12 November, 2012

Never Let Me Go

Keira Knightley has such a talent for making me like her characters less every time.  I didn’t like this book when I first read it my sophomore year, I didn’t like it the time I read it my junior year, and I suppose I still don’t find its meaning, but the movie was aesthetically pleasing.  I always feel so horridly pretentious when I feel like I would very much love to live in a pretty world as the characters do, completely disregarding the actuality of their situations (um, you know, the fact that they’re all meant to die before they’re thirty, and all).  Whoever was in charge of costume design is a genius and I’d like to hang out with them one afternoon or two.

Congratulations to Andrew Garfield for his face, and his ability to dress himself in real life as he does in this film.

30 October, 2012

How To Go To A Concert (Also, The Two Door Cinema Club Concert)


I lost my concert-attending virginity at exactly 7:38 p.m. on the Friday of October 26th, 2012.  Just last Friday.  I am no longer a concert virgin, if you will.  The morning after, when we were both fully conscious, my sister and I argued whether I actually lost it the second I stepped into the venue, but I think it was official when the opening band started playing.

See, adorable junior-in-high-school Jessica really wanted to go to a Two Door Cinema Club concert last winter.  She really did.  She cried with excitement.  She didn’t know when was the last time she cried over excitement, but she didn’t think it possible until it happened to her.  I mean, she was about to lose her concert virginity to Two Door Cinema Club at the House of Blues.  Anyway, she called three days too late, and it was sold out, and she hated herself for two weeks after.

Of course, a true miracle happened, in the spirit of this hellish extended summer, where I got all the grades necessary (this is still how deals are made apparently?) and purchased tickets about three months in advance.  When I printed them, and they were physically in my hands, I couldn’t stop holding them.  I, like, sniffed them.  They didn’t smell like tickets (duh, ‘cause I printed them) but they looked like them and they had my last name on them and they said TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB | OCTOBER 26TH, 2012 | SOMA SAN DIEGO and I stared at them and I got a little bit of teardrop on one of them.

Look at my cute, naive outfit of choice from the night before!  I am adorable, really.  I mean, I busted out tights.  And a sweater.  And a skirt.  I mean.  I mean.  Luckily, my friend, my namesake, Jessica J., straightened me out, telling me that it was going to be literally five-hundred-and-thirty-two degrees inside, so I should just wear shorts and a t-shirt.  And, guys…  it is so hard…  to watch a pretty outfit go… and replace it… with denim shorts… a striped t-shirt…and tennis shoes…

I think the best part about the hours leading up to the concert was when we stopped at the In-N-Out down the street (you bet I’ll never stop rubbing in the fact that I’m always no more than five minutes away from an In-N-Out) and I spotted a boy in a Chambray shirt, a beanie, and gauges, walking with another boy with those jackets that look like ponchos (?), and I told Jessica (not me speaking in third person, my BFFFFFFFFF Jessica) “God, they’re walking to the concert?” and my sister—she’s so adorable—said: “How do you know they’re going to the concert?” and Jessica and I both whipped our heads and raised and eyebrow and called her a sweet, sweet child.

Also, my first time at a concert was stained.  I cut in line.  At the very front.  Where two other friends were waiting and they let us cut.  At the front of the line.  And bless the people already there, they didn’t beat us up.

They had two opening bands (I didn’t know this was a thing? I’m such a toddler): Bad Veins and Friends (gosh, guys, listen to ‘A Thing Like This’, live, it was the best) and combined, they were like an hour and half, or something of the sort.

I think this is a pretty nice segue to (because I am an expert, I’ve attended one concert, in a tiny venue):
by Jessica Sandoval
  1. It is most likely going to get hot if it’s an enclosed space.  Even if it’s in the middle of the winter.  Even if it’s Hurricane Sandy right outside (that is a joke please button up don’t go outside it is dangerous don’t do it)—wear shorts.  Or a skirt, even, if you’d like. Jeans will make you sweat and stick to your legs, as will tights, most likely.  I am so glad I didn’t wear the tights and skirt.
  2. Do not, for the love of God, bring a bag.  I made this stupid mistake.  My friends warned me, too!  I thought I needed it for my wallet and my phone and, like, my lipstick.  Jesus Christ.  My friend Jessica stuck her money in her shoe and carried her phone or put it in her breast pocket.  I, on the other hand, kept hitting people with my bag, or kept having it thud against my leg when I jumped.  For the love of all things holy, just carry your phone in your hand and stick your money in your shoe/pocket/bra/hair.  You do not, in fact, need anything else.
  3. Drink water before.  But not so much you need to pee during the concert.  Before the concert even started, I panicked and asked Jessica, like, five times whether she thought we might get dehydrated and passed out.  She got so tired of hearing it she said “We might. We’ll be fine.” and I panicked but my throat didn’t get dry and the security guards had water bottles at the front that they kept tossing at as, they were total sweethearts.  Anyway, don’t get dehydrated, but pee right before.
  4. Bring an extra hair tie.  Or two.
  5. Don’t be the asshat that starts pushing everyone around.  Kids got kicked out of the show ‘cause they started a “wave” in the back and caused a Domino effect that made people fall over and push all the way to the front.
  6. Apparently, try to bring earplugs.  On the car ride home, Jessica’s father told us that the loud boom of the speakers was dangerous for our hearing, and because we’re dumb there’s , like, 60% more chance that we’re going to go deaf by 25.  Not really, but you won’t look stupid, you’ll hear the music just the same, and you won’t have an annoying ringing in your ears that night when your ear gets close to the pillow.
  7. If it’s a standing concert, don’t lose your friend.  I was pressed against the railing, at the way front, and when those idiots started pushing again, I somehow was standing right behind my friend Jessica.  It was unfair, but, seriously, I’m 4’11, I could get lost for days in between all those people, don’t die, place a tracking device in your friend’s ear, and you’ll be okay.
  8. If you don’t want to be in the way back, don’t get there an hour before the show starts!!!!!!!!!!1111! Be like my friends, the pioneers, who got there seven hours before.

Two Door Cinema Club came on at 8:46 p.m. (ahem) and I screeched like I never have before.  Two Door Cinema Club is my favorite band (or at least, is so far), and last year I swore I couldn’t possibly die without having seeing them live.  I also swore the same with Bon Iver…but…we know… how that turned… out…  For weeks leading up to the concert, I kept fawning over the thought of just SEEING them.  In front of me.  Less than a few meters away from me.

And they were, Lord Jesus, they were.

I mentioned I was at the way front, right?  Alex was positioned in the middle, Sam was at the far left, and Kevin was at the far right, right in front of me.  He looked…  adorable.  And, dare I say it, looked into our general direction, like, ten times the entire show.

They played eighteen songs, both from Tourist History and Beacon, and came out for an encore, and I kept jumping around, and I even threw an arm in the air, and I screamed all the lyrics, and I fell in love with this kid who kept closing his eyes and whispering the lyrics to himself, and his hair was in that beautiful way where it swoops up at the front, and, wow, it was just the perfect first concert.

I plan on going to a Two Door Cinema Club concert every day for the rest of my life.  Every day.  And, gosh, now that I know anything is possible, I am going to an obnoxious amount of concerts now.

Hurray for my concert!

THINGS TO DO IN SAN DIEGO: If you live in San Diego (shoutout! or something! tell me!) or in Southern California or plan to visit San Diego sometime, you should plan to go to SOMA—it’s next to the Sports Arena, it’s much bigger than I thought, and concerts are, apparently, the greatest fun in the entire world.  Also, my ticket was only $23, and I almost fell out of my seat.

16 October, 2012

Drop It, It’s Dead


I’ve learned a pretty good amount of lessons lately, and I want to share some of them, because sometimes learning from other people’s experiences, even if you don’t need the advice, can inspire you to do something better today.
I started school in the last week of July, and I’m now a senior in high school.  I keep forgetting.  My birthday was on the twenty-fourth, and I also keep forgetting that I’m seventeen.
My “senior project” that I set out for myself (I don’t know, so far, from all the books and movies I’ve seen, it looks like a every character ever, during the summer before their senior year, decides that they want to do something with their life, and that it should happen during their senior year?) was to start a magazine at our school.  Not the school newspaper—a magazine.

My original whimsical and/or wistful, hazy dream was that a bunch of girls with the same sense of aesthetic would meet in a room during lunch once or twice a week, and I’d bring my laptop to school, and we’d play music that felt right and cut stuff up that we’d treasure and then, in between moments, talk about things that are stupid that we’d later regret calling stupid, and then build long-lasting relationships that would last throughout the year and maybe, if lucky, a year and half after high school.
Instead, it became a pretty big idea, and then we were thinking about making it an actual magazine with actual contributions and then getting it printed and handing it out or selling it at school.
Simply put, after the idea was getting bigger, the next few weeks were me enduring one or two panic attacks too many.  I stressed out over how I didn’t think I was ready for the responsibility; how I don’t know how to talk in front of an audience yet; how I need to do this to have an impressive application for college; how, if I didn’t do it, I was going to regret not doing something exciting in my senior year my entire life; and, worst of all, how I was wasting so much time thinking and staring at myself in mirrors, hoping my reflection would somehow reveal some groundbreaking news, or something.

Because I’m incredible and didn’t take a Health class my freshman year, I am now.  We’ve been learning about mental illnesses lately, and today we learned about depression.  The causes of depression, our handout said, were:
  • A shortage or imbalance of mood-influencing chemicals in the brain, along with possible side-effects in medication, illnesses, and infections.
  • People with low self-esteem or those who constantly degrade and punish themselves are more prone to becoming depressed.
  • Genetics—people can “inherit” depression.
  • Certain severe, life-altering situations can cause depression.
Among these, piling on too many responsibilities and getting incredibly stressed can lead to becoming depressed, as well.

With the piled-on stress (I don’t even remember signing up for my AP Art History class, but that happened), I decided I didn’t feel like taking a chance.  So I decided to just not.  No to the magazine.
But it’s upsetting, because this thing mattered to me.  I really wanted to do this. It would be my senior experience.  Plus, it was my last chance of being impressive for colleges.  Because, unfortunately, my grades for the past few years aren’t a correct representation of who I am.
The thing I am grateful for, though, is that this experience has taught me things about myself.  I decided I needed to manage my time.  I decided I didn’t want to risk having my anxiety get worse.  I didn’t want to hate myself every day the entire year.  And, I decided that my senior experience would be me growing as a writer.  Practicing as much as I can, send pieces out to be published, read as much as I could to be able to proudly attribute “writer” to who I am.
Basically, even if it was just this one time, I learned to think about the consequences and how it could affect my life and my happiness.  Which is also something that I learned…  respect your body and how happy you are.
Which leads to something else (how convenient, all these life lessons tied together!)—work hard, play hard.  I used to have an unhealthy “it all works out in the end” philosophy, which seems like it’s a good philosophy, but I was irresponsible with it.  For everything to work out in the end, you also have to make sure you contribute.
Although I admit it’s too late, this year I’ve been working my hardest and studying like I never have before—and I can honestly say I’ve never been so proud of the straight A’s I currently have and all the 100%’s I’ve been getting.  I have this additional personal rule where I swore I would never apologize for not posting consistently or try to explain why there hasn’t been an update in a while, but I felt like I should record in history the fact that internet use has, in fact, been limited because of my sudden dedication to, like, my life.
I should also warn you I won’t read this post over before I publish it, this is pure honesty mixed with embarrassing word vomit at its finest.
I’m grateful for how much I’ve learned about myself.  I used to think I was a free spirit with a bottomless supply of energy, but last week I fell asleep in class for the first time.  I have heard of people who say that they fell asleep in a class (“Yo dude, Econ was so boring, she lectured the entire time, I passed out and slept the entire time.”), but I never actually believe them, because, well, who falls asleep in class?  Who is actually, physically able to fall asleep in class?
At least, that’s what I used to think.
After a night of crying over my neat pile of textbooks and studying, I went to bed at two o’clock in the morning.  But, I the brilliant person I am, drank coffee all night to stay awake.  So guess who only slept two hours that one night?
After about 15 minutes in my Art History classroom, with the lights dimmed and my teacher lecturing us from the back of the room, I gently placed my head on my textbook and woke up ten minutes later to find my teacher still lecturing, talking about Byzantine art.
Jesus Christ.
Guys, love your bodies.  Please.

03 July, 2012

I Hear the Coast by Nightfall, So Sure to Keep You Dreaming


I’m being faced with the dilemma of not knowing how to start this paragraph?  Usually I find a suitable way to come across as both not-trying-to-funny-but-look-at-my-humor and I-don’t-take-myself-seriously-but-I-think-I’m-fairly-smart to appeal enough to you, but the entire month of June has been a month of things being revealed to me, and I’m fighting so many internal debates on what to reveal and how to express things and whether or not I should stop trying to say anything anymore—but then I remember this is the internet and I laugh.

But nonetheless, even if this is the internet, I am trying to take my writing and what I’m trying to tell you today seriously, so we’ll just accept that ridiculous first paragraph as an appropriate introduction to… this.

I had the lovely opportunity to visit Maui for ten days, and even though I didn’t discover many things about myself on this trip as much as finding new things that please my aesthetics, I did think about who I want to be in the future—whether this says something about who I am right now I guess would be up to you.

I did take over 900 pictures the entire trip (my memory card is obviously made out of gold) and I didn’t feel like slowing down your computer to the point where it only scrolls down an inch every two minutes, so I wanted to spread the stories (I cannot believe how eventful the entire trip was!) and pictures into separate posts.  Non-spammy or repetitive, I promise.

This was my third time ever going over water in an airplane, but I was still the most nervous I had ever been.  I was especially nervous as we ascended and we flew over the clouds and farther up we went.  But then my sister got sleepy and I was saved the queasy feeling after she shut the window.

My sister and I sat in the last row, with my parents somewhere else in the plane, something that had never happened to either of us before—but we were so happy for our seating arrangement, because the last seat on our row was occupied by a lovely young woman who had positively the most adorable laugh and struck up a conversation with the young man in the row across from her.  My sister and I listened in as they kept joking with each other and talking about how she loved San Diego and how he loved his stay and how she was surprised, didn’t he live there? and how no, he was from Maui, he was just visiting, and how she was visiting Maui, actually, and how she might need a tour guide.

Sabrina and I simply could not contain ourselves, and when we got off the plane, the only thing we did until we finally got out of the airport was brag about how we totally made that romance happen.  We saw them still talking at the baggage claim, and we kept pinching each other for good luck, but then we had to leave and I sent good luck waves their way.

When I was in first grade I read a book from the Junie B. Jones: First Grader series titled Aloha-ha-ha! and I don’t remember which island she went to, but she got received at the airport (or was it the hotel?) with a cool lei and I didn’t get offered any leis, so obviously my trip was ruined.

What I did see a lot of was couples.  With cute little backpacks and bandanas and maps and glasses and dorky running shoes.  And it made my heart hurt and long for the future.

It was weird, June.  I was excited for the future way more than I ever have been.  I liked it.

That was one of my “discoveries”, if you will.  I decided once I graduated college, I was going to be a traveler, among my many other professions I intend to take on.

I read an incredible quote by writer Nick Miller, from his book Isn’t it Pretty to Think So?:
Travel is little beds and cramped bathrooms. It’s old television sets and slow Internet connections. Travel is extraordinary conversations with ordinary people. It’s waiters, gas station attendants, and housekeepers becoming the most interesting people in the world. It’s churches that are compelling enough to enter. It’s McDonald’s being a luxury. It’s the realization that you may have been born in the wrong country. Travel is a smile that leads to a conversation in broken English. It’s the epiphany that pretty girls smile the same way all over the world. Travel is tipping 10% and being embraced for it. Travel is the same white T-shirt again tomorrow. Travel is accented sex after good wine and too many unfiltered cigarettes. Travel is flowing in the back of a bus with giggly strangers. It’s a street full of bearded backpackers looking down at maps. Travel is wishing for one more bite of whatever that just was. It’s the rediscovery of walking somewhere. It’s sharing a bottle of liquor on an overnight train with a new friend. Travel is “Maybe I don’t have to do it that way when I get back home.” It’s nostalgia for studying abroad that one semester. Travel is realizing that “age thirty” should be shed of its goddamn stigma.

Through this trip, I also found out how important working and discipline is.  I hated myself the first half of June because of yet another one of my discoveries, but throughout my month I also learned not to hate myself for my mistakes and take the initiative to find a way to fix them.  The thing is, I took too many things for granted.  I took my education for granted, I took the blessings I’ve been given for granted, and I took my relationships for granted.

I had a terrible idea over what hard work signified.  My mother is an incredibly hard-working person, and I, of course, took this for granted as well.  I remember one time, after I got bored with mindlessly wasting hours on the internet looking at pointless garbage, I went downstairs and found her sitting,quietly and alone, at the kitchen table.  It pained me to see her sitting by herself, and I naively asked her if she was happy, working so much to simply sat at home on an afternoon, staring.

She told me she was so happy.

I didn’t understand.  She never went out with friends (which wasn’t a point I brought up—like her, I don’t jump at the opportunity to go out with friends), she didn’t attempt to occupy her time with television, and she didn’t even like baking, for God’s sake.  I did not want to do that when I grew up, so how could she be “happy”?

I’ll elaborate soon enough.  I feel like it’s too much of some sort of nebula explosion inside of my brain to condense into tiny paragraphs under pictures of the sky, so I’ll find the appropriate words.

Phew.  It was nice to type up a blog post again.

06 June, 2012


One of my favorite feelings is going to Target or Albertson’s and finding an old movie that I used to rent relentlessly from the corner Blockbuster I used to live by, but had now forgotten about, on sale for six or five dollars.  See, a few days ago I thought I was walking into Albertson’s for raspberry extract.  I actually came out with raspberry extract, a tin of Altoids, and Penelope, for five dollars!  When I saw it, I couldn’t believe it!  I hadn’t seen that movie in years, yet I still listed it as my favorite everywhere it required me to fill my favorite movies for.  I bought it because I had to.

I first saw the movie when my dad took my sister, Sabrina, and I for a “daddy date”, where we went to dinner, and then saw Penelope at the theatre.  I am totally making a “:3: face as I type this, but I remember coming home from that “date” and getting a nervous panic attack because I was feeling feelings I had never felt before, and then, after I anxiously told my mom, I realized I was just developing a severe crush on James McAvoy.  And so my love for him began.

Penelope is about a girl (Christina Ricci) who was born with a curse—she has a snout.  For some reason that I am happy to report was beyond me even the first time I saw this movie and thought was the ultimate, perfect movie: everyone finds this incredibly horrid (mostly her mother), so the parents fake her death and hide her away, only revealing her to rich “blue bloods” who can marry her to break the curse.  A reporter and a rich mama’s boy have already seen Penelope, but nobody believes them, so they hire Max Campion (James McAvoy) to secretly take a picture of her if and when she reveals herself to him.

While not Oscar material, this is one of the only films that gives me legitimate “fuzzies” and warm feelings.  There are a bunch of close-ups of James McAvoy’s face, pretty clothes, Christina Ricci’s perfect face—ahem—and Reese Witherspoon.  I’ve picked out your favorite film and you haven’t even seen it yet.  (Unless you have, then please, let’s fangirl about it together?!)