Cold Weather.

Здравствуйте,

Today was the first day of classes back at university!

I’m not very excited for this semester because it’s so cold! Очень холодно!

But I had to pick up some books and meet some people, and it was snowing pretty hard. I looked down… and woah! Cute little snowflakes of all different shapes and sizes.

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It’s the little things in life, I guess.

Это все!

Искренне Ваша,

Джейми

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Doodling.

Nothing specific…


Здравствуйте,

У меня было свободное время прошлой ночью, и я смотрелa телевизор. Итак, я нарисовалa много вещей.

Hello,

I had free time last night, and I watched TV. So, I drew a lot of things. Hope you enjoy!

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I was having fun with shapes and made an apple tree below.

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There’s not really rhyme or reason with these. For once, I didn’t overthink. I just drew what I thought was right. These obviously aren’t going in the MoMA, but that’s not the point.

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That’s it!

Искренне Ваша,

Джейми

Spirited Away.

Directed By: Hayao Miyazaki.


Hello, it’s been a while. I’ve been busy, but I’m glad to be back.

I recently re-watched Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro, and I feel reminded more than ever that I love the story of Spirited Away.

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The animation itself is fantastic, the plot, unlike anything I’ve ever seen. This movie actually reminds me of my childhood and my fear of creatures that look like Kamaji or Yubaba.

But the character of Haku and No-Face are the reasons why I’m so compelled to think about Spirited Away after it’s over.

Haku being a Spirit of the Kohaku River, and his love and affection of Chihiro is something I find very unexpected from Hayao Miyazaki.

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The redemption of No-Face is perhaps my favorite part of the movie, that and the character development of Yubaba’s baby.

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Ah, I feel like my thoughts are all over the place…

This movie both frightens and intrigues me, and perhaps that I why I want to discuss it.

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The art style is breathtaking, and I love Miyazaki films because they bring unexpected facets of Japanese culture with the film. I can see the depth of meaning, even if I do not fully understand it. Studying linguistics and cultures I what I do, and what I love to do. While I have not studied Japanese, I have taken Korean. And Russian, of course.

I think it might be interesting to write a post on here in Russian! Just for fun. If anyone can speak/read it, let me know!

안녕히 가새요!

Искренне ваша, Джейми

Alien: Covenant.

Directed by: Ridley Scott.


Wow, so, huh. I have a lot of feelings.

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I just went and saw Alien: Covenant. First off, I am a massive fan of the Alien franchise. I love the movies, soundtracks, Sig Weav (Sigourney Weaver), Alien: Isolation, merchandise, and xenomorphs in general. Ridley Scott is also pretty cool, as long as his plans for a Gladiator 2 don’t work out.

I was really, really excited for this film, especially when I found out that a new type of Alien, the neomorph was being introduced and featured in Alien: Covenant.

No joke, I actually went and re-watched the whole franchise. And, as I had never seen Alien vs. Predator, I went and watched that. But since I had never seen Predator, and wanted to fully understand AVP, I watched Arnold battle it out in South America. (BTW, I thought Predator was pretty good, though it was the most masculine thing my eyes have ever witnessed). But back to this film.

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There was a lot riding on this film, and I had a lot of expectations. I really wanted to know more about the Creators, my dream is basically to be Elizabeth Shaw (or Noomi Rapace). Like Shaw, I wanted to know why the Creators made us, and why they chose to destroy us. Prometheus left a lot of questions unanswered, and Alien: Covenant‘s solution was to IGNORE ALL OF IT.

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SAME. ^^^

Like, basically all of it.

Ridley Scott, all I wanted was a good plot line.

The premise of Alien: Covenant was almost pulled-off. What they came up with almost worked. Almost. It was still interesting, I enjoyed it. But it was predictable. And this word, predictable, is the downfall of the franchise. It’s become their Achilles’ heel.

More important: David, why are you such a dick?

Also, spoiler alert. Obviously.

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The neomorphs, ya looked weird. Pretty human-looking. Would not want to be buds with you.

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The pros: Danny McBride. Surprisingly fit well in this film, really enjoyed him.

But, David. David! Why? Why?

You dropped a pathogen bomb on the creators. You didn’t properly cite your quotation (Shelley, not Bryon). And, worst of all, YOU KILLED SHAW. You say you loved her, that she showed you the most kindness out of anyone. And, you, what? Opened her up like an experiment? Infected her with one of your experiments? This was so disappointing.

Again, this was almost good. But the entire premise was wrong. This whole plot shouldn’t have happened. Why?

Because: they ignored Prometheus. When filmmakers start developing another addition to a franchise, it’s a red flag when you ignore the past movie.

As a consumer, I was alerted when I saw the title had been changed from Alien: Paradise Lost, to Alien: Covenant. I am pretty knowledgeable regarding this franchise, I know (and have read) a lot about the background of the story. Ridley Scott is really into incorporating a type of religion into the base of the story. Alien is really complex, there is a lot going on in the background. It’s part of the reason why I love the franchise.

I didn’t hate this film. But I was disappointed that instead of answering questions that I’ve been waiting years for, Alien: Covenant went for horror over meaning. Xenomorphs, and the horror they present, cannot be used an infinite number of times. I’m not sure how I feel about this film, but it was nice to revisit the story and setting again.

Shaw, Noomi Rapace, you deserved better. David, fuck you.

Ridley Scott, this franchise deserves more.

Just for fun:

‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’

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All the best,

Jamie.

Everything, Everything.

A story of illness and bravery.


Last night I was able to see two movies in one night at the theater. The first was Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, and the second was Everything, Everything.

I thought it was really cute, and was pleasantly surprised overall. I read the novel over Christmas this past year in one night, and thought it was a cute, happy story. One of my favorite things about the novel is the main character, Maddy. She is a POC, half Asian, half Black. Most high-profile teen novels tend to feature a white girl. Which isn’t inherently bad, but diversity is never a bad thing.

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This isn’t going to be an Oscar winner, and it doesn’t try to be. It’s a stand-alone movie that’s goal is to portray a story: one of mental and physical illness. I’ve always compared it to The Fault In Our Stars in my head (I’ve actually really grown to resent that story over time).

They also feature the artwork of Nicola Yoon’s husband in the end credits, which is adorable.

Everything, Everything tackles many parts in life that are more common than we think. Parents who struggle with a hold on their children, illness, and the way teenagers are treated. Maddy’s relationship with Olly is often shrugged-off by many characters due to her age and inexperience. Now, this is going to sound cheesy, but love across all ages and walks of life holds meaning.

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I am a fan of Everything, Everything because it is a story of growth and bravery. It is simple, but cute. If I could sum it up, it would be: ❤

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All the best,

Jamie.

Being a Russian Area Studies Major.

So, this is kinda hard to explain.


I go to university, but we’ll keep the specific one unclear. I just finished my second year, finals are done, my brother just graduated, and I have two weeks before I go on vacation to Savannah, GA. BTW, the cover picture above is from the morning of the graduation 🙂 After a family vacation, I am off to an intensive summer language program to learn 2nd year Russian in 8 weeks time.

It’s gonna be real intense.

But what I wanted to talk about is my major. I am a Russian area studies major. I’m learning Russian currently, then after that I’ll move on to Ukrainian (which is super similar) then BCS (Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian). I absolutely love learning Russian, and I am so grateful I have the opportunity to study it. It’s so unique and I put as much effort into it as I can, and I prioritize it over all my other studies. This is why I am spending the summer learning Second-Year Russian, because I need to learn as much Russian as I can while I am in school.

Learning and understanding a language is how you truly come to know a culture. The people are in the language, they made it. So I also study Russian literature and history. That is what led me to my Dostoevsky class, which was absolutely brilliant and I am so grateful that I happened upon that class.

I have been very blessed, my university has such an amazing Russian Area Studies Center that is filled with people who share a love for this facet of knowledge. It’s people like Dostoevsky and Tolstoy that started a love for Russia that has brought me to this moment in life. When I picture Imperial Russia, I imagine not the poorly-done emancipation of the serfs, but a golden, twinkling era of extravagance and beauty. I am also aware this life was only available to a very small number of people and led to such acts as Bloody Sunday and the eventual rise of communism.

But what I wanted to convey most in this post is: If you are interested, I am here to let you know this does exist, and for someone like me it’s a dream to study. I want to be a Russian Area Studies Expert and work on a government level with increasingly-difficult political relations with Russia.

It is through learning that we can truly understand a people and their motives. Not for political advantage, but for respect. If we respect a people and know why they make decisions, and the continual reasons for them, then we open the door for true international relations. If there is to be a State Department, it should be run effectively, which is what I want to help do. Not for gain, but to shed light on people that have recently been labeled only by their leadership. This can also be applied in reverse, and how the United States should not be known just by their president.

International relations exist, and if states want effective communication, then it is of the utmost importance to have members of the state with actual knowledge of the political and historical situation. If governments are run by inept leaders, then we are not truly serving the people as our constitution promised us to.

This post is a bit different, but this makes up a large portion of what I dedicate my time to. Members of government are not all gray pantsuit-wearing hooligans. It is passion that wills people to lead.

I hope reading this gave you more of an idea of who I am, and what I do.

All the best,

Jamie.

Snowy Days.

Hello, it’s very cold where I live right now, so I decided to share some photos.

I’ve been very busy with school, I go to university, but in a week I have Spring Break! THANK GOODNESS (I need sleep and the ability to watch Netflix without feeling guilty about it). Right now I’m writing papers and studying for class, but I wanted to post something.

Side note: I’m still reading The Brothers Karamazov, and I have a lot of thoughts. THOUGHT ONE: I love this book. THOUGHT TWO: Dostoevsky is a master at his craft. THOUGHT THREE: Dmitri didn’t do it (I just finished Book 8 last night).

Anyways… here are some snowy photos. Maybe you’ll get a cold draft just looking at them 🙂

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(They are blurry, I was on the bus)

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Have a cup of tea for me!

All the best,

Jamie

UPDATE 3/13/2017:

It snowed again today, and I made sure to take clearer (better) pictures! I thought these could be interesting for those who live in warmer climates. ❤

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