hey girls

On Friday, we watched an incredible documentary at school. It was called Miss Representation, focusing on women's portrayal in the media and what we can do to change it. I'm confident in saying that it changed the life of everyone who watched it, but it did bring about some discussion that I was baffled by.

"Yeah, I loved the movie. It was really amazing."
"Oh, are you like, a feminist?"
"Oh no, definitely not. But it was really cool."
I go to an all-girls school. I've gone to an all-girls school for eight years. My school is wonderful because for eight years, I've watched girls attend the greatest colleges in the country because they work hard and get jobs they love because they work hard and achieve their goals because they work hard. I've watched them succeed because they are driven, confident women. They've achieved high power positions that men said they couldn't succeed at. They've made me proud to be a student here.

So why are there students at my school who don't consider themselves feminists? Here's the thing. Feminism is not a bad thing. It's not even an extreme thing. It's nothing but women wanting the same rights as men. It's women being seen as equals. That's all it is. 

I asked them why they didn't consider themselves feminists, using the precise arguments I used above. Why don't you want your rights? Why don't you want equality for yourselves? 

"I don't know....I mean like....it's not like that....I just like when guys hold the door open for me, you know?"

That's...manners. You can be a feminist and have someone hold the door open for you. That's just not it. I hate that there are girls at this school, this school that celebrates women and empowers women, who don't consider themselves people who want to achieve equality. Feminism is not something a woman should have to decide she is or is not. Women should be feminists, from the day they are born to the day they die, simply because THEY ARE WOMEN and THEY SHOULD PROBABLY WANT RIGHTS.

It's 2012. I'm wondering why this is even still an issue. I'm wondering why there are groups of men making health care decisions that only affect women. And I'm wondering whether America's women will make the right choice on Tuesday and not set the country back 50 years for themselves. 

I love ladies. I really, really do. And ladies should love themselves too.


chapter 1: sad talk

My mom found this yesterday and the timing was almost spooky. This was the first chapter of a book I had cleverly titled "My Book About My Life". I don't remember much about September 11. I wish I had written more. But I remember now not knowing a thing about what had happened for a long, long time. So I don't really blame six year old Sophie. I remember where I was, though. The exact room in my elementary school.

But it doesn't matter where I was. I had nothing to do with it. I don't have a story. The people with stories are those who actually were there, actually lost people, actually saw the smoke rise up. There are people that were a part of this, a part of this horrible thing, and those are the important stories.

It just makes me wonder about America when, for 364 days of the year, we bitch and moan and scream at each other, harping on everything that's wrong with the country, and then for just one of those days, everybody is universally united, no matter what. On this day, we're respectful. We're together and we're actually a country. But come September 12, everyone's back to being cynics. It's admirable that so many people can come together on one day, but then again, it's pretty disgusting that so many people can come together on only one day.

But on a less pessimistic note, let us all remember those victims and those who gave their lives to save the lives of others. Today and every day.


sometimes you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal

From the time I was a little girl, my mother would never censor anything my sister and I did. We were watching Grease every day (the innuendos, language, and mature situations sailing completely over my head- I only found out about Rizzo's almost-pregnancy a good eight years later). She took us to shows like Guys and Dolls and let us listen to all the music she did. Most importantly, she encouraged us to read whatever we wanted.

There are so many parents that are far too invested in what their children listen to or watch or read. They think anything that is not sealed with the feathery yellow Big Bird stamp of approval will surely perish the tiny minds (that is certainly not to say that we didn't watch Sesame Street--it taught my brother how to read). And I think that's such a problem. And perhaps it's not my place as a seventeen year old girl to be giving parenting tips, but that's not a good way to raise your children

Censoring gives way to rebellion, without a doubt. If children are told they can't do something or watch something or read something, they will want nothing more than to do or watch or read that thing. And maybe it's just my character or maybe it's my parents' (in my opinion, superior) anti-censoring style of parenting, but my greatest rebellion in recent memory was going to a park by myself without my mother receiving a text about it. I don't rebel because I don't have anything to rebel about. BECAUSE MY MOM LET ME WATCH WHATEVER MUSICALS I WANTED.

The censoring of Harry Potter is one of the saddest problems to me. On more than one occasion, I've struck up conversation with little kids I'm babysitting regarding Harry Potter and whether they've read the books. And on more than one occasion, they've replied that their parents won't let them read it.

Frankly, no other piece of fiction has shaped my life and my character more than Harry Potter. And to think that so many kids aren't getting that beautiful experience of cracking open that spine for the first time because their parents think it's full of witchcraft or too scary or whatever? That kind of tears my heart in two. There's absolutely nothing like reading a Harry Potter book when you're a little kid, and I want more kids to be able to do that before they're all grown up. The fact that parents are actually discouraging their children from reading is tragic. To me, if a kid wants to read a book, you let them read it. Unless it's 50 Shades of Grey, more books in a child's life is never going to hurt them.

To put it very shortly, let your kids read and watch and listen to whatever the hell they want. Whatever you are trying to protect them from will dawn on them eventually. But when they're kids, they're nothing but words.

photo sources: one, two, three, four

(title from John Green's The Fault In Our Stars)


among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars

I'm three pages away from finishing my watercolor book. My tears are lovely watered-down purples and blues and reds.

Radiohead- "Nude"

I painted tweets from Julian Casablancas because he's brilliant and beautiful. This one is meant to be read top-to-bottom. It does not say "the hypocrite world with a is a heart vain of gold".

Lana Del Rey- "Mermaid Motel"

Lana Del Rey- "Pawn Shop Blues". Muddy at the top but pretty at the bottom! Ack!

I saw this sign in Austin during ACL and I love it dearly.

(title from The Great Gatsby. I chose a phrase about beautiful, glamorous Jazz Age parties because I am clearly in the midst of one blogging on a Saturday night. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go watch Arcade Fire on SNL.)


in the evening sun

willi of california dress, vintage belt, vintage shoes

My five year blog anniversary was yesterday! Whaaat?! To celebrate, I agonized over how to edit my pictures with Picnik now defunct. Listen, I'm aware that it has a bad rap (if you care to venture into my archives from the past five years [but please don't], you can probably see some instances why) but I honestly don't really know how to edit now, so....there's that...

One thing I'm looking forward to is my seventeenth birthday in one week's time. The number seventeen has always carried some wonderful kind of air to it. First of all, I get an age with the most magically powerful number in it, something I haven't had for ten years. I'll finally able to do magic outside of Hogwarts; it's been a long time coming. And then there's just some other thing about the number seventeen: it sounds very old. Quite mature. And of course, the miles of song lyrics featuring the wonders of being seventeen.

Could never tell you what happened the day I turned seventeen: the rise of a king and the fall of a queen.
-Marina & the Diamonds, "Seventeen"

When I was seventeen, my mother said to me, "Don't stop imagining. The day you do is the day you die."
-Youth Lagoon, "17"

and my favorite of all time:
You're the prettiest, smartest captain of the team; I love you more than being seventeen. 
-The Strokes, "Evening Sun"

Perhaps they aren't all so wondrous. But I'm still excited.


the last sunshine fell with romantic affection

The photo you see above is strictly for sentimental value. I am a firm believer in "flowers-should-never-be-photographed-for-human-enjoyment", but I always get really happy whenever these flowers pop up in our backyard because they made me so, so happy when I was a kid. So there's me breaking my rule.

Anyway, I like this dress. It was bought in Brooklyn at a marvelous vintage store that I don't think I ever learned the name of. I always love buying clothes when I travel, because I don't think you can ever really forget about that place when you wear whatever you bought there.

vintage dress, who knows where I bought my tights, vintage belt, vintage shoes

(title: phrases from The Great Gatsby that make me want to curl up into a ball of wonderful words and have F. Scott Fitzgerald like, read me to sleep or something.)


here in the streets of american nights

-The Great Gatsby

Unlike Mr. Nick Carraway, I think I came out of the womb liking New York. I don't remember what it was that first enchanted me, but I remember being desperate for it before I had even set foot on an airplane. Perhaps it was snippets of Friends or Seinfeld that I caught while my parents watched. Perhaps it was Eloise and Weenie and Skipperdee living on the tippy-top floor of the Plaza. I just remember being wild for it. I wasn't quite sure what was there or why I needed so badly to be there, but it filled me up.

And it still does. 

 I love waking up in New York. I love falling asleep in New York, to the white noise of honking horns and to lights through the window. I love the thick and gray smell of cab exhaust and Manhattan cigarettes that would be revolting in every other city. I love the city's lack of facial expressions and I love subway-sign Helvetica.

I often wonder how it is that there continues to be space for more people in that city. That's probably one of the (many) things that's most remarkable about it--it just seems to keep growing with anyone who steps the city limits. It's both the most intimidating and the most welcoming city in the world in that way.

(New York City Cops: The Strokes)


                The night is too late and the city is too small for anything to happen tonight, she knows. She just keeps waiting—waiting for everything and nothing, for a night that she doesn’t spend drinking herself dizzy and slithering through the cracks of this godforsaken place in front of the bartender that knows her too well. There’s another vodka tonic staring at her from a soggy napkin and she downs it, sheltered by this sick kind of temporary home.
                She stays until the room smells of blown-out candles. Thick and gray and bittersweet-smoky wisps drag ghosts of fingers across her cheek while she watches the last of the embers crackle away. The slow-burning black-orange is mesmerizing, more so than anything she remembers seeing lately. She wants to press the smoldering wick to her wrist, wants it to rip her raw. She wants to feel something for a divine little change.
                After a stretch of a thousand more of these foggy evenings, there might come a night that doesn’t make her scrape the bar-top with a diamond ring she doesn’t need anymore. The jewel leaves the bar with fierce animal scratches that she knows would get her kicked out had anyone cared to look. But it’s been fourteen years since anyone cared.

between the lobby and 4
                The only other person in the elevator is a guy that looks like Maeve’s ex-boyfriend and she thinks of all the things she could say to this man that she didn’t say to him.
                You’re a fucking whore-face scumbag and you’re a scumbag fucking whore-faces comes to mind first, but she decides that wouldn’t be the best as far as first impressions go.

room 418
                An anonymous He steals away an anonymous Her, nabs her by a bony wrist on her prom night and drags her to a hotel room (the cheapest one in the place) for his permanent maculation of the last creamy vestiges of her virtue. He is a serpent, blown-black eyes simmering and forked tongue darting at the side of his mouth between hisses and kisses; she is his prey, but she is armed with no strategy. Splotches of her pale neck stain a mottled purple-red and they don’t disappear when she flicks off the crackling lamp and they plummet onto twisted sheets (with a cacophonous clatter that she hears in her own head). Arms do not hold her. Lips do not meet. She does not protest, for she does not know how. She never has, and his cumbersome curtain of vodka-drowned breath wouldn’t allow for it anyway.

between 4 and 7
                A woman with fried strands of blonde hair and a greasy, sneering man pressed to her back lets out a shameless belch and the three other people pretend, absurdly, not to hear it: the sign displaying a safety inspector’s signature and a 2,200 pound weight limit suddenly looks terribly interesting.

room 703
                Hypothetical morbidity hypnotizes Fiona. She spends hours inspecting her hotel rooms for bloodstains, every single goddamn time. She’s skating on the verge of hour 2 in this particular room, and there’s a televangelist hollering faintly on the Sony mounted on the wall, a white-noise soundtrack to her secret insanities. A dirty, ridged thumbnail runs over the edges of the carpet, and she finds nothing but old Doritos crumbs, and the carpet turns into dull white tile, and she sees Sid stabbing Nancy on the bathroom floor of the Chelsea and both of them drowning in misshapen moonlight. Her blood looks beautiful and utterly terrible against the tile. Fiona thinks she might love most the fact that these tragic humans sunk knives into their girlfriends, into their husbands, into their own trembling abdomens while hundreds of others simply slept folded into their bleached sheets of false purity.

between 7 and 13
                For once, it’s just her in here: she likes it like this most of all, when she doesn’t have to avoid any eyes.

room 1304

                2:07 in the morning: the faucet starts to leak in rhythmic drops against porcelain when Ira has finished washing his hands and settles onto rough white sheets with a novel about the Cottingley fairies. It starts to leak, and Ira feels it low in his stomach: a chaotic, thrilling little twist that tells him something superb is festering nearby. For a burst of one ignited second, where the room floods with angry moonlight and the cosmos rumble behind his eyelids, the television flashes on-and-off and Ira refuses to attribute it to faulty wiring. No great purveyor of the pseudoscientific has ever attributed it to faulty wiring. Ira believes there is no feeling more beautiful, more delectably consuming than the one of a room submerged in ectoplasm. He imagines that the silvery, viscous film of the almost-there would taste exquisite—like pure marrow of the most bewitching bones, like a daydream.
                But he gets ahead of himself.
                “Sir, I do hate to bother you at this time of night—but there is clear, undeniable, irrefutable evidence of the supernatural in room 1304.” His eyes brighten, fists tighten on the concierge’s desk. A tendon on Ira’s hand pulses when he squeezes too hard on his pen after that tired look of condescension.
                The next morning, he imagines the stale conversation that he’s overheard too many times by shrill middle-aged women in their nightdresses after these fantastical happenings of the paranormal: “The thirteenth floor must be removed, shut it down, just shut it down, for Christ’s sake.”
                Ira murmurs it into the pillow to the voice inside his head: “Immortalize it.”


shyness is nice, and shyness can stop you from doing all the things in life you'd like to

What to do when you got ready for your grandmother's birthday party that you thought was tonight but is actually tomorrow? 

Probably your first outfit post since August. 

lucky brand shirt, anthropologie belt, jason wu for target skirt, shoes from modcloth.com

God, I hate unnecessary showers.

(Ask: The Smiths)


glory days

Tonight, I caught up with an old friend (and by friend, I mean notebook) that exams had swiped from me for much too long. It was rather nice to visit with her. 

Everyone needs to keep a notebook. I was looking through some of mine circa 2003 today. The entries essentially consisted of what I ate (usually Kraft mac & cheese or Sour Punch Straws if it was a Tuesday at Hebrew school) and me telling my journal "I love you". I also discovered a poem I wrote about America that sounds like it was penned by Ron Swanson. There was a three-page block of more poems that, because they were all written in lowercase letters, I titled, "I am e.e. cummings". Accurate, nine year old Sophie! Accurate!

But notebooks! Crucial! I read through my old ones more often than I should, and I'm so looking forward to reading mine from high school (Although I have read mine from my freshman year. And they make me want to vomit. But we'll just move along.) when I get older. I just love the documentation. I love knowing that I was sitting in Miss Zellman's Hebrew class on September 30, 2003 with a lot of mosquito bites because we were outside for a long time yesterday giving my dog a haircut. 

So write. That's what I'm saying. Write.


in large amounts

I've watched this about eight times today. Where can I get a download of this cover? Because damn, these kids can make some music.


do you?

I felt like sharing my favorite poem tonight.


i just want you to know that you're very special...and the only reason i'm telling you is that i don't know if anyone else ever has

I hope this counts, Charlie.

It's really something else to fall in love with a fictional character, huh? What Charlie's taught me about introversion, beauty in silly little things, and the wonders of inherent kindness could fill a book.

(But I suppose it already has.)


go boldly and honestly through the world

Today's post is in honor of DanRad, who finished his last performance of How to Succeed on Broadway today and I'm very proud of him and the pictures of him making his speech at the end made me cry. So here's pretty Dan with eyes that pierce your soul.

On occasion, I like driving around to only write down snippets of things I see. They aren't things extreme or particularly radical, but I like to see it as a little moment in time. It's an interesting exercise, I think. These are snippets from November.

1. nine black birds perched equidistant on a sharp line of telephone wire

2. a deserted playground, because it's the anti-playground weather wintry-bitter air and a trickle of November rain

3. shakily arranged Christmas lights on the angles of a roof

4. blue & red sodium lights of a pharmacy flickering weakly into feeble, frozen air

5. little boy riding his bicycle dressed in his Sunday church clothes, pedaling furiously in a vest and bowtie

6. Borders bookshop, dead.

7. leafless branches of dead trees, spiked sixty different ways to formulate a wooden cobweba lattice weave of black twig against grey sky

8. faulty gas-station parking jobs

(More Dan to break the post up, you know....)

Try it.

(title is one of my favorite Radcliffe quotes. Can someone tell me what the hell this post is? Just Daniel Radcliffe musings and a lot of unrelated words? Alright, got it.)