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Profile for Stefanie N > Reviews


Stefanie N's Profile

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Stefanie N RSS Feed (Schuyler, VA)

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Elgin #3502E Travel Alarm Clock
Elgin #3502E Travel Alarm Clock
Offered by toolboxsupply
Price: $12.99
3 used & new from $11.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Lightweight, dependable, October 2, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Maybe it's just me, but I find most hotel alarm clocks too complicated. I decided to buy one so that I wouldn't have to relearn each clock that I face on vacation. This is easy-to-use, dependable and uses ordinary AAA batteries. The price is great , especially compared to those charged at boutique travel stores.

Yokai Attack!: The Japanese Monster Survival Guide
Yokai Attack!: The Japanese Monster Survival Guide
by Matt Alt
Edition: Paperback
33 used & new from $6.00

4.0 out of 5 stars A fun browse, October 4, 2008
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Yokai Attack is nothing less than a field guide to the frightful creatures who have been part of Japanese myths, legends and anecdotes for centuries Through vivid, mostly full-color illustrations by Tatsuya Morino and extremely detailed notes, we learn of the distinctive features of various Yukai, favorite food, strengths and weaknesses, offensive weapons and other pertinent information. The organization of the book is reminiscent of Pokemon cards although more whimsical. One especially repellent being, Akaname, resides in filthy bathrooms. Its complexion is flushed as would be expected of one who just stepped out of a hot bath. It prefers to dine on the scummy residue that builds up around bathtubs. I must specify "it" because in this particular case the gender is unknown.

My own experience in sharing this book with others tells me that it would make a great gift for 10-12 year-old boys, especially those with interests in comic books and role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons. The humor and mild crudity are ideally suited to that demographic group.

Also interesting is the way the authors trace mythology and imagery to early painting and sculpture and try to find the origins of various Yokai. The pop culture and art history angles are quite interesting. This is a fun book to have around and may even provide ideas for some unique Halloween costumes !

Dusty!: Queen of the Postmods
Dusty!: Queen of the Postmods
by Annie Janeiro Randall
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $35.00
46 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Detailed but distant, October 2, 2008
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The vaguely psychodelic typeface on the cover and the campy photo suggest that this treatment of Dusty Springfield is a tabloid type bio, but the publisher, Oxford University Press, is the giveaway. This is an academic treatment of the 1960's British pop star. If you are conversant in the language of post-structuralist criticism, the vocabulary will look very familiar. The lyrics of a song are called "text." A chapter is entitled "Dusty as Discourse." "Commodification" and "transgression" are also terms that appear, terms that will excite graduate students everywhere. If this is the sort of writing that makes your blood pound, you'll probably enjoy this book.

Author Annie J. Randall does a superb job when she closely analyzes the construction of various songs, making connections between instrumentation, for example, and the feelings evoked. Certainly it helps if the reader is well-versed in the songs. I have to admit that I am only familiar with the four or five Dusty songs that get constant airplay on oldies station, so I was somewhat at a disadvantage.

I enjoyed the discussion of the pop aria, the emotive anthem-type song which we see now in the work of Celine Dion. Ms. Randall draws interesting links between opera and pop aria and discusses the strategies by which a story and an emotional state are compressed into a three-minute song. I would have liked more of a sense of the personality of Dusty Springfield. We lose her immediacy as she becomes a sum of signifiers and cultural borrowings. I miss the sense of joy that her work expresses and would have liked more vividness in describing London of the mod period. I would have to say that the book is well-researched and clearly written. It clearly was not written for me.

Trader Vic's Tiki Party!: Cocktails and Food to Share with Friends
Trader Vic's Tiki Party!: Cocktails and Food to Share with Friends
by Stephen Siegelman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.96
76 used & new from $2.22

6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So-so, July 15, 2008
"Trader Vic's Tiki Party" captures the ambience of 1950's-1960's Tiki culture and gave me a good starting point for a very successful luau. However, as a cookbook I found it poorly edited. For example, a recipe for onion marmalade (served with pork tidbits) leaves out the key information of whether to slice, chop or leave the onions whole. In another recipe, the reader is referred to a page number that turns out to be the wrong one. Some of the recipes do seem intriguing although I wasn't crazy about the ones I tried. Perhaps not surprisingly, more than half the book is devoted to drink recipes. These are fine, but there seems to be little reason to include so many when they are so similar. Lots of rum, lime juice and sugar syrup with subtle variations between them.
The photos are nicely done but more would have actually helped. It would have been nice to see more images of the finished food items rather than so many photos of vintage tiki mugs. This is a fun book, but nothing I could really rely on.

A Survival Kit for the Elementary/Middle School Art Teacher (J-B Ed: Survival Guides)
A Survival Kit for the Elementary/Middle School Art Teacher (J-B Ed: Survival Guides)
by Helen D. Hume
Edition: Paperback
82 used & new from $0.08

78 of 88 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lack of vision, October 12, 2006
This art instruction manual is aptly titled as it is about "survival", offering hassle-free recipe- driven art projects for masses of students. If you were a public school student in the last 40 years the projects will look depressingly familiar--the obligatory construction paper mask, the linoleum block print, the paper mache' animal. What is lacking is an overriding vision of what students may achieve. The "goals" are largely stated by listing vocabulary words but the opportunities for real discovery are thin indeed. As an art teacher of 20 years, I would never rely on construction paper for collage as it is impossible to produce anything with richness from such flat uninteresting papers. The student block print examples show the medium at its least interesting with the images mostly being reverse outline, little exploration of shape or figure-ground reversal. Moreover, it is criminal that a book purporting to be about the development of the visual sense should have reproductions of such appalling quality. Some of them are clearly printing errors since all one can see are dark gray rectangles with a few hints of light. The student examples were grim and to me this is the book's greatest failing. The strength of an art instruction book to me usually lies in the student examples. Mona Brooks and Kaupelis (first name escapes me) produce inspiring books on the basis of their student work alone. On a positive note, the book is well- organized. It could possibly serve as a jumping off point to a teacher with experience and initiative, but for the most part it perpetuates the predictable, mind-numbing experience of the all-too typical 30 minute public school art block.
Comment Comments (10) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 20, 2015 8:38 AM PDT

All About Eve
All About Eve
DVD ~ Bette Davis
Offered by Outlet Promotions
Price: $9.88
34 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic--definitely of its era, June 10, 2004
This review is from: All About Eve (DVD)
Some critics have pointed out that Joseph Mankewics' movies resemble filmed plays. That criticism can certainly be levelled at All About Eve Althogh Bette Davis is magnetic and the storyline is compelling, sometimes it feels like a sequence of speeches . The camera work is static, which does lead to the feeling that one is watching a play.
That being said, the advantage of having a DVD is obvious as I really preferred enjoying the movie over several days. The plot has been stated by other reviewers and has been the basis for at least one Carol Burnett satire. Despite the plot's familiarity, the movie has such conviction that one can't help being sucked in. I've seen the movie at least five times, but each time I am sucked in at the freeze frame of Anne Baxter receiving the Sarah Syddons award at which time we hear George Sanders informing us that the story of Eve is about to unfold: "All About Eve, in fact."
Davis comes across as a bemused,sometimes bitter, very vulnerable survivor. Hugh Marlow to a great extent, Anne Baxter, to a lesser one always give the impression that they are Acting. Their self-consciousness makes Marilyn Monroe's natural quality all the more wonderful. Celeste Holm provides a commonsense best-friend foil for Bette Davis. George Sanders and Thelma Ritter are superb, both being the realists of the cast--with Sanders as the egocentric misanthrope and Ritter as the embodiment of loyalty. If you become very interested in this movie, also buy the book "All about All about Eve" by Sam Staggs.

A Cry from the Dark: A Novel of Suspense
A Cry from the Dark: A Novel of Suspense
by Robert Barnard
Edition: Hardcover
63 used & new from $0.01

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A hard book to like, May 22, 2004
Other reviews have admirably detailed the plot which oscillates between an Australian outback village of the 1930's and present-day London. The link between these two setting is the 80-year -old Bettina Whitelaw, now an eminent writer living in England, but originally from the backwater town of Bundaroo in Australia. Early on we know that something bad is going to happen (her friend Hughie expresses anxiety about the motives of Bettina's friends and associates. He suggests they are after her money.) We also know something bad did happen to Bettina in the past, a crime which bit by bit is revealed.
Neither revelation is meant to be particularly startling. There are enough hints leading up to each event, that it is apparent that surprise is not Barnard's intent. This would not necessarily be a bad thing if the characters and dialogue were compelling, but they are not. Bettina has a decidely unemotional sardonic personality which is pretty much matched by the visitor Sylvia who plays an important role in the former's life. All the educated characters speak in one way, all the uneducated macho characters speak in another equally predictable way. My other disatisfaction comes from the plot device gradually revealing an Event from the Past. It makes pleasure in the immediacy of reading subordinate to finding out what the Event is. This becomes especially irritating when the Event (a crime) and its perpetrator (named on the last couple pages) are entirely predictable. There are lots of mysteries out there. I would not waste my time with this one.

The Art of Responsive Drawing (5th Edition)
The Art of Responsive Drawing (5th Edition)
by Nathan Goldstein
Edition: Paperback
61 used & new from $0.01

72 of 72 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How to see drawings, April 16, 2004
I have used this book for years as source material for the college level drawing courses I teach. Its greatest value is the high calibre of master drawing examples by everyone from Michelangelo to Rembrandt and Watteau, as well as appropriate and sensitive student examples. Mr. Goldstein breaks down the approach to drawing into contour line, structural line, shape, gesture, volume, combination drawing. The book is dense with writing as this is largely a verbal analysis of visual issues in which each drawing example is discussed in a very detailed manner. Some may find the approach too verbose, and indeed this is not a "how-to-draw" book in the "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" category, but more of a guide to conoisseurship and the philosophy of drawing. In fact, there are precious few exercises described for the student. I think that for the drawing student who does not have the benefit of a teacher, this book paired with a more practical "how-to" guide would be a terrific resource. This is the kind of book you will find yourself dipping into over the years. I always have it on an easy-to-reach shelf.

Impressionism: Art, Leisure, and Parisian Society
Impressionism: Art, Leisure, and Parisian Society
by Robert L. Herbert
Edition: Paperback
Price: $37.49
183 used & new from $4.51

60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lively Art History, February 17, 2004
I taught college level painting and art history courses for ten years. This is one of the most memorable books I used as source material. Usually a treatment of Impressionism will write of it as a movement in response to the paintings of the Academy; an inquiry into the play of light and instantaneity. Fine, fine, but how many books do we really need that say the same thing ? This book looks at changes in the architecture of Paris which changed the city from a network of villages into a web of wide boulevards and massive, sometimes monotonous buildings. People (many of them young) were moving into the city and feeling the displacement and dehumanization which we usually associate with depictions of Victorian era London.
Herbert spends a good bit of time looking at the clothing of individuals portrayed in paintings to ruminate about their social standing. His keen eye for gesture picks up a lot. Looking at an outdoor cafe scene by Manet, he notices that the young man at the table with a woman is actually kneeling next to her, not seated there. From this he infers that the man is trying to pick up the jeune fille. The rather prudish look on her face seems to confirm that this is what's happening.
The copious illustrations are wonderful. Many are of paintings which are infrequently reproduced in art books. There are also a lot of works by Gustave Caillebotte whose compositions are so fascinating. The writing is lively. I think this is a terrific book for a lover of Impressionism and/or a lover of Paris. It's a wonderful fusion of images and prose. I'm just so glad to find it available at such a reasonable price.

Parker's Wine Buyer's Guide 6th Edition: The Complete, Easy-to-Use Reference on Recent Vintages, Prices, and Ratings for More Than 8,000 Wines from All the Major Wine Regions
Parker's Wine Buyer's Guide 6th Edition: The Complete, Easy-to-Use Reference on Recent Vintages, Prices, and Ratings for More Than 8,000 Wines from All the Major Wine Regions
by Robert M. Parker
Edition: Paperback
153 used & new from $0.01

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reads like several different books, January 25, 2004
As has been alluded to in other reviews, the usefulness of this book varies with Parker's commitment to any given wine region. For Bordeaux, Rhone and Languedoc I believe he is excellent. For California and NW United States wines, the book is helpful but also frustrating because so many of the entries are "cult" wines with 500 or so case production. I noticed that some of the more widely available California producers that were included in the fifth edition are left off of this one. While many of the French wines are available in a good wineshop--good luck finding any of the Calfornia ones he raves about. If you start now, you may be able to get on some of the winery mailing lists in five or ten years. In many cases the amount of wine produced is not mentioned, which can be a cause for frustration.
I think this book is an invaluable resource used in connection with other guidebooks and a trustworthy retailer. It's a truism that Parker is the most influential wine critic in the world. Many would argue that wineries are crafting their wines to win his high ratings. That being said, it's helpful to read his views as they give a clear snapshot of the state of winemaking in our era.

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