I Am a Certified Intelligent Person, Yay

August 20, 2016 miscellaneous 10

Cake Conversations Banner Kopie - Kopie

What’s New?

New? Oh, not that much. Just, you know, GOT MY FRICKING DEGREE, but other than that… Yes, as of two weeks ago, I am the proud owner of a certificate that I can hang on my wall (I mean I probably won’t do that, because it feels douchey, but I gave a copy to family members so THEY can hang it on their walls and brag about how cool I am. I don’t think they have yet, but I’m sure they will do it soon. Any day now). It looks very fancy. Definitely worth the last three and a half years I’ve spent attaining it. Also, I now have an unconditional offer for my MA and will be starting that next month. I’m moving out of my current flat next week, my last day at work is on Tuesday, and basically IT’S THE END OF AN ERA. I’ve been kind of silent here lately, because I was attempting to recover from doing literally all the things (I think my battery recharge is now at about 60%, but apparently you do not get a complimentary holiday with your degree – shocking, I know) and also because I’m trying to spend time with my friends before I move.
Read more »

Divider

My Reaction to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in 18 Gifs (And I Haven’t Even Read It Yet)

July 27, 2016 books, miscellaneous 12

To celebrate the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on July 31st, Aentee @ Read at Midnight came up with the idea of Potterhead July, a month-long Harry Potter blog festival. I grew up with Harry Potter, so obviously I had to participate.



I thought about writing a long, heartfelt post for this, I really did. Instead, I give you my reaction to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in 18 gifs, because that’s just where I’m at.
Read more »

Divider

FREEDOM

July 16, 2016 miscellaneous 14

Cake Conversations Banner Kopie - Kopie

What’s New?

I handed in my Bachelor thesis this week! I cannot believe it’s finally done. I was more or less satisfied with it by the end – now I only hope I’ll pass and everything will be okay, but it’s out of my hands now. I’m having a weekend right now. An actual weekend, guys! It is the best thing in the history of best things. Personally, I feel like I deserve a fucking holiday, or possibly a small island, but apparently I still have to go to work. BUT DID I MENTION I GET TO HAVE FREE TIME AGAIN.

Also, pokémon go came out literally the day I handed in my thesis, so that’s pretty much what I’ve been up to the past few days. I’m currently at my grandma’s place in the countryside because it was her birthday this weekend and there’s literally nothing here, but I’ve taken walks just to hatch eggs (this app is what would have gotten me to do sports as a kid, not traumatic PE in school). I’ve even started watching pokemon episodes again, because why not I HAVE FREE TIME. I’m technically also doing the fantasy favorites read-a-thon, but I didn’t really have enough energy to read yet. Right now I’m just recharging my batteries and enjoying my free time!

The Shiny

I got two books from netgalley, and they both feature baked goods. I’m sensing a theme with this lately.



28110139

I hope you’re all having a great week and that you’re enjoying your summer! Oh, and if you have any good adult book recs, leave them below. :) I read a lot of YA, but recently I’ve been feeling the need to switch it up a bit. I usually read classics or contemporary(?) adult books when I feel like that, but I’m in the mood to try something new.

As always, I’m linking up with Stacking the Shelves, hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and the Sunday Post hosted by the Caffeinated Book Reviewer!

stacking the shelvessunday post

Divider

Big Books and Fake Cake

July 1, 2016 books, miscellaneous 21

Cake Conversations Banner Kopie - Kopie

What’s New?

First things first, mark your calendars, because Olivia from Olivia’s Catastrophe and I will be hosting an I Like Big Books (and I cannot lie) read-a-thon in mid-August, more specifically Aug 12th to Aug 21st! We’re still looking for co-hosts, so here’s a quick overview to give you an idea of what’s gonna happen:

The idea started because I decided I finally have to read the A Song of Ice and Fire series after watching the Game of Thrones season finale (how epic was that by the way? I’m still not over it). I thought I’d do a read-a-long, but we decided we’ll just make it about long books in general to give people that extra boost of motivation to tackle them. ASoIaF will be the featured series, and there will be some posts focused on it, but you can read everything you like and set your own goals (heck, you can even start watching the series if that’s what you’d like to do). There will be more announcements about this in the next few weeks, but if you’re interested in co-hosting, please comment below and/or send an email to reviewsandcake@gmail.com :)


Read more »

Divider

It’s Not Me, It’s You

June 26, 2016 books, reviews 2

cover of it's not me it's you by mhairi mcfarlane

An achingly funny story about how to be your own hero when life pulls the rug out from under your feet. From the author of the bestselling YOU HAD ME AT HELLO

Delia Moss isn’t quite sure where she went wrong.

When she proposed and discovered her boyfriend was sleeping with someone else – she thought it was her fault.

When she realised life would never be the same again – she thought it was her fault.

And when he wanted her back life nothing had changed – Delia started to wonder if perhaps she was not to blame…

From Newcastle to London and back again, with dodgy jobs, eccentric bosses and annoyingly handsome journalists thrown in, Delia must find out where her old self went – and if she can ever get her back.

– from goodreads

I’ve become very reliant on goodreads and my fellow bloggers’ reviews the past few years. I can usually tell whether I’ll like a book by a combination of my own interest in the blurb and whether the people who have a similar taste in books liked it. Every once in a while, however, I’ll still pop into a bookstore and just buy whatever looks good. This was one of those cases. I absolutely loved the cover and the title and it sounded like a light, fun read.

The weird thing is, it’s been lying around on my shelf for ages and then a few weeks after I decided to move to Newcastle I pick it up – only to realize that it’s (partly) set in Newcastle! I’ve literally never read a book set there. I can’t even remember a book that mentioned the city to be honest. It seemed a good omen, and I did, in fact, really end up liking the book.
Read more »

Divider

Fantasy Favorites: An Introduction

June 25, 2016 books, fun, miscellaneous 17

Hello everyone!

I’ve participated in the fantasy favorites read-a-thon last year, and it was so much fun that I decided to do it again this year! It’s all about fantasy books and this year there are three series we’re going to focus on – Throne of Glass, Grisha, and Percy Jackson – but you can read anything you’d like to read. There will be lots of fun posts and challenges, and if you’d like to join we’d love to have you!

fantasy favorites read a thon graphic on reviews and cake

Since there may be some new people visiting this blog over the course of the event, it’s time to reintroduce myself!

1. Who are you?

i am iron man gif

What? I could be. You don’t know what I do with my free time.

Starting right with the difficult questions, are we? I feel like someone should write a coming-of-age story about me that I could read, so I can answer this question. Fine, I’ll stop being annoyingly philosophical about this and give it my best shot:

I’m Vlora and I blog about books, TV shows, movies and everything that catches my interest. I’m also currently a student and I work part-time, so I blog between 7 days a week during holidays to one time a month during busy times, but I’m usually around on twitter, because I like shouting my witty (or so I say) 140-character insights at people. I live in Germany, but will probably-hopefully-almost definitely move to England in September to do my postgrad there (and so I can frequent Waterstones, but that was only, like, 49% of the reason). I like writing, drawing, travelling and wearing my pajamas all weekend. And by pajamas I mean sweatpants and a random t-shirt, because I’m not fancy enough to own pajamas.

I’m a professional procrastinator, which is the only reason I have a smidgeon of baking skills, because I like to bake when I should be writing term papers. I also have a horrible sense of direction, but I make up for it by being too socially akward to ask people for directions. In addition to this blog, I have a YouTube channel, which I use very sporadically (meaning I haven’t made a video in months, because I forgot how to edit, but I still pay for the Adobe Creative Suit, so I at least feel guilty about it). When I’m obsessed with something I talk about it incessantly on twitter and secretely read fanfiction until I can’t justify neglecting everything else anymore. Currently, I’m loving Hamilton, so let me know if we have that in common. Sometimes I remember this blog is public and potential employers/my friends and family can see it, but most of the time I choose to ignore that fact.

Right, that was probably more than you ever asked for or wanted to know, so let’s move on.

2. Why are you joining the read-a-thon?

I love fantasy, and I really enjoyed taking part last year, so I jumped at the chance to participate again. There also haven’t been too many posts on this blog lately, because I’ve been busy, so this is a good opportunity to come back with a bang. Or at least quietly sneak back in and pretend I’ve been there all along.

3. Which books do you intend to read?

I’ve read the original Percy Jackson series and I’m listening to the Heroes of Olympus audiobooks at the moment, so I’m good on that front. I’ve read Throne of Glass, but I didn’t love it (I actually named it as my least favorite fantasy in last years introduction post – oops?), so I never moved on to the sequels, and I don’t plan to, which leaves the Grisha series. I’ve heard of the books before and they sounded like I might enjoy them, but I never got around to reading them. When I looked them up on amazon a few weeks ago, I saw they were all 99c on Kindle, so I bought all three books in preparation for the read-a-thon. I am a terrible mood reader though, so we’ll see what I’ll actually end up reading!

4. How many pages do you think you’ll manage?

No clue! I’m writing my Bachelor thesis at the moment, but I’m hoping to hand it in at the beginning of the read-a-thon, so I should hopefully have some time to read. I’d like to read the first book of the Grisha series at the very least, but I may end up reading more. My goal last year was 10 pages and I read 240, so I’d say let’s meet in the middle and go for 11 pages this year. (Unrelatedly, here’s another fact about me: I suck at math.)

5. What’s your favourite thing about the fantasy genre?

I love delving into new magical worlds and reading about high stakes adventures. It’s not that I don’t like contemporary books, but I feel like there’s always an extra sprinkle of awesome when there’s magic involved. I mean an argument may be interesting to read about, but an argument where people may end up throwing fireballs at each other? Much more exciting, you have to admit.

6. Which fantasy books do you always recommend?

A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Shadows! Seriously, go read those books!!!!! If you don’t know me, you may not know that this excessive use of exclamation marks is out of character for me, but it IS and you can trust my excitement about this series. I love the writing and the world is just magical AND THE CHARACTERS OH MY GOD THE CHARACTERS (capslock on the other hand is NOT out of character for me, so get used to it). And like last year, I can’t believe I have to say this but: if you haven’t read Harry Potter, read Harry Potter. Seriously. Just do it, jeez.

7. Which fantasy books are you dying to read?

A CONJURING OF LIGHT. It doesn’t come out until next February.


8. If you could travel to one fantasy world, which one would it be? (I know it’s hard, but try not to say Hogwarts.)

The Harry Potter world. There, I didn’t say Hogwarts, you’re welcome.



And that’s it for introductions! I’m looking forward to meeting you all, and I hope everyone who isn’t participating will still appreciate that there will be more posts than usually. Later, gators! (obnoxious greetings and good byes are also a trademark of mine, sorry not sorry.)

Why do YOU love fantasy? What do you like to do when you procrastinate? I need to know these things, so I can encourage you in your bad habits.

Divider

This Savage Song

June 22, 2016 books, reviews 4

this savage song cover

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

– from goodreads

It’s time for another V.E. Schwab book! I’m basically counting down the days until A Conjuring of Light comes out (I mean… not actually counting, that would involve math), so I was delighted to have something to tide me over until then. I have to admit, I’m not as enchanted with this world as I am with the Shades of Magic one, but I really like V.E. Schwab’s writing style, so it was still fun to read.
Read more »

Divider

Here Comes Drama

June 14, 2016 books, reviews 11

Gena/Finn cover

The story follows the unlikely friendship of two young women forged via fan fiction and message boards, and is told entirely in texts, chats, and blog posts.

Gena (short for Genevieve) and Finn (short for Stephanie) have little in common. Book-smart Gena is preparing to leave her posh boarding school for college; down-to-earth Finn is a twenty-something struggling to make ends meet in the big city. Gena’s romantic life is a series of reluctant one-night-stands; Finn is making a go of it with long-term boyfriend Charlie. But they share a passion for Up Below, a buddy cop TV show with a cult fan following. Gena is a darling of the fangirl scene, keeping a popular blog and writing fan fiction. Finn’s online life is a secret, even from Charlie. The pair spark an unlikely online friendship that deepens quickly (so quickly it scares them both), and as their individual “real” lives begin to fall apart, they increasingly seek shelter online, and with each other.

– from Goodreads

I usually try to review without spoilers, but I’m not sure how to talk about what bothered me about this book without giving at least some spoilers, so be warned.

I had high hopes in this book – first of all it’s epistolary and you know I love me some epistolary books (there may actually be an event related to this on this blog at some point this year, but psssht). It’s also about fandom and people said at least the first half of it was feel good. I usually try not to spoiler myself before reading, but I knew that Gena and Finn wouldn’t end up together, so I didn’t have any wrong expectations about that. On paper, I should have loved this book, but I really didn’t. Let me tell you why.
Read more »

Divider

Moving Stuff

June 11, 2016 books, miscellaneous 30

Cake Conversations Banner Kopie - Kopie

What’s New?

The first three evenings of the week were spent showing people around our flat to find someone to rent my room to this coming September. Thankfully we’ve found someone both my roommates are happy with and she wanted the room, so that’s one thing to cross off the to-do list. As to my room search in England I’ve also found something – the contracts aren’t signed yet, but, if all goes well, that’ll be done next week too. Lots of things are coming together and even more are still up in the air, but this whole moving thing is becoming more real every second. On a related note, if the UK votes to leave the EU just when I’m planning to move there, I’LL TAKE IT PERSONALLY. It’s rude, ok? Read a hospitality guide or something, jeez. It’s also becoming increasingly hard not to make King George from Hamilton references, which no one in my environment would understand, so don’t force me to confuse the people around me, k?

I also finally started working on my BA thesis for real, but right now it’s still just research and copying passages and stuff like that, so it doesn’t feel like I’m getting tons done. I’m actually at the library right now, but I worked for at least an hour before I went outside to watch the thunderstorm, so clearly I deserve a break.

The Shiny

Remember when I said I wouldn’t buy any more books, because I already have like 40 I haven’t read yet for a lack of time? No? Me neither, how convenient.

this savage song cover

My cover isn’t this one, sadly. It’s the UK version, which – as far as I can tell – doesn’t have a particular meaning as opposed to this one with the violin. I preordered this book months ago, so clearly it doesn’t count. I’ve already started reading it, and I’m liking it so far. It’s nice to read some Victoria Schwab, even if it isn’t A Conjuring of Light. (Have you seen the amazing cover for that by the way??)

shadow and bone cover siege and storm cover ruin and rising cover

Here’s the deal: these don’t count either, because they were 99c for Kindle. I only went to check them out because they’re one of the featured books for the Fantasy Favorites Read-A-Thon this year, and then I saw the price, so obviously I had to get them. I mean 99c for a book? A BOOK? Do you know how much work goes into that? Anyways, I didn’t even remember that I said I wasn’t going to buy any more books until someone reminded me, so clearly I didn’t actually mean it.

Tune of the Week



I love this version of the song. I’ve had it on endless repeat while writing a couple of times, because it always makes me feel all the things.

How’s your weekend going? Didn’t expect another post so soon did you? WELL, NEVER SAY I’M PREDICTABLE. (I am, actually. Very much so.)


As always, I’m linking up with Stacking the Shelves, hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and the Sunday Post hosted by the Caffeinated Book Reviewer!

stacking the shelvessunday post

Divider

I Made a Decision (And Other Unlikely Things)

June 5, 2016 miscellaneous 14

Cake Conversations Banner Kopie - Kopie

What’s New?

I’ve finally decided on a university for my postgrad! And a postgrad for that matter. My number one choice from the beginning was Film Studies at the University of Edinburgh, although I waffled for a bit when I also got accepted to the Film Studies program at St Andrews (ugh, wait, will I have to switch my spelling to UK again because all this back and forth is making my head hurt). I also really liked the campus at the University of Nottingham and got a very late and very unexpected offer for International Film Business from the University of Exeter (and then saw that I CLEARLY didn’t look at how much the fees are there before I applied, what the hell). So which university did I decide to go to? That’s right, none of the above.


Read more »

Divider

How Do You Write Like You’re Running Out of Time?

May 19, 2016 miscellaneous 12

Cake Conversations Banner Kopie - Kopie

What’s New?

It’s easy, Burr. You just actually run out of time. I MEAN HELLO, PEOPLE OF THE INTERNET. It’s time for the monthly update I never fail to deliver, because I’m reliable like that. As you may be able to guess by my title and introductory words, I’ve been listening to the Hamilton soundtrack. And by ‘listening to’ I mean ‘it has taken over my life and my roommate has accused me of being obsessed even though she’s not even here to hear me sing along to it all day long, but my other roommate is and I’m sure he appreciates it’. PLEASE tell me someone else thinks it’s as genius as I do, because I HAVE OPINIONS.

In a stunning turn of events I find myself in an airport, I’m busy writing something for university. Only this time it’s my Bachelor thesis, so I actually have to be, like, serious about it.



So far I’ve procrastinated for a few days and looked for some literature to use. Last time I had to write something long, I spent a month watching Great British Bake Off, baking Christmas cookies and sewing a mishappen sleeve for my Kindle. I think this is the perfect time to take up some new hobbies.
Read more »

Divider

The Wolf of Wall Street

May 2, 2016 movies, reviews 1

movie mondays graphic

Movie Mondays is a series of reviews, discussions, and general movie talk. Get yourself some popcorn (or M&Ms if you’re like me), lean back in your seat, and enjoy the show.


Welcome to the first edition of Movie Mondays! I’ve been wanting to start this feature for about a year. I’m not sure what stopped me, but it might have been my laziness. See, it’s a point of pride for me to make a graphic when I introduce a new feature, even if it is a shitty one (and let’s face it, it usually is). I’m sure someone else is doing Movie Mondays, because the alliteration is just too good to pass up, but these are Movie Mondays on Reviews and Cake and what else are you going to do on a Monday?



I’ve been meaning to watch The Wolf of Wall Street for ages, but I missed it when it was in theaters and then it just sort of never happened. I finally sat down and watched it years later, and I have to say I’m a little disappointed. I think my biggest problem is that the movie is exactly what I expected, but not in a good way. There was nothing really new or innovative about it. Of course not every movie needs to be new or innovative, but if it isn’t, it needs to shine in other categories. But it doesn’t. Don’t get me wrong; the cinematography is very polished, the acting oscillates between adequate and great, and the story is okay. It looks as it should, but nothing surprised or moved me in any way. If your main character isn’t likeable, your story needs to be interesting, especially for a three hour movie.



I’m not going to give you a summary of the plot, because you’ve probably already heard about it and, really, there isn’t that much to talk about. Poor guy gets rich, is a complete douchebag, gets into legal troubles, and continues to be a douchebag. There’s a lot of nudity, sex and drug use in the movie. The point of this is to show the excess the characters live in, but… I got the point after the first few times. There’s one scene, in which Jordan Belfort – our main character – takes stronger drugs than even he is used to and we see the whole thing in vivid detail. This was the only scene that at least managed to kind of move me insofar that I felt pity for the character and admiration for the acting. There are no interesting female characters that get more than a minute or two of screen time. The character which the movie does focus on – Jordan Belfort – has no redeeming features. This would be fine if we at least got to understand him, but I never felt like I got more than a shallow insight into the inner workings of his mind.



The Wolf of Wall Street is not Scorsese’s best work – it’s not even Leonardo DiCaprio’s best work. It attempts to be a psychological profile of a man’s affair with greed, but never manages to get further than mediocre softporn. The movie’s only redeeming features are Matthew McConaughey (because Matthew McConaughey) and the fact that it does at least manage to evoke pity for the main character in one or two scenes. It takes itself far too seriously for something that adds nothing new to the discussion.

Divider

Polish Films and Scottish Universities

April 23, 2016 books, miscellaneous, movies 16

Cake Conversations Banner Kopie - Kopie

What’s New?

What ISN’T new would be the better question. The last few weeks have been kind of crazy, but mostly in a good way. I’m writing this from the sofa of my temporary flat in Berlin, where I’m staying for six days to participate in a film journalism seminar. It was all very last minute and stressful, because I was also visiting a friend in Dublin last weekend, but now that I’ve had some sleep and rest again I’m very glad I did it. I love movies and writing, and we’re learning a lot about Polish films, because the seminar is organized by the Polish Institute, so overall I’m having a great time.


Read more »

Divider

Why You Should Read The Lunar Chronicles

April 12, 2016 books, reviews 14

I know everyone and their mum already read the Lunar Chronicles, but just in case you haven’t, I have compiled a handy list to convince you to drop everything and start reading them immediately. I resisted for a long time, because I was worried they’re overhyped, but when I finally picked them up, I enjoyed them a lot. Since I already reviewed them on Goodreads, I’m doing this instead. Veeery mild spoilers ahead.


Read more »

Divider

The 100: My Thoughts So Far (I AM NOT OKAY)

April 7, 2016 discussion, tv shows 4

TV Show Thursdays on Reviews and Cake

Welcome to TV Show Thursdays, where I discuss TV Shows, review episodes and give my commentary on anything TV Show related!


If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, or you’re following me on twitter, it’s no secret that I LOVE The 100. The plan was to wait until the entirety of Season 3 is out there so I can binge watch, but then I found myself with time and the need for a good show today, so obviously that plan failed. I decided that I am done yelling at people on twitter (for now), so here are my thoughts so far.

SPOILERS UP UNTIL SEASON 3 EPISODE 9. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
Read more »

Divider

Impromptu Reading Marathon and Abs

March 12, 2016 books, miscellaneous 16

Cake Conversations Banner Kopie - Kopie

What’s New?

I know, I know. It seems like we’re back on the whenever-I-feel-like-it blogging schedule of last year, but I’M ALIVE AND WELL HELLO LET ME HUG YOU. I haven’t had tons of energy for blogging lately, but I’ve been reading loads. I’m very active on Goodreads at the moment, so if you feel like running commentary find me there! In actual news, I’ve been applying to universities all over the UK for my MA. I have no clue how realistic it is that I’ll get in (my grades are fine, but these universities want A LOT of stuff for the fact that you have to be filthy rich to attend). During the process of doing this, I have learned to appreciate German universities, simply because they’re free. I mean seriously 9k for a year PLUS stupidly expensive living expenses? I don’t compute.

The Shiny

It seems I bought a lot of books the last few weeks, but I have also been reading a lot, so there. Of course I could have been reading the books I already have, but where’s the fun in that? Pictures all courtesy of Goodreads, because I bought all of these for my Kindle.


Read more »

Divider

A Gathering of Shadows

February 29, 2016 books, reviews 4

a gathering of shadows book cover on reviews and cake

Four months have passed since the shadow stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Rhy was wounded and the Dane twins fell, and the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift, and into Black London.

In many ways, things have almost returned to normal, though Rhy is more sober, and Kell is now plagued by his guilt. Restless, and having given up smuggling, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks like she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games—an extravagant international competition of magic, meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries—a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

But while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life, and those who were thought to be forever gone have returned. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night reappears in the morning, and so it seems Black London has risen again—meaning that another London must fall.

from Goodreads

I tried out at least five different beginnings to this review, because I can’t find any words to convey how much I loved this book. Since I really liked the first book in the series, I preordered this one and started reading shortly after it was delivered to my Kindle around midnight on its release date. Victoria Schwab usually writes great beginnings, but I think this might have been my favorite one yet. It has a very Pirates of the Caribbean flair to it and there’s trickery and action and cleverness and basically yes, please. However, as I read on I was all prepared to give the book a mediocre rating. I didn’t love Lila, because it felt too much like she was only written to be badass if you think that killing people and acting inconsiderate is badass. I liked returning to this world, but the story dragged a tiny little bit. But… then I got sucked in again and I freaking loved every single thing about it. Let me tell you why.
Read more »

Divider

Do You Use Your Blog For Job Applications?

February 24, 2016 discussion 12

Talk To Me

is a no-nonsense discussion feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to pose a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it! Obviously feel free to write up your own post on the topic and link it in the comments.


Topic

Everyone who runs a blog, no matter how big or small, knows that a lot of work, time and discipline goes into it. Depending on your blogging style and your niche, you’ll have to at least think about the following points to varying degrees:

  • content production: how often do you post what, how polished does it need to be and when do you have the time to actually write it?
  • social media presence and marketing: do I need to get pinterest even though I’m more comfortable on twitter? Does it make sense to create a facebook page for my blog? Will people actually follow me? Whether we play the social media game or not you win or you die; there is no middle ground, most bloggers have thought about this at one point or another and a lot of bloggers spend huge chunks of time devoted to their social media presence.
  • platform: should I go self-hosted or use an existing platform? If I go self-hosted, how much do I have to pay? Should I learn some code myself, or should I dish out for a customized theme? Do I need to know Photoshop to make a blog banner? Can I just use a free theme?
  • networking: how much time do I have to reply to comments and comment back? Can I approach bloggers who have a bigger following than I do without making a fool of myself, or will they think I’m a total dork?

These are just a few of the points that can face you when you run a blog. Of course it is always your decision how much time you put into your blog, but creating and maintaining a blog consistently takes a lot of discipline and creativity. It can, however contain personal information, informal writing, or controversial opinions, which is why I’m interested: do you put your blog on your CV if you have one, and if you don’t, would you put it on your CV if you had a blog?
Read more »

Divider

The Hateful Eight

February 22, 2016 movies, reviews 1

It’s that time of the year again: movie aficionados all over the world scramble to watch the movies nominated for this year’s Academy Awards. I have to admit I’ve only seen a couple of the contenders so far, but The Hateful Eight was one of them.



I did manage to catch an English showing of The Hateful Eight, because there was no way I was going to watch a crappy dubbed German version of it, but I didn’t get to see the 70mm version. If you haven’t been following movie news, Tarantino, in an effort to put all other movie nerds to shame, filmed The Hateful Eight in Ultra Panavision 70, a format that hasn’t been used for decades, which basically means that you get a wider and much more detailed image. Since most cinemas don’t have the equipment to show the movie in this format, there was (is?) a roadshow featuring the movie in its original format and in a slightly longer version. Since I couldn’t go, I can’t say whether it’s worth it, but I have to admit the whole procedure of dressing up and making a proper night out of it appeals to me. Plus, I imagine you get to be pretentious and wax poetic on the vivid colors and crisp image of the movie in Ultra Panavision 70, as opposed to the much inferior digital version, while gesticulating with your wine glass. Ah, one can dream.
Read more »

Divider

How to Finish Your Project

February 19, 2016 fun, miscellaneous 16

No idea how to finish that project you should have been working on for the last three months? As a chronic procrastinator, I have some handy tips for you. Here’s my ultimate guide for finishing your project. Guaranteed to work!


  1. Remember that new show everyone keeps telling you about? You should start watching it.
  2. Your parents always told you, but it took you this long to realize that a clean house really is a clean mind. This is the perfect time to become a cleaning monster and vacuum, scrub and dust every surface you can find. Daily.
  3. YouTube has more than one billion users. So many people can’t be wrong – it’s time to check back and catch up on your subscriptions, your suggested videos and that one cat video you watched three years ago and then couldn’t find anymore. Look for it now, what’s more fun than a quest?
  4. Made it to the library to work on your paper? Phenomenal, take a break. You deserve it. Put on The Great British Bake Off, get yourself an actual cake from the cafeteria and kick back to appreciate the fine art that is turning boring ingredients into something magnificent. If one of your friends stops by, lecture them on the importance of breaks. People say they do their best work when they’re under a bit of stress, but they’re clearly wrong. Stress is unhealthy. So is your cake, but at least it’s delicious, and it’s more for your soul than your body anyway.
  5. You know where dust collects? On lamps. Get yourself a chair, dismantle that lamp and make sure there’s not a fleck of grey left anywhere.
  6. It’s time to be social. Reconnect with those old acquaintances from school you haven’t seen in ten years. Look for pen pals. Hell, why not be bold and sign up for those dancing classes three times a week you thought you didn’t have enough time or skill for. You have to make the time.
  7. What’s the opposite of procrastination? That’s right, productivity. The law of logic dictates that being productive means you’re not procrastinating, so if there’s project you’ve been waiting to realize, you should do it now. No time like the present. Who knows, it might even become profitable, and who could tell you you were wasting your time then?
  8. Now that you’ve spent so much time on YouTube, you should start thinking about making your own videos. You might have to think of a name and a concept and yes, you will have to learn how to film and edit from scratch, but it’ll be worth it. Just make sure to be consistent in your upload schedule. Twice a day should suffice for now.
  9. Just shove a pizza into the oven? Not you. You suddenly decide to start living healthy and make the pizza from scratch. And by from scratch I mean you not only make your own dough, you grow your own freaking wheat. Tomato sauce? Well, better wait for the right season to harvest the sweetest tomatoes, because a subpar tomato sauce is not a tomato sauce you are going to subject yourself to. Clean away those old pizza cartons while you’re at it.
  10. You know what you need? A pet. Yes, you’ll have to walk your dog several times a day, but you’ll be more energized for it. And think of all the cuddly love you’ll receive. That should be sure to boost your spirits and give you the strength needed to finish your project.
  11. In fact, why not add another addition to your family? A baby is a project much more important and fulfilling than the one you’re working on.
  12. Unless you want to focus on your career right now and don’t think a baby fits in. That’s fine, but you should really put in some extra hours at work to get ahead. Not getting paid as much as you were hoping? Apply for a second job. But remember: Make the money, don’t let the money make you.
  13. And haven’t you always wanted to experience a different culture? You’re young and free and if you’re not you’ll want to feel that way again. Be daring and move to a different country. It’s important to expand your horizon.

And if all else fails, start writing lists and post them to your blog. There, I’m sure that was helpful to everyone involved.

Divider