5 Halloween Costume I Want To Do but Nobody Would Get

(my official blog is still in the design workshop, but it’s very close to being done! Until them, pardon my in between blog page)

5 Halloween Costume I Want To Do but Nobody Would Get

  • Charlotte from Lost in Translation
      • If I was in a setting where I wouldn’t get harassed I would definitely rock Scarlett Johansson’s opening attire from Sofia Coppola’s indie film. All I would need is a t-shirt and a pair of see-through pink underwear. Another option would be to wear her hot pink bob wig from the karaoke scene, but I think too many people would confuse me with stripper Natalie Portman in ‘Closer’. Thankfully the internet gives me the opportunity to buy the same kind of underwear ScarJo was sporting: http://www.araks.com/products/sonja-panty Chances of anyone knowing who I was, even at a convention? 0/10 at a Halloween Party, 0/10 at a convention

  • Amelie Poulain from Amelie
      • I love, love, lover Audrey Tautou’s hair in this movie, almost as much as I love this French movie itself. If I was ever brave enough to cut my hair short again, I would do it in this style. To capture Amelie’s whimsy, I would put on a red dress, a beret, carry around a spoon or a garden gnome or a polka dot umbrella and go around doing good deeds for people. Chances of anyone knowing who I was, even at a convention? 0/10 at a Halloween Party, 1/10 at a convention

  • Roxanne from A Goofy Movie
      • There are girls on the internet that have really pulled off a Roxanne costume and look adorable doing it. A Goofy Movie was a huge staple in my house growing up, a movie my siblings and I watched over and over. I would love to find a teal shirt, short jean shorts, a red wavy wig and draw on a little puppy nose. But this is pretty obscure, I don’t know anyone would get it. Chances of anyone knowing who I was, even at a convention? 0/10 at a Halloween Party, 2/10 at a convention

  • Chuck from Pushing Daisies
      • I would wear a gorgeous 50s flower print dress and carry around a honey jar or a wooden box with the ‘Pie Hole’ logo on it. It’s probably too obscure for a normal party, but if I dressed my boyfriend up in Ned’s clothes maybe somebody would get the reference. Chances of anyone knowing who I was, even at a convention? 0/10 at a Halloween Party, 7/10 at a convention

  • Lyra Silvertounge from Golden His Dark Materials
    • These are my favorite books and I always dreamed of getting to play Lyra in the movie adaptation when I was younger, despite not being blonde. However, I can now fix that by wearing a tawny, wavy wig.  I would dress up as Lyra’s Cittàgazze outfit in the green tank top and wool skirt, complete with boots and her leather pouch for her Alethiometer. I would try to carry around my cat Pan, since Lyra’s Pan is her namesake, but my cat would never go for it. So I’d carry around a mouse or snow-white ermine stuffed animal instead. Chances of anyone knowing who I was, even at a convention? 0/10

Would you recognize any of these at a Halloween party? What are you going as for Halloween for this year?

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Conversation I’m Currently Having With Myself

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  1. Remember when you were nauseous all of last year and you thought it was because your doctors were overloading your system with too many narcotics? Or that you would always get car sick and you thought it was because you’d go months without being in a car?  Well apparently it’s from those anti depressants you started taking again that make you actually sleep/put you in a better mood but it also forces a diet of ginger ale and crackers on you so maybe you should decide if you value sleep over hurling.
  2. “I Will Follow You Into the Dark” is a horrible, horrible song. It’s depressing and I’m pretty sure about a double suicide pact and I don’t understand why boys like playing it for girls. Girls namely me and my female friends. Exactly three boys have sat me down with their guitars and tried crooning me with this nightmare of a song and by the third time I just sat there thinking about what I was having for dinner instead of listening to him. Guys, stop playing this song. Literally pick any other song, just not this fucking one. Every time it comes on Spotify I knock things over in order to click to next song.
  3. Did you know Victoria Secret sometimes puts formaldehyde in their bras? I bought a new one (literally 75% of my wardrobe is from the leggings/tank top section from their website) and now I have their weird bra shaped rash under one boob and thank god for Google because it informed me other women have had this problem and there have been TESTS proving there’s formaldehyde in the bras and now I don’t know where to buy bras from because my boobs are pretty big huge and I want pretty ones, not ones from Target.
  4. Between the queasiness, the bra incident, the pain in my arm, plus my allergies flaring up-> I’m not having a good week health wise. I relayed all of this to my mother last night while I popped oyster crackers curled up in a kitchen chair and shes like “…I thought we discussed you staying off of WebMD Zoë.” and I’m like, “You want me to just have bad symptoms and skin breakouts and feel like death and NOT know what is wrong with me?!”And she just sighed and said “Sometimes it’s better not to know.”  This is like when I texted her at 10pm during my WWII class in college that I was Googling ADD and that I was 115% I had that and I was never diagnosed with it and how come she didn’t take me to the same doctors my brother saw when HE was diagnosed with it. She said it was like that family we knew when we were kids, where the parents made the kids sit down and decided which one of them was getting braces because only ONE out of the five was getting them and they had to fight it out amongst themselves. Like Hunger Games except for health care.
  5. As an adult, it’s perfectly okay to wear Sports Bras to work under your adult clothes because nobody can actually tell.
  6. Having a non nerdy boyfriend is the best thing to ever happen to you. It’s kind of nice to do things other than argue over who was the best actor to play Batman at three in the morning or to not start crying over thai food because a heated discussion over the new Monsters Inc movie got THAT serious.
  7. Today is my dad’s birthday. He’s the best, most giving and positive person I have ever met in my life. He is NEVER in a bad mood, never upset, never stressed in front of his kids. And he’s only gotten mad at me once in my entire life: when I was in 2nd grade and didn’t bring home my social studies textbook and when he asked why not I simply said, “Because I didn’t feel like studying.”When I was in college and dyed my hair pink and my mom didn’t talk to me four months, he took me to the mall during Christmas to get me out of the house. My dad hates the mall more than ANYTHING. He once ate an entire strawberry muffin I made him on Father’s Day even though I made them with baking soda instead of baking powder.
  8. Steve’s birthday is this weekend, good job on what you got him/stole for him. I’m proud of you Gulliksen, good job. Don’t know how you’ll top this one though. Maybe for Christmas get him something normal.
  9. Drink more water. cancel your gym membership. sign up for yoga. breathe. don’t reactivate your facebook. paint that last dresser drawer. figure out how to spray tan your awkward tan lines. get more coffee with old friends. read more blogs. write more blog posts. don’t forget to take your allergy meds you sound like shit on the phone when you don’t.
  10. never trust anyone who has “white beyonce” on the back of their car.

What Next?

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When I moved back to New Jersey in the spring, I spent a lot of time trying out meditation and reading about Buddhism. I am not one for religion, but I admired the ethics Buddhism taught.

There was one story in particular that really stuck with me:

“The Buddha was sitting under a tree talking to his disciples when a man came and spit on his face. He wiped it off, and he asked the man, “What next? What do you want to say next?” The man was a little puzzled because he himself never expected that when you spit on somebody’s face, he will ask, “What next?” He had no such experience in his past. He had insulted people and they had become angry and they had reacted. Or if they were cowards and weaklings, they had smiled, trying to bribe the man. But Buddha was like neither, he was not angry nor in any way offended, nor in any way cowardly. But just matter-of-factly he said, “What next?” There was no reaction on his part.

“If you think on it deeply,” Buddha said to his companions, “he has spit on his own mind. I am not part of it, and I can see that this poor man must have something else to say because this is a way of saying something. Spitting is a way of saying something. There are moments when you feel that language is impotent: in deep love, in intense anger, in hate, in prayer. There are intense moments when language is impotent. Then you have to do something. When you are angry, intensely angry, you hit the person, you spit on him, you are saying something. I can understand him. He must have something more to say, that’s why I’m asking, “What next?” ”

This story resonated with me more than any story I was taught in all my years at Catholic school. Simply put, it means: What others say to you and about you has everything to do with them and nothing to do with you. Of course, this lesson isn’t anything new. But anytime someone says something horrible to me online or in person or through the grapevine, I now react with a sense of calm that I haven’t before. Because now instead of taking things personally, I think “Okay, what next?”

A Bucket List

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  1. Visit the northern lights (preferably in Norway)
  2. Go to London and see the Paddington Bear statue & 221b Baker’s Street
  3. Go to Paris and visit Shakespeare & Co bookshop, the cafes where Hemingway & the 1920s crew hung out, the steps from “For Lover’s Only”, do the entire walk through from ‘Before Sunset’
  4. Go to New Zealand and do the 3 week long Lord of the Rings tour
  5. Have a book on the New York Times best seller’s list
  6. Have a room be strictly a library/ office
  7. Meet Tom Hanks
  8. Visit a castle somewhere (anywhere!)
  9. Go to Tokyo and stay at the Park Hyatt hotel from Lost in Translation
  10. Make a replica of Belle’s dress from the Broadway production of Beauty and the Beast and wear it to a convention

(I wrote this quickly, listing off the first things on the top of my head. I love how most of them are about traveling and more specifically: traveling to movie locations. Also important to note that I want to do all these things with someone I love. Maybe not the Tom Hanks thing, because nobody needs to see me fangirl to the max, gushing about how much his movies made an impact on me especially-That-Thing-You-Do!-because-it’s-a-perfect-movie-and-that’s-how-I-learned-how-to-kiss-by-watching-the-last-scene-and-it’s-so-amazing-you-have-no-idea.)

An Elementary.

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His birthday is in two weeks and I got him something. Rather, I stole him something and I won’t tell him what I did to risk jail time for. He asked me question after question and I wouldn’t give in.

I said, “Who are you, Sherlock Holmes, trying to figure out your gift?”

“Elementary, my dear Watson.”

“You know, in the books Holmes actually never said that? In the books he simply says, ONCE, “Elementary” said he meaning Holmes. “Elementary, my dear Watson” was actually made popular by the TV show staring Basil Rathbone.”

I nodded and he did too.

“I take literary Holmes very seriously,” I said.

A little while later he tried asking more about his present and I said, “Stop Holmes!”

And he held up an imaginary magnifying glass and said, “Elementary my dear Watson. I mean, Elementary, said Holmes.”

And I grabbed his face and gave him the biggest, feel it in your toes, kiss.

“I love you. You’re perfect,” I said.

Oh, how such a small thing can win over a fangirl heart.

Thank God for a Fucked Up Year

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There are two things on my mind at any given point: my chronic illness and how ridiculously in love I am. These two are directly correlated to each other, by more than just the fact that both are simultaneously weaving through my nervous system every minute of the day.

I am in a constant state of fighting with myself when it comes to my disorder. My first instinct is to put up barriers between myself and the world, hiding my weakness because the only thing worse than showing flaws is having someone pity you. At every doctor’s visit, every family gathering when I’m asked how I am, I respond with a wrily “fine, the same”. (I then remember that I’m supposed to go into great detail with my doctors how I’m feeling because why else am I paying them a $50 co pay every time?)

At the same time, having Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (isn’t that the most fucking vague term you’ve ever heard? It might as well be called “I have no fucking idea what this is, but its all over the place and it sucks”) is something that has taken over my life and the only way I know how to deal with my life is to write about it. I’m torn between keeping this horrible thing to myself and the ever nagging need to dissect it to understand it.

CRPS, in short, is a nerve disorder that is a result of a traumatic injury. In my case, I slipped on an escalator on a rainy Friday, landing on my left wrist. When I fell, the pain signals in my brain turned on because my arm thought it was broken. But because my arm wasn’t actually broken, it never healed, thus the pain signals never turned off- and never will. There is no cure for CRPS and it will almost inevitably spread to the rest of my body during the upcoming years of my life. Actually, there’s a really good chance I’ll reach a point in my life that every bone in my body will feel broken. The statistics of people who have this disorder that commit suicide is astronomical, because there is nothing doctors can do to make this pain stop.

When it comes to my online profiles, especially Twitter, I’m all over the place with movie facts and song lyrics and ramblings but scarce in the details of my personal life. For most of you reading this, you probably have no idea that I moved back to New Jersey after living in Manhattan for a couple of years. After getting hurt in June 2013, living in the city became increasingly difficult. I had countless doctors visits and medical procedures I went to alone. I worked 11 hour shifts at a veterinary hospital. I was on a slew of narcotics whose side effects made me viciously sick on top of the physical pain from my disorder.  I was also in a toxic relationship.

My doctor told me I had to see a shrink to treat my obvious depression, or else he would no longer treat me. I begrudgingly looked for someone that I wouldn’t hate and found a woman who looked just like Walter White’s wife in Breaking Bad. She was sweet and helped me deal with all the shit in my head. I had to come to terms with the anger that my nerves were fucked and that there was nothing I could do about it. I had to deal with not meeting my self-inflicted expectations of greatness. And most of all, I had to accept the fact that I had to break up with New York City.

If you have been following me on Twitter for the last couple of years (or since the beginning in 2009), you are aware that I spent years and years writing about New York. Manhattan was the love of my life. Men would come and go, but the city would forever hold my heart and I was never going to move from the Upper West Side for as long as I lived.

For months everyone tried telling me I should move back to Jersey to be with my family: doctors, lawyers, friends, my shrink. Everything else was negotiable, I tried to say, but I would never leave Manhattan. “If I moved back to New Jersey I would kill myself,” I told my shrink. “I may be miserable here, but I would be empty and feel nothing back there. I’d rather die.”

And yet, things kept getting worse. I spend all my time working and trying to sleep. I took long walks between Columbus Circle and 100th street, between Riverside Park and Central Park. I cried on the benches outside of the Museum of Natural History in the middle of the night, trying to figure out how I had let my life get to this point. Not the promenade in Central Park, not the 91st street Garden in Riverside Park, not a pumpernickel bagel from Zabar’s could save me from drowning anymore.

And so, I dropped my massive book collection off at the post office to zip code 08854, sincerely 10023. The beautiful April morning I officially moved home, I was waiting in Penn Station for my train when a huge light fell from the ceiling, nearly impaling a few college students next to me. I took it as a sign.

My parents were glad to have me back under their wing and didn’t argue when I spent weeks in bed, finally sleeping for the first time in months. I didn’t mourn the end of my relationship, it had been over for months. But I mourned losing New York and the daunting task of trying to figure out what my new dream would be.

I told myself and others that I would stay home for a few months, regroup, find another job in the city, and then move back. But I realized that I missed my family more than I thought I did. My siblings are amazing people: JonErik is 21, a senior at an arts college majoring in photography and soon to be guitar tech. Maya is 16 and has more sass and balls than I will ever have in my entire life. We stopped talking a lot when I moved to the city, which is a shame because they are spectacular people and nobody makes me laugh harder than they do. When you grow up in the same chaotic, weird as fuck environment we did, it’s hard not to have the same warped sense of humor.

Now we have nightly “family meetings” consisting of three of us sitting at the table bitching about life and have the funniest ongoing group chat. JonErik admitted that after I moved out, him and Maya didn’t talk much. I was a crucial missing piece in the family dynamic, plus I got my best friends back.

And so, life in Jersey went on and proved to not be so terrible. I still had unavoidable bouts of sadness where I felt trapped and hated living in the suburbs and missed Manhattan with my whole heart. But then something quite unexpected happened, although everything in my life was unknowingly leading me up to this point.

I read an article on how Tinder was “actually bad for women”, I downloaded Tinder, spent two days being absolutely horrified at the dating scene, deleted Tinder. Then re-downloaded Tinder while watching Jaws instead of going to see fireworks on the 4th of July and swiped right on a face that I would soon not be able to live without.

Hours of phone calls, thousands and thousands of text messages, long car rides, Starbucks runs, whispered proclamations of adoration, drunken confessions, love letters, falling asleep on FaceTime, lingering goodbyes. Simply put, I am in love. For the first time in my life, I am purely in love. I could write hundreds of pages about him, but those I will keep for myself. You’ll have to keep an eye out for my mushy tweets, Instagram pictures, and Tumblr poem reblogs to get an insight of this relationship, but oh, how in love I am.

Out of all the things this relationship made me realize about myself, the most important one was that New York was not the great love of my life I thought it was. I will forever love the excitement, the fancy hotels, the brownstone lined streets, the adventures waiting around every corner. But by god, I would give it up all over again for the Sundays I’ve spent, and all the Sundays I will spend, with him.

And so, that is what my life is these days. The bipolar combination of having this horrible pain circulating in my arm knowing it won’t ever go away, mixed with feeling blissfully happy and in love. I realized as soon as I met him that if I hadn’t gotten hurt, I never would have found this incredible guy. Even my mother brought it up the other day: my being diagnosed with this disorder was the only thing in the entire world that would have brought me back to New Jersey. Then he and I never would have met, because why would I swipe right on a guy who didn’t live in Manhattan?

I often think about how I wish I could time travel back to February of this year, to a particular night. I sat crying outside of the Museum of Natural History in the freezing cold, wondering how I could have fucked up my life this bad. How I felt so alone and scared and unloved and broken. I daydream about going to that poor girl, giving her gloves for her freezing hands and telling her, “Just hang in there. You’ll get through this. Just a couple more months. On May 20th he’ll be exactly 45 days from you. Hold onto that date. You are going to love him so much, and more importantly, he’s going to love you for exactly who you are. You are so close. You are so close. You are so close.”

of stars and sea monsters

of stars and sea monsters

in greek mythology,
andromeda was chained to
a rock on the coast
offered as a sacrifice to a monster of the sea
as punishment for her beauty and
her mistakes.
perseus had been gone on many adventures
but he found her in time to rescue her from her fate,
and the two lived happily ever after.

that sort of ending doesn’t often occur
in greek mythology.
but standing outside my house
at 3am
staring up at the stars that formed
andromeda’s constellation,
I couldn’t help but feel

maybe it wasn’t so rare
to be happy with someone
after all.

If I Could Find the Words

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When I returned to blogging, I wanted to start it off with a big blog post talking about where I have been offline for the past year and change. I wanted to share all the wisdom and life lessons I’ve gathered and throw a digital party! But I’m waiting for the party to start when my official “Bookishbelle.com” blog redesign goes through and that’s taking longer than I anticipated.

So maybe consider this a soft relaunch? I’ve been dying to get back into blogging, especially because many of you have been sending me messages asking when I’m going to start again. September 1st is as good a day as any to start.

I’m going to try going back and forth between the NaBloPoMo and the BrittanyHerself September writing prompts and then probably through my own in for good measure. 

Monday, September 1, 2014
Do you find it more helpful to talk things out or to let things quietly rest?

     I have always been the type of person to let things quietly rest. I don’t like talking things out and I hate talking about my own emotions and feelings. On the other hand, I love listening to people talk about their problems and their fears. I think it’s the same as reading a good book, except there is an actual person in front of me. I love listening to stories of where a person has been, what they’ve done, who they’ve loved. When I meet someone new I want to give them coffee and sit them down and say, “Okay, tell me everything.”

    In previous relationships, when something is bothering me, I notoriously don’t talk about it. (It’s not a good thing, I’m wholly aware of that.) My reasoning being, is that I don’t like to start an argument unless I really really have to. If something happens, I think it over for a hour or so and then bring it up if I think it’s worth talking about. I consciously make a point to not nag other people because I have such an aversion to being nagged. Basically I operate under the theory that let people do what they want, and if our messes (whether it be in friendships or relationships) get along together then everything works out. 

   And so that’s it for today. Hello again, blogging world. 

Concerning Jesse & Celine

In Before Sunrise, Celine and Jesse knew each other for less than 20 hours. In Before Sunset they meet again 9 years later and in less than 4 hours Jesse decides to give up his life in America- including his wife and son, for Celine.

That’s all it took, less than 24 total hours for him to know that she was the one.