Giveaways, Grammys, Vlad the Impaler and Skins.

A couple of days ago, I noticed that I was chosen as one of two winners (out of 675 entries!) for a giveaway on A Beautiful Mess. Squeals ensued, perhaps a couple of exaggerated jumps in the air and incredulous facial expressions, too. But I've come across a dilemma - yes, a dilemma within the four days of the grand reveal. I didn't hesitate to e-mail the lovely and inspiring Elsie Flannigan to claim my gift certificate, however, I still haven't received a response. She's a busy person, I realize that, and the last thing I'd want to happen is for me to come across like the overzealous freak that I am when it comes to Red Velvet Art. But dang it, I want my prize. Should I send another e-mail? Perhaps my first one got lost amidst other messages in her inbox.
The Grammys are on right now and while I feel no qualms in being a Taylor Swift fan, isn't it a bit of a stretch to praise her writing ability and say her lyrics are wise beyond her years? I'm pretty sure I can come up with tantalizing lyrics and not have to resort to rhyming "me" with "see". She's still adorable, though. Oh, and I must add - my uneasiness as she accepted her Album of the Year award was palpable; I half expected Kanye West to run onstage and steal her moment once more.

Current: Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian. I have a bit of an impractical schedule when it comes to books I check out from the library. From the date of check-out, you have an allotted three weeks to finish and return it. The first two weeks, I take my sweet time. The third and final week, I step it up quite a bit. A majority of the time, though, it becomes necessary to renew it, which isn't a problem because it can be easily remedied with a click of the mouse. HOWEVER. My aversion to anything history-related prompted me to take my time with this novel even more than usual, with its plot surrounding Vlad the Impaler, and the relationship between Christian West and Islamic East. I planned on renewing it this past weekend to no avail. Because someone has already reserved the book, I can't renew the damn thing, motivating me to go on an insane reading spree the past few days. Not that I'm complaining, but because of the fast pace, I'm sure to overlook a few details here and there, especially the descriptions of the lovely Eastern European cities the protagonists traverse through. My favorite thus far? The description of war-torn (yet lively) Budapest, Hungary illuminating the nighttime waters of the Danube.
Beautiful. I'm sure I don't have to say that this novel has piqued my interest in visiting Europe, do I? Let's take a trip, my treat, and get lost. Not in the cities we'll be seeing, but in one another's eyes. In my opinion, the ease of getting lost in the windows of the soul is magnified with breathtaking backdrops such as this.

There. A verbose Blogspot entry to, hopefully, compensate for the lack of words in the previous weeks. I've been watching the second series of Skins and I think Jal said it best when she exclaimed, "I keep stepping on (land) mines, Cassie!" as tears ran down her cheeks. I do, too, Jal. But things will only get better from here on out. I claim it.

Another Sketchbook Snapshot.

"To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." Ralph Waldo Emerson

I was watching a re-run of LA Ink yesterday and this one young lady came in with this quote from Emerson. She said that as a fifteen-year-old girl, she used to think about the meaning of the word "success" and how she hated the definition we've put on the word as a society. What a profound way of thinking at such a young age! I thought. In our generation, we automatically think of material ways to define success - money, a big house, numerous cars, the latest technology, the list goes on and on. She had this quote tattooed on her, coupled with an orange blossom tree to remind herself what the true definition really is on a daily basis. She wanted to hold herself accountable and I absolutely fell in love with the idea. While I wouldn't get this as a permanent tattoo on my body, I felt that documenting it in this sketchbook was the next best thing. I constantly bring myself down for not being society's definition of "successful." I should learn to look at the smaller things and realize that I am successful in those regards. And to put it bluntly, those kinds of achievements in life will go further than the materialistic forms of success, right?

Hiatus from Blogspot; lurk Tumblr for updates! Trust & pixie dust.

A Random Thought and Updates.

You'd think that finally hearing a confession I've been waiting since seventh grade for (I'm twenty, now. Do the math.) would propel me to incredible highs. That I'd be so inspired to write that I would have numerous posts queued on the mere subject alone. Sadly, that's not the case. The conversation we had three nights ago hasn't found its way out of my mind yet and an emptiness has begun to fill every crevice. Who would have thought that a void would have as much weight — even more so in matters of the heart — as something so concrete and distinct, its polar opposite? Also, this just had to make its presence known in the month preceding February, when seemingly everything explodes with hearts, pinks and reds. Truth of the matter is, there simply isn't anything I can do about the situation. I should just take Russell Peters' advice and and be a (wo)man. Takeitandgo.

A couple of updates:
  • I recently stumbled upon Maddy's IndieVISUAL Journal Challenge, where you draw something representing your day, everyday and post it online for the world to see. It's a year-long project and while I highly doubt I'll be able to complete all 365 days, I'll be sure to take it one day at a time. I've posted a couple on my Flickr page, as well as on Tumblr. If you've ever wanted to start an illustrated journal, please, please, please consider taking part in this, too.

  • The oh-so-lovely Kina Grannis at The Troubadour next week!
  • The last thing I want to do is jinx it, but everything looks peachy for part deux of Drummer Boy's audition. He drives back up to Santa Clara on the fifteenth. Keep him in your prayers, please!
  • The idea of making resolutions never really appealed to me because it's inevitable for goals to fall by the wayside. Besides, if you really want to change something about yourself, why wait for the beginning of a new year? Just change. With that said, I'm sticking to my pescetarian diet, and gradually stepping it up to vegetarianism. I'll have to look into Vegan Yum Yum, a cookbook that Kyla Roma suggested.
  • Kafka on the Shore is a strange one! With parallels to "Oedipus Rex", you can't really expect anything but.
  • One of the people I'm following on Tumblr has written a novel and is willing to mail out previous drafts to those that are interested. I'M INTERESTED! Problem is, I'm one of those super paranoid freaks (and rightly so) that would never in a million years give out my address to someone random on the internet. A solution? Get a P.O. box. But is it really worth it to pay $45 to open one up for a book? Thoughts and opinions would be greatly appreciated.
Meager updates, yeah? Blame it on the lack of inspiration.

Oh. For those of you that made a New Years resolution, you should check out The Small Object's download for today -- a 2010 Daily Resolution Record Keeper. For every day you complete your goal, you simply place a stamp, a sticker, whatever on the corresponding date. If it worked when we were children (gold stars!), why shouldn't it work now? ;] Besides, it would be pretty neat to see the entire thing filled up (with a few gaping holes, here and there) by year's end.

Hope everyone's doing well!

Currently listening: