Tuesday, May 22, 2018

just wait

i'm still OK.
i'm alright.
today is May 22, and i haven't moved back home.
i'm working and still looking for work.
God has something for me --
He always provides.

that's what everyone keeps telling me
there's something better in store.
God has something great -- greater -- prepared for me.

He knows what i need and when i need it.

i need it now --
that's how i feel.

i need something good
something better
something great,
like they all tell me.

maybe i'm just impatient,
maybe He's teaching me to wait
wait on Him
wait on me, He says.
just wait.

haven't i been doing just that?
it has been two months.
over two months.
i still haven't forgotten.

it has been almost a year --
i still haven't healed.

it has been half of my entire life,
and i know it's still affecting me every day and with every decision i make.

i've been waiting.
that doesn't mean i've been patient.
i've been patient.
that doesn't mean i'll automatically get what i want.
that doesn't mean it'll happen right away or in my own time.
He has a plan.

God's Plan.
that's what they joke about on Twitter
it's not just a song, though
it needs to be a lifestyle

it is real
i am real
God is real
struggles are real
pain is real
healing is real

just be patient.
wait on Him.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

hello !!

my junior year of college is coming to a close. everything about living in this city has invigorated me on a daily-basis. as the weather is warming up, i've been re-realizing how inspired i feel by just strolling through Grant Park or the gardens at the Art Institute. how feeling the warm breeze and sunshine on my pale skin makes me feel like i can finally breathe again -- like i am finally alive.

the new month of May means finding new reasons to appreciate life and the art and artists around me; it means seeking love and beauty in new people and places and experiences. for the time being, i am working on watching the ways in which the world moves. i just cleaned my room in this apartment on the thirteenth floor, and i am thinking of all the ways i will miss living here.

so, this blog post is just highlighting some of the eye-catching scenes from this 84-degree Wednesday, as well as some of the cute displays of my personal favorite things from my room. i am excited to see where life takes me next, most literally. summer will be lovely, for sure. hire me, Starbucks.


Thursday, April 26, 2018

Logan Square strives to appeal to the community one local business at a time

Originally filed on Feb. 21, 2018
Logan Square houses a variety of quaint, locally-owned businesses, many which are extremely authentic and unique, adding personality and a close-knitness to their community.
With places such as the Damn Fine Coffee Bar -- among Gaslight Coffee Roasters, New Wave Coffee and Halfwit Coffee Roasters -- Logan Square is a highly popular area for people to meet up with friends, conduct meetings or simply grab a cup to go, partner and head of marketing and branding at Damn Fine Coffee Bar Jude Goergen explained.
“Logan Square is constantly changing -- for better or worse,” Goergen said. “We feel that we are offering a quality product in an underserved market. We are also extremely aware of gentrification and how our presence can be perceived.”
Damn Fine Coffee Bar, located on the outskirts of Logan Square on Armitage Ave., as opposed to many shops found along Milwaukee Ave., where most of the heavy shopping takes place, continues to benefit from being in the middle of a very “diverse neighborhood, which we love,” Goergen said. “[Logan Square] is continuing to grow and change, and it’s exciting to be a part of that.”
Goergen said that as someone who is very involved in the business, it is always interesting to see how Damn Fine contributes to the community by bringing people together and helping to “shape the neighborhood.” There are many reasons why being locally-owned is beneficial and satisfying, one being that they are able to put their own twist and personality on their product, Goergen said.
Damn Fine Coffee Bar opened with the intentions of doing just that -- connecting with its customers in a unique way. The idea behind its look is inspired by the cult-classic, ‘90s TV show “Twin Peaks,” hence the color scheme, WiFi password (wowbobwow) and the name of the store itself, said Josh Miller, the shop’s partner and coffee coordinator. They almost called it “The Black Lodge,” but they settled on something more low-key, he said.
Business expert at DePaul University Mona Pearl said that it is important to know what the neighborhood is like; it is crucial to do the homework of the area before opening a business there. “Know what business will work and what will be supported,” she said. Understanding who the customers are -- appealing to the community -- is what is going to drive any business to succeed.
“We actually designed the space to encourage interaction,” Goergen said. “It seems to be working.” Damn Fine Coffee Bar has become a popular place for people in the neighborhood to frequent for their favorite caffeinated beverage, and when in season, cherry pie -- a nod in the direction of the shop’s subtle inspiration, “Twin Peaks.”
“People have become accustomed to getting whatever they want, whenever they want,” Goergen said about Damn Fine Coffee Bar. “Pleasing everyone all the time is not the easiest.” Having the store set up with the community in mind is something that they pride themselves in -- that in addition to carrying ingredients and coffees of a higher standard than other mainstream roasters, he said.
Pearl said that it is important to have a variety of places that are able to “satisfy everyone’s needs,” as opposed to many of the chain restaurants and shops. Places that have unique atmospheres and are different stylistically are great for competition, especially in Logan Square, where there are multiple coffee shops.
Goergen also said that the partners of Damn Fine are mindful when it comes to prices; they tend to stay on the more affordable side of things in order to appeal to the “super diverse and discerning group of patrons” in the Logan Square area, and they are very careful to make sure to not “price anyone out,” while still maintaining that idea of originality and ability to be true to themselves.
“It’s good to be different,” Pearl said. “Because if it’s same-old same, it will [lead to] the war of price. People like a place they can connect with.”

Monday, April 23, 2018

A thing misplaced

Today it is April 23, 2018.
This has been a difficult month.
Tonight -- for the first time in two weeks -- I have been able to feel fully myself again for even just a few minutes.

It is now 12:58 p.m.
My phone feels like less of a distraction.
Social media feels like less of a burden.
I don't want to check it.
I don't want to see.

It's 11:00 p.m.
I just took my laundry out of the dryer on the twelfth floor of this building.
It took me a couple of tries to spell that word correctly.

It is the year of 2018.
I always end up disappointing myself; I will never blame another human being for my own suffering.
I could never hope a birthday might arrive and surpass my expectations.
I have none.
Perhaps that is what allows me to appreciate every other day more.
I can't handle the attention, anyways.
My anxiety always gets the best of me.
It wears me down.
It's exhausting.

I always see the good in others.
Is that my issue?

It's 11:04 p.m. now.
I'm still filled with this something I haven't felt in weeks.
What is this thing?
Is it

Of course it is.

I will continue to sing these songs,
pray these prayers,
read these words --
hope in something that isn't disposable.
Something that doesn't know death.

Psalm 20.
Luke sent this reference to me last night.
I got to reading it tonight.

1 "May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble!
May the name of God of Jacob protect you!
2 May he send you help from the sanctuary
and give you support from Zion!"

4 "May he grant you your heart's desire
and fulfill your plans!"

This last part reminds me that my God knows me;
he knows my heart.
He knows my desires.
He knows what I need most.
And he is going to give me what I need --
he is going to fulfill my plans.
Surpass my ideals.

My future is his.
It is in his hands.
He carefully holds my life, a reflection of Christ.

These are my truths for tonight.
At 11:26 p.m.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Season of Aries*:・゚✧*:・゚✧

A poem I wrote tonight as a way to start feeling better about living again; as a way to understand that the person I am is not going to change, no matter how many distractions come and go in my life.
It feels
(outwardly oppressive)
To be an Aries.

I'm sad, and
I feel lonely
The skies have been gray
for months now --
it's April, but
I'm still sad.

Friday, March 2, 2018

March 2018 Mood Board

Hello friends.I am writing this post to share a few photos I have taken over the last few days, each of which sort of make me feel bright and happy inside. part of the reason has to do with the color scheme (sort of) going on here, but also the subject matter in each individual photo (plus a selfie in a cute bathroom mmmk).I figured, first and foremost, that maybe I should try to be slightly less annoying on Instagram and share more photos on here.......instead.I like each of these shots a lot. that is all. enjoyyyyyy🍋🍋🍋

Sunday, February 11, 2018

“Twin Peaks: The Return”: A Review of the Return of David Lynch

Hello, so I wrote this thing for my Cultural Criticism and the Arts class. It's a review of my all-time favorite television series "Twin Peaks." It should be your all-time favorite television series, as well. Mostly because David Lynch. And literally the entire cast. Ok, so read if that sounds at all interesting to you. xoxo

“Twin Peaks: The Return” is far more than a television show; it is purely the mind of a man with endless, baffling ideas for a world of perfectly insane happenings. Its ending is horrifically unsatisfying, though completely expected of David Lynch, and the story of Laura Palmer -- the epitome of the existence of the show -- can not feel any more intentionally rejected than in the last few moments of the film. Of course, being what it is, having any sort of expectations to begin with will only cause viewers to feel further ignored in their innate need to understand the unknown, which is surely the exact thing Lynch wanted to happen while creating “Twin Peaks: The Return.” This return to Lynch’s odd universe was completely unnecessary, but that is simply the thing that makes it completely necessary to be a part of once again.

Lynch’s work is painstakingly mind-boggling and artfully attractive to the eye. His decision to bring back “Twin Peaks” in the form of an 18-hour-long feature containing 18 separate screenings and calling it “Twin Peaks: The Return” has only proved his unfailing ability to deliver said complicated, dream-like art. “The Return” plays an important role in the story of Laura Palmer and her murder in the town of Twin Peaks, but that still doesn’t mean that the new film -- as Lynch himself insists on calling the 18 hours of screen time -- gives its viewers the closure that they want and need.

Figuring out the mystery of Laura Palmer herself, as well as the way she came to be murdered, within the original television show has always been the one thing that fans and audiences everywhere have strived after, but as is David Lynch’s mind, it is just a plain impossibility. It is a feat that should not be sought after, no matter how tempting, due to the sole understanding that just because something has been created and is an idea played out on a screen does not mean that it has answers to all the questions in the world. Even if critics have an unending supply of questions for Lynch and his world of Twin Peaks, that still does not mean that he himself has all the answers. But that is what makes Lynch who he is; that’s what makes his art so obsessively excellent.

Spoiler alert: David Lynch gives his audience the exact same thing they were given at the end of “Twin Peaks” -- more unanswered questions. Even more so, questions that are incomprehensible in themselves. “The Return” goes back and forth from the obligatory-to-Twin-Peaks, so-called “Black Lodge” to the real world, in which Dougie Jones, aka Secret Agent Dale Cooper, has been living for 26 years as someone he is not. Though, he is completely unaware of this, in part due to the fact that half of his soul is the living reincarnation of Bob, aka Bad Cooper. The “how” of how Cooper’s life was split into two people and two worlds does not exist; all viewers know is that Cooper is stuck inside of the Black Lodge and must leave in order to finally end what Bob first started with Laura Palmer over 25 years ago. But like this, most of the “how”s are unanswered; there are moments when literal aliens enter the human-world only for viewers to ask themselves, why? What is the connection between it all?

Aside from this, Lynch has brought in the grotesque-factor to “Twin Peaks: The Return.” In several scenes within the film, Lynch offers the cringe-worthy content seen in horror films -- those types of films which present icky concepts, such as eels being forced down the throats of patients in the film “A Cure for Wellness” (2016). “The Return” differs from the original series in this way, being offered more generously the title of horror film with its inexcusably gross bits and pieces, such as the now-infamous “moth-frog” scene. Not only so, but Part 8 single-handedly delivers one of the most terrifying storylines. The episode offers the line “got a light?” and one woodsman’s ability to gruesomely murder any person in his path, while covered in scorched engine oil, of course, and it fully illuminates the concept of being unable to escape the clutches of evil itself by any means -- as Laura once was -- through an uneasy, stomach-turning timeline and darkened world; the entire episode is in black and white, which only further enhances the low-key invasiveness of the episode. A lack of color somehow makes everything feel more dreary. This episode, specifically, feels long, and it happens slowly; while sitting on the edge of their seats, viewers will most likely find exhaustion in the searing, eye-peeling segments, which feel as though the universe is forever stuck in slow-motion and is heading straight toward a black hole. But one cannot be surprised that this was the path Lynch decided to take, even if it did nearly nothing to further the show’s storyline (at least not on the surface).

Of course, bringing back the most important characters from the town of “Twin Peaks” was only foreseeable for this return, and even the return of Lynch himself allowed for viewers to feel this sense of relief that even after all the time that has passed, (almost) every person has stayed the same. The story continues with Cooper, as is only fair, but introduces Janey-E, Good Cooper’s wife, and their son; all of the other characters live the same old, odd lives they did back in the year of ‘89. The only deeply upsetting character return is that of Audrey Horne. Once the beautifully-charmed girl with ambition and passion, the time between both “Twin Peaks” obviously did Audrey wrong in some way. Her story resumes with her being seemingly confused, baffled by her husband (whom viewers have never met before) and mortified by her own inability to leave her house to find her troubled son, Richard. It is not clear as to how accurate her story is, considering the fact that in her traumatized state, her mental-awareness and stability seems fleeting, at best. While watching her scenes, one can only attempt to put two-and-two together and assume that her sanity -- or lack thereof -- seems to be in relation to some horrific event of her past. The beloved Audrey Horne, whom viewers once believed could take on the world, is a painful reminder that happy endings often do not exist, but consequences for the dark, pain-ridden world do.

With the original “Twin Peaks” under his belt, as well as others (“Blue Velvet,” “Lost Highway”), Lynch has gained some sort of right to do whatever the heck he wants to at this point -- after all, it is 2018. The entirety of “Twin Peaks: The Return” is filled with imperfect, incomplete thoughts and offers absolutely no closure to its viewers, per usual. Even still, the creation of the film was never supposed to be an answer to all of the questions floating through space anyways. And if that isn’t David Lynch, what is?