Thursday, December 25, 2008

feliz navidad

Hello from Christmas morning! Well it's 1:30 pm... but its 5 o'clock somewhere, as they say. 5 o'clock AM (reh eh eh). I realize I haven't posted in a month, which, aside from being blatantly against my contract, is rude. I reported last post that my camera was fixed but I broke it again and I just couldn't motivate myself to post without any visual stimulation breaking up my typographical diatribe. I just googled "definition of diatribe" and that doesn't mean what I thought it did.

Anyway, I got a new camera for Christmas! ka ching. So expect great things in 2009.

Since lately I have given absolutely NO information about Point Loma or the lives of its students, take this picture as a consolation prize. I'm at my Grandma's house (again) and her computer is chock full of digital humiliation. I'll see you all when we return to school. And in the mean time, just trust me... Point Loma is great.

visiting grandma BY MYSELF in the summer of 04.
tip: dont step on the actual lane, its slicker than it looks.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Day Before Thanksgiving

Hello! I am writing to you from the road... I'm in the backseat of my parents' Honda mini-van (its an Odyssey... for you car enthusiasts) enroute to Phoenix where I will spend Thanksgiving Break with my Grandma and her minions. (Point Loma gives us Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday off... GO WILD!!!) It's pouring rain and I'm eating a blizzard from Dairy Queen and poking my dog Sammie with a pen. She's lounging in a zebra fur bed in the middle of the car while I'm crammed in the back with her "Furrari by Dogloo" dog kennel. It takes up 2/3 of the seat, therefore I currently want to kill her. But c'est la vie.

We stopped at Jack in the Box 2 hours ago and I refused to order anything, instead choosing to sit on a stool scowling and spouting fake statistics about the merits of Healthy Eating. "A salad Dad... really? If you're going to eat it with ranch dressing you might as well eat 6 cheeseburgers"... so instead he got 2 breakfast burritos and 2 tacos. My brother Kevin also got tacos and offered up this choice piece of nausea: "Mmm, greasy. After I finish one it looks like I'm wearing lip gloss."

I forced my father to stop at Subway half an hour later so I could self-righteously order a Veggie Delight on wheat. Fast forward an hour and a half and I am fishing brownie bits out of my Chocolate Xtreme Blizzard. Such is the beauty of youth.


Alright, so the moral of the story is this: I broke my camera. I didn't even do anything, I think it's just all of my past experiments finally catching up with it. This past weekend was Homecoming Weekend and I sat behind Bob Brower (the president of the university) at the game... two words: Oh. Yes. I got a lot of secret shots of him with Kelsey's camera, so I'll cover all of the Homecoming stuff when I get back.

In the mean time, here are several pictures that I took off of other people's facebooks:

Intramural Softball Team finale party at Fuddruckers. I wasn't exactly on the team per se... but it was great nonetheless. Notice the matching yellow turtlenecks: Jeff and Sean won those because they tied for Most Pent Up Rage

My great friend Tracy (ASB Director of Communications) and I were hanging around by the train tracks one Sunday (Stars: They're Just Like Us!). She has a fancy camera...

We had a picnic in Del Mar (a beach town just up the coast from Loma) and then went swimming in the ocean (in November! Apply Now!)... That night we went to the Marine Corps Ball. We weren't invited, but no one stopped us. I lost my keys and then we got to ride in the back seat of my car as the tow truck towed us back onto campus. A great day...

More soon

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

study abroad or you will have a horrible life


I'm vaguely exaggerating but you might as well just do it in case.

(note: there is a video in here somewhere, don't scroll too fast or you might miss it)

The Point Loma Study Abroad Office is my favorite location in the world. The school makes it so easy to facilitate the whole process so you really might as well go. I wish I had a statistic to reference here, but I know that A LOT of the PLNU student population spends at least 1 semester studying in a foreign country. Point to a random spot on the globe that is coincidentally sitting on your desk, and chances are Frank can find a way for you to go live there. Stop being cheeky and pointing at the Arctic Ocean, you little fiend. I spent last semester (the 2nd semester of my Sophomore year) living in Rome, Italy.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Except it was literally only the best of times and I associate absolutely nothing bad with it. I went by myself through AIFS and it was the best 5 months of my life. I made such good friends and ate such good food and I just generally had so much of the world at my fingertips. I saw more places and faces than anyone should even be allowed to.

the view from my bedroom window

I lived in an apartment with 3 girls in Trastevere (the non-touristy Roman neighborhood), which is entirely comprised of narrow cobblestone streets and alleys with old lady stockings hanging across them. My apartment was at the end of one such alley, through an iron gate, up the "Fern Gulley Steps" as we called them, and on the second floor of a yellow building with shutters. Every morning I threw open my bedroom shutters before walking to school through the morning market in the piazza and then across the bridge over the river. Wait I just started crying. Moral of the story is this: I got to know the Italian culture so well and I made Italian friends and I rode in Italian cars and I danced on Italian tables and I picked up smoking (no I didn't. Sorry that's not even funny, I'm not sure why I didn't just erase it. Too late.) and as corny and annoying as it sounds, the whole ordeal seriously changed my life. Confidence-wise, perspective-wise, and just generally happy-wise.

I went to Morocco during my spring break

For the first 3 weeks we lived in Florence in a 4 star hotel for Language Orientation. We built forts out of the hotel sheets and bonded late at night

Il Duomo in Florence

In Venice for Carnevale



I made a mini movie with all the videos I took over the 5 months and hopefully that will paint a clearer picture of how it was than my offensive fake smoking references could. Don't judge me for the inordinate amount of time I spent on it... I got my wisdom teeth out over summer and had a Gopher Face for 2 weeks (unusual). This video was the fruit of my vanity-induced refusal to be seen by someone other than my mother, whose name is Hulda (also unusual).

Side tracked. Anyway, enjoy:

ABROAD: the "documentary"

Just to clarify a couple things.
1. Giuliano was fake drinking and driving. Also bad, but not as bad. In all seriousness though, that really wasn't alcohol so don't get any ideas people.
2. After my program ended, I met up with Kelsey and we spent 3 weeks backpacking through Eastern Europe, (which is unbelievably surreal, looking back, by the way. SO FUN). So a lot of the footage came from that, as well as weekend trips I took with friends I met in my program.
3. If you want to see it bigger or in better quality without it skipping around, search Kristen Refermat Abroad on youtube.

Well there you go.

Baci baci!
(P.S. that's the thing where you kiss each others cheeks upon greeting. One of my friends, Marcello, would always go in for the baci when I ran into him in Trastevere and I would always forget you're supposed to go right first and I would end up awkwardly brushing his cheek bone with my face or, worse, kissing him on the lips. Tip: go right)

ciao i miei amici,


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

a day in the life

I fixed my computer. Julian from Dell did actually, but I helped. And by that I mean I opened the screen door to let him into my apartment.

I now give you Kristen's Life: A Taste

Monday at a Glance:

6:30 - alarm sounds, scowl and hit it with fist

7:35 - get woken up by Kelsey saying "don't you have work?" and then realize i turned off the alarm and scream Christian profanities like "dang it!" and "awww man!" for 5 minutes and then quietly proceed

7:57 - ride my bike to work at the Nicholson Commons info booth on campus. Here I write the weather and surf reports on the white board and sit behind a booth where I would typically answer people's questions and handle the lost and found. Today I only got one question though, and it was this: "One of the toilets in the mens room has a huge pile of toilet paper in it. You might want to call someone." That wasn't even a question. I also fell off my bike on the way to work when I tried to do the 'stand up while pedaling' trick on a steep hill. My shin is bleeding.

9:30 - Get off work and go to the Point Break Cafe for coffee (This is a to-go restaurant inside Nicholson Commons that sells Starbucks coffee, sandwiches, burgers and fries, smoothies, salads, and the infamous Salandwich... figure it out). Also they just added Caffeine Shots in test tubes. Sooooooo... there's that.

9:45 - CHAPEL. (You future students may be worried about this but it's seriously not bad at all. I actively like it. Here's how it works: You scan in using your ID card at the door, then there is worship led by one of a handful of student bands, then there's a mini message which is usually really good, then you talk to all your friends in the lobby and run into people you forgot about and say"Hey! Omg when are we going to hang out?!?!" in a really high voice and give them a side hug, then you scan back out. Cinchy AND fun.)

10:30 - After chapel everyone hangs out on Caf Lane until their next class (see previous entry for more on this). Earlier that day I took an eggplant out of one of the Caf's display cornucopias so we played football with it on Caf Lane. Someone (Amy) dropped it when she was going long and then someone else (Taylor) poked a hole in it with his finger so now I can't make Eggplant Parmesan. Perfect.

11:00 - Visual Presentation and Display Class. Normally I would go to this class and learn how to create displays to use in advertising but today I didn't particularly do that. I heard through the grapevine that Yelle was playing for free at UCSD at noon so a bunch of us skipped class and drove up the coast to La Jolla for the show. She is so French and cool I almost threw up. It became an electronica dance party and it was SO FUN so we finally squeezed to the front and I was slapping everyone in the face to make way for myself while simultaneously making extremely wild gestures in an effort to get the drummer to notice me. I have a video of my friend Max owning in the middle of the dance circle... I'll post it in the compilation video, but for now...... Here:

(that's me in the orange tiger shirt)

1:30 - Made it back just in time to run to the Caf (the cafeteria) for lunch (I had pizza) before Human Development Class. We watched a video of a live birth. Wait can I talk about that? I'd rather not. So anyway, adoption.

4:00 - Student Congress Meeting. I am the representative for Flex Building 47... which I don't actually even live in, but who's counting. A=B and B=C, therefore A=C. That couldn't have been less relevant if you paid me. Wait they do pay me... $100 bucks per semester, per representative.

Darrin, ASB Vice President, doing some light reading in his office

Anyway Student Congress is always fun and important-feeling. Last week one girl in my Financial Committee painted her face like a cat and I couldn't stop laughing.

Responsibilities? Check.
Then I typically do a bit of homework and then the fun begins.

That night in particular 4 of my friends and I went to Balboa Park because there is a huge Lion King tree where you can swing from vines. It's huge and gnarled and we climbed really high and talked for hours up in the branches. Then we went swimming and running in the huge fountain and kept tripping on the pipes and getting sprayed in the face by the spouts. So fun... but so freezing. Not to mention I went in with my electronic car key still clipped to my belt loop. Tight.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

fall's a ball

Whoa sorry I forgot to write anything for 2 weeks. I had midterms... 14 days in a row apparently...
But I'm back now and I'm promising Change.

Highlights of the last half month:

The Thursday night after I last spoke with you we decided to go to the Grand Canyon for a night without sleeping. It was hands down the best 24 hours of my life... if you don't count the other times of my life that were better. But it was soooo fun. Kelsey/Christie/I picked up Robin and Melissa at 9:10 and we were off! ...but then we had to go back home because I forgot my phone and my shoes. BUT THEN at 9:26 we rolled off campus with a bag of chocolate almonds (Snack of Satan) and grapes and high spirits (feelings not drinks).

Here is what the 24 hours included:
  • Each of us driving until we fell asleep at the wheel, then rotating.
  • Me incessantly talking about the Date Farm that we would be passing and all the diverse foods they offered that were made out of dates. "Oh yeah, definitely, it's just a little bit farther..." It never even came. I've since looked it up and apparently there are multiple roads that lead into Arizona.
  • Face Blasting (heads out the sunroof at 90 mph (see photo))
  • Melissa waking up, asking me and Robin to turn off the air, falling back asleep, waking up 5 minutes later and saying "I hate to be the devil's advocate but could you turn the air on," and falling back asleep. She later recounted waking up, thinking that phrase made sense there, and then deciding to say it. That is completely the wrong usage of that phrase.
  • Many deep starlit life conversations and discussions regarding why we don't have boyfriends.
  • Arriving at the GC at 6:30, parking illegally, and sprinting to the lookout point because sunrise was set for 6:31. Barely made it... but it was so good.
  • Deliriously eating breakfast at a homey place and then taking a nap in nature. And by that I mean on a cliff next to the parking lot. We put down blankets and put some smooth jazz on my iHome. Every time I opened my eyes there was either a person taking a picture of us or there was a person (usually from Spain) lying down next to me. (see photo)
  • Me getting pulled over for driving over 100 mph. Wait that didn't even happen. Yes it did. No it didn't. Wait I forgot what we're talking about.
We hiked and looked at the canyon for awhile, hunted ridiculously intensely for Wolf Shirts at gift shops to no avail, ate pizza in town, watched the Williams High School Homecoming Parade, and then drove 8 hours back. It was very magical and adventurous and I loved it. We got back on campus at 9:26, exactly 1 day after we left.

we pulled over on the freeway


left to right: Simon Cowell, me, Christie, Kelsey


This is a joke. Don't let 'them' trick you into thinking this is a break... it's just a Friday where they cancel the classes that I already don't have. But it's a great excuse to plan camping trips YA YA YA YA YA! We took a roommate trip to Cuyamaca and it was great. I am still an honarary girl scout, having graduated from the program after my senior year of high school, so I had lots of tips and tricks. One of these was "do not spray aerosol cans directly into flames" but I forgot to tell Kelsey so she tried to put Pam on the rooster pan when it was already in the fire. Summary: 10 foot inferno column. Her face was hilarious... partially because of the lack of eyebrows. But the pancakes did not stick so it was worth it. Loreal: Because You're Worth It. Wait that's not relevant here.

We did so much fun stuff... climbing trees, and hiking, and picking apples, and eating apples, and throwing apples in the lake because after you eat 12 you start hating them, and lying on picnic tables in the woods, and killing park rangers, and wearing plaid shirts. We made lots of food on the fire and tie dyed shirts in the pitch black dark and pooled our resources of sleeping bags to create UniBed (Christie and I were freezing all night because we got the edges... Kels I hope you enjoyed yourself)... then we watched Into The Wild in our tent. Well, the opening credits were viewed.

Halfway through our hike I ripped a huge 12 foot branch off a tree to use as a Gandalf Stick. Me and it looked so good together. Taylor had a similar one which actually wasnt cool at all and when she was hiking her stick got caught in a tree and she looked like a huge idiot. HA HA. I only fell once and I was last in line so I didnt even have to tell anyone. You would think the walking stick would've helped in a case like this, but it actually made it worse because it cut me. False Friend.


autotiming without telling anyone. mental music: walk like an egyptian

pier on the lake

on the hike. the definition of the phrase "amber waves of grain"... now i get it

using Gandalf Stick to knock apples out of the tree into a plaid shirt
(note: typically with sticks, the camera removes ten pounds. i swear it was more gnarled and intense than it looks here)

This is the huge Halloween carnival festival situation that the school throws the Saturday before Halloween. There was a shockingly legitimate haunted house that they set up in the nursing building and there are tons of booths and games and food. At the end, Family Wagon (a Point Loma people band) played and we MOSHED SO HARD. There was crowd surfing at one point... on campus... APPLY NOW. Just kidding. But do it. Anyway I lost my phone. Then I found it on the ground and put it in my pocket. And then 15 minutes later the lead singer held it up and I had to do the walk of shame up there to retrieve it. I have no idea how it made its way to the stage, but I really need to invest in a chain for it.

Anyway Samedi Gras was so fun and not even lame. I should have taken more pictures of the event itself but here's what I've got. Tracy and I were Newsies. I've never even seen that movie but it seemed like a good idea.

Oh, this isn't Samedi Gras. That's us at Sushi Deli. This doesn't even belong here. I'm wearing that exact outfit right now though. I wore it at least once every day this weekend actually.

waldo, tigger, pirate, newsie, psychopath holding a cake who i dont even know


i think i see something of worth here.......

ohhhhhh yeahhhhh (slo mo really deep voice)

Family Wagon in the fog

SHOOT I just dropped my computer on the ground and busted it. I'm on Christie's computer right now because Blogspot auto-saves entries, but I practically threw it at the floor and now my screen is completely lime green and white and when I shake it it rattles. Hahahahha thats pretty funny I dropped it right after finishing my entry, such is the humor of the Lord. Except I may or may not be crying right now. Yeah so anyway.... uh, talk to you never.

Kristen (sob)

Monday, October 13, 2008

not under construction

Good evening you little devils,
Where to begin. I'm at The Living Room (a cozy mismatchy coffee shop in an old 2-story house where lots of people study in yellow velvet armchairs, etc.) trying to "do work son" as they say. I came to read my Management book but I didn't bring my Management book so it's proving more difficult than I'd hoped. Therefore... an update:

Here's what I've been doing:

On your way from Point Loma to Ocean Beach you will end up driving along Sunset Cliffs Blvd (unless you're a freshman......... HA HA). There are four little jut-outs where you can pull off the road and stand on the cliffs staring at the ocean... or park your car on the cliffs and use it as a place to eat your Chipotle burrito bowl alone because you were too embarrassed to sit inside at a table by yourself. Once again, that is not specific to me. I've heard people say that's what they use it for. But regardless, at high tide there is a perfect place to cliff jump. Park at the first jut-out you pass on your way into OB, climb over the guard rail, and dive bomb it.

Saturday morning after breakfast at the Old Townhouse, we spontaneously decided to do it (hence the clothes-wearing). IT'S SO FUN... but it ended with blood. Both Taylor and I wiped out climbing back up after our second jump and she gashed the heck out of her foot while I escaped with nothing but bruised pride and a stupid video of me saying "i fell" and sitting on the ground.

It's such a rush; you'd be surprised how long it feels like you're falling. Make sure the tide is high though... check it here. My freshman year I was ignorant enough to "jump first!" into approx. 2 feet of water. My toe almost cracked off.

We started a new game in our apartment. It's called Dare Fork and it's pretty much the same as Truth or Dare but we only do dares and if you refuse to do one you have to pay 5 bucks. Whoever has The Fork (its plastic with "dare fork" written on it in blue sharpie) has the power to dare anyone to do anything. Kelsey had it first and dared me to wear a pregnant stomach the entire Friday night we spent downtown at dinner and shopping. We have a pillow the exact shape of a fetus so that dare was just begging to be dared.

Just to clarify, I realize this is the second entry in a row that I've both mentioned and posted a picture of me being pregnant. That is really weird. This is not a cry for help, nor is it a botched attempt at covering up my alleged pregnancy. If next week I post a picture of me wearing a "babydoll dress" and standing conveniently behind a brick wall, please report me.

This has been a dream of mine since I arrived at this school. The pirate cave is a huge cavern that isn't visible to the naked eye... unless you're looking at it... because in that case you can see it. What I mean is that it's hidden and involves either rock climbing or swimming to get to. I will not disclose the exact location of said cave because that can only be passed by word of mouth... but it IS on campus.

We built a fire in the cave and I brought my iHome and we danced to the music around the fire in the manner of pirates or gypsies. The week after Fall Break there will be another secret event in the cave which will be everything you've ever dreamed of... and more if I can swing it. Talk to me or comment if you want the secret details.

As you know, I am a Fashion Merchandising Major. One of the classes required of me is Visual Presentation and Display... this is basically Window Display Class. It's so fun: My most recent project was to design a 360 degree seasonal display for the product of my choice. My product was Starbucks Coffee and my season was Spring. Here is my final product:

coffee grounds as soil, starbucks straws as stems

Now here are a few featurettes I've been considering making a part of my repertoire. I have no idea if this is how you would use the word 'repertoire' in a sentence... Another word that falls into this category: Prerogative.

Lookalike of the Week:

Info Booth White Board Art Showcase
rarely can a person of his build organically achieve that level of multiple chin without trying... props Silbs.

Picture of Christie Falling Asleep With Her Laptop Slicing Her Neck... of the Day
(there is no shortage of these)

Close Ups of People Who Have the Fullest Beard on Campus and Vaguely Look Like Jesus
(this will never not be Joe (my info booth boss and friend))

KRIS-(480 - 470)

Grand Canyon Road Trip
Another Video