Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes for February 7, 2015

Johann Georg Hainz's Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Johann Georg Hainz’s Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

During the Renaissance, cabinet of curiosities came into fashion as a collection of objects that would often defy classification. As a precursor to the modern museum, the cabinet referred to room(s), not actual furniture, of things that piqued the owners interest and would be collected and displayed in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes is my 21st century interpretation of that idea.
Dear Internet,
You can follow me on Pinterest on what I’m readingwatching, and listening.

Watching

Weekly Watching: Justified, Wolf HallMr. SelfridgeFather BrownBansheeHouse of LiesEpisodesConstantineMarvel’s Agent CarterThe Musketeers
What have you read/watched/listened to this week?
xoxo,
Lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe: 1999

Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes for April 12, 2014

Johann Georg Hainz's Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Johann Georg Hainz’s Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

During the Renaissance, cabinet of curiosities came into fashion as a collection of objects that would often defy classification. As a precursor to the modern museum, the cabinet referred to room(s), not actual furniture, of things that piqued the owners interest and would be collected and displayed in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes is my 21st century interpretation of that idea.
 
Dear Internet,
You can now follow me on Pinterest on what I’m readingwatching, and listening.

Listening

I’ve been heavily listening to the Icelandic indie list that was generated on Spotify (embed below), so much so, I am beginning to think I can understand Icelandic. Who knew that a country with less than half a million peoples could rock out so hard?
Favorites: Samaris (Their write music to old Icelandic poetry), John Grant (an American living in Iceland, he is the greatest motherfucker that you’re ever gonna meet. Also: He’s opening for Elbow in May! Woo!), and FM Belfast (Twee disco pop).
[iframe src=”https://embed.spotify.com/?uri=spotify:user:icelandicmusic:playlist:2duvD05TtABniQdKkDSYfv” width=”300″ height=”380″ frameborder=”0″ allowtransparency=”true”]

Reading

seatingarrangements
Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead
(Amazon | WorldCat | GoodReads)
Apparently it’s a thing to hate the output of alum from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, because as you skim through the reviews on GoodReads, the comments are peppered with snide remarks and tut-tutting of the decline of quality of IWW’s output. Who knew?
Was Seating Arrangements a tour de force and innovative? No. Was it sloppy and a bit amateurish at times? Absolutely. Was the language overwrought? At times. But is this a bad story? The short answer is no. It’s clunky, some of the plot points felt like they were thrown in at the last minute, and some of the characters were definitely there to fill a quota but there is something here. You just have to be patient as you dig through the muck and Shipstead can turn a beautiful phrase more often than not.
I could be a bit biased — I have a weakness for anything relating to farces surrounding blue bloods and their world. And this felt like someone had done their research and wrote as if they knew this particular world without ever having stepped into it. So think of this as if Whit Stillman and Bret Easton Ellis were high on acid, conceived Shipstead as their prodigal daughter in their ultra preppy way and you’ll have encompassed the writer completely.
enchantmentsEnchantments by Kathryn Harrison
(Amazon | WorldCat | GoodReads)
How a story that begins with the end of the Romanovs, the killing of Rasputin, and told from the viewpoint of a teenager who entices the beloved son could be yawn inducing is perhaps a mystery, but there you go. I made it through 67 pages before giving up as I was neither titillated nor engaged by the content. The characters are flat, the exposition was repetitive, and it felt like someone had whipped through Wikipedia to get descriptions and recarved them into their own words. Harrison has been applauded by her use of language and world building, but as this is my first introduction to her, I saw none of the magic that apparently makes her beloved.
Do not recommend.
mabBridget Jones: Mad About A Boy by Helen Fielding
(Amazon | WorldCat | GoodReads)
It’s Bridget Jones. People expecting a tour de force of impossible construct and setting need to get over themselves.
YES, shes’ the godmother of modern day women’s fiction, heavily influenced by herself Jane Austen. And YES, I swore when I heard this book was coming out (and having read the mini-come back Fielding did in the Independent in 2005 which describes how Bridg gets knocked up (is it Daniel’s? Or Mark’s? Of COURSE it’s Mark’s. Durrr, how can we be so silly??)), I would not read MAtB because who wants to their perfect fantasy destroyed?
But reader, I read it. It was a compulsion as it was available via eBook at my local library, so I could read it under the cover of Kindle with neither a fear or judgement to be made.
Helen Fielding is the Dan Brown of chick-lit world. Language and concepts are on an 10th grade level, plot is fairly dimmed, set-ups are noticeable a mile away. Some things in Bridg’s world will never change — and I wished she would remember her own history. Fielding seems to have forgotten Vile Richard was not actually vile and there is a scene in book 1 or 2 in which Richard gives Bridg a good over on her and their circle’s perception of him. That was all seemingly forgotten in book 3. Daniel is has become a caricature of himself, Shazzer is in LA, and the rest of the group seem to not be desperate to discover their world, but sad, pathetic shallower (if that is even possible) versions of themselves. There is no growth.
MAtB is similarly based on Fielding’s life — she too had children in her late 40s, she went through a breakup, she’s floundering on what to do next. Did she bring back Bridg, our beloved anti-herione because it was time to move Bridge forward or because Fielding was lacking in cash?
Does it matter, and more succinctly, do we care?

Watching

  • The Hill Farm
    A  tease of show that follows a working farm in Snowdonia, Wales beginning in January and ending December. Similar to other working farm shows, like Tudor Monastery Farm, the big difference is those shows are six to eight episodes long and about an hour long to capture all that happens in a year. In The HIll Farm, however, it is four 28 minute long episodes. This attempt to encapsulate an entire year in 2 hours is staggering. Its brief touches of family life, farm life, and community life were so minute, you’d blink and miss an important part. Even with that being said, there is something that calls to a community who have, with the upgrade of modern convenience, continue to farm in the same area for nearly four centuries. The emphasis on organic, free range, and farm to table experiences and connecting people back to where food comes from speaks to those of us who are done with ready meals and food by-products. Gareth Wyn Jones, the face of the farm, came up with the intriguing idea of a “local food aisle” in supermarkets, a scheme to showcase just what is available near you. I would love to see something like this take off here in the States.
  • Moone Boy
    Season 2 is coming to Hulu April 24, so I won’t spoil it for you. But I will say it looks like season 3 has already been filmed before season 2 started — so there’s my jumper.
  • Edge of Heaven
    Written by Welshman Robert Jones (who also plays Camp Gary in the show), it’s a Britcom around a family who own and operate an ’80s themed B&B in Margate. This show is 100% formulaic, the writing is often sloppy, and the characters are pastiches. But it’s got moxie and I think that is the point — it’s a send up of every other dramedy and it is not above on not taking itself seriously. Even if the send-ups make you roll your eyes at the obviousness of it all, it’s a froth of a drama that may not improve your knowledge or IQ, but will definitely keep you entertained.
  • The Bletchley Circle
    I apparently missed the last episode of season 2, which ties up the mystery at hand. Huh. I always feel like there is something wrong with this show — something is off, but I’m not quite sure what it is. I know it’s pretty beloved but while I watch it, I don’t actually yearn for it.
  • Veep
    Will POTUS run for re-election or won’t he? Will Selina be recognized for who she is? Will Jonah ever stop being Jonah?)
  • Silicon Valley
    New series, by Mike Judge, about the foibles of living in Silicon Valley. TheHusband found it to be pretty spot on to what he recalled those days while I thought it seemed a bit lacking. But it does present an interesting conundrum: Do you take the money and run OR do you follow your dream?
  • Game of Thrones
    Winter has arrived and Arya is counting down the Lannisters to kill. Welcome to season four.
  • House of Lies
    Marty, Marty, Marty. And Jeannie. What the ever living fuck.
  • Shetland
    A taut, 2-part thriller based on the northern Scottish islands of Shetland, who killed the grandmother in her croft? But of course, this being the remote isles of Shetland, nothing is ever done easily.  So much so, they came out with a second series.
  • Dead Famous DNA
    An intriguing look at finding, and genome categorizing, DNA of dead famous folk. There is apparently a huge trade in “famous body parts,” such as hair, nails, and other things by collectors worldwide. We’ve seen two episodes in and it’s actually kind of fascinating with the process, and the lines drawn, on sequencing. They apparently want to sequence Hitler, from DNA pulled from his reported here, but 65 labs in 25 countries said, “No.” Except for Belgium — so we’ll have to see what happens!
  • The Musketeers
    This is coming to BBCA this summer, so I won’t spoil it for you — BUT, I will say while it does not follow the book, it’s a fun, swashbuckling show with your standard simple story over arch and your freak of the week episodes thrown in for filler.
  • Justified
    Who really is the bad guy: Raylan or Boyd? And what the everloving fuck is Ava DOING?

Weekly watching: Cosmos: A SpaceTime OdysseyDoctor Blake MysteriesThe AmericansSurvivor: CagayanVikingsUniversity ChallengeArcher, Under the Gunn,  Reign, Elementary
What have you read/watched/listened to this week?
x0x0,
lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe in:

Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes for January 11, 2014

Johann Georg Hainz's Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Johann Georg Hainz’s Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

During the Renaissance, cabinet of curiosities came into fashion as a collection of objects that would often defy classification. As a precursor to the modern museum, the cabinet referred to room(s), not actual furniture, of things that piqued the owners interest and would be collected and displayed in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes is my 21st century interpretation of that idea.
 
Dear Internet,

Watching

  • Frances Ha
    A funny, affecting, and understated little film. You find yourself, at first, borderline hating Frances and then finding the reasons why you dislike her so much is because she’s a mirror to your own self. Adored this. It’s everything Girls wants to be, but struggles to even coming close to it in its self-effacing and nuanced self.
  • Gangsta Granny
    A kids movie, Gangsta Granny is the story of Ben, a bored boy a who is tired of his parents (played by Miranda Hart and David Walliams) obsession with ballroom dancing and who often leave him with his grandmother (played by Julia McKenzie aka Miss Marple) who has a great love of cabbage and knitting sweaters with cats on them. Until one day, Ben discovers there is more to granny that meets the eye. Is she perhaps the great jewel thief, The Black Cat? Joanna Lumley also stars as The Queen. Quite cute and fluffy, just perfect for these long dreary days.
  • Hidden Killers in the Home
    After finishing up this two part series, I started Pain, Pus and Poison: The Search for Modern Medicines, and after the first episode of THAT, I did not want to leave the spot I was sitting in. Ever. Truly and totally. Hidden Killers in the Home  is the perfect example of how documentary shows should be done: an entertaining presenter who knows their story, good pacing, and well thought out time of events. After watching this, how we’ve been able to live past the Edwardian age without decimating ourselves remains a mystery to me, but all the new tidbits of knowledge now secured from this series is going to be great for future trivia nights.
  • Banshee
    Master thief and con who steals an identity? Check. Sassy transvestite with a love of bling who is also a master hacker? Check. Tortured love story? Check. Tortured religious expectations? Check. Amish gangsters? Check. Native American mafioso? Check. Banshee is an unexpected pleasure in our house — there is enough shit thrown on the wall that you would think would turn out to be a hot mess but instead you find is actually a rather compelling story about a group of unlikely people who sole goal is make it through to the next day.
  • Project Runway All-Stars The person who won was not who I wanted to win and for that I am sad. But I will say with the inclusion of Alyssa Milano as the host was fabulous, despite Zac Posen as a little too butch-queen in his pronouncements. Isaac Mizrahi may not have the Michael Kors zingers, but he is just as equally fabulous.
  • Justified
    We started mainlining this show early last spring, watching all four seasons within weeks. Waiting for season 5 to happen has been TORTURE. But Boyd Crowder is back and I am ever so happy to have him on my TV screen. Rowr.

Weekly watching: Raised by WolvesBBC Tudor Monastery Farm, Reign, Dracula,  Breathless, Atlantis,  Elementary, Doc Martin, QIPeaky Blinders,  Sons of Anarchy,  The Vampire Diaries

Links

What have you read/watched/listened to this week?
x0x0,
lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe in:

his last bow

Men decorating crenellated walls with flowers, some climbing on ladders.
Men decorating crenellated walls with flowers, some climbing on ladders, via Bodleian Library, Oxford.

Dear Internet,
I am procrastinating.
I crashed shortly after I posted yesterday’s entry, and woke up on my own sometime after 7. Since TheHusband had the alarm set for 8:30, he, for the first time in any memory, got up and started hitting the snooze alarm until sometime after 9. Turns out he got sick at some point in the night and didn’t end up getting sleep while I snored in the glow of the Benadryls.
Time has passed.
I made it out of the house today, and thankfully our massive shovel yesterday cleared 90% of the snow so that all it took this afternoon to get out was a bit of the gas pedal to push me over the ice packed humps at the foot of the driveway created by recent city snow plows. While it was expected the side streets would still be a mess, as they tend to be during storms like this, the main streets were almost unbearable and unmanageable. An email last night went out from the city that the refuse service was not being picked up on our assigned days this week since the people who drive the trucks were going to be used to do the plowing. After driving in this mess, I’m slightly skeptical that happened.
Thankfully, a good chunk of my errands were located in the same general area, with the exception of having to head to the Ace hardware store a mile north which I decided was going to be a miss as I slid on the straight 2.5 mile towards the grocery store. One thing I had not planned on during all of these storms were the stores being decimated of stuffs. Of course it seems silly to think they wouldn’t be hit by the storms as trucks can’t get through due to the polar vortex, but I was genuinely surprised when I saw some of the things I wanted were not on the empty shelves.
Related: Why are people such assholes in stores when bad weather hits? Granted I was shopping in an area where your self-importance rises by 30% once you cross the city lines, but still. One woman, seeing me trundle down the make-shift one cart wide aisle in the veg and fruit area just stood there and wouldn’t move as I came to the end as she had intended on heading down the same aisle in the opposite direction. Another woman parked her cart and her body several feet apart at the small customer service stand when I went up to buy stamps. Dirty looks were shot by both of them when I said, “Excuse me.” in dulcet tones.
Also related: Observation is that black, mid-to-full length, preferably North Face, jackets are the de rigueur to wear in winter. I noticed this trend a few years ago and today it was like a mob of black marshmallows all over the store. Myself included — though to be far, this is my first black winter coat as I was getting tired of looking like a Lifesaver upon leaving the abode in past winters.
Tonight is the return of Justified, a show I love almost as much as my husband. Before I go make the obligatory nightly bowl of popcorn, I want to leave you with a few things.
Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock.
Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock.

I have been hankering for a purple, velvet smoking jacket for a long time but haven’t really found one I love. June tipped me off tonight to Derek Rose, makers of fine dressing gowns, who also created the one Benedict Cumberbatch wears in Sherlock. I had no idea I was so desirous of such a lovely piece of clothing until now. It is my ever most wish to save up £297.00 / $487.00 to buy one.
If you’re interested in Sherlock‘s wardrobe, Sherlockology has done a great job of putting together a list of all clothing worn by the main characters throughout the seasons.
I am not a runner, but this exercise calendar is pretty fabulous. The inspirational quotes are not too sentimental, it has space to write in your daily routines, and a nice area to wrap up monthly routines and goals.
x0x0,
Lisa
P.S. UVerse fucked up our recording of Justified and I am bereft of my Boyd Crowder fix.

This day in Lisa-Universe: 2003

Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes: May 11, 2013

Johann Georg Hainz's Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Johann Georg Hainz’s Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

During the Renaissance, cabinet of curiosities came into fashion as a collection of objects that would often defy classification. As a precursor to the modern museum, the cabinet referred to room(s), not actual furniture, of things that piqued the owners interest and would be collected and displayed in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes is my 21st century interpretation of that idea.
 
Dear Internet,

Writing

Cunning Tales from a Systems Librarian

Projects

  • things to do in leelanau county when you’re dead

The Lisa Chronicles

Reading

twwdal
The Woman Who Died A Lot: A Thursday Next Novel  (#7) (Amazon | Local Library | GoodReads)
By Jasper Fforde
I’ve been purposefully making time to read every day, even for 5 minutes, so that I can get back in the habit again. I know depression and other factors have been a huge influence on my attitudes towards things, so it’s even more important I make and keep habits to keep myself inline.
I started this title months ago, and in the last week have made great strides (a hundred pages!) in getting it finished. But I am finding that depression or not, this title seems to have less of the pizazz that was so prominent in the previous novels in the series. The plot seems to center around someone is trying to kill the real Thursday, and others near her, and replace her with day clones. We know it’s probably Goliath (so we’re lead to believe…), but what is the real reason?
Thursday is also named Chief Librarian of Swindon, and one thing I’ll give Fforde many hat tips for is how he captures the essence of librarianship without making Thursday come off as being cartoonish or stereotyped.

Watching

  • Rectify
    Sundance is now throwing its hat into the ring by starting to produce original series content. Produced by the same people who give us Breaking Bad, Rectify follows the story of Daniel Holden, a man who may have been unjustly accused of rape and murder of his girlfriend at the age of 18. 19 years later, he’s freed from prison based on new DNA evidence that shows his potential innocence. TheHusband and I found out about the show after the first episodes ran so we ended up mainlining them in toot suite order. Verdict? Show borders on excellence, and this opinion by me surprises myself because slowness in television land has never been something that caught my eye. One critic said it makes Mad Men look like a pulp action thriller in comparison, which I wholeheartedly agree with. Rectify is deep character study of not just Daniel, but his family, friends, and others around him. There is some moments of implausibility  where it seems the writers are trying too damn hard to showcase the difference between 1994 and 2013, but those moments are few and far between. Watching Daniel struggle not only with coming to terms with the fact he never really grew up (he’s a man’s body but an 18 year olds brain) but also the intersection of past versus present, which is more compelling over whether or not Daniel is the killer.
  • Justified
    Will Ava go to jail? Will Raylan and Winona get back together before the baby is born? Is Raylan going bad, or has he always been bad? Will Boyd save his woman and the world? WHY DO I LOVE BOYD SO MUCH? I love this show far too much and now that the fourth season has ended, there is a loss in my heart.

Weekly watching: DaVinci’s DemonsMad MenNurse JackieThe BorgiasVeepDoctor WhoGame of Thrones,  The Vampire Diaries, ElementaryThe Americans.

Links

What have you read/watched/listened to this week?
x0x0,
Lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe in: 2011, 2011

Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes: April 20, 2013

Johann Georg Hainz's Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Johann Georg Hainz’s Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

During the Renaissance, cabinet of curiosities came into fashion as a collection of objects that would often defy classification. As a precursor to the modern museum, the cabinet referred to room(s), not actual furniture, of things that piqued the owners interest and would be collected and displayed in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes is my 21st century interpretation of that idea.
 
Dear Internet,
I’m back from conferencing and my laptop is also out of the shop. Work is ramped up as the semester draws to a close and my juggling balls are still up in the air. I feel like after graduation date, when we start calming down inside the library, I can finally begin to breathe.
I’m adding a new section to the rotation list (Reading, Watching, Listening, Writing, Links) called Reviews. I’ve gotten enough requests on Twitter for how I/we use/like things I mention, trying to contain it all in 140 characters is tough.

Reading

I finished my second book of the year: I Am Half Sick of Shadows, which I had started reading when I went to LibTechConf last month. FINALLY. I’m not close to being on track to finishing a book a week, but, it’s something. Fingers crossed this can get ramped up in the next few months.

Watching

  • DaVinci’s Demons
    I am not sure what to make of this series, nor is TheHusband. In fact, 15 minutes in the first episode and he was on his tablet reading ESPN he was so bored. The time period, costuming, art direction are all totally up my alley but I have to agree with TheHusband on this show – it’s not keeping me engaged. Sometimes, you need to give a series a few episodes before making a full commitment.
  • Justified
    We started watching this a few weeks back but I didn’t get an opportunity to get this listed. Now streaming on AIV (free for Prime), this has become the staple show to watch after our DVR has been emptied. From episode 1, we’ve been hooked. And personally? I’ve got a bit of a crush on Boyd Crowder.
  • Mad Men
    Two hour premier kicked off last week and you know, it was the same shit, different day. The most exciting thing was Betty finally growing her metaphorical balls to reject the patriarchy. I just cannot get into this show any more nor do I care. It’s the sixth season, and the seventh one will be the last, thank the fates. This has jumped the shark.
  • Nurse Jackie, The Borgias, and Veep
    5th, 3rd, 2nd season premiers and meh, meh, and vaguely funny.

Weekly watching: Doctor WhoGame of ThronesVikings, The Vampire Diaries, ElementaryThe Americans, and Project Runway.

Links

Reviews

Sodastream
If TheHusband and I have any shared vices, it would be sparkle water. We love the stuff. Pellegrino for him, Ice Mountain flavored for me. In the state of Michigan, soda, beer, and sparkle water bottles have a 10 cent deposit on them on top of the price. It was getting to the point that we were buying between 6-12 cases a month of water, 24 bottles per case, so we had bags of bottles and cans growing in our kitchen to redeem for the deposit we paid.  The last, and final, batch of bottles/cans we took to redeem for the deposit totaled $16. The week before, it was $12.
Grand Rapids tap water is fine (actually, it’s quite tasty), but the fizz in bottled water that gets us. The mountain of empties to return, the growing cost per month of our water addiction, plus the environmental impact was taking its toll. We needed to find a solution where we could get the sparkle water, without having the growing bags of returns, and have it on demand. Getting a soda maker/carbonator was the obvious solution and after much research,   we found the highest rated  and reviewed was Sodastream.
Bottom line: we love it.
Our initial investment was $80 for the Fountain Jet, which included a 60L carbonator,  1L reusable bottle, and a sample pack of soda flavors. Within a few days, we loved it so much we purchased a twin pack of 1L bottles and a twin pack of 1/2L bottles (total of four bottles + the original) via Amazon. Each twin pack was roughly $20, so our total investment is now $120. While most of the sample sodas were okay, we were in it just to carbonate our water and less about making soda, though TheHusband found just by adding splashes of lemon or lime juice after the carbonation is tasty.
It took us a month of getting through the 60L carbonator, which costs us $15 to exchange at a local hardware store (Sodastream has a list of places you can exchange carbonators and buy new). A new carbonator is $30. We decided to keep an extra carbonator on hand in case we run out and we can’t immediately get an exchange set up.
So previously we were spending easily $125  on sparkle water a month. After our initial investment recoups in the first month plus, our monthly outlay will be $15 or so to do the monthly exchange of the carbonator. We have five bottles (3 1L and 2 1/2L), which we rotate through the day. The bottles are reusable and have a “use by date,” so we’re not stressing the make of the bottles and the bottles are recyclable.
$15 dollars a month compared to $125? Yeah, we can dig it.
What have you read/watched/listened to this week?
x0x0,
Lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe in: 2012

Edited April 20, 2013 at 11:26AM