Sunday, March 30, 2008

Last Post of March

Last Post of March! Wow. I'm amazed that The Lake House post was earlier this month....seems like this month has been full and fast. Maybe I'm imagining it.

Anyway, I am watching Newsies and thinking about forcing myself to get up and pack, because I won't be here for a couple days. I'm leaving with Mom and Dad to visit a cuz. So no posting for awhile. I dunno how long.
See you around... whoever ya are.

Notes from the Upperground: Ned McDodd

I was just rereading my Horton post and realized that I made a mistake....when I was talking about how Horton made one of the Chairman from the City Council look stupid, it sounded like I said that Horton made Ned McDodd look stupid, which is wrong. Sorry about that.

Ned McDodd was never made to look stupid by Horton in that way. I just wanted to clear that up. :)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Get this.....


Get this. I don't even know why I'm blogging about this, but I think it's funny, and I think I have a blogging bug these days.

I got new rollerblades yesterday (which are pretty awesome!) and I've been skating around the house on them (doing laundry and making muffins on wheels. ) I just rolled softly past the refrigerator (why did I try to make that sound beautiful?????) and since skates make me taller I could see everything on the refrigerator. Guess what was up there? A bottle of Bombay Ink, a Reeses bar that Brian left here from his stocking, and a roach hotel.
Gross. but pretty funny....I mean, how many people keep bottles of India Ink and Roach hotels on top of their refrigerator? I thought some random person might think that was funny, so there it is. :D
Anna
PS This is my forty-first post this month, and I am now five posts away from having as many posts in a few months as I had altogether last year. I am also approaching my first annual blogging anniversary. I can't believe it was such a short time ago that John L. convinced me to get a blog.......

Inkdeath's Cover


I just found the new cover for Inkdeath! Isn't it cool? It actually looks pretty gruesome, but hopefully it will be good. Hopefully no worse than The Deathly Hallows, right? Inkheart and Inkspell were breathtaking with vivid descriptions and complex characters. I hope that Inkdeath won't disappoint. Feast your eyes on the new cover!
Anna

Horton Hears a Who!



Yesterday Dad took me and mom to see Horton Hears a Who....it was so FUNNY and FUN! I don't know for sure if I've read the book or not, but I may have. I am a huge Dr. Seuss fan (and I also happen to like Steve Carrell and Jim Carrey, both of which starred in the movie), so I've been wanting to see the movie.

First, I absolutely LOVED Horton. He was a sweet goofball elephant that wasn't especially brave or anything very extraordinary, but he turns out to be the hero anyway because he believes in the tiny people on the speck and defends them up to the point of getting himself hurt. The antagonist of the story is Sour Kangaroo, a skeptic who decides to get rid of the speck and the clover that it is sitting on. When she demands the clover from Horton, Horton tells her no, very boldly, and even though Sour Kangaroo's demanding presence is intimidating, Horton doesn't give in, but instead protects the speck.
Horton is also a great moral character. Even though Horton's friend Morton didn't help him out much (what can a blue mouse do when an elephant is tied up with ropes, anyway?) when he was in trouble, Horton still makes him sound like one of the heroes and thanks him for being such a loyal friend.
Even though it was Sour Kangaroo that ordered Horton to be caged and roped, Horton offers her a cookie after he is released and Sour Kangaroo holds an umbrella over the speck. Sour Kangaroo nearly burned the clover in a burning cauldron of oil, which was pure torture for Horton to watch, but Sour Kangaroo's joey, Rudy caught it. Even after that, Horton offers her that cookie and he and Sour Kangaroo become friends again.

Second, I LOVED Ned McDodd, Mayor of Whoville. He was funny, and he tried really hard to take care of Whoville and his family, even though nobody believed him about them living on a speck and about hearing Horton's voice.
He has 96 daughters and one son, Jojo. He tries very hard to spend time with each of them every day, and to build a healthy relationship with Jojo. McDodd is also a little bit quirky.......so everybody thinks he is crazy and really not worthy of making decisions, mayor or not. The head of the city council is constantly disrespecting him because of his odd ways, but towards the end, (this was a HILARIOUS part) Horton makes him look silly without meaning to by teasing him, and after that he is much better about everything.

The CGI was amazing. I can't get over the amazing Dr. Seuss that was created with jungle greens and browns and bright pinks, oranges, yellows and bluish purples. All of the Whos had their own color. McDodd was a nice sensible brown, but that's okay, because he was such a good character. His son Jojo was blue with bluish purple.
Something else that I love about Dr. Seuss is stripes. I love stripes. I would probably have a whole closet of stripes if I could (but sadly it seems like nobody else in the world is as fanatical about them as I am.....:( ), and stripes always remind me of Dr. Seuss.
A lot of the Whos and Horton's friend Morton had a striped body. It was so cool.
They stayed true to the Dr. Seuss look, and I really liked that, because it looked like his characters and his worlds all brought together to look real. Horton Hears a Who was awesome and fun! Go see it.
Anna

Thursday, March 27, 2008

New Morning


I've been listening to Dylan's CD New Morning which I LOVE. Andy said it was about as good as Nashville Skyline, but I like it a lot better. Probably as much if not more than John Wesley Harding. It's another really different CD with a completely new style compared to that of his other CDs. It's like a happier version of John Wesley Harding. It isn't country enough to be compared to Nashville Skyline. Like Self Portrait, it has a really fun style to it, but like John Wesley Harding it has a kind of rustic sound. For some reason, it reminds me of O Brother Where Art Thou? the movie....I think I got this image projected to my head of Bob Dylan walking along a cotton field in that time listening to locusts singing.

My favorite songs were:
Day of the Locusts
Sign on the Window
New Morning
If Not For You
Father of Night
Man in Me

I liked all the other ones, and If Dogs Run Free grew on me, but those six were my favorite. So I really, really liked half of the CD and thought the other half was pretty good. This is now on my list of Bob Dylan CDs that I REALLY want. The three I want most right now are John Wesley Harding, Blonde on Blonde, and New Morning.
New Morning was awesome and invigorating.

Can't you feel that sun a-shinin'?

Ground hog runnin' by the country stream
This must be the day that all of my dreams come true

So happy just to be alive

Underneath the sky of blue

On this new morning, new morning

On this new morning with you.


That's a verse from New Morning, the CD's namesake.

Anna

Monday, March 24, 2008

Summer Pleasure Reads:

This Summer, I plan on reading through Eragon, Eldest, Inkheart, Inkspell, and in late summer starting the Harry Potter series over.

Brisingr comes out in September, and I think Inkdeath arrives in October. No more Harry Potter (she better not!) but the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ( I cannot WAIT to see that one! The book was amazing...and I always liked Severus Snape.) film comes out this fall. So I have a big Summer some modern fantasy authors and hopefully some Dostoevsky and I plan on reading through the Odyssey this summer....maybe even with my brother!

Plus, I plan on having the first draft of my book finished by August 23 this year, and having a second draft by October 30, the date of my main character's birthday. We'll try again to have th book mostly completed by Christmas.
Anna

Harry Potter


Call me weird, but some of my favorite posts on Brian's blog (and the most helpful to me) or the ones from three-four years ago. Here are some on Harry Potter:

Thoughts on Harry Potter:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Reading all of these helped me understand some things about 'magic.' We all know that you can't go far in Fantasy without beginning to think about wizards/magicians and 'magic.' At this point I am very glad that I read Harry Potter for several reasons.

1) Reading Harry Potter was a good way to test my critical thinking and enjoy good fantasy novels at the same time.
2) Harry Potter is a part of world culture now. Why? Because I would bet that about 80% of world population has read it. When you are into the Fantasy Genre, people will look at you funny if you haven't read it. It's kind of like not having read Narnia or Lord of the Rings now, because more people read Harry Potter. I don't think that it is wrong to read or not read Harry Potter, but since I'm a fantasy writer and I love reading that genre of fiction, it is certainly easier to get around in the online web of fantasia.
3) I enjoyed Harry Potter immensely when I read them. Oddly (because of Mary Grandpre) it spurned my interest in pastels because of the beautiful and elaborate covers. Rowling managed to create an irresistable book. It took her seventeen years to write it. That's a long time to devote to one character. I can't imagine how euphoric and incredibly depressing it must have been to finish the series, and to work that hard and that long and for it to just be gone, suddenly. It provided me with many hours of delight last spring when I began to read them, and I finished the series shortly after The Deathly Hallows was released. Later this year or next year I plan to read them again, and this time buy them in hardbacks. I would love to have the whole set. Whether you like Rowling or not, she is a very talented writer, and the richest writer in the world at that.
Anna

Revelation


I've been listening to A. J. Roach at the urging of John L.

I've been very impressed. My first impression (no pun intended) was that I liked him almost as well as Nickel Creek. My most recent impression (after listening to both CDs) is that I like him, and I would like to get his CDs, but they aren't on my list of 'priority CDs' to get.

On a more positive note, I thought Dogwood Winter was a great CD. This one is a little bit darker, and I'm not as impressed with it. The CD's namesake is for it's best song, Revelation, which has great lyrics and a catchy tune.

The other songs that I liked or thought were interesting were Chemicals, Clinch River Blues and Devil May Dance, although Revelation was definitely my favorite. The cover art is incredibly weird, but pretty cool, right? Hmm. I'm not sure what to say about it, because even though I liked it, I don't know how anybody else would if they aren't into this kind of music. Shrugs.
The song Revelation was excellent; it was definitely the best song on the CD.
Chemicals had interesting lyrics and a nice tune.
Devil May Dance was catchy with more interesting lyrics.
I also enjoyed Freezing Car.
The rest of the songs were just OK, I thought, especially compared to Dogwood Winter.
I think it's worth checking out if you liked Dogwood Winter, and both or worth listening to if you haven't tried A. J. Roach. Even if the rest of the CD seemed a little bit boring to me, it's Revelation is a great song, and the CD is worth listening to just for that. I'm going to stop now because I'm repeating myself.
Anna

Friday, March 21, 2008

August Rush


Yet another Freddie Highmore Movie!
Yesterday we ordered a PPV movie on our Dishnet (I'm excited because I'm the one that figured out how to order it) and watched it. It was August Rush, a movie I had wanted to see for a long time, and when I did, I was deeply impressed.

Highmore plays Evan Taylor, a young boy at an orphanage. He loves music, and he can hear it everywhere, in everything........in grass, in wind chimes, in high line wires, in wind.
He claims that he can hear his parents through the music, and one night he leaves the Home to find them. He meets Arthur, a wise-cracking street kid that plays guitar. Attracted to the music, Evan follows Arthur back to his home, an old theater that houses a bunch of young kids, all of them musicians. They are 'cared' for by Wizard, a tough and aggressive busker that sees the kids as investments. Evan stays for the night, not warmly welcomed by anyone, and gains access to a guitar. He starts playing with it, and when Wizard sees his talent gives him the guitar and teaches him everything he knows, and gives him the stage name and alias August Rush.

Evan is threatened and treated harshly several times by Wizard (played by Robin Williams. Not a very likable character for once!), and when they get separated, August stumbles into a church that is having choir practice. He then meets Hope, a sweet little girl with a beautiful voice. He starts staying at the church and learns some piano. Hope realizes that Evan is a child prodigy and tells Reverend Jay about it. Evan goes to a music school, and writes his own rhapsody. An orchestra is interested in playing it, and in August directing it, but Wizard finds him and drags him back with him.
The movie ends with Evan conducting the orchestra in his rhapsody and finding his parents (there has been a side plot with both of them throughout the whole movie.)

For my part, I thought it was a great movie about modern minstrels and for me it was inspiring. The music was beautiful (can't wait to get the soundtrack) and the characters were wonderful, even though the plot could have been better, admittedly. This movie is on my favorites list, for several reasons. Freddie Highmore is an amazing actor, and I really liked August Rush. It's about music and family and hope. Rent it, buy it, watch it on PPV. I thought it was great.
Anna

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Self Portrait


I admit that when Andy told me about this one I was dreading listening to it a little bit, but when I finally did, I actually enjoyed it. Lots of people say that this CD is his worst. I think Bob Dylan said something like, "I threw everything at the wall and kept what stuck." about this CD.
I have decided though, that I like this CD a lot....some of the songs on it (that Dylan didn't write) I really enjoyed (that would be the songs Copper Kettle and the Days of 49)
Among the ones that he did write, I thought that Minstrel Boy was fantastic. It's such a fun song!
Quinn the Eskimo was pretty fun too.....and Take a Message to Mary was interesting. Wigwam was cool too.
So, if you aren't real into Bob Dylan, this CD isn't worth it, because it isn't his best. I'm not as serious about him as Andy is, but I might be half way. I'm about to start a bio about him.
If you are a big Bob Dylan fan, definitely get the CD. It was a fun CD with lots of random songs. My favorite was definitely Minstrel Boy. Yesterday I was like singing it in the shower....


"Who's gonna throw that Minstrel Boy a coin? Who's gonna let it roll? Who's gonna throw that Minstrel Boy a coin? Who's gonna let it down easy to save his soul?"

Self Potrait was a good CD if you really like Bob Dylan, and a terrible CD if you don't. Just an alright CD if you think Bob Dylan is just okay.
Anna

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Noah and Hannah



These are my two nephews and nieces that Jason and Shannon are adopting. I wanted to post their pictures so you could see how cute they are....and to ask you to please pray that they would get out of PGN soon. To read more about them, see their story at Hedges Adoption.
Anna

Another Thought-Provoking Post

I was just thinking about a post that Brian wrote several months ago, in September. I remember that I thought it was really amazing when I read it. Who knew that our emotions are that complex? Click here to read it.
Anna

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Signs



I borrowed Signs from Jason and Shannon on Sunday - WOW!
I had forgotten how good this movie was. If you've been reading my blog lately, you'll have noticed how I've become obsessed with movies that have characters that feel real in it. That is one of the reasons that I love Signs - it's about a real family.

Signs is M. Night Shyamalan's take on what would happen if our world were actually invaded by extraterrestrials. How would people react to that? Shyamalan takes original ideas and works them until they're a great movie. Signs may be my favorite.
Graham Hess is a former Episcopal priest that has lost his faith in God after a car accident in which his wife died. He lives with his two kids, Morgan (who has a bad asthma condition) and Bo, who has a 'thing' about how her water tastes.
His brother Merrill also lives with them. (Merrill has five minor league baseball records.)
I love the way the characters are introduced. All we know is that is (or was once) a nice family, when the camera opens up on a picture of Graham, his wife, Colleen, and Morgan and Bo.
Graham wakes up and feels that something isn't quite right and then hears screams.
Then Merrill wakes up and falls of the bed. I can't get over the way that works - so easy and so effective. There aren't any introductions to these characters except for that picture, and then they go running through the corn stalks (and thus get the idea - or fact, really - that they live on a farm) to find Morgan and Bo.
I like how he didn't try to incorporate a bunch of their history right at the beginning. We find that out later, but for now knowing that there is just the four of them there is enough. I also like how he did the crop circle right at the beginning. This sets the story in motion.
Signs is so great because it is like an old movie in that you don't see the creature very clearly for very long. All you see are shapes and a few images. Nice. We don't know what this thing looks like....so we imagine it. Plus, at the beginning of the movie, the theme of the song (a three note motif that is repeated all throughout the movie - in the scary parts, sad parts, happy parts......) starts playing while they roll the credits. Kind of like old movies.
I love how everything in it is there for a reason - Bo's little quirk about her water, Morgan's asthma, Merrill's strike-out record. It all works together to save this family and restore their faith. That's why I like Signs - real people and an amazing plot that is well put together - one of the best I've seen in a movie or a book.
The Village or Lady in the Water would be my next favorite. Signs is better because it's about people that we can relate to. The music is also so beautiful (and creepy, and spooky, and......)
If you haven't seen it, then you should. These things are fun and fun is good. :)
Really though......I can't get over how good it is.
Anna

Thought-Provoking Post

My sister-in-law published really thought-provoking post today about how reaching out to people that really need it - broken people. It was a really great post, and I think she's right. Click here to read it.
Anna

Reminder!!!!!!

Since I've been posting so much this month, my Next Commentaries Post has already been pushed into older posts. And nobody has commented yet! If you don't comment, I"ll have to decide by myself. I almost wish I could do Return of the King...but I'm to far into it now. :(

Click here to comment on the Next Commentaries post.
Anna

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Net



If you still haven't taken me seriously on recently getting a fanatical interest in Sandra Bullock, do so now. I just watched yet another movie which she starred in, called The Net.

It's about a computer hacker/programmer named Angela Bennett. It begins with her receiving some floppy disks and copying information on to some. One of them holds information which an unknown party want...and they'll do anything to get it. The other holds a virus that will attack and completely obliterate anything on a certain hard disk....or something like that. I'm not much a computer nerd. I can get around the internet and take care of my documents (sometimes. I had to call my brother the other night for some help.....), but that's about it.

So, Angela is about to take her first vacation in six years....to Mexico. One of her co-workers is killed the night before she leaves because he was coming to see her about a disk that one of them has. (This would be the disk that the unknown party wants.)

Mexico turns out to be anything but fun, it turns out, when she is nearly murdered and her entire identity and clean record is erased. Intense, interesting (yet not to violent...actually little more violent than National Treasure), and full of old-fashioned cyber stuff, The Net was a pretty cool flick. Starring Sandra Bullock, Jeremy Northam, and Dennis Miller. (Yes it is the same Dennis Miller that talks with Bill O'reilly and Hannity and Colmes on their shows.
Anna

Notes from the Upperground: Till We Have Faces

I just wanted to add a little bit to what I said last night when I was so exhausted....I couldn't wait to post about it, and I knew that if I went to bed then I would just lie there anyway, but I was really to fuzzy-headed to talk about it.

One thing I would like to add is that the title - Till We Have Faces, was originally Bareface. I think that part when Psyche and Orual look exactly the same...when Orual is Psyche (Psyche's husband said...."You also shall be Psyche." ) this may be some kind of concept involving how looking like somebody else (that looks pleasing) will not solve all of your problems. Orual's own face was ugly, but her Psyche face was beautiful. However, it was not her own. (Till we have faces.....)
The point I am trying to get across is the idea that when Orual looked like Psyche, she did not have her own face, and therefore she had a bareface, or no face at all. Her own face, though, was so ugly that she never dared go 'bareface' after she became Queen. She wore a veil, always. Hmm. I'm not sure how to put all of my random thoughts (think of a ball of squirrels....and each of them is a thought related to the next one, and they are all trying to get out of the ball...scampering away....so that when they are laid out they are not in a particular order ((and even if they were it would still be quite random)) because they weren't retrieved and organized in the same order. I know that is an incredibly weird metaphor, but at least it's creative, right?) ....all of my random thoughts together in one place like this correctly.
Hopefully with all of these bunched together, you'll kind of get what I'm saying.
Anna

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Till We Have Faces: Book 2

Well, I finished it.

First, I warn you that I am tired and my brain feels a little fuzzy. I have very little to say about those last chapters.

Thoughts off the top of my head....

I think that it was a great book (of course!) but it is not my favorite of Lewis's. That would be Perelandra.
Also, I remember my brother Brian saying that this book lost him as a teenager, but he read it like ten years later and loved it. I honestly don't know that I love it, but I don't think I'm lost either. I don't understand all of it...it was bitterly bleak, to tell the truth. Their living conditions and the pre-Christian, barbaric world that Glome is set in is (*shrugs*) dirty and seemingly morbid and desolate.
But Lewis portrays this well.
I also love the idea of retelling a myth.
I'm sorry this is so boring but I am tired. :(

Let's see....I did enjoy the part when we hear about all the tasks that Psyche completed. I always like it when Lewis includes a note of some kind at the end...and in my copy he did. Hmm.

Overall, I really liked the book and look forward to reading it again in a few years. The next C.S. Lewis book I read will probably be The Great Divorce or The Four Loves, one I have been wanting to read for some time. I've actually been thinking about re-reading Perelandra, which is definitely by far Lewis's best book.

I must go to bed. I plan on reading finishing The Return of the King and Pride and Prejudice now...I will concentrate on those. Again, my apologies that this last post on TWHF was so dull.

Anna

PS I was experimenting with picture placement, so if the cover pic looks like it's in a funny place, that's why.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Movie of the Month: March 3


The third and last March Movie of the Month is The Lake House. I really liked it because I like both the actors, and the story line is so interesting and unique. It's kind of weird,admittedly, but I like those kinds of story lines. To read my original review, click here.

Okay...I've blogged like eight posts today or something. I think that's enough! Thanks for reading. I'll probably do some blogging tomorrow. If I keep going at this rate, I'm not gonna have any time for anything else! And I'll reach the 300 posts goal by June. :D

Anna

Movie of the Month: March 2


For the second movie of the month...I think let's do The Prestige. I didn't review it, but I'll give a brief one now.

I really like Christian Bale, and this movie also has Michael Caine (Batman Begins, Secondhand Lions). Hmm. I dunno what my favorite Christian Bale movie is...Rescue Dawn was pretty good. Newsies was GREAT!!!!! and so was Batman Begins. I can't wait to see Dark Knight.
Hmm. Guess I don't have a lot to say...it's one of those kinds of movies that you need to see and that it'll give away too much if you try to review it. Or maybe I just feel lazy. *shrugs*
Anyway, the second movie of the month is The Prestige!!!!!
Anna

Book of the Month: March 3


Okay, I chose The Return of the King to be book of the month number three.

This is the only month that I am going to do books that I haven't finished.

The Return of the King.....I chose it because it is the other best book that I am reading and because Tolkien is my favorite author and I am really enjoying it. :)

I hope to finish it by the end of the March. At least, that's my plan. I'll finish Till We Have Faces tonight or tomorrow, and then I'll concentrate on the other two. Mmm.
Wonder how long it'll take since I'm about to buy another Warriors book?????

Anna

Book of the Month: March 2


Pride and Prejudice is the second of three books of the month this month, because I missed the last two months. (Which means I get to pick two more movies for this month too. :) )
I have not finished it, but since I'm reading it and plan on finishing it by April, it will be the second book of the month until then.
(For the record, most of the books of the month will be books that I have already finished.)

So I choose Pride and Prejudice. The cover of this one is a lot nicer than the one I actually have...mine is like a five dollar one from Wal Mart from the Popular Classics Library. Oh well.

At least it is a hardcover. :-/

Anna

Notes from the Upperground: Tolkien and Lewis 2

I figured out that the reason I can't find much intelligent to say about Tolkien is because it is about so much more than Lewis's books are. It's about Middle-Earth, not just about the characters and the ring.

Tolkien is writing about his mythology, and about the characters which are concerned with it. It isn't really the other way around. Tolkien created a world, and then he put characters in it.

Lewis probably created characters and then put them in a world. Orson Scott Card is an author of Science Fiction and Fantasy. The only reason I figured this out is because I read a post on another blog about how he divides stories into four types. You might want to read that post before you continue.

Lewis's books are about the people in it, chiefly. Lewis was really good at emotions, and simple psychology. There is always some kind of dialog in our heads. We're thinking about something all the time. Even in our dreams. (This is beside the point, but I had a horror dream the other night.....I don't know why I am telling you this......)

Lewis was also good at setting, but he did not spend as much time creating his world as Tolkien did. Why? Because Lewis invented more than one world. Narnia, Malacandra, Perelandra, Glome.....and others.
Tolkien invented one: Middle-Earth.
I think the reason that I can't find much to say at this point about Tolkien is that I was looking for the wrong things there. I was looking at it like a character-driven story (even though at the time I did not know what that was) when I should have been looking or it differently. I think now that I know more about what type of story it actually it is, I would have more to say about it.

Anna

Next Commentary

Okay, I've picked out some books I would like to try to commentary on.


The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Odyssey by Homer
A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L'Engle
The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis
The Book of Lost Tales Part 1 by J.R.R. Tolkien

Those are the choices this time! For any of them, I wouldn't start until April, but you can start commenting now. I know it'll be easiest to say stuff about Lewis, but it'll be interesting to try on the others! Please see my newest Notes on the Upperground post above...I figured out something about Tolkien and Lewis.
Anna

Till We Have Faces: Chapters 16-21

Okay, I've read another (counting on fingers) six chapters in Till We Have Faces. Let's see what I can dig up about it....

Chapter Sixteen:
Orual returns from visiting Psyche....for the last time in awhile. She avoids telling the Fox everything (knowing that he would scold her for most of it) and then the King breaks his thigh. Psyche starts hearing the noise of the chains as they squeak and rustle in the night. She mistakes it for a girl crying and then she is startled by a stranger in the darkness.

Chapter Seventeen:
Trunia of Phars. As soon as Trunia spoke, I liked him. It might seem weird, but I'm always fond of the bold, ornery, smart-alack characters. Trunia also reminds me of a character that my cousin is writing, (who happens to be my favorite in her book) and so when he spoke those words to Orual ("Softly sweetheart," said a voice. "Take me to the King's threshold,") A man's voice. I think I knew he would be an interesting character. Pity Lewis didn't give him a bigger roll. Actually that dialog is from the end of the sixteenth chapter.

Chapter Seventeen-Eighteen:
Orual decides to fight Argan herself. And it becomes apparent that the King will probably die and Orual will become Queen. There are also some thought-provoking paragraphs on Death, Courage and the act of killing.

"Now, Queen," said he, "this is your first battle."
"And you doubt my courage?"
"Not your courage to be killed, Queen. ABut you've never killed; and this must be a killing matter."
"What then?"
"Why, just this. Women and boys talk easily about killing a man. Yet, believe me, it's a hard thing to do; I mean, the first time. There's something in a man that goes against it."

That's a clip of dialog between Orual and Bardia after she has decided to fight Argan.

Chapter Nineteen:
Some thoughts of Orual's about when she killed Argan:

I have since seen the faces of other men as they began to believe, "This is death." You will know if you have seen it; life more alive than ever, a raging, tortured intensity of life.

In Chapter Twenty, Orual talks about her love for Bardia...she doesn't say that in so many words, but it is obvious that she loves him. She feels privileged to be in his masculine life but upset that she cannot be in his family life too.
Orual also uses the power of the veil to her advantage. Let's face it; we all need eye contact to communicate. We automatically look to somebody's face to talk to them, and nearly always in their eyes. It makes people uncomfortable if they can't look somebody in the eye, or if somebody won't look them in the eye. Orual makes people uncomfortable and hides her face by wearing a veil or a mask all the time. She uses this to make people wonder why she hides her face. This makes Trunia especially curious. He even expresses interest in marrying her, but Orual quickly declines and matches him up with Redival. Also in this chapter, Orual finds that she can no longer bear daily life in routine. I like routines, sometimes. If it's too routine, it gets boring. If you get completely out of a routine, (which, actually, everybody has some kind of routine) than it's harder to function.
Orual decides to do some traveling. She takes Poobi's daughter and Bardia's son with her.


Chapter Twenty-One:
Orual visits several places and towards the end of the chapter they come across a temple. When Orual inquires after it, she finds that this is the Temple of Istra, none other than Psyche! She asks about the story and finds it full of flaws, and then is in a hurry to get back.

I have only four chapters left before I shall finish the book, and then I'll pick another one to start 'commentarying' on. I don't think I had anything to profound to say about 16-21, but I hope you enjoy the few thoughts I had anyway. I'll try to pick out some books for everybody to help me choose from soon!
Anna

Speed


So maybe I am a Sandra Bullock Fanatic now, but I did enjoy Speed. It was really intense and I enjoyed it a lot.
There was a really great bad guy for one thing, and Keanu Reeves was in it. Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves have co-starred in two films together so far, and they make a good romantic team. :)
Speed is about a police officer and a young woman named Annie that find themselves on a bus that will explode if it drops below 50 miles an hour.
Pretty exciting! Something I've really started to notice in movies is how the people act. I mean, how they probably would act if it were actually happening. It takes a really good actor to do that. Annie is forced to drive the bus when the bus driver is accidentally shot by a criminal. More than once, Annie tears up while driving. (Who wouldn't?) And I really like that, because a real person would. It also has some really amazing scenes in it. The ending is a little unrealistic, but movies are supposed to have happy endings, right? Speed definitely needs TVG, I will say.

I just can't get over how real the characters were, no matter how heroic they were, they acted like I think they really would. I probably like this one better than Miss Congeniality, but either The Lake House or While You Were Sleeping is my favorite Bullock movie.
Anna

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures



While my cousin Abby was here, we went on a trip to Barnes and Noble, and I bought this book. I have been wanting it for a long time (and thinking about getting it more lately...) so I bought it. Since most of what I write is fantasy, I thought it would be a good resource for me. So far, I've just looked through it and tried to make an index of certain kinds of creatures.

Negative:
The book teaches evolution, and it talks about everything like it's real. That makes it sound like some of the animals mentioned are just extinct, and that makes it a little confusing to read. Makes me wonder how many of them might have been real, because not all of them sound like tall tales. It also talks about the Bible and the great creatures mentioned in it like they were myths. Plus, although this is a hardback that I got on the bargain rack for twenty bucks, the pages are coming out. :( So I may eventually have to get a binder and put all of the pages inside, since the cover isn't holding them.

Positive:
The book has over six-hundred pages of encyclopedia concerning magical creatures/animals. That's a lot of information on just myths!!! I haven't read all the way through by a long shot (duh) but I think I'll be glad I have it in the future.

I may start doing a 'Creature of the Week' and then studying the legends surrounding that creature extensively and then blogging it. We'll see. I"m excited about this book....I'm not really sure how many creature encyclopedias there are, but this is a good one to have.

Anna

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Mixed up title?

Thinking that my title is all mixed up and kind of CrAzY? Well, it's a cRaZY world.
Remember, I'm trying new things for my blog, and that was the next thing that came to mind. Bear with me!!!!!!!
aNnA

Book of the Month: March


Okay. We've already done Movie of the Month, so let's move on to Book of the Month. I'm probably going to cheat a little bit at some point since I missed January and February, but for now, the 'first' book of March is Till We Have Faces.

Why? Because I've really enjoyed what I have read, and I will probably start back again soon. Plus, since I was giving you thoughts as I was reading it, it seemed like an appropriate choice. This year, the Books of the Month are only going to be fiction. I haven't read enough non-fiction or theology to be able to know it well enough to do Book of the Month. We'll see about next year doing theology books of the month. Or, if I do do Non-fiction books this year (of the month) then I will make two categories; Fiction, Non-fiction. So, March's book of the month is Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis.

I'll try to start posting more thoughts on it soon.

Anna

Interesting Hoax



I found this picture a second ago and thought that the story behind it was interesting. Apparently an artist made a mummified fairy and then made it out to be true for an April Fool's Day prank! He was very elaborate. To read the story, click here.

Thought some of you would appreciate the idea of a mummified fairy.

Anna

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Movie of the Month: March


I'm going to start doing some 'Of the Month' things. For this Movie of the Month, I decided on Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, which I loved when I saw it. To read my first review, click here. I watched it several times and I am now quoting from it. He was a cool dude....I need to get me some glow in the dark stars.

So. Movie of the Month (March) is...Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium.

Anna

The New Blog Name (and I give you warning NOW....)

I'm going to start trying different blog names to see how I like them. The Blog of A. E. Hedges is still the official name of the blog until I decide on a name that I really like.

So my list of names (most of them don't even make any sense)

The Bird and the Baby
Blog of the Freebies
Blog of the Buggies (please don't ask my why....)
Anna Banana
The Leaky Cauldron
Rough Diamonds

More than half of those are jokes, but if you actually like any of them or have some more ideas, tell me.....
Anna

Friday, March 7, 2008

My Most Listened to Playlist......


The albums I'm listening to the most these days are the following:


Barlow Girl: A Christian band of three sisters. While they have a great modern sound (which satisfies my natural taste for some beat and electric guitar) while conveying good messages. (The most notable are On My Own, Pedestal, Superstar, Harder Than The First Time, Clothes, Average Girl...)

Plus, it feels like a girl CD. (A CD version of a chick flick.) I listen to them a lot these days. The only CD of theirs that I have is their debut album, titled BarlowGirl.

Wake Thy Slumbering Children: Indelible Grace V.

My sister-in-law and my brother turned me into an Indelible Grace fan about three Christmases ago. I love their music....which takes old hymns and new hymns and brings them together with a new sound and beautiful words. I bought this one from my sister-in-law this Christmas when she got two copies as gifts! My favorite is Come Said Jesus' Sacred Voice.

The Village Score
: The bewitching and entirely morbid soundtrack to M. Night Shyamalan's 2004 thriller. The songs are beautiful and composed by James Newton Howard, with violinist Hilary Hahn.

Not All Who Wander Are Lost:
Chris Thile's third solo album is completely instrumental and entirely composed by Chris Thile. It's named after a song that J.R.R. Tolkien wrote (and one of the songs is named after the fifth chapter in the hobbit - Riddles In The Dark.) I'm really enjoying it!!!!

Anna

Dogwood Winter


At my friend's urging, I borrowed an AJ Roach CD from my brother. I was very impressed. I've become a fan of authentic bluegrass/folk music, through my brother's influence, and I like AJ Roach almost as well as Nickel Creek.

The best songs were the faster ones, I thought; the upbeat ones. Dimes was a little bit sinister (but it was also one of my favorites.) Granddaddy, the first song on the album, was a really great song about legacy and family heritage.

AJ Roach also has a way with words. Some of the songs had very poetic lines in them....and that impressed me.

I'm looking forward to hearing his other CD, Revelation.
If you're a fan of folk music, you should try Dogwood Winter.
Anna

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium



As soon as I found out about this movie, I wanted to see it. We never got to see it in the theater, so yesterday when we took some movies back to Movie Gallery (probably Brownfield's Entertainment Hot Spot) I decided to get it. It stars Dustin Hoffman and Natalie Portman (Hoffman was also in Stranger Than Fiction, and Portman starred in the new Star Wars movies 1-3.) Hoffman is Mr. Magorium, a 243-year-old owner of a magical store. He's an incredibly sweet old guy that lisps when he talks. :)
He also has really wild hair and eyebrows, and a pet zebra named Mortimer. (I like zebras.)
Portman stars as Molly Mahoney, a beautiful young pianist that has been working in the store for a long time.

First of all, the characters were well written, well casted, and well portrayed. Mr. Magorium is a completely original character that is so completely quirky and FUNNY. He acts much like a child, but later in the movie we find out that besides playing with bouncy balls he also read Shakespeare. He's a quirky funny person that is both wise and FUN.
Mahoney is a struggling pianist that is trying to write a concerto, but is having trouble. She and Mr. Magorium share a sort of father/daughter relationship (uncle/niece, brother/sister, grandfather/granddaughter....).

The relationship between them is so unique. They obviously are very best friends, and Magorium is obviously like a father to Mahoney. Yet, even though they say that they love each other several times, Mahoney always respectfully calls Magorium 'Sir,' and Magorium always refers to Molly Mahoney by her last name. I thought that was particularly interesting. Magorium has a variety of pet names for Mahoney, ("This, my lovely, is for you!" when he hands her a cube of wood. Mahoney accepts it and says "Thank you! What is it?") all of them completely ridiculous and sweet.

Mahoney also dresses modestly throughout most of the movie, something that I thought was cool. I thought that the movie was both sad and not sad. It was sad that (*SPOILERS!!!!*) Mr. Magorium died, but it was also great that Mahoney finally knew what her concerto sounded like and that she brought the magic back to the store. It was awesome that Eric made friends with Mutant. (I didn't actually say much about those two characters.....)

I definitely recommend it. It was so fun and cute and funny. Possibly my favorite Dustin Hoffman character.....

If you are wondering how good I thought it was, I would probably say better than Spiderwick Chronicles. Yes yes I would. :D
Anna

BTW, if you want to read Focus on the Family's take, click on this link.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Jungle Book


I finished The Jungle Book this morning.

It was...good. Not really what I was expecting. I keep on making assumptions based on the Disney movies.

In the book, Mowgli only stars in about three-four of the 'short jungle stories' while the rest are devoted to random characters. Also unlike the movie, Mowgli is not a very nice person, really. He is aggressive compared to the childhood character we know and love, and Sher-Khan is just another enemy in the jungle. He is called stupid many times by the characters, and Mowgli easily defeats him. Why? Because Mowgli is stronger and smarter and less compassionate than the Mowgli from all the Jungle Book adaptions. Sher-Khan is easily defeated, and then Mowgli skins him and dances on the skin with the wolves he is closest to. Another interesting factor that Disney changed was that it was Bagheera which loved Mowgli the most of all the Jungle Animals, and Baloo was NOT Papa Bear. Baloo taught Mowgli the laws of the jungle, and cuffed his head many times in doing so. He was old, and he was not much fun. It was still Bagheera that wanted Mowgli to go back to man kind, but after a while, Mowgli came back. The Monkey Story involving King Louie was mostly accurate...I don't know of any of them actually had the name of Louie, but Mowgli was captured by Monkeys. It also got pretty boring in some places. I enjoyed reading it, but again, I was disappointed in finding that the movies were really better. Mowgli was mean. And the wolves weren't very loyal to their pack leader in his old age, but there were a few delightful characters like Grey Brother and Bagheera. Rikki-Tiki-Tavi was a fun story. Toomai of the Elephants was boring and Servants of the Queen mildly interesting.

I'm still glad I read it though. The whole idea is still a good one, but I liked the movies better. A LOT better. I just can't get over the idea of a dark little boy from India being raised by wolves in the Jungle though. The best chapters or stories were the ones that concerned Mowgli. The idea was good, but the actual story and writing were tedious and aggressive, and like so many of those older books (although I like this some times) the author's voice talks down to the intended reader just a little bit. I don't always mind that. I liked it, but I didn't love it. :D
Anna

Jurassic Park


Last night I watched Jurassic Park for the first time. WOW!!!!!!!!!

It was one of the greatest movies I've ever seen. I like Steven Spielburg. He has produced and directed a ton of movies (Hook, Indiana Jones Cycle, E.T. Extra-terrestrial...Jurassic Park, Jaws.)
And all that I have seen I have liked. I think part of it is just being raised in a time when his movies are always popular, and I have three brothers that like those kinds of movies, and now I, in my turn, have become a fan. My brother had started talking about Jurassic Park a few weeks ago, and I started to get interested, and then I really wanted to see it.

I was very excited to start it. It has the same suspense that Jaws has and the same enchantment which E.T. possesses. When the Brachiosaurus was first sited, it was pretty darn cool. For 1993 (let's face it....in 1993, the computer world was still in the Dark Ages. yes I was born in that year.) the dinosaurs were amazing and they looked real, except for the occasional robotic movements. It was suspenseful, and it also had an amazing plot that was well put together. It followed the rules: Make everything that can go wrong for your character go wrong. Give them a rest once in awhile, but DO NOT BE NICE TO THEM.

Not those words exactly, but that's basically it. The music was composed by John Williams (a great composer.....did Star Wars and E.T. and dozens of others) and some of it was really pretty and awe-inspiring.

The whole idea of cloned dinosaurs is really pretty amazing. This is such a good example of Science Fiction, because most Sci-Fi is associated with space (or at least I've always kind of thought of it that way) when really the two words just mean fiction, fantasy or magical realism about science or futuristic ideas. Jurassic Park was cool because it sounded rationally like something that might happen.

And again, I will say that these were real people...they weren't heroes to begin with, but they acted like real people would. I think this is a new favorite. I can't wait to see the second and third ones now.....

If you like dinosaurs, rainforests and suspense AND fantasy....get Jurassic Park.
Anna

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Miss Congeniality


The other day we watched Miss Congeniality, and I thought it was great!!!! Like I said I am now a Sandra Bullock fan, and I thought the movie was funny, cute, and a great 'chick flick.'

Even Dad liked it!! It would probably be better with TVG, which we have.

The story is about Grace Hart, and tom boy FBI agent (an agent that is a bit of a klutz) that is stuck doing paperwork because she disobeyed orders on the job. However, she gets a second chance when she is chosen to go undercover in a beauty pageant. (There are suspicions that somebody is going to kill one of the contestants.) Not exactly her cup of tea. She isn't all that pretty, and she chews with her mouth open. She snorts when she laughs. :D

I won't give the whole plot away (even though most of you have already seen it) but I thought it was fun and cute. I like how she sneaks donuts and even pulls a gun out to get one. That's pretty desperate for sugar! Even I wouldn't do that!
Girls will love it. Some boys will like it. :D
Anna

WOW!!!!

I just realized that I have already done 40 blog posts this year. That's almost half of what I did last year altogether!!! Sounds like this is going to be a HUGE blogging year....I think I'll see if I can get 300 blog posts this year. Big ambitions.

Anna

New Widgets 2

I think I have my widgets mostly organized for now. So you get to see books that I plan on reading soon, and books that I am reading now. Pretty cool, huh? Of course there are like another hundred books that could go on my reading list shelf, but those are the ones I'm most interested in at the moment. It'll change often as I finish books. I like this because it's free!!!!

If you want to get Shelfari, you can click on "Get Your Own Shelf."

I'll try to get back to the Till We Have Faces posts sometime this week. I think I'm about to go on another reading kick....but I'm not sure if it'll be for Tolkien or Jane Austin this time. Hmm. We'll see!!!!
Anna

Monday, March 3, 2008

New Widgets

This morning while surfing, I discovered some free new widgets for bloggers and bibliophiles. The site is Shelfari, and they provide shelves to put on your blog with books that you are reading, are going to read, or have read. I tried to put three shelves on, but at the moment I can only get one to show all the way up. So I'm having some technical difficulties, which means that you will have to bear with me until I get my personal computer wizard to help me. (JK!)

If it can get the widgets to work properly, the blog will look even more awesome than before!!!! I'm still not decided on a blog name, but the best ones I have are The Bird and the Baby or The Leaky Cauldron. :D
Anna

The Lake House


Over the past few weeks, I have become a Sandra Bullock fan, and have seen some of her best movies. I've seen While You Were Sleeping several times, and I saw Miss Congeniality, (and part of the sequel, which was NOT as good as the first one...I didn't even finish it) and The Lake House. I've also seen Premonition, which is ironically another mixed up time story with a much darker twist than The Lake House. Both were good, but The Lake House was the 'comedy' and Premonition was the 'tragedy,' if we're going by Aristotle's definition.

The Lake House is classified in the genre magical realism. Magical realism is a movie or story which obviously is not all realistic but has no visible magic...but wait. Maybe I shouldn't say that. I think this is the first movie I've seen that is classified as magical realism. Tim Burton's Big Fish is also magical realism, although I haven't seen it.

The plot centers around Alex and Kate. (Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves) Kate is a doctor in 2006. Alex is an architect in 2004. When Kate leaves the Lake House that she has been living in, she leaves a note for the new tenant. Some how, Alex, two years backwards, gets it. The two start corresponding. Kate apologizes for some paw prints by the front door and a box in the attic. Alex doesn't find a box or paw prints and insists that nobody has lived there for years. They discover that they both have the same dog (which is a scruffy yellow colored mutt named Jack.....and it is a female dog.)
And that the mailbox delivers things back and forth between the two years. The movie is about their relationship over those two years and how the mailbox can deliver anything that will fit inside two years into the future or two years into the past. Their romantic relationship over the notes that they wrote on scrap paper and the hidden surprises that lie with each of them (Kate has a unique interest in classic books (like Jane Austen on Dostyevsky) and her favorite one is Persuasion.

It was a weird movie, but I liked it a whole lot. It was a good romance, and it had a good plot. I like Jack the (female) dog.

I'm sorry I haven't blogged in awhile, but the last week has been very busy. I'll probably start blogging regularly this week again.

Anna