Great White Snark

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says otherwise is selling something.


I just finished this book and it was amazing! It's an absolute must-read for fans of the Princess Bride. Cary Elwes is just so stinking charming...you kind of can't help falling in love with him all over again. 
He shares some really interesting facts and anecdotes about the making of the film, which I've always loved. I had a Making of Star Wars VHS that I literally watched until the tape was ruined. So this was right up all of my alleys. 
Some of the most interesting tidbits:
  • Everyone really did love making this movie. The book is interspersed with blurbs from the rest of the cast and crew, and they all can only say how much they loved working on this project. 
  • Billy Crystal as Miracle Max made Cary Elwes laugh so hard they had to replace his "mostly dead" body with a dummy. He was banished from the set when Billy was filming.
  • Andre the Giant was as magical, kind, and HUGE as he appears on film. He was apparently just the nicest guy. One day on set, it was freezing (they filmed on location in England), and Robin Wright was shivering in her red, flowy dress. So Andre went over, placed his enormous hand over her head like a cap, and it warmed her up! 
  • Mandy Patinkin (Inigo) and Cary Elwes trained incessantly for the sword duel, and apart from the part where they swing from a bar, the entire duel was performed by both actors, not stuntmen. 
  • The scene in the fire swamp where Buttercup's dress catches on fire is actually Robin Wright, and her dress totally did catch on fire. And Cary Elwes did very calmly put it out. 

It was just such a beautiful, joyful, and charming book about a movie that is all the aforementioned adjectives. Absolutely recommend to anyone. 


I also finished Loser by Jerry Spinelli. 

It was a heart-breaking-yet-heart-warming story of a strange boy who has absolutely no idea that he's an oddball. He is, as Spinelli so eloquently put it, "the star of his own life." And aren't we all? This was such a great story...Spinelli is an artist. This book reminded me why I fell so deeply in love with Stargirl. Fans of his other books should definitely check this one out. Not sure where I'd catalog it now that I've read it...it's technically a children's book, but it's just such a work of art that I'm not sure every child would appreciate its depth and beauty. There's not much in the way of plot or major excitement, but I'd definitely recommend it to the right readers. 


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Hello, boys....I'm BACK!


I needed a break from blogging for a while because all of a sudden, it was stressing me out. I was stressed that I wasn't posting regularly, that my readership was down, that I wasn't being creative enough...and I realized that's not why I wanted to blog in the first place. I wanted to blog because sometimes I have ideas and find things that I want to share that won't fit in a Facebook status. Sometimes, I like to have an outlet. I don't need to be creative, but if it happens, then it's nice to have an outlet. 

Also, frankly, I missed it. 

So, to start with! I was perusing Forever 21 the other day (for bags, what else?) and found that they had a number of really decent looking designer dupes. Thought I'd share! Because that's what the internet is for! 


So the original is a Lucky Brand purse, which at the moment is retailing on Ebay for around $140. The dupe is $24.80. It's not an identical dupe, but it's pretty stinking close.  

This is the very popular Philip Lim 3.1 Pashli bag, which retails new at $895. He did a designer collaboration with Target last summer, which was wildly successful, and his Target bags sell on Ebay for anywhere between $130 to over $200. Which BLOWS MY MIND because the fact remains that IT'S A TARGET BAG. Or, for $24.90, you can get one at F21 in four different colors, and it's an almost identical dupe to the Target edition. WINNING. 

This last one is not the best dupe ever, but hear me out.
The original is the Dolce & Gabbana Sara bag, which sells for well over $1000. The dupe is $29.90 from F21 and comes in black or brown. This one is not a great match, but it would still be absolutely suitable for anyone trying to steal Taylor Swift's bag swag: 
Credit

On a related note, I realized that I like the way Taylor Swift dresses and had this moment: 



Good to be back! 



Sunday, February 16, 2014

Dracula + Sherlock Holmes = ???

My sado-masochistic relationship with Holmes pastiches continues, even though I keep telling myself I don't like it. But secretly, I think I do. 

No, really, I keep hoping I'll find one, JUST ONE, that doesn't totally suck. 

This one came SO. CLOSE. 


My Dad got me this for Christmas, and I was so hopeful. I mean, Dracula AND Sherlock Holmes?! Even if it wasn't faithful to either of the originals, HOW COULD THIS BE A BAD THING?? And then it was by Saberhagen, who I think I read in my sci-fi class (if it wasn't my sci-fi class it was somewhere, but I don't recall where). 

So I start it and it's actually very good. You get the feel of London, the crime isn't outrageous to the point that it couldn't happen, everyone was pretty in character...except Dracula, but how does one write Dracula in character? It's not like Stoker spent a lot of time describing his habits or feelings. He just is. And I applaud Saberhagen for giving him a person outside of being a wall-scaling-blood-sucking creep. 

So we're tramping along, everything is going well. Then we get introduced to the remaining members of The Team for Light and what they're doing after the supposed killing of Dracula. Highly silly, because I don't believe for a minute that Arthur Holmwood/Lord Godalming and Jack Seward somehow ended up in London's underground dog/rat fighting circles. They were really crazily OOC and that bothered me, Dracula being one of my favorite books. 

Then comes the punch line, which I will spoil here. 
SPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERSSPOILERS

Sherlock Holmes's mother had an affair with Dracula's brother and Sherlock was actually half of a set of twins, and the other twin is a vampire, which makes Dracula Sherlock's uncle. 

EXCUSE ME, WTF. 

First of all: nowhere ever in my extensive research of vampire lore have I read that sleeping with a vampire produces twins, one of whom is human and one of whom is a vampire. If you have heard of this before, please, tell me. Even Stephanie Meyers's effed up vampire offspring makes more sense to me. 

Secondly, there is no account in ANY of Doyle's work that Mr. and Mrs. Holmes were anything less than happy and faithful with each other. Also, Sherlock was not a twin. Mr. and Mrs. Holmes had already inflicted the names Mycroft and Sherlock upon actual living babies. There wasn't room for one more absurdly named child in their house, I'm sorry. 

And while it's true that Vlad Tepes/The Impaler historically had two half brothers and a younger brother, nowhere in Stoker's book is there any evidence of vampirism among them (though Saberhagen wasn't the first to think this up. But I don't buy it, especially because Radu, the younger brother, was some kind of possibly gay pretty boy and an enemy of Vlad. MOVING ON.). And even if there was, COME ON. The likelihood of him sleeping with and impregnating Mrs. Holmes (why was she in Transylvania in the first place?)? The whole thing is incredibly far-fetched. 

Also, spoiler, the bad guys are Arthur Holmwood and Jack Seward. Which I guess makes sense...if Dracula is your protagonist, then the good guys from Dracula have to be the bad guys. BUT STILL. Not buying it. 

END SPOILERS END SPOILERS END SPOILERS END SPOILERS END SPOILERS 

So overall, Saberhagen came SO CLOSE. Did I like this book? Yes, of course. Was it true to either of its original sources? Not really, but especially not Dracula, which bothers me. Granted, throwing together Holmes, the epitome of realism, and Dracula, a supernatural being, is like putting oil and water in a cup. You can try and mix it, and it might work for like, a third of a second, but then they separate. I had a hard time believing that Holmes would so readily accept the supernatural, especially having read "The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire," a case which Holmes solved (and therefore disproved vampires) before he even left the house to investigate. 

Saberhagen touches on this story, suggesting that Watson thought this story (of Dracula and Holmes) too outrageous to publish and so wrote "The Sussex Vampire." Certainly, "The Giant Rat of Sumatra" features in this novel. I like books where an author takes one of the many cases Watson mentioned throughout the Holmes canon without expounding upon, and creates a story based off of it. But this was not one of them. 


Anyway, do I recommend it? Yes. It's a fun romp with a very nice "I just need a hug" Dracula and his nephew, Sherlock Holmes. Just don't get all excited thinking it's going to be canonical. Because it will be, up until the last quarter. Then, like a bad football game, it all goes downhill very quickly. 



PS: If you didn't read Dracula and have no idea what I've just talked about, might I suggest my highly ridiculous summary/review?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

So, I'm shelf reading at my job, which is where you look and make sure all the books are neatly on the shelf and in proper alphabetical order. And I come across this:
And the first thing my mind thinks of is this:


Wasn't he supposed to be retired?? Wishful thinking?


Anyway. 

Job is great. I'm working for my dad, too, during tax season which is nice. I haven't read anything amazing in 2014, but I did read something kind of funny, so expect a book review here soon. 

Personal life= nonexistent. Social life= pretty much the same. 

BUT, I'm thinking sometime this year I'll apply for grad school to get my master's in library sciences. Which is dangerous and exciting and scary all at once. Is it problematic that the most terrifying aspect of that whole thing is passing the math section on the GRE?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sound medical advice...from 3 year olds.



Girl 1: What happened? What happened to your knee?
Girl 2: KNEE!
Boy: *worried face*
Me: I got a boo-boo on my knee.
Girl 1 (pointing at knee brace): What's that?
Girl 2: THAT?
Boy: *worried face*
Me: I wear that and it helps my knee feel better.
Girl 1: How did you hurt your knee?
Girl 2: HOW?
Boy: *curious face*
Me: I fell down. 
Girl 1: Did you fall on your dog?
Girl 2: Were you wearing a long dress?
Boy: You fell?
Me: I did, I just fell over my own feet. 
(All three look at me like, "WAIT, THAT CAN HAPPEN?")
Me: It was an accident.
Girl 2: CRAYONS! 
*Girls run off. Boy stays and starts petting my knee.*
Boy: I could get you a band-aid. 
Me: *dead*
Boy: I could kiss your knee and get a band-aid and put medicine on it and it would feel better.


LIKE OMG, EXCUSE ME WHILE I GO DIE FROM CUTENESS. 

This is why the human race won't go extinct, because sometimes kids are just too freaking adorable and sweet to handle. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy this year.

Source.

New Year's Resolutions
  • Spend more time outside: I am like, two steps away from becoming an actual vampire, so I think spending some time outdoors is much needed. Also, I always notice that it puts me in a good mood, and I sleep like a baby on the days I've spent outside.
  • Mark the passing of the seasons: the only season I actively wait for and notice is fall. I'd like to change that. 
  • Try all the things I've always wanted to do: namely, archery and fencing. But I have to wait until my stupid knee heals.
  • Eat more veg and move more. Duh. 

That's it. If I write any more crap I'll just feel depressed if/when I haven't accomplished it. 

Also, I'm posting this here, more for my future reference than your amusement: 
"Around 1990, when Jim Carrey was a struggling young Canadian comic trying to make his way in Los Angeles, he drove his old Toyota up to Mulholland Drive. While sitting there looking at the city below & dreaming of his future, he wrote himself a check for $10 million, dated it Thanksgiving 1995, added the notation “for acting services rendered”, & carried it in his wallet from that day forth. The rest, as they say, is history. Carrye’s optimism & tenacity eventually paid off, & by 1995, after the huge box office success of Ace Ventura: Pet DetectiveThe Mask & Dumb & Dumber, his asking price had risen to $20 million per picture. When Carrey’s father died in 1994, he placed the $10 million check into his father’s coffin as a tribute to the man who had both started & nurtured his dreams of being a star."
-Jack Canfield, The Success Principles


I had a really nice Christmas, btw. It was nice and quiet, and just really good. I hope all of your holidays were great, and Happy New Year! 



Saturday, December 21, 2013

...humbug?

I am bummed. 

(Which, for my UK readers, means I am sad, not that I was anally invaded, thankyouverymuch.)

Here's the thing. I want to whine a bit, because this is my blog. But I always feel so guilty whining, especially around the holidays, because I have so much for which to be grateful. And while I'm initially inclined to sit around and feel really sorry for myself (because poor me), there are people who have it so much worse and are so much more uplifting and nice and happy. Basically, they have a better attitude than I do. 


So. I am going to whine. A little bit. But I also want everyone to realize that I know how much worse it could be. And I am really grateful, so I will follow up my whining with a "thankful list." Is that okay?



I am bummed out because I started this Christmas season actually a little bit excited about the whole thing. Christmas is never my favorite time of year, but it seemed like everything was going pretty well. My aunt is in town to help out with my grandma, my parents' health is good, Michael is doing well...all seemed like it might shape up to be a normal Christmas (disasters of Christmasses past: emergency trip to NC on Christmas day to retrieve my ailing grandmother and bring her here to live, my dad being temporarily blinded by retinal detachment surgery, me having my wisdom teeth out, and the kicker, my grandpa passing on the 23rd). 

Then I wrecked my knee. 

Which wasn't really all that bad. I mean, it sucks, and it still hurts. But I didn't need to have surgery, so that's a good thing.

What really sucks about it is how long its taking to heal. Granted, I am two weeks out of my injury. They said it'll be about 8. I've got a LONG way to go still. But I am SO SICK of just lying around. Or going one place and being too tired out to continue running my errands and finishing my Christmas shopping. I don't like being physically frustrated when mentally, I'm ready to GO. 

This, of course, being the first year in ages that I haven't finished my Christmas shopping by Thanksgiving, I ended up having to order the remaining gifts on my list online. Which is a beautiful thing. Except for when they ship you the wrong item and in order to get the correct item in time for Christmas, you have to go to the physical store anyway, which is exactly what I was trying to avoid doing in the first place. 

This has happened. Twice. I still haven't made my final return and frankly, I'm not going to. Everyone can just deal with getting the rest of their presents after New Year's. 

THEN, I got sick. So now, I am sick, coughing, sniffling, not-sleeping, and achy. And my leg is still bad. My physical therapist ripped me a new one yesterday, so I'm sorer now than I've been in a long time. THANKS, GUYS. 

So even if I could muster up the energy (and swallow enough DayQuil) to go out and finish my things, my leg's too sore. And I'm hacking up a lung. 

I went back to work for like, 2 days and it was glorious. But apparently, two days is more than my ridiculously puny system can handle, so now I'm back to invalid status. 

*sigh*

I am very patient with others. It's a good trait. But I am ruthless with myself. I am angry with myself for getting hurt in the first place. I'm mad that the injury so lowered my immune system that I got sick on top of it. I'm mad that I went into shock and wasn't braver, and as a result I'm not producing enough serotonin and I feel depressed when I should be making jokes about the irony of the situation. I'm mad that I didn't get my Christmas shopping done sooner. I'm mad I don't make more money (which would have facilitated getting shopping done sooner). I'm mad that there's still time to make sure everything is perfect, and instead, I'm in bed, looking like hell, again. I'm mad I'll miss my family's Christmas dinner tomorrow because I had a blast seeing everyone on Thanksgiving. I'm mad I had to cancel meeting up with Bethany to exchange gifts. I'm mad I haven't seen The Hobbit yet and won't until probably after New Year's.

I'm just a little miffed. 

So, that's my whiny time. I'm just bummed because I tend to be a perfectionist. I want everyone to be healthy and happy on Christmas, with the perfect presents wrapped perfectly (I skimped on wrapping this year, too, because getting down on the floor to wrap is one thing. Getting up is an epic of Beowulf proprotion.). I feel like I'm letting down my friends and family by not getting to see them, like somehow they might think I'm making things up to get out of social things, which I'm not. 

Hopefully, this cold will pass without becoming bronchitis, and I'll feel halfway decent on Christmas. 


On to the Things For Which I Am Thankful:
-That I didn't need surgery.
-For Bixby, who literally makes me smile and/or laugh every day even if I feel crappy.
-For my parents, who are nice enough to let me live with them, assure me that Christmas will continue even if I don't do ALL THE THINGS, and are helping me and taking care of me.
-For my bed. I mean, if I'm going to be stuck somewhere on and off for a month at a time, it might as well be somewhere I love, right?
-For the extended editions of the Lord of the Rings DVD's, the special features of which I've been systematically watching while I'm down and out.
-For books, for keeping me sane.
-For the friends who've stopped by and brought cards, flowers, encouraging emails and texts. You guys mean everything to me, and I'm so grateful for your love and support and well-wishes.
-For my job. Here's how you know your boss is awesome: you call her from the emergency room to let her know what happened and her first question is, "Are you there alone? Do you need me to come over there?" Seriously, I was totally morphined up, but I almost cried. Secondly, they've allowed me to do some telecommuting from home, and have basically said, "make your own schedule while you're recovering." Thirdly, every single one of my co-workers got each other Christmas gifts, even if it was just little things from the Dollar Store or homemade cookies. It's just so sweet. Fourthly, when I came in earlier this week, they had literally moved my entire desk and workspace downstairs for me so I don't have to trudge up the stairs. Seriously??? My job is amazing, and I thank God every day for the people I work with and for allowing me to be there with them.
-For Christmas. Because even if it's not the perfect, soft-focus event I imagined in my mind, we're still allowed to celebrate it however we want to or can in this country. And I'm so glad I have a savior who reminds me every once in a while to be a Mary, not a Martha, and just sit at His feet and be in His presence, especially at this time of year. And it's okay to sit, and be still, and know that He is God.