Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes December 21, 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,

Reading

cocainebluesCocaine Blues: Phryne Fisher Mysteries #1 by Kerry Greenwood
(Amazon | WorldCat | GoodReads | LibraryThing)
Status: Finished
The first book in a long series that inspired the show Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, is currently available for free on the Kindle via Amazon. Since I had become obsessed with the show, it seemed natural to check in on the book series to see how it lived up.
TV and book series are pretty on par with the other. Action is high, Phryne is pretty similar in both medias, and but the character development. with the exception of Phryne, in the book series is lacking whereas the TV series feels more well thought out. Phryne is a very visual character, her frocks and accessories are very detailed in the books, as is more of her backstory is explained, but the rest of the book characters seem kind of stale in comparison to their TV counterparts. I know there had been some complaints about Detective Inspector Jack Robinson (secondary character in the books, primary in the series) and the changing of some events in the book series to the TV version actually made the storyline slightly better and still satisfying.
While I found development of the characters a bit weak, the storyline seemed abrupt at times, I am rating this a 4/5 for technique, research, and content. I also loved how Greenwood walks you through elements of the mystery without spoon feeding them to you, which is echoed in the TV version as well.
Very enjoyable and fast read. Highly recommended.
dodgerDodger by Terry Pratchett
(Amazon | WorldCat | GoodReads | LibraryThing)
Status: Finished
A departure from Discworld, Sir TPerry takes us on a romp through the early days of Victorian London, where Charles Dickens is a journalist prowling the underbelly of streets, Prince Albert is still alive, and we’re introduced to a wealth of characters that seem almost unreal and yet, they very much are.
As most of you know, I’m a huge fan of Sir TPerry, but this book was hit or miss for me. The backstories of early Victorian London, the dialogue, the slang, the characters were all true to life. While I appreciated the nod to Dickensian themes and word styling, but there still felt like something was detached and it’s driving me crazy that I cannot put my finger on it. I read this in spurts of 50-75 pages, putting it down, and then picking it up months later for another 50-75 page spurt. The last spurt happened in a 1.5 hour long bath because I was desperate to finally finish it.
This book would be  a great companion to anyone interested in a fantasy set in reality (as Sir PTerry puts it) of early Victorian Age or who wants to get into Dickens without reading Dickens. Sir PTerry is a great storyteller and that is still evident here and while I feel he was incredibly passionate about Dodger and his companions, the magic was slightly off and a bit hard to swallow.
thisyearyouwriteThis Year You Write Your Novel by Walter Mosley
(Amazon | WorldCat | GoodReads | LibraryThing)
Status: Finished
I’m going to disagree with much of the middling and negative reviews about this title.
If you’re serious about writing, why would you dismiss something that would and could be of great help to you? Especially from someone who is as esteemed as Walter Mosley? Doesn’t that seem ridiculous?
Like most writers, I collect, read, thumb, and tag writing reference titles to keep on hand and to get guidance. Mosley’s title was recommend to me from an artist friend who thought its straight to the point advice given in bite sized allotments would be attractive to me and he was right.
Sure, yes, you can listen to CBC Writers and Company (one of the best writing podcasts out there), subscribe to a zillion magazines and newsletters, and read blogs and websites to get advice. But while some of that information is helpful and at times useful, distilling through the noise to get to the actual meat of matter is exhausting. This is why Mosley’s works is important – it gets rid of all the high falutin pretentious twaddle that seems to crop up in most writing manuals and advice how-tos and gives you the real deal.
snobberywithviolence
Snobbery with Violence by Marion Chesney
(Amazon | WorldCat | GoodReads | LibraryThing)
Status: Finished
Marion Chesney/M.C. Beaton has a formula that regardless of which series or persona she is writing in, is always in play: Barely existing plot, overly pulled sexual tension between the leads, content the depth of a 1″ puddle, and story devices that are thrown against the wall and then forgotten. Having read much of the Agatha Raisin series, while knowing it was to be frivolous fun, I grew bored because Aggie (don’t call her that if you value your life) never seemed to grow as a character. It was always the same shenanigans, book after book.
With this being said, I picked up the Edwardian Mystery series by Chensey/Beaton as I grow increasingly interested in this time period I’m on the lookout for contemporary titles written about this period and this is one of the few contemporarily written series currently available.
Chesney/Beaton doesn’t disappoint. You have your “oh she’s supposedly so well educated but portrays herself as a half-wit” heroine who comes from exceedingly good stock; the mysterious and fallen main male lead who “oh really publicly hates the heroine but secretly loves her” and yes, it’s all very predicable and cliche-y.
There is no stretch in the research or imagination here, and if I had not been well attuned to Ms. Chesney/Beaton’s writing style from before, I would probably like the book even less but you know, at the end of the day, it’s a frippery of a read that while it may not have educated me, it did keep me entertained.
2013 List | In progress

Watching

  • Masters of Sex
    The season finale and much is left to the open for interpretation on what is going to happen and where the show is going. I really adored this show – and it was one of the few shows in our weekly repertoire I would demand to watch live. There is certain detachedness to the show, and some of the characters are written flat, but I do love this show. Michael Sheen as the uptight Dr. Masters is a delight.
  • A Place to Call Home
    TheHusband and I have mainlined this show in its entirety. Complex, thought out, well drawn drama about early 1950s Australia. Complicated relationships, characters, and the setting is gorgeous.
  • Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries
    Season 2 kittens, season 2!
  • Survivor
    It’s finally over. Thank fuck.

Weekly watching: BBC Tudor Monastery Farm, Reign, DraculaProject Runway All-Stars, Breathless, Atlantis,  ElementaryMarvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.Sleepy Hollow,   Boardwalk Empire, Doc Martin, QIPeaky Blinders,  Sons of Anarchy,  The Vampire Diaries
What have you read/watched/listened to this week?
x0x0,
lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe in:

on dit, or it is said

Dreamer at the fountain, circa 1340, via visualiseur.bnf.fr
Dreamer at the fountain, circa 1340, via visualiseur.bnf.fr

Dear Internet,
The problem with having staycation that last for weeks is you forget what day it is so I am happy to report it is Friday and today has been a slow and restful day.
I woke up at about 830A with some very definite plans — bleach and then dye my hair a ravishing red and once that was done, plan to hit a matinee of the new Lord of the Rings (or Thorin Oakendreamboatshield).  After TheHusband woke, and the dog had been walked, we read for awhile as my hair cooked. Once the mail had arrived with my rare and valuable Cards Against Humanity card, and we cleansed our filthy bodies, we headed off to the movies.
The weather has a winter wonderland of snow for the last few weeks and on an almost sudden turn, it became an icy hell in the last few days as the weather warmed up slightly over 32F. It took forever to deice and defrost Jeeves and then I wavered on deciding to actually leave. Our street was a rink but the main streets seemed to be okay, so I decided we should go forth and head to the film.
Not necessarily a bad decision, but the warming up of the car and then driving put us behind on schedule and we got to the theatre too late to for the beginning of the film, so we opted for lunch instead. No other films were starting close to the time we would be done with our lunch, so we opted to come back home.
We curled up and read for a few more hours, I made hot cocoa with marshmallows, the dog on my left hip never changing. This weeks Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes is all about reading. I finished four books, started a fifth, and did a lot of long form web article reading.
After the dog’s afternoon constitutional, I headed to mainline more of A Place to Call Home, TheHusband headed to watch sportball, and this has been our day.
x0x0,
Lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe:

Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes December 7, 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 was thinking the other day with using only one post on the landing page and the titles are almost never indicators of what I am writing about, it would be a good idea to pull together a list of the top tags of topics I cover. Which you can now see in the right hand side and the list is long.

Reading

11093962
13 Little Blue Envelopes by  Maureen Johnson
(Amazon | WorldCat | GoodReads | LibraryThing)
Status: Finished
I need to admit I am a huge fan of Maureen Johnson’s Twitter, but had not, until this point, read any of her books. When this came along as a freebie on Kindle as a promotion to reel you in for one of her newer titles, I grabbed it. I admittedly rarely dip into YA, so this seemed like a good gateway drug.
Erm.
Not terribly sure what I read but I’m having a hard time reconciling the erudite, witty, and hilarious MJ could write such a bland book. There is no character development, no setting, no plot movement – it’s just all action. Ginger follows these steps to get to this point. The problem is the underlying premise of the book is about the growth of Ginger when her favorite aunt dies, because who else would push her to developing into something that was not just a dependable, reliable old hag. But you don’t really see any growth going on with Ginger as she flits about Europe chasing after her dead aunt.
A couple of other reviewers pointed out some major flaws of the book, such as the Mysterious Parents who apparently had zero problem letting Ging flitter her way across Europe with not a single contact to them. In fact, we never even meet the parents The second criticism has to do with the money spent by Ginger, given to her by her Aunt, which was such an exact number, £1826, that the travelling she does, even on the cheap, is not necessarily going to cover it all. Even more importantly when she has to give £500 away and ends up being charged £500 for a weeks room / board while in Amsterdam. She’s apparently crossed EU several times, via plane and train, ate, and got rooming for under £800? There is suspending belief and there is being so fucking arbitrary it’s kind of ridiculous.
I’ll give ole MJ another go a later time, but overall the only positive thing about this book is that I finished it in 1.5 hours.
Watching

Weekly watching: Reign, DraculaProject Runway All-Stars, Breathless, AtlantisMasters of SexElementaryMarvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.Sleepy HollowSurvivor,  Boardwalk Empire, 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: 1998

Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes: November 30, 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

The Lisa Chronicles

1998

1999

Ephemera – Prose Companion to The Lisa Chronicles

Reading

shewolves
She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth by Helen Castor
(Amazon | WorldCat | GoodReads | LibraryThing)
Status: Currently Reading
First heard about on the BBC History podcast when they interviewed the author, Helen Castor, and I had been looking forward to reading this for ages. Like many titles that specialize on European history, this came out in the US nearly a year after first published in the UK. It is now available in paperback and ebook in addition to the hardcover in the States. It also has an accompanying one-off TV series that is also available in the US on DVD which I’ve seen and is very good.
While I adore the topic Castor covers, I had a problem with her presentation of the TV series in which it is a little too dry, a little too academic-y, and a little too author centric. Although very well versed at the topic in hand, she’s very staid when she presents. I had hoped the book wasn’t going to be in the same vain and unfortunately it is.
This is not to say She-Wolves is not an entertaining read because overall it is, but it is to say I am 25% in and with a subject area that has more drama, violence, romance, and intrigue that could rival any fictionalized TV show, and I’m puzzled at how Castor can almost make it almost a snooze fest. I’ll give a more indepth report later once I’ve finished the book.

Watching

Weekly watching: Reign, DraculaProject Runway All-Stars, Breathless, AtlantisMasters of SexElementaryMarvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.Sleepy HollowSurvivor,  Boardwalk Empire, Doc Martin, QIPeaky Blinders,  Sons of Anarchy,  The Vampire Diaries
What have you read/watched/listened to this week?
x0x0,
lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe in:

Reader::Writer

Dear Internet,
When I started this entry originally — ooh, must have been sometime in the summer, I was responding to an article I read in The Guardian about the role of the reader versus that of the writer. Umberto Eco’s response surprised me as he struck me as someone who spent long hours with his nose in comics and books as he does writing them, but the positing of, “We are thus deeply influenced by books we haven’t read, that we haven’t had the time to read.” is deeply revealing not only of Eco, but also the world at large which I think was his point. I know I’m not the only person who when meeting another, especially once I’m invited into their home, immediately look for their bookshelves to see what their reading. But the advent of the Kindle and other ebook devices have now circumvented my nosiness. THANKS, AMAZON.
Which brings us to me and my reading and writing habits.

The ever growing To Be Read pile.
The ever growing To Be Read pile.

The image above is our TBR pile that is organized by owner as of mid-2012. What you’re not seeing is the nearly falling stacks in our bedroom on one of our dressers, our stacks of books on our ereaders OR taking into account the piles you see to your left have doubled since this picture was taken.
The topics on the shelves are diverse from ancient history to contemporary art criticism, with YA fiction thrown in for good measure and everything inbetween. Despite the breadth of content available, my secret shame is not what I have purchased and not read, but my reading lists on Amazon which number titles in the hundreds, organized neatly by topic. I want to read all the words in the world.
In the beginning of this year, I made the commitment to not purchase another book until my stacks were cleared. Which I mostly kept to – but I also snuck around this rule simply by ordering books via interlibrary loan and then reading them in bits and pieces before they were sent back. Two titles I’ve requested and received enough times that I really should just buy the damn books. I also circumvented this by supporting things via Kickstarter – because it’s for a good cause! And then later, you get presents you totally forgot about in the mail.
The problem I had been struggling with is my lack of reading books, but in my head I took it to mean I was not reading anything at all. When I did the update earlier in November on the goals laid out in Kalendae Januariae, I reconciled the fact my book reading was down because I was reading so much more in other media (magazines, newspapers, etc). But I feel a sickening shame and my heart drops, no matter how I try to spin it in my head, I’m just not reading enough and by that I mean books.  As of today, I have read NINE books in 2013, my goal for 2013 was to read 50. I am also influenced by people I follow across the social spheres who are reading books voraciously and widely, something I admire, which is helping giving me a kick in the arse to get going on my own book reading again.
To accommodate more book reading time, I’ve started with small changes such as taking an actual lunch break during the day and reading in the staff lounge instead of the usual eating at my desk while staring mindlessly at a monitor. TheHusband and I have also set aside, several nights a week, time after dinner to read which has been helping. I’ve also swapped my morning ritual around to include a breakfast that requires me to sit and eat, rather than eat on the go and it is during this time I catch up on newspapers, magazines, and of course books.
This upcoming week I am off for the holiday and I’ve resolved to read 3 books before I go back to work on December 2. When I go on holiday shutdown in mid-December, and I’m off for nearly a month, I initially resolved to finish a book a day. The more realistic approach to this since we’re having family in town and other plans is probably a book every two days.  If I can make those two challenges work, plus whatever other book reading I get in between then, should start making a dent in my back piles.
This also applies to my comics, which with gifts, Kickstarter, and my own personal spending habits have gotten widely out of control.
Now that I’ve been writing daily for almost a month, and even wrote a poem or two in the process as well as some notes for some shorts, I now know that setting the task of a small goal and achieving that goal can be done! It’s astonishing how such a small change can make a huge difference even in how you approach things in life, because knowing I set myself up for this, I find how as I write more, I want to read more, and as I read more, I want to write more. It’s a very pleasurable circle jerk that allows me to expand my world, one page at a time.

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid. Jane Austen

Thanks Jane, I couldn’t have said it better myself.
x0x0,
Lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe: 2008, 1998

Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes for November 23, 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,

Reading

throneofthecrescentmoonThrone of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed
(Amazon | WorldCat | GoodReads | LibraryThing)
Status: Finished
At first glance, it’s easy to dismiss THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON as a typical sword and sorcery novel with not one, but many reluctant heroes in the guise of being presented by multiple points of view. But from the very first chapter, you realise you’re in the presence of something much larger, grander, and more indepth than previous versions of this motif. You could read the story for what it is, a tale of an old man and his young charges righting the wrongs of the world, but you’d be missing out on much of what Saladin has to say.
And boy does he have a lot say – THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON is an allegorical tale using Saladin’s world as the mirror to our own and through his work, he is critiquing the problems that exist in our world. He underscores some of the larger and complex concepts with a very subtle humour that at first read through you miss until you realise what he’s getting at — very Dickensian. His voice is very passionate, very authentic, and very real.
And there was something else in this tale that I couldn’t put my finger on until I read it on another review: Saladin’s work has soul and a heart. A lot of fantasy I’ve read, and in the larger scope of my canon is actually much less than most, tends to have a hollowness to the world and characters – they seem to be missing their “humanness” about them we often need to make that connection within ourselves. There is certainly nothing wrong with that, not every novel needs to be a treatise on the human condition. But you don’t realise how much you miss having a full bodied story until you get your hands on one again.

Watching

  • Downton Abbey
    The fourth season, which is set to air on PBS in January 2014, has just finished in the UK and my overall response is – meh. There is your usual backstabbing, mischief has been managed, and illicit love affairs but the overall intensity of the show that I once loved has seemingly lost its oomph. It has been renewed for a fifth season and while I’m sure I’ll still be watching it, probably not with the zest I once did. The show has jumped the shark and while formulas can be good, Julian Fellowes just needs to let this one go.
  • Reign
    I was introduced to this show by several friends who thought it would be a good fit for my interests, but what they failed to tell me (or better yet, what I should have known) that as a show on The CW, it would be less than historically accurate. The best summary I can give for this show is that it’s The Tudors in clothing from Forever 21. But you don’t watch CW shows for their historical accuracy and commentary on historical figures. There is definitely some eye rolling going on, lots of gratuitous sex, more anachronistic details you can shake a stick at but you know what? Who cares! It’s a train wreck of a show with a very pretty cast and even prettier set dressing.

Weekly watching: DraculaProject Runway All-Stars, Breathless, AtlantisMasters of SexElementaryMarvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.Sleepy HollowSurvivor,  Boardwalk Empire, 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:

Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes: November 2, 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,
This week I’ve been at a conference and have hardly been online, so this weeks CCC is on the thin side.

Reading

thewhaleroadThe Whale Road (Oathsworn #1) by Robert Low
(Amazon | WorldCat | GoodReads | LibraryThing)
Status: Finished
What attracted me to reading this series was the author is a journalist, is passionate about the time period, and the best part? He’s a an active Viking reenactor. So we’ve got someone who can write and knows their history well.
But just as one can be a journalist and be a terrific writer, it does not necessarily  mean they can write fiction. Low is not one of those people, but this is not to say his story is without problems. The story meanders at times with no point, the character development isn’t there, and the plot seems thin on the ground. BUT, it’s intriguing. I love the historical aspect that is being presented, and there is a lot of promise to the series. So it’s not great, but it’s good and will keep you entertained.

Watching

Weekly watching: American Horror Story: Coven, Breathless, AtlantisHomelandMasters of SexElementaryMarvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.Sleepy HollowSurvivorDownton AbbeyBoardwalk Empire, Doc Martin, QIPeaky BlindersThe Newsroom, Sons of Anarchy,  The Vampire Diaries

x0x0,
lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe in: 2012, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2010, 1998

Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes: October 12, 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

Reading

silverpigs The Silver Pigs by Lindsey Davis
(Amazon | WorldCat | GoodReads | LibraryThing)
Status: Finished
Widely recommended by historians and booksellers for its authenticity to the period, incredibly detailed research, and snappy pacing, in the end I found that while I enjoyed the book, ultimately I wasn’t in love with it. There were some inauthenticities that drove me slightly mad (like the use of the word “fuck” which while rare in the story, is not true to period. That word doesn’t show up in English until the high middle ages. I’m also fairly certain there was not a Latin equivalent of the word, which makes it a bit more annoying). I try to keep my prejudices in check knowing that if this was written true to language of the period, modern eyes would be bored so the work had to be given some leeway to make it more palatable. I couldn’t relate to or connect with any of the characters, which while not a terribly huge problem, is not exactly easy finish the work.
But I do like the concept of the series! And I did feel like not only was my brain getting entertainment, but I was also getting a bit of an education too. I’ll give this a few more books before I either fully commit or ditch them. Davis also has a new series with a female lead in the same period, which I also want to check out.

Watching

  • BBC The Fairytale Castles Of King Ludwig II With Dan Cruickshank
  • Atlantis
    A new spin on the mythology of Atlantis coupled with Greek mythology, this new series from the BBC is also produced by the same folks who did Merlin. Expect to see a lot of familiar actors popping in and out, slightly changed storylines, and a same kind of goofy feel. Not a bad show, but not something to absolutely love either. More of background noise than rapt attention, and more a long the lines of binge watching rather than catching it every week.  Atlantis is coming to BBC America in November.
  • Homeland
    Third season has begun and I’m a bit weary after the first few episodes of their portrayal of Carrie’s bipolarism. Not everyone who goes off of lithium, automatically gets tossed into the crazy hospital. Even more importantly, while ECT is commonly still used for treatment, you don’t just “get it” just because you’re having a moment. There are some wretched side effects to ECT that aren’t even addressed in the show. I get the point is to underscore her craziness to mean her unreliability, but it’s beginning to feel slapstick rather than serious.
  • Masters of Sex
    A quasi-historical romp of the late 1950s, following two of the pioneers of the science of sex. Two episodes in and I’m hooked, not on the obvious (it’s sex. For science!) but by the subtle interplay of characterizations and relationships. Sure, there are some stereotypes, like the hooker with the heart of gold, but overall this is great fun to watch even when it’s attempt at being serious.
  • BBC Four – A Very British Murder with Lucy Worsley, If Walls Could Talk: The History of the Home, BBC Four – Tales from the Royal Bedchamber
    I realised recently that if my life was a choose your own adventure, I would have chosen a path similar to Lucy Worsley‘s. By day, a Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces in England and historian/writer at night, Worsley’s interests not only match my own but what I’ve come to adore about her is how she makes history accessible and fun, no matter what the topic. I also love the fact that she’s willing to get into a historical thing to experience it herself, whether it is dressing like a Georgian queen, sleeping in a medieval bed to find the pea, or not bathing for a week to get a sense of how they did it in ye olde tymes. Her interest in a broad range of topics makes her exploration of them fresh and compelling. She also has several books out to support her topics, which I’m hoping to check out in the near future.
  • Da Vinci’s Demons
    I finally got around to see the final two episodes of this season and it was much better than my previous impression. Like Atlantis in that it’s kitchy and background noisy, it’ll stay in the rotation with the hopes it will get stronger in the future.
  • The Bridge (US)
    Slow, slow pacing; the murder solved mid-season, the fact I couldn’t get “it puts the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again” out of my head whenever Ted Levine walked into the screen, the unbearable hotness of Demian Bichir, and the confusing actions of possibly Autistic Diane Kruger made this show hard to watch at times. It just felt utterly confusing, some main characters dropped for a few episodes with no mention, and then magically reappear, the too many sub-plots floating around, and the strange build of romantic tension (or not) between Bichir and Kruger. TheHusband really liked this show. Not not loved, but liked. This is an American take on the Danish/Swedish version, and soon there is a joint English/French version, The Tunnel, coming in a few weeks. As one critic intoned, this is a format that works. Apparently so.

Weekly watching: Elementary, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.Sleepy HollowSurvivorDownton AbbeyBoardwalk Empire, Doc Martin, QIPeaky Blinders, Project Runway, The Newsroom, Sons of Anarchy, The Vampire Diaries

Links

x0x0,
lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe in: 2003

Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes: September 7, 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

The Lisa Chronicles

Listening

  • Finally got a chance to finish Neverwhere, and boy was it a delight.

Reading

Watching

  • Orange is the New Black
    Alright Internet, I have to say this show didn’t do anything for me. Two long, draggy, whiny, self-obsessed episodes in and all I wanted to do was shiv Piper Chapman myself. I felt like the characters were so over the top, they stared to come back down. The backstories drove me nuts – sure, it can be used as a plot device but after awhile, it feels like the show ran more steam on the backstories then the supposed current events of why Piper was in the joint in the first place. The first episode cheated by giving us the TV tried and true hook, line, and sinker: lesbian sex. Not once, but several times. I felt like the show threw out all of its cards on the table, before the season even got started, and what I saw bored me.

Weekly watching: The Bridge (US), Project RunwayThe Newsroom, Sons of Anarchy, Burn Notice,  DaVinci’s Demons,  The Vampire Diaries

Links

x0x0,
lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe in: 2012, 2008

Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes: August 31 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

The Lisa Chronicles

Listening

  • Neverwhere
    The new radio adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s book stars Natalie Dormer, James McAvoy, Benedict Cumberbatch among the rest of the stellar cast.  I’m only a few episodes in but so far I’m really enjoying this.

Reading

Watching

Weekly watching: The Bridge (US), Project RunwayThe Newsroom, Sons of Anarchy, Burn Notice,  DaVinci’s Demons,  The Vampire Diaries

Links

x0x0,
lisa

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