Last year, I chose MAKE as my intention. That word grounded everything I did, resulting in a lot of major successes – especially in the making money arena!
But 2018 was still full of a lot of truly draining challenges, which is why I chose TRANSCEND for 2019.
Transcending is all about staying centered throughout the chaos around you and not letting the things you can’t control knock you off course. You can’t control the people around you, but you can rise above their negativity, their drama and their expectations.
It also means going beyond your own expectations for yourself – beyond what you think you’re capable of. I’m going to push myself to grow professionally at an exponential rate. Transcend my mental and physical blockers to push my body to new achievements. I’m going to knock on the doors of NO and turn them into YESes.
This year was kind of all over the place, but ended up balanced. It was full of both unprecedented happiness and frustration. Many of my goals saw success and the frustrations illuminated new areas for me to work on. And I’m setting up my 2019 to tackle those things head on.
But let’s look back at the highlights of 2018 first!
Most-played albums // Bush*Black and White Rainbows + all the other albums, of course / Gorillaz*Humanz / Band of Skulls*By Default / The Dead Deads*Rainbeau + For Your Obliteration / Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds*Who Built the Moon / The Orwells*Disgraceland + Terrible Human Beings / ZZ Ward*The Storm / A Perfect Circle*Eat The Elephant / Beck*Colors
Most-loved shows & films // Black Mirror. The Commuter. The Good Place. The Handmaid’s Tale. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (it grew on me). Glow S2. Jane The Virgin. Nailed It. Orange is the New Black. Disenchantment. American Vandal S2 (hilarious). The Haunting of Hill House 😱 Dexter. Breaking Bad.
Breweries Visited // Big aLICe (LIC) / Transmitter (LIC) / LIC Beer Project (LIC) / Coney Island Brewery (Brooklyn) / Departed Soles (Jersey City) / Flagship (Staten Island) / Killsboro (Staten Island) / Mudhen (Wildwood NJ) / Interboro (Brooklyn) / Grimm’s Artisan Ales (Brooklyn) / Hapas Brewing Co (San Jose, CA) / KCBC (Brooklyn) / Other Half (Brooklyn) / Evil Twin (Philly) / Circa (Brooklyn) / Strong Rope (Brooklyn) / Banger Brewery (Las Vegas) / Brieux Carre (New Orleans) / Braven Brewing (Brooklyn)
Top purchases // My Passion Planner. MealPal. The Eight Coins Tattoo Tarot (signed edition) – the Eight Coins was my eighth deck and I’m an 8 in numerology – what a powerful sign! An Amazon Fire 8 tablet – sure cuts down the clutter of all the books I’ve been reading! This Pokemon tarot deck for Glux’s birthday. A new vacuum (so adult). Backing BOI: Four Souls card game. New renegade cooling system – I upgraded my AC and bought a vornado for the bedroom to circulate the air. My money manifesting wallet. This super cute little radio – It’s been YEARS since I listened to FM radio (it has bluetooth too. Mixing modern and vintage 📻). Moleskine x Nintendo rolltop backpack. Wedding bands!
Goals achieved // Saved $5000 (and THEN some)! Sister tattoos. Hit a 6 figure salary WOOOOOOO!
Style obsessions // Ponchos (so cozy!). New York Black – I created a work uniform that consists of 5 black dresses in different styles that I can change up with funky jewelry, leggings and various accessories – paired with gold – lots of gold! Carnival flavored lip glosses (a la my middle school Lip Smackers days) like cotton candy. Mirrored cat eye sunnies. Handbags that look like cartoon snacks (thanks Betsey Johnson and TokiDoki). Barbie Pink pedis. Makeup made from crystals.
Best things I did for myself // Took vitamins (almost) every day. Cut back on sugar, alcohol and caffeine. Canceled cable (sorry not sorry, Ryan). #NoSpendFeb! Took a pole dancing class in Vegas. Started learning guitar. Crystal bed therapy. Meditation.
Top games // Splatoon 2 (Switch). Bayonetta + Bayonetta 2 (Switch). South Park: The Fractured But Whole (Switch). Octopath Traveler – I mained Primrose the badass stripper (Switch). Pokemon Go (mobile). Jurassic World: Alive (mobile). Salt and Sanctuary (Switch). Shadow of the Tomb Raider (PS4). Jurassic World: Evolution (PS4). Hollow Knight (Switch). Fallout 76 (PS4). Red Dead Redemption 2 (PS4). Animal Crossing Pocket Camp (mobile). Super Smash Bros (Switch).
The Red Room in The Haunting of Hill House invites the occupants to create whatever space they want or need it to be. Take a look:
It’s a comfortable space where imagination and creativity have the freedom to flow free. For me, the red room would lure me in with a big papasan chair filled with pillows. Candles spread all around the room. There’s a bookshelf filled with notebooks to write and doodle in. One wall is covered in my favorite books and there’s a coffee table with a fresh pot of tea always ready along with an endless pile of petit fours.
Between Hulu and Netflix alone, I’m positively overwhelmed with the selection of spooky, silly, campy movies and shows. I’ve narrowed it down 10 of my favorite picks every year. A couple of these come from my personal collection – not streaming yet.
I recently read this article on Polygon about the violent/gory death scenes in Tomb Raider and how they’re unnecessary. Some comments even tipped into suggesting it’s torture porn and/or uncouth because of Lara’s gender.
First of all, Lara Croft does not need your protection.
I’ve wanted to talk about her death scenes for some time now, because they have been so impactful on my playthrough experience. Truthfully, I had no idea these scenes were so controversial because they’re so meaningful to me.
I think these scenes serve as a grim reminder of Lara’s own mortality. In the vast majority of video games, the death of your character is inconsequential. You just reload and start from the last checkpoint. While that’s also true in Tomb Raider, watching my horrible death FEELS more like a consequence. It matters. And yes, a few seconds later you do restart from the last checkpoint, but those few seconds are a time of mourning and reflection. It’s not just about shock value. It’s a moment to replay what went wrong.
I’d also like to add that in Lara’s character, I am viciously, violently murdering people – from slitting throats underwater to stringing them up in a tree with an arrow. There’s even a scene in a side quest where Lara murders a little girl’s father immediately after telling the girl to run back to her mother. Presumably, the girl is within earshot of her father’s death if not totally able to witness the whole thing.
So why, in this world of gratuitous violence, should Lara be exempt? At the very least, her death scenes seem pretty reasonable to me. And at most, they really enhance my experience by helping me get further into her character, understand the extend of her risks and appreciate the limitations of her athleticism.
How do you feel about graphic character deaths in games?
I’ve been starting each month with Gala Darling’s Radical Self Love Almanac. October is all about embracing luxury. Amazingly, after filling out my chapter for the month, I pulled the Empress for my tarot of the month ritual. She’s all about – you guessed it! – luxury! So from the first of the month, I’ve been in a luxe state of mind.
Less than two weeks after I accepted this energy, I’ve had many opulent experiences come my way.
On October 2nd, I was invited to a preview party for the holiday Sugarfina line. It was held at Park Avenue – a swank restaurant that changes with the seasons. They served endless champagne, some of the most delicious and inventive hor d’oeuvres, AND let us sample all the candy we could handle. I discovered their chocolate covered popcorn and developed an addiction to a forthcoming gingerbread cookie bites. At the end of the night, they gifted us a bunch of candy and let us send a free candy bento to a friend.
Last weekend my mom and sister treated me to spa day at the Sea Spa in Cape May. We got our nails done – I picked a gold that literally looks like my fingertips were dipped in gold leaf – and then we got hour-long facials. It felt glorious! But the best part was getting to spend time with my sister.
This week, I was ready to make a hair appointment – and my haircuts cost around $300 because hair like mine requires the curl experts. Just before I was going to make the call, the salon emailed me that they needed hair models. So not only did I get the haircut I desperately needed, but it was FREE! So I treated myself to a bottle of their amazing leave in conditioner to treat my hair to the decadence it deserves.
October is my absolute favorite month. Time to break out the cozy things, ramp up my rituals, make copious amounts of chili and enjoy the playfully spooky energy. When Animal Crossing Pocket Camp announced a Halloween themed event, I was beside myself with excitement (and determination to complete all the tasks for once).
Finally, my campsite feels worth sharing, loving, and spending all my time in. Join me on a tour of the spooky and mysterious Camp Sinderthorne!
At the center of a haunted wood, beyond gnarled trees and occasional bones of poor lost souls, lies a clearing known as Crow’s Hollow. Here, the smell of burnt earth intoxicates the senses, preventing nearly all growth, except for a garden of poisonous lollipoppies and mutant pumpkins. Ruins of an old shrine and mausoleum cast shadows over a small graveyard.
A mischievous witch makes her home in a battered old Airstream trailer among the rubble. She keeps watch over the lost spirits and creatures who wander in and out of camp.
For those brave enough to step into her trailer, she offers tarot readings and her spell-casting services. Positive results, not guaranteed.
She’s been known to raise the dead on full moon nights, lighting incense and casting a circle to welcome them back to Earth. Ghostly and sometimes skeletal spirits of campers lost may appear!
Happy little ghosts often flit around the graveyard, sometimes taking her broomstick for a ride.
She’s always sure to tend to her garden. Jack the Pumpkin King loves lollipoppies and is always pleased with the little witch’s extensive crop.
I SO hope the new core Animal Crossing game will find ways to connect our campsites. I’d love for all this decor to transfer over in some way. Since Pokemon Go connects with Let’s Go, Eevee/Pikachu, it must be possible. Like many fans, I’ve actually spent real-world currency on ACPC and I’d like to see the content lifespan lengthen.