27 February 2011

My Birthday Wish

 
Forever.

Weekend Roundup: Birthday Pics!

This weekend was my birthday! Here's some pictures of the celebrations.







 

23 February 2011

David Gray

And here's the article I wrote on David Gray:

Plain White T's

Unfortunately I somehow got sick again; not food poisoning this time but more of a fever/cough/nausea sickness. I'll try to update again by tomorrow or Friday, but for now, here's an article I wrote on The Plain White T's for amNewYork newspaper. Later I'll post the one I wrote on David Gray.

17 February 2011

KARMA

I'm reading actor Russell Brand's memoir, My Booky Wook, right now. And in one of the chapters, he tells a story about instant karma. In this particular story (as in many of his stories), he was in the midst of a sexual encounter with a woman and she "finished" him, but he didn't "finish" her. Rather, he wandered off to look for drugs. So, the woman got angry, as any woman would, and slapped him and walked out. Naked and now angry as well, he followed her outside and spat in her face. As he was spitting, the door closed and locked behind him and her phone ran out of minutes before he could call a locksmith. So there he was, trapped outside of his flat, with only a pink umbrella to shield his genitals. 

I've never had an instance of instant karma quite as brutal as that. In my life, karma tends to build up for all of the things I've done wrong, and then whack me over the head just when I'm getting comfortable in a situation. Every time it hits, I make another promise to start behaving more responsibly (even though I am pretty responsible to begin with), usually in the realm of relationships. For every person I've done something horrible to in a relationship, I've had a karmic response. I think / hope that this time around, I've paid my dues for everything I've done in my past and so my relationship with Todd is safe from lurking karma debts. Plus, I think we've got a connection that would be stronger than anything karma can throw my way.

Despite my not-always-pleasant relationship with karma, I'm realizing more and more that it's not something with which I should attempt to bargain. It's not about saying, "Well, if I don't snap at my mom right now, I'm safe and karma won't cause me to get food poisoning from eating bad sushi, which would then prohibit us from going shopping as planned." Because thinking like that sort of takes the genuineness out of it. Whether or not karma exists, I want to try to do good things just because it will make people happy. I want to be a better person just because I can, not because I have to. Because if every single person focused on doing good things, maybe the world would be a better place. And I can't rightly preach that others should focus on it if I'm not doing the same myself.

15 February 2011

Song of the Day

"ALL THE TREES OF THE FIELD WILL CLAP THEIR HANDS" by Sufjan Stevens

14 February 2011

Cupcakes!

My mom and I baked some cupcakes for Valentine's Day! 
Which is your favorite?

 






Valentine's Day Writings

LOVE

Not for roses nor candy nor gifts would I love him, 
but for his sincere smile?

Always.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

my sort of thing 
in the summer i go to this little beach
there's usually maybe one or two old guys

fishing and if the tide is low there's this rock
that i sit on a ways out on the beach 
and i write in my journal 
poetry short stories 
thoughts and feelings
that sort of thing
and last time i went there was a few days
after i met him and i barely wrote a word
because all i could do was sit and stare
at the sea and pretend we were together
holdings hands kissing
staring touching loving
that sort of thing

 



 

13 February 2011

Weekend Roundup: Pre-Valentine's Day!

Yesterday I received a card in the mail from Todd, despite the fact that I see him at least twice a week and talk to him every day nearly constantly. It was a purple note card with cupcakes on it, and it was a Valentine's Day card. Inside, he wrote me a really sweet love letter, which made me incredibly happy. While I was reading it, however, he expressed doubt that Valentine's Day with him would be able to live up to my past Valentine's Days.

Which led me to thinking about my past Valentine's Days, which made me realize that I do not remember them. I don't remember my boyfriend last year doing anything special for me, or even really appreciating the fact that I had worked really hard on making a box/collage for him. And that made me even more thankful that this year I have a boyfriend who really appreciates me and the things I do for him (after I give him his gifts, I'll show you what I made). I have a boyfriend who actually listens to me when I say things like, "I wish I had a pen pal so that I could get letters!" I have a boyfriend who genuinely cares about making me happy and who I genuinely want to make as happy as I possibly can.

Sure, sometimes we disagree on things. Sometimes we get into petty spats. Sometimes we just operate on completely different wavelengths and misunderstand each other. But the main thing is that we are able to resolve anything that momentarily comes between us because we really care about the other. This Valentine's Day, I realize more than ever that it isn't about what gifts you make or what candy you buy or receive, but about the way you treat the person you love on a daily basis and the way that they treat you. 

It's about appreciating the person who loves you and letting them know.
(I love you Todd. Thank you for always doing your best to make me happy.)

 

07 February 2011

Our Poetry

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

Penpals by Post

I've been wondering lately, does anyone send letters by regular post anymore?

When I was younger, I used to have a penpal in Arkansas, a penpal in Utah, and a penpal in Europe. Although we've since lost touch, I miss that anticipation of waiting for a letter and checking the mail every day to see if you've received it. I miss the opportunity to see the world through the eyes of someone who doesn't live in the same city as me, who encounters different experiences and people than I probably ever will. 


If anyone has any tips on how to find a snail mail penpal, or is also looking for a penpal, let me know!

Poetry

when a homeless man walked into starbucks

every patron turned away
as though he were offering
them dunkin donuts coffee
instead of their venti chai

extra foam skim lattes.


i knew you were the one

when i forgot that i was even
searching for anyone at all. 



map of the world

he wasn't much of a traveler
but he knew the exact path of the tiny hairs

she always forgot to shave behind her knees
and he could give perfect directions
on how to kiss in a straight line starting
at the very tip of her head and ending
at the callouses on her heel, worn from trips
in flip flops with purple-painted toenails
and if anyone asked, don't you want to see the world?
he would reply, why?
i can see the sahara on her stomach

and the rain forests in her hair 
her smile is the city of lovers
her breath is the cool chill of the arctic

her words are as sultry as brazilian women
i learned a foreign language in her palm lines
and i don't need to see anything more to know that
here is where i always want to be

06 February 2011

Weekend Roundup: Food Photo Post

I love everything about food, from the way it looks and tastes to cooking and eating it. I love both home-cooked food and restaurant meals, and I absolutely love taking pictures of food. This weekend, I had ample opportunity to take food pictures. On Friday night, Todd and I went to Wo Hop, a hole-in-the-wall Chinese place in Chinatown that makes delicious lo mein and crispy noodles. Saturday morning, we celebrated our five-month anniversary by gong to Ihop, my favorite breakfast eatery.

Here are some mouth-watering photos from our trips:







First up was pineapple chicken, baked and breaded with an exterior that managed to be crispy yet fluffy at the same time.




Next we had crispy honey beef, which came in six large portions. I could only eat two slices because it was so filling, but I wish I could have eaten more because it was so delicious. 




The final Chinese dish was classic beef lo mein, which tasted even better with a touch of soy sauce.


 


I'm not sure if all Ihop restaurants carry the same things, but I really recommended their new flavored coffee. This is the raspberry mocha, but Todd had French vanilla and that was really good too.












Todd had the country fried steak with sausage, eggs and hash browns.





It also came with chocolate chip chocolate batter pancakes and extra whipped cream.




I tried to get something healthier than the cheesecake pancakes I usually get, so I got strawberry banana pancakes instead and I think I actually prefer them to my usual!


03 February 2011

Model-Making

Around this time last year, I worked on a Warhammer wood elf army. I built it from the bottom up - literally - starting with the base and then assembling each soldier atop it, deciding which arms would go with which torso, which head and hair combination fit that archer most adequately. The next step, always my favorite, was painting the tiny models with thin brushes and colorful paints. I never finished my army, but I'd like to start a new one some day. 

I was reminded of my model work today while browsing for Night Fury plush toys from the spectacular animated film, How To Train Your Dragon, and came across a really awesome custom Night Fury model, created from a blank Stitch, experiment 626 model. Visit the artist's tumblr blog to see his steps in creating the model and read some interesting trivia about the movie. 

Photo & Model by Somatic Studios / Michael Amos
I've managed to restrain myself until the end of this post, but now I have to let loose my real response to this custom model : AHHH IT'S SO CUTE!!!! I WANT IT I WANT IT I WANT IT!!!!!!

02 February 2011

Color Healing with Candles

If you think you like candles, you haven't met my mom. She lights five candles in the kitchen at the same time, to the point where you can't distinguish one smell from another. Growing up with that, I've developed a fondness for candles. But, unlike my mom, I only light one at a time so that I can really bask in the scent that I've chosen. Sometimes, though, I don't choose by scent, but by color.

One of my favorite metaphysical books is How to Heal With Color by Ted Andrews. In it, he explains how to use candles as a method of healing. The color of the candle, he purports, is released into the air as the wick burns. Before using the candle, he suggests "dressing" by rubbing olive oil on it in one direction, but if you don't want to do that, you can merely send a wave of positive energy in the direction of the candle, affirming that you will be using it for a healing purpose.

Here's a brief list from his book of ailments and which colors you should use to relieve them. If you aren't a fan of candles, you can also practice directing colorful energy through your hands onto the problem area:

Abdominal cramps: Yellow
Aches (ear): Turquoise
Aches (head): Blue / Green
Aches (muscle): Light Orange
Arthritis: Violet or Blue Violet
Blisters: Ice Blue

Fevers: Blue
Indigestion: Yellow
Nausea: Ice Blue
Rash: Yellow and Turquoise
Swelling: Ice Blue
Ulcers: Green

I wish I had remembered this list two weeks ago, when I was suffering from a case of Shingles! I love color healing, but I have to confess that I do often forget to practice it. I'll start trying to do it more regularly and let you know if I have any results.

For now, though, since I don't have any candles that aren't brown or black, I'll just be satisfied with my Maple Pancakes-scented candle.

01 February 2011

Literary Lists

I've been keeping tabs on Penguin Books USA through Twitter lately -- and not just because I really, really, really want to work or intern there. There are some pretty interesting posts about up and coming authors, interviews, and (obviously) books. And I just read that Penguin has released a list of the top 10, reader-chosen must-read classic books.

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm skeptical as to why the classics are classics. The writing is typically dense and inaccessible and the stories tend to revolve around mundane daily matters. I've read books like Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, and Romeo and Juliet (all of which are on the reader-chosen list), and I just don't get what's so overwhelmingly great about them. I'd take a modern, experimental read like Shane Jones' simultaneously whimsical and somber novel, Light Boxes, over the classics any day. 

Then again, I did enjoy Little Women (on the list, thankfully) a lot when I was younger, so maybe I'm just erecting a double standard here. I checked last year's list, not chosen by readers, which included Thoreau's Walden and Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, two books I did enjoy. I'm sad to see that no one thought to include A Separate Peace by John Knowles, which everyone knows is one of my favorite and most-referenced books of all time.

What do you think about the reader-created list? I'm tempted to make my own list of top ten not-just-classics that every person should read, so maybe I'll ruminate on that and get back to you with it.