Welcome Gentle Readers

This blog tends to wander from its main purpose -- updates on my fiction. I do have updates and excerpts of my work. But I also write about my obsessions -- food, friends and pop culture and my weird life in Los Angeles. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Holes and Wusses and Literary Mayhem

Warning: If you find yourself here via a google search for such things as TV shows or films, recipes or cities, this blog has some facts. However, this blog is one author’s very twisted musing on many weird things. It is sometimes graphic in content. If you read on, don’t write to yell at me.

Technical Difficulties

The weekend was filled with strange difficulties that thwarted me in accomplishing tasks in a timely fashion. For example, there is a two-foot long hole in our bathroom wall next to the medicine cabinet. It’s cut through to the apartment next door. Fortunately, it’s high enough and the viewable area narrow enough that privacy isn’t really an issue. There was some sort of mishap with the hot water pipes. Yesterday was filled with the sounds of drills and saws. For a while we had no water. Then, it was just no hot water (a great improvement as we could use the toilet then). The rug in front of the bathroom door was squishy wet from the waterspout that preceded the arrival of the plumbers. We had to leave the windows open and turn fans on to try to dry the rug. This open air was during an evening where overnight temps were dipping into the 40s. A fun time was had by all, and no baking or anything else got done. Today, we have the hole and hot water. Jon had to edit a video I made for a family even back east (I think the camera puts on more than 10 pounds), and we still had what seemed like tons of dough to bake. Thus, the blog was delayed.

Weather Wusses

I had a conversation with Craig that didn’t involve extreme weirdness. That’s weird on its own. The weather out here is actually getting interesting. In addition to the plummeting temperatures, there’s been rain and there is more to come. That’s bad for the burn areas, but good overall as we are facing water rationing next year. Anyway, Craig was flummoxed by his mother’s caution to avoid driving in the rain this weekend. The roads were treacherous, she told him. ‘This is the same woman that would send me into a maelstrom of wind and snow at six years old to walk 20 minutes to school carrying my Scooby-Doo lunchbox!’ He asked me if I remembered snow pants that snapped up the inside of the legs and mittens that attached to the cuffs of coats. I remembered them all too well. We agreed that we were wearing about 50 pounds of clothing during those East Coast winters. I would no more let a six-year old walk 20 minutes anywhere by himself today, but it was normal for us. I used to walk on top of tall snow drifts and cross black iced streets without thinking about it(I'm aware that I sound like an old coot). Now, I’m really chilled through in the 40 degree dampness in a trip home that is largely in vehicles. And Craig really didn’t want to drive in the rain. It’s kind of sad.

Literary Vein Opening

Needless to say, the opinions expressed in the in the following paragraphs are my own. Please, do not be offended if you happen to enjoy this sort of reading material. I’m merely expressing my own opinion in the form of aggressively asked questions. Warning: willy nilly spoilers abound.

I was looking at the roster of films releases for December with great dismay. With few exceptions, the film fare is steeped in misery. And many of those films are adaptations from critically acclaimed novels. During one particularly rough semester in Grad school, I asked one of my professors if a book must trigger suicidal urges to be considered great literature. There was not one happy book on my syllabus for that entire semester. My professor was confused that I held such a dismal view and aggressively maintained it as the weeks and the body count mounted. I do not read most critically acclaimed fiction even now, because life is an ongoing roil of wrenching emotions most weeks for me. I don’t need to spend my leisure time being emotionally and psychologically tortured. I wouldn’t have been paying attention to these films at all were it not the beginning of awards season. Because Los Angeles is where most Academy voters live, we get a great deal of ads and articles covering these ‘serious’ film to keep them fresh in the minds of voters when those ballots come out. Lucky me.

There is The Reader, a passionate tale of Hanna, an illiterate female child molester and former Nazi prison guard who is tried and convicted for sending women to the gas chambers after they wiled their time away reading to her. Is she tragically misunderstood or a fiend? Let me reiterate, child molester and Nazi prison guard. Why is she worth wallowing in angst and misery over? Continuing the Nazi motif, there is The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, another critically acclaimed book and bestseller. The plot is so inane, I’m not sure why it wasn’t considered a comedy. Those concentration camp guards were more incompetent than Sgt. Shultz and company from Hogan’s Heroes. And after those plot gymnastics and contortions, we come to the conclusion that there are many innocents destroyed by Nazis. Was this horrific trip necessary to teach this point? Wendy and Lucy is based on a critically acclaimed and depressing short story. It’s not as annoying to me as the previous two works of literature, but depressing nonetheless. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is surprising from F. Scott Fitzgerald. It doesn’t really look depressing – just really weird. Since we’re researching his for a film script, that’s one to read and to Netflix most likely. My movie bucks are most likely to go to Keanu Reeves. I’ll take a romp with GORT (who looks really scary in the new film) over literature any day. Needless to say, the Lit Department was none too pleased at having to award my degree.

Spreading the Joy
I’ll retract my claws now, and move on to warm thoughts of the holiday season. These are tough times for almost everyone. Still, most of us can put a few buck together and make a donation. All those little bits count add up. If they can help elect a president, they can help those in need. The Food Network is working with Share Our Strength to end childhood hunger. There is the USO that helps soldiers and their families. And there are food banks and soup kitchens in every community. Finally, programs like Toys for Tots accept new toys that cost as little as ten dollars. Spread some good cheer.

There aren’t really any. We have a photo shoot this week for Luv U 4 Ever’s Official Onesheet and for Blood Oath. That should be fun. And I’m hoping to see my various actor lovelies before they head off for the holidays Stay tuned.

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