Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Ram and The Horse

I'm an Aries which makes me a Ram I was also born in 1990 which makes me a Horse. These two zodiac signs of mine define me very well as a person.

Being an Aries::

Modality: Cardinal
Element: Fire
Ruler: Mars
Season: Spring
1st Sign of Zodiac
Metal: Iron
Stone: Diamond
Color: Red
Anatomy: Head, face.
Keywords: active, initiating, leading, independent, aggressive, impatient, combative, energetic, pioneering, naive, assertive.
Some Famous People with Sun in Aries: Alec Baldwin, Mariah Carey (Sun, Mercury, and Venus in Aries), Jackie Chan, Russell Crowe (Sun and Mars in Aries), Shannen Doherty, Robert Downey Jr. (Sun, Mercury, and Venus in Aries), Stacy Ferguson "Fergie", Sarah Michelle Gellar (Sun and Venus in Aries), Ashley Judd (Sun, Mercury, and Venus in Aries), Lucy Lawless (Sun and Moon in Aries), John Madden (Sun and Mercury in Aries), Conan O'Brien, Sarah Jessica Parker (Sun, Mercury, and Venus in Aries), William Shatner (Sun and Mercury in Aries), Gloria Steinem (Sun and Mars in Aries), Vincent Van Gogh (Sun and Mercury in Aries), Christopher Walken (Sun and Mercury in Aries)

Apparently, there are several ways to be Aries? When doing research about this I found that there are people with Sun in Aries, Moon in Aries, Mercury in Aries, Mars in Aries, and Venus in Aries. I got very confused with all of that. So if any of you know what that means, please let me know. =]

Daily Overview for June 30, 2011 (Today) Aries 3/21 – 4/19 Quickie: You won't be able get away with hiding behind other people today. Overview: You can get more done than you think today -- all those obstacles and distractions are illusory, or at least less potent than they appear at first. Abandon all fear and move ahead quickly.

The Year of the Horse::  
(This is coming from:Chinese Zodiac- Horse)
"Horse people are active and energetic. They got plenty of sex-appeal and know how to dress. Horses love to be in the crowd, maybe that is why they can usually be seen in such occasions like concerts, theaters, meetings, sporting occasions, and of course, parties. 

The horse is very quick-witted and is right in there with you before you have had the chance to finish what you are saying: he's on to the thought in your mind even before you've expressed it. In general, the Horse is gifted. But in truth he is really more cunning than intelligent - and he knows that. That is probably why, most of the horse people lack confidence. 

Chinese believe that because horses are born to race or travel, all Horse people invariably leave home young. The Horse despises being pressured to act for the good of the group or made to feel guilty. No matter how integrated he seems to be, a Horse's inner self remains powerfully rebellious. Although they have boundless energy and ambition, Horses have a hard time belonging. 

The Horse is hot-blooded, hot-headed and impatient. He is a bit of an egoist, well, selfish sometimes, that it is rare for him to interest himself in any problems except his own. And though this egoist works only for himself and for his own success, his work nevertheless benefits everybody. 

The Horse is a worker, adepts at handling money and a good financier. But unfortunately, he is also famous for suddenly losing interest on something. In his relationship with opposite sex, the Horse is weak. He will give up everything for love. 

Being born a Horse, there are many contradictions in his character. Horses are proud yet sweet-natured, arrogant yet oddly modest in their approach to love, envious but tolerant, conceited yet humble. They want to belong, yet they are burdened by their need for independence. They need love and crave intimacy yet often feel cornered, pressured. But the truth is, the Horse is an individual, who depends only on his wits and his labor to get what he wants." 

I'm not everything that Aries can be. Nor am I everything a Horse can be. However, I believe that I am a unique mixture of the two. But, hey, the people I associate with might tell you I am exactly like both signs. =]

Sorry for keeping you guys waiting too long <3

xoxo
Stephanie 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Zodiacs: Pertaining Or Not, Do Not Bash

Chinese Zodiac Sign: Horse


I was once talking to my friend about being a Horse in the Chinese Zodiac, and she scoffed, "Yeah, like people actually believe in this kind of stuff." Okay.  I have never really gotten over the fact that she dissed a part of my heritage, because I firmly believe in my...Horse-ness.  I am an easy-going, popular with lots of friends, good with money, quick-witted, and arrogant yet humble, full of contradictions, etc.  But that's because since I was young, I was constantly identified as a Horse.  My extended family got me 24-karat gold necklaces with Horse-shaped pendants, I would get red envelopes with gold horses embossed into the decoration.  I have always been a Horse, since I can remember.  For a long time I thought maybe I was the sheep, during my emo years, but then I blossomed after those stifling years in high school into this popular, eccentric, charismatic, clever person, and I am very happy with myself.  

Then I found out that my parents engineered my zodiac sign.  I was a C-section scheduled for February 12, right before the cut off date of 1991 for the Year of the Horse.  "We didn't want an overly emotional sheep daughter," my Chinese Mexican American parents said.  Am I supposed to actually be that gosh darn sheep? After about a week of a severe identity crisis, I decided.  No.  I'm a Horse.  I am a Horse because when I was young, I read about the personality traits of a Horse, and I superimposed them on myself, and that became who I am and probably always will be.  If people like the traits of an identification, they will work, like I did, to make themselves more like that which this identification says they are.  

So when someone, especially a friend, scoffs at my self-identification as a Horse, I got pretty defensive.  What a Sagittarius thing to say.  Just kidding.  

I know a lot of people feel silly for subscribing to what the zodiac says, so they often keep their belief in it a secret out of fear of being ridiculed.  It's like they don't want to be associated with this pagan system while at the same time they totally believe in it, and that's heart-breaking.  If someone truly believes that they are an Aquarius or a Snake or a Dragon, they probably will have the coinciding personality traits whether that's who they really are or not. Every sign in both the Western Astrological system and the Chinese Zodiac has both pros and cons about them, so there aren't objectively any signs that are better than the others (although a Dragon could probably give the super awesome Horse a run for her money). 

People shouldn't feel ashamed for actually accepting to any extent these paradigms, because they could potentially coincide with their sign.  It's not that the sign controls and limits who we are, but that we choose to accept it.  We're not giving up ourselves at all. 

Even if people don't choose to listen to me because they think what I'm saying is cuckoo for choco-poofs, I'm glad my parents made me the Year of the Horse, thus making me want to make myself like the horse.  Apparently it gave me enough charisma and eccentricities to be chosen as one of the seven awesome girls who get to author this blog! 

I don't know about that whole thing about how Horses have a lot of sex appeal though.  I keep hearing that....I think maybe the ancient Chinese astrologers were just so dazzled by the super awesome Horse that they just willy-nilly wrote that they have a lot of sex appeal.  My frumpy Star Wars t-shirts and uncut hair long enough to get caught in closing doors would beg to differ.  Yes.  My hair gets stuck in closed doors (car doors, house doors, windows, you name it).  Very sexy.  

Happy Humpday, everyone! 
Go check out your daily zodiac and see if it's true! Apparently people are going to nurture me today.  Yay

xo 
Éli 

Edit: I just reread my post.  Wow.  I am such a Horse.  

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Balanced Rooster

Libra/Yin Water Rooster (Poster from Cafe Press)


When I checked the blog on Friday to get an idea about what we would be covering this week, I 
found myself with a dilemma – zodiac signs. Should I write about the Western Zodiac? The Astrological signs that we look at so often? Or should I instead consider the Chinese Zodiac that doesn’t jump to mind at first? Well, naturally, I couldn’t decide. You see, I’m a Libra, which makes decisions very difficult on the occasion, in fact, I often find myself using the old adage ‘eeny, meany, miney, moe’ to make decisions and use a system after that to make my final choice. Instead of doing it this time, I decided I would simply talk about both of my signs because those two halves really do come together to make me whole. I'm a Libran Rooster and this is my personality in a nutshell:

The Water Rooster (1993)

                Characteristics:
The Good:
Forthright, brave, enthusiastic, loyal, hardworking, tenacious, resilient, adventurous, meticulous, prompt, astute, well-dressed, proficient, down to earth, gregarious, communicative, sensible, generous, charming, ebullient, witty, trustworthy, analytical, and loving.

                    The Bad:
Cranky, fussy, vain, self-involved, blindly egotistical, over-zealous, pretentious, materialistic, grabby, high-handed, cynical, mercurial, self-absorbed, proud, quixotic, day-dreamers, shy, moody, boastful, and resentful.

Famous Roosters: Michael Caine, Errol Flynn, Eric Clapton, Richard Harris, Van Morrison, Willie Nelson, Katherine Hepburn, Yoko Ono.

Libra: The Scales (September 24-October23)
                Characteristics:
                  The Good:
                             Diplomatic, generous, peaceful, graceful, idealistic, hospitable, neat, enjoys volunteer work, charming, tactful, fair-minded, classy, loyal, empathetic, good listener, intelligent, creative.
                  The Bad:
                             Superficial, vain, indecisive, unreliable, wishy-washy, gullible, flirtatious, self-indulgent, narcissistic, bossy, a perfectionist, desires to be liked, insecure, pays an extreme amount of attention to detail.

Famous Libras: T.S. Elliot, Mahatma Gandhi, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Desmond Tutu, John Lennon, Eleanor Roosevelt, John Mellencamp, Sigourney Weaver, David Lee Roth, Dwight D. Eisenhower, E.E. Cummings, Magaret Thatcher, Oscar Wilde, John Lithgow, Franz Liszt. 


The two phrases I found that truly sum up a Rooster/Libran personality mix is that of “I balance. I overcome.” Both phrases are incredibly true for me. As I looked at everything, I found myself wondering what a blend of a Rooster and Libra would be like and this is what I came up from various articles on the lovely internet.


Libran Roosters are exceptionally eloquent, yet often fear that they may have offended, which usually proves to be the exact opposite because of the natural charisma that we apparently possess (toots own horn a little bit more). We’re sociable beings who enjoy being surrounded by other people and love talking, though, because of this combination, we’re very good at communication. Alas, if we become nervous, we begin to babble and our words run together becoming a mess and causing us to look foolish as we grow quicker and louder when our nerves don’t immediately subside (this I can vouch for all too much!).

We’re still a lovely blend of contradictions obviously enough, we may enjoy talking your ear off, but we like to listen as well and are quite adept at offering a shoulder to cry upon due to the natural empathy that we possess. We speak at acceptable times, when we know our voices are needed, versus bursting into conversation blindly and with little tact. We make friends readily, we’re loyal and devoted to those we care about and would go to the ends of the earth to make them happy.

We aren’t thrilled with doing work that doesn’t involve other people. We’d much rather take a job where we can openly interact with others than do manual labour and toil at a grind day in and day out. We’re quite artistic, though being as practical as we are, we usually enjoy keeping our artistic endeavors a hobby versus a career unless the opportunity presents itself and proves worthwhile.

We’re commitment-phobes normally. We typically don’t go full out for someone right away, instead, we’re emotionally reserved and prefer to put up walls, distancing ourselves from personal and romantic relationships. Those who we do become close with, which happens over time, we become loyal to. And those to whom we say, “I love you” should know that they never have to fear us straying for we are intensely loyal and mean it with every fiber of our being.

According to Suzanne White’s book, The New Astrology a Unique Synthesis of the World’s Two Great Astrological Systems: The Chinese and Western, the Libra balances out the Rooster’s tendency to overreact, while the Rooster motivates the Libra into action; Libran Roosters have few regrets and roll with the punches that life sends at them with a certain skill that most do not possess.

We’re quietly smart in a 'know it all' fashion and we’re rather cocky, though we balance it with a relaxed air, mild-manners, and the fact that we never seem to have a problem with anyone in particular. We've a particular air about us that just comes off as being calm and charming. Generally, we’re fairly well-liked by our peers for various reasons and tend to make good partners.


When I look at all of that, I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty shocked about how well that fits me. I've always wondered how it's possible that zodiacs can fit a person so well. And now that I know there is a way to pair the two together, I can't help but be even more surprised due to the fact that they blend so well and create such a perfect balance between each of the signs which are normally quite the extreme of being far too lazy or far too outspoken. Instead, the two signs make a person that's likeable and a blend of the positives that compliment one another ultimately making them the sort of person you want to be around (apparently anyway). 


I think that's what gets me most, out of all of this, that the two signs are a perfect blend for each other. But, then again, the Libra's symbol is the scales....

Now that I’ve finished tooting my horn to you about how wonderful my particular zodiacal pairing is, I shall go have a shower and make myself breakfast. :) I hope that I’ve been informative. Many of the cons posted above are quite similar to the bad behaviours I possess in case you were wondering what our bad qualities are. :$

Hope everyone has a nice week!
Vicki xx

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Scorpion


These have been associated with the Scorpio zodiac sign words: Intense, emotional, resilient, profound, tenacious, magnetic, charismatic, persuasive, self-confident, sensual, sensitive, analytical, energetic, powerful, dedicated, faithful, resourceful, dynamic, suspicious, observant, jealous, obsessive, independent


I am not one to follow my horoscope. I didn't really know much about my zodiac sign before this week except that, with my birthday being October 24th, it was Scorpio and was represented my the scorpion.  But after some researching I have found it to be quite interesting that a lot of what I found is quite true of my personality.

I found it very very intriguing that a lot of sites said that scorpios are constantly trying to understand their emotions through finding a deeper purpose in life. They are supposedly a very determined set of people. Like I definitely am, they are said to have a fear of failure which makes them strive to achieve as much as they do. It helps for us to move on quickly and adapt to a new situation. I know that if I don't have a goal that I am working towards I get very unsettled and unhappy. Getting more out of life and helping the betterment of others is definitely a huge part of my life.

It seems that everything I found supports how my emotions are the way they are. Apparently they are know to be very intense people... with love, emotions, and determination. They are full of life and like to hide the fact that anything is bothering them. I know that is something I do. I try to make the best out of a lot of situations. However, that means that I will probably get cranky and moody when something is bothering me. Usually it takes some time for me to actually say what is going on in my had. I admit that is definitely a bad quality.

I found this segment about scorpios and relationships. It was something I was very interested in hearing about. I found it to be very true of myself...
"Scorpios are known for their possessiveness and jealousy but on the other hand, they are extremely loyal. Scorpios have an excellent memory and combined with an inability to let things go, they can hold a grudge against someone who did them harm forever, in fact a Scorpio rarely if never forgives and forgets. They will even go as far as get vengeance on the person. On the other hand, they will always remember a kind gesture forever and repay it. Any kind selfless gesture done to a Scorpio will gain trust and respect which is extremely important to them in any relationship, either romantic or not. The best advice is to be honest with a Scorpio friend and in return, you will gain an amazing friend you will never forget and who will be loyal to you and never make false promises. Their truthful and shocking sense of humor if different than that of any other zodiac sign and the Scorpio makes an amazing, powerful interesting friend that can be trusted....Scorpios are very weary about trusting anyone, a person needs to gain their trust and this gets built up over time and once all the 'trust tests' have been passed, Scorpio loves deeply and intensely. Underneath the cool exterior, energies and emotions are constantly flowing but the Scorpio deals with this be channeling this into useful activities, hobbies, relationships or a career. This is never apparent to the outside observer but knowing this fact explains why Scorpios are so passionate about whatever it is that they are undertaking. Scorpios have powerful instincts and they trust their own gut feeling which is another reason why a Scorpio seldom fails. Scorpios are very deep, intense people, there is always more then meets the eye. They present a cool, detached and unemotional air to the world yet lying underneath is tremendous power, extreme strength, intense passion and a strong will and a persistent drive. Scorpios have a very penetrative mind, do not be surprised if they ask questions, they are trying to delve deeper and figure things out and survey the situation. They always want to know why, where and any other possible detail they can possibly know. Scorpio's are very weary of the games that other people try to play and they are very aware of it. The person that a Scorpio respects and holds close to them is treated with amazing kindness, loyalty and generosity. On the outside, a Scorpio has great secretiveness and mystery. This magnetically draws people to them. They are known to be controlling and too ambitious but only because they need control for this makes them feel safe.She is full of flair and intrigue, a fascinating woman that the strong A-type personality male will adore, for she presents the right amount of challenge with the right amount of rewards. The Scorpio woman is the ultimate seductive, flirtatious woman. She won't give a man her heart very easily because she is weary of trusting another person. The man will have to go through a series of 'mental testes' in order for the relationship to get solid and close. She may not show it, but she wants a close committed relationship. Ion order for this, the man has to be trusted, has to be affectionate and never try to control her. She is very possessive but the Scorpio woman is so full of mystery, sensuality and passion that most men do not mind being possessed by her.Do not try to hide things from them or tease them, they always have to know what is going on. Remember, they are the only ones that are allowed to tease and present the mystery and intrigue! They like frankness and honesty, speak your mind they will respect that. Scorpios are interested in almost all activities, so finding something to do should never be a problem. They are unpredictable and could change course of the date mid-way though so take these last minute changes with a smile and try something different. They like people who are not afraid to ditch a plan and try another. In conversation, do not tell them that their opinions are wrong or shoot them down, they are too proud for this and even if it is a joke, they might not take it with the humor that you meant. Never try to control them but do not be the damsel in distress either, they like strong, real people with driving ambitious personality like theirs."


One thing I did find to be a little bit untrue of myself is that I do forgive very easily. I may not be able to forget that it happened in some cases, but I definitely do always forgive. There is always room for second chances with me. But continue to wrong me and I will want you to no exist in my life. I think that it can be said also that the perceived "controlling" nature of scorpios is misunderstood. Because honestly... in my relationship I am sometimes perceived to be trying to control the other person when I am basically not trying to affect what they actual do, per say. I am, in actuality, trying to assess the situation. I am trying to get all the information about the situation. Because, as it is said, scorpios need control in their life to feel safe. So having information in fact gives me that safety in a way. Therefore, it transfers as control. I am not sure if I am making any sense right now. 

Besides that, I found it very telling that a lot of what is said about my zodiac sign is very true of myself. That led me to some questions. I am not a very mythological person, but I am quite spiritual. I am not sure how it makes sense that what date you are born on makes a difference in the kind of person you are on the inside. It is very intriguing and leaves me with a lot of questions about how this works. Why is it that these horoscopes and things are true of when you were born? Is it in our heads or is it really true that all people born with in those span of days are of that nature? I think I may be a little bit more confused now than I was before I started reading  into this. But I am not sure that is a bad thing. Like my zodiac says of me, scorpios ARE ones to try to find the deeper meaning in their lives. How ironic, huh?!

peace and love all!
<3 Tracey

p.s. Stephanie and I switched days this week because she is on vacation. I am taking this week's Sunday spot and Stephanie will be posting hers on Thursday. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Admiring Artists

Miss Van

Throughout grade school it was common for teachers to assign essays on “Who is your idol/ role-model  and why?” But, I feel like I never really had a role-model I looked up to as a child.  Sure, I was a hardcore Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys fan, but I never strived to be them.

Though now that I am older, I feel like I have more people I feel inspired by.  Mostly artists. Many of the artists I knew of back-in-the-day on the net, who started out with by posting their art on forums, have blossomed into entrepreneurs making their love of art into a full-time career!  Such artists are Zambi, Celesse, Claire Belton, and more. 

I also look up to artists such as Junko Mizuno, Miss Van, and Fafi- girl artists who are very skilled and kick ass!  Their art never fails to disappoint, depicting women as beautiful and sexy- yet fierce.  Miss Van and Fafi started out on the streets, painting their art on public

walls in France.  Now Fafi has had clothing and make-up line deals with major companies.  Miss Van is well
Junko Mizuno

publicized and frequently has gallery shows that tons of people flock to.  Junko Mizuno, who claims she does not have much fame in Japan, is very much popular outside her home country.  Her artwork takes on many forms: comics/manga, figurines, major company collaborations such as My Little Pony, “adult products”, decals, clothing- and more.  These women turned their hobby into a full-fledged business.

I also can’t help but admire Lady Gaga.  I’ve been lucky to see Gaga perform live- this was back in 2008, when The Fame was just released.  It was a concert made up of many well-known artists.  But Gaga, who people really only knew for “Just Dance,” stood out from the other performers.  The others did their tim and hurried off stage- but not Gaga.  Gaga sang almost her entire album, dancing non-stop, and utilizing tons of props and dancers.  Not only is she dedicated, she is talented.  Singer, dancer, musician, and writer are just some of her talents.

Gaga♥
Lady Gaga is also frankly honest, and I like that. She isn’t afraid to share her past and voice her opinions.  Gaga connects with her fans.  One girl told a story about how she made a scrapbook gift for Gaga, handing it to someone in hopes of it reaching her.  Before the concert began, Gaga sent guards to go back to the girl, to ask her hair color. The fan replied, and the guard radioed the answer over.  Soon a guard returned with an infamous hair bow, made by Gaga, for the girl.  It’s no surprise that she has such a following with her kindness and talent.

Idolize It

When I think about what an "idol" is, I see it as someone to whom you are extremely devoted. You love everything about that person. Hell, you might even want to be that person. It's hard for me to choose a single person as my idol because there isn't any one person who has all the qualities I admire/hope to have in myself. Instead, I find traits and qualities I like in many different people.

Love yourself for who you are...
Marilyn Monroe overcame starting out in a bad situation (she spent much of her young life in foster homes) and grew up to become one of the biggest icons of her time. She was an actress, a singer, a model, and NOT a size zero. Marilyn was an absolutely beautiful and charming woman and it would be impossible not to idolize her at least a little bit. (Plus she stars in Some Like It Hot...c'mon, it's a classic!) She stayed true to herself and still made it to fame and fortune.



Be unique...
Lady Gaga. She's 25 years old and is already one of the most powerful and influential women in the world all because she had a dream and never gave up on herself. She writes her own music and lyrics, goes out of her way to please her fans, and she puts on a hell of a good performance on tour- non-stop dancing and no lip-syncing (I would know, I've definitely seen her live at least three times so far!) Some people find her outfits a little weird and/or crazy, but I like that! Dare to be different! Fashion is art, and even if I'm not a fan of meat dresses props to her for going all out!



Remain modest...
Although Audrey Hepburn is known as one of the best actresses of all time, she was always extremely modest about her talent. She was humble and gracious about her career as an actress even though she has numerous awards to back it up (two Academy Awards, two Tonys, one SAG Award, one Emmy, two Golden Globes, and countless other nominations and awards). Not only was she an accomplished actress, but she was also a humanitarian! *Sigh* who wouldn't want to be like Audrey Hepburn?


These are only three of a vast amount of people I look up to... As an aspiring actress, I hope I can draw inspiration from these lovely ladies and someday be half as good as they are!

xo Mel

P.S. thought this was pretty cute...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

... And I can see Russia from my house


       If there was one woman that I would say I have a girl crush on it would have to be Tina Fey. I really wish I was her some days. She is a brilliant, hilarious, beautiful woman.

Let me explain... I will admit that I really never watched much of Saturday Night Live before the 2008 Presidential election.  But with that said, it is also very important to know that I was a journalism major and political science minor. This was our bread and butter. Being a lover of great comedy at that point in time.. it was the absolute best time ever. I was getting to cover opinions about the campaigns, learn about it, and laugh hysterically watching clips in between. The skits that Saturday Night Live did about the candidates were absolutely hilarious... Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton, Tina Fey as Sarah Palin... oye. It just got me right where I needed during sleepless nights due to an overload of too many committee positions, too many credit hours, and too much to do as an editor of the university newspaper.

One of the other girls that was in the national honor society with me and I actually dressed up as Sarah Palin and Tina Fey as Sarah Palin for Halloween.




Anyway, after I got hooked on Tina Fey's portrayal of Sarah Palin I could not stop keeping track of her. I would freak out at any interview I could catch of her. She is seriously hilarious in every word she speaks. It really helped me keep my joy. I know I have said I have gone through a lot of stuff in my life. One thing that I pride myself on is that I've never stopped laughing. There may have been my low points. But I have always bounced back quite quickly. Laughter, in my mind, is the best medicine a person could get.

Tina Fey is also something else that I love. She is a writer. She is a brilliant writer. She may not have written a fictional novel. But she has written for several hilarious shows that have brought my life joy. I love to write. That is the main reason I wanted to join in on this group blog. I hope to be able to use my passion for words and writing in the career that I find. (Also, as basically a communications major and a member of the Wangler family... I love television... it is almost unhealthy... but I LOVE television... entertainment.)

I really, really wish that I had the words that Tina does. One thing that is really missing to me is to be as funny as I want to be in my writing. I wish that I could be as funny as her. Because like I said...if I could bring together the worlds of political news, writing and comedy all together I think i just may be the happiest person alive.

Something else I really love about Tina Fey is her resilience. She always has an answer. It does not matter what the situation. For example, go to this link.  She has, obviously, received some interesting criticism. But what does she do? She uses her humor and sarcasm and writes back to these lovely people. These responses had me rolling. If only I could have the lady balls to write messages like that to people that have been rude to me. "Lady Balls" is a term Stephanie and I like to use to describe that intense confidence and comfortability in oneself to stand up for themselves. "Lady Balls" are that powerful "man" feeling... where you are in control of what affects you. She has definitely got some lady balls.

Plus, I think she has got it down by being a complete nerd, yet looking absolutely gorgeous!



She may be just a comedian to some. But, to me, she is an incredibly smart businesswoman. I aspire to be as great a woman as her. She holds true to her personality and what she believes. She gets to do exactly what she is good at and has a passion for AND she gets to write in a non-serious matter for a living.

It may seem silly, but Tina Fey is one of my idols.


<3 Tracey

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

John Williams: The Man Behind the Music Behind the Movie

If there is one person who could reduce me to a blubbering mess because I idolize him or her so much, it would be John Williams.  He wrote the music in such great films such as Star Wars (all three six films), the Indiana Jones trilogy quartet, Schindler's List, E.T., Superman, that wonderful Olympic fanfare, Memoirs of a Geisha, Harry Potter, and many other films that were improved by his genius.  After two years of being an wandering emo wreck in high school, during which I explored heavy metal, death metal, r&b, reggae, latino-reggaetón, soft rock, hard rock, the Beatles, hip hop, rap, the list goes on...I was one of those "I can listen to everything (but I actually genuinely like nothing)" kind of high schooler.  Then in my sophomore year, my high school orchestra (of which I was the most zealous member #band geek) played a Pirates of the Caribbean medley, and I was intrigued.  Was movie music a real genre? Yes.  It is.  That's when I started to really listen to the music behind the movies.  And that's also when I started to pay attention to the short-changed people behind the music.  And the last great film composer since the likes of Bernard Herrmann––think Psycho screechy violins––and Ennio Morricone, and Elmer Bernstein, is John Williams.  He's not dead, and he's still kicking and being awesome.  I wanted to get more into the film score genre, but in late 2006-early 2007 I had just dipped my toes into it.  Then, in December going into January 2007, I got the chance to be a padowan jedi costumer in the Rose Parade Star Wars Spectacular.  That meant I walked 5.5 miles engulfed in jedis, Darth Vader, Luke and Leia Skywalker, Ewoks, Twi'leks, those orange-suited pilots, Han Solo, Anakin Skywalker, and Padme Amidalas PLUS JOHN WILLIAMS' MUSIC played live by the Grambling State University marching band yes the same one from the movie where Nick Cannon was that drummer guy.  I knew all of the "Throne Room", "Star Wars (Main Title)", and "Imperial March" perfectly by the end, and I had fallen in love.  John Williams was officially my idol.  

John Williams is not like these flitty, floofy, existential composers (ahem Carter Burwell).  He gets into the nitty gritty and actually gives emotions and activity a sound.  He's humble and business-savvy and wonderful.  He went to Julliard, UCLA, and was in the U.S. Airforce for a bit.  His music has an air of genuine experience--after hearing his stuff, you can't imagine Leia Skywalker sounding any other way.  Other film composers are great, but come on, Danny Elfman got his start in a band called Oingo Boingo....can't even compare.  

I printed this out and taped it to my laptop case.  <3 

I saw John Williams in later 2007 live at the Ambassador Auditorium at some hoity toity charity gala, and I was at a loss for words for about 20 minutes after the performance.  He is such a personable, imposing conductor, even though he was something like 74 years old.  I legitimately didn't blink once during that performance out of fear that I would miss a moment.  It was the best moment of my life.  Until June 4, 2011.  

On June 4, 2011, I went to the Hollywood Bowl to see Star Wars in Concert.  The performance was amazing, plus I had a VIP backstage pass, so I had a voice in the back of my mind telling me that I was going to meet Anthony Daniels afterwards (he played C3PO).  I was excited for that, yes, but I was just relaxing and enjoying the experience.  But after the inevitable standing ovation, Anthony Daniels shushed everyone and said: 
I have the great pleasure in introducing our honored guest, John Williams!
This was the only Star Wars in Concert performance that John Williams decided to go to.  I actually burst into happy tears.  I thought the performance at the Ambassador Auditorium was going to be the only time in my life where I would be in the same room as him, so I went crazy for a little bit.  He only conducted "Imperial March", and I had stopped sniffling sort of by the time we were supposed to go back stage.  I thought my experience with him was over, but it was enough to keep me happy for a few days.  


But I walked back stage, honestly not expecting anything but to be lead to Anthony Daniels's dressing room, but he was thereJohn Williams was standing right there, and I was completely unprepared.  Apparently I turned extremely pale.  I started hyperventilating while I stood there watching him.  This was my hero, a man I never thought I'd be able to be within 10 feet of.  And in the next moment, I was shaking his hand, and I start blubbering.  I didn't start to cry again (that came later), but I had a little trouble breathing as I spoke to him and told him about the paper I wrote about his music where my thesis was that his music was the most important part of the films.  We had an actual conversation.  

Every day since June 4, 2011, I have been cheerful and let every annoying, sad thing slip off of me because I am part of the 0.001% of people that actually got to meet their idol.  06-04-11 is a day I'll never forget and cheers me up every time I think about it.  Can you imagine how it would feel to meet your idol? Oh no I'm going to start blubbering again...and I'm in class right now!

xo
Éli

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hoochies Pop Coochies For Gucci's and Lucci

I adore her, and it took me much longer than I anticipated deciding on how to begin explaining all the whys, so I’ll just wing it ;)

Lauryn Hill is the epitome of Soul, in my opinion of course. Her voice is deep and rich with wisdom. Before taking on a solo career Lauryn Hill was part of The Fugees; a hip hop group from the mid-90s. I was five when I was introduced to hip hop music and seven when I could recognize it. I would sit next to my aunt who was seventeen at the time while she would watch MTV; I remember hearing Fu Gee La from the Fugees. I watched as my aunt would sway and bob to the beat. I would mimic her movements in my mind and the practice them alone in the bathroom. Lauryn Hills rendition of Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly” was a beat that always played in the back of my mind. However, it was not until my ninth grade year of high school that I began to truly listen to the words she was singing, soon I stopped hearing music and her lyrics turned into poetry for me. She became more like one of my favorite writers rathar than musicians. Her words accompanied by beautifully mellow melodies have served as a soundtrack to many of my life experiences. She has helped me through break ups, writers block and simple boredom. She is a beautiful person and inspires me to search within myself when writing. I model some of my writing after her and it is the most honest work I have to offer. She has many songs which drip of raw passion and I can’t stop wondering how she can experiences the same emotions as I do yet in a form I have not been able to.  For these reasons I adore her.
Much of what I feel for Lauryn Hill is emotional. My hands are shaking inches from my face as if attempting to knock the feeling out of my body but I can’t. I feel her in my spirit. Her voice is deep rather than that high pitched pop mainstream. Her words motivate thought. She is under rated and currently gone mad. The fact she has lost her mind is proof to me she has experienced life; she has a sense of wisdom I hope to one day gain. She has lived through failure and success and she has done it without the melodrama of most of people idolized by the superficial masses. Victoria Secret models and Rihanna have nothing on Lauryn Hill <3
I recommend :
Ex-Factor (for break ups)
I gotta Find Peace of Mind ( realizations and moving on)
Tell Him ( forgiveness)
The Sweetest Thing (passion)

Camii

Monday, June 20, 2011

Winston & I

During the last year, I ended up learning a lot about myself, but in the process, I managed to fail just about every which way to Sunday to put it lightly. I failed in hobbies, clubs, work, school, friendships, relationships – it really was just not my year. I was extremely down on myself because of how rotten my luck had been between January and April. I was sinking back into a depressive rut that I had found myself in two summers before when I was fifteen. It was a downward spiral and a fight that I battled every morning and throughout the day. It often reached the point where I honestly didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning to go to class. I would purposely make myself late, dawdle and drive around for a while before I finally went in only to have detention. I would cut class, forge notes and signatures, skip meals, lie about things I “did” – all things that I had never advocated before or even considered doing became common place activities. I never did drugs or harmed myself in such an extreme way as I never reached that point, luckily, though I won’t lie that there were times when I really did consider the possibility of doing stupid things because of how miserable I was with myself. I wasn’t accustomed to failure. I didn’t fail. And if I failed, I partook in self destructive behaviour that really didn't make things any better. Nothing I did fixed my problems. I was, in my own eyes, a lost cause and so I punished myself by beating up on myself constantly on top of the scoldings from my parents. I hid how terribly I was feeling quite well to the point where I really didn’t even realize that I had sunk back into that place until after I began to claw my way out.

I often think now that the saving grace came during my AP European History class in the spring while we studied the Second World War. I received a packet and was instructed to read it – it was a pamphlet that detailed Winston Churchill’s rise to power from boyhood. Afterwards, we were to compose an essay explaining why Winston Churchill was the last great European leader and why he was more or less responsible for the saving of Europe from Nazi Germany. It seemed like it was going to be yet another miserable few days of work in a class that I was wishing would end (though at the same time I found myself praying for more time when it came to the exam that was fast approaching).

As I read it, I found myself really beginning to enjoy Churchill. Before, I’d always viewed him as being a witty man who coined some of my favourite quotes, such as, “[...] never flinch, never weary, never despair,” "If you're going through Hell, keep going," and “We are all worms, but I do believe I am a glow worm.” These were the things I often hung in my locker at school to keep my head up on down days when it seemed like everything had gone to Hell. Slowly, I began to see that so much of Churchill’s life wasn’t handed to him, but forged by his own hand and his will, which was practically indomitable.

(This is a light Churchill bio, some of the facts might be off, but you can either read it or skip it. My feelings will not be hurt if you do. :))

Winston Churchill was born to a fairly wealthy, noble family as the son of a politician restricted by society and a mother who was the daughter of an American tycoon. His father, Randolph, died at forty-five, while Winston was still a young man, leaving Winston with next to nothing to inherit and a determination to leave his mark on the world quickly out of the fear that he would die young as well. Besides the pittance that Churchill received from his father’s estate, he had also done poorly in school, which barred him from a career in law which he had aspired to pursue. Seeing no other alternative, Churchill joined the Royal Military College (after failing the entrance exam thrice, mind you). He elected to enlist within the cavalry due to the fact that he did not have to learn mathematics, which he did not care for. He travelled to India and Africa on a handful of occasions as well as numerous other locations, often enlisting family ties to achieve such feats. As time went on, he married and settled down with Clementine, who he would remain with until his death in 1965 at the age of 90. Throughout his life, Churchill battled with depression, often using his writing as a source of therapy and he became an acclaimed author. As most everyone else knows, he also rose to prominence in the British Parliament, eventually becoming Prime Minister during the Second World War where he led Britain fiercely into battle against Adolf Hitler’s regime.

(End Churchill bio)

By the time I had finished reading about Churchill, I realized that for the first time I had found a figure that I really connected with. I had found a larger than life character that, in essence, lived the life I’ve wanted to make for myself. I want to travel and to get out of here, to make something of myself and to really achieve something with my life that will satisfy me. There’s a quote about Churchill which says, “Winston Churchill lived the life every man dreams of, he’s survived 500 gun fights and drank 20,000 bottles of champagne.” I don’t believe that I want to drink 20,000 bottles of champagne or risk myself in 500 gunfights, but I do believe Churchill gave me back the hope I had lost in myself. And I know that I finally found someone who made something of himself when he had almost nothing, nearly lost everything from his own failures, fought against his own inner demons on numerous occasions only to win, and is still admired today as one of the greatest political leaders in history.

I oftentimes think that reading that packet is what gave me enough strength to hold my head up and I genuinely believe that Churchill's story was responsible for me not having a mental breakdown when I continued to crumble. So I don’t view an idol as a role model as much as I do view an idol as someone that inspires you. An idol should be someone who motivates you and gives you strength to carry on, regardless of how “conventional” they may be. My idol is a portly Englishman who had a speech impediment, poor family relations, and lived his life before I was even a twinkle in my father’s eye. He lived in a world that is completely different to the reality in which I currently do, however he still inspires me, as all idols, or role models, should. They shouldn’t be someone that encourages you to give up or spreads a negative message, but rather someone that can transcend the boundaries of time and distance to really make you believe that you’ll also be great someday and that you can achieve your dreams despite any odds. I'm lucky enough to have found that in Winston.


Have a nice week, everyone. 
Vicki xx

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Breakfast at Tiffany's

When you think of 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' you think of Audrey Hepburn; well, at least I do. Audrey Hepburn is my idol. I look up to her. She's classy, beautiful, and extraordinary. Whenever I'm having a bad day I go and pop in an Audrey Hepburn movie. Her most well-known movie is 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' but my personal favorites are 'Sabrina', 'Wait Until Dark' and 'My Fair Lady'. But if it's an Audrey Hepburn movie, I'm bound to like it. There are a few I have not seen but I want to, regardless of what other people say about them.

In High School when I was in my Drawing class.  We had an abstract grid project and it had to be a person; so of course I drew Audrey. Not only did I have fun drawing her, but it is in fact one of my favorite and most prized possessions. Not to mention, probably my best work. (At least portrait-wise). I just think that Audrey was a wonderful, wonderful person.

 

When watching her, a smile is always on my face and I'm never in a bad mood when watching or reading about her. And speaking of books... I have at least six books about her. Quite a few of them on display on my coffee table. She was always giving, love-able, great at entertaining people, and always putting a smile on people's faces.

Well, I'm gonna get going. I need to get to bed, however, I might come back and edit this post a bit later on in the day. I just wanted to get this post up and at least have something for you guys! =]

xoxo,
Stephanie

Comfort-Zones

Several words come to mind when I hear the word “comfort”: my bed, “comfort foods“, soft clothing- all things.  But comfort can also be about situations or places, like stepping out of your “comfort zone.”

I am a creature of habit, I’ll admit it!  My co-worker would say this is the Cancer in me (for those who follow astrology).  My bedroom is plush- full of comfortable pillows, chairs, and blankets.  There’s nothing I love better than curling up in my chair with a good book.  I also find comfort in structure.  Working two jobs, I’m always kept busy.  In the fall, classes will be starting up again and I’ll get back into that routine.

Though I have been trying harder this year to get out of the routine rut and expand my activities.  I’ve started writing to pen pals and swapping postcards to people all over the world.  I’ve met people I hope will be friends for a lifetime.  I want to travel!  I’ve never been outside of the U.S., and I have never traveled beyond the east-coast!

Will I ever give up my literature addiction? Never! (*ahem* please post book recommendations below…) But I can make an effort to create an equal balance of comfort and adventure.

Today, something shook me out of my comfort zone.  I felt ill and called into work sick (to one of my two PT jobs).  It’s a popular accessory store that you too likely have in your local mall. The manager told me that either I come in, despite feeling quite sick, if I value my job or I’m fired (mind you I called hours before my shift, plenty of notice).  This manager has made my short employment at this store miserable.  Cursing at me while customers are in the store, acting passive aggressive, and intimidating other employees as well. In previous jobs, I have took this abuse for fear of losing a job in an unstable economy and due to my genuine desire to be a people-pleaser; I didn’t want to cause trouble.  But I surprised myself and made a call to H.R., made a report, and quit.  I decided that though I value my job, my happiness and self-esteem is worth far more. Perhaps it isn't a coincidence that my first day on this blog is the day this happened. Maybe this is a sign that bigger and better things are to come!

Love,
Tiffany♥

Friday, June 17, 2011

[kuhm-fert]

There are six definitions for “comfort” in the dictionary sitting on my cluttered desk.

Com·fort
            [khum-fert]
-as a verb (used with object)
1. to soothe, console, or reassure; bring cheer to.
2. to make physically comfortable.
3. Obsolete- to aid; support or encourage.

-as a noun
4. relief in affliction; consolation; solace.
5. a feeling of relief or consolation.
6. a person or thing that gives consolation.


But…what does comfort mean to me? Honestly, it takes on many, many forms. Comfort is talking to my best friend on the phone when I’m upset that I didn’t get the grade I expected on my French final. Comfort is sharing a silly inside joke over disgustingly sweet cake pops. Comfort is hugging my beautiful mother after being away from home for months. Comfort is the smell of Carmex and the taste of my dad’s sweet tea and the feel of my favorite silk dress. There is one thing that comforts me perhaps most of all…



Lately, I have found myself a hopeless romantic. I eat, sleep and breathe love. When I started dating my boyfriend, Rudy, it was long distance; as we became closer and closer I found that I could hardly bear those nights and days I couldn’t see him. A while back I spent the night with him and had forgotten my pajamas so he lent me an old t-shirt of his.


Now on nights when I’m sad and missing him, I pull on that t-shirt and he doesn't feel so darn far away. Silly, I know, but just the lingering smell of him on that worn out old shirt comforts me and keeps me going until the next time I can be encircled in his arms. 

xo Mel

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bittersweet

Comfort. The word itself sounds cuddly and happy. To me, however, it is bittersweet. Like anyone I crave that feeling of comfort. It is like safety and love mixed up into one fantastic feeling. But the fact of the matter here is that, for me, it never feels quite right.

I don't mean to say that I never feel comfort or that I don't have comforts. What I am trying to portray is that in my life I am used to things not lasting, people not sticking around, losing things I care about.  This has affected me a great deal. Not that I let it get the best of me. I definitely know myself and I do possess a huge heart and I am always willing to let others in and give of myself in return. However, these discomforts leave me with that bittersweet feeling. While other may sometimes get too comfortable, I sometimes do the opposite. I don't let myself get comfortable enough. I have a sense of anxiety at times with people that are not my family. This is not to say that I do not trust these friends, or whomever they may be, in my life. But I will have this unsettling feeling that causes me to think that something is wrong. Now that I think of it it may have something to do with starting to feel comfortable.

Throughout my life, there have been a lot of friends and family that have passed away...friends that have ran away... situations where my life would be thrown upside down and changed. I adapted with all of these changes. I pride myself in being able to remain optimistic and my bubbly self at every turn. I do, oddly, love that my life has not been as normal as most would think. However,I must STRESS it hasn't nearly been as rough as the lives of some of the people I have met and know.

When I start to feel comfortable in the least bit something goes off in my head, a switch of sorts. After this switch is flipped a siren goes off in my head yelling at me, "Do something! This is going to go away! Grab it! Do something different!"

I think I have done this in a lot of situations in my life. At one instance, I got so comfortable with my life and that switch flipped. I then became obsessed with having a good body. I thought: I need to take care of this then I will feel okay. That idea spiraled when my comfort became reaching my goal weight. I began to switch things up with my exercise routine and my food intake. When I would reach that weight, I would seek a new comfort, a new goal weight. I became comforted by the idea that I could control my weight. I started to exercise way more than I needed to and I wouldn't really let myself eat anything else but a salad or some soup, if anything. This happened until finally I was 72 pounds at 20 years old.

This was when I realized how to channel my discomfort, at those points, into healthier things. I find that however bittersweet it can be the friends I have had at various points in my life have always been there for me. No matter how long they remained in it. So now I have found comfort in the things I know are real. I know I meet great people all over the place. I know that I love to be there for others as much as, if not more than, others have been there for me. Lastly, I know I have a wonderful family.

Today, I was able to relish in one of those comforts. I was able to visit my older sister and her 3 month old twin boys. There is something about holding a baby in your arms that is extremely comforting. It brings extreme joy to see my nephews! They are so innocent and unharmed by the world. They are beautiful. A simple smile from them can make you want to burst from happiness. They can make you feel so important. :)

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Now time to rest from this long day! :)

<3 Tracey

The Comfort Importance Hypothesis

I think everyone has a place where they feel most comfortable.  Isn't that the ultimate motivation behind every human's actions? Happiness and comfort, but mostly comfort.  Even the daredevils are "most comfortable outside of their element." So we're constantly on the subconscious (or at times conscious lookout) for places where we feel "at home," a.k.a. comfortable. 

That's not to say that we only find places comforting.  For example, some people take comfort in food. 

What  isn't comforting about this?
But I wanted to share a part of my life where comfort was a major factor in my stability.  I go to school in Southern California but I actually spent my freshman year at Boston University.  I was one of those, Southern Californian Asian American going to college in Boston.  I hated it.  I disliked my classes, I disliked that BU had no campus, I was in the one place in the world where none of my family members lived (I have a big family that kind of dots over the globe.  I have a theory that if we banded together to form a major network we could take over the world).  I felt cornered, stranded in my tiny brownstone dorm room triple with two roommates who disliked me because I wasn't a hippie.  So I took my Charlie card, tapped it against the automated ticketing machine on the T, and rode that metro all the way until I saw this: 
My unexpected place of comfort!
Trader Joe's, which originated in Monrovia, CA, was like a beacon of hope.  I walked in, and it was like there was something in the water.  Everyone was so happy, and welcoming (of course, I was a customer), and this TJ's had the same products that I knew and loved in L.A.  I felt so comfortable.  Almost every Friday, I would frequent this Trader Joe's and the next-door Gamestop which I also saw all over the place in L.A.  It was my little slice of home.  If I hadn't come to this TJ's in Brookline so frequently, I feel like part of me might have died.  I was so unhappy at BU, I sometimes would skip class just to come here and browse the aisles, maybe get a frozen quiche or a bag of unsalted almonds.  Even though I went to class maybe 60% of the time, I got straight A's, grades good enough to get me into university back on the West Coast, in L.A., mostly because I spent most of my time studying in or around this Trader Joe's. I was comfortable enough in that Trader Joe's to settle into this productive rhythm, as if I was back at home. 

How important was something as simple as a comfortable place in determining my future? Now I'm living in the city where I'm most comfortable.  I'm going to get married and live and raise my children here.  I've never taken the time until now to realize what a colossal role comfort plays in my life. 

I think my ultimate point is that we shouldn't take comfort for granted.  Today I'm going to tell someone I love and who I'm comfortable around how much I love them.  I'm going to go to Trader Joe's tomorrow and get some more butternut squash ravioli: 
...'cause I might've eaten it all...
So I recommend that you go tell that someone that you appreciate them, go spend a while in that special place, or hug that comforting stuffed animal, because comfort is more important in our lives than so many other things that are dominating the news (*cough cough*Rep. Weiner). 

Have a great, comfortable day, everyone! 
Éli