Sunday, October 13, 2013

life revelations

Hey. Did you know the government is shut down? Did you know that most people in America don't care? That's what I learned this week.

In AP GOV we learned about Middle America, and how most of the population doesn't give two craps about the government, and is in fact rather uninformed. Most papers don't talk solely about the federal government.

Living in DC, we are immersed with politics, so it is a pretty big part of our lives. In most of America, this isn't the case, and problems in Washington can seem far away. Also, most people's daily newspaper isn't The Washington Post, which is read by leaders from all over the world. I think it's cool that ours is.

The reason I like learning this is because I love knowing where I am in the grand scheme of things. (That's why I plan on taking AP HUMAN GEO). I often sit down in front of the mirror in my room and pretend I'm a monkey. Or no, I am a monkey. I don't even know why I'm typing. God. Okay. I should write my AP GOV paper and study for chem.

Haha. Ha.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Why I Don't Mind Living in America

One of the most common things I hear from people my aged is "I hate living in the USA" or "why can't I live in London or Paris! Ugh!".

But, contrary to many people in my twitterfeed, I don't mind living in the United States of America.

I live in Washington DC. I actually enjoy living near such a powerful, beautiful and prestigious city. Not that DC is my favorite place in the world, but it is nice to be able to hop down to the White House any day I feel like. Also, when traveling internationally it's super fun to tell people I live in Washignton DC, rather than trying to explain to a Dutch person where *small unknown town in possibly familiar but not totally familiar state* is.

I'm in the middle of the world. Living in DC means being equal distance from California and England. Therefore, I am the center of the universe.

I can freely travel to the desert, ocean, mountains, plains--North, East, South + West. I'm not as constricted in physical travel as someone living in France, seeing that America is so big. Am I sick of the humid city? I can go to a cool city...or a small, dry town in Colorado. No visa required.

I identify with awesome pop culture icons--BEYONCE has the same cultural instincts as me! America has a huge supply of celebrities and socialites. That means I have a special, 300,000,000 / 7,000,000,000 bond with Beyonce, Spielberg, Liza Minelli, etc etc etc etc.

Saturday, June 15, 2013


On December 22, 2012 I decided to start running. I've never been a runner. In fact, I've never been an exerciser of any sort. Group sports give me anxiety (and still do!) and when we had to run the mile in PE I wanted to actually die. This was my mindset up until December 22 2012.

So why did I, all of the sudden, start running on the treadmill? I'm not really sure. I never watched a video that truly inspired me to start running, and it wasn't ever a new year resolution. From what I can remember from 7 months ago, it was winter break and I had probably eaten some junk food that morning. Therefore, I felt crappy. So instead of slowly moping on the treadmill for ten minutes (2 mph, yo!) I decided to run and feel less fat. That day, I burned 400 calories.

Since then, I've burned a minimum of 200 calories/day on the treadmill--every day since December 22. Part of my success in running (mental success, not necessarily physical success--though I'd like to think I've had both) has been my consistency. I've never ever skipped a day of running, with the exception of a few days in Philadelphia/New York where I instead walked around, as well as the recent day when I got a tooth pulled.

But now I love running. It definitely gives me an au natural high, and it makes my day feel accomplished, even if I didn't leave the house. I can easily run 2 miles at a 8 min 30 sec pace (this is what the treadmill tells me, who knows if it's totally correct).

Speaking of leaving the house: My only complaint about running is that I'm too scared to run outside in my neighborhood. The reason behind this is rather silly: I don't want any people I know from school to see me running...I think it's kind of embarrassing. Although whenever I go to Pittsburgh or Philadelphia or New York or anywhere run-able in the future, I happily run outside. But in my neighborhood..not so much.

If you'd like to know my "technicalities" for running, here they are.
-Nike shorts (basketball style, not running style...I can't rock short shorts, sadly)
-Whatever loose, solid color old navy shirt I have (although I'd really like some better running tops)
-Nike dual fusion running shoes (gray)
-Normal short white socks (from Target, of course)
-iPhone + Earpods

Some inspirational stuff I like to watch:
Any of Casey Neistat's videos...he's a big runner and some videos show him running, which is oddly inspiring.
This video by a guru/vlogger named Allison. 
An article with great tips for running.

Happy running!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Film: The Social Network

9:00 pm, Saturday night. I've just finished watching The Social Network (TSN) and it was astonishing.

Similar to a recent favorite, The Great Gatsby, the music throughout TSN was not only fitting to the movies theme, but was necessary for the film to flow so wondrously. At times, the music simply provided the mood for the scene; Lawyer scenes, 'scary' scenes, etc. Other times, most notably during the scene where Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Einsenberg) Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake) discuss Victoria's Secret / business in a bar, the music literally carved the movie-goers experience due to the sheer noise level the tunes were at. If, say, I was scrolling through my twitter (should I say Facebook?!) feed during an easily audible scene, I wouldn't have too much trouble multi-tasking. The loud club tunes were louder than the voices of Mark and Sean, so I had to put extra focus into that scene in order to get that plot line. Personally, I think that's a super cool technique.

Do people from Harvard actually talk like Mark Zuckerberg? DO THEY? The witty comments in the lawyers room (I don't really know what else to identify it as..), almost always coming from Zuckerberg's mouth, left me feeling not only intrigued by his brains lighting fast ability to think of responses to tricky questions, but also intellectually stimulated mah own braiyun by his use of the English language. My ears just had such a convivial experience with this movie.

Sometimes, such as with Mean Girls or Easy A, the script is the only thing that makes the movie good--you could say the dialogue is the only factor that makes the movie so good. Other times, such as with Like Crazy, the dialogue does not need to be as strong in order for the movie to be worthwhile--the beauteous filming is good enough. The phenomenal and fast paced script of TSN added to the great music, great characters, and many other considerable factors of this film to make TSN an exceptionally wonderful piece of art.

My favorite element of Jesse Einseberg's character, Mark, was the way the viewers--or at least my--opinion on him changed multiple times throughout the movie. At one point, I thought Mark Zuckerberg was mentally ill. Later I thought he was smart. Just after that, I despised him and his actions. (If you're wondering, by the end of the movie I really liked his character. It was just a roller coaster getting to that point.) Specifically, Jesse's acting was phenomenal when, while in a lecture class, he was handed a mean note. The face Jesse created was outstanding and so chilling, and brought a new level of sensitivity and humanization to his character. (Click her to see the face he made, in meme form. )

Erica Albright. Rooney Mara?!! Dumper of Zuckerberg. Lawyer for Zuckerberg?!! My mind still can't get over that character development/whatever her character's deal was. Good plot twist. As a film maker, which I am NOT, I feel like it must be hard to translate the idea of a character's plot twists and developments from the head of the writer or director to the big screen. Since Erica Albright was fantastically communicated as a developed character, good job to the people working on TSN.

Finally, London Tipton. I mean Brenda Song. I mean Christy. First off, Brenda's acting was really fact, I've always thought her acting was phenomenal--even on The Suite Life. For a moment as Christy was evilly eyeing her boyfriend (who was preoccupied with Facebook drama), I for real believed that TSN was going to become a full out horror film. So that was some good character stuff acting.


In conclusion: TSN was a wonderfully made film that provoked far too many picky and, most likely, uninteresting opinions of mine. These opinions of mine were so prevalent in my mind that I made a legitimate blog post about them.

Wait!! I would like to add one (more) random thought to this rambling review:: If anything, this movie made my have some nostalgia for the past of Facebook, and life before social networks. Not in the sense "Oh, life was so simple before social media" because that's stupid to say, and I don't believe that statement. Facebook was, quite simply, the first big social network. While MySpace was around before Facebook and E-Mail provided one of the first online communication forces, Facebook truly shaped social networks. And the reason I am slightly nostalgic after this movie is because, while Facebook is technically growing in size, no one who I associate with--none of my peers--use Facebook normally. This is because Facebook isn't considered to be 'cool' anymore. TSN documented the fantastical story of the creation of Facebook; something still--(although fleetingly, as with any social network)--relevant today. Sorry, that was UBER ramble-y and unnecessary.

Good night.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

bedroom inspiration

...because I hate am bored with my room.

Low bed. Love the platform/side table. Such a cool concept!

For the brick wall and sheets.

I absolutely love when beds are right up against a window (with curtains, of course). It reminds me of hotels, and I always sleep well in hotels.

SO much character. I want a tilted ceiling, I want I want I want. The carpeting sucks, but that ceiling and window is amazing.

Nice wall decorations.

Would I ever put a mosquito blanked over my bed? Probably not. But there's something about that look I find so intriguing.

Window: check. Fairy lights: check. Comfortable bed situation: check. Wall accents: check.

all of these photos are from tumblr

Monday, May 13, 2013

city times

Spring Break--late March--I went to New York for three days. 

Fifth Avenue clouds.

Times Square at night.

Park Avenue, my absolute favorite street in the city.

Vintage Manhattan.

Mmmmm, buildings on the Park.

Grand Central.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

This is not sponsored.

    /\ taken with Nikon D3100 in Monterey, CA. \/ taken with phone in my house. 

For a while, I've been seeing photos pop up on my Instagram newsfeed with the hashtag "vscocam". I soon realized that "vscocam" was an application you can download to pre-edit your photos for Instagram.

Today I downloaded the VSCO Cam app. And it's wonderful!

Since I first got my Instagram I've been really against the idea of editing photos with third-party editors. Also I disliked how people would post photos taken with a professional camera on a network meant for capturing quick moments with a cellphone. While I still stand by my later statement, I take back the former.

VSCO Cam allows you to put natural looking edits on photos, and then post them directly to any social network. I can't wait to take a nice picture soon, and then post it to Instagram...not before editing it on VSCO Cam before though.

PS: this post was written over a month ago, and I've actually had VSCO cam for quite a while now.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Documenting My Day

6 pm. Wednesday. 17 April 2013

5:30 am: Wake up, shower, eat cereal, get dressed.
6:43 am: Leave home, get on bus.
6:55 am: Arrive at school. Walk downstairs to location where I like to sit before school really starts. Talk to people n' stuff.
7:20 am: First bell rings. Walk to locker room because I have PE.
7:35 am: After using up as much time as possible to change into my gym clothes (even though I just got dressed an hour before, ughhh), go outside and do silly PE activities.
8:10 am: Leave locker room late after being let out from PE late.
8:15 am: History class. Easy but boring. Watch film on Cuban Missile Crisis. Eh. Eat half of my lunch during movie. Mmm.
9:05 am: Time for French. My teacher sucks. Of course she doesn't know any of the verbs. Why would she? Did I mention we don't actually start doing anything until 9:35? 30 minutes of teacher trying to get the slideshow up.
10:00 am: Walk to Tech room.  Nope, computer lab today. Walk to computer lab 250. Work on Chernobyl/Katrina project. Finish project.
10:50 am: Lunch time. Go to turf field and eat outside. Leave slightly before the bell rings so I don't risk being late to my next class.
11:40 am: Biology. This teacher scares me. This teacher confuses me. Lab on dichotomous keys. Easy breezy beautiful.
12:25 pm: Leave Bio room and go downstairs to English. Finish annotating Atticus' closing speech to the jury. Timed writing. Oh no.
1:20 pm: Exit English room after a stressful timed writing. Now onto math. Unit test tomorrow. Re-take on Friday. I hate Geometry.
2:10 pm: Leave school, get on bus.
2:30 pm: Arrive at house. Walk upstairs and get changed into pajamas. Eat yogurt.
3:00 pm: History homework. Finish Science lab. Frequent internet breaks.
4:00 pm: Treadmill.
4:30 pm: Shower.
5:00 pm: Read Hemingway book. Study for Geometry test.
6:00 pm: Currently.

PS: the times I give are approximate; they may not be 100% exact, but they're pretty close.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

through the clouds

This past summer, as you know from reading this blog, I took a trip to Northern California. In order to get a cheaper flight from the east to the west, I had a quick layover at LAX before flying to SFO.

When you're soaring miles above the ground, it's always sunny. Even if there's a rainstorm, the sky is blue and bright just meters above the clouds. So for most of the six hour flight to LAX, it was sunny.

As the plane started it's descent, a jumble of clouds appeared below. Soon the plane was cutting through a thick, never-ending selection of heavy clouds. I use the word 'cutting' since it wasn't at all smooth like I've experienced with past plane/cloud interaction. In the case of the arrival to LAX, the plane--and the passengers--felt as though it was trying to cut a piece of frozen cake with a plastic knife.

Two minutes went by, and land was finally visible. Except it wasn't the sunny city I was expecting from the view out my window just minutes before. I realized that the plane had just flown through what I'll call "overcast" clouds.

Landing in Los Angeles and seeing the overcast weather I couldn't help but become instantly fascinated with the thought that the sun was always out.

Next on my travel wish list: Outer Space.

Friday, March 22, 2013

final noms- Food Photography

A cold winter's eve. Watching something on Netflix.

Preparations for all the baking that we do in winter. Exciting stuff.

Successfully made meringues.

After Argo. Lunch at Le Pain Quotidien. In addition to the rolls, I consumed some smoked salmon and nutella-esque spread.

Le jams of Le Pain.

One morning I decided to make myself a fancy American breakfast.

Finished product! The corn tasted bad, but the rest of the meal was pretty American and good. And salty.

I got suprised with a huge sticky bun from an organic bakery. IT WAS SO GOOD.

We made pecan bars, and they were pretty spectacular. In the basement fridge there are still a few bars left, actually.

This is the final post of my iPhone pictures! Bon appetite!

Monday, March 11, 2013

sweets and falafel- Food Photography

Whole Foods, picking up lunch.

Mmmmmm. So in Pittsburgh there's a bakery that makes the most delicious cinnamon bread in the universe.  (You can actually see the brown sugary cinnamon oozing out for the bread!) When I'm visiting family there, I have this usually every morning.

Macaroons at a cute café. Pittsburgh.

This is a bar of chocolate purchased at Godiva's Black Friday sale. And this picture was taken in the car coming home from Pittsburgh. There was snow!

As part of the required culture lessons in French 3, my teacher decided to have us bake crepes.

Christmas cookies!

Chocolate muffins made with cake mix and a can of pumpkin.

One morning I woke up to a plate of Parisian pastries laying on the kitchen counter. The pastries in the middle were the best--apple tarts.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

carbs, candy, and protein OH MY- Food Photography

Food Photography time. I have three posts worth of reluctant carbs, candy, and protein for my dear readers. 

Whenever my parents pick up a baguette, I turn it into garlic bread. Salty, chewy, AND crunchy!

I followed a recipe for one chocolate chip cookie, and ended up with that huge cookie pie, featuring Reese's Pieces.

The first time I bought lunch at school--by myself! I got this delicious sandwich at the grocery store. Then I went to eat it outside. I miss October just a tad bit.

<3 this picture, mainly due to its contents.

Cupcakes! If you're curious, the occasion was a French party before winter break. Although you never need an occasion to make cupcakes. Just make 'em.

Fro-yo at the mall.

This is one of my FAVORITE dishes at a local high-end Asian restaurant. It's Tokyo dashi broth with egg noodles and beef. My guilty pleasure food is 100% good Asian dishes.

Altoids; a staple in my room and in my mouth.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Pretty Things, part 2

Once you get past the factories outside Philly, you get to the city. This day was snowy, and as I took this photo from the car window, my flash went off. I thought the flash would have ruined the photo, but it actually made the snowflakes look like little sparkles in the city. Pretty pretty, if I don't say so myself.

This is when we went to see Argo in a little theater downtown. The picture above is of some shops just across the street from the theater. For a visualization of inside the movie theater, think of the Catacombs in Paris with carpeting and no skeletons.

I like when the sky looks big and blue. That's the chimney of my next-door neighbor.

On the day before Obama's second Inauguration, we went downtown to see everything being set up.

Yep, that's the Mall.

Frontyard is nice.

All through winter we haven't gotten much accumulation of snow, so when it snows as little as it did in the image above, I just have to rush to my phone and snap a picture.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Phone Photography- Pretty Things, part 1

Let's start from the beginning. One day, my iPhone notified me that I had used up almost all of my storage. So in order to get more storage for the future, I deleted the 400+ pictures from my phone and transferred them on to my laptop. As I was going through the photos, I thought this would make a cool series on my blog. Of course, a lot of these images are already also posted on my Instagram, but why not add a bit of detail and let YOU see them?! There will be two parts to my 'pretty things' series, and multiple more parts to my, at the moment untitled 'food' series. 

PS: I have an iPhone 5 (with an 8mp camera and flash capability). 

Ahhhh. The first full day of having my new phone, I took a lens flare picture in my hometown. I remember being surprised that the infamous purple hue wasn't showing up.

The beginning of any new season is exciting. Especially autumn!

A Pittsburgh sunset from my Nana's apartment. This has been my phone's screensaver for quite some time. IT'S SO PRETTY.

This is actually the tunnel featured in the film Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Morning view. This is where the sunset was two pictures ago.

On a drive to Philadelphia to visit my Uncle, we always pass these huge factories just before the city. The amount of visible pollution is insane. I call this 'Pollution City'.

I want to say this was right before Hurricane Sandy.....maybe not. Either way, the bamboo was swaying quite ferociously. 

This was at my sisters soccer game in November. I love taking pictures in this style. Look at the supa-cool sky. Look at it!