Monday, July 30, 2012

Bookshelf Tour #1

Here we are! I still think it's weird to hear myself talk, but it was a bit more awkward to talk into a camera. I dunno...maybe that's just me being me again. Anyhoodles, another one to come! I've still got about thirty books to go over!

Bookshelf Tour, Part One

Yeah, so...bye!

Your pal,

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Reviews From an HBN (Eden's Root - Rachel Fisher)

I'll get to reviewing some movies sooner or later. It's just so much easier to give an opinion on a book!

Though to be honest, I don't know if that counts in this case...

The year is 2033 and the world hovers on the edge of explosion as unexplained crop deaths lead to severe global food shortages. In the United States, the Sickness is taking lives slowly, creeping its way into every family. Fi Kelly has already faced the Sickness in her own family, toughening her beyond her years. But a shocking confession from her dying father will push her toughness to its absolute limits. Saddled with an impossible secret and the mission of saving her little sister, Fi sets out to transform herself into the warrior that she must become to survive the coming collapse. Along the way, she will discover that evil can be accidental and that love can be intentional.


And my review:

I hate giving up on a book, but when I see that I haven't gone anywhere near this one for over a month and didn't plan on going near it again anytime soon I realize that I've already given up on it.

This doesn't reflect on Ms. Fisher's writing abilities (though I did think the pace was a little stop-and-go), but more on my own general dislike for dystopia and end-of-civilization stories. They just scare the crap out of me. I thought I'd give this one a shot, but...the idea that through persistent experimentation, the earth's food supply has been permanently contaminated really messed with my head. See? That's what these kind of stories do to me. They get my imagination going in overdrive and I start getting paranoid.

All right, I have to be honest, I did have a few minor problems with the writing. Things would roll along pretty slowly and I'd start getting bored, then they would take off so fast it all felt unrealistic. I can't give a very comprehensive review because I couldn't finish it, but between the theme and the inconsistent flow I wasn't tempted to, either.

This would be a good one for sci-fi lovers, which I'm not much of, and readers who like their books served up with a slice of terror. I mean, you can't tell me that this kind of scenario doesn't frighten you half to death! It could be that this is a very good book, but it wasn't the book for me.

Your humble book nerd,

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Hey, Guys!

I mentioned a bookshelf tour and more videos in general once I got batteries for the camera...guess what?

Expect something soon!

Your pal,

Friday, July 27, 2012

Reviews From an HBN (The Phantom of Manhattan - Frederick Forsyth)

I figured you've heard me complaining about this one enough that it's about time I gave you my review of it. I read this a year and a half ago, and the memory is still fresh in my mind. *shudder*

In The Phantom of Manhattan, acclaimed, bestselling suspense novelist Frederick Forsyth pens a magnificent work of historical fiction, rife with the insights and sounds of turn-of-the-century New York City, while continuing the dramatic saga which began with Gaston Leroux's brilliant novel The Phantom of the Opera...

More than two decades have passed since Antoinette Giry, the mistress of the corps de ballet at the Paris Opera, rescued a hideously disfigured boy named Erik from a carnival and brought him to live in the labyrinthine cellars of the opera house. Soon thereafter, his intense, unrequited love for a beautiful chorus girl set in motion a tragic string of events, forcing him to flee Paris forever. Now, as she lies dying in a convent, Madam Giry tells the untold story of the Phantom and his clandestine journey to New York City to start anew, where he would become a wealthy entrepreneur and build the glorious Manhattan Opera House...all so he could see his beloved, now a famous diva, once again. But the outcome of her visit would prove even more devastating than before-- and yet, would allow the Phantom to know, for the first time in his brutal life, the true meaning of love...


And now, my review as posted on GoodReads:

So this is what regret feels like....

Against my better judgment and the advice of everyone I've heard mention this atrocity, I went to the library and borrowed The Phantom of Manhattan. Thank God I didn't actually waste money on buying it. I ended up reading it as fast as I could--not because it was any good at all, but just to get it over with as soon as possible. And I still have no clue how I managed to keep from throwing the stupid thing across the room in disgust. Unless I was paralyzed by aforesaid disgust...

I had some idea of what I was in for just by reading that arrogant, self-righteous, jumped-up preface. After a brief history of POTO in print, film, and stage (none of which is really necessary, but vaguely interesting), Forsyth actually has the nerve to insist that Gaston Leroux--without whom none of this would even exist--got his own story wrong! Oh, hell to the NO! He then proceeds to boost his own ego in regards to his work by picking on such trivial details from the original such as whether or not cutting the gas from the light system would result in instant darkness and the fact that Leroux never gives his narrative an exact date. If an author falls to belittling another person's work in such a manner, it's best to just drop the book and forget it completely. Sadly, my stubborn streak wouldn't let me off the hook so easily, and I kept reading.

Now onto the rest of the book. It's told in first person, and at first that seems like a good thing ("Hey, we'll get to see it from a more personal point of view!"). However, except for one chapter featuring Mme. Giry, who you'd think we'd see more of, based on the summary of the book, and two, just two, chapters narrated by Erik himself, we're held at arms length by reporters, lawyers, carnival workers, and the like. Who are these people to us? They're plot devices that keep us away from the characters we really care about. Top it all off with the fact that the writing itself is completely unremarkable, and you've got serious problems.

The plot is barely held together by all these faceless people! It just jumps from one seemingly random event to another! Forsyth makes a HUGE mistake with Erik's characterization! I'm not blind to the dear Phantom's faults and flaws, but I hardly think he would keep on in this insane obsession if he'd really learned his lesson in the original. And while the ending might
--MIGHT--have been as tragic as it was intended, telling us about it in a college lecture has exactly the opposite effect. As I read it, the only thought in my head was "And why should I care about this?"

Quick side note before I wrap this up. I'm not Raoul's biggest fan, but was it necessary to go so far as to do that to the poor man? That's the worst case of Raoul-bashing I've ever heard of!

Bottom line: I honestly cannot recall ever hating a book outright, but this is horrible! In addition to insulting Leroux, Forsyth botches the intended homage to his apparently idolized Andrew Lloyd Webber (and we wonder how Love Never Dies came into being?). No wonder the musical bombed in London, based off this garbage! But I will admit, I prefer a barely-there, much abused Raoul to the gambling alcoholic Webber gave us.

And that's that. Haven't read it yet? Take the advice I didn't, and don't. If you have, then you have my sympathies.

Your humble book nerd,

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Reviews From an HBN (Magic Kingdom For Sale/Sold - Terry Brooks)

Book one of the Magic Kingdom of Landover series. I'd never even heard of Terry Brooks before a co-worker lent the books. Thank you, Stephen!

After Ben Holiday purchased Landover, he discovered the magic kingdom had some problems. The Barons refused to recognize a king and the peasants were without hope. To make matters worse, Ben learned that he had to duel to the death with the Iron Mask, the terrible lord of the demons--a duel which no human could hope to win....


And my review as posted on GoodReads:

I was intrigued by the premise of buying a fairy world (kingship included!), and thank God I was, because it took a few chapters for this to take off for me. Once things got settled, this was a pretty fun and entertaining read for me.

Ben Holiday, lawyer and widower, came across as mopey and unbalanced at first. I can't say he didn't have his reasons, though. His wife was dead, and he was contemplating buying the kingdom of Landover for one million dollars, all on a whim. He was full of doubts for being a successful thirty-something, but given the situation that seemed logical. Within ten minutes of setting foot in Landover, he had to escape the demon known as the Iron Mark and the dragon called Strabo, then ran across the would-be wizard Questor Thews, who wasted no time in demonstrating his ineptitude. Good start! I like how whenever Ben was in over his head trying to validate his claim to the throne, he fell back on his courtroom experience and stayed cool. It was training that served him well.

It's hard to say who I liked best out of the secondary characters. Questor was well-meaning, Abernathy the talking dog (who was once human) was often sarcastic, but he had a level head and gave some good advice, even if Ben didn't take it. Willow the sylph wasn't a main player until about halfway through the book, but she was so steady I couldn't help but come to like her.

There's problems in Landover, and that's for sure. The magic that keeps the land alive is failing, and the only way to save it is for a King to establish himself. But first Ben has to win over the people he'd be king to, and that's not going to be easy. Before the Lords of the Greensward will pledge to him, they want him to get rid of Strabo. Before the River Master will pledge to him, he wants Ben to stop the humans from polluting the river system. To get rid of Strabo, he'll have to convince the witch Nightshade to help him (and I doubt we've seen the last of her yet!). To top it all off, the Iron Mark has challenged him to a duel, and the only way he could possibly survive that is through the help of the Paladin, the King's protector and champion of old. Just one problem: no one has seen the Paladin in twenty years.

If it weren't for the occasional swearing, I wouldn't have been able to guess that this was aimed at adults. It didn't take itself too seriously and it was at times light-hearted and, well, just plain fun. I also appreciated the old school fantasy characters as opposed to the generic ones we're stuck with today, and I can only hope that's a trend that continues through the series. Overall, I'd say Mr. Brooks is off to a fine start as far as I'm concerned. The only thing that kept this from getting a five-star rating was the way the pacing took its sweet time in a few places. Other than that, I can't complain!

Your humble book nerd,

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Had to Share This 19

Lookie here! My newest obsession! You know, the "experts," whoever they are, still call this the greatest sequence in animation history, and I have to say I agree wholeheartedly.

Hellfire - The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Here is is again in German!

Holy moly! I don't know about you, but that scared the crap out of me!

Your pal,

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Surprise! More Books!

I'm taking my time between posts again, aren't I?

Guess what? I've got even MORE books waiting to be read! A co-worker lent me two more from the Sword of Truth series and the entire Magic Kingdom of Landover series (which is proving to be quite fun), and just this morning Mom and I were going through a box that just came out of storage for the first time in ten years. She found a bunch of her old dolls--including her collection of Dawn dolls; she was really excited about that--and I found my old copy of Fever 1793. I thought I'd have to get myself a new copy! I thought it was long since gone! There was the smallest bit of water damage, but apart from that it was good as new. There was even a paged still dog-eared from way back before I started using bookmarks!

How's that for a pleasant surprise, eh?

Your pal,

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Chalk It Up to Experience

I found this fascinating little thing on Facebook...

Since I'm a caffeine addict I couldn't resist trying this. I mean, it sounded vaguely disgusting but so intriguing! So I got a can of Red Bull, poured it into the coffee maker, added my grounds, and hit brew. Several minutes later, the experiment was concluded and....I thought I was going to blow chunks. Oh my God, that was the most awful thing I've ever swallowed! I managed to down half of it, then had to throw out the rest before I really did throw up! But it was an...interesting experience, to say the least. Five minutes after the first sip, I felt the apocalypse coming on, and twenty minutes later, I found myself yelling out the lyrics to every song by the Doors I knew. I think the dogs were a little afraid of me for awhile there.

Needless to say, I won't be repeating that experience.

Your pal,

Friday, July 20, 2012

For the E/C Shippers!

I got bored one day and decided to poke around YouTube looking for some Phantom fan-made videos. I found 'em, too...lots more than I'd anticipated. Some of these are a little bizarre choices for Phantom videos, but I found tons more good songs I'd never heard before!

And I confess...I have the sudden urge to write tons more Erik/Christine fics...

Click it. You know you want to.

Your pal,

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Had to Share This 18

I've had these songs on repeat, both on the stereo and in my head, for the past week. Now I'll pass them onto you.

Children of the Revolution - Bono, Gavin Friday and Maurice Seezer

Epiphany - Staind


Your pal,

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Angels and Her Addictions

I felt like something silly today, as I've been in a bit of a slump lately. Let's talk about addictions, the things you just can't get enough of and really can't live without. We've all got them, and some of us have more trouble with them than others. Some are illegal, some are immoral, and some are completely harmless but still a huge pain in the neck. Now let's talk about my addictions.

The Phantom of the Opera

Now, if you didn't see this one coming, you're clearly new to this blog. In fact, I reference you to my Phantom page to get an idea of what you're dealing with. For those following this little thing, I'll skip another spiel about the wonderfulness that is POTO and proceed to my next addiction.


Pop quiz: What is the most abused drug in the world? Answer: caffeine. And I'm proof of that. come to my place sometime, and you'll understand. This all started way back when I was eleven, and Dad introduced me to Starbucks frappuccinos. Oh dear God. We both ordered our own, and they were also handing out free samples of their new flavor. I finished my own, then the rest of Dad's when he got tired of it, then the sample that he didn't care for. Three total! I shook the rest of the day, started laughing hysterically over nothing at all, I couldn't stop tapping my foot, and I didn't blink at all for the next twelve hours! While you might think that would put me off the java for the rest of my life, that was just the start. Say the word "coffee" and I'll pounce on you. I have the same reaction to the smell of it that most phangirls have to Ramin Karimloo. And I've tried to break the habit, but the longer I go without it the worse it is when I can't take it anymore and gotta have a hit! The last time I swore off caffeine, I went about six months without it, then snapped and drank ten cups of the stuff (and it was WAY stronger than it should have been). The ensuing buzz was so intense I was in tears waiting to come down off it.

And now that I sound like something out of Trainspotting, let me move on.

Gerard Butler

All right, you might ask "How in the name of God can you be addicted to a person?" And I'll answer, "I have no idea, but it is what it is." My gateway was The Phantom of the Opera and The Bounty Hunter, and I've gotten so shameless as to actually pay money for a copy of Tomb Raider 2 just so I have another flick to stare at. You'd...probably appreciate it if I moved on know, before I go nuts.


This one is more understandable, you must admit. Then again, there's caffeine in chocolate and I still have that teensy little caffeine addiction...When I start making the coffee with Red Bull instead of water and binge on every candy bar unfortunate enough to land in front of me, do me a favor and send me to rehab. I'm not such a fan of white chocolate (and any connoisseur  will be able to tell the difference between chocolate and chocolate-flavored almond bark), but I'll take dark over milk any day. Actually, that's not quite true either. For kicks, Mom brought home a massive bar of 90% cacao specialty stuff, and--that was the worst thing I've ever tasted, period. It was so bitter the only way you could stand to eat it was if you were already in a bad mood. Hey, Friends watchers, remember what Phoebe said about what evil tastes like? She was referring to "mock-late" but I think it applies here as well. :)


Mom taught me love of growing things, and my love of roses quadrupled a few years ago when we planted the first bushes we'd ever had outside. I took over the care of them, watering them when there were droughts, pruning off dead canes and leaves, covering them when it got too cold...then I read Beauty and Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley and knew exactly how Beauty felt about her roses.  At the risk of sounding like a ye-olden Celt seeing some nature god in every blade of grass, after awhile you come to look at them as beings, not just flowers. It really isn't possible to focus your energy on tending anything and helping it grow and thrive without becoming attached to it in any way. I named every one of those bushes, greeted them when I walked past them, and heck, I even sang to them once or twice! And when we moved from that house into a new one and had to leave them, I was miserable until we got new bushes, and I had some to look after again. Once I had them, I couldn't go without them ever again.

Enough shamelessness and weirdness for you today? Yeah, I thought so too. See ya!

Your pal,

Monday, July 16, 2012

Reviews from an HBN (Wizard's First Rule - Terry Goodkind)

Well, it's not one of the movie reviews I'd been talking about, but...

In the aftermath of the brutal murder of his father, a mysterious woman, Kahlan Amnell, appears in Richard Cypher's forest sanctuary seeking help . . . and more. His world, his very beliefs, are shattered when ancient debts come due with thundering violence.

In a dark age it takes courage to live, and more than mere courage to challenge those who hold dominion, Richard and Kahlan must take up that challenge or become the next victims. Beyond awaits a bewitching land where even the best of their hearts could betray them. Yet, Richard fears nothing so much as what secrets his sword might reveal about his own soul. Falling in love would destroy them--for reasons Richard can't imagine and Kahlan dare not say.
In their darkest hour, hunted relentlessly, tormented by treachery and loss, Kahlan calls upon Richard to reach beyond his sword--to invoke within himself something more noble. Neither knows that the rules of battle have just changed . . . or that their time has run out.
This is the beginning. One book. One Rule. Witness the birth of a legend.


My review as posted on GoodReads:

First off, I loved the TV series that was based off this, and was really annoyed when it went off the air. So naturally, it made me want to read the books. It also made me nervous about reading the books, because who knew what might have been changed between the two and who knew how disappointing the books themselves might really be (especially after seeing the kind of reviews that said, quote: "Don't touch!").

Turns out I was nervous for no reason, so far as I'm concerned. I was already biased in favor of this, but I liked it even better than the show! There were some aspects that were done in more detail that couldn't carry over into a TV series and some of the things that got on my nerves about the show made more sense here. I mean, apart from the whole Richard-and-Kahlan-instant-friends-for-life thing...

Let me start with Richard Cypher. As I said, already biased in his favor. After reading this, he's earned his spot as one of my favorite fictional characters. Living as a woods guide and believing magic only exists in stories, he's shocked one day when he helps rescue Kahlan, a woman with a mysterious and terrible power, learns his old friend Zedd is really a great wizard, and is named the Seeker, wielder of the Sword of Truth. It's Richard's duty to defeat Darken Rahl, an evil ruler in far-away D'Hara bent on world domination (heck, what evil ruler doesn't have that as an ultimate goal? I mean, really?). Richard is smart, clever, brave, and infinitely frustrated because he's fallen in love with Kahlan, but the secret of her power would keep them apart for good. There's not much to say about Richard. He's like most other fantasy heroes, but I still loved him and still cheered him on.

I have to say a few words about Kahlan. I thought she was great in the series, but I think she was a bit more appealing here. She came across as cool and untouchable in a few parts, but that's only to be expected. She's a Confessor, a woman with the power to make anyone she touches fall in love with her at the cost of their self and identity (hence the problem with Richard). But between those times, she felt more accessible. I got more of a sense of her loneliness and yearning to be an ordinary woman. But still, you don't mess around with Kahlan, especially when she's in the Con Dar! She'll do whatever she has to to help defeat Rahl, even if it means taking her own life. A bit dramatic, but dedicated.

I'm not going to lie to you, quite a bit of this felt like a hodge-podge of other fantasy epics, but some of it was pretty original...or at least the packaging for it made it look that way. Evil bad guy? Check. Handsome, capable hero easy to fall in love with? Check. Magical sword, wizard in disguise, and dragon to boot? Got all those too. That being said, I was still entertained throughout the whole thing, and knowing what was going to happen before it actually happened (partly through the show, partly because some of it was just predictable) didn't spoil the fun.

There was, however, one bit that knocked me stupid, and that was when Richard finally crossed paths with Denna, the Mord-Sith. Now, I already knew Denna was a nasty piece of work, but the whole part with Richard's torture and "training" was so intense and so horrible it really hurt! I don't mean horrible as in no good, but horrible as in I was bursting out "Oh my God!" about every two paragraphs. THAT part was definitely not for the faint of heart. But at the end of it all, it was so strange, because it was like being trained right along with Richard and slowly becoming Denna's puppet. How he finally broke free from her power was gut-wrenching, in a good way.

Derivative? Maybe. One I'm still getting for my personal collection? Of course. Yet another series I've gotten myself dragged into? You betcha!

Your humble book nerd,

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A-P: Shutterbug 2

More photos! (I know, I know! Reviews are coming!)

As seen from the highway in St. Louis, Missouri in horrible traffic. Got some nice shots, though! And since St. Louis is en route to my grandparents, we have to hit that traffic every time. We actually took a detour one trip and went to the river to see the Arch up close. It was tall...

 St. Louis has a wonderful zoo, but ours in Nashville isn't too shabby either (it's actually a converted farmstead with some really cool history behind it...anyway...)
Hm...maybe not the best shot, but you can still see them back there. I've always loved giraffes...they look like they'd be clumsy and awkward, but they're just so graceful and serene.
I've also always loved elephants. I just think they're beautiful, intelligent creatures.
That's all for now!
Your pal,

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Phantom of the Opera in 15 Minutes

I read this about a year and a half ago, and it's still hilarious! The person who wrote this has specifically requested that this not be reposted in its entirety, so you'll have to be satisfied with the link I'm more than happy to share with you.

Click-y click-y!

Your pal,

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Had to Share This 17

Yeah, I know, where's these reviews and other crap I've been yakking about? They're coming, but I'm trying to work up the courage to watch a stupid movie and it's taking all my focus. I'm sure you'll like this one anyway.

Kiss the Girl - The Little Mermaid

Farefarren, all!

Your pal,

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

New Books! Yikes!

'Ello, kids! (Sorry about that...I woke up in one of those moods when I randomly spout off with a Cockney accent...)

I knew it was a bad idea to take a job so close to a Goodwill store. Every time I've got even just a dollar in my pocket, I hit the sidewalk on break and cruise on down to see what new used book I can snatch up. I've been at this job for about two weeks now, and I've scored two new books (or rather, two used books--nah, that joke's only funny once.) I've already posted a review for Rebecca, but now you can expect Ophelia in the future! Of course, you're going to have to wait awhile for that one...I've still got way too many books on my reading list, and an ungodly, unheard of amount just sitting around waiting on me!

It really is a new feeling, to have this many books waiting to be read, right on hand...usually, I have to read every book in the house three times over before I get one new one, let alone *counts* holy cow, twenty-two! But do most of those count? They're ebooks, and for some reason they never feel like they count...

Anyhoodles...TTFN! Ta-ta for now!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Artist of the Month - July 2012

Ok, NOW I'm sorry I'm late. Onto the announcing! Drum roll, please.

*drum roll*

Carlene Carter

Daughter of country legend June Carter and stepdaughter of Johnny Cash, this gal has released twelve albums and over twenty singles and has since dropped off the radar quite a bit, minus a few concerts and...ahem...a traffic stop back in 2001. *tsk tsk* That being said, I still enjoy her music quite a bit. She's got just enough of that country twang that flavors her voice, but doesn't drive me insane, she co-writes most of her songs, and she also plays guitar. In fact, her last acoustic show in 2008 was her first performance in thirty years that she took the stage all on her lonesome.

Every Little Thing

Disregard any covers. This is the original, and it's the best. It's also a good one for when you're having a little party-of-one when you're at home alone; you know, when you dance around in the kitchen and sing at the top of your lungs and don't care if the neighbors hear you!

Unbreakable Heart
I Love You 'Cause I Want To
Love Like This
The Sweetest Thing
Easy From Now On

Happy listening!

Your pal,

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Character of the Month - July 2012

Sorry I'm late...well, not with this post, but with--never mind, I'm here now and I'll get things straightened out sooner or later. Anyway, this month's featured character! Drum roll, please!

*drum roll*

Éowyn of Rohan

Yeah, that's right! Éowyn, the Shield-Maiden herself! She's really one of my favorite characters of the trilogy, and it doesn't matter if I'm talking about the books or the movies. She's the niece of Théoden, King of Rohan, and quite the fierce, powerful woman. Sadly, though, she's kept from her dreams of honor and valor by being born a woman when Middle-earth is (predictably) a male-dominated land. But does that stop her? What do you think?

Every character that moves through this story has seen some kind of tragedy, but I think people see Éowyn's plight in the same light as, say, Frodo's. But while he chose to shoulder a burden he never should have had to, she struggled to hold her head up beneath a load that promised a slow, meaningless death. What does Éowyn fear? "A cage. To stay behind bars, until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire.”

That might sound selfish and stupid, to be so concerned with going out into danger seeking glory, but what she wanted most was to fight for the ones she loved, and not just sit back and let them take on all the danger on their own. She only makes her first appearance in The Two Towers and she's not what you'd call a major player until The Return of the King, but when she's there, by golly she's in it to the end. Remember this (spoilers ahead)?

“Begone, foul dwimmerlaik, lord of carrion! Leave the dead in peace!"

A cold voice answered: 'Come not between the Nazgûl and his prey! Or he will not slay thee in thy turn. He will bear thee away to the houses of lamentation, beyond all darkness, where thy flesh shall be devoured, and thy shrivelled mind be left naked to the Lidless Eye."

A sword rang as it was drawn. "Do what you will; but I will hinder it, if I may."

"Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!"

Then Merry heard the strangest of all sounds in that hour the strangest. It seemed that Dernhelm laughed, and the clear voice was like the ring of steel. "But no living man am I!”

Dernhelm? How about... Éowyn herself, disguised as a man and riding into battle? She not only faced down the Witch-king of Angmar, leader of the Nazgûl, but yea verily, she slew him epically and left his remains on the Pellenor Fields. Go, girl!

She's the first one I think of when I think "strong heroine/character/woman," and for good reason, no?

Your pal,

Friday, July 6, 2012

Phantom Funnies 6

Don't you judge me! This is good stuff!

Down Once More Translated

by *Muirin007

Subliminal messages abound in The Phantom of the Opera. Some are so entwined in such carefully constructed, phallic metaphors, that it may be difficult to sift through the passionate web of angst and decipher the lyrics' true meanings. So here, for your clarity, I have provided a translation of some of the musical's most elaborate lyrics. The original lyrics will be italicized, while the translations will not. It is my desire that your next viewing of Phantom should be an enlightened one, and my sincerest hope that these translations will clear up any confusion.

"Down Once More"

PHANTOM: Down once more to the dungeons of my black despair!
(I am using hyperbolic metaphors that make me the patron saint of emos everywhere.)

Down we plunge to the prison of my mind!
(Have you, perchance, ever heard of schizophrenia? Because I think I may have it, along with a medley of other psychological disorders that would make a therapist salivate.)

Down that path into darkness deep as hell!
(We're not actually going to hell, just so you know. Hell is just an INGENIOUS way to describe my embittered life. Also, I live underground. And hell is, coincidentally, allegedly underground. See that? See what I did there?)

Why, you ask was I bound and chained in this cold and dismal place?
(You may be wondering why I confine myself to the sewers when proper sanitation systems haven't been invented yet.)

Not for any mortal sin, but the wickedness of my abhorrent face!
(It's because my face looks like it's been tossed into a meat grinder.)

ANGRY MOB: Track down this murderer, he must be found!
Track down this animal, he must be found!

(When we find this man, we are going to completely disregard the fact that he clearly needs psychological attention and toss him in the poorly regulated prison system where he will likely contract consumption and be rescued by a horde of Mary Sues via fanfiction.)

PHANTOM: Hounded out by everyone!
(Hark! The angry cries are coming from my hallway again!)

Met with hatred everywhere!
(I've murdered, manipulated, and scared innocent people out of their wits. I cannot understand why I've been the object of such maliciousness.)

No kind words from anyone!
(I am often called a "jerk.")

No compassion anywhere!
(Has the world lost its sense of brotherly love?)

Christine! Christine!
(Virginal object of my affections!)

Why? Why?
(I fail to understand why murdering stagehands and manipulating and kidnapping you necessitated the removal of my security blanket in front of, like, the whole audience.)


CHRISTINE: Have you gorged yourself at last in your lust for blood?
(Are you satisfied that you've managed to turn a perfectly nice opera house into a hammer horror film?)

Am I now to be prey to your lust for flesh?
(Is your surge in testosterone going to cause you to attempt to get it on with me?)

PHANTOM: That fate which condemns me to wallow in blood has also denied me the joys of the flesh.
(While I would doubtless enjoy making sweet love to you while the opera burns to the ground above us, you and I both know that I am never getting laid.)

This face, the infection that poisons our love...
(Perhaps I would get laid if I looked like Antonio Banderas, but unfortunately, nature was clearly PMSing when I was born, and I ended up with this face instead of his.)

This face, which earned, a mother's fear and loathing,
(I am attempting to win your sympathy by breaking down my cold emotional barriers and hinting at the obligatory Victorian child abuse directed at me by my mother.)

A mask, my first unfeeling scrap of clothing.
(I ran around naked until my mother decided that the only way she could stop vomiting was to shove a paper bag over my head.)

Pity comes too late!
(Unfortunately, your reasonable entreaties to cease and desist are now falling on deaf ears because this is the climax of the story, and I have to be over-emotional.)

Turn around and face your fate!
(Your forced marriage to me is inevitable because women's rights do not yet exist.)

An eternity of this before your eyes!
(Instead, you are going to have to wake up to my disgusting face every morning for the rest of your life. However, you will be permitted to wear a sleeping mask to prevent undue vomiting.)

CHRISTINE: This haunted face holds no horror for me now.
(I'm suddenly and inexplicably no longer disgusted by the fact that your face looks like it went through a meat processor.)

It's in your soul that the true distortion lies.
(I also suddenly and all-too-belatedly realize that it's what's inside that counts. Unfortunately, your inside sucks as much as your outside.)

PHANTOM: Wait! I think, my dear, we have a guest!
(Hark! I hear the confident, splashing footfalls of your annoying, handsome suitor who is interrupting any chance of character development on your part!)

Sir, this is indeed an unparalleled delight!

I had rather hoped that you would come.
(Being that you are the knight in shining armor, I knew your arrival would be inevitable. However, I wish your puffy shirt wasn't clinging to your perfectly-toned figure in such a Mr. Darcy-esque fashion, because Christine is clearing enjoying the view, and that is cheating, mister.)

And now my wish comes true! You have truly made my night!
(At least your idiotic rescue efforts will give me a chance to strangle you in a few minutes and win every female audience member's sympathy with the story's ending.)

RAOUL: Free her!
(Being the knight in shining armor that I am, I demand that you free my woman because clearly, she is unable to do so for herself because women's rights don't exist yet.)

Do what you like, only free her!
(In a selfless act of courage, I am offering myself up in exchange for her release even though I'd much rather just leave at this point.)

Have you no pity?
(I do not know about your tortured past that led to your misanthropy, and nor do I care, so I am asking a stupid question.)

PHANTOM: Your lover makes a passionate plea!
(Does he always ask such stupid questions?)

CHRISTINE: Please, Raoul, it's useless!
(Shut up, Raoul! You are destroying any chance I have for character development!)

RAOUL: I love her! Does that mean nothing? I love her!
(But I think she would make an ideal trophy wife! What part of "trophy wife" don't you understand?)

Show some compassion!
(In a hypocritical, ignorant plea, I once again disregard your tortured life and demand that you extend the respect that I wouldn't dream of giving you because you're, like, really ugly.)

PHANTOM: The world showed no compassion to me!
(I am embittered by a life spent battling a society that is unfailingly narrow-minded!)

RAOUL: Christine! Christine! Let me see her!
(Trophy wife! Trophy wife! I am proving that I really AM as dumb as I look by willingly stepping within strangling distance of the antagonist.)

PHANTOM: Be my guest, sir!
(Thank you for proving that you really are as dumb as you look and stepping within strangling distance of the antagonist.)

Monsieur, I bid you welcome!
(I am offering you snark and sarcasm in place of an actual welcome because you drive me nuts.)

Did you think that I would harm her?
(Your trophy wife was perfectly safe with me unless I gave into my carnal desires, which may not have happened anyway because she and I were getting to know one another before you showed up.)

Why would I make her pay for the sins which are yours?
(In a completely illogical and perfect example of psychological projecting, I am placing my blame upon you even though you are clearly too stupid to think up such a scheme.)

Order your fine horses now!
(The fact that you are rich cannot save you from certain death.)

Raise up your hand to the level of your eyes!
(Any effort to avoid this is futile because you are already choking and turning a vivid shade of blue.)

Nothing can save you now, except, perhaps, Christine!
(Your fate now rests upon Christine's shoulders, even though she is naive and thought her dead father was living in her mirror.)

Start a new life with me!
(Run away with me and abandon a life of comfort and social acceptability!)

Buy his freedom with your love!
(Because I have never known love, I am asking you to trade it like a commodity and I do not understand that you would rather lick a cat's backside than ever love me.)

Refuse me and you send your lover to his death!
(If you say no, I will kill your annoying, handsome boyfriend and STILL force you to run away with me.)

This is the choice!
(So either way, you are, quite simply, screwed.)

This is the point of no return!
(By repeating lyrics from an earlier moment in the story, I am twisting their meaning to fit my own crazed desires.)

CHRISTINE: The tears I might have shed for your dark fate grow cold and turn to tears of hate!
(I went from hating you to feeling sorry for you to hating you again all in the span of a few minutes.)

RAOUL: Christine, forgive me, please forgive me!
(I suddenly realize what an epic mistake I made by not getting you the heck out of here when I had the chance.)

I did it all for you and all for nothing!
(My brilliant plan to get him arrested so we could frolic away together backfired!)

CHRISTINE: Farewell, my fallen idol and false friend.
(My childhood fantasies have just been killed and I am facing adulthood before I really want to.)

We had such hopes and now those hopes are shattered!
(Curses! Foiled again!)

PHANTOM: Too late for turning back! Too late for useless prayers and pity!
(Oh, quit your bellyaching.)

RAOUL: Say you love him and my life is over!
(I am stating the obvious and making you feel worse by repeating the dilemma at hand.)

PHANTOM & RAOUL: For either way you choose, you/he cannot/has to win!
(You are screwed!)

PHANTOM: So do you end your days with me?
(So will you be forced into a marriage that will rob you of a chance at your coveted social acceptance?)

Or do you send him to his grave?
(Or will you cause him to die and STILL be forced into a marriage that will rob you of a chance at your coveted social acceptance?)

RAOUL: Why make her lie to you to save me?
(I'm going to be a prick and assume that she loves me more because I'm hot, which everyone knows is true, anyway.)

CHRISTINE: Angel of Music...
(By using the name I used to use when I idolized you, I am hoping to pound some reason into your thick skull.)

RAOUL: Christine, say no! Don't throw your life away for my sake!
(Now I am going to play the selfless hero and get myself killed in a useless attempt to free you, even though he's probably going to kidnap you either way.)

CHRISTINE: Why this torment?
(I am buying time because I hate making decisions for myself.)

PHANTOM: His life is now a prize which you must earn!
(All you have to do is kiss me. You could have been done by now.)

RAOUL: I fought so hard to free you...
(I really do like you, but that didn't really get us anywhere, did it?)

PHANTOM: We've passed the point of no return.
(The story is almost over.)

CHRISTINE: Angel of Music, you deceived me.
(I just realized that trusting a man who hid in my closet probably wasn't the best idea.)

I gave my mind blindly.
(I'm an airhead.)

PHANTOM: You try my patience. Make your choice.
(Would you shut up and just PICK already? The suspense is killing me!)

CHRISTINE: Pitiful creature of darkness...
(I've also just realized that you are a Byronic hero...)

What kind of life have you known?
(And that you're a tortured soul, which is actually kind of attractive...)

God give me courage to show you...
(This is going to be gross, because you're, like, really ugly, so I hope I can do this...)

You are not alone!
(But I am going to redeem myself, anyway, because all of a sudden, I find your dark, brooding attitude dangerously and pitiably irresistible.)


ANGRY MOB: Track down this animal, he must be found! Track down this murderer he must be found!
(Once again, we're ruining any chance of character development by interrupting the passion ensuing a few feet away.)

PHANTOM: Take her, forget me, forget all of this...
(Oh, forget it. Beat it, the both of you.)

Leave me alone, forget all you've seen.
(I have accepted the fact that the rest of my life must be spent wallowing. Get out of here and forget the fact that I nearly killed one of you and sexually awakened the other.)

Take the boat, swear to me never to tell the secrets you know of the angel in hell!
(I've conveniently left the gondola right there so you two can indulge in your insensitivity and leave me to rot. So long as you don't say anything about said rotting. Because I may or may not have committed a few serious felonies, and I would rather not be arrested.)

Go now! Go now and leave me!
(Oi! You two! Stop making out and get in the boat! I have a migraine.)

Masquerade, paper faces on parade...
(I am now free to abandon myself to insanity by playing with a creepy toy monkey.)

Masquerade, hide your face so the world will never find you...
(Back to the mask, I guess. A pity. It gets sweaty under there.)

Christine, I love you.
(I am uselessly stating the obvious, even though you clearly cannot hear me.)

CHRISTINE: Say you'll share with me one love, one lifetime. Say the word and I will follow you.
(I've promptly forgotten about the Byronic hero behind me because now I don't have to wake up to a meat-processor face every morning.)

RAOUL: Share each day with me
(I am rubbing it in.)

CHRISTINE: Each night, each morning
(I am also rubbing it in.)

PHANTOM: You alone can make my song take flight...
(Thanks for running away with all my hopes and dreams, you slut.)

It's over now, the music of the night!
(I am through with this place. I will now vacate the premises and leave the story open-ended to make way for fanfiction and disastrous sequels.)
Tell me you didn't laugh, and I'll know you're lying.
Your pal,