Monday, May 29, 2006

Championship Mentality

My oldest daughter played travel-league soccer for the first time this past year. Before that she played recreational (rec) soccer, a very different animal:

Rec: no scoring, no standings
Travel: scoring and standings (which are likely most important to the parents :)

Rec: play local teams
Travel: play teams all over the region, half at home, half away

Rec: t-shirts
Travel: cool uniforms

She also faced going from eight on a field to eleven. From having "offense" and "defense" to positions like forward, sweeper, stopper. Lots of big changes.

The team had to adjust, too. Most of the girls had played together for a few years, but they had to accommodate some new players. In the fall, we did fairly well, landing in the middle of the pack at the end of the season.

This spring, we didn't do so well. We have had a solid defense, and a good offense that can move the ball but just...couldn't...score. We played with the ball. Tapped it toward the goal. Failed to show any aggression or hunger. You can't score if you don't shoot, and you can't win games if you don't score. So we didn't.

Not that the girls seemed to care. They still came off the field singing at the top of their lungs, "Everywhere we go, people want to know, who we are, so we tell them, we are the Thundercats, the mighty mighty Thundercats." They played hard because they love to play, and the end result didn't matter much.

So this weekend we played in a tournament. We had played all spring with a short team, most of the time with no subs, even a couple of games down a player. This weekend we had all our players plus a new player. So we had subs. We had our normal rotating offense. We could rest, and everyone could settle in to their positions.

But we also had Rachel.

Our players are tough. We don't give up on the ball, and are never afraid to get into the mix. We trust each other. The girls trust their teammates will be in position, and get the ball to them. We pass well, and we back each other up without fail. We're full of hustle. We can easily and consistently move the ball downfield. But then we always seemed to not know what to do with it.

Rachel is one of those players who's been blessed. She has extraordinary speed, and huge confidence. She's not afraid to take a shot, even if her positioning isn't quite right. And she, too, trusts her teammates, and knows how to use them.

The fabulous thing is not that Rachel is a better player so she won the games for us. The fabulous thing is that she elevated the play of the entire field. Our offense suddenly had that confidence, that aggression, that we'd been dying for them to develop. They fed Rachel the ball, accepted the ball from her, knew where to be when, and weren't afraid to rush the goalie for a rebound or a dribbler.

We had that championship mentality.

We scored. So we were suddenly ravenous to score again, and did everything we could to do it. We tied our first game, 2-2, and won the second, which put us in second place coming into our game this morning.

It was gonna be a tough one. They'd already lost to this team twice in the spring season, and they were undefeated both in the season and in the tournament. They had every reason to win again. But they didn't. We won 1-0 on the strength of our very solid defense (did I mention we have a good defense? {g}). That put us in the championship game.

Aside: Dakota is usually one of the last players off the field, but today of all days, she was one of the first. So we went home, and came back at 12:00 to prepare for the 12:30 game.

That they had moved up half an hour. They were already playing when we got there. I was mortified. They had told the parents that remained at the field, and told the parents who were in the parking lot, and thought they'd gotten everyone. We and one other family had already left. What a horrible start!

Didn't matter. The other team triple-teamed Rachel, and poured on all of their energy and drive and determination. And we won, 3-1. It was a sweet victory, and exactly what we needed. They will be different players come fall.

I can't wait.

Bragging Parent Edit: All the players had tremendous moments, whether it was stopping a goal, making perfect passes or steals, or assisting on a goal. But there was one moment I am particularly proud of. One of our defenders and the goalie were tangled up in front of the goal with an opposing player. It was the kind of situation where you just know the ball is going to squirt out and roll into the goal. But out of NOWHERE flew a defender, who came soaring in and punched the ball out to the sideline, where a teammate corraled it and passed it upfield. Of course, that player out of nowhere was Dakota, who often respects her teammates and stands back to let them do their job, but in this case recognized a need for an assist and did it. It was a beautiful sight.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Lost in a Different Kind of Way

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be a tease. At the time I posted those big red letters, I was absolutely certain that everyone in my blogosphere would have been watching Lost and would know exactly what I was talking about.

But now reason has returned, and I realize that probably wasn't the case. And I didn't post again right away, which is highly annoying.


If you are a Lost fan and watched the season finale and have any level of interest in my thoughts, you can keep reading, and I encourage you to post--I don't have nearly enough people in my life to talk about this with.

If you are none of the above, you probably want to stop here, unless the way I connect words, combined with my passion and occasional wit, compels you to keep reading. As I'm sure it must.

Oh, wait! Everyone read this, it's very self-deprecating and funny. And features Jim, who just adores being the center of attention on my blog.

Lost was starting, and he said something about, "Oh, great, two hours of your chatter" or something, he wouldn't use the word chatter, but it was along those lines. And I insisted I wasn't going to say a word. He tried to bet me, and that if I talked I had to bring up his laundry (and trust me, that's a penance that would keep me working all night). I wouldn't take the bet, not because I didn't have confidence in myself, but because there was no corresponding prize on my end besides smugness. And I could have that anyway.

The first minute of the recording is the commercials before the show starts. Then we have about 30 seconds of recap, that this time segued perfectly into new footage. So we're probably about 17 seconds into the new episode when...

"Oooh, Sayid without a shirt."

Yeah. I lasted 17 seconds. But that was okay, because really, at the time I made the assertion, I didn't know they would be showing something THAT shocking and surprising.

And then Sawyer took off his shirt, which is more amazing, but not surprising. He does that as often as possible. :)

Okay, now on to the show.

I don't know where to start. Man, so much happened. I'll just comment as thoughts come back to me.

Claire and Charlie! I couldn't believe she kissed him, but it was a great way to end that portion of the show. Finally, maybe we'll have Good Charlie back again.

I can't believe Claire would even CONSIDER injecting her child with that unknown vaccine. They've been on the island "60, 65 days" according to Locke, and NO ONE HAS GOTTEN SICK. Doesn't that debunk the whole sickness fear? Though they didn't show her actually using it, so maybe she wouldn't/won't/didn't.

Love Desmond. More Desmond, please, more more more. He's a great character, so complex and appealing. I have a feeling he's one of the more noble characters, as far as his past goes. Maybe not, maybe he's more like Lincoln on Prison Break (guilty of all kinds of things except the one he's in jail for). But you all know I'm a sucker for a good love story, and it appears Lost may ride on one!

Drove me nuts wondering how we knew Pen, until I realized, YESTERDAY, that she recently played Charlie's old flame on Numb3rs . So I have to watch the show again without that distraction.

Libby gave Desmond the boat. (Who's David?)
Desmond saw Penny at the stadium where he also met Jack.
Kelvin rescued Desmond from the beach and was also one of Sayid's handlers way back when he was embarking on his "tortuous" journey.
Who was Kelvin's partner? Have we seen him before?

Total tangent: Connections are one of my favorite parts of the show, which is why I'm very interested in the new show Six Degrees this fall. :)

Let's see...when Michael and Walt left in the boat, I expected him to get out to sea, steer on a bearing of 325, look up...

And be staring at the island.

Jack and Kate and Sawyer! What will happen with them! They can't be considered "good" ones, so why haven't they killed them? Unless they are so resourceful and determined they want them to join their group.

Desmond and Locke and Eko? What became of them when the EMP went off? I know they're not dead, they just can't be. Three of their most intriguing characters, all at once? No way.

Speculation: The pneumatic tubes. Was there ever a direct purpose, or was it always going out into nothing? I didn't see any signs of a building or anything ever being there. And if none of those carriers ever went BACK to The Pearl, how did they get new carriers? How much of the Dharma Initiative was experiment, how much was real, how recently did it "end," did it ever really end, where is Dharma now?

People keep asking how Danielle never encountered the Others in her 16 years on the island, but I think they are very crafty and made it very important that she not find them. She also has a healthy superstition and respect for certain barriers, so maybe she hasn't ventured far enough or banished her fear enough to stray across their paths. It's easier to avoid one person than it is to avoid 42 plus a dozen. Or maybe it's something else entirely and it will be another shocker when we discover it.

So, Desmond took down the plane! If that is electromagnetism, where does it get discharged to when they push the button? Why can't they set up a mechanism to do it automatically if they had the technology to create it in the first place (because I don't profess to be any kind of an expert, but you can't have electromagnetism without applying electricity to a magnet, so it had to be done deliberately)? EMPs usually affect technology but not humanity (or so I learned from movies like Ocean's Eleven {g}), so everyone should be okay after the "blast" but why wasn't the boat's engine killed, a la War of the Worlds?

What thoughts/questions/ideas are spinning through YOUR head?

Thursday, May 25, 2006


More on this in a little while.

Based on this, I'm running a little experiment.

I'm inviting anyone to post the following in the comments. I will buy one book per paycheck and review them here. Promise: I will get through them all, eventually. Warning: I will be totally honest in my review, though not mean.

Okay, what to post:
Your name and/or pseudonym
A ONE LINE description of your book/story.
ONE SENTENCE about why I should read it.
A link to purchase (publisher direct preferred, Amazon is okay as a second choice)

Readyyyyyy...... GO.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Holy Crap


No More Alias

This is kind of going to be stream-of-consciousness. Be warned.

No major surprises with this finale, but then, how could there be? They'd kind of done them all. I would have been happier if they'd brought back Will for one final flashback, but oh, well, can't have it all.

I liked Nadia much better dead. LOL

I was going to be furious if Jack died. Especially after he was shot. I was prepared for a substandard revelation, like a non-dialogue scene where Sydney is told and collapses, or music-over montage of him being airlifted and undergoing CPR or something and dying that way.

But then, he didn't just die. He wasn't a victim. He went out on his own terms, taking Sloane with him (mostly--he hadn't resurfaced in that flash-forward, so I'm sure he was pinned there for eternity, quite fitting). So I couldn't be mad.

And they had the "I love you" moment that was so important to the arc of Syd and Jack's relationship that was the core of the whole show.

I loved that Isabelle was doing the puzzle at the end. Unsurprising, but it had to happen. I kinda wanted Sydney to see her doing it, but liked the mild suspense and foreboding and bittersweetness when she didn't.

I loved that they weren't completely out of the game, and that Sydney was the one being called back. She is the ultimate kick-a$$ heroine and always will be. True balance in that character. Heart and strength.

I loved that Sark reverted to a low-brow accent in the stress of being about to commit genocide, and that he was conflicted but said straight out that he just always wanted to wind up on the winning side. It was almost as good a moment as when Sydney hit him and smashed his face into the bar in the earlier episode.

I only have a few minor complaints. Irina's finale wasn't as well-rounded as it could have been. I buy that she always needed power, but ICBMs? That seemed a little extreme, even for her, and her softer side was completely eliminated in this episode, which I suppose was in character becuase her "softer side" in the past had still always been to further her own ends. I still felt something was missing. Though the fight between Syd and her mom was excellent, it was cliché for her to go after the artifact and die chasing it.

The other complaint was the travel/time factor. Okay, they always played fast and loose with travel realities. But how far is Ixtapa from LA? Seems like it would have been too far for Sloane to go from there to threaten Sydney and back there, and then for the APO team to get there in time to save Rachel and Marshall.

Oh, but back to the love! How awesome was Marshall? He always had that core of strength that he didn't usually have to test, but when it was tested, it was always diamond-hard. And then his gushes over Rachel's escape: "cool like Empire Strikes Back." He's always been the most consistent, most perfect character.

And Carrie! How awesome was she? God, seasons four and five would have been SO much better with her on the show instead of Nadia or Rachel.

Bottom line? Not tautly suspenseful like Prison Break, not mind-bending like Lost, but satisfying enough to make me happy, exciting enough to make me sad to see it go.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


I hate generalizations. If someone makes a sweeping generalization with no qualifiers, I find myself arguing the opposing view, no matter how valid the generalization may be as a whole.

So tonight I was reading an article by Jacqui Wilson about "Tough Chicks: Heroines in Today's Market." It's an article that interested me more than a little, as I write tough chicks. And it was very well done.

But there was a "however" in there that bugged me. It talked about responsibility to not portray a heroine unrealistically, i.e. doing things that can't really be done. Because apparently, if I watch Sydney Bristow it will make me think I can do a tornado kick to the head.


First, I resent the implication that I, or any of my readers, is stupid enough to read some action in a book and decide that even though I'm nothing like that heroine, I can do the same things without the training or specialized circumstances or, hey, the fictional world in which she's portrayed.

Secondly, I resent the implication that no man watching Tom Cruise dangle out of a speeding car would think he could do the same thing, but a woman watching Lara Croft rappel upside down from the top of a cliff would think "oh, hey, let's go do that on Saturday."

An author has a lot of responsibility to her reader. Thinking for her isn't one of them.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The End of Alias

Tomorrow is the Alias series finale, and for any show that has a group of dedicated fans, those are very sad words.

For me, the appeal of the show can be summed up in one bit of a scene last week. Sydney was deep undercover, making contact with her boss/father. She asked where he was.

"I'm with Isabel."

Actually, he was standing in his impeccable suit, staring at his granddaughter as if she might be a spy from a rival agency.

"She's smiling. Apparently, I'm funny."

So much is said in those words. Jack Bristow is the most humorless character on the show, yet the way Victor Garber plays him cracks me up every week.

"She's never done that before. That's a first."

All the things Syd's missed out on in her life are in those few wistful words. She doesn't want to miss them the way her father did, and that's indicative of the heart her character brings. Sydney is such an effective warrior because she cares so much about everything and everyone.

"Of which there will be many."

Brisk yet tender, this line evokes the balance Jack and Sydney have sought in the last five seasons. They went from being people who ached for a relationship they'd never been able to build, despite their intense love, to a father and daughter who finally know who the other is. Now Jack is not only someone willing to DO anything for his family, but someone willing to SAY it, too.

The relationship between Syd and Vaughn has been the focus of much of the show and much fan discussion, and the outcry when Vaughn's character was removed was huge. But I assert that the show, which did suffer this season (not only from Vaughn's absence but also from the pregnancy, the addition of yet another whiny, ineffective female and a male we never got to know, and the loss of Weiss), would have been a disaster without Jack Bristow.

I tried to avoid spoilers about the finale, but I did catch one that seemed to be saying someone was going to die, and speculation that it might be Jack. I will be extremely disappointed if they pull a father sacrifice/deathbed declaration of love, especially if Jack is sacrificing himself instead of Vaughn. It was barely acceptable in Armageddon, eye-rolling in Poseidon, and will positively ruin the show if it ends Alias.

Feel free to post your own disagreements, elaborations, or other thoughts on this upcoming finale!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Keeping the Internet Equal

What is a more equalizing entity than the Internet?

Everyone has access to it, whether via home computers, laptops, mobile phones, library computers, cybercafés, schools--no matter who you are or how much money you have, there is a way you can use the Internet.

The Net is blind. It has no idea who you are when you access it. Pages load just as fast for you as for everyone else (everyone who is using the same technology, of course). No one sees your color or your gender or your spiked hair and lip ring. We can all, in the U.S., read the same information.

The blind part will always be true. The equality part may not. Major telecommunications companies are threatening the Internet as we know it. I recently signed a petition and contacted my senators. Here's a response from Rick Santorum, which describes the bill and its purpose very well:

As you may know, on March 2, 2006, Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon introduced S. 2360, the Internet Nondiscrimination Act of 2006. This bill would prohibit the interfering with, blocking, degrading, altering, modifying or changing traffic on the Internet. S. 2360 would also prohibit the creation of a priority lane (tiered Internet system) where content providers can buy quicker access to customers, leaving those who do not pay the fee in the slow lane. The Internet Nondiscrimination Act of 2006 aims to ensure that network operators can continue to protect subscribers against unwanted spam, spyware, viruses, pornography and other programs. S. 2360 also provides provisions to help network operators respond to emergencies and court-ordered law enforcement needs.

S. 2360 has been referred to the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation. As I am not a member of this committee, I will not have the opportunity to vote on this bill in its current form. However, should this bill come before the full Senate for a vote, I will be sure to keep your views in mind.

That last line makes me mad, because it could be interpreted to mean "bills change by the time they get to the floor so I can't comment yet" but it could also be interpreted to mean "I'm against it."

Wanna learn more? Wanna get involved, so it doesn't take forever for this page to load because your neighbor is surfing Target and they paid?

Check out the Save the Internet Coalition, where you can see Moby and REM come out in support of the bill, and find easy ways to support it yourself.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

That's Why

I've been lucky. No one has ever asked me why I write trash, or when I'm going to write a real book, or pooh-poohed romance. The one time someone referred to romantic fiction as trash, she was expressing delight to find out that I write it.

But there's still, in the back of my mind, a part of me that feels a need to justify my choice of career. It's a frivolous career. It isn't a noble minimum-wage job I work hard at just to feed my kids. It's not a noble service career where I'm working hard at a low-paying job to help abused wives and children, or applying my medical prowess in countries ravaged by civil war. It's not even writing to expose the truths of human existence.

I write to entertain, and there is nothing more frivolous and meaningless than entertainment.

But is it, really?

I was just listening to The Signal, a podcast dedicated to getting more Firefly TV and/orSerenity movies made. The 5/3 episode contained a conversion story that is unique beyond bearing.

Most of us Browncoats have similar converstion stories. I missed most of the TV show because of Fox screwing around with the schedule and not airing the pilot and blah blah blah. I saw The Train Job when it aired in 2002 and The Message on the Sci Fi Channel right before the movie came out, and they were okay episodes. I saw the movie, and immediately, the next day, bought the TV show DVDs. I loaned them to friends after watching all the episodes but was sorry I did because I wanted to rewatch them, and that has never happened with any other TV show. I bought nine copies of Serenity when it came out on DVD and gave it as Christmas and birthday gifts, converting at least half of those people to Browncoats.

Anyway, this man on the podcast had a similar, though less immediate conversion. He was in the midst of it--had achieved movie fandom but hadn't watched more than the first episode of the TV show--when he got word his three-year-old niece was dying.

Through their vigil and in their subsequent grief, he shared Firefly with his middle-aged, Hispanic aunts and uncles when they needed relief from the unimaginable pain of watching a child die.

And that's why I write what I write. Sure, I want people to read my books even when their lives are happy and going well. I want to entertain purely for entertainment's sake. But I want to write books, too, that will help people of all ages and races escape from the stresses that life brings us. If I can ease one person's pain for one day...well, isn't that just as noble as feeding the poor?

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Double Feature

It's been a while since I got to a movie, so tonight I invoked Mother's Day Weekend priviledges and went to two.


Let's start with the mild disappointment first.

I didn't have high expectations for Poseidon, and it was a good thing. The movie was actually really well done. The effects were nearly seamless, even though I knew most of the disaster was CGI. The tension was consistent, with a few breaks so we could breathe, followed by long sequences of urgency. There were enough deaths that you never knew what was going to happen, and with one exception, the acting was excellent.

Mia Maestro was the exception. Some of you are quite familiar with her as Nadia from Alias. She was even more annoying and worthless in this movie. It was the role she was given, and she played it fine. I just don't care for her, and the role combined with the way she acts was far too grating for me.

The problems with her role really hang on the major problem with the movie as a whole, and that was the writing. I wish big-flick producers, directors, and screenwriters would get that through their stupid heads. All the good acting and expensive effects in the world can't overcome a poor script.

And this one was poor. Every disaster movie cliché was present and accounted for, the biggest being the disapproving dad/defiant daughter/earnest fiancé triangle, which played out so exactly like the same triangle in Armageddon that for a minute I thought Emmy Rossum was Liv Tyler.

Then there were plot devices. The number of explosions got to be a bit much. The reactions of certain characters, particularly Josh Lucas's, over Mia Maestro's death were way unbelievable and out of character. At that point I started rolling my eyes a lot. Jacinda Barrett did a nice job as the single mom, but for some stupid, unexplained reason her son took off--despite clinging to her for the last 45 minutes of film and with no good reason--and got himself into a locked room with no way to get to him, which was totally impossible and ruined the drama of the moment, which again was a total cliché. Put the kid in jeopardy so the hero can be a Hero.

The most courageous performance was given by Fergie of the Black-Eyed Peas, who died with smeared, caked, ugly stage makeup that she probably would never ever EVER be seen in if she weren't getting paid for it.

Okay, now on to the good movie.

Have I ever mentioned that I worship at the altar of JJ Abrams?

The man is not without his missteps, of course, he's only human. But I just adore a man who can write kick-ass women so damned well. And believably. When Michelle Monaghan kicks ass at the end of M:I 3 (the first part of my double feature), it's very true to her character. She doesn't suddenly turn into Sydney Bristow.

Who I missed. In the beginning, when they did the frequently used Alias device of starting at the end and jumping backwards, and Tom Cruise was pleading with the bad guy, I longed for Syd's wryness, her "E. M. E. T. I. B. Now reverse it." But I got over it.

I'm not a fan of Tom Cruise. Not for years. But I do like the kinds of movies he does (War of the Worlds being the brightly glaring exception). I see them despite him, and I usually grudgingly admire his performance. He's a good actor who has just gone insane in real life. I can't appreciate his arrogance and stupidity in some of the things he's said and done over the last year, but he did a good job with this film.

M:I 3 was well worth seeing as long as you're not the kind of person who can't ever suspend his or her disbelief. There's a lot in this film that could never happen, but it's not ridiculous stuff. The story as a whole is pretty tight, with no glaring holes or issues. I was surprised by the twists, some more than others, and greatly amused by Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ving Rhames. I loved Kerri Russell's role and wished it was bigger. Michelle Monaghan was far too creepily like Katie Holmes, but I got past that, too.

Some random thoughts:

Cool stunts. I want to do them.

Tom Cruise is the most amazing runner I've ever seen. He has this really straight-backed, machine-like movement, with flying arms and legs like pistons. No extraneous movement sideways or up and down. It's all oiled.

Jim, don't read the following paragraph, please, for the sake of our marriage

How hot is Jonathan Rhys Meyers? I'm moving Match Point to the top of my Netflix queue. I loved him in Bend it Like Beckham, with his gorgeous eyes and lilting accent, but he hasn't done much since. In this movie, he's pure melt-in-your-mouth beefcake. He beat Tom in the shirtless contest hands down.

Favorite line: "You did that? Huh." Or wow, or hm, or some innocuous word I can't remember. But it was a very nice touch.

Bottom line: Poseidon, C, save your money and Netflix it; M:I 3, A-, get there

Friday, May 12, 2006

12 of 12

I read this guy's blog, and he came up with this cool idea where he has people take 12 photos on the 12th of each month and post them, and then he links to us. This is my first time doing it, and thought it a good idea given that it's my last 12th at my current job. Next month I'll post what my new job as a full-time fiction author looks like. (Speaking of lives changing, congratulations to Chad Darnell for landing his dream job!)

Blogger's driving me nuts, it uploaded all my photos out of order, and their movement is not cooperative. So here's my day in a jumble:

The long walk to bed. I dread taking it.

My writing buddy.

The view from my desk, around noon

NOT my self-portrait. I crashed hard against a wall, after a rug slid out from under me, around 4:40 this afternoon. This was taken about 4:42. Look NEXT to the picture, and you can see the nasty bruise better on my pasty shin.

Any day I get copies of my books is a good day.

6:00 p.m. soccer game with kindergarteners and first-graders. Always pure entertainment (and my kid, second from right, scored three goals)

I love 7:15 p.m. in the spring. Driving with the moonroof open. Bliss.

My morning commute. I took this to make Chad jealous, 'cause he's in LA and I doubt most of his highways ever look like this.

The crystal clock was a wedding gift, so even though it's clearly broken, I can't get rid of it.

What I take to work.

First duty, when the animal-feeding-in-the-morning kid is on her class trip to Williamsburg.

I loved this image, with the dew on the flower. Might make it my new desktop image.

Self-portrait, 'cause I painted my toenails this morning to match my shoes, and as my youngest said, "that's just not like you."

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

OMG I'M SO HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Remember back here when I posted that my TiVo screwed up and didn't record Prison Break? Apparently, no one cares about the suffering I go through when an obsession is interrupted.

Remember when I called Fox The Big Screw-Up Network? I totally take it back. They still get to keep the name for their treatment of Firefly, which is paying them back for their betrayal by being their #5 DVD title for the first quarter of 2006, two and a half years after it was released. So there.

Well, one obsession has fed another. While reading Whedonesque, a Joss Whedon (creator of Firefly) web log, it mentioned that Firefly episodes are now available on iTunes.

'Cause Fox is now participating in iTunes.


I actually screamed. I am now the proud owner of "Tonight," the episode of Prison Break that I missed. Which I can't watch tonight because I have to get up at 4:45 tomorrow morning and should have been in bed an hour ago. But I'm TOTALLY there tomorrow night. Or here. In front of my computer. Watching TV. Heh.

Are two totallys in one blog post too many?

Monday, May 08, 2006

Music Dork

I'm a music dork.

Not a music geek, which would be someone with a strong interest in music and a freaky ability to name that tune AND the artist AND the album in six notes or less. Or whatever.

No, I'm a music dork in that I like some songs, and may or may not know who sings them, and I own a few CDs, and that's it. I don't recognize titles when people say them (or post them on their blogs), even though they are probably songs that cycle through my head all night.

I have an iPod, but probably 75% of the memory is non-music: podcasts and audiobooks. Much of the music is movie soundtracks, especially scores with no lyrics. I was listening on Shuffle this morning and thought it would be amusing to share a sample of what's on my iPod:

Save Me, Remy Zero, Smallville: The Talon
This song was my constant companion through February and March. Couldn't get it out of my head. Maybe because of the four episodes of Smallville I was watching every night.

Anduril, Howard Shore, The Lord of the Rings: The REturn of the King
I own all three soundtracks, probably the first instrumental ones I ever bought. LOTR, as many of you know, was my first BIG obsession.

It'll All Work Out, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Elizabethtown, music from the movie
I didn't know how much I liked Tom Petty until this soundtrack.

C Roll, Nancy Wilson, Elizabethtown original movie soundtrack
Nancy Wilson is the wife of Cameron Crowe, writer/director of Elizabethtown, and formerly of the band Heart. But that's not me being a music geek. That's me being a movie geek.

Telephone Waltz, Nancy Wilson, Elizabethtown
Hm. I don't like it when it doesn't shuffle more variously. Let's move on.

Don't Be Stupid (You Know I Love You), Shania Twain, Come On Over
My one and only country album. I hate country, except Shania Twain. And an occasional individual tune that's catchy.

Going For A Ride, David Newman, Serenity
This is from the second sequence in the movie Serenity, and it's very evocative, as all the music on this soundtrack is.

Song Sung Blue, Neil Diamond Collection
There you go. Proof. Total dork.

Big Bar Fight, Greg Edmonson, Firefly Original TV Compilation
This is from the digital downloads Fox sold last fall in response to Browncoat demand. I have not yet bought the actual CD, which has additional music.

Bad Day, Daniel Powter, Daniel Powter
No idea where I got this one. Maybe a freebie from iTunes song of the week.

The interesting thing is that when I did Shuffle this morning, I got a Signal podcast and a piece of a Harry Potter book, and this time, I got duplicates of songs from the same albums, and some songs that I already listened to this morning. I don't use shuffle all that often, but if it is going to be this repetitive, I guess I won't!

So, how dorky are you?

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Let Them Drink Milk

They were talking on the radio this morning about how Coke and Pepsi have apparently agreed not to sell sugared sodas in about 87% of the country's public and private schools. But they will still sell diet sodas and "juices" (that are usually sugar water) and bottled waters.

One of the personalities said, "well, they have to drink something."

Excuse me?

Hel-LO! Water fountain! That's all I had growing up, and all I needed. Except the MILK they sold at lunch.

One of them said, "shouldn't it be up to the kids?"

Obviously, he's the one who doesn't have any kids.

My children rarely drink soda, and when they do, it's non-caffeinated. My oldest starts middle school next year, where they do have vending machines, and do I believe for a minute that she won't choose to drink Coke if it's available? Not even for a second.

She'll make the same choices I did when I was her age. I hated the school lunches, so I bought Fritos on credit on the way home instead. My mother used to talk about how I'd have a bowl of broccoli for my afternoon snack--that's because I felt so guilty about eating junk all day. The only reason I wasn't as fat then as I am now is because I walked two miles to and from school every single day.

We do all we can, as good parents, to teach our kids which choices are the good ones. They won't always make them, especially when the consequences are so far down the line, they haven't even lived that long yet. So please. Keep the vending machines away.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

It's a HOLY CRAP night all the way

First, Alias.

Didn't blow me away the way Chad Darnell said it would. But Sloane killing Nadia accidentally was a surprise. I was more interested in the glow of the Rambaldi symbol on page 47 right before he yanked it from the fire. But I knew he had to go evil again--fully evil, not justifiably motivated by the love of his daughter. He's gonna die.

So then Rene gets killed, and that was a bummer. I'd just been thinking how much I liked her, and how I wished they'd do another season because Tom is just growing on me, and Rene is cool, and I want Will back one episode wasn't enough how can they do that to me.


Holy crap.

Lost. Didn't see it coming. Not a whit. Loved that Ana Lucia got herself a piece of Sawyer, Mr. Lounging Like a Playgirl Model (not that I know what a Playgirl model would look like). But oooohhhhhh, Michael! How could you kill Ana Lucia!

I guess now we know why it was no big deal for Michelle Rodriguez to turn herself in for a jail sentence.

So I'm sitting there with my mouth hanging open, going "Holy F***ing Crap" over and over, and Libby walks in to see Michael with the gun--and then SHE gets blown away!

And Michael shoots himself in the arm!

Anyone who believes Michael is not acting under the instructions of the Others, please stand up. Now go away. You're not worthy of the show.

It's obvious he's under orders or something. Walt's being threatened, or they told him they'd let him go or something, if he tells this really fake story about what the Others' camp is like and who is there, and does whatever he has to do. I thought something was odd about the way he launched right into his "I found them" tale as soon as he woke up. And given what we've seen and heard in past shows, I knew his story was off. But I thought maybe they'd misled him.

They say "she's dead" in the previews, so maybe Libby can make it. Maybe the blanket deflects the bullets enough that her vital organs aren't too damaged or something. Poor Hurley.

Oh, speaking of shocking shows. My TiVo went on the fritz and didn't record Prison Break, and since Fox is still The Big Screw-Up Network and is not associated with iTunes, I can't get the May 1 episode. Anyone who has it recorded and would be willing to send it to me, please let me know. I'll pay for the tape and shipping, of course.

And now, a moment of silence for the four deaths and the impending end of the TV season...

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


I'm revising a book for about the third or fourth time. I wrote it targeting Bombshell (one revision on initial creation), then rewrote it as a single title (full revision, then read-through). It was rejected by the agent to whom I submitted it, but revisions were suggested so I did those. Now I'm doing the final read-through to make sure those revisions flow and are consistent.

And oh, lord, the typos.

I pride myself on clean copy. When I proof my galleys, I tend to find only a couple of errors, and usually they're not typographical. So I'm mortified at feel instead of fell, and the extra "the" and way too many more.

"So what?" you say. You're proofing now. No one saw those.

Yeah, you'd think. But no, these errors all seem to be in text that existed in the very initial form of the manuscript. No WONDER it keeps getting rejected!