Thursday, October 31, 2013

"How much for the horse tornado?" "Madam, that is a carousel." "I must have it."

Petie came to visit me and we had the time of our lives and I'm going to attempt to write a blog post that isn't ENTIRELY WRITTEN WITH THE USE OF CAPS LOCK.

Our visit got rescheduled at the kinda-sorta last minute-- originally it was to be Thursday evening (the 24th) until Saturday afternoon (the 26th) since Petie's mom and some friends were to be attending a conference, but then things got changed around and Petie ended up going to the conference too and so she came to my house afterwards, from Saturday to Wednesday, and we had more time together with things happening that way so it was a very nice arrangement all around.  And more time together is always agreeable in my mind.  We did things that were fun and fun is good.

I think, instead of trying to transcribe a play-by-play of the Visit, I shall just give you a few Highlights and elaborate on the ones that demand elaboration.  Also I shall include pictures because pictures are fun.  (Petie took all the pictures because my camera is currently dastardly and broken.)

Some of the highlights, then...

~Showing Petie The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982) for the first time.  I am, after all, the Queen of TSP Indoctrination.  And she is now even more of a Leaguette than she was before.  Also a very good imitator of Sir Percy's weird mouth noises thing that he does whenever he's in costume.  That IS the general idea.

~Making up ridiculous nicknames for each other.  She's Elphanine, I'm Galindasette.  It all stemmed from the condensed version of Les Mis In Concert that we did with the rest of my siblings down in the basement on Monday afternoon-- we followed the story pretty faithfully but inserted "What Is This Feeling?" as a joke right after Marius and Cosette met.  Eponine was obviously jealous, you know.

~In that vein, the Les Mis concert was pretty hilarious.

"Black.  The color of dis bear." *gestures dramatically with a stuffed animal*
"Dude, that bear's white."
"Hush, it's a metaphor."

~Going out for ice cream with Anne-girl and quoting those hipster-edit pictures and making up our own and amusing ourselves a little too much.  (Yes, we came up with the one you see above.)

~Celebrating Talk Like Jane Austen Day for about thirty seconds (read: attempting to keep up an early-nineteenth-century way of speaking) and then replacing it with Talk About Jane Austen Day, which is easier to do and could be maintained for hours.

~Taking silly pictures because that's what we do best.

~Singing and singing and singing and singing.  We do a kind of awesome cover of Phantom of the Opera together and YouTube has some very, very nice karaoke.

~Drinking lots of coffee.  And tea.  Oooh, tea.  We love tea.

~Watching Lorna Doone (Petie's first time with that too) with Anne-girl and cracking up over, y'know, everything.  John's pronunciation of "beautiful," for instance.  And James McAvoy being, like, twelve or something.  And adding ridiculous pet names for kittens to the end of all the dramatic lines.  And Carver's hair. CARVER'S.  HAIR.  Seriously.

~Singing "down once more to the dungeon of my black despaaaaaair" every time we headed downstairs to the guest room (which is in our basement and which is where we stayed during the visit) and quoting all the best lines from that POTO-in-ten-minutes video.  "Hey, look.  We're at my LAIR again."

~Taking one short day in the capital city... one short day, oh there's so much to do... okay, well, it was more like one short hour because we didn't have much time, but people, we photographed a squirrel on the White House lawn.  Unfortunately we did not get to ride The Squirrel.  Hugs if you get that reference.

~Watching West Side Story together (Petie's first time... don't pretend you don't see a trend) and making fun of the romantic leads.  Because, you know... really now.  No one honestly cares about Tony and Maria.  Bernardo and Anita own that movie, whether the filmmakers admit it or not.

~Having deep conversations at 1 AM about romance and marriage and all that jazz, and a dream cast for the new adaptation of Little Women because we can't be TOO serious all the time, you know.

~Reenacting that one clip from the interview where Benedict Cumberbatch's cell phone went off... she plays Buttersnitch Cucumberpickle and I play the phone.  We're an Oscar-worthy pair, we are.

~Watching the last episode of Lark Rise to Candleford together and squealing all the fangirly squeals when our favorite couple ever finally got engaged.  THE CUUUUUUUUTES.  And have you ever noticed the trend of fainting in that episode?

"First Minnie.  Plop."
"Then Margaret.  Thump."
"Sidney'll be next.  Thud."
*noisy laughter*

~Making up insanely silly variations on the quote in the title-- which, by the way, is from a random picture we saw on Pinterest (we have no idea what it's from and Google is being singularly unhelpful) that struck our fancy.

"How much for the window bathrobes?"
"Madam, those are drapes."
"I must have them."

"How much for the spray of hydration?"
"Madam, that is a water fountain."
"I must have it."

"How much for the entrance rectangle?"
"Madam, that is a movie ticket."
"I must have it."

~Watching War Horse together (and that one was MY first time).  I intend to review it eventually but for now let's just say it ripped my heart into little shreds, m'kay? Brutally KILLING off my favorite character wasn't enough-- oh, no, they had to kill off almost all the OTHER characters TOO and put the poor HORSE through so much AGONY and GAH THE FEEEEEELS.


But it was still a really really good movie and hey, several familiar faces popped up at random times, especially Tom Hiddleston who was, you know, kind of one of the reasons I wanted to see the movie in the first place.  COUGH.  There's one particular scene where his character Captain Nicholls is sitting at a desk sketching a horse (er, THE horse) and it prompted the following exchange between Payton and myself.

"I bet that's actually him doing the drawing."
"Of course-- he does all his own stunts and all his own horseback riding and all his own flawless drawing."
"And he designed and sewed all his own costumes."
"And went through like three hundred of those snappy military jackets because he kept giving them to people."
"Yes, yes, this pleases Cute Owl."

~Singing random bits from The Lion King while parading down the street in public.  Maaaaaa sowenyah mababeeeeeet seebabah... (There was no one else around, but that's not the point.)

~Walking past a group of British students when we were in the city and going verrrrrrrry slowwwwwwly so we could hear the teacher's lecture.  Because, um, it was educational.  Very.

~Reading aloud the book-a-minute classics to each other and nearly killing ourselves laughing.  (People are MEAN to JANE EYRE.)

~Just plain enjoying being together.  Because that's what friends are for, oui?

{yes, bad scoop-ish sounding thing on my part during the third-to-last "because I knew you"... 
just be ducks and pretend it's not there, m'kay?}

And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have rewritten mine by being my friend.
I do believe I have been changed for the better
And because I knew you, I have been changed for good.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

"One teaspoon per person and one for the pot. Why does the pot get one?"

Just a reminder that the I'd Like to Share November Edition is coming up on November first (and will be the last you'll hear from me until December first) and that you should submit your entries by Thursday night in order to get them in!   I think I shall make a habit of using Jeeves and Wooster quotes for these reminder quotes... the series is just so dashed quotable, wouldn't you agree?

(Indeed, sir.)

Also, Petie's here at present (the visit got rescheduled a bit, you'll hear more later) and we're having a simply maaaaaaarvelous time.

And since I can't just end the post like this, here's a hilarious quote that isn't from the series.

“Wodehouse described Jeeves’ cough as ‘like a sheep clearing its throat of a blade of grass on a distant hillside.’ I tried practicing that but sounded more like a goat clearing its throat of a piece of cheese on a nearby hillside. These things are difficult.” 
~Stephen Fry

Monday, October 21, 2013

That Really Long Post About Enjolras

"The processes of revolution have always been the same, and to lead men into them there have always been required, first, a cause or pretence to enlist adherents; second, an end, or something as a practical achievement. As a rule he fights well who has wrongs to redress; but vastly better fights he who, with wrongs as a spur, has also steadily before him a glorious result in prospect--a result in which he can discern balm for wounds, compensation for valour, remembrance and gratitude in the event of death."
~Lew Wallace, Ben-Hur

Enjolras is my favorite character in Les Miserables.  Completely.  Totally.  Hands down.  No question.

...Along with Gavroche and Eponine and Valjean and Marius and Combeferre, of course.  Let's get that straight right from the get-go.

Um, no, this picture isn't part of my computer screensaver...
I don't know what you're talking about.

Why, you might ask, am I focusing on Enjolras today?  I mean, he's a fascinating character and all that, but why today?  Why not do this back when I was reviewing the movie?  "I'll tell you-- I don't know."  Okay, kidding. The real reason is that today is October 21st (yes, thank you, Mary) and it is a truth universally acknowledged that the twenty-first of October, being the birth date of one Aaron Kyle Tveit, is officially known as the Tveiter-tots' Big Day of Celebration and Huzzah-ing.  Let's have a celebration the Fiyero way!

(In case you can't tell, a Tveiter-tot is an Aaron Tveit fangirl.  NO IT IS NOT A STUPID NAME.  And yes, I am indeed a proud member of the club.  What clued you in?)

So instead of writing a squealy fangirly post about all the reasons Aaron Tveit is amazing (though I'm quite capable of doing so), I decided to be a LEETLE more mature (after all, this blog is about books and movies and fictional characters, not real-life performers whom I happen to think are practically perfect) and write a post about the best and greatest role Aaron's ever played: Enjolras in Les Miserables.  Because, y'know, he's far and away the best Enjolras that ever was.  

Let us begin, let us begin, let us begin.

You should know right off the bat that I love, love, LOVE Ramin Karimloo, Jason Forbach and Michael Maguire's performances as Enjo (in that order).  But Aaron Tveit's is far and away the best.  His singing voice isn't quite as powerful as Ramin's, true, but the amount of passion he puts into the role and the way he totally inhabits it shoots him to the top of the list in my book.   Seriously, the guy gets about twenty minutes of screen time in a nearly-three-hour movie, and yet he's the one the fangirls swoon over.  Why?

(Hint: it's not just the looks.  Yes, the looks have something to do with it, but I like to think I'm not THAT shallow.)

We could start with the "Look Down" reprise and Enjolras' first appearance in the movie, but though I squeal every single time it happens, it's really not his finest moment.  I mean, we see him yelling and gesturing and handing out pamphlets, but that scene is really Marius' (AND GAVROCHE'S), so let's skip ahead to "Red and Black."  Because "Red and Black" is just amazing.  I never thought the film version would be outstanding, really-- it was contending against Ramin Karimloo on one hand and Michael Ball on the other.  I mean, come on.  And though Eddie Redmayne isn't particularly impressive in that song, Aaron Tveit just steals it.  It's Enjolras' big moment, after all.  Tell the spotlight man to turn up his light.

I am always floored by how well Aaron plays this scene.  There are actual legitimate tears in his eyes after Gavroche announces Lamarque's death-- this guy can go from excited and exuberant to pensive and puppy-dog-like in the blink of an eye.  (Don't believe me? Clearly you've never seen Along the Way.)  The way he delivers the spoken lines is just exactly the way I imagined Enjolras talking when I read the book, and for me that's a HUGE deal.  "His speech was roughly inspired, and had the tremor of a hymn." It was like the book had come to life, that the Group Which Almost Became Historic were moving and breathing before my eyes.  Seriously.  Take a look.

What I really, really love about Aaron's portrayal, though, is how he delved into the role and made sure it was as accurate as possible.  The reason it's so spot-on is that he worked hard to make it that way.  Not just reading the book (though that in itself is admirable and commendable and delightful and wonderful and exemplary to other actors in book adaptations who should sit up and TAKE NOTICE) but taking the time to explore the character as deeply as he could and think about the motivations driving him.  (Oh, and the way he stayed in character more than anyone else at the Oscar performance was THE BEST.)  This quote, I gotta say, is one of my absolute favorites.

In light of that, take a look at this section from the brick in which Enjolras has just killed Claquesous for his murder of an innocent porter.

Enjolras had remained thoughtful. Shadow, mysterious and grand, was slowly spreading across his fearful serenity. He suddenly raised his voice. There was a silence.
"Citizens," said Enjolras, "what that man did is horrible, and what I have done is terrible. He killed, that is why I killed him. I was forced to do it, for the insurrection must have its discipline. Assassination is still a greater crime here than elsewhere; we are under the eyes of the Revolution, we are priests of the Republic, we are the sacramental host of duty, and no one can defame our combat. As for myself, compelled to do what I have done, but abhorring it, I have judged myself also, and you shall soon see to what I have sentenced myself."

Those who heard shuddered.

"We will share your fate," cried Combeferre.  [I love Combeferre.]

"So be it," added Enjolras.  "A word more. ... In the future no man shall slay his fellow, the earth shall be radiant, the human race shall love.  It will come, citizens, that day when all shall be concord, harmony, light, joy and life; it will come, and it is that it may come that we are going to die."

~Les Miserables, "Saint-Denis," Corinth, chapter eight

This was the first part in the book that made me cry when I first read it.  (I only felt sad when Enjolras actually got killed and barely squeezed out a tear at Eponine's death, but I've matured since then.  Don't worry.)  It struck me all of a sudden that they were all going to die, that they knew they were going to die, and that they weren't going to do anything about it.  (You have to understand that I had no idea what the outcome of the story was going to be when I first read it-- it was all totally new to me and any hypotheses I made about the plot were pure speculation.)  That this group of students and laborers, fathers and sons, teenagers and middle-aged men had followed one man into a revolution that might go nowhere, that might never see fruition, that would almost certainly lead to their deaths.   Because they all believed in liberty and freedom for all men, yes, but also because they trusted and followed and loved a charming young man who was capable of being terrible. A young man with that sort of charisma that would induce his little band to follow him into the fire no matter what.  I can't think who that reminds me of, but I'm sure it'll come to me someday...
It has often struck me how well Les Mis lyrics can fit more than just the people they were originally meant for.  (That was a confusing and convoluted sentence, but hopefully you get my drift.)  Obviously "Valjean's Soliloquy" and "Javert's Suicide" have a lot of the same words, but there are other songs that fit together so well.  "Bring Him Home" fits that little Javert/Gavroche moment in the post-barricade scene, "Suddenly" is appropriate at times for the Gav/Courf relationship and "I Dreamed a Dream" has parts that go so well with Enjolras' story.

Another song that frequently comes to mind when I think of Enjolras (other than Green Fields of France) is "The Impossible Dream" from Man of La Mancha.  Can't think what put that in my head... must be another charismatic hero thing.  Huh.  Funny.


(Don't get me started on the whole mashing-up-Les-Mis-with-other-musicals thing, by the way, because I'll never stop.  Next to Normal has some particularly killing connections.  "I am the one who held you, I am the one who cried... I am the one who watched while you died.")

Alllllll right, wrapping this up...  but I can't leave you guys in tears.  That wouldn't be nice.  So here.


And here.

And here.

(No, that one wasn't Enjolras, but it's the same actor, get over it.)

Also, if you need some more Enjolras in your day, just take a look at this loverly video.  Because it IS That Day, you know.

In conclusion, Aaron Tveit (as Enjolras or otherwise) is practically perfect in every way.  Like Mary Poppins, only with better hair.

Not that I have anything against Mary Poppins' hair, of course.  It's just.... eh, you get the idea.  Just go read the brick and watch Les Mis again and you'll see what I mean.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

I Cannot Live Without Books

"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid."
~Jane Austen

I really, really love blogging.  It's one of the best things that's ever happened to me, truthfully.  Don't worry, I'm not going off on another tangent about why I love blogging so much-- you can read this post if you want a little more sap and slop about all that-- but I did want to preface this post with a wee disclaimer so there are no broken hearts or anything once I've said my say.

See, I'm taking a blogging hiatus for the month of November, and it's not because I don't love you guys anymore.  It's really because of two reasons-- the first is that I want to do NaNoWriMo this year and the second is that I want more time for reading.

Yeah, I love books better than my blog, deal with it.
...Okay, well, maybe I love them equally.

At any rate, lately I've been feeling that I spend wayyyy too much time on the computer and don't take enough time for reading, which is pathetic considering I'm now a high school graduate and technically DO have time for all the reading I neglected during my junior and senior years of high school. (Well, actually I read a great deal during those years but a lot of it was Required and not necessarily Desired.)  And though I do love reading other people's blog posts and writing my own and wasting time on Etsy and Pinterest and Goodreads, it will do me good to take a month off from all that.  This is going to be a full-on Internet break, you see.  Except for email.  I shan't neglect my friends THAT much.  :D

So this post's purpose is twofold-- first to alert y'all to the fact that I'll be disappearing from the blogging world on November first (I'll catch up on all of your posts in December, hopefully!) and secondly to ask you for book recommendations.  Because hey, if I'm going to do a boatload of reading in November, as I hope to do, I want to have a good long list to draw from.  And that's where you come in.

If you could recommend to me any two books that you've loved, which ones would they be?

Go for it in the comments-- and if you mention a title I've read already, we can have a nice little chat about it. And if you want me to return the favor and recommend books to you, I'd be happy to do so.  Only until the 31st, of course.  After that, I'm outta here.

But never fear, I shall return. To haunt you.  Once December gets here.  The Ghost of the Christmas Present, heh heh heh.

...Okay, that was dumb.

P.S. And I'm not actually putting my blog on hold until November begins, so you can expect a couple more posts before this month is out.  I just wanted to write this now so if anyone wants to recommend books, they can do so before I gooooo nowwwww and leeeeeeeave youuuuuuu.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Madam, I had HOPED to have made that announcement MYSELF.

I'm telling you guys something really special and exciting tonight, you see, but it seems that Petie, aka Country Girl, over at All Things Bright and Beautiful has written a post TOTALLY STEALING MY IDEA and even publishing it at the exact same time.  What EFFRONTERY.

Ahem... I'm getting ahead of myself.  Gather 'round, boys and girls, because I'm going to tell you a story.  

Once upon a time there was a little girl named Petie and a little girl named Amy, and they really weren't little girls by the time they met each other-- the fact is that Petie was seventeen and Amy was sixteen, both of which ages are kind of past the time of being termed little, ya know?  Anyways, Petie was visiting Old-Fashioned Charm one day and came across a link to Amy's blog, which she clicked upon, and I could say that the rest is history from there, but that wouldn't be fair to you if you want to know the whole story.  (If you don't want to know the whole story, you needn't keep reading.)  

So Petie commented on and started following Amy's blog, and Amy visited Petie's blog and started following at that very first visit (which is something she almost never does-- there was a connection here, people) and after a great deal of commenting back and forth, Amy began to think that this girl was a real kindred spirit.  

Then one day Petie started selling personalized bookmarks from her blog, and decided to host a giveaway to promote them, and Amy ended up winning the giveaway (on her seventeenth birthday, how fitting!).  And that's how Petie and Amy exchanged email addresses... and that's how the correspondence started... and that's how Amy started bugging Petie to watch the Les Mis concerts.

And that's when things REALLY got rolling.  Because, see, the Les Mis concerts kinda became Our Thing.  We talked of little else.  Valjean, Enjolras, Javert, Enjolras, Eponine (we're both huge Eponine fans), Gavroche, did we mention Enjolras?  Yeah, we kinda like that guy.  And we kinda like Ramin Karimloo and his shirtsleeves and leather wrist thingies AND HIS VOICE -- he was our favorite portrayal at the time.  (Amy now just slightly prefers Aaron Tveit but thaaaaaaat is another story for another time. *hastily ducks away from Petie's rising wrath*)

In fact, we even ended up hosting a Les Mis Concert Comparison week that summer, which was AWESOME in every way and succeeded in bringing us even closer together.  Pretty soon we had ridiculous nicknames for each other (she's Puddle and I'm Chauvelin... don't ask...) and phone and Skype conversations started happening.  It would be so cool to meet each other in real life, I said several times... to which she replied with, "I KNOWWWWWWWW!"

But nothing came of that, of course-- it was just wishful thinking.  Until last Friday, that is.  Because last Friday another phone call happened, and this time it was Petie telling my mom (I wasn't available at the moment, unfortunately) that HER mom was coming to my home state for a conference and could my Puddle possibly come along and visit me during her mom's conference?

Ummm... let me think a minute about this... YES.


And so, it's settled. In a whirlwind of planning and squealing and emails flying back and forth, it is now official-- Petie is coming to visit me from October 24th to 26th, and I am FREAKING OUT EXCITED.

So is she, for that matter.  Funny how that works.  

We intend to have a good time.  The poor girl has not yet seen TSP82, folks.  THIS WILL BE REMEDIED.  

Ten days more, people.  Can you believe it?  TEN.  DAYS.  MORE.  

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Depth of Two Years' Friendship

Today is my blog-o-versary.
Or blog-a-versary.
Or blog-i-versary.
Or any of the above without the dashes.
Or whatever you want to call it.

I've been blogging for two years now on Yet Another Period Drama Blog, and I thought long and hard today about what I ought to write about this anniversary.  (It's a funny thing about anniversaries-- they're kind of an annual thing, and this one crept up on me before I realized it.)  I wanted to be Deep and Thoughtful in this post, as much as possible anyway, and properly express to you all what I feel about attaining my second year of blogging and entering my third, but I can't help putting in a dash of Silly as well.  You knew that, right? :D

I think the thing that's stood out to me the most over this second year of blogging (not that it didn't during the first) was the friendships I've formed.  So much of me is made of what I've learned from all of you, and all that.  I truly never thought when I clicked "create blog" on that pleasant day in early fall when Lee marched over the mountain-wall of 2011 that I'd be starting a journey that would bring me to meet so many kindred spirits.  (And I literally met one of them.  Best eight days of my life.  Melody is my soul-sister, cheesy as that may sound, and you probably are all quite tired of hearing me going on and on about how amazing she is so I'll shut up now and keep my slogginess for our emails.  Heehee.)

I've always rather thought long-distance friendships were a fascinating thing-- when I was younger I had several pen pals and though our correspondences faded away after a few years, it always seemed a wonderful thing to me that two people could get to know each other across many miles as well as (or perhaps even better than) two people who had only met face-to-face.  Through blogging and reading other people's blogs, exchanging emails (Puddle, you owe me a reply.  Like, sometime soon.) and even talking on Skype or the phone, I've come to know and love quite a few wonderful people over the last two years.  (And of course they all have to live miles and miles and MILES away.  SUCH IS LIFE.)

And so this post is a shout-out to all the dear, dear friends I've met and learned to love through this ridiculously fun blogging adventure.  You know who you are, my nears and dears.  Here's a giant hug for each and every one of you.

And this post is also for all the wonderful people whose blogs I read and who follow this blog (either, or and both!), whom I might not know as well just yet, but who I'm eager to learn more about and come to love.  Because kindred spirits aren't so scarce as I used to think.  When I first ventured into the foray of the Jane-Austen-etc. blogging world, I really never thought that so many people would come join this little corner of the web and share my delight in old-fashioned stories.  Just goes to show that... I don't know everything.  (What a shocker.)

Oh, and because I am not capable of ending a post on a sweet and heartwarming note, I have to throw in some of the stats this blog has enjoyed or accrued or whatever over the last year.  Because those happen to fascinate me and I want them preserved for posterity and what have you. (All stats unless otherwise indicated are for the last two years-- i.e., "all time"-- not just the last year.)

Total Posts (including this one): 295
Pageviews: 248,809
Followers: 321 (hello and hugs to all of you!)
Most Popular Traffic Source: Google Images
Most Popular Search Keywords: "jane eyre" (not sure why this is... I've written a total of ONE post on the woman...)
Most Ridiculous Search Keywords: "should eponine and javert get married" (UM WHAT)
Events Hosted: Celebrate Musicals Week
Blogging Friends Met In Real Life: Melody

Oh, and I changed my header.  Here's what I used to have:

(made by Melody)
And here's my new header for Autumn 2013.

Annnnnnd this post comes to an abrupt end.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

I'd Like to Share: September 2013

Our nominees are in for the September edition of I'd Like to Share!

In the Inspirational category...
Gwyn May nominated Petie for My Manifesto
Lizzie nominated Jarrod Terry for The Redeeming of Thomas
Miss Dashwood nominated Rachel for Let's Choose Ignorance, M'kay?

In the Informative category...
Miss Jane Bennet nominated Melody for A Jane Austen Party
Molly nominated Anne-girl for Eponine! Come, My Dear!
Anne-girl nominated Mime for Memento Mori: Seven Ways to Make Me Cry
Eva nominated Sierra Bailey for A Tale of Two Cities {Charles Darnay}

In the Just Plain Interesting category...
Melody nominated Miss Jane Bennet for Frank Churchill and the Villain of Emma
Emma Jane nominated Miss Elizabeth Bennet for Downton Abbey - Series 4 Trailer and Analysis
Carissa Horton nominated Charity for The Intuitive Writer
Maddie Rose nominated Hayden for Forgotten Heroines: Mrs. Oliver
Leanna nominated Kiri Liz for Memorable Worlds: Neverland

Thank you to all who participated!  Please don't forget to comment on your nominees' blog posts to let them know that post has been nominated.  :D The ITLS page is now open for October nominations!