Thursday, March 29, 2007

Thirteen Favorite Songs

1. Talk to The Animals, Leslie Bricusse--Did you ever really listen to this song? The creativity is astounding. A forerunner of the late, great Howard Ashman.

2. MTA, Kingston Trio--from my brothers' 45 collection. Probably listened to it 753 times.

3. Ode To Joy, Beethoven--transcendence in a chorus.

4. Another Brick in The Wall, Pink Floyd--can totally relate and the beat goes into my bones. My all time favorite song from my all time favorite band. Don't know what it is about their music but it just grubs my soul.

5. You Belong To Me, Jo Stafford--evokes all my travel yearnings.

6. 1812 Overture, Tchaikovsky--first heard this in London in 1968. The real cannons scared the shit outta me.

7. Blue, LeAnn Rimes--OMG, her voice.

8. Comfortably Numb, Pink Floyd--Favorite song to drink and zone to.

9. Love Stinks, J. Giles--whatever happened to them?

10. Romeo and Juliet, Dire Straits--gives me goosebumps.

11. Green, Green Grass of Home, Tom Jones--cry every time.

12. She Drives Me Crazy, Fine Young Cannibals--love the opening.

13. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, U2--my life theme?

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Ann's Top Ten Romance Heroes of all Time--Number Five

Capt. Jack Savage (Rod Taylor) in Fate is The Hunter

Dripping with bad-flyboy sex appeal, Jack Savage is a Bon Vivant on posthumous trial for an airline crash. Did he drink before his flight? Was he really the morally ambiguous ladies man he appeared to be? Watch this exciting, twisty tale unfurl in flashback and keep the defibrillator handy. But whatever you do, don't watch it with your airline pilot father, because he'll anticipate the denouement (out loud, of course) and spoil it for you ;)

Okay. This is all a big tease 'cause there's really no way to properly dissect Jack's romantic heroism without totally ruining the thrilling experience that is this movie. Because he's not on trial for just the airline crash, his reputation is at stake and unfortunately, he can't defend himself. Everybody has mistaken or incomplete impressions of him and they all get their say and their comeuppance in this artful, revealing story. At the end, when they recreate the crash, you'll be sweating the final outcome.

I will say this though, like all great heroes, Jack Savage is beautifully redeemed. Many of the misunderstandings arose because he didn't brag about his deeds. And the lives he quietly touched with his unique perspective remind us all that we never know what impact we have unless someone tells us before it's too late...

Take it from me. Watch. This. Movie. You'll laugh, you'll cry. You'll throw popcorn at your loud-mouth father ;) but more importantly, I think you'll agree that Capt. Jack Savage is worthy of anyone's list of Top Ten Romance Heroes of All Time.

PS--I've only met one other person who's seen this underrated gem, so if you have, gimme a shout.

Tally so far: Veronica Towers via MySpace blog. She's seen every Rod Taylor flick.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Ann's Top Ten Romance Heroes of all Time--Number Six

Augustus McCrae: Texas Ranger, Cattleman, Jester, Idealist and Old Coot

One of only two literary characters whose death made me sob, Gus embodies all the mythical qualities of cowboys and the old west that make our hearts pound. Nevermind he's in his sixties. Honor, horneriness, heroism and toe-curling sex appeal know no age boundaries.

We're first introduced to Gus as he sits drinking on his porch, watching the sun go down over the dusty flats of his border-town ranch. This metaphorical sun is also setting on Gus' life and his way of life, and he's getting philosophical--in fact, he decides this is going to be his role. Let the others work. Somebody needs to be the thinker around here!

After a midnight raid into Mexico to steal cattle for their herd, Gus and his partner Call learn of the death of one of their arch enemies. The two men feel empty inside. After years spent fighting Indians and Mexicans, there's no one left. They feel adrift and purposeless, until an old friend rides into town and talks of green pastures up in Montana, free for the taking. The men decide to go on a cattle drive and settle new territory.

Thus begins a monumental journey that will show some how to live and some how to die.

Gus is the compass through which everyone learns to navigate. A natural leader, he's absolutely fearless and resolute. He has a soft spot for a couple of women in his life, and is open enough (and old enough) to learn a few things from them. He's a big enough man not to take advantage of their weaknesses, but to show them how a caring man should treat them.

Is he perfect? Not by a long shot and that's part of what makes him so grand. As a Texas Ranger, he was judge and jury back in the day and he still embraces the Old West Code of justice. He has no qualms about smashing a rude bartender's face into the bar ("Guess along with that drink we'll be requiring some respect") or stringin' a friend up from the nearest tree. But he makes sure it's done right. His endless jabber forces everyone into the dread corner of self-examination.

All in all, Gus is a larger-than-life, wonderfully well-rounded hero. He can fight, he can think, he can joke, he's a better lover than most men of his time, but most of all, he encourages men and women alike to live.

And that's why Gus McCrae is one of my top ten romance heroes of all time.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Disorderly Conduct

The Unknown Screenwriter has a great series on personality types going on right now. I love this stuff. It's great for creating vivid characters, but more importantly, for uncovering your own maladaptions *gg*.

Here's a test that'll help you distinguish your type: Humanetrics: Jung Typology Test and procrastinate this fine Sunday afternoon.

Interested parties can view my disorders here and here.


Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Crap-o-meter of My Discontent

This is a crap-o-meter.

See how the crap-o-meter fills with red liquid?

That liquid is the angst and despair bleeding out of my ears.

Why angst? Because the book isn't quite done.
Why despair? Because it's total, 100% crap.

It's crap people. It's crap! It wasn't supposed to become crap until it was done. Now I can't even depend on my most reliable barometer of doneness. PLUS, I have to write a whole LOVE SCENE in a book I can't stand anymore.

And my car is iced in two feet deep. AND I can't hack at the ice because I need my typing arm.

Why, why oh why! Woe is me.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

T Minus Ten and Counting

Ten days until deadline. The beast is rumbling. I handed the nearly-done monster over to the Belfrites. They showed me the holes. I'm plugging them. It's waffling between crap and brilliance.

Say it with me, people. It's almost ready to go.

The minute it turns to pure crap it's outta here. And that will be a fine, fine day.

Until then, I'm outta here too. See you on the sunny side!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Ellora's Cavemen Eat Your Hearts Out...

From L to R:

Harry, my rocket scientist, clutching the most bodacious badonkadonk he's had since the space race (with the exception of Ginny's). Enjoy it now, my friend. It's not likely to be this firm next year.

Bill, oh Bill! If only I'd met you first...

Doug, get with the program. You missed all the touchy-feely way in the back there. Although, anyone see where his other hand is? Maybe Bill knows.

Jerry, you only got a leg cuz I just met you. I'm kinda shy that way. Here's to next year!

*I'm not sure but I think EC said something about this pic being in the Cavemen calendar, 2008...


Pictures! Get your pictures!

Girl friends 4-Evah! Naomi and Mom sharing a seat. They've been friends for fifty years!
Why, it's George--the man, the myth, the legend! (first on the left) The only person we've ever known with the chutzpah to weedle paper palm tree displays out of the grocery store and into what was the coolest teenaged boy's room in the history of the free world. He also introduced us to Huckleberries and slugs. Gotta love George!

Mom's and daughters! Mom, with me and FabDame behind; Naomi, with her beeootiful daughter Chris; and Ginny with her glamorous Pam!

My editor if I miss this deadline? A metaphor for all the times I failed to clean my room? Nah. Just me and Momster at the Asian market.

Tomorrow: Ann and her Boy Toys!


Sunday, March 04, 2007

Riding in Cars With Boy Toys--Seattle Adventures Part I

So, I'm back. I always love going to Seattle, but hate to leave. What can I say, the city, its people, the light, the energy and all the wonderful old folks I know there are such a rich part of my life.

Take Harry, for instance. Eighty-nine years old, he's Ginny's boy toy. Ginny is eighty-seven, and one of my mother's dearest friends. Harry was an engineer for Boeing. He started there in 1964, just in time to work on "thrust" issues for the majestic Saturn V rocket of Apollo and Out of This World fame. In order to get Saturn V out of this world, Harry had to figure out how many pounds of thrust (2 million? Harry wasn't sure. Neither was I) were needed to push against air (which becomes a solid surface) and for how long. He told me that after 50,000 feet, the rocket could basically "coast" into outer space. I nodded like I understood.

Then there's Bill, my mother's eighty-nine year-old boy toy. He was my navigator for the week as I ferried us around in our mini-van rental. Here's how most of our rides went:

Bill: Stay in the left lane. No not that left lane. The center left lane.

Me: This one?

Bill: Right.

Me: The right lane?

Bill: No. This lane. This lane.

Me: So I'm turning left.

Bill: No, you're turning right. Right!

Mom: Watch out for pedestrians!

Me: Where's the pedestrian?

Mom: There wasn't one. But you have to watch out for them.

Bill: Right lane! Right lane! Oh God. NO!

Mom: Pedestrians have the right-of-way.

Me: There's a car in the right lane. I couldn't get over.

Bill: Oh God.

Mom: Well, all she has to do is turn left at the next light.

Bill: That's true.

Me: So I make the next left?

Bill: No. No! The street turns one-way at the bottom of the hill. We need to go right on Harrison.

Mom: Queen Anne is only one-way.

Me: But it was two ways a block ago.

Mom: I know.

Minutes tick by...

Bill: This should be Broad St. Is it Broad Street?

Me: Yes. It's Broad Street.

Bill: Make a right on Wall St. It should be two streets up.

We sail past Wall St.

Bill: Ok. Make a right here, another right, and go back to Wall St. Then make a left on Elliot and a right onto the Viaduct.

Mom: She can also make a right here, another right, a left on Western which turns into Elliot and then a right on the Viaduct.

Me: Can you just give me one direction at a time?

Bill: Get over to the right. To the right! Noooooo. Stay left. Oh God.

I still don't know how to get anywhere. Did I mention I have right/left dyslexia? By day-two I was humming the Three Stooges theme wherever we went. Bill mentioned that between him and my mother, they only had one good eye. "Yes," I added. "And two big mouths."

By contrast, and perhaps to prove that sometimes the apple does fall far from the tree, Bill's son John took a turn navigating and spoke to me in such soothing, positive tones I felt like a frightened wild animal he was trying to coaxe into friendship. Or a trap--John can be that way sometimes.

In a couple of days, FabDame should get some pics to me *hint hint* and ya'll can see what mischief a passel of octogenarian, drunken boy toys can get into. After that, a reunion with George: Mythical Family Figure and Procurer of Advertising Displays.