grrgoyl: (snarry imaginary)
I don't know why I'm updating so much. Guess I'm tired of saving up material for one massive word vomit.

Anyway, it was completely by accident that I read this morning that Borders had worked out a deal with NECA and were carrying the figures early. WhatWhatWhat????

So Harry's not lonely anymore:

Dollies 1
"Don't fight it, Harry..."


But he is a full inch shorter than Snape, which makes it look like total chan (under age 16, which I'm really not down with), necessitating the clever application of a twist-tie to bring him, er, up to snuff.

That picture was very difficult to get right. Snape, even in collectible form, is better suited to dimly-lit spaces. Direct sunlight is exceedingly unkind:

Dollies 2
"My god, I'm an ugly and sloppily-painted bastard..."


Were I a more avid collector, I wouldn't have been so surprised at the difference between the finely-detailed hero version they trot out at toy shows, and what actually ends up on the shelves:

Dollies 3
I'd almost prefer they not include this picture of the doll I've been expecting for months


Given this huge discrepancy, boy am I glad I didn't shell out $90 like some eBayer with more money than patience did the second the auction went up.

Tery's already got a headache from rolling her eyes over the phone. I told her to be thankful their clothes are painted on and it's impossible to form their arms into a proper hug. "What were they thinking?" I wailed to her. "Of 7-year-old boys" was her callous response. See if I let HER play with my dollies. *sniff*
grrgoyl: (ferrets attack)
Cat door training is progressing slowly. Not surprisingly, lil Duncan Munchkin mastered it within less than a minute. Ferrets ARE the problem-solvers of the animal kingdom. Take note, you hatahs: I mean YOU, Rudy Giuliani. Tery stumbled on this anti-ferret rant on YouTube:




The man is seriously unhinged. Based on the passion and irrationality of his tirade, I can only surmise his mother was killed by ferrets. This lunatic ran an entire city?

Regardless, even with the cats watching Duncan hop in and out with reckless abandon, when it comes to their turn they just sit there mewing helplessly. I'm not sure if it's a case of intelligence or willful ignorance so they can keep us waiting on them hand and foot (paw and paw?) We're still working on it.

Update!: Don't click unless you're a rabid fan of cats and already bored out of your mind. But there IS a happy ending.



~*~

Speaking of celebrities, I need Paris Hilton to shut up. She's out of jail and now all the headlines are about her "ordeal." Bitch, please. I remember none of this foolishness when Martha got out. I also wonder what became of her "medical condition" that she developed in one day. Couldn't have been that bad if she was able to overcome it and finish her sentence when the judge called "bullshit."

Someone else I need to shut up is Rosie O'Donnell. First her thing with the Donald, then her thing with her View costar. Now she's making broad general statements like "don't trust dem backstabbing breeders" (so much for taking the higher road about labeling an entire orientation) and using her child as a political pawn on her blog. The only reason I know all this is because I get the day's headlines on my home page. Rosie, STFU. You're an embarrassment.

~*~

I received an email yesterday from Amazon.uk announcing my imminent refund for my Hot Fuzz order. This confused me, as I've been sleeping with it under my pillow every night for over a week now. Sure, it would be nice to get it free through some computer snafu, but I really don't need that black mark on my karma. I emailed begging them not to refund me, for the sake of my conscience. It turns out it's just a $4 refund because they dropped the price, so they were sending me the difference. Well. That's not something you see every day. Have I mentioned lately how much I adore them?

~*~

Tery really wants me to attend a hospital staff meeting next week to go over some policy changes and gripes that are cropping up again. Seems people have been attacking Kristie, the overnight girl during the week, much the same way I was attacked when I first started. Small misunderstandings and miscommunications escalate rapidly into hateful notes and general resentment between parties that never see each other face to face. I agreed to go, on the condition that I could sit beside Kristie to present a unified front. That's in fact what I'm calling us: The Unified Front of Overnight Workers (UFOW).

Finally NECA Snape has arrived on the shores of eBay. Soon little NECA Harry will have his favorite snarky playmate. *rubbing hands gleefully*
grrgoyl: (brazil singing telegram)
Have a video. I had a crazy notion people might like to see the hospital where I work. Apologies for the shaky quality: I blame the poor lighting and my first attempt. Apologies for the silly narration: it's unscripted and I was a little nervous. Plus bonus video of Tabby doing the Bear Dance!



This might be the beginning of a series. I thought of video documenting all the crazy insane noises some dogs make, because a written description simply doesn't do them justice.

Have a picture. Here's half a Snarry:

Harry and Friends

Don't fret that he looks lonely and isolated in his plastic prison. That's only until Snape arrives and I can be sure there won't be any scale issues. Edward and Eric will be suitable company for now (because Harry likes his men dark-haired, pale, scarred and all in black). This picture might have been deliberately cropped to leave specific book titles visible.

(Note: How sleazy is NECA? Harry comes packaged with 1/3 of a Death Eater dummy. You get the rest only if you buy Ron and Hermione too. Since that's not my intention, what am I going to do with 1/3 of an action figure??)

That's all you get. I have to do SOME work today, people.
grrgoyl: (Spaced Mouspider)
Lately I've felt kind of ho-hum about LJ. Like what's the point, like no one is interested anymore, like I have nothing to say anymore. Which isn't to suggest that this entry is going to change all that, however I DID just come from seeing Hot Fuzz with my new movie friend, [livejournal.com profile] dopshoppe, and I'm here to tell you she's every bit as awesome as you've heard.

Let's get that out of the way first. ::spoilers for sure:: )

To summarize: Simon + Nick + Edgar = TLA

~*~

I'm sorely disappointed in the [livejournal.com profile] snarry_games this time around. I haven't read a single story so far that I feel is worth saving, and we're over halfway done. The ones that aren't painfully OOC end so abruptly just as they're becoming promising they feel like essay exams where "pencils down" has been called unexpectedly. One story had a plot twist so unlikely and nonsensical that when a reader asked the author for their rationale, they smugly responded, "I prefer to let you decide for yourself why (the character) did that." I've got news for you, love: that's not cleverness, that's laziness. Ugh. I've left so many low ratings I'm afraid of being banned from the community as a troll. And have asked myself more than once why I continue reading so determinedly. I think the interactive nature appeals to me.

The reason I mention Snarry is to mention Harry in general. Tery very thoughtfully got me a subscription to Entertainment Weekly. My first issue arrived last weekend just as I was heading into work. It had Jack Sparrow on the cover and, more importantly, a fairly interesting-looking article on Spiderman 3 (I'm one of exactly two people in the world (the other being Tery) who truly don't give a rat's ass about Pirates of the Caribbean). Which is all I can tell you about the issue because I was so tired by the end of my shift Saturday that I left it at the hospital. By Monday it had gone completely missing. SO not cool, stealing a sistah's Spidey mag.

After I pestered Tery no less than 10 times to go looking for it, she thought she'd assuage my loss by picking up a different magazine that cost $10, is all she would tell me. It turned out to be Movie Magic, predominantly Harry Potter but with smaller articles on Spidey and PotC. This, it turns out, is the film equivalent of Tiger Beat: big, glossy photos, 14pt font type, and such titillating quotes on the cover as "Daniel talks about The Kiss: 'People will come to the film to see it!'" I was appreciative, but gently explained that I haven't been enthralled by pictures alone since age 5. The last straw came when I read the caption on a picture discussing fan art that said, "One fan's version of Sirius and his brother Remus." (emphasis mine) !!!!! Apparently even $10 a pop isn't enough to keep a fact checker on staff. But I certainly don't hold Tery responsible for the shortcomings of the magazine, and she did subsequently get me another copy of EW, this one even better with Black Spidey on the cover.

~*~

Life stll plods on at the hospital. Last weekend I had a postop Golden Retriever that absolutely refused to use her legs, Sarah. It's times like these when it's damn inconvenient that the exercise yard is only accessible up a set of stairs. I gave it a miss on my first round, but Dr. K insisted I had to get her out so she didn't get urine on her surgical wound. So I was more determined come morning. "I promise you Sarah, as god is my witness, I WILL get you up those stairs," I said to the dog. Well, easier said than done. Sarah weighed 75 pounds so I tried "towel walking" her; you sling a towel around the belly and lift like a wheelbarrow. This technique only works if the dog can at least maneuver their front legs, which Sarah apparently could not. We got halfway up the steps before she just collapsed and refused to move another inch. Since hanging out on the steps simply wasn't an option, I tried hoisting her by the towel more aggressively. "Get up!! Get up damn you!! You've never given up on anything in your life!!" (I don't know why it amuses me to talk to the dogs in old movie clich├ęs, it just does) I got her to the top of the stairs by lifting her hind legs up completely with the towel sling, and lifting her front legs with one of my feet -- something that wouldn't have been possible before the awesome power of the Bowflex, and I'm fairly sure would have been even less possible for the severely deconditioned full-time overnight woman even before her ankle surgery.

I shouldn't have bothered. She ended up not doing a damn thing in the yard except hunker down and become immobile again. It was just as strenuous getting her back down the stairs, where she suddenly leaped to her feet and took a few jaunty trots around the ward -- only to suddenly collapse and become unbudeagable again when I tried to get her back into her cage. I fucking hate dogs.

This weekend I had a 4-month-old chihuahua puppy. Awwww, so cute! you say. Except every time I left the room, and even sometimes when I was standing directly in front of her, she emitted this unearthly yowl that sounded alternately like a 6-year-old boy throwing a temper tantrum and a dying yeti. It was so unbelievable sounding that most of the time I couldn't help laughing, from the opposite end of the ward. Eventually however the iPod had to be employed in the interest of maintaining sanity.

And, like those awful [livejournal.com profile] snarry_games entries, I have no idea how to end this. Pencils down.
grrgoyl: (FC Insomnia)
Heads up, [livejournal.com profile] yammerhead: The [livejournal.com profile] snarry_games have commenced! (Nee "snarry_olympics". Someone actually got the Olympic Committee involved, who issued a cease and desist order to our lil LJ community. Yet Olympic Paint and Olympic Airways (as well as Olympic Parks in countless cities) still stand unopposed.)

I celebrated the Inaugural Ceremonies by marching about the house singing the Olympic theme and the 1812 Overture alternately, until Tery declared that I was destroying everything she held dear...then she began writing lyrics set to the Olympic theme with liberal use of the words "butt sex."

However, my celebration might have been a bit premature. The very first entry in the Games is a 77,000+ word story that I gave the old college try, but it had some sizable strikes against it. First, the author's notes explained it was loosely based on one of the first Snarries I ever started to read, Mirror of Maybe; see here for a reminder of how bad I thought that story was. Still, being the Olympics Games and a different author, I started reading it anyway. Within the first two pages, I noticed that the author is absurdly fond of the word "clearly", as in "Snape clearly didn't believe him" or "Hermione and Ron entered, having clearly just woken up." After noting this phrase used literally once in every other paragraph, I started to resent subsequent appearances. The story would be forgotten as I glared balefully and disbelievingly at the word repeated yet again. This morning, having read about 3/4 of the story, I've decided that these things aside it isn't really a very good story and I'm not wasting another minute on it -- apart from the one I spent using the "find" feature on my computer to actually count the "clears" or "clearlys". There were 96. Lazy. Lazy and inexcusable, especially in a story supposedly beta'd (or proofread) by a second party before posting. I'd say as much in the comments if I didn't think I'd be drowned out by all the sycophants squeeing their adoration from the highest mountaintops. Snarry fans clearly aren't a very discerning lot.

~*~

In honor of the Games (and because I had the day off), I watched one of the older Rickman vehicles I'd caught in my Tivo net, Judas Kiss. This is about a simple kidnapping gone awry when a senator's wife is killed in the process. It starts out fast in the middle of the kidnapping. The kidnappers' dialogue is glib, clever and sounds entirely too rehearsed, with stilted pauses to allow the next actor to speak. Because of that added to my man being nowhere in sight, I didn't think I'd like the movie very much. But eventually they calm down and speak more naturally, and eventually Alan appears as the grumpy, tired cop forced to take on the murder case despite vociferous protests (I've noticed Alan plays grumpy a lot, not that he doesn't do it well. Perhaps this is why I liked Snow Cake so much, he's finally allowed to show an emotion other than peeved). He speaks with an American accent and worse, a pseudo-New Orleans accent which, like his accent in Dark Harbor, fades in and out of existence. To top it off, his partner on the case is federal agent Emma Thompson, who manages a better and more consistent N'awlins drawl but still, in their first scene together I got the feeling they were both secretly grinning madly at being two British actors playing these roles. As Tery put it, "Did they run out of Americans?"

As the film goes on, we get to know the kidnappers better and they become more sympathetic. Alan gets to be very manly in one scene, wielding a golf club to pound the truth out of a corrupt cop. The plot thickens and becomes very twisty and turny indeed, up to a very surprising but satisfying ending. And yes, Alan sort of runs in one scene, but his girlish gait can be excused by the fact that his ankle is supposed to be broken.

My other catch is Quigley Down Under, which I suspect I might not enjoy as much. We'll see.

~*~

Finally, how did this escape my notice for so long? Mike Nelson and friends from MST3k riff on such recent films as The Matrix, Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, Lord of the Rings, The Fifth Element and Reign of Fire (I would have given anything to listen to that last while Chris' DVD was still in my possession). You download the mp3 file and play it along with your DVD at home, creating your own homemade MST3k session. Brilliant! Last night I gave X-Men a go. Just what the doctor ordered for MST3k fans seriously jonesing for new material.
grrgoyl: (Office Jim)
Some movie reviews, since my connection is down and I can't work anyway (which is the grownup equivalent of a snow day!)

I finally got to see Lady in the Water, but first some words on M. Night Shyamalan. I pity Night, I really do. His first movie hit a home run out of the ballpark, and it's all been downhill ever since. Now everything he does is expected to have a big wow twist at the end and, in my opinion at least, he hasn't been up to the challenge. His movies are enjoyable to watch, but all of them have a serious flaw in continuity or logic that ruins them for me.

Exhibit A: Signs. I've mentioned in the past how it makes no sense for the aliens to try to conquer Earth when their only weakness is water. Hello, 70%? One could argue that the real point of the movie is the nature of faith. I could then argue against couching this lesson in a nonsensical alien horror movie.

Exhibit B: The Village. Oh, where do I start? Fortunately I can save some time and just link you on over to my original review and all the ways I thought this movie stunk.

Exhibit C: Unbreakable. Saw it. Don't remember a single frame. Might have been masterful and well-crafted, but what good does that do you when the movie is completely forgettable? (Not that my piss-poor memory should be any indication)

Exhibit D: The Sixth Sense. Yes, even his opus has one tiny continuity problem that completely ruined the rest of it for me. And now I can ruin it for you. There's a scene that opens on Bruce sitting in Toni Colette's living room face-to-face with her. Neither of them are speaking of course because she can't see him. He doesn't think that's a little odd? And for that matter, how did he get in the house in the first place? I didn't even notice it until the third or fourth viewing, but once I did the movie was completely ruined for me.

So I didn't rent Lady in the Water expecting great things. I just had curiosity. ::cutting in case someone else does too:: )

When it was over I honestly didn't know what I thought about it. I emailed Ryan the next day, who amusingly had the exact same impression. I will say that in the spectrum of Night's movies, this one when taken at face value as nothing more than a bedtime story probably holds up the best logistically and continuity-wise. Towards that end I found a very cheap used copy online and plan to watch it again. {Final score pending}


Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan: VERY quick review. Hilarious. Believe whatever quotes they stick on the case to sell it. I totally fell for the disc, which looks like a cheap bootleg copy. However, I've seen enough of a morbidly obese, hairy, naked man wrestling and rolling around on the floor to last me the rest of my life.

~*~

A natural extension of my Snarry obsession would be the world of action figures. However, before now I haven't indulged for obvious reasons. This was what I had to choose from:

Are you KIDDING me?
I'm not sure which is goofier looking, Harry or Snape. Okay, definitely Snape. Not at all sexy.


But good news! NECA finally noticed that there might be a market for it, and will be putting out these bad boys very soon:

Rickman!Snape and Radcliffe!Harry


I think the temperature on my work desk is going up a few degrees.
grrgoyl: (U2 iPod)
A Super Bowl party is a damn lonely place if you don't care about sports. I went to Tery's bar, City Pub nee Toby Jug, for the promise of a free half-time buffet and the chance to see Ryan (which I never miss). It was loud, boring, and the only food that appealed to me from the buffet was a hotdog and nachos with toppings. In between a shouted and only partially-heard conversation with Ryan I caught myself watching the game, which was ludicrous given the fact that I understand only the bare minimum of how it's played and really absolutely could not have cared less who was playing, let alone winning. I left immediately after the half-time show to spend a much more enjoyable evening alone at home.

~*~

I heard back from the IRS once and for all. The good news is they agree that I don't owe them $2000. The bad news is the last line of the letter was something to the effect of, "You may have gotten off easy this time, but we'll be back, my pretty." Lay off, Mr. Taxman. Have you run out of Enron executives to investigate?

~*~

I hate computers. I love them, but I hate them. My ability to make any given program/hardware work falls somewhere above that of my father (at the 0 end of the scale) and below my friend Gerry, who bandies about lots of fancy terminology but doesn't by any means know enough to make a living at it (or maybe he does and just enjoys the thrilling inventory life instead).

I want to use my cheap, no-frills, secondhand laptop basically for two things only: to read Snarry at night in my bed, and to occasionally write a journal post for days like today when I'm sick and tired of sitting at this desk. I had achieved both goals handily when I got my brother-in-law's wireless modem card working for awhile. Then, stupidly, I unplugged it for some reason and when I tried to use it again weeks later it had stopped working.

I fiddled with it endlessly, tormented by the knowledge that it had worked fine at one time so should logically do so again. If it had never worked I would have stopped much, much sooner and wasted much, much less time. But nothing I did would establish a connection (well, specifically it APPEARED to have a connection, but every page I visited produced an "unable to find server" message).

Fine, I thought. I'd go back to the old days of using a floppy disk to transfer data (the laptop has a CD drive but not a burner). Until I looked more closely at my new desktop and only then noticed it didn't HAVE a floppy disk drive. It has no less than 4 different openings for presumably various sizes of memory sticks, but floppy disks, nada.

My choices then were to go back to eBay in pursuit of either an external floppy drive to retrofit my new desktop, or an external memory stick drive to upgrade my laptop. You see, this is why I HATE computers. Nothing can ever be simple. I then thought I had reached a compromise by buying a USB data transfer cable, which arrived yesterday. What the auction failed to mention was that to use this deceivingly simple tool, one needs to set up a network. I don't know what I was expecting. Probably what I always hope for with my computer and rarely get, that I could plug in a "plug-and-play" device and it would magically start working without requiring any extra effort from me.

Network. The very word makes my blood run cold, because it was a word I encountered repeatedly in my exhaustive efforts with the modem card, and I never once found a simple, straightfoward, plain English explanation on what it is, how it's used, and how one creates it. And, as far as I can tell from spending about an hour on it last night, it's not possible to establish a network between a brand new desktop running Windows XP and a laptop of indeterminate age and limited capacity running Windows 98. If it is, I don't want to know because I'm sick of playing with the damn thing. Sick to death.

Simple. I want things simple. Back to eBay I went and bought an external floppy drive for my desktop. It's also USB "plug-and-play" but claims it only needs drivers for Windows 98. (Drivers. Another word that raises my hackles.)

~*~

Speaking of computers and Snarry, when I got my backup disk from the good people at Action Computers, one of the things they saved was my own humble effort at a Snarry story. I went back and reread it, and it rekindled my interest in writing it. It wasn't as bad as I remembered, and I also forgot how fun it is to write dialogue for Snape (who is almost as snarky as me). I'm toying with the idea of eventually posting it on one of my Snarry communities (if I can ever think of an ending). The only thing preventing me is the fact that those people gush over just about everyone, regardless of talent or lack thereof. I would honestly prefer it never see the light of day to having insincere praise heaped upon it. So far the only person privileged enough to read it is my beloved Bear, who never talks to me but I love her anyway. Maybe I can entice [livejournal.com profile] ohdeve...I mean, [livejournal.com profile] yammerhead with it. He's back and he'll never admit it, but I suspect he couldn't resist the allure of the Snarry.

~*~

Finally, I keep putting off writing this because I've been trying to limit my posts to one topic, but since this is a miscellaneous dump I'm including it here.

A movie review 18 years in the making, ::Die Hard:: )

This movie has undoubtedly stood the test of time, especially in comparison to two movies I've reviewed in the past: The Lost Boys which came out the year before and is now hopelessly dated, and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves that came out 3 years later and is retarded and dated. With its story of a terrorist attack on a skyscraper, it could be argued that it's more relevant than ever. So, Alan Rickman + Bruce Willis (not an annoyingly horrible actor like other action heroes) + still a great story + with still pretty decent effects = 4.5 out of 5
grrgoyl: (iFerret)
I feel the urge to update again, you lucky, lucky people.

Crankwhore: Still no sign of her in person, although we did get a call from the environmental testing 'people' (HA! My blog has inside jokes). It seems our attic tested positive for unacceptable levels of contamination. They'll have to break through the firewall after all, and decontaminate all the seasonal stuff we've got stored up there. You can imagine the effect this news had on the tiny amount of good will I'd managed to scrounge up earlier in her defense. Fucking Crankwhore. It also occurred to me that we pulled all that stuff down for Christmas, obviously long before realizing the danger. Fucking Crankwhore poisoned Christmas! This might shed some light on why I was so sick for the first three months of this year, or perhaps not since Tery wasn't. Until they clean it up, all that stands between our bedroom and unacceptable levels of contamination is a thin piece of plywood with cottage cheese ceiling material. THAT'S a relaxing thought. The good news is I'll get to hang with my friend Leah some more.

Pigeons: The HOA sent out a pest control "hit man" to examine our situation. He gave us large corn kernels to lay down for them with instructions to call him back in 3 weeks when he would switch them out for poisoned kernels. Mind you, I don't really want them dead, but it is starting to resemble an Alfred Hitchcock movie around here. We put out the corn and honest to god haven't seen them since (on our balcony, at least). Go figure: I attacked them with a bat repeatedly for a week, and they kept coming back. We covered the balcony top to bottom with elaborate fencing, and they kept coming back. We lay down a little corn for them, and they said, "Shit, they mean business! We're outta here!" As MyFriendDeb put it, "Perhaps all the ones who said, 'Look! Food from the people previously hostile to our presence!' have been weeded out already." The birds aren't gone completely. Tery noticed definite nest-building activity over on the CW's balcony *snicker* The babies? Dead. Tery was upset, but come on... it's not like she drove them miles and miles away. They were in a tree 10 feet away from the building. Any species too stupid to find their offspring in this situation deserves to be thinned a little.

Concerts: I had a bit of an existential crisis on Friday. I decided I HAD to see Muse when they come to Denver next month, forcing me to ask the age-old question that still has no answer -- where have all my real friends gone? You know how you kind of categorize your friends in terms of social situations? Like, Friend A is good to see a movie with but Friend B is better at a club? Yeah, I don't have enough friends to do that. And concerts are trickiest of all because they are typically expensive, a logistical pain in the ass (buying tickets, getting to the location, fighting the crowds to get to your seat, then when it's all over fighting the crowds to escape, etc.), PLUS you have to know someone who likes the band enough to deal with the first two issues. Not easy. I had a friend for this category, he even lived in the Denver area, but the shithead went and moved out of state on me. Long story short (for real this time), I got so frustrated and self-pitying trying to think of someone to go with me (that was right about the time I contacted you, [livejournal.com profile] metatronis) that I called Tery in tears and she said she would go. She said she LOVED Muse and couldn't wait to go with me. She was lying of course (proven easily enough when she couldn't sing even one song), but that's what you do when you love someone as much as she loves me. But then I got online to buy us tickets and stopped dead in my tracks when I realized the place where they're playing didn't have assigned seating. "Standing Room/Limited Seating" it said. I didn't care for the sound of that at all. I'm getting too old to be stuck in a giant mosh pit with a bunch of 16-year-olds. I had an instant flashback to every concert I've ever been to. With the exception of Sarah McLachlan where I practically fell asleep, concerts usually sound like a lot of fun in theory until I get there and suddenly remember they're all hordes of obnoxious, often drunk people who are going to spend the rest of the night jamming their elbows into my boobs. Or so I rationalized to myself. Those conditions might be more tolerable with someone as passionate about the band as I am, but not with someone who's going just to make me happy, as much as I love her for it. Sorry, Roxie, I'm going to puss out. : (

Snarry: I'm writing attempting one of my own. It's a more daunting task than I thought it would be, keeping them in character. Tery says it's good so far, for what that's worth coming from someone who hasn't read the books and has only seen small snippets of the movies before I relent and let her change the channel. She takes great pleasure in adding her own bits to the story, for example: "Poop," said Harry. "You're stinky," said Snape. Very mature. She's also very insistent that I incorporate a famous phrase from her own teenage writing effort, namely, "Cooperate, you hot bitch." I asked if I could scatter the words throughout rather than use them in the same sentence. (I'm kidding. I won't be using at least half of these words.) I haven't decided yet whether it will see the light of day. I feel terribly shy about posting it in one of the Snarry communities; not so much fearing negative feedback (I'm perfectly capable of stringing words together into pleasing and grammatically correct sentences, which is more than I can say for some of the writers who have posted there) as having it be completely ignored, as it seems most of my other appearances on LJ are. Maybe it will be available by request only. I don't know why fiction writing is so intimidating, I certainly find it easy enough to blather on about my life.

Finally, a movie review 15 years in the making: Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. I taped this for the Rickman goodness of course. I had worked an 11-1/2-hour inventory during the day and plopped on the couch as soon as I got home. 15 minutes later my joints had stiffened up so much I literally could barely move enough to change out of my uniform. I discovered this is actually the most desirable condition in which to watch Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and possibly the only way to endure Kevin Costner's embarrassingly bad performance - namely, to be so utterly immobilized that you can't even muster the strength to work the remote. Oh my god. He might even be worse than Richard Gere, someone I had previously considered to be the world's worst, most overrated actor. I've seen RH: PoT before of course, but that was when I was much younger (well, 15 years younger to be exact) and still blissfully unaware that appallingly horrible actors can be glorified just for being marginally good-looking.

Some of the more painful lines (which I will not blame the writers for....there's nothing wrong with the lines themselves, only the actor delivering them):

(Being chased by Nottingham and his men, debating entering haunted Sherwood Forest) "Either we face the ghosts or become ghosts ourselves!" Not the best of lines, but Kevin's delivery is so ham-handed it made me physically cringe.

(just before the Turkish executioner is going to cut off his hand in prison) "This is English courage," says Kevin. No, judging from your accent I'd say it's Southern Californian courage. Is it so very hard to do a British accent? Apparently not, as later in the film when he poses as a beggar to sneak into church he does a perfectly passable Cockney accent. Why, Kevin, why? Because no one would buy you with a British accent? Well, I don't buy that Robin Hood was a "whooooohooooooo!" guy (which is what Kevin does when he becomes over-excited about walking on his farmland again). (BTW The same accent criticism applies to Christian Slater, who comes awfully close....but then gives up, doubtlessly in light of his co-star's pathetic effort.)

Even when he's saving people's lives he's got the emotional range of a beer vendor at a baseball game. I could go on and on, but you get the point.

Of course Alan does his best in the way of damage control, but there's only so much you can do as the deliciously evil comic relief. Wearing deliciously evil leggings and pirate shirt. Deliciously raping and pillaging and...and....oh hell, what was I saying?

As for Morgan Freeman, he was the only bright spot next to Alan. And got all the best lines (AND managed to deliver them in a foreign dialect. ACTING!!!!)

This is the review imdb.com chose to post on the RH: PoT front page:

I am totally shocked this movie has such a low rating! [I am totally shocked you feel passionately enough about the movie to say so]

I thought it was an excellent movie. One of my favorites!!

Of course Kevin Costner is so yummy! He could be the only character and I would still love it!

["Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves - a one-man show in three acts, by Kevin Costner." Might actually be kind of amusing]

Also Mary Elizabeth [don't want to attempt spelling her last name?] did a good job as Marian. I thought both of them put alot of emotion into their roles and they had GREAT chemistry! I loved watching Marian go from wary of Robin Hood to realizing he wasn't "stealing all the gold and jewels for himself". [wait, why is this in quotes? Is this a line from the movie?]

You could just see the love on the screen! Of course Alan Rickman made a super bad guy. [how generous of you to mention him in the midst of your Kevin Costner-obsessed frenzy] And who can not like the Bryan Adams song? [::meekly raising hand::] Perfect addition to this movie!

All in all a great cast and a great twist on an old story!



This was written in 2004, long after most people had realized that some Hollywood blockbusters of olde don't always stand the test of time. I'm guessing this person still lives in their parents' basement and owns a very battered, worn out VHS copy of the movie.

Ugh. 3 out of 5, as long as you edit out anything not involving Alan.
grrgoyl: (mirrormask)
The other day I was visited by my neighbor, Dave, delivering another "information packet" to us. I should have just let him leave it on the doorstep, because he insisted on coming in and watching me while I read it. This was exceedingly awkward, as more often than not reading his "literature" is only accomplished with a great deal of eye-rolling.

See, Dave used to be a "consultant" on the Homeowner's Board. He would sit in on meetings, offering suggestions and legal advice, for you see before this he was supposedly a lawyer. Based on the rumors of the irrational, emotional methods he uses to deal with adversity, I'm not really surprised he was disbarred. We heard many tales of him screaming at homeowners for the mildest of infractions and terrorizing neighbors with the tenacity of a pitbull. This sort of thing came in handy when we were united to get rid of Tracey the Crankwhore (he was the one trying to take all the credit for getting her busted). But then he started to abuse his power. He tried to get the community by-laws changed to reduce the Board to only three members, thinking from there he could then manipulate and scheme to get three members who all agreed with him and did what he said unquestioningly. At one meeting out of the blue he attacked Tery and me specifically by name, complaining about our late payment of HOA fees and that some months "Elaine pays but Tery doesn't" (because sometimes we send just one check and one of us pays the other back), as if this were any of his business and had any bearing whatsoever on anything being discussed at the meetings.

Of course this felt like a slap in the face to us and Tery resigned from the Board shortly thereafter in disgust. Nothing was said, although you better believe the Board received a pretty angry letter from me in our defense, not that it was needed; Dave was being a freelance asshole and not speaking for them. A few months later we were gratified to hear that he was deposed, for what other word can be used to describe it after the tyrannical way he tried to rule the Board? Then a referendum was proposed to turn our community over into the hands of a completely new management company, wiping the slate clean of all the smaller contracts Dave had set up to get the job done. This would also effectively put Dave out of a job (he somehow worked the system such that he could live on his pay as "consultant" as his only income. Smooth. This is why I believe that he used to be a lawyer) and make sure he couldn't come back. Naturally he fought this tooth and nail, and this was the beginning of the "information packets," always delivered silently to our door, probably because he realized we weren't interested in speaking to him. The "literature" was page after page of carefully documented allegations and defamatory statements about the new management company.

I hate to admit that I can be gullible at times (just about anything presented to me in printed black and white looks pretty convincing), so I did my best to get all the facts. I talked to a few of my neighbors about the issue, and unanimously was met with looks of horror and assurances that yes, it was a good thing that Dave was finally gone and no, we absolutely don't want him back. Based on this we cast our vote with confidence and the new company was hired. Dave was OUT.

Unfortunately this gave him lots and lots of free time to sit home and put together still more packets, which he delivered sporadically to our door, full of conspiracy theories and attacking the new company by trying to drum up suspicion and doubt. Too bad (or perhaps very lucky) that he's small-minded enough to only focus this intense activist energy on his immediate surroundings, our tiny community. This is what I mean when I say that we read these things with lots of eye-rolling -- to think that he publishes them under the pretense of being concerned for the well-being of his neighbors, when obviously he has a considerable personal interest in returning things to how they used to be.

So there I stood with this man in my kitchen eagerly watching my face as I read his latest tract. Wanting to get it over with, I scanned through it superficially. He seemed to be complaining about the interminable meth lab cleanup time, something I couldn't agree with more. I wondered briefly why it was any of his concern, living as he does a good three buildings away, but as I've said, Dave is deeply involved with every aspect of the complex, whether he has a right to be or not. I nodded in strategic places, murmuring, "Absolutely" and "I like what you've done here" (okay, I exagerrate). When I finished he wanted to discuss. It was only then that I slowly came to the realization that he was turning it all on the management company. Claiming that the Whitcombs were doing everything they could to cooperate but the company was inventing excuses to impose more fines and doing everything THEY could to slow the process. In fact, Dave had nothing but sympathy for the poor Whitcombs. Hooo boy, did he pick the wrong house to deliver this to. I smiled and nodded and said whatever I could to placate him and send him on his way. I told Tery about his extreme about-face and her response was a deep sigh and "Any port in a storm, I guess."

The man is clearly insane from not being properly employed for so long. It's like he's staging some kind of coup and trying to gather supporters for the upcoming battle. I can't figure out which is funnier, the fact that he thinks Tery and I have any kind of clout or the fact that he thinks his ulterior motives aren't as plain as the nose on my face.

*********************

I am slowly but surely gathering my birthday presents. Since I receive money in lieu of actual gifts from family members who are far too busy to click through a few pages and order from my Amazon wishlist, I must turn around and buy stuff for myself. Pity me. This week I have amassed the complete works of James Lileks (or the top three at least), the 2-disc unrated extended cut of Underworld (don't look at me that way, [livejournal.com profile] ridiculicious. We all have our guilty pleasures,) and Neil Gaiman's Mirrormask. This last was the only thing I asked Tery for, knowing she's too unorganized to order anything online ahead of time and having seen it for sale in Walmart -- easy breezy for her, right? I am ever the considerate birthday girl. She ignored me and instead ordered two Neil Gaiman books (Anansi Boys and Neverwhere) brand new from my wishlist. This displeased me because the only reason I put them on my list was they were really cheap from private sellers. She got them from Amazon though, and paid twice as much as my original request would have cost. Grrrr. Wasteful. But bless her for thinking I'm worth it.

I was terribly excited about Mirrormask. Written by Neil Gaiman, directed by Dave McKean (and based on his artwork), in collaboration with the Jim Henson Company....a movie tailor-made for me if ever there was one. I expected Labyrinth only creepier, cleverer, with more mythical references. It is very similar, in storyline at least: young girl voices a foolish wish which of course comes true and she finds herself in another world (thankfully without the squalling infant), compelled into a journey to recover the Mirrormask to set things right. Her companion in this task is Valentine, a masked (everyone in this world wears masks....very symbolic) traveler who is given all the best lines in the movie (for example, my favorite which is also the subject of this post, I loved it so much).

The DVD case is quite right to proclaim it "eye-scorching screen candy" -- once you get past the tedious real world intro and enter the fantasy, it's just like stepping into the pages of a Dave McKean graphic novel. Of course the characters and dialogue are pure Gaiman, and ultimately what makes the movie truly entertaining. It suffers in comparison to Labyrinth because the puppets I was expecting from Jim Henson were replaced largely with CGI. This in my opinion really removes the sense of menace, i.e. will Helena escape the pack of hungry Sphinxes (Sphinxi?) that surrounds her in the street? Who cares, they're just animated. Hugely disappointing. Which isn't to say there are no startling images in the film. I'll have to watch again to see what exactly is Henson's contribution, because there seemed to be very little live action apart from the principal humans. But when I noticed the key to the Mirrormask more than a little resembled the key to Hell from the Sandman comics, my heart started beating a little faster. There was one scene that made it all worthwhile that was a combination of live action and stop-motion animation, a Marilyn Manson-like video set to a Burt Bacharach song. Ahhhh, only from the mind of Neil Gaiman. And that's the closest thing to a spoiler I'm going to come.

The movie was a treat, perhaps not as complex a story as I hoped, but essential for Gaiman fans. The real treat however is the cornucopia of extras. I suspect the interviews and featurettes combined will run longer than the movie itself. Unfortunately Tery came home just as I got started, so I only got to taste one fingertip's worth of the frosting on this cake. I'm looking forward to watching the rest of them at greater leisure this weekend.

***********************

I'm getting really irritated with people online this week, edging towards downright fed up. Every time I make a comment anywhere lately I get 4 complete strangers jumping straight down my throat. Fucking BACK OFF, people. Consequently my comments are getting snippier. The [livejournal.com profile] snarry_olympics are underway, and from where I'm sitting it's not looking so good for Team Angst. The writers have taken the community guidelines straight to heart, "No happy endings," and every fic has ended in misery and tears. But not just misery, I mean abject, irredeemable despair. I like sad endings, but my god. I always have to follow them up with a Team Romance story just to keep from killing myself. No matter, I left a comment on a Romance entry, praising the story overall but offering some tiny constructive criticisms. The author responded, fiercely defending their choices and lamenting that "you can't please everybody" and "not everyone can be as brilliant as you" (I objected to a very clever scene being ruined for me by having it explained later in the story in very stilted, unnecessary dialogue). Apparently some writers only want feedback of the "OMG this was so AWESOME!!!!!" variety. So until I learn how to gush sycophantically like a schoolgirl, I'll just keep my brilliant, critical mouth shut.

************************

Just so as not to end on such a negative, angry note (wouldn't want you to get the wrong impression about me), somewhere between when tickets went on sale (on my birthday, no less) and today I've decided that I HAVE to see NIN at Red Rocks on May 30th. The only problem with this plan is I have no friends in Denver who care enough about them to spend, get this, $85 for a ticket. That's for nosebleeds (or, since the arena is in the mountains, sherpa section). Second row seats? $1,150. Are those AMERICAN dollars? Do those come with dinner and a movie with Trent himself? I say to that, HOLY HOT DAMN.
grrgoyl: (imaginary snarry)
I haven't written much lately, and that's because nothing much has been happening. As talented as I am, even I can't make something out of nothing. There are some burning thoughts I need to get rid of though (have I crossed too far over the line into fangirl insanity if I confess I think of my journal as a Pensieve? Yeah, I was afraid of that. Try not to judge me).

First off, New! Quickie movie reviews! Because I didn't care enough about these movies to devise a particularly in-depth analysis.

The Ring Two Try and try as I might, I couldn't find a single positive thing said about this movie anywhere. So perhaps just because I'm bloody-minded, I have to say it wasn't all THAT bad. Yes, they did recycle a lot of the same scares from the first one. Yes, I found it remarkably fortuitous that Rachel could not only sneak onto an ambulance completely unnoticed to take a peek at the first victim, but also end up face to face with the victim's girlfriend at the police station purely coincidentally after being told she couldn't see her, again completely unnoticed despite being mere feet from the front desk. Or for that matter that the agent selling the Morgan place has no problem with Rachel going into the basement and taking whatever personal effects she wants. But I was willing to overlook all of this because this movie gave the creepy son, Aidan, an ample showcase of his apparently one acting ability, staring unblinkingly -- at the ceiling, at the floor, at the TV, at the window, at Rachel, it doesn't matter. I just can't get enough. I was confused by one thing though -- ::cut in case anyone else might someday want to see the movie:: ) In short, not the best sequel ever made, but not the worst either, not by a long shot. 2.5 out of 5

Wedding Crashers This came highly recommended by most of Tery's coworkers, who I can only assume are too easily amused. Not to say it wasn't funny, but it used the same tired old cliche of the sweet, funny, sexy girl engaged to an insensitive, overbearing ass who plainly doesn't deserve her. This idea has already been played out in The Wedding Singer, The Office TV series and Saw (though admittedly you REALLY have to look hard to read this subtext in that last). Why oh why do women end up with such unsuitable fiancees? Although as long as we're on the subject of unsuitable partners, Rachel McAdams (Claire) appears to be playing late teens/early 20's (in reality she's 29) to Owen Wilson, who looks like he's in his late 30's (in reality he's 37...which I guess is late 30's). This is slightly distasteful in a cradle-robbing way (though the irony isn't lost on me that I have no problem imagining a 17+ year old Harry hooking up with a 35-40 year old Snape. It's different with guys. They don't care about stuff like that, as long as they're getting some. Or so I imagine). This movie easily falls into a specific category that includes Dodgeball, Anchorman and The 40-Year-Old Virgin; namely, movies I laughed at a lot but strangely feel no need to ever watch again. Eh. 2 out of 5. And can anyone explain to me why Owen's much cuter brother Luke doesn't get more work? Maybe he's just more selective with his scripts. Pity.

Speaking of Snarry (because I always am, even when it seems like I'm not), I found a story I loved so much I read it three times in two days: The Dreaming Spires. Snape, for reasons I won't give away here, is living like a Muggle with no memory of his life at Hogwart's (and also believing he's straight). Harry appears and Severus realizes what I've known for most of my adult life: that in the Game of Attraction, body parts aren't nearly as important as the person they are attached to. Just lovely. I wonder if my feelings when finding a gem like this are similar to what's going through Tery's head when she starts whooping and hollering for Kentucky (the team, not the state) in the living room?

Tery even penned a little ditty in tribute to my Snarry obsession, sung to the tune of "Flagpole Sitta" by Harvey Danger: "Imaginary Snarry sex and everybody's coming to get me//and if you're bored then you're boring" That's it really. It doesn't make much sense, but we were both so tickled with how the first line rhymed and fit the beats so nicely.

Finally, for those who can't understand my obsessive need to own DVDs with the maximum number of extra features, I give you one small reason from GoF:

Ten points from Hufflepuff!

This is a clip from a fairly lengthy deleted Snape scene. Here we see Snape breaking up romantic teenagers on the night of the Yule Ball, because we all know that teen sex is only the first step of a long downward spiral into sin. Go Snape Go! He's so spry and aggressive. Of course it pisses me off that this got cut. No, it's not terribly important to the rest of the movie, but the man has so little to do as it is. Leave his damn scenes alone. How long until Order of the Phoenix? *sigh*
grrgoyl: (Default)
Last night we inventoried Cost Plus. This is the chain that I suspect gave me piiiiiiiink eyyyyyye last cycle (though this particular store seemed a lot cleaner this time around). But I'm not going to talk about the inventory at all, rather my co-workers.

The laziness of kids today is really beginning to concern me. This job requires a certain amount of self-sufficiency and initiative. I'm not talking climbing-the-corporate-ladder initiative, I'm talking being able to seek out more assignments when the current one is completed. Doesn't sound that hard, but there are an alarming number of kids that work for us who see this as an opportunity to take a little break, slowly shuffling about the store pretending to be looking for the supervisor but really just killing time until the inventory is over. It is MADDENING I tell you, as someone who inherited a strong work ethic from her father.

So last night there was this girl. We were all finishing up in the backroom on a couple of palettes of seasonal stuff. About 5 of us were pulling down big boxes and counting them. She timidly approached us to help so I gave her a box. When she finished it, she announced triumphantly "Okay!" and then just stood there looking at me. "Okay," I repeated and looked back. "What now?" she asked. Oh for the love of...."Help yourself" I said, indicating the rest of the boxes on the palette. Hand-holding. Hand-holding and babysitting are what these kids need nowadays. As we neared the end of the palette she was the first to finish. Taking what passed for initiative for her, she asked if she could help anyone else. We all said no, and she stood there. And stood there. And stood there. After about 10 minutes when I noticed she was still there, I said "I would prefer you go talk to Dave rather than stand there watching us." They're like dolls that need the giant key in their back rewound before they'll move again, I swear. Initiative. Look it up, people.

Then we started the salesfloor where I ended up counting with Alex all night long. Alex is a nice enough kid. I wouldn't call him stupid so much as young and inexperienced. He is, however, very exuberant, like a 6-foot-tall Labrador puppy. I've been distancing myself from him because this has a tendency to annoy me, but since we were stuck together last night I thought I should try to be nice and make conversation. BIG MISTAKE. He has a problem where he voices every little thought that flits through his mind the very second that he has it. It's like having a conversation with James Joyce, except without the intelligent things to say. Complete stream-of-consciousness diarrhea of the mouth. As an example, he once remarked to the room at large, apropos of nothing, "Having an IV is weird. It's like, one minute you're thirsty, and the next minute you aren't."

During the course of his chatter, this exchange occurred. He told me he was thinking of going to Starbucks for a second job during the RGIS slow season. He had worked for them before so didn't think he'd have a problem being hired again, except he didn't know what the pay was these days but he was pretty sure he could get a decent rate, he really liked working for them and blah blah blah you get the idea. Then THIS was said:

Alex: (after a respectable silence, during which I thought we had dropped the Starbucks topic) My sister works at Starbucks in New York, right across from the World Trade Center.
Me: Not anymore she doesn't. Now she works across from Ground Zero.
Alex: Not the Twin Towers. The World Trade Center.
Me: The Twin Towers WERE the World Trade Center.....?
Alex: What happened to the World Trade Center?
Me: (you can imagine my incredulity) Ummmm....it got blown up. Do you ever watch the news?
Alex: Oh! No, not the World Trade Center. What's that other big building in New York?
Me: The Empire State Building?
Alex: Yeah! That's it! I just get confused because the Empire State Building USED to be called the World Trade Center.
Me: Wait, what?

I'm seriously considering posting this to [livejournal.com profile] mock_the_stupid. And last night I was seriously considering begging Dave to let me count anywhere else but near him after that. All in all I think I was better off when he was wary and regarded me as unapproachable.


Thoroughly unrelated, but Tery insisted I post this pic, I wanted my hair cut but I hate going to a hairdresser. I hate this because it's kind of like Christmas day for me: Either they barely touch my hair and it looks like nothing has been done, or they insist on making it all poofy and girly, blowdrying and spraying and styling the crap out of it. Either way I feel obligated to ooh and aah over it as if I really like it (kind of like my Christmas presents), before running to the car and taking a comb to it to try to look like myself again and not some bizarre tomboy/runway model hybrid.

(Though I will grant you that the hairdresser doesn't require as much moral support or guarantees against violence should it not go according to plan.)

So Tery called me from the bar and I reminded her I wanted her to cut my hair so please don't come home drunk. Three hours later she arrived, not exactly drunk but not 100% sober either. It is a testament to how much I hate the hairdresser that I would prefer to allow a half-inebriated person to come at my head with scissors. She didn't do a half bad job, actually, but when we were done she decided to have some fun with Griffyn. Poor Griffyn has adrenal cancer that has caused most of her fur to fall out. Tery thought it would be amusing to loan her some of my discarded hair:

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She insists she is happier with the hair. Based on this pic, I for one can't imagine she's enjoying her Ted Koppel combover.


Even more unrelated, here is my new favorite (work-safe variety) Snarry pic. I wish I could credit the artist but I just copy images from the internet at random and don't make note of where I found them.

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"Invisibility"


It's just perfect. Severus looks so morose and lonely. Harry looks older (I HATE Snarry chan art) and so....beside himself with desire. Yum.
grrgoyl: (XenaKiss)
I'm kind of tired today (been working since 5 a.m.) but still feeling the update taskmaster slavering at my heels. So I'm going to pad my words with some pretty pictures.

Tery and I have learned the meaning of "A picture is worth a thousand words" when using our cell phones. Since discovering we could send photos as easily as text messages, we've been letting the pictures speak for themselves.

For instance, the night I was going to see HP and the Goblet of Fire with friends, Tery complained she didn't have anyone to hang out with. I good-naturedly invited her along, to which her response was, "Screw Harry." My reaction looked a little something like this:

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And the time I informed her that my sister and I had discussed her hands-free microphone usage (it rubs on her clothing, producing a deafening rustling sound in my ear) and both come to the conclusion that she had to be doing something wrong, her reaction looked a lot like this:

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You can just see the long years of suffering and tolerance etched into every tired line of her face. I'm pretty proud of that.

This next picture requires some longer explanation. I'm still fixated on Snarry, and when I reach this level of obsession I find ways to incorporate it into my everyday life. I was idly speculating one day when it occurred to me how like Snape and Harry my two boys are. Not in appearance, but definitely in temperament. Hear me out. Giddy (the sable) is very energetic, playful, affectionate, fearless and extremely fond of ignoring rules and subsequently getting in trouble. This is how he ends up in places like the bottom of the hamper, or behind the washing machine, or in the cutlery drawer, or even once memorably on the top shelf of my closet (he's a climber), all places he certainly is not allowed. Xander (the albino, which is the exact opposite of the color you'd associate with Snape) is more reserved, quiet, doesn't much enjoy being touched, and typically can be seen scowling darkly beneath the furniture, watching Giddy's antics disapprovingly. I know thinking about things like this is gay, but I can't really help it. I believe this picture illustrates their polarity nicely:

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See, Giddy prefers being the center of attention whereas Xander likes hanging back a bit. I've petitioned Tery to change Xander's name to Severus (since he doesn't seem especially attached to "Xander" anyway) but as stated earlier, S. names (never mind S.S. names) are anathema to our ferrets, and changing it would almost surely result in his untimely and tragic death within a week. And that would definitely put a big old damper on Christmas.

Finally in this series, I'm throwing in a picture of Nemo, cuz he's just too damn cute not to:

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I went to see Chronicles of Narnia yesterday all by myself in the middle of the afternoon. I read the book(s) in elementary school. I don't remember them as well as the 1979 animated version I grew up with. If you've seen that, you've seen this movie (although the effects are much better). It's very faithful to the cartoon, practically a frame-by-frame adaptation (except thankfully leaving out the queer and purely superfluous part with Aslan hopping and flying about after the Stone Table incident). The effects are really well done, but what else do you expect from Weta Workshop, the geniuses behind the Lord of the Rings trilogy? Particularly the centaurs. Why, back in "my day" (i.e. Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess) the centaur effect was created with guys wearing some kind of furry contraption and shifting restlessly from foot to foot to simulate a horse standing in place (but more often looking more like they just needed to pee really badly) for closeups, and looking like a photoshopped nightmare pasted into scenes as an afterthought by a Tandy computer, grossly out of proportion to their co-stars, in far-away shots.

Tilda Swinton was perfect as the White Witch, being naturally abnormally pale and scary-looking. As for my favorite character I have just two words: Mr. Tumnus.

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He was perfect. Adorable. Sweet. Sexy in an innocent, unassuming (unclothed) kind of way. I wanted to put him in my pocket and take him home, but Tery would probably make a fuss.

The movie had its flaws. The plot dragged in a lot of places, even the big exciting battle. I found myself wondering why jaguars fought on the side of good while Siberian tigers were evil. I'm sure this kind of drifting off wasn't what the director intended. Also, I know C.S. Lewis is commonly associated with Christianity (I even studied him in college with regards to this) but the metaphors in the story aren't terribly clear-cut and I feel like it would take too much energy to study them any more intensely now that I can't get college credit. For instance, I feel the whole "innocent willingly being sacrificed in a traitor's stead" should smack of Biblical references, but it doesn't quite fit that neatly. And the White Witch (especially appearing in the Amazonian getup during the battle in this movie) SHOULD represent Paganism, but then Aslan sure has a lot of wild creatures fighting for him as well. Oh, it just gives me a headache.

In summary I don't see this taking off like, say, Harry Potter, even though there were 7 books. I'm not even sure I liked this movie enough to own it forever and ever. I'll have to see what else is around when it's released.

I went straight from this to a rental, White Noise. I got excited when I saw this was about EVPs (electronic voice phenomena), but the only thing scary about this movie was how frightfully stupid it was. Another film with a good premise that ended up tripping over itself at the end and leaving absolutely nothing explained (not to mention a very lame attempt at a last-minute shock which, I kid you not, was only the actress turning her head suddenly for no apparent reason). The 5-minute segment I saw on SciFi's Ghost Hunters when they caught a real EVP was 100 times creepier than this thing. Ugh. I hate being this jaded and hard to scare, I really do.

One last pic, to make [livejournal.com profile] velmaneuwirth happy. Tery and I in our younger, happier days:

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I was just a wee baby. She totally seduced and corrupted me. Blame her.

Lastly, for [livejournal.com profile] ohdeve (because I keep my threats word):

Oh unicorn, my unicorny
You make me warm and kinda horny
Splashing through rainbows and rivers all day
Sweet, sweet unicorn, never go away

I shall now sit back and await the inevitable deluge of comments.
grrgoyl: (Default)
I spent the better part of my weekend feeding my Snarry hunger. During work I idly bookmark various recs if they look halfway promising, and I finally got time to sit down with some of them and decide yay or nay. But not before spending a good 12 hours or so reformatting and printing out the existing chapters of the Tea Series by Telanu, all 556 pages of it...chuckling and gibbering to myself all the while as I slid a few hundred yards further into madness. I couldn't help it. The story is perfection, perfect enough that I want to read it in bed before going to sleep at night, which is out of the question if it's only on my hard drive.

It's so GOOD to be back in the grip of a full-fledged obsession again.

Tery didn't understand at all. Not only did she snark about the massive amounts of paper I was using (until I pointed out that I bought it), but she was horrified when I chose to compile the pages into a used (but still in almost new condition) work binder with the word "Surgery" on the spine. Tery has this bizarre hangup where she has to buy brand new materials for every project. She'll use five pages in a composition notebook and then discard it, buying a whole new one the next time she needs to write. Her defense is some nonsense about needing a "clean slate" for her creative energy, but if you tear out the used pages, what you have left IS a clean slate and nobody's the wiser (unless you're freakin' Rain Man or something). Such wastefulness (but means plenty of free notebooks for me, so it isn't all bad).

After completing my labor of love (or "my precioussssss" as I refer to it....I know, how original), I was ready to begin navigating the treacherous waters of fanfiction. I've never loved anything enough to really get into the fanfic scene (I dabbled in a bit of Xena slash and even less Buffy/Giles) so there was nothing to prepare me for the very bad writing that is presently consuming oodles and oodles of bandwidth space. This is the problem with starting with such a pinnacle of talent -- it's all downhill from there. I know what you're thinking: sure, it's easy to sit and criticize without ever lifting a finger to try it myself, but that's the bed in which every writer must lie. And there are some truly bad, bad, spectacularly awful stories sitting on the internet, just waiting to suck up gobs of your time that you will never get back. I don't have a lot of free time, so I violently resent these pieces of smeg trying to steal it.

For instance: "At the End of All Things," which has something to do with Harry receiving the magical equivalent of chemotherapy, naturally administered by Snape, though there is no reason given why the school nurse wouldn't be the more obvious choice (other than the fact that she just isn't sexy enough). The author of this piece is clearly in the medical field, as they go into very involved descriptions of the procedure. There is such a thing as TOO involved though, and this certainly falls into that category. Sorry, cancer and chemo treatments really don't light my Christmas tree, if you know what I mean.

Speaking of too involved, I started on another, "Mirror of Maybe," that started out pretty good. Harry is sucked into a mirror where he's trapped for 13 years, coming back to the present within 20 minutes but with the mind of a 28-year-old man stuck in his 15-year-old body. In the future Voldemort has been defeated, leaving Harry a battle-scarred War Mage named "Ash." (Unfortunate choice of names there: Ash Potter??? Pot Ash????) I was willing to overlook all the Terminator overtones, was silently gritting my teeth every time Harry referred to Snape as "Sev" in his mind (arrrrggggghhh), until the author devoted practically an entire chapter to explaining in excruciating detail the complex metaphysical intricacies of a spell Harry uses to disguise himself in the present. I. Don't. CARE. Go back to your damn Dungeon Master's Guide and Evil Dead DVDs and STOP WASTING MY TIME.

I won't touch anything with a rating of mpreg (male pregnancy) with a 10-foot mouse cord. I will cheerfully accept a world of magic and even borderline pedophilia, but men getting pregnant from their gay lovers? This is such an appallingly stupid concept I was hesitant to tell Tery about it, even if it meant proving that plain old Snarry wasn't the most degenerate level of fiction out there.

*sigh* So it's back to wading for me. As a consequence I've gotten quite adept at speed-reading the first chapter and knowing within a few paragraphs if it's what I want. A snap decision, perhaps unfair judgment, but there is simply too much and life is way too short to spend it reading shite when there are real treasures to be found like the Tea Series.

Tery's a good sport though. When she's channel surfing she'll always stop on a Harry Potter special for me (they aren't in short supply these days with GoF opening up). She likes to rub in the fact that Snape barely appears in any of them (much like he barely appears in the movie), but I pointed out he would become much more important in the next two.

"Oh, I heard they weren't making any more," she said offhandedly.

"Did you now?" I humored her.

"Yep. They said 'enough is enough'."

I said it was perfectly understandable that they'd just walk away from the single most lucrative franchise since Star Wars. Quit while they're ahead and all that. I don't envy her. It's got to be hard being one of about 20 people on the planet who don't care about Harry Potter. I imagine them as Death Eaters, meeting in secret, biding their time and waiting for their chance to take over the world again. Not an easy life, to be sure.

Thoroughly unrelated, this morning in an Albertson's inventory they played "Here Comes Santa Claus." Not terribly noteworthy, except there was a line in there that I didn't remember from childhood that seemed very out of place. It was:

"So let's give thanks to the Lord above that Santa Claus comes tonight"

I was raised in a good Catholic household and our version didn't contain this line. I thought it was inserted as an insidious plot by the poor, oppressed Christians who are having the holiday RIPPED out from under them by callous store employees who refuse to say "Merry Christmas" (I mean really, people....is this honestly the biggest problem you can think of in the world today??), but Tery assures me it's always been there. I say it's a jarring clash of Christianity and secularism, kind of like Jesus and Santa duking it out WWF-style on South Park. And I won't have it, I tell you. I won't.

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December 2011

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