Friday, November 30, 2012

A Messy Relationship

An excerpt from a great article about a complicated relationship written by a distant cousin (or maybe just a family friend, but who really knows with Asian families??) that appeared in the NYT Opinionator Blog. Her prose is lovely and the topic really resonated with me. You can read the original in full here


In bed, my eyes trace the blue veins shooting through the milk of his skin, like eggshell cracks, then the prominent veins that stretch over the tops of his feet like nets. I’m fascinated by the differences between his body and mine — the skin underneath his alert eyes loosening the tiniest bit, the occasional gray strand in his dark hair. We don’t dare to talk about it, but it’s as tangible as the blare of car horns outside our windows: What will happen when he grows old?
I do the math: when I’m 30, Douglas will be 46; when I turn 35, he’ll be 50. More variables: if we have a baby when Douglas is 45, he’ll be 60 when our child is 15. Sometimes I feel cheated by time: if only we’d met sooner, if only he were younger. If X equals this, Y equals that. Y is always greater than X. 
Other times, I don’t think of it at all. Our four years together have been happy. Our apartment is comfortably messy, and I don’t often clean — the 1950s red Formica table that belonged to Douglas’s grandmother serves more as dumping ground than a dining surface: unopened mail, pens, receipts, loose change, a lamp with a ceramic dog base, two electric toothbrush chargers, a spool of green twine. Coats and jeans drape the backs of the chairs. We eat our dinners on the living room floor instead. I stretch my legs out in front of me and he scoots over, leaning against me. He carefully trims the fat off the edges of his steak and transports the pieces to my plate, where he knows they’ll be savored. In these times, our differences recede into the background. 
My mother and father still strip the sheets off Douglas’s parents’ bed, sponge the dried toothpaste off their mirrors, vacuum their rugs. Every two weeks, they dust the bedroom that was once his.
“Their son is an artist,” my father said to me years ago as we straightened the cushions on the sofa in the living room. “That’s him, over there.”
He pointed. Two dense pupils stared at us from behind the glass of the large framed drawing hanging on the wall. It was Douglas’s self-portrait, rendered in smudged whorls of charcoal. I didn’t care to look closer then. I’ve since studied the drawing, its intensity pulling me away from Thanksgiving dinners to examine the hollows and lines that I now know so well. He was 19 when he drew himself, the age I was when I first met him.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Fad Diet #256: Juice Cleansing

After spending the past five days gorging my way through a San Francisco Must-Eat-or-Don't-Bother-Coming-Home bucket list (food porn post coming soon) there are no words to describe the level of bloat, sloth, and intestinal sadness occurring inside of my body. Stepping on the scale upon arriving in Boston was horrific to say the least. I gained six pounds. SIX POUNDS. I know this doesn't sound like much and probably just illustrates how warped my body/eating views are, but real talk- on a person like me who has a generally small frame, that's a lot. Don't get me wrong. I don't regret for one second my daily Bi-Rite salted caramel or the million course meal at Mission Chinese. I'd eat it all again in a heartbeat, and probably even more at that. But goddamn, the consequences have been rough. 

So it's time to take some serious measures and bring in the big gun (read: JUICER).

For anyone who knows me, it's no surprise that I went out and bought a juicer straight after watching Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, a documentary (available on Netflix, go watch it) about this formerly obese dude on the brink of death who decides to change everything around by drinking strictly juice for like 697 days or something. I love dieting (again, blame it on my totally unhealthy body dysmorphia) and will totally try anything. And this "fad" so far has absolutely been the one of the best things I've done for my health.

I knew before SF I wanted to do some type of detox to prepare for the imminent ice cream apocalypse that would invade my body, and really wanted to try the BluePrint Cleanse that all the hipsters are doing. At $97 a bottle or whatever outrageous fuckery they charge down at Whole Foods, this wasn't an option. Luckily the internet exists, and I found a great DIY hack for a fraction of the cost. I drank 6 juices a day, for 5 days, cheating and eating some cashews when I was really craving solids. 

Y'all. The results were great. Most of the juices taste awesome (except anything with beets, those things are truly nasty and no amount of washing will eradicate that straight dirt taste.) I never felt deprived or too hungry, but let's be real, 95% of the time I'm on some kind of restricted eating, so this may have helped. Weight disappeared, and the abs I had been working so hard for for the past month, seemingly without results, suddenly emerged. My skin cleared up completely, began to glow even, and not in the disgusting grease slick way. And interestingly enough, in the middle of my trip, after days of not having juice, I got big ol' zit. That's how real this shit is.

So now that I'm back in the real world, it's back to healthy and clean eating. Some have said that it's totally weird and unhealthy to be basically living off of just juice, and I've read some stuff that says it's pointless and serves no nutritional purpose. But if it makes me feel good, keeps my skin clear, and gets me into my high school skinnies, you can believe I'll keep on juicin'. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

My skin is as moody as a preteen, and a commercial airplane's environment of recycled air and altitude is one of its least favorite settings. With the holiday travel season upon us, I've compiled the perfect carry-on care package to keep everything in check.
  1. Weleda Skin Food. A thick and heavy cream created from all-natural ingredients and essential oils. This shit must have been personally formulated by God. I like this mostly for hands but occasionally slather it over elbows and ankles. Although the smell is slightly reminiscent of face-planting into fresh soil and earth, the deep comfort it delivers for dry spots is definitely worth it.
  2. Jurlique Mousiturizing Hand Sanitizer. Doesn't it always seem to be the case that the person you're sitting next to on this six hour flight has a nasty snot cold and can't stop sneezing? Gross.
  3. Josie Maran Argan Color Stick. It has been always been my luck that I fly at ungodly hours, and we all know that everyone (but ESPECIALLY ME) looks like a dead person at 5 am. Double-duty tints like this one bring some (faux) color back to my cheeks and lips, while also delivering a little moisture with its added argan oil. 
  4. Moroccan Oil. Dry cabin air=frizzy strands. A few drops of this on split ends keep brittle grossness at bay. Plus it smells awesome when you later fall asleep in a mess of your own hair. 
  5. Clinique All About Eyes De-Puffing Massage Serum. Waking up in the middle of the night and then proceeding to take sporadic naps wreaks havoc on under-eye bags. This roller-ball cools and pushes fluid out, helping you look less like you've spent the past hour crying through the in-flight movie. 
  6. Aesop Rosehip Seed Lip Cream. If you're anything like me, you hate peeing miles above ground. Like, where does that ish go? Will my intestines get sucked out of my butt? So I don't drink water, and when I don't drink water, my lips get chapped as fuck. This lip cream is really luxurious; it's packed with fancy oils and vitamins and sinks right into the barren dessert that is my mouth.
  7. YSL Touche Eclat. This undereye concealer is cult for a reason. What dark circles?
  8. Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets. While my cheeks get dry, my T-zone has a party at McDonald's where it swims around in the fry-maker. These sheets absorb all the nasty oil (sometimes I have to use two though, foul) without disturbing any make-up.
Happy Thanksgiving travels, y'all!

A Lesson I've Learned the Hard Way:

My life will never fit into a carry-on.

Jean jacket and tops by Madewell // Black skinnies by J Brand // Denim by 7 for all mankind // Boots by Frye // Sneaks by Superga // Sunnies by Warby Parker // Bag by MBMJ

No matter how hard I try to make this a reality, an entire closet, a bathroom's worth of toiletries, and no less than 12 pairs of shoes WILL NEVER cram into 45 linear inches. 

My first lesson in extensive packing was a semester abroad in London. I joyfully purchased two extra-large suitcases to fill to the brim with every grandma sweater I owned. I took comfort in knowing I would have my whole wardrobe with me in a strange country, relishing in the idea of having a million different outfits to impress British boys with. This satisfaction, however, was replaced with deep, deep regret up arriving at Heathrow. Lugging literally my own body weight's worth in valises through a major international airport and then through the Chube was nothing short of a nightmare (you can ask just my best friend who experienced this with me; she's still scarred.) But to be fair, although it was terrible for me, it was much worse for the poor ol' chap who stood behind me on the ascending escalator and became the receiving end of toppled luggage.    

Once we began traveling from one Euro City to another, I was determined to fit everything I needed in one backpack. This was college and I really wanted to fit the struggling young backpacker archetype to a T, you know? So I started writing down outfits for each day, trying to bring the most versatile pieces to re-wear with one another, and rolling everything.  

Tomorrow I fly out to San Francisco and I am proud to say I will be able to squeeze 10 outfits, 4 pairs of shoes, 2 bags, socks, undies, and pjs into the overhead compartment. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Can I Kick It?

Since what seems to be since I could walk, my go-to sneaks have always been a pair of classic Chucks. From elementary school when I liked them high, to middle school when I embarrassingly opted for different laces and pen doodles (puke), to high school when I started becoming a normal human, they were absolutely the only kicks for me. With college came Supergas that made me feel a bit more sophisticated (MKA love them, duh), and some Frees that strictly belonged in the gym. To date, this has been the extent of my sneaker repertoire, and I have never felt compelled to purchase any others.. until I started following Lucy that is, who's beginning to plant a new little fashion obsession seed with how well she wears hers.