Friday, June 27, 2008

Review: Funny Games

I found this film at Blockbuster yesterday and picked it up, because I recalled reading a short article on the film. It uses a similar concept as the recently released The Strangers (the Liv Tyler movie), only this one doesn't tout itself as being based on a true story. Rather, it's based on a 1997 Austrian version of the same movie, filmed by the same director.

Dude. *hides*

I love horror films. Have since I was a kid. So it's hard to find a horror film in today's market that does anything for me. Most are your typical slasher film (Jason X), others try to be psychological with their torture (Saw franchise). But other than some queasy, cover-my-eyes gore, I tend to watch them with mild amusement.

Not this one. The villains are so....calm. The setting so ordinary. It started with four eggs.

Naomi Watts and Tim Roth played the average married couple, with a young son, who are taken hostage in their own home by a pair of sociopathic affluent twentysomethings. They both give outstanding performances. Very subtle, but effective.

There was no on-camera gore, but I found myself clutching the remote and barely breathing for the last forty minutes of the movie. It was not your typical Hollywood ending (which makes sense, since the source material is from Austria), and I liked the unpredictability of the deaths. Even the odd to-the-camera comments were interesting.

My only real complaint were the overuse of wide, static shots. The characters were so small on screen at certain times I couldn't see what they were doing. Rather than creating suspense, I was frustrated and bored. But beyond that, wow. First really good horror film I've seen in a while.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Dr. Horrible's Teaser

I really couldn't tell you what Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is, but it's got Joss Whedon, Nathan Fillion, and Neil Patrick Harris. What's not

The teaser trailer of this little webseries had me laughing out loud. Of course, I love anything Joss does. He could write a movie about people reading the phone book, and it would be hysterical.

I don't know how he does it.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Birthday Goodness

Round Two is now back with Agent. He said he may wait until the weekend to read, so he has more perspective. Must be patient. Must be patient. Not that I don't have a bazillion things to keep me busy until I hear back. Packing to do. Decisions on a job. Lots of housecleaning. Plus three WIP's and more revisions on Warden's Trance.

My birthday was pretty low-key, but that happens once you pass twenty-one (as I did many years ago). Celebrating just isn't what it used to be. My boss's daughters baked me chocolate cupcakes, which were awesome. Beloved Roommate bought a Black Forest cake and brought Coldstone Creamery home (Peanut Butter Lovers is bliss on a spoon, I swear). I gorged on sugar, but slept amazingly well. I'm super-excited about seeing "Rent" this weekend. First time seeing it performed live, so woohoo!

I think the leftover birthday cake is calling me....

Monday, June 23, 2008

Early Birthday Present

In the form of comments/line edits from my agent. He loved the changes, and I've already gone through and read his comments. Good stuff.

I need to write up short summaries for the next two potential books, so I can send that along with the revised draft.

Yay, fun stuff.

Agent Interview

No, I'm not interviewing anyone. Over the weekend, my agent, Jonathan Lyons, was interviewed on the League of Reluctant Adults blog. It's a good interview, plus there's a picture. It's always cool to put a face to a voice.

In other news, I had two amazing dreams last night. Complete narratives, both completed between the hours of 4:15 am (I know, because I woke up scratching at gnat bites on my wrist) and 8:45 am (alarm). One of them was definitely inspired by the ten minutes of Troy I watched yesterday, since it featured Bloom and Bana (drool). The other I've completely forgotten; oh well.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Two Years Later

I woke up this morning, and I knew I'd forgotten something. Not literally, as in left behind or not done. Just something important about today. Couldn't figure it out. It wasn't until the middle of the afternoon, while I was eating a slice of pepperoni pizza (Joe's, yum....) for lunch, that it occurred to me.

Today is the anniversary of my grandmother's passing.

I sat in the break room for a minute, unable to believe it had been two years. Her voice is still so clear in my head. The scent of her apartment, the color of her sofa, the way her house used to look before she moved. So many memories, still sharp and focused. I can't think of any better way to honor her than to think of her often today, and link to last year's tribute.

Peanut Butter Lover's Delight

Just in case you didn't know, margaritas from a bucket? Yummy!

I have also found my new favorite candy. I've always loved Reese's. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs/Trees/whatever-the-shape-of-the-season. The new Reese's Peanut Butter Cups with White Chocolate (OMG!). Reese's Pieces.

But now...they've gone and made a Whopper.....

Try them, if you love peanut butter.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Overheard at the Stoplight

Apparently, my voice travels. This afternoon I was in a left turn lane with two other cars in front of me. The lights change. I wait for our turn. We get a green arrow. First car goes. Second car sits there; the driver is looking down, seeming to search for something.

"Lady!" I shout, as I hit my horn. Obviously, she can't hear me shout, but the horn doesn't seem to get her attention either.

The light changes from green to yellow to red. I'm annoyed, because it's a long light to sit through again, so I once again shout something. This time it's "Bitch!" Which is somewhat unlike me.

She finally notices she's missed the light when the cars next to us start to move again. A red pick-up truck passes me, at which point I realize my window is six inches open, because the pick-up driver shouts at me, "You tell her!"

I was both amused and horrified. I laughed about it until the light changed (me waiting with hand on horn, just in case the other driver wasn't watching).

Monday, June 16, 2008

Random Elements

So what do Dan Futterman, the TV show "Oz," my elementary school cafeteria, and a floral-scented reed diffuser have in common? Not much. Unless they are all elements of one of my dreams. A really interesting, three-part dream, probably stemming from watching five hours of "Oz" yesterday.

The remarkable thing is I was able to take bits of those dreams and discover some backstory for one of my books. I haven't written a lot of Evy Stone's backstory (the star of the book currently with my agent), but now I have a connection to a present-day character I never would have considered if not for the dream.

I love it when stuff like this comes together.

Thursday, June 05, 2008


I have so much to be thankful for today, and I don't just mean my wonderful agent.

On Tuesday, my store was robbed. Okay, so it's not as dramatic as all that. I was in the stockroom at the time, so these are the events as I was told: Store Manager (SM) was up at the cashstand, facing away from the front doors. Less than a week ago, we finally installed a doorbell. Doorbell rings. SM turns around. She seems the front door still swinging shut and a man, carrying a small wood end table that had been standing less than a foot inside the front door, booking it toward the parking lot.

She yells, rushes outside. Yells at him some more as he fast-walks across the street toward a waiting car. He doesn't look back, just gets in. Two women in SUV's (God bless them), try to cut him off. One gets the (incorrect, it turns out) license plate number. Vague description of the car. Bastard got away with the table. It was quite the experience. We even had a cute sheriff's deputy show up to file the official report. We didn't have much to give him and the cost of the table was a petty larceny charge, anyway. But still, to walk into a store and do that in broad daylight?!?!

The other thing I'm thankful for is electricity. Yesterday, a tornado touched down one county over from here (Northern Virginia, people!!! We don't get tornadoes!!!). 350,000 homes were without power today, with a high of ninety degrees. Two people I work with were without power last night and this morning. So yes, I'm thankful for refrigeration, my fans, and cold, running water. Also the power to write this, since my laptop needs to be charged.