23 September 2010

Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange

Photo from Amanda Grange's website.
¡¡Beware:  There may be spoilers (i.e. there are) for at least the true, original, fantastic Pride and Prejudice in the following post.  so if you haven't read the real P&P, don't read this post.  Here's the summary.  "I didn't like the book."  Go read the original and report back when you've finished!!

So...I am fully aware that because of the title of the book, I will probably get very little pity from any of my readers when I tell you that "this book is a waste of time."  And yes...I do's kind of an iffy title.

I know, I know.  Now, just hear me out.

Here's at least part of what I was thinking as I was browsing around in the audiobook section of the central branch* of the IMCPL.  I thought at least three things.

1.  Mr. Darcy.  Wow.  Well...I love him!  The classic "not-actually-so-bad-bad-boy."  Pride and Prejudice is one of my all time favorite books, thanks to the recommendation from my dear friend Annette.

2.  It is not a secret to really anyone who knows me that I'm obsessed with one of the best TV shows ever created, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  So this could quite possible be an amazing book.

3.  Vampyre.  What a fancy way to spell vampire.  I wonder where on earth that spelling comes from (I researched it for this post [WIKIPEDIA!  WOOT WOOT!] of course, and it turns out that it is French).  The author must be really learned and creative.

So I grabbed the audiobook after very little deliberation (which is strange for me) as I thought that I had nothing to lose and went speedily to the check-out station, not wanting to be charged extra for accidentally staying in the garage for 1 hour and 1 minute.

I begrudgingly paid my dollar to leave and put the first disc into my car's CD player.  Initially, it was simply beautiful writing.  Loved it to begin with.  It begins with a prologue, in which Lizzie is writing Jane, fearful for her life, due to some unknown circumstances (though with the title of the book, one can surmise what those circumstances are).  Very interesting.  Chilling.  Got me all excited to hear what was happening, but then chapter one begins right after the double wedding of Jane and Bingley and Elizabeth and Darcy.  Sorry if I just ruined Pride and Prejudice for anyone.  Um...yeah, never mind.  That doesn't happen at all.  Okay yes it does, there's no hiding that I've messed the book up for anyone who hasn't read it.

I'll go put a spoiler disclaimer at the top of the page right now.

Okay it's up there.  With special punctuation for Kristen.

Now...onward and upward.

The writing is at times fantastic, very lyrical.  But when the words are beautiful...nothing much is happening.  Then, way way way way way way way way into the book, when things actually start happening, the writing begins to lack simultaneously.  If I remember this correctly, The Ancient says to Lizzie at one time, "You're so...bloody."  Seriously.  I laughed out loud when I heard that.  Part of that was probably because of the awkward way that the woman reading the book, Elizabeth Jasicki, said the line.

Anyway...when it was just beautiful writing, it was beautiful, but when the supernatural got introduced, it became clear that there was really not a single solitary original thought within the pages of this book (or the CDs, in my case).  Now I'm not going to tell you how all of these things tie in, just incase anyone still wants to read the book after all of the high praise that I've given it, but here's pretty much the ingredients to Mr. Darcy, Vampyre.

1.  Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
2.  Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
3.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer created by the incomparable Joss Whedon
4.  Harry Potter by J.K Rowling
5.  Indiana Jones created by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg

All of these things, save the second one in the list (which is at least very catchy and enjoyable, I will give you that), are friggin amazing pieces of art/literature that rock my world.  But the way that Grange has combined them is somewhat akin to a preschooler cutting the faces out of old antique pictures in your family album and then making them into a messy collage.  It's kind of want to tell her "Good job, Honey.  That's beautiful.  You've put everyone we love into one big picture."  But at the same time...she totally ruined all of the original pictures.  Know what I mean?  If you're going to make a collage, you either need to be reallllllly good with scissors and glue, or know Photoshop like the back of your hand.

Grange is unfortunately a preschooler with safety scissors and Elmer's glue.

Now, that's not to say that there weren't good parts to the book.  There were some really good parts.  But it was not put together well and had enough bad parts that, in the end, it just wasn't an enjoyable experience.  I listened to the entire thing, not wanting my maiden voyage (kinda) into the world of audiobooks to begin with a shipwreck that never made it back to shore.  I am now listening to another book.  Which I will probably write about when I'm finished.  I can already tell the mood of that blog post will be a lot more positive.

Please keep in mind, that these are just my opinions.  If you have the spare time and want to read the book, by all means, do it!  I salute you.  This is just what I think about it.  And also, Ms. Grange, if you are reading this (though surely you are not), I'm sure you are a lovely person and maybe your book just wasn't my cup of tea.  Keep on keepin' on, Girlfriend.

Stay Classy Guys!

* Incidentally, the rules of the parking garage for the central branch have changed.  No more can I, a poor college student, park in the garage for free so long as I am in and out in under thirty minutes.  Oh no.  Now, if I enter the garage and that yellow and black automated gate lowers itself behind me in my trusty Honda CRV (lovingly referred to by most as Clark), I cannot leave the garage without paying at least $1.00, no matter how quickly I check my items out and leave.  They of course informed me of this, by way of a new sign, after I had already entered and unwittingly kissed one of my hard-earned dollar bills good-bye.  Now surely, this change is due to governmental cut-backs or something devastating like that.  I could be understanding of this, and support my library, which I love so much, but that costs money now.  I support them with my smiling face, do I not?  Suffice it to say that I have changed my routine and now go to the Nora branch which, as it is not downtown, has no need for a parking garage.  Just a free and friendly parking lot.  Now...aesthetically, it's not the same as the central branch.  I don't feel like I'm walking into some fantastic hybrid of the awesomest airport and the coolest children's museum...but...I guess that is just the price that I have to pay to not pay the price to park.  (Oh, I slay myself!  Ha-Ha!  Good apropos considering the book that I just finished.  I didn't even plan that.  I swear!)

13 September 2010

Guess what I use for a beanbag chair. A raisin.

So I'm watching the incomparable Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends while working on some costume design homework.  I have Moose and Squirrel on fullscreen but then I heard the familiar "bing" telling me that I had an e-mail.  Come to find out that it was a Facebook notification that a friend from work, Jackie, had posted a video on my wall.  I laughed so hard.  I am still laughing.  I am still watching it.  Over and over.  I wish I knew how these people made the mouth on Marcel the Shell because if I knew, I would totally make a video like this (because I definitely have the spare time).  Hmmm...well I do have a directing project due today...maybe I'll throw that together into video form just for kicks.  It won't be anything like this...but hey...what can you do?  Anyway, I'm staging Romeo and Juliet in a five section tableau with objects...what are these objects?  I will tell you...

...AFTER I present it at 1:00 pm!  How terrible would it be if I posted on here what my concept was and then somebody else came to class with the same concept?!  Surely someone is reading this right know who you are (actually, I bet nobody is reading this right now, I'm just being silly and pretending that I have an idea brilliant enough to catch the attention of suave spies like Borris and Natasha [Can anybody say FULL CIRCLE?])...just trying to figure out what to do for our project for William today.  Alas, you non-existant hypothetical idea stealer...I am not an idea revealer!

Okay, this is getting dumb now.  I'm fully aware, so Kyle, if you're reading this, no need to point it out.  Anyway, the point of this was just to show everyone this awesome video!!!!

Stay tuned for Romeo and Juliet with objects!!!!


P.S.  Go watch it on Youtube, if you want.  The blog kinda cuts off part of the screen.  By kinda I mean, it really does.

06 September 2010

I'm Doing It

I know I've said it before.  And I did mean it before.  And I mean it again.  I'm getting back into shape.  I'm gonna do this.  Not for anybody else.  For me.  What's different now that will allow me to do it this time when I couldn't before?  I don't know.  Maybe nothing is all that different.  But I have an entirely new life (well, almost entirely) and I want to be able to live it happily and healthily.

Today's workout will commence at 5:00pm.  I could go on and on (shocker, I know) about how I'm getting back on track with things, but I won't.  Why?  Because as I wrote in the paragraph above, my life is not entirely new.  Some things still remain.  What things, you may ask?

Loads and loads of schoolwork.

I'm out.

05 September 2010

Hey! You know, you kinda look like...

Be forewarned, readers.  This is actually a blog entry about attractive male actors.  I know, right?  Kinda straying from my norm (whatever that may I even have a norm?) for a moment.

This morning, while eating my oatmeal, I found myself trying to figure out one of the greatest most superficial conundrums of my life.  Why do I find Jake Gyllenhaal to be more attractive than Tobey Maguire?  For those of you who may not understand why the question is a valid one (maybe), it is important to know that these two men have rather similar looks.  (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1.  Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal.
As you can probably see, they at least look a little bit alike.  And I'm not the only one who thinks so.  Clearly some casting directors or other Hollywood bigwigs do too.  (See Figure 2.)  So anyway, here's my thing.  I simply find Jake Gyllenhaal more attractive than Tobey Maguire.  But why?  If they looks so much alike?  I don't know either of them personally, so it can't honestly be a personality thing.  I can't even begin to talk about why I find one more attractive than the other.  I'm sure it's some kind of mental thing, right?  And surely there are others in the world who think the opposite of what I think.  The main point to the post is this...I think it would kind of suck to look so much like somebody else.  Why?  Because what if some random blogger found you less attractive than the person you look so much like?
Figure 2.  Tobey Maguire, Natalie Portman,
and Jake Gyllenhaal in Brothers.
Wouldn't that kinda be a bummer deal?
"Oh my goodness!  Is that Lookalike Smith?"
"No, that's Lookalike Jones."
"Are you sure?  I could've sworn that..."
"...yeah I know what you mean...but I'm sure.  They do look alike but Lookalike Smith is way more attractive."
"Oh yeah, you're right.  I can see it now."
I mean...wouldn't that just be awful?  It's bad enough to be judged for your looks...but to be labeled as looking just like somebody else, but less  That's not cool.  Part of me feels utterly terrible writing this post because in writing about this I am, essentially, creating the unfortunate situation that I am discussing.  Luckily, I bet neither Tobey nor Jake will be reading this.  If you are...Tobey, please know that I do not find you unattractive.  (As I say this, he is looking downward in the movie poster for Brothers looking beyond dejected.)  It's just some trick of the brain I'm sure.  Jake, don't get too full of yourself.  I'm just one person.  And I change my mind quicker than you can even imagine.

That's all I've got right now.  Back to loads and loads of homework.

Stay Classy,

P.S.  I did not randomly just start thinking about this.  Last night when I was working on Costume Design homework, I was watching The Good Girl.  Ironically, I do not find Jake Gyllenhaal to be very attractive in that particular movie (You're welcome, Tobey).

03 September 2010

There's Nothing We Can't Face...Except for Bunnies

So I hate being sick.  Like, I'm used to being sick, like normal-sick for me...but when I get a cold or something, I just do not handle it well.  Knocks me flat for a while.  Anyway, I wasn't writing a blog about that.  But it's kind of about that.  I was just wanting to post this picture that shows my day in a picture.  The CD pictured showed up magically in my mailbox today from my mother.  Put a welcome smile on my runny/stuffy (how does that happen at the same time?!) nosed, lung-hacking-up face.

P.S.  Sister...the title was for you.  I don't think that anyone else who reads my blog will get it.  But I don't care. :)