Friday, October 26, 2012

Nashville - Fade Into You

I can't say I've ever been much of a country music fan, but I do enjoy cowboy boots, acoustic guitar performances, strings of lights strewn around the room, and the new show 'Nashville'. Connie Britton is my hero and Clare Bowen has the voice of an angel. Unfortunately her sweet character's boyfriend is atrocious (but extremely attractive...he was in 'Tuck Everlasting', which I watched more times than I would care to admit...ahem (strangely enough he really looks as though he hasn't aged a day)). 

So this song was on the latest episode of the show and I keep listening to it over and over again. It's so good! And it's a waltz, I love a good old-fashioned waltz. And emotional intensity, oh my!

It's midterm time at school so I've been doing lots of "studying" while simultaneously unearthing irrelevant bits and pieces of fascinating information on the interwebs and thinking about pumpkins. And drinking Trader Joe's Sipping Chocolate, otherwise known as elixir of the gods.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wild Nothing - Nocturne

Sadly, I have no pictures to post even though I desperately want to adorn the screen with clear blue skies, ravishing sunsets, and opulent moonlight. 

Since I can't quite do that, here is a beautiful song instead. 

Perfect for a crisp autumn day :-)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Name that film - Не покидай

Oh my goodness, I have to share this. It's amazing. I have no idea what's happening as I've never watched this movie before but I already love it - just look at the costumes, the hairstyles, the intensity, the...uniqueness of whatever's happening there.

Actually, it may not be that unique as he's singing to her not to leave him (a common enough human action, though not always in lyrical form). Then some other girl comes and smiles and then cries and crumbles into despair. 

It is now my mission to find out what happened here and if it makes any sense. I just might have to watch the entire film, diligent as I am ;-)

Friday Tid Bits...

Now that I no longer need to desperately study Korean in order to survive, I have devoted more time to studying Russian. And it's amazing. Seriously, this language is so beautiful, complex, full of depth and singular beauty and elegance. The thought of forgetting my first language terrifies me so I'm going to work extra hard to hold on to it and practice, practice, practice. The great thing is that this involves watching awesome movies and reading gorgeous poetry. With an English translation on the side, of course ;-)

This song is from one of my favourite Russian films, called 'The Irony of Fate'. It's kind of a romantic comedy, but as with many Russian things, it's also emotional and expressive and poetic and reflects on life and relationships in a moving way. 

On a different note, I also read Mindy Kaling's book 'Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me' and laughed so hard. She is hilarious and so easy to relate to and just super fun. 

Temperatures reached approximately 35 degrees this week (I still haven't wrapped my head around the concept of Fahrenheit, give me time please) so my pumpkin pecan oatmeal from Trader Joe's (woohoo, Trader Joe's!!!) wasn't quite as comforting as it has the potential to be. I almost worked up a sweat eating it, which could be deemed the opposite of comfortable.

Have a cozy weekend! :-)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Happy Particles - Infinite Jet

Had to post again because this is gorgeous and absolutely perfect for a sleepy October Tuesday...I just want to wrap myself up in these sounds ;-)

Melody Gardot - If the Stars Were Mine

So, I've had quite a lot of school work to tackle lately. Being a student again is great in some ways, but homework and tests - those are never fun. What makes it better is listening to some lovely background music while you're slaving away. It's the whole "whistle while you work" theory, works like a charm.

Melody Gardot is 27 and you can learn more about her on Wikipedia. In 2003, she got hit by a car while riding her bike and was seriously injured. She had to relearn how to do very basic things, like brushing her teeth and walking, and her memory was also effected. Music therapy helped her to recover and she has since become a big advocate of using music therapy for pain management and healing. Her story is super inspirational and it's amazing how she has used music, beauty, art, expression to overcome such difficult and painful circumstances. The power of music and art to change people's lives, to give hope and meaning, to heal...incredible!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Autumnal Ramblings + The Smiths - Cemetery Gates

The Queen Is Dead is my favorite Smiths album and it always feels autumnal to me - gorgeous, reflective, jangly poetry that serves as perfect accompaniment on a solitary walk. And if you see any gladiolus flowers, you can tuck them into your back pocket and sing to the trees ;-) Ahem, moving right along...

I think fall has become my favorite season. Not when it's dreary and rainy but when it caresses you with warm sunshine and sends yellow leaves floating gently down into your hair. It's the best time for getting a little introspective, writing productively, drinking chardonnay, skipping, biting into a crisp apple, saying hellos and goodbyes, and fetching an extra cup of milky tea.

I'm doing my best to savour the elegance, sweet fieriness, and coziness of this season. How lucky we are to be surrounded by such striking beauty.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bunheads - Book and TV Show

So I've always had a bit of an obsession with ballet, even though I never actually took any kind of dance lessons myself. Oh wait, I took K-Pop dance classes for a couple of months last summer, but I'm guessing they're pretty different from classical ballet. Just a little. 

Ballet is incredibly beautiful, graceful, inspiring, otherworldly, magical...and the dancers looks so light, like they're floating and flying...all of their hard work and effort is hidden from the audience. It's amazing to watch and I adore it. 

Here are two ballet related tid bits of awesomeness that I have been enjoying lately. 

First up, the TV show 'Bunheads' by the creator of 'Gilmore Girls'. Ballet isn't really as important as the witty dialogue and character development here but I still like to soak up every bit of dancing that comes up. It's interesting to see what the girls go through and Fanny, always artistically dressed, is a charismatic, eccentric, and sufficiently terrifying instructor.

Next, a book I just finished reading by the same name (that's 'Bunheads' in case you've forgotten) by Sophie Flack, who was a professional ballet dancer herself (for New York City Ballet) for nine years. In some ways the book is fluffy YA fiction (not that all YA fiction is fluffy!!), but mostly it provides a revealing look behind the scenes of professional ballet - and that is fascinating! It follows the story of a nineteen year old girl who dances in the Corps of the Manhattan Ballet and shows what it's like to devote your entire life to dance. Her whole world exists inside one windowless building, but this in no way limits the emotional ups and downs that she goes through while competing for roles and figuring out what kind of life she wants to live. There are lots of interesting details about what it's really like to be a professional dancer and that was definitely the highlight for me. That they start at 10.30am and finish at 11pm is just the beginning...eek! There are also multiple mentions of words such as 'yogurt', 'banana', 'bunion', and 'he rolled out his calf muscle on a tennis ball'.

Now that I've finished watching the show and reading the book, I'm not sure where to get my next ballet fix. A few years ago I bought the New York City Ballet exercise DVD so maybe I'll go back to doing that and pretend that I'm graceful and flexible as I waddle around the room and barely manage to touch my toes. 

Hooray for ballet! :-)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Bat for Lashes - Marilyn...and Life Lately!

I'm so excited for Bat for Lashes' new album - The Haunted Man! This song, Marilyn, is my favourite one from the album so far. It's just gorgeous and dreamy and makes me want to stare at the stars. Listen and feel your heart swell.

So I still can't believe that summer's over. I've never before experienced an October when I could still wear shorts and tank tops and sandals and feel meltingly hot sitting by the ocean under a shining sun.

One thing that makes it feel more like fall is going back to school. My first week was actually super fun and it was great to finally make some friends my age since moving to California. The UCSD campus is huge, beautiful, and has a friendly, easygoing atmosphere. When I walk around I feel like I'm in a movie haha. 

Ooh, the other thing about fall - there's pumpkin and Halloween stuff EVERYWHERE. It's so beyond the offerings available in Canada. Trader Joe's alone has multiple seasonal products that all look amazing and perfect for a cozy autumnal evening. Yesterday I bought some pumpkin pecan oatmeal. It's also gotten cool enough in the evenings that I can truly enjoy my cups of tea :-)

Yesterday I went on an official tour of the 3 main theatres on UCSD campus. La Jolla Playhouse is so cool! And Gregory Peck was one of its founding members! And their upcoming performance is Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots! It sounds like the best thing ever and I will definitely be attending. Lately I've been thinking about how much I miss theatre and acting and being involved in creative team work so I'm going to try to somehow get involved on campus. We'll see.

Lastly, I've been watching Project Runway and a few nights ago Dmitry showed up in my dreams! So odd...he's just the kind of vampire ghost guy who would haunt people. I do like his designs though. My favourite to win is Christopher :-)

Ahem, enough about that and let's wrap things up shall we? There's work, homework, and pumpkin related activities to be done :-)