Independence vs. Security

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After 3 straight nights of shots. Granted, not many shots per, but still.

I’m writing this at my parents’ house next to my boyfriend in the room I slept in when I was in 8th grade, under the covers of a decade-old sheet and pillow set, on a super comfortable mattress we purchased in 2008 that has my body indented in it. Read More

Iceland Day 3

Obviously, I didn’t really go through with the updating every day thing because of the lack of strong WiFi and time, but I have finally finished editing day 3 pictures, so here you go! It was a little chillier on day 3 than the previous two days, and we saw a little less civilization and a few more sheep, which Mr. Chokkattu and I enjoyed. Day 3 consisted mostly of water and ice, but there were lots of rocks and mountains as well, and I’ll include a bonus gallery about mountain flowers too!

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Iceland Day 1: Reykjavik

Iceland is so far beautiful, and glorious, and confusing at times. Reykjavik is lovely and eccentric and proud of its uniqueness, as it should be. Perhaps the business transactions we made today didn’t go down quite smooth (why exactly do we have to retrieve our wireless hotspot from above a post box underneath some stairs near a furniture store, and why do people think this is totally normal?!) but the people were welcoming, kind, and generous, and that’s all Mr. Chokkattu and I could ask.

Today, I saw all of these things!

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Updates!

A lot of things happened in a fairly short period of time, so let’s get to it:

  • I’m starting my job with Kelly Weiner on Wednesday!
  • I interviewed for a few smaller, unpaid gigs and so far have gotten one positive response back; if I get a second positive response, that means I’m doing 6 classes, and what basically amounts to two and a half jobs this semester. If everything goes well, I’ll be Update: I AM working with Kelly Weiner, Lynxsy, and Fuse Marketing! Yay! I want this. I’ve got this. I wish I was getting paid more, haha. I want responses from bigger companies offering paid gigs and I’m trying to keep my head up.
  • I’m trying to organize my next Surrender to Chance pack into coherent reviews, and I might include a few scents I found along the way! Still trying to find the time and energy to go to the city for another perfume day. Soon!
  • I’m starting to dance again with a new/old group of friends. This makes me really freaking happy, because I feel like I haven’t danced in a while, and new friends is exactly what I needed. I have to up my focus though; I didn’t continue dancing almost solely as a result of my inability to focus, and the embarrassment that comes with not knowing what I was doing. Changing geographical locations isn’t a real excuse; I could always find another studio or another class when I moved around. I want to actually practice this time around.
  • Perhaps I’ll even lose a little weight in the process. I ordered some new earbuds and am going to make a concentrated effort to actually hit the gym. In the meantime, I’ll just continue dancing, stretching, and doing some push-ups or something in my room.
  • To that end, I’m also trying to eat cleaner. I’m trying not to go out as much (also because I want to move), and when I do, to choose things like fish and clear soups and salads. There’s no soda, or even juice in my dorm room, and that’s for the best right now. Cutting down on the sugar I’d be chugging.
  • I’m taking a little time for myself. I just want to have fun right now. I very, very recently got out of a relationship and I’m trying to be strong in areas I wasn’t before.

Perfume Adventure NYC Part 1!

The other week I wanted a break from the onslaught of final presentations and final papers and finals in general, so I poked my boyfriend really hard and demanded we go do smelly things. Like go to New York and visit things on this map. Because he gets headaches pretty easily from perfumes and I wanted to take my time and talk to people in each of the places I went to, we divided the places they listed up by area of the city to visit on different days, and because I like lists and Racked offers a pinned map, I put it in an Excel sheet.

I think you can guess where we hit first. And we went to Papyrus to pick up my Reddit Gifts card exchange gift.

I had a great conversation with the Aedes De Venustas guy about jasmine perfumes and the history of one of his favorite brands, Acqua Colonia, and I got the names of a bunch of stuff I might buy later when I have money, plus a refresher on brands I had completely forgotten about (BYREDO and Eau D’Italie!) and I’m fairly determined to go back and prove myself a customer that was eventually worth the time he spent on me. Sorry man, I probably should have just told you up front I was there for research purposes that day, but I will get you that commission! I got a bunch of people to say they’ll check out the place for gifts and already went through part of the choosing process with them so I hope I already earned some of your time back. I’m sure you guys earn on sales, and I know how that feels.

We went took a detour to Radio Shack to clear the boy’s nose because someone had accidentally sprayed some Amouge near him and that ish is strong stuff, and then headed over to Jo Malone because I thought he would appreciate how simple the scents were in comparison. Again, awkward sales rep avoidance ensued until we took haven with the Art History grad student named Kate making Christmas ornaments for people who purchased over $150 in the store. I did grab a few samples I liked though, like the Wild Fig and Cassis and Earl Grey and Cucumber that I’ll review another time, along with notes on other things I liked. We made off with the samples and a secret ornament that Kate accidentally messed up and then handed my boyfriend to finish, hehe.

I had by this time completely forgotten what Enfleurage was, so I wasn’t prepared for an essential oils distillery, and I just kind of ended up a bundle of awkward in that little store. I’ll come back with questions, and perhaps earlier, as the guy behind the desk seemed to be pretty tired. We didn’t stay long because I couldn’t think of any questions to ask, unfortunately.

But after we left, I realized that we still had time to hit the last of the stops I wanted to hit, and my energy was renewed from getting to pet some puppies in sweaters being walked. I was able to speak and think again without an overcast of uncomfortable. At our last stop, By Kilian, I got to meet Kimberly Waters of the reminiscent30 blog and Modern Urban Sensory Experiences, and we had a whole discussion on careers involving scents and the By Kilian brand, which was a lot of fun and pretty enlightening for my amateur mind, and it made me feel like I could do something I enjoy, for a living. She reminded me that, contrary to my belief, I was not running out of time. I guess I’ll just keep writing. Reviews for Imperial Tea and Love and Tears, Surrender coming soon!

Chocolate: three ways

Damian Allsop’s Water Chocolates

Having used and shaped chocolate in the past, this is intriguing to me because water was usually the bane of my existence. I can’t even imagine what the process would be to keep the chocolate from separating into an unappetizing grainy mess. It’s apparently about 10% less fat than regular chocolate, and I believe the chocolatiers when they say the process makes eating the chocolate a lot more of a pure chocolate taste experience. I wonder if it’s genuinely creamy, or if it’s more of a hard candy texture. Obviously, I really, really want to try it ;D

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I was also looking into some Latino literature and was thinking I would start reading Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. Defying preset roles and destinies, growing the nerve to stand up to crazy people, and expressing oneself through food, complete with recipes? Sounds fantastic. In fact, a lot of Latino literature seems to include something food-related, generally as a mood indicator. I think that this common device, which, don’t get me wrong, is used in a lot of literature in a lot of cultures, is interestingly blatant. It’s very clear what Rebecca’s lime-eating tic in One Hundred Years of Solitude is supposed to indicate (though I’m sure there’s subtext in there that I haven’t yet examined), and Like Water for Chocolate creates a story where for a while, the biggest indicator of Tita’s emotions are her cooking (according to Goodreads, haha.) Antonio in Bless Me, Ultima is picked on for eating traditional Mexican food at school, an obvious indication of the difficulties of trying to stay true to both your roots and your leaves. It’s so clearly intertwined with descriptions of culture, it’s fascinating.

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And of course, we return to modernity: chocolate chicken.

Have you seen how incredible chocolate fried chicken looks?

Unfortunately, it’s on the other side of the country, so I guess I’ll build up my Type 2 Diabetes some other way. Sigh.

You’ve never been to a concert before?

Nope. I think when I was younger Avril Lavigne was playing at a state fair and my dad might have snuck me in for a bit. That doesn’t count. I kind of went to see Janelle Monae in Prospect Park when she was doing that $5 concert, but we were really late, and then my friends wanted to fuck around outside so I didn’t actually get in, so much as hang out in the park with them while she played.

Buuut I’m going to see Block B this Sunday! I’m super excited about that too 😀 I should go listen to some Block B stuff so that I’m not totally confused at the concert…I might even bother to learn a fanchant.

Not that after watching that I was any less confused. Ah well. It was fun, I do like Block B :3

If my parents don’t insist I stay home and do nothing, for my birthday I’m going to do EDX at Webster Hall, so I’ll drop something for that here too!

And in the fall…

I’m in love with this band. I actually pre-ordered their first album that came out last year. I don’t buy physical CDs and haven’t since I was like 13.

I’m hoping to see them in NYC in the fall. My boyfriend promised he’d buy tickets and I can pay him back later.I really, really hope we get the tickets. I would be the happiest thing, seriously.