At the beginning of August, I made a short list of several ambitious goals. I wanted to learn a new English word and their definitions every day, and documenting each definition throughout the month. Today I thought I would share some of these words and their definitions.
In September I plan on putting these words to good use. Any guesses how? Leave your thoughts in the comment section!
It’s August First. IT’S AUGUST FIRST. I’ve been repeating this fact over and over and over to myself throughout the day. Lovely day, August First. ONLY EIGHT MORE TO GO until my wedding day.
With a new chapter patiently waiting on the horizon, I’ve made time for monthly goals. This was an effort I went to last year, with much success, but didn’t renew my subscription for 2014. Until now. August has never been an incredibly significant month in my life before. And here I am, just inserting all sorts of emotional attachment and flash forward nostalgia.
Although my wedding is taking up all of my finite brain space, I know that in eight days it will actually be happening, and I will finally get to experience this day that everyone around me has gone to strenuous lengths to make happen for me. And in nine days, it will be over. And once it’s over, I’ll have to do all of those things that I’ve told myself and everyone else on the planet “oh, for sure, just once the wedding’s over!”
All that being said, here are my goals for August 2014.
+ GET MARRIED // All over it.
+ MOVE IN TO OUR NEW APARTMENT // A few days ago we signed the lease on a beautiful 2 bedroom apartment in central Grey Highlands. It’s in a converted church, has a balcony, and it’s all ours! A little space for us to be newlyweds, with all it’s glamorous ups and spiteful downs!
+ WATCH 7 MOVIES // Every year, I set the goal to watch 50 movies in 365 days. I have never reached it, but I’m determined this time!
+ LAND DREAM JOB // I’ve been applying to a number of brilliant jobs that would get me back into the career swing since moving north. While several have been, from my vantage point, a perfect fit, there is one in particular I am crossing my fingers and toes for.
+ MAKE 8TRACKS PLAYLIST // I signed up for 8tracks months ago. While I love the music I’ve found through it, I want to take a more active role in music again, and share my own playlists with the world. Putting it on the list means it will get done, right?
+ READ 8 BOOKS // Last year I made the goal to read 25 books, because 50 was just ridiculous. I made it to 19. This year I went full blown and decided to participate in the 50 Book Challenge, which is exactly what it sounds like. So far I haven’t even exceeded last year’s total count, but I remain optimistic! Skeptical, but optimistic all the same. I’m including some children’s books into the mix, and will be reading some graphic novels as well. This will, hopefully, help my numbers!
+ LEARN A NEW WORD EVERY DAY // This was a goal I made for 2014, but not writing it (or any of the words I had learned) down, meant I didn’t quite grasp all of those new fangled words. (Today’s is emeritus)
With my wedding less than two weeks away (INCOHERENT NOISES), lately I’ve found it difficult to find inspiration. With the busiest time upon me, I’m finding it’s hitting me harder than ever before. While I was on the farm, working 60 hours a week, there was little time for anything but slaving and sleeping. It suited me for a time, but every now and again I noticed how much I yearned to read, how I missed wise words of others, how my brain was challenged with nothing other than waking up, staying alert, and understanding the changing winds. I learned in an exclusively tactile environment, and I could not seek inspiration beyond my front door. It was a wild and wonderous world in those 80 acres of farmland, but I craved balance. Don’t we all.
No longer at the farm, with my sights set for marriage, I’m still hunting for balance. I’m still hunting down inspiration like a bandit with a bounty. With a terrier at my side and my camera in hand, I set out amongst the bullrushes, the thick forest, and the wild flowers. The dog loves to sniff and scratch every few feet, so we’re compatible photo walk partners. We can find inspiration for one another.
Whether you have a dog or not, your camera is the perfect walking companion. Many photographers, writers, poets, and daydreamers take to walking to find inspiration. These are often solitary exercises, especially for those artists who require no visual documentation. My brother, a playwright, never leaves the house without a notebook and a few dozen pens. I never leave without a camera. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just like your notebook doesn’t need to be leather-bound, or your pens made of feathers. Your tools need not be pristine or pricey, they just need to be with you.
Out in the big bad world, there is no telling what sort of little adventures you can go on, what sort of troublesome tales you may find. I am incredibly lucky enough to live in an environment I find inspiring: the countryside. Forests and weeds and wildflowers bloom and take to seed all of their own volition. On one side of a gravel road lays insulated cottages, packed full of food and happy feet pattering down staircases. On the other, eery woods with a density too big for its alleged size. It’s as though it’s bigger on the inside. Beasts and daemons could dwell in those woods. Their fairytales and what-if’s are enough fodder for any sort of imagination to grapple with.
So slip your feet into your shoes. Pack your weapon of choice. Dress yourself with suitable armour. And go forth, into your own backyard. There’s no end of stories out there.
Miranda Hart is by far the funniest, self-aware comedienne (ohhh, how I hate that word) from the UK today. Miranda’s character, conveniently also named Miranda, is the owner of a joke shop and compulsively trying to avoid her mother Penny’s obsessive fixation on finding her a man. (In one episode Miranda goes as far as Coming Out to her family and friends, only to find the man her mother wanted to set her up with may not have been so bad after all). After binge watching the first two seasons on Hulu for free, I know without a shadow of a doubt that it is my mission to spread the good word of Miranda to anyone who may listen. Here are three reasons why you should watch Miranda.
1: Bad Bitches. While it may not pass the Bechdel Test on first glance, what with all the talk amongst the female characters primarily focused on Miranda’s tragic love life, upon closer inspection there is a wealth of moments of female friendship. One episode, though a male psychiatrist is present, is focused solely around Miranda and Penny’s relationship. Miranda’s best friend and manager of said joke shop is Stevie, and their daily dose of personal-and-professional balance shows women in competition, women working together, and women’s abilities to get over their hang ups and stand united against incessantly energetic 22-year-olds who peg them for 40.
2: Middle Class Upbringing. Although Miranda abhors her middle class upbringing and boarding school background (often cited as the reason she can’t stand nudity, can’t say the word “sex” out loud, or maintain composure around men in general) it is often the source of some of the funniest jokes in the show. Miranda’s mother Penny is typically the source of these punchlines, and along with boarding school chum Tilly, the entire dynamic of middle class social etiquette is shoved under a microscope.
3: Slapstick. I don’t know how often you watch people unwittingly getting hit in the face with a garden hose’s stream, or see someone trip when they were meant to be gliding gracefully along the sidewalk, but these are the moments that stir a quiet evil within me. Watching people fall down (I literally typed this and began laughing) brings many of us great joy. The Germans probably have an apt and mutli-syllabic term for such things. Miranda (and, it turns out, her father) are incredibly klutzy, clumsy people. Based on a high intake of cinematic images of femme fatales sweeping callously out of hotel lobbies, Miranda is often tripping over her own desire to communicate with gestures and movement. Instead, thanks to strategically placed coat racks and her own uncooperative two feet, she is often stuck with words she can barely bring herself to mouth softly.
While there are many other reasons to devote your next day and a half to Miranda Hart’s impeccable writing and performance, I’ll leave you with these three. Tell you what, watch it for free on Hulu, and pop back to let me know what you think. Deffo amaziona, oui oui? Bear with.