Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!!

Well, last year's Christmas post involved a photo of me with Ryan Gosling and the witnessing of my sister's new baby on Christmas eve. That WAS an exciting Christmas. Well, this year, I don't have that kind of thing to report, but I AM with family (my husband's) and enjoying the season.

I pray all my handful of readers are healthy and well and have a joyful holiday! Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

This made my day: A Glee flash mob!!

Found this over at GMMR and couldn't resist reposting it!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

My thoughts on tonight's SYTYCD performance show

This one's for Emily...

First off, I don't like Cat's gold shorts getup, but I love her legs. I want them please. I am also disappointed that Ashley won't be performing tonight and am curious how her partner will get by without her. Choreographer substitutes?

Kathryn & Ryan - Disco by Doriana Sanchez
First off, is Ryan wearing a plastic shirt or does it just look like one? No, it is just sparkly and see-through... Now I should warn you that I am rarely a fan of Doriana's disco routines, but I had high hopes for Ryan in this dance, if his height doesn't make him an awkward partner. I don't know if their chemistry was off or their timing, but I just wasn't feeling it from them. But Adam & Mary loved it, so what do I know? I guess I agree with Nigel more on this one: something was off.

Cha-Cha by Jason Gilkison
I think Kathryn is lucky to be paired with Ryan for this one because Jason said it is really hard! Kathryn looked super sexy and the dance had a really fun, kinda raunchy feel to it. It really sucked me in. I just really enjoyed it! Judges thought it was hot, too!

Molly & Jacob - Viennese Waltz by Jason Gilkison
Last week Molly showed us that working with a more mature dancer matures her own dancing. I think Jacob is such a mature dancer so I was looking forward to seeing their stuff. Too bad they got a Viennese Waltz... But once they started dancing, I was captivated. From the beginning there was a lot of emotion in their performance, which really helps me to ignore the fact that usually I find the Viennese Waltz kinda boring. This wasn't boring. I thought Molly was great, but my heart belongs to Jacob. Vive le Jacob! The judges adored it, too.

Broadway by Joey Dowling
There is a cute scheming story behind this dance. I was excited from the video beforehand to see these two in this dance. Major plus from the very beginning for dancing to Annie! And of course Easy Street (this one includes Kristin Chenoweth singing) is perfect for their con-artist ways. Loved it once they did the wardrobe change and wer suddenly living it up on Easy Street. Fun dance. Jacob was amazing as usual (are you tired of me going on about him yet?).

Ellenore & Legacy - Contemporary by Travis Wall
This dance has a Mr. & Mrs. Smith story behind it. I am usually a fan of Travis's choreo so I was excited for this one. Did I miss the significance of the towel somewhere? It was well-danced and had some really great tricks (Legacy has skillz, yes, with a "z"), but it felt kind of cold to me. Maybe it was meant to? I think maybe it was just meant to feel cold. I don't think I have ever NOT liked a Travis routine. Sounds like the judges loved it!

Hip Hop by Tabitha & Napoleon
We were warned that it was strange. And it was strange. But I like strange! This isn't Legacy's kind of hip hop so I think they were both doing something out of their own style here. They added in a few tricks for Legacy to do. It was OK. It wasn't amazing, but it was fun. The judges didn't love it.

Russell - Hip Hop by Shane Sparks
Good to see Shane and have him back. It was a fun down-n-dirty hip hop routine and I wish we could have seen Ashleigh perform this one with Russell. But Russell performed the heck out of it nonetheless. It was pretty good, but missing something since I am not familiar with his partner (Rachel is Shane's assistant). The judges praised his hard work and technical skills.

Bollywood by Nakul Dev Mahajan
I'm not only disappointed for myself that we don't get to see Ashleigh perform this, but for Ashleigh herself. She deserves to have danced these dances! But Russell looked so so good and was lucky to be stuck with such an experienced partner. They looked great! I bet Russell never imagined himself dancing Bollywood!

Ashleigh - She didn't get to dance it since she is hurt.
Jacob - Could not stop staring at the legs. His solos are always beautiful.
Molly - Her solos are cute but never blow me away. She just often feels REALLY young to me, I guess. This solo was good, but I don't have a whole lot more to say about it.
Legacy - I wasn't sure what was going on with the phone he was holding. His tricks are always great. But maybe I wasn't paying attention or something because it didn't impress me as much as it has in the past.
Ellenore - I love her solos. She is so quirky but so clearly talented. Tonight's was no different.
Russell - AKA santa Claus (but I don't think Santa has those moves). The solo wasn't amazing because his shoe fell off, which he worked into the routine, but he didn't do as many tricks as usual because of it. He's good on the spot, though!
Kathryn - Her solo was really good tonight. Evocative. I think she is a really talented dancer. Why isn't she more popular? Personality?
Ryan - Let's face it. Ballroom dancers are at a disadvantage in their solos. And they always look the same. The onely one that sticks out in my mind is Pasha's cape dance. So Ryan's was fine but not memorable.

Tapeworthy has all the videos up if you missed the show!

I really can NOT say who I think will go home or who SHOULD go home. Really tough call. Makes for a good show, though!

They guilted me into voting so I voted for Jakob a few times. ;)

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Quick thoughts on SYTYCD last night

Noelle & Russell - I was distracted by the props. The dancing was fine, but I was too busy staring at the racquets.

Ashley & Jakob - I think Jakob dances beautifully and this is a great pairing. But I am OK with the kissing NOT happening again. I wonder who hated the kissing more: Jakob or Ashley. lol Anyway, these two will make it far together.

Bianca & Victor - The song and concept were so high energy but the performance fell flat. Victor was much better than Bianca, in my opinion.

Molly & Nathan - Not as many of the traditional Bollywood moves as we have seen in teh past, but I thought they both looked great. Nathan IS pretty. And Molly just looks so young!

Channing & Phillip - I just didn't care about this one. And it sounds like the judges weren't loving it either.

Kevin & Karen - It was raunchtastic. I kind of like watching Kevin in his element.

Catherine & Legacy - I liked this dance. Legacy is growing on me. I wasn't crazy about him at first (for his odd personality at his audition).

Pauline & Peter - Peter really surprised me in this. I was thoroughly entertained. Wade's routines always have a similar feel to them, but I don't mind. I usually like his dances.

Ellenore & Ryan - I was distracted by her dress being caught on her heel half the time, but she managed it.I thought they did great, but the music was not quite my favorite for the choreography.

Victor looked kinda hot in his solo. Gotta say. And I was OK with who went home because I think the tappers were a little boring on the show. But I felt sad for Phillip about his dad. The end!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Guh-linda and Just Jack on stage.

I guess I tend to go on and on about Kristin Chenoweth, pretty much all the time. What can I say? But I saw this news today and was very excited! Kristin Chonoweth and Sean Hayes will star in the Broadway revival of Promises, Promises. Combine Cheno with Sean Hayes (aka Jack McFarland from Will & Grace). I haven't seen Hayes live (or Kristin for that matter), but this one sounds fun!

The show features a book by Neil Simon, lyrics by Hal David, and music by Burt Bacharach. Based on the 1960 film, The Apartment, the musical centers on Chuck Baxter (Hayes), a bachelor who lends his apartment out to the executives at the company he works for, to use for their extramarital affairs. Things become slightly complicated when Fran Kubelik (Chenoweth), the object of Chuck's affection, becomes the mistress of one of his executives.

Sounds like it could be lots of laughs, kind of like Boeing Boeing.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Double yay! Joss Whedon to direct a Glee episode

Entertainment Weekly reports that Joss Whedon will direct an upcoming episode of Glee. Yippee!!

This has me so excited!

Jonathan Groff, Lea Michele's co-star in Spring Awakening is going to be appearing on Glee! He will be the head of the competition, Vocal Adrenaline, and be a potential love interest for Rachel, Lea's character! I heart Jonathan. The purity and innocence of his voice kills me.

Here is "Those You've Known" from Spring Awakening, featuring Jonathan, Lea, and John Gallagher, Jr. Groff is the one that opens the song. So pretty (and SO sad if you've seen the show...)

Thursday, October 08, 2009


So I finally watched Watchmen. Emily had suggested that I keep my expectations low if I wanted to enjoy it. I am glad I decided to take her advice. I was entertained but it was beyond ridiculous on so many levels. Of course, those are not my type of movies. Those campy comic-book-y film adaptations of graphic novels.

The cast of this one was appealing to me. I loved Matthew Goode in Brideshead Revisited. But in Watchmen his accent was sketchy, sounding different in every scene. His voice is too soft and mild for an American accent. I prefer his British one. Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Magician will make you forget all about the sweet doomed Denny Duquette. He is a jerk and sleaze, and while he eventually learns an important "lesson" you don't find much sympathy for him. Patrick Wilson did the same thing to me in this one that he did in Little Children. He made me watch him having awkward sex. He doesn't hold back, does he?

And do we need to discuss the naked man? I guess not, but I will say this: My husband is an animator. We know what goes into animating even a short little shot. Someone sat and stared at the fake "privates" for MONTHS on end. And then do you tell people that you worked on the animated penis? Or do you just pretend you didn't? Do you put it on your demo reel when trying to get new work? We had a long convo about it. :)

All in all, I wasn't bored watching Watchmen. But I wouldn't watch it again and I probably wouldnt' recommend it to anyone...

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Book: Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

Today, I finally finished Dragonfly in Amber, the second book in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon (my thoughts on Outlander here). It took me ages because I checked it out from the library and then ran out of time, and had to turn it back in. Then I had to put another hold on it and wait another week for it to come back to me. Compared to Outlander, this one was a little slow going, especially the political parts in the first half. But once it got going I was really into it.

We left off at the end of Outlander (SPOILER ALERT) with Jamie & Claire headed to France. So I was surprised when Dragonfly in Amber started with Claire 20 years older, back in her original time (20th century) with a red-headed daughter. Well, that was tragic, but we got several hundred pages of flashback of what happened between their arrival in France in the 1740s and how she ended up heading back to the future.

I know it sounds confusing but it was actually quite interesting. And knowing she had left the 18th century but not knowing why, the reader is compelled through some of the slower parts of the story to get to the part where we find out! And as I finished the book, I wanted to pick up the next one.

Now I am starting The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. After that I am reading the first book in The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. Once I finish both of those, I will be digging into Voyager, the third book in Gabaldon's series.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Kelly Clarkson covers Alanis Morrissette and Kings of Leon

I saw this video the other day but forgot I wanted to post it. I adore everything about Kelly Clarkson. Saw her in concert during her Breakaway tour. So good live. Here she covers Alanis Morrissette's 'That I Would Be Good' mashed up with Kings of Leon's 'Use Somebody'. I am a big KoL fan but that is one of my all-time fave Alanis songs. Ever. So good. So cheers to Kelly for doing this (and killing it. in a good way).

Poster: Lost - The Final Season

This poster makes me both sad and excited all at once. Man, I love this show. Only about 3 1/2 months left! If you look closely, all of the original losties are there, including the ones who have died... I can't wait for January. Or is it February?


Saturday, October 03, 2009

Silversun Pickups - Swoon

Of late I am obsessed with Silversun Pickups' latest album Swoon. I heard "Panic Switch" on the radio and enjoyed it. So I thought I would give the album a listen. I have their previous album Carnavas, but I find that Swoon was easier for me to get into. Mainly, I really like to turn it up in the car when I am driving.

My favorite song (right now) on the album is 'The Royal We'

I'd love to see them live. From hearing them performing live on video, I can tell they would be great in person. Here is a video of them during their MTV Unplugged performances. This song is 'Lazy Eye' from Carnavas.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Glee: Something to sing about

[OK, with my title I am automatically reminiscing to "Once More, With Feeling" the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical, in which Buffy performs a number near the end called "Give Me Something to Sing About." It is actually quite sad. So now that I am done with that digression...]

Last night I watched Glee. My husband had nothing to do so he watched it with me for the first time. He makes fun of me for liking this show all the time. But while he didn't admit it, I know he liked it as I caught him laughing many times.

Anywho, the big deal about last night's show was that it had Tony-winning and, more recently, Emmy-winning actress/singer/all-around-amazing-gal Kristin Chenoweth guest starring as a washed up has been who shoulda made it big. Instead she was a flop and Will brings her back to help their glee club (now that Rachel has left to be in Cabaret).

Poor Rachel was used and abused by Finn, who had ulterior motives. It was kind of sad. You know he likes her but he obviously knew what he was doing. But what do you do when you have a knocked-up girlfriend?

The episode was great, very entertaining. If I could just keep a running tab of the great one-liners in this show... But I digress (again!). The focus of the show for me is the music. And how can I not post the duet between April (Cheno's character) and Will Shuester? This isn't the video. It is just audio but includes the whole song (it was cut short on the episode) which has Will singing a verse.

You can also listen to the full version of the foot-stomping "Somebody to Love."

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hugh & Daniel premiere "A Steady Rain"

These boys both sure know how to work a suit. OK, I could do without the mustache on Daniel Craig, but he and Hugh Jackman look great, as usual. These pics are from opening night of their Broadway play "A Steady Rain." I am not really familiar with the play at all but it seems to be already raking in the dough, surely due to the casting of these two men.

I am most amused by the way they responded (in character, no less) to a gentleman (or not) who repeatedly allows his phone to ring during the play. Watch here:

If you go to the theatre, TURN OFF YOUR PHONE! If you don't know how to, why do you own a phone? But fine, just leave it in the car or at home or something.

So excited to see Parade in November!

So I am going to see Parade in Los Angeles in November with Vance at Tapeworthy! It is the Donmar Warehouse production and will be put on at the Mark Taper Forum, presented by Center Theatre Group. It stars T.R. Knight (George O'Malley from Grey's Anatomy, RIP).

Anyway, Vance just sent me this link with pics from the production, which started previews last week. Now I can't wait til November 14! I can't really tell you what it is about because I have been avoiding reading any synopses.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What I find myself watching this fall (so far)

Thought I would give you a run-down of the TV that currently has me captivated! Here it is by day:

How I Met Your Mother - You could say I watch HIMYM for Neil Patrick Harris. I like Marshall and Lily, and occasionally like Ted and Robin, but everyone knows that Barney makes this show (including the rest of the cast). But the whole cast meshes well together and makes me laugh.

House - You could say I am late to the party on House. I happened on Season Two when I was in India, and desperate for good TV, watched it every day. Then my sister forced me to watch the end of last season and now I am hooked. Especially after that devastating season finale! So I am two eps and enjoying the ride so far. Still DVRing old eps that rerun and watching those, too!

So You Think You Can Dance - This last season I just wasn't into SYTYCD as I have been before. But that doesn't mean I am not willing to stick with it for its first appearance on the fall schedule. I never really LOVE the show till the competition starts, so here's hoping this season is a good one! Also, I signed up today for tickets to a taping, so I am expecting to get to go some time this season!

So You Think You Can Dance

Glee - Definitely may very favorite new show this season. I am completely obsessed with it. I watch every episode at least twice and have seen the pilot maybe five or six times. I am a choir nerd and this show was MADE for me. I have all the music on my iTunes and bug my husband with it on a near-constant basis. If you aren't watching, you are missing great music, witty writing, and the amazingly hilarious Jane Lynch as Sue Sylvester. Set your Tivos!

Modern Family
- I wasn't planning to watch this but Ducky kept going on and about it so I added to my Tivo list. It was laugh out loud funny. Even my husband liked it, and he is more picky than me. I love family dysfunction!

Vampire Diaries - Come on. It's about vampires. Not that that is enough because I never really got into True Blood. Or Moonlight. But I do love vamps and am always willing to at least give them a try. So far VD hasn't blown me away, but it also hasn't turned me off. I like the three main actors. I did NOT like Paul Wesley on Everwood and The OC, but I don't even think of those old characters when I am watching Stefan. And he is hot... Speaking of hot, so is Ian Somerhalder who plays Stefan's brother Damon (RIP Boone...). This show is definitely not for everyone, but I can see why The CW decided to cash in on the success of Twilight, and it seems to be paying off.

The Office - The Office isn't quite as good as it used to be, but that doesn't mean it has taken a nose-dive (see Grey's Anatomy), and I still find it humorous enough to watch. Michael is still ridiculous and makes me cringe with being uncomfortable, but the writers and actors have managed to keep us interested after they got their "will they/won't they" couple together a couple of seasons ago.

Community - I want to like this show more than I do. That is why I am sticking it out and hoping it gets its legs a little. I love Joel McHale on The Soup (and find him oddly attractive; does anyone else have this issue?). My biggest problem is that I just don't find his character Jeff likable. I know he isn't SUPPOSED to be liked, but they need to give him a likable quality or else we can't care about him. I am sure the whole point of the show is that he will nice-en up a little. We'll see if I make it that far.

Dollhouse - I watched Season One of Dollhouse over the course of the last couple of weeks, finishing just in time to see the Season Two premiere last Friday. You can see my thoughts on it here!

Monday, September 28, 2009

How I Met Your Mother - Season 4 gag reel

You know what stinks? When you go to watch a gag reel for a really great show or movie, expecting lots of laughs, and getting very few. Well, fret not, because the cast of How I Met Your Mother certainly delivers in this Season 4 gag reel. I love these guys!

My favorite part: When NPH tells Jason Segal that what they are doing could be on the cover of TV Guide, and then Jason Segal says something like "Yeah, but it would be just you."

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Muse: The Resistance

I have posted about Muse before. They are one of my all-time favorite bands. I saw them on the cover of some magazine recently and it said they were the biggest band America had never heard of. They are huge EVERYWHERE else but here. But they certainly do have an American fan-base. Helps that they made an appearance on the Twilight soundtrack (as well as the upcoming New Moon soundtrack). And, at least in my town, they are getting some good air play with songs from their latest album, The Resistance.

I was waiting anxiously for this album to come out. Their last album Black Holes and Revelations (the tour for which I attended), was beyond amazing. In fact, they have yet to put out an album I don't like. So I purchased The Resistance the very morning it came out via Amazon's MP3 Downloader (cheaper than iTunes!). And now here is my opinion of some of the songs on the album, as well as youtube videos of each song.

1) Uprising

Uprising was the band's first single and it has quickly gotten a lot of radio play. It has a classic Muse sound and a very heavy beat that makes you want to stomp your feet. They performed this on the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, their first live US televised performance.

2) Resistance

3) Undisclosed Desires

Since I am still getting used to this album, when this song comes up on my iTunes I always think it is Britney Spears for a sec. Yeah, that is really sad, but once the song starts, I think this song is really radio friendly and I always find myself singing along.

4) United States of Eurasia [+Collateral Damage]

For some reason, the opening chords of this song remind me of John Lennon's "Imagine" (don't know why because they really don't sound alike at all...) but I am quickly reminded it is not. In fact it goes very quickly into a Queen almost shout that drowns that out. With this song, Muse continues to make political and social commentaries via their music.

5) Guiding Light

Really the only slow song on the album. I can't resist singing along on this one but I don't know the words so I just sing the wrong ones (which is normal for me anyway).

6) Unnatural Selection

7) MK Ultra

8) I Belong To You [+Mon Coeur S'Ouvre A Ta Voix]

This song will appear on The Twilight Saga: New Moon soundtrack. Well, some form of it because they have been asked to re-record it as a soundtrack exclusive track. I love the almost campy sound of this song. And, as I have said before, Matt Bellamy can sing to me in French any time he wants.

9) Exogenesis: Symphony Part 1 (Overture)

10) Exogenesis: Symphony Part 2 (Cross-pollination)

11) Exogenesis: Symphony Part 3 (Redemption)

If a major world-dominating rock band has the balls to put a symphony on their album (and three of the 11 songs, no less), then they get credit from me. On top of the fact that I love this side of the band and the fact a song can seamlessly go from heavy rock to a solo piano performance within seconds. See Butterflies and Hurricanes as an example.

Overall, I really like The Resistance. In my opinion, their sound is a little more mainstream on most of the songs, possibly an attempt to get more American air play. Seems to be working so far. I would have liked a couple more songs on the album, but I will live. So now maybe you have given the songs a listen, or not, but if you are even a little bit a fan of Muse, get this album.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Dollhouse Season Two Premiere: "Vows"- My thoughts

Let's talk about last night's episode of Dollhouse. For a few reasons.

1) First, off, I worked on this episode. I was an extra during all the wedding stuff. I saw myself twice, which is always fun. And it was an easy and relaxing shoot (only about 6 hours). Also, the set was GORGEOUS. It was someone's real house. But more importantly, that means I saw Jamie Bamber in person.

2) So that brings me to my second reason for discussion. Jamie Bamber. And I touched him. I am not gonna lie. I might have stood in his way so he had to brush past me. OK, enough of that. I want to talk about Jamie in the episode. He finally got to use his British accent! He wasn't Lee Adama anymore. Also, he got to play the bad guy and I liked seeing a different side of him.

3) Tahmoh Penikett is even more likable as Paul Ballard than he was as family man Helo on BSG. And he is DARN hot. In this episode, he reunited with former co-star Jamie Bamber,and they got to beat the crap out of each other. Which was great. I love the dynamic of him with Caroline/Echo and am very happy to see him as her handler.

4) Joss. Huge Joss Whedon fan here. I fangirled over Joss as much as I did over Jamie that day. (Not so much over Eliza) But critics can't claim that Joss shied away from risky storylines, especially if they have seen "Epitaph One" which was more confusing than anything else, but finally made me feel like I was watching a show worth investing in. I was happy with the direction they took with "Vows" and look forward to where the story is going.

5) Alexis Denisof. Buffy and Angel Alum, Alexis (Wesley) appeared as a politician looking to take down the dollhouse. But more importantly, that means we are THIS much closer to a Fred/Wesley reunion. Fingers crossed.

And since the episode has aired, I think I can post this pic. A friend on the set took this snap. I was standing right there! So close to the action. haha

Review: August: Osage County

Thursday night I went to see August: Osage County at the Ahmanson in Los Angeles. I've been interested in seeing it since it got heaps of praise and tons of awards while it was on Broadway. Even my husband had heard of it, which is saying a lot.

I purchased my tickets through Center Theatre Group's Hot Tix program, so I got them for cheap ($20) but had a limited view. It didn't limit my enjoyment of the show, especially since I was in the fourth row.

I was vaguely familiar with the story line. A dysfunctional family in the midwest, no, make that the Plains. Well, the Weston family gives new meaning to the term "dysfunctional". Each of the members of this family is dealing with something different: betrayal, guilt, self-loathing, settling, self-discovery. While the show is really funny, it is overall a very dark humor and the audience finds themselves laughing at this family's major issues. It's only funny because they aren't real. The end of the play left me feeling completely depressed! So I think they did what they set out to do.

As for cast stand-outs, there was Estelle Parsons, who reprises her role as Violet Weston. That lady is nuts and Estelle played the part amazingly. I also was quite impressed with Shannon Cochran who played Weston daughter Barbara Fordham. Barbara may be the meatiest role in the whole play, and I thought she played the heck out of the role.

This show was almost 3 1/2 hours long with two intermissions, so plan on being in the theater for a good long while, but it is definitely worth it, and the time goes by quickly. I highly recommend August: Osage County!

Here is a list of things that can really ruin a theatre experience, all learned from that night's show!
1) The person directly behind you had just eaten a meal of sauteed onions.
2) When said onion-breathed person uses BOTH intermissions to imbibe copious amounts of foul-smelling liquor (the onion/liquor combo was more than I could take).
3) When the person next to you does a "hey everyone, look at me!" guffaw during the non-funny and very quite parts of the play

Monday, August 31, 2009

Book Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

A couple of months ago, I was getting a mani/pedi back in Texas and my nail lady (who is also a close family friend) insisted I take her copy of Outlander back to California with me to read. I constantly have a stack of books to read and it was kind of low on the list. But I decided I needed to read it so that I could give back to her on my next trip back to see my fam.

The basic story is that Claire is an English WWII nurse reunited post-war with her husband after six years apart. They visit Scotland on a trip together, where, after visiting an odd circle of stones connected with the Druids, she finds herself in the 18th century Scottish highlands. I don't want to give too much away, but some interesting things take place.

It sounds pretty cheesy, I know. But the writing really is not very cheesy. While this could have easily gone the "romance novel" route, it didn't. It stayed steeped in the history of the time and I was sucked right in. Granted, the romance aspect is there, and is important to the story, but I never felt at any point that if I looked on the front cover of the book, I might find a Fabio-look-a-like staring back at me. At first, I didn't realize it, but the book was almost 900 pages long. So it too me over a week to finish, even though I got sucked in rather quickly.

As my nail lady said, "It has something for everyone. It has action. It has history. It has romance. It has time-travel."

The good news/bad news is that there are like 6 books in this series (so far, and one more about to be released) and I am sucked in. So I am already about 1/3/ of the way through the second book Dragonfly in Amber.

Anyone else read this one?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Book review: Dexter by Design by Jeff Lindsay

When I was in London last spring, I picked up Dexter by Design by Jeff Lindsay. The book releases in the US next month, so I felt all kinds of special for reading it before the rest of the country.

Dexter by Design is the fourth book in the Dexter series by Lindsay. It picks up during Dexter & Rita's honeymoon in Paris. I'll be honest. I didn't love Dexter inthe Dark (the third book in the series). But thank goodness, the Dark Passenger has broken his silence and Dex is anxious to make another kill. The opportunity presents itself quickly after his sister Deb is stabbed by a suspect. So Dexter takes hasty action and deals with the problem. Only to discover he killed the wrong guy. An innocent guy.

The story then follows Dexter as he works to deal with a certain amount of guilt (although, believing he is incapable of guilt, he can't quite admit that), as well as finding the real killer, hoping that Deb wakes from her stab-induced coma, being found out, and being a newlywed. He has lots of balls in the air.

On top of all that, if you ever hoped to envision Dexter as a green leisure suit-wearing missionary, you will get your wish.

I really enjoyed this installment in the series and I think, after Darkly Dreaming Dexter (book 1) this is my favorite. Emily and I have discussed certain plot holes that we have decided to ignore as the book itself is quite enjoyable. If you have read the previous books, check this one out, too!

Pre-order the book here!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Adam Lambert takes on Muse on GMA

Ever since Adam Lambert made the top 20 on American Idol and started showing off his range, I was wondering when he would sing a Muse song. English band Muse is one of my all-time favorites and singer Matthew Bellamy has an uncharacteristically high voice and amazing control. They put on a spectacular concert and I have posted about them on here before. So with Adam's also-amazing range and control, why didn't he sing any of their music on Idol? Well, they are still trying to get control of mainstream American music (although I know tons of fans, even pre-dating their appearance on the Twilight soundtrack). So he probably didn't choose it because it isn't as widely known.

Adam finally decided to perform a Muse song, Starlight, on Good Morning America today, where winners Kris Allen and David Cook also performed (see their performances here).

So here is the video of Adam performing Starlight.

Here's the thing. I don't like it. For one, Adam's voice sounds off, like he is tired or sick. Second, Bellamy and Lambert are both loud-mouthed energetic voices and this acoustic version of this song just doesn't bring any of that.

Would have loved to see him perform Supermassive Black Hole or Exo-politics in full-on rock mode. Here's hoping we'll see something like that from him eventually.

To be fair, he did kind of hijack their version of Feeling Good, my fave version of that song.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Twilight Experience - July 23, 2009 San Diego, CA

It isn't a secret I am quite the Twilight fan. I have written about the books (Twilight and Breaking Dawn), the movies (Twilight and New Moon trailer), and been to Twilight-related events and posted about them all. And my handful of regular readers probably already know this, but I write for a Twilight fan blog in my spare time (OK, I have a lot of spare time these days). Anyway, yesterday I attended a screening of the movie where many members of the cast appeared and got the fans a-screaming. If you won't tease me TOO much about how I turned into a 15 year old girl in the process. You can read my full account, along with pictures and video, here.

And just check out the blog, Team-Twilight in general because it is a pretty good one, if I do say so myself. Also, it's on Twitter at @teamtwilighters.

Always the consummate professional:

Seriously people?

No. Just no.

If you love the movie, this will ruin it. If you hate the movie, this is just a perpetuation of the misery.

I love the movie and don't even want to think about this. Gag.

Thanks to Jen who pointed this out the other day :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Just something better to look at

This post is for Emily. She is tired of pulling up my blog and seeing those terrible pics of Christian Bale on the set of his latest movie. And since I haven't managed to finish the several posts I am working on because I was so busy watching SYTYCD, here is a picture to take your mind off the last one.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Christian Bale NOT looking so good...

Christian Bale continues his noble efforts to make me think he is gross. And this takes a lot of effort. First, there was that rant last year. Which I really tried to overlook. I did. I am still trying. But then with the release of Public Enemies, he has been interviewed talking about Johnny Depp. Basically, he is such a method actor that he stays in character for months during filming, never interacting with Depp on set. How can anyone resist Johnny Depp? But then, to really take it over the top, he looks like this on the set of his new film The Fighter. Why, Christian, why? I know you don't want to be a heartthrob, but you don't have to make it so hard for those of us who still love you these days.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Book: A Little Bit Wicked by Kristin Chenoweth

I just finished reading A Little Bit Wicked: Life, Love & Faith in Stages, an autobiography by the funny and uber-talented Kristin Chenoweth. I already loved Kristen and reading her book jut made me love her even more (who knew that was possible?).

The book covers her life up until this point, including her adoption, how she came to be interested in music and acting, climbing the ladder of success, her relationships, her faith, and her failures. She is completely unapologetic for who she is and what she thinks and believes. I have a new-found respect for her.

But really this book is just a really funny read. Kristin unsurprisingly (and with the help of writer Joni Rodgers) is quite comedic. I laughed out loud while reading. I don't usually read a lot of biographies, but I found this held my attention. She wrote it during the run of Pushing Daisies and before it was cancelled (sniff...), but there really is something interesting to hearing about her personal experiences on stuff like Pushing Daisies, Wicked, and films.

I am not sure how much of my enjoyment of the book was because I relate to her about many things, especially her faith. And my guess is someone who doesn't share her beliefs may not enjoy all the details she discusses about religion and Christianity. But like I said, completely unapologetic for it, and that is a rarity in Hollywood and on Broadway.

If this sounds like something you MIGHT enjoy, then definitely pick it up and give it a try.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

SYTYCD - Top 12 Performances

Tonight the couples all dance twice. I wonder if next week they will split up from their current partners and dance with other dancers. Pretty sure that will happen soon. In the meantime, 12 dances means lots of typing to do. Let's get started. Tonight's third judge is Tyce Diorio.

Melissa & Ade
Dance 1: Disco by Doriana Sanchez
Doriana's routines are never my fave, so I was immediately concerned. However, Janette & Brandon made it through unscathed a few weeks ago. Ade's outfit was WAY too shiney. Technically, I think it was executed adequately but not amazingly and I just wasn't blown away. At all. But I blame the choreo and the dance style to a high degree. Props to Melissa for that split over Ade's head. She fell at the end but nothing too bad. Didn't really affect my opinion of the dance. However, the judges loved it.

Dance 2: Waltz by Ron Montez
This dance was pretty and flowy. I never know what to say about the waltz. I kind of rely on the judges' comments because I always feel lost. This is one of my favorite pairings and I feel sad to see them split next week. Looks like the judges liked it fine but weren't giving a standing ovation or anything...

Kayla & Kupono
Dance 1: Contemporary by Mia Michaels
Mia's choreography was about addiction, where Kupono is the thing that Kayla is addicted to. And Kupono had a personal connection with the theme. I really liked it. A lot. And I think you could really tell during the dance that they were both really emotionally invested in the dance. The "addiction" idea REALLY came through as you could see Kayla trying to get away and Kupono's control over everything she did. It was so sad, but I loved it. Kupono is finally living up to still being here. For several weeks, I thought he wasn't good enough, but this (along with last week's vamp-dance) is proving me wrong, yet again. I will agree with Nigel that I felt like Kayla's face was hidden by her hair. Would have like to see the emotion on her face that was peeking out here and there.

Dance 2: Broadway by Joey Dowling
Joey's routine is a love-at-first-sight story. The idea was cute and i really liked the choreography. They were not always together but for the most part I really enjoyed it. I am not sure that I thought the energy of the dance was matched with the song from West Side Story. The judges had mixed opinions. Regardless, this pair should NOT end up in the bottom 3.

Caitlin & Jason
Dance 1: Foxtrot by Tony Meredith & Melanie Lapatin
I liked the jazzy style the choreographers gave the dance. And I thought Jason was more enjoyable to watch. He had a little swagger to his steps. But I was overall just a bit bored with the dance. Not so much their fault, but how do you follow a Mia contemporary routine with a foxtrot and expect high marks. The judges weren't jumping out of their seats for the dance but were satisfied with the performance.

Dance 2: Lyrical Jazz by Mandy Moore
I say it every time. I love Mandy Moore and so I put a lot of pressure and expectation into her dances. Was it me or was Caitlin smiling a little too much for this dance? Jason looked amazing. I have really grown to like him. I felt like he out-shined Caitlin, but overall I enjoyed the dance and thought it was pretty to watch. It was just missing something, I think. And the judges felt similarly.

Jeanine & Phillip
Dance 1: Russion Folk Dance by Youri Nelzine & Lilia Babenko
Oh no, when they said this duo would be dancing this style, I had a bad feeling. Phillip has an AMAZING solo but is just not that great at the other styles. I was right to be concerned. It was very awkward. Jeanine looked great. But poor Phillip just doesn't have the chops. Cheers to the show for adding a new dance style. All that said, I am sure it was a very exhausting dance and I give them credit for getting through it. I also credit the choreographers for adding in steps and designing the dance to allow Phillip to do some hip-hop-looking moves. The judges didn't like it but I think they just didn't like the new dance style and there wasn't much else to say.

Dance 2: Jive by Tony Meredith & Melanie Lapitan
Phillip is a sailor who has been out to see and is home to see his love. You know what? This was better than I expected. I just hae low expectations for Phillip and I thought he did a pretty good job on the steps. Both had great energy and Jeanine looked great. The judges loved it.

Randi & Evan
Dance 1: Hip Hop by Tabitha & Napoleon
This detailed dance is a story about a couple expecting a baby. Randi was better at the hard hip hop moves than Evan. Neither is a hip hop dancer and you can tell. It wasn't amazing dancing. But the story was fun and I just love these two anyway. I think they are popular with fans, too, so I am guessing they won't have any trouble making it through even thought it wasn't their best performance. The judges liked it.

Dance 2: Samba by Pasha Kovalev & Anya Garnis
YEA!!! Pasha!!! Oh how I love him. I like Anya, too, but I LOVE Pasha. I really wanted them to pull this off well. And let's face it: If Pasha and Anya were performing this routine, it would have been super hot. So much of this style is attitude, and I am not sure that these two have the attitude it requires. The tricks were fun. The moves were fine. But the sex appeal wasn't there. Maybe it was a lack of confidence. So it wasn't my favorite of their dances. The judges felt it was not quite there. Even though I didn't feel this was their night, I don't really expect them to be in the bottom 3.

Janette & Brandon
Dance 1: Argentine Tango by Leonard Barrionuevo & Miriam Larici
I have enjoyed the Argentine Tango in the past (remember Ivan & Allison's -- so good). Janette looked great, danced amazingly, and exuded the sex that this dance requires. And Brandon was a good partner. but I wasn't crazy about how stiff he seemed. And his steps didn't seem perfect for me. However, all three judges gave them a standing ovation and Mary did plenty of screaming. I mean, good grief they loved it! It was good, but just didn't blow me away like that.

Dance 2: Jazz by Wade Robson
Lots of stories behind the dances tonight. This one is about a couple of thieves. Wade's routines are hit-or-miss for me. Wade really loves Roisin Murphy songs on this show ("Rama-Lama" and "Night of the Dancing Flame" were both used in season past). I really loved this dance. It was fun. Very vaudeville and cartoony. Well-executed but more just well choreographed.

Cat announced that the duos will break up after tonight, so I was right! But I am curious to see how the dancers will fare with other partners.

Fave Pairing of the night: Brandon & Janette
Fave Dance of the night: Tied between Kayla & Kupono Contemporary and Jeanine & Brandon Jazz
My guess for Bottom Three: Melissa & Ade, Caitlin & Jason, Randi & Evan
Going home (sniff sniff): Caitlin and Ade? I just don't like to see them go home.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

SYTYCD - Top 14 Perform

Tonight is the night, people. The night that this season is finally going to suck me in and get good. I have been waiting all season for it to happen. I am now willing it to happen. Now let's get to it!

Tonight on the panel with Nigel and Mary is the one and only Mia Michaels. This is good because her opinion is actually interesting (unlike Toni Basil last week...), but bad because that means she isn't choreographing any dances this week. Mia fesses up that Brandon has officially changed her opinion of him, but I can't help but feel like she has to say that so it looks like she is giving an unbiased opinion... Now for the dancing.

Janette & Brandon - Cha-cha by Jean-Marc & France Genereaux
I enjoyed their hip hop last week. Let's see how they pull off the sassy and sexy cha-cha. Before I get started with the dancing, let's discuss Janette's hair. Sean says it looks like Luke Skywalker from the first Star Wars movie. I forgive her because the hair looked good during the dance. And she looked great! So good I didn't even notice Brandon but I guess that means he didn't screw that up. I ignored the fact they they must really have to work on chemistry. Just guessing it doesn't come easy for them. Just sayin'. I thought this was great! Smokin' hot, I say...

Kayla & Kupono - Contemporary with Sonya Tayeh
This is their second week dancing together. Their waltz got them through last week but I don't know if Kapono is strong enough to stay around for long. Fingers crossed it works. If anyone can pull off a "vampire" theme (the most popular thing around right now), Sonya can do it. And she used a song from the Twilight soundtrack. A certain group of tweens will be voting no matter how good the dancing is. But I won't worry too much because I actually enjoyed the dance. The choreo was really interesting, with jerky ballet-looking moves and a bunch of freaking-out-turned-dance-moves. I think Kapono proved me wrong about being strong enough to stay. Good for him.

Randi & Evan - Broadway by Joey Dowling
I liked this routine because it felt different from most Broadway routines we see on the show. It was quirky and fun. Not my fave of the night but I thought they did a pretty good job. The judges were disappointed with Evan, again. This has happened before, but I think they are not in danger of going home.

Jason & Caitlin - Pop Jazz by Brian Friedman
Let's see if B-Free's choreography will be better this week. And his dance is about an alien procreating with an earthling. Yikes. But OK. This dance had a role reersal where the woman really leads the dance. I was distracted by Kaitlin's costume but really enjoyed Jason during the performance. Not sure how I am feeling about this. I don't think the judges like the choreo as much as they have to say they like it. I think that was the problem more than the actual performers.

Jeanine & Phillip - Hip Hop by Napoleon & Tabitha
N&T decided to attach the dancers with a chain. It is supposed to be a metaphor for their partnership on the show. Just looks hard! Phillip gets to use his popping skills for this dance but I feel like his abilities might just make Jeanine look like she can't do it as hard. I spent the whole dance worrying they were going to fall. So I guess the chain could be a distraction, but I really like what it adds to the dance. I enjoyed it. It was fun and different.

Melissa & Ade - Classical Pas de Deux by Thordal Christensen
This is a Romeo & Juliet dance. I SO loved last year's pas de deux with Katee & Will. I was excited to see Melissa do something that is more in her true style. I had high expectations for her. And she looked beautiful and flowy, but I was impressed with Ade. Maybe not technically amazing, but I thought he was really present and dedicated. I enjoyed it (but it wasn't as good as last year...). Here is the video of Will & Katee. Spigunk!!

Carla & Vitolio - Quick Step by Jean-Marc & France Genereaux
Kiss of death! Too bad for Carla and Vitolio. I am just waiting to hear what the judges. I just don't know what to say about it technically. I loved her dress change. And the dance looked fine to me. But what do I know? The judges liked it and said, "What kiss of death?" But even though it was good, will it get them through on Thursday night?

OK, so my guess for bottom 3:
Randi & Evan
Jason & Caitlin
Carla & Vitolio

Going home: Caitlin and Vitolio? No idea. Just a guess!

And just a follow up on what I said earlier. Tonight's show was really good. I am sucked in a little bit more but not sure it is enough. We'll see as we progress some more this season.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

SYTYCD Top 16 Results

So tonight's bottom three couples were

Asuka & Vitolio
Karla & Jonathan
Caitlin & Jason

Asuka - I am never a fan of the ballroom solos. They always seem to be the same thing, especially for the girls. Weird Riverdance leg movements and head grabs with a big smile. So she was fine but I wasn't excited about it.

Vitolio - OK, first off let me say "no thanks" on that ending. What was that? But his dance felt over the top and desperate.

Karla - I like her music choice of Radiohead. Points for that. But the dancing was so strange and I just couldn't enjoy it. Reminded me of a monkey or something.

Jonathan - He has "ballroom legs"!! And I enjoyed the non-ballroom part. It was pretty good, but not sure it will keep him around over the other two guys. He is just a little bit blah...

Caitlin - Her solo was pretty and seemed the most heartfelt of the solos. I don't think she is in trouble of going home.

Jason - He has a great solo and it is also really heartfelt. It beats Caitlin's for best of the night.

So heading home tonight is:



For much better thoughts about the episode, check out Vance and Emily's opinions (when they get them posted).

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

SYTYCD Top 16 Performances

I have yet to post anything about this season of SYTYCD's performances. So I am making an effort to get it going tonight. So let's get this party started. Tonight, joining Nigel and Mary, is Toni Basil (the hat!). I am still really tired of Cat prompting the audience to say "jidges." I think it was cute like twice and now we need to move on.

Karla & Jonathan - Hip hop by Dave Scott
Dave described this as gangsta with emotion. Jonathan had a hard time getting the "gangsta" thing down in the rehearsal. It didn't bode well for his performance. Karla really brought the 'tude. But Jonathan, he tried, but it just wasn't doing it for me. I was so distracted by him that I just couldn't enjoy this dance. And the judges really did not like it. Nigel was harsh, taking bets that they would be in the bottom 3 couples. Harsh.

Osaka & Vitolio - Jazz by Mandy Moore
Thrash Rocker Jazz. That is how Mandy described this dance. Poor Osaka got very frustrated. This happens every season where someone gets frustrated and cries. But I am sure she'll make it through. I usually love Mandy's choreography, but this was kind of strange to me. Maybe it was the dancers' interpretation? But Osaka was so "ballroom-y" during it. And I did not like Vitolio's blue pants. Maybe I am being too harsh, but for now I am 0 for 2 on tonight's dances. The judges like it, so maybe I just didn't get it.

Melissa & Ade - Rumba by Tony Meredith
These two had to have bring out their sensuality for this dance. And master the ballroom moves. I really like Melissa & Ade. They managed to ooze the sex for this dance. And I don't know if Tony just choreographed this well for them both, but I thought they looked great. Their chemistry is great. I am relieved to see a dance I like. And the judges liked it, too.

Jeanette & Brandon - Hip hop by Dave Scott
Rock & roll meets hip hop. Should be a fun mash-up. I am interested in the dance, in theory. But can these dancers pull it off? Wait, first off. What do they have her wearing? OK, moving on to the actual dancing. Brandon was surprisingly good at the hip hop. I didn't think he could pull it off. And I enjoyed it. Jeanette was good, too, but I felt like the hip hop dancing in this choreo was what drew your attention.

Kayla & Kupono - Viennese Waltz by Jean-Marc Genereaux
I am already bummed for them before they start dancing because they are doing ballroom. It is their first week together and it would have been nice to get a more audience-pleasing dance selection. So here's hoping because I like the two of them. Kayla's flowy dress really adds to this performance. But I am not sure that they are doing so well technically. It wasn't bad for me but not amazing either. And it sounds like the Nigel felt about that way about it, too. But, alas, Mary put them on the hot tamale train. I wish she hadn't...

Randi & Evan - Contemporary by Mia Michaels
The choreographer that everyone hopes to get. Almost always keeps you out of the bottom 3. And I love Evan. And Randi. So fingers crossed on this one. So the point of this is that Evan is hypnotized by the booty. Huh. First off, immediately distracted by his outfit. What is tat? It is so huge and baggy. I thought Randi was sexy and stunning. This had more of a jazz feel than a contemporary feel to me. I enjoyed it. Not the best Mia routine ever, but enjoyable. The judges liked it quite well.

Caitlin & Jason - Jean Marc & France Genereaux
Paso Doble is one of my favorite dances. I think it does a good job of giving the man a really masculine part to play. And I feel it is one of the ballroom dances that puts the pressure on the man over the woman to be on display. But if not pulled off correctly, it quickly looks sloppy. And this just felt sloppy. Unfortunately. I just wasn't crazy about it. The judges gave it compliments but I felt they just thought it was alright. Oh, did I mention Jason has a good upper body? I am not surprised now that I hear he is a soccer player. They have the best bodies.

Jeanine & Phillip - Broadway by Tyce Diorio
First of all, Sean pointed out a huge hole in Phil's pants that I am pretty sure is NOT supposed to be there. I like the use of the pillows and feathers, and the routine was cute. But it didn't feel to me like a routine that requires a lot of technique, but instead just a lot of energy. That may be what gets Jeanine & Phillip through this week.

Lease fave couples:
Karla & Jonathan
Caitlin & Jason

My fave couples:
Melissa & Ade and Janette & Brandon

Going home:
I don't even know...

I am having trouble really finding a favorite this season. Anyone else?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Movie: The Time Traveler's Wife Trailer

The trailer for The Time Traveler's Wife has finally been released. I have been so concerned about how they were going to pull this off. The book is amazing but I couldn't see how they could translate it to screen. The trailer looks pretty good, but I say it is still difficult to tell. What do you think?

Monday, June 08, 2009

Casting News

Here is some casting news to be happy about:

Neil Patrick Harris scored not one, but two movie roles, announced today. The first is called The Best and the Brightest, an indie comedy. The second is Beastly (a book which I did not particularly care for) and Harris is cast in one of the few roles that I enjoyed in the book. He will play a blind tutor that can't see how "beastly" Kyle has become, and accepts him. I am glad to see NPH getting some work, since I adore him as Barney on How I Met Your Mother and he was AWESOME on the Tony Awards. In fact, there is already speculation that he might host the Emmys this year, as well!

Katee Sackhoff might be dragging me back to 24 after I had given it up for good. I so adore her from Battlestar Galactica that I might have to return to the drama to check her out, now that she has been cast as a regular for the upcoming season.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Movie: Land of the Lost

OK, so Land of the Lost isn't doing so great at the box office. It fell $10 million short of its expected $30 million opening weekend take. But that is OK, because I still need to support my husband. I headed out to see it today with my husband and a couple of friends in tow.

Well, I can't say it is the best movie I have seen recently (come on, I saw Star Trek and Up!). There were some weird parts and some major continuity problems. But mainly, it was just the regular Will Ferrel schtick that we usually pay money for. I am sure people were confused weather it was supposed to be for children or for adults.

However, while it wasn't my favorite movie, there were really funny parts and some pretty good bits that make you jump. The t-rex was appropriately scary. And the animation was sharp! OK, OK, my husband did animation on this one. In fact, that is why I lived in Mumbai, India for 3 months. And I was so proud of his work. I always enjoy waiting for his name to scroll across the screen and do a proper clap and holler combination. This time his name was set apart since he was an animation supervisor. And high-five to him for his hard work and for bringing home the bacon. And for doing such a cool job.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Books: Several reviews/Thoughts

I have read a TON of books without a single review, so I am putting a few quick thoughts down here for posting.

The Outcast is the first novel from Sadie Jones. It is a story about a boy named Lewis living in post-WWII England whose mother dies when he is young. As a result of the complete lack of emotional support from a single adult in his life after her death, Lewis becomes emotionally disturbed. As he gets older turns to drinking and violence and is pretty much rejected by his family and friends, eventually landing himself in prison for a couple of years in his late teens. The only person that sees Lewis for who he really is is Kit, a girl who is several years younger. She thinks of Lewis as her hero and loves him from afar for many years.

The reader spends most of the time reading being frustrated with the people that interact with Lewis and that they are incapable of helping him through his emotional difficulties. In addition, you will be waiting for Lewis to get a break. I found it very compelling and a quick read. Lewis and Kit are likable despite their faults, like the bad is happening around them and to them, but they are not bad themselves. It was a heartbreaking story, but an enjoyable read nonetheless.

John Grisham's The Associate was just released in February and I got it for 3 bucks at the Indian bookstore, so I gave it a shot. There was a time I read everything Grisham wrote, but it has been a few years now since I lost that habit. I am glad Grisham has returned to the legal thrillers, but I found The Associate to be just so-so. It is the story of a law student just before graduation who gets blackmailed into taking a job at a huge firm and stealing information for his blackmailers. I don't know if it just felt anti-climactic (or perhaps there just wasn't the right build up to the climax), but I found myself saying "eh" about it. Not bad. Not great.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne caught my attention at the bookstore after I watched the trailer for it online. It is told through the eyes of a young boy in Germany. It is eventually revealed, while the boy doesn't understand anything that is going on, that his father is a Nazi officer, put in charge of a prison camp (Auschwitz). The boy makes friends with another boy on the other side of the other fence who wears "striped pyjamas."

This story was really sad and I hated seeing it through the eyes of a young child like that. It was a really quick read (read it on a train ride in a few hours), but I easily predicted where the story was heading, just based on the tone. It was certainly not a feel good book. Just a warning...

The highly acclaimed book High Fidelity by Nick Hornby was also a quick read. There are certainly funny parts. But I didn't find any of the characters to be very sympathy-enducing. Rob's co-workers, girlfriends, even Rob himself are all a little unlikable. Now, that makes it a little more real and gritty than your typical "love story" novel. But I also found it frustrating. I would be interested to read something else by Hornby and see how I feel.

Beastly by Alex Flynn is a reimagining of the old Beauty and the Beast story, set in current times. Unfortunately, the cheese level was incredibly high. Kyle mentions so many times how good-looking he was before he was cursed and made into a beast that he grossed me out. A movie is being made of this. Let's hope it is better than the book. I would say pass unless you are 15 years old.