and died a little inside when I saw the familiar sights of Oxford. The dreaming spires, spilling out of the Tavern onto the street with Hertford’s bridge, striding out of the Sheldonian - if only I -could- teleport.
Also, someone needs to explain to me why James Mcavoy is so mesmerising.
My housemate Elisha sent this to me a while ago, so I could read about why he’s gone “no poo” - ie: shampoo free. It sounds really sensible, though I’m not sure I’ll be able to work myself up to it - to be very frank, I adore shampoo. I used to try different kinds so I could give my sister detailed breakdowns about the benefits/downsides of each brand (nice scent, clean feeling, soft or squeaky hair - you get the picture). Baking soda and cider - it’s a little bit.. spartan, isn’t it?
Maybe there’ll come a day when we’ll both sit in our old people porch chairs, me bald as my hair’s all shriveled up and fallen out, and I’ll look at Elisha’s healthy head of hair, and say, “What kept your hair on?”
“Options, options, options. Let the wind take us where it may like the leaves in Pocahontas.”—Elisha, on what fun Saturday things we should get up to today. Mind you, this was the concluding sentence in an email titled “PROPOSITION and not the sexual kind.” Isn’t he witty? That’s why I keep him around (kidding). ;)
this is totally pieced together and paraphrased but still brilliant.
nobody tells this to people who are beginners. I wish someone had told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple year you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase; they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work wen through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you finish one piece. It’s only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone i’ve ever met. It’s gonna take a while. It’s normal to take awhile. You just gotta fight your way through.
“People can’t understand why I don’t want to be a full-time actress,” she says, “but school life keeps me in touch with my friends. It keeps me in touch with reality. It makes me feel normal. Let’s be honest: I have enough money never to have to work again, but I would never want that. Learning keeps me motivated.”—
Emma Watson, taken from an interview with her in Parade.
What a sensible young woman. She’s still impressing me.
I ran a search on my blog today, and was surprised to find that it yielded no entries dedicated to TOMS, a social enterprise that I’ve been devotedly following for the past two years. This entry is to rectify that!
Since then, I’ve had multiple conversations with friends about TOMS, and the conversations - as well as who’s in them - have definitely changed over time. At first, when I mentioned TOMS, it was unfamiliar to most - save for my friend Amanda, a designer who develops artistic concepts for restaurants and consumer products with a boutique firm in Singapore. Then I saw Dil wish-listing for a pair of TOMS shoes online (twice!) - a request which, of course, I enthusiastically rallied our Bible study group to acede to (I’m still quite chuffed about it! :) ). Soon after, a couple of my friends started sporting them: fellow Singaporean-in-the-USA Max - who rightfully pointed out that her TOMS, being pink glitter TOMS, were several times more awesome - and Ramya, then JCR president at Pembroke College, Oxford, who quickly responded that her anchor-motif TOMS were her favorite shoes, when I complimented them (To this day, those are the TOMS I most covet). By the time I returned to Tufts in the Fall of 2010, I saw TOMS wearers everywhere, which I was equal parts pleased and unsurprised by: the Tufts community lives and breathes active global citizenship; promoting positive social causes is what we do. I think I might’ve counted 5 sightings in the space of 2 hours, when I was at our annual Spring Fling concert. Now, when I bring TOMS up, my friends get even more excited than I do! A bunch of them even studied the company for a course in corporate social responsibility at Tufts.
At this point, I’d actually be surprised if my following overview of the company is new information to anyone: TOMS is company that operates on a one-for-one model - ie: for every pair of shoes purchased, TOMS gives a pair to a child in need. You buy a pair of shoes, someone else also gets a pair of shoes. Since it was his experience in Argentina that first inspired him to start the company, founder Blake Mycoskie did his first ‘shoe drop’ there, but the company has since found giving partners in other parts of South America, Africa, Asia, and locally, in the USA. Last month, the company branched out into eyewear.
Question: Do I own a pair? Yes, indeed I do! - in 2009, completely captivated by the company (and the cute shoes), I ordered myself an olive green or grey pair (I can’t remember at the minute) - but alas, a customer service rep contacted me soon after to inform me that they were out of stock, and asked if I could wait a little longer for them. However, I was scheduled to leave the USA in a week’s time (!) and wouldn’t be back for more than a year, so he kindly let me pick a plain white style (which they had in stock) and had it rushed to me. Unfortunately, given the gender ambiguity of my name, he had a male size 8.5 sent to me, so they were a little too big - no biggie, until of course, I was too impatient to wait for my actually artistic sister to design/paint mine for me, and decided to paint them myself. I painted them mostly dark blue, with a thin light pink stripe across, and painted the rims of the soles mint-green: nice enough to look at, but impossible to match with clothing. :( I brought them to the UK with me, where they nicely enough turned out to be Pembroke colors, for the most part (pink and blue!), but then had no luggage space for them, when I came back to the USA, because there were more necessary items for the Boston area cold (snow boots, down jackets, scarves, a gazillion gloves…). So they’re home in Singapore, creating the lack of a pair here that shall be my excuse to buy another pair, once I come into some extra money…
In the meantime though, I live the TOMS life vicariously, ogling at the shoes in the emails they send me, smirking at my friend Andrew’s pleasure at being asked to post a photograph of himself holding the flag and wearing his shoes, chuckling at his confession that he’s been working extra hard to match his clothes with his blue shoes. There’s something infectious about TOMS - its do-goodness, its aesthetic sensibility - it just appeals, on multiple levels, and I’ve never resisted.