Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fantastic Mr. Fox

Now I'm no movie critic, but I know a good movie when I see one. I've been doing a lot of babysitting lately hence the reason why the last few films I've seen consisted of; Fantastic Mr. Fox, Kung Fu Panda 2, and Despicable Me. I have nothing against Dreamworks, but let's be honest it comes nowhere close to Pixar. The Incredibles anyone? Can someone say Academy Award winner... That's besides the point. While Pixar is the god of all things animated, I'm here reviewing Fantastic Mr. Fox. If we're being completely blunt about things, I want Wes Anderson's children. This movie was everything I could have asked for in a stop-motion film. "Everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt" thank you Kurt Vonnegut, I couldn't have phrased it any better myself. George Clooney, and Meryl Streep even in fox form were brilliant. Character wise, I think I fell in love with Kristoferson. I AM IN NO MEANS INTO BESTIALITY SO LET'S NOT GET CARRIED AWAY, but his character was undeniably adorable. Though the ending was cheesy and predictable, I enjoyed it nevertheless.

Behind the scenes of Fantastic Mr. Fox from Matt Mungle on Vimeo.

It wouldn't be a proper movie review without mentioning the score. Alexandre Desplat I commend you. I'm just going to throw the word whimsical out there. Give these tracks a listen, and you'll understand what I mean by that. The tone is so positively happy and upbeat that if you listen for too long, you might start punching things or start skipping down your driveway. The side effects vary from either spectrum.

Kristofferson's Theme

Mr. Fox In The Fields

High-Speed French Train

Jimmy Squirrel And Co.

For your viewing pleasure you can watch the movie here, and to satiate your auditory needs you can download the soundtrack here.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Noun: A strong desire to travel: "a man consumed by wanderlust".

Why can't this be my life? Why can't I claim the righteous spot of "photographer" for these pictures? I would proudly showcase these images throughout my extravagantly decorated home. I would say with nonchalance "Oh yes, I do quite a bit of traveling. I've been around the world at least thirteen times, but really it's no big deal. Funny you should point that out because I'm actually off to Paris tomorrow morning! It's such a quaint place." Just call me Leah the jet setter... So before I start crying about how I'm never going to leave the realms of Pennsylvania, I leave you with pictures of possibly the most beautiful places I've ever seen. To avoid being tracked down and murdered, each image has its original credit underneath. Au revoir mon ami.

San Fransisco, California


Anda Phedi, Nepal

Paris, France

Venice, Italy

Lake Bled, Slovenia

Chicago, Illinois

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I am a mental, and phyiscal blob

Welcome to the night program I like to refer to as "The Biggest Loser; Leah Edition". For anyone just tuning in, I'll give you the gist of the show. It's about a girl who spent her summer bumming around indoors. Due to the lack of fresh air and sunshine, she turned into an extremely undesirable blob. If you've seen Spirited Away, think No Face. Does that sound interesting or what? I need some excitement in my life. EMPHASIS on the need. You would think that I of all people would enjoy doing nothing. I enjoy doing nothing... when I have something important I should be doing. That doesn't make any sense. Okay. What I'm saying... is that I essentially have nothing that I should be procrastinating. Normally I'd be putting off papers or projects, but nope. So far I've watched all of season one of Lizzie Mcquire. I think that's something I should be embarrassed of. But I feel that if you're reading this, then we're on that level where I can tell you personal things. Though this relationship does seem a little one sided... Whatever, I had fun reminiscing. That show shaped my childhood.

I went to the mall today, with one of my friends. I'm pretty sure I spent the same amount of money I did on clothing, as I did on food. I bought the sweater pictured below. I liked the elbow padding. For some reason, I thought it gave off a very equestrian vibe. Then we were walking to get lunch, and we passed by a chocolate shop. I'm ashamed of my self control, or lack of... I apparently have no portion judgement, because I bought half a pound of peanut butter/chocolate fudge. It looked a lot smaller in my mind, but don't worry about it. It'll be gone in a couple days... I came home and went running. Go me. One day down, sixty more to go.

Friday, June 24, 2011

An ode to summer

You've just observed me in my natural habitat. Me, in my bed... What's new. You can see that nothing's really changed since we've last spoke. But this is me being a responsible individual, and taking the blame for my lazy blogging. As it's finally SUMMER there are no tests, homework, or papers that should hinder my ability to churn out some half-ass posts. I got my report card back today. For not studying I did surprisingly better than I had thought on my finals. I knew my "f this, f that" attitude would someday be rewarded... I have two glorious months ahead of me before I have to return to the horror that is school. Within these months I hope to;
  • Loose five pounds
  • Get a running regime going
  • Possibly dye my hair
  • DIY a lot of clothing
  • -shorts -shoes
  • Eat a lot of ice cream (possibly conflicting with number 1 of my list)
  • Read as many books as I can
  • Do something exciting for my 16th birthday
  • Go to Bryant Park summer film festivals
  • Shoot at least 5 rolls of film
  • Go to the Harry Potter Deathly Hallows 12:00 premiere

It's weird knowing that I can actually afford to buying things. The feeling of not being broke is pretty liberating. As I finally have a real job. Except I've gotten to the point where I'm about to buy something and then I pause and go "this shirt is three hours of hard manual labor, IS IT REALLY WORTH IT?" and then I put it back. I value money so much more now... At this rate I'll never buy anything again.

Because here are Occasionally Leah you know I only provide you with the best of the best... Compiled here are what I think are some pretty jam-worthy songs. You may beg to differ, but if anyone's interested you can download the playlist here.

Monday, June 20, 2011

You are a tourist (part 2)

The last and final installment of "You are a tourist" ironically turns out to be the very first place I started out (because remember... for some reason I thought it was a good idea to write about my trip in non-sequential order). I'm so abstract. So if we rewind a weeks time then we should end up in Scarsdale, New York.

The drive from Pennslyvania to New York was no easy feat. If it's one thing I've learned it's that you should never trust your GPS. Printable mapquest directions, though dated are always reliable. If I had a dollar for every time my father swore at the GPS system I'd have front row tickets to see Death Cab this August. Though thankfully I had prepared a playlist to help ease the overbearing car ride. Three extraneously long hours later... we arrived at Miwa's house.

There's no denying the irresistible charm that these pictures exude. The amount of attractiveness Miwa and I possess is without a doubt... turning you on. I think we had just walked home in the rain prior to this picture being taken. So I completely understand if "a strain of lust was unleashed by the sight of our soaked bodies". Hoho. Oh cheesy vimeo videos... Anyways we walked to town, had lunch, and wandered around a bit before it started drizzling. I particularly enjoyed when Miwa flipped off a bunch of prepubescent boys riding in the backseat of a car. They were about twelve, or thirteen, and shouting really gross and vulgar things at passerbys. So it's raining. Miwa and I are huddled underneath an awning. It's cold. I'm eating frozen yogurt. These kids are making sexual gestures at us, and Miwa's giving them the middle finger. I wouldn't even have to be there to know that it paints a pretty funny picture.

And the winner of the cutest room goes to Miwa. I felt like I was walking into the Sanrio store every time I opened the door. For the rest of the time being we played the guitar (or I attempted to...), played various "Escape" games, had a wonderful dinner, and went to bed. Sidenote; Miwa's actually lucky to be alive... BECAUSE SHE OR YOU KEPT HITTING ME. With soft objects yes... but I will get you. Did I sound intimidating? It's probably hard to take someone who's only 5'0 seriously with weak threats like that, BUT MARK MY WORD. In all seriousness, if you are reading this I had a really (insert non cliche positive adjective) time. You can't imagine how much I appreciated your family's hospitality. By that I mean that I'm happy your mother didn't call Dateline, and Chris Hanson wasn't in your kitchen greeting me with a "why don't you have a seat over there". So out of all of my online internet friends, I'm glad I got a chance to stay with you.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

You are a tourist (part 3)

Last stop Williamsburg, Brooklyn. When I tell you that this place was swarming with hipsters, that is no exaggeration. Clad in collared shirts and vintage eye wear, this group of people takes their thrifting very seriously. I was beyond overwhelmed. The flea market boasting over sixty tents, I had no idea where to begin.

Who doesn't like a little entertainment? After checking out the Brooklyn clientele I was seriously questioning why my residence is in Pennslyvania. The pictures hardly do this place justice, but I can safely say that Williamsburg is home to some of the most attractive people I HAVE EVER SEEN. There were too many inter-racial couples to go unnoticed. I swear EVERYONE had an Asian girlfriend, or maybe that was just my wistful thinking... It was like Micheal Cera's life in Paper Heart. There's no reason to get my hopes up because if I had a pie chart to represent all the men who have hit on me it would look like this.

At this particular moment if I could have wished for anything, it would have been a bottomless bag. I wanted to buy everything in sight. Curse my empty wallet and less than sturdy suitcase. I did manage to pick up two records, a Polaroid camera, and a pair of shorts. I have no idea what one of the records is. I THOUGHT I was buying one by Billie Holiday, but it turns out that the record was in the wrong casing. THAT'S FINE. OKAY. The other one I purchased is by The Who.

All pictures were taken by me; Canon T1i 50 MM Lens

Walking back to the subway station we passed a lot of open cafe's and restaurants. The last time I ventured to Brooklyn, it seemed really dead and uneventful. I think I was just in the wrong part of town because there's actually a lot to do here. Join me on a hypothetical date. We can sip red wine over the faint but audible sounds of the guitar. We can discuss fine literature, and independent films. It'll be the most pretentious date you've never been on. I'll explore more next time. My father and I had to hurry back to Penn Station to catch our 5:00 train back to Pennslyvania. My flickr apologizes for its projectile vomit all over your computer screen. Because I didn't want to lag your browser TOO BAD... the rest of the pictures can be seen here.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

You are a tourist (part 1)

And if you feel just like a tourist in the city you were born then, it's time to go. And you find your destination with so many different places to call home.

Welcome to the three part series of Occasionally Leah... that I like to call "Braving the streets of New York with one lone can of pepper spray" or "I feel 100% more Asian / Jewish while in Scarsdale". One would assume that I would start this series in sequential order. 1. Scarsdale > 2. Soho > 3. Brooklyn, but just to shake things up around here I thought I'd start with number two.

I warn you in advance. Your internet browser is going to want to commit suicide after loading all these pictures. My most sincere apologies (unless you use Internet Explorer).

My train left this morning at 9:17, which meant I arrived at Grand Central roughly around 10:00. Miwa if you're reading this, sorry for the abrupt goodbye (come visit me). AND THE TICKET WAS DOUBLE THE PRICE ON THE TRAIN. Who knew... Anyways the day started off pretty slow as stores and whatnot don't open until 11:00. Here's a tip for anyone traveling to the city; don't look like a tourist, don't look lost, and absolutely DO NOT PULL OUT A MAP OR DIRECTIONS. Unless of course getting raped/mugged is your thing. Some people are into that... To say that I looked pretty lost would be the understatement of the year. I knew where I WANTED to be, but as I mentioned before everything was shut down. "On the outside looking in" that was me. It must have been a pretty pathetic sight seeing me ogle at all the inviting clothing in the window displays because someone working in the store would always shoot me a pitiful look. Alas after what seemed like hours UNIQLO opened up. Uniqlo's a Japanese run company that sells both Men and Woman's clothing. Their "Barbie" collection had just come out, hence the pictures. I was five years old again.

From that point on it was pretty smooth sailing. I wandered into a couple boutiques, and bought some really nice things. I remember my parents giving me a credit card before I left. They said something about "emergency... situations", but that information's all fuzzy to me. I believe I spent one hundred dollars in Soho. It's going to be such a funny story when my parents get the monthly credit card bill.

Around 12:35-40 I took the subway back to Grand Central. I was paranoid because I had to meet my father by 1:00, and as my luck would have it... I was on the wrong subway. Mine was going downtown... and by using your deductive reasoning skills I think you know what one I should have taken. I took that subway to the last stop, and thankfully it turned around taking me in my desired direction. Because "MOST PEOPLE" tend to get off when the intercom goes "this is the very last stop", I had an entire car to myself. If you've ever been to New York, you would know that an "empty subway car" is unheard of. This was the defining moment of my trip where I thought I was going to die. This is it. A pedophile is going to waltz right in this unattended subway, abduct me, and no one would even be there to witness it . It's been real...

Thankfully I made it back exactly at 1:00. I met up with my father, and we set off for Brooklyn (which in its entirety is its own post). Until then~

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Concert Envy

Did you miss me? No? Okay. Sorry I haven't been as "active" as I've normally been. I would say upcoming finals are the reason for the lacking posts, but... it's really just my laziness. I thought I'd spare you the blog post on how I managed to down a jar of nutella in one sitting. My life... THIS DOESN'T SOUND REPETITIVE OR ANYTHING.
I promise that after this weekend I'll have quality posts once again. I'll be heading up to Scarsdale New York on Saturday where I'll be staying with Miwa. Let the fun times begin... and on Sunday my mother and I are going around the City. I'm taking her to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. OH YES.

The Flea has expanded to a new site on the Williamsburg waterfront. Located between North 6th and North 7th Streets just south of East River State Park, the Sunday Flea features the same mix of vintage, antique, handmade, and food vendors as Fort Greene, with a gorgeous skyline view to boot.

You can't honestly tell me that doesn't sound like the time of your life. Who doesn't find the idea of browsing through a bunch of deceased people's clothing appealing... Also if you happen to be in the market for a vintage typewriter or some records you've come to the right place. I have no shame in saying that I am a collector of vintage electronics aka "OLD STUFF". I have no idea what I'm going to do with the 1950 radio transmitter I bought the other day... IT WILL BE OF USE TO ME SOMEDAY. I'm going to be swimming in a sea of hipsters Sunday. I bet if I wore my thick rimmed glasses I'd fit right in...

It's basically summer, and to me summer translates to concerts. I can't claim that I've been to too many shows, but the few ones I have... have been amazing. I saw Weezer last month with Fun, and Panic at the Disco. While that WAS fantastic... it doesn't nearly compare with seeing Tokyo Police Club in January. Dave Monks, forget about our 9 year age difference. Be with me. I can satisfy you in ways you didn't even think were possible.

TOKYO POLICE CLUB - Wait Up (Boots of Danger) from Mitch Fillion ( on Vimeo.

Amplified: Tokyo Police Club from Amplified on Vimeo.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Sometimes I wing it

There's only one word that describes my life as of late, which is weird. Now it only makes sense that I would follow up a sentence like that with some sort of explanation, but no I'll just leave it at that. I have a love hate relationship with June. June's a fairly solid month... It's hot, and humid but overall I don't mind the weather. What I'm referring to is school in June. Lately all I've been doing is watching movies, or listening to my ipod during class. Cyrano de Bergerac anyone? There's absolutely nothing wrong with this, other then it being a HUGE WASTE OF MY TIME. Hello... these are potential summer days I could be talking about. Sure we have the occasional test or quiz, but really I "CBA" (couldn't be arsed). I'm used to just "winging" things these days. "Oh so we have a presentation today?" = time to test out my improvisation skills. The producers in Hollywood made a movie about my life, it's called "The Art of Getting By". Just kidding... unfortunately it's only the film title that pertains to me. IF ANYTHING the only Emma Roberts movie that does somewhat of an accurate depiction of my life would be "It's Kind of a Funny Story". Let's hear it for suicidal/manic depressive teenagers!1

I look stupid today. My hair looks stupid. I'm getting a haircut tomorrow.
I'm disappointed that this new salon doesn't give you free chocolate chip cookies. The place I go to now gives me a better cut, but no food. IS IT BETTER TO LOOK GOOD, OR GET FREE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES. These are the issues I struggle with... My life is so hard.

Now it wouldn't be a proper blogpost if I didn't share a video with you. That's my blogging formula. Rant about day + Gratuitous self portrait + Video = Decent. If I had any guts or courage I think I'd like to do something like this. A man braves the streets of New York, and asks pedestrians what they're listening to on their mp3/ipod.

Dude Stops People Wearing Headphones To Ask What They’re Listening To « Thought Catalog
Upon seeing the title of this video I expected it to be some kind of lightly malicious, funny video in which passersby were somewhat harassed and annoyed by a juvenile sort of prank, but it actually turns out to be quite smile-inducing. It’s cute to see people grin sheepishly and ‘admit’ to what’s on their headphones, while others’ matter-of-fact reactions give an insight into their lives – who they really are and how they’re, at that moment, perceiving the world around them.

I'll make a better post tomorrow. I'll try to look more attractive or something. It'll be a struggle, but it's a challenge I'm willing to accept. It's that or I suddenly become more interesting... WHICH IS NOT HAPPENING.