Sunday, January 29, 2012

I am a consumer.

In most (all) cases, I will buy. I will buy two boxes of frozen meatless Buffalo Wings JUST in case this is the week I decide to have them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and can't be bothered to restock my supplies. I will buy that dress I may or may not wear and feel minimal (no) pangs of guilt. I will buy things that I don't yet have the need for in anticipation of that need should it arise just because I enjoy buying things. One of my favorite hobbies includes creating a "need" for items I don't actually need. I need more accept pillows! I need more ingredients to cook with! I need more tubes of mascara! I never want to think, "perhaps he would have liked me if only I had more voluminous, alluring lashes." (Just kidding.) But seriously though, don't fight me on the accent pillows.

But today, was a rare occasion in which I was feeling frugal. I will not be a mindless consumer. I will understand the value of a dollar and save it. I will make my parents proud! Then my friend and I walked into a store called Lush. And it all went to shit.

Look at all the stuff they have! And it all promises to make me more beautiful!

You know the kind of store where all the sales attendants are super peppy? And really, really want to help you find what you need? Not in an annoying way though, in that get you excited to be there way. This was that type of store. At first it started with a skin conditioner. You put it on in the shower, like hair conditioner, and then you don't need to lotion yourself after because of this miracle product that just saved you 15 minutes of your life!

Then there was the Ocean Salt scrub. It's exotic and complicated sounding ingredients promise to strip your skin of all it's flaws and help you glow with the light of a thousand fireflies. I couldn't believe I had gone 22 years without these products. All of them, better than the last. It's Sunday, which means I'm more Mindy Kaling than Freida Pinto today. She made me take my hair down from it's half-ass bun and smoothed some mysterious (it was legitimately in a black pot) product in my hair and suddenly I looked like this:
But less sexy because I was wearing pants.

Do you see? Do you understand now that this little black pot was magic? It was Black Magic. I had to buy the Black Magic. This lady wasn't done with me though, she could sense there was more "need" she could create for me, so she gave me a complimentary facial. A freaking facial! There were bowls of lukewarm water, fresh washcloths, temple rubbing and a soft voice telling me to relax. So I did. And while she cleansed, toned, moisturized, and massaged my face, I finally understood. This is why some women become gold diggers.

She exfoliated my lips with chocolate sugar. She put rouge on them called It Started With a Kiss. She glossed them like my lips were her canvas. She knows me too well. She's good.

She gave me soap called Lust. She rubbed solid perfume on my wrists scented like Jasmine, my favorite flower. She gave me samples of every product she used on me. She let me break those really fun bath fizz balls in a bowl of water (Sidenote: This particular fizz ball was meant for scorned lovers, you break off pieces of the "body," curse your ex-lover, and say something negative about them while you throw the chunk (an arm...a leg...) into your bathtub. Creepy? Liberating?) . She invited me to their Valentine's Day party (where there were promises of cupcakes!). She did all of this, with a smile on her face, while she read me my total. And that, friends, is the power of a good sell.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

I really, really love this.

You have to be standing in front of a mirror for someone to read the real message.
Fun, right? 

Monday, January 16, 2012

A few New York moments

I saw a fight on the train coming home tonight. I'm not sure I have ever seen a real fight before. Once, in college, a "gang" (can it really be a gang when it's in Ohio? Is that not just a group of male friends who maybe probably just have a secret handshake and are now calling themselves a "gang?") fought outside one of my tiny Ohio school's nightclubs. Sidenote: a friend of mine stood atop a pile of snow and shouted "Peace, everyone! Peace!" A variation of that did happen tonight though when an older gentleman shouted, "You're crazy lady! Calm down!" But perhaps that's not the same message my friend was trying (drunkenly...) to send. I digress.

The train pulled into 42nd St. Times Square when this happened so of course, authorities stepped in to stop the fight because the really tall man standing between the crazy-lady-trying-to-fight and the-stupid lady-fueling-the-fire wasn't enough to calm either parties down. It doesn't even matter what the fight was about or who was right or how it ended. What was significant was how it brought a train full of strangers "together" in this bizarre, circumstantial, but significant way. Suddenly people couldn't get home to their kids and no one wants to end a night (a Monday night mind you) with screaming and shouting and violence (and hair pulling. how stereotypical).

So when the passengers were asked to exit the train and suddenly the whole car was abuzz with the excitement of what just happened, I was happy to see that people were laughing. That sounds wrong, as if they were laughing at those women (maybe they were?) but what I mean is that they were laughing instead of being angry or complaining or what have you. Because of one woman having a bad day and another not being able to be the bigger person, an entire train full of tired (it was 11pm. who has the energy to fight at 11pm on a Monday night?!) people were home that much later and for such a ridiculous reason. Strangers were recounting and asking questions and speculating and laughing. Myself included. The stranger I was talking to told me to "get home safe, okay?"

On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, an act of violence brought strangers together. And there is some sort of beautiful, twisted irony there.

I hope it's clear that I in no way condone violence or people laughing at violence. I hope it's clear what I took away from this night and perhaps it is clear but I'm just that type of person who has to make sure before concluding a post like this.

In happier news, it snowed tonight! It was the first snowfall of Winter and i'm both thrilled for the impending beautiful blanket of snow to cover my beloved city and dreading the walks through it. Regardless, Winter is finally here New Yorkers! I bet Central Park is stunning in white.

Ps- A final unrelated note. A man turned into me very suddenly on the side of the street tonight. He looked really, really happy (like...eyes light up happy) with a sweet grin on his face and it was washed away instantly and replaced with embarrassment when he realized I was not his girlfriend, that he meant to turn to. This very brief exchange was...I don't have a word for it. I just have the thought that i'm very glad that this man I don't know is that in love and that happy to see someone in the world. It was reassuring.


File this under "I wish I'd thought of that!" They say your best thinking happens in the shower, and now, you'll never have to worry about forgetting all your brilliant invention ideas (or your to-do lists if you're like me). 

AquaNotes are pads of waterproof paper (sounds like an oxymoron to me) that suction cup to your shower walls and allow you to write in the shower! They stay "dry" so you can take your note with you. They're surprisingly inexpensive and come in AquaNotes "Love Notes" version too.  
Wouldn't that be a really cute way for your guy to lead up to Valentine's Day?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Second time around

I'm getting a French Facial today, how perfect since it's lazy Sunday. I've only ever had one other facial experience in my life and it went terribly. My face was red and flaky for days (ew)! I swore I would never get a facial again but then I kept thinking, what if it was just this one bad experience? Maybe that lady cheated in beautician school and of course, she's the one that gives me my facial and because of her and this terrible experience, i'm robbed of a lifetime of dewy, fabulous skin? 

So i'm braving the cold weather and trekking it all the way down to Canal Street for this second go around. Also, it's a French Facial. I love all things French and I trust that this facial will somehow automatically be better than the last because the last one was just a facial. Look at all this rationale I have! Everything will be alright. 

P.S.- Look at how relaxed and soothed that woman looks! I selected this picture in particular with the hope that I'll look just like her during/after.
P.P.S.- Why is she wearing makeup during her facial?

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Social Media gives me anxiety. I love to hate Facebook and hate to love it. There are too many platforms to "check in" so I've pretty much stopped. And Twitter...well Twitter I don't mind. It's my go-to for instant gratification, and by design, I suppose that's the purpose.

Blogging though, well that I love. Granted I haven't been/can't/wish I could/promise i'll start posting everyday, I truly enjoy it. I enjoy this outlet to share ideas, catalogue thoughts, and make them permanent somewhere out there on the World Wide Web. It even works in the reverse where I'll have a thought or idea because I want to blog about it and in that sense, blogging (I think) really broadens your horizons, helps you shape your mind. I read SO many blogs and am always delighted at how much there is out there in the world, not just cool links and funny videos, but the stories bloggers share.

My absolute favorite blogger is Kate of Eat the Damn Cake. Not only is she an excellent writer, but the topics she writes about are relatable, honest, and deeply personal. I have so much respect for her and her ability to discuss the issues we all face with such clarity and wit. She'll make you laugh, she'll make you cry, and above all, she'll make you feel less guilty for eating the damn cake! I especially support the latter. So go check her out, she's doing some really great things over there.

On to part two of my confession. Yes, social media is at times overwhelming but, if i'm being honest (this is me being honest), i'm a bit intimidated and/or scared of it. There. I said it. It's out. I feel lame and archaic but it's true. And how I wish it weren't. I studied SM in college, obviously engage with it everyday, have my blogger/SM titan friends, etc., but that doesn't do much to ease my uneasiness. So where is all this stemming from? I sometimes post my latest blog posts on my Facebook page, a way to share what i'm writing since, isn't that the purpose of this blog? Well, last night I couldn't sleep. I kept waking up, wanting to go downstairs and delete that post, so no one would see it. What if people think it's dumb! AH, you're dumb! Then I'd chase that inclination with a thought that went something like THAT'S SO SILLY. QUIT THINKING LIKE THAT. SLEEP WOMAN. And I would but then I would wake up and worry again.

It's not like my last post was my airing all my secrets and exposing my skeletons. But it was something I wrote, about things I like that others may or may not "approve" of, and it feels like there is so much room for judgement there. The J word, an ugly but powerful truth of life. I would love to pretend i'm indifferent to other people's opinions but i'm not. Who is? I think i'm incredibly fortunate to have surrounded myself all my life with people I genuinely feel comfortable being myself with. I've never felt the pangs of judgement especially not from my inner circle because they are the ones who accept me as I am. But the rest of the world? Who knows what the world thinks of me. I don't but I also don't care to know.

I started this blog in February of 2011 and it'll be one year next month. In that almost year, I have never had the "Follow Me" button active. Isn't that like opening a bar but locking the doors? Or something. Even I can't get over how crazy that is and i'm the one that did it. So i'm mending it now. I've activated the Follow Me link, i'm posting the link to my blog on my Facebook and Twitter.

So, you there readings this, follow me! Tweet me! Share me! I've got worthwhile things to say, and I hope you'll agree. Happy Weekend!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Desperately Seeking Art

If I don't do something quick, I'll have white walls forever. I can feel it. I've got my fair share of baubles and knick knacks but that a decorated room does not make. Right now my justifications are oh, i'll do it when i'm not sick  or there's plenty of time, relax! But that's how one ends up living having never gone sky diving! Or traveling abroad! Okay, I know i'm making leaps here, but you get the gist.

I'm making good use of my sick day cough cough by scrounging the internet for things that make my heart flutter. What do you think?

PRINT N027 It's just so intriguing! 

Watercolor I've had my eye on this for a while.

Non, je ne regrette rien. Gold letterpress? Love.

Paris Night All the pretty lights! Points for NOT being a print of the Eiffel Tower.

I'm very weary of NYC art, especially when you live in NYC, but this one has such interesting perspective.

Rorschach And then I'd ask all my guests what they see! Just kidding.

But what do I do with such varied prints? Is that okay? Is chaos cool?
I once read that when it comes to art (and I suppose most things in life), if you absolutely love it, 
then it's the right choice. Maybe i'll just get them all, and that will save me from having to make choices. That's code for I love them all and I won't be made to play favorites.
But for now, I have some lovely prints that need to be properly displayed.
Off to the frame shop, have a lovely weekend!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The world has a funny way of giving back what you're searching for.

Travel Bucket List

The world is a book and those who do not travel 
only read one page. 
~ St. Augustine 

Yesterday, I woke up with the burning desire to dream of all the places I want to travel before I die. This was literally my first thought. Not what the hell time is it or ughhhhhh, rather I must go to St. Thomas!
Sometime back, I had this realization that you'll die having not seen most of the world. Think about that for a second. Are you thinking? Did it blow your mind and suddenly make your a determined traveler like it did for me? Of course it did! Now that we're on the same page...

It's not like I have to visit the Abbey of Melleray in Western France to see those monks that make cheese to feel satisfied with life (ps..- that's not genearl knowledge I have off the top of my head, I googled "monks cheese" and found that. p.p.s- they've since relocated to Kentucky...), it's just that when people mention those places people mention, I'd like to be a part of the conversation. I'd like to know just how white the sand is or clear the water. A friend's parents were telling me about their travels to Egypt and how seeing Ancient and New Egypt opened their eyes to the Western culture they were accustomed to. New Egypt is as much an urban city as Chicago or New York. Ancient Egypt is a vast dessert with mud-brick homes. Did  you know that more than half of Egypt's population lives in Cario? They said the pollution was so thick it made them cough. Here is a stunning picture I found of Cairo at night:

Fine. I found it on Wikipedia.

Enough of my ramblings about Egypt. Perhaps that conversation (paired with a Pinot Grigio and hummus and crackers) was what sparked all this. Not only had they seen these places, they'd been to them multiple times over! I know it's a luxury of their lifestyle, they own a small bed and breakfast in their costal tourist town in Turkey where they only work in the summer and follow the European custom of winter vacations.  I am fairly certain i'll never lead such a lifestyle but making time for travel doesn't have to be an epic commitment. Right? As I typed that, my first thought was Don't I only have two weeks of vacation for the whole year? I've already have travel plans this year with my family for a wedding, it's no where glamorous but it's somewhere new and that's just as important as it being somewhere glamorous. Speaking of glamorous, I'm now going to dream up my Travel Bucket List. I don't believe it's in any particular order, they're just all places I'd love to see.

  1. St. Thomas of the U.S. Virgin Islands- obviously. It was my waking thought!
  2. St. Lucia
  3. St. Tropez- I love the Saints I suppose.
  4. Turks & Caicos
  5. Egypt!
  6. France, France, France. I studied French for so long it would be a shame not to go.
  7. Italy. I've always had a fascination with Italy. Maybe it's the history. Or the Trevi Fountain (how touristy of me, I know). Whatever it is, I want to spend a good stretch of time here. Maybe I'll pull an Eat, Pray, Love, hah!
  8. Geneva, Switzerland. My brother says it's the most beautiful place he's ever been to and he's been to a lot of places so i'm going to trust him on this one.
  9. Monte Carlo, Monaco
  10. Cabo San Lucas. I guess I never got that one out of my system in college.
  11. Puerto Rico
  12. Bahamas
  13. Prague, Czech Public. Mostly because it's so foreign I need to know something about it.  
  14. Budapest, Hungary. See reason above.
  15. Tokyo, Japan
  16. Santorini/Athens, Greece! How could I forget this one? I always have Santorini in my mind as a place I'd really, really love to see.
  17. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil! For Carnival! How spectacular would that be? I studied Carnival in a college music class and my fascination began there. 
  18. Morocco
  19. Dubai
  20. Kerala, India. It's only appropriate I end with India :) 
Okay, any more, and i'll just adding randomly to my list. I'd love to say this is the moment I decided upon these places and quit my job an traveled the world because you only live once, yada yada. But it's not. It's is a small towards making sure that do travel though and resist the temptation to get caught up in my life. Which I tend to do, a lot. I'd love to know what you think of my list, have you been to these places? Would you go to these places? I showed you my list, now show me yours! 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

To new beginnings

One of these years, I want to be be there here.

2011 was a big year for me. I graduated college, moved to my dream city, got my first job, and my first apartment. It was also a difficult year, especially towards the end, so I can't say i'm too sad to see it end. I don't have any resolutions (I sort of think they're silly, don't you agree?) but I know there are plenty of things I'd like to be or do in this new year. Like watch move films, not movies, films. The kind that are limited release and it'll be hard to convince a friend to go with you but it'll be worth it in the end. I want to work really hard and move up in the world. I want to visit my family often because distance is a silly excuse to be away from the ones you love.

I really want to learn something new. to make a souffle or something. But something more exciting than just learning how to make  souffle, although I bet that would be delicious! I want to say learn a new language but I should probably refresh my dusty French before attempting Italian, my go-to want-to-learn-language. I want to end the year in a completely different place than where it started. I'm sure i'll have a new apartment (again) but more than that, I hope i'll look back and think "wow, so much has changed." I'm not entirely sure I can say that about this year. Not in the way I want to say it at least.

It's New Year's Day though and I always have this strange superstition that whatever you do on this day and how you feel throughout, will carry forward into the rest of the year. It's absolutely silly but it's the reason I always make sure today is enough of all the things you'd want for the rest of the year. For example, today I am spending the day with my best friends, going ice skating, eating at one my favorite places, and tonight, (we're not sure what yet...) we're going to do something new and exciting. Because that's what this new year is and should be, new and exciting.

I hope 2012 is everything you want it to be, Happy New Year!