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Parks and Wreck

This is something that has been gnawing at me for weeks and needed to be written for my own sanity’s sake. Yep. It’s another serious narrative. I know I don’t post these all the time, but I feel it’s important for me to do so every now and then so you guys know I’m not all fluff and fancy stuff. If you’re not into me talking about sad and serious things that might make you feel some way, feel free to skip this and wait for my next post which will be going back to the light-hearted, happy, geeky fashion stuff you usually see on here.

It’s weird how certain things or places can feel tainted based on the memories of a person you associate them with; specifically if that person was once a significant part of your life and is now nothing but a complete and total stranger.  

Earlier in August, while waiting around for Jen to finish up a second interview with a non-profit in the Mission, I walked around the neighborhood with Rory. I realized that Dynamo Donut wasn’t too far away and maybe I could get Jen a congratulatory donut just for making it so far in the job process (she got the gig BTW). What can I say? We always celebrate with food. The fact that Dynamo Donut was a “tainted” place came across my mind as I began to search for it on Google Maps, but I brushed that notion aside and said “fuck it.” It was a place my ex and I had often frequented whenever he visited me and my housemates in Daly City. This was before we started dating, but during that time is when we became best friends. I remember the two of us were so psyched to go, and utterly devastated upon seeing the “closed” sign on its green shutters as we walked up to it. On our way over we noticed a cool looking park with vibrant murals and an enormous mosaic snake. I can’t quite recall if we actually went that day, or if we went the following day after successfully getting donuts, but it instantly became a tradition to go there, even long after I moved out of the Bay Area. Every trip to San Francisco had to include a visit to Dynamo Donut and the park. We’d go there high on sugar (from the donuts, of course) and run along the back of the mosaic snake, which I named Horatio. One time a man asked if we had a child with us since a sign in the park stated adults had to be accompanied by children. My ex said no, but we were children at heart. The man wasn’t amused, but we didn’t care. We kept visiting the park anyway.

The last time I was there was for our two-year anniversary three years ago. Not even a month after that was when we broke up. After it happened, I felt obligated to write about it here since he had such a huge presence on my blog. My readers would obviously notice something was wrong if I just stopped talking about him all together, right? I often documented our adventures, he took a majority of my outfit pictures, and I talked about him a lot on here. He was my legit first love, and he made it seem like we’d last a lifetime. It was only natural that he’d be mentioned very often. 

It was nearly 3:30 when I got to Dynamo, and they were sold out for the day. They still had dog donuts though, so I bought one for Rory and proceeded to the park. I told myself that it was okay to go back. It was only “tainted” because I let it be, and that I shouldn’t let the memory of some stupid guy ruin it for me. We went to Disneyland together all the time, but I managed to make it “mine” again. Surely I could do the same with the park. However, once I reached it, I was swept with such ennui. It was completely deserted. The circular steel swing had been worn down with bits of rust. The paint on the murals were no longer bright, but were faded and chipping. Horatio’s body no longer gleamed the way it used to because there were now splotches of grey cement covering the damage that had been done to him since the three years I was last there. Looking around, memories of moments I had been there played like short films in my head. I remembered the last time I was there, wearing my maroon peacoat and being pushed on the swing by my ex. At one point he told me not to move and brushed something off my back. I panicked and asked if it was a bug and he said no. Minutes later he told me that there was, in fact, a bug on my back. I didn’t feel particularly sad or get a sense of longing over him. The ennui came from something else. As Rory and I took a seat on top of Horatio’s head, I felt my eyes begin to fill with tears. A sudden deep depression came over me. Why was I about to cry? I couldn’t figure it out.

And then I realized the symbolism of it all.

The park is basically the personification of my old relationship. It was beautiful, but now it’s tarnished and faded. When you look back on the past, you try to remember the good things, the beautiful things. This place was full of fun memories that I associated with happier times. From afar, the park still looks fantastic, but once I got closer and was able to see what time had done to it… it’s just… well, a wreck. The paint’s faded and chipping away. Rust has grown on the playground equipment. Horatio doesn’t shine the way I remembered. Or maybe it was like this all along and my rosy colored specs prevented me from seeing it that way.

I stopped myself from crying. “There’s nothing to cry about,” I told myself. I didn’t want to mourn a relationship that’s been over for three years. I’m tired of mourning. I’ve been done mourning. I’ve accepted the fact that I don’t have it in me to be his friend again, and that’s okay. I haven’t talked to him in years, so I don’t know how he feels. There is a lack of trust on my end, which is why I know friendship is out of the question. When I first wrote about us breaking up three years ago, I said that it was a mutual decision. I only said that because I was trying to respect his privacy and didn’t want to portray him in a bad light. But how can I continue to do so when he didn’t respect me at all? The decision wasn’t mutual. It was all him. I was completely blindsided. When he talked about how he felt, and asked what I thought could be done, the only thing I could think of was breaking up. But he promised me so many things; he told me he saw a future with me, we talked about getting married, what kind of wedding it’d be, and growing old together, we talked about getting two dogs and naming them Han and Chewie, and on our first New Year’s Eve he promised to kiss me at midnight the next year, and the year after that, and the year after…  breaking up couldn’t possibly be an option! It feels as if he wanted me to come to that conclusion myself so he wouldn’t feel like an asshole and have to flat out say he wanted things to end himself. I fought like hell to make that relationship work, even after he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. God knows I did all that I could to accommodate his needs to the best of my abilities. I even bought a fucking book to help me understand how to deal with it. So what a punch to the gut it was for him to tell me that he didn’t feel like he was in a relationship. Or when he said he felt like he couldn’t be himself around me anymore, and that he flirted with other girls to fulfill a need for the attention I couldn’t properly give since we were long distance (and that he started dating one of those girls not too long after we broke up). Or when he said that sometimes he wanted to be with me and sometimes he didn’t. Honestly, if you’re even asking yourself that question, do me a favor and just don’t be with me. Oh, and there was also that long, excruciating pause when I said, “You keep saying that you still love me, but that it’s not the same as it used to be… so… are you even still in love with me?” I knew the answer was no, but that pause crushed me. How could this person who was supposedly my significant other and best friend say and feel all these things?

Now that enough time has passed, I can look at the relationship without bias and clouded judgement. I don’t use him being bipolar as an excuse to how he behaved anymore. I can see where things went wrong and that we really weren’t good for each other. Or more so, he really wasn’t good for me. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think he’s a horrible person. I just think he was a sucky boyfriend to me in the end. That’s all.

I guess the point in me writing this is that I’ve come to understand that looking at the past too often will not serve you well. Perhaps this is something I should’ve figured out a long time ago. The more you visit, the more you’ll see the imperfections and faded paint of something that you once thought was lovely and beautiful. Dwelling on the past too much will only hold you back because it’ll make you feel bitter and afraid, especially if you’re spiteful and hold grudges like me. Just keep moving forward, it’s all we can do. Keep moving forward to better, exciting, and challenging things. It’s scary, and there’ll definitely be some bumps along the way, but you’ll be better for it. And the paint is brighter there, too. I promise.

cheers le fancy geek fashion blogger

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Fantastic Pups and Where To Find Them

Today is National Dog Day, and also Women’s Equality Day!

But we’re here to talk about dog stuff because I’m a crazy dog lady dog mama. Obviously. ;P

Rory’s accumulated a few cool items here and there over the past few months, but the two things I’m currently obsessed with are his brand new harness and dog carrier by Yap USA. I’ve been in search of a nice carrier for him since the one I got couple years ago is so bulky and… well, ugly. The main reason I got it was so I could bring him on BART with me whenever I felt like going San Francisco (which wasn’t all that often), and also for family outings. But walking around with it was a nuisance. It felt like I was going around town with a duffle bag.

When I went to SF last month (which you can read about here) we stumbled upon Yap USA in Ghirardelli Square. They had so many cute and stylish things for fur babies; it’s basically Nordstrom for canines! I thought the harness Rory had was fine, but my aunt wanted to get him a new one. So the salesman (who was very helpful and super cute) showed us their “Yap Wrap,” which I thought was weird upon first glance, but then he explained the design and it all made more sense — it’s reversible (Rory’s is plain denim on one side, striped on the other), has sturdy military grade velcro, a d-ring is attached at the bottom rather than top to prevent trachea damage, and there’s a handle down the back in case you need to pull your pup away from something. I feel like I explained this so much better in the vlog I recorded that needs to be redone since it turned out weird. Blugh.

But the carrier! Let’s talk about that, shall we? The carrier I found at Yap USA is the best thing ever. It’s not bulky, it has lots of pockets to place Rory’s treats and a few of my things, and is stylish as f*ck. I’ve already used it numerous times since we got it last month — mainly for Rory, but sometimes just for me. No, seriously. I legit use this thing as a purse. It’s fantastic! When I went to the Mission district and Berkeley with Jen and Rory a couple weeks ago, I just threw Rory’s little bag of food in the main compartment, and my wallet, lipstick, compact mirror, and portable charger in the carrier’s back pocket, and was set for the whole day. It was funny bringing him into Top Dog (one of my favorite food spots in Berkeley) because he kept fidgeting around in it; it made me feel like Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

le fancy geek outfit fashion blogger

jacket: Old Navy | dress: Forever 21 (buy here)
shoes: Dexflex Comfort (buy here| hat: H&M
necklaces: made by me | bracelet: Disneyland
Hufflepuff badge: Riddles Tea Shoppe (N/A)
dog tag: Loot Pets (subscribe here)
dog harness & dog carrier: Yap USA (buy here)

I’m going to do my best to re-record/edit my haul video showing off some of Rory’s things soon, that way you guys can get a better look at the carrier and harness, so stay tuned for that! If you take a look at their webstore, you won’t see the carrier I got there. However, I do believe that you can call or email the store and place an order. Just ask about the carrier from their Prada collection. In the meantime, have a happy Friday 😀

cheers le fancy geek fashion blogger

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Must Love Dogs

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I had my first official day of dog grooming school last Saturday! The main thing I’ve been doing is learning how to properly bathe and dry them, clean their ears, and clip their nails. Clipping their nails is scary as fuck, you guys. I accidentally cut a little too close on an Italian Greyhound’s hind paw and it started bleeding, and he already nearly fell off the table prior to that when I was drying him. Soooo, yeah. Not good! Despite how nerve wrecking he was, I didn’t let it get to me and managed to soldier on with the other dogs I had to bathe. I think I’m supposed to start learning how to do sanitary cuts this week (buzzing off fur underneath the tail and belly area), and need to be able to name different parts of a dog’s anatomy since I’m getting quizzed on that on Friday.

It’s really hard work. I wasn’t expecting it to be easy, but my poor back was in a world of pain from having to bend over the tub.

So, why dog grooming? It’s seems pretty random considering that I got my degree in Creative Writing. But like I learned in the soul sucking Business of CW class I took my senior year, all writers take on random jobs to support themselves. My degree isn’t helping me out much as far as jobs/careers are concerned. Maybe it would help if I wanted to be a teacher, but I have absolutely no desire for that. Being a tutor is enough for me on the education front! I’ve been trying to figure out what I want to do as far as work is concerned. Ideally, it would involve traveling opportunities, writing, and working with like-minded people,  but what job is that? So then I thought about working with dogs. Ever since I got Rory, my heart aches even more when those damn Humane Society commercials with Sarah McLachlan come up. Or if I see a stray dog, it hurts too because I hate the fact that they don’t have a loving family to spoil them rotten. I knew I didn’t want to be a vet or vet tech, but I wanted to help/work with dogs in some capacity. Dog grooming presented itself a few times since my aunt saw an ad in the paper about a local dog grooming school last year. I always brushed it aside whenever she brought it up, but last year it came up again and it just clicked. So that’s where I am now!

I’m also taking an online creative writing class which is going fairly well. I started working on a new story last night and ended up writing over 1,000 words! Still not sure where the story is going, but it feels really good to be creating fiction again. 🙂

cheers le fancy geek fashion blogger

 

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Back to School

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Hey my little, ponies! Long time no see, but there’s good reason for that. I’m back in school (kinda)! I decided to take an online creative writing course at the local community college to kick my ass back into gear in terms of writing fiction. It’s been a long long time since I’ve worked on any new stories (came up with ideas and jotted some notes, but that’s all), and I want to get back into the swing of things. Working on my writing is something I recall mentioning on my blog every time the New Year came ’round, and I never fulfilled it because I was always caught up doing something else.

THIS IS THE YEAR I START WRITING AGAIN, GODDAMMIT.  – pounds left fist on table indignantly –

We’re only in the third week of the semester, but it seems to be going okay so far. I’ve never taken an online course before so I’m trying to get used to it. It’s odd not meeting in a classroom once or twice a week, and the only means of communication is all through email or message boards, so I have no idea who my fellow classmates are. But like I said, it seems to be going okay. This week’s assignment is to hash-out the plot of the story I’m working on and I’m kind of like, “Uh… what the hell is my story about anyway?” I dug up an unfinished short that I worked on in one my creative writing classes at SFSU that’s inspired by Jenny Lewis’ song “Rabbit Fur Coat.” I thought it’d be appropriate since this year is the 10th anniversary of her first solo album of the same name. You can listen to my source of inspiration here. I have an idea of who my two main characters are and what the issues between them are and why, but as for the actual plot? I don’t think I ever really thought about it and I’ve been trying to think of things. BLUGH.

Another thing I’m going to be starting is dog grooming school! I was supposed to start that last month, but I ended up being the only student to show up on the first day. I don’t really want to go into further detail about that until things start to pick up, but I’m pretty excited about it 🙂

Are any of you attempting to fulfill long-term goals you’ve set for yourself too? Let me know in the comments below!

cheers

 

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Happy Homecoming, Rory!

I’m an extremely sentimental person. Maybe too sentimental? I mean, I like to take note of momentous occasions and make a REALLY big deal about them. Case in point: the first day I took Rory home to live with me! Yesterday marked his two-year homecoming anniversary, so I just wanted to take a minute to say how much joy he’s brought to me in the last two years. I wasn’t in a very good place before I adopted him (I moved back home after finishing college, had multiple falling-outs with people I considered to be my best friends, and dealt with stress induced illnesses),  but once he came things all  seemed to go upwards from there.

It’s been a dream of mine to have a dog since I was probably 4 years-old, and I don’t think I could’ve asked for a more perfect fluffy companion. Rory’s vivacious to the max, terribly goofy and odd (Tim and I joke that those traits prove that he’s definitely our “kid”), super lovable, and über loyal. My parents like to do this thing where they pretend to hit me to see what Rory’s reaction will be and he’s always on the defense and tries to protect me. You totally know it’s love when your dog will try to bite your mother because they think she’s trying to hurt you. And he’s always there to greet me whenever I come home from work! I particularly find it adorable when I go up to him and he immediately rolls onto his back — the universal dog sign for “gimme belly rubs, please!” Even when I get home really late and he’s too tired to run up to me, his tail will still wag like crazy as he lays comfortably on his big ole bed in the living room 🙂

Either that or he’ll see me and runaway because he wants me to play by chasing him around.

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Here’s to many more years with my little albino ewok. ♡

Cheers,
Nina

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Coral Corral

outfit details – dress: American Rag // boots: Charles Albert // belt: Xhileration (came with another dress) // bolero: I have no idea! // glasses: Derek Cardigan (buy here) // purse: street faire find // cocktail ring:vintage // necklace: Once Upon a Smorgasbord

I forgot how terribly irksome it is to take your own outfit shots via self-timer and tripod. I’ve been very spoiled by having Tim take my pictures whenever he’s in town (he’s oh-so very patient and even gives me directions on where to look or how to pose), but since he’s in Ohio for a week I need to go back to the way I started. And damn, it’s been a bitch!

In the process of trying to take shots of this outfit I wore last week (it’s been a busy weekend full of wedding festivities so I haven’t been able to do a write-up until now– mah bad), my tripod got knocked over by a sudden gust of wind while my 3-month old camera was still mounted to it! Thankfully, the camera only has a bit of a scratch. *PHEW* But the little removable part that the camera screws onto totes broke. I superglued it back on, but now I don’t have the convenience of taking it off and whatnot. Oh well!

But enough of my moaning, check out my purse! It’s a friggin horse saddle!!! I found it at the Lodi Street Faire earlier this month and fell in love immediately. Whenever my mom and I go to flea markets or street faires, I usually have a certain thing I’m looking for. A quirky bag wasn’t on my agenda (now that I think about it, I didn’t really have anything on my agenda), but once I laid eyes on it I knew I had to bring it home with me. I’d be a fool to pass it up, right? It was originally marked at $55, but mom (a total haggling pro), asked the vendor what her best price was and she said $45. SCORE!

Tip: When bargaining with vendors at street fairs and whatnot, throw out phrases like “What’s your best price?” or “What’s the best you can do on this?” if you’re interested in an item because then it sounds like you’ve been doing this haggling thing forever and have it down pat. Plus it sounds a lot better than, “Can you go any lower?”

I made the necklace I’m wearing with a little horse toy that I adorned with pink ribbon and some flatback Swarovski crystals. I dubbed it my “Neapolitan Pony” since the colors go along with the ice cream flavor. ERMERGERD, doesn’t a bowl of that sound super tasty right now?! I actually made quite a few of these necklaces with other animal toys, but have yet to put them on my Etsy store ’cause I’m lame like that. But if you’re interested in ordering a custom one, don’t hesitate to ask me! I’ve actually done three custom orders for these little animal necklaces already via Instagram; four if you count my mom’s birthday request for a hippo 🙂

Cheers,
Nina

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Happy Mama’s Day!

I just wanted to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all the mamas in the world!

Whether your baby be human, fluffy, or still in your tummy, I hope you have a stupendous day with your loved ones!

Cheers,
Nina

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