The Complete Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde

This is actually the first time I’ve read Oscar Wilde. I started The Picture of Dorian Gray a long time ago, but never finished it for some reason. His compete fairy tales were wonderful! I loved them all. They were all quite unique, but revisited common themes seen in children’s fairy tales. The moral lessons were the same.

The book is broken up into two separate collections. The first is called The Happy Prince and the second is A House of Pomegranates. Wilde must have loved pomegranates as I think they are mentioned in nearly every fairy tale in the book.

The Happy Prince consists of 5 tales:

The Happy Prince: A statue of a prince asks a bird friend to deliver precious gems on his body to people who are in need in the town so that they may survive and in turn is deemed to be no longer beautiful.

The Nightingale and the Rose: A Nightingale makes the ultimate sacrifice in the form of a song so that a a boy may win the heart of a maiden.

The Selfish Giant: A grumpy giant closes his courtyard off to children so Spring refuses to come back leaving Winter to constantly blunder him. This one has a very bizarre ending in my opinion.

The Devoted Friend: A friend accepts a small favor and is expected to do entirely too much in return.

The Remarkable Rocket: A rocket (firecracker) who is quite arrogant ends up being the bottom of the bunch.

and A House of Pomegranates consists of 4 tales:

The Young King: A King has a series of dreams which lead him to no longer want the royal treatment once he sees what it costs others.

The Birthday of the Infanta: A dwarf who performs for the Infanta on her birthday becomes obsessively in love with her and is disillusioned on his way to finding her.

The Fisherman and His Soul: A fisherman gives his soul to be with a mermaid and learns the hard way the price that he has paid for doing so.

The Star-Child: A Child falls from the sky, is taken in by a family, and grows to have a horrible attitude. When he tries to redeem himself, he finds that it may be too late to do so.

Wilde’s writing was remarkable and a pleasure to read. Fairy tales from this era are my favorite! The tone, the setting, and above all, the language is just perfect. The English language was at the perfect point for fairy tales at that time. Many of the stories had Christian themes to them, something that I didn’t expect from Wilde. I found that interesting. This is definitely a collection that I hope to one day be able to read to my own children as they fall to sleep. Beautiful stories with classic lessons.


I’ve Been Tagged Again

So I’ve been tagged again by Literacy Chic, but I like this one and it requires no brain power :).

You simply have to grab the book nearest to you (no cheating here), turn to page 161, and post the text of the fifth full sentence on the page along with the body of the instruction on your blog. Then you tag 3 people. Fun huh?

I just wrapped up The Complete Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde for the Once Upon a Time challenge and my review is coming shortly. In the meantime, it is the nearest book to me, so here’s the line:

“When the captain of the guard saw me, he wondered.”

How BORING! Oh well.

So…I’m tagging Bookfool, Quixotic, and Nymeth for this one 🙂


It seems that someone diverted me away from my plan to not buy any more books this month. I was sitting at home minding my business when all of a sudden my phone rang. Two friends informed me that they were heading over to Barnes and Noble and that I should meet them. I suddenly found myself in my car with my hand moving the gear into drive and my foot pressing down on the gas pedal…my mind guiding me on that oh so familiar drive to the bookstore. I awakened in that familiar place filled with books. My eyes fell upon John Connolly’s Book of Lost Things with a 50% off tag on it and at the same time it remembered that my member card would give me an additional 10% off. John Connolly’s Book of Lost things hovered into my arms. I was not surprised to then find myself at the Sci-fi/fantasy section. Hmm, what would I find there but Wizards, a new collection that I have been looking forward to which collects never before published tales by authors of the likes of Neil Gaiman, Orson Scott Card, Garth Nix, Peter Beagle, Gene Wolfe, etc, etc, etc. Into my arms it goes. As I hover towards the elevator I spot Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi on sale for $5.98 and remember that I have to read that for the Newberry Challenge. Yep, in the arms. As I scan the psychology section upstairs I come across a book that seems to call to me that is entitled Adult Children of Alcoholics. Simple enough title. I scan through the book and find myself in it’s pages. This may be important. I buy it. It will help me, it will help my clients. That’s enough, I decide. The cashier steals my American Express, I lose money but gain books…everyone wins in the end!

Here’s some more bookporn for Quixotic:Speaking of Quixotic, she seems to be the “it girl” of blog land lately. I’ve noticed two mentions of her on the Friends of English Magic website in the past couple of weeks (the same FoEM that Neil Gaiman often mentions in his blog) and Carl’s latest post has quite a few Quix wannabe’s (me included) in the comments section. We all love her poppet paired with book photos!

In fact, part of the reason that I changed the header of my blog was because I wanted to copy off of Quix :p Quix and Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings both recently changed their headers and I love them both. So I decided to change mine as well. Mine is taken from one of my favorite Dave McKean pieces. The full version is shown below and is actually the wallpaper on my laptop.

Why Is Everything A Fight?

It’s looking like I’m not going to be working at the hospital now. I’m so pissed off. Everything’s a fight these days. I feel like everything’s spiraling down right now. There are no jobs out there right now and I feel more for the people in need of mental health care than for myself. There is nowhere for mental health professionals to work in New Orleans. There’s nowhere for people in need of mental health services to go. This city has become a joke. What’s it going to take to fix this? Is anything being done. I read about it in the newspapers every day, polititcians complain about it every day, I’ve signed petitions for things to get done, the city has a budget surplus of millions, but NOTHING is being done!

So back to the issue of me not having a job at the hospital. The hospital gave me their “offer letter” today. Now keep in mind that they left a message on my answering machine saying that they had hired me and I just needed to come fill out all of the paper work before they had even asked me if I wanted the job! So I assumed the pay would be decent. The offer they gave me today was 75 cents less an hour than what I’m getting payed now as a PCA. A PCA requires a high school degree. What I do as a PCA is assist people with physical and mental disabilities in their daily care and any other emotional or physical needs they may have. With a Master’s degree, this hospital wants to offer me 75 cents less. I told them that considering I have a Master’s now and that the job is on the weekend, I couldn’t accept anything less than 75 cents more than what I’m making now an hour and she basically told me that’s not possible.

My salary now is nothing huge, trust me. I never expect to be rich in the counseling profession. I know it’s not a lucrative career and I’m not in it for the money. But what these people want to pay me, I cannot live off of. I think that it’s ridiculous that with a Master’s degree I could make less money than what some people at McDonald’s are making right now in New Orleans. It’s pathetic. Something needs to be done with the state of mental health care in New Orleans. Salaries need to be improved for the workers, more facilities need to opened, services need to be more readily available to the public, and the whole system just needs a basic makeover. At this rate, I’m going to have to leave the city that I’ve come to love and look for a job in other states. I’m only looking for something in the $35,000/yr range. In New Orleans, I’d be very lucky to find anything around $30,000. And that would be on the high end.

8 Things About Me Meme

I was tagged by both Stephanie AND Jenclair, so here it is:

I wanted to take this meme as an opportunity to let my blogger friends get to know me more on the level that my “in person” friends know me…so here’s some of the personal stuff:

We’ll start off with the shocker:

  1. I was kicked out of my high school for using drugs. Yes, this is a shocker to everyone who knows me because of how much I’ve changed since high school. I think that getting kicked out of high school is the best thing that ever happened to me. Why, you might ask? It changed my life. It is the moment in my life where I stepped aside and looked at myself and saw that my life was heading nowhere and needed to change. That day led me on my path to becoming a counselor working with other adolescents who are going through problems and I have been drug free for 9 years now!
  1. I used to be a goth kid. In certain ways I still am. Deep down inside I still hold vampire novels and certain musical bands close to my heart. I just don’t wear all black like I used to. But boy oh boy, I used to wear all black, eye liner, long hair, everything. I was never the depressed goth. I’ve had depression, but I’ve always been happy go-lucky Chris.
  1. I love Asian art and Asian culture. I love the music, I love the art, painting, brush work, tea ceremonies, anime, jrock, movies, all of that stuff. I think that they just have a fascinating culture and I’d love to do an Asian tour one of these days.
  1. On a similar note, I collect Buddha statues and Hindu god and goddess statues. I don’t think that Katrina took any of those. I have a nice little collection, and I’m always keeping my eyes open for them. One of my teachers was from India and she gave me an antique lamp (the genie kind) with a little Ganesh in the middle of it. It’s my favorite piece.
  1. There’s another one! Katrina took away a lot of stuff. I live in Metairie, Louisiana which is a suburb of New Orleans. Katrina brought us 4 feet of water into our house, took all of my stuff, shipped my girlfriend off to Texas and we are now broken up after a 5 year relationship. We’re still friends though and she will be going to Mexico with me a week from today. I’m really looking forward to that!
  1. I have Grave’s Disease. Sounds bad, doesn’t it? It’s really not all that bad. It’s hyperthyroidism. What’s strange is that it’s normally found in women over forty and was first found in me at the age of 19. My doctor said it was the first time he had ever heard of a male under the age of 20 having Grave’s. Strange, huh?
  1. I’ll have a Master’s degree on Saturday!

8. I buy too many books, I smoke even though I know it’s a bad habit, and I get horrible migraines every 4-5 days….wonder if there’s some weird connection between those 3…..

I don’t know who’s been tagged and who hasn’t, so if you’d like to answer this one, go ahead. I’d love to read your answers!!

New Pile-O-Books

Like Quixotic, I got a new pile of books in the mail today, so I wanted to do a quick post to show them off. I’m especially excited about Charles Vess’ Book of Ballads which is beautiful and Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling’s collection, The Faery Reel which has some illustrations by Vess. They’re all wonderful and my bookshelf welcomes them warmly.

I’ve been sweating all day over detailing my car and I’m officially done with it. It seems I’ve been “officially” doing things lately, but I only do things if I make them “official.” I have to tell myself that they MUST get done, or I will not do them. I’ll say “later”. But no more later. At least not for now. So now that I’m done detailing the car and entering the new books into LibraryThing (yes Jessica, I used the scanner), I’m going to put together the 3rd and final bookshelf and then I will OFFICIALLY be done putting together the bookshelves. My, those bookshelves put me in a bad mood. They’re such a pain to put together and I tend to snap at people if they’re around me while I’m doing so. Stay away from me for the next couple of hours….

Fablehaven: Rise Of The Evening Star by Brandon Mull

Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star is Book 2 in the wonderfully magical Fablehaven series. I loved it! Even better than the first one in my opinion. For those who haven’t read the first one, Fablehaven is the name of a refuge for mythical and magical creatures. It is one of five such preserves in the world. Fablehaven is owned by the grandparents of Seth and Kendra, our two main characters. Common characters in the books are fairies, brownies, naiads, trolls, imps, golems, and satyrs. Great fun!

This second book in the series poses a threat to Fablehaven. Each of the five magical preserves in the world holds a unique artifact with a magical power. The location of the artifact is kept secret even from caretakers of the preserve. If all 5 artifacts were found and united, they could be combined to unlock a prison that holds demons, devils, and monsters that are unimaginable and could quite literally bring about the end of the world. The Society of the Evening Star is after these artifacts.

Trouble is breaking loose when a strange new student arrives at Seth and Kendra’s school. To keep them safe, Seth and Kendra’s grandparents decided to have them spend the summer at Fablehaven and tell their parents that they could use the help around the house as an excuse. After all, there’s a giant frog trying to eat Seth…how would you explain that one to mom?! When Seth and Kendra arrive after facing some strange circumstances, they find that help has been called in to Fablehaven. Three new faces are there: A potions master, a relics collector, and a magical critter collector. It soon becomes obvious that there’s a traitor among the crowd. But who could it be? And how much damage could they cause?

This volume has ten times the magic and adventure of the first one. It was so much fun and I caught myself holding my breath at times. Seth gets himself into trouble as usual and Kendra has acquired some pretty cool abilities. There’s tons of new creatures introduced in this book and it all climaxes into an amazing scene of magic and puzzelry! And the ending just leaves you dying for more. And it’s coming in 2008.

Mull’s writing is wonderful. Perfect for kids and yet perfectly enjoyable for adults as well. I didn’t want this one to end at all. One of my favorite reads of the year so far. He also announces at the end of the book that he has another new non-Fablehaven book coming out in the Fall called The Candy Shop War. Looking forward to that one as well.

Brandon Mull is a promising author and I’m really looking forward to what this guy does with his career. This series will be the perfect one to get into with Harry Potter ending in July.