A grey and mellow Thursday…

8 10 2009

Weather: High: 54º & rainy. Ahhhh FALL.

The Universe has picked a particularly horrible day to kick me and the husband in the proverbial balls.

I won’t bore y’all with the details but let’s just say it’s a lovely melange of financial downturn and family drama all wrapped up in a nice migraine inducing package.  Sigh. Really getting tired of this Sisyphean cycle.

Was happy to see that they finally posted one of the acoustic performances by 3DG from here in Chicago. Feel like I’m a lapsed fangirl. I remember when I would be lining up in the rain for my bands. Old age is not kind to the slavish fan girl. Sigh.


Digestive tract is taking a hit from the stress barrage. Hope I feel better before the weekend.

On the writing front, re-writes are taking up much of my time. I’m kinda liking the new direction of the new opening scenes, but their not popping as well as I’d like. Still, need to get the words down, then the crafting can happen .

Ah well. Blogging continues to take a hit on the daily front. Will try to concoct more interesting content tomorrow.

—————-
Now playing: Three Days Grace – On My Own
via FoxyTunes

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Plotholes & Con Crud & NEW MUSIC, Oh MY!

23 09 2009

Weather: High: 77º and partly sunny. WTF?! WEATHER GODS! It’s BLOODY FALL! How about some cool temps??

Have slipped in my blogging duties. Must get back into the daily habit. Though I do have a viable excuse for my recent lack of inter-webby presence. First, I’ve been fighting con crud, that lovely post convention soupςon of sinus congestion & raspy cough. Second, between bossless week, last week and teaching two a day classes this week, I’ve been a wee bit SWAMPED at work. Sigh.
So-::cracks knuckles::- Lets’ see what’s been going on in my demented world.

On the writing front, I’ve finally started the epilogue for “When the Lights Go Down“. Which is a small victory unto itself. Of course, I’ve also started some rewrites, which unearthed a rather vexing couple of plotholes. I’ve fixed the most egregious of the two, but the remaining one will require some rather fine tune adjustments throughout the manuscript to eliminate the minor mentions related to it. So…I have more work than I realized before I can get into the regular re-write function.

Also, masochist that I am, I’ve decided to participate in NaNoWriMo again this year.  I figure I can use it as a sort of writing sorbet…to cleanse the mental writing palate before heading back into rewrites. If I use it well, I might be able to bang out a novella I can shop around as well. ::checks for jacket I can hug myself all day long in:: Yep, all set. November insanity, here I come.

On the home front, Bri and I have finally started the full court press to get the house in shape for sale. We’re also starting our job hunt in Seattle in earnest. I know it’s gonna be a tough slog in this current market, but I figure, between Bri and I, we have a wealth of work experience in a variety of fields. ( I just wish I’d kept my programming chops up to speed!) .  Our current debacle is trying to finance new carpeting for the basement. (Yes, the same carpeting we yanked up last year after our mini-flood.) We need to still get the outside of the house power washed, do some touch up painting, finish the yard landscaping, and then do a few thousand cosmetic things INSIDE the house. We’re hoping to have the house on the market come March or April, with an eye towards moving in the summer. We’ll see if our best laid plans come to fruition.

Music squee:

So I’ve obtained a crapload of new music and all of it has been just amazing. First off, got the new Muse album, “The Resistance”. There aren’t words. SO FECKING AMAZING. From soup to nuts one of the most brilliant albums I’ve heard in ages.  It has echoes of Queen in it, but Muse has their unique stamp all over it. It’s prog rock, but lacking the usual pretentiousness that gets that genre mocked. It’s intelligent, and social commentary, and just massive in scope. There are straight ahead rock songs (Uprising, Resistance, MK Ultra, Unnatural Selection) , Quirky gems (I Belong To You/Mon Cœur S’ouvre À Ta Voix, Undisclosed Desires) and of course ZOMG EPIC ORCHESTRAL PIECES! (Exogenesis: Symphony parts 1-3) . It’s eminently listenable from beginning to end. And yes, it’s already embedded all over my writing mixes. (“Undisclosed Desires” has become Devon & Sara’s theme song. LOL!)
Here’s the video for “Uprising” , Zombie Teddy Bears & All!

Next I got the new Three Days Grace album, “Life Starts Now”. It BLEW ME AWAY. Seriously. These guys get dismissed out of hand by a lot of hipsters and indie critics and I just do not understand the hate.
Adam Gontier, their lead singer, has an amazing voice, and this time around, he gets to use ALL his range. The last two albums have been heavy on the dark hard rock they’ve made their trademark. This album feels a little more hopeful. And the music has just expanded creatively as well. 3DG are masters of the good stompy rock riff. They EXCEL at it. But Life Starts Now is riddled with experimental sounds, non-standard timings, pianos, strings, and harmonies using more than the standard chord structures.  My favorite songs change day to day. Yesterday I was blasting “The Good Life” with it’s AFI-like choruses and stompy bass & drum rhythms.  Today, I seem to be constantly queuing up “World Gone Cold” with it’s eerie chorusy-guitar intro and amazing vocals by Adam. (ETA: Apparently I’m not alone–the song is in the Top Ten on I-Tunes Rock singles already!)
Honestly there isn’t a bad tune on the whole damn album. The songs are brief, the longest barely nudging 5 minutes, but they’re layered thickly with sound and meaty guitar work.  Barry Stock, the lead guitarist, has put down some amazing riffs all over the album. And the rhythm work from Neil Sanderson (on drums) and Brad Walst (on bass) is sturdy, yet takes creative turns as well. There are echoes of Alice in Chains here as well, but 3DG has definitely put their own unique overlay on them, making it something entirely their own.
For a third album, it’s a fantastic step up from a band that gets less credit than it should.  (Of course, I might be a little biased, considering how much their music has played a hand in getting my book written. 😉 )
Here’s a vid of Adam talking about the recording of “Break“, the first single.

Also got the new : tatsu ep : from Faith & the Muse. Amazing as always. It’s a taster for their new album, : ankoku butoh : that will be released on Halloween this year. SO LOOKING FORWARD TO IT! (It will also come packaged with a DVD & book. Squee!)
Since there are few vids for F&TM, they posted snippets at their website.
Click here to see “Cantus”.
They’re an amazing band!

Well I think that brings us up to date. OH and I FINALLY got our Writers’ Cabal shirts made. Here’s what the logo looks like:

Writers Cabal VD

Yup. Looks wicked awesome!

Hopefully our ranks will swell. 🙂

—————-
Now playing: Three Days Grace – World So Cold
via FoxyTunes





VMA musings & some writing stuff

14 09 2009

Weather: High: 84º & partly sunny. WHEN WILL THIS TORMENT END?? Grey & cool day, pls!

Weekend was enjoyable. Mostly spent it relaxing with the husband and celebrating his birthday. Made him a hot mess of a cake (Literally! IT was tasty as hell, but I actually cracked the top layer and tried to glue it together with frosting. The top layer was also still a little warm, so the broken layer split and slid in three directions! LOL! But it was TASTY! I mixed some orange extract in with the chocolate frosting for the middle layer and ended up with a Devils’ food cake with Fudge & orange frosting.  We put it in the fridge after the sliding fiasco, and it seems to be holding up okay so far. 🙂

Watched the VMA’s last night.  Usually I come away annoyed and dissatisfied, but this time I was surprisingly impressed. Russell Brand was kept on a short leash, more’s the pity. But the PERFORMANCES were amazing. Lady Gaga’s was impressive. I know there’s a whole slew of people who dismiss her out of hand, but she has a fantastic voice and put to shame all the previous pop divas who’ve lip synced on stage. Her stageset was gorgeous and her outfit, was typical Haus of GaGa. Seriously, I think a lot of people overlook the fact that she can actually SING because of all the hype and craziness. Muse was AMAZING! How American audiences have overlooked them is CRIMINAL. They performed Uprising and the audience (Apparently 700 fans) were SINGING ALONG. Take that you eejits! Pink’s performance was the third one I loved. She performed “Sober” while getting flung around suspended above the audience. Not just hanging there singing, mind you– Actually doing some Cirque Du Soleil moves! ALSO not lip syncing! Of the other performances, Taylor Swift was actually better than expected, and carried a lot of energy. Beyoncé’s was less impressive. I mean, yeah she can dance, and when she did sing, she was good. But at least half the song was backing track. Not really impressive. But she did make up for it with the classiest move ever at an awards show –After she won Video of the Year, Beyoncé allowed Taylor Swift to use her time at the podium  to finish her speech from earlier (When she had been interrupted by a particularly DICK move by Kanye West.)  Jay-Z’s performance at the end was good, but I’m not a big rap fan. Alicia Keye’s accompaniment was fantastic, though. OH! Green Day KILLED! They performed “East Jesus Nowhere” and invited the crowd onto the stage. AWESOME! Anyway -That’s what I took away from the show.

Getting back up to speed on the WIP. Still slowly ramping up. Also I’m realizing that I need to get an idea together for NaNoWriMo. I’m thinking of writing a straight Paranormal Romance and seeing if I can not only get the required 50K but ultimately wring a total 70K out of the idea. But first, I need to HAVE the idea. I’m thinking either a magic based or other form of paranormal creature. I’ve got two vampire novels on the burners already. And a cambion. And a fallen angel. And a Dark Sidhe. Need to try some new waters this time.

Ah well. Day got away from me again. Here: Have the new Three Days Grace video for a view. I like it. The rest of the fans seem a little down on it because it’s not all dark and emo. Rather like that they used the album cover colors as the color palette. And I love Adam’s sort of “wink wink” smile on the vampire line. (Of course, just makes what I’m writing more amusing.)  Apologies on the autoplay. I have no Idea how to turn it off.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Have a good evening folks.





LOSTnesday and the cold is back. Sigh.

18 03 2009

weather: High: 53 degrees with PM showers.and Guess who forgot her umbrella ella ella, eh eh?

Amusing followup to yesterday’s train shenanigans. Gossip Girl was on the train again and I actually sat across the aisle from her. (There were two seats between me and the aisle and one between her and the aisle. So we were in no way adjacent. ) Amusingly enough, she GLARED at me when I sat down. I just smirked and got myself situated. I put my headphones on and she went back to sleep. I listened to my usual mix at usual volume and didn’t get an uppity request to STIFLE THAT NOISE ZOMG! INstead, she reserved her pinched face annoyance for people who had the gall to walk by her seat and wake her up. Bri texted me that I should tell the conductor that her existence was annoying me and he should make her stop. HEE!

The weather is pulling shenanigans itself, dropping us out of the lovely 70s from yesterday and keeping us in the high 40s today.

Wow is Facebook & Twitter eating up my day. Need to minimize Firefox and get some work done. Have a metric tonne of disc burning to do for the new software.

Had a fantastic salad for Lunch.  Go here and scroll down to Hilltop Salad.
Their Chicken Caesar is awesome, but I think I’m gonna try the Famstand Salad next time, because ZOMG GOAT CHEESE!

Re-watched Repo! A Genetic Opera again last night and made Bri watch with me. He’s in no way, shape or form a musical fan, but he said he enjoyed it. Not “hills are alive with the sound of music” enjoyed, but he liked it. Was very impressed with the sets and cinematography.  The link above is to the official site for Repo, which has a WEALTH of behind the scenes vids and downloads. Worth a look.
In fact here: Watch “Zydrate” from the movie version:
(Apologies about the low sound, but it’s the only copy I could find. )

New Lost tonight (FINALLY ZOMG!) so I’ll have that to watch. And new Ghost Hunters as well.

In bad news, it appears actress Natasha Richardson has actually succumbed to her head injury from skiing. Latest report I read is that she’s been declared brain dead and they’ve unhooked her from life support. I really and truly hope those reports are wrong. 😦 She’s only 45 and has two lovely children with Liam Neeson. I don’t care that she’s famous. She’s a person first and this is just horrible across teh board.

On that chipper note ::facepalm:: I’ll be heading out to go home.








Monday and it really feels like it…

16 03 2009

Weather: High: 69 degrees (woo!) and sunny.

Managed to survive bossless week and a rather disheartening weekend.

Finances= Teh Suckorrr! Most of my paycheck was sucked into the oblivion known as bills. Managed to get out to Costco this weekend and actually did a stellar job of stocking up on what we needed and saved a little over a hundred dollars doing so. Very proud of ourselves for not buying trivial stuff (we’re stocked up on cat food for the next two months! ) and nothing we won’t be able to store and therefore get our money’s worth.

Still gobsmacked that Neil Gaiman is gonna be on the Colbert report tonight. Woot!

Watched the shuttle launch yesterday. Found it sad that we felt more nervous about the potential for an accident than just enjoying the wonderment of the endeavour.  Used to be we would all be so excited for a launch,  now we spend most of the time bitning our fingernails wondering if it will clear the atmosphere in one piece. Such is the nature of an accident and tragedy strewn history.

Saw a few things over the weekend that I really enjoyed. First, Russel Brand’s comedy special on Comedy Central was HILARIOUS.  I’ve alwasy held that he’s a better stand up than show host. He even skewered the whole MTV awards debacle by reading what was originally scripted for the show. Very funny. I have to get my hands on his book.  Also, Bri and I caught Penelope on cable and really liked it. For me there was James “nom nom nom” McAvoy and hey wasn’t that Russel Brand in a cameo? And Nick Frost? It was a beautifully filmed movie and the story wasn’t  as straightforward or cliche as the critics would have you believe.

Day has gotten away from me again.

Here:

Have some Russel Brand to cheer you up.
This is the full length Response to Death Threats bit. HYSTERICAL





Bossless Week: Day 1

10 03 2009

weather: Just Yuck. High: 54 Degrees. Heavy rain and craploads of wind later. Just major YUCK!

Boss is in DC for the rest of the week, so I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed that there will be little in the way of chaos this week.

My brother is conducting his annual Paddy Rock Marathon for St Patrick’s Day. (Click on the link for the radio show (all 6 hours of it!)

Listening to my ANGER mix at work right now. Mostly rock, some metal, almost all abrasive, get your adrenaline flowing type tunes. Right now it’s She Wants Revenge, and I’ve already jammed to Anthrax, Def Leppard and Apocalyptica. Feeling all energized and wanting to go to battle. And today it’s the war of DATA ENTRY! ::pummels keyboard into submission::

Am too easily distracted today.  Need to get focused… OH SHINY!
MUST HAVE! MINE MINE MINE! (Umbrella Academy Action Figures if you don’t want to click)

Wish the weather would let up a little. The heavy rain is causing trickle level leaks in our basement. Non damaging so far. Just irritation.

Well, it looks like the Little Cal river is topping it’s banks again. Sigh. It’s running a little under a foot over flood stage right now.  The in-laws are worrying down in Florida and I can’t say I blame them.

Just a side note. Not really apropos of anything, but reading that Neil Gaiman’s dad passed away triggered my own feelings about my own dad. Been kind of in a haze the past few days. Realize that the anniversary is coming up in May and I still haven’t quite accepted that he’s gone.  I really really miss him. And there are days that I keenly hurt because I can’t talk to him or get his advice on some things.

Have decided that Rush Limbaugh is a big ole Drama Queen. Why else would he be so damn shouty and use ridiculous metaphors and poke bears with sharp sticks the way he does? Just an observation, mind you.  Not that there aren’t Drama Queens on all sides of the political sphere. (Keith Olbermann, I’m looking at you! I love you, but you’re getting a little strident these days.)

News in general is starting to chap my ass. I agree with Brian and am pretty much sticking to the BBC News. They don’t sugar coat anything and are not given to idle comparisons that are ludicrous on the surface and flimsy underneath.  I’ll be perfectly honest, the 24 hour news cycle has pretty much ruined the news. IF it’s a slow news day, they grab at pretty much anything coming down the wire and run with it, substantiated or not. Getting a little tiresome. And shouty histrionics? If I want that, I can go visit any number of Twilight blogs or LiveJournal and watch the masses feed on each other.  (Sorry, LJ. I use you. I like you. But more often than not, you are festering pit of Vipers. And that’s on a good day.)

Anyway.

Gotta run and take care of the backup tapes and then make a mad dash for the train. Hopefully the weather will hold until I get there.

Here: Have a Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince trailer to improve your day. (ZOMG IS IT JULY YET??)





Bossless Tuesday. ::reaches for Migraine Meds::

3 03 2009

Weather: High: 29 Degrees and Partly sunny.

Boss is at the satellite office today to do some training so I’ve been left to my own devices. None of which keep the brokers from bothering me. Sigh.

Oy. Just realized today is my sixth anniversary here at my company. This is the longest I’ve held any job in my long and varied history. Double oy.

Need to get to finishing the plot bunny of DOOM (ie Librarian Clive Owen smut.) I keep coming up with brill lines and ideas. And they are just too damn distracting to keep in my head, especially at work.

Have whittered away my freetime today, and not on what I should have. Sigh. So much for my online hiatus. Can’t help it. Heather and I are just too chatty on the FB. LOL. I think we’ve fangirl’d Clive Owen so hard, he ‘s probably wondering what all the high pitched geebling is about.

Gotta wind this up. Sorry for the brevity, but I’ve actually been distracted a skosh today.

Have a video or two:
My Chem does Cabaret! (Mama Live. Srsly my fave song by them. )

And in keeping with the Rock does Cabaret:
Avenged Sevenfold- A Little Piece of Heaven[live] (Think Sweeney Todd here)

I would have also added Green Day’s “Misery” and Panic At the Disco’s entire first album, and the Dresden Dolls entire CAREER  for other Cabaret type music