Thursday, December 4, 2014

Here's the Haps

Well it's time to talk about this. I didn't think I'd have to. But it's been less than two weeks since officer Darren Wilson was cleared of an indictment, and now the lack of indictment for officer Daniel Pantaleo, general ignorance and hate and apathy seem stronger than ever. And that's just not good enough. I've tried for four months to properly express myself on this issue without offending and simultaneously enlightening as many people as possible. Well thats all gone now. I'm very, very angry. 
First of all allow me to explain my anger over a lack of indictment, because many people I've spoken to seem to think Wilson was tried for his crimes. No, no, no you naive little baby bird. He was not tried because there wasn't a trial. There was an indictment, during which the prosecutor crapped all over the justice system and ensured a murder walked free. That's what happened: the jury (13 members - 9 of whom were white. Only 9 votes were needed to overrule) decided that no crime had been committed. Let me repeat that: the jury decided that despite the dead body in the street and the empty chair at the Brown family Thanksgiving last week, no crime had been committed. One more time for good measure: the jury decided that shooting an unarmed 18 year old over six times (AKA to death) in the middle of the street in the middle of the day because he called you a pussy is not a crime. Lets ignore the fact that more than one prosecutor has called out Robert McCulloch's "attempt". Let's ignore the fact that McCulloch's bias has been questioned numerously. We could talk about how Darren Wilson has a questionable history. The fact that his testimony seems a little rehearsed, and just plain ol' horse manure. Let's look at the self defense laws for police officers in the state of MO & - keeping in mind that the store owner claims it was such an inconsequential item that no one from the store called the police - the alleged theft was legally considered a misdemeanor. So legally, based on the law of the state of Missouri, Darren Wilson did not have a legal right to shoot a teenager - he didn't even link to the robbery - to death. But the jurors decided, forget the law! It's not like it was put in place to protect black people. They must have been drinking the nations koolaid. 

Here are some stats to help prove the racial bias in police brutality. In case you're deluded into thinking it only happens to 'guilty' citizens, allow me to introduce you to John Crawford, who was shot & killed in a Walmart for holding a toy gun. That's it, folks. A toy gun is apparently a deadly weapon in the eyes of the law. Look no further than 12 year old Tamir Rice, shot and killed by police because he was playing with a toy gun in a public park. Seems kinda reasonable? Let's check out this armed San Diego man whose altercation with the police last over a half hour. Still, you might be thinking "well maybe if those boys hadn't been armed at all they wouldn't have been seen as a threat!" HAHA.  Eric Garner could've used that benefit of the doubt. Watch this video and watch a man die on the street. You still want to tell me race isn't the issue here? Did you hear about this lovely misunderstanding? Oh! Of course I forgot about the man that shot up a movie theater in 2012 - Americas largest mass shooting to date. He was killed by police. Wait, what? Oh he's white. So he wasn't. Wasn't even shot.

Look I'm no expert. Let's look to the professionals: NYPD officer Serrano has recently spoken out about racial profiling, and this retired officer has also voiced his experience as part of a corrupt system. If that wasn't bad enough, the United Nations has condemned the US on it's racial disparity. This is 100% a race issue. Unfortunately these young men had to die before the nation would take notice.

"There are accepted revolutions, revolutions which are called revolutions; there are refused revolutions, which are called riots." -Victor Hugo

To those complaining about rioting, let me remind you of the numerous sports events that have ended in burning vehicles or/and property damage. I can't even begin to elaborate on the brutality and complete disregard for the First Amendment the police of Ferguson are showing to the peaceful* protestors they took an oath to serve and protect. For your own research & reference purposes, here is the transcript from the GJ hearings, all the publicly released documents via the New York Times, & finally HPs GJ assessment.

Now at least we can start to have educated conversations.

(*most of this was written before last night's announcement. I don't have the heart or the strength to delve into that rabbit hole.)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

London Town

In lieu of traveling to London this year (due to many, many reasons) I thought I would do a photo tour of what I would be doing had I been there. I’ve only been there a handful of times but I already have habits established. Despite my love of travel I am a creature of habit, so once I find something or someplace I enjoy, I tend to stick with that. When in London, I stay in this comfortable little nook between the Bayswater / Hyde Park / Notting Hill neighborhoods. This area suits me so well and is the closest residential area to my favorite places. I start off every morning with a walk down through Kensington Gardens to my favorite Starbucks on Kensington Church Street. I love coming to this one because of the seating area in the basement. I’ve noticed a lot of Starbucks in London have these, but this one is my favorite partially because it never seems too crowded, and also because it’s got the cleanest bathroom. When you’re spending three hours writing and drinking coffee, the bathroom conditions matter.

                Next up is a leisurely stroll to Burlington Arcade for some macaroons at the world famous Ladure√®. It’s over two miles so I make some stops along the way. While some people have religious experiences visiting museums or buildings of religious significance, I tend to have these at shopping landmarks. Or just shopping in general. Just walking down any of the high streets makes me happy and giddy. But I never get as excited as when I’m walking down Brompton Rd and seeing the gigantic mothership: Harrods. So beautiful.

                Now that half the trip is over, it’s easier to focus on the trip now to Laduree. One of my favorite things about walking around London – really any metropolis, but more so with London – are the sights to be seen on the way to any destination. I pass at least seven landmarks of all shapes and sizes on any given walk on any given day. After a few left turns and a few head turns on Saville Road we’ve made it. So many delicious choices!

                After an afternoon snack, I like to window shop on Regent Street. In particular there is an amazing toy store by the name of Hamley’s. It covers five floors and has different themes on each floor. An entire floor for board games? Yes please.

                After all that shopping and writing, it’s time to head back to the hotel for some dinner. If I haven’t picked up Pret A Manger yet, I stop at Whiteley’s shopping centre. After my most recent trip, Whiteley’s is seen as kind of miraculous in my eyes. It has loads of shops, really gets into Christmas, and most importantly has a Marks & Spencer for those last minute foodie needs.

Regent Street in November 2012

                London is my favorite place in the world, despite the pitfalls that have plagued me the last two times I visited. Also we’re just not going to talk about how badly I wish I could go there this year, or how quickly I would give up an essential organ for a cranberry & brie panini. But until next time...

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Movies That Changed Me

1. What's Eating Gilbert Grape*
This is the first film I saw that mirrored my actual life. It mad me feel normal. It made me think my life could be like the movies - because it already was one.

*Honorable Mention:
Tru Confessions 
Along the same lines as Gilbert Grape: my life was onscreen being played back to me. This time coming from a network that hit a little closer to home. Because it took place in a suburb (versus the small town setting of WEGG) some scenes seemed to have been copied exactly from my past. 

 2. Up In The Air 
I very clearly remember seeing this in the theater: it was about 10PM a month after the release. I had had a huge falling out with my friend group and I felt really lost. I related to George Clooney's character more than I realized and to be honest I was relieved at the end when he got back on the plane. As soon as it ended, I applied for an airline mileage program and have been traveling solo ever since. 

 3. Runaway Bride 
I had a pretty big crush on Richard Gere as a kid, so when he encourages Julia Robert's character to be a strong woman before entering into a romantic relationship, that hit home. He tells her to "figure out what kind of eggs [she] likes" and it definitely impacted me in terms of how romantic relationships function. Looking back, my independence can be traced back to the millions of times I watched this movie as a little girl. 

 4. Star Wars Episode I: Phantom Menace 
I had terrible taste as a child (save the above mentioned). I vaguely remember seeing the original Star Wars movies before this one came out, but I specifically remember watching this one in the theater and being completely overwhelmed. It was my first foray into nerd culture and revealed my obsessive tendencies. 

 5. Notting Hill 
I feel so very cliche having a Richard Curtis chick flick on this list, but it's so much more than that. In the second act there is one of the most glorious montages I've ever seen. Set to Bill Wither's Ain't No Sunshine the main character William walks through Portobello Road market over the span of a year, illustrated via the four seasons, and all the lifestyle changes they bring. At the start of the market there is a pregnant woman, fast forward to the end and there she is holding a nine month old. It is so seamless and beautiful. It really opened my eyes to how creative movie making can be. After about my billionth viewing, I knew I wanted to be apart of something so creative and moving. Notting Hill also exacerbated my Anglophilia. Thanks, Curtis.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

My Favorite Things: Polka Dots

A few weeks ago I came upon kate spade new york's (relatively) new book Things We Love, and I fell in love. As a result I'm going to start a series that spans this blog, my main blog, and my travel blog.

My Favorite Thing #1:

Possibly inspired by my newfound kate spade new york obsession, I've really taken to polka dots recently. In silky button ups, wallpapers, and accent furniture. I'm struggling a little bit right now between femme fatale and the vintage idea of femininity (read: cupcakes, pastels, full skirts) and I think polka dots are a great crossover: they look fantastic with a leather or boucl√© jacket. They add the perfect amount of shutz-pah to any ensemble with the ability to dress it up or simply add a much needed accent color. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

My Favorite Things #2: Movies

If this came as a surprise to anyone, we haven't known each other long. I love movies. I love watching new ones, old ones, bad ones, good ones, fat ones, skinny ones (lol jk). I love rewatching movies to figure out why it made me feel the way it did. I love analyzing the styles of different directors. I love picking up on those little but crucial things: that in The Proposal Sandra Bullock's uptight character always has her hair up in the beginning, but slowly as her character softens so does her hairstyle. Or how most pushover characters in romantic comedies have apartments with yellow walls - symbolizing their mellow attitude and ability to put others at ease. I believe movies are a very important art form; more people will watch a movie than read a book or go to a museum; and they are 100% without a doubt my favorite thing.  

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Color Of the Day

Today was a dark day. The first day back to work after an extended weekend is never an easy one. I ended up rocking the monochrome look (shoes aside - I rarely wearing shoes indoors). Even though Memorial Day has come and gone I'm sticking with black. As my fashionable neice says, 

"Ooo black! That's my favorite color!" 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Face of the Day: Day One

I decided to kick off this blog with a Face of the Day. On the average day my look ranges between three styles. This is probably my favorite, but as you can see I'm still a n00b with the eyeliner so I only attempt if I have more than twenty minutes. 

L'Oreal BB Cream in the shade Fair
Rimmel eyebrow pencil in the lightest brown
Clump Crusher mascara by Covergirl
Wet N Wild liquid eyeliner
YSL lipstick #4