Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I usually enjoy Iles’ books and this one does start fast and hard and for the first few hundred pages you don’t want to put it down.  Somehow Iles gets away from himself and decides to jump the shark by finding a highly improbable way of skipping over the whole trial - not that I wanted to read a couple hundred pages of a trial, but the way the trial happens without the reader experiencing it is more than slightly ridiculous.  A great beginning, but in the long run Iles’ story takes the reader to a pretty trite ending. 
Thursday, December 7, 2006

My Black Books Series 2 DVD came from Amazon this week.  I know, I know, it’s the holiday season and I should b buying things for other people, not for myself.  But when I want something, I want it NOW, and HMV did not receive their order, so my new friend Amazon.ca was kind enough to send one along within just a few days.
If you want to laugh, watch this show.
British people are really fucking funny.

I am an avid F. Paul Wilson fan, particularly the Repairman Jack books, but somehow I missed the release of this book - which combines 2 of my favourite things - vampires and the apocalypse (alas in this particular world there is no Repairman Jack to save the day).  As a vampire book it’s kind of boring, though I keep finding reviews comparing it to “I am Legend”, which I also found boring, considering all the hype.  Wilson’s attempt to get back to the bare bones of vampires by leaving out the extravagances and eccentricities of the vampires of Rice (who I do not read) and Hamilton (who I do) et al, is too bare.  The vampires are definitely the bad guys here, there’s no pining over the cute ones cause even the cute ones are pure cold evil.  Unfortunately these stripped down vampires are just dull, and Wilson didn’t make them frightening enough, as far am I’m concerned you know from page one how it’s inevitably going to end (though I am put up against yet another book without a true proper ending, there could possibly be more vampire novels in Wilson’s future).  Either give me pure cold evil with blood and guts strewn about, or give me the hot French vampires who dress nice and know how to treat a lady - this book is neither.
Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Apparently there is no book that can satisfy me right now.
I had high hopes for this one (mainly cause Stephen King said it was good), and I even bought it in hardcover (with a coupon) for lack of anything else to read.
First off, there aren’t actually any ruins to be seen.  Or read.  Whatever.
I am always in for a  rehash of the old, “group of friends gets lost/stranded in the forest/jungle and choas/murder ensues”, Richard Laymon used the same plot time and time again, and usually keeps my attention held and sometimes even my heart racing.  However, Scott Smith fails miserably at his attempt to rehash an old plot.  His female characters are completely annoying bitches who whine and fight and jack off their boyfriends in the face of danger.  I mean, it’s so totally realistic to assume that in a group of 6 people (2 couples and two male foreign strangers), the two girls are of course the most useless morons and not in any way helpful or intelligent.  God forbid that one of the women might actually come up with an original thought or solution to the problem.
If anything, this book seems like it was written as a bad B-movie screenplay that might star Tori Spelling and Paris Hilton as the 2 twits.  At least if it was a movie I could accept the ending, which is not a true ending at all - but I HATE books that do not explain anything and that have no resolution (I can accept this in a short story, but not in a novel).
Read Smith’s other book, A Simple Plan instead (which also created a fantastic movie).
Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Originally published outside of North America as “The Glory Bus”, which is a far better and more original name and apparently had a better cover as well.  Laymon does cannibals, this time in a rather dull and lame fashion.
Sorry Richard (dare I speak ill of the dead), not your best.
Wednesday, November 8, 2006
 
For a few years I fell off the Koontz bandwagon.  I am now again a passenger.
Koontz has stopped the over-the-top, totally dated, supernatural “horror” stuff and grown up. 
As with its precursor, Odd Thomas, Forever Odd has a strong voice written in the first person.  Odd is a likeable, strange and witty person and following him on his adventures is a pleasure. Though this second book lacked strength of plot, I will not hesitate to pick up the 3rd book, Brother Odd, (once it’s in paperback that is). 
Now, if he would just get back and write a 3rd in the previous series (Christopher Snow, dude who is allergic to sun/light) he started a view years ago....
Tuesday, November 7, 2006
Because we don’t waste enough time watching TV, we recently signed up at Zip.ca to receive rental DVD’s by mail. Just think: You can have the joy of watching The Facts of Life Seasons One and Two, without the painful stupidity of paying to own it.
For some reason the powers that be have not built any video stores within a convenient distance from my new house, and said powers are also causing Shaw Video On Demand to constantly be unavailable whenever I feel like I might want to watch a movie. As a result, I looked into joining a DVD by mail service and chose Zip.ca. They have over 50,000 titles available and my first 2 DVD’s arrived the day after I signed up. Granted, the first 2 DVD’s available on our list were The Muppet Show Season One and some Dr. Who movie, both choices made by my husband.
Time will tell if the fast service continues, and I am sure that sometimes we’ll be disappointed in which DVD shows up, but for now we have found yet another way to waste time and avoid painting the house.
Monday, November 6, 2006

Lisey’s Story is a little more out there than I usually like to go.  I prefer horror, thrillers, or straight up fiction to fantasy/otherworldly books.  That being said, King reaches new depths in his latest novel, particularly in the non-fantasy scenes, which are centred on family: sisters, abusive childhoods, and marriage.  The book is in many ways an homage to his wife Tabitha, and their long-lasting marriage, and it makes the reader aspire to have that same sort of all-enduring love.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
The Good:
Smart, well-written little movie that surpasses most of the bigger movies out there.  Sure, people don’t actually talk like that, but man, the world would be a far more interesting and fun place if they did.  (DVD)

The Bad:
Total, utter crap that isn’t the slightest bit scary or interesting.  (DVD)

The Ho-Hum
Another Nicolas Cage flick to fall asleep to.  (Movie Central)
Thursday, September 14, 2006
The rain has started. The leaves are falling. The countdown is on.
The new Fall Season is about to start - it can rain till the cows come home, it can rain cats and dogs, I’m happy as a clam so long as our cable doesn’t go out.

Early starters, such as Bones, have already got me hooked though I wasn’t a regular viewer last season. Rescue Me rocks. I have given new shows Justice and Vanished a try - the former is okay, if a little overproduced, the latter is dull, and I feel sorry for anyone who invests too much time in it, because I doubt it will be around long enough for viewers to get any resolution/satisfaction to the serial story-line.

Still waiting for:
Grey’s Anatomy - McDreamy or McVet? If Izzie is back (she is) can we also have some flashbacks of Denny (murdering bastard writers)?
Veronica Mars - Veronica is off to college for some more Nancy Drew-like adventures. Please tune in so she is not cancelled. It’s a really good show.
Smallville & Supernatural - Will have competition and force me to make life altering decisions since Grey’s is also on Thursdays this year. Hopefully Space will continue to rebroadcast on Friday nights.

A quick fun read with likable characters.  This is found in the Romance section (a section I do not go to when looking for something to read) because it is categorized by the publisher as a “paranormal romance”.  When did “paranormal romance” become an actual category of books?  The “romance” (aka: sex) in this particular book feels a little amateurish and forced.  I would prefer the scenes be whittled down and faded out and left to the imagination, which would allow the book to be in the regular fiction section of the bookstore, and categorized as something more truthful: paranormal chick lit. 
Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Aside from the fact that he’s an awesome actor and director, he hates George Bush and doesn’t shy away from it or mince words. Anyone who calls ol’ Georgie Beelzebub is okay in my book.

Sean Penn plugs Toronto festival film, rails against Bush administration

Posted on Wed Sep 13 06:23:28 2006 by presidio9
Actor Sean Penn wasted little time unleashing his volatile political views upon a Toronto International Film Festival news conference Sunday, calling U.S. President George W. Bush "a Beelzebub - and a dumb one."
Sporting a moustache and a severe expression and lighting up a cigarette that no one dared say wasn't allowed, Penn was part of a panel promoting "All the King's Men," a story of a well-meaning politician who is eventually corrupted by power and money.
"One could make the argument that George Bush is a good politician," he said sarcastically. "I think the issue is how you define politician. Once upon a time, politics was the organization of things to benefit the people."
When asked by a reporter - who apparently missed the irony in the actor's words - to explain his describing Bush as a good politician, Penn said the definition has changed, just like the definition of good actor is now "contest winner."
"So that's the level of politician I think he's good at. So out of context, he's Beelzebub - and a dumb one."
Penn has been an outspoken critic of Bush and the war on terror, writing an open letter to the president in 2002 and even making a high-profile visit to Iraq for which he incurred accusations that he was unpatriotic.
Sunday, September 10, 2006

Lippman is a good writer who keeps the reader interested and involved.  However, in this case I found the denouement rather lacklustre, as the build up had me anticipating something far more sinister than the actual outcome. 
Thursday, September 7, 2006

Not scary.  Not creepy.  Not Thrilling. 
Not interesting.
Not good.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Being as the last few weeks have been stressful and busy, I’ve read a few books, but neglected to update the site.

The Hard Way - Jack Reacher #10, Lee Child (signed UK First Edition Hardcover)
Jack is back and though the books are rather formulaic, the formula allows the reader to feel like they know Jack, and in my case love him.

The Fourth Bear - Nursery Crime #2, Jasper Fforde (signed UK First Edition Hardcover)
This second nursery crime tale is not as good as the first, and lacks the over the top humour of Fforde’s Thursday Next series. 

Rage - Alex Delaware #19??, Jonathan Kellerman
I can go a few years between reading Kellerman’s books, as the main character and his detective friend are clear, familiar characters that are uncomplicated enough, so even if you miss a novel, you won’t be missing much and can be up to speed after a few chapters.  This book (the 19th in the series) is so convoluted and full of “twists” that it all ends up in a predictable knot. 
Monday, July 24, 2006

U2 and Pearl Jam performing at the same concert? Only if you live in a land far, far away, or in my imagination.
And after a long music video drought, Pearl Jam has done a totally fucked up video for Life Wasted. Eddie, I understand you don’t like hoopla and the press and all that jazz, but did you have to release a video displaying your head in various forms of grotesquenes?

After I read Melissa Bank’s first book , The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing, a few years ago, I added Ms. Bank to my list of authors to watch for.  Her second book, The Wonder Spot, lives up to her first and is a satisfying read.  I rarely read straight, plain ‘ol fiction, but writers like Melissa Bank give me hope that maybe there is some good, unpretentious stuff out there.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Rachel snorts.
Ivy snickers.
Jenks gets big.
The good guys win.
Tuesday, July 4, 2006

We, 14 others, 6 dogs, and a baby spent the Canada Day long weekend at Rancho Relaxo on Pender Island.  There was much consumption of booze, food, and fun had by all. 
Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Had I realized that this is the first in what will be a trilogy of books, I most likely would have put it down and made a note in my booklist to look for the whole trilogy in a few years. Alas, when the nice girls at Coles proffered this and a few other novels they thought were up my alley, I took them up on it without much thought. That being said, the book is good, the writing is good, and my only regret is that the other 2 novels for this trilogy do not yet exist.
Oh well, I guess I have to make note to check again in a year or so for book 2.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The 8th book in the Repairman Jack series, this seems more like a big build up for things to come.  Normally the Jack novels can stand on their own if need be, but this one pulls a lot from the past and appears to be setting the stage for the future...
Now to I guess I have to order in The Last Rakosh: A Repairman Jack Tale, which they are calling #9, though it’s actually an older story reprinted. 
Sunday, June 11, 2006

We just finished watching Black Books Series One again last night.  It is a truly hilarious BBC series that doesn’t fall into the lowbrow category of humour (i.e.: Little Britain, which is funny, but quite lowbrow most of the time).  I can now only sit and wait for Series 2 and 3 to be available in North America, though they have been available in the UK for a couple of years already. 

The fact that I have now read all of the current (paperback) books in this series must mean I decided I like it. Sookie’s world is a much easier, light-hearted, relatable read than many other alternaworld novels. Anita Blake’s world has become so twisted, dark, and occasionally deprived that the average reader cannot related to any portion of her life any more, and while I quite like the Rachel Morgan series, it too, is a bit out there sometimes, what with the fairies and elves and things. Not that I think books are only good if they are relatable, I mean, these are meant to be “fantasy” (for lack of a better word) novels. I find that Sookie’s world contains that extra something that Buffy’s world had: the idea that all these otherworldly beings are out there among us, and in the shadows, but “normal” humans choose not to see them or acknowledge them. I like thinking that maybe, at night, roaming around my neighbourhood is a friendly vampire or two.
Monday, May 29, 2006






















Ah, the stupidity of political correctness and sensors.
This week’s Entertainment Weekly reports that the MPAA rejected the original poster (left) for the docudrama The Road to Guantanamo due to its depiction of “apparent torture”, but the poster on the right has been deemed acceptable. I guess it’s because the left poster gives the impression of torture, but the one on the right leaves room for the imagination - because we all know that a movie about Guantanamo detainees would certainly have a poster of a person handcuffed voluntarily, perhaps even in the throes of passion.
Sunday, May 28, 2006

Desperation, the latest adaptation of Stephen King’s work, aired earlier this week. I had high hopes, my husband did not. King had previously hailed this tele-movie as the best adaptation of his work to date. This proved to be very untrue. Maybe scene-wise and character-wise the adaptation was good and true to the original text, but King needs to learn that network television cannot capture the essence of his work. Network television, what with its commercials, limited budget, bad special effects, bad child actors, nameless directors, and sensors cannot compete with a true theatre movie, or even with HBO. The creepiness just does not come across in the right way, there is no tension, or if some has slowly built up it is then interrupted by a commercial break for iTunes and maxi-pads. I would prefer to leave it all in my imagination than have half-assed adaptations fail and give King and his work a bad name.
For some good movies try:
Stand By Me, The Green Mile, Dolores Claiborne (though not at all true to the novel), The Shining (original, though again not true to the book), Apt Pupil.

Went to a matinee today, filled with squeaking children, stoners, dorks, and for some reason a very large over-40 couple (I suppose in this case my husband and I fall into the dork category).  Firstly, children should have their own soundproof area in every theatre so the rest of the audience is not disturbed by them, please urge your local government to enforce this as law.  As for the movie, it was good, but not as good as the previous two.  I have a particular love for Wolverine and liked his story-line, however, though Halle Berry babbled about the fact that Storm would grow and we would see and hear more from her in this movie, it wasn’t really true.  She had more lines and a bit more action and better hair, but the character did not grow.  My hope is that this is not the last we’ll see of the X-Men as a group (we already know there are a few upcoming spin-offs i.e.: Wolverine), as this third installment doesn’t meet the requirements to close the book on the series.   
Monday, May 22, 2006

The writers of Supernatural - take heed - the second season finale of Veronica Mars kicked ass on your first season finale.  Veronica Mars is never a show to disappoint.  You know a show is good (and should stay on the air!!) when after watching the season finale you wish you could skip the summer and get straight to fall so you can see the next episode and find out what the hell is going on.  As with Season One a bunch of storylines were tied up, and not predictably so.  As with Season One, after tying up some stories stitches of new story threads were dropped.  It certainly helps that Kristin Bell is frickin’ awesome, particularly in this episode, in a scene that had me slack-jawed with tears in my eyes.  I won’t spoil the outcome for you in case you were out walking your dog, are waiting for Season Two on DVD (August), or are plain ol silly person who has never seen the show.  If you haven’t watched, tune in to the reruns and get hooked so the new UPN-merged station will ensure Veronica a slot in the fall. 
Only spoiler - (and it’s not a a big one, in the scheme of things) I love Veronica and Logan together.

Spike Lee is certainly not my favourite person on the planet, but he has a tendency to make good movies.  Inside Man is a good movie, but not a great movie.  It lacks some of the grittiness and depth of character that many of Lee’s other movies have.  It seems just a little more Hollywood than most of his other films.   Denzel Washington (a good actor but not a favourite of mine) is forced to wear hideous clothes that I found distracting.  Jodie Foster (who is a favourite of mine, or used to be anyway) tries a little too hard to be a complete and total ball-busting bitch, and while her character was an interesting addition to the formula, Foster doesn’t quite fit the role as it was written.  I am always up for a good heist movie, but unfortunately there aren’t many out there and in the case of this movies, the reason behind the heist (aside from $$ that is) was a bit melodramatic and boring.  This is certainly not a bad movie (i.e.: not The Score), Lee still manages to have a lot of “authentic” New Yorkers spread out amongst the cast, and the stars all give competent performances,  but overall it’s a little lackluster.  
It took me a while to get around to it, but I have finally been introduced to Sookie Stackhouse.  I think I like her, whether or not I like her “world” remains to be seen.  In contrast to Anita Blake and Rachel Morgan, Sookie Stackhouse is a small town girl with small town ambitions.  The word has changed somewhat, but small town America has been left mostly untouched.  Enter Bill the vampire, who is not from England or France, but from Sookie’s hometown.  This in itself is an interesting component to the story as vampires seem to always be from a land far, far away.  Harris has managed to have a lot of original (to me anyway) ideas, in a series that could have been yet another Anita Blake knockoff.  Anita’s oversexed world is becoming tiresome to me, and I look forward to reading the next Sookie book (which is already on my desk at work, waiting to come home). 
Friday, May 12, 2006

The word velocity does not apply.  The book is not fast-paced, in fact there is never a real sense of urgency.  I was really hoping for a heart-pounding thriller, which Koontz is certainly capable of (Intensity), but this book doesn’t hit the mark.  The characters I found most interesting were not expanded on - Ivy the entrail-reading waitress, and Barbara the comatose girlfriend.  It doesn’t say much about the lead character(s) if a girl in a coma is more interesting. 
Please won’t someone write me a good horror/thriller so I can go back to being my old jumpy self when I’m home alone or walking down a dark street?
Thursday, May 11, 2006

Dear Eddie Vedder,
c/o Pearl Jam Tour

I am just dropping a note to point out that somehow your current Tour has missed scheduling any dates for Vancouver. In fact most Canadian cities have been missed. I assume this must be a temporary oversight by your schedulers. I know you were kind enough to give us our very own Canadian tour last year and I have a lovely red PJ Canada hoodie to prove it. Each time you play Vancouver you let us know that we are one of the best crowds to play for. With the arrival of your new album your Vancouver fans eagerly await your Tour.
Yes, I know a truly dedicated fan would likely stop complaining and just hop on over to one of the Seattle shows. However, due to your President, his politics, his reign of terror on his own people, and snotty American border guards who want to know why you are going away for the weekend without your husband, some of us would really prefer to stay on our side of the border, even if Stephen Harper (pardon me while I gag) is our current PM.

Yours Sincerely,
A dedicated PJ Fan 
(even if I have only seen you in Vancouver)
Dear Entertainment Tonight,

For the past 2 weeks you have peppered each evening’s show with snippets of footage of your “interview” of Amy Fisher, Joey Buttafuoco and his ex-wife Mary Jo. For the love of all things unholy, please stop.
These people are not entertainers. They did not knock-up or knock-off Britney Spears. I do not tune into them each week, I do not pay to seem them on the big screen. These facts alone should signify to you that these people do not belong on Entertainment Tonight. They belong behind closed doors away from the public eye and certainly away from cameras, because really, no one wants to watch a greasy bug-eyed fat guy argue with two women he had a part in ruining. So, unless one of them gobbles up Nicole Richie cause really, no one wants to watch a greasy bug-eyed fat guy argue with two women he had a part in ruining. So, unless one of them gobbles up Nicole Richie or Lindsay Lohan for a light afternoon snack, please stop wasting my time blathering on about them.
Sunday, May 7, 2006

A little lackluster if you ask me.  Nothing is resolved, and the “cliffhanger” ending was not a true cliffhanger but simply a copout - a clear copy of last year’s Alias season finale with Syd & Vaughan’s crash, and I’m sure there have been many similar predecessors on other shows as well.  Now, maybe the dad will turn out to be dead fueling the boys’ fury for future episodes, I guess that depends on whether or not Denny gets killed off on the Grey’s Anatomy finale, he’s too good to get dumped off both shows.  But let’s get serious, there’s no way either brother is dead or out of commission, the show works because of them and how they play off each other, not to mention their hotness.  Hopefully in the next season their time will be filled helping out in areas that are now left with no Hunters since most of their friends/helpers were knocked off. 
Tuesday, May 2, 2006
No, it’s not Wolf Creek or Zombie Honeymoon - though I did watch both recently and was sorely disappointed. The scariest most disturbing movie I’ve seen recently is Shopgirl. I read the book when it came out and have to say it’s not memorable by any means - so much so that no recollections of the book were triggered as I watched the movie. The movie is boring and melodramatic and drags on and on. Watching Steve Martin touch and kiss Claire Danes is just plain wrong. He doesn’t look like a creepy pedophile and Claire Danes doesn’t appear to be childlike, but it still seems very very wrong and just plain uncomfortable to watch them have sex. To see Claire Danes laid out flat and naked for Steve Martin’s eyes. This is not a movie that purposely aims to creep you out by some “forbidden love” sort of relationship. It tries to be serious and falls flat because Danes and Martin have no chemistry. In fact, Danes and Jason Schwartzman also have no chemistry in their scenes but at least his character was mildly amusing and interesting. Claire Danes is better watched with Jordan Catalano or Romeo. Save the rental fee and pick something else.
Thursday, April 20, 2006

If Izzy found out that when Denny is not in the hospital he’s out leading an alternate life as a Hunter would she still be pining over him?? She thinks he’s all sweet and caring and maybe he is, but he also is a ruthless killer of the supernatural, which is sure to make her a bit queasy. Also, he has 2 sons that are closer to her own age and who are hot, alas, they too are Hunters. I guess she’ll have to go back to Alex.
Friday, April 7, 2006
So, I gave in and bought a book Stephen King said was great and was truly disappointed by it. The Mad Cook of Pymatuning by Christopher Lehmann-Haupt is described on the publisher’s website as a “no-holds-barred story of terror” and “a wicked, suspenseful, and deeply original tale”, this description combined with King’s recommendation convinced me to buy it (in hardcover even, though I did have a giftcard burning a hole in my purse). The book drags on, is not suspenseful by any sense of the word, and certainly the word terror does not apply. I expected a higher-brow Richard Laymon style of horror - blood, guts, and the sense of what the fuck else could happen to these poor saps - but instead was ripped off. This book does not have “undertones reminiscent of Lord of the Flies” - Lord is a far superior book and if you are at the store holding a hardcover copy of Mad Cook in your hands, put it down and pick up a nice cheap softcover copy of Lord of the Flies instead.
Saturday, April 1, 2006
If you happen to be an enormous dork like me, you will certainly appreciate cataloguing programs, such a Delicious Monster’s Delicious Library.  The newest release 1.6.1 is pretty awesome, and if you are lucky enough to have the new MacBook Pro, the built in camera actually works as a scanner to import all your books, cd’s, movies, and games.  With our last Mac I painstakingly input all the book data manually by typing in each ISBN because I thought spending $200 on a wireless barcode scanner was too dorky even for me.  Unfortunately our Mini Mac then kicked it and all my work was lost.  I am now taking the time to get all the data back in there and am very happy the the webcam on the MacBook actually scans the barcodes (about 85% of the time) and  I can take the MacBook into my library without having to remove books from shelves, transport them to another room and return them.  The newest release also syncs with your iPod.  A silly person asked me why on earth I would need that information on my iPod - Answer: As a collector I often forget items I already have and this results in duplication, also, if my house burned down everything would be gone, including the computer containing all the data for insurance purposes but my iPod is always with me.  There are other similar programs out there and if you use a PC then you are stuck with one of the other programs as Delicious Library is only for Macs.  At only US$40 this is a great program not only if you are simply a dork and need to catalogue your library, but also if you want to keep track of cd’s, movies and games for insurance purposes.

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youthfulzombie
I am an INTJ, also known as a Mastermind.
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