Thursday, January 31, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #7

Thirteen search terms that led people to my blog:

1. julie doe -- Not a surprise.

2. copyright infringement -- I've blogged about this several times, so again not a surprise.

3. rose desrochers -- Rose is one of my two favorite net psychos. I get a rather large spike in traffic when I blog about her.

4. link: +"rose desrochers" -- I included this one because I thought in funny (ironic?) that someone else besides me would think to link Rose's name to wikipedia's definition of a narcissist.

5. Silhouette Bombshell -- I've written about this now defunct line several times.

6. bad romances offended -- I wish I had more time to continue to snark on bad romance, but life keeps me busy with other things these days.

7. what makes a bad boss -- "The Apprentice" used to amuse me to no end. Watching a group of Type A twenty-somethings trying to work together to achieve a common goal. Hehe.

8. photos of yellowstone in september -- Yep, I posted a few photos last year.

9. jensen ackles -- I post about this guy once and get a bunch of hits. He must be more popular than I thought.

10. tear drop campers -- This kicked searchers into a snark about a irritating romance novel. Probably not what they were looking for.

11. speed tables for traffic control -- Don't even get me started on the stupidity of this.

12. Shop Vac Hydroplane -- I have absolutely no idea why this took people to my blog.

13. narcissistic bitch named Julie -- This one's my favorite.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Retelling Tales

A couple of month's ago I discovered this e-book It's a retelling/re-imagining of the story of Cinderella. (I can't remember now just how I found it.) I've also read "Yellow Brick Roadkill" by Michelle Rowen, which found via a link on Lynn Viehl's blog. I thought was very imaginative and funny. Guess which story this is a retelling of...

Both of these got me thinking, and I've started working a different version of the Snow White tale. In my version, Snow White is not a dim-witted child who falls for several tricks and relies on a handsome stranger to rescue her. I like strong heroines, so the challenge here was to keep enough of the original story and themes to make it recognizable and yet make Snow a smarter, stronger, more resilient and ultimately more sympathetic character.

Oh yeah, and there's sex and violence in it, too. Heh.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #6

Thirteen Injuries I’ve Gotten from Thirteen Years of Martial Arts

1. Broken bone in my hand – I blocked a round house kick with my hand. Big mistake, and the normal fight adrenalin didn’t mask the pain.

2. Pulled hamstring – My opponent tried a single leg take down on me, and I hate, hate, hate being thrown, even onto mats. I tense up and fight the movement…and things like this happen.

3. A black eye – Kinda minor, but it’s only happened to me once. He jabbed, he crossed, I didn’t block hard enough.

4. A jammed toe – Sparring injury. I didn’t even feel it until it was all over, and I looked down at a purple toe.

5. Another jammed toe – An escape from the mount gone awry. One of the new guys didn’t realize just how much stronger than me he was. He felt very bad about it.

6-9. Multiple small tears of my left meniscus – A small pop, a small pain, a few days of swelling. Several times.

10. Partially torn left ACL – A sparring injury, and my worst martial arts related injury.

11. Sprained knee (the left one again) – My cousin tried a karate move on me. Remember what I said about hating to fall?

12. Sprained thumb – A lapel choke gone bad. My grip slipped.

13. Cracked bone in my foot – I took an elbow to the top of the foot during a speed-kicking drill; that spot was tender for almost a year.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

6. ann

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Snarking on "Devour" (the movie)

(Warning: long post)

This weekend, I watched a little direct-to-video horror movie called “Devour”. The opening sequence was done…well…carelessly enough that I immediately pulled out my trusty steno pad – the one I usually use when reading and reviewing books – and started taking notes.

Our POV character is Jake, a college student played by Jensen Ackles (who really needs a new agent/manager/career-advice-giver/whatever because he is much better than this material). Jake and his two friends, Conrad and Dakota, start playing a sinister on-line game called The Pathway, and bad things begin to occur. Conrad and Dakota both take revenge on others who have wronged them and then mutilate and kill themselves. Conrad also signed Jake up for the game, and Jake is having strange waking dreams and is worried about his own future. Meanwhile, he meets a woman through his job at a computer store and with whom he starts a relationship. Jake has to figure out what is going on to save himself.

The movie was disjointed. In the first half, Jake is kind of a hapless and confused character to whom things just happen. Then in the second half, he starts actually doing something, and the movie turns into an episode of Supernatural…except without the snappy dialogue.

My urge to snark the movie is overwhelming, so… (Warning! Spoilers follow.)

What caused my search for paper products after the opening scene? Jake is out in the woods hunting, carrying only a rifle and wearing a camo jacket. Not a speck o’ orange in sight. And less than five minutes on Google confirmed that yes, Washington does require hunter orange to be worn. But jeez, it’s also common sense. Jake is not carrying any kind of pack with the various useful items one needs while hunting – knife, rope, water to wash your hands off with when you’re done gutting the animal, emergency provisions, etc. It would have been really easy (read: cheap) to make this scene look more realistic. I had to watch it twice to make sure that the opening wasn’t part of one of Jake’s waking dreams (it’s not).

During the opening sequence, Jake shoots a cat...which snarls at him before it charges him. Unfortunately, in the real world, cats don't announce their presence. They quietly stalk their prey and knock them down, usually from behind. Read any account of a cat/human encounter in the wild. The first quote from the survivor usually, "I didn't even hear it coming." (I had considered not mentioning this faux pas, but then while looking for a link about cougar attacks, I found out that Vancouver -- where this movie was filmed -- actually has one of the highest rates of cougar attacks on humans in North America. So someone should have known better.)

In a scene a bit later, Jake and Conrad are smoking dope. At least, I think they are smoking dope. The dialogue seems to indicate that, but the actors (and this is one of the rare times you will hear me criticize Jensen Ackles’ acting, because I think he’s generally quite talented) were doing such crappy job of it, that I leaned over to my sister and said, “Aren’t they supposed to be smoking dope?” Here’s a dope smoker: inhale, hold breath for 5-10 seconds, exhale, talk, inhale, hold breath for 5-10 seconds and talk in a really pinched voice if absolutely necessary, exhale. Here’s a cigarette smoker and our actors: inhale, exhale, talk, inhale, exhale, talk. It's a very distinctive difference.

The relationship between Jake and Dakota is unclear. I think it could be described as “friends with privileges”, since Jake apparently has no qualms starting a relationship with the mystery woman shortly after having sex with Dakota (in a rather awkwardly staged scene IMO).

Aah, the mystery woman, Marisol. Jake meets Marisol when she brings her laptop in to be repaired. Jake extracts a piece of red wax from computer, and Marisol says “Oh, I burn candles when I read tarot cards.” Of course. Why use a $5 plate as a candle holder when you can use $800 laptop instead?

Conrad shoots two people in a dorm one night, and the first person to find the bodies the next day is Jake. The next day. No one heard the gun shots? In a dorm?

A character mentions burying an animal’s remains, when he clearly means burying the internal organs and other items removed during the process of field dressing an animal.

In a scene where Jake confronts his drunk father, the dialogue is right out of an After School Special (how many remember those? I think I just dated myself). Meaning it’s cliché and predictable.

Marisol finds a dismembered finger in…anyone, anyone…a cup of french fries. **cough**The Hitcher**cough. I’m not sure whether to call it an homage or a rip-off.

Jake makes two “what you do not smell” leaps of logic – one concerning a gun and one concerning the nature of the big bad.

In a little bit of stunt casting, probably unintentional given the mess that is the rest of the movie, Martin Cummins has two scenes as one of the bad guys – including a scene with Jake. Unfortunately, this immediately threw me out of the movie because all I can see is Ames White and MmmAlec.

And so on…

I won’t give away the ending, but let’s just say that I’m glad I got this through Netflix and didn’t pay extra to rent it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Creepy Stuff One Finds on the Internet

So I was cruising around today looking for a good picture of an actor to go with tomorrow's post about a movie, and I discovered something really really creepy: real people slash fan fic.

I've never gotten into either writing or reading fan fic. Writing it constitutes copyright infringement, and most of what I have read is poorly written. In fact, I've read exactly ONE piece of fanfiction that held my interest beyond the third paragraph (and that one was, surprisingly, a really well-written story). Still, though, I can see how some people might want to play around with characters that they love. OK, fine. Note that I said "characters".

But real people fic? Where the "characters" in the story are not the fictional characters, but the actors playing the characters (I'm talking a TV show here)? That's borderline obsessive stalker-chick territory.

And then to make it slash? (when the actors are most definitely not gay)

I couldn't delete the links where I found this stuff from my browsing history fast enough.

I'm not a prude, but RPS makes me want to wash out my computer with bleach.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Minus What?

Temperature sensor on my front porch: +2 F

Car thermometer: -4 F

Radio station DJ's: - 7 F

My dog: WTF? I'm not going out there.