Yes, the title is ironic.
No, I’m not a total grinch I swear, maybe just a little messed up, as he says. Hear me out, dear readers.
Yes, the title is ironic.
No, I’m not a total grinch I swear, maybe just a little messed up, as he says. Hear me out, dear readers.
Today, I wanted to write about a little phenomenon I’ve encountered. I’m not sure if I’m entirely abnormal, but I find that, having grown up multilingual, I no longer entirely trust myself to switch from language to language accurately. They all seem to blend together, and I constantly want to substitute one language with another in the same sentence. Even when I reach a certain level of comfort, I second guess myself. During my last trip to Austria, I discovered a bit of a solution.
You see, I just need a few drinks and then my German comes out just fine. In moments of uncertainty, I don’t have a problem asking for help if there’s a word I can’t remember or simply don’t know. The not knowing is always inevitable. I mean, when you’re learning a language, who the hell covers things like “Help! The fuse blew in the basement”?
Sans drinks, I have a crippling fear of speaking to people like a cave woman, and by this I mean using improper grammar or inadvertently offending someone. The fully sober me will get ready to concoct a sentence, and then the voice in my head yells “THAT’S NOT GRAMMATICALLY CORRECT! Everyone in this country thinks you’re an idiot!” So I’m forced to limit my speech to disjointed sentences or one word answers. “Yes. The food is delicious. No, I’m not at all cold.” It’s quite telling that the one phrase I find myself repeating over and over in a variety of languages is “No, really, I’m full.” This can probably be attributed to the fact that I come from a group of universally stocky people, who I’m sure secretly harbor the thought that I’m a strange human twig who’s slowly and deliberately starving themselves into nothing. No matter how much food I shovel in, they insist I need to eat more. On my European side of the family this philosophy unfortunately (or fortunately) also applies to alcohol. I can’t honestly think of another family where “You have to finish the whole bottle!” Is an acceptable thing to say to one person…on a Tuesday evening. There’s also half a cake you’re going to have to put away if you want to make it out alive. Try not to fall down on your way out to the car. Given that there are no streetlights and a lot of ditches you can fall into, this makes this normal task about 800 times trickier.
One evening, after describing what an avocado was to my grandmother for a short period of time, I finally figured out that the German word for avocado was “avocado,” but with a German accent. I’m considering the 10 minutes of my life that I spent performing some sort of weird German charades a total waste. I wrangled all of my vocabulary together to attempt to relay the message: “No, it’s not a fruit, it the other thing… It’s soft, and green, and has a big seed thing in the middle. They put it in sushi!!” (Because sushi is a great reference point for people who have lived in the Austrian countryside their whole lives and still slaughter pigs in their yard.) This was all followed by me making the shape of an avocado repeatedly in the air, like it was going to help. Granted when you’re have two beers and fours glasses of wine in you, it seems really effective.
Despite having spoken it for the better part of my life, I still find that German is not an easy language. But, sometimes, things are a lot simpler than they seem. A bit of liquid courage can help and not being afraid to fail is always a good start.
Watch Me Juggle is back in the lovely state of California once again. As much as I enjoy my world travels, I’m happy to be back in the land of unending wifi and to-go cups of coffee. Before I essentially force all of you to look at my vacation photos, I thought I would share some of the utter nonsense that crossed my mind during my travels. While I knew before now that jet-lag existed, I never remembered experiencing it with such…intensity. Coupled with an abrupt break from an intense work schedule and the general unpredictability of air travel, it was like someone had turned the filter off of my ability to think rationally.
Take my foray through airport security for instance. As I stepped out of the X-ray machine and moved to put my jacket back on, a TSA agent took me aside. I had had blood drawn earlier that day, and the band-aid was still firmly plastered to my arm. It was at this point the agent asked to see my bandaid. I tentatively stuck out my arm, wondering what could have aroused her suspicion so much that my band-aid was questionable. I was tempted to pull it off and hand it to her, but something about that felt socially unacceptable. While I’m on the topic of socially unacceptable behavior, a friend of mine recently informed me that people are statistically more apt to cry on planes. I’m grateful that she shared this with me, because about two hours into my flight, I found myself having the following inner-dialogue:
Luckily, my brain compromised, and instead allowed me to pretend I had mascara in my eyes for 15 minutes. I’ve decided that jet lag is a bit like being drunk. Except it’s not at all fun, and you have to be out in public with your grandma whilst pretending you know what’s going on around you. Let’s not forget constantly feeling like you can’t blink and might fall over.
I tried to force myself to adapt to the time zone as much as possible. I stayed up late and had after dinner drinks in an effort to coax myself to sleep. Instead, I found myself wide awake, either reading or typing nonsense on my phone in the middle of the night. I’m just glad I saved enough of these thoughts so I could share the bizarre nonsense that is me at 1am. I hope you find them as strangely amusing as I did. So, without further ado, I give you thoughts from my jet-lagged brain:
Happy Wednesday! I’m back this week with a long-overdue Five Things! This past few weeks have been a doozy, to say the least. (Yes, I used doozy. I do not regret my word choice.) Luckily, there’s always a bit of silver lining to life; there are always lovely things to observe and share, if you look close enough. This week, I’m sharing a few of these bright spots with you, dear reader. Onward, to Five Things!
I recently was lucky enough to see Darren Criss in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” I can’t remember the last time I went to a musical, and I’ve decided that I need to do so more often! This show was particularly great: simple, slightly ridiculous, and splendid, all at once.
If you follow me on Instagram (or take peeks at my feed down below), you might have noticed my latest “treat yourself” purchase from Tiffany. This little love bracelet only recently caught my eye. It’s a bit big on my wrist, but I refused to have it re-sized right when I purchased it. It was the kind of day where I needed a little something shiny and special to take home.
As it turns out, my friend Stephanie and I are now Alameda famous! She spotted this photo of us in our town magazine. A few months back, we attended a really lovely benefit for Meals on Wheels at our local Rock Wall Wine Company. I had absolutely no qualms about supporting a great cause at one of my favorite spots on the island.
I spotted this display while perusing through a local boutique the other day, and I couldn’t have picked items that seemed more…well, me. I actually own this particular Voluspa candle, but haven’t gotten around to lighting it yet. It’s seems almost too lovely! One day…
I came across the above cartoon while exploring Instagram the other day, and it made me chuckle. In hard times, it definitely helps to laugh at oneself. I’m also incredibly reassured that shopping and alcohol seem to be the common cure for many issues. We are not alone, my friends.
Today, I have a little Watch-Me-Juggle-style rant for you, dear readers. All of this dawned on me the other day, when I realized I was channeling the lady above. Has everyone seen that Esurance commercial? It depicts an older lady posting her vacation photos to her “wall”— literally the wall of her living room, and verbally “unfriending” her friends.
Over the last month or so, I’ve been repeating the above phrase. While it’s sometimes in awe, sometimes in irritation, I really can’t bottle it in anymore. So, I give you:
“That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works!”
Rant over. That’s all for now, but I’m sure I’ll wake up in the middle of the night having thought of more things to add. That’s really not how that should work. Oh well..
I’m back today with my usual Five Things. This week seems to have a bit of a rainbow theme in effect. Show me someone who doesn’t like rainbow-colored things, and I’ll show you a big fat liar. I’ve gather this weeks “things” from a variety of locations, namely the local Whole Foods, Books Inc., and my favorite cookie delivery people. One would think that I’m hawking for all these people, but I’m afraid not! (If anyone has any connections, please put me in touch with them *wink wink*) Don’t ever hesitate to add some sprinkles to your life. It’s always appropriate…
Along with Pride in San Francisco came these rainbow unicorn cupcakes. I could almost not bring myself to eat this majestic frosting. Also, I have to give credit to whoever is crafting little chocolate unicorns. Amazing!
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: a Pinterest recipe! I was inspired by this recipe from Veuve Cliquot that combines vanilla ice cream, raspberries, and champagne. It was a hit- especially in the Fourth of July heat!
When all else fails, nothing can brighten up your day quite like a cookie covered in rainbow sprinkles. I’m partial to Doughbies, based here in San Francisco, that will deliver freshly baked cookies directly to you in under 20 minutes.
I’ll admit that I was a bit apprehensive of the adult coloring book trend that seems to have taken hold recently, but this fantastic display finally has me convinced. I even came across some actual “adult” coloring books- chock full of phrases that would make the FCC have a fit. The dichotomy never fails to make me laugh!
Butlikemaybe has to be my new favorite Instagram account. I love the simple illustrations coupled with all too relatable (albeit hilarious) scenarios. You can find some of my other favorite posts here, here, and here.
It’s finally time for Five Things for the week! I’ve been scrounging around a bit for ideas and inspiration lately, which sounds silly given that I work in such a creative field. With so many ongoing shows, I keep finding myself spending more and more time occupied with work, which means a little less time wandering around experiencing and snapping pictures of random things! I certainly can’t complain, since “work” often entails things like attending ballet performances and hot-gluing jewels on costumes. Snapshots soon to follow! For now, I have just a few things from this past week to entertain you. On to Five Things:
Like many women out there, I have a thing for peonies. If roses had a fancy cousin, peonies would be it. Though short, I anticipate peony season every year, and unnecessarily pick up bouquets for myself at the local Trader Joes. Treat yourself!
Ladies and gentlemen: I finally made it back to ballet class. I notice that my mood is never quite right without dancing on a regular basis, so I packed my things and bowed out of the office for a bit on Wednesday. Everything hurts and I’m having trouble walking up stairs, but it was worth it!
I love that 20th Century Cafe (one of the most instagrammed resturants in San Francisco!) is so close to my office. They have pastries I’ve only ever seen in Europe, and their strudel is almost as good as the one my Austrian grandmother makes. Almost.
I like to have something to look forward to after a long workday. Last week, I met a few girlfriends of mine at Ken Ken Ramen in San Francisco for dinner. Now, I’m not too savvy when it comes to ramen, but this stuff was unlike anything else I’ve ever tasted. For a bowl of what is, in actuality, just soup, it was incredibly filling and rich! I’ll definitely be back.
Did everyone have a good Memorial Day Weekend? Whenever anyone asked what I was up to, I couldn’t help but recall this stylish Anne Taintor luggage tag I found on Pinterest. This could have accurately described my weekend, but in a positive and relaxing way. I had no concrete plans and all the time in the world. It was really refreshing…although nothing can quite beat a vacation. Soon!
Sometimes, all you need is a little perspective. Occasionally, things tend to not go quite my way, as they do for anyone, but lately I’m beginning to feel like I’ve been jinxed. Everyday this week, I’ve attempted to leave my house extra early in the morning, only to somehow consistently arrive late to wherever I’m going. I’ve also somehow managed to almost trip myself while simultaneously stepping on a stranger’s foot so hard that his shoe almost came off. Oh, and my internet is down. I repeat, my internet and cable is down.
I will be spending the foreseeable future in many coffee shops attempting to contact the outside world. Or holed up in my house making cookies while watching the same Redbox dvd rental over and over. I guess you could call this a “first world problem.” (Except not really, because everyone’s lives here in the Bay Area seem to revolve around access to the internet. Guess I won’t be able to work from home any time soon.) But, really, the whole concept of first world problems is interesting. The term itself implies that they, ironically enough, aren’t really problems at all. Alternatively, you could look at these problems as the ones you thank our President Obama for.
They’re the kinds of problems people wish they had. If you’ve made it to the point where your biggest issue is that your fresh bottle of kombucha isn’t very fizzy, you’ve done good, kid. Here are some of the first world problems I’ve recently stumbled upon:
Your pizza tracker isn’t working.
Domino’s, this one is for you. I excitedly ordered a pizza on my phone the other evening while working at the studio. I was really amused that I could see my pizza’s progress. Now it’s being made! Now it’s in the oven! Now it’s….Hey! Where did my pizza go?! What am I supposed to do with myself now while I wait?! I actually had to guess when my pizza was ready.
You missed the green light.
I walk quite a bit in my day-to-day life. If I have somewhere pressing to be, I don’t like to stop for anyone or anything. There is nothing more frustrating than the futile speed walk that happens when you see the “good time to walk” signal and are still too far away to make it. Sometimes I wonder if things like that can change your fate. Suddenly, it’s not such a first world problem anymore.
Uh…hi. What is the purpose of this? Seeing as you can’t even figure out how to interact via text, I do not have high hopes for this interaction in person. These are best left alone. “Hey” stop bothering me.
You bought something at full price, only to have it go on sale moments later.
I’ve had this happen to me on numerous occasions, and it’s somehow devastating each time. It’s a small consolation that, if I ever do buy something full price, it’s because I like it. A lot. Sometimes I feel the strange need to just buy another one of whatever suddenly went on sale. That will show them! Stupid store.
You don’t know who the people in your Facebook newsfeed are anymore, because half of them recently got married and changed their names.
This gif explains it all. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen things posted on my Facebook, only to have no idea who “Christina XYZ” is. Hi, stranger! Do I know you? How did your puppy get on my newsfeed? It’s only after further research that I realize I went to college/danced with/met this person as a party 5 years ago. Mystery solved.
You don’t know/can’t figure out the wifi password.
Again, self-explanatory. I also have no love for the people who make their passwords insanely complicated. I do not have time to type all those numbers and letters out; there’s a kitten meme I have to show you.
The movie you want to see is sold out.
This happened with a friend of mine a while ago. We went to see Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck and couldn’t get in. The next theater we went to, same thing! We ended up buying tickets to the very last showing instead and killed some time with margaritas at Chevy’s. Everyone’s a winner in the end, right?
You don’t want to download the Facebook messenger app.
Facebook, please stop being so convoluted. I just want to chat with people and I find it really obnoxious that I need to check my email notifications or use an actual computer to see what my friends said. When is an app within an app ever necessary? Hint: it’s not.
You don’t understand snapchat.
I’m perhaps dating myself, but everytime I see one of my students acting like a doof (making weird faces, staring at their phones unblinkingly for long periods of time), I assume they’re on Snapchat. I don’t know what the fuss is all about. There’s a story, a bunch of crazy filters, and the snaps all disappear after 24 hours? I don’t understand. This seems too hard. Pardon me while I mix up my Metamucil.
Whatever your first world problems turn out to be, keep on keeping on! They’re all silly in the end, so don’t let them ruin your day. If you think about them the right way, you can absolutely change these negatives into positives. Don’t take life too seriously, practice being grateful, and know that, in the grand scheme of things, we’re pretty darn lucky.
My Five Things for the week are truly indicative of my life lately. Meaning, that my life has consisted of cold brew coffee/cocktails/coffee cocktails, inspirational Pinterest quotes, snarky T-shirts, and chocolate. In case you haven’t already noticed, I’m a horrible stereotype of a 20-something woman and need to be stopped. But, at the end of the day, at least I’m not accosting you with my crazy outfits from Coachella. You’re welcome.
Prizefighter is quickly becoming one of my favorite East Bay bars. It has everything you might need: snacks, delicious cocktails, and puppies. I often come here over other spots just to play with stranger’s dogs. They do get bonus points for having a section of their menu dedicated to alcoholic iced coffees. Win!
There’s the most wonderful little wine shop that sells European cheeses and chocolates. I like to stop by occasionally and grab lunch there while ogling all their treats.
My friend Rachel recently introduced me to a marvelous new thing: Creme de Violette. It makes your cocktails this beautiful violet color, and tastes amazing! I like it best in my gin and tonics.
Sometimes I wish life could be this simple. Perhaps it’s just up to you! Go get yourself some ice cream and forget about those people, and, although violence is never the answer, I’m sure there are a few individuals out there who merit this quote. Thanks for the wisdom, Frank Ocean.
A friend recently showed me this t-shirt and pronounced that it was entirely me. I also like hiking, as long as I can wear my yoga pants and bring my traveling latte. I could spend a great deal of time perusing all of the tops at Thug Life Shirts– they’re all hilarious. I could never decide on just one.
Until next time!
At this point, I’ve most likely forgotten the vast majority of ridiculous kid stories. It’s safe to say that they’re pretty much a constant in my life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I often keep these little anecdotes in my back pocket to bust out in most social situations. Lull in the conversation? Share a kid story. Awkward silence in a meeting? How about a kid story? Need some good brunch conversation? BAM! Kid story! And, without further introduction, I give you a few of the most recent gems, straight out of my students’ mouths.
One of my students ran up to me one morning and excitedly pointed out that she was wearing “lipstick” that day. It was marshmallow lipstick. She then demanded “Do you want to smell my lips? Smell my lips!”
Twice a year, we open our studio space to visitors who would like to observe class. I’ve noticed that the littlest ones often bring the biggest entourages, which can be quite distracting at times. This last Visit Day, I had one of my students run up to her grandmother in the middle of class, lift up her tutu, turn around, and demand “Pinch my booty!! PINCH MY BOOTY.” She refused to dance until they had all done so.
Some of the best moments seem to happen when there is an audience present. On another Visit Day, while I was coaching the kids on how to properly stand at the ballet barre, one of my students decided to loudly elaborate on why we don’t hang on the barres: “Because, if you hang on the barres, they could fall on you and crack your head open and then there will be blood. Blood everywhere, and your brains could come out. And then you’ll cry and cry and then the ambulance has to come.” After this, I had to turn to our audience and reassure them that we had not had any major accidents involving the barres.
Although most of these quotes come straight from their little brains totally unbidden, I can usually count on our “talk time” during class (aka: the “Question of the Day”) to provide me with some interesting insight into their worlds.
In response to “What is your favorite flower?” We got: A Hi-biscuit.
“What’s your favorite kind of candy?“ A muffin…but with frosting.”That’s a cupcake, right?
A few weeks ago, I asked them what their favorite thing about springtime was. The answers were typical things like butterflies, rainbows, and sunshine. What I wasn’t expecting was for one of my students to yell “JESUS!! JESUS. He is the king!”
When I asked one of my students what her favorite sandwich was, I got something that sounded like “Iliiiithekiindwiththemannoooandapeaandda…. an’ wainnnbow sprinkles.” Needless to say, I sometimes have a hard time understanding her. However, I feel a little less bad when other students have an equally hard time. “At home, I have a Frozenyuckis!” While I asked her to repeat herself, one of the neighboring five-year-olds looked up at me, bewildered, and asked “What’s a yuckis?” I don’t know, kid. I really don’t know.
Maintaining a poker face can be difficult at times; especially when they volunteer things like “Oh! Cindy can’t come to class today, because she’s in New Hamster.” This place must also be somewhere near Pepsicola, Florida, a magical place we’ve also heard of.
I do appreciate these insightful outbursts. Sometimes, they’re really profound things like: “Look! I have two arms! I’m so cool!”
I have one little one that likes to dismiss her father in a not so subtle way each time he drops her off at class by loudly shouting “Bye! Bye Dad. BYE!!!!! BYE!!!!” until he leaves the room. We guess that he can’t quite take the hint.
And, on that note, BYE!!