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.