The Redesign

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“Don’t put too much pressure on this next post,” Jeremy wisely counseled last night after correctly reading my body language. Sometimes it is downright irksome that he can read my thoughts before they are corporeal or even conceived. To him, I’m not just an open book—I’m an open book with big print, Braille underneath, and pictures on the side.

I Don’t Hate This City.

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So… carting around four ridiculously over-packed suitcases, a backpack laden with more reading material than a small library, and a purse that could fit Bambi in it across the Orange Line of the Chicago trains was awful…Or it would have been if it wasn’t so gosh darn exciting. 

But I think that was the low of this Chicago experience so far. Everything else has been wonderful–from attending church in an old Elementary school that looks like P.S. 118 from “Hey Arnold,” to a Starbucks and Chipotle on every other corner, to all the secondhand smoke (I secretly like the smell…), I have to say Chicago rocks. I am feeling very optimistic about my summer and just hope that Jeremy falls for this city as quickly as I have.

The best part about this city though–unequivocally the people. This is not Brusque Manhattan or Too Laid Back L.A. People have a healthy sense of “rush” here, but they can also spare a moment to help a brother out. My favorite instance of Chicago Niceness:

Our first night out on the city, Jeremy and I decided to hit up a Thai Restaurant on Rush Street, because, you know, we basically take Thai with our oxygen. We left with leftover souvenirs, which Jeremy carried in his right hand, holding my hand with his left. 

As we walked home, we crossed a jovial-looking old black man in a suit (there are black people here!), and as he passed he addressed Jeremy and said, “Son! Son! Where did you get that thing hanging off you there?” Jeremy and I exchanged confused looks and looked. 

“This?” Jeremy asked, holding up the bag of Thai food. 

“No,” persisted the man, twinkling. “That other thing. Where can I get one?” 

We hunted for a string hanging off Jeremy’s coat, but we were thoroughly confused. Finally, I noticed the old man, amused by our confusion nod slightly at me. 

“Oh!” I said. I couldn’t help it. I squealed. “You mean me?!” I twinkled back.

 He nodded and said, “You make a lovely couple, I gotta get me one of those.” said the old man to Jeremy, moving on with a grin. 

Friends, it was just delightful to start this journey out with an unsolicited compliment from a stranger, and I promise there was nothing creepy about our new, never-to-be-seen-again friend. But it got me feeling the glow of this windy city. I think we will be just fine here. 
This is our little apartment. We’re used to “little” with our apartments, so we actually like it a lot.  

This is the beautiful view from our apartment. Which car is your favorite? 

Our generously-sized closet. When you only pack 1/6 of your wardrobe, you’d be surprised how much mess you don’t make.
This is us at the airport. For all you Instagrammers, you may have already seen these pictures. Mostly, I just need to know what you think of my “Chicago Hair,” because sometimes I worry that Ombre is too wild for me.  

I’m just mostly thrilled by the prospect of a $9 sundae. No really, these were magnificent. 

If you can see the chocolate in this picture, you win! Actually, if you can taste the chocolate in this picture, you win. Which means, I win. 

I’m a chocolate fan like the rest of them, but my hot chocolate was so rich (Literally steamed milk with four squares of Ghiradelli’s chocolate mixed in), I had to throw in the towel. Luckily my sweet-toothed sweetheart was up for the task. 

Mandatory Skyline Picture.

Because none of the other pictures really proved I am in Chicago. 
PS: I am feeling uncomfortable about having 69 followers. Will someone please be my 70th?


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How do you end your college career? Especially your college career as an English Teaching Major? And more importantly how do you punctuate the end of your English Teaching Major Undergrad Education?

  • I think predominantly, the last semester produced a sort of fizzle effect, a pathetic wheeze into the finish line that is best characterized “grammistically” (made it up, whatcha gonna do about it?) by a “…”
  • At times throughout my college career, and this semester especially there was a lot of indecision and uncertainty, which as we all know looks a lot like this “?” Unless it looks more like this “!?” or even this “!?” when you are having a panic attack about all the choices you have to make (Man, I could really use an interrobang right now).
  • Once I walked out of that last final this morning, all I really wanted to do was click my heels with a giant “!”
  • But even though I am immensely relieved, finally breathing again, proud of myself, enormously grateful for all the support, and tremendously excited for my future, I can’t help but pause and recognize that another one of life’s major milestones has come and gone. And the only real way to punctuate that moment of bittersweet solemnity with a note of resonant finality is one giant .”

I’m done. I’m done with college. 


SOL: Butterbeer Cupcakes

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I think I undergoing an advanced case of denial. I am perfectly aware of the two essays I have due this week, the humongous movie project due on Monday, in addition to the impending stress of travel during the busy time of the school semester. Yet, today, I found some time–three hours of non-existant time–to do some stress baking.

You know that I am genuinely stressed because stress-baking is something that I never do… It is a dead last resort to soothe my anxiety. In fact, at any given moment if you were to ask what stresses me out more, baking or homework, I would usually say baking.

But today… today, I baked. Because homework sounds worst of all. 
I made Butterbeer cupcakes, and to be perfectly honest, they are sincerely fantastic. Beyond amazing. And they turned out kinda beautiful too. 

Here’s the recipe, if you’re interested. I got it from Elly Steinmetz. She brought me these cupcakes on my wedding day.
Here’s to an all-nighter of doing the homework I did not do when I was baking.

Curiously Blank and Mysteriously Pristine

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My name is Sierra Robinson. And I haven’t purchased a new blank notebook in two days.
Sponsors, I have a problem. I am easily swayed by indie cover art and blank pages (none of this college-ruled nonsense). I purchase blank notebooks like cartons of cigarettes. Something about them speaks to me. Maybe it’s the un-cracked spine. Maybe it’s those seductively blank pages. Maybe it’s the pristine whiteness of potential.
Whatever it is, I’m obsessed.
This is my current collection of notebooks:

See what I do to them? 

Check on the spine on these puppies! They’ve been written in, pasted in, and beaten into submission so much that their spine starts to splinter like crazy. And this is just the college collection. I have a whole bureau drawer + a whole 3’ by 2’ container chalk full of them back home (even though I never really understood the phrase chalk full).
Apparently, I have a lot of thoughts. And a lot of time to write them down.
While some of my journals (namely the injured spine journals) are a raging success, others are less successful. 

Take this journal for instance:

I agonized for minutes about whether or not I should purchase it. I scanned the list of potential uses for this journal. I weighed the pros and cons of this journal and I decided that I simply had to have it. I decided it would be of great use to me, whatever it became.

And then.

I blew it.

I wrote down my New Years Resolutions on the first page.

And now all this book can contain is lists of New Years Resolution, and it has ended up a wasted collection of tree. 

This is why I am greatly perplexed about this newest addition to my collection:

This little treasure came all the way from Europe just to be with me. It is from the Belle and Boo Collection and I highly recommend it. 

But it vexes me because… right now, it has so much potential to become the next great American novel.

It could hold my deepest darkest collection of intelligent poetry.

It could contain the cure to Cancer!

But I’m terrified, petrified, immobilized because what if… what if… this British journal becomes another house of New Years Resolutions??

Friends, cast your votes: What should become of this perfect little notebook? 

And remember: Please notebook responsibly.

Starting Over Number 1

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        It has recently come alarmingly to my attention that I should have written in my blog more during 2010. Unbeknownst to me, a special someone was collecting my blog posts, gathering them up, and binding them in a special little book, so that I could feel the joy of being published. And I petered out in September. Not to diminish the extreme treasure this little book is to me, or to diminish the extreme treasure the giver of the book is to me—but it feels incomplete—just like all the other projects and goals that I was so excited about at the beginning of 2010.
        But let me explain something. I love new beginnings. I love a clean slate. I love the first of the month. I love blank notebooks that are ready to be filled with a gigantor list of all the things I want to do that day/week/month/year/instant. I love birthdays and holidays, because all of these times are “Starting Over” times for me—times that I can recommit to stop biting my fingernails (which have been growing strong since my birthday in early December, in case you were wondering), or to start working out, or to write in my blog more often.
            Yet, seeing as every day is not a “starting over point,” and seeing that I stopped “starting over” with my blog in September–this leads my to my newest New Years Resolution:  No more “starting over” landmarks. 
Every day is the first day. 
Tackle your goals as if it’s the first day of the year, and this is the year you finally decided to start using dental floss.  
Fill your notebooks with scribbles, and letters, and pictures, and thinkings so that at the end of the year, your book is full.

You lived your life. At least that’s what I’ll tell myself by the end of 2011. 
            I’m back, blogger friends, and it feels so nice. Happy Starting Over Day #1. See you on Starting Over Day # 2.