Living with Demons 101

As someone who has never had the pleasure of enjoying their own room, I feel it is safe to say that I am somewhat of an expert on living with roommates. Just in the past three years alone, I have had a grand total of eleven different roommates. At one point, there were three of us in a room smaller than your average Taco Bell public restroom. While some of these roomies became in friends, a lot more of them fueled anger and passive aggressive sticky notes.

Here are my top three tips to survive those roommate nightmares.

Tip #1: Good Headphones

Sometimes, you get real unlucky and end up rooming with someone who snores like your dad after a really good Thanksgiving meal. Like a broken lawnmower, like twenty airplanes starting up at once, like a gentle avalanche amplified a million times. Now, there’s nothing you can really do, unless you feel like a daredevil and actually want to break the news to your roommate that you hate them because their snoring kept you up all night. So, my big tip here is headphones and a good white noise playlist. My favorite so far can be found here.  .

Tip #2: Voice Your Complaints

If you don’t speak up for yourself, no one else will, duh! If you are like me, and avoid confrontation at all costs, try voicing your complaint through a nice little sticky note. Last semester, I had this problem where someone kept taking my sponges from the kitchen. One day, I could wash my dishes, and the next, I couldn’t. After I had lost four sponges to this monster, I left a bright pink note that said “please stop stealing my sponges” with a cute little sad face. Just like magic, my sponges never disappeared again.

Tip #3: Don’t Be Small

When the going gets rough, the tough doesn’t roll up into a ball and let demons step all over them. Or however that saying is supposed to go. Either way, you get the sentiment. Do not make yourself small just to accommodate others, and do not let them walk all over you. Because, they will if you let them. This is the most important tip to living with demons. Also life in general, which is full of other types of monsters.

Here’s to hoping you never get stuck with any demons. If you do, just remember that a lot of us have been there. And if you decide you don’t like my tips, just hang out with a friend, where you can both complain about your own monsters.

Featured Image: Retrieved from here.

What Makes Tijuana so Tasty: A Local’s 101

Like hundreds of other SDSU students, I call Tijuana, Baja California, my home. As someone who has grown up in the city, I feel a Mexa obligation to share the beautiful wonders of its incredible, tantalizing food-scape. The following list contains all of my favorite places in Tijuana to eat, drink and engage in fun shenanigans. I am pretty confident that if you go, they’ll become your favorites too 🙂 

To impress your friends with some seriously tasty yet classy vibes:

Caesar’s

Av. Revolución 1059 Col. Zona Centro 22000 Tijuana, Baja California Mexico

  • Right on the notorious Avenida Revolucion, Caesar’s is the place to go for a gussied up night with friends or significant others. This is probably the most notorious restaurant from the list, as it is attributed with the invention of the Caesar salad. This restaurant takes you back to 1920s Tijuana with old-fashioned, Great Gatsby vibes and a beautiful wooden bar. I recommend ordering the Duck ravioli, the marrow plate, and, well, the caesar salad. 

La Justina

Av. Revolucion 926 Col. Zona Centro 22000 Tijuana, Baja California Mexico

  • Aesthetically pleasing, incredible food, and out of this world beverages. There’s a little more mystery to La Justina, and I don’t want to spoil it so I’ll leave it at that. This is the do-yourself-a-favor-and-go-kind-of-place.

To eat finger-licking Mexican Mama/Papi goodness:

Cemitas La China Poblana

Av Miguel Negrete 924 22000 Tijuana, Baja California Mexico

  • Inspired by Poblano dishes from the state of Puebla, this restaurant makes unbelievable cemitas which are a 2.0 version of the classic torta. They have other dishes like mole, tlayudas, and tacos, but the real stars of this eatery are the cemitas. The bread is always fresh because they bake it in house, they put a ton of queso Oaxaca in the cemita every time, and they have avocado milkshakes. It is my paradise. TIP: order either the milanesa or lomo cemita!!

Taqueria Tres Salsas

Av Guillermo Prieto 2620, América, Centro, 22044 Tijuana, B.C., Mexico

– At this point Tijuana has become synonymous with tacos, so it is not difficult to find a decent taco place no matter where you are in the city. But believe me when I say that no other taco in Tijuana compares to what you find at Tres Salsas. It is open until 5 a.m., they make their corn tortillas fresh upon order, and their meats are always seasoned to perfection. 

Panaderia La Mejor

Constitución 1727, Zona Centro, 22055 Tijuana, B.C., Mexico

– This isn’t exactly a restaurant, but oh man… this place, is so good that I’m a little emotional right now just thinking about it. This panaderia (bakery) is a tiny little sliver of a place that is very easy to miss when driving by. No more than 10 people fit in this bakery at a time, so when you walk in into the tiny establishment you are engulfed by the fuzzy warmth and intoxicating smell of sweet and savory bread baking. My top recommendations  are the canasta, polvoron, gusanito, bolillo and CONCHA!!! 

Extra recommendations for my trendy/vegetarian/vegan/zen/fit-life/yoga peeps:

Inspiracion 9

Blvd. Agua Caliente 11300, Agua Caliente Secc Pinos, 22014 Tijuana, B.C., Mexico

Alma Verde (not the La Cacho one!!) 

Ave. Hipodromo No.19, Col. Hipodromo, 22020 Tijuana, B.C., Mexico

Youth and Celebrity Culture

More than ever before, it seems like the younger generations of both Millennials and Generation Z tend to invest much more time and interest in celebrity news. What celebrities are up to and what drama they’re involved in tends to consume young minds. Who’s pregnant, which celebrity couple broke up and what celebrity got plastic surgery are at the forefront of a lot of pop culture news stories.

With the prominence of social media outlets like Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram, celebrities are able to update fans and followers on their lives frequently and instantaneously. By posting photos and videos of their lavish lifestyles on private jets and yachts, stacks of hundred dollar bills and their almost too-perfect-to-be real selfies, people have become immersed and infatuated with celebrity culture.

Unrealistic beauty standards have arisen. It just takes one simple visit to Instagram’s main page of trending photos to see that a lot of women are striving to look a certain way. Diversity is being embraced less, as celebrities like the Kardashians and Jenners, other reality TV stars, actors/actresses, and artists, have influenced many young men and women to do their makeup in a certain way and to dress in a certain style. Trends such as lash extensions, lip fillers and plastic surgery have risen in prominence.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with one owning his/her sexuality and not being afraid to present themselves in whatever way they want to without fear of being judged by society. However, the importance that has been placed on a lot of celebrities has influenced younger boys and girls. And, there is now an insurmountable amount of pressure placed on youth to adhere to certain standards of beauty and conduct, for them to be deemed acceptable or beautiful.

These pressures have arisen from the importance and time us youth have invested in talking about celebrity news, and in being immersed in the personal lives of these stars. A lot of young people are so invested in it, that they actually do feel affected when their favorite celebrity couple breaks up, or when their favorite rapper is beefing with another rapper.

The fact that we as a society value so highly what celebrities have to say and what they’re doing directly points to the fact that our society is very superficial, and places a lot of importance on money, conventional beauty and status. Younger generations think that the only way to be respected and successful nowadays is to make a six-figure salary or to be a millionaire, and have lost the concept of what really matters. We should not spend so much time caring about celebrities and what they do, and should focus more on issues that actually matter and do affect our lives in real and meaningful way.

Featured Image: Retrieved from here

 

The Kahlo Effect

Frida Kahlo’s impact as an artist and Mexican icon reaches far beyond her unique style and admirable pompadour. She recognized human pain for what it was: bearable and beautiful in its human exclusivity.

Many people tend to forget or simply don’t know the effect of Frida Kahlo as an artist during and after her time. This short commemoration of her story and art is meant to remind the aforementioned individuals that the Kahlo effect is perpetually alive and universal. 

For those of you who might not know, Frida Kahlo was a Mexican artist of the early 20th century whose talent and colorful lifestyle made her a celebrity throughout Mexico, the U.S.A and Europe. She was born on July 6, 1907 in Coyoacán, Mexico, to a photographer father and extremely Catholic mother. Frida’s artistic aspirations were deeply influenced by her close and loving relationship with her father from a very early age. However, as her interest in art was developing, Frida contracted polio. At only age 6, Kahlo had to endure months of bed rest, contracted diseases that affected her spinal and leg development and ended up with one leg that was visibly thinner than the other (Kahlo’s iconic look with long traditional Mexican skirts actually comes from her wanting to hide this fact!). Although this already seems like a lot of pain for one person to handle, at age 18 Frida was involved in a horrific train accident where a handrail pierced her abdomen and forever changed her life. After, she was once again confined to bed rest, but now she also had to face a future filled with perpetual fatigue, chronic pain, invasive surgeries and heartbreaking miscarriages.

After the accident, Kahlo used painting to cope with her pain. She painted most of the masterpieces we know her for today just laying on her bed, trying to make sense of her tragic reality. Her life went on to include a scandalous three time marriage with Diego Rivera, controversial political advocacy for communism and companionship with history’s most notorious artistic celebrities. But what’s really important about Frida Kahlo is not how big of a star she was or continues to be. It is the legacy of her art. Kahlo’s artistic obsession with her own physical and spiritual self creates art that reflects universal pain, longing, passion and desire.

The Kahlo effect found in each one of Frida’s paintings, is a forced exploration of the self that steers you towards examining and ultimately appreciating all those times you’ve ever felt broken and were fishing for the will to live. Kahlo shares her suffering, worth and desires with authenticity and courage, and that is what has made her so artistically powerful. The mirror of self exploration pieced together by her art helps us to feel not alone in our human emotion and less irrational in our ‘dramatic’ expressions of pain. The Kahlo effect is real and beautiful. If you have not yet experienced it, I highly recommend taking a real look at her pieces. 

 

All images and rights belong to Frida Khalo.