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28 February, 2012

A Crown of Flowers

✍ CURRENTLY WRITING FROM: SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

There are certain places that you’ve never been to before, places you hold close to your heart, places that you could only hope to one day visit.  Places where you’re certain unicorns and chocolate were born, where you know that once you walk out of there for the first time, your life will be changed dramatically.

I had a place close to my heart, too.  That place is Michaels.

See, I have pretty creative friends that actually do things outside their home, unlike me (hello, I went to my first antique store just last week)—and every time I ask where did they get their magical tools to creating magical creations, they shrug and say “Er, Michaels.”  And I shrug and say “Michaels”, too, because goshdarn, it’s all I wanted…  Michaels.

I can now proudly say, though…  that over the weekend…  I became a woman again (I’ve doing a lot of growing recently, apparently).  I went to Michaels for the first time and it was as beautiful as I expected it to be.  Outside the store they were selling fake flower bouquets for 29 cents each—I needed to compose myself before entering the store.  While inside, I grabbed everything I possibly could, and once I recounted my money, had to put some things back (I regret not getting the fancy machine that cuts your cake in half so that you can cleverly fill the inside with frosting, though), and decided to make this project.

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I bought a glue gun for the first time, because I’ve found recently that there have been so many instances where I desperately needed a glue gun, and I didn’t have one.  And let me tell you how fun using a glue gun is…  quite.  Something totally exhilarating in handling a gun that shoots hot glue that burns.

I had seen nifty floral crowns/headbands/what-have-you on the interweb a lot, and I thought they looked really neat and sweet and lovely, so I wanted to make my own!

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I don a crown of flowers
To mask the sorrow inside
Eyes which fall upon its beauty
Do not see the tears I cry
While the flowers bud to blossom
I wilt to almost nothing
In a garden colour filled with life
There is also a shadow found
In the sun the flower buds open
In the dark a heart is closed
The flowers shall be woven together
To hide something left unseen
The rose, the tulip and the bluebell rise
I am envious of their beautiful life
So I don I crown of flowers
To mask my sorrow inside
---A Crown Of Flowers, Matthew Holloway

cassandra 050

Phew—using a hot glue gun totally makes you walk straighter and speak louder.  I can now proudly say that I used a hot glue gun without parental supervision and totally (burned my fingers twice) aced it.  My poor little sister Casey had to go through my million “No, tilt your head just a bit to the right.  The right.  The right.  No, my right.  Your hand is in the shot!”, but she liked the crown, so I let her take care of it for me in her room.

This was very fun to make, though, if you have a hot glue gun and you’ve never been to Michaels before, I suggest you get on that because, my God, your life will change, and you’ll have created something that nobody around you has.

26 February, 2012

The Girl With The Dark Eyes (& Why I’m Cursed With Terrible Posture)


✍ CURRENTLY WRITING FROM: SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

Once upon a time, there was a girl born with the biggest eyes anyone could ever see.  What they could see, of them, anyway—they were odd, dark things.  What people found out later was that they had the ability to hypnotize people.  On a lovely day, the girl with the big, dark eyes sat quietly in a park, reading, widening her eyes with interest.  A man in black shades walked by, enjoying his perfectly mediocre day, feeling like he quite fit in with the public, and noticed the girl’s eyes.  He stopped abruptly and grew terrified, because he didn’t understand the difference in this girl’s appearance.  Unfortunately, he chose to not understand, so he grabbed a pen and stabbed the girl’s eyes out.  There, he thought, and he walked away, satisfied.”



I find that I write pretty terribly uncomfortable things when I’m upset.  I think it’s because I’m just so scared of being stabbed (especially when taking a shower) or having my throat slit.

My parents complain about two things when it comes to me.  First, they are bothered about my monotonous voice, and second, they can’t stand my posture.  I schlump (is that a word?  I’m basing myself off The Princess Diaries here) and I’m always looking down my shoulders just sort of lie there, completely droopy.  My dad himself has tried to give me ‘lessons’ on how to walk properly, by giving me demonstrations throwing out phrases like “You just have to imagine that you’re walking  on a cloud and there’s this string that’s pulling your chest up to the sky.  You have to learn or else you’re never going to be able to wear heels, darling.”

It bothers them so much that sometimes I imagine they lock themselves in their bathroom and cry over how incredibly bad I stand and how this must be the reason why I never bring friends over, and ask themselves where they went wrong?

But after pondering it for a while, I’ve realized that my irrevocable fear of scary movies has lead to my posture.  I’m afraid of exposing my neck.  When I stretch, I tuck my neck in.  When I become hyperaware of my exposed neck, I “schlump” because I’m afraid someone will grab a knife and slide it across my neck, or just choke me, or break my neck. 

This is my excuse, I’d say.

Also, I kept a tally mark on the number of times I caught myself leaning over uncomfortably and then straightening out my back:  7 times.

22 February, 2012

Madeline



“In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines
Lived twelve little girls in two straight lines
In two straight lines they broke their bread
And brushed their teeth and went to bed.
They left the house at half past nine
In two straight lines in rain or shine-
The smallest one was Madeline.”
Ludwig Bemelmans, Madeline

When I was a child, there were only two movies I completely wore out with how many times I viewed the cassettes—the Hey Arnold! Movie and Madeline.  All I ever wanted to be was a spy who started a revolution in her town whilst also assisting a boarding school in Paris, with an adorable cut like Hatty Jones’ and a cute little uniform with little shiny shoes, an adorable hat I would lose under my bed, and a lovely blue uniform.

I lived my childhood vicariously through Madeline (and Matilda Wormwood).  I would wear my white church dress to bed, pretending it was my night gown.  I would snatch my drawing compass and write down ‘Marie Gilbert’ on the wooden pane underneath my bed.  I would wear round hats that were obviously too big for my head.  I also went as far as to pretend that my house was a boarding school—I would wake up early (this is most likely where my sleep deprivation started) and pretend it was breakfast time with all of “the girls” and late at night I would read underneath my covers as to not wake up “anybody else” in the room.  When we went to pools, I would pretend to fall backwards and drown…unfortunately, I never got any sort of concerned “Ehmagawd, are you okay?” from any mothers, and many kids were curious to what I was doing and whether I was insane.

This film is still one of my favorites, even if I first saw it eleven years ago—I own it on both VHS and DVD and they’re hidden in my room for the nights I can’t sleep.  If you’ve never seen it before, I recommend you do it at least once in your life, and if you already have, go cry in a corner because your childhood was… so… long…  ago.

21 February, 2012

The Weekend I Became A Woman


✍ CURRENTLY WRITING FROM: SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

This weekend was the most magical weekend of my entire life.  And I hate strongly dislike when people refer to ordinary things with weasel words as “best” or “love” or “worst”, because that’s such a big word to use on something that wasn’t even really that good or bad, but, nonetheless, it was an extremely lovely weekend, and I was genuinely upset not once.  I became a woman this weekend.  I did so many “firsts” this weekend, my head is spinning.  (Another clichĂ©, my God, someone shoot me already?)

As you can tell from the pictures  (to be noted: I just took the biggest breath, I’m trying to contain my excitement and be as professional as you can get), I…  I…  I got an actual typewriter.  Not the electric one that was featured in this post, but an actual “press down on the keys, makes a ding sound when you return it back to its place, 300-pounds heavy” typewriter.  (I should include yet another parenthesis where I let you know that I wrote that previous sentence five minutes ago, I’ve still been staring at that typewriter.)  And how did I get that typewriter?  I went to my first antique shop ever.  All of these things require actual bolding.  I mean, I understand that the blogosphere is full of people who’ve been to antique shops or vintage stores or just perfect places like these, but I had never visited any place like this before, and when I walked into this 10,000 square feet place of magic, I couldn’t contain myself.

I went up to my parents and sister’s about five times each and repeated “I’m going to faint, I’m about to faint in this store right now, I need help.”


The shopkeeper (curses, I didn’t get her name) was so nice and every time I did a giddy little dance (embarrassing, the amount of squealing that went on that day), she would politely laugh and say “Oh, it’s so exciting to see this first-hand experience!” and I wanted to be her best friend because she understood me.

And then there was the moment where I died:  The nice old man who was also there running the shop let us play around on the typewriter to make sure it worked, and my sisters and I played around with the keys and wrote our names.  I wrote my full name and I felt like I invented Nutella, and I walked away to pinch myself in private.  But then the nice old man called out “Er, who’s name is Jessica?” And I popped out from behind a bookshelf and said “Me, my name’s Jessica!”  And he said “Well holy sh*t—the original owner, her name was Jessica, too!  Talk about a good omen, amirite?”

To this I had to walk outside and compose myself then walk back inside and quietly shake the man’s hand.



R.I.P Jessica’s Youth

It’s a Remington Quiet-Riter from 1958 and…  I just…  every time I look at it, I just feel like crying, or something more dramatic, if you will, like jumping out a window into the bushes below.

I typed this out the second it touched my desk:

My name is Jessica Samantha Sandoval.  I got this typewriter on February 17th, 2012.  It was sold to me by the kind people at Antiques on Kettner.  The kind old man told me that the last owner of the typewriter was also called Jessica.  I had a heart attack and a half.  But then they brought out the case the typewriter came with, and then I truly lost it.  Then we went to Buffalo Express [you know that thing where you’re writing something and you concentrate accidentally on what someone else is saying while you’re writing and you write out what they’ve said? My sister kept calling the Buffalo Exchange ‘the Buffalo Express’ and whilst I corrected her I accidentally typed it out, curses], and it smelled like drugs.  But I still loved it in there and got a buttload of old dresses.  This day goes down in the history of all the best days there have ever been.”

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That’s right—I also went to my first thrift/vintage/whatever you may call a shop that sells secondhand clothing ever.  The Buffalo Exchange in San Diego did indeed sort of smell like drugs at first, but everyone there was so lovely, it was refreshing (except for the cashiers with pinched faces, but they kept snorting every time someone walked in the store, it was hilarious, I kind of had to love them by the time I was leaving)—when people bumped in to me they smiled and apologized, when someone pushed the clothes on the circular rack too far that they pressed my hand they stopped to apologize, when I reached for the same thing at the same time as someone else, they wanted to let me have it and I just wanted to individually hug everyone in that store—I didn’t, unfortunately, and I always let the other person keep whatever we both wanted, and it made me feel like a woman because that’s a womanly thing to do.

20 February, 2012

A Playlist—Candy City

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In my head, there exist many different versions of what I would imagine as the world I would like to live in.  When I’m feeling voluntarily isolated, I dream of a black-and-white tinted world where I meet the best kind of people at three o’clock in the morning in crowded cafĂ©’s, where boys with defined jaws and suits like to play guitars with giant grins, and girls in dresses like to sway to the beat.  When I’m feeling especially “French”, I dream of being in a Sofia Coppola-directed commercial where everyone shares the same passion for pastels as I do and is followed around by their own accordion player.

Most times, however (mostly the day after I fall asleep watching the 1971 Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory), I fantasize of living in the perfect world where everything is made of candy, and we all wear tiny pink dresses and hearts on our faces and the streets are made of chocolate covered in gold foil and the trees drop caramel-covered apples and it rains chocolate and cavities don’t exist.

These songs are the songs that I would imagine would all play in the different scenes of the beautiful movie where the world is made of candy, where we all stroll and skip through the candy streets, or enjoy a milkshake in a diner, or bake our own pastries.  Quite some mouth-watering involved with this post.

My new favorite song, which inspired the title of this playlist, is Candy City by Supercute! (obligatory exclamation point).  Now, on to eat my chocolate cake.  Also, let me tell you how fun it is to make these playlists!  These are just too much fun!

17 February, 2012

How To Take A Bath Like You’re In A Film

In According to Greta, Hilary Duff’s character Greta thinks over her summer and her life’s problems by taking a bath (or, well, a shower, but by sitting down), in Lullaby for Pi, Clemence Poesy’s character, Pi, hides in a bathroom, because she prefers to interact with people that way, Emma Watson’s character Pauline had lovely conversation with her lovely sister who’s last name is Fossil, Julia Roberts likes to sing Prince in hers, and sometimes people like to hide mermaids in their bathtubs.  Whatever the case, bathtubs are an essential part to any great movie, really.  And if a movie totally sucks, if you’ve got a low-angle shot of someone broodily sitting lifeless in a bathtub with the classic “duck face” on, staring out into nothing, then you’ve got Oscar material (without the rest of whatever makes an Oscar movie an Oscar movie.)
0. Be Safe
I think, to make sure you don’t die, you need to make sure there are no murderers in your bathroom.  Everybody I ever know somehow ends up knowing this bit of information about me (and now you do, too, internet!), but before I ever do anything in a bathroom, even walking in to get something, I always dramatically pull back the shower curtain or slam open any doors to make sure there aren’t any axe murderers hiding behind them.  A friend recently told me “And, if you do happen to find a murderer in your bathroom, then what’s your plan?” It stumped me for a bit, but then I realized I had a head start.  And if not, at least I wasn’t stabbed while taking a shower.
1. You Need Life Problems
To truly fit into a indie movie’s plot, you need to have a problem, a struggle.  Whether your love life has shriveled up and been flushed down the toilet, or your parents just don’t get it, you need to have a reason to lock yourself up in your bathroom and take a bath to get rid of all the ugly problems sticking to your skin.
2. Perfect Straight Hair Syndrome
We’ll consider this one optional, but it’s the sad truth—you must apparently have straight hair to get that lovely “bun” look that people think they can just call “messy”, but I always look at those girls with their “messy buns” and think to myself “Golly molly, if only I could get my hair to look as classy that.”  I don’t know*, a ponytail is too much effort—arrange your hair into a “““messy””” bun—because it’s important and you don’t want your hair to be sopping wet.  Plus, it adds to your own self-image of being “sweet” and whatnot.
3. An Excuse To Use a Pack of Matches
I remember when I first gathered the courage to switch on a lighter for the first time (a few months ago) and I felt on top of the world.  Then I scraped my first match (just a week after that) and I felt like I had invented the internet.  I don’t know*, something about striking a match in the dark…  so special.  Anyway, I find that to truly feel like your world’s about to cave in so you need to take a bath right now is to have candles burning.  And it’s nicer when they’re scented—I like smelling Cake Frosting candles or Mango candles, because I like to eat while I’m not eating.  (Maybe not have them smell TOO good, because then you’ll spend too much time leaning over the tub trying to smell these candles over and over again.)
4. Bring a Book
I like to read whilst taking baths, too—but I have to be really careful, because, as a child,  I once dropped my Princess Diaries book in the soapy water and it couldn’t be saved—it took weeks to dry and it got disgustingly moldy.  I’d show you a picture, but I threw that mother out as soon as it started dotting with green.  But do not be discouraged!  Recently I’ve been reading Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov.  Also, I like to lock the doors and read aloud while the tub is still filling up so that the water can block out the sound of my voice.  It’s fun! (Just don’t drop your books in the tub.)

5. Sometimes, Ella Fitzgerald is All You Need
This one is, I guess, optional, too (well, they all are [but sometimes you’d rather listen to the sound of the rain through your open window]), but I think listening to Johnny Hartman or Ella Fitzgerald croon about The Wee Small Hours of The Morning or a Blue Moon just makes it all better.  I suggest no boombox, unless you’d like to be brutally electrified, and no iPods too close to the water, because you’ll only ruin it.  Just imagine yourself in the perfect movie sequence, sitting with your feet dangling from the edge of the tub, listening to old Duke Ellington records, thinking about your complicated love life.  Oscar material already.
6. And, Just For The Heck of It
And, if you’ve got no real life problems to invent for yourself and you just want to feel like a woman~ or whatever, just take your bath and feel like a woman—and add bubbles, because I would like to see you testify in court, saying you never had bubbles in your bath as a child and you didn’t make a Santa Claus beard with it.  Also, am I the only one who took her Barbies in with her while taking baths?  I always made them drown.  It was terrible.
*Apparently, I don’t know many things.