Arctic Sea Ice: Disturbing Change

Ever since self began writing her horror story, The Rorqual, set in the Bering Sea, she’s been following the NSIDC on Twitter.

Today, she read this:

Arctic sea ice extent for October 2017 averaged 6.71 million square kilometers (2.60 million square miles), the fifth lowest in the 1979 to 2017 satellite record. This was 1.64 square kilometers (633,000 square miles) below the 1981 to 2010 average and 820,000 square kilometers (317,000 square miles) above the record low October extent recorded in 2012.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

#amwriting Dystopian Fantasy: “This Is End”

Knot’s moved up a row. She’s seated one over from me. Doodling.

Drinker says, under his breath, “Big passed.”

I answer: “Right. Big’s Not Big. He’s Big XXX. Mark it.” I slash three quick XXXs across my screen. Knot looks to the side quickly, then glances down.

Drinker shudders, pulls slightly out of his seat.

The human members of this class in the last remaining colony on Earth are disappearing faster than you can say Fa la la la.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Current Fan Fiction Fave’s Everlark Ship Still Not Yet Ready to Sail, in the Meantime at the Cineplex . . .

Oh, fan fiction.  You have self on pins and needles all the time.  All the time.

The Fourth of July weekend is coming up. On the Monday following (July 7), self sails off to Squaw Valley for the Writers Conference.  She just arranged to share a ride with someone from Benicia.  Excited!

This afternoon, self casts a very cursory look over the summer movie offerings.  She still wants to see “22 Jump Street”, though The Man saw it while she was in Los Angeles and declared it not good at all.

She still wants to see “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” as she loved the first one.

She’s seen “Edge of Tomorrow.”  Oh, that was good!  Emily Blunt is packin’.  It is so great when an actress with proven dramatic chops switches gears.  Blunt’s Full Metal Bitch deserves a place on the pantheon of Female Action Stars — maybe not quite on the level of Femme Nikita or Ripley, but definitely equal to Scarjo’s Black Widow.

She still wants to see “The Fault in Our Stars.”  Son and Jennie saw it and liked it, though Jennie maintained that the book was better.

She saw “Maleficent” down in Pasadena, with Son and Jennie.  3 1/2 out of 4 stars.  Self found Jolie’s razor-sharp cheekbones a tad distracting.  So was her lightning-fast change into leather pants in the movie’s climactic confrontation.

“X-Men:  Days of Future Past” — four out of four stars!  Magnificent!  Love the Vietnamese-talking Mystique!  Love J-Law/Mystique in 70s bo-ho hippie attire!  Love unrequited angst between J-Law/Mystique and McAvoy/Xavier and also with Hoult/Beast, and the jealous macho-ness of Fassbender/Magneto!  Not to mention, Ellen Page is one darn cute actress!  She hasn’t been this cute since “Juno”!

Finally, self still wants to see “Godzilla.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.


“Riddick” vs. “Star Trek: Into Darkness”

The money piled onto J. J. Abrams’ lap for the sequel to the first “Star Trek” re-boot did us no favors.

What happens when Hollywood plies a talented director with money?  It’s rather hard not to resist piling on the special effects, like a little boy who is suddenly given too much candy.  Result:  less human story.

Which is sad!  “Into Darkness” opened with a pointless chase scene on a planet over-run by natives (When oh when will Hollywood ever get over the need to fetishize alien cultures by portraying them as mud-slathered savages) and had Spock suiting up in a suit that looked like something from a New York Fashion Week catwalk.  Ridiculous!  Spock should always be in uniform, at least the first sight of him should be.  He is the most cerebral character in the world.  No, we do not want to see him in action mode.  We want to see him snuggling up to Bambi!  Er, to Uhura!

On to discussion of “Riddick,” which is the second sequel to “Pitch Black.”

“Pitch Black” was a very inventive movie.  It had a “look.”

The first sequel, “Chronicles of Riddick,” was also gorgeous to look at.  Thandy Newton and Karl Urban had opportunity to wear the most fabulous costumes.  It also had Judi Dench floating around like a cloud, but her costume unfortunately was limited to white, vaguely Biblical attire.

Now to the sequel to the sequel, “Riddick.”

“Riddick” was on a much leaner budget than “Star Trek: Into Darkness” (naturally, since “Chronicles of Riddick” was a dud — in fact, self considers it a miracle of tenacity that “Riddick” was made at all) and the first half is pure theater.  Unfortunately, one cannot have Vin Diesel alone for an entire movie.  He has to engage in human interaction at some point, and self thinks it was extremely witty to have him, first, calling the hunters to him (as one of the mercs later says:  “He called a taxi”) by self-identifying and beaming out to the universe his presence on a planet we know only as “Not Furya.”  Naturally, this bit of chutzpah calls forth every two-bit merc in the vicinity, and we soon have two groups battling each other for the honor of putting Riddick’s head in a box.

And then there’s Katee Sackhoff who appears with the second group of mercs and keeps referring to the leader as “Boss,” which is interesting as she seems very “no-nonsense” and “take-charge” and calling someone “Boss” even though he actually IS a boss seems antithetical to the character.  But anyhoo.

Because of a rather limited budget, what happens is the characters never get off-planet.  This is great!  This is wonderful!

There is much macho posturing.  Also great!

There is an extended bathing scene involving Sackhoff, which reveals that this woman has quite a sultry figure (not apparent in “Battlestar Galactica,” the TV series which brought her recognition), and that her hairdo really sets off her neck and shoulders very nicely.  Super great!

After this bath scene (In the future, every movie and TV show should feature a bath scene, like the pivotal one in “Game of Thrones” Season 3 Episode 5), Riddick can be forgiven for — Heavens! — actually FLIRTING with Dahl.

Flirting is wonderful.  Especially in the middle of a David Twohy film.

All in all, “Riddick” gave self quite a pleasurable two hours.  Also because it was preceded by a preview for Keanu’s new movie, “47 Ronin,” which caused self’s jaw to drop all the way to the floor (The awesomeness of lines like:  “THEIR armies are infinite. And we are . . . 47 ronin!”)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Latest Book Deals (Courtesy of Publisher’s Weekly, 23 Feb 2010)

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

Fiction by First-Time Novelists:

  • Amos Towle’s Rules of Civility, “the story of a tenacious and beautiful young wit of ignominious beginnings who, in the twilight of the Great Depression, embarks on a journey through the upper echelons of New York City in search of a future far brighter than she’s been told she has the right to expect,” to Viking, at auction, for publication in 2011
  • Michael David Lukas’s The Oracle of Stamboul, “about an eight-year-old girl, who becomes an adviser to the Sultan in 1885 as the Ottoman Empire is crumbling,” to Harper, for publication in February 2011
  • Samantha Sotto-Yambao’s Ever After Happily, “a delightful debut in which a young widow discovers that her dead husband may in fact be very much alive . . .  her search for answers takes readers on an adventure from revolutionary Paris to medieval Prussia to ancient Venice, to a place where she discovers whether love is truly everlasting,” to Shaye Arheart Books

Sci-Fi/ Fantasy

  • Jesse Petersen’s Married with Zombies, “the story of how the zombie apocalypse saved one woman’s marriage,” and Flip This Zombie, to Orbit, in a three-book deal

General/ Other

  • British comedian Mark Watson’s Eleven, “the story of a successful late-night radio call-in show host and a related cast of characters throughout London, pitched in the spirit of Nick Hornby and Joshua Ferris,” to Scribner for publication in Spring 2011

Religion/ Spirituality

  • James Redfield’s The Twelfth Insight, the “fourth book in the Celestine series and an adventure tale, both suspenseful and contemplative,” to Grand Central for publication in February 2011

There were several other deal announcements, such as the latest installment in Kenneth Davis’ New York Times‘ bestselling Don’t Know Much About series,  and a humorous memoir about a woman’s battle with a mysterious illness, and a memoir by actress Marlo Thomas.  But, alas, self has to get dinner started.  Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

Early Mel Gibson: “The Road Warrior”, “The Year of Living Dangerously”

It is another beautiful day.  Last night, for no good reason, self found herself watching two early Mel Gibson movies:  “The Road Warrior” and “The Year of Living Dangerously.”

Mel was sooo handsome.  Though of late she has heard him described as a “Hollywood pariah,” she finds it comforting that he has never stooped to anything like plastic surgery (unlike Dennis Quaid and Steve Martin, both of whom have what self refers to as “cat-eye-syndrome”).

Anyhoo, “The Road Warrior” put her in mind of “The Book of Eli,” which led her to look up the latter’s Rotten Tomatoes rating.  40!! (As of today, moved up somewhat, to 47%) Shocking!!  What is up with that??

Self watched most of “The Road Warrior” and saw definite parallels between the Read the rest of this entry »

Just In! Just In! Just In!

Hottest fake dialogue between ZQ/Spock and ZS/Uhura ever. Ever.

Check this out on io9.

“Star Trek” can never be the same.


Random: Movies of 2009

Character self loved most in “Avatar”: Zoe Saldana’s, Neytiri.  Second runner-up: Sigourney Weaver’s character, Grace (Except for one thing: why was she the only blue-skinned avatar condemned to wearing safari shorts in the scenes where everyone else was wearing thongs or loincloths? Can’t an older lady be allowed to go buck nekkid if the part requires it?). Third runner-up: Michelle Rodriguez’s helicopter pilot character. Which means that the characters that made the movie worth watching (for self) were all women.

Self’s most pressing question for “Avatar” Director James Cameron: How come, when you spend $230 million on a movie, and you bother to create a planet called Pandora, the only difference between the plants and animals on that planet and the ones on Earth are that the creatures have slightly different shapes and different colors? But all the animals still have four legs and two eyes?

Movie whose last half was as disappointing as the first half was promising: Read the rest of this entry »

Stars Who Contributed (Loads) to Self’s Enjoyment in 2009

Looking back on 2009, self realizes in some amazement that —  Holy Cow!  She did get to see quite a lot of movies, plays, and new TV shows!  Early in the year, she saw “Desire Under the Elms” at the Goodman Theater and “The Tempest” at Steppenwolf, in Chicago.  In the summer, she and son and hubby made the trek to Orinda to see Cal Shakes’ wonderful production of “A Midsummer Nights Dream.”  Self is sure she is forgetting someone/something, but anyhoo, here’s the list of the actors and actresses who rocked her world (Can she include a non-actress?  Then self would like to name Sarah Gambito, who self read with at the Bayanihan Community Center.  OMG, she is amazing):

  • Matthew Amendt (the Guthrie’s production of “Henry V”)
  • Moon Bloodgood (“Terminator:  Salvation”)
  • Eliza Dushku (“Dollhouse“)
  • Brian Geraghty (“The Hurt Locker”)
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt (“500 Days of Summer”)
  • Carla Gugino (“Desire Under the Elms” —  Self saw it at the Goodman in Chicago)
  • Woody Harrelson (“Zombieland”)
  • Rhys Ifans (“Pirate Radio”)
  • Alice Krige (“Skin”)
  • Diane Kruger (“Inglourious Basterds”)
  • David Letterman (being himself)
  • Bill Nighy (“Pirate Radio”)
  • Leonard Nimoy (“Star Trek”)
  • Ed Norton (very bit part in “The Invention of Lying” —  but still)
  • Sophie Okonedo (“Skin”)
  • Zach Quinto (“Star Trek”)
  • Jeremy Renner (“The Hurt Locker”)
  • Sam Rockwell (“Moon”)
  • Winona Ryder (“Star Trek”)
  • Pablo Schreiber (“Desire Under the Elms”)
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman (“Pirate Radio”)
  • Christoph Waltz (“Inglourious Basterds”)
  • Tom Wisdom (“Pirate Radio”)
  • Sam Worthington (“Terminator:  Salvation”)

and, last but not least:

the entire cast of Cal Shakes’ “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” !!!

Io9’s “Top Ten Sci Fi Disappointments of the Past Decade”

Self will enumerate io9’s choices, followed by some of her usual off-the-cuff commentary!

1. Battlestar Galactica’s final episode

    No, No. And no.

2. “The Dark Knight Strikes Again” (in which Io9’s Charlie Jane Anders claims that Frank Miller reveals himself to be no Read the rest of this entry »

« Older entries

The life of B

Mainly through the lens of a Nikon


welcome to my past, present and future mixed with whatever pops up right now

Iain Kelly

Fiction Writing

John's Space .....

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost

nancy merrill photography

capturing memories one moment at a time

Rantings Of A Third Kind

The Blog about everything and nothing and it's all done in the best possible taste!

Sauce Box

Never get lost in the Sauce

GK Dutta

Be One... Make One...

Cee's Photo Challenges

Teaching the art of composition for photography.

Fashion Not Fear

Fueling fearlessness through fashion and inspiration.

Wanderlust and Wonderment

My writing and photo journey of inspiration and discovery


Decades of her words.

John Oliver Mason

Observations about my life and the world around me.


fiction, short story, writing, creative content

Insanity at its best!

Yousuf Bawany's Blog

lita doolan productions

Any old world uncovered by new writing

unbolt me

the literary asylum

CSP Archives

Archive of the CSP

The 100 Greatest Books Challenge

A journey from one end of the bookshelf to the other