Saturday, September 27, 2014

So long summer, hello fall!

I know I'm the 1,405,950,713th girl to write about how fall is her favorite season, but come on what's not to love?!

In the immortal words of F. Scott Fitzgerald (Okay okay, I've never actually read The Great Gatsby, sue me, but I did love the movie.)...

Fall is literally a breath of fresh, cool air after the hot, sometimes brutal months of summer. It's no surprise everyone seems to get a second wind come October when everything seems refreshing and brighter and crisper. So I'm counting down my 5 favorite things about Fall.

1. Fall Clothing

Even for girls who aren't usually excited about fashion and shopping there's something so easy and fun about fall styles. Everyone looks and feels good in a cozy cable-knit cardy. Pair that with a skinny jean (or boyfriend jean or legging), chunky scarf and an amazing boot and you're a gorgeous Fall Fashionista. 

I can't express enough my obsession for candles, namely Yankee Candles. This is the time of the year I stock up on my favorite fragrances. Pumpkin Spice, Harvest, Farmer's Market, Home Sweet Home, Cozy Sweater, Warm Woolen Mittens, Apple Cider, Autumn Leaves and Soft Blanket. Yes, these are all real, actual scents sold by Yankee Candle. Of course I burn my Yankee Candles year round, (spring scents are sweet and yummy) but there's something about the warmth of fall scents that fill your home with a sense of contentment. Cuddling on the couch, wrapped in a bulky sweater, drinking hot tea next to a flickering candle while it storms outside, I can't think of anything better.

3. Pumpkin Everything!

Me: "Hi, I am Tracy and I am a Pumpkin Spice Latte Addict."

Pumpkin just happens to be one of those foods and scents you only seem to get in the fall and that makes it so, so much tastier and precious. Other than my pumpkin lattes there are pumpkin cream cheese muffins
(okay, let's get real, those are cupcakes Starbucks, you're fooling no one.), pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice beers, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin normal cake, pumpkin chocolate, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin milkshakes made from pumpkin ice cream...etc. etc. and so forth. Perhaps the best pumpkin related joy of mine though is going to the pumpkin patch. I will patiently yet ruthlessly inspect 1,000 pumpkins before I find my pumpkin soul mate: the most perfectly round, glowing orange, King of Pumpkins. He and I will then rule together in the realm of Autumn, a land where the leaves are eternally golden and the air forever crisp.

4. Halloween!

Halloween is definitely my favorite holiday because even as a 28 year old woman I still love getting dressed up! Last Halloween I found a gorgeous red Merida wig and a green, Scottish style dress, but I also wanted to play with fake blood and fangs so I ended up being a vampire Merida...and that's what so amazing about Halloween! You can let your imagination run wild and mash up all your favorite characters and no one bats an eye and any character is 10x cooler with some fake blood tossed in!
Every Halloween my sister and I have to watch Hocus Pocus together and catch as many scary movies as possible in the theaters. It's so rare in normal people's lives these days to be genuinely frightened (we are all so sheltered) so that anticipation and thrill you get when watching a truly scary movie can be like a drug.
Dressing up, scary movies, haunted houses, candy; Halloween is basically an adrenaline and sugar fueled regression back into childhood where everything was exciting and wild and possible.

5. Cool Weather and Warm Fires

I recently moved into a new, adorable little studio in a historic mansion. My apartment has huge windows on two sides and when I open them it's like I can finally breathe. This is the season when I can throw open my curtains and let the sun in and feel that perfect cool breeze that's so different from the pathetic zephyrs of summer that do nothing to cool you.
Since I'm in a new city I'm most excited for fall to go exploring, either hiking in the woods under the turning leaves or taking a long drive with the windows down and my sunroof open.
The best part of fall though might be the storms, I plan on many stormy nights spent curled up on my turquoise Ikea chaise with a cup of Ghiradelli hot chocolate and a good book in front of my fireplace.
It's at this time of year though that I'm reminded of a quote from one of my favorite books:

"Many human beings say that they enjoy the winter, but what they really enjoy is feeling proof against it. For them there is no winter food problem. They have fires and warm clothes. The winter cannot hurt them and therefore increases their sense of cleverness and security." (Richard Adams, Watership Down) 

This rings so true after my list of frivolous things. I can love cold, windy, rainy weather because I can sit inside, snug as a bug in a rug and not deal with the unpleasantness of it. So this season while I revel in all my favorite things I'm also going to pay special attention to just how lucky I am. I'm going to use this season to thank my parents for instilling in me a sense of safety and joy every Autumn since I was a little girl dressing up as a zombie princess for Halloween. I'm going to cherish my job that allows me to take vacations during my favorite season and puts a roof over my head. And even though I'm now living in a different state than my sister I'm going to schedule a long distance Hocus Pocus sister date complete with Facetime on our iPhones, popcorn and costumes!

Happy fall! Now get out there and enjoy it before the Christmas craze takes us all over!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The wisdom of Bridget Jones

To take a line from Bridget Jones, icon of the single gal in the city, the English, less polished Carrie Bradshaw:

"At times like this continuing with one's life seems impossible and eating the entire contents of one's
fridge seems inevitable. I have two choices: To give up and accept permanent state of spinsterhood and eventual eating by wild dogs...or not. And this time I choose not."

I remember watching Bridget Jones in college and loving it. Bridget was the girl every girl secretly thought she was: clever, funny, slightly awkward but in an endearing way and capable of landing a man like Mark Darcy and (now I think most importantly) surrounded by an amazing group of friends. (I would kill for gay Gaius Baltar to be my besty!)

I would watch this movie over and over, especially when I was studying abroad in London, it just seemed so fitting and I knew, I just knew that I was going to have a life like Bridget's because hers was so hilariously flawed but also somehow perfect.

In the last 4 years my life hasn't gone as I expected. I didn't get my dream job in publishing, I fell out of love with my college boyfriend of 4 years and broke up. Things started to really look up though when I finally got a very good job that I surprisingly loved working in advertising. Around this time I met another man. I knew positively this was real love, I had never loved anyone like him before...and then I just didn't anymore. I lost my job and realized I was falling out of love with this newest boyfriend of 2 years again, so I picked up and moved to San Francisco and eventually broke up with him. And through all of this I just have felt like I've let myself down. I'm 28 years old and starting all over again and I've started looking back on my old posts and writings and realize I've let young me down. I feel that 21 year old me, optimistic, beautiful, so excited for the future would look at me now, where I'm at, and be so disappointed.

But, tonight (after a couple glasses of Scotch) I put on my old friend, Bridget Jones' Diary and realized she's more like me now than ever, this girl that I idolized but didn't really understand when I was 21. I thought the be all end all of the movie was Bridget falls in love with the perfect Mark Darcy when really, it was about her, as a 30 something not letting anything dampen her outlook. She continually picks herself up, starts over and does not let herself be defeated.

"That's not a good enough offer for me...I'm still looking for something more extraordinary than that."

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Wheel of Time turns

I'm going to try to run through the books I've read since my last entry, which was approximately 5 months ago.

I listened to The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure on my long drive down to San Francisco. I don't know if I consider it having "read" the book though if you just listened to the book on tape. That's a debate for another time I suppose.

Okay, working back, I'm currently working my way through The Eye of the World, the first book in The Wheel of Time series...and have been for the last several months. Sorry, it's just very slow!

In that the time I've been working on that beast I've read:

1. Flypaper (sci-fi book about a disease released when a mummy is unearthed in China. NOT recommended!)
2. The Magician's Land (Final book in the series by Les Grossman, highly recommended!)
3. Sharp Objects (by the author of Gone Girl, I actually liked it better than her more famous novel)
4. Gone Girl (:P yeah, this is coming out as a movie which I'm quite excited to see, I was a little disappointed by the ending though)
5. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 8, Part 1 (I FUCKING LOVE BUFFY AND JOSS WHEDON)
6. The Silkworm (J.K. Rowling's new book, written under a pseudonym, I'm loving this detective series of hers!)
7. The graphic novel adaptions of The Hedge Knight and The Sworn Sword by George RR Martin

I think there have been some others interspersed in there as those are the only ones I can remember from the last month or so!

In other, non-book related, news I'm currently living in Oakland, CA. My new job is actually making me very happy. I commute into the city (San Francisco) every day and work on the 18th floor of  huge building in the financial district. As I try my best to blend in with the flow of busy, important looking people walking with purpose to lunch I really feel like this is what I wanted 10 years ago.

My new company is a fraction of the size of my last, which is refreshing, just for the lack of bureaucracy (which btw is a bitch to spell, thanks autocorrect!) My team is basically 4 people, including my boss. It's nice to actually feel like you're a valuable, hard to replace part of a company, instead of just a cog in the wheel. Also getting paid nearly twice as much doesn't hurt!

Lastly, I broke up with my latest boyfriend, we'd been together ~2 years and he is for all intents and purposes the only person I knew (outside of work) here. We've been broken up a couple weeks and it finally really started to hit me last week just how alone I am here. (And by hit me I mean I ended up crying in the bathroom at work) I feel lonely and a little scared, I really need to start putting myself out there and try to make friends. So that's my new goal!

Until next time! Hopefully it won't be so long.