WaterMelons, WaterColours, WaterMornings

Watermelon Sketch

 

7: 04 AM (Drinking green tea and enjoying pumpernickel bread with peanut butter & banana)

1. For me, the presence of watermelon slices immediately signals ‘summer’ and ‘outdoor parties.’ The watermelon triangles are a staple of any successful pool party or backyard barbecue.

2. Will children in 100 years know that watermelons once did not have seeds? Or will every sort be ‘seedless’? We now have seedless grapes, seedless watermelons, and even the plumcot (a complex hybrid between apricots and plums). Food is becoming ever more convenient, but moving further away from the dietary regime of our ancestors. As Michael Pollan writes in his book Food Rules“Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognise as food.”

3. Баба Вани винаги казба.. “Не яш диня преди да лягаш за сьн.” Translation from Bulgarian to English: ‘ My grandmother always yells at me to NOT eat watermelon before bed. Out of all her rules, this one might be my least favourite. I mean, who doesn’t have watermelon cravings at 10 PM? I can’t be the only one enticed by the red and green candy that is watermelon.

An extract from the introduction of my Film Studies Dissertation (King’s College London)…

This dissertation is situates within the growing research around the stylistic use of digital technology and new media in contemporary cinema. My main area of investigation will be the virtual camera in narrative computer-animated films, with a precise interest in musical cinematography. The term ‘musical’ refers to the narrative premise of analysing song or dance sequences, while the term ‘cinematography’ refers to the stylistic and aesthetic form of the camerawork. The musical context provides a point of consistency across the films and sequences chosen for formal analysis, thereby providing a lineage between different production methods and styles. Prince argues that that digital technology builds “on stylistic traditions established by filmmakers in earlier generations … while providing new and more powerful tools to accomplish these ends.”[1] Likewise this dissertation will explore the stylistic developments in computer-animated films in relation to past cinematic traditions.

This investigation is structured around the aim of outlining and testing the term ‘digital cine-mobility,’ as a cinematic style, through comparisons with established stylistic traditions. Chapter One will explore the visual effects of cel-animation and computer-animation in relation to the Walt Disney Animation Studio. Chapter Two will study the moving camera of the American film musical. And finally, Chapter Three will scrutinize the term ‘digital cine-mobility,’ which we will initially define as, the selection of fantastical, playful, and impossible camera movements in computer-animated films. The concept of digital cine-mobility is framed around a lively camera that presents spatially dynamic, effortlessly integrated, and kinetically expressive movements. The aim of this investigation is to progressively examine, and attempt to define, the descriptive terms above.

[1]  Stephen Prince, Digital Visual Effects in Cinema: The Seduction of Reality (New Brunswick, New Jersey, and London: Rutgers University Press, 2012), 4-5.

What Does It Feel Like To Write A Dissertation? … it’s like braiding hair!

What Does It Feel Like To Write A Dissertation? ... it's like braiding hair!

I like to use the analogy that writing a dissertation is like braiding hair.

Don’t be fooled if it sounds easy. This isn’t a simple three-part braid. No no, your customer (or dissertation supervisor) wants a whole hairstyle, not just the braid. You have three chapters, each is like its own braid, which then has to weaves together into one. Plus, you have your introduction and conclusion, the equivalent of styling the bangs in the front and the stray hairs in the back.

It’s also a process, a journey. You try one strand of hair here and then another there and when that doesn’t work, you undo the braid and try again with the knowledge and experience you gained in trying the first time. It’s a constant process of putting a strand of hair in and then stepping back and seeing if it works. Then if that quote, errrm…. I mean strand of hair, doesn’t fit in with the other twists and turns of the style… Then it has to be taken out. Sometimes, you finish a whole fishtail braid and just as you’re about to tie the end… You realize the fishtail style doesn’t work with the hairpins you originally chose! Time to re-try weaving the hair strands together in a French Braid.

Lastly, let’s not forget about functionality. Hairstyles not only have to look clean and well-put together, they also have to hold when put to the test. Wedding hairstyles, gymnasts’ buns, horse-riders’ braids… They all have to stand the event/physical activity. Similarly, your dissertation has to be well-written/presentable AND be defendable/rooted in a research methodology.

And at the very end, you hairspray the style with footnotes, a bibliography, a filmography, a cover page, and a table of contents… And voila! You step back and you have a dissertation hairstyle!

Study Abroad Experience on the King’s College London Website

Well ladies and gentlemen,

I am officially on the King’s College London Website for a second time. This time I was asked to write about my study abroad experience at the Sorbonne – Paris III and I even got to include some pictures!

Click here to read about my Study Abroad Experience on the King’s College London Website

To-To-Tofu.

To-To-Tofu.

Over the years, tofu has gotten a bad reputation of being only for vegetarians, tasting bland, and being unpleasantly chewy. There are too many loud voices against tofu, and not enough proponents willing to clear the bad reputation. I believe the product itself is not the problem; tofu just needs a new marketing strategy. You can do pretty much anything to tofu: grill it, poach it, scramble it, stir-fry it, simmer it in a curry, or make it into burgers. When prepared properly, tofu can be a wonderful addition to any dish. Plus, it has high protein content that adds health benefits to all. The bad reputation comes from unawareness and apprehension to explore tofu as an ingredient in meals; thus, we need to start a conversation in order to re-brand tofu. Help end the pre-determined discrimination against tofu by giving it another proper taste before completely writing it off.

What makes you happy?

What makes you happy?

I am a coffee shop enthusiast who collects loyalty cards like lucky pennies. Coffee shops are my third home. I love everything about them: the smell of black coffee, the sound of foaming milk, and the short bursts of wind that brush against my skin when the door opens. Just thinking about the wooden tables and skinny soy lattes can bring all my senses to life. I’m one of that person who owns four ‘Coffee Shops of London’ books, knows the barista’s name and often goes ‘exploring’ for new hidden gems. It may not be a prestigious hobby, but finding a new coffee shop with Wi-Fi brings me instant joy. I’ve written countless essays, had numerous important conversations, and discovered new music in coffee shops – and every trip manages to make me happy. A simple “black coffee for here” can always brighten a gloomy Saturday afternoon.

I also love to look around the population of each coffee shop: old friends with foreign accents that are catching-up, awkward first dates, students in-between lectures trying to stay awake after a night out, a business man with the daily newspaper and his iPad, an old woman with a Sudoku puzzle, and the struggling artist with a notebook filled with short stories and drawings of his half-empty cappuccino. For all you know, the person sitting near to you could be the next J.K. Rowling. Nevertheless you still avert your gaze after making accident eye contact. Coffee shops are the hubs or intellects, stressers, and artists alike. There’s no better place to people watch…