bouquets of sharpened pencils..

20 Jun

On this first official day of winter, the Santiago weather did not disappoint. The cold nipped right through my flimsy layers and made it all the way to my toes. A few raindrops to boot didn’t help things, either! The only real solution to this wicked weather was to hunker down in my cozy apartment sipping tomato basil soup from a pretty mug and munching on fresh, hot bakery bread with cheese. Not bad, not bad at all. What could make this scene even better, though? The perfect film.

You really should stop what you’re doing and watch You’ve Got Mail right now. I was so delightfully reminded this evening of how much I enjoy this film that I compiled for your reading pleasure an eight-reasons-why-I-love-this-movie list. Working on your taxes? Those were due two months ago – a couple more days won’t do you any more harm. Homework? This blog post is plenty educational. Reading a favorite book? This movie is your favorite book. It feels familiar and warm; perfect for tonight. Perfect for any night, really. Watch it. Again. Right now.

1. The soundtrack: Joni Mitchell, The Cranberries, Stevie Wonder… need I say more?!

2. Meg Ryan sleeps in socks. Well, her character in the movie does, but I’d like to assume that they’re one in the same. This may not mean much to you, but it’s good to know that I’m not the only person in the world who gets cold feet at night.

3. Books, books, for the love of books.

4. Handkerchiefs are given their rightful place of honor. Show me another movie that makes you want to dust off your old embroidery needles and get to stitching?!

5. The violins ringing like lovely singing, the violins ringing like lovely song… The clarinet, the clarinet, goes doodle doodle doodle doodle dat…

6. Kathleen Kelly: fashion icon. You know you wanted to look like her in 1998. You know some of us still do.

7. Pre-hipster love of independent booksellers. I can appreciate that.

8. “Anne of Green Gables – read it with a box of Kleenex…”

Would you add anything to the list?

-big sis

***

Update: How interesting was my timing? We’ll miss you Nora Ephron.

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in the distance…

6 Jun

‘When I left Queen’s my future seemed to stretch out before me like a straight road. I thought I could see along it for many a milestone. Now there is a bend in it. I don’t know what lies around the bend, but I’m going to believe that the best does. It has a fascination of its own, that bend, Marilla.‘ -Green Gables

What’s that up ahead?

Ah yes, it’s a bend in the road…

Don’t you see it?

-big sis

upon graduating…

23 May

It seems like only yesterday I was blogging about the 8 months I had left until the real world was upon me………………

8 months felt like 8 days!

I graduated from college last week with a BA in English Literature (and Sociology, but that’s boring). So I am now at that glamorous point in life where I’m walking wherever possible to save money on public transit, eating leftovers from my graduation party instead of buying groceries and pestering friends throughout the day on gchat because I am in bed watching wedding reality shows on Netflix (I tell the truth, even when it’s embarassing) and they are trying to be productive adults at work.

I guess you could call this a bit of a post-grad slump.

Don’t get me wrong, I have money for rent and food and more trips to local coffee/donut/kolache places than I should take, so I’m not just lazing about and ignoring my basic needs or a necessary job hunt. I worked very hard for 4 years and decided that I would take a couple of weeks to not be academic or particularly burdened with responsibility. To do something I’ve heard referred to as “relax” (am I spelling that right?). I’ll be preparing grad school applications and working 2 jobs this summer, but for now, I’m going to CHILL OUT AND WATCH NETFLIX AND READ WHATEVER I WANT FOR THE FIRST TIME IN AGES!

That felt good to say out loud–er–type in boisterous capital letters.

As I sat here tonight, reading past entries about Big Sis reading Windy Poplars (the Anne book that doesn’t generally top anyone’s rankings) I was struck with a craving to pick it up and read about Anne’s time in Summerside. Although I still feel like a student (and will always be a student at heart, because I really am just that big of a dweeb), I’m embarking on that part of my life in which I relate to Windy Poplars, Anne’s post-grad slump!

She’s finished with school (I know the void that leaves behind), has a difficult time adjusting to life without the friends to whom she’s grown so close (I MISS YOU GUYS!) and waiting-sometimes impatiently-to marry oh-so-dreamy Gilbert Blythe (no comment…).  Even though Brooklyn is different that Summerside, and despite my significant lack of Gil, I think graduation is just as confusing and disorienting for Anne as it has been and will continue to be for me!

So I’m finishing this post and picking up Windy Poplars with excitement for the first time in a while. I don’t hate this book, obviously, but it’s never been what Rilla or House of Dreams or Island is for me.  Maybe I’m a perfect storm of melancholy, idealism, blind ambition and nerdiness right now and need to go through it with Anne at my side.

I’ll be checking in now and again to share how Anne’s and my post-grad years (weeks in my case) match up! Also, leave your best post-grad advice in the comments! I can use all the help I can get…

little sis

a salute…

21 May

Throughout the life of this dear little blog, we’ve seen ebbing and flowing, coming and going.. we’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve danced on the borderline of ridiculous. One thing has remained quite constant, though, and it is that very thing that we wish to highlight today.

Because of the power of technology and the brilliance of wordpress (this is not a paid advertisement… if only…) we’re able to see how many visitors we have each day and how they found us. Twitter, other blogs, and good old fashioned luck have brought several of you through our doors. Google has brought others, though, and it’s this fact on which we want to focus today – not just Google, but specifically that which you are googling. We’ve noticed that the most commonly googled phrase that brings you to this blog is the following:

Jonathan Crombie.

Wow. Who knew J-Cromb had such a following? Who are we kidding… we did! He’s Gil to those who are most closely acquainted with him and those curly bangs made our heroine’s heart beat just a little bit faster back in Avonlea schooldays.

Let’s not lie – he still makes each one of our hearts beat a little bit faster to this very day.

Therefore, without further adieu (that was indeed a lot of adieu!) we have chosen to dedicate this post to J-Cromb and other swoon-worthy gentlemen who have been taken from the pages to the big screen, and who collectively make this world a darn better place.

Jonathan Crombie (Gilbert Blythe) — “I’m soory”

Colin Firth — (Mr. Darcy) “Bonita Aurelia…” (oops! wrong movie)

Christian Bale — (Laurie) “I have loved you since the moment I clamped eyes on you..”

These three completely real people characters have been the standards of greatness for these Anne Girls for years.  However, this list is by no means exhaustive.  We haven’t even scratched the surface of literary/film men who take the swoon to a whole new level.

Perhaps you stay in the realm of Ms. Austen: Hugh Grant as Edward Ferrars, Johnny Lee Miller as Mr. Knightly, or (heaven forbid) Matthew McFadyen as Mr. Darcy.  Or do you branch out a bit more: Michael Fassbender as Mr. Rochester (Jane Eyre), James McAvoy as Robbie Turner (Atonement), or Richard Armitage as John Thornton (North & South). Yes, that was essentially just a list of more of my favorites. So sue me.

Who are your go-to book-to-film fellas? Make your voice heard in the comments section!

big and little sis

*hangs head in shame*

28 Feb

You guys, I’m the worst!!! I have no excuse for my lackluster blogging over the past several months. However, if I did have excuses, they would be:

1) I’m graduating college in approximately 78 days.

2) I’m graduating from aforementioned college with a degree in English Literature, so all I do everyday is read read read and then write about it.  When I get free time, my first thought isn’t to read read read and then blog about it…

3) I live in NYC, so I’m constantly out at fancy restaurants, movie premiers, gallery openings and other chic shindigs! (my sweatpants and Lean Pockets are rolling over in their graves……)

4) Maybe the main reason I haven’t blogged is that I haven’t picked up Anne in MONTHS! I was going to finish Windy Poplars at Thanksgiving. Then at Christmas break. Then before school really got started. And now it’s midterms and I don’t remember what day it is half the time and did I mention I’M GRADUATING IN MAY and have other things on my mind. Perhaps if Anne’s pen tip had been a bit more obliging, I’d have more motivation to read………..

But like I said, I have no excuses. None whatsoever.

Anywho.

I return to the blog today, because I had the opportunity to be a Fanne-girl in class just last week.  It’s a seminar on Jane Austen (I know, right? College is the best…) and we were discussing the powerful emotional resonance of Austen’s work.  My professor was talking about why she personally loves Austen and how she goes to her works to relax and find comfort when she’s had a rough week.  She asked us which books were like that for us, and amid people’s responses of Harry Potter (which I can’t disagree with), I spoke up for our Anne girl! I talked about my love affair with Anne’s story and the way that I resonate with it differently every time I read the books; different characters, different events, different language and scenic descriptions.  I don’t read Anne as a 22 year old the same way I did as a 12 year old, so the story is familiar and comforting, but also different each time.  I still find myself surprised, excited, outraged, smitten, devastated and enchanted with every reading.  I may have gotten a bit excited in class, but I’m not ashamed! I like to let my Anne flag fly!

Which books do you come back to again and again? What makes them so special?

-lil sis

Anne really is all around

18 Feb

Hello dear Fannes!

Seeing as I’m in between Anne readings, I thought I’d take the time to head in a slightly different direction than usual. You see, although I’m not currently reading Anne, I find in my life various and sundry activities that I’m quite sure she would wholeheartedly approve of. Let’s take a look at a few different areas:

On the Bookshelf

Although I’ve been interspersing some non-fiction/meaty/make my brain explode books, I’ve also kept some time to keep it light this summer. (Remember that I’m south of the Equator!) I’ve recently finished Sisterhood Everlasting by Anne Brashares. If you’re familiar with the Traveling Pants series, this is the fifth and final book. It catches up with our four kindred spirits right around their 30th brithdays. Since I recently turned 30 myself (and since I loved the other four books when I read them several years ago) I was excited to pick this one up. I finished it in a flash and although the main arc of the story came as quite a surprise, I turned the pages quickly and ended feeling satisfied and hopeful about our ladies of the pants.

Are you more of a Carmen, Lena, Tibby or Bridget? And yes, you can still be Anne if you want…

I’m now working my way a bit more slowly through Jane Austen’s Emma. I’m actually a bit ashamed to admit that I’ve never read it (Anne Girls should have read all of Austen’s novels by 30!) but alas, here I am playing catch-up. I’ve found it to be a delightful story – as I knew it would be – and am loving the few chapters I digest each night before bed.

We know that Anne had her share of blunders and victories in the world of match-making. Have you tried your hand? Was it successful?

In the Kitchen

I’ve had some time this summer to enjoy new experiences in the kitchen. It’s no secret that I love to bake, but I’ve been branching out some recently and the results have been delicious! Since the farmer’s markets here are abundant and very economical, I’ve been bringing home kilos of peaches and making fantastic pies. I’ve not dabbled much in the pie arena in the past, but with an excellent crust tutorial from a dear friend, I’m well on my way to adding some new staples to my dessert rotation. There’s a special kind of peach here called the “durazno platino” which means banana peach. It looks like a peach (I know you’re trying to picture a very funny looking fruit) but the flesh is lighter in color and the taste has a little less tang and a little more sweet. They’re delicious and make killer pies. I can’t get enough. I can’t help but wish I was in that Ingleside kitchen with Anne and Susan rolling out those crusts together. And just as they used to do, I tend to wait for the sun to go down to do my heavy baking, seeing as ovens and no air conditioning make for an inferno-like situation.

I also made a scrumptious batch of lemon curd tonight. I’ve been a long-time fan of the stuff, although I’ve never attempted to make it myself. I was inspired by this recipe that I ran across recently (and if you haven’t checked out  Forever Young Adult, go spend some time clicking around! Great stuff..) I made a cake this week that called for five egg whites. Not wanting to waste those yolks, it was positively providential that the curd recipe called for exactly five! The whisking was long, but oh-so-worth-it. I think Rachel Lynde herself would go in for seconds.

Have you whipped up anything Anne-tastic lately?

On the Small Screen

“Big screen” would have sounded better, but it would have been a lie. I actually don’t have a television, so all my viewing is on my trusty laptop. I don’t mind so much, but at times it would be nice to stroll through the gardens at Downton in HD. Don’t know what I’m referring to? Were you completely confused by the link to the lemon curd recipe? Then stop reading this immediately and get thine self to Downton Abbey! It’s the best series I’ve watched in a long time. The story takes us to England in the years just prior to World War 1, which I can’t even refer to without pausing for a moment to remember our fallen soldier.

*crickets chirping*

Walterrrrrrr I miss you.

And we’re back! Seriously, watch this show. Wealthy aristocratic family, the servants who work for them, drama, love, war, the guy we love to hate, the guy we love to love… you’ll be hooked in no time.

Now that I’ve finished watching Season 2, what am I going to do for months and months of my life before Season 3 comes out?

This was fun. Let’s do it again sometime.

-big sis

at long last

3 Feb

I know what you’re thinking: it’s just another fair-weather blog. Those Anne Girls are no better than Jenny Penny or that scoundrel Dovie Johnson.

I first must beg your forgiveness.

Then I must say that we’re not THAT bad.

Finally I must say that I just finished Ingleside, which should be obvious from the Penny/Johnson references.

This was actually the final book in the series for this cycle, seeing as we were experimenting with a new reading order this time around. It wasn’t bad, but I can somewhat confidently conclude that I prefer the old fashioned way — good ole numerical order.

With regard to the actual book, I must say that there are several heart-warming tales captured in this sixth installment (or eighth and final depending on how you look at it) in the Anne series. Believe it or not, my two favorite parts of the book are the first and last chapters.

Our story begins with a visit to dear old Avonlea. I love seeing Anne and Diana together again and still good friends after so many years have passed. Their picnic day reminds me of my own dear adventures with friends when I’m home for a coveted visit. Those shared times can still be sweet and special, even though our lives have taken such different turns. We enjoy those moments of reminiscing and dreaming a bit about the future, but then with the same joy we return to our “regular lives” a few days later. I love keeping up with friends from different seasons of life. In fact, in my opinion it’s one of life’s most fun and interesting gifts.

The final chapter is sweet in a different way. For the Anne and Gilbert fans out there, it’s a classic.

I’ll be waiting a bit to delve back into the world of PEI, seeing as too quick of a turn around makes the readings lose a bit of their wonder. As half of the Anne Girls, though, I would like to pop in here more often. The world wide web is in desperate need of more of our sisterly ramblings, wouldn’t you say?

Anneishly yours,

-big sis