Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Coriolanus: #128 Read/Watch all of Shakespeare

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With the reading of all of Shakespeare Mega-ness, I made up a whole system of what order to read and watch everything in, but I decided to include some leeway in case an opportunity presented itself to see something outside my historically-based although somewhat-haphazard viewing order. I bumped up Coriolanus as there is the upcoming film adaptation directed by and starring Ralph Fiennes, although that wasn't the version I watched but rather a 1984 BBC Complete Works of Shakespeare production that I got from the library.

I think I'm willing to give a lot of give with this category, because the stories are so interesting, layered and rich that I know many of them I'll probably see again and again and again. Although I've committed to reading them first I've received a few interesting suggestions including listening to the plays via audio-book, or that the traditional way is to watch first and then read. I wonder if I'll try out those approaches. Only time will tell!

Even though Coriolanus isn't a play I was even aware of before this Mega-task, I can sense the keen pulse of the times to exploring it now as it deals with a man returned from war who is not received well (at least that's my basic interpretation/impression). Watching the BBC version was fascinating, it's very old school and I loved how they captured movement, crowds, and fighting in a theatrical way. I also was floored by the performance of Mike Gwilym as Aufidius, which reminded me that if I primarily watch film/TV then I miss out on a whole wealth of stage actors who are amazing. It's a very male-centric play, although there are some awesome women in it included Coriolanus' mother and the interesting character of Lady Valeria, plus it had great phrases like 'Praise Jupiter'. That was pretty awesome.

I'm looking forward to the Ralph Fiennes version which was at TIFF in 2011, and I keep my eyes open for a regular release date but nothing locked yet so far. I may even read it again before it comes out.

#128 Read/Watch all of Shakespeare

This is a sub-list for The Mega List to track item #128: Read/Watch all of Shakespeare. I've already read several of the plays and seen many of them performed either live or on film, but often it was by chance over choice. I decided to turn the tables and choose to read and watch them instead.

The order I came up with is as chronological as I could find with as much swapping back and forth between comedies, tragedies and histories while keeping any set of plays together. It's only a guideline though, I'm happy to jump around if films or performances are going to be available to see - although I will endeavour to read the plays first.

I'm primarily interested in doing this as the stories have survived for so long yet they continue to resonate through traditional and non-traditional interpretations. I'm oddly a fan or reinterpretation, and this is somewhere we definitely see. Plus - usually it's a fantastic opportunity to see fabulous acting.

Read: 3/40
Watched: 2/40

1. Two Gentlemen of Verona, The (read)
2. Titus Andronicus
3. Comedy of Errors, The
4. Romeo and Juliet
5. Taming of the Shrew, The
6. Henry VI, Part 1
7. Henry VI, Part 2
8. Henry VI, Part 3
9. Richard III
10. Midsummer Night's Dream, A
11. Merchant of Venice, The
12. Richard II
13. Henry IV, Part 1
14. Henry IV, Part 2
15. Henry V
16. Love's Labour's Lost
17. Much Ado About Nothing
18. Julius Caesar
19. As You Like It
20. Twelfth Night
21. Hamlet
22. All's Well That Ends Well
23. Troilus and Cressida
24. Merry Wives of Windsor, The
25. Macbeth
26. King Lear
27. Measure for Measure
28. Othello
29. Antony and Cleopatra
30. Pericles, Prince of Tyre
31. Cymbeline
32. Tempest, The (read Dec 2010* and watched)
33. Winter's Tale, The
34. Henry VIII - alt title: All is True
35. Two Noble Kinsmen, The
36. Coriolanus (read & watched)
37. King John
38. Timon of Athens
39. Love's Labour's Won
40. History of Cardenio, The

* I'm giving myself 1 out for reading The Tempest as I read in less than a year before this challenge in anticipation of the Julie Taymor film version.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hands Up How To

Jamie encouraged us on a recent podcast and online to share something that we learned the hard way, in an effort to others that hard journey. Wouldn't it be nice if someone just told us to place a loaf of bread on top of eggs in a bag on their own and carry by hand? Okay, that was my first thought but I decided to something that might be more helpful for those of use who do a lot of online writing & posting and have to deal with formatting frustrations. You know 'em, formatting frustrations, when all of a sudden your post has oodles of added formatting be it text or odd images or who knows what and you can't get rid of it. Here's how.

You can easily ditch any formatting in one simple way: Use Notepad.

It's a text-based program, you'll likely find it on your computer under 'All Programs, Accessories'

Then...
Copy text
Paste into Notepad.

Voilà! No formatting.

See that accent on Voilà? It's courtesy of pasting into Notepad.

More Notepad de-formatting uses:
  • You can past any accented letter: é, ǽ, ǿ....
  • It's also great if you have a list in Excel but don't want all the formatting & columns? Paste into notepad!
  • Have text within charts? Dump it in Notepad (might require some re-jigging to line things up)
  • And of course any block of text with formatting attached to it, be it links or styles like bold, italics, etc.
But, ... I want my Formatting!
  • Okay, we can make that work too. Notepad ditches formatting when you need it, but it can also keep it. For blog folk, you can copy the straight HTML from the 'Edit HTML' tab view of your post paste it into notepad. It will keep all that handy dandy HTML formatting. Remember when you paste it back to use the 'Edit HTML' post window again for the best results :)
More uses for keeping the HTML:
  • Do you have templates you use for re-occuring posts? Save your template in HTML format in notepad, work on new posts there and then and you have the formatting all ready for your re-occuring posts to post online. You can even work with this template if you find yourself offline. Plus, you'll a back up.
  • Also, having your work in HTML format is great way to share a post it if you are guest posting because it's more universal than sending a link or linked text in an email or post as it works across more platforms. It's also handy to have your bio, contact details, etc if you write guest posts, are a guest or contribute to a collective site.
  • You can also copy your HTML post, put it in Word to spell check and then dump it back to Notepad to remove all the extra formatting Word adds.
What's so awesome about Notepad is that it can both retain or remove things you want to keep or want to ditch, once you know your formatting needs. I use it every single day and it's saved me hours of re-jigging, re-formattting and fixing. It works. I hope it saves you time & formatting frustration :)

Mega-List #123 Complete: Re-watch Moonlight

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It's so funny how the easiest to complete are often finite. This one was to watch 16 episodes of Moonlight, a fantastic although short-lived vampire/human romance involving a PI & a crime journalist. It came out just before the Twi-Hype and stars Alex O'Loughlin (Hawaii Five-0) and Sophia Myles (Outlander) and I loved it. Again. I watched it in 2010 when the CW broadcasted it during the summer, but they missed 3 episodes that never aired (I believe due to the writers strike) which left for a confusing conclusion; I am very happy I watched all the way through as it runs much better in full sequential order. And as a bonus I get to cross this off not only my Mega-List but also my 2011 Owned/Unseen DVD list, which is a happy accident and totally unintentional. Another Mega-List task 100% complete!