Thursday, January 28, 2010

Beard Envy

If I were an old man, I would most certainly want to look like this guy,

I = addicted to The Sartorialist.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Heavy Hearted

I'm depressed, and two things strike me as so supremely screwed up.

1. exists. Every commercial they put out makes me want to weep.


2. My country as a majority doesn't think this is a baby or care enough to protect it.

I don't want to feel better. I don't want to brush it into the corner of my mind. I don't want to stop crying about the millions of ways people destroy their own lives or literally destroy the lives of innocents for whom they've been made responsible.

I long for revival, but I am not on my knees enough praying for it or on my feet enough fighting for it. God help us.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Renewed Interest all things Austen.

Due to the insane snowfall and with nothing else to do, my sister and I spent the last two days obsessively watching all four parts of the BBC's Emma. It aired several months ago in the UK and is now showing here, Sunday nights on PBS, but Lizzy and I -being the rather impatient creatures we are- watched the whole series (four hours!) in low-resolution via Youtube. Let me assure you,
It is amazing.
I've always been an avid Jane Austen fan--stereotypically so, given my status as a formerly-homeschooled female-- so of course I'm excited every time a new installment (in what has become almost a genre of its own) presents itself. With that said, though, there's something about this particular production that may appeal even to the regency-reluctant. The screenplay takes a few liberties with Jane's story that, instead of modernizing or detracting from the plot, actually help an audience that may have never read the book understand some of the complexities of Emma's world (social customs, womens' life in that time, etc. etc.)... all without sounding too trite or obvious for the hardcore Austenites.
In keeping with Austen's incredible understanding of human nature, every attempt is made to flesh-out and delineate characters who, in former renditions, never received more than a passing nod as a plot device or behavioural caricature. Miss Bates, for instance, is not simply written-off as a horrible prattler, but backed up with all of the insecurities and sadness that would explain her quirks; Mrs. Elton- often portrayed as a plain-looking, buzzing annoyance akin to the inconvenience of a housefly- is beautiful, arrogant, and almost devious in her snobbery and ill-will towards Emma; Mr. Knightley's brother confronts life with a largely cynical outlook and dry sense of humor, which combats the insatiable nervousness Isabella, Emma's sister, seems to have inherited from their father. Romola Garai gives the lead character an intense animation and zest for life that self-absorbed Gwyneth Paltrow could never have mustered, and though Johnny Lee Miller's Knightley is, admittedly, neither as dashing nor as humourous as the one I grew up watching, as Lizzy puts it "He grows on your like a wart," which is fitting for a leading-man who *isn't* the leading man until the end of the story.
Overall, I thoroughly recommend it and may even endeavor to make Eric watch it. I never force chick-flicks on him, but it's that good.

In all of Austen's work Emma has always been the character who I most relate to and who makes me most uncomfortable.
My family always accused me of being an Emma, with my annoying need to match-make and unfortunate knack for never being able to hold my tongue. She is probably the most vulnerable and awkward of Jane's leading ladies, unbalanced, with a desire to help people which is always hampered by her own snobbery or impulsiveness. There were multiple times while we watched this when I had to cover my face in shame while my sister looked at me with that "You have SO done that" expression. When I first watched the Gwyneth Paltrow version the comparison was almost flattering, as Emma took on a "practically perfect in every way" sort of persona, whereas this version --which is most true to the book-- just makes me squirm. That brings me to my question,

If you were a literary character (doesn't have to one of Jane Austen's,) who would you be?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Why not?

This particular survey is being tossed back and forth on Xanga like a beach-ball, and -unlike most surveys- it's pretty fun, so I thought I'd post it here and see if anyone in my small readership would like to give it a try (It's harder to answer some of the questions than you might think!)

If I were a month, I would be July.

If I were a day of the week, I would be Tuesday.

If I were a time of the day, I would be early evening.

If I were a planet, I would be Uranus, rolling around sideways-- the oddball.

If I were a sea animal, I would be a pink aenenome.

If I were a direction, I would be North-West.

If I were a piece of furniture, I would be a striped chaise longue with peeling brass finish on the legs.

If I were a liquid, I would be olive oil.

If I were a gemstone, I would be the purpley-green version of Topaz.

If I were a tree, I would be an apple tree: Not thin and stately like an Aspen, or old and wise like an Oak-- Unremarkable, but nice to have around.

If I were a tool, I would be a level.

If I were a flower, I would be a yellow Pansy wishing she was a splashy Tiger Lily.

If I were a kind of weather, I would be a freak snowstorm...easily flurried around, but quick to calm down and melt.

If I were a musical instrument, I'd be a harmonica.

If I were a color, I would be navy.

If I were an emotion, I would be argumentative.

If I were a fruit, I would be raspberries.

If I were a sound, I would be the click-clack-clunk sound of an old typewriter.

If I were an element, I would be Helium (He).

If I were a car, I would be a green Jaguar E-Type.

If I were a food, I would be a potato.

If I were a place, I would be an abandoned greenhouse.

If I were a material, I would be cotton.

If I were a taste, I would be a little salty.

If I were a scent, I would be basil.

If I were an animal, I would be a goose.

If I were an object, I would be a picture frame.

If I were a body part, I would be the thumbs.

If I were a facial expression, I would be intrigued.

If I were a pair of shoes, I would be low-top Chuck Taylor Converse.

And, on a side note, though it's not necessarily new (it's been out at least a year or so), I just discovered this cd:
..and I am completely in love. Partly because the "She" is Zooey Deschanel, who I think is utterly amazing, both for her roles (aside from 500 Days of Summer, which was a bit of a letdown) and her incredible sense of style:

Amazing, no?

Anyways, the whole album is perfect. She does a few 50s/60s covers, but all the songs have a very classic feel about them. Five stars.

Sunday, January 3, 2010