March’s Memos

Another fucking month! That’s how you get old so quickly, people. Time’s ruthless.

However,  March’s been a highly productive month especially the first 2 weeks that basically made up for the other half month of literal hibernation.

READ


Rebecca (Daphne du Maurier) – I was in a thriller books rut and after a quick browse on Goodreads I landed upon this book, which apart from being rated highly, reminds me a little too much of Hannibal’s accomplice in the TV series – Bedelia du Maurier (or maybe this name was inspired by this author, who’s in the thriller field herself? – edit: it was indeed inspired). After such racy reads of modern thriller books, it was refreshing to enjoy slower paces and style, which was more of my preference to classic books. I quite enjoyed the book, but in all honestly I didn’t find it exceptional, especially the bond between Mr and Mrs de Winter, it just seemed odd and forced to me. Mrs de Winter is pale, forgettable and does not have many qualities except being nice and naive, and those characters alone captured Mr de Winter? Yeah totally. Apart from that, the descriptions of scents, places and humans were rich and imaginative, which I always rate highly on.

Nutshell (Ian McEwan) – a recommendation from A Model Recommends (you’ve done your job perfectly, Ruth!) with a very interesting premise: a foetus narrating a murder in the outside world (like, what the heck?!). I’ve got to know the author from my sister who begged me to read “Atonement” but I honestly have the least enthusiasm known to men for it, so it’s always been in the “later” list. I cannot say it’s a good read for my own taste even though I do enjoy “philosophical” reads every now and then, a foetus talking philosophy’s not exactly believable. I, however, found loads of interesting points and choices of expressions. McEwan is no doubt a master in using words and phrases, which is what I “require” in any type of literature. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it through two thirds of the book, I just didn’t feel for it, at all.

The Couple Next Door (Shari Lapena) – not a short read but was completed in about just over a day. Even though the writing was a little too blunt and amateur at times, the story and suspense kept me from putting this down (figuratively of course, since I read the e-book version). Quite a nice achievement as a debut novel, I’m excited to hear more about her upcoming projects. Good simple read, no bullshit, no polished paragraphs or quotable lines with plenty of twists and turns. Lots of reviews say that this novel packs a little too many red-herrings but I didn’t find it complicated at all. Probably my brain’s been trained after having read too many of the genre.

1984 (George Orwell) – basically finished in one single sitting: the book was so captivating, even though completely fictional and somewhat insane. It reminded me a whole lot of A Clockwork Orange in term of how the society is a mess and the main pro/antagonist rebels but finally gets “fixed” by to government to become a brainwashed obedient good citizen. I did enjoy this book immensely and it left a lot to reflect. It’s undoubtedly a classic, but I still feel something’s missing in my admission.

Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury) – I got this book from a bookshop that only sold old dusty ones about 7 or 8 years ago, leafed through a few pages but never advanced more than that. I guess my mentality wasn’t matured enough to appreciate such topic. However, after having endorsed myself in George Orwell’s 1984, I decided to pick up this old chap and start all over again, partly to see if I have grown up mentally and intellectually any bit. It was once again of the dystopia genre, but I did quite enjoy the plot and underlying ideas, but not as much as 1984. Great to have ticked off one more classic in my bucket list, though.

LISTEN


Sad news: MetalStorm no longer have their column of Hot albums chart, so I have little idea what to listen anymore.

The Days of Grays (Sonata Arctica) – a revisit since I had discovered it so long ago but was only attracted to Everything Fades to Gray and Deathaura. The whole album apart from these two songs is not my cup of tea, but I do enjoy a few songs of theirs namely Shy, Fullmoon, Replica and Shitload of Money (Why this name? It has nothing to do with their vibe). All in all, I will not bother to explore more of their discography since I cannot really stand the fast pace just for the sake of being fast with his screeching voice. Unflattering comment but it’s true.

Kyrr (Kontinuum) – by no means a discovery since I found this album almost 2 years ago but the only songs I was smitten with were Breathe and Í Huldusal (yeah, they pretty much sing a majority in Icelandic, which is a super interesting language I’d like to master, but it’s quite the beast among the other beasty languages, so yeah, even German fucks with my brain so…). My taste was confirmed: apart from those 2 songs, the rest wasn’t at all memorable. I went through the whole other 6 songs without even realizing when one ended and the next began.

The Life of Pablo (Kanye West) – I have no shame in enjoying many of his songs despite his ridiculous behavior (but I need to say he’s quite a gentleman always looking out for his wife whenever they’re out). What should I say but it’s a damn good album? My favorites are definitely Famous, Feedback, Father Stretch My Hands, Freestyle 4, Wolves.

Winter’s Gate (Insomnium) – The album that consists of only one song that’s over 40 minutes. Yeah that is, but never boring (I’ve listened to a dozen times already). Can’t stop loving Insomnium, that’s why.

Songs that got me through the month:

  • Deathzone – Apocalyptica (again)
  • Moonlight – Kamelot (again)
  • Rise Like a Phoenix – Conchita Wurst
  • Wings of Destiny – Rhapsody
  • Hurt – Johnny Cash (his version of Nine Inch Nails)
  • Mutter – Rammstein (the original and choir covers)
  • Amerika – Rammstein
  • I Am a God – Kanye West (re-watching Assassin’s Creed prompted this action, obviously)

WATCH


Logan got my eyes tearful by the end, both of the movie and of the Wolverine. Throughout the movie I felt chill and sad for the downfall of Wolverine, yet could understand why such happened and how hard it was for him to cop up with the glorious yet gone past and the dreary future. It’s not a superhero movie anymore, but rather a super humane human, despite all the ups and downs in the strength of both body and mind. Farewell Logan, and major props for Hugh Jackman for one hell of a performance that’s friends with generations of people.

Kong: Skull Island basically useless people getting killed and giants fight one-to-one. The theatre was so jam packed but I did enjoy it nonetheless.

Beauty and the Beast what can I say but I regretted every minute spent watching that stupid motherfucking movie that did absolutely shame to the original installment. Bland characters, bland plot, horrendous CGI and last but not least wooden performances (I’m looking at you, Emma Watson). The only one I cared for was Gaston, or probably because I somewhat adore Luke Evans.

DRAW


Andreja Pejić’s iconic photograph in which she closes her eyes while having a rose on her mouth. It’s somewhat of a surreal feel, so I had to blur the details to a certain extend. Not my proudest work in term of details, but quite a good one aesthetically. I managed to finish the main structure speedily too, but of course all the finessing took much longer.

Coco Rocha‘s picture that resembles Vermeer’s Girl With A Pearl Earring. I love the simplicity and purity of this one. Got stuck in drawing the jawline but luckily I made it through.

Angelina Jolie with a cigarette – a surprisingly easy one that took me just around 3 hours. Maybe it’s because her features are so distinct it’s easy to translate into paper and pencils.

OTHER UPDATES


I failed miserably at going to yoga class. In fact, I skipped altogether since in a few weeks’ time my company will arrange for an instructor for us to practice after working hours. Went to get a tattoo but my design was too complicated to be inked to the desired size and placement. I also did a huge draft on my skincare routine but didn’t have time to take pictures of all the crazy shit I’ve been using on my skin. The most important update may be that now I have a roommate (went to high school together) and we’ve been having so much fun together. She’s gonna get used to my dry humor and swearing 😀

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