Wednesday, September 23, 2015

We Packed Up and Left Town

I'm such a bad blogger.

I moved and left no forwarding address for you guys.

Come catch up with us over at our new little internet space,


Thursday, January 22, 2015

My Problem with the HuffPo Addiction Story

So a few days ago, the Huffington Post published a piece by Johann Hari called "The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think."

The story -- an offshoot of a book he authored called Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs -- presents an idea introduced by Professor Bruce Alexander that says that instead of addiction being a "a moral failing caused by too much hedonistic partying," or "a disease taking place in a chemically hijacked brain," it is in fact, "an adaptation. It's not you. It's your cage."

What Hari is talking about here is research Dr. Alexander conducted in the '70s as a reaction to an experiment. The experiment involved putting a rat alone in cage with two water bottles, one with plain water and one laced with heroin. In the experiment, the rat ultimately chose the heroin water bottle and then became addicted, providing evidence for the idea that addiction is a chemical disease. Dr. Alexander, however, noticed that this rat was in this cage alone when he picked the heroin. There was no food. No rat friends. The only thing in there to do was pick a water bottle.

So, he set up a reactionary experiment with the same 2 types of water bottles, only this time, he put other rats in the cage. There was good food and stimulating toys and fun tunnels to run around in. And he discovered that when life was good for the rats, when they had rat friends and good food and stimulation, they chose the heroin-laced water substantially less.

"While all the rats who were alone and unhappy became heavy users, none of the rats who had a happy environment did."

Hari then tied experiment to Vietnam -- which was taking place around the same time as Dr. Alexander's research. He claimed that 20 percent of soldiers in Vietnam became addicted to heroin during their time of service, but 95 percent of those addicted "simply stopped" using heroin when they returned to the states. "They shifted from a terrifying cage back to pleasant one, so they didn't want the drug anymore," Hari says.

He also talks about how street drug users and medical patients are often prescribed different versions of the same drug, like heroin, but that street users, because of their tragic lives, stay addicted, while happy, loved hospital patients don't because they go home to their families and fulfilling jobs.

His jarring conclusion? The resonant echo on the underside of the bell? "The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is human connection."

There. Are. So. Many. Problems. With. This. Least of all the implication that codependency can help a loved one overcome addiction.

Problem 1. Hari only chose to highlight one face of addiction -- the drug-addled street addict. The convict. The criminal. The societal outlier. For these people, yeah, I suppose Hari's theory makes sense. You can't rehabilitate a criminal drug user by isolating him in a jail cell alone. Plus, obviously, if your life sucks and coke helps you feel it less, then clearly you're going to keep hanging out with coke, because pain and disappointment and emptiness are heavier and harder. Reconnecting street users with the world, as Dr. Alexander and Hari suggest would probably do wonders in helping them to lead healthier, more productive, addiction-free lives.

But what about everyone else?

Problem 2. Not every addict is hustling on a street corner or holed up in a warehouse with a needle in his arm. Addiction doesn't always look like that. Sometimes addiction smells like baked apple pie and sounds like family Christmas and feels like your son's third birthday party.

I guess what I'm saying here is that my fundamental problem with the HuffPo piece isn't that I disbelieve Hari's theory. I think he's saying a lot, actually, that could create pause within the medical and mental health communities. I also think that for people with a support system, the safety net is obviously bigger, and the chance of recovery is probably much higher than if those people had to figure that shit out alone. But sorry sir, this isn't revelatory. It's not news.  Feeling less alone is a salve for even the deepest wounds, because it means your war isn't happening in a vacuum. You have an anchor to the world in other people.

My problem is that some of this theory is bullshit.

Let me make it clear that I know I'm not looking at this objectively. My dad was an alcoholic for my entire life and most of us his, until he died. I am not over it. I will never be over it. And I know that he, and other addicts, chose the substances they chose because it offered up relief from whatever pain they were carting around inside their lunch boxes on the way to work every day.

What I'm saying is that people like my dad -- and countless others -- had good lives. Lives better than ones offered by alcohol or cocaine or whatever. They had children who loved and needed them. They had husbands and wives who fought tirelessly and relentlessly to "bring them back" as Hari says. They had friends they could talk to, communities they belonged to. They were not desolate or empty or alone on the streets or even coming back from war in most cases.

They had things that should've kept them here, but didn't.

They still died.

Because no matter how big the circle of friends or how warm and loving the home, they're still going into a David-and-Goliath battle with perception. People write suicide notes, leave them for all these people that loved them and cared for them and supported them, and then kill themselves anyway because their perception of the cage is different than the reality. They feel alone. They feel empty and scared and lost and worthless, even if everyone around them is telling them, screaming at them, that they aren't.

I wish Hari's addiction solution was that simple, but it's just not.

People will still choose that heroin-laced water bottle even if it's inside the good cage. Sometimes the needle is louder than the love song, no matter how loud you're singing.

A cage is still a cage, even if there's love inside.

Image Source

Monday, October 13, 2014

If I Gave a TED talk, It'd Be on the Pumpkin Spice Latte

So first of all, let's be clear.

The use of the word 'basic' to describe anything has the same effect on me as whining and traffic. Read: I hate it with all of my capacity to hate. 

Hate. It.

By definition, basic means: "forming or relating to the most important part of something." And by that definition, I love loads of basic shit. Basic clothing - simply, easy-to-wear, classic. I wear basic makeup. No crazy blue shadow on these lids, just understated nudes and maybe a metallic if I'm feeling frisky. My car is basic in terms of features and I love my car. No sunroof or heated seats, no butterfly doors, and yet still capable of getting me where I need to go and back. 

However, per any website aimed at people aged 16-30, 'basic' means that you happen to like something that more than 2 part-time Urban Outfitters sales associates like. You are boring. Unoriginal. Bland. Expected and obvious. You have a penchant for small dogs and monogrammed plastic tumblers. And apparently, it also means you drink pumpkin spice lattes. 



Is it any wonder then, that when I stood in the line the other day at Starbucks, waiting to order for my basic grande PSL that instead of feeling thrilled and excited that my own personal fall was about to commence, I felt... shame? Embarrassment? Suddenly I was 13 again, being dropped off at middle school in my granddad's 1980s pickup truck hoping that I could get out and disappear before anyone could hear "have a good day, sugar bug" bellowed out of the passenger side window. 

What if someone saw me? Or heard? The horror.

There's no end to the shit that this delightful fall beverage has been getting online. Websites everywhere are publishing bitter diatribes denouncing them as "everything wrong with the average American coffee drinker." The first thing on BuzzFeed's list of things basic white girls do in the fall? "Get on that pumpkin spice latte grind."

Even John Oliver, my dear, sweet, perfect John Oliver has found fault with them. "The coffee that tastes like a candle," he says. In fact, he'd rather drink a "cable-knit sweater" latte than suffer a pumpkin spice. 

How can I stand in line and order my favorite fall drink unabashedly if John freaking Oliver, my own cultural touchstone, declared on national television that he would be "subject to its tyranny no more."

I'm sorry, John. But what. the hell.

Consider this my shouting it from the rooftops - I love pumpkin everything. I love the pumpkin candle that Target puts out every year that has a wooden wick and sits in this cool holder with pumpkins on it. The smell of it reminds me of awesome things like cool weather and apple festivals. I love carving pumpkins and making pumpkin pie and putting pumpkin in shit that it doesn't even belong in, like bourbon milkshakes. 

And I love that friggin' coffee. I love that it reminds me of the fall, and cozy things like socks. And that it's artificial pumpkin flavor helps to break me free of the oppressive, binding shackles of summer. 

So stop pumpkin-shaming me, internets. And stop appropriating random words like basic and giving them stupid, linguistically useless meanings. And then arbitrarily defining random shit as not cool. 

Know what I think is basic? Being a pretentious, cold-roasted, slow drip, french press asshole. 

And to those of you ordering your PSL with your head down like you're some common criminal? Stand tall. Drink with pride. 

You

are not

alone. 


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Things to Do Instead of Meeting Your Deadlines


As a writer, one of my favorite things to do is procrastinate. Despite its actual meaning, procrastinating is one of the most productive things I do during the day.

I can get SO many other things done when I have a piece/essay/article/light bill due. My refrigerator is never cleaner than 3 hours before a deadline, my closet more organized, my records more autobiographically categorized.

Turns out though, editors (and the bank) do not care if your fridge is clean or if you can locate your Hollies album by remembering you bought it during the biblical breakup of 2012.

So write you must.

Ah, but what if, like me, you PHYSICALLY CANNOT SIT DOWN TO WRITE? The words won't come. The lighting in the room is wrong. The fan's too loud. The FRIDGE MUST BE CLEANED before you unleash holy genius onto an unsuspecting Word doc. WHAT THEN??

Don't worry, loves. I have figured it out.

You can simultaneously procrastinate AND meet your deadlines by watching movies about writing. Now wait - hear me out. I get that the physical act of writing is probably one of the most boring things ever to watch someone do. It's so solitary and singular in nature that even writers get bored writing. BUT. Writers are also fiercely competitive, with themselves or others and there's SOMETHING about seeing people writing on screen that drives you to your own work.

At least if you're me anyway.

So -- after extensive research backed by proven results (this girl has never missed her deadlines), I've curated this list of my favorite motivating movies about writers and writing.

Capote


Well, this list is off to a rollicking start. Not only is it phenomenally acted (cuz Phillip Seymour Hoffman, duh), it's also engaging and harrowing. You get to see writing as a process, how a story comes to exist in the cracks and crevices of people's everyday lives. And how that story is only as good as your connection with your subject. You also get to see what some people consider the birth of the nonfiction novel in In Cold Blood -- how real people's experiences can be as satisfying as any concocted tale. Also, you get to bear witness to some really phenomenal eyewear.

Secret Window



I don't know what it is about this movie that I love so much. Most people hated it. But to me, it's just everything a movie about writing should be. Tormented, askew, set in a place that's rainy and grey. It also stars Johnny Depp as Mort Rainey, a writer who's been accused by looney tune John Shooter of stealing his story. Wackiness ensues when Rainey assures Shooter that this just cannot possibly be. It's based on a short story by Stephen King and accurately portrays the real day to day that writing can sometimes be. You write something and determine that it's awful, eat some Doritos, talk to your dog, nap, lounge around in an awesome, tattered robe that you've worn for 5 days straight and then try and write some more. It's just eerie and unsettling and demonstrative of a really great story. And again, some spectacular spectacles.

The Help



God, ya'll. This is about so much more than writing, obviously. It's about social injustice, small town politics, classism, racism, sexism, courage in the face of adversity, inner strength. So many things. But at its heart, it's about how altering, liberating and beautifully subversive writing can be. How the power of story can change the course of history, how it saves people. All you have to do is be brave enough to put it on the page.

Almost Famous


This isn't usually included on these types of lists because it's so clearly about music. But I have such a vivid image of seeing Patrick Fugit, with his tape recorder and yellow legal pad, pounding away on his typewriter, and realizing with perfect clarity that that is me. I am William. I never wanted to write novels or poetry for a living, but the idea of telling real people's stories, asking questions, connecting to people and their lives, that has always, always, always appealed to me. And it's thanks in large part to this movie. Cameron Crowe is amazing, the lines are iconic, it's touching and it was one of the first things that illuminated to me what I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing.

The Paperboy



Chances are, you've never seen this movie. Chances are, when you do, you'll ask yourself, what in the hell am I looking at. But it's good. It's pulpy and good and Matthew McConaughey plays a journalist and Nicole Kidman has a Southern accent and Zac Efron is in tighty whities. Also, John Cusak is gross in this movie. Just, gross. I wrote about the insanity awhile ago on the blog, but seriously, just go watch it. Then take a shower.

Dead Poet's Society


Aw, poor little rich boys. No, but listen. Robin Williams is the English teacher we all wish we'd had in school. The one that understands how necessary language is, how critical it is to our development as people. The one who teaches it in a way that alters forever how we see the world. Dead Poet's Society makes you realize that some of the things least critical for our survival (words, literature, poetry) are the things that make us the most human in the end.

Sex and the City

Image via HuffPo

I'm sorry, I know it's not a movie (Oy, not a good one anyway). But guys. I could not make this list without mentioning this show. Carrie Bradshaw epitomized what I wanted to do and be when I was 21. And there's nothing more motivating than seeing her at her window, writing out her column on Notepad (which is still, to this day, what I do my work on) on her Mac laptop circa 1998. It showed me what ambition could look like, and unapologetic living. That maybe there was this giant world outside my teeny town where you could combine thrift store threads with a little Diane Von Furstenburg, throw in a pink cocktail or 6, and become the voice of a city writing a column for a newspaper. A real one. That that kind of a life was an option for me, no matter how far away from it I was. It's just. Ugh. It's just the best.

There are others. There are so many others (The Shining, Wonder Boys, Finding Forrester, Adaptation, Misery, His Girl Friday, All the President's Men). But these are the ones that, for whatever reason, really make me want to play with words. And at the end of the day, that's what counts. I don't care if it's movies, or baking, or hula hooping, or chanting or whatever, if it's what gets you to the page, it's what you should do.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Drinking with Idiots

You guys should know...

The title of this post is actually a little misleading.

Because when I sat down for the Skype interview with The IdiotBox Experts, it was immediately apparent that despite loads of crappy beer and a bottle of sweet red, (I shamelessly got them drunk), these guys clearly knew TV (and a lot of other things), really well.



Oh, and really quick - I'm gonna go ahead and put out there that, despite not being the most journalistically sound process, drunk interviewing is the best thing ever. Except when you go back to look at the notes you hazily scribbled on the back of your monthly auto insurance statement and find them to be absolutely incoherent.

Anyways.

You may have noticed that I don't make it a point to endorse many things on my blog. Not unless they're cool, or funny, or I feel like they add something substantial and profound to the lives of you, my dear readers, and our vast, great, wide world.

The IdiotBox Experts podcast is one of those things. (I feel like it's my journalistic duty to also mention that I'm lucky enough to call one of these guys a really great friend. Assuming we are still friends considering the time it's taken me to publish this blog).

The IdiotBox Experts podcast was an idea 6 years in the making, formed in its infancy by 2 friends that really liked hanging out and talking about stuff, who met one day on a bench.


The supreme normalcy of that chance encounter is the cornerstone upon which these podcasts sit. Regular dudes, talking about regular shit, who are just a liiiitle bit smarter than you. At least when it comes to TV.

Each week, the Experts, devilishly handsome Paul Ancona and heartbreakingly debonaire Billy Ferris converge on the interwebs to discuss the best and worst of television and beyond.

They spout easily-digestible, conversational knowledge about what's going on on television, in movies, in popular culture, wrapped up in endearing segments with "favorite dinner party guests"-type questions that leave you feeling like you wanna call them over and drink beers because you've been friends with them forever.

Don't be confused, though. They know how to hold their water. They know what they're talking about and they're passionate about the subject matter, which is what makes listeners invest their time, instead of asking "So what?" 4 minutes in and then going back to their lattes or whatever. They actually give a shit, and they make you care, too. They're engaging, encouraging listeners to take polls and answer fun questions on their Facebook and Twitter pages. And you just immediately get the sense that above and before everything else, they're having a really good time talking about this stuff.

They'd do it if they had one listener, and they'll do it when they inevitably garner thousands and millions and billions. And that's what makes it good.

The best parts of these podcasts though, are the unscripted chats between Paul and Billy. They're hilarious and genuine and awesome to listen to. And by the time the podcast is over, you find yourself bummed that they had to leave, because you feel like they've actually invaded your car or bathroom and cubicle or wherever the hell you find yourself listening, and you don't want 'em to go.

Like I said, I don't endorse tons of things on this blog. But I love the idea of friends getting together, bullshitting, and seeing an idea all the way to fruition. It's cool, and something most people are too lazy and uninterested to do.

Go listen. The podcasts will get you through rush hour traffic, quarterly meetings, the carpool line. And you may actually learn something. The next time spaghetti westerns get brought up during dinner party chats, I'll actually know what the hell they're talking about. And I'll have Paul and Billy to thank.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Things You Should Be Telling Your Kids

Dear Beth, age 6,

Come out from inside the closet. I know dad's yelling again, and you'll hear a lot more before things get silent, but there's some stuff I want to tell you.

First of all, get to know him. Try to look past how mad he makes you and how loud he is. He is broken. He is sad. It's no excuse for his crappy behavior, but you'll be stronger for it. Sit down and ask him a question. Find out his favorite memory, his favorite song, his favorite moment with you. It will be all you have left of him later.

Also, keep writing. You were made to do it. You were put on this earth to tell stories. Yours and other people's. Your voice, your words will make broken people feel whole. They'll make you whole. They'll steel you against disappointment and fear. It is who you are. Don't listen to anyone else. You are talented and smart and you have a destiny to begin fulfilling. So stand up.

I'm still in the process of creating our dream life, but I will create it. You will wake up one morning in your late 20s (or 30s, maybe) and feel lush sheets against your skin. Light will pour through open windows; the curtains will sway against the breeze in protest. This will be your home. Because it's the home I'm making for you now. It will have taken us awhile to get here -- we got a little lost. But we are resilience personified. We have fortress hearts and we figured it out.

You will walk your bare feet across creaky wooden floors in your loft apartment, nestled downtown in the middle of some average-sized city that you've settled down in. Your friends will be here. The family you've made will be here. There will be love in every room and you will feel it with each step. You'll brew coffee and roll up the sleeves of your husband's oversized button-down. He will love you. It will be good love. Trust it.

He'll go to work and you'll be sipping that brewed coffee out of your favorite mug, turning on your computer and reading the paper (there will still be a morning paper). Your desk and the wall in front of it will be plastered with your byline. Clips from Elle, small, independent presses, Time. Copies of your essays. Galleys of your book. There will be pictures of you at events, pictures with that kind, honest man who loves you. Pictures laughing with dear friends. It will be a life you're proud of. You will make it with your hands.

The road is long. Know this. And it hurts like fire. But it will also make you new. It will callous you in a way that will allow you to carry on despite the pits and bruises. Get off the floor, Beth. Get out of the closet. You won't serve the world by living small and afraid.

This is not your forever life. Your forever life is waiting for you out here. You will write. You will be full and happy. You will end up exactly where you're supposed to. People will remember your name. You'll drink at bars (easy on the whiskey) and talk in front of distinguished crowds who know your work. You will travel. You will meet amazing people. You will be a writer. You will be a satisfied, giving wife. You will be a phenomenal mother. You will be proud of the woman you turn out to be. She will be tender and strong. She will be lionhearted.


It's all here waiting for you.
Stand up.

Love,
Beth, age 26

Monday, April 28, 2014

A Lesson for Girls: How to Get a Guy to Fall in Love with You

The first time a guy told me he loved me and meant it, I was probably 16. It was sixteen-year-old love, full of promise and alcohol that our older friends' brothers' bought us. It was shaped like a backseat and it smelled like summer.

Over the course of my adult life, I've heard it a lot from different men. And if it sounds like I'm gloating, please understand. I'm not.

All this is bullshit.

Not because it's not true. I have heard it. And for the most part, the men who said it to me were good men. Kind and loving and honest. And for the most part, the relationships I was in when I heard them were real and fulfilling and scary and chock full hope that this was it. 

But those relationships ultimately ended.

Why? Well, darling girls. I have to blame myself. Turns out, I'm a liar. Not the kind that does intentionally hurtful things. But the kind that shape-shifted with the dexterity of a superhero until those men were convinced that I was the perfect girl for them.

And you can't blame them, because the girl I CREATED was perfect. I wanted so badly to be that perfect girl that I convinced myself that I really was her. The girl that didn't mind waiting, who laughed at jokes around his friends even though they were ignorant and dumb, who professed to kinda liking UFC, but actually absolutely hated it.

The truth is - the girl I am under all that, beneath the agreeability, and the patience I demonstrate when I'm left waiting for 45 minutes because he forgot we had plans - she most definitely is not perfect for these decent men. But she got snuffed out. And that is why shit never worked out.

That other girl, that REAL girl, is actually angry, and difficult, and a giant pain in the ass. She is impatient and takes up all the space on the bathroom sink. She gets homicidal about traffic congestion. She doesn't like waiting for a reply to text messages. She doesn't like waiting for anything, actually. She loves strawberry shortcake and head rubs. And she isn't interested in anything anyone has to say before like, 9am.

I spent a long time thinking THAT girl, the real one, was unloveable because she required too much work. So she got smothered by agreeability, because agreeability made her likeable and malleable. And also intensely resentful and restless and unsatisfied.

My point here is this - if you want to get on the fast track to making a guy fall in love with you - bisect who you are. Cut it in half. Make it less. Make it sweet. Make it palatable. Listen out for cues like, "I love athletic girls," and then promptly go out and buy some Norts. I promise you, professions of undying love will pour in.

But be warned - it will be empty-calorie love. It will never satiate you. You will go to sleep next to men who leave you hungry. And they will be left wanting too. Because you will be angel food cake - light, hollowed out like a pore, spongy and sweet and ultimately empty.

Not interested in emotionally starving, you say? Try this instead:

Don't laugh at things that aren't funny. Don't agree to go to a Brantley Gilbert concert if you think it'll suck (which it will). Laugh loudly. Don't shave above the knee if you don't want to. Say no to things you don't like without feeling like you have to explain yourself. Opt for binge watching Twin Peaks on Saturday night instead of heading out for another rollicking evening of Natty Light beer pong. Wear flowers in your hair. Get dirt on your feet. Bowl with abandon. Let go of the notion of cool. Like weird things.

Make them question you.

Make them rise to the occasion that IS you.

Because when you're a REAL girl -- a beautiful, messy, complicated one -- and a man -- a good, strong, sturdy, honest, loyal, kind, inexhaustible one -- comes along and says I love you, it will be the best sounding I love you. It will distinguish itself from everything else you've ever heard. It will sound like the next 60 years of your life. It will be full-fat love. It will be nutrient-dense with honesty. It will wait out the storm and the hour it takes for you to get ready without bitching.

It will be exactly what you want because you will KNOW what you want. And you'll know what you want because you stopped compromising who you were for hollow 'almosts.' I promise, you will know the difference.

Quality over quantity, ladies. Always.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

IT Girl

I'm going to go ahead and preface this with the fact that before reading IT, I honestly couldn't have cared less about Alexa Chung. All I knew about her was that she somehow always ended up in Elle magazine with perfectly adorable, dishelved hair and enviable flats, and a dorkiness  so perfectly executed that it landed her in the front row at Calvin Kline. 

Also Alex Turner. I knew about the Alex Turner thing.

But I mean, whatever. 

I honestly had no idea what she was even famous for. 

And then, she turns around and writes this book, IT, and it's all suddenly very clear to me. 

The woman has made a very lucrative career quantifying, decoding, living and perpetuating this amorphous idea of cool. She has distilled 'I don't give a fuck' into something palatable. Likable. Enviable even. And then she bound it and put her name on it. 

My inital thought after discovering IT on the shelf, next to a biography of Eleanor Roosevelt, was exasperation. Because I'm a snob. I had this momentary lapse where I began losing my faith in my chosen profession, convinced that it'd been further saturated by malnourished, watered-down writing. It's the same feeling I get when I see that Lauren Conrad's written another book about her favorite pink lipstick shade and the correct way to construct a topknot. 

The thing is though, something compelled me to buy it. I BOUGHT this book, you guys. I spent my money on it. Intern money. Money usually reserved for such necessities as food, toilet paper and box wine (kidding, but just about the fact that it's in a box). I don't know why. Maybe the cover. It FELT like a book. Hard-backed with no sleeve, rough to the touch and monogrammed with a title. The pages were thick. It was cute and pink. Plus I had this vague notion that she did actally sit down and write the words. 

But the point is, I bought it. 

And then I went home and binged on it for 2 days.


And I liked it. I liked it a lot. I liked it enough to try tie-dyed harem pants and a granny sweater despite my 5'4 inch, slightly bottom heavy frame. 




I guess it's because as I was reading it, I just felt her "I dont give a fuck, I wake up like this, this peplum top used to belong to a 60 year old refugee but I look dope in it and I'm gonna wear it out with my very cool friends and Instagram myself" attitude seep into my fingers as I turned the pages.  

The book isn't exactly a how-to guide. It's  more of a vague road map. She provides a context for her taste and lets you put the pieces together as you see fit. She's catalogued her inspiration for everything from her 'I just had amazing sex' hair to what she chooses to wear to the gym, and suddenly everything you know and don't know about her starts to make sense.

There's an ode to the Spice Girls and just a few pages later you stumble upon a truly beautiful, aching section about heartbreak that I could have seriously used like 3 months ago. Granted, I don't really understand it's place in the book, aside from the fact that harrowing depression has informed some of my best fashion decisions as well. I'm right there with you, Alexa.  

The only problem, really, if you could call it that, is that reading the book is like hanging out with her. It was done so well and so effectively that by the end you've become best friends with someone you can't ever know. She's more familiar to you, and ironically a little bit less cool because you've gotten to see behind the magic curtain. 


If that's the only problem though, I'd call IT a sweeping success. It's something I'll reference again, if only because the pictures she includes are engaging and inspiring, and something that I previously thought was out of my reach - true, effortless fashion sense - was suddenly and literally, in the palm of my hands. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Remembering a Mad Girl

Sylvia Plath died on this day in 1963. And at first glance, she miiight not be the best person in the world to over-identify with. What with the whole oven incident.

But she was first person I read that accurately described the constant insatiability, the hunger and curiosity, the unquenchable need to write and write and write, the restlessness.

The first time you realize that you aren't alone in your craziness is a profound moment. And one that I'll always associate with the Mad Girl.

"I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am."

“I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and 
physical experience possible in life. And I am horribly limited.” 


“Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences.” 


“Can you understand? Someone, somewhere, can you understand me a little, love me a little? For all my despair, for all my ideals, for all that - I love life. But it is hard, and I have so much - so very much to learn.” 


“If the moon smiled, she would resemble you.
You leave the same impression
Of something beautiful, but annihilating.” 


“I desire the things that will destroy me in the end.” 


“I want to be important. By being different. And these girls are all the same.” 


“I am still so na├»ve; I know pretty much what I like and dislike; but please, don’t ask me who I am. A passionate, fragmentary girl, maybe?” 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Mode for Misanthropes

While I don't readily identify with either introverts or extroverts, I do identify with sweatpants. Or really any other fashion item comfortable enough to accommodate a Friday night (or any other night, really) spent on my couch with a book and sea salt caramel gelato.

And apparently I'm not the only one.

The art and apparel company Stay Home Club boasts a full range of sweats and t-shirts and art prints glorifying the reclusive, bratty, misanthropic introvert in all of us.

Plus, it's all pretty dope. Especially that potato chip necklace. And the Stay Home and Watch Buffy Tote? Will. Be. Mine.