Friday, January 4, 2013

Secret Single Behavior

I've lived with my boyfriend for the past three years, and love spending time with him very much, but I'd be lying if I said I don't occasionally enjoy the fact that he works evenings so that I can be alone and partake in what I learned from Sex and the City is my "secret single behavior." Those things that aren't exactly embarrassingly unusual or bad, but which are for whatever reason so much more pleasurable when done alone: marathoning tv shows all night long while eating peppermint Joe Joes, putting on crazy outfits or makeup, listening to bad music, fingering through old photo albums or letters, etc. I'm even so weird as to have a large collection of movies that I only ever want to watch alone, for those cathartic crying sessions. Haha.

As an undeniable loner, it can be a challenge losing your independence at home and these moments are important for maintaining some shred of sense of self, at least for me. Doing things that make you happy purely for yourself and without having to "worry" about anyone else's wants or needs is so liberating when it's become a rarity. So break out the cans of Sofia wine, put on your largest and ugliest pjs, and OnDemand a whole two seasons of Game of Thrones in a row before you realize it's 4a.m. and you actually have shit to do tomorrow.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Turkish Details

Coming home from Turkey was really hard for me ( I know, cue the world's tiniest violin). Probably the worst denouement I've ever had post-travel other than when I moved back from London. I was coming home to a dead car-when my job requires driving about 50 miles a day-and the immense stress that has caused, bills to pay, an apartment that featured the smell of cat pee-one of them decided to suddenly use our towels instead of the litter box, and all those other "real life" things that make you go on vacation in the first place. It was especially tough because I really fell in love with the country, the history, the beauty, and the details. To help me relive the adventure, here are some of my favorite slices of what we saw.

Door to the Blue Mosque entrance.

Detail of the famous Iznik tiles in the Blue Mosque. Incidentally, did you know Iznik is where the Nicene creed was agreed upon? Crazy amounts of history.

Windows outside the Hagia Sofia complex.

Hagia Sofia. Look at the way they lined up the tiles of marble.

Mosaic circa 500 that still features the original gold, silver, ruby, and emerald tiles.

Can you spot the hidden kitty? Appropriate, given just how many cats live there...

Fountain outside the Topkapi Palace, where the Ottoman sultans used to live.

Loved how every column had a different marble design.

The Dardanelles and view of Gallipoli.

Water and sewer pipes more than 2000 years old at Ephesus. Too bad the lead they used made people crazy.

Super sweet kitty at the amphitheater.

Remnants of a church built for St. John the apostle, who spread the word in Turkey (and rumor has it brought the Virgin Mary there too).

Taking a dip in the hot springs of Pammukale.

Thermal pools of Pamukkale.

Lion details on a sarcophagus in Heiropolis's necropolis.

Blue tiled minaret at Mevlana's (poet Rumi's) mausoleum.

The entrance walls to a caravansarai built in 1229, where travelers and traders on the silk road took refuge at night.

Makin' carpets.

Ready for take off, Cappadocia.

The view from 5000 feet up.

Evil eye tree, Cappadocia.

Ladder carved into the volcanic ash cave dwellings dating back to 2000 B.C.

Fairy chimneys, Cappadocia.

Mosaic meant to mimic turkish carpet patterns at the mausoleum of Kemal Ataturk, Ankara.

Man's first writing-cuneiform-letters and envelopes in Ankara.

Boat ride on the Bosphorus river.

Property on the Bosphorus is as pricey as anything in Manhattan or Malibu (and sometimes more).

Turkish tea. Can you see the steam?

Spices, including rare saffron and the most delicious red pepper flake mix, at the Spice Market.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

It Was Just A Paper Bag...

Mark bought us tickets to the Fiona Apple concert at the Palladium last Sunday as a birthday gift to himself. Even though I was somewhat obsessed with When the Pawn... back in college, I wasn't really all that excited beforehand because I hadn't really listened to her new album. I suppose really though it was hard thinking about how much I used to associate with her lyrics, being so beautiful but so deeply sad, and thinking about how sad I used to be. The show was good though.

And yeah, I may have nearly shed a tear or two when she started singing "Paper Bag." As a total nerd with extreme bouts of self-loathing and insecurity, it was totally my constantly repeating on the iPod self-defeating anthem that stated more beautifully than I could express all of my feelings at the time-how I would never find anyone who would love me with all my inner craziness and fun thoughts like that. What can I say-I used to really like wallowing in my unhappiness. Of course, now I know that we're all crazy and it's just about finding someone whose weirdness and quirks can tolerate and love your own. Still, even if the words of the song don't match how I feel anymore, remembering how much they meant to me then was moving enough and made me quite happy not to feel that way anymore.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Learning to Love Summer

I have a confession to make: I hate summer. Now before you pelt things at your screen aimed at my head, I get it-there are tons of wonderful things about summertime and I have many great memories of going to the beach, eating a bowl of ripe strawberries after dinner, BBQs that involved staying in the pool so long my whole hands were wrinkly, and the like. But ultimately, I crave cloudy days, tights, getting to throw on a pair of boots, and the magic of winter and fall holidays. Sorry.

Still, rather than pout for the next (sweaty, heat stroke-inducing) two months, I am determined to focus on those things about summer that are good, and forget for now about all the things I would rather be doing and wearing. A few of my favorite upsides:

  • The fact that the sun doesn't set until around 9pm. There is nothing so sad as the sun going down at 4:30pm. It makes me terribly lazy, as I am not exactly very productive at nighttime, and is just depressing to get out of work and realize you haven't seen the sun all day. 

  • Nectarines. Now that I am very half-heartedly trying to cut out the processed sugars I need really good natural alternatives. Slowly peeling nectarine skins with my teeth and then getting to taste their luscious innards makes saying bye-bye to almond croissants somewhat more bearable. Somewhat. 

  • Outdoor concerts. There is something so indulgent about sitting/standing outside in the fresh air and listening to music. Whether craziness like Lollapalooza or a more sedate orchestral performance at the Hollywood Bowl, it's not something I'd find nearly as appealing with the threat of rain or serious chill.

  • The beach. I can theoretically go to the beach any season, but the Pacific is freezing, y'all! It's barely tolerable in August, so being able to actually get in the water is something of a treat, even if seeing someone catch a baby shark from the shores of Malibu as a child has basically wiped out my interest in actually swimming in the ocean. 

  • Bright colored clothing. If I had to select one color palette to wear for the rest of my life I would undoubtedly go with black, charcoal, and other shades of grey, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy the opportunity to have fun with my summer clothes. Mint, bright pink, cobalt, and even (gasp!) white are all fair game when the sun is out and I've got some sad semblance of a tan to help them pop. It's the perfect chance to mix patterns and have some fun since fewer layers means fewer opportunities to criminally clash.