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Showing posts from March, 2014

Sense and Sensibility: Or, That Which I Don’t Desire to not Understand Cannot Withhold my own Undesirability to not Deem Unreasonable then I Shouldn’t Nest Fork Balloon.

It is time again...for a Doug review. Everyone get excited. I made him read Sense and Sensibility. ************************************ So I got beat. I made it through Wuthering, and Pride, and Eyre, but this one beat me into a Doug-infused blood-puddle. I read the entire rat-bastard thing, yet I still had to watch the movie three times. 1995 Hugh Grant is adorable and anyone who disagrees should be murdered by a now-millionaire former prostitute. Yeah, that incident happened in the same year as this movie. And yeah, she’s a millionaire now. And no, I’m not gay. I’m sure… It’s just… he’s so charming.

But, I’m not here to talk about the movie, or transgressions. I’m here to talk about the book. Unfortunately, I couldn’t decipher what the fuck Austen was talking about so we’ll be using the movie as a guide as I write this. Emma Thompson, your translation to the screen is a delight. Ang Lee, this doesn’t get you off my crap-list for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Bullshit. Mr. Dashwood, the Maste…

March 25th, 1911: The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory

Sooo it's the 103rd anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire.


I've written about it before, so I hesitate to rehash that information, but just let it be known A HUNDRED AND THREE YEARS LATER, that those girls and those few gentlemen did not die in vain. That New York's fire codes and unions got so much stronger after Triangle. That the people who died on March 25, 1911 are remembered every year in a highly visual, vibrant, and moving way at Greene and Washington. And that New York is still trying to make it up to them. It's still horrified that there were no sprinklers. There was no adequate fire escape. No exit routes. A locked door. No fire ladders tall enough to reach the ninth floor. No way of saving the girls who were so close people on the street could see their faces before they jumped.


These women and March 25th are important. And they are going to continue to be remembered.

Orange Is the New Black: "I threatened to drown Nora in a toilet."

Like most right-thinking people, I watched and loved Orange Is the New Black last year and am now EAGERLY waiting on season 2 this June.


I was unsure whether I wanted to read the memoir it was based on, Orange Is the New Black by Piper Kerman, mainly because when I first looked at it, I saw reviews that were essentially "Piper whines a lot about how could SHE be in prison because upper middle class/white/etc and it's totally a privileged view of prison and boo." It sounded like the show had revamped Piper's character to be much more aware of her problems. HOWEVER. Many times, the Internet is in fact full of shit.


If you're not familiar with the show (seriously? it's like 13 episodes and on Netflix and amazing -- why're you doing this? do you hate good things? probably.), it's about a woman whose ten-years-ago drug ring girlfriend names her in a federal case and the woman (Piper) does about a year in a minimum security prison in Connecticut. It's …

Bleak House the Finishening: "I'm Inspector Bucket, and you can trust me."

SIR LEICESTER DEDLOCK. SIR LEICESTER DEDLOCK I LOVE YOU SO MUCH. SO MUCH.


I downloaded this music vid off the internet AGES ago, and it has since disappeared. I re-upload it for you all, because omg who doesn't want to watch Lady Dedlock as played by Gillian Anderson doing things to a Madonna song? And I have waited the WHOLE readalong to post it, because SPOILERS FOR THE ENDING. But now you'll all know what's going on in it!! Because you've made it the whole way! So sit back, try to identify scenes, and feel Feels.




HURRAY VIDEO. Honestly, if you've made it through Bleak House, I am immensely proud of you. It's so good, but it's so long. REJOICING TIME.


Where—what to—THERE'S SO MUCH IN THE LAST SECTION. I mean. There's so much in the whole book, but there's so much we haven't talked about! Bucket and Tulkinghorn are parallels! Look at how Tulkinghorn refers to Lady Dedlock as "this woman" and Bucket allllways keeps her title, because…

Notes on a Scandal: Loneliness sucks

Most people remember the film version of Notes on a Scandal (which I most unfortunately love) as being that one where Cate Blanchett has an affair with a teenage boy and Dame Judi Dench is some sort of predatory lesbian.


The book about which it is based, What Was She Thinking? [Notes on a Scandal], somewhat diverges from that. As I read it, I realized with increasing dismay that Dench's character, the narrator Barbara, was grossly maligned and simplified in the film. Not that her character is overly simple there, but she CAN in fact be reduced to 'predatory lesbian.' At least based on thoughtless impressions.

The book is narrated by Barbara, as she writes in her journal about her relationship with another teacher at the high school she has worked at for decades. This other teacher (Sheba) is new and wants to make some sort of difference in the lives of the students, but of course is immediately overrun by her pupils. Barbara is writing in the wake of Sheba's affair, an…

Friday, Friday, gotta get down on friday

Every morning this week when I approached my blog, I was like "THIS COULD BE THE DAY YOU UPDATE" and then I'd be like "Yeah, but remember how you did shots Monday and've been grouchy ever since? Yeah."


I AM in fact reading. I am almost done with Orange Is the New Black, the book upon which the BEST SHOW EVER is based; I will be finishing Savage Girl by Jean Zimmerman soon and then laying a review upon you all (IS SHE SAVAGE? I DON'T KNOW YET); and of course, there's the wrap-up of Bleak House. *sniffs* *blows nose* *wipes away tear*

The excellent thing about making it through something by Dickens that isn't, oh, I don't know, OLIVER TWIST OR GREAT EXPECTATIONS, is that when you're done, you're like "Wow. I read that entire thing sitting right there. All of it. All those pages. I now have Dickens Cred." And lest that previous sentence was too subtle, I am THE JUDGIEST about people who've only read Oliver Twist and/or Gre…

Bleak House Week 6: As We Near the End, We Reflect On How Kickass This Book Is

Mysteries! Revelations! French people!


No, I think we all know that Mademoiselle Hortense is played by Eva Green. 

I knew there was some reason I loved Inspector Bucket. And he was being so unfair to George! But then — bam. He is amazing. Super-amazing. And considerate of Sir Leicester (who...omg, nope). And stuffs a sheet in his wife's mouth, which — ok, look, that's hilarious and I feel like their marriage is the best and I wish they'd just adopt Charley and her siblings and start a family detective agency. And then Charley could marry


Okay, but first back to Sir Leicester, because

It is she whom he has loved, admired, honoured, and set up for the world to respect. It is she who, at the core of all the constrained formalities and conventionalities of his life, has been a stock of living tenderness and love, susceptible as nothing else is of being struck with the agony he feels.[...] And even to the point of his sinking on the ground, oblivious of his suffering, he can yet p…

Bleak House Week 5: "And so Esther, my dear, you are happy for life."

First of all, 19th century, you're fucked up if your middle class would "consider the poor girl tarnished by having for a moment been, although most innocently, the subject of [Lady Dedlock's] great and distinguished" patronage. Fucked. Up. "Oh no, this woman had a baby out of wedlock before she got married. Yeah, I know she's super-awesome and respected now, but WHAT you were in her house for five minutes? GET. OUT. You are hereby TARNISHED, like an old spoon."

Let's not even get into Tulkinghorn basically saying "You're a slut and so I get to treat you how I want," because I'll get all ragepants about it.


Now. Chapters 43 and 44. Wtf.

Let's not really get into Mr Jarndyce's motives, because really he's just being incredibly kind here, especially given Esther's most recent revelation. She said she was going to live with Richard and Ada, but how well is THAT going to turn out? And once Ada is gone, Esther can't li…

This winter can suck it/February reading

Not being able to go outside much means I am READING MORE, which I guess is good. I mean, I also watched ten episodes of the CW show Arrow on Saturday. Mainly for Oliver Queen/Felicity Smoak, which can be summarized thusly:


But IGNORING Arrow (and the totally awesome season 3 of American Horror Story, which I've ALSO started and do you know how rarely I sit down and get into a show nowadays because it is never I am telling you), there was reading done. Mostly of short novels. Also called "novellas" even though they could totally be called "shnovels" which is obviously way better.

1. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. Remember? The bookseller! Who adopts the kid! And he learns something about life. And it's all "Heyyyyyyyy book people, you're gonna like me," and we do.

2. Safe Passage. Ok, I got this from NetGalley, because around Valentine's Day NG was all "HEY do you wanna read lesbian romances?" and I was like "I mean....I guess…