I have so much administrative stuff to do this month. It felt really overwhelming at the beginning of the week, but there’s nothing like a panicked, late night list making to clarify things. It also probably helps that I’ve finally gotten the hang of Wunderlist after weaning myself off of Teuxdeux. I’ve also discerned the point of late night television shows, which is to entertain and soothe you after a long hard day at work, so I’ve been mainlining The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and Late Night with Seth Meyers.
And, of course, I’ve been reading. I got through Pacific Rim: Tales from Year Zero, The Commitments, and A Flight of Angels this week.
The Commitments by Roddy Doyle
I have a complicated relationship with music.
Pacific Rim: Tales from Year Zero by Travis Beacham
Despite the stunning success of Gravity this past Sunday at the Oscars (it got to the point that my fellow party-goers and I began predicting Gravity would win for categories it wasn’t even nominated in) and Her’s win for Best Original Screenplay, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences remains pretty skittish about awarding sf films the big awards. (Unless, of course, it’s February 26th, 2004, otherwise known as the greatest night of my preteen life.) Instead, they tend to get the technical awards. But Oscar did not even glance at one of the biggest film achievements of 2013: Pacific Rim.
The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski
Ever since Marie Rutkoski’s guest post on io9 last August, in which she offers one explanation for why young adult literature’s audience extends to adults, I’ve been dying to read The Winner’s Curse. Okay, it wasn’t just Rutkoski’s clear affection and respect for both fantasy and young adults that caught my interest—the cover is devastatingly gorgeous. I have come to terms with the fact that I will always pick up pretty books. It’s who I am as a reader, and that is okay.
Yep, that’s the most exciting photo I took all week, because putting a light bulb in your bag to make sure you get the right one at the store is not a good idea. In my defense, I’ve decided to try and do one of those a few seconds a day videos for this year, so I’ve been focusing more on filming than on photographs. I’m off to an Oscar party tomorrow, because I have a Sunday off for the first time in forever, and I will be spending today sleeping and reading. LUXURY!
Conan the Barbarian
based on characters by Robert E. Howard
I have a deep need for shoddy fantasy, be it intentionally camp or unintentionally crap. I annoyed the daylights out of my MST3K-style comedy troupe in college because all I ever wanted to riff was incompetent eighties and nineties fantasy films with increasingly tiny budgets. (“What do you mean you don’t want to riff The Adventures of Galgameth?”) Where this comes from, I have no idea. I think it’s because I was a small child in the nineties without reliable access to network television. Because I never got any Xena, Hercules, or Beastmaster in my pop culture diet as a child, I crave it now. (Renay and I are working on that first one at the moment, which has been an absolute joy.)
The Supergirls by Mike Madrid
A few years ago, I bought a LEGO Wonder Woman keychain to keep me flying true. I have a lot of little totems like that—my hot pink skull snowglobe is a pretty fabulous memento mori, while the “don’t panic” fortune I keep in my wallet has stopped me from panicking on many an occasion (including the theft and subsequent return of said wallet). My little plastic Wonder Woman is a perfect storm of reminders; that I, too, come from several strong communities of women, from my mother to fandom to my alma mater, that I’m a fan through and through, and that the best version of myself is just as strong, compassionate, and hard femme as Diana of Themyscira. As I go through my day, she’s a comforting, vague notion in the palm of my hand, even if I slip my keys through my fingers on my way home.
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
At this point in the twenty-first century, as we sit almost in the middle of the teens, the great wheel of nostalgia has turned. While my love for the eighties is eternal, we, as a culture, have deemed the nineties far enough behind in the rear view mirror to remember fondly, laugh at, and, of course, capitalize upon. (Those Saved by the Bell comics are awful timely, aren’t they?) According to my own completely accurate theory of nostalgia, it takes twenty years for the here and now to transmute into “Remember when?” without making you feel old. We can pretend that the process is speeding up, as VH1 did when they attempted to make I Love The Millenium before the aughts were even finished, but, mercifully, the nostalgia cycle is the one thing that hasn’t suffered from the Internet’s short memory.
Working, reading, writing: you know the drill, ducklings. I’m just pretty drained and getting used to my new work schedule, honestly.
The Company of Wolves
based on the short story by Angela Carter
If I never hear the phrase “the book is always better!” again, it will be too soon. True, the book is often better (that’s why the author wrote a novel, not a screenplay), but sweeping generalizations make my teeth itch. It assumes that the book and the film can be directly compared against each other, instead of being two different expressions of the same story in two different mediums. I often enjoy one over the other, but still: apples and oranges. Case in point: Neil Jordan’s 1984 adaptation of Angela Carter’s eponymous short story, The Company of Wolves.