Monday, 7 July 2014

♡ June Favorites ♡

Over the past month I've been enjoying the complete absence of homework and assignments and revision and since it's consequently Ramadan too, my hobby has become to lounge around reading or writing or drawing or most of all, watching every vlogbrothers/crash course video to have ever existed. Ever. And to be honest, it has been quite a fantastic start to the summer. My best friend Haya started a blog which you can check out right here and her summer buys post (and great interest in some brill beauty gurus on youtube) made me want to make my own little june favorites list because why not.

Also if you haven't got your Adblock turned on, you can pick out the items mentioned in this post and buy them off amazon directly from here :)

Crop Top - H&M
This might be my absolute favorite thing in my closet right now especially that I've also got the next item to pair it with

 High-Waisted Jeans - H&M
I found a pair of high-waisted in Top Shop and they were like 90 dollars so I just laughed hysterically, cried a little and left the store. BUT H&M CAME TO MY RESCUE WITH THE MOST WONDERFUL PAIR FOR 14 BUCKS like hmmmmm thank you. I don't know man, it was a good day okay. 

Flower Crown - DIY
Petals - Some department store
Making flower crowns is my favorite thing in the world because it is so much fun when I'm not burning myself with the hot glue gun. I couldn't find any plastic flowers around here so I bought a set of petals (don't ask me why they sell petals but not flowers) and tried to CREATE MY OWN FLOWERS. And then took the easy way out and glued them to a headband - wahey voila.

Crushed Raspberries Home Fragrance - City Lifestyle (Centerpoint)
I don't know what else to say about this except for the fact that it makes my room smell like a meadow of mystique and marvellous crushed raspberries (boom. i can explain scents)

The Fault in Our Stars Soundtrack - Buy It Here
I don't own a hardcopy of this beautiful piece of magic but I've been listening to it non-stop and I swear, I had goosebumps when Wait by M83 played at the end of the movie that I just had to get it the second I got home. 

The Fault in Our Stars - John Green
This is just the all-time classic in my life but since the movie came out on the 12th here, I had to reread it! So definitely definitely definitely a June favorite. And an always favorite. 

Paper Towns - John Green 
This list is a whole lot of John Green but yes since I found out that Paper Towns was also coming out in movie form and I also was having serious cravings for more Green-ness after watching TFiOS, I had to read this for the nth time.

A while ago there was a garage sale in my neighbourhood and I managed to get all 5 books for 4 bucks or so which just makes me happy inside. Over the past few months I've come around to finally finishing all 5 them and I'm thinking about reviewing a couple at some point :)

Franny and Zooey - J.D. Salinger 
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
The Woman Who Walked Into Doors - Roddy Doyle 
The Accidental - Ali Smith
Sharp Objects - Gillian Flynn 

Wreck This Journal - Keri Smith
I found this book on my doorstep one night which sounds so weird but it was totally unexpected and it had my name on the front cover and even though I mentioned it to my friends, nobody has come forward and told me that it was them who left it so now I'm just really confused. But I thought while being confused I might as well start with it and these are a couple of the pages I did recently and quite liked! 

My last favorite is going to be a YouTube channel actually for all of you who miraculously haven't heard of Crash Course or SciShow because um. You should. You're missing out. Big time!

 You are very welcome 

Annnnnnddddd that's all :) I've been trying to write a little bit more here but I've been writing things for which you can check out here and here if you feel like it and also got a few things up on Teen Ink if you'd like to give that a look too. I'm going to be travelling soon which is very exciting because that means I'll have lots to write about here and also really good lighting since I want to film a bunch of videos but my room just doesn't understand my absolute need for good natural lighting. 

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Incoherent Thoughts About The Fault in Our Stars

Few Spoilers (I think) 

I think this movie has single handedly broken me. I don't know what to say or how to feel and this me being incoherent after watching it for the second time. I don't know what to even focus on because there's so much to say but I'm going to try and start somewhere. That somewhere will be the source of this perfect heartbreaking mess of a movie, and that is the book.

This book felt so real. Hazel and Gus weren't just characters and when Peter Van Houten tried to convince them that Anna and An Imperial Affliction was just fiction, I didn't want to hear it. I felt like a little bit of the story itself was trying to give me a wake up call and I wasn't prepared for that particular call. The story is beautiful. I cannot even begin to try and call it a cliche because it takes one read or one watch for you to know that it isn't. It really really isn't. 

I didn't want him to go. I have never been that attached to a character before and it hurts because I know it's all fiction and I've had a million characters die on me but this wasn't the same. This hit close to home. I don't know how John Green manage to make them so real and so present but he did. And being one of the biggest anti-making-TFiOS-into-a-movie spokesperson, I applaud the creators behind it because it was - simply put - beautiful. 

It did make me more hopeful and more grateful and more thankful but it wasn't just some reality check. It made me happy and it gave me a true understanding of what it means to make the best of whatever life you have. Oblivion should be the least of our worries because who would pay attention to being remembered after they're gone when they have the present. It's the only thing we guarantee and it's horrifying because especially at my age, it's all about plans. All about I'll do this when I can and I'll go there and I'll be with these people and I'll see these things and and and and. And none of it is guaranteed. Nothing past the current second you are living is guaranteed and that scares me. I don't know if I'm making the best of it yet at the same time I don't want to be so caught up in making everything matter that I end up back in the worrying about oblivion. 

We've all got a set time on this earth and sometimes what we're missing is on its way but we can't just give up and do nothing and wait for it. We can't just sit and plan it and think about it and wish for it. We need to make the best out of whatever time we have. And I HATE that I'm making some sort of life lesson out of this but this is how I cope with loss. I deny it.

I feel like I should be mourning the loss of somebody so eloquent and valuable and just like Hazel's dad said, it does feel like a privilege to have known him. And to have known her.

It is beyond strange how I can feel this connection to fictional characters but I am not going to question it because there is no harm in me just believing in them. And I'm going to keep things that way.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Just Faces

I'm sitting in the airport because my dad's on his way back home and we're picking him up and it's 12:16 in the morning. Essentially, thank god for wifi. So many people here are waiting for their transit flights and the only reason I have the time to even consider writing something is because the flight got delayed by an hour. How pleasant. 

But ah, being in places like airports comes with inevitable people-watching and that's always more exciting when the people are constantly moving, arriving somewhere brand new, leaving for good, coming back from holiday or going on holiday and everyone's mind sets are so so so different. This sort of sudden realization that all the faces around me have lives behind them is so strange because for some reason I don't assume them to? 

A couple walked past me and they were dressed like such hipsters it's ridiculous (and that's a good thing in case you haven't assumed that already) and sometimes what comes with this whole "faces without stories" thing is I end up envisioning the best possible reality for these characters. Sometimes the best reality is exciting and filled with so much drama I've managed to suck out of the tons of media I've consumed, I imagine their friendship or relationship dynamics, their personalities, the place they were in and the places they've been. It's almost ridiculous how carried away I get sometimes but there's no harm in that I suppose. 

It still disassociates me from the strangers because I've resorted to drawing conclusions about their lives that I forget that that's not actually reality. It's almost like live-storytelling really, not sure how else to put it. But I wish I could record those thoughts and alternate fictional lives more often, because they're the source of storytelling. Ideas come from just living and being around all these faces. You can't force those really raw ideas at your desk while you stare at an intimidating blinking line of a word document, in fact that blanking little shit scares them all away.

I don't know. This is all because of that seemingly interesting-looking couple :') god damn it, do I get carried away too much. That took me 17 minutes to spew out. I'm getting good at this whole spontaneous post-before-you-regret-it thing.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

This Ended A Lot Differently Than I Thought It Would

Wahey hello. So it's Thursday morning and I'm on study leave, and without plans or anything I thought I'd spend all morning making lunch and while I was in the whole kitcheny mood I thought I'd bake cookies and make a hella perfect cup of coffee to go along with it. My morning was quite wonderful, to say the least. The reason I'm getting into all the little details that normally I wouldnt put in a blog post is because I just watched the pilot of 'Awkward.' and in it, Jenna - the protagonist - is running a blog where she talks about her life as it is and I suppose it's all for comic relief, because everyone knows a little of that every now and again can make everything just a little bit better. But I can't seem to do that. I struggle with saying things just the way they are and feel like I should probably be picking at my thoughts and filtering what to say and what not to say. And I suppose there's nothing wrong with that sometimes, but I'd like to be more in control of my inhibitions, maybe push them away when I know I want to be honest or talk about honest feelings (ugh) or whatever it is.

I can't push this topic away completely because it's something I've still not managed to fix. In a situation where I'm talking to somebody about something, wether it's personal or in depth or whatever it is, I can never bring myself to say how I completely feel about them/things because I have to run whatever I want to say through a whole check and that just ends up with the conversation moving forward and them not knowing completely how I feel about things or situations. This is difficult to explain when I'm keeping it hypothetical, but unlike Jenna I'm not too sure I want to lay it all out the way it is because it's a little unnecessary...and to be completely honest, would make me far too uncomfortable to write and the last thing I want is to run away from this again and stop altogether for another 3 months or so.

I feel like having text be the most used medium of conversation between me and the people I'm close to adds a whole other set of obstacles to this because I have the time and the ability to think it through a few too many times. And sometimes if important conversations are held through text, the person you're talking to only knows how you're feeling or how you're reacting to things through the way you type to them. And that is so goddamn limited. The smallest details they could possibly pick up on would be the increased use of punctuation or the disappearance of most emoticons and that is such a shallow idea of how you are actually feeling. So in this scenario, I feel like the most obvious way to let them know exactly how you feel would be to tell them but I would never be able to take myself seriously if I were to bluntly say "I have the biggest lump in my throat right now and I don't even feel like crying or screaming, I just feel numb" because all I would be thinking is "Brilliant, now I sound just like some goddamn attention seeking drama queen off a cliched sitcom." So no. That won't work.

But what's the alternative? What's the alternative to not being able to talk in person and heavily relying on this form of communication when your feelings are hard enough to put across when you're face to face. I can very easily put on an unfazed face and carry on discussion or argument like nothing is bothering me when I really want to, and surprise, surprise, it's not any harder to do that on text when you could just carry on talking like normal but this is worrying me because I have the whole apathetic thing going on (most of the time or sometimes or rarely, depending on who you ask) and I don't want that to be the only thing people expect of me. I want to be a little more transparent and I want to let people know exactly how I feel about them; positive or negative, whenever I want to or feel the situation is appropriate. It's mainly about genuineness and honesty and time. Holy shit does time ever leave me alone.

Everything is constantly changing and everyone is running out of time and one day something you say will be the last thing you say to someone. Sometimes before they move away and you never see them again, sometimes when you see them every goddamn day but there is distance that cannot be easily crossed by plane or train or whatever. Sometimes when that void is created, that's it, you're screwed. You can't convince anybody to want to mend it with you if they're sick of it, you can't truly convince anyone to stay when they no longer want to and I'd hate to be the cause of the void. I'd hate to feel like something I was thinking the whole time but never said was something that could've stopped that void from even coming to existence. That's so worrying because sometimes no matter how much you mean your words, it always takes longer to prove them. Everything comes with time and everything is taken away with time. Sometimes when you're lucky, you could ask for forgiveness and have your quota of time to make everything better extended but sometimes you're not. Sometimes it's done and nothing you can say or do will change anything because it's "too late". And that is absolutely fucking (sorry, it's necessary) terrifying.

I hate it but that's just the way that it is and instead of complaining so much about it, I'm trying to wrap my head around it because it's really been bothering me. Just how precious and intricate everything is because everything is interlinked and sometimes things out of your control happen or sometimes you let things happen out of recklessness or by accident or sometimes just genuinely not thinking the consequences would be the way they turned out to be. But I think it helps you appreciate second chances too. Because this is someone or something giving you more of their time, or this is luck? or fate? I don't know which one works here but I think both could because there are a million situations that could be applied to my mess of a thought process and I know that something will bother me and mess with the way I think and act and speak continuously until I write about it. I've never quite realized just how cathartic writing was for me but everytime a thought is bothering me or I have questions, things just go wrong until I can do this. Do this and clear my brain entirely. I feel like everything is being put into the right folders and going in the right cabinets upstairs and that is really damn relieving.

I guess I learned a lot from Jenna, maybe a little more than she intended for me to take away from the 20 minutes I got to know her as she complained about being too awkward to be popular. Trust me to get a push to write that mess of a post because of one of MTV's creations. Wow. This was not what I intended it to be initially so I'm not going to reread it or I'll end up changing my mind about posting it.

Friday, 30 May 2014

♬ Playlist Fest ♬

I made a whole ton (ton meaning 3) of playlists over the past while and I realized I didn't put them on here, so wahey since I'm trying to maintain this constant presence around here I thought I'd put them up.

Genre: One big soup of genres: pop // party // dance // alt.

Track List:
CrushCrushCrush In The Dark
Die While We're Young
I Knew You Were A Heart Attack
Radioactive in the Dark
Valley of Applause
The Heart Attack Way
Can't Hold Us Take It Off
One More Heart Attack
Young & Beautiful Child
Rock My DNA
National Animal
Sex Anthem
Radioactive Pompeii
I Am Not Young & Beautiful
Radio Paradise
I Knew You Were Off To The Races
Can't Stop the Price Tag
Skyfall Anthem
Bleeding Summertime Sadness
The Heart Attack Way (Reversed)
Wrecking Grenade

☻ ☺ ☻ ☺ ☻ ☺ ☻

(featuring me sitting on Abigail's windowsill lol)

Genre: Alternative Rock

Track List:
Wicked Games - The Weeknd
Hanging On - Active Child
Fireside - Arctic Monkeys
Little House - The Fray
Runaway - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
How To Dress Well//Cold Nites Remix - Charli XCX
I Can't Stay Away - The Veronicas
Skins Rise Mini Mix - Segal

☻ ☺ ☻ ☺ ☻ ☺ ☻

(featuring me posing bc y not - very prom inspired obvs)

Genre: Electronic and Dream Pop (Are Lana and Marina a genre???)

Track List:
Queen of Disaster - Lana del Rey
Lost in my Bedroom - Sky Ferreira
Over the Love - Florence + The Machine
Teen Idle - Marina and the Diamonds
I Am Not Young & Beautiful Mix
How To Dress Well//Cold Nites Remix - Charli XCX
Habits (Hippie Sabotage Remix) - Tove Lo
Prom Song [Gone Wrong] - Lana del Rey

A n d
that's it ✌

Thursday, 29 May 2014

3 Months Later..

So I disappeared for a while.

Funny how my previous post was about time and how much of a mess it made of me. School has been on over drive over the past few months or so, with it being GCSE year and what not but at this point, since I only have 2 exams left in June (one at the beginning and the other conveniently 21 days later) I thought I should probably get back into writing and doing some art because I've been slacking on that b i g time. I currently have 5 complete posts chilling in my draft that I've written throughout the past couple of months but everytime I try to pick at them to make them better, I get discouraged and end up doing anything but -

Wow okay, wahey. I just got an email back from Ragged magazine's deputy editor saying that she was going to forward my email to the Editor-In-Chief. Well this is wonderful! There you have it, that's essentially what I've been doing since my exams have started: getting in contact with as many people as possible. I need incentive to write. Some sort of driving force or something because I have so much in my head but the ability to just type it up and publish without too much over thinking has been seriously lacking. I'm fighting it right now by trying to convince myself that an "update" post is still a valid post, at the end of the day this is my little chunk of internet, I can do whatever I like.

But yes! In the writing arena, this morning I woke up to two notifications from Teen Ink (an online and print magazine for teenagers, by teenagers) saying that my two movie reviews that I've posted here: this one & this one are in #1 and #2 on the main reviews page on the site for the day, being today's top voted. Let's just say I got really excited far too early in the morning.

Going back in time, a while ago I did a mini photo set for my iGCSE art course with a friend based on the theme of Fight Club. It was quite fun to be the one doing the makeup considering that's not quite my field of expertise (and that would be evident once you see the photos) but I was really really happy with it. 

During the magical process of me trying to create bruises with eyeshadow

 In addition to the "fight club-esque" photo set, I was working on a HUGE map of the USA where I plotted all the routes of road trips I wanted to go on the second I get my license and have just enough cash to get around. The concept behind the map before I even started plotting the routes was to mark all the places mentioned in Lana del Rey's music all the way back to her Elizabeth Grant days. I found so many locations and wrote them all down from the 7 Elevens to the stations to the restaurants and of course, Chateau Marmont.

After putting it all together, I lined the canvas with the titles of all of the songs I used and alternated colors to make it all super Americana. I didn't plan on using that for anything but for my art coursework I thought I could use it as a background for my objects/still life that I wanted to later draw. So I put this little one together, thinking it essentially summed up the American Dream/Reality. Somehow you can glamorize pills and lighters now more than ever and that's riveting. 

I'm only just realizing I did far too many photo stuff but whatever, let's hope they all go to my grade.

The last set I did was Lolita-inspired and in fact this comes with a funny story all of its own. For one of my final pieces I made this - which was inspired by the photo sets I was talking about:

And although I wasn't too happy with the way it turned out because I had been pressed for time and super stressed, I still liked the concept. But appaaarrreeenntttlly, the little piece of white fabric with the little red stain was seen to be quite inappropriate to be put on display. How awkward. And this could get me on to another enormous topic of why there is anyyyyyyyy stigma behind a bOdIly FuNcTiOn that is nEcESSaRy fOr thE HuMAn RaCe to PROcReAte :-) but I'm going to just pretend that subject doesn't exist for the time being. But yeah, found that to be quite amusing because it's embarrassing how "non-shock factor"-y it is in comparison to the fact that it was even worth pointing out l o l.

However r r r r r r r, quite happy about my other Year 11 piece being up on display because I worked ridiculously hard on it (by the way, it's supposed to say "We are lost" on the top hidden in the pink clouds but it's not that clear. I'm pointing it out even though ambiguity is what I was going for ??????????????

A n y w a y s aside from all the million art stuffs I've been up to, I haven't done much else. I read a couple of books that I haven't reviewed yet simply because I haven't had the time and I've bought tons of things for summer so I might haul them up or something, I don't know, not quite feeling that atm. BUT a lot has happened life-wise, aside from all the art stuff including 3 big events.

1. Orlando Trip
2. Prom
3. Well…I turned 16

1. There is no way I am adding a little Orlando bit in the middle of this update post because Orlando deserves a post all of its o w n. The trip to Orlando happened in October but it still feels so recent and it scares me in a while because this reminds me of the time post again. It doesn't feel that long ago but also, s o much has happened since then and so much has changed. 

Sometimes I wish I could go back and redo it and sometimes when I'm less greedy, I just wish I could be back there. But since I'm not going to get into it until I can phrase my feelings about Orlando, here's a super gorgeous selfie :-) (let's hope Robert doesn't see this or at least doesn't mind that he looks gross :-) xoxox) ((jk he's stunning obvss))

2. Prom is so overhyped guys, trust me.

Nonetheless, it was quite wonderful - we showed up in the classiest mean of transport possible (take a wild guess) and I had a purple and black dress which automatically means I was ecstatic to even be wearing it, who even cares about the event at that point. BUT I also got the most adorable picture taken with my darling, Abigail, and we should've honestly won cutest couple because look at us. 

ALSO OMG: I took a picture with the boys of our "super hip school band" which reminds me - we performed at the Museum of Islamic Arts Park at this thing called "Friday Night Live" and it was absolutely wonderful. I know knowing me I was probably pitchy a l  l l l l l l  l l   l over the place, but it was such a super lovely day altogether.
If you want to watch us then wahey, here you go!

↵ Use original player

3. You remember that one time I took a picture with cardboard cutouts of the One Direction boys outside the theatre to watch their movie and then blogged about it? Yes. That experience was more exciting than the day I turned 16 :-) I guess that's one thing I hyped up w a a a a y too much in my head :') I didn't end up disappointed and frankly my pre-16th birthday present was Orlando, so um not so much of an unexciting birthday there at a  l  l. But now that I'm 16, all I can think of is "oh my god 2 years till I'm 18"

Okay I just realized that I turned 16 like 6 months ago yet it's still here in this list of recent updates even though I've written twice since New Year's…..and Orlando was 7 months ago w h a t t h E H E L L.

I am so done tbh. I don't know time anymore. But it has been a good past couple of months or weeks or however long. Things have improved remarkably tbh over the recent few weeks and I'm happy with that.

Here you go. I overcame my post fear and I'm posting this even though NOBODY CARES :-D

Monday, 24 February 2014

Time (i)

Ah. Does the concept of time bother anybody else or am I slowly spiraling into madness? I've been trying to put some of this into words for quite a while now but it's only right now, at 11:53 pm, Monday night, that I feel like wow, maybe I can actually try and do this.

11:54 pm.

I don't know why I'm so hesitant. I feel like the second I get into it I'll get all the thoughts flooding back into my brain, making my thought process a complete and utter mess that I won't be able to decipher it until every relatively coherent thought disappears into oblivion.

Oblivion, man. That's another one I've been thinking about. 

Time doesn't stop. And I've spent far too long making lists and setting countdowns to the supposed milestones of my life. I counted down to my 16th birthday and right now, I've got a countdown on my phone for my 18th. And that's a little sad. I have two conflicting thoughts right now: one is the fact that I should probably be filling up this time that I have with things I want to do. Actually going out there and d o i n g things I will remember and have stories to share about with people that I know are only passive on a long enough timeline, but for now they're here and I feel so insanely close to them and I want to be able to h a v e that time with them.

And on the other hand, I'm worried because this feeling that I'm wasting my time and not creating memories is stemming from my idolizations of certain milestones that I've associated with great adventures with lovely people in amazing places. That just sort of adds to the weight on the metaphoric shoulders of my brain. I know that it's not an overly romanticized idea of the whole "teenage years" thing because I don't see the harm in working towards it but sometimes I feel so restricted and limited and I keep thinking "damn it, I could be doing a million and one things right now that I'll look back on with excitement at my past self.

I feel like I have something to offer this outside world that's constantly pulsating and I suppose living in such a small isolated place in the world and seeing the life on the outside is like a lion being out in a cage right in the centre of the wilderness. He wants to join in and he wants to be part of that because he knows he belongs right in the "literal heart" of that lifestyle. I've written so many "bucketlist" type things that include everything from going on holiday with some friends to driving around a place like the US or anywhere exciting really to simple things like having bonfires or camping or stargazing or ah just anything. Anything that makes me feel something. Anything that makes me feel excited and passionate and interested and creative like a little ball of pure energy. I crave that so much and I just don't know where to find it. 

I strayed so much from the topic, oops, but essentially, I've been feeling like everything is passive. Thoughts, feelings, seconds and people. People are a really passive element. People show up and then they leave, and in a while it feels like you've only had 2 days with them and it just wasn't enough. So I try to make the best of whatever time that's left and try and do some of the things I know I will be very happy and excited doing rather than sitting here wanting them to. I know so many of those things are out of my control or just not my sector of topics to manage at the moment. 

But I'm trying the best I can with whatever I'm lucky to have. 

So wow that is all irrelevant but I'm falling asleep so I'm going to actually allow my body to pass out (as if I had a choice) rather than type a bunch of meaningless shit and embarrass myself ✌️

I will be back with this. I know I will be.

Update 6:47 am: Yep, some of this makes no sense and I didn't even post it last night. Oops. 

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Monday, 30 December 2013

Lana Del Rey ♔ American Dreams & Marilyn Monroe

I got into Lana's work a while before she hit the whole 'mainstream' scene of the industry, which sounds very pseudo-hipster of me, but my point is, I got some time to truly lavish myself with every little beautiful image she instilled within me with her descriptions. She gave everything the opportunity to be beautiful, the potential to be glamorous, the moment of appreciation it deserved. I feel like she's a great part of why I became so interested in documenting moments that possessed some strange sense of magic to me. Music or poetry or just words in general have two values, one that the writer believes her work is worth and the other is on the other end of the chain; the receiver. Sometimes people are confused by my love for analyzing pieces of text or poetry or in this case, Lana's seemingly solemn and melancholic music. And I love that, for some reason.

It's almost electrifying to be able to delve into the ideas of the lie of the American dream, her wild, playful, sometimes almost Lolita-esque stories of school and friendships and what she conceived to be love. To be able to sit in the pitch darkness of my room in our new house in Morocco over summer and almost transport myself into her world and her life through her lyrics. That place was new to me and it was a walk's distance from the beach with the trees giving it a very Californian feel, so the association I made between her poetry and the location led me into living this technicolor dream for the month or two I was there. I was more content daydreaming up the most opulent events, moments, scenes, memories.

Lana's music is a huge contribution to the way I'm starting to want to visually represent things a lot more, recently, rather than just write about them. There's a great amount of beauty in words, that's unquestionable, but sometimes I want to see the image in my head of being drenched in sunlight actually physically recreated or reenacted. I want to feel it all come to life, for it to stun me with the way it turns out to be, because it will never be just the way I imagined it and there is some sense of allure in that. I want to be able to step into my own fantasy quite literally. Her pure essence and the vintage flare of all her audiovisuals creates these short films in my head that are always playing everytime I listen to her music.

It's a new experience for me because music was never quite this surreal. I had always loved it, but my sacred experience had always been with books. Books were what spurred that desire to spend my life in someone else's head for a while. To adapt a new character and see things through their eyes because they've showed me something I had never seen before, and that mesmerizes me. I love being exposed to a new way of looking at anything because that keeps life vibrant and exciting and more than just this quest to get through it alive. It was about the journey and not the destination, so why not make the best out of the journey while we're here.

In addition to the inspiration and imagery I get from her words, I love that the lyrics are the focus of her music. The instruments are simply accompanying her vocals, complimenting them even. Also, her music is a collection of anecdotes. It's not how profound her sentence structure is, it's what I make of it and how it makes me feel and what thoughts it brings along with it, after all that's all that matters to me. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and so is meaning.

What also influences how I feel about her music are the themes she talks about and portrays, like the concepts of innocence and purity, respect and poise, youth and recklessness, icons and romanticism, beauty and perishing, obsession and addiction, wealth and notoriety. Which is a collection of everything that captivates me because she's not a put-together, flawless persona, she created the character of Lana del Rey to be able to tell any story she wanted to tell and live the life she fantasized about even if it was just temporarily through her music and its theatrical touch. And there is something evocative about that.

What got me to write this was the fact that I was watching a documentary about Marilyn Monroe and they included the clip of her singing Happy Birthday to JFK. That reminded me of Lana's 'National Anthem' and how her concept for the video is the exploration of the loss of innocence, this idea that what seemed perfect from the outside was maybe rotting from the inside; such as the triangle of MM, Jackie O and Jack Kennedy. The video built up on that archetype and the director of the video, Anthony Mandler, said that it wasn't a recreation of the death scene, "it was always about the person sitting next to him. It was always about seeing it through her eyes, seeing this kind of castle crumble in the moment and the pain in her eyes, that destruction"

And I love the way she brings back the pop culture of 1950s and '60s Americana along with stylizing her musical sound as 'Hollywood sadcore' and how it was 'movie music with a fairy-dusting of harp and an ominous timpani laid out over-top a hip hop vocal cadence.' It sounds beautiful and with the aesthetics being almost as equally important as the music, it looks beautiful too.

Elizabeth Grant as Lana del Rey as Marilyn Monroe

as Jackie Kennedy


I just felt the urge to explain what it is I love about Lana's music because many people see her as very sombre and funereal or very shallow and repetitive when her music and words' value is all up to the listener to decide. You can make it mean so much more, and I guess I get a thrill out of doing that.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

♬ 13 Hits of 2013 ♬

I usually make playlists of songs that have some sort of meaning to me as a compilation, but I thought I'd want something light for a change and a 2013 pop-ish wrap up seemed like a good idea.