Friday, December 31, 2010

The Many Faces (and pets) of Tora

Celebrating a new year is about celebrating change and growth and progression.. (at least it is for me). So I was reflecting on the years gone by and how much I've changed inwardly. Then I remembered that I've been changing on the outside as well. Here are the pics to prove it:

Summer 2008

Fall 2008

Winter 2008

Spring 2009

Spring 2009

Spring/Summer 2009

Summer 2009

Summer/Fall 2009

Fall 2009

Winter 2009

Winter '09/Spring '10
Spring 2010

Summer 2010

Summer/Fall 2010

Fall 2010

Winter 2010 - Tonight

New Year's Resolutions

Its that time again!
My resolutions for the year 2011 is divided up into three categories. Body, Mind, & Spirit. Because if you think about it, if you're going to resolve to make major changes in your life, then you might as well make sure you're not neglecting an area of your life. Or at least thats what I thought :)

1. Body:
Quit Smoking.
Cigarettes are just so bad for me. I know this, everyone knows this. I don't need them in my life and they're just an unnecessary expense that my health pays for.
Eat More Mindfully.
No more junk food binges or late night munchie runs. I'm done with McMystery meat and sugar and processed crap and chemicals tossing my body into a confusion. I want to start eating foods closer to their raw form, possibly cutting out all processed foods altogether. Cupcakes and my other baked goods are always excluded from diets though of course. :P
Treat myself more often.
I hardly ever go out and do something nice for myself. Shopping, manicures, massages, haircuts, etc. I'd like to devote a small percentage of my income to pampering myself every now and then when I feel like I've earned it.

2. Mind:
Read More.
I think I like the idea of devoting each month of year 2011 to a different book I've been interested in but "never had the time" to actually read.
Go back to school.
SWIHA in Tempe sounds good. I'd love to go for some fun, educational classes. Or even a community college for some basic non-electives. Something like that. Not really the MOST important thing to me.
Blog More.
I miss my blog.. I miss sharing my adventures and thoughts in this public scrapbook called Blogger.

3. Spirit:
Move out.
by the time I turn 21 in October. This is realistic.. so long as I budget correctly, SAVE, and I manage to find as many roommates as I need, when I need them. Having my own place has been my dream since I was 16. Its a lot of expenses, I know.. But my my wings have been spread too far for this nest for a while now. Hopefully in 2011 I can get it right finally. This is probably the most important resolution to me. So I might have to get another job to make it happen.
Create my sanctuary and spend time in it.
I need a space or area in my home where I can relax, drink tea, burn incense, play spiritual music and simply read or meditate.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Black Keys

I love love love love this album.
Here's some lines:

I've been tried
And I've been tested
I was born tired
And I never got rested
Harder than Marble stone
I'm better off,
Better off left alone

Cause I'm not the one
No I'm not the one
You wanted it all
But I'll give you,
give you none
I'm not the one

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I Am a Libra

I found this on and its very very accurate. I wish everyone who knew me would read it because they would understand me so much better than any amount of time spent or explaining myself could do.

You are a Libra

Your ruling planet is Venus, the mythic goddess of love and beauty. Because of this, lots of people think Libra should be the easiest sign to understand. All you need is love, right? Wrong. Libra is an air sign. And air is concerned with ideals and principles above all else. Ah, love. Of course you think a lot about love. But the operative word here is think.

Your idea of love isn't really an intimate, steamy tête-à- tête or a chaotic explosion of uncontrolled passions. More likely it will involve a quiet meeting in a pleasant environment, where you can expound on one of your many theories on the perfect relationship, your concepts about how people ought to behave toward each other, and your clear, faultless vision of a world where everything is balanced, ordered, symmetrical and harmonious.

All that discussion about love can drive more emotive types mad. Although you can be as sexually inspired as any other sign, in the end the sharing of ideas is as important to you as the sharing of bodies. If there's no communication, you can get bored pretty quickly. Your sign has less to do with ordinary sweaty human coupling than any other, and for you love must always be stylish, never coarse.

Libra is the great perfectionist of the zodiac. You use the words "fair" and "equal" a lot. You believe passionately in fairness, which can cause you unhappiness, because life and people aren't always fair. You also believe passionately in equality, and here, too, you may encounter unhappiness, because finding a relationship where each partner gives and takes exactly the same amount and loves the other equally is like finding a unicorn.

No doubt you believe in unicorns too, and you're prepared to go on searching for that perfect companion, that perfect career, that perfect environment where no human mess intrudes. You're forever seeking the Good, the True and the Beautiful. And in your eternal efforts to change the world and make it a place where the Good, the True and the Beautiful can make their abode, you're likely to genuinely succeed in making life just that bit better and more beautiful.

Librans have the gift of creating style, grace and harmony wherever they go. You pursue your goals with diplomacy, tact and statesmanship, since you know much more gets accomplished when you've managed to convince people that your idea is their idea by a liberal use of the royal Libran "We". Of course, you usually do exactly what you want. But you have the knack of getting everyone around you to co- operate.

You have a positive hatred of emotional storms, so you probably have trouble expressing your own emotions honestly. Anger, hatred, jealousy, neediness, intense desire - frightening stuff, all of it, and expressing it can get you into trouble (meaning that other people might get hurt or angry with you).

Librans, those great lovers of Truth, are often emotionally dishonest with themselves and with others, although it's never intentional and never out of a desire to deceive. But when your anger blows (and it always does, when you've saved it up for too long), it can really blow. You can be the original "meek as a lamb or mad as a hornet" personality. Yet neither of these is really a true reflection of your essentially harmonious nature.

No matter how many times you get out of balance, the path between the extremes will always beckon with its gentle light, and the search for perfect equilibrium will always ensure that your life never stagnates. And maybe you recognise a secret that lots of other people don't see: that it's genuinely possible for human beings to be more than they are: more Good, more True and more Beautiful.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

10 Things I Should Know By Now

1. Being a survivor is way cooler than being a victim.

2. Nobody can hurt me unless I let them.

3. Don't waste time/energy on somebody that wouldn't do the same for you.

4. Never drink Jack Daniels.

5. Confidence is my most attractive feature.

6. When you burn bridges, you risk setting yourself on fire as well.

7. Trust and friendship walk side by side, not hand in hand.

8. Never confuse lust with love.

9. If he truly likes you, he'll show it, and you'll know it. If not, then dump it.

10. Express what you feel, not necessarily the intensity in which you feel it.

- Tora Jane

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Time to Publish

Photo by Julie Michelle Photography

I wrote this little sketch back over the summer.. But I just discovered it this morning and i think it brings the kind of visual confirmation I've been looking for of a time in my life that has passed.

Love never fails to disappoint.

Love is an illusion, I think I see it when its not really there..

Love is a myth, I've only heard stories of its power and beauty..

Love makes me sick, choking on your bathroom floor..

Love makes me weak, trembling and limp in your arms..

Love makes me strong, picking myself up again..

Love makes me wise, walking out your door forever.

Monday, August 9, 2010

So Much Beauty in Dirt

I love the beauty in the dirty, the broken down, the ugly. I'm drawn to it like a moth to the light. Finding it sets me free inside. A sort of inner sigh of relief. Graffiti on a forgotten underpass, a tattered old hardback book, a girl's running mascara. . . These things never fail to catch my eye. I find them so beautifully flawed.
I wonder if other people see them the way I do.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

To Feel

The need is imagined, a whisper through my mind.

The want is constant.

Teeth tap and clench.

Eyes spin and widen to light and movement.

I want it in my heart. To make it beat. To make it feel.

To feel... what is real feeling?

Lady I swear by all flowers, this is real feeling.

I touch and caress and smell.

Fingers tingling as they pass over warm smooth skin.

I feel and I feel alive.

Heart races but the world moves in slow motion.

So happy I could die, my heart exploding.

My mind is a kaleidoscope of poetry and truth.

Mouth opens and words swim out into the dark.

Eyes and brain try to keep up.

Feet moving aimlessly.

Restless and grinning through my teeth.

Purring and panting to the music of my limbs.

I love myself again.

Monday, May 17, 2010

But You're So Good...

Life changes so quickly. Trace and I are no more.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


This past year seems to have passed me by so quickly. I feel like I've become a completely different person but still carried on the best parts of me into the future, like the first "marathon" runner preserving that vital piece of information because of its importance.. no matter the cost.
Here is just a simple sketch of some of the changes, realizations, highlights, and differences that just one year has brought:

I am a talented human being and can accomplish anything I truly choose to.
I am a woman.
I have gay and lesbian friends.
I am fully capable of thinking for myself (even though I forget to sometimes).
I am beautiful and sexy and glamourous and precious,
--no matter my cup size or what the scale says.
My body is mine and only I can command it.
I still have no desire to try hardcore drugs.
My wrists are scar free and I've committed to keeping them that way.
My clothing, hair, make-up, and jewelry do not define me.
My friends do not define where I do or don't belong.
I am not too polite to call somebody out on their shit.
And I am not too outspoken to be a lady.
The mirror is not an enemy, it is a friend (not a BEST friend, but a friend).
I am confident in my intelligence.
I am a darn good photographer for having taken no formal photography education.
I am not my mother, I am not my father, I am not my sisters or my friends.
--I am happy with this and content being me.
So far, I do not fit into a box.
--I'm OK with this. It's liberating.
I have opinions that deserve respect.
I am person that possesses emotions and feelings. This does not make me weak.
I have the right to choose my own unique future.
I am emotionally and mentally stable enough to function without help.
I enjoy hanging out with my friends Jack and Mary Jane.
--This does not make me a bad or defective person in any way.
I can choose to be whoever I want to be.
I am (more) confident in myself.
I'm starting to care less and less about "social norms".

I'm starting to find out who I really am and what all this will eventually add up to. :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

"Spring Cleaning"

Spring Cleaning by DJFlavio

This song describes my whole weekend. Thanks Charlie :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I'll Be Anything

Take me far and wide,
Just please never lie to me..
I'll be different, I'll be sane,
I'll be anything you want me to be
As long as you can love what's underneath.
Embrace my skeletons and demons,
See the chains and set me free,
The key is in my pocket.
You could be the place I hide,
You could fill that space inside,
You could be my comfort,
You could be my Poe,

I can make it by myself, I know.
But life would be brilliant by your side....

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Book Lust

Idea Log Journal

Sometimes so many wonderful ideas spout from your brain that it becomes a turbulent ocean of innovation. Why not pour your smartest, most creative thoughts into this journal? The flexible and lightweight paperback notebook is full of colorful, blank pages waiting for your biggest aspirations. And because we all think in different ways, you can express your ideas more artistically in the "Sketch Log" section of the book. With perforated tabs in each page's top right corner, you can tear off a tab when the page is full, or bend it if you want to save your place. It's your mind, your individuality, your log book! Get ready to inspire!

F U, Penguin

Are you sick to death of being inundated with cute critters almost hourly? Have you created a special file in your inbox for all your coworkers' unsolicited cute finds? Does the idea of a "puppycam" make you kinda queasy? Then this is the book for you! Inspired by the blog of the same name, Matthew Gasteier's F U, Penguin is a hilarious, extremely foul-mouthed anecdote to sneezing baby pandas and cats with poor grammar. Not for the cute enthusiast, or the faint of heart! Gasteier gives a shout out to every wrinkly, wet-nosed fiend that has made its place in our lives, and calls it out for what it is: totally pathetic.

All Cakes Considered

Adjust your dials. It's time to tune in to the most delicious cookbook on the planet. In 3, 2, 1! Hello, and welcome. Today's episode features a cookbook that you just can't do without. Whether you're a bundt cake babe or an Passion Cake cutie, you'll feed on this read with delight! Full of recipes from Peppermint Pattie Cake to Procrastinatin' Drunken Monkey Banana Bread and dappled with amusing anecdotes straight from the NPR office, this book is so great that you'll be floating 'on air' whenever you see it!'

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls

Learn how Elizabeth Bennet harnessed her zombie-slaying skills in the prequel to the New York Times best seller! Set four years prior to the ghastly events of "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies," this novel introduces us to the seemingly ordinary Bennet family as they reside peacefully in the English countryside. Little do they know what lurks beyond, until a funeral at a local church goes terribly wrong. Steeped in action, romance, hilarity, and blood-thirsty zombies, "Dawn of the Dreadfuls" is filled with suspenseful narration and eerie illustrations depicting the battle between the living and the dead. Pick it up for a zombie-obsessed friend or any book lover for a taste of cult meets classic!

Readymade: How to Make (Almost) Everything

As it says on the front, "You need this book." And if not you, then someone in your life! A primer on all things DIY, this sturdy book offers insightful tips and fun projects for all skill levels. Reusing and recycling is just the beginning.

Modcloth Lust Therapy

Klaus and Yves Shakers

These perfectly poised pets will certainly inject a bit of adorableness into my otherwise drab kitchen decor. The round holes atop their hands make for easy dispersal of my favorite spices, while the clear rubber stopper at their base suggests convenient re-filling possibilities. These sleek, shiny black and white glazed ceramic kitties are so sophisticated and chic, I may just have to buy two sets - one for myself, and one for a fellow cat adoring pal! -Annie, Fashion Writer

Pour Little Owl Pitcher

Don't feel sorry for this little guy! And don't miss a drop anytime you pour something delicious out of the white V-shaped sp-owl-t of this forest friendly pitcher! Add a pretty touch to every table with this statuesque server perfect for juices, milk, or even holding a fresh bouquet from the market, this pitcher is as versatile as he is adorab-owl.

Fresh as a Daisy Jewelry Stand

Have you been hoping to rejuvenate your bedroom decor? As an enthusiast of fine jewelry and impeccable organization, it's absolutely necessary that you consider adding this darling jewelry stand to your collection ASAP. From the solid black base stems three sleek daisy rods of varying heights. The delicate mesh petals of each daisy bloom provide a secure place to store your dangling or stud earrings, necklaces, and rings! Bracelets, bangles, watches, and other keepsakes can be stored in the stand's base drawer, which is lined with soft black velvet to carefully preserve your most loved trinkets. Adorn your dresser or mantle with this adorable stand for a youthful spin on jewelry storage!

Stir Mix-a-Lot Utensil Set

(Oh my gosh, Becky, look at this pot. It's, like, so full. It looks like one of those chef girls' best friends.) I like blue spoons, and I cannot lie! You other cookers can't deny that when that griddle heats up in your itty bitty kitchen and that round pan is a-sizzlin', you have fun! You serve up lunch 'cause you notice a hungry bunch. In the pink ladel soups a-swirlin' and the green one's for pasta twirlin'. Yellow spatula, I wanna fry with you and flip your tofu. My homefries tried to warn me, but that food you got make me so hungry. Red salad servers, drop lettuce in my container. Well, use them, use them, 'cause you ain't that average sous chef. -Richard, Fashion Writer

Roy G. B-aker Food Prep Set

You'll cook up a storm that ends in a rainbow with this handy collection of kitchen wares! Their nesting creates the look of a multicolored geode when everything is stacked together while their clever organized structure is great for those whose cupboards may need straitening. Separating each piece from biggest to smallest, you'll find a mixing bowl with a rubber grip bottom in birthday cake icing blue, a colander in blueberry jam, a chili green rimmed strainer, a key lime pie liquid measuring cup, and a set of standard sized measuring cups in lemonade, orange juice, tropical punch, and strawberry milkshake. You can prepare whole meals with this single set that will fill your friends' tummies with good food and fill their hearts with good memories!

Field Greens Curtain

Give your room a healthy makeover with this panel curtain! Hang this shade to let its seemingly swaying, eucalyptus ferns relax you after a long day in your windowless office. The burnout construction lets in just enough light to brighten your room without blinding you. With this airy, earth-toned curtain by your bedside, you'll have a wholesome start to each day!

Sous La Pluie Shower Curtain

Whether you're getting ready for a rendez-vous on the Champs Elysées or just going through your morning routine, this decor item will have you showering in style. Printed with a romantic view of Paris, this black and white plastic shower curtain will add a snapshot of elegance and class to your home. Sure to fit in with any decorative taste, this 'rideau' will be everything you want in the world of chic decor.

Babushkas Bourrés Drinking Game

Stop nesting into the same old party routine and spice things up with this irreverent drinking game. Spin the top, and pour yourself a shot of choice in whichever little lady lands face up. Bring this out at your next party, and "Ural" gonna have a great time!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Down the Rabbit Hole...

Such a cool trippy music video.
I was watching it last night with a couple friends.
Perfect thing to watch when you're high.

The Balance of Nature

I don't know what it is, but I've been feeling very nature-inspired lately. I thought you guys might enjoy these photos. And I have a question for those of you who know me or read my blogs: If I were to change my name from Tora Jane 'McBlah' to something else.. (keeping the "Tora" part) what should it be? And do these names look/sound good at all?

Tora Kai Serenity (Kai is Hawaiian for ocean)

Tora Padma Rain (Padma means "lotus" in India)

Tora LeFaye Serenity (Le Faye is French for "of the fairies")

Tora Serenity LeFaye