Sunday, February 28, 2010

She Moved Through the Fair

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you've read The Fiery Cross.

Oooofah! I just came up with a song/scene to beat the band.  I am loving "She Moved Thro' the Fair" - sung by Orla Fallon - for The Fiery Cross when Roger is hanged. Oh man it gives me chills. Let me set the scene (which is all in slow motion):

They're walking Roger to the trees to be hanged... and then you see Brianna smiling and talking with Jamie and Claire, thinking they're out of danger because the battle with the Regulators is over.

Then as Roger is dying... his life is flashing through his eyes... we see flashes from when he was a little boy... with his parents... and the Reverand... and him at Oxford... and then he lingers on one memory: the day he and Bree were at the Scots festival in Massachusetts. And they're laughing and talking and her hair is gorgeous in the sunlight... and we keep seeing the scene flashing from Bree smiling at the fair in her 20th century clothes - to Roger dying - to Bree smiling with her parents in her 18th century clothes, having no idea what is happening to Roger at that verra moment. Chills, chills and more chills!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Forever Let Us Hold Our Banner High

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you have finished Part 6 (Chapter 52) in A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES. 

I couldna understand - for the life of me - what a chapter entitled "M-I-C" was going to be about. My first thought was "M-I-C...K-E-Y...M-O-U-S-E" and I thought "nahhhh". But sure enough - there it is - Bree explaining Disneyland to Jamie. (Meanwhile Disneyworld would have been much closer to their house in Boston - but who am I to question the Mistress Gabaldon?)

ADDENDUM: My thanks to TERRY who posted the following comment: Disney World opened in Oct. of 1971. Frank was already dead by then.

Sigh. That was just a lovely little scene of Bree and Jamie, sitting on the stoop, watching the fireflies... listening to the kids playing (and by "kids", I also mean Roger LOL)...and talking about Bree's world. Although I did get a pang of pain when she mentioned Frank and called him "Daddy". That has to be ten times worse for Jamie to hear than for Claire to hear a mention of Laoghaire, dontcha think? Frank raised his daughter as his own. OCH!!! That makes me throw up in my MOUTH a little when I think about it!!

Anyhoo...back to Mickey and Pals...I've always maintained I'd like to see much more of 20th century explanations to Jamie. It's just so comical.

"A giant rat?" he said, sounding slightly stunned. "And they take the weans to play with it?"

SO funny I almost fell off the couch. I canna tell you what I'd give to see Jamie in the 21st century for just one day. And every time I envision it, it becomes a terribly campy 80s movie in my head, a la Caveman or Splash, where the main character who is from another place and/or time learns about his surroundings by watching TV. I can't stop wondering what things would set Jamie off. I mentioned this in our chat last week... and one of my top picks of things I'd like to see Jamie discover is tanning cream.  Can't you just HEAR him??? "Ye rub it all over ye and it makes ye turn brown? Now why in the name of a wee de'il would ye want to do that, sassenach?" Oh god I die every time I think about it!!!

So I ask you:   

What 21st century product would YOU most like to watch Jamie discover?

PS - I've reached 150 posts. Word.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Male/Female Relationships

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you have read chapter 50 in A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES!

Ya know, lassies...I need a chunk of uninterrupted time to sit with both my book - and my computer - and blog about what I'm reading, while I'm reading it. Those are the best blogs. They're thorough and emotional...and I sound like I know what the hell is happening and who is who. When I have to reach back too far to find things I've read, it's not nearly as fun. For me to type... but more importantly, for you to read.

Soooo.... I have decided to go a little backwards. I'm going to blog about what I read today...and then maybe I'll go back over things I've skipped. Mmmmkayyyyy? Great.

So what the hell is up with Roger Mac? He is being a complete DUMBASS!!! I canna even feel SORRY for him anymore. I didna know people would talk??? I didna know this would happen??? I didna know my wife would be upset/suspicious/jealous/all of the above??? Is boyfriend KIDDING???  C'mon. I don't know how often he's been up at Amy McCallum's... but I'm thinking it's been quite a bit. How about bringing Bree with you to visit with Amy while you fix stuff? How about inviting Amy and her kids to dinner? How about telling Claire or Mrs. Bug to get on the matchmaking thing and find her a new man? (OK I know matchmaking isna exactly Claire's forte but WORK with me here, please.)  Nooooo...he's just going to keep going there, day after day, and playing Guy Friday while the entire Ridge talks about him and his assumed affair. Even Jamie is giving Claire looks at the breakfast table over his plate of ham, bacon, bread-dripping-with-butter and any other artery-clogging breakfast Mrs. Bug decided to cook up  today. My god - wouldna you think Jamie would wring Roger's neck? It always amazes me, the things Jamie chooses to get involved in - or doesna choose to get involved in. This is something he should get involved in.

And what's with Malva swapping spit with Bobby Higgins? UGH! I want him for LIZZIE!!! NOT happy about that....

OH WAIT - Back to Roger - how about THIS little ditty I just read today: "William Buccleigh MacKenzie had mistaken Roger's concern for Morag MacKenzie for...well, all right, he'd kissed her, but only on the forehead..."

I'm sorry. COME AGAIN???? He only kissed her on the forehead??? Did I read that right?? Did I MISS that back in The Fiery Cross? On the forehead? That's all??? And her husband had him hanged??? WTF??? Do you remember it being only on the forehead??

OK - lower the blood pressure... lower the blood pressure... Next....

Bree and Jamie moving the boulder for Bree's aquaduct... and Jamie saying "Why, ye clever, bonnie wee thing!!!" because she knew the water would start to erode through the clay. Cute, cute, CUTE! I loved that part. I was just telling my mentor/sister, Tracey verra recently that I want more Jamie/Bree cuteness. And there it appeared - right in front of my face.

I just wish we'd see Jamie relate to Bree when she's doing something less typically masculine once in a while. She doesn't have to be inventing tools or designing guns or doing manual labor for Jamie to understand/appreciate her. He's not a barbarian. And I'd like to see a little more hugging and maybe a good cry together. Yup. That's what I'd like to see.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Set the Fire to the Third Bar

Spoiler Alert: Dinna read unless you have finished VOYAGER.

I recently added the song "Run" from Snow Patrol to my "A Breath of Snow and Ashes" playlist... and realized how much I love this band where the Outlander series is concerned. Their lyrics are similar to a lot of Diana Gabaldon's writing in a strange way. A lot of nature. Snow. The cold ground. Bones. Praying.

And my favorite thing about both the series and this band's songs: undying, relentless, urgent need to be with the one you love.

The band sounds like the books - if that makes ANY sense whatsoever.

Anyway... I found this song and had to blog about it. It makes me think of Jamie in Edinburgh the night before Claire comes to him.  He's had a long day of printing and smuggling.. and he's laying on his cot,  happy to be free. Free of Laoghaire. Free of the crown. Free of everything... Everything except his pain - and yearning for Claire. And little does he know that she is there...in his time... trying to get to him... trying to find her way to him... Oh god I can see it unfolding right before my eyes. It's from both of their perspectives. Give it a listen and take a look at the lyrics below.

"Set The Fire To The Third Bar"
(feat. Martha Wainwright)

I find the map and draw a straight line
Over rivers, farms, and state lines
The distance from 'A' to where you'd be
It's only finger-lengths that I see
I touch the place where I'd find your face
My finger in creases of distant dark places

I hang my coat up in the first bar
There is no peace that I've found so far
The laughter penetrates my silence
As drunken men find flaws in science

Their words mostly noises
Ghosts with just voices
Your words in my memory
Are like music to me

I'm miles from where you are,
I lay down on the cold ground
I, I pray that something picks me up
And sets me down in your warm arms

After I have travelled so far
We'd set the fire to the third bar
We'd share each other like an island
Until exhausted, close our eyelids
And dreaming, pick up from
The last place we left off
Your soft skin is weeping
A joy you can't keep in

I'm miles from where you are,
I lay down on the cold ground
And I, I pray that something picks me up
and sets me down in your warm arms

I'm miles from where you are,
I lay down on the cold ground
And I, I pray that something picks me up
and sets me down in your warm arms

Who Needs Vrooms When we Have Toot Toots?

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you have read chapter 40 in A Breath of Snow and Ashes.

So I'm reading along... sweet as you please... when all of a sudden, James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser FARTS in bed. Yeah... you read that right. He FARTED. In BED!!!

WTF????

Don't get me wrong. I get it. I really do. He's a regular husband who emits gasses, just like anyone else. Only he's NOT a regular husband. He's FRIGGIN JAMIE FRASER!!! HE DOESNA FART IN BED!!!

THERE'S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL!!!

And Jamie Fraser doesna FART in motherfrigging BED!!! Before SEX with the ALMOND CREAM no less. My GOD!!! What is NEXT?!? Is Claire going to DOUCHE right before Jamie does her up against the fencepost?!

Le Sigh.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind. NOT Out of Heart.

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you have read chapter 36 in A Breath of Snow and Ashes.

So my sister and Outlander mentor, Tracey wants to know why I'm not going into more detail about Ian's story to Marsali about Emily and what happened to his bairn. Would you like to know, too? OK. What I think about Ian's life with the Mohawk:

Frankly, my dear... I don't give a damn.

NOT that I don't care about Ian or "his pain" as Tracey says. I do. I love Ian. Like a son. My own SON'S name is Ian for god's sake. But I canna take it, lassies. I canna take anything that has to do with those two heartbreaking years when Ian was with the Mohawk. I am dealing with his time with the Mohawk like he deals with it; I dinna want to talk about it. I dinna want to THINK about it. It KILLED me when they TATTOOED HIS FACE for the love of god!!! I canna - and wilna - THINK about what life was like for him while he was gone from the Ridge. Don't ask - don't tell. DON'T WANNA KNOW!!!

Calling all Jamie's!

Here's an amusing little ditty for ya. A Purgatory friend was at work today and had to call some guy named "Jamie". He had a really nice voice and she kindof lost herself in her thoughts for a minute whilst talking to him. 

And you know you do it, too. Hell, I saw a sign today for "Christie" street and immediately thought "Tom!"

Hey, Mrs Wilson!

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you have read chapter 39 in A Breath of Snow and Ashes.

Wow I havena posted in quite a while, sassenachs.  I do apologize! Let's get this party STARTED!

So Fergus is verra sad because Henri Christian is a dwarf... and in the 18th century, life was horrendous for someone like him. He is also feeling sorry for himself because his hook leaves nothing but woman's work for him to do - and he has zero intention of changing or feeding any of the bairns. That leaves him no choice but to make a meager living translating for those on the Ridge (or beyond) who speak French. Boyfriend needs a trust fund.

Ian has now informed Marsali (and the ever-eavesdropping Claire) that Emily had a baby girl who died in childbirth. That is all we know - for now. I'm curious as to the whereabouts of Emily at this point.

Amy - one of the widows on the Ridge (whose husband brought her here with the bairns and then up and died on her whilst fixing the roof) - asked Roger to come and help her because she thought there was a devil in the pail of milk on her kitchen table. Turns out it was a frog. I'm wondering why she didna know this? Could it be that she is trying to use her feminine wiles on Roger to land herself some 20th century minty freshness? Only time will tell. For now she seems like a nice enough girl but a) Diana doesna write nice books and b) poor Roger is always hounded by one type of demon or another.

Mrs. Wilson died and an absolutely HILARIOUS non-wake wake ensued. I have not HOWLED this hard since reading Jamie's reaction when Bonnie Prince Charlie's mistress shaved her "honeypot". Holy COW it was funny when she sat her ass right up in the coffin and Jamie ended up holding on to her...and she was yelling at Hiram because he was too cheap to pay for a proper wake. Oh hell it was funny. My husband said "What are you laughing at?!" I was truly LOL.

OK more to come. I have to break off here or y'all might start yawning...

Monday, February 22, 2010

OUTLANDER CHAT

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you have read a good chunk of The Fiery Cross. 

Thanks so much to everyone who came to the chat! We had a blast and I am really looking forward to doing it again! 

We discussed so many things... from Lord John Grey and Jamie's "proposal" in "Voyager"...  to Bree and her super-human powers of design... to what products Jamie Fraser would be totally freaked out about in the 21st century! (My vote is for tanning cream. Absolutely!!)

I'm sorry we missed those of you who weren't able to come... and I want to let you know we will be working on some different times for chats so everyone can participate - even if your time zone is nowhere near mine!

And lastly, a big THANKS to Laura from The Outlander Book Club for sharing all of her tremendous Outlander and Diana Gabaldon knowledge with us tonight!

What's YOUR Outlander Playlist?

I've been getting a lot of commentary on my Outlander Playlists lately... and I love it.  Music is a huge part of my life and I have always found myself drawn to certain types of songs. Whether I'm putting together an Outlander playlist - or just listening to music in general - a song will just grab me - and then I'm hooked. I always say that my favorite music is music that makes me "feel". And that's how I put together my playlists.

When I was a kid, we used to have to go on long car rides to my grandparents in Northwestern Pennsylvania on Thanksgiving (LORDDD they were longggg car ridesssss!) And I used to put together mixed tapes (off the radio - SO showing my age here). And we used to drive through the Allegheny mountains and I would look out the window at miles and miles of forest. And my sisters would take one look at me, staring off into space with my earphones in my ears and say "Oh no. She's delving again." Yup. That's me; the music-delver. Been doing it my entire life; not about to stop now.

At any rate - I just wanted to say that I find it neat that we all have different tastes and opinions  where our Outlander music is concerned. It is SO easy to put together a playlist. I use Playlist.com. They do it for you; you should try it! Especially if my playlists are a little different from what your own would be.

Go ahead! And don't forget to take your time about it, aye?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Fergalicious

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you have finished Chapter 26 in A Breath of Snow and Ashes. 

Holy mother of god on high. Once we found out Marsali was alive and well - I expected to witness the birth of her bebe. What I did NOT expect was to read - in my opinion - one of the most erotic scenes in the entire series - involving HOT ASSED FERGUS. Holy CRAP. I am speechless - still - and I read it at 9:00 this morning. When the "suckling" started... I was a little taken back. When it continued - along with lots of French murmuring - I was verra interested (we all know how Carol loves murmuring. LORDDDD I LUVSSSS the murmuring.) And when Fergus was pushing the table up against the door, I was almost in full-on labor along with  Marsali. AND I'M NOT EVEN PREGNANT.

It was THAT good, y'all. Diana sure knows how to write the sexy. Mmm hmmm. Sho does.

*Thanks to David Shannon for the adorable artwork. 

Friday, February 19, 2010

I Mean to Take My Time About it, Aye?

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you have read chapter 30 in A Breath of Snow and Ashes.

Forgive me for not reading/answering the comments in my most recent blog entries. I plan to do that tonight. I've been a little crazy and don't want to rush through anyone's point of view... or friendly advice... or heartfelt opinion.

Tracey said I would suffer literary Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.... and I think that's happening now. I hadn't read much since finishing chapter 29... but have started to this afternoon and am sitting here with my book and a cup of coffee. And the more I read, the more I feel a sense of sisterhood with Claire. I wish I could be at the Big House. Not inside the house, mind you. Just.. around. And not to comfort Claire or reassure her... since she doesn't want that right now.... from anyone. I just wish I could be available.  Without hovering... without being in the way... so that when she does want to talk... I could be there to listen. That's what I wish for Claire Fraser right now.

This storyline is very complex and heartwrenching. It makes you search your soul. It makes you go through a multitude of emotions, trying to figure  out how you would feel... what  you would do... what you would say...

I'll tell you this much. One more thing I wish is that they'd just kill Lionel Brown and get it the eff over with. Claire doesna need the anxiety of his impending death weighing heavily on her... along with the massive storm she is already trying to keep herself afloat in. It's just a heavy weight that is pulling her down and making her focus on the negative... instead of looking toward the positive so she can begin to heal. His death would help her heal. I truly believe that. Jamie is right. Where will they send him? Who will be just - and punish him to the full extent of the law? And which law is that, prey tell? (God... and I thought dealing with my own town council was rough!)

What made me stop reading for a few minutes to blog? The following:

"In the open, he'd said, standing on his feet before witnesses. Slowly, I closed the box and put it back on the shelf. 

What then?"

"What then", indeed. "Then" is what is important. Not some piece of filth who doesn't have any common decency...or even a soul for that matter. He's trash. And I don't know about you... but I dispose of my trash as soon as it is no longer useful. Jamie had better hurry up - ask his questions - and then dispose of the trash... before it starts to smell.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Weekly Outlander Chat

New weekly Outlander chat! Mondays from 9PM-10PM (Eastern Standard Time)

We're still on A Breath of Snow and Ashes, so we'll be discussing the chapters we've already read in that book...along with the previous books in the Outlander series.

If you haven't gotten that far in the series yet, but want to chat - feel free to let me know where you are in the series and I'll set up a chat for you!

Part 4 - Part 2

Spoiler Alert: Dinna read unless you have finished Chapter 29 in A Breath of Snow and Ashes. 

Am I the only one who - in the midst of all the murder and mayhem - was THRILLED to see badass Claire Fraser BACK IN BUSINESS?!? She kicked ASS in the abduction scene. I felt like we were back in Scotland and she and Jenny were trekking through the brush, looking for Jamie. Or like Claire was back at Wentworth, dealing with wolves (or Dougal, Murtaugh, Rupert, Colum, etc. LOL)  Or like she was dealing with douchy Jack Randall at Fort William ("I'll thank ye to take your hands off my wife" - easily my favorite line in the series, which came from Jamie at the window when Claire was at Fort William and Randall was trying to rape her - as if he'd have been able to - not.)

Wow ya know - when I read that scene way back in Outlander, I was like "Holy CRAP! Claire might actually get raped!" and Jamie came to save the day. I just realized it has really happened. God, Tracey's not kidding with this Post Traumatic Stress Disorder thing. Dang.)

Bottom line - Claire is one KICK ASS character and I had forgotten that side of her, what with all her ministrations at the Ridge and the Gathering - LORDDDDD THE GATHERINGGGG!!!

Part 4 - Part 1

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read until you have finished chapter 29 in A Breath of Snow and Ashes.

Weeeel....I've done it. I've read chapters 27 - 29. I'm somewhere in chapter 30 right now. I have a ton to say - but I expect it to come out in dribs and drabs over multiple blog entries. Thus, the "part 1".

The first thing that comes to mind is the debate about why Jamie wanted to have sex with Claire so soon after she was raped. (My god that sounds straight out of As the World Turns, does it not?!)

I did not have a problem with this for multiple reasons.

1) Jamie was worrit about Claire being pregnant. My 21st century mind wants to say "snicker" at that. But his 18th century mind doesna understand women's fertility in their 50s, much less the fact that Claire is clearly already experiencing Menopause (hot flash, anyone?)

What I don't get is why Claire is subscribing to this line of thinking. Not only does she know she has only the slightest chance of conceiving at child at this stage of her life, she also knows where she is in her cycle. Well that is, if she had a cycle. I believe she has said she's already started having very erratic and sometimes non-existent periods. So why is she buying into this 18th century bunk?

Which leads me to point #2.

2) Jamie has been raped and knows how one can totally withdraw from the world afterward. I don't think he is consciously thinking it's because of that so much... but I think it truly is a huge reason in the back of his mind. And in the front of Claire's. I think she knows only too well what can happen after seeing Jamie suffer through that.

3) Neither of them knows what the hell to do. They're just standing there - looking at each other - looking for answers that are not going to come. Not right away at least. They needed to be together. Would I have rathered a nice night of Jamie holding Claire in his arms while she cried? (a la Edward Cullen when Bella sends Jacob packing in Eclipse) Oh absolutely. Although I absolutely LOVED that Jamie understood Claire's rage once he turned the situation around in his mind...and knew she had to get it out to overcome it. That was just a beautiful thing to watch unfold...within such an ugly situation.

OK more later. Have to get my thoughts together on this one...

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Bend... and SNAP!

So I promised Jenn M. I wouldna read further than chapter 25 before Thursday. We have a meeting at Shannon's on Thursday morning... and we all want to be on the same page. And Tracey (mentor) says chapter 26 - 30 should be read with no distractions. But Jenn didn't read last week because she was on vaca - so Shannon and I are waiting for her to catch up.

I just finished chapter 24 - so now I have to savor chapter 25 between now (Monday night) and Thursday. And I just said to Tracey - my mentor - "It's sooo good! How am I going to wait until Thursday? I promised Jenn - I HAVE to!" And do you know what her reply was?

"Read and lie. It's like 'bend and snap'!!" 

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Whistle While You Work

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you have finished Chapter 19 in A Breath of Snow and Ashes. 

Whoa. Double whoa. This book is so damned good I don't know what to DO with myself. I canna believe how quickly it got started. It's so not like Diana to write something so fast-and-furious, right out of the gate! I love it!

Did I mention how much I loved Roger and Jemmy sharing the bread pudding at River Run? SO cute. (My god with the maple syrup and butter? I was drooling all over my Kindle at the mere thought.) Roger is quickly becoming one of my favorite things about this series. It's to the point where I do the happy dance when I start a chapter and realize it's from his point of view. And how interesting that Stephen Bonnet should be in Cross Creek - and speak to Jemmy (um, EW). All I could hear in my head when he started asking him who his dad is was Chris Rock yelling "RUN!!!"  Why was he dressed like a gentleman? That was verra intriguing. And I am more than a little curious as to the state of his, um, privates... since Bree shot him in that general vicinity a while back. That seems to be a recurring theme, what with Jamie robbing Jack Randall of his own private parts long ago.

OK - how much did I LOVE the hay-making scene? I don't know WHAT it is about these hard-work-then-celebrate scenes but I love them so much. Remember when they harvested potatoes at Lallybroch? It's just so cool how the men all work in the fields, the women all work in the kitchen and then they all meet up and have a big, ol' party after the women set up the supper. I swear I half expect them to break out into a Broadway number with the men heave-ho-ing and the women dancing while carrying baskets over their heads. LOL (I just cracked myself right the hell up.)  Seriously though, I love how the men all start drinking and then just pass out next to their wives. It's very cute.  (Meanwhile I wouldn't find it cute in the slightest if it were my husband passing out on the grass next to me, but that's a blog for another day. )

OK so... Hi - Bobby and the Beardsleys disappearing into the woods? Whassup wit dat??? I don't buy that it was just a little scuttle over Lizzie for a second. There is something UP there. Definitely. And how about Ian just sauntering over to Lizzie... telling her he needed help with his hand... and that was that. And Jamie commanding it, knowing exactly how it would go down. I loved it. Lizzie - in my humble opinion - has the world by the cajones right about now.  I do find it intriguing that the two men she wants the most (not her betrothed, mind you) both have permanent markings on their faces. Things that make you go "hmmmm"....

OK off to read. Jamie and Ian just left to go see Bird on a Wire... (LOL - I always forget his name...he's going to have a new name every time I mention him)... and I am none too happy about it. And it's such bullshiz because I should NOT be giving a rat's ass about what goes down during Jamie's trips to the Cherokee - other than the negotiations between the two MEN.  I wish "that" scene was just never in the book. In fact, I might just erase it from memory and pretend it didna happen. Yup. That's what I'm going to do...

*Thanks to hayinart.com for the photo. 

And ANOTHER thing...

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you have finished Chapter 16 in A Breath of Snow and Ashes. 

Why can't I get past this Jamie-sleeping-naked-with-two-naked-Indian-squaws thing? And note that all parties were naked. HE was naked. My friend, Shannon made a good point this morning: Why didn't Jamie put his kilt back on? (Or his shirt, for that matter?)  Although that's not to say Shannon agrees with me. She does not. She, like Tracey, found it a hilarious scene.

Don't get me wrong - I found it mildly amusing. It was comical when Ian was laughing his ass off on the floor. Yup - it was comical. Until Jamie got back into bed with the aforementioned naked women. Then I just found the whole thing wrong. And it only compounded when he got home, jumped into bed with Claire and proceeded to tell her to get on her knees when she asked how it went with the Cherokee. Poor Jamie...sleeping with that cockstand was so tough on him...he had no choice but to go home and rail his wife from behind.

I get that he didn't have sex. I do. And I appreciate the hell out of it. He could have had some major fun with those women; but he didn't.  But I just don't see how a zebra can change his stripes so easily. A man who won't sleep on the floor of a woman when they're not married will most certainly not sleep naked with two naked women once he is.

I suppose I also had a huge problem with the Cherokee women being used as objects like that. And with Jamie not showing a little more respect for them in the whole process.

He could have put his clothes on.
He could have wrapped the women in the skins.
He could have slept on the floor.
He could have waited until the rain let up and sent them on their way.

I can go on and on. I just can't get on board with the notion that Jamie was in danger of offending Bird Who Sings in the Morning, so he had to sleep with two naked women. What about Bird Who Sings in the Morning offending Jamie??? Jamie could go back to the King and report badly about the Cherokee because of what happened. Not that he ever would - but there are two sides here. There is a point where you say "enough" and do what is right for your own soul.  How sleeping naked with two naked women could be right for the soul of a man who has that much honor is absolutely beyond me. I think it's completely out of character and makes zero sense. 

If you know of any further explanation of this scene by Diana Gabaldon, please let me know.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The "Highland Rape" Collection from the late Alexander McQueen

Just came across this quote while reading a Daily Mail article about the (extremely sad) death of fashion designer Alexander McQueen:

So there was the 1995 show entitled 'Highland Rape' which featured torn bodices hanging from the models' skirts and saw him accused of misogyny - something he hotly denied, insisting he'd simply been making a point about how 18th century Scotland had been over-romanticised. 

Intrigued, I did a little research and came across this on Scotsman.com:

His first taste of international notoriety came in the autumn of 1995, when he called his catwalk show "Highland Rape". He explained that the "rape" was of Scotland by the English; a subject in which he had "a special interest, as my family is of Scottish descent". The collection featured dishevelled and battered-looking models in torn clothing. McQueen transformed a loft-like industrial space into a brooding battleground of mayhem to show the clothes. 

He maintained that it symbolised the Battle of Culloden in which his ancestors were defeated and then slaughtered by British troops under the Duke of Cumberland. However, on another occasion he claimed he'd simply been making a point about how 18th-century Scotland had been over-romanticised.


 I am so glad I found this info... I had no idea about this collection or what it represented.

Rest in Peace, Mr. McQueen.

*Thanks to Scott from the forums at thefashionspot.com for the photo. 

Alternate Outlander Discussion

If you want to discuss anything in A Breath of Snow and Ashes or An Echo in the Bone (or ANY of the Outlander books) go on over to the Outlander Book Club - a FANTASTIC SITE where they have discussions about ALL of the books - listed BY book!

LIVID, PARTY OF 1

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you have finished chapter 14 in A Breath of Snow and Ashes.

WTF????

I have not been THIS PISSED since the incident with the PROSTITUTES in France!!! What is this BULLSHIT about Jamie SLEEPING WITH TWO NAKED INDIAN WOMEN?!?!?

I couldn't give a RAT'S ASS that he didn't have sex with them. He let TWO NAKED INDIAN WOMEN SLEEP IN HIS BED!!!!!!!  Just because it's RAINING?!? OH I don't THINK SO, BOYFRIEND. Get their asses ON THE FLOOR where they BELONG!!!

Please do not even ATTEMPT to tell me "Oh he couldn't pass up their hospitality". Please. Just don't even go there.

Where is Mr. I-Can't-So-Much-as-Sleep-on-the-Floor-of-a-Woman-I'm-Not-Married-to?????
Where is Mr. Honor and Ethics????
Where is JOE CATHOLICISM???????

Clearly he has LEFT THE MOTHERFRIGGIN BUILDING!!!!!

MMMMMMMMMMPPPPPPPHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

9 Lives Indeed

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you've finished Chapter 13 in A Breath of Snow and Ashes.

OK so Claire is obsessing over bringing Lizzie's fever down and getting rid of Bobby's worms. BLECH. That story is so gross - and yet so fascinating. I canna WAIT to see what she does to rid Bobby of his parasites. I love all this gross Claire stuff!

Poor Jamie. My god, he is tormented by his past right now.  (The gross palm reader totally reminds me of that seer in Robin Hood with Kevin Costner. WHAT a great character she would be on screen.)  And now he's totally obsessed with having 9 lives... and how many of them he's actually plowed through. I feel like he and Claire are forgetting one - but so am I, apparently, because I canna think of it right now. Then again - I'd probably consider him having been close to death a number of times whereas he'd just "Mmmmmppphhhh!" about those situations and dismiss me with his hand.

And Roger taking Jemmy to Cross Creek? Sounds to me like a verra...VERRA bad idea. So bad I canna even stop to THINK about it. And what's with Bree being all "yeah whatEV - take him - I can't wait to play with my white phosphorus."

And here's a question. How does Ian just waltz on to Cherokee lands with the hair of a settler... but Mohawk dots on his face? How is THAT going to go down? (Rhetorical - please do not answer as I havena gotten there yet!) I canna imagine too great. Jamie best bring an extra keg of whiskey along with him.

And speaking of Ian... I am chomping at the bit to find out what happened to him with the Mohawk. And where his wife and baby are. It seems so obvious that they're dead... but something tells me that is for a reason. I have this sneaking suspicion - no, downgrade that to a possible notion - that Emily and their baby might just waltz on to Fraser's Ridge in the coming months and be all "What up, Dawg?" Can you imagine? oooooh.... Lizzie would NOT be happy. Then again - how do I know WHAT Lizzie would be when she's always up shivering in her room... or off making beer with Mrs. Bug!  I am going to start a "Let's Get to Know Lizzie!" campaign pretty soon... because she's the most fascinating non-character I've ever seen!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Do You Live in Outlanderland?

So tonight I was watching the movie, "Annie" with my family. And when they got to the part where Annie first goes to Daddy Warbucks' house and sees how beautiful it is, I started thinking "That poor thing - after 2 weeks she's going to have to go back to the orphanage! That will be so hard for her!"

And do you know what my very next thought was?

"That's just like when Jamie had to go back to regular prison life every Sunday after having dinner with John Grey. He was miserable!"

It was like nothing. My brain just switched from one thought to the next like clockwork! And if THAT wasn't bad enough, I'm in full-on Outlanderland dream mode as well.

I have to assume it's due to keeping a daily blog... that some nights I'll wake up in the middle of the night, and I'll know I've been dreaming about Outlander. I woke up last night and realized I had been dreaming about squirrel stew. SQUIRREL STEW!! And I remembered that Jamie kept using the term "wee mongrel".

Do you ever dream about Outlander?

Things I'm Pondering...

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you have finished chapter 9 in A Breath of Snow and Ashes.

Am I the only one waiting for the "Go ahead... I dare ya" moment when Bree or Roger or someone asks Stephen Bonnet to roll his tongue?

The Lizzie thing is getting verra interesting. I've never seen a lesser character surrounded by more intrigue. Now I know - and so do you - that she's going to dump Manfred at some point. She has to. Either that or she'll marry him and be miserable. But I dinna see that happening. I thought she and Ian were going to get close again when he showed up... until Bobby Higgins showed up, that is. Now - I might be making things up in my brain - tis something that's happened before, lassies. But I felt like the two of them were verra concerned about each other when they had matching fainting spells within 5 minutes of each other. It was weird; it almost seemed like they knew each other already. Again - maybe I made that up in my head. ANOTHER thing I keep wondering is what those Beardsleys are going to do on Lizzie's behalf. Jo is none too happy she's marrying Manfred - that is fo sho. So I wait - and I wonder. Isn't it exhilarating?!

ALSO - holy god - now that I know Jamie would have leveled John Grey had he taken him up on his offer for sex... oh my gosh. I am SO RELIEVED!!! That was something that stuck in my craw from the second John told Claire. As I've mentioned in the past - I've no issue with the homosexual aspect of it... I have an issue with Jamie Fraser even GOING THERE after what happened between Jack Randall and himself. So to hear him say it was a bluff made my ever-loving DAY. Seriously.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"No Spoilers" Reminder

Each book review entry states what chapter I'm on - and in which book. Please remember not to post any spoilers in the comments section. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

A Breath of Snow and Ashes

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you have finished Chapter 7 in A Breath of Snow and Ashes. (Frankly I may be on chapter 6; I'm not sure. Och! This damn Kindle!)

So I've started Book 6. That's code for A Breath of Snow and Ashes. (I'm so stealth, am I not?) And so far - SO good. I was a little dismayed/freaked out at first when Ian was hurt in the woods. I was also half-expecting chapter 1 to be a first person narrative from someone other than Claire, since Tracey had such a reaction to the writing style when we made our last video. But, alas, it was written in third person, from Ian's point of view. Which is verra cool, Sassenachs. Anything remotely having to do with Ian is totally exciting to the lassies of My Outlander Purgatory these days.

(Have I ever mentioned that my son's name is Ian? Just thought I'd throw it out there.  Let's face it... anything in your life that relates even slightly to Outlander is pretty damn cool, no?)

You know - I usually spend half the book pondering and theorizing the meaning(s?) of the book's title - but this one is kindof jumps out at you by chapter 2. Verra verra sad, no? And I'm wondering if they're right about the same "band of brigands" (Jo and Kezzie's word) being the ones who hurt Ian.

Soooo.... MacDonald is at the big house, absolutely DISGUSTING Claire with his tales of calling all prostitutes Polly (ugh what a PIG) and I want them to get their butts to Edenton and find that poor girl and adopt her. And he's running all sorts of propositions by Jamie - to head up a Committee of Safety... and to "take in" a large group of Gaelic-speaking Highlanders - who have come in from Scotland in droves - and help them set up homesteads on the Ridge. Because, let's face it, Jamie is all-giving as well as he is all-knowing, right? All are welcome... all welcome.

BUT - Roger Mac and Bree are on their way to the McGillivrays' to fetch Jemmy who was brought there while they were away (at the burnt-out Dutch house) by Lizzie and her father. They could have waited until morning, but they are good parents and just plain miss their son. Which is very sweet in my humble opinion. And while walking...Bree is talking about different ways to design indoor plumbing, which I've been saying they should do since Day 1. So this is one "invention" I can totally get behind with Bree. It's a no-brainer (not in terms of design but in terms of necessity.)

Lastly - I have to mention that I find it odd that these poor Beardsley kids (I don't even like using that name; Jamie should just adopt them and make them Fraser's) are still kindof vagabonds - even though they're living at the Ridge. I mean - do we know where they're living? Whose house? Do they live at the big house? I'm confused. All I know is they seem to roam around in the woods quite a bit. And when I got to the following line I was appalled: "Come along to the house with us, aye.... I'm sure Frau Ute would give ye a bed by the fire."  These poor kids!  I know, I know - it's the 18th century. But come on! These kids need some parenting! If Jamie's not going to step up to the plate and claim them, someone else should! They're way too young to be allowed to roam around in the dark woods at night.

OK that's all... off to read. More later, Sassenachs. More later....

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I Have Finished The Fiery Cross

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you have read "The Fiery Cross".

So I was telling my husband the story of The Fiery Cross today; he is now completely up-to-date on the Outlander series - as far as I've read, that is.  And when I got to the point about Ian staying for good, I said "and THAT is why I had my head in my hands the other day in the car" and he rolled his eyes something FIERCE. As if to say "THESE PEOPLE AREN'T REAL!" exactly like my bro-in-law, Tracey's hub John says quite often. It was quite comical.

So the book has ended... and all-in-all I am more than happy with the ending. OK let's be honest - with Ian showing up at the end, how could I NOT be???

Loved the fact that Ian brought the book with him and they've all been pouring over it like it's The Outlandish Companion at one of my Outlander meetings. ;) Seriously though - I keep waiting for Bree to translate it or something. Or for Claire to ask "Bree - what do you think he meant by that?" Or for Ian to say "Bree, do you think I did the right thing in leaving?" OK I'm being a wiseguy. And it's not like I even have the slightest CLUE why Ian left. I canna WAIT to find out in A Breath of Snow and Ashes, which I started last night. Chapter 5, y'all. I'll definitely be blogging tomorrow.

LOVE LOVE LOVED the cutie pie scene with Jemmy's privates and how Jamie and Roger were going to take him outside to show him theirs so he knows what they are. That is now one of my favorite scenes in the series. Must go read it again. And when Roger asked him if he could roll his tongue? My god I held my breath! You KNOW that child is Roger's. You just KNOW he is. And who really cares, right? It's so obvious Roger loves him so much. I just love that little family. Even Bree.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Outlander Tour - Scottish Life

You must read this article from Scottish Life Magazine about 4 friends who traveled to Scotland to take the Outlander tour...

A Guy's Take on the Outlander Series

Have to throw a big, ol' THANKS out there to Jo M. who sent me a link to a cool article entitled "My Outlander Thing" by Gavin McNett.

He wrote it in 1999 - and as such, had read up through Drums of Autumn at that point. He also mentions the Outlandish Companion. Haven't read the whole article - I'm going to do so now. I was just so excited about a MAN reading the series (my husband made it 1/2 way through Outlander due to what he considered a little too much dude-talk and not enough chick-talk) that I had to blog STAT!

PS - Beautiful Burns quote from the article caught my eye as it refers to heaven. That's twice tonight I've blogged about Diana and the heavens...

Misled by fancy's meteor ray,
By passion driven;
But yet the light that led astray,
Was light from heaven.

SEE ya!!!!

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you have read chapter 109 in The Fiery Cross. 

I wanted to name this post "The Return of the Prodigal Son" but that would be a spoiler nightmare for those who aren't this far in the series yet....

Oh. My. GOSH. (my kids yell at me when I say "oh my god") I dinna even know WHAT to say. I had texts this morning. Lots of texts. LORDDDD there were texts. And then Jenn M. CALLED. She NEVER calls. We email 47 thousand times a day, but rarely do we CALL. So I knew something was up. She and Shannon BOTH asked me if I had read Chapter 108 and they told me to text or call them the second I did. Tracey sent multiple "Where are you???" emails. So I was more than prepared when Ian showed up in all his Highlander-turned-Mohawk glory to save the day with his bow and arrow. What I was NOT prepared for was chapter 109 when Jamie said those beautiful words; "for good". After my eyes left the "d" in that statement, I put my face in my hands and sobbed quietly to myself (as I was in the car with my family.) My husband looked at me with fear in his eyes, as if to say "What is WRONG?!" but then he realized I was reading and lord knows what look he most likely shot my way. I didn't care. I just sat there with my head down - face covered by my hands - silently sobbing with my head bobbing up and down.

God bless Diana Gabaldon for bringing this wonderful story into all of our lives. She is truly from the heavens.

Feelin' HOT HOT HOT

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read until you have finished Chapter 107 in The Fiery Cross.

Dear Claire,  

Can't you get Bree to invent air conditioning and maybe some ice pops for you? I mean really. Has she nothing better to do than bake bread and change clouts? Doesn't she know it's dangerous for you to be hanging off window sills whilst fornicating, just to get a little air?!?
Love,
Carol 

PS - Can I borrow Jamie for a few hours? I've got a ceiling fan that needs fixing. :)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

My New-and-Improved Outlander Playlists

Have I mentioned lately that I revamped my Outlander playlists? There is now a playlist for each book (up to Drums of Autum as of today) - and each playlist has a list of scene descriptions underneath. I'm always changing/adding to the lists... so they are by no means "finished"!

Starsky and Hutch Indeed

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read until you have finished Chapter 102 in The Fiery Cross. 

Alright Lassies - I am stuck inside with a major blizzard outside. How awesome is that?? I can blog!

So Jamie, Claire, Roger, Bree, Marsali and the wee ones went off to Wilmington while Fergus went off to file the deeds. And of course the plan was for Jamie and Roger to play Starsky and Hutch (Shannon's description; love it!) and head off to Wylie's Landing for a little pistol-fun with Stephen Bonnet.

Only things went spectacularly wrong - as usual. They got jumped by Lillywhite and Anstruther who were there instead of Bonnet. (Foiled again!)

I always remember Anstruther's name because that is the neatest little town in Scotland that I've been lucky enough to visit. We waited in line for what seemed like hours to get fish-n-chips - and were told they are the best in all of Scotland. If you can confirm or deny, please let me know!

OK so after some roof-hanging... shed-hiding... ocean-swimming... Russian family acquaintance-making... and  marsh-crawling,  Jamie and Roger found each other again. They found Wylie (who had mysteriously crawled out of the bushes) and told him what was happening. I cannot TELL you how much I loved it when Wylie offered them his hospitality and Jamie was about to decline when Roger said "we'd be delighted" and "grabbed Jamie by the arm, steering him toward the shell-road before he could protest. There were times and places to be on your high horse, he supposed, but this wasn't one of them."

I LOVE the relationship that has formed between Roger and Jamie. They are polar opposites and sortof fit together to make one hell of a singing-warrior duo. Love love love it. Roger has gained so much confidence and is getting more and more comfortable telling Jamie what's what. And you can tell Jamie is happy, too... because Roger is taking initiative. Jamie is starting to see Roger as his equal... at least where the Lairding is concerned. The sword-fighting, not so much. ;)

Starsky and Hutch, indeed.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

OK so I slept on it...

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you have finished Chapter 99 in  The Fiery Cross.

Havena read any of the comments from last night's post... because I wanted to let you all know how I feel after sleeping on it and thinking it through on my own. And now I can honestly say, I don't think Jamie has feelings for Laoghaire. I think he's being a typical man.  When he heard Laoghaire was getting down and dirty with someone at her house, he got jealous - not because the other man got to be with Laoghaire - but because the other man got to please Laoghaire; something he could never do. And in typical male fashion, his chest puffed out - he started beating on it whilst chanting the theme from Tarzan - and got his feathers in a dander because he wasn't "the best". Or at least "good" (in her eyes) in the sack. It's all about performance... and men all want to know they're performing well in the  bedroom.

I think what threw me was the dream. I think I thought "well if he's DREAMING about her - he must still want her!" when really the fact is that he was dreaming about not being able to please her. I am just happy they are NOWHERE NEAR Scotland at this point... because that could get ugly.

PS - I'm willing to bet there are no guys who read this blog - but if so, I would LOVE LOVE LOVE your opinion on this if you've actually read The Fiery Cross. And please don't take it personally; I could go on for hours about womenfolk's insecurities.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I feel sick...

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read until you have finished chapter 99 in The Fiery Cross. 

I'm not sure I've felt this nauseated at a scene in a Diana Gabaldon novel since Claire came upon Jamie and John Grey in a loving embrace. It's a good thing Shannon, Jenn M and I agreed to stop at chapter 100 before our gathering tomorrow... because I don't think I could keep reading if I tried.

I don't know what's bothering me more: the fact that Jamie clearly has some kind of feelings left for Laoghaire... or the fact that he tried to do her in his sleep!!! And if he was as mechanical with Laoghaire as Claire said he was when he was asleep, maybe THAT'S why Laoghaire wasn't into his moves between the sheets.

I feel betrayed. I feel hurt. I feel GROSSED THE HELL OUT. He's thinking of Laoghaire!!! WHY??? He HATES Laoghaire! The woman has been extorting money from him for years! She tried to KILL him! She tried to KILL Claire! (Which he now KNOWS, thank you god). Yeah yeah yeah - he said he can't stand her, blah blah blah.... but boyfriend is waking his WIFE up at night by trying to DO her in his sleep while DREAMING she's THE WEE HO!!!!!!!!!!

I feel sick....

Here's an email I just sent to Tracey. Sick, sick and more sick. That's what I am... and it doesna seem to be getting any better. I canna even THINK of posting about how excited I am about Jenny's letter... or about how much selfish Bree annoys me... (you're right, Karen, she's not a "spoiled brat". But I do find her selfish at times - I'll explain later.) For now I'm just going to post this email and go to bed and sleep on it - and see if I feel any different in the AM...

I am sick. SO SO sick. Almost as bad as John Grey. I can't even read (which is good because I promised to stop after chapter 99 for our meeting tomorrow.)

Anyone but Laoghaire. I am so sad I could cry. Claire was VERY gracious and understanding. No WAY would I have been able to keep myself so calm and unfazed (at least in appearance; she was very fazed, at least at first. Ugh.)

I am just sick. Seriously. I cannot imagine what kind of lollypop sweetness you are going to pull out of your arse to defend Jamie Fraser right now. I am just sick.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I've been LOST!

Sorry all - crazy day and have been parked in front of my TV watching LOST for the past 3 HOURS. Like the old days before I discovered Diana... LOL

I'll be back Wednesday with a Bree post for sure. I've plenty to say, Lassies!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Someone send her back to The Gathering. LORD, THE GATHERING!

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you have read Chapter 92 in The Fiery Cross.

Bree is now COMMANDING men - in 18th century mountainous, Carolina (cleared) brush - on how to properly SKIN A MOTHERHUMPING BUFFALO.

I HAVE NOW SEEN IT ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am verklempt. Talk amongst yourselves. I'll give you a topic. Bree is a spoiled brat. DISCUSS!

The Union of the Snake

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you have finished chapter 90ish in THE FIERY CROSS.

OK so I'm home with a croupy 5 year old today and getting some reading done since he's on the couch watching The Backyardigans. This will be a quick post since I have to try my best at getting him to take a nap - but I have to update you all on where I am.

Poor Roger (I always call him that, now; "poor Roger") was hoping to get a little Bree-lurve until Jemmy decided he was going to wake up and kill the mood. Next thing you know Jamie comes-a-knockin' and tells Roger they've got to jet; there are "beasts" grazing just over the ridge. So off they go - find out they are buffalo - and are getting ready to kill them some supper... when BAM! Jamie gets bitten in the calf by a big-assed snake - about 4 feet long with the girth of Roger's wrist. DAMN. That's a big snake. Now... personally... I canna really blame yon snake... though I'd have aimed a little higher. (Oh c'mon... you know you were thinking the same thing. Admit it!)

Soooo.... Roger - my hero - cuts Jamie's leg (with some help from Jamie) and sucks out the venom. But they must have waited too long and Jamie starts turning 18 shades of red from head to toe... and is swelling like a prized haggis at The Gathering (LORDDDDD THE GATHERING!) And Jamie and Roger start discussing death and whether you can change the future (past?) and Culloden and Bonnie Prince Charlie and everything. It was a killer discussion that I'll have to read again at a later date. Anyway - they're trying to decide if Jamie is safe because he's not scheduled to die until 3 or 4 years from now. And Jamie - thinking he's dying - rattles off this whole barrage of instructions for "Poor Roger", involving many names of those on the Ridge, at Cross Creek, at Wylie's Landing, etc. And he says to tell Bree he's "glad of her" and to give Jemmy his sword... and doesn't say anything about Claire. And when Poor Roger asks him about Claire, Jamie tells him to tell her he "meant it".

Um - WTF?? Am I supposed to get that? Will I find out later? Am I a moron for not knowing precisely what that means? I feel so un-close to Jamie right now! Am I putting too much thought into it? Here is the email I just sent my sister/Outlander mentor, Tracey. I'll be back later, after I read more!!!

WHAT does he mean by "Tell Claire I meant it"??? Just that he loved her with all his heart and he "meant" every bit of their life together? Or is it something distinct and different that I'll find out later??? Right now Claire is pulling her medicinals out of her cabinet and praying she won't have to use the tools. (I canna even THINK about this. NOT at all.)