Monthly Archives: October 2012

Happy Halloween!


Congratulations to Mr & Mrs Gonzalez :)

“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”

-Dr. Suess


Lyra’s Oxford by Phillip Pullman

I’m going to be short and sweet with this review because I wouldn’t want it to be longer than the book itself. I’m a huge fan of Phillip Pullman’s and I was absolutely obsessed with His Dark Materials series. I loved it. For any of you who have never read The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, or The Amber Spyglass I HIGHLY recommend that you do. They are amazing, fantastical books that explore some pretty deep topics under the guise of children’s literature. In fact, just writing about them makes me want to re-read the series as an adult to see what else I’ll glean from it.

(Also, obviously, don’t judge the book by it’s movie. The Golden Compass’ film adaptation did not do it justice at all…)

All I know is, I wish daemons were real! So so cool! They’re pretty much an outward extension of your soul represented by an animal. They can change form until you reach puberty and your personality has “settled.” Our main character Lyra’s has now settled as a ermine, I believe, but there can be a multitude of choices. Lord Asriel’s was a snow leopard, Ms. Coulter’s was a golden tamarin monkey, and Lee Scoresby’s was a hare.

Witches’ daemons are usually birds and possess the unsettling ability to fly miles and miles away from their masters. (All daemons are on a relatively short “leash” to their humans, as you wouldn’t feel right with your soul running around without you, would you?) They are usually the opposite sex from their companion. Very interesting…

But that being said, Lyra’s Oxford was completely useless. It shouldn’t have even been a stand-alone novel. It was an extremely short story about Lyra and her daemon Pan, as they try to seek help for a witch’s daemon. Very very brief and pretty uninteresting. It takes place two years after the end of The Amber Spyglass and reminded me quite a bit of what Stephenie Meyer did with The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner or what JK Rowling did with The Tales of Beedle the Bard.

Kind of just short, useless reminders of an epic series. (Although The Tales of Beedle the Bard did have a purpose, even though it was small…)

The verdict? Skip it.

2 stolen gypsy children of 5


Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

You’d think that someone whom, on average, reads about a hundred books a year would’ve at some point gotten around to the classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. (Or as I’ve referred to it in my head for my entire life–Alice in Wonderland–but whatever…) This weekend I decided to hunker down and sink my teeth into the classic children’s tale that’s spawned innumerable movies, games, tv mini-series, and slutty Halloween costumes. 

It wasn’t… quite what I’d expected…

It was at once extremely familiar and yet utterly weird. I’ve seen so many of the story points used or referenced in other works that it was almost as if I’d read it before. (Plus, it made me realize that Disney actually interpreted the book pretty well with it’s old cartoon version). Also, Through the Looking Glass seemed to be the predominate reference for Tim Burton’s movie. I was kind of disappointed there wasn’t an epic battle between Alice and the Jabberwocky in the books, however…

I guess I also discovered the reason Carroll sent an innocent and polite English schoolchild down the rabbit hole and not a twenty-something hormone-fueled blonde girl. I would’ve killed probably everyone I encountered in Wonderland while I was there–the characters were so annoying! I get that everything is supposed to be whimsical and nonsensical (and in TTLG, backwards) but come on. Alice didn’t have a single conversation that made sense and everyone was so easily offended by everything she said… I just wanted to punch them.

I don’t want to go to Wonderland if everyone there is such a crazy dick. Honestly, you can have the same exact experience in Ybor City without ever setting foot near a rabbit hole. The Mad Hatter would be a creepy homeless dude, the March Hare would be a nervous skinny kid lost in the bowels of the Castle, and the Red Queen would most surely be a drag queen. (Except instead of screaming “Off with his head!” she’d be screaming something else about head…)

Too weird.

2 bread and butter flies of 5


Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea & Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang by Chelsea Handler

Phew. That’s a lot of Chelseas. Especially when you consider these books are being reviewed by a Chelsea too! I’ve been casually following Chelsea Handler’s work since her days on the Girls Behaving Badly show. It used to really crack me up in my teen years. My roommate and I even enjoyed watching her show Chelsea Lately whenever we caught it, reveling in her sarcastic-bitch sense of humor. I love that. I find mean people hilarious. And she’s mean. And probably an alcoholic.  

I read My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands a few years back and found it pretty amusing. What’s not to love about a collection of casual sex stories? She should’ve called it, A Series of Unfortunate Decisions. Lmao. I recall a circus midget being in one of the stories. Really.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t so fond of either of these two books.

I read Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang in one day, because it’s a really easy read. I do appreciate that about Chelsea’s writing. Both of these books follow her traditional format of each chapter being a humorous story that stands alone. But, the stories in CCBB just seemed a little too self-appreciative and not as funny as the improv banter on her show. This book just kind of gave the impression of “I’m rich and funny, laugh at me!”

When I was finished, I remembered that I had Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea on my Kindle, so I promptly started that. I found this one slightly more amusing and less ego-stroking than CCBB. This one was written beforehand, so maybe she wasn’t quite as full of herself during this time. A lot of drunken craziness ensues, which I’m all for, but it somehow just isn’t that funny. I only laughed aloud a couple of times in each book, and it wasn’t ever because of the punchline of a story–more for random strange things like referring to her fat father as “Platypus.”

I still love you, Chelsea, and I’ll continue to watch your show–but my girlfriends and I have been known to have more wild nights than your books illustrate, with a fraction of the money and only a drop of ego.

3 Ketel One and Lemons of 5


A Little Daily Advice…


Harry Potter Studio Tour, London :)

So, over the weekend Jason drove me almost two hours to go beneath London to a little town called Watford. An otherwise innocuous area, Watford is home to one of the coolest things in the history of time. That’s right. I’m talking about the Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour. It is a really popular tour, and to book our trip on the 6th, we had to schedule it mid-September!

But, boy was it worth it! 

I absolutely ADORED everything about it. I couldn’t stop smiling. After we got past the queue (taking us past the cupboard under the stairs) and into the first section of the tour, they sat us down and played a small movie about how the Harry Potter films came to be. Then, when it was over, they rolled up the giant screen and we were all directly in front of the ENORMOUS doors that lead into the great hall. Seriously, we walked through the same exact doors Harry, Ron, and Hermione did and straight into the hall. It was amazing.

We got to see the door to the Chamber of Secrets, the Mirror of Erised, the Sorcerer’s Stone and a million other important objects for the wizarding world. It was honestly like a childhood dream come true. I would’ve easily lived in there, slept in the Griffyndor boy’s dormitory, cooked in the Weasley’s kitchen, and lounged in the common room.

I took about a zillion pictures, but none of them really do it justice:

 

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