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 :)

Sunday, October 25, 2015


candlelit steam and dreaming 
of waking up next
to someone... 

i'm about to be raw, 
let you decide
and wondering should I be 
bracing for sanitation or
a salve? and will you still
want the brokenness 
of me? will you
walk out of my life just as 
easily as "are you dancing
with someone?" or can i
cut in. 

is this you cutting out?

Friday, October 16, 2015

Hello, I have few bits of graduate school news to share with you...

So, the most significant thing this week is that I turned in the first drafted chapter of my thesis!  It's actually not the first chronological chapter--I'll probably be writing that last; it's a chapter from the body and will probably chapter 3 of 4. It ended up being about 18 pages long and just over 6,000 words.  I can't believe it's there. actually there. on the page.  There were many times this spring and summer where I looked at many aspects of my life and thought "I don't know how I'm gonna make it..."  I definitely wondered how I could possibly do the necessary research and write this chapter.  But here it is.  I don't know if it's any good yet, but it's here :)  I'll be meeting with my adviser next week and hopefully will have some good feedback because...

That chapter is doing double-duty as a conference paper next month, PAMLA.  I've already shared my paper proposal on here, but the official schedule has come out and I now have the link to the comparative media panel I'm on!  I am also super grateful to have won their (small, but significant) graduate student scholarship.  One can kind of wonder if they were accepted to a panel just because there was no one else applying, but this wonderful honor makes me feel like they actually want me there, which is lovely!

This week I also heard back from a similar proposal I made for an adaptation panel at the Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association (PCA/ACA).  Their national conference is in March and it's in Seattle, plus this particular conference is almost like an academic conference meets a fan convention - so I reeeally wanted to present at this conference.  Well...I'm in!  The panel chair sent such an encouraging email and I'm so looking forward to attending in the Spring.   Here was my PCA/ACA proposal:

“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.
So grateful for every chance I get to dialogue through these intriguing questions.  Here's to many more conversations about Jane Austen :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Lately I've had Ryan Adam's 1989 on repeat.  I've also been working on a chapter for my thesis on The Lizzie Bennet Diaries...

And it hasn't been lost on me that I'm indulging a full-scale adaptation while writing about adaptation.  I love it!


To say that I was in love with you is taking things too far.  So, no, I wasn't in love with you.

But I could have been.

I had almost succeeded in erasing you, unfriended and unfollowed...  But today I slipped on the tee I wore on the last day - not the last day I almost loved you - but the last one I had permission to.  And in the days and days and daze that followed, my greatest tragedy was intangibility, not even having the satisfaction of calling you my ex.  Because that would have justified my pain and excused me from the fake smiles I gave you.

[probably to be continued...]

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Growing out a pixie....

Once upon a time... I was a pixie.
And I loooved being a pixie! 

And yet, for various reasons, I decided to grow out my pixie.


I didn't decide to grow out the pixie until a few months later but here's an example of it near its shortest


This is about when I decided to let it grow out. 



You know... just a "Don't Stop Believing" lip-sync sesh in the car.








As of yesterday, I've unlocked the "bob with bangs" level and from here I should have an easier time - fewer haircuts interpolated by bang trims. 

The grow-out process hasn't always been easy, but it wasn't so bad that I wouldn't go back to a pixie.  Here are a few tips and tricks I learned along the way:

* A hairstylist you trust is a requirement!  I mean, it should probably be a requirement before getting a pixie.  But you need someone who really knows your long term vision (is it weird that I always have a 1-2 year hair plan?)

* Be prepared to visit said hairstylist often to take care of trouble spots #FightTheMullet

* I grew out one side at a time and it kept me sane!  I probably could have grown it out faster, but I refused to look like a 2008 Beiber!  My pixie had always been asymmetric, so I kept trimming the left side while the right grew out till I could really style it.  That way I could draw attention away from the left as it grew out.

* Color is your friend! Before I started growing out the left side, I had ombré highlights added and they have helped even more than I anticipated!

* A women's multivitamin has improved my overall hair health.  I also added lavender essential oil to my shampoo to help it grow a bit faster. 

* Get experimental with tools and products.  It seemed like I had to slightly adjust my hair routine every 4-5 weeks or so.  And at one point I was blow drying with 3 different round brushes!  My favorite products?  This texturizing spray and a good dry shampoo (preferably Batiste's).  

* To see some more of my "goal hairstyles" along the way, visit my Hair board on Pinterest :) 

* * * * * * *

Dear pixie,
You were good to me.  You helped me be more me.
Thanks you so much for that.
One day, I'll find you again.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Haikus: Epiphany

I know this summer I haven't posted as much as usual.  Due to my job and thesis research, I didn't have as much time for personal writing as I wanted to.  I did find myself jotting down phrases on the go and eventually got the idea to work on a collection of haikus.  I had a lot of fun with this project and it was really fascinating how once I embraced the form, it seems like I started thinking 5-7-5.  I'm not sure if this project is over, but it's time I share these snippets from the past few months.

So, without further adieu, summer 2015 according to Haikus: Epiphany.

* * * * *

Disillusioned ones
walk on. But the face of God
is a mountainside. 

Staying up the hours the carpool lane is open:
Embrace the night owl 
living within yourself and 
stop harboring guilt.

Post Alley:
I don't remember
the song playing, but I now 
have my alibi 

Flat Rate Boxes:
Can't account for the 
words, tears, everything, but...
"You want your stuff back?" 

Park West:
See the pale half-moon, 
fire-red sun share the sky
and feel my pulse calm. 

Breakfast conversations:
"Girls go to work, too?"
As mothers and execs, but
yes, darling girl, yes.

Strangers footprints mark
once most-familiar floors,
when home is not home.

Soho, 1.30am:
"What the hell is that?"
Your wedding ring... Brokenness 
I can't help you bear. 

Oxford isn't a place, 
but an ancient creature made
of heart-beating stones. 

Original Starbucks:
Spain. England. Belgium. 
"No, that wasn't the last one." 
Stroking away fears...

Fresh-faced pixies, once
I was like you, before I 
felt always behind. 

Cœur de la vallée:
Wood smoke.  Unbroke.  Our
star-gazing conversations
ease anxiety. 

Highway 101:
Ever think about
Seattle and recall that
corridor we shared? 

An Erasure from Compline, Book of Common Prayer:
Glory to Father, Son 
Holy Spirit, as it was, 
is, will be. Amen.

That moment when they
cry, "I can't believe..." and it's
like vindication.