Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wondrous Words Wednesdays (2)

vocabulary

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading. Feel free to join in the fun. (Don’t forget to leave a link in your comment if you’re participating.)

From Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue by John McWhorter

1. "Voila, scads of new words, like army, apparel, and logic." Origin: Unknown

A great number or quantity. I figured that's what it meant from the sentence, but I'd never heard that word before!

2. "...moribund oddities like whom." Origin: Latin moribundus mori- dying, bundus- adjective.

In a dying state, on the verge of extinction. I think the first time I heard this word was in the movie Music and Lyrics uttered by Hugh Grant's character. So when I saw it again in this book I thought I would officially look it up! Glad I did. It's such a great word.

Forgotten English: Eye-bite

Eye-bite: To bewitch an animal with the evil eye. Northern England.
--James Halliwell's Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words, 1855

Scotland's Last Witch

September 22, 1944 Scottish medium Helen Duncan was released from incarceration after serving nine months for a trumped up vagrancy charge. She had apparently foretold of the sinking of the HMS Barham and predicted it to an audience in 1943, which was several months before the announcement of the loss. British officials feared she had knowledge of the D-Day invasion and, therefore, decided to imprison her before she could reveal it.

She was convicted under the all-but-forgotten 18th century Witchcraft Act, but was later repealed in 1953 due to this result. Prime Minister Winston Churchill visited Duncan in prison and it was he who decided to repeal the out-dated law. Helen Duncan was the last person publicly persecuted for sorcery.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Teaser Tuesday (2)

teasertuesdays31 Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The orange flames waved at the crowd as paper and print dissolved inside them. Burning words were torn from their sentences.
Never Slow Dance With a Zombie by E. Van Lowe
"Dirk just told the funniest joke," I said.
"Dirk is a zombie!" She practically spat the words at me.
"I know. That's what made it so funny. The punch line was Mmmmmmmmaaaaaargh! Hysterical." I laughed freely, pretending I was laughing at the ridiculous punch line.

These are two of the ones I'm reading. The Book Thief is so beautiful, I just love it. And Never Slow Dance With a Zombie is just a riot!

Monday Movie Meme: School Days


Feature Presentation...
MONDAY MOVIE MEME

Is hosted by The Bumbles. Leave your link here and in my comments section if you so desire!

The theme this week is all on movies that bring back the good ol' school days! I was always the nerd who loved heading back to school so since I graduated college each year I've been missing the whole experience...oh well, upward and onward. Here are some movies that bring back memories both good and bad!
  1. Pretty in Pink (1986)- I really, really wanted Ducky to win the girl in this one...Andrew McCarthy just didn't do it for me. But it's a John Hughes classic!
  2. Some Kind of Wonderful (1987)- Hughes really wanted Molly for the part, but I think Lea Thompson was a better pick anyway!
  3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)- How the popular girl goes unpopular from fighting the undead!
  4. Grease (1978)- My favorite high school musical of all-time! I still have the words memorized.
And I'm just going to throw in a couple of TV shows that also spoke to my teenage angst at the time when I watched them: My So-called Life (1994) with Claire Danes and Veronica Mars (2004) with Kristen Bell.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Movie Review: Mansfield Park (1999)

Release Date: November 19, 1999

Director: Patricia Rozema

Summary:
At 10, Fanny Price, a poor relation, goes to live at Mansfield Park, the estate of her aunt's husband, Sir Thomas. Clever, studious, and a writer with an ironic imagination and fine moral compass, she becomes especially close to Edmund, Thomas's younger son. Fanny is soon possessed of beauty as well as a keen mind and comes to the attention of a neighbor, Henry Crawford. Thomas promotes this match, but to his displeasure, Fanny has a mind of her own, asking Henry to prove himself worthy. As Edmund courts Henry's sister and as light shines on the link between Thomas's fortunes and New World slavery, Fanny must assess Henry's character and assert her heart as well as her wit.
Austen purists probably won't appreciate this one...Fanny Price isn't the mellow and submissive heroine from Austen's novel. She writes and she's quite spunky. But if you don't think about that too much and just enjoy the movie for what it is, it's a pleasant surprise. Mansfield Park is my least favorite of Austen's novels so I thought this was a fun interpretation despite the many liberties taken. The acting was also superb and I thought Edmund was pretty darn handsome as well!

Interesting Trivia: Johnny Lee Miller who plays Edmund actually played Fanny's younger brother in the 1983 version of Mansfield Park.

Memorable Quotes:

Fanny Price: Well, Lady Bertram is always suffering near-fatal fatigue.
Susan Price: From what?
Fanny Price: Usually from embroidering something of little use and no beauty... not to mention a healthy dose of opium every day.
Susan Price: Your tongue is sharper than a guillotine, Fanny.
Fanny Price: The effect of education, I suppose.

This is part of the Everything Austen Challenge.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

My First Book Club!!!

I've never ever been a part of a book club before so when I found out that a bunch of women in my church congregation were in one I decided to join on up! We met for the first time last Tuesday and it was so fun. We talked about the books that we all love and what ones we want to do til January.

We're actually doing two for October: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I just started The Book Thief and is beautiful so far. The language is just beautiful. He has an amazing ability to bring life to his words. And Death narrates the story, which is just, can I say it? 'Totally Wicked!' And I've heard great things about The Help so that what is on its way to my house.

November: These Is My Words by Nancy E. Turner. I've been wanting to read this for awhile now so I am very excited!

December: We thought we would slow it down for the Christmas month so we're reading a short story called The Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman. I hear it's a very inspirational story and just perfect for the holiday season!

January: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. I haven't heard a lot about this one, but everyone in my book club has been pretty excited to read it so hopefully it is!

So wish me luck! Woot!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Book Review: The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler

The Jane Austen Book Club:

Summary:
In California's Central Valley, five women and one man join together to discuss Jane Austen's novels. Over the six months they meet, marriages are tested, affairs begin, unsuitable arrangements become suitable, and love happens.

My Review:

I really enjoyed this book. I loved learning about the characters and all their foibles. None of them are perfect and it shows. Fowler really delves into their backgrounds and thus we see a bit of why they are the way they are today. The movie had a hard time showing this since they could only fit so much into a two hour movie. So now reading the book I know a bit more about why they do the things they do.

I also loved the way all these different people can come together over Austen and liken her novels unto their own lives. We also see how Austen can subtly influence the lives of those who read her. I just loved the way the characters interacted with each other. Lots of times they didn't even like each other, but eventually they see the beauty in each other and love grows.

It's a wonderful read for any Austen fan and just a great read in general!

A fun quote:
"There was something appealing in thinking of a character with a secret life that her author knew nothing about. Slipping off while the author's back was turned, to find love in her own way. Showing up just in time to deliver the next bit of dialogue with an innocent face."

This is part of the Everything Austen Challenge

Book Review: Zombie Blondes by Brian James

Zombie Blondes:

Back Cover Summary:
From the moment Hannah Sanders arrived in town, she felt there was something wrong.
A lot of houses were for sale, and the town seemed infected by an unearthly quiet. And then, on Hannah’s first day of classes, she ran into a group of cheerleaders—the most popular girls in school.
The odd thing was that they were nearly identical in appearance: blonde, beautiful, and deathly pale.
But Hannah wants desperately to fit in—regardless of what her friend Lukas is telling her: if she doesn’t watch her back, she’s going to be blonde and popular and dead—just like all the other zombies in this town. . . .
My Review:

I really, really wanted to like this book...It started out pretty good. We have Hannah and her father and we learn how they're always moving from town to town and that her father has some mysterious past as an ex-cop. And poor Hannah just wants to fit in, but the only person that befriends her is the freaky kid Lukas. She just wants to fit in, especially with the beautiful and popular cheerleading squad lead by Maggie.

I never really warmed up to Hannah, she was just too eager to please, too selfish, and too stupid and thus easily led. But I never got the dread of the zombies in the sense that you could really just pack up your things and head out of town and never be bothered again. Here's Lukas complaining about all these zombies and he'll be next, but never leaving and when Hannah finally realizes that there's zombies she just gives up hope and assumes she'll eventually become one too....Hello, it's called getting in a car and gettin' the hell out of Dodge, for cryin' out loud!

Just too many unanswered question for me and the ending was just too rushed and unbelievable. It had a nice start, but then fizzled out at the end. Too bad, I really, really, really wanted to like this book....

This is part of the RIP Challenge and the Helluva Halloween Challenge.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

TV: The Vampire Diaries--More Vampire Lovin'!

Can I just say that this show is supernaturally wicked fun????!!!!! I haven't read the books yet, but they are on my list. I guess I just can't get enough of those bloodsuckers. It all started with Angel on Buffy the Vampire Slayer....I just love those bad guys trying to be good and messing up all the time. So now we have Stefan Salvatore, trying to pass as a high school student in order to be with the one he loves...Elena, and of course, trying really hard to not eat her and her friends!

So I'm wondering how he even knows she existed...I guess I'd have to read or wait for the series to unveil...plus the plot on IMDB says Elena is torn between two vampire brothers....from the looks of it Damon just wants to eat her and mess with his good-two shoes brother...so maybe he's a bit like Spike and falls for her despite his evilness!

I guess the only thing that bothers me is that all the high school girls look absolutely perfect...their hair, clothes, makeup, bodies are all just too done up...where are the regular people, the short and chubby or at least the not as pretty friend? In that sense it makes it a bit harder to relate to.

It's not my Buffy, but it's still great and entertaining vampire mayhem!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wondrous Words Wednesday (1)

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Bermudaonion's Weblog where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading. Feel free to join in the fun. Don’t forget to leave a link in your comment if you’re participating.

My New Words:

Pirates! by Celia Rees
1. scudding: run, move quickly, to run before a gale with little or no sail set.

2. vertiginous: Apt to change quickly; unstable; whirling; spinning; rotary.

I really wanted to write these words with the sentences I found them with, but I forgot when I first saw them and now the book is back at the library! So I will try to do better next week! I love learning new words. Language is just so exciting!

Book Review: Look For Me By Moonlight by Mary Downing Hahn

Look For Me By Moonlight by Mary Downing Hahn (1995)

Summary from back cover:
In a remote Maine inn, where Cynda is supposed to be reconnecting with her father and his new family, she is also falling in love for the first time. But this isn't a typical teenage romance. The object of her affection, Vincent Morthanos, is older and worldly, with pale, aristocratic good looks. And he has a secret—a secret that could destroy Cynda's family, unless she can free herself from love's deadly embrace.
My Review: I've been on a YA fiction kick and especially paranormal with Halloween around the corner along with a few related challenges, so when I saw this at the library it looked really fun and interesting, so seductive. It really wasn't.

Cynda comes to live with her dad, stepmom, and half-brother up in cold Maine and the inn that her father and stepmother own and run. But it's haunted! Maybe I'm too used to vampires trying to be good like Angel from Buffy, Edward from Twilight, and now we have the Vampire Diaries. But when the mysterious stranger shows up, I as the reader, knew he was evil! Why couldn't Cynda? Or the rest of the family? The little boy knew, the cat, and even the next-door neighbor! So I'm reading about all her goo-ga's over Vincent and it's pretty sickening. I knew what was coming and I couldn't stop it. I really wanted to be bamboozled like Cynda and her parents, and be shocked at the end that he was bad to the bone! But it wasn't to be...

It was a really fast read, but predictable and the characters were just a bit too annoying for my taste.

This read goes toward my R.I.P. Challenge and Helluva Halloween Challenge.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays (1)


Teaser Tuesdays is a bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along. Just do the following:
1. Grab your current reading

2. Open to a random page
3. Share two (2) sentences from that page

4. BE CAREFUL TO NOT INCLUDE ANY SPOILERS

5. Share the author and title too, so other TT participants can add it to their TBR lists if they like your teaser.

I'm reading Look For Me By Moonlight by Mary Downing Hahn. This is going towards my RIP challenge and Helluva Halloween Challenge. I picked this up randomly at the library last week because I just absolutely loved the cover! So seductive!

My Teaser:
This close to him, I was conscious of his smooth skin, his dark hair, his long fingers. He smelled of spices, sweet and aromatic. His sweater was cashmere, as thick and soft and strokeable as Ebony's fur. He was beautiful, I thought, almost unearthly in his perfection. How could such a handsome man empathize so completely with my loneliness? Surely he had no end of friends and admirers.

Ok, so it's a little more than two sentences! But I thought this was a good paragraph!

Book Review: Pirates! by Celia Rees

Pirates! by Celia Rees (published 2004).

Summary by Goodreads:
Nancy Kington, a wealthy merchant's daughter living in Bristol, England in the early 1700's, is sometimes lonely but enjoys the privileges her father's business brings. Minerva Sharpe is a penniless slave's daughter living and working on the Kington's Jamaican plantation. These two young women, united through a set of extraordinary circumstances including a brutal murder, an arranged marriage, and set of ruby earrings, find themselves sailing the high seas in search of love, adventure and freedom—as pirates!
My Review: This book was so fun! I really enjoyed being able to "live" as a female pirate during this time! I know it was toned down since it was a teen novel, but I felt that it was still significantly gruesome where it needed to be and I felt the ending was a bit rushed.


I found myself inside the story, feeling what Nancy and Minerva we're feeling, what they were experiencing. I wanted fight alongside them! I also craved Nancy and Minerva's relationship. To be close to my sisters like that would be amazing!

I love all things piratey so this was an exceptional read for me!

My Blogging Spoils Thus Far!

I just love blogging and being apart of its world! So many wonderful people to meet and so many fun things to do and win! I received the Mr. Darcy bookmark from Mari Reads! I love it! It's so pretty. She even through in a nice card and an extra postcard of ladies in Bath. Nicole from Books and Bards also sent me three books, including Only Milo, which she has asked me to guest review for the book blog tour next month! I've never done anything like that before and am very excited for the opportunity! And Velvet from vvb32 reads sent me a copy of Never Slow Dance With a Zombie just because she's so nice! I also have Intimations of Austen coming soon from the actual author Jane Greensmith. And I just won Dying For Mercy by Mary Jane Clark and it's on its way from Alternative Read. It's just so exciting!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Helluva Halloween Challenge


Misty at Book Rat is hosting a Halloween Challenge to kick off the Fall season and as a countdown to one of my favorite holidays Halloween! Check out her website for more info. You can do anything Halloween-themed! I don't even know what I'll be doing yet!

Monday Movie Meme (2)


Feature Presentation...
MONDAY MOVIE MEME

Molly looked around for a weekly meme about movies and did not have any luck. So therefore she decided to start her own! Andy will play along as well - hopefully you will too. Go to your blog and create your own post on the topic, linking back to us in your post, then come back and leave a link to your post here in our Comments section. If you don’t have a blog, just share your response in the Comments section.

This week's movie topic is all about Your Childhood Favorite...

I had a couple of favorites as a kid...I thoroughly enjoyed Cinderella and the Little Mermaid. It got so bad that my mother had to hide the VHS tape of Cinderella so I'd quit watching it so much! But now that I'm older I find these fairy tales a bit trite and anti-feminist. Why must the princess always be rescued? Why does Ariel fall in love with Eric when he's kind of rude to her and why must she change and he doesn't? I think most of the Disney films are like this. They're still fun and entertaining, though.

I also remember loving Batman when it first came out with Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson and then I rewatched it about 12 years later and found that my perspective had completely changed. I thought it was just awful.

I have so many more favorites now than when I was a child since my tastes and views of the world have changed over the years.

Movie Review: Jane Austen Book Club

Jane Austen Book Club (2007): Based on the book by Karen Joy Fowler

Director: Robin Swicold

Genre: Drama, Romance

Tagline: You don't have to know the books to be in the club.

Summary:
Explores Austen's adage that general incivility is at love's essence. Sylvia's husband dumps her for another woman, so Bernadette and Jocelyn organize a book club to distract her. They recruit Sylvia's daughter Allegra; Prudie, a young teacher whose marriage may be on the rocks; and Grigg, a sci-fi fan who joins out of attraction to Jocelyn. The six read and discuss one Austen novel per month. Jocelyn tries to interest Grigg in Sylvia; Allegra falls in love with a woman she meets skydiving; Prudie contemplates an affair with a student; Sylvia's ex keeps popping up. In the discussions, characters reveal themselves in their comments. By the end, are truths universally acknowledged?
My review: I first watched this movie when it first came out and was undecided. It wasn't my favorite. But I decided to watch it again after hearing some glowing reviews from my fellow Austen Challengers. I'm really glad I did! I really enjoyed seeing how six completely different people could find a way to relate to all of Austen's books. I loved seeing their different perspectives on life and how they applied Austen into their own mini universes. I don't know if I completely agree with how Daniel and Sylvia turn out, but I still found all six characters interesting and romantic! I just love Kathy Baker, Amy Brenneman, and Hugh Dancy. So please check this one out if you love Austen and love a good romance!

Interesting Trivia: Each cast member was required to read the Austen book their character was reading in the movie!

Memorable Quotes:

Bernadette: All Jane Austen, all the time. It's the perfect antidote.
Prudie Drummond: To what?
Bernadette: To life.

Grigg Harris: What about me? Am I your friend? Or am I just some widget to help you make Sylvia feel better about herself? Why did you invite me to be part of your book club? What went through your mind the first time you saw me? "There's a man who is dying to read every book Jane Austen ever wrote." Is that what you thought?
Jocelyn: No.
Grigg Harris: But I thought, "What a beautiful woman. I hope she looks over at me." I thought if I read your favorite books that you would read mine. But, no, no, no, no... You just want to be obeyed. That's why you have dogs.

More Fun Awards!

I've been slacking a bit on the blogging front since I had Pirate Week last week and I was also on vacation! So I received a few awards and would now like to pass them onto other deserving blogs and bloggers!

I received this award from The Little Bookworm

Blogs that receive the Let’s Be Friends Award are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers.
  1. Becky's Book Reviews
  2. Adventures of Cecelia Bedelia
  3. Bloody Bad
  4. Gerbera Daisy Diaries
  5. Between the Lines
  6. Lakeside Musing
  7. Reading, Writing, Working, Playing
  8. Vintage Joy
And from Al at Publish or Perish I received the Splash Award! Thanks! I love the pic, it's so pretty!

The Splash Award is given to alluring, amusing, bewitching, impressive, and inspiring blogs. When you receive this award, you must:
- Put the logo on your blog/post.
- Nominate & link up to 9 blogs which allure, amuse, bewitch, impress or inspire you.
- Let them know that they have been splashed by commenting on their blog.
- Remember to link to the person from whom you received your Splash Award.
  1. Some of My Favorite Books
  2. Torch Under the Blanket
  3. The Reading Journey
  4. The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia
  5. The Fashion Planner
  6. The Bumbles Blog
  7. Stacy's Books
  8. Chapter Chit Chat
  9. Books and Bards
Check out all of these fun and amazing blogs!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Winner of Pirate Week!

Thanks so much to everyone who participated in my Pirate Week! I'm now home from vacation and have picked the winner out of my pirate hat....

DRUM ROLL PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!

AND THE WINNER IS................................................

Lovelylissie from Vintage Joy!!!

CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!

A Big Thanks to Everyone Who Participated in My Pirate Week!

I'm heading home from vacation today so I will tally the counts and pick a winner later today. I will contact you via blog or email! Thanks again everyone, I enjoyed all of your piratey posts!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

How To Be Talkin' Like a Pirate, Arrrr!


I be wishin' all me fellow bloggers a happy International Talk Like a Pirate Day, arrrr! Tis me wish that ye all ha'e fun bein' swashbucklers dis day!

Here be some fun ways to be soundin' as pirates dis day:

Greetings n' Partings:
  1. ahoy as in Ahoy, me maties!
  2. By your leave as in By your leave, sweet lady!
  3. Fair dreams atten' ye!
  4. Good luck t'ye n' a fair wind- a parting used to wish another well.
Commands
  1. bring to stop or halt "Bring to! Bring to for a queen's officer, or you shall all hang!"
  2. Clap a stopper on yer eyes! Stop crying. "So clap a stopper on your eyes, or I'll give you something to cry for!"
Threats
  1. Death n' damnation shall be yers!
  2. I a'e a pistol n' a brace o' balls ready fer ye!
  3. I'll come aboard o' ye n' gut ye upon yer own poop!
Oaths
  1. Blimey- a sound alike for blind me.
  2. Blow me scuttle-butt! (scuttle-butt is a cask aboard a vessel used to store the day's supply of drinking water).
  3. Gut me for a preacher- An oath that sets out both a gruesome fate (implying that the speaker is willing to be disemboweled if his statement proves false) and an absurd proposition (implying that the notion that the speaker might be a preacher is as absurd or shocking or noteworthy as the subject of his current comment).
Insults or epithets
  1. The blood in yer veins be skim milk!
  2. I leave it t'fancy where yer mothers was that let ye come t'sea! An insult that indicts both the addressee's competence as a seaman and his mother's virtue (by suggestion that she may have been where she wasn't supposed to be).
Wrong Talk
  1. Replace the first-person verb with third person- know to knows
  2. Replace the past tense verb with present either singular or plural.
  3. Replace an adverb with an adjective.
  4. Use lots of double negatives!
  5. Use malapropisms for comic effect! (One thing ol' Blackbeard don't take kindly to it's them sort of insinuendos.)
May ye ride t'winds with t'love o' pirates on yer heart this day! Grrr!
All sources are from The Pirate Primer by George Choundas

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Pirate Gold and Silver!

Aye, they be a blood-thirsty lot, alway seekin t'treasure t' be foun'!

Pieces-of-eight: Also known as the Spanish Dollar. According to Wikipedia:

The piece of eight is a silver coin, worth eight reales, that was minted in the Spanish Empire after a Spanish currency reform in 1497. It was legal tender in the United States until an Act of the United States Congress discontinued the practice in 1857. Because it was widely used in Europe, the Americas, and the Far East, it became the first world currency by the late 18th century. Many existing currencies, such as the Canadian dollar, United States dollar, and the Chinese yuan, as well as currencies in Latin America and the Philippine peso, were initially based on the Spanish dollar and other 8-reales coins.

Doubloon: Also according to Wikipedia:
The doubloon (from Spanish doblón, meaning "double"), was a two-escudo or 32-reales gold coin, weighing 6.77 grams (0.218 troy ounces). Doubloons were minted in Spain, Mexico, Peru, and Nueva Granada. The term was first used to describe the golden excelente, either because of its value of two ducats or because of the double portrait of Ferdinand and Isabella.
In Spain, doubloons were current up to the middle of the 19th century. Isabella II of Spain replaced an escudo-based coinage with decimal reales in 1859, and replaced the 6.77 gram doblón with a new heavier doblón worth 100 reales and weighing 8.3771 grams (0.268 troy ounces). The last Spanish doubloons (showing the denomination as 80 reales) were minted in 1849. After their independence, the former Spanish colonies Mexico, Peru and Nueva Granada continued to mint doubloons.
Doubloons have also been minted in Portuguese colonies, where they went by the name dobrão, with the same meaning.
In Europe the doubloon became the model for several other gold coins, including the French Louis d'or, the Italian doppia, the Swiss duplone, the Northern German pistole, and the Prussian Friedrich d'or. In New Orleans, Louisiana and Mobile, Alabama, "doubloons," usually made of aluminum, have been thrown by Mardi Gras carnival krewes since 1959, when the Rex Krewe reportedly first used them.
On a doubloon was a picture of the Pillars of Hercules (the Straits of Gibraltar) overlaid with a scroll. This is the origin of the dollar sign.
A Doubloon is also used as a slang term for a poker chip.
Arrr, me want me treasure, garrr!

Vampirates!

Vampirates by Justin Somper: Amazon.com:
Twins, Connor and Grace, never dreamed that there was any truth to the Vampirate shanty their father sang to them before he died, but that was before the two were shipwrecked and separated from each other. For Connor, who is taken aboard a pirate ship, there's the chance to learn to swordfight, but for Grace, aboard a mysterious ship of vampire pirates, the danger is great. What will it take for them to find each other?
I've heard about zombies and pirates! But now we have vampires and pirates! What a fun combo! I'm definitely putting this on my TBR list. This is a children's book series so it probably doesn't get too bloody! So I wonder whose blood they suck when they're out at sea? Maybe they are more "humane" vampires and only eat the blood of fish? Or do they ravage ships and ports alike? Maybe if this were a more adult series they'd be doing more ravaging! But in any case, it looks fun!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Lady Pirates!

The two most famous females pirates are Anne Bonny and Mary Read.

Anne was born in 1698 in Ireland as the illegitimate daughter of William Cormac. He took her and her mother to North Carolina where he became a prosperous rice planter. No one quite knows what her childhood was like but speculation abounds that she was quite the wild child. She left home in her 20s and married James Bonny. Anne's father was not too happy about the marriage and wanted it annulled!

But she soon came under the spell of the infamous pirate Captain Jack Rackham and left James for him. As she joined his crew she became quite skilled in the use of a flintlock, boarding axe, and a sword. She also acquired the reputation of being fearless and headstrong in battle.

Mary Read was usually known as Mark Read; she kept her gender concealed for most of her life! Her mother raised her as a boy in order to receive payments from her mother-in-law. When she was found out and the payments ceased she sent Mary to be a page "boy" to a wealthy Frenchwoman.

She soon signed on as a boy on an English man-o-war and later traveled to Flanders where she met and fell in love with her bunkmate and then revealed her true identity. Soon after their marriage her husband died and she became Mark once again and joined the pirate ranks of Captain Vane. Soon her paths crossed with Captain Jack Rackham and she joined his crew and was eventually discovered by Anne Bonny!

Mary fell in love with another of her crewmates and ended up saving his life. Her lover was known for his temper and he started a fight with another shipmate. They were to go ashore and duel to the death. But since Mary was a stronger fighter she came up with a plan that would save his life and save his reputation. She (as Mark) started a fight with this man and timed the duel two hours before the duel with her lover...she killed him before he had the chance to kill her lover!

After Rackham's ship and crew were captured Anne and Mary exclaimed they were pregnant and avoided hanging til after their children were born. Jack Rackham wanted to see his lover Anne one last time, but instead received this line from her: "I'm sorry to see you so, but if you'd fought like a man, you need not have been hanged like a dog."

Mary died in prison on April 28, 1721 possibly from child birth. And Anne Bonny? Before she was to give birth she disappeared! Though, there are no records many believe she her father rescued her by his wealth and influence and that she returned home and bore Rackham's second child and later married again and had eight more children!

I think I could've made it as a female pirate!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Movie Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Arrr, this mo'ie be me fa'rite o' all t'pirate mo'vies aroun'. Cap'n Jack Sparrow be a pirate, but also a goo' man. We join be joinin' him wit' Wil Turner an' Elizabet' Swann t'regain his beloved ship t'Black Pearl. But avast, it be cursed by t'heathen gods o' t'Aztecs! Will they survive for dead men tell no tales! Me hopes to be seein' lots o'sword fightin' n' action! Shiver me timbers, ye better take a gander at this movie before ye succumb t'Davy Jones's Locker, arrr!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Why I Love Pirates

A Pirate's Life For Me

My Pirate Captain!

I always thought pirates were on the more cool side of the spectrum while growing up. I always enjoyed Disneyland's Pirate's of the Caribbean ride and Garfield's Halloween Adventure. But it wasn't until I met my hubby that I gained a true appreciation and love for all-things piratey! OK, I'm not really promoting acts of piracy since if I ever actually met a pirate from way back when I'd probably die. They were cruel and blood-thirsty! But it's the adventure lifestyle. The idea that I can do what I want and no holding back. Plus, they're just fun. Talking like a pirate, dressing like a pirate, reading about pirates, having parties, etc! They're an awesome excuse to have some great fun!!!

Here are some fun ways my hubby and I have celebrated pirates!
  • We actually had our first date attending Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl when it first came out, so this movie holds a special place in my heart just for that! My hubby even set up a treasure hunt for my Christmas presents that year that eventually led to the newly released DVD of this wonderful movie!
  • We've taken cute pics of ourselves and our baby in pirate getup!
  • We've collected a few books and movies, and music over the last few years such as:
The Pirate Primer
Complete Idiot's Guide to Pirates
The music and stories of Captain Bogg & Salty
Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy
Cutthroat Island
How I Became a Pirate
the website How to Talk Like a Pirate
  • We attended the Portland Pirate Festival last year and that was so amazing!
  • We've also decked out our computer room and our second bathroom in all things piratey!
I wersh ye a farr win' e'er an' alway!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Pirate Week Begins, Arrrr!!!


It’s time t’ set sail on our pirate week adventure! All aboard ye scurvy sea dogs! For our first adventure I’d like t’ recount t’ horrendous tale o’ our pirate fore-bearer, Blackbeard, t’ most blood-thirsty pirate I’ve ever laid me ears on. Blackbeard or Spawn o’ t’ Devil (Edward Teach): He was born in Bristol, England around 1680. He was an expert marksman and a true master o’ intrigue. He was large in stature (over six feet tall) and used it t’ satiate blood-thirsty ways.

His Image

Image was everythin’ t’ Blackbeard; he grew out his hair and beard (thus t’ name) and while in battle he wore three or more pistols in his sash and stuffed as many daggers and other pistols as he could fit. He also tucked thin six pounder fuses o’ hemp cord under his hat and his beard; t’ fuses were presoaked in saltpeter and limewater and thus burned at a slower rate o’ 12 inches per hour. This mixture also produced a heavy-curled smoke that made him look like t’ Devil himself.

His Death

When Lieutenant Robert Maynard and his men confronted Blackbeard on t’ night o’ Novermber 22, 1718 he refused to surrender. He is thought t’ have said: “Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarter or take any from you!” He charged straight for Maynard with his great cutlass in hand. He destroyed Maynard’s cutlass in one stroke. Maynard then threw t’ handle at Blackbeard and simultaneously reached for his pistol and fired directly at Blackbeard’s chest. But Blackbeard kept on comin’. Maynard smartly scrambled for a loose rapier on deck with Blackbeard bearin’ down…Blackbeard then made t’ mistake that cost him his life: he paused. One o’ Maynard’s men struck him from behind with a boardin’ spike twice across t’ neck and head…Blackbeard continued t’ fight til’ t’ last…Upon examination of his body they found twenty five wounds, twenty o’ them from swords and boards and t’ other five from pistol shots.
Here’s luck and a fair wind t’ye fellow pirate bloggers, arrr!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Book Review: Ever by Gail Carson Levine

Synopsis on Goodreads:
Falling in love is never easy, but falling in love with an immortal god while your days on earth are numbered is almost more than a young girl can bear.
One Line Review: Crazy world of gods and goddesses, mortals, sacrifice, and love.

Quote:
"Fate...may...be...thwarted." We must make our own destinies; live life and not life live us.

I really like the moral of the story about working out our own lives and doing what we can to change where we're at in life if we want and need to. It's a really quick read and sometimes I felt that there was so much being left out. This book could have been a lot longer. Overall, I thought it wasn't her best book. I really liked Fairest and Ella Enchanted a lot better. So I'd recommend it if you like her stuff, but if not, definitely pass on this one.

Book Review: The Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

Synopsis according to Goodreads:
Miri lives on a mountain where for generations her ancestors have quarried stone and lived a simple life. Then word comes that the king's priests have divined her small village the home of the future princess. In a year's time, the prince himself will come and choose his bride from among the girls of the village. The king's ministers set up an academy on the mountain, and every teenage girl must attend and learn how to become a princess.
Miri soon finds herself confronted with a harsh academy mistress, bitter competition among the girls, and her own conflicting desires to be chosen and win the heart of her childhood best friend. But when bandits seek out the academy to kidnap the future princess, Miri must rally the girls together and use a power unique to the mountain dwellers to save herself and her classmates.
One Line Review: Heart-warming tale of family ties and personal triumph.

Beautiful Quotes:

"I keep thinking about a tale my nurse used to read to me about a bird whose wings are pinned to the ground. In the end, when he finally frees himself, he flies so high he becomes a star. My nurse said the story was about how we all have something that keeps us down."

"There you go...let it all slide out. Unhappiness can't stick in a person's soul when it's slick with tears [p. 173]."

I had heard that Shannon Hale's youth fiction was pretty good so I decided to try out this one. I'd read her Austenland book about a year ago and thought it was OK so I was a bit hesitant to try out her other books. Overall, I thought this was a fun book. It took a bit for me to get into it, but towards the end it really came alive. I thought Hale's book did a fantastic job of painting the tiny village of Mount Eskel for me to see. Her book focuses on the importance of family, community ties, and being true to yourself. A great story of triumph for those of all ages!

Proximidade Award!

I would like to thank Colette at A Buckeye Girl Reads for awarding me with this awesome award!

Being a recipient of this award affirms that this blog invests and believes in the Proximity – nearness in space, time and relationships. This blog receives this great award as a further way to re iterate that it is exceedingly charming, and aims to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships
are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers!

I would like to pass this award to:

Devon at Devon's Quiet Corner

Bloody Bad

Lisa at Lit and Life

Thursday, September 10, 2009

TV Thursday (2)

TV Thursdays is a weekly meme in which you discuss this weeks television shockers and stinkers, and next weeks hopefuls. If you would like to join the fun come here to Bloody Bad and leave a link to your post in the comments section.

I'm all excited about the new show Glee! I love the music, the acting is great, and the story, well, it's just a little heart-warming. I love finding a show I can fall in love with. We need a few more heart-warming shows out there!

The story follows a bunch of misfit kids and their glee teacher trying to do what they love and that is sing and dance! The characters: The teacher, Will Shuester, who loves teaching and wants to bring back his glory days of his gleeing and of course, some marital problems with his wife; Rachel Barry, she has two dads and has been trained in dancing and singing since she was three months old; Finn Hudson, popular jock who also happens to love singing; Sue Sylvester, the cheer-leading coach, she hates all the glee kids and wants to run them out of the school; Emma Pillsbury, co-teacher who also happens to have a crush on Will; Chris Colfer, our gay Thespian; Kevin McHale, loves to dance in his wheelchair; along with a few other misfits, jocks, and cheerleaders! They all make for a great parody on high school life and theater arts!

Check it out Wednesdays on Fox!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Book Review: The Private Diary of Mr. Darcy by Maya Slater

The Private Diary of Mr. Darcy by Maya Slater (2009)

One Line Review: He catalogs his own books, hangs out with Lord Byron, and sleeps with prostitutes and serving girls.

I like the idea of a diary from Darcy's perspective, but though it was more detailed than The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy, it portrayed my beloved Darcy as rather boring and a bit too free with the opposite sex than I would ever imagine, and the friendship between him and Lord Byron was a bit too much. I don't think they would have ever gotten along; it seemed forced.

And from this Darcy I can't understand why Lizzy would have ever fallen for him! Oh, well. I still have Pamela Aidan's novels on Darcy's perspective to keep my company and I have yet to read Amanda Grange's Mr. Darcy's Diary. So hopefully there are others out there worthy of my Mr. Darcy!

Part of the Everything Austen Challenge.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ballad/Shiver Contest by Maggie Stiefvater

I love contests so here you go!

The Prizes!:

1) A signed Shiver audio book.
2) Another signed Shiver audio book.
3) A CD of Maggie's Homicidal Faerie Mix -- the music she played while writing Ballad

There are two ways to be eligible. One is for bloggers of all sorts. You post

1) the cover
2) the link to Amazon
3) The teaser

and then comment here with a link back to your post. Every comment is an entry (if you have two blogs, comment twice).

Teaser:
He turned towards me. For a long moment, he stood facing me. I was held, anchored to the ground – not by his music, which still called and pushed against the music already in my head and said grow rise follow – but by his strangeness. By his fingers, spread over the ground, holding something into the earth, by his shoulders, squared in a way that spoke of strength and unknowability, and most of all, by the great, thorny antlers that grew from his head, spanning the sky like branches.

Then he was gone, and I missed his going in the instant that the sun fell off the edge of the hill, abandoning the world to twilight.
This looks like a great book! I love giveaways!

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