walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (Default)
I finished The Liar on Saturday, and I think I promised [livejournal.com profile] go4it I would tell her what I thought of it, oh so many moons ago. I . . . liked it. I think. Or rather, I'm not sure. Maybe? It took a little while for me to sort out what was happening, so the beginning was a little trying for my patience, but I liked the middle, the middle clicked along and was highly entertaining; it felt like the book kept ending, but unnecessarily so, like it couldn't figure out how to stop. The revelation that it was all just a game struck me as a lot sadder than I think it struck Adrian. And yet I like how it ended up finally. It would profit hugely from a second read-through I'm sure. Right now I've started Edward Conlon's Blue Blood, this massive tome about life as a New York City police officer, and it's fantastic. I'm only forty-five pages into it or something, but this one I'm already recommending.

Saturday night my parents and I went out for Indian food and then came home to break in the Second Season West Wing DVDs. This is where I declare my undying love and devotion for "In the Shadow of Two Gunmen", two of the best hours of television ever written and performed. As I just told [livejournal.com profile] silentfire, one of my favorite scenes (aside from Leo telling Jed, "this is the age of Jed Bartlett, my friend. You're going to open your mouth and lift houses off the ground. Whole houses, right off the ground"; and Toby finding Josh sitting on the ground with his hands pressed to his chest; and that scene in the airport that makes me cry, followed by the scene in Josh's hospital room that makes me cry more) is when Margaret tells Leo that she can sign the President's name.

Leo: You can sign the President's name?
Margaret: Yeah.
Leo: On a document removing him from power and handing it to someone else?
Margaret: Yeah! Or . . . do you think the White House Counsel would say that was a bad idea?
Leo: I think the White House Counsel would say it was a coup d'état!
Margaret: Well. I'd probably end up doing some time for that.
Leo: I would think! And what the hell were you doing practicing the President's signature?
Margaret: It was just for fun!
Leo: We've got separation of powers, checks and balances, and Margaret, vetoing things and sending them back to the Hill.

My mother and I LAUGHED and LAUGHED, waking up my father who had, of course, already fallen asleep in his chair. We made it through "The Midterms" before my parents called it quits and took themselves off to bed, but I stuck around for the last four episodes of Firefly.

This isn't like reluctantly turning the last page of an engrossing and exciting novel and thinking but I want to know what happens next. This is like turning the last page of the first volume of an engrossing and exciting twenty-seven volumes, only to learn that not only do the other twenty-six volumes not exist, but somebody ripped the last fifty pages out of Volume I to boot. The reaction to this one is where's the rest of it, you fuckers?! and you use double punctuation when you say it. When does Serenity hit theaters?

I did three loads of laundry on Sunday, boom boom boom, and left shirts and skirts and a pair of pants hanging all over the laundry room while we went to dinner at cousin M.'s for her birthday. As a birthday present my mother taught her how to make her super-secret family recipe (*cough*) barbecue spareribs—talk about a present everyone can enjoy. We drank champagne on her backyard patio before sitting down, and I met my mother at the sliding-glass door when I told everyone to come in. "Mmm," I said, "nothing like champagne on an empty stomach." And she said, "I know, it's such a nice buzz, isn't it? I can say things like that to you now, right?" My mother is adorable. (Today she mentioned she sometimes tries to put the cat on the dog's back, like to give him a ride, but one of them always runs away, and I cracked up.) We left relatively early but it was a school night and my mother went to bed early; I stayed up reading fic until five-thirty.

And today! Today I have done nothing! I pretended to unpack some boxes and I helped set my mother up with the first day of a light weight-training regimen, and I darted out for a five-minute milk run (literally—we needed a gallon of milk for the ziti with quattro formaggi and I drove up to the Farm Stores on 46th).

There's nothing like your father turning to you and asking—as you sit with your parents after dinner watching last week's House, M.D.—"what's a dominatrix?" Luckily I'd seen the show when it aired originally and knew they'd soon explain it, succinctly if not in full. I love House. Don't you just want to take him home with you? In lieu of that, I'll settle for knowing where all the House/Wilson fic is. My mother, who hadn't seen an episode until tonight, wanted to know if they lived together. I think fandom would say she's not wrong.

Tomorrow [livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu is coming around and collecting me for a day of romping around Palm Beach County, so I'll make tonight an early one. Relatively speaking.
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (people can lose their lives in libraries)
Last week I kept going around telling people, "I've finished a book! A book! I read one, all the way through! Do you know the last time I finished a book?" and they invariably say that I must mean a non-school book, empathizing over never having time to read for pleasure when school is in session, and I tell them yes! of course! All those school books I read. Right. I've finished The Undertaking and The Great Eskimo Vocabulary Hoax since I've been home, not that I recommend either very enthusiastically.

Thomas Lynch (author of the former) had a few interesting things to say (and he did say them prettily), but only a few and he kept repeating them. The Irish-Catholic all-life-is-sacred insistence got old and at times heavy-handed. Or maybe it's just that I disagree completely. Geoffrey Pullum (author of the latter) would be funnier if he stopped pointing out how funny he was. I generally liked the articles, but the book would have been a whole lot more enjoyable without his prefaces to each piece in which he hovered over my shoulder and explained everything I was going to be reading, relishing how many people he'd made angry with his devastating honesty, superior scholarship, and wit. I should have skipped them, I know, but then I couldn't call it a compulsion.

Three more episodes of Firefly tonight, in one of which I met Simon, the criminal mastermind! Followed closely by Simon, the über-brilliant pop-in, show-you-up, chew-you-out, save-the-patient-AND-your-ass genius doctor. That? was seriously hot. Seriously, folks. Other random thoughts in stream-of-consciousness format:

The whole hospital scene was done well. I liked Jayne's betrayal (not that I liked it, but it was totally in character) and eventual remorse and turn-around. The blue-gloved Feds remind me of Buffy-verse villains in a way nothing else on the show really echoes Buffy at all. Is that little blue device really the most efficient way they've found to kill people? I appreciate that it's portable and apparently unstoppable, but it's also messy and it takes a while. It also would have been a good idea for them to break into a run, which might have broken their creepy-yet-cool-as-cucumbers vibe but would have actually netted them their prisoners. I liked the flashback episode, but considering it had three timelines it moved kinda slowly. As for "no power in the 'verse can stop me"? Holy shit. And hot damn. I still adore Simon and River together, especially after getting more time with River, with flashes of coherency even! The shepherd still does nothing for me. I'll be in my bunk. Ha!
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (Default)
Okay, four more episodes, and NOW I love Firefly. Love, people. It got a little campier, and I got more familiar with it, and we got a closer look at the characters, who got FUNNIER. Some fabulous lines, but then again, it's Joss! I hadn't realized how many phrases now floating around fandom were Firefly-born (Captain Tightpants, Big Damn Heroes, the Special Hell, etc.), but I'm not surprised. Jayne has the best line reading. Jayne makes me laugh out loud several times an episode. My love for Jayne is boundless and true. Uh, what else? I don't know, I love everybody. Simon is so gawky and tentative and out of his element (except for when he unexpectedly isn't); his happy childhood and doting father were heart-breaking until his parents turned out to be short-sighted and uncaring and probably EVOL—if it turns out that they knowingly turned River over to people who were going to experiment on her brain I will not be surprised.

One of the reasons I hadn't liked Mal after the first episode was that he had a fiercely loyal crew but I couldn't as yet see any reason for that loyalty. I've since been shown reasons, and also that the loyalty is obviously reciprocated (see: Mal going back for Simon because he's one of the CREW why are we still having this conversation?). See also: "The doctor could be called a lot of things; "coward" isn't one of 'em, though." Wait, that was just my nascent Mal/Simon leanings coming to the fore.

The show has a lot of great little things: that amazing light again, the costumes, some fabulous direction—great framing and interesting angles and an embrace of the jump shot; in the beginning of "Our Mrs. Reynolds" when they're standing around ribbing Mal about accidentally acquiring a wife, there's this one-second shot of Kaylee hugging and comforting Saffron and we see Jayne's hand in the corner of the frame rubbing her shoulder, and that's just perfect, a perfect little detail. There were more things I wanted to mention, but I'd have to dig up transcripts or watch again and write down comments as I go, and that won't happen right now. It comes down to funny lines! awesome camera work! three-dimensional characters! Simon will kill you if you mess with his sister or DIE TRYING.

Before watching the second disc of Firefly, I'd watched CSI: New York and was awed by just how much Danny Messer (Carmine Giovinazzo) looks like my LAH prof of last semester. Dead ringer. Before an evening of television there was dinner, preceded by the little reading I'd gotten done after getting back from lunch on the Intracoastal where my dad had taken me after I'd gotten myself out of bed in the early afternoon. We sat on wooden benches on a wooden deck on the water, half in and half out of the sun, and I taught him Rummy 500 with the deck of cards in my bag while I ate a huge hunk of mahi-mahi on a kaiser roll. He's offered to take me out for breakfast tomorrow, but I'll take my bowl of cereal in soymilk over setting an alarm for nine a.m. any day and twice on Sunday.
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (magpie!)
Slept till twelve-thirty; got out of bed at one-ish; ate a bowl of cereal; showered and dressed; sat down with The Great Eskimo Vocabulary Hoax in the family room with my back to the sun (the book so far? eh.), and thought seriously about going back to bed.

Instead I went over to my mom's school to work a little magic on her computer. I give her a lot more credit with technology than she apparently deserves, but she's willing and teachable, which is a lot more than I can say for my father. We were out by three-thirty and went home to sit on the patio for a while and play with the dog. The dog has not learned the game of "fetch" yet. I didn't quite realize this was a concept a dog actually had to be taught. He's awfully sweet though. Awfully. He just leans against you. And whoomfs when he collapses in a controlled slide on the hardwood floors. Poor dog.

Together Mum and I went grocery shopping and brought home sandwiches for dinner. My dad went off to a movie (Sahara: I'd had absolutely no interest, plus it had Matthew McConaughey so I didn't care twice as much as I hadn't cared before, but upon return my dad said it was a lot of fun) and I stared blankly at last Sunday's crossword puzzles while watching N.C.I.S. (Gibbs and Tony? Um, hello? I asked if they had a father-son thing going, but my mom said not at all, so I thought, "slashy-as-hell it is then!") and House (I think I managed to take three steps before tripping and falling all over the Wilson/House; I like House—I think he and Rodney McKay would either get along smashingly or kill each other within ten minutes of meeting) and then I watched the first disc of Firefly.

I like it fine, I'm going to keep with it. I'm not in love with it, not yet. There are some things that are amazing, like the light and the music; even the Reevers are impressive in how horrifying they are, and we haven't even seen much physical evidence of it—which is sound policy for building suspense. God knows I feel suspended.

I think I love Simon. I know I love Simon and River together (and the closeness of "River" and "Reevers"? I'm just asking) and want to see them more. I want to know what the deal is with River, though I have heard things here and there about killing you with her brain. In "Bushwhacked" what did she mean by "it's a ghost"?

Nothing like wading into a fandom after everyone's had their squee and written their fics and flamed their wars. I've been recognizing people's icons left and right, like reading Shakespeare for the quotations. I didn't like Mal much after the first (double) episode, but he's fleshing out and growing on me. The overwhelming impression of them, of all of them and the show itself, is how hapless they are. They cannot, for the lives of them, catch a break. Hmm, and I can take or leave the shepherd. The shepherd is not doing much for me. Interesting things done with the language. Joss always did that, didn't he?

There was an excellent vid [livejournal.com profile] boniblithe linked to a little while ago that I don't think I kept on my hard drive, but it was beautiful, set to Iron & Wine's "Teeth in the Grass," and I'm only four episodes in, but it makes a lot more sense now.

March 2011

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