London Day 1 | One Year Later Because PROCRASTINATION

As I’m writing this it’s exactly one year ago since my last day in London

While the previous school year was ridiculously busy, hectic and stressful for me, I could’ve written these posts during the Christmas holidays. I could’ve written these at the end of each term when I had barely anything to do (except sleep. I needed lots of sleep). I could’ve done it over the Summer. So the biggest reason why it took me so long to actually get myself to finally start these posts is

So this is going to be interesting! How much will I remember? Thankfully I have pictures to remind me and help me keep track of what happened each day (sort of). SO LET’S DO THIS


We left on Wednesday, since we had booked tickets for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Thursday and Friday evening. This meant missing school, which I kind of stressed about back when I booked those tickets two years ago but in the end it was fine – I didn’t miss any obligatory classes  🎉

We left Wednesday in the early morning, meeting my aunt and cousin at the airport. I don’t remember much from what we did at the airport, but I don’t think it was anything special? I do vaguely remember getting a sandwich of some sort that at some point made me nauseous #rip

About to border the plane Snapchat #thatdoublechintho

While on the plane I took a few more pictures, but then I laid down my head on my mom’s lap and closed my eyes for a bit. You’re never too big to lie your head in your mom’s lap*

I also remember candy! Yes I ate mentos to fight that Plane Ear Pain™**

* Though physically I unfortunately am
** Look at me!! Remembering stuff!! *wipes away a tear* I’m so proud of me

When we got off the plane we had to take a bus from EasyJet (I think?) which we had already booked. While on that bus I spotted the happiest doggo

LOOK AT THAT DOGGO LOOK AT THAT SMILE DENTISTS HATE THIS DOG

(excuse me while I figure out the order of the day because my pictures are not in the right order because some pictures were taken with my old camera, some with my phone and some with my mom’s phone)

We had to get off the bus nearby a metro station, where we could take a metro to our hotel, which was in the Paddington area. This meant it was my goal to acquire a Paddington plushie and take pictures with him in this neighbourhood*

* Spoiler: I succeeded.** Also yes I’m only an adult ON PAPER
** Don’t be confused by the gif I didn’t actually put my Paddington plushie on any roofs. BUT I WOULD’VE IF I COULD’VE

After getting all our stuff to our rooms, we decided to find the theatre, so that we wouldn’t have any trouble with it the next evening (HAHAHAHA WE HAD TROUBLE ANYWAY LEMME TELL YOU*)

* Actually I won’t tell you because SPOILER. We’ll leave that for the second post which at this rate will probably go up sometime next year

Seriously though that day it was so easy to find??

Oh but I’m getting ahead of myself, because you know what was right in front of our hotel? A courtyard. And you know what was in that courtyard?

THIS CUTIE

I swear I was more excited on the inside

After finding the theatre, we went to Forbidden Planet which I wanted to visit for two reasons. 1) Fandom stuff!* 2) At the moment I was blogging about feminism and comics for school, and I wanted to see how much merch with female superheroes they had

* I don’t even remember buying anything?? I remember WANTING all the things, but actually buying something?? No clue. Still a fun store though!

Then we just walked around a bit, trying to find our way to Regent Street, but not before stopping at Starbucks. Y’all I never thought it would happen, but it did

I AM NOW PART OF THE ‘STARBUCKS MISSPELLED MY NAME’ CLUB

I am way too excited about this

Anyway, so Regent Street! As we tried to get there, my mom constantly played around with her selfie stick* which um kind of got on my nerves at some point? I’m not proud of this photo

LOOK AT THAT FACE THOUGH. Not amused

* And they say WE are the selfie generation smh

When we finally got to Regent Street, I uh, did another thing I’m not really proud of? Namely abandoning my family. I just… started to walk faster and faster until they had no idea where I was (well they did see me fasten my pace even though they had no idea why)

You wanna know why I did that?

Yep I abandoned my family to follow a pug* like the creepy Pug Stalker™ I am. The picture is very blurry because 1) My old camera was at the end of its life and 2) I didn’t want anyone to notice because I felt awkward. Clearly paparazzi is not the career for me

* If you didn’t know yet that I’m obsessed with pugs you definitely know now

Once I got reunited with my family though (my mom was NOT amused) our next stop was Hamleys, which is always so much fun to visit (she says like she’s been there a bunch of times instead of two)

So when I first saw that picture I thought ‘AHA! I DID BUY SOMETHING AT FORBIDDEN PLANET’ but then I remembered that I had to carry my mom’s bag so it’s probably hers

TEDDY BEAR AND PADDINGTON. Okay so I know what you were thinking: this is it. This is when you bought a Paddington plush so you could make the Paddington area unsafe with your shenanigans.

Nope. I wanted to make sure that I didn’t buy one and then run into a cheaper one later, so I waited. Patience my friends, the Paddington shenanigans shall happen soon*

* If I actually post about it soon lmao. If I keep up this pace it will be in a couple of years

Okay so this is were my memory gets fuzzy and where my pictures don’t help. I KNOW that at some point we ate dinner, because duh. We needed food (I think we ate at Subway?). I just don’t know when exactly, and if we went back to the hotel first? I also know we ended the day at Primark*

*  Well technically at the hotel but details  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

And that was day one! I hope I’ll be able to write post 2 soon, before I forget even more lmao. But I’m quite proud of myself. I thought this would be really hard (which resulted in more procrastinating) but I remember quite a bit with the help of my pictures!

Have you ever been to London? Have you been to any of the places I mentioned in this post? Do you love Paddington? Have you ever abandoned your family like that, for whatever reason? Let me know in the comments!

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The Little Engine Tag | Another Late Tag What Else is New

Remember when I did a tag that I was tagged for in 2015. Well this time the tag’s from 2016 so that’s slightly better! Evi tagged me to do The Little Engine Tag – thank you and sorry it took me so long haha. Go check out her blog if you haven’t yet

RULES:

  1. Each answer you give to a question has to be more than two sentences long. Or at the very least, you have to make those two sentences meaningful.
  2. There will be two bonus questions at the end, that the blogger gets to change to whatever they want to ask when they nominate someone else. The first six questions, however, are set in stone.
  3. At the end you must nominate three to five other bloggers. Okay, so you don’t have to, but that would be nice if you could.

QUESTIONS

1.) What’s one of your biggest pet peeves?

I have so many pet peeves yet whenever I get this question I just?? Forget all my pet peeves?? OH I GOT ONE. WHEN BUS DRIVERS DRIVE RECKLESSLY LIKE THANKS FOR THE BRUISE MATE

Also thanks for the mild concussion last year

2) What is your favorite song at the moment?

As I’m writing this: Space Between from Descendants 2. At first I was like: I CAN’T CHOOSE A FAVOURITE SONG FROM THE SOUNDTRACK THEY’RE ALL SO GOOD

But then I realised that of course my favourite is the Gay Song ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

3) Who is your favorite blogger?

Oh my gosh I love all of you this is such a cruel question. I mean I do have my favourites, but I always feel so guilty? Because what if I forget someone? And even when I don’t forget someone, I don’t want anyone to think I don’t love them and their blog aaahhh. So I’ll only do a shoutout to the awesome person who tagged me: Evi. Love you and your blog <3 Again, go check out her blog (and follow it *cough*) if you haven’t yet!

4) What’s the nicest thing you’ve seen someone do recently?

Shoutout to my best friend Batman (that’s not her real name sadly) for being an awesome, awesome friend. She’s super understanding, caring and helpful and I’m just so grateful that I met her this school year <3 Like she’s so understanding when it comes to my PTSD and we always help each other with schoolwork and just.. What did I do to deserve her?

Also she’s incredibly funny and shares my weird sense of humour

5) What’s something you regret doing?

Uhhh oh boy I have regrets, that’s for sure. But I can’t think of any right now?? I do regret not properly taking care of myself as I’m typing this I need to drink more guys

Let’s fix that regret immediatley haha

6) If you could take only three items with you to a deserted island, what would they be and why?

Is there reception and wifi? Because if so I’d take my phone so I can call for help – wait wait wait. This question sounds like I’m knowingly and voluntarily going? Meaning I can leave whenever I want? Cause if that’s the case: camera, phone (just in case I do need to call for help plus while I’m not fond of ebooks I do still have a bunch of unread ones on there so win-win) and a notebook. Wait no how would I write in my notebook, I’d need a pen. I’d bring my laptop, but what if it dies. Damn this question is harder than I thought (also maybe because I’m overthinking it lmao)

Bonus question time!

7) If you could, right now, paint your house any color, what would it be and why?

Oooh I don’t know if our house would look good in any other colours haha? Maybe I’d paint the window sills? My mom and I never really liked the bright yellow, but then again it has been growing on me…

8) What is your ideal pet?

If you know me, then this won’t come as a surprise: A PUG

If you’re new and don’t know me: Hi I’m Michelle and I’m obsessed with these beautiful animals

I TAG

Because I’m lazy I’m just going to tag everyone who wants to do this.

What colour would you paint your house? Your biggest pet peeves? And what’s your ideal pet? Let me know in the comments!

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The Artsy Hufflehoe: “My Mother is Dead. My Father is Dead. I’m Gay. I’d Like to be A Poet. This is My House.”

I originally wrote this post for Stedelijk Journal and thought I’d share it here for this month’s Artsy Hufflehoe

Thus begins Female figure by Jordan Wolfson, just before “Applause” by Lady Gaga starts playing. According to Wolfson, the robotic figure is a sexual object and the work addresses “the violence of objectification”. Without being aware of this, the viewer can already feel it when standing in the gallery with the robot.

She is a blonde woman dressed as a hypersexualized pop star: she wears a semitransparent skirt through which her underwear is visible, thigh-high boots, and long gloves. She is completely in white, the color of virginity. Her body appears dirty, but the reason for this is unknown. Her face is concealed by a mask of a witch’s face — this symbolizes infertility, according to Wolfson, while the movements her body makes simply scream fertility.
Because her face is hidden, it feels as if the mask
makes her more of an
object rather than a person.

She is attached to a pole — as if it forces her to keep dancing. Even when no music is playing and she addresses the audience, she continues to dance. From behind the mask, her eyes constantly follow the crowd in the room, unnerving the viewer. She is fixed in place, and her audience cannot leave. She is continuously “performing” for the public. And, as a spectator, the viewer can do nothing.

When “Applause” finishes, she begins to whisper a monologue in which she says, among other things, “I’ll have sex with you, but that’s not my calling”. This capitalizes on the idea that women only exist to satisfy men. She constantly asks what to say, and repeats the words that were said by a man (Wolfson’s voice): “Touch is hate. Say feeling love. Touch is love”. She embodies the utmost submissiveness, just as women are also still often seen today. She says, “This is my house”, but in her own home she has nothing to say and is unable to leave.

During the “performance”, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” also plays, a song that became controversial as a result of lyrics that seem to condone or downplay rape. The words “touch is hate” could indicate this as well. Victims of rape often have difficulty with being touched.

She continues to repeat her dance moves. She is, of course, a robot that is perhaps incapable of performing many steps, but this can also be interpreted as a woman who is constantly forced to perform — to seduce men and to please them — but she is weary and hapless.

While Wolfson himself has said that Female figure is about the “objectification” of women, the observations given here are naturally my own interpretation. The emotions and ideas behind the choices Wolfson has made came to me when I saw the artwork. Perhaps the witch mask only stands for infertility, and the words “touch is hate” might have nothing to do with rape. Others may interpret the work differently, of course. Is Female figure really an effective way to expose “the violence and objectification”? When you are alone or with a group in the room with her, I think you will feel uncomfortable. Therefore, the message is still communicated, but whether the work can help put an end to “objectification” is another question entirely.

The Weekly Hufflepuff #56 | Beautiful Library, Art and ‘Cool Japan’

Don’t mind me I’m just freaking out over the fact that I only have one week of vacation left and I still have so much I need to do before school starts hahaha

Last week I said that I found Six of Crows a bit slow – probably because I’ve been reading a lot of contemporary lately and thus had to get used to that fantasy pace, but I ended up really loving it and already started on Crooked Kingdom, which I’m using for the Grind side quest for The Reading Quest. So far I’m at 40 EXP and 83 HP.

I also read the latest Lumberjanes and Hi-Fi Fight Club issue 1, but since it’s only the first issue I can’t say much about it yet, apart from the fact that I really love the art.

THE COLD IS GONE WOOP WOOP

On Tuesday my mom and I went to the Rijksmuseum, because we both hadn’t really been in a while (apart from two temporary exhibitions back in May). We only had a few hours and the museum is huge, so we definitely need to go again at some point, but at least I finally saw the library!

You’re not allowed to take pictures downstairs, so I had to settle for this

You are however allowed to take pictures upstairs

LOOK AT ALL THOSE BOOKS

Honestly pictures can’t do it justice. If you’re planning on going to Amsterdam and Rijksmuseum, I definitely recommend checking out their library

On Wednesday we went to the city center to do some necessary shopping and get ice cream at Van der Linde – if you’re ever in Amsterdam, get ice cream at Van der Linde. In my opinion it’s the best ice cream in the city.

On Thursday (I need to start these paragraphs differently rip) we finally went to the ‘Cool Japan’ exhibition at Museum Volkenkunde, which was a lot of fun. I had never been to this museum before, as it’s in Leiden (not that it’s that far from Amsterdam, I’ve just never been) so we did take a look around the museum a bit, especially since before you get to the ‘Cool Japan’ exhibition (which is temporary) there’s an exhibition on Indonesia as well. Since we’re Indonesian we had to check it out. We’re thinking of going back and bringing my grandfather with us.

Anyway, the Cool Japan exhibition was about both the hystory, myths (specifically yokai), more traditional art and of course manga, street fashion, music, etc. While the entire exhibition was interesting and fun, my favourite (and my mom’s) was the final room where they had built a small arcade. You could also read manga, there was a big screen showing some music videos and there were a few cosplays on display. Oh and there was a little bit about fan culture back in the old day which was really cool to see.

The robot (called Pepper I believe?) was so cute! Except then it was like ‘Do you want to talk? Come closer if you dare’ Is that a threat Pepper??

I used to play fighting games like Street Fighter and Tekken all the time, but on one of those arcade machines is a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT STORY I SUCKED (though I did win one round I’m 99% sure that was dumb luck)

The biggest reason the last room was my favourite – THIS GAME WAS SO MUCH FUN AND SO ADDICTING I WANT ONE OF THESE IN MY HOUSE

I also had to work and will have to work quite a bit the coming week (haha there goes my last week of freedom) While I did do some fun things, I unfortunately also struggled with my mental health this week, though I’m feeling a lot better again today.

💛 I talked about characters that get a lot of hate, but I would definitely fight you for
💛 I turned some art into memes for this month’s Artsy Hufflehoe
💛 I reviewed It’s Not Like It’s a Secret and spoiler: I have a lot of mixed feelings 

I was really bad at keeping up with posts this week, so basically I spent hours today catching up (I still have a few left to read but oh well) Really hope this is not foreshadowing for when school starts again

💛 MARIE IS BACK
💛 May talks about how to deal with bookish disappointments
💛 Lia did The Book Aesthetics tag and her aesthetics are beautiful
💛 Jasmine talks about her trip to Liverpool
💛 Lauren talks about characters she wishes were her friends
💛 Dev talks about why we need more shows like Brooklyn Nine Nine
💛 Hannah talks about recent YA cover makeovers 
💛 Mikaela talks about book-to-movie adaptations
💛 CW has some book recs for invisible narratives in historical fiction
💛 Lauren talks about comics and graphic novels for beginners 
💛 Em explored London

And that’s a wrap! What have you been up to? Been to any cool exhibitions lately? Let me know in the comments!

The Artsy Hufflehoe: Michelle Turns Art Into Memes

The Artsy Hufflehoe is a feature on here where I talk about all things art! I wasn’t sure what to do for this feature this month (not that I don’t have enough ideas, I just wasn’t in the mood for any of them) until I went to Rijksmuseum this week and inspiration struck. Behold: MEMES

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Willem II just chilling after getting shot in the shoulder no big deal

Dabbing since [insert year this was made which I forgot to look at]

Take a hint dude

She’s done with your shit

My mom thinks he was holding on so he won’t fall since they’re on a ship but this was all I could think of to be honest

That or he’s showing off his booty

Now THAT’s a movie I’d love to see

And people say art is boring. My memes tell a different story (I hope lol). Any good art memes you know? Would you watch Return of the Lesbians? Let me know in the comments!

Studying Journalism With an Anxiety Disorder

This past school year I’ve been really struggling about whether or not I had made the right choice. I really loved my first year, and I had good grades. For the most part I continued to get good grades, and I had gotten positive feedback on my writing, but I still really, really worried if journalism was for me after all.

Studying itself gives me a lot of stress and anxiety, but on top of that having to call people, arrange interviews, doing the interviews themselves etc. I’ve gotten used to it, sort of, but the anxiety I feel before calling people and before the interviews themselves, has never gone away. And I feared that it never will.

My main character from my current WIP also has anxiety and is considering studying journalism, but is afraid his anxiety will get in the way. While I wondered this as well before making my decision, I wasn’t struggling with it as much as Yong-sun is in his senior year. I’m struggling with it now, at the brink of my third year. While this also gave me anxiety, it also really, really helped me. Because I decided to google ‘anxiety and journalism’. Which I could’ve done without writing about Yong-sun, but I didn’t think of it. I didn’t think of looking up journalists who also have an anxiety-disorder. Reading articles from journalists who face the same problems I do, really, really helped me. Am I still scared? You bet ya

But if other journalists can do it, then maybe I can do it too

Are you worried that your anxiety will get in the way of your goals? Has your writing/characters ever helped you in a moment like this? Let me know in the comments!

How To Make Aesthetics 101 by Moi

Last week I did The Blogger Aesthetics Tag, and May suggested that I’d do a post on how to create aesthetics. Since I love aesthetics (and being helpful promise I’m a good person) how could I not? So here’s my attempt at being helpful! (because I might like helping and teaching people I always feel like I suck at it lmao)

Step 1: Have an idea/theme

Okay so I don’t always already know what kind of aesthetic I want to make, sometimes I just want to make one? In that case there’s secret Step 0 in which I browse my Pinterest and/or WeHeartIt to look at my boards/collections for inspiration. Usually I already know what kind of aesthetic I want to make though. In this case a Hermione Granger character aesthetic, so let’s take a look at my board and collection

Okay so I already have a lot of pictures to work with, but let’s pretend I don’t!

Step 2: Look for pictures to use 

Personally I use Pinterest and WeHeartIt, because I can save pictures on boards/collections and make the aesthetics later on, but you can look wherever you want. In this tutorial I’ll be talking about Pinterest and WeHeartIt though.

When I first started making aesthetics I had NO IDEA how to find pictures, and I’m sure some of you have this same problem. It’s a lot easier when you’re making an aesthetic for an already existing character, especially a popular one like Hermione:

Look at all the pins and boards! It makes it super easy to find plenty of pictures. Of course it’s not that easy when you want to make an aesthetic for your own character or book. I have boards/collections for my own WIPs and characters as well, so whenever I come across something I can save it to the board/collection and at some point I can make an aesthetic, but still, how do you find pictures?

Since my character Mick is a bookworm, I just look for ‘book aesthetics’ and ta-dah! Of course he’s more than a bookworm, but I wanted to use this as an example

Basically: put aesthetic in your search term.

I also follow aesthetic boards/collections on Pinterest and WeHeartIt: from general ‘aesthetic’ boards to ‘yellow aesthetic’ to people’s own characters’ aesthetics or aesthetics for already existing characters/books/tv shows/movies/etc. that I know are similar to my WIPs and characters, so I’ll be able to save pins/hearts from those to the boards/collections for my WIPs/characters and be able to use them later on when I’m making aesthetics.

Step 3: Save all the pictures to whatever device you’re making the aesthetic on

So by now you hopefully have all the pictures you need, so now you need to save them. Yes all of them. Okay, I’m not looking at you through my computer screen yelling ‘HEY YOU FORGOT ONE’ and if you don’t want to save all of them, obviously you don’t need to, I’m just telling you what I do. Though if there’s an image that I know won’t work I’ll skip it, but I like having all images on my laptop to use.

Step 4: Open your collage making program/website

I always use Fotor, but I found that on the App Store so I don’t know if it’s available on other computers? If it is, I definitely recommend it! It’s not just a program for collages, it’s also a regular editor.

Step 5: Choose a layout

You can choose different layouts, and I never really know which one I want, so basically I experiment a lot. There’s no ‘one layout’ for aesthetics, though four, six, eight and nine squares are used a lot. Those are the ones I use myself as well.

Step 6: Upload your pictures and experiment! 

Whatever program you’re using, there’s a big chance that if like me you end up with a lot of pictures you might not be able to open all of them at once, which I personally find a real struggle. I want all the pictures on the side so I can see which ones go together, but alas Fotor doesn’t allow more than 30 pictures and I ended up with around 70 pictures to choose from.

So this is what I ended up with after experimenting for a bit and well… I wasn’t satisfied AT ALL.

Step 7: Experiment some more until you’re satisfied 

AND TADAH. Sorry I don’t have screenshots of the experimenting, but what looks good and doesn’t look good is very subjective anyway. Personally I look at the following things:

💛 Do the pictures look good together? Is it pleasing to the eye? (composition, colours)
💛 Aren’t there too many pictures showing one side of the character/book? For example: a lot of pictures of books in a Hermione aesthetic and no pictures that have to do with her being a witch, a hardworking student, an activist. I like showing as many sides to the character as possible as long as the pictures look nice together

You’ll most likely end up with a lot of pictures saved on your laptop that you wish you could’ve used, but hey you could always make another aesthetic ;)

Step 8: Throw your pretty aesthetics in everyone’s faces

Why yes that IS a Malvie aesthetic I made

You could share them on your blog, or make a Tumblr dedicated to aesthetics like me (cheeky self promo here). If you already have a Tumblr and don’t want another one, you can also upload them on there of course. Twitter and Instagram also loves aesthetics! Anyway loads of people love aesthetics so no one minds if you throw some in their face (I definitely don’t! THROW ALL THE AESTHETICS IN MY FACE)

Well, I hope that was a little bit useful! If you need help/have questions, I always love to help and talk about aesthetics did I mention I love aesthetics I may have a problem. Do you like making aesthetics? Do you have any tips? Do you have an aesthetics Tumblr? Let me know in the comments!