Wednesday, November 26, 2014

What To Read Next?

I have only 200 pages left in The Count of Monte Cristo (which took a little dip in awesomeness with the Valentine/Maximilien subplot, but quickly earned it back), and it's time to start thinking about what to read next. XD
So here's my list of possibilities. :)

Middlemarch by George Eliot
I read Silas Marner way back in August, I think, and I liked it a lot. So much that when I found Middlemarch in our garage, I decided that it would be great to give that a read sometime! So I'm considering it for when I'm done with Monte Cristo.
Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
I know next to nothing about this book, aside from the fact that it's by Charles Dickens, and um... yeah. I know nothing. My copy has money on the cover though, so maybe it has something to do with money that everybody is trying to get their hands on. I don't know. But I really like Charles Dickens books, and look forward to reading another one!
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
I've never read anything by Tolstoy, I am ashamed. But I like this story, and one of the subplots is really nice, it involves a guy trying to find his faith again or something, and I can't remember how or if it was resolved. Just another reason to read the book, I guess!
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
I've heard a lot of different things about this book, some people say that it's terrible, and other people say it's brilliant. So I have no idea what to expect, and I'm looking forward to finding out for myself whether or not this is a good read. :)
Any other suggestions? Once I finish Monte Cristo, I'm going to be a little bit at a loss on what to read. And I just finished The Idiot on kindle, so I'm searching for something to read on that, too. :)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Favorite Songs From Musicals #13: Everything Stays The Same

Yay, A Tale of Two Cities, my second favorite stage musical!! I think that a big reason this musical didn't do well on Broadway though, was because it didn't offer anything new for the audience. Bloody revolution and social justice themes? Les Miserables did that. Tragic impossible love story? The Phantom of the Opera did that. That's not the musical's fault, it just means that it didn't have enough fresh or original enough to make people want to flock to the theater. I mean, I dislike Urinetown, but even I understand that it's original enough to be successful.
All that having been said, this song is like nothing I've ever heard in a musical before. And it's awesome.
There is a lot going on in this song, and it's a little hard to visualize it all in your mind if you don't know what exactly is happening in the story. Basically, what's going on is that the Bastille was just stormed, and the Revolution has begun. At first the people are idealistic about the outcome, but as time goes on they wonder 'what happened to tomorrow', and why everything is still the same as before the Revolution. It's very powerful, and I love the eerie waltz tempo that constantly surfaces. It's a very strong opening for Act 2.

What happened to tomorrow?
Tell us just who to blame
Villains may come and they may go
But everything stays the same!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Storage Room: Timmy vs. Le Frigo

[sigh] A follower dropped my blog yesterday, which isn't fun... My reaction was probably entertaining to watch though, because I immediately started to frantically check my recent posts for anything offensive, or obscene that I might have accidentally sat down, typed, and posted. Nada! Unless somebody finds comics about leaving your chemistry book at home offensive.
But enough of me belly-aching (though it would be nice to know why you randomly dropped my blog without saying anything), if there's any guaranteed way to losing more followers it's constant belly-aching! So you guys technically should have left ages ago. ;) Thanks for being awesome peeps :)
On with the comic.
This is based on the time I was cleaning out the leftovers in my friend's fridge. I'm pretty sure I discovered some new species!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Salle de Stockage: Timothée et Son Livre

Hi guys! I really should be practicing flute and writing the script for my next video right now, but I'm afraid that once I start practicing flute I won't be able to make myself stop. So here's a comic that I wrote in French!!
As you can see I kind of wrote it two months ago and forgot to post it. Ooops.

Oh yeah, the translation! Here it is :)

Timmy: Ah, another day at the university! The sky is beautiful, isn't it Francis?
Frankie: [panting, panting!]

Timmy: Uh... Francis, my backpack is very light today. [...] I FORGOT MY CHEMISTRY BOOK!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Northanger Abbey Video Review Special!!

Here is Libby and I's rather scatterbrained review of Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Persuasion and Black Beauty Video Review

Hi guys! I posted this a long time ago (roughly a month ago, lol), but some of my chummies had trouble finding it. Tomorrow I'll post the video for me and Libby's Northanger Abbey review. :)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Favorite Songs From Musicals #12: Epilogue from Les Miserables

The Epilogue from Les Miserables is my favorite ending of any musical. By this point, everything is resolved it seems. The revolution has failed, but the happiness of Marius and Cosette is ensured and that at least balances out the darkness left by the surviving Thenardiers. And here's Jean Valjean, dying of who-knows-what-disease. The ending starts very quiet as Jean Valjean prays for a quiet and peaceful end to his life, then eight minutes later we finish out with a titanic, triumphant reprise of Do You Hear the People Sing.
I really like how the musical finishes out with that song. Before it was used as a call to arms to rise up and seize justice, and at the end it's more about.... I can't express what I'm trying to say, I'm nowhere near eloquent enough. Just read the lyrics below or listen, and you'll know what I'm failing to say. XD

Do you hear the people sing?
Lost in the valley of the night.
It is the music of the people who are climbing to the light
For the wretched of the earth,
there is a flame that never dies
Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise!
We will live again in freedom in the garden of the lord
We will walk behind the plowshare,
We shall put away the sword
The chains will be broken and all men will have their reward
Will you join in our crusade,
Who will be strong and stand with me
Somewhere beyond the barricade is there a world you long to see?
Do you hear the people sing?
Say do you hear the distant drums?
It is the future that we bring when tomorrow comes.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Back in Orchestra...

I have a weird relationship with orchestra. When I'm there playing it's really fun, but when I come home and practice I get a little psychotic to say the least. Then I waited out this semester because I needed to get acclimatized to my college classes, and I really missed it! I was actually a little teary eyed when I was studying to Schubert's Unfinished Symphony, which we played the previous semester.
Anyway, I'm back, and my little sister joined, and just had her first concert this last Sunday!! They played two pieces, Rosamunde by Schubert, and Danse Bacchanale by Saint-Saens.

Here's Music to Rosamunde. This is a rather surly piece, with an uber-cool opening. As the song goes on it's less surly sounding and lightens up a bit, but it has a terrific stormy sound, it makes me think of a thunderstorm. :)

Here is Danse Bacchanale. First off, this orchestra is playing waaaaaayy faster than Libby's orchestra did. Second, the conductor makes really funny faces! XD
This song is just... it gives me chills. It is so completely and totally awesome. From the mischievous flutes at the beginning, to the insane violins towards the end, to the epic and loud brass at the very end. It's A. M. A. Z. I. N. G.

Anyway, I just felt like sharing those with you guys! I'm feeling very excited about orchestra, and I'm very proud of Libby. :)
Stay frosty, my friends.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Dracula by Bram Stoker [1897]

I don't think that I like this book as much as I liked it when I was fourteen. XD
Don't get me wrong, I didn't hate this book, I didn't even dislike it all that much. But there were a few things that bugged me a bit and a few other things I'm not sure how to feel about!
For things that I didn't like, first of all, way too melodramatic. I know that it's the 19th century and melodrama was about as in back then as stupid teen romance is in now. But I found many scenes that were supposed to be dramatic, well, I found them quite hilarious.

Now for the things I don't know how to feel about.
First off, this book has a lot of rather sexist tendencies. I know, and I know, 19th Century, product of it's time, blah, blah, blah. But riddle me this, Batman! If that's just how 19th Century female characters are, then how come The Count of Monte Cristo has so many varied and interesting ladies? Then again, maybe it's just the , and not the author, who are being unintentionally sexist. I mean, they are all very courteous and kind to the point of revering Mina. And Mina is one of the smartest characters in the book. I just lost it when a character made a remark about Mina being too frail and delicate in mind to help them in their monster-hunting work. Hello?! Jonathan Harker? He's a man, and he had a big ol' nervous breakdown towards the beginning of the book! Who's frail and delicate again?

Then there was the cavalier treatment of the Holy Eucharist. As a Catholic, (I know most of my readers probably aren't, but this is me explaining my issues with the book, and to do that I have to sometimes bring up Religious issues), I believe that the consecrated wafers used in Mass are in fact, the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. The way Van Helsing hands out consecrated communion wafers like Halloween candy for the others to use against Dracula, it made me think of a rather important question! Do Van Helsing and the others have actual faith in the Holy Items they are using to fight the monster or are they just waving them around the way you would use a magic wand? It kind of bugged me in a big way how casually they used the Holy Eucharist.

The Verdict: B-
Yeah, it was allright. I did appreciate all the Christian stuff in the book, aside from the possible irreverence. I liked this book MUCH better than Frankenstein, which I plan on Video Reviewing as soon as possible, but I don't know if I'm going to read this again any time soon.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Favorite Songs From Musicals #11: Drink With Me

Yay, booze. Just kidding, don't drink, kids.
Now why on earth would this low-key, uber depressing song make it onto my list? True, this song isn't the most impressive or memorable of the songs in Les Miserables, but I inexplicably like it. It's obviously bittersweet, as all the students are fessing up to the fact that they are very likely to die once morning comes. I like how it's not very dramatic, it's just a simple tune that sounds like something you might sing with your friends. If you're like me and my friends and like to sing a lot, that is. Hey, I don't claim to speak for other people.
And it was either Chinese subtitles or the short one from the movie that I know you guys don't like. ;)
Oh yeah, and the first verse is a little suggestive. Just thought I'd throw that out there as a warning.

Drink with me
To days gone by
To the life that used to be
At the shrine of friendship,
Never say die
Let the wine of friendship
Never run dry
Here's to you,
and here's to me.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Storage Room Throwback!: Blanket

Throwback is where I just do little flashback comics for Storage Room, with them all as cute, somewhat bratty 'lil kids. Today's Throwback concerns Rene and his Mom, who's doing the washing.

He still has his green hat. XD I should have made it super baggy on his tiny 4 year old head.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

My Sibling's Halloween Costumes :D

[sniffle] I was taken ill this Halloween, so I didn't get to dress up and take my sibs out like I was hoping to, and Dad and my older brother took them out instead. Here are their cool costumes though, enjoy!
Here's Libby, she went as Emma Woodhouse, from the Jane Austen novel 'Emma'. :)

And here's Nick as Indiana Jones. :D And if you look carefully, you can see Libby and mum's reflections in the garage door window. XD
And no, he didn't go out barefoot. He was just too lazy to put on shoes for the photo shoot.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Storage Room: Hypochondria! (and blog anniversary!)

Anybody else a hypochondriac?
One of the best things about having a comic is that I can write a cartoon about my various anxieties and it slightly lessens the load and I feel like I can go think about something else.
Today is my blog's first anniversary, too! Time to celebrate!

That's how most parties I go to end.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Favorite Songs From Musicals #10: Final Lair/Down Once More

Whatever you want to call it, this is the Finale of The Phantom of the Opera, and it's amazing. I'm not such a big fan of the constant sing/shouting over each other that's supposed to pass for dramatic, but overall, this is a really good finale. Phantom of the Opera is my sister's favorite Musical, and I think her liking of it has been rubbing off on me because this part 'gets' me at the end too. I'm not saying that I approve of murdering people, but the ending is very bittersweet. And when they aren't yelling over each other and sounding generally chaotic, the music is just brilliant! So many of the previous themes are repeated, and I love that kind of dark reprisal. :)

You alone can make my song take flight
It's over now the music of the night

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen [1811]

Oh my GOSH, I've read all the Jane Austen books (except for the short stories, but shush), somebody give me a trophy. ;)
Anyway! I really like this one. I know that there are a lot of people who like the adaptations better, and I may or may not be in that camp, but as brilliant as the '95 adaptation was, it didn't ruin the book for me at all.

So. I'm going to be really self centered and say that I related a TON to Marianne, and maybe that's a big reason why I was so invested in the story. I understood her character (and have done pretty much everything she has, except get dumped and almost die), and some of the things she said were things that I've thought! I know it's really stupid and ego-centric to go on about that, but that's what happens when you read a lot of books! It doesn't take long for you to start finding characters that you really connect with. Not every book has them, but it's a lovely feeling when you find some character and think "Wow, I've felt the exact same way!" I know that the more book I read, the more I get that feeling.

But let's not forget Elinor, because she is such a terrific character! The way she is described in comparison to Marianne you'd think that she's a robot, but Elinor is so witty and clever! I actually laughed out loud at some of her lines, like the following exchange between her and Margaret...

"Oh Elibor!" she cried, "I have such a secret to tell you about Marianne. I am sure she will be married to Mr. Willoughby very soon."
"You have said so," replied Elinor, "Almost every day since they first met on High-Church Down; and they had not known each other  week, I believe, before you were certain that Marianne wore his picture round her neck, but it turned out to be only the miniature of our great uncle."
"But indeed this is quite another thing. I am sure they ill be married very soon, for he has got a lock of her hair."
"Take care, Margaret. It may only be the hair of some great uncle of his."

And I admire the way she can hold back what she's feeling and not go on rampages, that's such an admirable trait. But Elinor is by no means perfect (though when Marianne is going on an emotional spell it's quite easy to think that!) She gets secretly jealous sometimes, and occasionally thinks slightly uncharitable thoughts sometimes. Elinor is a very well rounded character, and I enjoyed the book a lot because of her.

The two male leads of the book were pretty good. A lot of people think that they are kind of bland, but I liked them. Colonel Brandon is certainly more interesting that Edward Ferras though. By a lot. The thing that I like about Colonel Brandon's character is that he's a pitiable character who's had some rough times, but he's not written all like: "Aww, wook at this poor widdle guy, coddle and feel sowwy for him!".

As per usual, the writing was top-notch. I won't lie, my eyes did sort of glaze over during some of the London bit, but the rest of it was just fine. And there is a very thought-provoking bit towards the end, concerning Willoughby, and how they go about forgiving him for what he's done. It was very interesting, and I wasn't expecting it!

The Verdict: A
Point deduced because I think that Elinor's romantic complications were solved a little too conveniently. Just a little bit. But we can talk about that later, all I know is that I really liked this book, and will definitely be reading it again sometime.