cricketmuse

a writer's journey as a reader

Archive for the tag “humor”

Movie Musings: Bill


The mystery of William Shakespeare’s “lost years” are revealed in the 2015 film Bill.

Be forewarned though, this is merely a presented supposition. A hilarious one at that. Why couldn’t William of Stratford be an aspiring lute player hoping to make it big on London stages? Seems to fit right in there with the other theories of him being a teacher, lawyer, sailor, butcher, baker, candlestick maker. Well, maybe not actually a candlestick maker, more of a candlestick consumer (burning those late night candles writing, writing, writing).

But in Bill, William is not penning plays, he’s tuning up songs. And many of his plays do feature songs, so perhaps he was a frustrated musician. The lute being the forerunner to the guitar suits him as it can be soulful, playful, and even rock n roll in approach. I think he would prefer the Beatles over the Rolling Stones. However, in the movie, Bill is terrible at playing the lute. Horrible, in fact. Good thing he’s got this play he’s been working on, especially since Good Queen Bess is demanding a new one for her courtside entertainment.

This is where the story get going. Bill does have a play. Well, most of one. Other people want it as well for their own nefarious purposes. Intrigue, slapstick, punnery and foolery ensue. Think Monty Python meets Studio C on the skewed History Channel.

Family entertainment at its best and a must for Bardinators. A bonus is the various Star Wars lines that are woven into the dialogue.

[Nicely done, Cricket–you managed to squeeze in your Monthly Movie Musings and your Shakespeare-for-the-23rd post]

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Rocking Out on Being Stoned


Nope. This is no expose on Mick Jagger. We’re looking into semantics today.
Did you know when you are picking up souvenir rocks at the beach you are actually picking up stones? Truly.

Rocks from morguefile
We may only think that “rock” and “stone” are interchangeable. They technically aren’t, yet like most of our language, we throw actuality out the window and go for ease of saying.

Stones by morguefile
Here are the distinguishing facts:

Rock: Usually large, immovable natural material made up of one or more minerals that is hard or soft in composition.

Stone: Most often a harder, smaller, moveable mineral matter. 
More clarifications:

A rock is comparatively larger.

A stone is comparatively small.

A rock is not usually moved, being it is part of the earth as in The Rock of Gibraltar. 

A stone can be picked up as in gemstones.

A rock can be hard or soft in material composition.

A stone is hard.

Now–how does that transfer into everyday expressions?

We say, “He’s solid. He’s a rock of strength. He’s immovable, and can’t be swayed.” And right about here is where the Rock of Gibraltar is bandied about.

Looking over the checklist of facts, it looks pretty good, metaphorically speaking.

Let’s move on…

“She’s got a heart of stone.” This is not a compliment. To be solid as a rock is considered a positive attribute; however, your heart should not be hard and it should be movable. Wait, stones are movable. Wouldn’t that mean that person could change her outlook?

Or doesn’t it follow that a rock solid person would have a heart of stone because the heart is a part of the body and is smaller and can be moved more easily?

Bookmark that thought. 

Think about:

A. We collect rocks along the shoreline to perhaps add them to our rock garden.

B. A diamond is a precious gemstone and set in a ring it’s touted as “quite a rock.” [right for gemstone, wrong for rock]

C. Loud electronic music  is considered “rock” and some will enhance the listening experience by being “stoned.” [not sure]

Now that you know the difference, be sure you don’t get caught between a rock and a hard place in your terms.
 

The Peace and Quiet Found in Chicken Soup


Yes, I do hope you look inside.  Especially if you are a mom, know a mom, have a mom, know someone who will someday become a mom–that covers just about all of it, doesn’t it?
Moms.  Busy people. The “M” in “Mom” stands for “multi-tasking.” Let’s see: answer homework questions while checking the meatloaf in the oven after asking the table to be set amid soothing a sibling squabble–this all takes place in the span of heartbeat for many moms.  Yup, been there, done that.
This is why I submitted an essay to the Chicken Soup folk when they announced they were putting together a new book about moms and multi-tasking.  Like most submissions, I forgot about it as the months rolled by.  So–it was quite a pleasant surprise to receive the news my essay “A Little Piece of Quiet” (#10 in the TOC) had been accepted and would be included in the forthcoming book.
This is not my first publishing credit–and yet this one is extra-special since most people recognize the Chicken Soup series. What I especially like is being able to walk into a Barnes and Noble and find the book on the shelf. Even though my story is one of many, I still get that “YAY!” moment seeing my book keeping company with other ready-to-purchase selections.
This is a great mom present and Mother’s Day will be here before you know it.  On the other hand, this is a great gift for showing appreciation to any mom anytime of the year.
Although my kiddos are all grown up and out of the house now, I do remember those days when my longing for peace and quiet was turned around when I realized the blessing of having a little piece of quiet.
Hope you pick up the book for the certain mom-person in your life, and I hope you find your way to reading my contribution.
Blue Skies,
Cricket Muse

Does Our Spelling Miss the Mark?


I am discovering something shocking about myself. A habit that I never thought I would succumb to. And one I am not sure I am steeled enough in resolve to remedy this habit.  Oh, my, how did it happen.  Yes, I will admit it: technology. I’ve grown sloppy in my dependence of that little red underscore telling me I’ve slipped in my spelling. I used to be an excellent speller–pride goeth and trippeth me up. But I got quite cheered up when I came across this ditty by Samuel.

A plan for the improvement of spelling in the English language

By Mark Twain


For example, in Year 1 that useless letter “c” would be dropped to be replased either by “k” or “s”, and likewise “x” would no longer be part of the alphabet. The only kase in which “c” would be retained would be the “ch” formation, which will be dealt with later. Year 2 might reform “w” spelling, so that “which” and “one” would take the same konsonant, wile Year 3 might well abolish “y” replasing it with “i” and iear 4 might fiks the “g/j” anomali wonse and for all.
Generally, then, the improvement would kontinue iear bai iear with iear 5 doing awai with useless double              konsonants, and iears 6-12 or so modifaiing vowlz and the rimeiniing voist and unvoist konsonants. Bai iear 15 or sou, it wud fainali bi posibl tu meik ius ov thi ridandant letez “c”, “y” and “x”—bai now jast a memori in the maindz ov ould doderez —tu riplais “ch”, “sh”, and “th” rispektivili.
Fainali, xen, aafte sam 20 iers ov orxogrefkl riform, wi wud hev a lojikl, kohirnt speling in ius xrewawt xe Ingliy-spiking werld.

And there you have it, my students will embrace this plan for sure. I think some of them are on the trial plan already. I wonder how “vacuum,””anoint,””disappearance,” and a few other pesky bugs fair under Sam’s plan?

Lit One-Liners


BookRiot became another 2013 discovery, and I am hooked. How could I resist posts delivered free to my mailbox which concern all things books? I definitely found this one by Rachel Cordasco a saver. It will be incorporated into my AP warm-ups where I have students create micro-précis  statements as a ready-set-go for the May exam. Here are some pull-outs from Cardasco’s post:

    Posted by   Rachel Cordasco   from BookRiot            

30 One-Sentence Lessons from Literature

1. Hamlet by William Shakespeare: Just make up your mind already, dude.

2. Anything by Stephen Crane: It doesn’t matter what you do- the Universe still thinks you’re super lame.

3. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes: You can never read too many novels…oh wait, maybe you can…

4. Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser: Cluelessness is not something you want to broadcast when you’re a young woman in strange new city, for you’ll just become a skeevy-guy magnet.

5. Dracula by Bram Stoker: If you have a choice between Count Dracula’s castle and the Holiday Inn, stay at the Holiday Inn.

6. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley: If you absolutely must create a freakish monster thing, be sure to make a girlfriend for it, cause if you don’t, he’ll be really, really mad.

7. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka: Sucks to be a bug.

8. Macbeth by William Shakespeare: You should treat your guests well by, you know, not murdering them in their beds.

9. Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain: When you travel around in a boat with a friend, away from human civilization, when you do run in to people you realize just how crazy they all are.

10. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen: When it comes down to choosing between the hot guy who treats you like crap and the not-as- hot guy who treats you like a queen, it’s really not a choice at all.

11. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad: Don’t frighten the natives.

12. The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells: When the freaky alien things come swooping down on Earth and shooting lasers or whatever at everyone, run as fast as you can cause those aliens are mean.

13. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: Yeah, yeah, money can’t buy happiness- check.

14. Anything by e. e. cummings:

capital

letters

are for

losers.

15. King Lear by William Shakespeare: Don’t bother arguing with your parents. Or your children. Just don’t bother.

_________________________

My own contributions:

Beowulf by John Gardner: growing up in a cave with a fiendish mother definitely changes your perspective

Daisy Miller by Henry James: It’s true, when in Rome, or at least in Italy, as a single American girl, who should do as the Romans–Italians do–then again, maybe not.

Room with a View by E.M. Forester: what is about Italy and young women anyway?

“The Lovesong of Alfred J. Prufrock” T.S. Eliot: What if, What if, What if Hamlet hadn’t been your poster boy of decision-making?

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson: getting in touch with your inner feelings definitely deserves a second thought

Have You Heard the Latest One About the Library?


I learned from a blogger that Saturday February 9th is National Library Appreciation Day.  Very much excited about this new and most needed celebration I quickly Googled the event only to discover it is a UK holiday–not a USA one.  At least not yet.

However, while researching I happened upon some incredibly funny cartoons about libraries.  Hope you chuckle, giggle, laugh, and enjoy as much as I did.

 

Word Collecting


I collect words.  If possible I would display them in petite glass bell jars all about my house.  That would be cruel, though, since words are not meant to be imprisoned–they are meant to be freely used and must flap their serifs (I imagine them in Times Roman font) to be useful.

As I’ve collected words I’ve made use of them as a writer (you never know when defenestration will come in handy, eh, Eagle Eyed Editor?), as a reader (a wide vocabulary comes in handy when reading off the AP suggestion list), and as a teacher (“if I learned it, so can you”).  Words also help spice up conversations–yet, I must use them judiciously so as not to appear as a smarty-pants.

Fun stuff I’ve done with words:

Trivia Quiz: Words and Symbols

Wordles

Poems, Stories, Puzzles, Interviews–Writing, Writing, Writing

Vocabulary Games–Question 3:

►What are the four words in the English language that end in “-dous”?

And I search off the Internet:

25 Everyday Words You Never Knew Had A Name

Words.

Don’t leave home without them.

Try ’em, you’ll like ’em.

Take your favorite word to lunch.

Have you hugged a word today?

Words have a power all their own

Words have a power all their own (Photo credit: Lynne Hand)

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