Monday, July 20, 2009

Collaborative Fan Fiction or Madlibs Gone Wild?

Twilight fan fiction seems to be on all of my twibloggy friends’ minds lately. I haven’t really read any since I was on maternity leave, but there are some pretty good ones out there. All this fiction talking got me thinking, want to write some of your own fan fic but don’t think you have the writing skills or the time? What if we all pitched in to write some fan fic collaboratively ($5 word)? I’m too lazy to write one all by myself. Plus, the last things I wrote were a master’s thesis, PhD dissertation, and a few chemistry journal articles, all from my chemistry grad school research. Can we say boring? It was my research and it even made me yawn.

Let’s try a little experiment here on this blog. It’s going to be kind of like madlibs, except you don’t just fill in a word. You will help write chunks of the story. I’ll post a topic, the characters, the setting, and the first paragraph. You can write a portion that happens next in the story in the comments section. I’ll leave the comments open for a couple of weeks and we can see what kind of short story fan fic we generate. Will it be craptastic? PG-13? NC-17? Rated X? Who knows, but we’ll try. You can write as little or as much as you’d like, as often as you’d like. I just ask that you follow what has happened in the story before you.

First topic: Edward (vampire) and Bella (human) go to a drive in on a rare non-raining night in Forks. They see a double feature of the new Harry Potter movie and The Hangover. Bella’s POV.

Ok, begin. This is going to be strange. And tell your friends, this little experiment will be better (or more strange?) if more people to contribute to this. I don’t want to do this alone. I’ll start….

Finally we had a cloudless sky on a Saturday night. After raining every day for the last week, a dry night was very welcome. Edward decided that we should take full advantage of the abnormally dry weather and do something we usually don’t do. When he suggested we go to the drive in to see two new release movies, I couldn’t help but get a little excited by the prospect of being alone in a car with Edward, in the backseat, watching movies and snuggling closer.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince Review

Damn, Daniel Radcliffe is short.
Warning: I am not a "die hard" Harry Potter fan. I have not read the books nor do I intend to any time in the near future. This post contains spoilers about the movie Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and my sarcastic ass comments and opinions. If you are easily offended or take HP way too seriously, then do not get mad at me after you read below.

My sister, her spoiler-phobe boyfriend, and I went to see Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince on Friday night. I know, wait a minute, WTF was he doing there? If you read my post in June about how seeing the Harry Potter movies in the theater with just my sis was our ritual, you didn't hallucinate. Thinking ahead, my sister went ahead and bought two tickets to the movie earlier in the day. Read that, two. Our tradition was spoiled since the boyfriend came along even though he knows about our tradition. So dear husband, you are going to see New Moon with me and my sister when it comes out. She can't complain since her boyfriend went to this!

My sister wanted to get to the theater early. Getting there 45 minutes early was a good thing, that movie theater was already starting to get packed. We sat in a set of four handicap accessible seats, so we had an open seat by the boyfriend and tons of leg room. I'm 5'10" so leg room is mega important. The sis and I were super duper excited about seeing the New Moon preview on the cinema screen. Unfortunately that was a no go, they didn't show it.

I've mentioned before that I have a huge case of movie Tourettes. You should have seen Dawn of the Dead with me. I got so many dirty looks for laughing during that whole movie. It didn't help that my sister jumped at everything, which made me laugh louder. Anyway, I can't keep my comments to myself and I'm always asking what happened in the books since I haven't read them. The spoiler-phobe boyfriend gets pissed if you talk during the movie, so I had to use my sister as a buffer between us. The lights went down, I said WTF no New Moon trailer probably a little too loud and the movie started.

(I don't remember the whole sequence of events in the movie since I was talking a decent chunk of the time, so forgive me for stuff that's probably wrong.)

I'll just list the stuff I didn't like first

  1. That guy who plays Malfoy gets uglier and uglier every movie. Maybe it's the bleached hair, but yuck. And I know bad teeth is a British thing, but if the Luna hippie chick can fix Harry's nose, why can't Neville fix his damn teeth?
  2. Really, killing off Dumbledore? They're all freaking wizards, I'm sure Snape could have just used a spell that made everyone think he was dead. (And yes, my sister had to text me what happened in the last book so I now know that was all a ruse.) Then Dumbledore could go to Jamaica for a few years. Drink lots of drinks, get a tan.
  3. The nostrils on young Tom Riddle (Voldemort) drove me crazy. They were like two giant caves in a very smug and manipulative head.
  4. Lavender's (Ron's girlfriend) bandannas and 80s hair irritated me too. Unless you're riding bitch on a Harley, don't do the do-rag.
  5. At the end when Harry's chasing after Snape and the rest of the Ugly Crew, clearly magic wasn't working on anyone. If I made this movie, I would have had Harry chuck a sharp rock at Snape's head. He's expecting magic, not a rock. I bet Harry could have at least nailed him in the balls or something. And I totally would have used that wand to shoot electricity through all that water in the bathroom, frying Malfoy to a crisp. Or at least burning all of his hair off.
The things I loved:
  1. I really loved how the first half of the movie was so comedic. They really showed how angsty and uncomfortable being a teenager could be. I didn't laugh as hard as I did at The Hangover, but this movie was definitely pretty light.
  2. As the movie opened, I really liked how they went right into the death eaters messing with everyone. They didn't waste anytime getting right into the action.
  3. The movie was just gorgeous. The landscapes were especially breathtaking.
  4. Recognizing the actors from other movies. My sister didn't appreciate me saying "Hey look, there's Bridget Jones' mom and dad!" every time I saw them in the same scene together. Luckily, it only happened a couple of times. She didn't know that's who they were, so now she does thanks to me.
  5. I really loved how Harry acted after drinking the luck potion. There were definitely more adult jokes and themes in this movie. (Which gives me hope for Breaking Dawn being more adult, cough*juicyhoneymoonscenes*cough.) Also, in all of the quidditch scenes, much phallic imagery.

I really did like this movie and I'll have to watch it again when the dvd comes out. I'll borrow my sister's of course. I'm waiting for the complete series on blu-ray how ever many years from now. Oh and as a last note, if the Harry Potter Experience comes to a museum near you, go see it. It's at the Science and Industry Museum here in Chicago and it was pretty cool. Except you couldn't bring a stroller in. And I had to carry a sleeping baby through the whole damn thing.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Books, books everywhere, but not one to read!

I haven't read a non-vampire book since April of this year. Actually, my streak goes back to October when I read all of Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series. Yes, that's the series the HBO show True Blood is based on. Then I read them again right away. When you're plowing through a book series at warp speed, you miss a bunch of shit that you didn't digest the first time around. A second reading was much more leisurely and thorough. When the ninth book in this series, Dead and Gone, came out in May, I dropped whatever I was reading at the time to read this. I happened to be wading my way through Breaking Dawn at the time and due to my shaky post-partum mental state, I don't really remember much but disappointment with this ninth installment. I think I'll have to reread this before I make my judgement. Plus I'll still totally buy book ten next May.

I'm sure I read a few books in there that had to do with regular people, but the only one that really comes to mind is 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson. It was a really good book, it was young adult however. I certainly don't remember anything too racy in there(damn). The author is on twitter, and she's hilarious. I definitely recommend following her. She just announced on twitter that she's writing a sequel to that book, so I'll definitely buy that when it comes out. That book was definitely one where I needed to know what happened to the characters after the book ended.

I'm currently finishing up Jennifer Lancaster's fourth book, Pretty In Plaid. Her previous three books, Bitter is the New Black, Bright Lights, Big Ass, and Such a Pretty Fat, were hilarious. I've been working on this fourth book since it came out in May. I started reading it over Mother's Day weekend and just couldn't get into it. So I put it aside and finally finished Breaking Dawn. Then I got distracted by a new vampire series that I found through this website that let's you read the first chapters of tons of books for free, Book Daily. They are adding new books all of the time. I really like it since I can get a sense of the book before actually buying it.

That new vampire series I read is the Undead series by MaryJanice Davidson. This is a really fun series centered around a 30 year old woman named Betsy Taylor that gets killed by a car and wakes up a vampire. She is pretty self centered and super funny, so her exploits as the new "Queen of the vampires" are really hilarious. After I finished the last book available in that series, I picked up Pretty in Plaid again. Once I got through a few of the early years chapters the book got much better. The snarky, bitchy Jen we all know and love comes through and I'm really enjoying the book now.

Which brings me this dilemma, what do I read next? I don't plan on rereading the Twilight Saga books until October. I want those to be fresh in my mind when the New Moon movie comes out. I have about 50 books that I haven't read yet. Here's a picture of just one of the bookshelves in my office. I have two more that are this packed as well. I've read about half of the books on these shelves. Plus, I think there's another box of books around here somewhere from when we moved the office into our basement before baby C came along.

Any suggestions on what to read next? My sister got me a giftcard to Barnes and Noble for my birthday, so I'm totally prepared to go and buy something. Any new series that you guys have read that you've liked? Even standalone books would be good, since I'm waiting on David Rosenfelt's next book, New Tricks. Holy crap, that comes out on August 6. Leave your suggestions in the comments section.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Yes, I'm still around....and random thoughts

What can I say? I forgot how much of a drain my work is on me. Three months of maternity leave will definitely erase any bad mojo you have about work. I have plenty of ideas for posts on this blog, I just have so little time to actually type them up. When are they going to invent telepathy typing? Wait, I would probably make people's eyes bleed with the level of profanity that spews forth from my mouth. Another side affect of the job. The only way I've been somewhat keeping up on things is due to twitter on my blackberry. I usually am 8 hours behind on that thing, but I'm more up to speed with that than I am on most of the internet.

So what's next for this blog? I'll try to have a recap of all new True Blood episodes this weekend. I plan on doing a recap for each episode. They've been really good so far. Plus, I have some things planned for books and movies.

Oh, and how are the activities of the video gaming addict husband? He hasn't really played Call of Duty that much lately. He's partially replaced that game with Mafia Wars on Facebook. I preordered the next Call of Duty for him, so he better still be into it by November. However, I did take a nap with baby C on the couch last night for a couple of hours. What woke me up at 10 pm? The loud, annoying sound of gunfire. Maybe he still likes that game after all?

I found a companion photo to the underwear halter top. This picture is quite a bit cuter than the women's version. Baby C definitely needs that t-shirt below!

So that's pretty much my life. Get up with baby C sometime in the night, go to work, come home, snuggle with the baby. Repeat. Not too exciting!
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