Saturday, November 1

London Town



In lieu of traveling to London this year (due to many, many reasons) I thought I would do a photo tour of what I would be doing had I been there. I’ve only been there a handful of times but I already have habits established. Despite my love of travel I am a creature of habit, so once I find something or someplace I enjoy, I tend to stick with that. When in London, I stay in this comfortable little nook between the Bayswater / Hyde Park / Notting Hill neighborhoods. This area suits me so well and is the closest residential area to my favorite places. I start off every morning with a walk down through Kensington Gardens to my favorite Starbucks on Kensington Church Street. I love coming to this one because of the seating area in the basement. I’ve noticed a lot of Starbucks in London have these, but this one is my favorite partially because it never seems too crowded, and also because it’s got the cleanest bathroom. When you’re spending three hours writing and drinking coffee, the bathroom conditions matter.



                Next up is a leisurely stroll to Burlington Arcade for some macaroons at the world famous Ladure√®. It’s over two miles so I make some stops along the way. While some people have religious experiences visiting museums or buildings of religious significance, I tend to have these at shopping landmarks. Or just shopping in general. Just walking down any of the high streets makes me happy and giddy. But I never get as excited as when I’m walking down Brompton Rd and seeing the gigantic mothership: Harrods. So beautiful.



                Now that half the trip is over, it’s easier to focus on the trip now to Laduree. One of my favorite things about walking around London – really any metropolis, but more so with London – are the sights to be seen on the way to any destination. I pass at least seven landmarks of all shapes and sizes on any given walk on any given day. After a few left turns and a few head turns on Saville Road we’ve made it. So many delicious choices!



                After an afternoon snack, I like to window shop on Regent Street. In particular there is an amazing toy store by the name of Hamley’s. It covers five floors and has different themes on each floor. An entire floor for board games? Yes please.

                After all that shopping and writing, it’s time to head back to the hotel for some dinner. If I haven’t picked up Pret A Manger yet, I stop at Whiteley’s shopping centre. After my most recent trip, Whiteley’s is seen as kind of miraculous in my eyes. It has loads of shops, really gets into Christmas, and most importantly has a Marks & Spencer for those last minute foodie needs.

Regent Street in November 2012



                London is my favorite place in the world, despite the pitfalls that have plagued me the last two times I visited. Also we’re just not going to talk about how badly I wish I could go there this year, or how quickly I would give up an essential organ for a cranberry & brie panini. But until next time...



Monday, August 11

Oh Captain! My Captain!

source: robin-williams.net

O Captain! My Captain! our fearful trip is done; 
The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won; 
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting, 
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring: 

 But O heart! heart! heart! 
O the bleeding drops of red, 
Where on the deck my Captain lies, 
Fallen cold and dead. 

O Captain! My Captain! rise up and hear the bells; 
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills; 
For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding; 
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning; 

Here captain! dear father! 
This arm beneath your head; 
It is some dream that on the deck, 
You've fallen cold and dead. 

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still; 
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will; 
The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done; 
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won; 

Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells! 
But I, with mournful tread, 
Walk the deck my captain lies, 
Fallen cold and dead. 

- Walt Whitman

Sunday, August 10

Movies That Changed Me

1. What's Eating Gilbert Grape*
This is the first film I saw that mirrored my actual life. It mad me feel normal. It made me think my life could be like the movies - because it already was one.

*Honorable Mention:
Tru Confessions 
Along the same lines as Gilbert Grape: my life was onscreen being played back to me. This time coming from a network that hit a little closer to home. Because it took place in a suburb (versus the small town setting of WEGG) some scenes seemed to have been copied exactly from my past. 
source: dicapsleo.tumblr.com

 2. Up In The Air 
I very clearly remember seeing this in the theater: it was about 10PM a month after the release. I had had a huge falling out with my friend group and I felt really lost. I related to George Clooney's character more than I realized and to be honest I was relieved at the end when he got back on the plane. As soon as it ended, I applied for an airline mileage program and have been traveling solo ever since. 

 3. Runaway Bride 
I had a pretty big crush on Richard Gere as a kid, so when he encourages Julia Robert's character to be a strong woman before entering into a romantic relationship, that hit home. He tells her to "figure out what kind of eggs [she] likes" and it definitely impacted me in terms of how romantic relationships function. Looking back, my independence can be traced back to the millions of times I watched this movie as a little girl. 




 4. Star Wars Episode I: Phantom Menace 
I had terrible taste as a child (save the above mentioned). I vaguely remember seeing the original Star Wars movies before this one came out, but I specifically remember watching this one in the theater and being completely overwhelmed. It was my first foray into nerd culture and revealed my obsessive tendencies. 

 5. Notting Hill 
I feel so very cliche having a Richard Curtis chick flick on this list, but it's so much more than that. In the second act there is one of the most glorious montages I've ever seen. Set to Bill Wither's Ain't No Sunshine the main character William walks through Portobello Road market over the span of a year, illustrated via the four seasons, and all the lifestyle changes they bring. At the start of the market there is a pregnant woman, fast forward to the end and there she is holding a nine month old. It is so seamless and beautiful. It really opened my eyes to how creative movie making can be. After about my billionth viewing, I knew I wanted to be apart of something so creative and moving. Notting Hill also exacerbated my Anglophilia. Thanks, Curtis.

source: tcfilms.tumblr.com

Saturday, July 5

Failure

Failure is one of my biggest fears. It paralyzes almost every plan I make. I've grown up being told that I would end up doing something extraordinary in my lifetime - from close teachers to parent's friends to guidance counselors I only met with twice. I know that most of these people feel they have some sort of obligation to tell youths these sorts of things, but I was always really impressionable and I started to believe that it was my duty to do something remarkable lest I let down every adult in my life. The fear of failing at The Remarkable has kept me idle longer than I ever thought it would.
 
 
Last night I saw Tammy (dir. Ben Falcone; starring Melissa McCarthy & Susan Sarandon). After a public outburst Tammy sulks about what become of her life when Kathy Bates lays into her about her choices. She tells her, "you complain about your life but you won't make any changes to improve it". Kathy Bates' character lives in a large house and runs a successful corporation and explains to Tammy that she didn't get it by complaining and waiting for things to fall into place. She worked really, really hard for it. That's the only way to get things done.
 
A few months ago Jim Carrey gave the commencement speech at Maharishi University of Management. He spoke about risk and passion and specifically his father giving up his passion for security. Alas, the security didn't last. He was fired from his menial desk job and his family was right where they would have been had he pursued his dream. Jim Carrey went on to say, "I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which, was that you can fail at what you don't want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love."
 
Words to live by, thats for sure.

Wednesday, June 11

My Favorite Things: Movies

A few weeks ago I came upon kate spade new york's (relatively) new book Things We Love, and I fell in love. As a result I'm going to start a series that spans this blog, my beauty blog, and my travel blog. Let's begin!


If this came as a surprise to anyone, we haven't known each other long. I love movies. I love watching new ones, old ones, bad ones, good ones, fat ones, skinny ones (lol jk). I love rewatching movies to figure out why it made me feel the way it did. I love analyzing the styles of different directors. I love picking up on those little but crucial things: that in The Proposal Sandra Bullock's uptight character always has her hair up in the beginning, but slowly as her character softens so does her hairstyle. Or how most pushover characters in romantic comedies have apartments with yellow walls - symbolizing their mellow attitude and ability to put others at ease. I believe movies are a very important art form; more people will watch a movie than read a book or go to a museum; and they are 100% without a doubt my favorite thing.  

Monday, May 26

Pssst!

Just wanted to give a heads up that I've now updated my travel blog and have added a new blog, A View From The Nursery all about my work in the childcare industry. Both of those, along with my beauty blog (not yet updated...whoops!) can be found in the links at the top of this blog!

Wednesday, May 21

Like A Tattoo

      Yesterday I was reading an article about a very old friend with whom I've lost contact. In the article it showed a small clip of him, and I noticed a tattoo on his wrist - the one I talked him into getting, and the one I was present for when he had it done. And it made me wonder if he looks down at it and thinks of me and that day and that balding, necklace wearing Sopranos extra that took a vested interest in us while we were in that tattoo shop seven years ago.  

    It's a weird notion to me that everyone we meet affects us in some way. The people we surround ourselves with leave a lasting impression - some metaphorically, others literally - and lately I have to believe its a mixed bag of outcomes. Some people can come out of toxic relationships as strong, independent individuals, but others don't. Others crash and burn. So it's really important to surround yourself with people who will build you up and challenge you. Simultaneously it's important to be someone that builds others up. I think the best we can do is to live in such a way that other people feel inspired and confident to be great and do great things. 

This friend told me thats what I was to him. Being an insignificant part of someone's success is such a greater feeling than being apart of anyone's downfall.    

"Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody." - Kid President