Everybody Hurts Sometimes

November 12, 2010

Whenever I talk about finances and education with people, I always bring up the allowance my parents gave me when I was younger. My allowance started at $6, and it was divided into three piggy banks: spending, savings, and giving. Each week I’d get $2 that I could spend on anything I wanted, whenever I wanted (which I could also save up if I wanted to). My savings piggy bank was for something big, like buying a Madame Alexander doll or a Gameboy pocket. And last but certainly not least, my giving piggy bank was for the holidays when we would buy toys or food to be donated to Viola Blythe, a local community service center.

The lesson I immediately grasped was that it was important to save, and I couldn’t buy anything if I didn’t have the money in my piggy banks. The lesson I just realized five minutes ago was that it’s also important to set aside money to donate, and not just around the holidays. I remember I used to volunteer at Viola Blythe at least once a month because, as my dad put it, people need food all year round. The workers there used to complain about the sudden surge of people wanting to help out around Thanksgiving and Christmas. As much as they appreciated the intentions, they would ask them “Why don’t you volunteer at other times during the year?”

So while I’m giving you this message at the beginning of the holiday season, just please keep in mind that this isn’t the only time you should donate food or blankets or toilet paper. Try to make an effort to donate something year-round, whether it be canned food, a warm coat, cold hard cash, or your time. There are always people out there who need help.

Food Porn at its Finest

October 8, 2009

Today in my senior catalog class, we looked at The Diner Journal magazine, and I just need to share it with anyone who reads this.

It is one of the most beautifully made publications I’ve ever seen. The paper is a somewhat heavy matte, but the images still pop and appear rich. Its size makes it feel like a personal book or journal, but still a delicate object. And it’s got it all: food photography, food news, recipes…

I admire people who can make such beautiful books and magazines as art objects. I’m trying, I really am, but I just don’t have a great designer eye. For my senior catalog class, I have to design a book cover for myself, and for my business of art class, I have to create a promotional piece for myself. All useful, practical, and fun things to make – they’re just incredibly time consuming. Kind of like the diet analysis I’m avoiding right now for my nutrition class…

Do the KFC

September 15, 2009

I don’t know why, but lately I’ve been thinking about chicken. More specifically, I’ve been thinking about animal rights and how they pertain to chickens. Here’s what I’ve been thinking: anything that can survive without a head doesn’t need rights.

Sure, Mike the Chicken still had some of his brain stem attached. But how many living beings could survive with most of its head/brain cut away? And besides, what else do chickens provide? Even if you do let them graze, what are they contributing to the great circle of life (besides their tasty selves as food)? I don’t know the history of chickens before we domesticated them, but I can’t imagine they did much. Furthermore, I don’t think chickens can really tell the difference between being locked in a cage and living in an open field. How good of a life can a chicken have anyway?

I believe the bigger concern regarding chickens is their energy use. I understand that it generally takes twice the amount of energy to produce meat than it does vegetables. Does it take more energy to keep them locked up or to let them roam? I’ve heard arguments for both sides, but if free range farming is truly more efficient, then I would absolutely support it. Chickens don’t need rights. The world needs to be energy efficient.

Worthy of Survival

July 9, 2009

I’ve decided to make another list. This one is called “things I love about being home in the Bay Area”:

1. It smells good. I walked off the plane and it smelled like toast. I kid you not. And then when I got home, it smelled like trees and fresh air – something that is not too common in New York. In fact, nothing really smells like the Bay.
2. Pho restaurants. I have my favorite pho place on the Bowery, but I have yet to find a pho restaurant as awesome as the places here. At home, they’re not as rushed. And the restaurants are just more open and spacious. Same number of tables, but more spacious. It could be because there’s no space to expand in the city.
3. Avocados. I haven’t gone to Jeffrey’s yet, but I will. Oh…I will. And I will consume an avocado burger like it’s my job. And other fruits and vegetables, too. It’s all just better and fresher and juicier here.
4. La Victoria. Their orange sauce has crack in it. I know at least 5 people who would swear by that statement. It’s so tasty and so awesome and so addictive.
5. The water. It seems kind of weird, but I just filled a glass from the tap, and it tastes like nothing. Like air. Recently I’ve had the feeling that New York water is starting to get that chlorine flavor like in Egypt.
6. The weather and the beaches. It’s not #6 because I forgot or think it’s less important. It’s just really, really obvious that the weather and the beaches here are awesome.
7. Everything smells really good. See #1.
8. I love my family. Again, it’s not #8 because I forgot or think they’re less important. It’s just really, really obvious that they’re awesome.
9. In-N-Out burger. It’s tasty.
10. Everything smells fantastic. See #7.

There’s plenty more, but I’m tired. I just wanted to make sure you knew that I love being home, and if you get a chance, you should come here.

Won’t You Be Good To Yourself

June 18, 2009

First, some shameless promotion: I saw Remnants of a War tonight. It was amazing. You should go. And Jawad Metni seems to be a pretty down-to-earth guy (he’s only 23!). And a beautiful soundtrack by Kill Henry Sugar. Check it out. Please.

In other news, I am realizing more and more every day that I do not belong in New York City. I think that this feeling is mostly because I’m still hung up on my ex, but I felt this even before that happened. Don’t get me wrong – I love studying here, and I wouldn’t have wanted to go to college anywhere else. But when I’m here, I feel a need to hold on to my anger and frustration. I wake up in the morning and I think about my ex and then I’m upset for the rest of the day. And it just doesn’t end. The days seem to go on forever. I can’t fall asleep. And I just hold onto that anger because I don’t know how to let it go.

Maybe it’s just because California is home, but when I’m there, I can relax. I can let these things go. I can re-learn everything that I believe is important. All of my anger and frustration disappears and I can think clearly again. And eat awesome Mexican food. Soon enough. 🙂