Staying in LA twice in fall of 2014, there is a lot that can be said about this chaotic city, having seen it from the centre of all the madness: Hollywood Boulevard, where my hostel was. With Michael Jackson impersonators keeping us up at night and throngs of crowds for movie premiers around the corner from lines of homeless people waiting for free meals, LA is everything at once.
Most of my hair is presently sitting in a plastic bag, waiting for me to mail it to Mississauga to be donated. Sometime in the summer I decided to donate my hair, and eventually decided on Pantene Beautiful Lengths, which creates free wigs for women who have under gone chemotherapy treatment. I’ve been growing it since October 2013, although it could have been longer if I wasn’t really bad at growing out my hair. I ended up cutting off 9.5 inches to donate (for Pantene you need at least 8 inches, while other places need 10.) The Before….. And the after! Last night I was nervous, but simply washing and brushing my hair this morning served as a reminder of how much I wanted it cut short. Before cutting my hair, I used a leave in conditioner, seldom straightened my hair and never blew dry it. I also had no traces of hair dye. While I’ll be surprised if I don’t start to feel self conscious about having short hair, it does feel so good to have it …
What It’s About: Seventeen year old Gretchen Müller lives in 1930’s Munich, when the Great Depression and the rise of the National Socialist Party has brought conflict to the city. Gretchen’s father died years ago protecting Adolf Hitler, who is her honorary uncle. Gretchen is his pet and a good National Socialist girl. But when Gretchen meets Daniel Cohen, a young Jewish reporter, she begins to fear that everything she thought she knew was wrong: not just about the death of her father, but also about everything Hitler has taught her about the world. Together, Daniel and Gretchen make an unlikely, and forbidden, pair while they research what really happened to Gretchen’s father. Who Will Love It: Fans of Code Name Verity and Between Shades of Gray and lovers of historical fiction. What I Loved: It looked at a time period I’m familiar with but from a different point of view. It was well written and suspenseful, while also being incredibly well researched.
The first real trip I ever went on was to New York when I was 22- ‘real’ meaning it wasn’t a school trip and my parents weren’t there as well. It was sort of a spur of the moment type trip planned hastily a few weeks in advance, and was prompted by my desire to go to a book signing (for The Fault in Our Stars). Even with the last minute-ness, a few people were quick to give me warnings about being mugged, telling me how unsafe the city is. When I went to India two years later, the warnings obviously intensified. Not for the first time (or the last, I’m sure) the movie Taken was brought up and I was given advice to go with a tour group, or not go at all. After my first flight not long after I went to NYC, a kind lady in a Bath hostel advised me to spend one day in London, jumping on one of the hop on, hop off buses to see the major sights, then getting out. None of the …
I went camping for a few days with my parents in their airstream this week, so this post is full of nature (i.e. lots of trees).
What It’s About: Elderly Leo Gursky once loved a girl named Alma when he was young in Poland, who inspired him to write a book called The History of Love .Separated by war, life and circumstances, neither Leo’s relationship with Alma or his book survives: Alma assumed that Leo died and moved on, while Leo learnt that the book was destroyed in a flood. But the book survived, and fourteen year old Alma Singer sets out looking for the author of The History of Love, hopingg to make her mother happy again. Who Will Love It: Lovers of good writing, fans of writers like Jonathan Safran Foer, anyone looking for a book they won’t forget. What I Loved: The lyrical prose, the characters, the beautiful story.
In the state of Oregon, there is a city where people still care about things, what went out of business in the 2000’s everywhere else live on, and dreams really do come true (whether you want to open a doll asylum or start a doughnut shop.) Portland is everything you’ve heard about and more. Well there’s no doubt that the city is a must see for the odd, eccentric and the hipster set, here’s how you can bring a bit of Portland life to wherever you live.