International Book Week

It’s International Book week. The rules: Grab the closest book to you, turn to page 52, post the fifth sentence. Don’t mention the title. Copy the rules as part of your post.

“Among them went whichever men or women had been leaving gifts for me, or arranging for them to be left.”

What’s your 5th sentence?

Advertisements

National Start Your Own Country Day (2)

Once again it is National Start Your Own Country Day! Those began last year can be seen here: https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2012/11/22/national-start-your-own-country-day/ and all three are doing very well….Which is no reason not to create new nations on this ironically “national” day.

Hear ye, hear ye, today marks the start of the country Gobletta!

Known for: Books, prolific readers/wisefolk, storytellers, and reading parties. Lesser products include all beverages that are conducive to reading, to oneself or out loud, and sturdy goblets to hold these beverages.

Official animal: Dog-sized panda bears. (They keep your feet warm whilst you read, snuggle with you while you listen to others read, and don’t try to steal the human refreshments at reading parties.)

Official flower: Lavender (Soothing, to help one focus on one’s studies and stories.)

Official motto: “You’re the same today as you’ll be in five years except for the people you meet and the books you read.”

– Charlie “Tremendous” Jones

Official flag: Bordered to look like an open book with shining gold-leaf page edges, it has the motto written in dark purple swirled ink, with the shadow of a goblet falling across the remaining page and a sprig of lavender in the middle, as if about to be pressed into the pages. It’s a highly literate country, of course it goes for words on its flag.

Go forth and proclaim your own country!

Disney Gift-Giving Guide

It’s now officially the time of year to delve into a blizzard of gift-giving.  Luckily, there are a few tips to be gleaned just be remembering the Disney films we’ve known and loved for years:

 

Disney Gift-Giving Guide

1. Items that change color make memorable gifts.

2. It’s best if gifts last past midnight.

3. Statues don’t fare well as gifts, but if you’re going to give one make it of the recipient’s loved one-not the actual recipient.

4. Books are great gifts.  Lots of books make an amazing one.

5. If giving magical tokens, consider including a case to keep them in so they don’t fly away at a crucial moment.

6. Music boxes are lovely presents, so long as you won’t be sharing space with anyone ratty enough to break them.

7. Even lucky bugs do not make good gifts.

8. Hats are fun gifts-even if they’re too large, so long as they make them feel like a hero.

9. It’s okay to wrap live animals in boxes without holes, so long as they are babies.

10. Always do exactly what fairies tell you to do about a present.

 

And remember, no matter how successful your gifting adventures turn out this year, everyone will still feel that that, to paraphrase, “The greatest gift of all is having you for a friend/sweetheart/family member.”

 

20 points for every reference, 45 for any you add.  And a happy season of gifting to you!

Familiars, Ferrets and Fairy Tales

Today marks the anniversary of the trial, in 1549, of Joan Prentice.  She was accused of sending an imp, in the form of a ferret, to bite children.

 

“She confessed that the Devil appeared to her as a dunnish colored ferret with fiery eyes and asked for her soul. She couldn’t give her soul because it belonged to Jesus, but gave the ferret blood from her finger and cheek. His name was “Bidd”, and when she wanted him to do anything for her, she said:

      “Bidd, Bidd, Bidd,
      come Bidd, come Bidd, come Bidd,
      come suck, come suck, come suck”.

Bidd was a “familiar,” or animal kept by English witches that performed evil deeds for them and was rewarded with sucking their blood from witch teats.)

Joan Prentice’s trial was on 5 July 1589,and she was hanged within two hours after sentencing. “(Source: Robbins, Rossell Hope. The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology. New York: Bonanza Books, 1959)

Other reports say Joan had two imps, or familiars, named Jack and Jill.

 

Now, here’s the thing: why aren’t witches’ familiars allowed to be so active anymore?  Now they get to be cats that are black or dark birds with knowing looks-sometimes they get to deliver messages.  Always, they are underused.  Think of all the things they could do!  All the things they could explain!

1. Why did Humpty Dumpty fall off the wall?  An imp ferret pushed him off!

2. Why did Snow White actually let the old woman into the cottage after being warned by the dwarves and knowing full well she was in danger?  The imp ferret pushed the door in and the woman was just chasing after her poor, lost pet!

3. Why was Sleeping Beauty clumsy enough to prick her finger on the spinning wheel?  Maleficent’s ferret imp was lying in wait on top of it and Sleeping Beauty was reaching out to pet it, when the imp moved so she pricked her finger instead!

4. How did the witch visit Rapunzel before she was old enough for her hair to grow long?  She’d send up a rope with her ferret imp, he’d tie it securely and she could climb up.  When she left, the ferret would fetch it back down so the girl couldn’t escape.

5. Why does Cruella DeVille want all animals made into coats? As a child a witch sent her imp familiars in their animal forms to bite her!  She particularly likes dalmatians because she finds the spots comforting-the witches’ animals were always all one color!  Hence, her reaction on seeing the spot-less puppies: “What a horrid little white rat-eech!”

Also, I feel this is an entire form of vampirism that has somehow been passed over.  Say!  Perhaps Draco is really an imp!  When turned into an animal his form was a ferret, he’s mighty pale, and he does have an obsession with blood.  This is fun-I am thankful to Joan Prentice and her ferrets for all these scrumptious thoughts.  Anyone else have some theories or uses for a ferret imp?

King Richard III Day

Today is the day that Richard III took power!  However, during the Tudor dynasty Richard III became the target of one of the most successful slanders in history.  William Shakespeare could not afford to love the last Stuart ruler while under the Tudors’ reign.  Hence, Richard III became an ugly, vile character, as if Shakespeare decided:

“Since I cannot prove a lover, I am determined to prove a villain.”

 

Of course, good ol’ Will made the king so charismatic that he could use his play “Richard III” for other ends, as well:

Upon a time when Burbage played Richard III, there was a citizen grew so far in liking with him that before she went from the play she appointed him to come that night unto her by the name of Richard the Third. Shakespeare overhearing their conclusion went before, was entertained, and at his game ere Burbage came. Then message being brought that Richard the Third was at the door, Shakespeare caused return to be made that William the Conqueror was before Richard the Third.

— E. K. Chambers, William Shakespeare. A Study of Facts and Problems (1930), ii. 212
(from John Manningham’s Diary, Harl. MS. 5353, f. 29v, ed. J. Bruce (1868) ).

I just love that story.

 

The real Richard of Gloucester:

1. Was not a humpback.

2. Had nothing to do with the execution of his brother.  In fact, he even resigned one of his posts for a day so he wouldn’t be forced to have any hand in putting Clarence to death.  (Also, by all accounts Clarence was a really bad egg, particularly to Richard’s wife.)

3. Has lots of evidence that he treated his wife Anne well.

4. Was an excellent military commander.

5. May or may not have killed his nephews, the princes in the tower.  For the record, I happen to believe he is innocent, but the debate over who killed the princes is always fierce.  What better day to declare my side of it than that of Richard III’s triumph?

 

 

 

“Winter is Coming” 1×1

So, I have finally joined the crowd of Game of Throne watchers.  I have not read the books, nor do I really intend to, but the show looks like worthy entertainment.  Thus far, in any case.  Having only seen the first episode I’m merely apprised of the situation, but nevertheless I have some thoughts.

List (spoilers apply):

1. No woman has a good life in this world-and it’s actually admitted.  Interesting.

2. The banished prince who think she’s the rightful king is TOTALLY what a prominent version of fanfic! Draco Malfoy would look like.  Also, I’ve definitely read him act like that, as well, in spite of not having a sister.

3. A king who is really up front about who he is?  This could be new.

4. The king’s guards’ helmets with the cat faces looked really intriguing until a closeup shot showed that the motion of riding makes it look like their cat teeth are clattering.

5. I think Illyrio should live.  His response to “Do you take me for a fool?” was absolute, hardcore, diplomatic brilliance.  “I take you for a king.”  Kings don’t use the same caution that ordinary men use.  Hah!

6. Honestly, I think the wedding night with Khal of Drogo could have been much worse.  She had a white horse and they rode off together pretty literally into the sunset!  It’s a bona fide happy ending! (Yes, I know, I know, but the point stands.)

7. I love the direwolf pups!

8. It was entirely annoying to me how in the beginning people just stood around saying that things didn’t happen or didn’t exist, even when clearly there was a direwolf below the wall.

9. On the white walkers, particularly their bright blue eyes: Don’t follow the lights!  Really, just all roads lead to Elijah Wood so far on this one.

10. I approve of Arya, overall.

11. I am unclear whether Jon Snow is really good at persuading people or if he just influences Boromir easily due to the guilt over bastardy.

12. Everyone is in love with doggie style for some reason?

13. I know we’re supposed to feel for Bran, but come on.  His lying tell was so simple he never would’ve survived on politics and he clearly didn’t have great physical prowess.  It was only a matter of time.

14. I’m betting Joffrey’s real father is the twin, yes?

15. It really was very considerate and well-mannered of the Dothraki to leave Illyrio and the prince-brother out of the expected fighting/three deaths expectations, considering their numbers, necessity, and the groom advantage.

16. “Winter is Coming” is apparently a very pithy and witty thing to say.

Family, film, and flippancy!

Today I got to introduce my seven-year-old niece to Aladdin!  My niece had some insights:

1. First impression: “Who’s singing?” Me-“The man on the camel.”  Niece-“But what’s his name?…He’s tiny.”

2. “It takes Jasmine an hour every day to brush her hair.”

3. You should feel sorry for Jasmine when she thinks Aladdin got beheaded.  (Movie Jasmine: “It’s all my fault, Rajah.  I didn’t even know his name!” Niece: “His name’s Aladdin, princess!”

4. On Jafar: “He’s using hypnotism!” Also, “He’s calling him “Abooboo” on purpose!”

5. The genie is “hilarious.”

6. After that most romantic of songs, “A Whole New World”, “I wish I could’ve seen that Chinese dragon up closer.”

 

As this was officially a Movie Date and my sister gave us permission to watch two films, Aladdin was followed by The Swan Princess, which the niece had seen before.  I think it just made her think about it more.  Also, it made her helpful.  She explained several things to me.  She informed me that Derek was sad because he wanted to marry Odette, that King William’s not really there during his voiceover, Derek’s just remembering, and other helpful tips.

 

1. Odette introducing Puffin: “I’m Odette, princess Odette.  And these are my two best friends in the whole world-Jean-Bob and Mr. Trudgealong.” Niece: “No-your best friend should be Prince Derek!”

2. Question: When Odette’s flying to find Derek as a swan, why does she whisper “Derek” when she sees him instead of saying it aloud?  My answer was that humans can’t understand her when she’s a swan and she didn’t want to startle him.  Any thoughts?

3. Question: Is that hag character Rothbart’s “true daughter”?  I said no, it was just his assistant, who I think joined him because she had a crush on him before she met Chamberlain.  There is debate about the crush-any votes?

4. Question: Can the hag character talk?  I said that I thought she could, but refrained herself to noises because that’s what Rothbart preferred.  After a particularly emphatic noise at the end of the movie my niece also decided that the hag probably could talk.  Yes?

5. Odette: “I’ll never give you my father’s kingdom!” Me: “Actually, her father’s dead, so she shouldn’t call it ‘her father’s kingdom’.  It’s really all hers!”  Niece: “But she should still call it ‘her father’s kingdom’ because she’s not married, so she can’t be the queen yet.”  I’m not sure if I should be glad the niece is brilliant enough to pick up on this medieval idea or be alarmed that she sees this so clearly.

6. Rothbart: “You’ve forgotten one very important thing.  Tomorrow there is no moon!” Niece: “How can she know the weather!?”

 

So, in short: I should watch more things with the niece.  She won’t let you get confused on the one hand, and on the other she comes up with good questions.  Hurrah!

 

Previous Older Entries