Monday, January 31, 2005

My hair's been kind of dull and flat and dry lately (I have a LOT of hair, btw, for anyone who might read this that doesn't know me personally). So I picked up these little 88-cent packs of Aussie 3-Minute-Miracle stuff from work. They're supposed to add life and lustre to your hair, blah blah blah. So tonight I used it in the shower. Hair's still too wet yet to tell if it helped, but that's not the point.

The point is the horrific mediciney-grape smell the stuff had. As soon as I smelled it, I instantly remembered this traumatic grape-flavored cough syrup my parents forced me to take when I was a kid. Cardec. Ugh! The name still induces shivers of revulsion, and I haven't taken Cardec since I was like 11. My parents actually had to sorta bribe us to take it: they'd give us a swig of soda after we downed a dose. We didn't get to drink much soda ('pop' to you Yankee types) when I was a kid, so that was a pretty big treat. Although it was usually just Mom's Diet Dr. Pepper, which is not the most kid-oriented flavor in existence.

So there I was, 24 years old, standing in my shower in Wisconsin...but suddenly, thanks to that wretched grape smell, I felt like I was 8, standing in the dimly-lit Michigan kitchen, screwing my courage to the sticking point. Readying myself for the nauseating whiff of Cardec. Steeling myself against the terrible grape flavor. I'd grab the little plastic cup, bolt down the Cardec (seriously, I probably looked like I was doing shots of tequila), and then grope blindly (squinching my eyes shut made Cardec taste less egregious) for the red plastic glass that held my chaser of Diet Dr. Pepper.

Unless this 3-Minute-Miracle does truly marvelous things to my hair, I'm never using it again just cuz it makes me remember Cardec. Zeus, I hated that stuff!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Well, it's happened again. I've been converted. I now slobber over someone I once swore to dislike forever.

The first time this happened was in the mid-90's. I didn't like Tom Cruise, because he was too cute and too popular. I thought he was just a piece of beefcake that silly girls drooled over, with no talent or real reason to be so popular. Then I saw Mission: Impossible...

And my gal pals all adored Brad Pitt. They had posters of him everywhere, had to watch every movie he made...I was revolted. I refused to even acknowledge that he might be attractive. Until I saw Meet Joe Black as a sophomore in college, that is. And was blown away by his acting ability and actual attractiveness.

Now it's Matt Damon. He's disgusted me for years! I've vociferously denounced him as just another pretty boy who makes flighty movies while pretending to be a serious actor. I was unimpressed by his turn in Saving Private Ryan. He did amuse me in Ocean's Eleven and Ocean's Twelve, but only because he was unsuave and unskilled. I saw him playing the antithesis of my perceptions of him, and it made me giggle. But tonight I watched The Bourne Identity. And now I sit in a pool of my own drool, sheepishly admitting that the man can act. And act charmingly!

Plus, okay, how am I not gonna love a movie with a magnificent car chase like that! I mean, it had to be the best I've seen since Bullitt in terms of realistic, gritty car chases. Altho it's been a few years since I saw Ronin, and I remember liking that one quite a lot as well. And I really should see The French Connection sometime as I heard there's a sweet one in that. But the car chase in The Bourne Identity--zowie!

You can't really compare these 'realistic' chases with the ones in James Bond movies, by the way. I'm highly fond of those as well, but their appeal lies in being so over-the-top and unbelievable that you just have to grin and go with it. My fave of those has to be Bond in a tank chasing a tiny European car in Goldeneye.

Monday, January 17, 2005

How about a little stroll down memory lane? Here are entries from my journals from the last ten years. I sort of chose the most interesting and representative from between Jan 16-19 for each year, that's why the dates vary. Also, during college I only journaled once or twice a week, so sometimes I had only one from that time frame anyway...oh, and I edited names mentioned to fit with my ultra-paranoid & highly silly code, just FYI (ie I don't always write 'Cowboy' when I mention my husband, I usually write his actual name)

@9:26am Fri/Sat, 1-16-04
After Cowboy left for work, I folded the laundry and watched A Streetcar Named Desire. No one but Brando should ever play Stanley Kowalski. Although I remember reading the play in high school & I think it ended differently. Hmm. Anyway, while I was at work tonight it rained & sleeted, and it took me 25 min today to chip off the layer of solid ice from the car windows before I could drive home. We watched more M*A*S*H with supper. If you heat up Dr. Pepper and drink it poured over a slice of lemon, it tastes exactly how I always imagined hot tea should taste.

@11:09pm Sat, 1-18-03
Today we slept in, had oatmeal for breakfast, and then I went to work to get in some overtime. After that I went to the library down the hill and also to the mall (there were sidewalk sales!). After I got home, Pebbles called and we chatted a bit. Cowboy & I had liver & onions for supper and watched The Second Stain (another delicious Sherlock Holmes starring Jeremy Brett). Then we repotted the spider plant I've had since I was 9, because it acquired some sort of nasty mold when we lived in Larson and had never recovered. Oh, I got a letter from Christy M. (in MI) yesterday! Anyway, I watched Trading Spaces tonight, and then ED & MB came over and we all watched Much Ado About Nothing (except Cowboy, who decided to play his Civ II computer game instead). "Man is a giddy thing."--Benedick in Much Ado...

@1:20am Fri, 1-18-02
After classes, I took Tammy to the post office. Later, ED, Cowboy, & I went to see The Fellowship of the Ring! This was my third time, and I kept noticing new things! For instance, I picked up on Boromir's darling fondness for Merry and Pippin more this time. And the suspicion that after Boromir dies, Aragorn takes his wriest things--it's confirmed :-D Anyway, we ate supper at the VV, then watched The Adventures of Baron Mancheusan. Don't ask, it was...weird. Then we found Arnold Schwartzeneggar's first movie (on AMC!)--Hercules in New York. Very funny :-) Now ED & I are watching The Newton Boys. Since we're both roommateless (Mandles & MB are both in Choraliers, and at the Retreat Center this weekend), ED's staying up here tonight. Mmm, Matthew McCounaghy (sp?) is delicious, he surely is.

@2:26am Fri, 1-19-01
MY LIFE SUCKS! Okay, last weekend, the Choraliers group went to the Retreat Center to rehearse. On the way up there, we watched Chicken Run. Tuesday, Cowboy & I watched Angel. Wed, ED & Pebbles went to Iowa, and Pebbles and Chris broke up. Yesterday they came back, we had a big discussion, and now I'm going to move in with Mandles this weekend. ED & Pebbles (who are suddenly best buds and have decided Cowboy & I are too much) are in Iowa again right now. Cowboy & I went to see Miss Congeniality together tonight. Right now it's us vs. everyone.

@3:01pm Monday, 1-17-00
The first week of classes went by fast! Oh, I'm keeping a daily journal for Creative Writing, so for now this will probably end up as just a place to record movies & tv & books. This week & weekend we watched Deep Blue Sea, Anne of Green Gables, part of Real Genius, part of Space Balls, Stagecoach, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles I, With Honors, of course Friends on Thurs, and ED & Pebbles & I went to see Girl, Interrupted. Oh, I saw The Long Kiss Goodnight at Mandle's too.

Let's see, this past week we saw a Blind Man's Bluff concert and fell in love with them! They're an acapella group and sooooo awesome. H-o-t too :-D. This weekend we watched Gone with the Wind, Lethal Weapon (I'm in love! Mel is so crazy & sexy!), and Dirty Dancing. We had Choraliers practice today. I started reading Citizen Soldiers by Stephen E. Ambrose for Lit.

Saturday, 1-17-98
Yesterday Mom & I walked. At 3:30pm, we met at the extension office to go to...Winterfest!! Heidi, LTD, Linsey, Alesha, Jaimi, Michael, Tait, Burke, & Cody went from our county. We ate supper at Taco Bell. We then went to Appalachian Ski Resort. I ice-skated for the first time. It is hard! I liked it though. Then we all went to the extension office in Boone. (Everyone from the other counties in our district too). From 11 to 1 we had a dance. Yeah, I even danced! We slept from 2-7:30. After breakfast we played two crowdbreaker/leadership games. Then we had Pizza Hut pizza for dinner. Finally we paired off and wrote children's books for day care centers as our community service project. We got back to Taylorsville around 3pm today. I really had a lot of fun. Tonight my family & I went to a community concert. It was called Elite Syncopation. It was awesome ragtime music! Man, I am bushed.

Friday, 1-17-97
When we woke up this morning, to our dismay we discovered that our water pipes froze last night. Nevertheless, I walked downstairs and finished reading Stoner's Crossing by Judith Pella (it was extremely good). We did art this morning. I finished this great picture of a buffalo skull, etc. We did school until 3:30 this afternoon, at which time we all went to Hickory. At Media Play I ordered the Fugitive soundtrack cd for only $9.99! We also went to Wal-Mart and K-Mart. I sent a letter to Christy today. Oh, I bought a magazine for LTD's birthday at K-Mart. When we got home, we watched an Andy Griffith. Then we watched 2 Rifleman episodes (one had Dan Blocker in it!). Then Dad had to study, so Mom, Johnnycake, & I watched the Dr. Quinn episode Heidi loaned us. Matthew arrested Sully for robbery, and Sully has to serve a 3-week jail sentence! :-( Then we watched an Early Edition on the same tape. I must agree with Heidi: Gary Hobson (Kyle Chandler) is handsome in a cute way. Oh, our pipes finally unfroze.

I walked downstairs today. We did school. I had art class at Patricia's. I'm reading a book called Like a Lady. Then we all went to Hickory. I bought some paints & stuff at Jo-Belle's first of all. Then we went to Media Play. It's always very neat in there. There Dad bought Rio Grande (J.W., M.O'H.) and Mom bought It's Always Fair Weather!!! We've been searching for the latter for several years. Gene Kelly dances on roller skates in it! Then we went to the mall, and I bought "Journey to Babel" (Star Trek) at Reel Collections. I've wanted to see that particular episode for ages. Then we ate at Ragazzi's (actually, I think that was before the mall). We also went to Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, K-Mart, and Brendle's. This is definitely an A+ day!

I went and helped at storyhour this morning. This afternoon I got my eyes checked for drivers-ed. Mom is getting the cold. Johnnycake & I taped some songs with my radio tonight.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Baby, it's cold outside! Both yesterday and this morning as I came home from work, the bank thermometers read -6!! Yesterday there was a windchill of -19, but I think it's less today. Yikers! When I stepped out into the parking lot this morning, my first breath felt like it frosted the lining of my lungs. I think I've been watching too much CSI: Miami, cuz I had a sudden vision of frosty air entering my nostrils and whooshing down my nasal passages and into my lungs, turning everything it passed white and crackly. On my way to the car, I passed some frozen eggs. As in, someone had dropped 3 or 4 eggs on the parking lot, where they had then frozen. Ever seen frozen eggs? The yellows kinda shrank and wrinkled up, but the whites got foamy, like mildy-melted styrofoam. And yeah, I do know what styrofoam looks like when it gets a little toasty...let's just say my brother and I were very experimental and creative...

Hey, on a totally different subject, I finished the first draft of my Combat!/Angel fanfic crossover mystery! No, Housekarl, you can't read it yet. Not unless you want to beta it, that is ;-) But my C!-fanfic-list pal DII (aka Doc II) is beta-ing it for me. I think this is the first time I've had her beta anything for me, and I'm hoping she doesn't just do a "this is nice, I like this, this is nice" kind of beta. Not that I don't like finding out what parts work for my beta-er (and thus will probably work for my other readers)...but I really need to know what doesn't work. I don't feel I've been well and truly beta-d unless they've gotten me to argue with them over something, at least in my head.

Cowboy (aka Orance to some of you) is hungry, supper's ready, to the Angelmobile! Away!

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Bwa-ha-ha! My evil plots are succeeding! I've got all sorts of people that I love reading and watching all sorts of books, tv shows, and movies that I love!

My Cowboy just read The Indian in the Cupboard and is currently reading a Raymond Chandler mystery, Farewell, My Lovely.

My brother is reading Raymond Chandler.

The Housekarl has read The Indian in the Cupboard and a Raymond Chandler mystery, The Big Sleep. He's also watched two eps of Combat!.

The Chameleon is now an affirmed Combat! fan, has also read The Indian in the Cupboard, and I think is now reading Raymond Chandler's The Lady in the Lake.

And Banana has now seen, and liked at least somewhat even if she won't always admit it, all three Lord of the Rings movies!

So you see, I'm well on my way to world-domination, hee hee hee.

If only it was as easy for me to spread the Gospel as it is for me to tell people about books or movies or tv shows...

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

And now, a flashback into the earlier life of Hamlette:

My younger brother and I have loved Combat! since 1994, as I previously mentioned (I think). Being us, we just had to play Combat! we both bought these blue plastic M-1s (Sgt. Saunders, our hero, carries a Thompson M1), and we found army-green belt canteens (that never stayed fastened, for some reason). We got fake dog tags at the Smithsonian, and we wore white 'wife-beater' t-shirts under green button-down shirts, with khaki or green pants...we were really into it. We'd sit under our picnic table pretending it was a pillbox (if you crawl under there now, you can still see where I carved the "Kilroy" character with my pocket knife). We made fake 'handy-talkies' from Velveeta cheese boxes that we painted black. We took small cardboard boxes and would stick cheese and spam in them to use as our rations. It was loads of fun!

The best was this one Sunday afternoon when the folks were gone, and we decided to play Combat!. So we're both in full regalia, our faces blacked up with charcoal from Dad's grill. I'm hiding under this big bushy pine tree in our front yard, and my brother is over in the carport crouched behind a car. We're waiting to ambush some enemy soldiers. I'm like sixteen at the time, okay? And he's 12. This car pulls into our driveway, and out step this middle-aged couple, her wearing a skirt and him in a suit-coat. They've got pamphlets and books in their hands--obviously Jehovah's Witnesses or something similar, I realize. They go ring the front doorbell, and nobody answers, of course, cuz our parents are gone and we're outside. My brother peeks his head out from around the car and I give him the ok sign, so he comes out of hiding and starts around the corner of the house toward the front door. I crawl out from under my tree, bits of grass and twigs all over me, and we converge on the couple. I smile, and ask "Can I help you?" And these people just have no idea how to react. It rocked! They're like, "Uh, well, we're here to talk to you about blah blah blah." And I just grin, and say, "Well, my dad's busy right now, but he's a Lutheran pastor, and I'm sure he'd be happy to discuss theology with you, if you could come back at a more convenient time." I've got my blue plastic M1 tucked under my arm, I'm slouching, all Sgt. Saundersified. I'm trying soooo hard not to laugh! And the couple is like, "Oh, I see, yes, we'll just come back later then." They scurry back to their car and zip outta our driveway. We about died laughing! Ruined our ambush though.

Monday, January 03, 2005

I'm not terribly sorry to watch 2004 make its exit. It hasn't been a great year. In fact, in many ways, it's been a crap year. Really horrid things happened to me. My Grandma H. died. My dog Westley died. My second-favorite tv show, Angel, got cancelled. My favorite band, Creed, broke up. Cowboy didn't get into the Foreign Service.

But lots of good stuff happened in 2004 too. Banana and the Rescue Ranger got married. My parents celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary. I got a story accepted for publication in a magazine. We got Banana to watch the first Lord of the Rings movie and she liked it enough to want to see the following two! We got to watch all three LotR movies, the extended editions, back to back to back for the first time! I got addicted to the Harry Potter books. I found The Man from Snowy River on dvd for like $5! I posted lots of fanfic and got reinterested in my blog. I got the Chameleon to love Combat! And oh yeah...Combat! started getting released on dvd!!!

So it wasn't an entirely crap year after all. Just had more than the usual amount of sadness.