Thursday, November 29, 2007

Not only did Dano start smiling last Friday, but yesterday, he sat in the vibrating chair while fully awake while I took a shower and never cried!!! Wooo!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Right, so I just finished rewatching Kenneth Branagh's version of Hamlet to see if I like it better now that I know he meant to make Hamlet a more cheerful fellow than is generally portrayed.

And I do. I really wasn't annoyed by him at all this time around, and got all sympatico with the character the way I usually do in other versions. I had always been rather annoyed with Branagh for getting Hamlet so monumentally weird and chipper, but now I kind of dig it. Although why his hair and mustache are so very mismatched still puzzles me, but oh well.

That's not to say I now readily embrace this version and want to run out and buy it. A few things still bug me, like the overblown spookiness of the Ghost scene (Joss Whedon could teach Branagh a thing or two about creeping people out without seeming silly), some of the excessively showy cinematography (that scene where he makes his "my thoughts be bloody or be nothing worth" speech is just funkily shot), and the doofy chandelier thing at the end (a thrown sword through the chest isn't enough to finish Claudius off? We have to whack him with a giant chandelier too? Why?). Oh, and the big militaristic invasion by Fortinbras' army at the end annoys me, because I don't want to hate Fortinbras for being a liar, I just want to be annoyed by him for being opportunistic. But he's played by the bad guy from A Knight's Tale here, so I guess I can hate him happily.

But there are several things that used to bug me that didn't this time around. Chief among those is Osric. I guess I'm just used to Osric's weirdness now, because I remember absolutely hating Robin Williams' performance here, and now it didn't bother me at all. In fact, considering it's Williams, I think it's pretty restrained.

This version does have my absolute favorite Horatio: Nicholas Farrell. He makes me weep at the end, more than Hamlet himself. He is the sweetest Horatio ever, and if I ever buy this version (yeah, yeah, I probably will get it eventually), it will be because of him. He does justice to the role of Horatio the way Liev Schreiber does to the role of Laertes in the Ethan Hawke version. It's exactly the way I always want Horatio to be played, sympathetic and brave and intelligent and loyal and trustworthy and perfect. I've never seen the performance matched, not in the filmed versions I've seen, anyway.

One of these days, when I'm not madly packing for the big move, I shall post a really long discussion of all the versions I have seen and what I liked and disliked about them, along with a list of my favorite portrayal of the main characters. Won't that be fun? :-D

Friday, November 16, 2007

Well, so much for NaNoWriMo. Cowboy finally got hired for this new job he applied for in November of 2005 (yes, it's with the government, why do you ask?), and so we're moving to Connecticut. By December 10th. And while there is much rejoicing around here for the long-awaited job offer, there is also not a little moaning and groaning from the person whose task it now is to pack up our worldly goods: me. Because most of said goods are mine, and because I'm home all day, not finishing out the last two weeks of coal-mine-ish drudgery. But I also have Dano to deal with, which means that on a good day like today, I manage to pack 9 or 10 boxes, total, between nursing, changing diapers, and assisting the baby star with his latest costume change. And that means that, alas, I have no more time for Nano :-(

(Truthfully, I'm not as sad about this as I'm pretending to be, because my novel was being difficult and I was struggling to crank out my required 1,667 words per day. I was keeping up -- got 20,242 words as of the 12th -- but I wasn't enjoying it. But don't tell anyone I said that, huh?)

Friday, November 09, 2007

I have finally put tags on practically all of my posts, all the way back to the beginning of this blog! Quite a task, when you think that I've been blogging almost as long as I've been married, albeit not completely continuously.

So now you can read a new post about, say, snow, and then read all my old posts on the subject just by clicking on the little "snow" tag at the end of the post. I think that's nifty.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Blast it all, I'm going to have to watch Kenneth Branagh's version of Hamlet again.

Wait a minute, you say, Hamlette adores watching Hamlet! She owns multiple versions of it, she has huge chunks memorized... she named herself after it, for cryin' out loud!

Yeah, but I don't like Branagh's version very well and don't own it. The only version I've seen that I liked less was Laurence Olivier's, as I've come to disagree quite strongly with his belief that the play is about a guy who can't make up his mind. The main reason I don't like Branagh's is because he's just so doggone cheery-looking through most of it. Branagh works fine for me as Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing and as the title character in Henry V, because neither of them are terribly serious characters. But I do not dig him as Hamlet.

Or I haven't so far. But I got the soundtrack for his version from the library to listen to do while working on my Nanovel, since part of it involves a college production of Hamlet. And in the liner notes, Branagh writes:
"Our Hamlet is not presented as a man predisposed to melancholy. His usual character, described so often in the play, is vibrant, curious, positive... For me, the play is partly a search (through Hamlet's extraordinary mind) for what makes life worth living. When afforded a glimpse of those things that occasionally inspire Hamlet -- love, friendship, the theatre -- I wanted the music to soar with Hamlet's temporary optimism and hope."
That is rather a different view of the character than I've ever taken, but it's one I'm very drawn to, because, well, I identify greatly with Hamlet in many ways, except I'm ordinarily a very happy, optimistic, hopeful person. But I've never thought that, before his father's death and his mother's o'erhasty remarriage, he might not have been a Broody Boy at all. And that's a really cool thing to think about, and makes me even sadder for what he goes through in the play.

So now I need to rewatch this version, to see if it works any better for me with all this in mind. Hooray for free interlibrary loans! I'll probably get to see it next week.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Dano is sick :-( It seems he has picked up the evil rotavirus. So far he just has a mild case -- diarrhea only, no vomiting or fever. So we're just keeping him as hydrated as possible. The doctor said he should be over it in 5-7 days, and that he just needs to let his body purge itself of the virus. Ie, have a LOT of diarrhea. Oh goody.

Friday, November 02, 2007

So NaNoWriMo this year is a very different experience. The first year, I did it in 3 weeks so I could go on vacation the last week -- that was nutty and kinda stressful, but fun. The second year, I did it in 30 days like a normal person, and it was still a bit stressful, but mostly because I didn't know quite where my novel was going.

This year, well, you'd think having a 3-week-old would make it ultra stressful, right? That Nano would be an extra stressor I don't need. But it's not true -- this year, Nano is my escapist relaxing place. The thing that reminds me I'm not just a combination wet bar and warm furniture for the Little Dictator. Okay, we're only two days in, but so far I'm getting my word count in just fine, albeit in little slices here and there when he's either eating or napping. Mostly when Dano's eating, since I can't do a lot when he's nursing. But I can type with one hand, so I get my word count in slowly but surely :-)