Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Let's Live Beautifully!



Marena, Jen, me, NYC.
The other day, I decided that an important thing that I needed to do was write out some quotes and tape them to my wall.

Why?

Well, if there is one thing I’ve learned about myself while being on a college campus 24/7, its that I tend to lose sight of inspiration and inexplicably become rather depressed. Worse yet, I’ve been known to make hasty and rash decisions. Some for the better (quitting the cross country team in order to pursue my personal dreams more efficiently), some a little foolish (getting a dramatic haircut I didn’t really want), and some best described as not well-thought out (no need to go there).

 The point is, I truly believe that most of this—the need for inspiration, the impulsive decisions—stems from my yearning for spontaneity in my life. Along with that, I’ve been obsessing over this idea of living aesthetically. This partially comes from a recent class lecture in my theater history class about Aestheticism and all the well-known aesthetes (otherwise known as Oscar Wilde). I seemed to identify with the ideas of living life artistically and beautifully. The idea of how important beauty is resonates with me—but not for the sake of my own personal vanity or narcissism, but more-so for the sake of everything I do in my life just being… lovely.

Sadly, I don’t believe that some of my recent actions aimed at spontaneity have been necessary or interesting enough to even involve a drip of aestheticism. I need to remember that occasions that are regarded as spontaneous should be wonderfully grand and beautiful. They should involve a little bit of a fantasy and living like I’m not used to… but in a less reckless or careless way.

A grand example of this would be the fact that, as mentioned in a previous post, I recently went to NYC on (somewhat) of a whim with my friends Jen and Marena. The whole idea of the trip was lovely: we just wanted to enjoy the beauty of such a grand city. We didn’t want to buy ridiculous souvenirs, eat at a massive Hard Rock Cafe, or indulge in other (in my opinion) silly tourist attractions. Instead we wanted to wear fabulous clothing and wander the sparkly streets of Manhattan at night, walk down Park Ave. for macaroons, and pretend that we were fabulously-sophisticated New Yorkers.

The aestheticism in this is that real New Yorkers don’t really, constantly live this way. Our idea really is a fantastical vision of what New Yorkers regularly do in a perfectly appealing paradise. And this is what makes the whole spontaneous experience so majestic and whole.

Now going back to the quotes that I mentioned above—they included:

“You live but once; you may as well be amusing.” -Coco Chanel

“If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sun beams and you will always look lovely.” –Roald Dahl

“Luxury is not a necessity to me, but beautiful and good things are.” –Anais Nin

And finally…

“Always keep your eyes open. Keep watching. Because whatever you see can inspire you.” –Grace Coddington

These all hold great meaning to me because it seems to me that I sometimes over-analyze what it is that can make life beautiful. Yes, going to New York on a whim was splendidly splendid and inspiring, but I can create my own inspiration closer to home as well. And if I keep going on thinking I can’t, then I’m wasting my time wherever I end up.

The beauty is everywhere, whether man-made or in nature—though the aesthetes may not agree with the latter completely. Regardless, it is my responsibility as an individual to create my own beautiful, aesthetic journey.

xx,

me


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

To be Parisian, s'il vous plaît.

First of all, 
yes weeks ago I wrote a cop-out haiku explaining that the blog post for that week would be belittled down to… well… a shitty haiku. I believe that between my faithful readers (my grandma) and me, this must have suggested that the following week would feature a full-length blog, and thus I would continue my routine of posting a new blog every week.

Yeah.

It hasn’t really happened, obviously. I have plenty of excuses. Mostly falling under the umbrella of me being the typical self-involved college student who has “meetings”, job interviews, homework, class, and scheduled time for bitching about my “bad” day to my mother. Really it’s silly, but nonetheless I haven’t written in awhile and I’m … sorry? No actually I’m just sad because writing is good for me and I should do it more often. So I’m going to do it now.
~
Lately, I’ve been longing for the life of a storybook, cliché, young, female, Parisian.

Image from here
I can imagine roaming the streets after a relatively busy day of working at a French bakery, probably called “La Petite Boulangerie-Pâtisserie” even though that simply means, “The Small Bakery”. I would be wearing a tan and tailored trench coat, cropped black slacks, and black flats. My make-up would be simple; my hair pulled back without fuss. I would amble down the streets passing book shops, fancy restaurants with colorful awnings and matching chairs, stopping at a café maybe to purchase a cup of coffee and baguette to put in my tote bag on the way home. Upon returning home, I would open up the door to my quaint little balcony to my 4th story apartment, so I could cook my dinner while overlooking Parisian buildings with the dusk spilling dramatic shading over them.

I hope that imagery really did something for you, because it does something for me. Sometimes with this constant, uninspiring stress of being a college student, I will escape to this tiny little fantasy that this calm, French (esque) lifestyle could be mine one day. Don’t get me wrong, I love learning, I love my major, and college can be great sometimes.

However between the anxiety that comes with me over-analyzing assignments that are tedious, (but are important because they help me extend my knowledge from the lecture) and the many on-campus interviews that make me feel like I’m very good at pretending I’m a type-A personality, I tend to get fed up with the college life. This annoyance also extends to me never understanding the undying obsession with Greek life by other college students, having to see too many pairs of Uggs on campus, and constantly hearing people say, “I just want to get an A”. For the latter statement I will just elaborate to say that obviously grades are imperative in that you must pass college to obtain specific jobs and dreams. But saying “I just want to get an A” can easily translate into, “I don’t give a shit about this class or this teacher and am not open minded enough to try to understand how this content is important or even cool and I don’t care because being a picture perfect student on paper is the most important objective in life”. Honestly, that’s just insulting to hardworking and extremely intelligent professors (they DO exist).

But I digress.

I want the Parisian lifestyle because honestly, I just want simplicity. I want to contribute to society and the economy by being employed, but I also treasure the times of leisurely walks home, making a dinner that isn’t rushed and seen as a burden of time, and having a marvelous conversation with someone who isn’t cynical about the petty things, but more so at least would want to discuss (and even enlighten me) on more worldly topics of conversation.

I know that this lifestyle is attainable here in my own home, (though maybe not as a sophomore in college) but I still go throughout the day, pondering my French fantasy.

Maybe one of these days I’ll walk over to Harris Teeter and buy a fresh baguette solely so I can carry it under my arm, as I stroll back to campus. It’s a lovely thought really, to find the simple pleasure in such a stylishly quaint action.

It’s little moments like those, where I can live in a small little bubble of esthetic simplicity, that keep me sane.

Till next week (I hope),

Au revoir, mes chéris.

xx


Monday, October 7, 2013

Cop-out Haiku

A long, busy week.
I wished to blog on this day.
Please come back later.
Image from here




Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Everything I need to know about life, I’m learning from "New Girl"

Image from here

I’ve been watching a lot of New Girl lately. And by that I mean, a fortnight ago, when season two came up on Netflix, I watched them all in about three days and since then have been sporadically watching episodes of season one and two, just because I love it that much. I know it’s a sitcom, but sometimes it’s just so weird and ridiculous that it’s slightly more realistic, or maybe relatable, than most sitcoms we see these days. So lets just jump right in. 

Schmidt is the prime example of the superb and goofy platonic friend. He just brightens my life, that Schmidt. So Jewish. So douchy. So perfect. We all need this person in our lives that we can love despite the amount of times we want to hit them every time they say something. Several people come to mind in my real life, when I think of my “Schmidt” friend. For instance one of my best friends, whom we shall call John because that is his name, has several quotes that are supremely “Schmidt”-esque. An instance (and my personal favorite) occurred one morning when he, my other best friend Melissa, and I were about to make a glorious breakfast at my house. The interchange went like this.

Me: “All right John, we’re making fruit salad, pancakes and bacon. Which one do you want to do?”

John: “I can cook the bacon, because all men have an innate ability to cook breakfast food.”

If there had been a douche-bag jar, he would have owed it at least $5.00 easily.

Guys don’t like ditzy girls, but always appreciate the ‘adorkable’ goofball who can always be her honest self, and also a good friend.  Obviously I’m referring to Jess in this example. But the character of Jess has really taught me a lot about walking that fine line of being a good sport and super easy-going, but also having boundaries when it comes to living with three guys. Sure she’ll play fun and cumbersome drinking games like True American with the guys, but she doesn’t stop being whimsical and girly and won’t ditch out on her BFF, Cece. Sometimes I find myself in situations where I’m hanging out with just guys. In these times, I can always talk about specific things that I enjoy along with them (i.e. Lord of the Rings and Star Wars), and even be open with them about other guys and personal problems and blah, blah, blah. However, when they turn on a sports game I’m not going to pretend that I care because I would 100% much rather go home and catch up on my Pinteresting (which is a verb, I promise).

Diversity is key in life. Nicks a grumpy, college drop out who works at a bar. Schmidt is a cocky Jew (lol) that seems to be the most financially successful. Winston is black… and a former pro-basketball player. Cece is exotic and an intensely striking model of Indian heritage.
And Jess is from Portland, Oregon.
If that isn’t a well thought-out cast of characters then I don’t know what is.

Sometimes the one you belong with has been around the whole time. It took so long for Jessica Day and Nick Miller to finally get together. Jess was always dating total hotties that were, in my opinion, not quite human enough for her. Meanwhile Nick just dates all of the worst women ever: Julia the lawyer, Caroline the manly-looking ex, and freaking Angie the dumber-than-a-brick stripper (sidenote: the fact that Angie is a stripper has nothing to do with her competence; it is merely a coincidence). Ughh! They’re all awful. Jess is his best by a million. When they finally kissed, it was just magic. In the first episode of season 3, Jess and Nick fled to Mexico to be “all in”. I’m not going to lie I was definitely skeptical and slightly frightened for the future of the new season. I was wondering if it was a dream sequence. I found myself waiting for Nick to take out his copy of Dante’s Inferno. Yes, yes that’s a Mad Men reference to its season 6 premiere. BAM I’M SUCH A TELEVISION DIVA. But I’m also digressing.

Basically what Jess and Nick’s inevitable romance has shown me is this: since I started here at CNU, I’ve made almost daily trips to the campus coffee shop to re-fill on java. In this period of two and a half semesters, a very cute, soft -spoken, upperclassmen male has many times been the person who made my coffee. Always with a smile on his face, he takes my order, kindly asks, “will that be on your dining dollars or captains cash”, and makes me a perfect cup of coffee. So who are we kidding, coffee guy?? Lets end this madness! Run away to Mexico with me where we can live on the beach and eventually be eaten by land sharks, all in the name of LOVE!!

But if not, I’m very okay with you just being very adorable when you hand me my grande coconut coffee everyday.

But you know… think about it.

---

Well there you have it!
I always say you should write about what you know. Well I watch entirely too much television because I love it and I can. So every time I can make comparisons of the wonderful world of sitcom to real life, you better be damn sure I will.

Until next week,

EE

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes


Lana and me.
I think there is always a benefit to constantly making small, positive changes in your life. In fact, smaller changes always tend to make the greater, more magnificent difference in the long run. And I definitely realize how cliché that sounds because Self magazine has probably published like 143 articles about it, but it is entirely too true. Think about it: usually when I try to give up sugar for a week, just as a cleansing technique, I announce my plan only to immediately thereafter head to Starbucks and get a Pumpkin Spice Latte (but its got skim milk in it!) and its adjoining pastry treat (which was made factory-style, then packaged tightly and driven halfway across the country… just for me!). So the moral of that story is, grand statements to make intense changes are bad ideas.

Nevertheless, smaller attempts to make myself better are always a fantastic idea. Here are some things I think I need to work on:

Less Us Weekly, more NPR. It sounds so sad and infinitely embarrassing to say, but I really need to stop making this trashy celebrity-news site a daily Internet stop for me. My computer has UsWeekly.com down as one of my most visited sites, which is simply dreadful. I haven’t a clue why I want to read about Laura Dern’s divorce or if Helen Mirren or Dame Judi Dench wore an outfit better than the other--the information is not imperative to my life. But in spite of that, I read. Us Weekly magazine is like the Frappuccino of reading: Its just sugary, stupid junk that I’m normally too embarrassed to buy in public, but would enjoy in the privacy of some place secluded such as the back of the library or in the isolation of my room. A good way to cut down on my Us Weekly is by remembering every time I’m about to type in “Us Weekly” to my search bar (who am I kidding, my computer always fills it in for me) that I should instead type in NPR and try to culture myself in an intellectual way. I can even look at the arts, music, and culture on NPR's site; because nothing will fill the void of me wanting to see “Miley Cyrus’ wildest moments yet!” like listening to an interview with some uber generic indie/folk band called The Crunchy Leaves.

Stop fretting over dieting and body issues.  Okay, okay I realize that this is a little more than a “small change”, but the entire idea behind this is that, yes, there’s always ways that one can eat better. For me it’s not about over-all changing my diet, because the other day I read something about “Why white rice is so bad for us” and was appalled. So that’s definitely not going to happen. I just need to probably not have more than 1 cappuccino a day. But in all seriousness, why do I even agonize over my body? Seriously?? I’m not overweight, I exercise daily, and I’m healthy. So really I should just stop fussing about the fact that yes, I wear like a size 8 or 10 pant at American Eagle. (YES I STILL BUY JEANS AT AMERICAN EAGLE AND I DON’T CARE). But that’s just because somehow my extreme white-girl-ness was gifted the intra African/Latin-American booty of J. Lo and Beyoncé.  What can I say? I’m blessed.

I need to get excited about homework. I know that the latter sentence could be a heavy contender for being one of the worst sentences of all time, but I’ll explain: I’m just now starting to get hot and heavy with the classes in my major. Yeah, it’s a wild life. But anyway, from years and years of hating homework with a majestically intense passion, I obviously have found it rather difficult to force myself to sit down and actually just do homework. These days, however, my homework includes reading about theatre history, or planning my PR for my Arts Administration lab. So, actually, I’m enjoying what I’m learning. It’s really just the process of getting myself to physically sit down, stop watching Bo Burnham’s vines, and just get my shit done. Plus I live with three people studying sciences (pre-med, bio, chem, neuroscience) so I should really just be thankful that I don’t have to do organic chemistry. Oh lawd, am I thankful.

I need to have a nicer-looking resting face. This is going to take some practice. You know how there are some people who really have terrifying resting faces? Like, their face just says, “I have a black heart.” Yeah, I feel like that’s what mine says, at least in passing. Also I’ve been told by people, both new acquaintances as well as dearly close friends, that my facial expressions and first impressions can come off a little intense. I mean, I’m intense, but not like in an overly bitchy way. More so like… an overwhelmingly weird way. My best friend in the world was terrified of me at first but has come to realize that actually I was the humble oddball that needed a friend, and she’s the frighteningly beautiful human that accepted the challenge of befriending me (shout out to Alanah).  So basically, I’m just going to try to be more approachable. Does this task include pretending I care about school sports and wearing less intense eye makeup? I hope not.

And lastly...

I need to come up with better blog topics.

 Yeah.

EE


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I'm a fashion-diva, always have been.



I was aimlessly scrolling on the dreaded time-waster, Pinterest, the other day when I came upon this quote:
 
“Playing dress-up starts at age five and never truly ends.” 
–Kate Spade

First of all, quotes like that are way overused and as bad as other gems like “live, laugh, love” and anything “said” by Marilyn Monroe.

But after I read it, I began to think of my eventful evolution of style. Frankly, I’ve been a rather strange dresser for most of my life. In fact, compared to ensembles I threw together in my grade school years, I’d say now I tend to look far more put together and sane than I did at any other point in my life. No matter how many times my supportive friends say, “Wow. Only you could pull off something like that,” Or “That’s totally something you would wear, Like, I couldn’t (wouldn’t) but you totally can.”

I guess I’ve kind of always looked at clothes as the way to make life simply more enjoyable. For starters there were many times, in my childhood, that I would come down before a family outing dressed in a green and white tutu dress and berry colored stockings. Other times, I didn’t understand why my mother wouldn’t let me play outside in her old gunnysack prom dresses. They were so rustic and prairie-esque… it seemed to me like the ideal clothing for hardcore playtime!


If you look in my closet these days, you will find eclectic, but charming pieces, as well as some lovely LBD’s that would make any staff member at Lucky magazine gleam with delight. That is so long as they didn’t look at the labels.

HEY! H&M is cool! Even if it is for poor people! So is forever 21, but don’t buy the jewelry because half of the piece will be missing by the time you arrive home. Target is okay, but I’m like a size 20 there, which is a hyperbole, but an exceptionally necessary one. And I’ve done the vintage/ thrift-shopping thing before but my luck is never quite as great as Macklemore promised it would be.

And that being said, some of the vintage style items in my closet are truly preposterous, but also certain to be worn by me in the near future: an old Chinese-style blouse (this is not the proper name for this item of clothing, I am 94% sure); a vintage, sparkly go-go dress that my uncle, yes my uncle, used to wear whenever he damn well pleased; and last but not least: Jeanie pants. Yes, good ol’ Jasmine-style Jeanie pants. No, not the faux pass ones that you can get at H&M that somehow still make your hips look slim. Real, baggy, Jeanie pants from a genuine hippie-clothing store—complete with its obligatory moody, feminist storeowner.


I do really prefer not to label my style, though. I know, I know, typical hipster cop-out. But seriously, I can’t. I’ve always pulled inspiration from all sorts of sources ranging from the likes of Lizzy McGuire, Cruella Deville, and Phoebe Buffay from Friends all the way to Jemima Kirke, the little girl in Moonrise Kingdom, and Carrie Bradshaw (like whenever she went somewhere and wore a fur coat, but it wasn’t necessarily fit for the event— i.e. baseball games and on the subway at 2 am).

So anyway, I will conclude in saying that yes maybe dress-up never really “ended” for me. Instead I may have evolved into someone who dresses just the way I want to, which has been called eccentric, “not my taste”, and costume-y—all positives in my opinion! But I guess all that really matters is that I do abide by my personal dressing and styling preferences and don’t care at all how silly other people may think it looks…

… Because they’re the ones wearing boat shoes.

EE

Monday, September 9, 2013

Not psychotic or dramatic, I like boys and that is that


Thanks to Lady Gaga for that title inspiration. 

Hey guys,

Sometimes I have an interaction with a man (boy) and it turns out to be so annoying and disappointing that the next thing that flashes through my head is Kathryn Grayson intensely singing “I Hate Men”, while her nineties-era super model eyes so viciously melt the Technicolor camera they’re glaring into.
Here is a reference tool. Photo from here.
But here’s thing…I really don’t hate men. I love men. I’m incredibly attracted to them and have been known to stare blatantly at one that I found particularly attractive.

But here's a cliché for you: I find men (boys) so incredibly confusing. To this day, I still have absolutely no clue what guys find cute, pretty, socially acceptable leg hair length, or if they really, REALLY want us to not wear make-up.

First of all lets just make one thing clear: I really—in the big, beautiful, worldly, abstract painted picture of it all—don’t give two fucks about what they really like. Or at least their opinion doesn’t affect how I dress/ look in my day-to-day life (today I’m wearing gigantic daisy earrings and to much eye make-up). Sometimes it affects the way I act because, lets be real, I have a very hard time being totally awesome around guys. I can’t just turn on instant Jessa Johansson cool and woo any guy I want even though I’m wearing a kimono and somewhat frightening oxblood lipstick.

   Sometimes I wish I could just be at the point with all men (boys) where I continually say weird things/ reference questionable aspects of pop culture, and they just say something cute/mean but never truly judge me for it because I’m just a humble freak who desires to share my oddness with everyone.

I have now deviated from nearly two promising subjects for this blog, and for good reasons of course. But I think we need to focus on paragraph three: what does a weird, but not quite psychotic, girl need to do to find a man who can keep up and also lend a humbling hand.

Here’s my problem: I’m very open about my weirdness. I like that I’m into things that maybe other people don’t like or seek to understand. And when I say that I’m not trying to be a stuck up snob cool person bitch.  I’m just being honest. But the kinds of guys I’m normally trying to impress are “interesting”, lanky, hip guys that need to probably date girls whose legs aren't twice the size of theirs. That’s where my other problem comes in. What cool, hip guy with tree branch legs (I’m into that) wants to get with a bootylicious, pseudo hipster who’s ass belongs in a rap video but soul belongs in the oh-so-interesting days of understated Psychedelic Furs shows, Morrissey haircuts, and girls dressing like Patti Smith. See what I mean?? It’s very confusing for their already-misunderstood souls.

Meanwhile I’ve recently had a plethora of experiences in which I’m harassed by various types of men who are either grossly too old to be hitting on me, or their just straight-up jackasses. They may call it flirting or being playful. However, my version of flirting is not being whistled at in the hallways of my own residence hall. It is also not getting followed out of a Dunkin’ Donuts only to be told by some man that he thinks my body is “incredible” (need I mention that he is being accompanied by his young daughters in this instance). And lastly, it REALLY is not when a car full of nasty guys pull up next to me, while I’m out running, and begin yelling various, incredibly inappropriate things until I have to literally jump into some bushes to run away from them. Because they’re being gross.

I mean really, it’s not that big of a problem, my confusion with guys. Not only do I know tons and tons of girls who also struggle with similar questions and problems, but I know guys also find girls confusing and hard to “figure out”.

So I guess even with all this ranting, I should just accept that maybe one day I’ll meet the person that enjoys my magnitude of weirdness. Until then I have plenty of friends who I pleasantly drive crazy with my crazy.
                                                                                          
I mean lets be real: at this point, nothing in my future sounds better than being like Donna, from Parks &Rec, and having a few guys “on rotation”, but still being able to just go home, chill on my boudoir-style couch, and drink a glass of wine.

But I still like the company of men. Like really.

XX,
EE