Friday, November 7, 2014

Assorted Chocolates

An Elven Princess kindly passed along a questionnaire/list-making/survey/opinion-taking "blog tag" thing-a-ma-jig regarding one of my all-time favorite subjects - books!
I've never done a blog tag before... this ought to be fun!

Dark Chocolate (a book that covers a dark topic)
I think the book I've read that comes closest to this category would be Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I seem to remember it being a rather depressing story, on the whole.
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens was much the same for me, though to a lesser degree - the French Revolution counts as a dark topic, but at least this story had a few light moments.

White Chocolate (a light and humorous read)
Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events, perhaps? ;) heh heh heh

Milk Chocolate (an book with a lot of hype that you're dying to read)
I've been hearing about this book called The Hobbit... it seems to be a big thing right now, for some reason. Something about a movie or two being made of it. ;]
I'll be re-reading The Hobbit in its entirety before going to see The Battle of the Five Armies on opening day. :)

Caramel-filled Chocolate (a book that makes you feel all gooey inside)
This description almost implies a romance novel of some sort... so I would say Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen, except that it isn't actually a "romance novel" and it doesn't make me feel all gooey inside... to my knowledge, no book I've read fits in this category.

Wafer-less Kit-Kat (a book that surprised you)
A Wind in the Door by Madeline L'Engle. This book primarily surprised me because, though I didn't have a firm expectation on what it would be like, it was nothing like any of the ambiguous conjectures I had made. It was also surprisingly good - I may be prejudiced without cause, but I expected very little from a paperback by a modern author.

(Disclaimer: I have not yet read any of the other three books in this series. For better or for worse, reading the remainder will undoubtedly change my views on this one.)

Snickers (a book you're going nuts about)
I do not go nuts. :]

Hot Chocolate with mini marshmallows (a book you turn to for comfort)
The Bible is a steadfast source of comfort for those who love God and are loved by Him!
Other readables that could be of use in calming one's self could include just about anything beloved or familiar. Letters from a friend or a large volume of quotations would be ideal.

Box of Chocolates (a series you feel has something for everyone)
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis! Seven books full of delightful characters, well-drawn environments, kingdom-style adventures, fanciful creatures, Biblical parallels, and clear reflections of truth.

Now, it must be noted that different people have different tastes. (Brilliant and original observation, eh?) Contrary to probable expectations, I'm actually not referring to various preferences in the literary realm - rather, I mean differing tastes with regards to chocolate. (A much less profound topic, I know. But still.)
To be perfectly honest, with the exception of the "wafer-less Kit-Kat", I would not have described any of these chocolates in the manner that they are here. I would not connect dark chocolate with a weighty subject, and I would not equate hot chocolate with comfort. Thusly and therefore (and primarily for my own amusement), I've re-written the questionnaire using more Zoë-ish descriptions of some of  the various chocolates given.

Dark Chocolate (a book you thoroughly love for its depth, detail, beauty, intensity, wit, and grandeur)
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by JRR Tolkien!

White Chocolate (a book you like very much, though not necessarily vital to your existence)
The World of Pooh by AA Milne - I love the frequent use capitalizations in words for which Capitalizations are Not Necessary. Also, Milne writes with the wonderfully dry wit I appreciate so much. The Pooh stories are certainly among my favorites.

Milk Chocolate (an insipid imitation of something better)
The Never-ending Story by Michael Ende - quite possibly one of the worst books I've ever read.

Wafer-less Kit-Kat (a book you could make neither heads nor tails of)
Alice in Wonderland - and, indeed, just about anything by Lewis Carrol. His poem The Jabberwocky seems the most sensible and easily comprehensible of all his works I've yet read.

Snickers (a book for which you audibly laugh while reading)
(Obviously, this is a different meaning of the word; I'm referring to stifled laughter, not implying that such is the result of consuming a candy bar. Though that also may very well be the case.)
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen - Henry Tilney's remarks are among the funniest of all lines given to Jane Austen's characters!

Hot Chocolate with mini marshmallows (a perfect book for cuddling up with on a winter day)
A six-volume set of the complete works of Shakespeare, perhaps? :)
The Twelve Days of Christmas, resplendent with lavish yet elegant illustrations by Laurel Long, is a sumptuous book to just sit and look at! Along with the obvious Christmas theme of the text, the rich warm tones of the tapestries and the cool frosty hues of the idyllic nighttime scenes make this a delightful book for wintertime.

"But wait!", you exclaim, "that's all very well and good, but this is a music and dance blog! This post doesn't have anything to do with either music or dance! What on earth is it doing here?" Don't worry, I'm thinking the same thing myself in hopes of finding a solution.
Ah-ha! I have thought of one!
Taking the path of least resistance, I shall merely answer the chocolate tag questions again, but this time substituting "music" for "book". Pretty clever, eh? :]

Dark Chocolate (a song that covers a dark topic)
The Resistance by Josh Garrels - this song needs a post of its own!

White Chocolate (a light and humorous song)
Ordinary Day by Melanie Penn - It was an ordinary day / I woke up on a wave / I filled a sail and made my way to the shore... This is the song of a summer breeze telling us about the scenes it passed through today! The lyrics are light, the tune is playful, and the tone is fully fitting with both. I like this song. :]

Milk Chocolate (a song with a lot of hype that you're dying to hear)
This barely counts, but... we heard Royals by Lorde playing on the radio at least twice a day awhile back, and through such constant exposure I actually grew to like it quite a bit! (Just in time for the station to find something else to play over and over... funny how that works...)

Caramel-filled Chocolate (music that makes you feel all gooey inside)
Feast of Starlight from The Desolation of Smaug (soundtrack composed by Howard Shore) - the musical theme for Tauriel is used beautifully here. The score perfectly reflects the scene it accompanies - a serene setting, softly flickering light, and a conversation in which attention is caught, lost, and regained, and in which the beginnings of tenderness appear.

Snickers (music you're going nuts about)
Let us interpret "going nuts about" as "playing/listening to/analyzing to a disproportionate degree as compared to other music". Using this interpretation, this would currently be Temptation Rag, which I am slowly but surely learning to play on the banjo. I've spent a fair amount of time thinking about the piece, endeavoring to find the most practical location on the fret board for playing the melody, locating the more obscure chords, and trying to reconcile three interpretations of the timing with each other. This recording is particularly pleasant for listening to.

Hot Chocolate with mini marshmallows (music you turn to for comfort)
That which is familiar and/or something in a minor key.

Starting again with my modified version:

Dark Chocolate (music you thoroughly love)
The Battle from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (soundtrack composed by Harry Gregson-Williams) - epic grandeur at its magnificent height!

The Council of Elrond from The Fellowship of the Ring (soundtrack composed by Howard Shore, vocals performed by Enya) - this track contains easily identifiable quotations from several of my favorite Middle-earth musical themes.

White Chocolate (a song you like very much, though not necessarily vital to your existence)
Piano Man by Billy Joel - another song well deserving of an entire post, if for no other merit than its non-standard length!

Milk Chocolate (an insipid imitation of something better)
I would say "a lot of contemporary music", but that might be too controversial... ;]

Hot Chocolate with mini marshmallows (a perfect piece for cuddling up with on a winter day)
Loreena McKennit's album The Book of Secrets - I must do a full post on this magnificent album sometime!
George Winston's piano solos album December - these skillfully played pieces lend a thoughtful demeanor to the listener, and occasionally impart a feeling of melancholy as well. December is best listened to in the month by that name, preferably when the only light is that which is reflected off the snow from a neighboring porch light.
The music of A Charlie Brown Christmas by Vince Guaraldi - a festive and fun Christmas classic!

It seems that the thing to do with a blog tag is to pass it along to some number of other bloggers for them to participate in. Rather like a pass-along card, come to think of it...

An Elven Princess (I'd be interested to read your answers to any of the three variations on this questionnaire!)
Marjo B.
my cousins
all readers of this blog who are remotely interested in participating!

Replies may be posted on your own site or in the comments below, whichever is preferable to you.


Anonymous said...

(Christian here)

You said this mentioned me? I read the whole thing, you must have made a mistake?...(or I did)

Zoë said...

Nope, just an ingenious way to get you to read the post, mwah hah hah! >:D

No, I'm kidding. ;] Didn't you see the part where I passed along the tag to other people? One of the parties listed reads "my cousins", with a suggestion further down that replies may be posted in the comments. (Be sure to specify which questionnaire you're replying to, though!)

Oh - and congratulations on your first comment on this incredible intellectual outstanding amazing world-famous blog!

Aibhilin (Evelyn) said...

Great answers! :D
It's Evie from A Period Drama Fangirl, just letting you know I now have a new blog. It's me, myself and I :-)

Christian said...

Oh, I am worth mentionable only when used as, the people over their, my cousins....

you don't even know my name...

(that security system to prove I am a robot is to easy, I have 20/15 vision after all)

Christian said...

Wait this is a music blog, what Am I doing here ( just kidding)

just remember one thing, instruments are ways to get inside people's lives, and, one swipe of the bow on the strings, could make a person, regret many things,

hey, I like music therapy! so sue me!...

Zoë said...

I wasn't sure whether you wanted your name posted online or not. (You do know that these comments can be viewed by pretty much anyone, right?)

You are mentionable when I'm asking you questions... so ANSWER ALREADY!!! ;]

True, it's not the most sophisticated of security systems... ;] Actually, its only purpose is to stop automatic spam comments from coming through. If I had issues with what's being posted by actual people, I'd enable comment moderation, which would require me to approve each individual comment before it is published on the blog.

Are you a "glass half empty" type of person too, then? I completely agree with you about the powerful effect of music, though I personally would rank the sound of a bow on the string as among the highlights of life. Violin, viola, cello, bass, it doesn't matter - those stringed instruments are beyond all others!

Wait, why should I sue you? I don't have anything against music therapy... :?

Zoë said...

Thanks for commenting, Evie! :)

Christian said...

I said I have 20/15 vision, do you see the importance in that?

(pun intended)

Christian said...

Here is a great idea, make a message titled:

"The beauty of a plucked pair"

The message should be all about mandolins and lutes, trust me, they a Pulchritudinous sound makers...

I could write the message on the cousin blog, you could paste it over to this blog, along with editing (o wise grammar master), you can also get a nifty tune from youtube such as soldiers joy or Eliza Jane, just one thing, do not say the message was "completely inspired and written by Zoe"

Zoë said...

Okie-dokie, have at it! Just don't trust me to correct any potential factual errors (a strictly theoretical scenario, of course), as I know very little regarding mandolins and still less about lutes.

You think I'd take credit for your writing? That's illegal! And totally obvious, given our differing writing styles...

Okay, I'll be looking for that message soon, then! Be sure to specify which songs (if any) you want me to try to include with the post.

I take it you're not too interested in talking about chocolate? ;]

Christian said...

I will start on that message soon...

(the songs I want is soldiers joy,eliza jane and cluck old hen, all of them must be on a sola mandolin or one accompanied by a guitar)

Zoë said...

There's a dance to Soldier's Joy... I should probably research the history of that tune/dance at some point...

Eliza Jane... you mean like Almanzo Wilder's sister? I'd be guessing a lot of the notes are staccato, then... ;]

Cluck Old Hen... what a name! But I remember it sounded great when you played it on the mandolin, so all's well.

Solo mandolin with optional guitar accompaniment? Okay... I'll see what I can do!

Presumably for your lute post you'll want to include "Reindeers Are Better Than People"? ;]

Christian said...

well, they are two posts in one, they are functionally the same instrument.

Christian said...

You always say we have different writing styles... I have noticed, but i do not know how...

Zoë said...

What is a lute tuned to? Are the strings doubled?

I write much longer comments, for one thing. ;] (Well, usually, that is...)

Christian said...

I do not know what it is tuned to per say, but I do know a share qualities like a mandolin and are usually synonyms..

Zoë said...

I see. I think (though do not know with certainty) that the lute has been in existence for a longer period of time; also, if I understand correctly, the strings have less of a "twang" to their sound than do those of a mandolin.

Have you ever heard a dulcimer played? As in, in person? They're amazing!

Christian said...

yes, my uncle plays one, well, he really can pick up any string instrument and play it

Zoë said...

That's an incredible skill to have! Your uncle usually plays about eight different instruments, right? Pretty impressive!
The ability to play multiple instruments well is something I'm (slowly) working towards. I intend to learn to play every instrument we own to a reasonable level of proficiency. Might take awhile. :]