WHAT I LOVED: Funny, Friends, Flying To Where?

Cold weather is a great excuse to climb back into bed and indulge in the warmth of 500 thread count. It’s like a good piece of banana bread when the butter hits the back of your tongue and you know life is food good. As it is Monday morning and there is no time to make excuses for pushing aside productivity, here are some special stuff that I’ve been indulging in that will make you crave just five more minutes in bed or five more slices of pizza.

Food for Thoughts & Giggles: “The Most of Nora Ephron”

As soon as I was to start writing about Nora Ephron for this post, I ended up down the YouTube rabbit hole and watched every clip of her films (Heartburn, When Harry Met Sally, Julie & Julia). When I found out that a new book of her essays was published, I rushed to get my hands on it, naturally. After years of dedication and devotion aspiring to be at least one-eighth of this woman’s wit, I can only accomplish so much. If you’re reading this blog, then you’ll probably want this book.

Friends & Admirers: Rachel Antonoff’s Spring 2014

There are circles of friends that I only wish I were at least one degree of separation to. Rachel Antonoff’s is one of them, especially after watching her latest video debuting her 2014 Spring collection. Last season, she and her brother’s girlfriend (new break-out up-and-comer out-of-the-blue, Ms. Lena Dunham) created a short documentary about best friends, all for her fashion line of course. This year’s features Gillian Jacobs and Jack Antonoff retelling her parents’ love story. Can you just imagine what their group text messages are like?

Funny Femme Fatale: Kerry Washington on SNL

Let’s talk about it. Kerry Washington is amazing and maybe should just join the cast already (which would do a lot for diversity, Lorne). If you follow me on Twitter, then you know my live-tweets of SNL every week is just a lot of word vomit. There is no need to write a recap of a show that you’ve watched, but I so loved Ms. Washington that she deserves to be tagged on this blog.

An American in London, Amsterdam, Brussels…

11 Travel Start-ups You Need To Know | Mashable

It’s been a whirlwind of a weekend and a daze of confusement since I found out that I will be travelling to Europe throughout December! I’ve taken initiative and started a board on Pinterest. I will never leave you out, so this blog will be filled with wanderlust next month. I’ll be updating you with my travels and posting daily vlogs.

Tell me, what do you want to see when it comes to travelling?

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THE LEGEND OF THE UNPAID INTERN

INTERN

In the spirit of Halloween, spooks, and horror, let’s talk about one of the most frightening things to ever happen to our generation– internships.

Conde Nast announced last week that their internship program will be ending after being sued by a series of former interns. Naturally, it blew up on Twitter and upset all the aspiring Carrie Bradshaw’s out there. It’s unfortunate, but in my opinion, the interns should have asked for secure jobs instead of suing them. *WINK*

A ubiquitous complaint among college students is the eagerness to graduate and get out there. What’s so special about rushing into “real life” anyway? It’s a classic case of the “grass is greener on the other side of the…diploma.” It all seems better when we trade the sweatpants for dress suits and our dignity for minimum wage. Internships are a great preview into that lifestyle. But just like our first time at summer camp, we want to go home after two days.

Internships are indeed valuable. It’s a great source of experience and enough labor to know that that is not what you want to do for the rest of your life. So to relieve the stress of looking for internships or currently having one, I’ve compiled a list of things to do in between answering phone calls.

(Note: the following advice is coming from someone who cried and quit her first job as a babysitter after one day)

HOW TO MAKE THE BEST OF YOUR UNPAID INTERNSHIPS:

  • Use your free time to think about all your life’s mistakes and regrets
  • You could be laying in bed watching New Girl, so instead, write your own plotlines
  • Over-analyze the text that you just sent to your potentially significant other
  • Eavesdrop on the conversations behind you because they could be the storyline to your hit HBO series
  • Talk to everyone…who is willing to speak with you like you aren’t an “unpaid intern”
  • Realize that your hero in life (Beyonce) released her hit song, Baby Boy, when she was 21

And remember, millions of girls would kill to have your dress suit.

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THE LATEST LIE DETECTOR 2.0

pinocchioLying is great. Obviously, it didn’t turn out too well with the lady who swallowed the horse, but other than her situation, lying is fun…in the moment. I do, however, feel about lying the way I feel about hats. They may work for other people, but I just can’t pull them off.

It was Sunday, and it is a time to celebrate brunch and a contest to see who can stay in their pajamas the longest. While I was scheduled to be somewhere, I opted out, taking one arrow (white lie) out of my quiver and get out of this “engagement” by saying that I had a “previously schedule engagement,” which is obviously rewatching last night’s episode of Saturday Night Live while wiping the Reddi Whip off my mouth. With my Sunday routine already in progress, I figure that it was an Instagram moment– you know that moment when the sun hits your window in the right spot and you realize that you are a product of technology, so you snap a pic in Lo-Fi.

On some level, I agree with what our parents are telling us, that social media is making us more disconnected and less empathetic. We’ve heard what you had to say, Louis C.K., one of today’s most successful and critically-acclaimed comedians, we get it. If we are to get anything positive as a society from social networking, it is catching lies. Lying is as popular as the puppies you see on the popular page of Instagram. Tweeting your flu symptoms or Vining your #OOTD is just a reflex, but your social network has become a time capsule for everything.

You do not need a lie detector, you need to login to Facebook.

So when the person you cancelled a meeting with “likes” the Instagram you took of yourself with whipped cream all over your face, it just means that you have become a more honest human being.

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P.S. Little did I know, after writing this post, I found a TED Talk explaining precisely what I’m getting at…in a way that I’ll never accomplish…because of course, it’s a TED Talk.

BABY, WE BELONG TOGETHER

SPICE GIRLS UNIFORM

Being called a “teacher’s pet” or “suck up” for the majority of one’s life can lead to the inevitable demise of such connotations. On my journey to exchange my pastel variety of Lacoste polos for leather pants, I knew I was missing something.

Last month, I bought my inaugural pair of Doc’s, an experience every Brooklyn native has probably gone through. Having gone to an all-girls school that required us to wear construction boots reminiscent of the Spice Girls, stomping around in large shoes was a familiar adventure. Soon after, Ms. Miley debuts a new music video notoriously wearing nothing but my Doc’s that I thought would be my induction into my new age of Punk Renaissance. Then much to my dismay, my classmate turned to me and asked what color my Doc Martens were because she wanted to “buy herself a pair.”

I’ve only taken one Sociology class and it will probably stay that way. And while I probably will not and could not remember how Goffman or Mead contributed to the study of something or other, I do know that there is a human and natural need to belong. I’ve already examined the culty nature of SoulCycle, but of course the reason we all still go there or to the gym is not to just “be fit,” right? We just need to belong somewhere. It’s obviously a theme that I’ve been exploring lately.

During my weekly visit to Facebook, I have discovered through NewsFeed (if that’s what it’s still called) that BBM is apparently on the iPhone now. A few of my Facebook “friends” complained about people sharing their new BBM Pin because they just want to copy everyone else who is using it. Yes, this is something that is literally “discussed” on Facebook. Maybe it’s because I didn’t understand what irony was until my sophomore year of high school but it is the only thing that I log on to Facebook for. And while we complain about women being Photoshopped for magazines, we admittedly take one hour to choose what Instagram filter makes us look best.

It’s hard to know who to admire and who’s a phony, except for Holden Caulfield. Remember Dash from The Incredibles? When his mom tells him that everyone is special, he responds with typical Pixar wit, “Which is another way of saying no one is.”

The only people I admire are those who stay in their “outside clothes” inside their house. I mean, really, if changing your shoes and removing your bra are not the first things you do when you get home, then I will assume you are Superman.

As for the color of my Doc’s, they’re 1460 Cherry Red.

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LET’S TALK TABOO: RELIGION, POLITICS, SOULCYCLE?

GUIDE TO CONVERSATIONAL TABOO

A lot of people ask me why I am studying Journalism, which some might argue is a “lost cause” (THANKS A LOT, CNN). After three years of taking classes and twenty years of never closing my mouth, I think I finally have an answer. Being a journalist is just a good excuse for talking to people who I never normally would approach. And though it takes a great listener (and a good Moleskine) to be a journalist and writer, I will manage to find a way to talk about myself. Then if no one cares to listen, I resort to Twitter, where RT’s and Favorites are basically applause. Thanks to Mindy Kaling, I think I can finally steer every conversation towards me.

I have no doubt that conversation is an art. And not “my 3-year-old kid can do that” type of art. My dad gave me a book in high school called The Art of Conversation, when I probably needed a book called, How To Stop Talking Because There Are Other People, You Selfish B*tch. I have encountered “foot in mouth” syndrome along the way, but I’ve learned to add more to the list of conversational taboo.

SoulCycle: Move over, Scientology. The culty, trendy bikers at SoulCycle are taking the lead in controversy. It’s the church where “Sunday’s best” means LuluLemon, and wine is replaced with SmartWater and the instructor’s sweat. I have compared my best friend to a Mormon missionary working for the gods of SoulCycle, while I am simply the one who goes on Easter and Christmas. Months ago after taking my first class and self-indulgently posting about it on Facebook, one of my “friends” immediately makes a New Yorker-worthy status cynically shooting down SoulCycle. In a victorious turn of events, I got more “likes.” Then somehow, SoulCycle has managed to find itself in the middle of a conversation again, which is no surprise in Brooklyn. I was speaking with someone whose friend had just quit teaching at The New School to be a SoulCycle Instructor. I tread lightly on the subject, unsure where my conversational partner stood on the issue, realizing the polarization between cyclists and bikers and everyone else. But at least they can just brush off haters with their killer calves.

Flashdance: Late Friday night, I was in the middle of a conversation I never thought I would have. Three others, who were in their late 20’s and early 30’s, started talking about Flashdance. I am a person who only watches political debates in the event one candidate makes a pop culture reference. Here I am, too young to be having a conversation about a movie that came out in 1983, ten years before I was born? This can’t be happening. I made a comment about banana clips, just after googling what they were. Some people have not watched Flashdance, therefore should not be mentioned in a conversation. This can also be applied to Star Wars: Return of the Jedi— yes, another movie I have yet to watch.

Journalism with a capital J: Tom Wolfe would be rolling in his grave if he read the tweets of The Huffington Post. Oh, he’s still alive? Then send him a link to my blog. I was attending an event for High School Journalism students when the MC asked the audience for a joke– I think I was a bit too loud when I responded with, “Ha! Journalism.” If CNN now has to keep reminding the audience (and itself) that “This is CNN,” then maybe we may be losing the point of being The Fourth Estate. As naive as it may sound, I still believe that the next Woodward & Bernstein are somewhere out there…but they’re probably too busy updating their blog and Tumblr.

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P.S. What’s on your list of conversational taboo?

FALL FAVORITES FOR THE FAIR-MINDED

Alas, it’s October– the month that Lindsay Lohan’s movie characters are obviously obsessed withOctober 11th

After a long week of writing papers and dealing with people, Friday night is for letting it all out. And by “letting it all out,” I mean staying in under the blankets and watching teen movies from the 90’s that were all adapted from Shakespeare/Jane Austen/Greek myths. It was like the 90’s were a post-John Hughes era when producers were looking for stories that teens could eat up. Well, it worked. English teachers don’t mind it either, especially since iambic pentameter may be too cumbersome to translate, when Amanda Bynes could do it for you (when she was still able to).

So when deadlines are getting you down and being “under the weather” sounds like a good excuse, here is a list of my favorite things to do in the fall:

  1. Sweatpants. Sorry, Karl Lagerfeld.

  2. Complaining about Target putting out Christmas decorations

  3. Buying more bulky sweaters so you can eat more

  4. Rookie Yearbook 2!

  5. Being so congested that you can’t hear what anybody is ever saying

  6. Not having to time to update your blog because your professors don’t realize your priorities. I’ll be back, lovelies.

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MY LIFE-ALTERING PANTS (THAT NEED ALTERATIONS)

Life Altering Pants - HELP!

Last weekend, as I walked the glossy, waxed floors of Bloomingdale’s, I had no intention of purchasing anything, much like everyone else everywhere. Then my mom pointed to a colorful spread of striped sweaters in the Free People corner of the department store and exclaimed, “Oh, this is so you!” I took a quick glance at the mannequin wearing one of the displayed sweaters and my first thought was, “Yeah, it is.” Then my gut kicked in overdrive and my subconscious iconoclastic aspirations caused me to yell out, “Am I that predictable?!”

Throughout high school, I was struggling to be in fashion rather than finding my style. I subscribed to ELLE during my freshman year because I was mandated by the school magazine drive, but also to find out what I should be wearing that winter season. I, along with most girls, aspire to work in fashion the way all boys aspire to be cowboys and baseball players but settle to be a sports newscaster or something. I thought I would be the next Tavi Gevinson, but then I soon realized after reading my first issue of ELLE that all the avant garde clothes featured in editorials were not meant for 13-year-old me. Alas, I was unfulfilled with my wardrobe that was “so lacking of cool.” During that time, I had an utter contempt for fashion and its rather expensive schemes. I did, however, quickly understand fashion and trends by reading all the articles which gave me a detector for who was really keeping in style on the streets of New York.

It would only be a far-fetched dream of my 13-year-old broken-down-Converse-wearing-self to believe that my current college best friend would tell me that I should start a fashion blog. Now that I find opening my birchwood IKEA closet to select my day’s garments an actual party, I learn that I have become “predictable.” That’s not what I asked for! But maybe it is, when my first subscription to ELLE came in the mail. As my mom and I continued to the SALE racks of Bloomingdale’s, I spotted a pair of pants which I looked at for five seconds before realizing that I would never wear it. Being the supportive mother that she is, my mom tells me, “Those pants are cool.” And when a mom tells a girl that something is “cool,” sirens are supposed to be going off alarming the girl that it is in fact, “not cool.” I somehow reconsidered and took a second look at the dual-fabric pant saying, “But this is so not me,” to which my mom quickly whips a mildly teenager-ish, “So?”

Only in college did my sense of style finally arrive, much like a teenage girl having her first sip of unsupervised alcoholic drink with initial befuddlement, “So this is what it’s like.” I first walked into a J. Crew during the summer after high school when I assuredly called that store the mothership that I never knew was calling me. The only way to describe my current style would be Kennebunkport meets Williamsburg Farmer’s Market, with the occasional “villain in a John Hughes film.” From then on, my collection of button-down shirts ranging from shrunken ex-boyfriend to perfect-fit has grown beyond compare. I do daydream that if I were an unabashed risk-taker (and unbelievably wealthy) that my closet will replicate that of Beyonce’s, and maybe these pants that were paneled in linen fabric, fitted in jersey fabric on the back, and are “so not me” is a step toward that.

I bought the pants, but with a mild reluctance. It is currently hanging on my bedroom door, still with its various tags, and it is staring at me. Of course I Google the pants’ brand name to see what celebrities have worn it, as well as to validate my purchase. There in the vast wasteland of Google Images are Hilary Duff, Olivia Munn, Kristin Cavallari, among others. I think to myself, “Olivia Munn? She’s cool, I watch The Newsroom. But do I want to wear the same pants as Hilary, Olivia, and Kristin?” I examine its rustic-looking zippers and faded linen cloth, I imagine it something to be out of a 2008 issue of ELLE. I realize that they’re just pants. So I cut off the tags because that’s what Beyonce would want me to do, yet all I wanted was to escape the void of predictability.

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9 THINGS I’VE LEARNED AT 19

There’s a lot of pressure when the day of my birth arrives every year. As I turn 20 today and enter another decade in my life, I feel like my two decades on earth have ultimately left me confused. Aren’t I supposed to be smarter about decisions? Do I really need to be writing about my feelings on the Internet? (Hint: The answer to both is no.)

For those of you who need some of that “wisdom” that I’ve garnered over the years, this is my gift to you. Take it or leave it.

  1. How you look at 5 AM does not surprise you anymore.
  2. Fairy tales like Cinderella’s start to make less sense, like doesn’t she have to pay taxes?
  3. Don’t worry, your Teen Vogue subscription still continues after your teenage years.
  4. YAY Feminism! But can a guy please come over to kill this spider right now?
  5. Your Netflix queue takes precedence over going out with “friends.”
  6. “Running” isn’t something you do on the weekends wearing LuLu Lemon. It’s what happens when the R Train is about to leave the platform and the next one doesn’t come until an hour later.
  7. Your birthday means nothing if people don’t wish you a Happy Birthday on Facebook.
  8. Delete your Facebook, it means nothing.
  9. Speak up.

Since I’m officially in my 20’s, do I get cast as a series regular on GIRLS now?

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MIDWEEK WANDERLUST: Museum Mile

Being “lost in New York” is a complete misperception that parents use as a reason to not let their kids move here. It’s a grid system, as John Mulaney points out. Growing up riding subways ever so often, my dad would teach me the mechanics that goes with finding my way around Manhattan and I took notes on the streets and clues of the city. Now, however, I would just use my handy dandy iPhone. Sorry, Dad, that’s what technology is for…except Apple Maps. Maybe I just wasn’t listening the whole time my dad was explaining what it means to be “street smart.”

Travelling from Brooklyn to Manhattan is equivalent to the length and energy of a road trip. Instead of ending my summer by literally taking a road trip, I headed to the Upper East Side to revisit my childhood playgrounds. Every museum in New York has its own significance to me. I grew up visiting the American Museum of Natural History almost every month and now I have finally graduated to The Met and Guggenheim. (Thanks to the likes of Blair Waldorf, who a) made me want to try on headbands in front of the Met, b) look for a prince at a museum, c) be. her.)

Art is exhausting, particularly modern art. Your mind will get blown…either from confusion or admiration. I’m one of those people who think, “My 3-year-old nephew could paint that.” Will I ever understand abstract art? How did it even survive? There’s a whole thriving art community in Brooklyn! *cough* DUMBO *cough*

Maybe I should just go back and visit the fake whales at the Museum of Natural History. Whoa, wait. Am I Holden Caulfield?

Guggenheim Museum

Guggenheim

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FASHION WEEK GUIDE FOR THE REGULAR GIRL

Fashion Week 2013

Being a Brooklyn resident and going to school in New York City are things that I can take for granted. For the past week, however, I would trade that special quality of mine for anything else. It’s the first week of September which means it’s time to head back to the bland hallways and classrooms of college, which already look exhausted to be there. What makes this process of readjustment even more difficult is seeing the sartorially dressed “weirdos” walking the cobblestoned streets of Brooklyn making their way into an Uber or 1 Train. Welcome to Fashion Week— when the morning commute looks like the title sequence to The Devil Wears Prada. All the girls dressed in Isabel Marant or carrying her grandmother’s old Louis– no one will know because together, they’re all giving you a brutal death stare ready to be photographed for your blog or whatever.

When I was a little girl, I would pass and stare with disdain at the white tents in Bryant Park, for always getting in my way when all I wanted to do was enjoy the park before school started. Now, all I want to do is get in. Years later, photographers are competing to merely get a shot of the girls who aren’t inside, but rocking a killer outfit outside. Who knows if she’s got an invite to Lincoln Center? Meanwhile if you take the G Train back to Brooklyn, yours truly is constantly refreshing Twitter and Instagram with anything containing #NYFW. I won’t say I’m obsessed, but I do have a fascination with fashion.

Maybe my current predilection for what comes down the runway has a connection with spending my entire life in private school, when I wore uniforms. Up until I graduated high school, D-Day stood for Dress Down Day. In 7th grade, I remember wearing a Beatles-yellow-submarine-type yellow coat from GAP for an entire school day because I hated the clothes I was wearing. And now all I want to do is leave my coat open to show off my graphic T. (Hello, Alexander Wang’s shirts marked Parental Advisory!)

Us (Band of) outsiders may or may not understand what goes on in keeping up with Fashion Week. It’s an enigma to some and Holy Week to others. How must we deal with this time of peril?  Here are some lessons for the regular girl when it comes to Fashion Week:

  • It’s important not to end up crying in fetal position, but do as those ladies with death stares do. Use the sidewalks and your school’s hallways as the runway. Rock that Jansport backpack like you just got on Dean’s List.
  • Pretend you’ve got Coco Rocha’s cheekbones and eat the onion bagel on your morning commute.
  • Grab your picnic blanket you used this summer, throw it on, and BOOM, you like you just walked out of Derek Lam’s collection!
  • Keep your iPhone camera on standby because you never know when another fashion blogger is going to want to take a snap of your sweatpants messy bun as you head to school in the morning.
  • Did you see David and Harper Beckham front row at Victoria Beckham’s show? O.M.G. This isn’t really a tip, but if you can find yourself a supportive hot dad, then he’ll be your ultimate accessory.

And so, I’ll wear my Ferragamo’s to school to compensate for my absence at Lincoln Center. People will stare, but isn’t that the point of fashion?

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Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com