Sunday, February 24, 2013

Bill Bixby, Meet Lou Ferrigno/Consumables #74

Yo! I was just sitting here thinking, hey, remember that blogging thing I used to do? Whatever happened with that? Are we like, on a once a month sort of plan now or what? Answers. What I am looking for here, Self, are answers.

Here's what's been going on with me lately, which has contributed to the lack of blog attention. You guys, I got super mad this month. Like full on, frothy, red-eyeball mad. This may not seem like an event that would really merit comment, because anger is a normal human emotion, yes. And sure, I get mad on the regular because I am not some sort of Vulcan and never will decide to convert to being one just based on the haircut alone. (Vulcanism is probably not a conversionable thing, although isn't that what Spock's mom did? And you see how willing I am to take a conversation and steer it to a place where all of a sudden we are talking about Spock's MOM? Because that is the joy of knowing me, people). Anyhoodle. The level of mad I usually get is in the irritable realm of mad. Grumpy also makes more than a cameo appearance. Annoyed, sure. I would also cop to a regular dose of huffy. But this time, I got filled with a fiery wrath of the type that I haven't felt in a very long time. A person who I haven't talked to since like, 2010 or something, popped up just to write me a few paragraphs of smack-in-the-face via email. And jeez-oh Petey Wheat, it made me dingbusted pee oh'd.  I mean, it was like, time to kick off the heels, take off my earrings, pull off my weave and flip a table Real Housewife style. (Just to be clear, I didn't actually do the heels/earrings/weave/table move. I just really, truly could have. And also, here's a business idea! How about we invent a weave that easily yanks off when you want to get into a melee? An anger-release weave. We could call it a PEEVE WEAVE. Trademark!). And being that mad? It's effing exhausting. Angry people of the world: wow. I am for shizzle way too lazy for this shit. So basically the thing I have been doing is withdrawing from society this month. Sorry, friends who have invited me to things. You do not wish me to come to your fun timey events because I am very busy seething within the privacy of my own home.

Not to worry, I am feeling much better than I was, and shall continue to do so. Being pissy is just too hard to maintain. And in the meantime, I have the pop cultures to help me de-froth.

The Hobbit
As a librarian, one thing that is super helpful is to be able to differentiate between things that are good, things that are good for me, and things that are good for particular people. Sometimes these three things can overlap, but often they do not. This movie, I think, was a thing that was good for particular people. Hobbit people. Well, not actual Hobbit people, I mean people who are fans of Hobbit people. (I can just hear Barbra singing it now: "Peoplllllle...People who need Hobbit peopllle...are the luckiest people...). The Lord of the Rings trilogy of movies are movies that are awesome for fans of the books as well as awesome/accessible for everyone else. The Hobbit? Not as much. But if you love the book and want to see every last sentence of it brought to life, this is it. Go nuts, Hobbit lovers! And just, can I say I love Martin Freeman? Because I do.

Pitch Perfect
Super fun movie. Are sing-off battles really a thing? I kind of don't think so but I really want it to be a thing. Like a dance battle just works logistically because you can overlap the movement with your opponent but how would you really do a sing off  like that? Yes, I have thought out the engineering of dance battles versus singing battles.

Beasts of the Southern Wild
It's true what everyone is saying. That little kid is an eyeball magnet. I thought the movie was gorgeous.

Adjustment Bureau
Was this movie panned? I feel like it was, and ok so it wasn't the best movie of the year but I didn't think it a bad movie at all. Ok, so maybe I fell asleep in the middle of it a little bit (and I never fall asleep during movies) which was possibly a bad sign but also it might have been that I was just super tired. Ringing endorsement, party of one!

The Sessions
Have I seen a performance by John Hawkes that I didn't love? NO I HAVE NOT SIR. In summation, he's good.

I really wish I had seen this movie without knowing so much about it beforehand. I saw it late so I felt like I knew the plot, and the critiques, and the accolades way too well. As a movie, I really liked it. I also thought it had a monolithic islamophobic slant to it, which is to be expected since that seems to be the norm but it disappointed me nonetheless.

North By Northwest
I blame this movie for making me think that trains are sexy, because you know what? They ain't. Have you been on a train before? You aren't going to meet Cary Grant on there and take him back to your private seat of your private car to do private things. Not gon happen. Anyway. It should be no surprise to you that hoo-doggy I love this movie.

Under the Tuscan Sun
Does anyone else do "depressed and/or repressed lady who needs to find herself" like Diane Lane? She's done like 5 movies like that, and she's got it down. This is a weird thing to say but I think that Diane Lane has a particular talent for acting with herself. Like, do you remember that scene in "Unfaithful" where she is sitting on the subway or train or whatever and she has just cheated on her husband and she just sits there and cries, and laughs, and freaks out for a few minutes by herself? Hard to pull off, but she does it. There are a few scenes in this one where she acts alone and it doesn't seem hokey or unnatural.

Life of Pi
So, so pretty. Do your eyeballs a favor and see this one. The story was a little too God-dy for me, and I sort of get annoyed with Indians having to be freaking spirit guides for white people all the time- I loved the bulk of the movie but the 5% at the front and the 5% at the end drove me frigging crazy. Just so you know, yes, I am an Indian but no, I will not get you closer to God with my spiritual tales told in a soothing voice and then let you take my stories as your own to write a book all while cooking you fragrant Indian cuisine. I know we're supposed to exist to help you get spiritual but actually, some of us have got other stuff to do.


Next week will be better, I am sure.  Incredible Hulk over and out.

Friday, February 08, 2013


Shall I quote Aerosmith? I'm livin' it up while I'm going down! (Not in an icky way).

Friday, February 01, 2013

Consumables #73

Hey, so here are some things that happened this week. Last weekend there was a big librarian conference in town (tote bags! so many tote bags!) whereby approximately 10,000 of my people came through my work place from all over to say howdy.

I also ventured out on Saturday night to go to a librarian-conference-related party. This is notable because cliquey stuff? Stresses my shit OUT. Who got invited to the HarperCollins party to hang out with the hot new YA author? Sorry, I have to run because I am having a beer with famous comics writer dude. IT IS THE WORST. I don't know what's up with me because not caring in high school or professional dance or theater should equal the Olympic Triathalon of Cliques, but yet now this caca makes me feel like this.

So at any rate, I got myself gussied up (I even did my hurrs), made sure there were going to be two people that I know and like there (because I am 14 years old), and went. I walked to the party to find that it was full and they were turning people away (I got velvet roped from a librarian party! SRSLY YOU GUYS), so then I got a text from a friend who said I should go to a different publisher party, so I walked over there, but then I decided to just bail and meet up with a friend who was at a bar so I tromped my ass up a hill and over the freeway and then I got there and the door guy wouldn't let me in because I had lost my driver's license and it was like he was Andrew Dice Clay and I was Duckie Dale. So, I turned my ass around and went home. It was a really great 3 hours of my life.

Did you notice the bright side in that story? The door guy wouldn't let me in without my ID. RALPH MALPH IT WITH ME, everyone!: "I still got it."

Let's get back to what really makes me happy. Books, movies, and teevees. Take that, SOCIETY.

33 Minutes, by Todd Lowy-Hasak
Imagine the show "24" but instead of Keifer Sutherland fighting terrorism in 24 hours, you have Sam, a 7th grader who is about to get his butt kicked at recess 33 minutes from now by his ex-best friend. Good for 4th-6th graders. I liked it because it wasn't a bullying book (not that there's anything wrong with that) but rather a story about friends who get mad at each other and fisticuffs get invoked. Which happens when you're a kid. Hopefully not after that.

Creepy Carrots, by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Peter Brown
A funny, scary story about carrots who stalk a greedy bunny. If you're a kid that can handle a little creepiness (something's watching you from inside of your closet! Ahhhh!), it's great. If you're a scaredy-kid, this one actually has a bit of freak out factor, so be careful. About carrots. Yes. I know. But I stand by this advice.

Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes
The only criteria I have on deciding whether I read a book is if someone tells me to read it. "You should read this" is pretty much all it takes. As you can imagine this means that I get introduced to all types of things-- fiction, nonfiction, mystery, thriller, celebrity, western, historical, arty, sci-fi, fantasy, highbrow, lowbrow, whatever. One thing that I totally miss out on? Romance. For some reason, people don't tell me to read romances. I don't know if that's because they don't think I will like them or what. I know that people in my life are reading them. Anyway. I had this one in a pile of advance copies and had heard of it, so I read it without knowing anything about it other than it was maybe romancey. First of all, it was most definitely about love, so it totally counts. However, there was no sexy business in it. So, you know: CHECK, PLEASE. Just kidding. A little. It's the story of a woman who gets a job being a caregiver for a quadriplegic. A handsome quadriplegic, obvs. I would definitely recommend it for folks who like Nicholas Sparks and the like.

The True Meaning of Smekday, by Adam Rex
Good for adults down to 5th grade or so, this one takes a post-apocalypse and adds humor to the whole thing. I thought the tone was just great. Good if you like Terry Pratchett type humor, or Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

The Good Braider, by Terry Farish
I know that novels in verse drive some people crazy, but it didn't take me long to forget about the format and just take in the story. Viola is a teenager living in South Sudan with her family and no part of her life is unaffected by the war between the north and the south, as she lives with death and fear on a daily basis. This short book follows her family as they become refugees and it covers a lot of ground and manages to not feel shallow.

Liar and Spy, by Rebecca Stead
10-year-old Georges' father has lost his job and they have had to sell their home and move into an apartment in Brooklyn. Georges makes a new friend there: a home-schooled kid who is seriously into becoming a spy. They both begin investigating Mr. X, a man in their building who only wears black and comes and goes at odd hours. Stead does such a great job at not talking down to her audience, and throws in twists that are surprising but never feel unrealistic. This one's good for grownups too.

Going in Circles, by Pamela Ribon
Dysfunctional but smart, witty lady finds redemption in roller derby. You know if you're the audience for this, and if you are, you'll like it.

The Brides of Rollrock Island, by Margo Lanagan
Ok, stay with me here. This takes place in a fishing community, where the seals who live on the beach have spells cast on them by a witch whereby girls emerge from inside the seals and fishermen take them for wives. I know, it's weird. But this novel that tells this selkie tale (real talk: I had never really heard of such a thing as a selkie before this) is poetic and strange and cool. It's marketed as a teen book, and that's fine, but it seemed more adult to me.

Ok, you know what? I fibbed. This one's just going to be about books this time. Next time: movies and teevee.