Random Monday #4: Best Halloween Episode EVER

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1. TV shows love holidays and they make great great episodes about them. I love all of the FRIENDS thanksgiving episodes, they are my favorites ever, but My So-Called Life’s Halloween episode is the best out there. Sure, the Pretty Little Liars have Halloween episodes and they are great, but no TV series compares with the quintessential show for teenagers. My So-Called Life is a piece of art, the writing is especially great and the best episode is, of course, the Halloween episode (actually, it’s really hard to pick one).

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The costumes were out of this world or anything, but can we talk about Angela’s costume? The cat eye glasses and the lime button up sweater. Oh, dear… it almost made me want to change my Halloween costume.

2. I have not finished Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan). The anime.

3. Homestuck is on a huge pause again and the next update is going to be the final update. I kinda like that.

4. Did you know there’s a thing called bubble tea? Where can I get one? How do I make it at home? I so want to try it!!

Yes, this Random Monday was more of a “let’s talk about how great MSCL is and then add three short other things”, but that show is really great, ok? Did you watch it already? What are you waiting for?

 

SFC #1: Detectives, Parties, Boyfriends and Camp

SFC stands for “Some-kind-of-Film-Club” and I first introduced it months ago but now it’s the first time I actually make a proper blog post with, you know, films! The way I pick the films is simple and it goes just like a wedding: something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.

Something Old: Sherlock Jr., 1924, Buster Keaton, starring Buster Keaton, Kathryn McGuire, Joe Keaton

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I am a big Buster Keaton fan and I think a Keaton film is the perfect choice for my first film club blog post. Sherlock Jr. is probably on the top of my list. It’s more of a short film since it only has like 40 minutes or so, but it’s a great silent comedy film and one of the funniest. Keaton plays a cinema projectionist who is in love with a girl but he is not the only one. Both of them are penniless and while Keaton manages to find money to buy her a box of chocolate, his rival steals in order to do the same but somehow the blame falls on poor Keaton. And that’s when the detective comes in play… more or less. It’s an adorable and hilarious film and if you are new to silent films this is a great one to start with.

Something New: The Great Gatsby, 2013, Baz Luhrmann, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan

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Since I have to enjoy this film club by myself (if you didn’t know already I used to have a film club with other people and we met and discuss the films and it was tons of fun, but unfortunately it couldn’t last) I think it’s a good idea to pick the new films from the current year – if I don’t have a film from ’90 to 2012 that I really really want to share with you. This film was like fireworks! It got a lot of critique because of that and because of not capturing the true nature of the book, but since I didn’t do my homework and didn’t read the book I can’t complain about it. I think the director did a great job throwing majestic visual parties and also playing with dramatic elements from time to time. I had moments when I was bored but I knew already that a film about a guy obsessed with a girl won’t keep my eyes on the screen all time.

I still have the novel on my to-read list since everyone keeps talking about how the film was able to expose the plot, but not the essence of the book. But I have a lot of things about the film that I loved (plot not being one of them). I liked the modern music, I loved the 1920’s atmosphere, the mysteries surrounding Gaysby – though I didn’t find Gatsby particularly interesting, Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan and Daisy – even if we have a lot of reasons to hate her, she was very human and that’s something I admire, Leonardo DiCaprio’s acting and the yellow car. But there was lacking… lacking in chemistry more exactly, lacking in keeping me entertained. I also couldn’t connect with Spider-Man… I mean Tobey Maguire and his character Nick Carraway and if you ask me he was the character that was supposed to be closest to us, the viewers, yet something was missing, or more exactly something was there, a wall between us and him. Even so, I do recommend the film for the grandeur of the visual, the crazy parties, the peculiar but great combination between the modern music and the old atmosphere (and awesome dancing moves!)

Something Borrowed: Fish Tank, 2009, Andrea Arnold, starring Katie Jarvis, Michael Fassbender

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For my foreign film I had to pick Fish Tank, a British movie who scored the Cannes Jury Prize. I watched it on a night in one of my train rides and it made me feel many different emotions. I always find it hard to write the plot without spoiling anything. Fish Tank is a drama film about Mia, a reckless teenager from a lower-class family, who often fights with her mother and sister and who is attracted to her mom’s new boyfriend. This film feels so unprocessed and Mia’s character – in fact, all the characters – is so real and natural and I no longer felt I was watching a movie… Mia (played by Katie Jarvis) is a strong, complex character so different by the cliche teenager portrayed in so many other films. When I wasn’t busy controlling my emotions (because I was in a train) I spent my time wondering why Michael Fassbender’s face is so familiar to me. He played Connor, the boyfriend, in Fish Tank but he was also Edward Rochester in Jane Eyre (from 2011) and the guy with the wrong “three” in Inglourious Basterds. Anyway, Fish Tank is a strong, yet fragile film and needs to be watched now – not on a train ride, if possible. Oh, also, the images are so clean, almost minimalist really, but full with emotions. Great scenery.

Something Blue: The Parent Trap, 1998, Nancy Meyers, starring Lindsay Lohan, Dennis Quiad, Maggie Wheeler (not leading role, but I had to mention Janice from FRIENDS!)

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For my random pick this SFC the winner is: The Parent Trap… for various reasons like camps are awesome or Janice or I like funny films with twins (well, this one doesn’t have real twin like the Olsen movies I also adore, but whatever) and did I mention camps? I know that not many people are keen on Lindsay Lohan but I rarely care what an actress is doing in her personal life, I find her funny in movies (Mean Girls is another one of my favorites). In The Parent Trap two twin sisters meet for the first time and they change lives in order to meet the other parent. But things get serious when the father brings home a future mom. Now the twins must attack or they will never ever get back together! It’s a fun movie, guys, maybe a little bit too long and a bit too silly but every time I re-watch it I do it mostly for the camp part.

So this is it, the first SFC blog post with four very distinct films. Hope you like it!

Busy times, darling! (also known as “Time for Cat Photos”)

Since Tuesday I keep saying to myself: “Now you woke up so you can write a blog post” but things just come my way and I have to go there and do that and hug someone or help Mom or play games or go to the gym. Then I get home from being there, doing that, hugging, helping, laughing, talking, working out, eating and I am too tired to write so I say “It’s OK, I am going to write a blog post when I wake up!” And the funniest part is that I actually believe myself.

Now it’s Friday I am finally writing and this is happening just because I know how busy I am going to be after I publish this! I will go and meet with my personal trainer, well, she is my Pilates/Step Aerobic/Gym Ball trainer but she knows I am only here for a week so she makes me work out a lot and she takes me jogging and today we meet to talk about nutrition and stuff and then to do some more Step Aerobic. After this I will go to my best friend’s home because she is going to be back from Bucharest – where she lives and works this summer-, and I am going to kidnap her after I see and hug her mom. And then we will have a sleepover!

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But guess what!! Last night I had a sleepover with three boys – oh, stop thinking about dirty stuff, we just played a lot of Cluedo, some Scotland Yard and a lot of Wii games. We tried to figure out the wireless network but failed miserably. We talked and had fun. Did I mention we played a lot of Cluedo? These guys loved Cluedo and I am glad they did because it’s an awesome game. We didn’t even notice it was morning because of their Cluedo enthusiasm. Oh, and I had to make the games with a printer and a lot of things because the board-games are in Cluj. But it was all worth it!

After tonight’s sleepover with my best friend I will go swimming (FINALLY!) and have a barbecue with my family and some family friends. Then on Sunday morning I want to see one of my dearest professor but it might not happen and then I will depart to Bucharest and I am FINALLY going to go to Mircea Cantor’s exhibition at MNAC (National Museum of Contemporary Art from Bucharest) and then I will do things with my other friends that are still in Bucharest… and that will happen until Wednesday early morning when I will take a train and go back in Cluj.

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Since my Sunday-Tuesday is probably going to be a little bit hectic I will not write my Otaku Sunday on Sunday – but this is no news for you, guys. I will try to get it up on Monday because I’ll spend time with my best friend Mih and do you know who she is? You probably do since I mention her in almost every Otaku Sunday post. We might watch some anime or manga and I will probably have a folder with her recommendation only. If I don’t write on Monday then I probably tied her up and made her watch Game of Thrones again – it happened once! But fear not, I will do my best to post something on Monday and if I don’t I will just have to write two Otaku Sundays next Sunday (next Sunday as in next next Sunday when I will relax in Cluj).

After my trip is over I will try to write a blog post with details and impressions and I will definitely miss everyone – especially my Mom… and my cat:

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Smells Like Summer (Playlist)

I made this playlist a couple of weeks ago but I wasn’t sure if to share it on the blog or not. Well, now I will so schh, and listen (also read).

For me Summer means a lot of things and a lot of songs. I can’t say that this playlist describes my Summer, but for sure it captures that moment when you wake up and realize that it’s summer whether it’s really hot outside or not. First of all, Summer is like The Virgin Suicides feeling (the book and the movie) – that infinite moment of longing, that… I can’t really describe it using words so:

Summer also feels like songs one would listen on a road trip or a train ride to the sea (or home) or just songs that were popular on the TV music channels when I was a kid:And because I had the Summer Film Club last summer holiday, Summer always feels like a movie soundtrack:Summer is about having time to rediscover yourself, it’s not because you forgot who you were it’s just because you didn’t have time to notice:And most of all, Summer is about old friends, new friends, just friends and, of course, F.R.I.E.N.D.S:

A Piano Concert, A Book Fair and My Greens

I have an exam tomorrow so I don’t have anything better to do than blogging! Today I went to a friend’s piano concert and he was amazing. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures. He interpreted some medieval songs, classical and contemporary pieces and two of his own compositions. We went there with a big group of friends and we had in plan to go for some beers after the concert… but I have an exam tomorrow. The hot weather really made me want to go and enjoy a cold beer, but another part of me wanted to get home and… read. Because, you, see, we were really a big group of people and I don’t really do well with big groups (especially when I don’t know everybody really well) and I did not want to make people sad because of my silence and introverted quirks. Plus, I still have an exam.

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On my way home I went to the Transylvania Book Fair. The bargains weren’t the best and I didn’t buy anything because 1) I didn’t find anything on my taste (almost bought some English classics in English) and 2) I am trying to save money for A Song of Ice and Fire! The Book Fair has some other activities beside book sales, but I don’t really care about those either so I will probably not visit the fair until the last day when they play Fahrenheit 451 at the Cinema! Plus, tomorrow is the first day of another fair called Jazz in the Park and not only it has good music and evening concerts but it also has a mini book fair and antique fair so I am really excited!!

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On my way home I did some grocery shopping and also bought “Harap Alb continua…” a Romanian comic book that I simply adore! It’s the 5th issue and if you didn’t buy the first four then don’t worry because they put them all together in a single huge one – I kinda want to buy it too but I don’t have the money to spend on something I already have just because looks really fancy. And I also made a green shake to go with the comic book since the cover is also green. I put some frozen spinach, apple slices, strawberry yogurt, plain yogurt and some ice cubes. Delicious!

I am not too quiet.

I am just an introvert. It’s funny how nowadays the extrovert is the ideal type, the perfect example of how we should act. But the world is not made only by extroverts and being an introvert is not something bad. I just started reading Quiet. The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain and it’s an amazing book that talks about introverts and extroverts and how these are just two personality types and we shouldn’t praise one more than the other.

However, life is hard when you are an introvert, a shy person and have social anxiety. And I am so lucky that I got that combo! And every time I have to do something outside my comfort zone that involves talking I become red as a tomato and my hands get all sweaty and I am shaking and sometimes I am scared I might just have a panic attack. And every single time I just wish I was a little bit more like an extrovert.

In high school I thought I was the only one dealing with this, but fortunately then I didn’t need to put myself out there, outside my comfort zone. But now I am the only one who can solve my problems and I can’t send anyone else to talk instead of me. But I also learned that I am not alone.

It happened the last semester when I really had to talk to a professor and my friend P. had to do the same thing. Both of us stood in front of the door trying to convince one another to knock and enter. “You go first!” “No, you go first!”. Both red like tomatoes, shaking and with sweaty hands. Finally I knocked. And that was the start of a nice friendship between two introverts.

Last week we went to a sleepover. Just us, girls, drinking wine and sharing stories. Everything was fun and pretty until one of the girls brought her boyfriend and two or three friends of his. People were still laughing, still drinking and sharing stories, but I went in my corner away from the center of the attention. Moments later P. was next to me. We just couldn’t deal with that big group of people and that was alright.

The next day we woke up early and went to the school to work on our etching plates. We talked about how the party died for us in the moment the intruders came, about the book of Susan Cain, about how sometimes we would rather stay home cuddled up with a book or a TV show instead of going out or partying. And it’s not because we don’t like parties or spending time with our friends.

We both felt a little less lonely that morning and the night before.

Week in Review?

First of all, why the fudge does wordpress signs me off on every single Monday? Like what’s the logic behind that? And now back to our subject! Since I recently made a tumblr where I post almost daily and mostly pictures about random and boring stuff I do or eat I figured that there’s no need for my Week in Photos posts… but there was a hole on Monday (when I don’t post late Otaku Sundays) and I decided to just change the Week in Photos a bit. So here it is *drumrolls* the first Week in Review!

Last week I was on Easter Break (also known as Spring Break, I guess…) and I went in my hometown to visit my family and friends, and the most important one, my cat:

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No other cat is as spoiled as this Monster is, but let’s face it there’s no other cat as adorable and beautiful as he is so I guess this is way the entire family treats him as a king! I washed him, watched him sleep and tried not to wake him up. There is nothing better than a fluffy sepia cat, trust me!

And because I rarely get to see my friends we had a picnic – but I already did a post on it! I also had a slumber party with Mih and it was one of the greatest slumber parties I ever had!! Soon after I had one with my little cousin (she is a teenager, but a good one) but it still couldn’t top the one I had with Mih. And Alecs came home especially for me and that was really nice of her and awesome! I influenced my friends a lot this holiday: I convinced Mih to watch Game of Thrones and I also convinced Alecs to watch Survivor  – I made her watch the 25th season because it’s one of the greatest and probably the first one ever when my favourite person wins!

I barely had time for internet or TV shows (watched by myself, I did a lot of watching of stuff with my friends), but I managed to watch Game of Thrones (missed last night’s episode but I will make time for it… soon), Survivor and Naruto!! And better than internet and TV shows is reading a book! I finished just one, Salem’s Lot by Stephen King and I tried and write a not so proper review on my tumblr and I might soon or not too soon talk about it here too (probably on Friday?).

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I spent Easter day with my family visiting other relatives. It was really fun, but way too much food. The other part of the day was spent with a book – is there a better way to enjoy a holiday? The day before Easter was a day for close friends and nature! We went to a forest near some kind of river and I tried fishing (and failed – and my dad is a fisherman!!) and did quite a lot of swimming!! Swimming is like my favourite type of sport to perform if you don’t count Pilates as a sport!

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I ate too much pizza and had way too much ice-cream and sorbet (I even had it for breakfast!), but I still managed to do some work outs – not too many because I was pretty busy spending time with people, but I try to recover now!

For the weekend I was back in Cluj and after a day spent with my friends from here (and after sleeping on their couch because I don’t sleep during train rides), I managed to do some shopping for the house and some delicious pasta!

It was a great week and I feel so refreshed after it! Usually train rides are tiring, but the holiday had a way greater effect on me and no train ride could ever take it away! Hope the Summer is going to be just as fun if not more!