lhskarka: (Books)
Right, so here's a link to the story I mentioned earlier:

Jade Ghost Story


Also, here's an inspirational post on writing and fear of failure: Fail Better. by John Remy at Inkpunks
lhskarka: (Default)
Ever hear the joke about the failed artist who threw himself off a building because he never finished anything and got hit by a bus before he struck pavement? I think I know how he must have felt.

Right, so remember this post from me? 52 Yes, the one where I was all hopeful and determined and stuff? And then I managed about three things before I allowed myself to get sidetracked and then derailed by moving house. And now it's June, half a year later.

I'm still not back on track entirely. Too much of my craft/art/sewing stuff is currently packed into our new cellar for me to be happy or use it easily. But I have been writing. A lot. Not every day, but normally at least five out of every seven. Lots and lots of words. More words than I have written in years. And I'm happy about that part. Not so happy about the fact that even with all those new words, I hadn't actually finished anything.

Until last night. It isn't much as words go, but it's complete. There's a beginning, a middle, and most importantly, an end. I have to violate my 52-rule about sharing it here because it will be going up on another website, but I will share the link when it goes up.

So, here is to my teeny-tiny story, and it's ending. I plan to give you more companions soon!

EDIT: As promised, a link to my story here. Jade Ghost Story
lhskarka: (Tit Monkeys)
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One film?...Nope. Can't do it. I have had an abiding crush on Depp ever since 21 Jump Street was new. I have too many favorites. Maybe a top five? I'll try that.

Not in any sort of order:

Benny & Joon - For his totally sweet dedication to becoming Buster Chaplin...Charlie Keaton...you know what I mean.

Don Juan DeMarco - Yes, it's also sweet. And I love magical realism, or urban fantsy, or fairy tales, or whatever words you need to use to describe this film.

Donnie Brasco - Depp does not belong to the Meryl Streep/Brad Pitt school of "I'm blonde and can do accents" school of acting. I think he does something a bit more subtle with his portrayals of real people, inhabiting them in a way that finds the thing that will make you care about them, whether they're drug dealers or addict writers or crazy directors or gangsters, or in this case, undercover cops. This one is so good that I don't really want to watch it again - it's just too sad.

The Ninth Gate - This film is creepy and weird, and so is his character. Bonus, it's about books, and Satan! What's not to love?

From Hell - Because this is a film based on a graphic novel and yet his character felt totally real to me. Brave little opium addict investigator.

This is not to say that I don't love Jack Sparrow, or Sands from Once Upon a Time in Mexico, or that I don't think his performance as Edward Scissorhands was anything less than brilliant. I'm just hard pressed to choose even five of his films as favorites. And I really don't care for most of Tim Burton's work, even when it comes with Depp, alas.
lhskarka: (Tit Monkeys)
Warning - contains a review far longer than this film actually deserves. I just hope you find it funnier than I did the movie...

When we decided to watch Burlesque this weekend, I was expecting a certain amount of camp. What we got was a certain amount of awful. And not even funny-awful.

Here, let me share my pain with you:

By any definition or in any era, I'm really not sure what the performances in this film have to do with actual burlesque. They largely seem to have been lifted from Chicago and cobbled together with bits of A Chorus Line and Moulin Rouge via a vague "plot" (a la CATS - the loose plot bits, I mean, not the dance numbers). There is one Christina Aguilerra number with ostrich fans and striptease that might possibly qualify as an American burlesque routine, and another with Alan Cumming that might just be a reprisal of his role as the Emcee in Cabaret...hard to tell, since he doesn't even get a feature performance.

And then - the plot, such as it is, reads like a kinder, gentler version of Showgirls. NOT EVEN KIDDING. There's the plucky young girl who wants to make it in the big city as a performer, the older female mentor, the envious older female rival, the potential (engaged to someone else) love interest with talent of his own, even the sleazy older businessman who takes an interest in our plucky heroines "career". Throw in Alan Cumming as the doorman, Stanly Tucci in yet another "gay best friend/fairy godmother" role, and the ambiguous financial threat of Cher's club owner possibly losing her beloved and wholesome burlesque (not really) club (which is always FULL of people, so how are they losing money anyway?)to development and there's at least some potential for drama, right? However silly.

Except...Behind a cut in case you care about spoilers but trust me you really don't ) *shakes head*

To give it one marginally bright note: Since I like Cher quite a bit more than she actually deserves, I will admit that I did enjoy her opening song, "Welcome to Burlesque". But then, I'm also a big fan of "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves", so make of that what you will.

To sum up - this was not the worst film I have ever seen, but I really kind of want those 90 minutes of my life back. And what a waste of Alan Cumming.
lhskarka: (Default)
Or, more acurately, my mothers childhood.

Todays issue of "random things that get stuck in my head" is a tune that looks like this:


They strolled the lane together,
The sky was studded with stars.
He walked up to the gate with her,
For her he lifted the bar.
She raised her brown eyes to him...

But, there's nothing between them now.
For he was just the hired boy,
And she a Jersey cow.


It's one of many funny little songs that my mom sang to us as kids. I don't know where she got it, but sometimes it just pops into my brain and sits there for awhile. Thought I'd share.
lhskarka: (Responsibility)
So, haven't really had any major progress to report on the move that ate my life recently. A lot of books have slllloowwwllyy made their way onto a lot of shelves, but that's about it.

That changes this weekend, as I am heartily tired of not be able to DO THINGS because there is a box in my way or I can't find something.

52 has been seriously neglected in practice, though it is never far from my thoughts.

Make sure to tune in next week for Creativity, coming back to this space, ASAP!
lhskarka: (Default)
Just thought I would embellish a tweet from [livejournal.com profile] gmskarka for fun:

The Staple Singers - Respect Yourself



Madonna's Express Yourself, linked because the video wouldn't let me embed it.

Lady Gaga - Born This Way


whattravissays - Gallifrey



That's all for now... Be seeing you!
lhskarka: (Default)
Video footage of Duran Duran’s photo shoot for L’Uomo Vogue at Syon House. Video courtesy of Duran Duran + Gavin Elder:



Duran Duran made a video out of a photo shoot, because that's just the kind of guys they are. :)

(PS - Just in case you have wandered across this on Facebook and my embeddy thing didn't work - here's a link to their page: http://www.duranduran.com/wordpress/2011/duran-duran-luomo-vogue/)

* - Pulled muscle pain from moving heavy stuff around my house. Oww!
lhskarka: (Default)
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Ha! Hahahahahaha!...I think this one is fairly obvious... :D
lhskarka: (Default)
Remember a few posts back when I mentioned once designing a totally portable studio apartment?

[livejournal.com profile] gmskarka just sent me this link. This apartment isn't portable, but it's fascinatingly tiny:

90 Square Foot Apartment in NYC


And if you don't know NYC, trust me, she isn't lying about the awesome location.
lhskarka: (Responsibility)
Old house is empty and clean. Hooray!

This week saw the last of the scrubbing and recycling and trash out the door. I finished up by giving the garage a good sweep, and it's done.

I only pulled one muscle during the process - whatever the one is that wraps around my left ribcage and attaches to my spine. It kinda hurts a lot, but only when I breathe.

This weekend, not only does the weather look promisingly Spring-like, we also get to focus on putting the new house in order. Double Hooray!

I'm looking forward to knowing where my clothes are, and maybe being able to start MAKING THINGS again next week.

Also, for your viewing pleasure, here is a link to Duran Duran's performance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon from last night: Leave a Light On. DD has been on everywhere for the last two weeks - it's like I'm 14 again. squee!
lhskarka: (Responsibility)
For one thing, water continues to really want to be involved in our major life events. We were soaked and cold on our wedding day, and have been soaked and cold during this entire moving process. Boo. I mean, SNOW?!?!! Really? I thought "out like a lamb" indicated Spring, not "White & Fluffy".

Also, being soaked and cold all the time, plus the stress of moving, pretty much = entire family ill with bad cold for weeks on end. What fun. The worst bit for me is that I'm starving all the time, but nothing tastes good - or at all, for that matter. Well, that and the wracking cough. Hello cold medicine, cough drops and Emergen-C.

Bonus round: While cleaning at the old house on Sunday, I realized that there was a problem with the heater - no heat & no hot water. Which meant that I couldn't really clean, since it was nearly freezing inside the house. As I really don't want to have to clean up ANOTHER flood just before we hand over the keys, I called the management company. I think I'll be doing that a lot in the next 4 days. I did haul away a bunch of recycling, however.

On the plus side (finally): At our new home, we got most of the master bathroom & kitchen stuff put away over the weekend. And the living room is livable. Tonight, we tackle the dining room and possibly some of our bedroom, since some of the furniture in the staging area dining room belongs there. Large portions of this move in to the new place are sort of (in some cases literally) stacked on top of one another - we have to have THIS in place to be able to move THAT, and so on. I picked at the tail of the beast by putting a few more things out of the way in the cellar, but that is definitely not a permanent solution.

Next up - moving furniture and purging more things.
lhskarka: (Default)
We caught up on the series finales of Being Human, Bedlam and Big Love last night.

Bedlam ended like it's hoping for a second season. Cliffhanger, anyone?

Being Human ended in one of the ways I anticipated (with a twist), but it still made me cry. This season was so much better than last. It also ended with a semi-cliffhanger, but, much in the way of the series end of Angel, not one that has to be revisited to work.

Big Love also ended as expected; [livejournal.com profile] gmskarka's guess from mid-season was on the nose, in fact. It didn't make me cry, but it was definitely an appropriate end for the show.

In other news, I'm looking forward to the weekend and nesting more in to the new house.
lhskarka: (Responsibility)
So - mostly moved out of old place. There is still cleaning up to do, and a couple trips to the recycling/trash bins, but our stuff, it is moved.

Now we come the the "nesting" portion of the move. Which is even more important this time that it was the last time (eight years ago). Because this time we don't have a garage to dump things into - we do have a basement, but it's really more of a cellar - rock walls, not convenient for easy access, not the kind of place where you'd want to put fabric anything, etc...

We do have a TON of built in cabinets & shelves, and a pantry closet, so that helps with the places to put stuff - just not with the sorting that we ought to have done BEFORE we moved.

Just for fun, I once designed a studio apartment based on the premise that everything - everything - had to fit into a single carload of a 4-door sedan. (It involved a lot of inflatable furniture. That's how.) I have been thinking a lot about that design this past week, and how I am not that person. Hell, I wasn't that person when I came up with the idea in the first place, but I feel even further away from it now.


Alas...earwax. And definitely some paper shredding in the near future.
lhskarka: (Responsibility)
So - moving - Bleah.

Saturday we picked up the truck and installed the pets at the new house with no trouble. (Dog in crate, cats locked in master bathroom, safely out of the way.)

Trouble waited until we were trying to move. For one thing, we were nowhere near ready enough to move all our stuff - not enough boxes, not enough packed, not enough cleaned - ack!

Then, just before Friends arrived to help us start loading the truck, disaster struck in the form of a broken tap attached to the washing machine. I carefully turned the on/off knobs to OFF, which was clearly marked by the word "OFF". The hot water tap leaked a bit, but came away with no problem. When I unscrewed the cold water tap, water came jetting out, full force, with the tap clearly still ON despite the fact that it was turned off. Tried to hold back the tide with my hands and a bucket while yelling for [livejournal.com profile] gmskarka & Electric Boogaloo to come and help. They finally came downstairs & heard me, and we took turns bailing & going to the garage (next to the laundry room) to search for the water cut-off. Yes, I know, we should have known where it was, but in the previous 8 years of renting, we'd never needed it. Searched all over/around the water heater for something resembling a shut-off valve - no dice. Called the management company - no help, since they said to look where I was already looking - next to the water heater.

Finally found the damned shut-off lever, BEHIND and ABOVE the water heater, after about 15 minutes of flooding. My hands were so cold that I couldn't move the stupid thing, so one of our kind friends did it for me. By that time, water had been pouring for about 15 minutes, flooding the kitchen, the laundry room, the bathroom off the laundry room, and part of the garage and the living room under the carpet, because this place was built on a slab!

We then spent some time mopping/scooping up water that had been contaminated by the cat-litter strewn under the washer & dryer (bloody cats!). The water is gone now, but the cat smell remains. There is still a LOT of scrubbing to do. Plus some more packing, although most of the furniture is moved.

Last night, the very lovely [livejournal.com profile] radcliffe helped me pack up most of the kitchen while I emptied a couple of rooms upstairs. Tonight, the last of the packing/moving & more cleaning is in our future.
lhskarka: (Default)
So, we watch lot of TV - I like to think that most of it is pretty good, too. Of course, some of it is also crazy...Here's a recent sampling:

Being Human - The original, British version. They had me worried last season - things dragged on boringly, and the characters sort of milled around looking for themselves, until the end of the season presented them with an actual dilemna they could solve. This season, though, has been awesome. Dropping Mitchell, George, Nina & Annie back into conflict & harassment from the outside world works so much better than "hey, I can work in a pub, now". So, if you gave up during season 2, go back - it's worth it.

Smallville - Yes, I know everyone else is up on Season 10, waiting for the big finale. I'm still wading through season 6, and enjoying it. Even if Oliver Queen is just a Lex clone with a bow at this point - where's the radical socialist of the comics, hmmm? I am looking forward to more super heros making an appearance, though.

Big Love - Just one more episode to go, and the crazy will be over. I used to think this show was good, but now it's just nuts. I'm sticking with it just to see how it ends.
lhskarka: (Tit Monkeys)
Because we happen to have watched some really good, relatively low-budget science fiction films recently - thought I'd share.

First up, Hunter Prey, a version of the classic "individuals from opposite sides in war meet in the wasteland" story, made by Sandy Collora, who may be known to some of you as the creator of Batman: Dead End, a fan film first shown at the 2003 San Diego Comic-Con. Hunter Prey was made in much the same way, with a cast of about five (including Collora) playing multiple roles. The dialog for the first 15 minutes or so of the movie is a bit muffled, but sitting through it is definitely worth it to get to the rest of the film.

Second, Monsters is a story of love and survival in the jungle, with some wickedly cool-looking aliens thrown in. If you mixed up 'Cloverfield' with 'The African Queen' you might sort of get the idea. It does a great job with atmospere, and is also pretty impressive for being created from about 100 hours of improv footage and special effects added by the filmmaker using desktop software. And you can stream it on Netflix. Do it!

Finally, not a film, but a YouTube video. You may have already seen it, but [livejournal.com profile] gmskarka showed it to me, and it's been stuck in my head ever since. I leave you with "She Don't Like Firefly", which is catchy, a lovely ode to a show I adored, and highlights (in a humorous way) one of the more ridiculous socialization problems of geek culture). I mean not so seriously, you'd dump her for that?...Loser.

lhskarka: (Default)
So far this week I have managed to haul at least one carload over to the house every day. I feel that two or more would have been better, but I suppose every bit helps.

We're really behind on filling up the built-in bookshelves - since they're right there, it makes sense for us to fill them up first, instead of having boxes piled around waiting for furniture. Being a house full of sick people for the last week or so sort of put a crimp in that plan, but todays carload will take care of some of that.

For the weekend, we're borrowing a van and wearing ourselves out with the hauling. Woot!..or something...

Wish us luck!
lhskarka: (Responsibility)
If I posted an entire list of everything we need to do by the end of March, I would probably collapse from exhaustion just by reading it. Instead, I think just looking at it a few pieces at a time is the way to go. So, here's how it went this past weekend.

Plans:
Clean current house for viewing by potential tenant.
Do the recyling.
Take stuff we aren't using out of closets & cabinets and bring to new place.
Sweep new basement.
Move the storage shelves & stuff on them out of the garage and into the new basement.
Go through books in garage. Divide in to Keep vs. Sell/Donate/FreeCycle boxes.

Accomplished:
Clean current house for viewing by potential tenant.
Do the recyling.
Take stuff we aren't using out of closets & cabinets and bring to new place.
Sweep new basement.
Move the storage shelves & stuff on them out of the garage and into the new basement.

Go through books in garage. Divide in to Keep vs. Sell/Donate/FreeCycle boxes.

We didn't actually get ALL of the shelves moved out of the garage, but that's largely because we didn't go through the books, so they're still sitting on the shelves.

Plans for after work this week:
Bring over & unpack at least 2 carloads of boxes a day.
Go through books in garage. Divide in to Keep vs. Sell/Donate/FreeCycle boxes. (Then do that.)
Finish moving the garage shelves.

Also, gotta say I'm glad we're moving now (at the end of winter) for another very important reason. If we were doing this in August, all the bugs & spiders that I'm encountering in the garage would be ALIVE. *shudder*
lhskarka: (Responsibility)
1) Sick. Have been so for over a week with a cold that fluctuates between giving me a few sniffles here and there and leaving me feeling like a plague victim. After sleeping about 18 hours Monday (aided by furry water bottles in the form of two cats and a dog), I'm up and moving around, but everyone still sounds like they're underwater.

2) Moving. Ack! From a two-story townhome with garage on the edge of town to a single-story house with a cellar in my favorite part of town and in walking distance to almost everything. And did I mention the built-in cupboards in the "new" place? They're everywhere. I love them. With all the bookshelves we're bringing with us, we may actually have space for ALL of our books now. Until we buy more, that is. And of course, there are all the hassles of moving to be dealt with over the next month. Did I mention I hate moving? With a firey passion that burns greater than a thousand suns? It sets off pretty much every trigger I have about security and "my stuff".

3) Item 2 sort of derailed my 52 project for now. I'm going to have some serious catching up to do after March, or I won't be pleased with myself at all. At least I'm still managing to write a bit every day.

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