Friday, 30 October 2009

Cat Television

Starring Willow and Audrey, the Squirrel Hunters:


I am kind of torn when it comes to feeding wildlife. Many people here feed birds in the summertime too, which for me in completely unheard of. I guess it is just one of the many things that are different here in the United States. Others include the option to de-claw your cats, windows that don't open from the side which makes them really difficult to keep clean, and having to drive to a park in order to go for a walk. We decided to put a couple of bird-feeders out when the nights got frosty. The birds and the squirrels love them, as do our cats.


I haven't been particularly inspired when it comes to outfits lately. Who knows what it is - the gloomy weather is a strong contender. Instead I have been planning our veggie garden for the coming year. There are so many things I want to grow - herbs, lettuce, spinach, carrots, peppers, tomatoes - and I am loving the huge amounts of varieties to choose from. (I mean, miniature peppers called Jingle Bells? I am sold!) My past experiences with gardening range from watering my mom's small greenhouse and weeding our potato field when I was little. I have never actually grown anything myself. I still hope that my mom's extensive gardening has left its mark on me. After all, I have seen her do it for over 20 years.

Monday, 26 October 2009

On Poetry

When me and Chris left the movie theatre yesterday after having seen Bright Star, Jane Campion's latest film starring Ben Whishaw as John Keats and Abbie Cornish as his love interest Fanny Brawne, I was relieved to hear Chris say the words I was struggling to come out with myself: "I don't understand poetry". We went on to discuss our difficulties with poetry: we can both somehow hear the beauty behind the words, but we don't understand a) why it is beautiful, b) why it sounds as it does, and most importanty, c) what is being said.


The film Bright Star is superbly beautiful to look at - oh the costumes! the scenery! Not at all surprisingly, it features a lot of John Keats' poetry, recited out loud by both Whishaw and Cornish. As the words came out of their mouths, I sat there, not having a clue about what was actually said, despite understanding 95% of the actual words in question. Yet I could feel the sentiment behind each scene that relied on Keats' verse.


It hit me that for the most part I feel as if I understand Finnish poetry (in essence, I probably don't). I guess it would be easy to come to the conclusion that English not being my first language, it would be natural for me to have more difficulty with English poetry. However, my command of Hungarian is notably worse than my English, but I am much better equipped to deal with Hungarian poetry than its English counterpart. I can't think of any other explanation but lack of experience. I have never spent more than a frustration-filled half-an-hour trying to get inside an English language poem, but my professor of Hungarian language and literature would make me sit with a single stanza for hours on end at university. After all, poetry is a skill, sort of like magic tricks or sewing. Only if you understand the work behind getting to a certain point with your skills, you will truly appreciate and understand the end result.


I am going to figure out the ways of English poetry. I am not going to pretend that this will be an easy task. Reading a Wikipedia article about iambic pentameter alone was confusing, and made me realise how little I know of the actual art behind constructing poems.


One question: at what point did they stop teaching poetry at school? Or did they ever really teach it at all? If not, then where do poets come from? How on earth did I ever get through Endre Ady at university without taking a single course in the basics of poetry?


I don't consider myself ignorant by any standard, and am, in my own humble opinion, relatively well read. But it is almost embarrasing to recognise a gap of this magnitude in one's understanding of something so powerful, so beautiful and essentially so necessary for humanity as poetry.


Go see Bright Star, if for nothing else than the beauty of it. If you can recommend a good book about the history of poetry, please do!

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Autumn Activity

We are currently enjoying the last beautiful days of autumn - you know those bright and crispy ones. The leaves on the trees are just on the brink of turning from bright orange and yellow to mushy browns and grays, and I have the strangest craving to listen to The Beach Boys. Our weekend involved the weekly trip to the local farmers' market, plans for renewing our kitchen, a couple of movies and a stroll in the park.

We went to see the much-hyped Paranormal Activity on Friday. I didn't think much of The Blair Witch Project when it came out, so naturally I found the comparisons a little worrying beforehand. I wouldn't go as far as to say that this was the scariest film I have ever seen, but I thought the experience was well worth the hype. There were some seriously frightening scenes in the movie, and the really spooky stuff definitely stayed with me afterwards. For me, Paranormal Activity is one of those films that you need to make scary for yourself - later on I have realised the same about The Blair Witch Project. This is not to say that the films are not scary enough; I just think it is essential to loosen up one's own imagination and to really go with the story even further than what the movie suggests - me and Chris debated about the current whereabouts of the demon a couple of hours after watching the film.

Jacket: second hand / Fida
Cardigan: Jones New York / Salvation Army
Dress: Rosebullet / Spirit Store
Belt: second hand / Salvation Army
Tights: JC Penney
Scarf: ?
Beanie: present from Chris
Shoes: F-Troupe / Beamhill
Bag: second hand

Friday, 23 October 2009

Pink

This whole 'wear pink to beat breast cancer' thing is a little confusing. I am finding way too many different dates for it. My Facebook says it is today, other sources have listed October 3rd, 10th, 28th and 30th. Well, I guess it can't hurt to wear pink more often than once a year. Screw breast cancer, go life!


Blouse: Indiska
Jumper: Dior / Salvation Army
Trousers: H&M
Tights: H&M
Shoes: F-Troupe / Beamhill

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Useless Blogger

I feel that I have been a rather useless blogger recently. I have been struggling with a couple of unsuccessful sewing projects, and for the past week I have felt that I am coming down with a cold or something. All you are getting today is a blurry outfit picture from Monday.


Angora sweater: second hand / Salvation Army
Leather skirt: second hand / UFF
Tights: JC Penney
Shoes: F-Troupe / Beamhill
Scarf: ?
Belt: second hand

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Currently obsessing...

...over Dries Van Noten's A/W 2009 accessories.



Photos: style.com

Friday, 16 October 2009

Audrey's Closet

Oh, Audrey Horne. I love those two-toned oxfords of yours.

And those cardigans with knee-length pencil skirts.

And the pleated schoolgirl skirts, worn with jumpers and white tights.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

I Want More Hair

We netflixed Twin Peaks. It is just as good as (if not better than) I remembered, and it has aged surprisingly well. I want Audrey's hair.


Or Donna's.



Or this girl's.

Twin Peaks photos via wikipedia
Lula photos from fashionspot (can't seem to find the exact links right now, sorry!)

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Soul Searching

I fell in love with Cold Souls. The film is about Paul Giamatti (who plays himself) who stores away his heavy soul in order to play Uncle Vanya. (As one might expect, doing Chekhov without one's soul doesn't quite work.) As it turns out, soul trade is a big business, and the souls of actors and Russian poets are particularly desirable. When Giamatti's soul goes missing, he needs to figure out who he is.

How odd, though, that Cold Souls is labeled a comedy. Sure, there were plenty of funny moments in it, and I guess as a whole the story is bordering on the absurd, but essentially the film addresses probably one of the biggest problems humanity faces these days. We are preoccupied with success, perceptions and outside standards instead of knowing ourselves, being true to ourselves. What has the world come to when talking about souls in the first place seems almost ridiculous? How poor, how cynical have our internal worlds become, and for what? When Paul Giamatti has his soul removed he has the option to look inside before the operation, but he decides not to. I wonder how many of us human beings have alienated ourselves from our own lives to the extent that looking into our own soul would be an unbearable idea.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Life's A Dream

Me and Chris went to see Built to Spill last night - they were fantastic! 17 years and 7 albums, and they still sound like a fresh group of skillful musicians enjoying good music. I have never been one of those people that go to gigs all the time, but whenever I do, I feel that I should go more often. Chris was telling me yesterday how much he used to love going to concerts back in the day - he has seen groups like Black Sabbath, Kiss and Queen on their heyday. (Being older than me comes in handy, I guess.) You can listen to Built to Spill's new album "There Is No Enemy" at their MySpace.

I finally got my slouchy pirate boots out - I bought them last spring with a huge discount (-80% if I remember corrently), and have been dying to wear them ever since, but summer got in the way.




Green silk knit: second hand / UFF
Cardigan: Lindex
Skirt: Urban Renewal / Urban Outfitters
Belt: second hand
Tights: Only
Pirate boots: Sportmax
Necklace: Accessorize
Earrings: JBL

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Prints galore

I went to Joann's the other day. It really is like a fabric version of a candy store to someone like me, because ever since I got my sewing machine a few weeks ago, I am constantly thinking about all the pretty, unique clothes I could make. I could literally spend hours at Joann's, especially going through the red tag piles - you wouldn't believe the types of fabrics you can get for $3 a yard! This time though, all I wanted was prints. I wanted a lot of prints, a crazy mix of prints. Until two years ago, say, my wardrobe consisted mostly of grays, pale blues and pinks - well, pretty much everything that was pale. Apart from a couple of second hand blouses, I didn't do prints. Who knows what has changed. Perhaps living with a certain someone who boldly mixes stripes and plaids in his attire might have something to do with it.

I found these pictures in the November issue of Marie Claire quite inspirational:





And yes, I found prints - a lot of prints. I'll be sharing them with you soon.

pictures taken from fashionspot


Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Slicked

When I had really long hair, my standard solution for bad hair days was a ponytail. In fact, a ponytail was my solution for all hair days. Back then I didn't even have bangs, so a ponytail was almost an instant face lift, as if 20-somethings needed one, ever. Anyway, I had trouble sleeping last night because I was so bothered by the whole thing regarding Lindsay Lohan as artistic advisor for Emanuel Ungaro and presenting her first collaboration collection with designer Estrella Archs the other day. As you might guess, if one has 3 weeks to prepare a collection with Lindsay Lohan for Ungaro, the result can't exactly be a huge fashion-hurrah. Nevertheless I wasn't prepared for the kind of public humiliation that Ms Lohan is currently facing - I have never felt the need to have an opinion of her, but now I just feel bad. I am sure she has her own personal problems to deal with.

My short hair means no ponytails, no instant face lifts after a sleepless night, but I figured I could try something different anyway. I have always liked slicked back hair, but it often ends up looking like one has just showered, which I guess is not all bad. I look different though. I have had bangs for so long now that I almost forget what I look like without them.




Top: Zara
Cardigan: Lindex / mom's old
Skirt: second hand / Fida
Belt: second hand
Tights: American Apparel
Ankle boots: Asos