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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeAug 31st 2011
     
    So an earthquake and a hurricane in one week. Not too shabby. Truth be told, neither were as bad as they could have been. No one even realized it was an earthquake until a few minutes later, and the prevailing attitude seemed to be one of laughter. Maybe it was nervous laughter, but nothing much came of it. Personally, I didn't even feel the ground shake. I was on the second floor of a two story building, and it seemed to me like someone was doing something on the roof. Like driving a truck or something. It was over in about 2 seconds.

    The hurricane was a bit more troublesome, but still, could have been much worse. I lost power for about 10 seconds, and at one point, I lost internet for about an hour. No biggy. Some folks got hit by tornadoes though, and lots of folks are still without power, so the storm was indeed nasty. I think they said about 10 inches of rain in a very short time.

    Otherwise, not much excitement over here. Reading a lot, watching a lot, actually got into my exercise groove for this year, and hopefully that will continue on until at least November, like last year (I always seem to stop exercising during the holidays - partly because I'm busy, but also because it's cold). I have been trying to healthify my diet a bit. More vegetables, less simple sugars (i.e. less Coke) I've been pretty good with the Coke. Not as good with the veggies. I wouldn't say beer is particularly good for me, though maybe in small doses... in any case, beer is more of a Friday and Saturday thing, and despite my rampant posting on the beer blog, I would say I only drink 3 or 4 beers in a week, at most. Maybe 5 or 6 on a big weekend. Anywho, I figure simply cutting out 75% of my Coke intake is probably a big benefit. Combined with exercise 5-6 days a week, that should help.

    And I am super excited for the Austin trip. Just got an email from Fantastic Fest about my badge, which hopefully means that they'll be releasing the schedule soon. Looking forward to the festival and to hanging out with Spence and Charles:)

    On the books front, I'm at 21 books on the year, which is probably the most I've read in the past 10 years (and my consumption from last year was sorta clustered around the end of the year as well, so this is a pretty well sustained run for me). I have slowed down a bit on the year, and will probably be snowed down more by travel (though if my last trip is any indication, I can probably polish off a short novel that week just because of the plane ride alone). Of course, about 8 of the books are Bujold space opera stuff, which are really easy (but good!) reads, each about 300 pages. I think part of the reason I've slowed down is that I'm tackling longer books. I did finish Guns, Germs and Steal, which had some really interesting ideas, but which kinda peaked halfway through for me. Something about that dude's style really grated on me.

    Currently reading Inherent Vice, by Thomas Pynchon. It's kinda freaking me out. It's so... normal. Well, still really well written, but, like, it's almost a linear story. It's told from one perspective. Of course, it takes place in the late 60s and it follows a hippy private detective, so there are a couple of trippy drug freakouts, something I normally could care less about, but Pynchon does a good job here. I'm not convinced that the ridiculously complex web of relationships will ultimately amount to anything, but I'm having fun with it.

    I'm also starting to plan out the 6 weeks of halloween horror movie marathon. There will obviously have to be some Fantastic Fest stuff to start the marathon because they line up perfectly, but I've got several other weeks planned, including More Universal Monsters, Silent Horror Films, and even (gasp) the Saw series (starting at 3, as I've already seen the first two). Should be fun, as always.

    And now, I must go and do... something. Perhaps a beer blog post, followed by reading. Anyway, I hope everyone else is doing well. If you see this. Because this board has been kinda/sorta dead for a while. But if you see this, please leave a note!

    ~tallman
    • CommentAuthorSovawanea
    • CommentTimeSep 1st 2011
     
    We felt the earthquake here too, but it was probably only noticeable to us because of our cheap cubicles that rocked back and forth. It's a good thing Ohio is not earthquake prone or I would be afraid to put anything in the overhead cabinets for fear of being brained in a substantial earthquake. Irene didn't cause any ill weather effects here, but a step aunt in Pennsylvania did have to scare off would be looters who assumed all the people in the big houses by the creek would evacuate in case of flooding with a shot gun. He ran away and left his car at her house assuring that my family will tell this story for many years to come.

    I have again failed miserably at any attempt to count the books I have read this year. It's roughly two a week.
    I'm on a little bit of a celebrity memoir kick as I just finished Simon Pegg's Nerd Do Well and I am in the middle of Tina Fey's Bossypants. Fey's is funnier, but Pegg's (despite a comic book alter ego version of himself interjected throughout)is a a little bit more sincere. I don't typically read these sorts of books and especially not back to back, but I really like both of their work (Pegg is skinny guy from Shaun of The Dead, Hot Fuzz, etc.) and it just so happened that they both came off the waiting list at the library as 14 day loans at the same time. And since it is time for you to finalize your Six Weeks of Halloween, it is time to load up my library queue with vampires and murder mysteries. Or at least more than the usual. And probably just show your list to Nick to see what he hasn't seen yet to rearrange the Netflix gueue.
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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeSep 2nd 2011
     
    Wow, that's a pretty funny story. Looter leaves car at the house? Groovy.

    Two a week is pretty impressive. At one point I had settled into a nice one-book-a-week rhythm, but then I started reading books that were longer. And dryer.

    I'm a fan of Simon Pegg's stuff, though I was disappointed by Paul.

    I always forget to load up my book queue with horror books until it's too late. Any recommendations on that front?

    Incidentlly, I just finished Inherent Vice, and it was pretty awesome. I mentioned above that I wasn't expecting it to go anywhere, but it actually kinda did, and it was pretty great. If the concept of a hippy private eye and a California noirish story set in 1970 sounds cool, it's definitely worth checking out. I really can't get over this, and I hope Pynchon does something like this again. Until then, we've got Paul Thomas Anderson's movie adaptation, which could very well be awesome.

    For the 6WH, I'm going old-school to start - Universal Monsters, all the way:

    1. The Mummy
    2. Cat People/Curse of the Cat People
    3. Creature from the Black Lagoon

    Exciting stuff. Then I'm hitting up silent horror:

    1. Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
    2. The Cat and the Canary (1927)
    3. The Golem

    And I'll probably end up with a haunted house week (The Sentinal, House (the japanese movie), and one other film to be named), a slasher calendar week (or maybe a slasher part threes week), and I should probably just stop there. At least one week can be taken entirely by Fantastic Fest (or so I hope!)

    ~tallman
    • CommentAuthorSovawanea
    • CommentTimeSep 19th 2011
     
    The only horror I have read recently I know you might like is Guillermo Del Toro's The Strain. It's sort of a vampire/zombie/world pandemic mash up. I just got the sequel, The Fall, to kick of the Halloween month. Only new thing I have found to add to my list so far is a fantasy crime short story compilation edited by Rosemary Edghill. If nothing else pops on the radar soon, I will just OD on Joyce Carol Oates towards the end of the month. She's not technically a horror writer, but some of her work is way creepier than anything in the horror section.
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      CommentAuthorfoucault
    • CommentTimeSep 21st 2011
     
    Hey, I survived too!

    I haven't seen any actually decent horror in forever. I've redboxed some frighteningly bad stuff, not even campy good, just terrible, but I can't remember the last good horror movie I've seen.

    A million years ago, I worked in the media center in college, and I used to...moonlight, so to speak, as a projectionist for the film history club at UConn, which was rarely as cool as it sounds. However, I did show Cabinet of Dr. Caligari amongst other expressionist/early horror films. I guess I've actually seen a lot of historical films because of that, but unfortunately, not a lot of good ones. I had to show some crap Norwegian movie (in Norwegian, without subtitles!) that, as far as I can tell, was solely about a family with a gay son, who was unhappy about being gay. I don't speak Norwegian, so I could be mistaken about much of the film's premise, but I still wonder to this day why this film was considered "classic."