This past evening I watched the film The Descendants which stars George Clooney, Matthew Lillard, Shailene Woodley and Beau Bridges. Before I ramble on into my critique of it, I would like to say something about a theme I saw while watching the film. When we see people we begin to make assumptions about everything concerning who and what they are; it's like a puzzle we humans automatically begin to attempt to solve. Some are better at this then others, many are dreadful at it and make lousy mistakes. Just because a person behaves a certain way when you first meet them, or even after, it doesn't mean that you actually know who they are, or what they are even about. Assumed suppositions about an individual's lifestyle has lead to a great deal of anger and hurt. I am guilty of this, but fortunately I keep my big mouth shut most of the time and spare myself the grief of others hearing and seeing my stupidity; many people are not as gracious. I think it would be better just accept people for who and what they are, and if necessary worry about everything else later on once you get to know them. Hopefully that made just a tiny bit of sense. Now. The film was fantastically delightful. George Clooney really brought it with his delivery of the character he played. He's a father and a husband who's dealing with the fact that his wife is in a coma, and also that he discovers that she was cheating on him. Not only does he get to deal with all of that and some business issues that a lot of people's futures balance on, but he has to manage his two daughters who are dealing with their mother's difficulties in their own unique ways. Shailene Wood plays his oldest daughter, Alexandra, and the two of them make a great on-screen duo as father and daughter. It is in a way how I would like my relationship with my daughter at that age to be like. The screenplay was great, as was the cinematography, and the rest of the casting as well. I'm giving a rating of "Strong Ability" and I think (if you can overlook the foul language) that if you enjoy excellent films, drama, then you most certainly with like this film. There was also lots of little moments of subtle humor weaved perfectly throughout the film which had me laughing and smiling. The rest of the day would have seen me melt, but I'm too stubborn to have it all end that way so here I am with my apartment finally at 80 degrees F. after rising to nearly 88 degrees F. which has been very annoying, but I think they're working on replacing my A/C unit, but I probably wont have it until Tuesday at earliest just my luck due to the Labor Day Weekend holiday. Everyone please enjoy it for me since I am not currently part of the labor force. Hopefully soon.
The Descendants Behind the Scenes Featurette
Love and Honor Trailer (looks very blah, but for those of you who are interested it has Liam Hemsworth in it. I don't know if that can redeem it though).
I am now on The Farthest Shore which is the 3rd book in the Earthsea Cycle. 64 pages into the book and I am bored out of my mind once again, and as the front cover states, this book won a national award. To me it is an incredulous incident, albeit also a superfluous one, but who really chooses what makes a good fantasy story/book and what doesn't. Clearly the people who decided on this author's work and myself stand apart with a great gulf fixed between us concerning the criteria used to debate this matter. Oh well. Perhaps if something gets popular enough then those people will jump on board and shower it with awards, not that the author will need them as he or she will be making a good bit of profit by then. It was another hot day, although it didn't cool off as quickly at night as I would have preferred but I'm not complaining as I am still whole without melting. I met up with a former co-worker of mine that I hadn't seen or chatted with since I got fired June 11th. It was lovely to catch up with her and chat about our lives and what's new, and what's unpleasant. In retrospect I learned a lot from my former job, but one thing that I will take away with me forever that the company I worked for cannot rob me of is the friends that I made in my former co-workers. I am a very lucky man. I did quite a bit of reading, and concluded watching the highlights of the Republican National Convention; Clint Eastwood gave a very humorous speech that all of you should check out on YouTube. I cannot wait to see what the Democrats do at their convention; hopefully it will be as informatively revealing and amusing as the Republicans' was. One more day of August remains, and then the year resumes with school, politics in full swing, and another whole new month for positive things to happen. Hopefully the economy improves, because I could certainly use a job right about now, as I am certain the 20 million other unemployed Americans as well, and let's not forget all of the people in the world that don't have jobs wither. Let us all hope that our leaders get their acts together, put their rears in gear, and do something useful besides arguing.
The Iceman Trailer (it looks interesting, but I don't like how the film seems to make a mass serial killer appear like a tortured hero. Not quite sure what to make of it all).
The Real Iceman. First learned about him in my Abnormal Psychology class in college. He personally killed over 100 people in 30 years, although some estimate that the true number may be closer to over 200. You never want to insult a true sociopath.
Yes the temperature soared today once again, but I wasn't entirely baking though thank goodness and it cooled off enough once the sun was setting so I was content, but I still would like that A/C unit replaced. Today was lovely. Spoke to two of my sisters today for a combined length of over 2 hours (I am such a good brother aren't I). One of my sisters visited former U.S. President Thomas Jefferson's house in Monticello and she described the experience as amazing. That's actually the only part of this country that I haven't been to yet; I've been on all of the coasts, except for the Eastern United States. I definitely need to work on that. Got some writing done, and yes I even have something to post: The
Sword and the Shield: Love in the Unfamiliar. It's not my best work of fiction ever, but it is another link in a grand chain of stories that will be culminating to a fantastic end in November. That is actually something that I am very excited about, and hopefully by then I will be ready to begin writing the epic finale to The Tale of 3 Brothers. All in all it was a lovely and busy day, but from my point of view it was all rather boring. I did watch a bunch of videos from the Republican National Convention which were interesting, and now I am greatly intrigued to see how the Democrats respond to the Republicans at their convention. American politics; very awesome, although somewhat irritating. At least our politicians can speak their minds without fear of reprisal. Well stay informed people and know why you are doing what you are doing, that's all I have to say. Ciao!
A good friend shared this with me on Facebook, so I thought that I would share it with ya'll. The man has some very good points, and the delivery is very cool. Check out more of these types of videos.
Fortunately the temperature remained relatively low today thanks in part to some thick cloud cover, but I am really hoping that they get that air conditioning unit fixed, or installed or whatever soon. Roasting like I have for the remainder of the summer isn't something I'd rather do. So the spirit of writing returned to me today and I actually did quite a bit; not a fantastically large amount, but enough to put me back on track. With any luck tomorrow will see something posted on my website once again. I began reading the third Earthsea book, "The Farthest Shore," and I must admit that the beginning surprised me. The author really has an interesting methodology behind how she sets up her story and plot timeline, not to mention how she bobs and weaves through different characters. I personally find it mildly distasteful and aggravating, but hey they're her books and apparently people have enjoyed reading them enough since the 1970's for them to still be popular and in circulation. Whatever. Oh bit of news on the freedom front; Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad is getting reinforcements from his fellow dictator snake Ayatollah Khomeini from Iran. Obviously you can see both men are committed to a peaceful solution, freedom, and equality.......not really. Let me tell you what is being done about this........................................................................................................that's right. Nothing. More people continued to be massacred, and the rebels continue to be virtually on their own. Rather ridiculous. I've heard that President Obama and Hillary Clinton (U.S. Secretary of State) are waiting until after the election to really "deal" effectively with the situation, so they don't anger potential voters and thus lose the election. Oh yeah, that gentleman and his cabinet have their priorities in the right place (lots, and lots of sarcasm right there if you couldn't tell). It would be nice if someone in the West stood up for people that cannot do so; America used to do that, but apparently it isn't in vogue anymore. Such a shame. Therefore we should continue to keep those people in mind, and make people aware of the situation so that something is done. Since I was unable to acquire the film when it was released on DVD/ Blu-ray, I got Sherlock
Holmes: A Game of Shadows from Netflix and watched it. It is still as good, humorous, intriguingly interesting and fascinating as I remember it when I saw it in the theatre back....oh when it was released in December of 2011. I really love how Guy Ritchie and Robert Downey Jr. have transformed Sherlock Holmes, and I also like how Jude Law performs Dr. Watson. Halfway through the week once again; I can't wait to see what the rest of it ends up being like.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Fight Scene
Butter Trailer (it actually looks surprisingly good, but we'll see).
The latest Clone Wars Season 5 Trailer (all I have to say is WOW!)
To point out, I am not in the least feeling super, but hopefully the rest of you are. Today was fine. It's getting hot again here in Southern California so that was a bummer. I finished reading "The Tombs of Atuan" and it wasn't too excruciatingly painful, but it was really short, boring, and the written structure was pretty dreadful. This is what they wrote about the author, Ursula K. Le Guin: ...is one of the most beloved and distinguished fantasy and science fiction writers of all time. She has won countless awards for her work.....and it goes on to list some examples of the awards she received aside from providing a mini biography. Now granted I have only read two of her books, but if that sampling is truly representative of all of her work then I guess her readers are mesmerized by some sort of spell, because there's no way her first 2 books should have won any form of award, honor, or even readers. I hate to sound very harsh, but honestly if you're hailed as the best then I would think that high standards should come with it, along with high expectations. Anyways. Then I sat down to do some writing and I just couldn't bring myself to do any of it. I don't know if the one episode of my Modern War series that I am stuck on is something I just don't want to write, or if I have suddenly lost interest in the series and finishing it. I suppose part of me doesn't want to go on because my brain is thinking what the point of writing more of the stories would be when probably hardly anyone reads them along with the majority of the material I publish on my website. So there is a severe lack of motivation, which for writing basically means dead end; nothing will get accomplished without motivation. Thus I have to obtain some motivation, or maybe move on to something else. I decided to watch Super 8 tonight, which I haven't seen since it was released in theatres. It actually was better than I remembered it and watching it again was really enjoyable. I remember when the majority of kids in America used their imaginations to entertain themselves with, now kids can't live without their iPhones, apps, video games, internet, or television. And people wonder why America is perceived as a "declining" global power. Ciao!
So today was very relaxing and unproductive; just like a Sunday should be in my opinion...at least when you don't work that day. I finally sat down and began reading the next Earthsea book"The Tombs of Atuan." So far it is much easier to read, more engaging, and smaller than the first book. However, it doesn't make a lot of sense, it remains boring, the characters are all boring (for none of the same characters that were in the first book are in this one so far and I am nearly halfway through the 162 page book). I don't know how this book was up for an award, or why people even like this series because it is so boring, and not written in an engaging way. Nothing is compelling about any of the characters, the plot, and there is nothing wonderful or cool about the setting either, which is a really bad thing considering this is a fantasy book. Once again it amazes me how books can become published and famous when they're not even that good; it's very dumb. Well, life sucks as usual. I received some very aggravating news about a half an hour ago which got me down really low unfortunately, and there's no real quick way to fix it. I wonder what it would take to acquire a boring, slow, predictable, stable, pleasant, minimum strife free life. To have negative things continually happen to you is very taxing on the psyche, and I don't even really have terribly horrible things happening to me, so it make you wonder in awe how people in North Korea, Syria, and China survive and able to convince themselves to live on. Hopefully for me this week sees something very positive happening, because more bad news would be just............not very pleasant. Best of luck to everyone else with their week.
Star Wars: Detours Trailer (a new hysterically funny looking show from "Robot Chicken" I believe).
I can't say that today was anything but an ordinary day, well at least up to this point anyhow. I must admit that I did a whole lot of nothing, and despite trying to write I believe I stared at the screen more than actually typing words. It was rather annoying, but what can ya do. I guess it has just been one of those weeks where my motivation for writing hasn't been very high. And low and behold I have nothing relevant to blog about! I could come up with something I suppose, but that would be boring. On a bright note, I finished watching Neverland and I still hold to my opinion that it is the finest adaptation of the tale, even if it is more of a prologue to the overall tale of Peter Pan. I think everyone could enjoy and like the two part show, and it dealt with all of the plot elements from the original story in a lovely and well thought out manner, yet kept it fresh, new and interesting. It however I would say isn't for really young children; some rather unpleasant things happen more than once. So there was my day as boring and uneventful as it was. Well I trust that everyone's weekend has begun well, but if not best luck to all of ya!
So I got up really, really early in the morning (for lazy me of course) at 7:45 to go have breakfast with a close friend who is returning to Iraq to teach English on Sunday. It was a good time, and I will miss my dear friend whom I will not see again for another year almost, but hopefully no longer than that. During another part of the day I took a walk down memory lane and was reading some old computer game manuals from games I used to play when I was very young. That was lovely, I'd actually forgotten about some of them. It's strange, thinking of myself as progressively getting older and older each year because I don't really feel that way inside, despite walking and moving about like an old man. It's strange to think that I'll be 27 next year, but I don't know how I am getting onto that subject. I for one am not the sort to lament the passage of time, and the effects wreaked upon the body. I watched the film War Horse this evening, and I was actually surprised with how much I enjoyed and liked it. Steven Spielberg once again demonstrates that he is the master of character driven films. The cinematography was breathtaking, but the best shot/scene of the entire film was the very end. Wow that was incredible, and really showcases all of the talent that worked on the film. John Williams did well with his usual sweeping, epic score (though I can recall no notable motifs or themes), and the screenplay was well done too. I don't think I was ever bored, and I was more than once surprised with how the story turned. I would have never thought that I would get attached to a character that was a horse; it takes talent to get the audience to feel that way towards a character that doesn't even speak. The cast was incredible (and British). You had Tom Hiddleston, David Thewlis, Emily Watson, Benedict Cumberbatch, and newcomer Jeremy Irvine who played essentially the hero of the story, Albert. It is based off of a book by Michael Morpurgo. It was a very moving film, and yes I even teared up a little sporadically throughout the film and then allowed myself to shed a few more tears towards the end. It's an excellent film and deserves a "Strong Ability." And now I find myself liking horses more than ever. Hope everyone has a good weekend; I have two books to read. The next two books in the "Earthsea Cycle" The Tombs of Atuan & The Farthest Shore. We shall see if they're any better or just as worse as the first book.
War Horse Trailer
Teaser Trailer for Passion (looks pretty intense).
I had a rather busy day...although I suppose that isn't entirely true, but it certainly did feel that way. First things first, I had a job interview today which went very, very well. The gentleman I spoke with was very kind and easy to interact with, and we spoke for about an hour almost (if memory serves correctly) although it went by very fast. I was bloody nervous and my heart was beating like a drum, but I didn't get all anxiety ridden like I usually do before the actual even, so that was quite a relief. The job looks promising and is right up my avenue, so we shall see where it goes. I spoke with one of my closest friends who lives in Montana, he's a police officer, and he's the one I stayed with last year if those of you who remember my posts about my vacation. It was fantastic to chat with him again and catch up on new and old times. One of the larger highlights of the night though was watching this mini-series called Neverland which was amazing! I am not exaggerating by saying it is the finest adaptation (so far I have only watch the first part) of the Peter Pan story I have ever seen in my entire life. There is something so magical, vibrant, intriguing about the world, and the characters are amazing! I could ooze deliciously over the series, but that would most likely get on everyone's nerve really quickly. So to put it plainly, everyone should watch this show; it is British and well made, and highly enjoyable. It does put a different spin on the tale, but it is a welcome one after so many remakes of the same thing with no new fresh life breathed into anything. I know I haven't mentioned Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in a while, but I have to say that I love that show, and it is far better in every single possible way than The Next Generation series. The weekend has almost arrived and soon we will be down to the last remaining week in August. Enjoy it while it's here I suppose.
Growing up whenever it was my birthday or one of my sister's birthdays we were allowed to pick our own cake that we wanted, what we wanted to eat for dinner, and what film we wanted to watch as well. I usually picked my mum's tacos or pizza with Pepsi and 7up (on average), and my mother made the most (still does) delicious "Black Magic Cake" (I'm sure you can understand the allure to it just from the title), and then for a film I would pick Where Eagles Dare or more frequently I would pick the animated G.I. Joe film, which was a huge favorite of mine. I also had in my toy repertoire several G.I. Joe action figures, weapons, tank like things, and other.....stuff. Now you can imagine my delight several years later when I hear that they are making a live action film, and yes I had a huge bias going into the film about why I enjoyed and liked it so much. In my opinion, G.I.
Joe: The Rise of Cobra is an excellent action and make believe story/film. Yes it does have it's occasional corny dialog (sometimes more than occasional), but you cannot argue with the excellent cast and the overall look that the film had. Feeling a little nostalgic I did watch it this evening, and I still maintain my opinion of it; let's get one thing straight people, it is only a film so don't get too upset or stupefied for me liking it. After watching The Bourne Legacy in the past couple of weeks, the action in G.I. Joe I thought was far more superior than the action in the latest Bourne film, and I would rather watch G.I. Joe many times than the latter film. If they would have focused more time on the dialog and kept the scope of things just a hair smaller, it would have been astoundingly better, but hey Stephen Sommers still did a fantastic job regardless of what the critics said. Not every film series can be done like Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy. Alright, on with the show. I had lunch with a good friend and former co-worker of mine today and then we went out hiking. Despite being rather warm, the more difficult part was that I haven't been hiking, walking, or exercising in a while since I was....relieved of my previous job so I am quite tired at the moment with a slight blister on my foot. Not highly comfortable, but it was all well worth it; some people are just awesome to hang around no matter what you do or what happens. Things that happen in life that we humans consider "bad" or "horrible," well we have to remember that those thoughts are based on perception of the whole entire scope of the situation. Therefore, what may be considered "bad" or "dreadful" may actually be "good" and "better;" notice I did not utilize the word "pleasant." Pain is pain, and every version of it sucks no matter how you positively you spin it. I think I might just be beginning to see the perspective that what happened with me losing my job will be for the better; it's kind of a comforting thought. Which would go over so much better if my neighbor's children weren't screeching their bloody little heads off as I write about it. The weekend is coming, and so I hope that everyone is going well since we're passed the half-way point.
Let me just say that it is very obvious why there wasn't a 4th season of In Treatment, and why the final season was shorter than the first. Some of the most boring patients were in the 3rd season, and some of the best were in the first season. I don't know who was responsible for choosing the types of patients, but they could have chosen a few more dynamic problems people were receiving treatment for. The season and series finale fell completely flat for me; I was very, very disappointed. I was expecting more drama like the two previous seasons, but nope it was very....sedate, although there was a twist that I wasn't expecting and it was pretty impressive plot wise, but it didn't make up for a lot of the other patients that fell rather flat. All in all the show was very fascinating idea that gave insight into what a therapist may deal with with in the course of practicing psychology in a therapeutic setting, and what not to do when you're a therapist as well. boundaries are huge in this department for the well being of the client and therapist as well, no matter your "feelings" may be telling you. Ironically I began watching this series right after getting fired from my job, and now....well let's just say there may be an opportunity opening up for me. Who knows, but I'm guessing I should find out by the end of the week. I was reading the Wall Street Journal & the local newspaper, and I ran across an article talking about injustices across the world in various countries' judicial system. By now I'm certain everyone has heard that the Russian punk band received 3 years in prison for singing about President Putin in a rather demeaning way apparently. I guess it also shocked a bunch of people, but how many of you of forgotten that Putin was once a part of the KGB (the soviet secret police); he's a dictator slowly biding his time and trampling over people's rights while the rest of the western civilization sits back and does nothing, which seems to be in vogue due to what's happening in Syria which continues to get worse and worse as a civil war. Did you know that you could be put to death in Pakistan for insulting Mohammed and Allah, or that in you could receive jail time for criticizing the President or King in Thailand, Indonesia, and let's not forget all of the severe penalties one can incur from living where state religions' care more about fear and order than forgiveness and compassion like Saudi Arabia. I challenge people to look at the trend across the globe concerning all levels of freedom, whether it be on a small local level, or a large scale in a foreign country or in your own. Freedom is beginning to become a commodity that seems to be getting slighted. Here in California, the state is most likely going to outlaw a type of psychological treatment called "Reparative Therapy" (Google it), and although there are valid arguments for pro and con, the point is that things like this begin small but they grow until people are left with fewer and fewer freedoms. People across the world are getting scared and want to be protected and assured by their governments because of the economic instability, which isn't necessary per se bad, but you should watched V For Vendetta to refresh your mind what that looks like, and also roll back your history books to 1920's Germany and Hitler's rise to power. How do you think he did it? I could keep yacking, but I think I'm done with my soap box. People in the world need to start thinking with their minds, and stop thinking with their feelings. So moving on, I unfortunately didn't get a lot of writing done, but I thought about it.....yet somehow that doesn't seem to get anything accomplished. One of my more annoying patterns; get a lot done, and then nothing. Sheesh, I've got to work on that. Enjoy your week!
In Treatment Scene from Season 3
Die Forelle from "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows." I was listening to it and thought that I'd share it. I also had this very fascinating story idea about a serial killer who listens to German opera. I think there is something there, I'm going to use it.
After essentially two years of going at it I am still going strong and fulfilling my desire to post something on this blog every day. Now I haven't gotten to my ultimate goal, which is to post something on every day for a whole year, but I'm working on it. It's been a lot of fun blogging, and a lot of work; I think coming up with new and different titles is one of the more difficult things to do consistently, but I have always tried to make what I say interesting, amusing, and with a gentle tone of seriousness when the occasion calls for it. It was a lovely day. It was nice cool, in relative perspective to the past few days. I am hoping this is a continuing trend for the remainder of the year. Fortunately I was able to multitask and get a good portion of writing done while I also did a film score review of Hans Zimmer's music for Sherlock
Holmes: A Game of Shadows, which I have to say that I liked even more than the score for the first film. This composer is on a roll for me as of late; so let's hope that he does not disappoint with Man of Steel (the new Superman film). At first I was going to watch a little bit of "Hell's Kitchen" just to find out who gets axed next, but then I remembered all of the contestants along with their foul tongues, bad attitudes, inability to be kind and I decided not to; all of that negative crap sucks if you think about it. No wonder western society is getting screwier all of the time; people stuff their heads with "entertainment" like that. So instead I watched this film called Toast. It is a British made film which stars Freddie Highmore, Oscar Kennedy, Ken Stott, and Helena Bonham Carter. Summing it up would be rather ridiculous, but suffice to say that a young boy finds out of tragedy a passion for his life, but also finds motivation to do something more with his life. Ironically a lot of this film has to do with food, which I didn't realize at the time; and boy do they make good looking food in this film. I have never seen a lemon meringue pie in my entire life that looks as good as the one on this film. The story isn't at first what you'd think, and sometimes the animosity between the characters doesn't make much sense, but it is well acted, humorous, and most of all purely delightful. I give it a "Strong Ability" and recommend it to anyone who is fond of excellent films. The nice thing about it being so cool is that I was able to sneak in some baking. I just finished making some chocolate chip cookies and they taste so divine, especially when they're freshly warm out of the oven and melt in your mouth. I'm really beginning to love food, but I will and have always loved chocolate.
Selection from Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows score
Despite the temperature being quite high today, it didn't quite reach as high as yesterday, and it cooled off much quicker once the sun had gone down as well. That was such a relief! I was thinking of visiting Starbucks again today to remain cool while I did some writing, but I just didn't feel up to it, and I actually did fairly well without the constant cool air and got quite a bit of writing done, although it isn't anything I can post or talk about about. Top secret and all of that, but it is coming along quite nicely. A hint I can give is that it has something to do around Napoleonic Europe, in that setting as well. It's going to be a lot of fun, especially when it gets completed. Aside from doing that and my normal Sunday routine I sat down to watch a film that I been wanting to see ever since I heard that it was released; Albert Nobbs. It stars Glenn Close as the title character Mr. Albert Nobbs, and I have to say that she did one hell of a fantastic job on this performance. She never wavers, not even when it is revealed that she is a woman instead of a man. And what a star studded cast as well. There's Mia Wasikowska (who was okay; I'm not a fan of her work so far on any of her productions), Maria Doyle Kennedy, Mark Williams, Brendan Gleeson, Jonathan Rhys Myers, and Janet McTeer. It was a fantastic cast (entirely British, Scottish or Irish is why that is) and had a relatively good screenplay, but it was kind of dull and I had difficulty hearing all of the dialog so I had to the put the subtitles on. It definitely has a different take on life in Ireland during the beginning of the 20th century for women, and I have to admit that this film paints a rather bleak picture for women during that time that aren't rich, powerful, or influential. Very sad, but an interesting film; won't kill ya though if you never see it. I'm giving it a "Yearning Ability" as it wasn't that great, and the fantastic cast wasn't entirely put to good use unfortunately. August is already half-way over! This summer is nearly gone, and what a summer it has been. Hopefully the fall will go better for me and others as well. Have an excellent week.
Thank the maker for Starbucks! I took some of my good advice and hung out there and wrote in the air conditioning instead of roasting at my place. I even ordered this delightful drink called a lime refresher or something like that; apparently it is made with some sort of tea, and it tasted quite good surprisingly. I think I might have been there for at least 3 hours, although it could have been 4 now that I think about it. Boy they had that air cranked up high thankfully. It was so high that when I returned to my apartment, which was at 89 degrees F., the heat didn't bother me for almost an hour. The perfect solution to keep oneself from roasting is to nearly freeze oneself, and then you will slowly thaw over a period of time until the coolness of the evening. I did get quite a bit of writing done on a new project, but I didn't get to the one that I had wanted to get to. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't. After re-connecting with my father, who had recently returned from the country of Colombia, I sat down for dinner and watched the film Becket. It is about the Norman/British king Henry II and his confidant and friend Thomas Becket whom he made the Arch-Bishop of Canterbury. If you have never seen Peter O'Toole (Henry II) perform in his younger years than you are missing a rich treat. As this character he has so much charisma, so much life and it was so well done. The dialog was perfect and rich. Richard Burton as Thomas Becket was also fantastic, although I have to say I enjoyed his character much more before he became the Arch-Bishop. Richard Burton is another individual that if you've never seen act you are most certainly missing out. Currently favorite film with him in it is Where Eagles Dare; it's a WWII film about a British team of agents penetrating the German lines to rescue an American general. It is a brilliant and fun film, which also has Clint Eastwood in it, so you know that there is plenty of action. If you also happen to read up on the entire British monarchy it is very fascinating to discover the whys and wherefores of how their line came to be the way it did. Richard the I was Henry II son, as was John I (think Robin Hood era). My love of history may be perhaps why I thoroughly enjoy such films. And remember just because a film is older than you, doesn't mean it's a bad film. Oh I have to add that it is my sister's birthday today, so congrats to her and I hope she has a great time with her friends. She also told me today that she met an Oscar winner from the most recent awards show. Pretty awesome if you ponder it. Such a small world, and it keeps getting smaller all of the time. I think though I will keep everyone in suspense about who it was. Ciao!
The local newspaper says that it's going to be in the 90's for the next week or so, which wasn't very delightful to hear, yet when I looked up the weather online they said it was going to be in the low 80's or thereabouts. I'm really hoping it is the latter, because this high, hot heat without air conditioning is getting really old, really quickly. As a matter of fact it is paralyzing, which I can understand as a child coping with it, but as an adult I can't really do too much with temperatures that high. I mean for Pete's sake I picked up a glass in my apartment that had been sitting on the kitchen counter and it was very warm to the touch. Oh and I just got done eliminating a wasp that I found crawling around on the carpet in my living room. I smashed that thing with a sandal and still it lived. Then I got the vacuum cleaner and sucked it up with it, and still it lived. The bloody thing wouldn't die; it was like it was the equivalent of a radioactive cockroach. Moving along. I made some molasses cookies since I figured it couldn't get any hotter in the apartment, and of course they turned out delightfully chewy, soft and tender. I'm getting close to mastering them, which means I'm going to have to make another cookie that I like and master that. I did a little bit of writing, but as I mentioned above I was paralyzed by the heat most of the day. Even when a fan is blowing hot air on you, it doesn't cool oneself down very well so perspiring while attempting to write isn't very productive. I guess I should find a place to go and be cool at while I write that has air conditioning, that would be logical I suppose. Well, everyone have a great weekend!
Trouble With the Curve Trailer (it looks good except for Justin Timberlake's presence).
Although if you wait much longer for it you may just melt. Yep it was another high sweltering heat wave today, and so I treated my bathtub like a swimming pool and it worked out reasonably well. I read my newspaper there and watched some Law & Order and just chilled,with quite the literal meaning. The irritating thing about the weather is that it is scorching hot when the sun is out, and rather tolerable and nice when it goes down...at least for as close to the coast as I am. If I only had a couple layers of shade blocking my apartment from the assault of the sun then I wouldn't be roasting as bad, but no one believes in large trees around here apparently. So when I wasn't roasting I was attempting to write, but that went nowhere really fast, although I acquired this rather fantastic idea for a premium cable television show which I am going to slowly begin to develop. At first I thought that it would make a fantastic film, but then I realized the scope of what I wanted to do and what could be done would be better served in that format; kind of like why they chose to make Game of Thrones as an HBO series rather than a film. So in the evening after the sun went down and things began cooling off, I put in THOR and enjoyed watching that as I had been meaning to watch it for a while. I can't remember what got me into the mood weeks ago, but for some reason Norse mythology with a Marvel spin on it appealed to me. I think I might have mentioned before how rather thrilling and interesting Norse mythology is; ya'll should read up on it (although Egyptian is also very fascinating as well). Heard back from my publisher peoples and they said it might take up to about a week and a half before my book, The Curse of a Warrior, is on the open market, so remain posted. In the meanwhile I shall begin prepping Book 2 to get ready to send off; it needs just a few finishing touches....at least the last time I looked. Who know's what I'll think of it now. Drafting and editing can be a real pain in the neck.
The Making of THOR
Chef Ramsay on "Quick" Cheesecake (he makes it look so easy).
Actually I'm going to begin with bad news. So I had an electrician come in today and take a look at my A/C unit and it is toast, which means they have to replace it. It apparently takes a couple weeks for the new one to come, so I will be praying for haste in that regard; for the time being though my manager offered to get me a window A/C unit which I think I shall take her up on. All in all though it could have been worse, and it wasn't too bad today, but that apparently won't last long. The good news is that I finally have within my hands a copy of The Curse of a Warrior in all of its second edition glory. I have to admit that when I saw it I was stunned beyond belief; speechless, truly speechless. There is something so wonderful, so intensely amazing about seeing your own work in a hardcover bound book; it's like there's something about that format which makes it official, and I have to say that the cover art is pretty darn good. I emailed my publisher after looking through the book for any printing mistakes and gave them the green light. So it will be very soon on the market! All of this means by the way that I can finally shift my complete attention to book 2, and then once that gets underway I will begin writing book 3. I'm very, very excited and happy about all of this. The whole thing has been a long process, but I believe it was well worth the wait. I really think the story is quite lovely, and I believe that people will really enjoy it no matter age, ethnicity, sex, or whatever else. When the trilogy is complete it will become a new mythology, at least that is what I'm aiming for. So all of that kept me busy during the day, along with some writing for The Tale of 3 Brothers, and I finished reading A Wizard of Earthsea. The book's ending was anti-climactic, rather confusing, and quite boring. I think I will review the series together, otherwise they'll be very short reviews. Ms. Le Guin created an extraordinary world which I liked, but she didn't do very much with it. She didn't invest a lot in her characters, which many of were a goldmine of potential literary enjoyment but most came off as flat, if not all if you take in the whole perspective. Hopefully the rest of the series will be much more enjoyable, or rather at least not boring. Well, perhaps the future is looking brighter for me; who knows. Being a writer seems to have more downs than ups for me so far, but maybe my circumstances will change God willing.
The Curse of a Warrior Second Edition Announcement
Once again it was another hot day and my air conditioning was not working once again, but I was with a friend out and about for a good portion of the day hanging out in air conditioned places. I wasn't very pleased about my A/C not being repaired, but life goes on and it actually got pretty cool as the sun went down, at least in comparison to what the daytime temperature was like. UPS didn't deliver my parcel either so that was very, very frustrating. Both of these things will hopefully be solved by tomorrow. After eating lunch, my friend and I went and saw The
Bourne Legacy and well....it was diverting enough I will put it that way. I didn't give it really high marks because it wasn't really anything extraordinary, so I gave it an "Admirable Ability." At the moment I am watching In Treatment and so far so good; there is much more drama taking place out of the sessions which can be far more interesting sometimes. For the most part it was a good day despite all of the irritating mishaps that took place. It was awesome to see my friend again, as he recently returned from Iraq teaching English. He had quite a few interesting stories. Good, solid friends are hard to come by, and I am very lucky to have found one of them. The sad thing is he will be returning to teach in Iraq at the end of the month, but it will be a fantastic continuing opportunity for my friend, but I will be saddened to see him go. Well I'm going to finish up watching In Treatment and then read my newspapers before heading off to bed, so everyone have a great night and try not to melt as I am certain it is fairly hot nearly everywhere on the planet.
No matter what you do or where you run, the heat finds you. Saturday was barely bearable without air conditioning, Sunday was just plain hot and nearly unbearable, today I was just plain miserable and hot. Hopefully the unit, or whatever it wrong with it will be fixed before tomorrow begins to roast too much, at least I hope. It got up to 92 degrees F. in my apartment today, and right now it is about 80 degrees F. in a few parts of my apartment.. It really sucks. The heat is so intense during the day that I cannot get all of it out of my apartment with the limited number of fans that I have before I got to bed, which sucks because that same heat will be there in the morning. So since I didn't have air conditioning for the day, I was planning to soak in cool water in my bathtub for as long as possible which I did. However, I was expecting a package from UPS to arrive so I was hanging out waiting for them to show up, which they never did from what I thought. Apparently though I missed them although I was sitting in my living room with the front door open and kitchen window. I never heard a single word or knock at the door, yet I find another slip of paper (since I missed them on Friday) saying that I basically wasn't there for them to deliver what I have been eagerly awaiting for. To say I was mad is an understatement; between Fed-Ex and UPS I don't know which one I dislike more. I have had more problems with those two parcel delivery services than I have ever had with the United States Post Office, which is a government run service for goodness sake. So I had a later dinner and late time because I was cooling down in the bathtub, which worked wonderfully. I got my laptop computer and watched a film while I was chilling. I think I might have done that for a little over an hour before I got out and went on with the rest of the night, trying to remain cool. I am praying that tomorrow is cooler, or that my A/C unit is fixed or whatever is going on with it otherwise I may just end up going delirious from all of the heat. When things are cool enough I may just be able to get some writing accomplished once again. Oh and my cheesecake turned out very, very well; cooked a tad too long, but not overdone or underdone thankfully. A huge tip for excellent baking is be certain that your oven is calibrated properly and get an oven thermometer.
Today it was very hot, much hotter than yesterday. And yes, my air conditioning still did not work so it got up to at the highest 93 degrees F. inside of my apartment. It was very, very uncomfortable but now I think I've almost got it down to 80 degrees F. which I was able to do with several fans and some tricks I learned growing up without air conditioning. It really sucks when you're so hot and therefore miserable that you cannot do anything besides sit in front of a fan and literally try to chill, although in my case the fan was simply blowing hot air on me. Later on at night I would go get something from the cupboard in the kitchen and it would be incredibly warm. I really hope that it cools down this week, or tomorrow would be nice. All of the hot air is shifting from the Midwestern U.S. to the west coast, which is great for them but not so good for us; kind of makes me wish that I could swim. Since my apartment was hotter than hell, I decided to go ahead and make my cheesecake figuring that the heat from the oven wouldn't make much of a difference. Well cooking it went well and it didn't poof up or get overcooked, but I will have to wait for tomorrow to taste it and find out for certain. Cheesecake always tastes better if it left to cool overnight and firm up really nice in the refrigerator. So if my air conditioning unit would have been functioning I would have gotten some writing done, but it's hard to concentrate when perspiration is dripping down one's forehead while merely sitting. I even read more of A Wizard of Earthsea but had to give up on that because it was so hot and I couldn't focus on it, but it also didn't help that the book is miserably boring. It has less than 200 pages in it, but I feel it has close to 500 pages. I swear I am going to finish reading this series of books to find out why it is liked and thought of so much; maybe the books get better as the series progresses, at least that is what I am hoping for.
Gordon Ramsay making a souffle. For some reason I really like watching this guy cook.
Well for In Treatment they have put 2 weeks on one disc, so last night I watched week 1 and then today I watched week 2. For patients things are a little more interesting, but still there aren't any really crazy patients, and some are just wretchedly whiny and self-absorbed. I am fascinated to see how things go in this apparently final season of the show, but I can honestly understand why it only had 3 seasons. If they would have had more interesting patients then I think it would have fared better. Oh well, it did give me some ideas and was diverting frequently enough. Since it's been so hot here in San Diego, I decided that I would finally give in and use my air conditioning. I should always know that Murphy's Law applies to me no matter where, when or how. I was able to enjoy nice cool air for almost an hour, and then it stopped working just as quickly as it began. Fortunately it wasn't unbearable in regards to the temperature, but it was uncomfortable enough to be....well...uncomfortable I suppose. I continued reading A Wizard of Earthsea and although it has picked up a little, I am still finding it immensely boring, dull, and hastily told. The story seems to be cruising at maximum speed without any details on the setting or even the characters for that matter. The world that she created is pretty good, but she rarely spends any time exploring it in the book so far, but we'll see after I'm done reading it and the rest of the series of books she wrote in connection to the word of "Earthsea." In a matter of hours it will be a new day and the start of a new week, which I have a feeling will be one filled with memorable moments, especially on Monday so stay tuned.
In Treatment Season 3Patient Overview
Red Dawn Trailer. Not sure why they're making a remake of this, but it looked good half-way through before....well it reminded me of stupidity. Poor Chris Hemsworth.
There is nothing quite like working on a car to get out one's aggression and other internalized anxieties, but if that were true I would feel so much better. I think I spent close to almost 2 hours working on my car trying to fix a few dents and other....problems that I have ignored up to this point. After several cuts, scrapes, bumps, buckets of sweat, and filthy hands I was able to get things in a pretty good temporary spot for the time being until I can get a professional to do work on it, or until I acquire a new vehicle. However, I doubt that will be anytime soon. Did I mention that I hate doing auto care work, especially when it's hot out. One time I was changing the oil in the car back in Wisconsin during a very hot and humid summer, and the bolt that blocked the oil spout from the oil pan fell into the bucket where the old oil was emptying out. So I had to reach into the oil and pull out the bolt; my entire arm was blackened, and it took forever to rinse all of the oil off. I was lucky enough to see some dear old college friends that I haven't seen in a very, very long time. We had homemade pizza, which was so incredibly delicious, I think that it was actually better than pizza hut. The three of us caught up on current events with each other's lives and just had a lot of fun chatting. You see I was in their wedding, and the groom and I have the pleasure of writing so we had lots to chat about. Unfortunately it was very hot where they lived, which is a whole lot further inland than I do, so therefore it was blisteringly hot. I was very thankful to return to the cooler part of San Diego when I got back to my apartment, which I had to air out since it was like a sauna as everything had been shut up while I was out. After I post this I'm going to begin watching In Treatment season 3, so hopefully the patients will be a whole lot more interesting this time around, or rather much more interesting. Well that's it for today, so I hope that everyone enjoys their weekend and that good news abounds!
So today I woke up and tripped over a rather large leprechaun on my way to pick up my newspaper, which wasn't something I was anticipating on occurring that early in the morning. The little guy was lucky I was too sleepy to try and capture him so he could lead me to his pot of gold. Oh well. Once the temperature had reached another scorching point, I decided that I could bake some cranberry bread without turning the apartment into an oven since it was already. I must admit that the cranberry bread came out fantastically just as before. Soft and tender with oodles of flavor and moist goodness; oh I have have to say that baking is indeed a gift from the gods. After it cooled and I had....well...many slices of the bread, I think that my skill is growing as a baker. Unlike yesterday I was able to complete another Modern War Story The
Sword and the Shield: Snakes of a Different Brood. The plot thickens in this episode, and the questions the reader should be asking is what isn't obvious is where the danger lies. I really enjoyed writing this episode, but I have a feeling that the episode where I reveal everything will be my ultimate favorite. I edited another chapter from A Tale of 3 Brothers and continued to prep for part 2 of the story arc. So after dinner, which I have to admit was rather boorish, I began reading Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea story with her first book "A Wizard of Earthsea." I think I might have read a few pages before I was bored out of my mind, but then I got interested and then bored again, and then interested again. As it stands, I am interested in the main character Sparrowhawk, and the story is mildly interesting but I'm not impressed. I think I one time heard this book being referred to as part of a "beloved saga," which so far I haven't a clue how it garnered such praise. I'm a little over 50 pages into it and I feel like the narrative is still in prologue mode with how her style of writing is. Jeesh, I can't seem to pick good books lately; is it really that hard to locate good and compellingly interesting books. How do many of these writers get published and famous for crap? It is quite astounding. News wise I was reading the Wall Street Journal when I came across an article referring to the tyrannical rule of Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea, which is located on the central west coast of Africa. It has one of the worst human rights records in the world, and has been consistently amongst the worst of the worst for a long time. Let's just say that North Korea and this country would get along just dandy, and I'm sure we could toss the Chinese government, Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia in there as well for good measure. Hopefully one day those people will receive their freedom just I hope the North Koreans, Iranians, Chinese, Syrians, and Saudi Arabians do. The week has ended nearly. Oh and instead of returning to the freezer since it was so hot when I got my wand, I just visited Alaska instead and hung out with some talking polar bears that were drinking coca-cola. It was great!
Premium Rush Trailer (it looked mildly interesting, and it has Joseph Gordon-Levitt in it).
It was a hot day in San Diego, so I took my wand, waving it around a few times while saying some magic words, and and shrunk myself so that I could fit comfortably inside of my freezer. Once I got the door open with my handy wand and then shut it so all of the cold air wouldn't escape I created a light. Soon I was nice and cool, but then I realized that I wasn't dressed for sub-zero temperatures, so I used my wand to create some warm clothes for myself. Soon I was walking amongst the frozen chicken and vegetables; the butter that I would be using for baking cookies later on and the fish which looked at me with a very creepy gaze. I then happened across the ice cube trays and decided to go ice skating. From as many times as I fell, it was clear to me that I needed to ice skate more frequently so I didn't bruise my rump the next time. Eventually I sat down and created a fire in a metal ring with my wand and began whistling an old tune. Since I had my wand, I thought what the heck, and summoned all of the ingredients to make smores which I thoroughly enjoyed every single bite. An alarm began beeping on my watch which meant, sadly, that my rental time for the wand that I had borrowed was about up. Moaning, I opened the freezer door, after expunging the fire, and waved goodbye to my frosty wonderland before jumping out and restoring myself to my normal size. Within a matter of moments after that, a wizard came by to pick up the wand, but before leaving had me fill out a customer satisfaction form about how my experiences with the wand were. As you can imagine, I gave a glowing review and then the wizard disappeared with a "poof." It wasn't long soon after that I wished I had the wand again as the heat began melt me like chocolate. I got on the internet and reserved the wand for the next day, although I increased the amount of time which I was able to keep it this time around. Perhaps I will one day be able to get my own wand. Aside from that part of my day, I had lunch with a friend earlier which was lovely, and then did some editing for A Tale of 3 Brothers on my website. But as I was about to write my Modern War Story...I just couldn't do it....that's when I went for a little escape in the freezer. Hey, why roast when you can chill. I hope that your day was just as interesting as mine.
A French Toast Recipe
On The Road Trailer (looks very....very....interesting and disturbing at the same time.)
Is there anything better than chocolate? Who knows but God, but one thing is for certain I love chocolate. Today I made the most fantastic chocolate brownies completely from scratch, and they are perhaps the best brownies I've ever made in my whole entire life. They certainly taste better than any boxed or packaged brownies that the massive food industry can come up with. I really, really enjoy chocolate. I would eat it all of the time if I was filthy rich; chocolate ice cream, chocolate milk, chocolate bavarian cream pie, chocolate pudding, chocolate candy, chocolate truffles, and of course chocolate cheesecake. Yet there are so many more tasty possibilities with chocolate which I one day look forward to exploring. I made myself some more home made lemonade which turned out very yummy, and this time I used fresh lemons and limes although juicing them was a royal pain in the neck. At the end of all of the work though, the result was spectacular; definitely worth all of the trials and patient waiting. For dinner I made myself salmon, potatoes, and some green beans. I wanted to try the honey salmon recipe, but I would have needed to marinate it for about 2 hours to do that, which wasn't going to happen at 5pm, and as for the teriyaki recipe I wasn't too certain about that. The last time I tried mixing teriyaki with something I hated it, so I think I may wait for next time for that one. You know, the nice thing about baking from scratch is that if you make it something you consistently do many of the things that you need to make something you already have in stock, so for example to make the brownies I had everything I already needed at my place without having to go grocery shopping. Pretty sweet. Now if I only had a lemon tree I would be set. Before you think that this is turning into a food blog I will mention that I did a good bit of writing this evening continuing on with my "The Sword and the Shield" series. If I remain focused tomorrow I should be able to post it on my website, that is if I remain focused that is. And I completely forgot about my fantasy series. Cooking, baking, cleaning, and eating take up a lot of time. Oh, and I finished the final week of In Treatment season 2. It ended rather anti-climatically actually, but all around I'd say it was a fairly good week, but very little drama with hardly any good bits whatsoever like the 1st season. Oh well. I hope that the 3rd and final season is better, with much more interesting patients. Tomorrow marks the half-way point through the week and nothing really exiting has happened to me yet, so I will keep my fingers crossed.