Saturday, April 30, 2016

Impressions of Henry IV Part I (Reading Shakespeare)

In an experiment to test how well I'm understanding the Shakespeare plays from simply reading them, I've decided to vlog my impressions of happened in the play after reading them. So in this vlog I share what I think happened in Henry IV Part I. I've yet to watch an adaptation or read a summary or reviews, so I have no idea how accurate this account is. Please take this as a learners experience over any kind of factual or correct account.

I realize that I tend to focus heavily on the plot and try to get some sense of the character motivations (clear or unclear), but completely ignore themes. That wasn't intentional, but when I'm so focused on understanding what is happening, the why or how or grander picture doesn't always come into focus. Hopefully as I continue to read the plays I will be able to pick up on themes, but for now I think I'll leave it to seeing what I see when I watch an adaptation.

Speaking of, I think I'll go re-watch The Hollow Crown version of Richard II before watching Henry IV Part I as one play does lead into the other, and it's been a while since I watched Richard II. The two films have different actors, but there are some characters that carry over and I think seeing Richard II will shed some light the tension between Hotspur and King Henry. Here's hoping!

This all feels like a continual learning process and I'm trying not going to freak out that I don't get it all on the first pass, especially on the first read. One of the exciting things about Shakespeare is that I feel like with the stories that you enjoy, you can come back to them again and again which means you don't have to get it all the first time. This works with my personality as I enjoy re-watching, re-examining and re-interpreting.

I'd love to hear your impressions of Henry IV Part I. Do you love the play? Have you seen it live or a film version? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

See the home base for My Shakespeare Project here.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Friday Reads for Friday April 29, 2016

Friday Reads is a ongoing YouTube community where people share what they will be reading in the week ahead.

When it's the last Friday of the month like today, I often look to the books I am trying to get finished by the end of the month. This time it's a bit different as I feel a change of heart on squishing my reads into monthly bits. I also chat a bit about my library habits for eBooks in terms of borrowing and reading. The books I mention are:
  • Come, Thou Tortoise by Jessica Grant
  • Le Morte D'Arthur by Sir Thomas Mallory
  • Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs (Mercy Thompson #9

What are you reading this week?

Love books? Let's be friends on GoodReads!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Top 5 Wednesday: Favourite Mother/Maternal Figures (in Books)

I found it to be another challenging topic this week for Top 5 Wednesdays: Favourite Mother/Maternal Figures. Looking back on the books I've read in the past several years (i.e. those I've tracked via spreadsheet and GoodReads), I didn't find any maternal/mother characters jump off the screen so this is another week where I often have to get creative. This is a challenge I could much more easily do for films than books. Or even book to film adaptations!

The vast majority of the books I read, the protagonists don't have a strong relationship with their mothers. I wonder why that is. Thinking about this more, I also realized that I don't read any books from the perspective of mothers or maternal figures. They must be out there. I imagine it's a whole genre to itself, and also must have a strong presence of maternal figures in family sagas. Maybe it's time to branch out to some new books.

How about you? Who are your favourite mother/maternal characters in books? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Love books? See more reading goodness on my YouTube Channel or friend me on GoodReads!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Happy Alien Day!

Wondering what makes today Alien day? The planet the crew of the Nostromo set down on was LV 426, and today is April 26, or 4-26. Bring on the aliens. Movies, that is. Real aliens can stay away!!!

I'm happy to have my Aliens Quadrilogy again. It was one of the very few (make that 2), things I realized I shouldn't have been in storage. Since I've had it back again, I have already watched Alien a few times so today I might watch Aliens. I think both Alien and Aliens are equally brilliant, but I enjoy Aliens more because I have awesome good memories of watching it with my family when I was a kid. I even remember drawing a version of the shake'n'bake colony structure for a contest at school where we were supposed to envision the future. I totally thought I had nailed it, but the person that won drew the Earth with people clasping hands circling the globe. I guess they didn't appreciate my depiction of grenade launchers and people living on sublevels on other planets. I wonder if the person who drew the happy hands picture will be watching Aliens today. I really hope so! With my luck they will probably we watching Alien Resurrection...

Any way you celebrate it, I hope you enjoy Alien Day!

Monday, April 25, 2016

TV This Week: April 25 - May 1, 2016 ~ New and Returning Shows

Eva Green, Josh Hartnett and Billie Piper of Penny Dreadful

This week it's a lot quieter for new and returning shows, with only one new and one returning show. That said, the one returning show is Penny Dreadful and for me it certainly garners "the one" status. I've loved the gorgeous gothic series from Season 1 and given that Season 2 left on quite an open note I'm very curious to where they will go from here.

Although it's not new or returning, I wanted to mention Reign this week as is returning from it's hiatus and is also changing nights. It's one where the Canadian and US airings are slightly different, so it can be a bit challenging to find on the TV schedule. Season 3 of Reign resumes Monday April 25, 2015 at 8pm EST on The CW and 9pm EST on E!. It also airs Tuesday at 9pm EST on CTV2. I've not been able to keep up with Reign this season, and I was worried about it given the long hiatus but that worry has been for naught as it's been renewed for Season 4. More political strategizing, pretty dresses and romance for Reign fans!

On top of new shows this week, we also have season finales of both Lucifer and Scorpion on Monday night. I'm sad to see Season 1 of Lucifer is already coming to a close, it is so funny and playful with great chemistry between the cast. I've looked forward to it every week. Both Lucifer and Scorpion have been renewed, so we'll be seeing more of them in the future.

Wednesday April 27, 2016

My Floating Home on HGTV (Series Premiere)

This is a new one to me, and it follows families who go from idea to actuality of living on a home on the water. I can't even quite imagine that, what a journey it would be! I wonder what the draw of living on the water is, and what the practicalities of making it happen could be. If you are curious too, check out the show! HGTV will air 2 x half-hour episodes a week, Wednesdays at 10pm and 10:30pm ET.

Sunday May 1, 2016

Penny Dreadful on TMN (Season 3 Premiere)

I am so excited for Penny Dreadful Season 3. When it first came out I was so impressed by how it dripped with dark and beautiful imagery, had compelling stories and a fascinating approach on telling the tales of the supernatural. It continued to deliver season after season, pulling us in to the lives of amazing and tormented characters. I can't wait to see what they've cooked up for the characters in Season 3. It's sure to be dark and beautiful, and that's good enough for me!

If you love TV, you can also check out my Where to Watch TV Online in Canada Listing and hear me chat about TV Musings over at my YouTube Channel.

That's the shows for the week. What are you planning on checking out?

Sunday, April 24, 2016

stART: Episode 61

Check out the most recent episode of stART: Creating As We Go where my sisters Jamie, Suzie & I chat about our creative projects. There are lots of giggles!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Shakespeare Project

Hello to all the Shakespeare lovers out there!

I want to share my journey through Shakespeare. The project I am taking on is to read all the plays, and then watch an adaptation of each play. You know I love adaptations! This is a project I tried years ago, but only made it a few plays in before fizzling out. I started this second attempt last year, and again got a few plays in and then it got a bit distracted, but with the huge anniversary this weekend of it being the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare death I've become inspired to re-dedicate myself to the project.

This current trek through Shakespeare has already been so insightful, that I really wanted to share it here. The stories and characters of the plays are so intriguing, and there are so many ways to enjoy the works. I think it is formidable here we are, 400 years later, still finding ways to engage, honour and express the works. I am so excited to dive back into the project.

My loose plan is to read one play a month, and do my best to find an adaptation to watch. I am not going to firmly commit to a reading order, but I think I will bounce between the comedies, tragedies and histories to vary the rhythm and weight of the works.

I will keep a running total of the works read and watched, and as it stands of publishing this post I've read and watched adaptations of The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Titus Andronicus and Richard II. I have also read both Macbeth, and Romeo and Juliet but still have to watch adaptations. The next play I'll be reading is Henry IV Part I, and then watch The Hollow Crown adaptations.

Read: 6/38
Watched: 4/38

The Comedies

All's Well That Ends Well
As You Like It
Comedy of Errors, The
Love's Labour's Lost
Measure for Measure
Merchant of Venice, The
Merry Wives of Windsor, The
Midsummer Night's Dream, A
Much Ado About Nothing
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
Taming of the Shrew, The
Tempest, The
Twelfth Night
Two Gentlemen of Verona, The (read and watched)
Two Noble Kinsmen, The
Winter's Tale, The

The Tragedies

Antony and Cleopatra
Julius Caesar
King Lear
Macbeth (read)
Romeo and Juliet (read)
Timon of Athens
Titus Andronicus (read and watched)
Troilus and Cressida

The Histories

~~1st Tetrology~~
Henry VI, Part 1
Henry VI, Part 2
Henry VI, Part 3
Richard III
~~2nd Tetrology~~
Richard II (read and watched)
Henry IV, Part 1 (read and watched)
Henry IV, Part 2
Henry V
Henry VIII - alt title: All is True
King John

I hope to share my thoughts on the experience here and on my YouTube channel, and will also track my progress over at GoodReads.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on Shakespeare, what plays you enjoy the most and any adaptations you'd recommend. Feel free to create your own Shakespeare challenge!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Friday Reads for Friday April 22, 2016

Friday Reads is a ongoing YouTube community where people share what they will be reading in the week ahead.

I've been on quite a reading streak this month, but I think I am going to hunker down and stick to these 3 books not only for the weekend, but the rest of the month. The books I mention are:
  • Come, Thou Tortoise by Jessica Grant
  • The BFG by Roald Dahl
  • Henry IV Part I by William Shakespeare

What are you reading this week?

Love books? Let's be friends on GoodReads!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Containment ~ TV Pilot Review

Over on YouTube I enjoy sharing thoughts on new TV series by doing series premiere reviews, and most recently I watched and enjoyed Containment, which airs on The CW and Global. The show is about a deadly outbreak which leads to quarantine area in Atlanta.

I thought the show did a good job of introducing tons of characters that will be affected by a a complex and stressful situation. The first episode was pretty drama centred, but I have a feeling this one will ramp up into thrilled mode very quickly. Overall, I enjoyed the first episode and look forward to seeing where it goes!

Global TV will air the pilot of Containment on Monday April 25, 2016, and the pilot is also available to watch online on the Global website.

Have you checked out Containment? I'd love to hear your thoughts on the show!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Top 5 Wednesdays: Books I'm Intimidated By

I recently started to participate in Top 5 Wednesdays, which discusses books via top 5 list every Wednesday. It's only my second week playing along, but so far the topics have been really challenge and this week certainly was: Books You're Intimidated By. Thinking of books as something to be intimidated by isn't quite how my mind works, and as I recently finishing War and Peace I am riding a bit of a book high feeling like I can conquer any book! So, I had to get a bit creative on this one and stretch my thinking as to what could intimidate me. It was an interesting, and a bit of a freeing, exercise!

How about you? What books are you intimidated by? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Love books? See more reading goodness on my YouTube Channel or friend me on GoodReads!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

TV This Week: April 18 to 24, 2016 ~ New and Returning TV Shows

The Cast of Containment

One of the things I love keeping a eye out for is new and returning TV shows. There is a lot of TV out there to enjoy, but long gone are the days when we only have new shows starting in September or the Summer. Nowadays, pretty much ever week there is something new to check out, or a favourite returning for a new season. I have pretty eclectic tastes and watch shows from almost every station out there, which means I tend to keep track of pretty much anything that's available here in Canada. Knowing that not everyone keeps a detailed spreadsheet of releases, I thought it would be fun to share the information here so that you too would be able to see what's new this week. Let's dive right in! Here are the new shows and returning shows this week, April 18 to 24, 2016, for your perusing pleasure.

Monday April 18, 2016

12 Monkeys on Showcase (Season 2 Premiere)
This science fiction series is based on the film of the same name, deals with time travel, and it's shot in Toronto! All good things. I really wish I had kept on top of this series, especially now that it is headed into it's second season! Definitely one I want to catch up on. The first season is on shomi if you too, need to catch up on the action.

Tuesday April 19, 2016

The Night Manager on AMC (Miniseries)
Based on the John le Carré novel, this espionage miniseries stars Tom Hiddleston, Olivia Colman, Hugh Laurie, David Harewood, Neil Morrissey, and Tobias Menzies. I always keep my ear to the ground for adaptations, but I was sold at Olivia Colman. She's amazing. This one is a 6-parter, and I don't actually get AMC at the moment so I'm really hoping they air it online, or have it available on Google Play. It looks fantastic!

Containment on The CW and also will air on Global (Series Premiere)
I'm always a sucker for outbreak/disaster shows, so I'm totally game for Containment which follows a quarantine after a mysterious epidemic breaks out. I remember hearing about this one back when the fall/winter shows were released, but barely saw anything after that which leads to the happy surprize that it will be airing on Global (it's home station is The CW). I am and also super excited to see that Claudia Black (Farscape, Pitch Black) is among the cast. I'll always check out anything she is in.

Thursday April 21, 2016

Alone on (Season 2 Premiere)
This survivalist reality show has one of my favourite new shows of 2015. The idea of being complete reliant on only your own abilities for survival against the wilderness, for an indeterminate amount of time, is something that a city girl like me has a hard time fathoming. I found it both harrowing and inspiring. It will be interesting to see how a second season will play out, especially if the new folks have seen the first season as a frame of reference. One thing I'm super excited about is that both men and women are competing this time around. I can't wait to watch this new season of Alone.

Sunday April 24, 2016

Game of Thrones on HBO Canada (Season 6 Premiere)
Who doesn't love Game of Thrones? This is true appointment television, so much so that I often avoid Facebook on Mondays and go as far to tape together the Entertainment Weekly articles to read after I watch the season. The show has been unbelievable strong through the seasons, and it's completely immersive world has truly changed the world of television. It is a treasure to watch. The snow has finally melted here, but I still find myself saying "Winter is Coming" whenever I think of the show.

Home to Win on HGTV Canada (Series Premiere)
This show features 20 HGTV folks (including Bryan Baeumler, Scott McGillivray, Sarah Richardson and Mike Holmes) who renovate a house that will be won by a Canadian. That sounds pretty cool to me. I wonder where in Canada the house is? Not to long before we find out!

If you love TV, you can also check out my Where to Watch TV Online in Canada Listing and hear me chat about TV Musings over at my YouTube Channel.

That's the shows for the week. What are you planning on checking out?