Monday, 11 June 2012

Alabama Shakes - Boys & Girls

(Last scheduled post for this holiday.)

So I know that my weekly music posts suddenly disappeared and I miss them too, I do. Unfortunately, with exams I just got too busy and it's not that it's time consuming to listen to music. But when following a set list of music and you have to discuss and decide on an album with your brother... It requires a certain degree of planning.

So now I just listen to whatever, which is good because I'm not limited to just music from the 90s.

Alabama Shakes - Boys & Girls
This is not your typical rock/indie album, this is something else. I had to actually google them to find out what genre they identify with and the list is as follows: southern rock, soul, Americana, blues rock and garage rock. I don't know what half of those genres even mean, but I do like these. There's a hint of The White Stripes in them, if that helps. What I'm getting at is that this music is so soothing and yet gripping. People may need to be in a certain mood to listen to them (I'm like that with a lot of music), but to me it's the kind of music that conjure up an image of ice cold drinks on a hot summer. My favourites are Rise to the Sun and Boys & Girls, although there's not a single bad song on the album.

As of this moment I should be enjoying breakfast in my mom's kitchen. Two days until I go back home again!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Scarlett Johansson

(Scheduled post, crrrrazy!)

Just in case you're wondering, the celebrity I drew last week in this post was none but.. (tadamdamdam dam).. Scarlett Johansson! I love her as an actress and she's one of the most beautiful women in the world, I think. The drawing was an attempt of copying a still from Vicky Christina Barcelona. Clearly, I need to work on my hands-holding-champagne-glasses a bit more, but I was still pleased.

Congratulations Anonymous. Lots of honour and glory to you. If everything goes according to plan, I should be 22 years old as from yesterday and right now I should be in Helsingborg, ready to see a dear old friend.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

My thoughts about The Blind Assassin

TThe image is of an amazing paragraph in the book, found at this blog.
(A scheduled blog post, how exciting. If all goes well, I should be in Sweden right now.)

Last year in June I bought three books, which I assumed I'd finish pretty quickly. And for some reason I only ever finished the first book (When God Was A Rabbit, by Sarah Winman), started the second and then I forgot about it. I have read several books since then (perhaps not as many as I would've liked, coursework reading has to take priority above everything else) but the book that I started has just been lying on the bedside table, and I'd only ever read a few pages at a time, once every month.

The book is The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. When I bought the book I had read an extract from Lovereading and I was very excited about it because of the main character who is portrayed by an old woman and it starts with her reminiscing about her sister's death in 1945. It is a difficult story to describe, because there's actually three, no four, stories being told at once. The main character is the narrator, and so we briefly get to follow her currently lonely existence, while she tells us about her and her sister's life in a small town in Canada from WWI to around WWII. Meanwhile, we also get to read chapters out of her sister's controversial book, The Blind Assassin. In The Blind Assassin, the male character also tells a science fiction story (about a blind assassin), as he is a writer by trade. As you might understand, it's quite a thick book. 

The first half is slowly read, partly because not much happens in the old woman's current life (and if you like me have trouble with facing death, it's quite depressing reading as well) and because before she gets into the actually interesting events in her early adulthood, she tells us about her grandparents and parents, and about her childhood. All this is necessary to get a feeling for the her and her sister, who the book is mainly about, but it does make the book quite slow. Her sister's book and the story about the blind assassin are both refreshing to read, breaking up the monotony of the narrator's life. The second half is quickly read, however. Suddenly things start to happen, the different pieces of the story come together a bit more, and you find yourself having a hard time putting the book down. In other words, you might struggle with the first third of the book, but keep going, because it is well worth it. 

It goes without saying that the book is very well-written, and the characters are brilliant. It wasn't the kind of book that you finished and wanted more from, rather I finished it and sighed of relief. It's a story told from the beginning to the end and you're left satisfied. There's a couple of nice quotes that I scribbled down.
"In case you're wondering, vanity never ends." is one of them, p. 355. Isn't that heartbreaking and bittersweet at the same time? I have now started Kafka On The Shore by Hakuri Murakami, the third book that I bought last summer. 

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Countdown: Three days

What happened in Sweden? As you can see, the weather forecast is not looking great for Sweden anymore. I'm gutted, this was my chance for sun for the summer. However... Only three days left! I've written a packing list, a giant case has been sent in my direction for the occasion and at the moment the first out of three washes is loaded into the washing machine. I may have to re-think my packing list though, away goes flip flops and sinful denim hotpants, hello anorak.

Me and Steve went to Armagh yesterday for a late birthday dinner and stay at a hotel night, from his family. It was so good. We had food at Uluru, which happens to be our favourite restaurant ever. I had mushroom soup (it was called something fancier, but let's face it, it's soup), poached rabbit loin stuffed with apple and spinach with pesto mash on the side, and then a giant caramel cheese cake. I had never had rabbit before and assumed it would be like red meat, but it's not. It tastes a little bit like pork, but less salty. Good, nevertheless. The hotel room was really comfy and we had a giant king size bed to watch Demolition Man (which I found awful, in case you're wondering). Today we had a decent hotel breakfast and then we went to Steve's parents for Sunday dinner. It was a good weekend.

I had planned to make cookies for a few friends tonight (yes, this is what I do when I have no money. Bribe people with edible gifts. After all, some people seem to think time spent is more valuable than money spent. Let's hope so for my sake.) so I walked to the shop to get sugar and eggs... As soon as I walked in through the door I realised I had forgotten butter, so they will have to be made tomorrow instead. Stressful.

Three days left!

Friday, 1 June 2012

Guessing game

Earlier this evening I was tremendously bored and I decided to practice my drawing. It's been, literally, about a decade since I decided to sketch anything but flowers and penguins (and that's strictly during boring lectures to entertain myself) so I definitely need the practice. I don't have any proper graphite pencils here, and I don't have proper paper for it. But whatever, it's just practicing and so I grabbed the nearest pen and my notebook for class.

First I tried to sketch Steve. His initial reaction was "I don't look like that!", and then he agreed that he does look like that but that it's not very flattering. Then I tried to sketch my youngest brother but he ended up looking like a total creep. If I ever feel like humiliating myself, I'll post that picture. (Then I tried sketching Steve again but it wouldn't work at all). I sketched four celebrities, three of which turned out horrible but one turned out alright. Steve could guess who it was anyway. So I'm posting the celebrity here, to see if anyone else can guess who it is. She's an American actress and an incredibly beautiful woman, in my opinion. (Disclaimer: It was hastily done, so don't judge me too harshly.)

I have very few readers, but please try to make a guess! I really want to see if anyone else but Steve can see who it is. Precisely because of the limited numbers who read this blog, I'll give a week or so until I tell you guys who it is. No prizes, other than honor and glory that is.