Observations, Self, Social Justice

on maybe just thinking casually about the possibility of considering going temporarily vegetarian.

Given the fact that my latest date– a guy I’d only been out with a few times but who I thought had some relationship potential– had been cancelled (he dumped me. It’s a trend these days; all the cool kids are doing it!), I found myself with a free evening.

I then remembered that my dear friend Nandita had invited me to see a movie. If you’ve read for a while, you may remember that Nandita is the angel who invited me to the Jam. She’s artistic, she’s gentle, she’s fierce, she’s loyal, she’s grace-full, and she’s super hippie.

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Isn’t she loooooooveleeeeey?

I worry about being one of those girls who forgets about her friends when a new boy comes along, so I was embarrassed that I had even planned a date for that night in the first place. I hurried straight to the theatre to meet Nandita after work.

The place was packed, and I could barely squeeze through the theatre doors. Nandita had promised to save me a seat, but when I got inside, I was surprised to see she was sitting in the middle of a row of people: her parents, her uncle, her boyfriend, and two other friends. Leave it to Dia to invite everyone she knew to a movie about climate change.

The saved seat was next to a friend of hers from college, so we chatted for a few minutes before the film began. Someone was passing around a sign-up sheet for email updates from the director.

Honestly? The movie wasn’t anything to write home about. The director seemed very into his own face and his own thoughts and feelings. Which I would’ve been okay with if he had been honest about his own lack of efficacy, his smallness in the grand scheme of these “climate change wars” he described, if he’d been less visible and less upheld in the stories he told about native activists from other cultures — if he’d been more humble. But instead, several of the storylines seemed only to aggrandize him, glorifying his small personal victories against anti-climate-change officials. There were also a lot– a lot– of shots of him playing the banjo.

I have a hard time getting past things I don’t like in movies. What was good about the film was the way the director highlighted how art, communal feeling and experience, and creative direct action can form a kind of protected(/ing) island in the midst of the sea of climate change (which we will literally all be swimming in by 2036, if the film’s scientists are correct.) Lots of climate change films seem to focus on science and fear and politics. This one focused on art, and love. That was good!

The section that really struck a nerve, though, was the part that talked about energy production and consumption: specifically, about how much energy is consumed in the production of meat energy for mah belly. I love meat. I love hamburgers. I was vegan for a hot sec and vegetarian for around 2 years in college, but DAMN all I wanted the ENTIRE time was a burger.

And before any of you vegetarian enthusiasts (yay you!) tell me I just wasn’t doing it right (eating enough protein, combining food properly, getting enough vitamins and minerals), I was. 😀 I strongly believe that some people’s bodies are just not suited to vegetarian diets, and that that’s okay as long  as those can source their food ethically.

Unfortunately, my neighborhood may technically qualify as a food desert; and if it doesn’t, it definitely doesn’t have access to fresh organic meats and produce.

But hearing how quickly we’re headed toward climate-change-induced oblivion is making me reconsider buying the highly processed, inhumanely raised, and energy-guzzling meat at my supermarket.

So this is a very long  post to announce that I’m kinda thinking about possibly going veg.

Any tips appreciated! Share them in the comments.

xoxo m.

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Design, Observations, Self

my skincare/makeup routine: day version: or, what i’ve been thinking about to avoid thinking about more important stuff.

What important stuff? Like why I keep going on dates with people I know I don’t want to be in a relationship with. Like how much $$ I’m spending on frivolous things and how I need to get back to a budget. Like all my feelings about what I learned at the Jam.

Which, speaking of, needs its own blog post soon. I’ll say for now, though, that one of the major takeaways was that I need to shut down my Inner Critic, who I’m pretty sure is the one layering on the extra guilt about not spending my time on the “right” kind of activities.

Anyway, I figured I’d give my latest obsession its due indulgence, and maybe then I’ll feel a bit more capable of easing my mind over to other subjects.

Let’s talk skin. I’m including my face makeup in this roundup because face makeup directly impacts skin–and vice versa.

 

 

My morning routine is undergoing some finessing, as I’m searching for a new, lighterweight makeup for the summer and find my skincare needs change as my makeup changes. But here’s how it stands currently.

  1. Cleanse/ tone with apple cider vinegar, or with Simple Micellar Water– the former’s got malic acid, which is antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral, it balances my skin’s pH, and it contains alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) to break down dead skin cells and leave my skin feeling new. The latter just makes my skin feel clean and soft.
  2. Moisturize with Dr. Lin’s Daily Hydrating Gel– I don’t love this as much as I thought I would. It contains hyaluronic acid, my favorite moisturizer, but the gel texture actually leaves my skin feeling a bit dry. 
  3. Protect with Neutrogena Clear Face Sunscreen– most sunscreens break me out, but not this one!
  4. Prime with Clinique Superprimer Universal Skin Primer– I’ve recently come around to the value of primers, but good god if it isn’t hard to find one that isn’t silicone-based! This is the first primer I’ve used that doesn’t clog my pores or break me out. The price, however, makes this one untenable as a staple. I’ll be trying the slightly cheaper Pixi Poreless & Flawless Primer out next to see if that works; that also has titanium dioxide, a mineral sunscreen, so I may not need the Neutrogena then. $$$$$.
  5. Perfect with Covergirl Clean Oil-Control Foundation– Buildable coverage that doesn’t make me break out is unbeatable at this price. When I feel like lighter coverage, I skip the sunscreen, primer, foundation, and concealer and sub in Pixi Illuminating Tint and Conceal.
  6. Conceal with Maybelline Master Conceal Camouflaging Concealer– I LOVE the texture of this: inky fluid that provides full coverage. But it oxides over the day 😦 I’m actually working towards trying not to need concealer– I usually only have to use it because I’ve irritated a blemish by picking at it. 
  7. Color with Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush– Every blush makes me break out except this. It’s crazy expensive for me at $28, but I think it might last me the next 3 years. 

PHEW. Then I do my eyes (brow powder, copper eyeliner, black mascara) and lips (clear primer and red lipstick). It takes 15 minutes and makes me feel like a grown woman.

Stay tuned for the evening rendition… things get WILD.

xoxo m.

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Self, Social Justice, Writing

Yes! let’s jam.

Q: What is a jam?

A: A delicious spreadable fruit-based condiment to be slathered on bread with butter, traditionally consumed in the morning but also at night by people who just can’t get enough toast. Duh.

Other A: a creative gathering for people working at the intersection of arts and social change to come together, reflect, share our challenges and breakthroughs, nurture ourselves, support and inspire each other.

Fortunately for me, I get to have BOTH kinds of jams in my life! About a year ago, my dear friend Nandita attended a gathering in central Cali and came back a different gal. Or rather, the same gal, but more hopeful, energized, and fulfilled. This gathering was the 2015 Arts for Social Change Jam, which I understood as a networking/ group therapy/ art-making workshop for creative types. This year, she was selected as one of the facilitators and she begged (okay, casually invited) me to apply. Although it was a stretch to think of myself as an artist, I did.

via Yes! World

I was super honest in my application essays– about the fact that I’m not really sure it’s possible to earn a decent living while making a career out of helping people; about my stressed relationship with money; about whether art can really change the world; about how little art I’ve produced lately. It was less a personal sell than a “I don’t think you’d want me, but if you did, I’d sure be glad.”

Somehow, though, something in that real talk caught the admissions team’s eye(s?) and I got in!. So on April 5th, I’m flying out to sunny San Francisco (and then likely hopping in a van to drive for several more hours) to attend the 2016 Arts for Social Change Jam in Ben Lomond, CA.

I have very little idea what to expect in terms of concrete activities, but here’s what the website says I can expect to think about:

 

  • What is my story as an artist?
  • How are we to be sustainable and valued for our artistic gifts?
  • What does success look like for artivists? Where am I challenged as an artivist? What does it even mean to be an artivist?
  • How do we collaborate as artivists across mediums, modalities, and issue focuses?
  • How do we create an enduring support network of people using their creative passions for social change?
  • How do our diverse identities relate to us as artists and as activists, and how do we build bridges across those identities with each other?
  • What feels like the purpose and value of artist-activists in these particular times?

Sounds cool, right?! This opportunity couldn’t be coming at a better time. I recently ended a (short) kind-of relationship and am starting a new full-time job next month, so it feels like a great way to kick off what hopefully will be a year of rooting down and finding some personal stability.

xoxo

m.

 

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