there is no frigate like a book

Now I shall post some updates on what I’m reading.

pullmanCount Karlstein by Philip Pullman, for fun.  I started this in Oxford the day before I met Philip Pullman.  It’s so different from His Dark Materials.  It’s a combination of Lemony Snicket and Neil Gaiman.  I’m almost finished.  I like the quirky pictures of the characters too.

Interesting note.  I just found out that Henry Selick, who directed the film version of Coraline (as well as Nightmare Before Christmas, with Tim Burton), is also planning on making a film of Count Karlstein.  I’m not the only one who sees the connection then…

Beloved by Toni Morrison, for English class.  This is probably the most confusing and most complicated novel I have ever read.  What is impressive about it is that it is about slavery, but it doesn’t hit you over the head with the theme.   The emotions of the characters are expressed in a stream-of-consciousness that jumps around a lot.  Modernist literature to the extreme.

Persuasion, Jane Austen, for my Jane Austen independent.  I couldn’t find a large enough image of the edition I am reading, which is the Norton Critical Edition.  Oh well.  This is Jane Austen’s last novel.  It was published after her death and was never edited.  It has a different feel from the others; it is heading toward the Romantic style of literature.  But the classic Austen wit and charm is still present :) It makes me want to go to Lyme Regis and take a long walk on The Cobb:

That is all for now.  I’ve also added a page with answers to the title references of my posts :)

I’ll leave you with a style diary update for today also:

photoshirt, dress, Anthropologie; tights, Betsey Johnson; hairband, Dajuli Sparkles; shoes, Aerosoles; necklace, gift

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my first outfit post

I feel kind of narcissistic posting pictures of myself but there you go.  I need to find a better wall than the one outside my room with the outlet right in the middle of everything…I really can’t think of a better alternative though.

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black shirt, Urban Outfitters; white shirt, shoes, skirt, Forever 21; socks, Top Shop; hairbow, Dajuli Sparkles (Newbury Street)

I unintentionally find myself pairing pieces of clothing from the same store on the same day even though I shop from a variety of stores.

I particularly like my shoes.  That is why there are two extra pictures of my shoes.

I am about to place my Urban Outfitters order, by the way :)

harry potter makes me happy

I came across this article on Deathly Hallows filming in London.  I saw the ‘new picture’ headline on HPANA and thought ‘oh this must be a new one from Half-Blood Prince…’ but no.  Deathly Hallows.  Already?!  Yes, Already.  It’s scary.

It’s been a while since the last film.  There has been a book release since the last film release!  There have actually been two book releases (including Beedle the Bard) and that Waterstones story card thing.  So I kind of forget that there are still films to be released.  And now, all of a sudden, they’re filming Deathly Hallows.  The thought of the trio filming in London is so exciting to me.  London has this ambiance that is unique to anywhere else I have been.  It is so classy with its old gothicness (stuff you don’t really see in the States, do you?) and yet so spunky and alive.  I love small countries; it seems that London is the It-Town.  I mean, yes, the US has New York, but also LA and Boston and Chicago and DC…London is London and I love London.

I think my first real impression of London was through Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (by the way, just a thought, it would be really cool if an official American copy called ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ were released.  Just saying.  Scholastic is so lame for changing the title and I feel very little inside when i refer to it by its American title.  But I also feel a bit pretentious when I refer to it as ‘Philosopher’s’ so please just do me a favour.  Ha.  Unintentional, I promise.).  The bridge from the Dursleys’ to Muggle London to Diagon Alley was just so magical (well, duh, right?).  But the thought that there was magic hidden in that city made it special for me.

The first time I was in London was 20 July, 2007, the day before ‘Deathly Hallows’ came out.  I spent the morning being all bookish with my bookish friends from the fabulous Literature and the Fantastic class I was taking in Oxford.  When we had some free time, my friends and I did not shop at Covent Garden like the practically everyone else.  No, we ran around looking for Charing Cross Road because that’s where the Leaky Cauldron’s supposed to be.  We got kinda lost.  In retrospect, we probably should have just stayed at Covent Garden.  But it was actually fun.  We went to King’s Cross too.  Wow.

I had meant for this to be a brief post with a shared image, but I seem to have rambled on.  London does that too me.  So while I’m at it, I might as well list of a coupla random things about London:

  • I love the windy backstreets and the signs
  • I love minding the gap
  • and the show posters by the escalators down to the Tube
  • I love the voice that says ‘the Piccadily Line’
  • I love the word ‘Piccadily’
  • I love the free London Paper every day
  • I had ‘LDN’ by Lily Allen stuck in my head all the time
  • I wish I could be ridin through the city on my bike all day
  • I will do that one day, I promise you
  • I love Harrod’s and want to spend more time there.  I got a puppy from Harrods called Albert.  I should post a picture of him.
  • Prince Albert was married to Queen Victoria.
  • In a previous life I was Queen Victoria’s daughter, Alexandrina
  • In the life before that, I’m pretty sure I was a Shakespearean actor at the original Globe, but I don’t know who exactly
  • I love the Globe
  • and Shakespeare in general
  • I love the dodgy little chocolate stick things that come with ice cream at the ice cream trucks
  • I love using the word ‘dodgy’
  • (of course)
  • I love the Houses of Parliament and the clock tower
  • I want to go back to the Tower of London now that I’ve read Richard III
  • I love the Thames and the Millenium Bridge
  • It reminds me of Love Actually, which I also love, especially the scene with Liam Neeson and Sam on the bench when he says ‘worse than the total agony of being in love?!’ :)
  • I love Bella Italia and Pizza Express
  • I love the awesome Odeon cinema and think that all cinemas should be as classy.  And that we should call them ‘cinemas’ more and ‘movie theatres’ less.
  • I find it incredibly ironic that my favourite restaurant, Hard Rock Cafe, is technically British because the original is in London, but actually American because the food is American…
  • I love my Hard Rock London shirt; it is arguably my favourite shirt
  • Two different Hard Rock staffers complimented my Johnny Cupcakes t-shirt when I was there, so I felt especially cool
  • I love the palaces and the gardens
  • I love the game Monarchy.  It’s this card game with the Monarchs and it is awesome.  I’ll teach you if you ask me to.
  • I love Blackwells.  You have no idea.
  • I miss Blackwells.  A lot.
  • I love the various bridges.
  • I want to go to Fleet Street, but actually.  Even if I’ll be disappointed.
  • Top Shop.  I don’t need to say anything more (My bag says it all.  Again, I’ll post a photo.)
  • I love tea and scones.
  • I love the Lush and B at Covent Garden
  • And the Bens cookies (and milkshakes.  Good milkshakes.)
  • I love that Oxford is just a bus ride away.  But let’s not get into Oxford quite yet; I’ll be up all night.
  • I love the feeling of Harry Potter.  Oh!  Right!  Harry Potter!  That’s where this all started.  Wow okay.

Alright then, here’s the photo, which was going to be the entire post and now…isn’t.  Enjoy!

NON EXCLUSIVE - WORLD RIGHTS

i figured if i was going to make the world i better place i would do it with cookies

Why cookies?  This is the clip that inspired me to bake.  The actual baking did not start until I returned from Oxford Prep and missed my daily Ben’s.  At that point I was determined to make Ben’s-worthy cookies (I have yet to succeed and don’t think that this is in fact possible).  I would bake a new batch of cookies every Sunday morning.  I later changed my routine to Friday evenings to take a tin of cookies to the kids I tutor in Boston (I have now forced upon them the rule that they have to all complete their homework in order to get cookies).  I don’t have time to bake every Friday night, unfortunately, but I do make the occasional batch (triple chocolate is my favourite to make, with oatmeal as a close second) when I need a break and some freshly baked cookies (and dough).

Here is the clip.  It’s from ‘Stranger Than Fiction,’ which is one of my favourite films.

trying to motivate myself…

Urban Outfitters has free shipping until Monday.  I have an order ready to place, but won’t allow myself to do it until I am all caught up with homework and AP studying.  Two items from my cart have already gone out of stock (including Ian’s fedora.  I’m sorry, Annie.  And Ian.).  I will now stop blogging and start working on my Euro essay.

Other items that hopefully won’t go out of stock before I finally finish:

Record Store Day

I was very excited to be in Boston for Record Store Day this past Saturday.  Newbury Comics was certainly the place to be.  Lots of great sales.  Lots of free stuff (including another exclusive pint glasses to add to my quickly-growing collection.  They’re good quality too.  Seriously, I’ll never have to buy cups ever.).

Here is what I bought:

The Best of the Proclaimers

The Best of the Proclaimers (used CD).  My new obsession with ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’ was the reason I was looking forward to going to Newbury Comics in the first place (because the obsession started about a week ago, but I refuse to buy single songs on iTunes.  It’s just so impersonal.  I still love CDs and vinyls).  Extremely Scottish.  I love  it.

Vampire Weekend

Vampire Weekend (vinyl).  They’re good.  I’m glad I got it on vinyl too, because they have a a vinyl-appropriate sound, in an indie alt-rock kind of way.  And I like chandaliers.

Valet

False Face Society (vinyl).  Okay.  This is the real story of the day.  I bought this vinyl, having never heard of this group.  I bought it for three reasons: 1. It comes with a free mp3, which is always a plus.  2. The record company is called Mexican Summer.  I like Mexico.  I like summer.  3. The album art looks cool.

When I was looking for this picture online, I came across this description:

The record is capped off with a stunning cover of “Rainbow,” originally by Boris and Michio Kurihara, and given a treatment no one expected – hand drums and rain stick pounding against a serious groove, and superb fuzz-wah damage.

Let me highlight a bit of that for you:

no one expected

and

damage

Seriously.  Some of the weirdest noises I’ve ever heard.  Yes, noises.  It’s not music.  No vocals.  No recognizable conventional instruments, except maybe drums, maybe?  It’s so weird.  weird weird weird.

Other random notes: As I write this, I am listening to my recomended tracks on Last.fm and I have discovered that I like Cobra Starship.  I am also supposed to call my mom with a Bertucci’s take out order.  Completely at a loss to choose something, I printed out the pdf of the menu and am narrowing down my choices one by one.  I’m very thorough about my dinner, okay?

Day of Silence

I totally completely absolutely support gay rights.

However, I do not participate in the Day of Silence.

I used to.  But I didn’t last year, and I didn’t today.  Whenever I said hi to someone only for the gesture to be returned with a blank look and a silent wave of a white armband, I would feel guilty for not participating, so I feel as if I have to explain myself here.

I don’t entirely understand the concept of the Day of Silence.  I respect the difficulty that some people might have in fully expressing themselves because of their sexualities, but they still participate in class.  They still sing in Concert Choir.  Why should we stop doing those things for a day?  And does it really count as silence if you carry around a pad of paper in your pocket, writing down everything you would normally say?  Does it really count as silence if you mime what you want to say? Surely the Day of Silence replicates an experience more akin to people who are mute than to people who are gay (unless of course they are gay and mute.  But…anyway.).

I did get to experience this silence in the winter play when I played deaf mute paraplegic Pooty in ‘Reckless.’  This is a character who chooses to remain silent because she is afraid of who she is.  She is a very literal case of what the Day of Silence tries to convey.  When I played Pooty I made an effort of not speaking backstage as well.  It was a strange experience.  I would tune out to everything around me, and my existence became a very personal, very individual.  Being silent is being alone.

I suppose this lonesomeness is what the Day of Silence tries to expres.  Yet, doesn’t setting aside an entire ‘Day’  in which large groups of people participate defeat the purpose of indicating solitude?  It reminds me of ‘Spamalot:’

We must be lonely side by side; it’s a perfect way to hide.

I’m not saying that all gay people are ‘lonely’ or live in ‘solitude.’  I obviously cannot truly experience what they must experience no matter how many Days of Silence I observe – but in case this is the case, I will leave another quotation, wise words from Hagrid’s dad:

Never be ashamed.  There’s some who’ll hold it against you, but they’re not worth botherin’ with.

This advice applies not only to gays but to anyone who might be ashamed or afraid of themselves for any reason: half-giants, muggleborns, Slytherins…anyone (not that I know any Slytherins who are ashamed; quite the opposite).

The Day of Silence is effective in that I am now thinking about the importance of these issues.  Even if I didn’t participate in being silent, I still reflected on the cause and was aware of others observing it in their own ways.

If any of this is unclear, or if you have thoughts of your own on the Day of Silence, please comment.

This is my blog

For quite some time I’ve been meaning to start one of these Blog Things.  Twitter just wasn’t enough.  It was an excuse to update your Facebook status repeatedly without seeming like you spend your life on Facebook, because no, it’s Twitter, and that’s the point of Twitter.  (Not that I have anything against Twitter, per se, it’s just not for me).

Anyway, I know that if I start a blog, I will commit to it.  Another reason not to start one.  It is April.  APs are in May.  Finals are in June.  SATs are all over the place.  Oh yeah, and school on top of that.  Even with an exemption I am more busy than it is humanly possible to manage (hyperbole.  literary device.  exaggeration for effect.  ap virgil.  ap lit.  okay.).

But who cares?  Live life to the fullest.  Okay that’s not the point of this blog.  If ‘living life to the fullest’ is blogging, then something is wrong (unless you really really like blogging; whatever.  however, if all you do is blog, what do you blog about?  blogging?  who does that?) (I do, apparently).  But seriously, sometimes, in the midst of confusion and stress and chaos, it really helps to take a step back to observe and comment.  So that is my mission here with this blog – to observe, to comment, to vent, to rant, to share, to write, to communicate.  Enjoy.