April 16, 2014

To Undo our own Undoings

The downfall started in English, my last class of the day. We had to pick a subject for an oral presentation, but I just couldn't find one that pleased me. Ukraine was too complicated, climate change seemed way beyond my hands. And so when the bell rang, I left with a mind full of empty ideas, while my classmates shared their carefully thought out subjects with each other. The preoccupation followed me throughout badminton practice, and before I knew it, I had lost one, two, three games. Including one against the-girl-i-never-lose-to. Naturally, I blamed my poor performance on my English class woes as I sat on the bench, drenched in my bitter attitude.

January 3, 2014

Fangirl, a book review

by Rainbow Rowell
published in 2013
a chocolate covered 5/ 5 stars
Goodreads Amazon Rowell's Website

Cath shook her head. "Now is all you get," she spat out, wishing she could make more sense. Wishing for more words, or better ones. "Now is all you ever get."

Fangirl is everything. It's everything that's good about chick-lit, it's everything that's good about YA. It's so honest and genuine that sometimes I wonder if it's actually written, or whether it's just the previously recorded words and dialogues of an 18 year old girl living her life. I guess it's kind of a both. This book is like the voice of a college freshman, rendered into a fresh prose that makes it so delectable to read. (If this book was a food it'd be chocolate to the power of chocolate). 

Meet Cath. She loves Simon Snow, the book series that has taken the literature world by storm. As teens, she and her twin sister Wren read and wrote Snow fan-fiction, mainly as a hobby, but also to keep themselves grounded, after their mother left when they were little. But now with college looming around the corner, Wren has taken a more independent approach on life, and has mostly grown away from Snow fandom, and has told Cath that she doesn't want to be roommates. Cath has never felt this alone, and her sulky roommate (who happens to have the world's most positive boyfriend) doesn't help the mix. Oh and her fiction-writing professor doesn't approve of fan-fiction. Cath is now facing the biggest hurdle of her life, but also a door of great opportunities... And as she acts on both of them, Cath will discover that to live, sometimes you got to step out of your comfort zone. 

Fangirl is honestly the best book I have read in a long time. Everything in this book just felt right, it felt like it belonged. All the elements were so balanced, from the quirky friendships, the blossoming romance (sigh), the AWESOME fan fiction, and the family situations. It's a coming of age novel that really enraptures you, and after a while it doesn't even feel like you're reading. It feels like you're living the story, it feels like you're being.

December 29, 2013

Classical Piece of the Week: Symphony 4, 4th mvmt


A while back I attended the Tchaikovsky Festival show by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and it was a mind-blowing experience. One of the pieces they performed was his Fourth Symphony, and the whole piece kept me at the edge of my seat. All four of the movements were extremely impressive, but the movement I want to showcase today is the fourth movement.

The movement is 9 minutes of epic, grandiose, magnificent music. It's everything that's good concentrated into the sound of the bold strings, blaring brass, balanced winds and the booming percussion. (All those b's were definitely unintentional, hehe). The music always builds and intensifies from its momentum, but just when you think it's at its peak, everything just diminishes again and a new, even more powerful momentum starts to develop. And then all this energy just releases at the end, giving you one of the most EPIC endings ever.

December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas! (With poem!)

 From: Decently Exposed Shop

Hey guys! I just wanted to wish a very Merry Christmas, and I hope your holidays are going wonderfully! Oh and here's a little Christmas poem for you guys! I was going for kind of a "Twas the Night Before Christmas" feel to it (you know, that kind of hearty/homey voice?). And I don't usually do rhyming stuff, but I think Christmas just screams "poems that rhyme"! Anyways, hope you guys enjoy it!

(Here's an awesome playlist of the whole Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky!)

(Title of poem still undecided… if you guys got any suggestions don't hesitate on leaving a comment below!)

Stockings without a stuffer,
a tree but no manger.
Lights wrapped around the stairs,
but none out in the winter air.

What an artificial Christmas,
they deem, tone vicious.
You do not mess around,
with a celebration so renown.

December 15, 2013

Book Review: A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, #1)

by Libba Bray
published in 2003
a forgiving 2.5-3 stars
Goodreads Amazon Author's Website

"Because you don't notice the light without a bit of shadow. Everything has both dark and light. You have to play with it till you get it exactly right."

A Great and Terrible Beauty, is like what the title suggests, both great and terrible. But for me, it tilted towards terrible.

It's the Victorian Era, and the only place where Gemma Doyle wants to be is in England. Instead, Gemma's stuck under the sweltering heat of India, her dreams of going abroad quickly evaporating under the torrid sun. But one eery vision of the future later, tragedy strikes her family and Gemma is sent packing to the Spence Academy in London, under the worst possible circumstances. At Spence, Gemma's visions seem to occur more often, and Spence's gothic styled building intensifies the supernatural feel. Now, Gemma must question all she's every known. Or what she thought she had known.

I thought the book started off great. The characters had vivid, colorful personalities, and the setting felt very three-dimensional. Gemma had quite a distinct character, one that made her feel alive, vibrant. She always had a strong opinion, and her solid narration made me, the reader, feel involved in the story. 

Unfortunately, the story started to unravel as Gemma started to discover her supernatural talents. Suddenly, several new, important plot lines appeared, yet they held a weak presence throughout the book. The story started to feel drab, as the characters' emotions were never amplified; they just feel flat. And scenes containing very dramatic elements felt like smooth poetry, I mean for a supernatural book, everything just felt a little too natural

November 6, 2013

The Pride in Wrongdoing

*All names in this post have been changed in form of respect and privacy*

Today we had a double bloc of Spanish, and nearing the end of it, you can already guess that our teacher was getting frustrated from all of our little misbehaviours. And so, with Ms. Kayla's mood already in a downfall, one student decided to raise his voice above everyone else's, which resulted in some furious yelling from our teacher's part.

After 10-15 minutes, when the situation was almost forgotten and the class was chattering away, Ms. Kayla grabbed our attention and says, "I'd just like to apologize to Andy for yelling at him. I realize now that he was not the only one that was talking loudly, and singling him out was the wrong thing to do. I know that I'm not perfect and sometimes I do lose my patience, but I really try my best." Looking back it didn't make much of an impact on my classmates and I, but now that I have had a chance to think about it, I now realize just how meaningful what Ms. Kayla said.

September 20, 2013

Classical Piece of the Week: Vocalise


Missed the last one? Here's a link to RĂªverie.


Vocalise, by Sergei Rachmaninoff

And on those days when the leaves are shifting hues, drifting away,
when the trees are left with only their stark limbs, battered with wind.

And on those days when the only rays, are seen through stretched clouds,
gray and soulless but with infinite amount of reason.

And on those days when you stare at the world,
and all you get is a woman in her coat, eyes cast down, stepping carefully.

And on those days when you put the sad records on,
a soft piano, a crying violin.

And on those days when life is dusty and ashen,
but then the music fills you and suddenly everything is so, so alive.




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