Monday, December 31, 2007


I have a serious problem. I am trying to decide who should get this year's Neville Chamberlain Award (see here and here for further info). This year, as my husband just pointed out, has been a year rife with spineless acts. But I can't think of any "spineless acts of appeasement." That's the qualifying factor, after all. I am taking suggestions. However, do not be offended if I do not use your suggestion. It's my blog and I do things my way, so there.

One other small problem. I seem to have lost Neville, my holiday monkey. He was supposed to have his portrait taken again this year for the award. But he is nowhere to be found. I wonder if he found a better job and deserted me.

I'll post a This Year In Review post soon. I hope.

Friday, December 28, 2007

'90s (Melo)Drama

My quest to catch up on a decade of missed movies is making me realize why I didn't watch those movies in the first place. Is it just me or does every drama movie made in the 1990s suck? Okay, I have not yet seen Unforgiven and I did like The Shawshank Redemption. Although, the latter had the typical '90s bent where everything horrible that can happen to a character will happen and then the ending will try to make us feel good about ourselves. Or something like that. At the same time, Shawshank was a lot deeper than most '90s dramas so I can't knock it. I can, however, knock every other '90s drama I have ever watched.

Movies are one of my hobbies. I admit I am a picky viewer. Before I rent or go to the theatre I spend hours reading reviews to decide if I will like the movie I'm thinking of watching. I frequently change my mind and don't bother spending the money. Basically, I need to enjoy a movie. If I can tell I'm going to hate it without going to the trouble of watching it then why watch it? Sometimes I ignore the reviewers, however, as in the case of The Alamo (2004). Sometimes ignoring reviews is a good thing. In fact, I would say ignoring the reviews I remember from certain movies made in the 1990s would have been a great idea.

But no. I had to watch Dances With Wolves, Legends of the Fall, Shakespeare in Love and The Cider House Rules. That's about as much sampling as I am willing to do at this point. Some movie maker should have done the world a favor and burned the scripts before producing such total crap. I can tell you right now that I am never going to watch Fight Club or Titanic. My motto for dramas made at that time is "zip, zero, zilch." No more. Nada. I'm not doing it to myself again. Let me explain my objections in more detail.

For starters, Dances ushered in the era of bad '90s epics. It was definitely the one that started the crappy movies. Now, I believe the federal government was pretty horrible to Native Americans. Don't get me wrong with what I say next. After watching Dances I just had to wonder, how can the viewer consider the Native Americans to be compassionate in this movie? They slaughtered this poor girl's family, but then they took her in and cared for her? Does this seem counter-intuitive to anyone besides me? I mean, logic, people. If they had not killed her family then her family could have cared for her and nobody would have been, well, dead. Moving on . . .

The next movie crime I have listed is a conundrum to me. Please tell me, does anyone even understand Legends of the Fall? It's the horrible story of a horrible character who lives a horrible life and sleeps with a lot of random people and everyone loves him because he's speshul, but the audience is never told why he is speshul. He just is. In reality there is nothing redeeming about him whatsoever except that he might, possibly be attractive to some woman somewhere when he himself does not look like a woman. And he fights a bear or something like that.

Shakespeare deserves little more than a footnote from me. Good job Colin Firth. As for the rest of it, the story was eaten by the message and the characters were ridiculous. Cider Houser Rules manages to have good characters, but the plot is pointless, meandering and completely overcome by it's cumbersome, hamfisted message. That message being, of course, the same pro-abortion argument that every "pro-choicer" ever makes: People can't control themselves. They're going to have abortions anyway so they might as well be clean and legal. Oh, and what about cases of rape and incest? Puhleeze. Those arguments don't even address the broader picture. We're talking about human life. Not to digress.

These examples prove one thing to me. '90s dramas were formulaic. The characters were mostly pathetic. The plots were long, winding and predictable. Emphasis was placed on the oddest, most meaningless moments in the whole movie. Wherein certain characters would suddenly act in ways they would not normally act. The message was the only strong part of the movie and it was shoved down your throat with a pitchfork. The music. Oh, the music. Make it stop, please make it stop. There's just nothing redeeming about these movies. I would say the only reason to watch them is so that you can hone your critical thinking skills.

My quest has ended. Henceforth, I shall only watch movies that seem good to me. The decade of 1990s movie making can sink back into its mire because I am done pursuing it. That is, except for the action movies and some of the family movies. Those were decent if not good.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Day Is Here

Merry Christmas to all my readers. What more can I say?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Chrismas Is Here

I am ready for Christmas in the sense that I've bought all the gifts I needed to buy and I've mailed all the cards I needed to mail. But not ready in any other sense. I am ready for a short vacation and a change of scene. That will be nice. But when I come back I'm going to have a lot to do.

Normally at Christmas time I write a profound little article about how wonderful Christmas is and what it means to me. This year my thoughts on Christmas are completely jumbled. All I can think about are my own inadequacies. There are things I want to do in life that I have not done. Christmas serves to remind me that I am getting no younger. This is the first year that I have not exactly felt joy at Christmas. I also do not feel like expounding on my favorite Christmas stories -- A Christmas Carol, the nativity story, It's a Wonderful Life. Stories are my thing, as my devoted readers probably noticed a long time ago. This Christmas season I just don't feel like writing about them.

I don't want to sit here and be all self pitying either. The fact is, I am my own worst enemy. I am the reason I have not done everything I want to do. I know, I had a sinus infection and am now sitting here with a terrible tension headache. That's a pretty good excuse. It's not really the problem, however. The problem is that I quit motivating myself on a long term basis after I left college. I'll have moments of inspiration. For example, the month of November when I wrote 80k words of a novel. I still can hardly believe I did that. Look at me now, I've quit taking the time to edit my new novel already. In fact, I'm mad at all my characters and really mad at my writing style.

I don't think I'm being hard on myself when I say that I am not doing enough. I need to focus on math so I can take the GRE in the spring or summer. I need to get my apartment in order. I need to spend more time at the gym. There's just a lot I need to do.

But talking about it does little good . . . Writing myself a grand little schedule on my lovely, new palm pilot does little good. I mean, if I'm not going to follow the schedule what does it matter to write it all out? It's just a momentary appeasement for that guilty conscience. The only way I'm going to change these problems is if I start doing stuff and refuse to quit. No "and's, but's or tomorrow's" allowed. Here I go.

By the way, Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Raising The Money

Ron Paul supporters do it again. This time we raised $6 million in 24 hours. Go us! This is very encouraging news.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

In Association With Other Ron Paul Supporters

I thought I would direct you to this article written by a friend of mine about why he is voting for Ron Paul. It's a better read than anything I've written on the subject.

While I'm at it here's something funny pertaining to Ron Paul. I can so relate to this having attended one of the few colleges in the U.S. that teaches Austrian economics.

Friday, December 07, 2007


When in doubt discuss the weather. I am currently in doubt. I have lots of good ideas for posts, they just do not seem to lead anywhere. I often think of something good to write about and then I will wonder what my conclusion is. Then I realize that I cannot write a post with no point. So, instead, I am going to discuss something completely pointless: snow.

Yesterday we had a nice dump of 4 inches of snow. It started snowing after 11am and kept snowing until late at night. Naturally, the worst of it came during rush hour traffic. Naturally, everyone wanted to get home early. So, naturally, everyone tried to go home at around 3pm. I get off work at 3pm, of course. Traffic was moving 10 mph on the expressway. I was stuck in it, so I should know. I thought it would be the best way to get home, considering none of the other streets were cleared of snow.

I pulled (or slid) onto the expressway and there was a car stuck in the bank on the side of the road. Above me. I kid you not. The car was practically vertical. Looking at it only one thought passed through my mind: "Abandon hope all ye who enter." For better -- more likely worse -- I was stuck on that interstate for five miles. It took me 45 minutes and my car came close to overheating.

Now, I know there are at least 5 lanes on the interstate I take to get home. Interestingly, yesterday afternoon there were three lanes. No one could see the lines on the road to tell where to drive so we all just followed the car in front of us. I was almost to my exit and I had been enjoying a lot of good music on the radio plus a lengthy traffic report. Suddenly, a song started and it began with this line: "Think of somewhere cold and caked in snow." I ask you, what freaking idiot would play a song like that right after they have done a weather report discussing the fact that snow covers the streets of the city they are broadcasting from and traffic is moving at 20mph because of it? What freaking idiot? So, no more radio for me. Why would I listen to something that is just going to taunt me?

I made it to my exit successfully and -- amazingly -- did not slip into a ditch on the exit ramp. I got all the way home in fact. But then I ran into a little problem. There was a car stuck in the entrance to the parking lot at my apartment building. Well, I parked at a different building, then moved my car after the stuck one got un-stuck. When Craig got home his bus got stuck at the bus stop outside our apartment building. They were still there an hour later.

I enjoy driving in the snow. I really do. It gives me a rush. To me it's like those people who jump down volcanoes or run into hurricanes. I am drawn to driving in the snow. doing donuts in the snow, getting into skids and then getting out. Driving in the snow is like a drug to me. It gives me a sense of euphoria and control over my environment that I get from nothing else. I just do not like everyone else being there when I am driving in the snow. I prefer to be the only one on the road. So please, next time you want to drive in the snow think about me and just don't do it.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Can I Go Home Now?

I just wrote an 80,000 word novel in 30 days. That's about 278 pages double spaced. I wrote the equivalent of a 10 page paper every single day for a month.

So, yeah, can I go home now?

I have editing to do before anyone else will be allowed to read this book. But you can ask about reading it. In fact, I encourage you to ask. I like the attention.

Edit: My NaNoWriMo group was on the news. Can you guess which one is me?