Thursday, September 6, 2012

Being a Woman...

Wow. A friend shared this story on facebook and I just had to pass it along. It is a woman's struggle to explain to men how hard it can be to be a woman. The story itself relates an experience from her daily commute in the LA area:

As I read this, I just kept thinking how grateful I was that it wasn't me. And then I kept thinking about how easily it could have been me.

How many times have I debated which metro car to get on late at night and have to make a 5-second decision based on how many seemingly-threatening persons there are or if there are other women on the car? How many metro or bus rides have I had when I am constantly debating how to look the most unfriendly and unapproachable? Why do I always have to feel tense and threatened when I'm walking at night and a man is walking behind me? Especially when he speeds up to pass me? And that tinge of guilt when he passes and I know he is going to leave me alone - that tinge of guilt that I didn't give him the benefit of the doubt? But I can't afford to give him the benefit of the doubt? How many times have men taken advantage of my impersonal kindness to press attention on me that wasn't wanted? I could go on and on and on...

The thing is, when I try to talk about this to men (friends, family members, etc.), they brush it off and see it as overreacting or just that I "put myself" in these threatening situations. What? I am to blame for walking straight home from class in the evening? I am to blame for wanting to go on a walk at 7:30pm, even though it might be getting dark? Not to mention that daylight doesn't really protect me either. Once again, I could go on and on an on...

What I really want men to understand, though, is that JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT PHYSICALLY VIOLATED DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU ARE NOT ATTACKED AND THREATENED AND THAT THE TRAUMA DOES NOT EXIST. And it also doesn't mean that it doesn't affect you to have those situations occur day after day after day...with no end in sight.

Okay...I'll get off of my soapbox a little. I just can't stand it when people are so ignorant of the threats that exist in the lives of women, just because they are women.

Convention Craziness I keep listening to convention speeches (from both conventions), I just keep thinking that I wish US politics could get to the point where politicians respect our intelligence enough that they don't keep promising things that we both know can't happen. We all know things are more complicated - so let's stop trying to keep things in a 5 second soundbyte and really try to tackle difficult problems. Just sayin'.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Beasts and My Obsession with the Bayou

Wow. So I realized that when I'm having a hard time, I kind of avoid talking to people. This, apparently, includes posting anything on my blog. Ha.

After a really hard semester of school, work, interning, and serious back problems, I'm now in Arizona melting and trying to be productive at my current internship while dealing with back problems...still.

Anyway, I saw this movie trailer for Beasts of the Southern Wild and wanted to post it because is seems really amazing. I know it just came out in theaters. Has anyone seen this yet? As far as I can tell, it's impossible to find this film in the Phoenix area right now. Sigh. Not that I could currently sit through a movie, anyway. Check it out:

Thursday, March 15, 2012


I saw this posted on another blog and wanted to share. Apparently, it's a letter from John Steinbeck in response to his teenage son's letter informing him that he had fallen in love with a girl while at boarding school. Here is the letter:

New York
November 10, 1958
Dear Thom:

We had your letter this morning. I will answer it from my point of view and of course Elaine will from hers.

First -- if you are in love -- that's a good thing -- that's about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don't let anyone make it small or light to you.

Second -- There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you -- of kindness and consideration and respect -- not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn't know you had.

You say this is not puppy love. If you feel so deeply -- of course it isn't puppy love.

But I don't think you were asking me what you feel. You know better than anyone. What you wanted me to help you with is what to do about it -- and that I can tell you.

Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it.

The object of love is the best and most beautiful. Try to live up to it.

If you love someone -- there is no possible harm in saying so -- only you must remember that some people are very shy and sometimes the saying must take that shyness into consideration.

Girls have a way of knowing or feeling what you feel, but they usually like to hear it also.

It sometimes happens that what you feel is not returned for one reason or another -- but that does not make your feeling less valuable and good.

Lastly, I know your feeling because I have it and I'm glad you have it.

We will be glad to meet Susan. She will be very welcome. But Elaine will make all such arrangements because that is her province and she will be very glad to. She knows about love too and maybe she can give you more help than I can.

And don't worry about losing. If it is right, it happens -- The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.



Sunday, February 26, 2012


Sometimes I find a song that I get obsessed with and I listen to it over and over and over on repeat. I know - so annoying, right? And usually they are overly-sentimental songs that totally bother other people. These are the latest 3 songs that I have had on repeat (my poor roommates - I try to keep the volume down).

3: Adele's Someone Like You (this one lasted for multiple walks home from the metro)
2: Fun's We Are Young (I still love this one. Don't judge.)
1: Jason Mraz's I Won't Give Up (most recent)

Saturday, February 11, 2012


Really sweet video for some Valentine's inspiration...


via Design Mom

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Seriously one of the funniest things ever. Love it.


Are you into online magazines? I have to say I was a bit dubious. One of my favorite parts of the day is going to check the mail (without locking myself out - don't ask) and seeing one my magazines stuffed in the little box. Even though I'm a poor graduate student I have figured out a way through Coke Rewards to get some of the magazines that I love (I steal other peoples' points and use them - thanks, Mom, for collecting some of them for me!). I currently get Martha Stewart Living, House Beautiful, and Elle Decor for...well, for free!

Anyway, lately I have seen a lot of online mags popping up and have checked out a few of them. I just found one that I am absolutely in love with! It's called Matchbook and you can find it at  So many awesome items, stories, interviews and pictures!

The best part about online magazines? You see something you like and just click on it to get to the actual website where it is being sold. Can we say DANGER?!? Okay, couple of friends who bother to look at my you have any other favorite mags I can look up? I also like Rue and have a couple others on my list to look up, but this one is my fave so far.

Monday, February 6, 2012


Did you know TOMS now sells sunglasses and flats??? Oh how I wish I had money. If I did, these babies would be on my list:

I pretty much love all of them. You can find more here. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 5, 2012


So disturbed recently by this issue going on in Egypt. The fact that the new government raided NGO offices focused on governance and democracy is totally unacceptable. I don't know if they realized what an outcry the whole situation would cause, but they aren't doing themselves any favors. It's just so disturbing that they are now looking to charge these NGO workers with criminal activity. Doesn't it make you look suspicious when you target well-respected NGOs that are in your country to make sure your elections are free and fair? Hmmm...

A quote from the article:

"We've operated for 30 years, everywhere from (dictator Augusto) Pinochet's Chile to Nicaragua, to the Soviet Union when it was the Soviet Union, to Central Europe, to Indonesia under Suharto," he (IRI President Lorne Craner) said. "We work in China, Belarus. This has never, ever happened in the 30 years where we get out offices raided. And Egypt is supposed to be an American friend."

Just another testament to the fact that the life of a development practitioner is anything but predictable.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


How do you know you are being immersed in development theory? When your first thought upon seeing students trying to raise money outside of a metro station so they can go to New Orleans and help build houses is "That money would be much better used to hire local people to build those houses. More effective than wasting it on flights and transaction costs for a short-term volunteer project. Would definitely be more helpful to the local community."

This is my world.

Friday, January 20, 2012


Just wanted to share my two favorite water bottles in the world:


I first bought the Sigg bottle (with a different design) years back when they were first becoming popular. Although mine is dented and scratched, it still does me well!

A while ago, my mom bought me one of the glass bottles below and I fell in love! It has a wide top so it feels like you are just drinking from a cup. Ah-mazing! And I love that it doesn't feel like you are drinking from a metal bottle. PLUS, you can just throw it in the dishwasher (which I love because I am all about low-maintenance).

Now that I'm not sitting a desk anymore, I'm back to my Sigg bottle because it's lighter to carry into the District with me, but when I have a desk again, that glass baby is going to be my go-to!

Bottles can be found here and here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Okay, I was recently reminded about one of my favorite random shopping sites so I wanted to share it.

This website is a mecca of random 80s items, vintage items, clothing, gifts, name it! You can seriously spend hours looking through some of their items. Here are a few of the things that I am loving right now:
Kate Spade 2012 Desk Calendar $24.99
Dollhouse Brush & Dustpan Set $15
Tulle Lace Laura Dress With Exposed Zipper $68
Art Deco Trudy Earrings $10
Kiel Mead Forget Me Knot Ring $58
Holly GoNightly Sleep Mask $15
Talking Mustache Keychain - literally says "Well, hello there." $6.50
There are soooooo many other cool things on this website but I didn't want to lose your interest by posting too many. I love when I rediscover things like this.


So, at my chiropractor visit this morning I semi-jokingly told him that the neck cracking always makes me a bit nervous, but at least I figured it hasn't killed me yet so I was ok. This then led to a conversation about how movies show people breaking other peoples' necks as a pretty quick and easy way to kill someone, but how that's really not accurate because if you did that to someone you would basically cut their arteries and they would bleed out and it would be really gross and painful. I think he actually mentioned something specific about blood coming out of the person's mouth.

Interesting conversation to have right after he was holding my helpless neck in his hands and cracking it.

Good thing I trust the guy. :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012


So, since my back is having issues and I have been spending the week on my bed, I've had some extra time on my hands. I'm at the point where I'm caught up on my email, Google reader, facebook, and if I post one more thing on Pinterest, my friends might kill me. So...I decided to check out the Ikea website and see if they had any new and interesting items. Look at these great things I would buy if I had money (and was mobile)! Come to think of it, it might be a good thing that I'm not mobile right now.
The famous (and cheap) Lack table now in glossy grey - loving it! And only $12!
This cozy looking throw blanket. 
This Benzy Land pillow. Loving the new fabric as well. I'm on an old-style nautical kick right now (read: NOT beachy with shells, definitely not my style).
This Storsele chair. Seriously! I've been obsessed with chairs lately since we, well, don't have any in our apartment. And since they aren't the cheapest things in the world, it's pretty much going to stay that way.

Anyway, my love for all things Ikea is once again affirmed.