Saturday, May 31, 2008
Friday, May 30, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
This past Tuesday, Bart and I attended a reading of a musical in workshop, Whirlybirds. The composer is none other than Dragonfly's beau, Tall Boy. Sapho (a wonderful friend we met through Tall Boy) also attended. The five of us decided to go out for a little something afterward. We entered and exited two places on account of the kitchen being closed. So we trekked down some more blocks to someplace we knew would be open. We took our sweet time, discussing the show and socializing. When we left we were saying our goodbyes at the corner. A tap on my shoulder. I turned. Sunshine! Yes, as "chance" would have it, our friend Sunshine just happened to be waiting for the bus. This fact is more astounding than it sounds. First of all, Sunshine had been delayed at her own engagement and had another time-consuming snafu. So the timing oddly worked out...if we had stayed a little longer inside, a kitchen had not been closed or Sunshine’s travels ran smoothly...it would not have happened. The “corker” is that if we had not wound up seeing Sunshine then, we would not have seen her again. What I mean is: Sunshine and Doc Holiday have moved to Ohio. That night happened to be her last in Chicago. (Doc is already in Ohio. Sunshine had been staying with a mutual friend, finishing out teaching the school year.) What fun and luck to be able to say a "final" goodbye, especially since we could not attend her last hurrah at a bar on Sunday. (I did, however, get to spend time with her at her penultimate hurrah.) Eventually the bus arrived, whisking Sunshine away...best of luck in the new home! And thank Great Spirit for the opportunity!
You can read the other amazing Serendipities here and here.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
I do not dislike the animated feature, but I have no great fondness for it either.
As with many stories that they have adapted, the "Disney touch" is not necessarily a good thing. It's a bit too bright and happy for me. Too "bubble-gum" if that makes sense to anyone. It does have its "dark" moments, which is great. I'd say Barrie's story is a little of both. It's just that Disney seems cutesy heavy. Overall, it’s fine. Besides bringing to the story the ever-popular live shadow, I have a few qualms, which are:
"Second star to the right and straight on till morning." The added word irks me. Barrie wrote: "Second to the right," said Peter, "and then straight on till morning." Now, I can see why they'd want to put a word in there. Second to the right...what does that mean? Second to the right of WHAT? But that is precisely the point. For Barrie also wrote: That, Peter had told Wendy, was the way to the Neverland; but even birds, carrying maps and consulting them at windy corners, could not have sighted it with these instructions. Peter, you see, just said anything that came into his head. The inclusion of the word "star" has become ingrained into popular culture. I deem this loss of the original story element sad. (It's like the Wicked Witch of the West. Technically she is not green, folks.)
Tinker Bell (not Tinkerbell nor Tinkerbelle) is not a pixie, but a fairy. The change baffles me. Though similar, there is a folkloric difference.
Disney's mode of dress for Peter Pan has tainted people's view of him. Many illustrations allude to Disney's design. And it makes people believe he wears tights. *sigh* And the ears? No.
Hook is too comedic and foppish. Barrie wrote, Hook should be played absolutely seriously, and the actor must avoid all temptation to play the part as if he was conscious of its humours. There is such a temptation, and in the stage play the actors of the part have sometimes yielded to it, with fatal results. He is a blood-thirsty villain, all the more so because use he is an educated man. The other pirates are rough scoundrels, but he can be horribly polite when he is most wicked. He should have the manners of a beau. But above all the part should be played with absolute seriousness and avoidance of trying to be funny. This should be insisted on throughout, and especially later in the pirate-ship scene. This same warning applies to all the pirates.
The hook is on the wrong the hand. I am used to this one, however. It seems 'everybody' makes this mistake. Possibly because it is harder for most to swordfight with the left hand. Dare I say this might be excusable if not for some lines in the movie. As John and Michael are playing at being Hook and Pan respectively, Wendy corrects John on the placement of his hook (coat hanger) saying, Ohno, John, it was the left hand. The narrator then informs us that Wendy is the “Supreme Authority” on Peter Pan and all his marvelous adventures. Now, the problem here is that she corrects John…incorrectly! Not only is there the discrepancy with the text but it is then emphasized? Again, I am baffled. I don't object to the scene or Wendy’s title, but why not have her comment on some other aspect?
Otherwise, the disturbing racial portrayal of the Indians notwithstanding, it's all right – it’s Disneyized.
Just please don't hold it as the ideal.
Japan's Boy Who Never Grew Up
P.J. Hogan's Boy Who Never Grew Up
The Silent Boy Who Never Grew Up
Fox's Boy Who Never Grew Up
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
You’re either mocking me or not wanting to admit the same.
Here’s how it happens:
A common word crosses your path, such as say…desk. You know what a desk is, certainly. As such, there would be no real reason to look it up. BUT, how do you define desk? An office table? No, that’s not right, for desks do not have to be used in offices and they’re not traditionally tables used in the same way/function as one thinks of a table for eating. A level surface where one does work? Yes, but would you define it that way? See what I mean? I get curious. How does the Dictionary convey the correct meaning concisely? In the case of “desk” it’s “an article of furniture having a broad, usually level, writing surface, as well as drawers or compartments for papers, writing materials, etc.” Okay, so perhaps it’s not so succinct. But if you’re like me, you find it interesting to see how it is done. After all, a Dictionary has to explain accurately to someone who doesn’t know what the word means. What happens next, for me at least, is that another word in the definition strikes me. For instance, compartments. Ooo. How is that defined? Seriously. Try coming up with a definition on your own. And so on...until skipping about in the Dictionary has eaten up a chunk of time. It’s not fun online. There is something about flipping pages in a thick tome that adds to the pleasure.
It’s not just meanings of words. I am interested in etymology as well. I love to find out where words come from and how they develop.
Sometimes I like to nitpick about the meaning of words…when we say “That necklace is fabulous!” are we stating that right? In other words (ha!) is the necklace truly like a fable? “What a fantastic book!” Granted, a book can be in the fantasy genre, but the same word can be applied to a self-help book, perhaps. So is the work really a fantasy?
Only or merely the product of mental activity; that which one thinks. [i.e. Just a thought.]
“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
– Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Saturday, May 17, 2008
We also had an unexpected treat. Dragonfly brought a mystery guest to dinner, Jasbo, a friend of ours from Knox. He also joined us for the movie. All in all, a great evening.
Friday, May 16, 2008
I'll be sure and let you know how I liked it.
Long live the Lion!
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
It’s a wonderful day!
I just received my advance copies of Peter Pan’s NeverWorld which I’ll be using for additional promotion. It’s exhilarating. To have a copy is one thing, but to have a whole box of them is quite another!
All of which means we are fast approaching the day when it will be available.
I’ll be sure to let you know when it appears on online marketplaces.
So hang in there, Peter Pan is coming back…and he’s not alone.
"Just always be waiting for me, and then some night you will hear me crowing." - Peter Pan
Monday, May 12, 2008
I thought of it again while, of all things, I played Mario Kart Wii. Playing online with people you don’t know, you will often find yourself racing many times in a row with the same set. After various incidents, such as outracing them gloriously or losing to them only to choose the track and dominating it and then maybe winning against them on the track they selected…in other words, you might begin (as I did) to come up with scenarios for them. “Ooo…she’s mad at me because I stole first from her.” During the lag while it sets up the next race and waits for everyone’s track vote, it becomes, “What’s taking him so long? Probably needs to rub the Doritos dust on his jeans…” In short, I found myself dreaming up entire personalities and histories and situations for people I don’t even know. Just like Woolf’s narrator.
Ah, the 21st Century…
This can also be related to the philosophy in HouseSitter, as I posted here.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
"It is the nightly custom of every good mother after her children are asleep to rummage in their minds and put things straight for next morning, repacking into their proper places the many articles that have wandered during the day. If you could keep awake (but of course you can’t) you would see your own mother doing this, and you would find it very interesting to watch her. It is quite like tidying up drawers. You would see her on her knees, I expect, lingering humorously over some of your contents, wondering where on earth you had picked this thing up, making discoveries sweet and not so sweet, pressing this to her cheek as if it were as nice as a kitten, and hurriedly stowing that out of sight. When you wake in the morning, the naughtiness and evil passions with which you went to bed have been folded up small and placed at the bottom of your mind and on the top, beautifully aired, are spread out your prettier thoughts, ready for you to put on." - Peter and Wendy, Chapter 1: Peter Breaks Through
Friday, May 9, 2008
*Pictured above is an envelope (front and back side) given to me by one of the professors on the Honors Committee for my scholarly exploration of Barrie and its creative counterpart, Peter Pan's NeverWorld.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Monday, May 5, 2008
Saturday, May 3, 2008
Thursday, May 1, 2008
A statue of Peter Pan appeared "mysteriously" in Kensington Gardens. Barrie commissioned and paid Sir George Frampton to make it. The public did not know that the statue would be coming. It had been installed during the night so that it would surprise people. Barrie wanted it to seem as if it had been put there by the fairies who live in the Gardens.
Barrie also wanted Frampton to use the photographs he took of Michael Davies dressed as Pan as a model/basis. Sadly, though, Frampton ignored his suggestions. As a result, Barrie hated the statue. He said that it did not “show the devil in Peter.” I’ll have to agree with Barrie. It’s a cool statue, but as for it “being” Peter Pan, I will have to say “No.” Just one of Barrie’s disappointments in life regarding his famed creation.