Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Living Off Red Bull.

So, finals are killingggg me. I have consumed so much Red Bull, expresso, and coffee that I really think my body is immune to the effects. My fridge is stocked with about four six packs of Red Bull, and the only time I left my room the entire day was to take a final at 5:30.

I had 4 projects that ranged from 60-85% of my grade all due the past 2 weeks...I'm exhaustedddd and still have a huge final tomorrow, and two take home ones due Monday.

And, last night when I should have been studying, I went on a date instead :), which ended up lasting from 5 p.m. til 2 a.m., so I obviously suck at time management as well (which I recognize is 100% my fault). Worst part is, I would do it all over again too, I had such a fun time.

Ahh, I need to be motivated!


I'm sorry I suck at commenting on all your fabulous blogs - I promise that once this week is over I'll be back to normal!

Love you all very much, and I promise I'll talk to you soon!

Currently listening to: Fujiya & Miyagi - In One Ear & Out the Other

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees..."

So, this might surprise some of you, considering that I definitely don't seem like the outdoorsy type, but I absolutely love to camp.

Some of the best memories I have from when I was a kid was when we would go on family camping trips. My mom grew up with practically no money, so camping was the only way that her family really got to go on vacation. My dad is also quite the outdoorsman, and spent a lot of his hippie days out in the wild, photographing nature and spending huge amounts of time hiking. My parent's love for the environment and the outdoors transcended into their marriage and into the lives of their children.

Though, we did spend quite a bit of time in hotels and taking other trips, we always made sure that a camping trip was on the books for some bonding time. I can remember all the horror stories - the time we forgot sleeping bags, the time the people who were camping next door to us were smoking weed and doing shrooms so were absolutely trippin' and going crazy next to us, the time when my brother fell into the river next to our campsite and fractured his collarbone.... I mean even though some of the times were not a picture perfect experience, we always, always had so much fun and really enjoyed one another's company so much more. I think the fact that we were in a confined space without TV or computers or work calls to distract us made it so much better. We didn't exactly rough it - we always went to a campground with a pool, and showers and bathrooms - but stillll, it was an amazing bonding experience for all of us, and we were limited in our resources.

Anyway, after my fall break in October, my roommate and I were talking about family trips and the fun we used to have, when it came up that we both loved camping, and loved going to the same campground! We put a camping trip on the books for when the weather became warmer - and our excitement grew when our guy friends went on a camping trip in Febrary (in the snow, in 20 degree weather), and had the time of their lives.

So, A and I planned to go camping the 18th-19th of April, since both of our schedules were way too crammed to go any other time. So, we left from school Saturday afternoon (after waiting for this biotch who blocked me in to finally leave...people are soooo rude!), and headed 45 minutes away to our campground. I was so nervous about setting up a tent, getting a fire going, but we managed to get it all done! The tent was up in ten, yes TEN minutes, and the car was unpacked within a half hour of us arriving.

We went on a six mile hike around this gorgeous lake, stopping for photo opportunities everywhere we went, really capturing the beauty of the nature that was around us. While we may have forgotten hamburger rolls, ketchup, extra blankets, a lottt of firewood (who knew it burned so quickly!), it was one of those trips where we just felt empowered. So many people had told us that we were pretty much screwed - we would never ever be able to light a fire, set up a tent, cook dinner... and we did it (with the apologies of all who doubted us).

A went to bed extremely early - like, 11:00 early. She was freezing, our fire was dwindling, and she wanted to text her boyfriend before bed. As she was huddled in her sleeping back with her twelve layers of sweatpants and sweatshirts, I grabbed my blanket and mummy bag, and laid out in the open field, listening to Sigur Ros on my iPod and just staring at the stars. It was one of the most calming and beautiful experiences I've had, and I just felt so at ease and so relaxed (believe me, I know how cheesey this sounds).

Anyway, for anyone who likes the environment, I would hugelyyy suggest a fun camping trip!
And pleaseee excuse my appearance in these pictures - no makeup will do this to you :)

Home sweet home:
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Hiking:
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She went across the river this way:
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While I chose this way instead:
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This is the hamburger I cooked...but I had to eat it on bread, with no ketchup...whoops!
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I thought it fitting to write about my camping experience on Earth Day. While I loveee the environment and I'm a firm environmentalist, I don't cast judgement on anyone who doesn't live completely green. I hope I don't sound like a bitch in posting these...

There are so many simple things that we can all do to help the environment. These are just a few things that I've become more conscious of, and these are super, super simple things that everyone can do:
1. Recycle! - seriously, it takes two seconds to do.
2. Turn off the lights when you leave a room - holy crap, I was soo guilty of leaving the lights on when I would leave my room... again, it takes two seconds, and yet helps reduce your carbon footprint so much!
3. Ride a bike/walk whenever possible. It's great exercise, and good for the environment - talk about killing two birds with one stone!
4. Line dry clothing. My parents have been doing this since I was like, a fetus. Obviously, only in the summer for us Northeasterners!
5. Switch to energy efficient lightbulbs. Again, so simple.
6. Buy a reusable water bottle! They're sooo cute. Just buy a Brita (or skip it, and just love the tap water), fill up your reusable bottle, and you're good to go! (Just fyi, 25% or more of all bottled water is tap water!!!!). And if you do loveee bottled water, if possible, go for glass bottles over plastic :)
7. Wash clothes in cold water - not only do they smell/clean just as good, but they'll also fade more slowly!

There are obviously other things you can do, like buying a hybrid. Unfortunately, when I got my car, Mercedes hadn't made a hybrid yet (2005 was sooo not as green), but next car I get, I'm hopefullyyy going hybrid.




Happy Earth Day everyone!
What are some of your tips for simple ways to "go green?"


Currently listening to: Kasabian - Empire.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Let Them Eat Crack.

First, I apologize for my lack of blogging - honestly, I was running low on inspiration for what to blog about (and I know how boring my life is, so I definitely didn't want to write all about what's been going on with me...at least not yet!). Anyway, I was telling my dad how I was lacking ideas for blogging, and he mentioned that it would be pretty cool if I was to write about one of his favorite artists, so thanks for the inspiration daddy!

Shockingly, I had never even heard of this man until my father told me - and there is nothing I love more than a good mystery, so if you're into mysteries, people who go against the grain, and art, hopefullyy you'll like this post :)

For those of you who haven't heard of him, Banksy is an England based graffiti artist. Now, Banksy is not his real name. What is his real name, you may ask? I couldn't tell you - because nobody knows! Apparently every now and then someone will come out saying that they've figured out who Banksy is, but it's never been proven correct so far. Sweeeet.

Banksy uses stencils for his graffiti and is known for his anti government/anti capitalistic messages. He is unbelievably controversial - he has made portraits of Queen Victoria as a lesbian (which was purchased by Christina Aguilera), spoofed British money and threw it into a large crowd (the money said "Banksy of England" instead of "Bank of England," and featured Princess Diana instead of the Queen - some people tried to spend this money in local shops).

In 2004, my boy Banksy walked into the Louvre (!!) and hung a picture (!!!!!!) which was like the Mona Lisa, except it had a huge yellow smiley face. It was quickly removed, but people were talking about it for a while. He was quoted as saying, "To actually [have to] go through the process of having a painting selected must be quite boring. It's a lot more fun to go and put your own one up." Badassssss.

When Paris Hilton dropped her first CD, Paris, Banksy replaced at least 500 copies with his own cover and songs by Danger Mouse. He titled tracks "Why Am I Famous?," and "What Have I Done?" Apparently the cover had Paris Hilton, which he altered to make her appear topless, with others that had the head of a dog replacing hers. There were copies purchased and are now sold for a tonnnn of money on Ebay. Way to go Banksy! (No offense to the Paris Hilton fans out there).

Because Banksy's identity is so top secret, people are unsure of how exactly he creates his beautiful (but dark) images. In my opinion, his work makes you look twice - there are quite a few of his images where I'm like, "Holy crap, that's not a real person!"

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My mom loves this one...I think it's because of the flower :)
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I love how creative this one is!:
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This one def made me look twice :)
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Love this:
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What do you guys think? Love it, hate it?

Interested? This is Banksy's website...its really sweet:
http://www.banksy.co.uk/


Currently listening to: Jackson Cannery - Ben Folds Five

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Cause Me Pain, Hedi Slimane!

First, thank you all for your sweet comments - it's funny, writing that last post was extremely cathartic for me, and I learned that I really don't need to settle for someone's crap, because I'm way above it. It's also ironic because after I came to this epiphany, R called me three times, and wrote on my Facebook wall, all of which I ignored, and without guilt.

Okay, so moving on...I am officially on Easter break, and am heading to Cape Cod tonight with my parents and Poppy (grandpa) to just get away and spend some quality time at our house up there, so if I don't get a chance to comment on your fabulous blogs until Sunday, I'm very sorry!

For those of you who don't know, Hedi Slimane is a French photographer and designer, who has started a ton of modeling careers around the world (with unbelievably thin models). Without any formal training, at age 28 Slimane became the head menswear designer at YSL, and after that he moved on to working for Dior Homme. Karl Lagerfeld wears nothing but Hedi Slimane, and swears by his designs.

Not only is Slimane a fabulous designer, a "revolutionary" in the menswear fashion campaign, he is also an extremely gifted photographer.

You can view Slimane's "fashion diary," a collection of his photographs at HediSlimane.com

These are some of my favorites, spanning from this month to 2007. They take place all over from LA, to Paris, to London and beyond...enjoy! A great deal of Slimane's work is breathtaking black and white, which I am absolutely obsessed with. The emotion that is captured on film is just beyond.

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Mizz Courtney Love:
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My brother practically lives in this t-shirt - it was so weird to see it being photographed :)
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I love this one:
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If you're super interested in Hedi Slimane and his work, you can watch this video:


What do you think?

Have a fantastic Passover/Easter everyone! And again, sorry if there is a delay in my commenting on all of your blogs - I will catch up with you all soon! xo

Currently listening to: The Professor (acoustic) - Damien Rice

Friday, April 3, 2009

"You've got a lure I can't deny, but you've had your chance, so say goodbye..."

The weather today is like something out of The Day After Tomorrow - I had to drive home from work today at 12, and I honestly didn't think that I was going to make it back to school...roads were flooded, trees were scattered here and there, branches piling in the road, and the dirt was mixing with the rain making the streets a horrible brown color. It's the kind of day that you want to stay in bed til noon, have soup, and watch countless hours of TV, or movies (or if I was home, try and talk someone into playing Monopoly or Scrabble with me to no avail).

This is going to sound so lame, but to me today, the horrible weather was completely symbolic of the mood I've been in lately. I can't seem to shake this terrible attitude and mood about pretty much everything. And the worst part is that I can't seem to pinpoint what is triggering it, or if it's just an accumulation of things piling up.

I'm an over achiever - I try and do it all, and have a hard time saying no to people when they ask me to help them out. So on top of 18 credits this semester, I'm babysitting for four different families (which I promise is actually a lot harder than it sounds), vice president of a club on campus, in a sorority, working on a volunteer project to revamp a school library in Philly, getting everything straightened out/ready for my trip to China in May, training for the marathon in September, doing endless amounts of homework and projects, and trying to have somewhat of a social life. Now, I know that people are doing twice as much as me and still surviving, so good for them. They can obviously handle it better than I can.

Lately, I've been thinking about getting rid of the some of the things that are just weighing me down...and unfortunately I think some things on that list are some of my relationships. We all have them - the relationships that just take, take, take and never give back; the relationships that just emotionally and physically drain you; the ones that when you think about it, really aren't worth it, though you keep trying to rationalize that they are.

I have a few of those relationships, and lately I've really been wondering what is holding me back from just severing the ties, and moving on with my life.

One relationship that really comes to mind is a guy who if you had asked me last year, I would have said was my best friend named R. He and I met in 9th grade, where we both volunteered as tutors in an inner city nearby. We hit it off immediately and the friendship progressed from there. Soon, we were on the phone every single night, for hours at a time, trading stories back and forth, venting about frustrations with school and parents. He was one of the first people I opened up to about my eating disorders, and he consoled me and came to visit me while I was at rehab (he was the only one of my friends to do that). All the family drama I went through, he was by my side. We started casually dating junior year, I went to his prom with him, we spent quite a bit of time together, without that "boyfriend/girlfriend" title, though it was known that neither of us were dating anyone else. Gradually, as these things seem to do, we drifted from dating to just going back and being friends again, which we did effortlessly.

Senior year, we had a huge blowout, one that I thought was the end of our friendship. We didn't speak to one another from December until May (which for us was a huge deal), and I missed him terribly during that time, but was insistent that I would not make the first move because the whole situation was his fault (and he admits that too). It wasn't until my biological father died on April 9, 2006 that I really felt the full effect of not having R there as a shoulder to cry on. Every day I contemplated whether or not I should be the one to reach out to him, but felt selfish doing so, because I wanted him back in my life so that I could go to him, cry to him. He had a unique way of making me forget that anything was wrong. He ended up calling me a month-ish later, fully apologetic (the second time in our friendship that he has ever apologized) and told me that he would do anything to have things get back to how they were, and again, with little effort, we slid back into familiar territory.

Things changed again, as we headed off to school... he went off to Cornell, joined a frat for "billionaire boys" (his words, not mine), and started sleeping with every girl imaginable. Our phone conversations were limited to the drunk dials I received at 2 or 3 a.m. where he would be screaming things at me over the loud bass of Lil Wayne songs, with girls in the background going "Who are you talking to babyyy?" slurring all of their words. And like an idiot, I would pick up, no matter what time he called. Let me tell you, I spent many nights out in the hallway like a moron wrapped in a blanket so that I could talk to him - which he would never even remember the next day. The worst part was that he was the nicest to me when he was wasted - the rest of the time he started acting like a major ass, when he actually would make fun of my past history with eating disorders (with super original statements...like when I said "Omygosh, I ate so much today!" he would say "And I'm sure you threw it all up after...").

One night, when we were talking, R said something to me that just took me back - he told me, "Al, you're the kind of girl that a guy wants to marry, but doesn't want to date right now. I want to have my fun and sleep with as many girls as possible, and then find a girl like you to marry when I'm ready to settle down. I wouldn't date you because you're not the kind of girl that a guy like me dates, because a guy like me wants a slut." Now, while I should have been flattered that he doesn't view me as a slut, the thought of being someone's last pick isn't exactly too appealing to me, as I'm sure most girls would agree. Why would I want to be the girl that someone comes to when they're done having all their fun (and bringing me loads of STDs).?
Anyway, one night during winter break this year, R told me that he loved me and always would, and I would always be "that person" for him - the one who when he was divorced and alone he would think of how it could have been. He then said that he hoped that one day I would give him a chance, because he knew that we could be great together. I felt like Carrie Bradshaw - after Big has his heart surgery, tells her all these wonderful things, and she feels like he's made a 360 and completely is going to change. For the first time in three years, I felt like we were making some progress. By that time it was like 5 a.m., so he had me promise to call him the next day, which, like a total moron, I did happily. Again, like in Sex and the City, the dear, sweet R who I had convinced myself had suddenly changed, just as quickly returned to the same old jackass as before. I informed him that the previous night, he had been so sweet, and said the nicest things to me that he had ever said. His reply - "Oh, well last night not only was I drunk, but I was high too!" Double winner. Seriously, when I watched that episode of Sex and the City the other night with my roommate, I cried and I couldn't stop, and she just knew that was the reason (I know, lame, lame.) She just hugged me, and told me that he is not worth it, and that I am always the one who is putting the effort forth to absolutely no avail.

It's hard, even now, for me to admit how much things have changed. I keep going back to being like "Oh, but he was there for me in rehab..." or "But, he would surprise me with flowers." Sometimes, I think you just have to stop living in the past, and thinking about the "what ifs," because now I know that kind of relationship isn't worth it to me. When does a relationship stop being worth the effort we put out? And how much weight should the past hold on the present?

Anyone with anything similar happen - a time when you realized a relationship just might not be worth it anymore? It's heavy, I know. Much, much too heavy for a Friday.

As I finish up writing this now, the sun is starting to peek out of the clouds, the rain has stopped, the trees are in full blooms, with their gorgeous pink flowers contrasting against the wood of the trees that haven't quite gotten their leaves back yet. And I'm hopeful for what's to come.

Sorry for bitching, everyone. I hope your weekends are fabulous - anybody doing anything special?

Listening to: Nothing Better - The Postal Service
(fitting, huh? If you haven't heard it, definitely give it a listen - The Postal Service are fantastic, especially if you're a mayjah Death Cab fan!)