Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Deplorable Lack of Natural Light

Of Cuttery & Skinnies & Surveys

Does it weird anyone else out, that we go about
with inches upon inches of dead STUFF hanging
off of the back of our heads?
I find it delightfully macabre, if I think about it
for too long :D

It's been a few days of returning to form.
The hair has been chopped off!
And I have once again braved the Skinny Jean.
But before you get to see those pictures,
here, have a survey I stole from
My new favorite Mermaid!

1. Who’s your favourite designer?
I have many! Betsy Johnson, Alexander McQueen, Tarina Tarantino, any of my friends who are good with a needle ;)

2. If you had to move out of the country you are living in now, where would you choose to live?
But…I like Japan! Oh fine, England I suppose. Or Australia.

3. Do any of your friends blog?
A few people I know IRL do. They are listed to your right.

4. What is the scariest thing you have ever done?
Hmm. See, I seek out things that will scare me, so I do not know. There are emotional scares, phobia scares, adrenaline scares…jumping off a cliff is pretty high up there, though, even if there was water at the bottom.

5. What hair products do you use?
Garnier Fructis shampoo & conditioner, followed by John Freda anti-frizz serum, and heat-guard if I flat-iron.

6. Would you rather be in a submarine by yourself for six months or in a rocket ship in space with your best friend for a year?
Oh god, I dunno. Probably rocket ship, because even if Dena and I kill each other after month 11, we’d get to float and I am WAY too claustrophobic for a sub.

7. Would you rather be a model in Paris or a musician in Barcelona?
Musician in Barcelona, even though I have very little musical talent. If I could be magically given some, than yes. If it were with the talents I currently possess, then model.

8. Would you rather be an artist in San Francisco or a dancer in New York?
Same criteria. Dancer if I suddenly have talent, artist otherwise…I love New York far more than California.

9. Would you go back and change anything in your life?
Not as many as people would assume, they made me who I am. There are a few moments that could have been avoided, though, mostly ones that greatly hurt other people.

10. Do you have a job? If so, where? And do you like it?
Not currently. Unless you count Being Fabulous, in which case, I LOVE it.

11. Are your friends fashionable?
A fair few of them are, I think! Dena, Kater and I are pretty damn hip and with it.

12. Why did you decide to start this blog?
In the current incarnation? Because I liked cataloguing my adventures, sans most of the personal life. Also for the purposes of Wardrobe Project.

13. When did you start this blog?
I originally started it in September of 2006, and kept it until early 2009, at which point I cleaned out all the emo crap and started anew, with new goals.

14. Did you or do you make any of your clothes yourself?
I am awesome at altering tshirts into something flattering. I’ve started venturing out into other avenues again lately too. I also knit a lot, and make most of my own jewelry.

15. If you could be anyone for a day who would it be?
Amanda Palmer, depending on the day ;)

16. What’s your favourite highstreet shop?
That’s a tough one, seeing as if I want to spend lots of money, I’ll go to an independently owned boutique.

17. If you could live anywhere in the whole world, where would it be?
After here, probably either NYC or the middle of nowhere, Ireland. I am only comfy in jam-packed cities, or the open country. The in-between places, without tall buildings or tall mountains, make me depressed.

18. What’s the one thing you regret not doing most?
Hmm. Happily, I do not have many of those. I regret not pushing myself further in school, in general.

19. Favourite colour?

20. What’s your perfect summer outfit?
Swishy skirt, fun/weird/band top, heels, shades.

21. Who’s your favourite radio DJ?
No radio in my life, happily.

22. Can you play any instruments?
Piano a little.

23. What colour is your toothbrush?
White and purple.

24. Best and worst thing about blogging?
Best: Having an outlet to express my more creative sides, fashion-minded sides, etc. By showing myself as I really am from those angles, I make connections with people from all over the place! A connection of souls, for a girl who had so few kindreds in the past, is welcome in any form.

I agree with Kim for the worst: The worst thing is trying to get your name out there and sometimes putting hours of work into writing and improving things for almost nothing in return, being frustrated about what to do and where to go with what you're doing, and having negative people try to bring you down.

25. Where do you see your blog in 5 years time?
No idea! Hopefully with more readers and thus, more interactive features.

26. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
I shall be 28! And hmm. We’ll probably be ready to have kids by then, probably back in the States. Hopefully published, writing regularly, living somewhere extraordinary. Wherever the wind blows.

27. Who are your favorite bands/music artists?
The list is far too long. Topping the list, Tori Amos, Social Distortion, Bat For Lashes, The Magnetic Fields, New Order, The Smashing Pumpkins, Iron & Wine, Placebo, Amanda Palmer…

28. Do you have any brothers or sisters?
I have four brothers and one sister, living.

29. If you could only wear one color for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Black. It’s for all occasions.

30. Your favorite item in your wardrobe?
Black tights.

31. Your least favorite item in your wardrobe?
I don’t buy things unless I feel passionate about them.

32. If you could meet up and talk fashion/go shopping with anyone, who would you pick and why?
Zooey Deschanel! She’d be terribly fun and hilarious, and her personal style is divine, and close to my own. We could swap shoes :D

33. If your perfect day was patterned after a song, which song would it be?
Here Comes The Sun, The Beatles

34. Describe your capsule wardrobe:
Dresses, skirts, tights, denim shorts, killer heels, sweaters, flats, unique and pretty tops.

35. Where do you get inspiration from?
Mainly books, fashion magezines, and whimsical music. I cannot listen to Loreena McKennitt without being inspired, it is impossible.

36. What do you want to do with your life?
Leave the world more colorful and fantastic than how I found it. Be known for my stories.

37. Who is most important to you?
Rick, my sister, Cthulhu.

38. If you could host a dinner party and could invite anyone, who would you invite?
Oh my, the choices! Jesus, Rick, Dena, Kater, Amanda Palmer, Galileo, Billy Corgan, Neil Gaiman, Francesca Lia Block, Johnny Depp, Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Betsy Johnson, Zooey Deschanel, Harry Potter, Death, Alice Liddel, Natasha Khan, Brytnee, C. S. Lewis, Wil Wheaton, Alan Moore, Anderson Cooper, Mum, Buddha…

39. Do you have any style icons?
Sienna Miller (even if I am not built like her), Zooey Deschanel (I am built AND colored like her!), Kat Von D (her personality grates, but she herself looks like a goddess), Natasha Khan (Disco Indian Princess!), Gala Darling (FAB color + ink!), Jayne Mansfield (the girl can’t help it!), Rose McGowan (so 40’s PinUp!), the list goes on…

40. What is your favorite decade for vintage clothing?
30’s and 60’s :D

41. What’s on your birthday list this year?
Oh, no idea. Probably non-essentials, such as another Blythe, and more ink :D

42. Who is your favourite disney character?
I will always be a big fan of Belle.

43. What are your pet peeves?
Rudeness, willful ignorance, disrespect (esp. of another culture…I see this a lot, makes me want to hit someone), children who have clearly never been disciplined a day in their lives and act as such, people who put those lame “our family” stickers on their car…yes, you all look like stick figures…how much taste have you lost lately, hmm?

44. What is your favourite quote?
“It does not do to dwell on dreams, Harry, and forget to live.” ~ Albus Dumbledore

And now!

This is like, RIGHT afterwards.
I liked the cut, hated the way it was styled.


I LOVE the back. So short!

Here it is today,
after washing all the soccer-mom out.
Daaaahling, I LOVE it.

And here I am with hair:

I wore this to a football game
last saturday.
Sometimes I look fifteen.

AFI top from old workplace, altered by me.
Skirt: thrifted & chopped
Leggings & Shoes: Mall in Yokosuka


I love that I can rock headbands again.
Jeans: Forever21
Blondie Top: KMart, altered by me.
Vest: PX in Yokota
Shoes: Payless, ages ago.
Headband: KMart, ages ago.
Teenie Tiny Pumpsocks: Mall in Yokosuka.


I love my natural wave again.

That is all for now.
I was going to review Grey Gardens,
but I think that requires another viewing.
So there's that to look forward to ;)

'Til Next We Meet,
~ Amy

Monday, July 27, 2009

You Come Out At Night...

Movies To Meditate To

A break in the regular blogging, for random.
Generally, I enjoy my escapism and immersion.
I'm the mean person who hates when people start
talking during the film ;)
And yet, there are times when I am home alone,
and need inspiration and an ambiance in which to
write, paint, create something, or just let
my many scattered thoughts settle.
Here are my very favorite films to think to.

Marie Antoinette

Of course, Sofia's films are all dream-like,
which is why two of them are on my list.
Not only is the imagery to die for,
the 80's shoegazer soundtrack is lovely.
I am in love with this film and it's soundtrack.
And I really feel for Antoine.
Good if one needs to feel especially girly.
Also fun to eat sweet things whilst watching.



A girl falls into another world, what could be better?!
This film is like walking through a sketchbook,
so beautiful and strange, a plot we've seen before
in a world that doesn't exist anywhere else.
My love for Neil notwithstanding,
this is an amazing and wonderfully magical film.
It always makes me want to draw, as well.



The Broadway soundtrack, while dear to me,
does not come with moving pictures ;)
I put this movie on when I'm having writer's block,
or when I need a huge shot of optimism,
straight to my veins.
The music gets me dancing around the living room.
Forget regret, or life is yours to miss.
It also brings me happy memories of times with Dena.


The New World

I have been known to drift for days through this film.
A gentle, long, meandering story, the images
take me to the woods behind my parents' house again.
The love story breaks your heart softly,
and then builds it up again, making me want
to write something romantic and epic and memorable.


The Fellowship of The Ring

Perhaps it is because I've seen it so very many times,
and have read the book almost as many times.
I cannot drift during the other two, I get too caught up.
This first chapter, however, is a welcome companion
on long cold nights with a mug of cocoa, as I enter
Jo March-mode, and write for hours on end,
the lovely music in my ears and the world of Middle Earth
just on the edge of my vision as I do.
Beauty incarnate.

(my favorite extended scene)



Every since this film was shown to me,
it has been on my list of meditation companions.
A very long film to sit through and watch,
but it cannot be long enough when I am developing
new and interesting characters.
This film is ridiculously gorgeous, the closest
I've ever seen live action come to looking like an anime.
Go buy it. With subtitles, if you must ;)


Lost In Translation

Where would I be without this film?
Oh wait, I'm living it, sans a neglectful husband!
This one makes me feel like I can curl up in it,
or wander the world like an invisible Scarlett.
As with all of Sofia's films, the soundtrack
comes across as an old friend, dear and comforting.
A good late-night-surfing-the-interwebz-movie.

What films do you like to meditate to?

Til Next We Meet,
~ Amy

Friday, July 24, 2009

Let's Pretend We're Bunny Rabits...

Things & Stuff

So a little of this,
A little of that!
I've been up to a lot of little things,
and have seen/read some fun things too!
the next few entries will be peppered with 'em.

Henry Selick, 2008

Despite my great love for Neil Gaiman, I didn't see this film until the other night. Mostly due to the fact that when it was released, I was stuck in Norfolk, with few transportation options and NO friends. Sadface. But now it is on dvd, complete with fashionable 3d glasses! So I bought, and watched, and only mostly enjoyed, sadly.

Coraline Jones has recently moved into a new (old) house with her parents. Stressed with their latest project, her parent's are often high-strung and neglectful, leaving Coraline to her own devices. In her boredom, she discovers another world through a little hidden door in the sitting room, a world just like her own, only wonderfully improved. As such stories often go, however, the perfect world, seemingly made just for Coraline, is more treacherous than it seems.

As I said when reviewing Harry Potter, I try and take a reasonable approach with books-to-films. Even so, I was disappointed by how...mainstream the original story was made to be. To be sure, it was just as creepy as the novel, and all the important plot points and themes were there! But I don't know. Coraline is much more mature for her age in the novel, while still coming across as a kid, that is why it transcends ages. And while she does have some cute moments, and is certainly brave, the main character is just as much of an obnoxious bored kid as any other in any other kid's movie. It made me sad, as did the overall silliness-factor. I know, it was crafted to be more marketable...but why, asks the geek? :P

Even so, I enjoyed it overall. The music is beautiful, and the stop-motion animation is BRILLIANT and gorgeous, the 3d aspect really adding to the experience, as opposed to being a gimmick. It was just scary enough for a young audience, while keeping an adult entertained. Read the book first, though.

Skin Deep

Brought to my attention by the fabulous Gala Darling, who wrote the forward, Skin Deep is a beautiful collection of poetry pertaining to ink and those who love it. A cornucopia of authors each bring a unique perspective on the art of tattooing, the many, many reasons why people get tattoos, and the simple beauty a good tattoo can possess. I read the entire collection on a train ride to and from Yokosuka today, a truly ethereal experience. You can purchase Skin Deep for 6$ US here: Etsy Ahoy!

I am a ring person.
I recently found the Ace of <3's ring
at a shop in Yokosuka,
along with many fun little
Alice in Wonderland treats.
The green-stone ring was my Nana's.
And of course, the wedding rings :D

Random shots before going out,
in the pouring Japanese rain & humidity.
Yeah...I did not look this good
when I got back home.


T-shirt and tights: various shops in Yokosuka
Vest: Yokota
Wellies: Target
Shorts: Forever21

Next Entry,
Blog survey, Grey Gardens,
And looking like an Easter Egg :D

Til Next We Meet,
~ Amy

Friday, July 17, 2009

"You fail to recognize that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be."

Potter Tales & Floppy Clothes

You guessed it!
Time for my Epic Half-Blood Prince Review!
It is very long.
Also, it is full of spoilers,
Especially if you haven't read the whole series.
You have been warned.
There will be pretty clothes at the end!

Mmmkay. It’s no secret that I am a massive Harry Potter fan. It took my best friend Dena a long time to wear me down, but at the age of 18, I finally broke down and read the first five books (the only ones present at the time). Two things finally pushed me over the edge: 1, I found out that Ralph Fiennes had been cast as Lord Voldemort in the upcoming 4th film, and I adore Ralph Fiennes, not only because he‘s a dishy Brit, but also because he is a fine actor indeed. I wanted to see him play yet another bad guy. And 2, I was told that the books got much darker, much more adult, and in turn, much more human, even in such a fantastical world. I wasn’t disappointed.

Those who’ve read the books know that, starting at around the end of Book 4, things stop being kid-friendly. The moment Cedric Diggory dies, your comfortable, dangerous-but-not-really-dangerous world shatters…delightfully. You’ve spent 3 books getting to know and love these kids, teachers, their families and friends, and then all of a sudden, The Enemy regenerates fully, the war starts, and you are deeply invested in what becomes of them. From Book 4 onward, things get progressively darker, more dangerous, more heart-breaking, but our character’s moral fiber only becomes stronger in contrast.

Which brings us to The Half-Blood Prince! Having enjoyed the book thoroughly, I was wary of the film. Then again, ever since Lord Of The Rings, I have taken a pragmatic view on Books-To-Films. Film is an ENTIRELY different medium than the written word, I think way too many fans of a certain series forget this. Visual story-telling requires a different approach, different ways of keeping the audience stimulated, not to mention the compressed time. With a book, you are able to digest the many emotional threads at your own pace. A movie has 2 and a half hours to get all the important information across. I believe, therefore, that it all depends on how much the filmmakers love the material they’re dealing with. They’ll get the spirit across. That said, I think this was a wonderful telling of the story! I’ve heard some people say it was slower than the others, I think because the drama of the last two stories is much more internal than the previous ones.

Harry Potter has just seen his godfather killed right in front of him, and the 6th film opens with those last few moments of Film 5, a numb 16 year old kid covered in blood, flashbulbs going off in his face as his beloved Headmaster wraps an arm around him, leading him away from the mob of reporters. I know a film is going to be good if I’m on the verge of tears 20 seconds in!

Over the course of the film, Harry & Dumbledore are searching through the memories Dumbledore has collected over the years pertaining to Tom Riddle, the boy/young man who would become Lord Voldemort. There is a gap in the information, however, and it could very well be the proof Dumbledore has been looking for, as to why their enemy has proven seemingly impossible to kill, why he continues to return. This memory resides in the head of Hogwarts’ newest teacher, and Harry is charged with charming it out of the old man.

Meanwhile, there’s humor a’plenty as hormones threaten the structure of our favorite trio, and it’s hilarious. Also, previously one-dimensional and a simple big-talker, Draco Malfoy suddenly finds himself charged with a task by The Dark Lord himself, after the imprisonment of Draco’s father. Draco has to prove himself, to clear the family name…or he will be killed. His mother pleads his case to Severus Snape, who promises to carry out the task if Draco cannot. Throughout the film, Harry witnesses Draco’s slow decay and unraveling.

All culminates with the discovery that Voldemort has split his soul into pieces…this is how he keeps coming back, and Harry and Dumbledore realize that, by finding and destroying all the pieces, they will at last be able to banish the enemy forever. But before this quest can go very far, Draco succeeds in letting Death Eaters into the heavily-guarded school. When faced with his ultimate task, however, Draco falters, unable to kill the man who has been his Headmaster for six years. As he promised, Snape steps in to finish the job.

As many reviewers have said, the acting in this chapter of the saga is beyond superb, each and every cast member brought their best to the party. Daniel Radcliffe has come so far, from being the dazzled little boy in the first film, to now being an older teenager who has seen and survived far more than any kid should have to, with his soul and good heart still in tact. Rupert and Emma are just as good, they know their characters through and through by now. Michael Gambon embodied fully the much more playful, good-humored Dubledore even in this, the darkest time for his character.

Most surprising of all, of course, was Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy. As I’ve said, in the books and the films, Draco has been a one-sided, stereotypical bully making up for a lack of confidence in himself, like any bully. In Half Blood Prince, he suddenly has to redeem his family in the eyes of The Dark Lord, or risk his own death, and possibly that of his mother, by killing one of the kindest and most powerful men in the world. The strain visibly wears on him, and Tom played him beautifully.

Now, everyone knows I have an unhealthy crush on Severus Snape, in no small part due to Alan Rickman’s portrayal. Even I was stunned, though, at his Snape in this film. We who’ve read the whole series know, where his loyalties truly lie, that he is Dumbledore’s man to the last, that he also promised Dumbledore that he would kill him, if only to keep an (essentially) innocent boy from having to. That Dumbledore was dying anyway. And you could SEE it! Even if you DIDN’T know the whole story, Severus’ face was an open book, if only for a few short moments. His moments of hesitation, the flashes of regret, his panic when Bellatrix almost killed Harry, it was all there. I overhead one of the Americans in the theater talking to his friend as he left, obviously not having read the books, saying, “But man, he looked like he didn’t WANT to kill him, even after he did it!” Alan Rickman, you are brilliant.

Dumbledore’s death scene on the ground was heart-breaking. I was a sobbing baby, when Harry brushed his mentor’s hair back from his face, while the rest of the school banished the Dark Mark overhead. Brilliant.

There were some things I disliked, of course. While I know ALL of the memories from the book couldn’t be fit in, I think the memories pertaining to Tom Riddle’s mother were essential to Harry’s understanding of his enemy, they should have been there.

The romantic comedy aspect, while really good and funny, could have been cut back a little. It wasn’t so much of a focus in the book, tough I suppose it does keep the hormonal teenagers in the audience happy. Still, a few of those scenes could have been cut, perhaps to make room for the memories of Merope Gaunt? But oh well.

I would have liked to see the Fleur/Bill storyline, and more of Tonks/Remus, but as I understand it such things will be saved for the last two films. As it was, I was pleased with what little, subtle bit we got of Tonks and Remus together. Yes, they were together, when in the book they don’t finally get together until the end (very dramatically). But the urgency of starting a relationship when they both have dangerous jobs and live in a dangerous world was still there. I look forward to the baby-drama.

Overall, I loved it. After two viewings, I’m still not done picking out all the little lovely details. I’ll go again this weekend! Way to go, team. I cannot wait until Deathly Hallows, Part 1.

And to cheer myself, my favorite scene
from the very first film
(Inexplicably with Spanish subtitles!)

Wardrobe Project!
I have recently acquired new things,
for almost nothing!

Dress from Forever21,
Boots vintage find.
I'm usually not a red person.
But I like this a lot.

It has paisley!

Worn to HBP:

Very Tonksy, I thought.

Shorts: Forever21
Shirt: Random find at Japanese mall
Tights: Old Navy, ages ago.
Boots: Hot Topic, years ago.

I was in bad need of a summery white blouse.
I found this on, you guessed it, Forever21!

Skirt from Japanese mall,
Shoes thrifted.

Now, this may not be the BEST color combo,
with my complexion.
However, I kinda love this outfit.

Top: Forever21
Skirt: Japanese mall
Shoes: Random shop in Hakone.

I am a floppy,
fluttery butterfly!
Every article of clothing was below
30 dollars, I believe.

And now, to go reread Deathly Hallows,
and perhaps write many stories.
The Muse, she has returned!

Til Next We Meet,
~ Amy

Friday, July 10, 2009

Bleeding The Orchids


There are many reasons why Writer’s Block can be intensely depressing, the general sense of failure usually chief among them. Still, it leaves me puzzled sometimes, why a lapse in creativity can effect me badly enough to evoke a cold sweat every now and then, making me not want to rise from the couch, not go any further into a story than just skirting about the margins. So I gave it a good long analysis this afternoon. Why did I even want to be a writer in the first place?

I was born one. I composed my first story when I was seven, comprised entirely of pictures. I wrote my first full-length story down when I was eleven, after dreaming it in it’s entirety. Both of those stories are still tucked away in my super-secret box of projects, half-finished plots, imperfect, incomplete thoughts, and a very few completed ones. Stories, magic, romance, horror, it has all shone brighter for me than anything in this world ever has.

Fiction has been and always will be The Great Escape. When I was nothing more than the oddity in the corner with precious few friends, I had Diana, my warrior-mother, and her strange world to write in. When I wasn’t invited along to birthday parties or when I was laughed at as an awkward 12 year old, I could comfort myself with the knowledge that at least I could form a complete sentence. And when I got older and the boys kept on picking the shallow damsels in distress, who dreamed of college parties and a job behind a desk, I was writing my future. New York and Paris and Tokyo. A boy who wore scarves and scribbled in leather-bound journals. Rising above my old mistakes by writing about them, by turning my great tragedies and all the things I missed out on, wanted, didn’t understand. Ephemera and fashion and character sketches scattered across my desk along with drained cups of tea.

My identity has centered, in my own head, around one word: Author. A Vehicle for all the dreams, all the missed hopes. The thing you are best at, the thing nobody could pick on you for, because they were too busy being awed. Who is she? What did we miss in her? I admit, those moments are both satisfying and frightening as all hell. Expectation. Appreciation. Things I want, things that scare me to death.

So when it goes away, when the Muse goes to bed for a while, I realize that I become terrified. I wonder, for a few days, if they were right to laugh at the girl who listened to odd music, the girl with few dear friends, the girl who loudly proclaimed that she would never make her living in the mainstream, never walk to the beat of someone else’s drum. The Gift has failed me, now Who Am I?

But even writing it down, it makes me laugh. I still Am. It’s only a moment, it’s only a time to recharge. The stories are there, there characters are waiting in the wings, waiting for when my brain and my nerves finally put away the fear of both rejection and success. Waiting for that perfect moment when all of the ideas and plot threads and twists come together.

And I remind myself that I have written myself this far. I love a boy who fell in love first with my writing, and tells me so, in long letters and leather-bound journals he fills while he’s away. I am reminded by the few, though dear friends who still ask on a weekly basis, what will happen in such-&-such story next?! I curl up in the voice of a favorite author, or the music of a favorite muse, and relax, letting them do the work in my brain for a while. I have had New York. I am having Tokyo. I’ll have Paris next year.

I am still Author, just resting.

Til Next We Meet,
~ Amy