graceless

Archive for November, 2010|Monthly archive page

Grief,

In Uncategorized on November 30, 2010 at 5:27 pm

If you’ve ever lost somebody very close to you, or have discovered some really bad news about someone who you will lose shortly, you may be personally familiar with Kubler-Ross’s 5 stages of grief.

I recently learned about a YouTube video that walks you through the process lightheartedly. Check out Giraffe in Quicksand.

Random shout-out to Minerva’s Mediterranean Deli on Broadway for serving the best baklava that I’ve tasted in Vancouver (unfortunately, their moussaka didn’t compare with the ones I had in Greece, but still quite delicious).

And Pixar recently produced their own contribution to the It Gets Better project – it’s very touching. No wonder Pixar movies have so much heart!

And here are my favourite postcards from this week’s PostSecrets:

Hahaha, sometimes I feel like it’s same for Vancouver. Actually, if you’ve lived anywhere else, you probably know that it’s no bluff – we actually do get a stick-ton of rain. Don’t move here, it’s just a temperate rainforest disguised as one of the most liveable city in the world.

=D

Advertisements

The Koreas

In Uncategorized on November 27, 2010 at 4:27 pm

I love photo essays and journalistic photography and galleries and this is a really great one about the aftermath of the recent Korean conflict.

The last photo is really a killer; it’s just an unreal heartbreak. And it isn’t a response to the barrage. It’s a pain that separated Korean families feel all the time.

VBS also has a fantastic video documentary: The Vice Guide to North Korea – it’s an eyeopener that I really enjoyed. Obviously the narrator is wearing some tinted glasses but a lot of what you see is still pretty unreal. When Jason and I watched it back in Sweden, our jaws pretty much fell out of our faces and all we could say was… well, nothing. Since then I’ve watched it about 4 more times. You should check it out.

I really wish the media could have access to North Koreans for comments, or any bit of insight. Think about the ordeals of those who escape from Amish life in America – they have really fascinating (and heartbreaking) stories to tell. I personally would love to read about a citizen’s experience living in North Korea.

For some reason, North Korean citizens are always portrayed as “the other” and we believe that they are somehow humanly different from us. But think of how little we really know about their culture and  the great divide between personal and public beliefs. I can’t even imagine how it feels to be a part of a culture that is SO collectivistic. What documentation we have of them, even of individuals, is only a display of obligatory patriotism and national image. We sure cast a lot of judgment about a people we know so little about!

Afterglow

In Uncategorized on November 23, 2010 at 7:45 pm

Afterglow – the name of the cupcake I enjoyed from Cupcakes on 4th after a very satisfying nap on my birthday on Monday afternoon just yesterday…

I’m TWENTAY! WHOO! WHHOOOOOO! (I hear this is the best decade.)

Afterglow is a SCRUMPTIOUS almond cake with cherries, cream cheese icing and another maraschino cherry on top. It’s a cupcake name with awfully implicit sexual hints if you ask me. But fear not, Lemon Drop, Blue Hawaii, and Caramella, you are still my other favourite cupcakes <3.

Then Jason made me a very French/Belgian dinner of moules (au vin blanc) et frites (et fruits) …which were just as good as the ones we had at Léon in Paris

It was super sweet! ❤ ❤


Now I have a ring of “goodness” around my tummy that will need working off, since I have been gorging myself with cakes and delicious meals all week! And my quads are still burning from all that squatting from lazer tag on Sunday.

Time to start jogging (but too bad it’s so icy outside). Damn, I am always making excuses. No more! I will go jog when the snow melts! I promise to myself.

P.S. Has anybody seen Black Swan, the new ballet thriller with Natalie Portman? Betty invited me to go but I’m not sure if I can handle it. I love Natalie but am terrified of any movie that is remotely scary (because I am a fraidy cat, no question), so I don’t know whether or not I can bear to watch it and enjoy it without having a terrible cinematic experience. The reviews make it sound quite freaky!

In the trailer, there is a scene where her eyes turn orange and she pulls a black feather out of a rash on her skin!!

The director, Darren Aronofsky, also directed Pi – a really weird movie about math that Lindy and I have randomly both watched for some strange, strange reason. It was really weird. Really weird. But fascinating.

Maybe I’ll wait ’til it comes out on DVD so that I can watch it curled up behind a massive pillow, like I do with all other “thrillers.” Boys, you may scoff at the ballet theme, but there is a girl-on-girl scene between Natalie and Mila Kunis (yeah, she’s the voice of Meg on Family Guy).

Venti

In Uncategorized on November 21, 2010 at 12:01 am

…From Italian “venti” meaning “twenty,” the age I am turning tomorrow. I can welcome the new decade with open arms knowing that my last 10 years were pretty awesome. Especially my last year. I recently bought a memory box to store literally hundreds of ticket stubs and other little memorabilia from Europe, and it makes me feel warm and fuzzy to go through all the amazing stuff we saw and did.

I’m going to treat myself to a really lovely cupcake.

And my parents took me for dinner to the Top of Vancouver Revolving Restaurant – the view was stunning! My brother and I stood on opposite sides of the “rotation” line and held our hands out to see how long it would take us to give each other a high five (admittedly, kind of like watching paint dry) but the waiter told me it was the first time he’s seen anyone try that in his 2.5 years!!

BRING ON THE TWENTIES!!

In other news, I really fancy Jason’s most recent purchase – the Moleskin Pac-Man Volant Assortment.

They even come with limited edition Pac-Man stickers.

I love notebooks because they have lots of blank NEW pages that are totally ready for amazing artwork and ideas and stories and scribbles and other creations or recreations, collections and recollections. The hard part for me is filling them, because I want the pages to be so awesome and precise and meaningfully spontaneous at the same time. Then I feel that the pages are not genuine representations of my imperfect ramblings and such.

Result = an enormous collection of beautiful empty notebooks. Goal of the new year: fill the pages!

By the way, Happy Movember! (But boy am I glad that Jason doesn’t do moustaches.)

Ronmione

In Uncategorized on November 20, 2010 at 1:32 am

I have been waiting for this for far too long. Who else was REALLY SHOCKED by how graphic the Harry/Hermione semi-nude makeout scene was!? Was that really necessary?

I’m all for Team Ronmione, personally:

How adorable is this? (But, wait, is it just me or do they look a little… twelve years old?)

Emma Watson talks about the kiss here, and responds to Daniel’s comment that she kisses like an animal. They are clearly trying very hard, all 3 of them, to get away from the persistent press!

Honestly, I don’t think I’d mind if they’d just put the 2 movies back to back and had us watch it for 5 hours straight. It was so intense (very much so, considering I already knew the plot) and the movie flew by SO FAST! And I am really digging Emma’s new short hair (and lucky for her, she can cut it short now that filming is over).

I heard that pt 2 is going to have the epilogue scene with the flashforwarding into the future, and I’m really excited to see what their families are going to look like.

I’m going to miss the Harry Potter fandomania when the last movie is out and all the anticipation is gone. The series has given me something to look forward to almost every year since I was 10! I’ve reread the first few books in the series so often that my parents banned me from reading HP books for a while in my early teens. Feel like I’m losing a part of my childhood; gonna miss it.

Look how they’ve grown!

Wingardium leviosa!

 

Rammmmen

In Uncategorized on November 19, 2010 at 1:02 am

Jason and I always knew about Motomachi Shokudo on Denman St, but we never got around to trying it until recently when we found out that it was owned by the same guy (Daiji Matsubara)who owns Kintaro – our preferred, hole-in-the-wall, rich fatty soup base, completely gluttonous sister ramen joint just a stone’s throw away.

Motomachi uses chicken soup base instead of the fattier pork alternative, and they let it stew for about a week. The flavour is rich and organic; no chemical seasonings are used (love love love!) The ingredients are supposed to be organic and healthier. The pork they use comes from barley-fed pigs. The servings are huge, just as they are at Kintaro. The interior decor is quite a few steps up, and the servers speak better English. For around $10, you get a whole lot of quality and assurance (well, for a bowl of ramen).

[From http://www.eatsnaprepeat.ca]

I loved their miso ramen – pretty much my standard ramen soup choice (picture), and Jason tried their charcoal miso variety – tasted a bit smokey but otherwise just looked there was an overload of black specs on his food. (Apparently they also add seaweed into the noodle dough to make it more slippery, like soba.)

But after eating here once, I see why the line up is always outside Kintaro, and not Motomachi, even though both have very limited seating.

The satisfaction you get from a rich fatty pork soup stock is just irreplaceable and Kintaro gets it just right! (Plus, you get to choose from rich, medium, or light.)

[From http://www.ramenramenramen.net …yeah, this site exists]

I’ve never finished a bowl at either place and Jason teases me because even though I am stuffing my face constantly and don’t stop eating my noodles the pile in front of me never seems to diminish in size! I’m also the only person I know who prefers soup over the actual noodles (including pho) so I guess Motomachi is way better for my arteries.

Benkei Ramen (several locations)  is a 3rd favourite as of right now. Serving sizes are smaller, soup stock is neither fantastic nor notably healthy. But it makes an alright replacement when we’re craving ramen but aren’t down for going all the way to Denman. (And it has a stamp card. Um, HELLO!)

=)

In Uncategorized on November 16, 2010 at 7:19 pm

If only it were that easy. As a Psychology major, you’d think I’d know a thing or two about happiness – an emotion so basic and primitive and essential to the driving forward of life itself and the sense of purpose within it.

All I really know is that it is simple and transient. It’s an emotion, derived from a mood and a great host of other things; it comes and goes. When we can embrace it, it is a lovely thing and when we have lost it we have bizarre notions about how to get it back.

Some people have grand ideas about how we can attain happiness. I know I do. I want to surround myself with lovely things and good people and beautiful surroundings and enough money. Perplexing thing is that few people ever attain the goal of enough or can ever grasp the concept of what it is. And sometimes you try to convince yourself of much nobler means to achieve happiness: Don’t sweat the small things! … But also try to savour them.

It’s an impossible balance show, in the circus ring, between grandiosity and simplicity. We harp on about the importance of seizing the moment and yet endlessly waste it. An eternal paradox, and no middle ground of joy between the two.

Happiness – it has puzzled man since the dawn of consciousness. Papers have been written about carefully controlled experiments to understand it. We know that giving has a positive correlation with happiness. We know money has no correlation with it. We could probably test any number of variables and find that every one of them has some correlation with happiness and still not understand it any more.

If I wanted to REALLY write about happiness I could probably write forever about theories and approaches and historical debates and what-if’s and but-then’s. But what I really want to address is that…

I think we are often asking the wrong questions about happiness and deliberating irrelevant means to achieve it. I believe in the evolutionary explanation of emotions – that we developed the capacity for them as a means of communication, both outward and inward.

That means it is not an end goal. The happy emotion serves a very simple purpose: to make others aware that we are feeling good. But we have come to attribute such high societal value to happiness. Sometimes it’s so important to us that others think we are happy even when we are not.

That’s backward.

We should accept that sometimes happiness captures us and sometimes it abandons us. We should know that we often have control of our reactions to and interpretations of events. We should acknowledge the good feeling when it is here and recall  it when it’s not.

Chanel, Martin Scorcese, and Gaspard Ulliel

In Uncategorized on November 16, 2010 at 6:48 am

Chanel (fabulous)

+

Martin Scorcese (filmmaker extraordinaire)

+

Gaspard Ulliel (the Frenchman that I was rooting for to be Edward Cullen in the Twilight movies)

=

One dreamy minute of commercial. If I were a man I would buy this in a second!! The film (not the cologne) has a deep HBO flavour (think True Blood opening).

A few months back, I was the first person to LIKE the commercial on Facebook, oh yes I was.

…and we’re back!

In Uncategorized on November 15, 2010 at 8:06 am

I haven’t posted in forever because a) I’ve been a bad blogger (bad Grace) and b) I haven’t been travelling (incredible sadness). But I actually enjoy blogging even when I’m not travelling as life is exciting even when you are in the same old place every day! Truly!

I missed this place when I was gone! I would have DREAMS about going for ramen at Kintaro and taking advantage of double-stamp Tuesdays at Scoop! And now I can do all of these things and it’s fantastic. But I miss Ostgota Sunday brunch and semlas at Mormors – ain’t that just life.

For some weird reason, I am still getting a lot of hits on this page (almost more than when I was blogging like every other day – go figure.)

Anyway, I have a fantastic video to share.

And I wish I had couture fancypants underwear like this.

Jason and Chris made me watch Back To The Future – admittedly, an awesome movie. I have yet to watch the 2 sequels, but I will. And I will begin to watch all three again at exactly 2:21pm on Oct 21, 2015.

In return, I’m going to make Jason watch one of my favourite classics – Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

Lately, I’ve been time-wasting spending a lot of my time constructively on photography blogs. Everyday I’m inspired to take beautiful photos and yet everyday I am bogged down by homework. I’ve decided that I’m going to experiment a lot with my camera when school’s out. I wish I could say I’m ditching the rest of my life to go pursue an artistic craft through the lens but fortunately I appreciate my education far too much.

Meanwhile, here are some images I love.

Hero of the week/month:

And some soul food.