lesbiassparrow: (Default)
I have spent the past few days reading Seneca the Elder's reports of various declaimers and their speeches. So many sons disowned by parents and becoming pirates and then saving their fathers and being reinstated as heirs and then the same fathers being accused of insanity by other sons! It's like the entire Roman world was obsessed by pirates and their potential for disowned sons. Clearly they were the go to place if you were chucked out of home. I wonder if they had ads in the forum: 'Disinherited? Have you thought about piracy? All the parrots and arrghing you could want! Send a papyrus roll to Marcus the One-eyed. No time-wasters, please!'

There's also a lot of virgins and heroes with their hands cut off asking their sons to kill their mothers who are having affairs. School must have been awesome back then. Apart from your teachers mocking you when you made an inappropriate comment.
lesbiassparrow: (Tom Quinn)
I decided to try a new contact lens solution at the recommendation of a doctor (they mentioned it was the best one). Clearly Contact. MOSES ON A STICK I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IS IN THAT STUFF BUT DESPITE SAYING I DIDN'T NEED TO RINSE MY CONTACTS AFTER USING IT THE PAIN WAS EXCRUCIATING. I surprised you didn't hear the screams across North America.

Today I have had red eyes all day and couldn't go to hockey skating class because I couldn't put in contacts and I hate skating with glasses on.
lesbiassparrow: (Robin Pointy)
Yes, dragons. DRAGONS. Beyond Sherwood Forest is going to be AWESOME. I have often thought to myself that what the Robin Hood legend really lacked was dragons. And then, lo and behold, some genius decided to add dragons. It's like they could read my mind.

ETA: Hey! Robin is that guy from Sanctuary and Marian is Lois Lane. It's like some mad confluence of SciFi. WITH DRAGONS. I approve of the fact that they're going the 'the Middle Ages were 50% mud, 50% brutality' route. The other 20% was ungrateful peasants. (Yes, I know that's 120%, but I don't care. HAVE I MENTIONED THE DRAGONS???)

ETA 2: YOU BASTARDS, YOU KILLED FRIAR TUCK.

ETA 3: The dragon is also a girl! Who is being forced to be a dragon by the Sheriff of Nottingham. Or the other way around. It's not clear. And Lois Lane isn't doing herself many favours in the acting department. Might be the stress of having to do an English accent. In any case they're all off to the DARK WOODS. Which is DARK. And is a WOOD. Hence the name.

ETA 4: Julian Sands is the obligatory UK actor slumming in this. He only appears for seconds, so I think they could probably only afford him for a day or so. They probably blew all their budget on the mud. And the dragon.

ETA 5: The English accents! The accents pretending to be English! Given that you've tossed a dragon in there why would you even bother? If I'm watching Robin fight dragons and head into the evil DARK WOODS which are filled with killer bats, I obviously am not a stickler for historical accuracy.

ETA 6: Marian and dragon girl have been captured. And - more importantly - Robin has met the KEEPERS OF THE TREES, THE SLYVANS. There was also some other title but I forgot it. And now Will and Little John are being eaten by monster wolf things. IT'S ALL SO EXCITING.

ETA 7: Oooh someone is trying a Welsh accent! Ambitious, very ambitious.

ETA 8: Creepy Sheriff is coming on to Lois Lane and her horrific accent. Well, he's not coming on to her accent, just her.

ETA 9: They seem to have run out of script and extras in the final scenes. Maybe they used them all up in the original mud-filled, ungrateful peasants scenes.

ETA 10: Not much of an ending, though I do like that they made Prince John all warty, just to emphasize he's evil.
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
Peter Falk has died. He can't have, right? He'll be back for one final question. Right? Right?

ETA: As always Cicero has the right words. Falk was "someone we would have wished for to be immortal, if that were possible." (Said of the Roman actor Roscius, so it seems appropriate.)
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
Aargh, I forgot. Some lovely people are having birthdays on Saturday and Sunday. Make that Friday and Saturday. See what I mean about my mind being like a sieve?

Happy early birtday, [livejournal.com profile] alexandral. You are an endless delight on my flist. And the same to the wonderful [livejournal.com profile] winterspel. May your birthdays bring you nothing buy joy and happiness. Oh, and [livejournal.com profile] cryptile; I know you're not on much these days, but I hope wherever you are you have a spelendid day.
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
That means I need to fill it with things. Rec me apps! Rec me whatever, but most of all, rec me horrible, terrible books that are out of copyright that I can download on it to read (I have the kindle app as well the ibooks one). Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] dangermousie's post of ages ago I downloaded some Elinor Glyn and Ethel M. Dell, because they're free! And hilarious!

You can also rec me horrible, terrible books that will cost me, but I am significantly les likely to get them, because while I don't mind buying terrible films, somehow I baulk at buying terrible books. Unless it's that one with the vampire with the dragon that jumps out of his chest, because that was AWESOME.

I did have other things to write about but it's all gone now. My mind is like a sieve these days.

Sabretooth

Jun. 21st, 2011 08:27 pm
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
So I am watching this masterpiece of modern cinema, which I thought have the poor man's Josh Holloway and Ali Lautner in it. Imagine my horror when I realized that, yes, that wa the man himself trying to looking terrified by a CGI creation that wouldn't scare a baby rabbit. He also signal led strong emotion by head-scratching, which was an original move.

OMG IT ALSO HAS JONATHON RHYS-MYERS! That man must share an agent with Sean Bean.

ETA The sabretooth just ran off with a girl while Holloway looked on and scratched his head with deep emotion. It was very moving. Also there is some crazy hunter guy who has showed up.

ETA 2 Rhys-Myers just got eaten, which seems a bit greedy on the part of the animal, given that it just ate a lovely young woman. At this rate it will be tubby by the end of the film and it will be no bother to catch (I like to look on the positive side of these things).

ETA3 Bye-bye guy who thought he would fight a sabretooth with a knife. Ambitious, but foolish.

ETA4 It's not often I say this, but having a person dressed up in a sabretooth outfit would have better than this CGI. and just how much does one of these things eat, anyway? This one seems to have eaten 3 people in the space of an hour.

ETA5 So finally I have found a film worse than that one with Sean Bean and the zombies and the giant sloths. That's...something.
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
Okay, so it is only awesome by standards that probably aren't yours, but this is a thing of joy. It took real willpower for me to finish my paper because I wanted to do was see what bastard Carrington child would turn up now. They sure do have a passel of them.

Plus Alexis. MY GOD JOAN COLLINS WAS BORN TO PLAY THAT ROLE. The great thing is that I can watch any episode, any part of it and it doesn't matter. It's all entertaining.
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
You know how other people have fantasy houses or cars? I have fantasy dogs. The dogs I would like to own one day. Above all, I do have a love for a good mutt, because they're awesome and amazing but still here are the dogs I still dream about having:

Irish Wolfhound. Yes they're roughly the size of a pony and will eat you out of house and home, but have you ever met one? They're wonderful and calm and I once saw one being nipped at by a Kerry Blue terrier and hassled and all it did was put its paw on it and hold it down while looking completely unconcerned as it wriggled feverishly.

Borzoi (there's sort of a theme here: I like coursing type hounds. A lot). I've never known one, but they look like they'd fight off Napoleon's army for you and then come back with dinner.

Greyhound. I once worked with them a bit and they were quite awesome too. The racing ones less so, but the ones that had been pets were mellow and just liked to lay around and then gallop together around in circles. They're lazy beautiful animals who just want to hang around and then break out the speed once in a while to show they can.

Afghan. They're like princesses and unicorns and ponies all rolled up into one incredibly hard to groom package. IDEAL.

Corgi. They're so determined despite those stumpy legs. They're quite conviced they're a larger dog and I am sure they dream of taking down wolves on the steppes and secretly believe they could do so, if only their owners would let them off the leash. Just this once! They'll bring you back a deer. Or perhaps a largish mouse.

Actually, I like all dogs. They're all awesome. And sometimes They FIGHT CRIME *(Wait until the first minute mark for awesomeness).
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
Did you know that all of this was on youtube? It's like reliving my wee girlhood again.

SOMEONE STOP ME. I can't stop myself. There's so much cheese and hair and amnesia and double identities and illegtimate children and GOD WHY MUST IT BE SO ADDICTIVE?

ETA: THIS SHOW IS AS AWESOME AS I REMEMBER. No wonder I like kdramas now, given that I cut my teeth on this soap. I remember having to petition my mum to watch it for it was so very adult. Luckily my mum was awesome and clearly unworried about corrupting influence and the fact that it was on wayyy past my bedtime...
lesbiassparrow: (Robin Pointy)
Apparently there are things that are too awful for even me: to wit, 21 Jump Street, the first season. 10 minutes into it and I just couldn't. That was an entirely new feelng, and not one I am sure that I like.

Hey! Season 2 of Lois and Clark has a guy who I think was an elf in some terrible film. Maybe the Dungeons and Dragons film. This is a total cornucopia of Hey! It's that guy! OMG, NEW POSSIBLY ELF GUY IS THE NEW JIMMY! WHAT WAS WRONG WITH THE OLD ONE????

ETA 1: No more Tracy Scoggins? And now someone whom I am pretty sure was on Dynasty? WHAT IS THIS MADNESS??????

ETA 2: They just got email. It's so cute! I mean, I remember when I first got email (hey, I remember DOS days too, for I am very old), but I don't think it was that cute.

ETA 3: Season two of L&C has no Lex Luthor. Or only one episode. This makes me very sad. Superman isn't Superman without Lex Luthor.
lesbiassparrow: (love is never wrong)
Man, it's a cornucopia of minor stars! Robert Beltran! That guy who was in Kindred as the cop! And other people! And it is funny to look at them deal with the beginnings of computers and viruses and such. I bet when I watched this I thought it was all so cutting edge instead of wondering why they fight each other for payphones.

ETA: WILLY THE NIGHTWATCHMAN OF THE DAILY PLANET! HOW COULD YOU TURN OUT TO BE EVIL????? And how could I have forgotten about the episode with the two Supermen? HOWWWWWWW??????

ETA 2: SHRIEKING MANPAIN. SUPERMAN'S SHRIEKING MANPAIN!!!! You know me - shrieking manpain is like delicious liquor to me. Like the nectar of the gods, but thankfully easier to find.

Borgias

May. 22nd, 2011 10:04 pm
lesbiassparrow: (THEY MOVE LIKE COUGARS)
YOU GO RODRIGO AND YOUR CARDINAL PWNING SELF. I don't give a damn about historical inaccuracies: this show is AWESOME. And the clothes are quite amazing. And the people are so clean. I suspect the people of those days weren't quite so clean, but I DON'T CARE. This is like The Tudors, without me hating most of the main characters.

ETA: I am a little disturbed that all the ads on this seem to be for arthritis medicine or depends. SENIORS OF CANADA HAVE YOU NO SHAME? MUST YOU WATCH PAPAL ORGIES INSTEAD OF MATLOCK?

ETA 2: So I am watching the finale of Vampire Diaries (a show I haven't seen in ages) and Ben 'Peels no grapes' Hur is apparently an EVIL VAMPIRE-WEREWOLF. Oh Ben-Hur, what happened? Also, who has Gone with the Wind events in these days? Why not toss in a slave auction there and get it over with?
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
So far we have an exciting range of unwashed manhood and plumed hats. Plus murder. They're keen on the murder and pillage, the Doones. And LORNA and whatshisname have met and she has saved him. If I recall the book correctly our hero needs a lot of saving. Plus there's a giant snowstorm that lasts for approximately 2 years. I shall look forward to that.

I plan to give you exciting updates as things happen.

ETA: Hero has rebel cousin who seems a little too fond of his horse. NOTHING WILL KEEP HIM FRM HER.

ETA 2: For all the looting and murdering and pillaging the Doones do, they sure do seem to live in squalor. AND THE ACCENTS ARE HILARIOUS.

ETA 3: Was there more mud in the past or something? Becuase everyone seems to sort of wallow in it. Our hero (Clive Owen) was also tossed out of a carriage. His face was a thing of joy.

ETA 4: In the North Country it was the law that every 5 minutes you had to shout LOOOORNA. This is fact.

ETA 5: The Doones - accompanied by some truly magnificent whooping - have come a-raiding as our hero has run off with Loorrrrna. Hero's family are fighting them off, despite the whooping and the Doone's clear superiority in the plumed hat department.

ETA 6: I don't remember the book very well, but this seems to speed things up a lot. Except for the Looorna shouting and the teeth gnashing. And the hats. The hats in this are spectacular.

ETA 7: Despite the presence of Polly Walker, Sean Bean (evil as always) and Clive Owen (not evil) and a truly magnificent hat at the wedding scene (really! it was conical and had a sort of spike of cloth sticking out the top), this seems to lack a little something in the Lorna Doone department.
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
Look, I am one of three people in the world who actually quite like Fanny Price. And I normally quite enjoy Ms. Piper. But what the hell was that with HER HAIR? At first I thought it was some cunning way to show her outsider status and that as she became more accepted Sir Thomas would gift her with a brush and some hairpins, but NO. I couldn't finish it as I spent the entire time wishing for someone to give her a comb. Everyone else had one! (Allthough Edmund appeared to have never seen shampoo.) Now I shall watch the Lorna Doone with Sean Bean and Polly Walker and some other famous people. ON THE MOORS. You get a million bonus points for have moors and cavaliers and such. PLUS LORNA. LOOOORNA.

(I apologise for the radio silence. I had planned on writing a fabulous post on something meaningful, but no. You get a commentary on Billie Piper's Hair. But even though I've been woeful on commenting, I did want to say I've been trying to read everyone's posts).

ETA: Clive Owen is in this. And he looks 18. But still unwashed, though I forgive him in this, because being unwashed was the way of ye olden tymes.

For good measure: I saw Thor and it was AWESOME. Just the right amount of ridiculousness and shirtlessness. That is a delicate balance to maintain and it managed it amazingly well, as if it were science and they had the right mix in that beaker.
lesbiassparrow: (love is never wrong)
Every time I watch the Borgias, I keep thinking how much more fun the papacy would be if it were like that now. Maybe not with the murder and the wars all over Italy, but the mistresses! And making your sons cardinals! And having sexy performances in the Vatican! I look at Benedict and shake my head at how far the papacy has fallen.

I think that I may be the only person in the world who likes Ursula. I think I shall keep liking her just because the people on TWOP loathe her so much because she (according to them) looks like a horse and takes time away from Lucretia. cut for spoilers for the most recent episode )
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
So, I got about 20 minutes into this and realised there was no way on earth I would remember who half of these people were in the next episode, so decided it was best to wait and watch a bunch in a row. Sean Bean is excitingly craggy though; hope this is not a case of bait and switch and he will not end up being eaten by a dire-wolf in episode three. That will annoy me a great deal. Everyone looked suitably cold and grimy (though as I am not gritty viewing sort of person, I hope there will be a great deal of bathing soon.)

Is this the sort of book you think I would like? I have a feeling it would be a lot better to watch this having read the books as it seems to have a cast of about 500,000 and what with all the grime I can see myself getting people confused. Except for Sean Bean, of course. His grime is special.
lesbiassparrow: (THEY MOVE LIKE COUGARS)
So, after a long period of being completely incapable of falling asleep until 3 am or so - and then getting a few hours sleep - my body has decided that it will happily fall asleep at 12 or so and THEN WAKE ME UP AT 3.30 AM. Or sometimes 4 or so. I am not a naturally early riser. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I and the morning have an adversarial relationship going back to my teen years. SO WHAT IS THIS MADNESS?

I bet Pliny the Elder has a cure for insomnia. But it probably involves tortoises in your armpits or carrying a pig on your head.
lesbiassparrow: (Sacred chickens)
I've been terribly busy, but decided I needed a break from marking and that I would inflict on you tales of disasters from Rome's courts. (Quite a few of these come from Quintilian's Institutes of Oratory but not all.

First, did you know that there's evidence that some people wore sort of war paint to trials? Pliny the Younger mentions one person who would paint a stripe on his face - one side for when he was pleading for the defence, another for when he was prosecuting. Pliny doesn't seem to find this all that remarkable which suggests that maybe it went on more often than we might imagine (I think he says it was old-fashioned though). (I like to imagine Cicero bedaubed in paint sometimes.)

Quintilian is full of the dangers of props. Romans sometimes used paintings of the scene of the crime to show the full horror of it. But, of course, your prop needed to be shown at the right time for the full effect. People went to court for entertainment and they were more than ready to fall about laughing if cues were missed (people also paid for appreciative or critical audiences as the audience could sway the jury - you'd have a pre-arranged signal like shaking your toga in a particular way and they'd respond with "Graviter! Cito! Nequiter! Euge! Beate! Hoc volui! Good going! Strong blow! Fast! Nasty! Well done! Lovely! That’s that I wanted!" and such things like that).

There was a case where someone defending a woman had the great idea that they would use a wax portrait of her dead husband which would be handed to him at the right moment in the peroratio (the closing point of the speech) so that everyone would look at the dead man and feel massive sympathy for the widow. Unfortunately the person given it did not know what a peroratio was so whenever the person giving the defence speech looked at them they kept trying to give it to him. And when he finally raised it, it was so incredibly hideous that everyone laughed who hadn’t been laughing before then.

The other thing you would do was bring in an entire family and have them dressed in mourning looking miserable as a way to get pity. This was even better if you could get children to cry - and then, you, the kindly orator would lean forward and ask them why they were crying and they would lisp "because Dad's dead' or something of that ilk. Unfortunately, children aren't always co-operative and had to be prompted to cry. One time a young orator asked a child why he was crying and he said "because my tutor is pinching me!" In another case an orator carried a young child around the courtroom to gain sympathy. The other orator simply shrugged and looked at his rather fat client and said "What can I do? I can't carry you around."

One big problem was the toga. If you weren't very good at wearing one you might do something terrible LIKE EXPOSE AN ARM. Here's Quintilian: "an arm is exposed and we catch a glimpse of the fold of his toga; another stretches out his arm to its full length, raises it to the roof, or swings it back and forth over his left shoulder, raining down blows to the rear so that it is dangerous to be standing beside him; another makes a leftwards sweep, waves his hand around at random and hits his neighbours, or else flaps both elbows against his two sides. And then there is the sluggish or timid hand, and the hand that moves as though it were slicing something." (It didn't help that there was little space in courtrooms and you might take out the rest of the bench - of course, that's better than Republican orators who didn't have courtrooms and had to plead in the open air, rain or shine.)

My favourite are the people who Quintilian remarks would march over to the jury making a great impression on their way there, but who couldn't work out how to make a dignified retreat back to their bench and would have to sidle off, ruining the effect.

(ETA: And random Roman cure of the day: kissing a mule will cure a cold. Pliny the Elder seems to have put this remedy into practice. But then he also liked to wear a bra on his head to cure headaches.)
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
I never realised until I read Julius Obsequens' collection of the prodigies from Livy how frequently the Romans used to like to throw hermaphrodites into the sea to deal with a crisis. It seems like every time anything went wrong off they'd go, find some poor hermaphrodite and toss them into the ocean. I don't know if there were more hermaphrodites around then or if it was the same person who swam back to land and got tossed in again the next year.

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