When you get bored of me, I’ll be back on the shelf

You may declare some things with confidence. Run the numbers, analyze the data, and conclude earmarks and lobbying influence congress, for instance (as done by Cooper et al. on Section 508 legislation), or that trial overall survival adds incremental value over trial surrogates alone in real world populations for cancer (as done by Shafrin et al.). Yet most things are fraught with uncertainty – the future, our country, my commitments, you name it. That being said, we can also be certain of some things and be completely wrong (not always right but never in doubt, obv). Like when I thought this dog wouldn’t mind being snuggled at a bar. He did.

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He’s just not that into you

In that doggo’s defense, I was extra aggressive with the holding that day.

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Em keeping me from falling

I’m generally of the belief that inaction due to uncertainty (or in any case, really) perpetuates the status quo and breeds insecurity, opting instead to embrace Rebecca Solnit’s proactive definition of hope:

“To hope is to gamble. It’s to bet on the future, on your desires, on the possibility that an open heart and uncertainty is better than gloom and safety. To hope is dangerous, and yet it is the opposite of fear, for to live is to risk. I say all this because hope is not like a lottery ticket you can sit on the sofa and clutch, feeling lucky. I say it because hope is an ax you break down doors with in an emergency; because hope should shove you out the door, because it will take everything you have to steer the future away from endless war, from the annihilation of the earth’s treasures and the grinding down of the poor and marginal. Hope just means another world might be possible, not promised, not guaranteed. Hope calls for action; action is impossible without hope.”

Scrolling Twitter and reading news about terror attacks a mile from my apartment leaves me feeling disillusion and contempt. When I further consider that it’s been a rough month for women, my confidence in society falters. However, I admire the women who have taken action and spoken out despite running the risk of being discredited or targeted.

I recently acquiesced to the idea that in uncertain times, hope may also be passive. A friend (AB) who’s a Peace Corps volunteer in Mozambique challenged Solnit’s quote in her monthly newsletter last month. She cited the direct translation for “hope” in Portuguese is “to wait,” and added that without the difference between hoping and waiting, hoping for the people in Mozambique seems to be more about waiting things out. AB proposed that passiveness isn’t always weak, it can be optimistic. And she’s not wrong. Perhaps self-preservation through hope can be both the act of courage and the patient wait – it’s a matter of context.

Given life begins anew (or at least I come alive) in the fall, and “to live is to risk,” I remain hopeful we can do better. It probably also helps that I went home for the first time in 8 months last weekend: California, the name of the Grimes song from which this blog post borrowed its name. (“You only like me when you think I’m looking sad,” seriously listen to it now.)

Why did I fly 5.5-hours for a weekend trip? A friend’s Malibu nuptials. He is among the most joyful and well-meaning people I know and has introduced me to a few New Yorkers I begrudgingly care about.

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“Hefe” because I’m a boss
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Nothing to see here

In classic SEM form, I’d forgotten how much I loved Los Angeles because its distance from my home in New York fades the memory. The problem is after a bite of an In-N-Out burger, Keith Moon snuggle, and pumpkin patch trek with NRM, I knew I’d actively miss Los Angeles for a few weeks. I suppose one could have worse problems.

This weekend, IJJ runs the NYC marathon. I’m writing about it because she has a negligible online presence, but I am BEAMING with pride for my favorite Connecticut bb and want everyone to know how much COOLER is she than me. Come join me as I scream her name until my lungs collapse.

Thx 4 the memories LA. Love u, mean it~
SEM

 

 

 

 

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Are you satisfied with an average life?

Last week, my roommate asked me, “If you had a billboard on which you could post a single message, what would it say?” Naturally – my response was “absolutely not.” Turns out she’d asked the same question two years ago, and I replied the same. I am nothing if not consistent…and this is coming from a person who hasn’t felt her feelings in real-time since 1996 (instead, noticing a psychosomatic reaction such as nausea that forces her to later identify and dissect a feeling before suppressing it). Consistency is key! As much as I appreciate consistency, I likewise admire self-discipline, finding them to be tightly correlated.

Discipline and consistency govern the morning rituals of successful individuals like Barack Obama (five hours of sleep, no coffee, and a 45-minute workout), Ariana Huffington (30-minute meditation, 40-minute workout), and Jack Dorsey (5am wake-up, 30-minute meditation, 7-minute workout). Sticking to a morning routine (or any rigid routine) remains challenging for me, but I push myself to expand my knowledge and be proactive in my approach to life. And that’s better than nothing. We should all strive for more discipline in our lives.

But just in case you still think I’m succeeding at the whole self-discipline thing, please find KōL skipping below as proof of my failed summer tennis experiment.

Anything SEM can do, KōL can do skipping

xx,
sem

l8r, losers

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This is a picture of folded clothes + a passport so you know I’m leaving

I wanted to share with y’all this killer playlist Lex so kindly curated for me. It will be my soundtrack as I skip around London for the next few days.

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Direct link, here.

For those of you who don’t have Spotify, here’s a list of the songs:

There She Goes by The La’s
London Calling by The Clash
Train in Vain by The Clash
That’s Entertainment by The  Jam
I’m Good by The Mowgli’s
Light Me Up by Bronze Radio Return
Gone by JR JR
Oxford Comma by Vampire Weekend
Hello, Goodbye by The Beatles
Saturday Night by Natalia Kills
Sweet Disposition by The Temper Trap
No One’s Here To Sleep by Naughty Boy, Bastille
R.I.P. 2 My Youth by The Neighbourhood
All Day by Kanye West
Black Water by Timber Timbre
California English by Vampire Weekend
Keep It Together by Fyfe
Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles
No No No by Beirut
Do My Thang by Miley Cyrus
Time Capsule by Little Simz
Do I Wanna Know? by Arctic Monkeys
Someday by The Strokes
Lovely Day by alt-J
England by The National
Guess I’m doing Fine by Bob Dylan
Lost in My Mind by The Head and the Heart
Water by Ra Ra Riot (+ Rostam!)
London Beckoned by Panic! At The Disco
We’ve Been Dreaming by Echotape
Numb by Marina and the Diamonds
Hurricane by MS MR
Clearest Blue by CHVRCHES
This Could Be Love by Borgeous
Moments by Tove Lo
Kuaga by Pierce Fulton
Come Back Home by Two Door Cinema Club

The last one is because Lexi (like keg) wants to make sure I don’t extend my trip millions of times & never come back.

Will miss you so, NYC. Sure will.

xxsem

 

Don’t ask me questions

I take pride in the consistency of my character and refusing to blog for long periods of time without warning is part of who I am. So is being stubborn and loyal to a fault. It’s fine. You’re fine.

Press Play: Kamikaze by MØ

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Checking out Red’s favorite artist, he’s into astronauts

Living with two intelligent women who expose me to the scientific side of fashion has taught me that unlike fashion trends, personal style is unwavering. Sometimes, Lex will forward a photograph and mention it reminded her of me. I haven’t yet figured out what mold she thinks I fall into, but I enjoy noting her observations. This exercise has also made me aware that I project an image to those around me. We all do. Some stick to a classic approach, mixing basics, and others are more experimental.

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I dress like a scrub most times and if that is what identifies me, I don’t mind it one bit. There’s no harm in embracing the imperfect with a touch of insouciance.

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@ the adorable McNally Jackson Store Goods for the Study

The holidays came and went as quickly as New York entered Snowpocalypse 2016. Since moving to NYC, I’ve forged a few meaningful relationships that have been taking up most of my time and I couldn’t be more pleased with the arrangement. Activities include brunching for eight hours and apartment dance parties.

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The majority of Scrub Island

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Christmas happened two weeks before this!

Love Always,
sem

 

We’ll have a good time

Press Play: Take the Time by Tiny Tiny

The bad news is I’m guilty of neglecting the blog. The good news is I’ve been negligent because there’s so much life happening!

For instance, the Air + Style festival. The Los Angeles sky poured and poured all day Sunday, but when you combine a rain lover  with an over planner who keeps extra blankets and umbrellas in the trunk, a little rain is no problem. The same cannot be said about the badass skiers, who had to cancel the latter half of the competition due to poor weather.

Alas, we were predominantly there to watch Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes, The Flaming Lips, & Steve Aoki. They were all fantastic, The Flaming Lips were as artsy as ever and the advantage of a rainy Steve Aoki performance became obvious when he caked everyone, but Edward Sharpe & TMZ played the best and most heartfelt set.

I also have a new job. It’s a pediatric cancer research nonprofit and I’m so so very happy there. I needed something that blended policy and healthcare together and this was the perfect place.

My domesticity continues, as I’ve slowly learned to cook things other than breakfast.

Not breakfast!
Not breakfast!

Lastly, I have tons of life-altering decisions to make within the next few weeks/months. Will keep you all posted.

Now you all know I’m still alive & still not good at writing!
sem

On my mind

A couple weeks ago, I attended a political event in a beautiful Studio City home for Emerge California. They’re dedicated to training & grooming Democratic women to run & hold office, as the majority of our representatives lack ovaries.

Whenever I find myself in situations like that, my mind goes off in multiple tangents–ranging from my support of free booze to how I wish I were as good an orator as Kafi Blumenfield. Eventually, I asked myself, “What defines sexy?”

I was in the company of many strong/smart women. Yet on any given day/night, girls prance around the streets of LA as if it were some giant whorehouse. To show skin is to show skin but honestly, leaving nothing to the imagination seems like no fun at all.

I’m convinced that “sexiness” lies within you & you exude it. A sense of confidence & how you carry yourself, perhaps. Women who dress well,  those whose thought-process extends beyond their look & can get what they want without having to remove an article of clothing,  those are the women I look up to.

See: Christy Turlington

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Photo by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin; 2008

Love Always,

S