It’s My Birthday!

It’s my birthday! For fun I found some pictures of me/my birthdays throughout the years!

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Me at 3, a few days before my birthday.

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Me at 12

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Me at 16 with our beloved dog, Dog. I miss her. Only dog I’ve ever loved.

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My 17th birthday!

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My 18th birthday! We went bowling.

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My 19th birthday.

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21st birthday. No idea what happened to my 20th.

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Also my 21st.

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22nd skee ball birthday!

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From today! My 25th birthday. Me and vegan pizza and a 60’s sweater.

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The card my 4-year-old brother picked out for me. It says you could look everywhere and not find a kid as good as me!

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Sorry for the terrible pictures but I wanted to show you the cape I got for my birthday. It’s awesome.

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It’s not so bad turning a quarter-century old – eventually I hope to be a century old so it’s interesting to know that the first quarter is complete, that story is told. When I was born we had VHS tapes and the Cold War and now it’s all iPhones and Obama. I can’t wait to see what the next 75 years bring.

18 Reasons 2013 Was Pretty Great

In order to combat that feeling of “oh shit, what did I do this year? IS MY LIFE PASSING ME BY? I’M OLD” I decided to compile this list of cool shit that happened or that I did in 2013. Let me make something clear – this is not me bragging. I made a pitifully small amount of money, made practically no headway in my career, and I didn’t lose any weight or get a boyfriend. But I scored some victories and I pushed outside of my comfort zone so I’m going to throw my 2013 a tiny internet party.

1) I went to China for two weeks.

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2) I started my own standup show, Minotaur.

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3) Did some modeling for the first time in years.

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4) Got back into making music!

Here’s an EDM song I made with some other guys – my vocals come in at 1:54

And I did a crazy Halloween rap as the Wicked Witch of the West.


5) Started taking free online classes with Coursera. By now I’ve studied nuclear science, dinosaurs, archaeology, JFK, international criminal justice, climate science, and much more! It was nice to be reminded that I actually do have a brain. I do, I swear.

6) I went camping in Yosemite (and Spring Mill State Park!) with my mom.

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7) I went to Six Flags, Disneyland, AND Disney World.

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8) I swam in the Atlantic. And posted a photo of myself without makeup on on the internet.

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9) I had an intense spiritual experience. All I can really say is it involved a hallucinogen that I support 100% but don’t really think I should talk about on the internet. If you email me I’ll tell you about it if you want to know.

10) All together I spent about a month and a half with my 4-year-old brother and 2-year-old sister.

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11) I put up a 30-minute show at UCB that I wrote and starred in. (Also you might notice I’m paired with Noel Wells, who is now on SNL. Yeah that’s kinda crazy)

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12) Started taking dance classes again, and doing pole dance for the first time ever. It’s challenging, fun, and sexy. I fucking love it.

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13) I saw a rocket launch from Cape Canaveral. I was really far away but still, when Maven gets to Mars I will know I was there at the beginning.

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14) Did some fun things with my appearance – bought some huge earrings, started getting acrylic nails, got more ear piercings, cut thick bangs, grew out bangs, put some black lowlights(?) in my hair after several years of keeping everything pretty much the same.

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15) Learned to knit!

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16) Met my idol, Megatherium (10,000 year old, 4,000 pound ground sloth that lived in North America) and saw the exhibit on the Columbian Exposition at the Field Museum in Chicago.

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17) Volunteered – fostered a cat and started writing letters to prisoners through WriteaPrisoner.org. This picture makes it look like the cat actually wrote the letters.

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18) Got really shitfaced drunk for the first time. Threw up like a motherfucker. Went to goth dance club. Went on dates with people from the internet. Made out with somewhat gross people in public. Kissed a girl. Listened to hours of dubstep, 365 days a year. Got my weed card. Threw up from too much use of said weed card. Basically just some real risk-taking behavior.

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The real reason I wrote this post is I saw this one I wrote last year – https://funwithvintage.wordpress.com/2012/12/29/12-things-i-did-in-2012-to-make-my-life-better/ and I realized that I have come SO FAR. Last year I was working on basic happiness, confidence, and social skills and this year I finally worked on having fun, being spontaneous and adventurous, and telling my fears to fuck right off. So I may not have gotten on a harold team (it’s an improv thing) or gotten on a TV show or fallen in love or accumulated any savings or gotten in fantastic shape…. or gone to space or climbed Machu Picchu or seen a ghost or flown a helicopter or met a whale… but I did have some highlights. 24 was kind to me, and it was way better than 21 or 22 or 23. I’m turning 25 tomorrow (the 30th) and it’s weird but I’m ready.

I Wrote a Mission Statement for My Life

It’s super dorky, so be warned. Anyone who writes a mission statement for their life clearly takes themselves too seriously but it just came to me and so I wrote it down. I retain every right to be embarrassed of it later and claim I never wrote such a thing. But right now I think it’s beautiful so here goes.

I want to draw a picture of a life. A style of life. A life that is beautiful, adventurous, worldly, historical. Lived outdoors in the splendor of nature and in spaces that reflect the majesty humankind is capable of. A life that is free and wild, and kind, and crazy, a life that reads books and smells perfume and cares about those who walked this earth before. A testament to innovation with a soul, an exploration of the human instinct to tempt the impossible and to make our days lovely as a work of art. A life lived in books and trees and fabulous clothes, a life lived by individuals who are unafraid to be themselves and to make the most of our tiny, short, huge, immeasurable existence.

What do you think? I figure I’d also post some photos that I’ve reblogged on Tumblr recently that represent this feeling to me.

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CHRISTMAS CRIMBUS KRAMPUS XMAS XBOX EVE

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Krampus is my new favorite.

And here’s a couple Christmas presents for you –

 

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A picture my friend took of me when I fell asleep at a large party full of my friends. When I gotta sleep, I gotta sleep.

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And a baby deer who sheltered with a baby mountain lion when they were evacuated from a wildfire. THEY’RE CUDDLING! You’re welcome and Merry Christmas.

 

I Made a Video About My Day in the Park

I made a short film about my day in the park – the first minute is pretty nature footage and people-watching set to music and then it gets pretty goofy. Let’s just say if you ever wondered if I know how to use slo-mo and fast-mo in iMovie, I sure do. Watch it, maybe? Please?

The song is Sweet Nothing by Calvin Harris featuring Florence Welch and Diplo, if you’re wondering.

LA Weather Could Almost Make Me Believe in God

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I spent the last two days trying to be outside as much as humanly possible. Also might have taken some pics of my nails while I was at it.

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Day one I spent four hours in the park reading the Handmaid’s Tale, day two I hung out on my porch and then went to the park for a couple hours and read Time magazine.

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Look at that cool bloody pomegranate mess. It took me an hour to eat – new favorite food!

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Wore my mom’s summer dress from when I was a kid. Ignore my face, it was like 2am.

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And that’s me!

I Read Books This Year!

I read books this year! Plural! When I was a kid my mom would have to beg me to go outside and stop reading but over the last few years I hardly read any books because apparently I was too busy with Vanity Fair and the internet. Well this year I continued to read Vanity Fair as well as half of the internet but I squeezed in some sick-ass books that I’d like to brag about/convince you to read. I’ll divide them into sections – The Civil War, Titanic, Fiction, and History (when you see my Titanic section you’ll understand why it’s not lumped into History).

The Civil War

Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin – That’s right, I saw the movie Lincoln and was like jeez, guess I should finally read that book that my mom and brother read years ago before it was cool. I’m such a follower, it’s disgusting. This book is HUGE and I read it on the treadmill when I went to the gym so it took me months to get through but I really loved it. You will feel like you know Lincoln and his contemporaries personally and you really understand the time they lived in. History feels less distant and its people become more recognizable as people you might know.

April 1865: The Month that Saved America by Jay Winik – I read this after Team of Rivals because I had Civil War fever (rheumatic fever? TB?). This is a fantastic book and much shorter. I read it while camping in Spring Mill State Park and I could hardly put it down. But then I did, to go look at trees and stuff. This is a good book for Civil War buffs and newbs alike because it’s richly detailed but not so bogged down in battle specifics like some other books that a casual reader would get bored. No getting bored with this book! It’s not allowed!

Titanic

Here comes the biggest section of this post.

The Loss of the S.S. Titanic by Lawrence Beesley – If you don’t give a flying fuck about the Titanic, you should still read this book. This the best book about Titanic I’ve ever read and one of the most insightful, gripping books I’ve ever devoured in one sitting (I think it took about six hours?) Lawrence Beesley was a curious, intelligent, analytical second-class passenger aboard Titanic who wrote this account of his voyage only a couple weeks after the sinking. His writing is strikingly modern so you never feel like you’re reading a relic of the past, you feel like you’re reading about the Titanic that sank two weeks ago. This isn’t the book to read to get the hard facts – he’s just one guy so he’s wrong about some things (he swears the Titanic sank intact, which was the prevailing theory until her wreckage was discovered in the 80s) but it’s breathlessly interesting all the way through because it’s so present, detailed, and of course the story itself is inherently dramatic and terrifying. I read this book during a flight back from China – we got to sit in first class for free because my aunt is a flight attendant and everyone else was asleep as I just ripped through this book. I was definitely struck by the fact that aboard this giant plane crossing half the world in one bound, sipping a free glass of port in a comfy chair, I was aboard the modern counterpart of the Titanic while reading about the destruction of the first.

A Night to Remember by Walter Lord – I bought a vintage copy from 1952 that I’m absolutely in love with. This the classic Titanic book. If you want to know exactly what happened the night of the sinking, read it.

Titanic in Photographs by Daniel Klistorner – A great book if you want to pore over hundreds of original photographs of the Titanic. She’s beautiful.

RMS Titanic Owner’s Workshop Manual by David F. Hutchings and Richard de Kerbrech – This one’s only for nerds. It goes through the inner workings of the ship, replete with deck plans and illustrations of machinery. That’s exactly what I wanted but you’d have to be a big dork to enjoy this one.

History

In the Hands of the Great Spirit: The 20,000-Year History of the American Indians by Jake Page – I’ve read a lot of books about Native Americans but I learned a lot from this one. It’s slightly academic and dry as opposed to fun and personal – partly because he talks a lot about times and places without a lot of historical record. For that reason it gets a little more fun as you get into more recorded history, though the first half of the book is where I found the most surprises – and where I learned about Megatherium for the first time, who is now my favorite extinct 4,000 pound ground sloth.

Devil in the White City by Erik Larson – I read this in high school and reread it in anticipation of going to the Field Museum’s exhibit on the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair (a.k.a. the Columbian Exposition). The chapters alternate between the story of Daniel Burnham, chief architect of the World’s Fair, and H.H. Holmes, a serial killer who used the fair to find victims and obscure his crimes. My mom skipped all the serial killer chapters and still really enjoyed the book and personally my favorite part is also the details of putting together the fair. You will be blown away by the immense undertaking that this history-making fair turned out to be. One-third of the American population attended the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago and 120 years later, most people outside of Chicago have never even heard of it. If you haven’t read this book, do yourself a favor and check it out.

Fiction

I normally don’t read very much fiction so I’m pretty proud of myself this year!

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – A classic piece of dystopian future fiction, this story follows a woman tasked to bear children for a new, oppressive regime in what formerly was the United States. The first twenty pages or so were a little hard to get into because Atwood lets you pick up what’s going on piece by piece rather than lay out the whole world for you immediately so I’d recommend giving yourself at least an hour to read so you can get into the narrative. I read about a 150 pages of it in one sitting yesterday at the park and I never got bored.

World War Z by Max Brooks – Each chapter of this book serves as an individual account of the Zombie War, either how it came to be, how it played out, or how it was eventually resolved. I found a few of the chapters a little hokey and unrealistic but most of them are a fascinating look at the possibilities that could go down if we ever did face a zombie outbreak. I love zombie movies but I’m generally uninterested in the gore and footage of zombies eating people’s faces off – what I like is the breakdown of structure. What happens to the government? How do people react? Is there anarchy? Do people stick together, or fend for themselves? This book tries to explore a lot of those questions and it’s a quick, fun read.

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad – This is a classic (and the inspiration for Apocalypse Now) and I found it alternately interesting and boring. It’s well-written and sometimes compelling, but sometimes I got bored at a relative lack of action. There’s also a lot of creepy late 1800s racism. I wouldn’t not recommend it (and I’m sure people who have read it can school me on it) but it’s not my #1 book of the year.

 

So that’s it! You probably got a strong feeling for my general range of interests but I hope I inspired you to read one of these darling books. Have any recommendations for me? 🙂

Outfit Post: Silky Fifties

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I got a new dress for Christmas from my mom and stepdad and I got to wear it on a warm LA day. God almighty I love this dress. And still loving my new ear piercings. Good thing I guess, seeing as I spent a faaaair amount of money on them. Oh yeah and they’re holes pierced through my skin.

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50s silk dress – Cactus Flower vintage store in Bloomington, Indiana

60s Blue Orlon acrylic sweater – Etsy

Jade earrings – bought in China

Lipstick – L’Oreal Target Red

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Also don’t hate me but I didn’t pin curl my hair… but it looks like I did. Isn’t that crazy? I have curly hair and I’ve been experimenting with just treating it like a pin curl set – including an extreme amount of hair brushing – and it’s been working. ME MAYBE GENIUS?

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My absolute favorite thing about this dress is that I wore it to go get my medical marijuana card (for migraines). TAKE THAT, STEREOTYPES. I’m not even really a marijuana person that much but I appreciate that in LA we have the freedom to legally partake (within limits) and I think everyone should get their card and thus reduce the stigma. LA has been good enough to extend this freedom and I need to take them up on it. FREE BIRD 2013

ALL CAPS 4 LYFE

Outfit Post: Sweet Rose!

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I LOVE this dress.

Pink 40s dress – Wild Man vintage store in Lawrence, KS

White 70s belt – Jet Rag vintage store in LA

Pink ring – my grandmother’s

Fishnet stockings – What Katie Did

Boots – Target

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Sorry my room’s cluttered – I feel like it never looks clean even when it is really clean because it’s so small – but I wanted you to really see the dress and this amazing 50’s sweater I found at Wild Man in Lawrence, KS. Those are strawberries!

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Fake lashes too, yo. I like them not too long but dark and thick. It’s a little crazy what a big effect they have.

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P.S. Check out what happened this morning! A SWAT team raided my next-door neighbors at 4:30 in the morning. I was up working so I turned my lights off, cracked my window, and just creeped the whole time. It was really interesting.

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That’s a SWAT dude with a huge gun right next to my car! LA is fun.