November 10, 2005

Ask and Ye Shall Receive, Part the First

Okay, first the easy ones from Wednesday's All Request Hour of Power here at the Big Arm Blog-O-Rama:

1. Joshua asked for book/movie/tv recs. Hmmm...well, I can tell you what I'm watching and reading now, if that'll help.

  1. Reading: Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, which is totally Jane Austen meets Harry Potter, and a great read. Unfortunately, I have only been able to make it through about 20 pages a night, and at that rate I will be reading this book until 2008. It's long. In the queue--Flyboys by James Bradley, who wrote Flags of Our Fathers, about the flag raising on Iwo Jima. I also recently finished The Historian and I am Charlotte Simmons. Simmons was flawed and too long but interesting, and I really loved The Historian. I'm also a Harry Turtledove alternate history geek, so pick one of those and I've probably read it. Oh, and of course Terry Pratchett, and my pal Feral Girl has promised to lend me Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys.

  2. Watching: Supernatural, which is like the X-Files when it was fun--an interesting larger story arc but with self-contained episodes each week; Veronica Mars, although season 2 isn't quite as compelling as season 1; Lost, although I TiVo it and fast forward through the parts I find irritating, and there seem to be more of those this year; and The Showbiz Show with David Spade because it is dark and evil and makes me giggle.

  3. Movies: Have Finding Neverland and Kung Fu Hustle at home now from Netflix; will probably take Boy to Chicken Little this weekend, as he has been agitating for it for quite some time; am looking v.v. forward to Narnia, Harry Potter 4, and the Johnny Cash biopic in the coming month.

2. MMC wants to know what actor I would be shocked to discover is gay. As a former theatre dabbler, I could probably say "none" with honesty, but let me be serious. Hmmm. Harrison Ford would shock me, as would most of the stars of 80's action/adventure flicks with the exception of Captain Cult, Tom Cruise. Any leading man who came AFTER that time period is up for debate. We have a seriously femme bunch of leading men out there nowadays, with a few exceptions.
3. Teaching Assistant wanted to know what category, if any, I'd add to the sidebar. I should probably add one on Pop Culture, since I'm so dang obsessed with it.
4. Personal aside to Belle--let's do lunch.

As for Emily, Marc, and PersonFromPorlock's requests...stay tuned.

Posted by Big Arm Woman at November 10, 2005 01:51 PM

I reserve any comment (which, I know, has to be killing you) about Finding Neverland until after you've seen it. Kung-Fu Hussle is a hoot, though.

Posted by: marc at November 10, 2005 02:08 PM

Kurt Russell.

That would shock me.

Posted by: Sigivald at November 10, 2005 03:04 PM

Marc -

Not even sure why I Netflixed it--it's sure to be all treacly and death scene-y, and right now I am just not in the mood for treacle. Maybe I'll watch Boogeyman or Ring II instead.

Sigivald - Yeah, that would shock me, too.

Posted by: BAW at November 10, 2005 03:27 PM

You may or may not like "Flyboys" -- I've talked to many who were lukewarm to it -- but I found it fascinating. In 35 years of reading about WWII, this was the first time I'd seen anyone try to explain "Japanese culture" in the context of World War II, and I put the phrase in quotes for two reasons that will become clear when you read the book.

Posted by: Lex at November 10, 2005 04:29 PM

I'd like to put in a recommendation for the tv show "Bones". I think it is very strong in its police-procedural aspects, and I really enjoy the sparring and bickering between FBI Agent Booth and the lady forensic anthropologist Dr. Brennan. To me, it is reminiscent of the verbal duels between Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis in the old "Moonlighting." And on a personal note, I tend to be partial to any show that features a member of the "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" alumni association (David Boreanaz).

Posted by: Bruce Lagasse at November 10, 2005 07:59 PM

Please post occasionally on your progress through Johnathan Strange & Mr. Norell. As an avid reader and a professional librarian, I am ashamed to say that JSMN was the only book I have ever given up on in my life. I can usually thoroughly read books at a speed that causes other people to accuse me of doing the Evelyn Wood "sped reding" thing, but I could only slog through that. I finally decided that I could read and enjoy a few hundred less pithy books in the time it would take me to finish that one. aaarrgh.

Posted by: Roxanne at November 11, 2005 01:36 PM

Roxanne, no need to feel guilty about not finishing books. If the author can't hold your attention, that's HIS problem.

Not only do I not finish some books, I flatly refuse to read any fiction written in the present tense: my life is the sweeter for it. A crack team of government research psychics in Atlanta recently reported that authors who write fiction in the present tense are *invariably* reincarnated as TAs in English departments whose Chairs say things like "it's good for people to have their preconceptions challenged" and *invariably* assigned to teach Creative Writing 102.

Posted by: PersonFromPorlock at November 11, 2005 04:07 PM

Sorry, this probably doesn't have much to do with your post, but I got to wondering.

Have you heard about the Texas grandma that shot a burglar? I heard some of the 911 tape, and forgive me but I found it to be beyond hilarious.

The biggest giggle quality was from the 911 operator: Did she shoot him again? Tell her to stop shooting him!

I don't if it was her accent or choice of words, but I died laughing. You could hear the Texan Granny in the background calling the man all sorts of names.

Anywhoo, I have some southern cousins that tell the most serious of stories but make me die laughing... is it the accent or the choice of words?

What's your opinion? If your looking for a subject, at least.

Posted by: MMC at November 13, 2005 01:53 AM

+know. I hate it when I skip words!

Posted by: MMC at November 13, 2005 01:57 AM

I'm also reading Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, and I'm really enjoying it. Books written in a unique style either grab you or they don't, and this one got me. I'm a bit surprised that I'm enjoying the book this much. (I'm particularly fond of the footnotes).

Sadly, like you, I can only find small chunks of time to read the book, so it's taking some time to get through.

Posted by: dhanson at November 15, 2005 11:19 AM