Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Saturday, July 05, 2014
Summary: After being held prisoner and nearly dying in Afghanistan, Tony Stark builds a metal suit and uses it to fight evil.
- I have unending love for Robert Downey Jr.
- My first entry that I'm posting to Blogger and Tumblr simultaneously. Well, OK, not simultaneously, since this will be queued on Tumblr and show up in ... over a month from now.
- Blown up by his own bomb.
- Why do I keep closing IMDB while I watch? I repeatedly need to reopen it to look things up.
- Do they not know that he's in Afghanistan? That seems odd to me.
- No, wait, he's there. Did we skip back in time? I wasn't paying attention.
- I am indifferent to Gwyneth Paltrow.
- They've created a club on the plane?
- Damn it, now I want sushi.
- OK, back in the present.
- That would not be pleasant, either the tube up the nose or the battery attached to your chest.
- Maybe 1/4 of my attention is on this movie, if not less. Not ideal.
- Interestingly (maybe), this movie is also on FX right now. Two days in a row I've watched something on DVD at about the same time it was on TV (yesterday, "1776" for the Fourth).
- Oh, I have creative thoughts and ideas that have nothing to do with this movie. I'll wait.
- Oh, Tony has escaped. Into the desert. Alone.
- Really? Burger King? I'd go for something a little better for my first cheeseburger.
- I'd maybe have taken off my rings and watch before sticking my hands in someone's chest.
- Tony talking to the robots makes me giggle.
- You can't have a stout tummy and wear the Iron Man suit, that's for sure.
- Why are there alarms on the cars parked inside his house?
- They've recovered the suit ... dum dum dum!
- You know, I appreciate the (granted, limited) sense of reality in this movie: we already know that Tony is an engineer, that he's rich, that he's got the time and the toys to play with. We see him building and testing and failing and trying again. Within the context of this universe, there is a sense of practical reality that I appreciate.
- Also, warlords are bad. #lessonsfromIronMan
- "An unfortunate incident during a training exercise..."
- Ah yes, we learn that Obadiah is the real bad guy.
- Doesn't he need the electromagnet with the old device?
- Can I step out of the current movie to say that I hated how "Iron Man 3" ended? I will then.
- I really like Clark Gregg and Coulson, although I still think of him as Christine's ex-husband.
- Uh oh ... I've fallen into a Wikihole.
- I do like the end. "Truth is (pause) I am Iron Man." It's great.
Beautiful day out. I took a walk. Was great for about 2/3 of the time; the last 1/3 was me muttering to myself, "I'm hot and sweaty and wish I was home already!"
Wild potato vine:
Wild potato vine:
Sunday, June 29, 2014
Summary: Made-for-TV movie based on the true story of Steven Stayner, a California boy who was kidnapped at age 7.
- Unquestionably one of my favorite made-for-TV movies, along with "Sarah, Plain and Tall" and "Escape from Sobibor." And maybe "Old Man." I'm trying to decide if these movies have something in common or not. I could make an argument...
- Although I guess this is technically a miniseries since it was sold in two parts.
- Arliss Howard is uncredited. Which, you know, when you play a pedophile... Also he looks a bit different than what I think of him looking like. Of course, this was 25 years ago.
- Oh, the days when a kid not coming home was more about him disobeying than something happening to him. And whipping a kid with a belt was not considered abuse.
- Wow, the grandfather is just awful. "You got too many kids, should've drown a few."
- "Hope he doesn't hit you too hard."
- And he just gets into the car. The perils of not teaching kids not to get into cars with strangers.
- Driving around with the kid on her lap in the front seat.
- The horrible irony that Stevie's grandfather lives not very far from Parnell's (Wikipedia says "several hundred feet away")
- Never taught his phone number, never taught to not get in a car with strangers. Very much not to blame the parents at all, but you gotta prepare your kids.
- Hard to watch the kid playing Cary Stayer, given his future.
- Mmm. Hot chocolate made with warm tap water.
- Disturbing that they think the grandfather might have taken the kid.
- The suggestion of sexual abuse is also very effective and disturbing.
- It's so sad to read how Steven blamed himself for much of what happened -- for getting in the car, for believing Parnell, for not running away sooner.
- Not sure how to feel about the psychic.
- Oh, Murph, if only you were a little bit braver.
- Parnell keeps threatening to turn if Murph, saying he'll get 20 years. He actually got 5 years, and served 2.
- Oy. Parnell's so confident that he just sends a 7-year-old off by himself. And Steven immediately tries to call his parents, but doesn't know the number.
- A sad face lets a 7-year-old by cigarettes? Oh, 1972, you really were a different world.
- Yes, let's embarrass the kid on his first day in class.
- Hey, it's Beth Grant!
- Wow. "You should just be happy that you have a father." No one wants to hear Steven when he says that things are wrong.
- Steve tries to run away again, but doesn't get very far. At least the dog is a good excuse.
- Skip forward to 1980.
- And Steven knows exactly what it means when Parnell pays a little too much attention to his friends.
- "At least if he's doing it to them he's not doing it to me." Sob.
- "You can be replaced." Gah.
- Smoking in the restaurant, drinking a beer. At 14.
- Oh yes, the very very young Bryan Cranston.
- And no one believes the friend when his mother reports Parnell for molestation.
- Now the abduction of Timmy White. And his terrible wig. 1980s wig technology is clearly not all "The Americans" makes it out to be.
- That's a much more blatant kidnapping, with the kid screaming and fighting.
- All the stories that Parnell told Steven get echoed back to Timmy. And Steven recognizes it.
- And Steven's done. He won't watch Timmy go through what he did.
- I generally prefer part 1. Seeing how Steven and his family separately deal with the situation interests me a little more. Or maybe part 2 just isn't the happy ending we'd hoped for.
- OMG "Parker Lewis Can't Lose" is on Netflix! Oh, not streaming. That's sad.
- Steven takes Timmy to the police station, but gets caught trying to turn him in.
- And we have a title. "I know my first name is Steven. I think my last name is Stayner."
- "It seems to me you have to make a choice between the two of them." What? I mean, I guess it's "you need to give us the name of your kidnapper" but ... dude, the kid does not have a choice here.
- "Did something happen to Cary?" Oh dear. Not yet.
- Percolator! Thanks to Wikipedia, I now know how one works.
- Did they just leave Steven in that interview room all night? Doesn't seem very nice. He's both a kidnapping victim and a hero for returning the kid.
- Oh, and now you have to stand in front of the man who kidnapped you and raised you for 1/2 your life and identify him as your kidnapper.
- Media circus alert!
- In general, aftermaths do interest me, so I'm surprised that I like the second half less. In too many cases, the story would end there, when Steven gets returned home. We've still got more than an hour left.
- Cary is off camping in Yosemite. Ack. I know this movie was made 10 years before he became the Yosemite Killer, but it's just eerie.
- Urgh. Steven already clearly blames himself -- "Pretty stupid, huh?" -- and repeatedly denies that Parnell molested him.
- Also, no one kidnaps a kid and just leaves him alone.
- Oh, Cary talking about how their parents don't really care about him and how everything changed when Steven left...
- Then there were the photos.
- Parnell was convicted of kidnapping and sexual assault 20 years before. He got 4 years.
- And his dad blames Steven for not stopping it. At 7 years old. Sigh.
- Wow, way to be careful with the evidence there, deputy.
- Gah, people are awful.
- People still being awful. I can't say I blame Steven for hitting him.
- Drinking and lots of sex to drown out the feelings and "prove" that he's OK. And again -- he's 14.
- Mom wants to discipline Steven and get him back to how he was/"should" be. Dad just wants to let it all go.
- Jody's very sweet.
- Steven's struggles are hard to hear -- how no one ever cared what he did before or if he screwed up. How difficult it is to feel like everything he does is wrong. How he feels like a disappointment to his parents.
- How is he (not) graduating? I though he was 16 at this point. I must have missed another year somewhere.
- Don't do it, Stevie! Don't jump! OK, I know he doesn't.
- OK, it's 1981, which means that he's 16. Again, what was up with the graduating?
- Sigh. Hard enough for Steven to testify to what Parnell did. Harder with his family and girlfriend in the courtroom.
- So they go have sex by the lake.
- "Are you satisfied? Now he's not coming home." "He never did come home."
- 84 months. With 64 months stayed. Which I think he served concurrently, so that's 7 years total. He got out in 5.
- Oh, and Jody's pregnant.
- Steven moves out. Because he just doesn't fit into that life anymore. It's horrible and sad to see. But it's actually probably better for his relationship with his parents.
- "Why do you hate yourself so much?"
- Again, he blames himself over and over. "Why did I let him do it to me?" How many people who suffer abuse have the same self-hate? The honesty is painful.
- Gah. And the epilogue. Steven Stayer, killed in a motorcycle accident in 1989, just 4 months after the miniseries aired on NBC. Oh, this DVD has Parnell's 2004 conviction of "attempting to purchase a child" on it too. He got life for that one.
Sunday, June 22, 2014
Skipped: Hannibal (season 1); Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law; Homicide: Life on the Streets
Summary: Extremely competent policeman Nicolas Angel is transferred to a small English village where a sinister conspiracy is afoot. Second film in the "Cornetto Trilogy."
Summary: Extremely competent policeman Nicolas Angel is transferred to a small English village where a sinister conspiracy is afoot. Second film in the "Cornetto Trilogy."
- I very much thought that I didn't own "Shaun of the Dead," the first in this only vaguely connected trilogy. But I do!
- I cannot remember when and where I first saw this one. I Loved "Shaun," so I guess that I might have seen this one in the theater. I am going to guess that I managed to watch "Spaced" before this one came out (I saw the series after "Shaun" and maybe because of it...).
- It's funny -- I think this is one of few movies with Simon Pegg in which he plays an extremely competent person. Typically he's an underachiever, at best.
- Yay for Martin Freeman!
- Yay for Steve Coogan!
- Yay for Bill Nighy!
- Hidden Cate Blanchett!
- I love the way sound is used in this movie.
- Oh, typos make my heart hurt.
- Yay for Bill Bailey!
- Oh, I need cake.
- I really like Simon Pegg in this movie. I'm trying to think of all the other stuff that I've seen him in, and while of course I love "Shaun" and "Spaced" probably more than anything, I really, really like that he's a very different character for most of this movie. I can't think of anything else that I've seen him in where he's been like this.
- "Morning, Angle."
- Cornetto sighting!
- Hah! Angel's face at the closing song in the "play"
- And the evidence room fills up. With guns.
- Oh! Rory McCann! The Hound!
- I forget how graphic this movie is. Have to keep closing my eyes. Especially when the journalist gets killed.
- And now I'm distracted and just watching.
- "The Greater Good"
- It's interesting -- maybe because I'm used to seeing the Hound with Arya, who's a little girl, but when the actor is around normal sized people in this film, it's clear how very large he is.
- I cannot watch Skinner get impaled. Just ... ack.
- Does Nick Frost's character nearly die at the end of all these films? I think he does.
Sunday, June 15, 2014
Summary: A large group of Allied soldiers are transferred to a German POW camp designed to hold those who have escaped multiple times. The immediately begin planning their break out.
- I remember this movie having an incredibly depressing ending, with pretty much everyone either getting shot or recaptured. But with that in mind at the start, the conversation between the commandant and the British officer introduces the idea that, to some extent, it doesn't matter. The Germans are spending time and resources guarding these men and recapturing them, which takes those resources away from fighting the war. That's what's most important.
- I always forget that David McCallum is in this. I went through a big "The Man from UNCLE" phase when I was a teenager.
- I do love that they immediately start testing the limits of the camp and trying to escape from the very moment they get to the camp. And at least one soldier tried to jump from the truck before they even got there.
- "Tea without milk is so uncivilized."
- The extreme organization of the break out is very interesting. I guess that it shouldn't be surprising, given that they are all military...
- James Garner makes me smile.
- I do appreciate that Hilts has his own plans and isn't necessarily willing to comprise them for the larger plan.
- "Crazy mixed up kid, that Werner. But I like him."
- 4th of July!
- "How are you managing over there without us? Getting along alright?" Wow, Ramsey has nothing to say to Hilts.
- Poor Ives. He's completely broken.
- Donald Pleasence is so good in this. Blythe is just heartbreaking.
- I always forget how long this movie is. Almost 1:50 in and they are just now getting ready to escape. There's nearly an hour after that.
- Naturally, the tunnel is too short.
- I love that Hendley takes responsibility for Blythe.
- Great tension as they try to escape.
- They really did not get a lot of guys out, did they. Wow, 76, actually. It did not seem like so many.
- Why are they all at the train station at the same time? Oh, missed their trains.
- Heh. Sitting with the Nazi soldiers.
- Sedgewick just gets on a bicycle and rides away.
- Danny and Willie steal a boat; another guy hitchhikes...
- And Steve McQueen on the motorcycle.
- Of course, police on the train.
- Wow, that soldier does NOT sound German.
- This train station is the first time a single woman appears in the film, I think. Well, OK, there are a few women on the train, now that I think about it.
- He's doing a terrible job of being inconspicuous. Oh, I remember that he gets shot.
- Oops. Cavendish gets delivered right back to the Nazis. With like 1/2 the guys who escaped.
- Airplane with a crank start. Wow. But it gets them away.
- Ah, here's the iconic image.
- Sigh. Nothing can go right, can it?
- :( Poor Colin. For some reason, I remembered him getting away. Clearly not.
- Down goes Hilts.
- Sedgwick in France, with the resistance.
- Oh, the English mistake.
- Come on guys, you need to split up.
- It's all in the attitude. Act annoyed that the soldiers think you're English and they go away. At least, until someone recognizes you.
- Ah yes. This is why I remember the end being so depressing.
- 11 men returned. 50 shot. I'm actually surprised they hadn't shot them sooner.
- Danny and Willie on the boat. The only ones that we see not get caught or killed.
- Oh, I forgot about Sedgwick!
- Back comes Hilts, in his own car. And back in the cooler.
Friday, May 30, 2014
Summary: Harriet and Guy are now living in Cairo, not all that far away from the fighting. Simon Boulderstone, a young British officer, is involved in the desert fighting. He's also just learned that his older brother, Hugo, has been killed.
- A very quiet opening, in the desert at daybreak.
- September 1942.
- Simon is completely convinced that Edwina, one of Harriet and Guy's flatmates, was in love with Hugo. Not so much.
- Oh, the railings on those stairs are amazing. So very 1920s.
- OK, with all that talk in the last entry about how Harriet tries not to judge ... she totally judges Edwina. But then, so would I.
- Mortimer! She's very cool.
- Ah, our trip to the Birka. They are pretending to be daring, but really mostly finding it sad and embarrassing. As you do.
- ... and we're back in the desert. OMG that's Jeff Rawl! I was staring at him, knowing that I knew him, but had no idea. He's so young! I've only ever seen him as a relatively old man.
- Hee. Dobson wants to complain about the noise of Angela and Castlebar having sex, but he's too embarrassed, so sends up Harriet. As you do.
- Angela is far too explicit about her sex life. And we learn that Harriet and Guy don't have much of one.
- Ah, yes, Bill Castlebar's wife, Mona.
- Oh, the pin. Angela gives it to Bill, then has to give it to Harriet when Bill's wife asks about it. And she insists that Harriet keep it. This will come up again.
- Angela is ... a selfish friend. She's not a bad person, but she can't see outside her own issues, sometimes.
- And Harriet is now expected to soothe Edwina too, when she finds out that her boyfriend is married. Harriet is so incredibly practical.
- "I hate him!" "Well, he is an aristocrat."
- Off we go to Luxor. Which is NOT the place to be. What with the cholera outbreak and the burning bodies and all.
- Angela: "Where is everybody?" (1) They are in the middle of a war, and (2) they are in the middle of an epidemic. I mean, maybe they don't know about the epidemic, but did they ask? Again -- the British privileged doing what they've always done and not expecting things to change.
- Angela refuses to stay, because she's afraid that Bill might die. Bill, who isn't there. So Harriet stays, alone, in the middle of an epidemic. Sigh.
- Pinkrose! He *will* give his lecture on Byron.
- Guy struggles to keep up his endless enthusiasm in the face of Professor Lord Pinkrose.
- Ah, Aiden shows up in Luxor. He's pleasant company for Harriet -- and not a threat. At least, it's not Harriet that he's in love with...
- Aiden tells the story of when the boat he was on was torpedoed and only 3 of them survived. He is not a happy man.
- Oh, yes, Edwina's married boyfriend got Simon a promotion. Less of a good thing than it seems.
- Harriet's home, and she's not well.
- Guy has no patience with illness. Or for sitting around with a sick Harriet. And he's taken her pin.
- Third time someone tries to send Harriet back to England. This time she's sick (with dysentery) and tired and just doesn't have the fight in her anymore. And Angela is going back, so why not.
- Now Edwina is wearing the pin.
- Poor Guy is a little startled and sad that Harriet wants to leave.
- Finally, the day of Pinkrose's lecture arrives.
- BANG. No more Pinkrose.
- Yet again, Angela abandons Harriet to travel back to England alone.
- Sad bear. And Guy won't even go to the port with Harriet. He just doesn't have time.
- Harriet doesn't get on the boat, choosing to run away with Mortimer and her girlfriend, telling no one.
- So, naturally, the boat is torpedoed and sunk, with no survivors.
- I was just thinking ... it must be odd reading this without seeing the show, and I'm assuming that everyone I know won't have seen it. And maybe not reading this, either.
- Meanwhile, on the road to Damascus, Harriet sings.
- Guy goes back to work. "We Share Your Sads." And Guy doesn't really cope.
- Guy visits the zoo, and the sad bear.
- Meanwhile, Simon is still alive, if not exactly feeling anything below the waist.
- Edwina visits Simon. It does not go well.
- Harriet wonders what she's doing, I think, but can't imagine going back. She doesn't know that the boat sunk, of course, and thinks that no one will notice that she's gone for months.
- Guy goes to visit Simon, since Edwina won't and Harriet is (supposedly) dead.
- Guy is very much not dealing well with Harriet's apparent death. Spending time alone. Taking walks. Taking time to visit people in the hospital.
- Let's all tickle Simon's feet!
- "What's it like in Damascus?" "Same as everywhere else. Full of bloody foreigners."
- And Edwina convinces Guy to take her out. They are very much not suited. Plus, she's wearing Harriet's pin.
- At heart, Guy will always be Guy.
- Aiden was transferred from Damascus (where Harriet is looking for him), to Jerusalem. And now he's in Cairo.
- And now it becomes clear that Aiden would be happy for Guy to move on with him. "Well, you know me, always too busy." "Come for a holiday." "I don't have time for holidays." "Or for me."
- Edwina, of course, has met someone else.
- Meanwhile, Harriet wanders alone, as usual. I do admire her willingness to explore, to see the world around her, whether she has company or not. She doesn't give up or go home just because her plan didn't work out. She's in Damascus and she wants to see what there is to see.
- Harriet, naturally, attracts a nice man who shows her around. And buy her tea. And hit on her.
- "You know, Mrs. Pringle, you are like the new moon." "Thin and pale?"
- Angela and Castlebar appear, on the run from Bill's wife. And Harriet abandons her "protector."
- "Oh, god, everybody's dead these days." Aiden shot himself.
- "The poor man was absolutely besotted by Guy, like everyone else. Although goodness knows why."
- Simon is learning to walk again. And he does not give in easily to Guy, which is a trend we're seeing more of -- people losing their rose-colored glasses when it comes to Guy.
- Pyramid climbing again. Seeing Rupert Graves makes me want to dig out my VHS copy of "Maurice."
- It's starting to dawn on Guy that Harriet was very alone.
- Edwina's getting married to the random guy who she met at the bar. Time passes very quickly in this series.
- It suddenly occurs to me that I have no idea how Edwina ended up in Cairo, how she lives, or anything.
- Easter service. I'm assuming they're still in Damascus.
- Mortimer! Bringing Harriet the news of her untimely death.
- The wedding, and Harriet's return. Which Edwina somehow makes all about her.
- Bill is not at all well.
- Harriet comes back from the dead and Guy easily slides back into old habits.
- But Bill doesn't make it. Really, everyone dies in this.
- And we end on the top of the pyramid:
"You'll never leave me again, will you?"
"Don't know. Can't promise. Probably not."
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Summary: After fleeing Bucharest for Athens, Guy and Harriet escape again aboard a ship bound for Egypt.
- The Athens episode is very much a transition for the series. We left several established characters behind, either in Romania (Lawson, Sophie, Foxy, Inchcape, Galpin...) or Greece (poor Yaki), and we've kept not only Guy and Harriet, but several others. But Cairo starts a distinct new chapter, with new characters and points of view.
- "Are we still refugees?" "Yes, we are darling." "How do we stop being refugees?"
- Silly. Pinkrose can't stay in the refugee housing!
- Oh, the old man and his dog! I forgot about him. And Dobson is back. With Bill Castlebar, poet.
- And Gracey is back too. Guy is so relentlessly positive ... for now.
- "The first human ever to admit reading my poetry." "Everybody likes Guy Pringle." "He reads everybody's poetry?" "Yes, I think he probably does."
- Uch. Dubedat is disgusting.
- And now Guy is off to teach at the business school in Alexandria.
- Can I just quote things?
"Is Guy enjoying Alexandria?" "No. He hates it. He says it's like Birmingham."
"Has he ever been to Birmingham?"
"How are your homey Egyptian digs?"
"There is a vacant room at Garden City."
"Of course, you might find the inhabitants rather eccentric."
- Ah! We meet another new major character! It's Simon Boulderstone, Hugo's brother.
- It's a little hard to tell how much time has passed. We're not 10 minutes in and Guy is off-stage in Alexandria and Harriet has moved. She mentions to Simon that it's been several months.
- Simon is an army officer, only the second we've met. We didn't get to know Charles very well, but Simon is young and eager and very innocent.
- "How do you collect money in a dog?" "There's a slot in it's back."
- Harriet has become a bit of a realist on her own. "We're protecting the Suez Canal. The route to India. Mr. Clifford's oil company. It has nothing to do with the people. We just stick pins in maps."
- Oh, the Hoopers. Rich, frivolous people, until their son gets killed by a stray mine.
- Urgh. Mr. Clifford is very irritating. I do like Simon, though. We get a lot from his point of view in the rest of the series and he seems, like I said, young and innocent, but he doesn't seem to have any illusions about the war. He's there and he'll do his best, but he doesn't begrudge anyone who keeps out of it and expects things to be bad. And he has a lovely friendship with Harriet that's not complicated like her relationship with Charles.
- Plus, you know, he's played by a young Rupert Graves.
- Now we stick with Simon. I guess we did see some things from Yaki's point of view before, and now with him gone, we need another non-Pringle. It's also the most that we get to see from the military point of view. Simon is kind of on the outside, though; he's new and doesn't know where they are, or what they're doing, or much of anything.
- "In my heart, I say better the devil you know. But I'm brushing up on my German to be on the safe side."
- Ah, December 1941.
- More people trying to get Harriet to leave with the women and children. "When have I ever behaved like a woman?" Love her.
- "As a dear friend once said, do I look like a military objective?" "What happened to your friend?" "Somebody shot him."
- "I love you, but I can't remember why."
- Oh, our third army officer, Aiden Pratt.
- "Are you waiting for Guy Pringle?" "Usually, yes."
- "Two men were shipwrecked on a desert island. They didn't know each other, but they both knew Guy Pringle."
- The military stuff is kinda ... not terribly exciting?
- Poor Harriet loses her job at the American ... whatever it is where she works.
- "But why has he been sacked? The organization doesn't usually sack people for incompetence."
- Hee hee. I love that Dobson just hangs out around the shared house in a towel.
- Guy is relentlessly positive most of the time.
- We never see Guy and Harriet being particularly physical together -- its not that kind of show -- but it's nice to see them happy now that Guy is back in Cairo. Even if all his attention is now focused on running the school.
- Heh. And back come Dubedat and Lush, begging for jobs. And of course, Guy gives them one.
- Oh, this is where that line is from! "Civilians, are we?" "I have the body of a weak and feeble woman."
- Speaking of privilege, Simon has a hard time letting it go.
- And now his brother Hugo is dead. Poor Simon.
- Angela Hooper moves in.
- It's interesting. Guy generally likes everyone ... except certain women. He didn't like Bella in Bucharest generally, and he never cares for Angela, as I remember. Harriet, on the other hand, seems to like those women, or at least make the effort to be friendly with them. Sophie, on the other hand, Guy liked -- or at least liked her flirting and her flattery and need. Harriet, of course, had no time for her.
- Harriet seems very quick to judge. She doesn't trust or like easily, for the most part, and holds herself separate in a way that Guy doesn't. She is friendly with most women, however, including those who seem frivolous or shallow. But she's also ... not judgmental, if that makes sense. Bill is married, having an affair with Angela, who's about to get a divorce. She doesn't really pass judgment there -- she still enjoys their company and let's them live how they chose.
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