Saturday, March 31, 2012

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

How I love love love these books! I've read them multiple times and I'm craving to read them now, but alas - they are back in Canada. 

Unlike anything else I've ever read, they seem to offer a fantastical children's adventure story (on the surface), but really they are a kind of dark, adult reflection on the nature of our existence and what it means to grow up. It's about the loss of innocence, souls, love...and everything that you could ever care about. Nothing I've ever read has made as big of an impact on me as these books did. I can't wait to read them again!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Listening to: The National - Green Gloves

Boxer is one of my favourite albums. I love atmospheric music and the intimate, haunting, night-time atmosphere of Boxer never fails to move and melt me. Some songs just go straight into your bones.

Nesquik Cereal and Other Foods Eaten from a Bowl

When I was little, I was not exactly into healthy eating. Instead of vegetables I preferred to eat anything chocolate-y. Including a chocolate-y breakfast, oh dear! I ate Nesquik every morning...which makes me cringe now. I still adore chocolate, but I refrain from eating it for breakfast. Or lunch. I also adore eating things out of a bowl. Bowl meals tend to be my favourite. Here are some delicious examples:

- oatmeal with various toppings such as ground flax seed, cinnamon, slices of banana, nut butter, nuts

- plain yogurt with granola or banana + cinnamon or berries

- soup ~ especially pureed ones, such as butternut squash soup, broccoli soup, pea soup, throw in a bunch of vegetables and use an immersion blender soup

- ice cream! I like vanilla ice cream with swirls of chocolate and something crunchy, like nuts...I don't really like fruit flavours such as strawberry (I prefer to just eat the fruit itself)

- a bowl of fruit! ~ it can be fruit salad or just a lovely combination such as grapes + strawberries...the colours alone make me smile 

- bibimbap ~ a Korean dish which includes rice, some sliced vegetables, a little bit of ground beef, one egg, and spicy red pepper sauce

- chili with ground turkey and loads of veggies ~ a hot bowl of chili is so comforting and perfect for a cold/rainy day

Today is dark and rainy so I'm looking forward to dinner-in-a-bowl. Plate foods are not nearly as comforting and satisfying as bowl foods. This is a fact.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tim Riggins is John Carter...

So yes, this movie got mixed reviews and pretty much bombed at the box office...but to be fair, it was poorly marketed and I for one am really excited to watch it!

Some key ingredients that should make the film worthwhile: 

1. Tim Riggins! My favourite Friday Night Lights character in a movie of his very own :-)

2. Beautiful the scenery, yep

3. Touches of humour and overall sense of fun

The sun is shining, summer's around the corner, so why not grab an icy drink and enjoy?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Cheeky penguin steals stones for his nest...

It's super sweet that male penguins work so hard to create the most beautiful nest. Female penguins can then choose their favourite nest and the male penguin that comes with it. I wonder what a human version of this would look building a house from scratch? I would like a house made of chocolate, please ;-)

It's quite funny and adorable, but also terribly naughty, how this little penguin keeps stealing stones from his neighbour's nest! Oh, how I love cute animal videos! :-)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Books and Reading in Korea

Gosh, I miss books! I miss walking into a bookstore or library and being surrounded by endless shelves of them. I get a similar feeling walking into a big bookish space as I do when going into nature - relaxed, uplifted, energized, whole. Yes, I am weird. 

In Korea, I can't exactly go to English libraries and bookstores so I really really miss that feeling. I miss exploring the world of books, taking them off the shelf and reading the back, opening up the pages, catching a few words or phrases that resonate with me, deciding whether to leave the book behind or take it home and explore a new world.

I also miss seeing people reading. When I do go to the bookstore here, it's always bustling and lots of people appear to be buying books. However, I almost NEVER see people reading in public. Usually they're playing with their smart phones. And I think a lot of the books people buy are for studying rather than for fun reading. There are entire giant rooms dedicated to books for learning English and math. 

I still have a couple of new books to read, sitting on my desk. There's an Edith Wharton waiting patiently for me. At the moment I'm in the midst of reading Lady Chatterley's Lover, which is a lot racier than I expected, oh my. 

Thank goodness for books. May they live on forever ;-)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Most Adorable and Funny Baby!

Seriously, I cannot stop laughing!

How are babies soooo incredibly cute?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Snow White and the Huntsman - Behind the Scenes

I love watching behind the scenes clips like this one. I used to do lots of theatre back in the day and dreamed that I would become an actress. Instead, I became a teacher - but luckily acting is very useful when teaching English as a second language. I perform pretty much every day ;-)

Anywho - this looks both intriguing and funny. It would be amazing to feel the energy and excitement of this kind of movie shoot. It's always amusing though, seeing behind the scenes footage that looks a bit silly even though it will end up seeming all slick when we finally watch the film.

I also like this take on the story - a powerful Snow White with agency and real bite. I hope the film develops the characters well rather than focusing only on action and explosives.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Activities for a dark and cloudy day...

It doesn't look quite like this, but it's certainly a lot warmer these days. Woohoo! Now walking outside feels pleasant rather than unbearably long last!

I just spent half an hour watching videos of cute animals. Specifically, baby pandas and also puppies with babies. So much adorableness! I love it! 

For more cuteness, here is a ridiculously cute web site called Pusheen the cat.

Today is cloudy and dark so here is a list of awesome cloudy and dark day things:

- butternut squash soup

- a fantasy/adventure novel

- a cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream and cinnamon

- a walk in the woods...pretend you're a lady in a Victorian novel...perhaps the moors are nearby

- writing a poem

- watching cute videos filled with puppies and other baby animals

- snuggling

- baking something delicious and enjoying the aroma of freshly baked goods all day!

- going bowling! 

- a classic mystery novel...Agatha Christie, anyone?

- watching old movies, preferably black and white

- doing the laundry!

I hope a delightful time will be had by all ;-)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Watching: The Artist

I finally watched The Artist and I have to say, I enjoyed it wholeheartedly! It felt like watching a good old classic film - heartwarming, textural, classy, smart, and completely absorbing.

There's something about black and white films...they are sort of comforting and I really feel like I've gone back in time when I watch them. 

Berenice Bejo is such a gorgeous lady! I loved her flapper clothes and wish I could wear them myself! She was very charming and magnetic in her role. Both of the lead actors were incredibly expressive and I felt for them. The sweetness of their romance is light and pure.

The music was also lovely. It's an orchestral score that makes the film feel more dynamic and alive. It also give extra weight to the moments of complete silence.

What a pleasure! I think I'll be watching this one again.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

She's So High...

Remember this song? 

Today really finally gloriously feels like spring - it's warm, it's sunny, and I actually got hot walking home from work! It's time to throw away those heavy layers and pull out the sunglasses!

I'm two weeks into the new school semester and so far the kids have been super cute, polite, and smart. Such a pleasure! Sometimes I think I have the best job in the world. 

In other news, today I was enjoying eating my apple so very much that I bit my lip and now it's a bit swollen, eek! Must chew less enthusiastically. Eating can be a dangerous and painful sport.

Have a sunny day!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Winter Street Food - Hotteok (호떡)

In Korea, street food is kind of seasonal. One of my favourite winter street foods is hotteok - a delicious, plump pancake filled with brown sugar, honey, and chopped nuts. It's freshly made in front of you and put into a little paper cup for easy, non-messy eating. When I first bit into one, I did not expect the burst of deliciousness that exploded in my mouth - sooo good! Warm, crispy on the outside and soft inside, deep flavour, crunchy nuts - hotteok has it all ;-)

Yesterday was a day of indulgence and included not only hotteok but also ice cream at Baskin Robbins. Have I mentioned how popular BR is here? There are dozens of locations and it's usually crowded - way more popular than in North America. There's one just a couple minutes from my I can't not go there, eek.

Yesterday's flavours of choice: almond bon bon, peanut rocket, and chocolate mousse. Of course I shared. Ice cream tastes so much better when you share it with someone...just try to eat a little quicker than they do. Keep them talking while you dig in ;-)

Have a lovely, toasty weekend!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Eclectic Saturday ~ Florence, Beach House, Jack White

The end of winter and beginning of spring feels like an especially magic time for music. It's time to explore, to overcome lethargy, to discover new things, to open your ears to the fresh sounds of spring.

These songs aren't particularly spring-y, but they each have something unique and imaginative to offer.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Universe is in You...

This is a lovely short little video about the big universe and how it is inside all of us. We are all made of stars ;-)

I can't help but love this sort of stuff, it gives me the shivers in a good way.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Baby sloths wearing onesies!!

I can't count how many times I've watched this video. It is THE CUTEST THING EVER!!

I hope one day I can meet a baby sloth :-)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Lorax Trailer

Yes, another trailer! :-) But I can't help it. It's dreary, still feels like winter, and I need these jolts of colour and hopefulness and humour to brighten up the day. Come on spring - bring on the sunshine, flowers, and lollipops, please!

Friday, March 2, 2012

ParaNorman Trailer

Wowza, this looks awesome! Creative, a little freaky and Halloween-y, funny, and unique. Definitely goes on my To Watch list ;-)

"I like to be alone!"
"So do I! Let's do it together!"