There are so very many things I should be doing right now. None of those things is blogging on RtM. Yet, I miss it so very much. Thus, here I am anyway. I’ve been falling behind in every conceivable way, because my body just wasn’t made for the sort of schedules I’ve been working lately. This week is a really light schedule, but starting next Wednesday I work ten days straight, and twice in that ten days I work until between 9 and 11 at night and then wake up at 4 the next morning to open. For a depressed insomniac, that’s a recipe for disaster. And so, things like reading, RtM, and Trigger Fiction have fallen by the wayside. I hate it, and I hope to use the next few days to get back in action. So, there you have it, a bunch of information about my life, in case anyone cares.
Now, on with five things I’ve been enjoying during these woeful pauses; again, just in case anyone cares. On with the show!
1. Wye Oak, live at the world famous Crocodile Cafe!
Let me tell you, folks: See this band live when they come near you. They. Rock. So. Hard.
Just two people. Her, with several guitars and an effects board. Him, with a drum kit, a keyboard (which he plays simultaneously with the drum kit), and an effects board. Per person, they create more sound each than anyone I’ve ever seen live. They play so well together, they showcase each other really well, and I want each of them to be my friend.
2. A Dance with Dragons
A lesson I learned reading this book: Don’t start reading a 1,000 page hardcover book and a new job at the same time. It took me nearly a month to get through this book. It’s hard to tell, because there are more words on a page in a first edition than in paperbacks, but it could be the longest book in the series so far. It’s definitely longer than A Feast for Crows.
Now, I love the world that Martin has created in these books. I love the characters, I love the way he develops story. Yet, that just makes it hurt all the more when he unceremoniously kills off main characters. There will be NO spoilers here, aside from the reality that Martin is willing to kill off main characters. Many of you have seen the HBO series now, so you are well aware of his willingness to kill off characters who would be untouchable in any other serial storytelling.
There are times when he has spent so much time and so many pages developing a character and events, and then kills them and erases it all. It’s difficult to take after you’ve spent soooo much time investing in that character.
In the world of George R.R. Martin, no one is safe. That’s good, but also irritating. Sometimes it seems like he is killing characters just because he can. Is there actually contempt for the reader at work here? I sure hope not, and I could just be angry since the wound is still fresh.
Though I may bitch, I’ll still be pre-ordering the next installment however many years from now it is released. I’m addicted to Westeros.
3. Attack the Block [Invasion/Visitation Movies #6]
This movie was amazing. I didn’t laugh as much as I expected to, although it was definitely hilarious. I also bet I’ll laugh more on my second viewing, since I won’t be on the edge of my seat quite as much.
Instead, the movie was a huge amalgam of elements that all added together to create one kick-ass package. Believe me, people, this movie kicked all kinds of ass. Laugh out loud jokes, characters that were lovable without being flimsy and 2-dimensional, awesomely over the top aliens, genuine social commentary, and brilliant performances by all involved (especially the young actors).
I was going to say that, sadly, a few of my favorite characters died, but on second thought I think all of the main characters were favorites. The deaths were also really important to the plot: for the journey of our protagonist, as part of the poignant social commentary I mentioned, and to create tension.
I want to go see it again today. I won’t, but I want to.
4. Watch the Throne
I never, ever use iTunes to buy music anymore. Thus, I had no idea that Watch the Throne came out earlier on iTunes than it did on Amazon’s mp3 store. Then Brian told me, and I bought it right away. I am still on my first listen, not all the way through yet, but so far so wonderful!
“Otis” has already been playing several times a day, and I know I’ll be listening to this album a lot over the next few days/weeks.
Oh yeah, and Jay-Z is back.
5. Cowboys & Aliens [Invasion/Visitation Movies #7]
With a 44% on Rotten Tomatoes, most people don’t like this movie. I respectfully disagree. Sure, the movie had plenty of weaknesses, but it had everything I hope for in a fun summer film.
Daniel Craig was a fucking badass as a cowboy.
Olivia Wilde was scaldingly hot.
The aliens are refreshingly original, and although they are somewhat evolutionarily suspect, they are still pretty awesome biologically. Also, instead of the silly flying saucers they could have easily gone with in a genre/cliche mashup like this, they instead had really great UFOs that flew in legit formations and combat maneuvers.
Keith Carradine as a cowboy. Always wonderful.
Sam Rockwell. Period.
In the saddest fall from grace in history, I was genuinely disappointed that Harrison Ford was in this movie while watching the trailers. All for nothing. While his character has some glaring development flaws, this is still his most enjoyable character on screen in at least a decade.