This post is the rainy-day coffee shop of my thoughts

As you’ll see, I have a SHINY new layout! This feels much more “me,” and it’s also much cooler. Yay!

It’s been a really crazy week. Though, I guess that almost all of my weeks have been really long lately. Tomorrow and Sunday morning I’ll be attending the Midwest Real Food Summit, which I’m pretty excited about. Two days of hanging out with amazing people who are passionate about food justice? Yes, please.

In other news, I’ve really got into Amanda Palmer in a big way this week. It could be the lovely, rainy-misty-foggy weather we’ve been having, but there’s just something about her music that is so wonderful and fulfilling at the moment.

Here’s an amazing video of “Ampersand:”

… aaaaand a funny video (that’s Neil Gaiman you see in the background):

And from here on out, this post turned into some musing over the work I’m doing for Grand Aspirations, and life post-Grand Aspirations.

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Thursday Next Wrap

Hello, readers!

I have a MASSIVE project post. Garment: Thursday Next Wrap. It is so dubbed because it’s a garment so versatile that I can wear it from one Thursday to the next and look different every day. The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next novels) have also been at the top of my reading list for years, and I haven’t got around to them.

The idea for this wrap came from the cardi-wraps that have been so popular the last two years. I’ve wanted one since before they were in stores, but have not shelled out the cash to get one. So, I made a mock-up pattern and tried my hand at making one from scratch. And this is the result!

035This beautiful wrap can be worn so many ways I haven’t even found them all yet. Here are some of my best pictures from the photoshoot today:

one of my favorite ways to wear it

one of my favorite ways to wear it

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if you can't tell, it's upside-down

if you can't tell, it's upside-down

And there is certainly more where that came from. Almost anything (aside from the upside-down wrap) can become a dress, or a shirt. That was the great fortune of having bought too much fabric.

**

On a different note, sorry for the lack of posts this month. My life has been really intense, and I haven’t been able to justify spending a lot of time posting here.

I’ve been working on three major projects, all of which are consuming a lot of time. Project 1: Schooooooool. This semester is really intense, and I’ve been struggling to stay ahead of the game. Project 2: Grand Aspirations. Have been putting together a workshop for next weekend, and will have to give it myself. Project 3: Costume Shop Sale. This has really only been about 12 hours a week, but when you add that to these other two projects, it’s quite the workload.

I know I really need to slow down. Know how I know? I hadn’t hung out with friends (other than Chelsea) for the entire month of October until last weekend. … GUH. After the workshop is done, my work load should lighten, though school will start getting more and more intense until finals. My peace of mind is definitely suffering. This past week has been incredibly up and down, feel a little like I’m turning inside out. At least tonight my homework is to read. Read, read, read some novels. I should have about 400 pages of reading done by the end of tonight if I’m going to get ahead on work before the weekend. *dies*

I’m already looking forward to winter break. I’m actually going to take J-Term off this year, and have time to relax and recouperate from the madness that is the last six months of my life. Hopefully, I’ll get some time to just do what I want to for a change. Lord knows I need it.

Okay, can’t justify spending any more time on the computer right now. Need to end this post. Hopefully I’ll have more to talk about later.

What a week!

This has been a week.

Visited my parents last weekend – saw the new house in the country – and had a great time with them. Unfortunately, I got really far behind, and have been playing mad catch up all week. When you’re a full time student who has a job and is starting a non-profit, that’s not exactly easy.

Now, after having accomplished a lot of things for Grand Aspirations, I feel much better. About Wednesday and Thursday, I was really not feeling good about the amount of things I had to do for Communications/Media. Not only is this a fledgling group, but we are made up of two people (well, three, if you count Pantelis, who is only doing graphics. But we aren’t doing graphics yet.), and have a lot on our plates.

Here’s what I’ve been doing:

1. Contacting/solidifying details to give a workshop at Northern Plains Powershift, on October 25th.

2. Contacting/solidifying details to have someone else give a workshop at the Carolinas Powershift on October 16th (as in … Friday. yeeeeaaaaaahhhh).

3. Worked out a timeline of all the things we need to do as a working group for the semester.

4. Spent three hours going over the Draper-Richards grant Letter of Inquiry. This didn’t have to be so much time, but I was just about to be done (hour and a half), when I realized I’d forgotten about a key aspect of it and needed to go back over it again.

And I’m proud to say that I was able to get most of this done! I just finished a fabulous, in-person meeting with Liz, my cohort, and we planned the workshop and have sent it to others for review. It’s looking like a pretty cool workshop – all about how to harness your personal power to help build a group. Hopefully it will be inspiring, and get people thinking. The wonderful Juliana, a friend of mine and former Midwest Region Coordinator for the Sierra Student Coalition, is going to look over the workshop and tell Liz and I what she thinks about it.

So, at the moment, all of the emails I needed to send for Grand Aspirations are sent, the workshop is planned, and I have a pretty good idea what the meeting on Wednesday will consist of. Not so sure about who will be writing the proposal for the Advisory Committee to review by Wednesday, but that will not take as long as these other tasks.

Definitely starting this week off in a good place. I feel like I know what, exactly, needs to happen for us to pull off the Carolinas Powershift on Friday.

All of this was also complicated by the fact that I was behind on my schoolwork. With the kind of classes I have this semester, that was Bad News Bears.

But I really do love my classes. Three of my classes are really reminding me why I love school, and are making me think about Grad School again. (Thinking about grad school again is a step in the right direction … sometimes …) I love Mike’s class, but wish I could hear more from the professor. It’s really a student-focused class, and I want to hear some more of his analysis.

Marcela’s class is really badass. Every class is like a mini-history lesson on Renaissance Drama, but we also have extremely in-depth theory and cultural relevance discussions. I feel like, if I were a professor, I would aspire to be like her in whatever my field was. Every class is different, and interesting.

And my Development to Globalization class is fantastic. I thought it might be emotionally draining/depressing, but instead I’m fascinated by trying to find the solutions to all of these problems. Perhaps it’s my exposure to such a positive activist community, or some sort of rediscovered naivete, but I’m inspired by this huge challenge.

Right now, I’m torn between going to grad school for English or International Studies. I love story-telling, and analyzing what stories say about culture and society, but I also feel an obligation to tackle political/international/environmental issues as a professor, and engage students in thinking in new ways. And obviously I can’t get a double PhD! That’s NEVER gonna happen.

But I’m not going to grad school right away, so I have time. I have Seattle to help me figure that one out.

Side-note: Today has been a hip-hop day. I bought Brother Ali’s new album, “Us,” and have been chewing on that. (I find it takes me a while to digest a new hip-hop album; I have to listen to it a lot on the first day of owning it.) Because of Brother Ali, I’ve also been listening to Doomtree’s “False Hopes” album today a lot. I think this whole week will be hip-hop related.

Man, I love how creative good hip-hop is.