Thursday, July 7, 2011

ZOMG Vampires!

Heh heh.

With much pressure from many of our friends, Mr. Two Monkeys and I decided to start watching True Blood. We have friends hooked on the show and the Two Monkeys-in-laws have read all the books. I'd been curious about the series for a long time but can't get past the stupid book titles and the name Sookie.

I've seen all of season 1, and you know, the series isn't even close to as bad as I thought it would be. I'm not a vampire fan girl but I've never really shunned that particular fandom either. In a brief period of my life that I like to call temporary mental retardation, I blazed through all of the Twilight books like a withdrawal suffering crack fiend getting their first fix in weeks.

This is not my creation. I can't find the creator, but whoever it is, this is awesome.

Anyway... I enjoyed the first season of True Blood, but not to the point of craziness that a lot of fans get to. I know I have a lot to learn about the characters, but Vampire Bill is teh hawts, and the rest of the characters have a lot of room for growth and development. I'm especially fascinated by the political and sociological landscape of America in this alternate world. Mr. Two Monkeys and I actually created our own world independently of most vampire fandom that deals in part with the political implications of walking, talking, thinking undead. I know that vampires act as a metaphor for other marginalized groups, but when you read into the literal implications of real live vampires, were-things, fairies, and witches, there are so many questions we aren't prepared to answer.

Fundamental building blocks of any civilization are no longer applicable. How do you explain a system of laws based on Judeo/Christian ethics to the undead, or otherworldly beings who have no concept of religion. The ideas of morals and ethics are entirely human. As I have learned from True Blood, The Dresden Files, and fairy tale lore, Queen Mab doesn't give a shit if she's violating your personal rights to freedom. Queen Mab doesn't give a shit at all for anything except her own amusement. Our very own (idealistic) stance on freedom and basic rights claims it is unjust to oppress or repress another culture.

So, how do we even begin to integrate non humanity into a human world? And what about the humans who already inhabit this world? I don't identify with any one religion, but I would think that any staunch believer in especially Christian religions might suffer an immediate brain hemorrhage upon learning that Jesus Christ is not the be all and end all of existence. Although, if you go back and watch Dracula 2000, apparently Judas Iscariot was the first vampire.

There's no Dr. House to help you here, Foreman.
Laurell K. Hamilton very briefly touched on politics and religion in her Anita Black series, but was quickly side tracked by all the were-panther/vampire gang bangs Anita had to have in order to stay alive. Yes, her very life depended on having at least 20 orgasms a day, probably more, and at one point it didn't matter if the provider of these orgasms had two legs or four. However, lesbians in her series are immoral and gross.

There is not a single internet image in regard to Anita Blake that I could have shown without burning out your retinas.
So far, True Blood is much more entertaining and thought provoking than any other vampire programming or reading I have done. I hope it stays this way. Sure, there is a lot of sex and the show has quite a few clunky moments. But all the sex and violence makes sense in regard to the plot. Even though by the end of season 1, Sookie is becoming an selfish, insufferable bitch, I'm going to keep watching. The way she handles her telepathy is interesting. Vampire Bill is teh hawts. And I love the secondary characters - everyone is someone. My favorite though is Lafayette.

Homosexual, drug dealing, short order cook = Carey's BFF
So yeah, I like this. I plan on borrowing the books from Mr. Two Monkey's parents. Season 4 is slipping by as I try to catch up, but I can wait because I don't really like spoilers. And speaking of, does anyone have seasons 2 and 3 for me to borrow?

Monday, June 13, 2011

My Teeth are Assholes, But I get to Dream of James McAvoy

As the title states, my teeth are assholes. I've always had bad teeth and skipping out on dentist visits for 9 years in my 20s didn't make them any better. I'm at a point where my dentists have given me a VIP punch card - 10 cavities filled and the 11th is free! Root canals equal at least 3 cavities and come with Vicodin, which I get for the second time this month.

Actual photo
I had to take some delicious Vicodin last week because my dentist attempted to kill the nerves in my bad tooth. It didn't work, but when I took the Vicodin, I had really lucid dreams about James McAvoy and was convinced for a few hours that we were in love.

Prof. X digs chicks with bad teeth. That's why he went to Oxford.
And then I remembered that I went to see X-Men: First Class and figured I should probably write about it. I liked the movie at the time and I still kind of like the movie a week or so later even after I've had some time to think about it and ask myself a few times, wtf?

As the years go by, this bitch is getting more and more annoyed with adaptations and reboots. I really don't understand reboots that change the fundamentals of a storyline or characterization. I sincerely dislike the last 3 Harry Potter movies, but at least the basic story is the same as the books. At no point do we find a much younger Dumbledore hobnobbing with the current batch of Hogwarts students, including a young and handsome Voldemort, complete with nose.

This is what made Dumbledore gay, and I don't blame him.
X-Men: First Class was a fun way to spend a couple of hours, but the more I think about it, the more I wonder why X-Men? Character timelines were so out of whack in this film that I think the only reason writers pasted this story onto a Marvel franchise was to make exponentially more money than if they had created new characters to tell a new story. I'm not a complete purist (although I admit to being very picky about adaptations) but none of these characters resembled the X-Men I grew up with, or even the X-Men I like as an adult. Actually, there were two exceptions to this:
All of my fillings are enamel, asshole.

Michael Fassbender made a great Magneto. I bought the rage and the anger. It wasn't until I was older that I saw Magneto as a sympathetic villain, and Fassbender really cemented that idea, moreso than even Ian McKellan. I don't even know that I would call him a villain anymore in light of the Initiative storyline. I like Magneto. X-Men: First Class might make an excellent set-up in character for the future Magneto, leader of The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. I would watch a movie about Magneto.

The second actor who I felt really brought it was:

I mean January Jones, not her boobies.
Most of the internet disagrees with me on this one. Folks are saying her performance was "wooden" and "unemotional." But seriously, have any of you read Emma Frost? She is the definition of deadpan. Bitch doesn't crack a smile unless she's mindfucking someone. And even then, it's more of a lip twitch than a smile. I think January Jones nailed Emma, and I'm picky about Emma since she's one of my very favorite Marvel characters.

But back to my issues... There was just so much wrong with continuity on all levels. I feel like the writers threw a bunch of traits and ideas in a hat and randomly picked them out to cobble together a story that they could slap on the X-Men. Teenage Banshee - check. Charles Xavier and Raven Darkholm raised as siblings - check. Emma Frost's secondary mutation of diamond skin - check. And let's not forget Angel Salvadore, who really only shares a name and powers with her comic book counterpart.

Angel and Beak get married as teenagers and have a bunch of fly/freak hybrid children. They live behind the X-Mansion in an X-Trailor.
Angel is a fairly new character, so I wonder, why her? Why mess with her continuity so very badly? The writers created the mutant Darwin for the movie - what was the purpose of bringing in an already existing character only to destroy almost all semblance to her comic book identity?

I guess I feel like movie adaptations are becoming fanfic for people with lots of money. If someone were to write the story of X-Men: First Class for some fanfic forum, no one would ever look twice at it and most of us (me) would deride it without even having to look. But rich folks with cameras can bring the same story to the big screen and we all pay $8 and up to see it. I loathe fanfic. I wonder how this movie was pitched.

"Charles Xavier is a really groovy and smart mutant who uses his power to pick up chicks. He has hair, even. He meets up with a really angry mutant who uses his powers to go after Sebastian Shaw's wicked sideburns. They start a school of other famous mutants retconned into teenagers (but not from the original comic books) and hijinx ensue. Oh yeah, and Emma Frost's boobs, too."

Okay, Kevin Bacon's sideburns get an honorable mention for pulling off their role as well.
*Sigh* I dunno. I really want to enjoy this movie, and I did at the time. But I can't get past the insane messing around with character and storyline. If you're going to screw with the cannon of someone else's creation this much, just make up your own damn characters and tell your own damn story.

And now if you'll excuse me, my teeth hurt and James McAvoy is waiting for me in Vicodin dreamland.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I Like a Lot of Things

I just podcasted for Geektress and was reminded I had a blog. I've seen a few movies, read a few books. I've even watched some television.

I went out to see Thor with Mr. TwoMonkeys and our friend, M. I've never read Thor comics and I've never been a big fan of The Avengers so I didn't really know what to expect. But I really didn't like it. Part of my dislike was the asshole kids and their asshole parents sitting in front of us. Movie talkers belong in the circle of Hell lower than the one where Satan munches on Judas. Maybe it's the one where Satan craps out Judas' remains.
I felt that the movie as a whole was overacted. Mr. TwoMonkeys says Thor is supposed to be campy, and it was. Kenneth Branaugh is an excellent Shakespearean actor and director. However, what works with Shakespeare doesn't really work with comic books. I know, these characters are larger than life and they're supposed to have big voices and big actions, but that just didn't fit here. Maybe Thor as a character can't sustain his own feature length movie. Not everything translates well from one genre to another, and here we have comic book to movie with a theatre flair.

Something smells in the state of Denmark! YARRGH!
 I also went out with Mr. TwoMonkeys and our friend T to see The Hangover II. I enjoyed the first one more than I thought I would and I liked this one as well. A lot of people are bitching that it's the same movie with slightly different scenarios, but duh. What did you all think it would be? This isn't Oscar material. It's a formula film. I went in there and got exactly what I expected - 2 hours of poop, sex, and drug jokes. And this:

He kind of has a weird chin, but I sure as hell would not kick him out of bed.

I don't watch a lot of television, except that now I do. Well, a lot for me. Our friend J continues to let us mooch her HBO to watch Game of Thrones. Have I declared yet how much I enjoy this show? I am really impressed with the adaptation. I'm still loving Peter Dinklage as Tyrion and Aidan Gillen as Littlefinger.

I want another cat just so I can name it Littlefinger.
I finished rereading A Clash of Kings and am about 200 pages into A Storm of Swords. I like reading books a second time around because I can better appreciate the intricacies of plot and character. I'm not racing through the pages just to find out what happens next. I'm taking a leisurely stroll through Westeros. I'm making more connections and reading between the lines. I'm having a good time. Oh, except for the Jon Snow chapters. Ugh. I was bored by them the first time around and extra bored now because the television show portrays Jon as a whiny little twat. Before the show, I was just bored. Now, I'm bored and annoyed.

I also follow Hodor on Twitter.
So, I am looking forward to A Dance With Dragons in July, but I hope Jon becomes more interesting. Speaking of, Mr. TwoMonkeys and I are headed to Indianapolis on July 16th to a GRRM signing. Most girls swoon over guys like this:

I'm going to travel 3 hours to meet this guy. Again.

Can one lust over another's writing? I wouldn't kick his writing out of bed.
 Finally, Game of Thrones isn't my only love after RuPaul's Drag Race. There's a new show on Animal Planet called My Cat from Hell. It's kind of like the Cat Whisperer. If Caesar Milan looked like this:

Cat Daddy
At first, I thought this guy Jackson Galaxy looked like a complete toolbox. He even carries his cat supplies in a soft guitar case. I didn't want to watch it. But within seconds, before I could turn the channel, I was hooked. This guy has the "cat mojo." I can't possibly dislike anyone who loves cats as much as he does, no matter how silly his facial hair looks. In fact, I want him to come over and see my cats just so we can hang out and talk cats. None of my cats are from hell, not even Moo. I just want to hang. Call me sometime, Jackson.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hunky Men - and Yes, the Ladies are Also Men

All has been quiet on the IL front... Too quiet. I think I've watched more television in the last four weeks than I have in all of the combined time since Lost ended.
I will never forgive you for leaving me, Sayid.
I've been spending a lot of time at friends' houses watching Game of Thrones and RuPaul's Drag Race because I don't get Logo or HBO at home. Eclectic, no? I like my queens and I like my rugged men of Westeros, especially Khal Drogo. He werks that eyeliner like a Drag Race contestant.
Oooh, girl! You got she-mail!
I was really hoping Alexis Mateo would win Drag Race, but as indicated in one of my first posts ever, Raja had it from the beginning. She deserved it, but I would personally much rather hang out with Alexis. We would lay by the pool and eat sopapillas all day.

Bam, bitches!

I am so pumped for Drag U starting in June. My other favorite queen from Drag Race, Carmen Carerra will be one of the drag professors. I'm still not convinced she's really a man.

Not a sprepper.
In the meantime, I'm going to keep watching Game of Thrones. I have to admit that when news first broke of this series being made into a television show, I was fairly indifferent. It had been several years since I'd read the books and there was no pub. date in sight for Dance With Dragons. Plus, teevee and movies notoriously fuck up fantasy left and right.

If you don't remember this show, then you probably didn't have a socially awkward childhood.
So, meh. But I got swept away with Dance With Dragons madness when a pub. date finally was announced and reread A Game of Thrones not only for my own enjoyment, but for the benefit of Geektress as well. No one comments on my read along posts, so I will never know if they were helpful or enlightening. But I've been having fun with them. And I've been having fun rereading. The first time I read the books I was sucked in completely. The second time hasn't been any different. I had to take a break after A Game of Thrones to read an ARC by Jacqueline Carey - my favorite fantasy author ever - and it's killing me. I already know what happens next, but I still need to know what happens next, dammit!

I'm really enjoying this adaptation of the books as well. There are a lot of minor discrepancies between the book and show, but so far, all of the differences make sense. There is so much back story in A Game of Thrones and readers discover much of it through a character's internal dialogue. So much of the current plot also happens in the heads of these characters. The writers and directors have done a great job of delivering vital information to viewers in a way that is other than Ned Stark standing around thinking.

"Sometimes, when I decapitate criminals, I think about how much I like bacon."
 Overall, I'm really pleased with this show. I already mentioned last post how much I love Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister. My other favorite - Aiden Gillen as Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish. He's one of my favorites in the books. Gillen is perfect casting both in looks and demeanor.

Totally trustworthy. You can see it in his eyes.
I only have a couple of issues so far, one of which has already been addressed online several times. Like thousands of others, I wonder - where are the wolves? Ghost and Summer will play significant roles as the show goes on. We saw Ghost briefly in the episode "Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things." Apparently, wolves are kind of hard to work with.

Maybe at this size it won't eat the actors.
The other issue I have is with Rickon, the youngest Stark child. In the books he's about 4. On the show, he's about 6. I think we caught a glimpse of him once, but he's been mentioned a few times. I know he doesn't have much of a role in the first book, and I honestly can't remember if he becomes important later. But in the world of the show, he does exist and I'm a little unnerved that he hasn't been around. Yeah, I know, he goes all feral and stuff, but I'm afraid that he'll just kind of show up one episode and people unfamiliar with the books will be all wtf? I wonder if he should have been written out for the show.

At any rate, it's about lunch time and I need a sandwich. I've also run out of things to say. So, in the words of RuPaul, 'If you can't love yourself, how the hell you gonna love someone else? Can I get an a-men up in here?" 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Winter is here!!

How can I possibly get more awesome?
A Game of Thrones preimiered on HBO last night. Me and Mr. Two Monkeys do not have HBO so our friend J took pity on us and invited us to her house to watch the show of the century. This is a good thing because I was seriously contemplating getting arrested and going to jail for anything, just so I could get better tv than what I have in my apartment.

Perps of victimless crimes get HBO *and* Showtime.
I read these books about 6 years ago and I'm rereading them now. I'm actually doing a read along (sort of like an online book club) over at Geektress if y'all want to join in. Because no matter how good a show or movie is, I always say you should check out the book as well.

But damn... this pilot episode was great. I'm a stickler about adaptations, as in I usually hate them. I understand that one cannot cram hundreds of pages of book into a two hour movie or even a ten episode miniseries. But I think that a lot of film and television adaptations make poor choices in what they choose to keep and leave out, or what they choose to change. For example, the "I am Legend" adaptation with Will Smith was pretty all right until the directer yelled at Will Smith to start acting like this was a Will Smith movie. And the end was changed and the nature of the vampire/zombie things changed and then the whole meaning behind the original work was shat upon like a pigeon's favorite statue. On the other hand, I quite like the film adaptation of "Heart of Darkness" and, dare I say it? Apocalypse Now might even be better than the novella.

What is this about again? Is this a cartoon? Maybe I should stop taking LSD with Dennis Hopper.
I digress. So far, A Game of Thrones gets two thumbs up from me in terms of both adaptation and enjoyment. The world of Westeros is a lot dirtier on television than it was in my head, but I like that. It's more realistic. And as far as fantasy goes, this series is fairly down to earth. There are minor hints of magic here and there but it doesn't drive the plot. What drives the plot are noble people making stupid decisions.

If you've read the books, poor Ned doesn't even really need a caption here.
 But these decisions of course, are only stupid in hindsight. One of the great things about George R.R. Martin's characters are that all of them are flawed. None of them are solidly good or bad. Even Cersei Lannister, easily the most hateful of them all, has a moment or two of vulnerability. This is basically a story about some people who try to do the right thing, others who try to do the selfish thing, and how all of them fuck up royally over and over again.

Likability is so very important in this program since all of the characters are so finely nuanced. From the first episode alone, I can say that casting was near perfect. The two standouts for me were Sean Bean as Eddard Stark and Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister. Stark is a stern father and warden, a loving and dutiful husband, and a reluctant advisor to his King. Without grimacing and swooning his way through the pilot, Bean portrayed Eddard Stark's inner turmoil with perfection. I really felt for the guy. We only saw a little bit of Dinklage as Tyrion, but Tyrion becomes a major player as time goes on and I look forward to seeing Dinklage burn the hell out of Westeros with Tyrion's scathing wit. Tyrion is a total pimp, wise ass, and smart as hell - Dinklage owned that.

Bitches love the Imp. Get some.
 My only complaint with the series is in regard to the sex scenes, which was echoed by these good ladies at Tor. According to The New York Times, A Game of Thrones is for boys only and all of the sex is thrown in just so women will watch. For reals? Does this mean women are totally into orgies, rape, and incest? Because that's what kind of sex I saw. I'm not going to get into why the NYT article is stupid - if you have a quarter of a brain, you know why. But none of this sex in the show was romantic sex that would attract any audience - female or male. Except maybe the scene with Tyrion and his whores... At any rate, there are two sex(ual) scenes between brothers and sisters - ew, an orgy that ends in guys getting gutted - not sexy, and one of our protagonists getting raped by her new husband on their wedding night - not exactly what the ladies fantasize about.

Oh Ariel, you are so clueless.

I'm not a prude and I've read the books. I knew this stuff was going to happen, with the exception of the Dany/Drogo marriage consumation scene. In the book, Drogo has shown himself to be the most barbarian-y barbarian ever up to this scene. He rides off with his new wife, who is only 13 in the book and she can't stop crying because she's freaking 13 and married to a barbarian warlord who does not speak her language. I would cry, too. But Drogo is very tender with her and tries to communicate with her and set her at ease until she willingly has sex with him. On the show, he bends her over as she's still crying and gets his business done like a boss.

This bothers me because it messes with Dany and Drogo's storyline. Drogo becomes quite likable in the book and Dany does fall in love with him. He becomes a very sympathetic character and his story heavily affects Dany's. I'm not sure how this storyline will progress with such a violent beginning. How will Dany ever come to love him after he rapes her? I have no idea.

At any rate, read, watch, enjoy, and check into Geektress not only for my read along but because we're a bunch of awesome bitches. This adaptation gets my stamp of approval and I look forward to all the rest of the eposides. Winter is here and I love it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I went to C2E2 and all I got was this crappy con crud

C2E2 stands for Con Crud Easter Edition
Oh, that heading isn't really true. It is true that I have strep throat, but I'm going to go on the record as saying it was totally worth it. The best part of C2E2 was meeting up with my special ladies from Geektress and my special gays from Comic Book Queers. If you are not following both of these groups on both facebook and twitter, you should do so now. Hijinx and shenanigans are abundant in both organizations.
So, being at McCormick Place with thousands of my people was good for my soul and mind, if not so much for my immune system. The best part of the con happened within the first 10 minutes of hitting the floor. I geeked out on the lucky folks at the Random House booth and got a few ARCs to read and review both here and at Geektress in the coming weeks. I also got on their press list, so hopefully, there will be many ARCs in the future as well.
Look at that puppy - that's A Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin, and it's not even finished. When I saw this on Suvudu, I had to stop myself from licking the computer screen.

Speaking of Suvudu, head on over to their site or to Geektress to take a look at my thoughts on their 2011 Cage Matches. I'm a little miffed over some of the results, but ah well. It's all for funsies.

Other highlights from C2E2:

Laura and BK of Geektress bought me one of these:
I bought this guy right here:

Much like my husband, his name is Dave and he looks cat-like.
I actually bought a few Ugly Dolls and nerdy onsies for all of the babies that were born in March. I had 4 friends give birth this month, three of them on the same day. Effing babies, man.

I said "hey" to Katie Cook. If you don't love her now, get to steppin' and check her out already.

Garth Ennis photobomb!!!!!!

Remember the time The Punisher killed, like, everything? That was awesome.
Also, pay close attention to the shirt I'm wearing. You like that? You can get one of your very own by going here and making with the clickity.

We at Geektress love the boobies.
And finally, on Sunday, there were all kinds of shenanigans and a very excellent panel discussion on LGBT comics, featuring some folks at Prism, hosted by StevieD of Comic Book Queers. Hot oil, AIDS babies, gay Punisher, and lots and lots of amazing LGBT writers and artists to check out.

I'm sure I'm forgetting things, but the crud is getting to me. I need a nap. And I need to hurry and finish Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss so I can give you all my two cents whether you asked for them or not.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Dexter Season 1 is ruining my Weight Watchers plan

OMG Deb! Look up! Your brother is a murderer!!!

So, uh, yeah... I finally saw season 1 of Dexter almost 5 years after it first aired on Showtime. I like my television shows to marinate for a while before I get into them. I started watching Lost in season 3 and The X-Files at the tail end of season 2. I have a hard time watching television from the beginning as it airs. I like to know a show is nice and developed before I invest my time. Because I'm picky about my television. Yes, even the trash television. I can only watch one or two shows at a time, so I choose them carefully. Right now, these shows happen to be Dexter and RuPaul's Drag Race.


I like Dexter a lot. I had my doubts at first. Suspension of disbelief can be a tricky thing. I'm still not entirely on board with the idea that Harry taught Dexter how to be a conscientious serial killer as opposed to getting him psychiatric help, but whatever. There wouldn't be a show if Harry hadn't had incredibly fucked up ideas about how to raise a child.

But Dexter has really surprised me, and I'm not often surprised in terms of storytelling. If a plot point catches me off guard, the narrative is a good one. In season 1 of Dexter, I knew who the ice Truck Killer was ahead of time, but only kind of. The big reveal about how he was connected to Dexter came out of nowhere. But, pesky suspension of disbelief again, why the hell would Harry take one kid out of a blood soaked storage unit and not the other one? I hope there's more to this story in future episodes.

Only one of you will grow up in a loving family. The other one can fuck off.
Dexter has superb plot development and witty writing. I love the first person narrative, which is really unique to television and usually done badly. But this works. Dexter doesn't quite break the fourth wall, and without his thoughts made clear, this would be an entirely different program.

Writing engaging main characters takes talent. If we're going to stare at the same person for 43 minutes (with commercial breaks) a week, then we better like him or her. But what makes Dexter great instead of just good are its secondary characters. They're like grace notes - not always noticeable when present but the piece would suffer for their absence. And in their absence, we realize just how important they are. For example, I get really bummed if my favorite secondary character isn't featured in an episode.

Dear Mr. Batista: My husband would like his wardrobe back. Kthxbai.

I adore Angel Batista. And because I adore him, he'll probably die fairly quickly. Mr. Two Monkeys and I are about 3 episodes into season 2, and Angel has discovered Oprah. I haven't laughed so hard at television in a long time. And the humor of this show with a horribly grisly premise is part of what makes it so good. I can laugh at Angel and his character does not cheapen the show. On the contrary, Angel may say and do funny things, but he has his own tragic story that only catches minutes of camera time here and there.  All of the not so major players have fully developed lives that do not revolve around Dexter Morgan. And the glimpses we get of these lives are just enough to keep us wanting more without overwhelming the main point of the show, which is: Dexter kills killers and becomes conflicted about this as time goes on.

The only character I don't like is Rita. I really hope she grows over time, and yes I know what happens to her later. But by the time she meets her nasty end, I want to be sad that she's gone. I don't know - maybe part of my issue with her is that I know she dies so I don't want to get too attached. But damn if she isn't the whiniest, most co dependant character on pay TV.

"Dexter, I have to poop, but I thought I would ask your permission first. Is that okay with you?"
Grr. I really, really hope she matures as a character. I understand - her ex often beat her into submission and she's very put upon. Rita's character is one of frailty, and this is why Dexter is attracted to her. I get this. But Rita's problem solving skills are almost nonexistent, and when she isn't harassing Dexter with her poor decision making abilities, she's nagging him to go to NA. I know that part is in season 2, but damn woman, he does everything for you. Just let him kill people once in a while.

Overall, I like this show a lot. There are the disbelief issues - the other major one being how the hell Deb doesn't know her brother is messed up. She was engaged to the Ice Truck Killer and was raised with another serial killer. How does she not sense something, anything, is amiss?

"Where did that dead body come from? It was there when you got here? Oh, okay."
But yeah, I look forward to watching the rest of the series, albeit long after everyone else. I just hope there aren't as many donuts in subsequent seasons. Another question I hope gets an answer: How do all of these characters stay so thin while eating so many donuts?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Dresden Files: Significant Stuff Finally Happens

I've been using my nook to read The Dresden Files since Christmas time. So, isn't it ironic that I post the picture and link to the amazon page?  I'm an equal opportunity book whore.

I've been liking The Dresden Files pretty well so far. The books have their issues. Big bads get defeated too easily after a crazy buildup of their invincibility. The dreaded deus ex machina shows up in every book in one form or another. There aren't many drastic consequences to drastic actions taken by Harry & Co. Until now.

Blood Rites is the sixth book in the series and the one where I feel like the characters have finally made some significant progress. So far, these books have felt like straight up supernatural crime stories that get wrapped up in the end and the next book moves on without anyone changing. Plot points get brought up from one book to the other, but overall I think the first five books would work well as stand alones. Butcher does do a good job of going over major facts from previous books without bogging readers down with redundancy.

A lot of readers, and Butcher himself, feel that Grave Peril, the third book, was the jumping off point for multi-book plot lines, and to an extent that is true. The White Council and the Red Court go to war in Grave Peril, which is important, but not to the individual plot lines of each book. At least not yet. I do have another 6 Dresden books to read. But some of the actions in Blood Rites have seriously lasting repercussions that change the overarching story. We learn a lot more about Harry's mother and the brother he never knew he had. Harry takes a physical hit that he does not recover from. He's also forced to question his entire upbringing (which actually kind of pissed me off because Harry can sometimes be really dense and so stubborn he crosses over into stupid). Our favorite incubus, Thomas, takes an emotional hit that he does not recover from. Actually, he takes multiple hits. I'm only about 30 pages into Dead Beat (book seven) and know that Thomas is no longer the vampire we met in Grave Peril.

I like risk. I like when characters take huge risks and they don't always pay off. Or maybe they do pay off but the character comes out of the situation worse for wear. I'm big on character period. I don't always find the plots of the Dresden books very interesting, but I enjoy the character development and world building enough that I'm not too bothered. I like to see characters change and grow. I like for their actions to have permanent consequences. This is why I have a hard time sticking with any long running non-indie comic book for very long. Nothing ever sticks - not even death. And this is why I like George R.R. Martin so much, even though he's slow as hell. When he kills someone off, they stay dead. When a character loses a body part, it stays lost. Retconning the consequences of any given action in a story, cheapens the action in question. I hate that.

So, I guess what I'm trying to say without spoiling Blood Rites is that stuff happens beyond the "murder on a porn movie set" plot. Stuff that characters don't bounce back from. Stuff that will change the story as we know it thus far.

I'm taking a break from the Dresden books for a bit, because I finally got this in the mail:

I got the actual 1000 page book because sometimes, I like my nerdery old school.
 But I'm looking forward to continuing with Dresden once I've gobbled up Wise Man's Fear and have to wait another 5 years for Rothfuss' next book. I'm excited about where Butcher's characters are going. I have a total girl crush on Murphy and would continue reading The Dresden Files for her character alone.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Apocalypse No

Mr. Two Monkeys and his friends over at Drunken Zombie ( got an Advanced Reader's Copy of Sleight of Hand by Peter S. Beagle and they let me read and review it for them. You can check it out right here.

They also gave me an ARC of this:

If Mr. TM and I had kids, this would be their first book.
I am pretty positive that some sort of apocalyptic event will occur in my lifetime, not because I'm a lunatic, but because all of the other lunatcis in this world have worked themselves into an anticipatory apocalyptic frenzy. Our favorite shows, movies, books, and video games are post-apocalyptic in nature (with the exception of RuPaul's Drag Race - you go, Stacy Lane Matthews!). The apocalypse is all anyone can focus on anymore, whether it comes from zombies or infection or the moon coming closer to earth. 2012 is swiftly approaching and we've all worked our panties into such a tight bunch over it that our very fear based actions will precipitate some horrible event.
I'm guilty of apocalyptic fantasy - I won't deny it. I dream of a world where I would have to hunt my own food, where fuel was scarce, where I was facing danger at every turn and there was no garuntee I would live to the next day. In this world, I wouldn't have to work eight hours a day, or answer a cell phone, or answer to authority I didn't agree with, and my ability to reason would mean more than how nice I was to rich people. And in my mind, this is awesome.

I get to bring my cats, right?
In reality, an apocalypse of any kind would be awful. I know I probably wouldn't live through it. I'm pudgy and have a bum ankle. Any sort of moderate to fast moving zombie would find me easy pickings. I refuse to eat bugs, vegetables, the cats, or human flesh. I need to shower daily - sometimes twice. The idea of a world without modern plumbing gives me a migraine. To live in a world and never hear the soft swish of a flushing toilet again... Lost was awesome, but they never showed anyone crapping on the beach. You know they had no choice, at least in season one.

I want all of the benefits of a post apocalyptic world without any of the drawbacks. Call me a hypocrite. I want a more exciting life but for someone else to make all the hard choices. I guess I want apocalypse lite. And I want to go back to normal when I'm tired of it. The removal of it all in fiction and television is what makes it so appealing to us as we sit in our offices daydreaming about firing shotguns into rabid zombie hoards.

Remember this game? It kind of sucked...
But at the end of the day, we get to go home and go to sleep without fear.