HALLOWEEK: Some Halloweeny Tunes


HALLOWEEK: Halloweeny Photography of Stuff Around Me

My Halloweeny nails, displayed in Bear Claw position


themed cupcakes from The Cake Shop


feeling witchy with autumn leaves in the Fellows' Garden


I made a hairclip out of a White Stuff ad that I turned into a pumpkin. And those are *Halloweeny* pears. Because I said so.


from my bedroom window - the house across the street looked particularly spooky this morning.


as did the field during my run...


less spooky, but still autumny :)


Halloween cookies!

HALLOWEEK: Outdoor Adventure Nostalgia

Autumn is my favorite season. The leaves. The smell. The air. The rock climbing.


Oh. Yes. Because at Nobles, Autumn meant Outdoor Adventure. And Outdoor Adventure meant kayaking and climbing and camping and cookies.

Another big thing at Nobles is Halloween. Pretty much everyone dresses up. One year there was a group of about fifty of us, faculty included, as Harry Potter characters (I was Severus of course. I don’t know why I said “of course,” because the year before I was Minerva, and for several years in a row in middle school I was Hermione.). At the end of the Nobles Halloween day (it was always a Friday), we adventurers would head out to Quincy Quarries, some of us still in costume.

So even though Outdoor Adventure doesn’t really have much to do with Halloween (except some creepy midnight hikes), it will always be part of the Halloween season for me, and part of the reason why Autumn holds such fond memories for me.

HALLOWEEK: Halloween Nostalgia in Film, TV, and Books

I kicked off Halloweek with back-to-back Halloween episodes.

Pretty Little Liars: The First Secret


I’ve always been a fan of flashback episodes, and this one was pretty intriguing, as all things Alison DiLaurentis are. Sufficiently scary, and cool to see the girls’ former fashion choices.

Lizzie McGuire: The Night of the Day of the Dead


Strangely, I didn’t really watch Lizzie McGuire when I was, you know, Lizzie’s age, but have been watching it now that I’m at uni. Kat and I decided to skip ahead to the Halloween episode of season one, which does Halloween justice, trick and treat.

I’ve only just begun my Halloweek TV marathon, but I’m thinking of watching some Friends, Arthur, Modern Family, Big Bang Theory, and of course Even Stevens. Post any must-see Halloween specials in the comments :)

HALLOWEEK: Candy-Eating Confusion


I haven’t eaten candy in a long time. Removing candy from my diet wasn’t really a conscious decision; I just didn’t have immediate access to it and didn’t go out of my way to get it. As part of Halloweek, however, I decided to eat some candy to celebrate. On Sunday I had a toffee apple (yeah I’m going to count that). On Monday I had some Cadbury buttons. On Tuesday I had a Mars bar.

I thought that since I hadn’t had candy in such a long time my taste buds would thank me immensely. Instead, my teeth screamed at me and my taste buds were under-enthusiastic.  The toffee was so sweet that I was more excited about the apple. The buttons were a bit dry and flavorless. The caramel in the Mars bar was overwhelming.

I guess months of incorporating plain apples and pumpkin seeds into my snacking diet have made candy taste just as unappealing to me as soda does. Believe me, I never thought this would happen.

Especially because I eat my fair share of sugar, in the form of baked goods, ice cream, and hot chocolate. I still like cookies, perhaps a bit too much, but, though it baffles me, maybe it’s time to say goodbye to candy.

Delicious iced cookie I ate today from Nash’s Bakery :)

How to Combat a Cold Part 1: Necessary Items to Carry

When I start to show symptoms of a cold, my mind goes to checklist mode. A combination of relying on my health for singing and just really really not liking being sick has motivated me to find the best ways to combat illness.


When I have a cold, the following items live in my bag:

  • nasal spray – works wonders. can’t recommend enough.
  • tissues – I prefer to blow my nose at a sink, but sometimes tissues are necessary on the go.
  • water bottle – this is always in my bag anyway, but it is important to keep it filled when I have a cold.
  • Advil – or Paracetamol or Tylenol…I can’t tell the difference, to be honest. I take no more than two per day and it does make my head feel better. It also makes my jaw feel better when the muscles are used strangely for coughing and nose-blowing.
  • lotion – any hand or face lotion will do. My skin gets dry around my nose, which, among being painful, prevents me from smiling and laughing normally, which makes me sad.
  • hand sanitizer – keep the germs off your hands.
  • cough drops – for when my throat is unbearably dry.
  • fruit – preferably something juicy like grapes, also to cure dry throats.
  • layers – they say that the cold doesn’t give you a cold. But it does make you more vulnerable. And uncomfortable. So better to be prepared.

Have I left out anything you would consider essential for cold-combatting?


Encouragement for the Non-Mainstream

My mom shared with me this excerpt from a speech given by Meredith Jung-En Woo, Dean of UVA’s Arts & Sciences, and now I shall share it with you! I love her candid yet composed style, perfect for conveying the ideas of sharing individualism and cultures:

When I was your age, I felt like I had just stepped off a spaceship, flying from my home planet of Seoul, Korea to a planet called Brunswick, Maine, with its Bowdoin College. I did not understand the country I landed in, let alone understand the zeitgeist, how it came to be, where it was going. I was an alien in a country where for people my age, popularity seemed more important than anything. When I wasn’t invited to join one of the ten fraternity houses on campus then, I spent most of my time in college shooting pool in the student union—or with the friends I found at the Afro-Am Center, listening to Marvin Gaye and Jimi Hendrix. I didn’t really know who they were; I just knew they were cool.
Throughout my studies at Bowdoin and later at Columbia, I never thought of myself as part of the “mainstream.” But it never bothered me that I was on the outside looking in. By training and temperament I am a scholar—and by definition, a scholar is not a participant in the events as they occur—they are observers. There is a little-noticed advantage in not being in the mainstream—standing there, your nose pressed against the window, on the outside looking in. From that vantage point you can observe many things that active participants and mainstreamers do not see.
Eric Hobsbawm, in his autobiography, A Twentieth Century Life, spoke of the contributions that the Jewish people have made to the modern world, a contribution so disproportionate to their numbers. Part of the genius that they brought to Europe and later to the United States was that they were outsiders—essential outsiders—seeing things that insiders often cannot. Over the course of American history, outsiders have brought so much talent to this country.

I Love Long Journeys

When I’m at home in America, cars are annoying required for pretty much any outing from my house, from grocery store shopping to seeing fabulous theatre productions. These ten to forty minute car journeys eat up time in my day and aren’t too enjoyable.

But when I live in Oxford, I can get nearly everywhere by foot or bike, so when I do take a long train or bus or car ride, it is long. These journeys, the ones over an hour and a half, are thrilling. For one, I feel doubly productive if I do work on them, since it feels like working when it’s not required. It feels as if nothing is required, in fact – allowing a sense of timeless carefree existence to chat with fellow travelers or zone out and spend quality time with my ipod.

During these journeys I feel productive by doing the minimal amount of productive activity. It’s bonus time, extra credit time – time to relax and enjoy the ride.