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northstar

miscellany

Sense Memory

I wish my brain was more photographically inclined. While I do have visual tendencies, those are more geared towards graphic design and photo manipulation; when it comes to real life I don’t usually frame my field of vision into something aesthetically pleasing. But I’m trying.

You may notice that these are definitely not instagram photos; I don’t have an iPhone (which I don’t mind!) so these are shot with the Retro Camera app. I love the “hipsteroku” camera filter!

No 'Haven' on my TV leads to making pancakes.

Cocoa choco-chip cookie cake. So tasty!

Started last weekend cooking and baking. As mentioned, I’ve been missing Haven and to make up for it I made pancakes, which one of my favorite characters loves. My love for television and characters knows no bounds, as this is certainly not the first time I’ve done this. ;) In any case, this recipe is the only one I use, with no modifications, save for a dash of cinnamon.

The alliterative dish on the other hand is modified from the Original Nestl√© Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe. Substituting the all-purpose flour for wheat flour and using 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder to coat the chocolate chips will create a denser consistency and a richer flavor as well. Recommend using a stand mixer for the most part and then a really (really really!) sturdy wooden spoon and a strong arm to stir everything together. I stopped using the mixer because I didn’t want to break the attachments!

Outdoor seating areas on my campus can be pretty.

Same can apply to the shrubbery.

Domesticity aside, the weather this week went from rainy to windy with less than two days of sun and then back to gloom. When it’s not cold and/or damp, this is a nice quiet spot on campus to get some reading done. Hmm… I must have not been reading something terribly engaging, as I took a long enough break to shoot these. ;)

Northstar's "Pollyanna" on vinyl is just an fantastic as I could have ever dreamt.

The lyric sheet is beautiful and the paper feels so nice too! lol

While I was writing last week’s Sunday Sounds I found out that the album was on vinyl and promptly ordered it right away. Though my ears aren’t as acutely attuned to consider myself a true audiophile, conceptual placebo or not, there’s something about hearing this on vinyl that makes me so happy. I also want to mention that the lyric sheet is a lot less orange than the camera filter has made it.

Radiant Moisturizing Lipstick in Poppy.

Radiant Moisturizing Lipstick in Park Avenue.

Finally, I took advantage of the 2-for-1 discount Radiant Cosmetics had for Valentine’s Day and my order arrived yesterday! I don’t really wear much makeup to begin with, but I’ve been itching to get more grown up and girly. Ever since I read Elsie and Emma’s post about this brand I fell in love with the fact that Radiant makes an effort to bring social awareness to their business. Not only do they provide information and links to resources on the issue of human trafficking but they also donate a portion of their proceeds to a non-profit. The lipsticks themselves are really well pigmented and indeed moisturizing! My pictures don’t really do the colors justice, but the ‘Poppy’ is beautifully bright and while I was worried ‘Park Avenue’ might be too dark, it’s really gorgeous and rich; it’s my favorite amongst the two. And no, it’s not just because it almost-sorta matches my nails, which, if you’re wondering, is Essie’s “Size Matters”.

What have been your favorite memories of the week? I hope everyone had a great Valentine’s Day!

music

Sunday Sounds: Northstar, “Like A.M. Radio”

It started with this post over at AbsolutePunk.net, Jason Tate’s “My Favorite Albums from the 2004 Era.” Okay, really, it started over two weeks ago with his “The Best Drive-Thru Records Albums” post which, and I’m not ashamed to admit it, made me tear up. Call me an “emo kid” and I’ll wear that proudly.

Anyhow, as I was reading the 2004 list I was incredibly pleased to see Northstar’s Pollyanna on the list. Pollyanna is one of my absolute favorite albums and Nick Torres one of the best songwriters I’ve ever come across. While “My Ricochet,” from the band’s first album Is This Thing Loaded?, is probably my favorite song of theirs, there’s a quality to Pollyanna as a whole that places it among my favorite albums. There’s really not a single song that I feel is the strongest (although “Two Zero Two” may be the most striking as an acoustic amidst all the electric-driven songs), nor one that feels the weakest, and it’s that kind of consistent strength is why it’s such a fabulous album.

In all honesty, I’ve only chosen “Like A.M Radio” because it was the first song that came to mind; any song off of this album would have sufficed! While I’ve got a weakness for guitar-driven alternative rock, this is also a perfect example of how wonderfully keen Torres is in crafting lyrics.



Torres has a penchant for setting up beautifully elaborate atmospheres rife with metaphor. In “Like A.M. Radio,” as in many of his other songs, he somehow manages to balance sentiments of regret as well as conceit (and just a hint of narcissism!), all while maintaining an authentic sincerity. The fact that his voice is so damn smooth also helps. The frenetic musical energy at the end of the song is also so fantastic, with just the right amount of lyrical angst.

I’m very grateful that I was able to see Northstar live before they disbanded. Here’s one of the few good pictures I took years ago when I saw them (with Say Anything, who is also on that same list!):

Two Zero Two - Northstar 7



The whole set can be viewed over at my flickr. Unfortunately I couldn’t get any SA shots, but hey, I’ve got Straylight Run pictures!

P.S. I’m also very fond of the “My Favorite Albums from the 2001-2003 Era” post. That year (and obviously those albums too) is particularly close to my heart, but I’m not ready to get into that just yet. So many amazing songs though!