These are a Few of My Favorite Things

With my Undergrad degree coming to a close in the next two weeks, mixed with moving away from Ann Arbor in a little over a month, I am left feeling like there are not enough minutes in the day to do all that I want.  Therefore, I have compiled a list of things I am going to miss about the beautiful place called Ann Arbor.

1.     Porch parties in the sun on any given day of the week and at any time of the day.

2.     Walking to a movie theater.

3.     Living with my best friends.

4.     Living in a liminal space.

5.     Getting lectured about art.

6.     Watching people interact in a college setting.

7.     Sleeping in on the weekdays.

8.     Going out on the weekdays.

9.     Running into your friends on the street.

10.  Not relying on a car and having the freedom to walk everywhere.

11.  My porch swing.

12.  Getting free food.

13. Writing my weekly Arts Ink Blog.

14. Being surrounded by people who are making the Michigan Difference.

I bleed Maize and Blue through and through.  Go Blue!

Black Swan and Pollock

I know I am a bit late in the game, but I watched Black Swan tonight and it turned out to be a great way to spend an hour and forty-five minutes.  The movie is a piece of artwork.  From the first scene to the last, my eyes were glued to the screen.  The camera angles, the ubiquitous use of the mirror, and the lighting gave the movie a dramatic and hypnotizing effect.  The cinematography is incredible.

The color palate is mute because the movie circles around images of black and white.  What happens by continual scenes of black and white is that the play of the light is extremely important and extremely visible.  The director is not concerned with directing color in his images, but controlling light, which juxtaposes shading, brightness, and haziness from one scene to the next, dramatizing the bipolar distinction between black and white.

Black Swan is broken down into formal elements in order to cast the correct mood and energy in each scene.  The director and cinematographer paid close attention to angles, line, form and movement.  The scenes are always shifting quickly from one angle to the next, consuming the viewer with different perspectives.  These different perspectives opens up the world into the black swan white swan dichotomy, shifting so quickly from one point of view to the next leaving the viewer uncertain of who’s who.  Line, form and movement play equal parts and are seen most heavily in the dancing by the ballerinas.  The dancers are moving eloquently and we as the viewers see their forms as linear gestures through space.  Their bodies are graceful and flowing, almost like a brush on a canvas.  This movie actually reminds me a lot of Jackson Pollock’s Autumn Rhythm.

Pollock’s painting is a world of tangled lines and movements that look chaotic, yet there is something about these movements collectively that make the canvas appear as one solid entity.  The cinematography is shown in this light because it takes from so many different angles and shows layer upon layer of images in the mirrors, yet through this bustle and noise the viewer still sees the soft motions and beauty through the grotesque.

Better than Sex Cake

As the weather continues to come in shades of grey and cold spells, my friends feel compelled to bake, bake, and bake some more.  The amount of baked goods that have gone through my fingers and up to my mouth recently has been astronomical.  Absurd, grotesque even!  At one point in time I had a cake, cookies, and even back up cookies in my possession (not including the ice cream that slept in my freezer).  I received my grandmother’s sweet tooth passed unto my father and then to me.

I have trained myself not to buy donuts, cookies, brownies, and other delicious sweets because it is a temptatious battle I know I will surely loose.  However, just because I don’t buy these delicacies, doesn’t mean that I don’t know, rather rely on people who do; thus, the result of copious amounts of sweets recently in my possession.  I would say currently, but my addiction is strong, and well, they have all been eaten.

I will end this rant with a recipe that will surely win you friends and foes alike.  It is called “Better than Sex cake.”

Better than Sex Cake

1 box German Chocolate Cake

½ (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

6 ounces caramel ice cream topping

3 bars chocolate covered toffee (health bars), chopped

1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

  1. Bake the cake according to package directions and sprinkle about a cup of chocolate chips over the batter after it is in the pan, but before you bake it.
  2. Once the cake is baked, take it out of the oven and poke holes in it with a knife.  It doesn’t have to be neat.  Then pour the caramel and condensed milk over the cake, rubbing it in until it is melted into the cake.
  3. Once the cake is cooled, top it with the whipping topping.
  4. Lastly, sprinkle the health bar over top.

Voila! Enjoy!

New Yorker: CATS!

This week I would like to step back from the limelight and allow the spotlight to be directed towards a writer who I recently came across while burning some calories on my friend the elliptical.  I get extremely bored while on the elliptical, but I loath running outside and can hardly sustain a run longer that 10 minuets and 32 seconds, so I cut my loses and take my workouts to an enclosed, sweaty environment with other health conscious folks.

Where is this story going, you wonder?  Don’t worry, Ill get there.  So, I needed to pass the time while riding the elliptical.  My current distractions usually consist of other sweater and sometimes intense exercise companions to counting the tiles on the ceiling (but this one has proven dangerous).  So, I decided to bring along some reading material.  As you all know, if you are following my blog at all, that I am in the midst of reading Harry Potter.  Now, as much as I love Harry, he is not elliptical reading material.  I went to the next best thing, the New Yorker.  The New Yorker is perfect because it is light, bends easily, and includes various topics that sustain my short attention span.

I was flipping through the New Yorker this past week, which ticked off the time better than I thought, when I came across an article that was titled, Where I Live.  The title was not an instant eye catcher, but I noticed the article was only one page long so I decided to have a go.

The beginning paragraphs were mostly descriptive and could have lead to numerous story developments.  However, this story went from talking about her apartment to her love for cats.  I do not want to give too much away, because I think this author’s style of writing works well because of her subtle surprising details.

I will let you know though, that all of you cat lovers out there will definitely find this glued to your fridge upon finishing.

I have attached the link below for you.  I hope you enjoy!!

21 year old Harry Potter Fan

Welcome back fellow bloggers and friends!  A few weeks ago I blogged about my childhood secret, which included a Mr. Harry Potter and the fact that I grew up without him.  It was a huge shock for my readers and some may not be fully recovered.  The last time I wrote about this secret I told you all that it was my goal to finish the series by the time I graduate at the end of April.  I am writing today to fill you in on my progression through the fantastical, comical and imaginary seven books.

I have completed the first three books and I am nearing the end of the fourth.  Scanning the amount of homework I have over the next couple days, I imagine I will finish the fourth book by sometime this evening.  I am so happy there are seven books because I enjoy finishing one and moving straight on to the next.  I believe I will finish the last book and like many other Harry Potter readers will be left with a sense of void at finally coming to the end.  Or perhaps the ending is so satisfying that your Harry Potter journey is fulfilled.  Maybe finishing Harry Potter is like going on a long vacation and then finally pulling up into your driveway with a large smile on your face because you are both home and also you know that you just came back from something that was out of this world.

So I guess I should tell you all how I am enjoying Harry thus far.  I fancy him, very much so.  I get nervous when he has to overcome wizards who want to kill him and I feel his joy and excitement when he amazingly catches the snitch.  I enjoy meeting all of the quirky characters and watching them develop over the course of the books.  J. K. Rowling has a truly amazing imagination.

All of this talk about Harry makes me want to stop typing and start reading!  I will let you know when I finish all of the books.

Have a great Wednesday!

In the Music World: Adele

For this weeks blog I want to introduce you all to an artist that I recently heard.  Her name is Adele and she is English.  Her music is so soulful and this quality is what draws me to her.  Her soul mostly comes from her amazingly talented voice that is simultaneously soft and strong.  Her lyrics are also powerful and relatable.  She reminds me a little of Florence and the Machine because both of their voices are so versatile.

Adele’s new album titled ‘21’ was recently the number 1 album in the United States.  She didn’t come from a musically talented family and said she got her inspiration from the Spice Girls.

Her music is calming while empowering.  I have really enjoyed getting to know her music and I hope you will as well.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!