Sunday, January 31, 2010

Vampire Weekend


J.T. of Bibliofreakblog has left a new comment on your post "Vampire Week":

See, I saw the name of this post, and thought of the band Vampire Weekend. You should end the week with them.

Gread idea!

So here goes...

I'm closing out Vampire Week with this post. Not to worry though, Ms V will be back in a couple months.

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Previously I had only heard the name, Vampire Weekend, but never heard the music until now.

Per wikepedia:
Vampire Weekend is an American indie rock band from New York, formed in 2006 and signed to XL Recordings.

The band claims to be influenced by both African popular music and Western classical music, describing their genre of music as "Upper West Side Soweto", with such songs as "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" referencing Congolese soukous music.

Vampire Weekend's name is derived from lead singer Ezra Koenig's amateur film of the same name. Ezra plays the main character, Walcott, who has to go to Cape Cod to tell the mayor that vampires are coming.

Apart from the name, this band has really nothing else to do regarding vampires. They don't sing about vampires or vampire ways.

Here's a sample of their music which I picked because of the dance-able beat and the funky videography - forwards and backward motions. Enjoy!

Cousins



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*part of Ms V's Vampire Week
*don't forget to enter the Vampire Haiku giveaway offer ends tonight

In My Mailbox - 01.31.10


Bought:

Still Alice
by Lisa Genova
-for IBC challenge

Good stuff received from contests:



Chrononaut Pendant
Thanks to Steampunk Librarian
created by Chrononaut Mercantile

Black Jack Derringer
Book 1: The Ace of Spades
by K. H. Koehler - my review
Thanks to Skullvines Press

Tabloids Terrors #3
Thanks to Skullvines Press

Received for review:




O, Juliet
by Robin Maxwell - my review
-for my special Valentine's Weekend (coming Feb 12-14)

Raising the Perfect Child
Through Guilt and Manipulation
by Elizabeth Beckwith - my review
-for my Alice in Whatsitland Week (coming in March)

Random
by Craig Robertson - my review
-for Thriller & Suspense Challenge

Received in my email box:

I Want You Back!
(chapters 9 to 10)
a free E- chapter book (with illustrations)
by E. Van Lowe
-a YA paranormal story

Did you get your copy?
If not...

My Giveaways:

February goodies will appear during
Mr Knightley's Picnic event - Feb 25-26
details coming this Thursday

-ends Jan 31 - midnight

-ends Jan 31 - midnight

-ends March 24

Mad Men Challenge
-ends Nov 30


*In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren and inspired by Pop Culture Junkie. A post where we share books acquired via mailbox, library, store, etc.


Vampire Diaries s1.12: Unpleasantville

Vampire Diaries
Episode 12
Unpleasantville
Thursday night on CW

Synopsis from TV Guide:
Stefan and Damon attempt to learn the identity of a new vampire who arrives in town, and they accompany Elena to a school dance with a 1950s theme. Meanwhile, Matt begins working at the Mystic Grill to earn extra cash.

My quick bits:
Loooooved the 50s dance sequences! The makeup and costumes for this episode really made this episode a fun one.

Isabel-1 = Elena's "real" Mom

Isabel-2 = Alaric's wife

Isabel-1 = Isabel-2 ???

Awww, just when I was thinking Anna was a cute gal for Jeremy...

I coudn't find a picture of the actual vampire compass pocket watch to post here but I came across this instead...

The Sundial, Compass, Gunpowder Flask
at Brass Goggles

Super cool all-in-one, eh?

- it could possibly have a vampire compass reader in a secret compartment




Amusing quotes:
I am sorry it won't help you with your diabolical plan - the sequel.
-Stefan to Damon

=+=

Are you watching this show? and what did you think?

Watch any of the episodes online for free at Cast TV (click pic to view):



*image source
-my vampire eye-candy segment
-for my Vampire Diaries challenge
*part of Ms V's Vampire Week
*don't forget to enter the Vampire Haiku giveaway offer this week

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Vampire Diaries: The Struggle by L. J. Smith

Vampire Diaries:
The Struggle
by L. J. Smith

Published: 2007
Genre: Romance, Vampire
Paperback: 512 pages
Rating: 3

Description from Jacket Flap:
In book two of the Vampire Diaries Elena Gilbert quickly realizes that the only thing more dangerous that being in love with a vampire is being desired by two. As Stefan struggles to suppress his instinctive thirst, Damon persists in his quest for Elena′s heart. A dark turn of events forces Elena to risk her mortality to save one of her immortal suitors.

My two-bits:
In-a-word: struggle

A struggle for Elena and a struggle for me.

It was a struggle for me to get through this book because of the pacing and because I love the tv show characters much more.

I had to constantly keep the book story and tv story separate in my mind. It was confusing because the same names are used but they are and act different in each storyline.

I am now enlighted with how vervain works:

That's an herb that's supposed to protect you against bewitchment, and it can keep your mind clear even if someone is using Powers against you. People used to wear it around their necks.
-Stefan (chapter 7, page 346)

So, the book series does provide some background info that is not necessarily explained in the tv show.

Regarding the book story, it was slow going with Elena's struggle to find a missing Stefan, to find a missing diary and to deal with an exasperating Damon. However, the last chapter is what grabbed my attention. I was going to stop reading the series altogether. But now, Elena has changed. For the better? I hope. I want to find out.

Anyhoo, I'm going to continue reading this series after the tv season of Vampire Diaries has ended in May (i think).

Series:
The Awakening - my review
The Struggle
The Fury
Dark Reunion
The Return: Nightfall

*part of my Vampire Diaries challenge
*part of Ms V's Vampire Week
*don't forget to enter the Vampire Haiku giveaway offer this week
*blogosphere vampire giveaway:
How to Catch and Keep a Vampire:
A Step-By-Step Guide to Loving the Bad and the Beautiful
by Diana Laurence
from Vampire Romance Reads
-offer ends Jan 31, 2010



Vampire Diaries s1.11: Bloodlines

Vampire Diaries
Episode 11
Bloodlines
Thursday night on CW

Synopsis from TV Guide:
Damon rescues Elena from a car accident and takes her to Georgia. While there, he surprises an old flame (Gina Torres), but he's confronted by someone who attempts to make him pay for past wrongdoings. Meanwhile, Bonnie fears she is losing her powers, and Jeremy meets a cute girl (Malese Jow) who believes vampires are present in Mystic Falls.

My quick bits:
We get to see both sides of Damon in this episode. The very good and the very bad. I'm confused about him.

I'm sticking with Team Stefan ;-D

I'm liking the Jeremy storyline which is the exploration and research into his family's past and the connection with vampire mythology of Mystic Falls.

ooooooo, intesting big reveal about Elena in this episode.

So now that we have the mystery behind Emily's Amber necklace solved, another mystery is presented to us... Emily's Grimoire (textbook of magic) - where is it and does it hold the secret to open the tomb?

Amusing quote:
Listen up everybody.
Here's to the man who
broke my heart
crushed my life
and ruined all my chances for happiness.
-Bree (toasting to Damon)


Gina Torres was witch, Bree.
I loved her in Firefly.


+++

Are you watching this show? and what did you think?

Watch any of the episodes online for free at Cast TV (click pic to view):



*image source historical
*image source vampire
-my vampire eye-candy segment
-for my Vampire Diaries challenge
*part of Ms V's Vampire Week
*don't forget to enter the Vampire Haiku giveaway offer this week
*blogosphere vampire giveaway:
How to Catch and Keep a Vampire:
A Step-By-Step Guide to Loving the Bad and the Beautiful
by Diana Laurence
from Vampire Romance Reads
-offer ends Jan 31, 2010

Friday, January 29, 2010

Emma and Vampires

I haven't seen anything published yet in regards to Jane Austen's Emma and vampires. However, I found this cute short fanfic...

Emma: Vampire Matchmaker
by Tillie Turner

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If you don't already know...
set your calendar to join in the fun...

February 25-26, 2010

Everyone Welcome!


*source image of Emma
*part of Ms V's Vampire Week
*don't forget to enter the Vampire Haiku giveaway offer this week
*blogosphere vampire giveaway:
How to Catch and Keep a Vampire:
A Step-By-Step Guide to Loving the Bad and the Beautiful
by Diana Laurence
from Vampire Romance Reads
-offer ends Jan 31, 2010

Vampire Diaries s1.10: The Turning Point


Vampire Diaries
Episode 10
The Turning Point
Thursday night on CW

Synopsis from TV Guide:
Damon learns another vampire is in town when a body drained of its blood is discovered, and he searches for the person. Meanwhile, Elena confesses her love for Stefan and persuades him to stay in Mystic Falls, but she also makes a devastating discovery that adversely affects her relationship with him; and Jeremy resumes a hobby of drawing fantasy creatures that he had abandoned after his parents died.

My quick bits:

Good for Jenna - she did not let the vampires into the house (unbeknownst).

And who ends up reading vampire diaries by family relative? -->Elena's brother

I say steampunk. The vampire compass indicator is definitely steamy!

Something I've been wondering. Maybe I have to go back and watch some past episodes, but why doesn't the vervain have the same effect on Stefan like it does with Damon? If it did he shouldn't he be really weak everytime he got near Elena?

Amusing quote:

We could try out for the Amazing Race.
-Damon


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Are you watching this show? and what did you think?

Watch any of the episodes online for free at Cast TV (click pic to view):



*image source
*catching up with my vampire eye-candy segment
*for my Vampire Diaries challenge
*part of Ms V's Vampire Week
*don't forget to enter the Vampire Haiku giveaway offer this week

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Vampire Readings dress

If books were dresses...

(a weekly post where I create fashionable wear with book cover art)

Vampire Readings:
An Annotated Bibliography
by Patricia Altner

-definitely a source for those who like lists

Description from the amazon:
It was only a little more than 100 years ago, when Bram Stoker wrote the now famous Dracula, that vampire myths began to achieve their current popularity. Hundreds of books now portray vampires in a variety of non-traditional roles, including aliens from outer space, private detectives, and time travelers.

"Vampire Readings" is an annotated bibliography of 779 entries divided into five sections: Novels; Anthologies and Novellas; Young Adult; Additional Readings; Unread Undead. The largest section is Novels and here, besides a summary of the plot (without spoilers), the author indicates where each novel may fit into other genres such as science fiction/fantasy, mystery, romance, etc. Works by such writers as Anne Rice, Tanya Huff, Christopher Pike, Tanith Lee, Barbara Hambly, Kim Newman, and, of course, Bram Stoker are discussed in "Vampire Readings". Separate author and title indexes are included.

*** Interview & contest giveaway ***
from Vampire Wire

excerpt:
MARTA: Hi, Patricia, and welcome to Vampire Wire! Would you please tell us the book that first sparked your passion for vampire and paranormal fiction?

PATRICIA: Hi Marta, thanks so much for inviting me here.

Actually my passion for paranormal fiction came first when I read a collection of stories by H. P. Lovecraft. I think I was about 10 years old at the time. His stories terrified me and kept me from sleeping at night and yet I found them so fascinating. I was hooked!

As for vampires, I first became enamored with them when watching "Dark Shadows" (guess I'm showing my age). Around the same time a friend loaned me a copy of Bram Stoker's Dracula. I could not put it down. That was one scary book! Still, I found the connection between Mina and the Count very intriguing, even romantic. It wasn't until much later I discovered I was not the only one who felt that way.

read more

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*if you would like to learn how to make your own Book Fashion silhouette, let me know in comments with your email
*source for silhouette
*part of Ms V's Vampire Week
*don't forget to enter the Vampire Haiku giveaway offer this week



Vampire Diaries s1.9: History Repeating

Vampire Diaries
Episode 9
History Repeating
Thursday night on CW

Synopsis from TV Guide:
Damon reveals to Stefan the actual reason why he returned to Mystic Falls and the news stuns Stefan. Meanwhile, Bonnie is disturbed by terrifying dreams about one of her ancestors, and she and Caroline hold a séance. And Jeremy introduces his new history teacher to his aunt Jenna.

My quick bits:

Artsy episode where we get a dream within a dream sequence.

It's the boomerang necklace! And, we finally learn that the gem on the witch necklace is an amber crystal.

We get a new myster character, Alaric Saltzman, as written on the chalkboard.

OK, getting tired of the constant breakup and reuniting of Stefan and Elena. urg.

Great vampire brother bonding moments.

Amusing quote:

Get your hands dirty and make it sing. (about writing)
-Alaric


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Are you watching this show? and what did you think?

Watch any of the episodes online for free at Cast TV (click pic to view):



*image of Alaric
*catching up with my vampire eye-candy segment
*for my Vampire Diaries challenge
*part of Ms V's Vampire Week
*don't forget to enter the Vampire Haiku giveaway offer this week

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Zombies for January

Vampires vs Zombies

Who woulda thunk?

Wikipedia says:
Vampires vs. Zombies is an indie horror movie, loosely based upon J. Sheridan Le Fanu's classic 1872 novel Carmilla. Unlike Le Fanu's story, however, most of the action in the film takes place inside a car.

I haven't watched this movie so I can't say. Although after reading about the movie on wiki, I think I'm more inclined to read Carmilla instead.

~z~

The zombies have officially returned to vvb32 reads with this post and will show up monthly.

~z~

Zombie review(s):

Soulless
by Christopher Golden

(not to be confused with Soulless by Gail Carriger)

ooo, a YA zombie book from 2008
read a review from Fishmuffins of Doom
she gives it a thumbs up!





Blogosphere giveaway(s):

My Zombie Valentine
anthology
book givewaway
-offer ends Jan 30, 2010

~z~

from A World on Fire
-offer ends Jan 31, 2010

~z~



Giveaway: Best of '09
from Only the Best Sci Fi/Fantasy
-offer ends Feb 1, 2010

Boneshaker
by Cherie Priest

AND

Best Served Cold
by Joe Abercrombie

~z~

dolls giveaway from LoopyBoopy Art
-offer ends Feb 15, 2010

Aren't these just the cutest?

~z~

*part of Ms V's Vampire Week
*don't forget to enter the Vampire Haiku giveaway offer this week

Waiting on Wednesday - 01.27.10

Twilight: The Graphic Novel
Volume 1 (The Twilight Saga)
written by Stephenie Meyer
illustrated by: Young Kim
-release date: March 16, 2010

Description from the amazon:
When Isabella Swan moves to the gloomy town of Forks and meets the mysterious, alluring Edward Cullen, her life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. With his porcelain skin, golden eyes, mesmerizing voice, and supernatural gifts, Edward is both irresistible and impenetrable. Up until now, he has managed to keep his true identity hidden, but Bella is determined to uncover his dark secret...

Beautifully rendered, this first installment of Twilight: The Graphic Novel is a must-have for any collector’s library.

Sneak peek:

The January 29 issue of Entertainment Weekly has an excerpt of a few graphic panels. Want my issue? Let me know in comments and I'll pass it along.





Yes, I'm a Twilight fan ;-D

Team Edward (although the book version more than the movie one)

awwww, for you Jacob fans...

Barbie Twilight
New Moon
Jacob Doll

I'd prefer a version where he has his long locks.










also waiting on...


New Moon DVD
-release date: March 20, 2010

If you order the Barnes & Noble's Exclusive Edition, you will get a New Moon Dreamcatcher Bag Clip, a metal dangle finished in antique brass that combines a circular dreamcatcher, a sculptural Wolf Pack-tattoo charm, a Wolf Pack jewelry tag, feathers, and crystals.





* Waiting on Wednesday
was created by Jill at Breaking the Spine
*part of Ms V's Vampire Week
*don't forget to enter the Vampire Haiku giveaway offer this week

Vampire Diaries s1.8: 162 Candles

Vampire Diaries
Episode 8
162 Candles
Thursday night on CW


Synopsis from TV Guide:
An old friend (Arielle Kebbel) visits Stefan on his birthday and she gives Elena some insight into dating him. Meanwhile, Caroline attempts to get Damon's medallion back from Bonnie, and Damon offers to help Sheriff Forbes, which leads to tragedy.

My quick bits:

There seemed to be more goth-like and dark scenes.

Neat-o to see that Lexi was stronger than Damon.

The locket continues to dazzle us with its protection spell.

LOL - when Carolyn tried to do a grab and go with the locket and she got zapped she asked

Are you wearing polyester?

So with all the kissing scenes we've seen with Stefan and Elena, we don't get a birthday kiss.

Amusing quote:

Am I shallow?
I want to be an abyss, deep.
Oh, I'm a kiddie pool. a kiddie pool.

-Carolyn

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Are you watching this show? and what did you think?

Watch any of the episodes online for free at Cast TV (click pic to view):



*image source
*catching up with my vampire eye-candy segment
*for my Vampire Diaries challenge
*part of Ms V's Vampire Week
*don't forget to enter the Vampire Haiku giveaway offer this week

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Japanese Taiko

The Hello Japan! mini-challenges
hosted by In Spring It Is The Dawn

January's Task
This month's task is to listen to Japanese music.
What kind, and how much is completely up to you.

Taiko

Taiko means "drum" in Japanese (etymologically "great" or "wide drum").
Outside Japan, the word is often used to refer to any of the various Japanese drums
('wa-daiko', "Japanese drum", in Japanese) and
to the relatively recent art-form of ensemble taiko drumming
(sometimes called more specifically, "kumi-daiko".


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Japanese Taiko



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I was first exposed to a Taiko drum during a Hiroshima concert back in the 90s. I was in awe to see and hear such a large Japanese instrument - live. The booming booms sent shivers. You can say it was love at first sound.

Then in the 00s we attended the annual Black Ships Festival in Newport, Rhode Island. At this event we attended the festival of drums which presented performances from several U.S. Taiko ensemble groups. This event is usually held in July. Go if you can!

The Black Ships Festival offers a variety of events that
emphasize both Japanese art and culture.
Events include Origami, Martial Arts, and a Japanese Tea Ceremony.
A highlight will be the Annual Festival of Drums.

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San Francisco Taiko Dojo
Hachidan Solos from International Taiko Festival, 2002


I'm proud to say that my city of San Francisco has its own group, The San Francisco Taiko Dojo. I saw them for the first time at the Black Ships Festival mentioned above. With this ensemble group you will notice the sound of another percussion instrument along with the various sized taiko drums. It's metal pipes.

interesting tidbits from their site:

The prize possession of Taiko Dojo is the one ton O-Daiko drum, which stands over twelve feet high. It is the largest drum in this hemisphere and valued at $500,000.

Grand Master Tanaka and San Francisco Taiko Dojo has been featured in four major motion picture movies—Phillip Kaufman’s The Right Stuff, and Rising Sun starring Sean Connery and Wesley Snipes, George Lucas’ Return of the Jedi, and Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now.


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Battlestar Galactica: Prelude to War



One of my favorite tv series (2004), Battlestar Galactica, featured taiko drums in its soundtrack which was composed by Bear McCreary. I especially love the taiko drums solos in this piece. It was quite often played before commercial breaks --> located at the 2:54 mark and at 3:47. Must give this a listen!

btw: Battlestar Galactica tv spin-off, Caprica started last Friday on the SyFy channel

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*source image taiko drums
*part of my Hello! Japan mini-challenges
*not part of Ms V's Vampire Week, but i had to post this before the end of January ;-D
*fyi: according to wikipedia: Japan has no native legends about vampires. Japanese vampires made their first appearances in the Cinema of Japan during the late 1950s.
*don't forget to enter the Vampire Haiku giveaway offer this week


Vampire Diaries s1.7: Haunted

Vampire Diaries
Episode 7
Haunted
Thursday night on CW


Synopsis from TV Guide:
Damon is surprised by Bonnie's psychic abilities when he attempts to take back a necklace she's wearing that belongs to him. Meanwhile, Matt takes Vicki to the school's Halloween haunted house to cheer her up, but events turn truly terrifying.

My quick bits:

This one left me wondering what are Damon's true motives?

He has been bad, yet ultimately in the end helps Elena.

Jasmine Guy's appearance and reveal of being a witch was a treat. We get a brief history of Bonnie's witchy background and learn more about the locket.

Team Stefan scores when Elena admits that she doesn't want to forget anything about her latest experiences because of how she feels about Stefan.

And, poor Vickie - it was coming though. Her fate.

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Are you watching this show? and what did you think?

Watch any of the episodes online for free at Cast TV (click pic to view):



*image source
*catching up with my vampire eye-candy segment
*for my Vampire Diaries challenge
*part of Ms V's Vampire Week

Monday, January 25, 2010

Steampunk Weekly - 01.25.10

Steampunk and Vampires


Victorian vampires in a steampunk world makes a good mix. I managed to find some books and movies with this combo. Sure would like to see more though. Comment below if you know any not already mentioned here.

Steampunk-ish vampire books:













by Kim Newman

New Amsterdam
by Elizabeth Bear

Varney the Vampire;
or, The Feast of Blood
by James Malcolm Rymer


Steampunk-ish vampire books to watch for:
















Abraham Lincoln:
Vampire Hunter
by Seth Grahame-Smith
-release date: Mar 1, 2010

Changeless by Gail Carriger
-release date: Mar 30, 2010

Vampire Empire:
The Greyfriar
by Clay and Susan Griffith
-book image not yet available
-first of a trilogy
-release date: late 2010


Steampunk-ish vampire movies:
















Perfect Creature (2006)

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)

Van Helsing (2004)

Blogosphere giveaway(s):


Steampunk Vintage Design
The latest giveaway is a pair of steamy cufflinks, but I liked the looks of this steam-goth necklace (for your viewing pleasure).
-offer ends Jan 28, 2010




*these are all on my want, must read and must see lists ;-D
*part of Ms V's Vampire Week
*source image of Victorian vampire is by Viona Art on Vecona
*my weekly post on things steampunk (Victorian sci-fi/fantasy)
*totally inspired by steampunk posts written by Celia of adventures of cecelia bedelia

 
Imagination Designs
Images from: Lovelytocu