Friday, June 29, 2012

It's Been Pouring All Day

I love the rain, but driving home from class is *not* supposed to be a near-death experience.

Thankfully I'm all home and warm now, and only have to go as far as the Italian restaurant up the street tomorrow afternoon.

I also restarted The Science of Sherlock Holmes this evening. It's a fascinating book!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Blessing and a Curse

I have a hard time with suspense - it's one of the reasons (among others) that I prefer comedies to dramas.

With books, because I tend towards mysteries, it means that I'll try my very hardest to finish a novel within a few days. Which is great news in regards to the gigantic stack of books I brought home from Bouchercon and really want to get into.

The problem is that I finished TKO so early in the day, I felt the need to pick up another book this evening. I went with the "Kilborn" novel because the two authors were on a panel together...

...yeah, bad idea. I read the humorous novel in full sunshine on a crowded plane, and now that I'm halfway through the terrifying horror story it's almost midnight and everyone else has gone to bed.

Fantastic plan.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Risky Venture

Good: playing Risk 2210 with friends you haven't seen in a while.

Better: playing Risk 2210 with friends you haven't seen in a while, for three hours.

Best: Wiping out the two male players and then, just to tick them off, declaring a truce with the other female player instead of fighting it out to the bitter end.

This completely makes up for the last time I played regular Risk with just the boys, and the game dragged on forever. After three hours I was craving a glass of wine, my female roommates, and maybe a surprise gust of wind to knock the table over.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Quotes: A-Team

I've been watching a lot of the A-Team lately, and I think I should take the time to honor their writers for coming up with some of the funniest/campiest/best lines I've heard on tv:
Bad Guy's Girlfriend: "When Sonny and I first met, he changed the combination of his safe to my measurements. Isn't that romantic?"
Face, looking through a pair of binoculars: "38...26...38. Nice!"

Sunday, June 24, 2012

This suit is...amazing

I don't remember at all where I first saw this photo (okay, probably it was Tumblr), but I saved it for future use. I'm very torn between "this is ridiculous" and "oh my goodness I must own that outfit immediately."

I mean, how could you not be having a wonderful time while wearing something like this?

The shoes are a bit much - I prefer flats - but the rest of it is adorable!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

This little Manx has been trying to make his way into the house for months now. He's adorable and sweet, but somehow I think the roomies might just draw the line at six cats. It is nice that he always joins us outside when we're hanging out, though, and I think he keeps some of the less-friendly strays at bay.

We've named him "Bobby" after one of our favorite characters on Supernatural. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Last night E and I went to see Cave of Forgotten Dreams at a new theatre in Austin.

If you haven't heard about the film yet, here's the rundown: Werner Herzog was given permission to film in the Chauvet Cave, which was (re)discovered in 1994 and contains cave paintings which are mind-boggilingly old. (You can explore the cave online here.) Herzog combined this footage with interviews and some truly stunning aerial footage of the area to create the movie. The Cave of Forgotten Dreams trailer gives you a bit of a feel for what to expect.

Inevitably while watching the movie, I found myself making a pros/cons list. I think one of my first reactions after leaving the theatre was, "that film didn't need Herzog as director." But, on reflection, maybe it did - France is very selective about who gets to enter the cave, so it is possible that a director with a less impressive resume would have been rejected. On the other hand, Cave of Forgotten Dreams sees Herzog being especially... Herzog-y.

Elements I Liked
  1. The cave paintings. This is the oldest recording of human art modern humans have been able to find, and they've been preserved so well precisely because they're in a particularly inaccessible location. Most of us will probably never be able to visit, so I was pleased with how much screen time is given to the paintings.
  2. The interviews. There are a lot of absolute characters associated with the cave, from a circus performer-turned-archaeologist and an "experimental archaeologist" who is a riot, to a master perfumer. Someone needs to make a film about these people, honestly.*
Elements I Disliked
  1. Herzog being self-indulgent. The crowd in the theatre had paid $11 apiece to see a movie about cave paintings; I'm assuming that all of us were genuinely interested in the material. That still wasn't enough for there not to be giggles here and there when Herzog waxed poetic about the doppelgangers of albino alligators or tried to lead the interviews down his own paths.
  2. The score. Oh, God, the score. For the most part it was just annoying, but in one or two places the reverb was physically painful. I will only every watch this film again if the soundtrack is redone.
All in all, worth the ticket price, absolutely. And, I have no idea why only one theatre in the city is playing this in 3D; this movie is exactly what 3D was invented for.

*yes, my movie critic friend and I talked this weekend about how Herzog invents characters sometimes... and at the moment apparently it's unclear which of the interviewees are "real". Personally, the master perfumer is really the only one that strikes me as probably not an actual person.

Friday, June 1, 2012

What I'll Tell Future Children

I got a text today:
Was it you or me that used to freelance writing horoscopes?
Which brought back so many memories. You see, for a while as an undergrad I was reduced to taking freelance writing assignments off a vaguely-disreputable website. I'm talking, like, people bidding to accept the least amount of money for the most amount of work - it was not a pretty part of the internet.

One of the bids I actually got from this site was:

To write horoscopes.

To write six months' worth of horoscopes for all the Zodiac signs.

To write six months' worth of horoscopes for all the Zodiac signs, in five days.

To write six months' worth of horoscopes for all the Zodiac signs, in five days, for something like 40 measly dollars.

I started on day two of five by carefully researching the strengths, weaknesses, and personality types of each sign and crafting horoscopes that spoke to these characteristics. It was all very slowly and painstakingly done. By the home stretch, it was 5am and I was alternating a few hours' sleep with a few hours' writing as my then-boyfriend helped during my breaks.

It was nerve-wracking doing so much work on such a tight deadline. 30 days x 6 months x 12 signs = 2160 unique horoscopes x a minute or two to write each = 36 hours or so. I just did the math now because at the time I couldn't bear to. And I would like to never do it again.

On the up side, in the short term I learned a lot about freelancing; in the long term, it makes a really funny story to tell at parties.
"In my day we wrote horoscopes SIXITY months ahead of time, we had to say SIXITY cause George Bush had taken away all our civil liberties and the number six"