I'm Melissa. This is where I write things down and share new things. Sometimes I even post cute pictures of cats...
if you're looking for my portfolio,
it can be found here, or by clicking any of the links across the top of this page.
I just moved back to Ohio after living in the central valley of California for almost three years. People still mention that I'm all grown up and keep asking how being an adult is going, but I really don't know what they're referring to.
I'm officially a (self-proclaimed) curator -- OF GIFS. GIF CONNOISSEUR. Check it out. My GIF blog even made it to buzzfeed once.
ONE MORE CHECK OFF MY LIFELONG INTERNET TO-DO LIST.
Albums of note UPCOMING/2011/2010/2009
A list of albums from the year that had staying power. Not a top album list, because I haven't heard every album, so that just seems a bit silly to me -- the whole "of the year" thing... although I suppose in my own mind that's what they are...
a place where I keep things that are already memories and store things that are currently in my life that will inevitably become memories. Vague enough?
Vestiges of a Life Soon Forgotten
A photographic series devoted to images taken in and around my apartment where I lived for 3 years in college. I moved out for good in December 2009.
photobooth documentation of sketches i have done and/or found.
Monthly Self Portrait Series
This was a short-lived project that sometimes shows up without warning again on my feed, but definately cannot be considered an "on-going" thing.
My New California Life
What started as an essay series about my experiences living on the left coast turned into a general account of my life here -- through words, photos and other ephemera.
jef etters tips of the day
Jef Etters was a colleague of mine who gave me life tips on a daily basis via a telephone call from a rotary phone. I would then transcribe the tips and post them here for the benefit of all mankind. He didn't know what tumblr was (nor does he now), but he did want to share all his wisdom with the world. enjoy.
PLEASE NOTE: Jef did finally get free long-distance after 7pm EST and will occasionally call to give me tips to transcribe. Be on the look out, it'll change your life.
Funny and or poignant things I feel the need to share with the world via screen capture. This project carries on with the luck that the internet will continue to bring the lulz. I think the odds are in our favor.
I’m a girl with bruises on my legs at almost all times. I’m clumsy and I never really got the hang of being graceful [even after all that ballet]. All this isn’t to say that I don’t try to lead my life with grace and intention. […]
This seems like as good a time as any to admit that I’m nervous, a little overwhelmed but simultaneously humbled and urgently excited. I guess I’m really happy to be living my life, doing what I need to and really pursuing a huge dream. I want to use the phrase “living the dream” to describe my life and be shocked that I mean it 100% of the time. You can only surprise yourself when you want it bad enough, and boy do I want this. I can barely believe I’m holding it together so well, but I’m proud and I know I can do it because I believe I can. This isn’t some utopian dream either, this is something I’ve been working toward for most of my adult life and I can almost see it now. Now is the time, this is the season and I’m finally ready.
Don’t give up on what you love. Do what you want and LIVE YOUR LIFE.
People like to be demeaning. People like to make you feel small and inadequate. It’s easy. Think about it: flaws are easier for us as a society to discuss than assets. We have a broader vocabulary in the negative realm than the positive. Even the words we do maintain in the positive realm get twisted and turned into ironic-use-only vocab. Sarcasm has gotten the best of conversational English, and while often hilarious - it makes it difficult to compliment someone for their skills without sounding like a fan-girl or worse: like an insincere prick. The best news: if you know this is just how things roll, it’s actually easier to navigate the world of job-hunting, networking and avoid the all too common mid-twenties/early-thirties all-encompassing personal/professional breakdown. Okay, maybe it can’t help you avoid breakdown, but it can certainly make you realize it doesn’t have to be the end and you will survive to see better days.
The thing about these other people, these nay-sayers, they are not me. They are not you. This is an obvious statement. The real focus is: don’t take advice you don’t believe. Sure, there are experts out there who want you to listen to their every word. This doesn’t make any sense though. How can you follow the lead of something (or someone) you don’t believe in? If you want something bad enough and use that desire to work hard toward your goal, I really believe there’s no reason you won’t succeed in one way or another. This doesn’t mean you won’t get discouraged by the dismissive comments of others or your own negative thinking. Being your own motivator is probably the best place you can be in this scenario.
That being said, I’ve found that when someone tells me (or even remotely implies) that I cannot do something, I gain relentless drive to accomplish this thing that someone else has deemed impossible (sometimes regardless of my interest in the activity). As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to use this to my advantage. Less and less often do I find myself doing something merely because someone else unknowingly double-dog dared me to do it by saying I wouldn’t be able to successfully complete something. However, that’s where my problem still lies. I must learn to better say “no” both to myself in situations where I feel like I must rise to the challenge, and to others when I really just don’t have enough time to commit myself to another project.
Momentum. Yeah, it’s a buzzword. Whatever. I have a hard time with maintaining a steady workflow when I get to entrenched in a specific aspect of a project or idea. I get frustrated and somehow find comfort in that feeling. I get stuck when I’m doing too many projects for friends and family, when I’m not taking enough time to just sit and read, or when I just get too caught up in getting everything done right now. That’s why I have a 5 year plan, not a 5 minute plan. I’ve got to get to a point where I can get out of my own way.
Patience. I need more. My whole life I’ve gone through cycles of patience followed by fits of urgency. These cycles can generally be seen by examining the length of my hair in photographs from any given time in my life. I had very long hair until I was about to begin 2nd grade. I’m fairly certain this is the point in my life where the prove-them-wrong attitude began. We got my hair cut to just above my jawline, a nice little bob. Life was so much easier. It no longer took an hour to wash my hair. I had so much more time for all the business I had to attend to as a 7-year-old: organizing my cassette collection & re-naming my fish based on my favorite book at the moment.
The point of this “hair as metaphor for patience” story is that my hair is currently the longest it’s been since I graduated high school over 6 years ago. I keep contemplating cutting it off. That’s a signal that I’m almost ready for a manic/urgent stage. Terrifying. I don’t want to be in that state of mind. It’s stressful. I like having long hair, but it really does take a lot of time. What could I be doing in that additional half-hour a day? Maybe that’s the half-hour I would spend belittling others, and maybe it’s best I keep myself occupied during that time. I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. That’s why (at least for today) I’m keeping my long hair.
Steve Jobs (via soupsoup)
This man revolutionized my line of work before I even started in the field, and I take it for granted all the time. His innovation will live on forever. This advice is something I plan to keep close at hand; it’s the truth and some of the most inspiring words I’ve heard.
[jef etters tips of the day: FIRST TIP OF THE SECOND EDITION #049. as recorded by m. olson]
YOU GUYS. Jef has agreed to start giving advice via my blog that he’s barely seen again! He has agreed to the following, in his own words: “I was thinking I could write them individually on scraps of paper, scan those in, print them out, mail them to you, then you could type them in.”
YOU ARE SO EXCITED, AREN’T YOU?
[jef etters tips of the day: NEW YEARS EDITION #048. as recorded by m. olson]
[jef etters tips of the day #047. as recorded by m. olson]
[jef etters tips of the day #046. as recorded by m. olson]