Friday, December 31

New Year Shoes

Listening To: Bitter:Sweet :: The Bomb ((Drama))


I wish....
New Years parties mean New Years Outfits, which always seems to be a big deal for me-- even though I rarely do anything for NYE.

 Last year we went to a local bar/club for a funky concert. Outfit consisted of a sexy sleeveless turtleneck top with holes in the front and back and a silvery chain necklace attached, tight jeans, and cute pumps. I always seem to get New Years worthy tops for christmas, and luckily this year kept the trend, with a cute flowy, flowery black tank top.

This year, even though we're both working dinner tonight and breakfast/lunch tomorrow, we're stopping by a co-worker's house for just long enough to sip champagne and fit a dance or two in, and share some rum-chocolate coated pretzels I'm cooking up.


As for tonights outfit, my plan is the flowery tank with black leggings, super short black shorts (leftover from my sadly short Derby stint last spring) and Happy New Year necklaces I got from Target for a dollar. The problem lies in the shoes....
These are my choices ::
<--- Cute and stylish (the stripey cozy socks are a must, I'm sorry.)

Or Punky and Practical. These are cute (give a sort of rugged adorableness to the outfit) and I can wear them to work, with is a big advantage.--->


Hmmm...decisions decisions.

Have a Happy New Year!!!

Thursday, December 30

Winter Cozy

I'm in a girly-girl fashion-obsessed winter clothes kind of mood this week, and it's too bad I'm bed ridden (practically) with nowhere to go but work for the next week. New years was supposed to be spectacular but I'm working both Even and NY Morning, so it's not likely it'll be anything worth getting excited about.

Until then, I'll snuggle in cozy socks and fluffy sweaters, waiting for my body (and boss) to stop hating me and get my life back in a non-embarrassing state.

Wednesday, December 29

Be Like Weetzie Bat

Way to Be Like Weetzie,
Number Fifteen :: Embrace Cultures




Weetzie Bat never shies away from something new or exotic, and she has so many friends of different nationalities and cultures and enjoys so many different kinds of activities and fashions that her life is full of fun and beautiful diversity! 
((I don't have many quotes for this one right now, since all of my WB books except Necklace of Kisses are MIA, but I'll add more later.))


Easy Ways To Explore Different Cultures Around You ::
~Try a new kind of restaurant
--I'll never forget the first time I tried a local (authentic) Korean restaurant. Even though I hadn't fully adjusted to the food, the experience was still amazing; korean banchan, sweet chilled cinnamon tea, and all that spicy amazing food! And I can't even begin to describe my first trip to an Ethiopian restaurant. So delicious, so exciting. Here are my recommendations for new food types :: Vietnamese (try the Pho, please!), Korean, Ethiopian (so yummy), West African, Sushi (don't you dare get a California roll!), and Dim Sum (Bao please!). If you're not sure if you have any of these in your area, check out ChowHound.com and ask around. Then get chowing! Don't forget to ask questions when there's something you don't fully understand, like "How do I eat this?" "What's this made out of?", etc.
~Go on a WikiTour
-- Start off on Wikipedia with something you like. Bollywood, Chinese Food, Salsa Music, whatever. Then follow the internal links from that cultural wonder to another. I used to do this a lot with food, especially sushi. I'd read about one kind of food, then click on a wiki-link that described another similar food, and so on and so on. You can do this with a lot of things on Wikipedia, such as music, fashion, celebrities, religions, etc. It's a great way to just soak up new cultural information.
~Ask Questions!
--When you meet someone from a different culture, don't hesitate to ask questions about their life and culture (though you might want to ask if it's okay first). Think of yourself as a cultural journalist, collecting information on their unique and wonderful lifestyle. 
~Find a Festival
-- I looove international festivals. Music, food, clothes, dancing, language, and cultural oddities all in one place! If you live near a university, it's likely you can find one of these at least once a year. If you live in an awesome hippy/diverse area (NYC, LA, Asheville, Miami, etc), you can probably find them much more often. The local university here does at least one full international festival per year, and the individual cultural organizations do their own cultural events as well, such as Chinese Moon Festivals or celebrations of the Chinese New Year. I once went to a Native American festival here, with tribal dance, food, and demonstrations, and I saw a flier last year for a Hare Krishna festival about an hour north of here (but I didn't get to go). Not to mention an Italian food festival downtown last month, a Celtic Culture festival in Boone a few years back (maybe they do it every year), and music festivals all over the state! Don't be afraid to get out there and experience something new.
~Explore Music
-- Pandora and Grooveshark are great websites that let you listen to music for free. Team them up with Wikipedia or another search engine and explore different kinds of music from around the world. Experience latin beats with Salsa or Merengue, try some Japanese pop music or African rhythms.
~Do the Artsy Thing
-- Museums and galleries really are great ways to get out of the house and explore culture. This is especially true if the particular exhibit has to do with foreign history or art. Entrance is usually free or at least cheap, and on a day off from work or school it's a great way to have a relaxed day out and soak in the beauty and diversity. If you're lucky enough to live near an art/foreign/independent movie theater, stop by for a type of film you wouldn't normally watch, like a French drama or Bollywood flick. 
~Celebrate a Foreign Holiday
-- I love the idea of celebrating random, foreign/different holidays, even if you aren't of that ethnicity, religion, or culture. A calender that lists different countries holidays is a great addition to your office/desk/living room, and a little research can go a long way towards a fun afternoon of cooking foreign, festive foods, listening to new cultural holiday music, and learning/exploring something new.
~ Don't be Afraid
-- Please, please, please; never be afraid of something new. I have a motto that I'll try anything at least twice. Because, to me, the first time is never really enough to fully grasp what it is you're trying. For some things (like bungee jumping) once may be enough, but for things like food, performances, music, etc, the first time is just an introduction, just a taste. To really know if you enjoy something, you have to at least try to experience it a second time, just to make sure you've fully seen (or tasted, or heard) what that thing had to offer you.


Recommended Links & Inspiration ::
Ted Global 2010 :: Videos of culture and issues around the world

"A very tiny old lady with a lavender sari and violets in her white hair joined Weetzie and the flower girl. The woman was so graceful like a young bride herself. Weetzie thought, That is how I want to be."



"She sat at a quiet table surrounded by red and white cat statues with one paw raised, as if swiping at prey, and wiped her hands with the warm washcloth that the very tall, surprisingly broad-shouldered Japanese waitress brought. Then Weetzie ordered miso soup, spinach with sesame, edamame, sauteed pumpkin, rice balls with umeboshi, cold soba noodles with scallions, and tofu steak. Each item came in its own small red, black, or terra-cotta bowl or dish, she at slowly with her chopsticks."

Recommended Movie(s) ::  Nana and Pan's Labyrinth

Saturday, December 25

ChrisMaHauniKwanzika





I love different kinds of holidays. 
I say "Happy Holidays" a lot, not to be PC, but because I really do wish everyone happiness in all holidays, especially because I try to celebrate all kinds of holidays!

So, Happy Holidays!
Happy Christmas!
Merry X-Mas!
Happy Kwanzaa!
Happy Hanukkah!
Blessed Yule!
((any I'm leaving out? I must know!)

<3

Friday, December 24

Beautiful Reading :: Wasteland

Book: Wasteland
By: Francesca Lia Block


"But the way I saw you was pieces refracting the light, shifting into an infinite universe of flowers and rainbows and insects and planets, magical dividing cells, pictures no one else knew."
-pg 4

I've only gotten half way through this book, and I'm still a little confused about it, but the words are still beautiful, just like FLB books tend to be. Like the quote above, images of light and music and the world around the characters, Marina, Lex, and West.
From what I've read in reviews, the story is a blend of a (controversial) romantic relationship between siblings Lex and Marina. From what I've read, this story falls behind, mentioned, implied, and described through the strange, building relationship between the two. But it's not the primary focus, which actually seems to be Lex's untimely, mysterious death, and classmate West's attempts to help Marina get through it.

"You remember the ones who die when you're a kid. You remember them because it's so out of control and it reminds you that it's not just old people even though you feel in a million years nothing could happen to you."
-pg 30

Like I said, I'm only half way through, and the plot is a definitely a little confusing, the point of view and timeline changing often, making it hard sometimes to tell what is going on, who is talking, and when it's happening. I'm thinking this may work better on a second reading, after I've been through the text and soaked in the story.
But the emotion is raw and beautiful, and the descriptions, as would be expected, are amazing. I'm not sure this will be among my favorite FLB books, but I definitely won't regret it, turning each page with a solemn ache in my heart for Marina's pain.

"My mind is like the Valley- this vast barren waste. Car lots. Malls.  Tract homes. I know there are other worlds beyond it-- of canyons full of coyote and monarch butterflies, squirrels, bunnies, purple and yellow wildflowers, of magical boulevards lined with palatial movie theaters and movie-star haunted mansions, of parks and palms and palisades, especially, especially, especially of the ocean, where it all ends and everything begins."
-pg 11



PS.
Are you ready for Christmas? If not an Xmas person, what other Holidays do you celebrate this time of year?

Wednesday, December 22

Dancing with Myself

Today's How To Be Happy Event :: Dance. 


If you're like me, you love to dance, but haven't gone crazy and danced alone in your room in years.
Big mistake.
Having discovered a new favorite music wonder (Bitter:Sweet), some of the songs are so jazzy and smooth that I had such a sensation to move!
So while Dan was out I did just that.
With the pups following me timidly around the living room, I spun and jumped and shook and shimmied to the jazzy beats for a full hour. 

I always keep myself from dancing around like that because I have this internal bleeeeh mode that says "No, don't do it, it'll just feel embarrassing, even with nobody around. You'll just feel stupid." 
You might have a similar voice in your head sometimes about things you want to do (alone) but convince yourself against.
Don't listen to that voice!

No matter how silly I danced, I felt so active and fun and liberated and free!
I cleared my head of all my negative thoughts and just jumped into the beat.
With the freezing weather outside, I'm hoping I'll be able to pull myself off the couch and dance around the living room far more often.







Today's (other) How To Be Happy :: Watch anything with Carey Grant or Marilyn Monroe.  


Did I mention? Netflix is a wonderful thing. I just started this movie, and I love that "Loco" got a whole meal with her single quarter. And that they sell the furniture in their uber class furnished apartment to fund everything in their plan.

Monday, December 20

Be Like Weetzie Bat

Way to Be Like Weetzie, 
Number Six :: Be Adventurous



A Few Simple Ways to be Adventurous Every Day
~ Try something different. Whether its a new kind of food, music, or movie, just try something new!
~Say hello. Smile more at strangers and say hello to people you don't know. You don't have to have a conversation, just greet them. You'd be surprised at how much it boosts your confidence and willingness to meet new people.
~Make plans to do something crazy, even if you aren't really going to do it. Make lists of places you'd want to go on a road trip, or the things you'd do in the Bahamas. 
~Take pictures of things around you that excite you or make you feel adventurous (water slides, fields of flowers, the view from a ferris wheel, hot guys/girls?)
~Search your city for a small adventure, whether it's a local museum you've never been to, a hike, or a picnic in the park.
~Don't be afraid to say "Yes" more often!


"...choose to believe in your own myth 
your own glamour 
your own spell 
a young woman who does this 
(even if she is just pretending) 
has everything...."


Recommended Links/Inspiration::







I don't know about happily ever after… but I know about happily, Weetzie Bat thought..
~ Weetzie p102

 Recommended Book: Kushiel's Dart
-This could actually be a lot of books, but out of my own library, I think this one captures the idea of adventure really really well. Love and sex and beauty and adventure. Beautiful and very epic.

"Sometimes she has imagined what it would be like to fly, to live in the river, to run like a horse. She has dreamed of that freedom, that power, and fears the wildness in herself that wants to live as beasts live, moved purely by need and desire. She has felt torn between the heat of her limbs and the thoughts in her mind telling her to be careful and good and always calm. "

Recommended Movie:  Princess Bride
You can't go wrong with the  fencing, romance, silly puns, and  the Dread Pirate Roberts.  

"Love is a dangerous angel."

Never be afraid of adventure.
Think of Witch Baby, traveling across the country to find the man she loved (except, in your life, travel across the country for yourself, not someone else).

"Magic can be found in stolen moments." 




Note: All quotes are from various FLB books.

Friday, December 17

Very Zooey

As I think I've mentioned, Zooey Deschanel is one of the my biggest inspirations (particularly from her amazing clothes and style to her adorable personality and voice).

Now, she has a Tumblr! (info via galadarling's carousel this week)
And while I don't really keep up with Tumblr, I still have plans to be a regular here.

Here's my favorite one so far:: Bestie Day 

Thursday, December 16

Things I Love Thursday

This week (and really, every week) I love....
foood....

These are the beautiful favorites of mine that have now been incorporated via printing and pasting into my Bible.

Smooth and Creamy Cheeses, Pinkberry "FroYo", Sea Urchin Roe (my ultimate addiction this month), Yellowtail, Oysters, Pho, Tamales, Crab legs, Quenepas, anything with garlic, Corned beef with cabbage, Spicy Tuna Handrolls, Ethiopian food (major craving), Rambutans, Salmon sashimi, Cream Cheese & Lox, and smooth and salty White Tuna sashimi.


I spent two days thinking about this list, and it still isn't really complete.

I thought that working in a sushi restaurant, I'd get sick of sushi. No. In fact, it's quite the opposite. I can't go a single week without getting myself sushi at LEAST once. Those in the collage above are my absolute favorites; Uni, Salmon, White Tuna, Yellowtail, & Spicy Tuna Handrolls. But my appetite isn't limited to only them. Oh, no. Unagi, Tamago, Scallops, omgosh I'll eat it all.
Today, Dan and I splurged on sushi, since I had a $15 off card. I got salmon, Uni, spicy tuna handrolls, and we shared a "Cajun Krab Roll". Afterwards, all I could think about was how much I wanted more Uni... Why why why did I have to fall in love with one of the most expensive things on the menu?? I didn't even like it the first time I tried it! *sigh* I have another one of those coupons, I'll likely be back to get more in a few days...

Why am I always so hungry?!?!

Bon Apetit!

Wednesday, December 15

Wednesday

The wind is so cold it's like ice is caressing my face and pulling at my clothes. I pass the days without work, which are many this month, reading a girl's journey through the world without hope, written in beauty.
My Bible has lain stagnant, but I'm working to renew my inspiration and fill it with beauty and hope and life.

My totems are a pair of pink striped plastic heart earrings, a delicate silver heart necklace a family friend gave me a long time ago (to remind me to love myself), and a TokiDoki heart and crossbones necklace Dan gave me for my birthday (to remind me that I am loved by others).

College is officially done, and I have no desire to return in the coming years for a higher degree. Two bachelor's degrees are adequate for now.
But jobs aren't easy to come by, and without proper connections I can't imagine getting a real (good) job in the publishing world.
I'm looking though, and there are days when I come very close to praying to the gods I don't believe in.

I got two new FLB books this week. One-- Blood Roses-- bought off Amazon after a few weeks of considering, the other-- Wasteland-- stumbled upon at the local used bookstore. With the temperature creeping in through the foggy windows and nothing much else to do but clean, I'm sure I'll have them done soon.

Christmas is coming, and all of my presents are bought except for Dan's. The simple act of wrapping colored paper around boxes and books makes me feel busy and artistic and wonderful. I'd wrap everything in shiny paper and plastic bows if I could.
Every time I glance around my bland, beige apartment I consider buying more christmas lights-- some to string across the walls and wrap around the lamps like little colored reminders of theoretical happiness. But just the idea of going out into the night's 18 degree weather makes me curl up into a ball and go back to my books.

It's strange being content, yet still unhappy. Something about the world, or myself, right now leaves me unsatisfied
I want to write a new list of "How to Be Happy", a winter edition that takes into account frigid gusts of wind and foamy cups of cocoa and hot buttered rum. Lovers and Puppies cuddled on the couch, hiding from the cold.



"Just like any woman,...we weave our stories out of our bodies. Some of us through our children, or our art; some do it just by living. It's all the same.."               ~Francesca Lia Block

Tuesday, December 14

Beautiful Reading :: White Oleander


Book: White Oleander
By : Janet Fitch

"...I felt the warmth that flowers must feel when they bloom through the snow, under the first concentrated rays of the sun" (pg 7).

White Oleander is about a girl named Astrid who's beautiful mother is sent to jail for murder, leaving Astrid to fend for herself through miserable foster home after foster home. She bounces from place to place, always stuck in situations that lead to pain (physical-- like being shot in the hip, and mental-- like being abandoned) and deeper and deeper misery.

The writing is amazing. Descriptions and images that wrap you up in stars and make the world disappear around you, leaving you spiraling through constellations.

"I was afraid she would fly away, and I would end up alone, living in some place where there were too many children, too many smells, where beauty and silence and the intoxication of her words rising in the air would be as far away as Saturn" (pg 10).
Astrid's mother, Ingrid, raises her to value beauty above everything else, to be strong and proud and independent. When she's sent away, Astrid is only 12, and it's up to her to maneuver her way through foster homes and strange new environments.

"Beauty was my mother's law, her religion. You could do anything you wanted, as long as you were beautiful, as long as you did things beautifully" (pg 11).

There is an awkward romantic relationship between 14 year old Astrid and a man in his 50's (who, in the movie, was much younger and more handsome than his original counterpart), and a few sex scenes that are a bit more than beautiful, but other than that, I've found the book to be amazing. Everything is written so beautifully, and the world around her is written with such grace that I actually savor the pages.
I'm only just barely half way through, but as soon as I finish I will jump to find another book by the author. Her descriptions could go toe to toe with almost any Francesca Lia Block story (although food is decidedly absent most of the time) and the raw emotion in the story feels quiet but real.

"In the shade in the front of the house next door, our elegant neighbor was cutting some lily of the Nile, the same color as the jacaranda bloom. She was barefoot in a simple dress, and her feet and the palms of her hands showed pale pink against her burnt caramel skin. They looked ornamental, as if she came from a place where women dipped hands and feet in pink powder. She didn't smile. She was wholly absorbed in her shears, clipping a stem of rosemary, a stem of mint, in the dappled light and shade. A fallen jacaranda bloom clung to her dark hair, which was up in a careless French twist. I loved that one stray blossom" (pg 139).

Monday, December 13

DIY Xmas

((I got tired of the ads that would automatically start with this vid, so here's the link to it: http://www.threadbanger.com/decorityourself/episode/DEC_20091209/silver-retro-christmas-tree-decor-it-yourself ))
<3

I know I've been posting a lot of videos and not a lot of content, but it's that time of year.

ps. I totally want to do this next year.

Wednesday, December 8

Chronicle Haul- Comment for a chance to win!

Chronicle Books is doing a contest! Basically, one blogger (along with one of their commenting readers) can win $500 worth of books!
((omgosh pleeeeease me!))
Click the images to go to their Chronicle webpages.

Look HERE for details, and leave a comment for a chance to win with me!

Here's my wishlist haul:

Pride & Prejudice & Zombies :: Dawn of the Dreadfuls

tea & crumpets

Eat Me:: A Food Journal

Places To Check Out : Travel Journal

Moleskin 2011 Large Planner


Audrey Hepburn: International Cover Girl

Bitten: Dark Erotic Story Collections 
(FLB inside!)

Noodles Every Day Cookbook

Korean Cooking

Let's Cook Japanese Food!

Dim Sum : A Pocket Guide

1,001 Ways to Live in the Moment

Food Fight Trivia Game

Ultimate Bar Book : Over 1,000 Cocktails

Moleskine Folio Ruled Book A4



Moleskin Recipes Book Journal

Moleskin Passions Book Journal

Extra Large Plain Moleskine Volant Notebook/ Blue

New York Guide

A Year in Japan

DIY Fashion

Origami Craft Pad


I'm going to stop there; I'm exhausted!

Grand Total: $400.05

*deeeep breath*
Wish me luck!!
<3










Be Strong

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."
~Anais Nin 

Saturday, December 4

Feel

I wanted to give him something. I wanted to feel what he felt. I saw his mother, with bright eyes and dusky brown hair and full rosy cheeks, picking flowers from the meadow, painting them in watercolor, reading to her son, listening to him recite his poems.

-Echo 

Friday, December 3

My Bible


My Radical Self Love Bible. Early stages.



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