Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Just A Few Things

Still on my documentary kick, on a friends recommendation, I have been watching Sister Wives. I have to say, out of all the reality shows I have ever been exposed to, this one is the mildest. I watch it and feel like I am just being allowed a glimpse into how one family lives without stupid drama, over scripted screaming and tacky broads. (Thank you Housewives of ______) I get that polygamy grosses out some folks, but here are consenting adults, doing their thing, raising well adjusted, God fearing kids that they encourage to pursue their dreams. That is more then I can say about the Duggars where the girls are expected to just be baby machines.
I get that it is considered illegal, but in all honesty, they are not hurting anyone and I think most folks would agree that there are much worse crimes going on than polygamy. As one reviewer pointed out you see it more of a matriarchal set up instead of patriarchal. I agree to an extent because in some ways, the women definitely rule the home. In other ways, the husband Kody's word is it at times.

My current read is The Poisoners Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York. Pretty good so far, but since I have only just started, I will hold off on a detailed description of the book.

Writing has been put on hold since I have been getting baby ready. We had our shower and I have more baby wipes then Babies R Us keeps in their distribution centers. This of course is awesome! Actually, I reworked my query letter for the bounty hunter story because I would like to shop it around again while working on the angels story. While I have been very good about organizing my day, I have gotten a little bubble headed. Can I say pregnancy brain? I have to make vocal decisions to take care of things so I do not end up floating around starting five tasks at once.

Intrigued by a cover on Entertainment Weekly, I decided to go to the F/X website and watch the first two episodes of "American Horror Story". Holy freaky deaky series! I am hoping they upload the other episodes so I can keep watching it. It is like a mix of "The Shining", "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" (Original not stupid remake) and every other well done creepy, eerie horror movie/story done. So perfect for the Halloween season too.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Small Closets and Small Bank Accounts

Earlier this week, while putting laundry away, I got to thinking how way back when, instead of 20+ pairs of underwear, they may have had a max of ten. Then I mused about how many coats people may have owned or pairs of shoes they had. I glanced around out closet which we had made larger in our bedroom because in a 1920's house, the closets were made for small wardrobes. I am sure there is research and data online somewhere, but I highly doubt everyone had a clothing collection like those depicted in Hollywood films "The Women" or "Auntie Mame". Imagine wearing the same dress twice a week. To some women that would be akin to committing a crime. I may have thought that way when I was much younger, but now I could give a hoot. Since I write from home I sit in my jammies, I am not ashamed, then when I get ready for the gym I throw on the workout clothes. Do not misunderstand me, I love a fabulous pair of shoes and a good outfit, but if I do not need it or cannot afford it, no reason to get crazy about such a thing.

But let me try to reel in my thoughts here and see if I can get a better handle on where I need to head.

Over the last few years the world has been the parallel universe to the Roaring Twenties slamming into the Great Depression. We had some fun times, but now we will pay and pay dearly. As everyone struggles as a collective, there are moments when you read or hear a story about people tired of "sacrificing" so they run to the closest department store to buy a handbag or outfit. I could care less that these folks get gratification this way. I am merely interested in why a purchase like that makes any single one of us giddy with power for a short time. Soon enough the power of the purse wears off and you are looking for the next thrill.
Right now there are people we know and do not know who have to choose between an electric bill or groceries, medical care or gasoline for the car. Some seriously scary stuff. And then there is what someone coined "American Poverty." That would be a person who complains that they really wanted to get the 56" tv but had to settle for the 42" or have to buy a used BMW instead of new one. Some Americans gets skewed about material items because let us face it, we are spoiled rotten and used to having our cake and eat it too. The question is, if our overindulgence can never come back, how many folks will adjust with ease or keep having a tantrum? Who can say? These times have brought on the survival of the fittest along with those trying to be fit. Sucks really. People are beholden to the companies they work for now since mobility has gone out the window. Raises and bonuses are pretty much null and void, unless you are Wall Street, which is a whole other can of worms. Layoffs are doled out on whims, health insurance policies are getting more expensive and all of this combined makes the cost of living burdensome and more terrifying.

And to think this all got conjured up by folding laundry. Small closets and having less clothes to what we have become during this economy and having less money. Multiple headlines causes my post to be all over the place. Maybe I can cue this up as a stream of consciousness piece? William Faulkner would be so proud.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Two Films That Were Too Bad

Ever watch a movie and by the end of it you are left undecided about how you feel or if it was worth your time? I have had that happen with the last two films I watched.

Sometimes it is fun to go through Netflix by actor and see what may catch my eye. I was going though Ethan Hawke and came across "Staten Island". I read the description and a few re3views and figured, why not? Along with Mr. Hawke we have Vincent D'Onofrio and Seymour Cassel. While their performances were good, though D'Onofrio portrayed his mobster a little quirkier then what one usually sees, the story seemed a little off. A few times I sort of sat there with a furrowed brow just wondering where the hell this was all going. It seemed disjointed at times and other times it tried to have a heart while missing a beat or two. The ending was a little hard to believe, but hey, it is a movie. I believe I rated it 2 stars, or maybe it was 3. Forgive me, I have mommy brain. LOL

This morning, while I worked on my novel, I finally gave into the Netflix suggestion for me to watch the supposed comedy-drama "Your Friends and Neighbors". Let me start out by saying it is an ensemble piece and Ben Stiller was part of the ensemble. I mention this because I do not enjoy his work at all so deciding to watch it was huge. Wait, I lie, I did like him in The Royal Tenenbaums and Permanent Midnight. The latter being one of his best and most overlooked performances ever. Anyway, back to the flick I watched today. I am okay with a script being misanthropic, miserable, misogynist and every dark, ugly thing in between. This film had it and then some. All I kept thinking as I watched it was "Who the hell would want to even know these people on a social basis let alone sleep with any of them?" Every character was flawed, like us real life folk, but the flaws were so annoying and at times, repulsive, that I could not connect with a one of them. Nope, not one. The women were one dimensional, with a sneak peek at two dimensions, but it was gone before you could blink. Ditto for the men. The Jason Patric character was so revolting that I was hoping someone would come along with a sledge hammer and pummel him until he was dead. (Perhaps that shows Mr. Patric did his job and made me loathe him so, but still.) When it was all over I was dumbfounded. I rated it 2 stars.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Visual Inspiration

Homes in movies, redesigns of kitchens, gardens big and small, these are a few things that can bring me a calm breath. Especially when my days are spent writing and researching various religious topics for my novel getting one overloaded on bible literalism. This is where a blog like Hooked On Houses gives me much pleasure. I really enjoy Before and Afters like this small bathroom makeover. It gets me excited for when we finally get to do our own bathroom makeover. Of course it will be nothing like taking out a few extra rooms to expand it, but using the footprint we have with no issue.
This house in Encino is lovely, but my goodness, I could not imagine cleaning that much white upholstery, rugs, walls, cabinets, etc. My white stove and cabinets always look dingy. Such a shame.
My admiration for Candice Olson has existed for a very long time and I would sell my car to have her revamp my home. Okay, I need my car, but if had the cashola, I would hire her in a NY minute.
House of Turquoise has a serious bathroom redo that makes me drool! Featured in Period Living, a UK magazine that my hubby has brought me from time to time and is one of my faves, this exquisite tub and Victorian canopy shower just begs to be admired.
I will always respect people who can DIY major renovations like gutting bathrooms and kitchens. The owners of this Brooklyn Limestone should be proud and pleased with their results. I also like that they offer tips on their site for some projects they have done.

That is it folks, I need to get back to work or else I will continue to get lost in the land of design blogs which can be too easy.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

State of Wonder

Upon reading a review of Ann Patchett's book, State of Wonder, I downloaded a sample to my Kindle and read it. I liked what I read and got on my local library's wait list to get my hands on the novel. I just finished reading it and I find myself trying to figure out how I feel. I liked it. I did not love it, but I enjoyed the journey. The reasons I did not love it is because the main character, Marina, pissed me off by not standing up for herself at any point with her indomitable, former teacher/mentor, Dr. Swenson. I get Marina was emotionally stunted and that a prior awful experience in her medical residency threw her into the pharmaceutical field. But there were times, especially when she was in the Amazon, interacting once again with Dr, Swenson, where I felt she should have gotten a back bone. Then there was the whole drug company/fertility/malaria drug story that at times was a touch confusing. The novel had a few other moments throughout it where I could not suspend my disbelief. even the ending is still leaving me a little loose. I do not want to reveal spoilers because every one is entitled to find their own way through a book. There was even a moment I felt like I was in a magical realism book. Not meaning it is bad, just that if the whole books is magical realism that is great. I do not like to get blindsided with various genres in one sitting.

Star rating: 3 1/2


Monday, October 3, 2011

For The Love Of Series - Please, Do Sit Down.

When I write, I like to have music or movies on to help inspire me. As of late, I have been watching the BBC One series Lark Rise to Candleford. This is based on the book by Flora Thompson which I am hoping to get my hands on at some point.
My Anglophile obsession started very young. I am not quite sure when or where it fueled into such a huge interest. The Beatles played in my house growing up and I was well aware of Buckingham Palace, but I cannot recall the exact moment my fascination kicked in and stuck. Maybe it was the stories of Peter Pan and Robin Hood, including the Errol Flynn and Disney versions, when I was a child? Regardless, it has never waned. So much so that when I Netflix a series, most of the time it ends up being part of the BBC brigade.
Now before anyone thinks I am daft, I do not have some romantic notion of British life. I am well aware of the undercurrent of incivility and injustice that lies in all societies and the UK is no different. Do we need to rehash British Empire history and class warfare to make that point? I think not. What I enjoy most when I watch a period piece is a glimpse into how life was once lived. The rituals and sometimes odd and confining traditions. You cannot imagine that I would want to be so constrained as a female was back in Jane Austen's days. One thing I have always envied in the English? Tea time. That's right. A tradition that can be replicated anywhere and every day. If only I could do it everyday. Laugh all you want, it is a wonderful way to wile away the afternoon. Victorian Trading Company has all the esssentials needed to host such a soiree as well.

Getting back in step with the theme of series watching: We are still in the throes of watching the BBC show MI-5 which is fantastic. I wonder what will come next after I complete Lark Rise to Candleford. Maybe I will pick something more current instead of a period piece. Though I love them so.
We also just finished Arrested Development. Everyone's delivery of dialogue, the dark, twisted humor. That show was so off the cuff and so brilliant. Lucille Bluth (Jessica Walter) was HILARIOUS. I now have a huge crush on Jason Bateman too. Then again, who wouldn't? haha *Happy feet dance here: I just read on Gizmodo that Netflix is looking to revive the show by having it become part of original programming. That means we will get season 4 and the movie. Whoo hoo!!!

My writing has been moving along, praise the teenage Jesus, and I have this funny notion that I will have the book completed and edited before I give birth. I am not sure if the expectation is rational, but I would like to have it done and sent out to an agent before December. Fingers crossed my friends, fingers crossed.