An Ode to Fall

Fall is unbelievably beautiful.

When days are like droplets of dew that I wake up to find each morning on the grass: clear and fleeting and simple. The sun is out and the sky is icy blue, and looks farther away than it did in the compressing summer heat. The wind is tickling the leaves of trees, which crunch together like chimes, turning orange and yellow and brown. The air is brisk and hurts a little when it enters my lungs because it’s so fresh and cool. Continue reading

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It’s Oh So Hot!

It’s getting to the point that Seattle doesn’t really know what to do with itself. Even the year-round shorts-and-t-shirt look isn’t working. Walking around in a bathing suit is hot, too. Scratch that. Walking around is hot, period. I can actually feel it getting warmer as I climb the stairs from the basement to the second floor; by the time I get to the top I’m sweating. I actually slept in the basement for a week or so earlier this month, instead of in my top floor bedroom.

We’ve tried staying inside, out of the sun, but it’s hardly any cooler. And air conditioning? What’s that? Continue reading

Walking My Way Through Vancouver

Granville Island

IMG_1707

First of all, it’s not actually an island. So it should be Granville Peninsula. If we are being geographically correct here.

Despite it being grounded, we took a water taxi across the bay/inlet/small body of water separating it from us. This was a neat experience, and easy way to get therefrom Yaletown in just a few minutes. Our captain – are you still a captain if you boat is less than twenty feet long? probably not– our driver was very nice and pointed out a few cool buildings to us*, and gave us a very useful map of the city. Continue reading

Emma Takes Vancouver, BC

Other than the occasional whiff of urine, Vancouver is a beautiful city in every way. The wrap-around coastline means it’s always just a short walk to the water. Despite being something like the third largest city on the west coast, Vancouver is compact: all of the big-name brand stores are within a few block radius, and then it’s right into the old part of the city (well I assume it’s the older part, because the roads were brick). You can walk everywhere. And if you want to get off your feet, you can hop on a bike and ride along one of the trails or bike lanes. Continue reading

Of Monsters and Men

Oh my goodness, everyone! I have so much to write about and not enought time to write it! Oh well… Summer’s almost here!

Today I wanted to make you all aware of the excitement that will be taking place on this Tuesday, June 9th! 

Drumroll please…. Of Monsters and Men are releasing their second album, Beneath the Skin!!!

For those of you who have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about, let me explain.

Back in 2011, some band from Iceland released their first album, My Head is an Animal. And some radio station in Seattle called the End started playing a song from it, called Little Talks. And then, some little girl told her dad to get her mom that album for Mother’s Day, because the mom really liked that song.

One sunny almost-summer day, the mom was playing the album on the house stereo, and the little girl, who was sitting on the backyard patio, caught these words: “the forest that once was green, was colored black by those killing machines…” And she was hooked.

I hadn’t ever heard such a good song that so gracefully told a story. I love mythology, and the song has something of a folklore feel to it that I was attracted to. It was also the first time I really got into listening to music.

For the next three months, I listened to that album every. Single. Day. I loved it. Correction: I do love it. That was the first album I completely memorized. When one song finished, I could begin the next before the song even started. I knew every word.
I still know almost the whole thing, but of course after a while I started listening to other artists and sort of forgot about OMAM for a little bit.

But now they are releasing a new album and it’s going to be AMAZING! So far, they’ve released four songs from it that I know of. I’ve linked them all below. My favorite is Empire.

The other excitement is that I’m going to see OMAM live this August! Yay! I was lucky enough to see them in December of 2013, but they were part of a nine-band concert, so the focus wasn’t so much on them. This time, though, it’s going to be all OMAM all the time. I can’t wait!

Enought about me, now… More about the music!

OMAM has a distinct style. They’re an indie/alternative band. Their songs range from pump-up sing-a-longs to calming, put-me-to-sleep melodies. They are very catchy (I find) and easy to sing to. Like I mentioned before, a lot of their songs tell stories. So once you listen to them a few times and start to really pay attention to the lyrics, you are rewarded with a beautifully told and sung story. A story which which is told in a way that leaves it up to interpretation, making the song a sort of personal experience.

If you’ve never heard their music, I strongly, strongly suggest you listen to their album (soon to be albums!), and basically fall in love with them like I did. If you have heard their songs, then don’t forget to get super pumped for Tuesday! And regardless of wether you’ve even heard of Of Monsters and Men or not, let me know what you think in the comments below!

Links to the latest releases:*

Crystals

Empire

Hunger 

I of the Storm

*As usual, I recommend you don’t watch the video when you listen to the song, at least at first, because associating something visual with the song right away can ruin your own understanding of it. These videos are all just lyric ones with people dancing, but just listen first. Then if you want to watch later.

Image credit: http://www.nbc.com/the-tonight-show/filters/guests/131726

Shadows

One sunny day we
Look at the ground,
Where our shadows
Lay, black and plain
And they say clearly,
Without any sound,
Can’t you see we
Are all the same?

I wrote this poem a couple years ago, in eighth grade. I was sorting through a bunch of my old school papers about a month and a half ago, when I stumbled across this written on a post-it note stuck in my writing journal from that year. Honestly, I’m pretty impressed with my eighth grade self. I had to look the poem up first to make sure I actually wrote it. (Don’t worry, I did.) 😉

What do think it means? Do you like it? Share in the comments down below, I love hearing your feedback!

-Emma

Life is too Short to Look at the Negatives

The other day my mom said to me, “Emma, I really appreciate your positivity.”

Six simple words that made my day. We don’t think about it too much, but we give a lot of worthless compliments. Ok, maybe not worthless, but definitely not lasting, and not meaningful. 

“I like your hair.” “Your shirt’s really cute.” “Nice backpack.” That’s all fine and good. The recipient will smile for a minute or two, on the high that comes from praise.

But what if we gave lasting compliments? If we actively tried to find something we like about a person? Not their appearance, but the actual person. You can change your appearance easily enough, but traits, or characteristics? Sort of difficult to switch up. And when compliments come from someone you respect, it’s just icing on the cake.

I don’t mean “actively” as in try to find something interesting about everyone you know and tell them, because we all know that the gift will lose it’s genuinity if it’s forced.

I mean the next time you notice something about a person that you like, just let them* know that you appreciate it. You won’t just make their day, you’ll make a positive impact on them, maybe for the rest of their life.

My mom gave me that compliment on Saturday, and I still remember it. I responded with the title of this post.

And she said, “If you take that to heart, it will bring you far.”

* I know it’s supposed to be he/she, not them or their, but that just doesn’t flow. Sorry to all the grammar obsessors who flinched when they read that.

Image credit: http://likesuccess.com/115868

I Need Some Writing Help!

Well, it’s actually revising help, but…

I have a very big essay due on Thursday. It’s a scientific research paper on a research question we got to choose. My prompt is Do ice baths heal sore muscles? I’ve written it and am into the final stages of revising, and I’m not really sure about some parts of it. I feel like it can be better. And you know when you’ve been working on a piece for a long time, and it gets really hard to look at the big picture? That’s what’s happened to me. Then, a few hours ago I had a brilliant thought:

Hey! I bet I know who could help me! All my WordPress friends! They all like to write, and they’re really good writers, maybe they would have some advice!

So here’s what I’m asking: Would you mind giving my paper a read and then giving me feedback in the comments section? Like I said, it’s a science research paper, but I’ve done my best to make it interesting, and it’s not a very difficult topic to understand.

Thanks a million! Continue reading

Food (f)or Thought: Official Introduction

Welcome, welcome, to my first annual weekly Food or Thought post!

In the past, my blog has had no structure whatsoever. But in attempt to make my blogging (and your reading) experience more organized, I am going to have days each week that I post on a specific topic. Previously I had not wanted to do this because I didn’t want to restrict myself to only talking about certain topics, but I think I have found the solution in only loosely categorizing these posts. For example: Food or Thought!

Ok, ok, Emma. That’s great, but what is Food or Thought? Other than an obvious attempt to play on words?

Aha! Glad you asked! Although food and thoughts seem like very different categories to some, I will promise you that for me, very often these are one and the same. Just ask my mom. Or my sister. Or my dad. Or my friends. I am a FOOD LOVER. Around two in the afternoon, I’ll be asking my mom what’s for dinner. I am blessed to have a mother who is also a  fantastic cook and baker. I love good food, and I eat a lot of it. Which could cause some weight gain issues when I stop playing soccer, but I don’t plan on ever stopping, so that’s ok.

I eat breakfast almost as soon as I get up in the morning. Yesterday I had cereal. About an hour after I ate, I walked into the kitchen just in time to see my mom putting blueberries on her cereal. To which I half shouted, “Uuuuuuuhhhh! I forgot about the blueberries!!” then put my arm on the counter and rested my forehead in my elbow, and probably made some whimpering noises.

My mom said that there would be enough left for tomorrow, but that didn’t make me feel any better, because I had planned on having them this morning and having something else for breakfast tomorrow. (See what I mean about food for thought? Do you know anyone else who plans their breakfasts?) Then my mom, trying to suppress a laugh, asked “Are you going to let this ruin your whole day?” In response I nodded, with my head still on my arm, and  said “uh-hu”. Then I smiled and also tried to suppress a laugh because I was being ridiculous.

We went to sit in the living room, and I sat in a chair staring out the window in frustrated silence. After a while, my mom said, while laughing, “I’m sorry, I don’t mean to laugh, it’s just, I’ve never met a single person who gets so upset over food.” I laughed at that too, but in that way you do when you’re trying to be very angry and not laugh at anything since you are not happy. But I couldn’t not laugh at that, because it was very true, and I was a little dramatic. I got over it quickly after that. And don’t worry: I had blueberries in my cereal today.

Anyway, story tangent aside, food does dominate a fair amount of my thoughts. Hence Food or Thought. On Mondays, I will post either on food– a recipe, favorite dish, restaurant, etc– OR on my thoughts, which, if you follow and read my blog, you know contain quite a range of ideas. OR, now that I think about it, the post may very likely be some sort of combination of food and thought.

Check in each Monday to satisfy your appetite!