Friday, February 26, 2010

Another Mismash of Stuff

1. Last Saturday night I was invited to a party by a student at the Seminary where I work. He's housemates of sorts with a couple I know from church but most everyone I knew there was from work as the others from church had the "dual identity" as did. As the house was in my neighborhood, I walked down. I gave myself about 25 minutes and ended up being the first to arrive. I also ended up being one of the last to leave as the 9pm stop time happened and the dancing to Van Morrison happened. The there was an impromptu jam session so the party really didn't end until almost 10:30. Great time.

2. As some of you may remember we had a bed bug problem awhile back. Our movie-loving cook friend decided it was time for us to get furniture again so we went out recliner shopping. (Hey, if she was willing to pay...) We ended up getting a recliner AND a Canadian rocker. Both are awesomely comfortable.

3. On Sunday, we watched The Gift with Cate Blanchett. Given this was directed by Sam Raimi, I wasn't sure what to expect. It really not like Spider-man or Evil Dead. While I like both, this was a good thing I think. I was surprised this was co-written by Billy Bob Thorton but there was shades of Sling Blade so I guess... The cast was great. Keanu Reeves plays a great redneck alcoholic wife-beater. (Is that redundant?) Maybe his best role ever...

4. Last night we watched The Boy With Striped Pajamas about a boy ignorant of teh fact his father ran Nazi concentration camp. The ending was either very sad or morbidly, and ironically, comic depending on your personality. The acting was superb; I think award nominated...

5. Not long after we finished, the power went out due to a really nasty storm we had go through town yesterday. It was out about 2 hours.

6. So Spring Thaw, despite the fact the official deadline I was given was two months ago, is still not available to buy anywhere except the publisher's own site. I emailed the publisher 4 times and got no response any of the times. If I ever finish the third book, I'm not going back to them. Before I re-signed with them for this book, I checked into agents and came up empty. If you have any leads, I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Movie Deja Vu (Good-ish and Bad-ish)

Valentine's Day-If I had seen Love Actually, I probably would have really enjoyed this film. The acting was more than fine except maybe for both the Taylors. (Who's idea was it to make Taylor Lautner and Taylor Swift a couple anyway? Surreally lame.) There were several "surprises" in the movie. I figured out all but maybe two ahead of time. I feel stupid for not figuring out those two... I think director Gary Marshall's sister Penny could have done a better job on this movie...

Finally, a comparison of the soundtracks between Love Actually and this movie. Notice Maroon 5 being on both soundtracks. (Not a fan.) Also, fewer covers on the Love Actually soundtrack. (Eva Cassidy sounds just like Christine McVie on "Songbird.") Bottomline: Richard Curtis put so much thought into the soundtrack that process is a bonus feature on the DVD. I don't feel that from Marshall. Bottomline on the movie itself: If this was an SAT analogy, this movie compared with Love Actually is like comparing American Cheese to Sharp Cheddar. Edible but which would you rather have in your grilled cheese sandwich?

Secondly, I also saw this first installment of Percy Jackson and Olympians: The Lightning Thief. Chris Columbus brings you another Harry Potter-esque book-to-film. You have a teenager with powers who doesn't know his background or parentage. He has a male and female sidekick. That's really where the comparisons end. Percy starts off as smart-alecky right off the bat while Harry doesn't get to this level until like book four. Grover isn't Ron. He inexplicably understands the mortal world and doesn't whine. Annabeth is more like Hermione but comes from a less sheltered environment maybe? I've never read the books so I can't compare them on that level but I prefer this movie series already. I do have a question though: how does Pierce Brosnan fit his self-described "horse's ass" in a wheelchair? And why do persons of authority (Like Greek Gods) always have a British Isles accent?

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Africa: Fact And Technically Fiction

Last weekend, I watched more research material. Somewhat anyway. After watching The International, I wanted to see The Interpreter, a movie the former supposedly was a rip off from. I didn't see that at all. Sure one had Nicole Kidman and the other had her best friend Naomi Watts but that's really where the similarities end. Sean Penn here reminded me more of Kevin Costner than Clive Owen.

And while setting it at the UN, that was really as "global" as it got. It was a great film in it's own right. I have to give a shout out to my book group for understanding the plot's real life origins. If I hadn't read When A Crocodile Eats the Sun I probably would have said Mandela as someone I watching it with did. No, the dictator threatened was clearly based on Robert Mugabe. Some of you will probably laugh but it also reminded me of the Manchurian Candidate...and Star Trek VI...

On Thursday, I went with the Seminary community downtown to hear the Soweto Gospel Choir. There was reception a a local restaurant that used to be a Methodist church. Unlike the imagined fare at Alice's Restaurant, this was a fancy place. A glass of pino grigio was six bucks! There was a pasta bar and appetizers. While mosty chicken, one of the other apps was a duck confette taco. While better than I thought, it was a bit too chewy for my tastes.

The concert itself was awesome. There were times it was easier to understand when they sang in South African than in English but still awesome nonetheless. I'm glad they let us get up at the end and dance. My seat was fantastically dead center orchestra section.

I end this post with something completely unrelated: I finished a Christmas book. After Michael Crichton died, a final novel was found in his files. I'm curious to know the story behind that, did he die before he could tell anyone? Did he write it and shelve it because he wasn't satisfied? Or did the publisher get all "It's not a techno thriller!" I know John Grisham has had similar arguments...

Pirate Latitudes is a pirate novel set in 17th Century Caribbean; mostly Jamaica. While there was no bibliography with this book, Crichton is one of the few authors who definitely his research so the historical details were very convincing. The plot: A privateer English captain is assigned to attack a Spanish stronghold. It was a fast moving and engaging tale and a welcome break from the book group...

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Because I'm A Lemming...

This wouldn't fit as my status on Facebook so here it is...

Go to Type your first name into the search bar, and then post the FIRST entry about it. Copy, paste, share!

Joshua is a sexy, masculine individual exuding the most desirable of traits. Although Joshua may be timid at first, his genuine and compassionate charm shine through above all things. He can be trusted with any secret and will always pull through even when the going gets tough. His understanding and supportive nature can put anyone at ease as he is never judgmental but rather always willing to listen with an open mind. He is the epitome of a true man.

My boyfriend is an absolute Joshua.

epitome sexy handsome masculine timid
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