Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Self prescribing myself a double dose of my medication was the best idea. I hate to say it, but meds work. I feel like I shouldn't support the idea of "synthetic happiness", but the times when I haven't taken my medication, I honestly feel sick. Its not an achy sick, like the flu or pneumonia, it feels like there is something wrong with me and that maybe if I just stay in bed I'll get better. Medications for depression work differently from one another, but the basic idea is that it works to balance certain chemicals produced in the brain. Depression is the unbalance of those chemicals, and I can feel it when the re-uptake is not blocked by my meds.
The thing about depression is that it doesn't get better. There are different treatments for it, but its so different for every person. To someone who doesn't know what it is, looks like, or feels like, depression might look like utter laziness. But to those of us who have felt it know that laziness is a simple feat compared to the constant battle of depression.
I don't know why I wrote this, I guess I just had to collect my thoughts and mention to the world that I do have my lazy times, but I am not a lazy person. I am clinically depressed, but with work, and medication I can function beautifully.

Monday, August 23, 2010

I wouldn't say it was oodles of fun, but I do love Cedar City

You know what, I did have fun. First week back in Cedar City was definitely busy and stressful, but I enjoyed it as well. First of all, it was getting here that nearly caused an aneurysm. I was pretty sore about it earlier, but after enjoying some Cedar City sunshine, my heart has been softened and I have forgiven. Plus, I honestly enjoy the bus. My wonderful roommate was eagerly waiting to greet me upon my arrival and after a quick tour of my new apartment, I felt at home (quick, for the apartment really isn't that big, but what we lack in space, we make up for in love)... (ooo, that was cheesy).
Starting bright and early Monday morning, it was back to the catering biz. After some groggy movements, and dragging my sluggish feet across the street to campus, I was greeted by old friends and old bow-ties. Monday's event meant rubbing elbows with the entire faculty and staff, so although it was rapid, it was also fun. I visited my cuz Scott at his job, then he came to the lunch and he visited me at mine. I love having him close and around, it brightens my days.
Oh! And Monday was my birthday. Not only do I not mind working on my birthday, I actually kind of like it. Working on my birthday isn't as pathetic as sitting alone at home, plus it gets me out and talking to people.
After work I ran, literally ran, back to my apartment where I met my wonderful uncle who brought down a van full of my crap. The only reason I hate moving so much, is that I realize how much stuff I have, its rather depressing. The few hours after work was really the only time I spent unpacking. Oh, and this was after putting a nail through my hand while moving a dresser (don't worry, its healing fabulously). Antibiotic was definitely purchased on the Wal-mart trip immediately following the move in.
In order to celebrate my birthday, an adorable young man took me out to dinner; Costa Vida, of course. After that lovely meal, I was reunited with this gorgeous lady I know. We partied, of course (I think we went to wal-mart, yes again). My wonderful roommate gifted me 3D sidewalk chalk pack, I may or may not have screamed when I saw it. To further the celebration, I made cupcakes for Mrs. Pamela, for it was her birthday the next day. They were good, if I do say so myself.
Tuesday came I went to one of my favorite places on the planet, the Service and Learning Center! I can't even explain the joy my heart absorbs when simply entering the premises. I do believe that the day entailed making service leader boxes, catching up with friends, eating and sharing the wonderful chocolate cupcakes with Pam. Oh, and Tuesday I did not have work, so obviously, I spent all day at the center. Tuesday night brought star gazing, but I was a bum so I went home early.
All day Wednesday was spent at the center, again, of course. Until three o'clock, when I went to work, again. I enjoy my job, quite thoroughly actually. Especially on this day, where we served a group of teachers, AT THE MOUNTAIN CENTER. The mountains here are gorgeous. After work, I dragged me and my sloshy black work shoes back to my apartment, where I basically went straight to bed, like an old person.
I had my alarm set for eight thirty AM, for I was supposed to be at work at nine AM. Fortunately, my boss has my cell number and called me at eight-oh-one and said "hey! are you almost to work?!" and I said "um, yes...?" so I hurried to work. When I was reunited with my boss, in front of the posted schedule I said "dude! I was right, I'm not scheduled until nine!" He checked the schedule for himself and said "hmm, well your event goes out at eight thirty, so can you start early?!" ... I gave him "a look" and said "well yeah, obviously." He got some major crap for scheduling me AFTER my event was scheduled to go out. It was simple enough though, and after running to and from the centrum to the service room multiple times, the event got out just in time.
After the breakfast event, I had to set and serve the fajita orientation lunch. After that, lunch for myself. Aside from the bosses, I was the only one crazy enough to agree to a full double shift, so I got to eat some delicious fajitas in the company of all the big boss guys, which was fun. This week was extremely difficult, but it also brought me closer to my job and the people involved.
After lunch, I was sent across the street to hand out popsicles to those moving in, and participating with the move-ins. Then there was some water coolers that needed picking up, new students to be fed and in the end I worked twelve and a half hours. Which I haven't done in a couple of years, but I just keep thinking about the paycheck.
Friday called for an early morning again. Its a good thing that I love the service center, just kidding, I had fun. We all participated in the freshman assembly, then went to meet them at the bell tower. Upon my arrival to the bell tower, I realized that the lunch wasn't quite set up, so I ran down and asked my boss man what I could do. I ended up working for about an hour, just out of the goodness of my heart, because we were so understaffed that day. One of my fellow employees found out that I wasn't actually working and said "wait! you're not getting paid for this?!" and I said "um no, I'm not scheduled today, they just needed my help" then my boss came out of nowhere and said "oh, I'll put you in for an hour, duh." I like my job, I feel appreciated... and needed too.
But then it was back to service and learning, AND a wonderful catered lunch with Pastry Pub vegetarian sandwiches! We had a wonderful and productive afternoon at the service center, highlighted by all you can eat pizza at The Pizza Factory. But then it was back to work until ten PM! Needless to say, I was quite exhausted upon returning to my apartment.
I slept like a rock that night, and that was a good thing, for I had to be at the center at seven o'clock in the morning! Who wakes up that early?! Seriously. Don't worry, I woke up at the more reasonable time of six forty. Then it was time for SUPER SERVICE SATURDAY!! Which, yes, it did start, for me, at seven AM, but it is also an amazing program. Something like seventeen hundred people participated in it this year. I was a leader for group number one, with Esteven. We had a good group, hard working, diligent, and only one person puked. Plus, we really did make a difference at the Family Support Center.
It was weird being done with my day around one PM, I kind of didn't know what to do with myself. Annieface and Tarbear helped me figure it out. We went shopping where I purchased a few necessities that I had failed to buy earlier in the week, due to my lack of free time and lack of cash. After being locked out of their house, weeding for a big, getting a tour of their new place, and taking an accidental nap on their couch, I returned home to take a real nap. Then partying commenced, after napping and showering, of course. But I called it an early night.
I was really not looking forward to my first nine o'clock church in almost three years, but it turned out not being too bad. We'll see if I'm still saying that when I get further into the semester and social life, but its good for now. Nine o'clock church is the best for mid-Sunday naps, which I took advantage of, of course.
My nap was rudely interrupted by my alarm telling me that it was time for work, yet again. I worked on a Sunday for the first time in my life. I'm okay with working on a Sunday once a year, especially when I got to hang out with the President of my university at the same time.
So. Good week? Yes. Productive, tiring, exhausting, and I can't wait for that paycheck. I do realize that this post, aside from being narcissistic, was long and boring, but I think a weekly update of my life is a good thing (if not for you than for me when I am senile and this is the only way to remember who I am and how I got that way).

Friday, August 13, 2010

Pictures Don't Always Say A Thousand Words

Jenni Larsen
English 1010
19 January 2010

"Hey Jenni, what's another word for nickers?"
"Jack, what the hell are you talking about?"
"Ya know, those little swoopy pants? Is there another word for them, something that is not so... cute?"
This was the main commentary of an average day in my high school honors creative writing class. The structure was lax, the population small, consisting of eight or nine sarcastic and mischievous, but also talented high school juniors and seniors. I don't recall how I ended up taking this class, before taking this class I was hardly interested in creating a thirty page short story in one semester, but then again, it wasn't until after the add/drop date had passed that we found out that we would be required to create the thirty pages for the class' final project.
As a young teenager I was encouraged to keep a journal, which always appealed to me, but I never really had much interest in. It was a pain to write down things that happened to me, and it felt tedious to basically transcribe meaningless events to an unknown audience. I was forced to keep a journal, or list of events, when I left the country for the first time. I was in eighth grade and a small school group was traveling to southern Mexico to study Spanish. I found myself dreading the allotted time set aside for studying and journal writing. I got out of turning in a journal, and instead put together a series of photographs I had made throughout the trip.
From the time I received my first little, pink, plastic Barbie camera for my sixth birthday, I have always had a camera. I moved in and out of passion for the hobby, from buying disposable cameras for the sole purpose of having photo shoots with my cats and siblings, to now attending professional photojournalism workshops. For a long time, I considered photography to be enough and writing completely lost its appeal.
Before my creative writing class, I had done some writing, but never to the extent that I completed in that class. My interest for writing was truly sparked when I took a class entitled "On The Road". We read and wrote travel essays and even took field trips, as well as a weekend trip, and wrote about them. It was a great way to expand my writing confidence. Writing about something as concrete and personal as an adventure came easily and joyfully to me. During this travel literature class we took a school trip to Moab and were required to turn in a personal narrative about something that we learned on our trip to Moab. For the first time in my life I was able to capture something with writing that I was not able to portray through my photography. Although I had my camera the whole time that the story took place, the emotion my writing was able to invoke was something that the photos from the trip could not.
After a trip to Turkey I took the travel literature class once again. I had just spent a month in Turkey, and yet my photography portfolio hadn't grown all that much. Throughout the trip I found myself trying to write things down, in order to remember the amazing experiences in the amazing culture. I found myself getting bored by even reading what I had written, and I became depressed about the trip. With most of the people in the travel literature class having gone on the trip, Turkey became an easy assignment base. We worked with sensory writing, trying to get the audience to feel, hear, taste, and smell what Turkey was like through our writing. Some of my favorite pieces that I have ever written came from those sensory exercises. I felt myself slipping back through time and across oceans and countries as I wrote about my experiences, using concrete emotions and details. I had the personal narrative area of writing down, but creative writing still made me nervous.
I have never been to Mars, but according to my most famous piece of writing, I have been. It started out as an apology note to my best friend, but then turned into a story I wrote and turned into my high school AP English class. The assignment was to write about someone who had influenced our lives, but in a creative way, whatever that meant. I had never been good at coming up with a story out of the blue, I had only taken events in my life and recreated them on paper. But this time, I exaggerated. No, my best friend and I didn't literally fly to the moon in a cardboard box, but my audience didn't need to know that. I took a simple summer evening and turned it into a piece of writing that I was proud of, and apparently it was even considered good enough to be published.
The camera is still my number one medium for sharing the stories of the world, but I have found that my own emotion can more effectively be portrayed through my writing. The stories I have experienced are more powerful and more confidently told by letting my thoughts and emotions tumble from my head onto the paper. I used to think that I had to choose a medium for storytelling, but I have come to a place in life where I know that I can have my camera in one hand and a pencil in the other.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Jump!!

It was that perfect moment where everything around me was cold, but I found a patch of sunlight streaming in through the curtains and was encompassed by the sliver of sunshine and suddenly felt warm. I felt like a rock, exposed to the cold but being bathed in the warm sunshine. I admired the foliage outside the window as I removed one of my pink socks, then the other. I hid my face in the gray carpet and dozed off. I started my catnap curled in a ball, but as the warmth slowly flowed through out my whole body, I uncoiled and lay on my stomach.
* * * * *
My warm bare feet stung as the evening dew and the tight green grass caressed my toes. I could feel how small I was, compared to my surroundings. My two brothers aren’t much older than I am, but they seemed to tower over me. However, they too were dwarfed in comparison as a truck pulled into our driveway. It had a big white cab; it reminded me of the head of a dragon. The trailer seemed to stretch to the end of the block. The truck was tall, but it seemed a more normal size as the driver unfolded himself from the driver’s seat and joined us on the grass.
The man seemed familiar to me, but was strange enough to keep my feet cemented to the ground. As he came closer I felt a jolt of excitement somewhere in my stomach. He came straight for us, as if he had done so before. I felt an expectation, as if I were supposed to receive something from this man, a feeling, but not something tangible. I started to study my feet. I dug my tiny toes into the cold, wet dirt and tangled them in with the grass.
The man was now standing directly in front of us. He coughed, not because he was sick, but more to clear his throat, or maybe to announce himself. I raised my head and admired his height, towering above me. He caught my gaze and smiled. It was a half smile, almost cold. He silently gathered us and started to herd us into the house. His long legs carried him straight to the front door, making it there first. He stood in the doorway, as if to make sure that we knew that he had won. I dragged my feet against the hard concrete porch steps and I trailed along behind my brothers. He seemed agitated as I finally made my way through the door and into the house.
After dinner, I remember running my fingers along the cold, white wall as I walked down the hallway toward the bedroom I shared with my brothers. I stopped, mid step, for a moment and listened back to the kitchen. I listened to my mom making quiet, emotionless small-talk with my father. My father had just returned from driving the truck across the country, and would be parking the truck in front of our house until he found somewhere else to stay. I continued down the hall until I reached my room and went in. My brothers were already getting ready for bed. I quietly closed the door behind me, the man’s voice made me nervous. I stood by the foot of my bed, struggling with the zipper of my pajamas, when I heard a small, timid knock on the door. The door slowly inched open and the man slid his head in, but waited for assurance before fully entering the room. He crossed the room, getting dangerously close to me, but shifted and sat on my bed at the last moment.
We finished getting dressed, then paused, and waited for him to do something. It was his move. He didn’t say anything, but stood up from the bed and moved across the room. We orbited him and moved in the opposite direction, back toward the bed. He stood next to the tall brown dresser; then fiddled with the big black stereo that sat on top. He removed a cassette tape from his shirt pocket. He looked down at it for a moment, tucked in his fingers, before placing it in the tape player. His fingers hovered over the play button, as if still deciding his next move. We watched on, staring with sudden intensity. Then, click, play.
The strong beats of the music that came out practically jump started my heart. The song was completely unfamiliar to me, but my adrenaline started pumping out of control nonetheless. It sounded like the song that would be played at the end of a movie, right as the hero is taking in all of his glory. The lyrics started, making the passion ever more intense. With every beat of the music everyone’s muscles seemed to loosen, as if it were vibrating the stress right out of our bodies. We started swaying to the music, my father closed his eyes, tilting his head back, snapped his fingers, silently playing the guitar and mouthing the lyrics. I checked my brothers’ faces to understand what I should do next. They seemed to be letting the music take over their bodies as well, like slowly letting your feet get sucked into the sand on the beach. I tilted my head back and felt the music rush over me, letting it take me into a trance.
I get up! And nothing gets me down!
You’ve got to roll with the punches to get to what’s real
Might as well jump JUMP!
Might as well jump
Go ahead, jump JUMP
Go ahead, jump
Jump! Jump! Jump! Jump!
Then it was over. I looked around me and took in the movements that had happened. The room was silent, aside from our panting and the static of blank tape player. We stood in thick, awkward silence for a few moments before the man reached across the room and pushed the rewind button. I fidgeted with my shirt while I waited for the whirling to subside. There was a click, then the strong beats of the song started all over again.
Within moments, I was flying. Being picked up by the song, flowing up and down with every beat. The music would fall, but my father’s arms would catch me. It was perfect chaos. I am encompassed by that sliver of happiness in such a cold situation. I grasped my face and felt the smile, I waited as it burst from my cheeks and exploded in laughter.
Might as well jump JUMP!
Might as well jump
Go ahead, jump JUMP
Go ahead, jump
Jump! Jump! Jump! Jump!
With every Jump! we tested ourselves to see how high we could fly. I felt like I was in a movie, being put in slow motion; my feet softly hitting the bed and propelling me quickly back into the air. I sunk down into my knees and gazed around the room and admired the rest of the smiles. I threw my arms around myself and hugged, controlling my rapid breathing.
* * * * *
I watched as the lit crack in the doorway slowly diminished, leaving me in the dark. I brought my knees to my chest, cuddled into the blankets and dug my face into my pillow. I gazed out from where I had huddled my face and looked out, into the stars. I sighed, smiled, and closed my eyes.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Cedar Noah Beecroft

Cedar Noah Beecroft is probably my favorite eight year old on the entire planet. He is, honestly, one of the best friends I have ever had.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Look what I can do!!!! ... kinda

Bonnie the Great taught me how to do it.
With a bit of background from Tony the Tiger.

video

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I have a physical itch to shoot more

What happened to Eureka?



Oh yeah. I got busy with summer and my partner in crime went traveling the world without me.

I just want to be in Cory Strange's 2D design class again, all the time. I should have failed it, for my own long term sanity.




Who's getting married? Engaged? I need some adorable, gross, couples to photograph. Or families, everyone has a family. Most photographers HATE shooting family portraits, say that its a necessary evil in order to shoot what they really want. But guess what, I kind of enjoy shooting portraits; there, I said it.



But mostly, I just need to leave this country. I have fifteen thousand sky miles that expire at the end of July. Someone help me figure out how to use them. By the time I leave the country in December, it will have been a year since I left the country last. This is painful. I hate money. I need to fix my camera and START SHOOTING.