Friday, May 30, 2008

Memorial Day Movies and More

We've been eating a lot of cake lately. Two ice cream cakes and Monday, our friend brought a chocolate mousse cake. All of this was to celebrate my roommate's birthday last week.

We saw two movies. Mad Money with Diane Keaton, Queen Latifah, Katie Holmes and Ted Danson. This movie was really good despite the having to blast the volume because none of us could hear it. This wasn't the best movie I've seen Katie Holmes in but it was certainly the best role I've ever seen her in. I don't know if that makes any sense. Let me clarify. Jackie is a better character than Rachel Dawes from Batman Begins which this film wasn't...

We also saw I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. Going into this movie I had low expectations (I mean it starred Kevin James and Adam Sandler...) but it's not the derogatory mess one might think it would be and was, of course, hilarious! I didn't expect all the cameos from the openly gay Richard Chamberlain and Lance Bass to Dan Ackroyd, Ving Rhames, David Spade and Steve Buscemi not mention James' brother, Gary... My one real beef with the movie is, and this could be construed as a spoiler, Sandler gets gets the girl, played by Jessica Biel, at the end. After she finds out he was lying to her about being gay the whole movie. A real woman in that situation would back over him with her car, m'kay?

Tuesday night, I went with a large group from the seminary to see a Seadogs game. I haven't had that much fun at a game since I went during Senior Week in college. I mean I got to see the lighthouse, that only goes up with a Seadog hits a homerun, in the first inning! I haven't seen that in years.

Around the eighth inning, the mascot, Slugger, came up to our section and sat down next to this blonde woman in the row in front of us. One of the seminary students seated behind me yelled "I can't see the game over your fat head, Slugger!" He turned and then climbs over the seats to get her. It was then they began the ritual of singing "Sweet Caroline" like the following video but not really since that's Fenway with a bigger crowd:



Slugger starts dancing with her. Because I was sitting right there I guess, he grabs me and I dance as well. He points at me to do the "Bum. Bum, Bum" part which I do and he approves. It was a great time.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Good and Bad of Country Music

I saw this perfomance last weekend and, to me, Jenifer Nettles looks like a dancing chimp. Sexy!



Also last weekend, I was watching CMT's Power Picks and the below video was up against, and slaughtered by, another video. I would have picked this one:



Also, on a completely different note, Banes and Noble have finally started putting info up for my book on their site...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

"Oh, Shut Up!"

I can't believe I didn't discuss this in detail but about a week ago now, the seminary had their end of the year party. This included a reception and then dinner. The graduating seniors were recognized symbolically by each ringing a bell for the number of semesters they attended. Some had to ring it as much as 12 times!

Friday, I went up to Ellsworth with my grandmother and uncle. The trip was long but I did enjoy being able to discuss and listen to music with my uncle.

That night, the five of us, including my parents, went to see two of my second cousins in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown! at the Grand. I discovered later that this was not the original production that starred Gary "Radar" Burghoff but the 1999 revival with Kristin Chenoweth as Sally Brown. (She won a Tony for it...). The difference is that the original version had a character named "Patty" which is not to be confused with Peppermint Patty. This character was replaced with Charlie's sister, Sally. See? You all learned something!

On Saturday, my mother, grandmother and I went downtown and I bought Sheryl Crow's new album, Detours. I like the album. To me, the sound is a cross between her first two albums. It features the return of the producer from the first album, Tuesday Night Music Club, but many of the songs were written by just her like her self-titled sophomore effort.

After going to a supper at Mother's church, we said goodbye to my grandmother and uncle and went to Bangor to the movies. We were too early for the next showing of Prince Caspian so we went to Borders for awhile where I confirmed that, because Amazon runs Border's website, my book is orderable through them! (I used the "Title Sleuth" station.) It should be officially out soon!

As you might remember, I didn't really like the book but said it would probably be better in movie form as armies battling is more interesting to watch than read about. Who could have guessed just how right I was! The movie, while not as good as the first, was totally awesome! The structure was changed a bit but the story remains pretty well intact. The only thing they add of any consequence to the book's story is actually a very cool scene dealing with temptation. For some reason, the Telmarines are portrayed as Spanish which I don't really recall from the book but then "Lewis the Anglophile" could possibly have that in notes somewhere... I loved how they gave Anna Popplewell as Susan something to do in this movie but this'll probably be her last... (IMDB says she'll, apparently, be in the next movie in 2010. I'll be interested in how they pull that off...)

The bus ride home on Monday was very uneventful. I thought it would be something since the busdriver kept stopping as the door wouldn't shut properly but, thankfully I was mistaken...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Review I Promised And More

I say again: Ironman was totally awesome. Lately, superhero movies have been cast with actors that can actually act. I love this trend. Robert Downey, Jr. is Tony Stark. If they do the "Demon in a Bottle" storyline for the next one, he'll be more than fine in it. I kind of like the fact director Jon Favreau cast himself as chauffeur, "Happy" Hogan though was a bit disappointed he never was referred to as "Happy." Again, they followed the comic very well. Sure, they had him in California already when he actually started out in New York then moved out west later but even I admit that is the lamest and most forgettable nitpick. Curiously, they made his, then later the Avengers', butler, Jarvis, the computer. In a way, I kind of like this as well but if and when they do an Avengers movie, will they be in the same universe? So far, none of the Marvel, or DC for that matter, movies have had any connection with each other but... Again, it was an interesting twist...

I came across this article awhile back and have been meaning to share it with you. No, I wasn't going to mention it says a "new ship" was named after Stockwell but the fact he has a ship named after him. Naming a ship after a POW and Medal of Honor recipient is great but if I who likes to keep up on things only know the guy for the Vice President debate where he had no idea where he even was, guaranteed no one else does. Poor man... I'm tempted to pull out the SNL sketch where Perot is driving him out into the country...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

But Is It Art?

I probably haven't mentioned it but my Wednesday nights have become more complicated. I have the dance group as usual but for the past three weeks, a family counseling group was added and two weeks ago, the day of the alumni thing, there is also play rehearsals but that should be over at the end of the month.

While all this was going on, I finished a book. Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper is book one of the Dark is Rising sequence. Overall, I liked it very much. Given that this book was written less than a decade after the Narnia series by another Brit, I wasn't too surprised at the similarity in the writing. There were a couple confusing scenes such as Barney being captured and then, suddenly, he had an out-of-body experience and then was physically with his siblings and safe...Also, there really wasn't enough fantasy elements in it for me but as a piece of YA fiction, I did like it.

Last night, I went to an "art-sharing event" at my church. It was a small group and most of the sharing was done by the kids which I enjoyed the piano pieces and the five year old singing in Chinese. A couple of our older ladies sang a spoof on "My Favorite Things" with old people overtones which was probably the best part of night. (Except for the brownie sundaes, of course...) I won't say what I did because I'm sure you're tired of me going on and on about it...

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Life and Times Of A First-Time Published Author

No, I'm not starting a new blog; though I am working on a new website. No, the title refers to the fact most of this post is related to my book with a couple other points thrown in.

I don't know if any one read my last post but the author talk with my former teacher was quite good. When I revealed to her who I was, her eyes widened, her jaw dropped and she came running over to give me a hug. Afterwards, she introduced me to one of her sons. I told him I was at his parents' wedding and his mother added she'd show him pictures when they got home. He seemed oddly interested. I don't know if I would have when I was 17 but whatever...

The co-owner of the nearby bookstore was in attendance and I was able to check to see if he received the copy of my book I left him. He's reviewing it now.

When I got home, I went on Amazon to look at my book again. The cover art and book blurb are up so that was cool. Another fact also caught my eye: it said there was only one copy left in stock and more would arrive soon! I have no idea how many were there to begin with but I'm still excited anyway.

Periodically, I also Google my book and I come across more and more countries added to the list. Only about half are Amazon-affiliated sites. So far I've seen Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Japan, Norway and South Africa. Who in those countries would buy my book? I have no idea but they could if they wanted to!

The excitement of this as given me the inspiration to write again. It's been great.

In other news, my mother was in town Sunday night so we went over to my grandmother's for dinner. One of the major topics of conversation was my book, of course.

In completely different news, my cousin and I went to visit a shop owned by a elderly couple from my church. They had a credit card reader but had no idea how to use it. We offered to come back with cash another time but they wanted to try it...Ugh. To top it off, we left my roommate's wallet there so I had to go back for it. Next time we're bringing cash...

Saturday, May 03, 2008

While I Have Time To Kill

I figured I'd take this time to briefly give you more detail on the recent alumni party. It was held downtown and the purpose of which was to introduce the college's new online community. I had already registered but whatever. I get there ten minutes early. They're still setting up. As I mentioned on Twitter, only one other alum from the class of 1987 shows up. So the four of us, as one of the people from the Alumni office is also an alum, reminisce about my good old college, the nuns and everything.

Even though it's been less than a decade, there's been changes. The radio station I worked at is now gone. I'm not surprised by this. Interest in it was waning when I went there. One of my favorite English teachers has retired but the one nun who once said if she retired she'd die apparently has stayed true to her word and is still there! Oddly, they don't go to Sea dogs games during Senior Week any more...

My parents have finished reading my book. (Well, my mother has and my father is almost finished.) I stuck in references that only they'd know and they caught them. My father liked the pacing and commented that "I know the genre and don't deviate from it." I'm taking that as a compliment...

To fully understand what my plans are today, let me take you back to Thursday morning. I was hanging out in my boss' office, reading the paper while she was reading her email. She asks me if I had read a book called Buried because the genre was similar to mine though Young Adult. I said no and she said the author, Robin Merrow MacCready, was going to speak at the public library today. I was flabbergasted. "Robin Merrow MacCready!" I screamed. "She was my kindergarten teacher!" (I can't wait for Google to pick this entry up...) We haven't seen each other in almost 25 years so I'm excited. I think she'll remember me eventually as, in addition to being her student, my parents officiated at her wedding which I attended. If you'd like to know more about this story, email me...
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