O, Brave New World That Has Such Snowpiles In It!

Winter, winter everywhere…

That is MY FENCE under there!

Sunshine could literally walk over the fence and out of the yard right now…if she could get to the fence through the giant piles of snow.

Flounder flounder flollop flail

Once again, it feels like I have nothing to blog about except the baby and the snow.  What does everyone else do with an almost-one-year-old when you can’t leave the house for days?  I ask you.  My GOODNESS.  It doesn’t help matters that a bored and restless little dog is also following me from room to room with Big Sad Eyes all day long.  

Speaking of Sunshine, alert blog readers may have noticed that there hasn’t been a new post from her over on the Pet Trouble website lately.  I decided to give her December off, and then discovered that I am significantly more productive, writing-wise, when I only have to blog once a week.  HMMMMMM.  Since, as I keep mentioning, I really need to be productive right now, I’m afraid her blog is going to stay on hiatus until I have time for it again…sorry to anyone who’s been missing her!  🙂

Wait, I did leave the house this week!  My handsome charming husband took me on a date!  We went to see the new Julie Taymor movie of The Tempest, where Prospero is now Prospera, played by Helen Mirren. 

Kind of fascinating; I actually really liked the new dynamics that introduced, especially between Prospera’s power and the guys who conspired to steal it away from her.  I’ve never found Prospero a likable character at all (he’s so oppressive—to Miranda, to Ariel, to Caliban), but I thought Helen Mirren had the right mix of fury, magnetism, and subtlety.

But my favorite actor in the movie was Alan Cumming, because he never declaimed his lines (You know: “Blahblahblah! Significant voice blah! This is poetry blah blah be impressed with how sonorous my voice is blah!”).  He just said them as if they were naturally coming out of his mouth, which sounded very cool and is hard to do with Shakespeare.  Most impressed!

My least favorite actor, unfortunately, was the guy playing Prince Ferdinand, as, apparently, a drippy Edward Cullen-wannabe.  After his first scene, I leaned over to Adam and whispered, “Man, that guy is emo.”  It was SO hard to take him seriously, or his love for Miranda; he looked like he was about to melt into an emotional puddle at any moment, starting with his droopy eyes and floppy hair.  Miranda was awfully cute, and I just wanted to yell, “Miranda, there are less drippy guys out there, I swear!  Don’t settle for this one just because he’s the first you’ve met!  Seriously, there are lots with WAY better hair!  Trust me!”

Caliban was awesome, too, and so was Russell Brand as Trinculo (I know, it’s weird casting, but he was totally hilarious).  But overall I found the special effects really distractingly bizarre.  Like, I would think the benefit of doing a Tempest movie in this day and age is that you can do some pretty cool things with technology to bring Prospero’s magic to life and make Ariel feel like a real spirit.  But here, whenever Ariel flitted through the landscape, it looked painfully like the actor pretending to run in front of a green screen, and then that footage was made all jumpy and smacked on top of a still picture of rocks or sea, without any effort to integrate them or make it look like he was really there.  You know?  Maybe I’m not describing it well, but it was very off-putting, like special effects from the ’70’s.  Maybe that was the intention…like everyone on the island is kind of on the LSD of Prospera’s magic?  But I just found it distracting, and I kept thinking how cool it would be if Ariel really materialized (slowly) out of thin air, or brought the water up into the shape of his spirit, instead of bouncing around strangely on top of it. 

Still, I do love this play, and the movie was pretty exciting overall.  The terrible side effect of seeing it is that now I really want to go back and work on my Tempest book idea (doesn’t everyone have one of those?).  But I am resisting!  I have books with deadlines to finish first!  🙂

Which is, ahem, what I should be doing right now.  Good luck to everyone else who is buried in snow!  There was a hilarious photo on the NYTimes website of one of those signs you see outside churches; this one said: WHOEVER IS PRAYING FOR SNOW, PLEASE STOP.  Ha ha ha!  and I AGREE.

Quote of the Day:
“The remarkable thing about Shakespeare is that he really is very good, in spite of all the people who say he is very good.” – Robert Graves