Archive | May 2010

Need an Opinion…

How’s this for a beginning? Be honest. Thanks.
Selena stared into the beast’s golden eyes as he crouched on the bed above her and then she quickly moved her gaze to the dismal hotel floor when he snarled. She’d seen enough horror movies and read enough books to know that you don’t look a werewolf in the eye. Nope, looking at the grey-blue worn down industrial carpet was best if she wanted to live, assuming that he had no intention of just eating her outright.
The room was too quiet, the silence only offering her breaths as she drew them in and out in slow concentration to remove her higher-than-normal level of fear. Even the werewolf sitting atop the bed made no sound. If she couldn’t see him from the corner of her left eye, she wouldn’t think he was still present. A low rumble then came and she heard the sheets shift. She swallowed and tried to keep quiet and still, regardless of the heartbeat that pounded in her eardrums. And she knew that if he crawled off the bed, she would have to go belly up—something she wasn’t real thrilled about doing.
God damn wolves, rambled through her mind. This one had hidden it well too. She’d had no clue what he was when he approached her in the bar. That’s what I get for taking a night off.

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The Book of Eli

Denzel Washington is probably one of my favorite actors these days. He’s always in such good roles, no matter the character he plays, and that’s the kicker – his characters vary all over the damn place. I heard he once said that he doesn’t pick the script, the script picks him. I know how that goes. I experience something similar with certain aspects of my life.

Gary Oldman also plays a large role in this film as Carnegie, a small town mayor with big ideas on how to control people. He’s also one of my favorite actors these days and it’s just stellar to watch him work any role on stage or screen.

The Book of Eli is …

Not at all what I expected it to be, and that’s a good thing. It released somewhere around the same time as Legion (which I’ll be reviewing next, since I just watched it), and I thought The Book of Eli was a similar story because Hollywood nearly always has two films releasing around the same time that are essentially the same story, just two different studios producing them. For example: giant meteor going to hit Earth and destroy everything –  Armageddon and Deep Impact. And that’s just one example.

So let’s take a look at The Book of Eli.

Movie tagline: Some will kill to have it. He will kill to protect it.

This Hughes Brothers film is a post-apocalyptic tale about a lone man – Eli – as he makes his trek across a deserted America to take the book he’s carrying west. His job is simply to protect it and take it where it needs to be. We don’t know exactly what the book is right away and contrary to what others believe, I didn’t think it was blatantly obvious, but then I’m not an overly religious person either.

The cinematography is incredible in this movie, the clear, sharp images that flash across the screen with vivid cuts and displays during fight scenes. Breathtaking and reminiscent of the movie 300. There are several points in the movie that are quite funny, whether intentional or not and does it really matter if it makes you laugh? No, it doesn’t. The desolate view from the camera’s angle is perfect and precise and says so much with just a few shots or scans of the set.

Now, I’m not going to give you a full synopsis of this movie and ruin it for you, but I will tell you a few things.

Regardless of what others believe this movie’s meaning was, I don’t believe this film actually “promotes” Christianity. I don’t believe this film was written and created solely as a propaganda that tells the world how Christianity will save everyone in the end, will save civilization. On the contrary, it shows through Carnegie (Oldman) how religion is used as a powerful tool/weapon to control people. Carnegie knows the power of the words within the book Eli has. He knows, has seen, what those words can do. In the wrong hands, those words can be used as a weapon, as a way to enslave or control the population by way of giving false hope for the future, giving the population something to believe in, by putting the fear of God into the population (does any of this sound familiar yet?). The two fight over the book because Eli is supposed to protect it in its written form and Carnegie is just simply evil incarnate and will do anything to get the book, including shooting Eli.

It’s only clear that the book must survive alongside Shakespeare and other great works. It’s about the writing (to me anyway), not the content therein. I mean, think about it, the bible is the biggest bestseller known to man. Right? Why wouldn’t you save a piece of work that has defined the history of the human race?

Mila Kunis plays a good role in this movie as Solara, Claudia’s (Jennifer Beals) daughter, even though it took me forEVER to figure out who she was. Ray Stevenson as Redridge is wonderful (yes, that’s the guy from the series Rome – Titus Pullo – NOM). I think I have a mini-crush on him.

I giggled at the end destination of Eli with his book. I couldn’t help myself, but I won’t spoil it for you. Watch the movie. If you like crisp images, clear imagery, and a decent storyline that’s not preachy, you’ll enjoy this movie.

I give The Book of Eli 0 Jinxes because it’s that damn good and one I’d like to own.

Shawn Interviews Author Kait Nolan


Kait Nolan is in the midst of a blog tour with her novella Forsaken by Shadow, and I thought it would be interesting to have one of my characters—namely Shawn—interview her, mostly because he saw what I was doing and started throwing out questions. “Interesting” is such a subtle term for Shawn’s typical hijinx, but he conducted himself with respect, for the most part, and enjoyed doing the interview. I may have him do this again.
So, on to Shawn’s interview with author Kait Nolan.
Shawn: Alright, so, questions. *flips papers over* Where’d I put them? Oh, here’s a few. I tend to write on napkins. Sorry, Jinxie won’t share her notebooks.
We’ll get down to the nitty gritty of your book in a bit, like why I ain’t seein’ no vamps yet.

Kait: The vampires are coming…they just don’t play a role in this particular book. 😀
S: What kinds of books do you write? Y’know, genre and shit. And do you read the same stuff you write?

KN: Well despite a lengthy stint writing romantic suspense (police/FBI type), I currently write straight up paranormal romance, with planned branching into Young Adult.

I absolutely read the same stuff I write. When I have time to read, that is. My To Be Read pile has been swelling at an exponential rate, despite the fact that my free time to actually read has shrunk.  

S: Ooh, paranormal romance! I like that shit. I like the idea you have of shadow walkers. What was your inspiration for it, or how’d it come about?
KN: I actually had to think really hard to remember that. Shadow walkers actually came up first as an idea for a group blog. I had several Twitter pals who were considering a group blog thing (I have an addiction to blogging…it’s a sickness), except I kept missing them. It was a ships passing in the dusk kind of thing because they were pretty nocturnal and I, by dint of my job, was not. I saw a quote somewhere about walking in shadows and then when Gage showed up, I started thinking “oh what a cool way to be special ops…”
S: Let me tell you honestly that yes, shadow walking is definitely a great attribute to have for special ops. I, myself, tend to port from place to place. So, is Gage a trained killer like me?
KN: Well Gage is trained to kill as it is the kind of thing necessary for a Shadow Walker, but that’s not the primary function of the Shadow Walkers. They’re more about intel, retrieval, extraction and the like. There’s a whole other group that’s designated purely as assassins. The Hunters.

As for the mixed martial arts (MMA) fighting, it’s something I personally enjoy. They’re like modern day gladiators in a way, so it seemed natural that someone who’s been trained to fight would still gravitate toward fighting even with his memory stripped away.

S: *nods* Ah yes, good answer. I read everything Jinxie reads (obviously, though I try to ignore some of it), and her TBR pile is fucking HUGE. Can you name any books that you absolutely MUST read the moment you see it?
KN: Maggie Stiefvater’s Linger, sequel to Shiver, which was amazing. Anything by Cassandra Clare. LOVED The Mortal Instruments trilogy. I’ve been on a major YA kick this year. So much great stuff coming out. I used to be that way about Nora Roberts’ new releases, but not so much since I jumped back on the paranormal train.
S: YA books? *gag* Sorry, I just can’t get into them.
KN: It is, perhaps, not for everyone 😀
S: Why do you write that shit … I mean, I’m not calling it shit per se, but why do you write in general? What motivates or inspires you to write or is inspiration for your stories?

KN: I write in general because I have to. I don’t have much choice in the matter. If I don’t write, I’m pissy beyond all get out and a little unbalanced. When I write, I can sort of reset the internal balance, if that makes sense. I guess it’s its own variety of drug. As for what inspires me…anything and everything. I get ideas all over the place. Sometimes from current events, sometimes from TV or an overheard snippet of conversation. It’s a lot of fun for me to take something from the ordinary world and turn it into the extraordinary. I think that’s the real attraction to paranormal for me.
 
S: How do you feel about fangs? *winks*
KN: My, what big, shiny, white teeth you have… You must have really great dental…
S: *flashes fang* All the better to bite you with, m’dear.
KN: Careful vamp, I’m a married woman. Protected by two fierce dogs who will lick you to death.
S: *laughs* I love dogs! Jinxie’s Moon is a sweetheart. I see you have similar breeds.
KN: Malamutes are made of awesome.
S: So, you say there are vamps in the future? Nice. I’d like to see how you work them in and what your vamps are like. Can you give any hints as to what’s in store?
KN: I have no idea yet about what role the vamps are going to play in the big metaplot, and I don’t have a specific idea for a story featuring a vamp hero or heroine just yet. But I have been thinking about the lore. I’m not using much in the way of “traditional” lore. They can walk in the sun. Can eat real food. Don’t have anything against garlic. They have a pulse. They are less living dead and more…well it’s kind of like they have a sort of super sickle cell anemia kind of thing going on. Their blood cells simply can’t carry oxygen, so they have to rely on other means.
S: Interesting idea about the vamps. I’m a daywalker too, and can eat food, but that’s mostly for appearances. However, I love, love, LOVE tiramisu. *pauses and stares* What? *shuffles papers* What’s your favorite dessert?
KN: Tiramisu is awesome. My favorite dessert…oh God that’s so hard to narrow down. But I guess it would have to be homemade peach cobbler with homemade vanilla ice cream.
S: Ooh, yet another good answer.
So let’s wrap this up and you can show me around this beautiful home, okay? Tell all the peeps for me, Kait, where to buy your shit … er … I mean book. *grins*
KN: Gladly 😀


Forsaken By Shadow, available for $1 at 
ScribdSmashwordsAmazonBarnes and Noble, and the iBookstore.
S: Thanks, Kait, for sitting through this wonderful interview with me. I actually felt a bit useful. *winks*
Jinx: Thank you to Kait Nolan for agreeing to face my bad boy vamp. I’ll try to keep him away from you.
S: Shut it, Jinx. Oh hey, go check out my blog, since you’re here!



Arizona’s Anti-Ethnic Studies Bill

I have a friend, who doesn’t even live in this country by the way, and she’s a researcher. On this blog, here’s some information she found about Arizona’s new laws and she discusses them. It explains some of the “racial profiling” misunderstanding about SB1070, which is the immigration law. So, this law, HB2281, I don’t agree with. It’s the Anti-Ethnic Studies law. Tom Horne is an idiot. Always has been, and while I worked for one of the school districts. Some things never change. Arizona education, for that matter. It’s a joke. Really. If I had kids, I would NOT send them to public school anywhere in Arizona.

Go read and fucking educate yourself.

Loss

My gut twists
In agony
Knots tightening
Bile rising
I’m trapped in this
Nightmare
Of broken dreams
That never end
Eyes shut tight
Stinging with pain
Light eluding
Darkness suffocating
The words have disappeared
Fading truths untold
And I’ve bared my soul
For nothing but loss
Now look at the cost
I’ll accept my fate
And lose a friend
If only to keep my word
In the end
Amidst liars

The Big Blowup

I have a list of posts that I’ve been compiling for some time now, so I can blog more regularly. Here’s the next in line, and it was one of the posts I mentioned that should have been before the last post.

Some of you may know that I disowned about one-fourth of my family a little over three years ago. Some of you walked through it with me. I blogged about it immensely on my Myspace blog, which is now private access only and those particular posts have been deleted. I aired a LOT of dirty family laundry over those weeks, ousting my blood relatives with the things they’d said and done, and to this day I don’t regret doing so. They’re a mean bunch of people, manipulative, and nothing but users. Incidentally, my disowning them with what I had to say prior to the posts got them disowned from the rest of the family. The lesson they learned here? When I’m backed into a corner, I WILL come out fighting and I tend to play dirty. Mind you, it’s not often I do this. I’ll stay quiet for a very long time, until I’m personally attacked, which I was and was the cause of my defense. They underestimated me and it was their undoing. This means that they believed my darling father who thinks I’m dumb. Yeah, I’m laughing at that too.

You may wonder why I would do such a thing. The reason is simple and can be described in one word: drama.
Those who truly know me understand how much I absolutely hate drama. I have no reason to cause it, as I don’t get off on doing so like my sister-in-law does. A trait she’s passed down to her oldest daughter, who I saw a few weeks ago at a small concert. She hasn’t changed a damn bit. That amuses me for some reason, as she pointed and whispered things to her new Super Mario Bros. man about me. I think he may have even taken a picture of me. They’d better hope I don’t see it on the web somewhere. Attorneys will be called. This is the same girl who taught her toddler son to say “(Jinxie’s) a bitch,” video-taped it, and posted it online. Yes, I know, she should so get the Mother-of-the-Year award for that, don’t you think? I really have no problem being called a bitch because quite frankly, I am one, or did you not see the subtitle of this blog? Drama does nothing for me but cause my stomach to turn in knots; therefore, I can’t stand to be around it or a part of it, so it’s not something I take lightly.
This part of my family loved to cause all sorts of drama, and did so for many years. I sat and watched from the sidelines during those years, never saying a word, mainly because I don’t like confrontation. Once, I even stepped in and got my ass handed to me, so I jumped right back out because I was in the wrong. I’m perfectly capable of admitting when I’m wrong. So I’m very careful about what I say and do anymore, or how I approach situations, or not approach them. Sometimes, I mess up. Sometimes, I handle situations incorrectly. I’m only human. My family has known no drama since the disowning and things have gone back much to the way they were before that particular branch moved to Arizona several years ago.
So my family tree may be less one branch, since I hacked it off three years ago, but we’re all the happier for it. Do I miss my nieces? Maybe one or two. I do miss my brother, but the rest of them can rot in hell for all I care.
Oh look, more drama is coming my way. I think I’ll step aside now.

Chapter’s End

*stares at blank page*

This may take a minute or two because I’m still rather brain dead from the move last weekend. Excuse me.

*gathers thoughts*

Okay, so I’ve reached this point in my life where another chapter is ending (a big one too), yet the next hasn’t quite started, kind of like placing the bookmark between the pages before you pick it up to read again. I’m in a state of limbo, transition, whatever you want to call it. And I’m fine with that because I know that what’s coming is good. I mean, I’ve already been through hell once again, right? No, I’m not going to say it, although in my experience with the universe, you only have to think it.

*banishes bad thoughts*

So…

I’ve mostly successfully moved to Tucson and now live with Kitty. By mostly, I mean that I haven’t finished getting all of my stuff from the ‘Copa house and storage. There’s quite a bit left too, but it’s mostly boxes and gardening stuff. However, as you can see from this picture…

…we don’t really have the room right now. Actually, it doesn’t look like this anymore. We moved the desk on Sunday because it was basically blocking everything else. But this is a shot from the other end before I started moving things around and unpacking…

Kind of frightening and overwhelming, huh? Nah, not so much. We girls got the washer and dryer all hooked up too, after two trips to Home Depot because I had to change out the dryer’s plug, since I moved from an old house to a newer one. We had to change from a 3-wire to a 4-wire plug. That was entertaining and is all documented somewhere on Twitter (ie. my favorites)

This was taken yesterday, I think…

See? It’s getting better. In fact, I just put the kitchen table together and set it up a bit ago, and all the small appliances are now in their place.

There are probably about three posts that I should write before this one because they contain information that’s relevant to this ending chapter in my life. But for some reason, this particular one wants to be written now, and I must obey as I’m only the messenger for the voices in my head. I’m also working on unpacking while writing this, so I’ll write a bit and go work on that, and then come back to this.

*looks up*

Oh wow! I got way sidetracked. That’s what happens when I try to blog in the midst of putting a house together…and ordering business cards…and changing my address.

Okay, so where was I? Chapter’s end – closing this chapter of my life. I’d say it was probably one of the biggest chapters aside from my marriage, but this was essentially a marriage without the legal documents. And let’s not forget having to take care of Umi, which I’ve now passed off to Akhi. Umi doesn’t want to move out of state anyway, so it works out, and I do plan to leave the desert far behind. The heat is killing me at this point. I need moisture in the air, if only a little. I live for that two weeks of monsoon season now. I don’t even care how humid it gets. Besides, the lightning shows are fabulous!

So, about three-fourths of the way through this chapter of my life, the walls around my perfect world once again came crashing down and I hit a tailspin into the downward spiral toward hell. I will say, however, that when I fall, I do it on a spectacular level, plummeting down the spiral, not really knowing where or how I’m going to land. It’s such fun! My life is kind of like watching a phoenix burst into flames, disintegrate to ash, and rise again. This is the second time I’ve been reborn, and it’s part of the reason I’d like that tattoo covering my back someday.

I’m now ready to begin the next chapter of my life, so I’ll end this post with a song that speaks volumes to me right now. The link to the song is here.