Poem on Saturday: An old forest fire

I have a midterm on thursday, but i’ll come over tomorrow

what are you doing

did you remember August?

They said you’ll never see him again, the voices

yeah fuck that,

i’ll see him tomorrow.

what are you doing

i’ll stop everything I’m doing, will

you let me tell you that you fucked it up?

that day we napped, kissed, tensions built up walls along my skin,

cement that cracked with skin and skin, and cement

and lips cracked too, open, my blood fell onto your eyes,

did they bleed too? or did you think I could trust —

coldly bruised, i knew that you’d hit me up 2, 3, 4, 8 months later.

with a couple of girls, yeah you remembered me most.

my blood stained your eyes, you felt my skin the other day,

Didn’t you?

you think it’s ok to leave things unresolved, tangled up, leave your necklaces wound up,

Leave your people and tell them tomorrow, or 8 months,

What’s the difference anyway.

what are you doing,

her tight ass, yeah you fucked her too, huh.

I saw you holding hands on Valentines Day, she’s your girlfriend?

i doubt it.

You can’t commit for shit, I know you mostly.

but i know that she’s hot, and you like heat,

reminds you of blood, my kisses on the windowsill,

when you yelled at me, “do you know how much it hurts, Brianna?”

yeah, i’ve been feeling it for months,

you didn’t ask though.

But you remembered, and you thought about it for a second,

math is the only thing you’ll ever love, i know that.

we know that.

I look at you and understand your brain, and i’m not mad,

but don’t fucking pretend,

don’t tell me you’re doing well,

You’re fucked up, will

you let me go?

doubt it.

 

**

B

“Wut” issue 1

Yeah, we’re releasing our first-ever Blend publication, “wut”, very very soon.

As like, a printed, tangible thing. 

And as a big fuck you to every guy who has made me feel like shit. I may have been voiceless in my relationships, but never as an artist.

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Calling out every human who has been left feeling broken and lonely by a man, “wut” is an ode to self-empowerment, to standing up for yourself, for breaking down and feeling weak, to feeling and being unafraid to feel.

All poetry/drawings/pictures were created and experienced during times of great turmoil and disempowerment.

format:
A5 softcover zine
50 pages
words/images/drawings

you can buy it at the BlendShop! (very soon)

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If you’re interested in pre-ordering a copy, comment below or email me at bhd@berkeley.edu, and I’ll send you something special along with the zine 🙂

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The Berkeley Desk Series: Brianna

*The Berkeley Desk Series will feature the desks of people we know, UC Berkeley students, strangers, artists, savants, intellects, eccentrics, normies, and whomever wishes to contribute.*

The first installment is brought to you by Brianna, the founder of Blend and BBB, second year UC Berkeley student studying Undergraduate Law, and avid social justice advocate.

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On: Valentine’s Day

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Alain Delon and Romy Schneider C. 1960s

We just got in our beautiful Valentine’s Day cards in the shop. Simple and elegant, the whole card devoted to Alain Delon reading to Romy Schneider casually on their couch. I fold each card, and look at how happy they are. And then I think of all of the people who will buy these cards and give them to their special someones. And then I think of how I’ve never had a Valentine, and how I was dumped a week before Valentine’s Day last February. I tell my boss how much I like the cards, and how I’m excited to sell them off to cute boyfriends and girlfriends and husbands and wives… But clearly the expression on my face indicates otherwise.

Excited about being in the early days of a budding romance with a boy I like more and more with each coming day, I have this idea in my mind that maybe I’ll have a Valentine this year. Maybe I’ll get an extra special kiss that day that tells me that I’m someone important in his life. Maybe he’ll make me a card or make me a bouquet of flowers he finds around Berkeley, or even just ask me to be his Valentine. But alas, such simple gestures seem to be asking too much still.

I go home after work and all I can think about is how this boy had told me just the night before that “Valentine’s Day is stupid”, all after proudly telling him about the new cards we had just received in the store.

But is it really? Sure, you could argue that you wouldn’t want to be involved in the “capitalist scheme” to get people to buy flowers, chocolate, cards, and presents under the guise of a fake holiday that celebrates “love”. Yeah, of course the whole idea is “stupid”, but him saying that to me invalidates everything I had ever felt about the significance of the holiday, and everything I feel about even just feeling special. 

Embarrassed beyond belief, I nervously laugh and tell him that I was just talking about the cards and how they’re cute, nothing more. But deep inside, my little hopes of being surprised and feeling special on Valentine’s Day are crushed. My heart sinks a little, and I think back to every guy who has invalidated my feelings, and back to every guy who has ignored the little things that I care about, and the little things that make me happy. I think back to all of these times, and I remember that I’m the one who lets people treat me this way.

But knowing myself, I probably still won’t stand up for myself, even though deep down I know very well that I deserve so much more. And so does every person out there who has been told that they “ask too much” or are “being ridiculous” when it comes to wanting to feel special. You’re not asking too much, because Valentine’s Day is fun, and why not celebrate being together? Why not spend a day to be mindful about feelings and ultimately just digging each other a little more?

So, if you’ve got a boo on Valentine’s Day, show them some love and make them a card/pick them flowers/cook them a cute dinner, because no matter how stupid the significance of the holiday actually is, showing someone you care never is.

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I want so badly to be knowledgable, experienced, politically aware, worldly… and all of that sh*t

I’m so curious. I want to know about literally everything! I wish I could somehow acquire knowledge and experience infinitely quickly. I have always been this way and I love this about myself but it definitely does pose challenges for me.

I was the type of child to go through a million different phases and interests… my poor parents had to deal with this and I am eternally grateful for how well they did so. When I wanted to be a singer my parents sent me to singing lessons. When I wanted to be a pianist the signed me up for piano lessons. And guitar. And ballet. And theatre. And gymnastics. And soccer. And softball. When I wanted to be a scientist they, being the supportive parents they are, supplied me with the microscope I had been begging for. When I wanted to learn a new language, learn what it’s like to live in a new culture, and learn to be independent and create a network of friends and peers around me, they gave me this opportunity too! They sent me to Rome, Italy all by myself during high school… just as I had asked for.

Anyways… that’s all to say that I haven’t changed one bit. I am still curious and interested in just about EVERYTHING. I don’t know what I want to major in… because I want to choose all of the majors. I want to do pre-med, economics, business, legal studies, engineering, nutrition, political science, cognitive science, computer science, mathematics, integrative biology while simultaneously learning 3 different languages and joining  an investment club, the sailing team, the Effective Altruists club, trying to get in shape, stay updated on the news and have a social life… oh yeah and I want to get a part-time job too! Although I am very far from it, I want to be well-read and be able to discuss books that commonly come up in conversation. I even feel left out when people discuss TV shows they are following and feel that I need to keep with that part of “general knowledge” and watch popular shows to stay in the loop with that stuff.  Does anyone else feel this way? It’s such a struggle because I feel that if I am not learning all of these things and experiencing all of these things then I am not taking full advantage of the life and opportunities I have been given. I feel like I am missing out on everything and anything that I am not doing… which is most things. It’s just too much. There’s not enough time in life to do all of these things and be sane. I wonder all the time if being more efficient and wasting less time and taking less time to just talk to friends and relax would allow me to get more of these things done. I wonder to what extent it would be worth it. Who knows!

This all feeds into why I want to know about what’s going on in the world, know about different political views and understand where everyone is coming from and know the context of big topics and events. I want to be able to engage in conversation and understand what people are talking about and be able to contribute my own ideas too. I have for the longest time stayed away from engaging in particular conversations because I am insecure that my knowledge on whatever particular topic being discussed is too narrow. I always think:”they probably all know a lot more about this topic than I do so that’s probably the main reason I have a different opinion.” I don’t think I’ll ever get to the point where I am completely confident with how much I know because I will always feel that it is not enough, but I know that learning more about frequently conversed topics helps with this enormously.

I recently copied Brianna and downloaded the Apple News App on my phone and turned on the settings for notifications from some of the top news stations such as CNN, NY Times, Tim, Vox, The Washington Post, and even Fox News. I think it is very important to look at information from all sides because all news is biased. It is essentially impossible to learn what is going on in the world objectively. If you surround yourself with information that is already in conjunction with your bias you are not learning anything really. Is your intention just to convince yourself more of what what you already believe? Well that’s definitely not mine as I want to learn NEW things. It’s a lot easier to follow the track you have already been on and not look outside of what you already believe. It’s easy to not have to question your past views, but it’s much more rewarding and commendable to fully consider opposing beliefs and decide for yourself in this moment, not just going back to what “old you” would have felt, what your stance on any particular topic is.

I have found it incredibly helpful to read about what is going on in the world. I only recently, maybe just 3 or 4 days ago, notably increased how much I go out out of my way to read and/or listen to the news and have already recognized how big the return for this small investment is. For example, with the recent political events that have occurred at my school, UC Berkeley, I decided to read about everything that was happening and why people on the right felt the way they did and likewise with the left. In this particular instance,  Berkeley College Republicans invited an alt-right speaker, Milo Yiannopoulos, to speak at our school. Left supporters protested against this to show that they did not tolerate the Yiannopoulos’ ideas and the speech was eventually canceled. Although it was not typical of me, I really challenged myself to learn about the events and to fully understand the different points of view. Although it may seem like a small feat for most, I was proud of myself because I was completely able to understand the context and arguments of the many in-person and social media debates about the topic.

So am I crazy? Or do you want to know about everything too?

xx

G

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Weekly Tunes: BBB14

it’s ok to be angry.

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Weekly Tunes: BBB13

Mourning music for sad situations.

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How to do a flight to Paris the right way

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I’ve flown to Paris more times than I can even count, but this is the first time I’ve been here in a couple of years, and my experience has proven to be very different than it usually is.

On this trip, I decided that I wanted to test out some tricks to make my flight the best it could possibly be, while minimizing jet lag and getting some beauty sleep. Here’s my advice.

  1. Take an Edible 

Ok, so this was 100% my first time taking an edible before a long flight, and I do have to say that I was a bit weary, considering a lot can go wrong with edibles. All I can say is that it depends. First of all, I took an edible that I’m very very used to taking, so I know exactly how much I need to feel fantastic, and I know exactly how I’ll feel too, instead of being surprised and then having an anxiety attack on the plane. Secondly, although I took a sativa edible (which energizes), I actually had a really great time experiencing all of the new sounds and feelings that being in a plane can bring. Many first recommendation would be to take an indica edible if your goal is to fall asleep on the plane, however. But if you do want to have the trippiest plane experience ever, take a sativa edible.

Also, I opted to take the edible about an hour before takeoff, and it ended up hitting about two hours after that, which came to my surprise as I was watching a movie. It hit me like absolutely out of nowhere. But damn was it fun.

2. Come prepped with sleeping supplies 

Planes are cold and uncomfortable places (if you’re flying in economy, which I’m assuming most of us do!) To make your 11 hour flight much more enjoyable, bring a few things in your carry-on:

3. If you’re over 18 and flying to Europe, you can drink on the plane.

When the flight attendants were bringing drinks down the aisles, I noticed two things. Firstly, the flight attendants were French. Secondly, they were passing out champagne. Through various mental processes that lasted much longer than they should have, I reasoned that since the flight attendants were French, they probably wouldn’t I.D. me, since the drinking age in France is basically nonexistent. Also, I figured that if I asked confidently, everything would be fine. And it was. I had multiple glasses of champagne during my flight, and it definitely helped me sleep 😉

4. Bring Snacks!

I’m vegan. Plane food is awful. Vegan plane food is even worse. So I always bring snacks in the form of protein bars and sushi rolls! Usually I’ll just make a Tupperware full of rice rolls and bring them on the plane, and I’m a happy camper. And everyone else will be über jealous!

5. If you can, try to travel as light as possible and avoid checking any bags!

This may seem obvious, but it’s probably my best piece of advice in terms of traveling. The Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris has the worst baggage claim situation, and it’s honestly just best to skip it, or your wasting precious time you could be spending outside of the airport and in fucking Paris. But this stands for any airport in the world. Bring a little carry-on suitcase and a backpack, and you’re fine. You don’t need 3 pairs of shoes and an entire bottle of hairspray. You’ll live.

Happy travels!

With love, from Paris ❤

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B

Weekly Tunes: BBB12

With love, from Paris. ❤

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The Paris effect

IMG_1523.jpgI’ve been in Paris for 2 days already and I can’t imagine ever leaving. I’m contemplating even moving here after I graduate to just experience everything this city has to offer, and to just live. I’ve been really thinking about life and its purpose lately, and while I can’t seem to come up with a concrete answer to anything, I’ve found that perhaps the only solution is that there is no solution. Everyone’s wants are completely different, everyone finds joy in very different things, and it seems to me that no life is more successful than another if both lives were lived without regrets. And I feel that spirit here in Paris.

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As I was walking down rue Montorgueil last night with a new friend that I had just met at a tiny little bar, I couldn’t stop smiling. I asked this person if he felt the same way about the city as I did in that moment – filled with wonder and a sense of hope and joie de vivre. And having lived in Paris his entire life, he laughed a bit and told me that he wished that he could see the city through my eyes. But that he saw that the city had marvelous effects on people. And it does. It really reinforces my general outlook on life and helps me realize what I actually find important. My outlook is constantly changing with each new experience and it’s reshaped over and over again by both my own ambition and the suffocating societal standards I’ve been brainwashed to believe in my entire life. Being destined for greatness is a lot of pressure, and it’s a destiny that everyone around me, at least at Berkeley, is expected to fulfill. I’m alive. I’m human. I make mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. While we’ve been told this from birth, we have also been expected to achieve incredible things at a disgustingly young age.
“Honey, everyone makes mistakes, but you can’t.”

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Paris brings me back to my own reality. I’m transported to a world full of possibilities, full of love, full of passion and wonder – and yet I’m expected to be able to transition back to Berkeley in a week. I’ll be coming back from one of the most liberating experiences of my life and dropped into a world where my self-worth is dictated by how well I’m able to analyze Socrates’ argument in The Apology. I’ve read it, so why am I supposed to break it down for someone who has also read it a million times? While the world in Berkeley is supposedly “the real world”, my world here feels much more real than it ever has in my entire life. I’ve had a taste of living life to its fullest, and it’s difficult to go back to the complete opposite and be expected to transition in a couple of days. I’ll mourn my potential existence in Paris whilst I spend hours upon hours studying for something I’m not even sure I want. But this huge part of me is so scared of throwing away everything I’ve worked so hard for. I’m scared not only of living a life deemed unacceptable and sub-par, but what particularly scares me is regret. What will I regret more? Choosing to live freely or being stuck in the chains of society’s demands? The answer seems simple, but it is much too complex for me to even try to delve into.

All I have is this one little life and all I know is that I must live to its full potential, because living a mediocre life is perhaps even more frightening than death.

merci, Paris.

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