Thursday, December 30, 2010

Nobdy brght a comptr so it lks like it'll b pesky txt upd8s! Snowy Breckenridge, CO has brght on a lovely case of altitude sickness. -6 temps 2day or 2morrow!

Monday, December 13, 2010

november reads

17 books this month and I'm still pushing towards 150 for the year...doesn't look like I'll make it at this point, but I'm not giving up yet!

I'm in the process of rereading J.D. Robb's (Nora Roberts) 30+ book In Death series (futuristic romantic suspense)

Josh and his partner Brent buy a historic, though VERY high maintenance, mansion and the epic farming/decorating adventure begins! Brent worked for Martha Stewart for a while and he and Josh both go a bit overboard on their own home as a result. Very funny and touching!

Bertrice Small's The Channel series
I read the first in this series last month (Private Pleasures). Mildly entertaining erotica centered around a town where women can subscribe to a "television channel" that allows them to experience any fantasy for real. If you've read Bertrice Small before, you know the game.

A slim book and a lightning fast summation of the history of Islam and its development in the modern world. A bit dry and repetitive but overall fairly informative.

Entwined by Elizabeth Naughton
The 2nd book of Naughton's Eternal Guardians series (Marked). Greek myths, huge heroes, lots of angst and sexiness. It's not great, but it is very entertaining!

Hearn seems to be the imminent collector and translator of Japanese folktales and fables for the last century or so. This collection was more strange tales and stories (and that was the original subtitle of this reprint of a 1904 title), nothing too creepy. Fascinating studies of butterflies, mosquitoes, and ants (in relation to folktales and fables) at the end of the book.

Who doesn't know what this is? I loved rereading it and I also loved the movie Part 1!

Such a good story of how many of these dogs beat the system (which usually recommends euthanization for dogs seized from fighting situations) to become therapy dogs and/or loving family pets. I thought the experience would be a lot rougher than it was. Truly heartwarming and the volunteers involved are so dedicated to what they do...very inspiring.

2nd book in a long-running British young adult series about three seventh-grade friends learning about life, dating, and friendship. Since there are three girls, I'm not sure what will happen to the story as of book 4 but I'm willing to find out!

Under the Bright Lights by Daniel Woodrell
After Winter's Bone, I wanted to read some of his other work and I am not disappointed! This is the first book in his Rene Shade detective trilogy and it is very raw and spare, like a rangy junkyard dog, and just as snappy. Woodrell is not one for flowery language or extra detail, just the bare bones of the story scraping across your nerves. He is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.

Mythical Beasts of Japan: From Evil Creatures to Sacred Beings by Koichi Yumoto, Akiko Taki, and Hiroyuki Kano
This thick little book is composed mainly of illustrations from hundreds of years of Asian art, but the few areas of explanatory material are totally worth the journey. I picked this up after finishing Kwaidan and loved a further exploration of the world of Asian myth and legend!

150 books, here I come!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

tales of passion, tales of woo

not really, but someone from another library once called the reference desk looking for that book for one of their own patrons and the actual title is "Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe." It makes me smile to think of it AND it sort of reminds me of the card throwing at Rocky Horror. It's an ADD moment to be sure.

Anyway, I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving. If you don't celebrate the holiday, I hope you had a fabulous Thursday :-)

I was at KT's house from Wednesday to Friday and had a blast. Cookies, games, Christmas decorations, frivolity, and controlled chaos were the order of the days and I've rarely had such a rollickin' good time! I fell off the portioning wagon fairly badly but mananged to eek out a .2 pound loss for the week of Thanksgiving. And you know what? I'll take it.

I'm still REALLY loving my new used car and just zip in and out of traffic like a little bumblebee. I don't know if I'll ever want something other than such a small car. They are very zippy and fun.

So far, I've failed at my endeavors to blog more, but I did delete a few of the more obsurdly time consuming things in which I participated on Facebook in an attempt to free up more time for other things. I've frequently found myself coming in from work and getting straight on the computer for the rest of the night and not doing anything really other than staring at Facebook and hitting the refresh button. Not good. I have too many books to read and a monthly subscription to Netflix to be spending all of my time playing games and hoping my "friends" will talk to me. I'm also going to harshly weed the feeds in my Google Reader. I just have too many and the thoughts of logging on are too much to bear. I miss checking in with the sites and blogs that I really enjoyed before I got all bogged down in too much info. It's time for a fresh start!

I hope I haven't lost everyone with my blogging laziness. Are you all still there?

Friday, November 19, 2010

library archaeology

Mr. Johnson moved on to something more lucrative after Miami Vice...

Inside Bowling by Don Johnson and Jack Patterson

Friday, November 12, 2010

october reads

I'm still racking up on my reading! I managed to get in 13 books last month and am going strong here mid-November. I'm feeling REAL strong on my goal of reading 150 books for the year!

What is Man? by Mark Twain
Controversial and, dare I say, irreverent essay on the humanity of humans in the form of a Socratic dialogue between an Old Man and a Young Man. The OM takes the position of human as machine, working as programmed and motivated only by his own contentment of spirit. The YM, as young men tend to do, takes what he considers to be the high road. Great companion read to Bernard Beckett's Genesis, coming up a little later on this list.

Lirael: Daughter of the Clayr by Garth Nix
This is the middle book in Nix's young adult fantasy Abhorsen trilogy. Magic, necromancy, adventure, danger, loyalty, and bravery - something for all and I loved the whole series!

Winter Kissed by Michele Hauf and Vivi Anna
Two winter-themed tales of romance from Harlequin. Okay, but not great. LOTS of awkward dialogue.

Genesis by Bernard Beckett
One of my favorite books. It was published as a young adult novel in the author's native New Zealand and it gets catalogued both ways around the country. A young girl, Anaxamander, is presenting her historical research on Adam Ford in an attempt to get into The Academy. Adam's life was a pivotal moment for a society that had already been devastated by a world-wide plague and suffering extreme isolation for many, many years. Anax's historical research uncovers so much more than she intended or is ready for. A++

Abhorsen by Garth Nix
The concluding volume in Nix's Abhorsen trilogy. This is a great series to pick up for Potter fans!

The Red Tree by Caitlin Kiernan
A mind-bending, reality-shredding tale of dread from an author Neil Gaiman describes as "the poet and the bard of the wasted and the lost." Author Sarah Crowe is attempting to get away from her grief over the death of her lover, Amanda, but burying herself in work in an isolated New England farmhouse. Her discovery of an unfinished manuscript on the evil history of an old tree on the property doesn't help her situation much. VERY, VERY good. One of the very best works of cold, dead-weight dread I've read in recent memory.

A first novel in a new young adult series from Black, set in a universe where curse workers have been officially outlawed, but are so common that everyone is required to wear gloves so that no skin-to-skin contact, and thus no curses, can be transmitted. Of course, some people cheat, and that is what currently has Cassel in so much trouble. The audio is narrated by Jesse Eisenberg and he does a great job!

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
Everyone born Post-Shift has the ability to see ghosts. Aura has capitalized on that by working in her aunt's law firm seeking justice for the wrongly killed. She takes some pride in her work but it's a pain in the ass overall. That is, until her boyfriend, on what should have been the best night of his life, accidentally dies instead. Now she's caught between the ghost of the boy she loved (who still considers them to be a couple) and the possibility of new love with Zachary. This is a young adult novel, but I would only recommend with confidence to high school age and up for language, sex, and drugs.

Private Pleasures by Bertrice Small
Are you familiar with Bertrice Small? If so, 'nuf said. If not, let's just say I was more than ready to get off the YA train and in to something a whole helluva lot *bit* more grown up. In plain language, this is erotica so if that is not your bailiwick, beware! I wish WE had The Channel.

Skinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen
We've booked this author to speak at our library next year so the whole department is reading his books so we can start the handselling. Chaz pushes his wife overboard while on a cruise celebrating their anniversary. He was concerned that she'd found out about his shady dealings on the job and thought this would be a convenient way to shut her up. Unfortunately for him, Joey's years as a champion diver in college hold her in good stead and she's ready for revenge. Fast moving story with lots of funny characters and humor, some of it very sexual in nature, but the author's CONSTANT use of every character's full name, first and last, was SO F*&^%ing ANNOYING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sometimes more than once in the same sentence. I want to read some of his other books but can't make myself do it as that was SO offputting.

Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okarafor
*sigh* I sooooo wanted to love this but it just didn't happen. It got lots of good press but it just didn't resonate with me. It most reminded me of Alice Walker's Possessing the Secret of Joy. I am newly horrified by rape and female circumcision, in detail. Lots of sperm and other bodily fluids tossed willy nilly. I could see the point the author was trying to make, or shine light upon, but it took away from the central story for me. However, I think I will remember Onyesonwu until the day I die. A job well done, I'd say.

Poems Bewitched and Haunted edited by John Hollander
The main thing I learned was that there are billions and billions of poems out there on how evil/witchy/demonic women are. Poems suitable for a Halloween collection about evil/warlocky/demonic men are apparently pretty thin on the ground. *sigh*

A long running, VERY British young adult series so it's "mates" as in friends rather than any other definition. Short, funny, and highly entertaining! Lucy is an outsider in her family and feels like everyone knows what they want to do with their lives, already, at the ripe old age of 14...except her. A new girl horns in on her BFF and the hottest boy in town turns out to be SO VERY unattainable. I really liked it and am reading the second one now. There are a lot of books in this series so I hope they stay fun!

What are YOU reading?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

go elf yourself!

In honor of the fact that I am on staycation this week AND that I am indeed putting up my Christmas tree today, I present to the world my elf self! It is so much trouble getting out all these decorations that I want to look at them for way more than two or three weeks! I have lots of trips and pics to post about, but I've got to get the tree up since KT and the rest of my fav fam of five are coming over for dinner and decoratin'. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

drag, confetti, and toilet paper..oh my!

Dr. Frank-N-Furter 2.0
He's got a little captain in him :-)

Great Scott!! I suffered a very minor rice grain to the eye during the wedding, but this was a rice, confetti, toilet paper deluge and I had my newspaper out for protection!
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I had to brush my hair out on the front porch to get all the rice out and my shoes and bra were full as well, but I didn't undress outside. Rice vacuums up just fine! A few butter smears from the toast and a handful of cards for sorrow, cards for pain are all I really ended up with. And we've all decided that if we start NOW, there could be some EPIC costumes for next year!

Oh, and I am no longer a f*%&#ing Rocky Horror virgin!

That is all.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I would have signed it twice if it were ethical to do so!

Defund NPR?! These people are daft and not in a good way like Daft Punk. I absolutely DO NOT listen to any radio stations in the area except WBHM because they don't have anything interesting, enlightening, or entertaining to say. When I want news, that is the station I tune in on all my radios. I am a no-TV household and proud of it. Don't take away my public radio.

Morons. How can anyone honestly take them seriously?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

poetry parade

I am enjoying my Poems Bewitched and Haunted challenge, but the glut of "women are evil and deadly" selections, while flattering in a very Dexter kind of way, is disheartening too. I really would have like to see it more balanced out with some evil and deadly dudes. I know they're out there. There have been some fairly decent ghost poems and I'll shortly have some favorites picked out to share. At the end, I'll pick out some of my favorites overall and list them here too. The spooky poems have been an enjoyable event, might have to make poetry a permanent feature. I don't read enough of it anyway.

Also, the Kia was retired in a very dignified fashion. This is the new hotness:

It's a 2008 Hyundai Accent hatchback and I'm loving it! So nice to be more confident in the fact that I can get back and forth from work without dying! The poor Kia was just falling apart on me. It was a great car but I drive 80 miles a day, minimum, on crappy Alabama roads. There's just no sane way to make a car last under those conditions and I don't expect it. I shopped via Carmax and had one of my best car buying experiences EVER!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

witchy woman

one of my fav Eagles songs

I FINALLY made it through the "Hags and Beauties" section of Poems Bewitched and Haunted. It was a chore. I sure hope men get equal treatment somewhere in this book because it was depressing how hard the woman-bashing went on. I thought, perhaps, somewhere, there would be an empowering sort of hag or beauty but no, they all could have starred front and center on Days of Our Lives or some such show. Powerful, shallow, ignorantly cunning...pshaw! I was glad to get past all that.

The "Dangerous Procedures" section was disappointing. Really, it was merely an extension of "Hags and Beauties," with recipes! Blissfully short.

Now we're getting to some good stuff, "Dangerous Venues!" Edgar Allan Poe's "The Haunted Palace" was pretty good, obviously, but my favorite so far is Thomas Hood's "The Haunted House." I will set it down for you here, but I will also be posting it, a stanza per day, over on facebook. It's perfect for it! Creepy and atmospheric with a gothic spice...good stuff!

Okay, the book only has Part I of this three part poem, in total there are 88 stanzas! It's too long to set down here, but click through if you are interested!

Read scary,

Monday, October 4, 2010

October challenge

I've set a challenge for myself that, admittedly, has not gotten off to a very auspicious start but I have high hopes for myself and you should too! I have checked out a book of poetry, Poems Bewitched and Haunted, and plan to read it throughout the month, noting down my thoughts here. I counted up the poems to see how many I would read each day to make it last the entire month. I didn't read my 4 poems yesterday and haven't gotten to them today yet either but I WILL READ 8 poems when I get home tonight!

All of them so far have been fairly witch-y in subject. Cold, beautiful, otherworldly women who lure brave men to their death. Blah, blah, blah. I think it goes just as much in the other direction, but I guess that doesn't makes for good poetry?

Several of the poems were about a cold, beautiful, otherworldly woman named Circe, which of course reminded me of the Cercei of the much beloved A Song of Ice and Fire series. She too is cold and beautiful, though not otherworldly. Grasping, manipulative, and vicious, yes, but often devastatingly foolish. Not that that makes her enemies any less dead. And so it goes for the victims of the poetic Circe as well. Quite a few of them end up as pigs. I'm not sure when or why that became the go-to punishment for witches to assign.

Are you reading anything scary???

Saturday, October 2, 2010

September reads

I thought I was on track to be reading a lot less than last month, but 16 isn’t too shabby! I’m just a few books away from beating last year’s total and still basically have 3 months of reading to go, including another staycation in November. Would it be too greedy to shoot for 150 books this year? Surely not. Anyway, here’s what I read last month!

Leaving Unknown by Kerry Reichs
Maeve Connelly is a chronic non-finisher. To her embarrassment, she’s just been fired from yet another job and her parents are expressing some heavy disapproval at having to take care of her yet again. In a fit of inspiration, Maeve decides to move cross country from the Carolinas to take up residence with an old friend in California. With her ancient car, a chatty bird, and a sparkling sense of adventure, Maeve feels like nothing can stop her now…except, perhaps, that ancient car. The town of Unkown, Arizona will never be the same again.

No Doors, No Windows by Joe Schreiber
Greeting card writer and frustrated novelist Scott Mast has returned to his tiny New Hampshire hometown for his father’s funeral. His alcoholic brother and vulnerable nephew make the stay particularly uncomfortable in their separate ways and Scott is ready to head out. Before he can make his escape, he stumbles upon an unfinished manuscript of a horror novel begun by his father before his death. Now The Black Wing consumes him and he begins to wonder just what legacy has been left to him after all.

Marked by Elizabeth Naughton
This is the first book in the author’s Eternal Guardians series featuring Greek gods and demi-gods, demons, and, of course, eternal love. Ummm, of the hot variety. I’m sure you understand.

Vampirates: Blood Captain by Justin Somper
This is the third volume in the young adult series about the twins, Conner and Grace, each of whom were rescued by pirates after they were shipwrecked. Conner’s rescuers were human, Grace’s were not. Now Grace’s nemesis, the vampirate Sidorio, is back and amassing power to threaten the human and vampire world alike.

Dracula, My Love: The Secret Journals of Mina Harker by Syrie James
A further fictionalized tale based on the original fictionalized tale. What *really* happened to Mina and Jonathan Harker and the rest from Stoker’s classic horror story of darkness and obsession. I wanted to like this, I really did, and it was great up until about the last ½ or 1/3 and then she lost me. Dark, sensual, and more than a little depraved. Still good Halloween-ish reading!

Shadow Bound by Erin Kellison
Death broke a cardinal rule when he stepped through the veil of Shadows because of the love he bore Kathleen. Now the dark creatures of Shadow can pass through as well and the wraith menace grows, sucking the souls from humanity. Twenty some odd years after that event, the child created from that union, Talia, is on the run for her life. The wraiths want something from her but she has no idea that she is a banshee. Adam, leader of the wraith research group Segue, knows she may be the key to destroying the menace if he can only keep her alive long enough AND keep from falling in love with her.

Vampirates: Black Heart by Justin Somper
The fourth book in the series. Sidorio just won’t die and now has joined forces with Lady Lola Blackwood, a very dangerous vampire in her own right. Grace and Conner are quickly running out of places to hide and avenues of escape.

Summer at Tiffany: A Memoir by Marjorie Hart
Marjorie and her best friend Marty became the first female floor sales pages when they were hired for the summer at Tiffany in 1945. This is her story of that exciting, life-changing summer when they donned the trademark blue of Tiffany and Co.

A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn
A retelling of Sleeping Beauty. No where near as good at the author’s Beastly, but entertaining nonetheless.

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Full of the flash and fire of Kerouac’s On the Road, but in Spain. Fishing, bullfighting, absinthe by the bucket loads, and the hectic, mercurial affection of one Lady Brett Ashley.

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Grace has been obsessed by the wolves in the forest behind her house ever since she was almost killed by them when she was a small child. One wolf in particular, yellow-eyed AND the one who saved her life then, keeps her attention now. After one of her school mates is attacked, a group of men from town take their guns in to the woods, determined to rid the forest of wolves. Grace desperately tries to stop them, to no affect. When she returns home that night, she finds a naked, shivering, shot boy on her back porch. A boy with disturbingly familiar yellow eyes.

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
The sequel to Shiver. The third novel in the trilogy, Forever, is due out next July. Linger finds Grace and Sam struggling to acclimate to their new lives, unable to escape the feeling that nothing good lasts forever.

Sabriel by Garth Nix
Sabriel’s father, Abhorsen, is missing. She knows something is terribly wrong because he sent a very weak shadow hand to bring her his magically-enhanced sword and the bandolier of seven bells he used to bind and defeat the dead. Sabriel refuses to believe he is truly dead so she must leave boarding school, cross the Wall back in to the Old Kindgom, and find her father immediately. Something dark is brewing, the dead are rising, the dead creatures that rise with them becoming even more vicious, and only Abhorsen can do anything about it. With the help of the magical creature Mogget, he only *looks* like a small white cat, Sabriel must journey to death and beyond to find her father before it’s too late.

How Did You Get This Number? By Sloane Crosley
Humerous essays by the author of I Was Told There’d Be Cake. Not quite as ascerbic as David Sedaris, but definitely funny!

Vampirates: Empire of Night by Justin Somber
The fifth and most current volume of the continuing adventures of twins Grace and Conner. The twins have learned of their true history and nothing will ever be the same. Hard choices must be made, sides chosen, battles fought…I love this series!

Shadow Fall by Erin Kellison
Sequel to Shadow Bound. Adam and the banshee Talia show up in this book as well, but it focuses on Adam's friend Custo. He has made an unhealthy trade with an adversary he really shouldn't have pissed off but he has to help Adam at all costs. Something is free of the Shadowlands, hunting an innocent young woman, and it's his doing that the creature made the leap into life from the Shadows.

103, and counting!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sidewalk Film Festival

This was my first time to attend Sidewalk and I am officially a lifelong fan! I had such a great time! I saw 12 showings total: 7 documentaries, 4 narrative features, and a block of 9 short films. I love movies and it was the perfect day, just running from one venue to another seeing lots of different viewpoints on the world. I did a lot of walking and a fair amount of stair climbing and didn't eat any crap. I stuffed my purse full both days with an apple, a banana, almonds, cheese, and crackers. Lots of water fountains for my water bottle. It was the best weekend I've had in quite some time!

Pretty crappy to come home to a freon-leaking a/c unit and a damp spot on the ceiling. Repairmen are inbound bright and ugly tomorrow morning and I may be shopping around for a loan.

Has anyone else seen any of these films?

Documentary Films

The Entourage's Adrian Grenier decides to turn the tables on a 14 year-old member of the paparazzi by following him around.

"The incredible true story of how the greatest graffiti film of all time was never made..."

NY Export: Opus Jazz
Shot on location in New York City and starring an ensemble cast of New York City Ballet dancers, NY Export: Opus Jazz takes Jerome Robbins‘ 1958 “ballet in sneakers” and reimagines it for a new generation in this scripted adaptation.

Until the Light Takes Us is a 2009 feature documentary about Norwegian black metal, from directors Aaron Aites and Audrey Ewell. The film features interviews with the originators of black metal, includingVarg Vikernes who is interviewed in prison, where he was incarcerated for killing a bandmate. The film attempts to unravel the truth behind the church burnings and murders committed by a group of young musicians the media called "Satanists", but who, in reality, had far different motives. The film focuses mainly on the events surrounding the genesis, rise, and continuation of the genre and the people that created it. Before the documentary, we saw a short 2 minute film, Delmer Builds a Machine, about a little boy who builds a God-killing machine.

Follows a group of hopefuls to the National Grocer's Association Best Baggers Competition in Las Vegas. Before R, S, B!, we saw an 11 minute short feature, In Brilliant, about two high school seniors in Brilliant, Alabama with different world views and ambitions.

Keeping the independent/punk spirit alive, barbershop quartet fan Robb Topolski takes on the nation’s largest cable company, only to find himself at the center of a federal investigation, inspiring a larger story of censorship, individual voice and access.

Dozens of Utah DVD retailers attracted unwanted attention from Hollywood heavyweights when, in the name of conservative family values, they began sanitizing films of sex, nudity, profanity, and violence. Outraged over the unauthorized editing of their work, prominent filmmakers began to speak out, thrusting the two groups into an intense legal, theoretical,
and moral battle that would last six years before coming to a shocking conclusion.

Narrative Features

A hyper-stylized mixture of physical violence and verbal comedy, Dogtooth is a darkly funny look at three teenagers confined to their parents’s isolated country estate and kept under strict rule and regimen — an inscrutable scenario that suggests a warped experiment in social conditioning and control. Terrorized into submission by their father, the children spend their days devising their own games and learning an invented vocabulary (a salt shaker is a “telephone,” an armchair is “the sea”) — until a trusted outsider, brought in to satisfy the son’s libidinal urges, starts offering forbidden VHS tapes in return for sexual favors.

During a stopover in Germany in the middle of a carefree roadtrip through Europe, two American girls find themselves alone at night when their car breaks down in the woods. Searching for help at a nearby villa, they are wooed into the clutches of a deranged retired surgeon who explains his mad scientific vision to his captives’ utter horror. They are to be the subjects of his sick lifetime fantasy: to be the first to connect people, one to the next, via their gastric system, and in doing so bring to life 'the human centipede'.

A new space race is born between NASA and the ESA when Charlie Brownsville, Hank Morrison, and Dr. Casey Cook compete against an artificially intelligent robot to find out what's up there on the red planet. 'Mars' follows these three astronauts on the first manned mission to our galactic neighbor. On the way they experience life threatening accidents, self doubts, obnoxious reporters, and the boredom of extended space travel.

This romantic comedy is told in the playful style of a graphic novel- using a unique animation process that director Geoff Marslett developed specifically for the film. Underneath the silliness Mars is also an exploration of exploration. Why do we want to know what is out there? How do we react to what we find? Is it really that important? And where does love fit into the whole thing?

Evil Things
On January 9th 2009, 5 college students left New York City for a weekend in the country. 48 hours later, all 5 students simply vanished without a trace. There were no leads and no evidence...until now. Before Evil Things, we saw The Tub, a 12 minute short film. A man accidentally impregnates his tub. Morbidly funny.

Short Films

The Thing About Being an Assassin
An intimate and impressionistic look at a super-sly assassin working in the realm of the ultra-business class.

Jason and Christine were a couple in love. But things begin to turn one-sided when communication breaks down.

A Dread of Red
In order to spend eternity with her vampire fiance, Trina must first deal with his blood phobia.

An infertile breast pump salesperson deals with having to choose a sperm donor.

Girl in the Box
A creepy box, an evil man and a girl in a scary situation. We love the silly, scary, gory slasher flicks of the 1980's. Our inspiration came from the horror films that we rented as kids based solely on the video box art (such as 'Happy Birthday To Me.' 'April Fool's Day' and 'Sleepaway Camp') that always had trailers for equally campy movies that revealed the entire plot - ending and all - that we were too lazy to fast forward through.

Lucy in Lala
Lucy lives in her own world. She likes to jog on Saturdays. She has an awful imagination. She has a warped sense of humor. She just can’t seem to make it work. Lucy will do whatever she can to relieve herself of a crappy life.
The Lost Interviews
a series of job interviews highlighting the poor state of the corporate job market.

Brian (Clifton Lewis) is dumped by his girlfriend Claire (Jennifer Leonard). After the breakup, Brian is talking to his friends John (Marc Patterson) and Derrick (Clark Andrews) about why he loves Claire. Brian retraces the steps of his relationship, struggling to remember the day he and Claire first met. When confronted with the question 'Why do you love her?', Brian doesn't have an answer. That is, until his memories help him rediscover the small things in life and 'Claire-ify' what's worth fighting for.

A Face in the Woods
A young man runs out of gas on his way to his mother’s funeral in this haunting yet spiritual look at the grieving process.

Friday, September 17, 2010

wee, wee, wee..all the way home, illustrated

Here he is, in all his dirty, hoggy glory while I avoid him to get back in the car!

A motorcycle almost hit him...would have been fatal for man and pig alike no doubt.

The white siding on the house is level with my, shall we say, bust line...and that is a 96 gallon garbage can to his left. Maybe "giant pig" was a leeetle bit strong, but he was big enough.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

wee, wee, wee...all the way home

Let me preface by saying I do have a few photos which I will upload later. Alas, they are only of the pig by himself as I was too busy later to take action shots. I will forever regret that...

It's been a month or more since this happened and I have absolutely no excuse for dragging my feet on blogging about it other than I am sometimes a lazy slob in a to-do list sort of way, not a clean-house kind of way.

Anyway, about a month ago I got home just at dusk. I have to walk across the road to check the mail box so I park in my drive way and walk across the road. When I turn to come back, I see a HUGE pig, nay, a hog coming from the woods toward my car. I jumped in the car just as it arrived and started sniffing all around the car. It was not a wild boar or anything, but it was big enough to look in the car window at me and it had tusks as long as my fingers. He sniffed around the car a few times then wandered into the back yard so I drove up to the front door. He then popped back around the house and sniffed all around the car again. I sat in the car and watched him. I wasn't getting out under any circumstances until he was not around. When he again wandered into the back yard, I grabbed all my stuff and fled into the house.

Of course, the first thing I absolutely had to do was call KT. Her 7 year old daughter answered the phone:
Essie - Hello?
ME - Hey, Essie! It's Aunt Holley!
Essie - Hey, Aunt Holley! What are you doing?
ME - I'm standing at my front door, looking a GIANT PIG in my yard!
Essie - .......what?
ME - *I repeat what I said*
Essie (yelling) - Momma, Aunt Holley says there's a giant pig in her yard!
KT (at a distance) - ...wait, what? Let me talk to Aunt Holley!

So KT gets on the phone and I tell her about the pig. He is now wandering in the road and it is nearly dark. He is almost hit by several cars and one motorcycle. One car stops in the middle of the road, next to the pig. The passenger rolls down the window and says "Hey buddy!" then the car travels on. KT and I decide I need to call the police (no animal control in my rural area) so I tell her I'll call her later. I look in the phone book for the number of the nearest police...not listed. I go to the section for the next town over....the number I get out of the BLUE GOVERNMENT SECTION OF THE PHONEBOOK says it has been disconnected. So, at this point, I make my greatest mistake...I call my father.

I called him originally to see if he had a different number for the police. I did not feel this was a 911 moment, but it was a danger to drivers. Dad did not have a number but he was REAL INTERESTED in coming to get the pig.
Dad - I've got half a mind to come get that pig. Is it wild? Do you think I could catch it?
ME - He's just roaming around the yard, doesn't appear aggressive. But he has tusks and it HUGE!
Dad - But do you think I could catch it? I'd love to have some bacon!
ME - I was just going to call the police and have them come get it. Several cars have almost hit it!
Dad - I think I can catch it!
ME - Dad, if you want the pig, come get it. But if you come over here, you better bring several people to help and it isn't gonna be me OR my stepmother!
Dad - Okay! I'm headed that way!

Oh dear. What have I done.

It is now a bit after 8pm. Full dark, I haven't had time to eat dinner, I'm tired from work, and my father drives up in their nice new car with my stepmother and their tiny, yippy dog. Yep. Did you think it would happen any other way? My dad, multiple rotator cuff surgery and double knee replacement survivor, gets out of his nice new car with a rope.
Dad - I wish I had some corn!
ME - I've got breakfast cereal.
Dad - Go get some!
ME - Wait on me!

I go get the cereal. Almost immediately, the loudest most disturbing squealing and grunting come from outside. Let me tell you, no film studio YET has perfected the pig-in-distress sound. It is louder and more guttural than can be imagined. I ran to the door and what I basically see is my father waterskiing across my front yard behind a rampaging pig. Then he loses his balance, falls, and the pig drags him down the side of my car then along the side of the house. He was just about to be dragged underneath the deck when I was finally able to close my mouth and spring to action. I grabbed the end of the rope and wrapped it around the leg of the deck as the pig darted under the deck. Of course, OF COURSE, my dad had his hand wrapped in the rope so when the pig hit the end of his slack, he AND my dad are now both making a good deal of noise. I get him untangled and he is covered in grass, mud, and other suspicious substances and is panting like a steam engine.

Dad - I caught it! N said I wouldn't be able to but did you see me lasso it?! I caught it!
ME - Dad, I don't think we're at a 100% success rate right now...what are you going to do with it now?
Dad - I going to get some bacon!
ME - I understand that, but what are we going to do with it now?
Dad - I told you, I've got a friend at a place that processes deer meat. He said he could process the pig tonight!
ME - Dad, I understand that you want bacon, but what are we going to take it IN?
Dad -...........................I'm going to have to go for help.
Dad - I thought it'd be smaller.

I give dad my car keys, since one of the pig's hind feet is now tied to the trailer hitch of his car. While he's gone, the pig is going berserk and manages to pull his car several feet backward across the grass. Finally, after about 20 minutes, he gets back.
Dad - How did it get so much slack in the rope?
ME - He pulled your car across the grass. You're gonna need a bigger boat.
Dad - *laughs uproariously* JP is coming to help!

Imagine my surprise and consternation when JP arrives in an even smaller car, with his wife. They alight from their vehicle with cigarettes and beers in coozies. JP has a pistol in the waistband of his jeans. It's now 9:30 and apparently the party is about to get started.

While dad was gone, N has remembered that someone she knows lives nearby and owns pigs. She tells my dad and now he doesn't want THIS particular bacon since it might possibly belong to someone else. I am SO tired, grumpy, hungry and sweaty that I just want the f*%king pig gone ASAP. Now, JP decides he will just go to the possible owners house (since he's not answering the phone) and get him. JP and wife leave.

JP and wife come back, followed by a diesel duely pulling a horse trailer. Thank goodness! Now I have a yard FULL of men who know JUST what to do. JP and wife have either had several more beers (in addition to the ones still in coozies and being inbibed), a toke or two, or both, but they are rockin'. The men collecting the pig put another rope on the pig's free hind leg, two each take a rope, dad takes the rope around his head, and they head backward towards the horse trailer. Dad didn't know they were going to run, which he has not been able to do in years, and he goes down in the grass again. JP runs forward to grab the now free rope and the pistol falls out of his pants to the ground. His wife staggers to the pistol, picks it up, and begins waving it around. She has a beer in a coozie and a cellphone in one hand, a cigarette and, NOW, a loaded pistol in the other. She is screaming, "I've got the gun! I'ma gone shoot the pig if it gets loose! Should I shoot it now?! I'ma gone shoot it if it gets loose!" JP is yelling, "Get back, woman!" repeatedly.

The pig is finally loaded and, for the last act, my dad decides it is his favorite rope and he has to have it back and no one else can retrieve it for him. He must enter the trailer and beard the pig in its portable den. Refreshingly, nothing happens. He goes in and gets the rope and gets back out. Everyone leaves. I have some scuffed grass and several fragrant piles of pigsh!t. I can still smell the pigsh!t.

The pig has not been back, nor have I heard anything about it. I did see my dad last week and he said where ever he goes around our small little town, someone always tells him they heard a rumor he'd taken up pig wrastlin'. He always gets all the glory.

What have you been wrastlin' with lately?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

your horrible blogging friend, Holley

So, I was managing my subscriptions in Google Reader and was getting annoyed at the blogs I subscribed to that never update...then realized that I'm one of them.


If you're still hanging in there, I'm about to turn over a new leaf!

...and I have a wonderful pig story to tell you!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

August reads

Somehow, SOMEHOW, I managed to read 20 books in August! I did have a week's staycation and that helped a lot. All I did was sleep and read, it was great! I have spent a considerable amount of time, reading and listening both, on catching up on some young adult books. I've just run out of the store of good suggestions I built up during my grad school YA Lit class. Now I've just got to find some titles that aren't terribly popular since those are never on the shelf when anyone asks. I REALLY want to take a speed reading class!

Pretties by Scott Westerfeld
Second in the Uglies trilogy. Talley gave herself up so that David's mother could test the cure on her, but she remembers nothing until a shadowy figure confronts her at a party. If she can follow the clues, she may just find her way back to the memories the Pretty surgery has taken away.

Specials by Scott Westerfeld
The last in the Uglies trilogy and SO, SO good. Talley finds a place for herself in the world, but it is not a clean journey and hearts are broken, probably beyond repair, along the way.

Extras by Scott Westerfeld
The is a spin off tale from Westerfelds Uglies trilogy. Not as good as the trilogy, but entertaining and I was very glad to see Talley Youngblood again!

Beastly by Alex Flinn
Modern retelling of the Beauty and the Beast story...
movie coming out next year!

Vampirates: Demons of the Ocean by Justin Somper
Fourteen year old twins, Grace and Conner Tempest, are adrift, literally and figuratively, after their father dies. They are being pursued by the greedy bank owner and the equally greedy orphanage manager when they decide to take their father's boat and leave. They are separated when a violent storm sinks their boat. Conner is rescued by a pirate ship, The Diablo, while Grace gets picked up by a mysterious ship with black, tattered sails like wings. This ship, The Nocturne, is crewed by vampirates (vampire pirates). Conner mourns his sister but settles in to the pirate life while Grace knows her brother is alive but is fighting some unruly members of the Nocturne crew to stay that way herself. She has unexpected allies in the vampirate Captain and Midshipman Lorcan Furey.

Vampirates: Tide of Terror by Justin Somper
The continuing adventures of 14 year-old twins, Grace and Conner Tempest. In the first book, the twins were separated after a shipwreck in a violent storm. Conner was rescued by a pirate ship and Grace by the vampirate ship. They reunited, but Grace takes a dislike to the type of pirate lifestyle aboard The Diablo and tries to get Conner to go to the Pirate Academy to head off what she sees as a wasted, violent life. Meanwhile, the vampirate captain is suffering from horrifying problems of his own and one of Grace's friends aboard the ship desperately needs her help.

Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik
Lawrence and Temeraire race back to Africa in search of a possible cure for the awful sickness decimating Britain's dragons.

Victory of Eagles by Naomi Novik
Napoleon brings down all he has to bear on the British troops, including the other Celestial dragon. Lawrence is arrested for treasonous activity and Temeraire is shipped off to the breeding grounds.

Tongues of Serpents by Naomi Novik
For me, this was worth the wait! I love this series real hard. The Napoleonic Wars, with dragons! It might sound silly, but it isn't. This is historical fiction or alternate history, what ever you want to call it, at it's very, very best! Lawrence and Temeraire have been shipped off to Australia since they can't be killed or controlled.

Her Hero in Hiding by Rachael Lee
Harlequin paperback, light and entertaining. Bruised and battered woman jumps out of an abusive ex-boyfriend's car and takes off into the woods. Hunky man finds battered woman running down the isolated road to his home. Chaos insues.

Stay by Allie Larkin
I couldn't stand it, I bought this book because I wanted it to be at my fingertips WHEN i wanted to read lines, no waiting. Van (Savannah) Leone is heartbroken when the love of her life falls in love with and marries her very best friend. After the wedding, and in a drunken haze, she sort of accidentally buys a "puppy" of a foreign website...for an absurd amount of money. Enter the cute, available, hurt-before-therefore-gun shy veterinarian. There are no new characters here and it's predictable, but I laughed so hard I cried and I cried a bit too. Loved it!

Antiques Roadkill by Barbara Allen
Divorced and bitter, the daughter returns home to her manic depressive mother after a shady antiques dealer takes advantage of her mother's fragile condition to clean out the house of its priceless family heirlooms for a steal, literally. After a very public showdown between the daughter and the dealer, her mother runs over him in his yard. Thankfully, he was already dead, but if her mother didn't do it, who did? Funny and fast moving, though the authors' use of parenthetical asides is a bit overdone.

Dragon America by Mike Resnick
I found this in my search for something to fill the Temeraire gap after my quick devouring of the latest in the series...alas, vastly inferior effort. Horribly characters, worse dialogue, and awful, flat, useless dragons. Boo...hiss! Davy Crockett is searching for a legendary breed of giant, fire breathing dragons to help George Washington during the American Revolution. None of the local dragons are big or dangerous enough to be of use, so he must venture out into the uncharted territory of the American West in search of crappy dialogue and fruitless attempts at arousing tension.

Weddings Can Be Murder by Christie Craig
Romantic suspense...ex-cop PI gets a call from a wedding planner who says her brides are being killed. Bride-to-be meets ex-cop PI at the wedding planner's house when he arrives just as the wedding planner is shot and the bride-to-be is fleeing through a conveniently enormous old mansion. Again, light and entertaining.

Divorced, Desperate, and Delicious by Christie Craig
Romantic suspense...falsely accused detective on the run from his renegade partner meets sexy, single (and divorced!) greeting card photographer who lives, conveniently, alone and isolated except for her house full of quirky animals. It was light and entertaining.

Swords and Dark Magic: The New Sword and Sorcery edited by Lou Anders and Jonathan Strahan
EXCELLENT fantasy short story it for the library story (naturally!) if for nothing else!

All Tied Up by Cathryn Fox
Short novella, light on plot, heavy on naughtiness.

Cry Sanctuary by Moira Rogers
Short, sexy werewolf story. Entertaining if not terribly compelling.

Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell
OMG! This books is so good it'll make you hurt. This author describes cold that makes your joints ache, poverty that you can hardly imagine, and a brutal, vindictive world outside any boundaries my own personal reality could come up with. Ree's father, a meth cook, has skipped bail but if he doesn't show up for his court date, the county will take everything they own leaving Ree, her two young brothers, and their mentally unstable mother homeless in the coming winter.
The movie is out in limited release here in Birmingham Sept 10th, supposedly at the Vestavia Rave though showtimes are not available online yet.

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Last in the Hunger Games trilogy and I loved it! Reviews are decidedly mixed on this one, but mine is resoundingly positive! The Hunger Games universe is a post apocalyptic United States where there exists 12 districts and a Capitol. Every year, to remind the districts of their place, the Capitol requires 2 Tributes from each district, a boy and a girl between the ages (I believe) of 12 and 16, to battle to the death in an artificially created arena. The winner lives a life of luxury and their entire district gets extra food and supplies. Sixteen year old Katniss's story begins when her 12 year old sister Prim is selected from District 12 and Katniss volunteers to take her place. Get 'em, read 'em: Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay.

Monday, August 2, 2010

July Reads

I didn't quite match last month's blazing 13 book streak, but I managed to read a very respectable 9 books, thanks in part to both a compulsion to read through Naomi Novik's books again in celebration of the new one and to be sucked into the Uglies vortex.

Glass by Ellen Hopkins
Written in verse. I read the first book in this devastating trilogy last month. Christine became addicted to meth in Crank and slides further down a very scary and depressing slope in this follow up. The final book, Fallout, is due out next month. It is considered YA, but I would definitely only consider it feasible for mature readers.

Identical by Ellen Hopkins
Written in verse. Um, yeah. Another devastating YA tale...again, only for mature readers. (read: high school and up) Identical twin teens Kaeleigh and Raeanne share a very unique bond, outside of their appearance. The bond of dark and terrible family secrets. Their father is a judge and their mother is running for Congress and all is not as it appears on the glossy, sunny surface.

I am so obsessed with this man, and devastated that he is dead so I can't write him endless fan letters, tasteful not stalkerish of course. He is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors of all time!

God is in the Pancakes by Robin Epstein
You'll no doubt have noticed a lot of YA in my reading lately. I haven't done any serious reading in this area since my YA lit class in grad school and my suggestions to my teen patrons reflect that. ("Yes Holley, I read that AGES ago!") So, I'm attempting to beef up my repertoire. So far, so good. This was good, but stretched the limits of both belief and discomfort. Fifteen year-old Grace Manning is working her first job, a candy striper at the local nursing home. Her favorite patient (sneaking him out to the movies, he lets her give him a faux-hawk with hair gel, teaches her how to play poker) is Mr. Sands, an ALS sufferer. Mr. Sands has a request for Grace; he wants her to help him die. Sounds depressing, no? The author takes a decidedly lighthearted bent with this that I found somewhat discomforting, but the story was entertaining and the characters lovable.

Another YA tale of bad decisions and eventual redemption. Quiet, shy Ruby McQueen is having an unusually exciting junior year of high school. A broken tail bone, with the requisite donut cushion, made her junior high years nearly unbearable and miserable so now she does her best to go about invisible. When the rich boy down the block, Travis, notices her, and her hidden fearlessness, her boundaries get pushed to the limit. Bad boys are generally very bad for you. Her mother, the local librarian, makes her start attending the bookgroup (the Casserole Queens) to stay away from Travis and Ruby learns valuable lessons about youth, decisions, and life in general. Very enjoyable and I LOVED the Casserole Queens!

His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik
If you haven't tried the Temeraire series by Novik, you have done yourself a disservice. This is the Napoleonic Wars, reimagined with each country having an air force of dragons. I am re-reading the series before moving on to the newest volume, Tongues of Serpents, just published July 13th and awaiting me on my Nook! British Royal Navy Captain Will Laurence chases down a French ship on which the crew is obviously weak and starving, yet they fight far harder than they should. After his crew boards the ship, he finds out why. They are carrying a dragon egg, obviously bound for France though severely off course and undersupplied. The egg is near to hatching and they are weeks away from land so someone must be chosen to be put to the egg, for the dragonette will go feral if not harnessed immediately after hatching. Captain Laurence's officers draw lots and wait. However, upon hatching, the little dragon makes his own choice and changes Captain Laurence's life forever. SO GOOD, I can hardly begin to describe how much!

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
I can't believe how long it's taken me to start these books. This is the first in a trilogy +1, which is what happens when you tack a related book onto the end of a trilogy ;-) So, in this work, you are an Ugly until your 16th birthday, after which you get an operation to become a Pretty. All Pretties are made to look similar (height, weight, hair color, eye color, etc) since the long ago Rusties proved that difference led to war. All Talley Youngblood has every wanted was to turn Pretty and have fun all day and party all night...that is, until she meets a mysterious stranger outside the confines of the city who knows something about the operation, and what it does to the Uglies, that makes Talley rethink her decision. Exciting, interesting, and very, very thought-provoking!