Friday, September 26, 2008


In the past two days I have watched three different versions of Hamlet--that's at least nine hours of this play on film. Moreover, I read Hamlet on Monday and Tuesday. As much as I love all things Danish, that is a great deal of the "dithering Dane." Here's the rub, I don't get Hamlet. That is to say, it is not that I cannot comprehend the story or pick out themes, but on the whole I find myself almost completely incapable of sympathizing with Hamlet.

One character who I do feel for is Ophelia, who seems surrounded by inconstant men. I cannot help but think if she could just converse with Beatrice she would not have gone insane. Which led me to wonder if this would have been Hero's fate if she had not had the Friar and Beatrice to advise her. It is an interesting thought.

All in all Horatio seems the only truly constant character--true in his relationships and fulfilling his duty--and so it seems fitting he's the one left alive.

In the end it seems the whole thing could have been circumvented if everyone had communicated better with one another. Maybe they should use this as an example in Mutual lessons and therapy sessions.

Now for my unanswered questions. Does Hamlet really go mad? Does it matter? How come nobody dislikes Claudius even though he's a murderer? Did Gertrude play a part in Hamlet's father's death? Does the ghost of Hamlet's father tell him not to blame Gertrude, Hamlet's mother? Because if he did, it seems like Hamlet ignores that injunction. Does Hamlet love Ophelia? If so, does he turn on her because she is easily swayed by her father, because she lies about where her father is in the nunnery scene, or because he really is disgusted by how immoral people really are? Is Hamlet in love with his mother? If he is in love with his mother is he also still in love with Ophelia? How many people does Hamlet kiss anyway? Ophelia, Gertrude, Yorrick, and I swear in one of the movies he kisses Claudius. Why does Horatio stick around when Hamlet is always ordering him to do this, that, and the other? Is it a rule that if you're making a Hamlet you need to use the most confusing castle you can find? Why are all Hamlet's in film versions blond? Should blond have an "e" at the end? Doesn't Branagh's Hamlet look kind of like a blond Luigi at the end with those gloves? Why does Branagh's Hamlet have green eyes in the middle of the movie? Was Fortinbras truly intending on invading Denmark anyway? What is Horatio going to do now? Write a book about his crazy vacation in Denmark? Didn't Olivier's Hamlet seem longer than Branagh's somehow?

The moral of the story? Don't talk about your problems in endless soliloquies and asides, talk to people; they can reason with you better. Murdering people is never a good idea. Oh, and it's just wrong to love your mother in that way.

And now the shocking part, I think I liked Mel Gibson's Hamlet the best.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bowling Stats

As you may or may not know, depending on how much I actually talk to you, I am taking a bowling class this semester. It's quite fun especially since I get to count it as fulfilling a GE requirement. But I have had my moments of doubt as to whether I could overcome my gimpdom. Particularly when my first class I only bowled like a 47. Ouch. In my defense, not only was I a gimp, but it was the first time I had been bowling in approximately 4-5 years. After a little more practice I was habitually scoring in the 80s with my "high" being 96. Now that's not all that stellar, but surely it was my, literal, handicap right? Well I went bowling on Friday with a new friend from my Art History class so I could get in some more practice; we split our games, both winning one, but I still didn't have very impressive scores. What I realized, however, was that I bowled better with an 11 pound ball.

Long story short (too late), yesterday I bowled a game of 134. I don't know where it came from, but I hope I can keep it going. The sad thing? Even the teacher was really surprised by that.

Side note, I noticed I walk better (ie less limping) in bowling shoes. Maybe I'll have to start a new trend.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Identity Crisis

All summer--as I was completing the process to return to BYU--I suffered a bit of an identity crisis. First BYU told me I was a non-student. I don't know exactly what that means, but it can't be good. Perhaps I am incapable of learning? Or maybe I simply refuse? If that's the case, shame on me. But BYU seemed to come around and recognized me as a Senior by allowing me to register on the first day of registration. Following that, however, it (the unknown entity who sends me emails) seems to have had a lapse in concentration. All summer long I received NSO emails (New Student Orientation) because apparently I was a freshman. I reconciled myself to being a Senior Freshman; indeed there have definitely been times this week that I felt that way. Today I received a very different email. Today BYU informed me that in fact I am a BYU alumnus--technically shouldn't I be an alumna?

Thursday, September 4, 2008


It's no secret that I've been feeling old the past few months. I mean between the cane, the brace, and the limp I often feel that I've aged several decades. Today I've felt especially decrepit (a case of moving offices and giving Meg extra rides meant I climbed at least 45 flights of stairs yesterday alone). But the real sign that I'm old is that on Tuesday five different people stopped me (letting everyone else go by) to ask for directions around campus. I think it's the limp; it must be a sign of sagacity.

It's True

I've gone to the dark side.