Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Dance Friday #67 - Dancing with what, now?

Funny Pictures - Cute Kittens
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Plans for heading to Pipes in the Valley fell through, so instead of live Celtic music, it will be getting current on season premieres in our household. Them's the breaks. I do have the Dancing With the Stars season premiere DVR'd, and probably will give it a gander so that I can talk about it with some degree of intelligence and hey, it could be good. Schroedinger's cat and all - can't say until I've seen. Plus my time travel's heroine likes to watch these things with the fervor of a Roman patrician in the coliseum.

If you think you heard a 'but' in the above, you're right. When DWTS first premiered, I loved the idea and was crazy excited about it. The last two seasons, we taped it, but I watched, hmm, yeah, maybe an episode and a half over that entire run. Not because I'd fallen out of love with ballroom (quite the opposite, and one of these days, ballroom studio within walking distance of my house, one of these days...) but because the name of the show promised me stars and I see...well, one could argue that the A-listers are too busy to participate, this is a great opportunity for those looking for publicity to get it, and if the whole idea is to pair professional dancers with amateurs, does it matter what the amateurs do when they aren't dancing?

Probably not, but I like to have some frame of reference when it comes to the stars and for the last couple years, I mostly haven't. Purely me, everyone else's experience will be different, and I'm sure there are those who squealed with delight at each and every star on the list this year. I recognize some names - Nancy Grace (DH watches a lot of news,) Chynna Phillips (Mamas and Papas daughter, Wilson Phillips,) Chaz Bono (Sonny and Cher's sprog; I have read part of one of his books,) apparently there's a Mr. Kardashian? I did not know that, as I had not been keeping up.  - *Shrug*
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For the rest of them - oh wait, Ricki Lake is also familiar, they will be new to me. What I've found helpful is a paradigm shift. Yes, the title of the show is accurate. These amateurs are dancing with the stars of the ballroom world. Makes perfect sense.

Yep, paradigm shift makes all the difference. I'll give it a go this year again, but this time, I'm watching the pros and yapping about them here.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Saturday at the Movies #67 Returning favorites

Since we are within days of the new tv season, (and I haven't been to the cinema or touched my DVDs this week) well, you know the drill.
Squealing like a red panda dressed like a Japanese schoolgirl at finding the long form of the Psych video promo: Oh, where to start? Granted, a Psych-less summer was hard, I'm not denying that, but since the new season debuts in October, I will count it as a birthday present. Guest stars look fabulous this year as always, and are we finally, finally going to get some Shawn/Jules time? Gus can do whatever, because anything he does is entertaining but bonus points if there is a plausible reason for him to tap dance.

Bones, oh Bones! The show where love and death do embrace. I chimed in on a Heroes and Heartbreakers piece on returning shows with a shippy focus - of course Bones sprang directly to mind. This show is overflowing with romance, and Bones is having Booth's baby, oh shipper heaven. Do not drop the ball on this, writers. Do not.

Of course, How I Met Your Mother promises to be legen-wait-for-it-dary this year. Marshall and Lily baby! Barney's wedding! Barney/Robin fireworks! Kal Penn as Robin's therapist! Martin Short as Marshall's new boss! Um, yeah, and Ted does some stuff, too.
How I met your Mother - 7x01 The Best Man (Sneak... by Everything_TV

Not to leave without an actual movie reference, hop on over to Heroes and Heartbreakers (again) for Charli Mac's take on one of my favorites, Notting Hill.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Happy Dance Friday #66 - In Person Happy Dance

Funny Captions - Violin Dog Caption Contest
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Chance for actual happy dancing next weekend, as I will more than likely (real life allowing) be spending next Saturday here:
Be still my Celtic-loving heart. I have been longing for the chance to attend a Celtic festival for years, years, I tell you. This falls under "about (expletive deleted) time." As if the fact that I can actually get to such a festival weren't enough, these guys are playing:

"Lowrider" on bagpipes? It exists:
Wonder if this will be in the live set:
Haunting and evocative, this one:
Looking forward to discovering the other bands as well; who knows, a new favorite may be awaiting.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Happy Dance Friday #65 - Filled With Glee

One of my most lasting memories of high school was being booted out of chorus for having a bad voice. Instructor's words, and not in private. Mr. Schuster never would have done that, but I'm not holding a grudge. Since it was too late to drop the class, my requirements were that I show up and not sing, so I used the time to read. Still, high school me probably would have loved something like New Directions, and I wouldn't have minded going to their goofy fantasy version of high school that is often all too real...but at least it has a killer soundtrack.  Looking forward to the new Glee season, and though a little  part of me will curl into a ball and weep at the graduations of Rachel, Finn and Kurt, I'm sure new additions will add their own flavor. 

I am less than entirely sure the world is ready for Rachel to leave the schoolroom.

Whether or not Rachel is in Finn's future, his sweet befuddlement and good heart will be missed.

Kurt's sense of style and unflagging self confidence are going to make me miss him most of all, even at his stubborn best, but I'm sure he'll be fine. 

If there is any possible way to achieve it, I definitely want more Warblers.

 Happy dancing, all!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Signs of the season

It's that time of year again. I'm at my usual seat in Panera and strongly feeling the pull toward the comfy chairs. I know in my heart this is the last week I can get away with a cold beverage in the morning and may succumb to the lure of a cup of hot chai, though I am trying hard to be good. I spent far longer than I'm proud of in front of my closet this morning - short sleeves? Long sleeves? Three-quarter sleeves? Tank and a sweater? Shawl? Capelet? These are big questions for someone who loves clothes and has a best friend who is a fabulous knitter. I did not even mention the mitts, but it's still too early for that.

Pause to don sweater (went with short sleeved scoop neck tee and crocheted sweater for those curious about this sort of thing.) Still eyeing comfy chair. Still thinking about chai.

Last night, I turned off the TV and got into bed early. Flannel pjs, flannel sheets. Could not decide between paper book (By His Majesty's Grace by Jennifer Blake) and ebook (reread the end of a friend's ms and then dipped into In the Shadow of Midnight by Marsha Canham) - all that was missing was a hot cup of tea (do we see a theme here? No, not parentheses. Tea.) but no milk in the fridge and I didn't feel like getting dressed again to make the hike down the street to CVS. I made do with some sparkling water, and woke a couple hours later to amused husband informing me I was asleep. Thanks, hon.

This weekend, I have two catsitting gigs, Which means much time for writing, reading and art in between feedings and litterbox checks. While, of course, drinking tea and wearing sweaters and all that. Definitely fall, the time of year when I get my super powers back, making up for the long, sweaty, humid summer spent dodging the sun and seeking air conditioning.

When fall arrives, my brain kicks back into gear. There's something about the crispness in the air, the changing colors on the leaves, and the tastes and scents of the season that registers as "right" to my creative center,  making up for summer doldrums. I've heard this referred to as reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder, and I do match the criteria for that very closely. It's  a short jump from "blargh" to "whee!" Less listless websurfing (and no ice packs under my shirt) and if I'm at the keyboard, and not writing, then I'm teaching myself new techniques in graphic art (as above.)

Today, that special fall 'something' came in full force. Welcome back, old friend. Let's do stuff.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Saturday at the Movies #66 - Small Screen Previews

funny pictures - nuffins on
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Okay, it's not the apocalypse, but it is the time when summer seasons end on tv and the fall season hasn't yet started. Which, in our house, results in complaining about the good old days when there was one season and summer was for reading books in the evening and avoiding grownups in the daytime. Thankfully, reading is timeless, but there is hope on the horizon for the times when nothing but the small screen will do. Here are a few of the fall shows I'm looking forward to. Speaking of postapocalyptic stuff, balm to my Lost-loving soul:

A chance to see if what Mrs. Deschanel fed her baby girls has the same effect on Zooey as it does Emily:

I do not care what Michael Emerson's character's name is; I am going to believe that this is Ben Linus using his powers for good:

aaaand for my midcentury retro fix:

Not that long at all to wait. In fact, it gives one time to plan appropriate snacks (peaunuts for PanAm are a natural, but what goes with Terra Nova?) and scheduling activities around the must-views. In the meantime, I'm planning to build a vacation cottage out of my TBR pile and read my way out. What new shows are you looking forward to this fall?

Friday, September 02, 2011

Happy Dance Friday #64 - September Songs

I am well aware that the calendar says we still have a few weeks to go before it is no longer officially that three months of burny sweatiness that separates spring and autumn, but in my family, September first is regarded as the start of the new season. Rather like the below, with a triumphant cry of "in your face, Summer!"
En Garde Gif - En garde !
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So it only seems natural that this week's happy dancing be themed around the end of summer and advent of autumn. The first choice was obvious:

While all of my children have four legs and fur and thus do not need to purchase school supplies at any time of year, at any nationally known chain of office supply stores, these next clips are holiday classics in our family:

According to me, the Rubberband Man here is spreading joy, gifting the kiddos with wonderful things:
September also means that much-anticipated season premieres are on the way on the small screen.
In honor of back to school and because this proves that Glee arrangements (because the original makes me want to stick pencils in my ears to stop the pain) can rescue pretty much any song:
Happy fall and happy Friday!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

The Eight Goes All The Way To The Top

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I currently have the current ms-in-polish-mode open, picking at it with metaphorical surgical tweezers...and I couldn't be happier. Call me odd, but I love this phase. It's like one of those small plastic travel puzzles I used to have as a kid. Once the spacer was removed, the pieces could be moved around to form a picture or series of numbers that had to be put in the right order. It generally took a lot of shuffling around to obtain the desired effect, but it kept me out of trouble and brought a sense of satisfaction that I still remember. It's like that now, but with stories.

 One could argue that this is actually editing, and one would likely be right,  but there's a different feeling to this process for me.  More like getting to know a good friend on a deeper level. Only in this instance, it involves climbing inside their head.

This is the time to hear the dialog in my head. Does it sound in my head the way it does on the page? Or does the conversation take a different turn? Time for a gut check on my viewpoint character (heroine, in this case) and not only see how they feel, but how they feel about how they feel. Knee-knocking terror masked by a brave front? Or a brave but foolhardy one, but (expletive deleted) they've committed to this course of action and they are going to see it through. No matter the fallout, and there will be fallout.

That sound was my fiendish cackle. I may need to send my heroine cookie basket for putting her through this, but she's tough; she'll make it. She needs this scene. So does the book. So do I. I've called this scene "Son of the Scene From Hell" before, but somewhere, it did a turnaround, and that's one of the real happy places of writing, when something that seemed stuck suddenly unsticks. The mist clears, I get the right image in my head, and then it's obvious. Like with the travel puzzles, the eight has to go all the way to the top so that the two can go into the empty space, down two, over one, bring the eight back and that puts the twelve in the right place, et voila. Sure, this may require a pathetic pounding of the fifteen in the bottom left corner for an embarrassingly long amount of time, but when it clicks, it clicks.