Saturday, July 30, 2016

the sound of a story

Sometimes I come across a song and book pairing that just capture each other so well it's startling!  It's like they were designed by the same minds!  Here are a few especially direct matches:

"Gold" by Sir Sly | Red Rising by Pierce Brown


"Mouth made of metal, metal, metal

Pocket full of yellow, yellow

Pocket full of gold

And I hope you find

I hope you find your dream

And darling never settle, settle, settle

Chasing down the devil, devil

Chasing down the gods

And I hope you find

I hope you find your dream..."










"Bite" by Troye Sivan | Carry On by Rainbow Rowell


"Kiss me on the mouth and set me free

Sing me like a choir

I can be the subject of your dreams

Your sickening desire

Don't you want to see a man up close?

A phoenix in the fire

So kiss me on the mouth and set me free

But please don't bite..."













* Ok, so I'm not the first person to think this... But it can't be helped - the whole album is full of Carry On feels, to be honest.



"Unsteady" by X Ambassadors | Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz


"Mother, I know

That you're tired of being alone

Dad, I know you're trying

To fight when you feel like flying

But if you love me, don't let go

If you love me, don't let go

Hold, hold on, hold onto me

'Cause I'm a little unsteady..."












Friday, June 3, 2016

I'd like to thank...

As of today, I am done with class indefinitely. 

Ah!! 

While there will be many, many more end-of-grad school posts, today I wanted to share the acknowledgments for my thesis: "Its Own Sense of Verisimilitude": The Lizzie Bennet Diaries As a Transhistorical Adaptation of the Semipublic. 

* * * * *

I would like to thank the professors and faculty at Oregon State for their guidance and support.  I am also grateful to the MA Symposium, the PAMLA and PCA/ACA Conferences where I got to try out many of these ideas.  Thank you to my committee: Bradley Boovy, Jillian St. Jacques, Jon Lewis, and especially to Megan Ward, who so often offered me the vocabulary for what I was trying to articulate.

To the creators whose work inspired this process, I cannot fully express my gratitude. To everyone at Pemberley Digital, who pursued this passion project with excellence and care, and to show runner Bernie Su for your vision, commentary, and responses to my Twitter inquiries.  Most importantly, to Jane Austen whose quietly subversive and effervescently witty work has shaped my life in a myriad of ways.

To all the artists and creators that became a part of my graduate school experience, thank you for making art.  Your work has sustained, invigorated, and fueled me.

To the friends who have supported my work whether in person or hypermediated forms. To my friends and colleagues at Oregon State, and specifically Hannah, Rita, Ethan, Hayley, the Emily’s, Melissa, and more.  To the graduate students from other fields who encouraged me and served as editors: Stephanie Downing and Jordan Cox—I could not have made it through grad school without you.  Thank you to Lois who introduced me to Lizzie Bennet, my kindred spirit Kristina, and dear friend Julia.  My thanks to Hannah Green for her endless enthusiasm about my work.  

I would like to thank my family for all their support.  Mom and dad, thanks for having me read aloud to you at night as a child.  To both of my “squads”…  Jeremiah and Melissa, your humor, encouragement, and love have meant the world to me.  And to my closest friends—Rebekah Gilley and Cami Morrill—thank you for the times you have literally held my hand through this process: you are my stars. 

My sincere gratitude to each of you!

Monday, May 23, 2016

dance your way

I'm three weeks away from finishing grad school - aaaah!

I firmly believe mental work only gets done with the help of dancing.  And I've been dancing a lot - out with my friends when I can, but also in my room and in my car constantly!

I have a whole playlist of dance-y music, including some really moody synth-pop I've been into lately.  Thought I'd share a few with you...

First up?  Troye Sivan.  Oh my word, Troye Sivan.  I'm not sure I would have made it through the last several months without Troye!  I feel guilty for even picking a song--the whole album is incredible!!--but I think this is one of his objectively "best" songs.  It's a collab he did with the imitable Jack Antonoff [of fun., Bleachers, Taylor Swift, etc. fame].



Other stand outs from the album include Bite, Fools, Talk Me Down, and Lost Boy [and the rest of the album!]


Next up?  Halsey.  I know I'm about a year late [shout out to Miss Daydreamer for nudging me over the edge].  Castle is the aural representation of how I felt writing my thesis :)  If you need to tackle something difficult, this is how you do it:




A softer sound... Lights.  She has some peppier songs, but I can't get away from "Portal"!



Of Monsters and Men released a fantastic sophomore album.  This bonus remix is the song I listen to most often:



And most recently, I've added Porter Robinson.  Here's his Divinity...



So that's me lately!  These, with the interspersing of whole albums like Lemonade or Ryan Adams 1989, I'm dancing my way to the end of grad school!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

My Thesis...sort of.

Here is my thesis as a word cloud!

It's full title is...

"It’s Own Sense of Verisimilitude": The Lizzie Bennet Diaries As a Transhistorical Adaptation of the Semipublic

Have a long ways to go with this quarter and the defense, but my committee-draft is off to the printers and I'm a bit weepy about it :')

Monday, April 18, 2016

PCA/ACA

Hey!

So last month I got to present a paper at the national conference for the Pop Culture Association / American Culture Association (the PCA/ACA).  The conference was huge and they had a bunch of panels on adaptation.  My paper was part of a panel (along with 3 other great speakers) on "Transmedia Adaptation."  Here's the proposal I wrote last fall:

* * * * *

“Novel” Media: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and Horizontal Adaptation

This paper explores the definition of adaptation as a horizontal, formal move by looking at The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.  This Emmy-award winning, transmedia retelling of Pride and Prejudice set as a vlog in modern day California—told in “real-time” across platforms including YouTube, Twitter, and Tumblr—provokes questions about our framework for adaptation.

Until now, most adaptation theory has been defined in the vertical terms of “layering texts” or of “palimpsest.” While the vertical is significant, this paper argues for a definition of adaptation that include the horizontal dimension, that of narrative’s historical continuum.  Bolter and Grusin refer to new media as “refashioned…versions of other media” (Remediation 14). For new media adaptations, they refashion, thereby reclaiming the novels that inspired them.  They repurpose the novel forms of the 18th and 19th centuries, such as fictional autobiographies and epistolary or serialized novels.  This allows us to re-experience both the plot and what was once an emerging, “novel” media.

Just as Austen’s novel was not only arguing for proto-feminism and against classism but also for the very form of the novel, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is not merely making claims about female friendships or stereotyping but that adaptation through transmedia is a valid form, participating in what John Fiske refers to as “culture making” and Robert Stam calls an “ongoing dialogical process.”  As a new avenue for adaptation opens, it sheds light on the horizontal facet of adaptation.

* * * * *

The panel was well-attended by 20 or so people [including my younger brother :] and I made a couple of useful great connections with people already in the field.  Even more exciting to me is that many people said "I'm new to adaptation, but I'm beginning to see it connecting with ________ [this thing they were already doing]."  And that makes me so exciting because I think we are seeing adaptation of one sort or another everywhere right now!  It's so great to watch the field expanding and to feel like a small part of it!




In other news, my thesis is written!  The intro, 2 chapters, and conclusion have been drafted, revised, and re-revised.  Due to some bureaucracy I'm still waiting on a thesis defense date, but I have this 70-page document and I'm amazed it's even done!  Thanks for all the encouragement, friends--8 more weeks!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Are All the Break-Ups in Your Poems Real?

BY AIMEE NEZHUKUMATATHIL
If by real you mean as real as a shark tooth stuck
in your heel, the wetness of a finished lollipop stick,
the surprise of a thumbtack in your purse—
then Yes, every last page is true, every nuance,
bit, and bite. Wait. I have made them up—all of them—
and when I say I am married, it means I married
all of them, a whole neighborhood of past loves.
Can you imagine the number of bouquets, how many
slices of cake? Even now, my husbands plan a great meal
for us—one chops up some parsley, one stirs a bubbling pot
on the stove. One changes the baby, and one sleeps
in a fat chair. One flips through the newspaper, another
whistles while he shaves in the shower, and every single
one of them wonders what time I am coming home.

Source: Lucky Fish (Tupelo Press, 2011)


* * * * * * *


This sublime piece is via my flatmate and The Poetry Foundation

Saturday, February 27, 2016

The reading this week went well.  There were a dozen or so readers with a diverse array of genres and topics--one colleague performed two pieces of slam poetry on discrimination and immigration, another wrote a short story about one "Jane Bond," while someone else shared a beautiful essay on oysters.  The experience was really fun and encouraging.  I read three poems - two of which were edited versions of ones I'd posted here.  The third is something I thought I'd share now...


* * * * * * *

Pondering Those Stars & Dots

Like the sting
of a fresh tattoo
perpetual
I bear 
my grief.
Yet,
while I 
feel these wounds 
in the body,
nothing
manifests
on the body.
At least
a tattoo
would create
a scar made
art.
If only I
could display
this pain
so colorfully.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

And now for something a little different...

I recently finished watching a show that, at the outset, is highly out of character for me.  It would require the most severe parental guidance warnings in nearly every category - nudity, sex, profanity, drug use, and even occasional violent images [though not easy, I've made it my aim to keep this review PG-13].  For half of the first season, my experience watching was a constant oscillation between sneering "Wow, this show is such trash" to sobbing "Oh my goodness - how is this so good?!?"  It went from being a guilty pleasure show to something much more significant.  In the process, I flew through 5 seasons in one month.

So a little bit of background on the show... Queer as Folk, which centers on a group of gay friends, aired on Showtime from 2000-2005.  It was an adaptation of a British tv show of the same name created by Russell T. Davies (just a few years before he'd revive Doctor Who).  From the clips I've seen online, the first season of the US/Canadian version (though set in Pittsburgh, it was filmed in Toronto) relies heavily (at times shot-for-shot) on the British one (1999-2000).  Fun fact... the British QaF starred Aiden Gillen (most known as Game of Thrones's Petyr Baelish, The Wire) and Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy, Crimson Peak) - reportedly break out performances for both of them.  The American QaF centers on Brian Kinney (Gale Harold)--a narcissistic, ego-centric, hedonistic, self-proclaimed heterophobe, and all around a-hole.  He is also the most effervescently sensual character I have ever encountered.  And I'm in love with him.


[a little bit of Ashton Kutcher, a little bit of Nathan Fillion, a lot of sexy]
The show opens on the night when, after leaving Babylon (a dazzling gay club), Brian meets a young, impressionable Justin Taylor (Randy Harrison) and takes him home.  There's no "will they/won't they" in this show--Justin loses his virginity with Brian and is completely smitten.  There are just a few problems.  Brian, 29, is a successful advertising agent on his way to becoming an executive; he owns an awe-inspiring loft, designer clothes, a fancy car... despite deep-seeded insecurities about getting older, he has it made.  Justin...is 17 and in his senior year of high school.  Also, in coming out to his parents and at school, his life is instantly much more complicated.


[Justin "Sunshine" Taylor and Brian Kinney]
On top of all that--and in some ways the crux of the show--Brian doesn't do relationships.  He does one-night-stands...lots and lots of them (e.g. in the pilot he bangs 3 separate guys in a 24 hour period, with Justin being the middle of the trio).  As the hottest stud in town, his character apparently gets so much action he can walk into a bar and sigh with boredom that "I've done everyone here."  When Justin seeks him out after their first night together, Brian tells him:
"I've had you. What happened last night, it was for fun. You wanted me, and I wanted you. That's all it was... Look, I. don't. believe. in. love. I believe in f---ing. It's honest, it's efficient. You get in and out with the maximum of pleasure and minimum of bullsh-t. Love is something that straight people tell themselves they're in, so they can get laid. And then they end up hurting each other, because it was all based on lies to begin with. If that's what you want, then go find yourself a pretty little girl... and get married."
And yet, despite his best efforts, Brian's life becomes increasingly intertwined with Justin's, often through tragedy.  Theirs is an on-and-off again, unconventional, and yet profound romance.  And oh what a romance it is...



[If nothing else, watch this "ridiculously romantic" montage...]

There's Michael, who's been Brian's best friend since high school when they both came out.  While he is the only person Brian won't sleep with, as his not-entirely-platonic friend, Michael's also the only one he'll say "I love you" to.  The pilot also introduces us to partners Lindsay, an art historian, and Melanie, an intense lawyer.  Lindsay, who'd always been the "Wendy" to Brian's "Peter," is about to have a baby--thanks to a donation from Brian.  Then there's the other best-friend pairing: Ted, a deeply insecure accountant who loves opera, and Emmet, the stereotypical to archetypal "flamboyant one" who is also one of the show's most engaging and inspirational characters.  


[L to R, Emmet (Peter Paige), Ted (Scott Lowell), Brian (Gale Harold), Ben (Robert Gant), Lindsay (Thea Gill), Michael (Hal Sparks)
Justin (Randy Harrison) and Mel  (Michelle Clunie)]

The group act as a non-traditional family through many ups and downs, united especially in their fond ridiculing of Brian.  While his actions often come off as heartless, it becomes apparent that he is willing to do what he believes will be best for his friends--even if they hate him for it.  He is willing to bear that hatred if it means his friends will have better opportunities.  He's the guy who says he won't help and then actually, quietly does all the work.  And then, there are a few times his own pain surfaces and the world seems to stop when Brian Kinney cries.  As the series progresses, he slowly, subtly changes.  Eventually, he is self-aware enough to admit:
My mother is a frigid b-tch, my father was an abusive drunk; they had a hateful marriage, which is probably why I am unwilling, or unable, to form a long-term committed relationship of my own. The fact that I drink like a fish, abuse drugs and have more or less redefined promiscuity doesn't help... much.
If nothing else, this show as a character study of what can happen when a broken person is loved. 
[Season 4 promo]
But enough of an introduction to the characters... It's worth discussing that QaF deals more frankly and graphically with sex than anything else I've ever seen - including Game of Thrones.  But there is an old adage in the study of literature (and I imagine other arts) that "It's always about sex... unless its actually about sex and then its about something different."  While a vast over-simplification, there's a reason this saying has stuck around and I've often found it's that second half that's accurate.  So while this show is unashamedly, from the get-go, in-your-face "about sex," I've found that it's actually about something else, something more.  In the world of the show, sex is a way people work through insecurities and their identities

The show is far from perfect.  It's too melodramatic.  It reinforces some at-best unflattering, at-worst harmful stereotypes.  The cast is alarmingly white.  The dialogue can be campy.  Groundbreaking for 2000, the showrunners clearly went for shock more than sophistication or nuance.  I think the reason I haven't been able to stop thinking about it is how paradoxical it is - while not always "good," it is meaningful.

In the end, Queer as Folk is a show about overcoming.  As the title suggests, the show reappropriates many of the derogatory terms used to demean LGBTQ people to make them empowering.  The characters face issues ranging from the dark--homelessness, bashing, HIV+ status, discrimination, conversion therapy, infidelity, prostitution, rape, addiction, and death--to the beautiful--adoption, reconciliation, recovery, and gay marriage...including the first legal gay wedding ever shown on US television.  While, as a straight person, most of this show was a learning experience for me, I identified strongly with their perseverance in overcoming, in loving each other, and in living the truth.  At one point in the show, Emmet is offered a relationship he wants but at the price of secrecy and he responds by saying, "I never had to live a lie. And I'm not about to start now. Not for you. Not for anyone."  Watching this show reaffirmed for me that I want to be the type of person that doesn't live a lie for anyone, that the me you get is honest even if it's raw.  

Monday, February 8, 2016

So... this happened. 




O.O


I'm gonna go eat some chocolate and tell some dementors to beat it with the encouragement of the best. selling. author. of. all. time!!!!!! 

Update: Buzzfeed!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Meletaó, No. 1

No wonder
we dream of flying
when hearts float incessant
on rise... fall...

But leave your head 
awhile;
allow yourself the present
weight of dust. 

We possess these
root-like
lungs
commanding bones
move and
muscles work 
incessant. 
Use them. 
Love them.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

January: all the things!

Hello and Happy New Year! 

I know I'm quite behind on this but, dear blog-reader, please don't feel like it's you.  In the throes of thesising, there are a lot of things I'm behind on, like folding my laundry and taking down Christmas decorations.  But while its still January, I feel I can say "Happy New Year."



...Annnd share my reading list from 2015 :) 

1. The Allegory of the Cave - Plato* (nf)
2. The Evolution of the Language of Cinema - Andre Bazin (nf)
3. Golden Son - Pierce Brown  [Also a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to this fabulous author!]
4. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - James Joyce
5. Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema - Laura Mulvey (nf)
6. Passing - Nella Larsen
7. Nightwood - Djuna Barnes
8. Mrs. Dalloway - Virginia Woolf*
9. A Room of One's Own - Virginia Woolf
10. Wide Sargasso Sea - Jean Rhys
11. Moments of Being - Virginia Woolf (nf)
12. Falling Upward - Richard Rohr (nf)
13. Faerie Queene: Book I - Edmund Spencer*
14. Amoretti - Edmund Spencer
15. Faerie Queene: Book III - Edmund Spencer
16. The Sense of an Ending - Julian Barnes (a)
17. One More Thing - B.J. Novak (a)
18. The Slow Regard of Silent Things - Patrick Rothfuss (a)
19. Landline - Rainbow Rowell (a)
20. First Meetings - Orson Scott Card (a)
21. Everyday - David Levithan (a)
22. Shadow of the Giant - Orson Scott Card (a)
23. I am Malala - Malala Yousafzai (nf)(a)
24. North and South - Elizabeth Gaskell (a)
25. A Theory of Adaptation - Linda Hutcheon (nf)
26. Remediation - Bolter and Grusin (nf)
27. Double Indemnity - James M. Cain
28. The Big Nowhere - James Ellroy
29. Watership Down - Richard Adams (a)
30. Why Not Me - Mindy Kaling (nf)(a)
31. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me - Mindy Kaling (nf)(a)

key:
* re-read
__ - read for school
(nf) - non-fiction
(a) - audiobook 

Overall trends:

// I read fewer books this year--thanks grad school.  What this list does not account for are the pages and pages of dense theoretical and critical essays and book chapters I read for school.  I swear, 20 pages of theory can be far more challenging than a 200 page novel.

// Where did all that non-fiction come from - especially the non-fiction for pleasure reading?!?  Unusual for me, but I read--er, listened to some great memoirs this year, which brings me to... 

// Audiobooks! Before 2015 I would have considered this cheating, but due to certain factors--grad school, again, and working in a file room this summer--I discovered not only how great audiobooks can be, but also the types of books I'm comfortable audiobooking.  I got to hear authors B.J. Novak, Patrick Rothfuss, and Mindy Kaling read their own books and it was a beautiful experience!!  I also discovered that my library system back home works with a great audiobooking app that I utilize for road trips and such :)

Stand-outs: 
  • Golden Son - Brown's followup to Red Rising was packed with even more plot twists than the original! Also, the final book in this landmark trilogy comes out in just 12 days, so it's a perfect time to pick up this series!
  • One More Thing - This collection of short stories is just fabulous!  Some stories quite lengthy while others are only 3 sentences.  I shared some of my favorite snippets already, but I'd also highly recommend the book's trailer--it is a treat!  Audiobooking this was such a great experience as B.J. Novak enlists a lot of quality voice work--from The Office co-stars Rainn Wilson, Jenna Fischer, and (of course) Mindy Kaling to thespians like Emma Thompson and Carey Mulligan to the quirky talents of Lena Dunham and Jason Schwartzman.  
  • Landline - I only grow more impressed with Rainbow Rowell (I'm currently reading my fourth book by her...she's only written 5 so I'm probably gonna run out).  She captures romance so authentically well while also making her stories gritty.  This one was especially good because it was simultaneously about first love and rekindling love. Sooo lovely!
  • I am Malala - This is one of those books everyone should read [I'd love to see Emma Watson pick it for her bookclub!].  It is such an incredible story and the news had only covered a small portion of it.  Again, the audiobook was stellar - especially because it ended with the actual audio of her UN speech.
  • Why Not Me - Perhaps it's just that I read/listened to this at the perfect time, but this was a really meaningful collection of essays.  Even if you don't pick up the book, you should do yourself the favor of reading the excerpt on confidence here.
So there you have my 2015 in books!!

* * * * *

As I do every year on this date, I also have to commemorate a few other things... 

First, today is the 203rd anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice.  I first read it 12 years ago, but with each passing year it has become more and more valuable to me.  If all goes according to plan, a few months from now I'll be defending a thesis project that wouldn't exist at all if it weren't for this extraordinary, beautiful, quietly subversive novel.

[via]

And lastly... today also marks 7 years of blogging here.  Thank you to anyone who has followed along for even just a smidge of that journey - I appreciate you all very much!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

My introduction to Star Wars...

I've recounted this story for a couple of different people lately, decided I should actually write it down, and now is actually the perfect time :)

It was the week between Christmas and New Years, I was 5-years-old, and Seattle was hit with a much stronger the usual snowstorm.  As it does when it gets a proper snow storm (or, ok--let's be real--even a couple of flurries), the city shut down.  Whether my dad had planned to take that time off of work or not, because of the snow, the whole family was together that week.

At some point around Christmas, one of the network TV stations aired the trilogy or at least A New Hope.  So my parents recorded it on VHS - ad breaks and all.  They showed us A New Hope and we all had our minds blown!!  Transported to a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away!  The enthralling opening music and scroll (even though my parents had to read it aloud to us), this defiant princess, the twin suns of Tattooine, jedi mind tricks, wookies, droids, lightsabers!!  Then my parents told us there was more!  More of this new, unbelievable drug of wonder, humor, and bravery?!?  Yes please!  Our family was never the "binge-watching" type.  We got one movie a day on weekends and that was it.  But my parents must have been moved by our delightful reactions and put on Empire Strikes Back.  I liked this one even more (and still do!).  His scoundrely romance with Leia cemented Han Solo as my first crush.  And you should have seen our visceral reactions and loud gasps to The Biggest Reveal in Movie History™.  What a film; what a cliffhanger!

Somehow, my parents had been able to get Episode IV and V, but not VI!  With the storm, even VHS Rental Stores (now a historical relic) were closed.  But they had 4 agonized children suffering not only movie hangover but also dying to find out what would happen!  Out of that desperation, my dad phoned a friend, the Smiths, our closest family friends [like I still have their phone number memorized].  They owned the whole trilogy and, yes, they would let us borrow Return of the Jedi.  But since the roads weren't drivable, my heroic dad ran through the snow--a mile and a half uphill, a mile and a half downhill--to obtain the Episode VI.

My dad was a good runner and, though the snow slowed him down, it probably took no more than an hour.  But what. an. hour.  I remember my mom saying, "At least you didn't have to wait 3 years like we did."  I also remember writhing; I'm pretty sure some of us were writhing on the floor, exposed to the pain I would learn to become very familiar with: waiting for resolution.  But at last, we could see our dad jogging through a white world up our street and our rejoicing rivaled that of the Ewoks' we were about to meet!

We watched it, finished it...the whole Star Wars trilogy in one day and it was magic!  I was changed forever.  And that snowy, starry, unique day happens to be 20 years ago this week.  I have seen The Force Awakens twice and am now living again with that dull but sweet pain that accompanies waiting in between Star Wars.  Till then, may the force be with you!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

My Favorite Scene in Film Noir

So I'm writing a term paper for my film noir class on fashion, the femme fatale, and women in the workforce during the post-war period.  It's quite fun - my only regret is that I only have a short window to write it.

But in reflecting back on the films we've watched this term, this scene has stayed with me since we first watched it.  It's a bit mature, but its also exceptional!  Noir like most film of the time has female characters that pretty much conform to a binary of the femme fatale and the nurturing home-maker.  But this clip of Bogart's Marlowe meeting a never-named character played by Dorothy Malone defies that binary...



I'm so impressed by this characterization.  She wears her desire openly - her face at 2:49! - and she isn't punished for it!!  She's smart enough to see through him and he's not threatened, he's impressed.  And can we talk about this fantastic early use of the "nerdy girl takes off her glasses" trope?  This is from the film that brought Bogart and Bacall together (and of course they do have fabulous chemistry), but its this scene that wins the "cold shower edit" as its known.  You go, Glen Coco! 

Hats off to Hawks, Bogart, and Malone!

...and now, back to paper-writing :)

Friday, November 13, 2015

Je ne sais pas que dire... 
Seulement, ce soir, mon cœur est avec Paris. 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Lately, Friday nights seem to lead me to interviews on Lady Gaga...and then 2 am happens.  But they've been incredibly restorative.  I get that she's not everyone's cup of tea, but there is a kind of depth to her that I've needed recently.  I don't really know how to describe it other than letting her speak for herself.  She sums it up wonderfully when she says:

"I'm gonna be responsible for all my pain looking beautiful."



"Well, 'Marry the Night' is about marrying the darkness, marrying what is difficult about your life.  So, I guess, what the video is asking from all of you is to bear your struggles very close to your heart and have them be a part of you that you're proud of, as opposed to being something you're ashamed of."


[Jump to around 1:40]

"I like to channel my pain in vibrant ways and that's how I deal with my sadness." 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Magdalen Cloisters

Reminiscing about the rainy visit I made to Magdalen College...

* * * * *


"Even Oxford's infrastructure was conducive to contemplation, revelation. Its walls seemed infused with mystery... It was tempting to think that resting my head against its stony chest would betray a heartbeat, or by putting my ear to this shell, I could hear the distant but undeniable advancing and then retreating of whispered wisdom." - Carolyn Weber



"The spirit of the elder days found a dwelling here, and we delighted to trace its footsteps." - Mary Shelley on Oxford



"I tended, indeed, to feel that God Himself dwelt in Oxford, His holy city, where He could hear the bells." - Sheldon Vanauken

* * * * *

All photos courtesy of Cami :)