Thursday, May 29, 2008

The sweater

I finished a cable-knit sweater for my father the other day and decided to share a few pictures of it. My first cable-knit sweater. Also my first male sweater, and only my second sweater EVER. So yes, PICTURES! Beware, if a dial-up user!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sidebar changes

I've made some changes to my sidebar--removed several sections and added:
1) A current quote section--whatever is last in my notebook where I write down quotes I come across.
2) Books currently checked out from the library.
3) A temporary section to keep track of the books I read this summer as part of my plan to read or re-read a whole bunch of the classics.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


I drop in to say I have a job! I'll be calling local businesses for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. It lasts for eight weeks, although I'll be taking a week off to go to the My Life in Christ Youth Conference. So anyway, that is great news and very relieving.

Let me say in passing that I love Megan Whalen Turner's books. Seriously.

And I shall return with book reviews very soon.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sense and Sensibility 2008

This post will be completely boring if you’re not a Jane Austen fan. But I’ve been meaning to review this since I watched it and I think I’d better do it now.

This was probably my favorite of the new adaptations. Mansfield Park was beyond awful, Persuasion had me cheering until they butchered The Letter, and Northanger Abbey was lovely if you ignore the random stuff Andrew Davies threw in. I’m giving you what I didn’t like first, and then winding up with what I did like.


Naturally, the scene at the beginning, but that was such a tacked-on thing I managed to ignore it quite well. And I knew it was coming. Which doesn’t mean it should have been there—I don’t know what Andrew Davies was thinking.

Willoughby was far inferior to Greg Wise. Sorry, it’s true. I looked at him and did not swoon or understand why Marianne would be attracted to him at all. Greg Wise on the other hand, I understood perfectly.

Too much too soon on Willoughby. Where’s the surprise? The mystery?

Too much too soon on Elinor. I felt like I didn’t get enough of an evolution in her character.

They changed Eliza’s story which oddly enough, given Andrew Davies’ predilections for steamy Austen, made it less shocking and sensational. How weird.

Mrs. Dashwood and Fanny are too much like the characters in the 95 version, particularly Fanny. I know the minor characters are probably hard to act without calling on the older version but Fanny’s portrayal was too similar.

Sir John and Mrs. Jennings are just not funny. Although how they could beat Elizabeth Spriggs and Robert Hardy is beyond me.

The lack of Hugh Laurie was sadly felt. I think they should have just left out Mr. Palmer altogether.

Brandon = eeep! I’m sorry, but every time I looked at the actor I thought of Bradley Headstone (a particularly villainous role the actor played in Our Mutual Friend) which is not conducive to happiness and joy for Marianne. I kept expecting him to start bleeding or hit a tombstone.

Must we have a cliff scene? Is it a requirement for a period drama? At least this one makes some sense given the locale, but really.

Marianne’s hair—why is it down? It’s only down some of the time and I know she’s young but why is it down at all?

Ellie? Really? That seemed highly odd and out of place.

Marianne’s costumes seem oddly modern in some places. I’m thinking particularly of her pink headband which looked like something some young ladies of my acquaintance might wear, not something a Regency lady would have worn. Yes, they did wear headband-ish things, but not that sort!

They totally stole the smaller room idea for the ball scene! Heavens!

Also Marianne’s letter scene. Cribbed.


I like Edward very much indeed. For one thing, he’s not Hugh Grant who always annoyed me terribly in that role. Hugh Grant annoys me to begin with, but as Edward he annoys me tenfold. And the actor is very nice and good in his own right. I also felt that his character development was really well thought out.

The music is lovely.

I like the shells—it’s a nice occupation and reminds us that they are in Devon.

The wood-splitting scene, oddly enough. I thought I was going to hate it, but for once I totally bought it. Very strange. My powers of discernment must be going.

Anne cracks me up and reminds me of Josie Pye. Glad they put her in.

Loved Elinor right after Mrs. Jennings comes to see Marianne. The way she drinks the wine…I don’t know, something about that scene just tickled my funny bone.

I liked Marianne a lot. I felt like she brought a very different energy to the part than Kate Winslet did, but I bought her interpretation. I also liked Elinor even though I felt like she cracked, if you want to put it that way, a bit too early. But I think that’s the director, not the actress. It was a bit odd to have a dark-haired Elinor after seeing her as light for so long. And I liked Edward. Did I mention that?

I loved the way they played the scene just after Edward reveals that he is in fact not married. Elinor trying to hold it all together and keep going was really nice and very much in character.

Margaret of this version and Margaret of the 95 version were equally nice, although somewhat different. The 95 Margaret was more prone to inappropriate remarks and was a little more tom-boyish.

All in all, I thought it was really lovely and one that I’ll enjoy watching in the future.

Monday, May 12, 2008

April books

Finally, here it is!

A True and Faithful Narrative—Katherine Sturtevant

Everything on a Waffle—Polly Horvath

A Great Deliverance—Elizabeth George

Charmed Life—Diana Wynne Jones

Keturah and Lord Death—Martine Leavitt

Selected Poems and Prose of Paul Celan

Number our Days—Barbara Myerhoff

Sorcery and Cecelia—Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer

The Professor’s Daughter—Joanne Sfar and Emmanuel Guibert

The Lives of Christopher Chant—Diana Wynne Jones

Dragonflight—Anne McCaffrey

Court Duel—Sherwood Smith

Faerie Wars—Herbie Brennan

Cold Comfort Farm—Stella Gibbons

Mallory’s Oracle—Carol O’Connell

Montorency on the Rocks—Eleanor Updale

Conrad’s Fate—Diana Wynne Jones

The Crystal Gryphon—Andre Norton

Dragonsinger—Anne McCaffrey

Sahara Special—Esme Codill

The Magicians of Caprona—Diana Wynne Jones

Payment in Blood—Elizabeth George

Dragon’s Milk—Susan Fletcher

At Home in the Street—Tobias Hecht

Hybrids of Plants and of Ghosts—Jorie Graham

Killer Germs—Barry and David Zimmerman

Dragondrums—Anne McCaffrey

Wicked Lovely—Melissa Marr

Death in the Stocks—Georgette Heyer

The Man Who Cast Two Shadows—Carol O’Connell

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I guess I was right

I really intended to be back before this, but somehow it didn't happen. I've been looking for a summer job literally since the day after I came back--your prayers in that area are greatly appreciated, by the way. And gracious, it's May 10th and I still don't have the books I read during April up!

I've also been busy helping get The IDD blog underway.

At any rate, I will be back all the way soon, I promise!

Thursday, May 01, 2008


Today has been a day of misadventures. I have spilled water, dropped just about everything it is possible to drop, had books fall off of library carts, had library carts run into walls, other carts, and bookshelves, smudged (waterproof) black ink on my school project, found out that a scholarship application wasn't complete, gotten ink in my hair, and so on.

I have a Russian final tomorrow morning and two final projects due tomorrow afternoon. I also work for the two hours just before those final projects are due.

I know I'm whining a little here, but really all I want to do is sit down with a good book and read. Maybe drink some tea and listen to my iTunes at the same time. What I don't want to do is study for Russian and write a five-page paper. (My other project is officially Done.) Such are the trials of a college student.

So, I guess I'll just steal quote what I've seen other bloggers say in this situation:

Bisy, Backson.*

*If you don't know this, go read Winnie the Pooh. Now.