Monthly Archives: March 2012

Like Crazy

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Like Crazy is that kind of sweet and tender movie that will make you fall in love and then break your heart. It portrays the story of Anna and Jacob. She is an exchange student from the UK who falls in love with Jacob while in L.A. and decides to overstay her visa. This results on her being banned from the US and their relationship turning into a long distance one. They then struggle to keep their love alive.

Now, I have been in a long distance relationship so I really relate to this movie and it might make me a bit biased. But it shows so well how difficult it is. There is actually one scene where Anna looks at a couple in the subway with a mix of, what I suppose is, jealousy and sadness. It is just a moment and might seem completely unimportant but I can’t even count the number of times I had that same feeling. It is this kind of little details that make the story so complete and truthful.

I don’t know much about cinema but, to me, the filming of this movie is absolutely wonderful. It is not filmed in the usual cronological way. It skips everything that is irrelevant for their relationship and shows you the really meaningful parts, the ones that really matter. You can really see them evolve from a youthful and uncomplicated relationship to a more mature one full of obstacles. You can feel how the distance and the everyday things make them grow distant and feel the pain and disillusioment this causes them. In other words, you feel exactly what they are feeling in every moment and, while it feels natural, it also makes you indescribably sad.

The actors are also fantastic. I had loved Felicity Jones in other movies but I think she does an incredible job in this one. As for Anton Yelchin, it was the first time I saw him but I think he was pretty good too. Everything in this movie is kind of understated so it is both these actor’s ability to express things without actually having to say them that makes this such a great movie.

There is so much more I would like to say about this movie but it is hard to put into words how amazing it is. You will just have to trust me and watch it.

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I’m not weird I’m just introverted

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I am an introvert. Now, this word carries with it a lot of misconceptions and cliches and sometimes even rejection. Fortunately, in the last few years some awareness has surfaced and now there are people trying to change all these views.

Before we go any further there are some points I would like to clarify. First, an introvert is not a shy person because an introvert is not afraid of social interactions he just relates to them differently from the way extroverts do. Another general opinion is that introverts don’t like to talk. That is not true, introverts do like to talk but when they have something to say. Don’t expect an introvert to make small talk, that is just torture. But they do enjoy talking and having deep and meaningful conversations. Despite popular belief they are not antisocial, they just socialize in a different way. Which brings me to politeness. Introverts are not rude. The rules of politeness are based on extrovert behavior so it is difficult for extroverts to follow them. And they certainly don’t feel superior or arrogant. If they don’t talk to you, it is simply because they have nothing to say. Finally, introverts don’t always want to be alone, they enjoy being with friends and family but they do need to spend some time by themselves.

I hope this clears up some of the most common misunderstandings but the problem doesn’t end here. We live in a world created for and by extroverts so it is sometimes difficult for introverts to interact in it. Most leaders are introverts, however, it has been proven that introverts make better leaders. Simply because the are better at managing people’s talents. They are better listeners and, therefore, capable of taking people’s input and then spending some time alone to weigh things up and come up with the best ideas. On the other hand, most artists, writers, scientists… are introverts. There is no denying that creativity is something that needs solitude and introverts are great at that. Then, why is it that we usually get the message that being an introvert is bad?

In schools, at work, in social gatherings of any kind people who don’t engage in meaningless conversations are regarded as rude and antisocial. People who prefer working autonomously are said to have no team spirit. If you prefer to spend your Friday evening home having dinner with two or three friends instead of out in a big party you are branded as boring. What some people don’t realize is that if instead of small talk with six different people you have a real talk with one you will probably feel more fullfilled. They don’t seem to understand that being capable of working on your own means you learn to deal with problems and solve them without help. And, finally, if you spend a quiet evening with a few friends you get a chance to really bond with them.

Now, I am not trying to say that team work is bad or going to a big party is not fun. All these things are good and should be encouraged in the right amount. What I am trying to say is that there are two sides to every coin  and they both have advantages and disadvantages. However in a world where only 25% of the population are introverts it is easy to forget that there are some people who don’t feel or interact in the same way as the majority does. But introverts are part of the world and should have a right to relate to it in the way they know, not only because it is good for them, but because everybody else can benefit from it too.

If you are interested in the topic you should watch this video of Susan Cain’s talk for TED.

One Different Color Nail

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It is kind of ironic how much I love nail polish taking into account how little I like my nails. But I can’t help it, it is so much fun to try on different colors and patterns and glitter and so on. So I just love this new trend of painting one nail in a different color. Now, I had been doing this for a while when I read the other day in magazine that it is very fashionable. Not that I’m claiming that it was my creativity, I probably saw it somewhere and just copied it without realizing. However what I didn’t know is that it is supposed to  be just one finger and it should be your ring finger. Well, I have been doing it all wrong since I just did whatever finger I felt like and sometimes even two fingers, a fashion crime I suppose but I don’t really care. Anyway, I like the trend (or my version of it) and I have been doing my nails like that quite a lot  lately.

There is a picture here of the latest I did and I just love the colors (don’t judge my nails though, as I said we don’t have the best of relationships).

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

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I had never heard of Muriel Sparks when I saw it on the book list of a literature class I took a couple of years ago. I didn’t enjoy the course very much, half the books we were asked to read veered from boring to utter nonsense but this one was a brilliant exception.

The story takes place in Edinburgh in the 1930s. It revolves around Miss Brodie, a teacher in a primary school with very peculiar methods, and the Brodie set, the group of girls she decides to mentor. They will all grow to stand out from the rest of their classmates because of the teachings of Miss Brodie.

This little summary can’t even begin to explain this book. It needs to be read, you need to let Muriel Sparks lead you through the streets of Edinburgh, show you the view’s of Miss Brodie on love and fascism, understand the subtle limits of loyalty. When I first read The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie I thought it was strange, and it is on the surface, but if you really look into it you will realize it talks about thoughts and ideas that are the basis of our current way of thinking.

And if this doesn’t make you go and get a copy, the descriptions of Edinburgh should. I just reread it last summer and I can’t wait to book some tickets to Scotland.

Avon’s face pearls

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This morning I was putting my make-up as usual when some of my face pearls from Avon fell to the floor (as usual too) and it made me think of the love-hate relationship I have with this product. On the one hand, I really love it. The color is great and it looks very natural. But, on the other hand, this stupid pearls get stuck in my brush and end up falling or going down the drain. I should probably switch to some other kind of compact powder but the color is just so nice. I guess I’ll have to learn to live with its flaws, like in  any other relationship. However if you don’t mind this or have a more appropriate brush than I do, I really recommend it.

Caperucita en Manhattan

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The title of the book could be translated as Little Red Riding Hood in Manhattan. It is a book by Carmen Martín Gaite and it is just lovely. I read it when I was kid and the other day I stumbled upon it and decided to read it again.

The book tells the story of Sara Allen who lives in Brooklyn with her parents. Sara loves stories and fantasy while her family is very down to Earth. Every Saturday they go to Morningside in Mahattan to visit her grandmother and Sara loves it because her grandmother, unlike her mum, is always willing to tell her stories and dream with her. So one day she decides to go to her grandmother’s by herself. She will run into very different characters like Miss Lunatic or Mister Woolf and finally create some stories of her own.

The story, loosely based on the traditional tale, is just wonderful. While this is a book children will enjoy, I think it is us adults who will actually enjoy all the little details Carmen Martín Gaite creates in this tale. Sara’s trip will take us to Central Park and 5th Avenue in a story that feels like half reality and half a dream.

I was only able to find the book in Spanish (obviously) and French but if you speak any of these languages, I would definitely give it a try.

Le petit chaperon rouge à Manhattan (French Edition)

P.S. I chose the cover of the French book because it is so much prettier than the Spanish one.

French Manicure

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I was talking to a friend yesterday about my terrible French manicure skills and she told me about this:

Apparently the brush for the white polish has that special shape which makes it way easier. My friend says it really worked for her. I’m not so sure it will for me because I’m just terrible at anything requiring a steady had but I am definetely willing to give it a try.

 

P.S: Exams and work are keeping me which is why it completely slipped my mind to post yesterday. Hopefully it will all be over by Friday and I will be able to do some longer posts.