Girls & Games

Many of you may or may not be aware of the fact that I'm a big gamer. The days of my youth were spent playing games on my family's Tandy, at my Japanese friend's house on the Famicon, or with my brother on the Sega Master System or the NES. I've never been without a gaming console in my life. The world of videogames was a place that I could run to when playing in the yard got boring or I wanted to escape to a world where I could leap over lava and/or emerge victorious from battle...some games were able to afford me both of those options...which was awesome.

And that feeling hasn't changed, even now. Though I spend time on my blog chatting about clothing or beauty products or what's inspiring me at the moment, the notion of gaming is something that has always and will forever be part of what makes me...well, me. Newsflash: Being fashionable and being an avid gamer are not mutually exclusive. You can be both...

I know! Who woulda thunk?!

With that said, I got an amazing opportunity on Monday to be part of a segment regarding female gamers and rampant sexism in the videogaming industry. Thanks to Huffington Post Live, I got to discuss gaming with two amazing women: Cricket "Crix" Lee (CEO & Host of Girl Gamer) & Shannon Sun-Higginson (Documentary Filmmaker - keep an eye out for her gaming documentary GTFO). These women are my new spirit animals. They're not only strong women making a mark in the very seemingly male-centric industry of gaming, but they're not taking anything laying down. As Crix says, "anyone who knows me, knows I don't put up with that stuff."

The fact of the matter is, everyone experiences and accepts things within gaming differently. I, for one, have never been bullied, faced sexism, rape jokes or anything like that in all my gaming years. There was one time someone asked Charlesband (in front of me) how he got his wife to start gaming...


My Name Is Nami...And I'm Addicted to Sunglasses...

Ever since I stole my mother's vintage Dior's back in the 90's (it's ok, she can live without them), I've discovered something very dark...(I guess you could consider that a pun.) The fact of the matter is, I have a serious addiction to sunglasses (and shoes, but more on that in another post some time.)

Our once organized little table by our front door is now piled with sunnies of all shapes and sizes thanks to my habit. I blame Gilt & their mobile app. It's not uncommon for me to buy a pair of sunglasses in about 5 minutes via phone while I'm in the car with Charlesband. It happened just last weekend, actually, and after receiving my newest pair in the mail, I realized that this blogpost probably had to happen.


Quote of the Week: Hope

For one reason or another, last week was a rough week for me. Something between a general gloom and too much contemplation. Being immersed in your own thoughts for long periods of time can be a little challenging. Likely due to working from home a good amount of the week with not as much human contact as I should've had...and then, mid-week, I stumbled upon a TED talk that not only made me cry my eyes out, but also put things in perspective.

Here I am in my comfortable apartment in Los Angeles, working from home, complaining about a lack of human contact and feeling a little blue when there are people in the world starving, scared, with no foreseeable future happiness. Not to cut down my own sadness. We all get depressed, whether we know why or not. It has to do with being human...but in times like these, we have to remember to stay hopeful. Without hope, we don't have anything.

Joseph Kim is a North Korean refugee with an inspiring story of determination, hope, and love. I've probably watched this TED talk at least 5 times by now and have taken his words to heart. It also made me want to immediately fly home and hug all the members of my family. If you haven't seen the TED talk, take a minute to watch it.

This brings me to my next decision. I'm trying to figure out which non-profit organization to volunteer at. So many people (and animals) to help, so little time. Was wondering if anyone had any experiences with non-profits in LA. Right now I'm between animal shelter work, writing workshops for children, or a women's help center. I'm overwhelmed with a strong need to do what I can, but I have no idea where to begin in this massive city! Suggestions, please!

Alright. Back to life. Just remember, have hope! xo!


Sunday Styles no. 33

Apparently, "June Gloom" decided to cut out early this year (well, up until today...but it looks like it's starting to clear up), leaving us Angelenos with the perfect summer situation. Dry heat, cloudless blue skies, and cool evenings. I'm definitely not complaining! I will say, however, that direct sunlight can really wilt both your enthusiasm & hydration levels after a few hours of traipsing (what, you don't traipse?) around town on the weekends with your loved ones.

And this leads me to this week's Sunday Styles. Much like the red, white, and black combo of Sunday Styles no. 30, I've chosen another fail-proof summer color combo: White, navy, and yellow. It just oozes with ice-clinking summer-time vibes. It gives a little nod to rubber boating pants and navy & white striped yacht shirts without the requisite seaman experience.

Add to that a fun polka dot pattern (which chases away any bitchiness vibes you may have been unknowingly releasing - again, you can refer to Sunday Styles no. 30 regarding bitch face) and you've got yourself a nice little summer outfit perfect for backyard BBQs, poolside hangs, and lounges on grassy hills on a blanket with your favorite book.

I got this skirt in Japan back in 2002 at a small vintage shop. No label. Just a lot of comfort. (Hello, elastic waistband!) So as to not feel constricted, I just wear it with a loose, navy cotton tank. Additionally, to avoid completely sizzling off my face in the SoCal sun, I wear this massive sun hat. Aside from the occasional, awkward flopping around, it's proved to be an essential in my arsenal of weapons against premature aging.

Equipped with my latest read (Kazuo Ishiguro's The Unconsoled), a watermelon-basil agua fresca, and an entire Sunday to do with what I please, I'd like to think the day is off to a good start. Hope you have a fantastic rest of your weekend and are doing what you can to make the heat (and in some cases, humidity - I'm lookin' at you, NYC) as bearable as possible! xo!

A Note About the Clothes: American Apparel Unisex Poly-Cotton Tank (Navy), Aldo Sun Hat - no longer available (but you can get a sun hat basically anywhere), Vintage White/Navy Polka Dot Half-Pleated Skirt, Seychelles Yellow Clogs - no longer available 


You Know You're in L.A. When...

Behold!!! The infamous headshot!

It was bound to happen, folks. After living in LA for over two years, I finally broke down and got myself some serious headshots. Yep. I thought I was gonna just go for a voiceover career, but my AMAZING voiceover coach, Carroll Kimble, convinced me that on-camera work would suit me...and I trust her, so I'm hoping she's right. (Cut to me staring awkwardly at a camera and a tumbleweed rolling by.)

With that, she referred me to another genius, Dana Patrick, who was not only a model years ago (yes, she posed with the best and rocked some gorgeous covers for the likes of Vogue and such - she is strikingly gorgeous), but one of the top headshot photographers in Los Angeles. Years of being in front of the camera definitely gave her the eye for capturing the best in people. And, after the shoot, I can honestly say it may have been the most fun I've ever had at a shoot ever. Her make-up & hair afficianado (also an actress, musician, and overall amazing person), Rachel Stolte, added to the overall joy. I laughed so hard my make-up smudged a bunch.

So, over the course of the last year or so, I've been trying to get my shit together enough to have a decent "actor" website. I have "actor" in quotes because I'm not a dramatic actor by any means. Do not ask me to pull off any lines from Shakespeare...unless it's the Yorick line...because who doesn't like melodramatically saying that one...I think we all need to exclaim "ALAS!" as often as possible. When I was doing theatre, I was always doing comedy (that was back in college), and 2 plays our of three, I played a waitress...a snarky waitresses with big parts...but a waitress nonetheless. I guess I give off that you wanna order a coffee from me.

At this point, I don't even know if my brain has the capacity to memorize so many lines without messing anything, I'm turning to film & print. (Take 523!...ACTION!)

It started when I got it into my little head that I'd love to be the voice in a videogame. As you know, I'm an avid gamer. If not, feel free to read this little diddy...but, of course, how does that happen? You become a voice actor...that's what you do. So, I saved up and put myself through a bunch of private voiceover classes and found myself loving it. Not only do you get to have fun, but there's no pressure about how you look! Show up in sweats and coo into the microphone about luxurious spring water or luscious chocolate treats. No one will ever suspect that you just got out of the gym and your hair looks like you've been hangin' out all day in a wind tunnel.

So, this is the beginning of a very Los Angeles kind of life. Let's see what happens. Any tips? Any thoughts? Am I flinging myself into the great unknown? TOTALLY...but, ya know what, I like shaking things up a bit anyway. Wish me luck! (I'm serious. Pennies in wells, crossed fingers, shooting stars. I'm counting on you guys & the universe!) xo!


Quote of the Week: You Don't Ask

I've been in one of those moods lately. I've been turning off my technological equipment at the end of each work day to sit quietly with a good book. Charlesband comes home and instead of sitting on the couch with him and watching Family Guy, I've been hiding away in the bedroom and enjoying the silence. It's no offense to him. He knows I love him, but we also both really enjoy our alone time.

In a lot of cases, I'm an extrovert, but I need introvert time every few weeks to just let my mind rest. With everything going a million miles an hour all the time, it's no surprise that I feel the pull of solitude. It's not that I don't love people, but I just need to relax so I can be recharged enough to handle them.

Do you know who Bernard Moitessier is? He was a renowned French yachtsman, famous for a number of things, but probably best known for his participation in the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race in 1968. The first race to see if a single person could make it around the world in a boat...and he did. He did make it around, but instead of returning home victorious, he ended up continuing on to do it again. He felt that people who did such things for fame and/or fortune were destined for tragedy. He was a true sailor. A man of the sea...and after watching Deep Water for the third time, I've found myself daydreaming about that sort of simple vagabond lifestyle.

...that and daydreaming about how great Charlesband would look in yellow, rubber pants and a big, nubbly, navy sweater with the wind in his hair, pulling at big sails.

And, of course, in my mind, I would be a vagabond dressed in nautical stripes and Grecian dresses, sitting on beaches, reading books, making large meals, and painting large canvases of seaside impressionism. Going seashell hunting for hours, listening to classical music on my record player and having the windows open at night with the sounds of waves lulling me to sleep. That's the introvert in me...the fashionable introvert.

I got a case of the wanderlusts...I need to renew my passport and get away for a while, but with work going strong and lots of responsibilities, how do you get away? How do you completely shut yourself down and recharge? We all need it to refill our respective cups of inspiration.

So, how do you get inspiration if you can't throw everything away to become a nautical recluse?


Dear Dad...

I would be lying if I told you that my father and I had the perfect relationship all throughout my life, but what I can say with total honesty is that the relationship my father and I have now, despite 3,000 miles of distance, is incredibly strong...and I still weep every time we have to say goodbye. (I'm such a wimp.)

After years of rebellion, arguments, mature discussions, long emails, family gatherings, and great conversations, we've ended up where we are today. He taught me that "love" isn't just a word, but a lifetime of experiences, lessons, laughter, hardship, and celebration...that saying that you love someone isn't nearly as important as showing them that you do.

From the age of 5, he was preparing me for life. Martial arts lessons, high academic expectations, and a blind faith that I knew he had in me from a young age. Whenever he got mad. Whenever he was disappointed. It always ended up having to do with something I did that may effect my future. He always meant well...something I may not have realized during my tumultuous younger years.

It took almost 30 years for him to say "I love you" out loud. A few bad relationships and near-poverty level instances in my life (due to my immense pride and need to not ask for help - stupid in retrospect) for him to see me for who I am. He and my mother were there to pick me up when I fell and lift me higher when I succeeded.

He taught me to always aim upwards, go farther, and keep moving...never settle...and for that, I'm eternally grateful.

So, on this Father's Day, even though we're on opposite sides of the country, I'm thinking of my Dad.
Love you, Pop! xo!


Dancing with Myself: Heartbeat House in Atwater

Ok. I admit I've been really bad about exercising lately...
really bad...
AND I'll be totally honest with you. I also started smoking again.

I KNOW. Horrible.

It's the same ol' trifecta that gets me back on the tobacco train:
  • Lack of time for exercise
  • Too much work
  • Usually starts while I'm traveling
Excuses, excuses...then I was determined to make some time for myself.

At one point, I even started trying to fit in this Scientifically Proven 7 Minute Workout. I was able to do it a few times, but what was scary was that I was getting to the point where I couldn't even find 7 minutes to work out.

Truly disturbing, the lack of time...This is getting pretty dark, isn't it?

But, hold on, this is an uplifting story about something I discovered...


Putting Us Bloggers to Shame: A 16th Century Sartorial Masterpiece

This is a must-read!
My mom-in-law, Elizabeth, sent me a fascinating article brought to us by the BBC news about the earliest fashion blog and I just had to share this amazing piece of history because I know you, dear readers, would appreciate it.

The best part about it?
The first-ever fashion blog was created by none other than a German accountant...a really fashion-obsessed German accountant by the name of Matthaeus Schwarz. His account (pun not intended, but convenient) started when he was 23 and went on until he was 63!

Here's a little tidbit...

Image provided by BBC News/Hezog Anton Ulrich Museum

Did I get your attention yet? Yes?
Well, then read the article here!

I mean, I'm sure we've all thought about hiring a professional watercolor illustrator to keep a record of our #OOTD (outfit of the day), but Matthaeus went there. Talk about commitment. If anything, this guy is an inspiration and shows us that no matter what your occupation...whatever walk of life you're trotting down, you too can record your sartorial adventures...and with a little bit of elbow grease (or, in this case, watercolor), you could make history.

Fancy-feathery-medieval hats off to you, Herr Schwarz, you're the man!


Sunday Styles no. 32

It's about time Charlesband was featured again for the Sunday Styles, don't ya think? Looong overdue in my opinion. These days I'm thinking maybe the Sunday Styles should be all about him to save myself the stress of trying to look decent once a week.

So, what do you get when you have not one, but two folks dressed in some crisp classics? DOUBLE TROUBLE...obviously (since it's stated above, I thought it was pretty straightforward.) In this case, if "trouble" was defined as "sartorial goodness."

Pairing classic khaki and navy with bright yellow & orange (note Charlesband's shoe soles) and cobalt blue is an eternal-win situation. It's a nice way to update a classic style without looking weird. (Trust me, it can happen.) Gentlemen, please note, bright colors & fresh patterns also make your khaki pants look less like you're an accountant and more like you're a really fun guy. And, by the way, real men can tuck their shirts in. Try it some time.

Also, newsflash, Charlesband has a really cute butt and I vote for more stuffing-in of the shirts to accentuate his behind. (Ok. I'll stop being so overzealous about his backside now.)

And, ladies, I cannot stress enough how much I love a good shirt dress that's cinched at the waist. This little number is not only wildly comfortable, but super-flattering...especially for those of us trying to create a more curvy silhouette. (I'm raising my hand like crazy here - I'm also wishing I had Charlesband's butt- SIGH.) Also, elastic waistband that doesn't look weird without a belt. That equals a SUPER-WIN.

You'll have to excuse the wrinkles. It's Sunday and I didn't feel like pulling out the steamer. (I know. I'm such a disappointment.) Aaaanyway, there ya have it. A double-dose of Sunday Styles for ladies and gents! We're off to the Huntington Library in a bit for some serious R&R...possibly a nap in the shade of a big ol' tree.

Hope you all have a magical Sunday! xo!

A Note About the Clothes: (On Nami) Anthropolgie Navy Shirt Dress - no longer available, Madewell Sidewalk Skimmer in Suede (Crystal Blue) - (On Charles) Luigi Borelli Napoli Linen Shirt (Yellow Gingham) - not available online (we picked it up at the Guerilla Atelier Pop-Up Shop in Downtown LA), I have no idea where those Khakis are from, Barney's New York Co-Op Contrast Sole Plain Toe Blucher


Quote of the Week: When Will You Sleep?

At least, that's what I'm feeling like these days. Or it's something I wish I could do...just hold on to all the sleep I need and deal with it after I die in a very dramatic and awesome way. I'm thinkin' a firework debacle or some sort of sudden and almost magical sinkhole situation that seems more cartoonish than real. I'm digressing. Did you notice?

You ever get that feeling like you're doing a million things and moving forward quickly, but standing in the same place at the same time? It's like if life was a dance floor and you're doing the running man...for a really long time. Yes, I just made that simile. Live with it.

Maybe it's the whole "working east coast hours" thing or the "I'm trying to have 3 careers at the same time" thing. Maybe it's the "gee, it would be nice to spend more than 2 hours with my husband on a weekday evening before blacking out on the couch" thing. All I know is, despite trying to really be good with the time that I have, I seem to still not have enough of it.

Granted, it's better to be busy than bored. Time moves slowly when all you have to do is twiddle your thumbs which is why I'd be the most horrible housewife on the face of the planet and would end up repainting the house every week and probably rearranging the furniture every day depending on how I'm feeling about my chi.

I'm a restless soul that needs to constantly be doing something...and I've finally come to accept my brand of restlessness. It's better than being lazy or bored, am I right? I say never stop creating, being in awe, spending time with those you love, singing, dancing, shuckin' & jivin'. Never stop being enthusiastic...and if you're not enthusiastic about what you're doing, move on to something you can be proud and happy about.

Sure, I enjoy sleep, but I enjoy living a whole lot more. So, that's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna live. Sleep will surface whenever I need itzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. *blacked out*


Sunday Styles no. 31

Holy hotness, batman. Temps be risin' out there! Luckily, today isn't nearly as scorching as yesterday was, but summer arriving and it getting hot out was inevitable. With that in mind, today's Sunday styles is all about staying cool amongst other things.

Shorts & sheer shirts are a go-to for me when it gets warmer and high-waisted short shorts ARE . MY .  JAM! I can't get enough of them. Leg-lengthening and waist shrinking in one little package. What's not to like? (I say that now. Wait till I I sit down for a large meal. I have a feeling my "this is great!" pop tune will change to a "I can't breathe" aria...I guess I could always stand up while I'm eating.)

Moving along, another thing I play with is patterns. I was never good at mixing lots of patterns. The "I just went ransacking through the garment district" gypsy fabric fashion style was always a fail for me. Don't get my wrong, there are lots of folks that can rock it. Maybe I'm playing it safe, but I like to mix one pattern with a solid. Red, white, and black always work well together too. So, there ya have it. Additionally, when your resting face can sometimes look bitchy (especially when I wear sunglasses, if I'm zoning out, I often look like I'm scowling or grossly uninteresting in anything you're saying), patterns are a great help.

Playful patterns alleviate bitchy face by saying, "hey, how bitchy could I possibly be? Look at these polka dots?! Aren't we having a good time?!" When I look extra bitchy (i.e. tired, sunglassed, and hungry), I reach for my sweater with the little sunglasses all over it. (To which I hope passers-by think, "well, she looks like a real jerk, but look at that super-fun sweater. I bet she's a good time afterall.")

...maybe it's all in my head.

Aaaaanyway, just a little bit of fun on this Sunday. Hope you're all having a restful day. I can't believe it's almost Monday again. Yeeeeeesh! Time. What's up with it going so quickly on weekends and dragging on weekdays? So lame.

Alright! Off I go to enjoy the warm, dry, desert-ness of LA with Charlesband & Merl! Have a great day! xo!

A Note About the Clothes: American Apparel Cotton Spandex Underwire Bustier (Black), Pins and Needles Polka Dot Button Down Blouse - no longer available, American Apparel Stretch Twill High-Waisted Zipper Shorts (Black), Miu Miu Suede Platform Pumps - no longer available, Karen Walker Soul Club Round Frame Sunglasses (Black), Mac Lipstick (Ruby Woo)