Monday, April 30, 2012

April Favorites

1) Godey's Lady's Book reprint - I found this book at the Sharlott hall Museum in Prescott last year; I think I may have started bouncing off the walls when I spotted it on the edge of a table display. A reprint of a copy of Godey's Lady's Book, which was the women's magazine of the 19th century? Amazingly awesome. The woman in the shop checked to see if they had a different copy that hadn't been handled, but I really didn't care (which is good since this turned out to be the only copy, after all) so long as I could it at all. It's amazing to see how the magazine was actually structured. It's about the size of a hardcover book and very thin; inside are stories, ads, fashion pictures, all that good stuff.

2) NYX Color Lip Balm - I wouldn't have picked this one up, but I was able to get it free with an Ulta reward I had. I wanted to choose a more orange shade, but that shade was out. Instead I ended up with Asante, which is one of the darker pink shades. The tint is nice, but doesn't stay very long. The overall feel is very moist. It isn't my favorite product, but good for a casual day or a day outdoors or a day in class--that sort of thing.

3) Summer - I took my last final today; now I just have one more paper to write. With May starting tomorrow, the temperature is moving steadily into the nineties--it's nice enough for now before it gets any warmer. But I do love the poetic-ness of the sun . . .

4) Painted pin/necklace - This necklace came from an antique store in Strawberry (unless it was Pine?) years ago. It's a fairly hefty piece, and the green tones make it perfect to build into outfits as the "cool vintage" element.

5) Aveda shampoo/conditioner - I had been wanting to try Aveda shampoo for a while, so I finally did last time my Avalon Organics ran out (Avalon served me well for many years, but my hair just suddenly stopped liking it). I would prefer a prettier scent than what this one has (like Avalon's lavender scent . . . ), but my hair has received it well and I can't complain about the ingredients. It's a little bit pricier than Avalon, yet I don't think the price is unreasonable.

6) Primeval - There may be a rule against listing the same thing again, but how many times have I already said I'm obsessed with Primeval? I confess that I just started rewatching the show again.

7) StarKid's Holy Musical B@man - Team StarKid's latest musical came out this month--it's wonderful to see what improvements they make with each new release. And the benefit to watching a musical in thirteen individual videos is that, if you like, you can just watch the parts you like and skip over other sections. Though the music, as everyone has said, is very different from previous works, it fits well with the show.

8) Tea - I always seem to drink more tea when the weather is warmer instead of colder; perhaps that's just proof that I'm odd. I found some Zhena's Gypsy Tea at Ross, so that is what I have been drinking most often lately.

9) Black "straw" hat - This is sort of my summer hat. It provides nice shade without having a wide brim and can also add a splash of personality to an outfit. I used to think of it as a very standard black hat, but I get compliments just about every time I wear it (possibly even every time, which is weird), so it must have personality.

10) Chelsea & Violet blue dress - Speaking of personality, this dress is lovely. Chelsea & Violet is a brand you can find at Dillard's, and I love their pieces. The style of the brand combines vintage, hand-sewn, modern, all those sorts of things. I have even a plain black t-shirt by them that has its own unique look. This blue dress is perfect for daily wear since it is just plain cotton. But the lace on it you won't find elsewhere. It has a sort of wannabe A-line skirt that is fairly compact, which also makes it very wearable.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Primeval: Fire and Water

When I purchased this book, I was aware that there are three books that basically just retell the first few episodes of Primeval in novel form--which there isn't much point to, from my view. I thought that this one was the only book that had a separate story not in the episodes, but it is actually the fourth of five such books.  An awkward mistake to make. I decided to go ahead and read it, anyway: I wasn't planning on buying/reading the others in any case. I just wanted to read one to soothe my Primeval obsession for a short time. After all, I like Star Wars, but I've never had the slightest interest in reading any of those books.

Fire and Water (by Simon Guerrier, published in 2009, putting the plot in the middle of Season 3) is a fairly short book at about 230 pages. I think it would be irrelevant to say much on the writing style since, as I said, anyone's reason for reading this book is going to be simply to extend their Primeval experience. The plot is complicated enough that it would take at least two TV episodes, maybe more, to cover it, but also designed in such a way that it can fit into the show without having plot lines that are necessary to know about. I was a little disappointed not to have more character details since that's something new that the novel form could allow. But the book just jumps right into the action and never really stops; I'm tempted to say that it lingers more on such things than the show does. There are a couple of "character conversations" (as between Connor and Abby, of course) and details you can easily imagine fitting into the Primeval universe (like Sarah recalling how Abby had advised her, when she started working there, to keep a set of makeup and extra clothes at the ARC), but nothing too much. I can't feel right about complaining, though: many details would move the novels to companions for the show rather than side pieces. And they have to stay separate enough that people who don't read them don't miss out on anything they need to follow along with the show.

I had seen an Amazon review that cautioned that the books (I'm not sure if this one in particular) were more violent/graphic than the show. Not sure I agree (unless I'm just too immune to reading violence after such things as Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian and Ken Brosky's Grendel). The show has some violent bits; I feel like the book has about the same amount, but it takes longer to describe the same thing than to look at it through a camera. And the word "gore" is used quite often: that isn't too descriptive--it only goes as violent as your imagination will take it. The worst bit is probably at the end of Chapter Twenty, and even that goes by quick.

I had also seen mixed reviews about character portrayals. I sort of agree with both sides. It's hard to imagine Lester having even gone on the mission in this book . . . but he speaks with his usual posh sarcasm. Connor's and Abby's lines are much improved if you try to imagine them spoken by the actors' accents, making you realize just how much actors have to bring to the lines on a script. But remember how we all had to suspend our sense of reality when we started watching Primeval, ignoring the less believable bits? It's the same thing with this book.

In fact, I managed rather well to get into the right mindset. The book turned out nearly as diversionary as the show, and I am now itching to get my hands on those other four (I'll go in order this time). It isn't because this is the type of book I just love to read--it's because I can't get enough Primeval.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

A month or two ago, I posted my particularly delirious thoughts after watching the movie Hugo; click here to read that post. Today I decided to reward myself for finishing one of my writing assignments by finally reading the book to inspire the movie (I didn't have any other plans for the evening, didn't want to do more work, and didn't really want to be a slug and watch Netflix/YouTube for the whole night).

The book's full title is The Invention of Hugo Cabret, and its author is Brian Selznick, and it is a brilliant book. Just wonderful. I mentioned in my other post the similarities with A Little Princess and Oliver Twist. Let me add another fictional character Hugo now reminds me of: Bran from Kaleb Nation's Bran Hambric series. That connection mainly comes from the combination of orphanhood with a tendency for drawing.

As I moved through the opening pages, I was amazed at how well the movie captured many of the images and the overall tone of the book. They treated the adaptation well and drew from what makes this book unique.

What makes it unique is also what makes it so expensive; the list price is twenty-five dollars, although Amazon sells it for less, of course. That's because about half of the five hundred or so pages are pictures. But it isn't quite like a graphic novel or a picture book. It is primarily a novel, even if one that even my slowness was able to read in three hours. The pictures act like film slides. This is why it works that some of them don't have the greatest detail (they still convey what matters, though): it's better if you don't move through them too slowly, as you would if you were taking in many small details. Your hands become the projector that moves the slides that compose the story. It's really rather thrilling, and it's also amazing that film can be not just a subject but a theme of this book. I particularly love the way that, like in the movie, this artistic theme is paired along with mechanics.

This book is such a success. It isn't overstated; it isn't understated--it's real. It's emotion, thought, art, interaction, history, time, and place all expressed in between two covers.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Campus Ramblings

It's story time today.

So I got to campus a little early today since I had one or two things to do before class. Those done, I found I was getting hungry, or at least I knew I would be after sitting through two classes. So I found myself something to snack on and headed toward some shady benches near my first class's building.

But the benches were gone.

You see, they're replaced a lot of the cement benches and picnic tables with some of a new material that looks like metal but doesn't heat up in the sun (try sitting on a cement bench in Phoenix while wearing shorts or a short skirt . . .). This corner of campus wasn't part of that switch months ago, but more recently they removed a group of picnic tables . . . and didn't replace them. I would hope that the plan is to replace them eventually, but in the meantime, a nice lunch spot is gone. The shady benches I was looking for are right by where these tables used to be; when they tables were removed, they stayed (right? I think they did . . .). So I lost my shady spot to sit, even though I didn't really have time to walk too far to find a new spot. Note that it reached 100 today, so not any sunny bench would do for even just a few minutes (at least, I didn't feel like that much sun today).

I ended up in a spot nearby, but still I find that rather unkind of my university to take away my poor snacking bench.

Another event caught my interest, this time from my second class. Although finals don't officially start until Thursday, we were taking ours today for this class. After we got our tests, the professor walked out for a few minutes to go to her office. While she was gone, nobody talked, passed around answers, or did anything out of the ordinary. Why is that?--the question endlessly amuses me. Even just a high school class would at least have to giggle at the prospect of being able to cheat, even if they did nothing more. But we, I suppose, had no reason to react. By asking for an answer, you would probably only be able to add a point or two to your score, anyway; there wouldn't be much point. And if you need more help than just a quick question, you're going to do badly no matter what. And even just a quick comment is pointless; it also takes time, and we all want to finish quicker rather than slower so that we can leave (high school students have to stay the whole class time, anyway). Not that I finished any more than three or four minutes early . . . but I got an A+ on my mid-term, so speed isn't my main object.

Just curious ramblings about my day. Now a shout of excitement that I only have a final project to finish, a final paper, one final, and another writing assignment/project before I can submit to summer. Just four more things to do . . .

Sunday, April 22, 2012

"Walking With Giants"

A few months ago, I mentioned the new Blondfire single "Where the Kids Are." Though we're all still in waiting for the full album, there is another single available called "Walking With Giants." Of the two, I would probably say that the first is better, but that isn't to say anything against this new one. It continues along with the airy, indie pop sound and recognizable Blondfire lyrics. Have I talked much about Blondfire's lyrics? I know that years ago I dug into one song at least. What I like is that, even though their lyrics can be repetitive like with many artists, they're fun lyrics. They have that crossover between fantasy and reality, I guess you could say. They're light without being frivolous.

"Walking With Giants" is a visual song. I remember comparing "Into the Sea" to some works by C.S. Lewis, so I can't help but continue with that and pair this new song with The Silver Chair. You know, the giants? But (no surprise) it also reminds me of my current obsession, Primeval. [Once again, I feel the need to give a spoiler warning.] "We're walking with the giants" can stand both for the creatures the characters face and for the authority/mentor figures some of them have (Cutter, Philip Burton, etc.). "The bigger they come, the harder they fall" reminds me quite a bit of Helen; she had her grand and insane plans, but in the end quite literally fell to her death. "You and me, we're larger than life" goes to Connor and Abby, of course--particularly on their return from the Cretaceous. "Everything is better with a little love in your life" describes them perfectly, so theirs is the empowerment theme in the song.

Maybe this is why I love Blondfire--their songs are simple, but I can keep listening to them again and again, reinterpreting and forming my own stories to go with the lyrics. Now when does that new album come out?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Keychain Productions

Circling for Primeval interviews on YouTube and fact bits on Wikipedia, I discovered the existence of Keychain Productions, whose director is Andrew-Lee Potts/Primeval's Connor Temple.

Most fortunately, they have a YouTube channel, where you can view their short films. They're very artsy types of videos, which is what I like about watching things like this every so often. It's a different perspective (from Hollywood) to what camera angles, color, and editing mean. They're smaller expressions of more . . .

My favorite is definitely the Little Lilly series, starring Hannah Spearritt. The first video especially is wonderfully poignant and beautiful. I do wish the series hadn't stopped at three videos; that last one brought things into a new scope that I'd love to explore. The next piece I most enjoyed was Bubble Wrapped. Again, it has innovative use of angles and color and emotion. The only problem is that half of the dialogue was difficult to hear, but it was otherwise nicely put together. Some of these films (or should I say most of them?) have a definite dark side to them, yet it isn't just dark--it's in contrast to light. That theme comes back around to the physical lighting and color. Which, I repeat, is very nice to watch when many films (not all) don't focus on this type of symbolic outlook anymore.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Breaking Dawn Movie Companion

I can't believe it took me so long to get to this book. Although I love behind the scenes on movies, a good amount of the movies I'm interested in don't actually get movie companions, so when they do, I snatch them up. Yet here I am barely going over this book in April when it came out in December.

I was expecting a sort of downhill surge to happen on this book, with it ending up the weakest of the Twilight movie companions. At 140-150 pages or so, it certainly isn't long or terribly extensive. And after my pessimistic post about the movie itself, we all know the movie addressed in the book wasn't my favorite.

But, short or not, this movie companion happily doesn't have too much fluff. It starts off in the usual sort of way with some plot exposition and has bits interspersed throughout, but mostly keeps to explaining how things were done, mainly by giving quotes from the crew. So there are some nice technical and artistic explanations, along with a few brief making-of stories. Some of my favorites were about the filming of the wedding ceremony and how they achieved Bella's emaciated look in the second half of the movie.

Reading movie companions always makes me better appreciate the final product (the film, of course), this situation included despite my still-not-particularly-thrilled attitude toward the movie. I am amused, though, that the book is marked as having an exclusive Q&A with Stephenie Meyer: that particular section is only two pages. It had interesting comments, but wasn't such a big deal as the label makes it out to be.

1611 King James Bible

Last year, I discovered 400th Anniversary Edition of the 1611 King James Bible on Amazon; reviews were unanimously amazed that it was for under ten dollars. I got excited, but when I finally was ready to buy it, it was no longer available for that price, so I turned disappointed instead.

But, thanks to my Amazon Wish List, I recently saw it at the same low price again (keeping an eye on prices is what that Wish List is wonderful for . . . ), so here it is:

I had a nerdy moment when first flipping through the pages. The text is, naturally, difficult to read since it is thick and squiggly with "s's" like "f's" and other such complications from the old typeface. But most people don't buy something like this to read every word, anyway. However, if you do sift through the pages, there are original marginal notes included, some of which are rather interesting bits on the translation and the meanings of certain words. And there are some prettily-designed genealogies in the front that are intriguing to look at.

Once I can find a place for it, I'd like to have this book sitting open somewhere (since, as you can see, the cover isn't special--there is also a leather version, but it's naturally more expensive), sort of like how I have my Unabridged Dictionary. But for now, it's just a nice piece to have and ponder over.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Wishbone's Influence

I attribute a certain degree of my literary interests to watching Wishbone.

This show I find very commendable for introducing children to the "classics," that is, stories either highly revered or referenced in our culture. From The Phantom of the Opera and A Tale of Two Cities to The Odyssey and Faust, this show covered a wide range and skillfully got across the main points of each story in a very limited time frame. It did more than summarize each story; this deeper look into themes was helped by the correlating modern day plot. The team behind this show also managed to make the material approachable to children without diminishing it.

I've read books because of first seeing them portrayed on Wishbone. I remember, back when I was in middle school and just starting to stretch out into the "wider world" of books, pawing through the classics at Barnes and Noble. Ah, Northanger Abbey, I remember that episode--that might be fun to read (I actually didn't like it much--Jane Austen just doesn't much interest me . . . but that's beside the point). Silas Marner was a similar story for me.

Even the books I haven't yet read, I am glad to know the basics of through my understanding of the Wishbone episodes. The show was my first introduction to Faust, The Odyssey, Don Quixote, Cyrano de Bergerac, and others. Sure, I've learned more about them since, but I think it was a step ahead to already know the basics.

It was a strange experience reading The Moonstone for class two years ago. I remembered the episode, but not all the details. So as I read the book, following along with the mystery, I slowly began to remember more . . . namely, that it was Wishbone's character who stole the Moonstone . . . but I had to be sure exactly which character Wishbone had been. It was very strange.

It's also funny to compare the adaptations in Wishbone to those of movies. Frankenstein, for instance, is very abridged in the episode, of course, but it gets most of the main things across; do all the movies achieve as much?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Inspiration & Responses

They say everything is a response to what came before it. The Gothic and all the emotionality that came along with it around the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth, for instance, was a response to all the emphasis on reason that had previously taken place. (I think, by the way, that the current trend with the supernatural is very similar.)

But what I find interesting is that, today, we have such a hugely literate population and such a huge library of things to read. There are certainly common things that most of us have read or at least heard of, but I think different people gravitate toward different areas in a way quite unique to modern times. I usually prefer nineteenth century literature. Some people are major medievalists. Some focus heavily on Shakespeare, some on Faulkner. I ask, then, are we all responding to the same thing?

Sure, English Lit. majors will have read supposedly "major works" from all of these categories. But what about everyone else? And what about the preferences and focuses that lit. people end up having, too? If I have my head stuck in nineteenth century books, then I look up at the current world, and then I write my own work, my response (in that work) will be of a particular nature. It will be, I think, different from if my focus were on, say, medieval literature.

What I wonder is if this will be traceable, years from now, in the writing produced today. Just think also about how many genres and sub-genres we have today; these are all options for the wide array of readers that exist with such a literate population. You might take, say, two mysteries off the shelf in a bookstore (I chose mysteries because that's one genre I hardly ever read . . . in terms of contemporary lit., that is). One might draw heavily on a Victorian-type atmosphere, though still taking place in modern times; its author may be a big reader of Wilkie Collins and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The other, though, might be completely different; its plots might unravel into postmodernist conundrums, complete with isolation and absurdity. The two would both be mysteries produced during this time period, but with each responding to different things (in addition to some basic common responses).

I don't know if that post made any sense at all. Hopefully I got at least a little of my idea across.

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Adventures of Connor Temple

As I take a break from paper-writing (I chose to write about Frederick Douglass's narrative, so I need something lighthearted now), let me present The Adventures of Connor Temple of Primeval. If you're not a Primeval person, you may or may not want to disregard this post.

Connor came from ebay yesterday. It's been years since I bought anything on ebay, but I don't think Americans have any other option for buying this series of action figures (there are some on Amazon, but they're the first set and I don't think I like them as much). If you find it odd for me to buy an action figure, remember that I called Primeval "my latest obsession." What else do you do when you have an obsession but buy merch? And in the interests of retaining at least a shred of respectability, I want to point out that I took these pictures yesterday; it seems not as bad to take a break from paper-writing to write this post as to actually take the pictures now, too.

I suppose, though, I hardly need talk about the why's of buying this item: don't I already own Barbie Jeannie and Bella?

 I briefly considered leaving the package closed (I did manage to do so with Jeannie, after all). But this packaging isn't so fatal as Barbie packaging: once you unwrap a Barbie, you have a mess, but this packaging was much simpler.
Connor comes with an anomaly detector, so he got right to work. (Is that my computer he's standing on?!)
 The figure doesn't look exactly right, but I suppose it's close enough. At least he has his signature fingerless gloves and scarf. And these really are pretty high quality as toys; all their joints bend enough to play with and they're designed to stand on their own.
 I guess Connor's on top of the world?
 Back on "the shelf," he set up the anomaly detector again . . .
 And must've detected something, because he next tried to save Bella from this giant lion. But she didn't know what he meant when he said it "must've come through an anomaly."
 Connor then attempted to ask these people if they had seen Abby (I think he has begun to miss her), but they were otherwise occupied.
 As if those two weren't uncomfortable enough, he then spotted not one but three giant birds. We all know what happened before when Connor was faced with giant birds (think Season 3 Episode 6).
 Luckily, he got away this time by means of a carousel horse. (You know, he reminds me a bit of Hatter in this one.)
 Although I have assured him that it's just a simple hourglass, Connor is convinced that this device he found will unlock the secrets of the anomalies and is now hard at work studying it. (I think he's just trying to get his mind off of the scary Victorian items in my room--it must be worse than Jess's apartment was.)
Now on to writing the second half of my paper.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Alice (2009)

I may or may not have rented Alice simply because Andrew-Lee Potts (from Primeval) is in it. Otherwise, another version of Alice in Wonderland? I'd be as interested in that as another variation of Pride and Prejudice (which is very little indeed).

But Alice (2009) did have another positive going for it: Nick Willing, also the man behind Tin Man (2007), directed it. Both of these are TV miniseries, with the first based somewhat on Alice and Wonderland and the second on The Wizard of Oz. That loosely-based-on, almost-sequel state is awkward and easily done badly. But Tin Man was rather interesting when I watched it a year or two ago, and so was Alice.

Though it was aired, I believe, as two episodes, it is just a solid three hours on the DVD; that's quite a bit of run time, so my attention span did start to run once or twice, but just barely. This was a fun piece that delved a little into psychology and symbols, taking just enough from the original books to set up a basis for Wonderland but also allowing enough to be different to tell a separate story. Alice was the proper "straight man" (as opposed to the more comedic characters), developing more internally than outwardly in a way that is reminiscent of the book (although, of course, with the internal/external thing, Wonderland after all is a part of her internal self made external). And I love what Andrew-Lee Potts did with the Hatter. That character becomes the sort of link between this internal/made-up world Alice visits and the "real world." By providing a contrast to Jack, he becomes the external evidence of the change Alice goes through. And who doesn't love a happy ending? Again, bear in mind that it's still a TV series, but one that carries through by means of actors' performances. At its heart, it's rather a thoughtful piece.

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Hunger Games Parody

You can watch The Hillywood Show's parody here

For a long time now, people have been asking The Hillywood Show to do a parody of The Hunger Games, so it has been my plan to see the movie at some point in order to be prepared for the possible parody. I thought I was ahead of the game, but then they announced, when the movie came out, that they had already filmed the parody. I thought it very possible then that the parody would debut before I had had a chance to see the movie. My plan was to go watch it this morning before my afternoon classes; before I left home, though, what did I see? The parody out already.

That was very sad and strange: usually I try and watch Hillywood's parodies the moment they come out, so to be sitting right in front of my computer screen with the opportunity to watch it but knowing that it would be best to wait until 5:30 when I got home at the end of the day felt entirely wrong. But it was all for the best that I waited: I only knew basics about The Hunger Games and wouldn't have been able to properly receive the parody before the movie.

I am only talking about the parody and not the movie because, honestly, the movie wasn't my favorite and I'm not entirely sure what I was supposed to think of certain parts of it. To carry those feelings into the parody, I think it succeeded in capturing that disconcerting tone the movie has. Hilly and Hannah really do a good job at song choices, using the songs to help create the atmosphere of the movie, not just to parody it.

This parody is less laugh out loud than some of their work, but I think that's fitting for this movie. It is a disconcerting movie, and I think that certain directions parodies tend to go might be particularly disrespectful to what a movie like this is pointing out. I guess. So they found a nice balance.

I loved Hillary's role in the parody, mostly because I love seeing how well she manages to play male characters. She has a talent for adapting to different facial expressions. My last note to make is that we know they made this parody with strict budget and time restrictions (see the link at the end of the video to the behind-the-scenes: it was very exciting to find the making of already online--I'm used to having to wait months for that). So it's only one portion of the movie; but that's one portion well-presented, I would say.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Favorite Fictional Couples

My last post gave me the idea for this one. Fittingly, then, I will start with the couple I mentioned there; after that, there will be no particular order to the list. Also, these are mainly supposed to be instances where it is the pair I like, not just one individual.

1) Abby & Connor (TV: Primeval) - I probably talked enough about these two last time, so I'll just repeat that I love them together. They just make the world brighter and happier when they're together.

2) Jane & Rochester (Book: Jane Eyre) - This relationship has taken on such a symbolic meaning to me. The two can only properly come together once they have learned to be individuals. Yet they are drawn to each other because of their differing elements, the elements that complete each other.

3) Jeannie & Major Nelson (TV: I Dream of Jeannie) - Even when they're having their spats, these two still adore each other. Their love is like some spark of magic that refuses to go away.

4) Nat & Daisy (Book: Little Men & Jo's Boys) - I suppose I like this pairing mainly because of Nat. He comes from such a sad background, then he and Daisy meet and never look back. They're both very demure.

5) Eowyn & Faramir (Book: The Lord of the Rings) - There is a similar Jane/Rochester thing that happens here: the coming together of these two characters marks certain other changes in their lives. Eowyn in particular must learn something more about herself while she is in the Houses of Healing, where she meets Faramir.

6) Cathy & Heathcliff (Book: Wuthering Heights) - How could I do a list like this and not include these two? People who say that this book is just about hate and not love are simplifying it too much; there is a love story in it, and I think the love is probably just the easiest part of the novel to grasp onto. There's nothing so compelling as tragic love, eh?

7) Gatsby & Daisy (Book: The Great Gatsby) - Speaking of tragic love, I also felt compelled to include these two. It's true, I'm not so interested in Daisy as Gatsby, but his love for her is wonderful. The green light is wonderful. Their story is tragic, sweet, and simultaneously hopeless and hopeful.

8) John Keats & Fanny Brawne (Movie: Bright Star) - Watch this movie and you'll never read a John Keats poem the same. More tragic love here, though much sweeter. There are similarities to Nat/Daisy, just with poetry and death added in--a couple little differences . . .

9) Caspian & Ramandu's Daughter (Book: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader & The Silver Chair) - I love this pairing because, being part of a children's story, it's so subtle. No superfluous romance or flirting, just two characters who fall in love--it's fairy tale-like.

10) Anakin & Padme (Movie: Star Wars) - I wasn't going to add these two in because of all the hate the prequel trilogy tends to get. But I have to admit that I like characters' stories in the entire six part arc. There is so much character conflict in this love story and so much fate and fear/hate challenging love that I do have to include it.

I'm sensing some patterns here. Four out of ten are tragic stories. I think you could easily say that three of the six leftover could have very nearly been tragic. Four out of ten couples either pick on each other or something similar. Six out of ten of the women step out in some particular way from the traditional women's side of things--some of them being (like Eowyn) a little more wild, I guess, than their counterparts (Faramir, though a soldier, has a very gentle nature that is contrary to Eowyn's).

Since all of these characteristics were still just percents out of a whole, I can't say how much they tell about my own tastes without comparing my list to ones made by other people. After all, though I know I tend to like the tragic loves, don't many of us? That's one reason why Titanic (which I actually don't like much) did so well in theatres and why Romeo and Juliet (which I don't really like, either--but I'm not a big fan of Shakespeare in general) is probably the first Shakespeare play children hear of.