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 faŅ«ades.

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.