Is anyone else’s summer happenings keeping them on their toes? While I’m practicing my ballet moves, a few trailers to spruce the place up.
If a mind had legs, mine has surely worn a deep tread in muscle and bone the way it’s lately been pacing, trying to decide whether or not a scheduled break is in order. But I’m here, right, and so must have come to a decision. And, actually, the two beauties below – my own, and my parents’ new puppy – played a role, stopped my pacing, because, you know, I want to play with them. I want to lie on my couch with one on my stomach, the other on the floor, under my hand, and close my eyes, their soft breaths the only sound in the room. To that end, a scheduled break it is.
Beyond that, I’m still not reading consistently. Though I hope to tackle one if not all of the books pictured below. If I can, I’d like to stockpile a few reviews for the next drought. (Because realistically there will be another one. And another after that.) And I want to write. Without feeling guilt over abandoning a stack of books, this blog, and so on. Writing has recently become something of a madness for me: I’ll start a story and it consumes me until it’s done. My skin itches when I’m out or away from my laptop. My thoughts lost not to conversation or the task at hand but to my characters. And it is…wonderful. Every frustrating minute of it.
Also, I might see The Avengers again (for the, ah, sixth time), rewatch the entire season of Legend of Korra before the finale airs (and probably wind up yelling at the screen as all the feels overwhelm me anew), find new music to pepper this place with interludes, and…whatever else mood dictates I do.
So I’m going to give myself a week, maybe two, to step back and away. A little time to regroup and come back refreshed. I’ll still be on Twitter and Tumblr (because staying away entirely isn’t an option). In the meantime…Happy reading!
Last night at 9:00 pm as I was getting ready to leave work, I had my cell out, the site that was live streaming the event open and waiting, and was walking down the stairs with my bag over my shoulder, my coat on, my eyes glued to the screen. I didn’t want to miss a single second (because, knowing my luck, that single second would be the one in which Chris Evans arrived). My co-workers might have smiled indulgently at me when I said “What? It’s The Avengers premiere.” There may have been some good-natured, Oh, Chelle! laughter happening too. That’s alright. I own my fangirl status when it comes to this movie, its cast, and everything else related to the fandom. And I am not at all ashamed to admit that screaming and delighted squeals could most definitely be heard echoing throughout my house while I watched it. (A note about the video: You’ll have to skip to the11:00 mark as that’s when things actually began to happen.)
I’ll quickly run down a few of the highlights – moments that I loved and what have you – and maybe a few gripes (based entirely on my personal biases and preferences).
This first highlight is no doubt going to come as a shock to anyone who has even remotely followed this blog over the past couple of months: Chris Evans. (Didn’t see it coming, did you? *smirk*) Literally, everything about him being there: his appearance, his simple, down-to-Earth responses to questions, and so on.
My first gripe, however, is that during the version of the live stream I was watching, the interviewer spent so little time with him. It was almost as though she couldn’t wait to be rid of him (and of all of the main players in the film, it really did seem like he got the least amount of interview time – with Hemsworth a close second. And I’d like to reiterate here: I am completely biased when it comes to him, and I’m selfish in wanting as much of him as I can get). On the flip side, it might have been because his social anxiety is pretty well-documented at this point and she was cutting the poor guy a break. In which case, okay (and, as someone who suffers from the same, thanks for giving him that courtesy). (FYI: There’ll be one more Chris specific thing a bit further down the list. Like I said, can’t help myself.)
Robert Downey Jr. Period. Everything. All things. His entrance was fantastic (if underplayed, considering). The guy oozes charm. He makes everything just…light up. He looked amazing (and if reports are to be believed, he chose the color of his suit based on his newborn son’s birthstone. All together: Awww).
Tom Hiddleston. The man broke me down. He is exquisitely articulate. And he just seems to be a genuinely nice, sweet person. I enjoyed his answers – thoughtful, perceptive answers – the most of all.
Everything about this moment:
How any one person can be so outrageously adorable is beyond me.
And then. Then. There was the moment when they were all lined up along the stage. And I just…my stomach, it was all fluttery. And I was smiling like a besotted idiot. And you do not want to get me started on what seeing Chris (Evans) and RDJ interacting – who am I kidding? even just standing next to each other – did to me. You really don’t. Plus, the Trinity! Look at these guys:
How magnificent are they? Really. It’s a wonder I was still upright and not on the floor in a dead swoon by the time the premiere ended. (As it was, I was exhausted and badly in need of a glass of water.)
Additionally, I loved seeing Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner together; they have amazing chemistry. Clark Gregg looked fantastic and was incredibly sweet. And Silvestri’s theme for the film! Epic and just…awesome. I could listen to it for hours on end. Overall, it was a tremendous amount of fun, and I’m so glad we were provided with an opportunity to watch it as it unfolded. And now I’ll be on the hunt for additional interviews, footage, and pictures. Don’t be surprised if any or all of the above end up being posted here in the future.
Clicking on the images/gifs will take you to the source.
This post is going to come across as being rather self-congratulatory, I’m afraid, and while it may be the nature of the beast, that really is not my intention. In actuality, I’m writing this to channel the happiness that has been flooding me since this particular event occurred, because while I’ve gone over it with my family and co-workers, it’s still there, humming away, this energy that hasn’t dissipated quite yet, and so I’m sloughing it off on you. Thanks in advance, then, for reading.
Working with teens, as I do, it’s not always clear if, for all the time and effort you’re devoting to the job, you’re really reaching them in any tangible way. In fact, it’s often the opposite you notice: not a single teen in attendance at a string of programs, even a slight decline in circulation statistics of teen materials, and so forth. I’ve learned to deliver rousing internal pep talks. I’ve examined and refined and changed tactics. I’ve sought feedback, accepted criticism, and at times I’ve boosted my morale up with reshaped paperclips, an orphaned pen cap and string. Whatever it takes, because I love what I do. Mine is a rewarding job, absolutely; it’s just that sometimes, honestly, it’s necessary to forcibly bring that fact to the forefront of my mind.
And then there was last Friday.
Expected to give a brief presentation to over two hundred high school seniors regarding aspects of their senior research project – and on relatively short notice at that – I decided to focus on choosing a topic. The thrust of my presentation was, hey, this project doesn’t have to be painful; choose a topic that you love, something that you’re invested in, and find a way to view it through an academic lens. So I did it myself. Well, the groundwork. And I went on to tell them about how I was basically living for the release of The Avengers, how graphic novels were consuming my every non-working hour, and how my love of and for superheroes translated into eighteen possible research topics when I did some digging of my own. I included humorous visual aids – and I know they were funny because they got genuine laughs even from students who had no interest in comic books – and had concrete proof that there are plenty of sources out there to support an entire paper/project. I gave the presentation (with great and obvious enthusiasm – ask anyone who knows me; they’ll tell you how much I love talking about this stuff) six times. And they got it. They got what I was trying to do and say. I could see it. Hear it.
At the end of one session, a girl approached me and said, “You.” She followed it up with this: “I didn’t want to come here. I thought it was going to be boring and stupid, and mean nothing to me, but then you started talking.” We discussed graphic novels in general, and she told me that my presentation, in some small way, validated her interests (not that she thought she needed validation, but still), and how the topics I mentioned got her thinking about and interested in doing the work. She thanked me. And she stuck out her hand to shake mine.
I cannot tell you…Maybe I said something that mattered to her, but she…Well, if I hadn’t had additional presentations to deliver, I very well might have tucked myself in a back office and cried for a bit.
Throughout the rest of the morning and afternoon, more students came up to me with further proof that I had, indeed, reached them. They were actually eager to talk to me, to engage in all manner of conversation, some comic book related, some not. By the time I left, I was practically shaking, high on adrenaline and just…joy.
I’ve been at this for over six years now, and that day…It was one of the best.
You have to understand, I had to post this. Every time – every. single. time. – I look at this, laughter bubbles up, and by the time I get to the banana and brilliant “poop” exclamation, well, I’ve lost it.
My weeks-long search for Captain America – No, no. It’s not like that. I mean, I’m not a stalker or anything. It’s a magazine I’m talking about here. With, you know, Captain America on the cover. Ahem – has finally born fruit. Behold! The Trinity! Can I get an Amen! and a high-five? (I was looking for these for forever, people. Just ask the guy at B&N who, the last time I was in searching the magazine section, rightly observed ‘I think they’re just screwing with you now.’)
Rather than editing my previous post on the reissues of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter stories, I’ll just throw a few pictures of my most recent acquisition – yet another omnibus; this one is hardcover and fantastically illustrated throughout – up here. With the rest of the booty in this random treasure chest. (*looks at page on left admiri–* Naked body what?! I, uh, didn’t notice that before.)
If you have not seen The Superhero Squad Show…Wait.You mean you haven’t seen The Superhero Squad Show? Dude. This is, like, the best show. The number of tweets I’ve devoted to quoting it alone…Anyway. It’s hilarious. Go forth. Watch.
I’ve inflicted enough random on you for one day. Reviews soon, promise.
Attempting to visualize Cinna’s jaw-dropping fashion creations was one of the more fun aspects of the heart-rending Hunger Games trilogy. InStyle magazine, in anticipation of the film, no doubt, is featuring sketches from eleven fashion designers, including Christian Siriano, Tommy Hilfiger, and Joyce Azria, which depict vastly different concepts for Katniss’s infamous Girl on Fire dress (or cat suit with cape, if Charlotte Ronson’s design – to the left – is taken into account).
For my imagining, some of the designs are way off the mark, while others at least capture some of the dress’s evocative power. Take a look (and let me know which ones you like – and don’t!)
Ever the passenger, long drives require a thing or two to be palatable: a book that allows me to forget the distance between me and my destination, and/or my iPod, which provides much the same respite. While I may appreciate the occupation, it never fails to provoke a familiar grumble from my family, particularly my husband who, ever the driver, could be heard saying “It’s like I’m in the car by myself” more than once this past weekend as we traveled to the Cape for a friend’s wedding. In my defense, I did set my book aside when the inn was, according to the GPS, thirty minutes away. If not for that, I would have missed the sign entirely. As it is, I barely caught a glimpse, and that glimpse had me scrambling around, yanking impatiently at my seat belt, to get a better look. Because the fact that Edward Gorey lived in Yarmouth Port was buried in a tiny corner of my brain, and it didn’t occur to me to unearth it, but once I saw that sign, well, a visit was inevitable.
There won’t be much commentary accompanying the following pictures. For one, visitors aren’t allowed upstairs, effectively downsizing the house and the time it took to meander through it, as well as the amount of information to pass along. (As a side note: There was no explanation given for the ban – and I’m sure there’s a good one – but it was curious considering the tour guide’s throwaway comment that the second floor was where Gorey dug into his work.) Secondly, my husband and I were stowaways on the tour; we hung back at the beginning, preferring to set our own course, but quickly caught up (again, smallish house) and sort of latched on. Lastly, my memory? Not what it used to be. But I do remember a few of the details and will share those where appropriate.
If you’re up for a mini-tour (of things I found interesting), click on through the cut.
I saw this here and could not resist.
Vincent Van Gogh came this*close to making me cry. Or rather, Tony Curran playing Vincent Van Gogh in an episode of Doctor Who nearly did me in. And it was the last thing I expected.
I always sort of wondered about Doctor Who. Charlie McDonnell’s a fan. (And that’s pretty much enough right there.) But then there’s the inside jokes, the debate over which Doctor is the Doctor, this guy dressing up as Tom Baker’s Doctor on The Big Bang Theory. Oh, and Neil Gaiman wrote the script for an upcoming episode. What greater impetus was I waiting for to push me over the edge? None, that’s what.
But I did something…strange. Perhaps.
I went backwards. Meaning, I watched season five first. And if it’s true that your first Doctor will always be your Doctor, well, I guess Matt Smith is mine. And, you know, I’m okay with that: Matt Smith’s Doctor talks to himself (a lot, and usually while pacing), has funky and endearing hair, and saves the galaxy wearing a bow tie and suspenders. And occasionally a fez. But Matt Smith’s Doctor has one other thing…Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, companion. Isn’t she lovely? (Yes, we’re talking girl-crush.) Gillan’s Amy is wonderful: she’s smart and fiesty, emotional but never moody, capable and game for anything. And she complements Matt Smith’s Doctor perfectly.
In very short order, between the two, I was hooked. I’ve since gone back and watched season four. David Tennant is fantastic. Watching him, the weight of the years the Doctor has lived, his loneliness, is a tangible thing. His charm is, too.
So now I know what the Tardis is. And a Dalek. And I’m going to keep going back, weasling out more of the Doctor’s secrets. And, of course, I’m going to continue forward. I’m very much looking forward to the Christmas special airing on BBC America on Christmas day. Er, night.
Was I surprised to find myself sucked into this show? Honestly, yes. But I’m glad of it if for no other reason than the awesome, heart-breaking episode that was “Vincent and the Doctor.” Seriously. It was, well, like I said, it nearly made me cry. In a good way.
Anyone else jump on the Doctor Who bandwagon this year? Or, whenever?
In my life, I could count on one hand the number of times reading has failed to provide me with an escape, a reprieve, a moment of much needed solace. After a dry spell running on three weeks, it appears that the aforementioned count might now require two hands.
The last week of May delivered a piece of news that shook up my family, and we’ve been dealing with the big and small ways it has changed our lives ever since. Some days are better than others; some days I realize I’m adapting, and others I feel as though I haven’t even begun to. Usually I’d turn to books. But I find I can’t.
All those posts on distractions? Half the time I wonder if I’m walking a straight line. I can’t pin myself down; I literally cannot pick up a book without setting it right back down. My concentration is shot, my ability to choose a book non-existent, and my desire to actually see a story through to its end just not there right now. And that bothers me in a way I can’t express.
I’ve got one book I absolutely have to read for review and I will do it. I’ve also got several titles that I need to get to for work; I’ll force myself if necessary. In this case, obligation reading might save me, might sharpen my concentration, freeing me from feeling as though the slightest current will send me off in another direction. Fingers crossed at least.
In the meantime, my apologies for the lack of reviews and non-book related posts.