Observation

I don’t do reviews, but here is a review about Kindle Paperwhite….

So…. I’m that person who whines about e-readers, shouting ‘it’s not the same as a book’ & ‘I like the smell of books’ (I do like the smell of books), & for years I’ve watched Kindle users on trains, in my shop waiting for their colour to process, & secretly thought they were nuts. I would walk into shops to look at Kindle devices, never impressed & always thinking there is something missing.
A friend who uses Kindle, only because her husband will divorce her if she buys anymore books to bring into their tiny apartment, would complain about the glare on the screen, yadda, yadda, yadda. I would lend her tangible books here & there to sate her hunger for reading printed paper.

Me? I started reading iBooks on my iPad, using a “Bookseat” to hold it up because it gets heavy in my hands. The downfall here is I don’t take my iPad outside my house. It’s too precious, I freaking love my iPad, I want to marry it. What do I do? I have overstuffed bookshelves & very little room to buy more shelves. Plus reading on iBooks, while it has improved, still has a glare & my eyes hurt after a while.

Last night, I walked into Dick Smith to look at some headphones, & while I was perusing the aisles, I saw the Kindle stand. HAVE YOU GUYS SEEN THE KINDLE PAPERWHITE?????? Oh my Buddha, I fell in love.
This little beauty has a glare-free screen that has a non-reflective surface. It’s so easy to read in any light, unlike the glossy tablets. It’s front-lit design helps reading without strain, as back-lit types project at your eyes causing strain (my abhorrence).
It’s thin & weighs next to nothing & the battery can last up to 8 weeks with wifi off on a single charge. HELLO????
I bought the 3G WiFi one which has no fees, Amazon pay the bill, which means I can download a book from anywhere (we’re talking globally), anytime, no problem. To test this out, I downloaded one of the many free books Kindle offer while on the train to the city & it worked no problem. Can we feel the love yet?

I waited. I waited & waited, hoping Kindle would get it right & finally they did. Check out these images taken on the iPad (so not the best camera)

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I’m in love. The Paperwhite is just like reading a paper book. I never thought in a million years I would rave about a Kindle, but there you have it folks. It’s love that I’m feeling.

Go get one.

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Assumption is a Bitch

Apparently I gauge men too high as a result of my Classics reading. I’m looking for Rochester, Darcy & Dantes instead of your average Joe. While I commend this person to have the balls to state this to me, albeit in a private message on Facebook, I was happy to amend their theory by assuring them that I am most grounded in my pursuit of my perfect alpha male that is meant to complete my soul (or some other mush).

We accept the love we think we deserve & I deserve a hell of a lot more than what has been presented to me in the past. I am in no hurry nor am I worried what anyone thinks about my life choices, especially someone so completely irrelevant to my future.

If you’re uncomfortable with having single friends, may I suggest you get a hobby that doesn’t involve meddling in the lives of others. It’s so boring, not to mention quite common in social pre-conditioned thought. Be unique.

Have a nice day & Happy Christmas to you & your family.

FYI, my Austen hero is Captain Wentworth, NOT Darcy. Assumption is a bitch!

On a Lazy Sunday Afternoon

Again, I am trying new and interesting ways to procrastinate today. I wish I could break through this bad habit I have of doing everything else except study. The problem is, there are a couple of books this term that I’m just not getting happy with. This may be the cause, because usually I don’t need any encouragement to curl up on my over sized armchair with a blanket (although, not needed today), and a cuppa.

Today’s distraction is brought to you by the super-fabulous day Melbournian’s are enjoying right now. It is the first day of Spring and it has certainly come to the party. It is just beautiful outside and the thought of being indoors today is just too much to bear, but I don’t trust myself going out there. I’ll get distracted by other things and my book will fall by the wayside, so indoors I stay as punishment for my procrastination.

The local Fire Brigade has just sounded the siren, signifying that it has struck noon on this sunny Sunday. I’ve already done some basic housework, there is a bit more preparation to be done for dinner tonight, but other than that, I have no excuse not to read my book. Technically I only have this week to get through it before needing to read the play ‘Waiting for Godot’ which only takes me about 2 days to read. THEN I’ll hopefully have caught up with the rest of my class.

So does anyone have any great ideas on how to beat procrastination? My cousin Carmen once said that in order to study and to concentrate, you need to eat sugar. While that does work, it’s not exactly healthy for me with the amount of study that I need to accomplish. I don’t want to be a diabetic on my graduation day.

The man currently causing my procrastination. Louis Ferdinand Céline

The man currently causing my procrastination. Louis Ferdinand Céline

Why Books are Better than Movies

It’s an oldie, but a goodie

‘Have you read the book? It’s SO much better than the film!’

I have come to the conclusion that I  don’t have much to say to people who don’t read books. Read any book. Even if it’s Mills & Boon, at least it’s some sort of creative. I feel that people who don’t read, who don’t escape into someone’s story, have no burst of feeling, no thoughts of imagination or interest in to the complex world that is human nature. It is something I’ve observed for a while. I’m not saying that people who don’t read books are boring, I’m just saying that people who don’t read books bore me. I use a lot of lines from famous literature to get a point across in a conversation, and certain people (non-readers) think it’s my thought. While I’d like to take the accolade for using a line ‘I will show you fear in a handful of dust’ I’m pretty sure, if he was still around, T.S Eliot may have a problem with that.

Discussion of a book and the characters of a book cannot always be portrayed correctly in a movie. While I find the Toby Stephens version of Mr. Rochester, to be by far, the best representation of Rochester (Timothy Dalton was reigning Rochester until Stephens came along), I am yet to meet the same Rochester that I meet when I read Bronté’s Jane Eyre.

I think Virginia Woolfe sums it up pretty well as I can’t seem to articulate my meaning here. (May have something to do with all the noise currently going on at my house). In Woolfe’s article ‘The Cinema’ she addresses adaptation and her reservations concerning film as a medium potential. Using Anna Karenina as an example, she states

The eye says: “Here is Anna Karenina.” A voluptuous lady in black velvet wearing pearls comes before us. But the brain says: ‘That is no more Anna Karenina than it is Queen Victoria.” For the brain knows Anna almost entirely by the inside of her mind – her charm, her passion, her despair. All the emphasis is laid by the cinema upon her teeth, her pearls, and her velvet.

So essentially, what we see and what we read have different meanings and without the internal dialogue, how is one to know what Anna is thinking deep down inside? How are we to know, that embarking on a trail of revenge never ends well, when Hollywood have that incessant need to give everyone a happy ending as they’ve done in the 2002 movie of The Count of Monte Cristo? Garbo’s Karenina is so altered, I’m not even sure it’s the same story. How can this Russian masterpiece end in happiness? It just doesn’t make sense to me. Don’t even get me started on Holly Golightly and Fred ending up in ‘Happily Ever After’ in the movie adaptation of Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  Completely ruined the essence of the book.

All this means is that there ends up being a difference of opinion about certain characters, the book character and the movie character. I’d rather find out what the original author was trying to teach me. When we write, we always put a little bit of ourselves in it, and while I think some screen writers have something to say, I’d wish they’d leave it for their own work instead of intextualizing a masterpiece written for a purpose.

By all means, make some popcorn and watch the movie, just don’t expect me to be impressed when you think that every story is tied up into a neat little bow, stuck with happiness stickers. It pisses me off and I’d like to think that Tolstoy and Dumas would agree.

Read a book: respect the Author!

Up at 2:49AM

What a wonderful find when I’m struggling to sleep & do a bit of reading to try and aid the process.

When you buy a book, you establish a property right in it, just as you do in clothes or furniture when you buy and pay for them. But the act of purchase is actually only the prelude to possession in the case of a book. Full ownership of a book only comes when you have made it a part of yourself, and the best way to make yourself a part of it — which comes to the same thing — is by writing in it.

Why is marking a book indispensable to reading it? First, it keeps you awake — not merely conscious, but wide awake. Second, reading, if it is active, is thinking, and thinking tends to express itself in words, spoken or written. The person who says he knows what he thinks but cannot express it usually does not know what he thinks. Third, writing your reactions down helps you to remember the thoughts of the author.

Reading a book should be a conversation between you and the author. Presumably he knows more about the subject than you do; if not, you probably should not be bothering with his book. But understanding is a two-way operation; the learner has to question himself and question the teacher, once he understands what the teacher is saying. Marking a book is literally an expression of your differences or your agreements with the author. It is the highest respect you can pay him.”

M.J Adler

Monday (quick) Musings

So I’m sitting at my desk (of sorts, it’s the kitchen table today) studying how Michael Cunningham’s The Hours is both ‘new’ and ‘rescued’ and having a little difficulty in how I’m going to tackle the 1,500 word essay so I get a High Distinction.

What better way than to walk away from it for a moment and just purge some thoughts via blogging.

There’s a pot of soup bubbling away on the stove-top, vegetables dancing around the bubbles, thinking about what they’re about to become. The aroma fills the house and gives it a beautiful warm feeling. There are strong winds howling outside and occasionally I’ll hear something crash and scrape across the back patio, losing its battle with the wind. Instead of thinking about Clarissa Dalloway and Clarissa Vaughn, I think of Aesop and the tale of the Sun and the Wind. I sometimes wonder, how my busy brain can ever comprehend one thing long enough to actually write a paper about it. Maybe I’m not made to be at University. Maybe I’m just supposed to let my brain whirl around, like one of those spinning rides at amusement parks. Like Clarissa Dalloway and Clarissa Vaughn, maybe my life is meaningless and offers nothing to the world. Here I am, blogging on the world wide web, not making a dent and not inspiring anyone. What’s the point of blogging? What’s the point of anything? What’s the point of University? Something to do? Who knows!

It’s not like I’m going to stop though. I’m not going to University for anyone else and I don’t blog for others, I blog for me. Because I can and because it’s there. It’s not for validation. Validation is a waste of time and energy. People’s opinions of myself are none of my business, I’m just sitting here finding new and interesting ways to procrastinate, a habit I am not proud of but would like to have it permanently unclear what that signifies. I’m kind of easy to work out when you get to know me, but then I’ll throw you a sixer and turn it around and run…. leaving you with your mouth gaped open (What happened?).

Meanwhile, I’m still not getting anywhere with my paper, so I’ll just keep doing some research until something pops out at me. Surely if you look hard enough, something will always appear.

I think I’ll buy the flowers myself

Why I Keep a Journal… and You Should Too

Why keep a journal?

Writing in the the form of stream of consciousness actually injects dopamine into the brain, which functions as a neurotransmitter, that releases a chemical by nerve cells that send signals to other nerve cells….. Oh my Buddha, who CARES?

The bottom line is that it motivates me, gets my ideas out, freezes a thought in time. My mind gets so full with so many things, and not all good things either, that I need a way to get that crap (and not so crap) out of my head. It also serves as a great gratitude list keeper too. If you let it, you are able to release your negativity and get the writing juices flowing. Simply put, if I don’t journal, I don’t write poetry and it’s probably due to that dopamine stuff I was going to tell you about until I realised what a snore-fest that was.
(I’m not talking clinical depression here, I’m not qualified in that area)
Negativity is such a turn off and it repels people to be in your company. Of course some of us need cave time to work out what the hell is going on, but it is so easy to form a habit of being negative that you get lost in it all and spend far too much time swimming in it. Writing it out is a great way of seeing it from a different perspective. Ever notice how all your friends disappear when you’re in negative mode? Yep! Get rid of it. And while you’re at it, get rid of those friends that abandon you in time of need.

If it’s habit you want to form, then why not take up journaling? Purge negativity, but force happiness in too. It doesn’t take any longer to form a positive habit than it does to form a negative one. It’s all choice.

Some of you who know me personally, know that I am a bit of a recluse (by choice), and I’m not a recluse because I’m lazy. If you knew me in my 20s and 30s, I was that person that was running from one social thing to another, honestly believing I was living life to the fullest. Oh what a farce! Talk about insecure!!!!! So as a recluse, I need an outlet to purge my thoughts to allow room for new ideas and new thoughts. It also helped me work out that I was just another hamster, running on the wheel to no-where…. fast! If it wasn’t for my journals I don’t know where I would be today.

The thing is, I’ve been keeping a journal since I was 15 (I’m 43 now), my whole life’s work are living in the cupboard under the stairs and have been there long before Harry Potter was a thought in his mother’s head. Some of my earlier journals are so funny to read. When I was 16, my problems were so HUGE, I didn’t think I was going to survive my teenage years, now when I look back on the melodrama I created for myself, I laugh so hard, and cry a little too. I’d give anything to have those ‘huge’ problems again and give back the ones I have now. At least I would know how to cope with it all better and understand that journaling is a way to deepen your learning, not just about venting.

Journaling keeps a marker on your life. It removes material thought from your mind and everyone deserves to tell their story. A few years ago, I worked with a man who had one leg and he reminded me of that saying ‘I cried when I had no shoes, until I saw a man with no feet’ and it really put a mirror up to my face and helped me realise what was important in life. I was worried about taking on this new job because I didn’t think it payed enough to help me pay my debts, until I further realised that my debts were due to material shit I thought I wanted. All that material crap did to me was anchor me down so far I thought I was sinking in the earth and it all actually stopped me from doing what made me happy.

I got off the hamster wheel that day. (I guess it’s a good time for me to mention that I call people who make a living doing what they don’t want to do and putting their dreams aside, Hamsters. I used to be their Queen!) I haven’t looked back since. I’m moving forward and working toward a life I think suits me better. I’ll never be a rich person again, (yes, once upon a time I had money and I was miserable), but I will live a life of integrity, happiness and know in my heart that life is worth every minute.

 

So to recap:

  • Dopamine
  • Motivates
  • Deepen the learning
  • record gratitude
  • purge negativity/let in positivity
  • choose happiness
  • remove material thought

 

and because your life matters, that’s why.

And that’s all I have to say about that

 

Have a happy, fulfilling day my blogger friends

Love to you all

 

Stay tuned for my post I’m currently writing (in my journal). A letter to my 16 year old self.

Writing to Purge

Writing to Purge

Winter is Here

Hello Bloggersphere,

It has been a while. I must admit, Uni has me snowed under with work as I’ve changed my major to English and Children’s Literature. It has taken a bit of time getting used to  all the new things I had to learn, especially the lingo that seems to be paramount in Children’s Literature. They should change it to Children’s Psychology.

Anyway, I’m on a 4 week break ( I have 3 left) and it has taken me a week to recover, a lot of running around doing errands, but today was the first ‘blah’ day I’ve had in a while.

I woke up this morning to 2.4 degree weather and the sun shinning brightly. (Ah, Melbourne) What does one do on such a cold day?

Tom Herbert's recipe for Bap Rolls

Tom Herbert’s recipe for Bap Rolls

Well I made these lovely Bap rolls from the Fabulous Baker Brothers cookbook. While I was doing about 5 loads of laundry, I thought the best place to help these prove was near the clothes dryer where it was toasty warm. Everyone in my house knows that when I’m in the kitchen pottering around, I’m actually in therapy time, but what was great about today was that it was just Eva, me and complete silence. No TV in the background, no phones ringing, no recording in the music studio, just the sound of clothes washing and dough hooks whizzing and birds chirping in the cold, crisp air outside.

I love days like these, when there are no appointments to rush off to, nobody at my heels pressuring me to be there, go here, do that and best of all, having your phone on silent so you don’t have to answer it if you don’t want. I know some people like it, but I don’t get how some people need to fill every second of their life doing things or being places, like if they don’t squeeze everything possible into one day, they’re somehow missing out. People like that scare me because I wonder what it is they’re running from. There is nothing better than spending a day or two in a week being present, in your own company and alone with your thoughts. I even managed to do a bit of writing, something that gets quite neglected when there are essays to write instead. Someone asked me if I miss doing all my pottering around now that I am at Uni, after giving them a quizzical looks, because it is a bit of a ridiculous question, I calmly said no. I like the pressure of Uni, I love what I am studying and have even enrolled in a class over summer. What motivates me is the Trimester breaks, like the one I’m on now, where I can waste time crocheting, baking, pottering around in my PJs. It validates it somehow, like I’ve earned it. Imagine if I spend my whole life in my PJs? I don’t think that is very motivating now…. like I said, stupid question. I get asked a lot of stupid questions, so I’m used to it.

Tonight I’ve made an overnight Sherston Loaf that will be ready to bake tomorrow. I’m already anticipating that I’ll feel like pumpkin soup, so freshly baked bread is a total must. I hope it turns out OK. I’m pretty excited about it as it has very little yeast. You really must get on to the Fabulous Baker Brothers cookbook (link above) because there is nothing like real bread. The Herbert Brothers are very generous with their tips on making better bread at home. These guys are just hard working, family orientated baker/chefs who have some great tips and proven recipes (they work, trust me), so let’s get started on making our own real bread and stop eating that plastic stuff from the supermarkets.

One recipe that is a MUST are their Epic Trenchers…..Oh my Buddha, they’re the bomb!

Have a happy day guys

Cheers