Category Archives: Joyously Immature

Making Life Brighter: Beatrix Potter

I was not one of those children that grew up reading Beatrix Potter and AE Milne – my world wasn’t populated by talking bears and mischievous beasties, and perhaps I was the poorer for it. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I actually read all the Potter books, and knew I would have loved her world. Then, a few months ago, I found out that fiction-writer Susan Wittig Albert had embarked on a mystery series called The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, and was drawn in even further. I wanted to learn more about the person behind the stories.

So when I heard that a movie was being made about her life, I was intrigued. What I’d read had made her out to be a rather put-upon young woman who eventually found a way to make her own life, in her own way, despite parents that were on the over side of bearing.

The movie itself focuses on her friendship and eventual engagement with her publisher, Norman Warne. Living up to the mongoose code (Run and Find Out!) I went a-hunting and found: The Miss Potter Movie Blog, a Wikipedia entry and, of course, the World of Peter Rabbit website which links to the uk movie site.

From all accounts the movie ought to be quite good, and I look forward to a lazy afternoon in the company of Miss Potter (Renée Zellweger), Norman Warne (Ewan McGregor) and Millie Warne (Emily Watson) in the new year.


Call Now! Famous (Dead) People Are Standing By

One of the things I really appreciate about gmail is that I don’t have to bother dealing with spam unless I want to.

All spurious emails suggesting that I’m letting down my girlfriend, that I can get cheap software, or that I’ve won an online lottery I didn’t enter automatically go to the spam folder, and are automatically deleted after 30 days. At any given time I can also see how many are in the file. The other day I had 147, so I thought – why not take a peek and see what junk is coming my way now?

Well, apparently one of my favourite authors is reaching out from the grave and trying to pass on a stock tip:

Hmm. You know, if a hot stock tip has hit the afterlife, I’m pretty sure it’s already peaked.

"It’s Boxy, But It’s Good"

I’ve been a subscriber of Vitamin V for some time now – at least a year or more, judging from some of the emails I have in my archives. The writers of these daily blurbs deserve props, not only for their clear and cheerful style of writing, but also because no matter what, they’ve never, ever posted something that sounds condescending – they’re simply having too much fun!

Anyways, this wandered into my (heh) inbox. ’nuff said.

Betty Beauty

Thanks Vitamin V, I’ve been giggling all day…

Arrr me Matey, It’s Ruddy Wet!

It’s talk like a pirate day today.

I kid you not. Truly.

Don’t believe me? Go here.

But here’s the thing…

Despite my early enjoyment of pirate portrayals in Tintin’s The Secret Of The Unicorn, Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance, and movies such as Pirates of the Caribbean and Princess Bride (not the Pirate Movie though – that one was overly chock full of ooey, cheesy goodness) I don’t know my pirate lexicon well enough to write this post in pirate talk…

And that, my friends, makes me very, very sad.

Naturally I pulled a mongoose and went to find out more, and here’s what I learned: there are a lot of great sites devoted to sharing the joy of pirate talk. I meandered over to the UK TLAPD website, giggled at the site address, and was delighted to learn that I already used some of the words on that list. (Just not at work – there’s no way to work in words like wench, booty or gentlemen o’ fortune without earning yourself a meeting with HR to talk about your ‘attitude’).

* Glossary and an A-Z: here

* Basics and Pickup lines (!?!): here

* English-To-Pirate Translator: here

Aye, this be the end of this here post…

I’m a Sucker for A Good Talking Animal Film

Does anyone remember a film from Disney called The Aristocats?

It’s probably one of my favourite childhood movies of all time, for a simple four-syllabled reason: Eva Gabor.

Her sister Zsa Zsa may have been better known, but Eva was the one I heard first, in a darkened theatre one stolen afternoon with my mom. She voiced the character of Duchess in the movie, and I fell immediately. If you’ve seen the film, could you imagine Duchess being voiced by anyone else? I didn’t think so.

The other reason I love this movie? Within the first few minutes Toulouse stole my heart. Not Marie, Not Berlioz, Toulouse. See, he was a troublemaker. I could identify with that. He practiced his spitting & clawing in case he ever met an alley cat. I knew I’d have to deal with my own alley cat problems eventually, so I identified with him. And really, Marie was a bit of a priss, although she did have her moments – one of my favourite lines come from her: “Ladies don’t start fights, but they can finish them.”

The movie was chockful of supporting character goodness, of which my favourites was Roquefort, the rat who lived in the family mansion along with the cats and Adelaide Bonnefamille. Roquefort was voiced by Sterling Holloway, who’s best known for voicing Winnie The Pooh and Flower (Bambi).
The reason for this trip down movie memory lane?

There’s a trailer for a new Disney movie on Apple trailers that echoes the charm of the older Disney movies. Set for release summer 2007, the main character is a rat.

A rat with a dream.

The press release is more eloquent, and says it’s a story of “… an ambitious French rat named Remy who dreams of becoming a great chef. Because of his passion for cooking, Remy accidentally uproots his family from the French countryside to the sewers of Paris, and finds himself ideally situated beneath a restaurant made famous by his culinary hero, Auguste Gusteau…”

I won’t post the rest of the storyline – why spoil it?

I’m hoping this movie brings back that wonderful childlike quality that I love about the older Disney movies, and with Brad Bird (The Incredibles) at the helm, I think the odds are VERY good indeed.

Want to see trailer? Visit the Apple trailer site here or the Disney site here.

Making Life Brighter: Sandra Boynton

I must share a secret with y’all.

I’m NEVER growing up.

While everyone else is reading the latest tomes of Canadian fiction and nodding sagely at the meaningfulness of it all, I’m happily ensconced in the kids section, insanely giggling to myself while gorging on the antics of Sandra Boynton’s characters.

Dancing hippos, ewes galore, confused cats, running bunnies, hip cows, turkeys, turkeys and more turkeys… this isn’t a bad trip – it’s the world she’s created for herself and her readers.

I’ve tried many times to figure out the appeal – is it the expressions on her characters faces, and the way you expect them to dance (or run or leap or drive) off the page? The inspired silliness that helps her puts words like ‘hippo’ and ‘berserk’ in the same sentence? The fact that she’s succesfully put out a book and cd called Grunt: Pigorian Chant from Snouto Domoinko de Silo, which is composed entirely of Pig Latin & real Latin?

Or is it simply that she takes so much joy in joy that there’s nothing for it but to join in? Even her surname has bounce – it’s so close to BOING!

I’ve yet to figure it out, and no serious scholarly work has been published on the Boynton phenom. I do know this though: I’ve not met a single adult who doesn’t at least crack a smile while reading one of her books.

I take comfort in knowing I’m not alone in my love of all things Boynton. Type her name into google, and you’ll find she has her own website (finally), a Wikepedia entry, and won the 1992 Greeting Card award from the National Cartoonists Association. Turns out she got her start greeting cards.

She definitely has a sense of where she stands in the world too – listed as her biography on Simonsays (the website for simon & Schuster, INC, publishers of Boynton goodness) is one lone line:

Sandra Boynton is an internationally ignored authority on romance.

So what’s not to love?