31 March 2008


china town, los angeles

san francisco

I put up a bunch of pictures from my trip on my flickr. There's a lot more but I can't upload any more pictures. Apparently you're only allowed 200 photos when you have a free account. That is so dumb.

It has been kind of rough to be home. Luckily I've been busy enough doing other things that I've been distracted a little. I will admit, they really are all I can think about. I wish we all lived in one big house together.

I am so happy. Our plan for road trip no. 2 in June has already gotten even better. Evan sent me a myspace message today asking us if we (Anastasia, Nate & I) would go with them (the Parson Red Heads) to San Francisco after staying with them in L.A. They have a few shows starting on the 19th and he wants us to come along. That is going to be so much fun. It's wonderful having things to look forward to.

I'm getting really tired of working normal jobs. I really enjoy being a barista because I love making a good latte and drawing pretty pictures in it (see?) - but I've been doing this for so long. I'm getting tired. I've thought about being a nanny. Peggi's friend (and my friend too, I guess) has two little kids who are just so darling. Her son doesn't seem to take to very many people but he apparently really likes me. She was so happy when she was able to leave his side for 10 minutes and he didn't throw a fit. She wants me to babysit for her - so I'm wondering if maybe she might be able to hire me to take care of them a couple days a week or something. Also, my mom's best friend's daughter needs a nanny four days a week. Her baby is 4 months old and said she'd pay about $12-$15 an hour. I think I'd much rather do something like that, and have the freedom to go anywhere or do pretty much anything I want all day as long as I took the kids with me, of course. Plus I could work on design/illustration jobs (I just got another one today!) while I'm watching the kids. Easy!

I have to go finish my taxes, and then I'm taking a nap. I am so exhausted. I still haven't had a chance to recover from all of the driving and little amount of sleeping I did last week.

30 March 2008

june, please

a few more here.

I am home from my roadtrip to L.A. I want to go back so badly. I cried half of the way home today. I feel like I left a part of myself behind. :(

I wrote this in my sketch book Friday night:

1:43 am

I just got back to Grandma Redding's house after having coffee, ice cream & good talks with Anastasia and watching "Gone Baby, Gone" with Nate. I feel sick to my stomach knowing I have to drive home tomorrow. I love these friends so much. I don't want to leave them. They are so good for me.

I had a wonderful week. Staying in L.A. with Brette & Evan was so fun. We spent a lot of time walking, talking, enjoying the sunshine. There were times when I felt sad (it's hard to be the only single person in a group of happily married couples) but over all it was really great. I don't like L.A. as a city very much at all. It's dirty and in general the people there made me feel unwelcome. Anastasia and Nate felt the same way. However, I think I would easily be able to get over all of that if it meant I could be close to my friends. I haven't had friendships like this ever in my life. That's not to say that I've never had really wonderful friendships, because I have. But I have never had a group of friends that I felt that I was really a part of. I feel like these are the sort of friendships I've been searching for my entire life, but never could find. I feel so lucky and I don't ever want to lose this.

They make me feel like I'm great on every level - and they make each other feel great, too. Good feelings all around, all the time. It's such a rare and wonderful thing, I think. I know that constantly being submerged in a group of people like them would give my life richness that it has lacked for so long. Being around them makes me feel like a better me - and I love that. Anastasia will often turn to me and say, "I love you so much" or "You are so beautiful." She says all of the nice things that most people feel strange saying out loud - but she doesn't care. She is such a beautiful person (inside and out). She is so fun to be with. We laugh at all of the same things and almost too often say the exact same things at the same times. Her friendship makes me feel like I'm a valuable, important and special person. That's exactly what friendships and relationships should do. She told me that the first day we met, she felt like I was the missing piece to the puzzle in her life. It sounds so silly - but it was so sweet. She said she felt like she could look back on her childhood and see me in it - as if I had been there all along but she couldn't see me. I think she is my soul mate friend.

We (Anastasia, Nate & I) decided to leave Los Angeles on Wednesday afternoon because the Parson Red Heads were practicing that night and wouldn't be able to hang out with us anyway. So we said our teary goodbyes and drove to San Francisco to stay the night there. We got up early on Thursday and spent the day wandering around China Town, Russian Hill (had really good breakfast there) and Haight-Ashbury. I had not been to San Fran since my 18th Birthday. I love the architecture in that city. Anastasia and I wanted to live in just about every building we saw. We've been dreaming about moving there together ever since. We might do it in a year or so when she finishes up with school at SOU.

It will be hard to be without my friends (they feel like family) in Seattle. I often times feel all alone there. I love my home, I love my family, and I love the few friends that I do have there - but to be perfectly honest, I would leave it all to be with that group of people for a while. Plus, I must admit that I've thought about the fact that the type of people that they are only attracts more of those kinds of people - which means that maybe my chances of finding new love (someday - not yet) with a special boy would increase greatly. I don't think there is anyone in Seattle for me anymore. But regardless of that silly thought, I just know it would be so rewarding to spend even a small portion of my life with them. I am happy with them. They make my soul feel brighter.

In June, Anastasia has a week long break before starting summer school at SOU. We are planning on doing the same thing again only going for the entire week this time. Thom will be in L.A. by then (rather than Portland) which will make it even more fun (stopping to see him on my way home tomorrow - so excited!). We will also stay in SF for a couple of days on our way down. I can't wait.

I am living for June now.

Must sleep. Long drive ahead of me tomorrow.

18 March 2008

so soon

In two days I will be on my way South to see this lovely lady. I am so excited! The 8 hour long drive is going to feel like an eternity!

I stole that picture from her myspace. Isn't she pretty?

I just finished the last three colored frames for Xbox... Cross your fingers for me. I'd really like it if they stuck with me to finish the job. It feels so good to know that I don't have to worry about it or deadlines for a couple of weeks, though. That's for sure.

I really, really, really need to start working on my other projects. It is almost April and then almost May. I'm running out of time!

Ps. Does anybody ever double space after the end punctuation on a sentence anymore? I just remembered being taught that in my elementary school typing class. I never do that - but I did in this entry because I felt it would be silly not to after bringing it up. However, I went back to edit it, and it seems that my extra spaces were automatically edited out... Hmm.

13 March 2008


Today has been... well, I don't know what to say about it. It's been like a mini emotional roller coaster. It's had several ups and downs.

One "down" worth mentioning... I just got home and read an email regarding the Xbox project. Not completely bad news, but not the best. Although they seem to "love" my work, they want to explore other styles as options for the project. They are going to pay me about half of what they had originally told me, test out other artists, and then if they choose me after all, I will get paid the rest of the money.

I'm pretty bummed, but not crushed. I am just so grateful to have been given this opportunity in the first place. The biggest disappointment is that the money I was counting on earning from this would have been enough to get me moved out and have rent easily paid for for at least 4 to 5 months. So, if this does end up being the end of the road for me, then I'll have to find a better day job, which is not something I was planning on having to do at all. I really like where I'm working right now, too, and I don't want to find something else. Everything seemed so promising until this week. I don't know for sure yet though, anyway, so I'm not really worrying about it too much. The upside is, now I know for sure that I can go on my trip down to Ashland/Medford to see my family and then down to LA with Anastasia & Nate. Yesterday that wasn't looking so promising and I was pretty disappointed about that. I haven't seen her since Thanksgiving and I miss her so much.

One "up" (but also slightly a "down") worth mentioning... Christiana called me from Singapore today. There were problems with John's visa, and they aren't letting him leave the country for about another week. They've already been stuck there for three days and are staying at a hotel near the airport. I'm a little concerned and I wish I could help somehow, but there really is nothing I can do except hope that they get home to Jakarta safely. It made me so happy to hear her sweet little voice on the other end of the phone. John spoke to me for a little while and said that she had been begging him to let her call me all week. :) He said, "She's really taken to you, don't ask me why!" haha, thanks...

Then, when I got home I found a letter on the table in our entry way addressed to me. It was from Christiana - I'm a little curious as to why she didn't mention it on the phone. She mailed it to me the day that they left. I strategically saved it to read after the Xbox email because I was sort of expecting bad news, and I knew her letter would cheer me up. It was so cute and funny - how children's letters usually are. This is what she wrote:

For Aly :) best Penpal's

Dear Aly,

How are you doing today? What are you doing? I'm going to miss you when I go to Jacarta. :) But that's okay, because we are penpals. :) And penpals can always write letters to each other alot. What is your favorite color? I keep on thinking your favorite color is blue light blue. Can you send the silly pictures we took? thanks :). Have you wached wheel of Fortune before? If you have the chanel 04 that's great, because at 7:00PM it's on :D. It's about when pepol guess letters and try to solve the sentence.

Love, Chris

It's so weird to me how she mentioned that she feels like my favorite color is probably light blue. I've never really had a favorite color - kind of like how I've never had a favorite flower - but for some reason I have always associated that color with myself, and so have many other people I've known. I'm not sure why or if that means something - but I just thought it was interesting how she picked up on that.

I don't know if it seems strange to other people how much I care about her, and in a way it is a little odd to me how much she has grown to mean so much to me in a fairly short amount of time. But I don't know... I guess I just know, without a doubt, that this is an extremely important period in my life - and I guess the fact that she was brought into it during this time gives me the feeling that there's something big about this. There's just something in me that feels like she is a very important, special little girl who was put in a certain spot at a very specific time in order for the two of us to come together. I have always been a big believer that things happen for a reason. I guess I just feel this connection with her... Almost as if she could be my little sister, or something. It's so hard for me to explain but I just feel like, as weird as it sounds, I've been "called" to her, and vice versa. Like, I need her and she needs me. If that makes any sense...?


Here I am again at 1:00 AM, wide awake when I should be fast asleep. I shouldn't have taken that six hour nap today! My sleeping schedule is so messed up.

12 March 2008

dad's doppleganger

My Father, circa 1980 - Venice, Italy.

Caety found my dad's doppleganger and showed him to me on myspace today. They look so much alike, it's uncanny. My mom was especially weirded out by it. She said he looks more like my dad than his own sons do. I mean, seriously. It's extremely strange. I would put this guy's picture up so that you could see how bizarrely similar they look - but I think that would be weird.

I sent him a message to let him know that he has a twin 30 years his senior, simply because I find it to be so odd. He claimed I look exactly like his mom when she was in her 20s, too. I don't believe that because it would just be too strange. I told him to send me a picture to prove it.

Caety said we would make the perfect case study to see if it's true that we are attracted to people who are like our mothers or fathers. I can't imagine that being the case in a physical sense - because although I think my dad is very handsome, I don't think I could ever be attracted to someone who looks so much like him. There were a lot of qualities that Skye and him shared, which were things that I definitely would want a man to possess. So in that sense, I think it's absolutely true. But physically... no. That's just weird - and quite frankly perverse.

It's 12:30 in the morning. I think I somehow forget that 4:30 AM is not so far away from midnight, because I've been staying up way too late recently.


11 March 2008

I hope

My new home will hopefully look something like these pictures. This is what I have always wanted. A studio in a 1920s bricker with hardwood floors, high ceilings, bay windows, a clawfoot bath tub, a walk-in closet, tiled bathroom & kitchen floors, original cabinetry, etc. I check craigslist every day and search for a place on Capitol Hill for under $800 a month. I have found a few, some starting at $725 which is almost unheard of. I realize I'll have to sacrifice a lot of these things in order to find something I can realistically afford but... ugh.

My sister and I have considered moving out together as an alternative, which would probably be fine since she is my best friend and we get along so well. I do prefer to live alone, though. She doesn't simply because she knows she'll get lonely, whereas I'm good at being by myself - so I don't think I would. Financially it would make more sense. I've been able to find two bedroom apartments for around $1700 a month, so we would save a little more. We've thought about finding a spacious one bedroom and seeing if we could make that work, too. I don't know though... living on my own just sounds so appealing. This could be my only chance, considering I could be getting married within the next 5 years or something. Not that I have any prospects! I'm just saying - you never know.

I've been collecting my favorite photographs to print & frame. I've been looking online for pretty little things like mirrors, lamps, book shelves, dishes and bedding. I won't be able to afford the things I've found (of course), so some of them I'll have to make myself or find in thrift stores. I've already done some shopping and found a few good little things at Value Village and stuff. Like a little porcelain kitten and some vases for the fresh flowers that I've promised myself I will always have.

Does anybody know of any home decorating sites? Ones that might be similar to what Anthropologie carries? Just maybe a little less... "froofy"? I want to look for more inspiration for decorating ideas!

As soon as this Xbox project is finished and I get my check, my life is going to change so much. So exciting but also a little scary! I can't wait.

10 March 2008


It is a gloomy, rainy day in Seattle. I went to work this morning, and have been sitting here all day since then. I'm waiting to hear if I need to be doing something for the Xbox thing. No word yet.

I let my sister take my car (hers is broken) to school, so I am trapped in my house. I'm reading The Sartorialist and studying about Jakarta so that I can understand a little more about Christiana. I figure it will help when I write her letters. Honestly... It looks like a very depressing place - which makes me even more sad that she left today to go back there. No wonder she likes Seattle so much more.

I feel like making a little chiffon sun dress or something. Stella McCartney just inspired me.

Ugh. I want the sun to come out!

so lame

Paulo Melim Andersson is ruining Chloe.

07 March 2008

christiana & me

(The absolute worst photo booth I've ever seen!)

I had the most fun with Christiana today.

When I picked her up, she was so excited. John said he could barely keep her still all morning. Everywhere we went, she couldn't walk without skipping or hopping. We went to the Aquarium and saw some beautiful and fascinating things. We agreed that our favorite things were the sea otters and getting to touch the sea anemones and sea urchins. Watching the octopus be fed his lunch was pretty cool, too. I put up pictures on my flickr.

In the car on our way down town, she explained to me that her eyes always change colors. She said they are green when she's sleepy, red when she's mad (yikes), and hazel when she's really happy. I asked her what color she thought they were then, and she replied, "Oh, hazel! I think they just have to be hazel." So cute.

She told me all about Jakarta, her family (or what is left of it...) and about her friends and bits and pieces about her life. That little girl has been to more places in her short life than anybody I know. Tokyo, Hong Kong, Hawaii, numerous other places in the States, Jakarta (obviously) and she mentioned a couple of European countries, too, that she had a hard time pronouncing. She has had so many adventures - ones that most would probably assume were made up, but just knowing what kind of life she's had so far, I completely believe all of it. She has been swimming with dolphins and had a giraffe eat right out of the palm of her hand. She rides ponies as transportation at home and met an Orangutan one day with her dad on their way to a friend's house. She told me a lot about herself and what she likes to do. She told me about her grandma's puppies and how they're very competitive for her attention. She told me about her school and all of the field trips she got to go on while living here over the past 6 months (the theater, the ballet). Talking about school seemed to spark a sudden fascination with school buses because we kept count of how many we saw (23) all day.

After the aquarium we wandered around the piers for a while. We went into the arcade (so toursity) and played a few carnival type games, had our fortunes told by a fake woman in a box, had our pictures taken, and rode on the carousel. Then I told her to pick what we should get for lunch. She chose fish n' chips. Personally, after spending almost two hours in the aquarium, I thought that was an odd choice. I pointed that out to her, and she said, "I guess I'm just in a fishy mood!" We went to Ivar's and waited in line for way too long. She couldn't stand still and was jumping and dancing all around. One of the Ivar's employees, who, I swear to God was Larry David's twin (both in looks and personality) joined her in this dancing/hopping thing she was doing. It was so funny. Everybody was staring at them and I just couldn't stop laughing.

Our day ended way too quickly. We ran out of time and didn't get to do everything I had planned for her, which was a huge bummer. She and I tried to convince John to let us hang out again tomorrow, but we failed. He said she has too much packing to do. I made prints of a bunch of pictures that we took today and left them at our friend's bakery for John to pick up for Christiana tomorrow. I wrote her a letter and wrote little notes and memories on the backs of the photos. She said so many witty and cute things that I know she'll love to know about when she's older. I wish I'd had enough time to put them into a picture book for her.

She and I promised to be pen pals, which I am really excited about. She seemed a little worried though, because she said the mail man in Jakarta doesn't do a very good job. I told her I would still try and that I have her dad's email address so if the letters didn't get to her, then I could email her instead. I really hope the letters do make it there, though. I plan on sending her all sorts of fun things. John said they will probably try to visit once a year. I will so look forward to seeing them again.

Christiana is such a smart, funny and sweet girl. Her life has obviously been rich in experiences and culture, but it's so apparent that she's lacking love and family. She didn't mention her mother once. When John says her mom isn't in the picture - I don't know if that means she has had absolutely no contact with Christiana from the very beginning so that she doesn't even know she exists. Or, if their interaction is very sparse and therefore a sensitive subject. I know that John does the best he can... But it's got to be so hard. I mean, he's 62 and in terrible health. Their whole situation worries me.

I really wish I could've spent more time with her. It makes me so sad that they're leaving on Monday. She told me she doesn't really like Jakarta and that she would rather stay here, in Seattle - but then she said she knows her dad will be happier there. "He doesn't seem to like his family anymore, " she said. I wish I could keep her here with me. I mean, if I were ready to be a mother... I totally would. It was hard to say goodbye. I gave her a big hug. Part of me feels a little bit empty knowing she'll be gone so soon. That little girl really captured my heart...

Looonnng entry. I've been up since 4AM and have probably only slept about 6 hours over the past two days. I'm exhausted and I have to get up at 5AM tomorrow. It's time for me to go to bed!


I am still alive, but just barely. I have been so busy... I work every morning from 5:30-9:30, and then I come home to spend the rest of the day working on one of my many projects.

The Xbox project didn't wrap up when it was originally expected to - but I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by that. We had to start over from the beginning because they changed directions with it. I had to produce 11 frames for the new storyboards in one day. My legs ache from sitting down so much.

I'm up way too late - but this night has just been so chaotic and strange. I seem to be having a lot of days like this recently! I have not had one dull moment in my life for quite a while, it seems. Every day feels like it lasts forever - which may sound like a bad thing, but it's really not. However I suppose being awake at 4:30 and not going to bed until midnight would account for that feeling of days never ending. There's just so much to do and not enough time to finish it all!

I was reading over my blog from the first day I started it... It's really kind of amazing to me how much changing I've done in a matter of months. Really incredible, actually. I almost don't even know who that girl was. I remember her, but I don't know her anymore... A very strange feeling/realization.

My dreams have come true with the Christiana situation (a little refresher). Jen and I were out wandering around Kirkland yesterday and ran into John. He bought us coffee and confided in us about how concerned he is about his daughter. He said she really needs a woman in her life - so I took the opportunity to tell him how much I would love to try and be that person. So, although I think it is very hard for him, he's letting me take her out for a day. Tomorrow after work, I am picking her up at 10AM and we are going to do all sorts of fun things. I wanted to take her to the zoo originally, but it's going to be raining. Today was pretty nice out and sunny so I was expecting it to be the same tomorrow - but since it won't be, we're going to the aquarium instead. Then I'm going to take her to lunch, and to Pike Place. I just want to spoil her and make her feel super special for a day. I know John is worrying about it - he called me twice today to make sure I was absolutely certain I wanted to do this. I know he's just nervous because he probably never trusts anybody with his only child. But I reassured him that I have been taking care of kids since I was probably 6 years old and that I will not let her out of my sight. I am really looking forward to this!

So, on that note I better go get some rest! Tomorrow is a big day.