Wednesday, November 30, 2011

the road goes ever on and on...

My very first post on this blog told a grand number of zero readers why my blog was called such a contradictory thing as Unoriginal Originality.  I've gone back and read that post (does anyone else read their past writings when they're bored or procrastinating?) and you know what I think?  I think it's cute.  Not in a bad or belittling way, of course.  But it was a first step--a plunge into something I didn't even know the vastness of.  It was a beginning, and like many beginnings, we may not know where we're headed at first, not until we have actually walked some of the road.

So here I am, on UO's one year anniversary--365 days down that road.  It makes me ask myself, Where am I headed?

There are so many darling and wonderful blogs out there, but what do I want for mine?  When I thought about it, I realized there were three things that I could make UO's focus.

-my life
-my photos
-my thoughts

And I came to the realization that in all honesty, I want this little mode of expression to be primarily for the latter--my thoughts.  Certainly it has my life mixed in; I can't separate myself from reality.  But I don't want it to look like my journal did up until I was eleven or twelve: This is what I did today...

No, I wanted it to be my thoughts on life.  I can tell anyone about my day, but it is in writing that I most often express my emotions and dreams.  Likewise, you have seen and will continue to see much of my growing photography, and I wouldn't have it any other way.  Entering this world of blogging has inspired me to progress in my photography more than any one thing has.  But I don't want photos to take the place of words.  I want them to compliment my thoughts, to illustrate my imagination.

Ever since I came to that conclusion about what I wanted the focus of my blog to be, I've tried to keep that in mind, whenever I write.  I have a journal to dump about the deep dark dealings of my brain; I have an alternate reality to relive the high and flying colors of my heart.  I want UO to be the best of both.  Not so you think I'm perfect--I'm not, and I don't like anyone who pretends to be--but because it is a place to focus on the positive, rather than needlessly reiterating the nitty gritty details that in the end aren't worth it.  It's a place to gather inspiration.

Yes, by that, I mean inspiration from each and every one of you lovely people who are reading this.  I love you.  You've made this journey worth it.

Also, you all are pretty good at age-guessing.  I think I've kept you hanging long enough, so I'll tell you.  Most of you guessed that I recently turned somewhere between 15 and 17, though the extremes were 14 and 28 (both from people I know personally, obviously--one being my sister).  Well, I'm seventeen.  So now you know.

So here I am.  On this grand adventure and loving it.  One year down this path and the road goes ever on and on (okay, Lord of the Rings reference, anyone?).

It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside to know that you all are along for the ride.


Friday, November 25, 2011


It's a day later, when most of us are probably recovering from stuffing ourselves with all of the incredible food that makes its way to our tables during this time of the year.  It's all worth it though; Thanksgiving dinner is honestly one of my favorite meals of the whole year.

I got to sleep in--hardcore, till 1pm--yesterday, which was absolutely wonderful.  The rest of the afternoon was busy but relaxing as preparations took place.  My family usually celebrates Thanksgiving with my dad's side of the family, and if not with them, we go to my mom's side.  But this year none of our relatives had a big Thanksgiving celebration--and though at first I was afraid this would jeopardize all the good-food-eating plans I had, it ended up being really nice.  We just had my adopted "aunt" and "uncle" (friends of the family) over for dinner and dessert.

One word: yum.

And after that, I went and met a few friends at the mall to do "black Friday shopping"--which incidentally didn't start (because many places hadn't opened yet) until we were about to leave.  But it was fun all the same.

I have so so so many things to be thankful for.  I take half of them for granted, I know--but recently I was challenged by this question:  "What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?"  Puts a new perspective on things, hmm?  Well here's a list of things I am grateful for, from a to z. Trust me, there's lots more besides.

Finding Joy | The ABC's of Thanks

Linking up my abc's of thanks.  God is good.

So, happy Thanksgiving, a day late. :)
How was your day, friends?
What are you feeling thankful for?

Monday, November 21, 2011

the anniversary of the day of my birth

Technically I wasn't born until 9:30 at night, so I never get the satisfaction of actually knowing that I'm older until then.  When I was little and staying up until 9:30pm was a big deal, I would beg to be allowed to stay awake until that time.  Or else I would just whisper it softly to Cassie in bed and celebrate the next morning.

Nonetheless, it is my birthday.  Actually, for it being a Monday and all, I had a pretty sweet day.  It was a rather relaxing and enjoyable English class, I had lunch with a friend, and I'm now awaiting a glorious meal and dessert with my fivesome.  Plus, last weekend was glorious--a dance with some dear friends and a sleepover afterwards.

photo credits to...Ruthie's dad. ;p
Today I'm also joining Abigail at Rear Window's blog party, so you'll get to hear a bit about yours truly.  So...hello.  :)  I'm Jenn.  The loves of my life include Broadway musicals, paper (stationery and notebooks, mostly), laughter, a story well-told, the smell of a just-extinguished candle, taking photographs, correct grammar, and Jesus.

Also--I've never mentioned my age on my blog.  And now that it's my birthday and it is actually worth mentioning, I'm rather curious to see how old you all think I am.  If you've been around for any amount of time I'm sure you have a guess since I've dropped hints now and again.  But seriously, leave me a comment and take a guess?

What is the nerdiest/geekiest/weirdest thing about you?
I'm a self-proclaimed Lord of the Rings nerd.  What can I say?  I know way to many random facts about that trilogy (and am incredibly excited for next year's release of The Hobbit!).  Oh, and I can probably quote and sing my way through The Lion King.

If you could live in a fictional universe from any book, movie, or television show, what would it be?
Now, I could state the extremely obvious and say Narnia here because duh, who doesn't want to go to Narnia?  But in the attempt to be more original, I would love to enter the world of the play Wicked--technically Oz, only so much more wonderful.  Plus, I'd love to visit the (nonfictional) 40s and 50s.

because let's face it--I want to wear dresses like this.  source.
Little or big, practical or frivolous, what is one of your favorite items in your house?
Florence, my piano and friend.

Do you like animated movies?  If so, what is your favorite?
Okay--so animated movies aren't my thing at all.  At least not the things they make nowadays.  Old Disney classics are a completely different matter however.  I adore The Lion King, Robin Hood, and Aladdin.  Tangled holds a special place in my heart, too.

this so makes my day.  source.

What's your favorite thing to get at Starbucks?
For a cold drink, a java chip frappuccino.  For a warm drink, a mocha--or during the fall, the pumpkin spice latte all the way.  Of course, I'm always open to new suggestions...

What is your favorite pizza topping?  Do you prefer waffles or pancakes?
Pineapple and ham is always a special treat.  And as for the waffle/pancake dilemma....ohh.  Hmm.  Do I have to answer this one?  Fine.  Pancakes, if they're the right kind.

Do you like to play games?  If so, what is your favorite?  Have you ever let anyone win a game?
Why, of course I do!  I love card games, Apples to Apples is always fun, but sometimes the best are group games where you have to use your imagination.  And yes--I have let others win...though it doesn't happen very often.  I'm rather competitive. *wink*

Do you make your bed every morning?
BAH.  No sirree.

Picasso or Norman Rockwell?
Don't get me wrong, I have a great appreciation for the artist that Picasso was, but something about Rockwell is just so perfect and homey and nostalgic and reminds me of being a kid and simpler times.

triple self portrait?  nice.  source.
Do you like carpet, tile, or hardwood floors?
Most of the time smooth wood.  Good for sliding in socks.  Though carpet is usually lame (trust me, the stuff in my room is old and not so pretty), we must consent that it is good for just stretching out on the floor sometimes.  ;)

If you could put one thing in a safe under your bed, what would it be?
Allllll my paper stuffs--journals, letters, sketchbooks--and a backup of all my photos.

What was the last thing that made you laugh?
Watching Peter Jackson's production videos for the soon-but-not-soon-enough-to-come movie The Hobbit.  *grin*

Think fast...what's the first song that pops into your head?
Heheh, I was "waiting" for this question, but when I read it again, the first thing that came to mind?  The Glee version of "Jar of Hearts."

Hope your Monday has been lovely, friends!  (I know that sounds impossible, but anyway...)  And psst--guess my age for my own entertainment, maybe?  ;)


Sunday, November 13, 2011

so I have this thing for clocks.

I am just really quite fascinated by them.

Some extravagant & others plain and simple, some old and full of history & others spiffy and modern.  All styles, sizes--oh yes, I especially adore those little pocket watches.

These photos were taken during my summer travels--from Milwaukee to Chicago to Montreal to Quebec to Boston.  I just fell in love with this little time trackers.

Oh! Do not attack me with your watch. A watch is always too fast or too slow. I cannot be dictated to by a watch.  -Jane Austen

And now just a few things I am grateful for today:
time [to complete homework, hopefully]
friends who are willing to pray for me
stories that I have love/hate relationships with [ahem, Jane Eyre]
a new navy blue cardigan
a birthday list which includes this and this
and of course the fact that my birthday arrives in eight days
Captain Jack Sparrow, always
the fact that Thanksgiving and the associated good food is fast approaching
late night Starbucks runs
there's more to life than books you know.  but not much more.
my brother's sense of humor [most of the time]
the grace of Jesus

What are you fascinated by/thankful for?

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Maybe it's just me, but the first time I saw this video (shown to me by the amazing, beautiful, funny, talented, credit-desiring Ruthie) it had me cracking up SO much.  My brother and I couldn't stop laughing.

Yesterday was a fairly good day.  Yes, I had cram-studying to do.  But with a mug of raspberry tea and my iPod playing my happy/sappy playlist, I was good.  Sitting in our sunroom, I could look out in one direction to see silver-lined clouds, and in the other to see a dark sky creeping towards me, like Mordor quickly approaching.  I stepped outside for a few minutes.  The wind was blowing, but it was calm and bold and beautiful.  It was the breath before the storm.

(Yes, I can see talking myself into a very Lord of the Rings-ish mood.)

Well, it certainly began to pour.  I sat and studied sociology to the sound of rain pounding on the roof and the wind slamming the barn door shut over and over and over again.  But it passed quickly, leaving us with the few last golden minutes of the day.

Today I was not so fortunate.  It's just been one of those lousy days.  We all get them, I suppose.  I had the sociology exam I had cram-studied for.  I got in a couple arguments, didn't get much accomplished, and forgot to laugh.  Light glared in my eyes as I tried to drive and I wasn't thankful for the sunshine.  My brother asked my advice & I was stubborn and unhelpful, and my sister asked me to attend her tae kwon do test & I didn't go.  My hair is up in a sloppy bun, I'm wearing my big comfy hoodie, and I feel like I could hibernate for a week before catching up on sleep.  I can't go to a friend's play performance because I have to work, pre-calculus is a bunch of jargon, and even blogger is not letting me situate my photos correctly.


okay, so one thing I'm happy about: this photo.  the perspective and uniqueness.

So, after such a day, what did I do?  I went and watched the above video, to cheer myself up.  It worked, a little bit anyway.  And for therapy, I took some photos and edited more.  Alright, so it wasn't therapy.  It was just an attempt to avoid the pre-calc.

Here's to hoping the weekend gets a bit better.  Do you have/do anything in particular to remedy a bad day?

I think I'll go make myself some more tea now.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

why hello.

mission: accomplished.

friends, I've found my life's theme song.  at least, what I would really really really love to be my life's theme song.

I know it's long (hey, classical = good studying music, for me anyway) & I know listening to music just because some girl on the other side of these words wants you to, but seriously.  it's epic. have to listen to it all the way through.  because the beginning isn't my theme song; the whole thing is.  and in truth more towards the end than the beginning (mostly starting at 5:20, which kinda sounds like Phantom of the Opera, ironically).  aghh!  it's SO GOOD.

and alright, I confess.  it's a symphony by Johan de Meij--The Lord of the Rings symphony to be exact, Movement V, Hobbits.  it just...strikes a chord in me.

pretty things.

old abandoned Coca-Cola bottles make for lovely new homes for autumn flowers.

uhm, rambling.

around here, November is kind of a big deal.  okay, so maybe just for me.  ;)  it's my birthday month, and I've never really cared for it.  however, we must admit, of course, that it ushers in the holiday season with that wonderfully delicious thing known as Thanksgiving.  and I think with photography and writing making me look more for the beauty in small things, I don't dislike such things as adamantly as I once did.

but I will point out--it's rather crummy to attempt anything party-ish in the kind of weather that we usually have around by the end of the month.  the only thing to do is...well, ice skating, which has been officially out-ruled since the last time I went ice skating with friends for my birthday, I fell and got a concussion.  okay, so that was just last year.  let's just say my skating skills could use some improvement.  big time.


speaking of the holidays (ish), I have been really excited for them to approach--since the middle of October.  no no, you don't understand.  that is super unnatural of me.  I'm the one that rolls my eyes when we start seeing Christmas decor in the stores before Halloween barely has time to scoot past.'s different.  I can't wait.  not necessarily for Christmas to be here, but for the season itself.  the atmosphere, the glow.  ooh, I'm so anticipating it.

oh those frenchies.

okay, Canadians.  I had a little French exercise this week when one of the wonderful French-speaking people from Montreal that we met on our vacation this summer started chatting with me on facebook.  which was wonderful, but my French skills aren't super amazing, so it was a challenge.  google translate à la rescousse!  (now someone who would actually know tell me if that really does mean "to the rescue.")

my favorite.

c' already know C.S. Lewis and I are basically best friends.  okay, well, I'm best friends with him--his words anyway.  this is the spectacular defining quote from Till We Have Faces.

"I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer. Before your face questions die away.  What other answer would suffice?"

brilliant.  beautiful.  oh-so-true.

loving right now.

I got new socks.  they are striped, and they make me happy.


yes, I took a picture of my cereal.  we hardly ever have good cereal around here (and by good, I mean sugary), so when we have some of this, it's a special occasion for sure.

double yum--ya know, I really love tea.  raspberry is my favorite.  couple it with my favorite mug (hand painted by yours truly) and my cozy sweater, and that's just pretty near perfect.

words words words.

plus, what think you of my nails?  granted, they don't look so good as when I first painted them, but I being the word-lover I am, I knew I had to try this.  after painting my nails white and letting them dry, I dipped them in rubbing alcohol and pressed a piece of newspaper on them, holding it there for just a couple seconds.  the ink came off, I painted on a clear top coat, and voila!

speaking of words, do you have a favorite word?  I was recently asked this question, so I gave it some thought.  I honestly don't know that I could pick a favorite.  but here's one: hello.  it's the word that I doodle all the time.  it's a start, a beginning, an initiation, an invitation.  so many good things in my life start with people, and all good people in my life start with this word.

you can't get anywhere with people without starting at hello.  simple, eh?

so...hello.  and now, goodbye.  ;)