Trading the coffee for some wine.

image

This is one of my favorite people ever and I’m surprised I didn’t think to write about her from the very first post. There are multiple reasons why Sophia Bush is a role model to me and has slowly made a lasting impression on me over the years. I’ve never really been one to be obsessed with celebrities (except Taylor Swift, circa 2009) but Sophia has proven her worth to this world time and time again. 

It all started when I got hooked on One Tree Hill during high school. A drama (borderline soap) based on a group of kids navigating high school in North Carolina with the backdrop of basketball, family issues, and high school love. Sophia was fresh-faced Brooke Davis, the flirty-cheerleader- social-butterfly-rich-girl. At first, Brooke didn’t have much else going for her. As the show progressed, Sophia brought in her own personality, and slowly Brooke grew into a strong woman character that was smart, loyal, and a hard worker. All of those qualities easily found in Sophia Bush. 

Down to the core, Sophia is an activist. In 2009, Sophia showed up to rally against Proposition 8 and has teamed with Dosomething.org to raise environmental awareness among teens. She’s passionate about the future of our world and it’s people. If anything she’s able to use her status and well known name to capture the attention of the people around her. 

Before starring in One Tree Hill, Sophia attended USC, where she was part of a sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma. There she met Alexis Jones, founder of I AM THAT GIRl, a non-profit organization that works to empower young women to be confident, self-assured and strong. Sophia works closely with the organization and helped Alexis in writing a forward to her book that was published recently. As far as I’m concerned it’s nice to have someone like her working toward a organization I would love to be a part of, and with her sorority sister no less. 

Recently Sophia posed on the cover of Maxim magazine and she’s never looked better. In response to the cover, Sophia said: 

“I’m a women and it’s a struggle for all of us. And it took me until this point in my life at 31 to say, ‘Hey, yeah I’m going to embrace my body and own it for me, not anyone else. And I’m curvy. I’m not some rail-thin, 6-foot-tall runway model who was just born that way. I was born like this. And that’s A-OK.”

So for Sophia, I think I’d trade in the coffee for a glass of wine…or two. 

Standard

I just read the piece you did on Marina Keegan. I came across her essay when she first wrote it in 2012, weeks after her death. I, too, fell in love with her writing, I wanted to read more! Instead, I sobbed for a couple minutes after reading her essay bc she’s beautiful and I couldn’t believe she was gone. I bookmarked the page. Her story came up again on Huffington Post and reminded me of her. Now, I can’t wait to read the book. I’d love to have a cup of coffee with her too. One day.

I’m so glad to hear from someone that feels the same way I do. It’s a tragic but beautiful story. 

Standard

a phenomenal woman

image

For this post, I felt I needed to touch on a inspirational woman that has taught me more than I have realized. I remember a time long ago. I’m not sure how old I was, but for a school project we had to present a poem. One of my classmates presented Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou. I was young then, and although I don’t remember the words sinking into me, I wouldn’t have remembered that poem if not for a special reason. Now I re-read it, and it clicks. Of course. It stands for every thing that I wish to do with my life in the future: supporting young girls through the years of growing up surrounded by media influences and the pressures of today. 

Some odd number of years later, days after turning 21 and with that wish in the back of my head for my future, I wake and scroll through my phone, seeing the news that Maya Angelou has passed away at the age of 86. Not only did this alarm me but I couldn’t help but think about the gift I was given for my birthday a few days before. My mom and best friend collected quotes from my loved ones as words of wisdom for turning 21. My mom stuck in a few extra ones that she throughout it’d enjoy. One is a picture of Maya, and reads:

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. 

It’s a sign. That I needed to pay attention to what she had to say. 

I looked up what she’d done in her life. It turns out that she spent quite a bit of time in Accra, Ghana. The lovely spot my best friend has been studying in for the past four months. She also was a professor at Wake Forest University, a close friend of Oprah’s and spoke at Bill Clinton’s inauguration, reciting her poem, "On the Pulse of Morning”. All of which most of you may know, or not. But I’m learning things. 

I’m a fan of sentences. I’m a fan of quotes. I’m a fan of feminism. I’m a fan of people wiser than me. You may say I’m late to the revelation, but I don’t think that’s accurate. I think it’s the timing of where I am in my life and the importantce of paying attention now. Alas, she would have been a great coffee date. 

“My life has been one great joke, a dance that’s walked a song that’s spoke, I laugh so hard I almost choke when I think of myself." 

xoxo
Standard

Okay? Okay.

image

I’m sitting here with half dried tears on my face and a finished book. Everyone said “you’ll be crying your eyes out by the end”. Let me just say that every time I heard this I rolled my eyes. It takes A LOT for me to be reduced to tears after a book or movie or TV show. Call me a cold-hearted bitch but my emotions just don’t work that way. Until now. 

Considering this is my first novel review or whatever you wish to call this, I’m going to try as much as I can to not spoil anything about the plot. I’d like to just muddle over what I’ve just acquired into my consciousness: the stars and the constellations and the universe and those things we call faults.  

 That’s what I’d like to do. Just breathe. Breathe for Hazel and Gus. And breathe for myself because I was given this body to service me many purposes, and one of those purposes is to breathe. It’s all very: “your body is a vessel for the spirit and a temple to protect” and all those things that people who say those things say. But I’m not kidding. I just want to breathe.

You know what else I’m going to do? I’m going to drink champagne. So I can “taste the stars” and celebrate whatever that may mean to me at the moment, whether I’m drinking it from a red solo cup or from a crystal champagne flute. Because why the hell not?

Lastly, I’m going to be strong. Because I am so blessed that I can’t even comprehend the extent to which I am blessed. And therefore there is little to no reason why I can’t and shouldn’t be strong. 

 So to you, John Green, you got me. Dammit. 

That is all. I think. I’m still processing. I’ve been told the fetal position helps in these starry circumstances.

Standard

Oy with the poodles already!

image

In the months between the spring and fall semesters I’ve found myself falling into the rhythm of the Binge Watch (I’m doing this new thing John Green does in making words proper nouns when they shouldn’t, just go with it). Now this typically means finding a TV show on Netflix (although I’ve sadly lost the log-in info for my friends account..hey Abbs!) or this summers case: Project Free TV. I racked my brain on what could fill my time from approximately 11PM to 1PM and a few other lonely hours, that would be worth the title of Summer 2014s Binge Watch. I’m going to slow down on the drama now and focus on why I’m here, meaning why i’m sitting in my bed writing instead of reading my book, which I’m 64% through and will talk about in the near future, and that reason is simple: Gilmore Girls. 

My favorite TV mother-daughter duo, Lorelai (so awkward to spell) and Rory Gilmore of Starshollow, Connecticut. I stumbled across this gem of a sitcom when I was probably 12 or 13. ABC Family did this wonderful thing where they aired an episode every afternoon at 5PM, the prime time for my teenage self to be found lounging on the couch after school eating bon bons (what the hell IS a bon bon really?). So there I sat and soon fell in love (strong word but what else is there to say) with the women before me, galavanting through life fiercely, hilariously and beautifully. I know these are fictional people, I get it,  but that doesn’t lessen the magic of their charisma does it?

What I’ve come to realize however, that in watching the show from the Pilot on ward (because although I’m 99% sure I’ve seen every episode I need to straighten it all out from A-Z in my head), and sometimes with 2 or 3 back to back episodes, it can be exhausting. You’re probably rolling your eyes right? How can it be exhausting laying there staring at the screen, but for anyone that hasn’t seen Gilmore Girls just understand this: the characters talk SO FAST and you slowly start to realize EVERY line is some reference to a past something-or-other. You’ll be looking up the first one online and have already missed reference numbers 2-4,367. I kid, I kid, but really though. The creator Amy Sherman-Palladino knew what she was doing. 

Besides the fast talking and references I’ll never understand, I’ve grown fascinated by the characters created that Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel brought to life on the screen. Although I have read that Alexis is a whiny brat of an actress, and you can SO hear it in Rory’s voice, I’d love to sit and chat with Lauren Graham. She’s essentially Lorelai and her wittiness and charm would surely be source for wonderful conversation. And in that annoying Hollywood way don’t we all just wish we could eat and drink coffee like the Gilmore Girls and still woo rich boys like Logan and have the diner owner wait 10 years for you to realize you love him? I sure as hell do. 

So what exactly did I learn from my naive young 13 mind to now, from all of this? 1) Chinese food is more important than men 2) It’s a skill and art form to make cereal combinations in a college cafeteria 3) reading is sexy 4) coffee is essential to standing, and walking, and talking 5) if you’re planning on throwing your life away for a boy, he better have a motorcycle 6) when you get engaged there should be 1,000 yellow daisies 7) the plural of cul-de-sac is culs-de-sac. 

Standard

the cup of coffee I’ll never have.

I just finished my first book of the summer, The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan. Before I knew much about the young writer, I was captured by the cover. Marinas red hair and slight smirk was before me with the title stamped across her mustard peacoat. First, I thought, I want to be that girl; I want that outfit and that hair and that smile. Second, I thought, what a play on words: the opposite of loneliness. What does that mean? And is there really no word to describe that feeling? Truthfully, I’m not mad there isn’t. The phrase has a ring to it don’t cha think? 

What I didn’t realize was that Marina Keegan was dead. That girl I envied on the cover had passed away a few days after graduating from Yale University in 2012. Her boyfriend had been driving the two of them to Marina’s summer home in Cape Cod when he fell asleep at the wheel. He survived while Marina did not. With a future already lined up for her at the New Yorker, Marina had been an impeccable student, author, journalist, activist and actress to name the few. She wrote for the Yale Daily News (my very own real world Rory Gilmore), served as president of the Yale College Democrats, and had time during her senior year to intern once a week at the Paris Review in New York.

But I didn’t know Marina. And this isn’t supposed to be her grand introduction speech to some award she received. This is to point out that beside from her long list of achievements, Marina was cool as shit. And in tune with being 20, and 21 and 22. In tune with where she was in her life.  And I’ll tell you something, this book is packed with feels. So many feels you won’t know what to do with them. Marina knew what it was to be afraid of life, and unsure of what her next step was or what she wanted to do. None of the other bullshit matters. What matters are the stories. 

When I finally stopped staring at her on the cover (creepy? whatever.) I read the first line of the first fiction piece, Cold Pastoral, and thought “god dammit this girl is gonna be good. and god dammit I want to be the author of that sentence.” It read: “We were in the stage where we couldn’t make serious eye contact for fear of implying we were too invested.” I love sentences. Especially ones that make me jealous I didn’t write them. And that wasn’t the last sentence I fell for.

My favorite pieces were first few fiction stories including, Cold Pastoral, Winter Break, and The Ingenue. Because these ones were the heart of what I felt this book was meant to accomplish, that opposite of loneliness thing. That even when things are fucked up, there’s still something in that. Maybe it’s naive and maybe i’m just rambling, but I guess I just wish that I could keep reading her work, or at least just sit down with her and have a cup of coffee. That would be nice too. 

Standard

Cheers!

This past month has truly flown by and I can’t comprehend the fact that in 3 days, 16 hours and 6 mins (give or take when I finish writing this) my flight from Heathrow will be taking off for the U.S. There’s no possible way, shape or form I can express how much this semester has meant to me and shaped me. Before I get all mushy and sentimental, these last few weeks have reiterated my love for London even more so than the weeks I was here before I started hopping from country to country like a crazy person. In the weeks after my trip to Ireland, I’ve been running around, seeing every nook and cranny of London as much as my schedule allowed. Having the city decorated for Christmas has made for a beautiful setting to explore. 

Image

For Thanksgiving a few of us went to fabulous restaurant on Knightsbridge and had a traditional American meal. No seconds though, and remember portion sizes are smaller here but STILL I had pumpkin pie so this girl was happy. One of my sisters, Kristen, visited that weekend from Barcelona and it was so unbelievably nice having a familiar face around when normally it’s be snuggled at home with my family for the holiday. We walked what felt like all of London, seeing Kensington Palace and Winter Wonderland, a carnival in Hyde Park. The following day I showed her Primrose Hill and then we stopped at Abbey Road and got our picture taken walking across the street. Before hand though, I mistakenly walked onto the property of Abbey Road Studios bypassing the No Trespassing sign. Some mad man-AKA probably some hot shot producer-started waving his hands at me from the window. I mean come on, the sign was not very clearly marked…

Image

Since then, we moved into finals week, MUCH less stressful while abroad than at home, but still a pain in the ass regardless of what country you’re in. And now, we’re scrambling to see even more of London before we leave in the next few days. This city is never ending and even when we take off on Sunday after living here for 3 1/2 months, I will have only conquered a small portion of this amazing place. And not to mention the official list of other amazing countries I visited this semester. In no particular order because I couldn’t rank them if I tried. 

1. Belgium (Brussels, Brugge)

2. Germany (Munich)

3. Czech-Republic (Prague)

4. Italy (Florence, Rome)

5. France (Paris)

6. Ireland (Dublin, Galway)

After this amazing semester, I can honestly say I am ready to go home and spend the holidays with my family. Granted, 72 hours after landing in the U.S. and the excitement has worn off, I am definitely going to miss this amazing semester that has given me a love of cities I never had before. 

Fearlessly, 

C

P.S. Look for my abroad vlog I’ll be posting at some point in the next few weeks. I’m slightly obsessed and let’s face it, videos just capture what words can’t..especially on Saturday nights. oops. 

Standard