Thursday, September 22, 2016

Zombie head

"Zombie head"

Sweet upset in college football, on a last-second FG... North Dakota State 23, Iowa 21
North Dakota State's mascot is the Bison.

The legend continues... The Kings of the North invade the Hawkeye state and defeat the Iowa Hawkeyes. The final 23... 21.
Horns up! Hawkeyes down!
- Announcer goes nuts after North Dakota's shock win over Iowa

Breaking news!

We interrupt our normal blogging for this breaking news!
More people believe in Bigfoot than believe Hillary Clinton
Funniest story of the election. And this chart. HA!

Crooked Hillary. Pfft.
Trump is still a crazy longshot, but so far he's done everything right. So, we shall see.

R.R. Rec Reading

This is kind of cool. It's a list of 25 books recommended by George R. R. Martin in his blog.
Reading his blog post, I can whittle that list down to these "fantasy classics" that shaped R.R.'s work:

  • J.R.R. Tolkien (LORD OF THE RINGS)
  • Robert E. Howard (Conan the Cimmerian, Kull of Atlantis, Solomon Kane)
  • C.L. Moore (Jirel of Joiry)
  • Jack Vance (THE DYING EARTH, Lyonesse, Cugel the Clever, and so much more)
  • Fritz Leiber (Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser)
  • Ursula K. Le Guin (Earthsea, the original trilogy)
  • Mervyn Peake (GORMENGHAST)
  • Rosemary Sutcliffe
  • Alan Garner
  • H.P. Lovecraft (more horror than fantasy, admittedly)
  • Clark Ashton Smith
Count me IN of some of that goodness.

Here's GRRM's blog:
It's kind surprising that the formatting in his blog is total crap and the thing is barely readable (takes some doing for me to call someone else's blog "crap", eh).
And more surprising... R.R. likes football, and he's a Jet fan ?!? (patooey!)

The Jets ripped my guts out and stomped on them with an agonizing one-point loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in the morning game, as the Jets have a habit of doing. But in the afternoon game, the Giants made me smile and whoop and cheer with a rousing one-point win over the Dallas Cowboys.
- George R.R. Martin, Football is Back

The Happiest People in the World

Book: The Happiest People in the World by Brock Clarke
Review: 3 bill-stars (out of 5)... ok

This book is a satire. None of it is laugh-out-loud funny. It's mostly smile-to-yourself funny. And actually, the funny parts are kind of sparse. It's difficult for me to tell what exactly the author is satirizing here. My best guess: everything.

So, it's odd that the most interesting thing about The Happiest People is its plot and characters. Everything is larger than life, but it's fun to follow along as Danes and spies and high school guidance counselors enter and exit the convoluted plot which is set in upstate New York.

The moose head was fixed to the wall, the microphone in its mouth was broken, but the camera in its left eye was working just fine, and as far as the moose head could see, this as just another Friday night in the Lumber Lodge!
- The Happiest People in the World

I wish this book was smarter and funnier, but still it was an odd tale and worthy. A good read.
thanks... yow, bill

PS - Hey there! Two fun photos for the price of one blog post. This one is from the football game last Friday. It's a crappy cellphone pic.

"Full moon field goal"

Monday, September 19, 2016

Films and marching in Naperville

"Art shot - flower background"

I went to the Naperville Independent Film Festival (NIFF) for the first time. They hold the festival and show the movies at the Hollywood Palms Cinema on 59. The Fest is a tiny thing, or at last it seemed so. They definitely need some extra marketing magic. I'll bet that NIFF t-shirts and crap would sell like wildfire.

It was a lot of fun. It's pretty cool to see films that haven't yet been released to the theaters.

The first week is at the Hollywood Palms, and then they have like an encore week at Noctrl. I think those are just meeting rooms and not theaters though. I might check it out.

House Hunting Blues

Movie: House Hunting Blues
Review: 3 bill-stars (out of 5)... cute

Stephanie Boesso of Lisle, IL is the creator of this Claymation short. The movie is the story of Murry the Caribbean hermit crab and his search for a new shell. It's about 5 minutes long, and it's cute/sweet. The music is very good.

You can join the Film Fest right now and watch it here on Vimeo. Give it a shot!

It looks like Ms. Bosseo did pretty much everything on the film, claymation and all. Impressively, she wrote and performed the music. Here's her channel on Vimeo:

Year by the Sea

Movie: Year by the Sea
Review: 3 bill-stars (out of 5)... good
Letterboxd: not available, not a real movie yet

This is a full-length, feature movie. It's a chick flick. It's an older chick flick, actually, with lots of red wine, menopause banter, and men behaving badly. Year by the Sea is good, but I'm definitely not the target audience. I wish it had been a little more balanced, but nuts to me.

The movie is based on a book by Joan Anderson, and she is the creative force behind everything. I guess that she is something of a women's self-help guru type of person. She was there in person for the film fest and took questions after the movie. That was cool.

Karen Allen is the star, and she does a very good job. The premise is an older woman who takes a year off from her life and marriage and all, and lives in Cape Cod for a year. On her hiatus, the lead character tries to find some direction and meaning to her life.

Good movie. I hope they are successful in getting Year by the Sea distributed to regular theaters next year.

Marching in Naperville

More from The Ville... the 10th Annual NCHS Marching Classic is next weekend.

And check that schedule... very exciting... TY and the Naperville Central band will be an exhibition band, and so will the Marching Illini!!!

I will definitely be in attendance.
yow, bill

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Snow Child

Kind of a snowy theme this post because of my book review...

"Snow selfie"

Headline OTD
- goofy fashion blurb

The Snow Child

Book: The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
Review: 4 bill-stars (out of 5)... very good!

This is a really good book that has a unique magical feel to it. The ending falters a bit, but that's about the only drawback of The Snow Child.

There are too many good things to mention. The characters have real depth and are interesting. The book is set in Alaska, so, the cold weather, nature, and the terrain are integral parts of the story. Ivey is an Alaskan and her descriptions are a joy to read. (I mean... did you know there's a Wolverine River in Alaska? Cool!) Her writing style is long, elegant, and beautiful. The plot kept the pages turning briskly. I think the book has elements that appeal to both genders.

Perhaps the best thing about The Snow Child is how fantasy and reality are interwoven. You are always kept a little off-balance about whether things are really happening or not. It's a spell-binding effect. This back-of-the-book reviewer says it better than I can: "The Snow Child keeps the once-upon-a-time quality of a fairy tale while just skating the edge of magical realism". That's about right.

She was even smaller than she had appeared at a distance, and the chair back towered around her. With her coat on, the child had looked almost roly-poly as she sprinted through the trees, but now Mabel saw her thin arms and small shoulders. She wore that same cotton dress with tiny flowers on it, but Mabel could see now that it was a summer dress for a grown woman. Beneath it, she wore a long-underwear shirt that was too small; the sleeves did not reach her thin wrists.The girl's hair was shite-blond, but when Mabel studied it, she saw that woven and twisted among the strands were gray-green lichens, wild yellow grasses, and curled bits of birch bark. It was strange and lovely, like a wild bird's nest.
- The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
There's interesting stuff about the author at the end of the book: interview and comments. The author has a nice website with a blog: I see that she's just released a new book called To the Bright Edge of the World. Fire up the Kindle!

The Snow Child is a great read!

New low

We have out new campaign low. Thank you Crooked Hillary.

To just be grossly generalistic, you can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it.
- Crooked Hillary, cnn story
And... Clinton went on to say that some of these people were "irredeemable" and "not America."

I'll admit to you. I was caught off-guard by the media response which was, if I can paraphrase: "She's right. Trump supporters are racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, irredeemable and not American."

You know, this is different. And it isn't funny or whatever. It started with Obama... attacking the electorate that doesn't agree with you, rather than just your opponent. It's led to a divided America. It's led to an overpowering negativity in our politics and culture. So let me pitch in: If Crooked Hillary is elected, she won't be this un-American racist's president. Crooked Hillary can pound sand.

The funniest pol thing I've seen recently... Crooked Hillary fainted and said she had pneumonia. So, CNN interviewed two nabob doctors to help cover her tracks.
CNN talking head: With pneumonia, should Hillary be around her grandchildren or other children on the campaign trail? 
Sham doctor: Well. Um. Pneumonia isn't really that contagious.

Castle, not

This article is dead on... and it made me threw up in my mouth a little bit.
The McMansion's day has come and gone

The Castle is out of vogue. I could have told you that, but the article does offer some interesting specific on what people are not looking for. Dop.

I guess it's good news that "Young Americans continued to shift away from the habits of their parents". The rates of teen drinking, smoking, drugging, sexing, etc are all at new lows.
I don't know though. Is this shift is due to a more healthy lifestyle? O is today's youth more passive, more prone to just following directions?
shrug... yow, bill