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Happy & Merry

Happy Day After Christmas Friends & Family!

We are in Las Vegas wrapping up a wonderful holiday with the Family Stirek. We had a truly amazing 2013 - really one of the best years of our lives! The biggest news of course is our move to Los Angeles. After over a decade of loving and living and just adoring NYC we finally got the chance to move to the west coast. California very quickly has become home - probably forever!

Taylor is working at NationBuilder - a startup that helps people do what they love. In 2012 she realized that (and we know that this isn't news!) she wants to give people a platform to grow. NationBuilder is just that, she recently got promoted to Lead Organizer and is leading a team working with students & young professionals. Imagine having a great idea and being able to make it a reality? That's what Taylor does now and it is awesome. She joined the Young Professionals board of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles and is planning a huge Bingo Event in May 2014. She's also raising money to join the Millennial Train on their second trip across the US - hard to explain but basically a trip from LA to Miami on a train with the opportunity to meet new people along the way and create a game-changing project. 

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Juan Carlos finally completed his second feature film Know How! We had a premiere for supporters in NYC in October and there is big news on the horizon coming this Spring! He is currently working in the Social Action department at Participant Media with non-profits to create actions (like petitions and pledges to the government) and help push forward everything from animal rights to civil rights to transportation alternatives. The White Roof Project is flourishing as well, the most recent fundraiser brought in nearly $20k and was hosted by actress Cynthia Nixon!

September brought some sadness, Taylor's uncle Dale Stirek passed away suddenly at the age of 55. The whole Stirek family was able to head to Chicago for the services and we were grateful to be together. Uncle Dale's love of life and his unprecedented sense of humor will live with all of us forever. Bear down Uncle Dale - we love you. 

We've been lucky this year to travel back to NYC a few times to see Juan's brother Victor, his wife Evelyn and her wonderful family. Juan and his mama, Lily, drove out to LA together to move the car across country. It was quite an adventure and Taylor can't express how grateful she is that Lily helped decorate their new home! Both of Juan's parents were in San Diego a few weeks ago and we were able to drive down to spend some quality time with them as well. 

Overall, we spend a lot of our free time hanging around in the new neighborhood — Los Feliz. The movie theater is a block away as are restaurants, bars, shops, the subway (which exists) and we can even walk to a mountain from our front door! One of the best things about LA is of course the friends. So many good folks from NYC have already made the move, and we're both lucky to work with amazing people that we now consider great friends. 

In 2014 we aim to keep creating, writing and experiencing. From scripts to crochet blankets to cooking foods that we've never tried before. Taylor's baby brother, Kincade, is studying abroad in Prague this Spring and we plan to meet up with him after the semester is over have our very own European Vacation!

We hope your 2013 was wonderful, and we hope to see you in 2014!

Have many adventures,

Taylor & Juan Carlos 

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Going going back back to DC DC

I'm so happy to be back at RootsCamp (#roots13) for a 4th time! 

For the first time in sort of ever I'm involved in something amazing that I truly believe in - I'm at NationBuilder - I'm fundraising for the Millennial Train - all of a sudden I'm realizing that the coolest thing about what I'm doing is the PEOPLE and the stories that they share. I want to meet everyone.

The first few years I was at RootsCamp I had this thought like - it was me against people who knew so much more than I did. So many talented people there who had amazing experiences. I was nervous and felt like I didn't have anything to contribute. I want to learn from everyone.

This time for the first time I realize that the purpose of all of this is to listen. I can't wait to hear the stories of everyone I meet at RootsCamp this year! I want to talk to everyone. 

See you all bright and early!!

 

(if I don't see you feel free to join me on Monday Night for happy hour! Info HERE)

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Millennial Train 2014!

When I was little I had this opportunity to go on a trip to Greenland - I think - it's a weird fuzzy memory where I was supposed to submit an essay and I remembers someone calling me and asking me to finish the application and I didn't do it... I always regretted that. 

Now I have another opportunity for a trip of a lifetime. The Millennial Train is traveling from Los Angeles to Miami in March 2014 and I have the opportunity to be onboard! I also have the chance to create a project - something else that I didn't do. I wasn't ready to write a dissertation at the end of undergrad or grad school - but now I think I am.

Help me get on the train by sponsoring my trip HERE!

I'm looking forward to meeting with people and talking about the things that make me passionate - I'm very serious about my purpose being to help people get their ideas off the ground - people who never realized they needed to organize. I think I can put together something amazing - but I need your help.

I need to raise $5,000 in the next 44 days - any and all help is appreciated! I'm happy to get on the phone and talk more about what I'm looking to do!

 

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A great excuse to eat delicious Pizza @ Mohawk Bend!

The entire month of December Mohawk Bend is donating $4 of every PPYP Designed Pizza to Planned Parenthood Los Angeles!

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Goodbye old friend.

My kindle died. I loved my Kindle with all my heart. 

Since the fall of 2010 I read more than I had read in years. After grad-school I kind of took a break from reading for pleasure - I tried but books were heavy and I was always forgetting them and always carrying more than one and it was annoying. I bought a Kindle for Stratton and then bought one for myself soon after. Yesterday when my Kindle screen broke I handed it to my coworker and he said - well I can tell you one thing - this Kindle was well loved. 

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In the past few years I've read tons of Stephen King, the Hunger Games trilogy - twice, All of the Harry Potters, books my friends wrote, books on being a better wife, a better employee, a harder worker. I read The Jungle, books on Atheism, books on Jesus, books on war, Peter Pan fan fiction, books on serial killers, I joined a book club, I read books from my childhood - The Westing Game, Flowers for Algernon.  

I loved my Kindle because my Kindle made me love reading again. 

I bought a new one - it will arrive soon - and the journey can start all over again.  

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Is it possible to read this Liz Meriwether article in Elle and feel anything besides intense overwhelming irrational sort of crazy jealousy?

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Oh I'm 32

I write New Girl

I have a home in Los Angeles

My kitchen is teal 

 

Girl, you are freaking awesome! Read more @elle Here. 

 

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Vote for PPYP Los Angels to win an LA Photo Party

Help Planned Parenthood Los Angeles get hoooked up with a photo booth and party planner for our annual Bingo for Choice!! Vote every day please for Planned Parenthood Young Professionals! 

http://www.laphotoparty.com/nonprofit/

Nicole & I last year!

Description of organization

Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles (PPLA) provides high-quality, affordable reproductive health care, such as cancer screenings, family planning and STD/HIV prevention to over 144,000 women, men and teenagers annually through our 19 health centers. In addition, we reach tens of thousands of teenagers and adults through our educational outreach programs. The Planned Parenthood Young Professionals have officially been a group for 2 years. Young people around Los Angeles wanted to take ownership of events and fundraising for PPLA. In addition to the Bingo Night we do ‘Cocktails for Choice’ - happy hour events every few weeks around LA! Proceeds from this event will help PPLA continue working to meet Los Angeles County’s growing need for reproductive health care and sex education.

Description of holiday event

The Planned Parenthood Young Professionals of Los Angeles host ‘Bingo for Choice’ every Summer in or around Downtown Los Angeles! The 2014 event is scheduled for Tuesday, May 20th. We are joined by Bingo Boy’s fabulous Drag Queen Bingo hostesses for a night of bingo / live auctions / silent auctions featuring local LA snacks and drinks! Last year’s prizes included Cruises for 2, wine tasting parties, beach cruisers & more! This year we plan to host around 300 attendees at the event - all proceeds go to supporting Los Angeles Planned Parenthood support centers that directly impact the community. Here are some pictures from last year’s event: http://taylorpineiro.nationbuilder.com/ppyp_bingo_pics We rely heavily on donations and discounts from our partners to put on the best event possible while raising the most that we can for the local Planned Parenthood Health Centers. The event is sure to be awesome - let's document it together!! It can only lead to bigger and better things for us!

 

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Doctor Sleep & Room 237

I love scary movies. I love scary books. I love Stephen King like he is a member of my family who tells us bedtime stories that stop us from sleeping ever again. Reading his books I feel like he's talking to me. Every question I have - every thought I have while reading is supposed to be there -- everything unsaid in his books - it's like he's telling me what to question and then answering the questions. It is amazing. 

The other day I found Room 237 on Netflix. A documentary about the making and the conspiracy theories of The Shining film. Stephen King movies generally suck. They are made for TV movie style crap full of really embarrassing acting and terrible special effects. There are two exceptions. Shawshank (because it is possibly the greatest movie of all time) and The Shining (because it isn't a Stephen King movie - it's a Stanley Kubrick art piece). Room 237 scared me so much I watched the entire thing with all the lights on and frozen in fear on the couch. Stanley Kubrick messes with your head over and over and over. It just has little to do with the actual Stephen King book. No maze, no axe, no blood elevators. And it's worth mentioning that what REALLY happens with the elevators in the novel is way way scarier. 

Basically Kubrick was like f you King I'm going to make whatever damn movie I want to make. 

I just finished Doctor Sleep this morning. It's the sequel to The Shining - read it - love it. 

In the afterward Stephen King says this:

Did I approach the book with trepidation? You better believe it. The Shining is one of those novels people always mention (along with 'Salem's Lot, Pet Sematary, and It) when they talk about which of my books really scared the bejeezus out of them. Plus, of course there was Stanley Kubrick's movie, which many seem to remember - for reasons I have never quite understood - as one of the scariest films they have ever seen. (if you have seen the movie but not read the novel, you should note that Doctor Sleep follows the latter, which is, in my opinion, the True History of the Torrance Family.)

Dear god I love that man. 

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November 5th - Cocktails for a Cause

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The Ukelele Orchestra of the Western Hemisphere

I need to start turning my phone when I take videos.

This was last night at El Cid. It was amazing. 

Follow TUOWH on Facebook here

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My Nieces

Lilly Rose & Olive Rue

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I quit Facebook - and it is awesome

A few weeks ago I was staring at pictures of people from Highschool who I don't really know - and people from college who I'm no longer close with - and people from real life who I don't really want to know anything about anyway -- and I thought 'dear god why am I doing this?'

So I paused my facebook (canceling it asks for too much - I just paused I might be back)

So far so good - I'm still on Instagram and Twitter - I've missed a few party invites and a few baby announcements but not anything that doesn't get around to me eventually. Mostly I'm missing a bunch of junk that I don't care about. I can get to buzzfeed on my own, thank you. 

The first few days I thought in facebook statues - like oh I should tell everyone I just fell and ate an entire loaf of bread and I'm excited about Breaking Bad. I don't do that anymore - and I don't miss it even a little bit. 

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Know How Private Premiere in NYC

Juan Carlos' movie Know How premiered at the Possibility Project's Fall Fundraiser on Monday! We had a great time visiting NYC and we (aka me and everyone that attended) are so proud of all the hard work by Juan Carlos, The Possibility Project staff & volunteers and most of all the Foster Kids who are committed to changing the system!

You can learn more about Know How here: http://www.knowhowmovie.com/

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Derek

 

Unsurprisingly I love the new thing that Ricky Gervais made. 'Derek' is seven episodes of the most wonderfully sweet and kind show I have ever seen. It is just beautiful. I want to describe it in a way that you would describe a newborn animal. Juan and I finished it up last night - with lots of 1am laughter and tears. 

I couldn't recommend a show higher. 

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I love my Uncle Dale

dale.jpgMy Uncle Dale passed away on September 8th. I had plans to write a blog about the 12 year anniversary of 9/11 and instead I was on a plane to Chicago to attend Dale's funeral. 

It isn't even sort of something that I could have imagined happening. I'm so so devastated. Dale was flat out incredible. He was in his mid 20s when I was born and he was so amazed by me and Blair - he just thought that we were the coolest little things (until his own girls were born - of course!) Blair and I keep finding pictures of us forcing Dale to have sleepovers in the living room of his house. Blair and I are in our popple sleeping bags and Dale is laying on several blankets that Great Grandma Bisch made having a great time!

Dale took us to the circus more times that I can count - after every performance he and I would stand up and bow like we had something to do with it! He was my Godfather - he was honored and so was I. Dale loved football, pizza cut in squares and being a stone cold Republican. 

Dale was my dad's only brother. I always somewhere in the back of my mind was depending on Dale to be there when my dad passed away - I can't believe it was the opposite. The whirlwind of getting all 7 of us (Dad, Me, Juan, Blair, Stratton, Decker & Kincade) out to Chicago - sleeping in guest rooms of our amazing friends - attending the services - being with the people that Dale loved the most and telling stories --- there is something in the back of my mind. Even though I was there - I still don't quite believe it happened. It's like the words hang outside my head and I look at them and I think 'No, there is no way. Dale can't be dead. That doesn't make sense.'

As it goes with a large family across the country we didn't talk often but when we did it was always 90% of him telling me how proud he is of his daughters and 10% of us laughing about my dad. Dale came to my college graduation - what a gift that was - all he wanted was to see us succeed. I was lucky to see him in October - and for Juan to meet him. I was lucky to speak to him in May to try to get him to come to Vegas for my dad's birthday. Heck - my dad even lost his phone three weeks ago and Dale made the rounds trying to find it and talked to my mom for a while - little things that we are grateful for. 

I suspect that I will think of Dale all the time, always with laughter (and maybe a few tears). I will tell my kids and grandkids about him. It can't be true. It can't be true. 

For the record, I know how you live forever. Surround yourself with people who love the shit out of you and you will be a legend - just like Dale Stirek. 

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