Let’s talk about specs

Clearly, I’ve not felt a strong obligation to this blog since touching back down in the States. Why? There are no acceptable mosaics here. My well of inspiration is dry as a bone.

Just kidding. I haven’t been writing as often as usual because I am in the throes of the busiest summer of my life – working, coffeehouse-hopping, reading, sunbathing (and lying to my doctor about it), sleeping, not sleeping, busing, catching up with friends, wearing baseball caps, honing my skills as a cocktail artiste. I’ve checked out a lot of short story and essay collections from the library. I’ve consumed a near-unbelievable number of iced lattes. Life has been excellent. But I did not come here to write an extensive life update. No, today I am going to talk about glasses.

I was eleven when my poor mother dragged me, an obstinate, fuming moper of a punk, to the eye doctor. We’d recently been to the opera, where I had been unable to read the English subtitles above the stage, and suddenly I was sitting in an uncomfortable chair at Walmart and they were shooting air into my eye. That day, to literally no one’s surprise, it was decided: I needed glasses. I picked a pair of small, chestnut brown frames, and then my mom bought me the new DisneyMania CD because I was upset and she’s always been too nice to me. That Disney optimism, though, did not chase away the fear that I would be labeled as a “nerd.”

That first pair of glasses brought a lot of new things into my life. First, the outlines of leaves, which had previously been indistinguishable clumps of green adorning the trees in my yard. Second, a new facial expression which involved squinching up my nose because my frames would slide down it and I was too lazy to lift a finger. Third, the beginning of an era in which my eyes are almost-closed in every picture because, as I said, my glasses often slid down my nose. As a result, subsequent pairs were very poorly documented: I effectively erased about six years of being visually impaired from the history books (my history books) by refusing to wear glasses in pictures. They would hang there, dangling from my hand, at my side. Nearly every group picture from the time I was twelve to the time I was seventeen was like this. Even in class, I would occasionally take them off if I didn’t really need to see the board. They helped me see – like, a lot – but I was embarrassed to wear them.

There was a brief period where I considered getting contacts (I was probably fourteen) – I went in to the eye doctor and they held up a giant, plastic model of a lens and placed a normal-sized tester on the tip of my finger, but I never actually put it in my eye because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to get it out again. Irrational fear: I’m good at that. So contact lenses were, unequivocally, a “no.”

I went through three pairs of very unexciting black frames before I finally landed on the 2011 “nerd” standard – thick, black, square, with little silver things on the corners. This was when I started liking myself as a glasses-wearer. I wore them all the time, even in pictures, even to school dances, and I owned it. I don’t know why it took so long to happen, but my glasses became a part of who I was. As I would later claim (and still do claim), they became a part of my face, an extra feature. Fast-forward four years and two pairs of frames, and I don’t like taking my glasses off. I also get really offended when people think they’re fake… but that’s another story for another day.

In February, I branched out from my usual type (read: square black acetate) and ordered some chunky tortoiseshells from Warby Parker. I’ve never loved an accessory – or a necessity, for that matter – more than I love my Kimballs.

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And now I’m looking at getting a second pair from my beloved WP. Even though I am not one of the fortunate few who looks good in any and all frames thrown on my face, ordering the home trial boxes is slightly addictive – usually 3/5 are losers, but that leaves two winners. What is more fun than trying on glasses? I guess Disneyland is. Beside the point. Back to corrective eyewear.

In my most recent 5-day home trial, I’ve narrowed it down to two pairs: the Haskell and the Fillmore. I am strongly leaning toward one of them, I won’t say which, but feel free to cast your vote. Just for fun. I say that because I probably won’t listen to any of you because I am an incredibly stubborn young woman. Sorry.

The (Eddie) Haskell (from Leave it to Beaver, I'm sorry okay)

The (Eddie) Haskell (from Leave it to Beaver, I’m sorry okay)

The Fillmore, ft. annoying glare

The Fillmore, ft. annoying glare

In short, I am really, really happy I need glasses. They’re a pain in the ass when it rains, and they steam up when I open the dishwasher, and sunglasses are an expensive challenge. But I love the way they look, and I love that they let me see how I look – pretty useful. As an 11-year-old, I was worried my glasses would make people judge me. Now, if they warrant any label, I’d like to think that label is “bold.” Also, let me just say I completely misconstrued the concept of “nerd” as a child, and would not feel any shame whatsoever to hold that label as well – it’s just that my nerdiness and my glasses have nothing to do with one another.

And that is my corrective lens coming-of-age story. EMBRACE YOUR FLAWS!

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My Life As an Actress

Eh. Ma. Gawd.

Eh. Ma. Gawd. It’s my crew.

Before I realized how much I suck at acting, I wanted to join the ranks of Hollywood’s A-listers. It was my dearest wish to become the next triple-threat tween, to deliver award-winning performances and whip out singles worthy of air-play on Radio Disney. All of this, of course, would inevitably result in a) my marriage to Josh Hutcherson, b) exciting vacations aplenty, and c) the general public recognizing me as the most humble young lady in the business (in my diary, I even promised I would continue shopping at Walmart and Target in the event of my fame). I wanted to be a starlet.

Before I realized how vapid and annoyingly catty the characters were, I was head-over-heels in love with the Clique series by Lisi Harrison. No geeky protagonist was as similar to me as new girl Claire Lyons, and no book character had ever been so attractive as her boyfriend Cam, whose eyes were different colors. These books introduced me to upstate New York materialism, vicious slumber party pranks, and a whole slew of new, completely un-usable slang terms and abbreviations. I was infatuated.

Six years ago, when I was thirteen years old, a beautiful and glimmering opportunity presented itself: an online video contest to win a part in the then-upcoming Clique movie. Fame was ringin’ my doorbell, and I’ll be damned if I wasn’t eager to answer it. Within a week, my overdramatic audition video was filmed (I read as Claire, of course) and posted on SugarLoot.com, and thus my career as a world-renowned actress saw its beginning. This is also precisely the point in time when I began working on my self-shot modeling portfolio, a glamorous-yet-understated collection of glorified selfies. Yes, I have always been ahead of my time.

Before long, the site admins were featuring my video on the official blog, saying it seemed as if I had been directed by the Great Martin Scorsese. I had never seen one of his movies before, but I was walking on air nonetheless and probably singing “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes” or something equally gross and corny. The votes were pouring in. I was rising in the rankings… #4… #3… #2… NUMBER ONE. I was number one for five minutes at the very least, and that, my friends, is when my head broke records with its enormity. I immediately took on the persona of the “gracious rising star,” being oh-so benevolent with my votes for other girls and often pointing out my small-town normalcy on my profile. And then my rising star fell out of the sky and won me five chick flicks on DVD instead of an all-expenses-paid trip to Hollywood.

My ego shrunk to a size much more appropriate for a girl my age, and surprisingly, I was not devastated. Maybe I had a premonition that the movie was going to be a total flop and go straight to video, I mean, it was produced by Tyra Banks. So I would’ve been right. But I probably just realized I couldn’t act to save my life, and I quickly moved onto dreams of fashion design. Cue Project Runway obsession.

So yes, you can tell all your friends you know someone who was almost in a sub-par tween comedy about rich kids with a sense of entitlement at a prep school in New York, although probably not in so many words. And also that’s probably exaggerating. But you can still tell them that.

Just don’t freaking talk to me about the fact that the five winners got to tour the REAL Universal Studios and sit on the Friends couch. I’ll never stop being pissed off about that.

The Petty Complaints and Dull Anecdotes of 2006

My diary was a little more Napoleon Dynamite-y.

I have, unsurprisingly, always been quite consistent with keeping a diary (although I do prefer the term journal, since it just seems less… silly). I have three small books full of my life from about 2004 to the present. And occasionally, I blow the dust off of their jackets and crack them open for a little entertainment. But somehow I always forget how laughably mundane my entries were. Observe:

2.8.06 Today was good. I started my science project display in SOAR. I only bordered my things, though. I’m probably not going to start gluing for awhile. Because glue is relevant and exciting.

2.21.06 Yeah! I’m finally 12! I’m almost a teenager! I went to the Olive Garden with my family for dinner (I got to skip dance). Then, we went to my grandma and grandpa’s. I got a new American Girl! Her name is Jess. She’s so cute! Too bad I’ve got to get my teeth cleaned tomorrow. Good night! I have no idea how my brain connects things.

2.23.06 Today was okay. Well, happy b-day Dakota Fanning! I’m a big fan! You’re only two days younger than me! That’s all I have to say. If you have nothing to say, just don’t say anything.

3.9.06 The Science Fair was great today! I actually got to compete! On the lunch break, Taylor and I roamed the mall. It was so fun! We were independent and alone. I can’t wait until I’m old enough to go to the mall by myself! Little did I know going to the mall by yourself means paying for things… yourself.

3.19.06 I’m very sad right now. My little cousin broke my Disneyland lanyard! He was hanging on it! Luckily, my dad taped it back together. It looks the same, but I don’t think it will be as durable now. Whatever, I’m tired. I’m going to bed! Durability is always a concern of twelve-year-olds.

Later in 2006, things got more exciting (so exciting, I’m only using excerpts)…

9.5.06 If I ever get famous (which I doubt I will)… I promise myself that I won’t be self-centered or a money-hog, but I will give. I would never want to be known as a Hollywood Brat or Jerk. I’ll still shop @ Wal-Mart and Target and all that stuff. I changed my mind about the Walmart thing soon after.

9.20.06 Aaaaaahhh! My email isn’t working! I want to scream! I’m serious; I feel out of the circle. Oh, email. How cute.

10.11.06 Not much happened today, but we got a dog! She is soooo cute! Her name’s Bella. She’s a “whipapoo.” LOL. I got so many emails today! Update: this dog is the spawn of Satan.

10.18.06 OMG, I can like pop my ankle and it makes a noise! It’s really worrying my mom, but I’ve always been able to do it. Well, it’s almost Halloween! I’m really excited! Right now, I’m debating whether or not to be Elizabeth Swann at school or not. I don’t know. Again, with the brain connections. No clue.

Well, I hope some of you find these entries as amusing as I do. Just a little glimpse into what I was like at 12 years old. Sorry if the abundant exclamation points, OMG’s, and LOL’s have tarnished your image of me forever…