Monday, July 11, 2011

"You're Scottish, why don't you fry something?"

Whenever I can't think of a blog post title, I'm just going to use a Doctor Who quote, ok? New Post, new rules.
Also, there are many links in here, but I assure you that they all are worthy of clicking.

It's been a little while, so short synopsis of things happened: some dear friends were married, I finished the Hunger Games series, I read North and South, I made it to the eleventh Doctor (nearing the end of series five, almost caught up!), and my Wodehouse  paper was accepted to a conference!

I am also resisting spending every penny of my salary on fun things on Etsy.

But I shall elaborate:

My thoughts on the Hunger Games
Of all the popular teen fiction out at the moment, I would say this is probably one of the best, at least to my knowledge. For starters, I actually read the entire series instead of saying "ho hum, another book trying to be Harry Potter," or barfing in my mouth a little because it's yet another Twilight-esque plot-line.
                            (Was that a little pretentious? Yes, yes it was.)

Also, who doesn't love a good dystopia novel? Collins practiced some excellent borrowing of both past and present themes that I really appreciated. By pairing ideas like the gladiatorial games of Rome and mythology of Theseus and the Minotaur with modern-day reality survival shows, she created a world that is both fictional enough to fascinate, but real enough to spark some real questions about ethics, and about whether the world of the Capitol and the Districts is the type of place our world could become someday. I feel like the series has real potential to get kids who mostly only read popular fiction to actually think about big ideas. So, that's my take on it.

My thoughts on North and South:
Number one--yes, I have heard of the mini-series and fully intend to watch it and adore the heck out of it. But as of yet, I haven't, so this will be my take on the book, not the film adaptation.
Number two--where has Elizabeth Gaskell been all my life? kudos to Libby Baker for alerting me to her existence. (Also Libby, that was pronounced koo-doss in proper British fashion). Basically, North and South combined some of the best things I like about Dickens and Austen and smooshed them together in a glorious tale of industrious romance. Addressing social issues of the day connected with industry? Check. Characters that you absolutely adore? Check. Interpersonal conflict and eventual beautiful reconciliation? Check.
One of my favorite bits of the book was how Gaskell set up dichotomies (North of England/South of England;Workers/Masters; Educated/Non-Educated; Male/Female etc) and then showed how both sides had things to learn from each other, that the middle ground was actually the most preferable. 
 Let's just say that when Mr. Thornton starts have pot-lucks with his workers, I was a little swoony. What a guy, learning from Margaret about the value of people (who by the way, after reading the description of her, I imagined looking like the lovely Marisa P.). In conclusion, it is absolutely worth reading.

My thoughts on Doctor Who:
DROOL. I am such a sci-fi nerd right now. I feel like I should start watching Star Trek after this, or Torchwood or Firefly. Unfortunately, next on the list are things like Sherlock and Robin Hood, so those will probably have to wait.
                                      The Doctor and Amy (from series 5, episode 5)
Oh yes, the new Doctor. He's different, but good. He seems less human than Tennant did, or rather less aware of the way humans do things. But I suppose that makes some sense, being freshly regenerated and being not actually human and all that. I also fully approve of the new costume. Bow ties and suspenders? yes very yes. I also believe he tries wearing a fez in the near future. Ha!

My thoughts on having paper accepted to conference:
Am I....a grown-up now?
Golly, if only it were that easy. Seriously though, it's on Oct. 8 and I am going to start practicing now. It's exciting and yet a bit scary.

Well, that was quite a bit of writing, and now it is lunch time.
Toodle pip!

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