Sunday, December 08, 2013

Help from the Interwebs...

Does anyone have a good substitute program for iWeb? Helping someone out, and the web page was designed with iWeb... which isn't being sold anymore.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

I’m becoming a sad middle-aged woman

It’s always interesting to see what other channels put up against sports - especially football. 
As a woman with eclectic tastes - both sports and nerdy - I’m grateful for the “last” button on my remote.
Yesterday, “Serenity” was on television. “Serenity” stars Nathan Fillion as the lead character, Mal. Mr. Fillion is great with a quip and a mean look. He’s a little more angry than Han Solo, partially because Mal was on the losing side of an intergalactic war. He’s got some issues. We all love the man with issues and a dark side.
Is it sad I know exactly when in the movie Mr. Fillion is not wearing his shirt? And that he is the reason I ignore my hubs for an hour each Monday night to watch Castle?
Today, during Round 2 of football, “17 Again” was on TV. I think Zac Efron should be in more movies - more comedic roles. He works well with Tom Lennon, of whom I am a huge fan. However, back to the sad old lady I’m turning into. 
Zac is adorable in this movie - and funny. I enjoy the beginning where he dances like MC Hammer (because it’s supposed to be 1989) and then tells off the school bully in the cafeteria in whatever year is supposed to be “today.” 
Maybe I’m a sucker for this movie and Zac because he is hitting on Leslie Mann, who is supposed to be my age in the movie. I’d be off kilter if Zac Efron was hitting on me whether it was for a part or not.
Oh, and they open the movie with Zac without his shirt.
See? Sad. And a tad bit creepy. Especially since I could be his inappropriately aged teen mom. Nathan Fillion - less creepy, he’s my age.
Another sad, sad middle-aged thing: when Law & Order was on this morning - I had seen all of them. No matter who was Jerry Orbach’s partner, no matter who was the assistant D.A. with Jack McCoy - I had seen all of them.
"Community" and "Psych" are in my Hulu queue, but I don’t think that counteracts the fact that I also like “Harry’s Law.” 
I think it’s because I’m Gen-X that I am a hot mess when it comes to my pop culture/TV preferences. And that I'm objectifying men. It’s definitely not because I’m middle aged.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

24 down, two to go

"The Girl Who Played with Fire," by Stieg Larsson.

I read the first book, "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," well more than a year ago. I think I still lived in Indiana. Yeah, that's a while ago. It took me awhile to get to the second book, even though my dad gave it to me right as I finished the first.

In speaking with a friend about The Hunger Games trilogy and this trilogy, we decided that while THG were fun to read, and the Dragon Tattoo books are better written. But it's like taking medicine. You can't put them down, but it's not a read you look forward to because it's dark stuff. The movie trailer for the English version staring James Bond calls it the "feel bad movie of the season" and boy, howdy, is that true.

However, it is quite nice to read a book with a strong and smart heroine. She's not a throw away character, not a bombshell, but pretty, and does things on her terms. Come to think of it, many of the women in the book are strong characters - Erika Berger and the female detective - it's the men that are dinosaurs. Many of them don't like "different" women.

This second book in the series is more about Lisbeth Salander and her background, which was alluded to in the first novel. I don't want to reveal too much about this book. You should read series for yourself.

Next up: I know you're going to be shocked when I write here that the next book is "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest." I do have to dig up one more book to get off my shelf. I did discover another John Irving book. I don't understand why I have so many. I like his writing, but good grief, I think I've read just about everything he's written at this point.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

23 down, three to go

I know I've been behind on writing about these, but it's been busy at work. Yeah yeah yeah, excuses excuses, let's get to the book. Which I read months ago. I know, I know. Plus my computer died, had to get a new one, yada yada yada, cry me a river, #FirstWorldProblems. I get it.

"The Dante Club," by Matthew Pearl is an excellent murder mystery. It's not your easy summer book - no, no. You need to bring your intellect to this one, and that's why I love it so.

"The Dante Club" is historical fiction with the main characters figures from history. I am not sure if the characters - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, James Russell Lowell and J. T. Fields - exhibited the character traits to which they were assigned, but I can fathom that they were.

Reading the interaction between these intellectual giants made me feel smarter - even though it was all Mr. Pearl's creation. Also, it's not necessary to have read Dante's "Inferno" and it's been decades since I have, but I followed along quite easily. Mr. Pearl provides exposition without making it tedious or seem as if you're an idiot for not having read Dante's work.

If you have a book snob in your family who does not want to read the latest James Patterson or believes that "The Hunger Games" is below them, first, point out something that they do that is low brow and their hypocrisy, then hand them this one. It's quite delightful.

Next up: The Girl Who Played with Fire. This is one I've had on my shelf for years, and since the New Years resolution is to get rid of books I've had, this one's a perfect choice.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

22 down, four to go

“Mockingjay,” by Suzanne Collins, is the third and final book in the Hunger Games trilogy.
I have mixed feelings about this book. There are some incredible twists and turns in this book - and I do not want to spoil them. There are a few scenes that are so jaw dropping I still think about them, and I finished the book more than two weeks ago.
This is a war book - there is a lot of fighting, strategy, propaganda, death. The revolution has gained strength, Katniss is suffering even more from Post Traumatic Stress disorder, and the love triangle - it get complicated. 
This blog post is going to be short. I don’t want to write anything that could give away the surprises this trilogy has to offer. You don’t even see some the plot turns coming in the first or second book. I’m not even going to comment on the Peeta/Gale triangle. 
Just go read the trilogy, send me an email when you’ve finished it, then we’ll talk.
The next book: “Dante Club,” by Matthew Pearl.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

21 down, five to go

Catching Fire” by Suzanne Collins is the the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy. And there are spoilers in the post, so if you haven’t read the book, stop reading this post now.

I checked out the book on Wednesday - returned it to the library on Thursday in exchange for the third book, which I also returned the next day. The librarian gave me an odd look each day.

The second book deals more with the effects of being forced to kill another person. And these are kids being forced to do this. Post Traumatic Stress disorder plagues the lead character Katniss Everdeen. She has constant nightmares, wants to be alone, and has moments of terror.

At the end of the last games, Katness and Peeta were both going to eat poison nightlock berries because they did not want to kill each other - which is an act of rebellion against the capital. As a result, Katniss has to convince the President Snow, ruler of Panem, that she is truly in love with Peeta. On her victory tour, she tries to go along with the program, but inadvertently incites rebellion wherever she goes.

In this book, Gale features more prominently, and a crackdown has begun in District 12 as a result, even though rebellion has flared up in many of the districts. To add more drama - it’s the Quarter Quell. It’s 75 years since “peace” was declared, and every 25 years the Quarter Quell is the Hunger Games with added horrors, and the reaping will be of previous winners from the districts. Basically, Katniss is headed back into the arena.

What stood out to me that one of the district winners was named “Cecelia” and she had three kids. Collins used this to show the power the Capital has over the people of Panem. She died, and left three young children as orphans.

Collins did an excellent job of making President Snow an insidious character. He is truly terrifying in the sense that a whisper is more terrifying than a scream.

The cliffhanger at the end of this book is even bigger than the first, so make sure you have the third book handy. You’re going to want to dive right in.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

20 down, six to go

The first time I had seen “Flowers for Algernon” was in seventh grade in the library at Glasgow Junior High. Maybe it’s a middle school now, I don’t know. The book was in a blue wire circular rack that spun around. It was rickety and was always in danger of falling over. Students took their chances browsing books in that display.

I picked it up, saw that it was about someone who was mentally retarded - (remember, this was 1985, but the book was first published in the early ‘60s) became really smart and then mentally deficient again. I checked it out, never got to it because I probably had a science report due and it was near the end of the year.

Years later, I saw it in a used bookstore with the same cover. (I showed the book to some friends and they all remembered the cover. I guess a bunch of us read it in junior high.) The book was made into a movie titled “Charly,” and the movie poster became the book cover. I’ve had this book on my shelf for decades, so I decided it was time to read it.

This is a heartbreaking book. I hope people aren’t as mean to the mentally handicapped as the “regular” people are in this book - but then at the end are kind of nice (we all love some redemption in our stories). Then, to be so smart and lose it all as Charlie does - and have maybe a small inkling about it - is so harsh. It seemed equally heartbreaking for those who did care about him to realize what he had gained and lost in a small amount of time. It does seem unfair.

The book also makes an interesting point that intelligence equals doucheness. Because he was so smart, he was jerk, which I think is unfair and true at the same time. I hate it when really smart people make you feel dumb - the same way people who think they’re cool make you feel uncool. Basically, anyone who acts superior or a total jerk deserves a smack.

Charlie’s mom is damaged herself. She couldn’t come to terms with having a child who wasn’t normal, thus sending her son off and doting on her daughter. Her desire to keep up appearances drove her marriage to divorce and a bit a madness. There are more support groups these days and people are generally accepting of differently-abled citizens, but I’ve never been good with meanness.

This is a quick read, but it’s not easy. I blew through two-thirds of the book - and then stopped. It was difficult to read because I dreaded the ending.

Next up: “Catching Fire,” the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy