Monday, February 22, 2016

The After Hours

______THE MOUNTAIN is home to a formidable road with a terrifyingly steep climb on one side, and a long, winding climb on the other. I had heard rumors of cyclists adventuring their way up and down this epic landmark, but had never imagined myself being able to tackle such a challenge. To me, it was mere folklore: I heard whisperings of it but did not necessarily believe it to be real.

______That being said, when the local bike dads decided to take a naive little Ali up it one day, you could say I was rather wide-eyed when I saw it looming in the distance.

______As we approached it, the clouds became heavy and dark, lightning cracked across the sky like a whip, and an eerie witch's laugh echoed from the top of it. The blackest crow swooped before us carrying the limb of a man, cawing menacingly as it disappeared into the forested edges of the road. I glanced to my left and saw "REDRUM" carved feverishly into a tree. A suffocating fog began to permeate the area...

______Totally not exaggerating. You should have been there.

______The five of us approached the hill, ignoring the sinister skies and symbolic foreshadowing that only I apparently remembered. We were ready. Or maybe we weren't, but we had no choice at this point.

______And so the journey up THE MOUNTAIN began.


______One of the bike dads mentioned his need for motivational music to cycle his way up THE MOUNTAIN: specifically, jamming out to the Rocky theme. This bike dad is who I like to call Papa John's, for the first time I met him he donned a white, green, and red bike jersey that screamed "Italian carb wheel." Pizza stylin' to the nth degree. In his younger years, dear old Papa John's ran carrying the Olympic torch, and because of that I feel kind of terrible demoting such a patriotic citizen to a chain pizza joint.

______He's even got a tattoo on his arm of a torch. Hashtag just dad things.

______Traffic Cone was following Papa John's in another one of his terrifyingly bright neon jerseys, and the Terminator was huffing and puffing right next to him. The Terminator was aptly named due to a tiny mirror that stuck out from one side of his shades, almost as if it could be moved over his eye so he could see through walls, zoom in on enemy targets, and shoot lasers to heat water and prepare pasta al dente. I like to think it's used for good. Good meaning pasta.

______So there we all were: me, Northern Lights, Papa John's, Traffic Cone, and the Terminator. Cycling pals for life.


______The base of THE MOUNTAIN is likely the most strenuous, not only because you know you're about to bike up a most dreadful hill, but also because the hill starts on a flat surface and immediately rises to an incline, giving you no momentum with which to begin. After climbing up this initial incline and managing to cycle around an awkward road curve, the grade gets a little less steep and you've got one thing in your mind: just keep peddling.


______For a solid two miles. Your legs burn like they're being pricked by hot needles on the inside, your shades get fogged up from body heat, and you intermittently stand up and sit down so your rear end doesn't go numb. You become interested with the trash on the side of the road as well as wondering the story as to how a couch became wedged in a rocky crevice. You look at your speedometer and note you're going a wimpy nine miles-per-hour; the recorded distance increases in sluggish increments of 0.01 miles.

______But eventually you reach the summit, de-mount your bike, and stretch your jellied legs: the hill overlooks a valley of trees, homes, and even part of the city. You admire the view while adrenaline rushes through (what feels like) your ripped calves.

______And then, you have done it. You have evolved into a true MOUNTAINeer.

Jacket: Forever 21 (similar)
Top: Charlotte Russe (similar)
Skirt: similar
Bow choker: Valfré
Heels: Jeffrey Campbell
Studded bracelet: Charming Charlie
Rose Earrings: Charming Charlie

Monday, February 15, 2016

Memory Affair

______My fondest memories of any holiday dates back to the wee grasshopper days of elementary school... I remember a lot of the day in and day out of grade school, like visiting the library, playing Oregon Trail during computer lab days, and those irresistable, oozing cheese sticks paired with chunky marinara sauce during lunch. However, what I most vividly remember is those details of whenever our class would perform some kind of creative endeavor.

______I remember carving boats out of soap with metal shaping tools and how carefully I tried to make it smooth as marble. I remember the smell of that specific soap and the way it felt so satisfying in my hands. I remember how we were carving them in the hallway on a cold day, and the sun was shining through the window on us. I remember how the class next door was growing plants in little baggies and they were pinned up against the windows while we carved away.

______I remember when we had to be a part of the Wax Museum, where each student would create their own "set" by painting a backdrop for a specific person who they deemed important to history. We all lined up throughout the school and parents came and listened to each of us, the wax statues with stories to tell. I was Laura Ingalls Wilder and dressed up accordingly. I remember painting a backdrop with a covered wagon, and a dark sky adorned with cut-out stars I wrapped in tinfoil to make them sparkle.

______Because stars are actually made of tinfoil.

______The more you know.

______And then during Thanksgiving, we did a variety of crafts like making headdresses and turkey hands, but I remember my favorite was making these tall, skinny candles. We were to take a long wick and dip it into this vibrant red wax, pull it up, let it dry, and dip it back in. I remember being so amazed at how the material stacked atop each previous layer like icing on a cake. I always liked things that were hands-on so I could see how I could manipulate the material before me. It made more sense that way.

______But sticking to the holiday that's relevant, I remember how during Valentine's day, everyone would bring in an empty, washed milk carton, and we would spend the day decorating them with foam hearts, stickers, cut-out pieces of paper, and paint pens, all in a variety of reds and pinks.

______And then we would all line our sweet carton creations on a long table. Over the course of the week before Valentine's day, we'd make cards with candy, drawings, and puffy stickers adhered to the inside, all along with a loving message that were likely scribbled in red crayon or cherry scented markers. We would deposit these cards inside the cartons and open them up before Valentine's.

______What are some of your most vivid Valentine's day memories?

Valentine's Flowers
flowers from daddy Hval :)

Kimono: Alter'd State (similar)
Dress: KnowStyle (very similar)
Boots: Chelsea Crew (similar)
Necklace: c/o BornPretty
Whale bracelet: vintage

Monday, February 1, 2016

Gold Bars


______Sometimes, we ladies (and men as well) find ourselves in the sticky situation of being asked out by a person we would much rather not be asked out by. So here are ten tips to make light of the situation and say "no" without causing any hard feelings.

______1. Tell him you're moving to a very far-away country. If he asks why, narrow your eyes and coyly respond with, "They told me you'd ask that." Light a smoke bomb. Place it slowly on the ground between you and the askeree. Dash away freakishly as a plume of vibrant smoke saturates the air. The pretty colors will distract from the pain of rejection.

______2. Say that it would never be able to work between you two because he looks too much like your brother/cousin/dog/favorite television character who was killed off in season four.

______3. Begin burping the alphabet. If he hasn't left by the time you reach the letter "Z," reconsider your choice. He may be the one.

______4. Just start crying.

______5. Decline politely. Curtesy, pivot on one heel, and skip away whilst humming the Star Wars Imperial March theme.

______6. Look up and stare at the sky until he finally does the same. Tell him, "I fear the stars say no."

______7. Point out to him how you want to start having babies within the next six months. And lots of them. A wildly ridiculous amount. To the point where you have your own TV show about it. Show as much enthusiasm as you can about an such inane amount of babies as possible.

______8. Tell him you have a freakish appetite for garlic and a kink for breathing on people after consuming large portions of it.

______9. Enthusiastically let him know that your seven poisonous snakes would absolutely love to meet him. Tell him one got loose in the apartment this morning, but it always did that. It only bites people with hair that is (insert his hair color here).

______10. Keep smiling and blinking and shaking your head "no."

______11. If he asks you to dinner, tell him you've already eaten. If he asks you another night, tell him you've already planned to eat that night, too. And the next. And so on and so forth. You have a very strict diet. You only eat salted fish eggs, string potatoes, and kelp. In that order.

______But honestly, the best way to say no is to straight up say no. Giggles and shits aside, it's definitely the hardest to spit out, but it is the most effective. Most importantly, don't ever ask me for dating or relationship advice. I know nothing and strongly advise against performing any or all of these responses.


______Oh okay, lighting a colorful smoke bomb and trying to escape would be pretty comical. That's one of which I do approve.


Blazer: Forever21
Skirt: Moon Collection, via Modcloth
Oxford heels: Jeffrey Campbell
Bow ring: Charming Charlie
Star ring: c/o BornPretty (ALT10 for 10% off)
Adjustable rock bracelet: c/o BornPretty