July 30, 2009
Maybe I'll do Nano differently, this year. I started off with an outline last year and was unable to keep up with it, mostly, I think, because I didn't like my story all that much. I may, instead of an outline, give myself daily prompts that only mesh in together insofar as that they relate to the same group of original characters / universe, etc.
Where I originally wanted to write something that is non-fantasy (an old, old project of mine prompted by the desire to please Mommy Dearest), I think I probably will go for fantasy this year. This may or may not have anything to do with the fact that Mommy Dearest herself is supporting my attendance at WorldCon, WTF. She is earning my eternal adoration for this. And for everything else, but. This Is Cool.
July 27, 2009
The first play was fun - it was Boeing-Boeing, a farce about the down sides of polygamy, in 1960's France (which was adapted twice for the big screen, including in the US with *gasp* Jerry Lee Lewis!) The play was directed in Vaudeville style, with a local twist and some regional expressions. It was very enjoyable, aside for the bit where I was the only person laughing at the really funny jokes (wtf, audience?). I will never truly understand these people, I think.This was actually part of the Just for Laughs festival, which has been litterally on my doorstep these past two weeks. Every day, I got off work to wander into a street full of clowns and revellers. A bit surreal, but wonderful all the same.
The second play was Shakespeare's As You Like It, as directed by Repercussions. I enjoyed the fact that it was a bilingual adaptation, and adored the way it was directed. It was funny, witty, well done, and all in all very pleasant to sit through. It was also, alas, sometimes hard to hear over the popping of fireworks. You gotta admit it, life in Montreal is wonderful in the summer, even if one free activity actually gets in the way of the other.
And as I've taken to writing a lot of fan fiction lately (it's a good exercise in writing), now I must ask. Are there any curious readers, out there?
July 26, 2009
And yes, I love Virginia Woolf more than is healthy, I know.
ETA: HTML fail + laziness = if any of these interest you, just comment and I'll throw the URL at.
Title: Northumbria: Illustrating Political Impact on the English Language
Length (including works cited): 5 pages
Thesis statement: Regionalisms cannot be dissociated from their topographic referents - such is the nature of a dialect, that the explanation for its existence is directly connected to the history of the lands where it is spoken, in which lies the mode of creation or preservation of a given regionalism, such as Northumbrian Middle English in the fourteenth century.
Cited author (one of them): John de Trevisa
Title: Being Sublime, the Poet’s Contradiction
Length (including works cited): 4 pages, plus a 3 page-long annex.
Thesis statement: The purpose of this essay will be to discuss her usage of the words sublime and sublimity throughout her novel Mrs. Dalloway and to explore how it can be linked to the Freudian concept of sublimation through the transitional figure of the Chiefly Poet, one of the definitions of “sublime” in the Oxford English Dictionary (“Sublime”).
Cited author (one of them): Virginia Woolf, Charles Baudelaire
Title: Virginia Woolf and Herbert Marcuse: discussing sublimation in Mrs. Dalloway
Length (including works cited): 8 pages
Thesis statement: My approach will be to examine Marcuse’s exposition on the matter of neurosis and happiness, and how his application of psychoanalysis to the social phenomena can be applied to the characters of Mrs. Dalloway.
Cited author (one of them): Virginia Woolf
Title: Defining Feminism in Woman at Point Zero and Persepolis
Length (including works cited): 11 pages, including one page of translated quotes from French.
Thesis statement: Despite being worlds apart, both Satrapi and El-Saadawi share a doctrine of what we will call mystic feminism, that is, a vision of the feminine condition which is rooted in the quest for individual actualization, rather than on the mobilization of the masses.
Cited author (one of them): Marjane Satrapi
Title: Bilingualism and Loan Words: Factors of Evolution
Length (including works cited): 5 pages
Thesis statement: The purpose of this essay will be to examine the process by which words were borrowed from French into the English language, and to attempt to determine what part the Norman Conquest and the ensuing necessity to use French in England played in it.
Cited author (one of them): Charles Laurence Barber
Title: Constructivism in Angels in America
Length (including works cited): 7 pages
Thesis statement: Our purpose will be to discuss how Kushner’s compelling play illustrates Foucault’s theories of social constructivism and counters essentialism.
Cited author (one of them): Tony Kushner
Title: Bartleby the Scrivener, the Myth of Liberty
Length (including works cited): 6 pages
Thesis statement: Liberty is, in nineteenth century America, as well as in the budding French republic, a growing concern amongst the thinkers of the era. It is with this in mind that I will review the figure of Bartleby, another allegory (or statue) of Liberty, immobile and objectified, yet failing to convey his essential truth, defeated by law.
Cited author (one of them): Herman Melville
July 22, 2009
A quick note about a million things.
On my way to the college where I work for the summer, I walk every day by a church where the homeless come for breakfast and the bare necessities of life. It breaks my heart a little, and at the same time, I'm glad those things exist. At the same time, I'm acutely aware that there are not enough of these services. I don’t know why I feel the need to bring it up – perhaps it’s because I feel like I should do something. I’m not sure what and even less how, yet.
Also, I keep on forgetting to mention this, but I got accepted into the Arthurian Honors Seminar in the fall. *bounces* I’ve rarely been as excited about studying as since I went back to locking myself up with classics and writing essays. I really have no regrets, I’ll confess. This is so much more up my alley than law school.
Which brings me to a question, flist. Is anyone interested in reading some of my papers? I don't mind spreading the joy pain if there are takers. As a side note, I wouldn't offer to show any papers that didn't get excellent grades. If anyone is interested, I'll pull up a list of what's available.
And now about aSoIaF. I’m still reading, and still enjoying, though I’ve taken the weirdest habit: now I read POV chapter by POV chapter. *facepalm* So if anyone out there wants to know where I’m at, I just finished Dany’s POV, and I’m on to Jon’s. In late news, thus:
1) I enjoyed very much the descriptions of Qarth.
2) I think I sort of ship Dany and Jorah, and it makes me feel guilty.
3) My current loved characters are Dolorous Edd and Craster. What’s with me and impolite old men?
“The dead are likely dull fellows, full of tedious complaints – the ground’s too cold, my gravestone should be larger, why does he get more worms than I do…”
- Dolorous Edd, A Clash of Kings (.205)
BEST QUOTATION, EVER.
July 20, 2009
Here is an amusing article about it. The wank about the synopsis amuses me particularly.
And to complete GRRM's post (some pics were missing), here are:
Harry Lloyd as Viserys (taken from Child Hood)
... and now that I've seen this I'm going to have to burn a couple hardly won CAD, in a few weeks. BECAUSE WHEN PEOPLE LIKE GRRM AND NEIL GAIMAN COME TO YOUR HOMETOWN...
That's what you do. Yup.
July 14, 2009
1. Danearys, three dragons, whut? I actually wouldn’t mind too much (though why three, where one would have been enough to make her ~speshul~?) if there wasn’t that red comet of OMGDRAGONSAREBORN at the start of CoK. Because /really/, that’s a bit too close to sue-age for comfort. I’ll say, though – the bit where Drogo dies is very, very sad. Almost sadder than Ned’s death, though that’s pretty darn hard to beat.
2. I’ve been enjoying Jon Snow’s bits. I’m impressed with him and his friends, and with the presence of Aemon. I think I kind of adore the old Boar.
3. Tyrion. Tyrion keeps on getting better and better. And I love his chemistry with Shae. And I love the way he talks down Cersei. That’s just so totally badass it’s too badass for badassness.
4. Robb the Lord is impressing me – the way GRRM writes him, he manages to help us forget regularly that he’s really only 15. Poor kid, though. Really. Even if it’s not unheard of in the medieval times, it’s still sad that he is being ripped off his teenage years. I know it won’t happen, but I really would love for him to duel with Joff and just kill him dead, or something. It’d feel good.
5. I’m still intrigued by Varys. And by Littlefinger. I want Janos Slynt to hurt a lot.
6. Sansa is ---- going up in my esteem at a rapid pace. The kid has got balls of steel, you gotta give her that. Poor little thing.
I’ve been busy offline, lately. Saturday was epic socializing day, Sunday was epic reading day. Last night I rented Hellboy: the Golden Army. It was in fact quite good – where I expected a B-level movie, I found interesting villains and great photography. A few notes, however.
1. … Liz, really, /twins/ ? They’re not even a couple in the comics. That’s pushing it a bit, here, screenwriters.
2. As someone said in chat last night, yes, the villain (or the antagonist, it`s more appropriate) is at times more sympathetic than the hero. Because seriously, he’s not really evil.
3. The death of the elemental. Saddest. Thing. Ever. Also, Most Beautiful Scene in the movie ever.
4. Now I know to expect a sequel, what with that whole Death Angle scene. Also, go, Nuada, for almost killing Hellboy. That’s totally badass.
July 11, 2009
We'll be going to Cafe Sarajevo, which is absolutely awesome : it's famous and I've never been. I said I wanted home early, which usually would mean that I'd get back around midnightish my time. (That makes it 9PM PST).
Hmph. I'd prefer to be asocial, but I can't ignore sweet Rache. She's too adorable and sensitive. So I shall return. Soon. Hopefully.
July 10, 2009
Things are getting clearer. But let me now make you wait any longer, before I dispense my pearls of criticism gleefully.
…. Okay, I feel bad about this. The character I have the most enjoyed so far is… *drum roll* --- Old man Frey. Heh. Now, I know he is a horrible horrible person and a really mean person and he’s going to get all the woobies killed. But. His characterization is amazing, and he made me laugh more than everyone else so far. I’ll also concede that the idea that the ugly old man has a sixteen year old umpteenth wife is *squick*, but it’s not that squickier from the rest of the squick, in a way.
One of the lesser characters that I find truly interesting as things go is Varys. He’s shady, strange, and doesn’t have a pair, but that’s all that makes him all the more intriguing.
I’m starting to understand a bit more the Catelyn hate – but I don’t relate to it. True that she treated with Frey, jumped the gun on Tyrion etc. But well, basically, she’s just being a mama bear, and that, to me, is alright. Besides, it’ll come back and bite her in the rear, so.
I’m still not a fan of Sansa, but I hate her a little less. I suppose all that character development will make her more likeable as things go. *shrug* I will grant that if it weren’t for her, with Ned dead, we wouldn’t have any info on what’s going on in the Red Keep, which is useful. And I'll give her that, her pleading for her father's life was both hear-breaking and touching - and heh, *old man Frey*, I almost had hopes for her. Deep down, though, it probably convinced Joff to kill Ned, but the poor thing couldn't know that.
OMG THEY KILLED NED. I’m not surprised, but I’m still really sad. His last POV chapter was the saddest piece I’d read in a while. Even if I was warned, I probably looked a bit mortuary as I read it in the bus this morning.
I enjoyed the Bran chapter with the call of the bannermen quite a bit – particularly the bit with the Greatjon. Ah, and Roose Bolton gives me the hibbie-jibbies.
That’s all for now, stay tuned for more soon.
July 08, 2009
"Hasta la vista, birdy."
July 05, 2009
There is a strange sort of peace in going up to the cottage. For one, everything is green. It's like being flooded with only one side of the pallet - not bad, and somewhat soothing. During my year out, I went to lots of places, but they were rarely green - usually grey or yellow, actually, as you would expect most urban centers - so the invasion of flora is always both calming and unsettling to me.
I basically turned into a lumberjack for the weekend, its highlight being my destruction of our longstanding picnic table. To be fair, the thing was begging to be put out of its misery: when I tore it apart with my trusty crowbar, it basically squirmed in thanks. The bugs that were living in the holes were a little bit less happy, though.
My wrist has been doing better - I was able to work without too much pain, and the dull ness in my pinky and ring finger has subsided quite a bit. It's a good thing, because I will be having to do lots of typing next week for the textual analysis project. On Friday, Liberty was very happy with my work on that - she is hoping she can keep me around after the month ends, and frankly, I'd like to stay. Hopefully the college can figure out a way for that to happen. Even better, hopefully, I'll be able to get a class to teach soon. That would rock my socks off. Really. They do have an interest in grad students, so I may yet have a chance.
The archiving on Friday went remarkably well. It's amazing how motivated I can get with the idea that getting this stuff out of the way will ward off more time dealing with Carb's moody temper and abusive behavior. The worst bit is I'm not sure Carb even realizes what a bitch she can be. So I've been trying to do in a day the work I would normally take three days to do, and it's worked. I'm very grateful for that.
Just a note on the matter of the social life thing. On July 1st (Canada day, haha, though here in QC we call it Moving Day, because you know, we like to be rebels etc), we went for dinner and desserts. We were supposed to go to the Old Port for the Festivities, but eventually just had too much fun at the dessert place to move on. Amongst other things, we played the totem game, and apparently, I'm a lioness. I find that to be very amusing - I always thought of myself as a dog instead, but admittedly, it might have to do with the fact that someone told me that a while ago. It has to do, I'm told, about being both fierce, protective and hard-working. I really like my friends. Mac got the fox, which works well with his intellectual and very intelligent person. Lola got the Siamese cat because of her elegance, Rache got the Zebra because she's rare and she has a dual identity, and Phil got the puppy, because he's just too damn adorable and fuzzable. He's also our resident federalist, and we tease him a bit, and he mock growls, and all is well. That's how things should be: no matter what political stance you take, keep it smart, keep it light, keep loving your friends even if they think differently.
Next week looks like it's going to be a bit quieter, which is good. Rache is going off to Vancouver for two weeks, Maclola are going to New York. Phil and I can hang out, I suppose, and go to lots of movies, though I could use a bit less of a social life and a bit more rest. I'm seeing a doctor on Monday about my wrist, because I can't let this thing develop more, even if it looks like it's under control right now.
On the book front, I'm still plowing away efficiently through GoT, which I am very enthused with. Somehow, the fact that I'm very spoilerified doesn't affect my appreciation of it.
1. I'm developping a particular liking for Tyrion Lannister, Bran, Arya and Ned. Tyrion is intriguing and interesting, Arya kicks more ass than most adults, and Ned is just such a tragic, beautiful, strong figure - he seems to also be the only sane fellow around. I feel sorry for him just about every time I get to his POV bits. Bran also has my attention because of his unique perspective. I keep on hoping he's going to remember it was Jaime, and why.
2. I'm also starting to understand Sansa better, though for now, I'm not finding her to be very sympathetic, despite my best attempts at being gentle to her in my head. I think it might be personal bias: as a tomboy, I do have issues with girly-girls in general, though I think it also has to do with how she keeps on frowning over Lady's death, but she has not a small thought for the HUMAN boy who also died in that fail. And how knowing that, she is a) unable to relate to her SISTER who is clearly mourning, thus showing serious lack of empathy, and b) actually being kinder to Sandor, who is so far not particularly gentle, and who allegedly killed her sister's friend. And the spoiler knowledge that she's going to get beaten and have half her family butchered somehow does not make her any more pallatable to me, possibly because she kind of feels like the foetus of a sue. Or something. Sorry, fans out there. I'm just not on board with that one. Nope nope nope.
3. Ah, I do have a question. Sandor, WHY THE HELL ARE YOU TELLING THAT GIRL ABOUT GREGOR? It just makes.... no sense to me. At all. Not on such a short acquaintance, at any rate. Nope nope nope. Way to go for winning the tourney, though. Guess not everything you do is fail, after all.
4. Jaime and Cersei are not gaining much sympathy so far, though that's hardly surprising. Cersei hasn't had much screen time, but she does already look cunningly horrible. The Kingslayer just showed a feat of terrible cruelty by getting Ned's men to be massacred on Tyrion's behalf. Joy. We expect more horrible to come. Yay.
5. I want to strangle Joff. That thing is a little monster. Someone should probably smother it in its sleep. Or something.
6. I'm still intrigued by Catelyn - I can already see the seeds of psychosis in her, actually. In a way, her stubbornness and meddling probably are also part of why the Starks are destroyed(ish), ultimately.
7. Robb is as adorable as ever, but that's no news at all. I love when Bran calls him Robb the Lord. It makes me giggle lots and lots.
8. Jon Snow is also adorable, for that matter, but that also is not anything new. I find interesting his dynamic with Samwise - and everytime I read Samwise, Galadriel in my head twitches. It's funny. And I'm curious to see where that's going to go with those two, but I'm kind of in love with the concept of the Night's Watch.
9. Also, Lysa Arryn is certifiably insane. Maybe there's a genetic thing going on in that branch of the Tullys. I loved the description of the Eirye, though. However that thing is spelled.
10. Ah, Loras? The Hound saved you from being smashed to little bits and pieces of flower knight by his Monstrous brother. Be nice. Also, we love the flaming. And the defeating Gregor Clegane bit. Really.
11. Speaking of Monstrous. I... kind of feel like I should ready myself mentally to adopt Gregor. Though I'm not sure how much room there is for him in my head, I would kind of glee at him being killed dead repeatedly by just about everyone I can think of, including some of his potential headmates, and particularly a bloodthirsty one.
12. Ah, I like Daenerys Targaryen. I love to hate Viserys. My only problem? The girl's age. It makes me go *squick* every time someone mentions her sex life with Khal Drogo.
13. Generally, I've been facepalming at the Starks quite a bit, and more so at Robert Baratheon. That's a direct effect of spoilerification, alas.
For those who want to know, I'm halfway. Still facepalming lots and lots.
July 02, 2009
I'm not going to write much - my left wrist, elbow, pinky and ring finger are going numb and I feel pain in my tendons. Typing is painful, and I should be working anyway (which also involves some typing, but never mind).
Hopefully, I'll have a chance to catch up on tags tonight or tomorrow before I go on a two-day long lawnmowing trip to the Land of No Internet. *sigh*
On the other hand, resting my lefties from potential Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (I read the thing, it's terrifying) is probably not a bad thing.
I'll be reading the flist, and trying to tag slowly. *sigh* This is so not what I needed.