Sunday, October 31, 2010

National Novel Writing Month, November 2010

With only hours before the November 1st start date, I decided to take part in National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNo.
The object: write 50,000 words in 30 days.

I've shied away from this in the past for a few reasons, the most important one being that I'm not a fast writer. I plod along, edit and research as I go and I know I'm going to have a tremendously difficult time shutting off my inner editor.

With my youngest in full-time school this year, I don't have a lot of excuses not to at least try. And I figure if I tell the world of my intentions, I'll be too embarrassed to give up by Nov 6th, *hee*.

I'm also hoping my buddies, Amy Ruttan, Kimber Chin, Christine D'Abo and JK Coi, will hold me accountable, crack the whip when needed and out me as a loser/giver-uper/defeatest if I try and pull out.

Yup - crazy. I'm feeling a tinge of regret already, and it's 2 1/2 hours before the starting gun. Eeks!

How 'bout you? Nano-ing or Nono-ing?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Doctor Who - the bond between a mother and son

A few weeks ago, I said I hadn't posted a blog in months. That wasn't exactly true. Driven by utter and absolute disgust in learning that those Jersey Shore twats make more money than the Glee kids (who possess actual talent), I did a very ranty post about the state of the television industry.
I took it down a day later. Who am I to judge what people watch? (heh heh - but if you do indeed watch Toddlers and Tiaras, we're fighting)

I think I was frustrated because I couldn't find a good family show for me and my oldest son to watch (other than Discovery Channel fare) that wasn't loaded with sex/sexual innuendos or violence/disturbing content without frying our brains on obtuse drivel (a la Hannah Montana and Suite Life).

Then we found Doctor Who.
This British series (a reboot, btw... which began anew in 2005) has the perfect mix of interesting characters, fun dialogue and a requisite amount of alien creepiness to keep an eleven year old boy happy.

Because the show utilizes a terrific mix of science fiction with reality, it's opened up the kitchen-table dialogue -- always a bonus.

The Doctor time travels and has found himself in WWII, saving Shakespeare and meeting Queen Victoria, flirting with Madame Pompedor, etc... and it's spurred some discussions we'd likely never would have had.

We pause the show, discuss things like London's blitz, and how my hubby's mother used to have to hide under the dining room table when the bombs dropped, or how plays were revolutionized by Shakespeare and the Globe.

And oh... the memorable one-liners that we now toss to each other have become our secret inside jokes. "Don't they teach recreational math anymore?"

Anything to connect to my adolescent kid gets two thumbs up in my book!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Big Brother

THE Big Brother, of Orwellian proportions, is here. Right here in 2010.
It's not the government or some evil corporation.
It's us.
It's people.
You and me.

Thanks to the cellphone cameras, Twitter, YouTube, etc, we have become our own Big Brother. We take pictures of people - doing good, doing bad, doing embarrassing things, or simply being themselves... and we share them with the world. And the world judges.
Oh, we judge.

Think about the young gay man who was filmed having sex in his dorm room. He committed suicide over it because he knows... WE JUDGE. We watch, we tsk-tsk, we condemn.

It started with celebrities - like the Britney/Lindsay/Paris trainwrecks. We saw it all, in real-time, minute-by-minute with crotch shots, drunk tweets, barber-shop breakdowns.
Perez Hilton, TMZ, US Weekly... they judge. And we watch and nod and judge too.

Think about it... We are Big Brother.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Books Books Books!

This one's about books.... just like the title implies. I didn't get to read as much as I'd have liked to over the summer holidays, maybe ten books total. But of those, here are the ones that resonated:

Still Alice by Lisa Genova - follows the journey of a Harvard prof as she copes with early onset Alzheimers. Very real, very moving and very scary. It's a difficult subject to read but the author balances the weightiness with lighter moments.

One Day by David Nicholls - the problem with highly recommended books is the high expectations that come with them. I wanted this book to be amazing, to change my life, to shake my world. And it was good. Very good. But something fell a bit short for me. Probably because I never really fell in love with Dexter, the 'hero'. He was mostly a douche and though he may have been Emma's one true love, (they did have a complex and powerful relationship), he remained shallow and selfish until the end.
And by the way.... WHY is this romance not called a romance? Just because someone dies in the end, lit romance is still romance. David Nicholls, Nicholas Sparks, Diana Gabaldon... y'all should be shelve next to La Nora. :P

The Girl... (x3) by Steig Larsson - DEVOURED this series. Ah, but wait... I lie. I haven't read book one yet, ...with the Dragon Tattoo. Because I bought book 2 by accident (all the covers look the same, non?) and didn't realize it was book 2 until I was about 50 pages in thinking "why do I feel like I've missed something?" So I set it aside, watched the movie (the original Swedish version with Noomi Rapace) to get caught up, and dove back into the book. And then the third, moments after putting down the second. Fast paced, thrilling, interesting characters (Lisbeth Salander will be a classic heroine, wouldn't you agree? Others will be compared to her forever) and the true definition of a page turner. I will go back and read book one, simply because I don't want to let these characters go and poor Mr. Larsson won't be writing anymore, bless his soul.

I know there were a few others but dang if I can think of them at the moment...

On the bedside is Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, which I want to read before the movie comes out later this year, and the Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins. I adored book one (this will be a classic, oh yes it will) and want to re-read it before jumping into the next two.

What are you reading?

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Whatever happened to Willem Dafoe...

It's been five months since I last blogged. It wasn't intentional. I got busy with kids and summer. Then I had nothing to say that couldn't be said in 140 characters or less so my news and opinions went to that other social network.

But I get these reports that insist I still get over 150 hits per week so it had me thinking... maybe I should be saying something?

I'll begin with 'whatever happened to Willem Dafoe'? This talented, versatile actor (English Patient, Platoon, Last Temptation of Christ, Spider Man) hasn't been in anything in a very long time.
Nothing Hollywoodish, anyway. Nothing that has come to my suburban theatre.
I miss him.

Anyone out there you miss seeing on the big screen?