certain things just go well together

hollydance


Like empty halls with high ceilings, vintage tulle petticoats, and impromptu dancing.

P.S. Did you see this exhibition yet? Beautiful.

degas and chamberdance

Bay Area dwellers, there's tons of exciting events in San Francisco this weekend:
  • My ballet school's dance company, Chamberdance, is performing at the Legion of Honor Museum on Sunday. The performance is a collaboration between artist Jeremy Sutton and Chamberdance, as inspired by Edgard Degas. Read more about it here.
  • The annual Renegade Craft Fair is back at Fort Mason. I went last year and it was so much fun, lots of independent artists and DIY sellers. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and browse all the stalls first. Also stick to your budget as there's so much good stuff that you'll be tempted to buying everything.
  • Indonesia Day at Union Square on Saturday. My friend Melania invited me to this one. Program includes dancing, music, and food sampling. I'm especially excited to taste traditional Indonesian cuisine.
  • Alameda Flea Market. Hands down, the best flea market in town. It happens every first Sunday of the month and I suggest you go early to get the best deals.
And the best part is, admission to these events are free! Happy Friday! Cheers/Kanpai.

meet me at the water's edge


Took my new camera for a little hike by the ocean this afternoon. I'm surprised that the pictures came out well despite the low light, it was very cold and the Golden Gate Bridge was completely covered with fog. I have a feeling that my camera and I will get along just fine. Indeed.

a few good things

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Learning Japanese is working my brain like no other. It's hard. Especially when I get really excited that I can read certain words only to realize that I have no idea what they mean. But the good news is, I can now write all 46 basic Hiragana characters! (See how they look like here). I wrote my first sentences last week and oh how sweet it is.

Also, I finally caved in and bought a new point and shoot camera. I know. I've been wanting to buy a DSLR for ages but I just can't afford one right now. But let me tell you, it was really tempting. I'm trying to convince myself that I also don't have time to learn how to use a DSLR and I'd hate to be one of those people who carry their expensive camera equipment around and don't even know how to use it properly. Its so annoying and pretentious and I'm just jealous so I need to get over it. Ha.

Now I can see the fog rolling in from my window. My tea smells like cinnamon and crisp autumn nights. It feels strange and yet wonderful to wear tights in the middle of summer. I wonder if one day I will prefer writing in kana/kanji more than Romaji (Roman alphabet). These are my thoughts this morning. How about you?

swedish summers


I've always loved Elisabeth's artwork, but these photos take my breath away. What gorgeous light. Like a half-remembered dream.

(Photos from fine little day)

inception and suspended realities


Note: This post contains some spoilers about Christopher Nolan's Inception. You can watch the film trailer here.

Inception is a movie with so many intricate layers that you can't help but want to talk about it. As soon as we got out of the theater, my cousin Bill asked, "So what do you think, did the top stop spinning or not?"

I told him it doesn't really matter whether or not it toppled over, its entirely up to the viewer's interpretation. To which he replied, "But I'm asking you. What do YOU think?"

So for those of you who's seen the movie, I'm opening this post for a discussion. What do you think? Feel free to write your thoughts, theories, general opinion about the movie, etc. And if you haven't watched it, I highly recommend this film, if only because it makes the viewers think, and you don't get a lot of those from Hollywood these days.

By the way, I posted my answer on the comment section, in case you want to know. And oh, can we also talk about how handsome my boyfriend Joseph Gordon-Levitt looked while walking along those walls and ceilings? :)

the boat behind and other stories


Hi all. I apologize for the radio silence over here. I have no internet access and just found out that my little point and shoot camera is now beyond repair. Sad, sad news.

So no internet, television, or camera to play around with. What's a girl to do? Why live inside books, of course. I've read more books in the last couple of days than the first six months of the year combined. Its glorious. It's also slightly dizzying, as I've been practicing Hiragana and memorizing new Japanese words. Yume means dream.

Did I ever tell you about my dream of living inside a bookstore? Something like the photo above, with stacks and stacks of books within arms reach. This was actually taken inside a bookstore in Paris, Shakespeare & Company, where writers can have free food and lodging provided that they read a book a day. I'm not sure if I can do this though, I mean its Paris that we're talking about here, I'd rather walk around aimlessly and people-watch at outdoor cafes. But a bed inside a bookstore does sound idyll.

How about you, what's new? Any plans for the weekend or the rest of the summer? Its been so cold here in San Francisco lately, I can't help but wish I could go on a road trip to a place where its actually warm and sunny, and oh, can I have the boys from Kings of Convenience sing with me on that road trip too? This song makes me ache for summer even more than I already do:



(Photo by Glynnis Ritchie on Flickr)

a street with my name

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I'd like to be more than a keeper of dreams,
more than a string of wishes
hurled into a bottomless sky --

I'd like to find a street
with my name.

*Found from my old journal, dated 7/10/09, may have been inspired by this.
**Also, I am in love with this photo. In love. (by ann h. via daydream lily
)

the state i am in



The title is a nod to my favorite band, Belle and Sebastian, who is currently on tour and will come to the West Coast in October. I never thought I'd get the chance to see them live and now I feel like doing cartwheels! Check out this great video of their song here.

Right this second, all I want to do is peruse a Japanese e-mook (cross between a magazine and a book) that I bought from Kinokuniya Bookstore. With my limited Hiragana, I can't really understand a thing, but I do love looking at the images. I think Japanese aesthetic is so dreamy in its simplicity.

Like the photo above from Fudge magazine. Doesn't it make you want to lay down on a grass somewhere, put on your headphones, and listen to your favorite songs?

I hope you are having a great morning. And its Friday, yes!

(Fudge magazine scan via clever nettle)

jane eyre

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This is a first look of the latest film adaptation of Jane Eyre via Focus Features/BBC Films. I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am for this, first because its directed by Cary Fukunaga (writer/director of Sin Nombre), who said that the movie will focus on the gothic nuances of the novel, and also because of its stellar cast. A dark and moody Jane Eyre? Yes, please.

Now about the novel. I finally finished (re)reading Jane Eyre last night. I say *re* in parenthesis because I first read it in high school and I couldn't remember much of it except that I loved the romance and the way it was written. Did I even finish reading the book? I honestly don't know but I obviously didn't give it the attention that it deserves.

I'm sure there are hundreds of essays and dissertations written about Jane Eyre, so I'll spare you one. The thing that struck me the most though, while reading it, was the difference between the image of Rochester that I've kept in my mind and the Rochester in the novel. I've always viewed him as this mysterious, brooding, and devilishly handsome hero who would do anything for Jane when in fact he is anything but. He is mysterious and brooding, yes, but he is definitely not that handsome and one could say that he is too calculating, even condescending, towards Jane. I found myself thinking, "was this really the Rochester that I loved all those years ago?"

Of course I was a naive teenager who desperately wanted to fall in love so that might have colored my perception then. Needless to say, towards the end of the novel, Rochester redeemed himself in my eyes, not because of anything that he did but because it was his love that Jane chose. She saw all the flaws in his character (literally and figuratively) and yet she came back to him, this time as his partner and equal. And ultimately, the narrative is really about Jane, her journey from being an orphan who didn't have control over her life to being a woman who knew what she wanted and fought for it.

That said, did any of you read this novel or watch one of its film adaptations? What did you think of the story? I'm especially curious to know your opinion about Rochester who, along with Mr. Darcy and Heathcliff, has been dubbed as one of the "literary crushes". In fact, I read somewhere that Twilight's Edward was inspired by him, though I don't see any similarities except their first name and it makes me cringe that people are comparing a classic like Jane Eyre to a teenage vampire romance series, but that's another story altogether.

more postcards from the coast

I'm still sorting through hundreds of pictures from my mom's visit and thought I should share some of the highlights from our coastal trip. If you haven't already, I really recommend driving down (or up) along Highway 1 in California. Its truly a beautiful, beautiful drive.

This photo was taken at the Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel. I wish I had taken more pictures of their quaint cottages but I was too enamored by the view to even remember. You can see pictures from their website here.

I took my mom to the beautiful Carmel Mission and its rustic flower gardens. Unfortunately, there was a wedding and no photography was allowed inside. I did sneak up a photo of the newlyweds.

My mom was really happy when she saw the statue of St. Francis of Assisi, our town's patron saint.

And I, of course, was in heaven because of this hot fudge sundae at Ghirardelli's in Monterey.

This might be my favorite picture of the trip. I just love how young and carefree my mom looks here. And yes, it goes without saying that I miss her so, as much as I miss the rest of my family.

P.S. See part one of our coastal trip here.

things we forget

I found this sweet little blog via Dorkys and I think its such a neat project. I also love that its called Post-it notes left to their fate in public places. Very whimsical, don't you think? And you already know how I feel about words in public places, so there.

I'm still kind of high from Spain's victory at the World Cup and staying up late reading Jane Eyre. (I'm now on Chapter XIV when Jane and Rochester were at the library and he asked, "Do you think me handsome?" Oh my. Why did I take so long to re-read this novel?). Hope you are having a beautiful Monday morning. And in the spirit of la furia roja, ¡OlĂ©!

viva la furia roja!


That is all. And you, what are you up to on this beautiful Sunday?

bits and pieces

This morning I made yogurt parfait for breakfast. A cup of plain yogurt + granola, some thinly sliced strawberries and bananas, a handful of blueberries, a bit of honey, and viola, parfait is ready in less than 10 minutes.

I'm not much of a cook but I do like making breakfast. And mornings like this, when I'm not sleep-deprived and rushing to get everything done, are few and far between so I really treasure them.

We are almost done with summer school and I get two weeks off before we go back to work in August. Between ballet and Japanese classes, my days are already filled but I really want to get *some* writing done this summer. I have a timer that works really well for my students and I'm planning to use that too for my writing exercises. Writing at least thirty minutes per day is not too much to ask, right?

Happy Friday, my friends. I'll leave you with these stills from one of my favorite French films, Le Balloon Rouge.

lavender, lavender

One of my summer goals was to go back to this lavender farm for their June harvest so my mom and I went there 3 weeks ago but the lavender weren't in bloom yet. Even so, we still had a wonderful time, my mom especially loved all the pretty flowers!

Last Monday, I called the farm and they said that yes they are indeed harvesting so I invited Holly to come with me again and we went frolicking in the lavender fields. With everything in full bloom and the smell of lavender high in the summer air, its definitely one of the happiest places on earth!

I might have been too excited to sit still for a picture. Ha.

I just love how peaceful this couple looked. But then, who wouldn't be? Lavender fields and vineyards as far as the eyes can see, add some wine (it is a winery after all) and its bliss, bliss.

P.S. If you're from the Bay area and want to visit Matanzas Creek Winery and its lavender farm, check out their website here.

P.P.S. See more photos from Holly here.

hajimemashite.

That's "how do you do?" in Japanese. You use it when introducing yourself to someone for the first time and I noticed that I have new blog readers so -

Hajimemashite. Watashi wa Odessa desu. Doozo yoroshiku.
(How do you do? I'm Odessa. Nice to meet you.)

As you can see, I'm learning Japanese. Beginning conversation and Hiragana and loving it so far. Especially writing Hiragana. Its so exciting to write/read these characters and realize that they actually mean something. I know it will take *a lot* of hard work and perhaps years of studying but I'm really looking forward to reading poetry in Japanese. How cool would that be? I can always start with haiku, right?

P.S. To my new readers: Welcome and don't forget to say hello in the comment section. I'd love to hear from you! :)