Memoirs of a Geisha

Memoirs of a geishaAfter seeing the film version of Memoirs of a Geisha, prior to reading the novel, I wasn’t convinced of the hype. I admit, I was a naive high schooler when this film came out and it was beyond my level of comprehension. In the years following, I heard from my mom, sister, co-workers, and seemingly everyone that Memoirs was a must read.

I finally caved after having this book on my to read list for over two years and I am so glad I did. Memoirs of a Geisha is a beautiful account of a geisha coming of age in the era of the Great Depression and follows her through her struggles during World War II, followed by the American occupation. Golden captures the female voice so perfectly that you would never know it was not written by Sayuri herself.

The geisha lifestyle is one that is often misunderstood. Many people assume they are prostitutes which is not entirely the case. Yes, sex can be a part of the job, but geisha are almost mythical creatures who spend years of dedication to become masters of their craft, all while maintaining a pristine reputation, and dressing in elaborate kimonos that are worth more than they are (according to the mother of their okiya). Even pouring tea, a seemingly mundane task to us Westerners, is to be done with such precision and provocation to warrant the attention of a potential danna, or patron, to support their lifestyle.

I would like to revisit the film after finally reading the book because I think it will take on a different meaning for me. If you are looking for an escape from your everyday to a foreign land full of grace, grandeur, and beautiful kimonos, Memoirs of a Geisha is a great read!

x B

Sing Street

oscar movies

When Netflix recommended Sing Street to me, I nonchalantly added it to my cue to save for a rainy day. I watched it one nondescript Sunday afternoon thinking it would be mediocre at best, but I was more than pleasantly surprised at this little gem of a film. It is such a great storyline though its main plot line is hardly original — an underdog trying to get a girl that is out of his reach. Inspired by 80’s glam bands, this rag-tag team of green musicians try their hand at writing original music, filming epic videos to match their songs, and live performances.

Though it is centered around teenagers, Sing Street is a great reminder that there is no better time than the present to pursue your dreams. The thick Irish accents can be a little tough to decipher in the beginning, but stick with it. Once they start singing you won’t be able to get the catchy songs out of your head for days. And yes, they come with some awesome 80’s dancing. Watch Sing Street when you need a pick me up and a quirky movie is the answer!

 

x B

Atlanta

donald glover
If you’ve been within earshot of me in the past five years you’ve probably heard me casually drop “Childish Gambino” or “Donald Glover” into any conversation, relevant or not. To say I’m obsessed is putting it mildly. My monthly google search of Donald lead to me discover in late 2015 that he wrote a new pilot called “Atlanta”. Being a southerner and a stalker huge fan of Donald Glover, I was intrigued.

When Atlanta finally premiered this past fall it was every bit as wonderful as I had hoped. Donald captures the essence of the underdog trying to survive when the odds are stacked against you. This very real show is sprinkled with witty humor that is almost too quick to catch. Darius, Paper Boi’s sidekick, is a strange and hilarious character that you look forward to every episode. And Van, Earn’s ex/love interest, is endearing, wonderful, and effortlessly cool you can’t help but love her.

This 10 episode first season of Atlanta is raw, real, sharp, and humorous. It is no surprise that this show and Donald picked up a few Golden Globes and was picked up for a second season. You can knock it out in a day or two, but you won’t be able to get “paper boi, paper boi, all about that paper boi” out of your head until long after the last episode ends.

x B

 

The xx // they’re back!

the xx
I’ve only been kept in suspense for two years since The xx announced they were working on their new studio album. After two years of incessant googling, stalking, and the like, The xx finally released that their third album, I See You, will be out January 13th. As a super fan, I subscribe to them on all social media platforms and was absolutely elated to have the announcement email waiting for me in my inbox. Their newest single “On Hold” is a good omen of what is to come. Listen to it and tell me you don’t find yourself dancing along (and putting it on repeat for the rest of the day):

And if this news wasn’t great enough, The xx also announced that they would be the musical guests on SNL with Kristen Wiig as the host. See their performance of “On Hold” below and mark your calendars for January 13th! 7 weeks and counting…

x B

Hiatus

Wow. Long time no talk. Really, has it been 10 months? I’ve been catching up on life and allowing myself to slow down a bit (not really, but something had to give). Work has been my biggest priority and I’m still working on creating a balance between being the best employee I can, having fun, pursuing my other creative endeavors, and being the best the best version of myself in other aspects of my life. It’s not always pretty, but it’s a work in progress.

Creative burnout often happens when you’re burning the candle at both ends, but I’m learning to be more forgiving of myself so I can still pursue my favorite creative activities without feeling totally exhausted. I’ve spent the last 10 months working on building my painting portfolio, learning more on the business aspect of art, and still making time to explore new places for fresh ideas. So, all that to say, more content coming soon! Thank you for the continued support and I look forward to seeing what is in store for seven | sixteen!

x B

Newly Minted

minted x domino

I am so excited to announce that thanks to all of your votes and unconditional support, this little painting placed in the top 30 of the Minted x domino competition! That means this print, plus a few others, are now available for purchase on Minted.

Thank you so much for those who voted and helped me along the way! You can see my full store of products here.

x B

Artist Profile: Julia Contacessi

I came across Julia’s work through Minted, but immediately wanted to find more of her paintings. Her website is absolutely breathtaking, like most of her pieces. Her work conveys a very ethereal perspective of her subject matter. She excels in both abstracts and landscapes using  a mixture of both subdued and bright color palettes.
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If you’re as hooked as I am, check out all of Julia’s work on her website!

x B

Go Set A Watchman

go set a watchman
Like any avid reader, I was so excited to get my hands on a copy of Harper Lee’s latest novel, Go Set A Watchman when it was released earlier this year. This book picks up from To Kill A Mockingbird, once Scout is a grown woman of 26. Still her rowdy self, she is struggling with coming to terms with domestication and settling down. (You know I love books about young women not ready to settle down, it makes me feel less alone).

Scout returns home to find her sleepy hometown turned upside down by the growing rift between races. To Kill A Mockingbird touches on similar themes, but with the heightened tension of the civil rights movement, things have shifted. Not quite ready to let go of her youth, she still uses Atticus as her moral compass. I don’t want to give away too much, but this book, though not as touching as her first, still has a great message. Just like its predecessor it reads quickly so be sure to add this one to your reading list if you haven’t already.

x B

Iris

iris documentaryIris Apfel has been a style icon of mine for years. Who doesn’t love a woman who can layer jewelry, wear oversized glasses, and mix prints like a boss? Netflix recently added Albert Maysles’ documentary of Iris and it seemed like a decent way to spend a Sunday afternoon. This film follows modern day Iris as she reminisces on her life and style evolution over the years.

iris apfelModern day fashion icons and moguls (most importantly, Jenna Lyons) are featured in the film and all have nothing but overwhelming respect and admiration for Iris. Her clothes and accessories have been featured in galleries such as the Met and Peabody Essex Museum, making her fashion accessible to the public. Her career started as an Interior Designer and she evolved her career to become one of the most iconic fashion figures in the modern world. So, basically she’s living out my ideal life…I can only hope, right?

iris apfelWhether or not you are into fashion, this documentary is a fascinating look into the world of “everyday” fashion and its underlying message that how you carry yourself is more important than what is on the surface.

x B

What I’m Watching: The Jinx

robert durst
These days it is easy to binge watch tv, mostly because of HBO and Netflix, but it is hard to find something so compelling to watch that you literally cannot. stop. watching. I’d been told by several people that I had to watch The Jinx. It was that good. This mini-series can be found on HBO and is so crazy and addictive, it’s crazy addictive.

It is six episodes following Robert Durst who has been suspected in several murders, but never been convicted. Director Andrew Jarecki’s film, All Good Things, was inspired by the disappearance of Durst’s first wife. After seeing the movie in theaters, Durst contacted Jarecki for an interview, thus spurring the start of the documentary.

I don’t want to give away too much, but everything from the editing, the reenactments, the theme song, to the most insane ending I have ever seen will blow you away. Don’t believe me? Watch it and report back.

x B