Monday, January 30, 2012


Things I want (in no order other than as they occur to me):

1. a full time teaching job for September
2. more hours in a day
3. more days off
4. sunshine
5. to get through the week
6. to be done school
7. fleece-lined hiking boots, like these but in my size.
8. a homework robot
9. Blake Lively's hair. 
10. to see my best friend.

Luckily for me, most of those things are possible, I just need to stop whining and make it happen.
Numbers 3,5,6 and 10 are already in the works. Numbers 1 and 4 are out of my control. Numbers 2,8, and 9 probably aren't going to happen. And as for number 7, I am still looking.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What Life is "About"

"Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." - George Bernard Shaw
Since I've gone back to school, I've been trying to take more time to watch films and read books and create things and do things that inspire me but these next couple weeks I am insanely busy with readings and projects and papers and presentations and midterms and whatnot. So I don't know how great my blog posts will be.

However, I made this collage a couple weekends ago and I really like the quotation. I think it especially apt in my final semester of university. It provides comfort in a time of anxiety, when everything is so up in the air and I have no clear path or direction and I really don't know where my life will lead, or where I will be and what I will be doing even a few months from now. I put the collage on my wall in my closet, next to my mirror and I look at it every day as an affirmation.

Do you like the quotation? Do you agree with it?

I don't think I'm old enough or wise enough to claim what life is about, and I don't know if I'll ever be confident/presumptious enough to make a statement like that one. because obviously every life is not "about" the same thing.
but these days I just need a little reminder that I cannot control everything and that that's not really the point. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

My Villanelle

There's this one Syliva Plath poem that would always get caught in my head like a song.
Last week in one of my classes, I learned what a villanelle was. It's a poem composed of 5 3-line stanzas followed by a quatrain (a four-line stanza) with a very specific rhyme scheme. They are usually written in iambic pentametre (what Shakespeare writes in. "Two households, both alike in dignity" is the kind of rhythm we are working with) and the rhyme scheme is 

A1 b A2
a b A1
a b A2
a b A1
a b A2
a b A1 A2

where A1 and A2 are lines/concepts that are repeated.

The poem we read as an example was this one:

"One Art" by Elizabeth Bishop

The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster,

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three beloved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

-- Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) a disaster.

A really lovely poem.
After reading it in class, it got stuck in my head like a song, and I thought more about the Sylvia Plath poem and looked it up again and realized it was a villanelle.

"Mad Girl's Love Song" by Sylvia Plath

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

God topples from the sky, hell's fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan's men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I fancied you'd return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

Another beautiful poem. I love it. I realized that villanelles often get stuck in my head and I almost set them to music in my mind, because of the rhythm and the repetition of certain lines.

And I decided to write one.

Now, it is nowhere near as good as Bishop's or Plath's because I'm not a poet, but I wrote one and I'll share it.
It was inspired by the film Melancholia, which I saw earlier this month and the book The Fault in Our Stars, which I read earlier this week, both of which are fantastic and I would recommend them to anybody. So here is my villanelle.

"The End of the Race"

I guarantee you we're the only ones
gifted with life in the whole universe.
We slowly spin into the crashing sun.

As for those you think would grieve us, there are none.
So as the heat and hope and loss immerse,
I guarantee you we're the only ones.

Knowing I'm right doesn't make it fun.
We are the last, though clearly weren't the first.
We slowly spin into the crashing sun.

It's easier by pill, or sword, or gun
to join the Great Parade, your float a hearse.
I guarantee you we're the only ones.

And just when you will think that we are done
we'll transform into light and suddenly burst.
We slowly spin into the crashing sun.

We crawl, we race towards oblivion.
And someday there'll be nothing left but dust.
I guarantee you we're the only ones.
We slowly spin into the crashing sun.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Beckoning of Lovely

   In June 2008, the author Amy Krouse Rosenthal posted a video to YouTube entitled "17 Things I Made."
   At the end of the video, she invited viewers to join her on 8/08/08 at 8:08 pm at the Bean Sculpture in Millenium Park, Chicago.
   She showed up holding a yellow umbrella, and hundreds of strangers were waiting for her, not really knowing why they were there.
   That night they made a bunch of things together. Watch below to see what they made.

   On 09/09/09, Amy returned to the Bean by herself with a sign saying " I truly want you to have a lovely day. Here are some things I can give you to make your day lovely..." with a list. She gave away hugs, directions, basil from her garden, money, advice, books, treats, a kiss, music, origami birds. Pretty cool. click the date to watch that one (it's much shorter.)

   On 10/10/10, people gathered at the Bean again. In honour of the date, they shared 10 special moments together. Watch below.

Finally, 3 years, 3 months, and 3 days after 8/08/8, on 11/11/11, the project ended. People gathered at the Bean again, and they made some of the same things they made on 8/08/08, except differently, of course,
and some new things.

   This project shows how beautiful life is, how we are all connected, how people can influence each other for good (meaning, for goodness, and in a lasting way). I think it's really beautiful, so I wanted to share it. I hope you watch the videos and I hope you take something from them. If you don't have half an hour, just watch the last one, it sums up the past ones pretty well. If you have some time to spend, watch them all because they are  all pretty amazing.
   I hope they put things in perspective, make you happy, and I hope you have a good Monday.

Make the most of your time here.

Monday, January 9, 2012

My Favourite Clothes Right Now

these sweet grey jeans I got on sale after Christmas. 

these dark jeans I got last fall. 

this grey sweater that's really soft and comfy and has three buttons at the top on the back ...they are just fake buttons for looks but I think it's a cool detail.

this navy and white striped sweater with three gold buttons on the shoulder. 

this cool granny-esque black and white sweater with only one clasp on the front. It's really soft and fuzzy.

this red cardigan I got in the fall

...with big shiny buttons!

And, because it's winter and I am back at school and can dress casually/frumpily, I like bunnyhugs!

like this blue one that is really comfy

and this one that my boyfriend's cousin's boyfriend from England gave to my boyfriend and then I stole from him. That was complicated. Whatever, it's super comfy and huge and I really like it even though it is not very flattering. 

Oh, and also I got new glasses. That's fashion-related even though it's not clothes.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year, New Layout (and the World Goes BOOM)

New year, new layout. If you read this blog through RSS or something similar, check it out at the main site.

Update on my book resolution from 2011:

I only read 45 books, which I am still happy about. I could have rushed through 5 books in the last 2 days but I didn't want to.
You can see what I read and where I went wrong (Hello, February and November) here.
I'm going to continue to track what I read this year because I think it's interesting, but I'm not making any resolutions. If you find it interesting, too, follow here. 

My sister is big on resolutions but I don't really make them. She kind of pressured me into telling her my goals for the year, though, so here they are:
- convocate
- get a full time teaching job for September
- move out
- go to at least 3 new countries (Europe trip in July for graduation's in the works.)

What are yours?

And now, here is DJ Earworm's latest mash-up of the 25 biggest hits of 2011 for the US.
I did a post about him last year.

Of his new mashup, he says, "2011 gave us songs of regret and anger, pride and perseverence, and lots of fire. When someone's taken everything from you, what do you do?"

   Once again, the focus is on the positive. Even with the world going boom, people are still partying and dancing. My favourite lyric is "I got my pop, I got my dance, I got that rock and roll/ You can take everything but you can't take my soul." 
   I think that sums it up nicely.

So far my 2012 has been spending time relaxing with friends and family, getting ready to go back to school and start a new job, and looking forward to the year. I think it's going to be a good one!