Thursday, December 25, 2008

Have a Goosalicious Christmas!


I hope you all have a wonderful night, with lots of food, lots of presents, and lots of awesomeness. Love you all :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Another random post.

The 100 top grossing films of all time (not adjusted for inflation): bold what you've seen, underline what you own.

[With commentary because...well, when DON'T I have something to say?]

Numbers 26-50:

26.Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End: How such a bad movie as PotC ever got made into a franchise will always remain a mystery to me.
27.Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi Love it. Love it. LOVE IT.
28. Independence Day Hands down my absolute favorite so-bad-it's-AWESOME movie. Must have watched it about 1500 times.
29. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl: Giant turd of a movie.
30. The Sixth Sense: Oh Shyamalamalamalan. You used to be so good. I think it's a universal rule that everyone knows someone who claims they 'saw the twist coming a mile away!'. Uh huh. SURE you did.
31. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: lame book, lame movie. Made no sense whatsoever.
32. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: I could never get through more than half an hour of this extremely long, extremely boring Disney fuckfest. What a horrible adaptation.
33. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back: Absolutely the best of the trilogy. I grew up watching this, over and over and over again, and it's STILL not boring.
34. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Really great visuals. Ultimately, though, it was pretty forgettable.
35. Home Alone : eeeeh.
36. The Matrix Reloaded: I know I watched it, yet I can't remember a single thing about this movie. I'm very happy about that.
37. Meet the Fockers (2004): never, ever, ever. I can't bear to watch such good actors play second fiddles to Ben fucking Stiller.
38. Shrek (2001): it was cute. Unfortunately it spawned a horribly repetitive franchise. Somebody make it stop.
39. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Meh. Lame book, lame movie.
40. The Incredibles (2004): Absolutely loved it. I watch it all the time, and every single time I'm amazed by how effortlessly awesome this movie is.
41. Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas: Never.
42. Jaws: I've never been able to make it all the way through this.
43. I Am Legend: Hated it. It was so long and meandering. Hated the ending.
44. Monsters, Inc.: Absurdly cute movie. Hilarious and sweet.
45. Batman: It's really not a bad movie, just badly miscast and too Burtonian for my taste.
46. Night at the Museum (2006)what the FUCK with Ben Stiller, people?! HOW is this on here?!
47. Men in Black: This was really a lot of fun. The chemistry between Smith and Jones is just fantastic.
48. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: My favorite of the HP movies. Cuaron really did some awesome work with this one.
49. Toy Story 2: Ooh man, so awesome. Pixar can do no wrong.
50. Cars: OK maybe this one wasn't as great as the others. I think it's a little hard for non-americans to really get this one, though it was still cute and gorgeously animated.


More cookies to bake. More art to finish. No time for anything, and yet here I am, wasting time. Hurrah for me.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A random post, a meme, and movies.

Disclaimer: Excuse the bad writing in this post. It's late.
OK, I haven't updated in a while.

For the first time in months, I've been very, very busy. I've been baking cookies all day, plus some painting when I've had the time, reading, going to bed at outrageously early hours (for me), collapsing after some very long days.

It's a good thing, though, because without all this to-do I'd probably be losing what's left of my mind in anxiously waiting for Friday. That's when the Future Mr Fig comes to visit after a painfully long time of being away from each other, and it's all I can think of whenever I've had a moment to spare for thinking.

So, busy Fig is a sane Fig. Sort of. I have cookie orders coming in like mad, which is awesome in that I'm going to make a lot more money than I had anticipated, but disturbing in the amount of work it entails. I made 430 cookies yesterday, and still have 150 more to bake to fill up orders for my mom's office. When I'm done with those I have several more orders from family members to take care of.

On top of that, I have to finish my Christmas gifts--I'm down to one portrait, a painting and and something for my grandmother that I have yet to start making. Of course I could've done all this in the six months or so since I've been unemployed, but hey, since when have I done work when I've had the time? Deadline Figgy, that's me. Poor Future Mr Fig will probably have to sit there and watch me scramble to finish my gifts and bake cookies all the time he's here. Because I'm a big lazy dork like that.

Still have to write a review for my 5th Cannonball book. I'm almost done with the 6th one, but I'm afraid that those will have to wait until I have some time to gather my very scant wits about me.

So for now, with no new reviews or anything interesting to write about except how busy I am with my very boring life, I have a meme. Don't I always.


The 100 top grossing films of all time (not adjusted for inflation): bold what you've seen, underline what you own.

[With commentary because...well, when DON'T I have something to say?

And because this was so damn long, I've broken it up into 4 parts so as to have something useless to post in upcoming days]

1. Titanic: I wonder how much of this was foreign box office? That movie was HUGE even outside the US.
2. The Dark Knight (2008): Mmmm. Christian Bale. I think this might be the only movie from this last decade on my Favorites List.
3. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977): Obviously.
4. Shrek 2 (2004): Too full of itself to be very good. Recycled jokes and bad animation.
5. E. T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982): Aw, tiny Drew Barrymore.
6. Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999): Fuck you, George Lucas. You're dead to me.
7. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006): The franchise that should never, ever have existed. I still have no idea what the hell this movie was about. Hell, does anyone?
8. Spider-Man (2002): I hate Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst. WHY did I watch this? My damned hunger for superhero movies. It made me watch Daredevil, too.
9. Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005): See above.
10.The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003): Whee LOTR. Horrible as adaptations, but freakin' awesome eye candy.
11.Spider-Man 2 (2004): Alfred Molina made me watch this. And he made it almost bearable. Almost.
12.The Passion of the Christ (2004): Fuck Mel Gibson and his torture porn. The very existence of this movie is an insult. Don't even ask me why I watched it.
13.Jurassic Park (1993): I love this movie. So much.
14.The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002): The worst of the three. But I still watch it all the damn time.
15.Finding Nemo (2003): Hands down one of the best animated movies of all time.
16.Spider-Man 3 (2007): Two was more than enough.
17.Forrest Gump (1994): I liked it. Shut up.
18.The Lion King (1994): This one's in my top 10. The animation is gorgeous.
19.Shrek the Third (2007): never fucking ever.
20.Transformers (2007): Cute. Forgettable.
21.Iron Man (2008): It was good. But didn't blow my mind.
22.Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001): Oh they were all so damn cute back then.
23. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008): I commpletely REFUSE to watch this movie. My life will be better if I ignore it ever existed.
24. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001): The best of the three, probably because it's closest to the book. That, and Sean Bean.
25. Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002): See above.

Stupid, horrible Hollywood. I didn't count, but it disgusts me to see how many of these are horrible sequels or remakes. Even more discouraging is to see how few of these films are actually worth watching.


Part 2 coming tomorrow. Now I'm gonna drag my ass off to bed and finish my book.

Oh, speaking of. Did you know that in all of Tegucigalpa there is only ONE single bookstore that sells books in English? And that half of the books in said store are either Stephen King or Nora Roberts novels? Do you know how sad this makes me?

Very sad. That's how sad. Stupid country.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Book #4: Everything's Eventual, by Stephen King

I remember, very clearly, the first Stephen King book I ever read. It was 'The Drawing of the Three', and I read it when I was 13 and only learning English. I stumbled through it, confused by idioms and weird expressions I'd never heard before, but oh man, I loved it. When I was done I started reading every King book my dad had, loving the crazy stories and his easy and exciting way of writing, all the time practicing my English. You could say I owe a lot to Stephen King. Now, we have just about every book he's ever written, and I still love his work with a passion, though now I can be a bit more critical about it. While I concede that a lot of King's work can be cheesy and repetitive, you'll never take away my conviction that no one can tell a story like King does, sucking you in and leaving your brain feeling like it's been sucked dry. It's very unfair (but easy) to dismiss King as nothing but a 'horror writer', yet he is much, much more than that, and "Everything's Eventual" is good proof of this.

The book has been sitting on my shelf, unread, for a very long time. I'm not a very big fan of short stories in general, and aside from 'The Bachman Books' I haven't really enjoyed King's other short story collections. But I finally decided to give it a chance, and I'm glad I did. If you ever need a crash course on everything that makes King who he is, this is the book to read. It's a great, entertaining collection with a few truly great stories, and it makes for a good, guilt-free weekend reading that can be disturbing, touching, amusing and scary by turns.

'Autopsy Room 4', a scary, yet funny story that works as a great example of something that King does brilliantly: he creates a complete, three-dimensional character in a few paragraphs, and he puts them into completely believable, and terrifying situations. 'In the Deathroom' and 'Lunch at the Gotham Café' fall into this category as well, and all three were some of my favorite stories in the book. King uses his talent for quick personality sketches and fast-paced action scenes to write stories that are engaging and fun to read, that leave you wondering how you would react in those situations.

'The Man in the Black Suit', 'The Road Virus Heads North', 'Riding the Bullet'(which I really didn't like) and '1408' take a different turn, dealing with the sort of supernatural horror that King loves writing. Again, he takes ordinary characters and throws them into some seriously scary situations, made even more disturbing for their supernatural aspects. I love horror stories that deal with ordinary days and ordinary aspects of real life taking on supernatural qualities, and King is a genius at this. '1408' was seriously disturbing, and I don't recommend anyone with an overactive imagination (like mine) to read this while alone in your room in the middle of the night. You won't sleep.

At the other end of the spectrum, 'All That You Love Will be Taken Away' and 'Luckey Quarter' are both stories that highlight King's talent for creating completely believable and sympathetic characters, to whom nothing extraordinary happens. They're just regular people living their regular lives, and King shows extraordinary insight into the turmoil that goes on in the human mind while the world passes them by. In both these stories he writes about truly lonely, sad people trapped in their lives, and they are both moving and well written. There's something to be said about a writer who can take you from haunted paintings to a sad man contemplating suicide in a cheap motel. "L.T.'s Theory of Pets" sort of fits into this category; it's not a horror story at all, but it's a touching and hilarious story about regular people, though the ending is a little jarring and strange.

I was extremely happy to find that two of the stories in this book are tied into the 'Dark Tower' series. For those of you who have read the series, 'The Little Sisters of Eluria' is a great little story about Roland Deschain's early travels, and we get to revisit the extraordinary universe and mythology that King created for his epic series. This was easily my favorite story in the book, but I wonder if readers unfamiliar with 'The Dark Tower' will like it as much. This goes for 'Everything's Eventual' as well, which deals with the backstory of another Dark Tower character, though it's not nearly as interesting as story as Roland's. They're both great bits of fantasy writing, but I wonder if readers will get much out of them if they haven't read the 'Dark Tower'. And if they haven't, what the hell are they waiting for?

There are two stories in the collection, 'The Death of Jack Hamilton' and 'That Feeling, You Can Only Say What it is in French' (what a clunky title), that don't really fit anywhere. The first is about a dying mobster, and the second is a very strange story that King in his little introduction tells us is about hell. I found them both a little strange and not very engaging, and I wonder at the decision to include them in the collection.

I suppose, however, that they serve, like the rest of the collection, to show the reader every aspect of King's writing. He can be funny, sad, terrifying, bizarre, shocking, romantic…this is a writer who can write you a story about anything you can think of. He's admittedly written a lot of his books just to get the stories out of his chest, books that he seems to write in the course of a couple of days or only a few weeks. While those stories might not be great literary masterpieces, King knows how to entertain his audience, and what I find even more likeable about him is that he clearly loves to write. King often gets criticized and dismissed for this type of story, but I think you need to look at his full body of work to understand why some of us consider him to be a truly gifted and admirable writer who can't be pinned down into a single category.

'Everything's Eventual' is a good collection, and while not King's best, it's a good tour through his style and imagination. If you haven't read a book by Stephen King, I suggest you pick up one of his classics*, and if you have, this is a nice addition to the collection.

*'The Stand', people. Please, please read 'The Stand'.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Meme Time on Fig Journal:


-Finished NaNo at 50,201 words. No, you can't read it. At least, not yet. Even I can't stand to read some of it. I'll start editing as soon as I get over my own stage fright. It's hard to explain.
-Reading two books at once, so as not to fall too far behind on Cannonball Read. They are 'Everything's Eventual' by Stephen King, which is a collection of 14 short stories, that I can't stand to read at night, and 'Embers' by...some author whose name I can't remember. This one's a lot shorter and very good so far, and I read it to cleanse my brain of horrible Stephen King images.
-Will start baking my world famous cookies soon so I can start selling them
-Have cramps, but feel a lot less grumpy than I did yesterday. Stupid hormones.
-Cousin's birthday today. If I'm lucky there shall be cake.
-Added a header to the blog. You like?

*end of news vomit*

And because I have nothing interesting to post today, here is a fun meme:


-Put iTunes on shuffle, take the first line from the first 20 songs and use them to make a poem.
-Use the first line of the 21st song as the title.
-Use the first four words of the 22nd song as your band name.

You are my Sweetest Downfall
by You Don't Own Me

My darling I am dreaming
In the jungle, the mighty jungle
Kiss me too fiercely
I can't control this flesh and blood

I can't stop loving you
Lying in my bed I hear the clock tickin'
Give me one reason to stay here
I've never, never seen you look so good

Hey, where did we go?
The kids 'round here look just like sticks
I cannot dare to look
I'm down here in the well

Come gather 'round people
I've been loving you too long,
I walked across an empty land
With one light on in one room

What a man, what a man, what a mighty good man
Tommy used to work on the docks
I heard you on the wireless back in '52
Loving you isn't the right thing to do


Hee. That could be something!

The songs:

Title: 'Samson' by Regina Spektor
Band Name: 'You Don't Own Me' by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

1. 'Down by the Old Millstream' by the Mills Brothers
2. 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight' from the Lion King Musical Soundtrack
3. 'As Long as you're Mine' from the Wicked Soundtrack
4. 'Live Like Horses' by Elton John
5. 'I Can't Stop Loving You' by Ray Charles
6. 'Time After Time' by Eva Cassidy
7. 'Give Me One Reason' by Tracy Chapman
8. 'Talk Dirty to Me' by Poison (shutup)
9. 'Brown Eyed Girl' by Van Morrison
10. 'Midnight in Chelsea' by Jon Bon Jovi
11. 'Budapest' by The Reindeer Section
12. 'Up from Under' by the Wallflowers
13. 'The Times are A-Changin'' by Bob Dylan
14. 'I've Been Loving You Too Long' by Otis Redding
15. 'Somewhere Only We Know' by Keane
16. 'Hunter' by Dido
17. 'What a Man' by Salt n Peppa
18. 'Livin' on a Prayer' by Bon Jovi
19. 'Video Killed the Radio Star' by the Buggles
20. 'Go Your Own Way' by Fleetwood Mac

I love music memes. I like how they let you see my very bizarre and mixed taste in music.