Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy End of Tacky Day

Okay, I know. Tacky Christmas decorations abound. But are they as tacky as Halloween decorations? No. Not at all. No contest.

Our neighbor down the street has an inflated skull with inflated ghosts coming out of it.

Really hoping that it'll get put away for storage. Also, really hoping they're just as into Christmas lights.  I love Christmas lights.

So...blogging this much. *Almost* as much of an epic fail as getting (or trying to get) Tesla's toenails ground at the PetSmart in Mount Vernon, WA.  (We ended up having to get a refund. It wasn't going to happen.)

We ended up, once we got back from the three-week Memphis/Little Rock/St. Louis trip, having to go to Portland (Anacortes for Danny), Anacortes (Mount Vernon for me), and Los Angeles (technically Foothill Ranch, east of Irvine).

By the end, I was a complete mess. Actually, I think I was a mess beforehand, but that doesn't mean we didn't have some fun. In California, we got to go to Disneyland (my first time!) and I got to hang out with my dear friend Kara and see her digs in West Hollywood. A grand time had by all, even for Tesla, who got to be admired by one and all on the tram to and from the Disneyland Kennels.

Now that we're back, it's time to return to the task of moving into our house. I'm just about done with choosing which photos need to be printed for which walls - I'm VERY excited about having artwork up! As the granddaughter of two artists, I don't handle blank walls well.  My brain doesn't know how to handle them..

In other important news - both ABC and NBC aired their fairy tail themed shows, Once Upon a Time and Grimm, respectively.

When the trailers were released, I thought Grimm looked a bit more focused. Having watched both pilots, I'm wondering if it's too focused - it feels more forced and rote than Once.

Not that Once doesn't have its awkward moments, but it's sticking close to the Hero's Journey arc for its heroine, played by Jennifer Morrison. You might remember Morrison as Cameron from House.  Now, I'm convinced that the writers for House kind of really hate women, since Cameron's character was wheedly and annoying. Not so with Emma Swan, who has got a backbone and knows how to use it. It's refreshing, honestly.

In Grimm, the lead, David Giuntoli, is stiff and bland. Werewolf Silas Weir Mitchell (Prison Break) is far more interesting, but it's tricky when the best character is a supporting character.

It often takes a few episodes (or a couple seasons) for a show to hit its stride. So we'll see how goes, but do catch Once - it's well-cast and has vision. Whether the vision is carried off or not remains to be seen, but I think it's off to a strong and inventive start.

Anybody else watching the two shows? What's your take?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Un Jour de Pluie

The rain, it comes.

You know you live in the desert when it rains and you're confused about what, exactly, is going on.  This is after 25 years in the Willamette Valley, where it rains 10 months out of the year.

Still. Brain trying to recollect what one does when it rains.

Tesla is completely befuddled by the moisture from the sky, because she spent her Spring rainy season in our corporate apartment as a young pup, only experiencing the rain that blew/dripped in past the patio covering.

(I apologize for the crick in your neck. I'm not techy enough to figure out if the orientation can be changed. But cute, no?)

Right now, Tesla will ring her bells to go outside; I'll open the door, she'll take in the scenery and decide - no, actually, not worth it.

Just kidding.

I've been reading The Paris Wife, FINALLY - I've wanted to read it for some time, but the Kindle edition is on the pricier side, and the wait list at the library took a long time...

...anyway, reading it now, and oh. My. Goodness.  Poor Hadley! An excellent read so far, The Paris Wife tells the story of the first Mrs. Hemmingway from her perspective, from meeting Ernest in Chicago to marrying him at the age of 28 (he was 21). They moved shortly after the wedding to Paris - and not the nice part of Paris, either - and make a home for them while he struggled to find himself as a writer.

Writers are difficult people in the best of times; Hemingway had hemochromatosis, the inability to metabolize iron, as well as (most likely) bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

He also drank like a fish.

Easy man to be married to? Not so much.

Another book that makes for terrific rainy-day reading?

Jenny B. Jones' There You'll Find Me  is perfect for a day with precipitation.  I should have realized it was also perfect for an airplane ride...I slogged through a truly terrible book (actually, two of them) on the flight back from St. Louis, which was painful because Danny's book was absolutely brilliant.

He'd giggle at his book and I'd role my eyes at the pages (and pages) of limp characterization.

I came home and pulled out There You'll Find Me.  I loved it for all of the reasons that I loved Anna and the French Kiss - a very real, very likeable heroine, a gorgeous setting, and a crush-worthy boy.

(Speaking of, Stephanie Perkins has a new novel out.  I'll get back to you on that...)

There You'll Find Me treads perfectly across themes of loss and hope, romance and change, friendship and grief.  Did I mention it's funny? That the protagonist refers to Pride and Prejudice as the single girl's Magna Carta?

Really, it's grand. Trust me.

So if it's rainy where you are - these are the books! Grab a mug of tea (carefully) and tuck yourself into bed with a book.

Or, if you're Tesla, you can go catch a raindrop.