Brace yourself, grab a large mug of tea, here's a diary of sorts (read: long rambling) of everything that's been going on over here in the past few months.
Chapter I: School
My school semester is finally over! I have one exam left in two weeks, for which I have to revisit some oh-so-favourite 16th century texts. That's what I get from wiggling away from my comfort zone for so many years, only to have to push myself to do the best I can with pre-19th century works now that I decided to do Honours.
I've been having somewhat of a 'future' crisis recently, as I realised I have one month to decide what I should do next year since I'll be graduating in the Spring. I'm still interested in doing a Master's, but I'm unsure of which direction I'd be taking, which exact authors I would like to write a thesis on. I do have a pretty clear idea of what interests me, but the notion of already specialising all of a sudden scares me, as if I was about to limit myself. My other option is to apply to do a certificate in translation, which I might do while I think things through and get a better sense of what I really want to do. As you have most certainly noticed, I've really been taken with my shop as of late, and while I'm secretly dreaming I might one day somehow live from it, I have difficulty keeping myself away from the academia. I often feel like I pigeon-holed myself without realising it the day I decided to take English Literature when I had never gone to school in English before. Had I taken my close second History, I could perhaps start to think about a teaching career of some kind, and that in French or in English.
Chapter II: Entertainment
I've been consuming a large number of TV episodes, all of the detective fiction kind. Perhaps that's what I should dedicate the rest of my life towards - could I make some kind of a link between Graham Greene's The Third Man, Paul Auster's New York Trilogy, Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, and just about anything by Agatha Christie for good measure? Anyway, for the sake of my, ahem, 'personal archive,' here's a list:
-Inspector Morse and prequel Endeavour (I absolutely loved both, and watched all of Endeavour twice)
-Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries
-The last episodes of Poirot (yes, I did cry a bit)
-The Bletchley Circle (only one episode left to see!)
-The Sandbaggers (only two episodes in)
I should probably do something else with my free time but, you know.
Chapter III: Books I want to finish/books I plan to read
-(My friend) Norm Sibum's The Traymore Rooms
-Giuseppe Di Lampadusa's The Leopard
-Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited (I've seen the adaptation, I've read quite a bit of Waugh's work, but haven't read his most famous work!)
-Virginia Wolfe's Mrs Dalloway and A Room of One's Own
-Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles
-Thackeray's Vanity Fair
Chapter IV: Clothing, fashion, and style
I've been pretty uninspired by new fashion lately, and in response I've buried myself in vintage - that is, more than usual, taking solace in craftsmanship, unusual fabrics, and the plain old silly. I've grown tired of my boys' shirt + always the same skinny pants + huge cardigan combination, but I'm slow breaking away from its comfort and practicality. A few years ago, I would have been pretty happy not to have to think about what to wear, but things have gotten to a point practical dressing has become nearly boring. Trying to find new combinations without spending any money has all of a sudden become a very welcome challenge, and now that I have more free time (and a new, slightly different pair of skinny jeans on its way to me thanks to ebay), I'll be able to indulge in experimenting again clothes-wise. I've stopped reading quite a few fashion blogs recently since little has been stirring my love/gut feeling. I've been looking through four to five year-old archives from my favourite blogs (you know who you are by my ecstatic, albeit sporadic commenting!) to get a bit of a kick back into things. I'll keep you updated when I'll get my everyday, 'practical,' 'sensible' dressing groove back.
Suggestions are always welcome, concerning the other chapters too.
Chapter V: Random
-Aloysius Revisited (yes, this has to do with the aforementioned Brideshead)
-Baking super easy pumpkin pie with pumpkin purée, coconut milk, a tiny bit of soy milk, not much sugar. My friend helped me make one at her place last weekend, and I can't wait for my landlord to repair my oven.
-Repairing an amazing 1920s beaded dress. I just learnt the beads I'm working with may or may not be lined in mercury...
-Finding very fun and special Christmas presents for my loved ones. I make it sound as if I created a board game. It's unfortunately not the case, haha.
-Falling incredibly behind with discovering new music. Must work on that.
-The best beauty advice I've, erm, given myself so far: to stop using anything other than water, a facecloth, and makeup remover as means to wash my face. My skin had been a little too nostalgic for its 15 year-old self since the end of the summer, when I reacted to greasy sunscreen. I thought using a cleanser (and I tried a few) would give me back my 23 year-old face, but nothing happened until I just stopped really 'washing' my face.
Hope you're well!
Monday, 2 December 2013
Sunday, 1 December 2013
Parentheses Vintage has been on sale for the past few days, but I thought I'd give you guys an extension as well as a little extra off if anything catches your eye. From now until Wednesday, you can get 30% off anything in the shop with the code BLOGGYBOOGIE30 because yes, I do enjoy creating codes with very silly names. The pieces above are just a few of the ones you'll find in the shop, and two of them are even *exclusive sneak peeks* (oulala) that will be added some time today or tomorrow. Plus, yes, I cut my hair (well actually my friend did it for me)!
Also, if you're in Montréal next weekend, I'll be taking part in The Plant's Holiday Art Market! I'll be selling vintage garments and accessories, as well as some handmade jewellery. Come and say hi!
(So many exclamation marks, yes, these are rather exciting times!!!!)
Tuesday, 26 November 2013
Thursday, 7 November 2013
|I have shared many adventures with this one, but now it's time to part ways :(|
I promised myself not to make too much shameless self-promotion on here because, well, I didn't create this blog in line with my little vintage shop, and I can understand why overwhelming it with regular shop updates could be annoying. At the same time, I've been working very hard on the shop, adding in average 5 to 10 new pieces every week, and I've never been so enthusiastic as I am now with the stock I have. Seriously, if my closet were normal-sized, and if I could change my size and shape at will, there wouldn't be much in the shop. The reason why I'm saying all of this is that I'm divided with doing occasional shop updates on here, featuring some of my favourite pieces and talking a little more about them, or not doing them at all, because it would be shameless self-promotion and could feel like empty content compared to the rest of my posts where I'm not, you know selling something. I already have three other platforms to support my bouts of self-advertisement, but at the same time, when I'm really excited about something, I often have an urge to share it here because I feel like this platform allows me to be more genuine and honest.
So - don't be shy - what do you think of this? Would semi-regular shop updates annoy you?
(And in the light of shameless self-promotion, might as well, the code BADPUNS will forever give you 10% off on everything in the shop :)
Saturday, 26 October 2013
Hello! How have you been? The last month or so has been semi-eventful for me, what with having one of my friends' entire vintage stock magically landing on my lap and apartment, and not being able to really make the most of it yet because of increased school work (hello, presentation on Jane Austen juvenilia - hello, trying to find scholarly articles on wild short stories one of the otherwise most written about authors wrote when she was fifteen!).
I've also been really busy feeling sorry for myself and trying to put off turning on the heat for as long as possible, 'investing' the money I'm saving on electricity bills into my tea and obsessive online video streaming fund, aka illegally watching the new Downton Abbey season, ten years' worth of Inspector Morse and awesome prequel Endeavour, and the newest Poirot episodes all the while ruining my eyesight. There's nothing quite as relaxing as watching detectives trying to figure out which British citizen has murdered another, and why.
I had been looking forward to the new, and last, season of Poirot for quite some time, especially Miss Lemon, Captain Hasting, and (now) Commissioner Japp were to return, to my great joy played by the same actors. The first fifteen years of Poirot were my favourite, and while I did enjoy the past ten years or so, I found the tone often too sensationalist. I was however delighted by Wednesday's episode, The Big Four, as it was a perfect mix of old and new, especially as the return of the previous recurrent characters provided a return of the formal familiarity which had been somewhat lacking in most recent episodes. As much as I like Ariadne Oliver and George, they're not quite as intricately linked with Poirot's world as the previous three were. Also, if you haven't seen it, here's the trailer for Poirot's last four cases - if you've been watching as lovingly as I have, you'll most likely find yourself holding back a tear or two.
And what about you, what's new? What have you been reading/watching/wearing/listening to as of late? Hope you're all well :)
Thursday, 26 September 2013
I have a bouquet, a basket of news for you! First of all, I quit my job of over two years a few weeks ago, and worked my last day on Monday. As I don't really have to work while I'm in school, I have decided to take some time off to work on various projects, such as taking ballet classes after a six-year hiatus, getting good enough grades to apply to graduate school come January and... working on my vintage shop.
I've had the shop for over two years, but have been rather lazy about it until now. Doing the vintage fair last spring was encouraging in the way it allowed me to meet other sellers, other people passionate about vintage in person, but also because it allowed me to become much more concise concerning the direction I wanted to take with what I was doing. I've been collecting vintage for years, but translating what I personally like to see and like to wear into the shop has been more complicated. Some more simple, practical items are great in person, but are difficult to sell through pictures; lighting, photography material and settings are very important, but I don't necessarily have the means to invest in such items at the moment. I've been trying to experiment with what I have, with my peeling white walls and my point-and-shoot camera, and I'm getting closer to having satisfying results than I was ever before. I'm now better at doing things in my manner, without worrying too much about what's trendy and whatnot.
Taking the shop more seriously means getting my entire collection out of my 'office' and making regular updates - I've never had that many items in the shop before, and yes, that's only about a third of what I have... I've also, you know, a good century after everyone else, consolidated my internet outlets and subscribed to various social media platforms. It broke my heart to do so, but I changed the shop's name from Irene & Irene Vintage to Parentheses Vintage (to fit with this blog) because I didn't want to split myself into too many directions. I now have a facebook page for the shop, as well as a twitter account (@uboparentheses, if you like a mix of weird nature articles and photos of pretty frocks) and a tumblr blog which I use for both shop-related and personal endeavours. Feel free to add me/join me/read me/send me bad jokes and puns (and I will do the same in return)! Follow Parentheses Vintage on facebook, if only to practice your French (my posts are bilingual!)!!!
As always, since this blog (and you!) remains my first internet true love, you are entitled to 10% off whatever you like in the shop with the code BADPUNS (why not).
Sunday, 22 September 2013
|Click on image for source.|
This semester, I started attending my first conference class, which involves a small number of students and discussion-based rather than lecture-based teaching. During the first class, in order to ease us into a more casual manner of discussing, our professor asked us to present ourselves and to tell the class what our favourite book was. What was meant to be a casual, get-to-know-you assignment caused a bit of a stir around the table: while having very definite favourite things that you could list at will was normal for most as children, indecision, expanded knowledge, and variety have transformed this formerly easy question into a brain-raking task. I got out of it by adding the words "most recent" to "favourite book", although Truman Capote's Other Voices, Other Rooms is the book I have felt the most strongly about in a good two years.
I acquired Other Voices, Other Rooms with a gift certificate my boyfriend's mom gave me for my 23rd birthday last June. As the gift certificate was a birthday present, I wanted to use it on a book that would have some kind of meaning tying it with my new year, hoping that the book would have some significant repercussions on my 23 year-old self - those wishes were granted beyond all my expectations. While I originally chose Other Voices, Other Rooms over other options because it was published when Capote was 23, this novel moved me and shook me in a manner that transcends whatever plot description I could provide here. In my late teens, I had the habit of privately dismissing any author that did not appear to have a grasp on the elusive understanding of life I subscribed to; there is a sense of urgency to it, but it arises more from a gut feeling than from any rational notion. I would look for authors whose take on life would give me shivers, and abandon nearly any other that would let me down. Had I gone on this way, I would have passed over great novels, but I cannot help but have a special liking for authors in whose work I encounter this old feeling again. Like George Orwell, J. D. Salinger, and Patti Smith before him (in chronological order of my readings that is), Truman Capote has managed to put into words a desperation and urgency towards life that is difficult to grasp but from which an incredible sense of yearning arises.