Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Pinterest Lately.

Ah, Pinterest. That total time vacuum of ideas. I'll spend hours on it, pinning and saying to myself, "I'll do that, and that, and that, oo! I'll totally reupholster the couch!" Then these pins will sit in my boards awaiting me to fulfill my promise slowly losing hope as more time passes. So to help these pins solider on- I thought I'd share some with you and maybe you'll use them and be happy.
This will be helpful when Catching Fire comes out.

One day I'll actually sew something and that day will be glorious!

I actually did make this the other day and it was wonderful. Win for you Ms. Martha.

Temporary cat tattoos?? These were made for me!

Me too, Flannery

Perfect for those days where you, uh, don't feel like washing your hair.

Take these pins, love them, learn from them and be happy!

Are you a crazy pinner? We should follow each other!


Monday, August 26, 2013

Book Review: The Constant Princess

I have spent the morning drinking so much coffee with so much stevia and too much cream. It's my comfort food for the a.m. I am choosing to take it easy today as long as I can because I know the minute I walk into work I'll need to be in high gear and I won't be able to switch off until Tuesday afternoon. So, I'm taking my time with the morning, hoping that it'll stretch a little longer than normal.
I am slowly excepting that summer is ending and so is my summer break from blogging. 
I'm diving back into this with an easy review for me anyway. The rest of my summer reading will (hopefully) be up within this week.

"I am Catalina, Princess of Spain, daughter of the two greatest monarchs the world has ever known...and I will be Queen of England."

Thus, bestselling author Philippa Gregory introduces one of her most unforgettable heroines: Katherine of Aragon. Known to history as the Queen who was pushed off her throne by Anne Boleyn, here is a Katherine the world has forgotten: the enchanting princess that all England loved. First married to Henry VIII's older brother, Arthur, Katherine's passion turns their arranged marriage into a love match; but when Arthur dies, the merciless English court and her ambitious parents -- the crusading King and Queen of Spain -- have to find a new role for the widow. Ultimately, it is Katherine herself who takes control of her own life by telling the most audacious lie in English history, leading her to the very pinnacle of power in England.

The first Philippa Gregory novel I read was The Other Boleyn Girl and it was totally romancey and a little trashy and maybe or maybe not accurate. But whatever, I'll I wanted from it was Mary to marry William Stafford and oh my gosh.
It was good, then I read The Boleyn Inheritance which I didn't like at first but I changed my mind by the end of it.
So, naturally I was curious about how she started the whole series. A friend of mine mentioned this book a long time ago and told me how boring it was and that she couldn't finish it. I thought that maybe she meant it got slow it parts and she didn't have the patience for it. That's fair, that's happened to me plenty of times, so with that mindset I was determined to power through.
Man, it was hard. 
Catalina was not a likable person, in fact she was pretty crazy herself. Her narrative was a drag. Seriously, there would be a three-paragraph long scene in third person which would trigger a two page long narrative from her analyzing it and being sad about her dead husband. And this is the first time I truly don't buy Gregory's explanation of Katherine's marriage to Arthur. If they were truly happy together and couldn't stay away from each then why did they choose to play at being unhappy with each other in public? Didn't they want to whole country to know they were happy and in love? 
Then there was her portrayal of Henry VIII. I mean, I can tell Gregory has never been a fan of the man but give credit where credit was due. Through Catalina's eyes she portrayed him as a bright, pushover of a man-child who only wanted to go to war and had no problem deferring to her.
Henry VIII was extremely intelligent and yes I do believe that he did want to go to war and prove himself and that she capably ran the country and defeated the Scottish while he was gone, BUT I don't believe he let her run the country while he was in it. I don't believe that all the counselors and accountants and what not went to her because he didn't care it just doesn't seem true to character. Granted, I haven't appropriately researched that time yet and I may come back to this next week with an edit until then though...

This book was not the Gregory that I fell in love with. This book was a ramble with unlikeable characters and a meandering plot that for a time didn't seem to have a conclusion. I'm am less sympathetic to this Katherine of Aragon if,  during The King's Great Matter, she was defending a lie and being a crazy entitled princess who just wanted to take power from her husband. (Sounds a lot like another wife of his,hmm?)
It's not enough for me to write of Gregory especially since I've been watching her show The White Queen and it's wonderful, but it may be a time before I approach one of her books again.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Poetry of your Sunday vol. 4

The Murderer
"I push my boat among the reeds;
I sit and stare about;
Queer slimy things crawl through the weeds
Put to a sullen rout.
I paddle under cypress trees;
All fearfully I peer
Through oozy channels when the breeze
Comes rustling at my ear.

"The long moss hangs perpetually;
Gray scalps of buried years;
Blue crabs steal out and stare at me,
And seem to gauge my fears;
I start to hear the eel swim by;
I shudder when the crane
Strikes at his prey; I turn to fly,
At drops of sudden rain.

"In every little cry of bird
I hear a tracking shout;
From every sodden leaf that's stirred
I see a face frown out;
My soul shakes when the water rat
Cowed by the blue snake flies;
Black knots from tree holes glimmer at
Me with accusive eyes.
"Through all the murky silence rings
A cry not born of earth;
An endless, deep, unechoing thing
That owns not human birth.
I see no colors in the sky
Save red, as blood is red;
I pray to God to still that cry
From pallid lips and dead.

"One spot in all that stagnant waste
I shun as moles shun light,
And turn my prow to make all haste
To fly before the night.
A poisonous mound hid from the sun,
Where crabs hold revelry;
Where eels and fishes feed upon
The Thing that once was He.

"At night I steal along the shore;
Within my hut I creep;
But awful stars blink through the door,
To hold me from my sleep.
The river gurgles like his throat,
In little choking coves,
And loudly dins that phantom note
From out the awful groves.

"I shout with laughter through the night:
I rage in greatest glee;
My fears all vanish with the light
Oh! splendid nights they be!
I see her weep; she calls his name;
He answers not, nor will;
My soul with joy is all aflame;
I laugh, and laugh, and thrill.

"I count her teardrops as they fall;
I flout my daytime fears;
I mumble thanks to God for all
These gibes and happy jeers.
But, when the warning dawn awakes,
Begins my wandering;
With stealthy strokes through tangled brakes,
A wasted, frightened thing."
-O. Henry
This is the first O. Henry poem I've read ever. It's creepy and it makes my skin crawl. I can picture the river where he dumps the body. I love the imagery in this poem and the feeling of furtiveness that it conveys. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Ideals and disappointment

I always make fun of those idealistic people who have insane expectations about big events in life. Like, "I'm going to do this full-time internship, take 19 hours of classes, bring up my GPA and train for a tri-athalon!" then they get disappointed when it's mid semester and they're struggling to get enough energy to walk to class and make it to work on time.
Oh you silly people, you set such unrealistic expectations for yourself of course you're disappointed.
I'll never be like that.
Never say never, it always makes a point to whisper in you ear and let you know that you're doing what you said you'd never do.
When I first started part time at the clothing store I now I work at I vowed to myself that I wouldn't let it consume my life like Starbucks did. That I would keep up with yoga, eating healthy and meditation so the stress wouldn't get to me.

You know what that list is- ideals. Ideally, that's how I wanted this to go. Every day after I got home from work I'd tell myself how I would do my yoga and how much better I would feel...then I would sit on the couch and think about how bad my feet hurt. Then we lost 3 people at work and I got promoted within 3 weeks of being hired. Not only did I not do yoga or meditation I neither did the laundry or dishes and finally I exhausted myself physically and emotionally with disappointment. After a random crying fit over the cleaning of the cutting board last night I finally realized that I was one of those silly idealistic people who had been sorely disappointed.

So, I went to bed and got a solid 10 hours of sleep and woke up this morning with no expectations of myself. It made for a restful morning and when I went to work I seemed to have a greater peace of mind at all the changes that had rapidly happened.

I got off work and don't feel like death and even though I still haven't done my yoga I'm not viewing it as the end of the world.

It's interesting how we people think life should go. I know for me I hear of those people who have done and excelled at so many things in their lives and are constantly busy but also have brilliant social lives and beautiful homes and I become so jealous! I want to be them; perfect and endlessly interesting. But that's truly not my personality. I'm a slow adjuster but I'll get there and there will be a balance and I will have activities outside of work again but not this week and probably not this month and I'm okay with that now it, like most things, just took some realization.