Saturday, March 29, 2008

Authors Die Sometimes!

This thing about authors dying in the middle of a series, maybe you're thinking, "enh, don't care."

But it's really annoying to those of us who love books. Fortunately, I've only had it happen once or twice.

Once, for sure, is Robert Jordan, author of The Wheel of Time series. How terrible is this? One of the best fantasy epics ever, covering an expected 12 books (700+ pages each), and the man dies before he writes the final novel. Now, I feel sorry for his family, obviously. I don't want anyone to die an untimely death, and Robert Jordan died of a rare blood disease. So, yeah, untimely death.

His estate has said that another author, Brandon Sanderson, will write the final novel, A Memory Of Light.

Jordan's wife said he spent a good amount of time dictating how the final novel should be written, including how the series concludes, and there are even audio recordings of how the series ends. I'm taking that to mean he outlined the final book in pretty detailed fashion, and the new author is going to be providing details like, how they moved an army from one place to another, but is not going to be writing the book from scratch. I hope that's what it means.

Honestly, one of my biggest fears about this much-anticipated novel is that it will be so disconnected from the previous books, that it will be obvious it was written by someone else.

That's what happened with Scarlett, the "sequel" to Gone With The Wind.

What's that? You didn't know there was a sequel? Well, there was, written in 1991, 42 years after Margaret Mitchell died. And while I wouldn't call the sequel horrible, it was mediocre at best. Though reports said she refused to write another book, I really wish we could see what she might have written.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Plots

Really, I meant to be writing about books, and here I am, writing about why I don't watch reality TV. To sum up thus far: It's EVIL! That's why.

No, really, the whole thing is, I like plots, and books are full of them.

Sometimes, if you get a really good author, they twist and turn and suddenly, HEY! The plots all come together in the end, just like how a Seinfeld episode came back together at the end (there I go with the TV again).

Maybe the best part about books is if you like one, you can usually find stuff by the same author you will also like.

The drawback to authors? Sometimes they die before they finish a series.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I Love Hollywood

Ok, So I'm not actually writing about books yet. I thought I would, but I decided to follow up on my previous train of thought, the one I had before I got interrupted by funerals.

In my previous post about how I don't actually hate TV, I mentioned that I watch Bones, and that I love David Boreanaz. So, you're thinking, who is this guy? Or maybe you've already hit Wikipedia or IMDB and said, "Huh, I don't think I've seen any of these movies."

Well, I am proud to stand up and say, I am a HUGE Buffy the Vampire Slayer (BTVS) fan. At least I was, until it went off the air.

So anyway, David Boreanaz played a character on Buffy, and then got his own spin off, Angel. And these shows? These were the shows that I was always watching. I knew exactly what day of the week, what time, what channel, and don't freaking bother me for an hour! They definitely fit in with my love of science fiction/fantasy books.

I never did make it to a convention, but I was a BTVS fan club member, and I do have several photos, even a couple of them signed by the actors. I display them on ... on ... well, right now they're in a box, packed safely away, because I moved like 3 months ago, and you know that thing called life? It gets in the way of best intentions, sometimes. But normally they go on the wall in my office, right next to the BTVS calendar my husband buys me every year.

But all good things must come to an end, and it's not like never again do I get to see the actors who played my favorite characters. Because, hey! Hollywood, I love you! You cast some of my favorite people on NEW hit shows. Shows that actually have plots! Like Bones! And shows I want to watch! And other characters? You show up as guest stars in the coolest places! Like Julie Benz as a guest star on an episode of CSI, or her role on Dexter, which, sadly is on a channel to which we do not subscribe, but HEY! I saw one episode and I'm totally going to buy or rent the season 1 DVDs.

And that's why I love Hollywood.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Doing Better

Thanks for the kind comments about my last post. As EGE said, some days it's like the universe is out to get you. Well, she was actually talking about how it was like the universe was farting in her face and making her smell it, which is a visual I just can't get rid of now!

As time goes by, I feel less mortal. It's been about 2 weeks now since I got the news, and I'm a bit depressed that I can't find people I think should know about the passing of a mutual friend, but what can you do? It's like some people drop off the face of the earth after high school. Overall, I'm less depressed, and feel better.

Plus, as Green Fairy said, it's helpful to have a supportive husband. He was really a trooper as I moped, even offering to come to the services with me (and funerals are the kind of thing he really hates).

So, I will count my blessings and get on with my life, and resume posting about books (because I really, really love to read).

And I will make sure our life insurance is paid up, because now I really feel like it could happen to any of us, sooner than we think.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My Lack of Posting

Hello to my small number of readers.

I apologize for not posting in over a week. I took a short break because I received some bad news recently. A friend of mine that went to high school with me died. This is the same young man who took me to prom.

I know everybody dies, but I find it really hard to reconcile it when someone my age passes away (I'm 27 at this time). It is even stranger, and harder for me, because Keenan appears to have died in his sleep. He was not ill, and he had no known health problems that would have caused sudden death.

We were good friends for many years, and lost contact after a while, as many people do after high school. The way I found out was because Keenan's brother was trying to track down all his friends, and found letters that we used to write back and forth, as well as the phone number for my parents' house. When my dad called me, as soon as he told me, "I received a call from a young man who identified himself as Sean Xxxx ..." I knew something had happened to Keenan.

Because he died in his sleep, and because he was so young, there is an investigation going on into what caused his death. But it will take up to eight months before they get all the tests back, and can determine what happened. So much for the CSI effect, where cause of death is determined in an hour.

I just have this strange sensation that this is not real, and is some sort of horrible joke.

My husband is being awfully understanding, as I go around all depressed about the death of someone he didn't know, and who I once dated. Still, I suppose there's a lesson here, about how it's important to keep in touch with the people who are important to us. Maybe if we stay in touch with our friends, such news like this won't feel like it's a punch in the stomach.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Shows I Watch

Maybe in my last post I came across as if I hated TV. So not true!

I enjoy several shows, or at least I did until the Writer's Strike disrupted everything.

But here's the thing: When my shows went away, I STILL didn't watch reality TV.

Maybe I should make myself sound altruistic, and claim that I didn't watch reality shows because I was showing solidarity with the Writer's Guild. Because, I mean, reality TV is stealing business away from the Writer's Guild! Because reality TV shows don't employ writers! And that's just everything that's wrong with America! Those darn TV execs are just stealing jobs!

But see, while I can appreciate that point of view, and I do feel the Writer's Guild's pain (who here doesn't think inflation is outstripping compensation? Anyone?), I just can't feel strongly enough about any of the people who appear on reality TV shows.

So what do I watch? Honestly, not a whole lot. And if I have to miss an episode due to other commitments, I don't really care. I'm just as happy throwing in a tape (no DVRs in our house!), as I am Googling the episode to find out what happened.

And guess what? If I forget for a couple of weeks in a row? I'm just as likely not to notice, and just stop watching.

But enough procrastinating. What do I watch?
I try to watch:
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
Bones (love David Boreanaz - more in another post)
CSI
... hmm, that's all I can think of right now.

To be fair, there are other things I will tune in whenever I happen across them, but I honestly have no idea what day of the week or when their new episodes air.
Designed to Sell
MythBusters
Dirty Jobs

And aren't those almost reality shows? Yeah, ok, I can see that line of thinking. They border on it, because, no, they don't have plots, and yes, they're pretty predictable. On Designed to Sell, yes, the house is going to look pretty, and like a model home. Yes, they're likely to paint the walls brown, or cream, and yes, the house sells in the end. On MythBusters, yes, they're likely to blow something up. On Dirty Jobs, yes, Mike is likely to, well, get really dirty.

But you know what? These shows don't rely on angst-driven, sophomoric drama for ratings. They're actually entertaining to me. And come on, who doesn't like to see stuff blow up? (Man, I love MythBusters!)

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Toy Gifts from EGE!

The wonderful EGE over at TheHouseAndI ran a fun "name the mascot" contest, and selected my submission as the winner. Yeah for "Biscuit, the Pig-Rat!"

As my prize, she sent me some wonderful gifts, which I received just the other day.

Toys Small

(Being new to blogging, it took me a bit to get the hang of posting pics. Sorry for the delay!)

These things are freaking cool! They're like those little cars, where you drag them backwards, and then let them go and they ZOOM! off into the sunset. The little red and blue bugs are the cutest things. Who wouldn't want a little ladybug that will run across your desk? And the giant fly? You wind him up and let him go, and the wings flap up and down.

Plus there's some fantastic stand-bys, the water bird (fill with water, blow into the tail, and it whistles like a bird), and the finger monster. Both are modeled here, by my husband splorp!

FightingToys

I also got some nifty push-pins shaped like toadstools (so cute!), and a little green fuzzy guy shaped like a frog. Froggy wasn't real popular with my bird, Harley, but I couldn't get a good photo of the reaction, so you'll just have to try and picture a bird leaning as far away from froggy as possible, and then reaching out to bite it.

But possibly the best thing of all? EGE sent me my very own pig-rat!

Pig-Rat


And just so you all can appreciate the whole picture, Biscuit is MUCH larger than I thought he was.

Pig-Rat Size Compare

Oh, and I solved the question of "Is it a pig, or is it a rat?" Also, it's supposed to be refrigerated.

IngredientPanel

It's official, it's a pig.

I did eat him, after I refrigerated him. And I have to say, it probably would have been easier on my teeth to leave him out at room temperature, because Biscuit was hard as a rock. Pretty tasty though. I thought he tasted a bit like nuts - maybe almonds.

Thanks EGE! I loved my fun surprise.