Jan 31, 2009

This is what happens when you combine Jane Austin and Seth Grahame-Smith

Cover of the new book and review from Chronicle Books

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies -- Pride and Prejudice and Zombies features the original text of Jane Austen's beloved novel with all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie action. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she's soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead. Complete with 20 illustrations in the style of C. E. Brock (the original illustrator of Pride and Prejudice), this insanely funny expanded edition will introduce Jane Austen's classic novel to new legions of fans.


Jane Austen is the author of Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion, Mansfield Park, and other masterpieces of English literature.

Seth Grahame-Smith is the author of How to Survive a Horror Movie and The Big Book of Porn. He lives in Los Angeles.


Unsurprisingly, I am one of those people who actually does enjoy works by Miss Austin. But I confess that I also enjoy a good zombie book, podcast, or movie every now and again. AND NOW, the two have been combined! Who would ever have guessed??

I would also direct you to The Guardian's book site just for fun.


Eva's Quote Redux:
Elizabeth Bennet
: If I was uncivil, then that is some excuse. But I have other reasons, you know I have.
Mr. Darcy: What reasons?
Elizabeth Bennet: Do you think anything might tempt me to accept the hand of the man who has eaten the brains of a most beloved sister? Do you deny that you separated a young couple who loved each other, exposing her cranium and dining to your fill - and did not even use the proper silverware?
Mr. Darcy: I do not deny it.
Elizabeth Bennet: How could you do it?

Jan 26, 2009

Burns Night Celebration - Isle of Skye

I was pleased to host an intimate event last evening in my new home - my ancient familial homelands. We celebrated Rabbie Burns' 250th Birthday with whisky, haggis, story-telling, and poetry reading. There was plenty of commentary, laughter, and good cheer.

I believe Rabbie would have been pleased to have joined us.



Many good stories and wonderful poems were shared. Here is but a sampling:

From Mr. Burns:

  • Address to a Haggis (Eva Bellambi)
  • Scotch Drink (Eva Bellambi)
  • A Tippling Ballad (Eva Bellambi)
  • Auld Rob Morris (Eva Bellambi)
  • Robert Bruce's March To Bannockburn (Eva Bellambi)
  • The Gloomy Night is Gath'ring Fast (Exrex Somme)
  • My Bonnie Mary (Exrex Somme)
Ever the generous soul, Mr. Somme was trying to assure my comfort.
also known as the danger of multipose cushions. :p

Hotspur tells the King of Locahlin.....

The King of Locahlin and His Three Beautiful Daughters (Hotspur O'Toole)
The Fool of the World and His Airship (Hotspur O'Toole)



Walking with Boudicca by C.Connelly (Eva Bellambi)

And finally:

[2009/01/25 20:56] Annechen Lowey: Reply From a Haggis by J. G. Farrell
[2009/01/25 20:56] Eva Bellambi grins
[2009/01/25 20:56] Annechen Lowey: O' Lady o' Skye, ye addressed me weel, Which so befits a hielan' chiel,
And tho' like you I'm far frae hame,
I sure achieved my share of fame.
[2009/01/25 20:56] Kara Timtam raises an eyebrow. A talking haggis?
[2009/01/25 20:56] Annechen Lowey: I never thocht I'd see the day, I'd grace a trencher doon this way,
In the brawest club in (Winterfell) toon, Tho' mony a mile frae bonny Doon.
[2009/01/25 20:56] Eva Bellambi smiles broadly
[2009/01/25 20:56] Exrex Somme is Offline
[2009/01/25 20:56] Annechen Lowey: Once fit for only rustic table, I now enjoy a five star label, No longer classed as peasant grub For now I grace the Skye's table.
[2009/01/25 20:57] Annechen Lowey: I'm sometimes scorned by snobbish folks, And the butt of corny jokes, Such folks and jokes are unco phony, Now I'm acclaimed by Egon Ronay.
[2009/01/25 20:57] Eva Bellambi laughs and laughs
[2009/01/25 20:57] Kara Timtam barks with laughter!
[2009/01/25 20:57] Annechen Lowey: The Power who made mankind her care, Set me above all other fare, For Scotland's sake I'll keep this place, An' aye be Chieftain of the pudden' race.
[2009/01/25 20:57] Nabila Nadir: ha!
[2009/01/25 20:57] Annechen Lowey: So to all you Braw Scots lads & lassies That here tonight I see, Uphold auld Scotias good fair name, And from me - "Bon Appetite"
[2009/01/25 20:57] Annechen Lowey: ...
[2009/01/25 20:57] Eva Bellambi: BRAVO!!
[2009/01/25 20:57] Nabila Nadir: excellent!
[2009/01/25 20:57] Kara Timtam: Haggis Abu!
[2009/01/25 20:57] Eva Bellambi: Oh wonderful!!

Chatting with Mrs. Peterman at the end of the last poem.

Jan 25, 2009

Sea Fever

A lovely undersea scene - in fitting tribute to my late Cousin Kendra.
Blake's Kendra

As has been reported in several other journals including ZATZAi, Hibernia, and a Caledonian Journey.

Today, I found myself over in Roatan checking the progress on the docks and the sea was so quiet and lovely, I pulled my Columbia out of storage and went for a sail.



It was truly wonderful - and I barely scratched the surface of the available water.

Heading out to Blake's Kendra past Breaker's Rock

The open sea!

Vast and beautiful water

Approaching Althorn Point



Dropping anchor at Althorn Point


Sunset at Althorn Point overlooking my boat

Back in Roatan


Sea Fever

by John Masefield

I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a gray mist on the sea's face, and a gray dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
All I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the seagulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way, where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And a quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.


Jan 23, 2009

My New Home in Winterfell


I've been getting to know the new neighbors. And what better way to do so, than to join the fun over at the Green Fairy - this particular night it was the Underpants Dance. :-p

The music was fun, the company grand, and the under-things lacy.



Learning the new dance steps.


Doing the twist with Miss Serra.


These next pictures were taken before the spring thaws hit the land, and Lord Lunar began excavating the ruins of the old Fraser castle.

Warmth of the fire in the Snow Cave


ROMANTIC ISLE OF SKYE
by: Stuart Garland

THE MIST IT COMES A ROLLING
LIKE A JET IN FROM THE SEA
SMOTHERING HILL AND GLEN
ENVELOPING YOU AND ME

BUT I, I DO NOT MIND THIS BOY
I’M CELTIC ‘TILL I DIE
THIS ISLAND FULL OF CONTRASTS
MY BEAUTIFUL ISLE OF SKYE

OUR FAILTE IS SO EMBRASSING
CALLS PEOPLE FROM FAR AND WIDE
WHISKEY HUGGING FONDNESS
WE’LL GREET YOU WITH THE TIDE

BUT I’M SURE YOU WILL NOT MIND THIS BOY
COME QUICKLY THE TIME IS NIGH
WE’LL SHARE OUR VIEWS AND CULTURES
ON THIS MOST SCENIC ISLE OF SKYE

WE WORK THE LAND AND SEA BY DAY
AND MAYBE THROUGH THE NIGHT
CHASE A FISH DOWN THROUGH THE GLEN
TRADING SHOUTS BY DIM TORCHLIGHT

BUT HERE WE DO NOT MIND THAT BOY
TO BE GAELIC MAKES US HIGH
WE NEED NO FANCY LIFESTYLES
WE’RE HAPPY HERE ON SKYE

SO RAISE YOUR GLASS AND DOWN A DRAM
FOR IGNORANCE MAKES YOU LIE
AND TOAST HISTORIC ESCAPADES
ON THE ROMANTIC ISLE OF SKYE.



Relaxing with Miss Serra fireside.

Jan 19, 2009

BURN'S NIGHT CELEBRATION ON THE ISLE OF SKYE

Celebrate the birth of the Bard of Scotland, Robert Burns, with me in my new lands in Winterfell Anodyne.

The ruins of ancient family home are still being excavated and rebuilt, but we shall sit around the fires underneath the starry skies, telling Celtic stories, and reading Celtic poetry (heavy on the Burns, of course).



Rest assured Nellie will be swimming nearby, and the haggis will be boiled. The Uisge Beatha will be flowing as the tales are told.

See you there!

Happy 3rd Anniversary Artificial Isle!

I was pleased to have been asked to assist in the coordination and planning of the Founder's Day events in Artificial Isle (Ai).

The event was to have been simply a fun party held in the Oceanside area of Ai filled with music and laughter. We had a live musician, harpo Jedburgh, for the first hour of the celebration.

harpo Jedburgh played a great set for the first hour of the party.

And DJ Frequency Picnic was at the turntables for the rest of the fun.

Frequency Picnic

Despite the issues with huge concurrency and bots, which made logging-in impossible for many, we had a nice crowd and quite a lot of fun.

ZATZAi dances (left) with the first resident, Dash, of the original sim.

some of the crowd listening to harpo's set

MarkTwain and Nber dance to the music

A member of the Royal Caledonian Air Force who enjoys flying in the area, decides to dance in the air as well.

(Wolf whistle) MarkTwain strips down to his...erm....valentine swim trunks...for the dunking booth fun.

The crowd lined up to ensure that Mark hit the drink.

ZATZ's turn

aaaannnnd....she goes under.

I've not been notified who won the tardis in the drawing at the end of the party as I had to return to the real.

I look forward to the next events in ZATZAi and Artificial Isle. Many more happy years!!

*

Jan 15, 2009

Snapshots of Loch Avie

video

2 years of my life presented in a 5 minute format. (Obviously a mere taste of the events, quiet moments, and adventures had.)

With love,

Eva

Jan 12, 2009

Snowflakes, dancing, and poetry

The first dance of the night - with Sir Adso, ORR.

January 10th - the Third Annual Snowflake Ball - hosted by Loch Avie, Her Grace, Eva Bellambi.

It is with great pleasure that I was once again able to host the Snowflake Ball, which has become a Caledonian winter tradition (this being the third of the lovely events) and certainly has sentimental meaning for me as one of the first formal dances in our collective history and a time and place to be with - and make - very good friends.

The first Duchess Loch Avie, Shenlei Flasheart, started this tradition in January 2007, and I look forward to continuing it - even as I move to my new home in Winterfell Anodyne.

This year, Her Excellency, Kamilah Hauptmann graciously allowed me to host the event on her land in Port Caledon. We entertained guests from Winterfell, Steelhead, Caledon, and other sims. We shared 11 dance sets with formal dance cards and had a wonderful time.

The Setting in Port Caledon

The Snow Fairy by Claude McKay
I

Throughout the afternoon I watched them there,
Snow-fairies falling, falling from the sky,
Whirling fantastic in the misty air,
Contending fierce for space supremacy.
And they flew down a mightier force at night,
As though in heaven there was revolt and riot,
And they, frail things had taken panic flight
Down to the calm earth seeking peace and quiet.
I went to bed and rose at early dawn
To see them huddled together in a heap,
Each merged into the other upon the lawn,
Worn out by the sharp struggle, fast asleep.
The sun shone brightly on them half the day,
By night they stealthily had stol'n away.



II

And suddenly my thoughts then turned to you
Who came to me upon a winter's night,
When snow-sprites round my attic window flew,
Your hair disheveled, eyes aglow with light.
My heart was like the weather when you came,
The wanton winds were blowing loud and long;
But you, with joy and passion all aflame,
You danced and sang a lilting summer song.
I made room for you in my little bed,
Took covers from the closet fresh and warm,
A downful pillow for your scented head,
And lay down with you resting in my arm.
You went with Dawn. You left me ere the day,
The lonely actor of a dreamy play.


Sir Adso and Lady Kate Nicholas in the foreground.


Dancing with Lord Lunar of Steelhead
Snow flakes. by Emily Dickinson
Snow flakes.

I counted till they danced so
Their slippers leaped the town,
And then I took a pencil
To note the rebels down.
And then they grew so jolly
I did resign the prig,
And ten of my once stately toes
Are marshalled for a jig!



Here I am enjoying watching my friends and neighbors dancing and enjoying each others' company

Kamilah and I share a dance toward the end of the evening.

Jan 8, 2009

Into The North

And so, dear friends, it is time to move on.

Having been astonished to find the ancient homelands of my grandmother's people, The Frasers, I felt more at ease in Loch Avie. I knew that I would be able to leave her in the care of someone else, and explore these roots in my family tree. Nellie had led me there. She sense for weeks that something was amiss - or that there was something to draw us elsewhere. This is right.

Much has already been packed up thanks to highly efficient staff, and the manse has been returned to the mist again. Moving the distillery will take a little more time: the casks must be carefully moved, and the 'stills packed gently and transported carefully. Ah - but all this will happen.

My lands no longer have the spirit to hold more than a few people at a time, I believe they have been placed under some sort of spell (OOC - for those who are not aware, on Monday Linden Labs instituted the change to the open space sims, and now Loch Avie is a Homestead sim and is only able to support 20 avatars or less). However, she is still a gorgeous land and will suit her next caretaker nicely.

Yes - I will relinquish my title as Duchess of Loch Avie by moving from these lands as that particular honorific was associated with place. I will, however, remain an Estate Manager for all of the Independent State of Caledon.

The Order of the Red Rose will continue (yes folks have been asking) for these gentlemen were granted knighthood by virtue of their service to me, my clan, and my lands, and to Caledon.

This past weekend, I had an idea...one last blow out party before my flight into the north. It came together very nicely and very quickly. Kiralette Kelly provided the DJ services and created a very quirky playlist at my request. I said, "Kira, I want pipes, 1940's big bands, goth, 1980s....a selection of all the sides of Loch Avie....all the events and moods of me and the place." She came through with flying colors after only laughing at me for a few minutes. :-D

The revelers came in droves to help me give Loch Avie a proper send off....all 50 of us tried and failed to crash the sim. We killed the physics...stalled it completely. Frame rates were down to 1. The lag was horrific. BUT Loch Avie held strong and we had a grand good time.

Here are some pictures from this last, crazy, wonderful event. Enjoy!


Jan 6, 2009

Winter Warmth

What does winter bring to your mind?

For many, I suppose, it only conjures up thoughts of stark light and coldness. Or darkness. Or freezing pipes, freezing toes, freezing noses.

But for me winter often brings to mind the following:

~Warm, crackling wood fires
~Soft, fuzzy sweaters
~Romantic evenings spent with a loved one by the fire
~Hot Chocolate
~Walking alone or with your lover through the new-fallen snow, the only sound - the soft crunch of the snow under your feet.
~Meeting for coffee at a favorite little cafe, cuddling on the overstuffed sofa, and chatting away about everything and nothing

For this 3rd Annual Loch Avie Snowflake Ball I invite you to dream about what makes you feel warm in winter and join us on the ice and snow for a formal dance.*




MANY thanks to Her Excellency, Kamilah Hauptmann, for the use of her lands in Port Caledon for this event (For those who are not aware, Loch Avie can now only support 20 avatars at one time. Not really ideal for hosting balls - or any other event for that matter.) The Vicereine has been most gracious and helpful as we plan and prep for the event. I am lucky to count her among my good friends.

We will see you on January 10th from 7:30pm-10pm SLT.
Dress is formal.
*Dance notecards will be in use for this traditionally formal ball. A template will be provided for your use on site.

Location SLURL for Port Caledon.

I leave you with this poem by Thomas Campion

Now winter nights enlarge
This number of their hours;
And clouds their storms discharge
Upon the airy towers.
Let now the chimneys blaze
And cups o'erflow with wine,
Let well-tuned words amaze
With harmony divine...

This time doth well dispense
With lovers' long discourse;
Much speech hath some defense,
Though beauty no remorse.
All do not all things well:
Some measures comely tread,
Some knotted riddles tell,
Some poems smoothly read.
The summer hath his joys,
And winter his delights;
Though love and all his pleasures are but toys
They shorten tedious nights.

And now...A fine post from Hotspur

As I have said in a few venues, I have not really had a chance to sit down and write for the last few days, but I have been able to catch up on some of my reading during lunch and whatnot.

Here is a very fine post regarding community development and psychology found in the pages of Hibernia on the Skids.

Wise Words Of My Friend, Otenth

and many comments from other residents and friends.

Whither Polite Victorian Steampunk Society

by the way Sir Telemachus, ORR. The Order of the Red Rose follows me to my new lands.

Jan 4, 2009

Proceedings of the Royal Society: Salinity Data for Caledonian Waterways.

As always an excellent publication by Professor Kate Nicholas, F.R.S.

Proceedings of the Royal Society: Salinity Data for Caledonian Waterways.

Feumaidh mi falbh

The time is nearing for this Caledonian to leave her lands. I will be moving to the ancient homelands of my father's family - the Isle of Skye in Winterfell Anodyne (you may read the story of this discovery in posts here, here, and here).

But before the Lindens shrink the avatar limits on Loch Avie, I am inviting you all to one last Highland Fling in the Loch. Despite the fact that I decided to do this a mere 10 hours or so ago, it is all coming together rather nicely.

This will be a very loose format festival event with Caber and Hammer tossing, ice skating (free skates available to those who do not have them) in my rink to the south -or with the penguins on the frozen loch, dancing to many styles of music - representing many of the events we have held in Loch Avie over the last two years, and just general fun being together.

Tonight is for laughter, love, silliness, and the celebration of all the fun times in Loch Avie.

We really already bade Loch Avie farewell at the Realm of the Roses Ball last month. I shed my tears then. (MANY thanks again to Gabrielle for the love put into that event. *hugs, cousin*) Tonight it will be an event for the sake of fun - a way to send the sim out with a bang.

We'll show them "abusive use of open sims"! Ha!

SO JOIN ME TONIGHT AT 7PM-9PM SLT
FOR THE LAST HIGHLAND FLING IN LOCH AVIE




from the past year's Beltane celebration