New Music: Shakey Graves and Esme Patterson Dearly Departed On Conan

The other night my friend, boyfriend, and I were watching Late Night with Conan; which is better in California because it’s on at 9 instead of midnight. We were being delighted by Jennifer Garner telling a story about how she hired a herd of goats to kill the rats that were eating the ivy on the hill of the home where she and Ben Affleck live – casual every day stuff. And then we all kind of got up to go to bed because even though it’s on at 9 we were still on East Coast time so, basically asleep.

As I was kind of brushing my teeth and padding about, I heard a song coming from the television and headed back out to the living room to see what it was, and turn it off. Only, when I got there, to the television, I was more transfixed than I have ever been by anything I’ve ever stumbled upon on a television.

I was frozen. I sat down. I couldn’t look away. I couldn’t look away from how beautiful the song was, and the way their 2 voices sounded together, and I couldn’t look away from this MESMERIZING, alluring woman. Whose voice was like syrup and honey, who had the sweetest way of looking at and interacting with her male counterpart on stage, her claps, and sweet little smiles and interactions with the mic, the husky voice, and cute, simple little lace dress and cropped curls and yellow weave flats. And their DANCE MOVES. Something about the way the two of them were moving together on stage had me G.L.U.E.D. to the television. It was so sexy. The chill, snaky hip sways and snaps. Their presence literally pulled me in and if there had been an earthquake at that very moment I wouldn’t have been able to look away.

I was THUNDERSTRUCK. Nothing on television has ever had me that at its mercy. No song that I have ever heard live has ever, I mean really – ever – just STOPPED me and pulled me in like that. I was gutted; at the points where they really wail it out, and put their heart into it and just SING, my neck was crooning towards the television just FEELING the music in my core. Every time I listen to it, my heart RISES in my chest like I’m ascending the big hill of a roller coaster.

Especially around the 3:00-minute mark, at 3:03 and 3:23 when she’s REALLY singing the “YEAH YOU AND I BOTH KNOW” – ugh, gets me going.

I never wanted it to end. I was in love with the 2 of them. Their Kings of Leon-country act and sound. The guy himself was pretty darn good looking, and with his cute hat and outfit (loved the red tie) and that gorgeous voice; but mostly I could NOT stop looking at this force of a woman. I am in ACTUAL love with them. I have watched it like 47 times. Never loved something so much.

I was so like, happy, that I had just happened to be watching Conan that night, because otherwise, I was thinking, I probably wouldn’t have heard about Shakey Graves for years, if ever. Like none of them have a wikkipedia page and I have more followers than her on Twitter.

SO obvs I then had to research and read everything about them. Basically Shakey Graves is the dude, but  has been touring with this chick Esme Patterson for the harmonies on certain songs. That killed me right there because I’m like, these 2 need to be in love and be married and have babies and sing together every day forever for the rest of all of our lives.

He, apparently, had a role on Friday Night Lights (which I watched religiously – I feel like I remember his cute country face but can’t remember what he did or was on FNL! anyone?). He’s super talented, clearly, and was a name to watch at Austin City Limits, but only by like…serious music peeps who study everyone up-and-coming. I googled and haven’t seen even a mainstream non-mainstream publication mention him.

Don’t you just love places like Conan for featuring musical acts that aren’t huge but are AMAZING so you can discover them? I always appreciate that.

My favorite thing I discovered though is that Esme (who sings for another band and solo as well) created an album of songs that are responses to classic songs about females who don’t get their own voice (like Dolly Parton’s Jolene).

She was talking about this one Elvis Costello song that she decided to write a response to, and what she was saying about it was HILARIOUS. I laughed out loud. Laughed out loud like I was reading a funny text from my friend. Legit was lolling. The interview is asking her about some of the songs she decided to write the response to – and how sometimes you just listen to songs without realizing, oh wait…..this song’s kind of messed up. The interview/she goes:

It’s interesting where you can listen to songs over and over and glaze over some of the actual intent and meaning.

Yeah, like that Elvis Costello song, “Alison.” What he’s hinting at the whole time is that she got pregnant, and he’s like, “Well, it’s not mine, okay. Like, I heard that you’re just a tramp,” you know. He just seems like such a jerk to her. And it’s clearly like years and years after the fact, too, that he said in the song, “It’s so funny to be seeing you after so long,” and then he goes into all this catty mean stuff. It’s like, “Geez, Elvis Costello. You’ve got some issues.” And that’s a song that when it comes on the radio, everyone sings along with it. Then you just pick the lyrics apart and “Wow, that’s so mean!”

I don’t know how many times I’ve listen to “Alison” and never realized what it was really about.

He’s like, “I don’t know if you were loving somebody, I only know it isn’t mine.” He also says, “I heard you let that little friend of mine take off your party dress.” It’s like years and years later. Why are you so mad still? Like, chill out, Elvis Costello. Why does it matter to you what I’m doing.

Lol I love her. Why you so mad still ? LIke chill out, Elvis Costello.  How hilarious is that.

I don’t even know the song, right, I’ve never heard it, but how she talks about it makes so much sense slash is HILARIOUS. How Elvis Costello himself in his own song in the lyrics is admitting that it’s been years and years and years since he’s seen this chick, Allison, and he says hey, and then goes into this like angry rant about how she’s a whore who took her dress off for his friend and she’s thinking as she’s listening, like……dude it’s been 20 years, why do you care still. Like Elvis Costello get over it. hahah I don’t know i just think it’s hilarious. The comical idea of Esme listening to the song pondering what seems to be a disproportionate story……this woman being like oh I’m pregnant and him being like IT’S NOT MINE, TRAMP and then still being mad about it 2 decades later. Like basically he was kind of just mean and a dick to her but it’s his song and his point of view so no one stops to question why he’s such a spaz. I don’t know i can’t stop laughing about it.

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Filed under Good Shit You Should Know About, Music

Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens – Fun Things To Do In DC

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Today, my friend and I toured the Hillwood Museum & Gardens Estate in Washington, D.C. — the personal home of one Marjorie Merriweather Post – a rich heiress to the Post Cereal fortune. You probably don’t know much about Marjorie, which is why I am going to take you into her home and world and tell you all about Hillwood as part of my ongoing Guide to D.C., because visiting this place is my most favorite thing I have ever done in D.C. Ever. And I was born and raised here. Literally I have 28 years of D.C. under my belt, and this was my favorite thing I have ever done.

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The first thing you need to know about Marjorie was that she was the original boss-ass bitch. The woman was a BAUSS. CRUSHED life. 4 Husbands, billions of dollars, 3 homes, a pet cemetery to end all pet cemeteries, and basically financed the Cartier business. Casually owned like half of the art of czarist Russia. Entranceway boasted 18th century painted portraits of Catherine The Great. And would drop like 4 thou on a 2-inch miniature dog relic from the Ming Dynasty. Literally she was a legend.

You know how people always use & make fun of the term “summer” as a verb, and how bougie it is, to like “summer in Montauk” or reference people who “summer on the Cape”? Well Marjorie WINTERED places. She fucking WINTERED in Palm Beach, Florida. That right there is about the APEX of wealth, when you Winter some place. She summered and wintered and falled and sprang while the rest of us trolls simmer in one damn place for 12 months of the year like peasants.

Hillwood, a 25-acre piece of land overlooking Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C. was her Fall & Spring property. She also had Mar-a-Lago (a name that is so fantastically sensory and fairytale-esque — take me to Mar-a-Lago, it sounds like something lovers would whipser to one another in Casablanca, or the scene of a great crime novel), her Palm Beach property where she wintered; and a third place in upstate New York where she summered.

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Hillwood is the most incredible place I have ever been. It is so impressive, and so full of historical gems that it feels impossible that it’s real; and especially that someone could have THAT much money. Which is bringing me closer back around to my earlier point about Marjorie being a boss-ass bitch. I love any woman who had 4 husbands. Do you know how much balls that takes? I guess it takes the balls of a billionaire. But she gave 0 fucks. Just like, tried that, did that, on to the next one. And in like 1930’s and shit too.

Before we talk more about old Marj, let’s talk some about her house. Hillwood. The kitchen! I absolutely died when walking into her kitchen. It opens with a long, impressive Butler’s Pantry (I fucking love Butler’s Pantries – want one badly), and the first thing I said upon taking it in was…..oh my god it’s….just….so….1950’s. I hadn’t realized yet that she had purchased the place in 1955, so yes, the Butler’s Pantry and Kitchen were indeed just that. So VERY 1950’s.

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I couldn’t get over the kitchen and spent the most amount of time in the kitchen by FAR. It was dreamy in a way I really could never find the words to describe. It was a beautiful, crisp, clear, sunny October day – and the kitchen gets so much good natural light, with big sunny windows overlooking a little garden patio. And the place had very few visitors in the middle of the day Wednesday, so I was in there completely by myself (Anna had already moved on to the dining room and like 3 other rooms while I continued to marvel at the kitchen). And I just wandered around literally FEELING in my core what it felt like to be in that kitchen in 1958 and 1961 and ’63, as water simmered and pots and pans clanked and clamored and staff cooks plated food.

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Being in it felt like time travel. It gives me butterflies even to think about. All of this original 1950’s equipment (hugggeee freezers — I later learned her husband (of the time) was some kind of freezer magnate – he would be), and getting to see the dinner party menus on display. One of the menus that had been saved and was on display was from a dinner party Marjorie threw on October 17, 1963; and because we were visiting in October, so it was the same time of year, and same kind of light, and same time of day that they would have been cooking, it just felt like you could really feel what it was like. How could you not feel like that – everything was the same! You’re IN the kitchen, as it looked, as it was, when the cooks were cooking for that very dinner party in October of 1963. Except it’s October 2014. But everything is exactly as it was.

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The menu was my version of heaven. Although I am obsessed with all history and everything about America, I have realized that without question I am MOST enthralled with mid-century America. Post-war, pre hippy. Bobby and Sally. Refrigerators. Jello molds. Ham. Chevys. Kitchen Aid Mixers. Airplanes. Pan Am. Televisions. Microwaves. Wedge salads. Bar ware. Red wagons. And house wives doing French/foreign things and saying French/foreign words related to home & garden like “jardiniere” and “chinoiserie” —  THAT. SHIT. GETS. ME. GOING.

So to see a dinner party menu with the words: “caviar and blinis” to start, and ROAST BUTTER BALL TURKEY with sweet potatoes, marshmallow, vegetable jardiniere, APPLE JELLO RING WITH ASSORTED FRUIT, FILLED WITH BALLS OF STRAWBERRY SHERBERT. That is like fucking POETRY to me. That is like a beautiful man singing love poems into my ear. And to know that it’s not a caricature, it’s not an oversimplified thing we’ve come to stereotype of a decade, it’s not {just} from the mind of Mathew Weiner for a Hollywood TV show, nor a myth; no, it was the real-life, actual, dinner menu from people’s real lives in 1963 — from a woman who was as cultured and wealthy as they come, and quintessential AMERICAN (a fucking CEREAL HEIRESS FROM ILLINOIS) — and in her billion-dollar mansion she is serving her esteemed guests jello with balls of sherbert and butter ball turkey. COOL ME DOWN, cool me down, because I am HOT. With passion. For how fucking cool that is.

I don’t know what to tell you it’s just my own particular brand of crack. I love mid-century America.

(NOT TO MENTION THE VODKA AND DOM).

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As we continued to explore the ground floor, I could NOT. GET. OVER. JUST. HOW. WEALTHY. THIS WOMAN WAS. I mean you’ve never seen so many ITEMS — things, pieces of furniture, that must be worth MILLIONS individually! In and of themselves! And there are like 10,000 items in the place – tables, chairs, sculptures, figurines, plates, dishes, PAINTINGS. So many paintings. You’re looking at some Asian quartz sculpture and it’s probably from like 200 B.C. Bitch collected art from Jesus of Nazareth. She owned a casual two DIAMOND-STUDDED-monogrammed Faberge eggs that the last tsar of Russia, Alexander II, gave to his mother for Easter in1896 – a practice his father, Alexander III had started within the Romanav family (giving commissioned Faberge eggs as gifts) that they continued until THE FUCKING RUSSIAN REVOLUTION IN 1917 WHEN HE AND HIS ENTIRE FAMILY WERE EXECUTED BY THE BOLSHEVIKS, MARKING THE END OF IMPERIAL RUSSIA AND ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT EVENTS IN THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. Yeah, Marjorie just owned some of Alexander II’s personal family gifts (by Faberge). Casual.

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Also, I loved the contrast between the kitchen and the rest of the house — because the kitchen, at the time, was literally THE most modern, of-the-times, state-of-the-art 50’s thing ever; but ONLY the kitchen. The rest of the house is as 18th century as it gets. So you go from this like, tile-floored, starburst-design, green-and-yellow AS-1950’S-AMERICA-AS-IT-LITERALLY-GETS-kitchen, to….Versailles. To as 18th-century-France as it literally gets. Post cereal and bread boxes to Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette. It’s kind of amazing.

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When we got upstairs, and got to a room that displayed some of Marjorie’s original receipts from transactions at the Cartier store in Paris, is when I really began to digest the sheer magnitude of her fortune. One of the receipts, was for 11,000 dollars, for two. Cartier. Picture Frames.

PICTURE FRAMES.

IN 1931.

NINETEEN

THIRTY

ONE

Do you have any concept

Of how opulent it is

To spend

11 THOUSAND DOLLARS

ON TWO PICTURE FRAMES

IN THE YEAR

NINETEEN THIRTY ONE

?????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s outrageous to spend 11,000 on 2 Cartier Picture Frames in the year 2014. 1931????!!!!! That must have been like a million dollars at that time. ON TWO PICTURE FRAMES!

Then we made our way around to the CLOSETS.

The closets were my other favorite part besides the Kitchen. Just so………historic in there time period-ness. They smelled pink and girly and magical and American. Girlfriend did NOT shy away from extravagance, in her dresses, jewelry, property, and items. Everything.

The estate has 2 original dresses on display in the closets, and they were CAPTIVATING to look at.

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One was from her daughter’s coming-out in some British Royal court (literally half the shit she and her daughters were ever doing made no sense, but of course, #wealth), and it gave me CHILLS. The first thing I thought was that it reminded me of the style of 1920’s dresses, and the display card said that she had worn it in 1929. To look at a real dress, that was PRESERVED from 1929, a real dress from Bergdorf Goodman, that a real life girl in 1929 picked out, and wore, and has just been kept in the family and handed down and now EIGHTY years later is in front of my eyes, is thrilling. For someone who loves history, and fashion, it’s truly thrilling.

MMP Cartier Necklace

After touring all of the house, and some of the gardens outside, we made our way to a separate structure on the property that currently has a Cartier exhibit showing some of Marjorie’s most incredible Cartier pieces and their back story. There was one necklace (above!) that I literally could not even conceive of a price on. It is absolutely massive – and an original commission that she worked with the Cartier bros to design. It is like, detachable into a brooch and multi-layered with a GIANT sapphire and like 400 billion trillion diamonds surrounding the center piece and cascading down into waterfalls. I literally was like………this necklace has to be worth 3 billion dollars. I mean I just don’t know how you could price an original Cartier commission, that large, that beautiful, with that many diamonds, from like 1940. Somebody tell me what that’s worth. The exhibit did not.

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I also couldn’t believe that her 3 daughters wouldn’t want these things…to own them. Personally. To WEAR them. And pass them down in the family. Not have them on view for strangers. Anna explained inheritance tax to me. She also said they probably already own something BETTER than even what’s on display. And that they probably already got (money-wise, property-wise) way more than what’s at Hillwood – that they already got theirs. But I just kept being like, DON’T THEY WANT TO LIVE HERE? Don’t they want to OWN Hillwood? How are they cool with this just being a spot for history weirdos like myself to have religious moments in the kitchen of? And like wander the halls of fantasizing about their mom’s 1950’s jello molds?

Also the exhibit said something about how some of the Cartier items were on loan. So maybe those 3 daughters do get to wear those necklaces around their ski chalet on Christmas or wherever they Winter nowadays. Literally, one of the emerald rings was the biggest, most awe-inspiring piece of jewelry I have EVER LAID EYES ON. I can’t conceive of a person being wealthier than Marjorie Post. I think she is the richest person that has ever lived. I think I just stepped foot onto the home and grounds of the richest person in humanity. Because I’m not wrapping my head around owning porcelain urns from Alexander The Great’s reign over Russia and Cartier sapphires the size of a baby shoe. That’s just………that’s where my brain says “cannot not compute.” The woman had more plates – just….PLATES…than all of the industrial kitchens in Russia. And they were like NEXT LEVEL plates too, like crystal-encrusted patterns from imperial Moscow that like Peter The Great used to entertain his enemies. I don’t even know. Everything she owned had some back story and connection to like the most famous people that have ever lived in Russia and France – and they worth a LOT today let me tell you.

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After checking out the Cartier exhibit, we walked all around the outdoor grounds of the property. There is a SUPER cool little Japanese garden with mini little bridges, stone paths, and rushing water. It was impressive and fun. Then there’s a putting green that’s very relaxing to sit and chat near. And there’s a whole bunch of winding paths through gardens and woods. But my FAVORITE part. Was the unabashed pet cemetery. That clearly stole the show even over the most dazzling Cartier diamond necklaces you’ve ever seen. Stones 3 x bigger than the necklace in Titanic? That shit had nothing on the grave stones of her 42 dogs, with names like “skampi,” “petite chou,” and “CREME DE FUCKING COCOA.” SHE HAD A DOG NAMED CREME DE COCOA.

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Marjorie

Marjorie Post was a badass, 4-husband, Russian-art-dealing, Cartier-comissioning boss, who built a pet cemetery for her fallen dogs named things such as Creme De Cocoa. I have never loved someone as much as I love Marjorie Post. She threw BALLER dinner parties, bathed in Dom Perignon, dressed for every event like she was the queen of fucking England, DRIPPED in diamonds, and ran a billion-dollar business like the boss-ass bitch that she was.

That’s my favorite picture above. She legit dressed like she was the Queen of England. As Anna said to me when I said this: “she was.”

She’s basically a gay man’s dream – in addition to everything mentioned above (let’s just reiterate real quick here – cartier,  4 husbands,  Romanav art collection, dog named creme de cocoa), the tag line of the Estate and Museums is “Fabulous – Where Fabulous lives”, and each visitor is given a name tag that says “Fabulous.”  Coolest. Woman. E-V-E-R.

Marj and Scamps

Seriously though, she inherited her father’s cereal business at age 27 and crushed it as the head of Post Cereal. Instead of doing idiotic things with her billions, she was smart, and tactical, with an eye for design, quality, and craftsmanship, in art, interiors, and jewelry. So much so that she knew to collect Cartier and Russian art. And husbands.

She is truly a feminist icon and my idol. Nobody but Marjorie told Marjorie what to do, least of all the men she was married to. She wasn’t EXACTLY living in a time when women were bosses (of companies, of themselves, of ANYTHING), husband-collectors, and the money-makers in the marriage. She wasn’t some twee heiress who sat around in her castle of billions and catered to her man. She was too busy BUYING ART FROM THE FUCKING ROMANAVS. And patronizing Cartier before they were Cartier. I literally fucking love her.

And most importantly, as my friend noted, all of THIS (Hillwood, the very green grass we were strolling on, with its 25 acres and unfathomable art and jewelry collection) is here. MANY people, Thomas Jefferson included, don’t manage their estates and affairs well enough to, when they die, not only be able to give things to their children and family, but have their possessions and estates and affairs so well-managed that they can leave them perfectly-preserved to the public, to view in all their glory, decades after they die. THIS, this place, in all its grandeur and glory, is proof of her business acumen and capabilities. That’s there’s even this left, today, says what we need to know about Marjorie Merriweather Post.

I. love. her. And Hillwood is the most wonderful place I have ever been in Washington, D.C. I feel honored and lucky that this wonderful woman chose this place to be where she falled and sprang.

And the city she chose to bequeath her billions of dollars worth of land, diamonds, and Russian art.

Boss.

Ass.

Bitch.

You do you, Marj. We love you.

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Filed under Good Shit You Should Know About, History, Inspiration, LOLz

Life Lately

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^^^A fun pool party I went to the other day^^^

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Hey hi!

So up until yesterday it had been a WHIIIIIIILE since I last blogged – longest unintentional break I’ve ever taken (oops emoji x 3). A lot has happened/been happening and I have a lot to update you on! So I thought I’d start with some stream of consciousness bullet points of what I’ve been up to / thinking / eating / digging / doing etc. I haven’t blogged since April so this is literally 4 months of recap. Sort of.

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I………

  • Planned my best friend’s bachelorette party (one of the most enjoyable things I’ve ever done or been part of in my life). I can’t WAIT to do a fuller post on this, and write more about the process of what it was like to plan, and all the little details and considerations involved. I was so proud of the outcome and really can’t wait to share more about this for anyone who ever might plan a bachelorette party – I think it’s probably a very helpful topic for 20 and 30 somethings who read this blog and want to hear how about how it’s done end-to-end, from a non cheesy source. I had SO much fun doing it – but it will be a very in-depth post so it’ll have to come later!

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  • Have read a few good books, best of which was The Paris Wife, which was SO well written! It’s about Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley Richardson, and their life in Paris in the 20’s. I was like…..awkwardly wrapped up in the book. I have always been obsessed with Hemingway, which I can’t quite identify the origin of or reason behind. I don’t know what it is (or maybe I do) but I am so drawn to him and his story, his life and wives and demons and beliefs and experiences. Like I am a legitimate Hemingway obsessive. I will spend hours reading about his wives (there were 4) and family members, learning and soaking up every single detail, wanting more and more and more. I am just…. there’s really no other word for it but obsessed. Entranced or enthralled or something. I want to know EVERYTHING and everything I read about him and about every single human being related to and ever touched by him, no matter how small a detail, is fascinating to me. Obsessed.

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  • Am more into farmer’s markets than I’ve ever been before. On a related note, Alex and I were about to go grocery shopping yesterday and I remarked that I want a new kind of grocery store. I am yearning for a different kind of grocery experience. I’m over all of the stores. Im over Harris Teeter, over Trader Joes, over Whole Foods, over Safeway, over Giant, over it. NEXT. I want something different. Something I can’t put my finger on but I just want a different kind of grocery experience. When we left the house a few minutes later I asked where we were going and he jokingly said apparently to write a business plan because I’m not satisfied with any of the grocery store options out there. Later we stopped by a friend’s house to film the ice bucket challenge (listen ….listen……I felt about the same way about it as everyone probably does by now, but once you’re nominated, you kind of have to do it or you feel like a real curmudgeon!!!! I didn’t want to be a scrooge. So we stepped up and Alex and I were both surprised by how much fun it actually was, and yes we donated too, RELAX); A man awaits his fate:

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Just a man in a rainbow stripe towel holding two buckets:

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  • But so at this friend’s house while filming the ice bucket challenge, I explained to them my desire for a different kind of grocery experience and everyone (four total) somehow knew exACTLY what I meant, felt the same thing, and were like, surprised by how much they too felt there is “something missing” in the grocery store experience, without having realized it before.  I was trying to articulate it more, I was like, look, I don’t KNOW if it means having a DJ bump some jams so there’s bumpin’ music as you stroll down an aisle with your cart…..I don’t know if it means moving walkways….I don’t know if it means doing for the grocery business what Virgin did for the airline business, but there is something lacking and strangely enough, a group of 20-somethings completely agreed and noted that it was interesting that they hadn’t realized it was something they wanted until I identified and articulated the need. They said it was like they needed someone to say it in order to realize that it was in fact something they’d been yearning for, without knowing it. Don’t worry about it – just Don Draper up in this bitch. I’mma redesign the grocery business for the millennial market, ‘s fine. Which brings me to my next point –

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Alex and I….

  • Have re-watched Mad Men from the very first episode to the very last (to date) episode. I had only ever gotten through season 5, and shoddily at that because I’d been trying to watch it from illegal websites back in the day when I didn’t have AMC so sometimes I skipped episodes etc. My opinion remains that it is one of if not the most brilliant television shows ever written. My G-O-D

And speaking of television, the Emmy’s are tonight! Yay. Not sure if Seth Meyers will be funny. I can’t say he ever made me crack up on SNL. I prefer other comedians. But I love television so I’m excited. Now Alex and I are trying to pick our next series to dive into. We are 99 percent decided on The Sopranos. Neither one of us have seen a SINGLE episode EVER. We’ve also watched all the other seminole series……Breaking Bad, Six Feet Under, Felicity (lol), House of Cards, Girls, Veep (I didn’t like this past season but think season 1 and 2 are literally some of the funniest television I have ever seen), Lost (almost), True Detective, American Horror Story, Workaholics (!!!!!!!!!!!!), Key and Peele, Drunk History, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Inside Amy Schumer, Seinfeld, South Park, etc. Only other one we haven’t is The Wire so we were deciding between Sopranos and Wire but are thinking the former.

That said we have a TON of series left to either start or finish such as……..The Americans, Fargo (both of which my brother has been urging me to watch since before the pilots even aired, so I really need to hop on those 2 stat…), also The Good Wife, Game of Thrones (never seen an episode except for the one episode I ever happened to casually and accidentally be watching — The Red Wedding. Not kidding. That’s actually a hilarious story for another time), Walking Dead, Sons of Anarchy, Justified, True Blood (only ever got through like 3 seasons for the same reason as Mad Men – bootleg internet attempts), Bates Motel, and Hannibal. Also we’ve never seen Boardwalk Empire. Jesus Christ we have a lot of TV to watch. Also one day I want to watch West Wing (never seen it, I was too young when it was hot), and ER, and Party of Five, and Ally McBeal. K never doing anything else for the rest of my life but watching TV bye.

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ALSO I’m really excited to begin The Knick – a new period medical drama with Clive Owen about turn of century (last century) medical stuff. I think the concept is GEN-YUS and can’t wait to watch the first ep, buttt it’s on Cinemax which we don’t have so.

Other random thoughts

  • I am never getting a non-gel manicure again. Just thought I would share that with you. The other week I decided – hey Alina, you know, it’s been a long time since you got just a plain old REGULAR, non-gel manicure, when did you get on the one-way train to gel town, never to return? since when are gels the only option? are they even worth it? what’s the big deal with gels anyways. Amirite? And then I got a regular manicure. And literally within 24 hours my nails looked like scratched-up grade school shit. And I was like, oh WOW okay THIS is why….got it. And then the next week I got a gel manicure again, AND 8 DAYS LATER MY NAILS LOOKS PERFECT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LITERALLY 8 DAYS LATER. Nothing has ever been so FLAGRANTLY apparent, the difference between paying for a regular versus gel manicure. One is lighting money on fire, the other is turning money into more money.

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Exercise wise

  • For a few months I’ve been SUPER in to boxing. Like legitimate sparring, like gloves and getting punched and kicked by people. I am the worst boxer ever, I literally say sorry INSTINCTIVELY every time I do anything. You can probably imagine me boxing. It’s comical, but I LOVE it! Every time I go though, I’m super afraid because you get matched up with a partner and it’s really kind of terrifying because there are people in my class who legitimately like….FIGHT, like in rings, amateur boxers, and so I usually try to spot the girls who look like we can both mutually handle each other. But the other day everyone had already paired up so I got matched with the instructor’s assistant and he punched me so hard in the stomach that my head snapped back and I literally blacked out. And then I was pissed. Like really. REALLY? YOU’RE NOT EVEN A PARTICIPANT IN THE CLASS, it’s not like you’re trying to get your money’s worth and get a good workout, you normally stand on the side of the classroom and MAYBE coach people with words if the instructor is busy, did you really need to actively attempt to MURDER ME? Boxing as a girl is weird. I enjoy it but then when a grown man legitimately tries to knock you out, AND HE’S LIKE THE FRONT DESK GUY THAT TAKES PASSES, it feels like you’re literally being beaten up – not as exercise. Just like, attacked. I was fighting back tears and like legitimately angry at him. It was weird. What the fuck is that. He got matched up with me BECAUSE THERE WAS AN ODD NUMBER OF CLASS MEMBERS, did he need to treat the interaction like we were in a UFC fight. Please. Whatever he probably felt good about himself because he could feel stronger fighting a girl. Mall cop shit.

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Miscellaneous

  • I have absolutely no idea what Shake Shack was EVER thinking when they made the INEXPLICABLE decision to take away their crinkly fries a few months ago. I remember hearing the news and being like……wait………….this DOES not make sense. That is the SINGLE, S-I-N-G-L-E defining aspect of that business. That is WHY you go to Shake Shack. Burgers, yes. Custard and shakes, yes. But the crinkle fries were their THING. They were what was UNIQUE. It was what DISTINGUISHED them as a fast food burger joint. Kids loved them. Adults loved them. THEY COULD SCOOP UP CUSTARD. THEY HAD STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY. THEY WERE FUCKING DELICIOUS. I was utterly BAFFLED when I heard that they were replacing them with what I have since dubbed “basic bitch fries.” Literally just your plain old, soggy, flimsy, skinny, WET NOODLE, BLEH fry. I refused to try to the basic bitch fry for like 9 months (until last weekend I had not been to Shake Shack since they made the ASININE decision to strip themselves of the defining mascot of their brand) — but Alex and I gave them a try last weekend and they were worse than even my worst nightmare. NO. STRUCTURAL. INTEGRITY. Just imagine trying to scoop up ketchup or chocolate custard with a NOODLE. That’s what this was like. An embarrassment. A disgrace. Fucking WHAT THE FUCK WERE THEY THINKING. They WEREN’T thinking, is the only thing I could conclude. But then Alex and I went home and we were so ASTOUNDED by the basic bitch fries that we googled it and found that only a few days earlier, SHAKE SHACK ANNOUNCED THAT THEY WERE BRINGING BACK THEIR CRINKLE FRY!!!!!! The timing was hilarious and so weird. The CEO posted this illogical long letter “explaining” why they made the decision and acknowledging that they “underestimated” their crinkle fry. We were thrilled they’re coming back, and that they realized the sheer magnitude of their misstep, but the letter was all kinds of wtf because he kept referencing how they made the decision based on “what they heard” and how they were only trying to respond to customer feedback and I’m like WHO. PROVE IT. WHAT FUCKING CUSTOMER *EVER* SAID THEY WANTED A BASIC BITCH FRY OVER THE CRINKLE FRY. FALSE. I CALL YOUR BLUFF. FUCKING FALSE. He’s like “we heard overwhelming demand for a different kind of fry, but we’re sorry” and I’m like…WHAT are you actually talking about? Not one customer on earth told Shake Shack they didn’t like the crinkle fry. NICE TRY dude. Glad you’re bringing them back, but no.

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The hilarious letter, here:

That’s all I got for now.

Soon I will give an update on my perioral dermatitis (spoiler alert: it’s never going away ever), and I hope to post some solid “guide to DC” content soon, for peeps who wanna know, and also some of the music I’ve been listening to of late. Also I have a LOT of shopping posts coming up!!

Thanks so much for sticking around and thanks to all of the people who asked me to get back at it, I appreciate it and appreciate you and am grateful to everyone who reads this little blog of mine (and no that’s not some twee Mormon bullshit, this is actually my little blog).

Back soon!!!!!

 

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Filed under Life and things

Neon Yellow Espadrilles : A Love Letter

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I turned a leaf a few years ago where I basically don’t shop unless I need something. I don’t shop without a purpose and only head to stores if I have to purchase something SPECIFIC, like a shoe for a wedding, for example; and then I only buy that thing I headed out for and don’t allow myself to even be in a position to be struck by something I wasn’t looking for because I’m in a singular mindset.

I still browse and appreciate what I see but I’m not out looking for love, nawimean?

BUT shopping while on trips has always been different & the exception; because 1. ) it’s so enjoyable and part of the experience of visiting a city that’s not home, to wander through a boutique unique to that city and let inspiration strike you 2.) it’s the opportunity to find and buy things unavailable to you in your home city (especially when the non-home city is New York) and 3.) whatever you may find and fall in love with is such a fond, meaningful, tangible reminder of that trip.

Which brings me to – NEON.

YELLOW.

WOVEN.

MESH.

STELLA MCCARTNEY.

ESPADRILLES.

WITH THE YELLOW LEATHER PIPING (faux, because it’s Stella obvs).

BIATTTTTCH.

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You just don’t know you need and can’t live without a pair of neon yellow leather woven mesh espadrilles until you see them in a shoebox-sized NYC consignment store that’s having a sale and they’re in YOUR SIZE (of all sizes) and they’re on sale from 85 to 45 dollars and they’re Stella McCartney. You know what I’m saying? You just don’t.

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And they fit. like a god damned glove. Like Cinderella’s fucking slipper.

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You COULDN’T know they’re ever something that could fit so seamlessly into your life, to the point where you’re not sure how you LIVED a life without neon yellow mesh espadrilles with the yellow leather piping. You know?

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Your life had been incomplete without them and yet you didn’t even know. They just fit right in. You see them and you you feel this fond wonderment – that they’re so unique and so CRAY, and you know how TRULY and authentically they fit into your life. With EVERYTHING. Black ripped jeans, WHITE RIPPED JEANS for that matter, cute little nautical dresses, cut-offs, BATHING SUITS, UNDERWEAR. PONCHOS. YOUR WEDDING DRESS (just kidding). EVERYTHING.

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You guys.

These shoes.

They are SO. well-designed. They couldn’t fit better or look better on the foot. THAT is the thing that you get with a designer like Stella McCartney. Chick knows how to design. Every angle, every stitch, every microscopic detail is CRAFT. No espadrille on earth has ever looked cuter on the human foot. She just. knows. what. she. is. doing. It’s WIZARDRY. To conceive of and design a shoe so magnificent. YOU HAVE NO IDEA.

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I SEE PHOTOS AND I LAUGH OUT LOUD, IN LEGITIMATE EMBARRASSMENT AT HOW LITTLE THEY DO TO TRULY CONVEY WHAT THE SHOE LOOKS LIKE IN PERSON. YOU COULDN’T KNOW. You CANNOT know.

I’ve read so many motherhood essays, about how when your child is born they’re like the puzzle piece that you didn’t know was missing and how you couldn’t have imagined feeling more complete and more whole except until this thing came into your life and now you do, and you’re overcome with pride and excitement for the future. That’s how I feel.

I never knew I needed them. I didn’t. If I had seen them online, I would not have batted an eyelash.

But in person.

My GOD.

Thunderstruck.

This is the online, like profesh stock photo from e-commerce:

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shoe

 

THEY’RE SO GOOD YOU GUYS.

This is about how I feel about ‘em:

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Have fun in your Toms.

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Filed under Fashion, MyStyle, Ridiculous, Shoes, Shopping

Perioral Dermatitis — Treatment Update

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{an old pre-PD photo}

A lot of people have been reaching out to me to ask me about my perioral dermatitis (PD), and I have been meaning to provide an update, because 5 months later, it’s not better; still plaguing me, just not even remotely gone. It has been one full calendar year since I have had this thing on my face, without longer than 4 days of pretend improvement before 7 new patches/blisters/bumps appear and never leave. It is the most upsetting, confusing, frustrating, physical issue I’ve ever had to deal with — leaps and bounds above my torn hamstring and IBS because it’s something people can SEE, and that I see and that feels and looks terrible and gets worse every day.

Every single day I wake up and look in the mirror and see just a hideous disaster of uncomfortable, genuinely painful and ugly rash/scabs. It looks AWFUL and never goes away. I have legions. And over 25 different raised, discolored, spots/bumps on my chin, to the left and right of my mouth, and next to my nose. It started, back last April/May with one spot to the right of my mouth, then spread to the left side; then to the chin (all over the middle & bottom) and then to the sides of my nose.

It’s horrific and I just want my normal skin back. I am in shock that it has been a year; with 5 solid months of treatment that has been wreaking havoc on my body, and no end in sight.

I am writing this post because I really want and need help. So that if anyone sees this, knows someone who has dealt with it, knows a perioral dermatitis expert, knows a phenomenal dermatologist…..please get in touch with me. I am STRUGGLING. I feel like something is wrong internally and haven’t felt like myself in months.

It makes me not want to see anyone, do anything, or leave the house. I have read that outbreaks can last 5 – 6 years, sometimes longer. It’s been so weird and depressing, to wake up every single day and know that I will just have a “pox” looking rash all over my face that is genuinely uncomfortable, and that it’s just……..not going away. I’ve sort of given up hoping that it will go away but also don’t even know what to do anymore. I wake up in the middle of the night, and get depressed knowing that I will wake up in a few hours and nothing will have changed. That it doesn’t get better while I sleep. Knowing that when I get out of bed I will be stressed about how to cover up, and who I’ll be seeing that day, but juggling that with knowing that makeup makes it worse and I should just let it sit there, looking that way, without anything on it, even though I feel BAD showing up places like that because it seems like I don’t care about my appearance; but makeup makes it feel worse. I also live in fear of getting worse than it already is. It’s like I have absolutely no control over it and it any time I could wake up with it having spread, multiplied, and gotten worse. I don’t have any idea what actually makes it worse and nothing makes it better.

I only brush with fluoride-free, sans sodium-laurel-sulfate (SLS) tooth paste and shampoo + conditioner.

I am worried that it is something going on in my gut but my stomach issues and life are already difficult enough, I can’t survive cutting out sugar, dairy, wheat, I feel like it only fucks things up MORE. I haven’t noticed if milk or cheese make it worse, but to be honest, when I cut out dairy and use almond milk in my cereal and soy milk in my lattes, I almost feel like THAT makes it worse. Whatever is in the almond milk, even when it’s natural..the carregnan or whatever that is.

I’ve read all this shit about candida and the no-candida diet but I simply can’t survive on steamed kale and fish and don’t even know if I believe it makes a difference. People say “cut out salt, cut out sugar, cut out dairy, cut out wheat” and….. eat what? Steamed cod for breakfast? How the fuck am I supposed to know what I’m supposed to be doing, how do I know if “candida” is ACTUALLY some magical source of my perioral dermatitis. The candida test? Some $200 out of pocket test that naturopaths administer that tells me “oh yes you have too much candida in your body”, go buy cod liver oil and fresh cold pressed fish supplements and organic biotin and don’t eat any processed sugar and wash your face in organic farmer’s market acacia honey.”

I am as skeptical of homeopathy and naturopaths as I am of anything because I’ve been down those paths SOOOOOOOO MANY TIMES with my digestive and overall health issues, cutting this or that out, taking this or that supplement or vitamin, taking an allergy test that medical doctors don’t even know of or use or believe in b/c it’s PROBABLY bullshit, doing some patch test on my shoulder that says I’m hypersensitive to eggs; expensive blood tests looking at my “thyroid” or my like…l-gluatmine levels or some shit; taking daily shots of aloe vera juice; taking a probiotic that completely fucks my stomach up; having sprouted bread and rice crackers instead of wheat; cutting out grains altogether; only having salmon and spinach; and where does it ALWAYS lead — nowhere.

My stomach isn’t any better; it’s usually worse; my skin isn’t any better; my energy level or sleep isn’t any better. Usually I feel all-around worse when I do things like cut out everything but quinoa and asparagus. I kind of just think a general well-balanced diet is the best thing for your holistic health, not all that other crap. Toast with peanut butter and strawberries is fine, even if the strawberries have natural sugar that feed the evil candida and there is wheat in whole wheat toast. I mean honestly what the fuck am I supposed to do with any of that. People in Spain and France and Cuba have a croissant with jam or tostada with butter and a cafe con leche every day of their lives — do they have candida overgrowths and inflamed immune systems? I don’t fucking know, I think it’s healthIER to have pancakes with blueberries on a Saturday at brunch with your boyfriend, versus like toasted bulgar crackers made from homemade palm coconut spread with cold-pressed sesame and chia seeds. Having cheerios with milk is fucking fine.

But at the same time it completely stresses me out because I just don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m anemic so I’ve been taking iron supplements, that also fuck up my stomach, and I’m like maybe the perioral dermatitis IS dietary. Or the result of a nutritional deficiency. Then what? What do I do? Who do I trust? How do I know what to do? I just generally trust doctors, who went to medical school for 7 years and have been practicing clinical medicine, and how come they never tell me to cut out sugar and that candida is the source of my issue. How come I’ve never heard a single medical doctor even mention or use that word. Or talk about “leaky gut.” I read that zinc is supposed to maybe help with PD. So I guess I’m going to start taking zinc, and a normal multi-vitamin, along with my iron. And see if any of that helps. I’m more inclined to take basic nutritional supplements like zinc, than to do any other drastic dietary changes even though a lot of people say to do things like that…..

I mean I’m just completely fucking lost.

Also there’s the hormonal component. It started last year when I was on birth control for 3 months and I read BC causes it, so I thought maybe after my hormones re-normalized 9 FUCKING MONTHS LATER that this would just TAKE FUCKING CARE OF ITSELF, but no, it’s not.

The general sense of things I’ve come to catalogue about PD is:

  • Don’t use toothpaste or shampoo with fluoride or SLS – this is just an easy, simple step that isn’t expensive or hard and I’ve been doing now for 5 months, I think regular toothpaste DOES make it worse. Even though the Dermatologists don’t even tell you to do that. That’s where the easy stops; the rest of what I’ve learned about it is pretty dark –
  • It sort of has something to do with hormones and birth control likely makes it worse but stopping it also won’t fix it so….you’re fucked once you get it
  • Sun probably makes it worse but also so does any and all cream so, good luck with sunscreen
  • Coffee and tea likely make it worse so don’t drink coffee, or tea, and while you’re at it also everything else that exists except steamed spinach – maybe dairy, maybe sugar, maybe wheat, maybe all food
  • Zinc might help
  • Get a lot of sleep and try not to be stressed
  • Maybe California Baby Calendula Cream; and maybe dabbing Tea Tree Oil on it, might cure it, according to some people
  • You can have it for 5, 6, or 30 years and it just never goes away
  • Dermatologists basically have no idea what the fuck it is, why it happens, or how to permanently fix and cure it
  • Antibiotics only work FOR SO long as you are on them; once you’re off, it comes right back
  • good luck!

I mean I am losing my mind with sadness and frustration over this.

In case it helps anyone, here is my history of the medical PILLS / creams I’ve been on since I realized what it was & was actually diagnosed with it 5 months ago.

Since December, I’ve been on:

  • Generic doxycycline for 30 days (it got 70 percent better, while still very much an issue; but the antibiotics were HELL on my body; and not sustainable. I barely survived the 30 days, and when I stopped, 4 days later the rash was back. My biggest issue on the doxy was: GI upset (bad acid reflux/discomfort) and fatigue
  • While on the generic doxy I was using metro gel in the mornings; and ziana gel at night. The derms call these “m gel” and “z gel.” They made it worse. I stopped.
  • Then I switched to Solodyn – I only lasted 11 days on Solodyn – my biggest issue was a pounding, blinding headache all day every day. I felt like I was living in a cave for 11 days. It wasn’t worth it and I don’t know how I survived the 11 days, I was a shell of myself and it was terrible
  • Then I took a 2 week break from antibiotics and was only using topical sulfur  – a wash, and a cream – a brand called AVAR - I temporarily had the most success on Avar, but as life/luck seems to ALWAYS FUCKING HAVE IT, Avar like….isn’t a real thing, it never got a patent or something like that so you can’t actually fill a prescription for it; so I had to use packet samples from the Dermatologist’s sample closet, except Avar reps stopped visiting dermatologists with new packets like over a year ago so the packets expired in October of 2013. I was still using them but there is a finite amount of Avar because it is not a real drug on the market and also…it was expired. So the dermatologist wrote me a prescription for NON-Avar, non-brand, just like, plain old generic sulfur wash and cream, except the generic stuff was TERRIBLE and made my PD itchier, drier and worse.
  • Then I tried BRAND Doxy for 30 days; because I’d already tried generic and it was terrible on my stomach/life; so the derm was like maybe the brand will be more tolerable and less difficult. It wasn’t easier, it did the same thing – i.e. clear about 70 percent of it except the minute I stopped, which I had to do because I can BARELY make it through the 30 days let alone longer, it came right back.
  • Then I took 3 weeks of of medicine and topicals all together, because I was fucking over it. By the end of the 3 weeks, my PD was back in FULL force. I was also in Los Angeles for part of this time, as I was in December when it was really bad when I was first on the generic Doxy; and that makes me wonder if sun DOES make it worse – which is something I’ve read, which is something I can’t even begin to process because 1.) sun is the only thing that makes me happy 2.) I have no idea what fucking sunscreen to wear on my face, if that is the case, because apparently EVERY SINGLE THING ON EARTH irritates/makes the PD worse, including all synthetic ingredients and chemicals, so if sun is an aggravating factor for the skin and I have to wear a strong SPF, I’m sure the SPF will just make the PD grow x 10 unless the ingredients in it are: air. I’m having enough of a hard time trying to understand what lotions, creams, topicals I can use, and can’t throw sunscreen into the mix because I’m sure the active primary ingredient – the sunscreen itself – is going to fuck up the PD as much as the sun is. I have read 1/3 of patients’s PD gets worse in sun. It is about to be the summer. And I have a bachelorette party ON the beach in June, so, I’m envisioning me sitting under an umbrella with a cold washcloth on my face because my skin is so irritated/red/full of GIANT PINK/red scales and scabs and bumps and dots and patches. I fucking hate perioral dermatitis.
  • After it got so bad after the 3 weeks of nothing, I saw a NEW dermatologist and told her the whole history and she switched me to Oracea (a lower form of Doxy), and a new topical: Adalapelene gel or something like that. As soon as I started taking the Oracea, I was noticing OVERWHELMING fatigue; like sleeping 14 hours a day and depression/anxiety that was super abnormal. I took it 11 days, and stopped, because it was so clear that the fatigue and weird emotional feelings were some kind of whack result from the medicine. Of course the dermatologist said they weren’t – that there are no known links between Oracea and depression and I’d taken the other forms of doxy previously without any issue. But, the fatigue and depression went away as soon as I stopped; and had started as soon as I began; so…..I DGAF what that annoyingly nonchalant dermatologist had to say, IT WAS CLEARLY causing fatigue and depression in me. I don’t know how these things work but Acutane made people kill themselves so. Doctors are annoying sometimes. “Oracea can’t cause depression.” “Well….it fucking DID, so. Guess you’re wrong.” Like….that factually occurred.

And that’s basically where I’m at. After sobbing this morning about this never-ending saga, I called a NEW dermatologist that I’m seeing this afternoon. Doryx, Solodyn, Doxy, and Orecea down. Over $800 spent on medicines, creams, replacing products, & co-pays. 12 months of this, with 5 months of non-effective treatment. Taking iron & zinc. Trying to sleep and “not stress” and wondering

WHAT. IN. THE. FUCK. TO. DO. and if there is anyone on earth who can help me not just like, control this thing or clear up a portion only for it to return, BUT GET RID OF IT. I WANT TO LOOK AT MY FACE AND SEE NORMAL SKIN AGAIN. Ugh, now I’m crying again.

Please let me know if you have any advice, recommendations, or doctor intros.

Like, are there PD SPECIALISTS????? So far I haven’t fucking found one. I am at my wit’s end I really can’t take living with this much more. I don’t know what to do.

Hopefully I like this dermatologist this afternoon. If not, another $140.00 down the drain. I just can’t even with this.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

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Filed under Bad Shit You Should Know About, Me, Please Help Me

28 Random Things About Me In Honor of My 28th Birthday

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I haven’t had time to write one of my usual longer form blog posts, including a recap of my 28th birthday, so I sat down to ramble-out 28 random facts about me.

Here ya go!

1. I am COMPLETELY addicted to chewing ice. It is new – it started this year. I had a friend in high school who was addicted to chewing ice and I thought she was INSANE, and our other friend had an ice machine in her kitchen and the one friend used to like, fiend out for it and not one ounce of my brain could comprehend it. It just didn’t compute. It was incomprehensible. I thought she was so weird. And this year, I became addicted to chewing it. I take big cups out every morning and night and just chew little pieces of ice. I live for it. I’m like a drug addict. I love. chewing. ice.

2. Second only to ice is my strange addiction to pretzel crisps. I go through bags a day. I wake up in the middle of the night craving them. When they are in the house, they are what I eat for breakfast.

3. I have a *REMARKABLE* talent for noticing people’s hair cuts — even T-H-E- most subtle trims ever. It is not relegated to people I know very well, like friend, boyfriend, coworkers, family etc. Any human being whom my eyes have ever seen, I will know if that person has gotten a hair cut. I NEVER miss it, and I am never wrong. Random people I’ve met only once before, or just people you wouldn’t think I’d notice if they got a haircut, like one of the security guards at work or a waiter at a restaurant — I know. I always say “did you get a haircut” and the person is ALWAYS like “uh….yeah…I did…” ?? It’s weird.

4. The other strange talent I have like this is zero-ing in on EXACTLY which drawer contains the silverware in people’s kitchens. It’s FREAKY. Like legitimately weird. I just sense it. I feel it. And it’s NOT ALWAYS like “where you’d think”, for those who are hating on this talent thinking it’s pretty obvious like it’s always next to the sink or something. It’s not. TRUST ME, the drawers / cabinets / vestibules people keep their silverware in are RANDOM AF and all over the place in kitchens, and I will walk into a new kitchen, feel it, reach for it, and be right. 100 percent of the time. Actually I’ve been wrong once. It really threw me. I’m still reeling.

5. I am not “crafty” in the traditional sense, like I can’t sew or fix things the “right way.” But I can cobble things together with nothing. I get/got that from my dad, who can fix a car with a jump rope, string a set of lights with a nail clipper, and fix a broken suitcase wheel with a piece of chalk.  It is some s-e-r-i-o-u-s Macguyver/resourceful shit.

6. I RUTHLESSLY chew my nails, bite my lips, etc. Like until they are raw and bleeding. My friends and boyfriend haaaaate it. It’s literally like………bad. I will literally drip in blood and am never without band-aids / almost always have them on my fingers. People are always horrified and I’m like, oh this bleeding appendage? That’s nothing.

7. I RUTHLESSSLY check out other women in a pseduo sexual way. Alex is so funny teasing me about it when I’m out with him in public. He says I check out girls’ bodies in a more offensive and flagrant way than his grossest male friends. I will barely realize I’m doing it, and there will be a pause and he’ll just be like “so……….I’m just wondering how it felt to rape that woman’s ass with your eyes.” And then I burst into laughter. Like I actually get into trouble with my staring. I am basically a flat out creep. All my friends make fun of me for it. I will just stare when I see a pretty woman. I appreciate beauty and the female form, sue me.

8. If left to my own devices, I will put off eating and peeing for as long as I possibly can. I love love love love food but only when it’s already part of the schedule, or an effortless passing act I can do while continuing to do what I was already doing. Like if I’m meeting someone for dinner, great. If I am walking PAST a Cinnabon stand ,and can purchase and eat a cinnabon in under one minute, great. But if I’m in the middle of cleaning, or shopping, or writing, or studying, and I have to STOP to fucking FEED myself? Bitch PLEASE.  There is nothing I find more annoying and intrusive. And same exact thing with peeing. Like I always joke how demeaning it is. Like you get cocky, in a flow doing something where you’re feeling super-human and awesome, like I’m in the middle of writing a really great piece and I’m on a high and I’m crushing it and then my stomach is like “UM UM, EXCUSE ME, UM, HEY, UM, REMEMBER ME, HEY HEY FEED ME I NEED FOOD” and then I’m reminded that I am nothing more than a machine, a vessel, that can’t fucking go longer than 3 hours without needing fuel, like a little BITCH. Like really? I have to STOP WHAT I’M DOING TO PUT A STRING CHEESE AND CARROT STICK IN MY MOUTH RIGHT NOW JUST SO I CAN CONCENTRATE AGAIN? AYFKMRN??! I HAVE BETTER THINGS TO DO!!!!!!!

…..Than like, “fix” a plate of food. I wish, if I had to, that I could just like honk a little horn and it would give my body the fuel/energy it needs to keep going and then that’s it. I hate that eating involves like, opening packages and sprinkling almonds onto things and like, decanting cereal into a bowl and pouring the milk and having to spoon small portions of it into your mouth one spoonful at a time. Literally are you kidding me. Am I a child in a high-chair. And then having the fucking dishes when it’s over. Ugh. And chopping. And like simmering and pans and tools and temperatures and time. No. Just no. That’s why I like croissants. Just buy it, eat it, walk. Boom, bye. Nothing. No opening, no sprinkling, no dishes, just food in your hand. Bagels with cream cheese are even too much effort because the creamy cream cheese can smear and get all over things. Croissants have crumbs and flake everywhere but at least they like, blow away in the wind. Cream cheese like…sticks to things. Croissant is my ultimate food. Literally done in one bite.

Likewise with the body needing to empty itself. Don’t even get me started on peeing. When you’re like having the best dinner conversation EVER and you’re vibing and the jokes are flowing and then someone has to STOP the flow to literally……get up and go to a bathroom and PEE? And then they come back to the table and it’s like…..awkward and no one knows what they had been talking about or remembers where they were and all of the smooth vibes of earlier are gone and forgotten and it’s like “heyyy so…where were we…………..should we get the check or something..?” Peeing is one of the most insulting acts we have to do as humans. I hate it. When I’m laying out SUN TANNING at a park, feeling it, feeling the sun, reading a book, on a blanket, and then 2 hours go by and I have to literally SHUT THE ENTIRE OPERATION DOWN, because I have to PEE (!!!!!). Like there are no bathrooms around, and I can’t leave my stuff lying out at a park, so I have to literally P.A.C.K. up my bag and speaker and towel and phone and book to DRIVE to a nearby CVS so I can fucking P.E.E. There is nothing more interrupting.

hahahahahahha I am laughing out loud right now — I just realized that between the addiction to chewing ice, hating to eat, and ruthless chewing of my nails that I am REALLY making myself out to be a crack addict. ……………don’t know what to say here……Alex made me add that I am currently doing all of the above. (That is, putting off dinner, chewing ice, and chewing my nails. It’s true).

9. I read magazines backwards (I think I’ve said that somewhere on this blog before??? Have I? I don’t know).

10. I know the lyrics to basically every song ever written.I think people comment on this more than any other single about me, other than my energy. That’s the thing I hear most from people is that I have a really really good energy. I like and appreciate that. Both types — the kind of energy that is like…..alive / full-of-life/ feeling-it/living-it/loving-it, and also the kind of energy that’s aura. Several strangers who aren’t even saying it because they’ve spent time with me have come up to me out of nowhere on the street to say “I can feel your energy, and it’s amazing.” I’M NOT KIDDING. MULTIPLE TIMES. Friends can attest to this. Maybe they’re mentally ill but whatever, I dig it. But it’s validated from loved ones, friends, family members, and people who have worked with me, who say the same thing, that I have an infectious energy that makes people feel good and happy and it’s clear how much I love being alive and I make things fun and lively and hype people up just from my the energy I give off. That’s 100 percent true.

11. I have an INSANE memory. I remember everything. Which I guess explains the former point, about the song lyrics.

12. BIGGEST PET PEEVES – 1.) When people are slow turners. When they are turning, whether left or right, and don’t just GET THEIR FUCKING CAR OVER, and it’s like they’re nonchalantly taking a stroll into the other lane, my entire body is overcome with a physical rage at their inability to just GET THE FUCK OVER IF THEY’RE FUCKING TURNING ANYWAYS, WHAT ARE THEY STILL DOING IN THE LANE, TURN BITCH, FUCKING TURN YOUR CAR, WHYALDJFKLASJFLSJFLKSAJFSADLKFJSDLKFJDSKLFJSALFJSLFAJSFLASJFLSJAFALJFSALKFJASLFJASFJASLFSADJFSKALJFSADLFJSDLFJSALFJSA ALKFJDSLJFALK THE MADNESS.

2.) When technological devices die and I have to plug them in. Simply finding, picking up, untangling, and plugging in a cord, to charge a phone or computer, makes me irrationally furious. We can text with someone in Japan, travel to the moon, fly jet planes to different countries, face time with people hiking in Alaska while we’re in the middle of the ocean on a boat, and yet OUR FUCKING COMPUTERS AND PHONES NEED TO BE CHARGED EVERY 3 HOURS. WHAT.

WHAT.

I just realized it’s exactly like the food/peeing. Having to re-ful/charge things, whether bodies or devices, infuriates me. Everything should always just work non-stop forever with no refueling. Just work. Always. I hate being interrupted.

13. I scream when it’s cold. E.V.E.R.Y. single time i get into a cold car, it can be 4 x a day, if it’s cold when I get in, I scream. It’s really weird and I do it unconsciously. It’s like an energy that needs to be released. I do not know how to get into a cold car and not scream. I don’t know when it started. It’s weird.

14. I am the greatest parallel park EVER. Like I am SICK. SICK. NASTY. DIRTY. RUTHLESS. at parallel parking. I will MURDER you at parallel parking.

15. I take almost 4 baths a day most days. A bath to me is hopping in for 10 minutes to get warm and then get out. Sometimes I’ll get in, get out, live life for an hour, and then get back in. This also goes hand in hand with another random fact about me which is that I am always cold, unless its 75 degrees and above. If it is seventy degrees, I’m still cold. People are like “omg this weather is beauuutifulll!!! So happy it’s 65 degrees” and I’m like “that’s fucking freezing.” 80 is basically my minimum. Miami, New Orleans, and yes D.C. in the summer, when it’s oppressive muggy heat, is like perfect to me. I love being bathed by warm air that stays in the air even at 4 in the morning. Walking outside in the middle of the night in Miami, D.C. and New Orleans and feeling that heat is one of my favorite sensations ever.

16. I hate spring. It’s a bullshit joke of a season that doesn’t own up to anything and is summed up by me as watery ,muddy, worms. It’s like watered-down tea. That’s what spring is to me. Metaphorically and literally. Like a watery cup of earl grey tea that’s been sitting out for 7 hours. Spring is a joke.

17. Every time a Drake song comes on the radio when I am driving, I think to myself “yes, Drake is my favorite rapper.” I don’t mean a new Drake song, I literally mean A-N-Y time any Drake song comes on, whether new or old, or the 4th Drake song I’ve heard that day, something about having the time and mental space of being in the car, alone, driving, where I can really sit back and listen to every word he raps, and relish in the hilarity and cleverness of his lyrics and his sexy voice, affirms that he is my favorite rapper. This is subject to change but without fail if a song of his comes on the radio in the car, I think it.

18. Something about female heroines in movies that are right, about where or who the killer is, or whatever truth, and people not believing them and making them out to be crazy, drives me CRAZY. I can’t handle beleaguered movie heroines who nobody believes and brushes off as crazy women. Rosemary’s Baby is one of my top 5 favorite movies, but/and when she’s right about everything but everyone makes her out to be “a hysterical woman” and puts her in a hospital and no one believes her, I was crawling out of my skin with anger, frustration and rage. I was SCREAMING at the screen. I hate it. I hate the era, and feel like it still kind of exits (?!?!?!?) when women were right about things, or alternatively, passionate about them, or just plain old…BEING HUMAN, like having thoughts and feelings and expressing sexuality or a range of emotions, or fear, or sadness, or anger, everyone acts like they’re crazy ass hysterical bitches who need to be in a padded cell under supervision. The Yellow Wallpaper KILLS me. Like it causes me legitimate stress.

19. I’m super independent. I enjoy doing things alone and frequently do, mostly because I don’t have time to sit around waiting for someone else to come with me. If I want to see a museum exhibit, I go. If I want to try a new coffee shop or restaurant, I go. When I studied abroad in Barcelona, I traveled to Paris, Rome, and Portugal alone – I eventually met up with and stayed with friends, but in Rome I spent every day alone. I toured the entire city by myself, including the Vatican, Coliseum and ruins. Just straight up…me myself and I, on a bus to the Vatican, wandering through the ground floor and taking in the Pieta, up and around every level, and the roof and everything, just moi. I especially love spending days in cities wandering and shopping alone, like Brooklyn and LA.

20. I love buckets, bowls, and chairs. Every time I go into GoodWood, what tempts me is the bowls, buckets, and chairs. I love chairs of every style era shape and size and color, and same with bowls and buckets. Deep and shallow, silver metallic and gold metallic, wood, metal, marble, engraved with Native American designs, standing on duck feet, wide, deep, shallow, circular, square, tall and narrow, what have you. And same with boxes. Boxes buckets bowls and chairs. Oh shit and baskets. Boxes buckets bowls baskets and chairs.

21. Salted butter is one of my favorite things on earth. Butter that isn’t salted is an embarrassment/a non-thing.

22. I am extremely passionate about customer service. When I have good customer service in ANY industry, I am genuinely filled to the brim with gratitude and appreciation. I will tip someone 400% when they do good work and are an awesome person. I do not care about math, percentage, standards, or my income. I will give my last 50 dollars to an awesome service that only cost 10 if I feel like it. I have and I do and I give zero fucks. I will always be compelled to monetarily thank someone for their talent and attitude. When I have bad customer service, I am enraged to my core, to the brink of tears sometimes.  I hate being treated poorly as a paying customer and it shakes me on a cellular level.

23. I change my mind every. single. day. (sometimes 3 times in one day) on whether or not I want to have kids.

24. I give zero fucks about tap water. I have all these bougie friends who will only drink filtered water and think it’s gross to not, and only drink from a Brita and nothing has ever phased me less. People are always apologizing for their tap water and I like, laugh. Basically if it’s a state in the United States, I will drink from the tap. I will drink from a water fountain, I will drink from anywhere that has water basically unless it’s like somewhere sketchy in Mexico. But I’m weird about other health/germ things. Like I hate door handles and buttons on elevators. But door handles are the worst. I always open them with my shirt. Almost always.

25. I sleep with a noise machine. I love white noise. Fans, air conditioners. It’s soothing and reminds me of summer.

26. I’m such a good shopper I think I would make an excellent buyer as an alternative profession.

27. I love and drink regular Coca Cola. I laugh in the face of diet drinks. A fresh ice cold coke poured over ice is one of my favorite treats.

28. If I love a new song, I will listen to it to a number of times in a row that you actually wouldn’t believe. Like 600. Like just over and over and over and over and over and over again. The most recent one I did this with was Iggy Azaela’s Fancy, which I am now sufficiently over, since I listened to it so many times over my birthday weekend, and the next one I’ve borderline ruined is Doc Hollywood & Ya Boy’s I’m at my Palm Springs Beach House.

And a 29th for fun: LA is my favorite American city and Barcelona is my favorite European city. They’re tied as my favorite cities on earth.

8 Comments

Filed under Good Shit You Should Know About, Life and things, LOLz, Me, Ramblings and Musings, Random

On winter

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oh hi!

If you have been wondering where I’ve been since I last blogged like 2 months ago (really really hard to believe how fast the time goes), don’t. I’ve been nowhere except the black hell that is the winter.

Every winter, I marvel at all humans who have not yet moved to California, and judge their intelligence and understanding of the notion that they have free will (even though I am one of them). I think: why do you put up with this? Why do you LIVE like this? Do you know that you don’t HAVE to live like this? That every year, for 4 months, you don’t have to stay inside your house because getting dressed and going outside is straight up physical abuse? That you don’t have to live in a place where when you walk outside, darts of freezing cold wind literally STAB your body and whip your face and slap you around, and where leaving your home makes you shiver and ache and recoil into yourself, hoping that maybe by keeping your head down and squeezing your skin closer into your ribs, you might make it to your car without WANTING TO FUCKING DIE.

I look around, at all these people and think: do they know??? Do they have instagram? Do they UNDERSTAND that it LITERALLY DOESN’T HAVE TO BE LIKE THIS. THAT as we fight snow storms, and trudge through piles of frozen ROCKS, spraining our ankles and falling on hips and having heart attacks from shoveling all this FROZEN WATER………..that humans in California are L.I.T.E.R.A.L.L.Y. on the beach.

Like LITERALLY, SUN TANNING.

LITERALLY walking to their cars in tee shirts.

LITERALLY DOING YOGA ON SAND.

LITERALLY SKIPPING THROUGH THE AIR, KICKING THEIR HEELS UP, RUNNING NAKED DOWN STREETS.

BECAUSE THEIR PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT ISN’T LITERALLY BEATING AND ABUSING THEM.

That THERE IS no external obstacle to walking out their own front door. That opening their door doesn’t mean DISCOMFORT, DANGER, injury, hell, and certain death.

HELL ON EARTH.

That getting to their car doesn’t entail SHOVELING MATTER. Like their car isn’t buried beneath a literal ICE-HARD, ROCK-HARD barrier of physical MATTER that they have to EMBARRASS and degrade themselves CUTTING through, with little plastic tools – JUST TO DRIVE TO FUCKING WORK – AT THE RISK OF THEIR APPENDAGES LITERALLY FALLING OFF. LIKE THEIR BLOOD LITERALLY CEASING TO FLOW TO THEIR FINGERS AND THEM FREEZING OFF AND LOSING USE OF THEIR HANDS.

AND WE ALL JUST PUT UP WITH IT.

ALL OF US LIKE IDIOTS, walk around, just waking up every day and literally  ACCEPTING the abuse. Just like. Accepting it. AS THOUGH CALIFORNIA DOESN’T EXIST.

As though there isn’t a state in the union where winter doesn’t exist.

I mean sometimes it is literally hard to believe. When I am in Washington, D.C. (WHICH DOESN’T EVEN HAVE BAD WINTERS COMPARED TO NEW YORK, NEW HAMPSHIRE, CONNECTICUT, MASSACHUSETTS, ETC.), and I have just walked to my car, and my fingers are LITERALLY ON THE VERGE OF LOSING THEIR ABILITY TO WORK, and there is a storm – some toolish fucking storm called like “Bianca” or “Timothy” and ALL anyone has talked about for days has been Bianca, and Bianca is threatening to end life as we know it (and practically does), and we all FUCKING STOCKPILE SUSTENANCE because Winter is a REAL THING that threatens to close business and halt supply of groceries and freeze pipes and and make the heat stop working and kill us all, and threaten the lives of our newborn and elderly populations, and we all live in fear like we have an abusive husband, and then Bianca hits; literally strikes; and roads are shut down and people can’t leave their homes for 4 days and homeless people die and cars slide on ice and we’re all living at the mercy and whim of LITERAL SNOW; and I’m getting into my car because at some point you still have to go to work, and scrolling through instagram because it’s the only glimmer of hope and life I have when the natural world around me has literally FROZEN, LIKE AN ICE-WORLD, LIKE ALL LIFE HAS CEASED TO EXIST, AND THE MUD, THE TREES, THE WALLS, THE AIR, ARE JUST LITERAL CHARDS OF ICE; and I scroll through instagram, and am faced with the visual proof – the UNDENIABLE REALITY – that  REAL LIVE HUMANS in California (on instagram) are LITERALLY

L

I

T

E

R

A

L

L

Y

NAKED ON A BEACH.

At the same VERY moment that I have just broken up sheets of knife-sharp ice, with the strength of my hands, that have frozen over my windshield 4 inches deeps, like I am Thor; freeing my car up from this hostile shell of natural matter that has cased over it, BURYING it, attempting to bury its existence, trembling as frozen air burns the edges of my ears, provoking all microscopic portions of exposed skin; as I am on the DEFENSIVE just to live my life -

At that same moment. There are humans in LA,

Having coffee in the sun.

In shorts hiking Runyon Canyon with their fucking dog.

Having god damn PICNICS ON MOROCCAN WEDDING BLANKETS.

I am faced with the reality that:

THEIR PHYSICAL WORLD HAS NOT FROZEN AND DIED. That winter doesn’t mean DEATH where they are.

Nothing has died.

THE TREES ARE STILL GREEN.

GREEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NOT DEAD.

The plants ARE FUCKING ALIVE.

THE TREES HAVE LEAVES.

THE GRASS IS GREEN .

THE AIR IS WARM.

FLOWERS ARE PURPLE AND PINK AND THERE. THEY ARE THERE. YOU CAN SEE THEM.

THAT THEIR SKIN ISN’T CRACKED, DRY, PEELING OFF, AND BLEEDING.

THEY DONT HAVE A LAYER OF FAT ON THEIR BELLIES BECAUSE WINTER HASN’T MEANT THAT THEY CAN’T LEAVE THEIR HOUSE SO ALL THEY DO IS DRINK HOT CHOCOLATE AND DONUTS.

THAT THEY’VE ACTUALLY WALKED OUT THE DOOR IN SUNDRESSES AND GOTTEN SMOOTHIES.

THAT THEIR CARS AREN’T BURIED.

THAT THEIR DOGS RUN FREELY OVER GRASS, FEELING THE BLADES BETWEEN THEIR SOFT TOES.

THAT HUMANS AND DOGS ALIKE ARE RUNNING AFTER FRISBEES.

THAT THEIR BODIES MOVE FREELY; NOT IN STIFF DEFENSE OF THEIR ORGANS AGAINST AN ATTACKER.

BECAUSE BIANCA DOESN’T EXIST IN CALIFORNIA.

THE SUN JUST NEVER STOPS SHINING EVER.

WINTER HASN’T MEANT THEIR DEATH.

THEIR ELEMENTAL WORLD ISN’T ATTEMPTING TO END THEIR LIFE.

AND it is in those moments that I am more stunned by the existence and acceptance of Winter than I might be by anything in the entirety of my life.

Like that California is not a Government lie.

And it’s not fake.

It’s a real state.

Where no one lives like CAPTIVES for 4 months out of the year.

THEY JUST LIVE. RUNNING NAKED THROUGH THE SAND. NOT DYING.

IN A PLACE WHEIR FINGERS AREN’T BLACK AND BLUE FROM ONE FUCKING MILLISECOND OF EXPOSURE TO THE AIR.

Everything is as it was.

THAT, as I shake, shiver, and shovel; they are SITTING ON PATIOS. IN SHORTS. NOT ADJUSTING THEIR LIVES TO ACCOMMODATE a physical world around them that has formed in the very opposition to the continuation of all human, animal, and plant life.

That their natural environment hasn’t become TREACHEROUS.

And yet we, in places that have winter, continue to accept winter, like it’s okay. Like it’s a totally normal fact of life to accept that our physical, natural world, will become a dark and sinister place, in opposition to everything that makes life easy to live.

WHAT. THE FUCK.

I judge all humans who accept winter.

I reject winter.

Talk to me about enjoying the cold; talk to me about there being different kinds of people in the world; talk to me about fireplaces! and sparkly magical snowflakes! And sledding! (also kill yourself). But THERE IS NOTHING THAT ANYONE ENJOYS and DESIRES about putting on 7-pound snow boots to carefully trudge through FEET of ice to watch their breath come out of their mouth in icy clouds as their cars struggle to start because it is a metaphor for the fact that even brilliant 21st century MACHINES can barely start their engines in frigid winter mornings because evolutionarily if you don’t have shelter in winter YOU DIE and that cars are not immune to the abuse. That no structure is immune. To winter. The ice, the snow, can cover, encase, erase anything, and we’re at its MERCY, in a CHOKEHOLD, just WILLINGLY GIVING INTO ITS DEMANDS.

ACTIVE PARTICIPANTS in its blackmail. Like heyyyy guys, I am going to make your life REALLY like….PHYSICALLY uncomfortable for the next 4 months; I’m going to make it, quite frankly, “un-fun” for you to do mostly everything you do – go to work, walk outside, grocery shop, walk to your car, attend a party, park outside. Because you’ll still do those things, but they will just be far LESS enjoyable when it’s 11 degrees and the wind is slapping your face.  And not only I am going to make the things that you HAVE to do un-fun (like grocery shop, walk outside, drive, park, etc.), I am also going to flat out TAKE AWAY – like literally eliminate your ability to even UN-FUNLY do a lot of the things you want & like to do – such as eating outside, taking walks, sitting in the park, reading outside, having a wedding or birthday party outside, etc. So it’s not even that you can do those things but they’ll just be less fun — You flat out just can’t do those things. Like you won’t be able to host an event outside. Like those things become non-options. Like restaurants take their patio chairs away. Like you can’t have your wedding or birthday party outside. And if you do, no one will come. And then even things like running or  biking for the most hardcore athletes – if not less fun or less of an option, they become at the very least, more dangerous. Like even if you insist on doing something, it will just factually be more dangerous. And I’ll also make travel — air travel, bus travel, train travel, car travel, way more dangerous and way more unpredictable. And also if you for some reason get lost, or your car breaks down, or you get stuck, you will literally will be at risk of dying. Like that is what I bring to the table as a season. As winter, most of things you enjoy doing become impossible, less fun, and more dangerous, and I hurt and kill. That is me. That is who I am.

And yet people CHOOSE to live in Boston.

AYFKMRN

ARE YOU LITERALLY

fucking kidding me right now

If you don’t move to California, at some point in your life, for the rest of your life, I simply can’t believe that you have a functioning brain. Or that you want to live. Because winter is, factually speaking, the death of life. And an abusive spouse that is straight up psychotic. A thief of joy, merciless, and legitimately threatening to your life. So.

See you in California.

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Filed under Blog Essays

Peace Out 2013!!!

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Deuces up, 2013.

I had a lot of health lows in 2013, but comprehensively I absolutely adored the year. I had SO much fun, made 2 new lifelong friends and solidified another, we solidified a few new couple friends as well, I got completely out of debt (not counting student loans), spent a lot of awesome time in NYC, went to 4 of the best music festivals E-V-E-R, and had a lot of amazing work/blog opportunities.

Here is my retrospective.

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January pretty much consisted solely of Friday night cheese & champagne dinners with Anna. We took a trip to New York where she introduced me to Tipsy Parson and we had oysters at the John Dory Oyster Bar at The Ace Hotel. She has good taste. And I love her.

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In February, our apartment was shot for and featured in Apartment Therapy!!!

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This December while in Palm Springs, a few people texted and emailed (THANK YOU!) to let me know we were on the homepage again, featured as one of the top tours of the year (And our place got 10K + pins on Pinterest!!! 10,000 + !!! )

In February I also wrote this post about our Valentine’s Day staycation in D.C. and Spike Mendelsohn’s fedoras.

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In March, I celebrated my 27th birthday in New York City with Alex (we tried ABC Kitchen for the first time), and injured my hamstring which is still an issue for me a full 10 months later. March/April began over 4 months of physical therapy, and a super super upsetting and frustrating time period. I stopped exercising ALL together when it happened, and to this day can’t do anything but Pilates without re-engaging the pain. Pilates it is I guess. I miss cardio though. I can’t do anything that involves the full weight of my body being supporting by/propelled forward by my two legs, i.e. running, elliptical, biking. I’ve tried a few times, and every time, no matter how slow I start, or gentle I am, or how much strengthening I’ve been doing to get the muscles around it strong, the pain re-starts up. So I’ve basically accepted that my hamstring is never healing. It’s hurting at this VERY moment as I type this post, and the last thing I did was attempt a 2-minute light jog in Palm Springs 2 weeks ago. Not happening.

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My sweet friends also took me out for a fun birthday day in D.C.
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And in March I also chopped my hair again, by myself, with kitchen scissors. #oops
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April I didn’t do much except cry. I was very shaken by my leg pain and lack of progress. I worked a lot and ate a lot of yummy pretty food, and contemplated life on Anna’s beautiful dreamy porch.

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chive omelette

But May was way better! like, amazing.

I took a road trip with my best friend and saw my love Kendrick Lamar live for the first time. IMG_2842

And I got to be part of Refinery 29’s 30 Under 30 in D.C. project, which involved a 3-day shoot with 30 of the baddest bitches in this city.

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Hi John Wall ^^^

It was such a cool, creative experience and I met a lot of awesome people + wrote their stories for the feature.

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In May I also covered the Sweetlife Festival for Refinery 29, and saw Karen O. blow my MIND.

In June……I went to Governor’s Ball.

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It was the best 3 days of my life. I have never had so much fun. The whole experience will go down in my book for all eternity as a top life experience. I will remember the moments and feelings that whole weekend gave me for the REST of my life.

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I saw GUNS N ROSES, Cut Copy, Kings of Leon, Kanye West, Grizzly Bear, Bloc Party, and Yeasayer, as close as a human could get. My brother had bought me VIP tickets as my 27th birthday present, and I get chills every time I see a photo, have a flashback, or watch a video from that weekend. It was magic. Ugh. Best weekend E.V.E.R.!!!!

Thank you Carlos!!

me and carlos!

I took this video of Kanye (1 of literally like 250) I took during his set, and only marginally thought about the extent to which what I was experiencing would be what everyone would talk about the next day. Because I’m rarely in-person experiencing the event that is then all over the blogs the next day. Like the people who were at Coachella when the Tupac hologram thing happened.

He went on this hilarious, EPIC rant about the radio, and though I was kind of eye-rolling just because it’s so easy to give him a hard time for his rants, it was also so cool and surreal to be in that crowd, Kanye being the very very very last performer of the very last day of this epic 3-day music festival rage-fest weekend, the sun down, perfect weather, just thousands of humans loving life, loving music, loving kanye, loving each other, and to be there as he says

‘you know with this album, we aint drop no single on the radio, we ain’t got no big NBA campaign or nothing like that, shit we ain’t even got no COVER….. ‘Cause honestly at this point, when I listen to radio, that ain’t where I wanna be no more. I could give a FUCK about sellin’ a million records, as long I put out a album for the summer that ya’ll can rock to all motha-fuckin summer.”

And everybody LOSING IT.

And then the next day, that being EVERYWHERE and quoted and I was like….oh I was THERE, AS it was happening. I watched this video 2 nights ago and literally every hair on my body was standing on end, because it’s so cool to have been part of. Also, the fact that he performed 4 new songs from Yeezus like a month before it was released! And I have the videos! Of him performing “send it up”, before the rest of the world got their hands on Yeezus weeks later. It’s SO FUN to watch all the videos I took of his set that night. Omg and when this video goes into “snitch”, which is one of my favorite verses of his ever, my hair STANDS. UP. ON END. I’m not kidding! Ugh, music festivals.

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In June I also walked the Color Me Rad marathon (couldn’t run because of my leg), and then got a severe kidney infection and ended up in the ER and severely sick for a week, out of work, incapacitated in bed on heavy duty painkillers. (health low). ^^^ Alex snapped this picture of me PASSED the fuck out with my RAD tattoo still on my arm after we got back from the ER : (

The rest of June and July were filled with concerts, drinks and bbqs with friends, a lot of pet-sitting, some trips to the zoo, lots of trips to GoodWood, LOTS of crop tops, and all the things that make summer the best season there is.

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Dan and Serbie hahahah best picture ever ^^^ this pug’s name is Tyson as you should clearly know, but he was born in Serbia and imported to the U.S. and has a Serbian passport, so Anna instantly began calling him Serbie.

July came with more trips to NYC.

View from my first time on the high line -

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Exploring Greenpoint –

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Breaking the Soho House no-photo rule but they can’t stop a bathroom selfie!
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And a quick trip to Miami where I always find the BEST. STUFF. EVER. at Zara. The Zara at Dadeland Mall in Miami is like one of my top 5 shopping destinations in the world. Does that make me sad? Women aspire to shop on Champs-Élysées in Paris and Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and “Bergdorf’s” (KILL ME) and all I need is the Zara at the Dadeland Mall in Miami.

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It’s where I got the most amazing find of my 2013 besides my RICH necklace – this Jane Birkin screen printed tee for 7.99, on tripple sale and an XXL – which made it MORE perfect

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Jane and the RICH necklace TOGETHER? Forget it IMG_5015

Lastly in July our place was shot for a local D.C. print publication which involved donuts and knee-high socks -

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August — an amazing month. More NYC, concerts, photo shoots, and good people.

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I met Viceroy at a private NYC birthday party with my best friend Peter

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I <3 you Peter!

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These pants happened -

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H&M asked me to partner with them for the launch of their online shopping (A BIG. HUGE. DEAL. !!!!!!!!)

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I covered Trillectro for Refinery 29 and had a BLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAST of a day, that capped off with A$AP Rocky joining ASAP Ferg on Stage.

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Audrey!!!!!

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Rocky – photo-4

At the end of August, I celebrated Labor Day in Maine with my besties – it was SO. SO. SO. SO. fun and nice to be up there, with crystal clear air after so many weekends in gritty smoggy city-land – the ocean and air ugh!

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SEPTEMBER oh mah GOD September was gooooooood. Back to the city to celebrate Cheralee’s birthday. Pretty much best weekend ever.

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And the best sequence of dancing of all time, ever. These might be my favorite pictures of the year. Just sheer unbridled joy and happiness, dancing with our friend Rameet.  If you had been there, our unchoreographed sequence was much like the Bradley Cooper / Jennifer Lawrence scene in Silver Linings Playbook/ Sandy and Danny in Grease. Best night/birthday celebration ever.

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Also this was the trip on which I found my RICH necklace at a thrift store in the East Village

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And Noemie did my hair better than I’ve ever seen it ever -

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I would be such a better citizen if my hair always looked like that. The heights I would reach man.

The following weekend I covered the Virgin Mobile Free Fest for Refinery 29, and saw Chvruches and Sky Ferreira live -

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And met Ghost Beach and The Knocks which was awesome -

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And then went to a fun party and event at the Kennedy Center -

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and wore this outfit which was one of my faves that I put together all year -

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In October, I was furloughed when the government shut down, which was a MAJOR. BUMMER. But Alex and I house-sat and cat-sat for Dan & Anna when they went to Spain, which made the furlough a little less painful.

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We went to District Flea almost every weekend. And I found a hat!

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November  was also a surprisingly awesome month.

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I did a blogger partnership with Maybelline for their new Color Elixir lipglosses -

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Hung out with Tyson – better known as Serbie – IMG_6919

Went to NYC for a crazy fun weekend -

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Stayed in room 666 at the Waldorf (aykmrn), Alex treated me to a massage at the Guerlain spa (IT. WAS. THE. BEST. SPA. EXPERIENCE. EVER. !!!!!!!!), and just had an illegal amount of fun.

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On our way out of the city, we stumbled upon the most incredible, massive, stunning, surreal, jawdroppingly beautiful cemetary in Brooklyn, right before a storm was about to begin. I tried researching it and still haven’t figured out which it is, but it had a view of the entire skyline and was just so expansive and gothic. The whole scene, and day, felt like I was in Wuthering Heights. I took a thousand videos that I still need to upload. It was an amazing experience.
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And of course, couldn’t head back to D.C. without a Bareburger black-and-white milkshake. They’re my favorite in the world. IMG_7405

Later in the month, I took Cheralee to see RAC at Rock and Roll Hotel – I had bought tickets 3 months earlier without knowing who I’d take. They were amazing!!! And I have videos I need to upload too. SO MANY VIDEOS TO UPLOAD.
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We were ON their feet, it was basically a private show -

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And, I can’t forget about our visit to Monticello, and the post I wrote about how Thomas Jefferson was a wanna-be European who wished he lived in France but was slightly stuck between a rock and a hard place since he was a president who wrote the declaration of independence -

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December = PALM SPRINGS!  The year capped off with a trip to my favorite Palm Springs (and a little time in LA).

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And we officially said goodbye to 2013 and hello to 2014 at a party at The Kahoes

The beautiful set-up -

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Dan makes a handsome bartender if I do say so myself, and always makes me secret tonics for my always-ailing tummy -

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My new year’s kiss!

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Sike I had two -

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PEACE OUT 2013!

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Best purchases / items I wore most often (CLOTHING):

  1. Jane Birkin tee  1. RICH NECKLACE
  2. See-through white daisy crop top
  3. Drew baseball jacket
  4. Marc by Marc Jacobs satchel
  5. Rag & Bone ripped black jeans

Jane, Rich, AND baseball jacket all together here (one of my fave pics of the YEARRRR thank you Cheralee!)

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2. – I wore the white daisy top with SO many different things, from high-waisted jeans and shorts, to sheer maxis and tuxedo pants. I adore it.

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4 – satchel

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3 & 4 – Jacket & Satchel pictured together heeeere:

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5 – The Rag & Bone ripped jeans

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This outfit involved the ripped jeans, rich necklace, and satchel (ANDDD the jacket later, just not pictured) -

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Best purchases / items I wore most often (SHOES):

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My leopard loafers, glasses loafers, and black and brown perforated Jessica Simpson booties, all from Nordstrom Rack for super cheap

Best purchases (HOME):

These blue chairs from GoodWood -

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And these blue ottomans from GoodWood -

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And our Kelly Towles art -

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Best moments:

  • All of Governor’s Ball but specifically: Guns ‘n’ Roses’ entire set, Kings of Leon playing the first chords of “Closer” as the sun set on day two, and Kanye’s entire set, but Guns ‘n’ Roses wins by FAR above and beyond every and anything else. There will never be a greater band, a greater FORCE. Chemistry. Magic. It was magic.
  • Stumbling upon that cemetery in Brooklyn with Alex, as the wind rustled through the leaves before a giant storm, and the light and sounds were perfectly SUBLIME and I’ve never felt anything like it
  • STUMBLING INTO JASON SCHWARTZMAN IN THE EAST VILLAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Seeing Viceroy perform in front of my face
  • Peter’s couch in his cozy NYC apartment on a hot July Saturday, with the AC on, in PJs, having barely slept the night before, happily hungover, eating a bacon-egg-and-cheese-bagel sandwich with Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf iced coffee, watching The Place Beyond The Pines on his flat screen TV
  • The moment I first saw and then picked up the RICH necklace
  • Experiencing The Meatball Shop in Brooklyn for the first time, when they were BLASTING West Coast rap
  • A night in Venice at The Brig, where they were BLASTING West coast rap
  • Every second of Palm Springs
  • Chats with Anna and dinners at Chez Kahoe
  • New friendships forming
  • Summer weekends in NYC
  • Watching the last few episodes of Breaking Bad with close friends

Worst:

  • Kidney infection + Hamstring injury
  • Perioral Dermatitis
  • FURLOUGH
  • Personal stuff I can’t talk about on this blog
  • Car getting broken into twice

Favorite food discovery:

  • Bareburger milkshakes and burgers!! Thank you, Peter

Favorite new music:

  • Lorde

Became addicted to:

  • TV SHOW: Hemlock Grove
  • FOOD: kale, brussel sprouts, pretzel crisps, chewing ice, and OYSTERS!

Obsessed with:

  • TV SHOW: Workaholics

Overall themes:

  • Music, Hair, Friends, Fashion, Photo Shoots, Flea Markets, Food.

Wish I had an endless supply of money for:

  • Blow dries

Favorite Movie Of The Year:

  • Drama: Blue Jasmine
  • Feel-Good/Fun: Bling Ring
  • Runner-up: Blue Is The Warmest Color

Favorite Book That I Read:

  • A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley

Favorite Album:

  • Lorde Pure Heroin, Kanye Yeezus, A$SAP Rocky Long Live A$AP, and Drake Nothing Was The Same. I didn’t care for Daft Punk’s album as a WHOLE, and if you can believe it I STILL haven’t listened to Vampire Weekend’s even though they’re one of my top 3 favorite bands of all time!

2013 in one word: fun 

OVER AND OUT

2013

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Winning The Day

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Coming OFF of my post about skin, which you can tell is clearly (pun not intended ;) very important to me, Clearasil happened to send me some of their new products  (perfect coincidental timing) and asked me to post about how I #wintheday. I win the day in a lot of ways, but working out/doing Pilates (when I do it) would be the #1 way for sherrrrr. I always feel better afterwards and I am completely obsessed and in love with Pilates and how amazing it is. It’s my exercise. I’m not a yoga chick, I’m not a spinning chick, I’m not a kickboxing chick, I love zumba, but.…. I am a Pilates girl. (Hiking would probably tie but it’s more of an effort to do while living in D.C.) 

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One time this Fall I was really like, amped and motivated and happy and just in the BEST mood ever and was so high off life that I was basically high-kicking in the air at a restaurant, and I was with Cheralee and Modi and we were talking about fulfillment and happiness and I was like ‘RAP MUSIC AND PILATES. THAT’S WHAT MAKES ME HAPPIEST. I WANT TO JUST TEACH PILATES CLASSES AND WORK IN THE HIP HOP INDUSTRY AND LISTEN TO TRILL TRAP MUSIC AND BE HAPPY FOREVER.’  (I think I had probably just come from a Pilates class because fashion, writing, movies, comedy, and ALL music are all chief  on my happiness list. But if  If I went to a Pilates class that PLAYED rap music I would probably just combust). So that is how I win the day. Actually If I went to a Pilates class, in LA, that played West Coast rap, and then went shopping, got a blowout, drove around in the sun, read a really good book, went to an amazing improv show, watched a Wes Anderson film, and my skin looked really good……that would probably really be winning the day.

I’ve used Clearasil products since way back in the day. Like my entire middle school and high school years was the Clearasil cream cleanser. They’re just classic. And the branding pretty much nails it because the ONE & ONLY thing that I want / that matters to me is CLEAR skin. Firm is great, moisturized is great, bright is great, but CLEAR skin is literally the only that matters. My skin hasn’t been clear since I got periorial dermatitis 6 months ago (cue me shooting myself in the head), but with my dermatologist products and these awesome new fruity smelling Daily Clear cleansers I’m really hoping that changes SOOOOON!

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If you are interested in sampling the products, they can be yours ENTIREly for free. Clearasil is offering a rebate coupon, until March 15th of this year. So if you buy any one of these products (the cleanser, scrub, and pads – (those are my favorite)), and fill out this VERY EASY rebate, it’s free. All you have to do is click here: http://www.clearasil.us/sites/default/files/Clearasil_DC_Superfruit_Try_Me_Free_Form2.pdf

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Literally zero dollars. You buy it, send the rebate form in, and they send you back your money. NET ZERO.

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Also the pink retro packaging is too cute. Like it is SO 1970’s. I feel like a member of the Brady family, in the best way ever. I get happy every time I glance over at the very 70’s packaging. Super cool on Clearasil’s part. I LITERALLY feel like when I see these products I have time travelled and am looking at a beauty product in Farrah Fawcette’s (RIP) bathroom. So cute right?? I just realized I coincidentally styled them on a book I have with Brigitte Bardot on the cover. Maybe it was subliminal.

Soooo click here if you want to take advantage of the awesome rebate! http://www.clearasil.us/promotions/offers and read more about the products here.

I hope to win many more days this year. I think I may make that my slogan of 2014. Can I do that? #wintheday Thanks Clearasil.

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Hello from Palm Springs!

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It is my opinion that Palm Springs is one of THE most beautiful places on earth.

The light, colors, and silhouettes….. absolutely B-L-O-W my mind. Every second of every minute of every day I am looking around saying “this can’t be real. Is this real? THIS IS NOT REAL.”

I’ve come to the conclusion that Palm Springs is not real.

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It is so. fucking. beautiful.

The blue sky, the sun, the palm trees, the mountains, and the architecture all combine and play off of one another in the most magical, indescribable, un-capturable way. It’s a perfect place.

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This is our second year in a row of coming out here for Christmas and it is THE *BEST*.

In the mornings, we take very-early morning walks and/or hikes. We wake up at 7, brew a fresh pot of coffee, sip it at the kitchen bar, and then head out.

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(I’m pretty in love with my Adidas leggings that I got at the Adidas Outlet for $12).

Walking and hiking in the morning is a complete high. I think about the temperatures back East and I feel legitimately euphoric, to be out in the fresh desert air, with the most insane vivid colors and sights, exercising outdoors with the whole day ahead of us.

After walking, we come back to the house and have more coffee and breakfast & down-time, like reading.

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photo (17)Palm Springs is the land of amazing rentals. Like 9 out of 10 houses are rentals to out-of-town vacationers, and they are gorgeous, spacious, TRICKED-OUTTTTTT., and so affordable. The guy who rents our place has 3 properties and travels all over and just rents his various homes out while he explores glass factories in Europe. Standard Palm Springs. You can seriously get a MANSION with an insane pool situation and gorgeous kitchen and stunning grounds because like….every single home in Palm Springs is like that, and owned by a wealthy gay couple.

Around 11:30, the sun comes flooding our chaise lounges out by the pool.

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We hang out by the pool, and have lunch out there. The property is a veritable orchard. On the grounds there is an orange tree, lemon tree, kumquat tree, pomegranate tree, and grapefruit tree.

A.Y.F.K.M.R.N.

Every morning and all throughout the day, we cut fresh squeezed lemons for our water. It is so refreshing. I have never been this hydrated.

I have an orange a day as a snack, and just walk out back and literally pick it off the tree. It feels borderline bougie to just pick a fucking orange off a tree and eat it. Like the ACT of literally plucking it from its vine and hearing the sound of the separation of the orange from the tree that you are going to then eat is so rich.

Then I’ll have some grapefruit for breakfast or later in the day. It’s a complete joke. THEY ARE JUST ON A FUCKING TREE. AND YOU PLUCK THEM OFF THE GOD DAMN TREE. This is also STANDARD in Palm Springs. Like if you live in Palm Springs and don’t have a kumquat tree on the grounds of your property you’ve done something horribly wrong.

We hang out by the pool until about 3:30, by which time the sun is almost completely behind the mountain. The light at that point is equally beautiful.

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When the sun “goes down” (it hasn’t set yet, it’s just not on the pool), we usually chill more for a few hours. Read, watch TV, talk, just hang out.

Around 6ish we either start getting ready to go out for dinner, or start cooking.

Palm Springs is kind of a foodie town. There are a LOT of amaaaaaaazing restaurants.

Saturday night, we went to Workshop, which was just so. so. good. Last night, we grilled chicken wings and made home made fries and salad with toasted almonds. Before dinner I even went for a run outside. It was my first attempt at running since I broke my hamstring last March. Palm Springs is extremely flat so I figured I’d give it a shot. Running with all the green, trees, and mountains is such a beautiful experience. I simply cannot believe I have to go back to 32 degree weather.

I ran through a park that is near our rental, where we also went for a walk this morning. Most of Palm Springs looks very typical California, but then you get little pockets that ALMOST look like an East Coast Fall.

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photo 2 (1)I love it.

Town has all kinds of good restaurants and design stores. The EPITOME of retro. Also, there is a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and a giant statue of Marilyn Monroe, with all kinds of fabulously retro motels & motel signage. You KIND of feel like you are literally on a movie set. Like you are in one of those movies about movie sets where everything looks super fake and is supposed to look fake but it’s just ACTUALLY what California and Palm Springs is like. It really does start to feel kind of meta.

Our rental is super close to town, so we walk in several times a day. We walked to and from our dinner at Workshop Saturday.

Today, Alex’s friend and her amazing Milanese boyfriend drove in from LA to spend the day with us. We had brunch at Cheeky’s (a very famous, fairly-safe-to-call-Hipster brunch spot in town), then came back to the pool and played R. Kelly, drank blue moons with fresh orange wedges PLUCKED FROM THE TREE, tanned all day, and then went to the Ace hotel for a photobooth stop and snack from the King’s Highway diner. The hotel is kind of suffocatingly hipster but the actual food served at the restaurant is EXTREMELY good.

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We have so many days left but I have little moments each day where my heart actually aches that I will leave this fantasy land to head back to the exotic District of Columbia. Literally…………I cannot.

So many more pictures and things to say but I just wanted to say a quick hello from one of my favorite places on earth. <3 Hope you’re having a nice holiday break!

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