The Vast Wasteland

Sheila's rantings, most likely of no interest, on TV, movies, books, music, etc.

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Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

I live in Seattle, am married, have two cats (one is a genius, the other insane), and am a mild-mannered copy editor by day. I love horseback riding, coffee, reading, TV, movies, music, playing (too much) World of Warcraft, and lying on the couch. This isn't a personal blog, but rather a place for me to vent about movies, TV shows, books, music, etc. Thanks for checking in!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Happy Holidays!

I'll be non-blogging for at least two weeks since I'll be out of town. So, I leave you with some end-of-the-year roundups.

  • TV Gal's best shows for 2005: here.
  • The Chicago Tribune's best shows for 2005: here.
  • TeeVee.org offers holiday thanks and lumps of coal to various shows: here.
  • EW.com gives their own TV and movie awards: here.

More year-end stuff should be coming in the next few weeks; I'll update when I get back. Until then, happy holidays*, my kittens.

*I use the phrase "happy holidays" intentionally, to honor our Noodly Master. From venganza.org: People keep asking me what the FSM winter holiday is called - Ramendan, Pastamas, etc. Clever (not really), but no. Our winter holiday is named "Holiday", and stretches most of December and January. Consider how much our religion has spread over the last couple years; how many schools and businesses refer not to the "Christmas season", but to the pastafarian "Holiday season" instead? - Strong evidence of our rapid growth. A special thanks goes to Walmart, who rejected the Christian phrase "Merry Christmas" in favor of the Pastafarian greeting "Happy Holidays". We appreciate your support.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Email Logan!

Yep, I'm stealing from others today. This is from this week's Ask Ausiello.

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Question:
I was watching last week's Veronica Mars when they showed Logan's e-mail address — gottapes@gmail.com — on screen, and I decided to send off a message. Would you believe he wrote me back in character? Was this a staff member? — Kevin

Ausiello: After receiving your tip, I did what any self-respecting TV sleuth would do: I sent "Logan" an e-mail myself to see if you were telling me the truth or just spewing tall tales between bong hits. Lo and behold, within seconds I received a response from Logan that went like this:

I already have the tapes and destroyed them. If you want to hound someone, why don't you hound Veronica Mars. She can be reached at: upn.com/shows/veronica_mars/

Logan

Cool, eh? Well, the plot thickens. Moments letter, another e-mail came through — this one from Rick Pickett, a graphic designer for Veronica Mars, who proceeded to explain that he "uses these real e-mail accounts… [because] it's easier, and more realistic. I then set up to have a bounce-back message for fans, and there're a lot of them who write to the address. I realized after Episode 21 from last season how dedicated fans were with these details. It's like the whole 867-5309 phenomenon — they will try it out. I figured I'd give them a little excitement for their efforts. I've gotten roughly 80 emails for Logan's e-mail and 50 for Inga. Some play along with the script and what's going on, offering money, favors, etc." Um, only 80 e-mails for Logan? Guys, whaddaya say we add to that total a little bit? Here's that address again, gottapes@gmail.com. Go to it.

Woot I Say!

More melodramatic WB crap! Woo! Article here.
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The WB has ordered scripts for two proposed one-hour supernatural drama projects in the wake of the success of its hit series Supernatural, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Pretty Little Liars revolves around four 16-year-old girls whose fifth best friend went missing two years ago. The girls become haunted by messages that suddenly start appearing from her.

The second project, Midnighters, revolves around teens who were born at the stroke of midnight who have gained access to a 25th hour of the day.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Book Review: The Three Incestuous Sisters

(General Review--minor spoilers only. Though it's hard to spoil a book with almost no words.)

I don't usually write harsh reviews, but here we go!

I loved The Time Traveler's Wife. A lot. It made me sniffle at the end. So I eagerly picked up The Three Incestuous Sisters, the lastest from Audrey Niffenegger. And was horribly disappointed.

First, this is an "Illustrated Novel." It's not a graphic novel--oh no, that would be un-artistic. This is self-indulgent and pretentious. The story was fun if predictible--a combination of family drama and fantasy. But, in my opinion, the art was terrible. The art lacked color and whimsy. (Though I did enjoy the drawing of the baby bits flying through the air after a stroller explosion. Hee.)

The good thing: this is a very quick read--15 or 20 minutes. The sad thing: this book took her 14 years to create. In my opinion, she's a better writer than artist. I hope she writes another, non-illustrated novel.

What Am I Doing?

Sorry I haven't posted lately! I've been busy at work with a difficult manuscript, and in my spare time I've been writing Lush reviews. (Lush is a bath and cosmetics store--or, overpriced soap. Link at left.) If you want to read my Lush reviews, the link is here.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Do You Have Lost-Fusion?

Then read the LostPedia!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Book Review: The Water Mirror

(General review; contains some mild spoilers. Also, contains zombies: John, you've been warned!)

The Water Mirror is a young adult fantasy novel, written (in German) by Kai Meyer and translated (decently) by Elizabeth D. Crawford. The most remarkable aspect of this book is the setting: it's set in an alternative Venice, a city that's full of magic (literally) and under seige by Egypt's undead armies. This was a quick read (which I found a relief after Diana Gabaldon--believe me) with some interesting (and creepy!) ideas, such as:
  • A character, who is blind, has her sight restored by getting mirror transplants in her eyes. Her vision becomes better than normal--she can see in the dark, and even into rooms she's not in. However, it's disconcerting to others, who can't see anything but themselves in her eyes.
  • There are mermaids in the canals of Venice, but they're not the beautiful creatures we think of--they have huge, split heads with rows of shark teeth in their oversized mouths. Humans treat them like animals--they race them, keep them in cages, etc.--and the mermaids are dying because of pollution in the waters.
  • Every once in a while, the main character (Merle) gets a glimpse of another Venice--ours. There are certain times and places where the barrier between the two cities grows thin, and they start to leak into each other.
  • A grotesque minion of hell comes to Venice (via a fiery crack in the earth) to offer the city a partnership: hell will drive out the Egyptian undead armies (which have taken over most of Europe, by the way) if the Venetians pledge them...their souls, of course. The Venetians attack and kill hell's messenger, which was kind of kewl.
There are also flying stone lions, a magical mirror that Merle can reach into but never get wet, fabulous cover art, and lots of political intrigue. A decent book, and I'll read the others when they come to this country.

Monday, December 05, 2005

The Best (Male) Jerks on TV

When I was student teaching, I mentioned to my master teacher that I didn't like Wuthering Heights because all the characters annoyed me. They were irrational and immature. Her comment: "Well, I wouldn't invite any of them over for tea, but they're wonderful characters."

So, in honor of Mrs. Bedtelyon, here's a list of male TV characters I wouldn't want over for tea, but that I enjoy watching. (It's a small list--any suggestions?) I'll do female characters later.

1. Dr. Gregory House (House). He's a racist, sexist, sarcastic drug addict. He's also a genius. It's heartbreaking--but oh so fun--to watch him self destruct. I especially love when he's nasty to his "cottages" (the doctors-in-training who are assigned to him).

2. Logan Ecchols (Veronica Mars). A spoiled rich boy, Logan's snark and bad behavior can be partially explained by the bad year he's been having. (His dad slept with and murdered his girlfriend; his dad is in jail; his mom committed suicide (maybe--I'm still not convinced); his new crush, Veronica, dumps him and later dates his best friend; his huge house is burned down.) He's an appealing character because his sarcasm is perfectly delivered, and his nihilism is absolute--yet he still looks like a wounded puppy dog. However, he's merciless if he doesn't like you.

3. Spike, AKA William the Bloody (Buffy and Angel). Note: I'm talking about seasons 2 and 3 Spike, not the declawed, oversexed, champion-of-the-world Spike of later years. Remember early Spike, who was so deadly, cruel, and FUNNY? Yeah. He was a great jerk--the perfect combination of scary and sexy.

4. Ripley Holden (Viva Blackpool). This BBC series describes itself as a "drama, mystery, thriller, and musical." Ripley is the main character, a casino owner whose plans and schemes are unrealistic. He might be more of a tragic figure than a jerk, actually, but his callous (yet caring, in his own way) treatment of his family makes me include him here. He's blustery, cruel, hypocritical, rash, and unlikable--yet hypnotic.

I thought about adding Locke to this list (from Lost), but he's not really a jerk--more eccentric. And I don't like Sawyer (he's a bit one-dimensional for me), so no one from Lost made the list.

Monday Round Up

Movies I watched this weekend
1. Harry Potter and the "gob" (as my husband calls it). Yes, I saw this again. Liked it even more this time.
2. The Outsiders. This was one of my favorite movies in high school (because I had a crush on almost every member of the cast), and it ages pretty well. One thing I noticed this time (which I didn't pick up on when I was younger) was all the homoeroticism. Or maybe I have a dirtier mind now? Anyway...hoyay!
3. March of the Penguins. Thoroughly uplifted and depressed at the same time by this movie. (Note to Deb: don't watch it.) It's amazing any penguins survive. I especially loved the footage of the fuzzy-wuzzy babies and two penguins trying to squeeze into one hole in the ice at the same time. I liked it when penguins would slip, also. Hee.

TV I watched this weekend
1. The Monk Christmas special, which was strange. Slow-paced and smarmy. (Does Stottlemeyer seem like a recovering stroke victim to anyone else?) (By the way, when I was researching how to spell "Stottlemeyer" using google, I discovered there's Monk-Stottlemeyer slash fanfiction, as well as Disher-Stottlemeyer slash, which makes more sense but still makes me shudder.)
2. The series finale of Viva Blackpool. (More on this later.) Gotta love any show with singing and dancing.

What else I did this weekend
I got my hubbie a Nintendo DS for Christmas, so I spent quite a bit of time playing Pokemon Dash. My hands still hurt from gripping too hard. I'm currently reading Rebel Angels by Libba Bray, also.

Friday, December 02, 2005

A Stolen Funny

Nope, I'm not above ripping off other people's content for my bloggy.

Go here to read Powazek's "The Subliminal Reassurances of Procedural Dramas."

Some highlights:

Bones: Don't worry, if you get killed and all that's left of you are your bones, a brilliant but socially awkward woman and a vampire with a soul will solve the crime using a combination of 3D imaging and sexual tension. (Mmmmm...Angel)

Cold Case: Don't worry, if you died a long time ago, a malnourished woman in blue light will catch the bad guy through the power of flashbacks. (Bwa ha ha!)

Law and Order: Don't worry, if you're shot and killed in New York, old, grumpy, alcoholic detectives will stand over you drinking coffee and they'll make at least one pun. After a half hour, your killer will be handed over to an old, grumpy, alcoholic district attorney with an astoundingly beautiful assistant who will bring them to justice...unless it's sweeps, then they might lose or get hit by a car or something.

Happy Friday, my kittens.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Thursday Round Up

1. LOST: Rumor has it that it Sayid appears on the TV screen behind Kate and her adopted father at the military office. Screenshot here. Also, I could personally watch Mr. Eko and Locke all day. Seriously, any scene with the two of them in it is fabulous. Oh, and maybe I'm just a sucker for a pretty horse, but I find myself liking Kate all of a sudden....
2. VERONICA MARS: Indeed, Meg is pregnant. Sigh. I was hoping it would be something more unique than that, but it's still a nice set up for Donut-Veronica problems. Trina was adopted? Huh. That doesn't seem right...(But great Willow scenes. And a fabulous Veronica-Celeste scene. Meow.) Wouldn't it be kewl if Veronica, Weevil, and Logan teamed up to solve the mystery of who killed Felix? I know, wishful thinking, but it has been set up as a possibility. I haven't been to aol.com yet to see the alternate ending, but I intend to. (Stupid UPN and their gimicks!) If someone could sum it up for me and save me the trouble, that would be great.
3. ANTM: Buy-bye, Jayla. See ya. Oh, and take Bre with you, will ya? Nik and Nicole better make it to the top 2! (I like Nik best--she's so serene and just gorgeous--but I could live with Nicole.)
4. SURFACE: This was actually a really good episode--the best of the series. There was lots of action with the redneck and the scientist (still don't like them; still don't know their names--but at least they were interesting to watch this week). And Savannah acted human! And the kid who plays Miles can really act! Oh, and I don't believe for a second that Nim is actually dead. No way. (And if he is, I'll cry.)
5. HOUSE: I like that Foreman is now House's supervisor (and Dr. Wilson had a great line about being best friends), but I thought this episode was a little uneven. I think the whole flashback set up was too lighthearted and lacked suspense--and it could have been a very suspenseful episode. And I personally will be happy when Stacy's episodes are over--I don't like House having romantic entanglements!
6. MEDIUM: I never got my 3D glasses for last week, but from what I hear, they didn't work too well anyway. Good episode though. I also really liked this week's episode (ghosts!), mainly because I love the family dynamics in this show, and I adore the daughters.

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