Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Les Miserables trailer comes out = I'm listening to the music all day =)

If you haven't seen it yet, go check it out!

So, I've mentioned this film before... but now the trailer is out!!
The Words:

Eeek! The plot reminds me of one of my favorite books (I don't want to spoil it by giving the title. Ash - wink wink), but I don't mind. Anyway... this just looks lovely =)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ok... disney character I most identify with (especially tonight):

This adorable, semi-schizoid, scene stealer. I <3 Frank!
Oh gosh... love this guy!

"keys keys get the keys!" ;)

A friend snapped this yesterday... ah, I miss you, London, but I'm coming back!!

[pc: Jessica]

Monday, May 28, 2012

If I haven't said so already... I'm saying it now.
I'm SO excited for this film:


one week.

One week from now I'll have taken my last final and be done.
My thesis is all but done. Literally I have a bracketed phrase at the end: [insert witty concluding sentence here]. And I'm not set on a title yet. But spilling onto 26 pages with about 35 pieces in my bibliography, I think I'm about there. And I have 3 days before I have to turn it in, so I'll have time for several more read throughs and tinkering with lines here and there.
I've also got the notes for my presentation, so if I can practice that, its under 20 minutes, and sounds convincing--I should be good.
Today I was working on the last paper I have to write. I had done research and was fleshing out the ideas of my argument... when a crazy thought struck me: this paper would be way better as a poem. Being that its for my modernism class and I have an awesome teacher, I emailed her to ask and she said... yes! She thought it was an awesome idea. So I will now be writing my paper a la T.S. Eliot. It's addressing Time, the city, and modernism... and its now going to be a poem. Stoked.
Then the only thing left will be my philosophy final next monday.


It has been four years and just a week from now I'll be done with that journey. Two weeks from now I'll walk in my graduation and walk right into "the real world." I'll hit the streets looking for a better job and spend the next year adjusting to a different lifestyle. I'll still be doing academic work as I apply to a plethora of grad programs, some prestigious scholarships, and study for the GRE. I found out this week that I received UW nomination for two UK scholarships I will be applying for--the first step in a very long process. Oh, and I'm sorry for never following up with the cryptic "about to meet with the British Consulate." The Consulate from San Francisco visited UW to meet with our two in-coming Rhodes Scholars (woot! Congrats to both Byron and Cameron). They also wanted to meet with potential candidates for other scholarships, of which I am one. So... I got to meet with them for about an hour. Seriously had not been that nervous in several years. But it turned out well. They were very down to earth but knowledgable. All that to say, next year should be exciting--starting quite literally just as soon as I finish with this year. 
But I'm suspended in a strange moment. Three days of class left? Two papers and one final? It seems impossible--impossible that so little is left. Here's to finishing well...


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Quotes on Austen [part 2]

Well, currently working on page 21 of my thesis... its getting there. A few more fun ones:

"...there seems almost a general wish of decrying the capacity and undervaluing the labour of the novelist, and of slighting the performances which have only genius, wit, and taste to recommend them… Such is the common cant.—“And what are you reading, Miss----?” “Oh! it is only a novel!” replies the young lady… “It is only Cecilia, or Camilla, or Belinda;”  or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour are conveyed to the world in the best chosen language." - Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey, in defense of the novel

"But while Emily Brontë was as unsociable as a storm at midnight, and while Charlotte Brontë was at best like that warmer and more domestic thing, a house on fire—they do connect themselves with the calm of George Eliot, as the forerunners of many later developments of the feminine advance." - G.K. Chesterton [okay, not on Austen, but it was too funny to pass up]

"Men like Coleridge or Carlyle… had gone through furnaces of culture where even less creative people might have been inflamed to creation. Jane Austen was not inflamed or inspired or even moved to be a genius; she simply was a genius. Her fire, what there was of it, began with herself… There was nothing in her circumstances, or even in her materials, that seems obviously meant for the making of such an artist." - G.K. Chesterton, introduction to "Love and Freindship" (1922)

Monday, May 21, 2012

I'm asking God for one thing,
only one thing; 
To live with Him in His house
my whole life long.
I'll contemplate His beauty;
I'll study at his feet.
That's the only quiet, secure place
in a noisy world...
When my heart whispered, "Seek God,"
my whole being replied,
"I'm seeking Him!"
Don't hide from me now!
...I'm sure now I'll see God's goodness
in the exuberant earth.
Stay with God!
Take heart. Don't quit.
I'll say it again:
Stay with God.

- selections from Psalm 27 [the Message]

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Courage! What makes a King out of a slave?
Courage! What makes the flag on the mast to wave?
Courage! What makes the elephant charge his tusk, in the misty mist or the dusky dusk?
What makes the muskrat guard his musk?
Courage! What makes the sphinx the seventh wonder?
Courage! What makes the dawn come up like thunder?
Courage! What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the "ape" in apricot?
What have they got that I ain't got?

Guess which Aristotelian virtue I'm writing a paper on?
Ah... but I do love these lines.

because my dad's that awesome

Yah... my dad just sent that email out to the whole family.

Happy Thursday!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Glorious day!

 Today was so fabulous. 80º and sunny in Seattle.
Here are just some moments of the day:
[beautiful campus... only 3 weeks left here]

[Mt. Rainier in the distance =]

[Bare-feet in the quad... reminded me of Magdalen's quad]

[I Believe in Sherlock Holmes - made my day even brighter!]

[They did good =]
[a bit of folk in the city]


[happy hour at Cafe Campagne (again) - sooo good!]

[finally got to garden! My dad and I planted the flowers I bought for Mother's Day]

[peonies are coming!!!]

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Because this wouldn't fit in the card...

Dear Mom,

You are the BEST!! I am so, so grateful for you and all that you have helped me accomplish.
[Immediate family + Miss Ida at Jer's MC graduation]
Thank you for giving up your everything for us. I know raising us was rowdy, dirty, awkward, and sometimes down-right traumatic. But despite appendicitis, swallowed quarters, and cancer, you stuck with this crazy family. I can't tell you how grateful I am for the choices and the sacrifices you've made when the normal human reaction would be to bolt. You put up with so much and I'm so glad to see you now reaping such amazing blessings.

[Four generations of ladies: Granny holding Miss Ida, Melissa, myself, Sarah, and my mom being funny in the back =]
Thank you for representing what it means to be a woman. It's kind of funny that your three daughters are such different people, but you set such a good example that, despite our differences, we each learned what it means to be feminine. Seriously, thank you for forcing us to wear a dress to church every Sunday. Thank you for teaching us that a woman's clothes don't have to be from Nordstrom to look good. Thank you for the time at the Christmas party a few years back when you pulled me aside just to say, "Samara, you look gorgeous. Enjoy yourself tonight." Thank you for affirming womanhood in this crazy, confused world.

[Mom and I in Oxford]
I cannot even begin to express how much your encouragement means has meant over the years!! You may not have known what to do with your little, over-achiever, but I just want to say, I'm partly your fault. You have such an incredible enthusiasm--especially for learning--which I inherited. And then of course, there was all the reading you did when you were on bed-rest with me [silly me, always trying to get a head-start on things]. But in all seriousness, your encouragement to train at the A Level has made me who I am today. Thank you for supporting my interest in FBLA. You stuck with me in the high's--placing at Nationals in Chicago--to the low's--like when I was puking the morning of my first public speaking experience--and everything in between. Thank you for not letting me quit University after the first year. You and Dad heard God when I couldn't and now, about to graduate, I can't say it enough: "You were right!!" You knew me better than I did and I'm so grateful that you twisted my arm when you knew that staying in college was part of my calling. Thank you thank you thank you!

[Mom and I in Paris]
Thank you for helping me dream bigger! I know that you're more of a cautious person by tendency, but you have been so instrumental in pushing me to all that God has. When I was either too afraid or too weak to commit to something big, you have been the one to release me. You were the one to say "Go for it" when I wanted to skip a grade. You were the one to say "Samara, don't settle" when I got distracted. You were the one to encourage me to study abroad. You were the one to suggest applying to Oxford when I was way too scared to consider that option. And more recently, you were the one to pick me back up and say, "Samara, re-apply." Thanks for be willing to listen to, pray about, and join in on some of my crazy ideas (from serious considerations like job-hunts to fun adventures like when I drug you up to the top of the Arc de Triomphe). I couldn't have taken this incredible journey without you (literally and figuratively ;), and I'm so grateful for all you've done.

[Sarah, Mom, myself, and Granny]

Love you so, so much!! Happy Mother's Day!

Things were going swimmingly with Aristotle till I read: "little people may be neat & well proportioned but cannot be beautiful." Beg to disagree haha

Monday, May 7, 2012

Happy Birthday Miss Ida Marie!!

You are such a gift. I'm grateful beyond words for you, my dear.
One year ago today =)

Christmas tree hunting

Beautiful girlie! 

Love you, my little, girlie friend!
Happy 1st!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

"Words, words, words. I'm so sick of words." - My Fair Lady

Ok, that's not entirely true. I love words and I always will. But I'm on page 16 of my thesis....... and that means I'm just over half-way =\ More words.

"Do you hear the people sing?"

I do!! Les Miserables 2012 here I come =)


Celebrating someone very special today!

Today my younger sister is Sweet 16!

So grateful for this girl!!
She totally cracks me up:


I love and appreciate you so much!
I have high anticipations for all that this new year will bring you.
I'm really excited that next year I'll be freer to do lots of fun sister-dates =)
Thank you for being your precious, hilarious, adorable self.

Love you TONS,

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Quotes on Austen [part 1]

I am loving the research process on my Austen-Shakespeare paper. I've come across several quotes that don't fit in my paper, but they're just too good not to share, so I'm gonna just post them here. Some are reverent, others ridiculously effusive, and most are just plain hilarious! Critics on Austen:
"Jane Austen... is perhaps the only English example of that spirit of classical comedy that is more natural to the Latin people than to ours and that Moliere represents for the French. That this spirit should have embodied itself in England in the mind of a well-bred spinster, the daughter of a country clergyman, who never saw any more of the world than was made possible by short visits to London and a residence of a few years in Bath and who found her subjects mainly in the problems of young provincial girls looking for husbands, seems one of the most freakish of the many anomalies of English literary history." - Edmund Wilson, "A Long Talk about Jane Austen" [1945]
"One of those fairies who perch upon cradles must have taken her a flight through the world directly she was born. When she was laid in the cradle again she knew not only what the world looked like, but had already chosen her kingdom. She had agreed that if she might rule over that territory, she would covet no other. Thus at fifteen she had few illusions about other pople and none about herself... Jane Austen kept to her compact; she never trespassed beyond her boundaries... Spasms and rhapsodies, she seems to have said, pointing with her stick, end there; and the boundary line is perfectly distinct. But she does not deny that moons and mountains and castles exist--on the other side." - Virginia Woolf, "Jane Austen" [1925]
"As Lionel Trilling points out, Jane Austen 'was committed to the ideal of "intelligent love," according to which the deepest and truest relationship that can exist between human beings is pedagogic. This relationship consists in the giving and receiving of knowledge about right conduct, in the formation of one person's character by another, the acceptance of another's guidance in one's own growth.' ...For her the pedagogic relationship is not parasitic but symbiotic, a relationship that is mutual and joyful... The happy resolutions of her novels celebrate the achieved integration of head and heart that is represented by the pupil and teacher coming to loving accord." - Juliet McMaster, "Love and Pedagogy"
"A serious interest in structure...ought naturally to lead us from Pride and Prejudice to a study of the comic form it exemplifies, the conventions which have presented much the same features from Plautus to our own day. The conventions in turn take us back into myth. When we compare the conventional plot of a play of Plautus with the Christian myth of a son appeasing the wrath of a father and redeeming his bride, we can see that the latter is quite accurately described, from a literary point of view, as a divine comedy." - Northop Frye, quoted by Joseph Wiesenfarth in "Austen and Apollo" [new favorite article on Austen]

Friday, May 4, 2012

Happy Birthday to such a favorite =)

Audrey, thank you!

Much love,

Thursday, May 3, 2012


I'm officially going!!
I just bought my tickets to see Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Lee Miller in Danny Boyle's Frankenstein
So beyond excited!! =)



Happy Birthday Ross!!

So... you may have heard, but I thought I'd tell you anyway:
today Ross turns 2!!

I can't believe it was 2 years ago that I met our happy little man:

such a cutie!

Did I mention he's a ham? haha!

Oh goodness... too cute!

And so funny!

Love you, Buddy Boy!

Here's a big squeeeeeze and a kiss from Auntie Samara!
Love you!!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

mid-term musings

In between celebrating birthdays (there are 5 birthdays in my family in just 11 days--whew!), I'm supposed to be studying for mid-terms and just wanted to process some of my thoughts.

"What is poetry? What is its aim? On the distinction between the Good and the Beautiful; on the Beauty of Evil; that rhythm and rhyme answer the immortal need in man for monotony, symmetry, and surprise; on adapting style to subject; on the vanity and danger of inspiration, etc..." - Charles Baudelaire

"The poet is occupied with frontiers of consciousness beyond which words fail, though meaning still exists." - T.S. Eliot

"A word is dead
When it is said,
Some say.

I say it just
Begins to live
That day."
- Emily Dickenson

"You can gorge yourself on Austen and not get fat. She’s both a comic and a romantic, a nearly impossible combination." - Margaret Kaufman