“Women should dress for themselves, and eventually for other women, and only then maybe also for a handful of men. But they must step out of this outrageously sexed-up hell of signifiers; if they don’t, this junk will make them lose their self-respect. I advocate understatement. Search for subtlety, dare to pass as someone reserved, refuse the stereotypes of sexiness. That way, you will spread fever only where it deserves to be.”—Jean Touitou of APC on why unsexy, understated fashion feels fresh via The Guardian
It is truly the honor of a lifetime to be on board as a contributor, DJ, and Oslo correspondent to Nabovarsel – a Norwegian label and club concept based in Bergen. Very pumped about adding some lone estrogen to an otherwise testosterone soaked team. My very first contribution to Nabovarsel is this playlist, which is inspired by my impromptu trip to the best coast last month, thus the name “San Diego Fwy”. I had the joy of listening to HOT 92.3 FM (SoCal’s Finest Old School jams) on full blast while rolling down the highways and byways back and forth from LA to San Diego. Hence it’s packed with lots of old school gems, West Coast hip hop, and summery beats that remind me of the good times I had in my favorite city ever.
This pumpkin soup is one of my favorite soups ever yet I, strangely enough, rarely eat it. Perhaps because I used to be the only child at home who actually liked eating this soup, so my mom would only cook it for me. It’s extremely delicious and healthy, not to mention easy to make it’s almost ridiculous.
400 g ground pork (or ground chicken) 1/4 of a pumpkin pepper sugar garlic/garlic powder Vietnamese fish sauce rapeseed oil scallions coriander
Marinate the ground pork with chopped scallions, sugar, pepper and garlic. Rinse the pumpkin and chop it into manageable chunks, leaving the skin on because it’s easier to peel the skin off when the pumpkin is fully cooked.
Heat the pot and add a few tablespoons rapeseed oil and sauté the minced meat until it’s cooked. Add the pumpkin chunks and (boiling) water (enough to cover every single pumpkin chunk and a little more).
Cover the pot, bring to boil, reduce heat to barest simmer and cook for about 15 minutes (maybe 5-10 if you add boiling water). Skim off the foam that forms on the top constantly.
I don’t know how many tablespoons fish sauce I added, perhaps 4-6 tablespoons? Just taste the soup and add more water if it’s too salty. The fish sauce shouldn’t be way too overpowering. Add more sugar and pepper to taste.
Soups always taste better the longer you let them simmer, so feel free to let it simmer for as long as you can resist. Add lots of chopped coriander and scallions before serving the soup with Jasmine rice.
My mom used to make this soup with mung beans and shrimps too, which offer a delicious enhancement to the taste.
Would you move to SoCal if you were offered a job in the area? Even if it is not one of the cool areas (but a cool job!) and benefits/salary much lower than in Europe?
I’ve been marinating on this question for a couple of days now, and I think I’ve finally come up with my answer. I suppose it depends on the job and whether I have the driver’s license. Actually, I’m already planning to move to LA (and perhaps SF) after summer till my Visa expires to work on my manuscript if I don’t finish it before summer, which apparently is an unpaid project. (Yes, I know, I’m very ambitious but wth I’m still young and there are so many things I want to do and nothing or no one is holding me back! Gotta be a bit YOLO at times too haha). I’ve never lived in another country before and I definitely don’t have the funds to study in SoCal or the US in general. Be that as it may, thanks to my gap half year before medical school – if I make it to med school next year, that is. Fingers crossed! – the timing couldn’t have been better in terms of moving abroad. In case of writer’s block, I’d love to do other things on the side as well since I need some sort of income, so I might try to land a few freelance writing jobs and DJ gigs. Or perhaps I get offered a cool job? Hope my plan works out in the end because I need a change of scenery.
It’s the third day of my self-imposed Facebook exile and I haven’t even attempted to click on the Facebook icon on the bookmark bar in Google Chrome or accessed the app on my phone. Mayhap it takes a few more days before the withdrawal symptoms kick in but so far I have only experienced the joy of being completely unaware – YES, completely U-N-A-W-A-R-E – of whatever crap my Facebook friends are posting on their walls. I don’t miss the mindless scrolling or the so-called Facebook “investigation” at all. I don’t care about all the events that I no longer get invited to because my Facebook existence is temporarily disabled. For once I really felt the need to be somewhat unreachable as I consider myself relatively well versed in the world of social media, – “a social media whore” – which is also the case for the rest of my peers I assume. So I decided it was high time to disconnect myself from all these time-sucking traps for a while – Facebook being the worst of them all. It’s gotten out of control and I need to find time and space to just B.R.E.A.T.H.E.
While I was traveling last month I rarely checked my Facebook, only if I had to reach out to friends who I had planned to meet up with because texting abroad is such a money grabber. This quasi-hiatus from a few social medias gave me time to rethink and ease off. On the other hand, my inboxes were swamped with unread messages from everyone – and while on the road I don’t ever feel obligated to reply because Internet access is rather limited and I didn’t by any means travel across the continent so as to hang out online. So, can you see the problem now? What to do when you’re back from your vacation and you happen to be entirely stuck with a myriad of messages and conversations, to which you aren’t actually obliged to respond, languishing in your Facebook inbox unseen and unreplied like a pile of dirty dishes sitting in the sink? Beside Facebook, your e-mail has also accumulated a great amount of unread mails. And then, out of habit, you check the inbox on Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit and whatnot and discover the nerve-racking number of received messages on yet another social media platform. Uh-oh!
At some point even my Snapchat set a new record for unopened snaps (and to be fair, I am usually the one who spams my friends with snaps). Social media is just another recipe for stress – needs that aren’t really needs that have the potential to be addictive. No wonder the battery on my iPhone drops from 100% to 38% in no time. My biggest issue is that I get physically and mentally burnt out of constantly feeling guilty about not having time, energy or desire to respond to unread messages lingering here and there. It’s also extremely tiring to be reachable round the clock. And whenever I don’t get to reply to messages, I get so anxious and stressed out about the potentially awkward moment when bumping into the person who initiated the non-dialogue dialogue on the streets. So much for being on social media!
So far I have already signed up for my very first gym membership ever; attended aerobics classes and actually had tons of fun sweating like a pig; called three persons instead of ignoring them on Facebook, which kind of felt old school all of a sudden because I hardly ever use my phone for calls these days; almost finished “The Year of Magical Thinking” by Joan Didion; listened to a bunch of R&B and hip hop gems while cooking and cleaning; met my good friend for pancakes on the international pancake day and gave him a belated birthday gift that consisted of The Paris Review short stories compilation and an ironic “Grow your own girlfriend” toy I found in an amusing shop on Abbott Kinney boulevard in Venice; finished one of two assignments for university; wasted less time on my phone; studied a little bit of physics; organized my clothes, books, and drawers; read lifehacks and laughed of them; caught up with a few TV-shows and started working on a manuscript that I hope will be published someday. The latter is merely wishful thinking but hey, I met an intriguing doctor in London whose advice to me was to record something, start a band, or write a book before I become a full-time medical school student.
I miss hearing your voice I miss hearing your contagious laughter I miss the smell of your hair and skin I looked for your scent in the duty free beauty department at the airport so that I will never forget how you smell like because I miss you so much
Hello, just wondering why you seem to love L.A. so much?
It’s sort of an inexplicable question and desire but I’ll give it a try. I know that I’m extremely drawn to the city because of the sun, the climate, the diversity, the food, the people, the vibe, the beaches, the air, the nature, the lifestyle, the palms, the succulents, the incredible architecture, the culture, the newness and so on. I just feel at home and more at ease in the city of angels. I want to live there and be able to grow my own fruits and vegetables in my garden. I’ve always fantasized about the West Coast. Somehow the city never ceases to inspire me. I always feel like a new person every time I get back home from a week or two of L.A. madness. I’ve never felt the same way about another city except for maybe San Francisco but that’s a completely different city and story. I guess my penchant for L.A. goes like this saying by Woody Allen:
“The heart wants what it wants. There’s no logic to these things. You meet someone and you fall in love [you travel somewhere and you fall in love with the city] and that’s that.”
I used to love The Horrors. Back in 2007, I used to dress like them as their style and music clearly had a significant impact on me. I would go to Paris and buy every The Horrors-esque jeans from April 77 that I could find at Noir Kennedy with the little money I earned from teaching neighborhood kids piano. Then I would pair the jeans with winklepickers, a fake leather jacket that I customized myself, and heavy bangs while listening to “Sheena is the parasite”. It’s funny how your sense of style, taste and influencers change over time. I still love The Horrors though as they sort of unexpectedly revamped their sound towards a more melodic yet mesmeric one, at the same time as each of their style evolved into something less leathery but a cleaner aesthetic that resembles what a chic tomboy would don. Of course our individual styles also reflect the time we are living in, so perhaps it’s not such a coincidence that The Horrors and I decidedly jumped on the same style bandwagon after all back in the end of 2008.