New Year’s Resolutions I Will Actually Keep

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Resolutions are a tricky business…on one hand, a year is just a year, right? If you want to change your life, why not do it in the middle of June? Why wait around until January first to think about the changes and improvements you want to see in yourself? That being said, there is just something so refreshing about looking at a calendar and seeing “1/1.” The road ahead suddenly seems so expansive and open to possibility–so why not?

2013 was a year of really intense growth and change for me. I really can’t even remember what I resolved to do–everything happened so fast on its own! Now, though, I feel like I’m in a settled place and ready to tackle tons of new challenges.

1.) Study Animation Full-Time

I’ve been attending NYU for the past two years, sort of bumbling about, trying to cobble together a writing-centric major that I was completely clueless and un-enthusiastic about. It feels goofy to talk about this, because I really did have a “and the heavens parted and my life’s meaning was laid before my very eyes!” moment, but after taking an animation course this past semester, my goals have completely shifted and I know the animation industry is where I belong. NYU doesn’t offer an animation major, so I am currently working to formulate my own course of study. Unfortunately, it feels like a very against-the-grain fight. Because of this, I am also applying to the School of Visual Arts, where a comprehensive animation program is offered. Whatever happens, I couldn’t be more excited to start off the year with my heart set on something I haven’t felt this much passion for…ever!

2.) Create at Least Two Short Films

Regardless of where I end up academically, I plan on being as productive as possible. I’m already working alongside a few other animators/zine-makers on a few projects, but I have so many ideas for endeavors of my own. I’m going to spend January planning and preparing and then split the rest of the year up into two major projects. Stay tuned!

3.) Go Vegan

I have been a vegetarian since I was nine years old and the prospect of ever going back makes my stomach turn (Literally! I momentarily considered eating meat when I lived in Italy and the sight of chicken on my plate made me dizzy!). Recently, though, I’ve been noticing how much more vibrant I feel when I accidentally go a few days without any sort of animal by-product. From an animal rights perspective, going vegan is something very important to me that I can no longer ignore, and so I plan on taking the time to educate myself and make it happen. I feel like this is all very privileged Gwyneth Paltrow-style talk, though…let’s move on before I start hallucinating about kale.

4.) Make New Friends

Making friends in New York City is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. Everyone, myself included, is too busy orbiting around in their own little world to ever pause and meet somebody new. Yet, it’s so easy to get down on yourself when you’re sitting at home alone, not wanting to hang out with the same two people for yet another night of Chipotle-related hijinks. I plan on making meeting new people an active pursuit this year, not a “wait around and see what happens” deal-io. Just how creepy will people think I am? We are soon to find out!

5.) Plan a Magical Trip

The first half of 2013 was filled with all sorts of global adventures. After the summer, with work, school, large doses of ennui…my wanderlust had seemed to run dry. But, the other day I found myself looking through my pictures of Iceland and I was filled with the most incredible urge to be back there–or, anywhere, really. Now that I’m feeling a little more stable in my vision and goals for myself, I suddenly can’t wait to explore the world with fresh eyes. Right now, I think I may go back to Iceland in the late summer, but until then I plan on brewing all kinds of ridiculous travel-related fantasies.

And what about YOU? What are your plans and goals for the upcoming year?

Quick Review: Strikingly.com

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Maybe I am just a sucker for good design, but Strikingly is hands-down the best personal page creation platform I have encountered…well, yeah, ever.

Whether your an artist, a small business owner, or just want to establish your online presence, Strikingly has you covered oh-so-stylishly.

The pages themselves are seamless, perfectly organized little nuggets that have the convenience and pop of something like Card.ly but with enough detail and customization to warrant being its own personal hub. Oh, and maybe it’s time to add that this isn’t a paid endorsement and that I was actually just this stoked on Strikingly that I came out of blog hibernation to verbally drool about it. Woops.

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To make your page, you choose a template (portfolio, personal profile, etc) and go from there. The editing system (pictured above) can really be as complex or as simple as you want. If you just want to fill in some text and get it over with, it’ll probably look just as good as someone who spent an hour adding custom graphics and formatting. But that’s probably just because Comic Sans isn’t an option anywhere on the site.

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This is the mobile preview (complete with QR code that I was too lazy to scan) of my site. Strikingly is designed to look equally as swell on a tablet or phone as it does on a computer screen. Perfect for all of you hip young networking types with the iPhones at the cocktail parties *Bill Cosby laugh*.

In sum, Strikingly is rad and I love it and that’s all you need to know.

 

Thoughts on Thought Catalog

There was a time…when men were kind…when their voices were soft…and their words inviting…

Okay wait–sorry, sorry. There was a time when Thought Catalog, to me, represented the ultimate pinnacle in modern creative writing and life advice available on the interthing. As a world-weary teenager, I sought solace in the pure cynicism and thesaurus adjective selection of my peers. “Finally!” I marveled. “People who understand me! People who view relationships as something more than a flashy Cosmo one-liner!!”  From that moment on, I vowed to make Thought Catalog my personal consultant for any major life question I was to come across.

Did you know! When you make that pledge to thought catalog, Satan shows up, makes you sign a contract, and then hands over 10 pairs of cut-off denim shorts and Weezer t-shirts you must wear at all times?

Thus began a transformation into Natalie Portman’s character from Garden State. I was Google-Mapping every sunflower field in the tri-state area so as to frolic in them, baking a cake in the shape of Dr. House, and wearing only clothes that had been created pre-WWI. I was saying YES TO LIFE!!

Then my balls dropped. The more I forced myself into the role of charmingly psychotic, the more I could feel of my soul, slowly chipping away. Though Catalog is not a world view so much as a lifestyle that demands every waking ounce of energy poured into over-analyzing every glance with a stranger that lasts more than two seconds.

It was the advent of one of the site’s most popular posts–25 Things to Do Before You Turn 25–that opened my eyes to the incredible, perpetual eye-roll-worthy idiocy that is Thought Catalog’s very foundation. Gone was the veneer of mysterious, romantic adulthood, always slightly out of reach. This mentality was completely within reach, and, in fact, something I had abandoned at the age of seven. To illustrate my point, let’s break down the previously mentioned article and really dig deep into the outlook of Though Catalog:

2. Kiss someone you think is out of your league; kiss models and med students and entrepreneurs with part-time lives in Dubai and don’t worry about if they’re going to call you afterward.

Ah yes, this certainly sounds like an excellent way to maintain happiness and emotional stability! By all means, go forth and do these things with people merely because it’s an experience you have to have, or else you simply can’t reach the age of 26! You only want meaningful romantic interactions? Pshaww!! Who do you think you are? Haven’t you learned, by means of all of these other posts romanticizing cheating, that love is merely a vapid concept reserved only for Friends re-runs??!

3. Minimize your passivity.

Maybe I am missing the grand ironic scheme of this one here. Maybe Thought Catalog itself is a grand ironic scheme and the joke is on me!!!! But judging by the fact that one of the most recent posts is titled “10 Places Guys Can Meet Girls (Without Being a Total Creep About It” I highly doubt that anything on this website is meant to be taken at more than face value. So back to the point of this comment, please read point number two, and immediately follow that up with a reading of point number three. Then let’s play a game of “One of These Things Is Not Like the Other!”

5. Recognize freedom as a 5:30 a.m. trip to the diner with a bunch of strangers you’ve just met.

Getting roped into a Russian mafia con scheme late at night and then having them treat you to bacon and eggs. Yes, that is freedom.

6. Try not to beat yourself up over having obtained a ‘useless’ Bachelor’s Degree. Debt is hell, and things didn’t pan out quite like you expected, but you did get to go to college, and having a degree isn’t the worst thing in the world to have. 

At this point it’s like they are trying oh so earnestly to cater to only the most privileged white kids ever born. I am sure the people working three jobs to get rid of a crippling $100,000+ debt will have a little more to tell you than “Yeah…things didn’t really go how I was expecting…but I have this degree! Boy howdy!” Let’s let Kanye West help us to understand this.

7. If you’re employed in any capacity, open a savings account. You never know when you might be unemployed or in desperate need of getting away for a few days. Even $10 a week is $520 more a year than you would’ve had otherwise.

Okay okay, wow. I mean WOW. This counts as ADVICE? What sort of mansion with indoor pool and ten car garage complex do you have to come from where it doesn’t cross your mind to open a savings account before the age of TEN?

8. Make a habit of going outside, enjoying the light, relearning your friends, forgetting the internet.

“But don’t forget the internet for too long! After all, where are you going to find tips for how to have a quaint Silence of the Lambs themed outdoor picnic?”

11. Learn to say ‘no’ — to yourself. Don’t keep wearing high heels if you hate them; don’t keep smoking if you’re disgusted by the way you smell the morning after; stop wasting entire days on your couch if you’re going to complain about missing the sun.

This doesn’t sound like learning to say no to yourself. This sounds like learning not to be a piece of human excrement.

12. Take time to revisit the places that made you who you are: the apartment you grew up in, your middle school, your hometown. These places may or may not be here forever; you definitely won’t be.

Pro-tip: there is nothing that signals “my life never got any better than tenth period math class” than being that guy who shows up to say hi to his old high school teachers after the age of 20.

14. Think you know yourself until you meet someone better than you.

Because if you read Thought Catalog, chances are you don’t think there is anyone better than you.

15. Forget who you are, what your priorities are, and how a person should be.

Well at least this genius piece of advice explains why you majored in “The Films of Kevin Smith” in #6. Boy that debt sure seems worth it now that you are really opening yourself up to new experiences!

18. Stop hating yourself.

Then again, if most of the other things on this list apply to you, you probably should keep hating yourself for a while. At least until your trust fund runs out.

19. Go out and watch that movie, read that book, listen to that band you already lied about watching, reading, listening to.

No. I don’t want to watch The Neverending Story.

23. Leave the country under the premise of “finding yourself.” This will be unsuccessful. Places do not change people. Instead, do a lot of solo drinking, read a lot of books, have sex in dirty hostels, and come home when you start to miss it.

Decidedly my favorite piece of wisdom gurgled up by the geniuses at TC. Good thing I have enough money to completely sustain myself in some of the world’s most expensive cities while simultaneously battling that pesky student debt. Also, I can’t wait to tell all of my future partners about my herpes, because won’t they think it’s romantic how I picked it up in the shower of a Bulgarian hostel? Phew, at least I can always come home to mummy and da-da when I realize everyone who actually lives here is utterly aggravated by my presence.

How are we feeling now, gang? Has that sunk in appropriately? Go ahead, take another sip of your Thought Catalog-brand chai tea mocha frappe and really mull it over.

Good?

And so, if you ever want your life to amount to nothing more than a walking Pinterest board titled “~*~hipster~*~*” then please, by all means, dive headfirst into Though Catalog.

Kate Foo dot Com: 1+ Year, 100 Posts

Today, I celebrate KateFoo.com’s 100th post!! Woah…what?

Some Stats: On April 19th, 2012, this website came into existence. In the 1 year, three months, and five days since its inception, I’ve managed to (on average) contribute something or other to this little corner of the world on average of every 4.61 days. It hasn’t always been as funny or as pretty or as successful as I managed to convince myself, but I have held onto that little piece of pride that this blog still stands.

So, while we’re here, let’s have a look-see at the history of Kate Foo over the past year–best and worst. Get ready for a lot of months with zero posts and an “I can explain” that I can’t actually explain.

…And we’re off!

♥ April 2012 ♥

katefoo.com is born on a Thursday afternoon, weighing in at one really cliche introductory post. In a poorly-formatted “Wishlisting” I told the world about my inner need to own a lightsaber. That has not yet come to pass and I am convinced that is for the greater good. My “What I Wore” selection was a rather horrible collection of outfits looked like they were compiled by a Zooey Deschanel clone. This was also the month I learned I would be moving to Florence, Italy, and felt no remorse about this idealistic piece of crap. I wish I could have read that a few months ago, during the end of my stay there, and laughed hysterically at the prospect of wanting anything to do with Dante or the Italian outdoors.

♥ May 2012 ♥

In May, I got sad. It’s simultaneously frustrating and inspiring that my most talked-about post has been my memorial for MCA of the Beastie Boys. While I still love reading everyone’s moving comments and stories, it’s always a saddening reminder he’s not around anymore.

I got political. On Memorial Day, I wrote a small feature about the reality of that day and what it really means, and fails to mean, in our lives. It’s something I’m still very proud to have expressed.

I got tripped out on the universe, Carl Sagan Style. At least my What I Wore selection became a little more realistic (obviously complemented by The Perfect Lazy Sunday).

♥ June 2012

Looking back on these posts, I can easily consider June The Most Pretentious Month of My Young Life. Let’s take a look at what we’ve got here, folks. I start off with a Martha Stewart worthy guide to hosting a dinner party. Next, I drooled over Mark Twain. I followed this up with the keenly intellectual list of my favorite movie trailers. What? Back to me: Observations From a Barnes & Noble Cafe. I’ll let the title alone sink in.  All of this is finely complemented by the silliest endeavor of them all: Kate Foo’s Summer Book Club. I made it through the first two books, and then the project fell apart completely. Probably because I was convinced anyone else would read Don Quixote in two weeks. It’s okay if you’re laughing at this point, you’re supposed to.

July 2012

July, judging by my blog, was such an upbeat, sunshine-y month (i.e. 50 Songs That Will Put You In a Good Mood No Matter What). Which is hilarious because my personal life was a total travesty. So hurray for whatever that means! My favorite post from this month is undoubtedly “6 Thoughts I Had While Watching Girls” because it is still 100% relevant to my utter loathing for that show. I instructed the world how to Catwoman-ify their lives. Those faux-leather leggings were a great investment. The style I offered up to the world can be summed by the tagline “how to look fly while frying eggs on the sidewalk.” I still got all day-dreamy about Italy, but as I look through these photos, it’s funny how, unlike my eye-roll worthy post from a few months back, all of these pictures actually remind me of a place and a memory. Pretty groovy.

August 2012

August was busybusybusy in terms of balancing a full-time job and preparations for il big move. Still, I managed to waste my time cutting and pasting pictures of Vivienne Westwood and Marie Antoinette together. To be honest, that post probably still defines my personal style more than anything. As my time working in a department store drew to a close, I penned “25 Things You Will Learn in Retail” Reading it now still makes me shiver…I feel like Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now…The horror…the horror…In a last effort to soak in America, I went to DISNEY WORLD!!! I can’t even talk about it because I am getting so worked up about the magic of Disney right now. I mentally prepared myself for Italy (this post is totally useless except for the fact that I spelled buongiorno incorrectly and it gets me every time.) Then, finally, I stop talking about my trip so annoyingly and finally GO.

September 2012

September was my first official month living in Europe. Needless to say, the unbearable Mediterranean heat was still in full effect. I spent many of these early days hidden away inside, laying on my tile floor, instructing the world (most sassily) as to how to start a style blog of their own. I was finally forced to leave the house when I saw Radiohead for the second time and then went nuts over Thom Yorke. Though, exploring the outside world was a faulty plan and simply ended with me kicking pigeons.

October 2012 / November 2012 ♥

To celebrate my birthday, I treated myself with a solo weekend in Milan and tickets to my favorite opera (La Boheme) at La Scala! Though, as you may recall…the trip had it’s…less than elegant moments. In late October, I spent a week in Paris, where I gallivanted about Versailles, discovered six years of French study only gets you so far, attended the Pitchfork Paris music festival,  and got little enough sleep to partially induce temporary psychosis.

♥ December 2012 / January 2013 / February 2013 ♥

These three months all represent an important landmark occasion for my blog…in which I posted absolutely nothing! Truly, not much was happening in my vita. I came home for Christmas, did a lot of Jillian Michaels DVDs, and had some of the best naps ever taken.

March 2013

Mostly just sad.

April 2013

March and April were very travel intensive months. In March, I spent perhaps the most absurd three days of my life in Amsterdam, where no matter the number of times I have watched A Hard Day’s Nice, I could never have been that fully prepared to understand the ravings of a clan of Liverpudlian boys. At the end of March/beginning of April I spent the most exhilarating week of my life in Iceland. I went completely solo and, by the end, felt I had undergone some strange sort of transformation wherein I had shed a skin of ever giving a hoot about anything. I know this makes no sense, but spend a week alone in Iceland and it will.

♥ May 2013 / June 2013 ♥

Mid-May, I relocated back to the United States, at least for the time being. That in itself was enough of an ordeal to keep me from you fine people, so let that be the one month with an excuse. In June, I got back in the swing of things by creating a new mission statement (obviously accompanied by LotR metaphors). I compiled a few ways you can kick rape culture’s butt, and professed my undying adoration for undergarments. All in all, a most positive month.

♥ July 2013…and BEYOND! ♥

And…please lift up and secure your tray tables as we are about to land! If you look out your window to the left, you will be able to see that over the past 1.4 years, KateFoo.com has gone from being a lot of fashionista hoopla with pretty snazzy graphics to mostly self-centered lists about the meaning of life and pictures of mountains. Make of that what you will.

Thus, this retrospective of shall draw to a close. So…now for a prospective! Except…I don’t really know where this is heading. Unlike a lot of bloggers, this has never been a full-time project for me. I’m a student, work a bunch of odds and ends jobs, and am preparing to permanently move to New York City in less than a month! Needless to say, there are many adventures and opportunities ahead that have yet to present themselves. But when they do…well, let’s just hope I blog about it less than three months after it’s happened!

I LOVE YOU!!

 

Current Obsessions: July 2013 Edition

1. TWIN PEAKS

Normally, I hate watching television programs. And no, I don’t mean that in a “TV is just The Man’s mind control device! Free yourselves and buy a transistor radio!!” (Though it totally is maaan!) I usually just don’t have the patience to sit idle for so many hours and try to enjoy slow-moving stories of second-rate actors. But Twin Peaks made me do it…really do it…click the “Watch Next Episode” button on Netflix after finishing an episode. It’s hilarious, it’s incredibly spooky, and its aesthetic is incredible. But alas, tis only two seasons! Cue me watching this at an absolutely glacial pace so as to savor it for as long as people somehow enjoy 9,000 seasons of Entourage. 

2. MY BLENDER

Getting a blender has been on my to-do list for approximately the last every year that I have ever lived. Though, to be honest, I mostly only had this thought when really wanting a milkshake…But the wait has finally come to an end, because last week I bought my first ever blender, along with the largest fruit haul I have ever conducted. Needless to say, my digestive system is so on point right now, even one Cheeto is likely to set things off-balance. And it. is. GREAT.

3. TRAVEL GEAR

I have suddenly been thrown into the midst of attempting to orchestrate some sort of swoon-worthy getaway circa the last two weeks of October. And while internal groaning over looking at the prices of trans-Atlantic flights is just as scintillating as it sounds, I much prefer planning the parts of that trip that really have nothing to do with the success of the voyage itself. Namely: a set of vintage pink suitcases, knitting myself a trousseau of sorts, and deciding what shade of black lipstick to wear on the plane that will deter anyone from speaking to me while I am clearly trying to enjoy this censored, pixellated in-flight version of Office Space. 

4. RUNNING

I hated running. Hate hate hate hate. I thought it was an activity for those who were simply naturally gifted at having a large lung capacity and absolutely nothing else. But these past few months, I have been pushing myself to go non-stop for 40 minutes every other day. Then, all of a sudden, I found myself going and going, selecting the “I Felt On Top of the World!” option to describe myself on the Nike Run app. And now I have realized…I have become one of them. But whatever, old Katie! You can keep your hullaballoo and I will keep my thigh gap!

5. SEIFUKU

One of the cornerstones of my personal style has always been trying as diligently as possible to re-appropriate clothes that probably shouldn’t be worn as every day wear as every day wear. Take for example this year’s purchase of a janitor suit (worn clubbing: zipped down with a sparkly bra underneath). Now, I am finally ready to make that leap into the realm of my Sailor Moon-infused childhood and purchase a Japanese schoolgirl uniform, or “seifuku.” But think about it: the sailor top with skinny jeans and combat boots; the skirt with a cut-up t-shirt on top. Or the whole thing, finally living out my lifelong fantasy.

Now tell me of your current obsessions, world!!