Friday, June 16, 2017

More lists

Reasons I loved growing up in the suburbs

  • Waking up Saturday mornings to my dad's gas lawnmower and the smell of freshly cut grass through my window
  • Having a front and back yard
  • Falling asleep in the summer to the sounds of frogs croaking in the pond behind said back yard
  • Enjoying such simple past times as movies with friends at our one local theater and getting Coldstone afterwards
  • Benefiting from a public education that was rigorous enough to get into college but not so demanding that I had a nervous breakdown
  • Having my pick of sprawling parking lots in which to learn how to drive
  • Having parking, always, wherever I went, period
  • Having... quiet... so much of it. No buses, trucks, trains or planes. 
  • Beautiful, glorious suburban sprawl as far as the eye can see.

Concepts I learned in college that I still think about constantly

Boutique business starter pack

Things I like about working in Pioneer Square

  • Picking up holds at the Central Library on my lunch break
  • Walks on the waterfront now that there's less construction
  • Meeting up with my mom who works nearby
  • Chinatown for Uwajimaya (and Pokemon Go gym battles)
  • Columbia Tower for juice
  • Westlake for buying presents
  • Witnessing the full spectrum of social classes, all together in one square block, more or less. 

How millennials communicate

  • writing things in all lowercase letters
  • capitalizing the first letter of only specific words for Emphasis, even words that Aren't Proper Nouns
  • using exaggerated kerning with words, also for e m p h a s i s
  • putting👏clapping👏hands👏emojis👏between👏every👏word👏to👏add👏even👏more👏emphasis
  • using gifs
  • using #hastags #thelongerthebetter
  • starting sentences with the word "honestly"
  • ending sentences with imho, lol, lmao or tbh.

Things I look forward to when I travel to England/Spain this August

  • Buying and reading a physical copy of the local newspaper
  • Tasting the best of that region's junk food (very important; I'm talking sweet and savory)
  • Taking public transportation
  • Chatting with locals
  • Attending church and worshiping God in a different way
  • Spending hours at museums
  • Taking tacky selfies
  • Committing a cultural faux pas (like the one above)
  • Getting lost
  • Shaking my head at other tourists. 

Friday, June 02, 2017

Just a bunch of lists

Over the course of the past five years I've

  • Held five different jobs
  • Lived in four different places, including another country
  • Read 182 books
  • Lost two grandparents
  • Learned so much.

Things I've loved about living in North Beacon Hill

  • The sound of train horns in the night
  • Growing tomatoes on the deck with western sun exposure
  • View of Puget Sound, SoDo, the stadiums and downtown
  • Hearing the cannons at CenturyLink Field go off with every Seahawks touchdown and field goal (which then broadcasts on my TV, delayed)
  • Having two ovens
  • Delite Bakery, Hair Skill Design, Red Apple
  • Walking home from work
  • Driving to church in eight minutes
  • Reminders and memories of my Grandma Yvonne.

Reasons I love Twitter

  • The memes
  • Curated news and articles
  • Black Twitter
  • Subtweets
  • Heartwarming viral videos.

Things I loved about working in Belltown

    "Peak Millennial"

    • Thinkpieces
    • Irony
    • Instagram
    • Pressed juice
    • Sanctimony
    • Binge-watching
    • Mash-ups
    • Complaining about millennial thinkpieces.

    Things I loved about Los Angeles

    • How it feels like one giant suburb
    • Diaspora communities
    • TV/Movie billboards that are six stories tall
    • Sunshine, Santa Monica, the PCH
    • Feeling like I could happen to run into my favorite screenwriter/director/actor at any time
    • East L.A. and the mestizaje vibe
    • The overall creative *atmosphere*
    • The satisfaction that I was, if but momentarily, a part of the zeitgeist.

    Favorite demographic data sources

    2017 Podcast Roundup

    Netspeak I find amusing

    • mood
    • sjw
    • soft
    • smol
    • hbd
    • petty
    • receipts
    • my aesthetic
    • it's lit. 

    Favorite parts of teaching Sunday school

    • All the kids talking over each other because they want to tell me about their week
    • Their elation at being able to drink Crystal Light
    • Pretend marching around the walls of Jericho with paper plate "trumpets"
    • Inadvertently predisposing them to libertarianism by giving them Hershey Nuggets then having tax collector Zacchaeus collect 2/3 of them back
    • Yelling "NO SPOILERS!" when a student already knows the Bible story and tries to tell the whole thing to the class
    • All tangents leading to Star Wars
    • So many Teddy Grahams 
    • Being asked, "Do you know what a gangster is?" 

    This was fun and maybe I'll do it again. Have an idea for a list you'd like me to write? Request it in the comments.

    Tuesday, March 28, 2017

    Make-up was a dead end

    Who knew beauty could be so complicated? For my birthday last year I decided to make my first serious foray into the world of makeup. I didn't know what I was getting into. In a naive way, I thought I would be able to show up at a makeup counter at a department store, buy an entire line of products, and be good to go. Looking back, I can't believe how absurd and laughable a notion that was.

    The makeup artist at Nordstrom rattled off an overwhelming, large amount of steps meant to "prep, correct and conceal." I could barely keep up: face base, under eye cream, eye base, layering three eye shadows, gel eyeliner, mascara, foundation, sheer powder, bronzer, blush. When she was done, I looked in the mirror and felt conflicted. While I knew I now looked more conventionally "beautiful" I questioned if this was a step in the right direction.

    My justification to wear makeup was tenuous at best. I was bored, I had recently gotten a new job with higher pay and I thought, "Why not?" Some irrational part of me believed that makeup was the one missing piece I needed to manage to attract a boyfriend. According to my then-logic, if cultivating my intellectual prowess and spiritual depth wasn't enough, if it hadn't managed to end the seven-year drought since my last romantic relationship, then maybe outer beauty paired with inner beauty would do the trick.

    Well, it's almost a year later and I've spent a bunch of money, wrecked my skin and still don't have a boyfriend. What a bust.

    T r a i t o r s (chronological use L to R)
    Correctors, concealers, BB creams, foundations, cream and oil primers--brand after brand left me with dry, tight skin and pimples galore. Did I look great in pictures? Even glamorous? Sure! But at night, alone and makeup-less in front of the mirror with my own thoughts, I was unhappy, disappointed and doubting myself.

    I know that for others, makeup isn't such an agonizing ordeal. Good on them. They are hashtag blessed.

    My skin just won't abide make-up, but it's taken a while for me to finally give in to defeat. Each time a product wouldn't work for me, I'd return to Sephora, deflated, and an enthusiastic employee would suggest some new wonder product: a cleanser with a four star review, a serum, a foundation that's completely weightless and "totally buildable." I'd go home wanting badly for it to work for me; none of them did.

    All this to say, I'm throwing in the towel when it comes to makeup. It's created more problems in my life than benefits.

    On a deeper level, this is all about adequacy. It's about trust in God. I've spent so much time wondering why some women my age are dating, married and having kids, and I'm not. I know that God is not doling out rewards or punishments to women based on whether they "deserve" a boyfriend/husband/kids. On a bad day, though, I crumple in on myself in prayer or ignore God altogether in a passive-aggressive attempt to rebel against how he wants to order my life. Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret.

    Look, no amount of navel-gazing or hand-wringing will get me a boyfriend any sooner. Makeup, new clothes, a better body, fancy haircut; it really doesn't make any difference. Perhaps this sounds bitter, but it's been my experience. Okay, okay, being single is not the end of the world; this much I know. It's painful, though.

    I'm doing my level best to make the most of it. I'm reading a lot of books, joining rec leagues, going on fun outings with my other single friends. I have a lot of time to pray for others. I write short stories three paragraphs at a time. I talk to God about the things I'm thankful for. If I focus on other things maybe I won't feel so sad.

    Until next time...