Final Episode of “Justified,” Season 2: Pray There’s a Season 3!

Tonight is the final episode of “Justified,” Season 2.

It’s been, overall, a great season.  Self watched most of the episodes.  And last week’s, with the shocking death of a character close to Raylan (Self will not reveal who, in case dear blog readers missed the episode and have a chance to watch it in repeats), was the best yet.

Timothy Olyphant was made to play Raylan Givens.  His affable charm, the low-slung jeans, the stance, everything —  self can’t imagine anyone else inhabiting the part.

This season introduced a number of new characters, with two pivotal recurring roles:  Mags Bennett (The actress who plays her, Margo Martindale, is just phenomenal.  Self recognized her in a small role in “Win Win,” as a divorce lawyer) and her twitchy loser of a son, Dickie (played by Jeremy Davies, typecast —  he played another uber-loser in “Saving Private Ryan.”  Also in “Ravenous.”  In fact, has Davies ever had a role where he doesn’t play either a wimp or a loser?).  There were two guest spots played by actresses who looked so similar (long brown hair, rather long face) that self kept interchanging them and getting her plot lines mixed up.  Hubby told her they were two different roles:  one was a marshal and the other was a coal mine executive who Raylan has to protect.  But why did the producers have to get two actresses who looked so similar?

The actress who plays Loretta, the 14-year-old girl orphaned when the Bennetts murder her father, is also excellent —  she has the right kind of face, anyway:  heart-shaped, blank, perfect.  She also deals pot to her classmates and knows how to handle herself when a pedophile starts showing undue interest.

Last week’s episode was by far the most riveting.  There was more background music, too, which helped (Self thinks there have been far too many episodes with absolutely no music.  The total absence of music sometimes had self wondering whether the show was having some kind of budget issue — ?)

Best scene from last week was when Raylan visits Mags in her store.  As she tries to leave, he puts a hand against her (upper?) chest.  With anyone else, that gesture would have seemed a violation.  With Timothy Olyphant it just seemed so —  in character.  Firm, but gentle.  And the lady never flinched!  Only gave him a withering glance. (Since Mags is a massive woman, the upper part of her chest looks like a shelf.  Perfectly right, then, that Raylan should think of using it as such — BWAH HA HAAA!)

In last week’s episode there was no Jacob Pitts and no Erica Taziel.  Aside from one episode that focused on Erica (which self enjoyed), there seemed to be far less of these two, this season.  Aww, if there is a Season 3, which self sincerely hopes there will be, she hopes they cut the scenes with Winona (Natalie Zea) in favor of giving more air time to Pitts and Taziel, and even to Nick Searcy, who plays Raylan’s deliciously sardonic boss.

Self thought she would never get used to the reduced presence of Ava, who was one of the spiciest things in Season 1.  Though the ex-wife has moved front and center, self still doesn’t like her as much as Ava!  But that relationship hasn’t ruined the show, thank goodness.

Only seven more minutes!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Latest Book Deals (Courtesy of PUBLISHERS LUNCH WEEKLY 2 May 2011)

Latest e-letter from Publishers Weekly has announcement of the following deals:

Fiction by First-Time Novelists:

  • Irish journalist Kathleen MacMahon’s This Is How It Ends, billed as “a transatlantic love story for our times,” to Grand Central in a two-book deal (Rights were also sold in Brazil, Germany, Spain, Holland, France, and Denmark)
  • Stephanie McAfee, whose self-published e-book became a New York Times bestseller, will make her fiction debut with Diary of a Mad Fat Girl, “which introduces the angry Ace Jones and an assortment of her small-town friends and enemies,” to NAL in a three-book deal

General/ Other

  • Christopher Wakling’s What I Did, “pitched as The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time meets The Slap, in which a six-year-old boy becomes the center of a social services maelstrom after he runs into the road, his father smacks him, and a passerby intervenes,” to William Morrow for publication in Summer 2012.

Memoir

  • Actor Ryan O’Neal’s Past Imperfect, “a candid description of his and Farrah Fawcett’s roller coaster of love and loss, from their first meeting in 1979 until her death in June 2009,” to Crown Archetype for publication in Spring 2012

There were other deal announcements, such as UCSF pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Robert H. Lustig’s Fat Chance:  Gambling with Our Personal and Public Health, “showing how the changes in our food environment during the last few decades have disastrously affected human biochemistry to cause an epidemic of obesity,” but, alas, the time has come to give self’s furiously typing fingers a rest from the keyboard.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

The bin Laden Raid: Best Written Backstory (So Far), Courtesy of AP

Ever since the news broke last night, self has been wondering what the crucial tip-off was, that led to the Seals finding bin Laden’s residence.  The answer comes in this article by Associated Press, posted several hours ago on the Yahoo!  News site.

It seems that, years ago (shortly after 9/11, in fact), U.S. intelligence had already concluded that “bin Laden’s vulnerability was his couriers.”  According to the article:

He was too smart to let al-Qaida foot soldiers, or even his senior commanders, know his hideout.  But if he wanted to get his messages out, somebody had to carry them, someone bin Laden trusted with his life.

Detainees in the CIA’s “secret prison network” told interrogators about an important courier who went by the name Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti (What?  America has a “secret prison network”?  You mean, aside from Gitmo?  Oh, right, Read the rest of this entry »

Rating Obama’s Speech Tonight

“We will be relentless in defense of our citizens . . .  Justice has been done.”

—  Obama informing the world that Osama Bin Laden had been killed (Days ago?  It took a while before the U.S. government could absolutely confirm his identity, via DNA testing)

10 out of 10.  10 out of 10.  10 out of 10.

Stay tuned.

Links Today: Philippine Genre Stories, Filipino American Cultural Festival at San Lorenzo

The 3rd Annual Filipino American Cultural Arts Festival at San Lorenzo Library is today, the first of May 2011.  The Library is located at 395 Paseo Grande, San Lorenzo, CA.  The event starts at 1:30 pm and is FREE (Of course, since this is a PAWA event, there will be merienda).

Edwin Lozada and Gemma Nemenzo organized the event.

Here are the list of readers:

  • Edwin Lozada
  • David Maduli
  • Elsa Valmidiano
  • Joan Iva Cube

David, Elsa and Joan are all published in the new PAWA anthology, Walang Hiya.  In addition, there will be musical performances by Carlos Zialcita and Little Brown Brother!

Post-Event Addenda:

  • While self was standing at the back of the room, listening to David Maduli read, the musicians, who were standing next to her, began snapping their fingers and nodding in rhythm to his poetry.  “Nothing like a pinoy,” they were saying, or words to that effect)
  • Edwin did a grrrreat job reading one of self’s stories from The Lost Language.  She told him to choose any story, and he selected “Coconut.”  The trouble with self reading her own stories is that she gets self-conscious.  And she doesn’t really put herself into it.  But Edwin read all the scenes so expressively that self found herself thinking:  “Wow, am I just imagining it, or is that possibly a really great story ???”

*     *     *     *     *     *

Earlier today, self received a message from Charles Tan.  Her story, “The Departure,” is now up on the Philippine Genre Stories website.  Thanks much, Charles!  Check it out here.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

NYTBR 17 April 2011: David Foster Wallace and Two Memoirs

Books self is interested in reading after perusing the 17 April 2011 Issue of The New York Times Book Review:

1.   After reading Tom McCarthy’s front-page review of two works by the late David Foster Wallace, Wallace’s unfinished novel, The Pale King, and Wallace’s essay Fate, Time, and Language:

  • David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King
  • David Foster Wallace’s earlier, groundbreaking novel, Infinite Jest (which self hasn’t read yet because she is waiting for a time when she has nothing to do for six months but read)

2.   After reading Gail Caldwell’s review of Meghan O’Rourke’s The Long Goodbye, about the death of her mother:

  • Meghan O’Rourke’s The Long Goodbye

3.   After reading Abraham Verghese’s review of Diane Ackerman’s One Hundred Names for Love:  A Stroke, A Marriage, and the Language of Healing, about a devastating stroke that left Ackerman’s husband able only to repeat one meaningless syllable, over and over:

  • Diane Ackerman’s One Hundred Names for Love:  A Stroke, A Marriage, and the Language of Healing

(And, BTW, the book self is currently reading, Laurence Bergreen’s Marco Polo:  From Venice to Xanadu, is a very enthralling book.  Which is why she is still reading it, almost a month after she began, in early April)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Reading “War, Literature & the Arts” Again

Here’s an excerpt from another post on the blog I quoted from a few days ago, “War, Literature & the Arts.”

This post is by the same person who wrote the post I quoted from a few days ago: James Moad II. From what self gleans from his posts, he is apparently stationed at a U.S. base in Germany. The title of this post is “The Poet and the Wounded Warrior’s Return.” Moad had to visit a military hospital for damage to a rotator cuff, and here is what he witnessed:

    As I left the hospital, passing by the ER, I watched a crowd of medical personnel gather around a bus that had just arrived. They began offloading stretchers, one after another, filled with the wounded warriors who’d arrived at Ramstein Air Base just a few hours before on C-17s. I examined their faces, and after twenty years of service, many looked like little boys to me. With IVs hovering above blanketed bodies, the stretchers moved briskly past me toward surgeons and doctors waiting to treat the physical wounds of war. After watching the scene unfold before me, returning to the U.S. for surgery seemed like a modest inconvenience.

Moad goes on to recount watching an episode of Frontline while recuperating in Colorado Springs. From there, he discusses post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is a very, very interesting post.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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