Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Week of Julie

This is completely unrelated to the rest of this post, but I just have to say that I've had this song stuck in my head off and on since last Thursday:

Kite Song - Rosie Thomas

And it's starting to tinge all my recollections with sadness. I even tried listening to "I Wanna Be Sedated" like three times in a row today, and I still couldn't get it out. It's starting to get a little annoying. OK now, on to the rest of whatever I have to say. Ahem...

So I just realized that both of my roommates are out of town for the next week, leaving me with the place to myself for something like 8 days. Now, on the one hand this is a bit daunting. I mean, what if I get bored? Or what if I get...really bored? That would be awful. But on the other hand - and this would be the good hand, the hand that solves the problems of the other hands - this week presents the perfect opportunity to do all that stuff I would do if I had the place to myself for a week. Which would, of course, help to alleviate any possible boredom. So to that end, here are my goals for the Week of Julie.

This week, I pledge to:
  • Watch at least one movie I know I'll probably like, but that I think my roommates would find too weird. (Suggestions: The Fountain, The Science of Sleep)
  • Turn the air conditioning up to at least 75 degrees.
  • Eat a pizza. Preferably while watching a movie. Maybe the same movie from above, maybe The Godfather Part 2.
  • Play really loud music in the mornings. And any other time I feel like it.
  • Perform A Midsummer Night's Dream at Sundance at least 5 times (OK, so I was going to do that anyway).
  • Play the same 3 songs on my guitar every single day.
  • Zelda. There must be Zelda. Ocarina of Time: Master Quest is one option. Wind Waker may also make an appearance. I'm saving Twilight Princess for later.
  • Eat as much of that leftover lasagna in the fridge as I can take.
  • Talk loudly on my phone late at night.
  • Shower with the bathroom door open. While singing.
  • Take over the entire living room.
  • And if I'm feeling really cliche, I might even have to reenact this*:

Yeah, that should be a pretty good start for a Week of Julie. One week of that (plus one day of cleaning up after that) and I should be sufficiently sick of myself and be very, very glad to have my wonderful roommates back home again. But until that day...bring on the Julie!

*Or this:

Man, I love that show.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

And Now a Word From the Geek In Me...

Alright guys, I guess I might as well come out with it: I love comic books. I always have. And sometimes I'm not even ashamed to admit it.

Note: I may or may not "spoil" some major comic book plotlines here, so if that bothers you, watch out. I'll try to only discuss past storylines so openly, but all the same. OK, continue.

On my bookshelf, nestled amongst forgotten plays and Dostoevsky novels, I have The Essential Spider-Man: Volume 6 - Volume 6 chosen specifically because it contains the whole Gwen Stacy saga, of course. Brilliant, classic stuff that you're welcome to come over and read through, provided that you actually know me in real life*. Spider-Man is my first love in comic books (though not my first love of life - that honor will always rest with Sci-Fi from G.I. Joe) and my heart will always be true to him. I was devastated (and confused, and trepidatious, and probably a little hungry) for days when I found out they'd erased Peter and Mary Jane's marriage from the comic book storyline**. And I was one of those awesome people making awesome comments to herself all through the Spider-Man movies about how this or that didn't jive with the comics, or how they totally borrowed that from the Gwen Stacy storyline, or hey look, it's Stan Lee! I was appropriately outraged by the choice to make Sandman Uncle Ben's real killer (or the one who pulled the trigger at least) and annoyed by Kirsten Dunst in general, though I LOVED Willem Dafoe as the Green Goblin - the main reason why Spider-Man 1 is my favorite of the trilogy. And no matter my opinion, I loved watching the movies overall. Why? Because it's Spider-Man, that's why! As long as it doesn't completely suck, I'm going to love it. There are many more Spider-Man comics sitting at my parents' house in Oregon, just waiting for me to reread when I get back there at the end of August. And trust me, I'm pretty excited about it.

I also recently acquired Joss Whedon's story arc from Runaways, another Marvel comic. Best accidental Ebay purchase I've ever made. I was checking out the comic, since I'm a fan of Whedon's style but hadn't quite found anything of his to actually latch onto (I'm told I should stick with Firefly and it'll see me through), and on a whim bid on the whole arc. And then I won. Annoyed at the time at the unexpected purchase (a girl's checking account can only take so much), I now know it was more than worth it. The series is great and compelling as it is, but Whedon's work is fantastic. He had me hooked from Issue #25 (his first) when the kids are all sitting in a restaurant awaiting a meeting with - that's right - Kingpin. Selected dialogue from the scene:
Chase: That's totally her. That's totally She-Hulk.
Nico: Victor, we don't have a lot of other options.
Victor: I'm not gonna talk to this guy. I'm just here if things get ugly.
Nico: Things are ugly. They're all ugly.
Chase: Is somebody gonna deal with She-Hulk having scampi like three tables away?
Molly: She-Hulk has the fakest boobs I ever saw. And those aren't scampies, they're shrimp.
Chase: Vic, you gotta check this out. I'm not into muscles but, I'm, now I'm sort of into muscles.
PLUS they totally cross o
ver with The Punisher***. All that and some gorgeous cover art by Jo Chen:

Hot stuff, people. Seriously. Once I've got some disposable income again, I'd love to check out the rest of the series.

Now you didn't seriously think I'd silence the Geek In Me without mentioning Batman, did you? Because really guys, I love Batman. I've never really been a DC girl in general; in fact, there are times when I think Batman is really all they've got going for them (though I have been thinking of checking out Jodi Picoult's story arc for Wonder Woman). But as far as I'm concerned, Batman is more than enough. And so, as a great Batman fan, what did I think of The Dark Knight? Three words, friends: I. LOVED. IT. And I love Christopher Nolan for finally making Batman as dark and conflicted as he was always meant to be. And I love Heath Ledger for giving the world the darkest, creepiest, and still one of the funniest Jokers ever. Straight-up amazing. And that's not even mentioning Christian Bale, who is the only Batman hot enough to be Bruce Wayne AND tough enough to be Batman. They'll give you flack for your Batman voice, Christian, but don't listen. You know that's how Bruce Wayne would do it if he were here in real life. People. Seriously. The Dark Knight. Genius. I'll admit Maggie Gyllenhaal was more than a little out of place (loved her in Stranger Than Fiction but seriously, not a classic superhero leading lady and never will be), but that just served to make me okay with how her character was uninteresting and little more than a tool for the further development of other characters. I'd get in depth here, but I don't want to spoil the ending. Or the rest of the story. And the Geek In Me has gone on for quite some time already. But I appreciated the appearance of Harvey Dent, and the casting of Aaron Eckhart as the same (but I met him one time at ACTF in Cedar City, plus he graduated from BYU, so maybe I'm biased). Maybe someday, after I've watched the movie again, I'll post a real, thoughtful review here. At any rate, I am happy to talk to you about it. All day long if you want. But for now let me just sum up by saying how glad I am that there are finally a set of movies out there that let Batman be Batman. And the Joker be the Joker. Because it's easy to forget, if all you've seen are the Batman cartoons from my childhood (and I mean no disrespect here - I mean, major hats off to Mark Hamill for his voice acting in the series), that the Joker is terrifying. Funny, sure. Silly, whimsical, dare I say puckish. But also the only villain to genuinely murder important characters in the Batman storyline (including, yes, one of the Robins). The evil clown, an antithesis and natural arch-nemesis to Batman's benevolent predator. One is bright, funny, and murderous; the other dark, frightening, and good. And this movie - Nolan gets that. So yeah, I love him for it. The end.

Alright. There's always more the Geek In Me can say. We could talk about Halle Berry in X-Men (hated her, hated her, hated her), or how I can't wait to read Terry Moore's Echo (not to mention Strangers in Paradise, about which I've heard incredible things), or my favorite Punisher crossovers, or how I just FINALLY discovered the genius that is Will Eisner. And we haven't even gotten into my intense love for video games. But I think for the first (semi-)public appearance of the Geek In Me, this is quite enough. Hopefully I'll bring her back soon, but you never know - she can be a little socially awkward.

*Because, I mean, otherwise that's just creepy.
**It's true! Check out Spider-Man: One More Day.
***And let's face it, everybody loves a good Punisher crossover. Especially me.

Special thanks to Wikipedia for providing, well, pretty much every link in this post.