Find Your Beach

This is sheer brilliance from Zadie Smith.


NYC

Across the way from our apartment—on Houston, I guess—there’s a new wall ad. The site is forty feet high, twenty feet wide. It changes once or twice a year. Whatever’s on that wall is my view: I look at it more than the sky or the new World Trade Center, more than the water towers, the passing cabs. It has a subliminal effect. Last semester it was a spot for high-end vodka, and while I wrangled children into their snowsuits, chock-full of domestic resentment, I’d find myself dreaming of cold martinis.

Before that came an ad so high-end I couldn’t tell what it was for. There was no text—or none that I could see—and the visual was of a yellow firebird set upon a background of hellish red. It seemed a gnomic message, deliberately placed to drive a sleepless woman mad. Once, staring at it with a newborn in my arms, I saw another mother, in the tower opposite, holding her baby. It was 4 AM. We stood there at our respective windows, separated by a hundred feet of expensive New York air.

The tower I live in is university accommodation; so is the tower opposite. The idea occurred that it was quite likely that the woman at the window also wrote books for a living, and, like me, was not writing anything right now. Maybe she was considering antidepressants. Maybe she was already on them. It was hard to tell. Certainly she had no way of viewing the ad in question, not without opening her window, jumping, and turning as she fell. I was her view. I was the ad for what she already had.

But that was all some time ago. Now the ad says: Find your beach. The bottle of beer—it’s an ad for beer—is very yellow and the background luxury-holiday-blue. It seems to me uniquely well placed, like a piece of commissioned public art in perfect sympathy with its urban site. The tone is pure Manhattan. Echoes can be found in the personal growth section of the bookstore (“Find your happy”), and in exercise classes (“Find your soul”), and in the therapist’s office (“Find your self”). I find it significant that there exists a more expansive, national version of this ad that runs in magazines, and on television.

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How Did It Get So Late So Soon?

“I know. I’m lazy. But I made myself a New Years resolution that I would write myself something really special. Which means I have ’til December, right?”


Well, it’s December. And I’m the worst “blogger” alive. I’m probably offending actual bloggers even by putting that in quotes. The past two months have been insanely busy and I’m barely keeping my head above water but it’s sort of in a good way so who cares?! I guess the best way to say, “hello world I’m still alive!” is to give you a brief look at what I’ve been up to the past two months:

  • Got my Halloweekend on for the first time in roughly four years. Yes, there were multiple costumes. Yes, there was a couple costume. No, I didn’t go trick-or-treating. Yes, I got way too intoxicated at 13th Step… as if that last one is a shocker to anyone.
  • Received my “ladyship” at work. Seriously. I own a square-foot somewhere in Scotland and I have a certificate that deems me “Lady Jenna.”
  • Went to the West Coast for the first time EVER. It was gorgeous and perfect and amazing and I want to go back immediately. I drank and ate an absurd amount but it was extremely worth it.
  • I ate my body weight in food on Thanksgiving (clearly eating has been a trend…). My parents made 9 side dishes in addition to the turkey and a ham. I have no regrets.
  • Moved a bunch of my friends into new apartments — one group into the East Village, another into Chinatown/Little Italy. Sooooooo much fun and excitement. I’m still living at home (for now…) but just being able to have all these extra places to crash/play/hangout at is YAYYYYYY-worthy.
  • I GOT INTO NYU WITH A PARTIAL SCHOLARSHIP. So, this one is major because it impacts my life not only right now but for the next 2-3 years. I cried when I found out and my intern basically screamed the news to my office when I got the email. I’ve wanted this for the past 3 years and it’s certainly helped end 2014 on a much better note than initially anticipated.
  • Oh, and I also wrote a lot of random stuff. Check it outttttttt.

giphy-6

That’s all for now. I’ll make sure I come back before another two months pass… hopefully 🙂

Giving Me Away

After my rant post from yesterday, I’m thinking I need to follow up with some levity. So… here’s a song! Life’s been pretty amazing lately and I find myself putting this jam on all of my playlists again so I need to share the amazingness with those of you who haven’t heard it yet. “Giving Me Away” by Betty Who  is about that chaotic feeling you have internally when you start liking/falling for someone, which sounds wildly juvenile but it’s definitely a feeling everyone and their mother can relate to. I’ve been obsessed with it for months and I’m so happy it’s back in my regular rotation. Check it out here.
Betty Who

If it’s all the same to you
Can I fall asleep next to you?
I’ve been waiting to hear you breathe
‘Cause without it I can’t sleep

With your hands all through my hair
You’re holding onto all the air
Judging from how we’ve been
You should kiss me like you mean it again
‘Cause I don’t wanna be your friend

Call me pretty young thing
Make me weak until I’m speechless
Falling into you

Hear my mad machine gun heartbeat
Pounding right beside you
Giving me away
Giving me away

Did you know that when you laugh
It tears my heart in half
When I feel you look my way
I keep feeling you all day

God gave me with this just one hand
But he gave to you with all he had
And when our feet are intertwined
I feel your blood in mine, feed those veins
Oh, how I want you to stay

Call me pretty young thing
Make me weak until I’m speechless
Falling into you

Hear my mad machine gun heartbeat
Pounding right beside you
Giving me away
Giving me away

What was I supposed to do?
Laying in life when next to you
What am I supposed to do
With you, with you?

Call me pretty young thing
Make me weak until I’m speechless
Falling into you

Hear my mad machine gun heartbeat
Pounding right beside you
Giving me away
Giving me away

Can We All Stop Drinking And Driving?

I’ve come to terms with the fact that there are a lot of things in this world I will never understand. I know that I will never fully grasp why Nutella is so delicious or why my dog insists on barging into my room at precisely 4am most mornings. However, I have NOT come to terms with why some people in this world seem insistent on drunk driving.

Now, I know there are already many fantastic organizations advocating that drivers should not drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol so there’s really no need for me to stand on my soapbox and preach. That said, I still feel it necessary to discuss my incredulity after hearing that two major celebrities have been arrested for DUI this week… and it’s only Tuesday. My issue is that the two celebrities in question – Amanda Bynes and Michael Phelps – are no strangers to the media circus. With Bynes having been in and out of rehab and Phelps’ marijuana-gate scandal, you’d have thought that the two would have been wise enough to do anything possible to avoid being the center of attention yet again.

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If I Should Have A Daughter

“I want her to see the world through the underside of a glass bottom boat, to look through a magnifying glass at the galaxies that exist on the pin point of a human mind. Because that’s how my mom taught me. That there’ll be days like this, “There’ll be days like this my momma said” when you open your hands to catch and wind up with only blisters and bruises. When you step out of the phone booth and try to fly and the very people you wanna save are the ones standing on your cape. When your boots will fill with rain and you’ll be up to your knees in disappointment and those are the very days you have all the more reason to say “thank you,” ‘cause there is nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline no matter how many times it’s sent away.

You will put the “wind” in win some lose some, you will put the “star” in starting over and over, and no matter how many land mines erupt in a minute be sure your mind lands on the beauty of this funny place called life.

And yes, on a scale from one to over-trusting I am pretty damn naive but I want her to know that this world is made out of sugar. It can crumble so easily but don’t be afraid to stick your tongue out and taste it.”

If you do nothing else today, watch this TED Talk with Sarah Kay. She’s incredible.