Thursday, July 29, 2010

Come on December!

I live for this stuff.  Can't wait for the Doctor to return.  Since it's December, I will be wearing my scarf.  Meanwhile, get this t-shirt from my favorite site in the world, Think Geek.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Recently we finally had the opportunity to see the film Invictus. Though I knew it would be moving, it reminded me how much I loved the poem. The last two lines are written on the chalkboard I have where inspiration strikes often. Here I write my favorite quotes and remind myself daily that I can rise above any circumstance. Today, I wanted to remind you. It is worth the re-read.


Savor it.


William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate:

I am the captain of my soul

2 1/2 more weeks...

Booyah!  Can't wait.

Now back to regularly scheduled programing.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Monster of the Week -- The Great White

Few things can invoke an instant image as when someone starts the familiar "duh dun, duh dun, duh dun" of the Jaws theme song (or my favorite, the Mr. Jaws spoof song). Like nothing prior or even after, especially Orca, Jaws made people afraid to leave the sandy beach and take more than a couple of steps into the water. I readily admit, when I can no longer see my feet, even momentarily, I turn around and head back. Swimming or surfing in it? Not this chica. Just not going to happen.

While I was too young to see the original in theaters, I fondly remember my mom recounting the story as she and my dad went to see the movie with another couple. Upon the first of many terrifying scenes, the ladies promptly sent popcorn and Coke flying. Still it makes me giggle thinking of dad covered in that sticking mess and nothing he could do about it, because of course, it had been his idea.

Recently I have become a fan of Expedition Great White on the National Geographic Channel. Aside from the astounding scientific leaps they are making, we are treated to the visual feast that is Paul Walker from time to time. Just one episode is enough to make you realize why the reality of this ferocious predator as a movie monster is still the viable. They are both magnificent and terrifying at the same time. I'm not really sure what I think about rumors that there is another Jaws film in the making, this time with Tracy Morgan at the helm. While I respect his comedic work, it’s hard to imagine anyone better than the original cast. Thank you, Roy Schneider and Richard Dreyfuss, for steering the way through one of the scariest movies of my youth. Out of respect for the teeth, I will give the redo a chance.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

BP Tries Again

You can go here to check out the video feed.  I don't know about you but I can stand it any more.  It makes me feel completely helpless and I just want to cry.  So many people don't realize how this will effect life for years going forward.  Middle Monkey found a band at Warped tour with a new song entitled "Gaia Bleeds".  I can't think of a more appropriate description for what's happening.  I am just sick and my outrage does no good.  I can't understand a company operating with no emergency plan if this were to happen.  I can't understand their lack of concern in the beginning like somehow this was unfortunate but par for the course.  I am glad the government is helping, but as far as I am concerned, this company needs to clean up its mess.  The same conservatives that preach NO government are the same ones accusing the government of not doing enough.  This wasn't a government accident, its a corporate spill that BP needs to be held accountable for.  Good to see Tony Hayward is showing the appropriate amount of personal restraint.

UPDATE:  I find it interesting that the GOP is pushing this line again and again.  It should bother someone that if Bush I stopped deep water drilling and Bush II allowed it to restart, that would be where the "regulatory" problem lies...but maybe I am the only one that sees it that way.  Sad really, that people are trying to make this an issue about this Administration and not one about corporate irresponsibility where it should be.

Mental note:  Look up rules for moving to England permanently.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Monster of the Week - Predators

I am not sure if it was the Arnold or the concept, but the Predator quickly became one of my favorite movie monsters. The special effects and story were compelling to me simply for the fact that it was unlike anything that came before it. I was horribly disappointed when the sequel seemed to do to the franchise what most sequels do; sending it to movie hell for what seemed it would be eternity. Flash forward to 2004, and the rebirth of this monster with my all time favorite movie monster in the AVP series. (I know, a lot of folks hated this, I was not one of those)  Here I think the story managed to find its legs, pitting the master alien hunter against the most brutal of all alien prey. Brilliantly played and deepening the characters, I finally felt someone was doing the genre some justice. I don't remember the day I found out that there would be a new movie but I was in utter disbelief. Adrien Brody AND the Predator alien? Yakuza warrior? All in the same movie? Be still my heart...

Needless to say when I arrived at the theater and promptly broke into a chorus of "I'm so excited" complete with snapping of fingers and dancing, my boyfriend declared me Queen of the Geeks. There really was never a chance I wouldn’t like the movie, Oscar winning performances or B-Movie performances, it’s Robert Rodriguez we are talking about here. I trust him.

I am so glad I did.

Without giving out spoilers, the opening sequence is brilliantly terrifying and not for the reason one would think. There were at least three well placed homage’s to the original that I could find and it didn’t end the way I thought it would about halfway through. I loved it. Given the same cast and director, I will go see several more of these. I am not sure, but I think I also caught a shot filmed in McKinney Falls State Park. That was weird because I kept thinking, I STOOD RIGHT WHERE ADRIEN IS STANDING!

Good stuff. Yeah, I know I am a dork but I am okay with that.

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Yeah for Star Trek Humor!

Part of the greatness of raising nerd kids is that they occasionally find stuff like this!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Monster of the Week- The Werewolf

I do not hide my fascination with all things supernatural. Certainly here, I have explained time and time again how great True Blood is, if for no other reason that the beautiful warrior named Eric. While I have spent many years reading tales of vampires, lamenting Anne Rice’s on again off again decision to discontinue writing about them, and making sure I see every movie about them that gets made, I will admit, they may not actually be my favorite monster. Of course, I am the person with an alarm set to buy tickets for the new Predators in advance so maybe all monsters are my favorite.

It’s my dad’s fault really.

When I was in the third grade, we lived in a house where the den was at the opposite end of the house from the bedrooms. Logically I know I never awoke in the middle of the night because I heard something, but more because it became habit. My dad, you see, had insomnia and lucky for me, a willingness to override common sense and my mom’s rules any time he saw fit. I don’t remember my first episode of Dead Eanest and Shock Theater (rumored to have been Ted Turner), but only that a regular rotation of B-movies educated me on the finer points of Lon Chaney Jr. and Bela Lugosi’s monsters. I would watch through the fingers of my tiny hands, subduing any shrieks that would rise in my throat just to maintain the privilege of sitting on the daybed in the den. Soon I learned to love the Twilight Zone, The Night Stalker and any form of creature or intense psychological terror. No wonder I am warped. For whatever reason, despite my love of vampires today, my favorite was Lon Chaney Jr.’s werewolf.

It would be years before I would understand where the legend arose. I didn’t know lycanthropy was even a word, much less a disorder that is rumored to have existed at a time. My first modern werewolf would appear gloriously in An American Werewolf in London. The pain of the change terrified me and I remember being in utter disbelief. When Michael Jackson then recreated the change for Thriller, arguablely better by the soliloquy of the incomparable Vincent Price, it just went to solidify how fabulous a monster this was. Stephen King took a turn and as always, I love his books so much more than the celluloid reproduction. Driven by rage and moon shine, a man beast with super human strength is set loose on populations to exact his revenge. How can you get better than that? One of my favorite series of movies now is undoubtedly Underworld, which deftly combines vamps and weres in a more modern take on the tale. Regardless of glorious special effects and black leather wielded by Kate Beckinsale, I will not lie when I admit I was smitten with the newest creation by Benicio Del Toro in The Wolfman. Here was a return to the Chaney wolf I loved, a deep and moving portrait in the traditional werewolf saga. I could just eat that movie up!

Recently, I stumbled on a fantastic series. I have read all of Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels (though I dislike her werewolf depictions—that is for a later post) and when I saw her endorsement on the cover of Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series, I thought would give them a try. I am so excited that fate seemed to steer me in her direction. Patricia crafts a heroine that is strong and assertive, with a keen eye to detail and the true folklore behind all her creatures. I am hooked! Imagine for a history minor how great to find when challenged by gun enthusiasts about the validity of making your own silver bullets, she not only documents the historical accuracy of such, SHE SET OUT TO CAST HER OWN. That’s my kind of research! I think these books have the perfect balance between fun and terror, interesting characters and amazing monster/supernaturals/creatures/villains. I will be first in line for a ticket when Moon Called makes it to the big screen. If you are looking for something fun and fast to read this summer, I highly recommend her novels. I just might have follow her lead and cast my own bullets just to see if I can. :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy July!

Geeze, June is over! Poof, like that. My little man has graduated and is getting ready to pack up for college, littlest monkey is out of state for a bit for all kinds of adventures and middle monkey is struggling through driving classes. On the home front, we are attempting all kinds of spruce up and out right redo’s of several things and I AM TIRED! Thinking summer would be a blast is not exactly what has happened thus far…hoping to make it to the beach sometime before school starts.

Ridiculous money making/saving continues, as I have mentioned here before. I had my first trip to the store where I netted $45.93 in groceries to hear the cashier say “That will be .49 please” after all my coupons. That, my dears, is better than any high from anything I might or might not have inhaled in my younger days. Woot. I just cashed in my Swagbucks and my Opinion Outpost cash and on Amazon with my handy dandy Prime account, I managed to get everything for little monkeys birthday party for under $70! Best part of that, I AM NOT PAYING OUT OF MY OWN POCKET. I cannot overemphasize the love I have for Opinion Outpost and Swagbucks. My next set I will be saving for Christmas presents and it really take the pressure off for where that chunk of cash is coming from.

Part of our redo here is coming from paint. For many years, the “OOPS paint” sections of Home Depot, Lowes and Wal-Mart (yes even they have one!) have been the way to find what I need and not pay $30 a gallon. I always have in mind for every project what colors I need and sometimes, they just materialize! Typically, a gallon runs $5, a pint $2 and I just lucked onto a 5 gallon bucket in the right color for my entire living areas (foyer, library, kitchen and living room) for a whopping $35. These typically go for right around $100. You would be shocked at what a simple coat of paint could do to lift up a room and your spirits. I am turning old doors into tables, working on an art project that is entirely made of buttons and painting accessories with ridiculously bright colors. I will be done in about two weeks and I am so excited to see progress so far.

Here is hoping your days is fabulous and your holiday is a happy one! Peace and chicken grease. 