Monday, April 28, 2008

Sunday and Jane Eyre

On Sunday nights when I'm remiss about the weekend coming to a close, I'll sneak a peek at what's playing on Masterpiece Theater. About two months back, I caught a bit of Jane Eyre. Not having read the book, I didn't know it was JE, but then they kept mentioning her name. It drew me in so much so that I decided I must read the book and quickly turned off the movie as not to ruin the plot.

Once I started reading the book, I couldn't put it down. It's well written. Charlotte Brontë created quite a character in Jane Eyre. You get to know Jane well, her motivations and her conviction. She transforms into a strong and independent woman. It's compelling psychologically and romantically. Now that I've read it, I've checked out (love the library) the 2 disc Masterpiece Theater production. It runs 228 minutes.

I'm only an hour in and following are my impressions. Be warned, some of the following may be considered spoilers:

  • Movie skips much of Jane's youth early on. In the movie, she's shipped off to the boarding school almost immediately. This may be okay (depending on what happens later) but the beginning is where you get a sense for Jane's suffering and what she's been through from a very early age that makes her who she is.
  • A mere 18 minutes into the DVD, Jane is arriving at Thornfield Hall to become Adele's governess.
  • In the book, Mr Rochester is described as unattractive and almost ugly, but in the movie Rochester is HOT, but is still not supposed to be! But, just look at him. There is nothing even remotely unattractive about him. He is arrogant and brusque, but not without his charms. I didn't think him as brusque in the book but he does come off as quite a bastard in the movie, at least initially.

Time will tell how it will play out. I'm particularly interested in how the movie will portray the Bertha situation.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Point Defiance Zoo--Tacoma, WA

Approximately 40 miles south of Seattle, the Point Defiance Zoo makes for an enjoyable outing. You can walk the zoo about 2 hours or so, depending on pace and time spend at exhibits. It's designed into several "regions" including the Asian Forest Sanctuary, Rocky Shores, Arctic Tundra and Aquariums (two buildings--North Pacific and South Pacific).
peacock_plumage I went to the zoo with Neil. This fellow greeted us near the entrance. We learned that the peacocks are not zoo residents but they come and go freely.
This peacock wasn't comfortable with how close I got to get my photos; the peacock quickly opened the huge plumage. It was beautiful and it spanned a good six feet. Once open, the peacock made the plumage shake vigorously. I'd never seen this behavior, but it worked...I quickly retreated and left the peacock.
The Aquariums, housed in two connected buildings, were surprisingly excellent, considering the zoo isn't huge. We stayed at this exhibit for quite some time, watching the sharks compulsively swimming in circles or just sitting nearly motionless at tank bottom (only the gills opening and closing occasionally). There were several sharks co-existing with the other fish in the tank. How? Is it that they're kept so well fed, they don't need to seek out additional food? Maybe that and maybe they put more compatible fish in with the sharks.
Following is one of the roomies. There are two shots: #1 or what I like to refer to as "before": 100_2155
In this photo, the fish looks fake...almost like a petrified museum sample, but it's the real deal, swimming around.
Now, for the #2 or "after". Please prepare for it.
I have a hard time looking at this shot: 100_2156
I'm equally repulsed and fascinated with this image. It's among my favorites from this zoo outing.
(Note: I'm overdoing it with the images, but this was an educational visit. That and the fact that this is my first post, I think I can get away with it.)
Still at the aquariums but in another building, you find the adorably cute and playful belugas and walruses. Two belugas swim and seem to offer the spectators ropes in what seems an attempt to play.
The walruses, three of them, enormous and mesmerizing, swim toward the glass and then back around, providing a full whiskers view each lap. Easy to stay and watch for a long time.
The zoo promised apes. The only primates I saw were two gibbons--active and funny--and two depressed-looking chimps. Other creatures on display included tigers, penguins, puffins, polar bears, elephants, reindeer, muskox.
The size was manageable with lots of green areas. I was surprised by the numbers of childless adults. Of course, you see predominantly families, but I expected to see fewer solo adults. Two thumbs up.
I close this post with an image of Neil. See how much fun you can generate at the zoo?!? 100_2145