“Opportunities look a lot like work”

Just for Fun

It’s Friday and I needed some words of inspiration this morning — have you seen Chris Ashton Kutcher’s speech at the 2013 Teen Choice awards?

Watch it.

Teen Choice Awards 2013 - Show

“Opportunities look a lot like work.”

“The sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart… be smart, be thoughtful and be generous.”

“Everything around us that we call life was made up of people that are no smarter than you. And you can build your own things, you can build your own life that other people can live in. So build a life — don’t live one, build one.

I’ve never thought of Ashton Kutcher as anything more than Kelso from That 70’s Show (unfair, I know) but this speech is one of the best things I’ve heard in a while. It’s honest, it’s real, and I think it’s says something when the sexiest man ever tells kids that the sexiest thing in the world is BEING SMART. I think statements like the ones above can give a teenager (or twenty-something trying to find their way) a lot to think about. It can give them the little push they need to start their life, to build their life.

1150360_10151710183684842_706655631_n

So, on this lovely Friday, do like Ashton does :

“Find your opportunity and always be sexy.” 

___

Love Always

Vanessa Xo

"Opportunities look a lot like work"

Just for Fun

It’s Friday and I needed some words of inspiration this morning — have you seen Chris Ashton Kutcher’s speech at the 2013 Teen Choice awards?

Watch it.

Teen Choice Awards 2013 - Show

“Opportunities look a lot like work.”

“The sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart… be smart, be thoughtful and be generous.”

“Everything around us that we call life was made up of people that are no smarter than you. And you can build your own things, you can build your own life that other people can live in. So build a life — don’t live one, build one.

I’ve never thought of Ashton Kutcher as anything more than Kelso from That 70’s Show (unfair, I know) but this speech is one of the best things I’ve heard in a while. It’s honest, it’s real, and I think it’s says something when the sexiest man ever tells kids that the sexiest thing in the world is BEING SMART. I think statements like the ones above can give a teenager (or twenty-something trying to find their way) a lot to think about. It can give them the little push they need to start their life, to build their life.

1150360_10151710183684842_706655631_n

So, on this lovely Friday, do like Ashton does :

“Find your opportunity and always be sexy.” 

___

Love Always

Vanessa Xo

Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish [Book Review]

Book Reviews

coverYesterday David Rakoff’s last novel was released. It’s written entirely in verse accompanied by weird and lovely illustrations by SETH, which adds a magical quality to the story. Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish leaps cities and decades as Rakoff sings the song of an America whose freedoms can be intoxicating, or brutal.

The characters’ lives are linked to each other by acts of generosity or cruelty. A daughter of Irish slaughterhouse workers in early-twentieth-century Chicago faces a desperate choice; a hobo offers an unexpected refuge on the rails during the Great Depression; a vivacious aunt provides her clever nephew a path out of the crushed dream of postwar Southern California; an office girl endures the casually vicious sexism of 1950s Manhattan; the young man from Southern California revels in the electrifying sexual and artistic openness of 1960s San Francisco, then later tends to dying friends and lovers as the AIDS pandemic devastates the community he cherishes; a love triangle reveals the empty materialism of the Reagan years; a marriage crumbles under the distinction between self-actualization and humanity; as the new century opens, a man who has lost his way finds a measure of peace in a photograph he discovers in an old box—an image of pure and simple joy that unites the themes of this brilliantly conceived work.

 This novel is worth reading twice. If you’ve never read verse extensively you may find it a bit distracting at first. I found that it helped when I read aloud, allowing my voice to carry the rhythm and my brain to focus on the stories. Each character and each life lead was interesting in its own right. I found that there was something to learn from each story, from each cruel gesture, from every human error, from every single redemption. Certain lines of rhyme melted my heart, others angered me, but most got me thinking about my life. A novel in verse is addicting, it’s like the most beautiful song you hope never ends.
Her biggest regret is the five wasted years
That she’s chided herself over shedding those tears.
Instead of wishing for eyes that stayed dry
She should cherish that Helen, so able to cry,
That Helen who felt things and then wasn’t scared
To air them in public. That Helen who cared
Enough about things she could speak them aloud,
That Helen of whom she might ever be proud.” (53)

 So, if you’re looking for a book in which to spend your time, pick up this one, you’ll be speaking in rhymes.

Love Always 

Vanessa Xo

“…people should concentrate on their jobs and not all that ‘I want to be a celebrity’ shit”

Book Reviews, Uncategorized

I’ve never been much of a memoir, nonfiction, or biography reader and the only reason for that is my all-consuming love for fiction. Grace – A Memoir by Grace Coddington, my second Random House Read for November, just might have turned me on to a new genre.

“…here I am doing something I never imagined I’d be old or interesting enough to embark on: writing my memoirs.” (xxxi)

From the very first sentence of the introduction to the very last line of the book, I found myself completely obsessed with Grace Coddington, her life,w and her sassy writing style. Her personality and independence are inspiring. I found the constant changes in her career, her business partners, and her husbands/boyfriends more interesting than jarring – I took it as a reminder that life is full of changes, full of surprises (good and bad).

By the way – the book itself is BEAUTIFUL. Grace’s illustrations are wonderful and add extra character to her memoir.

Grace Coddington’s independence from a very young age blew me away. Her move to London at the age of eighteen with the prospect of becoming a model got me thinking about how strong-willed and independent she must have been. Sheesh, compared to her I’m much more dependent on comfort and people than I once thought. My life is practically a bubble and I’m standing inside with a pin constantly debating what I’ll do with it.

A picture I took of the book – page two.

Apart from her independence, I admire the balance she always tried to bring to her life, the balance she aimed for in her personal relationships. I admire her willingness to learn and to fail and to always do better. If someone who “would become nauseated and physically sick around too many new people…” could become the Creative Director of American Vogue magazine, what canwill I become?

What I’m trying to get at here is that Grace Coddington’s memoir is an inspiring read, as well as an in-depth look at a world I never paid attention to. I will now look at clothing a little differently and I will pay attention to the story that a magazine spread is trying to tell.

I now really really really want to attend a fashion show.

I now want a subscription to British and American Vogue.

I now feel as though I can dream a little bigger, thanks to Grace Coddington.

Love Always
Vanessa Xo
__
Synopsis (from the Random House of Canada Limited website)
Grace Coddington, at age 70, has been the Creative Director of Vogue magazine for the past 20 years. Her candour, her irascibility, her commitment to her work, and her always fresh and original take on fashion has made her, after Anna Wintour, the most powerful person in fashion. Acquired after an intense auction among every major publisher, this woman who became an unwilling celebrity captured the hearts of everyone when she was revealed in the movie as the creative force behind the throne at Vogue. Having grown up on a backwater island in Wales, she came to London just in time to be discovered as a dazzling model by the famous Norman Parkinson, then went on to shape the pages at Vogue for 19 years where she worked as Creative Director with many luminaries including the young Wintour. Lured by Calvin Klein to run his New York operation she then jumped back to American Vogue when Wintour returned to America in 2003. She has been there ever since.

"…people should concentrate on their jobs and not all that 'I want to be a celebrity' shit"

Book Reviews, Uncategorized

I’ve never been much of a memoir, nonfiction, or biography reader and the only reason for that is my all-consuming love for fiction. Grace – A Memoir by Grace Coddington, my second Random House Read for November, just might have turned me on to a new genre.

“…here I am doing something I never imagined I’d be old or interesting enough to embark on: writing my memoirs.” (xxxi)

From the very first sentence of the introduction to the very last line of the book, I found myself completely obsessed with Grace Coddington, her life,w and her sassy writing style. Her personality and independence are inspiring. I found the constant changes in her career, her business partners, and her husbands/boyfriends more interesting than jarring – I took it as a reminder that life is full of changes, full of surprises (good and bad).

By the way – the book itself is BEAUTIFUL. Grace’s illustrations are wonderful and add extra character to her memoir.

Grace Coddington’s independence from a very young age blew me away. Her move to London at the age of eighteen with the prospect of becoming a model got me thinking about how strong-willed and independent she must have been. Sheesh, compared to her I’m much more dependent on comfort and people than I once thought. My life is practically a bubble and I’m standing inside with a pin constantly debating what I’ll do with it.

A picture I took of the book – page two.

Apart from her independence, I admire the balance she always tried to bring to her life, the balance she aimed for in her personal relationships. I admire her willingness to learn and to fail and to always do better. If someone who “would become nauseated and physically sick around too many new people…” could become the Creative Director of American Vogue magazine, what canwill I become?

What I’m trying to get at here is that Grace Coddington’s memoir is an inspiring read, as well as an in-depth look at a world I never paid attention to. I will now look at clothing a little differently and I will pay attention to the story that a magazine spread is trying to tell.

I now really really really want to attend a fashion show.

I now want a subscription to British and American Vogue.

I now feel as though I can dream a little bigger, thanks to Grace Coddington.

Love Always
Vanessa Xo
__
Synopsis (from the Random House of Canada Limited website)
Grace Coddington, at age 70, has been the Creative Director of Vogue magazine for the past 20 years. Her candour, her irascibility, her commitment to her work, and her always fresh and original take on fashion has made her, after Anna Wintour, the most powerful person in fashion. Acquired after an intense auction among every major publisher, this woman who became an unwilling celebrity captured the hearts of everyone when she was revealed in the movie as the creative force behind the throne at Vogue. Having grown up on a backwater island in Wales, she came to London just in time to be discovered as a dazzling model by the famous Norman Parkinson, then went on to shape the pages at Vogue for 19 years where she worked as Creative Director with many luminaries including the young Wintour. Lured by Calvin Klein to run his New York operation she then jumped back to American Vogue when Wintour returned to America in 2003. She has been there ever since.

Forever yours, Freddy Prinze

Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

THIS just popped into my head:

 

I’m still trying to figure out why I thought about this particular scene – has my flame for Freddy Prinze reignited? Or does it have something to do with where I am in my life right now? Or, more importantly, how I’m feeling about my life?

Everyone’s counting on you –

Never…let it….

….drop.

Love Always
Vanessa Xo

P.S. HAPPY HALLOWEEN – even though I can’t wait for Christmas 😛

And the Emmy goes to…

Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

Yesterday on Twitter, this happened…

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Vanessa GrilloneVanessa Grillone ‏@VanessaGrillone
Pondering ways to become famous with @StevenPalumbo#Emmy2012

____

Okay, so fame really wouldn’t suit my personality. I’m a writer and a reader and a wallflower. I live behind a computer screen, pen, and book BUT it’s easy to get swept up in all of the glitz, glam, and beautiful people walking down the red carpet. @StevenPalumbo should be famous, he’d suit it.

So whilst I wallowed away in self-pity and wondered what the story was that got each of the Stars to their present state, I started thinking about my own story, the role I’m playing in my own life. I realized that while some days it’s okay to not be happy, to be sappy, and to mope around, you shouldn’t let it drag on too long.

____
ashxoashxo ‏@ashleydicecco
@VanessaGrillone it (life) will be as bad as you make it out to be

____

My cousin is one smart cookie and I think I’m out of that nasty funk I was in yesterday and Saturday and Friday. I make things seem so much worse than they are – maybe I just like being dramatic? Or maybe it’s just my creative, writer’s mind that makes things seem so much shittier or so much more grandiose than they are? Yeah, that sounds more plausible to my in-denial mind ;).

Today, I’m a ball of energy and I’m ready to get things DONE! Starting with this blog post, then we’ll move on to editing my (never ending) novel, then straight to homework, and on to applying for jobs and internships – maybe I’ll get some reading in as well! I’m reading an advanced copy of The Magic of Saida by M.G. Vassanji. It comes out on September 25th! Here are my Goodreads updates so far!

Here it is – a new week and a wonderfully crisp Fall day – make the most of it!

Love Always
Vanessa Xo