Media Consumption June 2011

Haven’t done this in a while, so I’m just gonna touch on what I remember from the past month or so.

***** The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell – When the planet Rakkat is discovered to be inhabited by apparent intelligent life that communicates via the radio transmission of gloriously alien music, Catholicism’s Jesuits rush to get the first contact with the new world. The team sent to make first contact is made up of four Jesuit priests, an aging female doctor, her equally aging engineer husband, a young male astronomer and a young female expert in computers and all things A.I. An odd mix, granted.

The bulk of the story moves between the official inquiry into Father Emilio Sandoz, the only survivor of the venture, and the story of how the venture came to be put together and carried out. It’s a beautiful, heart-rending story about the need for belief and the search for God. It’s also a first-contact story unlike any other I’ve encountered, in which everyone involved behaves rightly and does the best things, and yet everything goes wrong. Why is Sandoz the only survivor? How did he survive? What happened to the others? How did he manage to get back to Earth?

All these questions drive the story, which exists on the surface of it as a perfectly fine science fiction novel. But if you care to read deeper, there’s much to be pondered. I won’t be forgetting this book any time soon.

* Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoesky – I already blogged about this. Never again.

**** Luther, BBC – Luther is one of those six-episode BBC “series” that seem so odd to the U.S. viewer. That said, I enjoyed Luther, which is basically just another cop show, this one about British detective John Luther and his troubles at home and on the job. I watch a lot of crime shows, both U.S. and U.K., so I rarely get truly surprised by any plot development, but Luther managed to do it. Luther himself has troubling issues with anger, and wouldn’t last ten days in any real job, I suspect, but it made for entertaining viewing.

**** Waking the Dead, BBC – So what is it with the Brits and anger management problems? I really enjoyed Waking the Dead, although it contains nothing truly new or unusual. Standard TV cold-case fare, but the characters are nicely drawn and I got very fond of them. Much to my frustration, at one point. Anyway, the main character, Peter Boyd, while sometimes charming and amusing and always whip-smart, is also constantly angry. I mean constantly. It must have been traumatically exhausting for the actor who plays him to be so freaking angry all the time.

** The Jacket -I didn’t really know what to expect from this movie, so I wasn’t disappointed. It’s an interesting if mostly irrational meditation on time travel, of all things. But I’ll be honest… I had a hard time paying attention to it because I find Adrien Brody so amazingly distracting in appearance. I can’t mentally place him in any role because he looks so distinctively just exactly like himself all the time. And his nose distracts me. There. I admit it. I AM that shallow. So sue me.

**** Precious – I’ve put off watching this for a long time because I figured it would be depressing. And it was. But it was also oddly hopeful, and I recommend it to anyone. Let me say this, and that’s all I’m saying…. Mo’Nique deserved every gram of that Oscar, baby. Her performance is utterly fearless, ferocious, eviscerated and lacerating. The main character and all the others were fine, but Mo’Nique’s amazing performance as the abusive mother completely makes the movie. Holy cow. Watch it, for a perfect example of what real, gut-level honest acting is.

Death Note, anime  – I’m watching this on the Kiddo’s recommendation. It’s certainly twisted and forces the viewer into some uncomfortable moral positions. That said, it’s hard to get attached to any of the characters beyond surface level. I’ve still got a few more episodes to go, though.

*** Surface (aka Fathom) – I’m not entirely sure why the Kiddo and I started watching this, but we did, and we both enjoyed the heck out of it. It’s one of those TV series that gets started, never develops enough viewers, and is dropped before it has a chance to live. Surface, in which a marine biologist, an insurance adjuster and a 16-year-old boy race to solve the mystery of “what the heck is that in the ocean?” is a great deal of good clean entertaining fun. Sure, it’s got plot holes you could slip an entire Panzer brigade through, but if you just chill and enjoy it, it’s better than most of the shows that have lasted several seasons. You can find it on streaming Netflix, by the way, under the name “Surface.”

**** The Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson – An excellent work of non-fiction, contrasting the struggles and successes of the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893 with the predations, during the same time and in the same location, of America’s first known serial killer, H.H. Holmes. I started reading the book because of a vague interest in Holmes, but I’ll admit that the story of the World’s Fair stole my heart. It’s a mind-boggling story, and I highly recommend it.

* Sister: A Novel, by Rosamund Lupton – This, on the other hand, was seriously so-so. I picked it up because I’d seen it on a couple lists of recommended summer reading. It’s okay; nothing special. I’m pretty sure I finished it, but to be honest I have very little recollection of it at all.

*** Big Machine: A Novel, by Victor LaValle – There’s no way I can describe this book. It’s weird from the get-go. But it was a fascinating read, partly because it made me realize just how seldom I’ve ever read anything written from a contemporary black male perspective. Fascinating for that alone. Waaaaay better than Sister: A Novel. If you’re only gonna read one novel this summer, I recommended Big Machine: A Novel over Sister: A Novel.

**** A Little Death in Dixie, by Lisa Turner – When I got to the end of this book and eagerly started searching for more from this writer, I was stunned to discover that this is her first novel. Damn, girl. That’s a good one for a starter! Again, there’s nothing overly unusual about the plot, but the writing is nice and clean, the plot gallops along, the characters are three-dimensional, and it’s set it Memphis. Can’t beat that.

**** Forever Queen, by Helen Hollick – This was a 99-cent book from Kindle, otherwise I might never have read it. That would have been my loss. Forever Queen reminded me of how much I used to love historical fiction. It’s a fictionalized account of the life of Aelfgifu, better known as Emma, a young Norman girl who, in 1002 or thereabouts, was married to Aethelred, King of England. She survived him and married Cnut (Canute), a Dane who became king in 1016 of Denmark, Sweden, Norway and England and proved to be a good king for 20 years. She also was the mother to two kings, serving as regent for one of them for several years. She was also the first English queen to have a biography written of her. Hollick, the author, is a dedicated researcher and this story reads very well while retaining as much historical accuracy as possible.

Queen Emma’s great-nephew, by the way, famously returned from Normandy to England in 1066, and changed everything.

*** The Book of Tea, by Kakuzo Okakura – An awful lot of public domain books are available for the Kindle for free. This is one of them. It’s a lovely meditation on Japan, Japanese culture, and, almost incidentally, tea. I read the whole thing with delight, unable to determine any time period for the writing. Afterward (to the WikiMobile!) I was startled to discover that the author died before WWI. The writing has an ageless quality that I found remarkably soothing and easy to read. There’s an awful lot about flower arrangement, too. It’s a short book, and well worth the time for anyone with any interest in Japanese culture.

And that’s it for now. I’m waiting fairly impatiently for midnight and the magical appearance of  “A Dance With Dragons” on my Kindle. After which I’ll disappear for a few days. ;D

Nothing like a good book.

 

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under media consumption, personal

It Ain’t Easy Being Green

Most of us try, I think, to be good people. The definition of “a good person,” unfortunately, doesn’t seem to be comfortably clear-cut. For instance, I try to be environmentally friendly whenever possible. We try to find good foods, to avoid engineered fruits and vegetables and over-fished or polluted meats and fish. I give whenever and whatever I can to those in need. We recycle everything we can recycle here in our small town. And I try to live by the principle of treating others the way I’d like them to treat me: Basically, letting people alone to live their private lives in private. That applies to everything from how people choose to worship to who and how they love to what medical treatment they choose to get or not get … and more.

But it isn’t easy.

Case in point: There aren’t a lot of organic farms here in north Mississippi. Not a lot of people raising and selling grass-fed livestock. So we try to support the few when we can. One of the things we’d been seriously considering was buying some beef from a local farm that raises grass-fed, no growth-hormone cows. What a cool idea, right? And we have freezer space, so we could buy a fair amount and eat it through the coming winter.

All good.

But in an apparently unrelated issue, the American Family Association (remember them? Don Wildmon and the whole anti-Hollywood, anti-TV, anti-pretty much everything crowd?) is one of the major sponsors of something called the Mississippi Personhood Amendment.  http://www.personhoodmississippi.com/amendment-26/what-it-says.aspx It’s a particularly vile piece of wanna-be legislation that they’ve managed to get put on ballots in the upcoming election. Basically, it defines life as beginning at fertilization, whether by the “traditional” method, cloning, in-vitro or whatever. This sly piece of anti-woman propaganda would have long-lasting repercussions on all sorts of things, including stem cell research, the right of a woman to live her own life and more. It’s a classic gambit to give control of women’s lives over to someone other than themselves.

So. Grass-fed beef.

The Mississippi Personhood Amendment folks have thoughtfully made available a web site which lists, among other things, politicians and businesses who support this underhanded amendment. The list has most of the usual suspects but also, dang it, the grass-fed beef people.

Well heck.

So buying the beef would support environmentally friendly cattle-raising methods and strike a blow for small farms against giant agrabusiness. But it would support folks who believe that women should not have the right to control their own bodies. I completely resent being put in the position of having to choose. But I do.

Looks like a noodle kind of winter.

2 Comments

Filed under personal

Saturday Saves 7/9/11

These are things that have made me happy or thoughtful or sad or… something. Today.

First, what a great idea! I plan to be cremated, since the planet needs neither my body moldering in a casket or releasing a bunch of needless petrochemicals into the ground. So why not just let death give birth to a tree!

http://bigthink.com/ideas/38299

Here’s two minutes of nothing but gorgeous. This is a video link, so click with caution if you have a slow connection.

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=21294655

Scroll to the bottom one. Yeah. That’s all I’m sayin’. ;D

http://io9.com/5819583/30-comic+con-exclusives-that-youd-pawn-off-your-organs-for?popular=true

And from the person who rarely finds a horse story she doesn’t like, a good one….

http://www.mnn.com/green-tech/computers/stories/vermont-uses-draft-horse-to-lay-cable-for-internet-access

If I had the foggiest idea how to do shirring, I might try making one of these. Sadly, my sewing expertise = not so great.  I bet I could do it with elastic, though, now that I think about it.

http://sewlikemymom.com/the-shirt-skirt/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-shirt-skirt

Beautiful photo! I always wonder how in the world the photographer manages something like this.

http://img1.socwall.com/Nature/Landscapes/201018064733-18252.jpg

For those into genealogy, a handy list of state-specific info links.

http://www.n2genealogy.com/

And that’s enough surfing for today. More next time!

Leave a comment

Filed under links, media consumption, personal, photography

Gainful Employment ‘R Us

Today’s challenge is to remember my first job, including how much I was paid. That’s a tougher question than you might think.

Was my first job when I used to iron clothes for people, mostly extended family members? If so, then I was paid between a dime and a quarter per piece, depending on size and difficulty.

Or was my first job when I went to graduate school on a teaching assistantship? Mostly I got to take classes for free, but I was paid some small pittance. I honestly can’t remember how much it was, but I remember than mac and cheese was four boxes for a dollar back then. I ate a LOT of mac and cheese in grad school.

I guess you could call selling Avon right after I finished grad school my first job, but to be honest, I was possibly the worst Avon salesperson in the history of the company. I sold plenty of Avon – don’t get me wrong. I had very good sales. Problem was, I felt bad for my customers, who were pretty much all as poor as me, so I sold it all at cost. Yep, I sold a fair amount of goods and didn’t make a penny. I suppose I should have known at that point that I was never going to be a successful capitalist.

After that, I worked the evening shift at a quickie mart for a while. Don’t remember how much I got paid there, either, although I suspect it wasn’t much. I had fun, though. You learn interesting things about your town when you’re working the night shift at (the then) only quikmart open all night.

I worked for a local school system for two years, one as a support staff person who tried to teach teachers how to incorporate new-fangled videos into their teaching. The other year was as a teacher of remedial reading to ninth-graders who had somehow gotten that far in school and never learned to read functionally. That was an educational year for me. I learned that although I love teaching, I don’t love all teaching equally. I came to understand that when I went home trembling at the end of the day and found myself actually hoping some of my students might get hurt or arrested so they wouldn’t come back to class, I was probably in the wrong place. Yep.

So then I got into the newspaper biz, by stumbling head-first into an ads sales job that I was in no way qualified for, and the rest, as they say, is history.

As for how much I was paid… Let’s call the newspaper job my first real job. As I recall, I was paid something like $150 week, more or less. That might be a little high. I was renting a small house from my great-aunt for $100/month, and rent, car upkeep, utilities, and food kept me pretty much living from check to check. Sometimes even falling behind.

Different time. Different me. The world was less complicated then, it seems in memory. But it was rich, and I was happy. What more can a person ask?

 

Leave a comment

Filed under personal

Crime and Punishment

No, I’m not joining the mobs of voices decrying or cheering the Casey Anthony verdict. I’m talking about the original “Crime and Punishment,” the novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky, published in Russia in 1866.

I finally read it.

Somehow nobody forced me to read this classic, all the way through high school and six years of college, and I only just now managed to bull my way through it, thanks to Kindle. Yeah, something about having all those daunting pages just show up a page at a time in pixilworld made it seem less daunting. Not a lot less daunting, mind you. Just enough.

So I finally read it. From start to finish, it took about a month. Admittedly I took a two-week break in the middle because I just couldn’t stand to pick it up again, it was making me so crazy. But last night I finished it. And as an initial reaction, I have to say … huh. Classic psychological drama. Right.

I understand what this book is supposed to be about. Alienation. The inner life of the criminal mind. The psychology of guilt. I understand that. I just don’t see it in the book.

Raskalnikov (he of the many names, like every other character), the protagonist, is unlikeable from the start, at least to me. He comes across as one of those whiny brats who thinks he’s so much better than everyone else that anything he does must be okay. Period. He accepts the kindness of others with ill will, grumpiness and a cavalier attitude that just made me want to throttle him. So he’s poor. Got it. But every time someone gives money to him, often at difficulty to themselves, he just throws it away. Sometimes almost literally.

As for his psychological wrestling with his crime, I saw none of that. I read a lot of thrashing about not wanting to get caught, but he almost never thought about the double murder itself. He felt no guilt, only fear of punishment. He felt no remorse, only that continuing intellectual whining as he see-sawed between playing games with the police and his friends and collapsing onto the sofa in his garret. His “oh, poor me” fainting routine was overdone the first time. We won’t even get into the later ones.

And then there’s Sonia. Saintly Sonia. So pure. So beautiful. So innocent. So religious. So…. a prostitute. Sorry, I just can’t go there. The hooker with the heart of gold has been done to death. Granted, this might be one of the earlier ones, but I found myself wanting to slap her, too. According to the analyses I read earlier, trying to figure out what I was “supposed” to get out of this book, Sonia’s pure love saves Raskalnikov. Sorry. I didn’t get that.

The only thing that happened with Raskal and Sonia was that he was creepy at first, and then creepier, and then creepiest. And the fact that she didn’t run away screaming says, to me, more about the deadness of her heart than about love. She has given up.

He finally confesses, basically, out of spite because nobody could figure out that he was the murderer. I could almost see him in my mind, flouncing in a tragically emo fashion into the police station, draping himself over a chair and announcing, “Oh, fine. You’re all too stupid to figure it out. I’m the murderer. This is soooo boring. I think I’ll faint, or have a sudden fever.”

All that said, I’m glad I finally read the book. I feel much more educated now. And it did have a couple of nifty creepy images that’ll stick with me. Crazy Raskal forcing Crazy Sonia to read aloud the story of Lazarus from the Bible by the light of a single flickering candle in her tiny room. Not sure what it was supposed to mean, but it was creepy as all get out. And then there’s the character whose names starts with an S, who may or may not be a crazy deviant pervert who talks with his dead wife and gives away money like it was flowing from his fingers, who walks out to a bridge overlooking part of the city, muses on the beauty of it, and shoots himself in the head.

Ooookay.

So. Crazy crime and punishment with crazy inexplicable people doing nutty things and getting away with it didn’t start with O.J. and Casey Anthony. That’s for sure.

And, oh yeah, I don’t expect to be re-reading “Crime and Punishment” any time soon. Did  I read the wrong Dostoevsky? Let me know!

Leave a comment

Filed under media consumption, personal

Watching the struggle

Few things are as tough as watching your child struggle with something and not being able to help.

The economy has led to her still being unemployed, more than a year past college graduation. She’s had one short-term job, and has been working diligently on trying to make and sell her beautiful one-of-a-kind origami earrings, but this month, for the first time, she wasn’t able to make her car payment. I worry that her self-concept is taking a beating, but she doesn’t want to talk about it.

Right now she’s got a custom job on hold which would help a lot. She’s also got two jobs that she’s short-listed for, but that basically means just… wait.

I want to help, but what can I do? It’s just very frustrating.

Leave a comment

Filed under personal

Three Years Later …

Sometimes my life is like that. I wake up one day and suddenly a week is gone, or a month, or a year. What I’m left with is a vague memory of the time, like a skeleton made of smoke. Occasionally something got big enough or strong enough or loud enough to get through the fog and leave an impression, and when I wake up the smoke skeleton has developed a soggy bladder or a single clear trapezius or maybe just a radiating pain in the ankle. But all these things exist in a hazy vacuum.

It’s hard to tell what I missed. And the things that break through the fog enough to be memorable aren’t particularly good or bad or important. They’re just moments, incidents that registered for some reason when everything else vanishes silently into the fog.

I remember the day my dog died. The day my daughter graduated from college. Going to see “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the W. Also the young woman who played the cancer victim in that amazing small play “Wit,” also at the W. Selling “Mad Hats” like crazy at the first Windows Arts Fair.

Snow. And then another snow. And, amazingly, another snow. All last winter.

The night the oak tree fell on the back of our house and sounded like the biggest thunder ever. Seeing patches of blue sky through the ceiling (and roof) of my office/craft room. The day the tornado hit Wren and Smithville, feeling the ground tremble under my feet and understanding awe in a way I never did in any California earthquake.

I remember our new puppy throwing up – twice – on the hoodie I was holding him in on my lap on the way home. Walking through the maze of corridors at the hospital in search of Outpatient Surgery the day my daughter had her tonsils out.

These are the bits of viscera, muscle, fat and organ meat that drift around the smoke skeleton of a lost time. Maybe it’s the same way for everybody. Maybe everybody loses big chunks of daily existence and just doesn’t worry about it.

I worry.

When I am clothed and in my more-or-less right mind, I try to grab things, people, events, places, moments, and shove them into words so that when the fog descends again, I can remember. Maybe.

Maybe.

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Questions and Answers

TECHNOLOGY:
Q. What is your wallpaper on your computer?
“Iron Man” stills
Q. How many televisions do you have in your house?
Two.

BIOLOGY:
Q. Are you right-handed or left-handed?
Relentlessly right-handed.
Q. Have you ever had anything removed from your body?
Blood, gall stones, gallbladder, bone spur (shoulder) and a baby
Q. What is the last heavy item you lifted?
An iron futon bed, fully loaded
Q. Have you ever been knocked out?
Only in the surgical sense.

BULLSHITOLOGY:
Q. If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die?
Nope
Q. If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
Rain
Q. What color do you think looks best on you?
Earth colors
Q. Have you ever swallowed a non-food item?
Yep.

DAREOLOGY:
Q. Would you kiss a member of the same sex for $100?
Sure
Q. Would you allow one of your little fingers to be cut off for $200,000?
Depends on whether I needed the money and for what.
Q. Would you never blog again for $50,000?
Probably
Q. Would you pose naked in a magazine for $250,000?
*snort* That’s a safe bet, since no mag would ever want me. But no, anyway.
Q. Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1000?
No. Gonna have to up that bet significantly and agree on the size of the bottle.
Q. Would you, without fear of punishment, take a human life for $1,000,000?
No

DUMBOLOGY:
Q: What is in your left pocket?
Nothing
Q: Is Napoleon Dynamite actually a good movie?
Never seen it. Don’t want to see it.
Q: Do you have hardwood or carpet in your house?
Yes.
Q: Do you sit or stand in the shower?
Sitting wouldn’t be a problem, but getting up might. Stand.
Q: How many pairs of flip flops do you own?
None, I think.

LASTOLOGY:
Q: Last person who texted you?
Nobody. Don’t do the text thing.
Q: Last person who called you?
My daughter
Q: Person you hugged?
My husband

FAVORITOLOGY:
Q: Favorite number?
13 and 42
Q: Season?
Fall, then spring. Then winter. Then, way back in the distance where you almost can’t see it, summer.
Q: Color?
Green. But any deep jewel tone.

CURRENTOLOGY:
Q: Missing someone?
Not particularly
Q: Mood?
Sleepy. Didn’t get enough last night.
Q: Listening to?
Kitchen clock ticking. Windchimes outside. Puppy yipping in his sleep
Q: Watching?
Just finished watching the Ghostfacers ep of Supernatural again. Funny stuff.
Q: Worrying about?
Either nothing much or vast questions about my right to take up oxygen.
Q: Wearing?
Jeans that are too big. Ole Miss Rebels tee that’s too big. Barefoot. A really tacky big rainbow butterfly hair clip holding my hair up. Summer is here. (See question above for feelings about summer.)

RANDOMOLOGY:
Q: First place you went this morning?
Living room to get leash and take the pup out.
Q: What can you not wait to do?
Y’know, I honestly can’t think of anything. It strikes me that that’s pretty pathetic.
Oh wait! I am looking forward to seeing the Iron Man movie.
Q: Do you smile often?
I do.
Q: Are you a friendly person?
I think I am. I mean to be. Reticent, though. Some people call me aloof, but that’s inaccurate. I don’t bite, at least.

2 Comments

Filed under personal

March Media Madness

March wasn’t quite as media-heavy as  Jan. and  Feb., partly because I’m  finally climbing out of  winter depression and partly because I’ve actually been forcing myself to get away from the computer and out of the house more, including working out at the nearby wellness center three times a week.

But… For what it’s worth, here’s the March total:

* A Mighty Heart (Angelina Jolie) – Better than I expected, to be honest. Jolie’s depiction of Marianne Pearl is subdued but utterly fearless, not hesitating to depict both the impressive and the less than admirable aspects of Pearl’s attempts to find and save her kidnapped husband. Well worth watching.

* Dead Wrong, by J.A. Jance – It probably tells you something that I read this about a month ago and have no memory of it. Hmmmm.

* Body Double, by Tess Gerritsen – The female forensic examiner discovers she has a twin sister, unfortunately by finding her shot to death outside the examiner’s house. Bummer. Pretty interesting story about how she finds out who her birth parents are/were and all that good stuff.

* In the Valley of Elah (Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron) – Okay, this is a movie that everyone needs to see. It kept me interested from beginning to end, anchored by a sense of palpable reality and most of all by a heart-wrenching performance by Tommy Lee Jones. I can’t really say anything much about it other than… it should be seen.

* The Seville Communion, by Arturo Perez-Reverte – I like this dude’s books. So sue me. In fact, one of my goals is to learn Spanish well enough to read one of his books the way it’s supposed to be read. Oh. Right. This one’s about a ‘problem solver’ sent out from the Vatican to help settle an issue involving an ancient church in Seville, a couple of murders, and some high-finance mucking up. It made me want to visit Seville. … But not in the summer.

* For Those I Loved, by Martin Gray – I can’t figure why I’d never heard of this book. If not for the ”We Recommend“ section on Perceval Press, I still wouldn’t have. This is an astonishing autobiography by a man who lived in the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw, worked for a while in Treblinka, fought with Polish resistance fighters and then joined the Red Army. Later, he emigrated to the U.S., met and married a Dutch woman. They had four children together and were very happy, when his entire family was killed in a sudden wildfire at their home in France. And yet he still didn’t give up living. It’s a heart-breaking but ultimately life-affirming and hopeful story. I highly recommend it.

* Dan in Real Life (Steve Carell, Juliette Binoche, Dane Cook) – It’s reached the point, these days, where I approach anything labeled comedy or (god forbid) romantic comedy with extreme trepidation. I don’t honestly think I’m losing my sense of humor. I just think that most comedies nowadays aren’t so much funny as they are stupid and mean-spirited. But that’s just my opinion. This movie, thank god, is nothing like that. It’s actually funny, with a believeable premise and no complete asshole characters. I love it. I’ve watched it twice now, and will probably watch it again. ;D

* Into the Wild (Emile Hirsch and some others) – Excellent recreation of the Jon Krakauer book, about an upper middle class young man who gives it all up to wander the country, ending up in Alaska. I recommend reading the book first, then you can relax and just enjoy the scenery and the pitch-perfect depictions of all the secondary characters in the movie.

* My Left Foot (Daniel Day-Lewis) – DDL’s first Oscar-winning role, and it’s a good one. He does the loud, blustery performance as well as any actor working right now. But Brenda Fricker as the main character’s mother made this movie. She was awesome.

* No Humans Involved, by Kelley Armstrong – Oh hush. It’s a guilty pleasure. I have to read one of these or one of the Rachel Morgan supernatural P.I. books every now and then, just to keep the old overdone fantasy tropes bubbling away. This one stars a necromancer. Fun times.

* The Road to Guantanamo – Documentary about three British men who got caught in a battle-type thing in Afghanistan and ended up being sent to Guantanamo. They had done nothing. I weep for my country.

The Fountain (Hugh Jackman and some other people)Nobody needs a plot synopsis for this one, I figure. I love this movie. I love the total hippy-dippy psychedelic acid mind trip of it all. And Hugh Jackman. Dude. I must own this eventually.

* The King Must Die, by Mary Renault – Mary Renault writes the very best historical fiction based in and on ancient Greece. This one is about Theseus, of Minotaur fame, and I love how she manages to make the fantastical downright plausible. My favorite of her books is still ”The Persian Boy,“ but this one is well worth reading.

Onward into April…

3 Comments

Filed under personal

Welcome to my new hideout

Mixed Message

Okay, not really a hideout. But I’ve been posting things pretty trustingly over at LJ for several years now, and while I don’t give a damn what anybody does with or about my posts, I’ve finally started getting a little nervous about my fiction.

My “friends list” has gotten unnervingly large, and the vast majority of the names on it I don’t even recognize. That’s… scary.

I’m not leaving LJ, and I may continue to post fiction there – short term. But I won’t be leaving any up in the long term. I’ve also started moving my old, existing, fiction to this space, along with fiction I’ve not posted anywhere before. All my old LJ-posted fiction will eventually vanish from there.

This site is not a VigOrli nor an LoTR fanfic site. It will hold some VigOrli fic and some Lord of the Rings fic, but it will also contain original fiction of all kinds. I hope you’ll enjoy some of it (and feel free to let me know your opinions, for good or bad).

Come on in. Take a chance on something different. And if you want to recommend this site to someone… maybe ask first, okay? I don’t like being paranoid, but right now I am.

Hope to see all or at least most of you here, though. And you are very very welcome here.

Rain

9 Comments

Filed under fiction, personal