16 April 2013, 08:22
Yesterday was a terrible day, full of bad news that just kept getting worse. As soon as the bombs went off in Boston, social media was all aflutter with opinions, fake news, madness and rhetoric. Assumptions were rife. Anger was at an all-time high.
Everyone was scared, confused, and looking for someone to blame.
When bad things were on the news, Mr Rogers used to say, “Look for the helpers. You’ll always find people who are helping.”
The tremendous bravery and courage of the people who jumped over barricades to help, people who ran towards explosions to assist in any way they could, hacktivists asking people to unlock their wifi connections so people could actually use their phones… These are the things we should be focussing on.
It’s easy to fixate on the sadness and tragedy, the terrible senseless of it all, the fear it stirs in our hearts. Some people are sick and awful. But most people aren’t. Most people are good and helpful. Most people would do almost anything to help someone who they saw was hurt, or injured, or in crisis.
The reaction to tragedy shouldn’t be more hatred. Perpetuate peace.
Always strive to be the change you want to see.
Sending all my love,
15 April 2013, 08:36
Last week, I decided to make the ultimate 80’s mixtape. The reason for my madness? Well, I get to flex my funkmaster muscles at The Blogcademy... A little bit. We always have music going during exercises, activities and breaks, and we like it to be upbeat! Usually I just type a random word into 8tracks, cross my fingers and hope for the best. But after too many 80’s slow jams, I decided to take matters into my own hands!
If I had my way, this is what would be playing if I starred in an 80’s teen romantic comedy. For a good chunk of the movie, I would be hanging upside down, off my bed, talking on the phone… And there would definitely have to be a scene at a burger joint with rollerskating waitresses. (I would also have crimped hair and be wearing a lot of neon rubber bracelets at all times.)
This mixtape makes me want to watch every John Hughes movie ever, plus The Wedding Singer, and of course, American Psycho.
“Do you like Phil Collins? I’ve been a big Genesis fan ever since the release of their 1980 album, Duke. Before that, I really didn’t understand any of their work. Too artsy, too intellectual…”
I hope you enjoy this one! It’s over 3 hours long (!!!) so it will keep your ears busy for a while!
Dancing with tears in my eyes,
Awesome artwork by Patrick Nagel.
12 April 2013, 08:18
When I was in Portland, I met a kindred spirit: Shauna’s aunt Shannon, often known as “Auntie Nubs”. I’ve heard so much about her over the years, but didn’t get to meet her until I visited the fair state of Oregon. Immediately, we started talking about the things we were both obsessed with: astrology, crystals and energy among them!
One thing Shannon mentioned was Chinese face reading — something I had never even heard about. As we discussed it, I asked if getting cosmetic surgery could alter your fortune or destiny, and she said yes! Her teacher is fond of saying, “When you blow up your lips” (with collagen or fillers) “you blow up your life.”
Apparently, you can read the face just like you’d read the hand or someone’s energy. I was totally enthralled, and even moreso when she offered to do a full reading for me!
She wrote me a note, with her details, and the requirements:
For face reading I need your birthdate, and photos.
Minimal makeup or none at all
Hair pulled completely off face so I can see your hairline and forehead
Front view – smiling (a real smile!) and non-smiling
Closeup of both ears
I roped Kat into taking some photos of me in Los Angeles, and sent them off.
A few days later, she replied with a massive text document. Here are some excerpts of what she told me about my face…
“The art of face reading is based in Chinese medicine. Two thousand years ago, doctors noticed that certain personality traits linked to certain facial features. From this came face reading, sometimes known as acupuncture for the soul, which helps you to align with your inner blueprint. We all come into the world with a unique inner design, yet soon after we’re born, we start receiving messages about who we should be. Thus begins our journey away from our true inner nature. Face reading is about coming home to yourself, and honoring the unique person you came into the world to be.
We were born with the features we have for a reason, and this work allows you to appreciate your individual design. Face reading can tell you about your strengths and challenges, and help you to navigate through the world. It is the story of your journey through life, and as you change inside, your face will change as well.
Gala, you have all the hallmarks of a highly sensitive person, someone who is always picking up on the energy around you. This happens whether you’re aware of it or not. You are also psychic, or bordering there. In addition, you’re empathic, and sense when something isn’t quite right with a person or a place. Whew! So I don’t know if you know this, but it’s all written in your face.
You have a very high level of awareness, and notice things that others don’t. You’ll notice typos, grammatical errors, and can be bothered if something is “off.” You are highly sensitive to subtle energy. You may not like it if someone comes into your home and starts touching your stuff. Your sensitivity is a great strength. You are good at reading people, and can adjust to other’s energy. However, you are so sensitive, you can go into overwhelm. Think of the Princess and the Pea: You can take things on and feel them physically.
I’m happy to see that you have relatively strong eyebrows. This shows healthy self esteem and conﬁdence. It’s important to let your brows be their naturally strong selves. Women who over pluck can struggle with self esteem issues, and even end up in relationships where they are dominated by others.
You also have what are known as “queen’s eyebrows.” This shows your excellent taste and high principles. People can perceive you as cool and aloof, when in reality, you are feeling shy and anxious. Once again, it is just part of your inherent sensitive nature. As you relax and feel comfortable with someone, your natural warmth will bubble to the surface and allow your heart to open.
I daresay that you are a perfectionist, and maybe a bit controlling. You love to be pampered. You have a beautiful strong nose, and this shows your potential for personal power. People who mess with their noses mess with their power. Think of Michael Jackson. The nose also relates to the decade of the 40’s. Michael’s original nose showed a wonderful decade, but he whittled it down to nothing, and his life fell apart. He literally lost the tip of his nose, which relates to age 50, the age that he died. Isn’t that amazing?
I see in you a naturally positive outlook on life, and you have an extra dose of charm and magnetism. Communication is important. There is also a heart desire for intimate connection. Don’t suppress this. It is so important for you to make heart connections, while knowing you are vulnerable to being hurt. You need variety, change, and to surround yourself with things and people that you love. You want to have fun!
Gala, I love that you are in the process of developing purpose and joy lines. Joy lines are the lines that radiate out from the corners of your eyes when you smile. Think about the rays of the sun. These show that you are experiencing true joy in your life, and your heart is continuing to open as you go through life.
Purpose lines are the vertical lines that go from the nose to the corners of your mouth. They are also known as Fa Lin lines. These show that you are living in accordance with your life’s purpose. This does not mean career, but rather your own inner design. These are lines to be celebrated, and are wrinkles you are supposed to get. People who eliminate these lines can ﬁnd that they’ve steered off course and start to ﬂounder. I personally know someone that this happened to.
People want you as a friend. You have a lot of integrity, and are hard working and tenacious. It is important that you have regular doses of fun. You may need to retreat to your cave, especially when you’re upset. Under stress, you can become ﬂustered and have a hard time making a decision. Your escape can be to ﬂy out of town. You may achieve some level of fame, but you will always require private time. You can end up in the spotlight, and be “seen.” You can struggle with empathy and soaking in energy. Your destiny is to spread love.”
Extra for experts
If you’re as intrigued as I am, and you’d like to do a little bit of face reading on your own, this guide to eyes is great, as is this piece on what 8 features on your face tell about you. You can even read the moles on your body! Dr Oz has a brief overview on his site, too. The best part about these pages is that everything I read on them was super-accurate! Incredible.
Who knew your face could say so much?! I’m completely enthralled by the whole thing. Thank you so much, Shannon, for introducing me to this amazing practice!
Always working on developing more joy lines,
11 April 2013, 13:56
My favourite bag... And a Disneyland portrait.
As much as I love to travel, coming home is just as sweet. I love to lace up my Nike Frees and trot across town, getting reacquainted with my favourite city. I love to cue up Q-Tip and turn my speakers to full blast. I love doting on Hank and Dolly, and watching MotoGP with my husband!
My flight from Los Angeles arrived at JFK at 7pm, just in time for me to catch a glorious sunset on my way home. Every time I cross the Williamsburg Bridge, with that view up the island of iconic skyscrapers, I am filled with the excitement and wonder I felt when I first visited NYC in 2006. Will the love affair ever end?
California was good to us, though. The Blogcademy: Los Angeles was a complete blast. We couldn’t have picked a cooler venue — McCadden Space is like a mid-century wonderland — and when you throw a photobooth and some hot 80’s tunes into the mix, you can’t ask for much more! We were blessed to have Caroline to shoot the hell out of it, too. I can’t wait to show you more as soon as we get the pictures back!
Shauna and I at the Coffee Bean; Kat outside Urban Outfitters; at Disneyland; with Amy at Umamicatessen; with Kandee in class; with Jazzi in Los Feliz. Yes, we are obsessed with Instax rainbow film!
J’adore! I completed my Invisalign treatment yesterday! (I’ll write all about it soon!) KALE This t-shirt, because, I mean, wow Gin and tonics made by the one and only RockNRoll Bride! Packing our suitcases with glitter-dipped feathers, sparkly bows, multi-coloured tassels, Ring Pops, and hand-drawn paper dolls… Our L.A. headquarters, otherwise known as the BLOFT Talking about blogger conspiracies with Jazzi! Getting my flapper on at Playclothes in Burbank Pepto-Bismol pink bathrooms Mind-blowing tarot readings from Paige Being so tired after day one of L.A. that I had to put on a Notorious BIG shirt and a pair of holographic leggings and just get horizontal Laughing until I cried with Kandee (my new favourite person) The best roof in the known universe Making the whole class sing Happy Birthday to Kat (who immediately went as pink as her hair!) Getting the best compliment from a woman wearing an extreme wig at the 99c Only store: “Girl, you WEARIN’ that hat!” Adventures on Hollywood Blvd Getting really 90’s and tying my sweater around my waist Green juice Shauna eating a 49c donut for breakfast Wifi on planes (a DELIGHT) Stacks of photos on my desk Being home in my creative bunker!
<a href="https://twitter.com/galadarling">galadarling</a> is wearing the necomeme. <a href="https://t.co/fdL8gXIMiV" title="https://vine.co/v/bTEzXrLhhBz">vine.co/v/bTEzXrLhhBz</a></p>— Vivian Mak Urata (vivianmakurata) April 8, 2013
Finally, at the end of The Blogcademy: Los Angeles day two, Vivian put a pair of Necomeme on my head and made a Vine. The Necomeme can read your brainwaves and moves the ears accordingly! I mean, amazing. I LOVE these. So cool!
Wiggling my ears at you,
10 April 2013, 09:02
Los Angeles is a real drag without a car… And even with a car, it can be a nightmare! Constant traffic, impossible parking and insane drivers combine to make getting around the city a real challenge. When I visit this palm tree-festooned metropolis, hiring a car is the last thing on my mind, and I usually end up relying on friends to make my way around the city.
That all changed on this trip, though. I will never have to rely on a friend again, because I discovered Lyft!
It all started when Elvina, the owner of our AirBnB digs, suggested we use one of her drivers to get a pick-up from the airport. Clocking in at only $40, it seemed like a better solution than dealing with some gruff taxi driver.
The guy who picked us up, Stephen, told us that, in addition to driving for Elvina, he also drove for a variety of other ride-sharing programs, including Lyft and SideCar. He was driving a Nissan Leaf (100% electric!) and spoke so highly of the whole system that I was completely intrigued. He was so nice and cool and not-awkward that I downloaded both the Lyft and SideCar apps to my phone immediately.
The next morning, Kat and I used Lyft to go to the Beverly Center… And back again!
Lyft is so easy to use: you open the app on your phone, it pinpoints you on a map, and tells you how far away the closest driver is. Once you request a “lyft”, it will show you a picture of the driver and the car, as well as track where they are on a map. They arrive, you get in, and you go!
Over the course of a week, we met so many new people through Lyft and had so many interesting conversations! We got one of our favourite drivers, Justin, at least four times, and then saw him in Urban Outfitters (what a stalker!). (Bonus: I just listened to his podcast and it is SO FUNNY.) Erin took us to the 99c Only store, waited for us in the parking lot, and then took photos of us with our gigantic, newly-inflated B balloons. (She also laughed when I told her about the Cuchini, which gives her points in my book!)
Kat squished in the back of Erin’s car with a whole lot of B balloons!
Every single driver we had was so friendly and easygoing. They all have unopened bottles of water and gum for passengers, as well as chargers for your Android or iPhone. Oh, and did I mention that every Lyft car is adorned with a big pink fuzzy moustache?!
The best part is that the whole system is donation-based, and it all goes through your phone, so there’s no awkward fumbling with your wallet or frantic tip-calculation. So when you arrive at your destination, you smile, say thank you, and exit the vehicle with grace. Then the app on your phone will prompt you to make a donation. The donation is suggested by the driver, and you can either increase or decrease it. Then you rate the driver out of 5 stars, and hit submit. The money is instantly taken off your credit card.
It couldn’t be easier than that!
We used Lyft for the duration of the trip, and used a taxi service once — and even then, only because Lyft doesn’t open until 9am. Our experience with the taxi was so unfriendly and felt so archaic that it reinforced our desire to keep using ride-sharing services! Ride(share) or die!
The concept of getting in a car with a “stranger” is a little intimidating at first, but all the Lyft drivers get extremely thorough background checks, and we never had a bad experience. Everyone we interacted with left your average taxi driver in the dust!
The whole thing is so genius, I love it. I actually can’t wait to go back to California to use it again! Lyft doesn’t exist in NYC yet, but SideCar does, as well as UBERx. You should definitely check them out. I think they’re ushering in a new age, and I am so excited about where the sharing economy might take us next!
The bad news is that these services have had a lot of clampdowns, all in the name of “safety” and regulation. What a load of hogwash! I believe this is just about the governing bodies wanting to get a big greedy slice of the action. I feel 100% more safe in a car whose driver I can rate, than with some anonymous maniac!
As Nick Allen from SideCar said,
We’re spent more than half a million dollars and countless hours defending our position to regulators and it’s a distraction. Big transportation problems face our nation. Rideshare is a great solution. SideCar has the potential to transform and offer a fundamentally different model for addressing critical environmental, economic and quality of life issues across our nation. We believe the right to share resources is an important principal for the entire sharing economy so we’re pushing on. We’re going to defend the right to share resources to regulators, in court, to SFO and anyone else who stands in the path of innovation.
I drove back to the airport with Stephen yesterday morning, and he was so happy when I told him we’d been using Lyft all week. Lyft’s tagline is “Your friend with a car”, and it really feels like that! Lyft is all about the community, and it makes you realise how much we’ve bought into that concept of “stranger danger”. Most people are just like us. Most people are friendly, helpful and cool. Why not utilise that?
I love ride-sharing. I support it. I think there should be more of it. You should definitely give it a shot!