Saturday, January 28, 2006

Ugh. It's been obscenely warm these last few days. Actually, since Christmas, we've only had actual snow on the ground once. Several times it's been in the upper 40's or low 50's, including yesterday. So of course, with no snow to keep me happy with Winter, I am now eager for Spring. Especially because if it was Spring, I could be playing in the dirt. My flower bed below the front window is all bare and empty, except for a bunch of dead leaves. I want to dig around in it and finish getting rid of all that nasty sand now that I have an actual trowel and don't have to do all my scooping with my fingers (thank you, Daddy!). And then I want to put flowers in it and water them and weed them...I can smell my earthy fingers already!

If I was in North Carolina, I could conceivably start planting things in February. But I'm not, dash it all. I'm in Wisconsin, and I don't dare put one plant in the ground before mid-May. Grr.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Cowboy gave me an early Valentine's Day present yesterday: a new rack for my oven! I know what you're thinking: what a sentimental fool he is, eh? But I really wanted one, because our oven only has one rack and with as many cookies as I bake, two racks is essential, really. I've been making do with only one for the last two-and-a-half years, and Cowboy finally decided enough was enough. Just think: my cookie baking will be twice as fast now! I love him!

Monday, January 23, 2006

I just finished reading Zorro by Isabel Allende on my lunch break tonight. It is fantastic! Even better than I'd hoped! Full of swashbuckling adventure, gallantry, swordplay, a little doomed romance, pirates...what's not to love? It tells the backstory for Zorro, about how his parents met, why Bernardo is mute, and how Zorro learned to do all that cool stuff he does. I mean, you don't just naturally know how to extinguish candles with a whip, fend off fiends with your sword, do horseback tricks, scale walls,'ve gotta learn that, right? This is all about how Diego de la Vega got so very very cool, and why he put on Zorro's mask in the first place. And it uses stuff from the original movies, the Disney tv show, and even alludes to stuff that'll happen in the movie The Mask of Zorro.

I've loved Zorro since I was a small girl, when I caught a couple eps of The New Zorro on the Fam Channel in the early 1990's. Those 2 or 3 eps were enough to fire my imagination, plus the guy playing Diego/Zorro there (Duncan Regehr) was definitely enough to hold pretty much any girl's attention.

Around that time, I acquired a well-loved (read: tattered) copy of a big (but thin) paperback book based on Disney's 50's tv show. I read it over and over and over (adding to its well-loved-ness), and even dressed as Zorro for Halloween when I was probably 11. To my utter shame, I had to wear brown boots, because I didn't own any black cowboy boots, but other than that I loved my costume :-)

Although I did manage to see 1940's The Mark of Zorro (with Tyrone Power as Zorro and Basil Rathbone as his archenemy) in 1992 or '93, Zorro faded from prominence in my imagination for a few years, supplanted by Indiana Jones and Captain Kirk, I suppose. Then, sometime in the mid-90's, Disney put its Zorro tv show out on video, and my darling Daddy bought all the eps! Zorro grinned his way back into my heart, this time played by the ever-dashing Guy Williams, who will really always be the quintessential Zorro to me.

Of course, then The Mask of Zorro was released in 1998, just before I went to college. And while I adore Antonio Banderas, and he does make a lovely Zorro, and the soundtrack rocks, I'll still always like Guy Williams best in the role, I think.

Anyway, this book is one-hundred-percent shiny, and everyone in the 'verse should read it. I wish I'd written it myself, it's that good.

(I yoinked these pics off the site The Legend of Zorro, which is a fun site with cool soundbytes that will play every time you load a page.)

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Huzzah! I'm Rohirrim! I just knew it! I always knew I'd be a Daughter of Rohan if I lived in Middle Earth! And it seems I was right!


To which race of Middle Earth do you belong?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thursday, January 19, 2006

"Ball of Fire" (1941), "The Hustler" (1961), and "The Color of Money" (1986)

Wooo, what a night for great movies! I watched three movies tonight, two of them fantastic and one of them pretty cool. And I'd never seen two of them before, so that added to the happiness.

First I watched Ball of Fire (1941), which starred an amazingly young Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck, and a delightful Dana Andrews. Dana got to be the bad guy! Cooper had dimples and was charming! Barbara Stanwyck danced! Dana Andrews and Gary Cooper engaged in fisticuffs! Not to mention there was this whole pack of "squirrelly cherubs", aka Funny Old Men. I loved it!

Next up was The Hustler (1961), which I've seen once before. And man, does it still carry a whallop the second time around! I mean, honestly, it's hard to handle that much brash pool playing, glittering chemistry, and careworn desperation in two hours.

Finally, I watched The Color of Money (1986). It doesn't even come close to The Hustler! Yeah, Paul Newman is cool in it, but not nearly so. I totally agree that he got the Oscar for it just because they were dumb and didn't give it to him in 1961. As for Tom Cruise, well, two years later he'd steal every scene from Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man, but he is way outta his league here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Never eat a pomegranate while wearing a white shirt. It can only end in tears.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Guess what I'm eating right now? Pirates of the Caribbean fruit snacks! Very yummy. And I just found out they make PotC cereal too! Gotta get me some of that. So I can eat breakfast across the table from Jack, of course. Except we usually just put the cereal boxes back in the cupboard after we pour our cereal, not carry them to the table with us. For Johnny Depp, we will have to make an exception, obviously.

Lalalalala, I can hardly wait until July 7th for the new Pirates movie. Got to see the preview, and it just looks riproariously fun!

Actually, this entire post is just an excuse to eat fruit snacks and post a pic of Cap'n Jack Sparrow...

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Amazingly enough, although I haven't watched an ep of Firefly for an entire week now, it's still clicking around in my brain a LOT. So since I'm in the mood, here are two lists of my favorite Firefly-related things...

My Three Favorite Eps
1. "Out of Gas"
2. "Jaynestown"
3. "Objects in Space"

My Favorite Characters
1. Mal
2. River & Kaylee
3. Jayne
4. Simon & Wash
5. Zoe
6. Book
7. Inara

I like Mal best for rather obvious reasons, I suppose. I mean, he fits the mold of guys that I like: he's broody, handsome, broad-shouldered, wears a holster...what's not to love?

As for River and Kaylee, I probably identify with them the most. River's not like the people around her, she has trouble communicating with them sometimes, and she has a reeeally close relationship with her brother, all like me. Kaylee is very cheerful most of the time, and likes to cheer people up and decorate her surroundings, all very me.

Jayne, well, what can I say? He's a total rogue, goes rather evil now and then, has some of the absolute funniest lines in the whole show...I think if I got to play a character, he would be the most fun.

I didn't really like Simon at first, cuz he's all snotty and preppy. But there's a scene in a later episode, "Trash", between Simon and Jayne that 100% reversed my opinion on Simon and made me like him a lot (for fear of spoiling this ep for DKoren, I can't say more than that). And in the movie, he's pretty cool. Wash, on the other hand, I liked a lot from scene one. He's hilarious!

You'd think I'd like Zoe more than I do. I mean, she's a warrior chick who gets to shoot guns and yell at poeple. Just like I always want to do, right? But somehow I never quite connect with her character, she just doesn't keep my emotions interested.

Book has the same problem. He's cool, no doubt about that. He's a Shepherd with a mysterious background, obvious knowledge of Alliance ways...but he never grabs hold of my attention for very long.

And Inara, well, she's just kind of boring, isn't she? Her character doesn't go anywhere until the very very very end of the movie Serenity, and even then she doesn't grow much. She's just always around, being alluring and knowledgeful and helpful.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

I'm slightly happier tonight. I got season one of Five Mile Creek in the mail, and watched the first episode. It made me all glowy inside. I grew up watching this show on Friday nights with my family. We'd rent a VCR and a tape of 2 Five Mile eps and watch them while eating pizza. Good times. It's fantastic to find out that something I loved so much as a kid is still just as wonderful as I remember it being. I don't really know how many seasons it ran, just that there are 20 volumes of the videos, so like 39 or 40 episodes. Season one only has 13 eps, so I'm figuring there are at least two more seasons.

Hey, didja know this is the show that really got Nicole Kidman noticed? She's in the last 15 eps or so. My favorite role for her too--she's all wild and tomboyish.

Still bummed about having no more new Firefly eps to savor. At least I haven't listened to any of the commentaries yet, so that'll be new and different. I think I'll hold off on those for a good long time.

Friday, January 06, 2006

I'm depressed. Quite depressed. I conjure I'll be grumpy and listless for quite some time to come. "Honestly, there could be tears."

See, I've fallen in love. Shiny, right? Very shiny. Except I fell in love with a tv show that only ever got 14 episodes and one movie made (so far, at least), and I have watched all the eps in the space of eleven days, ten of them in the last three nights.

I never do that. Never ever ever. Were I left to my own ways, I'd've made those 14 eps last me a whole year. At the very least. But the Chameleon is only here until the end of the week, and she fell in love with this show too...and since I went and bought it and all, we just spent our three days off watching eps and falling deeper and deeper under the spell of a man who already rules half my 'verse.

Joss Whedon.

Because, of course, the show I fell in love with is his Firefly. I'm already a lover of Angel and a follower of Buffy, and now...I'm a 'Browncoat'. I might even sign me up on the official roster (and yes, there is one--I remember seeing it when on my mad quest to find hot pictures of Mal Reynolds last night).

You remember me seeing Serenity last fall and liking it muchly? So I got my name on the list at the library to get the first disc of the series. Got that just before Christmas, we watched it after our Christmas Eve party here, and I was so hooked, lined, and sinkered, I went and ordered it online. And the soundtrack.

So now I'm in the depths of black, blotchy despair. I've seen all the episodes. No more new Mal moments. No more rampaging Jayne. No more Kaylee being clever or River going crazy brilliant.

Oh, you can bet I'll be rewatching these eps for months to come. And rewatching. Who knows, might even write me some fanfic eventually. Once I stop pouting.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

I have decided that maybe having Viggo Mortensen play Aragorn is okay after all. This is thanks to Noumenon's comment that in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Peter "gets to be the king and general just cause he's the oldest and prettiest male."

See, I've always thought that Oded Fehr should have played Aragorn. He's just so bloody lovely in the two Mummy movies, and obviously can do the whole horse-riding, sword-fighting, army-leading thing quite nicely. Plus, he looks great with the long hair, he can pull of the scruffy ever since opening night of Fellowship of the Ring back in 2001, I've disliked Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn and wished they'd cast Oded Fehr instead.

But Noumenon has a point. If Fehr had played Aragorn, there would be a tendency to believe he gets to be king in the end because he's just so bloody lovely. Which would kind of cheapen the character in a way, letting people focus on his hottiness instead of on his sterling character qualities (like what happens with Orli playing Legolas, you know?).

Plus, if I had Oded Fehr to watch, I might be tempted to tear my gaze away from my dearest Boromir, which would be tragic. Sean Bean's had to share me with Harrison Ford and Pierce Brosnan already, so it's about time he plays someone I can give my undivided attention to.

I still wish Viggo Mortensen had a better shouting voice, though. And that Aragorn didn't wear pajamas to councils of war.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Just a quick note--I have another blog now, called "Inscriptions". It's my 'public' blog, linked to my work as Fiction Editor for the new ezine, Static Movement. I intended to put writerly stuff there mostly, making it a place for people who've read my work to find out more about my writing, etc. This will remain the place where I put my more private thoughts, stuff I want family and friends to read, etc.