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"We accept the love we think we deserve"

"We accept the love we think we deserve"

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"

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp,
Dare its deadly terrors clasp!

When the stars threw down their spears
And water’d heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

"

— William Blake 

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so, this song is from the movie Dakota Skye. not a well known song at all, especially since it took me so long to find it. 

there have been in my life, some songs or movies, sometimes pieces of art, a certain place maybe or even specific people, which are so powerful that i can physically feel an ache inside my chest. i’ve tried many times to put the feeling in words, but it never sounds quite right. but, the most fascinating part about it is that it’s a FEELING. i can physically feel a hollowing right under my chest, seemingly coming from the most central part of my body. it feels almost like a soar muscle that maybe if you could reach it you would massage it, but you can’t. so instead, you breathe into it, maybe you cry, but somehow you have to give in to the feeling with a particular emotion, it might be elation, joy, laughter, submission, anger, sadness, helplessness, regret, appreciation, love… i don’t know. but the initial feeling is the same. 

i’m pretty sure i live my life waiting for these moments. like a drug addict waiting for their next hit. if i get too consumed in the monotony of my life i think i go searching for it frantically…

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a few weekends ago, in passing, i mentioned to my friend that i’ve always wanted to sleep on the beach. you know, under the stars, with the sound of the waves crashing in the background. it sounds like it would be amazing. quickly she suggested, “let’s do it. tomorrow.”
so began the fastest camping preparation process you have ever seen in your life. a few hours before heading to black’s beach in san diego, we made a stop at the grocery store to buy food, lighter fluid, flashlights, and wood, among other things. there were 5 of us dedicated to staying over night, and looking back on it, any one of us could have thrown up a red flag and swept in with the endless list of reasons why this idea wasn’t going to work. our plan was so fragile that just a little bit of common sense might have swayed us. however, i must say i was pretty impressed with the blind dedication of all involved. 
for me this experience was well overdue. back as far as i can remember my mother made it very clear that i was never to do adventurous activities in nature. now, might i add, to her, an ‘adventurous activity in nature’ also included holding the neighbors cat. the day she caught me in that act she forced me to strip down in the garage, hosed me down and sent me straight up to the shower. additionally, she was also deathly afraid of ticks. she had been bitten by one in the past and now believed them to be everywhere. literally. once, at the age of 7 or 8, while playing at a friends house my mom spotted a black spot on my neck and was CONVINCED that it was a tick. she implored me not to touch it, called my father and rushed me to the doctor’s office at 1:00 am. after the doctor explained to me that he could either burn or freeze the tick off, he suggested that he might try to just pull it off with tweezers. now, imagine - my parents hovering over me while i’m becoming increasingly more terrified of the prospect that a bug is about to come out of my neck, the doctor latches on to the black spot and as he pulls it, it stretches out like a pink string, snapping as it gets longer. it turns out, it was not a tick at all, it was gum. -______-
so, as you can see, when it comes to nature, i have led a pretty sheltered lifestyle. i’d always wanted to be outdoorsy, it just wasn’t in the cards. but this, THIS was my chance to play catch up. yet, as you have probably guessed by now, i was a little scared. and as it started to get darker and there was not a sole in sight on the beach i became even more scared. it also didn’t help that a few drunken wanderers approached our camp at one point and loitered around creating unnecessary anxiety. nevertheless, around midnight my night vision began to kick in and so did my courage. 
it sounds silly, but in the morning, i felt like a stronger person. one of us mentioned that this experience could be the plot for an indie ‘coming-of-age’ film with a profound life lesson to be learned. i believe the lesson of our story is one i seem to find more and more awe-inspiring every time i experience it: any idea, with unwavering support, by just a few people, can be brought to fruition. furthermore, the best things in life require that you break the rules, face your fears and channel your youthful, stubborn, seize-the-day mentality. 
i will be forever changed and this night will be forever illuminated…
(photo credit to M.Conway)

a few weekends ago, in passing, i mentioned to my friend that i’ve always wanted to sleep on the beach. you know, under the stars, with the sound of the waves crashing in the background. it sounds like it would be amazing. quickly she suggested, “let’s do it. tomorrow.”

so began the fastest camping preparation process you have ever seen in your life. a few hours before heading to black’s beach in san diego, we made a stop at the grocery store to buy food, lighter fluid, flashlights, and wood, among other things. there were 5 of us dedicated to staying over night, and looking back on it, any one of us could have thrown up a red flag and swept in with the endless list of reasons why this idea wasn’t going to work. our plan was so fragile that just a little bit of common sense might have swayed us. however, i must say i was pretty impressed with the blind dedication of all involved. 

for me this experience was well overdue. back as far as i can remember my mother made it very clear that i was never to do adventurous activities in nature. now, might i add, to her, an ‘adventurous activity in nature’ also included holding the neighbors cat. the day she caught me in that act she forced me to strip down in the garage, hosed me down and sent me straight up to the shower. additionally, she was also deathly afraid of ticks. she had been bitten by one in the past and now believed them to be everywhere. literally. once, at the age of 7 or 8, while playing at a friends house my mom spotted a black spot on my neck and was CONVINCED that it was a tick. she implored me not to touch it, called my father and rushed me to the doctor’s office at 1:00 am. after the doctor explained to me that he could either burn or freeze the tick off, he suggested that he might try to just pull it off with tweezers. now, imagine - my parents hovering over me while i’m becoming increasingly more terrified of the prospect that a bug is about to come out of my neck, the doctor latches on to the black spot and as he pulls it, it stretches out like a pink string, snapping as it gets longer. it turns out, it was not a tick at all, it was gum. -______-

so, as you can see, when it comes to nature, i have led a pretty sheltered lifestyle. i’d always wanted to be outdoorsy, it just wasn’t in the cards. but this, THIS was my chance to play catch up. yet, as you have probably guessed by now, i was a little scared. and as it started to get darker and there was not a sole in sight on the beach i became even more scared. it also didn’t help that a few drunken wanderers approached our camp at one point and loitered around creating unnecessary anxiety. nevertheless, around midnight my night vision began to kick in and so did my courage. 

it sounds silly, but in the morning, i felt like a stronger person. one of us mentioned that this experience could be the plot for an indie ‘coming-of-age’ film with a profound life lesson to be learned. i believe the lesson of our story is one i seem to find more and more awe-inspiring every time i experience it: any idea, with unwavering support, by just a few people, can be brought to fruition. furthermore, the best things in life require that you break the rules, face your fears and channel your youthful, stubborn, seize-the-day mentality. 

i will be forever changed and this night will be forever illuminated…

(photo credit to M.Conway)

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"like accolades ought to be, the fulfilled life is a consequence, a gratifying byproduct. it’s what happens when you’re thinking about more important things. climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you. go to paris to be in paris, not to cross it off your list and congratulate yourself for being worldly. exercise free will and creative, independent thought not for the satisfactions they will bring you, but for the good they will do others, the rest of the 6.8 billion–and those who will follow them. and then you too will discover the great and curious truth of the human experience is that selflessness is the best thing you can do for yourself. the sweetest joys of life, then, come only with the recognition that you’re not special. because everyone is."

david mccullough jr., an english teacher at wellesley high school in massachusetts

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i can’t seem to find out too much about who made this film, but it has a powerful message. 

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this video is of Charlie Todd who causes bizarre, hilarious, and unexpected public scenes like seventy synchronized dancers in storefront windows, “ghostbusters” running through the New York Public Library, and the annual no-pants subway ride. at TEDxBloomington he shows how his group, Improv Everywhere, uses these scenes to bring people together.

i thought this was really phenomenal because i really enjoy installation and performance art. the idea of something like Improv Everywhere makes us realize that instilling happiness in peoples lives unexpectedly is IMPORTANT. it is important to look up and notice the world around you, yes, this means you will probably notice the hardships and misfortunes around you, there are plenty. but you will also notice things that are funny, amusing and joyful. and it refocuses us to realize that the ‘play’ of life is not always a drama, we can make it a comedy every once in a while! :) [yes i know it was cheesy but… i’m on a roll here]

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The Trader Joe’s Identity

so i’m still getting a hang of this blog thing and managing my time well enough to post consistently. working out the kinks people, bare with me.

yesterday, i was going about my normal nightly routine - went to the gym then drove to trader joe’s to do my grocery shopping for the week. every time i go to trader joe’s i revel in how much i love that place. yesterday in particular the cashier and i got into a conversation about the ‘regulars’. the cashier mentioned this homeless man, who i remember vividly from going to school nearby, who comes into trader joe’s almost everyday. apparently he is actually not homeless at all, but a painter who has a lavish home in the valley but never goes there because he believes the valley is trying to kill him. so, instead he roams around westwood and spends, apparently, quite a bit of time in trader joe’s. it reminded me of that experiment with Joshua Bell, the famous violin player, who played in the subway and pretty much no one noticed and everyone treated him like a poor street performer. I had seen this homeless man almost every time i visited westwood in the past 7 years and never really knew his story. it made me feel a little guilty, i’m not going to lie. However, i digress, the fact that i had this conversation with the cashier was yet another confirmation of how much i love trader joe’s. 

a few weeks back one of my bosses posed this question to me about what brands did i feel like defined my identity, and so much so that i would feel offended if someone said something bad about the brand. after a lot of thought i finally said trader joe’s. then out of curiosity i went around the office asking other people the same question. remarkably a few other people ALSO said trader joe’s! Some people said Apple and there was some mention of car brands (BMW, Mercedes-Benz). 

it got me thinking though, the reason that trader joe’s actually makes me feel like it is part of my IDENTITY is because it is the perfect intersection of exclusivity and community. because for something to make me feel like it really defines me i want it to both be DIFFERENTIATING and have enough of a following where by associating with it i feel part of a certain GROUP. and as Apple becomes more and more mainstream and more and more people have iPhones and MacBooks the less i feel like i am part of an exclusive community. 

but in general it got me thinking about brands and identity and how close we really feel to brands and what that says about us, and if we latch on to them almost as a way of advertising certain shared characteristics to the rest of society. i’d be interested to hear about what brands other people felt defined their identity? hmm…

UPDATE: here is an article i saw that is related to this topic, very interesting. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/16-brands-that-have-fanatical-cult-followings.html?page=1

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Thomas Suarez is a 6th grade student at a middle school in the south bay of los angeles. when Apple released the Software Development Kit (SDK), he began to create and sell his own applications. he’s started a club for fellow students at school, where he shares his knowledge of programming.

Thomas articulates his vision that students are a valuable new technology resource to teachers, and should be empowered to offer assistance in developing the technology curriculum and also assist in delivering the lessons.

Thomas has been fascinated by computers and technology since before kindergarten. recently, he’s been focused on the development of applications for the iPhone, and has established his own company, CarrotCorp (http://www.carrotcorp.com/). 

seeing this kind of initiative and creativity at such a young age is thrilling for me… i love seeing children dive into the things they really enjoy. the current public school system is so good at squashing their interests and this should be just another piece of evidence for an educational revolution! 

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Morley is a los angeles based street artist whose aim is to act as a friendly voice amongst the cacophony of billboarded messages and corporate slogans. his voice was also given a face when he began including an image of himself in each of his pieces, looking to create a more intimate relationship between the artist and the audience than many of his anonymous contemporaries could allow. 

(these were the two that i felt fit me the best.)

http://iammorley.squarespace.com/