Friday, May 21, 2010

A "Hairy" Situation

So yesterday I ventured out to do one of the bravest tasks any human can do. No, I didn’t climb Mt. Everest, or sign up for the Peace Corp. I went to the hair salon. “What’s so brave about that,” you might ask?? Well, because going to a new hair stylist (especially in a foreign country) is quite possibly the scariest most daunting experience ever!

I have gone to two different hair dressers in my entire life. Two! That’s it! Marcia and Claire. I only trust THEM to touch my hair, I only value THEIR opinions, and I only like the way THEY style it. I went through 3 years at UC Davis without seeing a single hair dresser except when I went back home to LA for Christmas and Summer, because I was convinced if I let someone else do my hair, I would wind up looking like a little boy in his second grade school photo with a bowl-cut.

But yesterday, I had finally had it with my hair, and my fears. My hair was simply just too long, and too dead, and was getting too hard to deal with every morning. I had had enough. After spending most of my day going back and forth, “should I go or should I just wait till I get home in September,” I just grit my teeth, shut my eyes, and walked into the hair salon cowering like a little lost puppy.

In place of a pretentious, snooty receptionist, there was the ol’ “take a number” and wait for your number to appear on the magical board. I call it a magical board because it really was. There was no rhyme or reason or any sort of logical, cohesive order to this board. When I first sat down, it was on number 56. I had number 17A. So it was really just impossible to tell how many people were in front of you, so you really did have to pay extra close attention to whatever random-ass number they were going to call next.

Something I noticed however, while waiting there, was even though by my standards this was a very atypical hair salon experience so far, is that there is at least ONE universal truth about all hairsalons, regardless of their location or budget: tacky 1980s-1990s “hair style magazines.” They have magazines full of thousands of awful, awful, AWFUL haircuts that have gone down in history as “worst trends of all time.” We’re talking asymmetrical mullets, very angular, spikes, awful coloring. Essentially David Bowie/ Jon Bon Jovie at their prime sort of hairstyles. I do NOT understand how these magazines stay in business, or furthermore, why every single salon in the world seems to find it appropriate, nay, necessary for these magazines to go on existing! It’s just one of those things, right up there with “how did life come to be” that we just may never really understand the answer to…

So anyway, the next observation I make, which I’ve actually known about myself my entire life, is how timid I am when it comes to making decisions about my hair. I’ll sit there, reading my magazine, looking at pictures of Natalie Portman, or Angelina Jolie, or the “it” celebrity du jour, and think to myself “ya! I want too look like her!! I could pull of that massive bang, and those massive curls! Let’s do it!” My mind starts day dreaming of all the different styles and new things I could try out with my new hair. So what if I have a calic that makes it impossible for me to have bangs?? Nothing that an hour with some expensive styling gel and hairspray can’t fix!! So what that I have ultra fine hair that makes it impossible to curl or have any lasting hairdo that isn’t stick straight?? Maybe if I invested in a really nice curling iron or hair curlers I wouldn’t have that problem! Oh and that overly priced wax that she just put in that girls hair. I have no idea how to use it, but I bet it’s worth the $100 per bottle!

But then that moment comes, when your hairdresser says “so what are we doing today??” And you want so badly to point at that picture of Angelina, and say “this please! Make me look like her!” but ultimately you wimp out, and very dejectedly sigh, “oh I don’t know.. just a trim I guess…”

I guess I’m fine these days with the trim and the same ol’ hairstyle. I’ve come to terms with myself that I simply don’t want to take the time and energy that inevitably comes with having a fabulous hairdo. Sure it looks great (and I mean GREAT) when you come out of the salon feeling like a million bucks (and spending close to that amount, too…), but the sad reality of it is, is I just simply can’t replicate that look, no matter how hard I try.

For instance: every time I see Claire to get my hair done, she always dries it using a round soft brush, and tells me I should buy one and dry my hair like she does. But then, flashback to yesterday, at this haircut place, you have to dry and style your own hair. So I of course pick the “soft round brush” and try to do that curling effect thing, and I swear to god, it is impossible!! There is just no possible way for any normal human to simultaneously hold a hair dryer, while also using that stupid round brush, and drying to get it to wrap around your hair and look nice and “voluminous” and stylish!! Impossible!!

Anyway, the moral of the story, is I’m glad I got my hair cut, and it only cost 12 euros, and it was also a good German practice session. The end.

Till next time,


Monday, May 17, 2010

The Hills(iary) are alive, with the sound of....

Today I’m going to write about something that has been maybe one of the important aspects of my life: Music. Everyone has a favorite type of music, whether it’s the mindless hits on Billboard’s Weekly Top 40, the classics from back in the 60’s, or the original classics of Mozart, Beethoven, and Chopin. Not many people I know now know this about me, but music has been a part of my life ever since about the same age that I learned how to read and write.
For most kids’ 6th birthdays they get cool hotwheels sets, Candyland, Barbie’s Malibu Dream House, Disney movies, doodlebears, etc, etc… But not me. I got “piano lessons.” One could tangibly feel my disappointment, as I learned that THAT was going to be my birthday present, and not that Princess Jasmine (from Aladdin) Barbie doll that I wanted to badly. Little did I know then, that I got the jackpot of all birthday presents- the one that keeps on giving all year long (that was for you my fellow Christmas Vacation fans).
Roughly two years after starting my piano lessons, I decided to kick my music career up a notch, and added the trumpet to my repetoire. The day I decided I wanted to play the trumpet was the same day my mom said, “are you sure?? It’s just so noisy and not-girly. Are you sure you don’t want to play the flute, or the violin??.” I was sure. I was immediately fascinated by the trumpet. I loved how loud it could be, how high it could play, and the feel of the cold steel against my mouth and hands. Although I was deathly embarrassed to be caught playing both piano and trumpet alone, some of my proudest moments and most treasured memories include my piano recitals and band/orchestra concerts and performances.
I know that band gets a dorky reputation, and to a degree I understand why. Generally speaking, the kids who choose music over athletics (ESPECIALLY at such an awkward age as pre-pubescence and teenage years) tend to be more awkwardly developed physically, but make up for it in theirtalents elsewhere. The great paradox of this however, is that while kids who take up classical music are looked at with such animosity and this overbearing umbrella term of “geek,” the kids who start a band and sing and play guitar or drums are somehow.. not? I don’t understand why there is such a discrepancy between rock music being “cool” and consequently those who are part of rock bands are also cool, while classical music is the exact opposite. I mean, who are we kidding, of course to a degree I “get it,” but when you get down to the principle basics behind both rock bands and classical orchestras, there really isn’t a whole lot of difference. In both cases, it is performed by people with an affinity for music, the talent to perform it, and the desire to share their talent with others.

And now im COMPLETELY off topic. Where I was TRYING to go with this post was the reconnect it with my LAST post where I was having a midlife crisis about my life. Anyway, since I’ve already drabbled on and on, I’ll make this part short. I was thinking about all my memories and experiences where I was truly happy and truly proud of myself, and most of my band and piano memories are my most treasured. But what about those kids who didn’t get piano lessons for their birthday? Should they be denied the same sort of gratification and happiness that I eventually got out of it?? What if these kids who aren’t getting piano lessons and trumpets are the same kids who live in really low-income neighborhoods and don’t get ANY opportunities- musically speaking or otherwise?? How is it fair that I grew up in Arcadia, which has one of the best established music programs arguably in the country, but my neighbors, literally down the street in El Monte or Downtown LA don’t even have a school-funded music program at all?? Anyway. Longstory short. I was thinking it would be “nice” (to use the most underwhelming word I could) to help these innercity kids learn music, and to bring the same sort of pride and sense of accomplishment I felt to them.

This was a very strange blog post for me. It’s probably the post I’ve felt most passionate about, and yet was the hardest for me to write (which I’m sure is evident in my writing style). I clearly can’t express in writing how important Music has been throughout my childhood and life, so I’m just going to post a few links to some clips that really inspire me and literally give me chills because of how great they are.


Till next time.


Yo-yo Ma playing Bach. Unbelievable.

The final installment from Mussorgski's Pictures at an Exhibition: The Great Gate at Kiev. I saw this live played by the LA Phil and my ears were ringing a full DAY later because of the crescendo at the end.

Super nerdy I know. My sophomore year of Band... you should probably skip ahead to 2-3 mins, since we take forever to get on the field ha

Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Don't worry I'm not buying that Harley... yet...

Holy bajeezus I am sorry!!! I don’t know whom exactly I’m apologizing to, mostly myself for not keeping up with my pledge to write like I wanted, but also to those of you out there who care enough to keep up with me and my thoughts, I’m sorry for being so neglectful of this blog. There are a plethora of excuses I could throw out there for not updating more frequently, but what it comes right down to is laziness. So, for the final time, I’m sorry!!

The difficult thing about maintaining a blog that I’ve noticed, however, is that I feel a certain pressure to only blog about “interesting” things. What I lack in artistic creativity, I need to make up for in interesting themes and topics, so as you can imagine, it’s not until I have that sort of “ah-HA!” (light bulb goes off above my head) moments before I can muster up the courage to sit down and write about something I feel both passionate about, and yet think is interesting enough for other people to want to read about it too.

Unfortunately, today is not one of those days. I don’t have some sort of unique topic that nobody has ever thought about before that I’m going to wittily jabber away about. Today’s blog post will be a bit more personal, and yet universal to everyone. Today’s topic is the ever-notorious, midlife crisis.

There are stereotypes for everything, and a midlife crisis is not excluded from that. When I think about the type of person who should get a midlife crisis, my mind immediately jumps to a scene from one of my favorite films, Father of the Bride 2. George Banks (played by Steve Martin) finds out that he is going to be a grandfather. While the rest of the family celebrates the miracle of life, George dyes his hair, purchases a sports car, tries to woo a supermodel, and purchases racy and seductive lingerie in an attempt to reenact a honeymoon-sequel evening for his wife, Nina (Diane Keaton). While these are clearly exaggerated examples embellished for comedic effect, the root of the issue is still tangible: we are inherently afraid of not accomplishing everything we ever wanted out of life.

So why, at the age of 21, am I talking about this being a personal and universal experience?? Well, because for the past several days, I too, have been having my very own “quarter-life” crisis.

My problem, however, isn’t that I’m worried I won’t have time to do the things I want, but rather, that I don’t even know what it is that I want to do, and NOW should be the time to do it!! Several factors contributed to this all-too traumatic experience of mine. The first is that it’s May. Why is May such a daunting month you ask?? Because it means that summer is upon us. And what happens every summer?? It goes too quickly. And suddenly, it’s fall again. And if you don’t believe me, ask yourself, when was summer vacation ever TOO long??


So, keeping in mind that logic, that means it’s practically already fall. I am going to be a college graduate at the end of fall. And as we all know, the quarter system (that UC Davis is on) expedites things and makes time seemingly fly by since there is so much work to be done in such a short amount of time. So, using all of these really logical and scientifically accurate depictions of time that I’ve already established, I’m already a college graduate and have no idea what I want to do with my degree, where I want to live, what kind of person do I want to be.

Do I want to live a life of financial stability, but simultaneously sell my soul and work ungodly hours for some multinational company that sees me as a dispensable migrant worker??

Or do I want to engage myself in things that I enjoy and never truly commit to any one career path, which will ultimately lead to living paycheck to paycheck, probably without kids, because I couldn’t support them the way they deserve to be, and live like a nomad.

Or, will I be one of the very few and fortunate people who actually finds a job they like AND that pays well without being overworked to death, and can find that serene balance between work and play and happiness that I desire so much. As much as I want this last option, the problem still remains that I have no idea what this mystery dream job could be!

Anyway, I know most people don’t like to read this much, and I think I’ve already made my point, so I’m going to stop talking before this argument spirals out of control. But, if you happen to be a therapist, or just have any sort of words of advice that you’d be willing to lend, I’m more than eager to listen.

Thanks for reading, and here’s to hoping it’s not another light-year before I update again :p Till next time.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Return to blogging and random uninteressting things...

Hello folks,

Sorry about the hiatus! Like I mentioned in the post before, I recently got back to Berlin, and was entertaining my Mom all week by doing tourist stuff, so I’ve had very little time to actually sit down and write. And before I write any more, can anyone explain to me why all my pictures and youtube videos that I upload get cut-off so that you can only see the left half of it?? If anyone would be so kind as to let me know how to correct this problem, I would appreciate it a lot!!

So I’ve had a difficult time deciding what my triumphant return post to blogging would be. There are SO many options right now that I can hardly keep them all straight. Most of my “good ideas” are pretty profound and require a lot of thinking and typing and research, so for the moment I’m going to pass on those and just keep it simple, until I slowly come back into the world of blogging.

So, with that in mind, the topic for the day is “globalization,” but not in the big sense of the word, but rather on a more individual level. Take for instance, you. Yes, you (one of my 11 readers…). Look around you, wherever that may be: your bedroom, your kitchen, your office… Can you identify where everything came from?? Most people just assume it comes from China, but put aside that assumption for the moment and really take a good look around. So much of what we own comes from all over the world! Not that I was alive then, but I’m assuming even 50 years ago most things came locally, or at least within the nation you lived in. For instance, right now I’m in my kitchen here in Berlin and this is what I see and use every day:
German bread, butter from Denmark, tea from India, cutlery designed in Sweden but created in China, an apron from Australia, fruit from Turkey, chocolates from Holland, coffee beans grown in Sumatra but roasted in Seattle, a Christmas gift from my Aunt in Canada, extra virgin olive oil from Italy, flowers from the Vietnamese woman down the street, and peanut butter that boasts its value as “American quality.”

I agree, it’s not really THAT interesting, but it is a bit mind boggling to stop and consider to what degree globalization has changed our society and to what degree one can truly find comfort and familiarity, even when you’re 11,000 miles from “home.”

So anyway, I’m curious to know how you all feel about globalization, and whether or not you feel that it helps or hinders national identities. Take care and look forward to my next blog that I’m working really hard on: the topic of factory farmed animals.

Till next time,


Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Tiny Break

Hello folks,

Today I leave to go back to Berlin, so that is the reason that I haven't really had time the past few days to post. But don't worry! I have a lot of blog topics in mind that I intend to write on the plane. When I get to Berlin, my Mom is going to be with me, so I'm going to have to do a bunch of Touristy things for the next week on top of my imminent Jetlag. So in light of all that, please cut me some slack for the upcoming lack of posts!

I'm just going to write something quick right now, for it is about 9am in the morning the day of my flight, and I haven't packed a single thing. Whoops.

The other day, I got a little letter in the mail from my dear friend Amanda. I had been expecting it, for she owed me some money, but when it finally arrived, it just made me so happy to see that she had taken the time to write a little letter along with it! In the age of electronic deposits, emails, and even blogs, we often forget how sentimental receiving and writing an actual letter is. So, to keep it short and sweet, I challenge every one of my readers this week to actually write AND send a letter. It can be long, short, written with pretty colors of ink, written with pencil, a post card, a thank you note, a "get well soon" card, a "i can never turn down a challenge" card...

It doesn't really matter what it is or how long it is. But I promise it will make someone's day.

Unless you opted for the "blackmail" card... I don't suggest that one.

Until next time:

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"LOST" in translation

Before I get too carried away with this next blog, I would like to give credit where credit is due. My boyfriend and fellow coffee enthusiast, Ryan, is the one who introduced me to the “two-cup-luxury” phenomenon, and it would be unjust of me to take credit for that realization without mentioning him. So thank you Ryan, and keep fightin’ the good fight (or drinking the good coffee… whatever works for you).

I’ve been having a difficult time thinking of a good topic for today’s post. I made a little list on the back of my Blockbuster receipt of all the interesting things I could talk about, but I’m just not feeling any of them right now. So maybe I’ll flip to the other side of that Blockbuster receipt and see if I’m feeling inspired by that.

Hmm… I rented LOST, season 4. Now I know that I just “lost “(pun intended) 90% of my readers, and the remaining 10% are going to flip out and want to talk about every conspiracy theory under the sun pertaining to this hit show.

Now as many (MANY) of you know, I am a HUGE TV show junkie. I am more devoted to my tv shows than I am to my undergraduate education (whoops.. did I just admit that outloud??). Oh well, it’s no big secret. The LOST train took me a while to get hooked on, and even though I do enjoy it, it’s definitely not my favorite. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s a really good show, and even though it gets weirder and less believable the more I watch (I’m currently halfway through season 4) I still find it fascinating and can’t wait to decode it’s many mysteries and clues. Yet, as suspenseful and full of mystery as LOST is, it will never be up there with my favorite shows.

Again, as many of you know, I like to analyze things.. maybe too much. Maybe that’s why I’m a literature major. I like figuring out WHY something is or isn’t my favorite, instead of just accepting it and moving on. So why is it, despite an incredible cast, beautiful setting, and suspenseful cliff-hangers, that I can’t seem to appreciate LOST as much as the rest of the world??

Reason #1: Unfinished business:
The writers of LOST have an annoying habit of leaving TOO many cliff-hangers, and never going back to resolve them. Granted, I’m not fully caught up, so I can’t say with certainty that they will never be resolved, but it’s almost like the writer’s themselves have forgotten all the little unsolved details that got me interested in the first place. I won’t go into specifics, to spare my readers who don’t watch it, but it really is annoying to bring something up, and never go back to it.

Reason #2: Too many characters:
This might seem really trivial, but it’s an honest reason. There are so many characters with so many intertwining backstories, that it’s almost impossible to keep up! This makes it especially frustrating in between seasons when you have an extended break and then are expected to remember everything! I have a hard enough time keeping tabs on my own life and the people in it, let alone an entire airplane and island worth of strangers! I think I would have a better time adapting if the writers just chose like, 6 main characters to work with, instead of an overwhelming amount like 20.

Dispensable characters:
Ok this might seem like a direct contradiction to what I just said, but hear me out. IF the writers are going to take the time to develop all these characters and intervening layers of history, STOP KILLING THEM OFF!! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been distraught, literally distraught, that they killed off a character that they spent nearly 15 hours of my time building up and getting me to like! Yes, I understand that they are trapped on an island and have a seemingly infinite number of enemies to ward off, but FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!! You’re killing me here!! Stop getting me to like people just to kill them off!! Not only are you making me sad, but you’re putting good actors out of work!! Now that’s just selfish!

The Fans:
LOST fans are annoying. Period.

LOST of course has it’s gems. There’s no way it would have the following it does without them. I love the twists and turns, and guessing how it’s all going to resolve, as do all of its viewers! But the fact of the matter is, I personally feel that it has dug a hole that it can’t get out of. But as it is now in it’s 6th and final season, I guess the world will see if the writers can pull it off and make the mystery of Oceanic Flight 815 come to a close.

The following is a short snippet from one of my favorite entertainment sources The Onion. If you’ve never head of The Onion before, I weep for you. It’s a satire magazine/news source and they have some real nuggets of comedic gold. I highly recommend watching the following! Enjoy!

Final Season Of 'Lost' Promises To Make Fans More Annoying Than Ever

Till next time,


Monday, March 22, 2010

Coffee continued...

In light of my coffee post, I wanted to share this song and music video with you all. I saw it on the French channel in Germany and thought it was really cool :)