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I'm about halfway through Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White now and I've been taking a break from it for...at least a week, because that was a lot of Victorian lit I zoomed through and I need to digest it before continuing.

To sum up what's been happening, Marian Halcombe (who is the BEST EVER, I love her so much) and Walter Hartright get their Scooby Doo on to find out who sent the engaged Laura Fairlie an anonymous letter warning her against marrying Sir Percival Glyde. Unsurprising spoilers: it was Anne Catherick. Unfortunately, they can't get her to talk with Laura face-to-face and tell her exactly why she shouldn't marry Sir Ominous Name. Walter Hartright soon takes off because he and Laura have fallen in love with each other but she still plans on marrying her fiance.

Laura Fairlie is one of those people who's honest to a fault. There are so many red flags with this wedding, starting with when she tells Sir Percival that she can never love him because she's in love with somebody else and his reaction is, "So...you're saying you'll still marry me unless I release you from our engagement anyway? Let's get married!" There's also pre-nup shenanigans involving money.

Other events include the revelation that Sir Percival is an asshole as soon as the wedding is over, the presence of Count Fosco and his wife (Laura's estranged aunt) who are both immensely creepy, and the reappearance of Anne Catherick, who I feel sorry for because she is clearly mentally unwell and was locked up in an insane asylum against her will, but also causes frustration because oh my God Anne, just spill the beans and tell the big secret about Sir Percival already!

One of the things that has stuck out to me the most is how Marian and Laura are trapped in what's turning out to be a horror scenario by good breeding and the expectations of polite behavior. Laura can't bring herself to break this engagement that is clearly bad news because it's what her deceased father wanted. Marian can't tell Sir Percival to drop dead when he's being horrible. None of them can tell Count Fosco to get lost when he's being weird and forcing his company on them.

And here's the biggest one: after a scene in which Sir Percival does everything short of physical abuse to force his wife to sign an agreement that he won't let her read and she succeeds in refusing, the women stay at the house. They go with what seems to be the best solution: send a letter to Laura's lawyer in London, asking for advice on how to continue refusing. That's good enough, but what the reader really wants them to do is leave the house immediately and put a safe distance between Sir Percival, and Marian and Laura. It's likely that he'd be able to get her under his control again because they're married and this is Victorian England, but if the sisters could at least reach their family's lawyer in London they'd be able to make a better plan and put a building between themselves and the men in their lives who are clearly up to no good.

18 September 2016 @ 02:29 pm
It’s back! I finally get to watch Season 3 of Carmilla. This may be an unpopular opinion, but I like that the creators are ending the show with this season. I’ve seen way too many TV shows that just go on and on for as many seasons as they can squeeze out until everything is horrible and you want the show to put everyone out of its misery. I like it much more when stories have a beginning, middle, and an end.

Immediate reactions and thoughts on the effects of being vampired in the Carmilla universe are behind a spoiler cut, since the season is still so new.

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16 September 2016 @ 01:21 pm
Okay, my self-control is just about gone. I had a lengthy entry in mind that boiled down to how you can track the level of the Dean's control over Perry in Season 2 through costuming. I'm also wondering, since in the Season 2 finale the Dean specifically mentions having to find "alternate accomodations" after getting shoved into the pit, does this mean Perry has been unknowingly possessed since the last episodes of Season 1? She doesn't show any signs of it during the Christmas Special, which raises the possibility that the Dean could only be in control while at the Silas campus. If our heroes had managed to stay away from Silas University, would the Dean have been forced to remain dormant?

16 September 2016 @ 12:31 pm
I had a great time when Season 0 aired and it's something I rewatch when I want to have something entertaining but I don't want to have to pay a lot of attention, like doing the dishes. I don't rewatch Season 2 often because even though I thought it was really well-done, it has so many painful moments. So I'm grateful that I can just start the playlist for Season 0 or Season 1 whenever I'm in the mood.

I've decided that the creators of Carmilla hadn't planned Season 0 when they started the show and this is why. (Thoughts on Perry are also behind the cut.)

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Season 3 is finally posted! With any luck, I have enough self-restraint to finish posting my thoughts on Season 2--mainly Perry and possession--before I start watching it.

04 September 2016 @ 09:59 pm
One of my goals this year has been to read and cross off books from my To Read list. Since The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins has been on my list so long that I didn't remember what it's about or why I put it on my list, I had to read it. I'm about 30 pages in and want to write down what I think so far before any plot twists turn up. This novel started its publication as a serial in 1859 and I haven't read a lot of Victorian literature, so I'm not sure how it might turn out.

Walter Hartright is a drawing instructor in his late 20s who has just applied to and accepted a job posting of tutor for several months to two young women at an estate in Cumbria (northern England). On the night that he's thinking about the job offer and walking home to London, he meets a nervous woman all in white who makes him promise multiple times to escort her safely to London and leave her when she asks, and she's very relieved when he doesn't know a certain nobleman. He overhears several men after he leaves her and discovers she has escaped from...an asylum!

So far he's met only one of the young ladies who's described as being the most ladylike and wonderful person from the back, then when she turns around..."Never was the old conventional maxim, that Nature cannot err, more flatly contradicted--never was the fair promise of a lovely figure more strangely and startlingly belied by the face and head that crowned it." Marian Halcombe is described as "almost swarthy" with brown eyes and "thick, coal-black hair growing unusually low down on her forehead." Is she meant to be of partial African or southern European descent? We haven't met her half-sister yet but I have a feeling she'll be blonde and blue-eyed, or otherwise a stereotypically beautiful Englishwoman.

They also have an invalid uncle, no companions other than servants, and two female companions who left recently due to the presence of too many women and not enough social activities.

I don't have many guesses as to what will happen next, but there are almost 600 pages to go and I look forward to shenanigans.

03 September 2016 @ 06:40 pm
The trailer for Season 3 of Carmilla is up! It starts airing on September 15. Thoughts behind the cut.

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Crap, I really need to finish posting my thoughts/meta on Season 2 and Season 0 that I started working on...last year?

20 August 2016 @ 06:19 pm
The medievalists on my friends list are gonna like this. (My apologies for leaving off the accent mark--I don't know how to add it when typing online.)

For a brief overview, "Pangur Ban" is a poem that was written by an Irish monk in the 9th century C.E. What is it about? It's about the monk's white cat who shares his room and chases mice while the monk focuses on his studies.

Now for the fun part: my new favorite book at work is a children's picture book titled The White Cat and the Monk. It's a sweet book that retells the poem with wonderful illustrations showing the cat and monk at their duties throughout the monastery at night until dawn arrives. It even has a historical note at the end!

I love that people were writing poems about their cats over 1,200 years ago; I love that the monk basically named his pet "White Cat"; I love that the monk's poem about his cat has survived all that time; and above all, I love that somebody in the present day thought it was worth making into a book for children. When I'm having a rough day, all of this makes me smile.

You can read the poem itself here.

13 August 2016 @ 10:43 pm
So I just finished reading We Have Always Lived in the Castle.


Spoilers, spoilers, nothing but spoilers ahead:

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Talk about a creepy ending!

I have had this book on my To Read list for years and I finally borrowed it from the library. Shirley Jackson is the master of slow-reveal, creeping horror and I LOVE IT. The only other works of hers I've read so far are "The Lottery" and "The Haunting of Hill House."

I knew absolutely nothing about it going in, and I think that's the best way to go because it made even the beginning reveals a surprise. I'm only four chapters in and I want to make some notes on my observations and predictions before I get too farther in. Spoilers for only the beginning of the novel at this point

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Something horrible is definitely going to happen in the book and I can't wait to find out how it all goes down.

03 July 2016 @ 11:26 am
Almost two decades later, I'm still annoyed that there's no cast recording available of the 1997 Rodgers & Hammerstein Cinderella with Brandy and Whitney Houston.

23 June 2016 @ 09:41 am
I can't believe I haven't posted about this yet. For the 30th anniversary of Labyrinth this year, it's being shown in theaters on 9/11 and 9/14. You can find more information about it at Fathom Events. The link to buy tickets is live on the page now, but you can also click on the FAQ on their website for links to other sites where you can buy tickets.

I literally stayed up late so that I could buy a ticket right away because I didn't know how limited availability would be. That's probably the most fannish thing I've ever done. I can't wait!

18 June 2016 @ 10:03 pm
I had a rough end of the day at work and decided to distract myself by watching The Conjuring, which I've been meaning to do since it came out.

The good: The movie successfully took my mind off of work.

The bad: I may need to turn every light on when I go to bed tonight.

I have mixed feelings about the real Ed and Lorraine Warren, but that was the most continuously scary movie I've seen in a long time. I watched The Witch recently and that was disturbing, but this one was terrifying. Haunted places are my favorite horror subgenre and this movie delivered. If IMDB trivia can be believed, it got an R rating simply because it was indeed that scary and I can believe it.

More thoughts with spoilers behind the cut.

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Now for the funny part. One of the actors' names rang a bell during the credits. Ed Warren is played by Patrick Wilson, who also played...Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera. I kid you not. This makes two movies in which Patrick Wilson has played somebody investigating a creepy, supernatural or pseudo-supernatural presence in a building that is attempting to harm people and occasionally killing them, and the presence is also targeting his girlfriend/wife. I can't stop laughing.

On an unrelated topic, can anybody tell me which code to use so that I can put the message about this entry being posted on both DW and LJ and people can comment on either? I've been reviewing DW's instructions but I'm still confused. Thanks!
19 May 2016 @ 01:06 pm
Well, I finally stopped being lazy and created a DW account! Let's see how this goes. I plan to continue cross-posting everything to LJ at this time. Of course, I have to figure out how to enable comments in both places first. I can't figure out if I have to add the DW post url to the footer every time? This is why I hate doing tech stuff.
14 March 2016 @ 01:31 pm
Some good things, before I end up posting again about annoying life things:

Spring is almost here and there are flowers;
The sock I'm knitting (first of a pair) is looking great;
I'm still finding time to get writing done;
Tax refunds came!;
29 February 2016 @ 07:37 pm
I just read a review of "Sisi", the newest novel about Empress Elisabeth by Allison Pataki. Near the beginning, the review says, "She was the Princess Diana of her time, a storied beauty who longed for more than the trappings of royalty. So why has Sisi been largely lost to history?"


The musical "Elisabeth" has been around since 1992, it's been translated into multiple languages so that it can be performed in multiple countries, and has been seen by millions of people. I wouldn't consider Sisi as being "largely lost to history".
26 February 2016 @ 12:38 pm
I finally got to watch Crimson Peak! I knew it was a gothic movie and there were ghosts, but I hadn't known that it was going to turn into spoilersCollapse ) and that was AWESOME. Longer entry to follow.
05 January 2016 @ 09:32 am
2015 was good to me in a lot of ways but one of the things I want to do differently this year is post here more often. I check my Friends page just about every day but almost never posted last year because I felt like I didn't have anything to say. Which is ridiculous, because I still have plenty of fannish thoughts. I mean to sign up on DW and cross-post too, since people are more active there than on LJ. (I've known that for ages, I've just resisted doing it because I'm lazy and don't want to deal with creating YET ANOTHER online account.) Maybe I'll set a goal of posting at least once a month.

But I still have a lot to say about Season 2 of Carmilla, and I want to write more fanfiction this year (though I'm not exactly complaining, I got a hell of a lot of original writing done last year!), and I finally own a copy of Sioned Davies's translation of the Mabinogion, which I am super excited about. Bring on the Welsh mythology and medieval lit! I've made it through the various Introductions and now I can get to the stories themselves. Maybe I'll liveblog my reading, I haven't decided.
22 November 2015 @ 08:02 pm
It's been over a month since I posted? Crap!

Checking on the websites for some of my favorite musical performers was a mistake: Cecile Corbel is having a sale on a limited edition box set of four of her CDs for $40 with only about $5 to ship it from France to the U.S. I love her music but I never buy the CD formats because of import fees. Ugh.

I don't need it; I don't need it; I don't need it...
30 September 2015 @ 11:55 am
I've been waiting and waiting to find out how Season 2 of Carmilla is going to end, only now I've watched the second-to-last episode and I have a feeling we're headed for a downer ending, and I don't want the end of the week to come.