Stranded Gypsy Girl

Original. Quirky. Spreading Love Like Dandelions

The Catcher in the Rye May 24, 2009

Filed under: Books! — bessabariangirl @ 9:51 am

The Catcher in the Rye The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
Well I think you have to like the main character of the book to like the book and I did to some degree. someone told me that i HAD to read this book as a teenager to enjoy it fully and i did enjoy it – finished it in a day. It was humouress and touching but left me with a strange empty feel about the world. I hope Holden finds some meaning in his life – otherwise he’ll just be the eternal wanderer never finding a place of his own. I’m still thinking over it…may even reread it. I guess it’s about finding something real in a world full of “phonies” – the thing that he’s searching for and in the end he finds it with his sister.

View all my reviews.


“My God — JD Salinger is basically Judy Blume with more cursing.

Holden is idealistic, yet a failure. He hates “phonies” like actors, musicians, and snobby prep school kids, but loves genuine people, like “old Phoebe” his little sister—such things “kill” him. He can’t do the system—sees no reason to. Neither can he get past the death of his little brother Allie, a victim of cancer. Holden is impulsive, a spendthrift, a pathological liar, yet has a strong respect for goodness. He sees through the crap, but he can’t seem to separate the good from the bad in order to enjoy, learn from, or be bolstered by the good. The good is rather tainted by the bad, the punishing teachers, selfish jocks, shallow girls, cruel kids. They ruin the whole world for Holden. He has become something of a misanthrope. His use of hyperbole is at first comic, and eventually tiresome. He acts without inhibition, but without purpose or even a sense of adventure—he just keeps going, perhaps so he doesn’t have to sit and think, consider his situation. He tells Phoebe that the only thing he would really enjoy becoming in life is the “catcher in the rye” an imaginary job, spin off of a poem (actually a misreading) where kids play ball in the rye, near a cliff; it’s Holden’s job, as catcher, to keep them from falling off the cliff.

He half-heartedly seeks comfort from the world, often imagining that the world and its people are in sync with him—that bartenders will serve him cocktails, that whores will be honest, clerks will respect Christmas trees, teachers will have moral integrity, that in the midst of his wilderness he can sit on a train and have pleasant conversation with nuns, giving donations to their good work.

A former English teacher counsels him, quoting psychoanalyst, Wilhelm Stekel: “the mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.” Holden isn’t living, so in essence he is dying. The advice is bang on, but the messenger, who makes a midnight pass at Holden, is still imperfect.

In the end it is Phoebe who brings him home—her goodness, her unqualified trust in him, her willingness to bring a suitcase and follow him anywhere. This “kills him” and brings him home.”


Why it doesnt really matter that you have the longest dress in the school March 29, 2009

Ok, so your Mum absolutely refuses to take up your dress even a half of an inch because she hates sewing and as she says, “besides as if you want to look skanky I bought you up to be a decent girl you have brains you don’t need to be there showing off everything etc etc etc I’m sure you get the picture. So you are forced to go to school everyday amongst all these other girls simply flaunting it infront of you and the guys asking why you dress “like a nun”. There has to be some good in this situation right? Let’s do a Pollyanna and paste a smile above our long dresses and think of the following positives:

Hardly anyone will notice that your dress is long and how worthy are their opinions anyway?

People are too busy worrying about their giant pimple on their nose and their “frizzy hair” and their late homework assignment and their sloppy lunch to even SPARE a thought to the length of your dress. It really doesn’t matter. People are dying in Africa and here you are worrying about a few inches of material. And anyone who makes fun of you for this seriously needs a life and is probably feeling so insecure about their person they’re taking any little tiny weeny thing they can point out about you that is different

Your other features will become accentuated without the distraction of a short dress

My boyfriend agrees with this one. You know when you’re walking down the street and see a girl with a realllly short dress. You don’t think ‘man her hair looks fantastic today’ or ‘that’s a really individual fashion sense’ or ‘she has cute dimples’…you think, ‘man she has a short dress she looks like her self esteem is way low’. Whereas you see a girl in a long dress and you look at all the other things – you’re not distracted. And guys will see you as a person not an object to be lusted over. They will be listening to your sparklingly wittingly conversation and not constantly having “slippery eyes”.

You don’t have to worry about flashing people inadvertently (or not)

There is seriously nothing sexy in flashing people all the time. I find it quite disgusting, and people especially older people (such as you boss and teachers i.e. people who you WANT to think better of you)

You will either not remember when they look back that you had the longest dress. And if they do you can become known as the girl with the long dress and wear this badge proudly unlike those other conformists in the short dress

Who wants to be like everyone else? It’s way overrated. People wont even remember that your dress was a tad longer than most but WILL remember when they’re lives were falling apart and you were the one who stopped and asked them if they were alright. Or that you were this cool non conformist who jumped in the pool fully clothed and could play a mean mandolin… It’s your choice…be like a sellout pop singer or like an Indie artist who invents their very own genre and amaze the world…


“Lost in Austen” is Lost on Me March 9, 2009

Filed under: Culture and Society — bessabariangirl @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

“Insufferable”. An “abomination” some of Jane Austen’s favourite adjectives could well describe this horrid drama shown last night on the ABC.

Lost in Austen

Lost in Austen

Being a Jane Austen tragic myself I could relate to the main character ‘Amanda Price with her obsession with Pride and Prejudice. The book was the first ever real ‘classic literature’ that I read at 12 and every year since then I pick up the book several times and watch the BBC adaption regularly with my Mum. I own the Behind Scenes Companion to the series. I’ve been to the Jane Austen Centre in Bath and religiously watch any documentary I can find on her. My Mum bought me a dress we call my “Pride and Prejudice dress”. My best friend and I are constantly quoting it in real life (and nickname any particularly unattractive guy ‘Mr. Collins’). I had a ‘Pride and Prejudice’ party with my girlfriends for my thirteenth birthday. I even own ‘Being Elizabeth Bennet’ a Jane Austen choose your own adventure story that’s an amusing read (lots of ‘in’ jokes for any other Austen fanatic). But I had a sinking feeling when watching the promos for this drama ‘Lost in Austen’ and I watched it and shook my head in despair. This miniseries simply takes it too far!

The biggest problem with it is quite simply the lack of Lizzie. Replacing her we have this chav wannabe who lacks the sparkling wit of my favourite heroine. Instead we are supposed to laugh at her flashing Lydia and getting drunk at the ball and snogging Bingley….excuse me? The original plot has gone out the window and instead there’s this weird patch job that simply makes me cringe. And amazingly enough the executive producer Damien Timmer is quoted in the Age as saying, “We worked very hard to make it not feel like a lighthearted romp or parody, or stamping all over Jane Austen’s original.” If this show is not a ‘lighthearted romp or parody of Jane Austen’s original” I don’t know what is!

A lot of the shows flaws also come down to the actors. I don’t want to sound like a snob but I really think you need either period or extremely versatile actors that can pull off quality period drama. That’s one of the strengths of the BBC adaption with the solid acting. We can see the strength of the actors in other classic adaptions such as Sense and Sensibility and even the recent series ‘Cranford’ which was a pleasant surprise because of some great casting. No offense but the actors in ‘Lost in Austen’ are simply not getting it. Mrs. Bennet is a complete annoyance with this performance which seems like a bad copy of the BBC series, Mr. Bennet is passable, Jane looks like some sort of blonde Regency emo not the angelic face she’s meant to have. Is Mr. Darcy trying to be a cross over between Hugh Grant and Colin Firth? I actually don’t mind him as he brings across the complete unpleasantness of Darcy which tend to get lost a bit when women viewers get too caught up with his sexiness. Mr. Collins is dreadful. I appreciate that it must be hard to reimagine the character that has been played so hilariously in the BBC version and brilliantly awkwardly in the movie, but this one is just plain creepy! He’s also missing a lot of the bumbling arrogance you find in the book. Instead there’s this vampire crossed with a pedophile who is truly awkward to watch. Apparently this show has become a major success with bestselling DVDs in Britain and this puzzles me.

The audience for this show can’t be for the general public who haven’t seen Pride and Prejudice for this would just confuse them and be a very poor representation of the original. And it can’t be for those who truly love Jane Austen, as surely they would revile from this for the reasons I have pointed out, (even though the crew have put it an effort to place a lot of the original’s costumes in there as a visual in joke for the diehard fans). So perhaps it is for those who have seen the series or the movie once, to whom I say pick up the book and enjoy the best of what Jane Austen brings with her dazzling wit, brilliant characters that come to life in your head and snappy satire – and give this poor shadow a wide berth.


Favourite Terry Pratchett Quotes from ‘Making Money’ January 16, 2009

Filed under: Books! — bessabariangirl @ 1:13 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

“Hell knows and heaven suspects”

A recommended Novel

A recommended Novel


“I’m an Igor, thur. We dont athk quethntionth.’

‘Really? Why not?’

‘I don’t know, thur. I didn’t athk”


“Pucci stood ignored and steaming with rage for a while and then flounced out. It was a good flounce, too. She had no idea how to handle people and she tried to make self-esteem do the work of self-respect, but the girl could flounce better than a fat turkey on a trampoline”


“‘Just as I thought,’ he said, pocketing the tube. ‘You forgot to take the cap off. It’s the kind of mistake amateurs always make!’

Owlswick hesitated, and then said, ‘You mean there’s people who commit suicide professionally'”


“Professionals have their pride. There had to be some people you wouldn’t rob, some things you didn’t teal. and you had to have style. If you didn’t have style, you’d never fly”


“Stand still and your mistakes catch up with you”



‘Be there or be square?’ said Moist, as Ponder lowered the megaphone.

‘Oh a couple of years ago someone ignored the warning and, um, when the Cabinent folded up he temporaily became a curiosity’.

‘You mean he ended up inside a fourteen-inch cube?’ said Moist, horrified.


‘You’re not going to tell me they built fifty-foot high killer golems, are you?’

‘Only a man would think of that.’

‘It’s our job,’ said Moist. ‘If you don’t think of fifty-foot high killer golems first, someone else will.’



‘So…’ said Adora Belle, ‘a mad old lady – all right, a very astute mad old lady – died and gave you her dog, which sort of wears this bank on it’s collar, and you’ve told everyone that gold is worth less than potatoes, and you broke a darstardly criminal out of your actual Death Row, he’s in the cellar designing “banknotes” for you, you’ve upset the nastiest family in the city, people are queueing to join the bank because you make them laugh…what have I missed?’



Bohemian Style 1 January 5, 2009

In case you haven’t realized, I am a girl who enjoys the gypsy flair, one entranced by the lure of an unconvential life and a definite bohemian style

This can be reflected in your life in many different ways from the books you read, the things you do, your attitudes, and of course the fashion aspect which helps you feel all the other aspects come together in your persona, your individuality and your style.

Carefree and nonformist - The Bohemian Girl

Carefree and non-conformist - The Bohemian Girl

So I will be writing a series on the Bohemian Style


Here’s the definition from

A person with artistic or literary interests who disregards conventional standards of behavior.

Here’s the definition from “The term bohemian was first used in the nineteenth century to describe the untraditional lifestyles of marginalized and impoverished artists, writers, musicians, and actors in major European cities. Bohemians were associated with unorthodox or antiestablishment political or social viewpoints, which were often expressed through frugality and/or “voluntary poverty” (which is :


“The term emerged in France in the 1800s when artists and creators began to concentrate in the lower-rent, lower class gypsy neighbourhoods. The term “Bohemian” reflects a belief, widely held in France at the time, that the Gypsies had come from Bohemia.[1]”

BohemianBohemian – a member of a people with dark skin and hair who speak Romany and who traditionally live by seasonal work and fortunetelling; they are believed to have originated in northern India but now are living on all continents (but mostly in Europe, North Africa, and North America)

Indian – a native or inhabitant of India
gitana – a Spanish female Gypsy
gitano – a Spanish male Gypsy
2. Bohemian – a native or inhabitant of Bohemia in the Czech Republic

Czech Republic – a landlocked republic in central Europe; separated from Slovakia in 1993
European – a native or inhabitant of Europe
3. bohemian – a nonconformist writer or artist who lives an unconventional life

recusant, nonconformist – someone who refuses to conform to established standards of conduct
Adj. 1. Bohemian – of or relating to Bohemia or its language or people

So we can see that this style is combining gypsy, hippies – carefree with the just thrown together from the closest look but with an artistic sensibility. This is a good place to start as we get the feel for the look and the lifestyle.


6 Reasons to LOVE Frogger December 17, 2008

Filed under: Culture and Society — bessabariangirl @ 12:02 pm
Tags: , ,

1. Even your Dad loves it because it takes him back to his childhood and he’ll exclaim excitedly, “FROGGER!!!!”2. The cheery, uplifting music…nothing else better to hear at 11 O’clock at night to lift a mood. Even when a truck hits you the music remains happy and joyful, as if to say, “Dont worry about the fact that you’re now roadkill, you can try again” *smile*

3. It’s Addictive…”You just stuff up and then you got to do it again” quote from Frogger addict to my left

4. It helps you explore the forms of various wildlife…from what I can hear there is everything from crocodiles, turtles, trucks, cars and of course, frogs

5. “Helps you learn to cross roads and stuff”…another quote from my fellow Frogger player to the left explains the educational values of Frogger. It helps you learn when to go and when not to go, teaching young children from an early age the consequences of reckless pedestrian behaviour.

6. It’s overall mindblowing…or so they say

There's more to this game than meets the eye

There's more to this game than meets the eye


We Wish you a Merry Christmas: A Lesson in Manipulation Techniques December 16, 2008

Filed under: Culture and Society,Music — bessabariangirl @ 11:22 pm
Tags: , ,

Have you ever noticed how manipulative this Christmas Favourite is? Let us go through the lyrics and learn a lesson in MANIPULATION TECHNIQUES!

Do not be fooled by the cheery expressions...

Do not be fooled by the cheery expressions...

First verse:

“We wish you a Merry Christmas;
We wish you a Merry Christmas;
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Good tidings we bring to you and your kin;
Good tidings for Christmas and a Happy New Year.”


We can see that this first verse is very innocent and cheery. It lulls the listener into a false sense of security as they hum along and absorb all that Christmas merriment. The caroler hence is thought of as a nice, well meaning person and the listener is more likely to let them into their house and home. There is a proverb that states, “You can catch a bee better with honey than you can vinegar” which basically means SUCK UP and the sucker will come to you.

We can see that this particular caroler has taken that a step further and included the relatives; this is a gesture that can go one of two ways. If the caroler is lucky, the listener likes his relatives, the listener will be even more taken by the fact you remember his relatives. If the caroler is unlucky and the listener has terrible rellies, the listener will immediately become suspicious at this attempt and the former steps towards gaining their goodwill will be met with suspicion.

Second Verse:

“Oh, bring us a figgy pudding;
Oh, bring us a figgy pudding;
Oh, bring us a figgy pudding and a cup of good cheer”


We can see that this caroler has used the direct approach. Their desired object suddenly has been put out in the open for all to see: the figgy pudding. They have subtly let the listener know their real intentions: they are singing for their supper. Now, such a direct statement may take aback some listeners or may produce sympathy. If the caroler is lucky, the listener is of a sympathetic kind and along with carolers is the type to let in stray cats and give them a good meal. This kind of caroler will assume that such a direct demand is proportionate to the amount of hunger the caroler is feeling and so will serve up figgy pudding quicker than you can blink. Most listeners however will be taken aback, hostilities will rise, and so this is when the caroler quickly launches into the next verse…

Third Verse:

“We won’t go until we get some;
We won’t go until we get some;
We won’t go until we get some, so bring some out here”


If the listener was feeling hesitant about giving in to the caroler’s demands, this really settles the case….an effective threat. This threat is effective because it

a) Uses a threat that the listener will find very irritating. (Obviously by now the caroler is getting on their nerves so any extension of their presence is going to be a suitable punishment)

b) Used a threat they can easily carry out without discomfort or harm to themselves (unless the listener starts throwing things)

c) Used a threat that only they have the power of providing…or not providing. The listener knows that this is a situation that is all in the hands of the caroler

Verse Four:

“We wish you a Merry Christmas;
We wish you a Merry Christmas;
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”


We see here in the fourth verse a reiteration of the first verse, something that will bring back pleasant memories with the listener, of times before things got nasty between them and the caroler. This makes them more likely to forget all that former hostility and open their doors to the caroler the next year…and make the mistake again….


Carols By (Fake) Candlelight December 15, 2008

Filed under: Culture and Society — bessabariangirl @ 12:28 pm
Tags: , , ,

Carols By (Fake) Candlelight.

How Carols By Candlelight SHOULD be

How Carols By Candlelight SHOULD be

This was once a tradition I looked forward to with all my might, especially as a child – where I could sing in public (and not get told to shuddup!) and sop up all the Christmassy spirit I desired.

This year I was the only one from my family to go along with Dad (who, as the local chaplain got asked to do the short God bit of the proceedings) and represent for Christmas. We took along my Grandma (because of one cousin’s early speech impediment has been nicknamed by our family ‘Grandy’), who at 79 is one of the most sprightly people I know! Sprightly yet demure.

So I settled in the pew – it had been brought inside because of weather concerns…

*Note to self: Outside settings gives more room for the youngsters to muck up, teens to make out surreptitiously and more overall ambience. Everyone is more self conscious in an inside setting.

…Between my demure grandmother and my overly enthusiastic Dad. It was going to be a fun-filled night.

Firstly there was this choir of *older* ladies garbed in high waist black skirts and white “blouses”. They warbled out the favorites starting with ‘Waltzing Matilda’ with the lyrics changed to suit Christmas.

*Note to self: If ever writing a Christmas Carol and I’m going to put time and effort into it, I will at least write some original music to it. And won’t put koalas in it. KOALAS HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH CHRISTMAS!!!

…In a key beyond most people’s ranges…

*Note to Self: Put carols in keys that don’t include having to reach to a high ‘F’. We’re not all trained opera singers.

I thought I would spend the time constructively i.e. trying to get the glow sticks we were handed to work. I’m not quite sure what the point of glow sticks were when we were inside with the lights turned on (so that people could read their carol books) but we had ‘em and I at least wanted mine to work. I was yet to be so lucky…apparently you’re meant to bend the things and shake them, but unfortunately mine sprung a leak and down… down… captain…the “glow juice” was sprinkled all over my carol booklet.

*Note to self: Moderation in all things. Especially snapping glow sticks

So I busted my glow stick, but at least I still had my FAKE CANDLE to inspire a bit of Christmas spirit. I am serious, health and safety regulations are even starting to seep into our Christmas Celebrations. Be warned, birthdays will be next. The rate of houses that burn down because of candles on birthday cakes is on the rise therefore we will be replacing REAL candles with FAKE candles that have special sensors on them to turn off when blown on.

*Not to Self: Surely Red Tape MUST have a line on which they do not cross

Next we had the cute kiddies of the Primary School doing their item. The teacher swishes her long skirts (FACT: all Primary School Music Teachers wear long skirts) to turn on the cd player and we hear the opening strains on “Jingle Bell Rock”. I wonder to myself, how many primary schools out there are doing this very song this very minute?! And worse, the kids are up there reading off LYRIC SHEETS.

*Note to Self: Lyric sheets are dodgey. Very, very dodgey. And unprofessional. I don’t care if you’re 10, the lyrics to Jingle Bell Rock aren’t that hard to remember. Just rhyme stuff with “jingle bell” and “rock”.

Next we have one of the local musicians from the local high school doing some items. I’m thinking, this will be alright, I’ve gigged with her before and she’s pretty decent. Well she gets up there and starts singing all these angsty emo songs! From Jingle Bell Rock to “Tool Boy”. I felt like covering my grandma’s ears. Where’s the Christmas spirit in this?!

*Note to Self. NUMBER ONE RULE OF PERFORMANCE ALWAYS THINK OF YOUR AUDIENCE!! This girls audience was old grannies and the young grandchildren they had dragged along. DO NOT SING EMO SONGS TO GRANDMAS

So…at the end of the night where did this lead me? Miserbale with a leaky glow stick, devoid of Christmas cheer. But then I looked around me. My grandmother was singing her hardest, practically belting out, “Joy to the World” – who knows how many more things like this I will be able to do with her? I saw a mother to my left who had massive black roots and faded tracksuit pants, but she was proudly taking photos of her daughter onstage, (even if her daughter was reading off a lyric sheet). I saw a guy with down syndrome up the back grooving around to hit own beat to the music, with a big fat happy smile on his face. And a little girl to my right suddenly exclaimed to her grandma as she pointed to the Christmas tree, “I just LOVE Christmas!!!”

Hmph. Maybe deep down inside, I do too.

Even with a fake candle.

Merry Christmas Everyone



Filed under: Culture and Society,Random Musings — bessabariangirl @ 11:05 am

I was down the street in the whirl of the maelstrom of shopping  WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS and I was casually flicking through the calender stand and noticed this Monet Calender – you practically see one every year. I guess he just has the types of images people like to gaze at all year, happy, soft, relaxing pictures full of colour and light. Anyway this one grabbed my attention because it had GLITTER sprinkled in strategic places.


This guy is a master and the calender people think they need to add GLITTER to his masterpieces in order to get it to sell/look pleasant.

Maybe if Monet was alive today he would be using glitter…


Monet at work

Monet at work

If you look clsoely Monet is actually using glitter

If you look clsoely Monet is actually using glitter