Tag: Book Club

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban–Adaptations

Movie week! You know the drill. This week we discuss the actors and choices made by the production studio for what I (Hale) think is one of if not my absolute favorite Harry Potter movie. We kick off the episode with a promo from Hark! The 87th Precinct Podcast. Come join the conversation.

 

Limes:

https://soundcloud.com/limes-3

https://open.spotify.com/artist/5o4dgimn1R07w1d2ZzpzpP

 

Joe Bae:

https://soundcloud.com/joe-bae-4

https://open.spotify.com/artist/7BpL4nhNnrTDvC5Qb0p2h6

Harry Potter 3-Background

Now that you’ve heard our thoughts on the third installment in the Harry Potter series, lets dive a bit deeper into the background that inspired this text. We discuss prisons, time-travel, and werewolves, oh my! Check it out and come join the conversation.

 

Limes:

https://soundcloud.com/limes-3

https://open.spotify.com/artist/5o4dgimn1R07w1d2ZzpzpP

 

Joe Bae:

https://soundcloud.com/joe-bae-4

https://open.spotify.com/artist/7BpL4nhNnrTDvC5Qb0p2h6

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Recipies

IMG_1571This month we have two different drink recipes, and two different chocolate recipes! Our food this month is inspired by two major moments in the Harry Potter series. In their third year, team Chosen One meet their first dementor! Thankfully, Professor Lupin is on scene, and provides the necessary chocolate to help them overcome the intense cold and overwhelming sadness and hopelessness the dementors leave wizards with when they leave. This month, we decided to make our favorite chocolate recipes! Hale made (according to the internet) the BEST brownie recipe ever. It’s a brownie! I, Victoria, made chocolate ravioli. I have suggestions…

In year three, Hogwarts students are finally allowed to visit Hogsmead! This is the entirely wizard filled village near the school. The team visits the local pub (as one does) and tries butterbeer for the first time! So we decided this month, we’re drinking our version of butterbeer!

IMG_1578

  • Butterbeer
    • 1-1/2 oz butterscotch syrup (recipe follows)
    • 1-1/2 oz apple crown/apple whisky
    • 1/2 oz butterscotch liqueuer
    • 1 cup ginger ale, cold
    • Whipped cream (optional)
  • Butterscotch
    • INGREDIENTS:2 cups sugar
    • 1 cup water
    • 4 TB salted butter
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1 cup hot water

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • In a tall sauce pot, combine sugar, the first cup of water and butter.
  • Turn on heat to medium low and stir until sugar melts.
  • Once the sugar has melted, stop stirring and turn up the heat to medium high.
  • Bring to a boil, swirling the pan to keep the mixture moving.
  • If needed, use a wet pastry brush to wash down crystals that form on the side of the pan.
  • Cook until the mixture is golden brown and caramelized, making sure to pull it off the heat before it burns.
  • Add the baking soda and stir it in (the mixture will bubble up).
  • Slowly pour in remaining hot water and stir until smooth.
  • If the mixture separates when the water is added, reheat it over low heat and stir until any sugar clumps melt.
  • http://vintagekitty.com/boozy-butterbeer-recipe/#recipejump

IMG_1577

Chocolate Ravioli

Ganache

  • 1200g Heavy Cream
  • 800g Dark Chocolate

Heat cream to boil and add chocolate. Stir until completely melted. It will be thick. Place in freezer.

Ravioli

Pipe ganache into Fouille de Brick and wrap. Puncture with toothpicks to hold in place, or use egg wash to secure two pieces of pastry together around ganache filling. Bake at 350 degrees for five minutes.

I made my own Fouille de Brick, but I highly suggest buying it. It can get pricey, so it is probably okay to substitute fyllo dough for Fouille de Brick. I have never tried it, but the pastries are similar. Brick dough is just a bit thinner.

Fouille de Brick (Brick Dough)

https://www.chefrachida.com/moroccan-feuilles-de-brick-warka-paper-thin-pastry-leaves/

Ingredients:

  • 240 grams high gluten or bread flour
  • 45 grams durum flour or all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Whisk dry ingredients together, and wet ingredients together, then combine them and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Refrigerate mixture overnight. Place a non stick pan on the stove at low heat, even over a double broiler if possible. With a pastry brush, lightly brush mixture around pan in a circular motion on a thin, even layer. The best layer is one you can see through. When the mixture starts to crumble and lift around the corners, gently pull up on the corner and lift the pastry from the pan in one, clean motion. One batch makes about 40 sheets. Clean sheets up, and fill with mixture.

Hale’s Brownies: https://tasty.co/recipe/ultimate-brownies

  • 2 ½ sticks unsalted butter, plus more, softened, for greasing
  • 8 oz (225 g) good-quality semisweet chocolate, or bittersweet chocolate, 60-70% cacao, roughly chopped
  • ¾ cup (90 g) unsweetened dutch process cocoa powder, divided
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder
  • 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (110 g) dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
  • flaky sea salt, for sprinkling

Preparation

  1. Grease a 9×13-inch (23×33-cm) dark metal pan with softened butter, then line with parchment paper, leaving overhang on all sides. Grease the parchment with softened butter.
  2. Combine the chopped chocolate, ¼ cup (30 g) of cocoa powder, and espresso powder in a heatproof liquid measuring cup or medium bowl and set aside.
  3. Add the butter to a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until the butter just comes to a vigorous simmer, about 5 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally. Immediately pour the hot butter over the chocolate mixture and let sit for 2 minutes. Whisk until the chocolate is completely smooth and melted, then set aside.
  4. Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and eggs in a large bowl. Beat with an electric hand mixer on high speed until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. It will be similar to the texture of very thick pancake batter.
  5. With the mixer on, pour in the slightly cooled chocolate and butter mixture and blend until smooth.
  6. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C).
  7. Sift in the flour and remaining cocoa powder and use a rubber spatula to gently fold until just combined.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake until lightly puffed on top, about 20 minutes.
  9. Remove the baking pan from the oven using oven mitts or kitchen towels, then lightly drop the pan on a flat surface 1-2 times until the brownies deflate slightly. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
  10. Return the pan to the oven and bake until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the brownies comes out fudgy but the edges look cooked through, about 20 minutes more. The center of the brownies will seem under-baked, but the brownies will continue to set as they cool.
  11. Set the brownies on a cooling rack and cool completely in the pan.
  12. Use the parchment paper to lift the cooled brownies out of the pan. Cut into 24 bars and serve immediately.
  13. Enjoy!

 

IMG_1583

 

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban-Analysis

Continuing our discussion on the hugely popular Harry Potter series, listen to our opinions on the third novel in the installment. We talk pirates and rum (don’t ask), murder and murder mysteries, friendship, and justice… and fan favorite Lupin. Come join the conversation!

 

Intro-Limes:

https://soundcloud.com/limes-3

https://open.spotify.com/artist/5o4dgimn1R07w1d2ZzpzpP

 

Outro-Joe Bae:

https://soundcloud.com/joe-bae-4

https://open.spotify.com/artist/7BpL4nhNnrTDvC5Qb0p2h6

The Handmaid’s Tale Adaptations

Join us for a discussion on the differences between the book and the show! Is season 2 a believable continuation? Were the roles casted correctly? Hear our thoughts on the prolific novel’s newest adaptation, with a shoutout to our friends at Unassigned Reading Pod.

 

Limes:

https://soundcloud.com/limes-3

https://open.spotify.com/artist/5o4dgimn1R07w1d2ZzpzpP

 

Joe Bae:

https://soundcloud.com/joe-bae-4

https://open.spotify.com/artist/7BpL4nhNnrTDvC5Qb0p2h6

Episode 3.2-Handmaid’s Tale Background

Now that you are all caught up on our thoughts on Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, check out some of the information we found relevant to the series. Victoria discusses puritanism and witch hunts, Anya discusses Atwood herself and Phyllis McAlpin Schlafly nee Stewart, the inspiration for Serena Joy, and Hale discusses the history of forced adoptions. This episode showcases some of our podcasting friends, Frankenpod! Check it out and come join the conversation.

 

Limes:

https://soundcloud.com/limes-3

https://open.spotify.com/artist/5o4dgimn1R07w1d2ZzpzpP

 

Joe Bae:

https://soundcloud.com/joe-bae-4

https://open.spotify.com/artist/7BpL4nhNnrTDvC5Qb0p2h6

“Half-Hanged Mary” by Margaret Atwood

Let me first say, it was real hard to find the full text online. It is a longer poem, so many versions online have cut whole verses. Originally, I was going to just post a link to the poem, but the only copy of the full text I found was annotated with questions to prompt middle and high school aged kids to think about the poem in a certain way. Not that it isn’t helpful, but I’m a believer that everyone should approach literature with a clean slate, before being influenced in a certain direction. Therefore, I’m posting a clean copy of the poem before I give you my thoughts. And yes I know the formatting is a bit off. Technology failed me today.

“Half-Hanged Mary” by Margaret Atwood

7pm

Rumour was loose in the air
hunting for some neck to land on.
I was milking the cow,
the barn door open to the sunset.

I didn’t feel the aimed word hit
and go in like a soft bullet.
I didn’t feel the smashed flesh
closing over it like water
over a thrown stone.

I was hanged for living alone
for having blue eyes and a sunburned skin,
tattered skirts, few buttons,
a weedy farm in my own name,
and a surefire cure for warts;
Oh yes, and breasts,
and a sweet pear hidden in my body.
Whenever there’s talk of demons
these come in handy.

8pm
The rope was an improvisation.
With time they’d have thought of axes.

Up I go like a windfall in reverse,
a blackened apple stuck back onto the tree.
Trussed hands, rag in my mouth,
a flag raised to salute the moon,
old bone‐faced goddess, old original,
who once took blood in return for food.
The men of the town stalk homeward,
excited by their show of hate,
their own evil turned inside out like a glove,
and me wearing it.

9pm

The bonnets come to stare,
the dark skirts also,
the upturned faces in between,
mouths closed so tight they’re lipless.
I can see down into their eyeholes
and nostrils. I can see their fear.
You were my friend, you too.
I cured your baby, Mrs.,
and flushed yours out of you,
Non‐wife, to save your life.
Help me down? You don’t dare.
I might rub off on you,
like soot or gossip. Birds
of a feather burn together,
though as a rule ravens are singular.

In a gathering like this one
the safe place is the background,
pretending you can’t dance,
the safe stance pointing a finger.

I understand. You can’t spare
anything, a hand, a piece of bread, a shawl
against the cold,
a good word. Lord
knows there isn’t much
to go around. You need it all.

10pm

Well God, now that I’m up here
with maybe some time to kill
away from the daily
fingerwork, legwork, work
at the hen level,
we can continue our quarrel,
the one about free will.
Is it my choice that I’m dangling
like a turkey’s wattles from this
more than indifferent tree?
If Nature is Your alphabet,
what letter is this rope?
Does my twisting body spell out Grace?
I hurt, therefore I am.
Faith, Charity, and Hope
are three dead angels
falling like meteors or
burning owls across
the profound blank sky of Your face.

12 midnight
My throat is taut against the rope
choking off words and air;
I’m reduced to knotted muscle.
Blood bulges in my skull,
my clenched teeth hold it in;
I bite down on despair
Death sits on my shoulder like a crow
waiting for my squeezed beet
of a heart to burst
so he can eat my eyes
or like a judge
muttering about sluts and punishment
and licking his lips
or like a dark angel
insidious in his glossy feathers
whispering to me to be easy
on myself. To breathe out finally.
Trust me, he says, caressing
me. Why suffer?
A temptation, to sink down
into these definitions.
To become a martyr in reverse,
or food, or trash.
To give up my own words for myself,
my own refusals.
To give up knowing.
To give up pain.
To let go.

2am
Out of my mouth is coming, at some
distance from me, a thin gnawing sound
which you could confuse with prayer except that
praying is not constrained.
Or is it, Lord?
Maybe it’s more like being strangled
than I once thought. Maybe it’s
a gasp for air, prayer.
Did those men at Pentecost
want flames to shoot out of their heads?
Did they ask to be tossed
on the ground, gabbling like holy poultry,
eyeballs bulging?
As mine are, as mine are.
There is only one prayer; it is not
the knees in the clean nightgown
on the hooked rug
I want this, I want that.
Oh far beyond.
Call it Please. Call it Mercy.
Call it Not yet, not yet,
as Heaven threatens to explode
inwards in fire and shredded flesh, and the angels caw.

3am
Wind seethes in the leaves around
me the tree exude night
birds night birds yell inside
my ears like stabbed hearts my heart
stutters in my fluttering cloth
body I dangle with strength
going out of me the wind seethes

in my body tattering
the words I clench
my fists hold No
talisman or silver disc my lungs
flail as if drowning I call
on you as witness I did
no crime I was born I have borne I
bear I will be born this is
a crime I will not
acknowledge leaves and wind
hold onto me
I will not give in
6am

Sun comes up, huge and blaring,
no longer a simile for God.
Wrong address. I’ve been out there.
Time is relative, let me tell you
I have lived a millennium.
I would like to say my hair turned white
overnight, but it didn’t.
Instead it was my heart:
bleached out like meat in water.
Also, I’m about three inches taller.
This is what happens when you drift in space
listening to the gospel
of the red‐hot stars.
Pinpoints of infinity riddle my brain,
a revelation of deafness.
At the end of my rope
I testify to silence.
Don’t say I’m not grateful.

Most will have only one death.
I will have two.

8am

When they came to harvest my corpse
(open your mouth, close your eyes)
cut my body from the rope,
surprise, surprise:
I was still alive.
Tough luck, folks,
I know the law:
you can’t execute me twice
for the same thing. How nice.
I fell to the clover, breathed it in,
and bared my teeth at them
in a filthy grin.
You can imagine how that went over.
Now I only need to look
out at them through my sky‐blue eyes.
They see their own ill will
staring them in the forehead
and turn tail
Before, I was not a witch.
But now I am one.
Later
My body of skin waxes and wanes
around my true body,
a tender nimbus.
I skitter over the paths and fields

mumbling to myself like crazy,
mouth full of juicy adjectives
and purple berries.
The townsfolk dive headfirst into the bushes
to get out of my way.
My first death orbits my head,
an ambiguous nimbus,
medallion of my ordeal.
No one crosses that circle.
Having been hanged for something
I never said,
I can now say anything I can say.
Holiness gleams on my dirty fingers,
I eat flowers and dung,
two forms of the same thing, I eat mice
and give thanks, blasphemies
gleam and burst in my wake
like lovely bubbles.
I speak in tongues,
my audience is owls.
My audience is God,
because who the hell else could understand me?
Who else has been dead twice?
The words boil out of me,
coil after coil of sinuous possibility.
The cosmos unravels from my mouth,
all fullness, all vacancy.

“Half-Hanged Mary” PDF

 

Alright, so… This poem has it all. So it seems to be in freeverse, because there isn’t exactly a rhyme scheme (that doesn’t mean it is completely free from rhyme, just no glaring pattern). There isn’t really a set meter, though parts of it seem to have a bit of a rhythm. Atwood tends to stick to certain sound patterns for parts of the poem, specifically in the 3am section. I’ll talk more about that in a bit.

First I wanted to go through some of the themes that stuck out to me. First and most obviously, and most relevant to The Handmaid’s Tale, is the feminism. Mary, the narrator, tells us that she was arrested for the way she looks, for having a feminine figure and boobs. This is probably less a suggestion that colonists were just rounding up any woman they see, and instead is a nod to the rhetoric used against women accused of witchcraft. Often these women were labeled succubi, or female demon seducers.

I love the shade she throws at the men who are tying her up. She implies they weren’t smart enough to just execute her immediately, and instead left her to die. People came to look at her hanging there, but also are we surprised? These are the same people that went and watched the revolutionaries on the battlefield with their picnic baskets. The women who came to look are all indebted to her in one way or another. She says, “I cured your baby, Mrs./ and flushed yours out of you,/ non-wife, to save your life” (9pm). I think this is a clear allusion to abortion, specifically termination of the fetus to save the life of the unwed mother. This could mean something was wrong with the baby and was hurting the mother, OR it could be a suggestion that if anyone were to find out, the men who hung Mary could try to hang her too. Regardless, this behavior, curing babies and aborting others would have been grounds for execution anyway–further proof Mary’s a witch.

The section 10pm is beautiful and tragic. She begins to question her faith. In the following section, temptation to give into death is everywhere. She feels it around her as her body begins to give out on her.

The 3 am section… I noticed several things about this section. First, some of the sound patterns (seethes and leaves) sounds a bit like wind, and hanging there alone all night would definitely make you notice things like the way the wind sounds around you. The repetition of birds and hearts reminds me a bit of birds chirping, perhaps other sounds Mary is noticing during the night. She is repetitive here, talking in circles, a bit like a person swinging from a rope. She’s fighting temptation.

As the sun rises with the 6am and 8am sections, the poem begins to get a bit more hopeful. She is starting to sound like a survive, rather than a victim. The snark we saw at the beginning of the poem, with her criticism of the men who hung her returns. She notes that few people get to experience death twice, and she will. As we stated in our background episode, she doesn’t experience this second death for many more years.

At the end of this poem, she seems to be gloating a bit. She’s happy this happened, because now she is safe. There is a bit of double jeopardy here… She knows she can’t be hung for the same crime twice. She is free. She feels

Overall, I really loved this poem. It took a few read throughs before I picked up on the complexity of this poem. At surface level, it seems child-like, an easy poem to understand. However, as with any poem, the details are in the layers.

Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum

It is a phrase that means rebellion. It is a phrase that means resistance. It means dissidence, and upheaval. It means friendship, and solidarity. It means “Don’t let the bastards grind you down!” Most of all, it means hope.

Nolite

It also doesn’t mean what you think it means.

What started off as a schoolroom Latin joke, has now become a rallying cry of feminism and rebellion. People have tattooed the phrase on their bodies. Think about that! People have permanently tattooed a fake Latin phrase onto their body, because it means so much to so many people. It serves as a reminder that someone out there will always be there to be your friend. It means you aren’t alone.

Of course, like many others, the phrase served as an interest for me as I read the book. Waterford tells us that someone was messing with our narrator, and the phrase is nothing more than that. Even if it is fake, it doesn’t take away from the meaning projected onto it by Handmaid’s Tale fans. So I wanted to give this iconic quote a closer look.

According to both Vanity Fair and Refinery29, the phrase is actually a joke from Atwood’s school days. It is grammatically incorrect, and uses two words that are not Latin at all: ‘bastardes’ and ‘carborundorum’. According to both articles, neither of these words exist in true, ancient Latin. The correct translation would read something similar to “Illegitimi non carborundum” or don’t let the illegitimate grind you down. It just doesn’t pack the same punch.

‘Carborundorum’ is actually a word, it is just an English word given a Latin ending. According to the OED it was first used around the 19th or 20th centuries, with some suggestion it could have been used as advertising language made up to mean “to grind” as in like grains into flour.

The correct version of the phrase, Illegitimi non carborundum, is actually recorded in history. It is attributed to American slang in the early 1900s, and was used as a rallying cry in WWII. Oddly enough, the phrase most recently has appeared on a plaque on former Speaker John Boehner’s desk.

Illegitimi Non Carborundum

Regardless of how bad the Latin is, or how many words are made up, the phrase has meaning to some people. Language changes based on usage, and meanings of words change all the time, i.e. literally. As humans, we have a need to communicate effectively and efficiently, and we tend to make up new words all the time. Imagine asking your great great grandmother to google something for you, or to search the web!

Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum means something to us. It means hope.

 

https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2017/05/handmaids-tale-nolite-te-bastardes-carborundorum-origin-margaret-atwood

https://www.refinery29.com/2017/05/152811/handmaids-tale-latin-phrase-meaning

Handmaid’s Tale Analysis

Novelist. Poet. Critic. Essayist. Inventor. Instructor. Activist. Feminist.

That is who wrote this amazing dystopian novel. Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale has changed people’s lives. It has inspired resistance. Feminists everywhere have adopted the story to serve as a warning. We hear often that dystopian novels give us a glimpse of the extremes of which our society can resort. In 2018, the surveillance of 1984, technology of Brave New World, and censorship of Fahrenheit 451 have never been more prevalent. However, Atwood’s dystopian novel gives us insight into fears of limited women’s rights, and reproductive rights. This book, however unsettling it may be, is worth the read.

 

Limes:

https://soundcloud.com/limes-3

https://open.spotify.com/artist/5o4dgimn1R07w1d2ZzpzpP

 

Joe Bae:

https://soundcloud.com/joe-bae-4

https://open.spotify.com/artist/7BpL4nhNnrTDvC5Qb0p2h6

Mini-Episode 2-Harry Potter Candy

This is all about the candy. No. I mean that literally. We’re just talking candy. Stick around at the end of the podcast to hear from our podcasting friends LadySh!t with Lily and Britt Podcast!

 

Limes: Intro

https://soundcloud.com/limes-3

https://open.spotify.com/artist/5o4dgimn1R07w1d2ZzpzpP

 

Joe Bae: Outro

https://soundcloud.com/joe-bae-4

https://open.spotify.com/artist/7BpL4nhNnrTDvC5Qb0p2h6