Thursday, June 20, 2013

Oops I Had A Howl's Moving Castle Moment

This is what happens when I haven't watched a Miyazaki for over a month. And also when i try to draw anything that isn't fashion illustration.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

BrunetteHaus Interview

I'm finally out of my freshman year of highschool, and now looking back on it I realize that for the first time in my life, I'm really happy with the friends I've made. They're all such individuals who have very clear ideas of where they want to go in life, and by being around them I feel the urge to try and be a better person. I decided to interview one of my friends who runs the fashion blog BrunetteHaus about movies, tv, style, and of course, books.

What is your favorite movie? Why? What affect has it had on you?

I love the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's because it is so charming and the characters in it are all so interesting. I also love the connection that it has to fashion because the main character, Holly Golightly, is so fashionable. She is portrayed by Audrey Hepburn, who I have a personal connection to because the sister of my great-uncle was best friends with her. It affected me because it made me more interested in fashion and the story was so unique and charming that it inspired me to write stories of my own.  

What are your favorite tv shows? Why? What affect have they had on you?

I love Mad Men because it is set during one of my favorite decades, the 1960s. All of the characters are extremely interesting and there is symbolism in every episode so the show gives you a lot to think about. I also love The Killing because it is extremely atmospheric and gives you a lot to think about in terms of human nature and morality. 

What is your favorite book? Why? What affect has it had on you?

My favorite book is Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger because Holden Caulfield's narrative is so unique and his observations are very amusing and interesting to read. I loved the book because the story was simple despite its simplicity and I thought that all of the characters were extremely interesting even if they weren't necessarily likeable.

What kind of music do you listen to? Artists? Songs in particular?

I listen to all kinds of music, but I especially like alternative rock and indie pop. I love Marina and the Diamonds, Lana Del Rey, Sky Ferreira, Two Door Cinema Club, Vampire Weekend, The Killers, Sea Wolf, Ariana Grande, Azealia Banks, and Caravan Palace. I like musicians that are unique. I love "The Way" by Ariana Grande and Mac Miller because it really showcases her vocal talent and is just a really cute and fun song to listen to when you're in a bad mood. I also love "Teen Idle" by Marina and the Diamonds because it is so honest and the lyrics are brilliant. I love all of Lana Del Rey's songs because she is brilliant and does not really fit into a single genre.

Do you think the music you listen to corresponds with your personality?

I definitely think that the music that I listen to corresponds with my personality because when I'm feeling a certain way I'll listen to a certain artist, and I have a tendency to listen to music that I can relate to or music that takes me back to a certain time and place. 

How would you describe your personal style? How does it reflect you?

I can't really describe my personal style because it is truly a combination of everything that I love. Sometimes I will go for a vintage vibe, and sometimes I'll be more modern. I truly can't sum it up in an eloquent way. I think it reflects how eccentric I am because my eclectic tastes reflect that I'm an individualist. 

What are your hobbies?

I dance ballet, write, draw, and I love taking pictures.

What do you hope to be when you get older?

 I want to be a fashion journalist, a model, and a photographer.

What is your favorite thing about your life at the moment?

I love my friends and think that they truly make my life better.

To read my interview on BrunetteHaus click here.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Used Book Haul

Finally, finally, after a week of excruciating finals, I finished school today. And what better way to kick off the summer than with a book haul? There's this adorable used book store right across the street from my school where mismatched wooden bookcases and stacked crates house every beaten, battered, and dog-eared copy you could dream of. No one can blame me for splurging a little.

Truth be told, I had a little housekeeping to take care of. For sophomore year I have to read The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls and one other book from the list of the following:

Rocket Boys by Homer Hickam
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Shine by Lauren Myracle
About a Boy by Nick Hornby
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

Out of these choices Rocket BoysAbout A Boy, and The Secret Life of Bees appealed the most to me, but  I decided to start with the latter.

"Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily's fierce-hearted black "stand-in mother" , Rosaleen, insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily decides to spring them both free. They escape to Tiburon, South Carolina- a town that holds the secret to her mother's past. Taken in by an eccentric trio of black bee-keeping sisters, Lily is introduced to the mesmerizing world of bees and honey, and the black Madonna. This is a remarkable novel about divine female power, a story that women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come."
-Back cover of The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

This book appealed to me for a number of reasons-

1.) Reading the back cover reminded me a lot of the movie The Help with the idea of rights for African-Americans and black stand-in mothers. I really enjoyed that movie and thought it showed a time and place in America that isn't often portrayed.
2.) The part about the beekeepers and the honey instantly made me think of Charlotte Charles from Bryan Fuller's Pushing Daisies (one of my favorite shows!) and her Honey for the Homeless campaign. There's probably no real connection or parallel, but I thought it was cute. And bees are obviously going to be some sort of meaning or symbolism in the book, which is relatively uncommon in my experience, so that will be interesting to think about.
3.) There's the mystery aspect to it. I presume from the back cover that Lily's mother's death had some sort of mystery surrounding it, and a little bit of guessing and secrets is a surefire way to keep me interested in a book.

Sorry for my unnecessary and inconsistent artsyness in that shot. I don't know what came over me.

The Glass Castle is a remarkable memoir of resilience and redemption, and a revelatory look into a family at once deeply dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant. When sober, Jeannette's brilliant and charismatic father captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and how to embrace life fearlessly. But when he drank, he was dishonest and destructive. Her mother was a free spirit who abhorred the idea of domesticity and didn't want the responsibility of raising a family.
The Walls children learned to take care of themselves. They fed, clothed, and protected one another, and eventually found their way to New York. Their parents followed them, choosing to be homeless even as their children prospered."
-The back cover of The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

I'm looking forward to reading a memoir/ autobiography (woah, what's the difference? I never thought about that before...) I haven't read too many, and I'm sure you have to approach this kind of work with a different lens than you would with a novel. 

"The highly original satire about Oedipa Maas, a woman who finds herself enmeshed in a world-wide conspiracy, meets some extremely interesting characters, and attains a not-inconsiderable amount of self-knowledge."
-Back cover of The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon

Well, this is... an interesting story. You see, this book is one of my dad's all-time favorites. So since father's day was coming up, I thought it would be in accordance with the actions of a thoughtful and caring daughter to purchase a copy for him. However, I didn't realize until it was too late that hard-cover copies of this book are no longer printed, which is why the few I found online were priced at around three hundred dollars ( I assumed a typo was at fault) Anyways, father's day passed, and no present. So today when I wandered into Tim's Used Books and spied this little copy sitting on the shelf, I felt it was my duty as a daughter- to make my dad buy it for himself. Smooth, I know. But it's the thought that counts, right?

Anyways, I think this will be a good read since it was referenced repeatedly in Foster's How To Read Literature Like A Professor.

PS-- For some strange reason I love when I buy a used book to realize that it's been annotated by it's previous owner. There's something special in knowing that someone else held this exact same book as you, enjoyed this exact same copy, and through their notes you can almost follow along with their thought process. It's a really pure way of seeing someone- seeing what's in their head.


I couldn't resist this little copy of Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. We just finished this in English class, and ever since my teacher collected our books my backpack has felt just a little too empty- 107 printed pages of too empty, to be exact. It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Steinbeck, and this book impressed me yet again. It's a slim little novel that has great power and force of idea, and since it's so short there's really no excuse to not read it.

Have I guilt-tripped you enough now?

So these will fill up at least the start of my summer, and now that I have a little bit more free time on my hands I'll definitely be updating this blog more often!

Au revoir-

pps-- sorry for that awk little copy and paste patch mehhh

If you've read any of these books leave your thoughts/ reviews in the comments! I'd love to hear what you think :)

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