Man on the Train

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On his way to work while everyone was on their way home, the man drinking coffee with a pound cake wrapped in cellophane. Head covered with a beanie and backpack on, he gripped his coffee as he looked up and our eyes met. I offered a smile as he brought his lips to the white plastic lid. His tired eyes crinkled in the corners as he offered a smile bringing the cup down. As the train stop he smiled and shuffled off. So many untold secrets and sorrows behind those eyes that I’ll never know.

Song of the Day: Asleep

CD400_outI am not a fan of those little flipgram Instagram videos that are a series of pictures set to music, however, if it means I find an interesting song, so be it. That is precisely how I found Anthony Valadez’s Asleep featuring Anna Wise.

Valadez is a producer, DJ and host of his own show on KCRW in Los Angeles. The description of his show actually perfectly describes the music he produces, Broken beats, soulful key chords with guitar fuzz, combined with yesterday’s dusty drums with tomorrows samples and sounds.

While iTunes categorizes his music as Electronic, it’s a bit more new wave jazz to me. It’s groovy and soothing at the same time. I feel as though I should be sipping a glass of wine with my feet up while I listen to it.

Anna Wise’s dreamy jazz vocals are the perfect compliment to Valadez’s groove. Turns out that annoying 10 seconds of flashing pictures was worth it this time.

 

Sephora Sale Goodies

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There is no retail store more dangerous for me than Sephora. There’s just something about the rows of colors, the endless skincare, and delicate glass bottles of perfume that call to me (and my unhappy wallet) every time I pass by.

My latest visit was thanks to the VIB sale, in which VIB members received 15% off all purchases for a four day period. This happens a few times a year and I jump at the chance to stock up on essentials every time.

Armed with a list, I took a lunch time trip with my coworkers to the flagship Sephora off Market Street in San Francisco and picked up the goodies above, along with a few items online later in the day that weren’t available in store.

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What Death Doesn’t Touch

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Whatever teaches us to talk to ourselves is important: whatever teaches us to sing to ourselves out of despair. But the painting has also taught me that we can speak to each other across time… That life – whatever else it is – is short. That fate is cruel but maybe not random. That Nature (meaning Death) always wins but that doesn’t mean we have to bow and grovel to it. That maybe even if we’re not always so glad to be here, it’s our task to immerse ourselves anyway: wade straight through it, right through the cesspool, while keeping eyes and hearts open. And in the midst of our dying, as we rise from the organic and sink back ignominiously into the organic, it is a glory and a privilege to love what Death doesn’t touch.

Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch

Radikal Readings: The Hours

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Full disclosure: I picked up The Hours simply because of the prose. While I had read about Virginia Woolfe’s tragic life, I had never read any of her work, nor had I any intent to read The Hours, even though it had won a Pulitzer Prize.

What actually inspired me to read it was the film Liberal Arts. The character in the movie is constantly going into bookshops to read the last three pages of this book (even though it isn’t stated what book it is) and the director/actor of the movie, Josh Radnor, had stated in interviews how devastating the last three pages of this book were. I was intrigued.

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Poetry

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We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.

John Keating in Dead Poet’s Society

Song of the Day: Heaven, An Ode to How I Met Your Mother

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I had a whole piece planned out on the finale of How I Met Your Mother, but that was all scrapped after actually watching it last night. First off – we all saw this ending miles and miles away, yet it was still shocking n the moment. I’ve taken the time to absorb, mull and obsess over it, as well as read through the good and the bad reviews, coming to my own conclusion on one of the most controversial and dividing series finales in recent memory.

I’ve been binge re-watching every single episode in anticipation of the finale, and there are tons of clues pointing to the theory that the mother was dead and Ted ends up with Robin after all. One that really sticks out, is when Victoria leaves Ted for not ending his friendship with Robin, stating, I really hope you get her someday. Really, there are countless others. The end-game was always Robin. So much so, that the final scenes with the kids was shot in the second season. Co-creator Carter Bays said in an interview, we’re very excited about it because I think it’s going to be really heartbreaking, and sweet and wonderful. It was all of those things and more.

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Song of the Day: What’s the Matter

On a rainy day, I tend to want to immerse myself in soothing music. Milo Greene was recommended to me by a friend and after the first of What’s the Matter, I was hooked.

Contrary to the very misleading name, Milo Greene is actually a band consisting of five members, none of whom are named Milo. They’re your standard indie cinematic pop band based in Los Angeles.

Their music isn’t revolutionary different, but there’s something so ethereal and dreamily addicting about this particular song. It is bare on the lyrics, but the few that are in there offer a honest account of feelings during a breakup - Oh your love is never good enough / oh your love is lost on me.

It’s the perfect song to get lost to on a dreary day.

Romanticizing New York City

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I’ve written a lot about my love of New York City. Romanticizing New York has always been a constant in my life, whether I was young and dreaming, living there in my early 20s, or now after I moved back to San Francisco.

Like so many others, I’m in love with loving the city that never sleeps. There’s something so beautiful about it. It kicks you down so much, yet you still love it.

Even though I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, which isn’t exactly small town, I was always mystified by the allure of the Big Apple. My first visit was when I was 21 and I instantly feel deeper in love. I just knew, no matter what it took, I had to live there, which came two years later.

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Great Stories

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“…the secret of the Great Stories is that they have no secrets. The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably. They don’t deceive you with thrills and trick endings. They don’t surprise you with the unforeseen. They are as familiar as the house you live in. Or the smell of your lover’s skin. You know how they end, yet you listen as though you don’t. In the way that although you know that one day you will die, you live as though you won’t. In the Great Stories you know who lives, who dies, who finds love, who doesn’t. And yet you want to know again.

That is their mystery and their magic.” 

― Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things