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Check out this amazing article called “When Did I Become My Mother?” written by one of my best friends!

Can Google read my mind?

Last night Paul and I were watching Hostel 2, on the SciFi Channel. When the movie was over, Paul was saying how it had given him a weird feeling because there probably really are “thrill kill” places like that in the world. As usual, I decided to do a quick google search to find out. I begin typing “do places” in the search bar, and automatically google suggested “do places like hostel exist?” as my search. WOAH… does google really know me so well that it can predict what I’m searching for before I type it? I mean, how many searches begin with “do places” that would have nothing to do with the movie Hostel? This really threw me for a loop. After all, I know that google is tracking everything I search for, but I never imagined that my search history was enough insight into my thoughts that google would be able to start reading my mind!

In all honestly, this was probably just a weird coincidence and if any of you try typing “do places” into the google search bar, the same suggestion will pop up. But it definitely made me think about how much of myself I share with google.

A Grad School Project

This is a group project from my Producing class last quarter… kind of dark, I know.  The concept wasn’t my idea.  I’m the girl that’s tied up, blindfolded, and about to be murdered.

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Hello blogosphere. It’s been awhile.

I’ve been thinking about this site lately and how I completely abandoned it. As much as I’d love to start writing again, I’m not sure if I have the time.

I’ve also been thinking about getting back into photography. I could use this blog to post some of the pictures that I take.

Anyway, I thought I’d stop by and say hello. Hopefully I’ll be back soon. We’ll see how it goes.

~Jess

Clare, Michigan

This weekend, my Chicago suburban boyfriend will get his first taste of the small (pop. 3100) central Michigan hick town where I was born and raised.

Even though I never plan on ever living in Clare again, I’m a big fan of my quaint hometown. Not a lot has changed in past twenty years other than the coming and going of a few downtown shops and the renaming of the “Dairy Phil” to “Ice Cream Parlor.”

The three most loved and well-known businesses in Clare are the Doherty Hotel, the Ideal Theatre, and the Whitehouse Restaurant. If you’ve ever been to Clare, you most definitely know about these staples of Clare culture.

The Doherty Hotel is a family-owned place that has the absolute best St. Patrick’s Day celebrations anywhere… and if you’re around a little before the holiday weekend, you can always stop in for “St. Practice Day.” It’s a hopping place in September as well, as the the whole town gathers for “Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day” celebrations. Clare is an Irish town… and the locals will use any excuse to drink.

The Ideal Theatre has been around forever. It’s located downtown (right across from the Doherty) and hasn’t changed much in the nearly eighty years that it has been open. Although, admission has gone up a few times over the years, and a ticket is now the oh-so-high price of $4. The theatre only plays one movie at a time, but they are always fairly new. From the outside, the place looks like it is straight out of a 50’s movie.

And then there’s the Whitehouse…. a favorite place of almost every Clare local I know. It is the smallest restaurant I’ve ever been into with only 6 or 7 booths total. They used to try to have a non-smoking section, but that was a failure since the entire place is probably only 300 square feet. They are open 24/7/365 and the best time to go is around 2:00am after the local bar is closed and you get the cream of the crop coming in for a greasy burger or custom omelet.

I’m not going to lie, I’m quite proud of my little town. There really isn’t any other place quite like it and I’m excited for the opportunity to introduce my boyfriend to the wonders of all Clare has to offer.

P.S….



Jess who?

Yea, I know it has been well over a month since I’ve last been heard from. But I’m alive and well. Life has been happening at full speed. You know the drill… work, school, boyfriend, family, holidays, friends, clubs, repeat. I’m on a intramural volleyball team this spring and we have our first game tonight. I’m also going to my first Cubs game tonight with Paul. We were supposed to go to the game on Sunday, but it got rained out.

Work has been on and off nuts. I was here mostly by myself for several days a couple of weeks ago and I was running around like mad. Last week I was ill and didn’t do much other than work and sleep. This week has been better. Calmer at work, I’m healthy, and the weather is getting better. Chicago will be blessed with 80-degree weather this weekend and I am PUMPED.

But as you can see, I don’t have a whole lot to write about. I haven’t felt much like storytelling lately, hence the lack of amusing posts about the random happenings of my day-to-day life.

So I’ll be around, here and there. Maybe I will suddenly get inspired and come back with a bang. We’ll see.

I hope you all are well and enjoying the spring!

<3 Jess

Well…

One 15-page final paper down…

One 25-page final paper to go!

And I just got back from my first-ever business trip!

I have another one in a week and a half.

I’ll be back to my blog near the end of March… when things settle down a bit.

Miss you all.

<3 Jess

Monday Memories

So once upon a time I did a few Monday Memories post for your reading pleasure. It’s been awhile since I’ve done one… heck, it’s been awhile since I’ve written period. So today I am going to bring back my long lost Monday theme.

When I was 16 years old, I decided that I wanted to study abroad. I ordered all the brochures from the various programs and spent hours picturing what my semester abroad would be like in each country. The place I really wanted to go was Australia, but I didn’t think it would work out since their school year is on a very different schedule than ours. (Blame that on the opposite seasons.) It wasn’t until after I had sort of settled on going to the Netherlands (because the guide claimed you could learn Dutch in only 3 months!) I learned about Education Queensland International. It was a government program that allowed American students to study in Queensland for 5 months without delaying their graduation back in the U.S.

My parents weren’t thrilled with the idea of me leaving the country for half of a year, but my sister had spent a year at a boarding school in India, so they really couldn’t say no. They gave me an ultimatum: a car or studying abroad. Knowing that I had my whole life to get a car, I chose studying abroad and quickly sent off my application to the program. I got accepted, was given a host family that I would be living with, and had my plane ticket… I was leaving on January 19th, 2003.

I don’t remember exactly why, but the night before I left I got grounded and had to cancel whatever plans I had made with all of my friends. Instead, my mom allowed for them each to come over and say goodbye for about twenty minutes. There were a lot of tears and I remember questioning my decision to even go in the first place… how could I live without my friends? They were my LIFE. So I thought.

The next morning I headed off to the airport with my parents and three friends who wanted to go along. I was 16 years old and about to head off to a continent for six months where I did not know a single person. I was scared to death, but so excited for the adventure that I couldn’t stop grinning. I hugged my family and friends one last time and then walked away to the next six months of my life. I had four flights that added up to about 30 hours before I would get there. I remember being miserable on the flight from LA to Sydney. It was fourteen hours and cramped. I tried to sleep the time away. But when we landed, I coudln’t believe it. I was in Australia!

I had one more short flight to Cairns, the city where I would be living and going to school. The flight was only an hour, but I was so nervous. I had been traveling for almost 30 hours without a shower or a chance to change out of my winter clothes. When we landed, I stepped off the plane into a gust of hot, tropical air. I began sweating immediately. A few minutes later, I walked through the airport doors to find a huge group of people standing there with a sign saying “G’Day Jessica!” I can’t describe to you how overwhelming these 15 minutes of my life were. I felt disgusting and in dire need of a shower, and I was meeting a crowd of people for the first time in my life. To make things even more nerve-racking, my host mother had brought her nephew and his friend along, who were only a year older than me and very attractive. Hot Australian boys were seeing me looking like this? I wanted nothing more than to hide my face from everyone… but I had to resist, smile, and act a lot more peppy than I was actually feeling.

A couple hours later, I had showered, changed, and started unpacking my new room. I felt a million times better and was ready to dive right into my adventure. I was in Australia, and I was going to be just fine. In fact, better than fine…. and I was. The six months I spent in Australia changed my life.

(Oh, and I definately ended up dating one of the cute Australian boys from the airport.)

23 years of Jess

Today is my birthday. I’m 23. It really hasn’t soaked in yet and I have a hard time believing that it’s been a year since I turned 22… and two years since I turned 21… and five years since I turned 18! It seems like it has gone so fast, but at the same time, I know I’ve done a lot, seen a lot, and changed a lot.

Five years ago today… I was still in high school. My senior year. My friends were awesome and brought me flowers, balloons, and presents to my first class. I remember walking around the hallways of my high school thinking about how much my life was going to change in the next year. I was going to go to Europe for the first time that summer… then start my freshman year of college in the fall. I was going to be living two hours away from home, in a dorm… with a stranger. Life was going to be so sweet.

Four years ago today… was the worst birthday of my life. I spent most of the day in class. Since I had just started working at a new restaurant, I had to spend the rest of the evening at my training. Two of the girls I worked with took me through the drive through of Steak ‘N Shake afterward and bought me a milkshake. That was nice. But the reason that the day really sucked was because my roommate wasn’t talking to me for whatever reason and didn’t say Happy Birthday to me all day, even though she slept a couple feet away from me. Ouch.

Three years ago today… I was in Italy. After having a wonderful birthday dinner with my roommates (in Rome) the night before, I took off for Venice at about 5am with two of my favorite people. I spent my birthday walking around the narrow pathways and across the little bridges that make up Venice. We went out to dinner at a cute restaurant where we met a boy who ended up paying for our whole dinner + about four bottles of wine. I know that we went bar hopping after that, but its a bit of a blur. =)

Two years ago today… I turned 21. I was lucky enough to have my 21st fall on a Saturday, which meant that I could go out Friday night (at midnight) and on Saturday night. Friday night my roommates and I had a “blow-up friends” party (don’t ask) at the apartment until midnight, and then made our way to the local bar. The next day (my actual birthday) I drove down to Michigan State University. My parents met me there and took me out to dinner. After that, I went bar hopping with my best friends from high school… it was fun, that’s all I remember.

One year ago today… I went camping on the beach with my cousins. I had just moved to Santa Barbara a month before and didn’t know a lot of people yet… and it was the first birthday in my life that I was able to a.) sleep outside and b.) be with my Cali cousins that I usually only see during the summers. On the actual day of my birthday, I woke up to singing, cake, and sunshine. We walked down the beach as far as we could go, crawled into beach caves, and made sandcastles. That evening, a new friend of mine took me on a motorcycle ride through the mountains, which was awesome. I ended the day going to Pirate Night at a local gay bar… ha.

Today… I took the day off work. I’m going to go shopping for a little while and then to the Chicago Auto Show. Beyond that, the day is wide open. =)