{NEW VIDEO} SARAH AND I GET CULTURED

Dear Reader,

Great things are happening!!! Sarah and I have now completed 5 out of the 30 items on the bucket list. We have plans to finish a lot of the others within the next two weeks. AND I already finished editing the vlog of us going to the Toledo Museum of Art and writing on the Before I Die wall!

I still have to finish editing/upload the video of what we did in camera and the one about what the psychic told me, but I really think I’m getting better at making videos! (You can be the judge of that though.)

Anyway, it’s Sunday morning, I’ve got the whole day/week ahead of me, and things are looking good.

Sincerely,

Sammy

[SBL2K16] #12. WATCH THE SUNRISE

Dear Reader,

I realized that I never actually gave you guys the finished list of what Sarah and I expect to complete this summer, so you can find that here.

#12 on that list is to find the best place in our hometown to watch the sunrise/sunset. We had this place in mind called “420 park,” but it was pretty disappointing to say the least. First of all, it’s not a park. It’s just a little clearing that’s sort of out of the way, so I’m sure it’s perfect for high schoolers to come and smoke weed. It’s not quite ideal for the sunrise.

Still, we woke up a little after five and drove to it and recorded some stuff, so I figured I’d at least edit it into a video. Besides, Sarah got a sweet timelapse of the sunrise (it’s better on her twitter because she puts it to the song “Catch & Release,” so check that out here if you’re interested.)

I’m just currently a little frustrated because I have this nice camera that I’m a little too incompetent to use and I’m spoiled at school with Adobe Premiere Pro, so being at home with nothing but iMovie (and my sister’s laptop because mine is lame) is annoying. It’s easy to use and everything, I just want it to look nice. I want to upload high quality shit, ya feel?

Anyway, no one started out as an expert, right? And the best way to learn is by doing, right? These are the mantras I repeat to myself on a daily basis.

So here’s the final product, if you care to watch.

Of course, none of this matters. Because at the end of the day, Sarah and I had a great time going to the “park” and having a nice conversation while we watched the rising sun on a blanket near the river.

I’m loving life, I’m loving summer, and I’m sorry I can’t better capture that for you, but I’m also glad I have the perspective to love where I’m at in my life right now.

Sincerely,

Sammy

MY TEN-MINUTE CONVERSATION WITH EDIE

Dear Reader,

I have a 2015 bucket list, and I find that the thing I have to explain most is talk to strangers.

And it is kind of a weird thing to put on a bucket list, mostly because people don’t really understand the benefit that it could bring. But I firmly believe that every person you meet can teach you something, and if you don’t engage anyone, you might be missing out on those lessons. You might miss out on stories and experiences that can come from what might seem to just be small talk.

So that’s where Edie comes in.

My last day in Hilton Head was Friday, and it started out pretty bad. Really bad, actually. I was pissed off for a hundred different reasons, and just ended up being really grumpy all morning. And the day before, Sarah and I had gotten henna tattoos. But then we went swimming and took showers, and they were now really faded. We decided we’d go back and see if they could just be touched up, but after my awful morning, I didn’t see this happening. But my aunt wanted to go back to those shops anyway, and we did spend $40 combined for these things, so I got roped into going.

So we walk up to the kiosk and explain that we came yesterday, and showed how faded they were, and without hesitation this young girl behind the counter, Edie, offered to quickly go over them again. No charge. No need to validate that we were really here yesterday. She was just kind enough (and probably bored enough–it was really dead at 4pm on a Friday) to offer without question.

And the four of us started talking–just small talk at first. She told us how this was the calm before the storm, and how she loved this summer job and had lived on the island her whole life. And then she started telling us about her family. She’s the only girl out of all of her cousins, and the rest of her family is from Georgia. She was telling us how southern proper they are, and especially her grandparents. Then she explained this tradition she has.

Each summer, the kids are forced to go to “Manners Camp” at her grandparents’s lake house. They can bring two friends each, but they have to go to the hour sessions each night. And it kind of ages with them. They’re first taught please and thank you, and then to always hold doors open and then maybe how dinner places are set and the proper etiquette to use.

Well my aunt loved this idea–especially since it really related to some of the different conversations we had throughout the week. We talked about how we wish we had some big traditions in our culture, and how the girls that my sister babysits are brats and make her say she’s never having kids. And it’s true that kids these days maybe don’t seem to have the same manners that seemed to be pounded into our heads when we were younger, and that’s kind of sad. Even kids my own age seem to be so rude and disrespectful sometimes, and I hate that.

So right there, my aunt vowed that she is going to do this herself when she’s a grandmother and a great aunt. All of the cousins will be forced to go to her house and learn how to be polite and courteous. They’ll learn the skills that we both feel are so important to have. And maybe they’ll hate it and make fun of it, sort of like Edie, but it’ll be something they’ll eventually be thankful for. Something they’re glad they did once a year in the summers of their youth. Hell, I wish had something like that when I was a kid. Maybe our family would be closer because of it.

But it’s funny to think that this 10-minute conversation with a random girl at a henna kiosk sparked this future family tradition. And it’s sad to think that we’ll probably never see her again, because she really was a cool girl, but I’m so glad we went back that day. I’m glad we at least got to meet once in our lives.

Sincerely,

Sammy

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2015 Bucket List

Dear Reader,

For those of you who don’t know me, I love bucket lists. I actually love lists in general–my phone is filled with lists of songs, things to do, potential baby or character names, ideas that I get, things that make me laugh, and anything else that I feel needs to be written down.

In the past, though, my bucket lists haven’t been very successful. Yet, I continue to make them and continue to fail.

But I think I figured out why this continues to happen–I always seem to forget about them. And then I’ll remember, but it’ll either be too late or I won’t be motivated anymore, and the whole project ends up failing.

So this year, I’m going to make one slight change. (After all, it was Einstein who defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results).

In order for me to complete this list, I’m going to make it constantly on my mind. I’ll put it everywhere and set goals for it and check in regularly and be persistent about it. And, hopefully, I’ll be successful.

But, either way, bucket lists are fun to make and planning for the future has always been a joy for me. As Margo Roth Spiegelman says, “the pleasure isn’t doing the thing, the pleasure is in planning it.” (I don’t know if I agree with that completely, but I do take pleasure in making plans.)

So, without further ado, my 2015 bucket list:

  1. become an Aunt – I always start my bucket lists with something inevitable, and my sister just happens to be due in February, so this is fitting
  2. rush a sorority
  3. complete The Empty Shelf Challenge
  4. submit a piece of my work to be published – not even get published. Just take the step and put yourself out there!
  5. travel outside of the country
  6. be able to run a 7-minute mile – this may not seem like a big accomplishment at all, but it has been a while since I’ve even attempted to run a mile, so if I can end 2015 with a 7-minute mile under my belt, I’ll be content.
  7. go somewhere new
  8. learn to draw – just one thing! a puppy, a pelican, a person (don’t mind the accidental alliteration)–I just want to have one thing I can sort of draw kind of well.
  9. at least start a scrapbook 
  10. watch 50 new movies
  11. make a jar for memories
  12. be confident in a bathing suit
  13. write at least 3 letters to 23-year-old Sammy – this one requires more information that the rest, so I’ll probably just end up doing a whole other post about it when the time comes.
  14. run a 5k
  15. finish my daily sudoku puzzles (from 2014) – failed project from 2014, meet 2015.
  16. go to a concert
  17. learn 365 new words – ideally one a day, but we know how I tend to handle daily tasks (see #15).
  18. have a birthday “party” – it’s been a solid 5 years since I’ve had one, and I keep meaning to at least celebrate my birthday with friends, but it never happens. So maybe 19 will be the year
  19. go to the batting cages
  20. watch the sunrise
  21. learn how to use chopsticks
  22. color my hair – dye a streak purple, go read, dip-dye it pink–something that I can only get away with because I’m young
  23. join a new club
  24. explore interesting buildings on campus that I’ve never seen before
  25. write a letter – put pen to paper, lick the envelope, smack a stamp on it. We don’t do this as much anymore and that makes me sad.
  26. attend a random lecture for a class I don’t take
  27. people watch 
  28. take a hot bath/have a spa day – candlelight, calming music, a few drops of lavender essential oil, this is one I can’t wait to get checked off the list.
  29. learn how to skate backwards
  30. talk to strangers – just random people in general. I can be very shy but I find people fascinating. So this is just kind of a persistent reminder for me to reach out and interact with other human beings every once in a while
  31. volunteer
  32. reach 300 followers on Sincerely Sammy – let’s be ambitious.
  33. take senior pictures with Sarah
  34. learn how to juggle
  35. be someone’s inspiration for 2016 – not exactly something I can check off (unless someone comes up and tells me I inspire them, I guess), but I always like putting something like this on here. It’s a good goal to strive for.

Well, there you have it. Most of those are things I have been meaning to get around to for ages (learning how to use chopsticks, making a jar for memories), so on the list they go.

Feel free to comment any suggestions for the list–or let me know what you plan to accomplish in 2015! I just love these things.

There’s nothing like the promise of a new year.

Sincerely,

Sammy

PS. I’m diggin this tune: The Mother We Share – CHVRCHES