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!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Avatar, Meat Juice and Brain Rot

Why would anyone put beef jerky through a juicer? What sort of mind thinks of jerky juice? Craig, naturally. He was helping me plan my juicing for the week. Nutrition is the biggest part of my job as I recover from the surgery and get ready for chemo. You wouldn't think eating would be a problem considering all of the cooking I do. However, my tummy and innards have been more than persnickety since returning home. Keeping my protein and calorie intake up has been a surprising challenge each day. Thus, the juicer enters the picture. Lucy, lent me a Jack LaLanne Power Juicer Pro. I have so many fruits and vegetables for that machine that I needed a cooler as an annex to the fridge. I'm working on fruit juice tomorrow. I have more of that than veggies right now. I'm still working on the protein issue. Any ideas out there? No ideas that involve juicing meat products.

Real Movie Magic

I dragged myself off the sofa long enough to see Avatar. I had been working my way up to longer sojourns that a trip to the doctor's office or the grocery store. I've been going stir crazy as I indicate below. But I digress. I will not spoil anything from Avatar as apparently there are still a lot of people going to see it. We barely got decent seats five weeks into its run. What did I think of it? The experience I had during that film is why I go to movies and frankly, why I'm compelled to make movies. And I feel this way despite paying TWELVE DOLLARS for the ticket. Whys didn't you go to the matinee, you ask. THAT WAS THE MATINEE! Yes, I am aware that I'm shouting. I'm still in shock over that. This certainly will cause me to re-think my criteria for going to a theater. I don't think I could shell out that kind of money for a film that was merely stupid fun.

Avatar is not stupid. Nor is just about astonishing 3D animation (believe me, it is the most amazing visual experience I have ever had). The film is clever in ways I didn't expect. The character and plot development actually continue as part of the action scenes (very unusual for US action films). And though it can be argued that many of the characters begin as clich̩ (something I have no problem with as such stock characters are easily recognized) they go on during the course of the film to do some surprising things. And this is the core of the wonderful experience I had watching Avatar. It surprised me. It delighted me. It riveted me. At one point, I wanted to leap out of my seat and cheer. I an extremely jaded movie watcher who has spent a lot of time behind the scenes looking at the inner workings of the magic. Sweeping me up whole like Avatar managed is almost impossible anymore. And I am far from an avid fan of James Cameron though I found him to be delightful in person. Nope, I am no film pushover. Avatar is truly wonderful. It is well worth seeing in a theater Рeven if it's for TWELVE DOLLARS.

Daytime Wasteland

While going to the movies this past weekend was a real treat, daytime television is driving me insane. Admittedly, this state of affairs in partially my fault. I could choose to not look at the telly and spare myself. This is not so easy to do. Even though I'm now able to focus enough to read and write, there are long stretches of the day when I'm trying to get some mindless rest – even a cat nap here and there. The banal inanity of daytime fare often puts me to sleep or at least in a state of mindless stillness for a while. Despite the usefulness of such fare, I must decry some of what assails my brain daily. Since they are at a louder volume, it's the commercials that break through the fog of stupor or even sleep. Some of the products are a necessary service, I suppose. If I had a structured settlement and needed cash now, JG Wentworth's annoying refrain would probably be just the ticket. But I don't, and it's annoying. But more puzzling are the ads for things that no one knew they needed like a panty won make a woman's butt bigger (very puzzling considering all the diet and exercise products to make the butt smaller). The tastefully named bootypop ads are very disturbing to wake up to. I can't imagine that looking natural in real life. Other ads are for people who seem too stupid to function. There are products for those who can't use bar soap or a pump soap dispenser or toothpaste without an eruption of goo, and there are products for those who can't bake brownies without disaster. I'm waiting for the product for those who can't turn door knobs without dire results. These products cause me to be greatly concerned about the decline in mental ability in this country.

Further evidence of this decline can be found in the bounty of reality court shows. I admit to watching Judge Judy and the People's Court. I even take an occasional gander at Judge Mathis and Judge Joe Brown. They hold the same kind of strange appeal as the Jerry Springer Show. In short, I watch because I can't believe that people get on national TV and reveal their lives and foibles as freely as they do. It is astonishing how much people are willing to lay bare on these programs for a very small amount of monetary compensation. I've seen at least two instances where one or the other of the opponents admitted to a criminal act connected to their cases. The problem with that is that though these judges appear to be TV characters, they are still officers of the court and certified arbitrators. They have to report that stuff. Thus, a plaintiff or defendant may win their point and their cash that day only to be arrested shortly thereafter. Amazing. The oddest of these shows is Street Court with 'Judge Mazz' who takes justice out onto the streets. I think it's more likely that he doesn't have money for a set. And if viewing these shows isn't strange enough, one day, I was watching Judge Judy and saw someone I knew! She assisted us in casting Demon Under Glass. In this case, she was the defendant and she won her case without embarrassment or self-incrimination.

Why not watch the news, you may wonder. Well, I tried that. If the bad news wasn't depressing me, the stupid news was making me crazy. On a day when all manner of disasters was happening, The Today Show spent more time on Man Purses than it did on the major national story of that day. You decide if this topic deserved so much time. CLICK HERE. I do get small respites from this inane fare on the Food Network or other channels. I have become thoroughly involved in the adventures of Gordon Ramsay on BBC America. First, I got hooked on Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares. I've now caught up on all of those. Ramsay is a chef on steroids. He's profane and arrogant but fascinating to watch, because his arrogance is justified. He's a hoot. I also watch his prime time series, Hell's Kitchen. And I've found some fun things on the History Channel and Discovery ID where many of the true crime shows live. But these shows require attention. It's harder to drift off while my brain is engaged. I may have to find something else to help me sleep. I swear this type of programming is draining my brain.

CSI: Pandora?

I was going to write about the intriguing changes on CSI: Miami this season. However, the new episode airing tonight either has Ninjas or the Yakuza. I want to see how this unfolds before I make comments. However, I will say that while watching Avatar, thoughts of CSI:Miami did come to mind. I wondered how quickly they would erect the entire Pandora command center in order to find a VIN number on a fish scale as fast as possible. The sets aren't far off from that now.

Stay Tuned!


http://www.ehow.com/members/stevemar2-articles.html said...

You mentioned Street Court. I love this show! It's my new favorite court show. I love when Judge Mazz calls a litigant a huckalero!

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