Saturday, November 24, 2012

Saturday Update: November 24, 2012

The good news is..
I've been on vacation for a week, and I'm now feeling better than I have in a long, long time.  Rested.  Ready.  Relaxed.  Good all-around.  Moreover, Thanksgiving was awesome, and except for the part where we spent a lot of time in the kitchen, it was also pretty darned uneventful.  On top of that, I've run three times in the past week and ridden my bike once, and now Sally and I have a race tomorrow, and I'm very much looking forward to it.  And if that's not enough, it's also now the Christmas season, and yet I'm not worried even a little. Except for Sally, pretty much all of my shopping is done.

We had Thanksgiving with our neighbors.

With that said, this is why it's hard to finish anything.
Last night Sally decreed that everyone in our family has to make Christmas gifts for everyone else in our family.  Of course, we can buy gifts, too--and God knows, I've bought gifts--but at least one gift must be handmade.  For each person in our family.  I quickly got permission to do one thing for the two girls combined, but yeah, this is why I need an executive writing assistant.  Because I spent about an hour this morning sketching out a fantasy short story for my girls that'll serve as my present to them, and I'm pretty happy with it, but it's gonna be a serious challenge to find the time to actually write the darned thing.

If you're wondering, the story is gonna be a Tolkienesque fantasy-mystery using their D&D characters as the protagonists.  It's kind of a paint-by-the-numbers locked-room mystery plot, but I'll set in the mythical town of Wanderhaven, and we'll use plenty of young-adult-type magic and that kind of thing to make it sing.  The issue, however, is that I've been working on a short story called "The Sorcerer's Tale", and that's now going to have to take a backseat until after Christmas.  The Hell of it is that I just started re-writing a new chapter of "Sorcerer's Tale", and I'd at least like to finish that before moving on, but this next bit \needs a lot of re-writing.

Yeah, yeah.  I'm sure I'll pull it all together, too.  I'm just not sure about when.

We watched some movies...
Rock of Ages was terrific.
We finally saw The Hunger Games on Thanksgiving night and then Rock of Ages last night.

I'll admit that I was a little disappointed with The Hunger Games.  I mean, the movie was okay, but I was expecting the second coming of Harry Potter based on the buzz and the reviews, and it definitely wasn't that.  For one thing, they go to all this trouble to talk up the violence of the Games, but then the scenes in the battle-dome (or whatever it was) that involved Katniss all revolved around survivalist training and gathering food.  Our heroine barely used her bow!

And then, too, at the start of the Games they go to some trouble to establish that the quiver has something like a dozen or a score of arrows, and over the course of the movie, we slowly see those arrows as a dwindling resource.  By the time the final battle came up, we can see that there were only three arrows left, but the movie never makes use of the fact that, Holy Cow, our heroes are about to run out of ammo!  And if they do run out of arrows, we know that they're screwed because the plot went to some very serious lengths to establish the main boy from District 1 is a bad-ass sword fighter.  They definitely do not want to meet him on his terms.

What I'm saying here is that if the organizers of the Hunger Games wanted to ensure that the kids from District 1 triumphed, all they had to do was to extend the games by a few more days.  Then Katniss would have run out of arrows by hunting, and the contest would have come down to a hand-to-hand struggle.  And that would have been that, The End.  However, for some reason the organizers rush to the finale while our heroes still have some bullets left, and in the end, that advantage is decisive.  Ergo stupidity.

Needless to say, I liked Rock of Ages better, and I'm now super-bummed in retrospect that the movie didn't perform at the box office.  I mean, Julianne Hough, the female lead, isn't very strong (but she is hot), and besides that, the movie itself is great.  Tom Cruise in particular was phenomenal, especially his singing, and unless I very much missed it, it looked like he played several licks himself on the guitar as well.

I'm starting to think that Cruise is a hyper-talented guy who's also more than a little misunderstood.  Maybe some of that--most of it--is his fault, but it doesn't take away from what the guy has been able to accomplish professionally, which is a long string of iconic leading-role performances.  In truth, the one in Rock of Ages ought to have been the equal of any of the others, but unfortunately, I think the truth is that Rock and Roll really is dead, and so no ones cares.  Or in this case even noticed.

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