Sunday, January 31, 2016

i wrote this blog post a month and a half ago but pulled it out of drafts because the song came on tonight and i figured i'd write about it since i'm missing san francisco...so here's my january 31st edited edition + a pretty quote from steinbeck:

i have a silly little ritual each time i drive along the 80 west. i play vampire weekend's step. the first time i heard it i was sitting in my dorm room in oregon, and the song felt like home. and over time it has come to feel more and more like a quiet anthem for coming home.

Every time I see you in the world, you always step to my girl.

as i curve along the freeway, to my right i first see the golden gate stretched between two pieces of land. the sky line comes next, and i sigh without fail at how much i feel at home in those moments. 


Back back way back I used to front like Angkor Wat
Mechanicsburg Anchorage and Dar es Salaam
While home in New York was champagne and disco
Tapes from L.A. slash San Francisco
But actually Oakland and not Alameda


i used to play it just because of the reference. also, partly because i love the sound, and partly because i thought that i was that girl.

Your girl was in Berkeley with her Communist reader
Mine was entombed within boombox and walkman
I was a hoarder but girl that was back then

i've been asked what it means to have gloves off and teeth out, and every time i think i give a bullshit answer and justify the band's quirky lyrics.


The gloves are off, the wisdom teeth are out
What you on about?


i've been listening to this song since my year in oregon, but for once in my life i feel like i'm coming closer to the place it draws me back to every time. and the dream behind this pull is perhaps a bit crazy, or unconventional, or far fetched. but it's my truth. and the feeling in my bones is all about me, and not about anyone else.

I feel it in my bones, I feel it in my bones
I'm stronger now, I'm ready for the house
Such a modest mouse,

I can't do it alone, I can't do it alone

Every time I see you in the world, you always step to my girl


so the song step came on tonight and i probably would have cried happy tears and sad tears should i had been alone. 

i drove past sunset, past melrose and just listened and hummed, every time i see you in the world, you always step to my girl.

and i decided to keep holding the song near to my heart -- among many things. 

Ancestors told me that their girl was better
She's richer than Croesus, she's tougher than leather
I just ignored all the tales of a past life
Stale conversation deserves but a bread knife
And punks who would laugh when they saw us together
Well, they didn't know how to dress for the weather
I can still see them there huddled on Astor
Snow falling slow to the sound of the master

in this new era, i'm simply in search of more wisdom, and, boy, i'm not old yet.
i'm finally allowing myself to not feel so old anymore. i'm not going to trade in my youth for more wisdom.

not just yet.

Wisdom's a gift, but you'd trade it for youth
Age is an honor, it's still not the truth
We saw the stars when they hid from the world
You cursed the sun when it stepped to your girl
Maybe she's gone and I can't resurrect her
The truth is she doesn't need me to protect her
We know the true death, the true way of all flesh
Everyone's dying, but girl you're not old yet




p.s i stumbled upon a blog that posts beautiful sentences.
one caught my eye because it talks about monterey, california.
i love how much steinbeck loved that part of california.

and in my mind i concluded that the way he loved and wrote about that part of the coast
is exactly how i plan to spend my life towards san francisco:
an all consuming love affair of words and place and girl.


— John Steinbeck, Cannery Row

Thursday, January 28, 2016

belated christmas post

in the days leading up to christmas, my family and i stayed in san francisco for a few days.
we ate at some of the yummiest restaurants and cafes.
i drank the best coffee yet.
had the best mule yet. 
and then i said a "see you later" to my favorite city by the bay.

today, after writing class, my roommate and i were talking about the muses in our lives.
i told her that any time i create anything, i'm usually pulling my emotions from two muses.
i'm sure i will accumulate another muse or two in my life,
but for the past few years i've only had two.
and san francisco is one of them.

i tell my mom and my dad that i miss them.
they are a home to me.

but i don't miss the place where i was born.
anytime i miss home, i miss sf.

that's my heart's home.

below are pictures (some taken whilst in sf) from the week of christmas.

i visited two places i had wanted to see,
the coppola family's cafe: cafe zoetrope (which had an incredible meatball sandwich)
&
mr. holmes bake house (which had yummy desserts).

also, if you ever find yourself in need of an excellent meal while in the financial district...go to wafare tavern. (and order their donuts for dessert!)




Saturday, January 23, 2016

in my ears today:


frank sinatra came up again today.
one of my friends is a videographer and he used this song
in a wedding video he did.

so now i've been listening to it.

and it's somewhat gloomy in los angeles today.
and i have a date with a film later today, 
so there's that.

the end. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

my hopes for 2016:

before the the first month of this year comes to an end, i figured i'd talk a little bit about my hopes for this year. now that i am two weeks into my time here in los angeles, i think that i am forming more clarity in regards to the things that i want and the things that i am hoping for this year.

i'm hoping to surprise myself. i've already surprised myself a lot these past two weeks, and i love the way it leaves me feeling. i'm hoping to be shocked and awed even more throughout the year, whether that be through small or big ways // i want to explore options for taking a teach abroad trip. within a matter of weeks, i feel as though i could learn so much from a classroom abroad // i want to attend writer's conferences, or join a writer's group -- i'll need lots of accountability for my art when i leave los angeles // i want to live with friends again. i am so loving living with the three women in my life right now, and the idea of living with friends for a little while longer sounds lovely // i want to remain firm in the core beliefs and values that i hold, while continuing to challenge myself by being in places/with people that think differently from me // i want to acquire a better taste for fish -- because it is so healthy for you, and i hate fish, and i am very much missing out // i also want to acquire a taste for avocado // i want to complete my screenplay...and perhaps write two or three other completed screenplays -- and perhaps submit essays/shorts for publication // i want to make my way back to oregon to see the faces i love and to meet my covenant friend's baby boy (also, to eat voodoo, of course) // i hope to come to a place of being able to support myself. i'll be broke, and probably a little stressed, but i know that i will pride myself in every little buy and bill // i want to kiss a lot, because last year i didn't and that was my fault, and this year i just want to say yes to lots of kissing and embracing // i want to watch the top 101 screenplays for film // i want to finish reading the other six hundred pages of the brother's karamazov // i want to finally tattoo my arm, because i've wanted to for years and years now, and i don't care what my skin will look like when i'm old, and i also love ink so very much, so there's that // i want to fall in love if it's meant to be, and be okay if it doesn't // i want to begin to plan an adventure--i want to see europe, or road trip up the west coast, or fly somewhere new // i want to be more intentional about time, and to take every day as it comes rather than stressing about the year to come // i hope to take lots of pictures, and drink lots of coffee, and read good books, and tell people that i love them, and study films, and work towards the GRE, and find a church to get more involved in, and to just say yes to things i might have said no to before.

the end.

also, my friend david came over with his roommate tonight, and while playing us his cinematography reel, he played this song and i asked him to play it over again. and now i can't get enough. my friends have wonderful taste in music. and frank sinatra always reminds me of my dad, and how i sometimes wish i was born in a different time, if even for a day.

Monday, January 18, 2016

LACMA love love love

i had a date with myself today & it was glorious.
it was a morning of needing to clear my head,
look at beautiful things,
cross something off of my bucket list,
and embrace some solitude. 

the LACMA is a beautiful place.
i encourage anyone who can go to visit! 

it won't disappoint.
plus, i'm going to try and go again when i can get tickets to the rain room.

(the following photos were taken on my nikon...i'm still very much am amateur photo taker so have some grace about the quality)

:)


(the rest of my photos were taken through VSCO):


this one room was dark, except for the illuminated color yellow.
so naturally one of my favorite coldplay songs was playing in my head.

happy monday.

i'm hoping that today goes so much better than yesterday,
even though yesterday still had a quiet sense of goodness to it. 






all of the words that seem to fail me on the phone:

i think that some people are so set in their ways that anything new,
anything of a great value, or anything that challenges, and has the ability to inflict pain --

well, any of those things become like a threat.
a beautiful little threat that seems out of control,
when, really, there is only promise involved.

i think that some men are so accustomed to yes (in any situation)
that a girl who can say no, and a girl who can speak her mind,
is too honest for such a man -- too frightening -- because 1. he feels
like he isn't winning the game in this round, and 2. lo and behold, there is no game at all.

i think that people plan life differently, so when someone allows another
person into his/her plans, there is plenty of room for disruption and discomfort.

and that is gloriously okay -- though some might beg to differ.

i think that some cannot hear past ears that are muffled by set plans,
expectations, and frustration over not being in control.

i think that some are not familiar with a woman who can say what it is
she needs, and demand a higher level of respect and sensitivity.

i think that some don't expect her to cry,
and that some do -- so when she doesn't, she feels cold and dismissive.

but she's not.

i think that some people are so used to his/her own voice that any other
voice is lovely, but seemingly intrusive.

to be told what it is that he or she is feeling
feels a lot like being naked.

to be told what it is that he or she is feeling,
or perhaps doing wrong, by a lover feels
a lot like being stripped.



when i sought to give words of comfort i wasn't attacking your character.

i was asking you to be open to situations that would feel difficult.

i was telling you that what you said would be okay.

i was telling you not to be afraid, because sometimes i feel like i do scare you,
like i more real than the last girl, and you don't know what to do about that.

i was telling you that your future fear of my own resentment doesn't have to take root if
you would only open up.

i was telling you that you can't be so set in your ways, because no woman will be able
to mold herself into precisely what you want.

i was telling you that insecurity doesn't have to be so ugly.

i wasn't pointing another finger, i was lending out a hand.

but you didn't take that hand because all you could hear were your
own words, the ones that you wanted to take back.

and even after i said that i forgave you for them, you still cast the blame on me
because perhaps you're used to saying whatever it is that you want to say
without actually hearing someone else's honesty.

and as i began to cry on the other end, that wasn't what you heard.
what you heard then was your own desire to just hang up the phone.

and that is a form of running.

and heaven forbid if i don't say something quick enough
you suddenly feel like i'm dismissing you,
when really i was lost in my thoughts and trying not to cry.

and then you said it was all impossible.

the whole thing was impossible.

and i had to work hard to tell myself that i am not impossible.
and neither are you.
but when a person cannot recognize the other person's
desire to set them free, well that feels impossible.

and then you said that you can never win with me,
and i made the mistake of saying neither can i.

but here's the thing --
when i picked up the phone,
i wasn't looking to emphasize on your insecurities,
and i certainly wasn't looking for a last word or a win.

i was looking to tell you to not have your mind made up,
to just let things go and fall into place,
to be okay with falling for the girl who will challenge and probably scare you.

you hurt me with your words,
and when i understandably pulled away,
you took offense.

not because i was actually pointing a finger of blame,
but because i showed you how much it hurt and you didn't want to deal with it.

i have a million flaws you are sure to learn about,
and i own my mistakes whenever i can,
but when you mess up i refuse to let it be on me,

even if you're insecure,
even if you mishear my words,
even if the feeling of losing me is all consuming.

the last thing you said was how impossible it all was,
and that stung, but it was sobering.

i'm all for impossibilities and discomfort.
i'll tell you when you're wrong,
and you can tell me when i am wrong and mean.

and i need someone who is willing to get in the dirt
with all of our flaws and impossibilities and discomforts.
someone who doesn't so quickly resort to deeming me and my emotions
as an impossibility.

i am not impossible,
and dealing with me isn't impossible.

and when i tell you that i have feelings for you,
it isn't because i want to win a game,
it's just because i want you --

even with all of your own impossibilities.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

my life in fiction.

you held my face then, and the words i'm crazy about you slipped from in between your slips and down my spine.

i loved your eyes in that moment--such warmth, and a depth filled with connection that i have never had before.

there was a day, i know i lived it,
when you were one person to me,
and then suddenly you were more.

no one plans the tilt of the head that someone might do in the midst of a conversation.
how that tilt will translate as something so endearing to the person standing before,
and how such endearment will captivate the person,
and cause an inward spiral that is sickening and wonderfully riveting all in one.

a tornado of sorts.

that is what you have quietly caused in my life.

a tornado of sorts.

but before you flatter yourself, know this: i am no stupid woman.

i have loved before, and i may love again.

but a tornado of sorts still remains, and for now this is all i know.

you say you feel like you've known me for a long time, but i'll argue that you don't.

you see, i have a million and one things to offer.

and you have a million and one things to learn.


if you hold your arm out at full length and bring my hand with yours above my head, i will twirl around and around as many times as you let me.

if you listen closely, i sing in the shower. it's rare that people hear me, but when they do, they're guaranteed to hear renditions of bubbly or new york.

if i grow to be comfortable enough around you, i can finish just about any meal on my own, as if a grown man was eating for me.

if you see me past twelve a.m. and both of our bellies are empty, there will be blueberry and/or chocolate chip pancakes. there just will.

if you want another moment of dancing, don't take me out or don't corner me at a wedding--find me in the kitchen and i will let you slow dance with me for as long as you please.

if you want to make me feel most warm and most safe, place your hand behind my head and lean in to kiss my forehead. anyone can kiss on the lips--but not everyone knows how to make a woman feel valued and safe through a single kiss on the head.

if you want to see me angry, place me in rush hour, catch me in a moment of tripping on myself and stubbing my toe, or tell me that i'm really, really wrong. i'll get fired up for a moment or two, but i'll let the right person talk me down.

if you want me to be even more honest and unfiltered all it takes is some jameson and i will tell you any secret you want to know.

if you're ever afraid of the dark just know that i hang christmas lights in almost every place i call home.

if you want to know a firm belief of mine, here's one: i believe in having a piano in the house. any house.

if you want to know some of the keys to my heart, take me to a museum, pick up the phone, write the damn letter, drive down a windy road, sit next to me in the booth, open the jar when i am not strong enough, go before me in moments when i am afraid, and tell me that you'll pray for me.

if you want to know my dreams, ask.
none of them are secret.

if you want to know what makes me belly laugh until i cry, then you'll have to stick around and lose count of all the amusing things this life throws my way.

if you want to know where i go to cry, look in the shower, or pull away the covers.

if you want to know how to fill me with joy, give me the mountains, give me a crowded street, give me a gloomy day by the sea, give me chinese takeout, give me a darkened movie theater, give me green grass and a good book, give me your word, tell me your dreams.


i have a million and one things to give.

and there are a million and one things you don't know.


i don't even know if you realize how you tilted your head,
or how you looked back one last time and i caught you as you held the door and glanced my way.
i knew even then,
that you were a tornado of sorts,
that i was already caught.

but now, i don't know if you realize the million and one things before you,
when you seem to only see the one.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

a view that looks like cal

Berkeley always feels like a home,
I know it so well (+ it's my future home of academia, fingers crossed).
I love the crammed streets,
pushy people,
hidden shops,
noisy nights,
and those lazy hills that rest so near.

I have the best window in my apartment.
It overlooks the mountains, and the Hollywood sign.
At the corner is a coffee shop,
and an intersection down below with a pulse of traffic that never ceases.

Within the past twenty-four hours I have come to the realization that
this one view looks so much like Berkeley.
The mismatched apartments do, too.
And the sliced crevices of city meets pocket pose as resemblances, as well.

Needless to say, I don't love Los Angeles, but I do love how at home I feel in
such a new and temporary place.

I look out my window and I sigh with satisfaction that I am finally
living in the city.

I have spent so many weekends, nights, mornings and afternoons in Berkeley,
wishing that I could live there, envying the locals and students who shuffle about
with their groceries, backpacks, lovers, and purposes.

Tonight, after class and after a visit to the grocery store, my roommate and I walked
home, past the mismatched apartments and crammed streets.

We had backpacks strapped to us,
she held an avocado in her hand,
I had a bag filled with ingredients,
and we both had a sense of how the intersections worked.

I looked up at the building before me, which looks so much like a building on College and Dwight near Cal, and I smiled at how content I was in that moment.

In that moment, I belonged to a city.

And I smiled as a car honked by, an angry driver, a red light, and a cross walk that told me to stop but I knew to walk anyway.

The End.


P.S.

I've always loved this song with my whole heart, but it's appropriate for living in the Bay Area AND living in Los Angeles so...

Monday, January 11, 2016

Sunday, January 10, 2016

dear los angeles,

i have a knack for loving places and leaving places.

in four years, you're my seventh love.

but you're also my last love for the duration of my undergrad career.

give me a month or two, and usually i'm ready to leave if i haven't already
thought of packing my bags in the initial week.

but already you're so different.

i didn't cry when my loved ones said their goodbyes to me yesterday.

i teared up last night when i thought of how much i miss a certain man
up north, but i didn't cry because i know that the possibility of coming home to him
is so near in the future.

i didn't cry in the middle of the night when the man yelling down below on the
street woke me up around 2:30, and again when sirens filled my room sometime before sunrise.

i didn't cry when i rolled over to see myself within a new room where i hardly know
anyone and where my few belongings look so out of place.

i didn't cry because i know that the golden globes are today (which does make me so happy),
or because i'm still in shock about this whole adventure.


dear los angeles,

i feel like i'm finally growing up.
you are so vast, but i remind myself that you are small in the grand scheme of the world.

you are so loud, but the memory of the mountains that rest off in the distance when i'm driving east on the 80 reminds me that solitude and quiet still persist in another life of mine.

you are so full of yourself, but i can be the same way.

you're here in my life for three months and three weeks, and that is but a blip in the entirety of my life.

you are gritty and wild, but i tell myself about how at peace i can become when tucked away in the corner of a coffee shop.

you are an idol in yourself, and people come to see you merely for the sake of becoming idols themselves, but that man in my life asked me on monday what success means to me and since then i've been learning that success doesn't mean you or an idol. so, just like that, i am free of all expectation of what i once believed you could give me.

los angeles, you can't give me success so i won't ask for it. i won't ask for more opportunity, or for recognition.

instead, i ask that you give me good people and long conversations. i ask that your streets give me a landscape to write about. i ask that you steady time so that i can be present but also advance toward the coming chapters that prove to be just as exciting.

i may come to love you, los angeles.
and, though you need not love me back, i ask that you treat me well.

some might argue that you use people and then spit them out.

but people are capable of doing that,
not places.

so keep me safe,
amuse me,
and then let me go come april.


Saturday, January 2, 2016

thoughts from a girl with my name.

a girl i know wrote something, and today i had the pleasure of reading it.

in short, she wrote about the beauty of epiphanies -- within this word, she
elaborated upon the idea of letting go, accepting life, acting without worry,
love that is unhindered, and writing, writing, writing.

basically, she's a girl after my own heart.
and her honesty -- honesty like that is rare in people.
anytime a person can be raw with his or her feelings,
i'm all ears and filled with admiration.


all week, i've been reciting tolkien to myself: it is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life.

i just can't get past the message of the words --

how, in a moment of feeling overwhelmed by the future and what i should
be doing/should eventually do with my life, i can remind myself that a brilliant man
(a brilliant writer) knew that there was something about simplicity.


for my senior thesis paper i wrote about terrence malick's the tree of life.
coincidentally, this was the last film that i watched for my film class.
out of my own studies and from my professor's lecture on the film,
i learned that what might seem to be mundane in life might actually be sacred.

-in the film, a woman washes her feet with water from a hose --
and each time i watch that scene i can't help but be reminded of days
growing up, running around the neighborhood in the heat, and eventually
finding relief from the cool water that flowed from a hose and onto my face.

-then, a mother is chased through the house by her boys as they hold a lizard --
and i can't help but laugh at the pureness of a child's sense of humor,
and wonderment with very human reactions to aspects of life:
such as a mother's fear of reptiles (much like my own...).



today, when looking at job and internship listings, i couldn't help but
feel a sensation of suffocation burning within me.

i am baffled with my own age --
how old i've grown,
how young i still am,
how i seem to have so many years left,
yet by now i know how fast the tiles of life fall to the floor.

some days, i am so clear in my thinking that i firmly
trust in god's will for my life.

99% of my days are spent speculating, plotting, worrying, controlling
what that plan should look like, how i should go about it, how i might ruin it, etc.


i dream of anything but the mundane.
though i realize that the spectacular couldn't be spectacular
if the mundane did not take precedence.

and then i think, must the mundane live up to the word? can't it mean something more? can't it be a secret of sorts.

like the coolness of water from a hose onto a warm, dirty foot.
like the laughter of a child and a mother's playful engagement.

like the way i looked over at you during the film, and i was
filled with more joy as a result of your laugh and the warmth of your arm against mine
than i was from the beauty on the screen before me.

it is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life.


i know that dreaming big is a great thing to do.
but i'm finding that the small dreams are just as good, just as healthy, and just as god-given.

i am often told that i have too many dreams --
i want to help people?...great.
i want to be a writer?...when?...how?
i want to travel?...with what money?...what about marriage and children?
i want be open to change and discomfort?...you'll grow out of that.
i want to fall in love again?...you're too young...what if you wait too long?...what about your morals?
i want to marry young?...what about your other dreams?
i want to move away from home for good?...where will you get the money?

and the most recent one:
i want to be a wife?...you're not meant to get married, you're supposed to be a writer.

seriously.

these answers have all been used towards me.

they're not even that bad, sure.

but they've been enough to challenge and belittle the idea of a simple life.

tonight i was picking out kitchen dishes, and i asked my mom why i love house things so much.
and she said it's because someday i want to make a home of my own.

without thinking i retorted, but i can't. that's so selfish.

and then i walked down the aisle wondering where such a statement came from,
and why so much fear was hurled within it.


these past few weeks i've had an epiphany of my own or, rather, it's more of a question --
what does a simple life look like? and how can it be great?

so, sure, i have collected numerous dreams.

big dreams.

and i have a lot of fear that i will feel like shit if i don't accomplish them.

but i am in the very early stages of learning to accept the smaller dreams,
to acknowledge the goodness within them,
to note their validity,
to respect that they might even be more sacred than any worldly success i could ever attain.



there is a man in my life,
for now he's a friend,
and in such a short amount of time he has illustrated the idea of dreaming the quieter dreams.

from my perspective, he's seemed to have lived many lives.
i know he's seen a lot,
experienced a lot,
and explored more than i have.

i know he has big dreams,
but what stands out to me even more are the small dreams
that he seems to welcome with ease.

his ability to accept the smaller dreams is something that i envy in the most admirable way i can.

whenever we are together, i have to keep myself from prodding him with questions.

i could ask him a million questions and just listen for as long as he'd let me,
but what i always want to get at his how he dreams the way he does,
and what those quiet dreams look like in his head.



for me, i keep having this one dream in mind.
it's so small and dainty that it's nearly a whisper,
but it's there through and through.


there's a handsome man in my home, and in the morning he
makes our coffee.

wooden floors creek in the earliest hours of the day as the house begins to stir.

the days are filled to the brim with business, but thank god for saturdays and sundays
when we can stay in bed and catch up on reading and shows and sleep and each other.

there's a baby in it, too. and i bring it to bed on those cool mornings.
and i am still young, yet exhaustion makes us feel old.

but the man -- he makes me laugh. god, i hope i'll always allow him to make me laugh.
and he doesn't let fear weigh him down like i let it weigh me down and rob me of hours.

on those quiet weekends, he and i relish in the mundane.
i wear his shirts upon my back and his socks on my feet,
and he lets me kiss him whenever i want.

there's a record player that hums in the corner,
and an old heater hisses within the walls.

and sometimes we look back on the kids we were before this small dream came to be.
and i can't dance, but in the kitchen he places his hands upon my waist, pulls me close,
and sways me to the humming record.

and perhaps a million other people live a similar life,
but no one will ever live ours exactly like we do.


and with this is my epiphany --
people can long for the same things,
have the same dreams,
and perhaps that might be somewhat mundane.

but the moment those dreams come to be--
whether mine are screamed loudly upon a film screen or whispered
within a home on a quiet piece of land during one of thousands of saturdays--

they are simple,
but not mundane.

and such a simple dream come true is no bad thing.