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Pulplike, noirish, Bollywood-with-no-dancing, marvelously multicultural, set in beautifully detailed historical Calcutta, and 100% awesome!! A mad scientist, a supervillain, a femme fatale, an engaging detective, and a couple of truly wicked fight scenes.

See it on the big screen if you can; there's enough loving attention in the background details to reward it. It's currently playing in Eden Prairie and will probably disappear from theatres fast.

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Um--things happened this week? I'm pretty sure? I'm still heavily lagged from the two family reunions + Phil being gone for a week. And heavily stressed from mortgage problems, general financial problems, and not having a place to work on writing while we transition my study into Theia's bedroom.

Yes, I said general financial problems. We did the math on our budget, and it went directions that budget math isn't supposed to. Not a lot we can do about it, either. As a starting point, though, I am now only allowed to purchase one ebook a month. ::sadface::

The kids got their recommended number of weekly outings! Wednesday at the Midtown Global Market for the Roe Family Singers, Friday at the Minneapolis Library Downtown for storytime and baby playtime, and Sunday for church and nursery Sunday School (Cassius has been asking to go to church again, since we hadn't been since Theia's dedication).

I got to go back to the doctor, since I'm still coughing up phlegm a month after we were treated for parapertussis. The doc says I seem to be in general good lung health and that it can take as long as ten weeks before the coughing stops, even if the infection was already wiped out by antibiotics. To be sure, she took a swab to culture to make sure that yes, this is actually just a lingering symptom, but the cause has been cured. During my doctor's appointment, I noticed that the swabs expired a couple of weeks earlier, so I had to come back a day later once they re-ordered. Harrumph. No fun having a long wire stuck up your nose, by the way. Not recommended!

Let's see, in other entertainment news--finally saw Guardians of the Galaxy, with my friend E. She already saw the movie before she suddenly lost all hearing in one ear, perhaps permanently, so this was by way of a test run to see if she could still enjoy such things. All went swimmingly, huzzah! It was a lot of fun.

As far as my reading goes, I appear to have stumbled on a motherlode of alternate-interpretations-of-angels-and/or-vampires stories. Some were good, some were awful. I am currently enjoying the first book of a new series that I'm reading (recommended for me because I really liked Written in Red, and really, the voice is so close that I'm about to go find out if this is a pseudonym situation). It's great, for what it is! Except for that huge fatal flaw where the first chapter establishes the main character's personality by having a graphic, brutal rape scene. You know, like you do when you have a female main character. Ugh. Just ugh. Why is this such a Thing in paranormal romance / urban fantasy?
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I had a week, I know I did!

I pretty much recovered from the bout of parapertussis this week (thank you, antibiotics!), and so I was actually able to be a bit productive, and also to socialize a bit. Still more tired than usual. I can tell my body was/is still working to clear out the last bits of bacterial crud.

Immediately before I got sick, I finished my Short Story of Unusual Size. Normally, I try to take a couple of days off after finishing a project, partly to refill the creativity well and partly to give a lick and a promise to all the other writing-related tasks that I tend to fall behind on. The sick ate my recharge time, so I took a couple of days on the other end of it. Most of that, I spent writing updates on things that I wanted to get down--con reports, child at age X months, etc.

Then I got to restart Circus of Brass and Bone AKA the Way Overdue Project! Or at least to finish up my re-read (with minor revisions), figure out what needed to get wrapped up, and plot the grand finale. That was difficult, after so much time away from the project. As I commented over on Facebook, I had a plan for how to do that, but my plan was, "Make a plan." Not so useful! A couple of months ago, Pat helped me to realize that what I thought was the climax wasn't the actual focus of the plot arc and so should be a quiet postlude instead of the big finale, but it took post-its filled with threats to hash out what would actually work well. Not threats to me, but all the perils and threats pointed at different characters. I rearranged the post-its, added solutions or results, and I finally got a conclusion that I was happy with. Next up: writing the damn thing.

[ . . . And coming back to this post and trying to write it while sitting outside and letting Cassius play in our back yard and pick ALL the raspberries. He still needs interaction, though, so this may be a little scattered.]


Life at home has become more exciting because Theia's made a big developmental leap from "wiggling a bit on her tummy" to "crawling across rooms in 30 seconds flat." Keeping her safe just became a lot harder, and keeping the floors and other low surfaces clean and child-proofed just became a lot more important. Having an almost-three-year-old who likes to carry around his choking hazard toys and deposit them wherever makes this more challenging. It is really cute watching her chase balls across the room, though. Or cats. Or Cassius (especially when he's also army-crawling so that they can play "Snakey"). Now that she's moving around a lot, I can tell that she's also losing weight. She's becoming a skinny baby, just like her big brother. Sigh. She's also lost patience with most of the baby-containment devices, which makes doing anything else around the house more challenging.

I saw Chef, now playing at the Lagoon, on my monthly movie date with E. Five stars! Cleverly written, populated by an amazing cast, extremely funny, truly heart-warming, and filled with delicious foodie moments. My only complaint is that the wrap-up had maybe a touch too much childhood-wish-fulfillment, in a way that might be a sore spot for kids who have that wish but won't get it fulfilled. Regardless, highly, highly recommended, especially if you need something to cheer you up. For bonus points, plan on going out for dinner at a place with good tortas afterward.

Other things, in summary: vegan waffles yay!, breakfast with C., yay!; Phil working way too many hours, boo!; all the raspberries, holy cow!

13 Years!

Apr. 6th, 2014 05:47 pm
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Our household has been afflicted by The Sick for the last 2+ weeks. First Phil was sick, so I was doing as much solo parenting as possible and certainly not leaving the house while he watched the kids. Then I got the sick. At first, I hoped I was going to get a milder version than what he had--basically just a sore throat and snuffly tiredness--but as it turns out that was just my immune system putting up a losing battle. I got the full sickness, with the headaches and feverishness and general muzzy-headedness, it just took four extra days to manifest. You know, just in time for the weekend last week. So I didn't leave the house then either. I finally started to feel better as the kids got sick. Really, it's better than us all being sick at once. I guess. Poor sad feverish toddler got to watch a lot of Thomas the Train and Winnie the Pooh (AKA "honey movie!"). Poor sad feverish infant had a lot of trouble sleeping and woke up several times in the night (all the nights). I also now know what Theia's "whiskey face" looks like, because that's how she reacts to infant acetaminophen. It looks a lot like mine, actually! Complete with the full body shiver.

I did eventually escape the house this week! On Wednesday (?), I went out to watch a movie with Electra. Our first plan of seeing Robocop was changed because her car has started smoking, so the first plan of driving on the interstate to get to a theatre seemed like a bad idea (because as everybody knows, smoking totally destroys the stamina). Instead, we went to the much-closer Lagoon in Uptown, where we saw The Grand Budapest Hotel. In the end, I decided that I did not like the movie, in part because it threw in unnecessary downer postludes that kinda ruined it for me, and in part because there were a handful of jarringly brutal moments in it. Animal cruelty, I am not a fan of you. BUT! I also learned that the Lagoon sells vegan, dairy-free, soy-free chocolate cookies! SO excited by that.

On Tuesday, Phil and I celebrated our 13-year wedding anniversary by staying home and having a quietly romantic day while taking care of our poor sick kids. He came home early, bringing me tulips and salmon and Udi's double chocolate muffins that are allergen-free. Salmon is a really unusual thing to find in our house, so we stared at the instructions on the packaging and succeeded in making a special dinner out of it. Afterwards, Phil sat on the couch and looked through our wedding album with Cassius, who Phil says, "liked seeing pictures of his younger, skinnier parents." Given the people near and dear to us who we've lost since then, our wedding album is a bit of a tear-jerker. Later we danced to our wedding song--"Standing (Still)" by VNV Nation. Cassius wanted to dance, too. :)
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I was able to get advanced tickets to see Europa Report (yes, the *other* sci-fi movie that starts with an E!) a couple of days ago. If you're in the mood for a science fiction movie that's a relatively pure science fiction movie, not an action movie, I recommend seeing it. It's set up as part "documentary," part live footage, but this isn't like any space documentary you'll see in a planetarium. Oh, and pay attention to the time stamp in the first scene, as that will help with your chronological disorientation. Time, spatial, and plot expectations are all things that the directors are going to be screwing with.

If you're in the Twin Cities, this is running for a weeklong limited engagement.
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Spent my morning and early afternoon working on the work-from-home day job project that's scheduled for the next two weeks. Or rather, correcting and communicating with the client about a project. Just got back the results of a smaller test load, and unfortunately that led to me needing to go back and change a lot of stuff. Not mistakes on my part, just, "Oh, the software apparently needs it to be done this way," stuff. Drop-down menus had to be changed, things had to be loaded in a different order. Blech. But fixed!

Afternoon was writing. I got my quota of words for The Circus of Brass and Bone done, had some fun with a big reveal. And the last scene for this story arc revealed itself, which made me giggle evilly. This episode's going to be a short one, but I think there's enough in it that it'll be fun. Another couple of thousand words tomorrow and it won't even be a short one. I just am not sure I'll get to my visualized end point. Hrm.

Phil came home early from work, bearing groceries. He worked 2nd shift for the rest of the week, so his boss basically told him that he should really leave early today. Phil curled up on the couch, covered his face with one of my t-shirts that was sitting on the coffee table (folding laundry), and fell asleep. Girl kitty slept on top of the couch cushions near his feet. It was cute.

Phil and Cat

Read more... )

Movie: Red

Oct. 20th, 2010 10:52 pm
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Okay, so...RED is what happens when you take a dark, grim Warren Ellis graphic novel and turn it into a Romancing the Stone-style romantic comedy. With a dash of "old skool bad-asses can still kick your ass."

The real surprise is how well it works. The actors are phenomenal (which shouldn't be surprising when you see the cast list), the banter is hilarious, and the romance has chemistry. I loved this movie. I was giggling with glee in the theater...and I wasn't the only one. There is violence, but though a lot of bullets are fired and a fair number of people are taken out, the grue factor is quite low.

Highly recommended, a good cheer-you-up movie.
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Thanks to everyone who made it to my birthday party! I was really happy I was able to just hang out and talk with so many of my friends. And after the party, I have a lot of interesting and tasty things to drink, and the equivalent of an entire large (and tasty, but rather overwhelming) carrot cake left over.

And I learned never ever to mention that I don't know who Journey is ever again.

Names of things I couldn't remember at the time:

La Chaya Bistro is the restaurant we went to on my actual birthday. It's a Mexican-Italian fusion place that uses organic, local ingredients. The food is delicious and has a good kick to it, but if you don't like cilantro, inquire before ordering.

Lagaan (Land Tax) is the Bollywood movie set in colonial India, in which a band of villagers must learn to play cricket well enough to defeat the British. If they do, they won't have to pay the harsh land tax for 3 years. It's a very good Bollywood movie, and by the end of it, you will have a better appreciation for cricket too!
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  • 12:24 I am sad Star Trek didn't pass the Bechdel Test. The roommate scene? All about the guy.

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  • 17:37 Was studying martial arts notes on bus, got propositioned by man who wanted me to be his "personal trainer."
  • 18:12 Slumdog Millionaire: The sweetest romantic movie about the slums of India that uses framing devices of police torture and a game show.
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It's kind of a bad thing when Paris Hilton's performance is the best one in the movie. (To be fair, it was a very good performance for her.) Repo: The Genetic Opera tries for a slick, gaudy, splatterpunk musical, and it succeeds in being about one-quarter as awesome as it thinks it is. Alas, that's not enough to elevate it above a "Meh, not so good," movie. The graphic novel pages they use to explain the plot are awesome; the movie's main action, not so much. Exception the first: If you're into fetish costuming, you should see it--just try to ignore the badly scripted dialog, er, lyrics. Exception the second: This is your movie if you think seeing Giles from Buffy being dark and evil (but with a heart of gold) would be super-hot.

If you have the urge to see a dark musical, see Sweeney Todd instead. I give Repo a C-.
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  • 14:59 Bruises on my wrist from grappling are right where shirt cuffs button and wrists get rested. Owie.
  • 22:25 New Aswiebe's Market List update:
  • 23:17 "Tokyo Gore Police" - D- for lack of plot and physics failures. Has moments of awesome. Xtremely gory.
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  • 01:06 Ugh. Okay, do not subject yourself to the CC's version of a lemon drop. Save yourself!
  • 02:11 The first 50 hits when I google my name? All me. Benefits of an unusual name!
  • 09:25 On days with no work, it's agonizingly difficult to wake up at an early hour to get things done.
  • 13:15 + Fat winter squirrels frolicking in the snow & chasing each other in rings around the tree in the backyard.
  • 21:43 Yes, The Spirit is not Sin City. It is Who Killed Roger Rabbit? but more adult/twisted.
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"Zack and Miri Make a Porno" is a heartwarming and hilariously funny romantic comedy for the creatively foul-mouthed and -minded. I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard in a movie theater. It loses some of the hilarity when it starts dealing with emotions, but it's well worth watching if you've got a high tolerance for profanity. This is one of very few films that I started making a list in my mind of the people who have to see this movie--[ profile] malcubed, [ profile] elfdope, [ profile] ethel, maybe a few others.

At the end of the screening, they handed out the code to RSVP for free tickets to see another showing this Thursday, October 30, 2008. Go to and enter RSVP code FILM3919. First come, first serve. (I've had really good luck getting movie passes at
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Verdict: Not a bad popcorn action/sci-fi movie, but not noticeably better seen in theatres than rented later. Worth putting in your Netflix queue.

Mild spoilers that you would figure out really quickly anyway, if you haven't already just from seeing the trailer )
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  • 10:31 If I had butter, I would make pancakes or French toast. ::grump::
  • 11:13 "I am learning to get online myself," said McCain, "and I will have that down fairly soon." - via Slate.
  • 15:32 Hellboy II - Funny, great action scenes, a thrill a minute, and actually had some (*gasp*) depth. Minor plot idiocies aside, a great movie.
  • 21:14 Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King - good sword-and-sorcery version of The Ring Cycle, critically flawed by lousy main actor & blue-happy DOP.
  • 23:10 Fascinating NYT article re habit, advertising, and public health:

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  • 00:08 Uploaded a ton of gorgeous food and flower photos: #
  • 07:03 So far, the flaw in my bike commute plan is that it means I can't carry a mug of hot tea. Mornings with *no* caffeine? Ack! #
  • 14:27 ++Ate leftover chocolate ice cream at work during break. #
  • 14:27 --My master plan to bike home was flawed; my very wobbly bike pedal almost fell off. Had to bus most of the way. #
  • 14:29 Attempting to fix bike was a humbling experience. Couldn't get pedal entirely on. Couldn't unbolt bike seat to replace. And where to grease? #
  • 16:39 Multi-tasking means cleaning up photos while listening to sci-fi podcast and either folding laundry or shredding old docs. #
  • 21:40 My left knee now bends as far as my right knee! WA-HOO!!!! (knee surgery will change your perspective) #
  • 21:43 Mountain Dew Supernova ("trial" flavor) tastes a lot like grape/cherry freezee pops. #
  • 22:13 The Descent: of the "startle" horror ilk, the basic elements are scary before they add the extras, Argento-like sense of light, shadow, gore #
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  • 08:43 Co-worker listening to idiotic talk show. Urge to smash...rising. #
  • 09:14 The movie "Anchorman"? Not worth watching. Mostly crap. But there are 3 hilarious scenes. #
  • 09:37 New coding minion keeps slapping his forehead and muttering "idiot" or "stupid" when he's wrong. I find this disturbing and Gollum-like. #
  • 10:05 Huh. They just put me in charge of the floor for a couple of hours. #
  • 11:45 My internal clock is entirely convinced that it is about 2:30 PM, and that I should go home in an hour. Alas, not the case. #
  • 11:48 Castleberry? What a perfectly lovely last name. #
  • 12:16 Note to self: next time you take lasagna for lunch, bring a real fork too. Plastic fork not cutting it (pun intended). #
  • 12:31 Listening to romance audiobook. "the secret entrance to her body" - Bwahahahaha! #
  • 16:40 It was raining when I left work, sleeting when I got off the bus, and snowing by the time I got home. #
  • 17:15 Have been keeping scrapbook to figure out what my decorating taste is (step 1). Who knew I'd be so fond of trompe l'oeil? #
  • 17:36 Cool space thought: So glad I follow DamnInteresting. #
  • 17:43 I <3 Mpls 311 & being able to send in graffiti reports and have it *taken care of*. #
  • 22:06 Lifehacker is talking about "maximizing the lunch hour." Ahahahahaha. They get an hour? #
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Home from Wisconsin. Gathered truly excessive quantities of loot, mostly from The Mad Scientist, who really did go craaaazy (list forthcoming). Himself spent quality time with his godson and niece. I managed to stay mostly sane, despite lack of internet access for most of the visit. I also caught a nasty cold (or brought it with me); today was worse than yesterday, so I'm hoping tomorrow's better!

Driving in was interesting, since we had about 10 feet of visibility in front of the car in the fog--that same night his parents hit, killed, and field-dressed a deer (and an uncle took it off to be mounted after butchering it the next day).

I had the usual culture-clash issues, but mostly everything went well, and I only had to step up (against general conservative red-neckedness) a couple of times, in a mostly unobtrusive way. His grandmother is growing crotchety and senile (as mine already have).

Came back and were greatly pleased to discover house unburnt, valuables unstolen, and cats undead--er, alive, that is. Bonus thanks to whoever shoveled our front walk ([ profile] mischief03?); when I told the Mad Scientist it was done, he made various promises of sexual favors to the shoveler(s), which he then hastily recanted in hopes of not worrying the wife.

While we were there, also saw Aliens vs. Predator Requiem. No spoilers, mostly opinions, but some people like the mystery. )


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