Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Love and Other Disasters

Never will I be able to look quite so adorable.
I just finished this movie, so on the endorphin high that good rom-coms usually leave you with I write to tell you that I loved it. It was cute and bubbly and funny (and honestly, the Argentinian love interest reminded me of someone I wish I had the guts to get in touch with again). It is a typical sort of knotted-love comedy, with people putting themselves and others into the most awkward positions and, yet, somehow they get themselves out of it in the most lovable ways. They all end up happily ever after, as a pre-requisite, of course, even if the story might feel a tad forced.
     I didn't realize that Brittany Murphy was the female lead until I started it - like I can't read her huge name printed above the movie title - and I am sure that her character's background was switched up so as to explain her poorly-veiled American accent. I still liked her character and the story, however.
     The movie felt very realistic and true, even for a rom-com, and perhaps that was because of the "meta" aspect of it. It fades in and it fades out to the typeset of the script, with the camera movements superimposed over the action, and there are moments when the script toes the line of breaking the fourth wall by clearly poking fun at the stereotypical situation comedy that the characters move through. And the entire body plays up the typical gay-best-friend aspect of its genre.
     In fact, I think the turning point for my liking the film so much more than I could was this aspect. They not only make the lead female have her own revelations about her love-life, but the gay best friend, as well. He is actually the one writing the script (in the full meta jacket perspective). He is the one with the more obvious, even more relatable (someone please tell me the correct word for this, apparently "relatable" doesn't exist?) problem with relationships - he romanticizes them in his head until no one can live up to the expectations he has. It was nice to watch this blossom, perhaps because that is so my problem (why do you think I can't get the courage to message the person I can't stop thinking about?).
     All-in-all, this movie was so cute. Perfect for a night in with a glass of wine and popcorn (with no salt and no butter, though, because looking at Brittany Murphy's waifish form for about 90 minutes will also have you a teensy bit jealous).

The perfect relationship, almost.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Insomnia and Nostalgia

Is it weird that I have been watching - strictly - British RomComs in the past few weeks when I can't sleep? I'm chalking it up to missing the United Kingdom, a place where I felt very much at home.

This time last year, I was in Aberystwyth, settling in, and getting to know my wonderful flatmates, and it all seemed so fresh and new - like we had all the world open to us. Me, being me, however, I soon began to fall into my bouts of insomnia and bingeing-and-purging, and was not as motivated or exuberant as I once was. The thing that surprised me, was that my flatmates (and our neighbors) were so amazingly encouraging - whether they even knew anything was going on or not. By the end of my time in Aber, I felt so loved by this group of people that I never expect to see again, and it was so worth it. So here are a few pictures that maybe are my favorites, and cheers to the people that prop us up when we need it.

Back of the London Eye

Constitution Hill, Aberystwyth

Dolly the Sheep

"The Birthplace of Harry Potter"

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Lost Loneliness

Lately, I have been feeling lonely, and since I have moved off campus and into a pet-friendly apartment complex, I have been toying with the idea of a dog. Or a turtle. Either are very expensive and I know that while the company they would bring me would be a welcome comfort, I understand how incapable I am of being able to care for them properly. This might be the reason I was drawn to the banned book of dog and wolf during banned books week.
Jack London's Call of the Wild and White Fang was interesting. This specific compiling of the two stories from different periods in his career is obviously how they were meant to be presented (even if that may not be how Jack London intended). The first takes us from the world we know and beats us into submission both through explicit violence and the harshness of environment until we give in to the wild in order to escape the contortions of our own making. The second is similarly harsh and unyielding except that in the end, we come home to the comforts and trappings of the familiar. 
     I had never read these books growing up, my required reading list never mentioned them as far as I'm concerned and it always seemed to me to be a 'boy' book: meant to inspire the minds of the harder sex. But I loved them. I wish I had read them sooner. I used to love watching Homeward Bound when I was a kid, and I don't know why I never picked up a book in the same genre. If you are wary of reading a book like this, I will be honest, it is hard. 
     I wanted to cry and throw the book within the first few pages, but pushing past those feelings, for the sake of knowing the poor creatures make it all the way through the story is rewarding. I highly recommend it. If you have read this book, please let me know what you think. I would love to hear your opinions and favorite parts.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

All Dolled Up With No Place to Dance

I know, I get it. I missed Saturday and I missed Monday, but I have excuses, I promise. I was home this weekend, and on Saturday my mother and cousin and I did a crazy amount of shopping and went to the lovely baby shower of Amanda over at she is amazing, please please go give her a ring (on her blog)! Then, yesterday, I was passed out most of the day with some sort of Autumn allergies dealio. But I'm doing it now: are you still mad?

Now, to the body. I honestly couldn't think of what to write, but I am sitting and watching Dancing With the Stars right now... so I figured I would write about my love of the physical-musical art. There aren't many people that would peg me for a dancer - I am too tall, and, now, too fat - but I grew up with a peculiar love for the stuff. This love is what my mom credits my potty-training to, in fact. I started early-ish, at the age of two, and went for ten years. I quit for the sake of burnout and fear of embarrassing myself while learning to cartwheel and handstand for the competition team - I had a gymnastics coach tell me I was too long and would only make a muck of it, all flailing arms and kicking legs.
     I loved dance, and I still do, though. Every time I watch someone else perform poetry-in-motion I can't help but stiffen up with yearning - and a fair bit of jealousy, too. Now, my little niece is looking at taking dance classes: at about the same age I was when I started. Needless to say I am excited for her to share a love of mine, for us to have yet another way of connecting. One of my earliest memories is starting dance class, and before even dancing, my teacher would come around the class with her sparkly hat and a fairy wand and sprinkle our feet with fairy dust. I imagined I could fly and from then on, held a firm belief in my fae-dom (the magic is lost now, after about a decade of no sparkle space). Once we moved to Alabama, I found one of the most supportive dance instructors/schools, that I think exists - even if the girls could be harsh and competitive. I want to take the opportunity here to thank Robin Stapleton, Brenda Johnson, and Corky Bell Dance, Alabaster (they have since expanded), and send that gratitude into the open space of the interwebs.
     Thanks for listening, guys. I can't wait to see if I will ever dance again, or if I am just destined to support my wonderful niece if she takes up the addiction, and I promise to tell y'all all about. Here's a little treat for ya:

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

So, I have been getting much more into reading books, lately.  I've just had the time and the mental energy to get back into reading heavily. I can't quite remember all that I have been reading lately, but one that has seriously stood out to me was Gregory Macguire's Wicked. My dad is actually reading it now; because my reviews were so raving, so I am doing my best to write without the actual text in front of me (i.e. bear with me).
     The book was amazing. I have never honestly wondered about the background of the Wicked Witch: I don't tend to question the history of villains; because, I do not identify with them, or even the hero in archetypal stories, specifically.  I did, though, find the idea of the musical to be interesting. I have been trying to go see it ever since I sang the song "Popular" for my 7th grade choir recital. When I realized there was a book to read, I was intrigued, even if I didn't care enough to go out and get it right away.
     Which brings us to a few weeks ago. It was Barnes and Nobles customer appreciation weekend/week/whatever and I was walking the aisles, looking for something fun to read; because, I was getting 30% off. I locked onto the beautiful illustrations of Gregory Macguire's cover pages and spent a good five to ten minutes going through the collection of his works, deciding which I would most like to begin with. Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister looked like a good place to start, but not quite my style, so I chose Wicked instead.
     Immediately, I loved the book. The background of Oz was rich and enticing, and made me love a story I didn't even know existed. I could have done without the more obscene scenes, but I am the type of person that will put down a book in the store if I read any sort of romance on the back cover. There was also a point of contention for me in the irresolution of some of the plot points from the film: I can't say whether it matched the original story; because, I have never read it. The overall story, however, had so many twists and interesting points that caught me - not off guard but - up.
     I have already bought the next book in the series and I plan to read it, hopefully, sometime next week. Once, I have finished it, I will definitely let you guys know how it is.

P.S. I am looking at a new, more structured way of posting to the blog. I am trying to post three times a week, with Monday being my "talk about anything" day, Wednesday being a review day, and Saturday being a News-discussion day.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

An Appreciation Post

First off, I appreciate that it has been a while since I last posted, but I am posting now.

I am in the process of working out and trying to get in shape, and every source I find tells me that I should be doing cardio. Cardio is hard for me, yet so totally worth it.  I have been trying to make good use of the trails that are available in the local parks around here; because, there really are some nice ones.  Today, I tried the park right by my apartment.
     This park is right on the busiest street in town, but is big enough that it goes through some pretty open and dark areas: there are copses of trees where a light is out, a stretch of track by the fire department that no one ever seems to be at. As I happened to pass this section, a white utility van pulled into a parking space, nothing strange, though, really. I just kept walking, listening to my music, and enjoying my time out of doors.
     A little ways down the road, I noticed my shoe lace coming undone - usually, I double-knot them, but today I just tied 'em up and went. I, of course, bent down to retie my laces - and double knot them - and when I stood up, I checked behind me, for some reason, and saw a man in a utility worker uniform walking behind me. It freaked me out, and more and more I felt that I needed to walk faster to get away from this man.  It seemed that there was no one else on the trail and I lamented being so stupid as not to walk with someone. I readied my pepper spray, just to be sure, and decided to cut off my walk early, instead of doing one more lap.
     As I got off the trail to go to my car, this man followed me onto the parking lot sidewalk. This was terrifying proof to me that he had been following me specifically; because, he had parked his utility van on the other leg of the trail - remember, I'd seen him pull up. Blessedly, there was a man in the truck parked next to my car, that could tell I was getting anxious about this man walking in jeans behind me, and he so amazingly let that man know that he was seeing everything and anything he did.
     Of course, I was panicking enough that I didn't start my car all the way, and this morning my car has been a little fritzy, so I freaked out even more. The an next to me asked me if I needed help, just before I figured it out and got my car running. I looked over and thanked him profusely as I drove away, trying hard to not cry in adrenalized relief.

So, all-in-all, it has been an interesting morning, and it is only 7:24 am here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


I've been reading a lot of blogs lately.  Finding new ones, rediscovering the old, getting into just observing.  I really want a full-fledged, professional blog.  I want it more than anything at the moment.  I know that this desire springs from my love of writing and getting all the jumbled thoughts in my head out onto paper and organized.  But there is problem with this, right now.  It is paradoxical that I am writing about it, but this thought doesn't fit into my issue.

My problem is that I am learning how to order my thoughts in my head, without talking them out or writing them down (the topic I am writing down here, is still jumbled in my head, perhaps because of the day I've had).  I feel that I know what I want to do, but I don't know how to motivate myself to begin it.  I hate that.  I hate this feeling of anxiety and fear, just after I get excited about my hopes and dreams. I am losing my interest in my academia, I am losing heart and drive in the "work" I am supposed to be doing.  I feel useless, like I am not contributing to anything.  What does a student do? Nothing, I have no independence, and too much fear of the cage I feel myself being placed in.

Like I said in my last post, I want to write and I want to be free.  I hate that I don't feel free.  But what can be done in this society that is fulfilling and freeing without a degree? I don't have the drive of an entrepreneur or the creativity of so many of the people in the world that can just make it on their own.  I don't know.

This post is probably not even written well, and I truly don't care.  I don't care about anything anymore.  It is so easy to walk away until things are said and done and then I have this paralyzing fear.  I am dying.  I am sinking into the anxiety and depression that has pulled me in so many times before.  I wonder if that affects all these dreams.  I wonder if they are where this starts or propels from. I hate this.  I just don't know what to do anymore.  I just want to be free.

How I feel right now.