Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My last blog post of the year! When my dad used to tell me, when I was little, that time moved faster the older you got, I didn't believe him. Unfortunately, it's true. I was thinking last night that this spring, it will have been two years since I graduated from UT, and that's just...crazy.

I don't want to get old. :(

Books
66. Just After Sunset, Stephen King. 12-6.
67. Zodiac Unmasked: The Identity of America’s Most Elusive Serial Killer Revealed, Robert Graysmith. 12-7.
68. The Reality Dysfunction Part Two: Expansion, Peter F. Hamilton. 12-17.
69. Ad Infinitum: A Biography of Latin, Nicholas Oster. 12-17.
70. Wolf and Iron, Gordon R. Dickson. 12-29.

Movies
39. Run Fatboy Run (2007). 12-7.
40. Good Night, and Good Luck (2005). 12-9.
41. The King of Kong (2007). 12-20.
42. Horror of Dracula (1958). 12-20.
43. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008). 12-27.
44. Mamma Mia! (2008). 12-30.

Obviously I did not meet my movies goal, but I found that this meme has been less about me trying to reach some arbitrary number, and more a way for me to keep track of things that are very important to me. I think in the coming year, I will do the third part of this meme, which is to keep track of episodes of scripted TV.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Hope everyone had a very merry Christmas. We ended up not going to see Benjamin Button that day (Laura was too tired), so it was a very lazy, sleepy day, wherein no one got dressed and flitted between the computers and TVs. I was very impressed that Laura and my parents, independently, got me the other two CSI computer games I didn't have. I also laughed when I opened a DVD my parents got me - Some Like It Hot - just before Sarah opened the DVD I got her - Some Like It Hot. Now we can fulfill our dream of watching Some Like It Hot at the same time, but on different TVs.

Friday we did our annual trip to Half Price Books and a Chinese buffet, which is always very welcome, but moreso this year after, like, three weeks of eating ham. Yesterday we saw Mr. Button, and I thought it was a wonderful movie. Normally a movie like that would be too long for me, but I expect it and am prepared for it from Fincher, and honestly, there wasn't much I could think of that could have been cut out.

Since I've been shut up in the house for pretty much the last week - aside from Friday, when it was inexplicably 60 degrees outside, it's been well below freezing, icy, and snowy - I've had a lot of time to try to occupy myself around the house. Therefore, icons!

1. 2. 3.

4. 5. 6.

7. 8. 9.

10. 11. 12.

13. 14. 15.

16. 17. 18.

19. 20. 21.

22. 23. 24.

25. 26.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I like doing end-of-the-year memes, but not the one Catherine and Alyssa did, since it seems designed to expose me as a gigantic loser. So I thought, I'll go with a tried and true favorite: I'll post the first line of the first post of each month. I opened up my blog in a second tab, and started copying and pasting.

But it didn't work this year! Half the posts were my 100 movies, 50 books thing, which is stupid, and then the others were, like, "Hey guys." So I'll find something else!

We went to my aunt and uncle's last night, and as we walked through the door, it became clear that a great tragedy had occurred. My aunt? Had made ham, barbeque brisket, rolls, and hash brown casserole for dinner. WHICH IS WHAT WE HAVE EVERY CHRISTMAS EVE OURSELVES. My mom had already cooked our brisket earlier that day! No one said anything, but the whole meal, it was like, "Mmm, this is delicious. I'm really excited about eating the EXACT SAME THING in twenty-four hours."

Monday, December 22, 2008

It's the week of Christmas! Today we're not doing much of anything except try to not freeze to death. Tomorrow we're going to my aunt and uncle's for the Family Xmas Get-Together 2008, Now With More Freezing. Last year we had Christmas at our house, and I hate hosting (here, I loved it at my apartment), so it wasn't very enjoyable. We're going out there, so it'll be great. I always get excited when I eat dinner someplace else, because you get tired of your own food, you know?

We always have dinner on Christmas Eve, which leaves Christmas to be lazy. I'm still waiting on a present from Deep Discount to get here; hopefully, it'll make it, since it shipped on December 12. My mom's DVD, however, was totally out of stock and hasn't even come in yet, so she'll get it for her birthday at the end of January.

So, I don't really know what prompted it, other than that I feel like I don't watch that much TV and I wanted to start a new show, and was browsing my library's fairly sizable collection. I realized that I love science fiction, obvs, and that there really haven't been many SF TV shows nominated for Best Drama at the Emmys, and honestly, there's not much of an excuse. So I started Star Trek: The Next Generation. So far, I've watched the first six episodes, and let me tell you...it's pretty much totally awesome. I kind of can't believe it's a syndicated show from the late 80s, because the SFX are actually better than most of what you see on, like, the SciFi Channel original movies now. It's also one of those shows where the casting was very, very serendipitous, and there's a lovely current of chemistry with everyone that sells even weaker scenes. I'm just very much enjoying it right now; it's aged very well, so it does feel like it's brand new to me, in a way.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

DUDE YOU GUYS I'M ON IMDB.

Look!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Started some holiday baking today with Sarah, who stayed home today and yesterday from school because she's been sick for about three months and two doctor's visits. She's on, like, eight different medications, so hopefully she can finally kick this. We did sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and butter pecan turtle bars; basically, what we could make with the ingredients we already have in the pantry. We're missing some of the "specialty" things, like condensed milk and cherries, so maybe later this week. I think this is the latest we've ever done cookies for Christmas; usually we have everything done and in the freezer three weeks clear. Maybe my mom won't freak out this year when everything's not already eaten before Christmas Eve, like in years past.

BFCA nominations came out today. They're one of the better Oscar prognosticators, mostly because I think they try to guess the Oscars as much as possible, so they're more relevant. I continue to be amazed, perplexed, and ANGRY that Clint Eastwood keeps picking up best actor nominations/wins for Gran Torino. Look, I've seen the trailer, and there's no way, NO WAY, that Clint gives one of the five best leading male performances this year. The movie looks like two hours of "Get off my lawn!" IDGI. I am really happy to see Cate Blanchett picking up notice, because I didn't think there was any way she would pick anything up this year after double nominations last year. Either she is absolutely smashing in Benjamin Button - too much so to ignore - or she's going to become a perennial nominee like Meryl Streep.

Look at Brangelina being totally cute!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

National Board of Review announces Thursday, the critics awards will follow in the weeks to come, and the Oscar season will be underfoot! I thought it might be interesting this year to put out my predictions before we have any precursors, just based on buzz and my gut instincts; it's much easier to predict right before the Academy nominations come out, because you have the critics, Globes, and guilds to look at, and barring a few surprises, the actual Oscar nominations aren't that difficult to guess. I think I'm more interested in seeing how much the race changes from what a lot of people are guessing right now, than I am in trying to actually guess the nominations for reals.

Anyway!

Best Picture
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Doubt
Milk
Revolutionary Road
Slumdog Millionaire


Best Director
Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
Sam Mendes, Revolutionary Road
Gus Van Sant, Milk

Best Actor
Leonardo DiCaprio, Revolutionary Road
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn, Milk
Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

Best Actress
Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
Melissa Leo, Frozen River
Kristen Scott Thomas, I've Loved You So Long
Meryl Streep, Doubt
Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road

Best Supporting Actor
Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder
James Franco, Milk
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road

Best Supporting Actress
Penelope Cruz, Vicky Christina Barcelona
Viola Davis, Doubt
Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler
Kate Winslet, The Reader

I won't do all the other categories, but I think the techs will be dominated by Benjamin Button and The Dark Knight, and that screenplay and editing will, as per usual, mirror the films in Best Picture and the acting categories. I think Australia is definitely dead in the water and might score a tech or two, maybe sound, cinematography. Slumdog Millionaire will be your uplifting indie film of the year, a la Little Miss Sunshine or Juno, but won't gain anywhere near as much traction since the stars are Indian actors who don't stand a chance in hell of getting nominated.

People on this list I think are the most shaky: Taraji P. Henson, Robert Downey Jr., Melissa Leo, and Leonardo DiCaprio. I don't have much doubt that Kate Winslet will get a double nomination; the only stumbling block is if voters don't buy her as supporting for The Reader, and she cancels herself out. I also wouldn't be surprised to see Anne Hathaway fall off; she had a lot of early buzz, but it's been kind of eaten up by Meryl Streep and Kate Winslet, and it may be the kind of performance that ends up being forgotten later on, especially since Rachel Getting Married might score a supporting nod, but isn't likely to make it in any other categories except Original Screenplay.

It'll be interesting in a few weeks to come back, and see which actors have locked in after at least one inevitably storms through the critics' choices, picking up at least half of all mentions (like Helen Mirren, Amy Ryan, et cetera in years past).

Monday, December 1, 2008

Books
59. The Sandman: The Wake, Neil Gaiman. 11-9.
60. The Sandman: Endless Nights, Neil Gaiman. 11-11.
61. H.M.S. Surprise, Patrick O’Brian. 11-13.
62. The World of Rome: An Introduction to Roman Culture, Peter V. Jones and Keith C. Sidwell. 11-16.
63. Zodiac, Robert Graysmith. 11-19.
64. Anyone You Want Me To Be: A True Story of Sex and Death on the Internet, John Douglas and Stephen Singular. 11-23.
65. The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead, Max Brooks. 11-24.



Movies
33. The Crucible (1996). 11-2.
34. Changeling (2008). 11-4.
35. What’s Up, Doc? (1972). 11-7.
36. The Mist (2007). 11-9.
37. The Remains of the Day (1993). 11-23.
38. Howard’s End (1992). 11-28.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

WHY do I read true crime right before going to bed? WHY. I had to unshield the light of my clock-radio because I had the bugger-boos that somehow, even though he's probably dead, the Zodiac was going to break in and kill me.

My mom yelled at me for going out yesterday in flip-flops and a light jacket when it was 35 degrees outside. You'd think she was my mom or something!

I really want to go to the movies today. Nothing specific, just for the experience, and because it's been a few weeks. So, of course, there is nothing out. I'd see Quantum of Solace (...what does that mean?), but I still haven't seen Casino Royale, so.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I was at Starbucks yesterday, writing, and came to a scene at a memorial service. I don't know whether to be impressed or embarrassed about the fact that I actually got teary-eyed while writing it. I've reached the point where the characters are so real, I have to remind myself that they're, y'know, not. Good news, though; I have two scenes left to draft, then it's rewriting earlier scenes that changed as I went along, and polishing up, and I think I'll have a really, really good script. I've written about 80-90 pages in the last two weeks, and I'm always surprised when a strong, creative surge comes along. I try to figure out what prompts it, but I don't usually realize I'm in it until it's too late. Because I started in August and only managed about 30-40 pages before then, and was having a really hard time with them. I'm feeling pretty good about the ol' writing, that's what I mean to say.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Things that have made me happy this past week:

-Christmas music! We have an entire music channel that's just traditional holiday music; none of this awful contemporary pop crap.

-Grilling outside at 6:00pm, already pitch-black, hands and face numb; there is nothing that tastes better once you come in to eat.

-Hot cocoa from scratch.



-Playing with Jack in my Grandpa's backyard, as he runs through the piles of leaves that come up to his head; at one point, he ran so fast he fell down and rolled completely over, then jumped up and barked at me with such great insistence I too became convinced the fall was somehow my fault.

-Putting a quilt and a comforter on my bed. At the same time.

-My first peppermint mocha at Starbucks this year.

-Making the banner up above, starting The Silmarillion, realizing they start principal photography on The Hobbit next year, exactly ten years after they began photography on The Lord of the Rings.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

It's getting to be that time of year again, when Thanksgiving is something you plan for and not just a vague, turkey-scented possibility on the horizon, when you start thinking about Christmas presents and finding decorations. You know. The time of year I start rereading Lord of the Rings in preparation for watching all the movies and specials and behind the scenes features, a process that if I start now, I might finish by New Years.

It's also the time of year when Canada's like, "Oh, hey, WANT SOME WIND?" I had to close my car door with both hands today.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I voted first thing today, and waited for five minutes. Ha. My vote honestly doesn't matter at all, as Kansas is obviously a red state (I think we were 66% for Bush in '04) and will be this time, as well, but my mom would have yelled at me otherwise. I will just say that, as far as media coverage goes, I wish there had been more mention of the fact that this is a historic election no matter the outcome: either we will have our first black president, or our first female vice-president, and I have seen very little about the latter.

Saw Changeling, which was good, although the third act dragged on far too long, and someone needs to keep Eastwood from "writing" his own music. Angelina was fab, though, and I hope she gets a nomination this year.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Books
52. The Scourge of God, S. M. Stirling. 10-8.
53. Watchmen, Alan Moore. 10-11.
54. Bottomless Belly Button, Shaw Dash. 10-11.
55. Sandman: World’s End, Neil Gaiman. 10-18.
56. The Grass Crown, Colleen McCullough. 10-20.
57. Everything’s Eventual, Stephen King. 10-23.
58. The Sandman: The Kindly Ones, Neil Gaiman. 10-26.

Movies
29. Infamous (2006). 10-6.
30. Deliver Us From Evil (2006). 10-11.
31. A Very Long Engagement (2004). 10-13.
32. La Vie En Rose (2007). 10-27.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Yay! I finally finished my new desktop! When I first imagined it, I didn't think it would take me a week.

You know, I've tried really serious, "arty" desktops before, but I much prefer something that makes me happy when I start my computer up.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I subbed for kindergarten today, which is not my favorite. They're very sweet kids, and there's nothing more quick to warm the cold, dank corners of my heart than when a child spontaneously hugs me, but I think, in the long run, I prefer high schoolers. They generally don't pick their noses and sing songs about poop sandwiches.

Today, I was called the following: Miss P, Miss Peestock, Mrs. Pondstock, Mrs. Pasta, and my personal favorite, Mrs. Nonsense. Honest to God, Mrs. Nonsense.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Oh my God, my lower back is killing me. I love the cat, but when I wake up in the middle of the night curled up like a contortionist hugging one side of the bed, and it's sprawled out over all the rest like a sultan, then I don't love the cat so much.

We're going to get a freeze tonight. Eee! I love autumn, I really do. Sometimes I feel guilty about it, because it seems like most people don't, since it presages the coming winter (which is why I expect my dad's upcoming SAD-inspired depression and moodiness to show up in T-minus six days and counting...), but I really, really love this time of year. The trees are turning, the air smells lovely and crisp, people are starting fires, and I get to wear sweaters and coats and have quilts on the bed.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

We took these pictures ages ago, and I finally sat down and cleaned them up and resized them for posting.

Spencer and Sasha, BFF:


My Grandpa's dog, Jack, chilling:


COMING TO GET YOU:


Knowing he's sexy:


Being wacky:

Thursday, October 9, 2008

This whole week, I have woke up at 5:30 instead of 6:30. It's too early to get up and get ready, but too late to really fall back asleep properly, so I end up lying there in a fugue state and then am way tired when the alarm does finally go off. So.

Dear brain,

Stop waking me up an hour early! Amuse yourself: construct another dream, go to standby, I don't care! Just stop it. I MEAN IT. DON'T MAKE ME COME UP THERE.

Monday, October 6, 2008

This weekend was very disappointing. Saturday was the Applefest, which I always look forward to. It was way crowded, hot, and we didn't even get to go to the orchard. I had an attack of the frugals and didn't buy anything other than a caramel apple, and am now regretting it. Plus, it was the second day of my headache, which I could not get rid of.

Yesterday was day three of headache, which pretty much ruins everything. I couldn't read, watch TV, be on the computer, or go out, without feeling like I was going to die. Today it's gone, which is great, and I've gotten some stuff done, but I really don't want to sit and stare at a computer all day and type up my pages, which is what I had planned, for fear that it will bring the headache back.

I'm excited about Heroes tonight. What the hell? Where did that come from?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

This web comic may be the greatest thing I've ever seen. I'm going to find a way to make it my new desktop, whatever it takes.

...I just can't stop looking at it.

Also, the cutest kitties in the world!
Books
44. The Reality Dysfunction, Peter F. Hamilton. 9-2.
45. The Sandman: A Game of You, Neil Gaiman. 9-3.
46. Master and Commander, Patrick O’Brian. 9-8.
47. The Sandman: Fable and Reflections, Neil Gaiman. 9-17.
48. The First Man in Rome, Colleen McCullough. 9-17.
49. The Sandman: Brief Lives, Neil Gaiman. 9-26.
50. Post-Captain, Patrick O’Brian. 9-30.
51. In Cold Blood, Truman Capote. 9-30.

Movies
26. The Ghost Train (1941). 9-17.
27. Notes on a Scandal (2006). 9-17.
28. Burn After Reading (2008). 9-25.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I have a most horrible, pounding headache, because of my allergies. It has made entertaining myself this evening very difficult, as computer screens, TVs, and reading are all kind of painful. The headache's beginning to let up, because my dad gave me one of his surgery pain pills, but not to the extent that I want to sit and watch another episode of Pushing Daisies. Which means I have three to watch before the premiere tomorrow night, and I'm not sure I'll have the time, especially if I work.

I kind of feel like all of the topics which I normally blog about, we now have discussion threads for at the boards, so I'm not sure what to say here. Not that it matters, in the grand scheme of things, and this wouldn't be a problem if my life weren't so boring, but I have no funny anecdotes or anything to relate.

Ah well. I'm going to eat a piece of Laura's birthday cheesecake, and finish In Cold Blood.

ETA: Whenever I dream of a TV show (which isn't that often, but does happen), it's always a fake episode. Whether I'm watching it, participating in it, have run home to miss all but the last few minutes, or am flipping and catch a promo, it's always a fake, dream episode. Sometimes they're very real, sometimes not, but usually it's recognizable as that show's world, if that makes sense. Last night, I dreamed that I was watching an Entertainment Tonight promo for the upcoming Heroes, and the promo centered on watching Jack Coleman practice his singing and dancing. For the upcoming Heroes. The upcoming musical Heroes.

I woke up and was like, thank you, brain.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

When it rains, it pours. My dad is in week five of his convalescence from abdominal surgery. He was scheduled to go back to work next Monday, the 29th. A couple days ago, he was leaning over to put the phone book back, and pulled something in his shoulder. The next day, he was in such pain he laid in bed all day with a heating pad. Yesterday he went to the GP, who couldn't tell what the problem was, and made him an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon. Who thinks he has a sprained rotator cuff. (Why he thinks instead of knows I'm not sure, but at least it's not broken.)

So, he gets another two weeks off work. Almost two months. He was just starting to look forward to going back, as he's been bored around the house. Poor dad.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

So, I'm watching a bit of SVU with my dad (Nick Chinlund was playing a serial killer - way to get stereotyped, dude), and that commercial with James Lipton came on, where he's the celebrity helping the real guy tell his story. (Geico, right? Effective ad campaign.) Anyway, my dad is like, guess how old he is. And I say...sixty. Maybe sixty-five. And my dad says, no. Eighty-two.

And I laugh. Ahahahaha. Very funny. He's not eighty-two. My dad says, yes, he is, your mom looked him up. And we shake on it, because OBVIOUSLY he's not eighty-two.

So I think to check Wikipedia. That son of a bitch is eighty-two years old. !!! I guess I can no longer say that my grandpa is the youngest looking eighty-year-old I've ever seen. Although...maybe if my grandpa dyed his hair...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Emmys, Emmys, Emmys. Wow, fashion was boring this year. I can't even think of a single dress that really stood out to me at all. Ladies, what is going on?

I can't believe Piven won again. I have never watched Entourage, but I'm sorry. It's Piven. He can't be that amazing, that he always wins this award. Christ.

I was very, very happy to see Zeljko Ivanek win. First of all, because he's my people, yo, and second of all, because he has been on everything, and he's awesome. I was very much surprised; I expected Mad Men guy to win. Speaking of which, Mad Men was not the sweep a lot of critics were expecting, which was nice. I mean, I don't watch the show, so I have no idea if it's good or anything (although the ten minutes I watched with Laura this weekend were painfully boring), but it was the favorite, so of course I wanted it to fail.

Disappointed BSG didn't get the writing win, but not surprised or anything. I mean, it really was just an honor to get nominated. (Although, when someone other than Mad Men won directing just prior, a tiny, tiny nugget of hope wormed its way into my heart, stupidly.)

Mary Tyler Moore's...arms...

Just don't have a host! At all! Just have the presenters come out, introduced by that voice in the ceiling that tells us how many previous nominations so-and-so has. That's all!

I actually thought the iconic TV locations thing was a really neat set dressing idea, and a lot more interesting than the usual Gigantic Awards and Amorphous Shiny Props; however, the Oval Office is not an iconic TV location. It's a real-world location that happened to be used in a TV show. I thought I was done with The West Wing! I think I had a PTSD flashback or something.

Eh, I thought The Office was funnier this year.

And finally, yay for Pushing Daisies! I was very glad to see Barry Sonnenfeld get the win, because talk about creating the visual look of a show that is NOTHING like anything else you see on TV. I can't wait for next Wednesday.

Friday, September 19, 2008

It be hard to believe I forgot today were Talk Like a Pirate Day. 'Tis a prodigious shame, it is, that I ain't been annoying all me family, but perhaps all things considered, 'twere for the best.

Anyways, we went running with my Grandpa today, and paperbacks are 8 for a dollar at the Salvation Army. Score! I even picked up a couple I haven't read before, which is not my usual book-buying practice. Laura got a great, really tall and narrow mirror, with fancy curly-cue detailing, for $2.50. There was a mini-apothecary end table for $35, and I'm hoping it will still be there next week when I get my paycheck. All it needs is a strip and refinish, which I can probably get my dad to do, as he likes projects; it's small enough I shouldn't have any trouble finding a place for it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Icons! BSG, XF, Firefly, a few assorted other shows, celebs. A lot!

1. 2. 3.

4. 5. 6.

7. 8. 9.

10. 11. 12.

13. 14. 15.

16. 17. 18.

19. 20. 21.

22. 23. 24.

25. 26. 27.

28. 29.