Archive for ‘Miscellaneous’

August 19, 2014

Luna Lovegood *is* Kate Bush!

This interview of Kate Bush in 1978 made me reach this conclusion. Putting aside all their quirkiness, they have the same dreamy look, the same calm and patient speech and the same serene attitude. I wonder if Kate Bush was somewhat an inspiration for the character of Luna… I did some googling over it and didn’t come up with anything. Does anybody else associate the two in any way?

Kate Bush

Wallpaper – 2560 x 1536

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August 25, 2013

Speaking of Instagram…

August 25, 2013

Living the cliche

So things seem to have calmed down for some time, as you can tell from the news but also from the content of this entry. But with September being just around the corner, I’m keeping an ear to the ground, Twitter, Facebook, friends… anything that might be labelled as bela.

It is a curious thing, procrastination… That it can get you to post something so redundant as what I’m posting right now when you’ve just started a new full-time job (this time for real) and you’ve got a book to translate is indeed curious. But it’ll make me happy to post this, so there you go *smiles sweetly*

I made these simple but cute and actually quite tasty cookies from Cassey Ho’s Healthy Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich recipe. If you know me in real life and are reading this, I can imagine your surprise because I don’t cook and I don’t have the slightest interest in anything related to cooking. So this is a first for me, curtesy of…  you guessed it, procrastination! The ice-cream part didn’t work out like in the video, but the cookies actually exceeded my expectations. And there are only two ingredients: bananas and oatmeal.

Some fresh summer fruits and my favorite type of tea, Twinings Earl Grey Tea (unlike Ana’s favorite of the same brand) completes this midday snack. Then I went and filtered it as a final touch. If I can’t escape from cooking eventually, I sure can’t escape from the cliche of instagramming it. I even added a hashtag! *OMG*

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June 16, 2013

What is this about?

First time I heard of the Gezi Park protests in Istanbul, I was out at a fasıl celebrating the birthday of two of my friends. Half of the people at my table were glued to their smartphones showing each other images of the police brutality in Istanbul on Twitter. I had heard of the park and that it was going to be demolished to be replaced with a shopping mall and a city museum. I didn’t really care. I wasn’t living in Istanbul and protests happened all the time for various reasons, right?

The next day things started getting out of hand. TV channels were still not mentioning what was actually going on (except for a select few which are largely unknown) but I gathered there were major anti-governmental protests raging in all the major cities in Turkey from hearsay. There was a certain tension in the air. “But why?” I was asking, “this is supposed to be about a park.”

I grew restless at home. I wanted to do something but I didn’t know what and why. I couldn’t wrap my mind around these unprecedented events. I logged onto Facebook after a long time and boom! Everyone on my NewsFeed had shared something relating to the protests. That “something” ranged from opinions giving insight about the going-ons and providing inspiration, videos capturing the police brutality in all its reality and banners in English and Turkish with eye-catching graphics and exemplary wit. No, this was clearly not about a park.

What was it about then? The government had launched a campaign to hold peace talks with the representatives of the Kurdish minority, much to the dismay of certain groups in the country. Whether it was done in the most appropriate manner or not, at least something was being done. As for other issues, things were surely not so bad as to deserve such a widespread uprising… right? Then I began to think (after having a very enlightening conversation with my mom). No, actually there were many issues worth going to the streets for. The censorship on the internet, attempts to ban abortion, restrictions on alcohol consumption, all those journalists, university students and other innocent people detained for speaking their minds…

When have we become so pliant? So accustomed to oppression? I realized that all these issues relate to my every-day life. Each one of the repressive measures and many others undermine my existence in this country in some manner. It’s as if I, with my opinions, life style, ambitions and desires as a woman, am not wanted here. Worse, I am being forced to change, to submit and if I refuse, I will be eradicated.

Hasn’t this happened before? Of course it has. And when it did, it created me. I never deny that my whole existence was at the expense of others. Since the Republic of Turkey was established in 1923, many people suffered so that I am the person that I am today. It’s just that the tide has now turned.

Aren’t there issues that demand more urgent attention? That are more fundamental? Of course. But this movement is not to be treated as the spoiled child of a generation of privilege. Because no one should be compelled to embrace the long-awaited end of armed conflict (which is yet to be seen), steady economic growth and increasing soft power influence along with a way of life driven by tyranny and fear which can only count as a sorry excuse for a democracy.

So is this about turning the tide back? Going back to what Turkey was in, let’s say, 1997 when the pro-islamic government of the time had to resign due to the interference of the army? NO! This is about democracy. True, unbiased democracy for everyone. Nothing else. And certainly not politics.

Still I couldn’t go out. I had to think of my safety. Then there was the job at a public institution that I had been accepted to. I didn’t want to jeopardize that surely in case I was taken into custody. No, no, I shouldn’t go. But I went. I couldn’t help it. And it was one of the best decisions I ever made.

So that was why I went. As for what I went to do in practical terms, I went to clean the streets with plastic gloves and garbage bags. I went to warn the other protesters not to chant curse words or throw stones at the police. I went to make peace with the people of this already pretty much divided society, my people.  I went to have my share of fear, brutality and teargas along with them. I went to demand democracy in peace.

I felt the joy, solidarity and a common sense of purpose that I never thought would be possible in Turkey anymore. And I had the time of my life.

thisisabout

May 17, 2013

Make me a day, make me whole

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This made my day. I found it on my desk when I came to work after taking a day off. A friend of mine had asked me for my work address for a “karma tryout,” leaving me puzzled. Good thing, I had mentioned to my boss that I might be expecting a delivery while I’m absent. And the next day… Ta-da! It made me think maybe more people than I thought are reading this blog. Turns out, he saw the other picture with all my Tori CDs on my Instagram. A geek who’s not hostile towards Instagram. A novelty for me. But a pleasant one at that. So once more, thank you so much tirtman for this amazing surprise!

April 27, 2013

A Little Coaxing

William-Adolphe Bouguereau - A Little Coaxing (1890)

I was going through my bookmarks yesterday when I came across this gorgeous painting by Adolphe Bouguereau. I don’t remember where I had previously come across this painting, but I remember it was love at first sight. I had saved the Wikipedia page to my bookmarks to buy a poster of this painting later when I moved out to my own apartment (which I’m yet to do). Well,  if such a thing is possible, I love it even more now than I loved it then.

April 14, 2013

A Pure Woman

Vineyard house season is officially open. Last week I took the 8PM dolmuş there. The two-hour journey on the bumpy roads of central Anatolia was almost… otherworldly. I read rather enthusiastically a few chapters from Music by My Bedside. Then the driver turned the lights off inside the vehicle and my carefully-selected mix of heavy metal music accompanied me for the rest of the way in semi-darkness. Metallica’s Low Man’s Lyric was especially memorable in the setting. I realized how much I had missed being on my own and surrounding myself with my “likes.”

I don’t know what to call this… this “mood” really. It’s when you are alone and very comfortable, completely immersed in your own world, either curled on your bed, on a long bus ride, lying under cherry blossoms or simply sitting in front of your computer, drinking a warm cup of tea/coffee/hot chocolate or a glass of your preferred spirits and you’re watching/reading/listening to something you like or something you longed to watch/read/listen to. Bullet points might have helped with the description, but whatever, you see what I mean.

Anyway, I’m visiting the vineyard house for the first time in six months, I’m in the comfort of my bedroom in the attic and I’ve just found out that I could take an extra day off work. Perfect! Yay!  So I settle to watch BBC’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles, starring Gemma Arterton. Only this time, I devour all four episodes in one go instead of watching them one at a day like I did with North and South.

And? Well, I was expecting something else altogether. Most of all a happy ending. Honestly, Tess must be one of the most depressing pieces of fiction I ever came across. But it was very interesting. There are so many things to be said about it. I have so many things to say about it, but it would make more sense and read the book first and then restructure them. In the meantime, I came across this journal article by Ertuğrul Koç: Tess of the d’Urbervilles: the Tragedy of Godless Human Existence. It felt good to do some serious reading and actually like it. Yes, this counts as serious to me *grins*

Wallpaper - 2560 x 1600

Wallpaper – 2560 x 1600

March 31, 2013

I’m alive, I’m alive

…In the distance hear the laughter of the last unicorn

“What the hell happened?” right? Well, this happened. I translated a book. No… Not a book. A historical romance novel! I know, I still can’t believe it! Or should I say, I can’t believe it’s finally OVER? This baby (cuz it’s kinda my baby now) sucked all the life I had in me. Kinda like Renesmee. I can’t believe I just made that reference. But unlike Renesmee, it put back 4kg instead. I can only fit in a handful of clothing I have and I’m enjoying my freedom too much to take up exercising. But although the taste of freedom is intoxicating, I don’t think I’ve ever known such a gratifying form of captivity. I was a willing captive, unlike Ellie. The long hours I spent translating consumed me, ensnared me, at times made me completely deranged. It was utter submission (yes, I’m reading Fifty Shades *dies*).

There are so many things I can say about the whole process of translating a romance novel that I really don’t have the patience to organize them into a neat post right now. I’m in the mood for writing about something lighter. Like my birthday!

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Although I neglected them a lot during these past four months, my wonderful friends threw me a party last weekend–two weeks after my actual birthday. Why so late? Because I wanted to submit my translation first, so that I could be totally at ease and in mood for celebration. But it didn’t turn out to be a wild party (which is all the better for me) and we ended up celebrating at a friend’s new apartment with cake and lots and lots of alcohol (But the yummy cake and pastries above are from the small gathering at my grandparents’ place). However, the biggest surprise of this year was from my boss.

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The Monday following my birthday, I found these flowers on my desk at work, together with a small, flat, gift-wrapped box which looked suspiciously like a CD. There was a card on top which wrote “Please help save the last unicorn.” Oh my god! He remembered that I wanted to order this months ago and acted before me.

The Last Unicorn is a surprisingly good long-feature animation from the 1980s, based on the fantasy novel of the same name by Peter S. Beagle. When I was a child I used to love its story, though not as much as I love it now. I recently watched the movie and found out that it had much more depth than I could grasp as a child. Now I’m looking forward to reading the book before I can write a full-fledged review. Though I have to find it first.

Oh, and the soundtrack is divine (minus the image songs perhaps). Here’s my favorite track:

So thanks boss! You’re the best!

The biggest surprise coming from my boss, the greatest gift came from my boyfriend.

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Yes, he made this himself, and yes, those are tiny Harry Potter books–all seven of them!

January 19, 2013

That little satin bow…

That little satin bow right in the middle on the front side of women’s panties… Just something to think about really. Why is it always there? How did it come to be there? Who thought to put it there? I did a fast Google search and couldn’t find anybody else asking the same questions. So I’ll try to answer them myself.

First of all, it’s not always there. The subsequent Google Images search I did revealed that it’s not as common as I thought it was (besides leaving me in raving jealousy over how much better panties look with a flat stomach and shapely thighs. Ugh!)

As to why it’s there, I’m assuming that in the old times women had to tie their drawers on the front with a bow to prevent them from falling off since there were no elastic bands. That might be the origin but I guess today it’s there because it just looks so damn pretty.

So, to make the answers less implicit and this entry more redundant,

1. Why is it always there?

It’s not always there but if it’s there today, that’s because it’s a pretty sight.

2. How did it come to be there?

Because women used to really tie a ribbon to keep their drawers in place.

3. Who thought to put it there?

Women, out of convenience.

Bonus Question: Do I like it there?

I absolutely adore it!

January 8, 2013

Jennifer Lawrence as Tori Amos?

If there should ever be a movie made on Tori Amos’ life, Jennifer Lawrence should be cast as her. There, I’ve said it! So far Google hasn’t come up with any results supporting my preference. But surely, somebody else must have remarked the similarity between them. It’s not so much the looks but rather the air about them. Right? Anyone?