Friday, July 29, 2011

It's Showtime!

Tonight is opening night of Poor Yorick's Players "Macbeth". These past two months of rehearsal have gone by so quickly -- I can't believe the show's here already! Everyone has worked so incredibly hard -- I'm constantly impressed by the fantastic acting and costumes and props we've been able to master and get our hands on. As far as plays go, this performance has got to be the one that's come together the fastest and most seamlessly.

I'm so excited to get out on stage and be witchy and creepy and wonderful!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Guilty Pleasures, part II

There are plenty of things that I dare not mention in public and only partake in behind closed doors -- yep, guilty pleasures! If music wasn't enough, here are some of my little indulgences that I try to keep hushed up (though, I guess not anymore!)

Alannah Hill Autumn/Winter 2010

♥ Paranormal romance novels. I don't know why; it's usually not even for the romance. But the wit and Victorian and supernatural creatures of things like Soulless? Love it. Bonus points if these are YA.

♥ For as much as I love cooking and the most ludicrous and luscious cheese I can find, I will ditch the gruyere and mushroom pasta bake for a nice bowl of macaroni and cheese in a hot minute. And there's nothing I love more than a big bowl of, yes, Kraft mac & cheese.

♥ 90's chick flicks; y'know, the one's that take place in some sort of West Coast high school where it's warm enough for outdoor hallwaysl. I especially enjoy if they're loosely based off of Shakespearean plays (hello, 10 Things I Hate About You)

♥ Eating dessert before dinner. Or breakfast, for that matter. I try to tell myself that the greek yogurt I eat in the morning is a healthy decision, but really it's just an excuse to put chocolate chips in my breakfast food.

♥ Dancing around the house in my pjs and singing along to Disney songs. This requires that the windows be firmly shut. Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, even obnoxious musicals are fair game (the number of times I've done this with Phantom of the Opera is equally embarrassing).

♥ Leonardo DiCaprio. Yes, yes, I'm guilty.

♥ All of the Sailor Moon episodes are on YouTube. I like to spend my summer days re-watching reruns in the original Japanese. Not that this is something I watched in the 4th grade or anything...

♥ On that note, I own the entire DVD collection of Will & Grace.

♥ The 80's. I enjoy them immensely. Almost without shame.

What are your guilty pleasures?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Guilty Pleasures, part I

This past Monday night, after a mysterious text of "Go look on your doorstep", I found myself in possession of one of the guiltiest mixes in the existence of the universe. I blame this on one of my best friends since middle school and her impeccable skill at compiling mixes. The theme was to find songs so guilty that pulling up to a stoplight in your car turned into a hot mess of giggling, laughing, blushing, dancing, and feeling like you should stare straight ahead and make eye contact with no one. Let me just say: she succeeded.

And then it got me thinking of my own little musical guilty pleasures. Kallie and I have a lot of similarities, but one more guilty pleasures mix never hurt. Because let's face it, boy bands never die...

There are plenty more songs than this, but in continuing with the theme of getting the most uncomfortably awkward stares at traffic lights, I bring you:

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Book Survey

Since I seemed to have struck up an unofficial book-theme for the past week, I figured I'd continue on and do this little survey found via After-I-Do. Even disregarding my being a literature major, books have always been a huge part of my life.
1. Favorite book - This is the hardest question ever. Either: The Scar by China Mieville, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Murakami Haruki, or Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.
2. Least favorite book - Pride & Prejudice & Zombies (I expected better) or the grammatical catastrophe and embarrassment to the English language and profession of editing that is Twilight
3. Book that makes you laugh out loud - Me Talk Pretty One Day - David Sedaris
4. Book that makes you cry - I teared up a bit at the end of Mockingjay. Largely unsatisfying resolutions get me every time.
5. Book you wish you could live in - any of the Harry Potter series. My letter from Hogwarts is 9 years overdue - I blame the postal service.
6. Favorite young adult book - The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
7. Book that you can quote/recite - Pride & Prejudice, hands down.
8. Book that scares you - The Stand by Stephen King, in a creepy, viral takeover sort of way
9. Book that makes you sick - Physically ill? Probably the closest would be The Hot Zone, but even then, not really sick. Again, eww, scary viral things.
10. Book that changed your life - The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
11. Book from your favorite author - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
12. Book that is most like your life - Honestly, I read so much fantasy/sci-fi that this is hardly applicable xD Ender's Game. Yes, yes I am a small boy genius who's being trained as a fleet commander to save the world from Buggers.
13. Book whose main character is most like you - I'm a Hermione Granger, through and through
14. Book whose main character you want to marry - I have this inexplicable attraction to Uther Doul of Mieville's The Scar >.> But can we also take a second and talk about Colonel Brandon of Sense and Sensibility?
15. First "chapter book" you remember reading as a child - I honestly don't remember, I read so many books, but I do vividly remember reading one of my first "real" books in 6th grade, The Hobbit over and over and over.
16. Longest book you've read - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (870 pages)
17. Shortest book you've read - H.G. Wells' The Time Machine (118 pages)
18. Book you're most embarrassed to say you like - Soulless by Gail Carriger
19. Book that turned you on - Is this even...?
20. Book you've read the most number of times - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
21. Favorite picture book from childhood - The Pokey Little Puppy, y'know, one of those Little Golden books!
22. Book you plan to read next - Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
23. Book you tell people you've read, but haven't (or haven't actually finished) - I started The Picture of Dorian Gray eons ago but for whatever reason haven't gotten around to finishing it yet. Shame, shame.
24. Book that contains your favorite scene - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - the twin's exit from Hogwarts, memorial swamp and all
25. Favorite book you read in school - The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
26. Favorite nonfiction book - Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
27. Favorite fiction book - either American Gods or Good Omens by Neil Gaiman(/Terry Pratchett)
28. Last book you read - Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
29. Book you're currently reading - Iron Council by China Mieville
30. Favorite coffee table book - any of the PostSecret books I'd love to hear what your favorite books are!

Have you taken this survey too?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Until the Very End

Until the Very End
I've already poured over just how much the Harry Potter books have meant to me through what's been an astonishingly long, but fast 14 years, but I don't think I could ever say it enough. Yes, I'll be a little bummed that there won't be any new books or movies or midnight releases, but it's not the end; I'll reread and rewatch and always remember how these books shaped my childhood and my love of reading. One day I'm sure I'll read them to my own kids and that timelessness is irreplaceable.

But enough sentimentality, the final movie was great xD There's nothing terribly spoiler-y here, but I'm also kind of assuming most of you have at least read the books. I don't think I had it in me to not like this movie from the start. Things were cut that I missed, of course, like Dumbledore's backstory, but overall I loved it. I've made my peace with movie adaptations of books because they're just that - adaptations. But enough about my literary philosophy; the movie was fantastic! I cried throughout 80% of the movie >.> 14 years of my life though, that's crazy to think about. Harry Potter has always held a special place because of that, and always will.

What's your favorite Harry Potter book? What did you think of the final movie!? And, notoriously, books or films?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Library Love

There's just something about the musty smell of old hardcover books and gilded page-edging that excites me. While any library is a good library, the Carnegie is absolutely stunning, its little alcoves and hidden shelves of books seem to dip underneath the building itself, like the old books are nestled in a lost little place, where those who know where to look -- past the bestsellers and shiny new books -- go. I'm so glad that after moving out of the dorms at Pitt, I was able to snag a library card to the Carnegie despite not being in-county. Hooray library systems!

Also, did I mention that there's a diplodocus out front? He likes to dress for the seasons :)

Even our friend the Diplodocus appreciates a nice scarf

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Things I Love Thursday

Asahi Elementary
♥ Tonight I get to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2! I really don't know what I'm going to do with myself after that. Probably not sleep. For days. But no, really, I'm super excited and sad and proud and fulfilled all at once. I'll let you know how it goes!

♥ I officially started my mentoring position this week. It's going to be great to get some hands-on experience with the age group I'll (hopefully) be working with in years to come! Plus, all the kids are great to work with!

♥ Reminiscing about Japan and teaching some middle school & high school students about my favorite country and time abroad in the process! My cousin's library asked me to come in and do a guest presentation on Japan, and all the kids were dolls; we had a blast! They even tried some mochi! Best group of kids ever -- so much fun!

little loves
sugar dumplings ♥ Severus Snape ♥ all-you-can-eat lunch at Super Panda! ♥ 'Mansfield Park' ♥ these Paris/New York posters ♥ peach pie ♥ Japanese hard candies -- they come in the best flavors ever, like mango, melon, and peach! ♥ can't you tell I love peaches? And to top it off, peach season starts next month! ♥ old books
What are you loving this week?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Jane Austen

( source )

Being the literary nerd and lover of whimsy that I am, it's no surprise that Jane Austen is one witty love of mine. And reading "Northanger Abbey" for class has given me an excuse to pour over all of its dreamy details and parody of the gothic novel with the added background of having personally read "The Monk" and "Castle of Otranto" last term. It's made this read so much more enjoyable!

Jane Austen's social commentary and wit is so on spot. As much as I love her novels (Sense and Sensibility probably being my favorite! The Dashwood sisters have got to be some of my favorite female characters in literature and Col. Brandon? Don't get me started!) I've not ventured into the land of modern Austen re-imaginings or interpretations after a letdown with Pride & Prejudice & Zombies.

Alright, so it sounds hokey in the first place, but that's sort of what I expected: a humourously sarcastic and modernly witty mashup of some of my favorite things. But what I got wasn't a completely serious or completely goofy novel that basically put zombie apocalypse-related words into Austen's preexisting sentences. I was rather disappointed I didn't enjoy it more, being what it was, but I've strayed from any kind of modern Austen since.

Enough about that; I do love Jane Austen and you can enjoy some of my favorite Jane Austen/Regency-inspired things from around the web!
diy ruffle collar tutorial // pemberly // white owl lace necklace

Design Sponge has featured some of the gorgeous film adaptations of Jane Austen novels as part of their 'Living In' series of design inspiration. Check out Living in: Emma, Living in: Pride & Prejudice, and Living in: Sense and Sensibility and Ez of Creature Comforts has a tutorial for a gorgeous, handmade frame stencil diy for gift packaging!

Are you a fan of Jane Austen? Favorite book? Darcy or Bingley?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

link love

All of Middle Earth, in Legos. So detailed, so amazing!
♥ I love old photographs and My Daguerrotype Boyfriend posts loads of historical daguerrotypes of attractive men of history.
♥ Can we talk about these awesomely geeky art nouveau style video game heroines over at Megan Lara? Chell, Samus and Zelda? Love it!
♥ Katie of Skunk Boy Creatures' daughter, Hope, blogs on Wednesdays - she's great!
Ewan McGregor and Chris O'Dowd play with lightsabers on the Graham Norton Show. What's better than watching a bunch of Scottish men run about making lightsaber noises? Nothing, that's what.
♥ Angela Hardison is photographing her effort to eat 50% raw foods. I don't know if I could ever do it with such seeming ease, but everything looks so simple and delicious!
Kyla Roma's done a great post on organizational tools and techniques. I already use TweetDeck and Google Docs, but should really start utilizing some of these other tricks more/better/at all!

Have you found any fun links lately?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Things I Love Thursday

( Kanko* )

♥ Boy's job is moving back to Greensburg! This week was our last typical Wednesday off since he'll be going from a 4-day back to a 5-day work week, so I'm a little bummed we won't get to see each other as much for a bit, but it means he'll be closer so things should even out just fine :)

♥ I made the acquaintance of the most adorable little girl at my Dad's summer picnic. She quietly showed me the best chocolate cake on the dessert table, gave me a high-five, and then proceeded to tell me about the 18 pieces of candy she was going to score at the parade the next day. Best little kid, ever!

♥ I've bumped into Oh She Glow's recipe for 15 min. Creamy Avocado Pasta all over the place the past few weeks. So much that it was practically a sign from the universe that I had to make it myself. Oh, jeez, was is delicious! With some lightly breaded zucchini (which I also have a slight obsession with) and it's perfect for getting a dose of veggies without sacrificing my love for creamy pasta. If you haven't tried it yet, do so!

♥ I don't know why I haven't been to the Japanese grocery store since I've been back in Pittsburgh, but a trip was long overdue. They had my instant ramen! And loaves of bread! But I settled on a green tea and coffee flavored bread for a snack :D Plus, the shop owner is super nice and knows all of my sensei xD

little loves
WoW is now free up to level 20 ♥ local fruits and veggies from Schramm's farm ♥ grapefruits ♥ Lord of the Rings extended edition (though I only have one, and it's killing me xD) ♥ summer festivals ♥ tanabata! ♥ naps ♥ a dapper (when is he not) looking Alan Rickman ♥ my summery night slip ♥ surprise days off of work

What are you loving lately?



七夕, or tanabata, is the Japanese Star Festival. Legend has it that the weaver princess Orihime and the cow herder Hikoboshi were married, but upon falling in love, Orihime's weaving suffered and her father, Tentei, ruler of the heavens separated the two.The seventh day of the seventh month is the one day each year that the lovers Orihime and Hikoboshi, separated by the Milky Way, can meet.



Last summer I got to spend tanabata with my host family, writing our own wishes on slips of paper and hanging them on the bamboo outside the apartment. Pa and I spent the night before making paper chain and lantern decorations for the shoot and cutting all the paper. Traditionally, most young people wish for good grades or love, or so my host father tells me. It was also really similar to trick or treat, in our area at least. The elementary kids dressed up in yukata and went door to door, singing the local tanabata song for candy -- it was too cute!

I hear that Sendai's tanabata festival is one of the loveliest and am dying to see it when I go back to Japan!

Are there any summer festivals in your area?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Cherry Square Recipe on Campfire Chic!


I hope you all had a happy Fourth of July!

I'm so excited to be contributing a guest post today over at Kam's blog, Campfire Chic. With summer upon us northern-hemisphereans I busted out my favorite childhood recipe -- turns out grandma's 'nothings' are the perfect sweet for the hot weather!

Pop on over to Campfire Chic to learn how to make my favorite summer dessert: nothings!

Saturday, July 2, 2011


This past week was my first week of rehearsal for this season's production of Macbeth and, woah, does it feel nice to be back on the stage. Scenes are blocked out, fights are choreographed, and things seem to be coming together nicely.

My thighs are killing though. Who would've thought so much lunging and witch-like stalking about, and I'm sure some fight choreography too, would've made my thighs feel like bags of lead O.O

And on that note, if you haven't check out the Q&A with director Julie over at Something Wicked This Way Comes, go take a peek for some insight into the creative direction and rehearsal process!

Friday, July 1, 2011

an ode to fireflies

(and no, surprisingly this has nothing to do with the ship-class I love by the same name)

Firefly and Star
( sourcemasahiro miyasaka)

I love watching fireflies light up the cusp of the woods at dusk. It's just dark enough to see their sparsely blinking lights brighten up one after another, creating a never-ending chain of faint glimmers in the distance. It's as if the whole wood magically begins to come alive once the fireflies emerge, as if strange, enchanting things lurk, waiting to happen.