Posts published in April 2013

What I Read This Week: April 26, 2013

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Don’t mind me. This is just a little late. I was in New Yawk!! So here’s what I read last week…

Real, actual books:

What I Read This Week: April 19, 2013

What a stressful, paranoid, and unbridled week—in a terrible, awful, no good, very bad way. I like to think I’m still too stunned, but part of me doesn’t want to acknowledge my ability to feel incredible amounts of anger, fear, resentment, and fury towards what happened.

The first thing this made me think about the Unibomber, which felt so long ago. Remember the wait? The extended periods of unsurety? It took months, months.

This is so much faster, more brutal. We barely have time to process one horrifying event before the next begins. These are friends, parents, children, humans who have to deal with other people’s desperation and incomprehensible desires. I hurt for humanity. I ache for the future, and I lament this week’s cruelty for the people who found themselves directly in harm’s way. I could be that person, so could you. It is only by sheer improbability and luck that we follow along instead of finding ourselves so impacted that we cannot see beyond our immediate misfortune.

I didn’t mean to go on about Boston, but here we are. It was a weird week not just for life but also for reading. We’re all over the map, and hey, there’s nothing that I’m exceedingly ashamed of reading. smh

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Real, actual books:

Coachella’s Best (And Worst) Threads

We started at the very packed, youth-filled Alt-J. Amateur move, folks.
]1 We started at the very packed, Youth-filled Alt-J set. Amateur move, folks. Don’t ever follow the Youth.

In the weeks approaching my third-ever Coachella experience, I spent a lot of time not thinking about the music. I thought about clothing. Ever since I made the decision to get more use out of my wackadoo wardrobe, I’ve been determined to wear the crazy stuff whenever I can. You know that part of your closet, right? It’s those things purchased years ago that have steadily collected dust and guilt. These are the clothes that you love so much and yet, never actually put to use for some reason. No more!

Case in point: I have a Buffalo Exchange dress I purchased for $7 in ohhhhh probably 2009. Broken-zipper pre-installed. It also had styrofoam boob cup holders. Yes, STYROFOAM. The manufacturer graciously glued a thin piece of fabric to the cups lest you chaff your breasts. I bought this dress knowing it was a fixer-upper. And it sat in my closet. Bought a zipper once. It wasn’t long enough. So it hung there. Waving hello every time I passed over it for something functional.

Until this year. I said, “I WILL WEAR MY COOL CLOTHES,” while thinking “Good grief, these things need some risk and TLC.” Because HEY, if you never fix something, you can never RUIN it. So I got that dang ole zipper fixed. And I used my favorite pair of don’t-stab-yourself fabric scissors to gleefully RIP those styrofoam cups right out of the bodice.

Lo, this story has a generally happy ending but I did one thing wrong. When the time came to wash the dress, I did. And then it went for a “tumbled dry”. People, I over-dried it. Which means… it shrank. Not too much! But it took a correctly sized dress and made a teensy bit more… form-fitting. So here we are. This dress was going with me on the Coachella trip no matter what.

The rest of my packing was a quick practice in “see which non-fancy dresses you have that are clean.” Load up on sandals, some sun screen, jewelry… DONEZO.

photo (5)

So then we go to Coachella the way the professionals do–later in the day, ready to see where the tide takes us. For the Day 1 ensemble I went for mega-comfort. It was just me and my Rachel Pally Reggie maxi dress. I also wore some hella old green suede sandals with gold button-things (from Urban Outfitters back-in-the-day, kinda like these but t-strap) and a necklace from Nasty Gal. Day 2 was my fixer-upper dress paired with lovely Indian bangles from my friend Erika, and some dangly wood earrings I got in Prague. Day 3 started with a striped tube dress with a big ole cowl neck and open back, but once the dust storm made itself known, that dress transformed into a wind and dust-fighting machine. I added a hastily purchased Ross jacket, some skeleton tye-dye leggings I got at the best Joshua Tree National Park shop, and sun glasses all. night. long. It was fun to wear everything and I felt pretty darn good about my choices.

But enough about me. You can here for the good and the bad of other people’s threads. And so here’s the best of the best. The things people wore that made me stop, stare, and frantically scribble notes to myself as to never forget their awesomeness. And then there’s bad stuf. The things I never ever want to see again. Ever. If you’re going to Weekend 2 Coachella and one of these things is packed, you will not be dressed like an original, beautiful snowflake.

YAY Looks

  • I saw plenty of fringe. There was a terrible amount of fringe-on-fringe (which is a crime). Fringe booties, purses, vests, bathing suit tops…. yaaawn. Then we walked behind a woman wearing a cream minishirt with three-layers of fringe. OH GOD, YES. It was basically this Forever 21 chiffon fringe skirt but looked well-made and rather luxe.
  • To the sir wearing a long-ish (faux?) fur coat without a shirt and red basketball shorts: bold move, thank you.
  • Two of my favorite styles at Coachella were patterns. Not just in a single dose, but twice the whimsy. Yes, this shoutout goes to the man wearing a light blue geometric print button up with matching shorts. And to the woman wearing a Richard Scary-esque illustrated pattern with animals/nature on white. She sported this superb pattern on a turtle tank and mini skirt.
  • And finally, my favorite combination of the whole dang trip. To the sir wearing camo pants and a baby blue Laura Ashley print button up. THANK YOU FOR THIS. I laughed, I cried, I took a creepy picture of your back.
camo dude

NAY Looks

  • Lana del Ray-style fake flower headband, headdresses, headgear, and head wraps. Is it me or do the fake flowers make it totally depressing? Now if I had seen a real flower headdress, then fine, ok. Otherwise, it’s very, very common and boring.
  • It pains me to list this, but neon. I understand the desire to match neon with neon but that isn’t like, something that is very pleasant to look at all day. Especially considering that there was very little that people were actually wearing. So neon “Ray Bans” and neon bathing suit top and neon kicks. UGH, no, really.
  • Butt shorts. You know the kind. Two jiggly half-moons delicately hanging out for all to poke, think about poking, or accidentally poke. You can’t sit down without getting your butt on something. And I cannot imagine how uncomfortable it must be to have tight shorty shorts on in that heat. Can you say swamp butt? Double whammy of doom: pair booty shorts with a high waist. It looks like you’re toothpaste being squished out of the tube.
  • Once again, I surprise myself with the discovery of a strong dislike of glow sticks. They’re about as good lookin’ as sequins stapled to a pair of Ugg boots. Your glow stick necklace is an eye sore. So is that one around your wrist. And the one attached to your purse, and belt… and ankle.
  • Most get-off-my-lawn complaint: visible bra straps, bare bellies. Maybe I’m showing my age a touch, but how hard can it be to find something without blatent bra straps? And all those tight, taunt belly shirts. I sniff my nose with a slight foot stamp and harumph. Youth.
  • Honorable mention: 60s style crochet tops. They’re pretty unoffensive in general and that daisy pattern is precious. However if you wear one to Coachella, I promise you’ll be one of 5,000 ladies sporting this look. Promise.

Coyote Hole

My sister and I stayed in this lovely dessert bungalow. If you ever need a place to stay in Joshua Tree, I recommend the Coyote Hole Holiday House. If you think it looks like a house you may never want to leave, you are not mistaken.

What I Read This Week: April 12, 3013

What I read This Week graphic graphic

Last week was the first ever What I Read This Week; it was the first of what I hope to be many. The long and short of it is I spend a teensy bit more than I’d like reading pixels, and I’d like to be accountable to what I spend my time ingesting. So: this. The tradition continues. This week was lighter — hooray moderation! Here goes…

  • My So-Called ‘Post-Feminist’ Life in Arts and Letters by Deborah Copaken Kogan, “I consider throwing in the towel. The lack of respectful coverage, the slut-shaming and name-calling, all the girly book covers and not-my-titles despite high literary aspirations, has worn me down, made me question everything: my abilities, my future, my life. This is what sexism does best: it makes you feel crazy for desiring parity and hopeless about ever achieving it.” (Source: @sw)
  • One cool, life-shaping fact about me: All my childhood friends are dead. from Jessica Suarez, “As a consequence, I didn’t have any childhood friends. These neighbors I hung out with, they were in their 70s when I was a kid. When we visited my old house years later, we tried knocking on their doors, but all of my neighbors had already died.”
  • New York vs. San Francisco – Disposition Statistics
  • Feminism’s Tipping Point: Who Wins from Leaning in? by Kate Losse, “But the company promoted Sandberg to the Facebook board the day before Boy Kings was published. Sandberg along with many other business women had been qualified to be a board member for years.
  • Worst Baby Names for San Franciscans
  • Life In Your Early Twenties Vs. Your Late Twenties on Buzzfeed, “It’s hell getting old. Well, not always.”
  • How not to say the wrong thing by Susan Silk and Barry Goldman, “Here are the rules. The person in the center ring can say anything she wants to anyone, anywhere. She can kvetch and complain and whine and moan and curse the heavens…Everyone else can say those things too, but only to people in larger rings. When you are talking to a person in a ring smaller than yours, someone closer to the center of the crisis, the goal is to help. Listening is often more helpful than talking. But if you’re going to open your mouth, ask yourself if what you are about to say is likely to provide comfort and support. If it isn’t, don’t say it.”
  • How to get LESS EMAIL (praise God & hallelujah!) by Alexandra Franzen, “Other days, email is not my (best) friend — more like a problem to solve, or a mole to be whacked. And other days, I feel like throwing my laptop out the window & making a home for myself inside a tree by Walden Pond.” Send less email. Be freakishly succinct. Respond with declarations, not questions.
  • Healthy Eating on Just $300 a Day by “One critic wrote that it takes “laughable Hollywood neuroticism about eating to the next level.” (source: Amateur Gourmet tweet)
  • Photo essay on the Coveteur: Linda Rodin – Founder an Creator, Rodin Olio Lusso.
  • The iPhone Killed My Creativity. What About Yours? [Poll], “By burning through my life’s many empty, wasted moments, however, I am probably diminishing my creative potential. As I wrote in an earlier post: Numerous studies and much accepted wisdom suggest that time spent doing nothing, being bored, is beneficial for sparking and sustaining creativity.”
  • friday’s confesssion: my dreams changed by Tiffany Han, “If you were to ask me today what my dream is, I’d say that I want to change the world. I want to inspire EVERYONE to live the shit out of their lives – in the big moments and in the every day. Starting now. If you ask me next year, I might have a new dream. One that’s so different, I can’t even imagine it right now. And that’s what happens – dreams change.”
  • Tips for Being an Organized Blogger
  • The Illuminated Purposepreneur: Tiffany Han interview, “There’s also a myth that you have to be 110% certain about what it is you want to be doing before you start. I’ve been in business for myself for years and I’m constantly gaining clarity around who I want to work with and the projects I want to take on. Understanding up front that it’s an evolution can help you start taking the first steps. The key is to do something. Anything. You’ll figure out the rest as you go along. Especially if you have that pesky doubt thing in control.”

Real, actual books:

On Internet Reading Habits

I read. A lot. All the time. Too much.

I read to be entertained, to fight off boredom, as a means of avoiding dreadful work. I read to escape, to learn, and to be inspired. There used to be a lot more junk. Nowadays, it’s heavy on the inspiration, learning, and lighter on mindless entertainment. But it’s still too much. It’s a crutch an escape mechanize and I believe it’s one of the things preventing me from really doing things.

Instead of knowing, really understanding something, I get the cliff notes version of life, news, pop culture. While I believe reading on the internet can contribute, sway, and alter my perspective, it also keeps me from going deeper.

Sometimes reading takes my focus. Sometimes reading makes me feel bad. And sometimes reading is just procrastination.

I’d like to be held accountable. While I’m not longer hitting refresh on celebrity gossip blogs, I read a lot of things that should really fall under “April, mind your own business.”

In an effort to track how much I read, there is a google doc that I update with the article name, URL, and a quote. I am now going to share a week’s update with you all. Here we go.

What I read This Week graphic graphic
  • Productivity Playlist, aka How a college drinking game inspires my productivity. by Tiffany Han, “Y’all know I’m a huge fan of the Pomodoro Technique – as a way to remian productive, you break your work into 25-minute sections, taking a 5-minute break after each burst of work.”
  • On Owning All of It by Lisa Congdon, “Another thing I learned from Cheryl Strayed last night is that the pain of editing a book is necessary, just like the pain of editing your life (your relationships, your work) is necessary. I am learning that owning the entire experience of my life, even the really hard and shameful parts, is critical, not just to being a good writer, but also to being a good human.”
  • 5 Tips for Apartment Hunting in San Francisco + Our Story on Oh Happy Day, “We wanted to give up, but then I tried looking for 1 bedroom apartments with bonus rooms. I found a vague listing that was half the price of the two bedroom apartments we were looking at. It was located on the best street in San Francisco but there weren’t clear pictures or many details.”
  • Why You Should Fire Yourself on Copyblogger, “There are two essential ways a small business owner works — in their business or on their business. Working on the business means stepping away from the daily grind to do some planning and strategic thinking… Most small business owners get caught up in working in their business all the time, and never working on their business.“So,” I said to Alex, “fire yourself as the copywriter and hire yourself as CEO.” …Make sure to think completely objectively about your business, and be prepared to make hard decisions. Push yourself to think creatively and strategically… A good rule of thumb is to fire yourself for a day or two every quarter.”
  • If You Want to Be Married Young, You Should Marry While Young on The Atlantic, “To decide to romantically cohabitate with another person for the rest of your life, to make a family with that person, is to go to war. To borrow the language of my mother — you had best love their dirty drawers, because you will be seeing them…The dynamics of power — societal and personal — are inseparable from marriage.”
  • Nora Ephron’s Rule of Four: How To Intrigue and Satisfy Your Dinner Guests on Apartment Therapy, “In particular she talks about meeting Lee Bailey, who more than anyone else inspired her to find her own unique, personal style of cooking and entertaining. It’s from him that she learned what she says is one of the key elements to a successful dinner party: having a fourth food on the plate that’s unexpected and delicious.”
  • Rick Ross, Don Draper, and the fantasy world of masculinity on Feministing, “It finally hit me: Rick Ross is basically hip-hop’s version of Don Draper… They are both products of fiction. They’re both identity thieves whose actual life stories hold the potential to ostracize them from their chosen communities. But more importantly, they both have constructed elaborate fantasy worlds around an idea of masculinity they know isn’t true to who they are.”
  • Fired SendGrid Developer Evangelist Adria Richards Speaks Out on All Things D, “And I do believe there is good to be found in this situation. Debate and recrimination can and must give way to dialog that explores the root causes of these issues in the tech industry.”
  • How to Get a Black Woman Fired in Six Tired Steps by Channing Kennedy, “let’s look at the other side and examine how trolls, mansplainers, amateur Internet career counselors — plus some self-identified feminists and well-meaning types — willfully or unwittingly contribute to a pattern that just so happens to rescue large groups of professional white men from the unchecked tyranny of individuals who aren’t professional white men.”
  • Tyler, the Creator – Wolf review on Pitchfork
  • MISS MANNERS: Thank You Notes – Courtney Khail stops by to teach the art of thank you notes. on Rue Mag, “Thank them for the gift. Let them know how you will use it… Reference the past and look forward to the future.
  • The Anti-Social Era: Lessons Learned from Vimeo Founder Jake Lodwick on PandoDaily, “Millions of people use Vimeo. How many people use NowDoThis, his personal task app that never gained popularity? It doesn’t matter, because the product’s success is contingent only upon Jake finding it valuable. If that is the philosophy by which you approach entrepreneurship, you will succeed. … Lesson 2: Coming to terms with failure is not enough — you must learn to ignore shame… Life lasts a long time. You can disappear or be useless for weeks. Lesson 3: Sometimes it is ok to be nobody, useless, anti-social, and alone. If you are coming off several years of hard work, you can disappear and be useless for months… and the only impact that it will have on your success is that it will make you more successful. You are missing out on nothing.”
  • America is raising a generation of interns on The Week, “There has been a cultural shift toward something more sinister — that you have to invest in yourself and we are each out there on our own,” Perlin explains. “There is no idea of a social investment in our promising young people. Increasingly, you invest in your own human capital or your family does. There is no sense of shared responsibility.”
  • The Joke’s On Us? by Fictive Kin, “Yesterday, on the heels of its acquisition, popular recipe site Punchfork closed its doors. This kind of acquisition / shutdown combo is increasingly common these days, but there were some things about the way Punchfork bowed out that caught our eye: The fairly callous exit post, The ominous shutdown banner. The complete lack of any communication about what would happen to user data.”

And the real, actual books…
– Finished: Why Have Kids? by Jessica Valenti
– Started: Wolf Hall

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