With Utmost Importance…

I’ve compiled a list of things you (as my lovely readers) should try to do within the next few weeks (if not for yourself, do it for me and imagine me sitting, surrounded by papers and books, studying for finals and writing my term paper):

  1. Read and then watch The Great Gatsby
  2. Buy a box of Kleenex because almost every good show on TV is gearing up or has already had its season finale.
  3. Prepare for the exciting return of Pretty Little Liars (because you know you like that show…deep, deep, deep down, somewhere inside of you)
  4. Rewatch all the Marvel superhero movies and then go see Iron Man 3 because it. is. the. bomb (literally).
  5. Listen to my wonderful playlist: Serendipity
  6. Read Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (but don’t tell me what happens at the end because I’m still halfway through)
  7. Make a new friend (I made two new friends at Starbucks the other day with a simple hello–just do it)
  8. Adopt a Betta fish and name it after your favourite literary character (what else would you name a Betta fish?)
  9. Surprise a friend with a cake
  10. Clean out your closet and donate your old clothes to a thrift shop (it’s way past spring cleaning time and I’m sure one or two of you forgot…)

La Lune et Le Soleil

You’d think this post is about the sun and the moon and something French, right? Well, it’s not. It does have some relation to the sun and the moon, but the title of this post is in reference to one of my t-shirts (a muscle shirt I might add–yes, I’m working on those biceps). This particular t-shirt was expensive (or at least for the girl who tends to scour the sale section of Forever 21 and American Eagle to find a t-shirt under $15): it cost me about $30, but it was totally worth it and I had a gift card for the store, so it was a good deal. I was also pretty excited because it was my first Urban Outfitters piece of apparel–I had only bought notebooks and phone cases before. When I go to Urban Outfitters  I tend to press my nose against the glass and drool over the cameras in the window (too much information Ariel–reason number 1,000,000,000 why people should never, ever let me outside of the comfort of my house). But that’s beside the point.

I had wanted this particular shirt for quite some time, and I’m still not exactly sure why I wanted it so badly. I’m not one to spend that much money on a shirt, especially one without sleeves.  But I really loved the design, the sun and the moon, the eye in the center (similar to the one on the dollar bill), and I especially loved the zodiac signs surrounding the sun and the moon. The shirt is black and white and splattered with gold paint, too.

So, Ariel, why write about some $30 t-shirt sitting in your closet when you could be writing about life events, or actually interesting things (if you aren’t asking that yet…then you should sign up to follow this blog via email as soon as possible)?

It’s time for the “Mid-Blog-Post-Moral-of-the-Day” part of the post: Well, you now know exactly where Ariel buys all her clothes, so if you feel so moved by this truly inspirational post, then you can shop like me, dress like me, and be just like me. Or you could be yourself and shop like yourself and dress like yourself. Both options are tempting. 

Another question: So, Ariel, why is that t-shirt so important and what’s the point of this blog post (more importantly: Ariel, why do you ask yourself so many questions and force your readers to experience “a day in the life of Ariel’s brain?”)?  I really like astrological signs and symbolism. Not only do I like the detailed depictions of the moon and the sun and the stars, but I also love reading horoscopes. While many people are skeptical of  whether horoscopes are reliable and such, I enjoy reading them and seeing how they play out in my life. Sure, a lot of the horoscopes I read have absolutely nothing to do with me and I just ignore those. But, if you can find a good app (or sometimes the local paper has good horoscopes), they can be really helpful and guide you. Let’s take my horoscope from May 9th, for instance: I have a PC with (sarcastic drum roll please…) Windows 8 and on the Start menu I have an app called “Daily Horoscope” (creative, I know). On the 9th, it talked about having a decision to make with an upcoming job interview, learning to accept new changes in my life, and to keep my head in the game (I summarized it…a lot). Most of that is relevant to my life right now: I just applied for a job, I am learning to accept some recent changes in my life, and I’m learning to have a better focus on the important things in life. I realize that may not have been the best example for horoscopes, but just trust me on this. Horoscopes can really guide you and set your path straight.

For those of you who don’t know, I consider myself to be Buddhist. I strive to follow and respect the Four Noble Truths and I kept the Noble Eightfold Path in mind as I go about daily life. I also like to meditate. I really became immersed in Buddhism and some Zen practices after learning to meditate two years ago. Meditation is truly amazing. To clear one’s mind is incredibly hard and takes years to fully master. Sometimes it’s nice to take a break from the stresses of society, to turn off the laptop and iPhone, and just to let yourself sit (or stand) at peace. When my Beta fish, Albus Dumbledore, was alive, I would place him on the ground next to me and listen to chants and meditate with him. Don’t judge.

And finally, I always, always, always carry the symbol for “om” with me. Om is a sacred mantra seen in Buddhism and other Dharmic religions. The symbol for “om” is beautiful, and if you haven’t seen it, you should definitely take a look. I draw the symbol on papers, on my friends’ wrists, and I even made a large chalk drawing of the symbol in the courtyard at my school. In Buddhism, “om” is used as an introduction to Vidya-Sadaksari, a sacred mantra. Pretty exciting, huh? If you want to learn more about “om,” take a look at this super user-friendly guide: A SUPER USER-FRIENDLY GUIDE TO OMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

If you’re interested in other belief systems like the astrological and Buddhist signs above, here are some more systems and signs I enjoy and find interesting:

  • Druid Tree Signs (sort of like horoscopes, but with trees!)
  • Auras
  • Viewing one’s body as a temple
  • Astrological hand readings (i.e. the Plain of Mars, Luna, Venus, Upper Mars, etc.)
  • Body Wisdom (positive and negative energy)
  • Ensō, Karma, and Samsara

Falling Dominoes

Given that I’ve been extremely busy this past week, and I still want to post, I’ve decided to make a fun post! I wanted to title it “The Procrastination Post,” mostly because I’m basically going to give you a list of some of the best time wasting websites ever. You’re welcome. In the end, I titled this post “Falling Dominoes” after one of the websites below. Enjoy!

How to Procrastinate like a PRO: 

  1. Falling Dominoes: a Coca Cola mini-site, sort of like a Rube Goldberg device near the end
  2. No Moving: a really relaxing little website
  3. Automatic Flatterer: need some motivation?
  4. Procatinator: loading a cat and buffering a song–what more could you want?
  5. sanger.dk: for my fellow dog lovers
  6. Falling, Falling: relaxing for some, I suppose? I actually hate this one because it hurts my head
  7. Has the Large Hadron Collider Destroyed the World Yet?
  8. Passive Aggressive Password Machine: not really very helpful, nor amusing in the slightest. Pointless, really.
  9. iwastesomuchtime.com: amen.
  10. Patience is a Virtue: it really is…good luck
  11. The Pi Song
  12. Definitely Hall of Shame: Are you one of those people who consistently misspells ‘definitely’? You’re not alone.

The Truth About Tumblr

For those of you not yet affiliated with the magical world of Tumblr, “run, run and never get involved in this” (Dan Howell).

So, now that’s out the way, what is Tumblr? Well…it’s…really, really hard to explain. There’s this unspoken contract when you sign up for your first Tumblr account that one should never, ever, divulge the secrets of the Tumblr universe, society, club…whatever you might call it. When searching for a definition, I came across:

  • “The end of your social life” (Urban Dictionary). 
  • “The meaning of life” (Urban Dictionary).
  • “There’s so many cats” (vlogbrothers).
  • “You just won’t understand. Tumblr is life and culture. It is the epitome of culture and the total antithesis of the modern day pop culture which is so ingrained in today’s children. There is no possible way to explain such a phenomenon to others. You either get it or you don’t” (Urban Dictionary).
  • “A popular, fast-acting, back-door virus that can be planted on one’s computer in under 3.5 seconds. Commonly found on all Mozilla Firefox, Safari, or any Windows system” (Urban Dictionary).
  • “It is everything and nothing. It is the beginning and the end. The creator and the destroyer. The launcher and sinker of a thousand ships. The purveyor of GIFs. A writhing, chaotic mass of fandoms and communities, eternally struggling against one another, but ever entwined. That which we love and hate, and which loathes and adores us equally in return; and we call it ‘Tumblr.’ The great and terrible, everything and nothing, the beginning, and the end”  (a fellow Tumblr user).

What might one find whilst scrolling through their Tumblr feed? Another unspoken law of Tumblr is never to share such things. However, this unspoken law was broken ages ago and it’s easy to come across Tumblr posts every day. Tumblr is really just a blend of Potterheads, indie-boho music and style, selfies, Trekkies, quotes, cats, cats, cats, GIFs, hamburglars (don’t ask), hormones, emotions, Whovians, people who constantly complain about being “forever alone”, sarcasm, Supernatural fans, high-functioning sociopaths, Gleeks, and so, so much more.

Yeah…Tumblr’s pretty deep. It’s also pretty exclusive: “You either get it or you don’t” (Urban Dictionary).

A Biased Post Towards Tea

I’m just going to say it: tea is better than coffee. End of story. End of discussion.

While there are many coffee choices at your local coffee shop or at home, there are so many more wonderful flavours of tea that you can buy. From passion to chocolate to coconut rice cake–tea is far more diverse. Tea is also a lot cheaper than coffee, especially at coffee shops (note: coffee shops are clearly biased as they’re known as “coffee” shops).

Coffee can be good for energy, but so can tea! It doesn’t even have to be caffeinated. The difference, however, is that with a coffee, you’ll be super energetic for maybe an hour and then crash. Then you have to have another coffee. Tea is just so refreshing and awakening (there’s a Tazo tea flavour called Awake). Vote tea for all your energy-boosting needs.

I also have English heritage. So.

Favourite Teas:

  • Anything from Teavana. Teavana is yet another one of those stores where the majority of the world can only barely afford to buy the little tray to hold your tea bag. BUT if you walk past their store front enough times every month or so, you’ll have sampled enough tea to fill half a mug (though, okay, one of my friends got me Teavana tea for my birthday and I try to preserve it by using as little as possible when scooping the tea leaves into my teapot).
  • Republic of Tea’s Pomegranate Vanilla tea
  • Tazo Passion Tea (iced or hot!)
  • The blueberry tea in Kylie and Catherine’s tea corner
  • Republic of Tea’s Get Happy tea

Enjoy posts about tea? Check out some other tea-themed posts: Cup-o-Tea & Tea Kettles

And here’s what you missed….

Clearly, I’ve been pretty bad at this “I promise to write once a week” thing…I guess we all knew it would inevitably slide at one point or another. But don’t fret! I’m back and ready to write (or…at least I hope so). Usually, I’m just sitting at an empty desk with writers’ block and a cup-o-tea, but nooo. My work load wasn’t just handed in a big, large, mountain-like pile. This mountain of work was thrown at my face and I had to pick it all up before I could start any of it. Long story short…I’ve just been really, really busy. And with what, you might ask? Well….let me sum up the last month or so:

  1. I tried this new thing called ‘exercise’ for about two weeks. Then I stopped.
  2. My internet died about 100 times each week, preventing me from watching oh-so-important YouTube videos and procrastinating on Tumblr. It was so  inconvenient. I actually had to get work done. Ugh. #arielproblems
  3. I learned about truth tables in my Advanced Integrated Math class (which, by the way, apparently consists of every math topic from trigonometry to calculus–yes…I’m confused, too). I fondly remember one class period about three weeks ago in which one girl literally asked, “”If true, then false, is false. If true, then true, is true, but only if false is–wait no, I messed it up. So wait. If true, then false, then false, then true, but only true if false, then false, then true and so forth. No…wait. If true then false then–“–you get the idea.
  4. My little sister retweeted a retweet of her own tweet on Twitter. I didn’t even know it was possible.
  5. I took my dog for a run around the block. He got tired after about ten minutes and we had to get the car to pick him up. Learning that my dog is lazier than I am made me feel better about how fit I’m not (note the wording here…).
  6. Sarah Dessen visited my school while I was in math class and I missed her. Worst. Day. Ever.
  7. My lab partner and I were working on a triage lab and we got to the last patient (and by this point we had run out of supplies) and decided to cure him with, and I quote, “agua and chocolate.” Please, please, please, please don’t ever, ever, ever try to recruit me as a doctor.
  8. I was sick for a day and apparently missed more than a day’s worth of assignments. It always happens to me.
  9. I completed my first official portfolio piece for IB Studio Art entitled ‘Solstice’.
  10. I wrote multiple essays, read a bunch of poems, and did about three biology labs in less than a week. That was fun. Meanwhile, I caught up on quizzes and tests that I missed while I had been sick.
  11. I started watching Gossip Girl.
  12. And then I learned that Penn Badgley is from Tacoma, Washington. TACOMA. AS IN 40 MINS OUTSIDE OF SEATTLE ON A GOOD DAY TACOMA.
  13. I had an epiphany at about 6pm one evening and decided to run as a ‘write-in’ candidate (i.e. not an official candidate) and probably scared the crap out of the people running (um if you’re reading this, I really only did it spur of the moment and don’t hate me because you’re both really great candidates–I just got really excited all of a sudden and then people supported me and I don’t do well under too much excitement).
  14. I ordered a 10 foot long iPhone charging cable because my phone won’t reach my bed and that is a problem. Why? Because I really, really like my Sleep Cycle app.
  15. I tweeted (jokingly) about a company’s product in which you type…words (hint) and they replied. They were really concerned, too.
  16. Someone started complaining to me about their Prada purse and I don’t usually mind seeing people dressed up in Kate Spade apparel, holding their Prada purse, with their Coach shoes. BUT EVERYONE STOP FOR A MINUTE BECAUSE I CAN’T AFFORD THE LITTLE PAPER WRAPPING THEY PUT AROUND GIFT CARDS FOR PRADA SO PLEASE REFRAIN FROM COMPLAINING.
  17. Had a weekend-long choir workshop with composer Stephen Hatfield. Then I lost my voice for three days.
  18. The new employee at my orthodontist is actually Leonardo DiCaprio’s doppelgänger.
  19. I sat in the orthodontist’s office for an hour until they remembered I was there and decided it was about time to actually conduct my appointment.
  20. I spent an entire day crying because I missed We Day Seattle. I also spent this day glued to my laptop watching the podcast of the We Day presentations. It was truly inspirational.
  21. I read Shakespeare’s As You Like It, which I loved–I really did.  First of all, it was my very first Shakespeare play (*gasp*–I know). It was really great until…SPOILER….Orlando and Oliver suddenly and magically have a third brother about four pages from the end. Okay, seriously Shakespeare? I know you’re super famous and everything….but that really doesn’t give you the right to just throw a character at me at the last minute. This brother’s name was Jacques, who was not to be confused with Jacques from every other scene in the drama. Second problem: in the last act, Shakespeare added another character. His name was Hymen. Enough said. 

Yes. So. I’ve been a little busy. But hey….I’m back. Love you all.

Support Marriage Equality

  1. Love is love. Enough said.
  2. Straight marriage will be just as meaningful as it was before.
  3. Fear of same-sex marriage is fear of change. Fear of normality.
  4. Separation of church and state. Again: enough said.
  5. There are no qualifications for love.
  6. Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Sweden already legally recognize same-sex marriage.
  7. Liberty and justice for all.
  8. Washington State just recently passed a marriage equality bill (Referendum 74). “Get on our level.”