My Trip to California in 4 Sketches

Over New Years I had a magical trip to California. It was my first trip back since I moved from San Francisco to New York this summer. The trip was busy — a glamorous New Year’s Eve wedding, the Rose Bowl, then back up to SF to see old friends. I’m glad I took a few pauses to commemorate the experience.

1. December 28th, 2015: Castro, SF

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I spent my first morning in SF at Reveille Cafe, working on my screenplay draft while a friend wrote a blog post. This was the incredible view from her apartment where I stayed:

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The view from the front wasn’t bad either:

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2. January 2, 2016, Silver Lake, LA

IMG_5160Luckily for Stanford fans, Christian McCaffrey went off and the Rose Bowl was a blowout. After the game we posted up with a friend in LA who had another amazing view.

3. January 4, 2016: Precita Park, SF

IMG_5161I spent my last day in SF at my favorite park, Precita. It’s a lot mellower than Dolores Park, with great dog and people watching.

4. January 5, 2016: SFO->JFKIMG_5165

On the flight home I watched Working Girl and You’ve Got Mail back-to-back while I knitted a scarf. They’re an interesting double feature, demonstrating how much New York City changed over ten years.

My Favorite Music of 2015

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I like waiting until the new year to finalize my music lists. You never know which album will make a late surge in the backstretch. This year that was Julien Baker’s spare, wrenching Sprained Ankle: great winter walking tunes. Here’s my genre-by-genre and overall breakdowns:

Rock Albums

  1. Courtney Barnett, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
  2. Tame Impala, Currents
  3. My Morning Jacket, The Waterfall
  4. Alabama Shakes, Sound & Color
  5. EL VY, Return to the Moon

Folk Albums

  1. Father John Misty, I Love You, Honeybear
  2. Julian Baker, Sprained Ankle
  3. Joanna Newsom, Divers
  4. Josh Ritter, Sermon on the Rocks
  5. Natalie Prass, Natalie Prass

Pop Albums

  1. Grimes, Art Angels
  2. Jamie xx, In Colour
  3. Lana Del Rey, Honeymoon
  4. Carly Rae Jepsen, Emotion
  5. CHVRCHES, Every Open Eye

Rap Albums

  1. Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp a Butterfly
  2. Vince Staples, Summertime ’06
  3. A$AP Rocky, At. Long. Last. ASAP.
  4. Drake, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late
  5. Dr. Dre, Compton

R&B Albums

  1. Jazmine Sullivan, Reality Show
  2. Kehlani, You Should Be Here
  3. Kelala, Hallucinogen
  4. The Weeknd, Beauty Behind the Madness
  5. Jeremih, Late Nights

 

Overall Albums

10. Jazmine Sullivan, Reality Show

Jazmine has one of the greatest voices in R&B, but her true strength is songwriting. Each track on Reality Show tells a humanizing story from a different woman’s perspective – from an Instagram model and bank robber, to a rapper’s ex-girlfriend and a heroin addict.

9. A$AP Rocky, At. Long. Last. ASAP.

Surprisingly experimental and searching, A$AP Rocky’s followup album pushes the boundaries of psychedelic rap.

8. Jamie xx, In Colour

Jamie xx put out a dazzling, moody dance music record tinged with sadness and nostalgia.

7. Vince Staples, Summertime ’06

The 22-year-old rapper dropped a stunning debut album that tells the story of growing up amidst Long Beach’s gangs.

6. Julien Baker, Sprained Ankle

This album stunned me with its heartbreaking depiction of addiction, hospitalization, and the loss and recapture of faith.

5. Grimes, Art Angels

A true pop record with a gritty, maximalist heart.

4. Tame Impala, Currents

The modern psychedelic pioneers shift from rock to pop but held firmly onto their blissed-out aesthetic.

3. Father John Misty, I Love You, Honeybear

At once orchestral and seething, airy and caustic, Father John Misty released an indictment of modern society and his own part in it.

2. Courtney Barnett, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

Courtney Barnett’s debut is obsessed with the small things in life – a morning commute, driving on the highway, going for a swim – and she elevates this minutia with clever, humorous attention.

1. Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp a Butterfly

Kendrick’s jazz/funk/rap opus explores what it means to be black in 2015. Dark, challenging, furious–but also exuberant and ultimately hopeful.

 

 

 

My 10 Favorite Drawings of 2015

After my birthday in July I bought myself a sketchbook. I didn’t expect that I would derive so much (inexpensive) pleasure out of pausing and looking closely. I gave myself permission to mess up and make obvious mistakes and keep going. Here are some of my favorites over the last year.

  1. August Night

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2. Overlooking the Rose Garden

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3. RooftopIMG_4956.JPG

4. Prospect Kite

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5. Forest Walk

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6. Bedford Hill

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7. Cloister Courtyard

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8. New York Skyline

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9. Living Room

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10. Thanksgiving in New OrleansIMG_4967

My Favorite Makeup Looks of 2015

For the past year I’ve been keeping an occasional makeup diary: a quick snap to capture the attitude of the day. I used to feel a strange guilt and self-consciousness over these pictures, but reading Rachel Syme’s Selfie opus helped change my mind. Here are my favorite looks of 2015:

10. January 9, 2015

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Featuring: Urban Decay Naked 3 palette, Revlon Balm Stain in Cherish

9. November 6, 2015

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Featuring: Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Amethyst, Urban Decay Naked 3 palette, Benefit Benetint, Lipstick Queen Saint Wine

8. January 28, 2015

IMG_3241.JPGFeaturing: Urban Decay 24/7 pencil in Zero

7. September 13, 2015

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Featuring: Urban Decay Naked 1 palette, Chapstick

6. October 15, 2015

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Featuring: Urban Decay liquid liner in Perversion, Nars Cruella

5. October 21, 2015

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Featuring: Lorac Pro palette, Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Honey

4. January 12, 2015

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Featuring: Urban Decay Naked 3 palette, Benefit Benetint

3. September 24, 2015

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Featuring: Urban Decay Naked 3 palette, Urban Decay 24/7 pencil in Binge

2. October 30, 2015

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Featuring: Urban Decay Naked 1 palette, Lipstick Queen in Saint Wine

1. June 25, 2015IMG_4231.JPG

Featuring: Stila Kitten eyeshadow, Urban Decay liquid liner in Roach

 

A Plan and Not Quite Enough Time (Pt. 4)

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It’s been a few weeks since my last update on my screenplay, but I haven’t been neglecting it. In fact, I’ve thrown myself down the well of screenwriting.

I’m in the middle of a screenwriting class and getting useful feedback on my treatment and outline. I read nearly every screenwriting book in the Brooklyn library, and a dozen or so screenplays. It’s been fun to rediscover Crazy Heart, Shakespeare in Love, Black Swan, Little Miss Sunshine, and Bringing Up Baby.

One of my new habits of 2015 is drawing, and I’ve applied it to the screenplay. I like to sketch out character ideas and get a deeper intuitive understanding of my script. After all, a screenplay is not a final product–the final products are sounds and images on a screen.

So where do things stand? I have a solid game plan for the next draft, and my goal is to write a polished draft by the end of the year. I’m very thankful for the joy of creativity. Hope you have a very happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

 

 

 

Short Thoughts on Long Nails

David Foster Wallace, from
David Foster Wallace, from “Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself.” Highly recommended.

I never thought I’d be the kind of woman with long nails. Growing up, I bit my nails to the quick. It took hard work and a couple years, but I finally broke free from the nervous habit by keeping my nails painted. Jagged edges were my trigger, so I put a glass nail file in my bag for easy touch ups.

Miracle in a bottle.
Miracle in a bottle.

One product took my nails from short and round to long and oval: Duri Rejuvacote. Two years ago I was perfectly happy using Nailtiques, but Rejuvacote delivers much faster results. I’m planning on cutting my nails short tonight; removing my contacts is getting dicey. But it’s nice to know that I can grow them back out quickly, if the femme fatale yearning overcomes me once again.

My 5 Favorite Articles of the Week

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The Internet is a cruel mistress. As the wise Aziz Ansari said, “I read the Internet so much I feel like I’m on page a million of the worst book ever.” But it sure has some wonderful highlights. Here are my favorite things I read this week:

  1. Grantlangst, by Carles.Buzz. There were many obituaries of the late, great Grantland, but this was my favorite: “In a sea of ‘hot takes’ delivered by traditional talking heads, the internet prosumers needed a place for a branded intelligent take. But the audiences in demand of intelligent takes no longer achieve the necessary economies of scale to sell ads against.”
  2. The Grown-Up Styling Tip You Should Forget About, by Rachel Syme. Rachel is an inspiring fashion writer, especially with Iris Apfel as her muse: “Giving yourself the permission to don whatever you desire will keep you excited to wake up the next day and do it all over again; when you turn your closet into a playground, you are prolonging your own life.”
  3. The Deadly History of Women using Perfume as Poison, by Arabelle Sicardi. The story I never knew I needed until I read it: “While invisible scents may seem like the poltergeist of aestheticism, perfume is often the monster, too, leaving bodies behind in the fumes.”
  4. The Strange Case of Anna Stubblefield, by Daniel Engber. The long, gripping true story that explores disability, sexuality and consent and left me thinking about it for days: “What made them so upset — what led to all the arguing that followed, and the criminal trial and million-­dollar civil suit — was the fact that Anna can speak and D.J. can’t; that she was a tenured professor of ethics at Rutgers University in Newark and D.J. has been declared by the state to have the mental capacity of a toddler.”
  5. Overcoming the 10 Biggest Obstacles to Creating, by Leo Baubata. A practical, straightforward look at the emotional, challenging reality of avoidance and procrastination: “Every day I struggle with the resistance to writing, and every day I lose the struggle … but then I beat the struggle. I lose more often than I win, but I win every day. And that’s what matters. “