SO THIS IS ME:

A psychotherapist, music fiend and aspiring world traveler with penchants for learning and laughter. A daydreamer extraordinaire and survivor of six Chicago winters. I am from San Francisco, spent a six year hiatus in the windy city and recently transplanted back to San Diego, which will always feel like home. A complex character and Rare Bird who hopes to inspire others to be so.

This blog is a gathering of tidbits on psychology, music, art, science, food and fashion. It is intended to inform, inspire, illuminate and to keep me from fidgeting.

 

 

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I believe in listening, learning and growing. I believe that each of us has something exceptional to offer and that we are more alike than we are different. I believe in creativity and curiosity. I believe in science. I believe in culture and experience. I believe in the absurd. I believe that you mustn’t take yourself too seriously. I believe in the resilience of the human spirit. I believe in laughing until you cry and crying until you laugh. I believe in being a Rare Bird.

Saturday
Jul092011

Jam of the day.

 

The darling and talented Jessica Sutton of JSGD introduced me to these folks and I am OB-sessed.

Happy jamming!

Friday
Jun242011

Today I feel like this.

I hate these sorts of days...

 

image via my tumblr

Friday
Jun242011

Anderson Cooper nails it again.

I'm all for true love and believe they're shouldn't be limitations on whom you choose to spend your life with. But this whole 51 year old marrying a 16 year old in Vegas deal? Not so much.

Oh, and her parents "totally supporting it"?

Yeah, not so much.

I understand that judgement of others is wrong and I typically try not to judge at all, but these parents may need to sign up for the parenting classes that Botox mom is enrolled in. 

Redic.

I want Anderson Cooper to be my uncle sooo bad! Wouldn't he be the best uncle?

Tuesday
Jun212011

Oh no you didn't, Yoplait! 

In case you missed it, Yoplait has been running a television ad that proves grossly insensitive to the eating disorder community. Basically, the ad perpetuates the automatic negative thoughts that so many women and girls battle regarding food, dieting and body image.

The ad depicts women obsessing over calories, cake and celery sticks. It echos dangerous misconceptions that there are "good" foods and "bad" foods, that food is something of a reward and that losing weight is an ultimate goal in life.

Here's my two cents:

Raspberry flavored yogurt is not and will never be Cheesecake. Just like that mint chocolate chip chewing gum (I meannn, really?) will never be ice cream. Don't try and fool yourself.

These are just ignorant marketing schemes feeding into our severly brainwashed culture.

So, if you want the cheesecake, then EAT THE DAMN CHEESECAKE!!

Just try not to eat the whole thing. And if you do...BREATHE. It's fine. Just explore what you're really feeling inside and where the 'hunger' is truly coming from.

The more we deny ourselves our cravings, be them physical (food) or emotional (love, sadness, fear, etc) the more we are inclined to feel unsatisfied and left to react (binge, rage, breakdown, lash out, etc).

Now, don't get me wrong, I love me some Yoplait yogurt, especially the devil's food cake flavor. Sometimes it makes a nice little dessert.

But when I feel like the real thing, I have the real thing.

And I enjoy every second of it.

Food is beautiful and something meant to be desired and enjoyed.

Food is not meant to be a reward or punishment. 

I just learned a fun fact at the Hungry for Hope Eating Disorders Conference this past weekend:

It takes 3500 calories to gain one measly little pound.

With that math, a slice of cheesecake just isn't going to do much except taste damn good and leave you a lot more satisfied then a teeny tiny cup of flavored yogurt.

So again I repeat: If you want the cheesecake then EAT THE DAMN CHEESECAKE!!

And if you do slip up and eat the whole cake (emotional eating is allowed in this life, btw-just seek help if you feel out of control) remember that tomorrow is a new day, you are beautiful the way you are and in the grand scheme of things a little cheesecake, be it one slice or five, is simply not the end of the world.

 

UPDATE:

I just got word from my peeps at NEDA that Yoplait is taking down this ad!!

Lynn Grefe, CEO of NEDA held two teleconferences with Eric Galler, Vice President of Marketing, and Jeff Hagen, Director of Consumer Services, for General Mills.

The company agreed to remove the ad within the next several weeks.

"As they have been buying time nationally and in regional markets, they will do their best to bring these ads to a close as quickly as possible."

I have heard firsthand accounts of how triggering this ad was for many suffering from eating issues.

I am so pleased that Yoplait listened!

Wednesday
Jun152011

Alexander McQueen-Savage Beauty

I am dreaming of visiting the McQueen exhibit at the Met.

It looks absolutely incredible. A spectacular tribute.

 

Back in February of 2010 McQueen took his own life in his London home just days after his mother's death.

Such a sad loss of an incredible visionary and true artist.

This is one of my favorites from back in 1999. It's exceptional.

Wednesday
Jun152011

If there is to ever be a Rapture.

I am requesting this to be the anthem.

Bon Iver's  new video for Calgary is out today.

Lovely.

Saturday
May212011

(Hopefully not) a complete wasted talent

If you don't live across the pond or aren't super into indie tunes, you probably associate Pete Doherty with his dating supermodel Kate Moss and his frequently publicized escapades with drugs and drink.


But Pete Doherty is actually a pretty decent musician. You should checkout both the Libertines, where he was a front man and Babyshambles, his latest indie-rock venture.  

 

Sadly, Pete Doherty will never fully be recognized for his musical talents due to his longstanding battle with drugs and alcohol. It's been pretty excruciating to watch over the years. This guy is in desperate need of some serious professional help.

Doherty did at one time enter treatment at what is referred to as an 'alternative detox centre’. Apparently it was some temple in Thailand, Wat Tham Karbok, which reportedly has an extensive crack and heroin tract.

Sounds a bit fishy to me, at least for a case as severe as Doherty's.

Not at all uncommon for addicts, Pete left after only three days to return to England and to his partying lifestyle. I suppose he just wasn't ready.

Perhaps 6 months in the slammer will be a catalyst for him to clean up his act and begin to work through his inner turmoil.

 

Yup, 6 months. That's what Doherty faces after a video was released of him reportedly smoking crack-cocaine.

According to the Guardian the footage shows Doherty using a knife to cut from a "white block" before placing the substance in a crack pipe in the Hackney flat of his friend Peter Wolfe, in January of last year.

Even more horrifying is that the documentary filmmaker and heiress behind the camera, Robyn Whitehead, died the day after filming of a heroin overdose.

She was only 27.

So incredibly sad and unnecessary.

 

Kids, this is your face on drugs:

Not a good look.

 

 

 

 

Lesson of the day:

Drugs are bad. Very, very bad.

 

Wednesday
May182011

Magnetic zero's and alter ego's

The man has been referred to as an ‘indie-rock messiah’. His stage performances tend to bring forth a pretty heady vibe. Let’s just say the rule ‘no shirt, no shoes, no service’ do not apply when he is on stage. This guy looks more like a Buddhist yoga instructor than an indie rocker. His energy reeks ‘hippie revival’ and not surprisingly, he has a pretty interesting story..

 

Most of us know him by his alter ego, Edward Sharpe, but Alexander Ebert, the unofficial front man of the 10 piece chamber-pop meets indie-folk group, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero’s, is equally as appealing on his own.

 

His solo album was released in March and I am still super into it.

(impatient listeners may want to fast forward past the whistling intro)

The tracks make me want to dance barefoot in the grass, somewhere, where the sun is warm and the dresses flowy. He has this unique rap-folk style that I love. Apparently he is strongly influenced by hip-hop and had initially wanted to be a rapper.

 His tunes just make life feel super easy.

 Alexander’s life, however, has not always been quite so peace-pipe smooth.

If you listen closely to his lyrics you feel the rawness of his pain and learn about his battles with addiction.

Growing up, Alexander had a tumultuous relationship with his psychotherapist/musicologist father . His childhood was rife with atypical childhood experiences that involve chanting and long road trips through deserts. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero’s video for Desert Song shows actual home video footage of Alex’s father doing chants amid these sandy landscapes.

When he was born, his father made one of Alex's middle names Tahquitz, which Ebert later on discovered meant “demon” in a Native American language (ouch!)

 

 

In the 2000’s Alex’s success with his previous band, Ima Robot (indie-rock outfit, toured with acts like Beck and the Sounds) served as a catalyst into the abyss that is the LA party scene and led to years of drinking and drug abuse. Evidently this Alex Ebert was ‘cynical, negative and drunk on a daily basis’.

 Just a touch different from his long-haired, super groovy-mellow alter-ego ‘Edward Sharpe’ that even corporate America is in love with today.

Luckily, Alexander had the personal insight to know he was on a path of self-destruction. He quit Ima Robot, went through a few stays in treatment, entered AA and sort of sequestered himself for a while. It was during this period of isolation and reflection that he created his alter-ego, Edward Sharpe.

 

“I do feel like I had lost my identity in general. I really didn’t know what was going on or who I was anymore. Adopting another name helped me open up an avenue to get back.”

 

The creation of ‘Edward Sharpe’ seems to me like a sort of desperate dissociation attempt (seemingly successful, actually) of Alex’s to create a persona in which he could escape his past demons.

 

He describes it as such:

“Alex Ebert had become lost in the mud and in a world of posturing,’’ he says. “Adopting another name for a little while was an avenue back toward myself, not away from myself.”


He refers to Edward Sharpe, as a being who was "sent down to Earth to heal and save mankind. Some may argue that the song ‘Home’ may have sort of done just that. It was probably the happiest and most popular song going in 2009 and still continues to play in the background of sticky sweet, heartwarming, family driven commercials.

 

 

Considering the state of the world today, I think we could all use a little hippie-dippie inspired love in our lives. This just may be the man to help bring it. If I was looking for a guy to drive my peace train, I think I’d choose Alexander Ebert and/or any and all alter ego’s he dreams up.

If you're in the market for an 'indie-rock messiah', I think he's your guy.

 

 

Tuesday
May172011

It's gonna be a Stevie Summer!

Stevie Nicks is one of my all time favorite artists. Her voice is like a lullaby to me, puts me right at ease. And this is saying a lot considering I was diagnosed with insomnia at the age of 7.

Her voice has that quality that is at once strong, masculine and husky while still remaining soft and feminine with a sense of vulnerability.

My absolute favorite album of all time is Rumours by Fleetwood Mac, so Stevie will always be dear to my heart.

 

Aside from being a rock and fashion icon and one of the most talented singer-songwriters to ever grace the music industry, Nicks is a woman who has lived a little, or perhaps a lot. In the mid-80's, Nicks conquered her decade-long cocaine habit at the Betty Ford Center in Palm Springs, then got hooked on prescription sedatives for another eight years.

Terrifyingly, it was a psychiatrist Nicks visited following her stay in treatment who initially prescribed the Klonopin, a seriously dangerous and addictive substance to dole out to a recovering addict. Klonopin (clonazepam) is in a class of drugs called benzodiazepines and is an anti-siezure medication often prescibed to patients suffering from anxiety and/or panic attacks. Klonopin is highly addictive and is one of the most commonly abused prescription drugs. 

Nicks refers to the period from 1975-1986 as the 'cocaine years' and to her lifestyle in that period as that of a "coked-up prima donna". 

In describing this dangerous time she states, "I managed to slip by pretty well. I had a lot of fun, and I wrote a lot of great songs. It still almost killed me, but what I regret the most was taking tranquillizers, and that wasn't even my idea. It really sucked away my creativity".

In describing the pills she states, "You have a feeling of calmness that is so overwhelming, you have no soul left. So the songs I wrote in those years were terrible. I'm pissed because I missed 10 years. I went from my thirties to my fifties, Isn't that a drag?"

I admire this woman for countless reasons aside from her musicality and her classically Californian bohemian-hippy chick style. She has an essence that is completely her own and of her own making. It has influenced the likes of Steven Tyler and Prince. Her staple pieces have become her trademark and have been mimicked my the masses. You know the look--a black chiffon handkerchief dress, gauzy scarves up the wazoo, clunky suède platform heels, top hats, ribbons. I mean, top hats and ribbons?! It takes a pretty fabulous and gutsy broad to pull that off.

Nicks' states, “Ribbons on the tambourine and the microphones. Steven Tyler admits he got that from me, though he does something fabulous with it. Also, in the late seventies, I did the ruched pants, and Prince has said he got that from me. I didn’t wear those for long, though, so maybe I should bring them back.”

I so hope she does.

Stevie's latest solo project, In dreams, is ten years in the making and just in time for summer. The majority of the album was written with Dave Stewart, producer, songwriter and one half of the Eurythmics, and their lyrics seem so assured and honest as opposed to being creations for a specific audience or genre, as is the case with so many contemporary artists today. Nicks' former band-mate and lover, Lindsey Buckingham makes an appearance on a track as well!

Have a listen:http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/in-your-dreams-deluxe-version/id430111446

Stevie Nicks is a woman who knows herself, she is not particularly concerned with marketing, audience perception or even her own legacy. Stevie Nicks has made mistakes, has battled her demons, suffered failed relationships. She isn't afraid to be herself or step away from the limelight and leave people wondering for awhile.

I'm just so glad she's back. Stevie Nicks is like that lovely and eccentric aunt you can't wait to see each holiday season and whose stories and life lessons you want to drink in over fireside chats. 

Stevie Nicks is the quintessential Rare Bird.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Monday
May162011

Vogue, August 1955

How fantastic is this?


Model Dovima wearing a creation of Yves Saint Laurent for Dior Maison and photographed by Richard Avedon.