Saturday, September 29, 2012

Stream of Conciousness #4

Prompt: Banned Books

     Isn't ironic that banned books are some of the most popular books in the world? Why? Because people desperately want what they can't have.

     Banned books have been around...well...for a long time. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a classic example because of its dealing with slavery. As well as Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Slavery was a tense issue and anyone who dare go against it whether in writing or in talking were basically signing their social death warrant. People did it anyway. They wrote what they want and made the world see what they were blind to.

     Alice In Wonderland is also considered a banned book because it basically a satire of the royal family of England at the time. So all our great stories came from stories that were never meant to be.

The Hobbit: Chapters. II & III

Chapter II. Roast Mutton

      The next morning Bilbo sleeps in and to his relief he finds a very messy kitchen....and no dwarves at all. So needless to say, he thinks he's gotten out of the adventure. Then Gandalf shows up and hands him a note written by Thorin (in his typical sarcastic manner) that says that Bilbo should meet them at The Green Dragon at precisely 11:00. It's 10:45. So Bilbo books it as fast as he can to The Green Dragon to find the whole company of dwarves waiting for him.

     If I was Bilbo, I would have just torn the note up and told Gandalf to leave, but I'm not Bilbo and if he did do what I had suggested, well we would have no story, would we?

     After they leave, it rains and it rains and it rains. By the next couple of days the food has run out, the dwarves are testy because of the weather, and Oin and Gloin are about to kill one another. Then there's a light. Not sure what kind of light it is, but it's a damn light, so it must mean something!!! Thorin tells Bilbo to go check it out.

     The light is coming from a fire and around it are three stupid ugly trolls. Burt, William, and Tom. What original names for a fantasy story. Anyway, to make a long story short the trolls take all the dwarves captive and plan the best ways to eat them, but just when all is lost...Gandalf appears, the sun is up, the trolls are turned to stone, and there's food food for everyone!!!

     While they're scrounging around for food and other valuable items, Thorin and Gandalf come across two swords and Bilbo finds a small sword of his own all with foreign writing on the blades. Completely clueless to what the writing is on each of the swords they set off to find rest and refuge in the House of Elrond.

(Roast Mutton is what the trolls were planning on turning the dwarves into)

Chapter III. A Short Rest

     This was a cool chapter. They finally get to Rivendell! It was humorous reading about the dwarves crossing the bridge and how the elves on the other side were teasing them about it (elves of all peoples). The best part about this chapter was the incredible description of Elrond that was given,
"He was as noble and as fair in face as an elf-lord, as strong as a warrior, as wise as a wizard, as venerable as a king of dwarves (must have been talking about Thorin) and as kind as summer...
His house was perfect whether you liked food, or sleep, or work, or storytelling, or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all. Evil things did not come into that valley."
      Despite the dwarves testy relationship with the elves, Thorin and his companions trust Elrond enough to let himer translate the ancient writing on the map that Thorin is using for their adventure. Afterwards, Elrond tells Thorin and Gandalf about their swords. Gandalf's is Glamdring and Thorin's is Orcrist, the goblin-cleaver.

     When they first got there, Thorin said they were only going to stay the night. They ended up staying for fourteen days. Then they leave for the Misty Mountains.

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Hobbit: Chapter. I

My best friend and I (in honor of the upcoming movie "The Hobbit") have decided to read The Hobbit together. We're going to read three chapters a week and then I said I would review each chapter here. Sounds like fun : )

The Hobbit

Chapter I. An Unexpected Party

     From the very beginning, we get incredible descriptions of Hobbiton, Bag-End, Bilbo Baggins and his family. Bilbo's mother, Belladonna Took, and her family were considered odd from the rest of the hobbits because they liked adventures.

"It was often said (in other families) that long ago one of the Took ancestors must have taken a fairy wife. That was, of course, absurd, but certainly there was still something not entirely hobbitlike about them. and once in a while members of the Took-clan would go and have adventures. They disappeared discreetly, and the family hushed it up; but the fact remained that the Tooks were not as respectable as the Bagginses, though they were undoubtedly richer.*
     The Bagginses come in when Belladonna married Bilbo's father, Bungo, and Belladonna settled down to raise her son. Bilbo has always had a little Took in him, but has never really known it. He's takes more after Baggin's side of the family and prefers to stay in his beautiful hobbit-hole home and stay as far away from adventure as possible.

      Then one day the great wizard Gandalf shows up at Bag End and says,
"I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it's very difficult to find anyone."
      So Gandalf voluntells Bilbo to go on this grand adventure and Bilbo says,

     "Sorry, I don't want any adventures, thank you."
      The next day Bilbo gets the shock of his life when Gandalf and thirteen dwarves arrive on his doorstep. The dwarves as they were introduced in the book.

Dwalin, Balin, Kili, Fili, Dori, Nori, Ori, Oin, Gloin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur and Thorin

     This is when the story gets funny. The dwarves are loud, a little rude, and seem to have no clue what they put poor Bilbo through when he has to unexpectedly feed all fourteen guests. Afterwards Thorin (the leader of the company) explains why they are going on this adventure. To reclaim a lost treasure that was stolen from them by Smaug the dragon. Bilbo's role in this is the burglar, who is small, discreet, and able to get by without being seen.

     After some hefty persuasion (and some rather rude comments slung out by Thorin), Bilbo agrees to go.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Les Miserables

The only movie I'm almost as excited to see this Christmas besides The Hobbit is Les Miserables! I love love love this story! I grew up with the story because my family absolutely loves the musical and I even got to see it when I was twelve (even though we were way up in the back and my vision was so bad that everything was blurry). It's also coming to Richmond next year and I don't care how much tickets cost...I'm going!!!!

Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean
Russell Crowe as Inspector Javert
Anne Hathaway as Fantine. I am so excited to see her in this!

Isabelle Allen as young Cosette
Amanda Seyfried as Cosette. 
Eddie Redmayne as Marius.
Cosette and Marius

This video is really good!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Favorites: Top 3 Romantic Couples in Fiction

Matthew Crawley and Lady Mary Crawley
Downton Abbey: Season 2
 Without a doubt my most favorite romantic couple ever!!!! Of course, they had a pretty stereotyped relationship.

 Snobby wealthy girl looks down on a middle class (but very handsome) man.

 After a while the girl realizes that he's an incredible catch.

 She falls in love with him and (best of all) he's in love with her!

Guy proposes, she turns him down.

War starts and he comes back with a second girl...and they're engaged.

She gets a second guy...and they get engaged.

They both still realize they're in love with one another and now they're stuck.

The second girl dies and the second guy is a jerk.

The second guy gets his ass kicked.

On a cold winter night, the guy gets down on one knee and says,

"Lady Mary Crawley, will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?"

Girl answers


They kiss and spin around in the falling snow and the credits roll.

And then comes the wedding....

But that's not until January.

     Stereotyped or not, Mary and Matthew are an incredible couple, just like most of the couples in Downton Abbey. I like the fact that they're both human...and Matthew isn't out for Mary's blood or her money for that matter, and Mary isn't obsessed with Matthew, she's genuinely in love with him. Point being, it's a breath of fresh air to read about real everyday people who go through real everyday problems in a vampire obsessed culture.

   Then comes Fifty Shades of Grey where love is just a cruel game of sex and (basically) abuse. It's an awful thing to read about and I can't understand why any woman in her right mind would even pick up a novel like that. 

    As predictable as Mary and Matthew's storyline may be, it's wonderful to see a man who will defend a woman, who makes mistakes, who knows that he's not perfect, but does the best he can to be the best kind of man out there.

  It's a relief to see a frightened woman who is doing her utmost to be strong and confident, who is in love, but is willing to let go of that love for his happiness, who puts her family before her heart and desires, and will sacrifice her future to atone for her mistakes, even if it means giving up the only man she has ever truly loved.

    I'll take the predictable over the absolute unbelievable.

~ ~ ~

Faramir and Lady Eowyn

The Lord of The Rings: The Return of The King
     I've never read The Lord of The Rings, but maybe my love of the three films will make me some kind of Tolkien fan (I hope I didn't commit heresy for saying that). In spite of my lack of knowledge, I loved Faramir and Eowyn and thought that were so totally made for one another. I mean, if any two people deserved some small amount of happiness in the story I really think it would have been them.

      Sadly in the movies you only saw about fifteen minutes of relationship development and that's only in the extended edition. Yet, the simple (rather fast) love story had a deep impact on me. To begin with, their personal lives prior to meeting one another, were very similar. Both were lonely, they were losing their homes as well as their families,  they were willing to die for what they had left, and they were just absolutely desperate to be loved.

     I love the fact that they met in the hospital (or the House of Healing, I guess it's called in the books). and it was the ultimate love at first sight story as well. So even though they know that Middle-Earth is about to end at any second, they both seem to think,  

"We've been through Hell and back. We're tired and have lost just about everything and now, we have finally found what we've spent our entire lives looking for. So if we're going to die, at least we can die knowing that, for half an hour we were the happiest that we have ever been.

     Yet, love and sacrifice conquers all and everyone lives happily ever after and no one deserved a happily ever after more than these two.

~ ~ ~

 Gilbert Blythe and Anne Shirley

Anne of Green Gables

      I think anyone who has ever read the books or seen the movies (proud to say, I have done both) have absolutely loved Anne and Gilbert. Ever since that immortal scene in the first story where Gilbert calls Anne carrots and Anne slams his slate over his head. It was the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

      Now, I'll admit, I was sooooo in love with Gilbert when I watched the movies! I thought he was so perfect! I think every girl has always wanted a Gilbert Blythe of their own. His genuine kindness and strength of character was such a needed quality for Anne's feisty and and often times troublesome nature. He never ever doubted Anne's talent and was always a source of guidance, even when she thought she didn't need it.

      In the third movie Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story, Anne's love and devotion for Gilbert is put to the ultimate test when he is MIA in WWI. There's a scene in the film when she tells Diana, "I'm not going to stay here and wait for my husbands funeral." Against all odds, Anne travels Europe to find her husband. Through hardship and pain, they are eventually reunited, but not without consequences in the end.

    When a friend of Anne's is killed she promises him before he dies that she will take care of his son. When Anne and Gilbert go and find him, he's gone. Anne is desperate and terrified that this precious child is lost forever. Then Gilbert says simply, "We will find him. No matter what it takes." That scene always brings tears to my eyes because it makes me realize that not even war or death or destruction can change the love and compassion that Gilbert gives Anne or the inspiration and hope he has always instilled in her.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Downton Abbey Confession #9

Proof this story is fictional.

Sybil looks fantastic after just giving birth

Sybil, Branson, and their new baby
My most precious baby, how I have waited for you.
Such sweetness, such joy
My dream has finally come true.

You have come into a time of peace and change
And now that you are here
My life will never ever be the same.

I pray that you will be brave and strong
Compassionate and kind
For In my heart you will always belong

With your mummy's smile and your daddy's eyes
And a mind that is all your own.
May you always see truth among the lies

When the time comes and you must leave
Know, that you were born to change the world.
Because you have already changed me.

~written by Ivy M. Spargur~

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Stream of Consciousness #3

I'm a little late because my internet is slow, but I really, really wanted to do this one!!

Prompt: A little change in weather

Saying that there is a 'little change in weather here in Virginia is a bit of an understatement. The weather has changed dramitically!! First it's almost 100% one day and then down to 60% the next. I'm not complaining, it feels amazing!!!

We have had a brutal hot summer this year and so the cooler weather feels incredible! I love love love Fall time! It's definitely my favorite time of the year. It is so beautiful when the leaves starts changing different colors, like red, yellow, and brown. And theses colors aren't dull, they're bright! You can see them almost a mile away! It many ways, it almost looks like a painting when the leaves change colors and the sky becomes a paler blue. It's just beautiful.

For a couple years it actually snowed! Two years ago we had snow from Dec. to March, a rarity for Virginia, it didn't snow last year, but I am so hoping it will this year!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Stream of Consciousness Sunday #2

~ ~ ~
Prompt: Anxiety

I get very anxious very easily. I worry way way too much and stress over the little things. As a kid it was about what I would wear or what I would do in school or even who I would talk too. Now adulthood has taken that and multiplied it by 100.

Since starting college I realize why it's so important to have proper finances, sure financial aid is great, when you have it at least. Then there are issues like a working car and getting gas money and being able to make money for both.

Then there are classes, I only have two for now and they're fine, but what about next semester? I'm doing all right now, but what if I don't later on? What if I really am a failure and college isn't meant for me???

Then I relax and unwind and think, I've made it this far in college and I know I can go farther. I have a car and money in the bank for the repairs. Work has always come when I need it. And to top it off I'm still at home with a room and meals to eat.

Stress can either kill you or it can make you have a better perspective on life. I think the latter is the most preferable.

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