My Love Letter to Two Thousand and Eleven,

Saturday, December 31, 2011

goodbye 2011

Dear Two Thousand and Eleven or Twenty Eleven,

It has truly been a memorable year full of excitement, adventures, new experiences, learning experiences, opportunities, meeting people, new discoveries and inspiration and finally, writing my script. I cannot believe a whole year has come and gone and we've reset the year and now it's January 2012. At the end of every year, I like to look back and review the past year in my own life and around the world. I picked up Time: The Year in Review to better remember all the events of 2011.

time: the year in review

Bad stuff first:
January 11Flooding and mudslides in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro kills 903.
January 14Arab Spring: The Tunisian government falls after a month of increasingly violent protests; President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali flees to Saudi Arabia after 23 years in power.
January 24 – 37 people are killed and more than 180 others wounded in a bombing at Domodedovo International Airport in Moscow, Russia.
February 22 - March 14 – Uncertainty over Libyan oil output causes crude oil prices to rise 20% over a two-week period following the Arab Spring,[12] causing the 2011 energy crisis.
March 11 – A 9.1-magnitude[13] earthquake and subsequent tsunami hit the east of Japan, killing 15,840 and leaving another 3,926 missing. Tsunami warnings are issued in 50 countries and territories. Emergencies are declared at four nuclear power plants affected by the quake.
March 15 – Arab Spring: Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain declares a three-month state of emergency as troops from the Gulf Co-operation Council are sent to quell the civil unrest.
March 17 – Arab Spring and the Libyan civil war: The United Nations Security Council votes 10-0 to create a no-fly zone over Libya in response to allegations of government aggression against civilians.
March 19 – Arab Spring and the Libyan civil war: In light of continuing attacks on Libyan rebels by forces in support of leader Muammar Gaddafi,[18] military intervention authorized under UNSCR 1973 begins as French fighter jets make reconnaissance flights over Libya.
April 11 – Former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo is arrested in his home in Abidjan by supporters of elected President Alassane Ouattara with support from French forces thereby ending the 2010–2011 Ivorian crisis and civil war.
May 22 - A powerful twister hits Joplin, Mo. Deadliest tornado to hit the U.S. since 1947.
June 4 – Chile's Puyehue volcano erupts, causing air traffic cancellations across South America, New Zealand, Australia and forcing over 3,000 people to evacuate.
June 5Arab Spring: Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh travels to Saudi Arabia for treatment of an injury sustained during an attack on the presidential palace. Protesters celebrate his transfer of power to his Vice-President Abd al-Rab Mansur al-Hadi.
June 12 – Arab Spring: Thousands of Syrians flee to Turkey as Syrian troops lay siege to Jisr ash-Shugur.
July 20 - Goran Hadžić is detained in Serbia, becoming the last of 161 people indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.[30]
The United Nations declares a famine in southern Somalia, the first in over thirty years.
July 22 – 76 people are killed in twin terrorist attacks in Norway after a bombing in the Regjeringskvartalet government center in Oslo and a shooting at a political youth camp on the island of Utøya.
July 31 - In Thailand over 12.8 million people are affected by severe flooding. The World Bank estimates damages at 1,440 billion baht (US$45 billion)[37]. Some areas are still six - feet underwater, and many factory areas remained closed, at the end of the year. 790[38] people are killed, with 58 of the country's 77 provinces affected.
September 10Zanzibar ferry sinking: The MV Spice Islander I, carrying at least 800 people, sinks off the coast of Zanzibar, killing 240 people.
September 12 – Approximately 100 Kenyans die after a petrol pipeline explodes in Nairobi.
September 19 – With 434 dead, the United Nations launches a $357 million appeal for victims of the 2011 Sindh floods in Pakistan.
October 4 - 2011 Mogadishu bombing: 100[51] people are killed in a car bombing in the Somali capital Mogadishu.[52]
The death toll from the flooding of Cambodia's Mekong River and attendant flash floods reaches 207.
October 23 – A magnitude 7.2 Mw earthquake jolted eastern Turkey near the city of Van, killing 604 people, and damaging about 2,200 buildings.
December 16Tropical Storm Washi causes 1,257 flash flood fatalities in the Philippines with 85 people are officially listed as missing.

Good stuff last:
April 29 – An estimated two billion people watch the wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey in London.
May 1 – U.S. President Barack Obama announces that Osama bin Laden, the founder and leader of the militant group Al-Qaeda, has been killed during an American military operation in Pakistan.
July 7 – The world's first artificial organ transplant is achieved, using an artificial windpipe coated with stem cells.
July 21Space Shuttle Atlantis lands successfully at Kennedy Space Center after completing STS-135, concluding NASA's space shuttle program.
September 5India and Bangladesh sign a pact to end their 40-year border demarcation dispute.
December 15 – The United States formally declares an end to the Iraq War.

R.I.P. Steve Jobs, Elizabeth Taylor, Betty Ford, Cy Twombly, Amy Winehouse, Sidney Lumet and other amazing people who made a huge contribution to the world.

It's really hard to enjoy life when you hear all the bad things and events that occurred over the year. It's so easy to be self involved, you don't even realize there's a whole world out there and people are suffering and fighting to survive. It's so easy to be complacent, self indulgent and so involved in our own self inflicted stress and depression - it haunts me. I try not to preoccupy myself too much in my own self involvement and indulgence, because I feel a tremendous amount of guilt. Whenever I have a moment to think, I try to be grateful for everything I have and then I think about what's the meaning of life?:

Life starts at birth (well actually it starts at conception and wink wink) and then our parents (hopefully both) nurse and nurture us and we learn and our brains develop. Then we go to kindergarten, then elementary school, then middle school/secondary school, then high school, then sometimes college and then we get a fancy or pretty useless degree, then some go off to do a Masters, maybe even a PhD and then we work. We work, or search for work, keep searching, keep working, earn some money, not enough money, earn some more money, do three part time jobs just to pay the rent, earn more money, pay taxes, not getting paid enough, pay more taxes, wait for money to come back, live, earn money, work, live, maybe meet someone, that person breaks your heart, cry for months, move on, meet someone else, break their heart, cry some more, live, live, work, work, eventually get married to the wrong person but you don't know at that moment, cry some more, work, earn money, pay taxes, earn just enough for retirement, get retired, wait for death. Death.

I'm really trying to understand the meaning of life. 42. That was easy. No, in all seriousness, I constantly think about the meaning of life, especially after I read about the disasters and civil unrest and the ongoing conflicts and wars. There is so much evil in the world and it numbs me. I don't know how to enjoy life without feeling that guilt. But when I read a book or watch a movie or watch television, I feel that momentary bliss and then I forget and just let go. I want to live life to the fullest and I really want to give back. Hopefully, I will build a life for myself and be able to give back and help others in some little way, because it will help me sleep better at night.

Word of the Year: Tergiversate

A panel of editors, lexicographers and others at Dictionary.com have chosen the Word of the Year for 2011. The word is... Tergiversate. Pronounced "ter-JIV-er-sate", it means “to change repeatedly one's attitude or opinions with respect to a cause, subject, etc.; equivocate.
So we could say that, in 2011, the stock market tergiversated; or that the public tergiversated about Occupy Wall Street.
"We're taking a stand on this choice," Jay Schwartz, Dictionary.com's Head of Content told The Huffington Post. "We think that it's immensely rewarding to find existing words that capture a precise experience, and this year, tumult has been the norm rather than the exception. There are contested public spaces around the world, where people are demonstrating in one direction or another. Opinions and circumstances have been oscillating so much.
"This word encompasses an sense of 'flip flopping' but it also implies a number of other complicating forces. Unlike 'flip flop', 'tergiversate' suggests a lack of intentionality - it's a change in state more out of necessity, as new events happen at great speed, whether in the economy, politics or attitudes."
The word's origins come from the Latin for "to turn one's back". Though not in common usage, it was utilized by The Times of London in August to describe the changing attitudes of stock markets.
According to Schwartz, the team considered other words, including "occupy", "austerity", "jobs" (both the noun and the person), "zugzwang" and "insidious".
However, though they may have tergiversated during their discussions, there will be no more tergiversation on the matter. It's Dictionary.com's Word of The Year 2011.

time person of the year the protester

Person of the Year: "The Protester"

No one could have known that when a Tunisian fruit vendor set himself on fire in a public square, it would incite protests that would topple dictators and start a global wave of dissent. In 2011, protesters didn’t just voice their complaints; they changed the world.

Style Icons and Actresses of the Year: Elle Fanning (Super 8, Twixt, We Bought a Zoo), Kirsten Dunst (this was her year, winning the Best Actress Award at Cannes for Melancholia), Emily Browning (Sucker Punch and Sleeping Beauty), Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine, My Week with Marilyn), Carey Mulligan (Drive, Shame, The Great Gatsby), Alexa Chung (as usual) and Rooney Mara (The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo) and Zooey Deschanel (New Girl).

I hope everyone had a lovely 2011 and now get ready for 2012 and the apocalypse. I feel like with the apocalypse looming, it ups the ante for me. I want to really live outside my comfort zone and be more daring and fearless. I don't have too much holding me back, which is a blessing to me. I feel like I'm so much stronger emotionally and I'm ready to take on 2012. I'm ready to fight for my future. I'm ready to really live.

It's official, I just moved into a new place in Williamsburg. Woo! New year, new place! New hopes and dreams.

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1... HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2012!

Goodbye 2011 and hello 2012!

Much Love,

Tergiversate: Music Mix of 2011

Thursday, December 29, 2011

tergiversate 2011

According to dictionary.com and this Huffington Post article, the word of 2011 is Tergiversate, so I have decided to name my very first and last music mix of 2011 Tergiversate. What does this word even mean? Pronounced "ter-JIV-er-sate", it means “to change repeatedly one's attitude or opinions with respect to a cause, subject, etc.; equivocate.” Additionally, TIME Magazine named The Protester the Person of the Year: No one could have known that when a Tunisian fruit vendor set himself on fire in a public square, it would incite protests that would topple dictators and start a global wave of dissent. In 2011, protesters didn’t just voice their complaints; they changed the world.
Read more here.

But I digress. Months ago, I had intended to compile songs for a music mix for every month, but as usual, things happened and I never made a single music mix. I love the idea of making music mixes, there is something so romantic and nostalgic about that. It reminds me of old movies, Avenue Q and The Perks of Being a Wallflower (currently reading, thanks to Marissa). Music always springs a sense of nostalgia. A song can spark up a memory of a certain period of your life. I love that feeling of nostalgia, it makes me slightly sad, but happily reminiscent of that time, which has been forever immortalized by a certain song or singer or band. This year has been a great musical discovery for me and I have to greatly credit and thank Scott Vener, the music supervisor of How To Make It In America (lucky him, what a fun job!).

Most of my new music discoveries are from the show and from there, I discovered new bands and songs. To this day, I still haven't jumped onto the Pandora bandwagon and maybe 2012 will be the year. Also, I must credit my new favorite band Jump Into The Gospel for being so amazing - which has led to my new "groupie" phase of music stalking. The last time I truly music stalked was with my favorite favorite band We Are The Physics back in London in 2007. Since then, I never really fell so deeply in love with a band and their music till September 2011. Thanks to Twitter and other methods which led to my discovery of Jump Into The Gospel. Also, I am totally in love with RAC remixes. Amaze.

# 1. Jump Into The Gospel - Humvee Mansion
# 2. Make the Girl Dance - Kill Me
# 3. Holy Ghost! - Hold My Breath
# 4. M83 - Midnight City
# 5. Flight Facilities ft. Giselle - Crave You
# 6. Bag Raiders - Shooting Stars
# 7. Avan Lava - It's Never Over
# 8. Seapony - Dreaming
# 9. The Naked and Famous - Young Blood
# 10. Capital Cities - Safe and Sound
# 11. Foster the People - Call It What You Want
# 12. The Knife - Heartbeats
# 13. Miike Snow - Cult Logic
# 14. Lagy Gaga - Bad Kids
# 15. Thieves Like Us - Shyness
# 16. Bon Iver - Skinny Love
# 17. Local Natives - Airplanes
# 18. Beirut - Postcards from Italy
# 19. JayMay - Sea Green, See Blue
# 20. Florence + The Machine - Between Two Lungs

Bonus Tracks:

Sex Bob-Omb - We Are Sex Bob-Omb
Grizzly Bear - Two Weeks
Oren Lavie - Her Morning Elegance
La Roux - Bulletproof and Colourless Colour

We Are The Physics - Bulimia Sisters

Hope you enjoy this mix. This mix of songs means so much to me and they may be a real mixture of songs, but I guess that's the point of a music mix. Those songs signify my 2011 and it wouldn't have been the same without these incredible songs. Goodbye 2011, thanks for all the memories and music adventures!

Listen to it here.

All I Want for 2012 is...

Monday, December 26, 2011

christmas 2011 wish list

All I really want for 2012 is a few pretty things, but in all seriousness, I don't mind if I never own these things. I do really want the Penfield Kasson Parka to keep me warm and it's work (i.e. set) appropriate. I also really want the Catcher in the Rye Out of Print iPhone case, because my awesome black matte iPhone case is completely busted after dropping it many times at work. Maybe I want the green Cambridge Satchel Classic satchel too.

But what I truly want for 2012 is to make my short film, which I cannot stress enough and to earn some money, so I can become slightly more financially independent. I also really want to work on this feature film (TBA if I get on it), but I'm waiting to hear back and I'm becoming more anxious by the day. After my short film and all, I hope this will lead to my staying in the U.S. All I can do is hope and be optimistic, because at this point, my future is up in the air and it scares me immensely. I really hope that 2012 will be a successful year, because I need to make it happen for myself. Things aren't just going to fall into my lap, I have to go out there and make it happen.

2012 will be my year. I turn 24 next year, which is my golden birthday and I hope this means I'll have a great year ahead of me and I hope everyone has a beautiful and exciting year too. We just have to keep fighting and hustling for our careers, our dreams, our future, our lives. Enjoy the last few days of 2011 everyone! Take care!

Happy Holidays from New York City!

Sunday, December 25, 2011


turban and photography by: inez galvez

Hello World!

This is me wishing everyone a very happy holiday season from the greatest city in the world: New York City. Well, actually, at this very moment in time, I'm sitting in the only Starbucks in Northern Brooklyn, i.e. Greenpoint. What the hell am I doing in a Starbucks, you may ask. Well, I had every intention of going to El Beit on Bedford, but by the time I got there, they would be closing thirty minutes later, so I decided to come to Starbucks instead.

Two hours have passed and I just started to write this post. In the last two hours, I spoke on the phone to my good guy friend Adam, my Dad and then Adam again. I heard some pretty upsetting news about my grandmother and a family friend. My grandma suffered a serious fall yesterday in Hong Kong and she was rushed in the hospital. It saddens me because if I was there, I think I could have prevented the whole thing. But I'll never know. I just felt so helpless when my dad was telling me over the phone. I hope she recovers soon. There were other disheartening news, but I won't go into further detail. I really don't like to think that 2011 has to end on such a bad note. I really hate to think that any year should begin or end on a bad note, because it's a transitional period and everyone deserves a smooth transition.

2011 was an incredible year for me (with all the ups and severe downs) and I hope it was an incredible year for everyone else too. I always like to reflect back on the past year and see what I've managed to achieve in my life. I also like to reflect back on 2011 in world news and events. I shall do that in the next few days. But for now, I just want to express my sincerest thanks to humanity and life. I've been writing in my memoir and I had written that life is a random opportunity and we should be so grateful for this chance to live it. Life is fleeting and life is fragile and soon we will be gone. So we should seize every opportunity or else there is no meaning whatsoever.

I love life. I love the simplicities and complexities of life. I love that life is such a fascinating and mysterious experience and chance. I want to live life to the fullest. My goal for 2012 is to produce and direct my very first short film. I'm going to quote myself in my movie. I hope my dialogue will inspire at least one person. I want my film to be an open dialogue regarding our social economics and human interaction, I want it to be substantial and thought provoking, but not pretentious by any means. I can see how it may and definitely will alienate some people and/or not interest some at all. But I'm fine with that. This film is for myself and for people who understand what my intentions are and it's my love letter to life.

Thank you world for this amazing opportunity. I am grateful every day that I get to experience another day. This very thought does scare the bejesus out of me, but I am eternally thankful. Thank you to life, my family, my friends, readers out there, for being a constant inspiration, for the encouragement and unconditional love and support. To know that I'm not alone is a beautiful motivation for me to keep going, to keep living, to keep fighting, to keep hustling, never ending. Enjoy the rest of 2011. Please take care, be safe, stay healthy, be happy. Happy Holidays, everyone.

Much Love Always,


Saturday, December 17, 2011


After my chaotic, hectic and completely stressful experience with 2nd AD-ing a feature, I was completely drained physically, mentally and emotionally. It was a fucking amazing experience overall, but there were times when I felt like it's the end of the world, but the reality is that there is real shit going on in the world and sometimes making a film is not really that important. Filmmaking is my chosen path in life and I know I will be making my own films, but I have to remind myself that there are more important news in the world and sometimes I have to stop for a second to remember that.

Anyways, by the end of the shoot, I was so burnt out spiritually and emotionally - I was sleep deprived, not eating well, my health was the last thing on my mind. After the film wrapped, I made the decision to just go for it and chop off a year's worth of hair (growing). The first photo indicates how much my hair has grown since January till now. But after 6 p.m. today - Gone. GONE. It feels like all this "weight" has been lifted off my shoulders and I can finally breathe again. Another bizarre reasoning behind this spontaneous decision was that I do everything for myself. I dress the way I do for myself. I cut my hair for myself. I'm all about me now and I don't do anything for men or getting attention from men. 99% of men prefer women with long hair. In that case, chop off my hair, thank you! It's not like short hair on women is unconventional nowadays, but I've always loved short hair and admired my favorite pixie haired ladies: Jean Seberg, Mia Farrow, Twiggy, Michelle Williams, Audrey Tautou, Carey Mulligan, Emily Browning, Agyness Deyn, etc. I've had short hair (again) since 2008, so getting a drastic hair cut isn't a big deal to me. I just want to feel confident and liberated and spontaneous and this is what a simple hair cut can do for a woman. Goodbye hair, see you next time!

The Beginning of the Making of

Friday, December 16, 2011


someday. by avalonne hall is taking a new direction. When I first started my the girl from hk, ldn & sf blog, it was solely for the purpose of documenting my style. After I made the decision to abandon it, I started this blog and my blog became more writing oriented, which I absolutely love. I miss documenting my outfits, because I miss my photo sessions with Caro, but I just love writing and expressing my thoughts, opinions, hopes and dreams.

At the beginning of the year, my blog was going strong. I blogged religiously and frequently, it felt good to have a routine and write regularly. But I got "busier" towards the end of the semester, i.e. I was kind of busy, but mostly just lazy and felt slightly uninspired and unmotivated. Once I graduated, I was still in a demotivated mindset. Even when I moved to New York in June, I still didn't pick it back up and it felt so awful, but I just didn't feel the urge to document anything.

I started again at the beginning of November, because I told myself enough is enough! Granted, I started to get busy from mid July to end of October, so that's why I started blogging again in November, but only for three days. How pathetic is that? So my last week from December 6th to December 15th, I had the MOST STRESSFUL nine days of my life. No exaggeration. Now is the time for me to just let go and release that stress into my writing. I am completely physically, mentally and emotionally stressed out, burnt out and exhausted. I worked on this ultra low budget feature film as the second assistant director. It was one hell of a learning experience. I won't go into too much detail, but I'm glad that I was thrown into this situation and position (I volunteered) and I gained so much experience and I've grown up so much over these past days.

Now I am absolutely confident that I have the mentality, emotional stability and strength, competence, passion and motivation to MAKE MY VERY FIRST SHORT FILM. When I say make I mean write, direct and produce. I already have a first draft and I haven't touched it in three weeks, since I've been so busy, but after tomorrow, I want to do rewrites and work on it. I will lock down a pretty decent draft by the end of the year. My goal from that point is to campaign and raise money for this project. I have confidence in myself that I can sell my idea and raise awareness and peak people's interest. Then when I am raising money, I will be finding crew and I'll try to lock down an actor for the male lead. It's NOW OR NEVER at this point. On December 10th, I "celebrated" my sixth month in New York. I've been here for half a year now! It's shocking how fast time has gone by and I don't know if I've really achieve much since June 2011. What I have achieved:

1. Assistant to an independent producer (July 2011)
2. Art intern on Revenge for Jolly (August 2011)
3. Set intern on Sinister (September - October 2011)
4. Additional Set Production Assistant on The Dark Knight Rises (November 2011)
5. Office PA Intern, then Second Assistant Director on Me, You and Five Bucks (December 2011)

I don't know if that's a lot or not? But I know I have to bust my ass in order to make my film and hopefully work on this feature in February till April. Which means I'll be shooting my short in April, if all goes well. And I need to stop working on movies for free. Note to self: I really need to stop interning. I am so exhausted, but I love it. As tired I am, I have loved every minute of it, because I know I'm gaining the skill sets to be a reliable, efficient and business-minded filmmaker. I always thought I was 100% right brained, but after this second assistant director position experience, I've noticed that I'm pretty left brained too. Since the second assistant director job is completely administrative and not creative. It's good to know that I'm an artist who considers logistics when it comes to making a movie.

I want my blog to be a place where I document my journey of making my short film and making it a reality. I can talk and write about it, but the reality is that it's now or never and I better make it happen. I can't just sit on my ass and be all talk. I have to keep reminding myself that this has to happen, because my future is completely up in the air. I have no idea what's going to happen to me in June 2012 when my OPT expires. I am deathly afraid of not knowing, but all I can do is make a movie that I'm proud of. I want to build working relationships and work with hardworking, dedicated, talented people who love their craft. The reality is that no matter how big a movie is, there is corruption and/or lack of morale and low work ethic, but I want to create a working environment where people have fun and get shit done basically. It's okay to have fun, but work hard and fast. There has to be a balance or else it's not worth it.

How will my short film stand out? Well every film needs a niche right? What's my niche? Honesty. Let's skip all the bullshit and let's be real for once. Fuck Hollywood endings. The boy doesn't get the girl. They don't fall in love. Life goes on. What's our purpose here? What happens in the end?

I am ready to kick start my career. Who's with me?