Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Part Two

I am afraid that there will be two more Christmas posts. Too bad peoples, I love documenting absolutely everything.



I made these  "Grinch" cookies for my dad on the 23rd and got my littlest sister to illustrate the sign. I had wanted to have them out waiting on Christmas morning as kids do with cookies for Santa, but there was no way to do that with fresh cookies and still keep it a secret from Dad.  I got this idea from Pinterest, but I am not a great cook or baker, nor did I check the recipe-I just added green food coloring. The cookie dough looked like playdough, and the cookies, well, they looked like sick cookies. Nevertheless, they made my dad, the self-proclaimed Grinch, happy, and they tasted perfectly yummy.


This is my pile of presents minus my grandmother's which I finished moments before we left to celebrate with my grandparents...typical me-I am lucky it was finished at all.



Christmas Eve we celebrate with my mom's extended family. The adults draw names; I got my dad and gave him the two Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes movies. The below are my gifts. We also draw names for  ladies' and men's stockings which are filled with small gifts. The first year I was an "adult" I won; my cousin whose first or second year it was won this time.





 This is my stocking which my mom made for me when I was little; isn't it darling?! She made a different type for my sisters and then her creativity ended-the rest of the kiddoes got rather blah stockings :P



Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Season Part One

          Okay, my first proper Christmasy post. Last year I could not pull it together to post about Christmas.
The first two photos are of my graham cracker house which I made alongside my friends and siblings at our friends house on Tuesday the 18th. Our family made graham cracker houses last year using royal icing as glue which turned rock hard. The candy had to be scraped off. In the end a lot of candy was wasted. My friends hot glued the houses together which I was considerably less enthusiastic about (to put it mildly). I am not a fan of superficiality, false advertising, faux things, fakiness, etc. so I did not like the explicitly understood waste of candy this entailed. Why not use cardboard and glitter if it is not to be really, real?!!! 

          Spurred by this and by an idea I had had in my head at least a year, that Saturday I set about making a gingersnap house which took me at least four hours. Since I was cleaning up the breakfast mess previous to that, I was in the kitchen for around/at least five hours. That my friends is part of the reason why I do not care to cook or bake much. Anyway. It looks like gingerbread and does not taste as gingersnappy as I would have wished (we did not have cloves as my mother does not care for them so that was at least part of the reason).

          I made syrup and poured this into the cut out windows for "glass windows." Some of the windows were not transparent and all of them were yellowed, but since I am not good with confectionery and baking, I am satisfied that they hardened and stayed in properly. I used boiled molasses as glue for my house, and it worked splendidly. I had purposely over baked the house pieces as I thought the cookie would be to soft to stand. I am lucky that everything came together fairly well with no cracks or collapses. I did, however, miscalculate on the roof and covered that section with chocolate which did not look so bad. I only did a section of fencing and my decor was rather sloppy; I was getting tired and bored of the house, and I needed more support for the fence than it itself could provide. All in all though, I have to say I was pretty pleased with myself although the perfectionist side cannot get over the obvious mismatch between the house in my head and the real one. I intend to try this again every year, so I am sure to improve. I like making little Christmas traditions all by myself.

          On the subject of traditions, I have watched White Christmas at least three Christmases in a row of my own accord. That movie is such fun. Three of my sisters joined me on the evening of the day on which I made my gingersnap house. Another girly tradition we have is to watch tons and tons of Hallmark movies. For the last several years we have watched A Christmas Card at least twice every year. This year the channel had several good new ones. Some of our favorites were A Bride for Christmas and Hitched for the Holidays. When my dad's mother and stepfather were alive, we would go to one of the theatres downtown and watch A Christmas Carol being performed. Even though I was scared, particularly of the Ghost of Christmas past, I enjoyed this tradition. I have not gone for a couple years, but I want to restart this tradition at least for myself somehow.

So that was some of our pre-Christmas fun!













Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Hobbit

          My dad read the Hobbit years ago to us; I think it had to be definitely around or over a decade ago. I decided that since I had forgotten so much I needed to reread it which I did in the week I finished school. I loved it.

         We went to see the movie last Saturday. I did not love it. I know I am about to be murdered. It was far more intense than I was anticipating, and intense scenes are far easier to read than to watch which fact I obviously had forgotten. I kept asking my sister the time; yes, the situation was that bad. I should be ashamed that I was asking for the time during THE HOBBIT. I was wondering how I could make it through the next two movies. I jumped and screamed at least twice. The second time the whole theatre was quiet and I woke up my slumbering sister (shame to her as well) and startled my friend.

         I am one of those die-hard the book-way-or-the-high-way type people, and there were considerable deviations and additions in my tetchy opinion. The most highly offensive one was the elf-dwarf drama; really, you had to bring that in? There was no hint of such a thing in the book. Way to make the magnificent elves look evil (this was done in Lord of the Rings-all of Middle Earth was beginning to be or would soon have been  besieged; Lothlorien was under attack and elves were leaving Rivendell to avoid being attacked...this is a whole other rant). Way to make the stupid dwarves confuse the much lowlier Wood Elves with the magnificent High Elves (I am NOT a Tolkien nerd, and I have read The Silmarillion, so I scorn any presumptuous person who thinks that they are a Tolkien nerd and have not read that most essential book...hmm, I am thinking of attempting to become an amateur Tolkien nerd). The Pale orc plot line was irritating too-yes, I know there was a Great orc who was responsible for the killing of Thorin's grandfather, but he did not directly appear in the story. Oh, and this extra plot greatly increased my nervousness with regards to suspense; there was never a moments rest, and there was always the anticipation of a surprise attack-aaahhh!

          I did like the additions that did not change the story such as the blending of the beginning of The Fellowship with Bilbo's story-telling. I liked that the history of Erebor was told, but I hated the inaccuracies (you would think I am referring to history). I liked that the hints of Gandalf's work in the Hobbit, the driving of the Necromancer (Sauron) from Mirkwood, was being told, but again, I hated the manner of how it was told. I mean, did Radagast really have to be so embarrassing and gross and ridiculous? And why is Galadriel always so creepy and annoyingly aloof/superior?

          My friends and siblings pointed out that the orcs, goblins, animation, special effects, etc. were much poorer than Lord of the Rings. Personally, I think I preferred these Wargs, although they were too big, for they actually looked like wolves and not like hyena monsters. I thought Gollum was good and his scene was near perfect although I was freaked out and grossed out for most of it (during the beginning I had a horror that he would be shown eating the goblin, and I was sickeningly aware of all the bones...sorry necrophobia coming out here). My group also complained about the weird glow around the somewhat bizarre looking elf-king (in retrospect his expression reminds me of Mr. Lovegood...). I did not mind this, and I also did not mind his "steed"...after all he was a wood elf. But as to the orcs and goblins I have to agree-they were absurdly animated.

          I, of course, knew that our belovedest Richard Armitage played Thorin. Thorin irritated me, but then most of Richard Armitage's characters do; he is after all adept at characters that brusque and conflicted at best and evil at worst. All of the girls in our group swooned when Fili and Kili appeared. I adore Kili and my sisters adore Fili. We laughed at how we were swooning over DWARVES! Sorry, Thorin, you have been replaced. Now I just need to hear the voice of the dragon and see some more elves to complete my swoonfest. Ahem.

          Bilbo was a doll of course, but Martin Freeman's mannerisms are exactly the same in The Hobbit as when he is John Watson, and the situation was hilariously the similar. A meek little man is overborne by stronger personalities, and huffs and puffs fruitlessly about it, and then in the end turns out to be a loyal and brave little fellow (sorry, Watson, I suppose you are a leetle more dignified than that description supposes). While I watched Sherlock I though about how hobbit-like Mr. Freeman was. Dear me.

          Can I say something positive without a caveat? Yes. I like the closing scene with the dragon opening his eye. Of course I was thinking about the man who voiced the dragon. Well, I got to see him in the Star Trek premiere (which was marvelous and worth coming to the theatre) and his name in the credits.

          I think I need to read the appendixes and all the main Tolkien novels again before the second installment comes out in order to be properly prepared to be justly offended at all the changes.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Random

So, a bit of an update on daily life.

I have been doing school all the time it feels like. Actually, I usually just go to school in the morning and then daydream or do homework at work twice a week or play on my phone and computer. Yesterday though, I worked most of the day on school including a paper. I usually have a sleep deficit at the end of the week, I have a mild cold/cough, and my paper was confusing me even though it was only to be two pages (doubled-spaced), so I was miserable over that paper and everything starting swirling together, so I just stopped. I meant to work on it more this morning, but it still was formidable, so I just went ahead and sent it to my teacher to review in an email expressing my frustrations. I read the email response earlier this evening--she said it wasn't as bad as she thought after first reading my note. She said she made some notes of what I should change, but I will look that over tomorrow and finish my paper then (yes, I am bad doing school on Sunday)...and study for that Latin exam Monday :P

My room is a mess, and I have been running out of school clothes and washing some stuff in the sink because I don't have a good laundry schedule in place (I wash most of my clothes separately, usually on a gentler cycle).

I have had about four overdue items at the library this past month or so, and I have not been reading much even though I have several books started. I need to stack them up together, and I need some light stuff to mix in with what I have going. This on campus schooling is taking its toll, and I really need to adjust to it better; this needs to start with going to bed around 9:30. I did this last night, but that doesn't take care of the sleep deficit for this week.

Okay, enough of my craziness. I went thrifting again with friends today and got two skirts, five tops and one hat which I thought was pretty good haul. Most of the stuff was summery or light-weight, but one of the skirts was a nice grey velour maxi skirt which should be great for school. And, yes, I still want to modify some of the tops. I am happy I got tops though since they are harder for me to buy than skirts and dresses.

If I can manage to pull myself and my schedule together, then maybe I will be able to work on my clothes and post some photos--we will see since, as I said before, I am better at tearing things apart.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Girly Stories: Fairies

I love faeries and fairy tales (and don't you just die over the spelling of faery and faeries-swoon). I have read plenty of fairy tale re-tellings (the original stories can be reaaalllly creepy...to put it mildly), but I have not actually read many stories of actual fairies.

I have looked through Gale Carson Levine's fairy stories (these are related-I am not sure which came first, but I am guessing her stories-to the Disney Fairies movie series). They are cute enough but definitely for a very young audience.

One of my acquaintances at church led me to another set of series, and they are thrillingly bewitching. I literally was under a spell reading them. I cannot express how good they are; I have no words for such literary and creative genius. There is one full trilogy and then a (connected) series with only one book so far.

At my public library system they only have the first two of the trilogy. The trilogy is entitled "Faery Rebels." The books in this series are Knife (Spellhunter in the U.S.), Rebel (Wayfarer in the U.S.), and Arrow.

The U.K. names are waaaay better aren't they? Although Knife isn't the best choice (not that I would know what was...). The U.K. covers (those shown) are the best as well-the U.S covers make the books seem just your silly, average teen fiction-trust me they are not-this is pure literary perfection here peoples, I am serious-read them.

The fourth book which is related but part of a new series is Swift, and it might kinda be my favorite (you cannot really have favorites since these books are connected in interesting ways). Swift has the best cover.

The second book in this series is Nomad and is supposed to come out in 2014. These covers should make you want to read them-the covers are shimmering, mysterious, elegant, and enchanting-GO READ THESE BOOKS!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Measure for Measure

Angelo immediately enforces Vienna's previously neglected harsh laws against immorality. What I cannot make out is if this was against the Duke's wishs, concurrent with them or neutral.

To what end did the Duke observe Vienna in disguise? He already knew the effects caused by his neglect of punishment. Was he thinking about making Angelo his heir? Why?

 Whatever the reason for Angelo's accession to power, he certainly utilizes it instantly when he condemns Claudio to death for fathering a child out of wedlock (or rather the deed which led to the child :P). The laws are inconsistent—both are humiliated, but only Claudio condemned to be executed. Why not fines, a public humiliation, and jail for both?

Claudio is soooo despicable. He knew he was doing wrong, and I believe he also knew the punishment. They were not married because of some complication of Juliet's dowry—to me this makes it worse because he was excusing himself saying they were all but married. He also has no scruples with his sister saving his sorry neck with the same sin that has earned him capital punishment.

I think (maybe) Isabella could be justified in condemning (to Claudio) Angelo's response to her plea for mercy. All praise and commendation is due to Isabella for so forcefully rebuking her brother and guarding her virtue.

You could argue that she was committing murder by not sinning to save her brother's life. I am in complete disagreement with this stance. Claudio knew he was sinning, and he knew that according to the law this sin deserves death. He flouts the moral and legal systems and then expects his sister to do the same to save him from punishment.

As to the other hypocrite, Angelo, why he was so strict with the laws and faithless with promises is beyond me. He doesn't intend to save Claudio (another strike against Claudio's dreadful wish), and he leaves Mariana—there are plenty of this type of rogue. He is a tyrant as well but why he chooses to enforce morality laws and keep up the appearance of stringent morality boggles my mind. The Duke was obviously not of a keen mind with regard to the ability to perceive and penetrate faҫades.

The Duke himself does not have a spectacular character. He neither enforces the laws nor seeks to find improvements for his rule. He disappears for no obvious purpose, and he makes a highly dubious moral choice by substituting Mariana for Isabella in the deputy's lascivious plan. Isabella risks her reputation and safety in assenting to such a plan. Of real concern is Mariana's immorality. She was promised to Angelo—but was not Juliet to Claudio—or was Angelo and Mariana's parental, official, and binding (would that really make the sin less?!) and Juliet and Claudio's merely consensual and emotional? It is fornication either way.

There are two positive aspects of the play: Isabella's true virtue and the "rightness" of the ending. Claudio is saved and must marry Julietta while Angelo is exposed and forced to marry Mariana. Lucio, friend of Claudio and a horrid rake, is forced to marry a "woman of the evening" that he got with child and promised to marry (hah, I looove when such men are trapped like that—which is why I enjoyed All's Well that Ends Well). The crowning touch is that the Duke has fallen in love with Isabella.

The public discovery of Angelo takes too long—Mariana and Isabella are made to look like fools and the truth regarding the "death" of Claudio was cruelly kept from Isabella merely so that the Duke could see her relief when she sees Claudio in life. And yet she loved him, how convenient for him!

Since writing this I took a Renaissance Culture course in college wherein I read the story of Boccaccio's that Shakespeare borrowed to use in All's Well that Ends Well, so I wonder if this play has an original story since I believe that many of Shakespeare's plays had borrowed plots. I shall have to look into this further. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Girly Stories: Fairy tales Retold

The genre or sub-genre of retold fairy tales is one of my favorite. When Miss Charity of Austinitis wrote about reading  Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow, I knew I needed to list the fairy tales that I have read.


Arabian Nights: 

(the original plot not the stories the heroine told)
The Storyteller's Daughter by Cameron Dokey. It was okay-not good enough to reread; I am looking forward to reading Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher which I heard about on the Austinitis blog.


Beauty and the Beast:

Beauty by Robin McKinley-this is one of the best re-telling of any fairy tale that I have come across.

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George (this is also based on East of the Sun, West of the Moon which is a Nordic tale)-I did not care for the later half too much, but the author is one of my favorites so I definitely would recommend it unless you are younger as some parts were...uncomfortable.

Beastly by Alex Flinn-I am being generous by putting this under fairy tales retold-it doesn't have quite the romance and allure that the others do. I do not at recommend it for young readers as it is at the least very sensual in some parts. I liked it well enough though.


Cinderella:

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine-this is light and oh, so sweet.

Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix. Nothing special but still pretty cute except the ending felt rather flat.

Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George-this is the second in a trilogy (the third book may not yet be out).


Little Mermaid: 

Midnight Pearls by Debbie Viguie. I started this but did not finish I don't think. I really did not like how it turned out. The writing wasn't very good, common to its type.


Rapunzel-I don't think I have read any, but I welcome suggestions!


Rumpelstiltskin:

A Curse as Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce. I liked it-it is not of the higher order, but its better than many (most?) of the fantasy/fairy tale genre.


Sleeping Beauty-I welcome suggestions!


Snow White-I welcome suggestions!


Swan Princess-I welcome suggestions!


The Twelve Dancing Princesses:

Entwined by Heather Dixon. This was lovely.
                                                   
Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George. I think that this fairy tale is one of my favorites if not my favorite-there is something so mysterious and alluring and terrifying about it.

Wildwood Dancing (loosely based and with elements of other stories such as the Princess and the Frog)-I love the mystique of this novel. It does have some scary and dark elements, so it is not for young girls.

                                                            Stunning fantasy cover

Spoofs: Gail Carson Levine's Princess tales. These are light, short stories that are perfectly hilarious.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Avengers

I went to a midnight showing of Avengers  the first time around, and I just watched it for the second time with more of my brain awake. I have seen most of the necessary precursory movies: Ironman, Captain America, and Thor which really are necessary in order for the desire to see the Avengers to amount to anything. The first viewing was supposed to be with a certain group of people which was part and parcel of my desire to see it in the first place. The movie I was really looking forward to this summer was Dark Knight. I suppose what I am trying to say was that I was not a diehard fan before the movie came out (unlike one of my siblings who dressed as Loki for the movie).

I did of course enjoy the movie. Superhero movies are, oddly enough, one of my genres of choice. That being said; it did not strike me as being incredible movie in and of itself. I know I am comparing it in my mind to the Batman movies; it is not at that level; therefore, I simply cannot think that it is amazing. I know I am sounding like a terrible critic, but I am sorry, I felt that it was rather fluffy. Indeed, I think that the plots of the original character movies were all better than the plot in this one. I am not sure what I was expecting exactly.

Honestly, when you analyze the plot it does not amount to much at all. This is pure action here people. Loki comes to earth via the tesseract; he takes Burton, the phycist and the tesseract; the various members of the Avengers gather to fight Loki; Stark mocks the goody-goody Captain America while Banner sarcastically sulks; Loki makes a show whilst he gathers a needed substance and is captured which was his desire; the Avengers fight, argue, and discover weapons of mass destruction which angers them; the Avengers are attacked, Loki escapes, a significant secondary character dies; the death of the S.H.E.I.L.D. agent spurs everyone to bond and fight against Loki (why exactly?); and there is a magnificent battle in New York (one of my siblings pointed out that the city in peril is always New York even when the movies call the city something else...such as Gotham).

I did not feel that the pieces of the plot blended together smoothly. I still, after two viewings of the film and explanation from friends, don't quite "get" the plot. There just wasn't any depth. There were no plausible motives on the part of the Avengers, and there was far too much pettiness for a group of heroes. They come together far too fast and without any clear communication to each other or reasons as to their complete 180 degree attitude change. The action, decisions, and discoveries don't blend very well with each other.Some of my friends think that there will be more development in the further movies-I certainly hope so, this plot was simply too light and quick paced. I am sorry, the movie may bring in millions, but I do not love it, and I don't see that I should.

There was much that was tacky-far more than in any of the precursory movies. Some of the humor was so embarrassing and/or tacky. Here are some of the cringe-worthy "humorous" scenes and quips: "He is adopted." "It appears to run on some sort of electricity." "You and I remember Budapest very differently." The I am a god and I will not be bullied scene.

Okay, here is what makes the movie for me. The humor and the characters. Chris Hemsworth. Chris Evans. Tom Hiddleston. All the Avengers men are handsome. Loki is handsome. I like the "unromantic" tension between Hawk Eye and Black Widow.There are definitely plenty of awesome lines/quips: "Phil. His first name is Agent," "Hold on Legolas," "There is only one God ma'am, and I am pretty sure he doesn't dress like that." Stark, as much as I want someone to repay him in his own coin, is I admit, pretty awesomely funny.

I loved the characters themselves rather than the movie itself. I don't think most of them were shown to their full advantage excepting Ironman (the playa egomaniac gets front and center of course) and Captain America. I really think that more of the characters could have shone;the action could have been shortened. I ,as before, enjoyed the fraternal relationship between Thor and Loki; Thor really loves Loki, and he knows that Loki is capable of changing. Thor is perfectly just; he knows Loki should be punished, but he definitely can see more sides of the issue. I appreciate Captain America's gentlemanliness as ever. He is as polite and honorable as before, and he endures Spark's mockery even as he thinks through Spark and Banner's legitimate points. Some friends appreciated Ironman's sacrificial move...of course like in most of these type of movies he survives his act. I still want someone to one-up him in sarcasm...a man that is as Pepper's quips don't count as revenge although they are hilarious.

Okay, that's about all that I have to say about that movie. There is not much need here for deep discussions of good and evil and perceptions and misconceptions regarding the movie and characters...unlike like the best movie of the summer.

Monday, July 16, 2012

MIA

Soooorrrryyyy! I haven't posted anything interesting in quite a time. I will try to do a couple posts this week since my schedule should be lighter as I have fewer hours at work. For now here's a briefing on what I have been doing.

Vacationing. My mom and most of my sisters went to Williamsburg with me last week. This time we hit Jamestown-in love with their glassworks...eep!

Working on my horrid school; if I don't fail these classes I should be getting my Associate of Arts at the end of the summer.

Getting my classes at the university for the fall semester (I am excited!). Whew, now its starting to feel official.

Trying to jog with the Couch to 5K program with my mom. We have had some repitions/alterations, but it is a really simple, encouraging plan especially since the title is literal for me. I am on week five, so today I jogged (well, kind of)  3 5" intervals with 3" of walking ing between.

Watching Pysch. I.Love.That. Show.

Avoiding watching Downtown Abbey. It called a resistance to fads; it might be a disease.

Killing wasps; I killed two wasps in my room. Trust me this is a biggie-what with the exertion and fear I was "trembly." Yeah, that fear thing, hmmm. Oh, you don't think this belongs on this list? Well, too bad.

Shopping! I made my first consignment shop purchase. I was pretty pleased-I got a pair of jeans (which only need to have the waist taken in-they don't need hemming!), a silk skirt, and two oxford style blouses. I am going to turn the old lady/eighties skirt into a pencil, and modify the two blouses (I have already taken off the collars; what with a short neck and sloping shoulders I end up looking like a triangle with a head on top :P). Grand plans from the girl who still has not finished those skirts and that maxi dress I mentioned before. I have sewed a little though. I have worked on my regency dress which I want to finish by Saturday.

Having fun with friends. I think I have been a smidgen better at socializing these last few weeks.

Oh, and PLAYING WITH MY IPHONE! I asked my dad about how much unlimited text would cost (my parents and two of my siblings and I are on one plan; four of us had ancient phones-mine and my brother's were flip phones), and mentioned that I wanted an iphone. A few weeks later our plan was upgraded, and I had an iphone for my birthday. The plan gave us free Blackberrys which my mom and sister chose, but my brother and I wanted different options, so we had our birthday presents earlier (the first three kids in our family have August birthdays-in our birth order FYI). My brother got a Samsung something which he says is better, but I fell hard for the cool factor, so I have an iPhone.

Now, what I am planning on doing.

Attending the midnight showing of.....THE DARK KNIGHT RISES!!!!! I cannot wait. One of my best friends is coming back from a trip of a few weeks, and she and my siblings and I are planning on seeing it together.

Attending the Jane Austen Festival. I have been twice, and intend to keep on attending. These are simply lovely, and most people are dressed up. Enough said.

I will really try to get some posts up. I am need to try to get my life together; I mean I should be a grown-up-I am almost 22! Oh, yeah, that's on my to-do list-turn 22.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Midsummer Night's Dream

I have been on a reading spree ever since I have finished with school on Friday May 4th, and it was mostly a Shakespeare reading rush in the beginning. That last day of school I started A Midsummer Night's Dream and finished it the next day. To date I have read twelve plays since the end of the semester (I had previously read Much Ado About Nothing a few years ago, and last fall I read last fall Twelfth Night for school). I have started Hamlet...and there died my Shakespeare attempt for the moment (I am reading other books now-so I guess I cannot exactly blame Hamlet). I am going to attempt to post my thoughts, feelings, etc on each one that I have read. I will start with the short, light first play which started my Shakespeare summer: A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Sweet but boring pretty much sums this play up. I am not a Shakespearean scholar, and I tend to miss subtleties of humor, so maybe if I, with aid, delved deeper then I might appreciate this play more. The "subplots" took up a great amount of the story. The love triangle and solution was not dwelt on very deeply. Granted this play was one of the shortest if not the shortest  at 22 pages. I also do not remember there being overmuch in humorous lines which is one of the best aspects of Shakespeare.

As it is this play is to me light and trifling. The "main" plot is a love triangle. All of course ends well, but as this feat is contrived with fairy magic the love does not feel sincere and real to me. The minor plots involve  ignorant, silly laborers and the fighting king and queen of the fairy realm. It seemed to me that the minor characters had a better shown personalities than the main ones.

 The subplot (which was kind of in two parts that blended to one which eventually blended to the "main" story line) was mediocre and embarrassing at the same time although the play (sub-play :P)-or rather the responses to the play was/were humorous. I did not exactly care for the ending of this side story either. Why did exactly did Oberon get what he wanted? Titania's reason for keeping the page was perfectly legitimate-she made a serious vow. All was not well at the end because Oberon's selfish wish was satisfied. So, yes he is king and lord, but that does not give him the night to break vows!

As to the main characters I preferred Lysander and Helena. Demetrius is dishonourable; he was engaged to Helena, but he decided to try to steal another man's lady. (Not that I am stating that he stay engaged unloving but that he was a cheater and a thief). Hermia's father was part of this dishonour in countenancing this faithless man's suit against true love. I dislike Hermia for the logical reason that both of the leading men love her. I like Helena because she is the unloved one, and she does seem sweeter too; she thinks the best of everyone whilst Hermia thinks the worst. I wish that magic was not involved in Helena and Demetrius' love, but it worked with the plot I suppose. I am not sure I could forgive Demetrius even if his second turning of favour was sincere!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sewing


I have finally started sewing; most of this month was supposed to be devoted to sewing since I am off school for this month, but I hadn't seriously worked on it until this week. I have half of the dining room table covered with fabric and partially started projects. The above is the main portion of a skirt that will consist of a yoke and gathered skirt.



This is part of the bodice of the maxi dress that I started last year. I had originally planned to cut strips of fabric and gather and sew them on the bodice as rosettes in the manner of my inspiration dress, but I ditched that idea last year. I thought about it again this year because I did not like the idea of a plain bodice, but then I thought I could embroider swirls on it instead of meticulously sewing spirals on with the machine. I am using silk ribbon to do the swirls which will be all over the front.



The pink striped fabric will hopefully become a dress. The gingham will be a pleated skirt and possibly a border on the blue and yellow gathered skirt. The original plan for the green is/was a pencil skirt, but it is quilt fabric and pencil skirt are better with heavier fabric, so we shall see.


I am also working on a swimsuit-I mean I started one last year. I have partially finished skirts, ripped apart skirts and other untouched fabrics as well. Yeah, I have a lot to work with. I get bored easily, so it is better for me to have more than one project going. Besides if I work on them all diligently I can have several new items of clothing done at a time.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Hello, I Exist Still

I am sorry I have not posted in a long while. I do have some "reviews" in the works for the books/plays I have been reading since school finished.

I have seen the wonderful Avengers movie (I went to a midnight showing-a first for me), but as with The Hunger Games, I want to watch it again before I post anything on it. An action movie, an already tired person, and midnight showings do not make for a brilliant memory. My brother insisted that we saw a Dark Knight Rises trailer, and after much argument I began to have a slight, wavering memory of it, but I apparently had instantly forgot that we saw it because when the movie was starting I was whining about not seeing a Dark Knight Rises trailer...so yeah, I don't think my Avengers perceptions are exactly post ready.

I am quite excited about Dark Knight Rises what with all the AMAZING trailers. Snow White and the Huntsman is also looking good (for its type-do not think that I place it in the same "good" group as Dark Knight Rises)...except for the fatal flaw named Kristen Stewart. What mental person cast Chris Hemsworth (CHRIS HEMSWORTH), and Kristen Stewart in the same movie (actually who in their right mind would cast her in any movie)? Brave is looking nice too.

Oh, and I finally remembered to get in Pottermore. I am a dork I know-trust me I was laughed at, but the wand and the Ravenclaw standing are worth it.

Okay, I am rambling and its about midnight, good night peoplesez.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Lately

Yeah, that one month fast...hahahaha! FAIL.

Anyway. Here are some photos and snippets of my life lately.

Photos are from a trip to a forest/park in our area.


My camera and I are still not on spectacular terms right now. I was getting very frustrated trying to take photo in the wind and with friends watching (and waiting). I finally switched to motion even when there was really no movement, and I was quite satisfied. I know these are no masterpieces, but for me they are amazing.


I need to spend more time with my camera, but I really want to get a book and find a site because there is only so much that I can do on my own with technology.


I have a week of school left-hallelujah! My procrastination ways have as usual put a heavier burden on me than was necessary for these last few weeks. I will have a month break, two months of summer classes, a few more weeks of break...and then I will attend college for real. I wonder if I will fail because I am such a lazy student. I finally got accepted into my local university. I still need to attend orientation and pick my classes. I will be in for a shock on so many levels I suppose.


I have seen the famous Hunger Games film. I went to see it by myself, and I then wrote nearly six handwritten pages of my opinions. I want to watch it again and write more and then revise and revise, and then I may post about it.


I want to sew, sew, SEW during my month break. I have so many projects I want to either finish to wear or to get rid of to make room. I will post some sneak peek photos of some of those projects in an upcoming post.


I also plan to make a foray into the unknown (to me) world of consignment shopping. I have started a rough list of places that I want to explore in my current city. I want to live in other cities, and I realized I have done a poor job at appreciating and even knowing my city.



In July my mom and some of my sisters are going to Williamsburg. Mom wants to see one of the plantations in the area, and I also want to see Jamestown and Yorktown. I cannot wait; this is an added reason to speed up my camera learning process!

Anyway, that a bit of an update from my life.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Jane Austen Tag

Miss Eva-Joy from this blog is having a Jane Austen week, and I joined in the tag.

What, to you, defines a Jane Austen heroine?

A character with a very distinct personality. Her characters are extremely well-developed-probably some of the most so that I have ever come across. They are not at all flat, and they are so plausible and genuine-it is easy to believe that they are real people.

Which Austen heroine is your favorite?

I am not certain-I don't like be restricted to having one favorite. I like Elinor although I am not remotely like her, and Lizzie is quite amusing although she irritates me at times.

What is the quality you like best about her?

Her humor and insights-and her ability to see her faults and change.

Which actress plays your favorite best?

Jennifer Ehle of course. Keira Knightly is NOT an actress-she should stick to modeling!. Oh, wait she is the ONLY Lizzie there could possibly be.

Who is your favorite secondary heroine, (e.g. Jane Bennet, Jane Fairfax, Mary Crawford)?

I hate Mary Crawford. I like Jane Bennet and Jane Fairfax as well as Marianne (is she secondary?).

Which actress plays your favorite secondary heroine the best?

The only one that could ever truly play her-Kate Winslet. As for Jane Bennet-Susanna Harker, and the Jane Fairfax in the 2009 (or was it '08) Emma was the best.

If you could have tea with a Jane Austen heroine or secondary heroine, who would you want to meet and why?

Um, I don't really know. I usually do not really think I want to meet any characters from books-I would prefer them to stay in their book world (you know-not to come out of the pages like in Inkheart trilogy). Perhaps Kitty-I would want to see how she improved. Or Colonel Fitzwilliam to get to know him better. Of course Bingley would be a good choice as well because he makes almost everyone feel lovely.

Who is your least favorite Jane Austen heroine?

I am not sure-probably Catherine Morland because she is embarrassing and stupid.

Why is she your least favorite?

She sooooooooo embarrassing; Henry is literally mocking her silliness, and she takes him quite seriously. Also, she is so obviously in love with him it is painful. This is emphasized in the degrading fact that he fell in love with her simply because she was in love with him. She was just too simple a person.

What is your favorite Jane Austen heroine quote?

Oh, my goodness-there are too many and I do not remember all of them nor could quote them accurately if I did. I will go look a few up, and of course they must be humorous ones.

"He is also handsome," replied Elizabeth,"which a young man ought likewise to be, if he possibly can. His character is therefore complete."

"You judge very properly," said Mr. Bennet,"and it is happy for you that you possess the talent of flattering with delicacy. May I ask whether these pleasing attentions proceed from the impulse of the moment, or are the result of previous study?"

Regarding Mr. Elton
"Yes," said Mr. John Knightly with some slyness,"he seems to have a great deal of good-will towards you."

Friday, March 16, 2012

Jane Austen Guides/Biographies Part 1

The Jane Austen Handbook


My city holds a Jane Austen festival every year, and I have been privileged to attend two of them. The author of this book gave a talk during the first one, and my grandmother bought me a signed copy. This books is a humorous guide to Jane Austen's time, and I enjoyed it very much and continue to enjoy it. It is tinged with a touch of modern consciousness, but not enough to drive me wild (unlike the third book I will mention). This little adorable hardback offers information about all sorts of practices from the period regarding everything from inheritance to marriage to balls to servants. It also contains a brief description of all of Jane Austen's works as well as a brief biography. There is a glossary of terms, lists of movie adaptations, and lists of other resources as well. I would highly recommend this book although I think you should find a way to borrow it, so you won't have to sell it if you don't like it (again, this is because of the third book in this post). It is perfect for skipping through after you have read it in its entirety.


101 Things You Didn't Know About Jane Austen


With a title like that I was skeptical, but it was from Half-Price (sigh), and I am not exactly a Jane Austen expert yet, so I bought it. I was pleasantly surprised as the book had more information than I would have expected it to offer. If you have studied Jane Austen extensively, I would not recommend it-you might not benefit much, but for those who have only read brief biographies, I think borrowing this book would be a good move.


Jane Austen: An Illustrated Treasury


Don't be drawn in by the cover-beauty can be deceptive after all! I seriously dislike this book. I have never yet returned a book before, but I am most definitely going to sell this back to Half-Price when I finish reading it. I first saw this book at Barnes and Noble, and the pretty color, intriguing layout, and items in the envelopes together made me desire to get the book at some point. I snatched it up when I saw it at Half-Price little thinking that I could even wish to return it. I always hate modern stances on historical things, and this book certainly takes a modern stance. I cannot stand how people cannot grasps different points of view. You simply cannot judge a different time period by the modern way of thinking-people thought differently then.There is no attempt to appreciate morals and historical differences; the authors has a condescending "we know better" attitude. That is gall number #1. Gall number #2 is the interpretation of the novel; would you mind just taking the novels as they are, woman? You don't know what she was trying to say, and it is presumptuous of you to state with fact that certain trivial things are "lessons" rather than simple descriptions of daily life at the time! The book does not really have much to offer with regards to biographical information; it is mostly reviews/descriptions (fanciful ones in my opinion) about each of the novels.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ella Rose Mineral Order

EEEEEEPPPP!!!!! I finally was able to purchase some makeup from this etsy shop

I have been drooling over their eye shadows for months, and I finally was able to purchase them. I also bought the Pink Glow Veil (which I plan on using as a finishing powder) and Kiss Me Rhett Lipstick (which is more of a tint). I also received a free blush as I ordered over $15 on the last day of the special.

                                                            My pretties!
    Blush (wild rose-I have not worn it yet, but I think I will order sweet cheeks next time) and veil
 Lip stain
 
                        Lavender, quick witted, jade, crystal, almond, and brown chrome

These eye shadows don't seem to stay on near as long as my Alima Pure ones (although those don't exactly last all day). I think I need to invest in some primer. If I order from Ella Rose Minerals again, I will order sparkles. My Alima Pure limited edition set was much spark-lier, so I have come to expect sparkles.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Anne of Green Gables Party Tag

Miss Dashwood from Another Period Drama Blog is hosting an Anne of Green Gables week, and a tag was the fun from the first day.

1. How many of the Anne books have you read, and how many of the films have you seen?

I have seen one film adaptation (emphasis on adaptation), one blend of several books and absolute plagiarisms-I am not even joking-from the Little Women novel, and one atrocity bearing the AGG name.

2. If someone yanked your hair and called you carrots, what would you do to him?

Kick him and verbally tear his looks and character to shreds. Then "repent" later of my actions because they were undignified and showed that the guy could get a reaction out of me :P

3. What would you do if Josie Pye dared you to walk the ridgepole of a roof?

I don't know. I am kinda afraid of heights, and I am very unbalanced, so I might crawl across. If I was Anne's age, I might not even try.

4. If you had the opportunity to play any AGG character in a play who would it be?

Philippa Gordon; she is hysterical.

5. If you were marooned on a desert island, which AGG character would you want to have as a companion? (Anne, Gilbert and Diana are not options)?

Philipa Gordon-just kidding she starve because she would not be able to decide what to eat. Hmm, maybe Walter or Jem Blythe or any of the Merediths except Una (I seriously did not care for her especially when I discovered her love for Walter).

6. If there was going to be a new adaptation of the Anne books and you could have any part in making the movie, what would you choose to do? (screenwriting, acting, casting, costume-making are a few possibilities)?

I would probably do casting, but I would also like directing and costumes.

Did it drive anyone else nuts that Anne's first puffed sleeved dress is blue (which is horrid for a red-head)? The book stated that the dress was a golden brown which was perfect for Anne. Anne in the movie for the most part did not have good costume colors; in the book she is frequently described as wearing green and yellow and brown which are her correct colors .

I read/heard that the actress who played Diana auditioned for Anne but did not get the part because she was not Canadian. She would have been a much better Anne. Anne is supposed to have delicate features; Megan Follows was coarse-faced and common looking.

7. What are, in your opinion, the funniest AGG book/movie scenes? (choose one from the books and one from the movies)?

I enjoyed the mud scene in the second movie (Miss Dashwood also thought the mouse pudding warning scene was funny, but I find that one SO embarrassing).

I cannot think of all the funny parts in the book, but I know some of my favorite are where Philippa is concerned. I enjoy the scene with her after Anne has just refused Gilbert. I also enjoyed the part when Philippa said she did not think Jonas would ask her to marry him, and she was trying to decide whether to pine away and die or be useful, and Anne tells her should could not possibly be useful so she'd better die. I also love the "Will ye hev me," story.

8. What are, in your opinion, the saddest AGG book/movie scenes? (choose one of each again)

I did not think that most of the sorrowful movie scenes were well-done, so I suppose it was when Matthew and Marilla see Anne off to school? I don't know.

I know that Rilla of Ingleside was the saddest book, and Walter's death was the saddest part of the book. L.M. Montgomery wrote this whole part so well; the part about the dog howling all night for Walter was amazing.

9. Which AGG character would you most like to spend an afternoon with? (again, Anne and Gilbert and Diana are not options for this one--think secondary characters)

Philippa Gordon (to be amused) or Kenneth Ford (to discover what his personality was like) or Walter Blythe (to try to understand him).

10. What is your definition of a kindred spirit?

Someone with whom I can both intelligently discuss all sorts of books and movies (I had a very-not kindred spirit meeting Sunday, and this literature point was one of the enlightening factors) and maybe with whom I can swoon over actors. The person also must be able to see wrong and ridiculous behavior and not be blinded because of any sort of bias; simply put, they must not be easily led or fooled. Besides this I must be able to trust the person entirely. Oh, and they must have some appreciation of beautiful things and old ways.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Blog Party

Miss Kellie from Accordion to Kellie is hosting a lovely blog party!
Introduce yourself! Divulge your life's vision, likes, dislikes, aspirations, or something completely random!
I am 21.5, and I was home schooled from Kindergarten until I graduated high school. I have been taking online college classes for about a year, and I am in my fifth semester. I am at the point when I need to choose a major, but I have no idea which I should choose (the majors I like don't exactly match jobs I want, and the careers I like don't really need a college degree). I am addicted to the Internet but still find time to read. My favorite genres are romantic classics and fantasy. I also enjoy crafts such as hand sewing, knitting, embroidery, and scrap-booking. I recently bought my first camera, a Nikon DSLR D3000, which I have not practiced with enough. I am a mix of Marianne, Lizzie, Emma, and Catherine Morland as far personality and characteristics go. I am trying to start to live completely organically; I have switched almost all my toiletries and makeup to organic brands (I want to start to make some of them myself), and I am working on switching to eating organically. I still need to develop a consistent personal style of which I am proud, but I love fashion anyway. I also love historical fashion.
What, to you, forms the essence of a true heroine?
A girl with definite moral and personal standards. She knows what is right in her own being and is not unduly influenced by her authority figures or friends. She is dignified and hardworking and well-bred and cultured. She always eventually sees what she has done wrong (even if this is unrealistic) and attempts to make it right.
Share (up to) four heroines of literature that you most admire and relate to.
The first two characters I wish I could be like, the third is one I admire a little, and the last is one I just enjoy as a character.
I want to be like Emily Byrd Starr of the Emily of New Moon trilogy. She is rather like Anne Shirley. I wish I was that gifted, sensitive, and elegant.
Hermione Granger is an admirable character to me (I also have her bossy and sometimes tendencies). She is faithful to her friends through everything, she adores Ron even when there seems to be no hope, and she is a diligent learner of practical and applicable information which she actually uses (unlike many very intelligent "know-it-alls").
I do think Molly Gibson is a push-over, but I admire her tender-hearted nature and unselfishness (except when it causes her to do something rather wrong even though she does not quite know it is wrong). She endures much at the hands of Cynthia and her step-mother, and she suffers alongside the Hamley family in their troubles.
I like Lizzie Bennet for seeing her prejudice when faced with the truth in such an unpleasant way and by such a (to her) repugnant person. I do not like her always; during my second or third reading of Pride and Prejudice her prejudice drove me nuts. I like that she is a heroine who does not allow selfish people to trample her under their feet.
Five of your favorite historical novels?
I will answer this question as historical fiction and not classics. I enjoy most of Rosemary Sutcliff's works (she has two or so that are morally bad-very bad, so be very careful if you look up her books) such as Eagle of the Ninth and Warrior Scarlet. I also enjoyed The Witch of Blackbird Pond, The Scarlet Pimpernel, and Mara: Daughter of the Nile. (It feels like I should have read more historical fiction than those, but I cannot think of anymore-actually I had to be reminded of these! I really am lacking in this genre).
Out of those five books who is your favorite main character and why?
Do I have to have a favorite? I have favorites (some mainly in comparison to other characters-for example I do not care overmuch for Marguerite) like Esca and Nat and Lord Sheftu and Percy.
Out of those five books who is your favorite secondary character and why?
Um, I think Esca and Nat are secondary characters.
If you were to plan out your dream vacation, where would you travel to - and what would you plan to do there?
I would travel to Europe. If I had to restrict myself to a few places, I would pick Scotland and Ireland. I would want to visit all the castles and beaches and mountains and historical sites that I could. I would want to find sweet, quaint shops and restaurants. I would want to buy a Claddagh ring with an emerald. I would want to enjoy the accents and hear a couple people speak and sing in Gaelic.
What is your favorite time period and culture to read about?
I simply cannot have one favorite. I adore Celtic culture (which I have been informed is actually several cultures), and those cultures that have developed from it. I enjoy the Regency and Victorian eras with Colonial and Edwardian and the Britain of Rosemary Sutcliff all coming in second (I think).
You have been invited to perform at the local charity concert. Singing, comedy, recitation - what is your act comprised of?
I would recite something (part of a Walter Scott narrative poem probably) and blush before I said anything and blush when I started and blush when I stumbled. I would probably be deep crimson. Poise is not my strong point.
If you were to attend a party where each guest was to portray a heroine of literature, who would you select to represent?
Well, I know I would pick someone from an older time, so that I could wear a lovely dress. I think perhaps I would choose (man, this is hard-I am drawing blanks for all these questions) Anne Shirley, so I could pick prettier styles (and more period correct also I think-they made the movies in the wrong century than the first books were set-it was her sons that fought in WWI after all) than they did in the movies (maybe I could even dye my hair read with henna and pick Anne's true dress colors also something they did not do well in the movies-I enjoy some of the movies, but they were pitiful compared to the books and stole some lines and aspects from Little Women, the book).
What are your sentiments on the subject of chocolate?
Sometimes it is a need. And when it is a need, the need takes the form of a fine dark chocolate deficiency.
Favorite author(s)?
Elizabeth Gaskell, Jane Austen, Frances Burney, Gene Stratton-Porter, L.M.Montgomery, Louisa May Alcott, Rosemary Sutcliff, N.D. Wilson, and J.K.Rowling.
Besides essentials, what would you take on a visiting voyage to a foreign land?
Hmm, a camera would fall among essentials probably. My computer and journal would go.
In which century were most of the books you read written?
That is easy. The nineteenth and twentieth (in reverse order with regards to amounts probably).
In your opinion, the ultimate hero in literature is…
Strong of character like I described the heroine as being. Trustworthy, entirely honest, not sappy, and quite funny...and brave of course.
Describe your ideal dwelling place.
In real life? No, that is too boooring. How about a castle in the mountains and hidden vine covered cottage in the mountains' woods?
Sum up your fashion style in five words.
Classic, romantic, old-fashioned, soft, and elegant. (This is what I want it to be-the most accurate word for my style now is the middle term).
Have you ever wanted to change a character’s name?
Yeah, I cannot think a good one (I mean one that I really want to change) right now, but there should not be so many Catherines in Wuthering Heights...oh and I prefer Flynn to Eugene any day.
In your opinion, the most dastardly villain of all literature is...
Chauvlin? Voldemort. I am sure there is a better, but I cannot think of one at the moment. Sauron...does he even count?!
Three favorite Non-fiction books?
Well, I don't read many of those, and the ones I have as favorites are sadly shallow. I really like (emphasis on the term like as opposed to favorites-I have got problems) Color Me Beautiful, The Green Beauty Guide (although I have not read this cover to cover), and Good Girls Don't Have to Dress Bad.
Your duties met for the day, how would you choose to spend a carefree summer afternoon?
I am afraid to say I would most likely spend it on the Internet. If I was good I would read or sew; we shall see if I am better employing my free time (which I won't have any more of than now since I take summer classes) this summer.
Create a verbal sketch of your dream hat - in such a way as will best portray your true character.
My friends had this wonderful dress up box in which it was our delight to play. They had a darling black hat that I adored. I have tried to find what style hat it was but cannot find anything like it. If a pillbox hat and a certain type of military hat married and had a child, it would be my perfect hat. I think the best way to describe it would be a pillbox hat that had the ends pinched so that is was an oval rather than a circle. Hmm, if you want to read the paragraph as describing my true personality, well then, it must be literal and boring.
Share the most significant event(s) that have marked your life in the past year.
Life for me is pretty boring. In the past year all I can think of is our trip to Chicago (my first time), and my recent acquirement of almost full-time hours at work. No wait, I sold my first three items on etsy; I believe that brought a great deal of excitement.
Share the Bible passage(s) that have been most inspiring to you recently
I am not a Christian, but my parents and some of my siblings are. It was not a passage exactly that was "convicting" most recently, but a sermon on a section of Job about Job's cruel comforters, and the wounds human tongues can deal out even when the perpetrator is only trying to help. I am dreadfully sharp-tongued.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

From Prada to Nada Review

          I adore the Jane Austen books, and I am frequently easily frustrated when the movies are not completely accurate. I also take great offense and am quite disgusted when I see another Jane Austen spin-off or sequel. I refuse to read them, but I have caught glimpses, and they gag me. It really truly is very conceited when people do dare to even think that they can add anything worthwhile to classic works.

          I had not until recently watched any Jane Austen spin-off movie. I really enjoyed From Prada to Nada. It only follows the very barest basics of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility (which is much of why it is good); it really is authentic and interesting. I like the whole Mexican theme since that culture is a completely different world from mine (as is the filthy rich L.A. life for that matter). I think I am more offended by book spin-offs because the authors somehow think that they can be like Jane Austen simply because their plot and characters' names are the same. It was not her plots alone that drew people; it was how well she wrote and developed her stories and characters.

          The immediate beginning of the movie is not exactly dazzling. The first shots are dizzying, and the absurd yellow tanning lotion on the girls' faces is seriously obnoxious-is that really supposed to make us think that they are Mexican? Yes, each is probably Latin, but Mexican is a distinct Latin race, and I do not think Nora cuts it, especially since their father is VERY Mexican looking as is the painting of their mother; Nora is truly fair-skinned. I did think Mary is believable as a Mexican. I always am bothered by details like this because I like things to be as plausible, realistic, and/or conceivable as possible. I can be a perfectionist even over trifling movies.

          While we are on the subject of being realistic, I also found the fact that neither girl knows Spanish is very unlikely (not to mention the addition of this fact into the movie is quite unnecessary-it does not add to any aspect of the movie anything of worth). We have several bilingual parents in our church and most, if not all, of them teach their children their native tongue. It would have been more believable had both Nora and Mary been taught the language since their earliest years, and then Mary refused to speak it ever since she became a teenager because she wanted to be completely American. I would have expected scholarly good girl Nora to know, speak, and perhaps even study it.

          There are a few moral and ideological issues. One major one is that Mary sleeps with Roderigo. She obviously has a morally lax attitude; it is probably not her first indiscretion, and her attitude seems to be acceptable by the others characters. So that stance of the movie is not pleasing, but it is to be expected of Hollywood; however, immorality is not rubbed in your face so to speak, and the most sluttish dressing characters (Olivia and Lucy) are the ones that are supposed to be hated (Mary's outfits are not remotely modest, but I don't think she is as calculated in this as the two formerly mentioned women).

          Another issue is that lightly touched topic of illegal immigration which is obviously factual but nevertheless wrong. No body seems to find a fault with it. Indeed, Nora seems to want to help illegal immigrants with her law practice. Nora lives extremely conservatively, but her ideologies seem to be very liberal which is rather strange...and unrealistic in light of her lifestyle I think.

          The actresses who played the girls are excessively thin. I would say anorexic although obviously this would not be anorexia at its worst. It is believable that silly, shallow Mary might be anorexic, but actresses should never be so thin to play that sort of person. Sensible Nora would not have been so thin if she was a real person, and Nora is most certainly the thinnest. For sensitive girls this could be very discouraging to notice, and it is certainly a terrible example.

          Overall I think it is a fairly clean PG-13 movie which of course pleased me. There is the easily skipped (you are given fair warning in time to miss the sensual part) scene where it shows that Mary has slept with Rodrigo; no actual sex scene is shown. There are several immodest women. There are some four letter words said quite clearly (by Mary mostly); there probably are more things said, but I (thankfully) miss a lot in this department (Nora says something to Mary that could be heard two ways after Nora asks Mary why Mary wants to be with Rodrigo). Mary smokes pot, and Nora gets drunk.

          After I got over the weird dizzy beginning, I really started to enjoy the movie.  The movie is not spectacular by any means, but I thought that it is acted well enough for the type of movie that it is (silly chick flick). I think it is very sweet; I like the emphasis on family; Gabe Jr. is accepted into their family and seems to come to love his sisters (unlike Henry Dashwood of the novel). I think there is very little cattiness in it which is surprising for a chick-flick.

          Edward is so cute and sweet (but I don't think they needed to use the name from the book-after all, they use none of the other names exactly, so that choice is seriously out of place). In the book Edward makes a stupid choice before he meets Elinor and when he is about nineteen; in this movie Edward makes his stupid move after he meets Nora and when he is at least in his mid-twenties. All of these details make the choice much worse in the movie which is quite disappointing because this Edward is quite nice. I feel that he should try much harder to win Nora even before he tells (well, shows :D) her how he feels. And after he tells her he gives up pretty quick (she is drunk when she refuses him after all).

          I like Nora despite her faults for she is not a self-righteous goody-goody. She really tries to improve her life and those of other people, she tries to make Mary do the same, but she is harsh with Mary about Rodrigo (if you choose to hear the word one way) even if it is true. She also is cruel to Edward when she refuses him especially as she has absolutely no real reason to think that he is like she makes him out to be.

          Mary is less like her literary original (it is stretching it to say that any of these characters really correspond to those in the book, but for Mary there is especially little linkage) than Nora is hers. Marianne is an immature girl; Mary is an immature adult. Mary is also immoral something that Marianne is most certainly not. Mary is also intentionally and calculatedly selfish, mean, petty, silly, and rude (Marianne is selfish but not by design but by thoughtlessness, and she is foolish, but she is neither petty nor silly and rarely rude, certainly not like Mary is). I do not want any aspersions cast on Marianne because of her so-called corresponding character.

          Both Marianne and Mary learn their lessons, but the movie is not deep, and Mary does not learn deeply although she is sincere. Her lesson also seems more to be of learning that she should love Bruno than anything else. I am not sure she ever apologizes to anyone either.

          There is not as much of Bruno (I love his name!) in the movie as there is of Colonel Brandon in the novel, and he is not quite the noble character (I cannot forgive him for being rude to Edward especially since he has absolutely no reason for it, petty or deep). The parts of the movie that do have him in it are frequently amusing since he has an ongoing "feud" with Mary, and his jabs are usually much better than her attempts at retaliations. I love the part when he tells Mary that two of the cords of her car need to be connected like her head and her mouth should be when she speaks.

          When Mary and Bruno make up and get together; it is of course amusing as well, and he cannot help but mock her still.  I wish their "romance" is a little more interesting, and though I obviously like it, I wish that the same sort of conclusion is given to Mary and Bruno as is given to Edward and Nora.

          I am thrilled that Edward proposes to Nora instead of simply asking her to move in with him (which is how it first appears). He has an engagement ring connected to the key to the house he wants them to buy (right across from her aunt's house). Edward is sweet but hardly romantic although his odd clueless wooing is cute in its own way. I always love when movies end with a wedding.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Review of Disney's Prom

I just finished watching Disney's Prom. I thought it was adorable. I think I may stay away from posting photos of movie stills though because they don't belong to me, and this whole Internet censuring issue has me hypersensitive. I am sorry for no movie stills. I will post photos of what I might wear to prom if I dropped three or four years from my age and went to a physical school...ha!
                                                     
I know real prom is frequently R-rated, and this movie candy coats relationships in the movie to be more innocent than those of the average middle schoolers; nevertheless, those of us that were raised to value innocence and adore sickly sweet romance can enjoy it. I can somewhat understand the excitement of prom, but it is really rather insignificant; after all graduation of high school is the most basic of graduations since  you  really should graduate. Adult events that are for something important or are during college are the "real deal" to me, but there is not the hype over them as there is over prom as far as I know, and it would have been fun to attend a home school or Christian school prom.
                                                   
There are several separate story lines throughout the movie. All of them are linked in some way by friendships/relationships (for example Nova is friends with Mei and Jordan), and I liked this aspect, but I felt that the movie needed more of a central storyline which I felt that one of the story lines (the Jesse/Nova one which was my favorite and don't you just love those names?!) was perhaps intended to be, but it did not turn out quite central enough.
                                                              
There was the Jordan-Tyler-Simone triangle which was creepy because Simone was played by a teenager (one of the few characters in this movie played by actual high school age kids, I think), but Tyler was played by an adult...and looked it. I hated Simone; this actress must have a thing for playing brats that are portrayed as special girls. I watched her in Star Struck which I hated because of her part. She acted poorly in both movies. Tyler was publicly humiliated by both Jordan and Simone which I did not like; private matters do not need to be made public, and public humiliation like that smacks of pettiness and spiteful revenge.

Tyler is a jerk that seemed to want two girls at the same time and treated both of them poorly, but only one of the girls was actually a nice girl: Jordan. Jordan believed his lies which showed that she was trusting and not suspicious, but when she was faced with the truth she broke up with Tyler for good and let it all go except for the public humiliation part; I think she might have danced with him to show she really was over him and was not bitter. She attended prom alone and enjoyed herself; the romantic side of me was not satisfied with this, however, I wanted a boy, perhaps Brandon, to have approached her for a dance.

Simone stupidly believed Tyler the first time when he said that he and Jordan were over-they were the "it" couple, so she should have waited and watched a little before she agreed to have any sort of relationship with hi,. The movie does indicate who exactly ended their first little fling, but it became clear that neither one were emotionally over it. I really don't like the Senior/Sophomore "romance" concept which combined with the age of the actors made it more disturbing. Simone flirted with poor smitten Lucas, but told him he was the substitute...and then broke a promise to him TWICE because of Tyler. Tyler told Simone that he would break up with Jordan for her after prom, so Simone was obviously okay with being a cheater herself. When Jordan broke up with Tyler, he told Simone that he broke up with Jordan. Simone then turned her back publicly at prom on Tyler when she found out that Jordan was the one that broke up with Tyler. Apparently she wanted to be treated perfectly even when she broke promises and basically cheated with Tyler. Lucas welcomed her with open arms after she dumped Tyler at the prom. Simone is just as much a jerk as Tyler; she did anything to get what she wanted and expected to be treated like a princess. She never really repented. I hated her.
                                         
Lucas is a cute little kid that in his turn was unkind to his best friend Corey, but he apologized. His apology comes after Simone had left him in the dirt for the second time which makes me question his sincerity, but at least he apologizes. There is a creepy smelling-the-breath moment between Corey and Lucas that was played for laughs, but I found it disgusting especially in light of Corey's rather androgynous hair cut.

Mei and Justin had been together since middle school, but Mei had a secret that she was keeping from Justin which made her emotional, and she took out her feelings on him. He thought she did not want to go to prom with him which really hurt him, so he told her that they were not attending prom. She eventually explained everything, and he was really sweet about it. She should have apologized for treating him so poorly even though he forgave her instantly. He was the perfect boyfriend.                                            
Lloyd was a friend of Justin's, but for most of the movie he seemed random. I find it impossible to believe that he could not find any girl in time for prom. I think almost any boy would find some girl that would say yes to him unless he was seriously repulsive. I suppose his part was for comic relief, but I really thought it was silly and annoying; the movie would probably be better without it.
                     
I think the movies steers away from strong stereotypes or at least gives us believable ones. Jesse appeared at first to be the bad boy. He did have a harder life than Nova, but I still think that he had some small issues that were not right. He is revealed to not actually fit the "bad boy" stereotype. I thought Nova's father was quite cruel to him, and at least in the version I saw Jesse was not given the apology he deserved even after it appeared Nova's father was somewhat aware of his crime after Nova told him that he ruined her day.

Nova did not dress very modestly (although there was a humorous part where Jesse gave her a risqué prom dress to try on...and she did not even come out in it; she obviously had some limits), but she was a very sweet girl. I liked that she was the good student and not the popular diva girl. Her devotion to prom was ludicrous even though it may be somewhat realistic (my sister has said that girls at her school would tan starting in January to prepare for prom). I thought the movie was harsh on her first crush, Brandon; he was not a jerk-he was clueless, and he did not have to like her! When Nova was upset about Jesse, she took some of her turmoil out on Brandon-none of it was his fault!

I loved the Nova and Jesse story. The movie ended happily for almost everyone. I really enjoyed it, and I believe I would watch it again.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Jane Austen Party Tag

I am joining in this lovely tag today.

1.Bio
I am a full-time online college student hoping to transfer to a university next semester (currently-and I change my mind frequently-I wish to attend Eastern Kentucky University and major in Jewelry and Metals). I am also a home school graduate. I enjoy the daily life details of history such as fashion and crafts. I enjoy handsewing, embroidery, and knitting. I enjoy reading on occasion, and period romance, fairytale re-tellings, and fantasy are my favorite genres to read.

2. What literary character {whether it be in a film or book} would you say, most describes your personality and mannerisms?
When I was a teenager, I was most definitely Marianne Dashwood mixed with Catherine Moreland. I still have a bit of Marianne I think, but I have also some Elizabeth Bennet and perhaps the choosiness of Margaret Hale (or I just wish). And I am afraid I have Kitty Bennet's flightiness.

3. What would you describe as the most lovely place to live in 1700's England?
Pemberley does seem like a lovely place to live, and I would like a London residence for the winter as well.

4. List some of your favorite and least favorite literary works you have read.
Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, Beauty, Ella Enchanted, the Harry Potter series, the Emily of New Moon trio, Anne of Green Gables series, and the 100 Cupboards trilogy are some of my favorite books.

I cannot think of hated books right now partially because if I do not like something, then I do not finish it. I started a book called Ember that was too boring/ weird to finish. I do not generally like science fiction-Madeleine L'Engle's books were weird and creepy although I enjoyed some of them to a certain extent.

5. What would you describe as a most admirable heroine?
I like a heroine who sees her faults and repents of them like Lizzy Bennet did. I don't like the meek heroines, and I like the heroines to be intelligent and refined.

6. If you could spend afternoon tea in the company of your favorite literary heroine, to whom would you spend it with?
I am not sure I have an exact favorite, but I would like to spend time with Hermione Weasley née Granger.

7. Which is to your liking more :: tea or coffee?
Most certainly tea; I cannot stand coffee, and I think it is a very unhealthy habit to frequently drink it as so many of my acquaintances do.

8. Which of Jane Austen's couples are you fond of?
Mr. Bingley and Jane have to be the sweetest couple. I also like Margaret and Mr. Thornton, Mr. Darcy and Lizzy, Ron and Hermione, and Ella and Charmain.

9. What is one {a few} of your favorite literary quotes?
Oh my, I will never think of them all. This one is wonderful to be sure:
"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."

I also enjoy the scene in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince where Ron receives his ridiculous present from Lavender.

The Jane Austen and Harry Potter books provide plenty of humor for me, but I am terrible at thinking of lines especially when I am asked. I want to get the Jane Austen A Day journal that I found at Barnes and Noble.


10. Are you fond of dancing or singing or reading a good book?
I cannot sing. I cannot dance either really although I want to learn, but I am very awkward, so I would obviously prefer a very good book.

11. And lastly, as this event is also hosted in celebration of my garden's second anniversary, would you mind explaining perhaps, how you stumbled upon my little plot of earth?
I found it via this blog. I enjoy these sorts of tags/parties, and anyone who loves these same period dramas and has a pretty blog and elegant writing is very likely a kindred spirit.