The Amateur Attempts: No ‘Poo

The Amateur Shampoo | The Amateur Everything

This summer I had the longest hair I’d ever had in my life. In truth, it was mostly because I was trying to save money. Sixty bucks to cut my hair? That’s like three great meals with friends. So I taught myself how to cut my bangs through a rigorous series of educational videos (thanks, YouTube!) and called it a day.

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On Weddings and Best Friends

Weddings and Best Friends

This past Fourth of July, one of my best friends from high school got married. We’ve stayed connected despite the fact that we both moved to different states and live very different lives. In high school we were part of a group of girls who regularly ate lunch together. We loved to plan elaborate, themed lunch picnics about once a month. To coordinate, one friend created a Myspace group (I’m dating myself here…) and titled it “The Lunch Bunch”. Thus, our identity was forged in the annals of social media.

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Moving to Manhattan

If apartment hunting in New York is a marathon, moving is more of a triathlon. You spend endless amounts of time preparing: mapping the course, putting all of your ducks in a row, contacting the right people for support and training. In my case, I made 6 different possible schedules for the day-of, tweaking moving days, times, and modes of transportation. I also made the same amount of floor plans to make sure all of my belongings would fit into the apartment. If anyone deserved the label of obsessive compulsive, it was me. I am surprised my mom didn’t start ignoring my emails because of the sheer volume of inane questions I sent her way (should my night stand go on the left or right side of my bed?).

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Makin’ Moves

What a month! I am finally dragging my head out of the vortex of apartment decorating to write this post. About a week and a half ago (two weeks? three weeks? what is time?) AC and I signed a lease for a gorgeous apartment in Manhattan! That’s right, at the end of this month I will no longer be an outerborough-er. Did I mention that I was even looking to move??

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Movie Night: Studio Ghibli Bingo

Studio Ghibli Miyazaki Movie Marathon | The Amateur Everything

A year ago I hosted a Miyazaki Movie Marathon with my friends and created this illustrated Studio Ghibli Bingo card. Now, with the recent release of The Wind Rises, I have had the opportunity to guest post on The Nerds of Color for their Miyazaki Week special.

Click here to see the full bingo card and print it free for your own movie night. 


Text from the original post

Up until I was eight, my dad traveled frequently for work, often for weeks at a time. Once, after a long trip to Japan, he returned with a couple of animated movies on VHS: My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki’s Delivery Service. Even though I couldn’t understand the dialogue, I watched them repeatedly and reveled in the worlds created by Hayao Miyazaki. I shared them with my friends and even rewound the cassettes to catch the trailer featuring a dreamy floating castle (I now know this trailer was for Laputa). The characters and art have stuck with me ever since. After three cross-country moves, I can still look to Kiki for support in being a young woman of color figuring out how to make it on her own.

A year ago I was again given the gift of Miyazaki’s work, and this time I became the proud owner of the amazing Studio Ghibli Movie Collection. Sixteen brilliant and beautiful films, many of which I had once attempted to download and subtitle in a dimly-lit dorm room (to little success), were now legally in my possession. This was clearly cause for celebration, so I invited various friends over for a Studio Ghibli Movie Marathon. For the occasion I created an unofficial Studio Ghibli Bingo card, which I now give to you. If I’ve learned anything, it’s to share the beauty, creativity, and human stories of Miyazaki’s work.

Of course there’s no right way to enjoy the films, but if you want to add a more participatory element, print out the bingo card and cross off the themes, tropes, and common elements as you see them.

Did I miss something? Add your own boxes in the comments.

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Plant family

Plant Family | The Amateur Everything

After work on Thursday I found myself wandering slowly down to the Lower East Side, with about an hour to burn before dinner. There’s an adorable florist on Lafayette street that I have passed on numerous occasions and finally I found the time to pop in for quick look. Of course, it’s called Adore. They have a number of beautiful arrangements as well as a selection of succulents, ferns, and air plants. I thought I’d end up leaving with some air plants but once I saw their sweetheart Hoya succulents, I couldn’t resist. I bought another anemone-looking plant that I don’t know the name of and with that I had two new additions to my little potted garden.

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A very DotA Valentine’s Day

I often give J a hard time about playing DotA (Defense of the Ancients, for those not in the know). Honestly, I don’t personally know any other people who play it besides him and his friends, and they’ve been playing it since middle school. Over the summer we actually stayed with one of his friends in Houston, who he had met through online gaming. Now, who said the internet is a dangerous place? Don’t answer that.

The idea came to me about a week before Valentine’s Day to create a series of punny DotA-themed cards for him. I have a weird knack for puns (as corroborated by the weekly New York Magazine crossword puzzle), which mostly makes J groan. The first one I came up with was, “I DotA’n you”, as in “I dote on you.” Yeah, I told you I was good (no, wait, please don’t leave yet! I’m not done!). They mostly get better than that.

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DIY Paper Cut Art

After linocuts, paper cut art seemed like the next logical craft to learn in my amateur adventures. I have lusted after the work of quite a few paper artists for some time (Bovey Lee, Woodland Paper Cuts, Chloe Fleury). From my obsessive internet searches I finally came to the conclusion that this is a simple, budget-friendly craft with some truly incredible possibilities. With practice I knew that I could take my own ideas to new, colorful levels.

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Workspacing | The Amateur Everything

Ack, this is so delayed but I finally have a craft workspace set up! No more working on the dining room table! In October I secured a ride to the Brooklyn Ikea and picked up a Linnmon tabletop and some Lerberg trestle legs. The tabletop sits right on top of the legs, which seemed incredibly precarious so I bought a couple of pipe brackets at a hardware store nearby and secured the legs to the tabletop.  I also picked up that great task lamp and the cube storage shelves for all of my thangsssss.

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A Day Trip to Jones Beach: Travelogue and Budget Itinerary

With a week to go before I started working, I decided to make the most of my final free weekdays. AX agreed to accompany me on any adventures since he is also trying to live up his days as a freelancing photographer. Since he has a car, this of course meant that we would be getting out of the city. We finally settled on Jones Beach, a place we had both heard good things about but had never been to.

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