Friday, May 27, 2011

Happy 100th, Vincent

I would be remiss in letting the day pass without mentioning the hundredth birthday of my favorite actor of all time, Vincent Price.

I adored Vincent Price since I was a tiny child. He was a delightful actor who never took himself too seriously.  He was both debonair and sinister, playful and malign. He was as comfortable reciting Shakespeare as he was dancing with Muppets. Whatever indefinable thing he had, it informed everything he did.

I can remember the day he died, my family went around turning off TV and radio stations whenever I walked into the room or got into the car, as if that would delay my finding out he was gone. Kid #4 bears Price as his middle name.  (I can still remember walking out of the house the morning he was born and heading to the hospital, House of Wax was on the TV.) He would have made a great imaginary friend.

LAist has a nifty video tribute here.

IMDB page here.

TV Update: Torchwood, Plus More Shows I'm Compelled to Watch

The new Torchwood: Miracle Day premiers on the Starz channel July 8. It's going to be hard to top Torchwood: Children of Earth, which was one of the most brilliant miniseries I've seen, but the trailer looks great.  I have to hand it to Russell Davies, who took what was a pretty fluffy, sexy alien mishmash and made it into a really stunning allegory that was both heart-rending and heart-pounding. (Any of you who initially dismissed Torchwood as a just a fluffy, sexy alien mishmash and gave up on it should see Children of Earth.) Alas, we don't have the Starz, so we'll have to wait for Netflix.

Also, because I don't have enough to keep track of, BBC America has introduced Dramaville, which in the tradition of NBC's old Mystery Monday, will present a series of mystery/thriller/procedurals beginning August 17 with a period spy thriller The Hour, followed by the excellent continuation of Luther on October 5, and then Whitechapel on November 2.

First, yay, Luther! Second, Dramaville is a ghastly title. Do something about that, BBC America. Third, the grand total of new TV shows I care about for no reason has now reached 27, which is totally ridiculous. I obviously need help.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Your Daily Awesome - 5/25/11

This is less bizarre than any of my current thought processes.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Saturday Rapture Roundup

Just in case the world ends today, I've already perused all the clips for the fall season/midseason TV lineup. Watching some of these clips, I believe that maybe the world should end before this dreck airs. (I'm looking at you NBC!!) As a result of my research 24 new shows have been provisionally added to the TV database. I'm currently looking for help for my addiction.

Via Buzzfeed, another 50 reasons why the world might be ending. (Besides NBC letting monkeys program their network). Top reason? Nickleback.

Via the fabulously fabulous Angry Black Lady Chronicles, ABL let's us know why she's over the rapture already with some appropriate videos. I've got one word for Kirk Cameron: coconuts.

Maybe Pete knows something I don't, but when I came back from getting a refreshing beverage, I looked at my open Word doc and he had typed 164 pages of the number 2. What can it mean?

Finally for your listening enjoyment, a personal favorite. I adore Colin Hay's voice and this is one of the best Men at Work songs, from Cargo, which was probably the single album I listened to most in the '80s.

Friday, May 20, 2011

I Told You So

The CDC has finally gotten around to advising people what to do during a Zombie Apocalypse.

Of course, they mention a few other possible disasters like floods and tornadoes and the like, but really you should have a plan for when the dead rise. I can shoot a gun, saddle a horse, perform surgery using everyday household items, and make a fancy meal out of random ridiculous ingredients just like on Chopped. If worse comes to worse, we scoped out the Bass Pro Shop on Interstate 12. Get there early. Seating will be extremely limited.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Fox News is Shocked to Find Negroes In the White House

Possibly in an attempt to distract people from Paul "Soylent Green is Yummy" Ryan's doomed attempt to paint AARP as the new ACORN, Fox is busy whipping up another nontroversy of falsehood, deception, confabulation, and mendacity into a puffy, puffy souffle. They are pointing out, once again, in case any of their pasty white audience had nodded off, that there are (gasp) Negroes in the White House!

You must see the deflating of that souffle by the estimable Jon Stewart here. Watch all of it, because it is a thing of beauty. Also, a nice piece of commentary by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

I don't talk much about race, because as a shockingly white girl of Irish/Scandinavian stock, I always worry about falling into that liberal trap of feeling qualified to speak with authority about something that never really was a part of my experience. But lately, it seems like the right has decided that calling people "racist" is far more egregious than actually being racist and gleefully participating in all stripe of blatantly racist pastimes. But, man, they've blown their dog whistles so long and hard that, at this point, all the dogs have passed out. So here's some advice, Republicans, if you don't want to be tagged as fucking racist motherfuckers, stop acting like fucking racist motherfuckers.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Random Thoughts - Sinusitis Edition

It has taken three go-rounds with the Neti Pot to almost make me feel like the hollow places in my skull are not filled with chunks of raw liver and wet macaroni. Almost. The S/O won't use the Neti Pot because he claims it makes him feel like he's being waterboarded. He attributes that to a deviated septum. I attribute it to him being a BABY.

Having a head cold and driving around for 2 hours in 92-degree weather in a car with a black interior and no air conditioning is like driving around with a wet sleeping bag tied around your head.

You know who irks me? People who leave their shopping carts in the middle of parking spaces. Really, walk your lazy ass over to the cart corral. Who else irks me? People who mangle idioms. Hard road to hoe? Really? You ever see anybody hoeing a road? How does that even make sense? It's a hard ROW to hoe.  

Read an interesting blog post somewhere on the interwebs asking if you would read a blog that contained curse words. Several people said, "No, because using curse words are a sign of someone with a limited vocabulary who has difficulty expressing themselves." Really? I take umbrage at that.  Now, I belong to the George Carlin school of language: there are no "bad" words, only words used inappropriately or in inappropriate situations . For instance, I would not go up to Queen Elizabeth II and say, "Fucking awesome hat, Mum!" In my other blog, I go for a more professional tone, so I would censor what I say in deference to the audience I'm writing for. But words are words: they have impact and nuance and specific inferences. it's called "discernment." Use it. Capriciously dismissing words or the people who use them to effect speaks poorly of you, not them. Personally, I am much more offended by someone saying, "Boy, that's a hard road to hoe," than someone saying, "That's the stupidest fucking thing I've heard you say today."

Why does Hotmail randomly sign me out, even if I was just using my inbox? Gmail never does that. I could understand if there's no activity for like 12 hours, but I can write an email, read another email, and then go to read the next email, and find that Hotmail has signed me out and wants me to sign back in for my own safety. Why? In case aliens abducted me and replaced me with an indiscernible double between emails? Don't they think the aliens would have used their brain beams to fish the password out of my head? Stop it, Hotmail.

Lesson learned this week? Apropos of my continued work on getting the novels ready for publication over the next six weeks, I learned a valuable lesson about not being able to please everybody all the time. As an over-achiever kid, I really did try to prove my value by being the absolute best at everything, by making sure that everybody liked me. At a certain point, that became the proverbial millstone and I found boys and beer and mentally said, "Screw you, authority!" There were times when I was not a very nice person. In the years between then and now, some bad things happened, some way worse than things that happen to other people, most a lot less worse than things that happen to other people.

During that period I learned to be a nicer person, to work harder, to be kind when there was nothing in it for me, to try and temper my pessimism. But I also reverted back to that insecure overachiever. Why, if I just tried harder, if I was just better, if I pretended to be something I wasn't, people would like me. I did things not because they were right or kind or true, but because I was trying to please people who would never be pleased. I subverted myself because I feared if I didn't, people might think poorly of me. I let other people have control over my happiness. Over my worth.

At some point, I found the switch there in that dark room and turned on the light. I still struggle. Boy, do I struggle. But we all struggle. So that's my message for the week. Flip a switch somewhere. Open your mouth when you've kept it shut. Be brave. Stand up for someone or something you believe in, even if it's just yourself. There will be critics, now and always. Take what you can from those of good intent and ignore those of ill will.  You're not going to make everybody happy. Write that down on a piece of paper and mail it to someone who cares.

Now it's back to work. Bestsellers don't write themselves, you know. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Weekend, a Day Early.

Vampire Weekend. Because the the bags of germs pretending to be my children have once again made me deathly ill and I feel like microwaved cat vomit. Said germ-bags have recently discovered Vampire Weekend and pronounced them cool. Which is good, because Vampire Weekend makes me HAPPY. Enjoy. I'm going back to bed.

And who gives a fuck about the Oxford comma? Well, I do, actually, because imprecise punctuation is the enemy of all that is good and right in the world.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Note of Thanks

I've been busy, busy, busy with too much stuff to even categorize: kids, home, work, writing, publishing. But the four short stories/novel promos are up on Smashwords and in the process of being up on Amazon Kindle. (I'll be back when they're all situated.)

But I did want to quickly thank some people without whose encouragement and assistance I'd still be sitting around in my bathrobe trying to empty out the DVR.

Thanks to my S/O, who is in the process of becoming a formatting whiz. He's done a remarkable job of navigating the rapids of the whole process without falling prey to the siren call of Angry Birds.

Thanks to my brother David, who was kind enough to fix the laptop (because kid #4 never met a piece of spyware he didn't like). Without his help, we'd still be struggling to share time on my computer and might likely have come to blows.

Thanks to my daughter Cadia, who is a genius with design, for helping me choose artwork and elements and providing her expertise in learning the basics of Photoshop. I'd still be wondering how to open the program without her.

Thanks to my friend Richard, who bravely jumped into the formatting pool first and proved it could be done, and who has provided invaluable encouragement and suggestions on the short stories.

Thanks to Susan for years of support and friendship and understanding that sometimes I'm unable to stop counting the grains of rice.

Thanks to Minna, who in an offhand remark -- "And they wouldn't publish this, why?" -- after critiquing my stuff actually sparked this whole thing. 

Today a short story, tomorrow the world!