The Month of Essays | November 2014 Recap

Oh hey, look! I’m trying something new, hence no banner and why this post is mainly a big wall of text. I like reading monthly recaps and life updates from other bloggers, so I wanted to see if I could do something similar. I’m not going to put my book hauls into these because I’d rather keep those separate, so these will be mainly personal posts, with a link back to my posts from the month at the end. This is just a prototype recap for now, so hopefully I’ll be able to make a more coherent and less rambly (we all know how much I can ramble) recap next time I do one (which will be at the end of January or the beginning of February because I’ll be doing the End of Year survey this month)!

Hurray for trying something new!

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The Personal Stuff

November was all about essays and assignments for me and it got tough at times. I had two essays to write, one was a 1500 essay on language used in drama and the other was a 2500 word essay on ideas from the Enlightenment in Frankenstein. I’d studied Frankenstein at A-Level, so I figured that I had a bit of a headstart, but I didn’t. It was tough but I soldiered through it and got both of them done. They were probably terrible but at least they’re done and handed in. My last assignment out of the first set is due in on December 2, but I’ve been wanting to write my second creative writing assignment rather than the first because the characters I’ve made for the second one are much more interesting.
The end of the month kind of sucked because my great-grandmother died on the 20th. I’m not the most emotional person when it comes to family members dying (apart from when my cat died in June and I sobbed for hours), but it’s just been hard getting used to not having her around anymore. The worst part is the fact that she got ill really suddenly and was in the hospital for about a week. Friday just gone was the first funeral I’ve ever been to and I just dreaded it all week. Christmas is probably going to be a bit tough, but I’ll pull through.
On a better note, I finally thought of a new blog name and I absolutely LOVE it! You ready to hear it? The name is… Exploring by Starlight! It took me so long to think of a name, and I’m so glad that I managed to come up with one. I was looking through titles of pretty much everything for inspiration, and then I remembered that one of my favourite songs ever is By Starlight by the Smashing Pumpkins (my favourite band), and it just jumped out at me because it’s one of the dreamiest songs I’ve ever heard and I like all things to do with the stars (I’m definitely a nightowl). Then I had to think of something to go infront of the ‘by Starlight’ part. Then it hit me: I like to go to new places, both real and fictional, and I especially like books with a lot of world building in or are set in a specific place, hence that I like to ‘explore’. And, voila! Exploring by Starlight. Do you like it? I like it a lot. But obviously a new name calls for an new blog design, and I’m hoping to have an entire blog makeover (so yeah, bye bye UFOs). If any of you guys know of blog designers who can do work for Blogger, please give me some recommendations. Or even if you want to shamelessly plug your own design studio to me, feel free to!

Posts from This Month

None! I was on a hiatus so I could focus on uni work and post planning.
Books Read This Month

Naturally, I didn’t get much reading done due to devoting most of my time to essays.
What I Watched This Month

Apart from my usual TV shows (The Simpsons, Futurama, American Dad, and whatever background noise I can tolerate), I watched mainly new seasons of shows that have returned. I’ve been hooked on Never Mind the Buzzcocks (a music quiz show that is hilarious, if you ever manage to find it on Netflix, give it a watch) and also Gotham (I didn’t have the highest of hopes, but I’m really enjoying it. Not the biggest fan of how Jim Gordan is written, but we shall see), and I’m over the moon that Some Girls has come back to BBC3 because it is easily the best show that has ever been made for that channel.

Also, I’ve been absolutely addicted to Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends, which is on Netflix. What happens is that every episode is a mini-documentary about  a different American subculture and some of them are just hilarous. I actually stayed up until five in the morning watching this show, because it’s so addictive.

As for movies, I haven’t watched many movies this month. I did get to see Bjork: Biophilia Live in the cinema, and it was absolutely amazing I’m disappointed that they didn’t play Hyperballad, which is my favourite Bjork song ever, but I can easily push that aside. I also finally got to watch Tinker Bell and the Pirate Fairy, which I really enjoyed. And yes, I completely melted when Tom Hiddleston sang. No regrets.
What I’ve Been Obsessed With

If you saw my 20 things about me tag, you’ll probably remember that lately I’ve been obsessed with System of a Down. I’m so obsessed that I managed to buy all five of their albums in a space of two weeks, which is the quickest time I’ve ever managed to get an entire discography in (it took me three months to get all of Beck’s albums, but I was kind of broke then). I also said in that post that I was slowly developing a weird crush on Serj Tankian. I’m now in full-blown weird crush mode (what I mean by ‘weird crush’ is when the person you’re crushing on isn’t conventionally attractive (I mean attractive in the physical sense), or very attractive, or they might not be physically attractive at all, but there’s just that something that draws you to them and you end up crushing on them). I just can’t help it, he’s strangely adorable.



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The worst part is the fact that I haven’t listened to any of his solo stuff yet. Oh dear. Hopefully I’ll be able to get his albums for Christmas. Oh, and even worse; they’re playing live at Wembley Arena next year and nobody will go with me. These are some incredibly sad times for me.

Anways, want some songs? Here’s a lot of songs:

B.Y.O.B. | Sugar | Bubbles | ATWA | This Cocaine Makes Me Feel Like I’m On This Song | Violent Pornography | Shimmy | Darts | Toxicity | Stealing Society | Radio/Video | I-E-A-I-A-I-O | Hypnotize | Cigaro (if you want a good laugh, listen to this one) | Lonely Day | Fuck the System | Thetawaves | Soil | Innervision | CUBErt | Dreaming | Bounce | Needles | Peephole | Chop Suey! | Vicinity of Obscenity | Lost in Hollywood | Suite-Pee

I’ve also been addicted to The Sims, and the original first series of games to be specific. I have no idea why but I just randomly installed the Makin’ Magic EP one day (because that was the only one I had that wasn’t installed) and now I can’t stop playing it. I made my Sim be an awesome rock star magic lady who was a cat that can do tricks. The biggest downside to going back to playing TS1 is that because there’s no loading screens and the game is actually harder than the sequels (the other games have tons more cheat codes than the first, and they added benefits so that the motives don’t go down as fast), I’m not getting to read while I play, which is what I do with The Sims 2 (my old computer was incredibly slow and made the loading screens run for twenty minutes so I used those times to read. now I just read while I play anyway).
My Goals for Next Month

Blogging goals:

  • Continue with my attempt to be more social on Twitter – interacting on Twitter still kind of intimidates me, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that if I really want this blog to take off properly, I’ve got to come out of my shell and talk to people.
  • Reply to comments and comment back – I’m not the best person at commenting, but I definitely want to get better at it so that I don’t look rude by not commenting back both on my blog and other people’s blogs.
  • Find a blog designer
  • Experiment with a more informal review style – I haven’t written a review in two months, but I feel like my reviews are too formal. I do like to keep them serious and somewhat professional, but lately I’ve been feeling like my writing style is a bit too stuffy. Sometimes I read back on my posts and it sounds like I’ve written an academic paper or something, and that’s not just in reviews. So I definitely want to have a more of a ‘chit-chat’ style of blog writing rather than sounding like an essay.
Personal goals:
  • Do something with my hair – I know that there are very, very, very few of you guys who know what I look like, but my hair is definitely my most defining feature (it has been since I was a toddler). My hair is very thick, and naturally curly. It calmed down quite a bit in recent years, but in November last year I went on roaccutane, which is the most powerful acne medicine that you can get from a doctor, and while it did miracles for my skin, my hair has really suffered and it’s just unbearable because it’s gotten so dry and frizzy at my roots and above my ears. I actually have frizz that I can move out of my face when it’s windy, and I just hate it. I really just need a haircut, but I need to find something that’ll either get rid of the frizz or tame it. I’d prefer it if I could just get rid of it. It doesn’t really help that there is literally nothing that I can do with my hair, and on top of that I’m not allowed to do anything with it because my hairdresser won’t let me. How embarrassing is that? I’m nineteen years old and my hairdresser won’t let me cut or dye my hair the way I want it.
  • Continues to practise doing makeup – I’ve never been much of a makeup girl because I’m just not very good at it. And I’m not very good at it because at the school I went to, it was against the rules to wear makeup, so I just didn’t wear any. But when I did I tried to be an emo kid and basically coloured my eyelids in eyeliner. It wasn’t a good look. I’m determined to get better and try out new things, so I’m going to start having makeup days (providing that my skin doesn’t freak out and dry up completely).
  • Try to eat more healthy (emphasis on ‘try’, it is Christmas after all) – I have the diet of a five year old (5yr olds probably eat better than me), and I really need to try to improve it before I end up with any serious health issues when I’m older.
How was your November? Do you think I should continue on with recap posts like this?


  1. 01/12/2014 / 12:48 PM

    I'm sorry to hear about your great-grandmother *hug* I like your new blog name and I'm curious to see the new design. I highly recommend my designer: Stephanie, Very nice girl and easy to work with! Tinker bell and the pirate fairy was my favorite installment (and yep, I totally melted when he sang)

    I had the same with my hair dresser. Well, I don't have one because I just go to a saloon, but she didn't want to cut my long hair (I did it anyway) I recommend checking Youtube videos with some natural make-up tutorials πŸ™‚ That's how I learned to do my make-up too.

  2. 01/12/2014 / 9:45 PM

    I can't imagine anybody not melting at Tom Hiddleston's singing in The Pirate Fairy! I didn't expect him to have such a swoon-worthy voice O//O

    And thanks for the recommendations, Mel! I'll definitely give Stephanie's work a look.

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