I went to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Christmas show this week with my host family in Philadelphia and, oh boy, did I not know what I was getting into. I honestly only knew their very dramatic Carol of the Bells (Christmas in Sarajevo or something?), Wizards in Winter, and that round that the children’s choir sings. The show was, er, quite dramatic indeed. It was also three hours long and filled with odd story-telling interludes, fire spitting dragons, and bizarre hard-rock Christian hymns. Part of me wanted to interview everybody there. What is your deal? You are strange but amazing. Keep doing you.
This Stunning Video and Eric Satie’s Trois Gymnopédies
Post-finals, it can be hard to remember what the frenzy felt like. It feels like all of that studying was a different lifetime. But I can’t forget that, along with the constant and wonderful and uplifting companionship of our beautiful roommates, it was this piece that got me through, as it does every time these things roll around. Any time I need some relaxing inspiration, really. This song says, “It’s going to be okay. Now get to it.”
I’ve heard of Primark before, exclusively from British youtubers doing hauls and casually mentioning the store as they wave around some amazing finds. Imagine my surprise when I went to my hometown mall with my friends and found that this giant store had taken up two floors since I had last visited. I felt as though I had discovered retail heaven. Knick knacks and pretty little things abound and bargains are everywhere. Seriously, we walked around picking things up and crying out “$3???!!” for about three hours. Can these stores please take over North America? This is the only location I’ve ever seen and I will not be here much longer.
A few days ago I decided it was time to exchange some old childhood books for credit at a local used bookstore. I picked through my bookshelves, carefully selecting only the books that I had never read or those which didn’t have any sentimental value. Of course I ended up making two huge piles: one stack to sell, and one stack of old favourites to re-read. And so, at 20 years old, I am now halfway through Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I don’t think words can adequately express how absolutely obsessed I was with the wizarding world as a child, and reading this book for what must be the fifteenth time is definitely re-igniting the obsession. The story feels as familiar as my own life, and with each turn of the well worn pages I get to relive childhood fantasies. Was anyone else ridiculously upset when their Hogwarts letter didn’t arrive?
Almond Joy Cookies
These almond-chocolate-coconut dream cookies were the product of an insomniatic 5 AM frenzy and are the best things to ever come out of a sleepless night. Recipe coming soon!
We are really loving being home for the holidays and have been swept up in a whirlwind of reunion activities (and that is, of course, why this is going up a little late). We hope you are all making wonderful memories with friends and family old and new, or at the very least enjoying this blessed not-so-cold weather.