Monday, April 27, 2009

Song of the Day: Cover of Viva la Vita

This video makes me thankful that they didn't have YouTube back when I was in choir, but kinda makes me wish I did too. There is a video of me as Dorothy in the 5th grade Wizard of Oz floating around that I really want to see, but I am sure is very very embarrassing.

Anyways, this makes me feel better after a really stressful couple of weeks, so enjoy. Updates to come.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Friday, April 17, 2009

The bare necessities of life

These days, I feel a lot like Veruca Salt.

Before I go onto the point of this post, I have to say that Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is the best children's movie ever.

Anyways, I find myself everyday, all the time, always WANTING things. Just a few examples of things I want.

Boyan wants me to drive the scooter to work and I do too, but I really want to be able to ride a bike on nice days. We struck a deal, if he buys me a bike (of my choosing, I want a commuter/hybrid. Something that I could get some exercise on) I will give up my gym membership for a year.

I want a bug convertible.

I saw this beautiful Murano glass chandelier at a lighting store in SM (this isn't the one I saw, just an example). The shop keeper told me, "You have good taste, that's an antique Murano chandelier. It's on sale for $999.99!"

I am OUT of moisturizer. This is more of a need than a want but at $50 a bottle it's a luxury I can't afford right now.

$30 for eyeliner? Ouch.

Why are rugs so expensive? This one starts at $348.

Pillows for our new bed/couch

Queen size bed and padded headboard

Computer Sleeve for my laptop

I hate these things, but the headset that came with my phone is dying.

Keds. Don't ask me why, it's embarrassing.

I could go on but I won't. Some of these things are necessities, others luxuries, but I was thinking about it yesterday and no matter how happy I am, how content I am with life I'm always WANTING more. I don't need for anything, so why does my mind always turn to things that I don't have instead of appreciating those I do?

It really pisses me off, I hate the idea of being controlled by material desires. I don't want my mind to be constantly absorbed with consuming. So, here is what I'm going to do.

Starting May 1st I'm going to stop spending money on unnecessary purchases. Which means, no buying lunch out, no buying clothes or makeup or books. I will only spend money on the bare necessities. That's it. My hope is that by restricting my spending, I'll stop my mind from constantly being wrapped up in wanting things I don't need. And of course I'll save money.

I'll keep y'all updated on how it goes. I'm sure its going to be hard. There are some books that I want to buy in May (okay one book, maybe i'll pre-order it =P), and no extraneous spending means no happy hour, no buying cigarettes, nothing. I just hope it won't mean no fun.

In one month my goal is to go from Veruca Salt to Baloo the Bear. Baloo seems much happier anyways right? Wish me luck.

"And don't spend your time lookin' around
For something you want that can't be found
When you find out you can live without it
And go along not thinkin' about it
I'll tell you something true

The bare necessities of life will come to you"

A time to read and a time to write

I have this rule, that when I'm working on a story I'm not allowed to read a book. I believe there is a time for reading, and a time for writing, and that the mixing of the two can be disastrous. I don't want what I'm working on to be affected by what I'm reading, and usually the distraction of getting caught up in a book makes it near impossible for me to get back to work.

WELL. After discovering that I need to write double what I already have written to finish my book (I will pull ten more chapters out of the ether so help me), the overwhelming thought of having to add more to a story I feel I have completed has stunted my progress. I know where I need to go in and add more but I feel like I need time, like a full 12 hour day to accomplish that, and as we have discussed previously, I don't have that time right now. So instead of chipping away at the small revisions I can do, I picked up a new book and lost myself in it.

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (she's known for writing 101 Dalmatians, I Capture the Castle was also made into a movie but isn't as popular) was truly enthralling. Her descriptions, her narrative voice and her refusal to acquiesce to what the reader would want was spectacular. I love a book that doesn't give into a predictable plot line. You root for these eccentric characters, and you feel their misfortunes. I loved it, it was brilliant and I would recommend it wholeheartedly.

Now that I've finished that, I'm determined to do what little revisions I can until I can sit down for an extended period of time to write the new chapters. The problem with adding more content is that I haven't imagined more. I have to let my creative juices flow so I can manifest something completely new and unplanned, which is much more difficult than writing something that, in my mind, I've already mapped out.

I printed it out what I already have, (all 157 pages of it) and I'm going to go through and do more edits the old school way. Wish me luck.

Monday, April 13, 2009

How to Be

I don't think you even need to ask if I'm going to see this movie, but if you were wondering, of course I am. I actually think it looks funny, and I love dark comedies (especially British ones).

Weekend Update: An exciting time to be alive

I don't generally write about myself here. I don't know if it's because I think it's vain to blog about oneself, or because I feel uncomfortable, whatever the reason I haven't talked about anything really personal in quite a long time. So here is a mini-update of what's going on in my life.

Boyan and I had a busy weekend. On Saturday we went to my nephew Jacob's 5th birthday party at my soon-to-be Sister-in-law's house in Glendora. We played with musical instruments, ate cake, and watched him tear it up on his new Tony Hawk bike. I think the greatest part about having kids is that you get to relive the excitement of being a kid all over again. I can't wait until I get my chance.

The birthday boys

After we had lunch we drove over to the Golden Spur and had dinner for my Uncle Richard's birthday. I had bacon-wrapped filet mignon and a baked potato. That was after eating tons of food at my Nephew's house, and my stomach has been kind of a wreck ever since.

On Sunday, Boyan and I filled my car and his co-worker Jordan's truck to the hilt, and dropped the first batch of boxes off at our new apartment. It's weird to think that we are going to be moving again. I remember the feeling of loss I had when we left our apartment on Kelton. Thinking that I would never walk into those rooms again, or see the bright green walls I'd grown to love. I have fond memories of that apartment, and even if they are tainted by the nostalgia I'll always love that apartment because it was our first apartment together.

605 Kelton

When we moved to West Covina I knew we were leaving a lot behind, friends, and you know, civilization. We were jumping right into the deep end of a murky pool. Sure the money that my new job was offering made the move worth it, but after spending nine months at Newegg, and being rescued by my new job at Demand, I can't help but think that we jumped to quickly to move away from our life in Westwood.

West Covina

Now that we're coming back to West L.A. I have those same feelings of loss, although our new apartment won't be as much of a shock. I really like the new place, and when I walk in (even though there are boxes piled from floor to ceiling), I can already imagine myself having coffee on the patio in the mornings, coming home for lunch in the afternoons, sitting and reading a book in our light yellow living room. I feel bad for poor Boyan who will now have to endure the commute I suffered through for the past nine months, and only hope that the winds of fate will change and he won't have to make his way east for long.

I can't say I'll miss the apartment in West Covina as much as our apartment in Westwood. I have a lot of memories in West Covina, but they are all from my childhood and in a different part of the city. I feel like our part of town is too industrial, too cold and too unfriendly for us to develop any nostalgia. I can't speak for Boyan, but I know that a big part of me can't wait to say goodbye to West Covina forever. But in the back of my mind, in the pit of my stomach, is the fear and anxiety that comes with change.

We should be completely moved in by April 25th, Boyan will probably stay behind for the last week of April as we had to pay our rent up until May 3rd. We'll re-paint the walls white with primer and clean the carpets in order to get as much of our deposit back as possible. But before that is Boyan's birthday as well as my brother Pat. They happen to have been born on the same day three years apart. I don't know what we'll do for that besides dinner with the family, but for those of you who are interested (and invited of course) we will probably have a Birthday/Housewarming party in May.

I have not had too much time to write with all this moving and packing tumult. It's frustrating not being able to devote my time to something I feel I so desperately need to do. It almost feels like I'm neglecting a crying baby; I want to hold it and comfort it, but I'm tied down by necessities of life. I hate it. I'm just going to have to sneak in time here and there. I know once we move I'll have a lot of time alone to write, as I'll be waiting for Boyan to come home from work; I just need to suck it up until then. I'm a third of the way through my first revision, and I'm finding a lot of places in the story where I need to add back story and even a couple more chapters. I think I've said this before but I want to say it again. Writing is the hardest thing I've ever done, and the most rewarding. Even if the things I write don't get published there is something to be said about creating something. Building something from the floor up that stands on it's own with you as the progenitor. It's an amazing feeling.

I see myself spending a lot of time at the library working on my book. I'm hoping that I'll get accepted to Bennington, or get the Tinhouse seminar scholarship (both would be amazing), so that I could have some help work shopping the book. Right now it feels like everything is floating around in my head and I need to get it all organized in a way that makes sense. I can honestly say I'll probably revise this book at least six times if not more. I want to get it done done by the end of the year so I can start looking for an agent. It might be hard as Boyan's sister Natalia is coming to live with us for three months, but I'll just have to make time. I'm hoping to buy a bike pretty soon, so if I need some alone time I can just hop on and ride down to the library or to Cacao which is just up the street from our new place.

I keep having these dreams that I open our mailbox to find the large Bennington folder. I've dreamt about it so much that when I do open our mailbox, I swear I hallucinate that the big thick white envelop is actually there. It's insane. I hate waiting to hear back, it's torture. I had a crazy dream last night that I got caught up in a tornado, and when the tornado hit me I floated and was weightless. I woke up a second after the tornado hit me in my dream, and I swear I woke up feeling like I was floating.

I looked up the meaning of tornadoes in dreams, and it says that it's a "loss of control dream." I sat there hoping the tornado would skip past me, helpless and when it came there was nothing I could do. In a world where everything is crazy and tumultuous, my writing is something I can control. It's something I actively do to better myself. I wonder if my inability to write because of our move has made me subconsciously feel out of control. Or if it's because I'm waiting to hear back from Bennington. I guess it's something to think about.

So, that's my update. A lot going on right now, a lot of unknown variables but that's okay. That's what life is all about right? If we knew what was going to happen it wouldn't be so exciting.

Until next time, this tornado loves you.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Dr. Kutner to work for Obama?

I thought April Fool's Day was over. No, seriously when I saw this posted on Jezebel I thought it was a joke but sure as shit Kal Penn is "leaving House to work at the White House."

I was incredibly honored a couple of months ago to get the opportunity to go work in the White House. I got to know the President and some of the staff during the campaign and had expressed interest in working there, so I'm going to be the associate director in the White House office of public liaison. They do outreach with the American public and with different organizations. They're basically the front door of the White House. They take out all of the red tape that falls between the general public and the White House. It's similar to what I was doing on the campaign.

I've been thinking about [moving into politics] for a while. I love what I do as an actor. I couldn't love it more. But probably from the time I was a kid, I really enjoyed that balance between the arts and public service. I went to a performing arts high school, but I still took a bunch of those dorky political science classes. It's probably because of the value system my grandparents instilled in me. They marched with Gandhi in the Indian independence movement, and that was always in the back of my head. So the past couple of years I thought about it a little m...ore. And in '06 I started this international studies program at Stanford, where they actually let you do most of the course work online. So it was something I could do while I was acting. And I thought this might be the right time to go off and do something else.
So there you have it. You can read the full account at the Huffington Post. Say goodbye to Kal Penn, Dr. Kutner and hello to Kal Penn Associate Director in the White House Office of whatever the f*ck. I'm sure you'll do a great job in the Obama Administration, but you will be missed at Princeton-Plainsboro.

Who would pay $3,000 for these shoes?

Me. I would. Right here.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Song of the Day: Rejazz

All hail Regina Spektor.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Song of the Day: I'm Yours

I tried to find the live version he performed on SNL, it was really great, but I couldn't find it anywhere. Boo.