I am drinking an iced tea as it snows outside. But I am not evolving quickly enough!
Before I came to HWS I never had to imagine, experience, or even consider that water could fall from the sky besides its liquid form.
Here is the Oxford dictionary definition of snow:
Snow (noun): Atmospheric water vapour frozen into ice crystals and falling in light white flakes or lying on the ground as a white layer.
This word can be verb and it has a phrasal verb form. The phonetic form of snow is /snəʊ/.
Here is the William Samayoyo definition of snow:
Snow (noun): Frozen water that deathdropped out of the sky and is personally victimizing William Samayoa. It collects on people's bodies, like in their in hair, undoing all the hairspray and work put in. Once it melts it makes you smell like a wet dog, and not even Paco Rabanne's cologne Invictus can mask this scent. It exists because of some property of science that I was too lazy to read about in my geoscience homework. This word can be a verb and phrasal verb. The phonetic form of snow is /IHATEMYLIFEIMCOLDPLEASEGETMEABLANKETANDCOCO/.
So why am I wearing my scienftic cap today? I am discussing the phenomena of snow because it's something I'm still trying to understand myself. I have the basic idea of tolerating this atmospheric attack down; wear layers, don't throw a picnic outside, and consider if you really need to go to Kappa tonight (the answer is ALWAYS).
My first year I remember waking up late and sprinting to class fully adorned in my winter gear. I lunged into class with my gloves on, bean boots tightly laced, and my cardigan and scarf color coordinated. I was shook, extremely shook, when I saw my peers in shorts, T shirts, and in Birkenstocks. My professor was dressed like it was a typical spring day, this was fall semester, and he said to the class, "Looks like winter came early for Will." In that moment I was so embarrassed that I broke a sweat and began to undo the armor I had for the outside.
When I had awoken I remember checking my weather app and it said the high was 60 degrees. It made sense to me to bundle up. In L.A. our winters are 60 degrees.
This was me minutes after I landed in Rochester, NY for my spring semester at HWS. This was my first time in snow, and of course I had to document it. May this be the start of my career in front of the camera.
I wrote this because I ran into a friend and he said, "Will what you doing tonight?" My response was, "Stay in, it's way too cold to go outside!"
He laughed and preceded to say, "You're so funny! See you out tonight!"
Even now, people still make jokes about my whining, but I really mean it! My friends, and peers, think that I am never serious. I understand that my demeanor is very light and I perpetually crack jokes. But one thing that is not a laughing matter, the winters on the east coast.
So I want to share a list with you about things I recommend on doing when the weather is being petty (like it is today):
I don't believe that you need to go out every weekend to enjoy college. I came to college in order to find out who I am, and while we need people to provide us with experiences, we also need alone time to process it.
What ever you do tonight, give it your all (and make sure to HMU)!
- Will out
Last semester, a magical moment happened when I was added inducted into a friend group we call "310 & Friends." It's a group, it's a family, full of support, laughs, and craziness that I love. While some of our group members are gone from campus, they are still in our hearts and free to contribute to the hilarious group chat where we spew any and all thoughts we generate. Today, someone tossed around the idea of going to the gym as a group. I initially did not want to go because of the grotesque weather, it was raining, but also because the only other times I have been in the gym have been when I had dance related things. Yes I do dance, but I don't do it well. I try.
"310" is full of amazing people who act as each others cheer leaders and so I felt encouraged and welcome to enter a space I scarcely explore. I was at Saga, our dining hall, and as my phone displayed 6:57pm I knew I had to start getting ready. I briefly went with some friends as they got their club pictures taken, but when 7:30 was on the screen I decided to head home.
I wasn't sure what to wear because I knew I would sweat, but it was also hella cold outside. I decided that joggers, a cute sweater, and my unnecessary tumbler would suffice.
We met up and went up a hill, then down a very long, long, long, long, long set of stairs before we made it to the football field. From there, avoided puddles we made our way to the gym where we lined up and swiped in.
Near the track there are shelves. We all piled, wrapped, and hid our jackets in the same manner we do when we go to parties and it's freezing like hell. See, a college education is more than just about the letter grades.
I made my way into the room full of the equipment, that's what I'll call it equipment. I won't even pretend to know what those machines are called or do. All I know is that these machines make people hot and that's why we're here.
For sure, the first thing I did was ask Lauren to record me on the bike so I could fulfill my dream of being in Ariana Grande's squad in the "Side to Side" music video.
After half an hour, that I didn't even feel pass, we moved upstairs to an empty room. We found a speaker and of course put on a bumping playlist that got us feeling physical. By the way, the songs included: Beyonce ft. Nicki Minaj "Flawless Remix", Cascada "Every time We Touch", and Meghan Trainor "Me Too."
From stretching, to dancing, and even random things with sticks and balls, we busted a sweat. When Allie panted to catch her breath and then say, "It's 9 everybody let's go," I was surprised. I could not tell that an hour had passed by.
The point of this post is that in the new year I had made a goal to improve my wellness, and here is the start to that. Whether you go alone, or with a squad, going to the gym can be fun! It's all about having a great mindset, proper hydration, a cute outfit, and a hot playlist.
If you travel often, then you know that switching climates just ravages your skin. Climate is often too hot, too cold, and rarely is it ever just right. Unless you live in L.A., then you're complexion is more content than Goldilocks finding a porridge. I will admit though, even SoCal can prove to cause some problems on some peoples epidermis.
Every school year, I change states 4 times. And just when I think my circadian rhythm has recovered, I sigh as I notice my skin is still in shock.
To give you some background, I have oily skin. It's both a blessing and a curse. Blessing because my skin won't crack and I'll look good even in middle age, but curse because my friends can see their reflection in the oil vat that is my forehead. Honestly, I am so embarrassed whenever I take a picture because my forehead just reflects all the light back. My first semester at HWS has horrible because a cold morning would turn into a humid afternoon and I felt like a carrot stick dipped in ranch. I remember one time saying this and my friend said, "I don't know what that means but it's so accurate."
One problem with being a frequent flyer is finding out how to assuage your skin's panic. Fortunately, my philosophy in life is to try anything at least once and worry about the consequences later. Sorry mom and dad, but it's college.
In my first year I tried all kinds of scrubs, lotions, and I even weirded out some people on my floor as I walked around the floor with masks made of eggs at one point. I was desperate for that skin stretched across the pages of Teen Vogue. I think the first important point I want to say is that there are thousands of articles, videos, and DIY remedies for clear skin but the truth is that all our skin is different.
In 2017 I want to focus on body positivity. My belief is that wellness is a personal endeavor. Yes looking good is important, but you shouldn't strive to be a Covergirl because that's impossible. Photoshop is great but it doesn't carry out into the real world. Nonetheless, I wanted to share this point because I think it's important to understand that I care about my skin because that's what I want to do. I want to reduce my oil and redness and I'm not doing it because I want to allure anyone.
Anyways, here is what I use for my skin. By the way this isn't sponsored, but damn I wish it was!
LUSH Products: Aqua Marina, Tea Tree Oil, Herbalism, and Enzymion
Boscia: Luminizing Black Mask
The first step to clear skin is finding the right face wash. I was turned onto LUSH products when I spent spring break in Toronto and I noticed all my friends using this brand. They even went to the LUSH store reiligously, and I decided to snag a sample. The first thing I ever tried from LUSH was Aqua Marina, and I instantly became fixed.
I had known about LUSH's masks and such for a while, but the one that I had wanted to try was Dark Angels. That charcoal mask that every beauty guru seemed to be using, but talking to one of the associates I found that it may be too agressive for my sensitive skin. Funny, my skin is as fragile as my self esteem. Anyways, I went back the next day and bought myself the full size.
As for Herbalism, I bought this a few months ago when my skin started to feel heavy. My wash was great at getting the oil, but I knew that my black and white heads were holding their place. I asked for an exfoliator and this green paste is what I got. I found that this too was a great investment and not only did it absorb oil, but my pores got smaller! One thing I will advise, that you may already know, is that you should only exfoliate your skin 1 to 2 times a week. I learned this after my skin became a little redder than usual.
Along with a great skin cleaning plan, you also need a great moisturizer. Again, another thing that seems to be common sense but I failed the DMV permit test 3 times because of the fact that I lack common sense. Enzymion is another LUSH product and while it is a bit pricey, usually around $30 and up, it is worth the investment. This lotion does wonders for me because it leaves a matte finish! Not only does it hyrdate and combat oil build up, but it leaves you feeling zesty and ready for your day. I use this everyday after washing my voice, 2 times a day, BUT not before spritzing on some LUSH Tea Tree Oil.
I am not exaggerating when I say this thing is the duct tape of the cosmetics world! It combats oil build up, reduces redness, sets make up, works as a phone cleaner, and wakes you up. Bascially, anything that bugs you and involves oil you can use this bottle for. The only thing this bottle can't do is cheer you up when you don't get a text back on a Friday night, you already canceled plans with your friends, and you just finished dressed up ready to go out.
Summary: I wash my face with Aqua Marina 2 times a day. I use Herbalism 1 to 2 times a week. I spray Tea Tree Oil every time I finish washing my face, and then I use Enzymion.
Lastly, the crown jewel of my skin routine: my boscia mask.
I went to 5 Sephora stores looking for this, but luckily my sister found it on Amazon for me. I have to say this mask is one of my favorite products I have tried in my 19 years of life! This mask has a lot of cool stuff in it, I won't list the ingredients but it does. You put it on 1 to 2 times a week, and after laying an opaque layer you let it dry for 30 minutes.
When you feel off the mask, pulling in an upward motion, you are both disgusted and intrigued as you see all the grime of your skin sucked out. Below is what this mask looks like.
Of course skin care regimes are great, but they cannot replace the fundamentals of wellness like drinking plenty of water and watching what you eat.
If you are what you eat, then I am Rosetta Black. Thank you for reading!
In honor of Valentine's Day I wanted to write about someone who deserves the most love today; yourself. Today is a day all about giving attention to others, but you cannot forgot to give yourself some love too!
On Valentine's Day I write people letters and this is my form of showing them my adoration. Some people buy flowers, boxes of candy, and others invest in obscenely big bears, but I prefer a card above all else. It may seem like a cheap move but really it's not. Writing a card means I invested time, thought, and work into your gift. I'll even send carefully crafted texts with a tastefully paired emoji. I'm digressing, the reason I'm writing this article is because on the day of love not only do we forget to love ourself but we also forget to love who we are.
It's no secret that popular media has many problems in representing what our society really looks like. From whitewashing casts, to ignoring queer bodies, and even photoshopping models to unattainable proportions, our media crafts a fantasy realm we will never belong to. I will be the first to admit, my body ody ody isn't the best. In fact, some would say it's the worst it can get. But I have decided that people who say comments like this or judge people based off superficial elements are people I do not want to associate myself with. On the day of love, or any day in general, you should be surrounded by people who adore you inside and out.
I set a few goals for myself in 2017, and one of these goals was improving my wellness. I understand the concept of body envy, and I admit to have had it before. I know what it's like watching TV or movies and feeling embraced that I don't look like the stars. I know the feeling of wanting that outfit from GQ but not finding it in my size. All these things take a toll on your self esteem, but if you know what you're worth then these things don't matter. The reason for wanting to improve my wellness is not because of superficial reasons like wanting to attract people or go all over Instagram. I want to be healthy so I can be healthy.
I think that whatever you do should be only for you. The only person who will ever care the most about you is you. Love yourself above all else. Do what makes you happy.
I am honestly blessed to have friends who love me for being the petty-foul-mouthed-mess that I am. These are friends who I would never want to replace and they are friends who will always be my Valentine! I am okay with not being romantically involved with anyone right now because I am focusing on me. If you have a Valentine's date than I am so happy for you!
This is a really random post but it's something I wanted to share! Today and every other day love yourself for being you! Love your hair, your skin, your eyes, your mind, and all of you. And even if the big screen or glossy pages encourage you not to, love your shape, because round is shape.
Coming home to L.A. means a lot of things, and one of those is finally using my full taste palette. Back at school, the only recipes that impress my tongue are those that use buffalo chicken. But, you can only stomach buffalo chicken quesadillas, buffalo chicken pizza, or buffalo burgers for so long before it becomes bland. I must of course mention my mentor Stacey Pierce, a woman whose kitchen is the gateway to all things scrumptious.
When the holiday season sits on the horizon, we Latin families prepare to feast! The best part of this culinary cornucopia is that it's shared. From the day I landed, neighbors, friends, and family stop by to say hello and they leave a delicious present. From tamales, to menudo, to carne asada, champurado and so many more, there are enough left overs until past the new year!
One of my favorite dishes, and one that I anticipate, is my grandma's homemade pozole! Pozole is a traditional Mexican stew that consists of hominiy, pork, and it can be seasoned with various vegetables. It's a dish that is saved for celebrations like birthdays, baptisms, Quinceneras, and many more important days to the Mexican culture. Hispanics and Latinos have adopted this plate and there exists dozens, probably even hundreds, of recepies for making this stew. The reciepe that I will be writing about is how my grandma makes her red pozole.
What you need:
Let's Get Started
The first step is that she grabs her chilles, and takes off the top and removes all the seeds from the inside. She then grabs all the seedless dried chilles and boils them until they are soft. The water should also start getting a red color.
While the chille is boiling she also begins to start boiling the pork all together. In this batch she tosses in the garlic cloves, the whole onion (I know I asked her 3 times if it was the whole thing), and the Knorr cubes. This boils for 40-45minutes, make sure to move every so often.
Drain the pot and place the soft boiled chiles into a blender. While the chille is blending, she puts down 3 tortillas on the stove top to warm them up. Right when they are crunchy, break up the tortillas and toss them into the mix. My grandma prefers to use her Nutribullet, and it's the cutest thing ever.
When the chille and tortillas are all blended as best as they can be, strain the mixture. My grandma has explained to me that time varies since meat always cooks differently. Toss the strained, soon to be stew, into the boiling meat. This is the same time she tosses in the hominy.
In the giant cauldron, so big she needs a little step stool to stir it, sits the boiling meat, the blended chille and tortillas, and she sprinkles in 3 teaspoons of grounf oregano. She lets the pork continue to boil and tosses in the tablespoon of salt, each time tasting to find the right balance.
She continues to stir and let the pork, accompanied by its seasoning squad, boil adding up to a total of nearly 2 hours boiling. Before the chille and all that was tossed in, the pork was already boiling for 40 minutes remember. As the meat becomes tender and the water becomes red, and once again nearly 2 hours has passes since she began boiling the pork, she turns the stove off. I asked her what heat level she boils at and she said high, because of the volume of the produce she's using is so high.
The last step to serving any pozole is the toppings! She cops up onions, radish, and cabbage to garnish the pozole once it's done.
The realy beauty of this dish is how even as my family and I obssessed with digesting the media around us, we pause as converge at the table to dine on my grandma's stew. I grew up knowing of Latin and Hispanic traditions, but I never got them all. My Spanish has dissipated the more time I spent at school. And I have never been to El Salvador. But this dish is an invitation to my Latin roots. It's a way for me to connect with the culture I am a part of of, and also writing this post is a way of me preserving that culture.
In order to write this post I set time aside to sit with my grandma and listen to her. Listening is the skill that every professor, employer, etc, talks about as being crucial to success and I believe it. Millenials were glued to the screens around us. I once went a weekend without my phone, and instead of breaking free I lugged around my iPad.
Sitting across from her and asking my grandma questions is more important than replying to my Snaps or texts because this is a woman who for the past 19 years has nurtured me and continues to. Making this post is important to me because it helps me get closer to my culture and it is also a piece that captures the love I have for my grandma. I leave soon and wish I had more time at home, but at least I have this moment with my grandma.