Monday, November 29, 2010

Two of My Favorite Things - Together at Last!

Like peanut butter and pickles, blue moon and a slice of orange, jalapenos and popcorn (that one's for you Brian), finally two of my favorite things have come together in one fabulous Spielbergian package...


Watch the Trailer

Not to mention the presence of Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford on the same silver screen rates high on my dream combo scale - right under Dr. Tran and that voiceover guy.

Dr. Tran - He's a REAL Doctor

Corny, you say? Hokey, perhaps? Yeah, well, when the movie comes out and everyone is like "HELLS yeah!" I will say "Hey, remember when you scorned the subject? You said, 'Bah! (you will actually have said the word 'bah!' which in itself is a crime.) Cowboys and aliens? Are you kidding? That's the most ridiculous idea for a movie I have ever heard!' Remember when you said that?" Then the crowd will turn on you and proceed to mock you unmercifully until you cry like a baby. Daniel Craig will personally pen you a scathing note. Harrison Ford will probably be his usual grumpy, crusty self, so how can you ever tell when he is upset with you, but oh, you will know. You. Will. Know.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Movie - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I

I went with several friends to the Warren Theater (or maybe it's TheatRE, I'm not certain) to see Harry Potter on opening night last Friday.

As I climb into the confessional, you should know that I have not read Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows since purchasing it at 12:02AM at the Border Bookstore in Boulder, Colorado, on the day of its official release many years ago. After roughly elbowing aside the costumed tweens standing between me and the register I paid for my book, went home, called in sick to work, and began reading at a pace which allowed for absolutely no retention of the material until I, bleary-eyed and slightly nauseous, had blasted through to the final page. Then I had a nice cry and stumbled to bed to sleep for the following 13.5 hours.

I hardly retained anything beyond who lived and died in the final battle and who got married in the epilogue. The movie was all new information to me, full of "Oh, yeah, now I remember that!" moments.

Dude, I can't even remember what I had for breakfast this morning. Cut me some slack.

Realizing that this movie is set up for the final installment, I don't have any major gripes. Maybe when I re-read the book I will. My only issue - and it is minor - was with the use of animation to tell the mythology of the Deathly Hallows. The animation itself was beautifully done, very Tim Burton-esque, but totally inconsistent with the remainder of the movie and previous six HP movies - none of which contained any animated scenes. (Of course, I'm not counting CGI as animation.) It felt as though the scene had been filmed previously in some other fashion, but when it went to editing, the original scene got cut. Needing a quick fix and relatively inexpensive solution, they inserted the animated storyline at the last moment.

The Potterverse characters are wizards, right? Couldn't the wizard retelling the story have animated it for their audience (Harry, Hermione, Ron)? Or shown it through the moving pictures in the book? Or crafted it in a bowl of ink, or a magic mirror, or shadows cast on a wall? There were countless options that could have been used to incorporate the necessary plot element into the movie without taking us out of the scene to do it.

The best part... sitting in the balcony above the common riffraff, indulging in alcoholic beverages, and toasting my heinie in the heated movie seats while watching the film with friends. It's the only way to fly.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Nanowrimo - The Breakup

I am thinking about breaking up with Nano. He's just too controlling. It's only week three in our relationship and he's already demanding that I spend all of my spare time with him. I'm working my fingers to the bone to make him happy, but it's never enough. I want time to make art and watch Supernatural while simultaneously texting my friend Brian to debate "Good Vs. Evil Sam" and put my new desk together and finish my house. But I can't because Nano's needs come first.

And what is he doing for me in return? Nothing, unless you count stressing me out. It may be best if I write him 1,667 word "Dear John" letter explaining why I'm leaving.

I'm fairly certain his sneering reaction will be to wave the letter under my nose and say, "Seriously? Why did you waste your time writing this garbage? You can't break up with me! I won't leave until you have 50,000 words! Did you post your word count today?"

In my head, Nano looks very much like Chris Baty's evil twin. (You would never be able to tell them apart except for some reason Nano has a pencil thin mustache which he drew on with a Sharpie. Hey, this scenario is in my head, I can do what I want.) In the beginning, I had such a nerdy crush on him, but I'm afraid that the honeymoon is officially over.

Sweet baby Jesus in a ninja suit, how I hate week three of National Novel Writing Month (Nano for short). The goal is to have 50,000 words by the end of November. At last count, I am approximately 16,000 words behind.

It doesn't help that I'm a "pantser" this year - as in "flying by the seat of". I didn't plan. I didn't plot. I didn't have names for my characters. I didn't think about anything past the first scene, which is, if I may say so, fabulous, though there has been an alarming decline in quality since then.

Ooo. I'm going to name my antagonist Nano Whymo.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Sketchbook Project

Art House Co-op started with the idea of bringing art to the masses by creating "massive, international art projects that tie thousands of artists together - and anyone can participate."

Not that they're ambitious or anything.

Their most popular project is The Sketchbook Project. Participants sign up, select their theme (or roll the dice and have a theme assigned to them), pay their $25, and are given a Moleskine (my favorite!) Cahier sketchbook and a deadline. Participants take their notebook and assigned theme and create an artistic masterpiece using whatever medium, creative juices, and flattened muses they wish - as long as it fits in the sketchbook.

Completed sketchbooks must be postmarked by Jan. 15th, 2011, and sent back to them. Then in March the sketchbooks go on tour to be exhibited in galleries and museums all over the country. "It's like a concert tour, but with sketchbooks." When tour is complete, they go into the permanent collection of the Brooklyn Art Library where they can be checked out to the public. Brilliant, right?

While I was out of town, I missed the Oct. 31st deadline to sign up for this year, but due to overwhelming demand they extended the deadline until Nov. 15th. YAY!! I signed up today and will hopefully have the sketchbook in hand within the week. My theme: "This is not a sketchbook". I debated between that and "A record year for rainfall", "And then there were none", and "happy thoughts". I might still do a happy thoughts page in my sketchbook because I did a neato piece on that subject using some hand-carved stamps.

I can't wait to get started.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dick Blick

Before you get all excited people, it's a site for art supplies. Get your mind out of the gutter.

I just want to mention how great Dick Blick's is. Yes, they screwed up my order. Instead of the Copic Sketch marker in Black that I ordered I received the Copic Sketch marker in Tahitian Blue. Black, blue... they both start with "bluh". I could see where a mix up might occur.

The point is, I called the 1-800 customer service number to report the mix up and they were awesome. The lady that fielded my call was extremely nice to me and apologized several times for the mixup. Now, not only am I getting my Bluhack marker, but I get to keep the Tahitian Bluhew as well.

You'd be excited too if you knew how frickin' expensive these things are at the local Hobby Lobby.

As I got ready to hang up she said, "Now go make something beautiful with that Tahitian Blue marker."
Oh, I will DickBlickOutstandingCustomerServiceLadyoftheYear. I will.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Peer Pressure - A Victim's Perspective

Okay. I did it. I caved in to the pressure like a bad souffle, and I am not above blaming it on my friends.

I've started a blog.

And here's where my voice starts to take on a highly annoying, whiny tone... everyone else had one and I was starting to feel left out.

As soon as I typed that previous sentence I heard my mother's voice in my head pose the familiar, age-old question, "If your friends jumped off a cliff, would you?" The answer to that is obviously, "Yes. Yes, I would. I would cast my self willingly into the void like the lemming that I obviously am."

At the last BookBabes gathering I was the only one who didn't have some sort of bloggery presence online. One individual, who shall remain nameless, had her beautifully customized blog for over a year and had yet to write a single post. But at least she had one. As everyone was exchanging URLs, I felt distinctly left out of the inner blogging circle.

"I have 51 followers now, all of whom think I am brilliant and witty," said one of the Babes, as she knocked back a stiff belt of wine. "They leave me comments and wonderful words of praise."

Well, damn. I had to have some of that. It sounded about as close to having minions/ worshippers as I'm liable to get.

There is a certain amount of pressure to perform, however, that comes with establishing a blog. There is an expectation that I must do something worthy of writing about in order to justify my narcissistic activity. I feel like I need to lead a much more interesting life in order to keep the followers coming to place their lavish gifts at the foot(er) of my blog/altar. I want to be one of those benevolent bloggers who showers their followers with hilarity and wisdom. Given the kind of life I lead though, unintentional hilarity is likely to ensue, but I can't promise anything that even vaguely resembles wisdom, unless it's the please-learn-from-the-following-painful-mistakes-I-have-made variety.

Having been on the follower/friend end of the issue, I also am fully aware of what it is like to receive too much information. I love some of these same people to the point of distraction, but, seriously, I DO NOT NEED TO KNOWexactly when, where, how, why and what bodily functions are performed every time they go to the loo. Shit happens. I get it. I love you, but it's fine if I don't know certain things. We're still friends, I promise.

To spare my followers (the number I expect to reach triple digits aaaany second now) a torturous litany of stream of consciousness blather and loo status reports broadcast like it's important news from the front, I swear, if it comes to that, I will willingly cast my blog into the void.