Life Lately: August
August was a pretty nothing month for me and it's been exactly what I've needed! Having felt like the last few months were quite hectic (at least for this introvert's standards, anyway!), I feel completely reenergised after some slow weekends to myself. In fact, I didn't even need to use my Bullet Journal because there wasn't really much to plan or keep on top of. I spent my weekends simply pottering around the house, watching movies, going to brunch (coconut chai lattes are now my new go-to drink) and I spent a nice Saturday homewares shopping with my mum and sister. I didn't get around to posting all those decluttered items of mine on Facebook Marketplace (it's a never-ending cycle, isn't it?), but ugh, it's such a chore! That's on this weekend's to do list though!
Blogging obviously takes up time on the weekends too, and I was able to have a nice burst of inspiration and come up with some new blog post ideas, as well as take advantage of the glorious August winter sunshine (after it had been missing for most of June and July) and finally take some nice blog photos! I know I say this every year, but I'm so bloody glad winter is over! I don't know whether it's because I have a daily commute to work by public transport and I'm always up early in the mornings now (my sleeping patterns were all over the place working in retail), but this winter felt has so much colder than usual Perth standards; it even plummeted to 4 degrees one morning and felt like Melbourne cold some days! I suppose that's climate change for you.
Now that I'm feeling well-rested, I'm ready for September and the beginning of spring! It's gearing up to be fun month with lots of birthdays taking place; there's a few birthdays happening at work, a close friend of mine is turning 30, even I turn 30 on the 30th (yikes!), not to mention, my dad's birthday, my grandma's and even my nanna's! I love this time of year because it's always filled with family and friends, and of course, it's not winter anymore! I am planning on throwing a little birthday party for the big 3-0, but I'm going to make it in October as my birthday weekend falls on the AFL Grand Final weekend.
So, I didn't mention this in last month's Life Lately post because it was already long enough (lol), and because she was still settling in and bonding with us, but my family and I adopted a cat!
I had been talking to my mum about adopting a cat pretty much from the first day I moved back home last year, but obviously, it wasn't something I was able to do until I got a job, so as much as it pained me, I put it out of my mind. However, when my sister fell ill earlier in the year, I brought up adopting a cat again to bring some cheer into the family, and it then became something my mum started to take quite seriously and couldn't stop thinking about herself. So much so, she was ready to adopt before I was and basically stole my idea! By the time my sister was out of hospital, we were visiting cat shelters, but when we learnt it wasn't the season for kittens, we decided to wait.
Then, just last month, we got a call from my cousin saying he had a kitten for us to adopt from my grandma's house! My grandma (and my grandpa when he was alive) is the biggest cat person I know, so not only does she have her own (I can never keep up with how many she owns either!), but the ferals and strays around her neighbourhood will come to her house, and she'll feed and take care of them. Our little one was part of a stray litter, but a few days later after we picked up food and supplies, we took her in and gave her a home!
As you've probably guessed by the heading, her name is Willow and she's been with us for about six weeks now. We chose the name Willow as we thought it was fitting with her grey colour and adopting her in winter, and even before we even found out her sex (I spent more time than I care to disclose Googling and looking at cat bumholes), we just knew that was her name!
Willow's life before us was awful and unbeknownst to me because she's the most beautiful thing, my cousin had a hard time finding a forever home for her (she was the last one from the litter left). According to my grandma, a neighbour of hers was illegally breeding cats (expensive breeds like Persian and Siamese) and when it fell through, they kicked them all out onto the street, which is how Willow ended up with her. Since she is a stray, we aren't 100% sure of her birthday or her breed, but they aren't important and all that matters is that she is so loved. Now that I'm working again, I'd still love to adopt a kitten of my very own, but since we have Willow, I'll wait until I get my own place. It just feels wonderful to have a pet in my life again!
When we first took her in, she was terrified and really quite shaken up, and I was so worried she wouldn't take a liking to us. It took about a week or so for her to stop hissing and to come out from under her hiding spot, then a couple more to venture out of the spare bedroom, but now she roams around upstairs (she still has to get used to downstairs) like she owns the place! She loves being in our company (she's scared of others though), drinking chilled filtered water from the glass (a princess, I know) and when she sleeps with you, she has to be as close to your face as possible! Being a kitten, she obviously has a lot of energy, so playing with her is something that takes up quite a bit of time these days! It's all worth it though and there's no feeling like coming home to a fur baby.
I listened to some banger albums in August, including Wet's Still Run, Still Corners' Slow Air, Interpol's Marauder, Blood Orange's Negro Swan and Best Coast's Best Kids. Out of the lot, the Wet and Blood Orange releases were my favourites; I'd say they both fall into the soulful R&B pop genre and they were really chill listens, while lyrically so beautiful they way they deal with heartbreak and "black depression", respectively. I love my '80s-inspired synth and Still Corners always bring the good stuff and although Interpol's new album was no Turn On the Bright Lights for me (my favourite album of theirs), it was still a really solid effort. Best Coat's new album is a children's album made not only for kids, but for "the parents with cool music taste" (if I wanted kids, that would totally be me, lol). Obviously, being for kids, it's super fun and cute, and one I think will be perfect for summer listening. I love the Best Coast twist on these classic children's songs (as well as the most adorable version of When I'm with You); rather than sounding like kiddy music, it just sounds like Best Coast only with much more innocent lyrics!
When it came to newly released singles, Peach by Broods and Miss U by Robyn were fun pop tunes and I absolutely loved Yumi Zouma's chilled out In Camera. Yumi Zouma just get it right every time for me. I love this band so much.
In rediscoveries, I listened to a lot of Joy Division (Unknown Pleasures is such as classic), IO Echo, The Horrors and in anticipation of seeing them live for the second time in November, Bloc Party. Silent Alarm and Intimacy are two of my all-time favourite albums, and listening to them brings back such good memories of dancing drunk at my favourite bar and my good old clubbing days! There's something so nostalgic about mid-2000s indie and electro music!
Film and television
I watched four movies this month; The Florida Project, Battle of the Sexes, Mannequin and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. I decided to watch The Florida Project after seeing Tavi Gevinson rave about it on Instagram and she was definitely spot on with this film because I loved it. Centred around six year-old Moonee and the friends she makes living in a budget motel with her mum, it's full of life and colour (the cinematography is beautiful) all while depicting the harsh realities of poverty. I've seen quite a few films by A24 now and I have to say, this production company are making some seriously good stuff.
I'm a huge fan of Emma Stone and I couldn't wait to see her in the women-empowering Battle of the Sexes. Based on the true story of the tennis match between women's world #1 Billie Jean King and ex-men's-champion Bobby Riggs, it's a really entertaining watch, though the gross sexism and homophobia does get a little bit uncomfortable at times. In an industry typically dominated by men, it highlights just how far we've come in terms of both women's and LGBTQI rights, yet hopeful for how far we've still got to go. Another feel-good watch was Mannequin. Your typical cheesy '80s comedy, it's about a man who falls in love with a mannequin that can come to life and it's just as ridiculous as it sounds. It was fun and light-hearted though, and you can never go wrong with an '80s-style dance montage!
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri was one of those movies I'd heard both really good and really bad things about, and after finally getting around to watching it myself, I'd say I fall into the latter category. In the beginning, you go in thinking it's going to be a really powerful film highlighting issues of racism, police brutality and domestic/sexual violence, but by the next scene, white characters are unnecessarily using the N-word and I feel like the story didn't really go anywhere. Also, what was with Abbie Cornish's accent?! One minute she's Australian, the next she's a southern American! I didn't completely dislike it (the acting was brilliant), but I didn't love it either, and if you want to see an amazing film starring Frances McDormand, I recommend watching Fargo instead.
In television, I watched the latest season of Orange is the New Black and I'm also still watching The Office (I'm at the end of season 3). Season 6 of Orange is the New Black was quite a drag in the beginning and for a show that I usually end up binge-watching, I was struggling to get through just one episode! It's hard to engage with new characters when you've already formed an emotional attachment to others, but it did pick up within the last five episodes or so and I'm looking forward to season 7 now. As for The Office, I mentioned in last month's Life Lately post that I found it quite problematic and while I do think Michael is the worst at times, for the most part, I really enjoy this show. I know it's meant to make you feel awkward and uncomfortable at times, but there are definitely things about it that you couldn't get away with today. Looking past that, I totally get why it's such a classic and half-hour comedies are my favourite kind of show to watch.
Around the web
- I recently discovered this live video from last year of The xx and Robyn performing Robyn's song With Every Heartbeat together - it's incredible!
- An interesting video from Pitchfork on How to Be a Responsible Music Fan in the Age of Spotify. I've never been hugely into music streaming (mostly because they don't have all the music I like on Spotify) and I love supporting my favourite artists and bands, especially the smaller ones, through going to gigs, buying vinyl and buying their albums digitally through Bandcamp.
- Blog I've been loving lately: Stromvoe. Bo is such a lovely and supportive reader of mine and her equally as lovely blog is definitely worth checking out!
- Friends and Will & Grace are two of my all-time favourite TV shows and the '90s sitcom fangirl in screaming over this Instagram photo of Lisa Kudrow, Megan Mullally and Courteney Cox, and this one of David Schwimmer guest starring on Will & Grace next season.
- I absolutely loved Rebecca's blog post on sharing the "boring" stuff in blogging. Not only does it make blogging more relatable, but I even think it's more engaging and interesting.
- Greta Gerwig is set to remake Little Women into another film and as I loved the 1994 version, I'm so here for it (typical me still needs to read the book though, lol).
- The cult classic Urban Decay Naked Palette is leaving us! RIP to the iconic neutral eyeshadow palette that started it all!