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Archive for the ‘entertainment’ Category

Have I mentioned my mad love for Kelley Armstrong’s Nadia Stafford series? I like some of the Otherworld books (the Magic ones never did it for me) but I ADORE these books. There are only two so far and I am wicked hooked. Short version: if you wanted to hang out with someone who was a hitman (and you didn’t know), it would be Nadia. Chock full of creepy and/or paranoid serial-killers-with-a-mission. Cross between Buffy (albeit no vampires or monsters- at least not the otherworldly sort) and Dexter.

Also read: Paranoia by Joseph Finder. Free on the kindle and MAN this was a grabber. Corporate espionage thriller that was miles better than The Firm. It jumps in hard and if you hang on for the ride, the ending is total payoff. Dug it and I will totally check out more of his work.

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I’ve been reading quite a bit lately and I’ve got to say my latest guilty pleasure is the Magic series by Ilona Andrews. Just finished the latest book and they are well- written, fast-paced, kick ass protag, and have interesting world building. Two thumbs up, highly recommended. Reminds me of what Anita Blake could have been before she became a magic-induced nymphomaniac without principles.

The Year of Magical Thinking is pretty fantastic. I thought about picking it up for ages and finally did. Didion’s memoir of the year after her husband’s death will resonate with anyone who’s lost a loved one. This bit especially:

Grief turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it. We anticipate (we know) that someone close to us could die, but we do not look beyond the few days or weeks that immediately follow such an imagined death. We misconstrue the nature of even those few days or weeks. We might expect if the death is sudden to feel shck. We do not expect this shock to be obliterative, dislocating to both body and mind. We might expect that we will be prostrate, inconsolable, crazy with loss. We do not expect to be literally crazy, cool customers who believe that their husband is about to return and need his shoes. In the version of grief we imagine, the model will be “healing.” A certain forward movement will prevail. The worst days will be the earliest days. We imagine that the moment to most severely test us will be the funeral, after which this hypothetical healing will take place. When we anticipate the funeral we wonder about failing to “get through it,” rise to the occasion, exhibit the “strength” that invariably gets mentioned as the correct response to death. We anticipate needing to steel ourselves for the moment: will I be able to greet people, will I be able to leave the scene, will I be able to even get dressed that day? We have no way of knowing that this will not be the issue. We have no way of knowing that the funeral itself will be anodyne, a kind of narcotic regression in which we are wrapped in the care of others and the gravity and the meaning of the occasion. Nor can we know ahead of the fact (and here lies the heart of the difference between grief as we imagine it and grief as it is) the unending absecne that follows the void, the very opposite of meaning, the relentless succession of moments during which we will confront the experience of meaninglessness.

I also finished the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. It is precisely as good as you’ve heard it is.

The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman is a recent release and it’s beautiful and touching and wrenching and honest. Love her work.

All the recipes I’ve been making lately come from Dana Jacobi’s The Essential Best Foods Cookbook. Unlike Rachael Ray, they don’t promise you’ll be done in 30 minutes but I haven’t run into anything that takes much longer. The food HAS been fantastic, including the Salmon with Coconut Curry Chutney that I served for dinner on Friday. P.S. Cookbooks on the kindle are THE WHIP.  Easiest way to ever shop for groceries. I’ve also discovered that the rice which cooks perfectly at 10,000 feet is Basmati, properly soaked.

I also read the latest Mercy Thompson book by Patricia Briggs – she’s a consistently good storyteller, period.

I can’t remember if I mentioned it previously but I THOROUGHLY enjoyed Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It’s one of those books whose cover design grabbed me but I didn’t pick it up. Finally got it on the kindle and it’s great. An interesting mystery with compelling characters, and a dose of social commentary thrown in. I’m very much looking forward to the next one.

I keep finding free books for the kindle, so I’ve got a mess of things in the TBR list. Probably I will not do much reading while Mom is in town and I’ve been keeping track of the books as I finish them on my facebook page. I believe I’m in the high 30s so far, which means hitting 50 by year’s end shouldn’t be tough.

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There were no real house projects (I re-stained part of a bench). I didn’t do any homework. Spouse and I drove into Frisco for the BBQ Challenge – Big Hoss had the best sauce, fyi. I started to rain as we were leaving, so we came home and couched watching movies.

The Wrestler was good, as predicted. I think the creepiest part about it is that Mickey Roarke’s own career has to feel very much like the character, making it less like acting and more like voyeurism. We also caught most of the latest X-files movie on cable. It was… strange. Good strange but not really what I was expecting. Spouse likened it to a much longer X-files episode. Pretty accurate and ultimately satisfying. One can never have too much Scully.

I was unsuccesful seeing The Proposal. In fact, I completely forgot about it until we were halfway over the mountain. I think the plan is to make it part of Spouse’s vacation week.

Tomorrow, life returns to normal. Work, then homework. Rinse and repeat for Monday.

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Where has this been all my life? How come no one told me about it!? I’m very disappointed in you, internets.

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I’ve successfully made reservations for our anniversary dinner. It’s going to require a trip over to Vail, but 40 minutes isn’t a bad drive for good food. Not only that, but we’re in the off-season so we’ll be able to take advantage of some pretty sweet deals.

I’m waiting for Spouse’s new phone to arrive and then running some errands before he’s done wth work.

Have pretty much finalized house painting colors and a decorating plan for the basement. We’ll need an area rug for the kitchen but all in all we’re in good shape. The new sliding door arrives this weekend and I’ve just got to contact my guy to put it in. We’re inordinately excited about it for reasons I’ll elaborate later.

Our anniversary gifts are working out fantatsically and I’m going to update with some more Santa Fe details later.

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I don’t watch The View very often, but I enjoy their hot topics shows because I think they do a good job of covering the gamut of reasonably expected responses (considered/intellectual: Whoopi, Barbara; ignorant/emotional: Sherri, Elizabeth; going for the punchline: Joy). Today they were talking about the rumor of Joe Biden’s daughter having snorted cocaine and one of her dirtbag ‘friends’ shopping it around to tabloids. They were saying that you can’t tie the actions of a child to the parent, with which I absolutely agree.

Kids come into this world with their own personality and ability to make their own decisions. Ideally, the way that they are raised will influence some of their decisionmaking processes but ultimately they are their own person.

That shook round to the political spectrum and how it’s potentialy MORE unfair to hold these kids up because the press implies their parents aren’t good at their JOBS rather than at parenting (which is the more logical conclusion). This, of course, brought up the issue of Bristol Palin. I think there’s a difference in that particular case.

If Sarah Palin had refused to comment about the pregnancy (Biden has yet to comment on the drug allegation), or simply requested privacy, that would  have been just fine. Instead she started crowing about how proud she was of her daughter’s “choice” and turned it into a pro-life wictory. This would also be fine, if Sarah Palin wasn’t actively campaigning to take that exact same “choice” away from everyone else. She SHOULD have been talking about how there wasn’t a choice, of course Bristol was having that kid because it was the only right thing to do – because that’s what she believes.. Instead, she MADE it a political issue by discussing it in those terms,  precisely because she’s AGAINST a woman’s right to control her own bodily functions, and that is why it became okay to talk about it. You’ll notice that Bristol’s “choice” was a topic of conversation but her decision to drop out of high school was barely a blip.

Being a politician doesn’t hold you to a higher standard of being a parent. It doesn’t hold your kids to a higher standard, because your kids are entitled to make their own mistakes and learn from them. It DOES require that you occasionally shut your mouth and put your kids before your own political agenda.

The View was also hilarious today talking about Twitter. The whole ‘not getting it’ is easy to see. It’s sort of a mindless occupation, though it can be entertaining.

I was kind of interested to see Bill O’Reilly on the show and see if Joy Behar or Whoopi were going to call him out. O’Reilly *did* make a good point about shopping with your dollars – if you disagree with something, use your money to make your impact. It was also hilarious that Bill suddenly wanted to “move on”  when they began discussing WHY we were in Iraq. Oddly, he rarely wants to “move on” on his own show. Speaking of which, I wanted to link this particularly heinous story. It’s especially nice because he has frequently spoken out on the rights of ‘celebrities’ to not be stalked. I guess famous people get more rights than everyone else.

Last political note: when the economists say you’ve got to keep spending money in order to fix the problem, people like Bill O’Reilly and Sherri Shepard should STFU. We’ve already spent into what most average people would consider to be imaginary numbers (as in, we can’t IMAGINE how much money it is) so if the people who study this FOR A LIVING think it’s the right path, I’m okay with it.

In unrelated news, I’m finally posting my CO snowpocalypse photos!

 

The trees outside my house, when I left.

The trees outside my house, when I left.

 

 

 

 

 

Merging onto I-70, believe it or not.

Merging onto I-70, believe it or not.

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Unless, that is, you have no idea what I mean by BSG and in that case you probably won’t WANT to read this post. ;)

I think the gut reaction for a lot of fans was that I WANT MY KARA/LEE 4EVAH. I’ll admit it – I totally felt it for about 15 seconds. And then I started thinking about the Kara/Lee dynamic and why that ending for them totally worked (because it did).

From the start, Kara and Lee were on separate courses destined for a collision. It starts with drunken flirting and Kara’s admission that she fears “being forgotten” most, while she’s dating/engaged to his BROTHER of all things. Kara is the absolute arbiter of self-destruction. On the other hand, all of her self-destructive behaviors and crazy widespread fallout ensure that she WON’T in fact be forgotten.

Their sexual tension doesn’t ever dissipate because they never REALLY consummate what they both clearly want. She’s afraid it will mean actual happiness and a descent into ‘comfortable,’ ‘normal’ – forgettable. She’s also afraid of disappointing Lee, of screwing it up. When they finally have sex, she takes off and marries Sam – ensuring that Lee will always wonder WTF – both about her and what it means about HIM, what he did wrong.

She’s never really serious with Sam and begins pushing him away almost immediately and guaranteeing that his life will also be halfway ruined by her. He can’t ever quite let her go because he never really had her to start with.

Meanwhile, she Starbucks for all she’s worth. Does the crazy things no one else does, has no fear of her death in these ridiculous exploits because even if she bites it – people will KNOW. She doesn’t mind being talked about, being badmouthed. She has clearly defined her role and never deviates – not for a moment. She’s a trainwreck. She takes a lot of prisoners, tortures them, and makes no apologies. She doesn’t apologize when Leoben takes HER prisoner. And when she’s told she has a destiny (over and over) she isn’t upset about THAT – she’s upset that she can’t SEE it, can’t touch it, can’t CONTROL it. She’s been so busy making herself memorable that she’s afraid to let go of the icon she’s created and is afraid her destiny might take it.

Lee, meanwhile, is always half a person. He’s always responsible for someone or TO someone. His brother, his father, Kara, Dee. He can’t be who he wants to be because it will hurt his brother (and his brother’s memory) if he really pursues Kara. He’s the guy who has to try and keep Kara put together since she’s so determined to flame out spectacularly and in public view. He can’t walk away from the military (or roles of responsibility) because his father’s gravitational pull is impossible to overcome. The only way he can defend himself is to try and create his own roles and ultimately falls short. His relationship with Dee was far less well defined but it becomes clear that Dee sees herself as the rebound girl. Lee is responsible again, for not making her feel valued or important. He’s still not able to be himself. He doesn’t have any idea who he is but he has a thousand ideas about who he COULD be if his life was just different.

And in the end, Kara has become something EVERYONE will remember. She’s remembered because NO ONE knows what she really was. An oracle, an angel, a savior? The contradiction – that someone so flawed could become something so mysteriously benefiical – has guaranteed her the one thing she wanted most. She is the enigma that allows them to keep living, keep believing. And when she leaves, she’s the perfect example for how you don’t REALLY get a second chance. You don’t get to have a second life where you can do everything right – even if you’ve learned from all your mistakes – or get to rewrite history. The second chance is a great idea but you have to live your life like you only get the one you’ve got. 

I wish Lee had chosen his own destiny, but it makes perfect sense that he can’t. Dee leaves him – twice – and the first time was an attempt to make him choose his own path. The second time she left, she was so far past him that he couldn’t even see her. His father leaves him as well, and I’m willing to wank that it’s because he knows Lee will never become his own man with the Admiral around. And Kara winks out in the moment before he can ask her to stay. He can see the thousand paths he might take but now he HAS to take one, and the only one he’s repsonsible to is himself. There is no one to live up to, no one to take care of, no accounting to be made. He gets to finally become Lee.

There are a few things I would quibble about with the finale, but this is the one thing the writers got perfectly and absolutely right.

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