The Opinionated Wench

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Fall Term 2002

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December 19, 2002 The Two Towers. It comes in pints? Yes, five of them to be precise. My thoughts are a little scattered right now, and I fully intend to see it again soon, so I may review it more fully then. Anyway, go see it, even if you have no idea what an Ent is.

December 12, 2002 So last night, in preparation for my Evidence exam which is on Friday, I read The Silmarillion, by JRR Tolkien.

Also, for non-SCA types, or for SCA types who for some reason have no idea what Sutton Hoo is, I apologise for yesterday's link, which was perhaps not the most instructive. Here are some more, though sadly I was unable to find a link to the fantastic reproduction of the helm. Viscount Vik Vikingsson, a many times prince of Avacal, also has a VERRY NICE Sutton Hoo style helm, which I was also unable to find a picture of on the net. It's possibly the coolest thing that someone I know has ever made.

And, here's a Special Report on the State of Affairs at the North Pole to help you get in the appropriate Christmassy Lord of the Ringsy spirit. You might want to have read the Silmarillion.

December 11, 2002 Obsessive fangirl that I am, I have been hanging out at all day, and now I have just been to the official movie site. Having seen the architectural detail at Edoras (link from this page), I die. What Sutton Hoo might look like if it was a building. Yes, I know, it's a silly thing to get worked up about, but on the other hand, if such an insignificant detail is so cool, imagine what the whole movie will be like!

Also, this is the funniest review of Lord of the Rings that I have ever read.

December 7, 2002 Today I'm surfing for nice pictures of vintage looking furniture. Let's start with Bombay Company, always a good store to drool in. Cool, as usual, but no dice on what I'm looking for, which is a dressing table with a mirror (I think it's called a vanity). I googled on vintage furniture. If you're looking for swell 50's items, which I am not, you could go to Vintage Castle. Antique Mystique was more like what I was after, but still no mirrored vanity. I was definitely not looking for Strawberry Shortcake memorabilia, yet here it is. Not that the stuff I'm interested in is any less obscure, but I had no idea there were so many obscure things that people could make websites about.

One of a Kind Antiques has lots of nice furniture from the approximate era I'm after, so maybe we'll find something here. Well, we're getting closer. Here's a nice mirror, quite similar to one I actually own, but sadly no dressing stand attached. Here's a site called Design Addict that looks like it has a lot of potential, but I'm not to be distracted from my quest. Pooh, only 20th century stuff there anyways. Booor-ring! Nothing here, or here, but here I think we're getting very close indeed. Here's another one, and another one. And another one. This is the right species of furniture, but I'm still not sure about the period. Let's keep looking.

Here's another site that looks promising. This chair, while not really what I'm looking for, has got to be the coolest thing ever. If you were looking for pickle castors, here's the place! More nice furniture here, but I still haven't found what I'm looking for. Okay, that was a nice little diversion, but we're getting off topic and we have to find the perfect vanity.

Oops, I'm barely back on topic again and I'm getting distracted by Classic Cars. We're really not getting very far. Maybe we'd better try The Met. Oops, I found the musical instruments instead. How about a peacock-shaped sitar? No? Well, I'll have one of these, please. No, wait. I want this one instead. Well, I think I've lost interest in looking for a mirrored vanity at the moment. Maybe I'll try again later. In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed surfing with me!

December 6, 2002 What I'm surfing tonight: First I went to National Geographic, where I discovered a story about Mayan pyramids. After cribbing the image of the pyramid for possible future use in a KiSS doll, I read the story, then moved on to a story about chocolate. From there, I found a total chocolate extravaganza. I took the chocolate challenge, and when I finished I knew all about chocolate. I went to the history of chocolate page, in hopes of finding more nice mesoamerican pictures for use in KiSS doll making. My search didn't prove too fruitful, so I went to the Field Museum's main page. Meanwhile, in another window, I made a quick trip to Gwynn's homepage, but she hasn't made an update in a few days. Back at the Field Museum, I went to the exhibit on pearls, again mainly in search of images for use in KiSS projects. As you can tell, I have a pretty one-track mind at the moment. Last but not least, I went to the Field Museum's online store to look at their Egypt merchandise, but like most Egypt merchandise it was kind of crummy. I decided to look up mummies on Google, and the most exciting link looked like the Virtual Temple. I wasn't really clear what I was supposed to do with this site, so I ended up back at National Geo. This page of National Geo is particularly cool because it's a repo of an original article from 1923. It had a link to an article on the pronunciation of Ancient Egyptian. That proved a little too scholarly for me at this time of night, but the author of the article seemed to think that one of the hieroglyphs resembled a banjo, so off I was again to Google to look up banjos. I discovered a banjo glossary, which shows that some people have way too much time on their hands. The Banjo-L homepage had a link to something called the Temple of the Dalai Camel, but unfortunately it was not found. The not-found-ness reminded me of this summer, when I was trying to learn more about Rennes-le-Chateau, and suddenly we're off to Google again. Of course, I should mention that the entire time I was looking at all of this, I was also hanging out in the Otakuworld Forums. At this point, I decided to upload my index page to the web to make sure all of my links worked.

I chose the Rennes-le-Chateau photo gallery because, unsolved mystery or no, I really like old world architecture. I got to some stuff about Mary Magdalen that I didn't quite understand, and then there was some more weirdness with an American Gothic tarot deck. So I tried another link from that site to something that was called "Illuminations", but it too was not found. I included the link anyway because I think it's a rather interesting domain name. Anyway, having had enough of the not-founds and not wanting to attract the attention of the Illuminati who are of course behind the suppression of such mysteries, I decided to visit an entirely different sort of Le Chateau. Le Chateau is my favorite clothing store, but the site is kind of irritating because it has music that you can't turn off. For once, their catalog was actually working so I chose a nice muppety sweater, a kind of hippy top, and a bunch of other things.

Some things that I actually do want from Le Chateau are these shoes, these boots and these boots, (here's a necklace very similar to one I just got from Le Chateau), this coat is so cool, and I really, really, really want this Dior knockoff jacket. I tried it on and it looked really stunning on me but it was $90 so :( One of the collections at Le Chateau right now is actually called Bollywood - I'm sure Manmeet would be so thrilled.

Having exhausted all the possibilities at Le Chateau, I headed over to to see if there was anything new and exciting there. I tried a new feature, "shopping" and found myself with a Gothic Park shopper, whatever that is. I'm really not sure that just by virtue of its being black, something is gothic. I thought the first pair of boots, the first handbag, and the cross earrings were gothy, but some of the other things were just black, and one of the items was cowboy boots, which, in my mental categories left over from my high school days, are kind of like the opposite of gothic.

I decided to go to the website of Lucky, which is the magazine all about shopping, as though other fashion magazines were not all about shopping. I tried to take the Lucky poll, but the link didn't seem to be working. I wasn't really sure where else on this site to go, but I clicked on this link that said pocket protector, and I was glad I did, because I saw a girl wearing one of these scarves on the bus the other day and I thought it was really cool. The scarf was from Bebe, which is like Le Chateau but more expensive.

Here's a bunch more things I found at Bebe that I thought were cool: this necklace, this necklace, this shirt, this shirt, which would probably look awful on me, this shirt, this sweater, which is obviously not designed for a Canadian winter, this sweater (ditto), the so fashionable poncho, these pants, similar though they may be to a pair I already own, these shoes, because they would go so well with everything else I've chosen, and this dress.

And I think that's enough surfing for now.

Okay, I know I said I was done surfing, but I always have to check Tucows to see if they have any interesting themes, wallpaper, or games, but they didn't, so then I went to Fortean Times, which always has interesting links, in this case Found Magazine, which kept me busy for a while, and the free fall research page.

December 5, 2002 Perhaps this man read a little too much Poe.

December 4, 2002 My new favorite website is

December 3, 2002 The peopling of the Americas: Uh oh, here we go again.

November 29, 2002 Yay! I'm finished my Secured Transactions outline! In addition, Cihuamiquitzli, the companion story to my latest KiSS set, is finally finished and available from my Arts and Sciences page.

November 28, 2002 I've added another page to my photo gallery, featuring pictures from this Hallowe'en.

Ysabel has been posted on Otakuworld. She's doing pretty well in the polls so far!

November 25, 2002 Well, I turned 25 yesterday, so that was kind of exciting. Today we have a link to the entire manuscript of the Black Book of Carmarthen. The link is on the National Library of Wales site, but I wasn't able to discover whether there are other manuscripts online at the site or not.

November 23, 2002 I've sent Ysabel to Otakuworld. I also have 20 pages of a 25 page 100 percent paper written, and tomorrow is my 25th birthday.

November 16, 2002 Last night I did the geek thing and went to the opening night of Harry Potter in costume. There are what could be construed as spoilers in my review, so if you don't want to know where the Chamber of Secrets is or what's in it, don't read my review. On the other hand, if you're a fan of the books, you already know what's in the Chamber of Secrets, so you should read my review and find out exactly how geeky I am about dressing up to go to geek movies on opening night.

November 14, 2002 Today's content comes from opinionated guest Gord Buck. He has an opinion on One Hour Photo, starring Robin Williams. During his trip to Vancouver, he became very interested in skyscrapers:

And he also sent another interesting link - The Emo Game (at least, Gord thinks it's interesting. I don't know enough about Emo to know if it's interesting or not).

November 13, 2002 Queen of the Damned reviewed. Full review of LOTR forthcoming once I've watched all the special features, but the provisional rating is 5 pints.

November 12, 2002 Okay, so I just got the special edition LOTR on DVD today, so I haven't had time to watch all the special features yet, but I have got to say that the Bag End Set Test is possibly the funniest thing I've seen yet this year.

November 10, 2002 Manmeet's cousin Zenia is now in movies. Hooray for Bollywood!

November 9, 2002 I've posted a photo gallery, with a small selection of the many pictures I've taken in the last few years. Mostly pictures of me in garb, but a few other things too. There are a lot of pictures, so just be warned if you're using a slow connection.

November 5, 2002 Following in the large footsteps of The Onion, some of my fellow law students have launched their own satirical website, In Dissent.

November 4, 2002 I was really virtuous today. I posted a FPP at Metafilter that managed not to get deleted by mathowie, I'm completely caught up on my Secured Transactions readings, I created a base doll for the KiSS doll I'm working on, I talked to both of my grandmothers, I took the garbage out, I'm way ahead in my trusts readings, and I even wore a poppy for Remembrance Day (but only because they seem much gothier with the new black centres).

Oh, my FPP was about Chinese voyages of discovery in the first half of the 15th century, because reporters always act all shocked like they're turning history on its ear every time they post something about the Americas not being discovered by Columbus first (gasp!) but the two articles I linked to were just newspaper articles so they'll probably disappear soon.

So when Owen and I grow up (ha, ha), we want to have a garage band, and I'm supposed to learn to play the mandolin. In preparation for this remote eventuality, we found a good mandolin resource website here.

November 2, 2002 Despite my best intentions to stop slacking off and do more schoolwork, I am already planning another KiSS doll.

October 31, 2002 Happy Hallowe'en! I am proud to announce that my first KiSS doll, Chiarastella, is now available at Otakuworld

October 2, 2002 Well, it's been a busy couple of weeks for me. First my mom came to visit, and we had dinner at The Noodle House and visited Saltspring Island. Then we had a few weekends of Trying to Impress Big City Firms. First Gord went to the Oak Bay Marina, then I went to Il Terrazzo and Brasserie "L'Ecole". Bruce went to a restaurant too but he hasn't sent me any opinions on it yet so maybe it wasn't that opinion-worthy.

Oh, and my dad says it was a 2002 Focus.

September 17, 2002 I may be turning into the opinionated-arky-wench, but only because I find Iron Age ports in Britain to be far more interesting than Regulation of Financial Institutions. More on iron-age Britain, plus a bonus chalk horse (see September 9) and one of my favorite what-ifs for an alternate history.

September 15, 2002 I had an extremely productive day yesterday. First I had lunch at the Fan Tan Cafe, and I learned that despite its diminutive size the Victoria Chinatown, commonly referred to around the law school as Chinablock, is actually the oldest Chinatown in Canada. Then I went to the library and got some keyboard music. Finally, I saw Minority Report with Manmeet and Gord, while Owen watched Clay Pigeons. What's that you say? Didn't I do any school work? Of course not!

September 13, 2002 Happy Friday 13th! A mill in Britain was built using timbers from the Chesapeake. Here are some American and British perspectives on the famous fight. I came to know of this historical event by reading the books of Patrick O'Brian, whose books are now being starring Russell Crowe as Jack Aubrey. I'm not sure how I feel about that.

September 12, 2002 Advances in biotechnology have led to new avenues of archaeological inquiry. Previously, prehistoric migration of human populations was determined mainly by studying similarities between languages, though many such studies can get far-fetched. (I was actually unable to find any of the really specious things about PIE and other languages that I've seen before on the web; these will have to do for now.)

September 9, 2002 Britons recently restored one of the great "chalk horses" that dot their landscape. Oh but wait, its neck was kind of distorted, making it look more like a giraffe. So they fixed it. While they're at it, David's hand is disproportionately large. They should whittle it down so it's in proportion with the rest of the sculpture. And, uh, that skull at the bottom of The Ambassadors is almost unrecogniseable; and come on, no real person is as well-endowed as the Venus of Willendorf or the Cerne Abbas Giant. These are only a few small examples of serious distortions in the great artwork of the world. Really, someone ought to be doing something about all this!

September 7, 2002 Who says you can't learn interesting things in Trusts class? My Trusts textbook asserts that historians of the English language now think that Chancery clerks played a crucial role in the emergence of modern English. Here are a bunch of early documents -- as for whether any of them relate to trusts, your guess is as good as mine. I was actually trying to find more about how Chancery figured in the development of the English language, but I found Lynette's Legal History Page instead. Looks like that might come in handy next term. Anyway, here is a prof at UVic who seems to have published a bunch of stuff on the topic. Maybe I'll go talk to him. Maybe I'd better get back to reading about trusts.

September 6, 2002 I was in the drug store today and I was delighted to discover a book called Hotel Transylvania on the paperback racks. That's a really cheesy name for a novel, you say. Well, yes. It's a really cheesy name. I am lucky/geeky enough to own the first edition of this novel, which was published in 1978. The fact that it was published in the 70s could explain the cheesy title, although the title does make sense when you've read the book. In fact, my copy is actually the second copy of the first edition that I've owned, because I lent the first copy to a girl who never gave it back to me, but that's another story. Anyway, back to the book. It's by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro and it's the first in the novels of Saint-Germain, who is, (gosh, you hadn't guessed by now?) a vampire. The back of the book describes the Saint-Germain novels as being in the tradition of Anne Rice and Laurell K. Hamilton, and I suppose if the tradition they mean is the tradition of having vampires as protagonists, then I suppose that's accurate. Each Chelsea Quinn Yarbro novel is like its own little self-contained costume drama; this one is set in pre-revolutionary France. Saint-Germain seems to have been in some sense a real historical personage; Hotel Transylvania is about the time and place where he seems to have first cropped up. Anyway, I'm happy that a set of well-researched historical novels seem to be coming back into print, because they're devilishly hard to find used. I do recommend that you read them, but honestly, they're nothing like Anne Rice or Laurell K. Hamilton. Given that a vampire is the main character, they're really not very vampire-y at all.

September 5, 2002 Recently, US courts ruled that scientists could study the remains of Kennewick Man (hey, it's kind of law-related). I haven't really been following it, but I think it has caused all manner of controversy and bad blood between scientists and First Nations groups. Here in Canada we have a slightly more positive example in Kwaday Dan Ts'Inchi, whose remains are much more recent and identifiably from a particular cultural group. Now members of that group are helping archaeologists to understand artifacts found with the body. Other famous human remains, such as Otzi and Cheddar Man, have their sexuality questioned or have DJs or songs named after them.

September 4, 2002 What could possibly be better/worse than Bagpipe Music? That's right, Banjo Music! I just get a big smile on my face whenever I hear the banjo. People who don't like banjos have no joy in their lives. People who DO like banjos should check out any or all of the following albums, and should also listen to CKUA (The Best Radio Station In The West) on the internet or at 580 AM across the province of Alberta.

  • The Corb Lund Band -- Five Dollar Bill
  • Old and In the Way
  • Scruj MacDuhk Live Album
  • The Pogues Live Album
  • The Mediaeval Baebes -- The Rose (not actually banjo music at all)
  • The Bill Hilly Band -- The Bill Hilly Band
  • The Bill Hilly Band -- All Day Every Day
  • The Waybacks -- Devolver (no banjo in this band, but it's still kind of banjo music)
  • In other news, today was my first day of class. I learned that the concept of having security for a loan goes back to cavepeople. No really. That's what she said. Somehow I think the magic has gone out of Back To School.

    September 3, 2002 Have I mentioned how much I truly hate Microsoft Outlook as a mail program? All I wanted to do was clear out the Deleted Items folder on my computer, but now that I've gone online it's taking like an hour and a half to synchronise or something when all of those messages were gone from there like months ago. Aaaauuuggghh!

    I have a new email address that you can actually reach me at. Please send me your comments, questions, opinions, and links. If you send me an opinion or link and I post it, I will credit you either as yourself or as the alias of your choice. You can email me at opinionatedwench(at)hotmail(dot)com.

    Last night I read Miss Eliza's Gentleman Caller, which was mildly entertaining (okay, it had me laughing out loud), but then I discovered that while I have been here on my own turning into a basket case Manmeet has been on a cruise to Italy and the Mediterranean. I am SOOOOO jealous. Why can't her family just adopt me or something? Anyway, maybe if I ask real nice and don't play too much bagpipe music she'll write a review of it.

    September 2, 2002 Some people think that Marlowe is Shakespeare. Some people think that Marlowe is James Bond All I know is that it's impossible to find analysis of Marlowe's plays qua Marlowe's plays on the web. Last week I discovered that Marlowe wrote a play called The Jew of Malta. Sounds like the Merchant of Venice, huh? The few websites I was able to find that even discussed Marlowe's play seem to agree that both Shakespeare and Marlowe were drawing on the same sources, either a recent scandal or an Italian folktale. I guess this is kind of like two movies being made based on the same story. The modern example that immediately came to my mind was Devdas, but in case you don't know or don't care about Bollywood (notice that the logo for this site shows not India but the Americas - curious) a more mainstream Hollywood example might be the many retellings of the Arthur story. In case this is all too intellectual for you, you can always just give a Shakespeare name to your child. I want to name my first daughter Goneril.

    September 1, 2002 You may think that I'm really going out of my way to find weird and wonderful web pages while I am supposed to be looking for law firms, but I assure you that my procedure is to type in the name of the law firm as a google search term and see what comes up. And it's not like I'm really scrolling through the search pages to find this stuff either. It's all right there in the first list of ten hits. Here are some for today:

    I think this is my new method for finding weird stuff on the net. Just type in 2 random nouns or last names and see what you get.

    I'm into my fourth full day here; I've done more shopping than I can actually afford; I neglected to go to the library before the long weekend and I really don't want to read "The Bartered Bridegroom" or "Lady Scandal" again; there's only so much time I can stand to spend looking for law firms to apply to for next summer; and all the people I would normally phone in Calgary to relieve the boredom are either away from a telephone or out partying today and tomorrow.

    August 31, 2002 One really finds the strangest links when looking for law firms on the internet...

    Back to scholarly links for today. Wow. This link to the Library of Congress Vatican Exhibit, courtesy of Mistress Fabienne, could keep me occupied for hours. It's extremely extensive and informative and for most of the manuscripts, the images are clear enough that if you knew your paleography and your Renaissance languages you could actually read them. Amazing.

    August 30, 2002 I am supposed to be looking for law firms' contact information on the web, so of course I am looking for sites about famous bridges instead (I had a dream about a bridge being renovated last night). Possibly the most famous is the Golden Gate Bridge (webcam), but the Canadian equivalent is the Lion's Gate Bridge. The UK's most famous bridge used to be London Bridge, but now it's in Arizona.

    Well, I had an extremely exciting day yesterday in which I bought all my textbooks for the fall (almost $450 -- yikes!) and then waited half an hour for a bus to go to London Drugs to buy computer paper, but I heard from Owen and he had a much more constructive day in which he embraced his inner fishnerd and then drank a whole bunch of beer.

    August 29, 2002 Well, my first full day back in Victoria. It still feels kind of strange and unreal. I remembered, of course, that Shelbourne is the only street in Victoria that's straight for a quarter mile, but I didn't remember quite how noisy it was on the "quiet" side of the building. I feel a bit like Karyn for saying this, but bulk supermarket coffee is actually quite good and only costs a fraction of the price of the vacuum-packed stuff, so until I start work at the Evil Green Monster. (where I get a free pound of beans a week) that's what I'll be drinking. Besides, being a starving student puts you in the same sort of weekly budget situation as being in massive credit card debt, only, you know, without the massive credit card debt. Notice to credit card owners everywhere: pay off your entire credit card bill EVERY MONTH. Don't be like Karyn.

    Also, don't be like these brides. The following are actual questions, word for word, from an advice column about bridesmaids, with my answers to the dilemmas. Everyone who is reading this MUST let me know if I ever turn into either of these brides.

    Q: My maid of honor just got a big promotion at work, and now she seems too busy to help me pick out the bridesmaids' dresses. Is there a way to make her see she's letting me down?

    A: Put yourself in your bridesmaid's position. Which is more important to you, your career which will last you the rest of your life, or your friend's "special, special day"? Get your priorities straight -- I think your bridesmaid has hers figured out.

    Q: I picked out a beautiful yellow dress for my bridesmaids, but I found out recently they're not happy with it. What am I supposed to do now?

    A: Gosh, do you think it has anything to do with the fact that you picked a yellow dress? Nobody looks good in yellow, not even you. What possessed you to choose yellow? Note: the magazine's answer makes absolutely no mention of the concept that perhaps she ought not to have chosen yellow. In fact, elsewhere in the magazine, it advocates brown dresses for bridesmaids. Oh my god.

    August 28, 2002 I was seen off at the airport by my mom, Owen, and Jean, and I very much appreciate all of them coming. It made my going back to Victoria that much nicer. My flight to Vancouver took off half an hour late. On my flight were The Guy Who Wants You to Know He's So Important that He Has To Be On His Cellphone Right Up Until He Boards the Plane and Again As Soon As the Plane Lands, and Middle Aged White Guy Escorting a Group of Japanese Schoolgirls (well, and the Japanese Schoolgirls, of course, who had just finished shopping at Le Chateau and Sirens before getting on the plane). Other than being late, the flight was pretty good, and since I had almost a 2 hour layover between my flights I was in no danger of missing my flight from Vancouver to Victoria. When I got to Victoria, not only was I almost the first person off the plane, but both my pieces of luggage came off the turntable right away and I was the very first person from my flight to leave the airport. I was really happy.

    I'd like to thank everybody who was reading my website over the summer. I hope you enjoyed my wacky collection of links. I will do my best to keep it up during the term, but don't be surprised if I post a lot of links to Trusts or Secured Transactions-related websites. You can still read the summer collection of links here.


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