Sep 29, 2009

Bad ass.

Sep 28, 2009


Sep 26, 2009


I can't remember why I picked up Veronika Decides to Die, but I'm glad I did. It's the story of a young woman who attempts to commit suicide. She awakes in a mental hospital and finds out that although she was unsuccessful. However, the damage done to her heart gives her only a week to live. Good premise, aye?

The writing and story were all right. What is truly remarkable about this short novel is the message it conveys. I'm not big on Messages with a capital M cause they are usually so obvious and heavy handed, but this is well conveyed. That makes this a little gem of a read. I give this a 7. (And apparently a movie version of this is coming out as well. That should be interesting.)

Sep 25, 2009

Having a Patty Griffin kinda day

Maybe you are too.

Robots and pirates

Castle in the Sky is a fun animated film from the ever-so-clever Miyazaki. The animation is so pretty and the story is a lot of fun. A coal miner boy finds a girl floating above the ground. They set off on an adventure to discover the secret of her protective pendant and find a floating castle.

I loved the robots and the pirates. They were the highlights of the film. The villains were a bit clunky though. Still, it's an enjoyable watch. I give it a 5.

Sep 24, 2009

The golden road

Damn, can L. M. Montgomery write a pretty description! She weaves a lovely children's tale as well. I really enjoyed The Golden Road - sequel to The Story Girl. It's a pretty collection of adventures from a group of childhood friends. I liked the sweetness of their stories and the hints of what their futures hold for them. The collection of stories gets a 6.5 from me. What doesn't get a high score is the cover designs. Take a look:

Pretty - but not the right time period for the story.

Bizarre modern-day-looking YA cover. This could be the cover to almost any story EXCEPT for this book. Dumb!

They really need to issue a new look for this book.

Sep 23, 2009

Hooded even

Oooh - I kinda love this coat.


Freshly started in on the graphic novel series about Jack (you know - the giant killer). It's a spin off of the Fables series and just as good. The first book, The Nearly Great Escape, is loads of fun. I give it a 6.

Not good at all

Adventureland = a big ball of suck. It follows a bunch of people working at a theme park. Despite my husband's initial thrill at seeing his beloved Kennywood on the screen, this movie is a big disappointment.

It isn't very funny at all. And the main character does a Michael Cera impression the whole time. It's like they wrote the film for Cera but couldn't get him. Also someone needs to explain why Kristin Stewart is paid to act. I'm not understanding the appeal. I could never hear what Ryan Reynolds was saying which was strange.

Really though, this film is a big snooze fest. Bleh. I give it a 2 - and that's just for Kennywood.

Sep 22, 2009


House of Mystery: Room and Boredom is an intriguing graphic novel series. Four people are stuck in a tavern where visitors pay their tabs in stories. The four main characters don't seem to know exactly how they came to live at this tavern - only that they can't leave. And the customer's stories are creepy.

I'm really liking this story line. I give it a 7.

Sep 21, 2009

The possibilities

Six pictures to fill in. What a thought!


Oh L. M. Montgomery - you wrote so many lovely and charming stories. Why'd you write such a piece of crap like Kilmeny of the Orchard?
This short novel follows a wealthy young man who has freshly graduated from college and takes on a teaching job in a poor little town as a favor to his friend. There, he chances upon Kilmeny whose been hidden away with her aunt and uncle. She's the most beautiful creature ever but is unable to speak. Commence lots of descriptions about her childlike ways and innocence and girlishness. Also commence my being creeped out by the constant comparisons of this romantic heroine to a child.
She also happens to live with Neil, born to traveling Italian peddlars but left with Kilmeny's aunt and uncle. Despite his being raised from the day he was born by these people, he's referred to as low-born and common and an untrustworthy foreigner. Nice.
Blech! I really really hated this one. I'll give it a 1 because there were some pretty descriptions of the orchard.

Sweet and awkward

Monster Camp is a documentary that takes a gentle and revealing look at the world of Live Action Role Playing fanatics who stage wizardry and battles in public parks. It's hard to imagine losing yourself in a made up word for a whole weekend and geeking out that hardcore, but I loved how the filmmakers showed how this gave the World of Warcraft addicts a chance to get out of their houses and socialize with eachother - even if the socializing is somewhat painfully awkward to witness.

It really is a sweet film - not at all what I was expecting. I give this one a 6 outta 10.

Sep 20, 2009

Interview shoes

I happen to know someone whose looking for interview shoes. These scream "Hire me." At least they do to me.


What a perfect knit dress!


I loved The Adventures of Baron Munchausen and Time Bandits as a kid. Terry Gilliam's films have such a crazy sense of wonder that I find myself intrigued. So I had to take a look at Lost in La Mancha - a documentary that follows Gilliam's failed attempt to film a Don Quixote movie.

Everything that can go wrong during the filming does. It's hard to believe your own eyes at times. If this film were fictional, it would be hard to believe. Poor Terry. I give this a 5.

Sep 19, 2009


My home really does need more prints. Maybe once the wall painting is all done I can do some splurging.


I am on a slight graphic novel binge. And if you believe that graphic novels are just thick comic books...well you're probably right. However, comic books / graphic novels combine two things I love very much - art and story-telling. And the Fables series is a great ride.

War and Pieces is the most recent installment of the Fables series. It's all about the characters from fairy tales who escaped to our world during a war in their homelands. Now they are trying to take them back. And you have to see a war that involves the cow who jumps over the moon. I give this a 7.

Lovely game

I do love a pretty and clever game. Drawn is both of those things. I hope they create another chapter soon!

Definitely a 9 out of 10 on this one.

Sep 15, 2009

Gruesome and funny

Apparently, gruesomely funny IS my thing - like the recent Tarantino film I loved. Beat the Reaper is a compulsive read. It's all about an ex-mafia hitman living under witness protection as a doctor. His view of the medical world is biting and unsympathetic. His view of the mob is worse.

You get to follow the doctor through a day when he's spotted by an old colleague who has terminal cancer. The colleague threatens to out him to the mob if he dies. Bring on the drama. And the violence. And the gore (my god the gore!). This one left me a bit queasy at the end but only in the best way.

This book also uses footnotes in extra entertaining ways. I am a complete sucker for entertaining footnotes. It gets a 7.5 outta 10.

Sep 14, 2009

More crazy suspense

So if you have not read The Hunger Games and are jonesing for a book that's crazy suspenseful so you stay up far too late reading, then I highly suggest you go read it. And then, if you want to once again stay up far too late reading, I suggest you check out its sequel - Catching Fire.

Then you'll be in my boat - waiting impatiently for the final book.

Anyway, Catching Fire is good. I had hoped it was going to go in a particular direction. It did not. At first, I was disappointed by all the re-hashing of themes from the first book. But I should not have worried. The clever author bent and framed things in wonderful ways and made old topics kind of fresh event. She also set the reader up for one hell of a cliff hanger.

I give this a rousing 7 out of 10 cause I can't wait to see how it all concludes.

Sep 13, 2009

Lack of coping

Under the Sand is a French film that gave me the chills. A long married couple goes on holiday to the beach. As the wife lays in the sun and naps, her husband goes swimming. When she wakes up, he's nowhere to be found.
The main part of the movie is watching her cope (or really not cope so much) with her husband's supposed death. My favorite part was the scene with her mother-in-law.
The film is well made but I always felt a bit too aloof from it all. So in my book, it gets a 4 out of 10.
I give this one a

Most recent time suck

Over the past month or so, the husband and I have been watching the entire season of Battlestar Galactica. So good!

Even if you aren't a typical sci-fi tv fan, this show has so much going for it - strong non-static characters, great effects, and plots that delve into all sorts of big ideas. I need more tv like this. Any suggestions?

Sep 12, 2009

Netflix stalking

I do love a good Tarantino film. Here's my thoughts on Inglourious Basterds.
  • The Frenchman (Denis Menochet) was so handsome and had such lovely eyes. I shall be netflix-stalking him from now on.
  • Eli Roth (who played the Bear Jew) was also quite good.
  • Hell, everyone was pretty damn good in this.
  • Brad Pitt was better than good; he was delightful. I love him in ridiculous roles. I do wonder, however, if he and Clooney are becoming the same person. Not that I'm complaining much.
  • I laughed a lot. I covered my eyes to hide from gruesomeness equally as much. I kind of love that combination.

The Basterds (and Pitt's mustache) get an 8 from me.
And now I'm wondering who other people Netflix stalk. Come on, confess!



This necklace is really lovely.

Sep 11, 2009

Message with a capital M

Uglies takes place in the future when technology is much greener and hovercars are the norm. This future society also has found a way around discrimination based on looks, anorexia, and "ugliness." As soon a kids turn 16, they are whisked away and made into a "pretty."

This book follows Tally who desperately wants to be made pretty. Her friend Shay wants nothing to do with it, and has plans to avoid the operation by running away.

I liked the detail that went into creating this world - all the slang and the back stories. I did not much care for the heavy-handed Message behind it. Teens aren't idiots. This tries so hard to convince teens to be happy with their individuality and to take care of the environment. If it weren't for a ripping good story, I would have been forced to toss this one aside and avoid the annoyance As it is, I will read the next book cause I need to know what happens next.

I give this a 5.

Sep 10, 2009

Fragments of maps

Palimpsest begins with the description of a factory that creates all the city's vermin. Stamping out glass like mosquitoes and mice whose hair starts out too stiff when they are new but softens in a few hours. How can anyone not be captivated by that?

The story follows four strangers initiated into the strange city at the same time and bonded forever after. The city can only be accessed via sex. Almost all find it by accident - a fling with a stranger leads to waking up with a small map fragment of the city etched forever on their skin. Only by finding and sleeping with other map holders can they access more parts of the city.

Not only is the story amazingly original and imaginative, but the author writes like an artist. Every word choice and turn of phrase is so well thought out. This really is an amazing book. I give it an 8.5 out of 10.

Sep 9, 2009

You know...

This is a color I don't have yet in my shoe wardrobe.

Sep 8, 2009


Just had to share a picture and a link to this fashionist post. This lady has some amazing style.


I have a frustratingly small bathroom. But I'm working with it and someday I dream of adding a half bath in the basement to take the pressure off this tiny space during gatherings. This clever idea is an option for saving some precious counter space. (Found via Stuff Under Twenty).

Sep 7, 2009

'Cause she's not

I do not read enough graphic novels. I adore the mix of art and story-telling, but I never seem clued in to when really good ones are published. It may be time to hunt down a site to keep me up to date.

I learned about Skim from a random twitter post. (Have I mentioned how much I'm enjoying twitter?) It's all about a high school girl called Skim because she's not. It follows her crush on her Englsh teacher, her troubles fitting in with any sort of group, and her fascination with a classmate whose boyfriend committed suicide.

It's a wonderful book. I think teens would find a lot to relate to here - all the uncertainty and awkwardness and angst. I give it a 6.


Now this dress is boot-worthy.

Sep 5, 2009


Don't you love this cover? I would hang it on a wall if I could.

The Story Girl is a sweet tale of innocence and camaraderie and childhood.

A series of happenings in the lives of eight kids (many of them cousins) who pal around together on Prince Edward Island. There's no Anne Shirley in this, but if you love Anne then you'd like the Story Girl and her pack of friends.

It's no life changing book, but I enjoyed escaping to Prince Edwards Island and dipping into simple childish tales. The story girl herself is no perfect creature, and you get the feeling that Montgomery may have identified even closer with this character than any other. Just a guess though since I have yet to read all of Montgomery's books. I give this one a 5 out of 10.

Sep 4, 2009


4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days is a slowly paced Romanian film about a roommate trying to help her friend obtain an abortion. Don't let it's slowness frighten you though - the pacing is perfect for the subject matter. And while at times I found myself wanting to shake Gabita, I did really appreciate this film ("enjoy" is not a word you can use here.) It honestly and unflinchingly tells it's tale without melodrama and with perfectly done filming. I give this a 7.


Sep 1, 2009

Italian beaches and dastardly doings

The Talented Mr. Ripley was a pretty good read. Everything felt so exact and precise and reflected the main character's foibles well. Even the sunny beach scenes couldn't entirely dispell the idea that some bad shit was going to go down. And there's absolutely no "good" characters in here. Everyone is complicated and dimensional. I just wish that I'd felt more tension while reading this. For the most part, I read along thinking how tings would not end well for some folks but not all that worried for any of them.

I will give this one a 5.