Friday, October 31, 2014

Kindle Fail!

Happy Halloween, friends!
For my birthday I received a lovely new kindle, complete with pretty blue case, which is so useful! It's hard to lug those big books I love to read around campus, so it's very pleasant to have around.
It also provided a laugh that I wasn't expecting.
This here is a picture of the X-Ray feature for A Tale of Two Cities. Some kindle books, you hit a button that says X-Ray, and you get a glossary of recurring terms and a little character guide to help you keep everyone straight. It's a good idea! But it could use a little work. See, it works by entering the name of the character or term into Wikipedia, and puts the first paragraph of the Wikipedia article. Sometimes it makes mistakes.

Do you see it? :D
I hope everyone has a good Halloween! If dreams came true, I might have been a better man* I wasn't so busy with my studying and stuff I'd have posted a review of The Nightmare Before Christmas today, but hopefully I can get that up sometime in this here last leg of 2014. How exciting! I love the last three months of a year.

*Don't mind me, just making a reference to some obscure musical. ;)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Translations, Translations, Translations!

S-so... sick... eurggghhhhhhhh I hope you're happy virus, I had to miss my piano midterm because of you.
So, I've been reading a lot of books that were originally written in different languages lately. Books like The Count of Monte Cristo, The Broskis Brothers Karamazov, Les Miserables, The Man Who Laughs, the list goes on and on and on!
I spend a lot of time in the college library, and as interested in reading The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky. On the back of the book it said that this new translation was extremely faithful to the original Russian, and that it had gotten rid of all the 'anglizations' that were in the first translation of the novel. That sounds good right? Keeping the book as close to the original as humanly possible. But I opened the book to look at it, and it was near un-readable. At least to me. My eyes wandered all over the page trying to find something to latch onto, but all I could see were 'thous' and 'hithers' and tons of weird Russian-isms that you had to flip to the footnotes at the back of the book to find out what they meant.
Then I bought a pretty new copy of Les Miserables to sort of replace my battered copy (shhh, don't tell it it's being phased out!), and a lot of the amazon reviews criticized it for having a rather modernish translation. And yeah, reading thought it today I have found some rather interesting phrases that don't quite sound 19th Century France ("Pull yourself together!" "Hey Kid!" "Alright with you?"), but get this! I'm not bugged at all by it.
So those two stories tie together (like any good Lost plotline...) and lead me to the point of this post.
I suppose the question you ask yourself about a translation is where the 'line' is. Where does it go from clearing up peculiarities of the language to changing what the author wanted to say? And what makes a good translation, anyway?
I would say that to make a good, faithful translation, you would first translate the text literally, and then revise to make it run smoothly in English, or whatever language you're translating into. Yes, you can't translate something to exactly what the author was saying. Especially from a language like Japanese that is so intricate and different from any other language that you can only give the reader an idea of what was being written.
Translating from a different language is a difficult project to tackle. There are so many different variables you have to work with, especially when you're going over a book written in French or Spanish where there are two ways of saying 'You'- one of them formal and one of them more friendly. English doesn't have that, so it's hard to translate a passage that has a lot of subtext with the Vous/Tu thing, like you'll find in The Count of Monte Cristo.
So it's difficult, you know! I cut the translators some slack because yeah, I could get picky about the translation for being modern. But then what would I do? Just read The Idiot in the original Russian? No thank you! I would rather read a modernized translation than one that is so excessively accurate that it is hard to read.
Bible translations on the other hand, are a completely different deck of cards. A deck of cards that I'm not even authorized to shuffle. So that's a different post for when I'm a hundred years wiser. ;)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Chocolate Book Tag

Not two days after I say that I'm taking a break... XD Can't stay away for long, isn't that right?
I saw this meme or Hamlette's blog, and on Hannah's blog, and thought it would be a fun, quickie post. Because certain parties thought I was leaving my blog forever, here's me saying that I'm not. ;)

 Dark Chocolate [a book that covers a dark topic]
Hi, we're two dudes who don't look like
any of the characters in this book.

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky. This book is amazing, and I really liked it, but I also had to put it down sometimes because it got a little bit, howyousay... nightmarish? The atmosphere was quite dark and heavy and sometimes it was a little too much so. The ending was really sweet though. I thought it would be all dark and depressing, but it actually had a really nice ending!

White Chocolate [a light and humorous read]

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien. I'm not a ginormous Tolkien fan, but this book was just very fun and quite amusing. It had its moments of melancholy, but for the most part it was very charming and whimsical. In a good way, whimsical in a good way.

Milk Chocolate [a book with a lot of hype that you're dying to read]
Ummm, here's the thing about me. Things with LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of hype kind of put me off. So I tend not to read them until they cease to be constantly shoved down my throat.
Caramel Filled Chocolate [a book that makes you feel gooey inside]
By gooey inside do you mean nauseous or do you mean sentimental? Just kidding, just kidding..
I'm just wrapping up Sense and Sensibility, and that book makes me feel a little goopy inside. :) Colonel Brandon makes me happy...
Wafer-less Kit-Kat [a book that surprised you]

The aforementioned Broskis K, since I thought it would be really boring and dry when it was the total opposite. But also Momo by Michael Ende. I thought it would be a cute little story about a mysterious girl and her friends, but it was actually SUCH a deep little story, and I really like it. :)
Snickers [a book you're going nuts about]
SUCH a cool painting on the cover.

So many! Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, Odd Thomas... So many! But if I had to pick one I'd pick The Count of Monte Cristo because it's what I'm currently reading and I'm very excited about it.
Hot Chocolate with Mini Marshmallows [a book you turn to for comfort]

Usually whatever I'm reading at the moment is what I go to. But The Scarlet Pimpernel is almost a guaranteed mood-booster for me. :) Along with The Tale of Despereaux.
A Box of Chocolates [a series you feel has something for everyone]

I don't know. I would say the Odd Thomas book because they're full of action, a spot of romance, lots of suspense, and a good moral compass. But they're also a little too weird and creepy for a lot of peoples tastes, so I don't know. :P
 Of thee I zing, Ice Cream, of The Blog of Ice Cream!
And anybody else who wants to do it, I just don't want to badger anyone or be irritating. :)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Let's blow this job!

So long!
Hi guys! I'm pretty busy with my classes and projects and stuff, so I'm officially halting all blogger activities for an undetermined amount of time. I can't wait until I'm at a four year, because if I feel busy now... XD
I'm going to write up the rest of those Musical Song posts, and stock up on Chibi comics, and I'll hopefully be back in business around the middle of November!
That being said, if I have a bit 'o free time, I might nip on here, but I just want to take off as much additional stuff as possible so I can focus on my grades.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Favorite Songs from Musicals #9: Do You Hear The People Sing?

What kind of list would this be if I didn't have Do You Hear The People Sing on it? :D
Just kidding, I didn't put this one on just because it's popular. That's not how I roll. ;)
The context of the song is different depending on whether you're watching the stage play or the movie. In the play, I think that The Friends of the ABC are rallying the people to get all riled up about the revolution (I think), whereas in the movie the song is sung while the students crash Lamarque's funeral and the Revolutionary Funtimes begin. I have to say, I like it's placement in the movie a little better. I think it's very cool how the revolution starts with a whisper and spreads through the people and becomes something very big! Too bad for them it didn't last. Oops, spoilers. :P

Do you hear the people sing?
Singing the song of angry men
It is the music of the people who will not be slaves again
When the beating of your heart echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start when tomorrow comes.
Will you join in our crusade
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Beyond the barricade is there a world you long to see?
Then join in the fight that will give you the right to be free!

The Janeite Tag! :D

Hi everyone! I was tagged for the Janeite Tag by Hamlette and I'm looking forward to answering all her questions! Thanks for tagging me! And I'm so sorry I haven't posted this sooner! It's been kind of a stressful week, what with exams and such. We learned another irregular verb and I'm freaking out over vocabulary. :P But let's forget all that for now, and get on with it!


The Rules:
Thank and link back to the person who tagged you.
Tell us how you were introduced to Jane Austen and share one fun fact about your Janeite life (this fun fact can be anything from "I stayed up all night reading Emma" to "I visited Chawton and met Anna Chancellor.").
Answer the tagger's questions.
Write seven questions of your own.
Tag as few as one or as many as seven other Janeites and let them know you've tagged them.

How I was Introduced
My mom has always had the books around, and I had been exposed to the various adaptations a lot, my favorite being the Gwyneth Paltrow 'Emma' and the Persuasion from the 90's. I didn't start reading them until I was around 14 and I had to read Pride and Prejudice for school. We erm, won't go over that in detail because it didn't end well. The jist is, I wasn't really a big Jane Austen fan until I read Emma, and then all of a sudden I was quite addicted! I've read all the books except Sense and Sensibility, but I'm planning on reading that whenever I finish the awesomeness that is The Count of Monte Cristo. Whenever that may be.

Fun Fact...?
I um... don't believe that I have one! Well, when I was 11 I tried to match all the people I knew to characters from Emma. I was Emma Woodhouse, some obnoxious kid from Church was Frank Churchill, and I can't remember anything else.

Allrighty! Hamlette's Questions!

1. Would you rather board with the Bennets or the Tilneys for a fortnight?
I'm going to have to say the Tilneys! I'd take a gruff jerk over giggly girls any day of the year.
2. Would you rather have Edmund Bertram or Edward Ferrars as your pastor?
Wow, their names are so similar that at first I couldn't remember which one was which! Um, Edward Ferras, just because he's a little more interesting?
3. If you could play any Austen character in a play or movie production, who would you want to portray?
I don't believe there are any Austen heroines who look anything like me. XD But if we were ignoring matters like really dark eyebrows and a totally Californian complexion, I would so want to play either Marianne Dashwood or Catherine Morland. :) Or Emma.
4. Which Austen book makes you laugh the most? (Or do you not laugh over any of them?)
Emma and Northanger Abbey both had me constantly in stitches. :D
5. How many times have you read your favorite Austen book?
Only once. I just recently started reading the Austen books, so I haven't had time to loop yet.
6. Which Austen parents do you think do the best job of parenting?
Hmmmmm, I don't think that I could answer that because I haven't read all of them, but of the ones that I have read I think that Catherine Morland has a nice, normal family with regular, non-paranoid or negligent parents.
7. If you could make a new movie version of any Austen book, which one would you adapt, and who would you cast? (Feel free to get as detailed as you want, or just cast the principals -- your choice.)
Um, pass! I really don't know a whole lot of actors. :P

Okay, here's the jist. I can't think of any questions at the moment, but as soon as I think of them I'll post them. Then again, I might just go over the verb 'Faire' a million times because that's a little more pressing at the moment. Sorry! XD

Friday, October 17, 2014


[sniffle] That's our special inside joke, isn't it, Ice Cream? Anyways, It's a special occasion, so I figured why not put up a comic and the Janite Tag today?
Stay Frosty, my friends!

Monday, October 13, 2014

55 Favorite Songs From Musicals #8: The Confrontation

Oh no! I missed a week. XD Oh well, I had an exam to study for, and exam takes precedence over blog series. And the start of Hockey Season takes precedence over both of them! Just kidding. I have filled out a Janeite tag, so I think I'll have that read to post tomorrow.
YEAH, more Les Miserables! Ahem. This song carries a lot of tension, and when done right the counterpoint duet sounds awesome. A lot about both Jean Valjean and Javert's characters is revealed in the lyrics, and all in all it's a very powerful scene.

Dare you talk to me of crime,
and the price you have to pay
Every man is born in sin, every man must choose his way
You know nothing of Javert,
I was born inside a jail
I was born with scum like you
I am from the gutter too!
I am warning you Javert
I'm the stronger man by far
There is power in me yet,
My race is not yet run
I am warning you Javert
There is nothing I won't dare
If I have to kill you here
I'll do what must be done

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Storage Room: Timmy vs Nature

Guess who hiked down to her friend's tire swing in the country and wore her clogs that offer little to no foot protection and got mosquito bites all over her ankles?
Yeah. Enjoy the comic!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

It's October!

Yay! I'm in a pretty good mood today, in such a good mood that a change in the months feels like something to celebrate. Maybe I hit my head harder than I thought in French yesterday! Oh yeah, and in other news, I kinda sorta maybe got a head injury in French class yesterday. But that's a story for another post!
I love October.
And not just because my birthday is in October (It's also the Month of the Holy Rosary!). Though that might be a large contributing factor, anyways... I like the weather around here in October. It's very crisp and a little chilly, but not so cold as to be really uncomfortable. And the atmosphere feels generally a little more 'eerie'. Probably because Halloween, one of my favorite days of the year! Yes, I dress up and go out. Because I like to take advantage of free candy. And it's very fun to dress up. Last year I was Eponine, and this year I'm going as Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas. :) Unless I can't get a good tattery dress together, in which case I'll go as the (dark haired and brown eyed) Harriet Smith to Libby's Emma Woodhouse. Yeah, my sister is going as Emma Woodhouse, isn't that neat? And my little brother who was Enjolras last year is going as Indiana Jones. He has a thing for heroes that shoot a lot of people I guess. Hmmm, maybe we should look into that. XD
ANYWAY. Where was I? Right. The eerie atmosphere. I don't know, I just love it when things are a little weird and eerie. Plus, 'eerie' is just a cool lookin' word, n'est-ce pas? It's the time of year where my imagination kind of runs wild with itself, and it's also the time of year where I love to stay up late and read some [gasp] scary stories.
So! I thought it would be fun to have a reading list for October (yeah, and that last list... I don't really want to use the kindle app on my computer because reading for a long time on this thing makes my eyes hurt, so it looks like Toilers of the Sea ain't happening.), so here it is! I want to see if I can read all these creepy books by the end of the month. :)
1.) Frankenstein by Mary Shelly
I started this one, and I'm not that crazy about it. But it's a book I might not have otherwise picked up, so we'll just call it horizon-broadening.
2.) Coraline by Neil Gaiman
I love this book. It's very short and you can read it in a day. Also very creepy, but also kind of fun too!
3.) The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
I read the Wishbone version of this book when I was like, nine. And I was bored because there were no major lady characters. But I'm older and less picky now, so maybe I'll like it.
4.) Dracula by Bram Stoker
I read this one (didn't finish it though because I lost it) when I was fourteen, and I recall liking it... it's a little violent though. Seems to me that this is the 1800's version of a slasher horror movie and I'm not sure now I feel like it. But I remember that it was easy to read and follow (though I think that they killed off my favorite character.) so I look forward to this one!
5.) Brother Odd by Dean Koontz
I snuck another favorite on here. ;)

Oh, and before we go, here's a cool poem about October! My sister doesn't like it though because it kind of slams her birthday month. I admit that this poem is a little uppity, but the imagery is so pretty and the writing is great.

October's Bright Blue Weather by Helen Hunt Jackson
O SUNS and skies and clouds of June,
        And flowers of June together,
    Ye cannot rival for one hour
        October's bright blue weather;
    When loud the bumble-bee makes haste,
        Belated, thriftless vagrant,
    And Golden-Rod is dying fast,
        And lanes with grapes are fragrant;
    When Gentians roll their fringes tight
        To save them for the morning,
    And chestnuts fall from satin burrs
        Without a sound of warning;
    When on the ground red apples lie
               In piles like jewels shining,
    And redder still on old stone walls
        Are leaves of woodbine twining;
    When all the lovely wayside things
        Their white-winged seeds are sowing,
    And in the fields, still green and fair,
        Late aftermaths are growing;
    When springs run low, and on the brooks,
        In idle golden freighting,
    Bright leaves sink noiseless in the hush
        Of woods, for winter waiting;
    When comrades seek sweet country haunts,
        By twos and twos together,
    And count like misers, hour by hour,
        October's bright blue weather.
    O suns and skies and flowers of June,
        Count all your boasts together,
    Love loveth best of all the year
        October's bright blue weather.