A Fashion & Lifestyle Tasting Menu
CAROLINE A. WONG Editor-in-Chief
BRANDON GAMBLE Creative Director
FASHION Fashion Editor COLETTE CHOI Accessories Editor ADRIANE CARRANZA
FEATURES Features Writer LINDY TOLBERT Arts and Leisure Editor MOLLIE MCKENZIE Arts and Leisure Writer AMANDA CHI
BEAUTY AND WELLNESS Beauty Editor BREANA POWELL Wellness Editor EMILY VAN GUILDER Wellness Writer BECCA KANTOR
ART AND DIGITAL Photographer ALEXANDER HERMAN Art Assistant MARIA EUBANKS
West Coast Editor ROSIE RYAN UK Editor JENNA ANDERSON
W.A. Fulkerson is a Los Angeles-based fantasy author with a passion for sharing stories. When he’s not wriing, he’s off traveling, studying, reading, and adventuring. An excerpt from his debut novel, Starfall, appears in this issue.
Born and raised in Orange County CA, Emily Van Guilder enjoys anything and everything related to outdoor exercise. When she’s not boring her friends with geology facts, Emily also takes great pride in her many craft projects. Alexander Herman is a Los Angeles-based photographer. Inspired by the city’s skyline, he photographed W.A. Fulkerson on the roof of a downtown LA parking structure for the author’s “Pages” interview.
Becca Kantor is a North Texas native. In her free time, she loves to immerse herself in pop culture—be it movies, television, or books—while also writing short stories. When Amanda Chi is not traveling, she loves rock climbing, reading, and watching the new season of Arrested Development. Her recent adventures include deep-water soloing in Mallorca, skydiving in Atlanta, and hiking up a volcano in Italy.
Anna Lyon composed her first poem, Celery with Cheese, in 1996. Though she remains passionate about vegetables, her work has since expanded to address more important topics like crappy retail jobs and broken hearts. She is pursuing graduate work in literature and gender politics at NYU.
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Brandon Gamble is an architechture graduate turned graphic and furniture designer. He hails from the midwest and currently lives in New York. Gamble is in charge of the overall look and layout of every issue of Tastevin. Blake Davidson’s first foray into the world of fine dining came when his parents once left him unattended near a two-ounce dish of beluga caviar. Today, he enjoys tasting food from all over the world, fine or cheap, as long as it is done with care and passion.
Paulina Johnson is a Washington DC-based photographer and shot the looks for this issue’s “Share Your Wear.” She says, “We were able to relay the authentic ARA.BCN experience. We really let the clothes dictate the mood of each individual image. It was a lot of fun!”
Here are some of your responses to the inaugural issue:
“What a beautiful magazine. I enjoyed all the articles. They were thoughtful, with a wide variety of topics. Keep up the good work. Waiting for your next issue!” – Bernice J. from San Francisco, CA “The first issue is amazing! It came out absolutely awesome!” – Kerinna C. from New York, NY
“I can’t even being to express how excited I am! I look forward to more issues.” – Leslie C. from San Francisco, CA “Love!” – Silvia K. from Plano, TX
“The site looks great. Wishing Tastevin much success!” – Arnie J. from Austin, TX
You liked our makeup and fashion tips! “It was especially great to read the article on Brandi [Tsujimoto in “Kiss and Makeup”]. I’m awestruck.” – Sylvia C. from Martinez, CA
“Caroline [A. Wong in “You&Me”] looks pretty fierce!” – ShoeDazzle
Comments should be sent to: email@example.com.
“‘I Fight and I Write’ is a wonderful article. I would like a copy!” – Betty B. from Fountain Hills, AZ
You can also log on to TastevinMag.com and visit the ‘Contact’ page. All submissions become the property of Tastevin and may be edited, published, or otherwise used in any medium.
And you’re in love with Jay Denton!
“Fun article about Jay! Keep it up!” – Arbora S. from Fort Worth, TX
Our features had lovely things to say too! “We are honored to be featured in Tastevin’s inaugural issue! Thank you for the opportunity!” – La Lune and Moon “I love it! The magazine looks amazing. Thank you so much!” – Brandi Tsujimoto “I’m honored to be a part of your magazine launch!” – Jay Denton
Tastevin regrets: The name of musician Jay Denton’s former duo is Jesi & Jay. Susan Segal will finish writing her collection of short stories by the end of this year, but it will not be available to the public until later.
We took a hike through Central Park for our Starfall-inspired shoot! You can see the results and read an excerpt from W.A. Fulkerson’s novel in our story “Fallen Star” on page 54. Photos by Brandon Gamble and Caroline A. Wong
The Tastevin team set out for a remote area in New York’s finest green space in search of our own fallen star. Photographer Cody Kussoy led the pack with the mantra, “Follow the light!” And even though we chased the elusive setting sun into the heart of Manhattan’s forest, our photo shoot still attracted curious onlookers. But really, who wouldn’t be drawn to model Brook Jaffe? Just take a look at her lovely Blake Lively-esque beauty, and you’ll be under her spell just like the brothers in Starfall are drawn to their sparkling star!
While we were all in love with the shiny silver ball prop, Kussoy had some difficulty finding an angle in which his camera wouldn’t be reflected in the mirrored surface. 4
Tastevin Magazine June 2013
Creative Director Brandon Gamble snaps a picture of the shoot from behind some trees as EIC Caroline A. Wong looks over the shot.
This is before Caroline got her haircut. Check out her new ‘do in “You & Me” on page 45. 5
from the desk of the
EDITOR Dearest Tasties,
Firstly, I extend my profound thanks for the level of response to our first issue. It has truly been a blessing to hear all of the positive feedback, and your words only encourage us to work harder and continue to bring you great stories from the fashion and lifestyle world!
As some of you may have noticed, we experienced a few days in our initial launch week when the magazine was inaccessible to many of you. HUGE bummer, I know. But it was not a technical difficulty. One of our interviewees originally agreed to an interview, but after the launch, his business partner unexpectedly retracted consent. Despite our best efforts to remediate the issue, we ultimately removed the article. Throughout it all, everyone was so generous with their praises! Thanks for all of the support. We really appreciate it!
That said…what a whirlwind adventure this past month has been! After the launch of our inaugural issue, I embarked on a two-week journey to visit our west coast office, traveling with the team to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and San Francisco. So much jet-setting! I got the chance to chat with the gorgeous and absolutely charming Janel Parrish of ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars fame (“Pretty Little Liar”? page 48) as well as the equally charming young author W.A. Fulkerson (“Pages” page 23). If his boyish good looks don’t win you over, then maybe his writing will. We have an exclusive excerpt from his debut novel, Starfall (“Fallen Star” page 54)! As we always like to point out, a tastevin is the wine cup that sommeliers use to taste wine, and I still feel this is a totally appropriate tie-in for our magazine. I can speak for all of the Tastevin team when I say that it’s been such a pleasure tasting and experiencing all that’s out there, the good wine and the bad. We’re just glad to do it on your behalf! Until next time,
Tastevin Magazine June 2013
p U r e k c u P
Beauty Editor Breana Powell shares the lip stain that Always stays Red
Tastevin Magazine June 2013
Not into the matte look? There are also some satin finishes, such as Infinite Rose, a pretty satin golden peach, and Dark Berry, a satin blackberry wine color. The lip stains, priced at $12 each, are available in stores and online. Tip to remember: when wearing the stain, you want to make sure your lips are exfoliated and moisturized so that the product doesn’t crack on your lips. A lip scrub and light balm should do the trick. Once you’ve done that, apply the lip stain and go wow ‘em!
PHOTO COURTESY OF BREANA POWELL
When I think of Sephora’s red lip stain “Always Red,” two things come to mind: 1) I can’t believe it’s not a lipstick and 2) I love how beautiful it looks on every person I’ve seen wearing it. In a Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants kind of way, this little tube works wonder on every pair of lips. I was in San Francisco a few months back, and two of my friends applied the shade before a night out. One of my friends is fair, and the other is a shade of olive. The stain looked great on both of them. I asked which brand of lipstick they were wearing, to which they replied, “It’s not a lipstick. It’s a Sephora lip stain!” I had my reservations at first, but now, when I wear Sephora’s lip stain in Always Red, I consistently get compliments (i.e. “Wow, I love your lip color,” “That is the perfect shade of red,” etc). And, just as I was initially surprised and dubious, other girls raise their eyebrows too when I tell them that it’s a lip stain. But this lip stain, which contains avocado oil, changes once you apply it. It starts off creamy but dries matte, giving it the appearance of a lipstick. The color is bright, bold, and high-coverage. To prove this point—a friend (who shall remain nameless to protect the not-so-innocent) used my tube of Sephora Always Red, partied hard, and fell asleep with her makeup on (beauty no-no!). But when she woke up on the couch the next morning, there the color was, still on her lips. Sephora offers ten shades in the berry family, such as a matte plum like Endless Rose and a matte pink red like Strawberry Kissed.
HIIT Me Baby, One More Time
hen caught up in the rush of the day, sometimes an hour long distance run or Zumba class might be the last thing you want to do. After so much work and so many errands, who can summon the energy to exercise that hard for so long? Thankfully, there is an alternative to the typical endurance workout: high-intensity interval training. Developed by Dr. Martin Gibala, high-intensity interval training—also known as HIIT— is low-volume exercise made up of brief periods of very highintensity action followed by periods of rest or low-intensity exercise. The alternation between short, high-intensity activity and longer, low-intensity activity produces physiological effects similar to those observed with lowintensity endurance training. In other words, HIIT really helps you to max out the efficiency of your exercise routine. Dr. MaryAnn Bohland Matveyenko, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Southern California, highly recommends incorporating HIIT workouts into an exercise regime. “The neat thing about HIIT is that it has been shown to encourage ‘physiological remodeling’ of skeletal muscle, stimulating the same oxidative metabolic pathways and enzymatic activity seen [in] endurance training,” Bohland Matveyenko says. Essentially, people
Think you’re too busy to work out? We might have found your match. Becca Kantor investigates.
can burn the same amount of calories in a short HIIT workout as in a longer workout. “This can, however, vary based on the fitness level of the individual,” she adds. HIIT workouts only last between twenty to thirty minutes, which means they’re easier to fit into a busy schedule than aerobic exercises. When you’re looking for a quick, effective workout, HIIT is the way to go. So how can you incorporate HIIT into your routine? Bohland Matveyenko says it’s easy. “This type of training can be extended to the treadmill, track, pool, or neighborhood sidewalk.” Regardless of whether you’re running, swimming, or cycling, the goal is to alternate between short bursts of very high-intensity work with longer periods of rest or low-intensity work. These short bursts, or sprints, should last between thirty to sixty seconds, while the resting period should last between one to four and a half minutes. Shoot for five to six cycles of this. HIIT is a flexible workout, and you can vary your choice of movement depending on time and equipment availability. Bohland Matveyenko usually does her HIIT workout by combining jogging with pushing her son in his stroller. “I sprint up the hills—which isn’t easy with a 15 lb. stroller and a 35 lb. kid—and walk down. Fortunately, I live in a hilly area,” she says. “Truthfully, a busy lady can accomplish a lot
dancing in front of the mirror, or even ‘power vacuuming,’ as long as [her heart rate] remains elevated for 30-60 seconds.” The next time you’re looking for a workout but can’t spare an hour to do so, remember HIIT. It’s sure to have your heart pounding without zapping too much of your time.
HIIT Exercises For… The Treadmill
Warm-up for five minutes, either by walking or doing some light jogging Once warm, sprint for 30-60 seconds Don’t hold onto the railings as you sprint After the sprint, either walk for a minute or two Repeat for five to eight cycles Cool down with some light jogging and/or walking Stretch
Warm-up for 5 minutes with easy jumping Do fast-paced jumping for 45-60 seconds Do two to three minutes of slower paced jumping Repeat for four to six cycles Cool down with easy jumping for at least three minutes Stretch
Warm-up for five minutes with light biking Cycle at fast pace for one minute Cycle at a slower pace for two to three minutes. If you want to take it up a notch, bike uphill during this period Repeat for five to eight cycles Cool down with light biking Stretch
Five to Fab
Here’s how to get fabulous with five easy steps to a gel manicure you can do at home! Article and photos by Adriane Carranza
he best accompaniment to a hot bag or shoe or bracelet is definitely a fresh manicure. Nail boutiques in Los Angeles, however, can charge upwards of $50 for a gel manicure (not to mention the cost of gas, parking, and a tip) so when I found myself coveting a new pair of Pedro Garcia wedges, I decided it was high time to try a DIY gel manicure. At my local nail supply house, I managed to find all the supplies I could possibly need and all at a very reasonable price. For your own at-home nail spa, you’ll need:
-Professional UV-Lamp -UV Prime liquid -Harmony Gelish base and top coats -Harmony Gelish nail polishes -Nail file -Cotton balls for application -Acetone nail polish remoer -Rubbing alcohol -Small nail art paint brush
You’ll probably have a lot of these supplies at home already, so getting started should be relatively quick. I like to put on my favorite season of Sex and the City and give myself a good hour and a half to finish my nails. 1. Prep your nails by first cutting and filing nails to your liking—round, stiletto, or square. Then, swipe your nails first with acetone nail polish remover then with rubbing alcohol. 2. Next, add a layer of UV prime liquid and allow it to dry for thirty seconds or longer.
3. Then apply an even coat of gel base coat. You can clean off any excess gel polish from around your nail bed using a small nail brush dipped in acetone. Place your hand under the UVlamp for two minutes to set. 4. Next comes color! My go-to is Harmony Gelish in Good Gossip, a vibrant candy apple red with a shimmer effect. Apply one coat of color, clean off excess polish with the acetone-dipped nail brush, then place your nails under the lamp again. Repeat this process one more time to give your nails a rich color.
5. You’re ready for the top coat! Apply a generous amount of the Harmony Gelish top coat, clear off excess polish with that handy nail brush, and put your nails under the UV-lamp for a final time. To dry the gel polish, apply alcohol and—voila!—your at-home gel manicure is complete!
Nail Tips If you feel like treating your cutticles, apply some cuticle oil and gently massage it in. The finished product is a salon worthy gel manicure at half the cost! If you want to get a little creative with your at home gel manicures you can always go to your local craft store and buy fine glitter to add fun accents to your nails. The process for the dipped glitter gel is more or less the same as with gel polish: just dip your nails into the glitter once you’ve put on the base coat and set it with the UV-lamp. Press down gently on the glitter to ensure that it has adhered to the base coat. Top it all off with a gel top coat and you’re set for nail fabulousness! What’s important to remember is that your nails can be an expression of your personal style, so have fun with it! Keep up with my latest obsessions by following me on Instagram @Miss_Adriane!
-Gel polish will last longer if your nail bed is slightly dehydrated, so stay away from any moisturizing while doing your nails. -To protect your hands from the UV-lamp, apply sunscreen to your hands and fingers (avoid the nail beds) and wear fingerless gloves.
-Do NOT peel off the gel polish! It will harm your nails and leave them weak and brittle. Instead, cut ten small pieces of aluminum foil. Soak a cotton ball in acetone and use the aluminum foil to wrap it around the gel nail. Do the same with the rest of your nails. Wait about ten minutes and you’ll be able to buff away the gel polish.
to be a
dirty girl Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade, you’ve probably noticed the significant increase in popularity of mud runs. But for those that aren’t as familiar with the concept, a mud run follows this simple equation: normal running + zany obstacle courses you haven’t done since you were A) a kid or B) in the military + a billion gallons of mud = a pretty fun time and a guaran-
tee of awesome pictures that will trick everyone on Facebook into thinking you’re cool. All around, it’s a pretty great deal, especially since it’s a fantastic way to maximize on both exercise and enjoyment, which don’t always go hand in hand. I have been a pretty consistent runner for the past five years, so I don’t usually require ridiculous amounts of incentive to get out there and
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pound the pavement. I will admit, however, that I was extra excited about racing in the “Spring Break at the Lake” race at Irvine Lake these past two years because—MUD! If you’re a person who isn’t keen on running, like my older sister, never fear. There are about twenty-five excuses to slow down over the course of the race. You get to charge through everything from net crawls to waterfall hills to the infamous hundred yard shoesucker pit, all the while maintaining a nice even coating of nature’s finest dirt. As intimidating as that sounds, it’s important to note the differences between normal mud runs and their certifiably insane cousin, the “Tough Mudder.” Yes, they both involve jogging, obstacles, and mud, but in its detour from sanity, the Tough Mudder features self-inflicted torture, electrocution, and life-threatening situations, just to name a few risks. In the most recent Tough Mudder event in West Virginia,
PHOTOS COURTESY OF EMILY VAN GUILDER
Emily Van Guilder gets down and dirty during “Spring Break at the Lake”—but it’s not your typical college keg fest. Here, she’s talking mud runs.
dozens of racers suffered from heart attacks, hypothermia, and orthopedic and head injuries. Tragically, one racer died as a result of complications from the race. I understand the allure of wanting to test your physical limits, but the problems with the Tough Mudder are two-fold. The Mudder is easily the most challenging in its category of extreme endurance obstacle races, and yet, there are no minimum requirements to enter. As a result, Tough Mudder races attract a lot of people that grossly overestimate their abilities. Another concern is that, even for peak athletes, there is still a high risk of injury. The race almost demands that you incur damage to yourself just to finish. I don’t care how tough you are—getting electrocuted doesn’t feel any better when you have more muscles. The bottom line is that the only permanent solution to staying healthy is to find some form of exercise that doesn’t make you want to gouge your eyes out as an excuse to get out of it. And doesn’t require that you electrocute yourself just to complete it. If you’re part of the 0.000001% of the population that doesn’t mind forcing yourself to do exercise you hate—congratulations, you’ve got it made! But if you’re anybody else, you’re going to have to actu-
ally have fun while you work out. Whether it be swimming, speed walking or Jazzercising, as long as you find it more entertaining than watching Jersey Shore, you’ve chosen wisely. If that still feels impossible, I suggest you try a mud run. You’ll have a blast, make new friends, spend time outdoors, burn lots of calories, and unleash that inner dirty self you know you’ve always wanted to unleash. At the very least, go and check it out for the free beer at the finish line!
Emily and her sister strike funny poses to celebrate their finish at “Spring Break at the Lake.”
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Pack Your Bags! Amanda Chi shows us what we need for our globetrotting adventures.
ALL PHOTOS AMANDA CHI
iguring out what to pack before going on a trip can be a bit stressful. There’s always so much pressure. On one trip to Italy, I forgot to bring my deodorant and realized that Italian brands truly smell horrendous. Deodorant aside, I usually tend to over-pack, but I still manage to forget things. It’s only right when I need it that I remember that a portable water filter might have been useful. Everyone has preferences on how to pack and what to pack, but with a bit of practice—and some of my nifty travel tips—you can pack like a pro.
What Are The Essentials?
Packing light is definitely what any experienced traveler would tell you. If you’re
the kind that has to pack the clothes you love, just remember that shopping in a foreign country can be a fun option. Towards the end of one of my European trips, I had to throw away clothes and buy another suitcase just so I could bring home my new dresses, shoes, and wine! Enjoy the exploration aspect of your adventure! There are, however, some things you really should just take from home. In my opinion, underwear is the most important clothing essential. You can re-wear whatever outerwear you brought, but having the same underwear on for days in a row is just unhygienic (and, let’s be honest, a little bit gross). One of my friends lost her suitcase the first week she was in Rome. She was able to borrow shirts, shoes, socks, and pants from 15
friends, but when it came to underwear, she was unfortunately on her own in that department. Underwear should always be at the very top of your packing list, and you should pack it in your carry-on so you have it with you on the plane. Airlines are notorious for losing luggage. Packing always depends on where you go and what you plan on doing. If you’re planning an African safari, I probably wouldn’t bring heels. Know what the terrain and the weather will be like. Will it be sunny and humid? Will it rain? How cold will it be? The weather will really determine how much luggage space you have. If you have to bring a lot of woolens for frigid temperatures, there goes all your space for shoes! One helpful method that saves space is rolling your clothes instead of folding them. Try it! It helps prevent wrinkles too. As far as accessories go, I’d bring a pair of sunglasses and an umbrella. While you can buy most of the things you forget to bring, you usually only realize you need an umbrella once it starts to rain cats and dogs. And don’t be fooled by the time of year. In European countries, it tends to rain a lot in the summer. Once, I was leaving the Borghese Museum in Rome when it began to POUR. Each drop of rain must have been the size of a small puppy. The street hawkers tried to sell their cheap, flimsy umbrellas for ten euros each (about $13). Rather than paying $13 for an umbrella that won’t hold up in your hands—let alone keep you dry—I suggest bringing a small compact one from home. It’s easy enough to throw in your bag. When it comes to toiletries and beauty essentials, it’s best to bring them from home if you’re particular about brands. Ones in other countries will be different, and some brands have different formulations in different countries even if the name is the same. If your luggage can’t accommodate the weight of those liquids, you can definitely buy essentials at a local pharmacy. Just be sure you know the
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translation for “conditioner” if you’re in a country that speaks another language. However, feminine hygiene products are definitely something you should bring yourself. They’re lightweight and can easily fit into the nooks and crannies of your suitcase so there’s really no excuse.
What About Safety?
My family was concerned about my wellbeing abroad, especially after they saw Taken, a film in which the protagonist’s daughter is kidnapped by human traffickers while traveling in France. My mom even kept mentioning the movie even after I had already arrived in Paris. While not every traveler might be at risk for kidnapping, you should definitely be aware of pickpockets. Anything valuable should not be kept in a backpack, which is easily to unzip and access without you noticing. Women should be sure two have a purse with a zipper. A crossbody that can be pulled in front of you on crowded Metros is a good way to go. That way, your eyes can be on your property, and your vigilance will off-put opportunistic thieves. If you really want to be extra cautious and keep your passport as close as possible, I would suggest a Magellan Incognito Waist Wallet. It’s large enough to hold your essentials and much more discreet than a fanny pack. All of your luggage should have a TSAapproved lock. I would avoid luggage with a built-in combination lock. Even though that my built-in lock was TSA-approved, airport security still broke it off to check my bag contents. A removable TSA-compatible lock is the best way to go to protect your luggage and their contents. Safety doesn’t only come in terms of money. Your health is also important. I would suggest packing a small first aid kit when you travel, along with any prescription medica-
tions you know you’ll need. When I visited Mallorca to rock climb, Band-Aids and Purell were my best friends. If you’re worried about how purified your water will be abroad, a water filter would be a good option. You can buy the portable water bottles with a built-in filter that purifies the water as you drink. There are a lot of portable filter bottles, but for the super-vigilant water drinkers out there, there’s the CamelBak All Clear water bottle, which uses UV technology to neutralize contaminants. All you do is fill your bottle with water, turn on the special UV cap, and shake the bottle for 60 seconds. Simple!
What If I Love Technology?
Being sure to bring a converter or adapter for your phone and camera is definitely important. Make sure it’s the right voltage and fit since different counties will have different prongs. If you have to charge more than one item, I would suggest buying a multisocketed surge protector like the Belkin Mini 3 AC Outlet Wall Protector. It’s extremely useful if you’re traveling with a friend since it has three outlets and two USB chargers. Of course, when you’re experiencing a foreign country, you don’t want to be on your laptop and phone 24/7. Go out and get yourself lost! But if you really want to come back to the hotel and connect to social media (you Instagram-addicts need an intervention!), I would suggest a portable router. While some places have free WiFi, others might only have ethernet cable connection. The Apple AirPort Express is a good option. It acts as a WiFi base station where you can plug in an ethernet cord and convert that internet access to WiFi. This would have come in handy for our editor-inchief who, during her trip to London, had to sit on the porch of her host family’s home to Face Time loved ones in the States since her host’s WiFi didn’t reach all the way to their garden studio which she was renting. A WiFi
airport is definitely a luxury item, though, so I would suggest looking into the internet situation of your hotel or hostel. Of course there are plenty of other useful items that should be packed on a trip, but hopefully some of these accessories will get you thinking and planning ahead. But don’t over think and stress out too much! If you forget your toothbrush or your converter, you’ll likely be able to buy it in whatever country you visit. I probably spent probably half an hour in Paris trying to figure out whether I was buying body wash or shampoo, but it all worked out! So while you should be prepared, you should also relax. It’s vacation! See how full this suitcase looks? Roll your clothes, like in the photo on the previous page to really maximize your space!
was a “foodie” for a long time. That is, until I realized that term is really just for people that are discovering good food for the first time or for people who want to rationalize overeating on a regular basis by making it sound like they’re really doing something high-brow. So now I’m just a guy who likes to eat. I cook too but only out of necessity. I’d much rather eat someone else’s food. It tastes better, takes less time, and doesn’t involve any cleanup. Besides, I’m in Los Angles, one of the best culinary cities in the United States, maybe even in the world. There are a lot of reasons why LA is such a great place to eat, like
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the fact that you can get a truly great meal for five dollars or for five hundred and that it’s the ultimate cultural melting pot. But I won’t go into those reasons because that territory is too well worn. What I will do is launch into a review of a restaurant that’s fresh in my mind because I ate there this morning. And last night. And probably the night before. Locals know it well: Chano’s DriveIn. I’ve never been to the “Original Chano’s” but I’m actually pretty sure that the one that claims to be the original isn’t really the first. The real Chano’s is on the corner of Figueroa and 30th Street and has been serving authentic Mexican fare since 1984. Chano’s has a
CAROLINE A. WONG
Forget white tablecloths and fancy bathroom attendants. Blake Davidson ditches being a snobbish foodie sitting in an uptight restaurant for just being a normal guy eating some really great food.
line-up of all of the classics: tacos, burritos, nachos, tortas, taquitos, and even menudo— a soup made with beef stomach simmered in a red-chili based sauce—in addition to some other less-than-Mexican dishes (think pastrami-burgers, carne asada fries, and onion rings). As a Chano’s regular, I’ve tried pretty much everything, even the menudo that most white-bread kids like me wouldn’t usually think to approach. Chano’s is your typical “drunchies” fare; drink up then eat up. But I had a moment earlier this year when I was stumbling home from the bars and digging into a Chano’s chicken soft taco that I realized, Holy shit, this might actually be good sober. So I returned in the daytime. Maybe not so surprisingly, I was actually able to decipher the menu! And I didn’t try to order in broken Spanish just because I was drunk! I ordered every soft taco on the menu, aside from the chicken that I’d already had the night before. It only came out to about $6.50, and man, did I eat like a king. The carne asada is delicious: standard marinated steak chopped up and served with the traditional garnish of white onions and cilantro. The lengua (or “tongue” for all you gringos) is just plain good. Being the nice Jewish boy that I am, I’m used to consuming my fair share of odd animal parts. But the real killer is the al pastor. Al pastor is normally a gyro or shawarma-like preparation of pork marinated in dried chiles and served right off of the spit. I don’t know what they do at Chano’s because I’ve never seen a spit back there, but these are is to die for. Garnished with the traditional accouterments, it’s an amazingly tender interplay of salty and sweet with hints of cinnamon coming through. Last, but certainly not least, is the desebrada: another type of marinated beef, shredded in this case. Don’t ask me what’s in it; I don’t know. My guess is some kind of tomatobased broth that they marinate the beef in for several hours. But whatever they’re doing, they’re doing it right. If my stomach would let me, I’d put down about ten of these bad boys.
They are savory and flavorful to the max. My taste buds can barely handle them—I mean this in a good way, not a drunchies way. But Chano’s, like all inexpensive eateries, has its fair share of downsides too. The tortas aren’t great. Even though they’re served with the same great meats that go in the tacos, they’re kind of like your in-bred cousins from the south that you try to avoid. They come on an awful sweet roll that is completely out of place and gets soggy after about thirty seconds. When I tried it, I abandoned ship at the halfway point and scraped all the meat out with my teeth trying to salvage some semblance of a satisfying supper. And unless you’re sticking to the simple yet delicious soft tacos, the food can be pretty greasy. The nachos, while delicious, are certainly a gut-buster. They come with everything—and I mean everything—except melted cheese. Really, nachos without melted cheese. The cheese sits on top, likely feeling depressed and left out of the delicious flavororgy happening below. The nachos are enough to feed two sober people or one whole drunk frat boy so obviously they’re a late-night hit. And the burritos can be hit or miss. So why should you go to Chano’s? It’s cheap. It’s authentic. It’s delicious. You may think you know LA and you may think you’ve had a good taco before, but you can’t say you’ve had a great taco until you go to Chano’s, at least just to compare. It can be a bit of a trek, but did I mention it has a drive-through? The Beverly Hills crowd will never even have to exit their shiny G-wagons. Never mind the fact that the window is on the passenger side of your car. It just adds a little more gritty authenticity to the whole experience.
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Looking for a fun, elegant gift idea on a budget? (Father’s Day is coming up, ahem!) Resident crafty lady Emily Van Guilder pulls through for us yet again.
should preface these instructions with a warning: once you’ve learned how to etch on glass, you might not be able to stop. After a week, you’ll probably be hard pressed to find any glass object in your home that hasn’t been touched. And then you’ll probably run down to your local bar and try it on their beer steins. But since etching is such a simple and professional looking enhancement, I’d consider that a good thing!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO HAVE Glass vase or wine glass Armour Etch Cream (Martha Stewart has a brand, but this one is cheaper and just as effective) Martha Stewart patterning tape Latex gloves or plastic sandwich bags Sponge brush
WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO DO
ALL PHOTOS EMILY VAN GUILDER
Clean the surface of your glass thoroughly. Apply patterning tape at random to make abstract geometric shapes. Try to avoid creating smudges! Press your finger down on the tape as you roll it onto the glass to make sure every section is firmly in place. Play around with it! Just make sure there aren’t any awkward bald spots. III Use the sponge to apply a VERY thick coat of Armour Etch to the glass. Ideally, you won’t see any glass surface poking through. More importantly, make sure the thick coat is EVEN. Tip: it can be easier to hold the vase or wine glass if you start by doing only half at a time. IV Let sit for 15-20 minutes. The timing is super important. Though I love Armour Etch, I was seriously peeved when I first tried their recommended “sixty seconds” and found that absolutely nothing happened! Definitely wait. V Use gloves (or slip your hands into just-asfunctional sandwich baggies) and wash off the
excess cream under warm water until you feel the smooth surface underneath. VI Don’t freak out! It will look like you washed everything off, but once you dry it with a paper towel your masterpiece will reveal itself. Etching is permanent. The acid in the cream literally eats away at the glass, which is what gives you that cool texture. And since it’s permanent, you don’t have to worry about it coming off when you wash it. You can use this method with any type of stencil you want, as long as it’s sticky. I would recommend trying smaller stencils first to practice your mad skills. Just apply the stencil and work out any bubbles. If you’re working with a curved surface, like the side of a wine glass, make sure that all of the edges are pressed down firmly. The outside edges can be folded or wrinkled a bit to accommodate the curve, but the edges are the most vital thing. Then just repeat steps 3-6 and you’re good to go. Once you perfect this method on a glass mug or beer stein for your dad for Father’s Day, try it on a pair of champagne flutes. It’s the perfect, personal gift idea for all those happy couples getting married over the summer!
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A star falls out of the sky and straight into the literature spotlight. Rosie Ryan chats with hot young author W.A. Fulkerson about his debut novel and his writing beverage of choice. Photos by Alexander Herman.
hat happens when a star falls out of the sky? This was the thought that sparked what is now W. A. Fulkerson’s Starfall. In short, this first installment of the trilogy is about two brothers born into slavery who witness a star fall. Since a fallen star could mean freedom, the brothers embark on a quest to find it. The author (and musician, might we add—this guy is talented all around!) of this artfully crafted world gave us a chance to pick his brain to find out what makes him tick and what influenced his novel. Tastevin Magazine When did you know you wanted to be a writer? W.A. Fulkerson Honestly, since I was young. I’ve wanted to write books for years and years and years. I grew up a very avid reader in a family of very avid readers, so it seemed inevitable that one of us would want to become a writer. I feel like writing is what I was made to do. There’s definitely a lot of pressure to get a normal job in the busi-
ness world, but I felt really strongly for a long time that my place was writing, so I’m doing it.
TM Where were you when you first came up with the idea for the Starfall trilogy? WF I was back home in San Diego right after my first year in college and I wrote this piece of poetry about stars falling to the earth like flakes of snow. For the life of me, I can’t find the original poem, but that sparked the train of thought that started the whole process. I wanted to explore the idea of what would happen and what that world would look like and it all snowballed from there. TM Besides the poem, what else in-
fluenced your writing? WF Influences come from all over the place. I was very influenced by the works of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. My idea for this book was to create a new world with that same sort of epic fantasy feel to it but still something that’s fresh and new. I also spent a number of years wrestling and doing martial arts and that has been a big influence on the action that goes on in the story.
Your many talents extend into song writing as well, how has that influenced Starfall? WF I think that everything you do influences your writing. You take all of your life experiences and it goes into a big funnel and something comes out. So in that sense, it definitely makes music a big influence. I tend to write a little more lyrically because I’ve spent so many years writing song lyrics. TM
Where do you go to write? It varies from day to day and from week to week. I probably spend the most time writing in my house. But sometimes I feel like I’m too cooped up, and I just wander around to a bench on the street or I find a park or a coffee shop. I’ve even written on trains! It really doesn’t matter for me as long as I have time to just sit down and type things out. TM WF
What’s your writing beverage of choice: coffee or tea? WF Oh, definitely tea. I am not a coffee person. I drink mostly herbal teas, and I’m a big fan of African rooibos tea at the moment. TM
What about the ladies? Do you feel like you have to live up to the writer/musician stereotypes? WF If I were trying to meet up to any stereotypes, I feel like I would fail so I have to keep on rolling through with myself. But it’s nice to be able to write a woman a song! TM
Starfall is available on Amazon, but if you’d like to win a signed copy, check out the Tastevin Facebook and Twitter pages. To tide you over while you wait for the next installment of the trilogy, Fulkerson updates his blog every Wednesday with poetry, flash fictions, and whatever is on his mind.
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Epiphany by Anna Lyon
You looked so perfectly Obvious Standing on the porch in your fiesta vest, Sparrowly nibbling on pretzels And musing about your suit-swapping father. Your little wilted heart had been running on empty for a couple of days, So it was inevitable, The musing. As I sat there and watched you nibbling away At your pretzels and your past, My heart kept trying to sprout tentacles To wrap you up And pull you in To safety. But of course they went right through you Like a ghostâ€” You were having a moment And I was incidental. Your acid eyes Peered right past me and my tentacled heart, Past the little Catholic school And Ponchoâ€™s Mini Mart, Past Nevada and Nebraska And South Dakota. You were peering into Slayton, Minnesota Like a snow globe, Squinting into the blizzard, and searching for a flake of truth. And you found one! Of course you wear suits like your father Your mother loved bicycling and not you! I sat in the old red armchair and tried not to stir, Lest I disrupt your epiphany. 26 Tastevin Magazine June 2013
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Real Housewives OF THE MILITARY
find that real life women’s approach to the military is usually marked by opposites. When asked about military men, women almost exclusively answer in one of two ways, either gushing, “Oh my god! I just love men in uniforms!” or curling their lips and saying, “You couldn’t pay me to touch a military man with a ten foot pole!” There is very rarely a middle ground, some women disregarding the hardships of a military family life and others focusing exclusively on those challenges. But most of them relate their feelings to the military men themselves. What about the women married to these men? What about the military wives? Military wives can be characterized once again by their polar opposites. It’s easy to think of military wives as a legion of tired, harassed micromanagers, as women who wrangle children, pets, money, and cars in frequent cross-country moves and usually all without the benefit of a physicallypresent partner who may or may not be fighting for his life somewhere that most people can’t identify on a map. And thanks to television, it’s also easy to think of “Army Wives” and see these women as glamorous, slightly unhinged vixens that, if they aren’t betraying one another, are part of a tight-knit, nearly familial, mostly female unit. With few exceptions, however, neither stereotype is even remotely close to my reality. Two years ago, I accidentally became a 28 Tastevin Magazine June 2013
member of the group of women referred to by the Department of Defense as MILSPOUSE (coincidentally, male spouses are referred to as MANSPOUSE). And when I say accidentally, I mean that fate delivered my Prince Charming to me wearing boots and camouflage instead of suit and tie, leaving me with very little say in the matter. On May 1, 2011, Andrew and I were married in a small park in San Diego. I had my Prince Charming. But in those first few months of marriage, I was absolutely convinced that I didn’t fit in with military life. I didn’t really understand how everything worked, what the social rules were, and what my place was meant to be. I had been dropped, ill-prepared, into a foreign and alien culture, and somehow needed to find the necessary skills to survive. Added to this social trauma was the fact that I wouldn’t really be with my husband for the first year. He had received orders to Naples, Italy, and I still had to finish one more year of college in Los Angeles. We faced most of the first year of our marriage separated by a continent, seeing each other only every sixty days. For some reason, I felt that if I could only make friends in Naples, it would seem more like home, and at least I could argue that I had just as complete a life in Italy as I had in Los Angeles— with the added incentive of a very nice boy waiting for me at home. But my first encounter with a Navy wife, as a Navy wife, did not go well. To put it mildly. Jet-
PHOTOS COURTESY OF JENNA GLEMSER
Jenna Glemser reveals what it’s really like to find meaning and identity in a military life.
lagged, struggling to equate my schoolbook Italian with the raw pulse of Neapolitan, and absolutely desperate to make some sort of semblance of a normal life out of my new husband’s overseas orders, I so badly wanted to find a female companion with whom to commiserate. I’d spent the past four or five mornings eating breakfast at our temporary hotel lodgings accompanied only by my laptop and a stack of history books, lovingly
dragged to Italy for the summer before I had to go back to school in Los Angeles. That is, until my Navy-wife encounter. Her first proclamation was a simple one. “What on earth are all those books for? I’ve been afraid to approach you since you got here!” And it went downhill from there. In a desperate bid to keep her attention, I rambled on about the Vietnam War, soldiers, military psychology, and the importance of education. She asked one or two questions about whether I had children (no!) and whether I planned on having them while here (absolutely not!). After a reasonable period
of glazed-over attention, she got up from the table like someone had set her chair on fire. Not a promising start to a friendship. Other MILSPOUSE encounters followed along these same lines. Women would ask me what my husband did, what his rank was, how many children we had, whether I wanted to join the Wives’ Club (now the gender-neutral “Spouses’ Club”), and if I’d read Fifty Shades of Grey. The nuances of my personality mattered far less than what job my husband had, what his rank was, and how long I’d been a Wife. My identity, my life, everything that made me who I am, was deemed secondary to where I stood on the proverbial totem pole, which seemed paramount to determining whether or not these women could accept me as their friend. I was playing a game of “my horse is bigger than your horse,” and I was completely powerless to change the rules or even to opt out of the game. It seemed like every single woman I met played by these guidelines, and if I made even one attempt to deviate, I was clearly not one of the gang. Andrew tried to help. But, as might be the case with most men, his only consolation was, “Babe, you don’t really want to be like those other women, do you? I love you the way you are!” which was a very nice sentiment, on the whole, but didn’t really go very far towards mitigating the lingering sense of ill-placement that I felt. I was alone and friendless. No, I didn’t want to be like those women I encountered, but I didn’t want to be isolated either. I wasn’t even asking for much, 29
just maybe one person with whom I could have a great conversation and who would venture out with me into the world of Italian flea markets and wine shops. That’s not asking too much, is it? After struggling blindly along for so many months, I have reached a number of conclusions about the culture of the MILSPOUSE. First, she is powerless to stop the bleeding out of her own unique identity. Through no fault of her husband’s, the culture of a military wife revolves solely around his identity. In some throwback to an earlier way of approaching the world, it matters what he does and how good he is at it. As I mentioned earlier, wives constantly want to know my husband’s job and how high his ranking. They derive some sense of vicarious power through knowing that their husbands are superior to mine, or are driven to be concerned if mine is superior to theirs. Their identities become inextricably linked to this set of societal rules and hierarchy, from which they cannot escape, not without uprooting most of what they know of life since the majority of these women marry so young. Unable to escape, they make the most of it. Knowing what my husband does—he works in a military hospital—most military wives try to curry favor. They want to know if he can help them get a doctor’s appointment, who the best doctors are, and how they can get around some of the more clunky idiosyncrasies of military medicine. While at first this made it difficult to relate to these women and nearly impossible to see them as compassionate people concerned about anything other than themselves, I can’t help but feel a little sorry for them now. Their identities have slowly been leeched away. They are unable to find meaningful jobs with any regularity. They are defined by the successes of their husbands and children. It’s sad. And it’s true of most of the female military spouses that I’ve met. My second big revelation is that military wives are very generally undereducated. That I have a degree only makes it that much harder for me to enter into the clique. When I mentioned that the reason I was still not yet a permanent resident was because I was finishing up school, many of 30 Tastevin Magazine June 2013
them looked at me like I’d sprouted a third head. Their expressions seemed to say, “Why school?” At first, I thought it was because they simply couldn’t see the value in a degree. Eventually, I realized it was because most of them had never had the opportunity, the means, or the time to pursue more than a high school diploma. Maybe they were envious. Maybe I had escaped some humdrum life that they now led and resented. Maybe. Many women are very young when they marry a military man. In general terms, most of them have just finished high school and are seduced by love and by the exotic adventures promised. It’s an opportunity available to them. And many of them are probably very happy, for the most part.
But then women like me come along, brandishing our higher education diplomas like some sort of call to individualism and identity. Their snide comments about my education and their inherent lack of enthusiasm for pursuing friendship with me make more sense if I can convince myself that I remind them of something they’ve never had the opportunity to be, of an opportunity they’ll likely never get. So while it makes it difficult for me to befriend them, with no working knowledge of Twilight and far too much passion for discussing military history, I feel a little better about understanding it all. I wish I could say that I can approach these situations with the cool detachment of a scholar, that the words on the page in front of you are the complete representative of my reaction towards these women. But that would be misleading. I have my moments, where the mature, rational adult in me takes temporary leave and is replaced by a judgmental banshee. These women make me angry on a profound level that I can’t really explain. I have what might be considered a sick fascination with their interests, their words, and their actions. I probably titter internally every time I hear the word “ain’t” or hear one of them talk about how long “we’ve” been in the military. My personal favorite is when I see one of them list her occupation on Facebook as “Military wife, serving and supporting my Sailor!” My coping mechanism to deal with their reactions to me is to laugh privately at their actions behind the screen of my diploma and my disregard for protocol. Mature? Of course not. Healthy? Undoubtedly not. But comforting? Most definitely. However, I am compelled to mention that military wives are among the bravest women I know. That part of the stereotype rings true. I can tell you from experience that uprooting everything one has ever known, packing one’s life into crates and boxes, and traveling into the unknown, takes guts. It is certainly not easy. Yes, in my case, I am privileged to live in Italy and be near my husband. I have an amazing opportunity. But it’s always, always difficult. Every time a military family moves, it means new friends, new house,
new things, and an inescapable sense of distance from the past. So while it may be difficult to make friends with many of these women because of so many boundaries that separate us, I take my hat off to their strength and cut them some slack because this is a hard life. My point is to illuminate a small slice of the reality that comprises MILSPOUSE, to break through some of the stereotypes. All of us are unique women and not all of us will be friends. The one thing we all have in common, however, is that we seek to find meaning in this life we’ve inadvertently chosen for ourselves. If that means choosing to identify solely as a military wife, then I guess that should be okay. So when I feel frustrated and isolated, and stand in front of my wall hitting it with a shoe in a futile attempt to beg silence from my noisy neighbors, I remember that all of those spouses around me want the same thing: to have some sort of meaningful place in this world and some semblance of identity. While some of us find this vicariously, either through our husbands’ work or through a clique of like-minded women, others seek it elsewhere, in finding words to express how we feel, in working, reading, and trying to create a small niche in a larger community.
I love a good story. Unlike normal people with tacit interest in a dependable career path, I studied screenwriting for four years in Los Angeles before jumping on a plane to Edinburgh, Scotland, where I now study 18th and 19th century British literature. [PAUSE: I realize that some of you in this moment are already determined to hate me and others of you, at your most charitable, envy me. But I bet the largest constituency of you are rolling your eyes and hoping that you never run into me at a supermarket asking for spare change. Bear with me. I am almost always less insufferable than you think I am going to be, and struggle with far too much pride to ask anyone for spare change.] Needless to say, I don’t have a very satisfying answer when people ask me what
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I plan on doing with my life. The Great Gatsby director Baz Luhrmann has been quoted as saying, “The most interesting people I know didn’t know at twenty-two what they wanted to do with their lives.” For some reason, I found that encouraging the first time I heard it. Now, I can’t remember why. Sometimes I feel dangerously close to selling my interesting soul for one simple answer, a simple answer which I simply do not have—tug and pull as I might. What I do have is this theory: if I follow the trail of measly breadcrumbs my passions leave behind, I will eventually arrive at this answer that others expect me to have already acquired. This year is, among many other things, the experiment I have concocted to test said theory. Fingers crossed it works.
Share your Where
Jenna Anderson introduces us to her favorite place in Edinburgh. And, ironically, it’s French.
In the meantime, I spend most of my days reading novels, plays, and short stories. I’ve tried to read my assignments in the comfort of my own bedroom, but war is often waged between my battle-axe of a laptop and my compulsory reading list. When I attempt to enter into combat with dignity, I somehow end up on Facebook for two hours posting photos everyone has already forgotten about and watching cat videos. The frustrating thing about this dilemma is that I really do love everything that I get to read—even the books I don’t like. Some authors I am reading for the first time, others are old friends who are returning from a long, tiring journey around the world. They ask me if they can tell me that old story again, if I have a day or two to spare them. This is the kind of question I am eager to answer, and I always say yes. But then, there is this struggle with the computer on my desk or the cell phone in my hand that, to be honest, is a better computer than my computer is half the time. When I find that I am fighting a losing battle against these tireless machines, I need an escape. Down the street from where I live is this tiny miracle of a French coffeehouse named Le Café Gourmand. I don’t speak French at all—I say that with great bitterness after a year-long subscription to Rosetta Stone—but somehow I manage to feel at home from the moment I walk in. Actually, there are quite a few café’s in Edinburgh that have French names. Scotland and France actually have one of the oldest alliances still in some effect today. In other major British cities you have to search heavily for a French café, but here you have to use the same effort to avoid them. On the other side of town is a joint coffeehouse/bar with a sign that reads Nom de Plume Café. And my favorite place to go for a late-night drink—and inexplicably good pizza—is called Café Voltaire. But, of all the places I’ve tried to escape to in this city, Le Café Gourmand actually boasts a French menu and French staff. And it’s quite a hoppin’ place. Le Café Gourmand is, in a word, pleas-
ant. Black and white photographs of Paris sit contentedly in their frames, lining gentle white walls. People sit down upon dark furniture and enjoy their own combination of coffee and crepes, sometimes one-at-a-time, sometimes together. A playlist of songs generated by customer recommendations hums and shouts at intervals in the background. When I need a place to study, I come here. When I need a place to meet with a friend and laugh, I come here. The coffee is excellent, the crepes are to die for, and the pages of reading I’ve completed are innumerable. I can’t tell you how many times I people-watch at this precious café of mine. In one corner, students moan over a presentation. On the couch by the window, two old women chat away about the latest news with each other’s daughters. A harmony of international accents comes together and dies down, only to rise again. A few months ago, I commandeered a table to myself at Le Café Gourmand and dove
into that particular week’s reading. I had been assigned excerpts from Joseph Addison and Richard Steele’s The Spectator (1711-12). As a collection of papers dealing with issues that ranged from conservative moralities to the very discourse of writing, The Spectator held special social significance, not only during, but also well after the early eighteenth century. The writings of Addison and Steele would have been passed around and read aloud in public spaces, like coffeehouses. Addison wrote, “I shall be ambitious to have it said of me, that I have brought Philosophy out of Closets and Libraries, Schools and Colleges, to dwell in Clubs and Assemblies, at Tea-Tables, and in Coffee-houses.” I remember reading that last word and suddenly snapping my head up, realizing where I was. This place that I go to n early every day to flee from procrastination and idleness was Addison’s ambition. He sought to take private knowledge, the kind that was only accessible to the privileged few—most of which happened to be of the wealthy, white, and male persuasion—and bring it out into the public sphere to saturate the masses. This place that holds such special significance for me, here in 2013, was the site of revolution for people like Addison three hundred years ago. They would have been content to be remembered in history as the men that went to the coffeehouse. At first glance, this concept sounds so far away and dusty. But is it? Can it be that in going to Le Café Gourmand, ordering my crepe and coffee, reading my solitary book, and leaving directly after, that I am missing out on something more? This is my coffeehouse, but it’s also not mine at all. Living, breathing humans walk into this shop every day and give it new vitality. They share ideas. They share information. And then, finally, once they have done what they set out to do, they go home. I wonder if they realize they are participating in a three hundred year old tradition when they do so. I wonder if the female customers ever reflect on the fact that many years ago, it was mostly men that were able to attend the coffeehouse.
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In the span of time it takes me to walk from my front door to Le Café Gourmand, I have traversed centuries of ideological exchange. And quite often I enter into my coffeehouse lightly. To my twenty-first century sensibility, this place is a means of getting a takeaway coffee or trying the soup of the day. But to writers like Addison and Steele, coffeehouses were a privilege—not because of what you took away from them, but because of what you could bring in.
Share your Wear
hen you think Spain, you might think sexy flamenco dancers and late-night tapas. But obviously that’s not all the country has to offer. Here, we bring you Barcelona’s latest and greatest hot export—ARA.BCN! We sit down with the fashion brand’s representative, Sonia Ramirez. Tastevin Magazine What is your relationship to fashion brand ARA.BCN? Sonia Ramirez I, along with Elizabet Diaz-San Martin and the designer [who requested that we not disclose her name], make up the ARA BARCELONA company. The meaning of the name is “Barcelona Now.” Elizabet and I were the ones who brought the clothing to the U.S. TM How did ARA.BCN start? SR The line started during the 80s in Spain.
Interview by Lindy Tolbert Photos by Paulina Johnson
During this period, Spain was [transitioning] from a long dictatorship to a new democratic political period. Spanish society was eager to redefine and modernize itself. The designer traveled constantly to London and got inspired by that cosmopolitan city. She tried to merge the new London fashion trends with Spanish taste. I think it’s also important to mention that Barcelona is a particular city with crazy architecture, eye-catching topographies, and incredible sex [appeal]. It’s characterized by this optimistic mood that its citizens [live and] breathe. The designer wanted to translate all these concepts into the clothes in a subtle way. The idea behind ARA BARCELONA is to apply global trends into day-to-day life so you can always look stylish, refined, and modern in every situation. TM
Why bring the line to the states?
ARA BARCELONA’s styles are so unique and great that the line has a lot of potential in [the American] market. On top of that, Washington DC [where the line hosted its first U.S. trunk show] is a city full of contrasts. We have the super corporate world of government-related institutions, businesses, and non-profits, but we also have hipster audiences that are more open-minded and are interested in global issues, different cultures converging, what’s happening in the world, global issues and conflicts, among other things. We thought that DC [would] be the perfect [environment] to start this project. SR
TM Your first trunk show in DC was May 18th. What went into the planning for that? SR The purpose of the show was to introduce the clothing line into the DC market and to get initial feedback from customers. For planning, first of all, we had to prepare all the pieces and have them ready to be seen. We also had to set up the venue and prepare all the logistics: catering, invitations, RSVP’s, social media, advertising, PR, all of that. And we also decided to have a photo shoot prior to the event [and posted] the pictures online.
How many hours do you work on putting togther pieces for a trunk show? SR The time required to produce the pieces depends on the units we decide to use for the show. We had 77 pieces displayed so the designer and dressmakers were working hard for about three weeks. Shipping took one week, and setting [up] the venue took us two days. TM
What is the focus of the ARA.BCN line? Women’s clothing. We have a casual line, basics for every season, office, cocktail, and wedding dresses. We believe that designing women’s fashion is much more fun, and we can relate more to it as we all are women. It is also connected to the demand. In spring we have a lot of requests [for] wedding dresses, and women are more open to [acquiring] new TM SR
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pieces according to the seasons throughout the year. Sometimes we [make] exceptions and create some suits for the grooms too. What is the concept behind the clothes you design? SR Because of what we’ve mentioned before about global trends applied to women’s everyday routines, combined with what Barcelona represents, ARA BARCELONA seeks to create exclusivity in their line. We offer a small number of pieces of the same [design], maximum five but usually [fewer than that]. If you want regular clothes you can go to different stores that will offer the same styles over and over, and [you risk] the nightmare of having the same outfit as someone in your office, [at] the club, or at the mall. Our clothes are meant to be special and unique but with very accessible prices. We want everybody to ask you, “Where did you get that?” TM
What sets ARA.BCN apart from other fashion brands? SR We know how to deal with those problematic areas that most of us [feel we] have without sacrificing the design. Let’s say you belong to the 99% of the world’s population that has some “extra stuff” in the middle part of your body. We know it is challenging to find something that [is form-fitting without] showing that little belly that we [might not] like. Our dresses have that magic formula to make you look the way you want: sexy, attractive, in charge. But [our clothes disguise] the mid-part of your body, so you will look absolutely amazing and you will feel very comfortable. TM
Where is ARA.BCN headed next? We would like to open our own boutique in DC and maybe in some other cities in the U.S. TM SR
For more ARA.BCN, check out the brand’s blog at arabcnusa.wordpress.com
Previous spread, left: Kimono top, ARA.BCN, $60. Previous spread, right: Print lace jacket, ARA.BCN, $75. This page: Jumpsuit, ARA.BCN, $100. All accessories and clothing items not listed throughout, modelâ€™s own. Model: Nerea Perez Fuentes. Styling: ARA.BCN.
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This page: Sweater jacket, ARA.BCN, 39ARA.BCN, Tastevin$50. Magazine June 2013 $70. Skirt, Opposite page: Kimono jacket, ARA.BCN, $120.
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Previous spread and this page: Lace top, ARA.BCN, $55. Opposite page: Top, ARA.BCN, $65.
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Stumped as to how to style yourself? Caroline A. Wong takes a critical look at two designer collaborations and uses pieces from the collections to show you easy ways to change up your look.
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e all love a team player. But while there are more and more designers collaborating with big brands, there are fewer and fewer quality choices. Trust me, I feel your pain. I really do. This month, I tested two more lines and threw in a styling twist so you can avoid shoddy pieces and shake up your wardrobe without shelling out too much cash. Obviously the best way for you to feel comfortable about a purchase from a designer collaboration line would be to go out and try it for yourself. You and I may have different body types, different tastes—all that good stuff. But even if you can snag a well-cut designer collaboration item for cheap, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll look good in it. And that’s where I want to come in again. Cash in on my fashion tips now so you can cash in on style later!
ALL PHOTOS BRANDON GAMBLE
“Rio” by Derek Lam for DesigNation at Kohl’s If I’ve only had a special place in my heart for Derek Lam because he was raised in San Francisco like me, then I’ve really been shortchanging the fashion designer. After serving as vice president of design for Michael Kors’ Kors line, Lam launched his own brand nearly a decade ago. He says of his celebratory Kohl’s collaboration, “I’m able to bring a designer point of view to a collection that’s accessible, affordable, and, I think, perfect for the Kohl’s customer.” With pieces ranging from $44-$88, Lam definitely kept the cost down. His Rio-inspired pieces are fun, fresh, and flirty—everything that Rio outfits should be—and keep with the resort-feel, featuring long maxi dresses and skirts that can be thrown over the collection’s sexy-yet-conservative swimwear. Although the line is typical Lam—pretty fabrics and clean silhouettes—the quality is clearly lacking, an unfortunate side effect of many collaborations. Since the pieces are only available in generic x-small through x-large sizes, customers are hard-pressed to find a perfect fit. I thought that the breezy, vacationhippie nature of the pieces might be more forgiving to the lack of size range, but the drop waists on many of the dresses left me wanting for a better proportion. There’s only so much you can ask from such low prices, though, so while the pieces may not be worth a visit to your tailor, a good belt can fix the better ones. Overall, probably not worth the trek from Manhattan to New Jersey for that Kohl’s visit. While I was sadly disappointed with the Kohl’s options, I did find this really pretty and super versatile top—coincidentally, the cheapest piece in the line and the one piece that seems to embody Lam’s work the best. The fabric is light and airy with a subtly chic print and the front fold adds just the right “designer” detail. Check out what I did with it.
Look 1 With some crisp white jeans, the Derek Lam for Kohl’s top really brings it. It’s casually elegant, but you can step it up—maybe for an evening cruise—with some gold jewelry. The look is great for brunch or, if you throw a blazer over it, can even be a sharp work option.
Top, Derek Lam for Kohl’s, $45. Jeans, Michael Michael Kors, $80. Platform sandals, Jessica Simpson, $120. Sunglasses, Tom Ford, price upon request. Earrings, Bebe, $30. Necklace, vintage. Clutch, Bebe, $60.
Look 2 The black skirt here adds some sleekness to the outfit. If you’re the type of girl who’s a little self-conscious about her legs or haven’t applied self-tanner in a while, the sheer maxi skirt is a great choice for the warming weather. You get that beautiful breezy look and can feel confident without feeling weighed down. And the great thing about skirts like these is that you can pump it up with heels or tone it down with flats depending on the length of the hem.
“Mad Men Collection 2013” by Janie Bryant for Banana Republic
This page: Top, Derek Lam for Kohl’s, $45. Skirt, Forever 21, $25. Pumps, ShoeDazzle, $50. Sunglasses, Tom Ford, price upon request. Opposite page, left: Dress, Banana Republic Mad Men Collection, $130. Jacket, H&M, $30. Pumps, ShoeDazzle, $40. Necklace, H&M, $15. Cuff, H&M, $15. Opposite page, right: Dress, same. Lace blazer, Forever 21, $25. Necklace, H&M, $15. Clutch, Ted Baker, price upon request.
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The sixth season of Mad Men is coming to a close, but ever since I jumped on the Don Draper bandwagon, I haven’t been able Blazer, Zara, $100. toTank, shake visions H&M, $10. of Megan Draper in hot dress Skirt,hot Lovedress. by after So many of these women look Prabal Gurung like sexy laced-up ice princesses, and I love for Target, $30. that! Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant Sunglasses, Kate teamed up with Banana Republic for another Spade, $160. Mad Men-inspired collaboration. She says of Clutch, Gap, $30. her work, “The Wedges, Aldo, $80.collection embodies the 60s’ love for graphic prints, colors, and boldness.” Bryant is used to dressing both Joan’s enviable voluptuousness and Betty’s chic slender frame (thin Betty is back!), and she used that sensibility when designing the 2013 line. You really can’t beat the exceptional quality of this collection. Where most collaborations suffer, Mad Men for BR excels—fabric weight, seam strength, attention to detail. Thank you, Banana, for not skimping where it counts. The pieces are a bit more expensive than your usual Target or Kohl’s designer collaborations, but let’s face it: you can’t beat Banana Republic. You really can’t. And all the pieces are absolutely work appropriate. The only very minor thing about the line might be the fact that you could easily walk into any Banana Republic store and think you’re get-
ting a Mad Men piece—the clothes are incredibly consistent with the store’s existing products—but just check the tag for that black and red Mad Men label. Order an Old Fashioned for me, will you?
Check out my ladylike office look at right. To channel your inner Peggy Olson without going too retro, steer clear of pearls, which can make the conservative cut of the dress seem costumey. Instead, pick an interesting, delicate necklace and leave your jacket unbuttoned for an unstuffy, contemporary feel.
Look 2 You can drive the dress into super edgy territory without adding a stitch of leather. I switched out the lace blazer for a motorcycle jacket-inspired piece. It’s all about the cut here. Opt for a fringy necklace and a statement cuff, and the outfit is instantly more modern.
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PHOTO AND MAKEUP: GLENN NUTLEY HAIR: CHRISTOPHER ENLOW
Pretty Little Liar?
She may be pretty, but she’s no liar. Janel Parrish of ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars sits down with Caroline A. Wong to talk makeovers, manipulation, and the occasional backstabbing.
s I sit in the cool summer air on a balcony at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles, waiting for Janel Parrish, I can’t help but wonder two things. First, will she be as scary as her fairlypsychopathic television counterpart Mona Vanderwaal? And second, will she try to kill me “Team A”-style if she finds out I’ve only seen a few episodes of the show? I know the PLL fans are loyal, and I want to fit in. With the incessant buzz of L.A. Live construction in the background, I mentally practice being a liar. Of course, I’ve done my research. I know Mona went from tortured nerd to popular makeover princess. I know Mona did a stint in an insane asylum. I know Mona was the ominously mysterious “A” up until this past season. I know my stuff, but I haven’t been a die-hard fan since the beginning. So, while it may just be a little lie, it may not end up pretty. When we finally sit down to talk, the first thing that strikes me about Janel, 24, is that her voice is so damn sweet. She doesn’t sound like someone who could backstab her friends. She doesn’t sound tortured or crazy or like she’s used to wearing a straightjacket. And that’s when I relax, because Janel isn’t Mona. And luckily, that works in my favor. The next thing that strikes me is her unbridled enthusiasm for not only acting, but also, more specifically, acting on Pretty Little Liars. “I’m very excited!” she gushes about the new season, set to premiere June 11th. “I think fans are going to be really happy with it because they’re going to get some serious answers.” Like what? I ask. I can almost feel her excitement vibrating in the air. “This season is all about the Red Coat, about finding who Red Coat is. Is Ali alive? Is Ali Red Coat? Who is Red Coat? You know, the Liars and Mona now have to join forces. They’re all targets, and they have to find out who this new ‘A’ is and why. In the first episode, you will find out who—or what—is in the trunk!” Sounds ominous. But then again, Mona
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is a fairly ominous character, and Janel has inhabited the role since the first season aired three years ago. The show follows four girls whose clique dissolves upon the disappearance of their leader Alison (“Ali”) but bands back together when they begin to receive threatening messages from “A.” Mona is a former Alison groupie turned popular girl after an extreme makeover. Spoiler alert—she was revealed to be “A” at the close of season two, but enters into a sanitarium in season three, when it becomes clear Mona was acting as “A” as part of a whole mysterious team. Think it’s hard to keep up with all the dramatic twists and turns? Now you under-
stand my initial fear at the start of our conversation. Would Janel be able to see right through me? Maybe not. Although Janel obviously doesn’t seem to have a problem sorting out the drama, it turns out that even she wasn’t on board from the beginning. “I actually did not know about the book series [by Sara Shepard, on which the show is based] until after I found out I booked Mona.” She laughs. “And then I bought all the books and started reading them. I became obsessed with them.” I breathe a little internal sigh of relief and wonder whether the books’ fans are as happy as the show’s fans. “We follow the blueprint of the books pretty well. You know, the characters are still the same. The story’s still the same. However, we still keep the book fans on their toes. You know, we changed a couple things here and there so we keep them guessing.” The guessing game is an apparent theme with the show. It’s a mystery thriller, after all. But Mona’s character herself keeps us guessing. Who is the real Mona? “Mona goes through, like, eight different personalities over four seasons so it’s great. It’s been so much fun.” She doesn’t even have to pause to answer which version of Mona is her favorite. “I love playing Crazy Mona. It might have actually been my favorite when Mona was in the nuthouse because it just allowed me as an actress to, you know, challenge myself and go places that my acting would never have had to go before, which is fun because this is my passion. This is what I love to do. It’s kind of like a fun game for me.” You can tell that Janel is passionate about her character, about stretching herself. How much work went into prepping to play such an insane role? She finally takes a moment to stop and consider, answering quietly. “I kind of just had to go there in my mind...” I think for a second that maybe she is reliving the kind of trauma that might come with playing a character in an insane asylum, but the moment passes and Janel continues on cheer-
ily. “It helped that the set that I was on was extremely creepy. They made me look insane! Just getting into character and kind of finding new places to go, just playing with it and enjoying it was really fun.”
“It may have been my favorite when Mona was in the nuthouse because it just allowed me to challenge myself as an actress.”
I’m pleasantly surprised by her jolly outlook, her happy-go-lucky attitude that everything is new and delightful. She explains, “I kind of grew up on a set, so I love it.” Janel played Young Cosette in the National Touring Company’s Les Misérables before a stint as a young girl on Baywatch and in the Disney made-for-television movie Geppetto. Her impressive acting résumé also includes a recurring role on NBC’s Heroes. “I mean, it’s so comfortable and feels like I’m just playing. It doesn’t even feel like work. So being on set is like a second home for me. I love it.” I wonder whether the Pretty Little Liars set is any different, whether the mix of young Hollywood women leaves room for conflict or whether the long filming hours take their toll. Janel’s positive demeanor doesn’t diminish. “We all get along so well. We have the best time. We don’t mind the long hours [on set] because, you know, it’s what we love to do.” This mix of camaraderie and unbridled passion for her craft is almost unreal. “You know, even though it’s kind of an intense show, we’re kind of a goofy cast so we’re always making each other laugh and just having a good time.” Doesn’t she ever get tired—of the long hours, of the constant sunny point of view, of playing a nutcase, of anything? “Umm, I’m a big fan of coffee!” She sheepishly laughs. “Some would call it a coffee obsession. Thankfully, we have an amazing production team 51
“I admire how strong Mona made herself. She used to be the vulnerable character. But I don’t admire the way she did it.”
“I think I try to find how conniving Mona really is. You know, she’s extremely smart. She’s always one step ahead and she knows it. And I think that’s the fun of it.” Here, she pauses and you can hear the smile in her voice, as if she’s relishing the thought of Mona. “That’s what’s delicious about her character. It’s kind of that ‘I know more than you’ type of something to her that I think people love to hate and hate to love.” How does she do it? “I think it’s all in the eyes and in the way you deliver something. As Mona, I try to look at somebody like they’re stupid”—she says this word with clear emphasis, almost as if Mona is coming out and taking over—“and like I know so much more than them. I try to make them feel small.” I shrink a little at this. Janel laughs. “You know, Mona has like five or six different looks, but it’s usually all in her eyes. You can tell. I mean, when Mona dresses like a good little school girl and she’s saying that she’s all better now and that she wasn’t crazy, there are certain moments, no matter how
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she dresses, when you can look in her eyes and know she’s not all better. I think it’s all in the eye contact. You can tell a lot by looking in someone’s eyes.” Janel really relies on her different costumes to get her in the mindset of Mona’s complicated character. “When I’m nerdy Mona, I’m wearing the glasses. They dress me, you know, kind of like a loser.” She chuckles nervously at this, as if she might be ashamed to label Mona something so harsh. “That really helps me get into character because you feel that way when you put your costume on. When I was popular Mona in my glam outfit, I felt that way. It changes the way you carry yourself. Every time they make me over, it affects my character and the way I see myself as Mona. You know, it helps a great deal when it comes to how many different personalities I have to play.” I wonder if Janel plays this kind of dress up in her life outside of the show. “Definitely. I think I kind of reflect how I’m feeling during the day depending on what I’m wearing. So, you know, if I’m feeling a little more bold, then I’ll put on some red lipstick and some high hells. If I’m feeling more chill, I’ll put on some sweatpants and throw my hair in a ponytail. The way you dress affects your character.” What character besides Mona would she want to dress up as? “Since I was six, it’s been Kim in Miss Saigon. It’s an amazing musical, and I’d love to play that role at least once in my life, whether it’s on stage or in a film. That’s been my dream role forever.” It makes sense. Janel has a musical performance background as well as an album with Geffen Records released in 2007. “First of all, it’s perfect for me because it’s an Asian role, an Asian lead who sings. I grew up listening to that musical. And Lea Salonga [who won numerous awards for her performance as Kim] was my idol, so for all of those reasons, it’s my idea of the perfect role.” Kim and Mona are really different. “I
PHOTO AND MAKEUP: GLENN NUTLEY HAIR: CHRISTOPHER ENLOW
that does Starbucks runs for us because they know how we all are obsessed with our caffeine.” But I can’t really imagine this young woman pulling out a diva moment and demanding her coffee. Her favorite Starbucks drink is the very simple grande nonfat latte. When I tell her I’m a nonfat chai kind of person, she exclaims, “Yeah, that’s pretty good too!” If she weren’t so endearing, I’d almost think her agreeable nature was nauseating. But Janel really is a great person with whom to chat. Nevertheless, I try to bring her to a darker place by talking more about Mona.
think that Kim is also a strong woman.” But does the similarity extend beyond that? “No, Kim is more of a fragile, struggling woman. But she’s also still very strong.” I ask Janel whether she admires Mona for her strength in all that’s she’s done and overcome. What follows is the longest pause in our conversation, and you can tell she’s choosing her words carefully. “I admire how strong Mona made herself. She used to be the vulnerable
character, and she used to be tortured and bullied. I think she overcame that. But I don’t admire the way she did it.” How would she have liked to see Mona do it? “Well, probably not try to kill her friends.” We both laugh at this. “In a perfect world, Mona would have recreated herself and not turned into this crazy psychotic killer person. Like I said, she’s deliciously evil and I think it’s fun to watch, but I think girls know they should never be like Mona in real life.” And what has been the response to Mona in real life? I ask Janel whether her family and friends are surprised when they see her play this conniving character, but after my time talking with her, I could have easily predicted her answer. “Yes! But my mom always makes a joke with me that whenever I get mad as Mona, she’s like ‘Oh, I know that face!’ You know, for the most part when people meet me, they’ll say that they’re surprised I play such a mean, creepy, crazy character. And it’s great. It’s extremely fun to play a character that is very different from myself.” But she goes on in Mona’s defense. “I think fans are really going to like the turn of character for Mona. You know, she’s no longer ‘A.’ She’s now been betrayed by someone. She’s a target just like the other girls; she’s one of them now.” As my time with Janel wraps, I realize that this young woman is more than what she seems on Pretty Little Liars but that what you see when you meet her is really what you get. She’s thoroughly and genuinely enthusiastic and—thankfully—much, much less intimidating than her PLL counterpart. It’s so refreshing to meet someone who’s not only a young actress with a great head on her shoulders, but also a great person. And it all makes sense when she explains. “I’ve got some great family and friends that I know and trust. I know they always have my back no matter what. So whenever I’m feeling self-conscious in any way, I lean on them, and it’s all better. Always.” 53
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From the novel Starfall by W.A. Fulkerson Photographs by Cody Kussoy
“What took you so long?” Malleus inquired as his brother scrambled down the last few rocks. Ducasus shrugged. “Just taking my time is all. Trying to be careful.” “And you wanted to run…” Malleus scoffed. “Not along the ledge of death, I didn’t.” “It wasn’t that bad.” Ducasus shrugged again. He was too busy looking around him to do much else. The slope on the east side of the mountain was very gentle. It flattened into a meadow off to the east, encircled by peaks rising up on all sides. Going up the slope, some of the meadow’s influence lingered, but there were more trees on the mountainside. The pulling in Ducasus’ chest grew even stronger- he could hardly contain it! He looked up and to his left and he felt his eyes gravitate to a shelf of rock that jutted out over the mountainside with a trickle of water falling off of the edge and blowing in the wind. His star would be there. He knew it. He looked at Malleus and grinned. His brother’s gaze was fixed on a different point on the mountainside: a clump of several hundred trees straight in front of them about a half mile away. “Do you know where yours is?” Malleus asked his twin, still staring into the distance. Ducasus nodded. “It’s on that rock up there, I think,” he said, gesturing with his hand. Malleus turned his gaze and looked to where his brother pointed. “That rock?” “Yeah,” Ducasus sighed, his mind reeling with all of the adventures and opportunities that awaited him in his new life as a Neb. “Just right on top of it, or what?” Malleus further inquired. “Yeah, I think so. It… it almost feels like it’s inside the rock a little bit, if that makes any sense.” Malleus only nodded. “Well, let’s get to it, shall we?”
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“Definitely.” Dress (worn as top), La Ducasus began walking up &the slope angling Lune Moon, $16. Headtowards his left, whileband, Malleus walkH&M,started $10. Necklace, ForeverDucasus 21, $15. Bracelets, ing straight up the incline. was in editor’s his own world, not even noticing that heown. was walking alone. It was like being in a dream. “Ducasus!” Malleus called. “Where are you going?” Ducasus stopped and looked confused for a moment. “…Aren’t we walking to my star?” “Let’s go to mine first, it’s closer.” Ducasus blinked hard and gritted his teeth. Malleus was right. It was nearly impossible to convince him to do something when he had logic on his side. It did make more sense to go to his star first. Maybe I can suggest something else… Ducasus called back, “I thought we could both just go and get our stars. We can meet on top of the mountain.” That’s logical, right? Ducasus hoped his brother would agree. He wanted his star so badly… Malleus was shaking his head. “Don’t you want to see it happen? Come on, come and help me find my star, and then your star will be next.” Ducasus’ muscles clenched. He didn’t want to wait another moment! But his brother was right… What kind of a twin would he be if he missed his brother’s gifting? He took a deep breath and hiked back to meet his brother. “Thanks,” said Malleus, slapping his brother on the back as he neared. He noticed Ducasus’ face was still bruised on the one side where he had been hit with Pompey’s sword. He’s been through it this trip, Malleus thought. He felt sick to his stomach over all of the pain his brother had endured. He’d borne the worst of it. The two brothers, united once more, climbed up the slope together with singular focus. Ducasus tabled his own eagerness and was now simply excited for his brother. They tried to maintain a deliberate pace, but they
ended up jogging uphill, with Ducasus just ahead of Malleus, as usual. The distance passed in a blur of anticipation. They neared the large grouping of trees and the tension and excitement mounted. As they broke the line of trees and escaped into their shade, Ducasus stopped a moment to let his brother catch up. Ducasus smiled. “You’ve got to take the lead now, Malleus. Follow that tug.” Malleus did not return his brother’s smile, but he only nodded soberly as he took the lead. Great purpose weighed on his shoulders. The air was damp and thin in the cool, alpine grotto. Moss grew on all of the trees and chipmunks scurried by now and again. Malleus looked focused as he chose his steps very deliberately, turning a few times and continuing on. Ducasus was just about to ask his brother if he really knew where they were going when Malleus stopped suddenly and declared, “We’re here.” Ducasus looked around. “Where is it?” “I’m not sure; I just know that it’s here.” Malleus felt like his heart was going to burst out of his chest, he felt a pulling so strong. He strayed forward a few more steps past an ancient oak tree, looked to his left, and there it was. It was lying in a small crater two handbreadths wide, right up against the tangled roots of the old oak. The tree’s trunk looked charred, as if it had been burned, but Malleus had eyes only for his star. It was beautiful. It was perfectly white in a way that Malleus could never describe. It was the sort of white that told of depth, of secrets and worlds and destinies all wrapped up inside a small, luminous globe. It sat alone in the center of its little crater, shining dimly and humming softly. Malleus’ eyes grew wide. He was robbed of words. Ducasus was close behind and he laid eyes
on the star a moment after. It fascinated him. Malleus hardly even noticed his brother’s presence. He was mesmerized by his star. His destiny stared him in the eyes. “This is it, Malleus,” Ducasus spoke softly, in awe of the magnificent orb before him. “It’s just like Dad always said: never a slave, never a Flare. This star is going to give you a new life.” Malleus nodded slowly with his brow furrowed. “He did used to say that, didn’t he?” Malleus remained frozen in place, locked in thought. Ducasus stood back and smiled, finally resting a hand on his brother’s shoulder. “Come on- take your gift. I’m going to need your Hawkeye vision to help me find my star.” Malleus stared down at the crater before him. “…Yeah.” Malleus shook his head and kneeled down to the forest floor beneath him. He extended his hands slowly, uncertain as he stared into the depth of light before him. The star grew brighter as his hands approached. Slowly, slowly… His trembling hands gripped the sphere, and the world was transformed into unendurable darkness and a light more glorious than the sun.
Everything in the universe seemed to disappear to Malleus. Electricity ran through his mortal frame as his fingertips were glued to that icy, fiery globe that he held in his hands. The most brilliant light shot forth from the star. Malleus knew it to be purest white, but it seemed of all colors at once. The streaming rays appeared now a deep azure, then a rich emerald, and every other shade and color rushed about in resplendent waves. It was as if every light in the world had gone out, and this alone shined forth into the darkness. Palpable darkness crept around Mal57
leus’ back, but magnificent streams of living light ran towards him from his hands. The light grew and grew in intensity and Malleus felt his hands being raised up, still gripping his star. He lifted off of the ground as the light continued to burn and grow, fierce and beautiful. The darkness turned and began to flee, but it remained in Malleus’ mind. Every fiber of Malleus’ being, every vein, every muscle, every inch of skin, was immersed in electricity. It was as if there was a deep fire that burned inside of him as though it belonged. It did not singe or hurt him. He only felt the thrill of pleasure and energy throughout his entire person. The light grew and grew to a crescendo, chasing the last straggling remnants of darkness away. Malleus continued to rise into the air, staring deep into his star. His arms stretched out in front of him and the shining orb of light pushed him away until he floated motionless in the air several feet away. The star’s humming, soft until now, began to increase and increase in volume and pitch until it rang out with a noise higher and louder than any known within the world. Malleus felt a part of the sound, and he remained chained to it until the moment it sounded out so high and so loud that it burned itself out and became the last rays of light that now dominated everything around. Malleus felt chills run through his body as a voice began to speak. “Viator, inseque gloriae, filie terae et caeli: bene fecisti quod stellam tuam invenisti. Praemio afficieris. Quid donam optas?” Malleus did not know what was happening, but the voice ceased speaking and it seemed like it had asked him a question. But what had it asked of him? Malleus considered this in the void and decided that he should speak out what gift he wanted to the mysterious voice. He drew a breath into his tightened chest and tried to speak. “Opto Velocitum Flarorum!” Malleus’ words came out foreign, bearing his intended meaning, he hoped. It was as if
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his lips had rebelled against him and he spoke in another tongue. Malleus was bewildered. There was a deep rumbling sound and everything began to shake. All of the sudden Malleus felt a cool sensation envelop his head. It felt like he was being brushed with paintbrushes on every side of him as the sensation passed down his neck and throat to his chest and all the way down. He felt a million, million little pricks and sparks as the sensation washed over him- as it washed through him, even. Something tremendous was happening to him, of that he was sure. The cool, invisible paintbrushes flowed all of the way to his ankles and wrapped around the bottom of his feet, and then the sensation left him. He felt a thrill of pleasure run through his veins as the voice spoke once more, this time more distant and resonant but just as powerful, separating itself from the constant rumbling. “Optavisti, ita mutas,” it said. Then, the voice ceased from speaking, and Malleus felt himself slowly floating downwards back to the ground. He looked about him and saw the miraculous light flying in all directions. Each point of light struggled a moment, then launched away, breaking free of its brethren. Spots of light flew away in all directions, each spark bearing a different color. Motes of orange and red and blue and green and purple and every other color imaginable broke away into its own and streaked away. Just as quickly as it all began, it was over, and Malleus found himself on the forest floor once again, but his star was no more to be seen.
Ducasus had been standing by grinning when his brother grasped his star. He saw the star light up and then in an instant he felt himself being thrown violently backwards. He hit the ground, still repelled by a mysterious force, and he slid to a stop against the trunk of an oak tree.
He felt shaken a moment, and he tried to get his bearings, but all he could discern was a blinding whiteness. Did I hit the ground that hard? He wondered, incredulous. Ducasus turned his head this way and that. All he could discern was light and some shapes. Everything seemed so bright! It hurt his eyes just glancing about. He looked towards the direction he had come from and was surprised to see the soft outline of Malleus in the air. At least, it looked like he was in the air. Even the ground was a blown-out white, so it was hard to tell. Ducasus sat up straighter as indecipherable sounds of speech echoed amidst the trees. He heard what he thought was his brother’s voice respond, but it was too far away to understand. Then, the ground beneath Ducasus shook greatly and he could hear nothing but the sounds of a shifting earth. Just when Ducasus thought things could not get any stranger, the air exploded into shards of color and all of the shaking and rumbling ceased. The mountain was still once more. Birds sang happily in the trees and insects clicked. The wind blew a gust across the tops of the trees now and again, rustling the leaves. All was as it had been a minute before. Ducasus looked around, able to see once more, but with eyes that had just wandered to the sun. He blinked several times, trying to rid his vision of the blues and the blotches that floated across his eyes. He could definitely see again, and he pondered this in shock while his eyes adjusted. Malleus. He remembered his brother and scrambled to his feet, searching the area with his eyes. There he was- closer than before, but in the same general direction. Ducasus started forward, running on wobbly legs. His brother was a Hawkeye now! Soon, Ducasus would retrieve his own star. “Malleus!” he called as he neared the place where his brother knelt. He smiled wide and
continued to approach his twin, coming to a halt just behind him. He laid his hand around Malleus’ shoulder and tugged him good-naturedly. This was a day for celebration! Ducasus sought his brother’s gaze, but he found it not. Malleus knelt with his brother’s arm around him, his head bowed, staring at the ground. He was motionless, in complete control of himself even after so bizarre and jarring an experience. Ducasus laughed inwardly at his brother’s stoicism. He shook him again in congratulations, but something struck Ducasus as different. Was Malleus’ hair always so blonde? Malleus refused to meet his brother’s gaze. He shrugged the arm off of his shoulders and stood up. He lifted his head as if it weighed a thousand pounds, but he did it deliberately and with pride, if with a touch of sorrow. He took a few steps away from Ducasus and stared into the trees.
On model throughout: Dress, H&M, $30. Headbands, model’s own. Model: Brooke Jaffe. Fashion editor: Caroline A. Wong
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Do Something Sweet Join together to support those affected by the tornados in Oklahoma.
At the end of May, a monster tornado touched down in Oklahoma, wreaking millions of dollars in damage and claiming twentyfour lives. Organizations like the Red Cross and its volunteers have rushed to aid victims. Big names in country music have also rallied together to help victims. Carrie Underwood donated $1 million to the Red Cross, and Blake Shelton organized the Healing in the Heartland relief concert on May 29th, raising over $6 million for the United Way of Central Oklahoma. To support those affected by the devastation, you can make a donation to the Red Cross Disaster Relief.
64 Tastevin Magazine June 2013