Sunday, November 24, 2013

I Can't Relate

One of the things that I've asked myself many times while dealing with anxiety is why nobody else ever seems to be dealing with anything. Every time I go out somewhere I can't help but look around and notice how together everyone seems to be. People always seem like they're genuinely enjoying their lives, or if not enjoying it, they at least aren't bothered by it. I asked my mom this once, why everyone else seemed to go about their day without a problem and I could barely function outside of my home. She told me, "Everyone has a cross to bear, people just don't usually show it. Everyone is struggling, you just can't tell. Nobody would ever think you're struggling by looking at you just like you can't tell they're struggling by looking at them." It reminded me of that quote by Plato that says to be nice, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. (Edit: it has been brought to my attention that Plato never said this, it was actually Ian Maclaren.) I truly, truly believe this. We all have our issues. We all have our crosses. We shouldn't assume anything.

But, with that being said, I find it perfectly acceptable that I can acknowledge everyone is struggling without accepting that everyone understands what it's like to endure our particular struggle. For example, whenever I would confide in someone about my panic disorder, people would tell me about how they or someone they knew deal or have dealt with anxiety. I would feel a sense of relief, letting out an internal sigh and think, they get it, only to have them say something that made me realize that they kind of get it without actually getting it. When people tell you that they understand, they understand their version of your struggle, but they don't understand your uniquely-shaped struggle, and that is where lies the difference.

A lot of people know what it feels like to be nervous, so they understand what anxiety feels like and they use the term interchangeably, which is fine, they essentially mean the same thing, but at the same time it can also lessen the intensity of the meaning. I've heard people say they thought they "were going to have an anxiety attack" before a presentation when really they meant they had some very reasonable nervous jitters before standing in front of a large audience. This reminds me of  Louis CK's bit about over-using words like 'amazing' and 'hilarious'. When 'anxiety' and 'panic' are used to describe very healthy bouts of situational nerves, what word do you use when the feeling of impending doom overwhelms your mind and body to the point where you think you might be losing control of your sanity and it stops you from participating in everyday things? Unfortunately, there is no word for that.

But I digress. This isn't about the terminology surrounding anxiety. This is about when people say they understand what you're going through but don't really or when people try to make you feel better by saying EVERYONE feels like this. But you know that can't possibly be true because you're around people all the time and you watch them do stuff and they do things that you cannot fathom doing yourself and you look at them and think, if you feel like how I feel how can you be doing that? I started noticing this after some people at my work invited me to go to the movies. When I asked what movie they were seeing, they said whatever scary/paranormal/horror movie that was out at the time. I thought to myself, who would ever want to subject themselves to seeing that and purposely make your adrenaline go through the roof? My imagination is crazy enough without a movie lending suggestions of things I didn't even know I should be worried about. That's when I realized that not only could people not relate to me, as long as the Saw franchise was making hundreds of millions of dollars from people like my co-workers who willingly wanted to see stuff like that, I couldn't relate to the majority of people. Then I started to mentally list other people that I can't relate to:

People who read in cars.
People who drink venti frappuccinos with no stomach discomfort afterward.
People who drink any coffee before going somewhere for a long period of time, especially on an airplane or amusement park.
People who have no problem going to concerts and not feeling overwhelmed by the
vast amount of people and noise.
People who have no reservations about trying random ethnic foods.
People who can wear a bra for hours without feeling like they're suffocating.
People who have no problem having a phone conversation in public.
People who enjoy talking on the phone at all.
People who think going to Times Square on New Year's Eve sounds fun.
People who have numerous consecutive boyfriends/girlfriends, especially in a short period of time.
People who really look forward to traveling.
People who can drink alcohol without panicking about feeling lightheaded.
People who can watch horror films or look at disturbing images.
People who have no problem falling asleep while home alone.

But this doesn't mean I don't like these kinds of people, or even need these kinds of people, because I do. I need people who are okay doing the things I'm not because if everyone were like me, we'd all be up the creek and nothing would get done. What I'm saying is that not everyone feels like everyone else, and we shouldn't lie that we do. It's okay to admit you can't relate to what someone is going through. What bothers me might not bother someone else and vice versa. But just because we can't understand, or relate to, or even see a person's struggle doesn't make it any less real or any less valid. And just because someone does something that is our own anxiety trigger doesn't mean they don't struggle with something else that we can do without a problem.  The truth is: we will never fully understand someone else's hang-ups no matter how much we think we do, and nobody will fully understand ours no matter how much we wish they could. The key then is to be compassionate regardless, and to be patient both with people's struggles we don't understand and with those who don't understand ours. But one thing I know for sure: Someone who drinks a venti caramel frappuccino before boarding a plane clearly fears nothing.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Film Styles: Frances Ha

How would I describe Frances Ha? Well, it's pretty much an 80 minute episode of Girls. Don't get me wrong, I like Girls and I liked Frances Ha, they just feel very similar. I liked Frances because she made me feel better about myself, like I'm not the only 20-something that isn't a real adult yet. She's a 27-year-old out-of-work dancer living in New York City, trying to figure her stuff out, but she does it in a way that still kind of makes me wish I was her. I loved how she was just so effortlessly herself, if that makes sense. Her hair's a mess and she looks like she just grabbed whatever was lying around and threw it on, but it works. I yearn to be that cool. To throw on a dress and a bomber jacket like I don't even care and people look at you like, yeah, that totally make sense. Here are some pieces that you could add to a Frances-esque wardrobe, but of course, in true Frances fashion all these pieces should probably be thrifted or hand-me-downs and a couple of sizes too big.

Current/Elliot button up, $248
Dorothy Perkins pencil skirt, $21
Bomber jacket, $35
High-top Converse, $55
Black leggings, $15
Topshop floral dress, $68
J. Crew cardigan, $50
Ballet flats, $19.99

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders

SNL's "The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders", a parody of a Wes Anderson horror movie, is so brilliant. Edward Norton's Owen Wilson is spot on. I can't stop watching it.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Film Styles: Revolutionary Road

Movie: Revolutionary Road (2008)

Costumer Designer: Albert Wolsky (Grease, Across the Universe, Charlie Wilson's War)

Set in 1955 this film embodies mid-century fashion. From pencil skirts to body-hugging dresses, it captures the everyday elegance of the decade. My personal favorite look is the button-up shirt with rolled sleeves. There's something casual yet still stylish about it. Here are a few things to get the look:

See more Film Styles. Read my thoughts on the book.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Things From Around The Web

British guy does baseball commentary. I was dying.

Lauren Bacall talking about Humphrey Bogart (which just reaffirms my love for Rick Blaine.)

How to make your own galaxy print shirt.

A mobile office.

Thug Kitchen cracks me up (may be offensive if you don't like foul language).

Surprising literary one-hit wonders.

I love the idea of this love letter kit. (Perhaps putting it back in the tube and throwing it out to sea the next time I'm at the beach.)

this book looks like it would be crammed full of wisdom.

Anti-pervert leggings. What.

Absolutely gorgeous Ombre wall paint

'Funniest friend ever' award goes to...

Would you read a Downton Abbey-inspired book?

                                                       Hope you all have a great weekend!

image via we heart it

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Movie stars home movies

Silent home movies of Paul Newman, Natalie Wood and Jane Fonda hanging out in Malibu in 1965. Also, Labor day at Rock Hudson's house and Julie Andrews. When being a movie star was just as glamorous as you imagined. Doesn't it make you want to go to the beach?

Summer Playlist

Summer is that one season that needs a soundtrack, a group of songs that when heard years later reminds you of "that one summer when..." I remember when I stayed at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs, laying by the pool while Jimi Hendrix played over the speakers and thinking that it was the epitome of summer. Whether you're laying by the pool, or at the beach, or just driving around with all your windows down, you need those go-to songs that make you feel good and wish summer would never end. Here are 15 (or so) songs that will be in constant rotation on my iPod this summer:

1. Victory - Play it
2. Vampire Weekend - Diane Young / Unbelievers
3. JJAMZ - Heartbeat
4. The Rolling Stones - Gimme Shelter / Doo Doo Doo
5. Bruno Mars - Treasure
6. Paul Simon - Kodachrome / Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard
7. Jefferson Airplane - Volunteers
8. The Mowgli's - San Francisco
9. The Neighbourhood - Sweater Weather
10. Jimi Hendrix - All Along the Watchtower
11.The Non-Commissioned Officers - Ahead of the Wave
12. Led Zeppelin - Black Dog
13. Alabama Shakes - Always Alright
14. Creedence Clearwater Revival - Fortunate Son
15. The Doors - Love Her Madly

What's on your summer playlist?

Image via Only You

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Don't Waist Your Clothes

Sometimes clothes make me claustrophobic. I think it has to do with years of buying clothes from thrift stores and TJ Maxx and places that don't have something in every size, so when you find something you really like, you compromise the fact that it may not fit you perfectly and you just deal with it. But over the years the combination of my growing neurosis and my ever-growing body it has made it hard to not feel anxious if clothes are too tight on me. I don't like when I can't move freely or if something is too tight around my waist. I also hate constantly adjusting things, pulling down a shirt, pulling up a pair of jeans.

Actually, for the longest time I thought jeans were the most uncomfortable article of clothing to wear. That is because, like Blanche so eloquently  put it on an episode of The Golden Girls: "I can go out to dinner, and in the middle of the meal my pants are cutting off my circulation so bad my feet are turning blue." Jeans are only good for a certain amount of hours until the urge to unbutton them is too strong to resist. But I must admit that with a good-fitting pair of jeans, they can be comfortable all day. I realized this after donating all my old pairs of jeans I didn't fit into anymore I finally finding some that actually fit.

With that being said, it has been my mission lately to find clothing that are not only cute but actually comfortable. Clothes that are loose-fitting without looking sloppy. I just want to look like those Parisian woman that look like they just threw on whatever they could find and still look amazingly stylish (and comfortable!) I think my whole goal in life is to look that effortless (and to not feel like I'm constantly in a sausage casing). Here are some examples of what I'm talking about:

Here are a few things my waist is swooning over:

images via All for Fashion Design, Agorique, Styletracker, Victoria Day TodayVanessa Jackman

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Why Rick Blaine is the Perfect Man

Some women spend their whole life trying to find the perfect man, and some men spend their whole life trying to be the perfect man. Well let me make it very easy for both sexes: when you look up "the perfect man" in the dictionary (which you can't, obviously, because that's three words and dictionaries only work one word at a time, BUT IF YOU COULD) it would say "see: Richard Blaine." Even Captain Renault, the Italian captain of police in Casablanca describes Rick as "...the kind of man that... well, if I were a woman, and I were not around, I should be in love with Rick." And here's why:

He likes to travel. Spain, Paris, Morocco... Rick Blaine has more than just a couple stamps in his passport. And from wonderful places, too. Granted, he is technically running from the law (and Nazis) and can never go back to America (for reasons unknown but no doubt shady... I'd like to think he killed a man. It's the romantic in me.) but haven't we all done things in our past we're not proud of?

He owns his own business. Rick's CafĂ© AmĂ©ricain. Sure it's a gin joint seething with illegal activity, but it's popular and extremely lucrative, making him one of the most well-respected and sought-out people in town. Plus, free drinks!

He has confidence without being a showoff. You know those guys who have to constantly be the life of the party? The ones that talk too loud just so everyone around them can hear? Rick Blaine is the opposite of that guy. He has a quiet confidence, elusive even. He has an understood authority and command of every situation. He doesn't need to put on a show for people; he doesn't need to impress anyone. He is completely comfortable with himself, and there is nothing more attractive than a man who is confident without having to announce it.

He's not threatened by other men. He's just as secure as he is confident. Unlike some guys who feel the need to show the agonistic behavior of a silverback gorilla when threatened by the dominance of another man, Rick Blaine never creates a spectacle. He's always as cool as a cucumber, never throwing a punch or raising his voice. Even when he's introduced to his ex-lover's husband, Victor Lazslo, concentration camp escapee and leader of the underground resistance, rather than beat his chest out of jealousy, he admits how impressed he is with him like a true gentleman should.

Rick: I congratulate you
Victor: For what?
Rick: Your work.
Victor: I try.
Rick: We all try; you succeed!

He has a sense of humor. When Major Strasser, a German official, tells him that the Nazis have a file on him, that they know everything about him, and everything he's done, Rick takes the notebook from the German's hands, looks it over and responds, deadpan and without missing a beat, "are my eyes really brown?"

He's a snazzy dresser. White dinner coat? Suits during the day? Sure, maybe that's what everyone wore back then, but they made Rick look extra dapper.

He's more interested in you than him. Before Isla ripped out his heart via letter at a train station, he was just a man hopelessly in love with a woman he wanted to know everything about. "Who are you really, and what were you before? What did you do and what did you think, huh?" What woman doesn't want a man who is completely and utterly interested in everything about her? It sure beats the guys who can't even be bothered to ask how your day was, let alone try to find out what makes you tick at your very core. Or heck, just what your favorite color is.

He pays attention to detail. Some guys don't even notice when you get your hair done, let alone be able to remember what you were wearing the last time he saw you (years before!).

Ilsa: I wasn't sure you were the same. Let's see, the last time we met...
Rick: Was La Belle Aurore.
Ilsa: How nice, you remembered. But of course, that was the day the Germans marched into Paris.
Rick: I remember every detail. The Germans wore gray, you wore blue.


He isn't a womanizer. After he got his heart broken he became, as Captain Renault describes it, "neutral to women." He turns down drinks from beautiful women in his bar and even Sam can't convince Isla that he has a woman over at the Blue Parrot. He doesn't fill his broken heart with one-night stands, or bed women for the sake of loneliness. He only gets involved with women he truly has feelings for, so you're never left guessing whether or not he's just using you or playing games. What a relief!  

He's sentimental.  Underneath Rick's hard, cynical exterior there is a soft, mushy center. Sure he says that he doesn't stick his neck out for anyone, but that's just for show. He has a long track record of being on the side of the underdog. He fought in the Spanish civil war against the fascists, he allows visas to be sold illegally out of his cafe, and he even rigs a game of roulette to allow a young Bulgarian couple to win enough money to go to America. Sure, it's dishonest... but it's done for the right reasons. If you're going to bend the rules, it's best that's it's done for the betterment of others. He also does heart-warming things that aren't illegal, like allowing the band to play France's national anthem to drown out the group of Nazis singing "Die Wacht am Rhein." And probably the most selfless and sentimental thing of all: giving his one true love, Isla, an exit visa and putting her on a plane with her husband, Victor Lazslo. Then lying to Victor and telling him Isla pretended to still be in love with him in order to get the visa, just to assure him of Isla's faithfulness, when in reality she was ready to say "sayonara" to Victor and stay in Casablanca with Rick. In the end, Rick doesn't necessarily do what is honest (or even lawful) but he does what is right.  And isn't that the kind of man you want? Someone who would sacrifice his own happiness for the happiness of others? 

I think I rest my case.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Ghosts of History

Dutch historian Jo Teeuswisse created these haunting photos called "Ghosts of History" by taking the negatives of World War II photos and overlapping them with the same modern day location. It gives me chills just looking at them. Whenever I think of war I always envision it being fought in some battlefield far away, it seems surreal to see pictures of soldiers walking down city streets with buildings turned to rubble. See all of the pictures here.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Things From Around The Web

People who look like paintings.

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is back! I'm so excited!

It's always nice to have an excuse on hand, just in case.

Replacing babies and phones with sandwiches.

I need this shirt.

The typewriters of famous authors.

If WWII had CliffsNotes it would probably look like this.

Six modern uses for the Yellow Pages.

Beautiful book covers.

Successful people who lived with their parents. (made me think of this.)

                                  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend (and father's day!)

image via cold wind & iron

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

Image via Eva Black Design  (it's also downloadable as an iphone wallpaper)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Shabby Apple Giveaway

The sun is out, the birds are chirping and all that's missing is you in this perfect summer dress. Well lucky for you, Shabby Apple is giving away a $75 gift card to one Le Quaintrelle reader! Shabby Apple is an online dress boutique that specializes in vintage and retro dresses.  Check out their selection of  vintage dresses

All you need to do is:

"Like" Shabby Apple on Facebook.
Leave a comment below stating which Shabby Apple item is your favorite.

All entries must be received by 11:59PM Pacific time on June 18th.
This giveaway is open to US residents only. 
Good luck!! 


I am so in love with watercolor right now. It could have been sparked by my trip to The Getty, although I think it's gone farther back than that (this has been my computer for the last two years). Either way, I love everything about it: the colors, the technique. So perfect for summer. Here are a few things that will turn you into a moving masterpiece:

Top: Modcloth Scarf: Forever 21 Leggings: boohoo
Skirt: Nastygal phone case: Ruche flip flops: JCPenny Top: Alice + Olivia

Images from Deviantart and AngelicbyJones

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Bobby Kennedy's Funeral Train

June 6th was the 45th anniversary of Bobby Kennedy's assassination. The pictures taken from his funeral train going from New York to Washington are haunting. People standing in crowds holding flags, women still in curlers, a single family of four paying their respects by the side of the tracks. It's one of those things that wrenches your heart seeing people coming together to honor and mourn, wondering how history could have been altered if things had been different.

See the whole album here, and see Bobby announce Martin Luther King Jr.'s death just two months before his own.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

In Cabin'd Ships at Sea

In cabin'd ships at sea,
The boundless blue on every side expanding,
With whistling winds and music of the waves, the large imperious waves,
Or some lone bark buoy'd on the dense marine,
Where joyous full of faith, spreading white sails,
She cleaves the ether mid the sparkle and the foam of day, or under
many a star at night,
By sailors young and old haply will I, a reminiscence of the land, be read,
In full rapport at last.

Here are our thoughts, voyagers' thoughts,
Here not the land, firm land, alone appears, may then by them be said,
The sky o'erarches here, we feel the undulating deck beneath our feet,
We feel the long pulsation, ebb and flow of endless motion,
The tones of unseen mystery, the vague and vast suggestions of the
briny world, the liquid-flowing syllables,
The perfume, the faint creaking of the cordage, the melancholy rhythm,
The boundless vista and the horizon far and dim are all here,
And this is ocean's poem.
Then falter not O book, fulfil your destiny,
You not a reminiscence of the land alone,
You too as a lone bark cleaving the ether, purpos'd I know not
whither, yet ever full of faith,
Consort to every ship that sails, sail you!
Bear forth to them folded my love, (dear mariners, for you I fold it
here in every leaf;)
Speed on my book! spread your white sails my little bark athwart the
imperious waves,
Chant on, sail on, bear o'er the boundless blue from me to every sea,
This song for mariners and all their ships.

--Walt Whitman

image via

Monday, May 20, 2013

Emma's first birthday

Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled 
(It was a chocolate-all-over-your-face good day)

Yesterday my family and I celebrated my niece's first birthday at the park. It was such a gorgeous day with beautiful trees and a lake. It was super windy so it was prime conditions for flying kites. It made me really excited about summer. Even though I won't technically be on summer vacation, little day trips like these are totally doable (and much welcomed to break up the mundanity of work and school.) Too bad these two girls are leaving me in a couple weeks to move across the country (*shakes an angry fist at their parents*).  Maybe we can have a picnic over Facetime...
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