1. (yes i know it’s january 23rd i am behind but i had most of this done in early december i just never finished)
November drained me and then filled me up. (Or maybe… I filled myself up? I took care of myself?) I spent the first ten days at home like usual, then I flew to LA to work from ‘home’ and see friends, and then I came home after another ten-ish days to my parent’s home, more working from ‘home’, the lethargy that accompanies a COVID vaccine, and a flu caught somewhere along the way. I’m still muddling my way through things, but I’m doing OK. Things are getting a little less muddy.
Howl’s Moving Castle: This is one of those movies which everyone talks about and I’ve always meant to watch, but it just hasn’t been high up on my priority list and I’ve never quite gotten around to it. Well, I got around to it! To be more precise, my friend put it on, I was OK with that, and then I quickly became very happy with that. Howl’s Moving Castle is a Studio Ghibli film based (very) loosely on a novel. It follows Sophie, a young woman who is cursed by a witch to be an old woman, and her relationship with Howl, a wizard and the owner of our titular moving castle. There’s curses, secrets, and war — but this is the loveliest war/anti-war film you’ll ever see, the kind that makes you believe in love and loyalty, the kind that makes you want to fuck off to a village cottage and tend to flowers and your three-legged rescue dog, the kind that makes you believe that peace is worth the effort. I’m afraid I can’t give a better synopsis of this movie, but it’s wonderful. I regret not watching it for so long. 5 out of 5.
Sample sales: Oh my god, these are fucking intense. For the uninitiated — i.e. me, before this one at 260 LA in Beverly Hills — sample sales are a funny thing from movies, where clothes are very cheap and people fight over a great deal. It’s not as violent in person, no physical fights over shoes, but it is just as frenzied as I imagined. I went to a Reformation one and we stood in line for about three hours. I know. I’m shaking my head too. Once in, we had 30 minutes, and a guy at the front would yell out time reminders. “Fifteen minutes left!” “Ten minutes left!” “Five minutes left, go to the registers or else you won’t be able to take anything!” Fucking terrifying. I got so overwhelmed and lost all semblance of rational thought. What was I looking for? Did I decide to prioritize shorts or dresses? Do I even like gingham? Couldn’t tell you the answer to any of these questions. I ended up walking out with 7 things, which totaled $500 and I am logging here in shameful posterity. I don’t think I’ve ever spent that much money at once at a clothing store. 4 things were winners, but 3 were not. They were the 3 items that I was trying to whittle down when we got the “2 minutes, seriously get gone” time warning, so that’s a lesson learned. The savings were good ($300 jeans for $50 good), but it was all so intense and overwhelming and the sort of thing I’m happy to have done once with a friend but will probably never be interested in again. I give sample sales a 2 out of 5.
Red (Taylor’s Version): I have no thoughts about this that are new and original, since everyone is talking about this album, but a lack of original thoughts has never stopped me. Red is the patron saint of ruminating over a feeling until you’ve wrung all the lessons you can from it. That’s what it feels like to me, at least: mulling something over, feeling the same stupid things over and over again, and wondering if you’re crazy for doing it in the same voice that a boy once used on you. Red has always been my favorite TS album, and I’m so happy it was her next re-recording (and that her Red-era bangs are back). The (From The Vault) additions are all killer. The Very First Night is very sapphic feeling to me (rhyming ‘picture’ and ‘whispered’ with…’you’?). The new Girl At Home is an exponential improvement upon the original. All Too Well (10 Minute Version) is probably my all-time favorite TS song – which is a big pronouncement to make! This wouldn’t be a paragraph about my lifelong problematic fave without some criticisms, though. I Bet You Think About Me is a mess. I always hate it when Taylor pretends she grew up on some random family farm like a regular ol’ gal. I also hate that she chose Miles Teller, documented asshole and anti-vaxxer, to be in the music video. There is no way to say this next thing without sounding like a bit of a dick, but here I go anyway: He looks like a thumb. He’s not a great actor, he’s not super hot, and he’s an anti-vaxxer. So he brings nothing to the table. There’s a million other actors out there! At this point, I should not expect more from Blake ‘Got Married on a Plantation, Didn’t Apologize Until 2020’ Lively and Taylor ‘Only Clarified She Wasn’t a Nazi After Fans Begged’ Swift, but alas I’m a huge fan and I do and I end up here, disappointed. My dream scenario for I Bet You Think About Me would’ve been a sequel to the You Belong With Me music video, bringing back Lucas Till and all. Also, her merch for this era is awful. Why would you just put her name on a random duffle bag? Why would you just make a random red scarf? She has, like, cute style. You could make cooler merch that looks like something a normal person would wear, not just a mega fan that moonlights as a billboard. Imagine a collaboration with Reformation for dresses that fit different eras: Red (red and white polka dot, pure red), Lover (cotton candy skies, golden), folklore (plaid, gingham, floral but heavy on the leaves)… Taylor, I’ve got more (better) merch and music video ideas. I’m sorry I have so many criticisms of you, but it’s just because I love you most ardently, against my better judgment, Mr Darcy-style, and I wish for you to do better. All that said, this paragraph’s length begrudgingly over with, I give Red (TV) 5 out of 5.
3. reading list
Ten tips for surviving a crowd crush by Mehdi Moussaid for The Conversation
The Ultimate Guide to Moving to LA from Reddit
Salary Story: Creative Director/Storyteller in Tech making $300,000/year from Reddit’s Money Diaries
Being Kind to Yourself from Hidden Brain
4. discoveries/things i am curious about but not really doing anything about other than putting them here
Seven Wonders Collective (vintage in NY)
Magnetic and refillable containers made from recycled plastic
Jewelry, cute goth-y vibes
$25 reusable eye masks
$129 DNA test for genetic conditions, traits, breeds, and more~!
The most gorgeous, lovely, dreamy jewelry, oh my god. Pictured is the $265 Minutia Ring
5. camera roll
OK! That’s it. I’ve been pondering the idea of “oversharing” recently – trying to notice when I do it, trying to figure out why I do it, and trying to maybe stop a little bit l o l. We’ll see how it goes. The irony of sharing this on my public online blog is not lost to me!