Saturday, October 21, 2006

Stuff and Nonsense

I have several more substantial posts coming, but for now I wanted to get something posted. So, inspired by Kim, I decided just to talk about things that are going well right now, so ... here are 5 things that are making me happy today.

1. Soon, I will be unstoppable!

Ok, so, maybe not, but the other day I ran an entire mile while the treadmill fluctuated between a 5% and 10% incline, and I actually did not die. For someone who's always been so unathletic, it felt pretty good. And my flat mile (well, I usually run at 1%) is way under ten minutes. I think it's at something like 8 minutes now. For someone who started doing this stuff 2 years ago and weighed 200 pounds, I feel pretty good. I also, will probably not die of a heart attack at age 40, which was a distinct possibility, giving my own personal and family cardiac issues. Yeah for not dying!

2. Eating the Elephant

They say you can eat an elephant one bite at a time, and I have kept taking the bites. I've made all deadlines in September and October, and next month is NanoWriMo, with the goal of writing 50,000 words in the month, which may take me really close to the end. Yes, it is still trying to kill me, but I probably deserve it. I actually sent an excerpt to my best friend, Jennie-Fred (who, yes, is an even more important thing about Indiana I miss than the leaves. sorry.) and her response was, "this is well-written, but what the hell?" which was perfect! I will be really glad when it's done.

3. Go Pirates!

Actually, she's not a pirate anymore, but VERONICA MARS IS STILL ON THE AIR! Tuesdays at 9:00 on the CW. Just doing my part, Rob Thomas. This is my favorite show right now, and it's been on the brink of cancellation every single year, but it's still going. Imagine a young, female Philip Marlowe starring in sun-drenched California Noir crime stories. It's just about perfect in every way. But ignore the CW's advertising campaign. They don't get the show, and they make it look lame.

4. Now is the season of ... something

It continues to be fall. The weather, though it has warmed up in the last few days, remains cool. I love the way it's just cold enough to really need a coat in the morning, but it is sunny enough for short sleeves in the afternoon. I'm actually really looking forward to the rainy season this year, but I'll take this for now. It's good hiking weather (as if I have time to go hiking).

5. But what if it is Baroque? Should I fix it then?

I recently found the last two books of Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle on remainder stacks. So, two hardcovers for $10. Yes! Now all I have to do is find the time to read them. Maybe when the book is done.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (but not Betty)

My favorite season is here! Fall! No, it's not the leaves. We don't really get the whole autumnal leaves thing in the same way the midwest does, and which is the only thing I miss about Indiana. Of course, there, the colors are a harbinger of the blinding-white winter, so I can live with the trade. No. The fall TV season, because I, of course, am an overly obsessed TV dork.

This year, however, I am not watching as many new shows as before. Because last year, armed with DirecTiVo, I over-sampled, and tried to love shows not worthy of it (I'm looking at you, Supernatural) and ended up canceling many, many, season passes. So, this year, I was more selective. So, what did I try?

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Heroes (of course!), Jericho ... and is that really it? Wow!

So, how did they rank?

Unabashed love for Studio 60. I love the Matt Albie character, and I usually loathe the portrayal of writers on TV. I love that he makes fun of christians while is simultaneously in tortured love with one of them. I love that they've included a sympathetic christian character who acts like a person of faith while also being smart, talented, and funny. She's not a cliche, which is incredibly refreshing. They really need to make the actual skits from their fictional show be funnier, but that is my only complaint. My favorite part? The giant red-lettered l.e.d. countdown clock of deadline doom that hangs in Matt's office. I so need one of those!

As for Heroes ... well, I watched the first episode, and I have the rest waiting. I like it. I'm intrigued, but the first episode took itself so god-damned seriously. I know its going for an Unbreakable Vibe, but there can be moments when characters crack a smile. I'm hoping the addition of Greg Grunberg to the cast helps it out, because so far ... i guess it just needs to develop. Need to work on the cringe-worthy dialogue as well.

"What did you do at school today?"
"I walked through fire... and I didn't get burned."
"wow, honey, that's deep"


Jericho, I'm still finding oddly compelling despite the fact that many of the characters act like idiots, and the people who I'm supposed to find sympathetic, I don't. The kids are smart. They should run the town. I'm with Strega, from Television Without Pity, who is hoping for an army of zombies ... it could happpen.

My biggest problem with the show, is that the main actress, set up to be the love interest, is the most annoying character. She's bratty where she's supposed to be tragic, stupid where she's supposed to be kick-ass. She's clearly going to be who OUR HERO (who is still a cipher, but that's a separate issue which may ending up being part of the point so I'll give it to them for now) is going to end up with, but I'm really hoping he hooks up with the plucky teacher who knows her way around engines. The main girl? I hope she drinks some fallout and has all her skin bubble and peel off before accidentally blowing herself up trying to light a kerosene stove. Could happen! It's a Lana Lang problem from Smallville. You're supposed to love her because she's PRETTY! but she's actually a twit.

later I may post about returning shows I still love (WATCH VERONICA MARS!!!!!!!!), and the ones I dumped (Smallville!) And we kind of wanted to try Ugly Betty, but couldn't because Thursdays at 8:00 are full, with Survivor: Race War and the Earl/Office combo, so sorry, America Ferrera. We love you, but you need to move.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Unbearable Blogness of Being

I've been gone a while. Sorry. Not gone, as in sent to rehab or some sort of mental rehabilitation center (although, after the last entry, I can see why you might think that), just busy, with work and writing and family and other stuff too boring to mention. Plus, the new TV season has started, so OF COURSE that must become a priority. (Watch Veronica Mars! Especially if you have a Neilson Box!) But here are 3 random things that I offer for your edification.

1. In Memorium.

Phoebe died today. Phoebe was my old ibook, and she was named Phoebe because she was white like the moon. (no, she was not named after Lisa Kudrow.) This was a catastrophe beyond comprehension, made only slightly better by the fact that I had, strangely for me, had the foresight to back up all of my important files on the school server last week. There were only two important files not there, and these I was able to rescue, by performing CPR on her until I was able to transfer them onto a flashdrive. But she is gone.

And she's seriously gone too. The screen flashed and she started vibrating and making weird noises, and then the screen scrolled for no apparent reason and then the entire computer went still. All the scene was missing was smoke and demonic laughter. I might poke the corpse a bit and see what other files I can salvage, but I really don't think there's much hope of a resurrection.

If anyone's interested (Phil, I'm looking at you) I'm having a memorial service tomorrow in my classroom about 11:00. Bring tissue. I'm also going to need someone to sing "My Heart Will Go On."

2. Tell me you don't have a driver's license. Or Vote.

I have not been following The Lost Experience over the summer, but have heard from people who have, and who pointed me to the YouTube video that revealed the secret of the numbers and of Alvar Hanso. Pretty cool stuff, actually, I was happy that actually paid off in an interesting way. Of course, it invoked the apocalypse, so I was immediately in (see also: Jericho).

What's scarier? The dorks on the message boards saying "Hey, this isnt real? whaaaaa?" Someone actually posted like three pages proving that it was all a hoax, including links to the imdb pages for the actors playing Persephone/Rachel Blake, Mittelwork, and Alvar Hanso. They were outraged, OUTRAGED I SAY! to discover that it wasn't real. Umm ... dudes ... tie in to a TV show, k? step back from the edge. And put away the car keys, because obviously ... yeah. (No, I don't think xnickerx was one of them. she's had other things going on, what with making cream of wheat profile picks. don't ask.)

3. What would Warren (Ellis) Do?

I met every deadline I set myself in September for the book. Yes, I fucking rock, thank you very much. I wrote a Chapter every 10 days, and each chapter is between 6000 and 10,000 words. Hopefully, the book will be done soon. In September I hit 100,000 words, and yestderday, I hit 300 manuscript pages (trust me, you don't need to know the details of the conversion). So, I'm feeling pretty good about that, and about carving out the time to work every day at 5:00 a.m. Not only do I rock, I am also tired and grumpy. But we all must sacrifice, right honey?

I'm happy with the book so far, even if it has tried to kill me on several occasions, and I think it really did kill Phoebe (am now working on Hera, my wife's laptop, who I think likes me better anyway) and I have come to the unfortunate knowledge that the theme of this book seems to be turning out to be, "You know, everyone really would be better off if you'd just kill yourself."

I am not hoping for inclusion in our school library. For several reasons.