Saturday, December 25, 2010

All I want for Christmas

Last night I drove to Hana's new house in Valencia, because we have a tradition of seeing a movie together on Christmas Eve. Only it turns out Valencia is the worst and all the movie theaters close super early so we just drove over to Pyramid Lake for a bit of stargazing. Her eight-year-old brother Michael didn't want me to stay over because "Christmas should just be family".

"Arielle is family. I've known her longer than I've known you," Hana retorted. "Does that mean that you shouldn't be here?"

Michael woke us up at 7:30 this morning, yelling WAKE UP WAKE UP IT'S CHRISTMAS IT'S CHRISTMAS SANTA BROUGHT PRESENTS.

"But he only brought me two presents this year," he added in a more normal tone of voice. "Last year he brought five!"

"Yeah, okay, whatever, Dudley Dursley," Hana and I respond in unison.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Hey there, Mr. Blue, we're so pleased to be with you

My winter break has been fabulous so far, but I haven't really been able to write about it. Los Angeles had the biggest rainstorm on record, but this morning I awoke to bright winter sunlight streaming through my window and it was the most wonderful thing I could think of right then. And then we played Quidditch.

Friday, December 17, 2010

It's already been looking like Christmas for, like, three weeks

My roommates love decorating.

IMG_0640, originally uploaded by bernle.

IMG_0661, originally uploaded by bernle.

IMG_0576, originally uploaded by bernle.

IMG_0442, originally uploaded by bernle.

IMG_0427, originally uploaded by bernle.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The final frontier

I'm done with one final, and I have one tomorrow at 8 a.m. (UGH), and then two more on Friday. I am already so sick of looking at my computer screen that I want to stab myself in the eyes with chopsticks.

I'm at the library studying (this is super weird for me, I always study at home) with my friend Margaux and she is diligently writing shit down on note cards while I just play sudoku puzzles online. I know I should probably do some more studying, but I feel like there's not that much more for me to write. I think I'm just really lazy and she's just really thorough.

Also she just gave me a piece of poundcake. She is the best ♥

Monday, December 13, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Secret Macabee

Secret Macabee, originally uploaded by sappycoldplaywhore.

Kimberly didn't know what the Jewish equivalent of a "Secret Santa" would be.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Three consecutive days of too much food.

On the bright side, I've lost enough weight overall that I fight into all my old pants from high school! (Even though my mouth currently tastes like cholesterol and diabetes.)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I'm tempted to blame this war on Germany too

The weather today was really lovely, especially for mid-November in the San Francisco Bay. I only know this because I was outside for approximately five minutes, walking to and from the grocery store to buy milk and pita bread and snag all the tasty samples Andronico's puts out on the weekends. Anyway, the reason I spent the rest of the day indoors is because I have this 7-10 page paper on the 'foreseeability' of WWI and it's due Thursday and it's technically all my fault for not starting sooner, but I'm sort of starting to see the appeal in blaming everything on Germany.

Also, I keep talking about war being 'unforeseeable' and it's really making me want to watch In the Loop.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Gray skies and steel nerves

Steel nerves, originally uploaded by sappycoldplaywhore.

This is what the weather has turned to. Sometimes I lament the cold, but I actually love the way cloudy skies make all colours (even the gray and black of the Bay Bridge) seem more vibrant.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween in Santa Barbara

Y'all, this place is insane. I'm visiting my friend who lives here so most of last night was spent partying safely in his house, but we walked down to Del Playa, the main drag, at one point and oh my god, that must be what going mad feels like. There were drunk people everywhere, and all my friends who were here last year say that it seemed emptier last night. No wonder this university has its own strain of syphilis.*

Also, I met a cute sailor and we're going to dinner tonight.

*My friend's roommate claims this isn't true. But he goes to Santa Barbara. He is obviously biased.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


So I went to this International Careers Fair today and there was a panel on teaching English abroad and apparently you can make super swank by teaching in South Korea. Like, they have programs that pay for your housing and health insurance and a round trip plane ticket, in addition to giving you a pretty nice salary. So now... I really want to go to Korea. Only for a year or two. To save up enough money to travel all over Asia and Latin America. And maybe some for a grad school program in translation and interpretation?

Oh, plans for the future. I make so many of them.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The cutting edge

This morning I had a meeting with on my fellow directors for this student alumni association we work for. After we had finished our official business, we started talking about history papers and I told her if she needed help finding sources at the library, I would totally be willing to help a sistah out, because I am a history major and thus very familiar with the library.

"Wow," she said, even though my library investigative skills aren't as impressive as they sound. "You know, I think you would be a good journalist."

I laugh, knowing what she does not about my former career aspirations and dashed dreams and disillusionment and all that. "Nah, being a journalist is too much work," I replied. "Plus, journalism is dying."

"True," she nods. "I think blogging is going to take over."

Oh, precious. How insightful. Welcome to 2004.

Look, I like this girl. I really do. She's great to work with. But that was adorably out of date. We've only got two years until the world ends* and I would've thought by now that everyone under the age of 30 was a bit more with the times. But what do I know? I don't even have a Twitter.

*Because Westerners totally have a complete grasp of and solid belief in Mayan cosmology and astronomy and therefore should trust all of their predictions.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

Strike a match on all my wasted time

I'm not gonna lie; I love angry Taylor Swift songs.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Who gives a fuck about an Oxford comma?

Today in my tutoring seminar, we discussed the aesthetics of Oxford commas. I think lists are more aesthetically pleasing without them. This cute English major thinks thinks the opposite. I'm willing to change my opinion, because he's cute.*

The anecdote and the video are completely unrelated.

*Obviously, kidding. Who would change their opinion just for a guy, even if he is cute?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

No hables con ella

Last night we went swing dancing on Sproul, and I met the most forward Asian guy I have ever met in my life. We were talking about Almodóvar movies, and I said I hadn't seen Talk to Her yet, and he said, "Maybe we could watch it together." Hahaha. I patted him on the shoulder and said, "Yeah, maybe."

Friday, September 24, 2010

Nuestro vino

"Crear es la palabra de pase de esta generación. El vino, de plátano; y si sale agrio, ¡es nuestro vino!" -José Martí

'Create' is the password of this generation. The wine, made of plantains; even if it turns bitter, it is our wine!

I know these words were written about Cuban nationalism at the end of the 19th century, but I read them and they resonate with me, even though I am not a cubano, much less a revolutionary.

I think every generation has their own struggles and thus, their own solutions. People who look back on the past as an ideal are fooling themselves. All those hippies and student protesters at Berkeley in the 60s and 70s, making speeches about throwing themselves upon the gears of the machine, they great up and became middle managers and investment bankers and live in the suburbs. What do their struggles mean to us anyway? They aren't ours; we have our own. We have our own problems, our own music, our own fashion, nuestro propio vino.

I realized this my freshman year of college, when I thought about Fight Club, and suddenly realized I was over that message, or more accurately, I had never gotten the message to begin with. You can't live your life ruled by someone else's ideas; they are not you. Tyler Durden doesn't speak for me, and he probably doesn't speak for you. I don't want to blow up the banks and start at zero. I like having banks and money. My priorities lie elsewhere.

What's important is not that I disregard everyone else's opinion, but that I recognize that it can be valid without organizing my whole cosmos around it.Create your own ideas, your own message, tu propio vino*.

What will your wine taste like?

*Okay, I'll stop with the vino thing.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Perspective, originally uploaded by sappycoldplaywhore.

I love looking at the ground from a plane. It makes me appreciate everything that's amazing about this world just a little bit more.

Monday, September 6, 2010

So this is how the summer ends

Not with a bang, but with a fruit salad. Or, I should say a fruit fortress. The peaches are soldiers peaking out over the watermelon battlements. The strawberries and kiwis are women and children. And the baby grapes are babies.

It's not a perfect metaphor.

We had a lovely get-together today and ate way too much delicious food. It was really relaxing and is now only serving as a reminder how very un-relaxing this semester is going to be.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Class Scheduling 101

So y'all, I have a really embarrassing story about my first day of class, which was on Thursday.

Just some background before I begin: I always make myself a pretty, colored schedule on Excel instead of just using the one on Tele-BEARS, our registration system. So the classrooms I have printed on that schedule are the ones I go to.

I go to my last class of the day: History of Germany from Bismark to WWI. I sit in the room while a bunch of freshmen natter away, excitedly introducing themselves because this whole thing is still novel to them (awwww, adorable!). I just sit there, quietly*, because I kinda don't want to be there, as it's already 3:30 and this class won't end until 5.

Finally, the professor walks in. She sets her stuff down on the podium, and opens a window.

"Welcome to Intro to Feminist Theory."

Oh. Shit.

*Hahahha, quietly. I know, right?

Friday, August 27, 2010

School's out for never

School has started. I haven't died. Yet.

But looking at my schedule, it's only a matter of time.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Don't panic

School starts Thursday (Thursday?! What happened to the remaining days of summer?!) and I am totally running around like a chicken with its head cut off right now. I have to pack because for my three days home right now, because I'm going straight to the airport after my all-day, day 2 of my leadership retreat tomorrow. And I'm not flying back until the last flight on Wednesday night, basically cutting it as close as possible to make my life super easy.

But you know what? Laura just texted me, and were going to the beach on Tuesday. How lovely. It's the little things, after all.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Are you sure it's plugged in?

I'm really addicted to The IT Crowd right now.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Broomball & the road to Sweden

So last night/early this morning, I went to play broomball with Mikko, Kimberly, and John Yang. (And I invited Sam fifteen minutes before we had to start for good measure.) I don't think I've ever had so much fun or been so unafraid of falling on my ass, which I only did once, amazingly. The only downside to broomball is that I used to muscle that have been long neglected and now I am SO SORE and a bit tired because I went to bed at 3:30 a.m. and got up around 10.

So sore and tired, in fact, that I fell asleep in the middle of Scatagories at Michelle's Going Away to Sweden party. But! I was still awake for most of it! Wherein we had an excellent time playing Mafia and Pictophone and Charades and walking around the nearby school and eating cupcakes frosted with Swedish flags. I wish I had brought my camera so I could show you pictures of the cupcakes, which were truly works of art. And speaking of works of art, Michelle drew a Dark Mark on my forearm.

Sweet, right? I know you're jealous. It says "Voldemort and Quirrel BFF 4 ever".

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Coca-Cola are assholes

The Dark Side of Vitamin Water:

Now here's something you wouldn't expect. Coca-Cola is being sued by a non-profit public interest group, on the grounds that the company's vitaminwater products make unwarranted health claims. No surprise there. But how do you think the company is defending itself?

In a staggering feat of twisted logic, lawyers for Coca-Cola are defending the lawsuit by asserting that "no consumer could reasonably be misled into thinking vitaminwater was a healthy beverage."

You know, I remember back in high school, asking my friend Amelia why she bothered to spend so much extra money on Vitamin Water, when it was clearly just juice, and she seemed to believe that all the extra vitamins somehow counterbalanced that. So maybe I should testify for the plaintiff in this lawsuit? Or maybe Amelia is just dumb.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Potato chips on fire

Today, I have a story about our downstairs neighbors.

So in case I never mentioned (which I might not have), we moved to a new place. A really nice place, where we have the top two stories of a three story house. But Arielle, you might say, why would you ever want to leave such a tiny apartment that had such a great entertainment value crazy girl upstairs? Well, as it turns out, our new neighbors are shaping up to be about equal!

So last Thursday we were getting ready to go out for Sam's birthday, when they rang our doorbell and asked us if there was smoke coming from our house. Why would there be smoke coming from our house? we asked in return.

Oh, because they smelled and saw smoke in their house, and they were wondering if it was coming FROM UPSTAIRS instead of, I don't know, THEIR HOUSE.

We went to check anyway, even though we were up in the kitchen (which is on the top floor) and the only place we could smell smoke was downstairs, near our door, which is connected to their kitchen. So we suggested maybe the smoke was coming from their kitchen, which it was.

But that's not all.

No, not only did they not realize that smoke was coming from their kitchen, they couldn't figure out that it was coming from a bag of potato chips that they had put in a broiler because they thought it was a cabinet. And even better? They put the chips there because one of their housemates had been eating too many chips, so they were hiding them from her.

Oh lord, they are going to burn our house down.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Shabby Apple Giveaway

So, as if I needed another website to spend money on, right? But I just found Shabby Apple and homaigawsh, it is amazing. I've spent all morning browsing; I already have twelve things on my wishlist. I have a funny feeling that a good portion of all the money I make this year is going to end up going right into the pockets of whoever owns this website.

Plus, Work It, Berk is having a Shabby Apple Giveaway! So head on over there to enter at your chance to win a free item of your choice. (I choose this dress, in anticipation of being a real, grown-up working professional. Which might not be for awhile, but I can always pretend.)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Marriage is so gay

Yesterday, a federal judge declared that Prop 8 was unconstitutional.

I would celebrate, only I know better. I know that the backlash will continue, just a reinforcement of the backlash that got Prop 8 on the ballot in the first place.

It's a sad, crazy, hateful world we live in. I wish that weren't true, but it is.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Savage Detectives

Page 172, originally uploaded by sappycoldplaywhore.

"When the whole civilized world disappears Mexico will keep existing, when the planet vaporizes or disintegrates, Mexico will still be Mexico."

I'm almost done with this book. It has been really wonderful so far! It's about a fictional literary movement called the visceral realists and its founders Arturo Belano (the author's alter ego) and Ulises Lima (the author's friend's alter ego) and traces their lives through Mexico, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa and their search for the poetess Cesárea Tinajero. It's all quite complicated and verbose and confusing and I've always been rubbish at writing reviews of things that are good, so suffice to say that you should read it if you like interesting books.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Wherein we abuse the Safeway parking lot

Kimberly and I went to Fort Mason for the Renegade Craft Fair, where I spent far too much money. Anyway, we couldn't find any parking inside the Fort, so we parked at the Safeway across the street. But we bought some olives from the olive bar and a bag of chips to assuage our guilt and justify our rule-breaking. But hey, we didn't get towed, so it must have been morally justifiable. I mean, parking is expensive. We are but poor college students. Next time we will take the bus. Lesson learned.

And we made ourselves a delicious dinner! Spaghetti with cherry tomatoes and spinach, with a side of garlic bread.

It might look fancy*, but really all you have to do is cook the pasta, sauté some garlic in olive oil then add the spinach then the tomatoes once the spinach wilts, and pour into the cooked pasta. For the garlic bread, mash some garlic, mix it with butter, spread it on bread then fry for a minute or so in the same sauté pan. Easy, and amazingly delicious. Kimberly and I are going to make ourselves fat, we make such delicious things when we cook together.

*no it doesn't

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Berkeley Bowl just blew my brain

Today I went in to Berkeley Bowl, a local grocery, for the first time. It was amazing. Their produce section is bigger than the supermarket just down the street. Just, every fruit and vegetable and legume and herb imaginable, from every place imaginable, all reasonably cheap. I mean, they even have prickly pears. I can make agua de tuna*, just like I had in Mexico. My mind exploded with possibilities of dishes to cook. I'm pretty sure I was dragging my jaw along the floor as I walked down all the produce aisles, because a clerk asked me if I needed help.

And when I say 'cheap', I am not kidding. I bought everything pictured above, which is a head of lettuce, a basket of cherry tomatoes, three tangerines, a HUGE-ASS avocado, a flat of raspberries, a loaf of bread, and a head of garlic (not pictured), all for $10. Yes. $10.

Sometimes, I talk a lot of shit about Berkeley for being a town full of annoying, liberal yuppies (which it totally is), but sometimes Berkeley is just fucking awesome.

Also, did I mention how HUGE this avocado is? Like, really huge. Like, here it is next to a salt shaker for some comparison.

SO HUGE. I kept raving about it while I was making dinner tonight and Kimberly was like, "OH MY GOD WE GET IT SHUT UP ABOUT YOUR STUPID AVOCADO." Whatever. She doesn't even like avocados; she clearly does not understand how amazing this is.

*The prickly pear fruit is called tuna in Spanish. Tuna fish is atún.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Day 2 Outtake, originally uploaded by bernle.

This is one of my roommates, Bernadette. She is actually one of two Bernadettes*. And she is really cute.

*The other lives in the living room, which used to be the attic, so we call her Anne Frank. Also, we are technically hiding her from our landlord.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The woes of my priveleged, white existence

I am sitting at a strange and uncomfortable desk, at a computer that is not mine (but is, thank god, the fastest computer in the office) and my eyes keep glazing over.

I shouldn't be bored, because I do have various tasks that need doing, but none of them are urgent so I'm having that difficult time I have getting anything done when what I'd rather be doing is watching Mad Men or Dollhouse or It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I could be finishing pitch letters, or blurbs for the August e-Newsletter, but instead I'm trying to find something, anything to read that doesn't pertain to the work I'm not doing.* I only have to be here until 4 p.m., but the minutes just seem to be dragging, like the laws of physics themselves are slowing down just to torture me.

Don't tell my boss how lazy I am.

*I'm pretty sure that double negative just negated what I wanted that sentence to mean. Whatevs.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Me siento en las nubes cuando tú me besas

"So does that mean we are Chino y Nacho?" Gracie asks after I posted lyrics from this song as a 'poem' on her wall.

"Um, of course," I reply.

"Can I be Nacho?"

I laugh. "That's good, because I wanted to be Chino."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Weekend excursion

I went home for the weekend. It was so lovely. Why am I in Berkeley? I want to go back home and stay out with my friends every night until 3 a.m.!

Anyway, some things I did:

  • Went to an aerial class (it's like pole dancing, but with fabric instead of a pole; that's the best way I can describe it), did a double foot lock and the splits in the air*, and got really sore.
  • Watched nearly all of charlieissocoollike's videos.
  • Bonded with people from high school at Mikko's party.
  • Received an apology for this incident.
  • Confessed, without hesitation, nearly everything I've ever kept secret to Laura and Katie at Mikko's party. I might've been drunk, but I still think this is emotional development for me.
  • Invented a drink my friend called a "Limey Bastard" (lime margarita mix, lime juice, and gin).
  • Started watching Dollhouse. Like I need another excuse for procrastination.
I want to go back already.

*which actually doesn't hurt at all; why did I spend so long being in pain doing the splits on the floor?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Breaking free

"Some guys are having a barbeque across the street," I say.

"Yeah, you should try and get food off them," Bernadette responds.

"Oh yeah, I'll just go up there and be like, 'Oh hey, I noticed this was a bit of a sausage fest so I thought I would drop by, can I have some food?'"

"Oh," says Bernadette, "they're cooking sausages?"

Friday, July 2, 2010


So I was walking home this afternoon after going to yoga with a friend, and I had stopped for a smoothie, because this yoga class seriously kicked my ass and I needed a nice cold sugar rush for this hot day.

And I realized, here I am, walking down the street with a yoga mat on one arm and a Jamba Juice in the other hand.

Wow, I thought, I must look like a complete yuppie tool.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Fezzes are cool

I'm in no mood for coherency, so here's some mindless babbling about the Doctor Who season finale.


Also, I hope he buys himself a new fez because it would so appropriate on the Orient Express. IN SPACE.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Never take a job you couldn't quit

I have a manuscript!

This is my summer project: I'm get to do all the publicity and marketing for Turned Round In My Boots. Finding retailers, relevant associations, media contacts, reviews, promotional events. It's all mine to do.

I started reading the book already and it's wonderful. I'm so excited.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Oh, right.

I'm back, btw.

And I started my internship at this small publishing house here in Berkeley today. It was nice. I have to do mundane office work, but I think we're actually going to do real projects too. Either way, it's something to do, right?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I wish I had a clever pun about Italy

Florence is really beautiful, but my mother has sort of been driving me up the wall. She can be quite controlling and condescending, which is funny because she would always tell me that I can be very bossy and rude to people. I've never said that it's probably because I learned from the best, and I don't think vacation is the most opportune moment to bring it up.

Anyway, Florence. Really pretty. Very touristy though. I like the quieter parts of towns, especially little parks. And I'm already getting sick of churches, which is bad news as it's only Day 2 and there are 14 days total. But today we did this cooking lesson at someone's house in the countryside and we made pasta by hand and everything was delicious. I want to be in a small town, like I was last time I came to Italy. But I think some of the other towns on our itinerary are quite small, like the towns in Cinque Terre. I'm super excited for that.

Um, I have nothing else to add and I'm really disappointed that I have no cohesive structure to this entry, so, uh..... gelato!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Bitches ain't shit

So the reason for hanging out with people from high school on Thursday was one John Yang's birthday. John Yang and I had auto shop and journalism together, and I had sort of forgotten that I actually like him as a person. I was not invited to this party per se, but I went with Mikko, and when I got there I was pleasantly surprised at how happy John Yang* was to see me. We kept jokingly getting in each others faces and pretending to be ghetto.

"Oh shit," John Yang says, "I'm Eminem. But Arielle here is Dr. Dre."

That's right, bitches. I would use certain offense racial slurs to show off my street cred, but as much as saying them out loud doesn't phase me, putting it down in writing on the Internet, free to be mis-interpreted, sort of does.

Also, I'm leaving for a two-week vacation to Italy in a few hours so later!

*Yes, it's always John Yang. Never just John.

Friday, June 4, 2010

High school reunions

"Can I tell you something?" Tri asks. He's rolling pretty hard at this point.

"Um, okay."

"I always thought you were really pretty in high school," he says. Apparently people are really honest when they're on E. I've never done E, and I can't say I spend a lot of time with people who do, but my experiences thus far all seem to point towards that fact.

"Oh. Thanks."

"Can I ask you a question?"


"Can I kiss you?"

"Sorry, but no."

Oh, man. Seeing people from high school, right?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Lie with me and just forget the world

See, this is proper May weather. Why have you been holding out on me, Berkeley?

Monday, May 24, 2010

False advertising

Bernadette and I were sick of Berkeley, so we took the train to Stanford and spent the weekend at Bernadette's sister's apartment. Bernadette and her sister, Francis, are so adorable together. They're banter warms my heart. (Yes. Shut up.)

Anyway, Stanford, unlike Berkeley, is not in a college town, but rather a bit isolated from the nearby city of Palo Alto, which is basically an insanely rich suburb. So Stanford is a bit boring. Beautiful, but boring. We went to the Stanford mall, at whose Victoria's Secret had Cal gear, which is weird. Bernadette and I bought the shirts pictured above, because they were on sale, even though it is a LIE. In fact, I'm pretty sure none of the people I've ever kissed are Cal fans.

Speaking of people I've kissed who are definitely not Cal fans, I hung out with that guy I made out with last time I was at Stanford. It was really awkward. He still has pictures of his ex-girlfriend in his room. Which is entirely his prerogative. After all, who am I to tell him how to get over his ex? But it doesn't mean I still want to hook up with him. Especially since I went to the bathroom to give him a chance to discreetly hide them should he want to, and he didn't. Also, I kinda look like her. Not that I spent much time observing the photos, but she has blonde hair and what looked like a long-ish nose, much like mine. So basically: awkward.

A salted caramel cupcake from one of those ridiculously over-priced, 'gourmet' cupcake bakeries. But I have to admit, it was delicious. I guess they charge $3.25 for a reason.

The pizza I made at Theta Chi with Ben! It was also delicious, and not expensive at all. What a refreshing change of pace.

Bernadette hiding behind her pillow. I find this so funny. She is so cute.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Singin' in the rain

This is what I wore on my birthday. I had a group interview at Anthropologie, then I went to dinner at a Salvadorian restaurant (delicious), and swing dancing. Oh, and Kimberly and I found this place called Mission Pie in San Francisco. It's this totally yuppie, organic/vegan pie shop in the middle of the Mission District (which is mostly Hispanic and full of taquerias) which I find hilarious. But they make a mean slice of strawberry rhubarb.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Epitomizing my teenagedom

I did nothing fun, spontaneous, or immature in my last few hours as a teenager. I guess it's fitting, as that's how I spent most of those years: being really fucking bored.

Ah, what am I saying? It wasn't really that bad, was it? ('It' being the hours before my 20th birthday and my adolescence.)

Plus, Kimberly baked me a pie this afternoon. We were watching Pushing Daisies and got inspired. It was delicious.

So there's that.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Magic powder*

Yesterday, the fourth graders I teach about nutrition** in Oakland told me that today they were selling lemonade to raise money for their afterschool program, the very one I teach through, and could I please come? Oh, of course, without a doubt.

So Bernadette and I went to Fruitvale, although not after waiting an ungodly amount of time for the bus, which I sure as hell hope was because everyone is graduating/moving out and the traffic on College was awful.

"This better be fucking bomb lemonade."

Okay, so it wasn't 'fucking bomb'. But it didn't bomb. It was very good! I had the strawberry lemonade, which was very, very good! And then we got lunch, and beignets. They were the highlight of today (I wish they were the highlight of every day).

I also bought my dad this awesome watch for Fathers' Day. I don't think my dad's personal taste extends much beyond Hawaiian shirts, but I hope he likes it. If he doesn't, hell, I'll wear it. I think it's fab.

The only thing that would've made today better is if Steve had let me meet his roommate from Newcastle (Newcastle!) last night.

Oh well. You can't have everything, can you?

*not that kind of powder
**hahahahha, I know

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Finals are over! Let us rejoice the only way we know how: with bad awesome pop music!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

You know I'm gonna be okay

I only have one more final tomorrow. Then I will be freeeeeeeeeee.*

I've already started compiling my summer playlist.

*Until August 26th.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Diecinueve de mayo

My roommates and I went out to dinner at a Mexican restaurant last night under the pretense that it was for Cinco de Mayo. At the end of the evening, when I was trying to get a to-go box for Gracie's leftover, I see Gracie get up and go talk to people in the kitchen, which happened to be right in front of our table.

"Why the fuck is Gracie standing in the kitchen?" I asked.

"She probably knows the kitchen staff," Hana deadpanned. I wanted to make a joke along those same lines, but more something about Latino brethren, but had decided it was too racist for me. I'm glad Hana made it instead.

When Gracie finally came out of the kitchen, she was accompanied by our waiter and the hostess, carrying a cinnamon tostada with candles in it. Even though my birthday is not for another two weeks, it's still a nice surprise.

"Wow," Kristy said later, looking at the bill. "Your meal was really cheap."

"Yeah, I would've spent more money if I'd known you guys were paying."

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Now THAT'S progressive

Kimberly and I got to Stanford around 9:30 p.m. last night. My mom called, and I told her we were staying the night with Ben before driving down this morning. She said, "Oh, so you guys are going to go to bed soon because you'll be getting up early, right?"

Yeah. Right.

What we did instead was this thing called a Progressive. Called such because as you progress from one location to the next (drinking themed drinks at each place), you become progressively drunker. Obviously.

I love how at Stanford you can actually carry open containers of alcohol around campus, and drink in the dorms. Cal housing is not actually on campus, but in the actual city of Berkeley, so you can get arrested for that. Not to mention the dorms are very strict about alcohol; you're supposed to get kicked out if you even have any in your room. So plus one to Stanford for their chill alcohol policy. Also, people at Stanford are actually classy and make real mixed drinks, instead of just taking shots as we Cal kids do. So another point to them for raising the bar on excessive alcohol consumption.

Speaking of excessive alcohol consumption, it makes you do silly things. Like make out with a really cute guy at 12:40 a.m., May 1st when he just broke up with his girlfriend on April 30th. Although honestly, that's his problem to deal with, not mine. Even though my friends were making contingency plans in case I went home with him, I managed to prove that even Cal students can be classy sometimes and I went back to Ben's dorm.

Also, as I mentioned, today is May 1st! So, in honor of that, NSFW!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

How poetic

Our final assignment for this non-science major neurobiology class I'm taking was to write haiku about the brain, mind, or behavior. Now, this class is really easy. In fact, ridiculously easy. But I would've preferred if they didn't give us assignments that seem designed to purposely insult our intelligence. But, alas, this was not the case.

And if this stupid assignment, my GSI decided to make us write haiku during discussion, round robin style! We all had to add one word. This is the genius we came up with:

Capsaicin is ouch
Found in a dark pepper, hot
Taste fire burns tongues, ouch!

Umami tastes good
Delicious sensation now
unlike sugar's taste

Puffer fish are sharp
And behave like a fat fish

I'm pretty sure none of these is actually 5-7-5. Ugh.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Let's go to the mall!

Another absolutely beautiful day, wasted in the throes of the penultimate symbol of our parasitic consumer culture—the mall.

I'm just kidding. It was still lovely, even if we did spend most of it at the mall. Plus, I bought cute shoes!

Bernadette doesn't want me taking her photo.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A proper tea party*

You know it's a properly stiff upper lip, English tea when the whole journey to the tea house was laden with passive-aggressive drama, but here we are, smiling like there's absolutely nothing wrong.

The drama sort of dissipated with the tea though. I think it was the scones. Those were fucking delicious.

*Unlike a certain right-wing, American political movement.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Time to nut up or shut up

Zombie Prom '10, y'all!

Afterwards, we were on Chat Roulette until 4 a.m. in our zombie make-up. People thought we were supposed to be vampires. LAME.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

With a cherry on top

"Why does mine have sprinkles and yours doesn't?" Kimberly asks peering over at my milkshake.

"Probably 'cause the waiter is in love with you, like always," I reply. It wouldn't be the first time. A group of Boy Scouts once offered her their boat, even though she did not ask and had not mentioned any need for a boat.

"But he got our milkshakes mixed up!" she exclaimed suddenly. "The sprinkles must've been meant for you."

I laughed. And blushed, probably. I turn red at the slightest embarrassment.

When the waiter came back with our cards and the checks for us to sign, Kimberly was in the bathroom. And he (awkwardly) tries to talk to me, saying, "You look so young in [the picture on my debit card]! It's really cute!" Such awkward attempts at flirting are not attractive.

Oh dear. I guess those sprinkles were for me.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Soy muy autentica

I was making Hana watch All About My Mother ('cause that is an excellent fucking movie, natch!) and during the bit where La Agrado was bitching about drag queens and how they were annoying and fake and ostentatious, she says, "Have you ever seen a bald woman?"

Hana and I exchanged a look then burst out laughing.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

On growing up

"Don't laugh while I'm shaving your head!" Gracie chides. "Wow, I'm never gonna get to say that again, am I?"

"Probably not," Hana replies, half her head shaven, the other half covered in Barbasol. "You might as well live it up while you can."

Some people deal with officially leaving their teenage years by playing ding dong ditch or going to the park. Hana deals with it by going bald and buying a neon-colored wig. My 20th birthday is in a month and a half, and I wonder what needlessly immature thing I'm going to do to celebrate.

"Oh, don't worry," Hana tells me, sharing a look with Gracie. "We already have something planned for you."

I fear what this might be, but for now I can't worry, because I have to go help finish shaving my roommate's hair off.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


The last night of spring break, we decided to go to a park, something we had not done all week, which is strange, because it tends to be what we do when we hang out.

So after an hour of playing tag, Kimberly decides to show us her pole dancing moves on the firemen poles on the playground. (If the cops had come by at this moment, it would've been amazing. And awkward. But mostly amazing.) Janelle and Katie and Maureen trying out the pole dancing moves is to be expected, but when Mikko and Brandon and Elliot went for it (and were all surprisingly good at it), well, that's just one of those moments of discovery that gives you new and valuable insight into your friends.

Then, for some reason, Maureen asked why girl push-ups were called 'girl push-ups'. And I answered, without thinking of being more specific and less innuendo-y, "Because you're on your knees."

Yeah. It was definitely that kind of night.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Can you hear that?

It's a rare moment of silence amongst us, because we are never quiet. Not because we have something important to say, but because the meaningless things you say in life are usually the most fun. But for once, no one is saying anything.

We are lying on our towels at the beach, completely silent. I do my best to sear this moment into my brain, because I feel like it's possibly the only time it will ever happen. I listen to the waves crashing and feel the sun and wind and occasionally a seagull caws and I consider that they are rallying their battle formation to close in and attack our picnic, but not even that can make me open my eyes and let this moment go. Because for me, this is a moment of clarity, where everything is perfect and I'm not going to worry about seagulls or sunscreen or school.

We never shut the fuck up. But we're quiet right now, if just for now. At this very moment, we don't need to say anything. But just for a moment.

Can you hear that? Laura asks.

Yeah, Kimberly says, it was the sound of silence. But not anymore.

And she jumps up, energetic and rambunctious once again. And we resume talking, not saying anything important, but enjoying the hell out of it nonetheless.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

100% organic

Yesterday I was hanging out with an old friend who I haven't seen in forever. She's been vegan for two years, and we went to Whole Foods to pick up some vegan desserts. Because there's no way you could get me into a Whole Foods otherwise. I'm just way too cheap.

Anyway, the whole point of this story is that we saw someone in Whole Foods who wasn't white! I swear, it's a good thing 2012 is coming soon, because the world is clearly turning upside down.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack

Laura's 21st birthday was on Thursday. Her parents left for Death Valley for the weekend on Friday, which Laura thought must surely be a trap, but we had a party and they did not pop out from behind the sofa or show up at 4 a.m. to bust us.

We had an excellent time. We almost finished the giant bottle of So Co that Elliot gave Laura as a gift. Maureen, our resident lightweight, fell off the couch and got herself stuck between the couch and another armchair after only two drinks. I had many a heart-to-heart with many a person. The only remotely embarrassing thing that happened was Elliot, who is the MOST awkward-turtle person I know, telling me and Brandon that we needed to get ourselves some more confidence. And it's only embarrassing because IT'S SO TRUE.

Mikko left around 4 a.m. for work, but came back around 9. I was asleep in the living room, and his knocking woke me up, so I decided to just get up. He saw me and said, "You look like Kesha*."

"Yeah," I yawned. "And I feel like P. Diddy."

*I refuse to spell her name with that stupid dollar sign.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Frightened by the bite though it's no harsher than the bark

I am so addicted to the Arctic Monkeys right now. This song is leading my current obsession.

I adore the line "In my imagination you're waiting lying on your side with your hands between your thighs". I think it's so straightforward and one might even call it perverse, but I think it's beautiful and almost haunting in its honesty.

So I'm going to keep listening instead of finishing my Spanish composition.

Monday, March 15, 2010

In the sun, sun having fun

The weather this weekend was so nice. It was sunny and relatively warm, so I took full advantage by going on a three-hour walk with a guy I met at swing dancing, who I am going to dub Nerdgasm because he's a nuclear engineering major and has a major Jew fro and wears Transition lens glasses. He took me to this rose garden waaaay up a hill on the north side of campus. I might be a little enamoured.

Today was, as all true nerds know, Pi Day. Hana and I went to dinner and got pie to celebrate.

I am still slightly sunburnt, but it was well worth it.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Mentally stimulating

We were having a debate in my Brain, Mind & Behavior discussion today. The resolution was "A legitimate use of pharmaceutical stimulants such as amphetamine and methylphenidate should be cognitive enhancement for 'normal' individuals." Basically, people without any diagnosed medical condition should be allowed to take Ritalin or Aderall or whatever other drugs to help improve cognition and focus and decrease fatigue.

Despite the affirmative's assertion that these drugs do no have negative side effects when used in the proper dosages (even though, logically speaking, artificially stimulating your brain to work when it wants to sleep can not be good for it, and while the damage may not be significant in the short term, there is no fucking way that it can be good for you in the long term), I still think it's a bad idea. Aren't we, as a society, already in a cut-throat competition with one another? Do we really need to encourage further drastic measures to make ourselves better than our competitors?

And sadly, I think we do.

When I say 'I think we do', I don't mean 'I think we should'. I mean that with the way our society operates, we have no choice in the matter.

I've read plenty of shallow, half-baked articles in teen magazines about how 'Ritalin abuse is on the rise among high school students; oh dear, it's dreadful, isn't it?'. All these articles love to espouse horrifying statistics about how many more girls admit to taking amphetamines or other stimulants to help them study because if they don't get good grades, their parents won't give them a car for their sixteenth birthday, or whatever. While these articles are probably good at scaring the shit out of parents, they never seem to even try to explain why this actually happens. And I should preface this by saying I'm no expert, and this is all speculation, but I feel like I'm on the right track: it's all Adam Smith's fault.

Okay, not capitalism, per se. I have no desire to see the One True Communist Revolution go down any time soon. But consumerist capitalism, specifically, seems to be the impetus behind this cut-throat competition.

Our current consumerist economic model is based on growth. Each quarter, companies are expected to hire more people, sell more products, and make more money. Once population growth wasn't enough to sustain these growth expectations, marketing companies invented planned and perceived obsolescence. Everyone bought more stuff they didn't need or didn't even want. And they needed more money to buy this stuff. And to get more money, you have to work harder and do better in school so you can get a better job, etc. It goes on and on.

But there are more and more people vying for a proportionally smaller pool of opportunities, so it's getting more competitive, and sooner. For example, when my mother was a high school senior in the early 1970s, she had only taken one Advanced Placement course in her entire high school career, and she took it because she was interested in the subject. I, on the other hand, took nine AP courses throughout high school, and most of them only because I was convinced I needed them to be a viable candidate for college admissions.

All the competition doesn't stop once you get the well-paying job: no, companies also want their workers to be more productive, get more done in less time so more shit that no one actually needs can be produced. So this is what the (Western, industrialised) world has become. Work harder and harder to get less and less.

The biggest problem with this system is that it relies on the assumption of infinite growth, which relies on the assumption of infinite resources, both of the physical and mental varieties. The fact is that even as we keep trying to get more for less, there is still only a finite amount. Each person only has a finite amount of mental faculties before they drop dead because they haven't slept in ten days.

We are so concerned with living up to this impossible standard of infinity that we've stopped listening to what our bodies know, because they've been perfecting it over the past 200,000 years: when to stop. When your body is tired, it's telling you it needs sleep, because it has things to repair and cells to regenerate. Drugs fucking with your neurotransmitters, flooding them with signals to give you an extra five hours of energy, is not going to change what your body really needs.

What's the point in living if we're just going to become automatons, working so hard to attain that idealised success if we have to sacrifice at best, the time we have to enjoy those things that make us happy or at worst, our health and humanity? Why should I put so much effort and hard work into trying to make myself as the most qualified when ten other people are doing the exact same thing, only they have a bottle of Ritalin, making it impossible for me to compete? Why should I do all that work to get the job I've been told I need so I can buy stuff I wouldn't have even thought about needing forty or fifty years ago? Am I going to be fitter? Happier? More productive? (Okay, actually, yes. I guess these Radiohead lyrics aren't the perfect allusion.)

Apologies for the Durden-esque digression. As nice as the idea of starting over and blowing up all the bank buildings so everything goes back to zero sounds, I have no illusions that it would make things magically better. I know practically anything and everything I say is going to sound like a wannabe-revolutionary cliché, and I hate that, but that's sometimes the very (not) difficult struggle that I, as a middle-class college student, have to contend with.

Regardless, at risk of sounding like an unoriginal asshole (which is, after all, in the URL), I do often wonder if we as a society need to take a moment to stop and look at our priorities, to see where things are headed. Because I don't like the fact that people who think encouraging people to take "mental stimulants" to get an edge is a good idea. (All three people on the affirmative side of the debate said they ended up agreeing with the resolution.) I don't want to feel (or ultimately cave into) the pressure to take drugs to perform better because I have no choice if I want to keep up. I just want to live my life in a reasonable way and to give to future generations the same opportunity to live comfortably. I just want to be happy.

And this is how I wasted two hours instead of doing my Spanish homework. Maybe I could use something to help me focus...

Monday, March 8, 2010

Deep relaxation

I actually dropped this class weeks ago, and I meant to write about it but never got around to it. So I'll write about it now, even though the topic has, for all intents and purposes, expired. The class was called "Yoga: Gentle and Restorative".

It was not a class I needed for anything, but I figured it would be good to take a gym class, just for a way to force myself to go to the gym more often (because nothing forces me to do something like the threat of a pass/fail grade!), which turned out not to be necessary because I've actually been going to the gym three days a week consistently, yay me! Anyway. I thought it would be like regular yoga, with the breathing and the holding uncomfortable positions to build strength and flexibility, but it was not.

It turns out that the "gentle and restorative" part actually means "meditation bullshit" part. And I don't mean "bullshit" in the casual, hyperbolic way I usually use it.

The teacher constantly used the words "gentle" and "restorative" and "relaxing" and "deep relaxtion", which, yes, is actually two words. I realised, on the first day of class where he just showed us the "equipment" (I'll get to that in a minute), that this class was not going to be the yoga I thought it was. But that's okay, I thought, Why not take two hours out of my week to relax all my muscles and my brain and get all those great zen-ish benefits he's rambling on about?

I should've known better. Because part of our "equipment" was blankets.

The next week, when we actually started the "yoga", I quickly discovered what it really was: glorified nap time. We sat in "poses", sometimes for almost twenty minutes at a time, usually laying down on our backs, covered in blankets. And you know what I did in that first class? I FELL ASLEEP.

"Didn't that feel great?" the instructor (I refuse to call him a professor) asked.

"That felt like a nap," I whispered to the girl next to me.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

On the other side of the universe

I've felt really distant this whole weekend. I worked Friday and today covering shifts for people in addition to my usual Saturday shift, so I didn't really have time to do much or talk to anyone other than Bernadette Samson. Probably didn't help that half my roommates weren't even here all weekend. But I was walking to a meeting this evening and my legs were carrying me but I couldn't even feel them; I was just gliding down the street, completely disconnected from the lower half of my body.

I just want to watch Dead Like Me and not go to class tomorrow.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

It's late and I'm feeling poetic


La luz que de tus pies sube a tu cabellera,
la turgencia que envuelve tu forma delicada,
no es de nácar marino, nunca de plata fría:
eres de pan, de pan amado por el fuego.
La harina levantó su granero contigo
y creció incrementada por la edad venturosa,
cuando los cereales duplicaron tu pecho
mi amor era el carbón trabajando en la tierra.
Oh, pan tu frente, pan tus piernas, pan tu boca,
pan que devoro y nace con luz cada mañana,
bienamada, bandera de las panaderías,
una lección de sangre te dio el fuego,
de la harina aprendiste a ser sagrada,
y del pan el idioma y el aroma.

Pablo Neruda

A poet that loves food as much as I do.

Bernadette Samson, Hana and I just had an hour-long discussion about science, god, and the nature of the universe. And that one episode of Futurama. You know, the one where Bender has a civilisation on his ass.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Adventures in cooking

Being a poor (not really) college student trying to make and cement healthier eating habits, I've been doing a lot of cooking for myself. Usually this involves mostly just making sandwiches or quesadillas and salads, because I don't have a lot of time.* But occasionally, when I a few free hours,** I try random recipes I find online or even cook by the seat of my pants and do it without a recipe at all!

What I've made so far, and the gustational outcomes:
  • hummus (I don't know from which recipe. I didn't drain the canned chickpeas first though, so it was a bit watery but tasty nevertheless and worked really nicely as a spread on sandwiches.)
  • falafel (which was delicious, and all my roommates agree)
  • lasagna (only replacing the sausage with more ground beef and the cottage cheese with ricotta)
  • baked chicken with caramelised onions (which I made for dinner with my friend Bernadette who is still going on about how it was the most delicious meal she's ever had, which I count as a victory)
  • lemon bread (which did not come out properly due to the fact that I had to use just baking soda instead of baking powder, but it still tasted pretty good and my roommates liked it as well)
  • guacamole (I basically just chopped up some onion and tomato and mashed it in with avocado. But I'm going to count it anyway, dammit!)
  • meatloaf (which I made tonight, sin una receta, which was approved heartily by Bernadette and Kristy)
So basically, I'm a culinary genius.*** And my mother thought she needed to teach me how to cook!

*a.k.a. I'm lazy
**a.k.a. get up off my lazy ass
***I am not a culinary genius

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Anything shiny is a girl's best friend

"If I ever get a boyfriend," Kimberly says to me as we look around the jewelry section at Macy's, "and don't break his heart immediately--"

"--or turn him gay*," I add.

"--or turn him gay," she continues, "you should tell him that I like sparkly jewelry."

"Duly noted."

*This has only happened once and they were both in eighth grade so that doesn't even count, but we like to bring it up from time to time all the freakin' time.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I'm like baby, baby, baby, noooo

I was working in the dish room this evening, and the dish room is always fun because we always have the radio blasting, so all my co-workers get to see my beautiful renditions of "Let's Stay Together" and "You Belong With Me" and "Tik Tok" and "Bad Romance". (Renditions that I'm sure they enjoy hearing as much as I do performing.) And then this fucking Justin Bieber song comes on.

This song really scares me. Well, not the song (which does have just amazingly profound lyrics, you have got to admit), but the video. Because has no one else, like the police or child services, noticed that THIS KID IS, LIKE, ELEVEN?* I mean, I know young people love their pop stars and all, but I thought they waited until puberty was a little bit closer before throwing poor, unsuspecting boys into the spotlight.

Also, stop smiling, Justin Bieber. Your first love just broke your heart for the first time! Don't look so fucking chipper!

*I am aware that he's actually fifteen, not eleven. BUT HE LOOKS LIKE HE'S ELEVEN.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

We live in a classy neighborhood, part 2

A few days back I was taking a shower. And I don't say this like it, in and of itself, is a singular or special event. I take showers all the time, obviously. And usually, I have our bathroom window, which is right about eye level in our shower, open quite a bit, because otherwise it's like a freakin' marine layer of hot steam in our bathroom.

So there's nothing inherently unusual about this shower that I'm taking. Until I happen to glance out the window and THERE IS A GUY STANDING THERE, STARING STRAIGHT AT ME.

I freaked the fuck out and quickly slammed the window closed.

When I told Mikko about it on AIM, he joked, "Oh yeah, that was me. Nice tits."

Ugh. He would.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

And we'll braid each other's hair

People who live in the Bay Area (or know anything about San Francisco) know that weird shit happens there all the time. And if you're walking down the street with a pillow under your arm, a native will ask you where the pillow fight is. But a tourist, who you can already pick out because they're riding on the ridiculously over-priced (even for San Francisco) and snail-paced cable cars they think are a quintessential part of the SF experience, will ask, "Why do you have a pillow?"

"Because we're going to have a sleepover in Union Square," I wanted to yell back.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Pillow fight!

Pillow fight!, originally uploaded by sappycoldplaywhore.

"I kept getting into mini one-on-one pillow fights with really cute guys, but I didn't want to lose Kimberly so I stuck with her instead," I said to Bernadette as we walked to dinner after our epic pillowing fighting at Justin Herman plaza.

"Clearly, you don't have your priorities straight," Kimberly replied.

I'll keep that in mind for next Valentine's Day.