Monday, April 30, 2007

what is this procrastination you speak of?

You scored as Elizabeth Bennet. As one of Austen's most beloved characters, Elizabeth Bennet represents what most women would like to become: strong, independent, and loyal. Of course, she has her faults including a stubborn will of iron and a clinging to first impressions. Overall, Lizzie is bright and lovable...something to admire and aspire to.

Elizabeth Bennet


Elinor Dashwood


Jane Bennet


Emma Woodhouse


Marianne Dashwood


Charlotte Lucas


Lady Catherine


Which Jane Austen Character are You? (For Females) Long Quiz!!!
created with

i only have one beef with this quiz -- not a broad enough range of characters! 4 from Pride and Prejudice, 2 from Sense & Sensibility, and 1 from Emma (I mean, what about Harriet?...where is Anne from Persuasion? or Fanny from Mansfield Park?)

way to make me feel AWESOME.

conversation with a three year old, today at church

her: are you a teenager?
me: no, not anymore.
her: are you a grown up?
me: yes, i am a grown up. (NOTE: that answer was kind of scary in itself)
her: why aren't you married yet?
me: ...

Saturday, April 28, 2007

ask and you shall receive

so, i wanted to talk about books more. and in looking for more desert island question options, i came upon this, and found it interesting, so here we go.

1.One book that changed your life
Savage Inequalities, Jonathan Kozol. i don't think i got white privilege until i read this book.

2.One book that you've read more than once
there are a lot of these. one that i really liked: Song of Solomon, Toni Morrison.

3.One book that you'd want on a desert island
see previous post and exchange the word "one" for "three."

4.One book that made you laugh
Harry Potter -- they all make me laugh.

5.One book that made you cry
i really don't think i've cried at a book. Animal Farm made me really angry...actually i might have cried when they *SPOILER* took the horse away.

6.One book you wish you had written
this is not definitive, but since i recommended it, we'll say Ella Minnow Pea, because it was so cute and creative. or! since we already threw in a little Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye. that book is so carefully constructed and thoughful.

7.One book you wish had never been written
My So Called Life Goes On, Carolyn Clark. a novelization of the series. awful. awful awful. the author basically took Sweet Valley High, took out the names and stuck in Angela, Rayanne, Jordan, Ricky, and Brian. twenty pages in i took it and threw it behind my bed in disgust.

8.One book you're currently reading
Real Sex, Lauren Winner -- a book that i hope will help me take some sort of approach to sexuality with my kids that's not "don't do it! sex is bad! just because it is, stop asking questions!"

9.One book you have been meaning to read
She who Is, Elizabeth Johnson -- a landmark feminist theology text. Got it through paperbackswap, sitting on my shelf, waiting for me to finish this thesis.

10.Now tag five people
torgo and rainster (obviously), jen d., lisa, and mike. and, for kicks, one person i don't know -- maybe the person in florida who read it yesterday.

desert island

just watched the office's "the fire" (on a break from thesis writing) and got inspired by the desert island game. SO!

blog readers:
if you were to end up on a desert island:
what three books would you want with you?
what four CDs?
what five movies?

this is my list:
*caveat for the books: whenever we used to do this kind of thing with Christians, we would always say, "besides the Bible," because people would always feel like they would have to say the Bible. i would make that caveat here, but i really do want to take the Bible, so i'll own my stuff.

1. the Bible
2. persuasion, jane austen (for when i'm feeling romantic)
3. a poetry anthology of some sort. maybe "A Book of Luminous Things" (international) or that book we got in Peter Harris' class, "Contemporary American Poetry."

1. Lauryn Hill's "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill"
2. My "Musicals Rule" mix (is that cheating? if it is, Les Miserables.)
3. Counting Crow's "August and Everything After"
4. One of my Christian/gospel mixes (again, if that's cheating, Third Day's "Offerings")

1. Anne of Green Gables/Anne of Avonlea (i'm counting them as one)
2. Pride and Prejudice (1995)
3. Breakfast Club
4. Princess Bride
5. My So Called Life First Season

boy that was kind of hard! especially the books! i wanted three more choices!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

what a thesis looks like

The whole scene...

The Christina-shaped hole in my futon where i've been sitting and typing for the past two weeks.

right side of the futon (note the essential coffee mug, and the pringles i finished off over the course of the day)

left side of the futon (i got that book you see, black feminist thought, at torgo's yard sale, and it has been indispensible for this thesis)

the floor -- i also had to finish a page for a memory book for our dean of students this week (she's leaving to focus on her Ph.D.) so that's what all the art supplies are for.

the ottoman. the office DVD is the one you see right towards the front. i'm returning the 1996 jane eyre i got (ABYSMALLY boring) and getting the first disc of season 2.

what i look like after 10 hours of writing.

please God, let it be tuesday! let me be done!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Jane Eyre Fevah!

just finished the 1973 version, with Sorcha Cusack and Michael Jayston.

upon careful consideration, i think i am still partial to 1983. first, both the early years and the late years were MUCH better in 1983. young Jane was perfect, and the young cousins were not so stiff. plus, in the 1973 version, they completely cut out the character of Rosamund Oliver, which, i think, makes St. John Rivers a whole lot less interesting.

also, Timothy Dalton was WAY more passionate than Jayston. the scene where Jane is leaving in the 1983 version is totally heartbreaking...Dalton looks like he's about to flip over a chair or two, he's so pissed. Jayston is not bad, just more subtle. but this is Bronte! there is no room for subtlety! only passion and hidden wives and orphans abandoned by loose-living french opera singers.

also, i was distracted by several things which probably won't supposed to be funny, but were. like:

*when john reed throws a book at young jane, she gets this "cut" on her head. pretty much, the worst fake cut i have ever seen.

*when they throw young jane in the room to punish her, the maids want to tie her up, and the young maid says to the old maid, "give me your garter." so then there is this AMAZING shot of the old maid lifting up her skirts above her knee and starting to pull down the garter, and the camera does this weird zoom in on her leg, and i totally got scared that i rented the porn version of Jane Eyre by accident. but then Jane says she won't run and the old maid puts down her skirts and the scene goes on like we're weren't JUST ABOUT to be witness to something truly unsettling. this picture is right before the skirt goes up. we're about to see an awful lot of the lady on the right here.

*Jayston's character saying "what the deuce" (or why the deuce, or how the deuce) ALL the time. maybe that was in the book, either way, it seemed like it was a running gag and not really part of the character. what the deuce is up with that?!? see, anytime anyone says it it's funny

*Jayston's EYELINER. oh my gosh, every time there was a close up i couldn't tear my eyes away!

* Jayston's and Cusack's kissing scenes. it didn't seemed like they ever actually kissed. it was kind of like they were just scrunching up their shoulders and putting their mouths together, like they were 7 years old and all, "what's kissing? i think it's when you do THIS"

so far, the Tinglof recommended version of Jane Eyre is 1983, Timothy Dalton and Zelah Clarke.

in other news, because i can exchange my Blockbuster online dvds for dvds in the store, i am never without a movie/tv show! at torgo's urging, i went for the first season of the Office (skipping the pilot), and watched "Health Care" and "the Alliance." hi. larious. I don't remember laughing so much at something on TV since I was watching the Cosby show, first run. and so, in honor, i end with this:

" In the wild, there is no health care. In the wild, health care is, "Ow, I hurt my leg. I can't run. A lion eats me and I'm dead." Well, I'm not dead. I'm the lion, you're dead. "

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

"ballroom dancing is like this...tiny little grain of sand, if you count the entire country"

watched mad hot ballroom this week.

way back when, torgo disapproved of the movie.

well, i respectfully disagree. i thought it was wonderful, mostly because i'm sick of documentaries or movies that feature the inner city as an awful, terrible place riddled with drugs, violence, and kids who are going nowhere. this movie, in my opinion, really resisted that, and showed a lot of the joy, creativity, intelligence, and resilience kids growing up in urban areas have. it didn't shy away from the realities -- one of my favorite scenes was of two girls sitting in the park on a rock, discussing the kind of boy they would like to date: someone focused on school, not selling drugs, who respects them, just because it shows that they know what's out there, and they want something different for themselves.

the director of the place where i used to work in new jersey, urban promise, used to always say that people hear enough about the terrible things in the inner city, and when he was fundraising, he never wanted to get money out of people by telling them how bad the lives of the kids in camden were, but rather how wonderful the kids were, how they are talented, happy, and unique, how they like to play, how they get excited about learning, and how, given the same opportunities, could be just as (traditionally) successful as the kid in the wealthy suburb just a few miles away.

anyway, soap box finished. besides all that, it was funny -- kids are so funny. some of my favorite parts:

this one girl spouting off about "scientific research" all the time, while swinging her umbrella. "scientific research" told her both that 11 year olds are the prime target for kidnappers (to which her friend hilariously replies "what's a napper?"), and also that "women overall...are the advanced civilization."

one boy saying in front of his friends that he judges girls by their "outer beauty and their inner beauty...mostly their inner beauty," and then his friend looking at him like, "yeah, right. LIAR."

three of the boys from the italian neighborhood waxing philosophical over the foosball table:
*on ballroom dancing: "it's like a sport that...hasn't been invented yet."
*on being 11: "i find hard being eleven is have to learn these new, really hard things, and sometimes teachers don't even understand how, people think, like...marriage, parts of marriage is gay marriage, how they be talking about it." to which his friend replies, "in the Bible, it ain't say, like it says, it says people can get married. it doesn't say what KIND of people."

one boy from the wealthier school talking about being 11: "you gotta put deodorant, you gotta start washing TWO times a day, you start growing hair in weird places, and you don't change your sheets because you peed."

and i loved watching all of the kids from the winning school cheering on each other -- they were SO happy and excited to be there, they loved watching the "attitude" on the faces of their teammates, it was all so much fun for them...and the teacher and principal watching, so proud.

i thought it was great.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

My Heritage

so apparently there's this "my heritage" website which shows you which celebrities you look like. i tried it, and it really just shows you which celebrities are making the same pose as you are in the photo you submit. what the heck that has to do with your heritage, i have no idea.

BUT! i decided, just for fun, to be my own "my heritage." or...whatever. anyway, here are all the celebrities i've been told i look like. what do you think? guess which one i've heard more than once and guess which one i got as a preteen. guess which one i had to go back and google image to figure out what the people were talking about and guess which one i could only be imagining i heard.

maybe it actually won't be that fun. but humor me.

first, there's me:

and then there are my look-a-likes (from l. to r.: amelia earhart, michelle pfieffer, lucy narnia girl, and kiefer sutherland):

Women are supposed to be very calm generally

when i was studying medieval female mystics, we talked a lot about how while they weren't modern day feminists, they worked within their structures to affirm women...and authors like Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte do the same things i think. to finish the quote from Jane Eyre:

"Women are supposed to be very calm generally; but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex." Chapter 12

so novels affirming the validity of women's feelings and actions, with a healthy dose of romance...why wouldn't i want to see every adaptation?

we all know that the 1995 A&E version of pride and prejudice with colin firth and jennifer ehle is the definitive version. can you go back after you've seen this?
that's the face of love, people.

but i watched the 1980 version anyway. some interesting character differences between mr. collins (and as many versions as i've seen, mr. collins is ALWAYS really funny), and lady catherine de bourgh, who i actually think was better in this version. she was younger, and had more of the "everytime i open my mouth you must gape in awe at the wonderful things i say." than the BBC version, where she was just kind of an old shrew. i always also feel bad for the women who have to play her daughter because your part is basically: be sickly and pale and painfully shy, all to make elizabeth look hotter and to make viewers wonder why darcy would ever even consider marrying you. i do like that this version features elizabeth prominently on the cover, not darcy, like the 1995 version. since elizabeth is, you know, the main character.

anyway, this version was very BBC-esque, that is, very stage-y, like watching a play. nowhere near the 1995 version. but entertaining.

i just re read jane eyre at the beginning of this school year, and i have to say, i always kind of related to characters like jane, who were headstrong in their own way but also moral in a way that some people might think them week. fanny from mansfield park is like this -- in my jane austen in fiction and film class i was the only one who took up for her. everyone else thought she was a goody two shoes.

the 1983 version of jane eyre was pretty good, although i think that timothy dalton was a bit too dashing for mr. rochester. he and zelah clarke balanced each other, though, she was grave and calm as she should be, and he was emotional and volatile.

jane's hairstyle annoyed me, though, mostly because it was so precarious every time rochester would touch her head (which was a lot once they got feeling all romantical), he would mess it up. i was like "tighter bun, girl! put it in a tighter bun!" you would be able to see this if the main picture was of jane, who is the main character, and not rochester, who was played by a hottie (even though he's not supposed to be handsome).

i have at least 4 more versions of jane eyre in my queue, as well as persuasion (which i've seen, but LOVE and will maybe love more that i am now an old spinster like anne)...are we all SO excited?

various and sundry.


apparently street sweeping is a tad more important in Boston than in Chicago, where they just give you a ticket. in Boston, they give you a ticket AND they tow you. AWESOME.

also, i now have a definite due date for my thesis: forty pages in 3 weeks! it can happen!

also, i have no cable but blockbuster online, and i enjoy early British women writers and i am a hopeless romantic, and especially like the stories where the two lovebirds don't think the other one loves them, and it comes together in some suitably extravagant fashion, so i have decided to work through the adaptations of jane eyre and the austen books, at least until the office season one is available (blockbuster online says it is a "short wait"). see above.