• Culture and Entertainment

    Jane Austen Enamel Pins by Amanda Kastner

    Ages back I learned of Amanda Kastner’s work through Sense and Sensibility patterns who produced a historical pattern of hers. Her sister’s blog (it’s been made private) featured a lovely piece of stylized artwork by her of her sister (that was where the idea I wanted artwork of my on my blog).

    Anyhow, more recently I’ve been following her artwork, she’s done some coloring books (I want to get the Jane Austen one) and graphic novels (I have the Illusionarium, but I’d like the others as well). Visit her shop here.

    Most recently she’s been making enamel pins for classic story characters. I know I have no use for these, and I always find something to buy, but they are so lovely, I have Anne and Diana, and I’m participating in the current Kickstarter for the Jane Austen ones here. My favorite is yet to be unlocked (and I’m assuming there might be more stretch goals), but by the time this is published it probably will. I’m assuming some of these pins will be available in her shop, but not the Lizzie one or not for long?

    Now I will just have to find a way to display them. My sister-in-law’s sister made a silver corkboard Disney castle for all my sister-in-law’s Disney pins, and it’s on my niece’s nursery wall. And I thought I’d taken a photo of that but can’t find it.

  • Daily Life

    #lavinewyear Lavendaire 10 Days of Growth: Days 1-4

    Lavendaire (I have trouble spelling Lavender, and that follows through to Lavendaire, I keep wanting to add a’s instead of e’s) is the first Youtuber to get me motivated to just plan my life. I think it was the end of 2018? She just has such a feminine, calm aesthetic and tone which I love while so many goal sort of people are more fast-paced, loud, masculine, bold, and just too fast and too much for this little snail right here. I guess I just felt that goals felt more attainable or appealing for my personality after seeing her videos, a gentle nudge in the right direction rather than a drill-sergeant.

    I tend to follow more of Muchelle B’s stuff more recently (again, a soft aesthetic and a way of planning that just speaks to my brain language), and I went through a lot of her videos in my new year planning (more on that when I actually am finished, January is more of my planning, restart, prep month). But I felt that I hadn’t watched much Lavendaire lately and when she had this 10 Days of Growth Challenge, I thought I’d like to do it, and it’s just so refreshing and simple. I signed up late and you still get the emails one at a time so its gently paced.

    I had a lot more to-do’s and plans written out this year because I wanted to work things in while I think my goals were more in my head and similar to last year, so for day one I distilled I guess much of that down into the three life-changing goals:

    1. I want to get into the habit of enjoying life and making memories. So for day two I counted that I went to see Little Women. It’s kind of a big deal for me to go to the movie theater. I used to think oh, I can usually wait unless its something I KNOW I will adore, but the last year or so, I realized while I do want it to be special, I can still go a little more often for the experience (I think Star Wars and Aladdin really emphasized that, and I really wish I’d gone for Endgame, live and learn).
    2. I want to be healthy
    3. I want to be financially secure and healthy and independent

    Day 3 I read 15+ pages of Whose Body the first Lord Peter Wimsey mystery. I was re-reading Narnia as a Christmas treat to myself but got a bit stuck (I’m an extreme mood reader and my January treat of rereading the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries felt more in tune with my mood).

    Day 4 is creating a vision board.

    I’ve heard a lot about vision boards but I tend to resist them or want to overdo them or think I will ignore them, but I decided I could do a small Pinterest board for this year, and I could check back on it from time to time. I think maybe it would be fun to do a vision board success board of MY photos to sort of match those of my vision board that I’ve actually achieved.

    The pins I chose I hope reflect: holistic health, healthy size for me, exercise, nature; a more “me” style; spending more money on experiences like travel, taking craft and art classes and seeing traveling broadway shows (already bought my Anastasia tickets, another big deal for me); getting a car and my own place; alternative income streams and working on my current career path; keeping my memories in a pretty journal; and reading well.

    #lavinewyear

     

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Little Women 2019 and Why I’ll Never Love a Little Women Adaptation

    ***Spoilers and a VERY Critical Review***

    ***************************************

    I was not originally going to see this. I don’t usually see movies in theatres, and I didn’t even really want to try this one at all. I was horrified by the non-American and otherwise poor casting. Laurie is not a frail, delicate French-American boy. He was a big, bonny Italian-American boy. I get frustrated with Little Women adaptations because of the inaccuracy of the rendering and because I HATE a part of the book’s plot. I hate Laurie and Amy together at a soul level so I will never love an adaptation.* However, I went to see Star Wars in theatre, I kept seeing Little Women everywhere, and I always want to like a Little Women retelling, I was feeling too optimistic, and I thought I could be okay if the professor was young and Laurie wasn’t Laure (like in that cute, shallow, quick little modern retelling), I thought I could suspend my infuriation at the Laurie-Amy thing. Well, one can only do that if Laurie and Jo is minimized and Laurie and Amy is minimized, it wasn’t.

    • Not great acting, so many things felt forced, and I could hear the accents
    • It overall felt slick and flippant. The choice to cut back and forth in time was terrible, it wasn’t flashbacks, it was every scene. It hurts my brain. It ruined the pathos of Beth’s story, made everything feel rushed and shallow. I think it rather disguised the other flaws by flicking you away before you could digest the ineptitude of the scene. As did wasting time on dramatic scenes, feminist sermons, slow motion parts, etc. when two hours isn’t really enough to do the book justice and other episodes from the book could have been included.
    • Why do Meg and John get cut out so much? I adore that proposal scene and a couple other of their scenes? Its Little Women, not Jo March or  The Jo and Amy and Laurie Triangle. Not that I really wanted to see more of this John, I think his accent and his acting was the worst. And why in heaven’s name does almost every version feel the need to make John a needy, creepy sort of person. Quietly liking someone doesn’t mean creepy. I think he was WAY more subtle than that. It was only brought out by Laurie’s (awesome) mischievousness, another thing lacking in the movie.
    • Laurie was more Laurie in behavior than I expected despite his looks, but he didn’t feel genuine.
    • Why are almost all the girl blonde or red-head? I think they were all brunettes, possibly dark brunettes, definitely Alcott herself was, except for the golden girl, Amy (that heightens the contrast of Amy and the others). They all look too small except for Amy who looked and sounded coarse (the exact opposite of book Amy). Emma Watson is overacting as useful. Beth was okay. Saoirse Ronan wasn’t bad acted, she just was the least Jo of any Jo I’ve seen.
    • Stupid additions of modern thought that are historically inaccurate, I mean some people think incorrectly about history and so they put incorrect and modern historical opinions on these characters. Also reflected in the slovenly, unlady-like dressing and behavior (the hair, oh, my stars, put up their hair, Meg would never have been so sloppy). In the book Jo was rude, brusque but she still followed some manners of then, like being decently dressed and not putting her skirts up to her waist or dancing in a weird, wild bar scene (the Marches were teetotalers and very sheltered, that is mentioned in the book).The Marches were unconventional, not inappropriate and not modernly conventional, sorry. If you want a modern retelling, do a MODERN version. Granted there has been one done (very indie and quick), but there have been so multiple period ones done as well.
    • So much second hand embarrassment, so little of the books genuine humor. I chose to go to the bathroom around the part Jo was writing Laurie a desperate letter, I couldn’t bear it. I missed when he and Amy came back. Actually I was getting ready for it to be over well before then, but I seriously considered just leaving then and several times after that, but I was sure it was almost done. And then it got really just plain goofy when the professor comes back. Any sweetness in that was sapped right out but the silliness, shallowness, and insincerity of that scene, why couldn’t they have had a quiet moment and more time together overall. If you are going to change the plot, change that part, give them a real spark. They just emphasized him as being an afterthought.
    • Also, I recognized Marmee from somewhere (note: I feel like they didn’t call her Marmee enough and Teddy was only used like once). And I knew I hadn’t liked her at.all and thought her poorly acted. Later that evening I remembered, she was the idiot, terribly acted purple haired catastrophe from the NOT REAL parts of Stars Wars Episode VIII. Figures.
    • As much as things in the 94 version of Little Women irritate me (Laurie and Amy, John and Meg being too old and shunted to the side, and John being a creepo), that is still the best we have. Everything is just way more iconic, the music, the acting, the script, the clothing. Amy’s European wardrobe is just stunning. And everything about the overall feel and look of the setting, houses, clothing, etc. felt more historically accurate.
    • Did I like anything? Well, I liked that Professor Bhaer was young and handsome and not poorly acted. Too bad he was given hardly any time. I loved the knitted sontags the girls were wearing. I’d first seen them/noticed them on A Bluestocking Dressmakers instagram. As a knitter, it’s always cool to see handknits, especially since I don’t feel like they show up much in period pieces, and I don’t know much about that aspect of historical costuming. The scenes were pretty. I liked Meg’s purple dress. I do want to go and look at photos of the clothes more particularly.

    *I swear I hate the Laurie and Amy thing all the way to the very atoms of my being. I’ll never in anyway be okay with it. It is just fundamentally wrong.

    Nobody cheers when the stereotypical jock and the perfect cheerleader get together. The basic rich boy and basic middle-class girl. And that is all Laurie and Amy end up being once they get married, before he was something special, although she was never super unique.

    I just can’t like Amy. I wouldn’t like her much without Laurie, but the Laurie thing drives everything home. She’s one of the lucky ones who get everything without effort without depth. She’s blessed and boring. And charming, witty Laurie gets flattened, faded out, out to be her “perfect” match. He loses every part of his “Laurie-ness,” his “Teddy-ness.” Look, Teddy was Jo’s pet name for him . . . she has a pet name for him. Amy calls him my lord (ick), isn’t that evidence enough?

    Jo and Laurie are so close, I think that Laurie could’ve waited. I think the concept of love as a pie in the sky stars above thing is untrue. Love is made up of attraction/passion, affection, trust, friendship, and CHOICE. If Jo didn’t have the first, or didn’t think she did (they were SO close, it seems like it could only have been blindness), she would’ve learned later. And why must Laurie fit society’s mold? Rich man, rich wife, blah, blah. Suited to each other? They brought out each others shallowness. Bhaer and Amy got leavings, sorry. And someone mentioned thinking Amy would’ve turned Laurie down had he not been rich. I think it’s too convenient that Amy gets everything she wants. Its too unbelievable how easily Laurie gives up. And there is the sister code. Doesn’t matter if Jo rejected him. Hands off, period.

    All the rationalizations, are rationalizations. Jo and Laurie were too similar? Um, “similar” people (and I don’t think they were all that similar, and better to be like either of them than a milksop like Amy). Jo and Laurie had a spark, John and Meg had a spark (in the books, the movies seem to manage to ruin this). No one else did.

  • Reading

    Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books I Read In 2019

    I’m linking up here for Top Ten Tuesday.

    Here are some of my favorite and/or the most meaningful books/authors. There are more than 10 books, but only 9 authors, sorry it doesn’t quite fit.

    1. All Things Wise and Wonderful by James Herriot. I listened to this audiobook at work. This the third in a series. I didn’t like the stories as much as the first two, some dark ones (depression and suicide, Soviets)
    2. The Corinthian and The Grandy Sophy by Georgette Heyer. I read lots of Heyers but I’ve marked this two as the top. Not sure if the first would stay as high if I read it again?
    3. The Warden, Barchester Towers, and Doctor Thorne by Anthony Trollope. I’m working my way through The Chronicles of Barchester which E.S. Grayson recommended on her blog. Witty, intriguing look into Victorian England. Still satirical but much less exaggerative than Dickens and not full of caricatures.
    4. Three Times Lucky, The Ghosts of Tupelo, The Odds of Getting Even, and The Law of Finders Keepers by Sheila Turnage. Darling, witty, charming, whimsical middle grade series.
    5. The Moonspinners and This Rough Magic by Mary Stewart
    6. Death in Cyprus and Death in Zanzibar by M.M. Kaye. These four books I read close together and the first three in particular all sort of fit together (and not just because they are all set on islands in the Mediterranean that start with a “c” although that was some of it).
    7. J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography by Humphrey Carpenter. I’m not a biography person but this was a brilliant work about a brilliant man.
    8. I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi. The title is probably intentionally obnoxiously click-bait-y to go with Sethi’s (hilarious in my opinion) sense of humor. I just loved the way he presented finances and financial advice. Sometimes you know, it just has to click with you. I bought his newest version and plan of rereading it and implementing as much as I can.
    9. My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell. I randomly picked this off of Catherine’s blog Based on the Book. It was rather different from my normal read but another unique biography and quite hilarious. It was also fascinating/hilarious to juxtapose its more normal, light of day feeling with the dark, romantic suspense feeling of Corfu in This Rough Magic.
  • Culture and Entertainment

    Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Am I a Star Wars Fan Now?

    **************Spoilers**************

    I need to just get out my rambling thoughts, few though they are (my Star Wars history is going to be most of this post), on this film because I waited too long for Engame (I’m going to post them now anyway).

    I’m not an official Star Wars fan. I do seem to be getting more and more interested as the new stuff comes out, so I think I may be heading there since I really, really started wanting to see this one and at the spur of the moment (planned the night before, that is my spur of the moment) went this morning with my sister (Flowerchild) (so this is the 2nd of them I’ve seen in theaters). Of course I don’t have all the names in my head, I was just thinking the newest Star Wars.

    Let me look up all the names of the films:

    Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)
    Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
    Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983)
    Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999)
    Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002)
    Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005)
    Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015)
    Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017)
    Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

    I watched IV and V growing up (tween) but was grounded I believe (lol) and couldn’t watch VI with everyone else. As a young teen I saw parts of II (but that freaked me out) and as later teen (I think) I watched VI (also freaked me out). So I was rather burned (gross alien stuff not my thing).

    VII came out in my mid-twenties, and I think we watched it not long after it came out on DVD. I think I was a gentle Fey or Rinn shipper or whatever that ship name was called in the first, because well, they were together all the time. I thought Kylo was a whiny baby, expected to see more than 2 seconds of Poe, thought Han being killed off was lame.

    Then I watched Rogue One on dvd and enjoyed it. Then Flowerchild and I decided to watch episodes I-VI. IV-VI have to be the worst mainstream movies ever made quality and acting-wise, the plot was okay-ish.

    Then the second movie happened and spur of the moment the day after Christmas the year it came out Dad, Flowerchild, and I went and saw, and wow, definitely starting being Reylo but not really sure if that was a thing (told you, not really a Star Wars person). Hello Kylo Ren. And besides those two and their mind games, everything else was about the dumbest thing on cinema. Ya know, good leaders don’t act like the dictators they claim to hate. The Lea fan/worship was weird. And Finn was made to be a doofus and Poe a fool, and yeah, pretty sure we came for them along with Rey so um WHY? And everything everyone did was pointless. Anything besides Kylo and Rey in the second movie is. not. real.

    I started Mandalorian. Then I started seeing and hearing more (that it was the best of the three newest) about IX, and I was getting SPOILED (why people?! Put a warning in your posts that aren’t reviews?!!!), so I wanted to see it soon. Definitely Reylo in going into see this movie. But knew that there was a sad part. Also confused thinking maybe Finn and Rey were going to end up (which was hinted at but thankfully they left that to the future in fans minds, a bit more naturally considering everything that happened in this movie).

    Anyhow, I was glad the real Finn and Poe were back and in focus like they always should’ve been. Also, sick of the Lea worship. I liked the “core” group of the droids, Finn, Poe, and Rey like old times/episodes. The Kylo-Rey scenes were awesome. I thought almost everything was done well. Except at the last, Ben and Rey should’ve always been together, should’ve killed Palpatine together, the strength of their power as a pair was so important and special and it didn’t make either of them less but them both MORE. They were always together, they were connected, we didn’t need the Mary Sue moment. I also think Ben’s death was good plot wise. And the ending was excellent. BUT I DIDN’T WANT BEN TO DIE! I know the plot is great (except for that separation in the dueling), BUT!!!!

     

     

  • Daily Life

    Sunshine Blogger Award

    PioneerGirl tagged me in the Sunshine Blogger award.

    1. What is your favorite book series?

    I’ve lots of favorites, but since I’m planning on re-reading Narnia in December and have been rewatching the movies, I’ll go with that.

    2. If you were a mythical creature what would you be?

    A unicorn maybe or a Pegasus? If we’re going by personality, dragon.

    3. If you were a cup of tea what kind would you be?

    Barely tastes like tea raspberry ice tea. Rarely care for hot beverages, don’t care for the taste of tea uselly.

    4. What is something you have learned and taught someone else?

    I think I’ve tried to teach some people knitting.

    5. Do you have a hobby, and if so, what is it?

    I’ve lots of hobbies, but I’m currently burned out. Knitting is my main one, but I haven’t knitted in months. However, something knitted is part of my Christmas outfit, and I’ve a baby blanket due, so I will be knitting a lot this month.

    6. What is your favorite dessert?

    Anything chocolate, especially cake. But also many things cake.

    7. f you could be best friends with a literary character who would it be?

    I don’t know, I’m not a “best friend” type of person. I’m more a “best sibling group” like the Penderwicks or maybe a “best friend group” the sets of friends in L.M. Montgomery books.

    8. If you had to choose only one form of communication to use for the rest of your life what would it be?

    Talking. I think I’d go insane if I could only write.

    9. What is the best way someone has understood you?

    Agreeing with me and meaning it, I suppose.

    10. What would you do if you had the time to do it?

    I think motivation and laziness, not time are my worst enemies. Learn everything, make everything.

    11. “How is a raven like a writing desk?”

    I’m terrible understanding riddles like this, sorry.

  • Daily Life

    What I’ve Been Up to Lately

    Looking forward to and trying to save for Christmas, Ladies’ Shopping Day, possibly two art/Christmas Festivals, and Black Friday. I’ve set up a fun money account, but I keep emptying it because I over spend. We’ve already drawn names among the siblings with the Draw Names site and most people have their gift list. I need a second job.

    Not reading scary books. For one thing, I’ve really fallen into a reading slump. I’m really looking forward to my Narnia plan for December. For another, I don’t want to read scary books. Also, making a too strict and long list is a sure fire way for me not to read anything on said list. However, I’m keeping my Fall/Autumn list for future seasons, maybe I’ll read one book each season. I’m still aiming for a reread of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall because I want to watch the miniseries.

    Watching tons of Youtube. That has been a theme of this year. I’ll post some of the my recent favs in another post.

    Waiting for Disney+, it’s a little over a week peoples!

    Working on routines. My morning routine is timed down to five minute intervals in some sections with even such things as brushing my teeth and warming up my car included because I’m that much of a late person, but also because I want to get a lot done (this is a relative term, my a lot is very small apparently) in the morning since I’m usually brain-dead when I get back from work.

    Trying to work on preparing my own food. I tried HelloFresh because of their first time offers. It was lovely, and I have some new recipes to try and new recipe/meal structures to build on. However, it’s too expensive to use regularly, and I’m not high-energy, so I want to get into a two day a week cooking/meal prep schedule. We’ll see. I’d would like to make my way through the meal-planning services, using their first-time codes.

    Working on my Spanish on Duolingo. I was working on this for the first half of the year pretty consistently. I fell off of that for a few months, but I’ve been doing it almost every day for the last two months, I think. The concept of streaks and setting high XP points don’t really work well with my rebelliousness, but the concept of leagues works with my competitiveness, so my average daily XP has risen exponentially, and I’ve maintained a 30+ day streak (I missed at one day, that’s way it’s not 60+). And it’s been so fun to see my much faster progress through my tree. I’m going to try to add extra Spanish grammar and vocab on the weekends. I’m getting to the point where I need that.

    Speaking of Duolingo, I was super-excited to see their Latin course. I will say though, I think learning the grammar first is the best way to learn Latin, at least for non-Romance Language first language speakers, and especially for us really-without-a-grammar-structure English speakers, because it sets you up to understand the grammar structure, of for example, Spanish. However, because I took Latin in college, I’d like to go back and learn more vocab (helpful for English speakers as most of our vocab is Latin-based and for anyone learning a Romance language and for anyone interested in Classical education).

    Becoming more interested in Audible this year. It’s paused now, but I’ve taken advantage of the buy-three at a discount to stock up on books. I’m going to listen to Narnia as I follow along in the colored-illustration version in December. I also have a ton of BBC radio dramas on my list. However, I’ve been low on the attention-span and high on the irritability lately, so I haven’t been even listening to music much at work. So basically, I’m just burned out overall. Or tired. Or both.

    Obsessing over my sleep habits. Being a princess and the pea seems to be hereditary. My purchases these last couple of years for sleeping have included a weighted blanked, tons of earplugs, a sleep mask, a sound machine, outside door weatherproofing stripping, and a sound curtain for the door (which I haven’t hung and not sure how I can use, might have to get a different one and just put that behind the book shelf?). This sleep issue is a work in progress.

    Working on my style. I’d fallen into a rut with my weight gain. But my renewed interest in hair and make-up and more strategic fall purchases as well as my new morning routine have significantly helped me in this area. Also, tons of inspiration from Youtube.

    A lot on this list hinges on habits and routines. I’ve been learning and thinking a lot about that this year.

     

     

  • Culture and Entertainment,  Reading

    What I Read and Watched: October 2019

    I’m rather burned out and unmotivated. I barely read, watched a few Hallmarks (not really in the mood for many of these this year thankfully, but really read for old favorites for Christmas).

    Books

    The Dream Stealer by Sid Fleischman. Uninspiring kids’ book.

    The Queen’s Secret by Jessica Day George. A middle-grade book that as I was reading caused me to feel like I picked up a middle book . . . I had. I’m interested to a least skim the next whenever it comes out, but not really super inspired to read the first one though.

    From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg. Middle-grade, okay, reminded me of the much more interesting How to Steal a Million.

    Movies

    Clueless. So, way raunchier than I was expecting (I guess I didn’t realize it was 90’s or think much further about that). I could have done without that. All the 90’s Valley Girl talk was hilarious though, at least I assume that is what some of it was anyway. Everyone’s accent sounded Northeastern though. The driving part is funny. Cher is funny. Cher’s friend’s boyfriend who is trying to be all ganster but has braces, that was a hilarious. The “Mr. Martin” and “Harriet” are adorbs. I generally find the modern version cuter, apparently since I loved Martin and Harriet in Emma Approved, better even than Knightley and Emma.

    I wanted to like it, but between skipping because of the scratches on the dvd and my boredom, my trying to do a million things at the same time and finish the movie before family and guests got home from church (Sunday, what a great day to watch a movie like this . . .) and the changes in the plot and far too fast plot, I was disappointed. I will try it again, but yeah. Not near as much “Mr. Knightley” as there was in the book, plus making “Frank” gay completely changed the plot. In Emma, Mr. Knightley is jealous of Frank before anyone meet him, Emma is building him up as the perfect man, there is tons of flirtation, and he generally is the cause of Mr. Knightley realizing he loves Emma, going away to try to get over it, the ultimate avowal of love etc. Yeah, that falls terrible flat in the movie. The “Mr. Elton” guy has more of a point than the “Frank” while I think that Frank holds a slightly bigger role in the book. All that contributed to the flat, rushed ending.

     

  • Reading

    Top Ten Tuesday: Extraordinary Book Titles

    I’m linking up for Top Ten Tuesday (well, a day late) here. I’d fallen out of interest with TTT for a bit. I also feel that when I post I just find some other posts to read, but I don’t always see common interests and/or feel like going through 100+ posts. So I think I’ll try each of the multiples of tens or something.

     

      1. Imaginarium by Amanda Kastner
      2. A Pocket Full of Murder by R.J. Anderson
      3. The Eagle of the Ninth and The Mark of the Horse Lord by Rosemary Sutcliff, for a start, I love all the titles of all the books I love of hers and think those titles are special, but I thought these could represent the more unique to the average person.
      4. The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye. Seeming oxymoron anyone?
      5. A Snicker of Magic and The Key to Extraordinary (how apt) by Natalie Lloyd
      6. Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury and
      7. Dandelion Fire by N.D. Wilson. Something about dandelions, I don’t know, just seems mysterious and whimsical.
      8. Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier
      9. Three Times Lucky, The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing, The Odds of Getting Even, The Law of Finders Keepers by Sheila Turnage
      10. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  • Culture and Entertainment

    The Book Spooktacular Autumn Favorites Tag

    I’m doing the tag that Ashley from the Mad Dragon Hatter created which I found on Ink Castles blog (my lucidity right now is STELLAR as you can see). Well, I do like fall/autumn because I love pumpkin, ginger and spice, molasses-y goodies, but um, all the sad, scary, and sinister is usually what I avoid, except curiously, in murder mystery novels (but those can freak me out don’t get me wrong). I also HATE skulls (like I don’t even like reading/typing that word) and bones born of my life-long phobia (I wouldn’t call it a phobia now, I feared them so when I was younger, that my mood was affected if I saw animal bones y’all). I do sparkles, princesses, and glamor for dressing up for Halloween; it’s clearly not really my holiday. So, bear that in mind.
    1) movie with all the autumn vibes
    Any vintage murder mystery, actually many vintage movies seem to fit autumn period. Let’s go with Laura though.
    2) song that you associate with autumn
    Oh, and I’m also not the biggest music person. I do think any minor-key or sentimental or folk-songs type music fits fall.
    3) book with ghosts
    The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing. Not really a fall book, and the ghosts were NOT my favorite thing, not the kind of magical realism I like, I’d prefer them more in actual fantasy.
    4) scariest movie you’ve seen
    I’m going to go with the 2015 BBC And Then There Were None. It has to be the most disturbing thing I’ve every finished, I’m usually long gone before then.
    5) the best autumn quote

    “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

    ― L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

    6) book cover with all the autumn vibes
    7) your favorite candy of the season
    Um, all of them with chocolate in them? I like Milky Way, I also love the Midnight Milky Way (is that special for Halloween maybe, don’t know).
    8) movie or book with themes on death and rebirth
    Ah, this is too philosophical for me. And probably also scary, unless you want to count Fawkes the Phoenix in Harry Potter.
    9) Youtube channel you associate with autumn
    Well, I’ll just put Shipwrecked because they produced the Poe webseries, I’m planning on watching.
    10) your favorite fall beverage
    Another of my made for Spring-ness, but I don’t really like hot beverages except for hot chocolate which is obviously Christmas and winter. So whole milk for my gingersnaps.
  • Daily Life

    Fall Fun List

    I was sorta trying to train myself to say “autumn,” I don’t think that is going to work, especially when you can say “Fall Fun.” Just too easy.

    First things first: Girls during fall be like.. 2019 Edition

    Since summer flew by me without me doing anything (my fastest speed is “turtle” my slowest speed is “snail” which must be what I’m doing currently), I thought I’d plan out my fall, putting movies, books, food, and activities into my calendar.

    My list for books was originally:

    • Dracula
    • Poe
    • The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (reread)
    • Something Wicked This Way Comes
    • Call of the Wild

    But I’ve since happened upon this list of spooky short stories from Modern Mrs. Darcy, and I’d like to add list add the Montgomery book, but I’d like try all those not on my list except Du Maurier, I just don’t get her appeal, and Christie (I’ve probably read a lot of those, plus don’t tend to love her short stories).

    For all of these we shall see, it’s odd that I can read murder mysteries, I’m not drawn to dark books, I certainly can be freaked out by them, but I think that a lot of these are psychological which I REALLY don’t do or wilderness/animal. Yeah. We’ll see. If I think they are too dark, twisted, and/or sadistic, I won’t be reading them.

    For movies/visual media I have:

    • Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (It’s amazing how little impression that book made on my mind for its size and it’s subject/genre, was it overhyped or is it just me? I feel like it was my kind of thing, but I forgot it very quickly after reading it, usually forget it’s existence, perhaps because there needed to be a sequel? Anyhow, some where I saw the miniseries again, I’m sure I knew of it before, and it seemed to fit this season).
    • A Tenant of Wildfell Hall (I love Toby Stephens, and when I saw that he featured in the adaption available on Amazon Prime, I knew I needed to re-read the story to refresh my mind before I watched it).
    • After/if I manage to read some Poe, I want to try the webseries, A Tell Tale Vlog, I’ve had on my mind for years (but never managed to read anymore Poe, wonder why). It’s weird how popular (or just to nerds?) and transient the webseries phase was. The way media is developing, it seems like more could have been made of it?
    • Spellbound

    For audio media I have (the music in this list is from this previous Fall/Autumn mood post):

    For food I have:

    • Oatmeal Pancakes
    • Cardamon Buns
    • Gingerbread
    • Gingersnaps
    • Pumpkin Bread
    • Pumpkin Muffins
    • Pumpkin Truffles
    • Pumpkin Pancakes (maybe)
    • Maple Rolls
    • Maple Cookies
    • This Ghost Cake (the design, I’ll probably stick with Hershey’s tried and true chocolate cake with dark chocolate cocoa)
    • Spice doughnuts
    • Sweet Potato Casserole
    • Chicken Potpie
    • Mac n Cheese
    • Soups
    • Breads

    Activities (most of those that involve leaving the house are possibilities rather than probabilities):

    • Maple festival
    • Zoo
    • Bonfire and s’mores
    • Broadway (the traveling shows that come to various cities)
    • Ladies’ Shopping Day
    • Thanksgiving
    • Sew velvet pumpkins and squash, make some foxes, plan Xmas dress
    • Miniatures/models
    • Fall puzzle
    • Concert?
  • Culture and Entertainment

    What I Watched: September 2019

    Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse. I was over-stimulated by all the comic sound effects and colors although I greatly appreciated the artistry of it, quite fun. I also found it quite hilarious in the beginning, but then I got bored half-way through, just wasn’t impressed by the plot.

    Suspicion. Eh, rather boring.

    And Then There were None. SPOILERS! Short version: sensitive people, beware. This is the BBC/Acorn Media 2015 miniseries version. Ok. Um, so many actors I recognized. And oh, my stars Aiden Turner! Let’s be real, this is the real reason I was watching, and he was SO much more handsome than I’ve ever seen him in the Hobbit films or photos (I haven’t watched Poldark nor will I). Plus his attitude, plus his Irish accent. But he was a serial killer! So, clearly, this contains spoilers people.

    I didn’t remember the book beyond the killing everyone off part. This might have been the first Christie I ever read, although looking at Goodreads it isn’t on my shelf. Maybe this is the one I tried to read in play form, maybe I really didn’t read it?! Anyway, yeah, I was shocked by the fact that everyone (well, almost everyone) killed people, usually murdered. From what I looked up later on Goodreads, it looks like a couple characters were made worse (particularly the policeman) or technically worse (Turner’s character, apparently it was negligence not the mass murder the film implies, but I can’t say that the death meted out in the book sounds like a better way to go, so I don’t know that he really is worse or not). Anyway. I was more and more disturbed as I went on.

    First, any murder mystery even if followed word for word with nothing added for effect, exaggerated, etc. is going to be harder to watch than read. Second, this was SO atmospheric with the music, setting, and the constant switching to the kitchen and the cutting, storing, etc. of seafish, meat, and entrails REALLY freaked and grossed me out. Third, then of course the worsening (?) of the crimes and the flashbacks to the crimes and just the overall portrayal of the people. Most of them didn’t seem only like murderers, but crazy people or psychopaths, including of course, the orchestrator. Fourth, the absolute goriness of the the deaths are shown, not in broad daylight, mostly of the film is gloomy, but you really get a view. Also, after the beginning of the film, you see NO ONE else. Not, apparently like the book, in which these crimes are discovered.

    All this to say, watch with caution or not at all depending on your temperament. I had (combined with other factors) two nightmares from it. I had been recommending it to my sisters, and then I had to go back and give a warning. I don’t think they are as easily spooked as me. And this what this is. I don’t like violent films, but you can look away in fight scenes and all that. This eeriness, this mesmerizing suspense, plus gore, that really gets me. Okay. I think everyone has been warned sufficiently.