Monday, August 20, 2012

Poetry: Emily Dickinson

I do a lot of musical appreciation posts on this blog but so far no poetry appreciation. Probably because my musical knowledge is far more extensive than my poetry knowledge. Today's poet of choice is the classic, the one, the only: Emily Dickinson.

I started reading her poetry, like many others, because it was assigned in school. For me it was tenth grade and to be honest I was all the enthused with the idea of it (mind you, I wasn't enthused by a whole lot in tenth grade). But, looking back on that year it was probably one of my favourite reading assignments from that class, next to The Great Gatsby.

What I like about Dickinson's poetry is that she rights about big things in an eloquent and somewhat simple way. By "big things" I mean, death, and hope, and love lost. She writes about big ideas in a relatively small way and paints pictures with few words. Before we read Emily Dickinson I had never really grasped poetry or connected to it very much (perhaps due to my stubborn adolecent brain) but her poetry at least let me figure out what I like and what I would like to read and where to go from there.

One of the poems that stuck out to me most in my tenth grade english class was "Hope is the thing with feathers". I love a good extended metaphor and so this poem is right up my alley. Taking "hope", this huge unidentifiable idea, and comparing it to a simple bird. The way she makes the ambiguous idea of hope so familiar is kind of comforting to me.


Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all,


And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.


I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.


Song recommendation: Have You Ever by Brandi Carlile

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Floridian Haul

I was in Florida visiting some family and since it's too hot to do anything in the outside world I did some shopping. Here's what I acquired. (There's a dress missing from this haul that I bought at anthropologie -on sale- because it was in the wash when I was taking this photos.)


sweater: Urban Outfitters ($54)


daydreamer tee: Urban Outfitters ($19)


trench: Forever 21 ($32)

knapsack: Urban Outfitters ($49)

loafers: Urban Outfitters ($29)

earrings: Anthropologie ($14)

headband: Anthropologie ($22)

Song recommendation: Live It With Love by Ingrid Michaelson

Friday, August 17, 2012

More Musical Appreciation: Ben Howard

This blog seems to be turning into a musical appreciation blog. I see nothing wrong with that. Today's artist of choice is the brilliant Ben Howard. I started listening to him about a month ago upon recommendation from tumblr (that seems to be the case lately). Now, I'm always up for some good old acoustic folk/rock but Ben Howard is something special. His voice is just so easy to listen to, it almost feels instantly nostalgic, like you've been listening to his songs all your life. Despite the fact that he's only released one studio album his songwriting is exceptionally mature and complex. Listening to his music just feels good. Like, close-your-eyes-and-sip-on-tea good music. To boot, Howard is an exceptional guitar player.

Naturally I've delved into the depths of YouTube to see what kind of covers I could find, only to be pleasantly over and over again. He covered the infamous 'Call Me Maybe' and completely turned it on its head and made it really enjoyable. It was almost unrecognizable until he uttered the words "I threw a wish in the well". He also gave Lana Del Rey's "Video Games" a whirl only to succeed yet again. I'm starting to think this man can do no wrong. I feel as though he's only just scratching the surface of his talent and that we can expect so much more from him in the future.

I would recommend his whole album "Every Kingdom" but specifically the song "Keep Your Head Up".

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Summer Reflections

After a week in Florida, I'm heading back home tomorrow for the last leg of the longest summer vacation ever. A break from school is always good but I think four months is just too long for me. I plan on taking some spring classes next year though so I'll have a slightly more reasonable summer. That's never something you would here my child-self complaining about but I'm just far too restless now to be able to handle for months of structureless living. I think it would be okay if I could have a job with some sort of regular schedule but alas I am floating in a sea of joblessness.

Though it's been a long summer, it's been a fairly good one. Traveling to France, spending quality time with friends (Wilmington adventures), completing quite a bit on my summer list of things. I'm especially happy that I spent a lot of time playing music. Whether it was piano, uke or guitar I did spend a lot of time learning new songs (and occasionally being brave enough to record them).

I've actually improved my guitar skills quite a bit over the last month or so (after finally getting my mum's old guitar fixed) and though I'm nowhere near pro I feel like I have at least a vague idea of what's going on. After spending a week away from guitar I'm itching to get back to it, so I think that's a sign that I'm going to have to buy my own when I get back to school. Something to annoy the floormates with, excellent!

The goal is to successfully record something on garageband, which I'm still int he process of figuring out. And perhaps I'll post it on here. Maybe.

song recommendation: Undertow by Sara Bareilles

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

BMOA

Do to lack of any internet yesterday I was unable to blog. So let this be known as BMOA, or Blog Most of August. Because this every day thing has sort of sucked this year. My apologies.

However I didn't have internet yesterday for an exciting reason, I spent my day at the Universal Studios park. A love Girls Day Out with my mum. What was great about this trip was that since we had been before we knew what rides we wanted to hit and what lines would be longer at what times. Of course, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was a must (we went during the morning and at night). After our wizarding adventures we made our way to the Jurassic Park ride, which was fantastic. My brother didn't come with us this time around but he had one request and that was to buy him a tube of miniature dinosaurs from the Jurassic Park store. My brother is sixteen years old, no shame there. Other high points of the day included eating Hard Rock Cafe's twisted mac and cheese, getting complimented on my dress by two different strangers (male and female), and riding the 4D Harry Potter ride with barely any line up.

I wasn't particularly looking forward to going to Florida before the trip but I am actually really enjoying myself. But really who couldn't be happy running around theme parks and shopping. I don't know what I had any hesitation in the first place. Oh right, the heat. However, the difficult breathing aside, Florida's alright this time around.

song recommendation: Spectrum (Calvin Harris Remix) by Florence + The Machine

Monday, August 13, 2012

Guilty Pleasure Television

If anything I am a professional watcher of television. Once I get into a new show there's no stopping me and I'll lock myself away from society until I finish the whole thing. Though I'm usually pretty shameless when it comes to what I watch there are those certain shows that you find yourself going "why am I even watching this" as you click next episode. 

Thus, is my struggle with Pretty Little Liars. Ever since I first saw an advertisement for the show on ABC Family I mocked it and hated on it simply on the premise that it was an ABC Family show about pretty, little, liars. Also it didn't help that the only people I knew that liked it were not exactly my favourite.

I pretty much wrote it off as a "never watch, like, ever" show when I first saw it, and frankly that opinion didn't change until a couple of weeks ago when I youtuber I really admire and with whom I share a large number of pop culture interests, talked about it on her channel. She didn't say it was the best show ever, but she also didn't say it was terrible. So, in attempts to fill the gaping void that Gossip Girl left in my heart, I decided to give it a try.

Conclusion: It's pretty bad. However, more than it is a bad show, it is an addicting one. And Aria's love interest is easy on the eyes. There are a total of two characters that I don't dislike. As the songwriter Sara Bareilles once said "something always brings me back to you, it never takes to long."

Song recommendation: Dusk by Wilsen

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Closing Ceremonies

There's something pretty spectacular about people coming together to take part in a worldwide celebration of athleticism and culture. I am not even an athletic person, aside from skiing on occasion, but I always feel myself drawn to watch the games. Partly national pride, partly world pride. World pride, is that a thing? It is now.

I'm currently watching the closing ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympic Games with my family. The show is just fantastic so far, and a perfect wrap up to the games. I particularly loved their journey through British music history, because they have so much to show case (that Spice Girls reunion: A +++). Rio's introduction to their turn with the games is making me eager to for 2016. But it's strange because when I think about the next summer olympics my mind immediately jumps to "where will I be when I'm watching them in four years from now?". I'll have an undergrad degree under my belt (hopefully). I'll be twenty-three (OH GOD). Where will I be living? Will I have a significant other? That's another fantastic thing about the olympic games is it almost acts as a marker for  a stage in your life. For instance, I remember that during the Salt Lake City Olympics I was in grade three and I remember learning where Utah was on the map. There are many great things about the olympics but I see it as briefly claiming time as well as preserving it.

As the London Games come to a close I look forward to 2016 (and even before that, Sochi in 2014) and looking back on London and remember the summer of 2012.

Song recommendation: Bright Lights and Cityscapes by Sara Bareilles

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ramblings


Some entirely unrelated thoughts to form a rambling blog post, because it's late and my computer is failing on me.

I started watching Pretty Little Liars last night. It is just as terrible as I expected but far more addicting than I anticipated. I will be watching more in the future. I'm using it to fill the sad void that gossip girl left behind when it went really down hill. Because let's be honest I really need another television show in my life. This time one with plenty of teen angst and back-stabbing bitchez with a capital 'z'.

I was in Savannah Georgia breifly and my friend told me that they were filming CBGB there. So basically I hung out with Stana Katic. That's how that works right? In related news, apparently Alan Rickman is getting old and fat according to the Savannah news.

I've decided I defintely need to buy myself a guitar when I get back to school. I've been practicing away with my mother's and I'm actually acquiring a bit of skill. Granted, I still don't know what I'm doing, but sound is coming out of the guitar that sounds not like death. I'm making progress. I also really enjoy it. My new room at school is going to be a bit of a mini studio because I'll actually be able to set up my piano, now that I know longer have a roommate. Throw in my guitar and ukulele and things are looking pretty great. Though that may give people the vibe that I actually know what I'm doing. They shall be deceived.

That has been three unrelated topics and this concludes BEDA-poorly-2012.

Song recommendation: The Chain by Fleetwood Mac (I'm in a mood, a Fleetwood Mac mood)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Style Inspiration

I'm running on approximately three hours of sleep courtesy of an extravaganza at my friend's farm last night so this post is going to be brief.

As previously noted, I have been thinking about more about style, and specifically my personal style a lot more lately. Of course, behind everyone's style are those who inspire them (though style is certainly inspired exclusively by people) and I'd like to compile a list of my personal style icons, as follows.

Carey Mulligan is not only one of my favourite actresses but she also has impeccable street style. I feel like most celebrities (ugh, I hate using that term) can look great on the red carpet, because often their is a team behind them but when you see candids of Carey Mulligan she always seems like she's got it together. Even if it's just a simple maxi-skirt and tee with sandals she looks sharp.

Emma Stone, similarly, inspires my casual style. I've never been one for an elaborate wardrobe and Emma Stone does a lovely job of making simple look elegant. Not to mention her equally fashionable boyfriend, Andrew Garfield. A sharp looking couple they are.

Finally the ever-so-flawless Florence Welch of Florence and The Machine. I can't say that I dress like Florence, because that is untrue, but her wardrobe is unlike any other and her vintage shop style makes me want to see out special pieces to implement into my own style. She always looks fantastic whether she's performing or roaming the festival circuit. From watching a multitude of interviews I've found that she always has a story behind a piece and she can tell you exactly what drew her to it. She's inspiring in many ways but her fashion is undeniable.

Song recommendation: Strangeness and Charm by Florence and the Machine

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Recent Beauty Favourites

This is by no means a beauty blog, and I am nowhere close to a beauty guru, but I have become increasingly interested in products and clothes in recent months. So, this is going to be a good old fashion favourites post. Not for any particular month, but we just acquired a Sephora near where I live so a lot of these products were purchased within the past few months.

smashbox jet set waterproof eyeliner in the shade "midnight black"


perfume stick by Claude Dir in the fragrance "Cape of Good Hope" (purchased at Anthropologie)



 M.A.C. eyeshadow in the shade "kid"


M.A.C. blush in the shade "margin"


Korres lipstick in the shade "coral"



Song recommendation: Sea Lion Woman by Feist

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Photoshooting

I went on photo adventures with some friends today at an abandoned mill and here are the results.




Song recommendation: What He Wrote by Laura Marling

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

San Francisco

Recently I have been reunited with my childhood love, Full House. I have very fond memories of sitting on this comfy chair with my friend, eating pizza pockets and watching Full House. Though I was only two years old when the show ended, thankfully it's aired ample reruns. To add to my San Fran kick, I watched Princess Diaries the other day which just solidified my feelings. I mean who wouldn't want to live in a refurbished firehouse.

My reunion with this show has also brought about a mild obsession with San Francisco and my idealization of it. I've been really keen on visiting the city (and other places in California) for a while now but the more I look into it the more I pre-fall-in-love with it. I certainly don't want to idealize it to the point of disappointment if/when I ever do visit but right now I'm just in a mild fan-girl phase. Can you fan-girl over a place? Perhaps it's because I have this unrealistic image of moving to San Fransico and pursuing photography in the real world and living in a refurbished firehouse. But hey, I've had worse ideas. I feel as though I'm nostalgic for a place I've never been (Paper Towns reference) and I'm not really sure why. But I do know that I have to get there to find out why.

Here's a picture of San Francisco that is not mine.


Song recommendation: San Francisco by Brett Dennen

Monday, August 6, 2012

Job Hunt

As the school year approaches (slower than I would like) it's time to start looking for jobs. Because, frankly, this whole being perpetually without monetary funds thing is getting old. Though I am a whole nineteen years old the job that I *hopefully* get for the school year will be my first real paying job. Which is exciting and a little scary, but mostly relieving. Relieving in that I'll finally have an official job on my resume so I can tell other future employers that I'm good at being employed. Also relieving to have the "first job" thing under my belt. Something to tell the grandkids about, you know. But why am I waiting this long to get a job? Not by choice, if that's what you're wondering. No, alas, I've been living under a visa in AMURICA for the past few years and it's not the kind of visa you can work with, unfortunately. But, that's life. Now I shall be employed! Hopefully.

I'm hoping to get a job at my favourite movie rental store and finally get to live out my Tibby Rollins Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants lifestyle. If that doesn't work out, I'll *likely* be able to get a paying job at my library because I've been volunteering at one this summer.

Now that the reality of job hunting is fast approaching I'm realizing that my ability to write a proper email has diminished drastically over the summer. This whole "being a responsible adult" thing is harder than it seems. I mean I'm going to to have to start house hunting in a month. In the real world. With real houses. And real questions like "is heating and electric included?"

I'm not feeling very prepared at the moment. How long will it take until I do?

Song recommendation: The Box by Johnny Flynn

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Major BEDA Upset: The Journey Continues

Last year's perfect BEDA success, was unfortunately ruined this year on no less then the SECOND DAY. I'm impressive, I know. But alas, I went to an amusement park for the day and I got back far later than I anticipated. Similarly on the third I went out and got back past midnight. A wild social life appeared! But I shall continue despite my shortcomings. (I might even try to do a couple extra posts to make up for the failure, no promises though.)

Onward then! Today I'd just like to make another artist appreciation post, this time in appreciation of the brilliant Laura Marling. I've only recently started listening to her music by recommendation of someone on tumblr (bless tumblr people). She's very much up my alley, music wise. Frankly, I don't know how I've gone this long without being obsessed. If you listen to music along the lines of Mumford & Sons or Brandi Carlile, you are doing yourself a disservice by not listening to Laura Marling. She has a very classic folk edge to her music with a bit of a contemporary spin. 

For a bit of history, Marling was once involved with the band Noah and the Whale, as well as touring with Mumford & Sons. She's already released her third studio album at the age of twenty-two. Her music is far beyond her years in it's maturity and she's already grown immensely as an artist if you compared her 2007 release (when she was just seventeen) to her most recent. 

If you are interested in giving her a listen, if you haven't already, here are a few recommendations:
  • My Friends (A Creature I Don't Know)
  • The Captain & the Hourglass (Alas I Cannot Swim)
  • Rambling Man (I Speak Because I Can)
  • Devil's Spoke (I Speak Because I Can)
  • Sophia (A Creature I Don't Know)
Enjoy the musical splendors!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Commence BEDA 2012

This time last year I started my first BEDA (or Blog Every Day August) adventure. Since last year was such a success I've decided to give it a second go-around. If anything my blogging is inconsistent, and BEDA helps me, rather, forces me, to "get er done" for lack of a better phrase. Writing has always been a useful tool for me I'm just horrible and actually making myself doing it. The fact that BEDA is a challenge just makes my subconscious ring with the words "You don't think I can do it I'LL PROVE YOU WRONG." So here's to a hopefully second round of BEDA, two years running!

Every post will contain a musical recommendation, as per usual. No tracking of books, films, or hiking though. There are pages for the books and films but as for the hiking it's pretty well impossible to hike in The South in August without dying. I might go on one or two but I don't think it's going to be very extensive.

Now that housekeeping is out of the way, today's topic is The End. Not the concept of impending doom or the last novel from A Series of Unfortunate Events, but a flash game I found on the internet recently (courtesy of Tumblr). Now, I'm not one for online gaming usually but this gem was just too good to pass up. It's based on this unique concept where at the end of every level you are asked a thoughtful philosophical or moral question which you must answer "yes" or "no" and then enter the respective door. I was hooked on the premise alone but it gets better. With each question that you answer the game maps your responses on a grid that lines you up next to other famous thinkers and icons. I'm less interested in the game-play (though it is very well designed) and more drawn towards the concept of the grid. It devices the cartesian plane into Mystic, Awakener, Crusader, and Truth-Teller with dots scattering the board of icons such as Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud and Amelia Earhart. I'm about half-way through the game, but as of right now it has me pinned in between Rosa Parks and Emmeline Pankhurst. I love it because you learn a little bit about yourself and GASP have to think a little bit before the end of each level. Two thumbs up.

Song of the day: Ships in the Night by Mat Kearny ft. Ingrid Michaelson (I've had this on repeat all day, shamelessly)