Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cartoon Heroes

I've always been addicted to cartoons. I used to watch Cartoon Network all the time. I know a lot of kids who find them inane (what is wrong with these children?). I also knew a lot of kids who weren't allowed to watch more than one show a day or had some sort of a television time limit. I'm really lucky that my parents didn't bother much about setting similar rules for me.

The only rule I actually remember having was bed time at 10 p.m. I used to like to read before bed, and never followed this arrangement, irritating my parents immensely. I remember crying so hard when my mum had threatened to lock up the book cupboard if I continued not following this rule. What kind of parents threaten their children with keys? They were evil, I tell you!

In any case, I kind of had a free reign over cartoons when I was young, which means I've watched everything there is to be watched, especially it was produced by Hanna Barbera. You name it, and I've probably seen it. It was a time where there was no Disney Channel, and all these creepy Disney child stars didn't exist. No, Hannah Montana, High School Musical, Camp Rock etc. It was all hand drawn old school animations. I really, really loved cartoons and there isn't any explicable reason for this because I find them silly when I watch them now.

There were these shows that everyone loved and I hated for absolutely no reason. Of course, it didn't stop me from watching them, but I remember them just irritating me immensely. I hated Popeye , Johnny Bravo, Pinky and the Brain, Dexter (I hated Dee Dee so insanely), Powerpuff Girls, Coyote and the Roadrunner, Johnny Quest. I also have insane amount of love for some other shows that other people didn't particularly care about like Captain Planet, Space Ghost, Josie and the Pussycats, The Fantastic Four, Top Cat, or The Jetsons, which is the most underrated show ever created. I love The Flintstones and everything, but The Jetsons is so much better and no one apart from me realizes this. There is even a special episode called The Flintstones Meet the Jetsons, which was aired every New Years' Eve and I've seen it at least five times. This channel had the most awesome shows ever, and I can't understand why kids would want to watch anything else.

It just annoys me to see my little cousins watching Disney channel all the time with its ridiculous shows. I knew I had reached the end of my patience with my 9 year old cousin when she started explaining her love for Zac Efron and the Jonas' Brothers to me. Its not normal for 9 year olds to have crushes on human beings. When I was 9, I wanted to marry Aladdin, which is a perfectly normal underage crush to have. I didn't actually want to marry Aladdin. I wanted to be Jasmine, so Aladdin could marry me. When I told this to my older teenage cousin, she looked at me aghast and told me, 'Do you realize that what she's wearing is not even a proper bra?' and I could never look at Jasmine the same again.

The only shows that I never had much of an opportunity to watch was animé because they didn't show animé in India when I was younger. I suppose this is a good thing because it looks really addictive and I get obsessive about things quite easily, but this does mean I have no idea what people are talking about when my friends have entertaining, meta discussions about Pokemon, Dragon Ball, Sailor Moon, Naruto etc.

I was just mentally going through the shows I used to watch as a kid and I have just realized that I watched a lot of television, which explains a lot really. This is also pretty weird because nobody in my house actually watches television. I still do watch a lot of television shows and have been forcing myself off them for the last couple of months because I have the tendency of getting obsessive about things and ignoring everything else that I have to do. I'm so glad Heroes has become crap because now I don't have to watch it any more, and that feels great. I'm just trying to stick to films but the awesomeness of The West Wing isn't really helping me keep this resolution.

NB: The title of the post is the name of an obscure song by Aqua. I must write a post about the joys of Europop one day. Its one of the most awesomely frightening music genre ever!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Because I Can

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Lost in Austen

It irritates me to see people of romanticizing Jane Austen. She is one of the most over rated writers I've read. That said every teenage girl I know has gone through a Jane Austen phase. Every teenage girl I know has also fancied Mr. Darcy at some point of her life. I, like millions of others succumbed to temptation and went through this phase when I was fifteen. As far as phases go, it was a good phase, filled with sentimental romances and cheesy endings. However much I love Jane, I just don't think she merits the attention people give her (Watch Becoming Jane and The Jane Austen Book Club to know what I'm talking about)

Persuasion is my favourite Austen; I unashamedly love it so much that thinking about it gives me warm, fuzzy thoughts enough to make any male within two meters of my presence to make gagging noises. Most people I know prefer Pride and Prejudice, I do love P&P (who doesn't ?), but most of the time I felt like smacking Elizabeth Bennet hard all through the novel. She thinks herself to be the paragon for virtue and righteousness, and just irritates me for some reason. Of course, this hasn't stopped me from watching the entire BBC series (and flailing over Colin Firth; if there is anything better than Colin Firth, its a wet Colin Firth) or the 2005 Kiera Knightely film.

Lost in Austen, is a 2008 British four part mini-series. What is it with U.K and mini-series? They're all so underrated and really good! You know how there are some book are just ruined when they are adapted for television/films? This is valid the other way round as well. If Lost in Austen was a book, it would have been a ridiculously bad one, however it surprisingly makes a humorous and an almost endearing television show that I, being the hopeless romantic that I am, really enjoyed.

Which girl hasn't dreamt of meeting Mr. Darcy in real life? Which girl hasn't dreamed of attending balls and wearing ballroom gowns? Lost in Austen brings every girl's fantasy come to life by transporting Amanda Price, an avid Jane Austen fan, from modern day Hammersmith, London into the Austen's Pride and Prejudice, and Lizzie Bennet from her world into our world through a mysterious portal in Amanda's bathroom. Amanda lands up in the Bennet household right at the time when Mr. Bingley first arrives in the neighbourhood (which is the start of the actual novel).

Poor Amanda tries her best to get everyone in this newly found universe to stick to canon (i.e. follow events according to how they went in the book), but she always ends up doing the wrong thing, which leads of events such as Mr. Bingley falling in love with Amanda instead of Jane, Jane marrying Mr. Collins, Charlotte Lucas going to Africa to be a missionary, herself falling in love with Mr. Darcy instead of managing to set him up with the absent Lizzie. She also realizes that the characters aren't as two-dimensional as Jane made them out to be in the book and have a minds of their own.

What I really liked about the show was that it didn't end up being a P&P adaptation with Amanda as another Elizabeth Bennet. There were pleasant twists and turns all the way through, and it was quite different from the actual book, which is something I didn't expect when I started watching it. I'm also glad that Amanda is not as annoying a character as I initially suspected of her of being. I cannot watch shows/films with irritating lead characters, its just something I am unable to do.

My favourite scene is when Darcy confesses his love for Amanda, instead of replying, asks him to go the lake fully clothed and says after looking at him, 'I'm having a bit of a strange post-modern moment over here.' and Mr. Darcy adorably asks, 'Is that agreeable?' and Amanda replies, 'Oh yes, very agreeable indeed' You can just see her mentally drooling. I'm not sure who the actor playing Mr. Darcy is, but he is really good looking when wet. I do have a thing for these wet types, don't I?

The best thing about this story is that Elizabeth Bennet is missing from the scene for almost the entire time, until the final episode. I don't know if anyone noticed, but she is played by the a very pretty, Gemma Arterton. P&P without Lizzie Bennet has always been my dream, so I suppose I enjoyed the show more than most people would have. For something that had a potential of being redundant and simply awful I thought Lost in Austen was quite well done. It doesn't try to be serious, and is a good if you want to stay in for the evening and watch something lighthearted and funny.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

A Room With a View

Last night when I went to bed it was cloudy and cold, and this is what I woke up to this morning! Its not snowed in Milan in four years and all I want to do is go out for a walk but I have two exams in three days and must absolutely force myself to study.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Of Handwriting and Fonts

It has just recently been pointed out to me by someone that my handwriting is cursive. I never realized that this was a big deal as such, but apparently no one writes in cursive any more and it is barely taught in schools. I also never realized that my handwriting was outdated, but now that I think about it, no one I know writes in cursive. But that is how I was taught to write when I was in kindergarten and that is how I've ended up writing all my life. Most of my friends print their letters, i.e when they write words, all their letters are separated. Printing looks much neater and is so much more easy to decipher unlike my cursive scrawl.

My handwriting is not what anyone would call neat. I can be neat if I want, but most of the times I'm quite messy, especially if I'm writing fast. A lot of people always tell me that my handwriting looks very childish because most of my letters are connected and my 'k', 'g', 'f', 'l', 'j', 'y' and 'z' are all loopy. The only letters I print are 'e', 'z', 'b' and very occasionally 's', and I only started doing this a couple of years ago because I was accused of having a handwriting that could rival that of a five year old child. Most of my capital letters are block letters apart from my 'L' and 'S' that are again cursive. In fact, the cursive capital letter 'L' is my favourite letter ever and I love writing it. I've always had a thing for loops, what can I say?

I'm so jealous of people who have good handwriting. I have a friend whose writing is like typeface. It is really incredible to look at. I used to sit next to her in almost all of my classes in high school, which gave me a big complex about the condition of my notes. It made me consciously put in some effort to make my scribbles look presentable. This is why my lecture notes even now are neat and tidy. This particular friend also introduced me to the wonderful world of colour coding, sparkly pens and highlighters. I always knew that there was a reason why I love her so much.

Since my handwriting isn't half as legible as I'd like it to be, most of my assignments are typed up and I'm very anal about the fonts I use. I like to do all my assignments in Times New Roman because nothing says 'formal' like the use of serif fonts, doesn't it? Plus, I'm such a traditionalist that I can't help but love it. Keeping my love for Times New Roman aside, no other font will ever be able to live up to my affection for sans-serif fonts like Arial and Trebuchet MS (my blog's typeface is Trebuchet, by the way).

I sound quite obsessive about fonts, don't I? At least, I don't go around claiming that my favourite font is Comic Sans because I know people who do this and use it to do their projects and essays (I don't want to get started on my Comic Sans hate because I can do posts filled with rants about how much I dislike Comic Sans).