Thursday, June 30, 2005

Cowboy got some scar tissue and a mole removed from his chin this week. I'm hoping the horizontal incision and stitches will leave him with a sexy scar like Harrison Ford's. But knowing Cowboy's uncanny healing powers, he'll probably have no scar. Maybe I should change his nickname to Wolverine.

ED and I went to see Batman Begins last night. She loved it, of course. She thinks it's as good as X2. I think it's about as good as X-Men, but not as good as X2. I like it better than both Spider-man and Spider-man 2 though.

My Mom is coming to visit us next week. She's flying in on Tuesday, so if I'm suddenly silent for about a week, that'll be why. I haven't seen her since last July, so I'm really looking forward to her arrival :-) And Cowboy is so sweet about it too--he gets along pretty well with her, which is great. He's always really cool about having my brother over here during my bro's college breaks too.

I seem to have a giant bruise on my left knee, but it doesn't hurt when I poke it, and I have no idea how it got there.

I'm very very very stuck in my novel right now. Every time I think I'm getting somewhere, I bog down and end up hating what I wrote. Grr. Plus, I'm kinda stuck in my current Combat! fanfic story too. Not as badly though.

Sad news: Civil War historian/writer Shelby Foote died on Monday :-(

Cowboy is still asleep. We've been married 3 years, and I can still be amazed by his ability to sleep forever and ever. We were up late today--didn't get to sleep until noon. I woke up at 9pm, and I've been doing email and stuff since then. 

The first season of Remington Steele is coming out on dvd next month! I've only ever seen the pilot ep, and it's magnificent, of course. How can it not be? It's Pierce Brosnan, being roguish and charming!

Cowboy just woke up. Hooray!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Ever dream of becoming Supreme Dicatator for Life? Who hasn't, right? Heh heh heh...anyway, if you have any aspirations at all of someday ruling the universe, or some substantial chunk of it, you absolutely have to read The Evil Overlord List. In fact, if you just happen to watch or read sci-fi and/or fantasy, you will spend a sizeable chunk of time giggling maniacally over this list, and the two lists that branch off from it.

Cowboy also linked to this, but there are several people (Lanyn, Lily Snape, Freestargirl) who read this and probably don't read his blog, but who will definitely enjoy the list :-D

Saturday, June 25, 2005

I finally figured out how to add a links section to my blog! Well, I sort of figured part of it out, and Noumenon helped with the rest (since he actually knows something about html). So on the left side of my blog, you'll now find links to my friends' blogs :-D Hooray!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

"Batman Begins" (2005) -- Initial Thoughts

Batman Forever has long been my favorite movie about the Dark Avenger. Long, as in more than ten years. To me, Val Kilmer is Batman. Chris O'Donnell is Robin. I've seen Batman, Batman Returns, and Batman and Robin as well, but none of them struck the same responsive chord on my heartstrings. I could imagine no better representation of the Dynamic Duo than that put forth in Batman Forever.

Until I saw Batman Begins tonight, that is. Of course, there's no Robin, and that's quite the downside for me, since traditionally I like him better than Batman. And while Ken Watanabe and Liam Neeson are great as the badguys, I like them much better as goodguys...

But those are my only two complaints. Christian Bale is broodingly brilliant as Bruce Wayne and Batman. Some actors only pull one side off: I think Michael Keaton was better as Bruce Wayne than as Batman, and I feel the reverse about George Clooney. Only Val Kilmer and Christian Bale have worked as both sides of the coin for me.

SPOILAGE ALERT! Read no farther if you haven't yet seen Batman Begins, intend to, and don't want stuff spoiled!

I love seeing the early days of Batman, before he got good at his gig. He makes mistakes. Not a lot, but some. And he doesn't get the girl in the end, which is A-OK with me because I don't care much for Katie Holmes anyway (a crooked smile is enchanting when worn by Indiana Jones, but it does nothing for her). In fact, when I thought they were gonna end up together, I didn't get the warm cuddlies--I got the screeching alarm that sounds in my head every time someone makes me watch Breakfast at Tiffany's. The "this relationship will not work!" alarm. I nearly cheered when they didn't hook up!

But enough about the gooshy stuff...this movie is full of solid butt-kicking action that I mostly loved, except when the camera got in too close and things got confusing (I have a similar complaint about the light-saber battles in Revenge of the Sith; I want to yell at the cameramen, "Back up! Back up! I can't see what's going on!").

My only other complaint is a minor one: the Batmobile looks funny. It's supposed to be sleek and shiny and sexy. It's not.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

My favorite recurring guest character on M*A*S*H is Colonel Flagg, the FBI/CIA/Intelligence man. He totally cracks me up! We just watched the season 5 ep "The Abduction of Margaret Hoolihan", in which he said: "Nobody can get the truth out of me because even I don't know what it is. I keep myself in a perpetual state of utter confusion." We laughed so hard, I had to rewind it twice to hear the dialogue that came next! I think I'm mostly tickled by the way he can say the most ridiculous, nonsensical things totally deadpan. That and he gets the weirdest dialogue.

And I just found out (via, one of my favorite websites) that the guy who plays Flagg, Edward Winter, was in an episode of Mathnet, the Dragnet-esque segment of Square One, which I adored when I was a kid! I think I vaguely remember the character he played ('Clarence Sampson' in "The Problem of the Missing Baseball")...

Friday, June 17, 2005

As you well know by now, I love Angel. Both the show and the character, actually. Anyway, if you ever watched the show, or if you at all like Angel and/or Spike, you have to check out this awesome comic, based on the Season 5 ep "Smile Time". Yeah, the one where Angel gets turned into a puppet. It's better than the professional comics you can buy in stores! (Many thanks to Noumenon for linking to it on his blog, which is how I found it).

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

"Beyond the Sea" (2004) -- Initial Thoughts

It's no secret that I love the music of Bobby Darin. Maybe 'love' is too mild and common a word. 'Adore' doesn't quite work either. 'Worship' seems a bit... blasphemous. Maybe I'll settle for 'delight in'. I delight in the music of Bobby Darin. I revel in it. I let it tickle my toes and wash through my fingers. I absorb it; I breathe it in like incense; I soak in it with greatest bliss. 

I just saw Beyond the Sea tonight. Yeah, the semi-biopic about Bobby Darin that stars Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth, and John Goodman. They got Spacey to look quite a bit like Bobby, and he moves so much like him it's scary. Spacey does his own singing, which I was a little worried about. But he's brilliant! He perfectly mimics Bobby's unique timing and signature vocal quirks. He even nails that little husky purr that always melts me. His voice is pleasant, but not magical like Bobby's. 

I cried at the end of the movie. I didn't think I would; obviously, I know how it's gonna end, right? Bobby Darin died. Fact. But when the audience at the Flamingo started grooving to his song, I choked up. When they hit their feet, I was a goner. And then when he launched into "The Curtain Falls" me, they were tears of pure, unsullied joy. Joy that this movie fulfilled and surpassed all my hopes and expectations. 

Now, please understand that this movie is not a strict portrayal of the life of Bobby Darin. No no no. It's rather a celebration of the music and magic that Bobby gave to us. But it's not a total fictionalization, like Hans Christian Anderson. It's kind of a romantic retelling of his magnificent tale of triumph. 

I've delighted in Bobby Darin's music since the first time I heard his version of "Mack the Knife" on the radio on July 7, 1997. The following day, I bought a cassette tape of his music; during my first hearing of those 8 or 10 songs, I felt certain this voice, this music would consume me. 

Twenty cds, several movies, and three original vinyl LP records later, my delight has not abated.
I love my drive home from work. It's full of trees, farms, and gently rolling hills. In the summer, it reminds me of back home in the Brushies of NC, except not quite as mountainous. But there are enough bluffs around that I can almost believe I'm home sometimes. The trees are lush, and when it rains they look ancient and young at the same time. And in the winter, the snow makes the bare branches look like something from a fantasy movie--glimmery and crystalline and fragile. I only get to enjoy it on the way home though, because it's dark outside when I go to work. In the winter, after Christmas, sometimes we go on short hours and then I'm driving home before it gets light and I don't get to enjoy the scenery at all.

There's only thing I don't like about my drive: deer are everywhere!!!! Okay, maybe not everywhere, but I see at least one a week, and during the spring and fall it's more like one a night. So far I haven't hit any, and I hope God keeps it that way. I think it helps that I don't speed. I have enough reaction time to slow down or swerve when necessary.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

"Revenge of the Sith" (2005)

I've seen Revenge of the Sith three times so far. Guess you could definitely say I like it :-D I'm especially pleased that Hayden Christianson has learned to act (and gotten h-o-t!). There are moments when he looks so much like Mark Hamill it's kinda scary. How'd Lucas do that? Cast some kid as Anakin for Episode II knowing that he'd grow up in a few years to look like Luke? Also, his fighting style is really reminiscent (preminiscent?) of Luke's, especially his wide-legged stance. I find those foreshadowings much more interesting than blatant things like Padme wearing the cinnamon-bun Leia hairdo, or how the ships sorta foreshadow the original trilogy's Tie Fighters, X-Wings, and Star Destroyers.

But I've discovered 2 inconsistencies with the original trilogy. If you've read these elsewhere, sorry. I haven't read them anywhere else, so they're original to me (I haven't really done any digging online for SW stuff, cuz I've been too busy watching it in the theater).

1. In Return of the Jedi, Leia says she remembers her mother a little, at least some images of her. But Padme dies in childbirth! Wow, quite the memory Leia has!

2. In The Empire Strikes Back, when Luke leaves Dagobah, Obi-Wan says "That boy was our only hope," and Yoda replies, "No, there is another." Um, Obi-Wan is totally present at the birth of the twins, and involved in giving them to their new caretakers. Of course, he could be getting a little A New Hope, he can't seem to remember ever owning a droid (but I think he's just being silly there).

Despite these two inconsistencies, I still like Revenge of the Sith. As Cowboy pointed out to me, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Joss Whedon have both had their inconsistent moments I guess George Lucas can be forgiven...

My only disappointment with this movie is that there's no little 10-year-old Han Solo running around somewhere, making trouble or something. Come on, all the other major characters from the original trilogy get to be in it, but not my rogue Han? :-(

Friday, June 03, 2005

Tonight I watched "Hills are for Heroes" for the first time in probably 6 years (I could look it up in my journals to confirm that, but I'm too lazy right now). "Hills" is a two-part Combat! episode usually ranked as the finest in the series. Vic Morrow directed it himself (he plays my beloved Sgt. Saunders), Gene L. Coon wrote it (yeah, "the other Gene" of Classic Star Trek), and every actor in it turned in a superlative performance.

"Hills are for Heroes" is not an 'enjoyable' episode. Most of it involves Kirby yelling at Lt. Hanley, Sgt. Saunders trying to calm them both down, and lots of soldiers dying as Second Platoon tries and tries and tries to take a hill commanded by two Nazi pillboxes. It's essentially an anti-war war movie, illustrating the futility and senselessness of war. Even if you don't know the characters at all, you can understand the different tensions between them, their frustrations and worries and fears. It'd make a great initial ep to show people who don't know the show, except that it's kinda depressing (it would've been the first I showed to Noumenon and the Chameleon, except it's in Season 4, which I only acquired about a week ago).

I love this ep for many reasons; when I list my favorite C! eps, it comes in third or fourth, usually. I think what I love most about it is the fact that no matter what is going wrong in my life, watching "Hills" always makes me feel better. It reminds me that things could be a whole lot worse. I wasn't particularly unhappy when I watched it today, I just wanted to see it since I think the last time I watched it was the summer of 1999. Back then, I watched it for its cathartic value, because I was in a pretty dismal place. I'd just finished my first year of college and was home for the summer. I was having a hard time finding a job, I missed my new friends, and I'd just found out for sure that a guy I'd liked a lot for 7 years did not reciprocate my feelings. Finally, one night, I curled into a miserable lump on my bed and watched "Hills are for Heroes" after everyone else at home was asleep. I realized my life was actually pretty good--at least I wasn't crawling around in the dirt getting shot at. Things looked up after that. I got a job, my friends and I talked on the phone a lot, and I met a new guy who was really nice and maybe kinda sorta liked me...