Weekend Reads #65: I get a start on my New Year plans

Weekend Reads is a weekly post in which I discuss a variety of topics and mention the books I plan to read on the weekend. Today’s post isn’t much of a discussion; it’s more of an “update on my life” sort of post, I guess; or a review of a artsy thing post…I dunno.

red-bull-flying-bach

One of my plans for this year is to do things that I’m interested in and I did so this weekend. I took myself to a dance performance called Red Bull Flying Bach, which was pretty awesome. The performance combines break dancing with classical music for a spectacular show that was entertaining.

Continue reading “Weekend Reads #65: I get a start on my New Year plans”

Tessanne Chin WINS The Voice

Tessanne is the Voice!
Tessanne is the Voice!

I just want to share my excitement. I am so happy that my country comes first again. Tessanne Chin wins The Voice!!! 🙂 Mi just love it when the whole Jamaica come together fi push we one another forward. Congrats to Chinita Goodaz!! 😀

Performing the last song for the night, written by Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic.
Performing the last song for the night, written by Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic.

‘Taking the Ordinary and Making it Extraordinary’ — Edward Weston

by Edward Weston

“I have been photographing our toilet, that glossy enameled receptacle of extraordinary beauty. Here was every sensuous curve of the ‘human figure divine’ but minus the imperfections. Never did the Greeks reach a more significant consummation to their culture, and it somehow reminded me, in the glory of its chaste convulsions and in its swelling, sweeping, forward movement of finely progressing contours, of the Victory of Samothrace.” — Edward Weston

I bumped into Edward Weston, an American photographer (1886-1958), while re-reading my art history text book, Living with Art by Mark Getlein. Why am I re-reading a textbook? Well, I really love art and I enjoy learning about it. Since my memory of art history is a bit foggy, I’ve decided to revisit the subject and re-learn what I studied. It’s a lot of fun! Not only am I refreshing my memory of art history, I am also deepening my appreciation for the subject.

In a section titled “Art and Beauty,” Weston’s photograph of a cabbage leaf was featured as an example. I paused when I saw it. If I wasn’t told that the photo is of a cabbage leaf, I wouldn’t have guessed it. At first glimpse, I thought the picture to be the skirt of an elaborate gown with the bodice not shown (I think many others thought the same). As you can see [above], the photo is taken against a dark background and is casted in black and white. Taking away the characteristics of the cabbage (its color) and focusing solely on a piece of it makes me consider the cabbage in a new way and focus on parts of it that I’ve never considered: for example, the lines caused by its rumpled leaf. I love lines and the lines in this piece kicked my imagination into overdrive. They flow freely and form curves and sometimes arch against each other. To me, they look like the ruffles in a dress and other times I think of them as veins or the wrinkled skin of a weird sea creature or even an alien.

Another item that Weston photographed is the toilet. Now, why would anyone want to take a photo of something so ordinary? I enjoyed gazing at Weston’s toilet. His photo transforms it. The perspective that Weston shoots from causes the bowl to loom above us, taking on the persona of the “porcelain goddess,” as some refer to it. He makes the toilet look majestic. Also, I couldn’t help thinking of it as a sculpture.

Weston is a gifted photographer who’s quite adept at making the ordinary extraordinary, and at giving objects a new personality. I find that his use of black and white photos emphasize things that are blind to us in color. With the absence of color, we focus more on content and contrast. I now have a new appreciation for black and white photos. I suggest that you check out some of Weston’s photos too. You will be blown away.

Also, check out Martha Schwendener’s article in The New York Times to read more about Edward Weston and his art. And visit this slide show, also on The New York Time’s website, to see more of Weston’s work.

Fiction to Fashion, my new favorite website

I discovered a new blog to love called Fiction to Fashion. The creator, Julie, posts outfits inspired by various books. And the great part is that she includes links to the websites where you can purchase them! It’s totally great for book nerds who love fashion, such as myself. My mantra is “boots & books!”

My favorite outfits are below but click here to check out the rest.

Inspired by Yann Martel's Life of Pi.
Inspired by Yann Martel’s Life of Pi.

I can see myself wearing this outfit in the spring or summer. My favorite item is the trousers.

Inspired by Rachel Hartman's Seraphina.
Inspired by Rachel Hartman’s Seraphina.

I read Hartman’s Seraphina last year and this outfit fits the novel. I could see Eskar wearing this outfit. The colors and the leather vest gives it a Steampunk look, which fits the nature of the novel.

Sharing My Instagram Pics: At the Capitol, Washington, DC

"Peering between the lamp posts at the beauty across the way."Washington, DC
“Peering between the lamp posts at the beauty across the way.”
Washington, DC

As I sit in my room shivering slightly due to the random drop in temperature, I reflect on my summer excursions with my cousin. We acted like tourists for a day and toured the city. One of the places we visited was the Capitol, where I took this picture. Though I know nothing about architecture, I do admire the craft and design of buildings. This one is beautiful.

“The Writing Life” by Annie Dillard

Available on Amazon and at your local bookstore.
Available on Amazon and at your local bookstore.

Dillard is a great writer, but I did not have the patience to enjoy or appreciate her little book on writing. I snatched Dillard’s book from the Barnes & Noble shelves because I heard of her before and I wanted to know what she had to say on writing.

I was excited to begin Dillard’s book since I’m often told how great she is. I thought that she would share some tips on how she got to be considered great. She does this, kind of, by using little anecdotes that highlight a certain quality that writers should have, or to give advice on the writing life. This is great but I would appreciate it more if I wasn’t impatient while reading.

I could not tolerate Dillard’s slow tread to get to the point. To me, some of the anecdotes go around in circles, like the loops Dave Rahm makes in his air show, before finally getting to the message. This pissed me off. By the way, I simply do not get why so many pages were spent discussing Dave Rahm. Of course, I liked it when Dillard got to the point straight away – “Write as if you were dying” – and then explain what she means or give the anecdote after stating the point.

I also couldn’t stand the weather in this book. It’s cold. Most of the book is spent discussing Dillard’s experience writing in a cold cabin in some woods. I have no idea how she made it through that. I abhor the cold though I live in a cold place and I cannot fathom writing while I froze. The weather turned me off.

Still, a part of me appreciates this book and has fallen in love with Dillard’s style and her descriptions of things and the way she sews the lesson into the seam of the anecdotes. It’s a small part of me but it greatly influences the rest of myself so I did not dash aside the book when impatience slowly tried to rule.

I will read this book again at a time when I can relax and appreciate the way Dillard crafted it. At a time when I can truly appreciate Dillard’s use of language and will not be put off by the pages spent discussing Dave Rahm. I will understand why she spent such a long time discussing him when I’m not trying to rush through the book,.

This one is not for a novice: someone who’s just entering the battle. This is for those who’ve been there a bit and need some insight or guidance. Dillard does make some great points and is funny in a dry sort of way.

Continue reading ““The Writing Life” by Annie Dillard”

“Literary Graffiti From All Over the World” — Flavorwire

For those, like me, who are lovers of both literature and art, here is a post that you’ll enjoy. Flavorwire fused both into a list of graffiti inspired by literature. Some are artistically great and others are hilarious. These two are my favorites:

Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Nietzsche

Totally hilarious!

J.G. Ballard
J.G. Ballard

Some talent here. Love the detail.

Click here to see the others.

“Literary Fashions for Serious Book Nerds” — Flavorwire

For those of us who are fashionable book-nerds, here is one for you. Flavorwire has compiled a list of outfits inspired by books and/or made from them. My favorites are below:

By Carrie Ann Schumacher
by Carrie Ann Schumacher

This beautiful dress was made by Carrie Ann Schumacher from 50 romance novels. It’s very lovely and represents well what it is made from.

by Tata Christiane

by Tata Christiane

This outfit, designed by Tata Christiane, is based on Gabriel García Márquez’s, 100 Years of Solitude. It is made to represent magical realism, an important element in  Márquez’s novel; though, I must agree with Flavorwire here that the outfit is more magical than realistic. I like it because it is whimsical.

 

“10 Celebrities’ Surprisingly Bizarre Homes” — Flavorwire

Visit Flavorwire to see pics of the other bizarre homes.

Here is a cool post that I found on Flavorwire. The homes featured are truly bizarre, for example, Betsey Johnson’s “Betseyville” located in Mexico. It’s very colorful but totally matches her style; I quite like it.

My favorite is above — Julian Schnabel’s pink palazzo, located in New York. My second favorite is Christina Aguilera’s macabre mansion in Beverly Hills, California. Click here to see pictures of the other bizarre homes.

“20 Bookshelf Decorating Ideas” — Decoist

Idea #15: Paint the back wall of your bookshelf.

Well here is one article that I am sure to store away until I can get my own apartment.

Decoist is an interior design and architecture blog and judging from the great decoration ideas that are provided in this article, I am sure to return for more tips (especially when I get my apartment).

I love collecting books (say No! to e-readers) and I plan to one day own bookshelves on which all of my books can comfortably sit instead of having to  squeeze and squish together (as they are now), or just chill out on my bedroom floor. I only have one bookcase and because of the overflow of books, it looks pretty messy and ugly.

I would like to own a bookcase that shows off my books. That’s why I like Idea #15 here. I can get a simple bookcase and paint the back wall of it in a color that will cause my books to pop. There’s no way visitors would be able to avoid looking at them. My visitors will be transfixed by my bookcase, drawn in by the color, and will walk over to admire my collection.

Anyways, you can check out the other 19 ideas here.

Plus check out more cool bookcase ideas in the articles below.