Friday, 31 January 2014

What's the plan, Phil??

Today's post has a very simple motivation behind it. I was watching a movie today which I was not expecting to be quite so depressing as it was, and it put me in a bit of a slump. There's really no practical explanation behind this; it centred around life events which I feel myself to already be past. . . mainly having to worry about school. I've never been a slouch academically and so these worries have been absent from my life. I tried to explain a weird feeling I have about school to a close friend recently though. I almost want it to be harder. It's not that school was just easy for me in that five-year-old-math-prodigy kind of way - trust me, I worked for every good grade I ever received - it's that I feel as though I'll never really be satisfied until I've had to go full on, flat out to get what I want. Moving on.

The answer to de-slumping wasn't going to be reading today. After finishing Dunant's Blood and Beauty, I started in on The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton. If you haven't heard of the novel yet, it's been getting major press this past year as an 800-and-some-word literary undertaking, and winner of the 2013 Man Booker Prize. At the same time, I began Alice Munro's collection of short stories, Dear Life. Please tell me you've heard of this one. Canadian. Nobel Prize for Lit. All I can say so far is pick it up. It's not a heck of a big time commitment (the stories are only around 30-40 pages), but it's so satisfying to read the work of something who knows what they're doing and can do whatever it is in a limited number of pages without you feeling that it was meant to be either longer or shorter. The ability to compose short fiction is a very impressive talent indeed.

So why with both of these fantastic works to choose from did I deem it a literature-less afternoon? Because I decided instead to look at clothes on the internet. These items are adorable and remind me that it's not always going to -39 (celsius) with windchill.
"Presentation and Accounted For" - Modcloth

"In Due Corsage" - Modcloth
"Promoting Elegance" - Modcloth
"Madeline" - Out of Print
P.S. is a website you should definitely check out if you haven't already.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Bloodline Beauty

Well ladies, it's been the better part of a year since my last post. Isn't there a movie where one woman is speaking to another and wondering what happened to make things turn out the way they did? The answer given is simply: "Life." So that's my excuse for now. Life happened, and blogging did not. For some reason though, the combination of several inches of snow overnight, a pink cashmere sweater, and the consumption of the last sweet from Christmas has made me reach once more for the pen (keyboard). It feels like time to pick up, though not exactly where we left off, and carry on. Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.

So, so much has happened in the past year. I've graduated with distinction, gotten a new job, applied for grad school, been accepted to grad school, and read an absolute tonne. Today's post title comes from my current read, Sarah Dunant's latest: Blood and Beauty: The Borgias. If you care anything for historical fiction, Dunant will have you hooked from the beginning. If you already consider yourself a mild to extreme fanatic for the genre, Blood and Beauty will practically propel you out of your seat and on a plane to Rome.

Speaking of Rome. One exciting event I'm looking forward to is my return to Italy. I was there five years ago, before studying and minoring in the language. This time I'm looking forward to more interaction in the national tongue, more cities (I'm venturing further north), and certainly more to blog about. Ai miei amici italiani: dove devo viaggiare stavolta?

The other big life event quickly coming up on me is my move into the big city for grad school. Almost immediately after returning home from il bel paese, I'll be relocating to one of my country's big centers, possibly for good if things work out in my career.

Stick around and let's see where this year goes.