Category: Personal Blogs


Good morning!  Happy Tuesday to you all, hope you SXSWers are finding ways to stay dry out there.  I could almost feel sorry for you if I wasn’t blinded by raging jealousy.  :)  

So far, the news today has been relatively interesting from a geeky perspective.  Check these out:

The NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information, a division of the National Institute for Health) is testing the reactions of brown tree snakes to human blood using…wait for it…dirty tampons. (SPOILER: it eats them.)

Scott Snyder and Stephen King are making vampires scary again!!  This blurb from Snyder sells it:
“So part of the point of American Vampire is to make (vampires) scary again. In the original ads for the series, we wanted to do pictures of Skinner standing on a heap of dead old-fashioned vampire bodies, grinning, all bloody with smoking guns in his hands. And the tagline was ‘I don’t fucking sparkle.’ We thought about using another that said: ‘This ain’t your little sister’s vampire.’ The idea was that American Vampire is not a pin-up. When (Skinner) changes into a vampire, he’s fucking scary. You don’t want to kiss him.”  Good on you, boys.  Looking forward to it.

Some new details about Universal’s The Thing prequel.  Contrary to io9.com contributor/article author Meredith Woerner, I think the foreign language bit is a plus.  I fear no subtitle.  Although one must remember the difference between a film coming from a foreign house and one that comes from the US and makes poor use of a foreign language as a gimmick.  Let’s hope that isn’t the case here.  Also, CARPENTER RULES!  

In astro-geek news, there may be a brown dwarf star floating around in the Oort Cloud and hurling comets at us.  Freaky.

And from the Bad Astronomer himself, MAKE IT SO (TINY)

Did I tell you guys I’m reading a Star Wars novel?  I almost don’t want to admit it; that’s a level of geek that I don’t normally get into.  But it came up in conversation the other night as Mick and I were returning from a wander around Barnes & Noble.  I believe it began when I proposed the question, “will people ever stop writing Star Wars novels?”  To which he responded, “not if they keep selling!”  But then he mentioned that he had read a few, specifically one written that chronicled events that happened between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.  Even a casual, non-obsessive SW fan like myself has wondered what happened in that gap.  And since I had just finished Dune the night before (finally!), it was time for me to pick something else up anyways.  And here we are.  I’m reading a Star Wars novel. 

So far (meaning “60 or so pages in”), it’s alright.  The writing isn’t great, and the story is slow-going.  A lot of the first few chapters are spent chronicling (through dreams, flashbacks, and other passe plot devices) important events in Empire.  They’ve introduced a new main character, a Yakuza-style boss who’s the Emperor’s pet and equal with Vader.  I’m guessing since he’s never heard from in Jedi that he probably dies at the end.  But knowing the end and being interested in reading how it comes about are different, and I’m hoping it’s something befittingly grisly.  Also, did I mention the author’s name is Steve Perry?  Which I find fitting, because this might as well be the Journey of the literary world: not particularly awesome, but solid enough to find a lasting place with its loyal fan base; a guilty pleasure for most; entertaining enough however conventional and banal it may seem at times.  It works.   

Anywho, I’ll leave you with that for the morning.  Mick goes in for more teeth work today, so I’ll be busy tonight nursing and hugging and being nice to him.  Take care, my lovelies!

Today I am wearing a new shirt.  A shirt I bought yesterday, as a matter of fact.  This particular shirt is, for lack of a better word, fuzzy.  It is shedding tiny little fuzz particles every time I touch it, and the result is me looking like I’ve been clawing in the dirt all morning.  I’ve washed my hands about fifteen times this morning, and it just keeps coming back, because every time I stand up I have to tug on the shirt a bit.  It’s incredibly frustrating.  I just had to get that off my chest.  Thanks for listening.

Speaking of chests, this was at the top of my feeds this morning:

“One of the beneficiaries of Avatar’s success could be the on-again, off-again Heavy Metal movie. Now there’s talk it may be reborn as an all-3D, all-animated anthology with contributions from Avatar’s James Cameron, Watchmen’s Zack Snyder and David Fincher.” (via io9.com)

Heavy Metal?  In 3D?  Holy bouncing breasteses RIGHT IN MY EFFING FACE, Batman! 

 

And, in case you were wondering, I am totally listening to Don Felder at the moment.  Duh.

I wouldn’t consider myself a Heavy Metal fan, per se…partly because I was never a 17-year-old boy, and as such I just never got a ton of exposure to it.  I would consider myself a fan of the soundtrack and its featured South Park episode (see above).  And in that respect, I want to see it done well.  I want Heavy Metal to be awesome.  As awesome as, well, heavy metal!

There’s also a lovely article on the new Preadators movie up on io9 today that makes me feel a little better about it than I may have before.  I have an intense love of the original movie and an intense dislike of remakes, so I’ve been a little hesitant to be all gung-ho about it.  But there are two words that really jump out at me and make me very happy here: “practical effects”.  It’s not that I’m against CGI (okay, maybe I am a little), but I think it has a place.  CGI is for things that absolutely cannot be done practically.  Not for “enhancing” things that already exist (*cough*Lucas*cough*), not for making real people look like cartoon people (because that can be done practically too).  And it should especially be avoided in the horror and action genres.  When I see a giant explosion, I want to know that it really was a giant fucking explosion.  I watch Mythbusters, I know it can be done.  I know people that can make disgustingly true-to-life rotting flesh and delicious blood.  And I’ve seen Guillermo del Toro make creatures ten times more terrifying than anything a computer could dream up.

one of the only movie creatures that ever gave me nightmares

 That bastard still gives me the shivers.  There have only been 5 movie characters that have ever attacked me in my dreams, and that’s just the latest one.  The others, in case you’re interested, are (in order from earliest to most recent):
1. gremlins
2. the stair-rail snake thing from Beetlejuice (nos. 1 and 2 were actually both in the same dream, and I’ve had this exact same dream at least 4 times in my life.) 
3. Gollum (not particularly scary except when he comes out of your roommate’s closet and tries to eat your face)
4. a Chucky-esque little kid (cuz let’s face it, little kids are frickin creepy. especially the kind you can’t kill, even by swinging them baseball-bat-style into a wall repeatedly and throwing them down a flight of stairs.)

Now I’ve lost my train of thought.  And it’s after 3:00, and I was just given the ok to sneak out of work early today since I’ll be putting in overtime in my boss’s absence at the end of the week.  So that’s where I’ll leave you for the day, little ones.  Come back tomorrow, things should be less scary.

It’s called SUN-day!

Hello weekend!  This nice weather certainly has perked things up around here, and I know I’m feeling a lot better for it.  My improved mood may also be related to the intense amount of shopping I’ve done over the last two days.  RETAIL THERAPY!  The best kind of therapy. 

Yesterday I went to the Domain with my mom.  To some, that might sound like torture, but we had a blast.  She and my dad are going on a cruise soon and she needed help picking out some things to take.  Of course I’m always happy to help, and as an added bonus she usually rewards me with a little something.  A few somethings, as it turns out, like an awesome new summery outfit (which I’m wearing right now, as a matter of fact) and some fabulous Chanel lipstick.  Ever wonder where I get my expensive taste from?  Wonder no more.  And as a sort of trade-off, I took her to Torchy’s for lunch, which was quite a hit. 

And after all that, I went back today and picked up a pair of shoes that I shouldn’t have passed up yesterday. 

So I’ll say that my troubles of not feeling womanly were pretty well cured with a trip to Neiman Marcus and my newfound ability to wear shorts.  And, surprisingly, no one was blinded by the paleness of my legs!  Hooray! 

To share in the good feelings of the day, we’ve invited a friend over for dinner and I’ll be cooking a real meal for the first time in what feels like ages.  To be fair, it was kind of a bribe to get Mick and a friend to put together our new patio set, but it’s dinner nonetheless!  And we can eat it on our new patio set!  Mick, for the record, has been gone most of the afternoon visiting with our web guru Naj and discussing the future of our beloved CyberMonkeyDeathSquad.  Lately it’s been not-so-beloved and more of a back-burner project due to script stuff and this new venture we have here in YGFAD.  But with SXSW going on now, I think we’re both getting a little nostalgic for the scene (not to mention the press badges), and we’re ready for a rebirth.  There’ll be a new look, a ton of new stuff on the back-end that will make our lives much easier, commenting abilities, who knows what else.  I know I’m ready to get back into it.

But now I must go prepare foods!  Enjoy the sunshine, kiddos!

So many dishtowels…

Stargate!  I think part of the reason I love this show is because it means I’m home by 5:00.  That’s always a nice thing. 

Also nice is the rate at which I’m pumping out dishcloths this week.  One a day, on average, after work.  Which is pretty good since I’ve been balancing a sick husband, home-cooked meals, and a strange unrelenting exhaustion that I can’t figure out.  Every night, around 8:00, I just can’t keep my eyes open.  I haven’t been doing anything different, except getting incredibly sleepy very early.  Maybe it’s because I’m doing a lot of sitting on the couch, watching tv, working with my hands.  Maybe it’s time i had a night off the couch.  I do have a large pile of shirts that need altering (and a big pile of junk on my sewing table).  It’s just that deadline that keeps jumping out at me, reminding me that I need to get some stuff done before the Spring Fling.  Now that it has a set date, I’m feeling the pressure.  Not just to get a lot done, but for quality too.  And I tend to get a little overambitious, so I’m trying to keep that in check.  My brain is all over the place.  Right now: must focus.  Finish this dishtowel.  Then we’ll think about what to do next. 

Back to the grind.

Bring Out Your Dead!

For the curious, Mick did not actually die after his dental appointment yesterday.  They did pull out a tooth (so I guess a little piece of him died?) and he’s been hurting ever since.  Poor thing.  I’m fighting to resist the urge to smother him to death with worry; instead, I’m trying to pour my energies into thinking of yummy soft foods to make.  Last night, by request, I cooked up a BIG pot of potato soup, which he said was delicious.  Maybe it was just the darvocet talking.  And, of course, I don’t eat potato soup so I have no idea what it tastes like, or should taste like even.  But, being the culinary genius that I am, I have full confidence that it turned out just fine. 

 And with a title full of dead, you might think I’m going to talk about Corey Haim here.  But I’m not.

WARNING: girly post

Slacker!  Not you, me.  I just haven’t been feeling up to it lately; something strange is going on in my psyche that just makes things, life in general, seem completely impossible.  It’s some sort of downward spiral, I think.  The more lazy I get, the more bored I become, which in turn makes me want to be lazy, which only leads to more boredom, and so it goes. 

So today, I decided to spice things up: I am wearing a dress.  Not that this in itself is unusual; I have a closet full of dresses.  But I’ve been in a phase lately where I just don’t feel up to dressing up.  The more casual I can get, the better.  I’ve found sneaky ways of dressing down for work, bringing corduroy pants and colored khakis into the mix, throwing in some tank tops with cute little cardigans to make them more appropriate.  But all the dressing down, while being excellent for the lazy-and-comfortable factor, has made me feel like a giant frump, and therein lies a great source of internal conflict.  

It hit me yesterday when I was watching Gunsmoke.  (Does that sound silly? It does. And it is. But it’s true.)  First off, let it be known that Miss Kitty is a badass and I want to be like her when I grow up.  Minus the saloon girls.  Maybe.  But definitely including the big fake beauty mark, cuz that’s awesome in a sort of creepy way.  One time she had one shaped like a star.  I could totally rock that.

Anyways, she brought up the point that every woman needs to feel like a woman sometimes.  I’m sure that means different things to different people, and I don’t think anyone else should be able to tell you what that means for you.  As for me, I have no idea what it means.  I’m still trying to work that out.  All I know is that I don’t, and I think that’s part of what has been subconsciously bugging me the last few weeks.  I’m really just down on my drab boring self.  I feel like some sort of frumpy asexual cartoon child.  I am a live-action Peppermint Patty.  And the worst part is that I don’t know what to do about it. 

The grey dress is the first step.  Testing the waters, so to speak, trying to get back into that phase where I actually put some effort into myself.  It would be easy and convenient to blame my lack of effort on being married and the idea that I’m no longer trying to attract someone, but I just can’t make myself believe that.  It would also be convenient, though not as easy on the soul, to blame it on past experiences and old mindsets that I just can’t shake completely.  For now, I will try not to worry about whose fault it is that I feel this way and simply concentrate on fixing it.  Today, it’s a dress.  Next week, haircut.  And we’ll go from there. 

Wish me luck.

It’s Musical Day!

   I’m willing to place a bet that this might be why I’ve been depressed all week…because I knew Saturday was coming and nothing could be even remotely as fun.  Everything seems dull and mundane in comparison. 

I think it’s serendipitous that my two favorite musicals happen to be showing on the same day in the same city, one on film and one on stage.  I also think it’s wonderful that I have a husband who immediately buys me tickets and is happy just because I’m so damn happy.  Today is a good day.

Today also concludes our super-busy week of movies and shows and whatnot.  Although I skipped out on Rust Never Sleeps on Monday, I did get to Birdemic on Tuesday, and last night we went to see Alice in Wonderland.  I had heard some pretty terrible reviews overall (at least from people whose opinions I trust), so I wasn’t expecting much going in.  And I won’t say it was great or extraordinary, it was alright.  I enjoyed a few of the performances, namely Crispin Glover as Stayne, the Knave of Hearts (I won’t go as far as to say dear Crispin can do no wrong, but he did end up being probably my favorite character here).  And of course Alan Rickman doing just about anything will make me happy, and his voice gave the caterpillar a dark strangeness that isn’t normally found there.  Then there’s Christopher Lee, who only had two lines but whose voice just gives me shivers every time. 

Unfortunately, there were too many things that just didn’t live up or never really found their full potential.  Johnny Depp, god bless him, and his Mad Hatter character seemed tempered.  He had crazy hair and a lot of strange makeup, but never felt completely whimsical nor troubled despite the somewhat Gollumy predilections Burton cast on him.  I’d like to have seen him delve more into the dark, angry-mad Scottish persona that seemed to jump out every once in a while (not often enough, I say).  And because he seemed so tame in personality, the hair and makeup felt forced and out of place.  I’d say the same for the Red Queen, Helena Bonham Carter.  A lot of silly animation with a flimsy premise, when I think the character would have been well-played and better off without being all CGI.  And maybe it’s just me, but Anne Hathaway as a blonde is sort of terrifying…I think it’s the eyebrows. 

Now I won’t say that everything that went wrong in that movie was Tim Burton’s fault; I’m sure Disney had a lot to do with it. (The little dance number at the end?  Only Disney could think up something so utterly revolting.)  But I think Burton is coming to a point where he needs to make a change.  It’s part of the problem with being someone known for his strangeness: after a while, that strangeness isn’t so strange anymore, and you’ve got to either up the ante (to a worthwhile degree) or try to find something else that works for you.  When that style was new, it was fascinating and fun, but now it just feels tired, played out, even predictable.  Especially when you have guys like Henry Selick who are doing it better these days. 

Overall, I think Mick said it well as we were leaving: “that was worth going to just for the Tron trailer.”  

Speaking of terrible remakes, I just turned on the tv to Doctor Doolittle, the old Rex Harrison one.  Whoever thought Eddie Murphey and CGI could improve on this was out of their mind. (Was that Disney again?? Gah.)  Poor Rex, he could almost convince me to go veggie.  Almost.  Speaking of animals, there are birds singing like crazy outside our back door, which makes me think I should be doing something outside right about now.  I think I will.  Take care, kiddos, I’ll see you soon!

BIRDEMIC!

It’s true, you know.  Betty White rocks. 

You know what else rocks?  Freakin BIRDEMIC!  Holy cow.  For those of you that were there last night, I am so glad I got to share in that experience with you.  You’re good folk. 

For those that missed it, I’m not sure I can even relate to you the weird, hilarious, completely off-the-wall nature of this film.  It’s like The Room meets The Birds, but on a non-existent budget with some truly atrocious editing.  Now I won’t knock the director for this; he made this film after work using his own paycheck, and from the stories he tells he recruited art school students who were not always the most professional folks to work with.  He did the best with what he had, which was very little.  That being said…HOLY CRAP.  A few times I laughed so hard I couldn’t breathe.  There were many instances where I sat in jaw-dropping confusion, stunned by a complete lack of logic on the part of the characters.  (For instance, if a swarm of ravenous bloodthirsty killer eagles are on the loose, why do you leave the safety of your van and walk half a mile across a field to have a picnic?)  The dialogue was, at times, terrible.  At other times, terribly brilliant.  Ramsey: “Where’s Becky?” Rod: “Taking a shit.”  Brilliant.  There were extended monologues by various characters about the evils of global warming (one by a random ornithologist they encounter in the park, and another by a “tree hugger” who lives in a treehouse amongst the redwoods.)  There are so many little things I’d love to share with you, but I just can’t.  You have to see them, experience them, for yourself.  But I want to tell you!  Machine guns!  Mountain lions!  Double-decker buses!  Damien Carter! (No, not the well-known German dj…a big soulful man who likes to party with his family.)  Gah!  I just can’t comprehend this film.  Its very existence is a gift to humanity. 

I think one of the truly great things about this film (seriously great, not just “campy terribleness” great) is the discussion that ensued afterwards.  I heard quite a few people with quite a few interesting interpretations.  Amongst a few of us, the debate began over the reception of the film.  The director, bless his heart, meant for this to be a serious film.  He was going for greatness.  And unfortunately, he just didn’t have the means.  But throughout his introduction to the film, he kept referring to it as “a happy accident” that the film has been so well received as a comedy.  And in the end, he is getting his film shown with a Hollywood premier (hosted by Tim & Eric), a showing at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin and many other theaters, and his next film has already been greenlit.  So, although reception of the film isn’t what he’d intended, the end result is the same.  So, as a writer/director, should he be disappointed?

I, being of the disposition that I am, say no.  As an artist, you have to come to terms with the fact that you will never, ever, be able to control the way someone interprets your work.  The same is true of every action you ever take in life.  This is why miscommunications happen; this is why you hear people say “did that guy just flip me off?” and beat the snot of out some guy who really was just scratching his eye.  You can’t control other people, and you sure as hell can’t control the way they perceive art.  So, if it were me, I would just be happy that my work was being appreciated in some way.  And I think that if that were my film, I would be able to recognize and appreciate the humor in it.  It’s one thing if everyone walked out of the theater trashing the thing, but they didn’t.  They loved it! 

I can see the other side of the coin though.  I can understand our friend who felt bad for laughing like he did when he realized that it wasn’t intended to be funny.  And as a responsible human being, I think it’s important to take other people’s feelings (in this case, the writer/director) into account.  But, if I did hear that he was sad and disappointed about the reception of his film, I would say this to him:

You brought joy to a room full of people.

By whatever method, that’s a pretty good thing, I say.

I just got a raise!

It’s Atlantis time!  It should be gym time, but I unfortunately forgot to pack my shoes before I left the house at an ungodly hour this morning.  Mick is there, and I’m proud of him for it.  While he’s working his tail off, I’m on the couch eating cookies.  I’m not so proud of that.

However, today is a pretty momentous occasion, one worthy of cookies: I just made my final Driver’s Surcharge payment.  Not familiar?  Driver’s Surcharge Fees are reparations that you have to pay when you get, among other things, a DWI.  Generally, if you’re a good kid and blow under a .16, you pay $1000 over the course of a year and then you’re done with it.  I, on the other hand, was not a good kid, blew +.24, and had to pay $1000 a year for 3 years.  $1040, to be exact, for three years.  And today I made my final payment.  So after $3120 in surcharge fees, another small sum in fines and court costs, lawyer fees, 88 hours of community service, one year of probation, $264 in drug tests,  countless hours of AA meetings, $20k and a month of my life for rehab, plus costing me most of my dignity and self-respect, the ordeal is officially, legally, over. 

Part of me is jumping up and down and getting all excited over it.  And I think that’s fair.  There’s a large part of me, though, that doesn’t really feel any better.  Paying a bunch of money to the DPS doesn’t erase the years of bad memories and embarrasing moments and all the things I’m not proud of.  I wish it did.  But I’m trying to be positive.  Yay!  No more payments!  That’s something, I guess. 

I think I’ll celebrate with one more cookie.

Rock over London, rock on Chicago.

It’s morning again.

Holy balls.  I need to make myself a blog alarm or something to keep me from forgetting to write.  Some days there’s just too much going on, and you know how easily distracted I am.  Like yesterday, yesterday was filled with all sorts of little distractions.  We woke up early to go to a brunch screening of COP OUT.  I do these things for my husband because I love him and want him to be happy.  And for his sake, I really wanted it to be better than it looked.  I really did.  Unfortunately…well, yeah.  Terrible.  The script was absolutely atrocious, the characters were flat, the plot was predictable.  The bad guys were stereotypical to a non-sensical degree.  (A Mexican gang boss doing bloody business in a Catholic church?  Gaaaaaah.)  Tracy Morgan is funny in that way that Tracy Morgan always is, but it seemed like the whole time there was someone sitting behind me (Kevin Smith maybe?) screaming OMG LOOK HOW FUNNY HE IS! LAUGH, DAMN YOU, HE’S FUNNY! IT’S A FUNNY MOVIE!  But it wasn’t, really.  I got a few chuckles.  A grin on occasion.  Oh, and did I mention it has the same soundtrack as every other crappy action/cop movie in the last 20 years????  “Hey, they’re latinos, let’s play some Cypress Hill in this scene!  And for the cops, how about Black Betty?  That’s edgy!”  The only thing missing was the Beverly Hills Cop song, and I think I would have just left at that point. 

But hey, the french toast was awesome.  That’s really all this movie was: an excuse to eat Alamo Drafthouse Creme Brulee French Toast.   

Luckily the day did improve, as my 7-day quest to find a store that carried my particular brand of moisturizer was ended thanks to the glory of Target (where I managed to get the last bottle, and the industrial size at that).  Finished up a few knitting projects, started a few more, working my way through that.  And after everything, dinner at Johnny T’s.  Have you still not been there?  And you call yourself a Texan? (Well, maybe you don’t.  And that’s okay, I guess.)  You’re missing out, friends.  Last night I ventured outside of my comfortable pork and sausage zone and had some smoked chicken.  DELISH.  Even the white meat was moist and flavorful, not dry and bland.  Another wonderful meal.  And in our quest for dessert, we ended up going out for fondue, which was also a good choice and a nice quiet way to end the evening. 

So overall, the day gets an 8 despite its rocky beginnings. 

Today is relatively unexciting, as Sundays should be on occasion.  My list of duties includes laundry and a few home-cooked meals.  But first, coffee.  Don’t work too hard kiddos.

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