I love sweeping views, sunsets, and slides, so when I found out all three collide at Skyspace LA, I knew I had to visit. They invited Sallie and I to come ride during the sunset hour, and after an unfortunate interaction with LA traffic, we were in an elevator headed to the 70th floor. 1,000 feet above LA, the views don't disappoint, but I was mainly impressed by how finger-print free the glass was. The slide itself only goes down a floor, so there's not too much opportunity to consider that you're on a slide made of glass suspended thousands of feet above some very aggressive drivers. Instead, for approximately 30 seconds, you're in awe of how cool it is. Then, you land on a giant pillow, and you're on the tallest open-air observation deck in California. It's not the only place to see the city from above, but it's the only place smack in the middle of the city, where you get to see LA happening around you. There's also plenty of other people forcing their partners/friends/stranger they just met on the elevator to take masses of photos of them, so you won't stick out when you do the same.
You might if you start to dance to the Sean Paul soundtrack though. Just a heads-up.
Sometimes, you gotta just cram everyone into a car and head for the beach. Even if they don't want to go. And complain the whole drive. Even then.
Don't trust the movies or my photos - beaches in Northern California are cold and wild and full of whales. We saw two of them as we shivered in our wet jeans. But it was still stunning and the sand in my shoes was a welcome trade for a beautiful day. Speaking of, I got new Sebago's and they're comfy as hell. Plus, I spilled an entire iced tea on them and they were fine. Not sure if that's official, or just a stroke of luck, but it seemed worth mentioning.
Today is the first day of the last week of school,
Myles Parrish never disappeared. In fact, sitting across from me at a picnic table in the side lot of a boba joint in Northridge, the 24-year-old is conspicuously visible. He bounced onto the patio with a hug and his trademark thai bubble tea and within ten minutes, I feel like we’ve been friends for days. Behind him, a group of teenagers who are probably only a year or two younger than me are taking Snapchats with us in the background. They recognized him the minute he walked in, and have been furtively scheming for a photo. “Are you interviewing Myles?” one girl asks, as he returns inside. She points to her friend. “She has a huge crush on him, she’s one of his biggest fans.” Halfway through the interview, the exposed fangirl hugs Myles the way you do a friend from home after they’ve been away for a while. “I haven’t seen you in two years.” She half-chides, half-complains. “When’s the next album?” Myles looks sheepish, but you immediately see how much interactions like this really mean to him, a kid from the Bay who hit the charts.
You could say it was my luck that a day-one fan just happened to be sitting there - and Myles did, in fact, say that - but I think he’s just being humble. Just two years ago, he was still part of Kalin & Myles, the Bay Area duo whose viral hits (“Do My Step”, “Love Robbery”, “Trampoline”) had every teenage girl in town in line for their storied concerts. It was one of those high-school experiences everyone at school is talking about the next day, even if you’re homeschooled like I was. The first time I went to one, I was fascinated by how much fun everyone was having - and how young they were. At 17, I was definitely on the older end of the fangirl spectrum, with many of the girls around me falling closer to 15, but Myles isn’t that much older. It was like Bieber fever, but unlike Justin Bieber, Kalin & Myles were hometown kids, and always close enough to touch. After the girls left the patio, Myles sits back down, smiling like a kid on Christmas. “I think about those fans, I mean - they were kids, you know? And now they’re in college and stuff, I wonder if they remember us.” He thinks about them a lot, actually. He counts them as a huge influence in the journey that took him from a kid in his bedroom on Vomac to a tour bus traveling the nation, back to a bedroom in LA.
That bedroom in LA, just like the one on Vomac, is the territory of a solo artist now. After announcing their breakup a year ago, Kalin and Myles went their separate ways, albeit in the same city. With all the delicacy of a rhino, I ask when he realized it was really over. “After our last show in Arizona, you know, I just came home and all his stuff was gone, and it really sank in.” He paused for a minute, looking for the right words. “It’s weird, to go from one of your best friends for five years to not really talking at all.” This is the part where a lot of artists essentially curl up in the fetal position and disappear from our playlists. Not Myles. He set up shop in the apartment he now shares with his brother and friend, and got back to what he does best - making music. He posts them to his Soundcloud, and videos of him rapping along to the projector he has set up rakes in the likes on Twitter. I told him I’m jealous of the projector, and he laughs. “Yeah man, it’s great. There’s like hours long videos of fireplaces and the ocean and stuff on Youtube.” When he’s laughing, he looks a lot younger than his streaks of grey hair, thoughtlessly styled with a lot of hand motions and a generous relationship with gravity. LA is a cool place - but just like you’ve seen in every movie, it can make you old fast. I ask him about his adopted city, and if it’ll ever be home. He assures me that he’s having fun, and I believe him, but I believe him because he doesn’t sugar coat it. “It’s just..the vibes, man. Like out here, I think about everything I’m doing a lot more, and I stress about it. The minute I leave, it’s like, I can do anything.” This is what’s so interesting to me about Myles - in LA, he could very quickly become nobody, dragged under by waves of wannabe triple threats with hundreds of thousands of followers to their name. But by luck or by special intention, he’s still Your Boy Myles, the guy from Dublin who made music with a buddy off Facebook, and hit it big. Usually, everything that blows up has to collapse, but that’s not what happened here. Myles just...went through. We talk about navigating the LA social scene, and how people like to collect names. He tells me he’s not into it, but he see’s the appeal. I suddenly understand how he’s lasted so long. His exceptionalism is balanced out by his air (I can’t quite say “vibes”) of normalcy. In fact, his secret might just be that there’s no secret at all.
It sounds like a journalistic cliche, but this kid is just a kid. He likes to kick it with his girlfriend, Tia, (“I can last in LUSH for like 15-20..seconds.”) play his music for his mom, and keeps a wardrobe stocked with dad shirts, like the “Boston, Mass.” number he’s rocking during our interview. He’s full of the kind of Bay Area vernacular that broadcasts his roots, just in case the ubiquitous thai tea wasn’t a dead giveaway. He just happens to be a really talented artist, working with the likes of IAMSU and releasing music at a rate that isn’t satisfying his fans (just like with any other artist, it couldn't ever), but is pretty impressive when you consider he’s doing it all from scratch. In LA, there’s plenty of people willing to buy your name and your sound, and like a McDonalds Big Mac, toss it down an assembly line. But Myles is taking the In-N-Out route - perfecting each part. It may take a little longer, but it’s always worth the wait.
As I double check the commas on this, the wait for those fans might just be over. With an ambiguous tweet, and a not-so-ambiguous video, Myles just announced the release of “Vomac”, on May 12th. So no, he never disappeared - he was just taking the long way home.
The older you get, the more and more "short and tight but also fancy" becomes this bizarre expectation forced upon your wardrobe. I've managed to avoid it thus far mainly by never leaving my house. I'm also fairly tall and have all of the curves of a highway in the desert, so finding a dress that fits is also a v difficult undertaking. As you can tell, I have a well articulated excuse for every situation. But I decided it needed to happen, because I am only scared of rational things, like deep water and spiders, and will not be intimidated by a dress. At least not one this small.
You know in a sitcom, where the main character does something they were scared of, and the happy music plays, and they say something along the lines of "that wasn't that bad"? That was me, once I got accustomed to the breeze. This dress is super comfy, and not too much of a ~night out~ look for me to rock on my weekly trip to IKEA.
Speaking of IKEA: settle this for me, guys. Is it "I-KEY-UH" or "E-KAY-UH"?
Loser has to buy me another pillow for my fort, so I'm heavily invested.
I never, ever, ever wear backless dresses. They are precarious and require special bras and perfect posture, all things that I possess in very small quantities. But when Fame and Partners gave me the chance to customize my own dress, I took a jump. I figured I can't just wear t-shirt dresses everywhere. Though I have tried. THIS DRESS IS THE PRETTIEST THING I OWN AND IT FITS ME PERFECTLY AND IT'S A GORGEOUS COLOR AND I DON'T EVEN MIND THAT I COULD TRIP ANY MINUTE. There's something exceptionally enjoyable about putting on a fancy dress. As a kid it was fun because I had a vivid imagination and thought I'd have a life when I got older. As an "adult" (lol k) it's fun because the clothes fit. I will say, however, that I find it ironic that the older/fancier you get, the more people you need to help you get dressed. It took three of us to get me in and out of this number.
Those zippers, much like any aspiring rapper, don't come up on their own.
Disneyland is a lot of things. It smells incredible, tastes even better, and looks exactly like you've always thought it does. I've gone four or five times, and every time I walk through the gates, I remember why it costs the equivalent of a first born child. It's the most magical place on earth.
Jordan knows me well, and that's why he knew there was nowhere else for us to celebrate our one year anniversary. I'm not exceptionally sappy or romantic,
As the blog and audience have started to grow lately, I've had more questions about the way I work with brands, how I do business, and what's important to me. I've been asked to talk about my "real life" as though I can somehow manage to multi-task lives. Guys, I can't even cook and read a book at the same time (or cook at all, but that's besides the point). But I realize that there's always a little mystery surrounding a girl on the internet, and I think it's important to to talk about it.
The brands I work with are an ethical cornerstone to me for a reason: they don't own my soul, and they've never asked to. I make sure I love something before I even think about telling you guys about it, even if that means sending awkward breakup texts. I always reserve the right to be like "ehhhhh better not".
If I do get paid for something, same rules apply, plus actual trade laws that require me to tell you I got paid, which I don't have a problem with. I'm a college student, textbooks are expensive, and you should all know I eat top ramen like five meals a week. I get to do cool stuff by the grace of my job, not my bank account.
That kind of real life stuff can't be filtered through VSCO, but it's just as important. I never want to fall in with that group of internet people who are suntanned and smiling in the feed, but sad and angry in their house, and so being down with you guys from the start was always my agenda.
Speaking of: did y'all also forget that I had a face under these glasses? I did.
SOMETIMES YOU GOTTA GET OUTSIDE. Listen to the REI posters.
I'll be the first to admit that I am far from an outdoorswoman, which is a shame because I live in such a beautiful state full of The Great Outdoors, but every once in a while, I need some non-filtered sunlight. Yesterday, Jordan and I loaded up on a massive breakfast, and hopped in the car to go see some big trees at the (very confusingly named) Big Trees State Park. Admittedly, going on a three hour drive with nothing but four cans of grapefruit LaCroix and a vague idea of what the weather might be like was not the safest move, but it was the fastest. Upon arrival, we discovered that there was not only snow, but copious amounts of water to sqiush around in Jordans shoes. My feet, for once, were dressed appropriately in my TOMS Summit boots. Because it ~doesn't rain here~, I hadn't had a chance to test out their waterproof ability until suddenly I was knee deep in it. Speaking of being knee-high: these trees are huge. I've lived in California my whole life, and seen some truly majestic displays of nature, but our trees never fail to blow me away. Some of the ones in this park are over a thousand years old. Isn't that crazy?At best, my life will be 1/10th of what theirs is right now. It's both a terrifying and peaceful thought to realize that this tree doesn't care about geography grades, or finishing research abstracts, or getting to work on time. It just keeps growing and cleaning the air and dropping branches on unsuspecting tourists every once in a while.
So here's the point: ditch the planner, get in the car, and go see some trees now, before our President starts saying nature is fake science. x Justina follow A Bent Piece Of Wire ontwitter|facebook|bloglovin
it's me again, your perpetually absent favorite blogger
There's some weird stuff going on around here, and I'm not just talking about the fact that in a fit of delusion I signed up for six classes this semester. People are losing their minds, and their ability to be people, and it's quite frankly a mess. In an effort to help us all survive, I made a list of three subscriptions that you should invest in to keep yourself happy.
1. MeUndies - YOU GET FRESH MEUNDIES IN THE MAIL EVERY MONTH. Not only is your butt now comfy af, it's a great surprise if you haven't done laundry yet this week. Each month, they come out with a new design, and send it to you in your favorite style. My plan is to eventually amass a huge collection and do away with pants entirely. $16 to start, $14 every month after.
2. Amazon Prime - My Amazon addiction is out of hand, I know, but in my defense, it's because I got Prime. It fascinates me, and the free two-day shipping blows my mind. HOW DO THEY GET THINGS HERE SO FAST? Also, how do they get so many of the things? Plus, I can now watch as many PBS Masterpiece programs as I want. $99 a year, but 50% off + a free 6 month trial for students (cause we're all broke)
3. Audible - okay so when you get the Prime subscription, there's gonna be this little notice floating around Amazon about your free Audible credit. You might, as one did, accidentally click on it and then sign yourself up, so that you can get your free audiobook. You may then both fall in love with Trevor Noah, and audiobooks. Things happen. Weirdly, the more time I spend reading textbooks, the less time I have to read book-books, and this makes sure my brain doesn't rot entirely. $14.95