Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Reading Assignment Thirty Four

Diana: The Icon

I think that it has been established that Diana Spencer is an icon for the ages. She has been immortalized in the media- in this book- and it seems only appropriate to bring this up. Because she was really something. And one of the things she is most known for was her fashion. Diana could dress up and look really pretty. She wore suits and slacks. She was the epitome of good style. She always had a good haircut. She had the most (ridiculous) luxurious wedding gown I've ever seen. It was a meringue gown that had a huge train. She dripped in diamonds. It was the wedding of the century. After that, she continued to be a fashion icon. I remember seeing a photograph of her once evening. It is a very famous photo. She is dancing with John Travolta. She looks so happy and carefree. Her dress is all black and swings out at the bottom. It is the type of photo that you stare at. I have seen so many pictures of her, but that one sticks out in my mind. There is one like it on the inside cover of this book. And the author mentions my photo in the book. It is said to have taken another star off the cover of magazines.
Did Diana live in a bubble? I would say yes. Did we put her in a bubble? That is the more controversial question. Just like the fallout from the Tiger Woods scandal, Diana also had some fallout. Both were put in a bubble by the media, and both of the bubbles burst. We only have ourselves to blame for the disappointment.

Reading Assignment Thirty Three

Whatever "in love means"

Oh boy. I'm still reading The Diana Chronicles. I am at the part where the author, Tina Brown, discusses the courtship between Diana and Charles. It makes me so sad. Here is this fairytale story that is wrought with sadness. I cannot fathom the pain that the relationship caused. Diana and Charles had this frail courtship; she never knew if he actually liked her, and he never knew whether he was ready for her. They had polar opposite views of the world, and sometimes being opposites can bring people together. It did not bring Diana and Charles together. It tore them apart.
The author makes Charles sound like this awful, indecisive old maid who just chose Diana because it sounded good and got him out of hot water. And Diana sounds like he jerked her around the whole time. Look, I know that they had issues, and that it takes two and blah blah blah. The author needs to cut the funny business. I am not reading to hear about how she thinks this and that. I just wish that she would not write the way she does. Boo.
The quote at the top is something that Charles said in an interview. It was meant to be self-depricating, but the media spun it to sound cruel after Charles and Diana divorced. I hate the media for that. Can they not just leave people alone? Really?

More on these subjects later....

Monday, January 25, 2010

Reading Assignment Thirty Two

Okay. This author is insane. Completely nutso. I love a good, fluffy book as much as the next gal, but this is just too much! Tina Brown is completely shocking. Maybe it's the fact that she sees Diana in a different light than I do. When I think of Diana, I always think of a beautiful woman who was lost before her time. She did great things, and tried to be a role model for not only the world, but for her two young sons. That might make me a bit sentimental, but I was young when she died. I think of her as a princess; kind, regal, elegant, and tranquil. Tina Brown paints her in a different light. She portrays Diana as a tortured woman who was only a conquest of Dodi Al Fayed. I cannot help but feel annoyed by this. The author makes me feel so torn: I love all the information she puts in, but I feel like I am getting it second hand, with her opinion added in. I do not like that. I want to read about Diana's life, not the author's opinion. I am staying with the book, but I dislike the author. It kind of reminds me of when I read As I Lay Dying. I hated all but one character in the book, and I did not really care for the way in which it was written, but I love the book. As conniving as each character is, each one fascinates me. I feel that way about the author. I do not like her, and do not like her writing all that much, but the information she provides is fascinating. I cannot wait to find out all these new things I never knew about Diana. I guess I'll just have to put the opinions she adds in aside and focus on the information. We shall see how it goes.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Reading Assignment Thirty One

I took a break from The Old Man and The Sea because it is not nonficition and I need to read a nonfiction book. Well, I've found it: The Diana Chronicles. It is a nonfiction account of the life of Diana Spencer, and truthfully, I am really excited to read it. I wanted to read the book when it came out initially, but never got around to it. Well, this past weekend, I stayed with my grandmother, and it caught my eye on her bookshelf. She's let me borrow it, and I'm only a little ways in, but it is good. I have always loved Diana, and her tale seemed like something out of a movie. Her story fascinates me and the rest of the world.
The story is told so far in a very biased voice. The author is not shy about persuading the reader to think a certain way, and while I appreciate her selective and controlled language, it also made me dislike the author a little. When I read a book, I want to information presented, not the opinions; I don't need the author to think for me. Alas, she does, and I am stuck with it. Besides that, I am enjoying the material. There is a lot of detail in the writing, and not much fluff. The author puts her opnion in through the use of adjectives.
On a side note, I think it's important to address the exterior as well as the interior of a book. The jacket cover of this book is white with simple font and colors. Not so interesting. What I thought was interesting was the interior, behind the jacket. The inside has a collage of pictures, each with Diana. She is shown dancing, smiling, laughing, frowning, kissing, and even turning away from her husband. Beyond putting something interesting in for the reader, it shows many different sides of Diana, which acts as a little glimpse before the book begins.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Reading Assignment Thirty

The Circus: Part Three

This little boy is swept into the dream, and a multitude of acts occur. There's a trapeze. Contortionists come on. Several men walk the tight rope. It is daring at most points, but my favorite was the unicycle act. I cannot ride a unicycle, nor will I ever attempt to. But a man came out on a unicycle, and he was goood. Like, reallly really good. So he's dressed in teal, as is a woman walking around near him. He rides the unicycle around the ring, and holds out his arm. The woman, with long strawberry blond hair, grabs hold of his arm and lifts. He does not stop, and she does not fall. The woman climbs onto the man, and he is still riding the unicycle. He's not just going back and forth, he's propelling himself in intricate circles, at a steep angle to the ground. As the man and the woman ride togther, they start doing tricks. It is not a fast act, not something for the impatient. But the man and the woman keep going for a ten minute act. He does not stop the unicycle ONCE. He keeps going, lifting her and letting her down. She never falls or even stumbles. They ride around the ring, twirling and spinning. It was mezmerising. There was soft, delicate music playing the whole time. It was so... romantic. I loved watching them because each depended on the other. Like symbiosis. And when the act closed, I was sad. I felt like I'd seen something I'd never witness again, and in those last moments, I held onto everything I'd seen.

That's my circus experience. There's more to it, so maybe I'll share that some other time.

Reading Assignment Twenty Nine

The Circus: Part Two

So, I'm sitting in my chair, and the room goes dark. No one is talking, no one is moving. A single beam of light filters down onto a boy. He's little, and he's got a kite. His kite is flying in the sky. And then it falls. So the little guy picks up his kite and starts running with it behind him. The kite catches wind and is lifted once more into the air. The little boy holds it up, only to see it fall. He runs again. It flies. It falls. Out from behind him, a man emerges. The man looks like a candy cane. He's wearing a suit that is striped in blue, white, and orange. His hat looks like the top of a Dairy Queen cone, with all three colors swirling towards the top. The suited man brandishes a wand. The little boy still can't see him, and the man waves the wand. Flashes of light. The kite soars into the sky and away. The magical man scares the boy and takes him on the adventure of a lifetime. All the while that this is going on, I'm sitting in my chair in wonder. Just that little boy and his kite, and I am completely entranced. A band comes out from behind another curtain, and clowns (!) come out. The little boy looks around, can't find is kite, and is swept away into a magical dream world with the suited man...

To be continued once more...


Reading Assignment Twenty Eight

Because I am reading Water for Elephants, a story about the circus, I thought it would be appropriate to share my experience from the circus. And I also really just wanted to. 

My first circus was Cirque de Soleil. I went with my stepmother and stepsister. Every year we go to see the Nutcracker around Christmastime, but that year she really wanted us to see Cirque. So we did. We went to the big blue and yellow tents and handed the people our tickets. We walked through one tent to another, the big one. We sat in our seats. We were on the right side of the "stage." My sister wanted popcorn. So we went and got her some. It was warm and buttery. I ate too much of it. The man in the center of the ring had a remote. He was dressed in a wacky suit. Some contraption was above him, like a car or something. It kept beeping, and he kept having to click the remote at it to make it stop. His frustrastion was apparent. People were milling around, buying food and searching for programs. Ushers were helping people to their seats.  I sat nervously waiting. The lights began to dim, blinking for audience members to get in their seats. They obliged. Finally, the lights flickered off until we were all sitting in darkness. No light could penetrate the curtains. No one spoke. It was completely silent. And then there was light...

To be continued...