Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Hey! Remember that Combat! story I finished a few months ago, called "Dying Like Men"? The one it took me a year to write? It's finally available online! Sort-of. It's here, on the Story Nook, not the Purple Hearts page where my stuff is supposed to be. And the formatting got all weird, so I'm going to have to call up my webmom and ask her what happened. So you can read it if you want to, but there are no paragraph breaks and it can get hard to figure out who's talking when. I'll let you know when/if they get the formatting fixed.
Time for a couple of music-related lists, since I really haven't done any of those.

My Top Ten Favorite Musical Artists/Groups
10. Blind Man's Bluff
9. The Divers
8. The Beatles
7. Elvis
6. Shakira
5. The Beach Boys
4. Bon Jovi
3. Matchbox Twenty
2. Creed
1. Bobby Darin

Sexiest Male Voices, IMHO
3. Chad Kroeger (of Nickelback)
2. James Hetfield (of Metallica)
1. Neil Diamond

Friday, February 24, 2006

I bought the collector's edition of The Magnificent Seven yesterday!!! It's a two-disc set with all kinds of goodies, like commentary by Eli Wallach and James Coburn! Plus, it's widescreen :-D Sigh, such a lovely movie. I'll have to watch it this "weekend" as a reward for cleaning up my apt...maybe watch it twice, once without commentary and once with? :-9 Hey, I can dream, can't I?

Oh, DKoren, you'll love this--there's a whole featurette about Elmer Bernstein and the score! Haven't watched it yet, but I'll bet it's shiny!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I went to ED's house last night. Yes, house--she no longer lives in a trailer, she is now renting an actual house, complete with basement! I'm quite envious. Although it's a rather odd house--the two bedrooms upstairs are painted cotton-candy colors: one is pink, the other is blue. The basement is fairly nice, and ED has decorated half of it all in trippy retro 70's stuff, like love beads and blinky lights and fuzzy posters of The Fonze.

The main floor is pretty nice, but quirky. There is a metal crank attached to one wall in the living room. It doesn't do anything, no matter how much you turn it in either direction. ED thinks maybe there used to be a tv antenna on the roof and you could turn it different ways with the crank--but there's no antenna there now, although there is one on the garage. But this crank doesn't seem to affect that one at all. Also, there's an outside exit in the bathroom. A regular door! We decided it's either an escape hatch so if you're having a really boring party you can just run away, or else its so the farmers could come in and get cleaned up without dirtying up the whole house.

And we had a few adventures while I was there. Of course, we watched a couple movies (A Life Less Ordinary and Alex & Emma), but we also had an interesting cake-baking experience. ED had decided, before I arrived, that she wanted to make a chocolate cake. So she mixed one up, but didn't want to do it in a normal flat cake pan because that would be too boring. She wanted to make a bundt cake. But her bundt pan was kind of smaller than normal, although she didn't realize that until she filled the whole thing to the top and had batter left over. She thought it would be fine (she doesn't bake cakes as often as I do, she's more of a pie person) and stuck it in the oven anyway. Then I arrived, and she took me on a tour of the house. When we got back to the kitchen, I smelled something kinda smoky, and asked if it was from the wood-burning furnace in the basement. ED didn't think it was, and then we both looked at the oven. I said, "You mentioned something about a cake..." and she yanked open the oven door. Batter everywhere! All down the sides of the bundt pan, dropping in glops from the racks, all over the coils...she yanked out the pan and I said, "ED, how full did you fill that pan?" She said, "to the top." I said, "ED, cake rises. You only fill the pan about half full!" She said, "Oh. But with pies you fill the whole thing..." Heehee, the top was kind of done, but inside was all gooey batter yet because it was supposed to bake for another 30 minutes or so yet. So we laughed a lot about it, and then spooned a bunch of the batter into a little round glass dish thing and stuck it in the microwave for a few minutes, until we had this sort of mutant cake mound. It was quite edible for the first ten minutes or so, but then turned extremely hard. So she decided maybe she would stick to pies for a while, since she's extremely good at those ;-)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Shiny! The merest hint of a possibility of Firefly making another flight fills me with giggly expectancy! Read a tidbit about it here and see if it does the same for you!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Johnnycake and Dimples got engaged tonight! My baby brother is getting married! This is so awesome!

I went to see Firewall tonight, and when I got home, Mom IMed me and told me the good news :-D So I called Johnnycake right away, and got to talk to him and Dimples for a while and congratulate them, get all the details, etc. And I get to see them in about three weeks; they're spending part of their Spring Break here.

Yippee! I really like her, and I think they'll be really happy together. Maybe even as happy and Cowboy and I are!

Oh yeah, I liked Firewall quite well--it's a good solid action movie. Not twisty or surprising or incredibly shiny, but a good ride. And I got to see it for free, thanks to Noumenon giving me some movie vouchers tonight when Cowboy and I picked him up for work. We have lots of snow here (I'm guessing about 8 inches), so I'm not going to work tonight. I tried, but it's really blowing a lot and the visibility's not real great, plus it's started drifting across the roads. I think I'm going to watch a few more Harrison Ford movies tonight, cuz I'm in the perfect mood to cuddle up with some violence...

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I hate my life! This sucks!!!!! I was supposed to go visit ED at her new pad tonight...but they're predicting this monster storm; the weatherman said it would start snowing around 8pm, keep snowing and sleeting all night and part of tomorrow, and eventually we'll get 8-10 inches. So I called ED and we decided I would just go there next week.

Then I thought since I'll be home tonight after all, I'll go see Harrison Ford's new movie, Firewall. The theater is only 7 or 8 blocks from my place, I can walk home if the roads are bad after the movie's over. I get there, and the sodding projector for Firewall is B-R-O-K-E-N!!! The poor little guy behind the counter was really apologetic, cuz he knows I go there all the time. But the only other thing in the theater that I am even remotely interested in seeing is The Pink Panther...and it was already 20 minutes into its run. The projector should be fixed tomorrow. What bloody good does that do me? I have to work tomorrow night! Arrrrrrgh!

So now it's 9:55 and no snow has yet fallen. I'm not at ED's. I'm not at Firewall. I'm back at home, royally pouty, and irritated with the world.

There is nothing for it but to open that new carton of cookies 'n cream ice cream. That is the only hope for redeeming this miserable night.

And watching a Combat!. That will help; it always does.

But still!!!
Valentine's Day is over. Some people might be rejoicing about that fact. Not me! I got lots of cool stuff for V-Day! Besides that oven rack I mentioned a while ago, Cowboy also got me a new dish drainer (I hated our old one) and plenty of chocolate! I got him a poster of Shakira, which is now adorning the big blank spot in the Crypt's dining room, where we used to have bookshelves before we realized they were blocking a big heater vent.

But the coolest thing about Valentine's Day is that it is Vic Morrow's birthday! He would have been 77 this year. So I did something very special in his memory today. I drank a little bit of brandy made at the Korbel Winery in California, I ate some ten-year-old cheese, and I watched the Combat! episode "The Gun". Not only had I never seen that ep before, but it was filmed at the Korbel Winery! What a perfect way to celebrate Vic's career, particularly his role as my favorite tv character ever, right?

Monday, February 13, 2006

Two weeks from tomorrow, Walk the Line comes to dvd! Yippeeeeee! I am so going to buy it right away and watch it immediately! Sigh. There's a poster thingie advertising it at work, and I get to walk past it several times every night. And every time I do, I remember that little bit in the movie toward the end where the music executives told Johnny Cash that wearing black made him look like he was on the way to a funeral. And Johnny just kind of lifted his head a little, smiled just oh-so-little, and replied, "Maybe I am." Shivers!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Rudolph Valentino. The Only Valentino. Rodolfo Alfonzo Raffaelo Pierre Filibert Guglielmi di Valentina D'Antonguolla. Or, as I like to refer to him, Rudy.

Why is there such a mystique connected to him? Is it like the whole James Dean thing, that he died tragically young? Because he was a shining new talent that made only a handful of films? Or is it because he was the very first movie idol?

But why was he the first movie idol, you ask? Okay, imagine you're female movie-goer in the 1920's. Imagine every actor looks like either Robert De Niro or Ben Stiller. Then imagine Brad Pitt makes a movie. Yeah.

I have a strange history regarding Rudolph Valentino. The first time I heard of him was probably around 1993. I got this book about movie stars, and on the back of it was a rather bad colored portrait of Rudy as The Shiek--it looks like he's wearing lipstick and rouge. That plus the blurb about him inside that mentioned how some men of the day referred to him as a "pink powder puff"caused me to decide he was the epitome of unmanliness. And so for several years, I mocked him whenever his name came up.

But in 2002, the Writers Group at college decided to do a mini-version of NaNoWriMo: we would write 30 pages in 30 days, instead of 50,000 words. And I decided this would be a fun time to write a very silly story making fun of romantic comedies. I forget how, but I decided it would be funny to write about a guy who thinks he's Rudolph Valentino reincarnate. I think I must have read long before that someone wrote a book called The Reincarnation of Rudolph Valentino, because the title popped into my head as being very perfect. And so I decided to learn a little about this Rudy fellow, so I could write this very silly story.

I found a perfectly marvelous website, called The Rudolph Valentino Home Page, that told me more than I thought I'd ever want to know about this guy I planned to mock. I started looking through the photo section, and this particular photo caught my interest. I'm not sure why. Something about his casualness--the tilted hat, the careless cigarette, the little smirk, the crossed legs--I'm not sure precisely what it was, but something about this photo said to me, "This guy was cool."

And while my story, "The Reincarnation of Rudolph Valentino" is very silly and does gently mock romantic comedies, it does not ridicule Rudy. Because the more I learned about him, the more intrigued I became. The more I started to feel a strange empathy for this immigrant playboy who became a lionized movie star only to die a lonely and hideously painful death.

But it wasn't until over a year later that I finally saw a Rudolph Valentino movie. I think it was early 2004, definitely pre-May, when I got The Shiek and Blood and Sand out of the library. And I fell in love. Again. Madly, hopelessly, desperately in love. I'm not sure why. I mean, yes, Rudy is cute. He's got a roguish smile, dimples, smouldery eyes, long and sensitive fingers...but honestly, something about him goes beyond 'cute' or 'hot' or any other common description. He is compelling. Something about him makes me watch him. If he's on-screen, I can't rip my gaze from him, and I'm always left wanting more and more and more.

So I bought The Shiek and The Son of the Shiek on dvd (put out by the company that put Combat! on dvd, actually). And as they are the only Rudy movies out on dvd so far, I despaired of getting to see any more for a very long time.

However, a friend of a friend recently provided me with a copy of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse!!! The movie that first made Rudy famous!!! And I just finished watching it about twenty minutes ago! Now, since it's Rudy's first movie, there wasn't nearly enough of him in it to suit me, but it does contain The Tango Scene (actually two of them), the one that reportedly caused women to literally swoon in the theaters back in 1921. Which I can understand, because he definitely has the power to swoonate me...

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Sunday, February 05, 2006

I am usually a shy person who does not like attracting attention. I will, on occasion, physically hide from people so that I don't have to talk to them.

However, once in a great while I acquire a costume of some sort that endows me with boldness.

December of 1999 was the first time I discovered the delight of wearing something that attracts attention to itself and not to me. On the last day of classes before Christmas Break during my sophomore year, I wore a blinking red Rudolph nose to classes, to lunch, everywhere. And people that would ordinarily not even acknowledge my existence not only noticed me, they talked to me! They laughed and joked and smiled!

Next semester, I acquired "alien antennae". So did two of my roommates. "Alien antennae" are a headband with two springs attached, and at the end of each spring is a round silver ball. We got the idea from the Val Kilmer movie Real Genius, and we would all three wear these antennae around campus every couple of weeks. Once again, people talked to me because of the unusual and comment-provoking costume I sported.

Last night at work, I found the top half to a plastic Darth Vader helmet. Who knows where the voice-changing face part of that helmet is, and who cares! I wore that black plastic helmet-top for several hours, sometimes making kooo-paaah, kooo-paaah, kooo-paaah noises and telling people that they are no match for the Dark Side of the Force. And the magic of a costume worked yet again. The assistant manager, who usually regards me with some sort of vague suspicion (as if anyone as habitually quiet as me must be plotting something!), actually joked with me!

I love costumes. They give me some sort of power, the power to be someone bolder and more outgoing than I am myself. Come to think of it, I've always loved Halloween; I still dress up for it. And as for being on stage, well, back when I was in college...

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

I had a fantastic night off yesterday. Cowboy and I ordered the new Cheesy Bites pizza from Pizza Hut and watched Fellowship of the Ring. The extended version :-D Much more Boromir that way, of course. Then Cowboy took a nap, so I wrote over 2,000 words on the new Combat! story I've got going.

Speaking of C! stories, remember that long one I finished before Christmas? It should finally be up online in a few days. I'll let you know when it is.

And speaking of my writing being available online...the new issue of Static Movement is up, and it features a story by me called "Seth"...