Archive for February, 2010

bran muffin!

February 28, 2010

very very good day today. list form:

1. walked 65 blocks up to italian restaurant with dad. BEAUTIFUL walk. mild weather and melting snow and watching the neighborhoods change. ate delicious pasta with walnut sauce and admired elderly new yorker women sitting next to us; dressed to impress in pearls, jems, and endearing words about being 85 in this city.(current musical obsessions=elvis perkins, the strange boys, king khan & the bbq show, sonny & the sunsets, and au revoir simone.)

2. went to a shoe-repair store and spend 2o minutes talking to man who looked like biggie smalls but maybe not as big. he was hilarious and gave hearty advice: sing whenever you want and you will feel better “you know im sayin you feelin bad, havin a bad day, you hum a tune you feel better girl!” amen to that. and he was so charming and funny with me and my dad. he insisted “you from california you too soft. you too slow out there on that coast! being all chill and relaxed ain’t normal man, y’all don’t get upset about no thing.” also, true wisdom. “here in new york city we are outspoken.” i think i am pretty outspoken and outgoing. he was originally from charleston and moved to NYC at 5.

3. walked down to grand central station, went to our favorite tapas bar on broome. broome street is my new favorite street. cannot wait to live there in one of those beautiful gritty buildings above a laundromat with beautiful rusting fire escapes. it is dotted with trendy bars and local chinese joints and a cool small art gallery with photos of all this world architecture: from a hut in namibia to a trailer in tokio. and also photographs of the punk scene in nyc cbgbs (debbie harry/the ramones). and after a yummy meal including jamon serrano and octopus and more spanish delacacies, we went to go see “the art of the steal” at the IFC. this movie was riveting and gave me an enlightened view on not only the barnes foundation, but what the essence of art is, the power of money, and what it really means to be against the establishment.

tomorrow will be just as delightful. last question: have you ever kissed in a taxi cab?

recent discussion topics

February 17, 2010

recent discussion topics:

1. white tourists in india- the glamorizing of the poverty? india as a culturally rich and colorful country? slumdog millionaire reactions? how to face extreme poverty (alienation/removing oneself/taking pictures)?

2. feeling vulnerable- letting someone in and trusting them with the responsibility of not treading on your emotions, happiness, stability, wellbeing, etc. the difficulties that arise? staying level-headed?

3. being bicultural- the feeling of having dual identities? i am one way in spain and another in the states? language barrier?  

my mom left today

February 15, 2010

beautiful, infinite moment: we sat two hours in washington square, freezing our butts on the cold stone benches, but warming our hearts and face and thighs with the brightest sunshine i’ve seen in awhile. it broke 40 and i hadn’t seen so many people basking in the sun at the park since october. the man who has the piano rolled it over and started playing ‘here comes the sun’ followed by chopin and then some coldplay. beautiful day, melting snow, and i already miss my mom.

here are some lyrics directed towards my special someone: ” ”

Put me in your dry dream or put me in your wet
If you haven’t yet, no if you haven’t yet
Light me with your candle and watch the flames grow high
No it doesn’t hurt to try, it doesn’t hurt to try

Well I won’t stop all of my pretending that you’ll come home
You’ll be coming home, someday soon

Put me in your blue skies or put me in your gray
There’s gotta be someway, there’s gotta be someway

” “

dia de san valentin

February 14, 2010

so it’s valentine’s day. the empire state is lit and pink and red. let’s have us a little romantic cheer. unfortunately  the one i wanna kiss is 2,753.31 miles away, so i’ll live vicariously through the following:to feel the one you love in a pulsing city.to have a  kiss in between a  good steak and a glass of champagneto kiss and be elderly. a man with a cool hat and blue socksto be hot tourists while you kissto kiss in a grimey F train i like to think is Coney Island bound.

Chocolate comprises a number of raw and processed foods produced from the seed of the tropical Theobroma cacao tree. Cacao has been cultivated for at least three millennia in Mexico, Central and South America, with its earliest documented use around 1100 BC. The majority of the Mesoamerican peoples made chocolate beverages, including the Aztecs, who made it into a beverage known as xocolātl, a Nahuatl word meaning “bitter water”. The seeds of the cacao tree have an intense bitter taste, and must be fermented to develop the flavor. lets go back to Mexico thousands of years ago and drink hot chocolate! and if you feel like swing dancing solo, so do i, so listen to fats domino!

who needs kisses and caricias anyways? uhh i do but it’s okay, it hit 38 degrees today and i walked around central park, so i have a smile on my face.

in high seas or in low seas

February 14, 2010

first, a david hockney.next, this is henry darger’s work.quick Q? what does it mean to b an individual? to be unique? am having trouble answering question. side note: if you are in california and reading this, get yourself some  good mexican food! i miss it.a gabriel orozco photograph. the clay mirrors a heart, doesnt it? what did your eyes drift too first? colar bone? nipples? finger nails?and lastly, richard saja who does embroidery art

why is cheddar cheese orange?

February 11, 2010

the snow looks great hanging from the tree branches and caked on rooftops..gorgeous. but not so gorgeous when you sink up to you knee into brown gushy sludgy snow on broadway.

breathing is just a rhythm

i wanna lay inside there. sitting, thinking, gleaming, being, inhaling, exhaling, and thinking some more.

QUE SAIS-JE?

February 11, 2010

written yesterday for writing the essay intro about conformity:

“Mamá, lets go to Montclair Plaza Mall!” I said, twelve years old and eager. It is in a rough area by the 10 freeway. Wouldn’t want to walk around there at night. Pretty much everything that surrounds it is sketchy: TJ’S LIQUOR with only the “TJ” and “UOR” lit up in red fluorescent, identical cheap condominiums painted in revolting shades of puke green, pale pink, or “Arizona Rust Brown,” bus stops with homeless clutching their Ralph’s grocery carts, and teenagers blasting their hardcore music while glaring across the busy intersections. Pretty disgusting place, in retrospect. But that day, this windowless, concrete, and white-trash-ridden haven was going to serve as a gleaming refuge for my tween insecurities. Alas, today was the day I would get my first training bra. After convincing my mom it was absolutely vital I get one (after all, “I’m almost thirteen and we’re gonna havta change in the locker rooms and all the girls have them and it’s junior high and Nina has one and and and and and…”), we stepped in the mall. Once inside, I forgot about the melting black asphalt outside, the smell of car fumes and the yells of the hysterical homeless; I was about to obtain the twelve-year-old-girl equivalent of an Elite Membership card. This was the letterman’s jacket to the meathead football player, the fake ID to the NYU student, the intimidating tattoos to Lil Wayne, and the plethora of adopted babies to Brad and Angelina. I was gonna be cool, respected, and most importantly, accepted.

written a year ago yesterday, about a night junior year:

It was one of those infinite moments where you swear that time just stopped, that you are the only ones there. She said to us that the sky was a “champagne supernova, like that Oasis song.” We agreed, we lay there on the grass mesmerized by the night sky, looking up. “I mean I finally get what the song is saying. It’s like the earth is just this tiny little speck and there are all these huge meteors, these huge bubbly stars moving around us and sparkling and here we are all insignificant, you know, all little and we’re looking at the vastness of the sky, miles out, and we don’t even know it, you know?” She started singing the lyrics of the song and then we all got up and rolled down the hill and there were rabbits on the grass. On another note, she had a dog named Roxy, a young golden retriever. Beth and I sometimes referred to her as “Satan” because she used her talons to rip our clothes and sink her teeth into our flesh.

10-18 inches of snow today. blew my mind!

OH HEY and if you are the new yorker magazine or nat’l geographic. i want to work for you. i want an internship.

doesn’t toast sound realllyyy good right about now?

si solo supieras

February 9, 2010

lo raro que eres y lo extrano que es esto. una fantasia. pero porque no vivirla y disfrutarla? no quiero aceptarlo. y porque?

why am i attracted to those in different universes?

February 6, 2010

11. el guincho: spanish dj/alternative/indie/dance2. ceaseless love3. nyc pillow fight coming up in the spring

4. bonobo mokney baby5. we could eat a fruit from each boat.

corduroy pants are a plus and rubbing socked feet on rugs.

oddly appropriate and enjoyable!

February 2, 2010

followed by:

learned today in intro to sociology that everyone is a conformist.

if you have the time and patience:

Hana,

So while I write this you are probably sleeping in your huge bed, in your huge room, in your huge mansion in Cairo. I’m writing in my small desk, in my small room, in my crammed city. It is 4.26pm here and therefore 11.26pm there. While I’m freezing my skin off here, you are probably enjoying dry heat and the pleasant breeze of the night. Your life in Egypt I imagine is vastly different from mine (after all, I don’t go to David Guetta concerts or go dancing in exotic coastline clubs or speak Arabic or have a maid or go to international school or smoke cigarettes like a pro or live in an Islamic country or get to see the Great Pyramids from my bathroom window) but I guess there is one universal experience despite our diverse lifestyles. We are both women.

Remember that time you were telling me and Beth about how the police harassed you that one night? And the taxi cab driver said dirty things to you? And if you walk down the street in a short skirt they call you names? And because you don’t wear a hijab they assume you aren’t native and they say nasty things in Arabic when you walk by? Well, I remember. It stuck. We live in different countries with totally different cultures but society still imposes a rigid frame of what we can be as women, what we should be, what we need to live up to, and the lines we can’t cross. Why? Why does being feminine entail making compromises and accepting restrictions?

I was reading a piece by Susan Browmiller, Femininity, and she asked the same question. She analyzes what vain restrictions impose on individual women, men, and society as a whole. I realized that both in an Islamic center in Egypt and in the metropolitan bustle of the Big Apple, there is an ingrained vision of what women should be, and if we don’t live up to it, we can expect disapproval from men and a good part of society. Typically, I’m not fazed by the romanticized qualities of what it means to be a woman, I don’t do a double-take when I see the Hayden girls stand outside in subfreezing weather with their pumps and clumpy mascara and tight dresses, but since I read Browmiller’s essay I can’t help but dwell on how media, pop culture, and fashion, recreation force girls to endure rigid guidelines of what is attractive. The idea that women should cook, clean, and serve their husband, or the fashion statement of wearing stilettos to look sexier, mirror society’s gender division. Although these expectations to conform at times seem subtle, they are a demandingly concrete code of what is allowed or not accepted. I agree with Brownmiller that playing along with such limitations can reassure men that we are vulnerable and depend on their triumphant strength, and lower women’s self-respect.

Femininity subconsciously favors men, according to Brownmiller, because it encourages women to be dependent on men and brings out the weaknesses in women, making men seem more masculine in contrast. So in other words, that night we spent two hour getting ready, frying our hair, shaving our legs, we were actually feeding into David Rasumussen’s ego. And it’s not because of our own individual choices, but rather because we’re strapped down to a confined expectation by society’s impositions, that this happens. As women accept restrictions, men are fed the task of being the “knight in shining armor”. Go figure.

Everywhere I look I’m reminded of this heavily-enforced cultural femininity. I know we always used to sit in your bed, read Cosmo and just make fun of its hilarious relationship advice …but in a deeper context, it really reveals a grim and appalling depiction of women, and men for that matter. I just picked up my roommate’s Cosmo magazine and leafed through it and found a section titles “Sentences He’d Be Psyched to Hear,” and was appalled at what I read. The majority of the sentences are disgraceful and degrading, not only for women but also for men, presenting them as sex-craved idiots; the sentences insinuate that a woman’s essential purpose and pleasure in life is performing sexual favors. But there is one sentence “he’d be psyched to hear” that really stood out to me, one I had to read over and over in disbelief: “that pile of laundry isn’t going to do itself…which is why I’m gonna go do it!” I’m left speechless. My impulse is to nervously laugh. I hate to think that we live in such a patriarchal, unprogressive society.

Frankly, I could go on and on. I read a book last year called Usos Amorosos de la Postguerra Espanola (Courtship Customs in Postwar Spain) by Carmen Martin-Gaite and looking back on it, I realize that even though she is writing about Spain in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, some of her ideas on double-standards, family structure, womanly duties, obedience, and education are applicable today…universally. The politics of post-war Spain does not mirror current America (or current Egypt). Spain was recovering from a civil war with Franco leading the way as a conservative dictator, whereas I am currently living in a democratic, tolerant country. In post-war Spain, Martin-Gaite argues, women were pushed back to the Middle-Ages: women were subtly encouraged to be passive and sacrificial beings, single women were defined as boring and depressed, women who thought and questioned society posed a problem for society, and submission to men (along with housework and raising a family) was the role of women. Sexism was ingrained indirectly through the education system where boys read stories about heroic explorers, always saving the damsel in distress, and girls were to learn about cooking, sewing, hygiene and politeness. Many of the themes in Brownmiller’s work seem to echo those in Martin-Gaite’s.

So, this has ended up being a tangent about what it means to be a woman. Maybe it’ll inspire you…next time a guy on the street yells at you, tells you to stay at home and cook and clean and do what you’re supposed to be doing, you can tell him to piss off.

Miss you tons and thinking of you,

Olaya