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This afternoon I saw a chick flick (which shall remain nameless) that was so bad it made me want to post the trailers for a couple of my favorite, unappreciated movies with strong, female characters.

Girlfight

New Waterford Girl

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I’ve been bad with posting. It’s true. My excuse would be that I have been very, very busy. But now I’m here. With a post!

Last night I was dragged–not quite kicking and screaming, but close–to Letters to Juliet. I actually love romantic comedies but something about the trailer turned me off. Happily, my aversion lasted only about as long as it took me to settle into my seat and for Sophie to find herself at Juliet’s wall.

Will it go down in history as one of the great romantic comedies? Probably not. Were the critics who pointed out that the soundtrack was annoyingly poppy and upbeat correct? Most definitely. But it was a movie with its heart firmly in the right place. The two whippersnapper leads were attractive and charming (blond, British, and looks like Ryan Phillipe? Be still my beating heart) and Vanessa Redgrave was spectacular. It was a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours.

Alrighty. Once again it’s time for Two for Tuesday (a few hours early), brainchild of Kate Hart who sparkles like Edward Cullen and rides a unicorn (so I’ve heard). By now, you guys know the drill. I pick two things I like and connect them.

This week: Songs I love with insanely long titles. And I’m guessing anyone who’d read my ode to Nirvana post has figured out which decade I came of age in and, therefore, will probably guess that the first is…

“Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town” by Pearl Jam. And, in this case, the long title is completely justified because it frames the entire song in a way the lyrics, alone, don’t.

And the second song is “Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand” by Primitive Radio Gods. Now this is a case where I think the title is silly and pretentious, but I still really love the song.

It’s Two for Tuesday. Brainchild of the ever fab Kate Hart, it’s where you post two of anything:book reviews, pictures, quotes, poems, songs, videos, rants, shout outs, whatever floats your boat. Just connect them somehow. That’s it.

So my Two for Tuesday: Video games.

And it’s pretty easy because, while there are a bunch of video games that I like, there are only two that I really, really love. And both are completely twisted.

Not twisted as in sick (although I suppose the second game on my list might be considered a bit), but twisted as in something that’s familiar but which has been bent and shaken into something new. I’ve always been a sucker for re-tellings and mash-ups so I guess it’s completely logical that I’d fall hardest for these two game.

Kingdom Hearts (I prefer KH-I but KH-II is also pretty darn cool) mashes Final Fantasy with classic Disney characters and settings. The first Kingdom Hearts game is actually the reason I finally bought a Playstation. Squaresoft probably could have just banked on the Disney name and coasted but they made a game which is as well thought out and fully realized as any of the Final Fantasy titles.

American McGee’s Alice was one of those games that I just had to have as soon as I saw it in a store. Alice in an insane asylum? Toys as weapons? A Cheshire cat that looks like he’d attack you at any minute? Who could resist that?

We can revise if we want to
We can leave old drafts behind
Cause those drafts don’t dance and if they don’t dance
Well they’re, no drafts of mine

Say, we’ll cross out what we want to
And we’ll add new scenes and bits
And we can act like the work is out of this world
And hope everyone will just love it

Dancing stormtroopers.

And now, onto the Two for Tuesday. Brainchild of the ever fab Kate Hart, it’s where you post two of anything: book reviews, pictures, quotes, poems, songs, videos, rants, shout outs, whatever floats your boat. Just connect them somehow. That’s it.

So my Two for Tuesday: My two favorite books about office life (yes, even though I write about seventeen year old werewolves and teenage ghosts, I have to pay the rent somehow and that requires being a cubicle mouse).

This morning, just after 11:00, Michael locked himself in his office and he won’t come out.

Bill (Bill!) sent Michael this totally wicked flame-mail from hell on the e-mail system – and he just wailed on a chunk of code Michael had written. Using the Bloom County-cartoons-taped-on-the-door index, Michael is certainly the most sensitive coder in Building Seven – not the type to take criticism easily. Exactly why Bill would choose Michael of all people to wail on is confusing. We figured it must have been a random quality check to keep the troops in line. Bill’s so smart.

Bill is wise.
Bill is kind.
Bill is benevolent.
Bill, Be My Friend…Please!

Actually, nobody on our floor has ever been flamed by Bill personally. The episode was tinged with glamour and we were somewhat jealous. I tried to tell Michael this, but he was crushed.

~ Douglas Coupland, Microserfs

I first read Microserfs at the (slightly optimistic) age of sixteen, blissfully unaware that I was six years away from working in the Information Technology sector.

I next read Microserfs when I was twenty-six. Someone had left a copy in the office and I would read it in fits and bursts. At the time, I was working fourteen hour days and, whenever I got to the point where I was so sick of looking at my computer screen that I wanted to hurl, I’d get up, grab the book, flop down on one of the expensive leather sofas (the ones that no one ever sat on between nine and five) and read a few pages.

Though I’ve only read it twice, Microserfs is one of the books that I find myself thrusting on people the most often.

WE WERE FRACTIOUS AND overpaid. Our mornings lacked promise. At least those of us who smoked had something to look forward to at ten-fifteen. Most of us liked most everyone, a few of us hated specific individuals, one or two people loved everyone and everything. Those who loved everyone were unanimously reviled. We loved free bagels in the morning. They happened all too infrequently. Our benefits were astonishing in comprehensiveness and quality of care. Sometimes we questioned whether they were worth it. We thought moving to India might be better, or going back to nursing school. Doing something with the handicapped or working with our hands. No one ever acted on these impulses, despite their daily, sometimes hourly contractions. Instead we met in conference rooms to discuss the issues of the day.

~ Joshua Ferris, Then We Came to the End

I will never read Joshua Ferris’s Then We Came to the End a second time. I’m absolutely positive of this. So positive that I parted with my copy of it. Not because it wasn’t brilliant (it was). And not because it lacked voice or style or accuracy (it had all three in spades). And not because you shouldn’t read it (because it’s very, very good and everyone knows that very good books need to be read).

I gave it up because it hit entirely too close. It summed up forty plus hours of my week (multiply that over several years) and while I saw the humor in it (it really is a brilliant book), part of depressed me in an “Oh my God is this really my life” sort of way.

* Bonus points and virtual cookies if you know where the quote in the subject line hails from.

Alright, sexy might not be the exactly appropriate word but I’ve been pondering sci-fi films today and it occurs to me that two of my favorite sci-fi films don’t get nearly enough props or recognition: Sunshine and Solaris.

In both cases, the set designs, cinematography, actors, and scores are gorgeous (hence my use of “sexy”). Usually I’m a stickler for substance over style but in the cases of these two films I’ll admit to not giving a darn about the plots (though the plots aren’t bad). It’s all about the pretty (and Cillian Murphy is very pretty).

Last night I dreamed that I moved into a new apartment which looked just like the last apartment I’d had in college (hideous brown carpet and mocha walls was like living in a blurry mud puddle).

My next door neighbor came over to introduce himself. It was Simon Pegg.

He and I sat on the sofa and chatted. After a few minutes, I leaned in and said, “I don’t know if anyone’s ever told you this, but you look exactly like Tim Bisley.”

Simon Pegg blushed, fetchingly, and stammered, “I’m not that good looking.”

We then chatted about Tim Bisley’s hat.

I’ve suddenly become the kid who’s overslept and has to run after the school bus shouting “Wait for meeeeeeeeeeeeee!”

Wednesday’s Road Trip (sponsored by the ever fab energy drink known as YA Highway) was:

What photos inspire your books?

I’ve got to admit that I usually don’t wander around the internet collecting photos or casting celebrities as my characters. At least not with Hemlock. I did do it with a dystopian project that I had started.

Here are some of the photos from my files:

The clothes of Alexander McQueen, specifically the Fall 1999 and Fall 2007 collections.

The textures and brush strokes of Andrew Wyeth.

 

And, in casting (something I almost never do), the actor Takeshi Kaneshiro.