Wednesday, March 4, 2015

#DearMe

The #DearMe movement that's going around the Internet this week is an example of a social media campaign I can absolutely get behind. Inspiring each other to embrace our strengths and love ourselves through positive thinking and encouragement? Sign me up!

So, in anticipation of International Women's Day and also because it's a rad idea, here is some advice I would give my 17-year-old self, a girl just about to graduate high school and embark on adulthood:















If you don't want to watch the vid, here's the gist:

  • Don't put so much pressure on yourself to be cool. The "popular" kids may seem like they're having a lot of fun but they also have a lot of insecurities and are actually pretty rude so stick with the friends that actually want to hang out with you and love you despite your nerdy tendencies and dumb jokes.
  • True friendships are a two-way street. Give your friends a call more often and reach out when they're having a hard time. Stop thinking about yourself so much and be a little kinder than you have to.
  • Your weight will continue to be an issue but you'll learn to love yourself anyway and learn to dress better. It can be hard at college where all the girls are stick-model gorgeous but being fat actually helps you find true friends. Believe me.
  • Don't be so afraid to go brunette. It looks fabulous.
  • Work hard and save your money, but don't be afraid to be spontaneous and travel.
  • It's okay that you don't know what to do with your life or what your major will be. That will all come in time and you'll love it.
  • Being competitive is annoying and pointless. Just do you and don't worry about getting better grades or internships than your peers because that way of thinking will just depress you. Besides, you'll end up getting awesome grades and internships.
  • It's okay to have doubts. Just don't focus on them or you'll end up bitter.
  • You'll learn to be much more open-minded and embracing of different people and cultures and ways of life and this will make you a better person, despite what people may say.
  • Maybe you should learn to cook more recipes. I regret this.
  • I know you hate sharing your emotions and feelings but don't be afraid to be vulnerable. It helps people connect with you.
  • Don't think twice about moving to New York City. 
  • You are smart. You are pretty. You are important. You're gonna be more than okay. 
17-year-old Chelsey who still has much to learn

Monday, February 23, 2015

Take a Little Trip

"It's so important to travel and visit new cultures. Every time you visit a new place, you come away learning something new about the world and the people in it." My taxi driver home from JFK was a wise man. 

A week ago I got back from an amazing vacation to Singapore and Indonesia. And while the main purpose of my visit was to see a good friend and relax in a beautiful, warm place, it's true that I came away learning new things about the people and places I saw. 

This was the longest vacation I've had since becoming a working professional, and it was very much needed. In fact halfway through I had an actual nightmare that I had missed a work crisis, but upon checking my email in the morning and seeing that life was still functioning without me, I was able to shelve my anxiety and fully enjoy the rest of my time away. I'm really sad to be back actually. This may or may not be a feeling reinforced by the snowstorms and 5 degree weather I came back to...

From this to this...

Singapore was like a more modern, clean, shinier version of Manhattan. A $500 fine for littering may seem excessive, but after coming from the pristine MRT of Singapore back to the rat-and-trash infested subways of New York, there's something to be said for it. One major similarity Singapore shares with NYC is its diversity of races and ethnic groups. Some are more accepted than others and some are put into their own enclaves, much like here. Hearing Katrina's friend and awesome tour guide Mariana talk about how the Filipino workers are treated with disdain just reinforced how inequality and oppression is a world-wide problem. We all need to treat each other better, everywhere.



In Indonesia I relearned how much of a privilege I have by being a native English speaker. Yes, I was so thankful to have Kat around to translate and haggle for me, but most people, especially in the tourist-heavy areas, have to learn English (along with several other languages) to earn their living. It made me feel bad about giving up on Spanish, and reinforced my desire to get back into it. That and Mandarin. Duolingo app, you have been downloaded. 

The Indonesian people are so extremely friendly and a smile goes a long way here. They are so proud of how gorgeous their island is. "How do you like Bali?" they'd ask. I'd assure them it was crazy beautiful and they would grin and say of course, there is no other place like it. They're not wrong. 


Jakarta was a really fascinating city to me. It's a city that's grown exponentially fast, faster than it could keep up with, and needed a subway system built yesterday. Traffic jams are the name of the game in Jakarta, and while it's annoying to the citizens it gave me more time to look out the car window and soak in the views around me. While we were taking a shortcut through a slum area to get to our nice restaurant for dinner (in a fancy mall -- Jakarta is full of these fancy megamalls), Kat's dad jokingly said to me, "No need to look here. This is the ugly part of Jakarta." But the ugly part is still important to be seen, I think. It's a sign that improvements still need to be made, that a city is only as a beautiful as it's lowliest neighborhood. 


Other things I learned: Don't travel during peak tourist season and you may just end up with a three-seat row all to yourself on your 14-hour flight (#blessed). Asian food is always delicious but it's 1000 times more delicious in Asia. When you desire a monkey on your shoulder just be sure what you're really asking for. Katrina's parents are the nicest human beings. Chinese New Year is a big freaking deal and all the hype and decorations made me more excited about living in Chinatown Brooklyn during the season. Durians are smelly and rambutans are delicious. Eddie Redmayne's performance in Jupiter Ascending is universally hilarious. 

More pictures can be found in my Google+ album here. Or also on Facebook if we're friends there. Hope you all get a chance to visit Singapore and Indonesia if you have not yet been; these are really two amazing places. 

It was a four-year gap between international travel for me, and I have to say that finally going did nothing to cure my wanderlust. Would that my bank account were as full as my desires. 


Terima kasih, 

Chelsey


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Bleh January and New Goals

I think I've discussed this before, but January really is just the worst. The holidays are over, it's butt-freezing cold, everyone and their mother is sick (including me for the past two weeks), and I can't help but feel like a lazy bum who doesn't leave her bed. On the other hand, I have caught up on The Comeback and started The Wire, so...

It's been a while since I've posted, and I apologize, father. Check my Instagram for things that have happened. Right now, I'm going to take time to write out my goals for 2015 (yes, I know it's Jan. 24), since if you don't write them down you're not accountable, right? In that case what am I doing. Just kidding.

This year I would like to:

  • Finally lose this freaking weight
  • Read one book a week
  • Try to get out and enjoy the city more. I was so good about this my first year or so here, but since October I feel I've hit a bit of a rut. I need to be more proactive about finding fun activities. And inviting people to them.
  • Meet new people, make new friends
  • Travel to at least 5 new places I've never been
  • Actually attend a rally or a march and donate more to causes instead of being just a social media activist/wannabe
  • Write at least one blog post a week
  • Finish The Wire (hey, it's about time)
2014 was fairly decent. For the world at large, not so much, but in Chelseyland there was no cause to complain. Things can definitely improve though.

Here's to a great new year. And hey, only 7 more days left in this horrid month!

Applicable 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Kickstarter This



















In case you missed it, this genius idiot has now raised more than FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS on Kickstarter to make a freaking potato salad. People are giving this dude their hard-earned money to let this guy make a $10 lunch that according to him, "might not be that good."

Now, I have nothing against Kickstarter and Indiegogo, having donated my own scarce cash to the Veronica Mars movie, the Reading Rainbow project, and other cool projects my friends have started. And I'm not even against doing things for irony's sake, as I "ironically" watch things like The Bachelorette and actually really want to go to that Williamsburg artisan mayonnaise store. But c'mon people. This guy has essentially been given $50,000 for absolutely nothing at all. We're better than that.

But let's be honest here. The real reason I'm so incensed is because I didn't come up with this idea myself. I only wish people had told me it was this easy! I have a laundry list of things I could Kickstarter that I'd love to abuse the hipster population with. For example:
  • I need to pay my rent. 
    • Reward: I won't be squatting in your home
  • The search for the best donut in America. Need to take a cross-country road trip to find out where it is. 
    • Reward: I'll tell you where this donut is. Maybe.
  • Goal: Finding the perfect temperature and time for microwaving popcorn. 
    • Reward: You now know the secret to my crappy microwave!
  • I'd like to stop dieting and just get liposuction already.
    • Reward: One less fatty in America
  • Must know the perfect Coke Zero combination in the Coca-Cola Freestyle machine
    • Reward: Secret recipe
  • I need to support my binge-watching habits so I'd just like to quit my job already
    • Reward: Definitive ranking of all of Netflix's shows
  • I heard that Australia is a really nice place to visit. I'd like to test this theory
    • Reward: I'll let you know whether, in fact, Australia is a really nice place to visit.
  • I live in the most expensive city in the country. Just give me money. 
    • Reward: Continued gentrification of Brooklyn. 


Monday, July 7, 2014

oh hello again

I'm the worst type of blogger in the blogosphere (bloggersphere? bloggycircle?) for several reasons: 1) I don't post with any sort of consistency, 2) I mainly blog about myself, treating this as an egotistical journal, and 3) I don't ever tap into the "current events" of the day, making this a fairly useless social commentary blog or thing for other people to read, in general.

That's kind of changed somewhat, as I now write about pop culture every Sunday at The Wannabes, a new pop culture commentary blog started by my friend Amanda. Over there I discuss Really Important and Serious Topics such as Harry Potter, Korean Dramas, BookCon, and TV Dads. The rest of The Wannabes contributors have interesting things to say though, so you should check it out anyway. 

As for this blog, I'm going to continue to post about whatever I want (aka myself. duh.) whenever I want because it's my blog and no one can stop me. Mwahaha. 

So with all that being said, here's what's been going on in my life lately. 

...Basically nothing. 

Just kidding. I looked through my photos and turns out some things did happen. Blast my short-term memory. See why this blog is necessary, even if only I read it?

I visited Utah! And got to see all these lovely people for the first time in a year. I miss them again already. NOW IT'S YOUR TURN TO VISIT.

Kat and I made a Memorial Day excursion to D.C. Just chilling on the Capitol Lawn for a concert. 

Visited the best museum of all time. I could have spent all day in the newspaper archives room. No exaggeration.

Hollie graduated!

And then came and visited me for her birthday. It was fun to have her and Mom here for a weekend and show them my city. 

Cheese train. 

I love Coney Island. I've already been here like 3 times this summer. 

Fourth of July happened. Mostly I marathoned Orange is the New Black the whole day (THANKS RAIN), but ventured out to Sunset Park at night to get a decent view of the fireworks. With the Statue of Liberty and the NYC skyline in the background, nbd. 

I got a bike! And traveled like 26 miles this past weekend, because I'm a crazy person and don't need to have functioning legs. (Seriously, everything is sore). The Rockaways were beautiful though, so...WORTH IT.

Girls and Orange is the New Black came and filmed at our offices. Perks of having one of the best views of Times Square in your conference room, I guess. All I know is that Natasha Lyonne's hair really is that fabulous. 
That's about it for now. We'll see when I post on here again. I'm so unpredictable! 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

NYC-Versary


This date crept up on me like the G Train, but it's true: I've officially lived in New York City for one full year. I've officially been a college grad for one full year. Crazy crazy crazy. To celebrate this exciting milestone, I'm paying a visit later tonight to the place where it all began: Junior's Cheesecake. But I first wanted to look back at this last year and remember all the amazing adventures I've had so far.

For example...In one year living in NYC, I've:
  • Done just about all the touristy things. Top of the Rock, Statue of Liberty, High Line, Brooklyn Bridge, Coney Island...I got all of these out of the way early. 
  • Eaten my weight in pizza and cheesecake and pastrami and halal
  • Biked around Central Park
  • Gotten lost in the Met, the American Museum of Natural History, the MOMA, and the Brooklyn Museum
  • Traveled on the subway at three in the morning with two homeless men as my companions
  • Fallen asleep on the subway and woken up at Brighton Beach
  • Heard every rendition imaginable of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" 
  • Been networked with on the subway
  • Been proposed to by my taxi driver
  • Been propositioned in the South Bronx
  • Been to a jazz concert in Harlem
  • Participated in film festivals, television festivals, and music festivals
  • Seen 14 Broadway shows
  • Had my name in a Playbill (off-off Broadway, but still)
  • Attended the cherry blossom festival at Brooklyn Botanic Garden
  • Gallery-shopped in Chelsea
  • Been to a Yankees game and a Mets game
  • Attended a live taping of SNL
  • Gobbled up the special concrete at each Shake Shack location
  • Ridden the Cyclone at Coney Island
  • Experienced the weirdness that is the Village Halloween Parade
  • Attended various free concerts and plays in Central Park
  • Warbled my way through Korean karaoke
  • Learned all the Jewish holidays in September
  • Read a book in the Rose Reading Room at the Schwarzman Library
  • Become best friends with the security guards at Grand Central Terminal
  • Devoured all the things at Smorgasburg
  • Taken a selfie with Zachary Quinto
  • Taken stalker photos of countless other celebrities
  • Marathoned movies at the Tribeca Film Festival
  • Sat on the Iron Throne
  • Learned what 100 degrees without air conditioning really feels like
  • Learned what taking public transit through a polar vortex really feels like
  • Lived in three different boroughs
  • Changed my personal definitions of "expensive" and "far away" and "smelly"
  • Learned how to place an order with Seamless in less than 30 seconds.
  • Hardened my heart towards tourists in Times Square
  • Felt inner pride when a lady asked me for directions and I knew what to tell her
  • Made some incredible friendships and memories to last a lifetime
Greatest friendship of them all

That's only a small list of things I've done this past year. You can click on the "New York" tag at the bottom to see some of my other posts I wrote about my time here so far.

However, there are still so many things I want to see and do. I plan to live here for a while, and I still don't feel I can fully call myself a New Yorker, at least not until I:
  • Discover more obscure, delicious restaurants to impress my visiting friends with. This includes completing the 196 Challenge (visiting one restaurant for every country in the world) 
  • Knock another girl to the ground at a sample sale
  • Attend an art fair at Roosevelt Island
  • Get a bicycle and bike around Prospect Park
  • Visit Greenwood Cemetery 
  • Go to a Knicks and a Nets game
  • Attend a taping of The Colbert Report before it's too late
  • Play chess in Washington Square Park
  • Visit the real Little Italy in the Bronx
  • Kayak on the Hudson River
  • Sing along at a drag show
  • Bowl and jam at Brooklyn Bowl
  • Find Brandon Stanton and get on Humans of New York
  • Get yelled at by Billy on the Street
  • Meet Amy Poehler at the UCB
  • Find myself saying "Fuhgeddaboutit" unironically
Please let this happen to me. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Being Friends with a Sister Missionary

*Dedicated my girls Shirley, Hollie, and Kristen. Welcome home.*

When your good friend tells you she's putting in her papers



She could get her call to Salt Lake City, but to you it might as well be...



When you say goodbye



When you get an actual letter from her in the mail



But then you only remember to write back once during her whole mission



Hearing stories about her crazy companions and investigators...



...as well as all the lives she's changing



When you try to describe what's going on in your own life...



...while omitting some details to not worry or distract her



When she tries to convince you to go on a mission as well



When she finally gets home



Even though you now live far away...



...it's now your job to help reintegrate her into society



First things first: the mission clothes have got to go



Credit to amenalready.tumblr.com for this one


Reassuring her about the dating pool



And even though you'll be hearing nothing but mission stories for the next two years...



...you're just so happy that she's finally back and so proud of all she's accomplished.