Sunday, March 10, 2013

Getting Honest

Hello everybody :D!!! Holy cow, it really has been a long time!!! So much has happened in my life since I last posted anything. I guess that should be obvious since it's been almost a year, but seriously. So many good things have happened.

((If you don't want to read this and want to skip to the important stuff, skip down to *IMPORTANT*))

Last August 31st, I was able to release my first ever album entitled "Axis" under the artist name "Axis." You can find it on iTunes here>> https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/axis-ep/id557193829 or you can listen to the full songs on Spotify. It's made around 20$ when it comes to streaming and people purchasing the album, I received many compliments on it, and was thrilled to know that people were and still are enjoying my music. I filmed my music video over the summer, but decided that I wanted more variety in the shots, so I'm going to be doing a couple more shoots over the next couple months. One being indoor and the other being in Goblin Valley, just for variety and for the fun of it :). It has been one of the most fun things that I've ever done and really makes me feel like I'm fulfilling what it is that I want to do while I'm alive.

I know I've thanked these people before, but I seriously couldn't have accomplished what I did without my mom, Felicia Farerre, my dad, Todd Sorensen, and my good friend Christie, her dad, and my good Japanese friends Chinatsu Kobayashi and Kumiko Koseki. The Japanese on my album would've been horrible without them! My mom helped me with vocals and my dad mixed the music together after I'd recorded all the instruments and such. Christie and her dad have been the ones that have helped me film the music video and it's been so much fun! Thank you all so much for your help with my first album!!

I'm hoping to release my 2nd album before summer starts, and I'm going to stick to that goal as well as I can despite the fact that school has definitely kept me on my toes ever since it started last August, right before my first album was released.

If you'd like, you can go to this link and see my fanpage on Facebook>> http://www.facebook.com/axisofficial

I've also been doing a lot of time lapse art videos and posting them on YouTube. You can find my channel here>> http://www.youtube.com/user/alexisnaquel

One thing before I really delve deep into why I'm posting this today! My primary e-mail address is changing from akane.uzumaki@gmail.com to alexisnaquel@gmail.com , so if you need to get a hold of me, PLEASE send your e-mail to alexisnaquel@gmail.com ! I'm going to eventually delete my akane.uzumaki@gmail.com account and am in the process of transferring everything over to my alexisnaquel@gmail.com account :).

*IMPORTANT*
All right, so the reason why I'm posting this entry today is because for the past couple weeks I've been really thinking about my experience at BYU and how I've treated my classmates, teachers, and the animation program even, and I wanted to take a minute to apologize. Honestly.

I feel like I need to explain myself a little bit. I came to BYU from UVU, which I'd been highly enjoying because I had all the freedoms I'd ever wanted in the world. I wasn't strong in the church when I went to UVU and didn't plan on ever getting back into it. Ever again. It's just not something that I have interest in. I really believe that the church teaches great things and has helped me learn how to live an enriching, healthful, balanced life, but my faith in the church isn't strong. And I don't mind it being that way. In fact, when I first transferred to BYU, I hated going there because it felt like everything around me was so church-based, it made me feel sick. I tried to distance myself from everyone and everything as much as I possibly could because I didn't want people knowing that I hated going to BYU, I hated going to church, I just hated, and hated, and hated. I looked for other schools that I could attend that had good animation programs, but realized that I'd be drilling a pretty huge hole in my pocket if I went anywhere else, especially out of state, and eventually gave up on the idea of leaving, especially once I'd gotten accepted into the animation program.

When I found out I'd actually gotten accepted into the program, I didn't really feel happy. I felt trapped. In my head it seemed like I was going to be in prison for the next four years, and I wasn't very excited. The only thing that really kept me going was thinking that the program was going to help me get a job in the future. I kept my walls up whenever I interacted with people in the program and looking back on all of it, I really regret the fact that I didn't reach out more or talk to people more, not from a networking standpoint, but just from a friendship standpoint.

Once I moved out in 2011, I initially really felt alone most of the time, but tried to keep it to myself because no one likes a whiner. Plus, it was my choice to be alone. I was really glad that I moved out though, because I feel like that's when I hit a turning point and really started to grow up and realize that being at BYU, as much as I haven't enjoyed some aspects of it, has been a really wonderful opportunity to meet some really sweet, really fun people and learn some really incredible things. Although my disinterest in the church still stands, I don't feel angry about it nearly half as much as I used to. It still bothers me sometimes, but I can look past that and enjoy the experiences that I'm having with the students I've become friends with and the teachers that I feel closer to now than I did before. As much as I was afraid of being judged by other people for not liking or wanting to attend church, I was judging other people because they were attending church, so I was unquestionably a hypocrite.

The reason why I'm writing this is because I want to be honest and open with the people that I interact with, and I'm sorry that I haven't been honest until now. I really value the connections that I've made at BYU and I want to keep those connections strong and uplifting. I'm really sorry that I haven't been open with you and that I pushed you all away for the past few years. I'm really sorry if I ever offended you or upset you in any way. I really value my connection with you, whether we're just acquaintances, or whether we're friends. I hope you'll forgive me for not being honest with you and I hope that I can keep you in my life despite my mistakes.

I don't mean to be incredibly dramatic either. Saying these things and bringing them out into the open is just a difficult thing for me to do because I've kept it buried for the past few years. Whether you still want to be connected with me is up to you, but I'm totally open and will do my absolute best to be honest from here on out. You're all wonderful people and I'm so happy that I've gotten to meet you and get to know you and I hope to get to know you all better in the future even though graduation for most of you is happening this semester. I graduate next year because I've been taking my classes at a slow pace (which is entirely my decision), and also just finished my Japanese minor last semester, just so you all know :).

By the way, when I say that I haven't been honest, I mean when it comes to my opinions about the church. When I say that I haven't been open, it means that I haven't shared my complete opinions or honest opinions about things because I'm very afraid of conflict and would rather alter my own opinion than fight for my own, which might sound stupid, but I'm working hard to make my opinions stronger and my skin a little tougher.

Within the past few months I've really began to open up, or at least that's how it feels to me and it's such a wonderful feeling! I felt like this message was needed though to let you know that I'm finally starting to feel comfortable enough to completely be myself without feeling afraid of people liking me or hating me for various reasons. So, if you've noticed me talking to you more lately, this is why. I'm finally opening up and learning to be honest, despite what consequences might follow <3 .="" p="">
I hope that this message hasn't brought you down in any way, I just wanted to inform you about me and why I've acted the way that I have at school. If you read this, thank you for reading it! I hope to continue to be your friend in the future.

Happy Sunday to all of you,

~Ali~

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Coming to the surface....

Hey everybody!!! Remember how in the last section of my last post I said the semester would be over quick? Well! Let's just say that it's crazy to think that the semester ends NEXT WEEK. Finals are going to start happening on Wednesday, the 13th of June. I'm so excited for the semester to be over!!! Don't get me wrong, the classes that I've taken actually turned out to be really awesome, especially Biology 100. My religion class that I took this semester wasn't half as bad as the first one that I took at BYU, but I think that's partly because the teacher was really a cool guy and if I ever got bored, I could draw a little in class >_>; and still be able to ace the tests and quizzes that we were assigned! Gotta love taking general ed. classes in the spring. They seriously fly by :).

Anywho!! A lot has happened within the last couple months, and I have some pictures to kind of give you a summary of what's been going on :)!! I'll explain them as they're posted :D. And I'll be adding a TON of stuff to the end of this blog in case you're interested in reading it <3~!






 This was some random meal I made that had beans, veggies, fish, and cheese :D.






 Had a strangely deformed Gala apple for lunch one day D8. It was like it was trying to create another bottom of the fruit on its side hahaha!



 Had some cabbage with fish and other veggies one day for lunch and my cabbage turned blue!!! It was psycho!






 Some chair concept ideas I tried to come up with for Chasm :).



 I was walking home from school one day and thought the clouds here looked awesome, so I snapped a picture :D.



 A random picture I had my Auntie Donna snap while we drove out to Oregon to see my mama from the 10th-14th of May I believe it was.... It was a beautiful ride!






 Pretty sure these two are pictures of the Salt Lake :D.



 I thought the road here looked awesome....it just disappeared into the distance :D.



 This is a really weird looking statue thing they have standing out in the middle of some of the salt flats XD.






 The mountains in the background are what I was trying to focus on. SO stinkin' cool looking :).



 This was a gas station we stopped at in this little place called "Adel." I thought that the signs above the pool table were pretty awesome XD.









 A super cool water tower we spotted on the way!



 Note the road sign...hahahah!!! When my Aunt and I saw this, we both started cracking up! It was amazing XD.



 When we got closer and closer to our destination, there were more foresty tree tunnels like this one where you could only see straight forward. It was so beautiful~!



 I was specifically trying to get a picture of the balloons that were flying away. They looked super cool in the sky!



 This was the view from my mama's backyard :). If you look, you can still see the little spec of balloons drifting off :D.


















These beautiful green pictures were all taken not far from where my mum lives up in Oregon. It was so green and pretty up there!!! I absolutely miss it already~.



 This is my awesome mama trying to make me laugh by putting my hairband with bobby pins on her head to make her look like a bug/alien. It helped because I was so upset we were leaving the next day ^^;. It's tough to live away from someone you're so close to otherwise <3.









 These were all taken on the drive back from Oregon on a beautiful Monday :D. We drove for 14 hours that day D8.





 Me trying to blend in with the background that I asked my Auntie to shoot for me while I drove XD.





More of the cool scenery :D.


Thought the clouds here looked awesome :).








 These were some pretty awesome looking rocks :D.









The reason why I took this picture is because I thought it would be PERFECT to put like a UFO or something hovering above the mountains because you couldn't see the cloud that was actually creating the shadow XD XD. Photoshop fun~!!!


The fact that it said "Deeth Starr Valley" made me laugh because I remember reading a sign earlier and read it as "Death Starr Valley." Oh, silly me!











 So, you can't see it very well from these pictures, but when my Aunt and I came through this mountain pass, there was this part of land that had like terraces on it...it was so cool looking! I tried to get some good photos of it, but it was difficult from such a distance ^^;.



 More Chasm chair concept art :D.






 These are some examples from a website I'm going to be putting up for myself as a model. This mini project has fallen to the backburner because I want to be focusing on my music and stuff first and foremost :D.


 I saw this sign in Provo and just had to snap a picture XD. I thought it was hilarious!



 Dan and I visited the Sierra park that's right by his house one day and I saw this and had to take a picture, it was too pretty to be ignored~! :D



 For some reason, I thought the sign on this machinery in one of the student labs was hilarious XD. So I took a picture of it ^^.






 This is an idea that I had while I was in my religion class for the music video I'm going to be making this summer :D. Super excited~!



 This is a salad I've been having pretty often lately. It's spinach, black beans, salsa, and some steel cut oats. It's super interesting, if I eat the steel cut oats and salsa together, it oddly kinda tastes like hashbrowns to me 8(. I wonder if my tastebuds are just going psycho XD.












 I was up at my parent's house one Sunday and took some pictures of the clouds because they were gorgeous~. Love the sky!!!






 SUPER yummy egg sandwich :)!!



 This is probably the most that I have EVER sweat after a workout hahaha! Not to gross you out, but it was freaking awesome! Been following fitness model Zuzana Light on YouTube. She creates workouts that are similar to BodyRock, seeing as she was one of the original creators of that site :D. Super awesome, inspirational lady!






 This is some bok choy that I got from my Aunt and cooked one Sunday. I put some chopped almonds on top and it was delish~!



 This was the sketch I did for my biology final project.



 Dan and I were cuddling and I decided to snap a picture of us because I hadn't in forever and think I need to start doing that more :D.



 I love it when I'm accidentally artistic! I was mopping the floor one day and accidentally made this little pattern behind me with my mop :D. Thought it was super pretty!!



 This is an awesome breakfast I was able to make for myself thanks to my Aunt buying groceries for me <3. Thank you so much Auntie!!!



 My chocolate protein yogurt :). So happy!!! XD XD.



 This was some dirt that was on the sidewalk on campus that had been swished around by some water. I thought it looked super awesome, so I took a picture :). Leave it to me to take pictures of cool looking dirt ^^;.






This has actually become a staple for me as of late! Sliced veggies with hummus. SO delicious!!! And super good for you too!!! Oh, food is so good, especially when it's good for you ;)!!!


So, I'll be honest with you. There's been lots of downs and ups again hahaha, but I honestly can't complain. Life has been so good to me! I was required to pay my short term student loan by the 1st of June and thanks to my dad helping me out with money, I was able to pay for it, but after having payed for the loan and rent for the month of June, I had no money for the next two weeks worth of food. I panicked and reached out on Facebook for help because I wasn't sure what I should do considering I only had a measly 5$ to spend on food, gas, etc. Both my older sister Em and my Aunt Donna came to my rescue. Em called me the next day and asked me if I needed money and I told her I thought that I would be all right because I still had some frozen foods like veggies and chicken and whatnot. She told me if I needed any money, she would've been happy to send me some :). Later that day, I got a call from my Aunt Donna and she told me that she had some extra fruits and veggies and such that she could give to me and I gratefully accepted :D.

That night, after having spent an AMAZING day with my good friend Christie Karr, I went over and got the food. It was so nice of my Aunt to share her food with me, I couldn't have been more grateful to her <3. The week progressed and nearing the end of this last week I was starting to look a little low on food, etc, so I asked her if we could go grocery shopping together, and she was so gracious and took me grocery shopping with her. We went to Costco and she bought me a ton of great, high-quality food that I've been eating for the past few days now. After having split her groceries half-and-half with me and even giving me a few items specifically for my needs, she gave me a 20$ to get tofu and peanut butter and whatever else I needed. I honestly could've cried I was so happy and so grateful to her :'D!! Thank you so much Auntie for saving me!!

Luckily I get paid this next coming Friday, so I should be just fine when it comes to food until then :). Speaking of food, I was given this amazing book from my mama before I left Oregon called "The Kind Diet" written by Alicia Silverstone. It's an absolutely amazing book based on eating vegan and the benefits of it, etc. It really inspired me to eat less meat and try to make plant-based proteins a bigger part of my diet. These include things like beans, legumes, seaweed...stuff like that :). I haven't gone vegan, but I've been trying to make the transition to vegetarianism. I'm still eating eggs, yogurt, veggies, and sometimes fish and chicken, so I'm not even really vegetarian yet, but I want to eat veggies more often now that I know what a horrible effect eating red meat and eating so much meat in general does to the environment around us. I'd like to keep the Earth healthy ^^;.

Anyway, enough of that :D. I understand it bothers some people, but oh well. Can't make everybody happy. Sometimes you just have to make sure you're the one that's happy :). I wanted to take a second to thank my dad for helping me with finances and helping me mix my music so that it can sound awesome and compete in the music world. I also want to thank my mama for always supporting me emotionally no matter what's happening and always supporting me to live whatever dreams I envision <3. I want to thank Christie Karr for being so willing to help me out with making this music video that I'm hoping to have done by the end of summer, and I want to thank my amazing friend Chinatsu Kobayashi for helping me translate my songs and make sure that the translations are correct <3. You've all been wonderful helps when it comes to my life and these projects I'm doing and I can't thank you all enough!!!

I'm grateful for the rest of you out there that support me and talk to me as well! You haven't been forgotten <3. Also want to take a second to thank Tia for being so giving when I hung out with her a couple of weeks ago. She payed for me to go swimming with her and also payed for me to eat with her and her family. It was so much fun and I super enjoyed being around her and everyone again after such a long time!

I love you all so much and hope that you have a wonderful Sunday!!!

~Ali~