Dream of the Dolphin
Confessions of a Post-Graduate Pity Whore

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Monday, September 20, 2004


Just read Karina's comment on the Globe and Mail's Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell review. This is why we like Karina.

( 11:07 PM ) Sarah Jane ~


Return To Oz

I just watched this movie again, and I'd forgotten how much I loved it.

Return to Oz tanked in its initial release into theatres, and I'm fairly sure that the reason was 90% of the people who went to see it were expecting a sequel to the MGM musical. What they got was a sequel to the book.

I was raised on the Oz books. I still have a soft spot for the musical, having watched it when it came on TV every year for as long as I can remember, but I spent much more time immersed in the Oz books. My grandfather had first editions of at least 50 of the Oz books, and over the course of one summer, I read all of them, and made a point of reading at least the Baum 14 every year after that. To me, the MGM musical was a charming interpretation, but Oz, the REAL Oz, was the dark, twisted, trippy place Baum created, and the characters were defined by the Neil illustrations.

Which is why Return to Oz went over so well with me and my father. Framing story about the mental institution aside, the movie is a surprisingly faithful adaptation of Baum's world, despite the fact that it dumps the second and third books in the series into a blender and hits puree. It actually works better that way.

The Land of Oz was always my least favourite, written when Baum decided Dorothy was not returning to Oz (legions of disappointed fans later changed his mind). But Return to Oz took the darker aspects of The Land of Oz and used them to creepify the story of Ozma of Oz. Languidere, the head-switching princess in Ozma of Oz, was a ditzy airhead in the book. Giving her the wickedness of Mombi in the movie really made the whole using-other-people's-heads thing as sinister as it needed to be. Jack Pumpkinhead is brought wonderfully to life by Brian Henson. Dorothy is the right age. And the Neil illustrations leap off the screen in vivid colour.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the celebration scene at the end. Watching the crowd is like flipping through "Who's Who in Oz". In the crowds so far, I've been able to pick out Polychrome, the Shaggy Man, Johnny Kwikstep, and I'm fairly certain I caught a glimpse of Professor H.M. Wogglebug T.E.

When you spent as much time reading, and ingesting (don't ask) the Oz books as I have, watching that scene is like a family reunion. Whenever I watch Return to Oz, I'm 10 again, stretched out in the sun in the upstairs hall of the old house with a bowl of sugar and rhubarb in one hand, and an Oz book in the other.

It's a rare movie that can send you back like that. I don't care what the critics said.

I liked it.

( 10:34 PM ) Sarah Jane ~

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Rambling Thoughts

Via Jaquandor, I followed the link to this post, and am left... very sad.

I don't know if it's me, or the current workplace environment I'm living in, but I just found this... mean. And it's not that I'm devoid of understanding -- and might possibly have shared in the sentiment if the cosplay in question had involved sheer gauze or a chainmail bikini.

I've been accused by certain-persons-who-shall-remain-nameless of having no sense of humour. It's not true, but I'm finding I have less and less tolerance for humour that comes at the expense of others. Especially others who've done nothing wrong. I mean, I have no trouble mocking the mother today who quite condescendingly informed me that no, it was all right for her child to have cheerios in the gallery, because you see, the child is a baby and the cheerios keep her quiet.

But though I tried to move on, for some reason I keep coming back to the woman in this picture. Everything is covered (yes, she's busty, but hell, so am I), there's no inappropriate exposure (as there would be with gauze or chainmail), she's put some work into it, and she looks like she's having a good time. She's at a place where she can dress up and hang out with her friends and enjoy herself, supposedly amongst people who understand her and who won't put her down for it. Now, it's possible there are extenuating circumstances, that she's mean or she puts down other people as horrible costumers while strutting around in her own costume. Then, while still in poor taste, mocking of this woman might be excused.

But coming into it without knowing anything, without knowing about any relationship between the poster and the cosplayer, without knowing anything but the vehement expression of distaste from the blogger and the photo that prompted it... all I can feel is sad.

( 7:26 PM ) Sarah Jane ~

Thursday, September 09, 2004


Okay, so life is still nuts.

On the home front, Megan has left the building and Steve is officially in. The change in roommates seems to have triggered some latent Martha Stewart gene in me and Erin. Which means Erin and I have spent the last week drooling over the Ikea catalogue trying to figure out what to bring in to "the new look" of the house.

Jana and I visited the Ex last weekend -- a first time for both of us. We saw the musical ride, and I got some horsey kisses from a massive 18-hand baby named Cordero. And I fell in love with all the sparkly Indian silks in the international pavillion. So Erin and I are making a trip to Little India next week so that we can deck our living room out like Bollywood. It'll be fabulous.

Erin and I started choir again last night. We're doing Handel's Messiah as the Christmas concert, and it's already hurting my stomach muscles.

Pyewacket's digestion has finally returned to normal, which is a grand relief. No more trips to the vet and expensive hypo-allergenic food, hurrah!

And in a stunning example of how I manage to stay in debt despite working three jobs, after spending $700 I don't have on the new computer (whom I love and cherish) to replace the melted one, I just went out and dropped another $500 today. Bought a new pair of jeans (after discovering I'd worn a hole in the butt of my last pair), refilled my prescription at Shopper's, and slammed $400 on a new pair of orthotics. ::sigh::

Though I have to admit, that last bit was relaxing. You lie on a padded table while you get what amounts to a foot massage as the podorthist applies the warm plaster casts to your feet. And it does mean that I'll stop waking up in the mornings and limping around the house. Being able to walk is a good thing. I just wish it didn't cost so damned much.

And that's the way it stands. Aside from really needing a vacation, I'm doing okay. Just insanely busy. But somehow I don't think that's likely to change in the near future.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a date with some brownies.

( 5:11 PM ) Sarah Jane ~

Wednesday, September 01, 2004


Finally some good news.

Kate Bush and Loreena McKennitt are both working on new studio albums.


( 1:03 PM ) Sarah Jane ~


Collision Course With Wackiness

Life is nuts. Fall-down, dragged-out, all-out nuts.

Megan's leaving at the end of the week, and Steve Hay (who I lived with when I was in the house on Wells Street) is moving in (yes, that's right, Hay, Steve. Guess what I'm gonna be doing aaaaaall year). So we've been running around patching, painting, sweeping, splining, and generally going nuts trying to get the place organized for Mark's inspection as we renegotiate the terms of our tenancy.

I took Mum to see Alegria on Friday, which was wonderful. That's been pretty much the last "whee" moment since then. My computer melted down, so my wonderful sib came down and helped me put together a new computer for me on the weekend. The new computer's name is GIR. He's shiny and blue. I love him. He's a Pentium 4 with 512 RAM, new Sapphire graphics card, new sound card, and the same old 80 GB hard-drive (so all my files are intact).

Yeah, I don't do things by halves. If I have to replace the computer, I'm doing it right. And I am so unbelievably happy that my sibling speaks geek. I was standing there watching him have this animated conversation with the sales clerk, and I couldn't understand a word of it. All I could think was: I'm SOOO glad he's here to do this for me! I'd be getting SOOO snowed right now!.

And then he went above and beyond and reinstalled all my programs and codecs for me.

Sib rocks. Large.

He also introduced me to the "ask for remote assistance" feature in MSN messenger last night, which was totally bizarre. I couldn't figure out the installation of my anti-virus software, so he had me hit the "remote assistance" option and basically took over my computer. I just sat there and watched as my mouse whizzed across the screen installing things and occasionally typing vaguely sinister messages into my chat window with Karina. Extremely weird, but also incredibly cool.

So that's how it's been. I've gotten maybe 12 hours of sleep total over the last few nights. You know that Chinese curse? Something along the lines of "may your life be interesting"? Well, it's potent.

Interesting is fun and all, but I'll be very happy when all this craziness is over.

( 12:09 PM ) Sarah Jane ~

Sarah Jane Elliott
The often frustrating progress of my life and writing...

(Once known as "The Mystic's Dream", now known as "Dream of the Dolphin", but inclined to change title depending on what's stuck in my head)

Okay, I liked "Confessions of a Post Graduate Pity Whore" a lot more than I thought I would. That line is still hilarious. But I've started writing again, so it's time to go back to before. :o)

Webshot of the Moment:

New hair




My Expansination Blog

If I Had $1,000,000

Forward Motion


Help Jennifer

Wild Butterfly Designs

Tales from the Wonder Zone



Skeletor and Gang

Shannon's Page

Online Insanity Test


Strong Bad's E-mail


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Neil Gaiman's Blog

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Tami's Blog


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Bryn's Blog

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Byzantium's Shores

River's Blog

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Making Light

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Meg Cabot


Posts of note:

Hugged by Hobbits

Two Towers Exhibit

Trek 2001

Homosexuality & Stick World

Godkey Varland

I Am A Writer

I Love Jenny

Keys to Me

Creativity and Instability

SpecFic II

Books I like

Cast Iron Bitch

Accident Girl & Epiphany

ICFA 2001


The Mask

Ad Astra 2001

Inside Jory's Song

Sealach and Granthxx

Moments of Pleasure

Why I Write

The Stork Man

Thoughts on twenty-two

First day of posts

I Am Reading:

Guilty Pleasures

Recommended Reading:


War for the Oaks

Beholder's Eye


Summers at Castle Auburn

A Thousand Words for Stranger


Good Omens

Alien Taste


Ella Enchanted

Summon the Keeper

Blood Price



Memory of Fire


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