Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman & Dave Mckean

Somehow I found time to read a short novel. I guess if you really want to read something, you'll find the time to do it no matter how busy you think you are.

I don't usually read young adult fiction, so reading The Graveyard book felt a bit awkward at first. The language is simpler than in adult novels and it's a little repetitive. However, once I got used to the different style of writing, I loved the book.

The Graveyard Book is about a boy whose parents are killed and he ends up living in a graveyard. He's raised by spirits and a vampire.

The plot was a little patchy, like the author didn't really know where he was going at first. The action didn't really start to pick up until almost the end. After reading the acknowledgements at the end, I saw why it was patchy. The author said that he wrote chapter 4 first and that the book was written over the course of several years.

I know these sound like complaints. I guess they are, but the book is imaginative and filled with dark and beautiful imagery. It is most definitely worth the read.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

book working

I finished another draft of the demon book. This was the best version so far. I think I said that it would be the final, but I am going through it one more time. I changed too much of it to be comfortable with releasing this version without reading it.

And alas, I did not finish the cover art as I said I would in a previous post. Apparently writing something down (in this case, typing) did not actually cause me to complete the task. I worked on finishing the second to last draft instead, so I guess it's not like I slacked off. I will be happy when I'm finished and it's out there on paper and I can't take it back and mess with it.

I'm having trouble letting my poor book go. I plan to use my upcoming four day weekend to do the last read through. Then I will be ready to set it free.

As for right now, I have cover art to work on.

netfix on PS3

Netflix for PS3 is my new favorite distraction.

I was surprised when I first logged on to the system. I guess I expected to see anything and everything. There were very few of what I would call new releases, plenty of recent movies but not NEW movies. The variety is pretty good. There were even some movies that I remember watching as a kid: The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, Clash of the Titans, Conan the Barbarian. I saw some TV shows on the list too: The A-Team, The Addams Family, I think Weeds was on there, the original Star Trek.

The convenience of the system is great. It's like having a video rental store in my living room. The only thing I don't like is the lack of new releases. Maybe they restrict the new releases to DVD because they think the system could be used for bootlegging.

I can get the DVDs in the mail too. Not bad for $8 a month.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

pondering the green eyed monster

I have trouble understanding jealousy, not necessarily jealousy itself but more the way it affects the perception and actions of others. I've seen people attempt to sabotage the work others. I've seen people gravitate toward friends who have fewer material possessions than them. It doesn't even matter if it's family. If someone has jealousy issues, they might even have negative feelings toward family. I just wonder how small of a person you have to be inside to let jealousy rule your actions and your emotions so thoroughly. Are we really that greedy that we can't bear the thought of someone having something we don't or doing something we can't (or won't)? We are all individuals. We all make unique choices that lead us onto one path or another. Let us not be jerks because someone chose a different path.

To quote someone (I don't remember who) - Don't hate. Congratulate.

Monday, November 16, 2009

do not buy a verizon blitz

I know I haven't been around in a few days. I've been busy!

I'm still experiencing cellular phone drama. I went from a crapberry to a borrowed 'blitz', which was so unbelievably shitty that I could barely even talk on it. That sort of defeats the purpose of a cellular phone, don't you think? Talking on the blitz was like trying to use an old walkie talkie (full of static), only with a unique call dropping feature. The thing actually lost signal while I was sending a text message once. I have never known this to happen on any other phone.

My Saturday with the blitz was the last straw. I called my husband to see if he wanted me to pick up some Burger King for him on the way home from a function. He didn't answer and I didn't hear from him so he got no Burger King. When I arrived home he said that he called back three times after I hung up. The phone didn't ring. No calls showed up on the missed call list. I disconnected that piece and activated my old pink razor from like 2+ years ago. It has no QWERTY. It takes like 6 years to send a text message but at least I can talk on it.

My dear bother and sister in law offered me a T-Mobile Dash. It is SUCH a cute pda phone. It even has windows on it. I thought I might try to unlock it and use it on Verizon. I've never done that before, but I thought I'd give it a whirl. The unlocking seems pretty easy. You just pay some geek on the internet like $10 and they send you a code. I have that part figured out. My problem? That phone takes a SIM card and verizon phones have no SIM cards. I checked a few message boards and those people say that Verizon uses a different kind of network. An unlocked T-Mobile phone can be used with AT&T and other cell phone companies that use a GSM (?) network. Verizon and Sprint apparently use something called a CDMA network (if I remember correctly). The bottom line is I cannot use the oh so pretty dash. It was never meant to be, alas.

And so, I sit here with my old school phone, sighing when I have to take ten minutes out of my day to send a text message. On the bright side, it still has all of my old contact list and ring tones on it.

This week, I will finish my cover art. I know that has nothing to do with the rest of my post but I thought if I put it in writing on a public forum that I might actually work harder to get it done.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

teenyboppers in Zombieland

Soundtrack of the day – Black Eyed Peas, The E.N.D

I saw Zombieland over the weekend. It was really funny! I do have to say that Shaun of the Dead was funnier though.

When we first arrived, I was treated to a sight I haven’t seen in a while – teenagers under 17 trying to get into an R rated movie. Ah, the memories. I remember trying to get in to the theater to see Falling Down and the beotch at the counter wouldn’t let me or my boyfriend in.

Anyway, back to the present, there were four of these kids trying to get into the movie. One of them was 17 and he offered to show his ID and buy the tickets. By then the crotchety, old man in the ticket window was onto them and informed the kids that they would each have to show ID. See if they were smart, they would have sent that kid up by himself while they waited somewhere out of sight. He brings the four tickets back and bam, no hassle. They did not think ahead.

So while we were buying our tickets, they regrouped in the lobby area. I could tell by their hushed conversation and nervous glances into the interior of the theater that they were trying to figure out a way in.

We got our snacks and found some seats in the theater. About ten minutes later, the first teenager from the group walked in. The other three followed. Did I report them? Oh no. That would make me a hypocrite. I snuck into more than one movie when I was a teenager.

The content in the movie was barely bad enough to warranty an R rating anyway. There was some cursing and some zombie violence. Kids these days have seen and heard worse by the time they hit 15 or 16 years old.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Death of a Loyal Synonym Finder

There comes a time when we must all let go. That time has come for my Synonym Finder.

We have been together through at least two novels, countless rewrites and research papers in college. My Synonym Finder has seen me through them. It stood by my side despite the many injuries it has sustained. I remember its first trauma. A certain two year old who shall remain nameless, picked it up by the flimsy paperback cover and the sheer weight of the words within caused the cover to rip. I lovingly bandaged the dear heart, my Synonym Finder. It wasn't the book's fault. Given the length (1361 pages), it should never have been a paperback to begin with.
I did the same with its many injuries after that: falls from the arm of my recliner, dives into the iron magazine rack in the living room, rough crams into the book case, maybe even a wine spill or two. With inordinate amounts of masking tape, our working relationship persevered.

Gradually, the pages within have begun to suffer and with this newest blow (a 3" rip to the back cover), the damage is too extensive. And so I mourn the impending loss of one of my favorite books. I shall remember it fondly always, or at least until I receive the hard cover edition I plan to order from Amazon this weekend.

Friday, November 6, 2009

not the boss of me

soundtrack of the day - The Killers, Day and Age

I'm beginning to think there is something in my demeanor that gives people this undeniable urge to exert authority over me. Maybe I'm too easygoing or quiet. At least three times within the last 24 hours, people who really have no real authority over me have tried to order me around or manipulate me into doing something they wanted me to do. It's getting a little weird. I have very few issues with authority figures. My boss is my boss, etc. I get that. But why do some people try so hard to control what I do? I ain't causin' no trouble no how.

When I talk to someone and they act in what I think is an unreasonable manner, I like try to figure out what their motivation is. I have found that if they think that you've said something to devalue who they are or what they do, they have a tendency to lash out. In an effort to regain some of that value, they try to wrestle you into some action or their way of thinking.

I read once (I apologize if I misquote) that the easiest way to end a tug of war is to drop your end of the rope. These are wise words to live by. Some times you can have more fun if you let go and watch people fall on their butts.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

how many do you need?

soundtrack of the day - Adele, 19

Someone sent me a link to this product on Sephora's website today.

It's a $48 set. This is a really good deal, but the amount of makeup it comes with seems a little over the top to me. 84 eyeshadows? 60 lip glosses? wow.

What struck me as funny about this was the customer review section. One person on the first page commented that this was her second ultimate blockbuster kit. She bought the second one because it came with some items that her first one didn't. Really? You need TWO of them?!?!!? Are you reproducing the Sistene Chapel ceiling in your bathroom or something? Do you do some side work as a circus clown? Another person commented that they wished there were more eyeshadows in place of some of the lip glosses. Again, 84 different eye shadows are not enough for you?

The thing does look like fun, but I am afraid that I would end up looking like Mimi on Drew Carey.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

monsters: on my TV and in my closet

soundtrack of the day - Dave Matthews, Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King

This weekend was fun. I took last Friday and yesterday off so I could work on the writing. That didn't really happen. I spent most of the weekend eating candy and playing Resident Evil. In other words, I reverted back to ten year old me. Ok, maybe I didn't engage in those 2 particular activities ALL weekend, but that is how I will choose to sum it up. I did whatever I could to avoid working.

One of my work avoidance activities was to clean out our scary walk in closet. Most of it was okay but there was this one corner that was sort of a black hole. If something went in, you likely weren't getting it back. Cleaning the closet was time consuming but luckily not disgusting...with one exception.

Every year, my husband goes to the Indy 500. I found several of his tickets in a filing cabinet drawer, including one of them that was still in the plastic holder he wears around his neck. I should have taken a picture for the blog so that other people could share in my suffering. Perhaps we could have started a support group. Alas I did not, and now I will have to dredge up that mental image and try to adequately describe the horror.

Some sort of insect had crawled into the plastic ticket holder to die. It was the size and shape of one of those huge bumble bees (body about an inch long), but all dark brown. Its legs were still there, folded up against its belly. It was rotting, and I mean, rotting. There was a smear coming out from under its back like some of its guts had squashed out and the inside of the ticket holder was covered in little dark, brown specks. The only thing that would have been worse is if I had seen its eyes. [prolonged shudder] I have NO idea how it got there. I was deeply disturbed and I fear that it may surface in my dreams.

Trauma aside, my closet is clean and beautiful. I even opened up a section of the closet big enough to store my art supplies in a tidy manner. I gained about two square feet of floor space in there too. Unfortunately, I still have a book to edit.