20070911

Jade and Inigo


Jade and Inigo
Originally uploaded by sunhi
Testing the Blogging from Flickr feature.

*chirp*

It's so quiet around here and I'll tell you the truth about why. World of Warcraft and Flickr.

However, people have been questioning me about my 'secret' blog, so I figure I better continue to post so that when I share out the URL, it's not immediately apparent that I'm not blogging due to being a lazy geek.

So, I thought I'd talk about all the things I've been doing online:
  • Flickr. If you'd ever like an accurate representation of what I do in my life, it's Flickr. It contains my holidays, my cats, and my friends and family. Better than any blog I've ever had, it describes my life.
  • World of Warcraft. I might as well call it crack. I am already pulling away from it due to the fact that it forces me to interact with morons. I hate morons, but I love online video games. It's a sad, cruel contradiction.
  • Amazon. Every year or so I become obsessed with reviewing books and adding/refining my wishlist. This year, a month of Amazon Prime triggered it.
  • Reading entertainment blogs. These people make me realize that my opinions and ways of living might be weird, but I'm not alone.
  • Getting excited about the upcoming television season. It's kind of wrong, but I'm interested in at least four or five new shows this season. Pushing Daisies, Moonlight, Chuck, Journeyman. They all look interesting, if not good.
  • World of Warcraft. This shames me terribly. I can't discuss it other than to say that if you play on my server (Rexxar?), let me know. We can hang.

20070710

author note -- Laurell K. Hamilton

I'll admit to something that I'm not proud of. I love watching directors, writers, artists, anyone creative... well, I love watching them explode crazily on the internet. Seriously, good times, good times when Anne Rice crazily defended her books on Amazon. In fact, I love watching people who are clearly delusional slowly, or swiftly, fall apart on a national public forum.

It becomes even better when these people have crazy fans who defend them in classic fan boy or fan girl behavior. I'm not normally one to slow down for accidents on the side of physical roads, but with the metaphor of the internet as a super highway? I'd be stopped by the side of the road taking pictures and filming. I'm simply fascinated by crazy creators.

So, on that note, you might have heard of Laurell K. Hamilton. She writes porn. She used to write 'urban fantasies' that had police procedurials in an fantasy world. She writes straight out porn now, though. I, who almost never give up on series, have given up on her. Between the fact that I don't want to read porn and the fact that she writes porn about men I find unattractive (or even repulsive) and the fact that her porn is badly plotted, it's just not worth it. For the last year or two, I've kind of forgotten she's existed outside of trips to Barnes and Noble's fantasy aisle. Then, I wonder briefly who buys her, and I move on.

I'm apparently not the only one dissatisfied with her suck ass porns. She has something to say to everyone of us.

My books are logical, to me, understandable to the vast majority of my readers, but they are not neat, they are not utterly organized or clinical. They are big, messy books, a lot like life.

Well, I'll give you this, Ms. Hamilton. They are certainly are a hot mess. I'm not sure why you think this is a good thing, but it's clear you do. You are going crazy, 'ma petite', in much the same way Anne Rice did. You seem to believe that words come to your lips from some force of beautiful nature. You believe that the best selling status of your book means that you write well. Oh, Ms. Hamilton, that's just embarassing. I admit, some best sellers are good writers. Then there are the Robert Jordans and Anne Rices and Stephen Kings of the world. They wrote adequately at one point and the simplicity of their writing garnered them fans. That's what happened to you. You wrote easy novels that were also police procedurals and you wrote them during a time in which people were becoming obsessed with urban fantasies and vampire romances. I'm not saying there's something wrong with writing easy to read novels or for striking when the iron is hot. (In fact, Nora Roberts writes simple to read books and occasionally I love her for it.)

You do not write well. You've never written well. You wrote adequately. You wrote with enough skill to make me believe you could and would improve into a good writer. Instead, the opposite has occurred. You've become a bad writer. Further, you seem horribly insulted that people are stating so in public.

Lastly:
My characters are real to me in a way that makes me miss them. For God's sake, I'll be in the mall and see something, and go, "Oh, it's the perfect gift for (fill in the blank)." I've been in line with the present in my hand, before I go, "Wait, these are make believe people. I can't buy them a Christmas present." I guess I could, but there's no way to give it to them.

Dude, hit a doctor. If you are starting to believe the people you write about are real? It's worrying.

So, if you happen to see any train wrecks on the internet today? Send me a link, 'kay?

20070709

pop culture notes

it's been a while since my last review and I need to review a few movies I've seen since that time, I've decided to skip reviewing and make some pop culture comments.

- I'm sick of people nattering on about the Phillies' 10k losses. SHUT UP! Yes, our city has the most losingest team in all of history. Also? "Now, as the 21st century begins, the Phillies are the oldest, continuous, one-name, one-city franchise in all of professional sports." Boot to the head to the next persion to mention 10k losses. (Phillies Official Site)

- Woah, Angel II, also known as Moonlight, will have Jason Dohring in it. Oh, Jason, my love for you is eternal. As apparently your character is. I've gone from mocking Angel II with all my heart to adding it to my to be TIVO'ed list.(Hollywood Reporter)

- My boss and I have sworn that we will both see the Golden Compass at midnight on the day it is released to theatres. Doesn't the casting look brilliant? I normally hate casting big names solely to cast big names, but they managed to pick people who looked almost exactly like the characters I imagined.

- Has anyone else seen and been intrigued by the latest JJ Abrahams trailer? Has Lostzilla gotten loose from the island?

20070703

movies i've watched -- ocean's thirteen

Ocean's Thirteen

First, let me say that I'm happy that I'm doing this review. I feel like all my reviews are negative, though I know they're not. I don't have unreasonable standards. I just do not unabashedly love everything. My husband often indicates I'm a downer on things, and I don't want people to believe that I hate a lot. I'm just oddly and strongly opinionated about my entertainment. I would like it to be good across the board.

Speaking of good entertainment, when I first saw the new Ocean's Eleven, I was genuinely surprised by how much I liked it. I was expecting so little and I received so much in return. This created my huge personal expectations for Ocean's Twelve, which failed me. So, for the third movie, called Ocean's Thirteen, I had mid-range expectations which were met and perhaps exceeded.

The actors did a fine job with their acting. Did I get the feeling that they were all professionals who make a lot of money and can be friendly with one another? Yes. Perhaps this is not so much a stretch from the truth, even. Did I find the schemes clever? Yes, though not so much as I found the schemes in the first one. Was the film gorgeously shot and stylish? Yes, even more so than the other two combined. All in all, I was happy to see it even if I don't think I'll be buying it for myself on DVD.

I did not get anything deep or meaningful out of this movie, but I wasn't expecting anything deep and meaningful. I did get sparkling dialogue and a gorgeous set and terrific camera work. That's enough for me. Go check it out. I won't say you'll love it, but you probably won't be disappointed.

As an aside, these movies (and Meet Joe Black) have been the only movies I've ever found to make Brad Pitt attractive to me. I'm all about stylish characters.

My rating: 7/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 70%

Other's Opinions:

Paul -- "That was good! I loved the look of the film."

20070621

movies i've watched -- fantastic four: rise of the silver surfer

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Here's the thing, I'll watch almost any comic book movie once. I saw the first Fantastic Four movie, Sin City, and everything else ever. I will one day see Ghost Rider. I will continue to watch comic book movies (other than any other Sin City movies) because I have a deep-seated enjoyment of comic book stories and they are mostly fun. Sometimes, this works out for me (X-Men 2 and Spiderman 2 spring to mind) and other times you're watching Sin City and hoping that your eyeballs don't start bleeding.

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer did not make my eyes bleed, but now that I've seen it, I never need to see (most of) it again. It was an improvement from the first movie, but it could hardly NOT be. The first movie was, in fact, so bad, that I've blocked it mostly from my mind. At one point the major and climactic villian from the first movie appears and I had to ask Paul who he was. Paul gave me a weird look and answered and I was like "Oh... yeah. I forgot that point of the first movie." I'm sure that in two years, I will have forgotten that he was in this movie. Perhaps they picked a bad actor for the role, perhaps the writing is truly bad, but he does not stick in my mind at all.

Jessica Alba is worrying in this film. She looks like a barbie, in both her skin shade and her strange facial features. I'm a little worried for her. She's so pretty. How is this happening to her? Also, perhaps I should avoid gorgeous women in comic book movies. Between her and Halle Berry, they play numerous horrid, horrid comic book characters in movies. I kind of wonder if the writers get lazy with the writing for these females simply because they believe their looks alone can make them sympathic and vibrant. Jessica, darling, please... Stop with the self-tanner. It's worrying.

The Thing was a lot better this movie. He was non-angsty, but also barely there. The Human Torch continues to be one of my favorite characters ever in comic book movies. He just enjoys being a fucking superhero. Why can't more comic book heroes just enjoy being a superhero? He's all, "Hey, check me out! I'm on fire!" One of the things that annoyed me most was everyone harping on how selfish and jerkish he was. The Invisible Woman, the most annoying, self-centered, self-righteous character of them all, constantly bitched about him. If he had set her on fire, I would have clapped. Dear Johnny, please ignore your suck ass friends and family. You're awesome.

Lastly, the Silver Surfer, was he cool? Answer, he was cool enough that I'd watch a film about him. However, I'd like it to just be about him. Or maybe about him and the Human Torch. Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman need to drop dead. At least they do in these movies.

My rating: 4/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 37%

Other's Opinions:

Paul -- Liked it enough. Was happy we saw it. "Jessica Alba is hot even if she looks like she's mostly composed of plastic."
Steven -- Liked it? I didn't get a real feel for him loving the movie, but perhaps I missed his crazy enthusiasm for it. Was disappointed, like Paul, by the lack of a final fight/battle between the Silver Surfer and Galactus.
Paula -- "It was fun."
Tom -- "What do you have against the Transformers movie, STEVE?" Tom didn't want to discuss the movie so much as Steven's non-intention to see Transformers.

Whispered Aside Made During Movie:

"The Invisible Woman is orange. She needs to lay off the self-tanner."

20070615

my cats like to mentally fuck with me

About a week ago, Paul was petting Inigo and looking at her fur, when he said to me, "She's got a flea." Now, if you're a catowner, you know the terror this sentence can cause, especially if you're an experienced catowner.

If you've had a flea-ridden cat before, you know that you will have all the joy of: bathing a cat, combing a cat daily, putting a collar on a cat, and washing all of your bed sheets and rugs numerous times.

So, first, Paul and I flea spray our cats. I, stupidly, decided to buy an environmentally friendly flea spray. (I'm not a dirty hippie, I swear. I don't even own anything that smells vaguely of patchouli.) It smelled hideous and the scent stuck the cats' fur, to me, to our bedding, and to the walls of the house. After three days, our cats were still scratching, scratching, scratching, so we took more drastic action and I bought some special flea and tic ridding shampoo.

That's when the real fun began.

If you'd like to think that washing an eight pound animal should be easy, I'd like to slap you. It takes both Paul and I to even dream of attempting it, and even then, we practically perform gymnastics as we manuever around the cat being washed. "No, move your hand so I can soap her right shoulder blade!" "Did you get underneath her back left paw?" "AUGH! She's trying to climb up my chest to get out of the sink!"

You try to wash a cat by yourself. They're mostly composed of joints and slick fur, all the better for escaping you and diving wet and miserable and shivering across your floor.

But, we did it. Then, last night, I came home. I think I like to picture our cats having this discussion.

Jade: I hear the car. Are you ready?
Inigo: I was born ready! I'm scratching. I'm scratching. Is she in the house yet?
Jade: She's not even out of the car yet, moron.
Inigo: Oh. I've stopped scratching.
Jade: START! START! She's coming up the driveway.
Inigo: SCRATCHING!
Jade: Shit, she's checking out the flowers on the side of the house. She can't see you anymore.
Inigo: Stopped scratching.
Jade: She's taking the longest route ever to the door.
Inigo: Now?
Jade: Not yet. Oh! Wait for it... Go, scratch in the window.
Inigo: She's looking at me through the window and she looks worried.
Jade: KEEP GOING!
Inigo: In she comes, haha, look at her face. Okay, I've stopped. Your turn!
Jade: Scratching on!
Inigo: HAHA, look at her. Hang on, I'll start too, now!
Jade: I think she's going to freak out. Keep scratching!

Paul and I have not yet found another bug on them. I really think they're just fucking with my head.

20070613

things i <3 and </3

<3:

Felines
Coffee
Glitter
Paul
Unironic use of <3
Milo Ventimiglia
Unicorns
Doodling
Tostitos
Stickers
Autumn
The number 4
Cake (food and band)
Veronica Mars
Sephora
80s tees

</3:
Bugs
People
Inane television
Events which disappoint me
Large ISPs and email providers

20070611

movies i've watched -- pirates of the carribean 3

Pirates of the Carribean 3

While walking out of this film, my friend Steven said, "I don't know why everyone is so down on this movie. It had its faults, but I liked it." Well said, Steven. I agree like no one's business. Sure, the movie was too long. Sure, I hate the character of Will Turner and Elizabeth's decision to marry him. Sure, the whole Calypso crap went nowhere.

But it was fun and stylish and silly and FUN, unlike the end of so many blockbuster trilogies I've seen. Spiderman 3 was "eh". X-Men 3 made me die a little inside. Pirates 3? I laughed a bit, smiled a lot, and just enjoyed the ride. (PUN TOTALLY F'ING INTENDED.)

I'd recommend that if you want some brainless entertainment, you check it out. It's over the top, but, damn it, it's a movie about pirates. It's supposed to be over the top. If anything, not over the top enough -- where were the ninjas?

So, go to the movie. Try not to fall asleep during Will's scenes. Try to pretend the Calypso plot goes somewhere or doesn't just fizzle out. Go with all the crazy plot twists and fights and weirdness. Laugh when you realize how the most awesome character is Barbossa. On the other hand, feel free to boo when Elizabeth and Will kiss. That's some annoying shit. I'm still campaigning for less romance in my movies.

Other's Opinions:

Paul -- Liked it a lot. Thought it was fun. Recommends for all people.
Steven -- Liked it a lot. Wondered why it got bad reviews.
Helen -- Felt the second and third movie brought the first one down. Wonders why they didn't stunt cast more for the pirate lords.

Whispered Aside Made During Movie:

"You see, if those were ninjas? The pirates would totally be losing."

My rating: 6/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 47%

20070607

television i watch(ed) -- gilmore girls

Gilmore Girls

There's a good chance you've seen this show at least once if you're female and have a sense of humor. You might not have cared for it, or you might have thought that one of the leads (Alexis Bledal) is a whiny brat, or you might have been convinced that the Gilmore Girls suck as friends. You're probably all around right, but I still loved this show for a season or two.

It was perfect in the beginning. The Gilmore Girls were funny, they had time for their friends, their relationships with each other and those they cared about were strong, and Dean seemed like the MOST perfect boyfriend EVER.

After that season, I asked if it could stay that good. It couldn't. It quickly became obvious that the true love story of the show was between Luke and Lorelei rather than Rory and Dean (or Rory and Jess or Rory and whoever the hell she's dating). Unfortunately, Amy Sherman-Palladino had to keep them apart so that the sexual tension/witty banter was still there. She also had to do it realistically.

Unfortunately, Amy is not a master of plotting. She's a terrific writer. The dialogue is fast, furious, pop-culture reference heavy, and funny. She's just not a great plotter and it showed more and more as the series went on. However, she's certainly more than passable with it in early Gilmore Girls.

I'll say right now that it's obvious that Amy loves books and musics and movies and it shows in the dialogue between characters. The dialogue and the beautiful acting of Lauren Graham make the show worth it.

Also, Kirk. Give this series a watch on DVD.

Rating: 8/10 (but only for the first three seasons, with a 8/10 or 9/10 for the first season)

Other's Opinions:

Paul -- Disliked Jess and began to wonder if my hatred of Dean was some kind of commentary on Paul himself. Thinks Lorelei is hot. Is totally correct -- Lauren Graham had hot hair and hot clothes in every single one of the first three season episodes.

<3:
  • Lauren Graham and her comic timing
  • Luke
  • Cute clothing all the time in this show
  • Jess had funny looking hair, but was hot. This made it easy for me to slip into love of Peter Petrelli.

    </3:
  • Alexis Bledel was no match for Lauren Graham
  • Rory is a whiny baby after first season
  • Dean who is a possessive stalkerish boyfriend eventually marries another woman and sleeps with Rory anyway.

    Interesting Side-notes:

    Being an ex-boyfriend of Rory is a good career jumping off point for a WB actor. "Dean", "Jess", and "Tristan" have all gone on to different shows which are doing relatively well.
  • 20070605

    television i watch(ed), part i

    Lost

    Beware of spoilers. I'm discussing the first three seasons of this show in full. Leave now if you haven't seen all of the seasons.

    Okay, I know you know about this show. Everyone does. People on Antarctica are asking each other what the hell is up with that smoke monster. Fish on the ocean floor wonder why they don't have the Dharma initiative logo on their butts. Somewhere, in space, aliens are beeping and bipping at each other about how Jack should just get over himself.

    Maybe you are like me and you've already sort of, kind of stopped caring. For instance, you found all of second season to be a wash, and you kind of wondered when Locke stopped being a bad ass, so you just kind of shut Lost out of your life. You didn't miss it, either. You were glad it and its lousy writing and its sucky plotting and Kate and Jack and Sawyer were gone from your life.

    Then, one day, you were flipping through TIVO's "Now Playing" and you realized you forgot to remove your season pass or your husband wouldn't let go of the ghost. Just as you were about to remove it, you recalled how incredibly awesome Sayid was, and you told yourself you'd watch an episode just to catch up on him and see if he's getting any new non-Shannon tail (and she was cool too, now that you recall that). Then, BAM, you're back in it. You do't want to be. You still hate Jack and Kate, but you just wish you had some damn answers. You don't get them even when you watch the next four episodes in a row.

    In fact, after you watch the Season 3 finale, you're left with more questions than answers, and a larger annoyance with Jack. (Really, does anyone like him? Do you? I might not like you if you like Jack. That's just a warning.) However, you already know that you're probably going to tune in for just a few moments of Season 4 because the powers that be cancelled Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars and left you with no shows to watch. (Bastards.) The writers might not be able to do dialogue, but they sure know how to leave you with questions you want answers to.

    Rating: 5/10 (7/10 if you take away Season 2 and early Season 3)

    Other's Opinions:

    Paul -- Hates that this show has suckered him into caring. Has been known to call Jack a tool when Jack appears on his screen. At first, I thought maybe I managed to bludgeon Paul into my opinion of Jack, but Paul normally condescends when I hate a character, so I must assume that Jack actually sucks.

    <3:
    Sayid
    Cool premise
    Locke (in early seasons)
    Sawyer (in the last episode I watched)

    </3:
    JACK
    Kate
    No answers to your questions ever
    Charlie (but he bit it and didn't suck in the end)
    JACK

    20070604

    pressure

    At Paul's birthday party, people started to make fun of me for my lack of a blog. I quickly pointed out that I have a blog, but I wasn't telling anyone about it until I have more posts that are interesting. So, I better write at least one blog entry a week that doesn't suck. This one doesn't count due to the fact that I'm just reminding myself I need to blog more.

    Things I Should Blog:

    Television Shows I Watch
    Movies I Love
    Books I Recently Read

    20070524

    buckle up

    My old website died. I stopped blogging about knitting. Thus, it makes sense that I would make this my new everything blog rather than making it my knitting blog. If you're subscribed to my blog because of knitting, I recommend unsubbing unless you love discussion of intelligent television (Heroes, Veronica Mars, BSG), books (anything, everything), Paul (my darling), and my friends. And me. Because everything is about me.

    It'll be interesting, just not for many knitters.