Thursday, November 30, 2006

no gifts?

What if Christmas (or Chanakah, Kwanzaa, etc.) didn't require giving gifts? Would it still feel the same?

We celebrate the spirit of giving on Christmas, not Christ's birth. We give each other gifts on that day. We celebrate the rebirth of the Sun/Son on the Winter Solstice. Gifts are not part of it, at least in our group. Other pagans might exchange gifts on the Solstice but it isn't traditional for us. The Solstice would be the same for me because it never has required giving gifts. But Christmas would not really have any point for me if the giving wasn't part of it.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

5 accomplishements of the past week

1. went to the gym 3 times & did all my cardio each time
2. won the big prize at Bunco and then one the dollar game afterwards, almost $50!
3. finally made the dinner reservations for Thanksgiving
4. steam cleaned the living room carpet (would not have needed to do if I had been paying more attention to my 2 year old, he poured peanut butter all over them while I was catching up on a message board)
5. finished all my reading - all 19 Eddings books, plus 4 by Quinn Fawcett and another 4 by Robert Lee Hall. I am now ready to go back to scrapping.:)

Have we ever talked about favorite movies? Or movies that make you wish you had those two hours of your life back?

It's hard to pick just one in either category. I am a big fan of really bad sci-fi, cheesy B-movie sci-fi. And that very often leaves me open to watching some really truly BAD sci-fi. The most recent really bad movie that comes to my mind was a SciFi movie original - Alien Apocalypse, starring Bruce Campbell and Renee O'Connor (from Xena) OMG! It was terrible in an indescribable way, especially since with it starring Bruce Campbell you were expecting so much more in the way of good camp. That is the problem with camp, it is either very good or it sucks.

The movie I love to put on when I need to relax, the one I never get tired of watching is Clue. It has a stellar cast, a great plot and wonderful, wonderful dialogue. I can quote the whole thing from memory.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

what I have been doing

I think I have 4 layouts in the past month. and 2 of those were actually ATCs. I've hardly posted on DSP or here. So what have I been doing? I've been reading. I bought David Eddings latest book "The Younger Gods" about a month ago. It's the last in his latest series & the previous one had been published 2 years ago. I love David Eddings. He is my favorite fantasy writer. His stories are the basic "young hero on a quest" but so much more. His Belgariad series is incredible. A great story, well written, strong plot, great characters. I cannot wait until the boys are old enough to have it read to them. It's follow up series - the Mallorean - is also really well done, same characters mostly, but the new ones are also well drawn. The plot is strong with good dialog. Both are 5 books long. He also has 3 stand alone books associated with these series that focus on 2 of the characters and the writing of it all. His next series was the Elenium. I really enjoyed it, good plot, interesting people, witty dialog. The main criticism that I've heard about it is the strong similarity in characters between it & the Belgariad/Mallorean. I don't mind that. Almost all authors are dealing with certain archetypes in fantasy stories and for the most part drawing from basic ancient to early medieval world cultures. So you are going to have the thief, the warrior, the teacher, the Vikings, the Romans, etc. You try and write 3 different stories stretching over 13 books and not have some repetition. It happens. The 4th series is the Tamuli and it is a continuation of the Elenium but, as with the Mallorean, is in another part of the world, with some new characters. Also, a really good series is also the start of a dependence on certain writing styles and characters that really irritate me. He is great with witty dialog, it is one of the things I love about his writing. But as the Tamuli progressed it started seeming a bit forced. And there is this character Flute, who is a "just-too-cute-for-words-everyone-loves-me-kissy-kissy" little girl that by the end of the series I just wanted to grab with both hand and give a good hard shake. God she is irritating once she starts talking. Well, both her type of charater and the forced witty dialog were carried over into his most recent series the Dreamers. Book one started out with promise, though its copying of old characters was a bit much even for me - the 'sailor' had a ship that was an exact duplicate of the one the 'sailor' in the Belgariad had, right down to the name. And the new Flute character was even more annoying, which must have taken special effort. But it had a strong plot, interesting setting and some new character types. It had some real promise, but the ending was let down. The second book had the same problem, started strong, ended badly. By the time the third book ended you were left wondering what the point of the whole story was if all it really took to win the 'big battle' (every time) was for the same person to twitch her nose. Why bother to drag all these people into it? Why bother to tell the story at all? And he seemed to start several promising plot lines only to drop them abruptly for no apparent reason. He could have done alot with the Amazons but after building up the idea he just cuts it out. The fourth book sucked. And I don't say that lightly, especially about an author I love. but the book sucked. The plot was a tedious repetition of the one that happened in each of the first 3 books. The dialog was pathetic. "I thought you might have noticed that." "I thought I noticed you noticing me noticing that." Pathetic really. And the ending! OMG! Don't get me started on it! It was all basically a dream! It never really happened! OMFG! Are you freaking kidding me with that ending? All I can figure is his publish was getting on his case "David it's been 2 years, finish the damn thing already."

So the point of all this reviewing is what I have been doing. I read the 4th book. It has so many characters in it and had been so long since I had read the 3rd that I was confused until about a quarter of the way into it, trying to remember just who was who. I finished the book & was very disappointed. So I decided to reread the whole series, thinking my initial confusion might have caused some of the disappointment. Read all 4 books and was seriously disappointed. Seriously. I decided to reread all his books to remind myself why I loved his books. So in the past month I have read 15 thick hardback books, am current reading number 16, with 7 more to go.

I haven't read much in the past few months, been too busy scrapping, so I am probably due for this extended reading time.

Friday, November 03, 2006

what the hell is going on!?!?!

WHY WHY WHY WHY does something always happen every single freaking month in $500 of unexpected expenses? What the hell is with that? Sunday the drivers side door window on my car was shattered by a rock thrown by the weed whacker. It was repaired Wed for $200. I just walked into my living room and discovered that one whole side of our sliding glass door is totally shattered (still holding together but the whole pane is a maze of cracks). It's double paned so we won't be totally exposed to the elements tonight. $300 for a new sliding glass door. And it is only the 3rd of the month!!!! What's next?

I'm assuming DS2 threw a rock at it while I was inside cleaning up his brother on the potty. But DS2 is only 2.5 years old. How hard could he have thrown that rock? he must have gotten lucky & hit it dead on. Can't imagine how else it happened. I heard some shots in the distance but a bullet would have gone through both panes of the window.

Good freaking god! When will it end?

What qualities are you drawn to when meeting someone for the first time?

A sense of humor & a certain casualness & ability to laugh at yourseslf. I don't get along well with serious people, or earnest people or people who are uptight all the time and people who are really "devoted" (being devoted to something is ok, but I'm thinking of the sort of person who turns everything, even returning a sweater that is too big, into a crusade against injustice.)

I am a rather silly person & too much seriousness bothers me. Making a joke, especially of something you just did or said wins me over right away. I'm drawn to people who are easy going but not totally slack - people who understand that we need to be someplace at 4pm but can have fun getting there.