Monday, 29 December 2014

christmas and dreams

Heyyyyyyy there. Long time! So it's been a month. I'd like to say lots of noteworthy things happened but really I just tried to survive exams, and enjoy christmas. Both of which I achieved, but to very different extents. I LOVE CHRISTMAS. I'm so sad it's over. What do I do with all this surplus christmas spirit?






















- Cute christmas pics are what the holidays are ABOUT. - 


 Today is Monday and so I have one more week of xmas break to sleep, read, watch movies and maaaaaybe take like 1 day and do some revision/organisation. 

 It feels like I haven't written on here in ages, my last post was a short story (eeek) I hope anyone who read it liked it. I write probably one short story a week, and I never really show anyone except the odd one to my Dad if I like it. But this one, I honestly didn't even like it that much but there was something nice about it that made me want to post it. It doesn't involve any obvious tragedy so that kind of set it apart from, well, anything else I write. I think when I finish this post I'm going to write one, I've had some interesting ideas over Christmas break. Some inspired by people, some inspired by re-reading the Rookie year books, and some inspired by conversations. But as usual I probably won't post any of them. Ha.


///

“People think dreams aren't real just because they aren't made of matter, of particles. Dreams are real. But they are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes.” 
― Neil Gamain

///


“I believe in everything until it's disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it's in your mind. Who's to say that dreams and nightmares aren't as real as the here and now?” 

― John Lennon

One thing that has been in my mind the past few days - how vivid dreams can be. It's scary. These thoughts have been triggered by a dream I had two nights ago, it was a really nice thing, and I woke up excited that it had happened, only to become really, really sad that it hadn't. But it just felt so real. I remember it as being real because it's human nature to remember feelings most accurately, and I can still feel the sensory in the dream, picture the people around me, what was on the television, the golden christmas lights.
It occurred to me then, how wonderful and cruel dreams are. Invading the one space humans have completely to themselves. Making us question things we should be certain of. Dreams can be incredible, they can reveal what's truly bothering someone or affecting them that they can't admit in real life, they can create a memory too beautiful to happen in a world where luck is so scarce, and they can help people get to know their subconscious, or see what it's capable of. At the same time, they are cruel because for a series of moments we can think we are experiencing something great, only to find it was all in our heads.

 But if it's all in my head, how could I feel it with every bone in my body? See it more clearly than I see most things in real life? Dreams may not be real, but they have meaning and significance. And what is more important than that?



















- I love both of these so much. How did I ever live without records and artsy polaroid shots? -


So yeah Christmas was wonderful. From singing with my choir which involves many of my friends on Christmas morning and Christmas parties where I make fun of rich private school kids, to running out of carols to sing during piano jam sessions and singing Beatles songs instead. Ah, the joys. This was my first Christmas with my grandad since he moved into our house last January and it was the best because he is my favourite person ever. And it turns out, it wasn't just us humans who had a good Christmas...



- Living. The. Dream. -

Hopefully I'll have some cute polaroid shots to include in posts now, yesterday I went for a walk and there was the prettiest scenery and of course, I was out of film. But an iPhone had to do because it was so pretty. I really do love where I live. I remember looking at it and listening to the song The Gardener by The Tallest Man on Earth and it was cold and everything seemed okay for a while.





















And in typical teenage girl fashion here's a selfie I took before going on the walk. LOL. I don't think I wear anything other than dark red/black jeans + a wooly jumper + a pashmina + coat + boots combination throughout winter. And I quite enjoy it. 

Also here is what I wore on Christmas eve, although it's super boring, I kind of liked it because I love polo necks and I love simplicity.


Side note: Sorry for the selfie overload. But who else is gonna put the Clothes in Clothes & Complexity?

BOOKS:

Lately I've been reading and obsessing over (I'm nearly done but I don't want it to end) the book 'Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close' by Jonathan Safran Foer. The protagonist, Oskar, is so eccentric and interesting and it is written so incredibly. The plot is so impossibly intricate and well thought out and makes me never want to write a book because I could never come up with something so interesting and unique. It's one of those books where I come across SO many lines I need to underline as soon as I read them so I can copy them into my journal later because they are so brilliant. I'm excited to watch the movie adaptation afterwards too. (Below are some quotes from the book.)

///

“Feathers filled the small room. Our laughter kept the feathers in the air. I thought about birds. Could they fly if there wasn't someone, somewhere, laughing?”

///

“Why didn't I learn to treat everything like it was the last time. My greatest regret was how much I believed in the future.”

///

“I felt, that night, on that stage, under that skull, incredibly close to everything in the universe, but also extremely alone. I wondered, for the first time in my life, if life was worth all the work it took to live. What exactly made it worth it? What's so horrible about being dead forever, and not feeling anything, and not even dreaming? What's so great about feeling and dreaming?”

///

“Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I'm not living.”

///

 Since exams I've read a few books, another old poetry anthology I found in my house (which is really not that interesting so I'll move on) But others include Lena Dunham's 'Not That Kind of Girl' and Mindy Kaling's 'Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)' and they are both so brilliant. I love Lena Dunham and Mindy Kaling. Girls and The Mindy Project are two of my favourite TV shows and I really find them both to be such incredible, cool, interesting people, who I have found write interesting and hilarious books. Reading these books that are so witty and fun to read was such a joy because I barely ever read books that are more humorous and witty and clever than anything else.

MUSIC:

The two vinyls my siblings got me to go with the record player were the 1975's self-titled and 1989 by of course, Taylor Swift. Both incredible albums but I've been listening to the 1975 more because it just sounds so good on vinyl. My favourite songs on the album are Sex (lol awkward titles), Robbers and Chocolate because it's the only one my sister knows so every time it comes on she starts singing/screaming/dancing/forcing me to dance with her. But I love pretty much every song on the album.
I'm also excited about being able to play the vinyl that came in the first Rookie yearbook. YAY. I love both of the songs on it. Rookie is the best.

I've also been listening to Fountains of Wayne a lot, as I always do, but there's something so relaxing and captivating about their music and I love the lyrics and the feel of all of their songs. I think Out-of-State Plates and Utopia Parkway are my favourite albums of theirs right now. I watched an episode of One Tree Hill a few weeks ago which had the song All Kinds of Time playing during the signature emo montage at the end and I was reminded of what a good song it is. The guitar solo....mmmmmmm. Ok now I'm just being weird. I would love their albums on vinyl but they're so expensive. I'm gonna stick with buying Joni Mitchell, Carole King and The Cure (and many, many more) records on Etsy.

During exams I loved the song The Other Side by Tonight Alive, which is the title track of an amazing album and I love it so much. It tells a story so well and I love the beginning and end acoustic parts in particular. Jenna's voice is so angelic.

Okay well, it's 11:45 so I should probably go to sleep (or at least try to). Good night and I guess early Happy New Year in case I don't post again before 2015. Scary. Although there is a high probability I will because I literally have no solid plans for the rest of Christmas break. I love having time to just journal, draw, read, watch movies with my family, write, etc. It's so nice compared to the usual homework and stress filled routine. On that note, see you next post.




Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Misguiding Compasses

 “The world is not like the playgrounds you’re used to. Nothing falls into place like a puzzle and not all riddles can be solved. In this class, I am going to teach you how to see. You may think you’ve seen everything in your whole life, but you haven’t. Think of your clearest memory, most people only have one or two they truly remember. How they felt, how it smelled, what senses arose, the patterns spawned from light and the sharpness of edges. Those are the only real memories you have. Everything else is worthless. The only way you’ll be a good writer is if you notice everything overlooked and only find interest in the seemingly mundane. The most intriguing intricacies are camouflaged by our collective desire to fit in.”

 So far the only notes I’ve taken down in this creative writing class are direct quotes from my maniacal, oddball teacher who, as you can expect, perfectly fits the stereotype of a suitably-crazy writer. He wears a different bizarrely patterned tie everyday and doesn’t tie it, just lets it hang. He is constantly picking it up and adjusting it, like it’s purpose is to be a utility for fidgeting. He is bald, and you can tell he is his own hairdresser with little care for his appearance from anything other than his own perspective from the strips of hair wisping down the back of his neck. The rest of his clothes are baggy and, wherever possible, suede. His eyes are inquisitive. I can’t look at him directly for more than 3 seconds or I’ll involuntarily spill out all of my secrets. And I don’t even have any to spill. 

 This class seems to be a bust. Mr Henshaw is brilliant, but he’s a writer, not a teacher. He belongs in a cabin by a lake, a Mont Saint Victoire to his Paul C├ęzanne. I admired him for it, though he thought I was at best mediocre. I agreed with him. My last piece was called ‘The Bride’s Eyes’ and it was about this movie I saw where the bride went blind during the ceremony and so her not-yet-husband made a run for it. Totally worth plagiarising, right? Although in my spin on it, the husband gets hit by a truck after running out of the Church. It’s a perfect ending really, full of karma, irony and tragedy. My three favourite things.

 These NYC winters will be the death of me. Not only am I facing the fashion shame of wearing three scarves at once, I am facing the shame on my life of wearing leggings under a dress. Oh, please forgive me, Fashion Gods. I know we have had a rough relationship since my 2008 scene phase, but I’m progressing, I promise. My walking search for writing inspiration needs a pitstop as I realise I cannot feel my feet. Next thing I know I’m in this strange but interesting indie coffee shop in Brooklyn and trying to tackle my next writing assignment, which is to write about my ‘biggest fear.’ I should really be studying for my actual university exams next week instead of my part-time writing classes that don’t really have any practical value. Biochem is fascinating, but with words I get to take credit for the resultant fascination. 

 I was writing a haiku in my head about how glorious this cinnamon hot chocolate is when my smile fades. I hear it, the snarky, egotistical words of the most pretentious, vulturous person I’ve ever met. I jump when I suddenly feel a hand on my shoulder and he smirks. 
“Oh hey, Amy, this is my friend Scarlett. She’s the best writer in my class. Have I ever mentioned how terrible everyone in my writing class is?” 
“Nice to see you too, as always, Zach. The feeling is mutual. Amy, you’ve snatched a real charmer.” 
She twirls her blonde hair and fake-laughs in an endless cycle. I don’t get the appeal of girls like this. Is it to boost their ego? Their intelligence? To create the delusion that males are always smarter than females to satisfy bigots like Zach? Zach is probably the only person in my class I’ve ever had a memorable conversation with. He grew up in NYC and has had the most seemingly-priviledged life. He’s basically a character from Gossip Girl, only with not as much depth.

 “I see you’re writing our assignment. Let me guess, it’s on failure. Wait, wait, no, it’s on how you don’t know who you are and it’s just so hard trying to figure it out in this sexist society.” 
Sarcasm is usually the way to my heart, but…
 “No, although I wish I had thought of those. I guess you’ll have to wait and see. Now let me guess, yours is about your fear of realising how unextraordinarily normal you are? Or even better and more fatal, losing access to your trust fund?”
 I’m not even being sarcastic, but I had to act this way, I’m not that terrible of a person. At least from other people’s perspectives. I expect to see a look of anger on his face when I say it, but when I look up at him, he smiles. I can’t help but smile back. I’ve never noticed how angular his face is. He could be beautiful if he wasn’t, well, my arch enemy. Our writing class is full of people who have only read The Hunger Games and tumblr posts of E.E. Cummings poetry. If anyone is a semi-good writer, it’s Zach. I came to terms with this a long time ago. He may be a narcissist but his writing…was a whole other story. The worst part about our witty but contempt-filled relationship - he lives in the apartment next to mine. Perfect. It’s like the universe is trying to push me towards someone I feel only annoyed by - further proof of my belief that destiny does not exist. 

 “Scarlett Goodrich…read your piece aloud. Now.” Mr Henshaw proclaims, as he runs a comb along his bald head, as if he has forgotten that, well, he doesn’t have anything to comb. I walk up awkwardly to the front of class, tripping on other people’s bags on my way. When I reach the front, I glance at my audience, seeing what I have to work with. The girls are all filing their nails, or texting, with the evolved few doing both; whilst the guys all look half-asleep, as usual. But as always, there is one exception. Zach was looking me right in the eye in anticipation, like a predator waiting to pounce. He wears his trademark smirk of confidence and mischief on full display, making even me more nervous.

 I try to appear more confident than I feel, although my habit of scraping my bangs out of my face creeps back to haunt me. When I finish, I am afraid to look up. Remember what happened last time I looked up at Zach? I saw him in a new way, something that unsettled me. It was alien and I needed no further disorientation of my emotive compass. I look up at Mr Henshaw and, to my surprise, he looks shocked, but impressed. He pats me on the back, knights me with one of his ties and exclaims, “I hereby declare you my first student to ever surprise me! It’s all I’ve ever wanted. You’re good, Scarlett, you are.” When I finally build up the courage to glance at the rest of the class I see a few have returned from the undead and seemed almost, vaguely interested. There is a shriek from the audience. 
“Well done, Scar, that was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard!” As expected, Tamara is not the most well-read. 

 I look over at Zach and he is scribbling into his notebook. Weird. And frustrating. I have this inexplicable desire to know what he thinks. I don’t particularly care, I think to myself, but I’m curious. If he is anything, he is interesting.

 Tonight I am sitting in my shoebox apartment, watching Clueless for the millionth time to take my mind off my homesickness. England is a long, expensive flight away and it’s not as if I have any real friends here to keep me company. Any I do have are always busy with university and relationships. Am I the only one who prioritises being creative and watching old movies? Even though, back home it wasn’t much different, but at least it was home. One thing I do love about being here is my apartment. It’s tiny, but in a nice building. It may as well be a palace in this city. I’ve decorated it with old christmas tree lights and drawings and stuck pages of all kinds of writing on the walls, it really felt like me; my own place. 

 I’m boiling noodles and in a Bon Iver trance, Holocene playing on my record player, when I hear a knock on my door. A knock? I don’t know anyone who could possibly be at my door at this time of night. My only conclusion: it’s a serial killer. My time has come. I’ve had a nice life. I’ll grab my biggest kitchen knife but if I fail (which is more likely than not) I can take it. And if I almost fail and just end up with some wounds and a traumatic experience, I will have hit the writing-inspiration goldmine. I take a deep breath, clutch the knife in my hand so tightly that I wonder if I accidentally grabbed the sharp end. 

 “Woah, woah, woah Richgood! I know we’ve never exactly been friends but we’ve also never been, physically, violent.” 
A sigh of relief. It’s only him. Him. 
Although, unlike a serial killer, I am unaware of his motives. I can’t help but be a little amused, even if we were enemies, it was only because we realised our…connection. We weren’t indifferent to one another. We seem to think in such similar ways. Anytime Mr H asks a question in class we both raise our hands for the same ones, and lower them after the other has answered. We’ve been neighbours but never friends. And this was suspiciously friend-like.

 He glides past me into my apartment and starts reading the walls. That sounds weird but you know what I mean. He focuses in on one page in particular that reads: 'But the roof above her was never really there / neither were the parents scaffolding it / neither was the love she thought they shared / and neither was the belief that she alone / could hold it. Late one night she asked herself / "is this my fate too?" / fate laughed and snarled, "darling, I have only as much power as you."


“Bon Iver, huh? And you think I’m the pretentious one?” He flashes me his usual smirk. 
“Oh, sorry, you must be used to the generic pop music Amy is into, how inconsiderate of me! Let me see if I have any Bruno Mars or Katy Perry…oh wait, shockingly, I don’t.” Something in his smile this time, I can’t help but feel some kind of stir within me. Maybe there was more to our relationship than being verbal sparring partners. 

“I don’t mean to sound rude, even to you, but why are you here?” I ask.
“I’ve been waiting to have some free time to satisfy my curiosity about what the inside of your apartment looks like. It’s just as artsy and movie-like as I imagined. I guess writing isn’t the only thing that sets you apart.” 
I try to conceal a smile. 
“One thing that doesn’t is your apparent taste in movies…” he points to the television, “Clueless? Really?” 
“Are you joking? Even you could lower your shield of pretention enough to admit that this movie is a classic!” I say, more passionately than necessary. “And it’s always been my favourite, it reminds me of movie nights I used to have with my sister back home.” 
“Ah yes, I sometimes forget you’re not a native. If anything in the piece you read aloud today is non-fiction, I really am sorry about your family issues, Scarlett. No one deserves that. I know I may not be your first choice but I am always on the other side of the wall if you want to talk.” I felt myself start to blush. “Although,  I can’t guarantee I’ll listen. You have a tendency to ramble.” I laughed, he smiled, and just like that my comfort was restored.

 Again, he gazes at the walls, “You know, you really are a good writer,” he looks at me, and I catch a glimpse of sincerity I’ve rarely seen in his dark eyes. I decide against a sarcastic response, just this once. 
“Thanks. Some may say you are too.” 
He suddenly looks concerned, “Your noodles are burning!” “What? Is that some kind of weird metaphor?” He dashes over to the stove and switches it off, I notice the puddles of boiling water around my cooker. Oh God. Real smooth, Scar. I guess my brain puts everything else on hold when I talk to him.

 “You know I kind of just saved your life.” He grins. 
“Oh yeah, I definitely wouldn’t have survived that nanosecond it would have taken me to realise after you did.” I can’t help but laugh as I look at us both sitting on my kitchen floor attempting to mop up boiling water with dollar-store toilet paper without scalding ourselves, noodles scattered everywhere. 
“I’ve never seen you laugh before,” he says, quietly. 
“Yeah, well, I guess I find it easier to write assignments about tragedies than fantasies. They’re far more interesting, and easier to find.”
‘Beth/Rest’ start to play on the record player and it fills my surroundings as I see the beginnings of a smile on his face.
“…I might disagree,” he says.
I agreed, and suddenly saw a future ahead of me in this city I hadn’t just seconds ago.

Friday, 14 November 2014

shipping, body image and just more venting

Hi guys. Firstly, I just watched the new Vampire Diaries episode and please just let me freak out for a minute because OH MY GOD. The rain scene! The! Rain! Scene! I did not know such beauty could exist in the world. I cried/am still crying/feel this deep ache in my chest when I think about it. 

 This happens me with any Damon/Elena scene in that show, there is something so captivating and fascinating about their relationship. And how impossibly HOT Ian Somerhalder/Damon Salvatore is. Like really. I honestly have never seen a more beautiful human, but you really need to watch the show to understand it. I truly love Damon's character so much, even when the show becomes mediocre his character has always been written so well, so impossibly complex. Not to mention, Ian Somerhalder himself is SUCH a kick-ass person with the ISF and everything. His acting is so unbelievable, like in the last episode in his speech to Elena when they were dancing, ahhhhhhhh. I'll stop. I can understand if you don't find clips that interesting without having watched all the seasons of the show, you really have to have seen the build-up and pain to this point to appreciate it.
I'll link it here if any of you want to put yourselves through the one minute and eight seconds of emotional turmoil that simultaneously made me love the world and hate it. I warned you.

 Secondly, something that has been talked about a lot on social media recently is people saying 'Victoria's Secret models should be real women!' and the popular response being 'Umm they're real women too! Do you think they're sims? Holograms? LOL.' So this is definitely true, but to an extent. Those women have worked for their image and are still, shockingly, living breathing humans. But, not everyone can look like that. Whether it's due to physical conditions such as illness or other health issues, genetics, circumstances etc. And so as this image of these models is presented as the ideal, perfect way to look, an abundance of women are left feeling unjustly inferior. This can be the cause of illnesses such as depression or anorexia, which are so devastating and it pains me that something as worthless as a marketing ploy can cause someone's health to deteriorate. But even if this isn't the case, I know I've watched fashion shows and even if just temporarily, hated my appearance, everything about it, because I didn't, and would never look like them. I would never be able to feel comfortable in my skin because why should I when I'm so terrible compared to the beauty of people like that. It's toxic. So toxic. 
///


“To lose confidence in one’s body is to lose confidence in oneself.” 

― Simone de Beauvoir
(This quote has been floating around in my mind all throughout writing this. Hm.)


\\\

 I also disagree with those campaigns where they show a picture of a row of 40-year-old not-the-skinniest white women and claim 'Now THESE are real women!' It actually worries me that some people don't see the errors in this. It's so clearly contradictory and just, agh. Now if they had a range of ethnicities, weights, body types, and physical states then I would have agreed. 


///


“What becomes of a man who acquires a beautiful woman, with her "beauty" his sole target? He sabotages himself. He has gained no friend, no ally, no mutual trust: She knows quite well why she has been chosen. He has succeeded in buying something: the esteem of other men who find such an acquisition impressive.” 


\\\

So one thing I've realised lately - I love things too much. I do. I know it sounds silly but let me explain. I love things or people or ideas so much that no one could ever feel equally towards me, it's seems physically impossible. For example, when I think of someone I love, I feel to such strength that I worry myself. I'm at a constant state of seeming inferiority, slight emptiness and, well, delusion. I don't know if it stems from my desire to be positive, or to be love and be loved, or simply to feel things. I've always found feelings wholly uninteresting unless they're intense and memorable. Does anyone else feel like this? Please don't think this is some cry for help from a perpetually insecure teenager because it's not, I could change this if I wanted, but I won't. It's not hard to imagine why. I think in my lifetime, above everything, I just want to feel things. From new experiences, people, places, perspectives, stories, music, tragedies.

///


since feeling is first 


- E.E. Cummings

since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;

wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world

my blood approves,
and kisses are better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers. Don't cry
—the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids' flutter which says

we are for each other: then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life's not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis



///

(Any excuse to include an E.E. Cummings poem. How I wish I could write like this.)



 SONG: Make This Go On Forever - Snow Patrol

I have been SO excited to write about this lately because it's clearly not new or anything and I've heard it/seen it live (sigh) years ago but you know when you're in the mind state for a certain song and sometimes, just sometimes, you find it just when you need it and it feels like it finds you too.

 Snow Patrol have always been my favourite band, and I love so many of they're songs, their lyrics, their power. I really want to learn this song on guitar, but I'd never be able to do it justice. In this song there is just something that enthralled me when I listened to it randomly a few weeks ago. I love the lyrics so much. They really make me think. And create a movie in my head. Which has been happening with certain songs I've listened to lately. Consequently, I have a lot of (terrible) short film ideas, many of which revolve around the mesmerising Bon Iver song 'Wash.'


///

"First kiss and the first time that I felt connected to anything
The weight of water, the way you told me to look past everything I had ever learned
The final word in the final sentence you ever uttered to me was love."

\\\


TV SHOW: AHHHH! I just realised that I still haven't mentioned my love for The Mindy Project on here yet. Basically, I just really, really love that show. I caught up over halloween break and it is so well-written and truly hilarious. I was such a huge fan of Mindy herself before watching the show and now I'm in even more in awe of her.

My next post is going to be about more life-related-rambling as well as some books (although most books I've read lately are just old poetry anthologies I found in my house and I don't really have much to write about on them here) and pictures of the AMAZING package my penpal and favourite human Kara sent me. 

As usual, it;s 12:45am. Ha. Ha. Ha. Goodnight. I'm so tired I'm not even going to check this for spelling mistakes. Or add photos. LOL I am so bad at this. GOOD NIGHT.





Thursday, 30 October 2014

1989!

Hey guys! I really don't have the readership to be able to say "hey guys" but I guess what I mean is "Hey anyone-who-could-potentially-be-reading-this!" but "hey guys" is shorter.

 So it's been a while! My last post was on the 13th and now it's the 31st. SO NOT A COINCIDENCE. Which reminds me of the obvious main topic of this post...1989!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




 I'm sure you all know but Taylor Swift released a new album a few days ago everyone and anyone who has ever met me is aware of my excitement for this album due to my life-long love for T-Swift, and this. album. is. GLORIOUS! I love it so much. It is everything I hoped for: confident, but not egotistical; fun, but not meaningless-dance-music (which is what most pop music is like nowadays and I really hate it. Sometimes I watch the top 10 on MTV and literally want to burst my own eardrums); and smart, and witty, and well-written, and catchy, and it just consists of all-around greatness only Taylor could achieve.

 Let me quickly summarise my thoughts on the songs: 

Welcome To New York - It's honestly not my favourite but I do really love it, it is such a fun song! 

"The lights are so bright but they never blind me."



Blank Space - so witty and catchy and ahhhh I'm so glad it's the next single. 


"'Cause darling, I'm a nightmare dressed like a daydream."


Style - MY. JAM. I want to learn to drive just so I can drive around late at night and listen to this. 


"You got that James Dean daydream look in your eye and I got that red lip classic thing that you like."


Out of the Woods - Jack Antonoff (I really like bleachers so I was so excited for Taylor's songs with him)+ Taylor are such a Godly collaboration. This song is so evocative and beautiful. (I'm actually jammin to I Wanna Get Better on repeat right now. SUCH A GREAT BAND.)


"But the monsters turned out to be just trees. When the sun came up, you were looking at me."


All You Had To Do Was Stay - One of my least favourite on the album but still fun and I do love it. 


"People like you always want back the love they gave away..."


Shake It Off - CLASSIC.


I Wish You Would - Another great Swift & Antonoff creation and I really love this, it sounds old-school and honest and like it should be in the background of a looking-out-the-car-window-scene in an old movie.

"We're a crooked love in a straight line down..."


Bad Blood - This song is just kick-ass in every way. 


"If you live like that, you live with ghosts..."


Wildest Dreams - ONE OF MY DEFINITE FAVOURITES BECAUSE IT IS MAGICAL.

"Say you'll remember me, standing in a nice dress, staring at the sunset, babe. Red lips and rosy cheeks, say you'll see me again even if it's just in your wildest dreams..."


How You Get The Girl - Fun and cute and endearing and it is almost reminiscent of songs from Fearless. I love it.


This Love - I love this song SO much, it is Hayley Williams' favourite and of course it is because she would never have poor judgement. This song makes me feel like I'm in a dream and it's truly phenomenal.


"Through losing grip on sinking ships, you showed up just in time."


I Know Places - The Holy Ground of 1989. (a.k.a. the happily-underrated song of the album that Taylor's fans see as their secret.) This song is so SO good I love the piano I love the lyrics I love the voice memo it's all just perfect.


'Loose lips sink ships all the damn time, not this time."


Clean - CAN WE ALL JUST TAKE A SECOND TO APPRECIATE THAT TAYLOR SWIFT AND IMOGEN HEAP WROTE A SONG TOGETHER. 


CAN WE.


PLEASE. JUST.


Every album Taylor has one collaboration that is tailored (no pun intended) just for me. It's obviously a force of nature. I've lllloooovvvvveeeddd Imogen Heap's music for so long and this song is no disappointment because it is really so incredible. The production is so, for lack of a better word, cool. And the lyrics are stunning. I have this really nice memory of listening to this song really loudly in my earphones just after downloading the album and walking by the sea, it was cold and windy and beautiful and I felt different...clean, I guess.


"Hung my head as I lost the war and sky turned to black like a perfect storm. Rain came pouring down when I was drowning, that's when I could finally breathe."

Wonderland - This song is '!!!!!!!!!!!!!!'. I think this is a perfectly adequate description. And there is nothing I love more in this world than interesting metaphors.

"You searched the world for something else, to make you feel like what we had. And in the end, in Wonderland, we both went mad..."


You Are In Love - UM. I'M NOT EXAGGERATING WHEN I SAY I HAVE TO FIGHT BACK TEARS EVERY TIME I LISTEN TO THIS AND I DON'T EVEN GET IT LIKE IT'S NOT A SAD SONG. I just love Lena and Jack (the song is about Lena Dunham and Jack Antonoff's relationship if you didn't know) and I love that Taylor wrote this for them. She has such a beautiful mind.


"He keeps a picture of you in his office downtown. And you understand now why they lost their minds and fought the wars, and why I spent my whole life trying to put it into words...'Cause you can hear it in the silence."


New Romantics - THIS IS ALSO ONE OF MY FAVOURITES AND I'M SERIOUSLY UPSET IT'S ONLY A DELUXE-EDITION TRACK BECAUSE IT IS SO GOOD! Taylor never really sings deluxe songs on tour (with exceptions) but I really hope she does sing this because it would be SO good live and it's the perfect mix of 80s + pop + fun + sassy + cool + empowering. It's my new listen-to-when-in-a-bad-mood-song. This title was perviously held by The Best Thing - WATiC (although this song still fits the purpose and will be used when my mood is so bad a second song is needed).


"We wait for trains that just aren't coming. We show off our different scarlet letters - trust me. Mine is better."


Overall I think this album is wondrous and breathtaking and extraordinary and harnesses Taylor's emotive witchcraft in beautiful, beautiful ways. It's like she took her musical magical powers and poured them into her music in new and exciting ways, to create something suitably new and exciting, but still the same in the strengthening parallels between this and her previous albums. I really just love Taylor Swift. She is a ridiculously great person.

The packaging of the album is also SO cute, definitely my favourite of any album. The polaroids are so pretty, the whole design of the cover and booklet and everything is all just stunning. I already have two copies but I need more. I just want a stack of them because they're so darn pretty. I also want all of the polaroid sets.


To conclude, it is 2:42am*, I love this album, Taylor Swift, and being off school so I can stay up writing all night. 


Thank you for reading this far and let's all be grateful we live in a world where music like this exists and people like Taylor exist.







*Not that I'm going to sleep. I'm totally going to listen to the album through at least once more then consider it. 

Monday, 13 October 2014

fangirling, clothes, and more fangirling

Hey guys! Soooooo it's been a little over a week, I guess? In this post I want to talk about being a fan of things/people and that kind of thing. But before we get into that how about a little life update. Because they're so necessary because I just live such an exciting life. Really.

 So I went to see Ed Sheeran in concert in Belfast on Wednesday and LORD. He was unbelievable. The whole way through I was just in awe of his talent and passion for music. He's also such a great human and I just. I just. Here's a 15 second clip I instagrammed of Bloodstream (my favourite song on X, which was reaffirmed when it was beyond all of my hopes live). 



  Me and my friend Eleanor's attempts at taking a selfie at the concert. SelFAIL.


Since then I really haven't done anything exciting except have a few mental breakdowns over school, which are kind of a regular thing nowadays. With the odd bit of angsty poetry.

Ooh I forgot to mention in my last post but when I was in Italy I bought a few things in Brandy Melville, the God-sent American shop I would kill to have here. Actually no, I just want them to ship to the UK for a reasonable fee. I love that shop so. much. Everything in it is so cool. 




 I got these two tops and a long necklace with a teal-coloured shark-tooth-looking type thing. The whole 'one size' thing annoys me although luckily they fit me perfectly. But I really do disagree with their idea of the correct size or whatever. It's toxic.

 Regardless, the tops are cute and as you can see I wore the one on the left to the concert. It's quite low at the sides but with a bandeau it looks so cool. I love shirts like this.

The sunflower top on the right is so pretty but it is really tight and low-cut so I don't know when I'll ever actually wear it. Maybe during summer with high waisted shorts or something.


Awkward selfie time! I really do like this top. I like anything I can wear chokers with.



  Okay so on to the actual topics of this post.

 I was saying to my parents today how annoying it is how people think it's weird and strange how I'm such a big Taylor Swift fan, yet the people my age being obsessed with boybands and cute-boy-type-humans is completely normal. You probably don't think it's weird that I'm a fan of Taylor, but a lot of people I've met do. And that's ridiculous. As if it's unrealistic for me to look up to a female who has achieved incredible things in her life because it might give me the motivation to do the same, but realistic for me to idolise a teenage boy and make it my dream to marry him (lol). Grrrrrrrrrrr.




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"...as brightness, pouring itself out of you, 
as if you were
burning inside.

Under your skin the moon is alive."
- Pablo Neruda
(a part of 'Ode To A Naked Beauty)
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 What I'm trying to say is that, being a fan of something means you love it, and care about it, and whether that's a boy band or a female artist-superhero or a T.V. chef or a fictional character, that is a good thing! It's an amazing thing! It is something to enjoy and be proud of. Being passionate about things is one of the greatest joys of just being a person. Don't let anyone tell you it's 'weird' or 'immature'. When you look for it, fangirling is everywhere. In masterchef the judges fangirl over the food, in Top Gear the presenters fangirl over cars, and on QVC they fangirl over, well, anything that could possibly be sold. 




Book-I-like-and-want-to-talk-about: Where Rainbows End/Love, Rosie - Cecilia Ahern

 Okay, I am not really a fan of this author's books, but I read this book on Saturday because my it has been my friend's favourite book for so long so I wanted to read it and then I saw the trailer and knew I just had to read it. The trailer looks so. good. I'm going to love it so much. Too much. I love generic teen romance movies. Almost as much as I love generic teen-romance books. I liked the book, I didn't love it, I really only found myself reading the whole way through to see if the two main characters would EVER end up together. Seriously. I'm not going to spoil it but let's just say it was infuriating. Buuuut I am making it book of the week because I do love the two main characters and there was something really nice about the book. Lily Collins is really the most perfect human ever and she's definitely the perfect Rosie.

Video I-like-and-want-to-talk-about: Well this is easy! Taylor Swift covered a song I've loved for so long and it's really just so beautiful and angelic and every-positive-adjective. Her playing piano and singing a slow song is my favourite thing ever. She just has this emotive superpower/witchcraft. I even find myself thinking about the lyrics differently since hearing her sing them.

Album-I-like-and-want-to-talk-about: Hozier's self-titled album. 

 The best popular artist this country has created since Snow Patrol. He is ridiculously good. Such a good album. I have had Take Me To Church stuck in my head for months and I'm not complaining. 


 Okay so it's 11:42 (I usually write these at like 2am! WOW!) and I should try and sleep now. So even though it could be any time of day when you read this, good night!

Saturday, 4 October 2014

rambling about italy, exhaustion and self-worth

Hey there! I'm currently listening to Ed Sheeran's album X and freaking out because I love him and I love his music and I'm seeing him live on Wednesday. EEEEEEEE! 

 In other news, I got back from Italy last night and so now I am so exhausted. I have a ton of school work to catch up on but I needed today to recover from a week of 1. barely any sleep and 2. SO. MUCH. WALKING. Including trekking up freaking Vesuvius. Tons of walking/standing around etc. + scoliosis = not good. But I'll be fine in a few days. It was SO worth it! 

























 So our hotel was in Sorrento, which was so beautiful! And our hotel was so so lovely, it was right on the beach and ridiculously picturesque. We climbed vesuvius, went to the solfatara, shopped in Naples, visited Pompeii & Herculaneum, sight-saw in Rome, and visited a farm where we got the most authentic italian lunch which was amazing and made everything else I've ever eaten seem unhealthy and stale and boring. But the best part of the trip was easily the fun everyone had together, having 42 of us on long bus journeys and site-seeing led to a lot of singing and laughing and selfies. Especially at night in the hotel everyone from my year would pile into one room and play 'never have I ever' and talk about boys and eat sweets and dance to terrible dance music. Such fun times.


///

“I am awfully greedy; I want everything from life. I want to be a woman and to be a man, to have many friends and to have loneliness, to work much and write good books, to travel and enjoy myself, to be selfish and to be unselfish… You see, it is difficult to get all which I want. And then when I do not succeed I get mad with anger.” 
- Simone de Beauvoir

(Obviously I get all my quotes for these posts from the internet but this quote has been floating around my head all week. Let's just say I relate.)


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The weekend before I went to Italy I went out with my friends, which was so fun! And then saw my sister become an All-Ireland Champion in football. I was ineffably proud. 
Being the supportive lil sister I am. And the only person in the country not wearing a jersey.

The dress I wore out from (asos) the brand Lavish Alice. I really loved it!


So that's pretty much a fill-in on my life lately. Now onto the actual post. I feel like unless I talk about life at the start of the post then I'm being secretive or something for the rest of the post or I'm always leaving something out. I don't know. If the life updates are annoying/boring please comment but I kinda like them. I'm just narcissistic, really. 


In this post I want to talk about the things people value in life. I don't know why exactly, but it occurred to me while I was in Italy and I thought about it a lot. I think it stemmed from how this girl I was on the trip with was so obsessed with instagram likes, follower counts, who you know, who you go out with, all that kind of stuff and she really saw it as this hugely important thing and said it was one of her life goals (not even with sarcasm) to get like 200 likes on an instagram post. 

 It really saddened me because you could tell that comparing herself to more popular girls in these things really got to her and lessened her feeling of self-worth. She idolised the people that got hundreds of likes etc. It really did sadden me and make me grateful that I realise and can see the triviality of those things and wish I could get her to agree with me. I mean, I love getting likes on instagram and I'd like more followers and that kind of thing but I don't strive to have them. I don't base my self-worth on them. And I wish no one did. The thing is, it's so obviously ridiculous to do that, but so many people do. 

 I'm pretty sure I've ranted about self-esteem enough but really I just wanted to think about what I value, what's my equivalent to that girl's social media popularity? I think I value when people are friendly, more-so as I get older and people become more and more gossip-y and I become more aware of how everyone deserves to be treated kindly and inclusively. That sounds cheesy but I really believe it. I value treating people nicely, regardless of who they are. It's something I've always, and will always, notice first about someone.


///

“I will not be "famous," "great." I will go on adventuring, changing, opening my mind and my eyes, refusing to be stamped and stereotyped. The thing is to free one's self: to let it find its dimensions, not be impeded.” 

Virginia Woolf

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 Side note: I'm not saying I'm some angel when it comes to being friendly, when I'm in a bad mood, which is not un-often, I am definitely not able to fit in the 'friendly' category. Or even the 'some-what nice' category. But everyone has those days.

 Okay I wanted to also talk about being a fan of things and pushing people away but it's 1:06am and I, as you know, am currently in a constant state of exhaustion. So they can wait until the next post. Thank you for reading this far, see you next post!

P.S: Song of the week: Hospital Beds - Cold War Kids. It's been in my head all day. Such a classic.