Thursday, August 22, 2013

Love and Friendship

Love and Friendship

Love is like the wild rose-briar,
Friendship like the holly-tree—
The holly is dark when the rose-briar blooms
But which will bloom most constantly?

The wild rose-briar is sweet in spring,
Its summer blossoms scent the air;
Yet wait till winter comes again
And who will call the wild-briar fair?

Then scorn the silly rose-wreath now
And deck thee with the holly’s sheen,
That when December blights thy brow
He still may leave thy garland green.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Scene

           The hot tears on my face contrasted sharply with the icy glass melded with my forehead.
            I felt I could read their lips, even though they weren’t even moving. I love you. Good-bye. I’m sorry. A hint of a smile amidst the sorrow.
            The woman and the man parted slightly, gloved hands brushing, dark-haired heads kissing, dotted with flecks of weeping snow. Despite the puffy gear piled on slim bodies to block out the cold, the intimacy of their farewell could not be disguised–or rather, prevented.
            Perhaps the woman was leaving for a school far away to continue her studies–maybe the London School of Economics, or Vienna for culinary studies. Perhaps this was a bitter farewell, one forced by odds stacked upon odds, cruel circumstances, or perhaps this was a temporary good-bye, an understanding.
            She slipped onto the train, one hand wrapped around her luggage–burdens weighing her down in more ways than one–one hand shoved inside her pocket, preserving the touch of her loved one.

            But as I watched, drawing in a hitched breath, the woman turned to look at the tall man left standing on the platform, and the look on her face confirmed hope

           Someday. Aliquando. Un jour. Algún día. κάποια μέρα.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Fall Fashion 2013

The air is becoming crisper, students are out buying supplies, schedules are being picked up... Ah, autumn. Love it or hate it, it comes with an influx of new (or recycled?) trends that we can nitpick and analyze to our hearts' content.

1) Peplum

Yeah, this is still in, and according to Glamour, it's not gonna die. I wish I could say I like this trend, but I'm not so partial to it. Maybe I'm just bitter because I don't have the stick-thin body to pull it off. I don't think I've seen a single peplum piece that I've liked so far, and this trend came out a while ago. To me, it just looks bulky and uncomfortable. It's not subtle and it's... kind of frilly. I dunno. It's just not my thing.

2) Layering

Yes, yes, and YES! Layering is timeless! This time, it's layering textures. Is that awesome, or what?! A word of caution–don't get too excited (like me), and make sure to keep it all very streamlined, lest you end up looking like...a hot mess. No other way to put it.

3) Leopard/Zebra Print

Never really got on board with the leopard print; it was always a bit too... Real Housewives of ______ for me, so I dunno. But meh. Whatever floats your boat. Zebra print, on the other hand, looks pretty awesome if you ask me.

4) Leather

So glad this is still in because I've been thinking about investing in brown or black leather! As for leather pants, I have a pair that I could wear comfortably a couple years ago, but now... hm. Not sure. A bit too scared to try them on, to be honest. What's the deal with white leather, btw? Seems like many people are a bit iffy/cautious when approaching it, but I think it looks nice. *shrugs*

5) Classic Prints/Menswear

'Warholian' is Bazaar's take on it. Houndstooth, graphics, etc. I love the menswear, but still mulling over the different little prints. Not gonna lie–I'm still caught up with the flowy florals from spring. Sorry.
Menswear, on the other hand, I can get on board with. I LOVE that look. It's edgy and still sophisticated, and completely appropriate for work (I think).

6) American Pastoral

Guys, I gotta be honest. I don't really know what this means. It just kind of gets all hazy in my brain with a mix of Walt Whitman? nature? high boots? what? Yeah... not sure. But high boots=YEAH! Plus, what I'm seeing of this trend so far (or what they're calling this, anyway), I'm loving, so 'sall good for now.

7) Hats

Can't pull this off :( But I usually love seeing hats on other people! A good hat can elevate an otherwise standard outfit to a whole new level.

8) Emerald Green

Fantastic. I have many pictures for this trend because I love the color so much. I'm glad emerald green is back, because it's rich and full and perfect. Plus, I just recently purchased an Icebreaker Merino shirt in emerald green and am eyeing a BCBGMaxAzria dress in the same shade... Hmm.
Whether you think of emerald-cut diamonds, Costa Rica, or Harry Potter's eyes, be sure to get on board with this trend, because hardly anyone looks bad in emerald green (or am I wrong? I may just be biased).

9) Military

SO want a military jacket right now!! Unfortunately, I might have to wait a couple weeks.. or months... I've been buying way too many clothes recently. Online shopping is dangerous, y'all. But anyway, this is a nice homage to our army that keeps our country safe while looking cool.

10) Gray

I guess gray is the new neutral! ...I really hope this has nothing to do with the Fifty Shades of Gray (Grey?) release... otherwise I may have to give in to my natural stubbornness and try to boycott the trend. But besides that, gray is a-okay (see what I did there!)!

11) Color-blocking

LOVE this trend. It's cool, yet fun; classy, yet punchy; cute, yet sophisticated. It's versatile, and I'm in love. You can do it with bright colors, like yellow and green, or with neutral colors. Anyway, it looks great, and you can take the shortcut by getting a simple colorblocked blouse, or add in your own flair by mixing and matching your personal pieces (I don't have the coordination to do that, sadly...).

12) Slouchy pants

I reaaaaalllyyyyyyyy WANT a pair of these! Harem pants, menswear trousers, whatever. Sadly, when I excitedly held up a pair to my friend while shopping, she was like "Dude. You could never wear those out." To which I was like, ":(!!!" I guess you have to establish a firm foundation of edginess and fashion forward-ness before attempting the difficult task of pulling off slouchy pants. Sigh. Oh well. Good things come to those who wait.

Happy shopping, everyone!

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder—much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing—not even a smear of blood—to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . .

So, that's the back cover synopsis for The City of Bones, the first book in the series. 

WAIT! Don't kill me yet, Cassandra Clare fans. I simply mean that when this came out in 2007, it was like, all the rage or something (was it? I dunno), but I was thoroughly meh about it. Never read it because it didn't really catch my interest. Disclaimer–the only book series about magic that does anything for me is Harry Potter. Yep. 
BUT the movie is coming out (Jamie Campbell Bower's got one hell of a jawline on him, eh?) and I like to be somewhat well-informed... so I read the book! In a day. On a PDF file. Instead of writing college essays. 
You know, I actually liked this book. It was well-paced, fairly well-written, and decently captivating. Yeah, yeah, that sounds like a pretty wishy-washy, half-assed assessment (see what I did there?). 
Jace Wayland is hilarious. Personally, I think he's a riot. Some quotes to exemplify: 

“Have you fallen in love with the wrong person yet?' Jace said, "Unfortunately, Lady of the Haven, my one true love remains myself." ..."At least," she said, "you don't have to worry about rejection, Jace Wayland." "Not necessarily. I turn myself down occasionally, just to keep it interesting.”

Clary turned instant traitor against her gender. "Those girls on the other side of the car are staring at you." Jace assumed an air of mellow gratification. "Of course they are," he said, "I am stunningly attractive.”

The arrogant sarcasm doesn't really float some people's boats, but I love it. For me, he made the whole book interesting. I love Jace Wayland, guys. I do, I weally do. 
So, besides for Jace, the other characters are sympathetic and likable, which is a must for me. Clary was a pretty solid protagonist, and her best friend Simon is cute and humorous as well. The whole book was a thumbs up for me, albeit one accompanied by shrugs and 'eh, okay then's, until... 

DUNDUNDUN SPOILER ALERT!! (But not really, because almost every trailer highlights this plot point and let's be honest, who wasn't expecting this?)

The love triangle. A. Freaking. Love. Triangle. Why? Why? And one more time, why?! 
Ohmygiddygod the love triangle is so overdone. I am sick and tired of the love triangle. And worst of all, it's one of those 'wait... you're in love with me?!" love triangles! Like, come on, it's painfully obvious! You can't pretend that you didn't have at least the slightest inkling that the poor dude had a major crush on you! 
Let's just take a look at some love triangles in history, shall we? 
  • Romeo, Juliet, Paris
  • Cook, Effy Stonem, Freddie McClair (plus JJ if you count him)
  • Hephaestus, Aphrodite, Ares
  • Mark Darcy, Bridget Jones, Daniel Cleaver
  • Lancelot, Guinevere, Arthur
  • Tristan, Isolde, King Mark
  • Will Turner, Elizabeth Swann, Captain Jack
  • Paris, Helen, Menelaus 
  • Vronsky, Anna, Karenin
  • Erik, Christine, Raoul
  • Eponine, Marius, Cosette (but this one is okay, because it's, well, Les Mis!!)
  • Peeta, Katniss, Liam Hemsw–oops, I mean Gale
  • Hera, Zeus, the world of females
Okay, obviously the last one is a joke, but see what I mean? If I tried to list all the love triangles in popular culture, books, TV shows, movies, etc etc, we'd be here allllllll through eternity. 

I HATE LOVE TRIANGLES. Modern ones, anyway... the classic ones you can't really do anything about because it was probably original back then. And everything is very well-written so it's all right. 
In case you didn't notice, I don't particularly like love triangles. 

SO, I was thoroughly disillusioned after that little revelation (leading up to that, I was like "Please don't do it, no, please please please no, please no," etc). But I'll be fair. 
Overall, City of Bones is a pleasant, fast read that tickles the mind and soothes the palate for a bit. Besides the love triangle. Although hopefully, y'all aren't as irked by it as I am. 

But I'll definitely see the movie (maybe online...). 

P.S. Man, am I glad I did not check out a physical copy of this book! On the front cover, there's a quote from Stephenie Meyer advocating the novel!! If I'd seen that before reading City of Bones... well... I probably would... not have read it. (My reaction: "Meyer can read?!") Okay sorry, that was mean. But seriously. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Insecurity Complex

"Wow, you're so smart! I bet you're going to go to Yale."
"What?! No way, I'm such a failure; are you kidding me?"
..Seriously, what is that? Looking at those words on the page, it looks idiotic. But truly, we seem incapable of accepting compliments. What is so hard about saying a simple "thank you" with a gracious smile?
It's been ingrained in us since youth that we cannot be braggarts and must be humble. And, of course, the overachiever has become the average human being in this day and age (2% acceptance rate to Harvard, anyone?); so, we outdo each other in a game of insecurity and humbleness.
But false modesty has become as irksome as pretentiousness, perhaps even more so. Why?
I believe that we cling to our little safety zone of insecurity and modesty because we're afraid to put ourselves out there. Perhaps, we think that if we say "thank you" and accept the compliments, we now have expectations put on us. We now have the responsibility of continuing to live up to those compliments. Insecurity is something we need, despite how much we outwardly wrinkle our noses at it. We're constantly comparing ourselves to other people in an attempt to keep up our belittling facade, instead of simply being who we are. Self-consciousness is practically a staple quality in every person these days–even in males.
Humans are strange creatures, huh?
I think the lesson at the end of the day is that it is what it is. You have to know what you are, who you are, and accept that. Be honest with people, as much as possible (believe it or not, honesty is not always the best policy...). And sometimes, those lessons drilled into us from toddlerhood can be as deprecating as those not taught to us.

Moderation is key–moderation in all things, including moderation.

(And hi there! Nice to meet you!)