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It’s been a great one so far. El Niño dipped out just in time. Spring break is usually 1 week long, but for some reason, we have 2 weeks off. Well, that’s not technically true, I’m still doing school stuff these 2 whole weeks.

On Tuesday, I ran around and did errands. I felt very accomplished when I was done. I got stuck in traffic, and I swear I spend more time in traffic than I do running the actual errands! Just California things.

On Wednesday, I took myself on an Artist’s Date and went to Filoli to take some pictures for a workshop assignment due in a couple of weeks. Then I watched Zootopia at the theater.

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Filoli was lovely. I’m glad I went. I had woken up that morning and didn’t want to drag myself out of the house. I psych myself up to go on Artist’s Dates constantly. I’ll have it planned a few weeks in advance because I’m about that life. But then I hem and haw in the days leading up to it. I constantly have to tell my conscious to shut the fuck up and go. I basically have to kidnap myself! Afterward, I’m always glad I do go on my Artist’s Dates.

I’ve been like that since I was a kid. I would have to mentally force myself to go on overnight church retreats. If they hadn’t been mandatory for my confirmation, I probably never would’ve gone. But I met some cool people at those retreats and I always felt a weight lifted after. It’s about getting out of my comfort zone and doing something alone. Maybe it’s my aggressive hermit genes asserting themselves. I’ll never understand. Either way, I did feel spiritually creative on the way home. I took a ton of photos that will work nicely for my project. If I had the time, I probably would’ve painted or wrote some poetry. There’s plenty of quiet places to sit and do those things, and they encourage that.

Maybe next time!

Filoli is a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and one of the finest remaining country estates of the early 20th century. It’s 30 miles south of the City and built to resemble an English country estate. Like I told my pal A, it felt like walking into a Jane Austen novel, all without putting a stamp in my passport. Someday soon though! If the place looks familiar, it’s been used many times in movies and TV. I told A it was used in Dynasty and Joy Luck Club, but a LOT more than I could list here.

Filoli plaque
Filoli plaque

It was seriously one of the easiest day trips I’ve ever taken. I hopped on 280 and took it all the way to Edgewood Rd. I made a left at the stop sign, right at the next stop sign, drove maybe 3/4 of a mile down, and made a left into their gates. By the by, the weather was so fantastic, I rolled my windows down and cranked up my music. I almost wish the turnoff for Filoli was longer so I could enjoy the weather a little more.

There’s a security guard but I think his only job is to tell people to pay their entrance fee at the visitors’ center. I got a student discount ($10) and took the self-guided tour.

There are docent-led tours, but they were all full by the time I got there. There were docents dotted throughout the self-guided tour to answer questions, and professional signage and roped off areas, so I didn’t get lost. The house was built with a traverse hallway, which connected every location in the house. It was very easy to do it on my own. I much preferred that anyways.

Zootopia is a great talking piece for families. The Black Lives Matter movement of the past year is not something that can be explained or digested easily by kids. This movie opens the door to have them ask questions and it’s up to their parents to open up a dialogue.

The modern mammal metropolis of Zootopia is a city like no other. Comprised of habitat neighborhoods like ritzy Sahara Square and frigid Tundratown, it’s a melting pot where animals from every environment live together—a place where no matter what you are, from the biggest elephant to the smallest shrew, you can be anything. But when rookie Officer Judy Hopps (voice of Ginnifer Goodwin) arrives, she discovers that being the first bunny on a police force of big, tough animals isn’t so easy. Determined to prove herself, she jumps at the opportunity to crack a case, even if it means partnering with a fast-talking, scam-artist fox, Nick Wilde (voice of Jason Bateman), to solve the mystery. Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Zootopia,” a comedy-adventure directed by Byron Howard and Rich Moore and co-directed by Jared Bush, opens in theaters on March 4, 2016.

If you’re familiar with the species relations in Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (movie version) or even Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (book version), it brings up the question: who decides who is savage or not?

It was handled well, and not heavy handed at all. It felt like a Disney movie without being too cheesy. I’m excited that they’re taking this stuff on. Yeah, I know it’s not some sweeping condemnation of the racial issues in America, but at least they’re trying to get a dialogue going. I like to believe that Disney is fully cognizant that they have a responsibility to tell the next generation that happily ever afters don’t necessarily exist. Maybe there are just ever afters and all the baggage that comes with that. We’re allowed to learn the lesson from every story we experience because that story ended where it needed to and where we take it is part of our own personal interpretation and journey. That is the mark of a good story to me.

I should know; I’m personally horrible at writing endings to my stories!

Today, I did, even more, errands. I think I might finish binge-watching Fuller House. Or take a nap. Or take a nap & then binge watch. It’s not like I have any pressing engagements. I’m gonna throw myself full force into homework, though. I’ve got quite a bit due in the next month or so. I procrastinated majorly. But what else is new?

2 Replies to “Filoli

    1. There’s lots of places like this tucked all over the place out here. There’s so much history, unlike Vegas, where we blow up our history to put up more hotels lol. I’m gonna try & enjoy it while I can.

      I’ve noticed that doing the actual course itself felt like a chore but when I do certain aspects of it (Morning Pages, Artist’s Dates), it feels more digestible and relatable. Ideally I’d like to finish it, to say that I’ve done it. It will bother me until the end of time if I don’t!

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