Women’s March – Jan. 21, 2017

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2017, here I am…

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Happy 2017, internet friends!

I can’t believe it’s the 12th already. Guess what? I’ve spent the last 4 days REALLY sick with a bronchial infection. The year started off on a good note: ringing in the new year wasn’t terrible; I was commissioned to make a rosca de reyes for good family friends and we had dinner at their house to celebrate día de los reyes magos; we had a reunion dinner the next evening with another set of dear family friends. The next day, I woke up and it hit me hard. It wasn’t the flip of a switch or anything. I’d been feeling a whisper of a twinge a few days prior; it was just a matter of when. I had to skip out on a friend’s birthday lunch and it all went downhill from there.

I don’t think I need to go into detail about how sick I am suffice to say that I have a disposable cup nearby for hacking coughs that produce green phlegm and shoot pain into my swollen throat and ear canals. I HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO DO ANYTHING. I can’t sleep because I am too congested to breathe. I can’t watch TV because I can’t watch unless I’m cooking or doing something else productive otherwise I just feel that I’ve surrendered to losing brain cells. I can’t read for long periods of time because of the coughing. WHY AM I EXISTING RIGHT NOW?

To top it all off, it’s been raining like it’s Seattle here in sunny LA. I’m hoping for a break soon with the weather, the coughing, and my dark thoughts. Every day, swallowing is less painful so that’s good.

I hope to be more productive with my blog and life in 2017 after this mini setback passes. Take care, everyone! Talk soon.

-j❤

P.S. Above is a picture of my “desk” last summer. I have a real desk now that I got from Goodwill for $15!

oh…hello =/

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THIS IS WHAT I WROTE LAST WEEK (SAVED AS A DRAFT):

I’m so sorry, internet friends! I haven’t been around and I didn’t post a city guide last week because I have been running around. My brother moved out of my parents’ house and my sister is in the middle of converting his room into her new study. I’ve been helping with both abodes. It’s hard to fight the interior decorator/organizer Virgo who salivates at this sort of thing. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (Also, to my credit and detriment, I’m the go-to Helpful Family Member.)

THIS IS WHAT I’M WRITING TODAY:

Another week has passed and still no city guide! It’s coming soon…I think!

Internet friends, my heart is breaking for all the shit that’s been happening lately. It seems bleak and insane. I woke up Sunday morning thinking that NPR was talking about the Grimmie shooting again (also in Florida), and it was worse than I could’ve imagined. I don’t want to repeat the words, soundbites, headlines and hashtags of everyone else that has been grieving and analyzing. They are out there. People are really feeling this and they’re hurting.

A week before the Orlando shootings, I was driving on the freeway when patrol cars came screeching by. A few minutes later, more were racing down freeway ramps to get to the west side. A slew of CHP again after few more minutes, and I could feel the panicked frenzy that this rush was causing. It took 30 min for me to find out, but apparently someone went to the UCLA campus and shot his former teacher before shooting himself.

In my junior year in high school, I stayed after-school for play production and someone connected to my rival high school shot a few bullets at the school entrance. We immediately went into lockdown for almost 2 hours. At the time, my sister was in another building and this was pre-cellphone era so I had no idea what the !#@%#& was going on and if she was safe (she was). My boyfriend at the time had to calm me down because I was panicking.

Gun control! We fucking need it. Yes, gun rights are in the Constitution, but the Second Amendment is there because we were at a time of war…with another (invading) country! Right now, we are using the Second Amendment to go to war against each other. Of course we have the right to protect ourselves, but if you skew that to bear arms to hurt others, you (should) get that privilege taken away. When I was in elementary school, we went on a field trip and know-it-all me answered a question correctly. My prize was a huge cattail. Everyone looked at me enviously. On the bus ride home, I decided it would be a fun idea to take the cattail and gently poke the back of a classmate’s head with the reed end. Even though he was asking for it, my teacher pursed her lips at me and took it away, and I went home empty-handed. Ms. Silliman, you should be president. With great power comes great responsibility.

 

Why are we walking around with the swagger of power when we can’t be responsible for our own actions? How are people on no-fly lists still able to buy a gun?! With all this talk of recession and no jobs, why aren’t we implementing job training and programs so sane people can train to be analysts to screen people who want to buy guns? Boom. A burgeoning industry!

Here, Michael Che from SNL puts it succinctly:

You can’t have whatever you want, all right? I know the Forefathers said you had a right to own a gun, but they also said you could own people!…Look, the Constitution is a lot like our grandfather. He’s wise, we love him, and he means well. But, he’s getting really, really old and every once in a while he says something crazy and we gotta go to the other room and discuss what we’re gonna do about him!

With the pace of technology in all sectors whizzing by, we are marveling at our ingeniousness. Look at how many bullets this automatic weapon can dispense! If we’re still in accordance with the Second Amendment, do we really need a semi-automatic rifle with 30 rounds to protect our castles and/or prove a point? The things we are making and inventing are evolving…and we are forgetting to evolve. Kindness and tolerance are NOT evolving.

I almost feel a palpable shift to fever pitch here in America. This is supposed to be a paradise country where dreams come true. Did we market that wrong? You can come and study here from another country and get information on arts and sciences that your country might not allow you to learn about! You should be able to escape persecution here and make a better life without tyranny from your government. Those are the principles America was founded on. Did we market that wrong? This was supposed to be the country different from aaaaall the other countries. And now we are, but for the wrong reasons. Don’t get me wrong. Do I want to go back to the Philippines where poverty is apparent the minute you get out of the airport? No. I’m beyond grateful for the blessings I have, the roof over my head, the extra padding of fat that tells my family back home that I can afford to sit on my ass and not run after jeepneys. No, I want to stay here and be a productive member of my society. But you are making it really hard for me to be productive and enjoy it, you mostly (old) white men at the top.

 

We shouldn’t have a gender pay gap. People all over the world should be able to point and say, “Well, at least in America, women are getting the same pay!” We shouldn’t have issues with the LGBT community because why?! They are people just like we breeders, capable of love and responsibility. We shouldn’t impose anything on abortion rights. I thought we settled that years ago, people! (?!) I read an excellent op-ed blurb this morning that we should make a man that buys a gun do the same things that we make women do to get an abortion: drive hundreds of miles to the few or one place(s) in the state that have them, walk through picketing protesters telling them they are doing something wrong, have a 48 day waiting period, and sign multiple forms asking them if they know the repercussions of what they are doing, etc. We should be able to talk about race without one side constantly ranting about the past as a wall to prevent communication and progress, and the other side ranting about wanting inflated communication and progress without acknowledging the past. We are at an impasse then, right? How do we move FORWARD? Because that is the only realistic direction in which to move!

I am disappointed that in my blog roll of design and lifestyle blogs, only THREE mentioned Orlando. In fact, I’m calling them out for kudos: Design*Sponge, Apartment 34, and Design Mom. Everyone else? We must keep appearances, shan’t we? Everything must still be floral, dreamy, and creamy, must be about minimalist interior decorating, makeup, and “effortless personal style.” As a lazy person, I defer to you ladies to be socio-responsible entrepreneurs. In other words, what I aspire to be. I’m taking a break from a few of those blogs. Not that you care, but whatever. My small stand.

To paraphrase the live action Cinderella movie: We MUST have courage. We MUST be kind.

And lastly, “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

If any wants to leave their opinion in the comments section, please feel free to. If you don’t agree with me, let’s be civil. If not, have a beautiful life. 🙂

 

The Friday Feels

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il_570xn-439014654_21asnce upon a time, when I was in 3rd grade, a poem I wrote made it to the main lobby of the building next to the principal’s office. As I proudly showed it off to my mother, she admonished me harshly for having the messiest paper as my moment of genius caused me to scrawl out words and scratch off the ones that I knew I had misspelled. I didn’t have wite-out back then and I didn’t have the patience to hand write it again neatly. Even now, my penmanship is shameful. I start off font-like and I delve into madness.

I consider this little story the Story of My Life. I’m not a patient person. I’m not as impatient as my little sister, but I’m not a calm rock either. I don’t like doing things over, especially if I’m doing things over to fix a mistake. One of my desired superpowers is to get Everything Right The First Time. I would make a terrible scientist or a corporate line cook as I would be forced to partake in repetition and, with the latter, with precision to commit to the same result. Since then, I have always felt guilty for not being perfect. The guilt is so pervasive in me that everything that is not perfect about myself is on a backwards pedestal (hair, weight, luck, etc.) Since then, even though the years have softened my mother into a tofu brain, I will remember her as militant and unbending…even cruel. But this post is about my writing. I have a few more memories of having my writing read to great “acclaim”: Ms. Kelley reading aloud a portion of an essay I wrote that blew her mind with my adolescent insight, and having my idiot classmates whip their heads to look at me in awe; a college classmate in an Advanced Writing Class reading my term paper on the bureaucracy of a pristine wilderness and writing, “This is a PERFECT paper! I wish I could write like you!” in the margins; a college professor cum Life Friend reading my final on how the Terminator movies were an allegory to life and telling me in person that this “was a pleasure to read. One of the reasons why I remember why I love my job.” There are others…

I’m not saying that I have the hidden talent that will award me a future Pulitzer. I’m saying that any smaller criticism against my writing makes me forget these things. In high school, a friend whom I worshiped as an older brother dismissed my emailed stories to him. He was going through the High School Breakup, and the stories weren’t his style, but I took it hard. When I look back now, I should have known that a teenage boy wouldn’t be into thinly disguised stories modeled after our friends with names changed all but for the first letter. A few years ago, I watched a Korean movie called Flower Island that affected me so much that I spent the next morning entirely in bed, writing a novelized adaptation of it. (I did that with Titanic too, thank you very much. I was struck by the fact that at the very end, Old Rose had the diamond all along and she threw it into the ocean. Jack died for nothing.) I nervously showed it to someone, hoping to impress and be praised with the volume and passion with which I wrote in such a flurry, but one of the first things pointed out to me was that my grammar was all over the place, which was probably true, but I hadn’t noticed because of my excitement. I have been terrified to show anyone else my writing since.

You know what though? I don’t think Stephen King cares that Suzy Homemaker or Joe Blow doesn’t like It or Carrie or the Dark Tower novels. He knows life is short, so fuck everyone else. He knows he’s a Storyteller in his belly, and he stokes that fire daily, critics be damned. I am a Storyteller. I love telling stories. I am riveted by them, and I like to turn everything into something that weaves into all the insanity and poignancy of humanity.

This year, I’m going to do my final edit of Electra, and finish the goddamn novel.

Signed,

Not Going to Get Anywhere If I Just Talk About It

[Typewriter image courtesy of Thuy Vanu.]

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If you’re still around, here are some Friday links:

I wish I was this baby. Safe, warm, and content. It also makes me want to learn how to play piano so I could this to a baby.

How amazing is this Adele-inspired sweater?

Gung Hay Fat Choi! Monday is Chinese New Year, and in the TV world, Fresh Off The Boat is going to dedicate an episode to it. I’ll have to tune in to see if they skewer any of our superstitions. Every family celebrates a bit differently. We have the oranges, incense, and big feast, but not the loaded hongpo.

Cute, satirical illustrations.

Enjoy your weekend! I think mine is going to be hella busy…

 

January 17, 2016

2016-first

Happy New Year!

I’m a little late, folks, but I’m here. This year my resolutions are much more realistic than they have ever been. I no longer – through Wishful Thinking and sporadic bursts of energy and laziness – wish to be half my size. I think I’ve resigned myself that it’s not going to happen. Instead, I’ve pared down my usual Resolutions to just a handful:

  1. Be KINDER to myself. Stop feeling so guilty about everything because I DON’T have control over everything. Be more mindful of myself. Worry less. Simplify.
  2. Visit one museum a month.
  3. Finish the Dark Tower series.
  4. Be more consistent with keeping the house tidy. Simplify.
  5. Eat. MORE. Vegetables. Eat more oatmeal. Move more.

That’s it. Last year, and the year before (and the year before that), I had 10+ things because I’m a hopeless romantic moonlighting as a mythical superhero who could do everything. Nope. Not realistic. It’s much easier to complete a list of fewer things.

A few links to remind myself (and you) to start the year off right:

10 Ways You’re Making Your Life Harder Than It Has To Be. (No. 7, 8, 9)

10 Qualities of People with High Emotional Intelligence.

Love like you give a shit.

Simplify your life in 2016.

Explore LA a little more.

Daily pep talks for the babe in you.

As a creative person, this was an interesting read about how to deal with over-humility with your work.

Plus, an interiors/decor blog, baking, and  fashion blog to add to my blogroll.

And finally, as you know, I had to teach myself to be more self-disciplined regarding baking cookies. Baking cookies was my Everest. I think I’ve got it down now, but this is the year I perfect it without all the nervousness. A few sites helped to educate me: The Science of the Chocolate Chip Cookie, and learning about the different types of flours.

In keeping with trying to not have lofty expectations for everything in my life, but maintaining positive energy, I wish to be more productive this year and be proud of it. Also, I wish that musically and cinematically, 2016 will be a better year. Sorry, 2015, compared to 2014, your music did not blow me away. I need another Lost in the Dream from the War on Drugs to rock my socks!!!

Okay, stay tuned. I’ll be back. For those of you who get Monday off, have a lovely extended weekend.