Mischievous Muse

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Location: Austin, TX, United States

Scholar, Writer, Mother, Dreamer. Editor of Luminarium, an online library for English Literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Friday, November 16, 2007

My Love Sleeping

She sleeps
only her hind paws
on the mattress
like ballet slippers
dancing a dreamy sleep
her light snore
the orchestra

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Lyric

Rain today
       or just the promise
       the gray clouds
While I try
       to pour my coffee
              and whistle to the Western Wind.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Ariel's Specialty

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Elizabeth: The Golden Age Fizzles and Flops, or, a Review of a Wasted Movie

One Sentence Verdict: This movie made my brain bleed.

Elizabeth: The Golden Age is a movie that should have come with the caveat, "5% of this movie was inspired by real events." As far as historical accuracy goes, the movie was abysmal. Furthermore, it was devoid of a proper plot, quality dialogue, and — oh Hell, let's just come right out and say it — it was devoid of LIFE.

Supposedly about an era in England when things were happening left, right and center — assassination plots, marriage proposals, theatre, schemings, wheelings, dealings — everything teeming with life and danger, this movie was dull and Boring (yes, with a capital "B"). Few historical facts were included at all, and the few that were, were distorted or portrayed incorrectly. There are 5 million shots of beams of light dancing around the Virgin Queen's white-painted face and lace collar scattered at regular intervals throughout the movie, but few facts.

No historical personages are present in all of the film apart from:
Raleigh, who is misrepresented; Walsingham, who is given little play; Mary, Queen of Scots who is afforded 4 minutes of actual film time, King Philip of Spain who comes off as a total lunatic with a squinting problem; John Dee, the astrologer, who gets to play Elizabeth's Gandalf; Bess Throckmorton, who is played by an actress who could have been replaced with a wax doll from Madame Tussaud's; and oh yes, poor young Anthony Babington, whose name is never once mentioned, gets a minute of panting and staring into space while yes, you guessed it, lights play around Elizabeth's white face and lace collar. Most of the Queen's closest advisers, including Burleigh, were never seen or mentioned at all, nor the minor personage of Leicester, who we know was with her at Tilbury, among other places. Francis Drake gets all of 4 lines of dialogue and is forgotten.

Speaking of dialogue, it is awful. Apart from Elizabeth's "I, too, can command the wind", there isn't a proper line in the film. Most egregiously, the famous Speech to the Troops at Tilbury, which many of us who love Queen Elizabeth know by heart, is omitted wholesale, replaced by some screenwriting-class-flunkie, watered-down DRIVEL. Furthermore, this is where the director decided he's going to do Good Queen Bess as Lady Godiva, and has her wearing a long, loose wig, blowing in the wind. Even more, he has to stick her on a cliff, staring out at the sea, with her cloak billowing behind her on the wind. The misrepresentation of what actually happened with and to the Spanish Armada gets reinvented with suicide bombers and Clive Owen pretending to be Errol Flynn in Sea Hawk. Sorry Clive. Love you, but Errol Flynn ya ain't.

Speaking of cloaks and costumes, there were several good costumes on Elizabeth, but not one of them was downright great. There were several instances where the dresses were unicolored, instead of the dress and kirtle being different colors. Many of the costumes were in colors Elizabeth detested, in colors in which she would not have been caught dead in. Worst of all was the dress (read: chemise) in which Mary, Queen of Scots, was executed. It was an anachronism to begin with, and inaccurate — Idiots, we have drawings of her execution!

I have seen 90% of the Elizabeth-related movies in existence. This was the weakest showing, a waste of $9.50, a waste of 2 hrs, a waste of LIFE!!!! I wanted to yell obscenities at the screen, but I was too busy yawning.

If you haven't seen this movie, consider yourself fortunate, and avoid it like the bubonic plague. D-

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Monday, November 05, 2007

Vampire-Pirates Strike!

My dad came over on Tuesday last week, just in time for Halloween. We decorated the outside of the house to the nines and dressed up. I was a vampire and Lasse was a pirate. The light outside was not sufficient to get a non-fuzzy pic, but you get the idea. There were ghoulish noises courtesy of a laughing skull, a screaming doormat and a motion-sensored pirate, and the kids were frightened out of their wits. We had ten bags of Halloween chocolates and candy, and we had a blast. Wilbur had to stay upstairs in the bedroom, because his imitation of the Hound of the Baskervilles was too lifelike and scared one tiny Spiderman to the point that he ran away.

Here's a closeup of my makeup (white face, dark circles around the eyes, "blood" running down the corners of my mouth, and a slit throat):

Since Halloween, we've been busy around the house and with emptying the garage of thrift store furniture. We've been making it "Shabby Chic" — painting it white and distressing it. I'll put up some pics when they're finished. Sticking them on eBay for profit (hopefully) and reclaiming the garage for winter.

We've also been doing a lot of DVD watching. Lasse is quickly getting inundated with Doctor Who, Heroes, Bionic Woman, &c. So keeping busy and having fun. Wheee!

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