I fell off the bandwagon of these favorites posts over the summer, so I'm just going to do one post for the whole summer, which was a little blurred together anyway because of spending so much time on the one project of my dissertation. Which is now over, so I have time to blog again :)
I needed plenty of good study music to keep me going through the end of my dissertation, and I really fell in love with a few artists. I knew of Kimbra from her collaboration with Gotye on 'Somebody That I Used to Know,' but I recently discovered her independent album, which is fantastic. Unfortunately, she only has one album out as of now.
I also rediscovered Emily Wells, who's a one-woman music magician, playing and mixing all the instruments and vocals herself. I saw her live at my college a couple of years ago and never got around to listening to her albums. The lyrics to her songs are almost onomatopoetic at times, which is interesting and very pleasing to listen to.
Milkshakes. The ultimate summer treat. The best, most indulgent reward after finishing a big project or putting a grueling day of writing. I actually only discovered the joys of milkshakes a few years ago, so I'm making up for lost time! There were a couple of great places in England that put any kind of cookie or candybar into a milkshake form, a magical and delicious transformation. But I also experimented with making them at home with fresh fruit. Even better!
This was a summer devoted to the oeuvre of David Mitchell. I love and worship all his writing, but my favorites are probably number9dream and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. They're also some of my favorite books of all time. Seriously, do not get me started on David Mitchell unless you want to be suddenly overwhelmed by a towering wave of admiration and specialized knowledge.
Definitely From up on Poppy Hill, the newest movie from Studio Ghibli. I am, in general, an adorer of Ghibli productions. I have many more to watch, much to my shame, but also secret delight because how delicious is it to know there are movies out there that you haven't seen yet but know you'll love? From up on Poppy Hill was wonderful. I loved the main character and her subtle evolution from selfless responsibility to falling in love and letting go both of her day-to-day tasks and her clinging to the past. The visuals, of course, were stunning, especially the interior of the old clubhouse that's at the center of the story. The best part: I got to see it in original Japanese with subtitles, which I love.
To be honest, this was not a summer for being fashionable. I spent most of it sitting in bed or at my desk in my pyjamas, which is my go-to writing outfit. When you have to sit all day, all you care about is being comfy. I stopped wearing jewelry, just threw on jeans and a t-shirt whenever I went out to dinner with my friends, and generally lived in the same clothes for three months. What's strange is, I kind of loved it. Now I've been reunited with my full closet, I'm very excited to get back into creative fashion combinations, but I'm also a lot more stressed about clothes. As someone who has trouble with decisions and wants to get her clothes just right every time, I found the simplicity of a small closet incredibly freeing. So right now I'm trying to figure out a balance between satisfying my love of clothes and self-expression-through-clothes and my need not to obsess over clothes for an hour every morning.
The best thing about this summer is that, when I finally turned in my dissertation and left England, I was satisfied. I'm proud both of the work I put in and the final product I turned in. It may not earn a high mark, but I know that this project took me way beyond my previous academic work, in terms of thinking and writing. So I walked away from this year feeling good about it and satisfied as I move on to whatever my next projects will be.
"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"