Sunday, January 30, 2011

don't be cruel to a heart that's true.

So I kind of pride myself on being one of those people who actually likes to read and can just sit down and do it for a while, but the last couple of weeks I have totally been skimping. Ok, well maybe the last few months. My life is just so busy here that I can't even get through a book unless I'm forced to for a class. And even then it's not certain that I will finish it. But I've decided that I need to get more into the routine of reading regularly and I have found a solution that kind of worked last semester and I will try my hardest to employ this semester. Basically I just sleep in on Sundays and have a long leisurely brunch/lunch (I kinda sleep in late) and read for about an hour. I managed to do this a couple of weekends in the fall but I really want to get into again. I mean when one of your friends mentions your "library" you have to actually have a leg to stand on when you recommend books.

There are a couple of books that I am in the middle of that I really need to finish. Like The Bell Jar, which I am about seventy pages into. It is pretty good so far, though I don't feel depressed yet. Maybe yet is the key word there.

I also have the need to read books before I watch the movies they are made into. I just want to be able to conjure up my own ideas of the characters before I seen how other people see them I guess. So I need to read Water for Elephants, Jane Eyre, and One Day (which my mom really recommended anyways). And those are just the ones that are coming out this year. I also want to read Brideshead Revisited and Mystic River but those were made into movies a while ago. Harry Potter, Breaking Dawn, Winnie the Pooh, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo are also being made into movies but I've read all those already (duh Harry Potter, and, regretfully Breaking Dawn).

I'm also really excited about some of the movies coming out of Sundance. Maybe this is the first year that I've really paid attention, but it seems like there are a ton of fantastic films showing up at the legendary festival this year. Like Crazy, the new film starring Anton Yelchin (freaking adorable) and Felicity Jones, is getting great reviews. Count me in. And Felicity Jones is apparently fabulous in it. Which is awesome. She is super cute and was very good in the 2007 adaptation of Northanger Abbey for Masterpiece Theater.

So basically I have a lot to look forward to. But I really do need to get more consistent about my reading. And do my homework. Which I am procrastinating doing with this blog post.

And can I just say how much I love all music from about the mid-thirties to the fifties? My book for my American Popular Music in the 20th century class came with two cds full of music and that is what I've been listening. You know, I'm just your normal eighteen-year-old.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

new aquisitions.

Don't you just love sparkly, oddly-shaped purses? I do.

All photos (and items) courtesy of Urban Outfitters.

Monday, January 24, 2011

a night out with the girls.

I'm back at Wellesley! Yay! I feel so much smarter already. I swear if I hadn't been writing in this blog I would have had complete mental atrophy. Anyways, since we all had separately decided that we wanted to get off campus this semester we took the bus into Cambridge for the evening. The "we" in that sentence was Nat (who I visited in Miami), Camylle, Mayrah, and me. Though we are perhaps better known by our exotic and accentedalter-egos: Svetlana, Ariana, Jaqueline, and Emma.

Once we got off the bus in Harvard Square we decided to hit up TeaLuxe because the presence of chider (a combination of hot cider and chai tea) had been suggested. On the way to the tea shop we may or may not have stopped in the cupcake shop next door and picked up sweet cake and cookies n' cream cupcakes (we did).


Ariana & Jaqueline, what cuties.

These are cool Brazilian bracelets that Nat brought for us. You make wishes on them and when they break they come true.

All bundled up and ready for the cold.

Anyways today is the first day of classes so I may or may not be posting (or alive) tonight.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

school's out for summer.

Not really. In fact, I go back tomorrow. But I'm watching Dazed and Confused and it so makes me wish it was the summer. And it was the 70s. And I could just drive around and meet up with like the whole school and good-heartedly party. And wear high-waisted jean with impunity. Those were the days. Or so I imagine.

What. A. Stud.

Oh my god, how cool was Jodi? She had that gorgeous hair and was the cool guy's girl. Totally my idol.

Jeez, that hair.

I must admit that I'm watching the movie on VH1, which kinda takes away from the awesomeness of it, but it does add the humor of censorship. I've never heard the word "bimbo" used so many times.

And the music is fantastic.

Friday, January 21, 2011

welcome back ron swanson.

That's right Parks and Recreation is finally (FINALLY!) back! So exciting. I think it is my favorite show on television right now. It is just hilarious and everyone in the ensemble would be a standout in any other show. And I'm so glad they brought back Adam Scott and Rob Lowe. Party Down (which Scott was the star of) was a gem that was just too underappreciated to be kept on the air. And Scott was also on Veronica Mars, which is a major plus. So coming into Parks and Rec I really had an idea of who Adam Scott was. RobLowe, on the other hand, wasn't completely unfamiliar to me but I don't really remember seeing him in anything. So his ridiculous character was a (welcome) surprise. The flirtation between him and Ann (Rashida Jones) is adorable, and I especially liked Ann's imitation of Chris (Lowe's character). Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) and Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) were superb as well, as usual.

So besides watching Parks and Recreation, I also went to Savers to do a little shopping today. Score. I love going to Savers. It is kind of hit or miss and I'd say today was a hit. In a weird kind of way. Most of the stuff I got was bad looking on the hanger but screamed to me that it had potential. So I decided to go for it. Here's what I got.

See? All kind of sack-like. Until...

Magic! I think my favorite is the one all the way to the right. It is a little Winona Ryder, but I'm feeling it. The middle one was the most work to alter (though it honestly wasn't that much) and I'm not sure if it is still too disco-y. It's a maybe. And the one on the left is in the middle. I like it (I'm wearing it right now because my house is seriously freezing), but I'm afraid I cut it too short.

I also got a pretty sweet ski sweater and a barn coat.

So, overall it was just a win-win-win, in the words of Michael Scott, kind of day.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

a little less conversation.

A little more action (aka pictures).

As you can tell, I'm really into the dreamy 70s vibe. And Amelie. Not sure what this means, but I'm gonna try to go with it.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

let's vote on it.

Wow I have been so lazy lately. Seriously this is bad. I haven't posted in a week. A week. I so need to get on top of this shit. Which is part of the problem I guess. I'm just all over the place. Packing up my house because we are moving has taken up a pretty large chunk of time. But it has also been totally cathartic. And I'm trying to decide about being pre-med and totally changing the life plan I was working with. Geez. And I totally need to go back to school because I feel like my brain is melting because it hasn't worked in so long. I miss Wellesley.

Speaking of school I heard a really good episode of This American Life (aren't they all amazing though?) the other day about schooling and education. Normally I don't think educational issues are extremely compelling, though I'm considering being a teacher, but the TAL talked about a "free school" in Brooklyn and I reminded me of The Summerhill School in England. I first stumbled upon Summerhill through, what else?, Harry Potter. Basically the girl who played Lavender Brown was in a mini-series about Summerhill and the scandal that surrounded the school. The series was good, not the best I've seen, but really made me admire the school. And the aesthetics were gorgeous, very dreamy and hazily (a real word?) sunny, kinda Sofia Coppola-like.

Summerhill was founded in 1921 by A.S. Neill, a Scottish educator who advocated personal freedom for children. The founding principle, "Freedom not License", led to a democratic community of both children and adults in which individuals could voice their opinion and it would be heard. Neill believed that while even children should have the right to do as they wish, respect would be the highest law. The students and faculty together vote on the rules and punishments if necessary. And the students don't have to go to class if they want. Doesn't that just sound kinda awesome?

I certainly understand the outcry of people saying that the school is too liberal, but for some I feel like it really would be the right choice. My parents gave me a lot of freedom as a child (not as much as at Summerhill of course) and from that I've gained a sense of independence from which I make my own decisions. The peer pressure and rebellion that so many teenagers succumb to has never gained a hold on me.

And you would get to decide what you are passionate about. You wouldn't have to take the bullshit classes that didn't genuinely interest you.

One interesting question TAL raised was the after-effects of going to a school like Summerhill. You are taught so much about equality and fairness that when you leave the (metaphorical, obviously) cocoon, you become disillusioned by the strict hierarchical structure of the outside world. Going to a normal school with normal rules you are already past the stage where these things might anger you.

While I think about becoming a teacher I definitely keep this philosophy in mind. I wish more of my teachers had employed this method through my schooling, and those that did I really remember quite fondly. I guess that's why I'm thinking about becoming a teacher in the first place, so a new generation of kids will have the kind of teacher that they will think back on and say, "Wow, that class was like super duper amazing". Or something along those lines.

p.s. There is now a link to my sporadically updated tumblr on the sidebar. Or if you are that lazy you can just click here.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

sympathy for the devil.

Wow, I feel like I haven't done this in ages, though it has only been a couple of days. To be fair I have traveled to a different state, climate, and seemingly, season. I am now on my last leg of this journey, livin' it up in Miami. Not really. But I am in Miami visiting my fellow Wellesley woman Nathalie. And it is awesome. It feels like a strange mix of summer and school.

We went to the beach yesterday (The beach! In January!) and tanned. Well, tanned would be the wrong word. More like sat out in the sun, sweating, trying to get a little color while not looking like a lobster. Mission kind of accomplished. It is a good thing we did that the first day though because we have spent the second half of yesterday and the better half of today sitting on the couch watching Dexter. Which is so good. Seriously that show is quickly becoming one of my favorites, though it doesn't help with my sleep patterns. Also Netflix instawatch only goes until season 2 so I could be going through some serious withdrawl soon. Watch out.

One thing I really love about the show, besides the fact that I am watching it in the dark in Miami (sarcasm), is that it is so morally ambiguous. You totally want Dexter to be good, but is what he is doing good? Is it the best alternative? What does it mean about us that we are sympathizing with him. Oh god I'm turning into my brother. Or worse, my dad. But this stuff is really interesting, pretentious postulating or not.

Anyways, that's it for me tonight. Off to sleep (I hope)!


Sunday, January 9, 2011

movie musings: somewhere.

So I was initially going to title this movie review, but I realized that what I wanted to talk about wasn't so much a review as a discussion. Even that seems like I'm giving myself way to much credit. Anyways...

A brief synopsis of the new Sofia Coppola film, Somewhere, is as such: popular, though disenfranchised actor Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff), "lives" his life at Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles. He continues on with his normally shallow life until his ex-wife requires that he take his daughter Cleo (Elle Fanning) for a couple weeks before she goes to camp.

And that, apart from a brief (but humorous) trip to Italy, is basically all that happens during the film. Which I have mixed feelings about. I went to the movie with two friends, one of them didn't like it, one did more than she thought she would. The greatest criticism between the three of us was that nothing really actually happened during the movie. Which isn't to say that it was boring. Just different.

So much of this film had to do with the internal dialogue between the characters and themselves that I really don't feel like it needed a lot of action. And so many of Coppola's shots lingered on a specifically important scene that really let you soak in the moment.

And of course, since this is a Sofia Coppola film, the aesthetics were spot on. Everything took on almost a dream-like quality of old movies. And I guess that's one of the things I loved about the movie. There was that juxtaposition of the hazy visual quality and the crystal-clear emotional portrayals.

As for the actors, they were amazing. Stephen Dorff really impressed me. I don't remember seeing him in anything else but I know of his reputation (not that great). But after I watched a short interview with him about his relationship with Elle Fanning and watching Somewhere I really hope that he can continue on this path of good characters. The role of Johnny Marco seemed written for him as he seamlessly injected himself into the character.

And Elle Fanning totally blew me away. She's, what eleven?, and she was so natural on screen. Happy when she needed to be, but was expressive even without speaking a word. Just a really cool kid. Exactly what you would expect a kid to be in a Sofia Coppola movie. And her wardrobe was fantastic.

When thinking about Sofia Coppola movies I wouldn't say this is my favorite. It reminds me more of Lost in Translation than The Virgin Suicides or Marie Antoinette (which I liked by the way). But that is not a bad thing. In the end I think it's all about personal preference. For me, the atmosphere and soundtrack (thank the lord for The Strokes' demo version "I'll Try Anything Once") worked. (And I also totally appreciated the cameos of Erin Wasson, Robert Schwartzmen and others.) For others, it may not have. I recommend seeing it and deciding for yourself.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

new official obsession: red hair.

Confession: My obsession for red hair isn't really new. In fact it has been going on for a long time. I'm not quite sure when it started but it probably had something to do with the fact that I was constantly watching the Little Mermaid tv show as a kid. And Ariel had the best hair ever. From then on I have always felt an affinity for the hair color, even though I was too chicken to dye my own hair red.

Also, some really awesome people have red hair.

Like Grace Coddington. Uh, just look at that hair. It is gravity defying and gorgeously red. And although this picture is so ridiculously 70s, check the sparkly off the shoulder top, Coddington really reminds me of Mia Farrow from The Great Gatsby. Which is a high compliment of course.

You know I was trying to find a picture of her full on because her style is so fantastic and I wanted to show the whole package, but I just loved this one too much. Taylor Tomasi you have stolen my heart with your absolutely gorgeous shiny hair and you effortless chicness. And you have an awesome job (Accessories Director at Marie Claire). Some just walk in the light I guess. And I simply could not resist putting that second photo in there. I love the Keds on the back of the chair, ready to be danced in.

And, finally, Florence Welch. Red hair and full bangs? A girl after my own heart. And how cool does she look here (at the V Festival)? And she's fucking British. And she's in a rather great band. I mean come on.

Honorable mentions: Karen Gillan, Emma Stone, Christina Hendricks, Titian's women, and Kate Walsh (Addy!).

I also wanted to give a shout out to one of my favorite bloggers that happens to be a red head, Rebecca, The Clothes Horse. Her blog is one of the first ones I started to consistently read and it has really sparked my interest in so many things. Check it out here.

Well. I've decided. New year, new color. I am ready for change. At least I hope so. And henna sounds like a good way to do it. So here we go. The deed won't happen until I go back to school but it will happen. I'll keep you updated!

and now...

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011


As it is now 11:42 (or was when I started writing this) and I am exhausted, I am seriously wondering how people are so good about blogging every day. I'm so ready for bed but I really want to keep this going so I'll do my best.

Last night basically my entire extended family came over and it was pretty great. They are all recently acquired since they are technically my ex-step grandmother's new step extended family (I know, waaay to confusing), but they are beginning to feel like family already. The adults are all really chill and awesome, and the children and totally rambunctious, which is exhausting, but really fun for the first couple of hours. My older brother and his girlfriend also joined us last night, so the party just got bigger.

Today we headed over to Longwood Gardens after an amazing brunch prepared by Phyllis. I remember vaguely going there as a child, though most of my memories are of the lily pond, which I thought was awesome and always reminded me of that book "Linnea in Monet's Garden". Unfortunately when we went this time the lily pond wasn't open because it is pretty freaking cold outside, but we were instead treated with the Christmas decorations, which were beautiful. I have to say that often, though, I just like pretty simple Christmas decorated trees. Otherwise you forget that it is a tree in the first place.

This was pretty cool. It is the largest green wall I think it is called, in North America, I think. I'm a little fuzzy on the details. But it is pretty sweet nonetheless. Weirdly there are like eighteen bathrooms breaking up the wall, which looks good, I like the way the plants frame the doorways, but bathrooms seemed like a strange way to go.

Here are some more examples of the beautiful plants I saw.

Later we went for dinner at this restaurant called Blackfish. It was ranked number one according to some magazine for restaurants in the Philly area I believe and it was damn good. I got the prix fixe meal which centered around duck and it was absolutely delicious. Who knew that duck with huckleberries and parsnip puree was so good? And then there were they amazing cinnamon filled beignets for desserts. Heaven. So crunchy and sweet. The perfect ending to a great day.

Monday, January 3, 2011

the wonderful world of children's books.

So for Christmas my mom got me a collection of short stories by none other than the amazing Roald Dahl. I haven't really gotten a chance to read much yet, but I am so excited to get started. I have been obsessed with Roald Dahl for what feels like forever. he was undoubtedly my favorite author as a child, and i really believe that his work stands the test of time and maturity level. And I've heard that his stuff for adults is darker and really funny so I'm really looking forward to jumping in. Looking back now I feel like The Witches was my favorite book. Scared the crap out of me the first time I read it, but after multiple readings I succumbed to its charm, and really embraced it. Especially the beginning when the grandmother was telling the little boy all those stories about how witches were real, that was my favorite.

And Matilda. I loved that book. First of all that little girl was the shit. Super smart, acidic wit, and appropriately vengeful? What more could you ask for as a protagonist? And Miss Honey. She was a pretty awesome teacher/adopted mom. And the Trunchbull. She was bonkers, but in the best way. A perfect villain.

So today when my dad and I went into the bookstore to get belated christmas presents for my little cousins, I knew exactly what to get them. Or more specifically my ten-year-old cousin Halle. My four and five-year-old cousins can't really appreciate the magic of Dahl. Yet. I grabbed a pink spine from the shelf and surveyed the classic Quentin Blake cover of the girl genius. The thing is, I don't remember the cover being pink. Not that there is anything wrong with pink but I feel like it is trying to market the book only to girls and it is clearly a book that both sexes could enjoy. My personal copy came from the hospital library. And I know what you're thinking. No, I didn't steal it, my mom gave it to me (she worked at the hospital at the time), though I've never really questioned why she had it...

Anyways, as I am feeling inspired by Dahl, I thought I would find some pieces that remind me of my favorite books...

First, of course, is The Witches. I tried to go for something a little less obvious here, no pointy hats or anything, and if you know the story of The Witches than you understand the significance of mice. Basically it is part of the evil plan of the Grand High Witch to get rid of all children. I just thought this ring was adorable. I love the ears and the paw (not sure if paw is the right word but whatever) over the nose, and I'm really surprised how natural it looks to have the tail extend like that.

So for The Fantastic Mr. Fox I was originally thinking that I would do a piece of jewelry. I thought I would do jewelry for all three books. But I saw this calendar and it was just too perfect. You can totally see Mr. Fox and crew sailing the high seas in an ocean so perfectly whimsical.

Finally, we have this cute little book pin for Matilda. I love the bleeding color and the way the book is opened. An opened book visually is a lot more interesting and always kinda reminds me of that scene in Harry Potter 2 when Tom Riddle's diary opens with a blinding light to engulf Harry. But that's just me.

Whew, that was a long one. Happy Tuesday everyone!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

well it's not always sunny in philadelphia.

Today at the extremely early time of eight thirty (ok well early for the on-break college student) my dad picked me up so that we could embark on our journey to pennsylvania to see some relatives. It's the first leg of my two week trip down the east coast. It took us about six and a half hours to get down here and thus we barely made it in time to see the Rodin museum in Philadelphia. It was my first time, as far as I remember, visiting the museum, and although I knew I had heard of Rodin I don't think I could have really identified his art. Well, consider me a convert. Although I only had about forty five minutes to pursue the small museum, I really liked what I had the chance to experience.

This is one of my favorites. The picture doesn't really encapsulate all the struggle and pain expressed in the actual sculpture, but it gives you an idea. The positions of the fingers are just extraordinary. It seems like the pose is so impossible it can only happen when you are doing it subconsciously because of pain. The extremity comes across as meaningful instead of over the top. I also love the texture of the hand. A lot of Rodin's work is rougher, which I think really gives the pieces a lot of visual depth.

After spending some time at the museum, we headed over to the Hyatt to meet up with my grandparents and watch the eagles just barely lose to the cowboys (bummer).

We had dinner at a really lovely Greek restaurant right around the corner called Estia. I have always been a big fan of Greek food so it wasn't really a stretch for me to like the place, but it was still really enjoyable.

How good do these eggplant and zucchini chips look?

Overall, it was a great day and I am so thankful for having such a wonderful family. (The picture is of Phyllis and Rick, my pseudo-grandparents)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

happy new year!

So. It's 2011. Which is kinda crazy. I mean, what?! I feel like not that long ago it was 2000. You know, the good old days when Carson Daly would do the countdown to the ball dropping. None of this Snooki in a hamster ball business (which I have no idea if that happened or not I just heard something along a similar track, and was like no).

Anyways, enough reminiscing.

My night was good. Very chill. I feel like it is hard to have fun on New Year's Eve because there are such high expectations ingrained in us. You probably don't have an awesome NYE that you have to live up to but you feel like you do. Which sucks. But one way to combat it is to go super lazy, like me.

I spent the night at my friend Mary's house. We hung out and made mexican food, because, you know, we wanted to do the traditional NYE meal...or we just love mexican food.

...yeah we made a ton of guacamole. Which was pretty good. Except it had a little too much lime juice. And parsley. And while I was cutting the peppers my fingers decided to freak out and start burning. I suspect my new guitar playing is the cause, but really, ouch.

We also made salsa. Which I would have preferred a bit spicier, but that's okay. It was remarkably fresh, which you don't realize how much you miss until you make your own salsa. We proceeded to make awesome quesadillas and, randomly enough, chocolate mousse.

The after-dinner entertainment consisted of It's Complicated and The Office. I'm pretty sure I'm in love with John Krasinski/Jim Halpert. Seriously. And then we watched the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice, which I've seen so many times but always strikes me as completely gorgeous.

Our friend Rachel came over about half-way through the night to make it three.

I decided to go all festive and pink for my accessories. That's right. My nails are pink and sparkly. Go big or go home. And that thing I'm holding in my fingers is a flying pig earring. My mom got them for me for my birthday and they are absolutely amazing.

Overall it was a great night and I'm so happy I just stayed in and hung out. Hope your NYE was a blast and here's to a great 2011!