Posted on May 20, 2019
Hey guys! I hope everyone has been enjoying the on and off nice weather we’ve been having. I’ve been trying to spend as much time outside as I can. Mostly that means doing yard work and preparing for my sister’s graduation party that we’re hosting.
Whenever I haven’t been outside taking advantage of this weather, I’ve been in my bed rotating between Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a fan of Amazon streaming for no reason other than that I’m a picky brat. I finally gave it a chance though. Out of all of the options available, I chose a 22-minute short film titled “Billion Dollar Bus Stop,” which was directed by a friend of mine.
Billion Dollar Bus Stop is a dramatic short film adapted from a stage play written by the star, Morgan Reddinger. The film was shot last summer with a small crew of 3-4 people in Lorain, Ohio. Director Chad Austin Kerr said “I was really attracted to the simplicity of the script and I thought it would work well as a ‘one location’ short film,” and he was right. I especially liked the single location because after I was introduced to it, I was able to focus more on the lines and body language rather than any background changes. The film received the silver award for Best Actress, bronze award for Best Original Score, and Best Drama Short at the 2019 Independent Shorts Award. It was also an official selection for the Dumbo Film Festival in Dumbo, NY.
The official description on Amazon reads:
I’ve met a few men “at the morning bus stop” who also tried winning my heart, but I think “tried to harvest my organs” is more fitting. So before I talk about how great the film was, let’s make one thing clear- there are creeps out there so keep your guard up. Not every friendly guy at a bus stop (or elsewhere) is an Oliver.
Stars Morgan Reddinger (Eloise), Joe Morales (Oliver), and Lauren Paulis (Oliver’s sister) all had great performances in the film. Reddinger’s smartass portrayal of Eloise really kept me hooked from the beginning. I’m glad she was able to act out the character she envisioned because it felt so real. As a young woman who has had some strange encounters at bus stops, I understood the short and defensive comments she made during her first encounters with Oliver. Morales’ interpretation of Oliver was, well, magical. I couldn’t help but think to myself that he could play the love interest in any Hallmark movie and I would watch the shit out of it (you guys know how I feel about Hallmark movies).
The storyline is so unique. I have a habit of trying to predict what’s going to happen next, and I just couldn’t do it with this film. I may or may not have thrown my laptop during the ending scene from anger and disappointment as the twist threw me for a major loop, but I immediately picked it back up and watched it all again.
After talking to the director, I got some interesting information about the production of the film. One thing that almost made my head explode was that the rain in one scene was all created out of frame with a water sprayer. I’ll admit that when I watched the scene I wondered if they expected the rain or they just went with whatever weather came that day. Could’ve fooled me.
I have to give lots of credit to Morgan Reddinger for not only acting but also writing and producing the film. That’s pretty impressive. I took an acting class in college last fall where I had to act, direct, and “produce” for my then-major so I know how difficult it can be to have to act while also orchestrating everything around you.
I’d compare this short film to a couple of big Hollywood movies but I know that if I do that, it’ll completely give away the surprise ending of the film. If you watch it, you’ll probably know exactly where I’m going with this. You can watch Billion Dollar Bus Stop on Amazon for $2.99 HD/ $1.99 SD for free with Amazon Prime.
Posted on January 8, 2019
I’m 20 years old and nearing the age where marriage is becoming normal.
Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamt of my wedding day and how beautiful and sacred it would be. I still think about it from time to time. I randomly get into these moods where I open Pinterest and pin every little thing I can find that I would love to have at my future wedding. After realizing how sadly obsessed I was with it, I set my board to private. I thought it could be fun if we take some looks at the pictures I’ve pinned on my “Wedding Plans” board.
Follow me on Pinterest!
Posted on December 26, 2018
A year ago today, I posted Paying Homage to 2017, where I took time to look back at everything that happened to me in 2017 that influenced me deeply. I said that I had an eventful year, and I was looking forward to 2018. However, I couldn’t have possibly been prepared for all that this year had in store for me. Let’s go ahead and look back at all that has happened in the past 12 months. Be warned- a lot more happened this year than last year.
I celebrated the new year with my boyfriend, Zach. We started off at my God Mother’s house, then after a trip to McDonald’s minutes before the ball dropped, we made it to my house. I wanted this new year to be rung in perfectly, so I ran to the tv as fast as I could and got ready for the count down. We made it just in time to eat a few chicken nuggets before we shared our first New Year’s kiss.
After working at Boys and Girls Club for about 5 months, I decided to resign. I’ll keep it professional and not go into too many details, but to sum it up, the employees were not kind to me and I felt that my voice was no longer being heard. It was extremely hard for me to do, as I loved the students I got to know. The smiles on their faces made all the hard work and sleepless nights worth it. However, I knew that I would continue to be treated poorly and for my mental health, it was time to go. I’m still very unhappy with how I was treated and how nobody really seemed to care when I told them, but it’s in the past and I just hope that things have gotten better there.
The day before my last day of work, I came home to my sick hamster, Arodite. She had been looking sickly for a while, and I wasn’t sure what was wrong. She barely ate and didn’t drink much water. The only way I could keep her hydrated was by letting her chew on a wet washcloth. It was devastating. This day had been extremely hard for her. She wasn’t moving around much, staying close to her tower of bedding she created. That night, I was in the living room with my mother when we started to hear breathy cries from the room Arodite was in. I was too nervous to check on her, so I asked my mom to see if she was alright. She said, “oh, she’s crying.” Then, just as I got up to comfort her and give her some water, my mom corrected herself.
“No, don’t come in here. I think she’s dying.”
I know I should’ve ran in there immediately and held her in my arms, but I was so heartbroken that I couldn’t face her. I ran outside and refused to come back into the house until she passed. My father, who once worked at the county’s Metroparks, put my sweet Arodite down in the most humane way he was taught. I could hear her crying and gasping for air as I cried outside.
I’m so grateful for my boyfriend for coming over late that night to be with me while I cried. I was so upset that my fuzzy little baby had passed and there was nothing I could have done to save her. It was just her time to go.
As some of you know, my boyfriend was a grade below me in high school, so he had his senior prom this year. I dreaded going because I wanted nothing to do with high school events such as this, but I was obligated. It was a nice time back with friends that I hadn’t seen in a while. Zach was the absolute sweetest to me that night. We danced for hours, then left a little early to get Wendy’s. After we finished our food, we headed to my house to relax. That’s when Zach gave me a book he made of reasons he loves me. Reading it made me cry like a baby. I was so sappy and lovey all night. All I wanted was to be cuddled up with my man. I don’t think anything has changed.
A couple months later, Zach graduated high school. This was a special moment for him and I couldn’t go without sharing. I was so extremely proud of him, and as he walked across the stage to receive his diploma (from my dad, the V.P. of the School Board), my friends and I screamed and cheered. I ended up crying a few times too.
Being alongside him while he was working to get his diploma made it that much more special to me. I watched him get frustrated when he didn’t understand something, excited when he did, and relieved when he was on track. I knew he was ready for greater things and seeing him get that green light to do so was powerful.
After a long, painful few weeks of bickering and disagreements, Zach and I broke up. I was devastated. But it had to be done. Of course I was hysterical for months. I begged him to come back, but thankfully he said no. I say “thankfully” because we weren’t ready for each other yet. We needed some time to grow ourselves. Although there were many nights that I sobbed into my pillow and screamed until I lost my voice, I am grateful for our break up.
But here’s the thing- while we were broken up, we were still seeing each other. We wanted to maintain a friendship, since that’s where we started. He would come over and we would talk, or we’d go to the park or the lake to get away from everything. It was nice spending time with each other because he was such a huge part of my life for so long. It was comforting. So that is why we say that although we did not have the title of boyfriend and girlfriend, we were still “together.”
I felt the need to explain this to everyone because people were confused when we split, and even now when we say we’ve been together for over a year. Although we were not boyfriend and girlfriend for a couple months, we were still talking and loving each other just as if we were. We like to say we never left each other’s side, so that’s why we say we’ve been together the whole time. We basically were. What’s a title worth anyway?
Since the breakup left me with many open days throughout the summer, I got to spend a lot more time with my friends and family. I got to go to my sister’s travel softball tournaments that were hours away, which was a great way to relax. Well, until my sister’s team lost, which was quite often. But getting away from the small town I felt trapped in was wonderful. I felt myself growing just from a weekend of being away. When we got back, my dad offered to take some pictures of me to boost my confidence and keep my mind off things. And that’s when this photo was taken. I really love all the photos he took of me because I feel so strong when I look at them. I see myself not letting things hurt me.
My friends also deserve a huge “thank you” for all they did for me over the summer. They were always there for me no matter what. Whether I was canceling plans because I couldn’t gather myself enough to leave my room or shaking and crying in public, they understood. We got to make great memories together and I couldn’t be happier.
I spent my last day as a teen this year. My 20th birthday was hot, exhausting, but so much fun. My best friends took me to the zoo and to dinner. I complained the whole time because it was scorching hot and my feet hurt, but the memories created that day were special enough to last forever. At this point, Zach and I decided to get back together, as we found it impossible to live without the other in our life. So I invited him to come with us to celebrate. Having all of my favorite people together was magical. It was a great way to spend my last few days at home before going away for college.
On August 17th, I moved into my first apartment. I had never lived on my own before, so I was terrified. I know so many people who were nothing but excited when it came to moving out and that made me feel awful for the way I was looking at it. I thought I was babied too much and I was going to hate it, but after some getting used to, it was the best decision I had ever made. I love living by myself. I have so much more motivation to do things because nobody else can be held responsible for the end result- just me. Oh, I also went blonde that same day after battling with my dark hair for months. It came out sort of yellow, as to be expected, and it took months of toner and purple shampoo before I was able to get it to a subtle blonde. It isn’t the cutest yet, but it’s getting there.
August 27th was my first day of school at Cleveland State University. I was extremely nervous because I had only one semester of community college under my belt and I had no idea what to expect. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get lost as soon as I got off the bus that morning. It was overwhelming, but after the first traumatizing day, I knew exactly where everything was. I was really surprised when I knew where I was going on day 2.
Now, with a semester at CSU under wraps, I feel amazing. I’ve made so many great friends in the short time I’ve been going here. I found myself exploring things outside of my comfort zone and realizing my potential while being in college. It’s crazy. Tom Hanks once said that he was “exposed to this world that [he] didn’t know was possible” and that’s exactly how I feel.
Although this past year has been full of ups and downs, it has been the most influential. I got to see what I could and couldn’t handle which ultimately taught me life lessons. In the midst of it all, my love for my best friend grew and grew. Our relationship grew, too. After this rollercoaster ride of a year, I am very happy to say that Zach and I are as amazing as ever. We got through all obstacles life has throw our way with our heads held high. Our love for each other motivates me everyday, and something tells me it just might motivate me forever on.
2018, you were good to me sometimes…other times, not so much. But while I was going through my low points, I recognized all of my good points. I became grateful for all I had and all I would have. So thank you for giving me that ability.
2019, you’re going to be my bitch. I’m not holding myself back anymore, and 2018 taught me how to do that. I will learn from my mistakes, build off them, and prove how strong I really am.
Last year, I said that 2018 had a lot to live up to, but in all honesty, all coming years have a lot to live up to because I’ll only be going up from here.
Posted on December 23, 2018
We finally made it- the end of Blogmas.
I didn’t think I would make it this far. And I guess in a way, I didn’t. I was late uploading a lot of the time and couldn’t stick to my original schedule. However, I still managed to post 12 blogs in 12 days, and that’s something I am very proud of. My first Blogmas- at least in my eyes- was a success and I can’t wait to do it again next year.
When I wasn’t blogging, I was enjoying December and all it had to offer. I took a few pictures along the way and I thought I could share them all with you. Rather than explaining them in extreme detail, I thought I could just leave the photos to be interpreted by the viewer. So make of them what you will.
Posted on June 14, 2018
Ex Best Friend Hannah,
It’s been a while since we’ve really talked. Sure we’ve exchanged a few words on Instagram, but that’s all. It’s not like how it used to be, and for reasons only a select few truly know and understand. But that’s ok. I like it better that way. I won’t go into detail about what happened between us since you already know. And although this is an open letter, it’s for you.
It wasn’t easy for me to lose my best friend. I felt like I lost my sister. The pain I felt was similar to grieving the death of someone. Perhaps I was grieving the death of a friendship… that would make sense. For weeks after our split (that makes it sound like we were dating), I sat in bed and tried to convince myself that it was only a small bump in the road. But it wasn’t. It was a head on collision.
Time seemed to go by slower once we stopped talking. I know we had distanced a little beforehand, but this was even harder. I remember nights where I was going through something awful and the only words I could get out were “I want Hannah.” But you’re not Beetlejuice so saying your name didn’t bring you nearer.
I’m reminded of our adventures whenever I scroll through my Snapchat memories or Timehop notifications. I remember when we went to the fair for only a few minutes until I got upset over a boy so you took me to McDonald’s. We made fun of the truck in front of us for having their tow mirrors out when they weren’t towing anything. “Gotta look like big tough country folk with our big tow mirrors.” I remember our field trip senior year to D.C. when we bought ice cream and hid away in your hotel room. To this day, the littlest things can trigger memories. Whenever I’m out shopping and see mermaid things, my mind goes straight to you.
Thank you for the nearly ten years of friendship. Each moment we spent together helped build me into the person I am now. I still hear you in my head telling me how dumb I am when I make stupid decisions and I know I’ll have your guidance with me even if I don’t have you.
No matter what happened to us, I will still always love you for being the best friend a girl could ever ask for. You supported me, kept me sane (sometimes, anyway), and gave me great advice. It’s been roughly ten months since we stopped talking, but it feels like a lifetime without you.
I hope you succeed in all that you go after, and achieve all your dreams you’ve had since you were young. I’m still silently rooting for you in the shadows.
Posted on June 3, 2018
Today’s the day! All that hard work and dedication that you’ve applied throughout the years is finally paying off today as you graduate high school! I know that you’re extremely excited, and I am too. This moment is a huge one. Today as you move your tassel from the right to the left, your life will be changing immensely. Walking across the stage will be one of your last moments as a high school student. Then it’s time for the real world. I know you have already “adulted” more than many of your fellow graduates, but there’s much more to come. And I know you’re ready for it.
It’s fairly strange to me when I think about what is actually going to happen only hours from now. You’re leaving the high school as I did the year prior. We will lose our immediate connection to the place that introduced us to each other last year. I know it won’t actually change anything for us, but deep down, it feels like an important mark. We met in that building. We grew to love each other in that building. And now, as the last attending of the duo, you are receiving your diploma and becoming an alumni of that very building. It’s bittersweet, but I’m so ready for us both to head north for our next big adventure- college!
In the past year and five-ish months that we’ve known each other, I’ve watched you excel in so many ways. You’ve gotten straight A’s while working at a steady job, and gotten accepted into the college you wanted. Every smile and excited scream you let out (you know exactly what I’m talking about) got me more stoked to see all the things that you could accomplish in the future. And now with all the things you have gotten done so far, I believe that the sky is the limit for you!
I am very proud of you for working so hard in school (in-between your naps in Mr. Perry’s class). You’re leaving behind a great legacy for yourself. And although high school is already designed to be hard enough on students, you had your fair share of difficult moments this year as well. The way that you managed yourself throughout those times of trouble really tell a lot about your character. You are brilliant, dedicated, and very mature. At this rate, nothing will get in your way.
You’ve not only made it through high school alive, but also done it so outstandingly. You are really inspirational to me and many others. I hope that when you toss your cap today, you truly feel all the hard work that you put forth these past years, and feel proud of yourself for all that you’ve done.
I love you so very much, and I am excited to see what all the future holds for you and your bright mind.
Posted on May 14, 2018
This past weekend, I “went back to high school” and attended one last prom with my boyfriend. It was an amazing night, and definitely one that I’ll remember.
Now, before I hear all the negativity about how “people who graduated high school should stay out of high school”, let me just clarify something- my boyfriend is a senior, and he asked me to go. At first, I almost refused to go because I wanted to stay clear of high school events (other than sporting events because I had to cheer my man on). But after a lot of thinking, I realized that it was his last prom and he asked me to come because I’m his girlfriend and he wanted the night to be special. So, I decided that one more prom wouldn’t hurt anyone.
Something different about this year was that I didn’t mind how I looked. Previous years, I was so stressed about my dress, heels, makeup, and hair that I made prom almost unenjoyable. This year, I didn’t think it mattered. I just put whatever makeup on that I felt the most comfortable in, wore some old heels of my sisters, and was on my way. As long as I was comfortable and able to have fun, I was ready to go.
My boyfriend picked me up and dang was he looking good. Last year we rode together along with another mutual friend, and when we looked back at it this year, it was so crazy thinking about how much things had changed. This year, I was riding shotgun with his hand in mine- a much different experience than last year. Before, I was in the backseat and the only thing in my hand was my phone that was also the designated “aux phone.”
We took some pictures with his classmates, as well as other returning students from my graduating class- my cousin being one of them. Everyone looked amazing! They were also so friendly towards me, which I did not expect. I never had any negative feelings towards returning grads coming to prom while I was in high school, but I didn’t know how others felt about it. Seeing people happy to see me calmed a lot of my pre-prom jitters.
Once we arrived at the venue, I almost forgot how nervous I was before. I don’t want to say that I felt like I was back in high school because I was self aware and didn’t do anything to jeopardize my comfort and warm welcome. However, I did not feel too out of place, and I wasn’t as self conscious as I had expected myself to be. Honestly, I think that knowing I wouldn’t see a lot of those people again made me feel more comfortable and ultimately gave me the courage to go out and dance with my friends.
The music wasn’t too terrible at points, and the great company on the dance floor helped make the bad songs a little less excruciating. We danced for hours and only took a few short breaks to take a quick sip before heading back out to dance like idiots again. Overall, prom wasn’t so bad.
After the dance was nearly over, Zach and I went with a couple friends from our table to the Wendy’s drive thru. I had been craving it all night and I was fairly vocal about it. We wanted to hang out together, but at 11 at night, not much is open and easily accessible for girls in gowns. So after thinking long and hard about the next move, we decided to part ways and go home to sleep.
Zach and I went back to my house so I could get out of the unbearably itchy dress I had forced myself into earlier. That’s when he gave me a surprise gift that meant the world to me. He handed me a book. On the inside it said “Why I Love You,” and contained pages full of pictures and (you guessed it) reasons he loved me. He had told me before I saw it that it was not perfect, but he was dead wrong. I had never received anything so beautiful before. Just thinking about it makes my heart melt all over again.
We finished the night with a nap and the remainder of the Wendy’s that we had brought home. Zach eventually went back to his house at around 2:30 a.m., and thus concluded our night.
Playing dress up can be fun for sure, but getting to do it along side the man you love makes it even more special. I’m grateful that Zach brought me back for one last dance. He made my last prom even better than the one I originally thought would be my last.