Monday, October 29, 2012

Love Slave by Jennifer Spielgel

Love Slave
Summary and cover from Good Reads

"I can write the pants off any man," declares Sybil Weatherfield, the plucky hero of Jennifer Spiegel’s Love Slave. A literary novel set in 1995 New York, Love Slave follows Weatherfield and her strange friends as they frustrate chick-lit expectations (though they’re unaware that they’re doing so) in this uproarious, genre-breaking spree. By day Sybil is an office temp, and by night she’s a columnist for New York Shock, a chatty rag in which she writes a column called "Abscess" — a wound that never heals. Her friends include a paper-pusher for a human rights organization, and the lead singer of a local rock band called Glass Half Empty. Full of cultural detail, mid-'90s observations, and early adulthood anxieties, Weatherfield’s story of finding love ultimately casts an ironic eye on what it means to be a love slave.

Summary from the Jennifer Spielgel website: 

It’s 1995. When she can, Sybil Weatherfield works as an office temp. But in her jobless hours she may be her generation’s Dorothy Parker, writing a confessional column for the alternative weekly, New York Shock. Her friends include a paper-pusher for a human rights organization and the lead singer of a local rock band called Glass Half Empty. Together, they try to find a path from their own wry inactivity to something real and lasting that can matter to them. Richly funny and wincingly specific, this cunning debut novel is a bittersweet and ironic look at what it means to be enthralled by an idea—by even the most ragged possibility of love.

Love Slave is the story of Sybil Weatherfield (love her name!) and she works as a temp and a columnist in New York City, which she can't seem to get out of. She appreciates the freaks too much for keeping her sane. Sybil has two faithful friends, Madeline, a human rights organization paper pusher, and Rob, a singer for a band called Glass Half Empty who still wears the wedding ring of his wife who died of cancer, along with her boyfriend, Jeff, who she describes as nice. The title comes from when Rob and Sybil first meet and he says she doesn't seem interested in being his love slave, yet that is exactly what she becomes by the end of the novel. She decides they both need to risk love, need to have something greater, even though they are both stuck in the City. 

Sybil and Rob go through stages: meeting, hanging out and being friends, finding out that Madeline is leaving and being left behind, getting rid of Jeff, falling in love, following the band and watching the band break up, a lump in Sybil, Rob taking off his wedding ring. It's the story of the places they eat at, the columns Sybil writes, the music/band they listen to, and Sybil's inconsistent temp jobs. It's an interesting and hilarious story. 

Yet it has shortcomings. It's the story of a girl and a boy stuck in a City deciding to love each other, despite not knowing their purpose. That's the main issue I had with Sybil, is that she lacks purpose and is just an aimless wanderer on the Earth. She's also not someone who is really contributing to anyone's life or the lives of her friends, to which she acknowledges at the end of the novel. That Madeline and Rob and even Jeff have given her so much and she has given nothing back. Sybil is just there; she exists with no purpose and no desire for one and this is the major flaw of the novel. Yet, how many people are there just like Sybil out in the world? 

Ultimately, Love Slave looks at what it means to find love in one woman's purposeless world. To show that even those who live without knowing their purpose--can at least, hopefully maybe, one day find and have love. Because the hope of love is enough to keep a human alive. Love is what makes life worth living.

I received Love Slave via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinions here are my own and are not affected by this. 

Interesting things about Love Slave...

Booksarethenewblack writes about wearing Love Slave:

Largeheartedboy writes about the official playlist of Love Slave:

ChamberFour wrote an excellent review of Love Slave:

That's all I got for yall. Have a great morning & rest of the day!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Good Morning by Mandisa (Song Review)

So this beautiful morning, I am going to do a song of a very fun song to listen to sometime after I wake up. Now, most people wake up early for the majority of their lives. Occasionally on weekends we sleep in, but really we get ourselves into a sleep schedule. I'm in college, and before I got here I honestly thought that I didn't want a class until 11. I'm done with classes at 12 MWF and  by 2 TR.
So much for sleeping in, I guess. I wake up at 7 every day except Monday, when I wake up at 8:30. I go and I eat breakfast with my friends and then go to 8 am class TR. WF I wake up and eat for fear of not eating later and also to do homework, because if I don't do it then I might not do it. I've come to the conclusion that I don't mind waking up early. It used to really drive me crazy, but I think I've just come to accept that I AM A MORNING PERSON.

And so with that lovely all-caps sentence, I give you Good Morning by Mandisa.

Wave away my yesterday
'Cause I'm leaving it behind me
Hello sunshine, come what may
I feel something new inside me

I hear the birds singing
Now my alarm's ringing
Get up, get up, hey

It's a good morning
Wake up to a brand new day
This morning
I'm stepping, stepping
Stepping on my way

Good morning
You give me strength
You give me just what I need

And I can feel the hope
That's rising in me
It's a good morning

Slow down, breathe in
Don't move ahead
I'm just living in this moment

I've got my arms raised, un-phased
Jump out of bed
Gotta get this party going

I went to bed dreaming
You woke me up singing
Get up, get up, hey

It's a good morning
Wake up to a brand new day
This morning
I'm stepping, stepping
Stepping on my way

Good morning
You give me strength
You give me just what I need

And I can feel the hope
That's rising up in me
It's a good morning
Good morning

Now I'm smiling, and I'm kissing
All my worries goodbye
Got the feeling, if I spread my wings
I might even fly

You are my truth, my way
[ From:]
Give me the strength to say
Get up, get up, get up
'Cause it's a good morning

Mr Mac to the mic

Hey, top of the morning to you, 'Disa
You smoothie, me ice cold pizza
Cafe au lait, latte dah
You do the zumba, but I do not

Give me like half a marathon
I'll give you the gospel of St. John
Hits me like a wake up bomb
'Cause we both know that His mercy flows
In the morning

Wake up to a brand new day
This morning
I'm stepping, stepping
Stepping on my way

Good morning
You give me strength
You give me just what I need

I can feel the hope
That's rising up in me

It's a good morning
Wake up to a brand new day
This morning
I'm stepping, stepping
Stepping on my way

Good morning
You give me strength
You give me just what I need

I can feel the hope
That's rising up in me
It's a good morning

Top of the morning to you, 'Disa
Hey, top of the morning to you, girl
To-to-top of the morning to you, 'Disa
Morning little miss sunshine

Man, you morning people
No, I'm serious

I think I really came to the conclusion that I'm a morning person over the summer. I would wake up early to do devotion, run, or just read and 3 days a week I would work at a day camp. There I worked with preschoolers which was a lot of fun! Then I went on Mission Tour, where we also got to wake up early:). and we did it to this song.

I really love this song, yall. It's just so much and it makes post-wake up a lot easier on me to listen to it. Mandisa also has a really pretty voice and so can do so much with it. She can do fast, catchy, bubbly songs like this one and then slow or sadder ones as well. As for the lyrics, I really love the chorus, because it is so true. We get to wake up a brand new day because of grace we don't have to walk with the past and our mistakes wearing us down. We get to live in a relationship with Him and walk with Him step in step, knowing we are never alone. And our lives become ones dependent on Him to take care of us, having faith in Him to do what he says he will. And we wait, not always patiently, on Him to do this for us. And it's a good morning because he is with us each and every day and that is the hope we hold on to. He is a good and gracious God, and his mercy most certainly does flow in the morning! IT IS A GOOD MORNING!

Have a great one, Love Rachel

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Broken Episode 1 and Thoughts OUAT

File:OnceUponaTime promo.png

So I finally got around to watching episode 1 of Once Upon A Time. I watched the first season and I may or may not blog about it; I haven't decided, but I watched the first episode and I am so excited for this season! Here's my thoughts on the episode and where the season, titled Broken is going.

1. The season opens with a mysterious man in New York City who gets a postcard from a dove from Storybrooke with the word broken written on it. I have a theory that this man is Baelfire, because it makes sense that he would care about the town and that he would be grown up, but he left for the real world before the curse, so wouldn't he have just left that life behind? And how would he even know that fairy tale land was gone? My other theory is that this mysterious man is somehow a key player in how fairy tale land was created and is very interested in the character's lives even if he cannot be a player. He could be the writer of their story/and of the book, because Jefferson mentions that there is a connection between the real world and fairy tale land because people know the stories of fairy tale land.

2. So I've always been really curious about Dr. Whale, because he doesn't really seem like an ally or an enemy of Regina, but in this episode, after the curse was broken, Whale led the townspeople to Regina's house to kill her. Luckily, Emma, as sheriff, stepped in, but I am curious to find out the relationship of Whale and Regina, because he sure seemed angry at her.

3. Mr. Gold and Belle  (I suppose her counterpart's name is also Belle?) are reunited at the end of season 1 and in this season, as Mr. Gold brings magic back into the town, Belle asks him if he did it for revenge on Regina because of what Regina did to them. Mr. Gold says no, but that he does plan to use the magic, but Belle makes him promise not to kill her and not to give in to his hate, because he needs to finally let love win.

And here's a clip of when they reunite:
And here's a clip of Mr. Gold's promise:
I'm excited to see where their relationship is going in the coming episodes, because Belle is one of my favorite characters. She is brave enough to leave home and dare risk loving the beast. And honestly, I was so happy when she told Mr. Gold she loved him and he finally said he loved her back! Because in fairy tale land, he let her go instead of letting them love each other. So even though they both have far to go, I'm so excited that they are finally together!

4. Okay so I searched and searched and searched on Youtube for a clip of this beautiful scene in E1. It's where Emma, David, and Mary Margaret are fighting off the wraith while Regina is trying to get the hat to work so they can send it to the no-longer-existing fairy tale land. Somehow she gets it to work, and it goes down the hat. So does Emma. Mary Margaret jumps in, screaming that she will not lose her daughter again. David yells "neither will I and jumps, but hit the tile ground. The portal closes, separating him and his family. Even though it's a sad scene, it's very beautiful, because it shows how much they love Emma and how much they are willing to risk for her and for Storybrooke. David does promise Mary Margaret, once again, that he will always find her. And that is how it somehow happens to be, by magic or chance, they are meant to be together. And what is meant to be will always find a way. So I look forward to his plan to either get them back from fairy tale land or his plan to go to fairy tale land. Maybe David will find a way to take everyone back and they can rebuild fairy tale land together. Maybe. I still don't understand the whole thing about fairy tale land just being completely gone.

5. August Booth's fate. I was shocked to discover who August was and while I think it was terrible for Gepetto to not let Snow White go through with Emma, I understand that parents will do anything for their children. I'm glad that August and Gepetto were reunited before August turned to wood for not keeping his promise to his father that he would take care of Emma. I think it's so sad when August leaves Emma as a baby, after all she was so cute, but it was really his father's failing to trust him, as a seven year old boy, to take care of her. When we left him at the end of season 1, he had turned to wood and his fate will be revealed this season. I secretly hope he lives and gets to fall in love with Emma:)

There's also an article from the OUAT wiki that I'm posting here:

Clips! Pinocchio becomes a real boy.

6. I want to know what happens to Cora, Regina's mother in fairy tale land. It hasn't been revealed whether or not she has a counterpart and I want to know who, if who, it is. I want to know the rest of the story, because we know what happens to Regina's father, but what about Cora? I didn't really like Cora and if she had just allowed her daughter to marry her true love, then the dark curse never would have happened and all the characters, Regina included, could have had their happy endings! I'm just so frustrated that she twists Regina into being evil just like her, even though she was good at first, before Daniel was killed by her mother. It's just twisted.

7. Jefferson and Grace/Page. I think that Jefferson has the potential to become a major character. After all he's the mad hatter! I'm curious as to whether or not he can get his hats to work now that magic has come back. I'm curious as to how the relationship with his daughter will work now that she knows who she is, but also that she has Storybrooke parents. Wonder how that will balance out. Wonder if he can help David get back to fairy tale land so he can reunite with Mary Margaret. I also really want to know the connection of fairy tale land to wonderland to Storybrooke, because when the dark curse is enacted, Jefferson is still making hats going crazy. And it was made clear that he was still there as the curse only transported him, didn't make him forget, as Regina locked him up in the mansion. I'm curious to see his relationship with Regina and with his daughter develop even more.

8. At the end of E1 we find out that a corner of fairy tale land, Aurora's corner (I call it), was spared from the dark curse for some reason. WHY? There are hints that the curse was put a year after the malificent put a sleeping curse on Aurora. So maybe because there was already a curse, the dark curse didn't affect the land? I'm also curious as to this safe haven Mulan said there was for the remaining people. I want to know who are these people and where is this and what is it like there. Mulan also suggests that there are the land has gotten more and more dangerous since the dark curse happened, so I also want to know what new dangers they will have to face. At first I didn't know what to think about Mulan coming to OUAT, but I'm excited to see where she will go as a character! She's such a tough one!

9. Is fairy tale land truly gone? I found this interesting article when I Google searched this (also interesting ideas in the comment). Here:
I just don't believe that it's gone. Maybe Emma is the one to restore the happy endings to fairy tale land like she did to Storybrooke??? Concerning that, I do wonder why the characters weren't returned to fairy tale land. Or is it just that Emma brings back the happy endings and not their world? And whether she wants to not, now Emma really is a part of it!

10. Emma asks a very important question of David and Mary Margaret. For her whole life, she's been alone and that's all she has ever known. She asks which curse is worse. The curse of being alone and being with her parents, or the curse of not knowing who she is. And that leads to the ultimate question that OUAT gets at. I honestly think that some of the characters might not have wanted to remember. Like Dreamy/Grumpy (has to break his beloved's heart) and Red (kills her own beloved) for examples. But it all poses this question: is it more important to know who you are and where you came from despite what you did/have done?

Please share your thoughts below. I appreciate all comments. Have a great Tuesday, Rachel

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Tarzan Film

Thumbnail for version as of 12:01, 28 June 2012
So last week on Saturday, my school's free movie theater did a showing of Tarzan. I haven't seen this one is a very very very long time. Tonight I am going to see Brave, which I haven't seen yet and am very excited to see. Anyhow, about Tarzan.

It's the story of a family who escape their burning ship on a lifeboat. They wash up on the coast of Africa, somehow having survived the storm. They build a house and begin their new life together, the two parents and the child, a boy.

 While this is happening, the gorilla family of Kala and Kerchak is saddened by the loss of their cub. While the group is traveling to get food, Kala hears the sounds of a child crying. She runs far to find the house, empty and bloody. She finds the child and is amazed and him. Kala rescues him from Sabor, the leopard who killed her cub and his parents, and takes him back to the group.

While Kala is open to this human child, who she decides is her new son, Kerchak is not open and says he will never replace the one they lost. Kala and Kerchak do not have any other cubs together throughout the movie because of this, although they still appear to be mates and care off each other. Kala names the child Tarzan and raises him as her own. Tarzan recognizes that he is different than the other gorillas. AKA he is not a gorilla. He attempts to earn the respect of the group and of the younger gorillas. He does manage to become good friends with Terk, another gorilla, and Tantor, a fearful elephant. Yet, Tarzan always knows he is different, because of the way he looks, even though they all share the same heartbeat. (Kala taught him that they are all the same because they all have the same heartbeat)

When Tarzan gets to be a man, other humans come to Africa. Jane, her father, and Clayton have come to find the gorillas and study them. Tarzan is fascinated by them and rescues Jane from some  mean monkeys. Tarzan spends a lot of time with them, but is told not to take them to see the gorillas from the leader Kerchak. However, during his time with them, he falls in love with Jane and  takes them to see the gorillas anyways. Kerchak is not happy about Tarzan putting the group in danger and exiles him.

 Kala takes Tarzan to the house she rescued him from and tells him that he is human and that he had different parents. She tells him that he will always be her son, even if he leaves and goes to England with Jane and her father. Tarzan ultimately knows that he is human and belongs with other humans, so he makes the decision to go. As he gets on the ship, he finds out that Clayton betrayed him and is planning on capturing and selling the gorillas. Clayton and the ship mates tie up Jane, her father, Tarzan, and the captain and lock them in a room. Terk and Tantor come to rescue them, and then they all go to help save Tarzan's gorilla family.

Everyone is rescued in the end, but after the conflict is over. Jane and her father still decide to return to England and Tarzan decides to stay in Africa. As she is on the rowboat, her father tells her that she loves Tarzan even though she belongs in England with other humans, and thus she should stay in Africa with Tarzan. He also decides that he is going to stay, because after all people get lost in the jungle all the time, right? In the end, they are all seen swinging on vines and playing with the new gorilla cubs.

So that's the summary of Tarzan. Now here's my thoughts on it.

 For those of you who haven't seen it in a while, I did really like it, it's very sad and I cried a lot. It was sadder than Toy Story 3. It's sad that Tarzan loses his parents. It's sad that Tarzan doesn't fit in. It's sad when Tarzan is exiled. It's sad when Tarzan leaves Kala. It's sad when Jane says goodbye.

But it's good too. Its' good to know that we all have the same heart. It's good to know we are loved, despite who and what loves us. Because I believe that animals are capable of love. I have to after having a yellow lab for a pet. But I believe there are different forms of love. Human love is different than animal love. And there are some beautiful scenes. I have videos of some of them.

Tarzan meets Jane
Jane decides to stay with Tarzan in the end

And as for the music, I really love all of the songs, especially this one below (although all of them are really good)

I also have to include the song You'll always be in my heart because it just sums up the whole story of Tarzan and it's a beautiful love story that male and female have, mother and son, son and woman. 

I'm so glad I went to see Tarzan last weekend. Now I'm off to see Brave, but watch a Disney movie this week, just for me. Love yall, Rachel