Sunday, January 21, 2007

Ode To My Left Nostril (Or: The Ramblings of the Sick at 6am)

I don't know if those last three cough drops are what did me in, or if I simply watched too many episodes of The Wire while knitting, but I had vivid dreams verging on hallucinations about drug dealers getting revenge on other dealers with complicated stitches on their socks. The dream was complete with loose stitches between the gusset and instep, and a lead drug dealer who looked suspiciously like Avon Barksdale.

Also, on a related note, I miss breathing through my left nostril. We had a good thing going on for a while there, I'd inhale, air would flow through. Now my poor right nostril is forced to do the work of two or, worse, my mouth, which already has plenty of jobs without adding another (eating, drinking, talking). The floor is riddled with the broken, dead kleenex that sacrificed themselves to try and make life a little easier. Still, my left nostril remains uncooperative.

Cold, I am so over you.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Missing Scenes...

So I managed to get Tech Support to rent Step Up. I had no grand illusions about what I was renting. I wanted something with just enough conflict to keep the story going and extra cheese on top.

Which is what I got.

But what invariable happens to me when watching a large percentage of these kind of movies (romantic films, not always teen ones) is that disappointed feeling that this could have been better. Silliness and schmaltziness arise more out of the execution than the concept.

For starters, they needed to rewrite that dialog. Often repeated advice for writing says "show, don't tell". That would have helped here. Characters don't need to expound directly about their problems (in small words) for us to know they are having them.

Next, the girl needed a character arc. They had a character arc set up for her, but it didn't actually arc. It went something like:

"She's too set in her ways, she needs to try new things."
"Hey Nora, I have this idea. It's a new thing."
"New thing? Cool. I like new things."

Huh? Where was the struggle? The resistance? Naw, she was down with everything if the hottie from the other side of the tracks mentioned it. As a result, all her growth happened in one unsatisfying scene.

Ridiculous conflict arising from relatively small infractions. "You went to dance at this school rather than hang out with me, I'm NEVER TALKING TO YOU AGAIN." Seems a bit overblown. The friendship could have turned awkward without needing to dip into the ridiculous.

And, conversely, set up for a conflict that never happened. While I appreciated his poor background never being an excuse for his actions, it was odd that it never came up. What's the point of two characters coming from different worlds if it doesn't come up between them?

Tech Support put it most aptly after the movie ended and went back to the DVD Menu.
"Hey, deleted scenes. Maybe that's where all the tension and development went."

Friday, January 05, 2007

Warm Potatoes, Warm Feet, Cold Blooded Killers

Patt-er, Recipe: Twice Roasted Potatoes from from The New Best Recipe (a Christmas present)
Modifications: None deliberately, even tracked down buttermilk, which is apparently hard to find.
Troubles: Broiler cooked potatoes faster than recipe called for.
Final verdict: DELICIOUS! However, a lot of effort for something that doesn't taste so different from the way I do baked potatoes. Would probably do again without the hard to find igrediants, and fiddle with the broiler to see if I could get a crisper crust without burning the rest.

I don't know why he wanted to do it over our dirty sink, but here is Tech Supports arty shot of my new sock.

I love these socks. I am planning to buy clothing to go with my socks. I am a little sick.

And in the reading department, I'm working on Darkly Dreaming Dexter. A story about a serial killer who preys on other serial killers, and also works as a forensic blood spatter analyst. I'm enjoying it, but honestly not as much as the Showtime TV series. Perhaps it's because Michael H. Hall is cute. Perhaps it's because they had to make him more sympathetic to carry an entire series. Still, I enjoy reading a first person novel with so much voice to it.

And I am too tired to write a more interesting post.