Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Fistful of Hollers

The fringe work on the baby afghan for my grand-nephew is giving me fits.

I've got all 155 pieces for one side attached but not tacked down. I put the last one in last night and at first felt like celebrating but since them I'm spending half my time re-snugging back down the individual pieces that loosen up as I handle the afghan. Several I've had to pull back out and even up the ends and reattach.

After a dozen or so of these frustrating encounters in a two hour time span I wanted to scream.

I have several times had two to four inches or two to twenty fringe pieces tacked down with single crochet or slip stitches using a size 50 crochet thread. But each time something isn't right. Either my stitches were too snug which bunched up the fabric or, and most often, the tacking stitch wasn't catching all of the fringe strands so when I tested it I was able to pull one or more of the three strands out of the fringe.

This won't do if I want this to be a convenient and useful object for an infant. It needs to be safe to throw in the wash.

There has to be a better way.

I'm not sure why I'm having such an issue with it. Maybe I'm working with too short pieces their being only an inch folded over. Or maybe the bamboo thread is too slippery.

I have one more trick up my sleeve. It was Ed's suggestion. I'm going to switch from a size 9 crochet hook to a tapestry needle with the size 50 thread and from crochet stitches to a couching stitch.

Let's hope it works this time. I want to get this project out of my hair. I had hoped to have it in the mail six weeks ago. Spring is nearly over and this is a Spring and Summer weight baby blanket.


Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Forays in Fiction: Quote

Purcasso's Snarl will grow on you

"Writing ought either to be the manufacture of stories for which there is a market demand -- a business as safe and commendable as making soap or breakfast foods -- or it should be an art, which is always a search for something for which there is no market demand, something new and untried, where the values are intrinsic and have nothing to do with standardized values."
Willa Cather

Scrip Frenzy ends at midnight tomorrow so I'm a bit preoccupied with my own snarl.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Silk Shawl Finished

Front with half tie

Well, the silk shawl is finished and will be handed over to its intended, my MIL, in a few hours now. Here are three poses to enjoy.

I will refrain from saying much more as I would probably wax boringly on about all the imperfections, most of which I see only while wearing the vision enhancing lenses I wear while doing close work. But I am trying to take the attitude expressed in a saying of my Mom's: What you can't see from a galloping horse....

Front hanging free



Wednesday, April 27, 2011

n Stitches to the Power Of Fancy

I am slowly but surely building my repertoire of stitches and with each new stitch I learn the possibilities for new patterns for bookmarks and other items expands exponentially.

As of last week I had these stitches down:

  • chain stitch
  • slip stitch
  • single crochet
  • half double crochet
  • triple crochet
  • shell stitch (clusters of single, double or triple made in a single space and not bound at top sometimes with a single chain stitch separating two equal clusters, usually three or four, which creates a fan shape)
  • crossed (single, half double, double or triple)
  • inter-weave (where a double crochet is alternated with the next size up or down and the taller stitch is wrapped around the post of the stitch below)
  • Solomon's Knot aka Love Knot
  • picot (basically a chain of 3 to 7 with the top attached to its base forming a tiny loop)

I learned a new crochet stitch this week and made a new item. The stitch is called The Trinity Cluster and the item I made is a dish rag It could also serve as a pad for setting hot dishes down on though not for pulling hot pans from the oven or setting down a pan still hot enough to scorch fabric which is why I hesitate to call it a hot pad.

I made it specifically as a dish rag though as I am in need of something smaller than the thick bath wash cloths my MIL has been using as dishrags since her dishrags became too raggedy. The heavy terry of those wash cloths and the size of them make them difficult for me to handle--hard to keep a grip on them while wiping dishes and hard to squeeze the water out.

I probably have a touch of carpel tunnel or some other repetitive motion injury to my hands and wrist from the excessive crocheting, typing and mouse work

The density and texture of the stitch makes the fabric useful as a scrubber safe for those special pan surfaces that don't handle metal scrubbers. It probably doesn't have the strength of a nylon pad but for those lightly stuck on materials on glass and plastic that won't come off with a simple wipe of the cloth but don't really need a heavy-duty scrubbing pad I believe this will work.

I made it only six inches square which is smaller than a typical dishrag and larger than a typical scrubbing pad. I wanted to be sure it would be small enough for me to ball up in a single fist to squeeze out excess water.

I recognized the potential of this stitch for this purpose as soon as I saw it on page 126 of Teaching Yourself Visually Crocheting.

I decided to make it out of bamboo thread for its anti-bacterial properties and for its ability to resist absorbing fluid. This should eliminate that sour stench that often emanates from cotton fibers just hours after first use on those warm summer days.

At least I'm hoping so. I will be testing it out before I make any more.

I used Aunt Lydia's size 3 Bamboo in Cruise Blue. And for the edge I used Aunt Lydia's Twig size 10. I hesitated to mix the two sizes and would have preferred to use the size 3 for the edge but the Cruise Blue is the only color I have in size 3. I ordered it only because they didn't have that color in size 10 and it is one of my fav colors. A pale aqua. I thought the dark brown really popped next to it. Now I only hope that the smaller thread on the edge won't fray a great deal faster than the other.

Here are the directions for the Trinity Cluster:

With loop of last stitch still on hook, stick hook into the same space as the last stitch and pull thread through. With two loops on hook stick hook in next space and pull thread through. With three loops on hook stick hook into next space over and pull thread through. With four loops on hook, yarn over and pull loop through all four loops. Then yarn over and pull loop through single loop aka make single chain to close cluster.

If you are making a row of clusters the next one is begun in the same space as the previous one finished. With the loop of that closing chain stitch still on hook repeat from top of last paragraph.

For whole rows of Trinity Clusters the first and last stitches of the row are single crochet. The turning chain is one chain.

For patterns the starting chain needs to be a multiple of two plus one. Before starting the rows of Trinity Clusters though you work a row of single crochet across the starting chain.

Tomorrow I should have pictures of the finished silk shawl and the baby afghan with most but hopefully all of the fringe attached to one side. I have nearly 3/4 of one side attached. Now that I've solved the several issues keeping me from proceeding on it the work is moving fairly fast. Not as fast as the row work of course but faster than the first half dozen of fringe pieces which several frustrations had me believing the fringe work would take as long as all 155 rows.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I Got Nothing

Outta ideaz? Tri turnign ur brainz upside down n shaks dem a bit.

this is one of those days when I'm not just having a hard time coming up with a post idea but a hard time coming up with a reason to post at all.

I didn't want to set aside the crochet to do this or the videos I'm watching as I crochet so my heart is still with them and not this.

I've made significant progress on both the silk shawl and the baby afghan in the last week so I suppose I could have made this about them but I didn't feel like setting up the photo shoot for that and without the photos it is just boring words on the page. But at risk of sounding boring, I have finished the silk shawl and have finally solved the issues with the fringe on the baby afghan and have one side two-thirds done. I'll try to get pics of them both for later this week. The shawl is destined for my MIL whose birthday is Friday. I'd hoped to have the baby afghan in the mail to my grand-nephew in Montana two months ago.

I've been doing other things with crochet as well. I learned a new stitch. I'll get pics of the items I'm using it on when I get pics of the shawl and afghan.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Even for Oregon!

o mai sun!      mai sun! mai sun        abskondid wif mai happee

Spring is late. Miserable, dreary, drizzly, chilly, grey day after day. We're averaging 20 degrees below normal for April. Plus we haven't had a single day with temps out of the 70s and we've usually had a couple 88 to 90 degree days by now.

This past weekend was supposed to be the second weekend of dirt track racing but was canceled again. The track, I hear, is so wet it may take a week or more of steady sun to dry enough to prep for the races.

I'm not a dirt track fan so why do I care? Because race day Saturday from April to October has been my day to roam the house and yard at will, have free use of the living room TV, the broadband, the washer and dryer. Even though it is often mostly about chores--cleaning our room and doing laundry and such--I still cherish those days for the freedom to move about the house without worrying about where everybody else is. A single-wide trailer is far from roomy with four adults and a dog roaming about and when two of those adults have serious visual impairment it is even less so.

As I was renewing library items yesterday I realized that it had been three weeks since I'd been out of this house as that was the batch I checked out on my last visit to the library. Most of my library items over the last six months have been picked up and returned by my husband after I've ordered them online.

Ah, well. I suppose six weeks from now I'll be griping about the heat.



Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sunday Serenity #226

I spent the afternoon watching season one of Mad Men the Emmy award winning drama (soap?) on AMC. This was my first exposure to it. It came up in my 'you might like' lists on Netflix but I found it at the library.

After the first couple episodes I was unsure as to whether I'd would ever send for season 2. It seemed little more than a night time soap set in the sixties pre-political correctness and thus giving a pretext for a lot of offensive behavior and views. I thought to myself, this is just Desperate Housewives for chauvinist men or shall I say, Desperate Execs.

Something about it reminded me of the Sopranos too. The viciousness, the power gluttony, the deals behind closed doors, the deceit and the greed, the cynicism, the sadness masked by a manic grasping after irrelevancies. Only difference being the use of words rather than guns and fists as the weapon of choice. And I took to the Sopranos after I got past an initial revulsion and grasped the writer's intent.

So when, while researching for this post, I discovered The Mad Men was created by the creators of The Sopranos, I can't say I was surprised. It felt more like learning something I already knew but didn't know I knew.

But by the end of episode six I was beginning to get it. I'm becoming more convinced that it is more than a soap and more than pretext for crudity. There is an important message in it which is ironic since it features the message makers aka the Madison Avenue Ad Men aka the Mad Men.

I believe now that this is an attempt to put a mirror before us as a society. Just as The Sopranos was.

Before I became convinced the story was worth my time and attention, I was already attached to the music and hankering after the soundtrack. It features a lot of original Jazz pieces along side Jazz and pop music from the 1940s.

Another aspect drawing me in was its look. It reminds me of noir. Of, say an old Humphrey Bogart.

I can't get enough of the music. Especially David Carbonara's original pieces.

I adore Carbonara's version of Babylon. I've heard a lot of them over the years. Sung one a number of times at church youth events. But this is my all time favorite version. I've played about fifteen times while preparing this post.

I went looking for it on YouTube specifically as I had just finished watching episode six of season one in which this was featured in the last two minutes in a stage performance that Carbonara himself participated in. The versions on YouTube in which those final scenes--like a music video--featured were all embed disabled. I had almost given up looking when I found this one which is music only with no images.

And last, a recap of the first two seasons. Since I just reached season 1 episode 6 I saw some spoilers in this. But they serve to reinforce my growing inclination to stick with the story.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Angels in America

I watched the entire six hours of the HBO mini series of Angels in America adapted from his original stage play by Tony Kushner.

I am in awe. Of the acting, the directing, the cinematography, the music, but most especially of the writing. I want to see it again. And again. I may have to own it one day. I also want to read it--read it? no, I'd like to memorize whole pages of it--the play and the screenplay. and I just discovered our library system has it. Over 300 pages? Of course it is the stage play which I learned was 7 hours long and not the screenplay which I also want to read.

Well I just had to massively edit that last paragraph after my words got hopelessly tangled, my syntax switched tenses three times inside of twenty words and punctuation went AWOL. I think I waited too long to get something to eat.


Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Forays in Fiction: Fiction for Earth Day

Today is Earth Day so I thought I would honor it by discussing the role fiction plays in spreading the word about the need to care for our environment and respect nature. So I went on a search of memory, my library online catalog and Google for various combinations of fiction or drama with nature, conservation, ecology, environment, green, earth day, climate change, global warming, pollution, endangered species etc.

As usual I got lost in the research and the list making and now I'm too whupped to write up my thoughts. I will just state what I hope is the obvious: that story is the most powerful tool we have to foster a change in attitude. Facts are not enough in themselves, they must be in a context that the hearer of them can relate to and story is the fastest track from head to heart which is the engine of change as one must be emotionally invested in an outcome to be motivated to invest anything of value in it. Like time, energy, money, reputation, creative vision.

I've lost momentum as well on gathering up summaries of the stories so the last half of the list is just title and author. I also meant to sort out book from movie and children from adult fare. And I suppose I should go through and italicize all the titles. Sigh. My eyes rebel at the thought. Forgive my laxness.

I begin with the book I read in childhood (1970s) that I associate with my own waking to the natural world and our relationship to it:

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George.

The rest are in no particular order:

Furry vengeance [videorecording (DVD)] / Summit Entertainment and Participant Media present in association with Imagenation Abu Dhabi ; directed by Roger Kumble ; written by Michael Carnes & Josh Gilbert ; produced by Robert Simonds, Keith Goldberg.
Summary: Sometimes four legs are better than two. Dan just moved his wife and son to the woods to take a new job with a supposedly eco-friendly housing development. But the fur, and Dan's temper, is sure to fly when the local critters learn of the bleak plans for their forest home and stop at nothing to halt construction.

We planted a tree / by Diane Muldrow ; illustrated by Bob Staake.
Summary: Simple text reveals the benefits of planting a single tree, both to those who see it grow and to the world as a whole.

Firestorm / David Klass.
Summary: 1st of a trilogy--After learning that he has been sent from the future for a special purpose, eighteen-year-old Jack receives help from an unusual dog and a shape-shifting female fighter. After centuries of abuse, the earth is dying, and it's up to Jack to reverse the decline before the Turning Point, when nothing will ever be the same again.

Bloodwood / Gillian Bradshaw.

Flash point / Sneed B. Collard III.
Summary: After school Luther works part-time with a vet who rescues and retrains birds of prey but when he questions many of the community's beliefs about land use, he risks alienation from his friends and family.

Home, and other big, fat lies / Jill Wolfson.
Summary: Eleven-year-old Termite, a foster child with an eye for the beauty of nature and a talent for getting into trouble, takes on the loggers in her new home town when she tries to save the biggest tree in the forest.

The day after tomorrow: a novel / Whitley Strieber ; based on a story by Roland Emmerich and a screenplay by Roland Emmerich and Jeffrey Nachmanoff.

The Day after Tomorrow: the movie

The beasties / William Sleator.
Summary: When fifteen-year-old Doug and his younger sister Colette move with their parents to a forested wilderness area, they encounter some weird creatures whose lives are endangered.

The case of the missing cutthroats : an ecological mystery / Jean Craighead George.
"This book was originally published by E. P. Dutton in 1975 under the title Hook a Fish, Catch a Mountain"

The witch's boy / Michael Gruber.
Summary: A grotesque foundling turns against the witch who sacrificed almost everything to raise him when he becomes consumed by the desire for money and revenge against those who have hurt him, but he eventually finds his true heart's desire.

Arctic drift [sound recording (CD)] / Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler.
Summary: The twentieth Dirk Pitt adventure explores a potential breakthrough that may reverse global warming. After several international events between the United States and one of its closest allies threaten to get vicious, NUMA director Dirk Pitt and his children must follow their only real clue: a curious mineral linked to an old Northwest Passage exhibition.

The final warning / James Patterson.
Summary: While on a mission to Antarctica to save the world from global warming, fourteen-year-old Maximum Ride and the other members of the Flock--a band of genetically modified children who can fly--are pursued by their creator, the Uber-Director, who wants to auction them off to the highest bidder.

Sixty days and counting / Kim Stanley Robinson.

Julie and the eagles / by Megan McDonald ; illustrations [by] Robert Hunt ; vignettes [by] Susan McAlileyn.
Summary: Julie and her best friend, Ivy, find a baby owl in Golden Gate Park--and it needs help. At a wildlife rescue center, Julie meets Shasta and Sierra, two bald eagles that will be caged for life, unless money is raised to release them back into the wild. For Earth Day, Julie thinks of a unique way to tell the public of the eagles' plight. The "Looking Back" section explores the beginning of the environmental movement.

Hoot / Carl Hiaasen.
Summary: Roy, who is new to his small Florida community, becomes involved in another boy's attempt to save a colony of burrowing owls from a proposed construction site.

The monkey wrench gang / Edward Abbey.

Green Thumb / Rob Thomas.
Summary: While spending the summer in the Amazon rain forest of Brazil doing botanical research, thirteen-year-old Grady discovers a secret language used by the trees to communicate with each other and falls afoul of the dictatorial Dr. Carter, whose motives seem questionable.

California Blue / David Klass.
Summary: When seventeen-year-old John Rodgers discovers a new sub-species of butterfly which may necessitate closing the mill where his dying father works, they find themselves on opposite sides of the environmental conflict.

Avatar the movie

The River Why by David James Duncan

Circle within a circle / Monte Killingsworth.
Summary: Fourteen-year-old Chris, a runaway, joins the Chinook Indian Coyote in trying to save his people's sacred land from developers planning a beach resort.

Ecotopia : the notebooks and reports of William Weston / Ernest Callenbach.
Summary: Ecotopia was founded when northern California, Oregon, and Washington seceded from the Union to create a "stable-state" ecosystem: the perfect balance between human beings and the environment. Now, twenty years later, the isolated, mysterious Ecotopia welcomes its first officially sanctioned American visitor: New York Times-Post reporter Will Weston. Like a modern Gulliver, the skeptical Weston is by turns impressed, horrified, and overwhelmed by Ecotopia's strange practices: employee ownership of farms and businesses, the twenty-hour work week, the fanatical elimination of pollution, mini-cities that defeat overcrowding, devotion to trees bordering on worship, a woman-dominated government, and bloody, ritual war games. Bombarded by innovative, unsettling ideas, set afire by a relationship with a sexually forthright Ecotopian woman, Weston's conflict of values intensifies -- and leads to a startling climax.

Sick puppy : a novel / by Carl Hiaasen.
A friend of the earth / T. Coraghessan Boyle.
The voice of the butterfly / John Nichols.
The buffalo commons/ Richard S. Wheeler.
Flush by Carl Hiassen
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
Jaguar by Roland Smith
Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
Scat by Carl Hiassen
The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
The Last Lobo by Roland Smith
The Voyage of the Beetle by Anne H. Weaver
Thunder Cave by Roland Smith
Stakeout by Bonnie Doerr
Island Sting by Bonnie Doerr


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Soliciting Sour Dreams

I devoted many hours today to watching The Mist and all of the special features on both discs. Except for rewatching the movie with the commentary from writer/director Frank Darabont. I was very tempted to do even that but if I wanted another Netflix DVD before Monday I had to get it to the post office before 5.

I also watched a DVD of Dreams on Spec, a documentary with a mix of observations from known screenwriters and the following and interviewing of several new hopefuls.

All in all today was an intense education on scriptwriting and film making.

But it also filled my mind with some horrific images and disturbing behaviors of humans to extreme stress. I was thinking most of the afternoon that I would post something like a review of the movie and the extras on the discs but I waited too late. I'm going to be asleep soon and I made a point of watching a much less intense story earlier this evening--an Inspector Lewis episode--in hopes of banishing the worst of the images and events of The Mist before sleeping.

Even though I made a point of not watching that trailer before posting it, I may have already undid the benefits of watching Inspector Lewis just by taking my mind back to the story of The Mist to talk about here however obliquely.

It was a very scary movie. And it wasn't the monsters that scared me the worst. It was Mrs Carmody. I would rather have the toothy spiders and stinging scorpions in my dreams than Mrs. Carmody.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

dey r call late nite 4 reezun

I'm on a bit of a horror movie binge this week. On Netflix DVD I watched the remake of John Carpenter's The Fog. I've never seen the original so I don't know how to compare. The FX are more extreme of course with over 20 years between them. In the extra features they showed clips from the original and compared them side by side with the remake. I'd like to see the original though. Special effects are not enough to salvage a bad script or mediocre acting. I don't know who starred in the original but the stars in this one did not impress me all that much. But I'm not really sure how to tell whether it is the actor's, director's or writer's fault when I'm finding myself noticing the acting, FX, or plot hiccups instead of remaining caught up by the story. Something was just a bit off though.

It probably stood little chance of wowing me so soon after watching The Orphanage though. That one, which I streamed off netflix, I even had to read captions as it was Spanish and I still wasn't shook loose from my engagement with the story. I would like to see more of Juan Antonio Bayona's directorial efforts. The actress Belen Rueda also. But I believe the script itself must have been excellent to begin with. The story worked as well as Turn of the Screw. Same flavor too.

I'm about to watch The Mist based on the Stephen King story. And waiting at the library for me is a movie called The Gift.

Recently I had the Netflix DVD of Stephen King's Misery starring Kathy Bates and The Others starring Nicole Kidman. Those were both very well made stories. The Others especially, was on a par with The Turning of the Screw as well.

In the last month I streamed Dragonfly, Lake Mungo and The Haunting in Connecticut. Of the three, Dragonfly was the best--well made, well acted, well written.

I like a well told ghost story. I prefer the subtle to the overt, the spooky to the horrific. I don't care for the stories that depend on a lot of in your face stuff to scare you. In fact, though I may be startled by certain sudden motion or sound I am seldom truly frightened by it. And once I notice those manipulations I fail to be manipulated and am no longer in the story but outside it as an observer/critic and am no longer captured by it.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Shoulda Had That Second Cup

Just Gimme My Caffeine and Back Away Slowly

Tuesday was one of those days it might have been better to never have gotten out of bed.

When I got back to the room with my coffee and got settled with it with pillows piled high behind me and a DVD in the TV my Merlin climbed into my lap which at that moment consisted of mostly bare legs. He's a kneader. Ow Ow ow.

So one-handed I forced a wad of my fleece blanket under him and I thought he ws going to settle so I pick up the remote with my right hand and bring my coffee cup to my lip with my left and at the precise moment the cup rim touched my lip, Merlin head bopped it and it poured down my front.

Ow Ow Ow Ow

I spent the rest of the day with my chest bright red from collar bone to sternum and constantly having to pull the fabric away. No blisters ever formed. It just looked like a sun burn for hours. Thank goodness I hadn't hit the 3 on the microwave when heating the water. I know 3 minutes will bring cold tap to boiling and remain scalding hot after adding cold milk. But I was impatient and the tap water felt more cool than cold so I took a chance on 2 and then added a good wallop of milk.

It was also a good thing my coffee cup has a lid. I call it my sippy cup.

All day long I set out to do one thing and ended up doing something else. That DVD still sits in the TV machine. All I got to watch over my coffee after getting up to clean up and make sure I wasn't going to need medical attention, was the previews.

After drinking my coffee I switched to a library book that needed to go back today as soon as Ed decided to make the run to the library. Then as he left for the library I started to get out my crochet projects but discovered the electric cords to my computer, 2 lamps, clock, printer, netbook andUSB hub and the USB cords to my printer, DVD player, external hard drive and USB hub were all in a tangle....

And some of that tangle was also tangled with the pile of overflow from the hamper which supports one end of the board that is my desk. Oh, I thought, time to get a load of laundry going. So cleared the board off, piling books, printer, netbook, crochet and misc onto the bed. I separated the dirty clothes from the cords and stuffed them in the hamper, intending to sort out a load after I got the cords sorted out and the stuff under my desk reorganized.

But by the time I got that done my back was screaming obscenities and I needed to sit or better lay down but the bed was covered in stuff so I had to put my desk back together first which puts the board over the hamper.

By then I was exhausted and it was less than an hour until the call for dinner so it was even too late to start the movie.

Dinner was stew which is one of the things that always gives me a nap attack even when I'm not already weary. I fought it off at first but as I was getting ready to start this post I suddenly could not care a whit less about it. My eyes were crossing. Then Merlin was doing something with the blankets that forced me to reorganize them and the pillows supporting my back and I suddenly did not want them to be supporting my back but rather my head.

That was around 8pm. Next thing I became aware of was Ed's snoring and that it was pitch dark in the room with the TV and my lamps off. It was almost 2am. I had not even been aware when Ed came to bed and he had to clear a few stray items off his side and probably fight me for his covers and pillows and his share of the mattress real estate.

I was thinking about making another cup of coffee while I was doing the dishes. Wish I had now.

Now I'm trying to decide if I should go make one now or lay back down after posting this.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Well It's Pro Something

you spelt it rong

And it aint prolific.

Or productive.

Or progress.

Or probative of proficiency and professionalism.

Oh the things I get up to to avoid looking at my script. When I'm not watching DVD or streaming videos or month old news on podcasts, I'm cleaning out my email inbox and electronic files, downloading and installing updates, clipping my fingernails, picking at cat scratch scabs, or staring at the white half-moons on my thumbs as they lay on the space bar as though I've not seen them since I was six months old.

And for someone who purportedly has intractable insomnia, nap attacks have been thick as the leaves in a 19th century Russian novel.

And then there's Free Cell, Minesweeper and Mahjong...

...and of course LOLcats...

u say po taw say po tay teh


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday Serenity #225

Just sittin...

Yes. Pondering. A good and serene Sunday pastime.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Watch and Learn

In the last two days I've been watching You've Got Mail over and over. The first time as a normal feature film the second with the commentary from director and producer, the third with the music sound track only, the forth normally once again and I was in the middle of the fifth time when Ed came to bed and I had to turn off the TV.

Though I am enjoying it immensely it is not entirely for that purpose. It is part of the self-education on script writing in honor of the ongoing Script Frenzy. Some might say it is a not very subtle form of procrastination, this insistence that all this movie watching this month is on behalf of my script. And they'd probably have a point. But I have been learning a lot which is what I set my mind to for this year's Script Frenzy--to make it more about learning the art and craft of film stories than about a frantic typing of nicely formatted words that can barely be called a story and read more like a rambling novel with oddly indented dialog.

I didn't know until yesterday that the same writer/director who gave us You've Got Mail, also gave us Sleepless in Seattle and Julie and Julia. She also wrote When Harry Met Sally. I learned this (except for the Julie and Julia) while watching the special features on the DVD in which Nora Ephron talks about making the movie, writing the script, the meaning that language and story have for her, growing up as the daughter of writers (her parents wrote Carousel and The Desk Set) and working with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

Ephron said in one interview I saw on YouTube that all romantic comedy stems from either The Taming of the Shrew or Pride and Prejudice and that in the one case the thing standing between the couples is a matter of character and in the other a matter of class. Until Woody Allen she caveats. In which case the block originates in the male's neurosis.

I'm not sure what to make of all that and will have to contemplate it for a time before either agreeing or not. Probably need to reread Taming of the Shrew and Pride and Prejudice as well. As for Woody Allen adding a third, previously not existing strand to the romantic comedy tradition. Well I must ask, in what way is neurosis not a character issue?

I could really enjoy discussing story face to face with Nora Ephron though.

You've Got Mail was a remake or retelling of a classic stage and screen play. A month or so ago I watched The Shop Around the Corner starring Jimmy Stewart and the In the Good Old Summertime starring Judy Garland. The first was black and white and the second was a musical and in color made lees than ten years after the first. The original stage play had the word 'perfume' in the title, tho not the English word. Was it French? I really should go to Wikipedia or IMDb and get my facts straight but I'm fading fast here having been awake since 3 this morning and it closing in on 11pm as I type this.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Forays in Fiction: What Makes Funny Funny?

u fink dats funnee? dewd!1! dats jus sick n wrong

I've been contemplating humor a lot this month as I work on my script, read, watch movies, peruse LOLcats. What makes funny funny? I haven't any words of wisdom or profound insights to share. I'm just sharing the fact that it is on my mind.

I'm too tired to form my thoughts into coherent sentences even if I did have something insightful to share. I've been awake since 2:30am and the pillow is whispering sweet nothings. Why was I awake at such an hour? Because I surrendered to a nap attack after dinner last evening and then slept a full 7 hours.

I do have one observation about humor that just occurred to me. It seems to have something to do with surprise. As I was writing the above paragraphs my memory flashed on half a dozen things from movies, conversation and LOLcats that have elicited laughter or giggles from me recently. And they all seem to have the element of surprise in common. It might be interesting to analyse those moments looking for more commonalities than surprise or attempt to establish that surprise is in fact the common denominator. But the pillows are starting to hum lullabies now.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Excuses, Excuses

yore exkusis  dey luk lyk dis

I don't have any progress to show on any thread projects. Supposedly that's because working on my script is taking priority. Yet I haven't any progress to show on that either. At least not the visible kind of progress. And as I try to explain that my mind turns itself into an inside out pretzel. Which looks quite similar to the shape it takes when I'm working on a story. Hmmm. Interesting.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!

Claire has Mr Linky this week

These were among my loot from last week as I stocked up for last weekend's read-a-thon. Though I read instead a book with an approaching due date.

Of bees and mist--Erick Setiawan

Of Bees and Mist is an engrossing fable that chronicles three generations of women under one family tree and places them in a mythical town where spirits and spells, witchcraft and demons, and prophets and clairvoyance are an everyday reality.

Meridia grows up in a lonely home until she falls in love with Daniel at age sixteen. Soon, they marry, and Meridia can finally escape to live with her charming husband’s family—unaware that they harbor dark mysteries of their own. As Meridia struggles to embrace her life as a young bride, she discovers long-kept secrets about her own past as well as shocking truths about her new family that push her love, courage, and sanity to the brink.

Erick Setiawan’s astonishing debut is a richly atmospheric and tumultuous ride of hope and heartbreak that is altogether touching, truthful, and memorable.

The memory keeper's daughter by Kim Edwards
On a winter night in 1964, Dr. David Henry is forced by a blizzard to deliver his own twins. His son, born first, is perfectly healthy. Yet when his daughter is born, he sees immediately that she has Down's Syndrome. Rationalizing it as a need to protect Norah, his wife, he makes a split-second decision that will alter all of their lives forever. He asks his nurse to take the baby away to an institution and never to reveal the secret. But Caroline, the nurse, cannot leave the infant. Instead, she disappears into another city to raise the child herself. So begins this beautifully told story that unfolds over a quarter of a century in which these two families, ignorant of each other, are yet bound by the fateful decision made that long-ago winter night.

Lucky you [text (large print)] : a novel / Carl Hiaasen
Grange, Florida, is famous for its miracles--the weeping fiberglass Madonna, the Road-Stain Jesus, the stigmata man. And now it has JoLayne Lucks, unlikely winner of the state lottery. Unfortunately, JoLayne's winning ticket isn't the only one. The other belongs to Bodean Gazzer and his raunchy sidekick, Chub, who believe they're entitled to the whole $28 million jackpot. And they need it quickly, to start their own underground militia before NATO troops invade America. But JoLayne Lucks has her own plans for the Lotto money--an Eden-like forest in Grange must be saved from strip-malling. When Bode and Chub brutally assault her and steal her ticket, JoLayne vows to track them down, take it back--and get revenge. The only one who can help is Tom Krome, a big-city investigative journalist now bitterly consigned to writing frothy features for a midsized central Florida newspaper. With a persuasive nudge from JoLayne, Krome is about to become part of a story that's bigger and more bizarre than anything he's ever covered. Chasing two heavily armed psychopaths down the coast of Florida is reckless enough, but Tom's got other problems--the murderous attention of a jealous judge; an actress wife who turns fugitive to avoid divorce court; an editor who speaks in tongues; and Tom's own growing fondness for the future millionairess with whom he's risking his neck. The pursuit takes them from the surreal streets of Grange to a buzzard-infested island deep in Florida Bay, where they finally catch up with the fledgling militia--Chub, Bode Gazzer, a newly recruited convenience-store clerk and their baffled hostage, a Hooters waitress. The climax explodes with the hilarious mayhem that is Carl Hiaasen's hallmark. Lucky You is his funniest, most deliriously gripping novel yet.

Full dark, no stars / Stephen King
Prolific author Stephen King presents a collection of four new novellas. In the story 1922, a man plunges into the depths of madness when his wife attempts to sell off the family home. A mystery writer, who was beaten and raped while driving home from her book club, plots her revenge in Big Driver. Diagnosed with a deadly cancer, a man makes a deal with the devil in Fair Extension. And in A Good Marriage, a woman discovers her husband's darker side while he is away on a business trip.

The exile of Sara Stevenson : a historical novel / Darci Hannah.
In 1814, Sara Stevenson, the well-bred but high-spirited daughter of celebrated Scottish lighthouse designer Robert Stevenson, falls in love with a common sailor, Thomas Crichton. On the day of their clandestine elopement, Thomas mysteriously disappears, leaving Sara heartbroken, secretly pregnant, and at the mercy of her overbearing family. Refusing to relinquish her hopes that Thomas will someday return to her, Sara is banished to an eerie lighthouse on lonely and remote Cape Wrath. There she meets William Campbell, the reclusive yet dashing light-keeper who incites her ire—and interest. Soon Sara begins to accept her life on the cape and her growing attraction to William—until a mystifying package from an Oxford antiquarian arrives, giving intriguing clues to Thomas’s whereabouts. Through her correspondence with the antiquarian, Sara slowly uncovers the story of her beloved’s fate. But what she doesn’t immediately grasp is that these letters travel an even greater distance than she could have imagined—as the boundaries between time and space unravel to forge an incredible connection between a woman and a man many years apart.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hello Kitteh

Can U Spot teh Kitteh in Dis Pikshur?

Where's Kitty?

Time is playing hide and seek with me this week. Ever since Saturday's read-a-thon I'm half the time not sure when I am. Sunday was all about catching up on sleep and the last two days have been all about catching up on Script Frenzy (or at least staring at the screen of my script ap) and library items going back this week.

Having slept from late morning Sunday until after 10 pm I was then awake until 10pm Monday and then slept until 4 am Tuesday and it is now coming onto midnight so I've been awake 20 hours again! That's four times in one week to be awake 20 to 30 odd hours straight.

Several hours ago, I was preparing to write this post on the To Do List and or GTD (Getting Things Done) them again when I got a phone call from my sister in Washington and we ended up visiting for two hours. Our first such visit in months. Now I'm too mind numb to organize my thoughts on the topic of organizing time and space. So I'll leave you with this image from featuring a cat lost in space--the grassy and rocky space of a field. It took my tired eyes several minutes and 400% zoom before I found it.


Monday, April 11, 2011

It's Monday! What Are You Reading #30

Share what you (are, have been, are about to, hope to be) reading or reviewing this week. Sign Mr Linky at Book Journey and visit other Monday reading roundups.

I read Elizabeth Berg's The Last Time I Saw You for Dewey's Read-a-Thon this weekend. You can read my first reaction in my thon post.

It was a feat in itself to read all 320 large print pages in under 15 hours. Such a rare thing for me anymore with eyestrain becoming an issue sooner and requiring longer recovery time. I long for the days when polishing off 500+ pages of normal sized print in a singe day was par for the course--a school day no less. But then I see my Mom (also with RP) with her magnifying glass reading the comics in the newspaper or her large print Reader's Digest one word or syllable at a time, sounding the longer words out like a first grader with Dick and Jane and I'm reminded to be grateful for what I still have.

During the read-a-thon I found myself gravitating more and more back to the screen to check out the hub activity and other reader's blogs and realized it was because I can read the fonts on my netbook screen easier. Even fonts smaller than those I'm unable to read off the page for more than fifteen minutes. I'm not sure but I think it has something to do with them being backlit. But it is also nice to have the zoom function or the ability to enlarge the fonts alone. Note to web page developers: seriously folks 9 or 10 pt grey font on off white? That can't be good for anybody's eyes.

OK nuf kvetching.

For the week ahead I hope to expand my initial comments on Berg's novel into a review though I may wait to post that until the Shelia's Wordshaker's book club convenes on that book.

Beyond that my reading plans revolve around Script Frenzy from which I took off Friday through Sunday for the read-a-thon. I'd hoped to devote some of my thon reading to scripts and screenwriting how-to during the thon but did not so that is where my main focus will be for the next week.

Script Frenzy is a writing challenge put on by the same people who brought us NaNoWriMo (write a 50K word novel in 30 days) in November. This challenge held every April is to write a 100 page script in 30 days.

These four scriptwriting books are coming due Thursday and this first one will not renew for me. Wouldn't you know it is the one I'm finding the most helpful and also the one with the smallest font.

Essentials of screenwriting : the art, craft, and business of film and television writing by Richard Walter

This is my favorite of the four scriptwriting how-to books I checked out last week. I've actually read a dozen or more pages in a row while I've mostly browsed in and read glossary entries and checked the indexes for specific topics in the other three.

The screenwriter's bible : a complete guide to writing, formatting, and selling your script by David Trottier

I've found some useful advice in here but it's not exactly a page turner. It is also BIG. Like a coffee table book.

The complete book of scriptwriting by J. Michael Straczynski

Straczynski has appeared in the credits of several TV series. Babylon 5 for one. Which is one of my all time favorite. So I am going to give him a serious listen.

A forth book, Writing the Script: A Practical Guide for Films and Television by Wells Root, is three decades old which is probably why I had trouble find an image of the cover.

To complement the how-to books, I've also checked out several books with scripts:

The green mile : the screenplay / screenplay by Frank Darabont ; introduction by Stephen King.

William Goldman : four screenplays. Containing: Marathon man -- Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid --Princess bride -- Misery

Slumdog millionaire / screenplay by Simon Beaufoy.

There are more scripts I've found online but that's enough for this list.

You can see what I'm working on for my script here.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday Serenity #224

So funny. So cute. So joyful. And Yoga? The epitome of serenity right?


Saturday, April 09, 2011

My Brain On Books VIII

<-- click the pic to learn about the Read-a-thon

I am reading for Script Frenzy and NaNoWriMo today as I am currently participating in my third Script Frenzy and have done NaNo 7 times. I don't have a sponsor but I'm putting this plug at the top in hopes some who stop by will check out their site and see all the great things they do to foster love of reading and writing and story in kids. If you would like to sponsor me the link above takes you to the page that tells you how. My Script Frenzy username is joywrite

This post will be organized like a blog inside a blog with recent updates stacked atop previous ones.
I will post a notice at Twitter whenever I update this post. Or at least whenever I remember to. Be sure to scroll to bottom of this post for advice on how to ward off those scary nap attacks. You won't be sorry.

I'm going to be spending a good portion of time today reading scripts and books on screenwriting as compensation for taking the weekend off writing my Script Frenzy script. But I do have a pool of other books--NF, short stories, novels. Some in large print or audio to resort to when my eyes tire. I can also listen to audio books while I crochet on the silk shawl or work on the baby afghan fringe. Two time-sensitive projects I'm way behind on. later--urm well best laid plans and all that jazz

4:33AM -- This is the end of event meme and it will probably take to the end to get it posted so until next time all.

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
--Hour 15. I got slammed by a 2 hour nap attack. But then I'd already been awake since 10PM Friday night. So for me that was hour 21 awake.
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
--I recently read Chris Bohjalian's The Double Bind and it was riveting. I nearly had my own private read-a-thon that day.
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
-- I liked the addition of fb to the mix
5. How many books did you read?
--One large print novel. My eyes were throwing tantrums.
6. What were the names of the books you read?
--Elizabeth Berg's The Last Time I Saw You
7. Which book did you enjoy most?
--see above
8. Which did you enjoy least?
--see above
9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?

10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
--very. Haven't missed one since my first and as you can see by the post title this was my 8th. I would be a reader again of course but I would like to cheer some again next time and maybe host another mini-challenge. This one snuck up on me and I was already so over-committed by the time I knew the date.

BTW I never started reading again after finishing Berg's novel a bit after midnight. I've been doing challenges and surfing blogs and ordering books off my local library.

Well what do you know, I have 15 minutes left. But I need to link this to the meme linky and also still need to add The Last Time I Saw You to the master list and that will probably be it. See ya all in October.

4AM -- This is for the hour 22 mini-challenge hosted by Quirky Girls Read which was to post a book trailer. I chose this one for Joy Preble's YA Dreaming Anastasia as watching it made me immediately head to the my library catalog to order it but alas it is not in the system.

2AM -- This is for the hour 21 mini-challenge which is to find a picture or pictures that relate to the book you are reading. Elizabeth Berg's The Last Time I Saw You. was about a 40 high school reunion. This picture was taken by Marko Georgiev/ For The Star Ledger
and is actually of a daughter and father at his reunion. But it reminds me a lot of the elderly Einer in Berg's novel who attended his neighbor, Mary Alice's 40th reunion because she was his relief caregiver and her reunion fell on the night his full time nurse had off. The woman in the picture though reminds me less of Mary Alice as described by Berg and more of Candy who had been the class beauty.

Tell you the truth I'm still reeling a bit from the story as I am only 5 years out from my own 40th high school graduation anniversary. Class of 1976. So of course, just like the reunions themselves, reading this story has put me in that frame of mind of memories of the warm glow and the shudder varieties, the asking of the what ifs, the wondering what's happened to this or that one, the old resentments, the old triumphs and face splats, the old crushes, the old friends and nemeses, the old slights, the old hopes and dreams never fullfilled.

Yeah, high school was a nightmare I've never quite woken from. As it was for some of the character's in the novel.
Ah. I think fatigue is messing with me.

Sunday 12:30 AM -- So. Best laid plans and all that. I just now finished the Elizabeth Berg novel, The Last Time I Saw You. Eyestrain, distractions on and off line (shoulda kept the lid closed on my netbook) and a two hour nap attack after dinner added up to many unintended breaks. I knew I shouldn't have laid down to read! It just seemed the most comfortable position for the stiff neck that developed around 3PM and got progressively worse.

Well at least the stiff neck is gone. And I can say I read a whole book in under 24 hours. A feat that used to unremarkable but is getting progressively rarer. If it had been a 300 page regular sized text book I'd probably not have made it halfway.

So what will I do next. Four hours some minutes to go. I would like to read at least one screenplay before 5 which shouldn't take more than a couple hours. But if my eyes pitch a fit I'm not going to force them. I might then resort to an audio book.

I'd also like to spend at least an hour of that visiting other reader's, doing a mini-challenge or two. The most fun I had today was those first three hours in which I did nothing but that and I think it would have been even more fun if I hadn't chiding myself every fifteen minutes to pick up a book already. I didn't start the novel until after 8AM over three hours in for me.

1PM -- Well I've only spent two hours reading so far. I was so busy doing mini-challenges and visiting blogs, twitter and fb I didn't start reading the novel until after 8am and then stopped at 11 to fix my lunch and after that did another mini-challenge. I've done the intro challenge, the Where in the world are you map, the collaborative fiction and just now I did Sheila's 'recommend a book worthy of a good book club discussion' at Book Journey.

I'm anxious to return to the Elizabeth Berg novel--I had reached page 122 in one sitting--but I'm also tempted to head back over to the hub to see what's been going on since hour 3.

5AM -- And we're off!

I think I'll start with Elizabeth Berg's The Last Time I Saw You. Which is a 320 page large print novel and even though my eyes are not yet pitching a fit I would like to go easy on them for awhile anyway and besides this library book has been sitting in my TBR pile for over six weeks ever since I checked it out when I signed up to do the March Wordshaker's book club at Book Journey. Yet another project/commitment I'm way past due on. This one I'm pretty sure I missed the deadline which I can't even recall at the moment--mid March sometime.

The intro questions:

1)Where are you reading from today?
Phoenix, OR USA
2)Three random facts about me…
  • I love crochet and fine needlework.
  • I'm an awful procrastinator ie since August I allowed my email inbox to back up to 3800+ and yesterday finally worked it down to 20 odd
  • I'm also participating in Script Frenzy this month but am taking the weekend off for this.
3)How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours?
A large variety of fiction, NF, large print, audio and ebooks to choose from as the whim strikes

4)Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)?
My only goal is to enjoy. And in light of that to go with the flow.

5)If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, any advice for people doing this for the first time?
  • don't forget to get up and move every once in awhile
  • don't forget to eat and drink. dehydration plays havoc with vision and concentration
  • have a variety of reading material to choose from in a variety of formats to accommodate moods and fatigue and eyestrain issues.

How to ward off those scary nap attacks:

Fighting pose


Friday, April 08, 2011

Friday Forays in Fiction: Script Frenzy Apt

The Most Justified of Justifications

Just sharing some script writing relevant fun stuff I came across while procrastinating this week. Above a pun from So Much Pun about text formating.

Fussing with script formatting is yet another way to procrastinate.

Below is a trailer for Tales From the Script, a video I streamed on Netflix that I hoped would give me insight into the script writing process. I thought it might be motivational but if anything it was probably demotivational.

I'm a control freak when it comes to my stories so after hearing what role the screenwriter has after their script is bought and what's subsequently done to their stories, I'm less inclined than ever to want to make screenwriting my forte. But I still want to learn the technique. I learn best hands on and I'm currently fascinated with how stories are created for the screen and stage so I'll keep playing around with the format as I continue to watch videos.

And maybe now that I'm less attached to the fantasy of a movie ever actually being made from my script I can transfer the energy of that fantasy back into the story.

The story IS what it's all about.

Meanwhile after my glorious first twelve hours last week which garnered me three pages of script, I haven't added a single page. I have done other related writing--character sketches, descriptions, outlines and so forth. Just no work on the script itself. I got all tangled up in my mind about what whould happen in what order and froze. Once again just like with my novels I get first draft confused with final draft...

Well, I will try to get back into the spirit of play again. But not until Sunday evening now as Saturday is the 24 Hour Read-a-Thon which begins at 5am for me. I'm probably not going to sleep again until after its over as I tried to stay up today to flip my hours but crashed at 1pm and slept until 10pm. Which means I'll hit 24 hours at 10pm Saturday and have to make it another 7 hours if I want to participate to the end at 5am Sunday.

I am planning to make a good percentage of my reading Script Frenzy related though. I have several scripts at hand to read and four books on scriptwriting. But I will be reading at least one novel as it has been over a week since I've lost myself in a fiction story on the page. I also have some audio books I can listen to while I crochet or work on the baby afghan fringe. I'm behind on both the baby afghan and the silk shawl and just went 9 days without picking up my hooks.


Thursday, April 07, 2011

The Dark Side of My Loom

Dark Side of the Loom

It's Thursday and for some time now I've made Thursday the day I report on my current thread projects--crochet, needlework, etc.--but due to the (less than productive) efforts I've been putting into my Script Frenzy project this past week I've not made one single stitch or loop since last Thursday.

The most productive thing I did today was clear about 200 email out of my inbox. Which leaves 2400 to go.

Oh my poor eyes.

Oh, yeah, got two loads of laundry done too.

The image at top is from So Much Pun one of the sites in the family. I love puns.

LOL cats, word play, and email archiving are just a few of the ways I take breathers--urm procrastinate.

I'm a week behind on my script page count
I'm a month past due on finishing the baby afghan
I've got two weeks to finish the silk shawl.

I think I'll go watch something on Netflix.


Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Yeah, That Could Be It

aawww. . . look at you trying                             too hard again.

Yesterday's funk was a combination of sleep deprivation and angst buildup over the widening gap between the number of script pages I have and the number I should have by day .

But I should know by now with decades of past experience on these matters, that that very stressing over word/page count, between what is and what 'should' be, is the very thing that throttles the muse. The main difference between Friday between midnight and noon when I wrote the three pages and every day since then is that Friday morning I was feeling flush with time and came at it with the spirit of playfulness and every day since have been tense with a sense of a falling ax over my keyboard.

It's no wonder my fingers would just as soon stay out of the way of that menace.

So its time to woo the muse again with an invitation for a play date.


Tuesday, April 05, 2011

000 Dead End Road

Anywhere else is somewhere

Some days just bring it home to you.


I'm in a funk.

Oh, its that obvious is it?

The details are boring so I won't burden you with them.

It doesn't help that I haven't added a single page to my Script Frenzy script since that first glorious 12 hours Friday morning.


Monday, April 04, 2011

I Need a Little More of This

I watched In the Good Old Summertime this evening and while Judy Garland was performing I Don't Care, I really got into it, hoping it might be contagious. I was wishing it in connection to my last three New Year's Resolutions to make that year the year I submit a manuscript somewhere. Something always gets in the way. Sure I could list a number of those somethings. But what it all boils down to is that I need a little, no a LOT more of this attitude:

They say I'm crazy
Got no sense
But I don't care
They may or may not mean offense
But I don't care
You see, I'm sort of independent
I am my own superintendent
And my star is on the ascendent
That's why I don't care

I don't care, I don't care
What they may think of me
I'm happy-go-lucky, they say that I'm plucky
Contented and carefree
I don't care I don't care
If I do get a mean and stony stare
If I'm not successful
It won't be distressful
Cause I don't care

A girl should know her etiquette
Alas, alack
Propriety demands we walk a narrow track
When fellas used to blink at me
I'd freeze 'em and they'd shrink at me
But now when fellas wink at me
I wink at them right back!

I don't care I don't care
If people frown on me
Perhaps it's the lone way
But I go my own way
That's my philosophy
I don't care I don't care
if he's clerk or just a millionaire
There's no doubt about it,
I'll sing and I'll shout it
Cause I don't care

Oh, I don't care, I don't care
When it comes to happiness,
I want my share
Don't try to rearrange me
There's nothing can change me
'cause I don't care!


I do so love Judy Garland. And there are still many of her movies I've yet to see.


Sunday, April 03, 2011

Sunday Serenity #223

As part of my April Script Frenzy education in script writing and film making, I watched two animated films this weekend. The one I watched today was Brendan and the Secret of the Kells.

Here's a bit of the historical context with a few glimpses at the beautiful Book of Kells.

Here someone as put together what is essentially a slideshow that I'm guessing shows every page of the Book of Kells.

Awesome art.

Yesterday I watched Percepolis. Twice. Once in French with English captions. Then in English, still with English captions as a nod to my hearing impairment.

I learned something interesting about the difference between a movie's release in America vs the UK (still in English) and other countries. For Americans, even for a movie meant for adults, they clean up the language. But the captions apparently escape the scrub, which is how I discovered it was happening.

Also in the American release the Government official who offered to offered to make the father of the Shah seen overthrown here Emperor in exchange for the oil, was a British Naval Officer whereas in the French original it was an American spook. (I imagine they might both be true.)

I wonder how often such things are done? Not governments subverting other governments for profit but film producers releasing different versions in different countries with an eye to coddling their prejudices.

One of my fav scenes. And apparently is so for many as it was the most frequently posted on YouTube after the trailers.


Saturday, April 02, 2011

Mobile Hopes

My screenplay for Script Frenzy this year is set in the same story world and has the same title as my NaNo novel from 2008 which is set in a mobile home park.

In October 2008 as prep work for my novel, Mobile Hopes, I went walking with Ed around our trailer park and the surrounding neighborhood taking pictures. For most I did not raise the camera to my eye and aim at anything particular. I kept it at my waist or even down by my hip and surreptitiously took shots at the yards, carports, cars, flower beds, porches, trailer sides and fronts, children's toys, signs, pets, puddles, trees, bushes, bikes, trikes, strollers, etc. I took pains to keep people out of the shots tho as I did not want to invade their privacy that way nor did I want any record of which face belonged to which trailer for the same reason.

My intent was to make a slide show of those images to use as inspiration during November but I ended up not getting it made until late December when I discovered this site that makes putting together a slide show painless. I am reposting it here in honor of my current Script Frenzy project and to make it easier to find and use for inspiration this month as it took me over an hour to find it this time.

One of the things I'm itching to do now is to take some of those shots and crop out image to focus on. There are some photos I could crop out several separate images. Plus there are more photos in my files. This represents only ten percent of the shots I got that October and there have been many other photos taking in our yard and vicinity for various family occasions and some of those could be included.

The reason for doing this is to jump start my muse as my memory and imagination is triggered by visual cues. Usually only a few seconds to a few minutes of gazing at a still image or flipping through a stack of them is enough to start a series of moving images with people acting out on the empty stages or joining those already there.

One of my work habit issues though is that I love daydreaming those mini-movies so much and find the act of trying to capture the magic of them on paper or screen in words only, I stay stuck in the inner movie and avoid the pen and keyboard.


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