Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I do things sometimes

A bit of self-promotion to prove that I don't just fill my days sitting on babies (not that there is anything wrong with hanging out with 3 year olds who ask deep, soul searching questions such as, "What is dirt?")

I'm interning at Time Out Kids for the summer. It is a dream job. So far I've written this and that. I should have some more web clips coming up and maybe even a small something in the September print issue.

I also somehow ended up with one of my photos from Borough Market published in a guide of London, made by Flickr (hover your mouse over the "Borough Market" tab to see my lil' thumbnail.) I haven't really done a lot of research into the publication, but it seems Flickr publishes "Schmap" guides of different cities and uses photos published on the site to illustrate them. I got an email a while ago saying one of mine was one of many that were chosen, and it recently went live. It's actually one of my least favorite from the market, but still, exciting that my Flickr account is getting some exposure I suppose. Even if the only real exposure comes from me posting about it here.

Monday, June 29, 2009

On Blackberry Addiction

Got dinner at the adorable Penelope Cafe last night with an old friend from high school. We talked about many things, including how she started running marathons to get her mind off an ex (I mean, I usually grab a pint of the most unhealthy ice cream I can find when I have boy troubles, but to each her own). We eventually found ourselves at a lull in conversation, whereupon we both whipped out our Blackberry's and exclaimed in shock that we hadn't become BBM friends yet. I then realized I am my biggest nightmare:

Me: Ugh, I promised I wouldn't become one of those people who have their Blackberry's like an extension of their hand, attached to them at all times. But of course now I am. I carry it and wave it around and am never without it--I find myself clutching it in the subway. I'm not going to get any reception in the subway! What the fuck am I doing with it in the subway?!
Ali: Brickbreaker. Duh.

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is 2009. Welcome. Generation Robot up next. Be afraid.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Repeat After Me: Fiction Still Matters

Tonight I went to a reading by Rachel DeWoskin, my former (and future! YAY!) professor and embarrassingly obvious girl crush, for her new book Repeat After Me. Judging from the short excerpts she read aloud and the delightful time I had reading her memoir, Foreign Babes in Beijing, I'm going to really enjoy her first novel.

What seems most relevant to point out on this lil' blog is the fact that she wrote a novel. Yep, in an age where my peers cry that fiction is dying and my school starts a blog because newspapers aren't being read and the whole freaking world has pronounced print dead dead dead (ILY! RIP! I'm not even going to link any of the PRINT IS DEAD articles because god they're boring at this point aren't they?!) it seems shocking that someone got it together to write a whole freaking book from her imagination. And they're printed on real pages! And while Rachel says she drew a lot of the novel from her own ex-pat experiences in China (good fiction is, after all, writing what you know), the novel is a novel. It is fiction. There are no links to follow, no embedded videos to watch, no viral stories spreading quickly. Nope, it's a book that you have to read from cover to cover. It doesn't direct you anywhere else except perhaps inside your own head to ponder what it all means. It focuses on "the acquisition of language" because that is something Rachel explained fascinates her. What I mean to say is: it's not like reading Jezebel in the morning. AND I'M GLAD. Not because I don't like and appreciate Jezebel. But because I think we, as a generation, are facing a major problem. And I think the way to fix it might be writing good fiction.

I don't think Josh was wrong when he wrote about fiction falling by the wayside, and I think that problem comes from a combination of growing up and exposing ourselves to too much technology. I will address both of those issues in a post that I'm very excited to write but simply have no time to do tonight. But stay tuned! I will say now, though, that I think it is very fair to call this situation a problem. There is a reason fiction exists. However important it is to educate ourselves about current events, the news, our political climate, etc. (and it is, it's very important--not that my favorite Gawker guilty pleasure can exactly be called "educating myself" but you know, not everything online is educational...LOL maybe nothing online is educational?) it is equally, if not MORE, important to encourage imagination. Fiction forces us to examine our souls. It gets you going inside your own head like nothing else. I would argue that fiction is absolutely necessary for our survival as complex individuals.

I'm going to keep exploring these issues because I think they're important, possibly part of the most important conversation I hear my generation having (New Media vs. Everything Else and How It Can All Survive Together, Maybe, Please?). But right now I have to go to bed because I plan on waking up at 7am to get to the Alice + Olivia sample sale before work. Because that's where my priorities lie. And fuck you for judging me, because I know you are–but you know what? Sometimes a really gorgeous party dress can inspire the imagination. So sample sales are important, too!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Staten Island fucks up my gaydar

We're talking in all caps because Skyler is in Madrid and I miss her and we were excited to finally catch each other on Skype. I sound like an asshole because I am an asshole (some days). The rest is self-explanatory, yeah?


As a post-script to my previous post, I have to add that a lot of those ramblings just come from my head. What I mean is, sometimes I feel as though I write these long things explicitly stating I'M OKAY, and then I get a few friends who diligently read this blog (thank you, and I'm sorry that there hasn't been content in forever, but that is changing, I hope) calling me up and saying, "Oh my it sounds like you were doing just awful and here we were this whole time thinking you were fine!" And that's the thing. I am fine. I was fine. I was never not fine.

But what was that whole self-obsessed ramble you just posted, Vanessa, you might ask. Ah, that. Well that's what goes on in my head. I exaggerate both the actual problems (don't we all?) and my reactions to them, and when I write it all down I sound like I'm headed for the looney bin, or Alcohol Anonymous at the very least. Wrong to both, fair readers! I'm sane (I think). And I don't drink that much, even when I'm saying, "Oh and then I was drinking too much." (Seriously Mom. Seriously.) It's just how I process the world, and myself, and in turn how I churn it all back out again.

But for realsies, I really am fine now, but I know I always was. I am fortunate and I am responsible and I'm doing well. Friends, Mom, and future employers alike, rest easy.

And on that note, time for me to rest easy. My bed is calling me. Goodnight!

Sunny times ahead on all fronts

The weather isn't getting any better, but I am. I've definitely lost the blogging bug a bit, and after not updating in so long it's going to feel strange getting back into the swing of things, but I am determined not to let this project slide out from underneath me and so I will continue to update, even when I have to push myself through it, like now. I'll start simple.

A fact that I enjoy: even when I pretend like I don't, I DO have my shit together.

I was with some close friends from London a couple of weeks ago and we all got drunk and I ended up falling asleep in a bed that was not my own, spending the night at an apartment that wasn't mine, and missing out on all the shenanigans of the evening because I was...sleeping. I'm terribly exciting, I know. Anyway, my friends engaged in fun activities while I slept, some making good choices and some making bad choices and some making neutral choices, like, say, deciding to go to sleep. You know, whatever. Who am I to judge. Etc.

What got me was the morning after conversation. As we moved about slowly in that morning-after-head-still-throbbing haze that comes with too much red wine the night before, my one friend giggled and said something like, "Ha, I thought we'd all get our shit together when we got home from London." And suddenly I was enraged. Like, absolutely livid. It wasn't my friend's fault. No, I was mad at myself. "I have my shit together," I muttered, as I searched around the room trying to find the leggings I had peeled off my sticky body the night before when I started sweating from the humid rain seeping through the open window. And I realized that my refute was laughable. I was the very picture of a mess. I didn't look like I had anything together. I couldn't even find my pants. And in that moment I was so frustrated. Because the fact of the matter is, I know I have things together. I know that I haven't deserved the nickname Matt gave me, VaMessa, in at least a year. More. I don't sob hysterically every time I get drunk. I don't leave drunk voicemails that I'll regret in the morning. I don't mope about this boy I once loved when I was 16. I have direction. I have life goals. I try to put healthy food in my body and avoid poisonous stuff like alcohol and weed and cookie dough. I go to the gym. I have an internship and a job and I am happy. Really that's the most important thing. I am happy. I am not a mess.

But I was letting myself slip. That's why I was mad. My semester in London was unbelievable and I would never ever trade it for anything, but I made decisions abroad that strike a little too close to the version of myself I was freshman year, and that's no good. I let myself get caught up in a crush that should never have started, and when it didn't work out the way I wanted it to I allowed myself to wallow and pine and embarrass myself at every opportunity. I drank so much that my mom eventually emailed me to say she was worried (don't be, Mommy). I gained back a lot of the weight I lost in the fall. I got confused about who I am and what I want to be. I never thought of it as losing my shit, but in a sense, it was.

And so my friend's flippant comment about "getting our shit back together" when we returned from London hit hard because I had not yet allowed myself to acknowledge that I might have lost it a bit when I was abroad. The implication that I had any ground to reclaim offended me only because I realized it was true. I am proud that I was indignant, though, and that's how I know I am still with it. I don't want to be a person who is all over the place. I have no desire to slip back into my messy old ways. I like the person I am now. I might have fudged it a little bit in London, but she's back. She goes to bed before 2am and wakes up and gets stuff done. She dreams big and makes sure to work hard enough to achieve bigger. She doesn't get blackout drunk and she sleeps in her own bed and she doesn't cling to people who clearly aren't interested. She's still fun, and she's funny, but she's mature and that's awesome. I like that person very much. And I am proud to be that way.

So I think that's it, kids. I let myself get in a funk over a lot of things that weren't really worth it. And I let myself relive some old habits when it comes to coping with things I don't feel like dealing with outright. But I'm over that. I don't want to spend the summer nursing hangover headaches and trying to remember hazy evenings spent sipping too much wine. I don't want to put all my effort into people who don't appreciate it. I'm reevaluating relationships and prioritizing my time and generally keeping myself healthy and happy. And the fact that I could recognize all of that, organize it into coherent thought, make a solid effort to fix it, and then blog about it confidently assures me that I haven't regressed as far as I might have feared.

I'm back from London and I do have my shit together. I'm getting my life back in order and it's grand. I'm getting better. Now if only the weather could follow my lead. It looks like the summer might finally start existing on Wednesday; I couldn't be more excited.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Fail on all counts

My goal for the day was to apply to some more internships and write a non-emo blog post.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Peter Pan

Maybe I just shouldn't grow up. That might solve all my problems, current and future.

Lost my wisdom

These babies came out three weeks ago. Because I am a freak, I insisted on keeping them. Because I'm a creative freak, I then did a photo shoot with them. And now, because I am a freak suffering from writer's block (or rather, an ability to process the thoughts I am consumed with into appropriate-for-the-Internet paragraphs), I'm posting this photo to kick off a series of mostly-picture-filled posts that I'm sure will be as evasive as the last one. In my cliche-filled head it seems appropriate that after getting my wisdom teeth out I seem to have lost my ability to make wise choices. I need to get my shit together, but until that happens, let's enjoy some pretty pictures together.

And they are kind of pretty, aren't they?

Thursday, June 4, 2009


I want to write about emotion but I'm too emotional to do it properly.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Big Dicks, etc.

I didn't really like Lady GaGa that much initially. I mean I thought she was fine, but Just Dance didn't blow me away and I thought Pokerface was okay. Then I saw this clip.

Opinion changed. LOVE this lady.

Sex Stuff

I just discovered 25 Things About My Sexuality, a blog that encourages people to write down 25 things about their sexuality (sex life, sexual orientation, sex fantasies, sexual partners, sexy stuff...whatever) and send it in to 25thingsaboutmysexuality@gmail.com, then posts the lists anonymously.

Now I'm obsessively reading every entry and contemplating putting together my own list. I don't know if I'd send it in to the blog or not, but it would surely be an interesting introspective look at my sexual self either way. Anyone else suddenly wanna grab a pen and paper and start scribbling? Jess, I'm looking at you...

We Honor Dr. Tiller, NYC 6/1/09

Photos from the vigil held yesterday in Union Square to honor Dr. George Tiller. 

Dr. Tiller was one of the few late-term abortion doctors in America. He was shot and killed as he entered his church this past Sunday. 

I felt both unbelievably sad and unbelievably motivated as I walked home from Union Square yesterday. I'll write more on this soon, I just wanted to get the photos up ASAP.