• Reading

    March 2021 Reading Goals

    • Start to transition to reading primarily on Kindle and return back all my library book
    • Update my reading Excel list
    • Reevaluate Storygraph
    • March TBR
      • Read The Pomeranian Handbook
      • Finish Factfulness. This is a book borrowed from my Dad, probably should finish before I move out.
      • Finish How to Raise a Perfect Puppy
      • Finish The Girl with the Louding Voice: A Novel
      • Continue to participate in the Sense and Sensibility Read Along, which is so much fun, and I need to participate in more read-alongs, I should seek out ones for books I have on my TBR.
      • Continue to participate in the Villette Read Along. I’m really enjoying this, definitely prefer the lesser known Brontë works.
      • Get caught up on The Silent Bells serial
  • Reading

    Psmith, Journalist

    I discovered that you can scan words via your phone camera, so I can save quotes from physical books easily, of course, with my kindle I’ll be able to save even easier.

    This Psmith is set in America, and so, I set forth for you these hilarious bits:

     

    “There are several million inhabitants of New York. Not all of them eke out a precarious livelihood by murdering one another, but there is a definite section of the population which murders – not casually, on the spur of the moment, but on definitely commercial lines at so many dollars per murder.” Preface

     

    ” ‘It would ill beseem me, . . .’to run down the metropolis of a great and friendly nation, but candour compels me to state that New York is in some respects a singularly blighted town.’ . . . ‘I have been here a week, and I have not seen a single citizen clubbed by a policeman.’ “ Chapter 3, p. 17

     

    “he had gone to a local paper of the type whose Society column consists of such items as ‘Pawnee Jim Williams was to town yesterday with a bunch of other cheap skates. We take this opportunity of once more informing Jim that he is a liar and a skunk,’ and whose editor works with a revolver on his desk and another in his hip-pocket. Graduating from this, he had proceeded to a reporter’s post on a daily paper in a Kentucky town, where there were blood feuds and other Southern devices for preventing life from becoming dull.” Chapter 2, p. 13

     

    ” ‘Secondly, as there appears to be no law of libel whatsoever in this great and free country, we shall be enabled to haul up our slacks with a considerable absence of restraint.’ “ Chapter 9, p. 50

     

    “There was once an editor of a paper in the Far West who was sitting at his desk, musing pleasantly of life, when a bullet crashed through the window and embedded itself in the wall at the back of his head. A happy smile lit up the editor’s face. ‘Ah,’ he said complacently, ‘I knew that Personal column of ours was going to be a success!’ “ Chapter 10, p. 51

     

    “Billy Windsor suddenly became militant. There was a feline smoothness about the visitor which had been jarring upon him ever since he first spoke. Billy was of the plains, the home of blunt speech, where you looked your man in the eye and said it quick. Mr. Parker was too bland for human consumption. He offended Billy’s honest soul.” Chapter 10, p. 55

  • Daily Life

    March Goals 2021

    Yeah, so I know it’s halfway through March. It’s kind of a holding month for me. I really feel that I can’t do anything big until I move out, so I really need to start working on habits. A lot of things are going to be the same for last month, just simplified.

    • Bjorn Stuff
      • Get the rest of his health, grooming, and fun stuff
      • Work on the feeding system and plan
      • Really work on the potty training
      • Maybe start of the command training? It’s a little early, so research
    • Moving Prep
      • Try to sell stuff, especially large stuff, before I leave, clear out and list fridge a week or two before, computer, etc.
      • Go through Mom’s recipes and get some meal plans in place
      • Plan container garden
    • Health
      • Start doing simple exercise and stretching
      • Work on getting to bed by 9:30
      • Work on my Staywell
      • Work on morning and evening routine, digital limits and controls
        • Website and app blockers during week and Sunday, only sat can I read blogs, social media, watch youtube
        • Night time needs to be puppy time, walk time, craft time, and reading and wind down
    • Career
      • Private goal
      • Really work on Codecademy
    • Self-Improvement
      • Work on lateness
      • Work on no gossip, politics, complaining, cussing, exaggerating set up
      • Work on Spanish
      • Work on habits
      • Work on training and grooming and caring for Bjorn (see above)
      • Start planning for 2nd quarter
      • Work on blogging, using up drafts and planning to cover a lot of April since I will be swamped
    • Finances
      • Financial Goals Before I Move into New Apartment
          • Have all funds for Bjorn’s shots, meds, supplies, and neutering, buy rest of purchases
          • Increase income streams?
          • Sell some more stuff, furniture, fridge, comforter, etc.
          • Pay off debt
          • Build up checking account balance
          • Buy exercises items
          • Work on Saving enough for laser, dermatologist, orthodontist
          • Have all apartment fees ready in account by end of the month
          • Build back all savings
          • Buy printer
          • Buy security system
          • Have almost everything I need for my house and some money towards purchasing groceries, toiletries, paper goods, and cleaning supplies, particularly low waste items
    • Beauty
      • Research what is open in terms of facials
      • Get back on track with skincare
      • Work on body care and sunscreen reapplication
      • Work on pedicure habit
    • Crafts
      • finish Mom’s gift
      • Finish niece #2 blanket
      • Finish niece #1 gifts (Frog and Toad and maybe Francis)
      • Work on 3 more family baby blankets
  • Daily Life

    Life Lately

    So, a lot of life was lived during the last week of Feb and the first week of March. It all culminated the first week of March.

    I was planning on putting a deposit down on an apartment in the city, not my first choice because I work in a town outside the city and its got more expensive costs for utilities and such (whereas a few utilities were included in the rent for the apartments in the town plus just a cheaper area) plus safety. Apartments were moving slow in the town, and I did something that required me to move. And I’d expected to be in an apartment in February. Anyway, I was going to see this city apartment and put a deposit down on Wednesday when I got a call on Tuesday from the apartment complex I’d first applied to, so I went and put a deposit down on my lunch break.

    I’d called my mom to ask/tell her about it, and she was all in a flurry because my sister-in-law had gone into labor. My brother and sister-in-law were planning on bringing my niece that night to prepare in case my sister-in-law could be induced on Wednesday. Mom had moved all her work to Tuesday, so there was some scrambling to make sure my niece was picked up. Unlike with the first baby this niece arrived quickly. Because of covid not even her sister could see her in the hospital, and I was able to leave early on Friday to go over and watch niece 1 meet her sister when they came home.

    And then Saturday, I drove backroad state roads 1.5 hours (I’ve never driven further than 45″ not counting traffic and only in areas I grew up around) to pick up my Pomeranian puppy. Thankfully the route back was different, because I was afraid the little furball would be so sick. I was rather stressed about him anyway. I think he was a bit stunned for the first several days as he didn’t make much noise, because when he found his voice, oh he found it.

    I’m trying to retrain him to use the litterbox. I thought I was prepared with most of my stuff, but then had to run to Lowe’s Sunday (after visiting my baby niece again) to put up some linoleum to put under his pen. Then we had a traumatizing vet visit, I didn’t realize they still had drop-off only rules in place which makes me uncomfortable, I couldn’t look at his papers and make sure we were on the same page, next time I’m going to make copies. Anyway, it’s been a learning curve, we’ve never had a puppy this small or this young, he doesn’t have all his shots so he has to be kept away from outdoors and other dogs (well that will always require supervision as he’s a tiny mite).

    So yeah, I’d put a deposit down on him, not thinking it would be April before I’d get into an apartment (here’s to hoping the people leave sooner and haven’t trashed the place). It’s probably better though, he’ll be bigger and better able to be on his own (I’ll be able to go home during lunch since its only 10-15″ away from work).

    Meet Bjorn Cub

    He looks like a little teddy bear. I was wanting Teddy Graham, but wasn’t sure. “Teddy” is awfully close to my sister’s “Theo.” The names, the dogs are about as different as could be. I found a site that listed all the dogs in the Rosemary Sutcliff books. I ended up going with Bjorn from Shield Ring (the man not a dog), it means bear after all, and Cub, for Esca’s dog.

    The one and only time he actually got in his bed, maybe when he’s bigger he will like it.

     I feel like he’s gotten bigger in the one week between the top and bottom photos. Oh, he’s about 12 weeks right now.

  • Reading

    What I Read: February 2021

    We are 1/4 to 1/3 into March and February feels SO far away. I read 13 books, yay me! (And if you didn’t read that in London Tipton’s voice, I don’t know what your problem is).

    3 Rereads

    I finished my HP rereading with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

    5 Nonfiction (!)

    Hemingway Didn’t Say That: The Truth Behind Familiar Quotations by Garson O’Toole. Very interesting to see different quotations and the various ways they got to be misattributed, however, I thought it was too long.

    Looking for Transwonderland: Travels in Nigeria by Noo Saro-Wiwa. Absolutely fascinating. I love when nonfiction is so evocative and descriptive. However, sensitive people skip page 290 and all of 291.

    Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts: A CBT-Based Guide to Getting Over Frightening, Obsessive, or Disturbing Thoughts by Sally M. Winston. Not as helpful as I was hoping, I think I’d arrived at some of the realizations already, and just the framing did not work for me, it wouldn’t have helped if I hadn’t found my own way, its just wasn’t in my “language.” I disagreed with parts, and so I felt like, ironically, a lot of it felt like false comfort. The tone felt like an adult talking to a young child, which maybe as a teen I’d find that comforting, maybe, but it felt not condescending, but I don’t know, made me feel childish?

    OCD: Freedom for the Obsessive-Compulsive by Michael R. Emlet. I read phamplet to counter-act the parts of the above book I disagreed with. I think Overcoming was too amoral (not the word I want) and pseudo-psych-y while this book was too traditionally, not anti-medical just perhaps downplaying it too much. Anyway, each kind of balanced each other out, kind of both missed the mark.

    Pomeranians by Joe Stahlkuppe.

    5 New to Me Fiction Novels

    Psmith, Journalist by PG Wodehouse. I feel like the first Psmith I read, I didn’t find super funny, but this one was loaded with hilarious bits, I’m devoting a post to some of the gems. It wasn’t the plot (the Jeeves and Woosters have hilarious plots, comments, etc.) just some of the asides and such and then Psmith is such a chatterbox.

    Questless: In Which Molly Embarks on a Quest by Amanda Kastner. Whimsy and graphic novel, and oh, I can’t WAIT for the next installment. This reminded me of Howl’s Moving Castle a bit, just the art and the world. Which is funny because I first learned about Howl’s moving castle from posts with fanart and/or movies stills from the author’s sister’s blog years ago.

    The Moorchild Eloise Jarvis McGraw. Whimsical, fey (literally) middle grade. I learned of more McGraw books (if you read any read Mara, Daughter of the Nile, that is an overlooked GEM) from this blog, and I’m determined to find them.

    Airs Above the Ground by Mary Stewart. My last Stewart novel left I think. Not a tip top favorite, but middling top. It started out a bit ho, hum (because I’m easily fooled) and then came the, ah, yes, and here’s the fun.

    Torch by R. J. Anderson. Waited 7 years, and I definitely should have reread at least Nomad. I think I’d read the first 4 three times maybe, I just think I forgot portions of Nomad, so I was disoriented. And well, I was disappointed (oh, no, nothing of the sacrilegious Penderwick sage variety). I think I’d conveniently or simply forgotten parts of Nomad that didn’t make sense, and I didn’t love as well. And Martin, well, he wasn’t quite the same, and there wasn’t enough of him. Nevertheless, I did manage to find some old style Martin-esque quotations to savor. My sisters and sister-in-law all queued up as soon as I told them I’d pre-ordered it, so once they’ve all read it, then I’m free to discuss it (I want their opinion, I tend to fly high on expectations and crash hard with reality, hence how it’s better for me to go into things blind).

    I leave you with the Martin-isms to tantalize you.

    ” ‘All I know is that Broch showed up at the door tonight with your half-dead fiancé and begged me to let him in.’ ‘So you know about the-‘ She couldn’t even bring herself to say it. ‘How?’ ‘I pried it out of Broch, but it wasn’t all that surprising. I’d guessed your people would want a Jack to go with their Joan, and I knew you’d feel duty-bound to oblige them.’ He folded his arms. ‘He’s a good-looking fellow as piskeys go, and clearly cross-eyed with love for you, so why not?’ ” p. 123 

    “v’I like your Matt, too.’ He turned toward the barrow, a lean silhouette against the cloud-rumpled sky. ‘If I get myself inconveniently killed at some point, you might consider giving him another chance.’ ” p. 172

    ” ‘So by all means, let’s cause a scandal. If nothing else, it will give Dagger something new to take offense at.’ ” p. 180

     

  • Daily Life

    How I Did on My February Plans

    Set Up for the Month
    • Get into an apartment, call that one place every single weekday and Saturday!!!!!!!!! The apartment I want doesn’t have a wait or call back list (ugh!). I’ve not got a lot of great options plus would prefer to stay in one place for years until I can seriously upgrade or have a better opportunity elsewhere. I did put a deposit down on an apartment, the on paper date I get it is April 16, but I could get it sooner.
    • Set up easily maintained habits.
    • Get a weekend job.
    • Once in the apartment look for a better paying job, preferably with fewer hours.
    • Finish setting up digital limits and controls. I had to reset that process this month since I basically turned off Cold Turkey whenever I wanted.
    • Set up news controls/limits.
    • Memory journal setup. Partial
    • Digital clear out.
    Health
    • Parsley health (change to when I’m in my own place for privacy purposes).
    • Therapy.
    • Sugar and dairy fast (maybe next month/in my own place do elimination diet, sugar controls. If I have to keep restarting this all the time to have any control over my sugar consumption, if that is what it takes, I will do that.
    • Start doing simple exercise and stretching, get a Fitbit or something. I did get a Fitbit on sale.
    • Work on getting to bed by 9:30 (if in my own place even earlier, I’d like to get up at 5:30).
    • Work on morning and evening routine, digital limits and controls.
    Career
    • Remind to be taught more AP. Apparently this was stuff I’d already been taught, and they forgot that they taught me.
    • Private goal #1.
    • Private Goal #2.
    • Set up tech learning plan.
    Self-Improvement
    • Continue to work on lateness. Yeah, that crashed and burned with the ice and then the snow storm. And then the new addition to my life, but I’m working on it.
    • Work on no gossip, politics, complaining, cussing, exaggerating set up. I should add work on my repetitive, obsessive speech as well, try to figure out how to redirect myself.
    • Work on Spanish.
    • Work on habits.
    Finances
    • Increase income streams.
    • Pay off debt. I paid off a little
    • Build up checking to remain at certain amount.
    • Buy CodeAcademy pro. Did this, and I have used it, I’m also working on another plan as well which I need to get back on track on.
    • Buy exercises classes and materials, one event, Kindle (if it goes on sale), and Fitbit. Partial, I bought the later two things both on sale! Fitbit happened to be on sale when I looked but I used camelcamelcamel.com to track sales of specific Amazon items, starting with the Kindle.
    • Save enough for laser, dermatologist, orthodontist.
    • I need one month’s rent, pet deposit, pet purchase money, and security deposit.
    • Build up savings and emergency to at least a certain amount.
    • Increase all savings. Well, did the opposite, as I will explain in another post.
    • Buy certain significant purchases. Partial.
    • Pet supplies.
    • Have almost everything I need for my house and some money towards purchasing groceries, toiletries, paper goods, and cleaning supplies.
    Learn to Live
    • Schedule one thing.
    Beauty
    • Research what is open in terms of facials.
    • Get back on track with skincare.
    • Work on body care and sunscreen reapplication.
    Crafts
    • Make Valentine Decorations.
    • finish Mom’s gift.
    • Finish Georgie’s gift.
    • Finish Harper’s gifts (Frog and Toad and maybe Francis).
    Study Subjects
    • Build habits, work into to-do list.
    Reading
    • 12 book library limit!!!!! Don’t order any until I’m on my last book from the first batch!!!!!!
    • Work on my reading journal and my reading log. Try to make more of an effort to take notes.
    • Possibly buy a Kindle. I’m definitely leaning toward getting a Kindle, but I want to buy on sale, which means I may have to wait until Prime day, we shall see. Done
    • February Reading specifics:
      • Read some study subjects books
      • Finish
        • The Idiot, or at least make considerable process
        • Looking for Transwonderland: Travels in Nigeria
        • Hemingway Didn’t Say That
      • Overcoming Unwanted Thoughts
      • Antifragile
      • Your Move
  • Reading

    Inklings February 2021: A Snow Scene: Warrior Scarlet

    When I first read February’s prompt for Inklings the first scene that popped into my head was when Harry, under his invisibility cloak threw snow at and generally repaid Draco and Co. back. However, I’ve had quite enough Harry Potter on my blog for the time being, especially since I chose a Harry Potter topic for my January Inklings. Per usual when asked to think about something, my brain was empty, so I took to Goodreads to see if my favorite books would trigger any memories.

    Which brings me to Warrior Scarlet by Rosemary Sutcliff. My mom read Eagle of the Ninth to us and then read Warrior Scarlet second (bear in mind that this contains spoilers of necessity). I was 14 or 15 and emotionally intense then, and this is one of her most emotionally intense books I think (Outcast wins as the most intense in every way of those I’ve read), certainly it was at that age. Drem was a child and teen with terrible things happening to him and as a childish teen, this was so much more poignant to me. I don’t want to spoil too much, I think this Sutcliff novel is often overlooked, but I do have to give some considerable spoilers. I also might be totally confused, I think the scene I’m thinking of happened in a winter storm, but I might be conflating two sections.

    Anyway, how should I tell this without spoiling, might not be possible, but long story short, the snow scene is quite a dramatic story of personal triumph and recompense (I know there is a word to express what I mean, but I can’t think of it). I don’t no how to describe it’s poignancy so well as deserved. If you haven’t read it, skip the below, it spoils the impact.

    Spoilers Below!

     

    Amongst British tribes, the each of the boys when training for warrior status had to kill a wolf or be killed by it whilst the other boys watched, if the other boys helped, they made the rescued boy a shamed outcast. Drem was not equal to the other boys and his best friend could not watch him die.

    He is ejected from the tribe and works with the “little dark people”* as an outcast and shepherd. During the winter guarding the sheep from predatory wolves, he meets up with or is stalked by a huge male wolf who attacks him, but this time he manages to kill it. This wolf seems familiar to him, he believes it is the same one he failed to kill a year maybe earlier. His people discover this fact and the fact that his old wounds are reopened/covered over with new wounds, and these facts combined cause them to consider that the signs point to his old shame being wiped out, that he has killed his wolf and is now a warrior and part of the tribe.

     

     

     

    *Historical note, I think the prevailing view in Sutcliff’s time is that these were the original Britons and the Celts came later, per what I read in Barry Cunliffe’s book The Ancient Celts it is not the prevailing view or at least his view from the evidence that there was any such change of people, that the language change did not in the case of British isles mean an invasion or change of people, that in fact Celtic only applied to the language and the people were not Celts in the original Roman usage of the term, it was misapplied later. Meaning, that perhaps there were not these two distinct cultures as is often shown in the Sutcliff novels of the taller, red-haired Celts with the shorter, dark haired “little people.” This is SUCH ancient history with only Rome (and Rome wasn’t in Britain during all this time) as a biased, written source and archaeological evidence, which without clear written language from the culture can be at best vague.

  • Reading

    Gross “Heroes”: Mr. Rochester

    I’m sure there has got to be other people who didn’t fall madly in love with Mr. Rochester, right? Right?!

    I didn’t understand the Jane Eyre obsession. I grew up super sheltered, I couldn’t understand why what I saw as an adultery story was so popular among the strict people I knew. I still find that part odd, I think they probably loved Jane’s courage in following her conscience first (that is the part where I have the most respect for her).

    When I finally did read Jane Eyre, it was right after I read Wuthering Heights, which I think was just way more my cup of tea at that point.* I was around 17 or 18. I’m a Marianne (who is close to Cathy Earnshaw) NOT a Elinor (who is close to a Jane Eyre), and I was at my most Marianne-est. Also my ideal type then was probably something along the Captain Wentworth lines, Aquila from Lantern Bearers, the bitter, strong, still waters run deep type which is how I saw the younger Heathcliff, I guess.

    I did enjoy reading Jane Eyre though, more than I expected. However, I didn’t like much less love Mr. Rochester. I feel like there was a lot of Mr. Rochester swooning where I read or hear of books. Just the way he was described put with his personality and age, he just wasn’t my type at all. I just didn’t get the hype. I was also no fan of Jane, I will never love the goody-goody types. I also found St. John (more like my type in the sort of quiet intensity way) more interesting than Rochester, probably in part because he irritated Jane who was, to me, disgustingly sappy over Rochester who didn’t deserve it. Oh, yeah, Rochester was grossly sappy, that was probably a major turn off to me, at least now, that may have been part of it then as well? All I know is that I never cast him as my hero in my mind.

    I can’t remember, but I think I may have watched the Ciarán Hinds version (and I was obsessed with that actor then) during this period.

    When I reread the book later, I appreciated the story more, and I think perhaps Mr. Rochester didn’t scare me as much? I think when I read it again, I was in the middle of trying to compare multiple movie versions (and I was QUITE attracted to Toby Stephens who didn’t look like the book Rochester, and I just loved his attitude). I found parts funny, but I definitely didn’t like the essence of the book Mr. Rochester or many of the movie versions (Ciarán Hinds now seemed goofy to me) as a hero of my type.

    I think even later I tried to reread it a third time, and by this point the age difference appeared QUITE creepy. He’s a 35 old (yet he always seem to be old to me no matter my age, just the way he is described, probably also compared to my naivete in terms of general experience) after an 18 year old (one of my sisters was near that age then). And yeah, combined with his domineering attitude, not great vibes. And they were just so goopily, sappily gross with each other.

    So the age difference, there are pretty big age difference in Jane Austen. Emma was at least 21, that in terms of maturity can be quite a big jump from 18, don’t love that difference, especially since Knightley was an adult when she was born, and they knew each other. The worst was Marianne. She was 16 or 17 when she and Colonel Brandon met, he was 35. However, in these type of old books the girls are presented as adult,** in that time period they would have been considered so, they seem fairly mature in the case of Emma and Jane, so that can lessen the creepiness ever so slightly. Also none of the movie portrayals ever really show the age difference as it really is.

    I think for some reason the Rochester age difference comes across as waaay creepier than even Marianne and Brandon. I think part of this because Brandon was so straight-laced and reserved and respectful while Rochester is creepy period even were there no age difference. Also, Jane is in his household, is alone in the world, and is seemingly under a fascination/obsession with him which doesn’t feel deserved. Plus, like I said, Rochester, no matter my age, feels older. He is very cosmopolitan, very worldly, written in a way to very much show the age difference (of course Brandon feels older as well . . . because he’s dry as dust)

    Rochester is creepy, obsessive, licentious, completely unrepentant over his many sins, very patronizing and controlling and yet makes himself out as the victim quite often. Ew, no thank you.

     

     

     

    *When I reread the books several years later I could see that Emily Brontë just didn’t have the same talent or at least didn’t develop it as well as Charlotte, the writing quality is markedly lower in Wuthering Heights than Jane Eyre.

    **I find it hard to believe that any possible historical maturity differences could be that great, brains don’t finish developing into the early twenties, and I believe puberty was quite a bit later in older times, at least for the lower classes with malnutrition. Could a “woman” of 18 (which wasn’t always the age of adulthood, for awhile it was 21, I think it switched back and forth for awhile) really have the same intellectual and emotional maturity as a 35 year old man, does it really seem like a good arrangement to have that kind of imbalance? What does that say about the type of man as regards his character and ego that he wants that? It is at best vaguely creepy at worst predatory. And then there are the older women whose only potential husbands are going after barely adults. And the young women, who haven’t been encouraged to look very far in the future by greedy parents or bad circumstances, they have to live with an old man or as a widow at a young age, especially since aging then was far faster than now!

  • Reading

    Favorite Love at First Sight Couples

    I’m linking up here to Cordy’s Lovely Blog Party.

    So, I’ve done, Friends to Lovers, Enemies/Frenemies to Lovers, and now for the oft-maligned, highly suspect love at first sight couples. I think this is best done when it is attraction at first sight (often the other tropes have this but its unequal or there is also enmity at first sight) sans any complicating factors that develops quite quickly into love.

    Also, there is a version of this type that features a huge amount of humor and/or suspense. So, lots of Georgette Heyer and Mary Stewart novels and some M.M. Kaye mysteries.

    Peter and Donna in A Tangled Web are both a fun, interesting love story, yet at the same time poking fun at this trope just a bit. Of course there is a real parody of this bit with the Jocelyn and Hugh situation. That book is a comedy gem.

    More serious and sweet pairings:

    • Lord Bradford and Azalea in Entwined.
    • The Ordinary Princess and her “Apprentice” in The Ordinary Princess.
    • Similarly Cinderella and Kit in the live action Cinderella.
    • Danielle and Henry in Ever After.
    • I think Linden and Rob in Rebel and Arrow. My 2nd favorite couple in this trilogy and the related duology who get the least amount of time.

    Any well-know, well-loved, respected (aka, NOT Romeo and Juliet, lol) couples that I missed?

  • Learning and Exploring

    The Friend-zone

    I’ve seen a lot of complaining about this. I think some guys try to call straight up disinterest with being friend-zoned and then girls pretend that this is the only thing that happens.

    When someone is clearly NOT interested in you, avoids you, has explicitly said they are not interested in you, you are rejected, not friend-zoned, sorry. Face it and move on.

    However, if person you are interested in you is using you as a pseudo-boyfriend/girlfriend or just in case significant other (aka, what Ann does with Justin in Parks and Rec), jealous when you date or are interested in someone else, selectively burns hot and cold as far as flirting goes, keeps other interested parties away from you, etc. also, not friend-zoned, that person has a narcissism and dehumanizing problem, and you need to run.

    I’d say friend-zoning to be where the couple manage to keep on the outside overall a respectful platonic friendship but where one person wants more from it and eventually probably won’t be able to manage the friendship part. The other party may not be truly interested because of personality, time of life, or unrealistic expectations or all of the above.

    I’d imagine there is a lot of variety, some blends or shading of all of the above. Let me give you my excruciating example. I was “little sister-zoned” by a guy who WAS flirting, but not seriously, just because I gave an obvious giggly response on cue always. It was a long time ago, he wasn’t a jerk, he wasn’t really leading me on or using me, I knew perfectly well he wouldn’t date me, my responses just gave him a little vanity boost. I just get second-hand from the past embarrassment thinking about my side of it.

  • Reading

    My Favorite Couples with Hilarious Love Moments

    I’m linking up to Cordy’s Lovely blog party here.

    Harry and Ginny in Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince

    Ginny pined for Harry for awhile and then took steps to move in with her life. Harry got over Cho and then it was his turn to pine (oh how the turn tables). When I ship a couple I often love the dramatic jealousy bits, and Harry is ridiculous, I think he needed to suffer a bit after Ginny need.

    Book 6 is emotionally tumultuous with all the love triangles and fighting, the especial amount trouble with Snape, Ron’s Quidditch drama, all of this culminates for Harry when he, the team captain misses the final Quidditch game due to detention.A

    Then he walks in to the common room and hears they’ve won, and he kisses Ginny right in front of everyone in the midst of the jubilation, and its just such a perfect moment.

    Harry’s crush on Cho and Ginny’s crush on him were always so public plus they are both pretty confident, popular people, I just loved that their moment was so public and triumphant. . . in contrast to the unbelievably milksop scene in the movie. The movies did Ginny an injustice in the way they portrayed her, she’s useless.

    Peter and Donna in  The Tangled Web

    They are both so dramatic, she’s doing the crushed forever faithful widow bit with her cousin, he’s doing the manly outdoor, woman hating type.

    He’s outdoors and she’s stuck indoors at that absurd gathering, both probably bored out of their minds. Then they lock eyes and fall in love in a moonstruck madness love at first glance melodramatic parody way.

    They aren’t super young which makes is so much funnier about how dramatic they are including with their later fight. They are my favorite part about that hilarious book. LM Montgomery has a way of taking people who at first glance are trying to be a stereotype and then showing them to be acting ridiculous and knowing they are acting ridiculous and not caring a bit and choosing to go their own way.

    Perry and Ilse in Emily’s Quest

    Perry had a school boy’s crush on Emily while Ilse always liked him and continually fought with and berated him. I think Perry got over the crush by high school and simply remained stubbornly determined to have Emily because he set his mind to it.

    Ilse on the other hand, pretended to get over Perry and never let it slip for decades even to Emily that she loved him. Emily let it slip to Perry when it was “too late.”

    I just love the set up, Ilse on her wedding day (why oh why couldn’t it have been to some random man, let’s not think to hard about this monstrosity) hears that Perry’s been killed and hightails it to the hospital in her wedding dress, where after finding out he was hurt not killed, she declares that she will marry him.

    It’s just perfectly fitting for both of them, neither of them exactly follow society’s expectations. Loud, dramatic, causes a huge scene and scandal at the non wedding, just generally an awesome wrap up.

    Teddy and Bramble in Entwined

    Brash Bramble and jovial Teddy. Another love bit where she “hates” him because she’s not romantic, and he’s just so, doofy and their is just so much trouble in her life.

    It culminates when he does something noble and then declares his love while being snubbed. When she realizes the truth, she jumps at him and a magic rug swallows them both. It’s quite the scene.

    “Rather!”

    Meg March and John Brooke in Little Women

    Less dramatic and more mischievous. I love how Meg starts off declaring she’s going to calmly refuse John then loses her nerve straight off once he actually shows up.

    And then he shows himself too smug and gets snubbed for it.

    Aunt March barges in and then Meg’s mood changes again contrarily and of course John hears it all, and Jo comes down to rejoice over John’s rout only to find Meg on his knee.

    Just the moments, the prose, the humor, one of my favorite bits of Little Women.

  • Reading

    Fairy Tale Central’s Choose Your Own Adventure Tag

    linked header to choose your own adventure on thefairytalecentral.com

    I so enjoyed the tag they put out last year and the tag this year looks fun too, I love fairytale things. I’ve been looking through the lists of the retellings on their site for new authors to try, I have a few Mercedes Lackey books on my library shelf right now.

    THE QUESTIONS

    – Your father the king has declared a contest for your hand in marriage. But he’s allowing you to decide what kind of competition it will be. What do you choose? Is there a penalty for losing, or do the losers just go home while the winner remains to marry you?

    Hmm, I think it would be cool to have different types of tests, tests on bravery, tests on sword-fighting, tests on character traits. Everyone would all take the tests and get ranked a number then I would choose based on how important I thought the combinations or maybe I would weight the various tests, then I would want the top winners (lets just assume in this scenario that I’m stunning and brilliant and will have lots of suitors, lol . . . otherwise this wouldn’t be interesting) to sort of apprentice at the castle for a period of time, so I could get to know them. Of course knowing me, it would be the guy who doesn’t enter at all or can’t that I’d want.

    – You’ve just been told that you’re the Chosen One – the heir to your kingdom’s throne. Of course you demanded proof, but you didn’t expect quite so much of it to be brought forward. You grudgingly ask the state of the land. Your kingdom is at war with two neighboring kingdoms, a third kingdom is expecting your kingdom to ally with theirs and help them fight in agreement with an old treaty, there is famine in two counties in the north, and the barons of the kingdom are fighting over who will supply the palace with food for the next year. What do you do first?

    Send food and relief to the two counties in the north (and make sure it gets there and given out properly, preferably with a magical seeing device so I can’t be assassinated if I go and can get a grip on the wars), and while that is being done look at the facts behind all the wars and agreements.

    – You’ve set off to find your fortune but end up caught in a storm in the middle of the night in an enchanted forest…and there’s an ominous growl emitting from the trees. A warm looking cottage sits nearby but you’ve heard that questionable figures dwell in this wood. What’s your plan of action?

    Even if I climbed the trees, I could freeze to death, if I made an ice cave I could freeze or get mauled. Who knows what is in the cabin, but certain frozen death is outside, I’d risk the cottage, but take a peep in first or see if there was any outbuilding.

    – It is time to christen your dear new baby. It’s expected to invite the local fairies but they’re known for “gifting” babies with less-than-desirable characteristics (Ella Enchanted-style). Do you invite them anyway or “accidentally” forget to send out an invitation and risk the wrath of the petty (but powerful) fairy-kind upon your kingdom?

    I’d invite them with a “gift list” included, with if possible a royal rule disallowing gifts not on said list.

    – Your fairy godmother grants the choice of three gowns for your one chance to meet the prince at the ball: a dress the color of the golden sun, a dress the color of the silver moon, or a dress the color of the sky. Which dress do you choose?

    A dress the color of the silver moon, it just has so much of a ring of magic to the idea with the color and the moon, mysterious, mystical.

    – Your cursed beloved tells you that only when he marries a true-blood princess will he be set free. Do you choose to aid him by finding a princess that can set him free from his horrible curse? Or do you visit the witch of the forest and make a deal with her to become a princess – but you will only get to be with your prince one day a year.

    I’ll choose to aid him to find the princess and hope for something to come up, either that I’m unknowingly a princess, there is “fine print” in the curse somewhere, etc. Things tend to turn up like that in fairytales.

    – You’ve just completed a fairy tale adventure worthy to join the ranks of the world’s greatest legends. Alas, the kingdom’s most famous minstrel is also notorious for adding his own embellishments. Would you rather have your story lost to the world, your name and deeds forgotten, or to to be known as a hero throughout the land…just in a very inaccurate and mangled version of the story?

    I’d rather be lost to the world than misrepresented.

    – You’ve just been approached by a man in a pointy hat who says you’re the chosen one destined to save a magical world. Before you enter the portal to this new world, you are allowed to take one piece of modern technology with you. What do you choose?

    Not a phone or internet access, that would ruin the entire fun and adventure. I can’t think of anything off the top of my head that wouldn’t spoil the adventure or couldn’t be done with magic.

    – Your parents have angered a powerful witch in your land, and she has chosen to strike out at you to punish your parents. However, since you weren’t the one who actually angered her, she’s letting you choose your own fate: 1) sleep for 100 years and leave your parents to die of old age while you sleep, 2) be locked alone in a faraway tower so your parents will never find you, 3) lose your voice so you’ll never be able to speak to your parents, or 4) give you a fatal golden touch so that you can’t hug your parents lest you turn them into statutes.

    Does the golden touch extend to everyone? If no, then that one, if yes, then 1.

    – You just found out that you have a twin, and you two were separated from birth because an ancient prophecy claimed one of you would bring ruin upon the kingdom. Are you the prophesied twin of ruin, or is it your brother/sister? How do you figure that out, and what do you and your twin decide to do about it?

    Oh, no doubt I’d definitely be the one to bring about ruin to the kingdom. I have more than enough sisters in real life, I’d prefer to have a twin brother and maybe we could go on a quest to figure out how to thwart the prophecy, of course anything we do together would mean both of us would cause the ruin . . .