Sunday, September 25, 2011

I'm Fine

I just realized I haven't posted anything here in over five days.  I have no reason for not posting.  I have been busy, but not more than normal.  I've been trying to get to bed earlier and have woken up before the sun rises three times in the past week.  This is new.  I've been trying to work out.  Trying to eat healthier.  All good things.  I got my hair dyed darker.  I was sick of being called a blonde.  I am not a blonde, but my hair said otherwise.  I'm back to brunette.  It looks good.  I've hung out with friends.  We had a nice time. 

This week has been fine.  That's all I can really say to describe it.  I'm not happy with fine.  Fine is something that should only be said when a stranger asks, "How are you?"  They don't know you and don't want to know that you are anything but fine.  That is acceptable.

Fine is something that is mundane, barely passable, just there.  It's not bad.  It's not good.  Although don't get me started on good, because for a word it's about as sad as fine. 

Fine is creativity's enemy.   

That's where I have been, in this state of fine.  Like I said it's not necessarily a bad thing, but it's not how I want my life to be.  It's not how I want people to think of me.  She is... fine.  Give me anything but.  Hopefully this next week will bring some more colorful adjectives. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Where Have All the Armchairs Gone?

Sing this post title to the vocal styling of Paula Cole and Where Have All the Cowboys Gone.  Why you ask?  Because for some reason that awful song came rolling into my thoughts as I typed that title and now it won't go away.  I want you to suffer like I suffer. 

Now let's get down to business.  There are times I don't have time to go home before going to work, but I have some time to kill.  About an hour to read to my hearts content, try to get lost in a book, before the onslaught of work.  Where should I go? 

Have you noticed how there is an alarming lack of comfortable armchairs at Starbucks or Barnes and Nobles anymore?  In fact, all the Starbucks near my work are always packed out for some reason.  You would be doing good to find even one empty seat, let alone a nice comfy home away from home armchair to settle down in for a good hour.  Today, I went to Barnes and Nobles and the two armchairs they had were occupied, one by an older gentleman who was sleeping or dead, but I didn't stop to check because I was too busy running to catch an open chair in the cafe area. 

These armchairs are so sweet. 
I need to find a quaint little nook that no one else knows about so I can know the feeling of sinking into that comfy armchair everyone is always hoarding. 

Where is your go to hang out?

This isn't an armchair, but I would be happy here.  And I love The Bell Jar. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Present

A pretty present for a friend's bridal shower tomorrow.
It's all in the presentation. 
The packaging gets me even more excited than the gift.

Don't you just love how pretty presents are?  The wrapping, the bows, the ribbons!  

On a side note: I haven't been posting much this past week.  Not much has been going on besides Korean Drama viewing on Netflix.  I am addicted.  Now I have Korean Pop music stuck in my head daily.  Oh, and Dance Moms.  Don't judge.  You know you love it too.  I cannot look away.  This is of course besides all the other necessary thing I need to get done on a weekly basis.  I am accomplishing many things, believe me.  

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Goodbye To Blockbuster

I can't remember the last time I went to Blockbuster. Now I couldn't even go if I wanted to. Makes me wish I would have gone one last time for that nostalgic goodbye. Okay, there are still a few that haven't cleared their shelves and shut their doors, but the ones that are still open aren't conveniently located for me.

With the rise of Redbox, Blockbuster Express, and Netflix, the old stores were bound to failure. The more machine, less personable way to rent movies without any need for human contact the better. Such is our generation's way.

I'm not saying I am not a fan of the convenience these various avenues offer me.  I would much rather not spent three times as much and drive out of my way to get the video store experience.  It's just that I was thinking about this the other day, how much time we spent scouring the aisles of the local video store.  Usually we would go with our group of friends and since we all could never decide on a movie it would take us a long time to get out of there.  There were definitely some good memories in the video store. 

Now as I see a bunch of little girls flipping through the movies at Redbox, I'm impatient.  I know exactly what movie I want.  I wouldn't take up the whole kiosk causing a line to pile up.  Instead of sending them dirty looks while simultaneously tapping my foot, I need to remember this is their video store.  The only problem is we have to share.  There isn't space to debate, giggle, talk about anything but which movie we want to pick.  Redbox is suppose to be fast.  Get your movie and go.  The kids don't get to have that hang out at the video store experience without getting some disgruntled stares and a little foot tapping, not from me, I swear. 

How times have changed and not necessarily all for the better.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

What To Do If You Find Yourself In The Middle of Bangkok In The Pouring Rain

This is a how-to of sorts.  I'm sure it will come in handy.  Good advice you will use for years to come.  Who doesn't get caught in a torrential downpour in the middle of Bangkok, Thailand?  Surely, not I.  A monsoon with no umbrella has become my lot in life.  On one hand, I love rain.  Especially in those tropical climates, rain is the only time you really feel a little chill in the air.  Although, the locals would stop and stare at the girls all soaking wet and warn us about the acid rain that falls from that dark sky.

If you are caught in the middle of Bangkok in the pouring rain, here's what you do.

If there is a mall nearby, which there will be, avoid it.  Malls are like convenience stores over there.  They are everywhere.  These are huge looming ten story malls just waiting to swallow you whole and never let you find your way out.  I would go to the same mall ten times in a row and still get lost trying to find that little vietnamese food stall in the dark, gloomy basement food court.  It was worth the dizzy feeling of going up and down the escalators searching for the one that would take you down there to get your bun.  One way down and no way out.  I'd had my fill of malls.

Instead head for the nearby Art and Cultural Center.  There you will see they are having free events all night.  You will see mimes.  They will be funny, as only Thai mimes could be.  And oh, will you laugh.

You might see a room full of beanbags that look like boobs.  They call this an exhibit.  Take off your shoes and stay awhile.  It's comfy there.  

You will want to wait in eager anticipation to see the contemporary dance.  This will be nothing like So You Think You Can Dance's contemporary dances you have come to know and love.  You will not be expecting to see a woman dressed in traditional Thai costume sit on the stage and move her fingers, hands and wrists but nothing else set to shrill high pitched music for a straight 15 minutes.  You will want to leave and you really should, but you won't.  No, you will stay to witness a grown man in a cloth diaper depict a baby being a born.  The room will be silent as the baby/man slowly stands to face the audience and then lets out a baby's first cry.


Now this is important.  Do not laugh.  Even though, it will take all you have in you not to, you must not laugh and in turn lose the respect of all those Thai people.  You see, you are the only foreigners in the room, because you got caught in the rain in the middle of Bangkok.

I hope this helps.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Holy Pumpkin Spice Latte! That's a thing.

Pumpkin Spice Latte
Pumpkin Spice Latte
  It's back!!  Although, I don't always have the latte.  I ask for a couple pumps to be put into my iced coffee.  Cheaper and colder, since it is still 100 degrees outside.  We're trying not to sweat it, because the Pumpkin Spice is back and with it fond memories of Autumn, my favorite season that does not exist here. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Not Another Video, You Say?

I saw this and I just can't help myself.  I had to share.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Wedding and Foodies

Last weekend, we went to a wedding.  It was really pretty.  The food was some of the best wedding food I'd had in a long time.  The music not so much.  The DJ just killed it (not in a good way).  All things considered it was alright and weddings are always fun opportunities to dress up.  So there's that.

Thanks to these awesome bloggers, I made these bracelets.  I've seen some similar at stores, but honestly I like mine better.  I can't believe how good they came out.  Join the arm party!  Stacking bracelets is still going strong.

Gold Bracelet - F21

And then Sydney did my hair all pretty like.  Find the tutorial here.  Seriously, I would be a hot mess without blogs and Sydney, of course.  I need help. 

I don't take enough pictures.  All the other ones turned out too dark to even think of posting.  I only had my iPhone and I'm not a fan of the flash.  I think all the pictures come out looking kind of grainy.  My fault for not having a proper cam-er-a.  

Quick Tip:  Just found out that Yelp is doing this competition with quite a few of the more upscale, gourmet restaurants in Tucson.  They each are picking one of their signature appetizers and offering it for $5.  For this week only, starting today, they want you to go try them all and put in your vote for the best one on Yelp.  We'll see who shall be deemed worthy!  Check out Yelp for more details. 

You might just find me at any one of these places this week.  Great opportunity to go and check out some of these places I haven't had time to yet.  Appetizer crawl antics to come!  Stay tuned.  

Sunday, September 4, 2011

High Wheel

I want to go to there! They digitally remastered it to look as if the wheel was spinning on nothing and just floating there in the air. Dreamy, isn't it?   

High Wheel by Maider Lopez from maider lopez on Vimeo

Thursday, September 1, 2011

How To Talk To Little Girls

I fall short in this department all the time.  It's easy to talk to little girls about their clothes, hair, and appearance in general.  Even as us girls turn into women, small talk sometimes consists of the cute outfit they are wearing, how pretty their hair looks, etc.  It might not be the easiest thing to change and get out of our ways in this way of talking to each other, but this is such a good article to help us become more aware of it.  Maybe we think we are helping little girls have more self esteem by our constant compliments, but in effect we are making matters worse.  Everything in moderation, I suppose. 

This article is from the Huffington Post by Lisa Bloom:

"I went to a dinner party at a friend's home last weekend, and met her five-year-old daughter for the first time.
Little Maya was all curly brown hair, doe-like dark eyes, and adorable in her shiny pink nightgown. I wanted to squeal, "Maya, you're so cute! Look at you! Turn around and model that pretty ruffled gown, you gorgeous thing!"
But I didn't. I squelched myself. As I always bite my tongue when I meet little girls, restraining myself from my first impulse, which is to tell them how darn cute/ pretty/ beautiful/ well-dressed/ well-manicured/ well-coiffed they are.
What's wrong with that? It's our culture's standard talking-to-little-girls icebreaker, isn't it? And why not give them a sincere compliment to boost their self-esteem? Because they are so darling I just want to burst when I meet them, honestly.
Hold that thought for just a moment.
This week ABC News reported that nearly half of all three- to six-year-old girls worry about being fat. In my book, Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World, I reveal that 15 to 18 percent of girls under 12 now wear mascara, eyeliner and lipstick regularly; eating disorders are up and self-esteem is down; and 25 percent of young American women would rather win America's Next Top Model than the Nobel Peace Prize. Even bright, successful college women say they'd rather be hot than smart. A Miami mom just died from cosmetic surgery, leaving behind two teenagers. This keeps happening, and it breaks my heart.
Teaching girls that their appearance is the first thing you notice tells them that looks are more important than anything. It sets them up for dieting at age 5 and foundation at age 11 and boob jobs at 17 and Botox at 23. As our cultural imperative for girls to be hot 24/7 has become the new normal, American women have become increasingly unhappy. What's missing? A life of meaning, a life of ideas and reading books and being valued for our thoughts and accomplishments.
That's why I force myself to talk to little girls as follows.
"Maya," I said, crouching down at her level, looking into her eyes, "very nice to meet you."
"Nice to meet you too," she said, in that trained, polite, talking-to-adults good girl voice.
"Hey, what are you reading?" I asked, a twinkle in my eyes. I love books. I'm nuts for them. I let that show.
Her eyes got bigger, and the practiced, polite facial expression gave way to genuine excitement over this topic. She paused, though, a little shy of me, a stranger.
"I LOVE books," I said. "Do you?"
Most kids do.
"YES," she said. "And I can read them all by myself now!"
"Wow, amazing!" I said. And it is, for a five-year-old. You go on with your bad self, Maya.
"What's your favorite book?" I asked.
"I'll go get it! Can I read it to you?"
Purplicious was Maya's pick and a new one to me, as Maya snuggled next to me on the sofa and proudly read aloud every word, about our heroine who loves pink but is tormented by a group of girls at school who only wear black. Alas, it was about girls and what they wore, and how their wardrobe choices defined their identities. But after Maya closed the final page, I steered the conversation to the deeper issues in the book: mean girls and peer pressure and not going along with the group. I told her my favorite color in the world is green, because I love nature, and she was down with that.
Not once did we discuss clothes or hair or bodies or who was pretty. It's surprising how hard it is to stay away from those topics with little girls, but I'm stubborn.
I told her that I'd just written a book, and that I hoped she'd write one too one day. She was fairly psyched about that idea. We were both sad when Maya had to go to bed, but I told her next time to choose another book and we'd read it and talk about it. Oops. That got her too amped up to sleep, and she came down from her bedroom a few times, all jazzed up.
So, one tiny bit of opposition to a culture that sends all the wrong messages to our girls. One tiny nudge towards valuing female brains. One brief moment of intentional role modeling. Will my few minutes with Maya change our multibillion dollar beauty industry, reality shows that demean women, our celebrity-manic culture? No. But I did change Maya's perspective for at least that evening.
Try this the next time you meet a little girl. She may be surprised and unsure at first, because few ask her about her mind, but be patient and stick with it. Ask her what she's reading. What does she like and dislike, and why? There are no wrong answers. You're just generating an intelligent conversation that respects her brain. For older girls, ask her about current events issues: pollution, wars, school budgets slashed. What bothers her out there in the world? How would she fix it if she had a magic wand? You may get some intriguing answers. Tell her about your ideas and accomplishments and your favorite books. Model for her what a thinking woman says and does.
And let me know the response you get at and Facebook.
Here's to changing the world, one little girl at a time.
For many more tips on how keep yourself and your daughter smart, check out my new book, Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World,"
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