fuck yeah survey: food

December 7, 2016

one. how do you feel about golden oreos? meh.
two. what is your favorite dessert topping? cool whip.
three. what is your favorite flavor/brand of bubble gum? super bubble.
four. favorite cheese? kraft american.
five. favorite lunch meat? turkey.
six. favorite ice cream flavor? chocolate.
seven. best-looking food? chicken spaghetti.
eight. best food to put cheese on? bread.
nine. best sexual food? i don't have that kind of an imagination, yall, and i'm alright with this.
ten. best-tasting drink in the summer? coca-cola.
eleven. best-tasting drink in winter? hot chocolate.
twelve. best food for a night out with friends? a variety of appetizers. finger foods. fried things.
thirteen. best foods to eat with a roll? luby's fried fish, macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes.
fourteen. messiest food? barbecue.
fifteen. easiest food to prepare? bagels.
sixteen. cheapest food you ever ate? ramen.
seventeen. most expensive food you ever ate? stuffed flounder.
eighteen. stinkiest food you ever ate? oysters.
nineteen. favorite dipping sauce? chic-fil-a.
twenty. best pizza topping? hamburger and bell peppers.
twenty-one. favorite potato chip flavor? regular lay's or ruffles potato chips.
twenty-two. most toxic substance you ever ate? glue.
twenty-three. most calories you ate in one meal? gino's pizza. i don't remember how much but it was A LOT.
twenty-four. favorite soda? coca-cola.
twenty-five. favorite flavor of juice? cranberry (probably because i like the coca-cola a little too much, and subconsciously my body is saying bitch, please.)
twenty-six. favorite vegetable? green beans.
twenty-seven. favorite fruit? blackberries.
twenty-eight. worst canned food? spam.
twenty-nine. best side dish? macaroni and cheese.
thirty. worst fast food restaurant? long john silver's.
thirty-one. best restaurant? the republic grille. (yall probably thought i was gonna say pappadeaux's, didn't you?)
thirty-two. best-smelling food? blueberry muffins.
thirty-three. favorite appetizer? cheese and crackers.
thirty-four. favorite cookie flavor? ranger cookies
thirty-five. favorite cake flavor? chocolate.
thirty-six. favorite pie flavor? blueberry banana cream pie.
thirty-seven. chocolate or rainbow sprinkles? rainbow.
thirty-eight. ketchup or mustard? ketchup.
thirty-nine. best food to have on a date? the kind that i don't get all over my face.
forty. most shareable food? cookies.
survey found here.

stuck on you: where there is love there is life

December 6, 2016

about a month ago, i drove into west houston to attend an author event at blue willow bookshop, which is probably where i should buy all my books but driving from the woodlands to memorial city sucks ass (i usually take ninety-nine which means i'm spending money to drive on a road not funded by my tax-payed dollars, and then i have to get on interstate ten which is the devil's freeway: the stretch from ninety-nine to six is like the third layer of hell, six to the sam houston tollway's the fourth, toll to chimney rock's the fifth, chimney rock to loop six ten is the sixth, loop to shepherd's the seventh, shepherd to forty-five's the eighth, and then you're in it... the ninth layer of HELL), really, so... and i forget i could just call them and say ship it to me... because barnes and nobles is closer and there's this computer right here...

anyway... i drove into west houston to hear gayle forman talk and get a signed copy of her latest, leave me. while waiting, kept finding things to buy, and so i left with a bag of books instead of the one.

and the one i liked most of those purchased that day is stuck on you: one hundred forty quirky love quotes that stick in your memory and on your stuff. (it's in the bag, the brown and pink one on the left.) on the cover are the words where there is love there is life. i picked it up and flipped it open and landed on these quotes:

the deeper your scars, the more room there is to fill them up with love (daniel chidiac).

i have found that if you love life, life will love you back (arthur rubinstein). 

i had to buy it. i have to remember to fill the scars with good things. because i so often forget to do this.

so... a few of the good things:

great mystery, teach me how to trust my heart (lakota prayer).

if grass can grow through cement, love can find you at every time in your life (cher).

you are a conductor of light (sir arthur conan doyle).

oh, what a beautiful season... for some

i used to love this time of year. like really love it. like, i'd decorate my room and have my christmas shopping done before thanksgiving and have all my presents wrapped before mom had even rearranged the den to make room for and set up the tree. christmas was my favorite holiday. not because i got presents, though, i'll admit, i'm a greedy wench who likes getting a whole lot more than giving. and i like giving quite a bit. but because i believed it brought out the best in everyone.

i used to love it. i used to think it was the most magical time of the year, and that's what made it wonderful.

and then the magic began to fade. years went by and i'd face yet another holiday season as a single woman. i've never been in love at christmas time. i'm watching all these damned hallmark movies, and i love a lot of them. i used to believe in their possibilities, but they're just stories to me now.

christmas decorations didn't go up until the day after thanksgiving. and then that friday became black friday. and then thanksgiving became black thursday. and shopping centers put up their decorations and stores began advertising their holiday sales before halloween. the way we draw this season out now... if a little christmas spirit's good, a lot of it must be better, right? all that does is make me aware of what i lack, make that period last that much longer.

so there's no man for me. fine. the only reason i want one anymore is because every now and then i think it must be really nice to be held, to have someone hold onto you. other than that, meh. seems more of a hassle, really, to have a relationship than not. i'm well aware of the perks of the single life, and the last man i dated made me appreciate those perks a hell of a lot more than i'd ever done before.

my brother's been gone now for thirteen years. i don't get to find the perfect plaid button-down for him anymore. i don't get to hear him tease me about how he's found me the perfect present. i don't get to argue with him over why that ornament shouldn't be hung in that spot. i don't get to harass him about getting his lazy ass out of bed christmas morning so we can open our presents. but there's also... i don't get to worry that he won't live to see christmas morning, like i did that last one he was with us. i don't have to see my mother worry. not about that.

now i get to see her worry about her heart, and how it's not beating right. i get to worry that something awful will happen between now and christmas day, and she won't be with us. she spent this past weekend in the hospital. they put her under friday and tried to shock her heart back to a regular rhythm. i spent that day praying she wouldn't die. i spent the next one berating myself because i should've prayed that the procedure would've worked. i spent that weekend praying she would come home. i miss the times we spent at our cabin in colorado making paper chains and popcorn ornaments. i miss the innocence of the days of her playing her old holiday vinyls, like the new christy minstrels' merry christmas! album. that one had been my favorite. she put that one on thursday morning, december first. that night, my father was telling me about the procedure she was having the next day, and the first words out of my mouth were, could it kill her? i hate that that's the question i thought to ask. that i had hurt him in asking it. i hate that i had to prod her to write down her wishes for her funeral services just in case. hate that my brother's death has since forced me to be so damned practical.

i hate that my other brother's children are in mississippi. that we don't get to spend christmas with them this year. fine. we'll celebrate christmas again a few days later.

but mostly, i hate how selfish people are, how pushy they've become. how when i'm standing in line at hobby lobby to buy the frames my mother requested for the photos she wants to give my cousins' wives, the woman behind me has to keep inching forward because she's in that much of a hurry to buy her four rolls of wrapping paper. that i can't hold my ground and stand before the clerk who's ringing up my purchase, that i've to step further and further away from the clerk because the customer is crowding me. how when i say, i've moved three times for you; can you please stop?, she has to insist she's nowhere near me. i hate that i can't see that. that she's taking up so much room in my vision, i've lost all concept of everything else. that i can't just wait the handful of seconds it would've taken for the clerk to finish ringing me up before i explode and embarrass myself. that i've made others' shopping experiences unpleasant and the clerk's day that much more difficult because they've had to witness my kind of crazy. that all this grief boils over into my hollering at the customer that that may be enough room for you, but it's not for me because i can't see! i know i've ranted about this a lot. i hate that i can't make people understand how terrifying that can be for me. the picture on wikipedia's post about depth perception? if i were walking down that street, it'd look as flat to me as it does to you in that photo. that's how my vision works. i don't have a front and back, a near and far. i've a top and bottom, a right and left. all the cues mentioned on that page are crucial, vital to my ability to judge my place in my surroundings, and if too many of those are compromised because someone's standing in too close a proximity, i could lose it.

every time i go out, i risk that. i'd managed to be kind to everyone that day (except for when i was driving, but they're not hearing me bitch, so that doesn't count). i'd managed this for hours. i was at my second-to-last stop. i'd begun to think i was gonna get through the day without incident.

i had to put myself in time out after that. i drove to pappadeaux's and had a few cups of chamomile tea and carried on with my day. when i got home, i helped mom, who'd come home from the hospital the day before (thank god), get some of the christmas decorations out while we watched a hallmark movie. how ironic is it that the one she picked was about a boy who needed a heart transplant?

i hate that i've come to hate this time of year. i miss the days when it was magical. i wish it could be so again.

book challenge by erin

December 2, 2016

five points: freebie – read a book that is at least 200 pages. seven ways we lie by riley redgate.
ten points: read a book that starts with the letter w. the women by t.c. boyle.
ten points: read a book with six words in the title. i was told there'd be cake by sloane crosley.
fifteen points: read a book that has a (mostly) green cover. twenty wishes by debbie macomber.
twenty points: read a book with a homonym in the title. two kisses for maddy by matthew logelin.
twenty points: read a book by your favorite author. my true love gave to me: twelve holiday stories edited by stephanie perkins and featuring a short by rainbow rowell.
twenty-five points: read a book set in the city/town/state... where you live. the promise by ann weisgarber.
thirty points: read a rory gilmore book. the divine secrets of the ya-ya sisterhood by rebecca wells.
thirty points: read a book from a genre you’ve never or rarely read. the death and life of zebulon finch by daniel kraus.
thirty-five points: read a book with time travel. life after life by kate atkinson.

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the fall film challenge recap

one. about adolescence. the outsidersi know i should've loved this one. god knows it has an incredible cast, and the story's a school-read staple. but... meh.

two. about a character's rebirth or rite of passage. a guide to recognizing your saintsit's a rough one. it's well done. it's not one i ever want to watch again.

three. about a comic book character. deadpool. see monday's post.

four. shot or set in washington, d.c. jason bourneMEH. i've liked every other bourne film. this one was shit.

five. set in an academic environment. cluelessmeh.

six. about failure. take this waltzmy biggest issue with this film is that its ending is like the villain who can't die. there was a pretty perfect place to stop it, which would've made me like the story a hell of lot more, but no... thirty more minutes of failure. i think michelle williams is adorable. i liked that seth rogen wasn't over the top. the other guy's cute. i wanted to like their characters but couldn't.

seven. about a man vs. god or gods. the trojan womenah, the greeks. they really knew how to wreck the human spirit. all this tragedy over a woman. all this tragedy, really, because zeus got bored with mankind and decided they should just obliterate each other. so we've katharine hepburn, genevieve bujold, vanessa redgrave and irene papas, which i love. we've LOTS of ranting and raving, lots of scenes that feel better suited for the stage than cinema, which i don't love. i think what i love most about this film is that some of that ranting and raving (and trust me, these chicks are completely justified for that), are some beautiful, poignant lines. yeah, maybe some of it's over the top. but i felt myself tearing up a number of times.

eight. about a man vs. himself. the big chilllove the cast. love the music. liked the story well enough.

nine. about an invention or an ingenuous individual. flash of geniusthis one was SO hard for me to watch. i can't tell you how strong the impulse was to turn it off after having seen maybe twenty minutes of it because it made me angry for so many reasons. the last twenty minutes or so were okay. bah. the man's plight is significant, for sure, and worthy of his efforts. but five minutes of reading about it on wikipedia is enough of an education.

ten. set in a jail or prison. american history xi've known i needed to see this film since its release but haven't wanted to watch it because of how heavy i knew it would be. and i was right about that. i cried in the end. i hate how horrible we can be to each other, and this is a damned fine depiction of that.

eleven. about a dog. red dogit's slow at the beginning, but it gets good about halfway through. i liked it.

twelve. about loss. truly madly deeplyi love just about everything starring alan rickman, but this one not so much. it's a great idea for a story, but the performances didn't do much for me--even rickman's. i didn't like it until the last fifteen-twenty minutes.

thirteen. about man vs. man. unbrokengod, it is LONG, and i'm sure this is intentional. yes, the man's an inspiration. yes, his strength is superhuman. yes, the story is remarkable and fantastic and good... every positive adjective you can find works here. but the film itself... bleh.

fourteen. about man vs. nature. deepwater horizonsee monday's post.

fifteen. one that has a monster or monstrous individual. the hobbit: the desolation of smaugso the first of the hobbit films bored the HELL out of me, and i didn't give a rats ass about watching the rest of'm because of that, but also because it's one book that's been broken into three movies and that trend needs to DIE. NOW. this category, though, i don't like monster movies. AT ALL. so i figured i'd watch this one, and i am SO GLAD i did because luke evans is a handsome lad. and this one's MUCH better than its predecessor.

sixteen. shot or set in pennsylvania. flashdancelet's ignore the fact that a) i'm jealous as hell that any girl could have a figure like the chicks in this flick AND be so limber; b) let's also ignore the fact that every time i saw michael nouri, i thought ZIVA'S DADDY. it's ninety-five minutes long, which part of me liked because, hey, films are never so short anymore. but this one glossed over all the things that would've made me like it (like my writing critique group likes to say i gloss over all the things that would make them like my story more, so that's probably why it's in my head). she's cute. it's predictable as shit. i liked it, but i've NO desire to see it again. (and i'm a girl who can watch a movie DOZENS of times, so that should tell you something).

seventeen. about a character's quest of some kind. the hobbit: battle of the five armiesbetter than the first hobbit. not as good as the second one.

eighteen. about a character who goes from rags to riches. joysee monday's post.

nineteen. about a man. vs. society. alliedBLECH. don't bother. seriously. it's shite.

twenty. originally released in the thirties. mr. deeds goes to towni liked it.

twenty-one. about undesirable individuals or elements. ghostbustersentertaining. spectacular, but more because it's a spectacle than because it's superb. i actually liked melissa mccarthy, and that NEVER happens. kate mckinnon and leslie jones were good. kristen wiig is typical. also... chris hemsworth. he's pretty. :] so were the special effects.

twenty-two. about a voyage and return. the martian. it's better than i expected. i can't say i loved it, though. it's good. i liked damon's character a lot.

twenty-three. about wizards or witchcraft. fantastic beasts and where to find themsee monday's post.

twenty-four. originally released in the sixties. tom jones. holy crap. HOLY CRAP. i could NOT WAIT for this one to be over.

twenty-five. about a yearning or obsession. hugopretty like a child's storybook. the first half or so is SLOW. wish jude law'd had more screen time. if you can hang through the first, the finish is good.

twenty-six. big stone gapit's cheesy as heck -- like where the heart is kind of cheesy. i don't know that i could recommend it, but i didn't mind watching it.

twenty-seven. concussioni agree with andrea, who said, been meaning to watch this one for awhile now. it moved slowly, but interesting subject matter.

twenty-nine. hacksaw ridgesee monday's post.

thirty. lovingsee monday's post. also, watch this interview. this one, by the way, was my favorite of my selections.

thirty-one. remember the titanssee monday's post.

thirty-two. the thirty-threeit's well-done, save for the fact that after being buried for some sixty days the men are fairly clean-shaven. that's probably a petty thing. of the roles i've seen of antonio banderas', this one's probably the best. i enjoyed the performances of quite a few in the cast.

andrea: FIFTY. finished original list october second. finished BONUS list october thirty-first.
christina: FIFTY finished original list october seventh. finished BONUS list october thirty-first.
christine: FIFTY. finished original list september twenty-second. finished bonus list november twelfth.
me: thirty-two. finished original list november twenty-fifth.
alyson: twenty-five. finished original list september twenty-second.
dani: twenty-five (six titles from bonus list).
kathryn: nineteen
brianne: nine
michael: nine
sabrina: nine
lauren t.: eight
erin: seven
stephanie: seven
cassie: four
cherie: four
audrey: one
lauren h.: one

not quite like last year's in that i had more people complete the regular round, but what i love is that two of these gals knocked out both the regular and bonus rounds by halloween. that impresses me.

and in case you missed it, i finished this fucker and then some. :]

ten things to celebrate in december: a scavenger hunt

December 1, 2016

it's ten this time because a) time, b) money and c) it's my bloggy and i can if i want to. mental floss compiled a list of fourteen days to celebrate in december. i'm using some but not all because of the aforementioned reasons. if you choose to blog about this, photos are required, but they don't have to be selfies (see reason c). you can do them in any order you'd like. they do not have to be tied to their day. you've until december thirty-first to complete this thing.

one. december first. national pie day. also national eat a red apple day. buy, or if you're feeling especially awesome, bake an apple pie and take it to the servers of a favored restaurant. they bring you food and drink at your beck and call. be sweet and bring them some treats.

two. december second. national salesperson's day. i've done more than my share of time in retail hell. i know how dreaded this time of year is for the gals behind the counter. when you're out shopping for those special gifts, ask an associate what a good pick-me-up would be. what can you do to put a bright spot in her day? chances are good it'll be a simple as a cup of starbucks or, in the case of one of my manager friends, a route forty-four diet coke from sonic with hardly any ice in it.

three. december fifth. bathtub party day. things are about to crazy, yeah? or maybe they've done so already? all the shopping and the baking and the trimming of the tree... treat yourself to a time out. snag a favored scented shower gel from bath and body works (or wherever you go for that stuff... i'm partial to bodycology's white gardenia, which can be found at the grocery store for like four bucks), pour a glass of wine, put on some music or listen to a bit of an audio book you've been dying to read but haven't had the time. give yourself a blessed hour. your family will probably thank you for it.

four. december sixth. st. nicholas day. surely you know a nick or a nicholas (or maybe a nicole?). take some time out of your day to send a special note to that person. 'tis the season...

five. december tenth. nobel prize day. here's a list of the laureates in literature. choose one and share a line or two from a work you admire.

six. december twelfth. poinsettia day. pick up one of these gorgeous creations and take it to a friend you've not seen in some time.

seven. december thirteenth. national cocoa day. take a breather from the christmas shopping. treat yourself to a cup of hot chocolate.

eight. december fifteenth. cat herders day. surely you know someone who's got one too many cats in his or her house. and surely those cats are wreaking havoc on the christmas decor. find a cute cat card and send it their way. they may be needing the reminder of why they love the things right about then.

nine. december twenty-first. winter solstice day. the longest night of the year. the hardest time of the year for some. there are those who are grieving. there are those who are in the throes of some pretty wicked depression, and this time of year is NEVER good for them. find a way to bring them some warmth, to shed some light. check with your local service organizations and see what you can do to help those in need. take some flowers to a senior living facility. treat a friend who may be grieving to lunch or a movie. or just sit with them for a while. listen.

ten. december twenty-eighth. national card playing day. we spend so much time on our phones or sitting at computers being "sociable". try getting a group of friends together for a game of hearts or spades, uno, skip-bo or phase ten. turn the television off. sit at a table and enjoy each other. have a game night. unwind.

fifteen things celebrated in november: a scavenger hunt

November 30, 2016

mental floss posted an article about fifteen offbeat holidays to celebrate in november. i made up a scavenger hunt using the dates referenced in the article as prompts. not only did i have to do the things, i had to take a selfie (and i LOATHE selfies) of my having done the thing.

one. november second: plan your epitaph day. here's a happy one for yall. buy a small batch of posies, visit a cemetery and leave the flowers at the grave of someone whose headstone struck some sort of chord with you. sometimes people leave quotes on them. my older brother's buried in colorado. his headstone is a bench upon which are the words laughter was his art. if you're feeling especially generous, maybe send up a prayer of thanksgiving for that individual's family and friends.

i didn't have to go far for this one. one of my mom's students is buried in a cemetery minutes from our home. i'd gone there to try to find her. the first to catch my attention was the grave of a one-day old boy named hank. i always liked that name. matthew 19:14. let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.

two. november third. sadie hawkins day. get a guy's phone number. do with it what you will.

three. november fourth. king tut day. yall know that bangles song walk like an egyptian? if you feel like strutting your stuff in public to the tune of that insane eighties hit, be my guest. or if you're in new york and can get to the met, supposedly they've got egyptian art on display. maybe a museum near you does? i got no idea. look into that. i'm cool with you browsing the stacks of your local library or bookstore. find a book about king tut or the egyptians... factual or fiction, turn to page one hundred fourteen, what's the fourth word on the eleventh line?

three. agatha christie's death on the nile. the fourth word on the eleventh line of page one hundred fourteen is it's.
four. sending a note to senator cornyn.

four. november fifth. guy fawkes day. ever wanted to give a senator, congressman or some other elected official a piece of your mind? i put a letter in the mail to the president the other day. i didn't care that he'll most likely never see it; it felt good writing it, addressing it and dropping it in one of the united states postal services boxes, complete with my jimi hendrix stamp in the top right corner. find out who's running things in your neck of the woods. try bitching to him instead of your twitter and facebook accounts.
five. shel, who plays the sax, and i at kyle field for the aggies vs. utsa game
five. november sixth. national saxophone day. find a sax player. get the man a drink. or girl, though... i can't say i've ever seen a woman play the sax. if you find one, lemme know.

six. at baker street pub and grill
and at the gooses acre irish pub
six. november seventh. international tongue twister day. go to your local bar when it's hopping. get a stranger to get through the woodchuck chucking wood or so and so selling seashells by the seashore. without tripping over the words. buy that person a drink when the deed's accomplished.

one of the gals in the book club to which i belong chose the twister. i limited it to one line: mrs. puggy wuggy has a square cut punt. the whole thing's pretty spectacular, really. she found it here.

seven. november thirteenth. world kindness day. do something good for someone. this can be anyone: family, friend, stranger... whatever. once you've done it, find out three things about that person. choose from the following: their best day; their worst (if they feel like sharing); their favorite book; favorite film; favorite band; favorite song; favorite food; best vacation; where'd they'd most like to go for their next vacation; the job they have now; the job they'd love to have; whether they like dogs or cats; coke or pepsi.

three things about the gal on the left: best day: one spent with family; where she'd most like to go on vacation: italy; favorite film: walk the line. and three about the one on the right: she prefers coke over pepsi. her best vacation was cancun (white sand, blue water, lots of liquor); favorite food's pizza (pepperoni with black olives from dominos).

oh, yes, we have old bananas. mama's saving them for banana bread.
eight. november fifteenth. clean out your refrigerator day. show me the nastiest thing in there. WHY IS IT STILL IN THERE?

nine. donating clothes to something special, montgomery county women's center's resale shop.
nine. november eighteenth. use less stuff day. i've got books on the brain lately, so... round up some of your books that are in good condition and donate them to your local library (or to a friends of the library group). AND/OR clean out your closet and donate the things to a women's shelter.

ten. idiot's identity spared because he's my brother
ten. november nineteenth. world toilet day. well this one's fascinating. my younger brother would have a field day with this one. there is such a thing as a bathroom guest book. find it. buy it. give it to that special idiot in your life.

eleven. november nineteenth. international men's day. how interesting that this occurs on the same day as world toilet day. get a gift card valued at no more than twenty-five dollars to some store or restaurant dudes love. dick's sporting goods, perhaps (though i hear their shit's way academy may be a better bet). give it to a random guy. just because.

the day i tackled this one, i was at starbucks with a couple of my writing friends. one of them suggested i get a gift card from the boardroom, which is basically a really upscale barber shop.

eleven. me bestowing a gift card to the boardroom, a place where guys go to get groomed, to a married man. not awkward at all. 

twelve. my spot at pappadeaux's.
twelve. november twenty-second. national start your own country day. i'm pretty sure half of america would jump at the chance. let's keep this one civil, though, yeah? where's your favorite spot? where do you go when the day is just too ugly and you need to see something good? show me what your country would look like. in a perfect world, my country would be on a beach in fiji or a flat in london... i'm looking for something a little more realistic here. there's gotta be a place you go when you need to get centered. show me that.

i'd intended to use a photo of lake woodlands as seen from the edge of northshore park, but there was a fence in my way. and then it occurred to me: in my free time, which isn't really free because i'm typically using it to write, i'm at deaux's, so... that is my spot. those are my people.

sammy hundley at the gooses acre irish pub. 
thirteen. november twenty-third. national day of listening. i know the purpose of this day. we tune each other out so often, and with such success. nothing proves that more than an election. we only hear what we want to hear. nine good things might be said, but there's that one word or phrase... music soothes the savage beast, and things are much too savage right now. check out who's playing at your local pubs or concert halls. pick a band you've never heard of before. go see them play. listen.

fourteen. watching martian child.
fourteen. november twenty-eight. red planet day. have fun with this one. i'm giving yall a freebie. interpret this one however you'd like, so long as it can be tied to mars somehow. pottery barn kids sells a planet mobile, for example. find that. get a picture with it. grab a copy of the martian, turn to page eleven and share the eighth word on the twentieth line. watch the film the martian child and share your favorite line. men are from mars, right? introduce yourself to a stranger and pick his brain; ask him anything you want. go to town. show me how crafty and clever you can be.

i chose to watch martian child. david (john cusack), a science-fiction novelist and widower, must decide if he wants to go through the plans he'd made with his wife to adopt a child. he meets dennis, a boy who insists he's from mars. i love this movie. i forget how much, and then i watch it again, and it's like my love for it grows with every viewing.

david: are you a friend of his or what? 
esther: no, he's a weirdo. he doesn't have any friends. 
he doesn't? where is he hanging out?
he's in the box. he doesn't come out until night.
why does he do that?
the sun. he hates the sun.
why does he hate the sun?
i don't know. because he thinks it's too sunny?

the bluebonnet squares dancing to the beat of blurred lines.
fifteen. november twenty-ninth. national square dance day. i'm sure there's a square dancing group near you. find out when they meet. catch'm in their act. find out what they love most about being involved in that activity.

songs that start with the letter d: a not-so-random sample

one. dare you to move. switchfoot. learning to breathe.
two. deeper than the holler. randy travis. old eight by ten.
three. desperado. the eagles. desperado.
four. distant sun. crowded house. together alone.
five. divine. korn's self-titled album.
six. do what you have to do. sarah mclachlan. surfacing.
seven. does this mean you're moving on? the airborne toxic event's self-titled album. 
eight. don't speak. no doubt. tragic kingdom.
nine. don't tell me (what love can do). van halen. balance.
ten. don't you (forget about me). simple minds. the breakfast club soundtrack.
eleven. double agent. rush. counterparts
twelve. doughnut song. tori amos. boys for pele.
thirteen. down. stone temple pilots. number four.
fourteen. down on my knees. trisha yearwood. hearts in armor.
fifteen. down with the sickness. disturbed. the sickness. 
sixteen. dr. feelgood. motley crue. dr. feelgood.
seventeen. draining. silversun pickups. swoon.
eighteen. the dream is over. van halen. for unlawful carnal knowledge.
nineteen. dream on. aerosmith's self-titled album.
twenty. dreams. the cranberries. everybody else is doing it, so why can't we?
twenty-one. dreams. van halen. fifty-one fifty.
twenty-two. drops of jupiter. train. drops of jupiter.
twenty-three. duck and run. three doors down. the better life.
twenty-four. duet. the airborne toxic event. all i ever wanted: live from walt disney concert hall.
twenty-five. dumb. garbage. version two.

motion picture monday

November 28, 2016

one. deadpool.
released: 2016.
starring: ryan reynolds, morena baccarin, ed skrein.
what makes it awesome: the first time i watched it, i did not think it was awesome. i enjoyed reynolds' and baccarin's performances, but i thought the story was stupid. and then i watched it again. and yeah, on the whole story is stupid, but there are parts of it that are REALLY good, and the dialogue is pretty damned badass.

released: 2016.
starring: mark wahlberg, kate hudson, kurt russell, john malkovich.
what makes it awesome: a friend of mine who works in the oil industry couldn't watch this one. he'd bought the ticket and stayed for as long as he could, but at some point it was too much for him to see. i wept on several occasions. i wanted to gut punch malkovich's character on SEVERAL occasions. visually, it's very well-done.

released: 1987.
starring: anne bancroft, anthony hopkins, judi dench.
what makes it awesome: anne bancroft, anthony hopkins, judi dench. the fact that it's based on a remarkable, true story. i'm in awe of the friendships these characters forged through their correspondence.

released: 2016.
starring: eddie redmayne, colin farrell, katherine waterston, ezra miller, samantha morton.
what makes it awesome: magic. i'm so excited rowling's brought her magic back to the theaters. it's a beautiful film, fun at times, somewhat frightening at others. it's long, but i didn't mind that.

five. hacksaw ridge.
released: 2016.
starring: andrew garfield, vince vaughn, sam worthington, luke bracey, rachel griffiths, hugo weaving.
what makes it awesome: the story. dear god, the story. the strength of character. and hugo weaving does, i think, his finest work here.

six. joy.
released: 2015.
starring: jennifer lawrence, bradley cooper, robert deniro, diane ladd, virginia madsen, isabella rosselini, elisabeth rohm.
what makes it awesome: the trailers do this film no justice. when i first saw them, i thought, oh great the cast of silver linings playbook united again. this film seemed to have that same kind of quality as the other, and maybe it does, but i don't mind it here. in fact, i'm kind of in awe of joy's determination and brain power.

seven. loving.
released: 2016.
starring: joel edgerton, ruth negga, marton csokas, nick kroll, michael shannon.
what makes it awesome: the strength of these characters. the quietness of richard loving. the kindness of mildred loving. their tenacity. this interview. if you only pick one movie on this list to see, pick this one.

eight. the martian.
released: 2015.
starring: matt damon, jessica chastain, kristen wiig, jeff daniels, michael pena, sean bean, kate mara, chiwetel ejiofor.
what makes it awesome: matt damon's character. the story's silly. but if you can get past that, it's entertaining.

released: 2000.
starring: denzel washington, will patton, ryan hurst, donald faison, ethan suplee, kip pardue, hayden panettiere, kate bosworth, ryan gosling. 
what makes it awesome: the way this team comes together when the world can't stomach the thought of that. this is probably one people should revisit right about now.