Monday, January 28, 2013

things i really want


1.  my best friend to move to Los Angeles and live with me and have slumber parties in forts everynight while sipping wine until our teeth are purple. 
2.  a pair of slammin' heels that are also supremely comfortable.  also, do these exist?
3.  a trip to somewhere that isn't "city like" this year, like tropical islandy vibes, ya dig?
4.  another hole in my hear.  not like one that i hear out of.  but one that i can adorn with cute earrings.  
5.  a cute manicure at all times.  this is something i won't compromise on.
6.  more boyfriend dates that involve healthy food and post-meal shakes/ice cream.   please.  

The world has enough fashion bloggers

I love blogs.  Surprise, surprise.  I read blogs all the time, definitely every day, and probably at times when I'm not supposed to (like in those boring early morning meetings when I have my phone on my lap).  Why do I love them?  Because they give the every day person a platform to deliver and share their perspective.  Whether it be on politics, cooking, beauty, social issues, or fashion.  You no longer have to be a commentator on a panel or have a column in the paper to have your opinion or recommendations heard.  And there is something very special about that.  Yes it can be controversial and at times unnecessary commentary, but it is a platform that we have embraced to use our freedom of speech.  
That being said, I think we have enough fashion bloggers.  I will say I read a good amount of fashion/lifestyle blogs.  You know like Garance, Geri, Karla, Jules, etc., etc..  I like these girls, their perspectives, their photos and their style.  But it seems lately, everyone thinks that just because they can put an outfit together and have a digital camera,  that they should have a blog showing us.  I see friends I was with in middle school, high school, onward that have start posting "ootd" pictures on Facebook linking to an amature blog where they proclaim themselves "fashionistas" ans use the word "obsessed" for basically anything they sort of like (i.e. "I'm obsessed with nail art; I've become obsessed with maxi skirts!).  Ugh!  I don't meant to sound like a snob or stifle anyone's expression, I guess I just feel like there are so many more things this girls can be talking about.  Not that fashion isn't at times a divisive issue that gets a lot of attention in the media, but why don't we have more discussion about body image, self esteem, the continual perception in film that women hate or are jealous of one another?
The list goes on and on about issues that should get more attention than hemlines and herringbone prints, but don't.  And I really believe we as women can change this.  Just because you like clothes and things (trust me, I do too) doesn't mean that has to be the only voice that is given to women.  I think it diminishes the strength,  intelligence and power that women have to really start a discussion on topics that effect them everyday.  For example, fashion and clothing is something that gives women confidence everyday but is also seen as something that needs boundaries by many in society.  There is still this notion that if you as a female are wearing something that you might be "asking for it" or that a cat call is something you're essentially begging for.  That's not right, but it doesn't seem to really be talked about.   
It's not that I see fashion as something superficial, and therefore unimportant.  Quiet the opposite actually.  I just think it has gotten to a point in our society where many women are looking to these blogs and images not simply as inspiration, but also as imitation and therefore not starting any real dialogue on persistent issues effecting women not only in this country, but all over the world.  

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

recent realizations

1.  Waffles can be enjoyed at all times of day, and anyone who says otherwise is clearly a communist.
2.  The world has enough fashion bloggers.  I feel like I've said this before, but really can we please get some of these very strong and intelligent women to voice their opinions on issues other than the new Celine bag?
3.  Haircuts make you feel like everything can be fixed--even damaged, dry ends.
4.  Joining a gym might be good for me right now.  I know I haven't really worked out in like six months but as soon as I cam across cute workout clothes at Target, I knew it was time to give ti another shot.

Friday, January 18, 2013

personal rituals

 I am a fan of the personal ritual.  The things you do yourself, for yourself.  I have daily rituals that I'm sure if other people saw would think are completely bizarre, but that is what makes them personal and intimate.  
There is this great episode of Sex & the City (yes, I am a woman like any woman who loves SATC) where Carrie is contemplating moving in with Aiden and she is scared that he will see all her "secret single behavior" or, even worse, she will have to give them up.  Behavior that makes her so happy, like eating saltine crackers with jelly while standing up in her kitchen, reading fashion magazines.  When she uttered that fear that those little things that make her so happy, which might be a little strange to do around other people, might have to be hidden I related to her so deeply--as I am sure many women did.  
My strange rituals range in waking up every morning and drinking a glass of water with lemon before I do anything else; doing my nails in bed while watching the Daily Show (this feels so good, and I don't know why); washing my face and proceeding to examine each pore and pluck any out of place hair (definitely not cute to do in front of someone else); reorganizing and polishing all my jewelry while listening to rap.  I think it is these little things that keep us sane and also make that personal time with yourself (!!) so important.  Because no one will really understand why you like those little things you like. 
I'm sure there are weird things my spouse does when I'm not around.  But, honestly, knowing him he would probably tell me.  I do like to think though that there are certain things we have for ourselves.  I don't see it as keeping anything from the other person, but it's about having that relationship with yourself.  We are both very, very into each other BUT we are also into ourselves.  Okay, maybe that came out wrong.  What I'm trying to say (and probably failing at it) is that we both value our time to ourselves.  Our alone time.  Our me time.  And while I don't like to speak for the one I love, I think it is safe to say that having our alone time is healthy.  And even when we are together we can be perfectly silent and comfortable--but I don't know if we're quite at the point where I can wear a lavendar de-puffing eye mask around him while I knit a scarf.  Not yet at least.  

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

is it just me?

I think there comes a point in every women's life when they face the terrifying question "holy crap, am I turning into my mother?".  I guess I just didn't think that point would come so soon.  I'm 24 (newly 24, thank you very much!), why on earth am I thinking this you ask?  Well, I guess it 's mostly because I am not working in the field that I love:  writing.  And yes many people my age are facing that same crappy realization that they probably aren't going to land their dream job straight out of college like twenty-somethings in 90's movies did.  But working in a field I am passionate about has always been important to me.  Doing something that, okay, maybe didn't make a huge difference in the world but at least is something that made me happy and content.  
I remember when I was in my third year of college visiting home from Boston, my mom was driving and the question came up if she wanted to do something else in her life.  If there is some dream that she imagined for herself that really didn't pan out, professionally that is.  She told me that of course there are things that didn't exactly go as she imagined in her dreams. My mom entered the medical industry as a registered dietitian because she liked to help people.  She was passionate about fitness and food and wanted to show people how they could make a difference in their health and lifestyle without medicine or drastic measures.  But, after 15 years in that profession, my mom found there was less leverage than she would have liked, so she switched gears (while staying in the medical field) and now does something totally different at the same institution she started her career.  She isn't really passionate about her current position; she isn't helping people like she originally was and wanted to when she started; and I know she would much rather be doing something else.  When she told me how she felt like different things had taken her to this point in her life (having kids, wanting stability, the hopeful thought of retirement) I had this hope that things might be different for me in my quest.  I admire my mother more than anyone else in the world, but I had this hope that I could get to that place of happiness, stability and also enjoy what I do--essentially, not have to sacrifice one thing for the other.
But now I see that things might be different than I imagined and more compromise than I had hoped for.  I work at the same institution as my mom.  I don't really like my job, but I get through it and do it.  It absolutely isn't the worst thing in the world and, as I have expressed before, I sometimes feel a lot of guilt for not liking what I do because I know many people (especially in this day and age) would kill for a job as secure as mine.  But for me the passion has always outweighed security and comfort.  I am a very logical person and I don't like to flee from things just because I don't like them.  But it is very hard to think that I may never get the opportunity to make my passion my profession.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Los Angeles, you get me

I love to travel.  It is, by far, the time that I am the happiest.  Exploring a new place, whether it be just a few hours from Los Angeles or a totally different time zone, gives me such pleasure.  Going to places that city is famous for or uncovering little hidden gems; there are so many reasons I love being in a place where not many people know me and walking streets that I need a map for.  Recently, I went on a small birthday trip with my boo to San Francisco.  San Francisco has always been a destination I love.  It reminds me of New York in some ways, but the people are much more laid back and it still has that California feeling of being outdoors.  The streets can be magical and lined with beauty, but can also serve as a reminder that our social system is failing the homeless gravely.  
But it seems that every time I go on vacation I fall in love with the destination I am visiting.  So much so that I start to think about what it would be like if I were to move there.  It happened in Paris, it happens in New York every time I visit, and it is sure to happen at a future destination.  But something always seems to stop me.  Something never quite clicks completely.
I have this love/hate relationship with the city that so many visit to see stars and Hollywood, but is the city that I call home.  There is much I dislike, more that I love and lots that is keeping me here in Los Angeles.  I hate the traffic, the inability to slow down from our everyday routines/lives, and the fact that it costs so much to live here.  But oh there is so much to love!  I love the mix of people; the endless beautiful neighborhoods and incredible amount of fun things to do in them; the delicious food; how there is so much to do outdoors; and the overall life of this city that is so vast and expansive.  
When I hear people talking bad about Los Angeles, I feel compelled to throw myself into the conversation to tell them how they've got it all wrong.  Yes, there are things about this city that people have every right not to like or that I can even agree on not liking (much like when I visit other cities there are things that don't "click" with me, and ultimately keep me from seeing a life there for myself).  But when people say things like "Los Angeles has no culture,"  "people here are so superficial," "everyone is so spoiled by the beautiful weather," "I hate how big the city is," I want to scream!  There is so much culture in this city that it is bursting at the seams!  We are one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world.  So many languages, so many ethnicities, so many religions, so many different cuisines!  And yes, there is a veil of superficiality that is a part of the city, I agree with that.  But honestly, I don't mind it at all.  I think there is a broad spectrum of different types of people in this city that there is no such thing as conforming to one look based on the importance of image.  The beauty of our environment is something I think most people are jealous of, and the judgement is simply a projection of that jealousy (this probably is coming off exponentially douchey, but sorry).  And yes, the city is big.  That is something that cannot be contested especially if you fly into LAX at night.  The city lights start about ten minute before the captain is making his/her decent.  
But Los Angeles, is MY home.  It may be a place that a lot of people can find a million things wrong with, but what I love about this city is that at any given moment you can find something fun and right up your alley to do--and on the cheap too!  You can be at the beach in the morning and drive two hours out of the city and have your feet in the snow.  You can do yoga in the park on your lunch break eat a bacon & chocolate pie for dessert that night.  There is such a broad base of things to do, places to see, and incredible people to meet.  And sure our bars close at 2am but most Angelinos have pilates, brunch, or a wave to catch by 8am--so who has time for all that drinking anyway?
I love the streets of San Francisco, the efficient public transportation & night life of New York, and the history of Boston, but Los Angeles has it going on in ways that those cities could never match.  The weather, the architecture, the blossoming art scene, the nooks and neighborhoods, the hiking trails, the sunsets, the food--need I go on?  Or have I converted you too?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

24 before 25

1.  Fix up my bike/get a new bike and ride more.  Winter weather seems to have slowed me down.
2.  Move.
3.  Visit a couple more states I've never been to, maybe a country.
4.  Continue eating healthy and drinking lots of water each day.
5.  Focus on stressing less and remembering the important things.
6.  Write more.  Lots more.
7.  Buy an espresso machine and make more coffee at home!
8.  Pay off half of my last student loan.
9.  Be more open to things that are either a little scary or not necessarily my first choice.
10.  Start to exercise a bit.  Some Pop Physique classes here and there along with hikes.  My non exercise routine will catch up with me!
11.  Spend more time with my family.
12.  Do more freelance work.
13.  Take French II, again.
14.  Keep my relationship strong and wonderful.
15.  Try to wear more heels.  This isn't a promise, but a possibility.  I am always the shortest person in the room.
16.  Go to Palm Springs in the summertime.
17.  Go camping for the first time.
18.  Spend less time reading celebrity gossip on my computer and spend that time reading more.
19.  Bake at least five cakes.  The last two times I made cakes they seemed to go horribly wrong, but I will not be discouraged!
20.  Discover a new artist.
21.  Start writing cards for friends/family more.
22.  Create a delicious cocktail.
23.  Learn to cook a few more recipes from my grandmother's cookbook.
24.  Ride a scooter (the motorized kind!).

Friday, January 4, 2013

Update: 23 to do before 24; how'd I fare?

Nearly a year ago, I made this.  It was a borrowed idea, but it was one I checked up on every month to see if I was accomplishing the little goals I set for myself.  How'd I do you ask?

1.  Go to Europe  Visited Paris and parts of Germany September-October 2012
2.  Document friends and family more (pictures, video, writing, etc.)  Definitely did more of this.  Still not enough though3.  Learn how to edit video in iMovie  Nope, did not accomplish4.  Take French III  Ayyy, it did not happen.  But I am planning to retake French II in February, as I don't feel quite ready for French III5.  Move (to another apartment or far, far away eeep!)  Again, this is happening next month!6.  Cook recipes from Maman's (my grandmother) Persian cookbook  I cooked about eight recipes from her book.  A good start, considering the difficulty and time it takes7.  Find a new job that I actually have passion for  Sadly, no, this did not happen.  But I'm working on having a better mindset about my job overall8.  Stop being such a seclude  Definitely accomplished9.  Watch more old films  Yes!10.  Rekindle my love with music  Yes, and discovered many new things I adore11.  Foster and nurture only positive relationships  YES YES!12.  Enjoy all the beauty California has to offer, by getting out doors more!  This definitely started this summer, and I haven't stopped13.  Meditate at least once a week  I have good weeks and not so good ones with this.14.  Learn to be more frugal in my personal spending  Yes!15.  Pay off one of my students loans  AHHH YES!  Accomplished this a few weeks ago16.  Stay healthy (continue eating better and drinking 3L of water a day)  DONE!  I lost about ten lbs this year and feel very healthy overall17.  Support organizations I love:  NPR, NYTimes, domestic violence shelters  Yes18.  Continue writing in my journal, religiously   Filled one journal this year and started a new19.  Work on letting my guard down more  This certainly happened once I let love back in20.  Show gratitude and love to my family each and every day  Yes, always a work in progress though21.  Join a book club  I did, but I never attended a meeting.  So, I guess that doesn't count!22.  Get organized (and stay that way!)  Yup!23.  Take a painting/drawing class  Again, I lacked in taking this class, but I hope to find time next year

Now, I am off to San Francisco with my love for four days, and when I'm back I hope I'll have lovely plans for my 24 before 25.