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All posts for the month January, 2014

Winter Break 2.0

Published January 30, 2014 by Britt
My city is not easily avenged.

My city is not easily avenged.

Welcome to my city, where snow happens and everything shuts down. Including school. I had a two day week last week, and a two day week this week since school is closed tomorrow.

This sounds really great, right?

No.

I normally spend my snow days in my pajamas lounging and watching Netflix. That’s how I spent last week’s snow days. But now I’ve watched all the stuff I had wanted to watch (any recommendations on what to watch next…?) and now I’m waiting for something to do.

I have finished and started books. I have been on Tumblr so much. I watched the finale of American Horror Story: Coven (I approve of the new Supreme.). We made brownies, muffins, and snow cream, and then I tried Turkish coffee.

It’s like espresso. It’s that strong. I had to go out and run around in the snow for a while to the point where I couldn’t feel my fingers.

1797344_701132526605058_539368664_n

do you want to build a snowman?

I’m just so darn BORED. I miss my friends.

Reviews of a Bibliophile: Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Published January 9, 2014 by Britt

Summary: The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories. But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Here is my reaction when I finished this book.

Happy endings were once a thing…

There’s a second part to this gif I chose not to add in because I have family reading this and they’ll probably kill me.

But seriously though.

MOST. UNFAIR. ENDING. EVER.

WHY.

I’d make that bigger but darn you WordPress.

I mean yay for staying true to yourself BUT NOT LIKE THAT. I’m dancing around the significant spoiler BUT YOU WILL BE UPSET.

I mean, whatever happened to happy endings? I just want to hug a particular character and put a shock blanket around him and give him a teddy bear and tea and make it all better. But no. No. I know not everyone gets their happy ending, but sometimes a happy ending is good, right? I mean this isn’t Dexter or Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones. I don’t want them to run off and become a lumberjack (I’ve seen the endings around the internet… never actually watched the shows beside Game of Thrones) BUT THEY HAD IT SET UP ON A TEE. I guess they had this one set up on a tee too BUT NO STOP I’M NOT OKAY.

Besides that, it WAS SO GOOD. The plot was so good and I just can’t right now. In case you couldn’t tell, I just finished reading this within the past couple of hours.

I like this one better. Sorry, Anchorman.

Tobias stars. For the ending. ★★★★

cwutididthar?

The Politics of Brittany.

Published January 6, 2014 by Britt

Political affiliation? Lana Del Rey.

Politics is a touchy subject for most people. In fact, Dad says it’s one of three things he never talks about on the phone with someone at work making small talk while he fixes computers (The other two are religion and sports.). I kind of have to get involved for debate. It’s mock Congress, for crying out loud. I have to. Now, I’m not going to cram it down your throat. But it’s probably about time I explain my stance on certain things for future reference. And I came up with these opinions on my own; I did my research on them came up with them by myself. None of this was me being raised this way, and my opinions don’t really reflect those of my family (At least, I don’t think so.).

‘Murica

I like to think of myself as an independent leaning to the left. This is for lots of reasons. One is demographic. I am a young, educated, female student and that’s a type of person that that side happens to appeal to.

BUT.

I think both sides are huge pieces of crap. All they want is basically the opposite of what the other side wants, and they won’t cooperate to make things better. They won’t sit down and focus on the problems, and when they do they’re being essentially bribed by corporations to do their bidding. The won’t sit down and do what’s best for the people. Quite frankly, I don’t know if they even consider the people in making their decisions. It’s all about the money for them.

Allow me to give you an example. I went to an invitational and this very attractive guy printed out the entirety of Obamacare and intended to use it as evidence in his speech. Sounds like a good plan, right?

thisisobamacaresayhello

Say hello to my little friend.

He said the librarians got angry at him.

And guess what? Congress hasn’t read that whole thing. It’s over 1000 pages long. Maybe more. No one’s read that thing. That is unfair to America. I will admit, I prepared a speech on the same bill that he had prepared his speech on, but I at least watched a few videos to figure out how it works, or at least get the gist of it. I wouldn’t say the system is perfect (none are), but healthcare, according to the UN, is a basic human right, and this is at least a step in the direction towards universal healthcare.

I can’t be the only one who remembers the tragic shooting a little over a year ago at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Demands for gun control skyrocketed. Congress had a very good background check bill in hand. They dropped the ball. The bill died. Lots of people are to blame for that, Democrats and Republicans. Meanwhile, there’s Sen. Angus King and Sen. Bernie Sanders who are sitting and looking around hating everyone. You go Independents.

You want guns, NRA? Why not have marshmallow guns instead? Marshmallows are fluffy and delicious. And not deadly.

Basically, I think the American political system needs serious reform. It’s all nonsense. College Humor made a good parody of how Congress works right now in the form of an email chain. It makes me laugh.

I can’t wait for Congress to get the boot and have the new leaders of tomorrow like me  get involved in the political system and learn how to cooperate and do better things for America than the lazy Congress we have today.

Reviews of a Bibliophile: City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte

Published January 5, 2014 by Britt

Pretty cover is pretty.

Summary: Once a city of enormous wealth and culture, Prague was home to emperors, alchemists, astronomers, and, as it’s whispered, hell portals. When music student Sarah Weston lands a summer job at Prague Castle cataloging Beethoven’s manuscripts, she has no idea how dangerous her life is about to become. Prague is a threshold, Sarah is warned, and it is steeped in blood.
     Soon after Sarah arrives, strange things begin to happen. She learns that her mentor, who was working at the castle, may not have committed suicide after all. Could his cryptic notes be warnings? As Sarah parses his clues about Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved,” she manages to get arrested, to have tantric sex in a public fountain, and to discover a time-warping drug. She also catches the attention of a four-hundred-year-old dwarf, the handsome Prince Max, and a powerful U.S. senator with secrets she will do anything to hide.

Whoa, this book was a good book to start my 2014 One Year Book Challenge with. This book started off a little slow, but once it really got into it, I was hooked. Prague is a city I’ve started to see turn up in a couple books I’ve been reading, and it’s an interesting city from what I’ve been reading. Also, they have a problem with defenestration. That’s probably my favorite word. I also really love history mysteries, which led to me buying this book with my Christmas money. I’m happy to say I got my money’s worth. The plot was intriguing, and I liked the elements of magic they had. They also had the time traveling drug, which was an interesting approach to time travel as well. It had its noted flaws, but at least had a decent explanation behind it.

Sarah Weston is an interesting character. She has things I love about her, and things I hate about her. She’s a smart girl with a bit of a plucky personality, and her intelligence is in a bit of an obscure subject: musicology. I didn’t even know that was a thing. But she seems really passionate about it, although I can’t really remember if there was much of an answer about why. But she really loves Beethoven, and came up with a clever nickname for him: LVB. What really bothered me about her was how she couldn’t seem to keep her legs closed, if you get what I’m saying. She kept talking about how sexy a STATUE was. A STATUE. I don’t know why, but that aspect of her personality just bothered me. I think it’s because it drew away from the story a little.

I really love seeing characters from Virginia, by the way. Especially when it comes out of left field. The senator was from Virginia. I liked that.

Overall, this was a good read. Four stars. ★★★★

Why Shakespeare is actually really great.

Published January 3, 2014 by Britt

 

Most teenagers my age like to hate on Shakespeare because they think he’s boring. And I’ll admit, his tragedies suck. I was forced to read Julius Caesar for English last year and it was awful. I hated Julius Caesar with a passion. And so help me god, if you like to say your love life is like Romeo and Juliet, I’m judging you. Why? I like lists, have a list.

I don’t care that this is Leonardo DiCaprio. I don’t care if he’s suave. I don’t care how romanticized this play is. STOP.

WHY ROMEO AND JULIET SUCKS AND WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER COMPARE YOURSELVES TO THEM:

  • THEY ARE 13.
  • It lasted a WEEK. Yes, they met, got married, had sex, and killed themselves in a WEEK
  • So, you know that famous balcony scene? “Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?” (wherefore means why, not where) It was actually really offensive to the Capulet family. Romeo scaled the walls that had been built by Capulet to protect his daughter and her virginity. You shouldn’t do that. It also could make her not a decent bride for Paris if anyone saw them together and thought they were screwing (Please see Much Ado About Nothing).
  • PARIS WAS A DECENT GUY. He was wealthy, he was great to Juliet, he was going to treat her well, and he had status. Perfect guy. Romeo, not so much.
  • Romeo moved on pretty quickly from Rosaline, who just wanted to be a nun, did he not?
  • This relationship ended with 6 people dead. That’s more than The Great Gatsby.

Anyhoo, rant over. His tragedies are boring. And not really tragedies, according to Aristotle. The Greeks were the people who really got theatre going, and Aristotle created three rules for a tragedy, also called the Classical Unities.

  1. The unity of action: a play should have one main action that it follows, with no or few subplots.
  2. The unity of place: a play should cover a single physical space and should not attempt to compress geography, nor should the stage represent more than one place.
  3. The unity of time: the action in a play should take place over no more than 24 hours.

Romeo and Juliet… doesn’t really meet any of those rules.

His comedies, however, are really great.

Now, one thing my theatre teacher taught me was in order to better understand Shakespeare, you need to take it out of the iambic pentameter. So, this:

BEATRICE

He set up his bills here in Messina and challenged
Cupid at the flight; and my uncle’s fool, reading
the challenge, subscribed for Cupid, and challenged
him at the bird-bolt. I pray you, how many hath he
killed and eaten in these wars? But how many hath
he killed? for indeed I promised to eat all of his killing.

Becomes this:

BEATRICE

He set up his bills here in Messina and challenged Cupid at the flight; and my uncle’s fool, reading the challenge, subscribed for Cupid, and challenged him at the bird-bolt. I pray you, how many hath he killed and eaten in these wars? But how many hath he killed? For indeed I promised to eat all of his killing.

I also think you need to watch it if you want to get it too. I hadn’t read A Midsummer Night’s Dream and never really knew what the hype was about, and reading a play sometimes you can’t really understand what’s happening until you watch it. Then my theatre teacher had us watch it in class, and it was funny as heck. There was a girl fight that looked remarkably similar to a girl fight in the modern world.

Things got a bit muddy.

It then turned into a mudwrestling match. Those are fun to watch. But it was the “You’re prettier and it’s your fault and stop stealing my man you b*tch” type thing. And then there are all the great insults.

LYSANDER
   Away, you Ethiope!

LYSANDER
   Hang off, thou cat, thou burr! vile thing, let loose,
   Or I will shake thee from me like a serpent!

LYSANDER
                      Thy love! out, tawny Tartar, out!
   Out, loathed med’cine! hated potion, hence!

HERMIA
   O me! you juggler! you canker-blossom!
   You thief of love! what, have you come by night
   And stolen my love’s heart from him?

HELENA
                                                               Fine, i’faith!
   Have you no modesty, no maiden shame,
   No touch of bashfulness? What, will you tear
   Impatient answers from my gentle tongue?
   Fie, fie! you counterfeit, you puppet, you!

LYSANDER
                                 Get you gone, you dwarf;
   You minimus, of hindering knot-grass made;
   You bead, you acorn.

Those are in order of the scene, but they’re just the great insults. I use acorn and canker-blossom in my head daily. It’s way better than any of those generators.

Thou infectious, fly-bitten, hugger-mugger!

Another favorite quote, from Much Ado About Nothing:

DOGBERRY

Dost thou not suspect my place? dost thou not
suspect my years? O that he were here to write me
down an ass! But, masters, remember that I am an
ass; though it be not written down, yet forget not
that I am an ass. No, thou villain, thou art full of
piety, as shall be proved upon thee by good witness.
I am a wise fellow, and, which is more, an officer,
and, which is more, a householder, and, which is
more, as pretty a piece of flesh as any is in
Messina, and one that knows the law, go to; and a
rich fellow enough, go to; and a fellow that hath
had losses, and one that hath two gowns and every
thing handsome about him. Bring him away. O that
I had been writ down an ass!

Fun fact: Apparently the play Macbeth is cursed. You can’t say that in a theatre at all or else you have to do some form of cleansing ritual to get the curse out. Fun ones include: turning three times, spitting over one’s left shoulder, swearing, or reciting a line from another of Shakespeare’s plays. Popular lines for this purpose include, “Angels and ministers of grace defend us” (Hamlet 1.IV), “If we shadows have offended” (A Midsummer Night’s Dream 5.ii), and “Fair thoughts and happy hours attend on you” (The Merchant of Venice, 3.IV). A more elaborate cleansing ritual involves leaving the theatre, spinning around and brushing oneself off, and saying “Macbeth” three times before entering again. Some production groups insist that the offender may not reenter the theater until he is invited to do so, therefore making it easy to punish frequent offenders by leaving them outside. (Thanks, Wikipedia.)

So, back to topic. His comedies are great. Appreciate those. The tragedies are stupid. Don’t cry about Romeo and Juliet. Even if Leonardo DiCaprio does deserve the Oscar. And remember, Shakespeare got where he did because he started out poor and lived in the country with people with a crass sense of humor. He gets people. It’s part of why he’s famous today because people can relate to the characters, even if they’re talking in old language that can be tricky to understand. He’s really a pretty chill dude.

“Yea, I am.”

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