Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas! I'm Sorry.

I wrote this what feels like a week ago, driving by an Orange County mall. It's a bit anti-commercialism, and I really do apologize for that. Commercialism is like the original murderer of Christmas, and now anti-com is killing our new commercialized (yet still festive and happy!) Christmas. Sorry for the preaching. Don't let it get you down!

Bright white lights shoot through the vast lack trees and invade my backseat. They're the kind of lights you can't look at directly or the backs of your eyes will seem to shrink back into your skull,as if orange juice is being squirted directly at your optic nerves. It's so strange- the lights are elevated slightly above the trees, but whatever they're attached to is ensconced in the foliage. They seem to loom over some concealed commercial world, cold and concrete, like prison lights or authoritarian UFOs. They don't belong up there, or back there; so close to yet so isolated from the freeway. I'm not used to the imperious placement of malls that is common up here. The Orange County shakily maintains a facade of humble living by keeping the family friendly department stores and larger so-cal youth oriented chains prevalent in their malls.
I haven't noticed before, but at night, when you get just close enough to skip the view made to impress you, there is a sinister air about the lighted malls. The mall's intentions are easier to doubt. A sign with seemingly alien letters, big and with the same eery, invasive light behind their black curves, comes into view. In the dark of the night, Macy's is not my friend. I forget instantly of the commercials which convince me daily of such a belief. Macy's is an alien base, sent by the Colony of White Lights to draw us in.
The trees, surely creepily intertwined in focused light, block most of the building with their leaves. They cover. They conceal. They know. With a concerned, brotherly air, the trees struggle to block the vast alien settlement from our views, lest we fall for the martians' manipulative ways. Poor trees. Ever they try! But, as the mall swallows up even more oblivious humans, I, young girl in a borrowed sweater and an old truck's backseat, observe their efforts in solitude. I observe the invasion in solitude.

-Lily Fuentez

Saturday, December 11, 2010

"Vintage Newport"

"Vintage Newport" reads the lighted eighties style sign at the top of the planter hill. "A Home For Senior Living." Ahh yes. They're not old people, they're vintage people. I wonder who the hip PR was who named it that. Who says the people want to live in something dubbed, "vintage" but not actually vintage? These are classy Newport folks we're talking about after all. In their antique-collecting days they surely took the title "vintage" seriously.
"Vintage Newport" conjures up images of a little pier, with old mom and pop shops in pastel colors, on either side of the worn white planks. This "Vintage Newport" senior living community is, therefore, a sham. It is a tacky beige structure with rounded balcony edges and pale teal poles running from room to room. If the "Saved by the Bell" kids volunteered in old folks' homes as opposed to hospitals, this one would be ideal. Though, they were probably a bit too Florida-chic for this home (a conclusion which is an embarrassment to Newportians everywhere).
In a worthy "Vintage Newport," perhaps white-haired couples would stand behind their counters, proud and strong, wise with the shop-owning savvy of forty years. They would know all of their neighbors. Their eyes would droop with the remembrance of failed or late shop owners of the past, but! At the end of every Wednesday and Friday, various cliques would congregate outside of specific stores, and make use of the little round tables and plastic chairs present. The wives would gossip about the new young things down the pier a ways, while the husbands would discuss the ever-present threat of being taken over by hippies and drug addicts. They would deal cards in the creamy, familiar light of sunset, and wipe their glasses with kerchiefs out of their cardigan pockets. Perhaps a man named "Harold" would feel self conscious about his new multipurpose shoes (which would have "the comfort of slippers, but are suitable for life's daily expeditions!").
But no. This "Vintage Newport," the real "Vintage Newport" was not a happy business pier run by self-reliant elderly entrepreneurs and their supportive wives of sixty years. It was another sad nursing home, like any non-Newport nursing home. The fluorescent lights really gave it away, in the end. It is the frightening future that awaits many of us ordinary suburb dwellers. The people in those rooms aren't aware that so much of their social security checks are being spent on this home simply because of its chosen name (surely targeting a hipper senior demographic) and location. It doesn't matter to them one way or the other. Regardless of how long they've lived in this precious beach town or what they've accomplished here. Their independence (and humble but profitable shop running abilitities) have been stripped of them mercilessly, as is visible to anyone driving past their classy "vintage" home.

-Lily Fuentez

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sage is a Plant. I Know This.

I often hear quotes recited as profound. These quotes are ones which express thoughts I've thought before I ever heard them recited. It annoys me when profound people have gained fame for things I've thought before. Slightly because I am jealous, but mostly because it makes me wonder if I'm profound. It frustrates me that I don't know my own level of wisdom. Socrates would say I am unwise to believe I have any wisdom. For this reason, I'll clarify that I speak in human, materialistic terms. What would my profundity get me?
Immortalizing a thought doesn't gain anyone any money. No one sends anyone gifts for getting his little maxims published. I won't ever receive RL jeans or a decent house in exchange for an insightful Facebook post. (These facts are how I cope with my lack of having said anything first.)
This is terrible, of course. Were I feeling truly respectful of philosophy, which I really believe to be the second most worth-while study in the universe, I would say that wisdom is the most lavish gift to receive, surpassing all brands of jean and all higher end homes out there. Unfortunately, I'm not in a great mood. When I'm in bad moods I get ignorant and materialistic. In retrospect, now is not the best time to express what a closet sage I am (NOT that I'm saying that)or write a public blog post for all to see JUST how presumptuous and wordy I can get.
I'm just saying. Traditional quotes of wisdom rarely impress me. I seldom experience "WOW I never thought of that! That is really beautiful" moments, but mostly, "Yeah... is that a big deal? Crap. There goes another opportunity for fame and glory in future television shows and English classrooms." What about you guys? Tell me about your similar troubles.

-Lily Fuentez

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Well today I am a headstrong girl with a lot on her plate and no place to sit down. A minor breakdown was experienced at a certain Fourth of July event. I don't know what this reputation is I'm developing. I don't know if I like it. Either way, my calendar is filled, with feeble distractions to deter my thoughts from becoming too destructive. Our lives are such predictable little entities; Allison with Geoffrey, Stacy with Johnathan, Liz with Peter, Allison with Stephen, Stacy with Adam, Liz with Geoffrey... Who decided this is the way the middle class is meant to live? Who decided that attending a movie is an actual activity, or that pizza is the mainstay of every party, or that Vans are the ultimate shoes? Just eat what is in front of you, just gyrate to the beat, just wear what They're wearing. It seems to me that we've stopped trying.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Late At Night- Summer Induced Thoughts

A lazy day at the overcast beach has inspired, encouraged, and invigorated me. All day long I've done exactly what I felt like doing. Everyone should have that luxury- and it is exactly that. It's a wonder that one can feel so content every minute, while simultaneously, one's psyche is inflaming one's soul, so at the end of the day one has discovered such livid desires, they never even knew existed within them! Such a day under the clouds, in the grass, has left me so cheery (all that vitamin D, perhaps)yet I can't take my mind off of these new things I want to do. On another day, such aspirations would intimidate me and torture me, but today they are utterly within my slightest grasp.
So. What do I want to do? I want to finally sew my Philippines shirt and crop my touristy CALIFORNIA shirt; I want to have my mother sew a patch on my favorite thrifted jeans, so that every time I see the orange fabric under my right back pocket, I feel closer to her; I want to finish my books on Africa, and having achieved a cultural perspective on the captivating continent, I want to get more books to learn exactly what the hell is going on over there; finally I want to take my shirts and jeans and white sheath dress (which, much to my liking, resembles CherryBlossomGirl's recently logged dress) to Europe, and I want to visit Estonia, and Latvia and all of those horribly afflicted but beautiful places and feel the lives of the people; and finally, I want to meet a trendy boy named Donovantonio in Italy, whose family owns the souvenir shop across the street from mine and my dear friend's temporary apartment, and I want to live without borders or yellow lights. There are people out there who know how to live, and I want, so badly, to be one of them.
Contentedness is almost an art, in the way one must learn to achieve it, or it is something one must chase, absconding in the night to lead one on adventures unseen- colours, places, words, feelings, LIVES. These are the things that interest me.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Two Lanterns

To have lanterns hanging in my room or on my patio has been a dream since I was five, looking through my mother's latest edition of Better Homes and Gardens. This year, I am an adult (you know, more in the figurative sense), and I have my own money, and my own copies of Better Homes and Gardens. I've hung my lanterns. Yes, I, Lily from the home of dreaming-planning-starting-buying-forgetting-not completing-regretting, has hung my lanterns less than a week and a half after buying them at World Market. The process of efficiency was quite soothing. A trip to the hardware store is always exciting, -unless I'm with my father when a lot of standing, leaning, waiting, sighing surely ensues. I've hung them using a too-small drill, two dolly clamps (or whatever) and two fashionable brass hooks, and suspended them at differing lengths with decorative faux-brass chain. An excellent addition, I think. My mouth curves into a proud, almost parent-like smile whenever I enter my room.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Something in the Hair

Ahhh blog posts with pun titles; a simple delight, in my opinion. I have recently become totally mesmerized by the personal style blog, faboo. Her outfits are so wonderfully appealing; the perfect kind of clashy, not to mention unbelievably stylish. Had I not decided months ago that I would stop getting totally depressed when reading amazing fashion blogs, I would be wallowing in inadequacy right now. The great thing about fashion blogging is that fashionable people shop at thrift stores and H&M, so whatever they can do I can do as well. So there.

Other blog of note:

I realize, of course, that these bloggers are already famous and highly esteemed, and in no way need my "help" getting publicity, but if you aren't already addicted to looking at pretty things, visiting these blogs is a good way to gain such an addiction.

As far as bedrooming goes, I've hung fabric on my white walls. just touches of simple, basic fabric. I wanted more of an accent than a wallpaper effect. It's nice, and not overpowering. I was really into blue and green together a while back. It is pretty clear, looking at all of my room elements. It's funny, after a mass of renovations, different things from each makeover start to sort of go together. It's very convenient.