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Archive for May, 2009

UP

Friday, May 29th, 2009

I am a Pixar junkie. I don’t always love their films (I hated Cars, I really did) and I maintain that the comparative lack of female characters is annoying, but for the most part I love most things Pixar.

When the teasers and trailers for UP first came out, I was nonplussed. I thought the balloons were pretty but it wasn’t really doing it for me.

But it came out today, and it’s getting really good reviews, and the boy had today off, and sometimes Pixar films are surprising when compared to their advertising campaigns. So we went to see it this morning.

And within 15 minutes it made me cry.

It is, indeed, much deeper than just a story about an old man and a little kid floating off in a house carried by countless Technicolor balloons. It’s thoughtful and touching and genuinely funny. I don’t know if it surpassed Ratatouille as my favorite Pixar film, but it is definitely up there with the best of them. We saw it in 3D, and the effects are wonderfully subtle. Mostly it just adds depth to the gorgeous scenery.

And it made me cry within 15 minutes. It might have been 10, I’d have to watch again and time it.

Loved it. Maybe even moreso because I didn’t think I was going to. And Partly Cloudy, the short that runs before it, might just be my new favorite Pixar short.

Go. See it. Bring Kleenex.

pale horses

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

This kind of made my day. From Moby‘s upcoming new album, wait for me.

I love Moby in general, but moody ambient Moby I absolutely adore. And I have a thing for things that are cute but sad.

tarot reading

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

I had my first professional tarot reading in I can’t even tell you how long this morning.

I’ve been playing e-mail tag with Anya Weber about the progress of the Phantomwise Tarot for awhile now, and I mentioned that I’d love to get a reading from her at some point. She was in Salem today so she came by to read for me and get stared at by kittens.

I read for myself fairly frequently but I’m not often read for by others so it was kind of new and exciting and familiar all at the same time. We spent awhile discussing different decks before we started the actual reading, she’d brought three with her and we ended up using the World Spirit Tarot. It’s a really lovely, vibrant deck which I’d heard of but not seen in person before. Totally added it to my wishlist.

Anya has a wonderful system where she creates a custom spread tailored to the querent. Mine was perfect, I’d wanted some clarification on this whole publishing thing and how things sort of tied together and she came up with a very clear, concise spread that still left a lot up for interpretation. And she wrote it out all color-coded for me to keep and take notes on! I’m a sucker for diagrams and I tend to be a visual thinker, so I thought that was brilliant.

This was my spread, slightly adjusted to add a clarifying card. I took a picture for posterity:

I won’t bore you with details of each card position and meaning, but I will mention that the Tower showed up in a position where it wasn’t really that bad, more confirming suspicions I’ve had for awhile. Really, that’s one of the things that was wonderful about this reading: it crystallized a lot of things that had been floating around in my head already and they feel more solid now.

Anya has a great quote on her flyer that says:

Instead of “telling the future,” I use tarot to clarify the present. Tarot cards are fantastic sources of insight into just about any life question. They illuminate what’s going on right now, and also shed light on where you’re heading, so that you can change course as needed.

Which is precisely what this reading did for me. Though happily it seems my course doesn’t need much changing.

And Anya herself is lovely and personable and explains things in a wonderfully straightforward way. Her reading style is creative and intuitive, and she even gave me new ideas about reading reversals, which I usually tend to avoid. It was a very comfortable, enjoyable experience and I look forward to having her read for me again. If you’re in the Boston area and looking for clarity and insight I highly recommend her.

Check out her blog for more information: http://tarotsolutions.blogspot.com/

busy busy

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

Yesterday I finally wrote my synopsis, the boy edited all my grammar, and now I only have a handful of editing notes to address and queries to personalize and then I’ll be all ready to send this crazy novel out into the world. Scary, but exciting.

Also yesterday I made eggplant parmesan and we went for a walk and I got a handful of nice photos in the almost-sunset light.

Oh, and I ordered a laser printer. Because I need one. And the cats need more electronics to sit on.

happy towel day!

Monday, May 25th, 2009

Trapped the wonderful land of editing and synopsizing, but I know where my towel is.

Since I am busy being a hoopy frood and trying to condense a non-linear narrative into a cohesive synopsis, here, watch Maru with the Big Box, because it is possibly the best thing ever:

miscellany & tori

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

I know, I fail at updating. I have been a busy bee. Well, really, a combination of being sort of busy and also having nothing in particular to say, which seems to be the formula for lack of blog updating. Remind me not to make rash promises about updating every day anymore.

It decided to be summer all of a sudden, which is interesting and results in terribly flopsy kittens. Tessa is melting into the file box as I type.

Spent the week working on a new painting, hanging out with a friend from Smith I hadn’t seen in five years, and flouncing around in sundresses. And submerging myself in the new Tori Amos album, Abnormally Attracted to Sin.

I’ve loved Tori since I was 13 years old and first heard Little Earthquakes. I’ve grown up with her in a lot of ways, and each subsequent album seems to accompany me into my future, if that makes any sense. AAtS is interesting. It’s very mellow, that’s the first thing I noticed. It seems more like one long musical progression than a bunch of different songs, while certain tracks are standouts (I’m particularly fond of “Give” and “Lady in Blue” at the moment,) it blends very well. And I’m sure this sounds vaguely insulting, but it makes for very good background music. Maybe it’s just more atmospheric than some of her previous albums. I wasn’t sure what I thought about it at first but having listened to it pretty much non-stop for several days I really like it. You can hear the sound progression from American Doll Posse, but it’s, I don’t know, smoother and softer. Very much looking forward to seeing how it sounds live in August.

In other news, I am finishing up the latest round of edits on the novel. The boy and I are planning on sitting down with it this weekend and polishing it up, and by the end of the month it should be query-ready. So when I’m not questioning the clarity of character motivation and adding bits of dialogue to scenes I’m compiling my list of literary agents and worrying over synopsizing something that’s non-linear and 33% second person narration. My query letter is good, though, so that’s one less thing to worry about. I’ll be ready, I feel like I’m working at a good pace.

And I’m having a professional tarot reading on Wednesday, so that should help, too.

i’m always home, i’m uncool.

Saturday, May 16th, 2009

I totally fail at the whole Blog Every Day In May concept. That’s what I get for picking the month Mercury is Retrograde, I suppose. Am still going to endeavor to post more than usual, to not be a quitter.

Expect this post to have little to no coherence. I am staying up until 3am when the boy is getting up to go golfing. Haven’t done this since last August or so. It’s quiet, I have 24 hours worth of Tori Amos on iTunes shuffle. I’m following Amanda Palmer’s Losers of Friday Night on Their Computers (#LOFNOTC) on Twitter. The surreality started early this evening, apparently.

The LOST season 5 finale was head-hurting and surprising and wonderful. I cried, because I couldn’t not at a certain point. I was left exhilarated and confused, which I think is the mark of a good LOST season finale. I’m excited for season 6, and I have lots to re-watch before next year. Also, I will never not be in love with Michael Emerson.

Going through files and notes and working on bits and pieces of my work-in-progress novel before I go back to editing the almost-query-ready novel on Monday or so. I am getting better at juggling multiple writing projects, moving my brain from one to another. Writing is turning into brain yoga, an analogy I had more to expand on moments ago and now whatever meaning it had has flitted away. I told you this was going to be incoherent.

I’m not an outlining girl, per se, but I’m trying to shape the draft I have into something more story-shaped. The draft is my 50something thousand words from NaNoWriMo ’08. I just re-read all of it and I like it, but the story hasn’t found its way into the pages yet. It’s almost like I spend each November digging for things and I have to wash everything off and shine it up to see what I’m finding, and now it’s a matter of seeing how it fits together and digging more to fill in the gaps.

I can see the shape of this one, now. There’s a lot to fill in but the shape is there.

Ok, it’s late and I’m sort of trying to work and I fear I stopped making sense before I started typing this. We planted flowers around the deck this afternoon. Pepsi Throwback is kind of awesome. My hair smells like peaches. I’m going to attempt to be productive now, or as close to productive as possible.

omglost

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

Those of you who know me well, or even vaguely, are probably aware that I am somewhat obsessed with a little television show called LOST.

I turn into a squeeing fangirl for very few things. Well, I suppose I respectably fangirl a decent amount of things, but the squeeing is comparatively rare.

I love LOST more than any television show ever. Sure, I’ve had my flings before and they’ve always ended in disappointment (excuse me whilst I glare in the general direction of The X-Files) but I have faith that LOST is not going to break my heart. Why? Because in 5 seasons they’ve yet to disappoint, and they just keep getting better and smarter. I’m a pretty smart cookie, and I’ve predicted a great many plot points on this show but they continue to surprise me.

I think, at the core of it, I love that LOST is a narrative that is working from the outside layers of story inward towards its meaning. I can’t think of another show that does that, and it’s brilliant. I trust that there’s an endgame, that the writers know what the island is even if the audience can only guess. I know a lot of viewers don’t like the mystery and the constant questions but I love it, it keeps me watching and guessing and hypothesizing. I love entertainment that requires me to think.

Also, I have a huge crush on Michael Emerson. But if you know me at all (or vaguely) you probably knew that, too.

Anyway, I am beyond excited for tonight’s season finale. I have no idea what’s going to happen. I’m concerned about Frank’s general well-being. I have my numbers shirt on. I don’t think I’ve ever actually owned a shirt for a tv show before. (I have DHARMA shot glasses, too.) I’m making Blue Hawaiians later. I’m kind of unable to focus on anything else right now. Have I mentioned that I love this show? Cause I do. With a love that is pure and true and knows no bounds.

hatbox!

Monday, May 11th, 2009

My hatbox came! Yay!

I have suddenly, without warning or reason, developed a minor obsession with vintage luggage. No idea why. Maybe because vintage pieces of luggage seem like they have so much story in them even when they’re empty. But hey, luggage is useful and I thought of several practical uses for this piece so I went ahead and ordered it from jessjamesjake on Etsy. It arrived today and I love it, it’s even lovelier in person.

Closed!

Open!

The pattern inside is really lovely. It has that dusty vintage smell but it’s not overpowering. Am very, very pleased with my purchase.

Tessa, of course, prefers the box it came in:

I’m eyeballing all sorts of gorgeous vintage suitcases and things but I really have nowhere to put them. Am still looking for a good train case, though.

to boldly go

Sunday, May 10th, 2009

We went to see Star Trek this morning. Going in pretty skeptical of all the rave reviews, I was pleasantly surprised. It is really, really good. It’s not flawless, it’s not perfect, but it’s really, really good. 

I had some problems with the plot, I thought the first half was stronger than the last, and I’m rather annoyed that Uhura started out kick-ass and then got relegated to love interest. But overall I was impressed. I grew up on TNG and I don’t know my classic Trek as well but I’m pretty well-versed in a general sense. 

It’s the first time, I think, in any Star Trek, that I could see the step between modern present and Star Trek future. That was my favorite part, really, that this universe didn’t seem so distant. The design and aesthetic of it was brilliant.

Loved the cast, love the idea of actually rebooting the universe. Loved the Slusho reference. Curious to see if they can maintain this fresh, new energy through another film, but I can wait until 2011 or whatever to find out.

It was fun. We hadn’t been to the movies in awhile, either. Lousy previews, except for 9 which I am really looking forward to. Need to make a list of upcoming things to see, really. Up should be next, I think.