What the hell, summer spell.

My name is Arianna Stern. This is a page with some of my freelance work. You can email me at arianna[dot]s at gmail[dot]com.

Jul 12

Dulce de Leche

It’s hard to know what to write: I journal, but that doesn’t lead to sharable projects, or I initiate projects, but don’t finish them. I’m trying to save my ideas for the right outlets—probably something that pays, probably not this blog. Who knows if anything I try will come to fruition. As a writer, I have a discipline problem. I’m working on it.

Because of my discipline problem, it’s hard for me even to maintain a daily journal. It’s hard to do laundry! I’ve been using Lynda Barry’s 4-minute diary-keeping method to store some of my memories. Sometimes my inertia still gets the best of me, but still, I’ve preserved some vignettes of Buenos Aires that I’ll want to keep with me.

I saw my breath on the 4th of July; it’s winter here. On July 10, I went to buy a comforter. “Lots of polar fleece at Arredo,” I wrote. I gave the box to my roommate’s cat.

On July 5, I bought a local phone plan, which took a total of four hours. Argentines have a greater tolerance for waiting, I guess, than people in the United States do. As for myself, I felt like I was on fire. I felt great when it was done, though. That night, I ate empanadas at a touristy bar-slash-restaurant that would not have looked out of place in Wrigleyville. My waiter’s name was Maní.

"¿Maní, como esto?" I asked, holding up a peanut. That’s what his name translates to: peanut. I don’t think he liked my question. It’s his mom’s fault.

On the first of July—the first full, 24-hour day I spent in Buenos Aires—I had lunch with a friend from college. Our waiter was gorgeous, and provoked in me the kind of immediate dumb lust that has caused some of the stupidest, most painful decisions I’ve ever made. Obviously I’m going back.

My friend told me that sometimes she questions what she’s doing here, what she’s doing at all. She thinks it’s a product of being in your 20s, not being in Buenos Aires. I tend to agree, and I share some of the same concerns. I’d probably feel uprooted wherever I was; I often feel as though my relationships, living conditions, and jobs go through a revolving door.

I also feel a particular sort of pressure on this time in my life; a physical pressure, like a heavy book closed on a flower to preserve it. This is an era.


Jul 10
  • me: I am scared I will never have as active of a social life as I had in Chicago just before I left
  • Josh: i imagine that is not true
  • social lives ebb and flow
  • and you just moved
  • and made a major move at that
  • give it time
  • you'll meet new people, etc., it just takes some time to establish it
  • me: THIS LETTUCE IS AWFUL
  • GOD IS MOCKING ME
  • Josh: likely

Jun 12
emilybooks:

An Emily Books club member reports that her mom’s cat has developed a fondness for our totebag.  This is pretty gratifying.
If your cat needs something to sit on, buy our totebag. 

Not to spoil the mystery for anybody, but I think I know who the Emily Books club member is. (It’s me.)

emilybooks:

An Emily Books club member reports that her mom’s cat has developed a fondness for our totebag.  This is pretty gratifying.

If your cat needs something to sit on, buy our totebag

Not to spoil the mystery for anybody, but I think I know who the Emily Books club member is. (It’s me.)


May 11

"It’s Not About You"

Today’s grads enter a cultural climate that preaches the self as the center of a life. But, of course, as they age, they’ll discover that the tasks of a life are at the center. Fulfillment is a byproduct of how people engage their tasks, and can’t be pursued directly. Most of us are egotistical and most are self-concerned most of the time, but it’s nonetheless true that life comes to a point only in those moments when the self dissolves into some task. The purpose in life is not to find yourself. It’s to lose yourself.”

David Brooks’ Op-Ed about college graduates has an extremely contentious title (because who ever said, verbatim, “It’s all about me”? And who could claim that young people are more self-centered when it’s aging Boomers who are demanding more actual tangible federal funds?).


That said, the essay is pretty benign and actually, um, insightful at times?


Apr 30
CRUST PUNK STYLE INSPO?

CRUST PUNK STYLE INSPO?


Apr 26
Oh, stop. That’s so childish.

Oh, stop. That’s so childish.


Apr 25


Today is the 10-year anniversary of Left Eye’s death. She is one of my favorite musicians ever. You can read my tribute to her on Blackbook.

Today is the 10-year anniversary of Left Eye’s death. She is one of my favorite musicians ever. You can read my tribute to her on Blackbook.


Apr 20

me:  I have to work but all I can think about is candy


Apr 13

Two gleaming excerpts of the Yelp reviews for Do-Rite Donuts

"I am not a hardcore doughnut fanatic; that said, I wouldn’t ever turn one down either.”

I used to think that a donut was just a donut.  After today I realize that I am wrong. Dead wrong.”


Apr 6

89 Minutes With Natasha Lyonne

"Lyonne feels deep kinship with outcasts. ‘I will take the subway and look at certain women and think God, that woman’s story will never be told. How come that lady doesn’t get a movie about her? I have this weird trip going where I think of some little girl in an abusive home and she’s got drunk parents or something and she’s flicking through the TV and can’t find anything she can relate to because it’s all assembly-line propaganda, it’s more tans and more teeth. I want to come into her trailer and say, ‘I know they’re making fun of you in school, Joanna. Just hang in there. The world can be a bigger place.’ Yeah, I named her Joanna.’”

— from NY Mag 10.24.10