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.
The company I’ve the privilege of working with does an annual company photo and this year the responsibility of doing the bulk of the organizing and planning has fallen on me. This in no way is something I am going to complain about. It’s really exciting and actually makes my day go by really quickly. You’d be surprised how much research can be done about cost effectiveness of buying digital photo prints in bulk.
A few days ago was the first visit to a location for the shoot which was found as the result of several days of scouting. Where was this location, you wonder? Perhaps a fancy hotel lobby? A grand staircase in a historical building in old downtown? An elaborate foyer of a beautifully restored estate? No. None of those. It was a high school a few blocks from the office.
I didn’t really think much of it, having been a high school senior a mere five years ago. I’d been to high schools, understood how they work: the bells, the common areas, the parking lots. I never imagined that I’d feel more like I was on a movie set than on an actual high school campus. Have you seen Grease? Pay It Forward? She’s All That? Clueless? HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL? The scenes where they sit outside and eat their lunch, walk between classes in the sunshine, use their locker in the great outdoors, or WALK ON THE QUAD?? What kind of high school has a quad?? Apparently every high school in California does.
Where I grew up, high school took place indoors. You know why? The sun is only out an average of around 60 days per year where I grew up. [Compared to the average of 267 days here in Fresno.] Most days at my high school consisted of “perilous weather” — i.e. hail, damaging winds, snow, freezing rain, thunder storms, tornadoes, blizzards, sleet, black ice, [way] below freezing temperatures. Most days at my high school were not days when you would want to be outside.
[This would be a good time to mention that it has been overcast a total of 1 morning since I moved here. ONE. There was only one morning out of the 2 months that I have been driving to work where sunglasses weren’t imperative to my safe arrival at my place of employment.]
Come to think of it, it was the bookend days right at the beginning and end of the school year that were really the days you wanted to be outside. That good weather spent indoors always added to the pain of high school — making the first few weeks a bigger drag and the last weeks seem to last forever.
Every time I had a moment to stop and realize where I was spending my Tuesday morning, I felt like I was on a movie set. This was nothing like a place that would bring back memories of high school for a person like me. This building didn’t resemble anything that matched the concept within my memory, save for a few stills gathered from [sometimes] repetitive watching of the aforementioned films, false memories if you will.
I can only wonder if people who have only ever known California high schools as their basis for the concept would feel like they were on the set of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off or The Breakfast Club when they visited my high school? Maybe that’s why I liked those movies better than the ones set at California style high schools? Maybe it’s because they were better films?
I don’t know that I feel “different,” really. It might just be the wrong word with the right idea. I would feel different even if I hadn’t just moved across the country. I graduated in May and started a new job utilizing the degree I earned. I moved into a house with an amazing man. Not only do I feel “different,” but things are different.
Things are not remotely close to what I imagined they would look like when I tried to imagine life after graduation in August 2009… I knew I wanted to move away, but so many things were up in the air, so many fears and so much possibility were mine to wade through and come to resolution. Here I am. I found something worth pursuing and I have. I’m making it happen and even enjoying it. It’s ridiculous, you know? My whole life, growing up I mean, saying I wanted to have a job where I could go and enjoy what I do. Sometimes it might be stressful or seem silly, but that’s part of it and it’s still something I can appreciate.
What’s more is that I had given up on finding a partner who would be understanding of me, accepting of who I really am and just genuinely enjoy my company. Just when I lost hope in that kind of companionship, the potential between Daniel and I started to become a reality and everything changed. I’d concluded that part of becoming an adult was coming to terms with having to settle: in love, relationships and career choices. I’ve concluded that this is a lie. Not only have I discovered that you don’t have to settle when you’re young — you don’t have to settle ever. I don’t plan to, either.
Now, that might sound crazy, maybe like I’m avoiding responsibility or I’ve got a peter pan complex. The thing is, I keep meeting more and more people who are of this mentality and they’re of all ages, from all walks of life and the entire spectrum of belief systems and backgrounds.
If you decide you are bored with what you’re doing, change it. If you can’t change all of it, change part of it. Sell your furniture, start painting, ride your bike to work… Work your way up to the big changes: the moves to new cities, the career shifts, the becoming a “no car family,” the becoming a family, starting your first film, flying out to meet them, traveling, finishing your novel, etc…
So, in answering your question: I feel that I am shaping the place, not a girl being shaped by California. Really, it’s not even about the place… it’s about my life and what I choose to do with it. It’s about the friendships I make, the people I interact with and the things I try to help make happen. There are a lot of places I could make my home, and a lot of places where I probably at some point will. They’re all just places though. The location may change, but home is something I take with me. In that way, every place and every person shapes me in a way… just not in a way that is dictating the outcome of my life.
Don’t get me wrong, the sun is definitely doing it’s part to darken my skin and make me remember the way I used to get freckles as a child… but, I’m pretty sure that’s not the kind of “shaping” you were referring to.
A lot of people look at this part of their life as a sort of punctuation that they will live out for the duration. That seems unbearably boring to me. I’m not ready to say “this is where I will live,” or “this is what I will do,” yet. I don’t know if I ever will be. Things can always change, and hopefully they do. I love the prospect of living in new places every so often, and getting the chance to meet new people… I’m not done growing up yet. I don’t ever want to be.
Novella is good. [In case you don’t know: she is my cat, and by extension, now Daniel’s.] She runs around in circles through the house a lot, which is something she didn’t get to do a lot in our old living situation, as we lived in one room in the basement of my parent’s house in Ohio. She gets really mad when I have to leave for work at 8am, especially since Daniel leaves about 4 hours prior to that and she knows her day is going to be pretty boring without anyone to jump all over. [She’s your classic “party cat”.] Her adjustment to the climate isn’t going as fast as I’d hoped: she’s been shedding since we got here. She is used to it being about 40 degrees [the air conditioning in my parents house would always sink to the basement; she loved it] and now it’s about 80 inside our house. She takes more naps; I envy her.
I’m not sure if she and Dave would get along. I’ve never seen her around dogs. It took her about 6 months to warm up to my brothers cat, and they got along pretty well for awhile there before we moved. If Dave was nice to her, she’d probably hiss at him for a few days and then get bored when he just looked at her inquisitively; then friendship would commence. We could test this out if you were to say, I don’t know, drive to California with Dave as your co-pilot.
I don’t know how soon road-tripping through Missouri will happen, sadly. My car is much like a runt mule after an over-packed trip through the grand canyon: tired. Afterall, it did carry all my stuff, my dad, my cat and I across this great [read: immensely large] country. It has an appointment with the mechanic next Monday, and hopefully the surgery will be successful. What I’m trying to say is: it’s more likely Daniel and I will be biking to visit you than driving at this rate. Someday, though, we shall have delicious tropical-themed beverages and enjoy the Daria DVD extras together. Promise. F’reals.
I have a few topics to write about discussing my new california life, but I wanted to see if any of you had any specific questions about my life here, my trip out here, the current state of my cat, my new job, etc… please feel free.
otherwise: installment 2 is on the way this evening. GET READY.
Needless to say, I’m very excited this is going to be my workplace for the foreseeable future. Tomorrow I take in my desk trinkets. Should be some conversation starters in there…
I’m thinking of writing a weekly essay about something I experience in my new home of California. Having grown up in Ohio, this state has a reputation [albeit a wildly exaggerated and mostly glamorized reputation] and I’m already expereincing things that are pretty different from what I would have expected in my homes of yesteryear. Anyway, the reason I’m even saying these things is to see if there would be any interest in these short essays and if I should even pursue them… Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be writing these anyway… But if all [read: a few] of you are interested in reading them as well, I’d be happy to share.
So my proposition is simple: I’ve moved to California’s central valley all the way from the hometown of Devo, Luigi’s Pizza, Chrissie Hinde, Swenson’s, and some basketball player — oh, what’s his name…. and I’m planning to record my experiences here. Now, would you like to read these overwhelmingly earth shattering accounts of real life, Tumblr?