Haha, quite possibly the most random post ever. I’ll start with Obama’s visits abroad: England and Russia. England was important – meeting the Queen and all that – and it was quite a different experience than his last trip there.
“Mr. Obama walked through the famous doorway for the first time less than four years ago. A dozen reporters were on hand that afternoon in August 2005, at least half of whom were waiting for someone else. After speaking for a moment, Mr. Obama climbed into a white van, along with the rest of a Congressional delegation, and was soon walking through the streets of London alone, on his way to meet his older sister for dinner.
When Mr. Obama came back last summer for a Downing Street appearance on the final leg of an overseas campaign trip, the pack of journalists had swelled by a few hundred. The tabloid reporters, along with adoring crowds, screamed his name.”
“The first year: Russia, Ukraine and a quick stop in London. He played the role of political understudy to Senator Richard Lugar, Republican of Indiana, for his annual inspection of nuclear weapons sites in the former Soviet Union. (It was on this trip that Mr. Obama learned a lesson in the art of patient diplomacy, when the senators were detained for several hours in the city of Perm, about 500 miles outside Moscow. Mr. Lugar let his staff do the arguing as he settled into an easy chair to wait. Mr. Obama quickly followed suit, taking a nap on a couch nearby.)” [both, NYT]
Obama & Michelle with the PM (Gordon Brown) & his wife, Sarah.
The Obamas with the Queen and Prince AISfjlIJIsfs. (Haha, most people get their pictures taken with Big Ben or Parliment… not for Obama. He heads straight for the big one. Cheese!)
Anyway, current trip: went well. He presented her with (drumroll please!): an iPod, presumably loaded with (symbolic?) songs and photos. Oooooook. Then again, who really cares?
More important things to attend to, such as… umm… Russia? Establishing semi-cordial relations with them? Just in case North Korea or Pakistan or anyone decides to randomly start another Cold War. Agh.
Obama and Russian President Dmitri A. Medvedev.
While recognizing (briefly) that the two countries still had obvious disputes (US’s ‘need’ for a missile base in Eastern Europe, for example, which they are firmly opposed to), the two leaders stressed their similarities, their want/need for cooperation, and a general “hey-let’s-be-friends-and-not-kill-each-other-in-these-first-‘get-to-know-you’-meetings-like-all-the-other-Presidents-and-Russian-leaders-did”. (Deep breath.) They released this joint statement:
““We, the leaders of Russia and the United States, are ready to move beyond cold war mentalities,” the two men said in the statement. “In just a few months we have worked hard to establish a new tone in our relations. Now it is time to get down to business and translate our warm words into actual achievements of benefit to Russia, the United States and all those around the world interested in peace and prosperity.”” NYT.
On the downside: “Missile Strike Said to Kill 10 in Pakistan”. Crap.
“PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Missiles fired from what was believed to be an American drone struck a militant training camp in northwest Pakistan on Wednesday, killing at least 10 people in an attack apparently aimed at one of the area’s most important Taliban leaders, Hakimullah Mehsud, according to news reports, militants and an intelligence official.
“We wholeheartedly take responsibility for this attack and will carry out more such attacks in the future,” Baitullah Mehsud said Tuesday, according to Reuters.
“It’s revenge for the drone attacks on Pakistan,” he said. Without elaborating, he also claimed to be planning an attack on Washington. ”
[NYT]. Super dooper, guys. Fantastic. If another Cold War breaks out, I’m moving north… try very high up Canada or Greenland or something. Silly people, why can’t we all just get along… ‘Why can’t we be friends?’ as that song says. And no, I’m not sure which song it is exactly.
Haha, I’m staying up late tonight. And the funny thing is, I didn’t run after school today – I stayed home and watched Patton (about General Patton in WWII – it’s really good, if a little long. But hey, it provides ample time to get history, biology, Am Lit, and bits of math done!) and did homework, but it’s still not done. Oh well. Where was I? Oh, Patton. Interesting guy, cool movie. I swear, instead of history classes there should be AMC 101. Wouldn’t that be great?
Hmm, what was next? Russian lit? Ok. Well, all this thinking about the Cold War etc. got me thinking, so I did some Wiki-ing (?) and eventually ended up at the page for Toedosvsky’s The Idiot, which has been on my reading list for some time now. (I first saw it in 8th grade – err, the summer after, actually, but I digress – on my grandma’s shelf, among a few hundred-odd works of Great, Classic Literature From Many Countries. She’s an English teacher. Where was I? Again. Anyway, I read the plot summary – I won’t give it away here, but here – and decided to give it a whirl. It’s a mere 696 pages, how hard can it be? But it’s not written in that 18th-century olde English, it was in… 1898, I think? So it’s a fairly easy read. Relatively speaking, of course. All those Russian authors tend to be… well, long and a bit wordy. But generally just long. Not like some other classics I’ve read… Sense & Sensibility, Pride & Prejudice, and Wuthering Heights were all good, they just dragged on a bit in the middle. Good plots, though. Great Expectations: good plot, good story, but holy CRAP, how long can you complain about your job for? From what I recollect – I read it in 8th or 9th grade, I think – that’s what the vast majority of the book was: a few hundred pages of him whining about work. Eh, it was Dickens, what do you expect? His works always seem a bit dismal to me. I know everyone says they want to read all the “classics,” but I really do. Everything from Tolstoy to Twain, Austen to… I can’t think of an author starting with a Z. Oh well, you get my point. I love reading. And oh, Old Man & the Sea? SparkNotes for that should be illegal, it’s what, 70 pages? Come on, people. And am I still in a parenthese here? I think so. Maybe it’s time to move on, now that you’ve gotten a paragraph of me rambling about literature. Maybe I should just be an English major. Except I’d hate working at McDonald’s. Ok, moving on.)
Keeping with classic stuff: opera. Funiculi Funicula in particular. We’re playing it in band and it’s been stuck in my head for days. I can’t seem to find a purely instrumental recording anywhere. Help!
Erm… what else? I s’pose it’s time for fashion. Two spring trends: one-shouldered dresses and turbans & headscarves.
One-shoulder: doesn’t have to be totally 80s. Au contraire.
Mike & Chris, $136, here. See? Adding in little elements of masculinity here and there, and in a dark grey. Mmm.
Notte by Marchesa gown, $880, NetaPorter.com. Glittery gown.
Marc by Marc dress, $370, NetaPorter.com again. A little different approach to the girly vibe.
McQ, $620, same. Floaty and sort of punky. Grey again.
And of course, Balmain’s hot-pink-and-glitter take had to make an appearance. Seems that and the famous Band Jacket have taken the world by storm. Mmm, lucky us!
Magdalena Frakowiak. Balmain // Spring 2009. Now this is 80s and rock and totally hot.
Ok, turbans: just fast. And hey, it’s a fast & easy & chic way to spice up an otherwise plain outfit. Try it!
Via Garance Dore. Love how bright it is!
Basic patterned headscarf.
Ehh, I’d lose the glasses, but love the turban.
And oh, my April Fool’s Day prank? I wore flats to school en lieu of my standard minimum-3.5″ers. 😛