a migraine. It hurt so bad, I just felt like bursting into tears or throwing up. We made it back to the car and got settled in, then hit the freeway, talking about some of the moments from the panel. I leaned my chair back and tried to close my eyes and take the focus off of the pain in my head. The good music playing on the radio definitely helped. We made it into Valencia and stopped at In-N-Out to get something to drink, and I was able to take some medicine. The thought of food was making me sick, so I didn't order anything. 

We made it home around 12:30 or so. I talked to my dad for a few minutes, telling him about our adventures for the day, then took a shower and went straight to sleep. Luckily, I was able to sleep it all off and felt so much better the next morning. *SIGH* What a day.

My ties from The Office wardrobe :)
My Cornell shirt! 
It was a really great day! I'm crossing my fingers that if/when I go next time, I'll be able to meet more of the cast, but either way, it was totally worth the experience. There's definitely nothing like Paley Fest.

That's all for now,