Sunday, September 5, 2010

a bit o' this and that

I meant to write a post last night about a post I had written way back in October.  As soon as I got home from work, however, my mother greeted me with a request- could I  accompany her to a mall about 45 minutes away to purchase a Yankee Candle Haunted Mansion tea light candle holder?

A change of clothes, one white pizza, discussions on Jack the Ripper and people throwing acid in other people's faces, and an 11-mile drive on the PA Turnpike later, and we were at the counter of Yankee Candle, purchasing the massive mansion.  Then it struck me-- it's frickin' September.  SEPTEMBER! The stores are ready for fall with their "harvest" and Halloween themed items.  The clothing stores have changed their stocks for warmer clothes.  And I was in the mood to buy due to the drastic temperature drop in western PA this weekend. 

So I went to my favorite store, Forever 21.  I've decided that that store is currently my favorite for two reasons:

  1. There is such a wide variety of clothes and styles in their stock that, even though I may not like most of their collection, I am more likely than not to find something I like every single time I walk in there, no matter what my mood or current tastes in fashion may be.
  2. Neo-Victorian jewelry!

While my mother bought a USC t-shirt in honor of my twin sister's new grad school, I ended up purchasing a cameo ring and a felt cloche hat to go with my new haircut.

We got back pretty late after that.  I read myself to sleep with a book called The Crimes of Jack the Ripper, by journalist Paul Roland.  I bought the book when it went on sale at Barnes & Noble.  It's been a few years since I've done any real reading or research on the Whitechapel murders for which this notorious serial killer is said to be responsible.  Therefore, I am probably not informed enough as a critic to make a judgment on the biases and the veracity of what the author says. 

In my opinion, however, this book is a good start for people with a cursory interest in Jack the Ripper- one review on calls it a "Jack the Ripper for Dummies" guide, and I would have to agree.  Roland explores the potential Ripper murders, describes the Whitechapel district in which they take place, as well as Victorian attitudes on sex, but all in layman's terms.  His conclusions on some evidence and suspects in the murders, however, as well as various conspiracy theories concerning the murders, are more fit for a better Ripperologist than I to decide.  To his credit, Roland doesn't get bogged down in the details of other researchers' conclusions, but gets straight to the point they made.

Overall, so far it's been a great reintroduction to my early teenage obsession with the Whitechapel murderer without getting too deep into detail, a relief after the heavy French and Indian War books I have been reading as of late.

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