give stripes

It’s that time of year again. Black Friday is officially over, the Thanksgiving leftovers eaten. People are beginning to get that excited twinkle in their eyes. Lights are strung. Stockings hung. Holiday cheer is in the fucking air. But for me, nothing harks the advent of Christmas in all of its adorable consumer wrapping like the Holiday Gap Commercial.

Models and celebrities of various races, wearing cutesy, preppy, colorful clothes and dancing around cheerfully has become a Christmas institution, so for today’s blog (I used all my willpower to wait until after Thanksgiving to write this), I’ve decided to take you on a journey through The Gap Christmases past. You’re welcome.

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a friend’s weekly panicked email to me

This week, in a selfless show of selflessness, I’m giving a dear friend of mine pride of place on my weekly panicked email. She deserves it. After getting hit by a taxi in New York City, ending up in the ER and then bed ridden at home – seriously why did shit like this never happen to Carrie Bradshaw or Blaire Waldorf? – she went to a stand up comedy show, and then wrote me the following panicked email that pretty much echoes my thought process every time I allow myself in public. (click to expand) Continue reading

I knew you were trouble

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, the best work out songs are born from heart break. You know what I’m talking about. A lyric full of self-righteous indignation over a peppy, slightly frantic beat. Think Cee Lo Green. Think Beyonce. Songs that make you want to get into a relationship just so it can end in some terrible, soul-destroying, heart-ripping manner and you can listen to them on repeat.

It makes all kinds of sense. These songs are about celebrating gut-wrenching agony. They make you WANT to be miserable. But not to wallow in it – actually, yes, to wallow in it – but in an angry, peppy, active way! Whether this heart pain be of the metaphorical or cardiovascular variety makes no difference. “To the left to the left” works either way.

It also doesn’t hurt that they generally involve incredibly catchy melodies and some (usually female) amazing vocal runs. Runs! The parallels are infinite. So I thought I’d post today about my favorite breakup/work out songs: Continue reading

and why I have no imagination

Okay, so I just started taking a comic book class here in London. Unemployment entitles us to flights of fancy, and mine is that I should probably depict a few of my previous life experiences in graphic novel form as if this will render them interesting. It was supposed to be for beginners, but I was soon disabused of this notion, arriving to a classroom full of artfully coiffed, pierced people clutching huge portfolios.

“I have some doodles in a notebook,” I offered lamely when it was my turn to display my oeuvre.

In addition to the realization that no matter where you turn in this crazy world of latte art and Twihards, you will find no space for the amateur, I also learned another devastating fact: I totally lack imagination.  Continue reading

my weekly panicked email to a friend

Roughly once a year, I pull out my now worn and faded copy of Bridget Jones’s Diary. Okay, I have an electronic edition but

roughly once a year, I open my PDF of Bridget Jones’s Diary in Preview

just doesn’t ring. #Technology #Depressing. Anyway, I then send a friend one of the many incredible quotes I have highlighted, setting off a panicky email exchange consisting exclusively of lines from the book. This typically ends [Spoiler Alert] with us resolving to lose weight which [Spoiler Alert] we don’t. Only to renew the cycle in roughly a year. 

I know, I know, it’s such a cliche. A couple of youngish, chubbyish, unfulfilled single girls brandishing the book like our very own Bible, but did you ever think there might be a reason for that? There’s something so nice about having a romantic heroine who articulates all of your insecurities and woes. Reading those conversational, subject-less diary entries, always makes me feel a little less crazy (if a bit predictable). Not only is she me, but she ends up with a modern day Mr. Darcy. Sigh. A girl can dream….

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i want a f**ing pumpkin spice latte (and other first world problems)

Yesterday, I went on my usual Sunday long run. It was one of those beautiful days, cold yet sunny, so that you get to wear a coat AND sunglasses (is there anything hipper?). I forewent my usual loop from my house in South London up to Battersea Park, along the Thames, and back. Instead, I decided to make an outing of it: run across the river, to Hyde Park, and take the bus home.

So where I typically find myself jogging alongside foliage and water, communing with nature, yesterday, I found myself window shopping as I huffed and puffed my way down Sloane Street, passing Knightsbridge and into the park. (Btw, the holiday display at Harvey Nichols is amazing!). I’m not sure if it was the constant audience afforded by a busy street, or the stick figure mannequins at every turn, but I felt super motivated and had a great run, banging out a solid 9 miles in 80 minutes. When I finished, dripping with sweat, panting, muscles tight, I knew what I needed. It came to me with resounding clarity, an image fully formed in my brain: a crimson cup speckled with snowflakes.

I have a confession: I am a slave to the Starbucks Christmas Cup. This is shamefully hypocritical for the following reasons:

1. I consider myself a coffee connoisseur (I say things like: “wow, the smoothness of the finish really balances out the limey acidity. Do I detect a hint of cranberry?”)

2. I’m a critic of consumerism (mass production depresses me)

3. I’m an environmentalist (I insist on carrying around a reusable coffee cup)

Yet, once a year, all of this sanctimonious integrity goes flying out the window because of a bit of red paper. I don’t know what it is exactly – the adorably cheerful drawings, the sense of occasion, the fact that you are drinking Christmas – but when Starbucks unveils it’s holiday lineup, I am a slave. Continue reading

I wasn’t planning on writing today, but then my friend asked me to because she’s bored at work so forgive me if this post is lame. Brooke, you’re welcome.

So I guess I’ve written a lot about Felicity, my curly-haired, brainy idol recently, but I’ve since evolved. Moved onwards and upwards (and not just because I tore through the entire series in two weeks and was literally forced to move on – damn that show for having integrity and committing to its four year/college initial intentons). All this is to say, I have a new obsession: Sydney Bristow. Think about it, it’s the logical next step (or so my netflix watch instantly account assures me). Alias, also by JJ Abrams, like Felicity, features a strong female lead with vaguely out of place but sort of awesome sci-fi elements and a subpar dress sense.

But where Felicity is a neurotic thinker, Sydney is a badass doer. Felicity agonizes over Noel vs. Ben, art vs. medicine, Sydney agonizes over whether the bomb she is trying to defuse while simultaneously fighting two bad guys and speaking fluent Greek will help her in her double agent life’s mission to bring down the evil organization SD6. I’m just sayin, as far as role models go for this unemployed emo girl, all in all, I think Sydney is a step up.

She motivates me to run and climb and generally try harder to get out of my pajamas. Also I’m now contemplating a career as a spy (although I probably shouldn’t admit this on my blog). Seriously though, I want to be the girl who, whilst being tortured for information, can cooly look at her captor and say:

Okay. Get a pen. … Write this down. E-M-E-T-I-B. You got that?
… Now reverse it.

Damn. Continue reading