beboots: (Elizabeth)

In the continuing effort to avoid doing more homework (hey, I managed to finish that four-way book review in time to be handed in this morning, okay?), I've decided to write a review of a book that I read last week (again, in an effort to avoid doing homework). 

1632, by Eric Flint, the first in a series. (Note for anybody who knows me in RL: other books in this series besides "The Baltic War" and "The Ram Rebellion", which I already have on my bookshelf, would be an excellent Christmas gift. :D )

First, take a moment to contemplate the awesomeness that is this cover. 


Yes, that is what it looks like. The plot goes thusly: the West-Virginian town of Grantville is displaced in time and place from the year 2000 to the year 1632, essentially dumping them in the middle of the Holy Roman Empire in the midst of the Thirty Years War, one of the most bloody conflicts in European history. 

And lo, it was awesome... )

I want to read this later book in the series just because of the cover: 

Aww yeah! >:D
beboots: (Default)
Comme le dit un vieil adage:
Rien n'est si beau que son pays;
Et de le chanter c'est l'usage
Le mien je chante à mes amis.

L'étranger voit d'un oeil d'envie
Du Saint-Laurent le majestueux cours;
A son aspect le canadien s'écrie:
O Canada! mon pays! mes amours.


-G.E. Cartier (1835)
(AKA one of the fathers of Confederation)


(It's much more dramatic without being translated poorly by myself (for one, it actually rhymes in French), but here's the gist of it:)
So goes the old adage:
Nothing is as beautiful as one’s country
And it is commonly sung
As I sing it to my friends.

The stranger looks on with an envious eye
At the Saint Laurence’s majestic current;
Looking at it the Canadian writes:
Oh Canada! My country! My loves.
beboots: (Default)
Quote from a comic by Kate Beaton on that crazy Artic Explorer Franklin (see Katebeaton.com for more awesomeness).

Okay, so you know that they're the idiom, "History repeats itself"? Well, I've been thinking... Over the last little while, I've been studying (I'm a history major, it happens) history, and I've noticed a trend: people from the North coming down and conquering a previous nation.

Northerners came down and conquered and formed Assyria. The Greeks came from the North and conquered the Greek mainland (among lots of other places). Alexander the Great came from Caledonia, to the north of Greece, and proceeded to conquer... a lot. The Latini conquered the Estruscans to the South and became the Romans. Ghenghis Kahn came down and conquered like... everybody. I'm sure I missed dozens and dozens of more examples.

That got me thinking... is it Canada's turn next...?

D:

(What a stupid thing to say, considering the current political turmoil (Darn you, you unholy triumvate of Liberal-NDP-Bloc-Québecois! D: ). Also, yay for Governor Michaelle-Jean! :D )

Um. In other words, history is eating my brain.

A longer post on recent events in my life is sure to follow when I next get sick of studying.

In other news, King Charles I of England is still gorgeous! :D I don't care if he was decapitated! (more news to follow)
beboots: (Default)
Days 9-10 (maybe? Have I lost count?) (Morning Post)

Today is the day that we go to Brugge! .... and its raining! Badly! D: Last night, it was gorgeous out, no clouds whatsoever... and then, I wake up this morning and think "hey, I need some light, let me open the window and illuminate the room with sunlight!" and I raise the blinds and... it's like halfway to Noah's ark outside. ;_; 

... Well, it's not as bad as that. It's raining hard, but from what I can see, it's actually almost a sunshower. Sunshowers are nice, right? (I need convincing.) See, I don't mind rain, especially here in Europe, because it's a nice, warm rain. However, it's really difficult to take pictures if you have to wipe rainwater off of the camera lense between photos. ;_; 

Anyway, I shall now report on my trip to see "Alice, etc." at the Théatre du Nord! We walked down to the theatre (it's right on La Grande Place square), and demonstrating in front of it were a bunch of people chanting against the possibility of expulsion for the "sans-papiers" (litterally, "without papers", but they're referring to illegal immegrants). They had an epic chant, and they were singing and everything. I have a short video of them from far away, but my camera's microphone isn't terribly good. Again, I'll try to figure out this youtube thing later! D: 

(Demonstrations are actually really popular in France, as I'm sure that some of you may know. Since here, I've witnessed... like two or three. I've been here for less than a week and a half, and this isn't a massive city.)

Oh, and there was a firedancer having fun outside the theatre when we left. Just so you know. That square is an awesome place for demonstrations of any kind. 

Anyway, the play itself! It was... strange, probably very avant-garde (it's France, right?). There were a lot of sexual jokes, and since that kind of vocabulary just doesn't come up very often in the context of the classroom, some of it was difficult to follow. It started off kind of dark and almost hallucinogenic, as we got these three girls who are dressed like Alice (from Alice in Wonderland), but in different colours, doing things in sync... But most of the play is about this one chick (whose name also begins with "A" but I can't remember the whole thing... it wasn't Alice, though) and her husband. Her husband cheated on her, and she tries to kill herself in various ways when she finds out. The husband then insists that "hey, you can cheat on me too", like, an open relationship... and she goes into various changes in clothing, etc. to try to attract a younger man to prove to herself that she's still attractive. Of course, when she begins succeeding, her old husband gets increasingly jealous, and then he threatens to kill himself... And the play ends with him jumping into a bathtub with a plugged in hairdryer (fireworks!).  XD It was very funny (he came out okay, just covered in charcoal).

The two main characters frequently address the audience (commenting on how stupid the other is ;) ), and it gets more and more absurd as things go on. ;) There was also a random interlude with the character of this wife (that you never see again) who runs away from home, ends up returning in the dark and making up with her husband... and then when she gets up in the morning, there are strange children and a strange man sitting at the kitchen table... and she had "made up" with someone who wasn't her husband. D: She leaves, awkwardly, saying that it was just "a little mistake". ;) The cool thing about that entire scene is that it's narrated by that wife, and she acts out the parts of everyone else. Oh, and "she" is played by a male actor. I wasn't sure for the first minute or so, but then s/he took off her wig to play the part of a male lover. He was an epically good actor. 

Anyway, if you ever get a chance to see it (even in translation), do so! It's very good. :) Anyway, now I need to get ready for my morning's worth of classes... and then we leave for Brugge! Luckily enough, as I was typing this, the rain seems to be dying down... Now I can only hope that the rain just isn't drifting across the border into Belgium...

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