Monday, December 31, 2007

My Christmas Vacation-The Movies

The night after I arrived home we rented a couple movies. The one we watched as a family was called Once. Some may call it a chick flick. There are two kinds of chick flicks: Comedies which I generally enjoy if Whitney Houston isn't starring in them and Dramas which I generally do not. This probably falls into the latter category but, you know what? I liked this movie very much. Part of the reason is that generally enjoy music movies, like School of Rock and Sister Act if not musical theater. The stars of this movie actually wrote the music they're singing and it's good!

The next day, I finally got to see Eragaon. This was about a year in the making as I was scheduled to see this movie with JRRyan in the theater when my father broke his wrist ice skating that very night. Anyway, overall, this was a fun time waster of a movie. What I found fascinating, though, was 16 year old Christopher Paolini didn't get all his inspiration from fantasy novels. He got it from Star Wars. Farmboy learns of his destiny, to stop a Dragon Rider/Jedi consumed with power, when he comes across a dragon/droid sent by a princess for help and then is mentored by a Jedi Knight/Dragon Rider. He then comes across outcast of sorts who leads him to the rebel base but not before he goes to rescue the princess on the Death Star. Princess Arya will turn out to be his sister and King Galbatorix will be his father in the second one. I'm sure of it. The movie is worth seeing just for the parallels.

At some point, we also saw the movie Love Actually for the third time. I love this movie's soundtrack and has a great cast giving great dialogue. Maybe you're all against romantic comedies but if you like the BritCom, The Vicar of Dibley, you'll love this movie.

On TV, we saw Holiday Affair with Robert Mitchum and Janet Leigh where we decided Jaimie Lee gets her looks from her father. If you like classic movies, I recommend this one. We also saw The Bishop's Wife and the original Christmas in Connecticut, both for the second time. Honestly, I enjoyed these two more this time than I did the first time. Again, I recommend these two if you like like old movies.

For Christmas I received a documentary, The Other Side of the Mirror which documents Bob Dylan's three appearances at the Newport Folk Festival including 1965 where he went electric. As you know, I love Dylan so this rocked!

The day after Christmas, we went to the big city to see my aunt and go to the movies. It took awhile but we finally convinced my father that we should see The Water Horse. It was a family film of Narnia-quality though maybe it didn't have the grand adventure which is fine with me. If you couldn't figure it out from the commercials, the movie tells the story of the infamous Loch Ness Monster. Very well done indeed. I feel I should mention though that I was pleased it turned out to have a happy ending. There was a a bit of time where I wondered about that.

Friday, we went to see National Treasure: Book of Secrets. I'm still deciding if it's better than the first one but it certainly is just as good. My one complaint is the use of the "broken-up with the love interest so we can get them back together" plot device but that's much better than the alternative "actress didn't want to do the second film so they replaced her" scenario. What I liked best about it was them giving Jon Voight and Helen Mirren things to do. People complain it's a rip of Indiana Jones and Allen Quartermain. No, it isn't! The National Treasure films have a distinctly "American Pride" quality to them that the other two don't have; not to mention modern technology. I agree with my mother that Nic Cage is well-suited for these movies.

That night, I was supposed to get a rental to watch while my parents where out but there wasn't time so I ended up watching Girl Interrupted on TV. I know it was edited for TV but I thought it was pretty good. I appologize for this comment in advance but I wanted, um, more of Susanna and Lisa's, um, relationship... The amount of smoking Winona does in this moving made me think of this article I read recently and made me laugh.

Tune in for the next installment.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

More In The New Year

I Am A: Neutral Good Human Cleric (5th Level)


Ability Scores:

Strength-11

Dexterity-8

Constitution-13

Intelligence-15

Wisdom-12

Charisma-11


Alignment:
Neutral Good A neutral good character does the best that a good person can do. He is devoted to helping others. He works with kings and magistrates but does not feel beholden to them. Neutral good is the best alignment you can be because it means doing what is good without bias for or against order. However, neutral good can be a dangerous alignment because because it advances mediocrity by limiting the actions of the truly capable.


Race:
Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.


Class:
Clerics act as intermediaries between the earthly and the divine (or infernal) worlds. A good cleric helps those in need, while an evil cleric seeks to spread his patron's vision of evil across the world. All clerics can heal wounds and bring people back from the brink of death, and powerful clerics can even raise the dead. Likewise, all clerics have authority over undead creatures, and they can turn away or even destroy these creatures. Clerics are trained in the use of simple weapons, and can use all forms of armor and shields without penalty, since armor does not interfere with the casting of divine spells. In addition to his normal complement of spells, every cleric chooses to focus on two of his deity's domains. These domains grants the cleric special powers, and give him access to spells that he might otherwise never learn. A cleric's Wisdom score should be high, since this determines the maximum spell level that he can cast.


Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Probably The Last Post of 2007

Two more Christmas movies to discuss. During the snow storm on Thursday, my aunt stayed over and brought a DVD with her: A Christmas Miracle at Sage Creek. I don't want to ruin the whole movie but it has David Carradine as a "Scroogian" rancher who has this beef with this Native American family (Wes Studi and Irene Bedard) living on his land. Technodude went back to painting but I enjoyed it and I think my aunt did as well...

My cousin and I later watched Little House on the Prairie: Bless All the Dear Children. Laura and her husband along with Issac go in search of their daughter who was kidnapped by a psychotic frontierswoman. Meanwhile, back in Walnut Grove, we have the hilarious hi jinks of Jason and Nancy, who really is more of a bitch than her older sister, Nellie. What these two storylines had to do with eachother, I have no idea...

Of the non-Christmas variety, we also finished the miniseries, Tin Man which is a re-telling of The Wizard of Oz . (Or is it a sequel? I'm not telling...) This totally awesome but why was it titled so? Yes, the "Tin Man" had a more important role in this version but D.G., played by the usually funnier Zooey Deschanel, was still the main character. I don't get it...

Yesterday, my boss took me out to lunch and gave me a special scarf with the seminary logo on it and a very large check signed by the seminary president himself. It's so nice to know that people really appreciate what you do but my jaw dropped. I think we both almost cried... Today, they let me watch them setup four-way video conferencing. That was very cool to watch.

Tomorrow, barring the weather, I'm going up north to see my parents. Yay!

In closing, I leave you with the thought, to put it very bluntly, that redneck whoring runs in families!

Happy Holidays Everybody!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Another Book, Another Party

During my dance class reading on Wednesday, I finished another Star Trek book. The Buried Age by Christopher L. Bennett, whose Orion's Hounds was the first Titan book I truly enjoyed, was another Lost Era novel; this one filling in the gap of Picard's life in between the so-called "Battle of Maxia" where the Stargazer was lost and his taking command of the Enterprise-D prior to "Encounter at Farpoint."

As with most of the "Lost Era" books, my interest in the actual plot of the book, in this case finding a member of a extremely ancient race and falling in love with her, paled in comparison to the geeky references found within. For instance, you know exactly why Picard gets so irritated with Phillipa Louvois in "Measure of a Man." Another small reference I enjoyed was that the Galaxy-class was supposed to launch on 2361, the bicentennial of the Federation but of course was delayed until 2363-4. Was that Bennett's doing or the Okudas' when they came up with the Federation birthdate of 2161? While I enjoyed how he met all the future members of his crew, especially the particularly well-written meeting of Picard and Data, Worf's joining seemed just thrown in to me. (I mean the nameless transporter chief from the first season was given a better backstory!) The reason for this may have been an inside joke on the part of the author as Worf was really just created by Gene as a background character to show "yesterday's enemies are today's friends" but it still seemed lame. I also must comment that the synopsis on the back seems to imply Troi has more to do in this book than she actually does but that's a very, very small nitpick...

Last night, was the official Christmas party at the seminary. I guess the plan was to go caroling around the neighborhood but that plan was nixed due to the snow so we had a service of Lessons and Carols instead. The photocopied sheets were of a translation very old in age. We of the UCC are very big on inclusive language and these carols were not so the grumbling made about this was kind of amusing. Afterwards we had dinner of either chicken pot pie or cheese lasagna and salad. For dessert, my boss conveniently had a birthday so we had cake. It was a good time despite trudging back and forth in the snow. 1 to 2 inches? Try 3.5 with more expected Sunday!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

My Question is: Why Would I Want The T-Shirt?

Just Like Likestrek Used To Make.

Enter a word for your own slogan:

Generated by the Advertising Slogan Generator, for all your slogan needs. Get more Likestrek slogans.




I am a
Daisy


What Flower
Are You?




1. Go to the Wikipedia home page and click random article. That is your band's name.
2. Click random article again; that is your album name.
3. Click random article 15 more times; those are the tracks on your album.

Band Name: Effie Waller Smith
Album Name: Alberta General Election, 2001

1. List of Archbishops of Tours
2. Fibre Multi Object Spectrograph
3. Ranunculus Acris
4. Barbara (village)
5. ITRANS
6. The Scornful Lady
7. Golden Bagel Award
8. Leicester Central Railway Station
9. Fenton Dock
10. Tomorrow's Brightest Minds
11. Binary Form
12. La Plata Lake
13. List of United States Supreme Court Cases, volume 137
14. Carisopodal
15. Zambian Presidential Election, 1991

I would have to say only 6 or 7 song titles make any sense...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas!

This past Saturday, I went to a Christmas party held at the home of one of the seminary students. It was a small gathering but fun. We drank homemade hot apple cider and each decorated a gingerbread man for the tree. Mine came out pretty well. After a lunch of pie, (Did I ever tell you the story of going to my mother's cousins? Where I was told their would be dinner and we just ate the pie we brought ourselves?) we put together a gingerbread creche. My sheep sucked. Damn fine motor control problems!

As of this past Sunday, I am officially a member of my church. I received a certificate, a rose and a piece of cake for the honor. I also had more than one comment about how they already thought I was a member. It was somewhat funny.

I've watched more Christmas movies recently. I watched Home Alone 4. I don't think I even bothered watching the third film but this one was not bad. Loved Clare Carey now playing Kevin's mom and the kid now playing Kevin wasn't bad although he did remind me a little too much of my little cousin... I did not, however, like that French Stewart now plays Marv because Joe Pesci he ain't...

Last night we watched The Polar Express. I have to say I enjoyed it more this time without all the little kids screaming and trying to escape.

In the realm of made of TV movies, I've watched I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, Once Upon a Christmas and, brace yourself, Twice Upon a Christmas! The first film basically has this kid, played by the twins who played the kid Adam Sandler adopted in Big Daddy, witness his father, played by Corbin Bernsen, kiss his wife (Connie Sellecca) while in a Santa costume making the kid think that Santa is cheating on Mrs. Claus with his mother! Ho! Ho!

Once and Twice stars Kathy Ireland and the dude who played the Angel of Death of Touched by an Angel. Ireland plays Santa's youngest daughter Kristen and has to visit this "naughty" family to get them on the "nice" list before her father retires and her evil sister takes over the business thereby running it into the ground. The sequel basically continues the story. (Well, there's more to it but that would ruin it for you.)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Why Am I Posting When I Have No Important Content?

You Are a Gingerbread House

A little spicy and a little sweet, anyone would like to be lost in the woods with you.


Before I show the next result, I just want to clarify that I'm a librarian and read a lot:

88%DRUNKARD

39%

Looking for payday loan?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

He Punched A Reindeer? WTF?

My cousin/roommate is really into Christmas specials and movies so the other day, we watched the holiday classic Jingle All The Way. (Conan O'Brien reference.) Like Jersey Girl, I figured it couldn't be the steaming pile it seemed to be. In some ways it was worse but I ended up watching the whole thing so what does that tell you? I'm way too amiable. That's what it tells you. I love Phil Hartman and miss him and I love Sinbad but Danny Devito needed to be in this movie! Jake Lloyd, playing Ah-nold's son, can't act. If they do a remake of Shane, he should be the kid because, well, watch this movie or The Phantom Menace because that will answer your question. Can I just ask why Rita Wilson appears in mediocre films all the time? (Well, she did once joke that she had to sleep with the director to get in That Thing You Do...) I mean she's married to Tom Hanks! In summary, watch Batman and Robin instead...

Sunday, December 02, 2007

A Smattering of Topics

Reading a friend's blog recently, I realized that, despite things in my life going at snail's pace, I've probably never been happier. I love my volunteer job which only confirms two things about me: I want to be a librarian. Too many people in my age bracket don't really know what they want. Some think they know yet aren't happy now that they're doing it, some think they know but don't make the attempt to see if they're right for legitimate reasons like they can't afford to right now or not so legitimate reasons such as they're too scared so I find it satisfying that I know what I want.

The trick is now finding a way to make it financially a reality. I'm working on it but, meanwhile, I realized the second thing about me: I don't need money to be happy. Of all the jobs I've had, it was the volunteer jobs and the internships that tapped into my interests. Given how our society works, most would probably argue that I need to change my attitude about this but, one, it's not easy to do and, two, I've never wanted to conform to society's norms. Does that mean I don't want to be paid for a job? Of course not. I'm just saying that I'd rather be happy in what I was doing than making money just for the sake of making money.

I think I've mentioned this to some of you but our neighbors love to crank up their bass, which is societal norm I realize, but once they were still blasting it past 1AM and this morning I awoke at 2:30AM to hear them again. A couple times I thought they were going to stop but they'd start back up again. I'm pretty sure they stopped around 5 but I don't remember much after that. I contacted our landlord last time and again this time. I don't know what their problem is whether they just can't tell time or they just don't care but not even when the baseball team lived above my dorm room was it this bad and I'm older and crankier now anyway.

As I was walking to church, my offering envelope blew out of my pocket onto the street. I consider rushing out to get it but I figured I'd be nailed by the cars if I did. I get to church and a friend of mine hands me the envelope. He had seen it drop out of my pocket and I guess went to get it. The first Christmas miracle of the season?

Also, if you're bored, I have additional content for your perusal at likestrek.livejornal.com.
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