Thursday, March 29, 2012

Rainy Days Remind Me of London

Playing: The Water-Post Foetus
Reading: Battle Royale by Koushun Takami
I quite like rain. I never have to think about what I'm going to wear because I always wear the same thing: a pair of dark wash jeans, a cozy sweater, my Converse, and a raincoat that's usually a trench coat. Then my friends will tell me I look like I'm from London, so I run around pretending I'm in London for the day.
Whenever it rains, I always want to go to the beach or go for a walk in the rain, since it rains so little here in California, but my parents won't allow that. They're afraid I'll catch a cold or get soaked, so instead we headed off for a day at the mall. We couldn't just go the mall without eating, right? So we went to our favorite little bento place called BENTOSS, where I ordered the pork katsu with curry. I like how crispy the katsu is, but for the price, they could've given me one or two more pieces of pork...
Afterwards, I walked around South Coast Plaza looking at the window displays, grabbing look books, and I bought a present for someone too. Then I started to feel ill, so we walked back to the car, but look what I found! While we were walking back, we passed the John Varvatos store and Green Day is in their campaign photos! Any brand that supports one of my favorite bands is fine by me. To top it off, I just got tickets to see American Idiot, the musical, and my friend, Michael, let me borrow the soundtrack. Super excited to go see it!
I really like taking photos through windows, while it rains, because I love having the raindrops create a new dimension to the photo. I like how it feels like the palm trees are stretching into the background and it just feels peaceful like you're looking at another world. I just like that feeling.
The next day I took my uncle to a Lee's Sandwiches, so that he could try their amazing deli manjoos, which are basically like taiyaki with more custard on the inside. I like the bread part of this too, which is rare, since I usually don't like the breading without the custard. Must try these should you ever go to a Lee's Sandwiches!
For my lunch, I got the Bacon Club Sandwich, which I actually like quite a bit. I think their Club Sandwich is extra delicious due to the fresh baguette used to make it. Also ordered the mint milk with grass jelly, which wasn't as good as it sounded. After awhile, it got too sweet for me and made me feel sick, so I will probably stick to their iced coffee from now on. There you go! On rainy days, I like to shop, eat, and run around in the rain pretending I'm in London. What do you do?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What Did You Do at School Today?

Playing: Up the Junction-Squeeze
Reading: Wicked by Gregory Maguire
Other than reading books under the desk and writing letters to friends, I have been doing some pretty amusing things during class. Yes, I do pay attention in class most of the time, but sometimes my mind slips and I just can't focus anymore, so here's what I do.
In general, I like to write notes and post them on unsuspecting victims' backs. However, my friend, Boyul, had the bad luck of being the only target that got photographed for my blog. I did make it up to him though by donating to one of his charities that builds wells for North Koreans, so we're even, right? Only in history and English can I get away with sticking notes on the people around me!
English is actually one of my crazier classes. Another person in my class, Jaeho, held up his pizza box and yelled at us that anyone could have the rest, while we were reading in class. Of course, nobody really wanted any, so Sophie took it just because. That also happened to be the day, I had brought my 1981-ish tennis racket to school. All of my friends on the tennis team like to make fun of my racket. Why is it so heavy? Are you sure this isn't a racket ball racket? The neck is too long and the face is too small! How do you play with this? Oh the questions I get asked! Truth is, I play racket ball during PE and all the rackets at school are broken, so my mum gave me her racket from 1981-ish and it's better than everything else available.
I also brought in Peeps for my Chemistry teacher to explode as an "I'm sorry that my group and I melted your pressure gauge during the lab" present. Since my period is his favorite class and we were the only ones to have someone bring in Peeps, we were the only ones that got to witness cute marshmallow creatures explode due to air pressure changes.
Our chemistry teacher gave all the Honors Chemistry classes a challenge. We were to fill up a glove with solid O2, so that the glove would expand as the O2 sublimed. Whichever class could get the glove the largest without the glove popping for an hour won extra credit. All the other classes left the assignment up to the smartest kids, having them calculate the volume of the glove and use stoichiometry to figure out how many grams of solid O2 would be necessary to fill the glove. My period just left it up to three of the silliest kids who just tossed in a few hand fulls of the O2 and we won. The one under the paper towel dispenser is our's, but supposedly it got even larger after I left.
Then I'm starting something new. I never have time to hang out with friends on the weekend due to an excessive amount of homework, so I decided I'm going go try to make plans with my friends every single Friday from now on. Last Friday, I  went to Kavya's place to watch my first Bollywood film, Dostana, about two guys pretending to be lovers in order to get the apartment they want. It was actually a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to bumming around my town with my friends every Friday now. I hope I can make this happen, though. Even if we're just watching a movie, it'll be fun, right? Gotta keep my head up and I think this will help.
Oh, and here's a meme that Jaeho made, which pretty much summarizes my attitude to school right now. Try to look rebellious in front of my peers, but I still do all my homework! I thought it was pretty funny, since it's so true.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Perfume Samples

Playing: Tranquilize-The Killers Ft. Lou Reed
Reading: April Harper's Bazaar
Over the weekend, I went to Nordstrom to look at perfumes and purses and such, so I grabbed some perfume samples just to test things out. I personally like these samples because perfume isn't something you can buy at random. You have to wear it for a day or two before you can decide whether or not you like it.
Chanel N°19 Poudre Eau de Parfum is a nice, floral version of N°5. It's a pleasant scent, but there's one problem that keeps me from wanting to use this often. After I took a shower, you could still smell the perfume on me and it didn't go away until after two washes. It's nice to have a perfume that lasts, but I don't want to be tied down to one for multiple days.
Tom Ford's Violet Blonde is an amazing scent perfect for a night out and about. Lasts for a long time, highly concentrated so one spritz is enough, and smells luxurious. I really liked the smoothness of this scent and how warm it was, but not warm as in spicy like the next perfume sample.
Thierry Mugler's Angel smells like something made for someone elderly and it was too strong for me. After about five minutes of wearing it, I had a terrible head ache and had to wash it off. I can't say much for longevity other than it lasted more than one shampooing. It reminded me of a much stronger, spicier version of Yves Saint Laurent Opium. For some reason, I thought this was going to be a fresh, soothing smell because of the light blue coloring, but trust me, it wasn't calming for me. I do encourage you to smell this for yourself because it might be just me, who dislikes it.
For something fairly inexpensive and in general, something everyone likes, head over to Bath and Body Works for their body sprays. These are almost always on sale with a buy two, get one free kind of deal. My favorites are Sea Island Cotton, Rainkissed Leaves, and Sweet Pea. I bought these about four years ago, hence the old packaging, so I don't think Rainkissed Leaves is sold anymore. The only issue I have with these is that they do change over time. My Sea Island Cotton and Rainkissed Leaves have become muskier within the last year or so. The Sweet Pea has stayed the same, but if you wear it, everyone knows what you're wearing, which isn't that fun...They do last the whole day though and are easy to wash out, so it's a great deal actually. I also like how I used these almost every day for two years and there's still a lot left. Hope my review of these perfumes and body sprays helped or interested you in checking out something!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Fashion isn't Shallow

Playing: Bizarre Love Triangle-New Order
Reading: Alexander McQueen: Genius of a Generation by Kristin Knox
We had to write a short, informal essay about a cultural aspect we found interesting for English and after being called shallow by many people for liking fashion, I decided this essay would be a nice way of telling them to shut up that fashion isn't superficial. This fits into culture, right? I mean it's clothes and clothes show culture, right?
Dior Haute Couture S/S 2011 (One of the best shows of all time!)
Even though fashion is all about looks and who’s wearing what, the idea that fashion is shallow is completely false because fashion is for everyone, even those who resist it. “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening,” Coco Chanel once said. Fashion isn’t something that applies to only clothes, but is something that affects the way we live and what we do. At the most extreme side, thoughts and ideas have to do with what’s in vogue. For example, it’s not very in vogue to be a racist, so racism is looked down upon. Style applies to the ideas that flow in and out of our heads, telling us what is cool to believe in and what’s not popular to think. Fashion has the ability to morph our ideas and the world’s outlook on life.
Rumi Neely proving that sweatpants don't have to be a sign of defeat.
 Everyone has to get dressed in clothes everyday no matter what their job is, so therefore, fashion applies to everyone. Even the sloppiest of sweatpants says something about you and can be a fashion statement. According to Karl Lagerfeld, “Sweat pants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life, so you bought some sweatpants.”  That’s what your sweatpants are telling the world. Whether you wear shredded jeans or haute couture, your clothing does say something about you. People judge others based on their appearance, so shouldn’t we all get a little dressed up, even if it’s just out of courtesy to others? None of us truly want to be the nation’s eyesore and embarrass our country, do we?  
Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture F/W 2011
Even those anti-fashion people, who believe that dressing in torn sweaters and acting like a rocker will show how anti-fashion they are, take part in fashion. They’re just appealing to a different type of fashion. Rather than the high glamor fashion of magazines like Elle or Harper’s Bazaar, they’re trying to fit in with what is considered rocker chic. Whether you want to admit it or not, you probably care about your looks too and what you wear to a certain extent, right? Dressing up is what makes me feel like I’m expressing myself and what makes me feel wonderful and special. It has the ability to boost my height (Thank you heels!) and can make me feel tougher than I really am (Thank you Marc by Marc Jacobs boots!). Well, that’s fashion and what’s so shallow about something that can boost your confidence and transform who you are?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

I Just Smell So Good

Playing: What Makes You Beautiful-One Direction
Reading: The Turk Wikipedia Page
I naturally smell pretty good, not going to lie about that. Strangers have complimented me on the way I smell even when I'm not wearing any perfume, so who knows. Usually, if a stranger talks to me, it's to ask for directions or to ask what perfume I'm wearing. I've been wearing perfumes for three years now and this year, I took to trying to wear perfume everyday. I usually spritz some in my hair in the morning because I like how the scent envelops you throughout the day.
The Hello Kitty Rollergirl Rollerball perfume smells so amazing with its mix of fruity and floral notes. For me, it lasts the whole day, but being a rollerball perfume, it can't be applied over a large surface area, so not as many people smell it. In order to smell it on me, you have to have your nose right by my neck. It's pretty much something only I can smell during the day, so if I were you, I'd get the spray on version of it.
Burberry Brit Sheer is a nice, light, floral perfume that lasts me the whole day. It's not as concentrated as other perfumes of mine, so I usually need two to three spritzes for it to really stand out. In general, everyone that I know of has liked this one. It's just a really easy, light perfume to wear everyday. Even if I do wear a lot of this, I don't find it overwhelming at all.
I actually got L'eau D'Issey by mistake. I wanted the L'eau D'Issey Florale version, but I didn't know there were multiple versions until I opened it up and then it was too late to return it. In general, one spritz does the job for me and anymore can make me feel a bit dizzy. It's ok for me in small doses and my mum seems to like it a lot, but I don't find it to be a very youthful perfume. It's just that I like the florale version so much, I would expect more from this perfume.
Acqua di Gioia is by far my favorite perfume to wear. It's really fresh and bright, not to mention, I get tons of compliments when I wear this one. I usually wear one to two spritzes depending on my mood and this lasts the whole day for me. If I could only choose one perfume to wear for the rest of forever, this definitely is my choice. I forgot how wonderful it smelled until I was in New York and had to go a week without it. One day I walked into Saks to get a spritz for myself just because and it really did make me remember how amazing this perfume is.
What's your favorite perfume to wear?
PS The title of this is just a joke, a jab at narcissism if you will.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What Have I Been Up To?

Playing: The Midway State-Paris or India
Reading: Dark Matter Core, Left Behind From Wreck Between Massive Clusters of Galaxies, Defies Explanation 
I haven't been up to much really other than a lot of eating and reading. Trying to read more, since during school, they fill my schedule with so many boring plays and textbooks to read that I decided I needed to have time to read whatever I wanted instead. Here are just some photos that I took and wanted to share.
Since I'm the picture of American healthiness, I ran off to McDonald's to grab a snack the other day. I got my favorite Angus Third Pounder with Swiss cheese and mushrooms along with a small order of fries. Tried the Shamrock Shake for the first time and I actually think it's pretty good. The minty flavor keeps it "fresh" even though it's a milkshake, which is as gluttonous as anything.
I've also been stopping off at my favorite tea shop quite a bit lately to try all their different teas and to warm me up, when it's cold outside. My favorite so far is the almond milk tea, but I do enjoy most of the milk teas. Do any of you know if winter melon and taro milk teas are any good?
Also, I found the art magazine section at Barnes&Noble, so I bought the two that interested me the most. I really like the thick, glossy pages with the bright prints and artist interviews. Also, the copy of Artbox includes a section with cool things you can buy like a rubber band for your iphone that's really a macro lens or a lamp that comes with different sheets of glass to change the color plus the brightness, but looks beautiful at the same time. Just tons of fascinating stuff really.
I've also been addicted to this instant mi goreng, which is just so tasty. My friend, Sarah, introduced me to this and I've been hooked on it since. It's just to easy to make and super delicious, especially when you mix in some sort of pork in it like Spam or pancetta. Probably eat this after school two days a week now.
And finally after trying some amazing banana pudding at this BBQ restaurant, I attempted to make my own. Sure looks pretty, but it didn't taste as good. Needed more flavor, but it looks nice, right? A+ for effort? I just realized my whole post has to do with food. I suppose I should've named this "What Have I Eaten?" instead. I guess I'll ask an expected question and ask, what are you eating/drinking right now? Anyways, do any of you have delicious banana pudding recipes?  I would love to try to make a better version!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Hafiz Mustafa Restaurant Review

Playing: Something Sometime-General Fiasco
Reading: Marie Antoinette Wikipedia Page
On one of our last nights in Istanbul, my family stopped by a popular bakery called Hafiz Mustafa, which was close to the water. My mum ordered a baked rice pudding, which was a tasty rice pudding with an interesting twist. The baked top added some texture and a burnt-in-a-good-way flavor much like roasted marshmallows.
Out of all the puddings, this white one was recommended to me by the worker. He also recommended the strawberry one, but I opted for the more foreign one, whose name I can't remember at the moment. It would've been better in a smaller portion, since the flavor was rather strong.
My dad ordered a type of kanafeh once again recommended by the servers to us. It was definitely a good choice due to the familiar baklava taste, but different in its noodle-like texture. It was foreign without being too unfamiliar for our limited knowledge of Turkish desserts.
My brother's dish was by far the best, being a baklava sampler plate. They had honey based baklava and milk baklava. I had never had milk baklava before my trip to Istanbul and I now prefer it over the honey version. Pretty much all of the dishes we had ordered were recommended to us by the waiters other than the rice pudding. All of the servers were extremely friendly and helpful, so in terms of service, this place was probably one of the best places. Also, this restaurant didn't have employees standing outside, trying to force you into their store unlike most stores, which is a major plus.
 My whole family also got a small cup of Turkish coffee, which in my opinion, tastes like extremely concentrated coffee. It's supposed to help with digestion, if I remember correctly. So, if you like your coffee on the bitter side, I recommend this. 
Lastly, this is a wonderful place to just sit and watch the world go by. I recommend the second level, so that you can get a view of the waterfront and of all the people passing by in front of you. It was interesting for me to see all of the different people walk by and to just see life happening. Really a beautiful way to end such a wonderful trip!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Clothing Haul

Playing: If You Leave-OMD
Reading: Alexander Wang Gang by Diane Von Fustenberg
Part of cleaning out my closet is building on to the areas I'm lacking such as non-t-shirt tops, so I went on a shopping spree recently to replace everything I've cleaned out. While at Barney's New York, my favorite department store, I tried on all this wonderful clothing and left with two pieces I'm really happy with. The Carven sweater is so cozy and warm. I like the shoulder details and how there are these red/maroon elbow pads. Also, the Timo Weiland polo is really cool because of the mullet hem and the pleats in the front and the back. However, it does behave like a mid-drift, so I guess I'll be partnering these with my high wasted jeans.
I also got a belt at Barney's, which is my first belt that I have not stolen from my mum or dad's closets. Yay, for advancing past stealing clothes from my parents? This is actually edgier than what I usually wear, so I'll have to find a use for it. I also need to punch a few more holes in to adjust for the fact I'm smaller than the average American.
At Urban Outfitters, I grabbed two tops from the "2 Tops for $24" section because my mum told me I needed shirts for bumming around in. The striped one will be great for my future circus outfit and for a Keroppi costume should I ever need either one. Then the mint one I got strictly because mint looks good on my skin tone and that's about it.
 I decided to jump on the band wagon for the wannabe indie trend of what I call, the mullet skirt. I've been drawing mullet skirts, since I was five, so I decided it was time to take advantage of these being everywhere and got one.
Finally at another store, I bought two black jackets to add to my jacket collection. Jackets are some of my favorite items to buy and I like to use them to dress up my look. The Jil Sander on the left is a rather thin parachute fabric jacket that adds polished edge to any outfit. I think I can wear it as a blouse too, if I want to. The Marc by Marc Jacobs on the right is a tad manly, but I still like it because it makes me feel tough, even though I'm rather weak. Overall, I just feel like jackets are great things to own, since I prefer cold weather and all...I really should try to resell my clothing that I'm cleaning out of my closet instead of giving it away.
Where do you like to shop and where do you resell your clothing?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Loves of My Life

Playing: Mr. Brightside-The Killers
Reading: The Chess Machine by Robert Lohr
Sometimes we all are down on our luck and sometimes life messes with our mind, leaving us feeling frustrated and even depressed. I'm sure most of us are occupied with jobs and/or school, which dominate our time and leave us feeling tired, but I think it's important to take a look at the things you love once in awhile to brighten your day. So here's my list of things I love and these can almost always brighten my day.
Handsome Men-Being a single girl, I do enjoy the faces of the opposite gender and talk about guys a lot with my friends. For me, I like musicians, models, a designer, (a limited amount of) actors, and princes. I suppose musicians and actors are common interest for girls, but how many girls actually like a model or a designer? In fact, my interest in models, designers, and princes has helped me receive much teasing from my friends. The other thing that gets me teased is the fact that I never go, "OMG, THEY'RE SO HOT!" I always describe men as handsome, gorgeous, cute, beautiful, and/or have wonderful facial features.
Prabal Gurung S/S 2012
Fashion-You've probably figured this out already, but I love fashion. I know that all girls like fashion to a certain extent, but most of their fashion knowledge extends to Forever 21 and H&M only, while I like to watch fashion shows online and go to all the time. I currently subscribe to Vogue, Elle, W, People:Style Watch, and Harper's Bazaar for my fashion fix. Not to mention, I also receive Gucci look books in the mail and whenever I receive a look book or a magazine in the mail, I always get super excited for them. Also, I like to dress up for school because one must always dress nicely, even if it's just out of courtesy to others.
Foie Gras at Marche Moderne
Food-I enjoy foods from all over the world and it really doesn't matter to me whether it's French, Japanese, Peruvian, or anything else because I'm willing to give it a shot at least once. Not only do I enjoy eating, but I also cook with my family every weekend and for my friends occasionally. Most of my favorite TV shows are either fashion shows or on the Food Network. At lunch, everyone at my table will be talking about the new Pretty Little Liars episode and I'll be wondering if anyone saw the new Chopped.
Venice 2009
Traveling-Tying in with my love for foreign foods is my love for traveling. I have been to Mexico, China, Japan, Ireland, Costa Rica, England, Italy, Turkey, all over the USA, and will be going to Spain this summer, I believe. I absolutely can't get enough of Europe and I plan on visiting many more European countries within the future.
Magic-Growing up with Tim Burton, Disney, and many novels, I have always been a fan of magic and whimsy. It might not be the kind that Harry Potter can do, but it's certainly something we can all find in our lives. Whether it's going on an adventure, the circus, the city, or just lights, there is magic and sometimes magic comes in the form of beauty. I think the best part of this is that it can be found in the small things we do and I just like to find whimsy in my life whenever I can.  I would like to know what you love and what can make you smile whenever and wherever you are. It can be something silly or something deep, I just want to know. Life is a gift and in the wise words of Andrew McMahon, "This is to the world and how God damn beautiful it is."
What do you love?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Fast Times with Chelcee

Playing: Godless Girl-The Crookes
Reading: The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
Chelcee and I do a lot of stupid stuff together. Last Friday, we hung out with each other for pretty much the whole day. During lunch, she allowed me to draw a top hat wearing, mustached whale on her arm, since top hats on whales with mustaches are very in vogue right now. This sparked the idea that drawing all over Chelcee's arms was acceptable at our lunch table, so she left the table with multiple whales on her arms.
After school, I went over to Chelcee's house to cook with her before we sat down to watch the Adjustment Bureau, which was actually very interesting. I now want to travel strictly by doors. Anyways, you can see me here cutting up pancetta like a pro chef with my now stripey hair. This is what all the cool kids are doing. All of them.
Part of being friends with me or any of my friends is having the ability to parody those "artsy people" online. "Look how deep this photo of the eggs is! So artsy and cool, right?" we'll all chime in, when looking at this photo. But seriously, there's nothing artsy about the eggs we're about to stick in our instant ramen.
Once we were done cooking our chicken instant noodle with green onions and eggs plus our mi goreng with pancetta and green onions, we moved all our food and juice into her room and balanced everything on a mini table. Such fine dining for us, huh? We each got our own bowl of instant noodles, but shared the mi goreng. I have decided that we are the definition of healthy eating. We have our starches, our veggies, our fruits in the form of juice, and our protein. All we need it some dairy and we're good.
Once we were done feasting upon our delicious meal of instant noodles, we snacked on shrimp crackers while watching the movie. We were actually watching the movie as a makeup class for confirmation. Even though at the end, I had to answer question on how this movie compared to Catholic beliefs, I really enjoyed the movie. It sparked some new ideas in my head and I shall try to get my hand on one of the Adjustment Bureau's hats. (Watch the movie and then I'm sure you'll understand!) Now that I think about it, Chelcee and I have a lot of movie nights together and we both love pretending to be artsy together. Then again, isn't that what friends are for?

PS The title is a play on Fast Times at Barrington High, an album by The Academy Is...