“ADVICE, LIKE YOUTH, PROBABLY JUST WASTED ON THE YOUNG”

December 4, 2010

Ya know sometimes you just need a little motivational speech, am I right? I decided to take a break from research to write a post before I go into “end-of-the-semester-hibernation” mode. Ok, let’s think back to the late 90s, and the infamous “Sunscreen Song” that was played on the radio perhaps a bit to frequently.  The story was, that this was a commencement speech set to music.  Well in actuality it was a 1997 column from the Chicago Tribune, written by Mary Schmich.  Through a series of events director Baz Luhrmann came across the column, figured out the origin, and bought the rights in order to make a song, which was set to Quindon Tarver’s “Everybody’s Free (to Feel Good).” In any event, I happen to love the “song,”  and have been listening to it lately as a way to keep things in perspective as school gets more and more stressful with the semester coming to a close.  The advice can be rather cliched at points, but also funny, endearing, and honest.  With that being said I share the column (and song) with you:
(The Sunscreen Song)
Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.

Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

Alright, times up for me, back to work. I’ll return to the world on Dec 21st.


SHARK WEEK!

August 2, 2010

I look forward to this all year.  That’s strange, but oh well.  Discovery Channel is pretty awesome in general, but the concept of Shark Week makes it over-the-top amazing.  Currently I’m watching “Air Jaws,” which is about Great White sharks and how they breach the water to attack their prey.  It’s a magnificent and clearly terrifying display of  an animals abilities.

I am very petrified by sharks, and therefore fascinated by them, which is why “Shark Week” excites me.  It’s an entire week of shows that keep me, literally, on the edge of my seat, because sometimes I get nervous and have to leave the room.  I’ve never seen a shark in person, well at least not one that wasn’t strung up dead or behind thick glass living in a giant fish tank.  I fully believe that if I ever do encounter a shark, outside of the aforementioned circumstances, that I will go into full cardiac arrest. But they fascinate me, completely.

Now, you’re probably thinking that Jaws is one of my favorite movies (especially if you know my links to MTK) but you would be wrong.  I hate Jaws actually.  I saw it when I was a little kid, and it scared me, but I also thought it was just dumb, and the sequels were an embarrassment.  Then when I got older and realized the impact it had in real life, and how it fueled idiotic people to hunt sharks so that many are now endangered, I hated it even more.  I’m sure this was not what they intended, but this is what happened.  And the hilarious thing is that Great White’s are not even the most dangerous sharks, not in terms of human harm.  Bull and Tiger sharks, well let’s just say you’re way more likely to lose a limb if you encounter one of them.

So, the point is, I’m really into Shark Week, and you should be too.


Just a Short…

July 28, 2010

time ago, it seems, I was a kid.  It actually wasn’t that recently since I’m twenty-two, but in terms of life span (which will, I hope, be pretty long) I’m closer to infancy than elderly.  In some ways it definitely feels like a million years ago, but in a lot of ways if feels like just yesterday that, well, that I looked like this:

Anyone who knows me now would have a hard time believing this is actually me, because I look nothing like this now.  For one thing I am in no way blonde anymore, and my eyes are no longer blue.  However, this is indeed me when I was, I’d say, two or three years old.

There’s no denying the obvious benefits of being an adult, but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be nice to be a little kid again sometimes.  There’s something to be said for the freedom of running around all day, with my hair looking like that, ice cream on my face, without a care in the world.  Then getting to curl up on my grandpa’s lap for some relaxation.  Ahh those were the days.  Plus, I used to get a pretty killer tan when I was a kid; this has also vanished with time, weird I know.

It’s usually during summer when I feel nostalgic about being a kid, because winter was way less fun as a child.  There was mandatory outerwear foisted upon us, no outdoor play time, and a myriad of other annoyances (this clearly applies to places with cold winters; So. California in the winter is probably pretty much the same as the rest of the year).  Summer, however, meant long days of bike riding, touch football, basketball, sidewalk chalk drawing, scully playing, ice cream eating, and playing tag till it was dark out.  When I was growing up my block was full of kids my age, and we had a blast, despite out limited outdoor space (such is life as a city kid I suppose).

Anyway, as July winds down, and school looms on the horizon, childhood summers always come to mind.  A time when the first week of school, while dreaded, never came with much work, just lots of textbook covering, but no real homework to speak of. So, it felt like summer was not really over, since the weather was still warm, the days still long, and work in short supply.

I may also just be in a work funk right now, as I sit photoshopping all day. Maybe I’ll flag down the ice cream truck tonight, just for old times sake.


Erin

July 26, 2010

Ireland is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen.  I took some rockin’ pictures while I was there this summer, but I don’t like to put pictures online (except for one or two here and there). So, I guess you’ll have to take my word for it.  I hate traveling, but I love reaching a new destination.  Even though flying is essentially being trapped in a cylindrical prison with dirty circulating air, there are moments that make it worth it. Because there is nothing quite like being in the clouds.

It makes flying okay, even great, for a little while, which is why flying during the day is so much better than flying at night. ‘Cause let’s face it, I can barely sleep in my own bed, never mind a plane chair.  So these few moments of tranquility are awesome; these are some of the most peaceful moments I’ve ever known.


Interning

June 9, 2010

Being an intern can often be an experience akin to bashing ones own head against a hard surface.  Monotonous, boring, soul-destroying, whatever synonym of tedious suits you, these all describe most internship experiences.  This summer, however, I managed to find a position I actually like. I’m left to my own devices most of the time, clearly indicating a level of trust in my competency, which is rare. Since I sit by myself I get to play music and eat snacks and basically hang out like I’m at home while I do my work, this is what we call awesome. Added bonus: I get to drive; no hot, sweaty, packed subways for this girl. Instead I have a nice easy 20 minute drive, several parking lots to choose from, and beautiful vistas of grass, trees, and ocean to look at in every direction.  I work out on Staten Island, which despite its rather lack luster reputation, has some amazing pockets of history, culture, and nature. One such place is Snug Harbor Cultural Center, where I work.  It’s a nice place to take a break from the city: Snug Harbor.  Just had to share the rarity of my find.

The facility also has some interesting ghost stories, since it used to be home to the “aged, decrepit and worn-out sailors” of NY (Barnett 17) . Okay, I should probably get back to work now.