Wednesday, November 23, 2011

30 Days of Books, Day 30.

[Your favourite book of all time.]
Classic versus contemporary romance. You get a series and a book.

Confession time!
I, until a few months ago, had never fully read this book.
I'd read snippets. I'd skipped. I'd read the parts that I liked over and over again.
I now have fully read this book, and I understand why everyone adores it.
Enough said.

If you've read this blog enough, or even stalked me on Twitter, you'll know that I'm a sucker for weddings. I'm also a sucker for romance. Nora Roberts writes brilliant characters, and these four books - wow. Little sad that you don't get to see Emma and Jack, Laurel and Del, and Parker and Mal all get married, but it was lovely seeing Mac and Carter get married.

Guys. That's the end of the 30 Days of Books!
If you ever wanted to see how 30 days can turn into six months or more, that's how you do it.

30 Days of Books, Day 29.

[A book everyone hated but you liked.]

I'm sure plenty of people actually adore this play (shush, it's the only one I can think of, and it's in book format so I'm technically not cheating). I remember in Year 9 English having to read this play and most everyone howling at it. 
Daniela is in Year 9 now, and just stared at me, eyebrows raised, when I got excited that she had to read it.
Daniela: "Tash. It's lame."
Me: "How can you even say that? It's amazing. It's hunting. For witches."
Daniela: "..."
Me: "And there are so many techniques! So many!"
Daniela: "I don't even know how you get excited over 'so many techniques'."
Me: "The communism thing, Daniela! How does that not interest you?"
Daniela: "Ugh. Give me algebra any day."
Me: "How are we related?"
Daniela: "I don't even know."
Me: "It's completely relevant today!"
Daniela: "Where are the witches?"
Me: "... oh gosh, you've never even listened to Bloc Party. Never mind that I gave you all their music."
Daniela: "You said it yourself. You listen to whiny guitar music."
Me: "Bloc Party - oh, I give up. Want to watch Johnny Depp?"
Daniela: "Yes."

30 Days of Books, Day 28.

[Favorite title.]

(Yes. I am getting all of these finished.)

The title is poetic, and the rhythm in it is beautiful. When you close your eyes - I don't know about you, but when I close my eyes and imagine this, it's peaceful, beautiful. Like another time.
The wind becomes more alive than before when I imagine this. Rather than knowing it exists by faith, you see it gently settling on cobbled streets, watch its shadow take different forms as it whistles through windows and around the people walking. It's alive, and it has somewhere to go, something to do. Another person on a journey.

La Sombra del Viento, in Spanish.
I can't explain why I love that so much beyond the usual reasons I love Spanish - the passion in the words, the beauty that English lacks upon occasion. The rhythm is different, has different pulses.

Also, I love the covers for this book.

30 Days of Books, Day 27.

[The most surprising plot twist or ending.]

Call me crazy, but I was pretty surprised when I found out Aunt Petunia had written to Dumbledore, begging to be admitted to Hogwarts. In Philosopher's Stone, Petunia shrieks about Lily, admitting that she knew all along that Lily and James - and Harry, by default - were magical.
"How could you not be, my dratted sister being what she was? Oh, she got a letter just like that and disappeared off to that - that school - and came home every holiday with her pockets full of frog-spawn, turning teacups into rats. I was the only one who saw her for what she was - a freak!... of course I knew you'd be just the same, just as strange, just as - as - abnormal - and then, if you please, she went and got herself blown up and we got landed with you!"
Knowing Petunia's attitude towards the wizarding world, I didn't expect that she'd wanted much to do with it. I didn't even consider that she would have been close to Lily. She was "proud to say that [she] was perfectly normal, thank you very much".

However, in Deathly Hallows, all was revealed.

Petunia wanted to be a 'freak' as well.
She caught her sister's hand and held tight to it, even though Petunia tried to pull it away. "Maybe once I'm there - no, listen, Tuney! Maybe once I'm there, I'll be able to go to Professor Dumbledore and persuade him to change his mind!""I don't - want - to - go!" said Petunia, and she dragged her hand back out of her sister's grasp. "You think I want to go to some stupid castle and learn to be a - a -"Her pale eyes roved over the platform, over the cats mewling in their owners' arms, over the owls fluttering and hooting at each other in cages, over the students, some already in their long, black robes, loading trunks onto the scarlet steam engine or else greeting one another with glad cries after a summer apart." - you think I want to be a - a freak?"Lily's eyes filled with tears as Petunia succeeded in tugging her hand away."I'm not a freak," said Lily. "That's a horrible thing to say.""That's where you're going," said Petunia with relish. "A special school for freaks. You and that Snape boy... weirdos, that's what you two are. It's good you're being separated from normal people. It's for our safety."Lily glanced back towards her parents, who were looking around the platform with an air of wholehearted enjoyment, drinking in the scene. Then she looked back at her sister, and her voice was low and fierce."You didn't think it was such a freak's school when you wrote to the Headmaster and begged him to take you."
But, obviously, Petunia wasn't accepted.
I don't know why, but I often wonder that had Petunia held the mild interest in it that her parents held, rather than the desire to do what Lily did, and the jealousy that stemmed from being left behind - would Harry have grown up differently?

Who knows. Silly question, anyway, when the books are fabulous as they are.

Note: Quite obviously, all that text above is copyright of JK Rowling. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

That second post.

Apparently, I look like my father. I suppose we share a similar facial structure and whatnot, but he has the ability to grow extremely decent facial hair.
I am not complaining that I don't. In fact, I'm very grateful I don't.
My eyes are large for my face. It might be a strange thing and I'm probably reading too much into it, but I think it's a Chilean-Australian thing, the shape of my eyes. Chris's are similar to mine, and another girl I know has it going on as well. Biggish eyes, strangely shaped.
My skin is a weird colour. It's like it wants to be olive, but it's just too lazy to actually get there. Unless I lie in the sun (skin cancer ahoy) for hours on end, my skin insists on staying yellow. In winter, I look like I have jaundice.
I am short. You've probably gathered that by now.
Out of my entire family, I was the only one to be given straight hair. Everyone has a bit of a wave or some epic curls on both sides. Me? I'm the one who brushes her hair, and it looks like you've run a straightener through it. At the moment it's a reddish colour.
My nose is the bane of my existence, not because I dislike its shape (I'm indifferent to that side of it) but because of its innards. When my body was cheerfully forming, the cells decided to give me a deviated septum with polyps to boot. Essentially, I can't breathe through my nose. I now have to get the nose operated on. Curse those celebrities who use deviated septum as an excuse for their nose jobs, because:

  1. It makes it so much harder to get people to believe you, and
  2. It struck fear into my heart that I'd walk in with my nose and walk out with Michael Jackson's nose.
My teeth also decided to be a bit off. An allergic reaction to something my mother received - for me - while I was still assuming the foetal position led to the majority of my teeth having little or no enamel. In three weeks, as a matter of fact, I am getting veneers put on my teeth again. The front ones have decided to fail me miserably, thanks to the hippie dentist my mother insisted on taking us to in Brunswick Heads.
(I don't trust someone in the medical profession who wears thongs when in a 'surgical' environment.)

Aaaaaand once again, time to flee. Work beckons.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Quintessentially Tash

I have been stalking Maija a fair bit recently.
Okay, a bit of an exaggeration, but if you looked at my Twitter feed, Facebook page, and now this blog... Right. I think it's time for that restraining order, don't you?

Maija's post - written in September; I never said I was a good stalker - has inspired me to get off my butt and write you a post. It's mainly so I can flee the box-filled trauma that is my room, but nevertheless a post exists for you!

What makes me, me?
I think they're the things no one else has noticed. I have two freckles on the front of my neck. When I pointed them out to my family members as a way to identify me when I'm dead and all that's left of my charred remains is my neck, they just looked at me. "What freckles?" my aunty asked, confused. I pointed.
"These ones!"
"... Tash, if you get burned to death, it's hardly likely that your neck will be the only thing to survive," Dad said. "We'll have to identify you by your tooth."
Which isn't as appealing an option, as I don't know what my teeth look like and I have none that I particularly want associated with me (if I died today, I'd look ridiculous and my dentist would cry).

I have always thought I can talk to my dogs. Any other animals, I don't really try, but my dogs and I have always had long conversations about stupid things. You know, conversations about how eating Christmas Beetles isn't probably the most nutritious choice, but then again, neither's chewing on a piece of carpet.
This probably makes me insane.

I love Coldplay, because they have achieved the impossible - their music calms me down when I am mad. I don't know why, but I discovered this amazing skill when I was depressed. (Clinically so, not "my mother won't buy me a Chanel backpack my life sucks I'm so depressed hashtag firstworldproblems".) I don't know what possessed me to buy the Coldplay CDs, but I had $30 cash on me, and the CD shop had them bundled up nicely. X&Y, Parachutes and A Rush of Blood To The Head for $10 each? Eh. Why not?
When I came home and had a fight with my mother that I instantly wanted to solve by my own death (I had a cheery outlook on life), I figured I should probably not waste that thirty dollars. So I put in X&Y, and somehow... I don't know. Perhaps it's distraction techniques, but it calmed me down. And since then, I've been besotted. I am probably known at the local Sanity as being the Coldplay Girl, seeing as when Mylo Xyloto was coming out, the following exchanges took place:

SCENE 1: After finding out there's a new Coldplay album
Me: Excuse me, I've just heard there's a new Coldplay album coming out. I don't have a date, or a name. But I'm pretty sure it's the 4th of October. Or at least, that's when the pre-orders will be available.
Girl: Uh... okay. Let me just check.
Me: No problem. I'll just go look at this Johnny Depp poster.
Girl: There's nothing about it yet. Are you sure they meant Coldplay?
Me: ... yes. I'm sure.
Girl: [dubiously] Well, maybe come back in a few weeks. I might be able to find it then.

SCENE 2: A week later, after Coldplay has officially announced the album
Me: Hi! You probably don't remember me. I was in here about the Coldpl -
Girl: I remember.
Me: Right. Well, Coldplay has announced it now. See? [holds out phone, where email detailing Mylo Xyloto is happily glowing]
Girl: What's it called?
Me: I know. It's a strange name. I'm a bit scared to try pronouncing it, ha ha ha ha.
Girl: [types] Oh. There it is.
Me: Success! When's it coming out?
Girl: October 24.
Me: Excellent. I shall be back then to buy it.
Girl: You don't want to preorder it?
Me: Nah. Somewhere else might get it first. Well, thanks! Have a great day!

SCENE 3: The day before Mylo Xyloto is released
Me: Hi! I'm just wondering if you've gotten Mylo Xyloto in yet.
Different Girl: No! I'm sad.
Me: [not quite able to believe there's a fellow Coldplay lover at Sanity] Me too! I was hoping you'd have gotten it a few days early, like you did Offspring.
Different Girl: Apparently there's an embargo. How lame.
Me: Extremely lame. Anyway. I'll be back tomorrow then.
Different Girl: Awesome! I'll see you then!

Me: Hello! Coldplay is out today!
Girl: ... we haven't had it delivered.
Different Girl: Don't worry. Come back around 1. They usually deliver then.
Me: I will be back at 1.
Me: Is it in yet?
Different Girl: No! Gah! Try a couple more hours.
Me: Will do!
Me: How about now?
Different Girl: We got a phone call from the courier. They're not bringing them in today.

I eventually got the CD after much craziness, but from a different CD store.

Right. Well. What else makes me me?
I have an unusual fondness for Harry Potter. Not because I want someone to say to me, "Yer a witch, Natasha," and ferry me off to Diagon Alley. I love the symbolism, I love how much detail and how much work she's put into the books, and I love how every bit ties neatly together. It might be English nerd of me, but I may have gone through all those books and deconstructed them for the sake of deconstructing them.

At the moment, my closest friend is my cousin Daniela. It always ends up this way. I fear I am turning her into a miniature (yet taller) me, but possibly with better music taste. She is a lovely girl, very sarcastic when she wants to be. She also has a fair bit more common sense and doesn't get overexcited about stupid things, such as Chameleon Circuit releasing a new album. ("So... they sing songs about Doctor Who?" "YES." "... You are a bit of a nerd. I'm not even apologising for saying it.") She is, however, great fun. I've noticed that whenever we get together to watch movies, it always ends with us ranting. "That doesn't even make any sense. Oh my gosh, that character is so lame. I could act better than them... hey, Tash, that was such a great movie, hey!"
We recently did this for Pirates of the Caribbean 1.
Daniela: "You know who I really hate? Elizabeth. Look at her. She was smarmy even when she was a kid."
Me: "I want to know just what part of Norrington can make that age difference okay. I mean, look. Imagine that as a photo on their mantlepiece. 'Elizabeth was twelve when we met, and I was already captain in the Royal Navy.' Why does he even want to marry her? He can marry me. I'm sure the age difference is what he's used to."
Daniela: "Also, why is Governer Swann's wig brown? Why do they all go white when they move to Jamaica?"
Me: "Urgh. Will Turner. Who invented that guy?"
Daniela: "Worst character decision ever. Look at him. Www....Will Ttturner. Pah. Learn to speak."
Me: "Why does Elizabeth have freckles, but suddenly not have them when she grows up? I mean, how is it physically possible that in England she gets freckles, but suddenly in Jamaica she's all freckleless and not riddled with cancer?"
Daniela: "Maybe she just turned into a giant freckle. Do you always watch this scene with Why Is The Rum Gone in your head?"
Me: "YES. I thought I was the only one who did that."
Daniela: "How hard can it be to call her Elizabeth? I call her Elizabeth."
Me: "Bet he went home and wrote all about calling her Elizabeth in his diary."
Daniela: "Ha! 'Dear Diary, I think Elizabeth likes me. Like, like likes me. She wants me to call her Elizabeth! I don't think I should propose yet, though. I might wait for a little while. Like, in the middle of a battle on Davy Jones' ship.'"
Me: "I am so glad they cut those two out in the end. Preacherboy for the win!"
Daniela: "Hush! Johnny Depp!"

I draw, and I write.
These two make me very happy. I wish I was better at drawing. According to my mother, this is very selfish as I am very good at drawing. I disagree, but whatever. This is the only picture, besides a picture of Ron I left in the tearoom at work to scare everyone, that I have uploaded to Facebook.
I don't like it very much. I much prefer fashion illustration.
I enjoy writing. Writing is a heck of a lot of fun.

Because I've realised it's nearly 10:30 and I am still lounging in my pyjamas (I'm a slob now), I'll wrap this up quickly with the thing that most makes me, me.

I'm a Christian.
I don't always live up to the standard that Jesus left me. Lately, I've been failing more than succeeding.
I know, however, that He loves me no matter what. He knew I'd trip over my own feet when He chose me.
Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand. - Romans 14:4
He still pulls me up and still calls me His daughter.
He shows mercy that I don't think I could even show, if someone slapped me in the face that many times. I know I couldn't show that.
And He is the epitome of flipping awesome, because He doesn't judge me based where I've come from. He doesn't say that because I'm a nearly-20-year-old who has suffered from depression and anxiety, who has a ridiculous love for Coldplay and Harry Potter, and who either takes things too seriously or not seriously enough, that I'll not do anything for Him except sit there and look pretty. He says that I can, and I will, do things. Because I'm His.

And that is cooler than anything.

I want to do another post similar to this next time, but sort of based off what the opening to my elusive novel is. So you have that to look forward to/dread.