Category Archives: 24 Before 25

New Blog!

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My new blog is here! Yay! Nate and I have been working together on this new blog design for a couple months now (and by “working together,” I mean he does all the actual work and I tell him if I like it or not. Wink!), and while it’s still a work in progress, we’re both really excited about how it has come together. I nixed the ‘Articulation Ad Infinitum’ title in favor of a more simple one, ‘GOOD,’ and Nate incorporated the Space Needle and one of my favorite Steinbeck quotes into the header brilliantly. I love the clean simplicity of my new blog design but I the thing that I absolutely love about it is that it allows me to post larger photos than the old blog…. I love seeing the large-scale detail of some of my film photos in the new design! I’m totally stoked to have a shiny new profesh-looking blog to share with the world. Check it here:

kendallgoodwin.com

NOTE: this will be last new post that will appear on my kendallgoodwin.wordpress.com blog; all new posts from this point forward will be posted on kendallgoodwin.com. Come away with me to a brave new world!
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Thou Mayest.

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“After two years we felt that we could approach your sixteen verses of the fourth chapter of Genesis. My old gentlemen felt that these words were very important too—‘Thou shalt’ and ‘Do thou.’ And this was the gold from our mining: ‘Thou mayest.’ ‘Thou mayest rule over sin.’ The old gentlemen smiled and nodded and felt the years were well spent. It brought them out of their Chinese shells too, and right now they are studying Greek.”
Samuel said, “It’s a fantastic story. And I’ve tried to follow and maybe I’ve missed somewhere. Why is this word so important?”
Lee’s hand shook as he filled the delicate cups. He drank his down in one gulp. “Don’t you see?” he cried. “The American Standard translation orders men to triumph over sin, and you can call sin ignorance. The King James translation makes a promise in ‘Thou shalt,’ meaning that men will surely triumph over sin. But the Hebrew word, the word timshel—‘Thou mayest’— that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if ‘Thou mayest’—it is also true that ‘Thou mayest not.’”
– John Steinbeck, East of Eden

East of Eden is my favorite book of all time, and I knew the moment I first read these three paragraphs that I had encountered something profound. I think the words “thou mayest” are emblematic of the balance of free will, equal parts all-encompassing possibility and personal morality, and that’s an emblem I don’t mind having on my body forever. 2012 was the year of no regrets, and getting my first tattoo hasn’t upset the year’s theme: I love my tattoo, and I’m glad I did it. Now, on to the next.

My tattoo was done by Chris at Liberty Tattoo in Seattle, Washington.

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Mt. Si High.

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Last weekend, my brother Judson came up to Seattle to visit me and climb Mt. Si with me (cross it off the list), and boy, was it a time. We woke up at 6:00am on Sunday morning and trekked an hour out to North Bend (after consuming a couple McDonalds breakfast sandwiches, of course), where we found ourselves at the foot of a mountain of imposing height. It was cold and misty so we started out the hike with our coats on, but as we slowly ascended the crazy-steep grade, we began shedding layers really quickly until both of us had our sweaters tied around our waists like goons and Judson had the pantlegs of his jeans rolled up (who wears jeans on a serious hike? Come on!).

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It was a really arduous and intense hike, but when we reached the top, my brain was yelling “Worth it!”: there was a thick mist hovering over the rock ledges and even though I couldn’t see much through it, the altitude, and the feeling of power and disbelief at knowing how high you are above everything, was palpable, and we climbed over jagged rocks and crevices to stand up against what, from the outside, looked like the abyss, and it wasn’t scary. It was incredible. I’d definitely like to hike Mt. Si again in the summer, when it’s clear and you can see green for eons, but I’m glad that my first climb was through the mist. It was more timely and applicable to my present existence that way.

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It took us about four hours roundtrip, and after waking up early, saying hi to every hiker and their dog on the trail (no complaints there!), feeling dizzy from the elevation change and getting our muscles wrecked by a mountain, we were exhausted and famished. So we returned to Seattle and ate some monster Elliott Bay subs, and all was right with the world.

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Thought Catalog.

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It took me the better part of 2012, but I have officially been published on Thought Catalog and can finally cross it off my 24 Before 25 list! Yay! The essay is called “Stop Catcalling Me” and it’s an elaboration on this post, which was inspired by this post. Even greater than my pride and satisfaction in seeing my writing on TC is my fascination at the range of comments that have been made: about 50% of the comments are from girls who agree and see their own experiences mirrored in my commentary and the other half are comments from men (and a few women) who insist I need to “loosen my corset.” There are a lot of people who strongly disagree with what I wrote, which I think is great because it reiterates that this is a really sensitive issue that the sexes stand very divided on, and it’s really exciting to see something I wrote facilitate a passionate debate among the commenters. Check it out here if you’d like!

EuroTour 2012: The Video.

songs: “Under My Thumb” by The Rolling Stones and “Laura” by Girls

I knew, before I even started traveling, that this was going to be among the most epic three and half weeks of my life and as a result, I had my iPhone constantly on the ready to record all of the incredible experiences I was having. I think it annoyed the people I was with a little, but I’m so glad I did it. I’ve watched this video probably twenty times since I’ve completed it, and it never ceases to bring a huge smile to my face. It was amazing to live it and now I’m so glad that I have this video as a memento, and that some of my best memories of my travels are preserved in moving pictures for all time. I hope you enjoy watching it too!

EuroTour Week 3: Madrid, Valencia, and Reykjavik.

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The third week of my travels got off to a bit of a rocky start in Madrid. I arrived late on a Thursday evening and had had a couch surfing host all lined up, but due to miscommunication, when I arrived at the host’s apartment he told me that he wasn’t able to host me after all. Trying not to be upset, I went to the first hostel I came across and ended up paying 40 euro for a single night’s stay. I sent out a few emergency couch requests, and from 9am until about 3pm the next day, I was walking around the city with my huge backpack, just waiting to hear back from someone who was willing to let me stay with them. I started getting really down about it and started thinking that the rest of my time in Madrid was probably going to be a bummer, but a miracle happened: I was offered a couch by a guy named Herman, who ended up being my favorite couch surfing host I’ve ever had, and of all the places that I traveled in those three weeks, I had, without a doubt, the most fun in Madrid.

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I barely took any photos in Madrid. The city is really large and spread out, so most of what I saw of the city was from the passenger seat of Herman’s Mini Cooper. With the top down. Just sayin’. We spent an entire afternoon just driving around so that he could show me all of the landmarks, and later we picked up Natasha, a couch surfer that he was hosting from Russia, from the airport. The three of us went up to the viewing deck of the Ayuntamiento de Madrid (the City Hall) for a really lovely view of the city center, then out for tapas and drinks in the evening, and then later met up with some of Herman’s friends and went to a seven-story dance club called Kapital, where we stayed until 6am when it closed. It was absolutely crazy.

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After Madrid, I had planned to take a quick day-and-a-half jaunt to Alicante (on the coast of Spain), and Natasha was going to come with me. However, we met a Turkish guy named Zahid at Kapital and he told us that he was leaving the next day for Valencia (also on the coast) because there was a huge celebration/party taking place that weekend, and that we should go to Valencia instead of Alicante and stay with him and his friend Adrian. And so we did.

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The city was in full celebration mode when we arrived. The celebration is called San Jose, for the city’s patron saint, and it’s the city’s way of welcoming the beginning of spring. Apparently there’s an artist that designs these incredibly detailed large-scale art installation pieces, and he works all year with a team of builders to create these pieces. There were over four hundred of them this year, and they’re put on display throughout the city for four days before being burned to the ground. During the day, people just walk around the city center and set off fireworks in the street, so we were constantly being startled by loud explosions, but after a couple hours we were used to it. We set off a few firecrackers ourselves, sticking them inside oranges that had fallen from the trees or throwing them into an empty alley way and then running to hide behind a car. We had so much fun.

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There was a parade in the street, and in the procession there were people twirling fiery batons, men dressed in indigenous headdresses and Arab robes and turbans, as well as little girls in enormous traditional Spanish dresses. It was so surreal. Adrian took us to the most amazing sandwich place called Mare Meua (which translates to “Oh my Mother!”) that had the most delicious mini sandwiches and tinto de berrano (red wine and fizzy water) for 1 euro each. Natasha and Zahid and I each vowed to open a sandwich place like Mare Meua in our respective countries.

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We decided to camp out at an art installation that featured some monkeys dressed as humans and wait for it to be set ablaze at midnight. Since there were so many installations throughout the city and none of them could be set on fire without a fire crew at the ready to keep the flames from getting out of control, it ended up being 2am before our installation finally started burning. By 1:30am, it had started raining and we were worried that they might forego burning this installation all together, but after a few small fireworks were set off from around the front of the installation, we watched as the largest piece began to burn from the inside out. The flames grew higher and higher and the fire crew sprayed their hoses on it to keep it contained, and there was so much heat coming off of it and everyone cheered as the giant monkey’s head burned and burned and finally fell to the ground. There was something sort of magical about it, and I felt a strange solidarity with the crowd of people that surrounded me. It was definitely one of the coolest things I experienced while in Europe, and definitely worth spending a single day in Valencia to witness.

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Reykjavik was my last European destination before returning to the U.S. When I was booking my airfare a month earlier, I just knew that by the end of my travels I would be almost out of money, so I made plans to stay in Iceland for only one night. I definitely want to return to Iceland in the future, to go camping out in the wilderness and see more of the natural wonders of the little island, but since I was only going to be there for a day, I only got to see a bit of the city. Reykjavik  is more like a small town than a city, really: it’s very quaint and quiet and has a wee population of 200,000 (which, interestingly enough, is two-thirds of the population of all of Iceland). I spent most of my time at the Blue Lagoon, which is a geo-thermal spa about forty minutes outside of Reykjavik. It was pretty fantastic. The fifteen or so steps I had to take to get from the inside of the guest center to the edge of the water were absolutely freezing, but once I was submerged in the water, it was like instant heaven. The water was so warm and soothing and steam was rising up from the surface, and there was a soft breeze rolling down from the hills that blew the steam across the water in the most ethereal way. I wanted to sit in that geothermal pool forever.

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Youth Lagoon.

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On Thursday night, I went and saw Youth Lagoon play at Paradiso, one of Amsterdam’s indie music venues. There’s only so much you can say about a fantastic live music experience before you start to sound like a gushy fangirl, so I’ll just say that it was utterly magical and leave it at that. A few observations: 1. You know how there’s always that one freakishly tall guy that inevitably ends up standing right in front of you when you go to a concert? As Dutch men are enormous I probably should have anticipated this, but it was like every guy in the audience was that guy. I was craning my neck for most of the performance trying to see around my giant fellow concertgoers’ heads. 2. The performance itself was really short. What’s interesting about musical bookings in Holland is that they don’t do opening acts; they only have the “main event,” and venues will book three or four different main events in a single evening to maximize profits. So Youth Lagoon only ended up playing for forty minutes, which is about the same length of time an opening act would play in the U.S., and then everyone in the crowd left immediately when it was done. Kind of weird, but also kind of nice to be able to just go and see the band you wanted to see, nothing more and nothing less. 3. It was strange listening to English lyrics while people chattered in Dutch around me, but the best non-musical thing I heard that evening ended up being Dutch. There was a particularly flamboyant group of gentlemen standing near me, and during a part in a song where the music was slowly building up, I heard one of the gentlemen count down “Drie! Twee! Een! Go!” and start vogue-ing Madonna-style. It was hilarious.

All in all, ’twas a delightful and fascinating European concert-going experience that I will always remember. Cross it off the list!