More Corner Bookmarks!

Last week or so I made a couple of very basic corner bookmarks and since then I’ve made a few more and they’re much better.

Here are a couple of minions…

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and here is a cat I imaginatively named Fluffy…

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If you want to know how to make corner bookmarks, I put up the instructions in an earlier post. Enjoy!

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Penguin Nails

So I’ve gotten better are the finer detailing for more complicated nail art designs than the stripes I used to when I first started out. This week I did penguin nails ( which sort of reminds me of Pingu, the cartoon penguin haha).

pingu nails

p.s Little trick I found when I was doing my friends nails was that a used pen works better for the finer details than a thin brush. So if you’re like me and you don’t have nail art designing tools and what not then the old pen should work just fine. Just dip the nib in the nail polish and use it! Make sure it’s completely out of ink though!

-VD

Magic Never Dies

Image Source: Google

The Times said “J.K Rowling has woken up a whole generation to reading.” And this could not be any more true.

I find it difficult to imagine a childhood, any childhood for that matter, without this series. They would be replete and demotivated if a travesty like Harry Potter deprivation were to occur. Although the Harry Potter books were not among my initial reads as a child, they reassured me that reading is a habit that will pay in full…especially if you land on the right series. Because it is a gold mine sitting at the end of the rainbow, just waiting to be discovered.

There is more magic to the Harry Potter series than you would assume on reading it (although with Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans and Quidditch, it may be difficult to imagine). There is something magical in itself how words can create worlds. How we grow with fictional characters, maturing and developing a special bond merging fantasy and reality.It’s amazing how magic can be found in pages and I am grateful to have been on the journey with Harry, Ron and Hermione along with countless other characters, like many others of my generation.

Years into the future, maybe if I’ve got little tykes running around the house, gasping for breath, in need of a break from their shenanigans, I hope they stumble into my library ( because I’m hoping that I’ll have a mansion with a room for just my books). I hope they’ll find one of my old copies of Harry Potter and they’ll spend some time reading them…

and reading them…

and reading them.

I hope they will grow up with these characters as I did (but if they’re not inclined to reading on their own, I may intervene and read to them before going to bed to ensure their dreams would be filled with pumpkin pasties and Hogsmeade trips, leaving the basilisk and Lord Voldemort to take a slot in their nightmares).

I am now re-reading the series almost ten years from when I picked up the very first book and there’s something ineffable about the experience of reading the same text as both a child and adult. One thing I have learned is that time passes but…magic never dies.

Blink

In college we did a quick-write in class today, writing for several minutes based on a word prompt i.e the word blink.

So here’s the unpolished quick-write:

Blink. It takes a second to be elsewhere, anywhere and everywhere, all at once, yet nowhere soon enough. The mind works in ways we cannot fathom, though we certainly try to understand. I close my eyes and see galaxies I’ll never know, speckled with stars like a semi-chaotic  splatter of an almighty paintbrush. Then I blink and see another scene before my eyes, that of a living room in disarray beyond the island that is my couch with socks scattered on the floor and pencils skittered between them, perhaps my unconscious homage to those galaxies represented on my floor. Indeed, there lie connections between reality and imagination. Just blink and you shall see them.

Album Review- FOUR by One Direction

FOUR is the aptly named fourth studio album released by One Direction, clearly drawing from music of the 80′s to give it an older sound. In terms of cohesiveness and maturity, it is better but still has room for improvement which can hopefully be seen in their next album. The gradual change in their sound from bubblegum pop has been beneficial to the X Factor alumni, possibly showing  the different direction the band could go in the future. Zayn Malik and Liam Payne are still the powerhouse singers of the group while Harry Styles’ voice seems to be in its comfort zone with this album. Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson who’ve previously been, for the most part, background vocalists with snippets of stanzas to sing have improved remarkably.

The first single off of the album, Steal My Girl, actually happens to be the least appealing track on the album with its ABBA inspired sound unfortunately draped under a thick veil of auto tune. Night Changes has been announced as the second single, a better choice compared to the previous one considering how it’s a well-harmonized ballad that truly showcases how strong the vocals of the group are.

Fireproof was the first song One Direction granted the public as a free download and upon hearing it, I was pleased to see the difference in their previous songs, with its laid back and relaxing vibe. Ready to Run employs the same chord progression as Story of My Life, sounding like a perfect song for an animated Disney movie ( I mean this in a nice way). Somehow it reminds me of Tarzan, when he and Jane are swinging around exploring the jungle, but that’s just me.

No Control is the group’s most lyrically provocative, singing about ‘loaded guns’ and what not but sadly it’s a sugary-rock coating to a song dripping with sexual innuendos. The highlight is hearing Tomlinson vocally drive the song.

Among the slow songs are Fool’s Gold and Spaces, where Horan shines. FOUR features another song from Ed Sheeran. The Brit singer penning a song for One Direction has proven to be a fool-proof combination as was proved by Moments, Little Things and Over Again. This time the song is called 18, surpassing the other songs to be one of the best on the album.

On the antipodal end, the catchy, upbeat tunes are Girl Almighty, Clouds, Stockholm Syndrome and Where Do Broken Hearts Go, the latter two being written by Styles which is commendable. Stockholm Syndrome is according to him “about a nympho” and the actual syndrome itself i.e developing an emotional connection to your captor or kidnapper. It’s as dark as they’ve ever gone albeit only the surface. Where Do Broken Hearts Go isn’t the sappy ballad it sounds like but has a rock tone to it. Girl Almighty, I feel, might be underrated when it comes to the whole but should not be underestimated. Finally, Clouds makes a nice end to the album, leaving on a positive note.

On the deluxe album, there are four bonus tracks called Illusion, Change Your Ticket, Once in a Lifetime and Act My Age. I have always found that the bonus songs are sometimes better than the tracks that made it onto the actual album when it comes to One Direction and FOUR once again proves me right in this line of thinking. Once in a Lifetime and Illusion may be a bit sappy but are still good songs. However, they pale in comparison to the rather bombastic Act My Age which sounds like a cocktail of Irish folk rock and a pirate theme song that you could sing along in a pub in an intoxicated state. Change Your Ticket is one of my favourite tracks and I firmly believe it should have taken Steal My Girl’s place on the album, especially because of its resemblance to The 1975′s sound (particularly the guitar).

Overall, I feel that this album is miles ahead of the previous ones and is one step further in One Direction bright career ahead.

8 Reasons why Inception and Interstellar are Cinematic Siblings

*Minor spoilers ahead


Christopher Nolan’s films hold a certain fascination and complexity that many would not be able to conjure in our wildest dreams so to see it on screen is a marvelous feat (although there are those downer cynics who constantly pin point loopholes and inconsistencies as if they could do what Nolan does in a heartbeat. If they want to watch something realistic, I suggest a documentary.)

Inception, in my opinion, is a well-devised cinematic masterpiece that lost out on the Oscar for Best Picture merely because it went completely over the Academy’s heads in terms of understanding the complexity and conceptualization. Interstellar was a solid effort to follow it, though if I had to choose the better film it would have to be Inception. Anyway, after watching Interstellar, I couldn’t help but find similarities in the movies which led me to believe that they are indeed sibling-like films.

1. The protagonists are fathers who are trying to get back home to their children.

In Inception, Dom Cobb played by Leonardo DiCaprio is framed for his wife’s mother and can’t go home to his children and so he takes up the job offered by Saito who can help him by getting the murder charges dropped. 

In Interstellar, Cooper played by Matthew McConaughey wants to go back home to Earth where he left his children in order to go on a mission into space in the effort to save humankind as a species. Incidentally, in both movies, there are two kids-one boy and one girl.

2. Female supporting characters accompany the male protagonist on their missions.

Inception has Ariadne played by Ellen Page while Interstellar stars Anne Hathaway as Amelia Brand. Both happen to be Oscar-nominated actresses, by the way.

3. Michael Cain plays a professor who happens to be the father of one of the main characters.

In Inception, he plays Cobb’s father who is an architecture professor while in Interstellar he is Amelia Brand’s father, working for Nasa, attempting to solve an equation that could potentially save mankind.

Michael Caine in Interstellar (left) and Inception (right).

4. The distance from reality and exploration into other worlds.

In Inception, Cobb and his team go deeper and deeper into the recesses of the psyche in the form of dreams while Cooper and the NASA team go farther and farther away from Earth to explore other planets that could be repopulated by human beings. I also found that there are three levels in Inception just as there are three planets in Interstellar, all seeming like different worlds.

5. Time distortion as a recurrent side effect of venturing into these worlds.

While in Inception, the characters have the luxury (although certainly not the safety)of time as they venture deeper and deeper into dream levels, since time slows down. It is the exact opposite in Interstellar, since hours on a new planet are equivalent to  decades back on Earth, with time moving faster.

6. The presence of a purgatory like component from which the male lead escapes from.

Cobb escapes from limbo and saves Ariadne from its unpredictability while Cooper ventures into Gargantua, the black hole, just after dropping TARS and Brand from the shuttle.

7. Symbolic circles are explained using a single sheet of paper.

In Inception, Cobb explains how we create and perceive simultaneously,  so seamlessly that we are unable to truly distinguish the two, to Ariadne in a cafe. He draws this symbol on a piece of paper while he explains the concept of designing a dream:

In Interstellar, Romilly explains who worm holes function, serving as a sort of bridge between galaxies by punching a hole through a folded piece of paper.

8. The culmination of the emotional undertone is in a death bed scene towards the end of the film.

Love is proven to be a powerful and inspiring force that drives humanity and this is something that has been building in both films, only culminating in death bed scenes. In Inception, it is of Fisher and his father and in Interstellar it is Cooper and Murph.

(Image sources: Google)

Redefining Religion in The Color Purple

The Color Purple may not be one of my favourite books, particularly due to the fact that it is written in black english which is a little difficult to get used to, but one letter in this somewhat non-traditional epistolary novel will always stay with me. The one where Celie and Shug have a very enlightening discussion on religion. I’ll never forget it.

Religion has always been difficult for me to wrap my head around. You can see the problem in that very sentence. You see, as far as I can tell, religion is not something one has to wrap their head around but something one just believes in. It’s not that easy for me and I don’t think it ever will be. I find that faith is perhaps the most difficult thing to have, especially in almighty entities.

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“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.”

In the letter that I’m basing this post on, Celie appears to have disowned God and refuses to believe he has ever done anything good for her, which Shug refutes with a list of little blessings that Celie has overlooked in her life. I know how Celie feels. When the worst has happened it is easy to turn back on religion and the idea that God is watching over you. Questions about why this has happened start to override any faith you once had and it all starts crumbling from there.

But who said that religion resides in a temple, church or mosque? This is exactly what Shug points out to Celie. She says she never found God in church and that any God she ever felt was brought with her, along with many other folks. So, in a way, God lies within us not outside of us. Finding God starts with exploring our self and who we are.

The idea that God is a man with a long overflowing beard( reminds me of Dumbledore) is also questioned. Perhaps it is an archetype planted in our minds as we are born, only to grow into a full-fledged concept cemented in our perception whenever we even read the word God.

In the end, Shug confidently delivers her theory on what God is. She believes that God is not a he or a she but rather an it. And it is always making little surprises and springing them on us when we least expect.

“I believe God is everything. Praise God by liking what you like.” said Shug Avery.

Enjoy the sun, the trees and the birds that annoyingly wake you up in  the morning. Enjoy your guilty pleasures because God created everything in this world for you to admire and appreciate.

As an agnostic, there is something comforting in that realization. This part of the novel reassured me of the fact that having unconventional ideas concerning religion is perfectly alright. In fact, it seems to make more of a case for being spiritual instead of religious. The difference becomes abundantly clear while reading this passage and it’s wonderful.

4 out of 5 dentists recommend this blog :)

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