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I saw The Hunger Games last weekend with two fangirls, a fangirl's wife, and my mother, which was a lovely group of women to spend the morning and lunch with. I've been slacking on making a post about the movie because I really only had three things to say. Now, however, I'm on a Hunger Games email thread that has brought up a fourth thing about the series that I want to talk about. This entry does include political discussion on race and gender lines, so if that isn't your thing, you can read to the first two points below and then leave this post.

The movie as an adaptation. )

The pairing I didn't expect to see. )

Race. )

Gender and Romance )
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I loved Friends With Benefits. It's a movie about people who have sex and then fall in love, which is totally a story I love. It's also by the guy who made Easy A, and like Easy A, I laughed all the way through it, except for the parts where I cried.

There are two things that make it very, very interesting as a mainstream movie:

First, the sex. There's a lot of it, and for the characters, part of what just sex means is that they don't have to engage in their usual patterns. Specifically, they can give directions to get what they want - and that goes for both of them. Yes, that's right, a woman in a mainstream movie gets to direct her own sex life for her own pleasure without ever being slut shamed for it. How often do you see that?

Secondly, one of the themes of the movie is that love should be a partnership, that happily ever after isn't being swept off your feet - although that can be fun - but walking through life together. In case you haven't figured it out from reading my LJ, that is exactly my belief, and you don't see it enough in the standard romance narrative.

Super 8

Jun. 19th, 2011 08:08 pm
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Short version: Really good. Made me cry. Too much lens flare.

Slightly longer version: Spoilers )
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I'm still trying to figure out if I can organize my thoughts enough to be able to write a long version of why I didn't like X-Men: First Class, but in the meantime, I thought I would rec you something I can gush over.

I don't actually like Arthurian legends. I know they're a classic example of the heroic journey/Jesus story, etcetera, but I don't like them. I'm pretty sure the only reason we went to see King Arthur was because Keira Knightley is in it. I'm so glad we did, though, because it's one of my favorite movies.

Three things I love about it: Spoilers )
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[ profile] norwich36 and I went to see Hanna this afternoon. It was so incredibly interesting. There is really only one (minorly spoilery) comment I absolutely have to make: Another superlative. )
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People, let's talk about Burlesque. It is totally worth seeing - if you like this kind of thing. If you've seen the trailers and you ever watch movies, you know exactly how this movie goes.

Spoilers )

The bottom line is that if this movie looked at all like your kind of thing, you will like it. And you should go now, because there's no way it's staying in theaters for very long.
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I unironically loved it. I feel like I should have more to say, but I don't. I just had to post about it because I have an (also unironic) "i heart vin diesel" tag.

Okay, a few things:
  • It was not quite as amazing as the first movie (what could be?), but way better than two and three.
  • I was so excited I could barely keep still. Seriously, I had to bite my nails to keep from vibrating out of my seat.
  • Spoilers )
  • I kept thinking, "Vin Diesel, I love you forever."
  • Spoilers )
  • Spoilers )
  • The one thing I really didn't like was Paul Walker's hair. The whole flat, no curls thing just isn't right.
I reserve the right to come back with another bulleted list of excited utterances if/when I see it again.


Feb. 6th, 2009 05:00 pm
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Let me start with a seemingly unrelated story. We were chatting in belly dance last night about shows that get better (one of the women in the class said Lie To Me gets better after the pilot, and the current other fangirl in the class said someone tried to get her into Smallville by saying it got better in season 8, which I laughed at), and I realized that I forgot to turn on the DTV box, which means I taped static instead of Supernatural. I thought that it would be okay because I could just watch it online. So this morning when I was ready to watch while lifting weights and making lunch, I spent twenty minutes trying to find a watchable video. Of the two I could get to play, one of them had the audio so out of sync I wasn't willing to put up with it, and the other got all wonky and stretched out on full screen. (I'm sure someone will come along to tell me this could all be easier if I used BitTorrent, but that's not the point of this story. It would also be easier if networks would realize people will watch their shows on their sites with ads if they post them the next day, but that's also not the point of this story.) I finally got frustrated and decided I would just watch Burn Notice instead, since I also usually catch up on that on Fridays. So I'm watching this week's ep, and all of a sudden, "Hey, it's that guy!" That guy, in this case, was Joel Gretsch, who played Tom on The 4400. Here's where this story starts to relate. Push starts out with a scene that takes place ten years ago. Guess who's in that scene? Yes, that's right: Joel Gretsch, playing the father of Nick, our protagonist. Now here's where it relates even more: we also see Nick ten years ago. I was watching it thinking, "Wait, is that?" And then, "No, no, you're only thinking that because it's Friday and you usually watch SPN on Fridays." But, no, my first thought was right. Young Nick is played by Colin Ford, who also played young Sam in two SPN eps.

That seems like an auspicious beginning, and indeed it was. As far as sci fi goes, Push is not as awesome as Babylon A.D., but I still very much liked it. In fact, aside from a (not insignificant, I admit) point to be made about how our heroes are white and the villains are almost all poc, I don't think there was anything I disliked about it.

Spoilers )
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Chocolate chip cookies made without baking soda taste more like brown sugar than their properly made counterparts. The sad thing is not that I know this. The sad thing is that this is not the first time I've forgotten the baking soda. I suspect this is the real reason the recipe tells you to mix the flour and baking soda and set it aside at the beginning.

And speaking of chocolate chip cookies, homemade versions of the Chipwich are just not the same thing. Does anyone know where to buy Chipwiches and/or Good Humor's Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches? Back in the day, Blockbuster had a Good Humor case, but I don't shop there anymore. And I really want a Chipwich.

Be very careful if you decide to open up your pepper grinder. If you aren't, you, like me, might dig out a bit of skin from your thumb and have to put off assembling the enchiladas until the next day.

I thought it was odd that everyone else (read: [ profile] j_crew_guy and [ profile] hederahelix) talked about Burn Notice just as I watched all of the first season on Hulu. But then I realized that, no, it made perfect sense. I was in a hotel the weekend before last, and I watched bits and pieces of varying Law & Orders USA (unlike my travel the week and a half before where the hotel inexplicably had the eastern feed so it was always Without a Trace when I wanted L&O), which had a lot of ads for Burn Notice's season two premiere. (Which, I think, was disappointing given the setup.)

While watching TV on Hulu, I kept seeing ads for DirecTV. Is this really the best avenue for your marketing? I'm not paying to watch cable; I'm watching it for free online. What makes you think I'm going to go for DirecTV?

I also watched all six existing episodes of In Plain Sight. Mary's just now starting to grow on me, but I've loved Marshall from the very beginning.

I read [ profile] reccea's "In Production" on [ profile] hederahelix's recommendation. I mostly enjoyed it. If you don't know the fandom, you might want to bug someone who does for a quick dramatis personae before reading it. At the very least, keep IMDb open in another tab.

And speaking of [ profile] hederahelix, she always complains that whenever there's a fire anywhere in Southern California, people worry about her because they have no sense of geography. I don't know if I should be insulted that no one's asked me if I'm okay. Yahoo! keeps putting the fire in my county on its top headlines list. At first, I thought it was because they like it that it's Paradise; then I thought it might be because they're reading my IP, and they know I'm nearby. The state of things, since you didn't ask, is that the smoke is terrible. Living on the third floor of a building with no elevator and no central air in Chapel Hill for four years taught me how to deal with heat. But heat plus constant smoke is not fun at all. The nice thing is that my apartment seals really well; I didn't even know the town was full of smoke until I opened my door on the first day of it. I do work in Paradise, and while our building is a cooling station, we haven't been in an evacuation zone for this fire (we were for the last fire). My boss and another coworker were evacuated, and my boss brought her two dogs and her two chickens to work with her one day. Such is life in Paradise.

I tried watching The Tudors this week. Remember how when I was reading Uncommon Arrangements: Seven Portraits of Married Life in London Literary Circles 1910 - 1939, I loved reading the Wikipedia articles about the people in them? The Tudors was like that, only more so. The history was more interesting than the show, I had no patience for the political blahblahblah on the show, the sex wasn't that hot, and I'm not into JRM.

Watched while writing this: Boy Culture. I hesitated to Netflix it because it's distributed by TLA Releasing, which has released some truly awful movies, but Netflix predicted I'd give it a 3.9, so I gave it a try. It's actually pretty good, and sweet to boot.
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Femslash: The Other Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name actually made it onto the main track this year. On the one hand, that's good. On the other hand, I'm fairly sure it only made it because there weren't very many panels suggested.

As usual, attendees were enthusiastic and excited to talk about girls, and as soon as I very loudly announced that the femslash panel was starting, the folks from the previous panel skedaddled.

As promised, I took home the flip chart paper we used (complete with alternating colors - a good charting habit) to type up. ([ profile] typhoidk says, "That's what we like about you. We don't have to take notes.") I also remember some of the other things I and other people mentioned. If you recced/talked about something I neither wrote down nor remembered, please feel free to comment with whatever it was!

From the flip chart paper:
  • Some kind of Valentine's Day femslash challenge on LJ. I think it was probably the femslash_today v-day porn battle (Part 1, Part 2).
  • [ profile] femslash_today for multi-fandom listings of fic and [ profile] girls_today for HP fic listings.
  • [ profile] sg_femslash for Stargate: SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis femslash.
  • [ profile] girls60 for Studio 60 femslash.
  • Passion and Perfection, a multi-fandom femslash archive. (One I'd never even heard of. Ooooh. D.E.B.S. fic. I wonder if it's any good...)
  • [ profile] stargateficrec for, uh, Stargate fic recs.
  • Yuletide, a rare (for large values of rare) fandom challenge thing. Apparently there's Fried Green Tomatoes femslash that's good, although I think I remember someone saying it's not explicitly sexual.
  • [ profile] crack_van for multifandom recs. (People mentioned it in this panel, so it must have some femslash recs too.)
  • Circlet Press, which someone mentioned has good variations of erotica.
  • "Are You Sweet On Your Sister," a Kara/Vala fic that [ profile] hederahelix posted a fic search for during the panel.

Other Things I Mentioned
  • Substitute For Love by Karin Kallmaker, which I brought up as an example of bad lesbian romance novels. You can read more of my thoughts on this here. (Wow. That was over four years ago, and I'm still mad about it.)
  • Hunter's Way by Gerri Hill, which was an example of a better lesbian romance novel despite the fact that they always eat cheeseburgers and never eat the birthday cake. (And Molly caught that they misstate the number of victims in one place.)
  • The Woods, which is mostly terrible despite the presence of Patricia Clarkson. (Why, Patricia, why? You're so much better than this movie.) We don't recommend the movie, but it does have a very nice Heather (Agnes Bruckner)/Marcy (Lauren Birkell) falling in love (although they never explicitly say that's what's going on) montage set to Lesley Gore's "You Don't Own Me." And you know how I like a good montage.
  • Bandidas, which you may be tempted to watch because it's Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek robbing banks. Don't be taken in by that. It's bad, and they're cast against type (Penelope is the populist peasant girl and Salma is the European-educated Don's daughter) to the movie's detriment.
  • "Parts" by [ profile] reremouse, the Spike and Xander both get turned into girls and have sex story that's the only femslash I've read in a long time.
  • Rode Hard, Put Away Wet: Lesbian Cowboy Erotica - the lesbian cowboy erotica collection I mentioned working my way through. (I can't believe no one else had even heard of it.)

Other Things Other People Mentioned
  • Sarah Waters novels. I think we specifically mentioned Fingersmith and Tipping the Velvet.
  • Um... You all will have to fill in here. I know there was some BSG and SGA talk I didn't understand, but I don't remember what else people said.
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Okay, so I could look it up and tell you how long it's been, but that's not as entertaining.

Part 1: Watching

The Classics
I watched The Godfather for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I had the same problem with it that I had with Star Wars and The Silence of the Lambs. All three of those movies are so embedded in our common culture that the original thing just isn't that interesting. Also, it's really dated. There's a sex scene, and I figured they'd fade to black before she got her top off. But no, they let her take of her top. And she has no nipples. I was too startled to even laugh.

I watched Singin' In the Rain for the first time on Saturday. It was pretty good, but the scene with Cyd Charisse in green made no sense. I don't know if I missed the set-up or if it really doesn't make sense.

The Other Kind of Classic
I wasn't paying attention to my queue and ended up with both discs of The Tick at once. I'd forgotten how funny it really is. I had to promptly watch the live-action version. I have to admit that in the long-term, I prefer the live-action version. It's much slashier overall, although you can't deny the Tick/Arthur-ness of "The Tick Vs. Arthur's Bank Account." Even Dot tries to help get them back together!

I also Netflixed some Murphy Brown. It's still hilarious.

At The Movies
I saw the last showing of Flicka. I loved it! I also cried through a lot of it, and I'm pretty sure that wasn't just because I was PMSing. There's a reason I take Kleenex to the movies with me.

The boys and I saw Stranger Than Fiction. I was the only one who'd wanted to see it since we saw trailers, Brad was convinced by the reviews somewhere he reads, and [ profile] fuseji was skeptical. We all loved it, so much so that I think I've regained some credibility with the boys. I'm amazed by how good an actor Will Ferrell is when he's not totally over the top.

I'm completely taken with The Class. Between the geeky couple in love, the gay guy and his partner who hate the woman married to the stereotypically gay guy, the guy in love with the woman married to the football player, and Jason Ritter and the tough girl, it's both hilarious and touching.

Name That Show
For some reason, I keep remembering a scene from a TV show, but I can't remember what show. I think it takes place in a bar. There are three guys and a woman. They're all friends, and the guys have made donations so the woman can be artificially inseminated. She comes to tell them the results. One cup had no swimmers. The guy has to admit he's had a vasectomy. One cup was empty. The guy (the young one, I think) says that, these days, he doesn't do anything without a condom. And then it's the third one who has viable sperm. I have no idea why I keep thinking about this, and I have no clue what show it was.

Part 2: Reading

A Real Book
I read Catherine Asaro's The Veiled Web last week. I bought it for $.01 plus shipping from Amazon marketplace; I figured that even if it was a scam and I never got the book, the most I would lose is $3.50.

Anyway, the book is not very good. The main character alternates between being completely stupid and knowing too much. She doesn't get it most of the time, but she can identify machine guns. It makes no sense. There's also an issue with the technology of the world. It was written in 1999 and takes place in 2010. Her projection into the future not only doesn't hold up (very few people in her future use the internet), but the technology is way over-explained. Anyone who's read even a little bit of AI sci fi will catch on way before she even gets halfway through any bit of explanation.

What was interesting enough to keep me reading was the relationship. It wasn't very good either, but interesting as part of Catherine Asaro's oeuvre. It's the same relationship pattern you see in a lot of her work.

Boarding School AUs
I recently read what there is so far of [ profile] bethynycfics' School!Verse, a Giles/Wesley boarding school AU. I love it!

An AU that must be: Spike/Angel boarding school AU. Please tell me if there is such a thing, and where I might find it.

Part 3: Listening To

Arabic Pop
Remember how I liked the Natacha Atlas song on Arabic Groove? Well, I went back to Tower and bought her Mish Maoul, and I really like it. I discovered as I was in my period of listening to it all the time and left the CD at home that you can listen to the whole album online. "Feen" (track 2) is my current favorite song.

Aubrey Debauchery
I went to see Aubrey on Friday night, at the Coco Caffe, which is itty-bitty. Aubrey's parents were there, sitting near me. Some other people came in, and her mom moved from the couch to sit half on her dad's lap. Aubrey, of course, sings a lot about sex. (In her newest song, she says, "I want to introduce you to my kitchen floor.") When I got home, the neighbors were having sex in their living room with the windows open.

Fiction Like Candy
There were two other bands playing with Aubrey. I stayed through Aubrey's set and two and a half songs into Fiction Like Candy's set. I was sick, and they weren't good enough to sit through. And I burned my tongue on my tea. I think I've burned my tongue every single time I've ever had tea. Anyway, Fiction Like Candy's lead singer sounds like somebody, and it's driving me crazy. If you have a moment to listen, let me know who she sounds like.

Monica Schroeder
At John Scalzi's behest, I started listening to Monica Schroeder at MySpace. I'm trying to decide if I want to buy her CD or if she's just a Sarah McLachlan clone.

The local Top 40 station switched to the Bob format. "We play anything." I thought it was dumb at first. But then I heard "Ice Ice Baby" three times in the first week. I've heard "The Right Stuff" a couple of times recently. They keep playing "Friends in Low Places." It's growing on me.

Part 4: Doing

My current favorite food is pita with hummus. I was not happy with my pita options at S&S, so I've been making my own pita. It's pretty good, and I'm sure it'll be even better now that I actually own a pastry brush and they shouldn't get over-oiled.

I've also attempted to make wheat bread, which isn't going so well. The first time, it didn't rise enough and it was too salty. The second time, it was better, but still not quite right. Now I have an 8-inch loaf pan instead of a 9-inch loaf pan, and I'm hoping that will help.

Shopping - Holiday
I know what I'm getting almost everyone on my list, and I'm ordering most of it online. I keep debating with myself. I could do it now, and get it over with. But I have an issue with doing my holiday shopping before Thanksgiving.

Shopping - Clothes
I'm looking for a dress for my cousin's New Year's Eve wedding reception now. I liked a couple of things at Weekend Wearhouse (warning: their website has a godawful fuchsia background), but the L was too small and the XL was too big. (I think the one I really liked is this one, in burgundy.) I have had no luck anywhere else. Luckily, I have to go to Sacramento for a meeting in two weeks, so I can go shopping there then.

In the process of dress shopping, I discovered that I've gone down yet another size. Like last time, my pants being too big didn't bother me until I noticed it. Now it's driving me crazy. I'm half-tempted to stop exercising and start eating junk food just so I don't have to buy a new wardrobe all over again.
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"You can't throw a rock in this town without hitting a belly dancer."
Sultan's Bistro features two belly dancer soloists on Friday nights. Belly Dance Teacher T (henceforth known as BDTT) told us (there are only three of us in our class) that if we showed up, she would talk to us about costuming and we could see the costume of the soloist who's one of the Big Girls. (The Big Girls are the advanced class. They dance together as a troupe.) Neither Belly Dance Classmate H (BDCH) nor Belly Dance Classmate M (BDCM) showed up, but it was still really fun! I got to hang out with BDTT and watch the belly dancers, and then watch BDTT slip folded up dollar bills into the dancers' belts.

"I'll keep you my dirty little secret."
Twelfth Night is my favorite Shakespeare comedy and I love teen movies, so you can only imagine how nothing was going to keep me from seeing She's the Man.

But first, the trailer report.

I came into the theater in the middle of the trailer for Dreamgirls. I have no idea what this movie is about. The trailer tells us that it stars Jamie Foxx, Beyonce Knowles, and Eddie Murphy, and then it shows us a silhouette of three curvy women in shiny gowns. I can only hope there's some sort of crossdressing in the plot.

After that was the trailer for Akeelah and the Bee. This is actually my second time seeing the trailer, and both times I got all teary-eyed when she starts quoting Marianne Williamson: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure."

Next up was the trailer for X-Men: The Last Stand. I have no recollection of X2 so I'm having trouble placing this in time. I had to come home and watch the trailer again because I swear there's a Storm/Wolverine moment. (I have a soft spot for Storm/Wolverine from my X-Men fangirl days. If you want some Storm/Wolverine porn, I've always liked "Fog in the Forest." Some of it's a little on the cheesy side, but I imprinted on it at a very young age.) And, mmm, Wolverine begging Jean to come back. Also: Iceman using his powers. Woot! Since I can't place it at all, who's the hairless kid? Is he from the comics or made up for the movie? I had a flash of wondering if it's Legion and if they'll do AoA (Age of Apocalypse, an official X-Men AU) in the next movie. Because you know there'll be a next one, even though this one claims to be the last stand.

Ahem. Yes. That was a lot of going on about that. For the record, I'm still ticked off about what they did to Mystique in the movies. I'm still excited about the movie though, but not as excited as the girl behind me who said, "I'm so excited" about five times during the trailer.

Then we saw the trailer for Stick It. I can't wait. Seriously, people, can. Not. Wait.

And now the movie. )
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I've had a rough summer, emotionally speaking, which required a lot of comfort. Consequently, I've memorized all of my favorite romance fics/books/movies that I didn't already have memorized.

This is where you come in. I'm looking for more romance. I want declarations of love, dramatic scenes in the rain, running through the terminal to catch the plane. Rec me your favorite romance fics, books, movies.

To give you an idea of what I'm looking for, and to serve as something of an exchange, here's a list of all the favorites I can think of:


Xander and the Magic Lamp by [ profile] tesla321, Spike/Xander.

Francesca, Jim/Blair. I like lots of Francesca's stuff, but particular comfort favorites are "Nature's Conferences," "Stands for Comfort," "Bother," and "Legacy."

Little Runaway and Little Runaway 2 by [ profile] tabaqui, Spike/Xander.

Conjunctions by [ profile] flaming_muse, Spike/Xander.

Entrenous (website, LJ memories), Spike/Xander, Xander/Andrew. Entrenous has written many good romances. I particularly like "Shacking Up," "Expecting," "A Living Growing Thing," "For the Count," and "Spander on Ice."

Spikedluv, Spike/Xander. Favorites include "When Visions Come True" and the untitled human-au cop-thingy.

Lilith Sedai's Elements series (fics at Master Apprentice), Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan.

LadyCat (website, LJ memories), Spike/Xander. I have some favorites, but what they are depends on whatever mood I'm in at the moment.

The Long and Winding Road, The Long and Winding Road II, and Missing Scene: The Long and Winding Road by Kassandra, Mulder/Krycek.

A Week of Wrong and Your Horoscope for Today by Anna S., Spike/Xander.

Loserville by Shrift, Spike/Xander.

Wordsmith, Spike/Xander. In addition to the "Reconstruction," "Restoration," "Reunification" trilogy, I also like "Spike's Boys."

Recoveries by Lianne Burwell, Vic/Mac.

Extraordinarily Resilient by Cori Lannam, Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan.

The Familiar and Transfigurations by Resonant, Harry/Snape and Harry/Draco, respectively.

Work With Me by Anne Higgens, Vic/Mac.


Dancer of the Sixth by Michelle Shirey Crean. One of my absolute favorite romances of all time.

Bellwether by Connie Willis. One of my other absolute favorite romances of all time.

"Spice Pogrom," "Time Out," and "At the Rialto" in Impossible Dreams by Connie Willis. One screwball comedy and two science romances.

Tam Lin by Pamela Dean. Fairy tale retelling.

Deerskin by Robin McKinley. Another fairy tale retelling.

Spindle's End by Robin McKinley. Yet another fairy tale retelling.

Silver Woven in My Hair by Shirley Rousseau Murphy. Yes, it's another fairy tale retelling.

The Complete Ivory by Doris Egan. Not a fairy tale retelling, but nicely romantic. (I actually own each of the books separately; they've now been re-released in one volume.)

Light Raid by Connie Willis and Cynthia Felice. Yummy.

Promised Land by Connie Willis and Cynthia Felice. A forced marriage on a farm love story.

The Merro Tree by Katie Waitman. Interspecies same-sex romance, which is not really the main point of the story, but which is very romantic.

Sable, Shadow, and Ice by Cheryl J. Franklin. Every time I read this, I feel like I shouldn't like it because it's so cheesy. And yet I love it.

Mel by Liz Berry. Another one that's cheesy, but I love. Alas, I discovered on Saturday that our local library no longer has a copy of either this or Easy Connections, which finally started to creep me out on my last reread.

Quest For a Maid by Frances Mary Hendry. Historical romance for kids.

The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye. A good new-school fairy tale.

Mara: Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw. Teen romance set in Ancient Egypt.

Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith. Weak battle scenes, but a nice romance.


She's All That. My love for Freddie Prinze Jr. movies is well documented.

10 Things I Hate About You. Mmm, Shakespeare retelling.

Love Actually. Romantic movie with romantic music.

The Princess Bride. Everyone's favorite new-school fairy tale.

King Arthur. I love this, and one of the things I love is the way the romance is so toned down.

IQ. Einstein's niece and a mechanic in love.

Bringing Up Baby. Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant speaking very fast.


"Dramatic Spring," From Eroica With Love story. What I find so romantic about this is the last page where we see Klaus trusting Dorian to watch over him as he sleeps.

Daisy Kutter: The Last Train. Excellent, excellent western.

Uncanny X-Men 318. The arc that ended with this issue is what made me want some Bobby/Emma.


"Thespis" and "April is the Cruelest Month," Sports Night. Two very romantic Casey/Dan episodes.

Wonderfalls. Mmm. A great story premise with a very nice romance.

Keen Eddie. Fabulous romance in the midst of a cop show.

The O.C. Ryan and Marissa are everything I could possibly want in a teen TV couple.
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In Real Life, I can't stand Romance. If you want to do nothing more than stare into your sweetie's eyes, you're perfectly welcome to do so--somewhere where I am not. Fictional Romance, however, is a different matter. I'm not a big fan of the romance novel (with the exception of the occasional Jennifer Crusie), but I like my books and movies to have some Romance. Molly often laughs at me for my penchant for Romantic Comedies, and she laughed even harder when I watched my way through Freddie Prinze Jr.'s entire body of work last summer.


Although I disliked Breakfast At Tiffany's, I am otherwise a sucker for the big emotional scene in the rain. This is what made me enjoy Jackson's "Sweet Revenge." It's also a big part of what makes "Five by Five" the best Angel episode I've seen yet.


My shoes are leather. My sandals are leather. This doesn't bother me. But now I'm shopping for a new wallet and I can't bring myself to even look at a leather one. Part of it is a tactile thing--I don't like the way the leather feels in my hand--but part of it is revulsion at the very thought of carrying leather. So why does having leather shoes not bother me?

Novel Ideas

If you ever wanted to write a novel but didn't know where to start, all you have to do is watch the local news. I usually don't watch the local news, but every once in a while I have to tune in, and every time I do, it provides the starter pieces for at least three plots for a novel. For example, in tonight's national coverage, they mentioned the pregnant woman missing in Utah. Her husband reported her missing after she didn't come back from a jog.

In the novel, he killed her and dumped her body in the woods. He did it in some way that won't show on the bones, and he made sure to put her somewhere where she won't be found until she's largely decomposed. The protagonist could be the detective in charge of the case, and it could be a basic police procedural. Or it could be some member of the woman's family--her mother, her father, a sibling--and it could focus on the heartbreak they're going through. It could even be the husband himself with the revelation of his part in the disappearance as the shocking twist at the end.
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In the space of a week, I've seen three of Fele Martínez' movies: Tesis, Abre los ojos, and Los amantes del círculo polar.

Tesis is incredible. I want everyone I know to watch it so I can talk about it with them. If I can get my hands on a copy of it on video, without having to sell my soul, both arms, and a leg to Amazon to get it (and if you know of anywhere to buy videos cheap, please let me know), I want to make a fan page about it, a good one, with lots of critical analysis. Chema, Fele's character, is potentially dangerous but we also see the way it hurts him when Angela (Ana Torrent) goes after Bosco (Eduardo Noriega). I'd tell you more, but I don't want to spoil the movie for you.

Abre los ojos is less incredible. If you've seen the episode "The Refuge" of The Outer Limits, you've seen the same idea done better. However, Abre los ojos is notable for a couple of reasons. First, and most related to the purported subject of this entry, is, of course, Fele's role. He plays Pelayo, the best friend of Cesar (Eduardo Noriega again). Pelayo is a gentler version of Chema with a more light-hearted sense of humor. Secondly, I'm fascinated by the roles Penélope Cruz plays, both in Abre los ojos and in Todo sobre mi madre. We're used to seeing Penélope as a sex symbol; that's the way the she's portrayed by the media here in the US. But her characters are far more normal and down to earth than that. Penélope Cruz is the girl next door, a nun in Todo sobre mi madre and the girl Pelayo picks up at the library in Abre los ojos. Having seen Tesis and Abre los ojos, I now very much want to see The Others, which is also an Alejandro Amenábar film.

Although Tesis is meant to be a horror movie and Abre los ojos is supposed to be a psychological thriller, Los amantes del círculo polar is more suspenseful than either of them. Otto (Fele) and Ana (Najwa Nimri, who also plays Nuria in Abre los ojos) meet as children. His father and her mother move in together, and they become a family, although Ana and Otto insist that they are not siblings. Instead, they're lovers. The second half of the movie consists of Ana and Otto nearly crossing paths. Otto is completely different from both Chema and Pelayo. Fele gets to cry, to kiss the girl, and generally be the star of the movie.

Of course, no interest in an actor would be complete without the potential for fic. Fele Martínez would go very well with Eduardo Noriega. Part of the reason I like Fele is because of the following bit: In an online chat, someone asked him, "Crees que Eduardo Noriega y tú haceis una buena pareja?" ("Do you think you and Eduardo Noriega make a good couple?") To which he responded, "No lo sé, nunca le pedí una cita..." ("I don't know, I've never asked him out...") The dialogue in my head is all in Spanish, but I don't know enough Spanish to write the whole story in Spanish. If I can get more of an idea than just "let's stay home and fuck," I suppose I'll translate from the Spanish in my head to the English on paper.

And now a completely gratuitous recommendation: "One Moment of Perfect" by Vivi. I can't even think of anything more coherent to say about it.


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Ruth Sadelle Alderson


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