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superficial moment

Last night, my cousin and I were going through some old photographs.  I was about twelve years old in those photos.  As we flipped through the pages, I kept thinking, “Gosh, I was so pretty?  How come I was so pretty, and where did all that pretty go?  Is it the eyebrows?  It’s certainly no thanks to the fumpy ’90s clothes.  What is it??”

And then I realized a major difference: I wasn’t wearing any glasses in those photos.

Too bad now – over a decade later – I really love (to hide behind) my glasses.  My mum would say something cheesy like “It’s innocence.”  Except I was a total, hopeless nerd when I was twelve.  Now I’m just hopeless.  Or a nerd. Or a…hey, wait.

May 02 2011 | fashion and waffle | Comments Off on superficial moment

fallback – part III: Los Angeles

The audition process for music graduate schools is nothing to be trifled with. The work is hard and supremely time-consuming, but, like most things, revelations and joys can be found in between. At the end of it all, I was so grateful that the auditions gave me a chance to travel and meet and/or get to know some people better. Meeting the teachers was tremendously intimidating and frightening, but observing how they interacted with me was very interesting.

For Los Angeles, for the first time ever, I was completely on my own, with no guides or friends in the city. The experience turned out to be rather exhilarating in the end, though very nerve-wracking with the fear that I would oversleep my alarm in the ridiculously comfortable hotel bed or miss the bus to my audition. L.A. was also the first place that I could feel the pulse of the city so clearly after touching down. Like Seattle, I only had one weekend there so I can’t say I’m any expert on the city, but there was no questioning that the air practically buzzed with life. I’m sure nothing actually happened faster than normal, but it certainly felt that way as if in any moment, the city could just burst into sunshine particles – and it would do it again if you dared it. The pace of Los Angeles felt like a composition of millions of moments and memories in time that play in your mind for just a second, before it is swept away by the next moment; and you would have to be very lucky to find that moment again. Also, perhaps because the people in L.A. are undeniably gorgeous, I couldn’t help but feel like I was being judged with every step I took.

L.A. is so fast-paced and crammed to the brim with craziness that there isn’t just one thing that can completely sum the city up (as proven by how long it took for me to decide on one photo from my collection to represent my thoughts.) And as I killed time waiting for my red-eye home, reading newspaper house listings (barely any of which were under a million dollars) I could not deny that California life is really something else.

During the flight, I was greatly amused to discover that the thick layer of smog above L.A. is no joke, and had a good time imagining how incredible the interiors of some of the houses on the hills and mountains were. I suppose my assumption isn’t entirely off considering that the University of California, Los Angeles is one of the most beautiful collections of buildings I have ever seen. I actually didn’t realize until after I returned just how prestigious the music school was, but the people were quite nice, possibly except the students who gave me strange looks when I got there the first night. I suppose I could pin this on my outstandingly touristy appearance – on the phone with my friend/guide/Oracle and wibbling to her about how amazing everything was (She’s hoping to attend UCLA for graduate school herself. The night I got into the town, I went to the campus to make sure that I could find the building in the morning, but didn’t have a map. So my friend found a map online and proceeded to guide me step-by-step where to go. After finding the music school, I got distracted by the gorgeousness of some of the other buildings so I let her off the phone while I took photos, and consequently got lost from thereon in.) Sometimes, the niceness felt a little forced, but maybe that was just another part of the nature of L.A.

However, Westwood Village, the little shopping plaza (or very outdoor mall?) right beside the campus, was incredibly charming, and I don’t think that area could have lied at all. There were so many sushi and noodle shops that for a few brief moments, I thought I was back in Taiwan. The shops, though small, were literally open and inviting. I was particularly impressed by this little fashion boutique called [Ai-Wish] which featured quirky cute teeshirts, fun interiors, and adorable import accessories right from Japan and Korea. I couldn’t help picking up a very sparkly and pink cell phone charm there for my oracle friend.

The first night in L.A., I hoped to have a small dinner at a little cafe on a corner of Westiwood that I wholly regret forgetting the name of. My regret stands particularly because when I finally did accomplish a meal there (The previous night’s attempt was foiled by the fear of missing my alarm in the morning and given that L.A. is a few hours behind my “normal” circadian clock, I was getting paranoid.) I enjoyed the turkey burger and goat-cheese spring salad quite a bit. The coffee was not too bad either, but much of the enjoyment was truly compliments of the Bohemian vibe of this little cafe and perfect outdoor meal weather. For a small and probably misleading moment, I felt like I could actually get used to the city, even with all its reputation and schizophrenia.

That next day, I returned to Florida at around 9 a.m. EST, and at 2p.m. EST, joined my university orchestra for the second run of our Polish avant-garde concert. I was visibly tired so when my colleagues found out I had just come back from L.A. that morning, some were visibly impressed. One pointed out how cool it must be to say to another musician, “I just got back from L.A. this morning.”

I didn’t disagree.

June 05 2008 | fashion and food and music and travels | 1 Comment »



Shopping depresses me. These days I can no longer tell what’s supposed to be a top, a skirt, or a dress. The amount of time spent staring at the piece of clothing in question is frustrating enough to not buy it. Is it just a piece of clothing that’s multitasking? I’m doubtful of how effectively it would act in each separate field in the first place. What if you bought it and then wore it all too obviously and erroneously as another piece of clothing? Who wants to pay the money to be wrong? And why would anyone want to go through all these troubling thoughts for a top/skirt/dress – possibly convenient multitasking abilities or not?

Then there’s that infuriating percentage of styles and featured outfits today which promote donning the least amount of clothing possible just barely appropriate for your age. Witness babydoll tunics, especially when paired with no pants and some flats. Apparently presenting the illusion that you are just left of pregnant and/or trampy is in.

I won’t even get started on leggings and their rampant abuse in today’s “style.” Let’s just say they should be entirely avoided outside of the gym.

The sad fact of fashion is that no person can look amazing in every possible piece of clothing unless they or the clothes come with built-in airbrushing. And that will be one expensive day indeed.

July 17 2007 | fashion and musings | 3 Comments »