Thursday, February 28, 2008

I experimented with a batch of brownies yesterday. I stuck 24 caramel-filled Hershey's Kisses pointy-end-down into the pan full of batter before baking. I was hoping they'd create little pools of chocolate covering melty caramel centers. Instead, the brownies rose up around them and made them into these little deformed sinkholes. But they tasted okay, although the caramel sometimes leaked all the way down and globbed onto the pan. Maybe I'll try again, putting the Kisses in right-side up. Cowboy took some to work today anyway, so we'll see if any of his coworkers ate them despite their odd appearance.

Monday, February 25, 2008

I dreamed about Heath Ledger last night.

I was at a C! Recon in a really tall hotel with at least twenty stories, and I got off the elevator at the wrong floor for some reason and was walking around trying to find my room, when down the hall came Heath Ledger, blond and slender, all legs and hands and shoulders. I wasn't nervous to be confronted by this very famous hottie, unrealistically enough. I just felt all excited, kind of bouncy inside. And when he got closer I said, "Hi! I really love your movies. I think you're amazing."

And Heath grinned that over-wide, goofy grin and said, "Thanks! It's always nice to meet a fan." And he hugged me. I managed to remain calm until he had walked out of sight, then I jumped in the elevator and zipped down to the lobby, where Camo Gal and GI Jo were checking in at the front desk, and I hopped up and down and told them all about it, and they were as excited as I was.

And then I woke up.

Normally, when an actor I like dies, I watch a couple of their movies as a memorial as soon as I get a chance. I thought I was going to do the same for Heath, but I haven't been able to. It's been over a month now, and I still can't watch any of his movies. The closest I've managed to come is watching my favorite scene from 10 Things I Hate About You on YouTube. I picked up The Order at the library on Saturday and couldn't bring myself to check it out.

It feels like someone I went to high school with has died. I feel heavy and tight inside when I remember, like I'm clenching up all the muscles in my chest into a big fist. Part of it's probably because, usually when an actor I like dies, they're in their 80s or 90s. They're not one year and 19 days older than I am. If Heath can die, I can die. If Heath can miss out on seeing his baby grow up, so can I.

But it also feels ridiculous to be this sad over the death of someone I have never met and never would meet. My rational mind tells me I'm being silly, that I'm feeling false sadness or something. But I know the first time I do watch one of his movies, I'll cry. And it will make me realize that he really is dead. That there will never be another new Heath Ledger movie after The Dark Knight. That a brilliant actor will never get a chance to explore new characters and bring them to life. Maybe that's what makes me saddest.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

It's been a week, so I've posted the answers to the last three quotes no one guessed. This was fun -- thanks for all your guesses! :-D

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

"The Band Wagon" (1953) -- Initial Thoughts

Our library here in our new homecity has a whole bunch of musicals I've never seen, so I'm trying to get one new one each week. Last week, I got Bells are Ringing, a zany romp starring Dean Martin as a playwright with writer's block and Judy Holliday as a telephone answerer who loves to help her answering service's clients out of jams (and gets into plenty herself in the process). I especially liked a scene where Dino sings this little song about trying to psyche himself up to write. It looked all casual and natural, like his singing style.

This week, I got Band Wagon. I think I like Fred Astaire better middle-aged like this rather than really young like in Top Hat. He seems more comfy in his own skin or something. This was a way cool musical, with lots of songs I know and some awesome choreography by Michael Kidd. Plus, Cyd Charisse -- she's been one of my faves ever since I first saw Brigadoon. Oh, and Oscar Levant, he's always fun too. And I was never entirely sure how it would end up, which is rare for a musical. Usually you feel sure girl and guy will get together no matter what.

AND Band Wagon has this awesome "Murder Jazz" sequence that was like a musical spoof of film noir. How can I not love that?

Both of these were by Betty Comden and Adolph Green (writers of Singin' in the Rain, On the Town, Auntie Mame, and It's Always Fair Weather), and both had songs I know because Bobby Darin sang them. I think I'll try to find the rest of the musicals this duo wrote, because all the ones I've seen are fun!

Friday, February 15, 2008

I'm such a fangirl.

Even if it reeks, I must see it in the theater. Because I've never seen an Indiana Jones movie in the theater, and because hello? Harrison Ford! Yeah.

This trailer has me a bit worried, though. Not about Harrison, he looks fabulous as usual, but about the FX. They look a little dodgy, don't they? I mean, I know they're by ILM, not Weta, but come on, folks, ILM pioneered this whole digital effects thing! You should at least put out a preview that doesn't look like it was done in the '80s. Of course, they might be going for a slightly cheesy look, as it's supposed to be more like the sci-fi movies of the '50s and less like the action serials of the '30s and '40s. Come on, Lucas and Spielberg, I'm trusting you on this one... please do not ruin it with too much cheese and too little class!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Another meme from DKoren....

1. Pick 15 of your favorite movies.
2. Go to IMDb and find a quote from each movie.
3. Post them here for everyone to guess.
4. Strike it out when someone guesses correctly, and put who guessed it and the movie.
5. No googling/using IMDb search functions. Cheating is for losers!

So here are my fifteen. Let the games begin!

1. "I hope we have a lot of boys so we can name them all after you." (Charade, Maggie)

2. "Send her a telegram -- date it back fourteen years!" (Guys and Dolls, Cowboy)

3. Character 1: "I thought you didn't care."
Character 2: "I don't. [laughs] Don't tell anyone, okay?"
(The Fugitive, DKoren)

4. "Do I like Jell-o?" (While You Were Sleeping, Maggie)

5. "The paint is peeling on the ceiling." (Mel Gibson in Conspiracy Theory)

6. "How could I forget about you? You're the only person I know." (Matt Damon in The Bourne Identity)

7. Character 1: "I give you my word as a Spaniard."
Character 2: "No good! I've known too many Spaniards."
(The Princess Bride, Maggie)

8. "When will you give up this ridiculous obsession with love?" (Moulin Rouge, Laura)

9. "I figure you can go through life thinkin' everyone's your friend, or no one is." (Kevin Kline in Silverado)

10. Character 1: "What's the first thing you do when a horse bucks you off?"
Character 2: "You don't let him beat you, you get straight back on."
(The Man from Snowy River, Mom)

11. "None of us should wander alone, least of all you." (The Fellowship of the Ring, DKoren)

12. "There comes a time when you need to turn mother's picture to the wall and get out." (The Magnificent Seven, Cowboy)

13. Character 1: "That's quite a dress you almost have on. What keeps it up?"
Character 2: "Modesty."
(An American in Paris, Maggie)

14. "Now I'm orderin' you to get off this property!" (The Sons of Katie Elder, DKoren)

15. "Me, I'm dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest." (Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, DKoren)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

"Oh phooey, I burned the darn muffins."

Okay, I didn't really burn muffins, I just felt like quoting The Long Kiss Goodnight. Because how can you not love Samuel L. Jackson? Anyway, what I actually did was make half a batch of No-Bake Chocolate Cookies, and they totally didn't turn out. I don't know why -- I've made them oodles of times before; they were my Grandpa H's favorite cookie, so I grew up with these things. Maybe you can't halve that recipe or something -- I know some recipes you can't. They turned out really dry and refused to stick together much. So I got about a dozen little cookies and a cereal bowl full of what are essentially Chocolate-Coated Sugar Bombs. Which are tasty, but not what I was really hoping for. Oh well. Chocolate is good whatever the form, right?

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Five things about me and you, questions from DKoren.

1. Leave me a casual comment of no particular significance, like a lyric to your current favorite song, your favorite kind of sandwich, or maybe your favorite game. Any remark, meaningless or not.

2. I will respond by asking you five personal questions so I can get to know you better.

3. Update your blog with the answers to the questions.

Answers to the questions I was asked:

What's the most rewarding thing about being a mom?

The way Daniel smiles wider when he sees me than for anyone else, like I'm the sun shining in the center of his universe.

If you could visit only one fictional universe, which would it be and why?

Ow, tough question! Um, probably Angel, cuz it's a really rich universe with lots to explore, and Angel totally needs a hug. Lots of them, in fact.

What's your next favorite Shakespeare play after "Hamlet" and why?

"Much Ado About Nothing" because it's got a lot of levels, it's a comedy that has actual bad guys, and I love the character of Beatrice -- she doesn't go all weirdly submissive like Katherina in "Shrew," she stays strong and opinionated even after falling in love.

What's your most listened to song?

Ever? Probably "If Every Day Were Like Christmas" by Elvis. I listened to that a lot as a kid and still repeat it a few times at Christmas now.

Lately, it's been "While My Guitar Lies Bleeding in My Arms" by Bon Jovi cuz it works for writing Marc d'Yae.

Name a talent you wish you had (can be crazy!).

I wish I could play the drums!

Friday, February 01, 2008

How I do love Combat! I just watched a first-season ep that always hits me hard: "Forgotten Front." It's a really early ep -- number 6 -- and Kirby's first appearance. And I'd never seen it before the DVDs came out, so it always feels sorta new to me.

Anyway, in it, Sgt. Saunders and Caje and Kirby and Doc1 capture this Kraut named Dorffman. He's not a big, scary Kraut, he's a little, combed-over, funny-nosed man who never wanted to be a soldier and would rather sing songs than shoot people. He's played with perfect pathos by Albert Paulson, who went on to play a super-scary Kraut in "The Pillbox" and a tired one in "Escape to Nowhere." But here, he's just a scared prisoner who wants nothing more than to stay alive.

Therein lies the inevitable rub. And this is where, for me, the ep gets amazing. Dorffman has overheard that the Americans are planning a big advance. And there's a German tank on the scene that's trying to keep our guys from getting back to our lines. Dorffman is now a big liability: do we try to take him with us even though he will slow us down and possibly alert the Krauts to our whereabouts? Do we leave him behind, where he can tell his superiors about our plans? Or do we take him out of the picture permanently?

And Saunders implies to Caje that when the time comes, he needs to take Option C and kill the Kraut. Wait a minute -- this is a 1960s TV show! And Saunders just (implicitly) ordered Caje to kill an unarmed prisoner? Whoa! To me, that's pretty shocking. (Though I can't help wondering why they couldn't have tied Dorffman up and gagged him and left him in the cellar where he probably wouldn't be found until his info was obsolete anyway.) Anyway, this ep always strikes me as kind of envelope-pushing, like viewers would be left going, "Wowee, what'll they do next week? Abandon a baby to the Fates? Kill off a regular? You never know, with this show!" I guess it strikes me as a sort of 60s equivalent to Joss Whedon killing off Jenny Calendar in season 2 of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer: viewers will never feel entirely certain of an ep's outcome after this.

(You can go read my snarky Scuttlebutt comments on this ep here on our C! fansite, Fruit Salad.)
Connecticut weather is odd. We don't really get snow here, at least, we haven't yet. Instead, we get little white pellets that sound like someone throwing sand against my windows, look like microscopic sleet, and sting your face if you're outside. Where are my big, fluffy flakes? :-( Are we too close to the ocean or something?

Anyway, things are starting to look some better around here -- I got cowboy hats and pictures hung in the bedroom yesterday, and every day a box or two or five gets emptied and goes away. Or goes into the box that holds the broken-down boxes, anyway. Cowboy's going to have a lot to take to the recycling center this weekend. Yay! Get them out of here! AND I have most of my nice clothes unpacked and hung up, so now I don't have to wear the same two skirts to church over and over. Another yay!

Plus, it's Friday, we've got enough leftovers that I don't need to make supper tonight, and I think I might take the afternoon off and watch something while Dano sleeps. Maybe a Combat! or two :-D

Oh, did I mention I've dubbed this apartment the Crow's Nest? We're on the second story, we're sorta near the sea (okay, you can't see it from here or anything, but I know it's around somewhere), and who doesn't want to be either a whaler or a pirate?