Sunday, January 24, 2010

Lost recap video starring Italian family of amazing actors...

So bad it's good... I found this video over at Jorge Garcia's blog "Dispatches from the Island." Great blog if you are a LOST or Hurley/Hugo fan. Anyway, this is a video of a guy and his Italian extended family reenacting the first five seasons of LOST.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

My favorite books of 2009

I was a busy reader this last year, especially during the three months I spent in India. It helped me not to feel so homesick.  So here are some books I read this year that I really loved or that just stuck with me.


The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
I've been busy reading a lot of Twilight for the last year and a half, but I realized recently that there are some really great young adult books out there. I am a fan of Harry Potter, too, and when a friend recommended The Hunger Games, I gave it a try.  And it sucked me in immediately.  It was The Road meets teen romance meets Gladiator or something.  I can't even explain it and I don't like to tell people the plot before they read it. I went into it completely blind as to what it was about and that made for more of a surprise while reading it.  Catching Fire is the second in the series. The third and final book is due out in August of this year. I. Can't. Wait. Probably my favorite I read this year.


The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare
In continuing the theme of young adult series, I picked up The Mortal Instruments when a friend recommended it.  I didn't get into it as quickly. In fact, for the first couple of chapters I thought I was going to quit.  It is a world with angels, demons, vampires, werewolves, and just about anything else you can imagine.  The characters take some time before you like them much, but I was completely sucked into the story and read all three rather large books over the course of a couple of weeks. I was under the impression there were only 3 books, but apparently a fourth is in the works: City of Broken Glass.  Again: can't wait!

Paths of Glory by Jeffrey Archer
I saw this one in all the English-language bookstores in Mumbai so I picked it up.  It was heavily promoted because it was about a climber attempting to summit Mount Everest back before anyone had ever done it.  It's based on the true story of George Mallory, using his family's stories and his own diaries.  It was a great story, and very tragic. For some reason it stuck with me. Then,  when I went to Darjeeling, I went to the Himalayan Climbing Museum and there were photos of him and some of his gear and things there. It was so random because I had just read the book.  Anyway, I really thoroughly enjoyed it.

The Outcast by Sadie Jones
 I reviewed it here.  The story just broke my heart.  It was a tad slow in parts, but a pretty easy read.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
So apparently I like very sad books.  This one was written by the author of The Kite Runner, so I knew to expect something hard to read.  And while I found The Kite Runner very sad, I sat and cried in multiple different places while reading A Thousand Splendid Suns.  This book focuses on the lives of women in Afghanistan.  It's a hard subject to broach, and one should be warned it isn't an easy story to read. But very well-written and emotive.

1984 by George Orwell
I reviewed it here. I had never read it before and was surprised at how quickly I got into it.

OK, so clearly I didn't get around to reviewing ALL the books I read last year.  But I read a lot! I love to read, but I read a lot even for me this last year.  Maybe 30 or so books? I'll try to keep track of them this year.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Fave Albums of 2009

I had a sudden inspiration during my 6000 mile drive over the last 8 weeks to write up some posts covering things I loved during this last year. I'm starting with my favorite albums of 2009. Well, what I loved during 2009, doesn't mean it was released in 2009... These are in no particular order, but they all got quite the playing time on iPod and iTunes.

Glee Volume I (and Volume II, and the unreleased tracks...)
I don't love EVERY song every sung on this show, but there are more that I love than those that I don't. "Don't Stop Believin'" and "Alone" probably have gotten the most play time, followed by "Taking Chances" and Lea Michele's rendition of "Defying Gravity." Can't WAIT to see what else we get this season, with guest stars such as Idina Menzel and Jonathan Groff.

Swoon by Silversun Pickups
I can't stop listening to this album. I have Silversun Pickups' first album Carnavas but it never got much play time on my iTunes.  However, I got Swoon this summer and still can't stop listening to it, six months later.  "Panic Switch" is a good song, but it is really over-played.  The rest of the album is certainly worth a listen. I had to listen through it a few times before I could truly appreciate it. Now I hear they will be touring with Muse.  And they don't come to LA on the tour... Devastated.

Until the Whole World Hears by Casting Crowns
I saw Casting Crowns in concert last fall for the first time. Most people haven't heard of them, unless they listen to Christian music.  Their live performance was inspirational.  Then I got this album later in the fall and I still can't stop listening to it. Current favs: "At Your Feet" and "Blessed Redeemer."

The Twilight Saga: New Moon Soundtrack by Various Artists
This was a highly anticipated album, not just for me, but for the legions of Twilight fans and people who enjoyed the first installment.  Chris Weitz didn't disappoint by choosing a bunch of indie bands, only a few well known, to be featured on the soundtrack for the film. My fave songs include "Possibility" by Lykke Li, "Hearing Damage" by Thom Yorke and "Slow Life" by Grizzly Bear.

The Resistance by Muse
It felt like ages since Black Holes & Revelations came out, and Muse is one of those bands where I constantly check to see when a new album will be released.  So they finally released The Resistance this year and I was super excited.  They never really disappoint me.  I love their sound. They are becoming more mainstream in the US without changing the music they make.  People are just slowly taking notice.  About time.

Singles by Britney Spears
Yep, I put Britney on this list.  Poor thing is a hot mess, but her Singles album has every one of my favorites from her previous albums, plus some I had never even heard before. They aren't all amazing, but Brit songs can always get me pumped up! They make me want to dance...

In Rainbows by Radiohead
This one came out in early 2008 but I didn't get it till it had been out for a while. And it is really good. My husband loves it, too, so it gets lots of play when we are both home.  Radiohead continues to be odd and interesting and original. I can listen to this album over and over and not get bored with it.

Vampire Weekend by Vampire Weekend
This one also came out in early 2008. And, again, I was late to the party.  Sean bought this CD and I had heard a couple of songs on the radio.  But it is quirky and catchy and all around fun.  I just got their new album Contra, so when I have decided what I think, I'll have to post about it.

Battlestar Galactica: The Plan

I finally watched The Plan tonight. I wasn't feeling too interested in watching it, but now that I have, it is like ripping a scab off an old wound, and I plan to re-watch the series from the beginning.  I don't know why I used that description; it's gross.

This movie recycles a lot of scenes from earlier on in the series.  Certain actors didn't even film new footage for the film, but were still prominent in it (such as Katee Sackhoff as Starbuck), and then scenes were built around that footage.  There was also a good deal of completely new story going on, such as interactions between a Cavil and Anders while he was running the resistance cell on Caprica.  Or one of the Simons who has adapted to human life by marrying.  I was also intrigued at the back-story we got with Sharon and her attempt to kill Adama, as well as the beginnings of Leoben's obsession with Thrace.

The straight-to-DVD release of The Plan allowed for some equal-opportunity nudity, but other than that, the film was quite similar to what you would get in any given episode. Not enough Apollo for my tastes, though.  Also could have used a little more Tight.  However, we did get the always amazing line from Gaius: "No more Mr. Nice Gaius!" again.  And plenty of Anders, which was nice. 

All in all, the movie was entertaining, but not a requirement to understand the story.  It was more just an interesting filler than anything else. But enjoyable to watch.  The few times I was lost, I had to ask Sean about what happened way back in Season 1 or 2.  That's when I decided it might be time to crack the BSG DVDs again.  Let you know how that goes.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Battlestar Rhapsody

Ok, so the singing is terrible. Totally does not matter because it is still hilarious. "Adama.... is in command..." Oh, how I miss this show.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy 2010!

Oh, and Happy New Year! Many blessings in the new year!

Trailer for Inception

This has certainly piqued my interest, even though I still have no idea what it is really about! Christopher Nolan? Check. Leonardo DiCaprio? Check. Joseph Gordon-Levitt? Check. Mysterious and weird trailer? Check.