"A commonplace book is what a provident poet cannot subsist without, for this proverbial reason, that “great wits have short memories:” and whereas, on the other hand, poets, being liars by profession, ought to have good memories; to reconcile these, a book of this sort, is in the nature of a supplemental memory, or a record of what occurs remarkable in every day’s reading or conversation." - Jonathan Swift, "A Letter of Advice to a Young Poet"

Friday, March 1, 2013



This month, one of my favorite things to chill out after a long day of schoolwork was the BBC miniseries Dancing on the Edge. If you're in the UK, you can probably still catch it on iPlayer, and I definitely recommend it! It's about a black jazz band that rises to fame in 1920s London and the various people - patrons, journalists, etc. - who help and hinder them along the way. So it has 1) great music, 2) a good ensemble cast, and 3) an interesting perspective on society at the time. As a bonus, there is also a murder mystery and several romantic plots, of course. All the relationships and characters feel very realistic and multi-layered, and the whole thing was very smart and satisfying.


The most exciting fashion moment for me this past month was the Oscars, which I didn't even get to watch because of the time difference. But I checked out the dresses the day after and saw a lot of beautiful fabric floating around the red carpet. I really liked Jennifer Lawrence's dress, and especially her backwards pearl necklace - really interesting - and was happy to see such a down-to-earth star who picks such interesting movies win for a film I really liked. I also loved Nicole Kidman's dress, very snazzy. Anyway, I'm looking forward to next year, when I can watch the whole ceremony and indulge in proper gown envy.


When it's cold and dreary outside, I obviously tend to stay inside as much as possible, but there's only so much time you can spend reading, watching movies, and eating comfort food. I found one great option for something more active than reading but not requiring going outside is games. Pool, scrabble, cards, and crossword puzzles are all such good ways of getting together with friends to do more than eat and drink and chat. Plus they exercise your brain in ways that counterbalance the monotony of intellectual work nicely.

Miscellaneous Stuff:

Staying healthy! February seemed kinda lousy at times this year, with a combination of grey weather and intense schoolwork. The absolute best thing to combat the end-of-winter blues for me is making my body happy - doing some gentle yoga as a study break, going for a walk in the park as soon as I caught a glimpse of blue sky, and eating right. With the latter in mind, I signed up for a fresh veggie box to be delivered every week, and I'm hoping it'll be filled with lots of yummy seasonal goodies that expand my diet from the minimal fruits and vegetables that I can find at the local shops (I had to go to 4 different stores yesterday just to find a bag of spinach!!!).


  1. Did your family ever participate in the fresh veggie boxes back in California? For a year or so my Mom would go pick up these local vegetables from Palo Alto every week, and it was so fun to try out the recipe suggestions that came with them. Often they would have things we didn't normally cook with, like rainbow chard and beets, and then it was especially exciting. I think it's a brilliant idea that you're doing it now that you're living alone: it insures that you get your daily dose of veggies and that you are challenged to find new ways to cook with them. I'm sure you'll have fun :)

    1. Yes, we did have that for a while! Now, though, we just go to the farmer's market every week, and there's all the fruits and veggies you could ever want or imagine :) But yeah, I'm super psyched for my first box to arrive. I really hope it contains chard. I miss chard so much.