Book 11: Smokin’ Seventeen

Smoking 17, by Janet Evanovich.

Once again Stephanie Plum finds herself in the middle of a murder plot. While starting on building the new bonds office, the construction workers uncover a hand. Now bodies are starting to come up everywhere. And what’s worse, they’re “For Stephanie”.

I’m satisfied with this book, it’s got curses, sex, violence, breaking and entering, explosions, stolen cars, acid reflux and food. What more can you want out of a Stephanie Plum novel? Not a whole lot.

Now I am dying to get the next one, and I’ve got to wait a while yet. It’d be out of sequence to order it now, plus I’ve got the hunger games to read.


11 books down, 89 to go!


Book 9: Sizzling Sixteen

Vincent Plum is missing!

Dun dun dun

The bonds office is so far in the red they can’t buy a stack of papers!

Dun dun dun

Vinny is caught on Stark street, pants around his ankles. Now Lucille wants nothing to do with him and even worse, her father Harry the Hammer won’t fork over the money for him.

He’s gotten into some bad deals with “Sunflower” and he is ready to do some damage if Vinnie doesn’t get him One Million three thousand dollars!

It’s up to Stephanie, Lula and Connie to raise the money, rescue Vinnie, and hide him with someone who will put up with him long enough to give him a chance to get his wife Lucille back.

A car doesn’t explode, but two buildings do.

Another satisfying Stephanie Plum novel by Janet Evanovich! Though, I’m still a fan of the earlier ones, I think I’m torn between Ten Big Ones and Eleven on Top as current favorites…But I think Four to Score may top them both…It’s hard to decide which one I like the most.

9 down, 91 to go!

January in retrospect

January was a good month for me! I made 4 different kinds of cupcakes, and I’m already seeing improvement in my baking with them. I went on a photo-shoot, cleaned my room, drew a picture and dyed my hair strawberry blonde.

The month, and the year started with a Masquerade that I with the help of my friends Jackie and Hannah planned, and with the help of a few more people got set up. I was really worried the night before we set up, I mean, really worried. I almost canceled it or dropped it on someone else last minute like a jerk to handle it. My mom wanted me to cancel it. But for a multitude of reasons (I really wanted there to be one, I had agreed to do it so I felt obliged, and I really wanted it to be awesome so I could show whoever was doubting me at this point) I didn’t cancel it.

I won. It was great, everyone had a blast, and the real marker, just about everyone who came helped clean up. It took us less than forty minutes to get everything back where it belonged, and we moved just about everything in the room.

I read eight and a half books this month, not counting the ones I listened to. Which I will eventually put reviews for on, turns out they were both James Patterson books.

So, I’m not really a “go to the movies” person. In my head I am, in my head I go see new movies in theaters all the time, but the reality is I don’t. That’s going to change this year too! I have to go see at least one movie in theaters a month. This month I saw “One for the Money” in theaters.

I’m big into scrapbooking, particularly digital. When I get my nieces completely finished I’ll post the pages up here for you to see. I work with a gal Sheri Caulkins, who’s a creative memories consultant. I went with her this month to a digital scrapbooking retreat. We stayed in a swanky hotel in Novi, I learned a lot and had a great time with the ladies that Sheri sat me next to. She put me next to Betsie and Sarah, who are both a bit older and sometimes have computer trouble and love me a lot because I’m helpful.

A few friends and I crashed a soiree at the college. No, not a “college party”, it was a charity event for Kids Against Hunger. That was a blast. I love formal events. Formal events that involve swing dancing, woot! My friend Ari and I really need to do something together, but carving a chunk of time out of my schedule is becoming increasingly difficult!

I bought two books and a cd! So long and thanks for all the fish, by Douglas Adams. That’s going to help me fill out that set, since now I have that and Restaurant at the end of the universe. And I ordered “Bed of Roses” by Nora Roberts off of Amazon. That’s the second in the Bride Quartet series, which I’m in love with. The CD I ordered was “Even if it kills me” by Motion City Soundtrack. My favorite album by one of my favorite bands. I need to own it.

The drawing I did is a picture of a tiger lily that we had from my grandmother’s funeral. When I took the picture of it, the light was really intense and made the colors really vibrant without any editing. It’s my favorite flower picture I’ve ever taken. I drew it–and consider it noteworthy–because while I’m pretty good at drawing inorganic things (chairs, tables, scissors, cameras, things like that) I’m not very good at organic things. Whether its from a picture or not, it never looks right and the pieces I see never match up with the pieces I draw. This one did, and I’m proud of that!

I also took pictures for a friend’s band “Below Sub-Zero” as they played at the roller rink.

This month however, I have to do something a little more demanding than a drawing. I’m thinking…watercolor. Watercolor what? I don’t know that yet.

Hair and Mascara are amazing things; you can change an outfit by doing your hair differently, and you can cover up any insecurities with mascara.

If you go back through my old blog posts you’ll find my movie review, my book reviews, recipes on the cupcakes, and the top 5 pictures out of the photo-shoot. Click off and enjoy!


Book 4: Eleven On Top

Eleven on Top, a Stephanie Plum novel by Janet Evanovich

What do four missing middle aged men have in common? Well, not a whole lot actually, other than the fact they’re missing.

What do any of them have to do with Stephanie Plum? Even less, she quit being a bounty hunter!

Except theres someone stalking Stephanie again, blowing up her cars–again, Morelli’s garage, and running Morelli down. And Stephanie’s got a sinking suspicion that it has something to do with it.

For once, someone comes to Stephanie’s rescue, but don’t worry, he has to handcuff her to keep her out of the way and even that doesn’t work!

Once again the next Stephanie Plum book supersedes the last one. I’m seriously nervous about how I’m going to handle it when these are done. Luckily I’ll have lots of homework, lots of writing, and other stuff to keep me busy long enough to pick the next book that I’m going to read.


4 down, 96 to go!

Virginia Woolf, in 2 short pages

For my humanities class we have to write 5, 2 page papers. This was my fourth. I wrote, an entire 2 pages on Virginia Woolfs life. This is sad. Horribly sad. I missed so many things but because of the page amount, I had to. So, if you want a teaser on her life, and her influence, this is the blog post for you! 

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)

Virginia Woolf was born Virginia Stephen on January 25th 1882 in London. Her mother was Julia Jackson Duckworth, who’s family owned the Duckworth Publishing Company. Her father was Sir Leslie Stephen, a literary critic, whom she was very close with, unlike her mother. Virginia was educated at home at Hyde Park Gate. Her early life was by any standard fairly traumatic. She was sexually abused by Gerald Duckworth, her half brother at the age of six. Her mother died of the flu in Virginias early teen years, when her half sister Stella Duckworth stepped up to fill Julia’s place she died two years later. Her father suffered and slowly died of stomach cancer in 1904, and when her brother Thoby passed two years later, Virginia had a prolonged mental breakdown.

It was after her father died that Virginia moved in with her sister and two brothers, Adrian and Thoby Stephan. They lived in Bloomsbury. Her sister, Vanessa, was a painter, who married an art and literature critic, and was very close with Virginia. She inspired several of Virginia’s characters in her writings and they often would spend hours together in their childhood painting and writing together. Virginia inherited 2,500 pounds from an aunt, which improved her financial situation, freeing her up to write.

Thoby introduced his sisters to some of his friends whom he had met at the University of Cambridge. Which was the birth of the Bloomsbury Group.“’The Bloomsbury Group never became a formal group, never published a manifesto or a programme of any sort,’ Monika Rydiger explains. ‘It was rather a circle of friends linked by a network of complex personal relationships,

Spence 2
and it is these relationships that are the focus of much of the available literature on the group’” (British Bohemia). It was after this, on a trip to Greece that he became ill and died not long after returning home.

Virginia Woolf was a major player in the Bloomsbury Group. The Bloomsbury Group was a post victorian, very modern club. They were conscientious objectors to war, and their artistic and literary influence was quite substantial. “Despite the numerous critics that were aimed at it, the Bloomsbury Group has had a wide-ranging influence, both in art and in society, even though that influence remains highly controversial. The Bloomsberries did play a significant part in the advent of a new modern world” (Bloomsbury Group – Introduction). Part of why the Bloomsbury Group was so criticized was because it was nearly impossible to join. Quite a few of the members were in Virginia’s intimate circle. Herself, her husband, Vita Sackenville-West (who was a close friend and lover to Virginia), Clive Bell who was her brother in law, Vanessa Bell her sister, and Adrian Stephen, her brother. They brought together by mutual loves of art and literature and shared philosophy.

Virginia Stephen married Leonard Woolf in 1912. He was a political theorist, and in 1917 he set up a small hand press and was the director until he died. Because Virginia was well off she was able to marry him for love rather than money. “Indeed, Leonard Woolf was not well-off by any measure, but he was an excellent writer with a razor-sharp intellect, qualities which Virginia would certainly have admired” (The Bloomsbury Group). Virginia’s first novel was The Voyage Out in 1915, which was printed in the Hogarth Press, their printing press, which many of the members of the Bloomsbury Group were fortunate enough to use. The extent of this club’s influence and of Virginia Woolf’s life itself, is much beyond the reach of a two page essay, and could possibly not be adequately explained in several books, not even in Virginia’s own writings.

Works Cited

“The Bloomsbury Group – Literature Periods & Movements.” The Literature Network: Online Classic Literature, Poems, and Quotes. Essays & Summaries. Web. 05 Dec. 2011.

“British Bohemia: The Bloomsbury Group of Virginia Woolf | Krakow Post.” Krakow Post – Poland News, Events, Lifestyle and Travel Information. Web. 05 Dec. 2011.

“Virginia Woolf.” Web. 05 Dec. 2011.

“The Bloomsbery Group – Introduction.” Periwork – English Online Learning Resources & News Database Portal. Web. 05 Dec. 2011. 

Iago of Othello

An analytical view of Iago: Shakespeare’s most notorious villain

Of all the villains in all the works of Shakespeare, Iago, from his tragedy Othello, is definitely the most villainous of all the villains. While Desdemona embodies true goodness through her beauty and honesty and Othello embodies the baseness of our nature that can override our intellect and lead to chaos, Iago tends to be portrayed as the embodiment of evil. Yet this is not entirely the case. Iago is a villain, who is also a human. Through his behavior he explains to the audience his motives, despite the fact that they are not powerful enough on their own. His motives layer on top of one another, making him a very realistic villain. Iago is driven by his jealousy and a quest for revenge from the people who’ve wronged him, rather than just pure evil enjoyment.

Iago is jealous of Desdemona and Othello’s connection with each other. Iago is incapable of having an intimate connection with Emelia, but since he is a solider and spends most of his time with other men finds a connection with them. In this regard Iago is jealous of both Desdemona as well as Othello. Desdemona for her connection with Othello–which he spends a good portion of the play destroying as well as building up Othello’s own confidence with him. Iago is jealous of Othello for his ability to confide in Desdemona, who, unlike his own wife who admits to having numerous affairs, is the embodiment of all that is good and honest in the world.

Cassio, another one of whom Iago attempts to destroy even admits that Cassio must die, which implies that he never wanted to actually kill anyone, just ruin their lives a little. “Though in the trade of war I have slain men,/Yet do I hold it very stuff o’ the conscience/To do no contrived murder: I lack iniquity/Sometimes to do me service” (Iago, Act 1 Scene ii). Iago’s dislike of Cassio comes from both being passed over for position of Lieutenant for Othello, and the trust that Othello placed in Cassio when he carried messages between himself and Desdemona. Iago’s methods from the very beginning when Iago tricks the drunken Cassio to get into a bloody fight, slowly chip away and destroy Othello’s faith in Cassio. It’s not until after Othello decides very firmly that Cassio and Desdemona need to die that things start to get out of control that Iago first realizes that there will probably be real death.

Another source of Iago’s jealousy of Othello and Desdemona comes from Desdemona’s fidelity and honest love for Othello. Iago’s own wife, Emilia, admits to Desdemona that she has cheated on Iago on more than one occasion. This also adds to Iago’s hatred of Othello, who he thinks has been one of the ones to have an affair with Emilia “And it is thought abroad, that ‘twixt my sheets/He has done my office: I know not if’t be true;/But I, for mere suspicion in that kind,/Will do as if for surety” (1.3.12). Iago’s revenge on Othello takes the form of jealousy, which is especially sweet for Iago, as it gives Othello a taste of what he has inflicted–unknowingly and quite possibly as a mirror to Othello’s own situation with Desdemona, Iago has been fooled by rumors sought out revenge without any proof. Iago’s revenge is made all the sweeter by this little mirror between Iago’s life and what comes to Othello’s.

Why is it that Iago is the villain of this tragedy and not the hero? He has motivations like Othello’s, who is the hero. His motivations in fact mirror Othello’s and as Othello is the representation of the emotion over reason–which in turn destroys all–Iago is perpetually portrayed as evil incarnate. It is claimed that none of Iago’s motives seems to be enough of a motive to drive him to ruin Othello, Cassio and Desdemona’s lives. Yet, when all his jealousies are compounded and his quest for revenge is added in, it makes it very easy to believe that he would behave in such a way. Iago is undoubtedly the villain of this tragedy, yet he is not, as some would claim, just an evil character.

Works Cited

Shakespeare, William. Othello. Naperville, IL: Source MediaFusion, 2005. Print.
Shmoop Editorial Team. “Othello” Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Dec. 2008. Web. 31 Oct. 2011.  ***

***Although no ideas or quotations taken directly from this source intentionally it did play a part in the essay as a whole and deserved to be recognized.

What Big Eyes You Have

I like photography, its probably one of my favorite things, I love taking pictures of people. Candid and posed. I’m more a fan of the posed than the candid shots. Photography is an art, just because it’s mostly commercial a lot of time doesn’t make it any less art than being a journalist makes you less of a writer.

My posed shots combine both more traditional portraits, to non traditional portraits, to what I’m moving onto now. I’m going to take fairy tales–all the ones I can find that are worth it–and I’m starting with “Little Red Riding Hood”. Which means I’m researching it. If you’re easily offended by somewhat sexual images, I suggest that you refrain from googling “Little Red Riding Hood” and clicking images. According to the French version of the story (which is undoubtedly the weirdest one) the wolf has the little girl remove all her clothes, put them on the fire and then lay in bed with him.

By the by, this is also after the wolf has killed her grandmother and tricked the girl into eating her flesh and drinking her blood like wine.

I used this website
to read all the versions of the story.

I think when people research these they get a little too hung up on the aspect of the girls sexuality. Especially since it’s only mentioned in the french version as far as I could find. The French version does have something in common with some of the other versions though, which is the mode of Little Red’s escape.

In the Grimms’ version–which is undoubtedly the more popular–the grandmother and little red are eaten and rescued by a woodcutter. That’s the more popular idea, but, in comparison to the little girl tricking the wolf, I like it a lot less. In the version where the wood cutter comes in and kills the animal that’s a show of how brute force can win against an adversary. In my opinion, that’s something I think everyone already knows, it doesn’t need to be illustrated for us. Little Red using cleverness to outsmart  the beast gives those of us who aren’t capable of defeating whatever adversary we find ourselves facing a sort of new approach to dealing with our problems.

As far as my problem, as of what to try to embody in my photo-shoot about the little girl who escapes the wolf, I think I’m going to opt with a combination of showing her naivety and at the same time her cleverness. Sometimes Photography is like writing a story, you have to know what the content of your story/photo is before you can show it.