Thursday, December 28, 2006

"Rocky Balboa" (2006) -- Initial Thoughts

I went to see Rocky Balboa last night. For once the reviewers are right -- this movie harks back to the original Rocky in all the right ways. It's a quiet story of a gentle man with a kind heart and an amazing capacity to absorb many forms of pain. The film, and the main character, are full of a grace and dignity that compel you to love them for everything they are and forgive them for what they aren't. I cried many times during this movie -- at one point, I dont think my tears completely dried up for over five minutes.

You see, I grew up watching the Rocky movies. They, with The Man from Snowy River, are my earliest movie-memories. I cannot remember a time when I didn't know and love these movies and their characters. And so, seeing Rocky Balboa as a middle-aged father of a grown child, as a man trying to figure out how he fits into today's world... well, it was almost like watching my own father getting older, facing uncertainties with admirable courage and strength of character.

Only one thing bugged me about Rocky Balboa, and that's how they filmed the big final fight. The rest of the movie was shot very classically, with "normal" camera angles and movements, but the fight went all flashy modern HBO pay-per-view and silly. I know they were trying to emphasize the juxtaposition between the way boxing (and life) were in Rocky's heyday and in modern times, but I wish they would have eased off on the modernity and allowed the audience a good old-fashioned Rocky boxing match. At least the final round was more normal, with the action building in a steady crescendo to the final triumphant blows.

Oh, and they never mentioned this in the movie (or if they did, I missed it), but it sure looked to me like Rocky got to battle a fellow southpaw! I wish they'd mentioned that, since I seem to remember that in at least one of the original movies, Rocky's opponents were disconcerted by the fact they'd be fighting a lefty. And, for Rocky, this had to be interesting, because not often do southpaws get to fight other southpaws. I'm sure the strategies had to be a little different, and I wish the training montage had been a little longer and included this sort of thing.

Anyway, really lovely movie that I definitely will buy when it comes out. Now I want to go back and rewatch the first four (I, like many, don't consider Rocky V to be part of the true canon) and pick up threads of continuity that I may have forgotten, as it's been a while since I watched any of them.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

I got snow for Christmas! Woooo! Okay, it's not exactly Christmas yet, and it's not exactly the kind of snow I wanted, but it's Christmas Eve and the ground is white, so close enough! Actually, it's a really hard frost with a light dusting of snow over it so, as I drove home from work this morning, the grass and trees and rooftops looked white, and if I squinted it looked like real Christmasy snow :-D And stretching above the whiteness was a dawn as rosy-fingered as any that ever glowed over the fields of Troy. The whole morning was like a Christmas present from God just for me.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Do you know what it is doing outside the Crypt right now? It is raining. Flamin' raining! On December 21st! The grass is turning green! It's 40 degrees out! Pretty soon the trees will start to bud!

This is completely not fair! What is the point of living all the way up in flamin' Wisconsin if I can't have a white Christmas? I might as well move back to North Carolina!

Hmph. It's almost enough to make me feel a little Scroogish.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Just because these are so funny....

I, Hamlette, being of sound mind, hereby bequeath my entire estate to the Town Drunk. I do this because I like the cut of their jib.

My only regret in this life was that I didn't cry in the corner enough.

'What will your Last Will and Testament say?' at

I, White Queen, being of sound mind, hereby bequeath my entire estate to a wet mop. I do this because I want to support their efforts to take over the world.

My only regret in this life was that I wasn't evil enough.

'What will your Last Will and Testament say?' at

Thursday, December 14, 2006

"What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the world, the paragon of animals!" --Hamlet, Act II Scene 2

Yesterday I opened a can of sweetened condensed milk in preparation to make some tasty treats to send in Christmas packages to family and friends. As we all know, sweetened condensed milk is very tasty. As we also know, Hamlette has an uncanny knack for injuring herself in stupid, bizarre, or heedless ways. No, I didn't cut my tongue while licking off the can lid. I sliced open both corners of my mouth. Yup, stuck the can lid partway in my mouth, started to lick, and zzzzip!

Yes, there was blood. Not a lot, although I did put Neosporin on the two tiny wounds to make sure they wouldn't get infected. And I felt like a good candidate to play the Joker in the next Batman movie (but Heath Ledger's mouth is plenty wide -- he'll do fine, I'm sure).

But tonight, I can barely tell I was injured at all. My lips don't really hurt, unless I scrape against the injuries with a Dorito or something. Isn't that amazing? In a matter of minutes, the tissues that I had thoughtlessly sliced apart began to stick to each other, then actually to heal together and reform what had been destroyed. I didn't have to think about this, I couldn't consciously make it happen or not happen. My body simply repaired itself.

Truly, as the Psalmist said, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made" (Ps. 139:14).

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Although I did once wear the top part of a Darth Vader helmet for several hours at work one night, I didn't have this much fun with it!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Is it just me, or does the lead singer of Hinder really wish he was Steven Tyler of Aerosmith? Honestly, this video for "Lips of an Angel" bugs me, he's so wacked out and weird. But the song is awesome -- it reminds me a lot of the novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo this year. Haven't yet found a 'real' video for the song, this is just them performing and it doesn't sound nearly as good as the version on the radio.

If you're wondering why I'm linking to a bunch of vids lately, well, we got a new monitor and all of a sudden I can see videos so much more clearly! Our old monitor was, well, old... everything was kinda dark and murky. Fitting considering we call our apartment The Crypt and keep vampire hours, but not very good for watching stuff.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Bah. I've been meaning to blog about so many things lately. Like Casino Royale (loved it -- Daniel Craig is an acceptable James Bond) and Superman Returns (it was okay -- but Brandon Routh made James Marsden seem dashing, mysterious, and cavalier....). But instead I'm going to just link to a sunny, light, almost happy Nickelback video! The one for "Photograph", of course ;-)

UPDATE: They yanked the "Photograph" video from YouTube, but here's a cool live version done in some tv studio. It doesn't rock as hard as the regular version, but I like watching them play live too. And I'm finally getting used to Chad Kroeger's shorter hair.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Director Robert Altman died yesterday. I can't say I'm sad, exactly, because I've never been fond of him as a person. But he did contribute a great deal to the formative early days of Combat!, and for that I am grateful. And I guess since Vic Morrow was generous enough to attribute some of his skill at directing to things he learned from Altman, I'll follow his lead and not say anything mean about Altman here.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Ohmygiddyaunt! My little brother Johnnycake has been accepted to Harvard Law School! Is that the ultimate shinyness or what? I'm so proud of him!

And what a great excuse to go on vacation to Bawstun next year, eh? "I've never been to Boston in the fall...."

Sunday, November 19, 2006

"Thank the Lord and sing His praise -- tell everyone what He has done!"

My keys and coat were returned to me this morning! What an answer to a weekful of prayer!

See, last week I for no real good reason hung our coats on the rack at the back of church after the service. Larry had a council meeting, and I didn't feel like hanging on to the coats for the extra hour or so we'd be at church, so I hung them there. I've never hung them up before (and I think now I never will again). When we were ready to leave, my coat was gone! And my keys were in the pocket! So we alerted Pastor and he said he'd call us if anyone reported that they'd accidentally taken the wrong coat home... but no one ever contacted him. Or us. If they found the keys in the pocket, they would've known my name because I have one of my Recon dogtags on my keychain and it has my real name on it as well as my call sign, and there are only three people in the phone book with our last name, two of which are me and Cowboy and one of which is Noumenon.

But no one ever called us, and I asked our Pastor's Wife at choir practice on Wednesday night if they'd heard anything, and they hadn't so far.

So we spent a week praying that they'd just be returned this morning, that someone had accidentally taken the wrong coat home and didn't realize there were keys in the pocket, so just figured they'd return it the next week. And it seems that's what happened, because when we got to church this morning, there was my coat, keys in the pocket still :-D Hallelujah!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

This article about being a Johnny Depp fan is really funny just because it's true. When you get to the paragraph that begins: "It appears that Johnny Depp is so talented in our eyes that his fame stays untarnished, no matter how many celebrity clich├ęs he falls into," well, that's where my giggles and nods of agreement turned into full-blown "right on!" laughing. It's just so dreadfully true!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

"The Prestige" (2006) -- Initial Thoughts

Just got back from The Prestige. It left me... disquieted. It was well-acted, nicely filmed, and entertaining, but I'm left with a very odd energy running through me. Which is why I'm blogging and doing email right now instead of hopping straight into doing my Nano stint for the evening. I don't think I could focus on it, and if I tried, Pike would probably get all twisted or something. And I don't want to risk that.

The Prestige hinges on so many secrets (a few of which I guessed, a few of which I didn't), that I don't want to say much about it here. And I wanted a teensy bit more from the ending, just like another 30 seconds or something. If you're a devotee of Hugh Jackman or Christian Bale, you'll probably enjoy it (I am, on both counts, and I did, except for this fidgety aftersense). Don't expect it to be brilliant, just expect it to be entertaining.

Oh, and that was David Bowie? As Tesla? Really? Weird. Totally didn't recognize him. Andy Serkis had a nice smaller role, though. Yay Andy!

(How odd is this: the word verification word that I have to type in to post this is the usual sort of nonsense word... except that it begins with the word 'trap'. How freakily apropos.)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

"Flicka" (2006) -- Initial Thoughts

Cowboy took me to see Flicka tonight. By accident. He thought he heard someone talking about it and saying it was really funny and involved rabbits... but I think they were talking about some other movie.

Anyway, Flicka is awesome! Totally in love with it! Probably my third-favorite horse movie now (after The Man from Snowy River and The Rogue Stallion). In fact, if I see it a few more times I might even start to like it more than TRS. Seriously, a good horse movie. In fact, just a plain good movie. Lots of family conflict, but without someone being evil. The dad doesn't understand his kids, but it's not 'cause he's bad or mean, just 'cause he's stubborn. It reminded me of the many times I went head-to-head with my own parents. I'm hideously stubborn, after all ;-)

As I believe John Ford once said, although I can't find the exact wording at the moment, there's no more beautiful image you can put on film than a running horse. And Flicka is full of horses. Lots of sweeping shots with nothing but horses and amazing Wyoming countryside. I want to move there right now, buy a ranch, and spend the rest of my life sweaty and dirty and smelling like horses.

Oh, and if they should suddenly decide to make a movie about my life right about now, Alison Lohman can play me. Totally. Can you believe she's actually a year older than I am though? Weird!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Ooooh, Pierre Jalbert just sent us a group letter thanking us for the fanzine! Here's what it said:

"Thank you very much for sending me your litarary production from so many dedicated fans. It is indeed astonishing that after 40 years it still captivates so many people.

"Now that I'm retired, I'll enjoy reading them. Kindly convey my thanks to the authors.

Pierre Jalbert
"Caje" "

Big grin here :-D

Oh yeah, I started my NaNoWriMo novel tonight. Got in 2,169 words, so yay me! I need at least 1,667 every day to hit 50,000 by the end of the month, so I'm well on my way :-)

Sunday, October 29, 2006

It's Classic Star Trek in the style of Monty Python and the Holy Grail! "On second thought, let's not go there. It's a silly place!"

Many thanks to Noumenon for sending me this link a zillion years ago :-D It never fails to make me giggle!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

In more cheerful news, my new Combat! fanfic story, "Finders, Keepers", is finally finished and up on Fruit Salad :-)

And the Guard Duck is getting into the Halloween spirit :-D(Click on it and it'll turn bigger so you can read all the words)

Friday, October 27, 2006

:-( My Betta fish, Archie Goodwin, died today :-(

I had him for over two years and he was a very sweet Betta. He knew just when I was going to feed him and would always get very excited about it and do the Fishy Dance of Joy for me.

:-( Didn't know I could get so attached to a fish.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I don't think I'm going to be able to carve a pumpkin this year for Halloween :-(

Every year when I was a kid, Dad would get the most enormous pumpkin, and we'd carve something Christian in it. Back when I was really little, he experimented with words like "God is Love", but they were too difficult, so after a couple years he settled on carving a big cross. I was always Dad's enthusiastic helper with this project. Although he got to do the actual carving, I got to scoop out the squishy, slimy insides. My little brother Johnnycake, on the other hand, loathed scooping out the pumpkin -- we have pictures of him when he was probably three years old, standing next to the pumpkin with a handful of innards and bawling. He never has liked getting his hands dirty.

Anyway, when we moved here to Ruralsburg, I picked up the pumpkin carving tradition again. I don't get enormous ones like Dad does (when I was two or three, he carved a pumpkin that was big enough I could sit inside it!), but I usually get a nice one that I can get a good-size cross out of and stick a candle stub inside. One year I even got a cool idea for a story while carving my pumpkin here, and it turned into a Halloween fanfic story called "The Carver".

But this year we had this ferocious hailstorm at the beginning of this month, and I think it ruined the pumpkin crop. All I can find are little stunty pumpkins, and most of them have pockmarks from the hail. We did get in some nice-sized ones at work last week, but they want $14 for them! No way! I can usually get that size for like $6!

So it looks like I won't be sitting on the cement floor of the garage wielding my trusty knife this year :-( I was hoping the price might come down after a few days, but no such luck.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Due to popular demand, here is my AAR on the Atlanta Fanfic Recon '06! It seems I have lurkers after all ;-) How cool! (Oh yeah, AAR means After Action Review...)

Friday, September 22
I arrived in Atlanta feeling very losted and scared. What if no one else showed up? What if we didn't get along after all? What if DKoren's plane crashed and I was bereft of a bestest friend and left to my own devices all weekend? I picked up my little green suitcase at Baggage Claim South (I think), then started looking for the Delta carousels, because I knew that's what DKoren was flying. And there weren't any. No carousels for Delta (oooh -- cool title!). I began to panic.

Then I raised my tear-filled eyes and saw that waaaaay over yonder was Baggage Claim North, all Delta all the time. I hustled over there, heart pounding and nose running (I hate the aftereffects of colds!), and there, beside a shiny silver fence, stood DKoren! And some people that I had never seen before in my life... but who were all wearing something C!-ish. DKoren turned around and saw me and grinned and... I gotta tell you, she may only weigh 37 pounds, but she about knocked me over with her hug.

Eventually other people joined up with us, and we comandeered a bus to take us out to the parking garage. Then began the great Clown Maneuver. These people were seriously convinced you were going to get 9 people, 18 suitcases, and a guitar into that van. DKoren and I had far too much fun watching the van sink lower and lower and lower as they crammed into that thing -- I'm glad we stayed behind for the second wave, because those tires were seriously bulging. The seven of them headed off for the hotel, and DKoren and I caught the bus back to the airport. We had a nice lunch and met up with a the stragglers. Then it was off to the hotel for us, where I got to meet the rest of the bunch, including our intrepid Third Musketeer, Jambi :-D She was sharing a room with DKoren and I all weekend. After supper, the twelve of us congregated in the ever-popular Medic's Foxhole and I got introduced to megas! They DO exist! (Megas are these ginormous M&Ms that I could never seem to find).

Saturday, September 23
I didn't think I was going to sleep very well that night, what with trying to switch over from night shift and being all excited about finally being at Recon, but I actually managed 6 hours of snoozing, I think. Good thing, because Saturday was chock full of wonderful fun that required every ounce of my energy.

First off, we went to an American Legion hall outside Atlanta and got a chance to interact with actual WWII weapons... and you know me and my love of weaponry! I got to handle a German Mauser rifle, an M1 Garand and M1 Carbine, several Lugers and .45, and a Thompson submachine gun!!!! My Combat! hero, Sgt. Saunders, carries a Thompson, so that was a very special event for me. We got to try on WWII helmets and jackets too, and get our pictures taken. The Carbine was lighter than I'd expected, the Mauser and Garand were heavier than I thought they might be, but that Thompson? Honestly, it felt just the way I'd always imagined. The weight, the balance... it was like I'd been handling one for the last ten years. Made my little heart glow.

After lunch, Belle arrived, even though we'd about given up on her -- poor thing, driving in all that rain! So we played Combat! Trivial Pursuit, which DKoren and I made up!!! Everyone had a blast, and I got about a million compliments for the playing board, which I made all C!-ish.

CCK is everyone's hero for providing tasty pizza for our supper Saturday night! And I think we even managed not to leave tooooo many greasy fingerprints on each others' fanzines as we signed them! Oh yeah, we created a fanzine that came out at the same time as Recon. It has 347 pages and 16 fanfic stories, including one co-written by DKoren and I. If you're interested, here's a link to a little more info.

Sunday, September 24
A whole bunch of us got interviewed about our love of Combat! for a possible Veteran's Day Marathon of eps on the American Goodlife tv network (I think it might have a new name now, tho... can't remember for sure). That was pretty scary, but we knew the questions in advance and were all there to provide (silent-ish) moral support during the taping :-D

Sunday was a sad day, though, because several people left. I hate goodbyes. But we managed to have lots of fun on Sunday night during our extreeeeeeeemely long supper.

Monday, September 25
Then it was Monday all of a sudden, and I was sitting in the (empty) bathtub writing in my journal about how sad I was that it was all ending so soon. We definitely need to extend the next Recon -- arrive on Thursday and leave on Monday? Yes, we're planning on doing this next year, possibly in Vegas, baby!

Although I managed to get myself slightly losted at the airport, my squaddies found me after a brief handy-talky conversation, and we began the sad business of parting. I was so loath to leave, I almost missed my plane! Good thing DKoren had my back :-)

I'm a very shy person. I don't like meeting strangers very well -- but these Combat! fanfic friends I'd made online were all just as wonderful in real life as they were on the internet, and I cemented a lot of friendships that weekend. In fact, I just had a little reunion with one of them this past weekend, a mini-recon near home here that was tons of fun! And I truly can't wait for Recon '07, wherever it may be!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I think I found what's been stinking up my kitchen for the past four days!

On Saturday morning, I noticed this peculiar smell when I came home from work. So we took out the trash. Sunday after church, the smell was still there. But there were a bunch of dirty dishes on the counter, so I thought that might be it. On Monday, however, there were no stinky dishes... but the kitchen still reeked. Mom suggested it might be a dead mouse, but I've smelled dead mice, and this was not that kind of smell. This was kind of sweet and rancid. So I thought maybe some piece of food had fallen through the top of the stove and was rotting under the burners. Tuesday morning, Cowboy opened the top of the stove. No weird food. But the smell was starting to permeate to the whole Crypt.

So this morning, I turned into a bloodhound, sniffing and silent. And I discovered that the can of liquid grease on the back of the stove was stinky. Quite stinky. About the same stinky as what I'd been smelling all week. I took it out to the dumpster and burned a candle in the kitchen. If it's still not stinky when we wake up tonight, we'll know I found the source of the stench. I sure hope so! I was beginning to fear we'd have to move the stove. Or that something had died in the fan above the stove, and we'd be stuck with the smell forever.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Ohmanohmanohman! Not only is Jack Hogan (aka Kirby) reading our fanzine... Pierre Jalbert (Caje) is too! Reading it and liking it!

You know, when we were signing the fanzines that we sent to the four remaining stars, I never thought they'd actually read the stories. I figured they might flip through and read the little messages we wrote them, then toss it on the shelf or in the garbage. Probably while rolling their eyes and muttering about the obsessed psychos that still care about work they did 40 years ago. But it sounds like they're kind of flattered. How cool is that?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Wow. Wow. Wow. I'm floating around in a haze of awe. And of awwwwwwww.

Jack Hogan is reading the Combat! fanzine we put out for Recon. Jack Hogan, as in the guy who played Kirby on Combat!.

See, when we were at Recon, we autographed a copy for each of the four stars that are still alive: Jack Hogan, Pierre Jalbert, Tom Lowell, and Conlan Carter. And DII sent those 'zines to them. And Jack Hogan emailed her and said that he's actually reading the fanzine and finding it very interesting and enjoyable!

He might even be reading the story DKoren and I wrote together for it!

Oh man oh man oh man oh man. That's a thought that's both exhilarating and scary. What if he doesn't like the way we portray the character he created? What if he does?

Anyway, it's very cool and awesome that he's even reading the fanzine. It makes me all tingly happy :-D

Monday, October 09, 2006

A Nickelback video made me cry! It's the one for their new song, "Far Away", and although you'd think the whole firefighter = hero thing would be getting hackneyed by now, nope, I cried. Just a tiny bit.

Oh, and loved the FX they were using on the stage for the lights behind the band, the way they looked like white starlight fingers reaching out.
You know, Columbus Day was a whole lot cooler when I was a kid. We got to do stuff for school like color pictures of Columbus and his ships, read books about his voyage, or make little models of the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria, depending on how old we were. It was a special day, a mark on the calendar that meant a break from the ordinary autumn education routine.

Now, it's like, "Oh, Columbus Day. No mail." End of story.

Hmph. Wonder if there are any downloadable pictures of Columbus and his ships I could print up and color?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Vacation was amazing. I thought Recon would be fantastic, but it exceeded my every hope. We all got along swimmingly (even when in the hotel pool!), and the whole weekend was like a really long sleepover that revolved around Combat!. I have so many wonderful memories of Recon, but most of my readers here have heard them already, so I won't bore you with further elaboration.

And after Recon, I got to spend a whole week with with my parents and Grandma O. We went on a few short excursions, but spent most of our time relaxing and lolling about in the sun. It rocked!

Now we're trying to readjust to living at night and, for me at least, it is not going well at all. I seem to be sleeping in little 4-hour chunks here and there. I have to work tonight, though, so maybe that will help straighten me out. Grrr.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I'm free! Freeeeeeeeeee! As of right now, I am officially on my giganimous vacation! Yes, yes, yes, oh happy day!

Forty-eight hours from now, I will be near the airport. Fifty hours from now, I'll be seated on a plane bound for Atlanta. Fifty-four hours from now, I'll be in the Atlanta airport, meeting all sorts of my Combat! fanfic friends for the first time and reuniting with DKoren! A thousand huzzahs!

And in one hundred twenty-six hours, Daddy will pick me up at the airport in NC!

Ahhhh. I'm breathing free air. No work for two weeks. How glorious! Day after day of unadulterated bliss! My toes wiggle ecstatically at the mere thought!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Avast, ye scurvy dogs! It be International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Yo ho!

If ye've been flounderin' a bit in yer piratical speech, here be a handy video to help ye get yer ship back on course.

Alas, me best pirate matey at work jumped ship last week. I'll be piratical alone again this year, I'm afeared. Tis a cryin' shame, and no mistake.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Don't be forgettin, ye scurvy lubbers -- tomorrow be International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Arrrrr!

Friday, September 15, 2006

I have a cold. Came down with it Tuesday night, actually. That didn't stop me from holding my own little Glenn Ford Memorial Double Feature on Wednesday, however. Watched my beloved Blackboard Jungle first, then followed it up with The Big Heat, which I'd never seen before. It was a delicious bit of noir, and after watching it, I can definitely say: no hot coffee in my kisser, thank you very much!

Anyway, brain has gone quite loopified. And I'm only taking Advil Cold & Sinus! Of course, it's still the good old kind with pseudoephedrine in it....

Sad thing is, now Cowboy has the cold too. And we've both lost our voices. We now communicate in pantomime and the occasional stage whisper. And well-coordinated sniffling.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Rejoice, all ye lovers of Warheads! Rejoice! Right now you can buy a big bag of 225 Warheads for less than $5 in the Halloween section of Wal-Mart!

I love Warheads. Back when I was in high school, you could get bags of them at the grocery store, at gas stations, at Wal-Mart, wherever. Bags of like 20, not 225, of course ;-) Freestargirl, Jewels, Heidiana Jones and I would buy them before we went to a movie together, and sneak them into the theater. A dark theater is still my favorite place to eat Warheads. My favorite is the black cherry, although sour apple is super good too. My only complaint about them is that they don't stay sour long enough -- you get to the sweet center much too soon, and it sticks around far to long. More sourness, please!

But lately, I can only seem to find Warheads around the holidays. In fact, last year I could only get them in little batches of about 8 inside plastic Easter Eggs for a dollar an egg or so. So I went ahead and bought two whole bags of them tonight! That's 450 Warheads! Wooooo! Sour City, here I come!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Glenn Ford died yesterday! I'm so sad! Man, I love him in so many movies, ever since I first saw Blackboard Jungle. I got that movie cuz it's Vic Morrow's first movie, but I ended up liking Vic's adversary, Glenn Ford, too. Which, I suppose, is natural, since Ford is playing the good guy and Vic is (very effectively) playing the knife-wielding punk with very funny hair.

Anyway, after Blackboard Jungle, I saw him in lots of westerns, like The Fastest Gun Alive, 3:10 to Yuma, and Cimarron (also opposite Vic Morrow!). And, of course, he played Superman's adoptive daddy. But I'll always like him best in Blackboard Jungle and The Fastest Gun Alive, playing honorable, upright men who want to uphold the law (even if they have to get a little tricksy about it). Hmm, seems to be a trend in my taste in leading men, eh?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

I've probably told everyone I know about these, but I just have to link to DocII's amazing Combat! songvids here anyway. She's got them up on YouTube right now:

Saunders ("Ride Across the River" by Dire Straits)

Kirby ("Blaze of Glory" by Jon Bon Jovi from the Young Guns II soundtrack)

Caje ("Born on the Bayou" by Creedence Clearwater Revival)

Doc ("Sound the Bugle" by Bryan Adams)

I think Kirby's is my favorite, then Doc's. Although how can I not love watching the Saunders one, with six minutes of my beloved sergeant sauntering about, looking so delicious he defies description. Part of the reason I like Kirby's best, of course, is because I love the song "Blaze of Glory" and the entire album it's on. In fact, I'm listening to that cd right now ;-)

Half the fun with these is seeing how many scenes I recognize, how many I can say, "Yeah, that's from such-and-such ep." It's not really all that many, mostly because I haven't seen about a third of the eps (oh glorious thought!), and also because a lot of the shots are kind of generic.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

True Confessions Time again, folks. This time, it's about Rawhide. You see, Daddy sweetly surprised me with season one of Rawhide on dvd, and I'm discovering my allegiances in that show are shifting.

Up til now, I've been a Rowdy Girl all the way. But lately, well, I've started to spark after Gil Favor. I always knew Mr. Favor was supposed to be the star, that Rowdy Yates is just a secondary character, albeit one that would outshine the show eventually. But I never used to sympathize with Mr. Favor -- he always seemed so grouchy and uncooperative. Rowdy was full of juice and always getting into trouble, just like me. Plus, I cut some of my teeth on Clint Eastwood movies, so it was pretty natural of me to take a shine after his character.

But now, well, I dunno. Maybe it's that tight-wound little neckerchief Gil Favor wears. Maybe it's his swashbuckly chaps. Or the straight line his mouth makes when he's getting all determined about something. Mostly, I think, it's his upright insistence on doing the right thing, even when he has to do it in a slightly roundabout way. He reminds me a lot of Sgt. Saunders on Combat!

Oh, I'm still a rowdy girl (just ask Cowboy!). And a Rowdy fan, too. But I think Gil Favor is swiftly edging him out of first place in the Rawhide section of my heart.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Okay, no secret that I've liked the comic strip "Pearls Before Swine" for a while now. And since the advent of the Guard Duck... what can I say? I love it! The Guard Duck is me! Here are some of my faves (click on them to make them bigger and more readable):(For lots of great Pearls before Swine strips, including more with the Guard Duck, check out the Swine Feeding Trough)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

I think I have just been stung by a bee. I'm not sure, because I've never been stung before. But there are these bumblebees living under our front step, and they never used to bother us, but this makes twice in a week that they have acted aggressively. I don't think they like loud buzzing sounds, because the first time one bothered me was when I was using the Leatherneck's jigsaw to cut tomato stakes (that's the problem with working third-shift: your vegetables sometimes become vampiric). And just now, our landlady was using the trimmer to trim the hedges of many small villages, er, I mean to trim by the sidewalk. And I was outside saying goodbye to Cowboy as he prepared to bike off into the sunset, and something landed on my arm. I don't have my contacts in yet, so I thought it was a fly and brushed it off before I really thought about it. And it was a bee, and it flew back at me making angry noises and I said, "Cowboy! Cowboy I'm under attack! Mayday!" and it flew at my face and stung me on the cheek. At least, my cheek began to sting, but not very much. Not nearly as much as I'd imagined for 26 years. So I said, sounding very surprised, "I think I've just been stung!" and ran back inside.

It's not swelling up, although it's a little bit red and now feels just kind of hot. So the good news is that if I did get stung, it seems I'm not allergic to them like some of my familial types are.

But I think something needs to be done about those bees under our front step. I shall have to consult Mr. O'Hara.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Yesterday's church bulletin had a very succinct summary of our church body's beliefs, and I just thought I'd post it here because it's quite lovely.

We believe and teach
  • that all people are born in sin and that this sin has seperated us from God,
  • that out of pure love God sent his own Son to save all people from sin,
  • that Jesus, the perfect Son of God, lived a perfect life and died an innocent death to wash our sin away,
  • that through believing in Jesus, we are forgiven and made children of God,
  • and that as forgiven children of God we have a secure eternal life in heaven.
Direct, concise, and accurate. I should memorize this so when people ask me, "Just what is it that Wisconsin Evangelical Lutherans believe?" I'll have a good outline to follow while explaining.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Okay, I never pay much attention to the mainstream media, because news bores me. And I've purposely been ignoring them lately, because they're making such a fuss over Mel Gibson's DUI incident (I still love you, Malomar!).

But, as usual, The Daily Show has come to my rescue, this time by mocking the media's mocking of Mel Gibson in this marvelous bit from a day or two ago. Hooray for Jon Stewart!

Monday, July 31, 2006

I caught a frog at work last night!

I was carrying some razors over to the shaving aisle, and saw this dark splotch on the floor. My first thought was, "I thought they already ran the scrubber through here tonight. They missed that spot bigtime." Then I glanced at it again and saw that it was a darling little frog! It was about as big as a half-dollar, the kind that we called Tree Frogs when I was a kid, kind of dark green and black speckled with pale green toes.

I said, "Whoa, a frog!" and set down my box of razors. Christian was helping me stock last night, and she came over and said, "A frog? Where?" I squatted down to look at it, and so did she. Christian said, "What're we gonna do with that?" I said, "Rescue it, of course!" She was all, "How? You're not gonna pick it up, are you?" Sigh. Stupid girls.

So I picked it up and, after losing it a couple times (it seems my frog-capturing skills are a little rusty), I finally got it cupped securely between both my hands. I could feel its little heart thumping madly as I carried it up to the doors, poor thing.

As I carried it up to the front, I passed one of our cute little crotchety old maintenance men that I get along with quite well. He said, "What in the world are you carrying like that?" I said, "A frog!" He said, "No kidding?" So I opened my hand just a tiny bit, and the frog peeked out very cutely.

When I got outside, I knelt down by the building and opened my hands so the frog could jump out. And that's when the frog decided it liked me. Instead of hopping out the way it'd been trying the whole time I carried it out, it just sat on my hand for a few seconds, then crawled a little way up my arm toward my elbow. Then crawled back to my hand. Then crawled partway back up my arm and just sat there, looking at me. It was a very well-behaved frog and never slimed me. And I loved the little whispery feel of its feet scrabbling up my arm.

So I walked, frog perched on my arm like a tiny falcon, over to this little islandy thing in the parking lot where there are a few scrubby bushes and a tree and a stop sign. And dirt. And the frog liked that place better, and hopped off.

Coolest thing that's happened to me at work in forever. I like frogs! This was a really cute one, too. Wish I could have kept it.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Well, Mom has left us. We took her to the state line last night and pawned her off on Johnnycake and Dimples :-D

We had a really good time this past week. We watched lots of movies, visited ED and saw the store she wants to buy, made and ate lots of good food, played the piano and sang our favorite songs... it was delightful!

Our movies had two themes this visit: M. Night Shyamalan and Dana Andrews. Yeah, Dana's a pretty inevitable theme, since I've become such a fan of him over the past year. We watched three of his movies: Ball of Fire, The Best Years of Our Lives, and Laura. And we listened to two eps of his radio show, I Was a Communist for the F.B.I. I think I've instilled a good appreciation of Mr. Andrews in my mother now.

M. Night Shyamalan, on the other hand, was kind of a serendipitous theme. I'd touted his movies to Mom for the last couple of years, and she'd agreed long ago that she'd like to see Signs some time, since she really likes Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix. And the day Mom arrived last week, I was at the library and Signs just happened to be in. So I grabbed it, and it was one of the first things we watched. She adored it! So much so that we decided to go see Lady in the Water when it opened on Friday. And we both liked it a lot too. Since Night's movies are very ruinable, I won't say much about it except that the one word I think describes it the most is: poignant. Anyway, after that, Mom really wanted to see something else by Night, so we rented The Sixth Sense on Monday (she got very brave all of a sudden and chose it over The Village and Unbreakable). And whaddaya know? She liked it too!

And now it's time for me to settle back into normal life with Cowboy. And get some more sleep. I have much too much fun when Mom's here, and tend to short myself an hour or so of sleep every day. But it's worth it :-D

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Shiny! Shiny! Shiny! I found an unaired 5-minute Angel pilot/promo thingie! It's all Angel explaining his history and stuff, mostly intercut with old bits of Buffy eps and some stuff that shows up in the first few Angel eps as well. He breaks the fourth wall constantly, which makes me smile even more. Sigh.

There's also a 30-minute unaired Buffy pilot out there, with the original Willow... who, btw, completely sucks. No chemistry with anyone, and very 8th-grade-school-play acting. Lots of differences in this thing, like Buffy is a brunette, Xander's hair is completely horrible, there's a different Principal Flutie, Giles comes of as kinda creepy (altho he quotes Hamlet, so I gotta give him a yay! there). Xander did get one pretty good line: "I don't like to hit girls that I'm afraid of." :-)

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Mom is here for a visit, so if I don't blog much until after the 26th or so, that's why. We're having a fantabulous time, as usual! I picked her up at the airport last night, we had ice cream on the way home, and then we watched Signs together! It was her first M. Night Shyamalan movie, and she totally dug it! Yay!

Then in the morning, we took her to a cheese factory and she found her favorite kind of cheese, that her Dutch grandpa used to feed her when she was little. It's Swiss with caraway seeds. Boy, was she thrilled to find it! It's not a very common cheese, and she can't get it back home.

Tonight, we watched two Combat! eps, went grocery shopping, then watched this divine Gary Cooper/Barbara Stanwyck/Dana Andrews movie, Ball of Fire. Quirky in the extreme, and I love it! So did Mom :-D

Friday, July 14, 2006

I'm in Gryffindor! I'm really surprised, because I kept choosing answers about favoring intelligence above other things, and I said Snape was my favorite prof and Potions was my favorite class. I figured I'd been in Ravenclaw or Slytherin.

i'm in gryffindor!

be sorted @

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Here's a list of my favorite tv shows. I can't remember if I've ever posted one of these or not, but even if I have, it's probably changed since then.

My Top Fifteen Favorite TV Shows
1. Combat!
2. Angel
3. Classic Star Trek
4. Five Mile Creek
5. Big Valley
6. Buffy, the Vampire Slayer
7. Firefly
8. The Andy Griffith Show
9. Nero Wolfe
10. The Rifleman
11. NCIS
12. Hogan's Heroes
13. Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman
14. Zorro (The old Disney series)
15. M*A*S*H

I've loved a lot of these since I was a kid, or at least since I was a teenager. Firefly is the most recent addition, with NCIS entering my life only shortly before. I started liking Angel, Buffy, and M*A*S*H in college, and Nero Wolfe about the time I got married. The rest are things I started watching with my family when I was younger, and still love today.

If I added five more, they would probably be The Lone Ranger, Bones, Perry Mason, Maverick, and I Dream of Jeannie.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

The patch on the shoulder of my favorite jean jacket says it all: I love Captain Jack Sparrow!

ED and I went to see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest last night before I went to work. Swoon. Giggle. Swoon again. Giggle some more. It's wonderful! It's funny, it's exciting, it's piratey...I can't make a judgement yet on whether it's as good as the original (or on if I like it as well), but it is definitely worth seeing in the theater. Multiple times.

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Chameleon just called me and announced that she and her Son Of A Preacher Man are engaged! We've been expecting that for quite a while, I guess. Especially since they've been making comments about, "After we're married," etc.

Man, now I have two family weddings coming up. Not sure if they've set a date, but I'm guessing it will probably be in either December or January, since the Chameleon should be graduating from college at the end of this coming semester. I hope they don't wait until May, since that's when Johnnycake and Dimples are getting married. Then again, if we had them all on the same weekend, it'd save on travel time and stuff.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Birthday, USA!!!

I love the 4th of July. When I was a little kid, we would spend the whole month of July in Iowa visiting my grandparents, and on the 4th we would all (both sets of grandparents and my family) go to this little town and watch fireworks together. The grownups got to sit on lawn chairs, and Johnnycake and I had to sit on the ground once we got too big to sit on laps, but it was lots of fun.

I've watched 4th of July fireworks in lots of places, and seem to have great memories of them. Huddling with my friend Christy on a blanket with her family in MI. Lying on the hood of the Green Car with my family in NC. Sitting in the Blue Car in Washington DC one year, my heels blistered because I'd proudly (and foolishly) worn my new Chris O'Donnell Shoes while we walked through pretty much the entire Smithsonian. (My friends and I called a particular kind of black-and-white retro sneakers "Chris O'Donnell Shoes" because there was this photo shoot where he was wearing shoes like that, and we were all nuts about him at the time, so we all went out and got shoes like those, only each pair was different according to our personalities.)

But I don't think I've ever had as spectacular a spot to view fireworks as we had tonight. Cowboy and I walked with Banana and the Leatherneck and Papoose to this field thing on the edge of town where the Ruralsburgers like to gather to watch their fireworks. And we found an empty spot to spread our big blanket. And when the show started, it turned out we were basically directly beneath where the fireworks exploded! So we all lay down on the blanket and the fireworks filled our entire field of vision. Sometimes it looked like the sparks would fall directly on us, and we actually did get peppered with bits spent explosives. They were cool by the time they'd hit us, and usually just felt like little bits of charcoal. Cowboy caught one piece, though, that was the size of a large postage stamp and felt like petrified cardboard. Anyway, it was amazing, and we felt like the whole show was just for us. Couldn't have picked better seating if we'd tried.

Monday, July 03, 2006

One of my favorite western shows is The Big Valley. In fact, it's one of my favorite tv shows, period (did I ever do a list of my top fave shows?).

Well, season one of The Big Valley has come to dvd. And my dear Daddy sent me a set! He got it himself, you see, and when I found out, I was all excited because I've always always always wanted to see the first few eps, to see how Heath (my fave character) joined the Barkley family. So I asked if maybe Mom could bring it with her when she comes to visit me later this month. Daddy didn't really want to let his set out of his sight, however, which I can understand. So he offered to make me copies of it. Which I refused, because as piratical as I may be, I don't break copyright laws (much). I certainly don't copy dvds or cds wholesale.

Daddy was so proud of my refusal that he bought me my own set! Sigh. What a wonderful father, don't you think?

Anyway, I got the dvds today and promptly watched the very very very first episode, called "Palms of Glory". And who does the very first shot showcase, but my dear Heath! I always knew the whole show revolved around him (I'm always convinced everything revolves around my favorite characters), but I didn't know it started out that way from the very beginning!

Anyway, the first ep was wonderful, but weird in the way that most pilot eps are. The characters aren't quite established, relationships haven't gelled yet, and everything is just a little awkward and tentative. I had to laugh several times because characters were either being so very much like their usual selves, or very unlike them. Jarrod was a bit more dandy and callow than I'm used to. Nick was his usual hotheaded self, but with a bit of a mean streak that I don't remember. Victoria started out being some sort of odd grand-lady-of-the-house (since when does Victoria take naps in the middle of the day and complain if the boys wake her up?), but by the end of the ep she was settling into the sensible, firm, compassionate matriarch. Audra was tricksy and much less naive than usual. And as for Heath, well, what can I say? He was in Uber-Heath mode, very broody and touchy, bordering on sullen at times. Of course, since this ep was full of juicy "I'm your father's illigitimate son" tension, he had a right to be edgier than normal. But he was being very whiny and grabby at times and I wanted to smack him. Oh well, he'll learn what it means to be a Barkley soon enough.

And just think -- I have the whole rest of first season to watch! Oh happy day!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

So...we bought a new car. Well, technically it's a used car, but it's new to us. We traded in the dear Bubble Car (1996 Ford Taurus) for a 2006 Ford Five Hundred.

Going car-shopping is less fun than just about anything other than having sharp objects shoved under your toenails. Especially when the doggone dealerships are only open during the day and you work 3rd shift. On Thursday morning, Cowboy and I went on the actual hunting part of this whole deal, and Noumenon came along because he's thinking about getting a car too (he liked a shaggadelic purple PT Cruiser best). The hunting was fun, because I got to test drive like nine cars.

The not-so-fun part was Friday morning when we spent about four hours doing the final test drive and wangling the price down to an acceptable level ($17,950-ish before fees and taxes but after trading in the Bubble Car). I got to help wangle, and I'm directly responsible to knocking a whole $1,000 off the price, just because I noticed a sale price in the window of it on Friday that was gone on Saturday. We said we'd been interested in the sale price ($18,950), but that the normal price ($20,950) was too much. And they honored the sale price even though the sale was over :-D But MAN were we tired Friday night when we had to go to work.

But it's over now. We have the new car. We haven't named it yet, but here's an idea of what it looks like:

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Well, Cowboy and Noumenon and I are going car hunting in the morning. Noumenon doesn't have a car and thinks it's about time he acquired one. And repairs on our Bubble Car are starting to add up to more than it's worth. So we're gonna go look at new ones.

Car hunting is dull. There are no guns involved, no stalking of prey, no hiding in grass or bushes or trees.

In other news, we've discovered another song I mis-hear. I seem to have an especial problem with Elvis songs. In his song "Kentucky Rain", I always heard the line, "Kentucky rain keeps pouring down / Another hedge, another town that I'll go walkin' through..." in the chorus. Cowboy informs me it's actually "And up ahead's another town." Hmph. There goes my mental image of Elvis slogging along between big wet hedges.

In yet other news, I watched a very odd Johnny Depp movie last night, at the recommendation of ED: Dead Man. Odd Western thing with a much different end than I'd been hoping for. Mostly I just liked watching Johnny wandering around with war paint and a pistol.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Oh man, am I ever P.O.d! I am severely upset, y'all.

I just sat down to watch Hamlet, the Ethan Hawke version. I bought it used from the movie rental place a couple months ago, but hadn't had time/inclination to watch it until now.

Popped in the vhs. It's not the Ethan Hawke version. It's the Mel Gibson version ... which I already own! GAAAAAAAAH! I love Mel's version, I do, but I really really really really wanted to watch the Ethan Hawke one tonight! I've been looking forward to this for over a week! Noooooooo! Not to mention, I already have this version! Those bloody morons put the wrong version in the case! Oh, I'm so mad. So very, very mad. Must find my angriest movie and watch it to vent. Something with much violence. Maybe Desperado or Once Upon a Time in Mexico.

I can't believe this. I wasted $2, I have to try to find this version again, and my whole night off is now severely screwed up. Grrr. Arrgh.

Maybe I'll watch the premiere of Firefly. I seem to recall some good violence and angst going on there.

Man. I'm so bummed. X-(

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I have a hearing problem. Not like my ears are going bad from too many Creed concerts (well, they probably are) or something like that. I don't have trouble hearing quiet things. I have trouble hearing words correctly.

It's a lifelong problem. For instance, my favorite movie is The Man from Snowy River, which I saw in the theater when I was about 2 years old. And I've seen it a zillion times since then, on vhs and dvd. For years I believed that at one point a ranch foreman yelled to the ranch hands, "Anyone not ready to leave by sunup will get the entire landscape." I figured that meant that whoever wasn't ready to leave on the roundup on time would be stuck taking care of all the chores on the whole big ranch, the "entire landscape." It wasn't until years later, when I went through this phase where I'd watch my favorite movies with subtitles to pick up stuff I usually miss (or mis-hear), that I learned that he actually yells, "Anyone not ready to leave by sunup will get their tail ends kicked." Quite a difference.

I've mis-heard a lot of things in my life. For a very long time, I believed that the song "I'll be Home for Christmas" contained the lines, "Christmas Eve will find me/Wet, alone, likely." When I was little, I loved listening to the Elvis Christmas record my parents owned. Mom explained to me that that song was about soldiers who couldn't be home for Christmas because they were stuck far away fighting a war (the first time I conceived of war as a terribly evil thing). So if they were away from their families, fighting a war in the snowy winter, they were likely wet and alone, right? Yeah, well the song actually says, "Christmas Eve will find me/Where the love-light beams." I like my version better.

Another Elvis song caused me trouble for years, this time "Suspicious Minds". I was convinced the song began, "We'll call it a draw/I can't walk out." Turns out the lyrics are, "We're caught in a trap/I can't walk out." Hmph.

Most of the time I can make my mis-hearings make some sort of logical sense, as you can see. Not always. There's the celebrated case of Goldeneye. At the beginning, 006 (Sean Bean) shouts, "Closing time, James, last call." To which 007 (Pierce Brosnan) replies, "Prime your paint." That never made much sense to me. He actually says, "Buy me a pint." Good old closed-captioning, it's so helpful.

My oddest mis-hearing, however, is probably from the Temptations song "My Girl". It wasn't until after we were married that I found out from Cowboy that they're not actually singing, "I've got so much honey/Debegeezendubee." Seems what they really say is, "I've got so much honey/The bees envy me." Here I thought they were just going all Simon & Garfunkle and throwing in random nonsense words when they couldn't think of good lyrics.

Oh well. At least only rarely does this occur in conversation. Like the night I thought a co-worker had just informed me she had hemorrhoids. Turns out she really just had to have an MRI. Lucky her. At least her ears function correctly.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

"Cars" (2006) -- Initial Thoughts

So as part of our anniversary celebration this year, Cowboy took me to see Cars. At a drive-in theater. How perfect is that?

It's a fun movie. It's funny, it's (dare I say it?) cute, the graphics are glossy, and the voices are perfectly cast. I didn't drive out of the theater saying, "I have to buy this movie!", but I did say, "I want to see that again!" In the theater, if possible (we missed the first ten minutes or so because we had to stop and ask for directions). And I'll probably end up buying it, although I may manage to wait until the price goes down a little, not snap it up for $20 when it first hits shelves. We shall see.

So anyway, I liked it. A lot. Lightning McQueen and Doc Hudson (Owen Wilson and Paul Newman) were supposed to dominate the movie, and most of the buzz has been about them. But the character that got the most laughs, as well as a few tears from yours truly, was Mater. Yes, the tow truck voiced by Larry the Cable Guy. Now, LCG doesn't do much for me, he's not really my kind of humor usually. But he had the perfect voice, accent, and even catchphrases for this role, and he made me miss home a lot. McQueen and Hudson are cool, but Mater is just plain good people.

Some say the pace drags. Some say the story is too corny and cutesy. Well, some people are stupid. It was a good movie, on par with Monsters, INC, in my ever-so-humble opinion. Not mind-alteringly brilliant like the Toy Storys or The Incredibles, not heartwarmingly hilarious like Finding Nemo. But it was a sweet, satisfying ride that I'd like to take again sometime.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Curse my procrastinatory ways! I should have ordered the soundtrack for the 1999 stage version of Oklahoma! right away when I saw that only had one copy of it. But noooooo, I had to think about it for a couple days, and now it's gone :-(

You see, I just got a dvd of this version from the library last week because...Hugh Jackman plays Curly. And plays him beautifully. Possibly better than Gordon MacRae. More dangerously, definitely. Gordon is lovely, don't get me wrong. But he lacks...edge. Hugh has edge to spare.

I may have to get this version on dvd. It's marvelous. It's just a stage version that was filmed and then shown on tv, but it rocks.

Of course, I still adore the Gordon MacRae/Shirley Jones version. But if they made a movie version with Hugh Jackman as Curly...I might like it a teensy bit better. He's very layered, with this smirky impudence on the outside, and then underneath is this delicious uncertainty that I adore. And deep down is a core of danger that you do not want him to tap into.

Isn't he adorable? (Thanks for the screencap, Dkoren!) A year younger than when he first donned claws and sideburns...and with a clear tenor voice, too! And he dances! Wow. No wonder he's married (oh, wait, I am too....)

Saturday, June 10, 2006

It's truly official now. I'm going to the Combat! Fanfic Recon in Atlanta in September! I just got my plane tickets this morning!

What am I thinking? I'm spending a weekend in Atlanta with a bunch of crazy writers/readers all obsessed with a 1960's tv show about WWII? Only one of whom I've ever met before in person? I must be crazy, huh?

More like giddy with glee. We fanfic writers have their own email list, seperate from the 'official' C! discussion list They've been planning this Recon (our word for convention, basically) for months and months and months. And I didn't think I'd be able to go, which made me very glum indeed, whenever I thought of it.

But due to Cowboy's love of spoiling me, a little deviousness on my part in regard to the usage of vacation time and switching days off at work, and my ever-burgeoning friendship with DKoren, I'm going going going going going!!!!!!!!!!

It's not gonna be like the 'real' recons, aka "Comboat '96" and "Recon 2000". None of the stars of the show will be there (although there is a mysterious Surprise Guest whispered about behind closed tent flaps). But there will be about 20 fanfic writers (I think all women--we have a Token Male on our fanfic email list, but I don't think he'll be attending) all running around a hotel doing crazy stuff and writing and reading and watching C! eps, etc.

Plus, after Recon, I'm flying from Atlanta to HOME! And Cowboy's flying down to meet me there, and we'll spend a week with my parents (and Grandma will probably be there by then) and friends. Yippeeeeeeeee!

Monday, June 05, 2006

So as of today, Wal-Mart no longer sells movies on VHS. At least, the one I work at doesn't--I'm not sure if this is a company-wide thing or not. We do still sell blank ones, I believe. But not prerecorded tapes. And you know that when Wal-Mart stops selling something like that, it's doomed.

The world now belongs to the DVD.

I remember the first VHS tape my family got. It was a taped-off-TV version of The Sound of Music. To this day, I can watch the normal version of that movie and tell you exactly where all the advertisements went, and which parts were cut out to shorten it to TV-acceptable length. We watched that movie all the time. Well, okay, every time one of us got sick or something. It was the only movie we owned, and it cost money to get movies even from the library back in MI, which is where we lived at that time.

I think the first "boughten" video we got was A Fistful of Dollars. I have that memorized too.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

"X-Men 3: The Last Stand"

I've seen X-Men 3: The Last Stand twice now. The first time it felt kind of disjointed, since there are really 3 storylines going at any one moment. Blipping from one to another to yet another got kind of irritating. The second time, though, I could latch onto little foreshadowings that I missed the first time. And I could anticipate the ouchy stuff and start feeling horrible about it whole minutes before it happened. I think poor Cowboy lost circulation in a couple fingers during one part.

You see, it's not a happy movie. Both times left me feeling like I was the one who'd nearly been flayed alive. But it also gave me several huge adrenaline rushes both times, and made me want to go do some slicing and dicing. If only I could figure out how to get my claws to emerge....

Some odd things happen in this movie. Mostly, there's Cyclops, who traditionally is my least-favorite X-Man (he's so whiny! So preppy! Such a pretty boy!). Cyke got broody and sexy! He should be scruffy all the time, wearing jeans and boots and letting his hair misbehave!

Not that I'd ever stop loving Wolverine best, of course. He's the broody baddish-boy with all the great lines. He's the one that always needs a hug. And he's been one of my three absolute-favorite superheroes since time immemorial (the other two are Robin and Spider-man, both also great with the one-liners...but Spidey from the comic books, not the movies). Besides, he's got claws. He wears jeans and wife-beaters. He's constantly scruffy. And when Hugh Jackman embodies him, he's got one of the greatest voices ever. Not to mention those Rudy-Valentino-esque nostrils. And okay, the muscles are nice too. Get nicer all the time, actually.

Anyway, yes, I quite liked X3. I didn't love and adore it the way I do X2, but it was worth seeing twice, and if someone like Noumenon or the Leatherneck wanted to go see it again and let someone tag along, I'd volunteer to do the tagging....

Saturday, May 20, 2006

If enough people like me worked there, we could actually change the name.

Only 48 more days until Pirates of the Caribbean II: Dead Man's Chest!!!

Friday, May 19, 2006

This meme comes from DKoren:

If you comment on this entry, I'll give you a letter so you can come up with ten words starting with that letter, plus explanations of what each word means to you.

DKoren gave me the letter "L", so here goes:

1. Lynne--My middle name. Also the middle name of my childhood best friend, spelled the same way.

2. Luc d'Yae--The middle child in the d'Yae family. Poor Luc (which is short for Lucien, btw) doesn't get to show up in either of my Combat! fanfic stories that feature the d'Yaes. Why? Because he died a couple weeks before "Hide and Seek" takes place. Poor Luc. He was the tall one too, the one who raised horses and helped his older brother Marc in their Resistance efforts against the Nazi invaders. He wasn't quite as good at deception as Marc, and got himself shot by the Nazis, in the living room in front of Marc and their younger brother Jean. I'm quite fond of Luc, even though I haven't gotten to write a single line of dialog for him. He's present in the stories anyway. Sorta.

3. Lutheran--I was born one, raised one, and I'm able to prove it. Jello, anyone?

4. Linkville--Tiny little hamlet in the Thumb area of Michigan where I lived between the ages of 3 and 12.

5. Luger--I got to fire an actual WWI Luger (which is a German pistol) a few years ago. It had a lot more recoil than I'd expected.

6. Lindbergh, Charles Augustus--One of my childhood heroes. I can still remember sitting on the floor in the living room as Mom read his books aloud to us. I'm still fond of him, and I love the movie about him, The Spirit of St. Louis, that stars Jimmy Stewart :-) I also really like the writings of his wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, especially Bring Me a Unicorn.

7. Lucas--A black Lab/mutt we had when we lived in Michigan. He got hit by a car and had to have his right front leg amputated, but that barely slowed him down. Very sweet puppy.

8. Ludlum, Robert--A new favorite author of mine. I read his Jason Bourne trilogy last year and liked them so well I've acquired about ten more of his books at various yard sales and thrift stores, and am gradually working my way through them.

9. Lupins--As in "I'm sick to bloody death of lupins!" from Monty Python's Flying Circus. Everyone sing along with me: "Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore,He steals from the poor and gives to the rich...." Probably my favorite of their longer skits (although I think I'll always like "The Spanish Inquisition" best of all their stuff. Well, except for a couple of their movies). "Blimey, this redistribution of wealth is trickier than I thought!"

10. Lanyn--The name by which I first knew DKoren, because it's the one she uses on her LiveJournal blog. My wonderful writing mentor :-)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I FINISHED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I finished the first draft of Josey!!! Just a few minutes ago, right before midnight. Whoohooo!

It's 196 single-spaced MS Word pages long, 98,385 words, 33 chapters. Yeowsa.

The first sentence is "How can I begin?" and the last one is "And I smiled." :-)

I'm going to celebrate now. I'm going to watch a couple movies and maybe a Combat! ep or two and run around screaming in jubilation. Yippeekiyay!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I just got back from eating out with N, V, and A, friends from that jury I served on a year ago! We met at a Chinese buffet near here and had the best time reminiscing about our tour of jury duty and catching up on what's been happening to us since then.

I can't believe it's been a whole year already. Here's my journal entry from one year ago today. It was the beginning of the last week of hearing evidence...
@ 10:27pm Mon, 5-16-05

I really like the granola on the breakfast buffet--I have it almost every morning. It was sunnier today. When we got to our jury room, we found gifts from Judge H. and the Clerk of Court: glass mugs with the county seal on one side and our names etched on the other side, with "May 2005" and some words of appreciation. The Lone Male, C., got a special one, with "13 to 1" etched on the bottom :-D So I said if I ever write a book about this, that's what I'll title it :-D We got subs from Erbert & Gerbert's for lunch, then a bunch of us took a brisk walk. It was warm enough most of us shed our coats part way through. Our afternoon stint lasted until after 5pm, and then we all went bowling! I got 66 the first game and 79 the second. We ate supper at the bowling alley too--it was great fun :-D When we got back here around 8, I hung out in the Swiss Room a bit, then came back here and worked on my fanfic story, still called "Summers' Day" for lack of a better working title.

Oh yeah, I woke up way early this morning, so did yoga before breakfast.
It sounds like we had nothing but fun, didn't it? And we did have a good time, really, except when we were in the courtroom itself. Then we were very serious. Oh, and that story I was writing eventually turned into "Dying Like Men" ;-)

Monday, May 15, 2006

Ohmanohmanohman, I'm this close to finishing the first draft of my second novel ever, Josey!!! As in, tonight I started writing the final chapter! Wow. I can hardly believe I'm almost done with it. The first draft of my first novel took me over three years to finish. This one has taken me six and a half months. Zowie!

Yes, this is the novel I started in November for NaNoWriMo. And there's lots of rewriting to do on it, I can tell that already. For one thing, I'm going to lop off the first twelve chapters and use their events as flashbacks. Yeeeeeah...

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Dad and Grandma O. are here for a couple days, on their way to points west of here. So Cowboy and I had supper with them last night and hung out for a while at their hotel. And tonight I had supper with them again, and then Daddy and I went to see Mission: Impossible 3!

I liked it. I liked it almost as well as the first one, and waaaaaaaaaaaay better than the second. The first one was sizzlingly original, while the second one was too informed by The Matrix and used too many identity-switches. This one is more informed by the Bourne movies, with wham-bang collisions and the use of random common objects as weapons (both a pen and a phone receiver, ala Bourne), but with crunchier fights (I do like the mind-altering swifty fights of the Bourne movies, but this was a movie about losing blood and getting hurt, so those wouldn't have worked).

M:I and M:I 3 are kind of like James Bond got buddies and some street smarts, lost his unrufflable tux-clad exterior somewhere along the way, but retained his gadges and panache. If that makes any sense. I'm tempted to rewatch the first one tonight, to see if it's as shiny as I remember. It's been several years since I watched it...

Sunday, May 07, 2006

It's Good Shepherd Sunday, and in church this morning we sang one of my favorite hymns. It's Psalm 23 set to music, and I adore the way the text is rewritten. It's very lyrical and just enough different from the psalm that it gets me to think about the words and their meanings again, rather than just reciting sounds from memory. Here they are:

The Lord's my shepherd; I'll not want.
He makes me down to lie
In pastures gree; he leadeth me
The quiet waters by.

My soul he doth restore again,
And me to walk doth make
Within the paths of righteousness,
E'en for his own name's sake.

Yea, though I walk in death's dark vale,
Yet will I fear no ill;
For thou art with me, and thy rod
And staff me comfort still.

My table thou hast furnished
In presence of my foes;
My head thou dost with oil anoint,
And my cup overflows.

Goodness and mercy all my life
Shall surely follow me,
And in God's house forevermore
My dwelling-place shall be.

(Text from the Edinburgh Psalter, 1650)

AND (drumroll please) we have a new niece! Cowboy's older brother (not Noumenon, the other one) and his wife now have three kids...hooray for them!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

I finally got to rent Capote last night. It was amazing! I won't say I liked it, because it's not really the kind of movie you like. Just like the book he's writing during it, In Cold Blood, isn't a book that you like and enjoy. But it's something you can respect and learn from.

Philip Seymour Hoffman definitely deserved the Best Actor Oscar. Yes, even over Joaquin Phoenix in Walk the Line. If it hadn't been for Capote, Phoenix would have gotten it, but this was just another cut above. Capote completely enthralled me, and I definitely recommend it to anyone who read In Cold Blood or digs movies about writers. But serious ones, not fun romps like Alex & Emma. More like The Hours, only without the triple-narrative time-line-hopping fictional stuff. It's a film, not a movie, in other words.

And in other exciting news, I now have all 6 Harry Potter books in hardcover! Thanks to some birthday money, I ordered the first five from, and they arrived today :-D I already had book 6, of course, since I bought it last fall when it came out. I think I'm going to reread the end of my favorite, The Prisoner of Azkaban, tonight after Cowboy commandeers the computer...

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I got to hold Papoose today for the first time! Banana brought him over for a little birthday get-together at our place tonight, and I got to carry him around for quite a while. He'll be six weeks old tomorrow, and he's quite darling. I'm not all that fond of babies (human ones, I mean), but Papoose is a sweetie. He's got the Leatherneck's turned-up nose, big bright eyes, chubby little cheeks (now that he's gotten over the Yoda stage), and he's really into clinging onto his Aunt Hamlette's hair ;-) Just kidding--actually, he liked the collar of my shirt better.

We had lots of fun tonight. First Noumenon and Cowboy and I went to a spaghetti supper at the Ruralsburg Fire Dept, then we came back to our Crypt and El Padre, MamaRuth, Banana, and Papoose came over too. We had cake, which I'd baked yesterday, and ice cream. The cake turned out really well--it's a new recipe and made in a bundt pan, so I was a little nervous. You never know about new recipes, after all. And memories of the bundt pan fiasco at ED's a couple months ago made me widgety, even though I've never had one overflow like hers did (because I don't fill them up to the top). But every time I'd made anything in my bundt pan before (actually, it was my Grandma H's pan originally), when I'd flip it upside down, half the cake would stick to the pan and I'd have to scrape it out and stick it back together with frosting. So this time I made sure to grease the pan really well, and it came out perfectly! I didn't even frost it, I just dusted it with powdered sugar and it looked like something you'd buy at a bakery. It's probably the best-looking cake I've ever made! I should have taken a picture of it.

Anyway, we all sat around and talked and ate cake and ice cream and drank the Coke that Banana thoughtfully provided. El Padre gave me two Coke glasses to add to my ever-expanding collection. They're plastic, in that classic Coke glass design, with lids that look like bottle caps, and then plastic bendy straws. Very groovy.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Yesterday was my birthday. I'm twenty-six now. Closer to fifty than to zero...although, as The Chameleon charmingly pointed out, I'm also still closer to eighteen than to forty :-D

But birthdays are not about ages. Birthdays are about presents! And did I ever get some sweet ones this year! Lots and lots of books, two pounds of chocolates, three cds...and that's just so far!

Cowboy gave me two of the cds. One of them is the Angel soundtrack. Yes, there is a soundtrack, and yes, it is amazing. I've only stopped listening to it once since I got it (other than to go to work last night), and that was to pop in the other cd he gave me, the Serenity soundtrack. But then Angel went right back in the cd's a fabulous soundtrack, with some of my favorite cues from the show on it. A couple of the tracks make me choke up, they're so emotionally perfect, so evocative of my Dead Boy and all his sweeping trials and triumphs. How fitting that my Live Boy should have given it to me. What a great hubby you are, Cowboy!

So here is my absolute favorite picture of Angel: It's from the very end of the season two ep "Lullaby". Angel is holding his newborn son, Connor, kneeling in the middle of a street during a big rainstorm. (Ever notice that most of the dramatic events in Angel's life occur out in the middle of a street in the rain?)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

I went to the dentist this morning. I've been having this weird pain going on in my left lower gum below the last two molars, and the gum had this raised hard bump thing on it. I had scar tissue there from when I had my wisdom teeth taken out when I was 18, but over the last few weeks it's gotten bigger and owier. Like, if I chew Apple Jacks on that side and one slides down the teeth just wrong and hits the gum--yikes!

So I finally called up the dentist this morning after we got home from a lovely bike ride. He had an opening at 10am, and I'd called at 9:45, so we zipped over there. Fortunately the dentist is only 8 blocks away :-D

It turns out that my jaw bone is growing out in a weird direction, so the gum tissue is stretched and that's why it hurts. The dentist says this is fairly common, but it usually happens on the inside of the jaw, under the tongue, and usually both sides will grow out in about the same place. He's never seen one grow on the outside of the jaw, by the cheek, before. He said it's not something to worry about, although if it gets bigger and becomes a real problem, I could go to an oral surgeon and have it chipped down, but there's no guarantee it wouldn't grow right back. The only thing is, I can never get dentures. Good thing I take care of my teeth!

So at least it's not cancer or an infection or something that requires a root canal, right?

In other news, my new fanfic story, "Hide and Seek", is posted on the Hot Joe page at Fruit Salad!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Do you love The Princess Bride? I do. I've loved it since the first time I saw it, around the age of 10 or 11, sitting on the living room floor in my aunt and uncle's log cabin and eating a weird dessert with a crumbly topping that reminded me of the Lightning Sand. My favorite cousin had made the dessert, and he watched the movie with me and Johnnycake even tho he's two years older than me and therefore seven years older than Johnnycake. No wonder he's my favorite cousin, right? We loved the movie so much that a couple years later we named our new puppy 'Westley' after the main character. And I remember that on the drive back from the log cabin after seeing The Princess Bride for the first time, I heard the Supremes song "Stop! In the Name of Love" on the radio for the first time, so every time I hear that song, I think of this movie and weird crumbly-topped dessert.

Anyway, I just watched The Princess Bride on dvd with the commentary by the author and screenwriter William Goldman. It's marvelous! Almost on par with a Joss Whedon commentary, full of funny stories and insights about the writing and a little about the filming and casting. He did tend to go off track a little; there was one point when he was talking about casting his movie Misery where I got impatient and wanted him to get back to talking about this intead. But on the whole, it was a good commentary. I liked how he would suddenly say, "Oh, I love this part!" and stop talking for a little while. Or how he'd chuckle at a line and then half the time say, "I didn't write that, so-and-so threw that in." It seems Billy Crystal ad-libbed a great deal, as you might expect.

This dvd also has commentary by Rob Reiner, but I haven't watched that yet. But if you like this movie and you like commentaries, I totally recommend this one. I think Goldman's most insightful comment was this: "Nothing moves me as much on earth as stupid courage." I totally relate.BTW, this is a picture of me with my sweet Westley taken when I was 18 and he was 6. Wasn't he huge? I miss him a lot. (And yeah, I still have that much hair.)