Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Happy Birthday and a Sad Farewell

Happy Birthday Earthrise.
Christmas Eve 1968, one Astronaut said to the other - wow. that's fuckin' gorgeous. Of course, that's most likely what really happened but the media took that phrase and spun it into something a lot less crude. :)

"Oh, my God! Look at that picture over there! Isn't that something…
Frank Borman

Apollo 8 crew member

Point is, spaceflight allowed us to see a different side of the earth. One that doesn't involve wars, drugs, childhood obesity, jealousy, hate, greed, crime and the instilled obsession with instant gratification. It shows the world as what it should be, a beautiful spinning piece of rock teeming with life. It's an unbiased view of green, blue, white and hope.

A Sad Farewell

Eartha Kitt is perhaps well known for two things - the original "Santa Baby" and her role as the second Catwoman. I have to admit, she wasn't my favorite television series Catwoman (but that's because I'm a comic book classicist) but she did have an amazing voice, a certain sex appeal and definitely the brains and courage to work it. She was a child of mixed race, raised in Harlem and worked her butt off.

She diedon Christmas day.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Is Media Trying to Make an Enemy out of Me?

Before I launch into the news portion of this entry, let me just get something out of the way and give a little background as to why this piece of information makes me want to weep.

I am entirely convinced that television is trying to push me away. I used to love tv, used to watch a lot of tv. Had my favorite television shows that I watched religiously and drove friends and family crazy about when I missed an episode or was interrupted. As I got older, my shows began disappearing or just starting to jump el shark (X-files, I’m looking at you- what were those last two seasons about? I loved you but my god, you changed. We had to break-up, it was becoming toxic) or newer shows were catering to the ‘young adult’ crowd which was becoming increasingly more like Degrassi and less like, I don’t know something less skanky than Degrassi.

Then college came. I still had my Gilmore Girls and my Stargate SG-1 (though I admit to neglecting SG because of it’s time slot).

Then I graduated and I had my Gilmore Girls (CW, I’m still not speaking to you) and now I have House, NCIS, Pysch, Medium and Ugly Betty (although what’s going on with that show?). I have my Daily Show, Colbert Report and I’m beginning to dig Fringe. I have my Futurama (but then I’ve always had my Futurama) and my Family Guy and heck, The Venture Brothers when I can catch the new ones.

Then television started to fail me. Horribly, miserably. It was like a bad break-up and I was stuck watching TV flaunt around with its younger, hipper, vapid girlfriend with double-d’s and penchant for oral sex.


I’m a reader. First and foremost I’m a writer but being a reader is a strong strong second. So, when I hear that one of my favorite books or comic book ideas is becoming a show I get excited and then I get really nervous. Or at least, I get nervous now. People that know me know how much I dislike the X-Men movie franchise. I’m a big fan of the comic series so when a movie comes along and of course I understand why, they screw up the timelines and relationships, I get testy. Now, because of what they did to the X-Men on the big screen (it’s mainly the whole Rogue storyline and now I can’t stand Anna Paquin)

So, when I hear that the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Mystery series by Charlaine Harris, a new favorite series of mine, is going to become a television series and a cable television series at that (more freedom whoo hoo!) I’m super psyched. It’s called True Blood which is the name of the drink that the vamps drink instead of blood. Wow, I’m really excited!

That is until they tell me Anna Paquin is Sookie. WTF?! I won’t go into my dislike of the show here but for a clue, see the Rogue comment in the previous paragraph.

Then they remade Life on Mars from the original BBC show (which was AMAZING) and then they start showing a show called Moonlight (which is similar to a story I wrote a few years back, but admittedly, mine is a little more complex but hey, I can’t say anything, mine’s not published).

So I’m disillusioned. Hardcore.

Now, to throw salt on the big gaping wound that is my trust, there is a report that ABC is going to take the wonderful, glorious, beautiful, amazing comic series known as Fables by Bill Willingam and try to transfer that amazingness and make it into a tv series.

I’m scared. I really am.

Mood: Photobucket - Cynical

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Married to the Sea

Found this web comic after checking out the Natalie Dee website and I gotta say - I'm DYING when I read this stuff. Of course, not everyone will agree but eh, it's my blog :)

Let the chortling commence!

Married To The Sea

Mood : Amused: Photobucket

Monday, December 8, 2008

Just Plum Crazy

I have a slight love of the Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich. I love the wit, the sometimes slapstick humor, the romatic confusion, the humanity, the depravity and most of all I love that Stephanie Plum - Bounty Hunter- is a survivor.

These books can actually become an addiction, in fact I need to buy them in pairs because I know that I'll read one book in about a day, possibly two if I'm busy. There are fourteen books thus far- not including holiday novellas- and I've read up to numero nueve.

I'm a fan.

I love her family because they make my family just look marginally saner...but only marginally because frankly we have more tragedy than comedy in my family, but hey - who's keeping score?

Cousin Vincent (cousin Vinnie - get it? huh, huh) is a perverted sex-crazed bond agent who is blackmailed into giving Steph a job after she is laid off from a lingerie job. When you think of Vinnie you should always start the sentence off with "What will Vinnie have sex with...?" Think, ducks, midgets, women and quite possibly inanimate objects.

Grandma Mazur is a sex-crazed octogenarian with a creepy obsession with wakes and viewings, Mom Plum is a housewife slowly becoming strangled by her life and thus seeks a life outside of the crazy house and she bakes, cooks and serves up a mean slice of guilt. Sister Valerie is perfect until her husband cheats on her and she moves back in with her mother with her two kids, one perfect, one who thinks she's a horse and then ends up going through a series of life changes that are nothing short of hilarious.

Dad Plum is the only sane one.

So, now we have her friends. Lula is an ex-prostitute that you meet in the first book and who ends up being a pawn in a game against Steph. It's Stephanie who finds Lula beat up and bloodied on her fire escape after she's been raped and abused. It's Stephanie who Lula latches onto and becomes her sometimes partner and mostly her partner-in-crime. She's large, in charge and a black woman who loves to experiment with colors, meat and men.

Connie is the receptionist, office manager, take charge woman at the bond agency. She's got huge boobs, even bigger hair and a mustache that would make my Italian great-grandmother proud. Like everyone and their mother = she shoots.

There are a slew of other associates Steph meets through her travels as a bounty hunter. A cross-dressing rockstar, a stoner thief, an ex-female wrestler and the female equivalent of Ranger.

Ranger? ! Who?

Think cafe au lait skin, dark smoldering eyes, soft lips, a body to die for (and possibly be killed by) and a sense of humor that is both dry and deadly. He is intelligent, clever, sneaky, overprotective and has a nice ass. He loves Stephanie...but not in the same way Morelli does. In fact, as he said. "There are different kinds of love,babe." He's the chocolate cake in your fat diet. You don't regret it until you've snarfed about eight of them down...but oh, it feels amazing going in (pun quite intended).

Now, I have to admit I'm biased on this next description. I love Joe Morelli. He's your typical guy, I'll admit that. He doesn't have the same mysteriousness of Ranger, he can be a bit of a commitphobe but he's also Sexy as Hell, a walking wet-dream apparently, he's also protective of Steph but I think he's slowly starting to realize that the love of his life *not something he's sad so much as I've read into this* is not only a trouble magnet but also most likely to stay that way for awhile. As he said to her in book five:
"I used to ask myself how it is you got yourself involved in things like this, now I come to expect it of you".

While he's the safer bet as compared to Ranger, he is also the one who takes care of Steph, rushes to her side when she's hurt or even when he just hears her name on the police scanner. They've known each other since they were six, he's got custody of their dog and while he thinks the Plum family is beyond any sort of mental help - he still goes to dinners. He can be sweet and stubborn, loving but selfish but above all - I'd be willing to bet he'd die to protect Steph. He's her knight in shining gray armor while Ranger is a ninja.

I know I'm leaving out her arch-enemy Joyce and her bastard ex-husband Dickie but they're much better to read about anyway. Sort of.

Anyway, great read, very entertaining but the one thing that I have a complaint about is that Steph still hasn't truly made her mind up about her men. Not that I expect her to but her heart seems to belong to Joe while her libido belongs to both. Which can be a problem.

Oh Janet Evanovich, can't we please fix this issue? Maybe have Valerie fall for Ranger? Doesn't he have a soft-spot for kids?

Mood: Photobucket - Tired

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Unusual Suspects Review

Review on a story by story basis.

Lucky- Charlaine Harris

It's a story set in the world of Sookie and it seems to take place right before the most recent book. Anyhoo, there is an absence of Eric which sort of made me go "aw man" but there is a Bill appearance. This is not a Sookie romance nor strictly a Sookie Vampire story, it explores Sookie's powers and it teams her up with Amelia.

It's a decent story, nothing amazing, nothing that pops up and grabs you but a decent read for those of us who are Sookie fans. If you aren't a Sookie fan, well, this is going to be a boring read and you may in fact skip over it.

In keeping with the vein of Mystery and Fantasy- I give this story -- 3 magic bullets

Bogieman - Carole Nelson Douglas

Ok, this one had promise but I confess it confessed the heck out of me after the first paragraph. I nearly skipped it. And up until two minutes ago had no idea it was from a larger book (that coincidentally I keep looking at in the bookstore and shaking my head, thinking I'll hate it. So from the pov of someone who has not read the books:

It's about Delilah Street, a former reporter who is now a Paranormal Investigator in Las Vegas. Her specialty is her connection with silver and the ability to glean (and maybe manipulate??) things with silver in them. Vegas in 2013 is crawling with CinSims - Cinematic Simulations that are an amalgamation of both an actor and the character. In this case, Sam Spade as played by Humphrey Bogart has been murdered. The question becomes can you really kill a simulated human who is really nothing more than a dead person who has been reanimated?

Ok, so again, this has a promising premise - something like the movie Blade Runner with a combination of Jenna Black's Morgan Kinsley with the balls of Simon R. Green's John Taylor. However, things just go downhill from the second page. World Building is a very difficult thing to do it can be even more difficult when you only have 20 pages to do it. Backstories are confusing and it isn't much helped by Delilah's first person POV which have her living in the present with no exposition whatsoever (or no clear exposition) on her relationship with the Police Chief, Cocaine/Christophe/Snow and how she can do what she does.

I'm going to give this three magic bullets just because I liked the idea of where this story was going. Maybe in a larger format it would make more sense?

Looks are Deceiving- Michael A. Stackpole

This story is ok. Nothing great, nothing to really rave about. Felt like the author admires Jim Butcher a lot but I would prefer to read a Dresden story in that case.

The House of Seven Spirits - Sharon Shinn

An excellent ghost story. It felt like it was building up to something really awesome, perhaps a full-length?? I'd definitely read this story.

A woman moves into a haunted house in which seven murders have taken place. There is one extremely violent ghost who started the whole cycle by killing his wife and her lover and then he dies. The story is not what you think it is and the woman sets out to figure it out so that the ghosts living in her house, all the ghosts, can be free.

The other ghosts are geriatric sisters Victoria & Charlotte who died in the house and they take care of the nine year old that died of disease.

There is also the most annoying ghost named Edison who swears he was pushed down the stairs by the first ghost.

So, the cast of characters is well-rounded and interesting and makes you wish the story was longer. The added bonus is that it is a genuine mystery and it gets solved in a satisfactory manner as well as their being some twists and turns.

Glamour - Mike Doogan

I really didn't read this and I tried. I read the first three pages and then had to stop. The accent that the author had the character speaking in translated to the page. While that may be a compliment in certain instances. This is not one of them. You can only take so much garbled language before you think you're reading Chaucer and then are having flashbacks of Brit Lit I when you desperately wished you were reading Beowulf.

Spellbound - Donna Andrews

I really adored this story. It had a Harry Potter feel to it. Lemme explain.

Gwynn is one of the few female mages in training. She is studying under Master Justinian who is youngish, highly distracted and clever. Think Sherlock Holmes minus the drug problem. Anyway, Gwynn is very clever herself and when one of Justinian's old flames comes to town, Gwynn immediately dislikes her. She doesn't know why exactly (uh-huh, admit Gwynn, you've got the hots for the genius mentor) but she does find out that Ms. Former Flame is up to know good and looking to get Justinian back. So, Gwynn does what a good Mage In Training does and protects her Master by ridding his office of the spells that Ms. Former Flame is leaving. There's a very good scene in which one of the origami animals is actually a spell that Gwynn accidentally picks up and there's a very....sensual/sexual experience to follow.

There is more to this story than just the Former Flame. There is a mystery abrewing. Like, why does one of the jackass teachers - gunning for Headmaster - suddenly disappear? There's more than meets the eye in the story and it's enjoyable.

Unfortunately there isn't a novel based on Gwynn so this is about all you get with her.

The Duh Vice- Michael Armstrong

This story was.....eh. More sci-fi than mystery and gotta be honest, didn't finish it. It was sorta like an X-Files episode (and I loved the X-Files) meets a B-Sci Fi flick.

Weight of the World -John Stanley

Santa Claus is on small break before he has to start rolling out the toys again. Unfortunately one of his helpers ends up dead. Who dunnit?

Entertaining read. It has a Christopher Moore feel to it and is a very locked-door mystery.

I won't spoil it, but you get to see Santa in a different light.

Illumination - Laura Anne Gilman

For those fans of her "Retriever" series (like me) you will be interested to know that this story takes place in that world and the main character is none other than Wren's friend Bonnie, P.U.P extradordinaire. This is her origin story or as much of an origin story as you're going to get.

Her father is missing, maybe dead. Has he reneged on his word with a dragon or is something else afoot? Bonnie has to use her powers and exercise knew techniques as she gets to the bottom of this. She may not get along with her father but hell, he is her father. Right?

Not only that, there's a voice in her head. Who's pinging her? Why?

There is no Wren in this story but it's a good enough story to whet the appetite for the upcoming Bonnie Spin-off.

You don't have to have read the "Retriever" story to understand this but as always, it's an added bonus.

The House - Laurie R. King

Let me be honest. Couldn't get past the first paragraph.

Appetite for Murder- Simon R. Green

A story set in the Nightside without John. He's referenced a few times.

So now that's out of the way. What happens when the top detective in all of the Nightside starts getting old, losing touch and has such stiff competition as John Taylor and Oblivion?

Well.....you'll find out. :)

A Woman's Work - Dana Stabanow

What disappointed me about this story is that it is set in a world that is already established but it is not an actual full-length story :(

I liked the characters even if I didn't completely enjoy the plot. In fact, at some point I felt it should have been in the "Queen in Winter" anthology that came out a few years back.

Anyhoo - so we have the King's Sword and the King's Seer - partners and friends and suddenly stuck with a mission that they don't necessarily like but they are nothing if not duty-bound. Sharynn, the Seer, is the more compassionate of the two and quick to state her opinion. Crow, the Sword, is more reserved and observant and has a little secret that is truly interesting to find out about.

The mission is to listen and judge a woman who has been convicted of murdering her own nephew. Women have no rights in this town and magic, especially held by woman is considered a bad thing. But, is this woman, the Viscountess, guilty of such a horrible crime? Only Sword and Seer can know.

Joining them on the ride is the Bard. He's an interesting character...and he may be part of the surprise.

A good story. Just wish it was longer.

Mood: Photobucket Satisfied

First post

This is the beginning of the beginning.

Of what? I don't know. A place to rant, vent, rave and post additional book reviews from my goodreads.com page.

Also, to randomly destroy people's intelligence by sometimes making up words.

Fry: I never told anybody this but a thousand years ago I used to look up at the moon and dream about being an astronaut. I just never had the grades. Nor the physical endurance. Plus I threw up a lot and nobody liked spending a week with me.

Mood : Photobucket hungry