Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011

Last day of 2011!
Would like to wish everyone a very happy new year!
I look back satisfied with my year, for once. Evolved mentally and progressed stably in that mind-set, so I'm rather content. Read many wonderful books, improved my français and violin performance and listened to lovely songs. Want to begin 2012 the same way, but better, more mature.
Also, for those that pertain to the conspiracy that the world will end in 2012 should re-asses their grounds for such an estimation. Let's base the conclusion on factual evidence.
Hopefully it'll be a lovely year.
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Had some 'life-threatening' scenarios this year, but am thankful that I pulled through.
The sum of my goals in 2012 are essentially to maintain my inner spark and strive for achievement, production and above all: happiness.

Happy new year, everyone! Thank you for reading my blog!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

"Art is a selective re-creation of reality according to an artist's metaphysical value judgments. Man's profound need of art lies in the fact that his cognitive faculty is conceptual, i.e., that he acquires knowledge by means of abstractions, and needs the power to bring his widest metaphysical abstractions into his immediate, perceptual awareness. Art fulfills this need: by means of a selective re-creation, it concretizes man's fundamental view of himself and of existence. It tells man, in effect, which aspects of his experience are to be regarded as essential, significant, important." -- Ayn Rand

Just finished reading Ayn Rand Anwers: The Best of her Q&A. Simply put: she's a genius.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas night, it clutched the light, the hallow bright


Christmas



Tumblr_lukzi4uhed1r4d4e5o1_500_largeFirstly, I'd like to wish all my readers a very convival Christmas!

For me, the first few tender minutes of Christmas were spent in front of the TV, watching Star Wars, so I can't think of any way I'd rather have it.

Tumblr_lt3rt98gei1r1qkgio1_500_largeNaturally, I woke up very late today, so didn't experience the 'Christmas morning' feeling. But that's alright. Read the next letter from Oscar et la dame Rose, which coincidentally was written on Christmas Day! Had The Christmas Song on repeat; must have replayed it 37 times now since I discovered its existence.

Also listened to the full, free stream of the We Bought A Zoo Soundtrack. Had the loveliest surprise when I realized that it was composed by the one and only Jónsi of Sigur Rós!

Listened to Holocene on headphones in HMV and that was sublime as well... sort of a perfect Christmas song, in a way.

1191572-11-1321042272814_largeWe also built a lovey gingerbread house. Or, should I say, hut. Heated up a vat of chocolate for glue (yum) which proved to taste delectable although
not so ergonomically efficient. ended up snapping 3 of the 6 components required to build the house so had to work some modifications into it -- used corn starch and powdered sugar with water to create a substitute motar (but that didn't work either). Ended up sticking M&M's all over it. Sister wasn't too pleased but my brother was! All in all, a profitable experience.

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Don't really have a Christmas tree this year, more like two Christmas bushes. Small ones from IKEA... one a dark forest green and another that's lime and lighter. Draped lights over one of them and all around scattered shining bright globes of light. Real lovely. Between those two bushes, we've got a profuse poinsettia that sits on a rack. All in all, a nice arrangement.

Then of course we have got our presents scattered underneath the poinsettia. 

Most of our presents this year are food, so our stomachs are happily filling up. Received our first box of macaroons ever and they turn out to be not as overrated as I assumed. Will grow plump this Christmas but it's alright, everything's enjoyable. Thankful for this holiday! Will be sad to say goodbye to my Santa hat until next year, but I had a lovely time. Merry Christmas all!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wuthering Heights

Click play. The book was bitter but this sure is hilarious, and I mean that in the best way possible. The ending instrumental is real lovely as well.
"Heathcliff, it's me, I'm Cathy, I've come home...I'm so cold, let me into your window."
Should mention that it's a cover, Kate Bush sang the original.
http://www.myspace.com/cubancigarcrisis/music/songs/wuthering-heights-62873380
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On another note, Mumford and Sons have released a precious 1 minute snippet of their song for the new Wuthering Heights movie (which I must watch). Don't know if the song above will be used as well.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

"Lots of the world seems to be a repeat."

Realized I unwittingly posted a whole slew of photos, sorry. Were meant to have saved them as I usually pick one for each post (below).
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Anyway, I finished Room and let's just say it will haunt me for life. Definitely miles more captivating than Wuthering Heights. Room is told in the innocent, childish narrative of 5-year old Jack. He lives in a room with his Ma, with not much to fill their lives but a TV, couple of picture books and nighttime visits from a suspiciously terrorizing 'Old Nick.' Doesn't take readers long to grasp the truth of the situation in its entity, and upon its full revelation we comprehend that:

1) Old Nick is actually a deranged, sick and bastardy rapist who kidnapped Ma when she was 19.
2) Old Nick raped Ma and thus Jack was born in Room.
3) Room is the universe to Jack and he's never known anything else. All this time Ma has had him believe so.

Then one grand day Ma tells Jack of the 'Outside,' and they conduct the Great Escape and succeed. I obviously won't recount it in rapt, enthralling detail so as to not ruin the book, but essentially Jack and Ma make it out -- Ma leaving her prison and Jack leaving his world. Both characters take everything in differently. for Ma it is a return (albeit a struggle) and for Jack it's like being reborn completely. Their story is "darkly beautiful" and Jack's voice is unforgettable. It stays with me still. When I put Room down yesterday (before their Great Escape) I felt a kicking in my gut urging me to go out, to get some fresh air. Now, I'm seizing every opportunity to live, to really go outside and see the world for all its beauty. Will email Emma Donoghue and tell her what of a genius she is. Below are my favorite quotes from Room:
“In the world I notice persons are nearly always stressed and have no time...I don't know how persons with jobs do the jobs and all the living as well...I guess the time gets spread very thin like butter all over the world, the roads and houses and playgrounds and stores, so there's only a little smear of time on each place, then everyone has to hurry on to the next bit.”
“The world is always changing brightness and hotness and soundness, I never know how it's going to be the next minute.”

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I was brought up believing I was somehow unique

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Finished Wuthering Heights. Not even going to write a review, it's so bitter and angry.

Still need to properly check out:
1) The new Still Corners album
2) The new Crystal Fighters album
3) The new Laura Marling album
4) The new Fleet Foxes album
5) Bon Iver by Bon Iver (as Holocene means a lot to me)
4) The new Slow Club album

Need to find time once my internet stops lagging.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Again and again...



Being a knitter, sitting stiff at the edge of my seat and watching this video from beginning to end was quite a disturbing 6 minutes.

Below is one of the comments (should be top rated, don't know why it isn't) and I agree with it wholeheartedly. This clip also expresses the pain of sacrificing any personal value of toil... we go on trying to sustain it until we eventually break.
“You do anything long enough to escape the habit of living until the escape becomes the habit.” David Ryan
Agrees with this as well:

motivation

1:38



Itzhak Perlman: my favourite classical violinist! He came to HK but all the tickets were sold out...
And of course Yo Yo Ma is wonderful as always. This is probably my favourite classical song of all time... everytime it gets to 1:38 I feel like I've been punched in the stomach -- wham -- it expresses the painful loveliness of humoresque, comme la vie. 

Not to sound like a warped ball of melted cheese saying that.

List

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1) February 11th, 2012 -- Watching The Vaccines live! So, so exciting. One of my favourite bands.
2) Reading Oscar et la Dame Rose for French and its painful innocence is so beautiful.
3) Have entered the Christmas Holiday mind-set! Over these two weeks I will wrap up Wuthering Heights (which I cannot believe has taken me a month -- yes, I did deprive it of dedicated reading but I managed to finish Atlas Shrugged in this time...), Room, and Absalom, Absalom! 
4) Got Facebook back and feel bitter about posts I unfortunately glimpsed over... was better off without it.
5) Scouring band websites for free downloads as 'tis the season for giving. So far have managed to seize Night Bus, First, and a Driving Home for Christmas cover all by Lucy Rose (and acoustic), Woodland by The Paper Kites and a b-side to Never Trust a Happy Song: Gold Coast by GroupLove. Which, by the way, as I predicted months ago (not to sound snobby), rose to huge success. They've got 9/12 songs from their album up for the Triple J top 100 votes! Kudos to them.

Think that's it for this post. Will upload a Christmas post again, like last year. In the meantime, winter is at its loveliest and I'm seeing wonderful things that make ma coeur un peu branlante. Rather melancholy season.

Also, I'll be re-watching all the Star Wars movies (win!).

And...
www.sprawl2.com

Sunday, December 11, 2011

I'm not whole, oh you waste it all

Spent hours being shoved in a suffocating crowd by smelly drunks and stinky smokers, but all eventually reached the ultimate culmination -- I met Bombay Bicycle Club! Truly the sweetest guys, patient with annoying, excited fans (me). Best hour of my week, heck, month. Plus, they played all my favourite songs! Can't quite thank them enough. Have got their autographs pinned up on my wall already! Shame I couldn't get Suren's!
If I follow the light
That I deem the brightest
I won't believe that
It's always like this

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Content this way


How golden is this?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Weather

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3/4 through history homework when I found this:
http://indiecurrent.com/category/alternative/page/3
I mean, wow! Free downloads and all!

Friday, December 2, 2011

What?

This song is tuned with my mind presently...
listened to it maybe a month ago but never resonated with it until now.
I was raised up believing I was somehow unique
Like a snowflake distinct among snowflakes, unique in each way you can see

But I don't, I don't know what that will be
I'll get back to you someday soon you will see

What's my name, what's my station, oh, just tell me what I should do
I don't need to be kind to the armies of night that would do such injustice to you
Or bow down and be grateful and say "sure, take all that you see"
To the men who move only in dimly-lit halls and determine my future for me

If I know only one thing, it's that everything that I see
Of the world outside is so inconceivable often I barely can speak
Yeah I'm tongue-tied and dizzy and I can't keep it to myself
What good is it to sing helplessness blues, why should I wait for anyone else?

If I had an orchard, I'd work till I'm sore
Someday I'll be like the man on the screen

White Winter Hymnal


So, the plan is to live as long as possible to explore the magic of winter.

December is here! Love the sharp, biting air.

Borrowed two lovely books from the libary for Christmas reading:

1. Room by Emma Donoghue
2. Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner

Before I can bury my nose in those, however, I'm still reading Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. I have less time to read nowadays so it's taking me a while but have to admit I don't pick it up regularly as I very nearly loathe all the characters.