Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Biiiiig announcement!!

Hey y'all!! I have a big announcement for you guys: I am temporarily moving this blog!! Sara may still post here, but for the next six months (from June to December), I will post in this blog instead as a motivation to document my study abroad experiences in France! So get excited, visit, subscribe, look at my pictures of macarons and cute French things!

Hope to see y'all there!

Vanessa :]

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A poem...

Yesterday, I saw a photo on Humans of New York's Facebook page of this couple lying on a meadow - I think in Central Park - reading to each other. Just then I thought, wouldn't it be wonderful to read to one's significant other? This outrageously romantic gesture is so rarely done nowadays. So I proposed to my boyfriend that we should read some poems to each other this weekend. After the proposal, I thought what would be better than a poem that I personally wrote about him, about us. So, voila. A poem of love.

Love is…

Love is your scent on the pillow long after you left the bed
Love is your fingers playing with my hair
Love is my heart beating when you kiss me or cry
Love is the spooning after the fight
Love is the stars and the salted sand on my eyelashes after the third piña colada
Love is when I slip my fingers through yours in the cool air and they just fit
Love is the silky touch, the murmurs and dimples as we dream
Love is the warmth of freshly stripped clothes scattering the floor
Love is a look, a song, a senseless comment in the middle of somberness
Love is the charge in the air that tastes like clean flesh, which makes me drunk
Love is the future in endless lists on our phones
Love is me and love is you
Love is you love me and I love you.

Happy summer! (Or spring, where I am...)
Vanessa :] 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Music Monday: City Melancholy

*It's already Monday where I am! So Music Monday!*

Sorry sorry sorry for not posting for so long! Spring break happened, and then the new quarter, and a new novel I've been working on... However, deep down I know these are no excuses, so here I am, back and ready to give you guys some new music to nurture your starved ears...

Without further ado...

City Love from ness428 on 8tracks Radio.

Vanessa :]

Monday, March 17, 2014

Braving the World: Eleanor & Park

Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
My Rating: 4.5/5

"Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under." - Goodreads

I read this novel over the course of one weekend, at first one or two chapters at the time, and then just desperately gulping it all down. For me, this novel definitely picks up speed and strength as the story progresses, and then you truly see and feel and believe the love between Eleanor and Park, and how hard life is pulling them apart.

This story is about love, but at the same time about so much more. It's about life in the 80s, about adolescence, school, sibling rivalry, domestic violence, prejudices, and poverty. Written alternately from Eleanor and Park's points of view, this romantic, tender, but also very raw and true-to-life story slowly sucks you in, grabs you, pulls you under, until you just can't stop reading and can't stop feeling and can't stop yearning for more.

One thing about this book that touched me the most is its language. Simply beautiful, borderline poetic (I know that's technically not right but just bear with me please). Sentences like "There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises," and "'I don't like you,' he said. 'I need you,'" and "Park's face, asleep, was a brand-new kind of beautiful. Sunshine-trapped-in-amber skin." The descriptions are so evocative that you can't help but picture each character in your head and feel them come to life.

Another thing that I really loved (and also made me tear up) is the ending. I won't spoil it for y'all, but let's just say it's pretty indicative of how life gets into the way of first loves. The ending will definitely remind you of your own very first romance, and all the bittersweet things you felt, all the awkward and shy moments shared, all the distant memories refreshed.

By all means, read this book.

Vanessa :]

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Wind Rises (2014): dreaming of the sky

Title: The Wind Rises
Language: Japanese
Year: 2014
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
My Rating: 5/5 (would give it a 6/5 if I could!)

This last film of Miyazaki is based on a real figure, Jirohorikoshi, the Japanese aeronautical engineer who designed the Mitsubishi Zero, Japan's predominant fighter plane during WWII. It was used in many air assaults in China, and also the Pearl Harbor attack.

Despite the film's sensitive subject politically and historically speaking, Miyazaki expresses through the film an overwhelming sense of beauty and pride. 

Instead of telling the story of Japan's attempts at plane construction through a historicizing narrative, Miyazaki made the magical choice of adopting a very personal point of view from Jiro the engineer. From Jiro's narrative, Miyazaki tells not only the stories of a plane, but of a young boy's desire to fly, to follow his dream, and to make his country a better and stronger one. The Japanese society at the time of the story was a turbulent one, one filled with social malcontent, natural disasters, and political and economic unrest. Mayazaki unreservedly shows this dark side of his society's past, which gained my sympathy. On the other hand, he also shows the breathtaking beauty and simplicity of life during that epoch: the picturesque countryside with its green grasslands, ripening fields, and traditional Japanese architecture, accompanied by the evocative music composed by Joe Hisaishi, every minute of the beauty is exuberant with a national pride and patriotism that is natural, modest, yet very much heartfelt. 

The film is also extremely touching in that it tells a tragically beautiful love story that is tangled with the nation's destiny. The love in the story is depicted with such simplicity yet is extremely convincing, in that it is also expressed with a kind of utmost sincerity that makes us wonder if we can still find love like this in today's society. Just like the love element is a personal aspect of the story, so is Jiro's own dreams of designing beautiful airplanes. In the film, he explains that he never meant for them to go to war, and he is at a loss when he realizes that none of his beautiful designs came back after taking off. 

This film is a must-see, it will move you in a way that you have long forgotten existed. Your heart will simply go out to the characters. For this reason, I was very sad to learn that the movie is censored in China because of its sensitive subject, however this film is not about politics. It is maybe somewhat about war in that it shows war's inhumanity and ugliness, and it is above all else about a brave quest for dreams and a yearning for beauty.

Le vent se lève... il faut tenter de vivre!

Vanessa :]

Friday, February 28, 2014

They came!

I love them. I'm literally in love. I'll be posting an entire photoblog as soon as I get back from my speech meet. It's so cool.

Right now I'm wearing Wilkie. They're not at all what I thought I'd like...but they're just glorious. I've been wearing them around campus and have gotten a ton of compliments.

They were actually number four on my list when I was trying my sample five on, but the more I wore these around the most I fell in love with them. The fact that I can wear them around for an extended period of time and really test drive them makes Warby Parker worth a try.

This is the best way to buy glasses in my opinion.