Time for Me to Fly

Filed under:It's My Life — posted by Anwyn on August 21, 2008 @ 3:51 am

Hey, didn’t you just come back from spending a ridiculously long time in the Midwest?

Yes. Yes I did.

Well, where do you think you’re going now, missy?

Back to the Midwest.


Family birthday party; thanks for asking. Just a quick trip this time. May blog, may not, as I’ll have a laptop with me … nobody’s ever tried to scientifically verify what would happen if I were disconnected from the web for 24 contiguous hours. It wouldn’t be pretty.

No *Time*?

Filed under:Good Grief,Movies,Tolkien — posted by Anwyn on August 20, 2008 @ 6:47 pm

Apparently Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens will reprise their writing duties from Lord of the Rings for the two Hobbit movies. Good for the consistency of the films–consistency that’s been worrying me, given that they’re going to have to swap out actors for primary characters; bad for the general writing quality, which I was willing to largely forgive during Rings for the stunning visuals. Notably, though, I have not felt any urge to go back and re-watch them since the last time I wrote about them. This is a laugh, though:

While looking for another writer, however, Jackson and Del Toro found openings in their schdules, realized how much they loved the material, and decided there was no time to bring in someone unfamiliar with Middle Earth.

Wow. They realized, after Jackson had previously made three gazillion-dollar movies off it, that they love the material? Does anybody really believe that anybody on that production was seriously considering bringing in a writer unfamiliar with Middle-earth, no matter how much time was or was not available? If that really was the case I’d have to say taking it on themselves dodged them a few bullets, cornball writing or no.

You’re So Cute When You’re Trying to Be Cool

Filed under:Cool,Reviews,Television — posted by Anwyn @ 9:01 am

I have a new show. The time has come to write about it. I watched another episode of it last night and it’s just fun. It’s not terribly witty. It’s not terribly fresh. It’s not heavy on a good love story. It’s not clever and very proud of itself for being clever. It’s just a straight-ahead action/drama hourlong with cute actors, stories that drive fast and sharp through the whole hour, and fun. It’s Burn Notice, on USA, and it’s like a combination of Magnum, P.I., a laid-back Miami version of Mission Impossible, and a tiny touch of Veronica Mars thrown in, in the sense that nothing ever seems to throw these characters.

Jeffrey Donovan (who should definitely play my brother-in-law in the family life story) plays Michael Westen, “a spy” (I didn’t watch first season, so I don’t know if it was ever made clear what agency he was with, but they don’t bother tagging it specifically this season) who was “burned”–somebody blew his cover and reported as much to his bosses, which is the “burn notice” that means they will not protect or acknowledge him. He’s on his own in Miami with his on-again, off-again girlfriend, Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar–much, much more on her in a minute), a buddy named Sam (Bruce Campbell), and his mother, Madeleine (the Cagney half of Cagney and Lacey). The plots are dual: On one side, he’s being recruited for questionable jobs by the people who burned him. He goes along and tries to gather as much information as possible about them while reluctantly working for them. On the other side, he’s doing jobs for people in trouble–a loan shark here, an embezzling frame-up there.

It’s the focus on the Magnum-like plots that makes it work–we’re not supposed to worry too much about what agency Michael was with, what his always-available, always-competent friends do for day jobs. Westen narrates, detailing choice bits of M.I.-style maneuvers and high-tech equipment here and there, and Fiona is his all-around no-need-to-hire-a gun. Guns of every make, shape and size that she doesn’t hesitate to whip out on the least provocation.

Okay, I’ve always loved Gabrielle Anwar, had a soft spot for her ever since Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken. I keep going back and forth as to whether she was miscast in this show. She is long and lean, a little too thin and spray-tanned for comfort (the Fug Girls would call her orange), and her accent (she’s English) is wobbly, to say the least, while Donovan (he was born in New England; I already know he does a creditable Southern) takes on and puts off the patois of every area of the country in his dealings with baddies. She’s supposed to be the firecracker siren, but she really strikes me as just cute under all her bad-ass cool. Maybe that’s my aforementioned soft spot for her talking, but whatever–she works in this line-up. In a show that took itself more seriously, she simply would not have enough weight, and I’m hoping they do a little more with her as time goes on. Of the four primary characters, we know hers the least–but of course I’ve come in at the second season and maybe they probed her a bit more in the first. She’s a little brittle right now–the strain of playing a vixen is showing a bit. More Gabrielle!

It’s a fun show, cute and cool, and somebody at USA is smart to run it in the summer.

We Are the Members of / The All-American League…

Filed under:Sad,Sports — posted by Anwyn on August 19, 2008 @ 7:36 pm

We come from cities
Near and far.

We’ve got Canadians,
Irish ones, and Swedes
We’re all for one,
We’re one for all,
We’re All-American.

Dottie Collins, a mainstay pitcher of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, has died of a stroke, at age 84, in Fort Wayne, Indiana, home of the Daisies.

How’d you like to play baseball in a miniskirt? R.I.P., Mrs. Collins.

Hat-tip J.

There Are Days When Rachel Lucas Makes Me Want to Quit Blogging Altogether

Filed under:Blogging,Heh — posted by Anwyn @ 5:05 pm

I know of nobody who can get more mileage out of a good rant than she does. And this after more or less giving up politics/news blogging. At the risk of propelling Anne the LifePundit into a flame war over the relative value of cats and dogs:

Can your asshole cat bite the nuts off a burglar? I think not.

Hey. At least I found something I wanted to blog today.

Two Glides, Two Silvers

Filed under:Need a Good Editor?,Sports — posted by Anwyn on August 18, 2008 @ 10:49 am

I haven’t been watching the Olympics much, but I did see Phelps get his seventh, and last night I watched the frame-by-frame replay of Phelps vs. Cavic and the whole women’s 50-meter freestyle.

Michael Phelps vs. Milorad Cavic. One one-hundredth of a second difference between gold and silver. Cavic glided while Phelps took another stroke and came out on top by a fingertip.

Dara Torres vs. Britta Steffen. One one-hundredth of a second difference between silver and gold. Torres glided while Steffen took another stroke and came out on top by a fingertip.

No room for coasting in the Olympics.

What up with this quote, AP?

His Olympics looking lost, Michael Phelps decided to flap those gangly arms one more time.

Lost? His whole Olympics would have been lost had he gotten only seven gold medals instead of eight? Yeah, what a loser, all right. The reporter, that is.

Quotes of the Day

Filed under:Television — posted by Anwyn on August 17, 2008 @ 7:30 pm

From the Firefly pilot, the current stitch-while-I-watch material of choice:

Mal: “Wheel never stops turnin’, Badger.”

Badger: “That only matters to the people on the rim.”

This One’s for Mr. Sippican

Filed under:Blogging,It's My Life,Music — posted by Anwyn @ 1:07 am

Mr. Sippican Cottage, that is. Although I’m not sure it’s the kind of music he enjoys. But I love it, and it reminds me of the way Mr. Sippican writes about his wife, about his children, about his life in terms of them.

You know “Ashokan Farewell,” right? Unless you were living under a rock with no cable during the time of The Civil War, the mini-series, you know it. This is by the same composer, Jay Ungar. A cousin of mine who is a dead ringer for Loren Dean and I have talked about who would play me and various other cousins in our life story. The lady at the piano, Molly Mason, would have to be played by Stockard Channing–look at those cheekbones! (Cousin and I couldn’t come up with a satisfactory actor look-alike for me. Go figure.)

I played this in trio yesterday with a couple of great musicians I get to flute around with every few weeks–a fiddler and a guitarist. I flute as aforementioned and also sing–mostly old Peggy Lee songs that Mr. Sippican would probably approve of. “Lovers’ Waltz,” by Jay Ungar. Gorgeous.


Filed under:Heh,Hot — posted by Anwyn on August 16, 2008 @ 11:58 am

I mean, Nathan and Joss are both obviously broiling under the lights. C’mon, what did you think I meant?

Beatles Diplomacy

Filed under:Jerks,Language Barrier,Music,Not Cool — posted by Anwyn @ 11:12 am

A post on the Beatles. I don’t know what this blog is coming to. I blame SarahK, whose ongoing saga “We Can Wiirk It Out” has got the Beatles stuck in my head today, much to my distress.

I dislike the Beatles. I like individual songs here and there (“I Will” leading that category by several lenths), but in general I find them (the group) overblown and overrated. On the “overrated” charge, I am willing to concede that, being far too young to have been around for the furor they caused when they were coming up, I probably cannot appreciate by how far they were the first of their kind. And I certainly have not missed the fact that a lot of my favorite musicians cite them as influences. So I don’t want to be ungrateful. But sometimes their sheer pompousness really gets to me. Have you ever really listened to the words of “We Can Work It Out?”

Try to see it my way,
Do I have to keep on talking till I can’t go on?
While you see it your way,
Run the risk of knowing that our love may soon be gone.
We can work it out,
We can work it out.

Think of what you’re saying.
You can get it wrong and still you think that it’s all right.
Think of what I’m saying,
We can work it out and get it straight, or say good night.
We can work it out,
We can work it out.

Life is very short, and there’s no time
For fussing and fighting, my friend.
I have always thought that it’s a crime,
So I will ask you once again.

Try to see it my way,
Only time will tell if I am right or I am wrong.
While you see it your way
There’s a chance that we may fall apart before too long.
We can work it out,
We can work it out.

Wow. We can work it out, as long as “work it out” means you immediately drop your POV and position and embrace mine. Otherwise we’re through.

“You can get it wrong and still you think that it’s all right” is undoubtedly said between many a couple during arguments. If one person didn’t think the other was unutterably wrong, there probably wouldn’t be the fight to begin with. But it’s not a basis for “working it out.” It’s the basis for the ultimatum being given here: Drop it or I’ll drop you. Seems like they’re past the point of presenting arguments with evidence and logic behind them to try to sway the other person or at least get a compromise. So what is there to work out?

The bridge is possibly the worst of all. “Fighting sucks, so stop doing it. Obviously I’m not the one fighting; it’s just you being so very, very wrong.” If you go to war, needlessly, for I did not desire it, then men will be slain. Saruman sez: I didn’t desire the war, I just decided to overrun your lands and lay waste your forests and plunder your people and you were supposed to do nothing. Because you didn’t do nothing … war! See what you did?

This song is the same thing in microcosm. It is horrible, and not worthy of McCartney, the man who wrote “I Will.” Looks like there may have been some personal overtones to it, but once you put a song out there like that it becomes a general recipe, and this is one of the worst I’ve ever heard.


Filed under:Heh,Priorities — posted by Anwyn on August 15, 2008 @ 12:09 pm

At the rec center.

Young teenage boy: “Do you have a girlfriend?”

Older teenage boy: “No, I don’t need one, man. It’s summer.”

How Many Licks Does It Take

Filed under:Movies — posted by Anwyn on August 14, 2008 @ 3:59 pm

…till the fans quit ticking? How many times does Joss have to say it before people believe it?

There will be no Serenity sequel. Believe it, people.

Learn Something New Every Day

Filed under:Cool,Music — posted by Anwyn @ 2:05 pm

Chess, the music(al), was written by the two Bs in ABBA.

That explains a lot, not least of which is why I like it so much. Like Bookworm says, ABBA has a lot of songs that just make me “fizzy happy.”

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace