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 LiesEpisodesConstantine, Marvel’s Agent Carter, The Musketeers
What have you read/watched/listened to this week?
xoxo,
Lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe: 1999

Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes for January 31, 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

  • Father Brown
    • Mark Williams plays the titular character, a wily priest who solves crimes in his Cotswald parish. Three seasons are now out and I’ve been bingeing on them during down time.
  • Mr. Selfridge
    • Jeremy Piven plays the titular(I like this word, okay?) character that’s now starting its third season in the UK (to be shown in the US later this spring). Lots are going on now that we’re at the end of WW1, but I won’t divulge due to spoilers.
  • Secret Diary of a Call Girl
    • Billie Piper plays Belle, a high class sex worker, who starts at the beginning of the series with a nice flat that she splits between work and play, who navigates her way through the private sex worker world. I binged the entire series in a week and I really liked it. I liked how they had her slowly progressing over her rather humble beginnings and ends up being one of the best sex workers in London. Some things were never really addressed such as her relationship with her family and several main characters came on and were then, within a season, gone. All in all, I would definitely recommend if you need something fluffy to take the edge off a hard week.
  • Wolf Hall
    • BBC’s lavish production based on Hilary Mantel’s best selling book about the rise and fall of Thomas Cromwell. This is also going to show up on PBS later this spring, so again, no spoilers. Overall, the production may be sumptuous but I’m finding it slow and rather boring.
  • Transparent
    • An Amazon original that’s winning awards, I am torn about this show. Many of my trans* friends are unhappy with the production because a trans* person is not playing the main character. I get that, but this is about the beginning of their transformation, so it makes sense to me that it’s a non-trans* person in the role. The show does have trans* characters played by trans* people and there are trans* folks also act as consultants for the show, so that does mollify it a bit. Overall, there is no one character that is likeable and everyone seems to be pretty dreadful (seems to be the new thing in H-wood) with no redeeming characteristics. It’s simply, “okay.”
  • Mozart in the Jungle
    • Another Amazon original, Gael Garcia Bernal plays a wild yet genius conductor who is hired by the New York Symphony to make it more relevant. There is conflict, passion, and absurdity abound, but it feels a bit staged and formulaic. But I really liked it, despite it’s pretentions. Produced by Jason Schwartzman, same dude who did Bored to Death, it’s got some dark humour sprinkled in which I do adore.
  • Justified
    • Boyd Crowder is baaaaack. ‘Nuff said.
  • Galavant
    • It’s four week, eight episode has ended. For a musical, I really, really liked this show. Like a lot. I loved the modern interpretations of the costumes, I adored the pop culture references, and how the show was one giant ball of satire. I cannot wait for the second season.
  • The Librarians
    • 10 episodes of what was essentially a Warehouse 13 meets Night at the Museum, it was neither serious but wasn’t really that great either. I know it raised the heckles of some librarian friends because no one apparently had a MLIS, but for what it was, it was good background watching.

Weekly Watching: BansheeHouse of LiesEpisodesConstantine, Marvel’s Agent Carter, The Musketeers

Links

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

This day in Lisa-Universe in: 2014, 2010, 1999

Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes for January 17, 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.

Reading

Finished
weddingnightWedding Night by  Sophie Kinsella
(Amazon | WorldCat | GoodReads)
You read Kinsella when you want fluffy, not terrible hard thinking pieces. But the thing I’ve noticed about her work is that underneath the marshmallow, there tends to be some kind of point in play that resonates with the reader. Wedding Night is no different from Kinsella’s previous books, in that it involves a madcap character who always gets herself into scrapes and how she ends up getting out of them. For that I’m grateful that when I need something that doesn’t require much processing while I read, Kinsella delivers. It’s a fun romp that really is a meditation of what is love. Recommended when you need something to brighten your day or just want to have fun.

Currently Reading

chestnutstreet Chestnut Street by Maeve Binchy
(Amazon | WorldCat | GoodReads)
After finishing Wedding Night, I wanted to continue on with the “doesn’t-require-a-lot-of-brain-power” books and of course I pick Binchy who is anything BUT fluff.
Chestnut Street is a series of vignettes that revolve around, well, Chestnut Street. I tend to love titles that use inanimate objects as a character, and this book is no exception to that love. Even within the humour of the book there are often dark undertones of the human condition we don’t want to think about or even acknowledge. The perfect family but the mother is sleeping with everyone. The grumpy old man whom isn’t really so grumpy as lonely. The girl who lies to her family about her living status so she won’t be shamed. I like that you can dip in and out of the book without having to read it straight through as the, thus far, only connection between all of these characters is the street they either live on or are associated with. Highly recommended.
lifeafterlifeLife After Life by Kate Atkinson
(Amazon | WorldCat | GoodReads)
Status: In progress
Wow. I started this book nearly two years ago and I haven’t barely made a dent into it. Interestingly, I have been carting it around with me from place to place as the only physical book in my possession with the hopes that I would someday finish it. New goal for January: Finish this fucking book!
 
 
 

Bagged and Boarded

greenlanternET
Emerald Twilight
(Amazon | WorldCat | GoodReads)
Why is Hal bat shit crazy? What’s going to happen to the Guardians? These questions must be answered!

Watching

Now that I’m settled into my own digs, all of my TV watching is going to be done via apps like HBO GO or Hulu+. I’m just going to touch briefly on the shows I’m on this week since there will be a lot!

  • Banshee My favorite Amish mafia, anonymous anti-hero, Slavic mob influenced TV show is BACK. I am SO. EXCITED. I don’t know anyone other than TSTBEH who watches this show, so please, if you need a show that has fantastic writing, brilliant character depictions, and great plot lines, this is the show for you.
  • House of Lies They’re backkkkk. Kaan and Associates are back and ready for action. TSTBEH wasn’t a huge fan of this show, but I love the gossipy, stabby in the back feel to the plot lines and I have a huge lady crush on Kristen Bell.
  • Episodes Matt LeBlanc parodying Matt LeBlanc. Tamsin Greig. A whole rich cast of supporting characters. Screwing with the establishment. Another great show from SHO and while we wait for Game of Thrones, makes Sundays seems a lot more bearable.
  • Constantine No one seems to know if this show is canceled or not, at least as of late November. I, however, like this show. I adore Matt Ryan in the titular role and I like the weekly artefact/mystery building. It reminds me a lot of the old Friday night show, Friday the 13th, which ran in the late ’80s. I really hope this show gets renewed for another season.
  • Marvel’s Agent Carter Strong female lead? Check. Great clothes? Check. Great lipstick? Check. Kicks major ass without the Cap’n? Check. Has a male sidekick? Check. This show is so much WHY we need more female superheros in leads and less about the mens. This is also one show I will totally sign anything to get renewed as a proper series AND will be buying the DVD.
  • Galavant I am, typically, not a fan of musicals but I do love fairy tales. With that in mind, I was a tad skeptical of this show but ooh boy, am I ever glad I’m wrong. Subtle pop culture references galore, catchy lyrics, absurd yet fun plot line. Timothy Omundson and his magnificent beard! I plowed through the first three episodes in one sitting and I’m hungry for more.
  • The Musketeers The boys are back! Slightly kitschy, a titch of ridiculousness, but 100% fun.
  • The Librarians And of COURSE I’m watching. Wouldn’t you?

Links

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

This day in Lisa-Universe in: 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 February 8, 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

  • Doc Martin
    Finally finished up season 6. While on one hand I love the curmudgeonly doctor, the plot lines each season are exactly the same.
  • The Musketeers
    Nice retelling of Dumas’ story, that also expounds on the story. It’s coming to BBCA this spring.
  • Mr. Selfridge
    Season 2 of the hit show returns
  • The White Queen
    I just finished the BBC version and then found out the Starz version was edited to INCLUDE more sexy times! Argh! But that aside, while the slow pick up, it got really interesting and started ramping up as the moves happened across the throne.
  • Moonfleet
    Based on a beloved children’s story as a retelling of Blackbird, but the movie adaptation was bor-ring.
  • The IT Crowd
    THE INTERNET IS COMING! The last episode of the benevolent geek show.
  • The Bletchley Circle
  • QI
    K series has now ended and we’re ever more sad for it.
  • Black Sails
    Starz’s new show about pirates and it’s slow going. Choppy editing and writing. It’s pretty to look at, but kind of vaccus to listen to.
  • Top Gear
    The boys are back! YAY.

Weekly watching: StellaUniversity ChallengeHouse of LiesEpisodesArcher, Chozen, True Detective, Under the Gunn, Justified, Banshee, Reign, Dracula, Elementary
What have you read/watched/listened to this week?
x0x0,
lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe in: 1999, 1999