Saturday, March 31, 2012

It's Sassurday!

Are you looking at me?  Cause I'm totally looking at you, sir.  Earlier this month, Fassy was promoting Prometheus at WonderCon and looking mighty fine, if I do say so.  Why does he have to wear the leather jacket?  Doesn't he know what that does to us?

Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday We're In Love!

1, 2, 3, 4
Mariah's pick: I'll never forget the day I was browsing Blockbuster (yes, this was a few years ago) and came across a movie titled Once. I had never heard of it before, but the premise of boy meets girl + Ireland + music sounded like perfection; since that fateful day, the film has become a bit of an obsession, and Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova (The Swell Season) have won me over with their beautiful harmonies and haunting lyrics. A documentary on their long-running tour and real-life relationship, following the success of Once, has just been released, and it's a must-watch.  

Ali's pick: The best part of my week technically hasn't happened yet, but I am going to tell you about it anyway.  This weekend I get the privilege of traveling to Charleston (that beautiful, charming southern city) to soak up the sun at the beach, sip mojitos in a maxi dress, and catch a professional tennis match or two at the Family Circle Cup with one of my best friends.  It promises to be a delightful time.  

Sarah's pick: My week has gone by quite quickly, which is great since, like Ali, the best part of my week hasn't happened yet.  This Saturday, KU (Kansas NOT Kentucky - seriously, it's not that hard y'all) is going up against Ohio in the Final Four.  I think we all know who will be victorious.  Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

Sally's pick: You didn't really think I'd forgotten that it was the month-before-the-season-2-premiere-of-Game-of-Thrones did you? For weeks I've been elbow deep in the first book in George R.R. Martin's series and I fiiiii-na-llyyyy finished the 800+ page beast this morning. And with that ending all I can say is... "ahhhh shizz!!!!!!!!" and "on to book two!"

Thursday, March 29, 2012

"Did my heart love till now?"

Frankly, I'm not sure how Victorian Swag has gone this long without some sort of mention of our official knight-in-shining-armor (don't tell Bradley James)... I am, in fact, talking about the one and only Leonardo DiCaprio. Even his name sounds regal and makes me start to feel slightly light-headed. But that could just be the swoon-worthy Romeo + Juliet soundtrack that I happen to be listening to right now. Which leads me to my point. Sure, there's Titanic, but I feel like we need to give credit where credit is due and talk about the role that had all of our teenage selves sighing dramatically at the big screen. Even if you're a Shakespeare hater and think that the entire premise of his most famous love story is over the top and melodramatic, you can't deny that Leo's portrayal of Romeo had you ready to hop on the next plane to Verona...

the unexpected meeting: a contrast

I must admit that this week, my thoughts have been tending towards 'I hate men!!!' and 'Why, universe, whyyyy?!?!' The antidote, for me, is an easy one: Pride & Prejudice. I can turn to two characters who don't have their lives in order by any means (fictional characters- they're just like us!) and find hope and comfort. This duo just gives me a lot of FEELINGS and make the world look shiny.

One of my favorite scenes in Pride & Prejudice is when Elizabeth goes to visit Pemberley thinking Mr. Darcy won't be there only to find him turn up unexpectedly. I think I really have a soft spot for this part because, to me, it is the turning point in their relationship. After all, in chapter 43, when she's standing in front of his portrait in the gallery, it says, "There was certainly at this moment, in Elizabeth's mind, a more gentle sensation towards the original than she had ever felt in the height of their acquaintance." Lo and behold he walks up from the road when she's leaving the house with her aunt and uncle! The four of them then walk the extensive grounds together...
After walking some time in this way, the two ladies in front, the two gentlemen behind, on resuming their places, after descending to the brink of the river for the better inspection of some curious waterplant, there chanced to be a little alteration. It originated in Mrs. Gardiner, who, fatigued by the exercise of the morning, found Elizabeth's arm inadequate to her support, and consequently preferred her husband's. Mr. Darcy took her place by her niece, and they walked on together. After a short silence, the lady first spoke. She wished him to know that she had been assured of his absence before she came to the place, and accordingly began by observing, that his arrival had been very unexpected- "for your housekeeper," she added, "informed us that you would certainly not be here till to-morrow; and indeed, before we left Bakewell, we understood that you were not immediately expected in the country." He acknowledged the truth of it all, and said that his steward had occasioned his coming forward a few hours before the rest of the party with whom he had been travelling. "They will join me early to-morrow," he continued, "and among them are some who will claim acquaintance with you- Mr. Bingley and his sisters."
Elizabeth answered only by a slight bow. Her thoughts were instantly driven back to the time when Mr. Bingley's name had been last mentioned between them; and, if she might judge from his complexion, his mind was not very differently engaged. 
"There is also one other person in the party," he continued after a pause, "who more particularly wishes to be known to you. Will you allow me, or do I ask too much, to introduce my sister to your acquaintance during your stay at Lambton?"
 The surprise of such an application was great indeed; it was too great for her to know in what manner she acceded to it. She immediately felt that whatever desire Miss Darcy might have of being acquainted with her must be the work of her brother, and, without looking farther, it was satisfactory; it was gratifying to know that his resentment had not made him think really ill of her. 
They now walked on in silence, each of them deep in thought. Elizabeth was not comfortable; that was impossible; but she was flattered and pleased. His wish of introducing his sister to her was a compliment of the highest kind. They soon outstripped the others, and when they had reached the carriage, Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner were half a quarter of a mile behind.
He then asked her to walk into the house- but she declared herself not tired, and they stood together on the lawn. At such a time much might have been said, and silence was very awkward. She wanted to talk, but there seemed an embargo on every subject.
And now we turn to the two oh so swoon-worthy adaptations from 1995 and 2005...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Period Piece Challenge: Rebecca Movie Review

So I know that I said last week that I was going to watch a couple of versions of Rebecca and then compare and contrast and blah, blah, blah.  Let me confess that I did indeed watch (and was thoroughly enthralled with) Alfred Hitchcock's 1940 version.  And then I tried to watch the 1979 miniseries version and I just couldn't do it.  I am certain that parts of the later version would have been truer to the book; however, it just wasn't worth the pain of watching the actors feign emotion and a style other than poorly coiffed sideburns.  Needless to say this will not be a comparison but an outpouring of admiration for Hitchcock's genius and Laurence Olivier's jawline and piercing stare.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Dear readers. This is a big deal i.e. magic! There's simply no other explanation. I had followed the casting for The Hunger Games with the fervor of a lovesick middle-schooler carting around a Lisa Frank notebook plastered with 'Mrs. Mellark' signatures signed meticulously, if not obsessively,  on every rainbowed page. I had wanted this guy to play the boy with the bread something fierce... like I'd have opted for extra tessera to make that happen, y'all. So when I heard that baby-faced Josh Hutcherson, who I really only knew from The Bridge to Terabithia (CREYES!), had landed the role I was incredulous. The opposite was true about Gale's casting and I said unspeakable things like, "I might just go team Gale for the movie." Needless to say, this poor guy really had his work cut out for him in the convincing me department. At the reaping, I maintained a heart of stone. But by the time he was waving from the train in the Capitol, my friend sitting next to me burst out laughing because there I was with hearts in my eyes, grinning like I'd just been blinded by a Care Bear stare. The amount of heart-clutching that went on was off. the. charts. He had me cooing, squealing, sighing, laughing... he was Peeta! The unsuspecting swoon-and-dough master of my literary dreams! Not to mention, his toasty voice was reminiscent of cinnamon rolls warm from the oven. Sweet merciful heaven! I take it back. I take it all back. Despite my evident meh towards the film overall, I am smitten with this one. And possibly guilty of having my Mellark-y playlist on repeat. You can bake me a croissant any time, Josh! Because I loaf you. And just in case you need further proof that you truly did win me over... you give me a lot of FEELINGS! *smelling salts*

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Hunger Games: REACTIONS

All of you should know that the four of us couldn't possibly make it past opening weekend with heading to the theater to catch the premier of The Hunger Games.  And as you should all have divined, we each had our own very emotional and very personal reactions to the film; which, we will proceed to share with the entire world here on Victorian Swag.  You don't have to agree with our thoughts and postulations but you must promise to take them to heart when either seeing the film or analyzing your own recent Hunger Games experience.  

Saturday, March 24, 2012

It's Sassurday!

So, I was sitting in the theater waiting for The Hunger Games to start (this probably sounds very familiar to many of you), and I was pleasantly surprised by the choice of trailers.  Who else was excited about the new full length Prometheus trailer?  It looks a bit odd, and there's a surprising lack of Fassy, but I'm just glad that he's still in the movies.  

Friday, March 23, 2012

Where It All Began

So I have a confession to make... Mr. Darcy wasn't my first introduction to the world of Victorian Swagalicious miniseries, nor was Mr. Rochester, or Gilbert Blythe. I know you're all scandalized, but I'm convinced when I explain, you'll all nod vigorously and agreed whole-heartedly.

My little-girl heart belonged to Dickon Sowerby: animal whisperer, garden re-vitalizing co-conspirator, and all-around hero. I'm hoping you all know to whom I refer, because how can you have not seen The Secret Garden? The 1993 version was a childhood staple, and my favorite adaptation of Francis Hodgson Burnett's book. I could probably go on for hours about Dickon alone. In fact, he's probably to blame for the state of my cravat-loving heart today.

But the boy isn't the only reason to love The Secret Garden. It's got mystery, and far-away lands, and, of course, an enchanting garden. I'd like to pretend that despite my limited budget and not-so-green thumb I could someday have a garden like this:

Obviously I'll have to keep dreaming, but this movie just makes my mind wander to the loveliest of places. The scenery and completely amazing score together are enough to make one fall into a coma from sensory overload. 

I'm sorry, I'm not sorry for giving you all of these beautiful images to day-dream about. But don't you just want to hop on that pony and take off into the sunset with Dickon (in a totally non-creepy, lets all pretend he's older way)? 

I leave you with that parting thought. Have a fabulous weekend, dear readers!

Friday We're In Love!

123, 4

Ali's Pick: Is there anything of note happening this week other than today's oh-so-obvious movie premiere?  Not in my life, anyway.  I was unable to attend the midnight premiere and so am anxiously awaiting Sunday evening so I can sit back with my buttered popcorn and drink in the Hunger Games 

Sally's Pick: To be perfectly honest this week has been nothing more than a countdown to the Hunger Games. I'm seeing it right after work today, am FREAKING OUT, and I can't take this wait any longer!!! Josh Hutcherson, you better bring. it. as my favorite ALL-CAPS-FEELINGS-INDUCING artist/baker/character Peeta Mellark, or I will hunt you down like your life depends on it (wait... that sounds familiar)! 

Sarah's Pick:  Last week, the trailer for Dark Shadows came out!  I truly hope that I am not the only Tim Burton enthusiast, because that would be a terrible shame.  Seriously can't wait for this movie!   

Mariah's Pick: Summer is finally here in South Georgia, which means that's it's time to roll the car windows down and blast some awesome mix tapes. Oh, and go to the beach, as well. Cheers to warm weather, new sunglasses, and working on my tan, because that's where I'll be for the next few months!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

after the fire: a contrast

(1, 2)

Aheeeeeeeeemkdfjlskfjoiefjksfjlajflaj;lidjfijfwoj!!!!!!! For those of you unfamiliar with my secret language, that's code for "It's time for (yet another) one of my favorite scenes of all time!" There is a special place in my pantaloons heart for the brooding enigma that is Mr. Rochester in Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre. And while I had been intrigued with him since his unforgettable introduction, it was really this scene that drop-kicked my FEELINGS into you're-going-to-compare-all-your-blind-dates-to-this-man-(and-therefore-be-unsatisfied)-from-here-on-out oblivion. And while- tsk, tsk- I watched four versions before ever picking up the book (I know alright?!), let's start with an excerpt from Chapter 15. Jane has just saved Mr. Rochester after finding his bed on fire (ohhh the delicious irony) in the middle of the night, he leaves the room for the second story, then returns...
"Good-night, then, sir," said I, departing.
He seemed surprised- very inconsistently so, as he had just told me to go.
"What!" he exclaimed, "are you quitting me already, and in that way?"
"You said I might go, sir."
"But not without taking leave; not without a word or two of acknowledgement and goodwill: not, in short, in that brief dry fashion. Why, you have saved my life- snatched me from a horrible and excruciating death! and you walk past me as if we were mutual strangers! At least shake hands."
 He held out his hand; I gave him mine: he took it first in one, then in both his own.
"You have saved my life: I have a pleasure of owing you so immense a debt. I cannot say more. Nothing else that has being would have been tolerable to me in the character of creditor for such an obligation: but you: it is different- I feel your benefit no burden, Jane."
He paused; gazed at me: words almost visible trembled on his lips- but his voice was checked.
"I knew," he continued, "you would do me good in some way, at some time: I saw it in your eyes when I first beheld you: their expression and smile did not"- (again he stopped)- "did not" (he proceeded hastily) "strike delight to my very inmost heart so for nothing. People talk of natural sympathies; I have heard of good genii: there are grains of truth in the wildest fable. My cherished preserver, good-night!"
Strange energy was in his voice, strange fire in his look. 
"I am glad I happened to be awake," I said: and then I was going.
"What! you will go?" 
"I am cold, sir."
"Cold? Yes- and standing in a pool! Go, then, Jane; go!" But he still retained my hand and I could not free it. I bethought myself of an expedient.
"I think I hear Mrs. Fairfax move, sir," said I.
"Well, leave me": he relaxed his fingers, and I was gone. 
Eeeeeeeaaaaaaahhhhhhhhdlfjsljal!!!!! Phew! This. is. spicy. Now let us turn to my two favorite adaptations, the 2006 miniseries and the 2011 film.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Period Piece Challenge: Rebecca

Well dear reader, while I consider myself quite well read when it comes to the classics, it has been pointed out to me on numerous occasions - for the most part by my fellow VS authors with only the deepest concern for my cultural education - that I have not seen enough period films.  I tend to agree.  While Mariah's series on the Classic List introduced me to some truly fantastic classic films, I still think I am lacking a bit of depth in my exposure to period movies.  I am setting a challenge for myself.  I have chosen three of my favorite period novels.  I intend to review the books, watch at least two of the film and/or TV miniseries that inevitably followed from them, and then proceed to gush about the films (for better or worse) on Victorian Swag.  Hopefully we'll all learn something new.

"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again."

That beautiful phrase is the opening line of my first week's pick: Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca.  A haunting tale of love, secrecy, trust and betrayal, it is definitely one of my favorite period novels.  It is slightly scary (okay maybe a tad more than slightly, but only in a creepy dreary England Jane Eyre kind of way) and amazingly detailed. Set in the gorgeous and imposing Manderley, the story follows the new Mrs. Maxim de Winter and her husband as they attempt to settle down into life at Maxim's sprawling estate as newlyweds in the shadow of the former Mrs. de Winter's (aka Rebecca) mysterious death.  This book is written in such a way that lends itself well to an overactive imagination.  Trust me, you don't need ghosts or other supernatural beings for a thoroughly creepy period novel.  All you need is the evil and eerily omnipresent Mrs. Danvers looking over your shoulder as you read.  Let me explain.  Mrs. Danvers is Mr. de Winter's head maid.  She also happens to be incredible devoted to Rebecca and thereby bent on the destruction of the new and impossibly naive Mrs. de Winter.  And when the investigation into Rebecca's death is reopened, nothing can prepare you for the ending!  It's a must read.    

I love this book for several reasons.  First, Manderley.  I was (still am) IN LOVE with the idea of this estate.  It is the classic stately, English estate complete with grand echoing halls, east and west wings and proper rose gardens and views of a briney sea.  Du Maurier's descriptions of the place really bring it to life and, while it is a bit frightening (I definitely could not be persuaded to spend a night alone there) at times, it is one of the most well-crafted settings for a story I have ever had the pleasure to read.  Second, Maxim de Winter is one of the most troubled, brooding Englishman of all time.  I, of course, pictured him with cigarette, furrowed brow, and classic convertible.  Not a bad mental picture and not a bad fictional gentleman.  While not exactly emotionally accessible, I really enjoyed his wounded bad-boy-meets-English-countryman personality.  But I'll let you make your own decision on that.  Third and finally, while it's not exactly a book you will speed through, each picture Du Maurier paints is delightfully twisted (oh the things Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan could do with this story!).  The plot is surprisingly suspenseful thanks to intense character development, tons of secrets, and Du Maurier's brilliant decision (but really the most frustrating thing EVER) to purposefully withhold the narrator's name from the reader.  I can't tell you how carefully I read each page, hoping I would stumble on the girl's name.  It made the entire book incredibly engrossing and I won't spoil it for you by telling you what you'll find.  In fact, I hesitate to go on for fear that I may reveal one of the carefully thought-out plot twists.  I will leave you with this.  Maxim de Winter is extremely attractive (I am sure your imagination will agree).  The narrator is only slightly annoying and self-absorbed (but hey, it's an English period novel; what do you expect?).  Mrs. Danvers is possibly the creepiest villain ever created (I'll clean my own room at Manderley, thank you very much).  And Rebecca is most certainly not who you think she is.  If you've read the book, let me know what you think!

I am looking forward to watching both the 1940 Alfred Hitchcock-directed film as well as the 1997 Masterpiece Theater miniseries version.  I'll be posting on those next week and I cannot wait to see how both versions captured the characters and, most importantly, Manderley.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

ask and ye shall receive

Here at Victorian Swag, we like to give our dear readers what they want. So I took the liberty of glancing at our blog stats to see how people were finding us. Some of the search keywords really made me laugh, but in an OMG-they-must-be-our-spirit-animals kind of way. Let's take a look at some of the ones that made me scream, "THAT. IS. AWESOME!"

1. Alan Rickman sassy. Call me biased or old-fashioned, but I like to think our leading men are at their absolute sassiest in period pieces!

Congrats On Your Face: Channing Tatum

I have a soft spot in my heart for Channing Tatum.  I have only recently seen The Vow, and while it was incredibly predictable, I couldn't help but appreciate how far he's come in his career.  That, and I just like to look at his face.  Of course, we now have yet another opportunity to see him in theaters in the newly released 21 Jump Street.  Does it have swag?  Absolutely not.  Is it worthy of this blog?  Not at all.  But dammit, he's just plain pretty.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Cobblestones & Poe

Here's a playlist to get your week started off on the right foot. This mix is an ode to Baltimore, my adoptive sweet tea-less city, which I love dearly despite said lack of sweet tea. From its historic waterfront to the dive bars I frequent, from the yeast-y smell that floats down the streets in the morning and the bagpipers in Broadway square, the used record stores and the city's mysterious obsession with tater tots, it's no secret to me how this place got the nickname Charm City. I hope you enjoy this little taste of my eclectic neighborhood!
  1. Lloyd, I'm Ready to be Heartbroken ... Camera Obscura
  2. There She Goes ... The La's
  3. Eskimo Kiss ... The Kooks
  4. Brand New Key ... Melanie
  5. Lingering Still ... She & Him
  6. Dream a Little Dream of Me ... The Mamas & The Papas
  7. Jasper ... Aidan Knight
  8. January White ... Sleeping At Last
  9. Rivers and Roads ... The Head and the Heart
  10. The Wild Hunt ... The Tallest Man on Earth
  11. Ashes & Fire ... Ryan Adams
  12. Touching the Ground ... Brandi Carlile
  13. Wanted Man ... Needtobreathe
  14. The Perfect Space ... The Avett Brothers
  15. Blood ... The Middle East
  16. Love Will Take You ... Angus & Julia Stone
  17. Dead Hearts ... Stars
  18. Oh My Stars ... Andrew Belle
  19. P.S. I Love You ... Nellie McKay
You can purchase the playlist here or stream it here:

Saturday, March 17, 2012

It's Sassurday!

Paging Dr. Fassbender
Michael Fassbender as a mountain-climbing, plane-crash surviving, nature-loving survivalist?  Oh, and did I mention his character is a doctor as well?  Count me in!  Rumor has it (thanks for spreading the news, Sally) that Fassy is set to star in The Mountain Between Us, directed by Gerardo Naranjo and based on the book by Charles Martin.   Now, I have my hesitations about the movie in general.  First of all, the title.  I know you took it from the book, but, REALLY?  Cheesy much?  Second, it sounds a bit . . . overdone, shall I say?  Two people survive a plane crash and one of them has the prefect skill set for getting the other out alive and they fall in love during their arduous journey . . . blah, blah, blah.  But then you imagine Fassy in that mix as the perhaps-ever-so-slightly-over-written character and, well, I just don't care anymore.  In fact, I am dying to see him in another ridiculously rugged action roll (something other than 300).  So let's hope that these rumors pan out because I know I can't be the only Fassy fan who wants to see him play Bear Grylls, McSteamy, and Gabe Walker (Sylvester Stallone in Cliffhanger) all rolled into one.  

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday We're In Love!

(1, 2, 3, 4)
Thank goodness it is Friday again!  I have been waiting for this particular Friday for a while and I think my fellow VS authors agree that, while weekdays are great, weekends make life worth living.  Here are some small rays of sunshine that shone through our unbelievable hectic weeks.  Happy Friday, dear readers!

Sally’s Pick: Back home in Georgia earlier this week, a car sped up and down our street as my mom was taking a walk and she realized they had just dumped a puppy (who does that?!). Well the little thing followed her home and the rest is history! Say hello to Maggie; a three month-old shepherd mix and the latest addition to my family!

Sarah’s Pick: I may not be Irish, but I love St. Patrick's Day.  Probably the least swaggy holiday of the year, but I can't help it.  I hate beer, but it sure is fun to people watch. 

Mariah’s Pick: Let's all let out a collective sigh at Armie Hammer's handsome face in the first official photo from Disney's Lone Ranger. And while we're at it, lets get excited because, hello, Johnny Depp is Tonto, and Gore Verbinski is the director, and we all know it's going to be fabulous. The only problem is that we have to wait a year to see it.  

Ali’s Pick: With all of the talk of Victorian Swag picking up and moving to the UK this week, I have found myself obsessing just a wee bit.  One Night Only (George Craig’s delectable voice, mmmm) has been playing non-stop n my car and a cup of Earl Grey has met me at the office every morning, but my favorite part of my own personal “Salute to Britain” week has to be the batch of strawberry scones I made last night.  Bring on the clotted cream; I’m coming to high tea!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

the flooded road scene: a contrast

(1, 2)
Cinematic adaptations are tricky. Some are fantastic, making me wonder what I ever did without them. Others are, to put it mildly, downright atrocious. And when it comes to the classics and the FEELINGS they give me, I get very particular. Starting today, I'm going to be comparing scenes from dual adaptations of the classic love stories that make me pull out the fainting couch. In some cases, both adaptations give me CREYES for eyes, but that is not the case today.

Whenever I find myself in a bookstore with a friend looking for a good read, I inevitably pull her over to the works of Thomas "Heartless" Hardy. My fingers brush the unblemished spines of Far from the Madding Crowd and The Mayor of Casterbridge before pausing at Tess of the d'Urbervilles. Like magic the book falls into my hands and I hug it close like we haven't seen each other in years (when really I have a well-worn copy on my bookshelf). "You have to let me read my favorite bit," I say, thumbing through the pages without waiting for a reply. Chapter 23. The Rally. I sigh and give my friend a look that says, 'You're going to wish you brought your smelling salts!' And then I read the words I've read a thousand times...
She was embarrassed to discover that excitement at the proximity of Mr. Clare's breath and eyes, which she had contemned in her companions, was intensified in herself; and as if fearful of betraying her secret she paltered with him at the last moment. 
'I may be able to clim' along the bank perhaps-I can clim' better than they. You must be so tired, Mr. Clare!' 
'No, no, Tess,' said he quickly. And almost before she was aware she was seated in his arms and resting against his shoulder. 
'Three Leahs to get one Rachel,' he whispered. 
'They are better women than I,' she replied, magnanimously sticking to her resolve. 
'Not to me,' said Angel. 
He saw her grow warm at this; and they went some steps in silence. 
'I hope I am not too heavy?' said she timidly. 
'O no. You should lift Marian! Such a lump. You are like an undulating billow warmed by the sun. And all this fluff of muslin about you is the froth.' 
'It is very pretty-if I seem like that to you.' 
'Do you know that I have undergone three-quarters of this labour entirely for the sake of the fourth quarter?' 
'I did not expect such an event to-day.' 
'Nor I... The water came up so sudden.' 
That the rise in the water was what she understood him to refer to, the state of her breathing belied. Clare stood still and inclined his face towards hers. 
'O Tessy!' he exclaimed. 
The girl's cheeks burned to the breeze, and she could not look into his eyes for her emotion. It reminded Angel that he was somewhat unfairly taking advantage of an accidental position; and he wanted no further with it. No definite words of love had crossed their lips as yet, and suspension at this point was desirable now. However, he walked slowly, to make the remainder of the distance as long as possible; but at last they came to the bend, and the rest of their progress was in full view of the other three. The dry land was reached, and he set her down. 
Her friends were looking with round thoughtful eyes at her and him, and she could see that they had been talking of her. He hastily bade them farewell, and splashed back along the stretch of submerged road.
"Three Leahs to get one Rachel." I die! I DIE!!! It's the sweetest thing! Not to mention scooping her up to carry her across the water. Say what you will about Angel Clare, this scene is as romantic as they come! "Not to me." OH MY HEART!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ahem... as you can see, this scene gives me a lot of FEELINGS. Whenever I read it, weird sounds come out of my mouth. Whenever I see this on screen in the beautiful adaptation, I start squealing and clutching at my heart. But then there's another version that somehow managed to totally. botch. this. scene. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Good, Old-Fashioned Dating

I think I’m stating an obvious and unfortunate fact when I say that dating is hard, y’all.  I mean, it’s bad enough that they don’t make men like Mr. Darcy, Mr. Thornton, or Roger Hamley anymore, but what’s worse is that we have lost the art of dating that ruled in the 19th century.  Granted, I’m just as happy as everyone else that we don’t have to follow such strict social rules now, but you can’t tell me that you wouldn’t love to get dressed up and go to a ball.  

Classy dancing that doesn’t make you cringe inwardly to watch.  It’s the simple things in life.


Oh I'm sorry (I'm not sorry), but I, personally, am still celebrating the month-before-the-Game-of-Thrones-season-2 premiere in full force! So if this is a month long party, then the dessert guest of honor is definitely Kit Harrington, the scruffy Brit behind my. absolute. favorite. on the show, Jon Snow. He plays a character wrought with inner turmoil and drive to prove himself with such grace and conviction it makes it hard to believe this is his first on-screen production. That being said, this 25 year-old is no stranger to acting. Before Game of Thrones, he was playing the leading role of Albert in the stage production of War Horse in West End. War Horse gives me a lot of FEELINGS, so Kit is having no trouble keeping the contents of my heart at a steady boil. So when I heard he was playing Arthur in an upcoming production of Arthur & Lancelot, I legit lost my petticoat somewhere on the mystical plains of Camelot that I'm beyond obsessed with. It's too much! You're too much, Kit! Your adorable face comes on screen and suddenly I'm seeing rainbows and unicorns... *cough*... I mean...

A Jolly Holiday

That's it. We're moving to the UK. Who's with us?

Monday, March 12, 2012

"The fault, is not in our stars [...], but in ourselves."

John Green is the kind of writer who gets better and better with each book. I swear he could write a menu for a restaurant and it would be bestseller materiel. Thankfully for us, he skipped the menu and wrote The Fault in Our Stars. This is where I would like to point out that it would be entirely appropriate to stop and have a moment of silence for the FEELINGS, etc that this book inspires. *insert moment of silence here*

Saturday, March 10, 2012

It's Sassurday!

If there's one thing we love to see, it's our humble king offering a helping hand to artists trying to break into the film industry. Let Fassy himself explain to you what he's doing to promote short films this month. Oh and... ahem... lookin' good in scruff, Sassafass!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday We're In Love!


Sarah's Pick: You may not remember, but I talked about wanting to see Like Crazy while it was in theaters.  Unfortunately, I don't live in New York of LA, so I was unable to see it.  But, joy of joys, it came out on dvd this week.  Goal for next week: rent Like Crazy and cry hysterically.

Ali's Pick: So I know this is the part of the blog where we post the things that really made our week.  I also know we are not really the sort of blog to gush over sports (yeah, we mentioned the Super Bowl, but I mean come on, it was Eli Manning).  But I just have to tell you that the thing that made my heart go all a-flutter this week is the prospect of driving down to Florida next weekend for a St. Louis Cardinal's Spring Training game; I'll take a front row view of David Freese's beautiful face anytime.  

Sally's Pick: Having purchased the Game of Thrones soundtrack this week, everyday events now seem epic. Getting ready in the morning feels like a ritual before debuting at court, driving to work like a quest for the Iron Throne, and listening to it before bed ensures an appearance by Jon Snow in my dreamlands at night (WHICH I'M TOTALLY OKAY WITH). Ramin Djawadi's score is majestic and thrilling, breathing life into the diverse geography and complicated storylines that make Westeros great.

Mariah's Pick: Sometimes you just need something pretty to brighten your day, and when that something is a book, well, even better! If I had enough room to shove another bookcase in my bedroom, I'd probably buy all of Penguin's special edition books- they're all so unique and lovely. Instead, I'll settle for their awesome threads series, which I acquired this week.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Get Your Downton Fix!

So, I'm still going through Downton Abbey withdrawal, and I couldn't see any end in sight until this week.  I may be behind the times, but it has recently come to my attention that Julian Fellowes, the creator of Downton, has a new project hitting the small screen in April.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I'm not a puppet, I'm an artist!

Despite its huge success at the Oscars, I still couldn't convince anyone to go see The Artist with me this week. So I finally bit the bullet and went to the movies by myself for the first time ever. Even though this activity was on my list of 101 things in 1001 days, I wasn't entirely thrilled with the idea. But oh! Oh, I'm so glad I did! Not only was it an empowering experience, but the heartfelt film itself was the very definition of charming.

What's ironic is that the reason I ended up going by myself was because it is a silent film and the main character in this film is a silent film actor struggling to stay relevant in the face of talking pictures. This was the first silent film I'd ever seen and it has certainly sparked my interest in seeing more. As a lover of all things old-fashioned, this was bound to happen. But more than that, the idea of a story being told with stolen glances, body language, sweeping music, and the suave Jean Dujardin's quizzical eyebrows absolutely thrilled me. All these elements came together seamlessly. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I dub thee, my distraction

Sometimes you just have one of those days where all you can think about are your favorite things. Your mind gets caught up in a beautiful world composed solely of these things and you. Food looses its taste, the sky looses its color; you're in a haze. So today, like most other days (let's be honest), was spent daydreaming over the following:
  • chainmail
  • bows & arrows
  • broody men
  • scruffy men
  • fictional men
  • wine
Luckily today, there was a cure! As soon as the clock struck five, I was out the door to pick up my very own copy of season one of Game of Thrones, which embodies all. these. favorite. things. Sweet victory! JON SNOW IS MINE! I mean... I'm rather excited, but it didn't seem right to celebrate the DVD release merely by watching the first episode. So allow me to share some of the poetry Sarah and I shared via text the other day in honor of Robb Stark (mine hers mine) and Jon Snow (MINE!).



For those of you who have never watched Lost, I'm about to give you a reason. Are you ready? Josh Holloway. Yes, you read correctly. One of the greatest TV shows of all time and I'm telling you that one man is the reason to watch, but just look at that smile. And his one-liners, oh the one-liners. His character, Sawyer's, general awesomeness and bad-ass attitude make for a rather compelling guy, and although he might come off as being a bit of a bad-boy, by the end of season one, you'll have fallen hard. Did I mention the Southern accent? Normally that doesn't do it for me, but Josh is the total package. And he gets bonus points for being from Georgia. So there. How can you argue with that?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Book Review: Sarah's Key

Have you ever read a book that changed your life?  Trust me, I have read a lot of books that have stayed with me over the years, but just over a year ago I picked up a book at the recommendation of my mother that changed my perspective on everything.   This blog is all about sharing our FEELINGS and while this story doesn't contain a Victorian gentleman suitor or a knight in shining armor, it definitely gave me a lot of FEELINGS.  And since I enjoy a good cry as much as a well deserved swoon, I thought I simply must share this book with you, dear readers.

The Basics:  In Sarah’s Key, author Tatiana De Rosnay weaves a story of past and present that intertwines a national history with a personal tragedy and the lives of an unlikely Parisian family with painful memories of a veiled past.  Not only is the story incredibly compelling and heartbreaking but the snapshots that De Rosnay paints of present-day and 1940's Paris are lovely morsels of truth.  De Rosnay's voice is strong and refreshing, effortlessly switching from French to English and never dumbing things down for her audience.  You don't need to speak French to read this book, you just need to have an appreciation for historic revelation and exquisite storytelling.  

The Story: The story centers around two women.  The first is Julia, an American journalist who married a Frenchman, Bertrand, and is living what seems to be a providential life in the the City of Lights.  When a story she is writing for her magazine and a guarded piece of history from her husband's family's past begin to collide, Julia finds herself obsessed with and inexplicably connected to Sarah.  Sarah is a small girl of Polish descent who lives in a tiny apartment in the Marais district of Paris with her mother, father and baby brother in the 1940s.  Occupied France is not a safe place for jews like Sarah and her family and they eventually find themselves caught in one of the most horrific chapters in French history.  A fact that has remained hidden from the history books even until now is that thousands of French jews - men, women, and children - were rounded up and held captive in the VĂ©lodrome d’Hiver (an indoor cycling rink and sport stadium) in the center of Paris in unimaginably inhumane conditions.  After several days, families were put on trains and sent to work camps in France and then transported to concentration camps across Europe.  Sarah and her family find themselves in the midst of this terrifying ordeal and for the rest of her life Sarah must face a terrible choice she made on the day she was taken from her home.  As Julia uncovers Sarah's story, the plot unfolds amidst heartbreak, apology, and the realization that family and the connections we make to the people around us is what defines our lives.   

The FEELINGS: This book kept me up at night.  I found myself thinking about it on the drive to work and whenever I began to let my mind wander.  I was engrossed like never before.  I think what did it for me was a combination of things.  I am a lover of history and historical fiction.  I have a particular interest in World War II and an interest in the holocaust (amplified since my visit to Auschwitz in 2010).  I also have an unabashed love affair with the nation of France and all things Parisian.  With its descriptions of the life of an American in Paris and all the things I love about present-day France and its sordid history, this book tickled my fancy like few others can.  Trust me, there was LOTS of Francasizing happening.  Beyond all of that, I have to admit that my obsession with this book, much like the obsession Julia experienced with Sarah in the story, arose from the fact that I have never before identified with a character, real or fictional, so closely.  I saw a lot of myself in Julia - an American in love with Paris and who, while having experienced life in France, still feels like an outsider fighting to get in. De Rosnay did not need to create a speck of suspension of disbelief.  The story in and of itself is entirely credible - given the historical situation - and the characters are completely identifiable, no matter who the reader might be.  It is this realism that lends the books its effortlessness as it journeys through terror, love, and shame in search of the truth.   

The Conclusion: Sarah’s Key made me question so many things: the history of a country that I love, the reality of a safe and secure world I experience everyday, and, ultimately, it made me question the person I thought I wanted to be.  Sarah’s Key is brutally honest, unbelievably real, and heart wrenching to the very core.  Undoubtedly, you will have your own reaction to it and its effect will be different for you than it was for me.  But let me assure you that its effect will be profound.  Brace yourself with a box of tissues and ponder all of the FEELINGS this book delivers.  

The Film: On a slightly lighter note, not only did I make a complete fool out of myself by balling for a couple of hours on a transatlantic flight with no regard for social decency whilst reading the book, I also drug myself (with a mix of excitement and trepidation) to the theater a year later to see the movie.  I was torn between my desire to watch the entire story play out before my eyes and my terror that the proverbial “they” would completely ruin what had been a perfect literary experience. I was not disappointed.  The film was magnificent and AFTER you read the book, I not only give my blessing but I strongly encourage you see the film.  Bonus?  The majority of it is in French and illustrates the story beautifully and authentically.

In other news, I just picked up De Rosnay’s The House I Loved, also set in Paris and also an extremely promising piece of historical fiction.  I’ll keep you posted; in the meantime, you must read/see Sarah’s Key!  Who knows what you might learn about yourself?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

It's Sassurday!


Sometimes you just need a beautiful face to brighten up your day, and we all know that there's no face better/more beautiful/more amazing than Fassy's. Let's be honest, if a zombie apocalypse occurred tomorrow, and scientists were somehow able to save the world, but only one male face remained with which to clone all future males, we'd definitely put out votes in for this guy. So let's all just take a moment to salute his rugged manliness. Happy Sassurday, ladies!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Friday We're In Love!


Sally's Pick: Yesterday my mom got me the best early birthday present ever in the form of tickets to see Les Mis on stage. This has been a dream of mine for ten years now and the francophile in me is COMPLETELY FREAKING OUT over seeing "One Day More" live! MARIUS (THANK-GOODNESS-IT-WON'T-BE-NICK-JONAS MARIUS THAT IS) AHHHHHHHHHSKDFJLSKDJFLSKDJFLSKDJFLKSJFLSK!!!!!!!!!! 

Ali's Pick: I am moving into the house I am renting on Hilton Head Island on Saturday!  I have been living out of two suitcases and a few bins for the past three weeks and have been dutifully holding back, not allowing myself to stray into the home goods section of any store until I have a home in which to put things.  But with the prospect of a kitchen within my grasp, I broke down and bought my first piece of Le Creuset cookware on Tuesday and I am SO EXCITED! 

Mariah's Pick: It seems that I just can't stop watching the newest trailer for Disney's Brave. Scottish accents, ginger hair, archery, and the highlands= movie magic. So, c'mon summer, I'm ready to see Princess Merida kick some butt and save her kingdom. 

Sarah's Pick: Last Sunday, as we all know, was the Academy Awards.  I was relatively pleased with all the winners, but Colin Firth stole the show entirely in my opinion.  He was cute, funny, and suave as usual, and I just couldn't stop smiling after his speech.