Skip to content

Trust Your Eyes

September 6, 2012

This is a paid review for Blogher Book Club, however, all thoughts and opinions are my very own. Not a robot’s. Or someone posing else posing as me. (That would be weird.)

For a while Sarah has been telling me I should sign up for Blogher’s Book Club because I read so much so why not get free books and a little bit of moolah thrown my way to review the books I read? I saw absolutely nothing wrong with this plan except for my laziness which is why it took me so long to sign up to do it. However! Now that I’ve done it… SARAH. You really need to put a little more pressure on me for these sorts of things.

Anyways, for this review I read Linwood Barclay’s “Trust Your Eyes,” a murder mystery/suspense/thriller. If I’d just skimmed the jacket of this book in store I’m almost positive I would have gone right past it because for some reason, in the past five or six years, I’ve convinced myself I only like cheesy young adult fiction and/or the occasional zombie apocalypse story. I should be ashamed of myself because I do like murder mystery/suspense/thrillers!

This story weaves the tale of Ray Kilbride, who’s father has just passed away in a seemingly innocent accident, so he travels back to his hometown to take care of his brother, Thomas, who suffers from Schizophrenia. Thomas has an obsession with maps and spends the majority of his day memorizing the maps of the world via a computer program called Whirl 360. Thomas scours the street views of different cities (think Google Earth) while memorizing the tiniest of details. That’s all fine and well, except for when Thomas believes he’s witnessed a snapshot of a murder in one of the building windows on a NYC map.

Obviously, Ray is having a hard time believing what Thomas says is true (schizophrenia does tend to discredit one’s murder accusations…) and to top it off, the pieces of the puzzle that are his father’s death just aren’t fitting together the way they should. Once Ray gives into Thomas’ pleas to at least investigate the snapshot a little, Barclay takes both Thomas and Ray as well as the readers on a suspenseful thrill ride filled with twists and turns until the very last word.

In the line of suspense thrillers, Barclay really pulls this one off. It’s an easy read and every chapter leaves you wanting just a little bit more. I’m excited to talk more about this book so come over and chat it up!

Advertisements

Bachelor Pad: It’s Back! And Just As Terrible As Ever!

July 24, 2012

YOU GUYS. My life finally had meaning last night as I lay sprawled out in my oversized chair… Bachelor Pad had returned! And with it was my reality show hero… Michael Stagliano.

But wait. I’m getting ahead of myself.

First, let’s be real. This show is only going to get more ridiculous as the seasons go on because, c’mon. It’s all, “Hey! Wanna be on a show where you get to play really degrading games with cheesy names and then have sex with random people while sleeping in bunk beds surrounded by other random people? Also, communicable diseases. Those are there too.”

And of course, people are all, “SIGN. ME. UP.”

But! Let us give thanks because we get to watch this train wreck every week!

Anyways, back to the show. I’m not giving you pics and recaps of every person on the show like last year because a) you all have a life and b) that took way too long last year with all the clicking and copying and pasting and just…no. Plus, i don’t even really know who is on the show because I was too focused on the SUPER FANS.

Yeah.

SUPER FANS (which will only be referred to in all caps because there is no way to say that phrase without wanting to shout it from the mountain tops) were allowed to make videos professing their love for the contestants on the Bachelor and/or Bachelorette. Once they submitted the videos the producers chose who they thought would be a great match to put on the show, which is actually similar to being fed to actual lions in front of a live audience like they did in Jesus times.

Anyways, four girls (a set of twins are operating as one person… and yeah, I KNOW. It’s awful.) and three guys were chosen.  Now, when I discovered this twist, only this flashed in my brain:

I want to make sure that you and I are best friends – “gnome” matter what. ~ Cool Ethan, easily my favorite stalker in cinema history.

Of course, this ups the chances of someone being murdered in their sleep and taken to a taxidermist but hey! THIS IS REALITY TELEVISION, FOLKS. Those are the rules.

Not really.

However, I am keeping my eye on the gal who was shown sketching a picture of none other than Stagliano himself… Don’t trust anyone who does sketches of others. So basically, artists. Don’t trust artists.

I have gotten WAY off track. Back to my point… The SUPER FANS show up and all the reality show “vets” extend their claws because, “Hiss! Boo! These are OUR venereal diseases, thankyouverymuch! We earned these, assholes.” It was very Bad Girls Club-esque with everyone immediately hating the SUPER FANS on site. Erica Rose at one point even mentions how pathetic it was to call yourself a fan.

I cannot even wrap my brain around this logic.

You are on a reality show where fans made you famous! How are you not leaning more towards, “Hey, thanks for watching! Let me kiss your feet.” Whatever. It’s Erica Rose. Puke.

Ok, after introduction of people who I have yet to learn the names of (except Blakely who I vaguely recognize as the batshit crazy girl from some season) Ed, who was apparently a big ol’ cheater after proposing to Jillian, gets drunk and dives into the pool. So, standard Bachelor Pad behavior.

“This isn’t a hot tub! It’s a cold tub!”

The contestants and SUPER FANS then choose their partners with everyone running away from the SUPER FANS as though they have leprosy. Or Herpes. Toss up.

The challenge? “Falling Out Of Love.” I know… we can do better, guys. We really, really can.

The partners have to crawl into a plastic heart and stay wedged in there while the heart is being tipped forward. The first to fall gets a vote against them; the last couple standing wins a date.

Much to Erica “SUPER FANS ARE NOTHING BUT UGLY LOSERS TO ME” Rose’s dismay, she and her partner fall first. And! The SUPER FAN couple wins! Except it’s the twins, who America already hates. I’m sure of it. The twins plus the other SUPER FAN get to go on a cheesy carnival date that culminates to these weirdos skinny dipping in the Pacific. The entire time SUPER FAN David keeps comparing this to past Bachelor/Bachelorette dates, complete with a voiceover and clips from the dates.

“And this is just like that one time so-and-so and so-and-so were on the ferris wheel! And THIS is just like that one time what’s-his-name and what’s-her-name rode a carousel!”

Then it showed him crafting a hair doll from Michael Stagliano and Blakely’s hair…

Not really. (I mean, I bet it happened. Just not on camera.)

Speaking of Stagliano, where’s our hero been? Being normal. As always. That’s why he’s our hero!

The rose ceremony happens and this one guy (SUPER FAN Nick, I believe) keeps on saying how SUPER FAN Dave f**ked him because he put a target on his back and I don’t know the rest because I seriously could not stop staring at his eyes. Are they crossed? Are they too close together? What’s going on here?

Alas, SUPER FAN Nick was correct. SUPER FAN Dave f**ked him and all the other SUPER FANS by dividing the house. (Amateur! How do you not know how to play this game?! I am clearly a better SUPER FAN.) Except SUPER FAN Donna. He did not f**k her. (Yet… ZING!) She was kept around because she has big boobs. I predict this will wear off soon since the majority of the girls on this show are running around with their fake ta-tas.

So SUPER FAN Nick and SUPER FAN Paige hit the road. They’re moderately sad. It was an acceptable exit.

Then we got treated to previews for the entire season and lo and behold, it appears that our beloved Stagliano effing proposes!!! I refuse to believe this is true just yet because NO, Stag. Just be normal! Normal people don’t propose in a six-week time span! Stop it!

Whatever.

I’ll keep watching.

So will you.

See ya next week!

Robots & The Trouble They Pose

May 17, 2012

Once upon a time, a million years ago, I rode to school with Sarah’s husband Nick. Parking on UK’s campus was a nightmare and pretty much a battle royale for the best parking passes. I don’t remember what the circumstances were but somehow Nick scored a sweet pass and I must have mooched off him and hitched a ride in his little red truck. Anyways, the point is: I rode to school with Nick and on that 10 minute drive to campus one day I asked him a simple question.

“Nick, what would you do if you found out I was a robot?”

Nick, being a mad scientist* didn’t miss a beat and said, “I’d have to destroy you.”

At the time, I remember being slightly peeved at the fact that my friend so callously told me he’d take no time in taking me out. Just the way things were. Like I imagined he would have a To Do List and it would read something like,

1. Find out Whitney’s a robot.

2. Destroy her accordingly.

3. Dust hands off.

4. Go on with day.

So, back in 2001, I probably hopped out of the truck and was all, “Fine. See ya later, friend,” brooding about it the rest of the day. Now, you would THINK I would have forgotten this story being that it happened over ten years ago, but NO. Every time I hear about a robot or see a cyborg in a movie I always automatically think, “Man, if that was me, Nick would come along and just put an end to my existence…”

And then, the other day, Christina posted this on my Facebook wall:

Dammit. Nick totally knew what he was talking about.

*Nick is not really a mad scientist. He is, however, a scientist, so I like to imagine him being of the Doc Brown variety.

Hey guys, maybe we can NOT set couches on fire this year.

March 30, 2012

The state of Kentucky is pretty much going to shut down tomorrow.  I tried to reign in my excitement and keep it bottled up until tomorrow but I just can’t. As I’m sure anyone not living under a rock knows, one of the Final Four games is played tomorrow. To us, the most important one because, well… we have two teams going from Kentucky and the other team just happens to be the team we hate the most. (Maybe hate’s a strong word… Let’s just go with “our biggest rival.”)

Why would you risk being a UofL fan when working at UK? This is what happens to your car. (That sign says UK's #1 Fan) And yes, I know the vandalism is minimal but I worked with what I had available.

I work at UK and have so far received one email and one video message from the president of the university telling everyone, “Yes, classes are proceeding as usual. And also? Don’t set shit on fire.” He didn’t use those exact words but that’s a pretty good summary. Word on the street is that they’re closing off a lot of streets on campus to allow people to drink alcohol outside of the bars (which I think is basically so they don’t have to issue the entire campus one collective PI) and they’re placing the police in riot gear.

A little overcautious you say?

Do you remember when we won in 1998? Because I do. I was there on campus when it happened. I was only a senior in high school and my mother allowed me to drive (at a very unsafe speed, I’m sure) with a bunch of friends (who were also not even in college yet) down to campus and party in the streets.

Clearly, our parents weren’t really aware of what happens on a college campus when their team wins the NCAA tourney. We made it out alive and without any arrests on our record but that in itself is sort of shocking. Not that we were drinking heavily or acting insane because I’m pretty sure, at most, we sipped on some warm beer that some guy randomly handed us as we pushed our way through the crowds. Emily’s friend Mary caught a bottle to the face when some idiot threw it in the air for no reason. I wasn’t there to witness it because Sarah and I had gotten separated from Emily at some point, but we heard about it later.

We didn’t see the news van flipped over either but we heard about that later too.

We ran up and down the streets that night screaming like this was the greatest thing we’d EVER experienced (and really, at 17, it might have been). We wandered around on campus and hung out with complete strangers who were more than happy to offer us a drink and a place to hang out. Sarah and I ended up in front of the campus library laying on the grass (probably a little buzzed) listening to the entire city of Lexington celebrate something that had seriously JUST happened two years prior, but still! Everyone was JUST as excited this time. That’s why it’s fun to be a UK fan. We get into some basketball.

Of course, there’s always the few people who take it too far. (See: Morons who throw beer bottles as high as they can in the air in a massive crowd.)

I feel like these past events and possibly the fact that someone set a couch on fire last weekend when we beat Baylor (THAT WAS THE ELITE EIGHT, PEOPLE. CALM DOWN) is what prompted President Capilouto to send out these emails to every single student, staff member and faculty member at the University of Kentucky telling people just to not lose their shit. And like Sarah said, “I’m sure he’s TERRIFIED we’re going to be on the national news for burning Lexington to the ground during his first year as president.” Wouldn’t be good press, I agree.

I don’t really get why people set shit on fire. What purpose does it serve?! Other than a fire hazard… (I sound like such an old lady but it’s true!) Aside from the streets closing and the police in riot gear I heard that they’re also sending Kentucky State Police out to one of our local bridges to keep an eye out for jumpers if we lose and THAT right there is where… I just can’t.

Can we not just celebrate a win and appropriately mourn a loss?! Why do we have to be jumping off bridges? It’s NOT that serious, folks.

So tomorrow, I’ll be on campus to watch the game. Mike and I are getting dropped off because we don’t want our car destroyed and/or possibly set on fire. So, yes, I’m having my mom drop us off (nerds) and then we’ll take a cab home. I’ll be going crazy if we win. I won’t, however, be setting anything on fire, turning over vehicles of any sort and will immediately obey anything an officer dressed in riot gear tells me to do because I’m a good citizen.

I’m also not an idiot.

*And if you don’t really get how crazy it got in 1998, just take a look right here… Also, MOM. SERIOUSLY.

 

I Saw The Hunger Games On Opening Night and Survived!

March 23, 2012

So, I know what you’re thinking. Who disappears for months and then shows up to write about how awesome they are because they saw The Hunger Games on opening night? ME. That’s who. Well, not necessarily how awesome *I* am but more so just a general review of the movies because, guys, guess what! It totally didn’t suck! I mean, the book was better but when is the book NOT better than the movie? The answer to that question is never. Also, the other answer to another question asked tonight is, NO, this movie is not about an Ethiopian bobsled team. (Don’t ask. Just know that was what Mike insisted on telling me that’s what the movie was about.)

Let me start out by saying that I LOVED the book. However, I actually had high hopes for the movie because I’m a dreamer, ok? A DREAMER. But this time, I wasn’t disappointed. Well, not all that much. How about a list of pros and cons? (SPOILERS LIE AHEAD. If you haven’t read the book or seen the movie, leave now.)

WHAT I LOVED:

Katniss Everdeen: I should probably say Jennifer Lawrence but you get my point. I was worried we wouldn’t really get an idea of exactly how Katniss was feeling throughout the movies. With the book, we’re constantly stuck inside her head and we know every possible thing about her feelings in the moment. Plus, Katniss is kind of an asshole in the books. I mean, she sort of has a right to be but I distinctly remember thinking while reading the books, “GIVE IT A REST, BEEYA.” But Jennifer Lawrence? She’s downright likable!

Haymitch Abernathy: I never really liked Haymitch in the books. Sure he got Katniss and Peeta what they needed when it came down to it, but that was just it! He never went beyond the call of duty and look, pal the kids are MURDERING EACH OTHER. Give them a little glimmer of hope! In the movie? He’s really only annoying for about ten minutes but then he’s pretty obvious about caring for the kids. It even shows him going out and campaigning for Katniss so she can get her burn salve. Plus, I’m a big Woody Harrelson fan.

Peeta Mellark: So… yeah, I could’ve just said “The Main Characters” and grouped these all together but I didn’t… and nobody said this was going to be a short post (because it’s not.) Everyone was throwing SUCH a fit over Josh Hutcherson playing Peeta with cries of outrage, “He’s not right!’ “That’s not Peeta!” and then people took to the streets with pitchforks and torches and there was MASS CHAOS! Or not really. But there was a general grumbling of the internets and I was sorta like, “Meh… I liked him in that one movie about playing that board game and going to space.” But he really turned it around. Well, minus that first ten minutes where he seriously made the stupidest face I’ve ever seen and I was all, “OH PEETA. I HATE YOU.” But he quit! And he was so sweet with Katniss! And I loved him… and well, I’m now Team Peeta. (Not that I ever wasn’t. That just seemed dramatic so I said it.)

The Lack of Muttations: Sarah and I were concerned about the mutts. How would they do it? If it’s PG-13 how are they going to make them as terrifying as they need to be?? Also, how are they going to make them look like the tributes but also terrifying?? Turns out, they didn’t need to. You know how in Jaws you didn’t really see the shark but you still knew it was there so it was still scary? That’s SORT OF like what they did here. But it was more along the lines of, we’re not showing you too much because that would be ridiculous and ruin the movie. Good call, Gary Ross. Good call.

The Extra: They didn’t cut a lot from the movie and they didn’t add a ton either, but what they did add? It was great! I was impressed! I won’t tell you but I feel like it helped people who had never read the books. That was one of my concerns with the movie. That book has a lot going on in it so I wasn’t sure how that would translate onto screen but it honestly did a great job. I mean, there could’ve been more along the lines of how close Katniss and Peeta got or even how precious her relationship with Gale and Prim were but they were working with a limited amount of time so I understand. Mike has not read the books and when we left I looked at him and said, “So, did you understand it?” to which he promptly replied, “Do you think I’m a moron?” Got it.

WHAT I DIDN’T LOVE:

That Lack Of Violence:  I know that sounds terrible and not like I love a super gory movie, because I don’t, but come on, Mr. Ross. I feel like the games could have been a lot more nerve wracking if he didn’t resort to quick cutaways and just the vague reference to something terrible going on right off screen. I don’t know… Wasn’t The Grudge PG-13? It was still terrifying… (Don’t get me started on the PG-13 rating anyways… Or the abundance of ten-twelve year olds watching the movie with their parents in the theater. Hey, morons, this is a movie about teens murdering one another in the most brutal of ways. Think this is something your ten year old littler girl needs to see?)

The Arena: I was really excited to see the arena for the games. The way it was described in the book was pretty much a forest but there were so many interesting creatures and plants… I was just hoping for more. The Tracker Jackers were pretty puny… the Groosling was never seen alive… and I DON’T KNOW. I did have high expectations for this and well, boooooo.

The Tributes: Obviously we got to know the tributes a little better in the book, but I didn’t really connect to any of them all that well (besides Katniss and Peeta) so I sort of just felt blah when they were killed. I was a LITTLE sad when Rue bit the dust but it wasn’t NEARLY as sad as when I read it in the book. Me reading Rue’s death involved tears running down my face. Me seeing Rue’s death on the big screen involved me looking at Michael and giving a shrug that sort of said, “Yeah, you win some, you lose some.”

Overall, I really enjoyed the movie. All two and a half hours of it. I had forgotten how much I hate going to opening night movies though… I don’t like my arm touching the stranger’s next to me! I can’t stand noisy candy openers! Loud soda slurpers! There’s a menagerie of people I dislike in a movie theater. The girls behind me that insisted on announcing what was going to happen two minutes before it actually did had me clenching my jaw. The girl walking out who said, “That movie was TOTES AWESOME!” had me clenching my fists. But I guess that’s the price you pay for insisting on seeing the most popular movie out right now on opening night…

Annnnd… You’re In!

February 10, 2012

What? What’s this? Is this me following through on a promise I made about posting? IT IS! I know. I can’t believe it either. But here we are so let’s enjoy this once in a lifetime moment.

Yesterday, I was telling everyone the shows that got cut from my To-Watch List. Sad, but true; several shows that I once enjoyed had lost their luster and decisions had to be made. Hard decisions, people. (Except for Glee. That was a long time coming.) Anyways, now let’s take a look at what IS crowding my DVR.

IN:

New Girl: This show had me from the re-enactment of Dirty Dancing that they did in the first episode. Zooey Deschanel is hilarious and odd and just endearing. Plus, she reminds me SO much of my friend Becky. (Yes, I did say she was odd but totally in a good way. Like I said. You know, endearing.) It’s quickly moving up my list of favorites. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not 30 Rock but Michael likes it too so that makes it easier. New Girl, don’t screw things up.

 

Suburgatory: Ah! I am in love with Jane Levy, the actress who plays the main character in this show. PLUS. It has Elton! You know, Elton from Clueless! Except now he’s old enough to be the father of a teenager so that makes me feel super old, but still! Elton! So Tessa (Levy) moves with her single dad from the city to the suburbs and is faced with the harsh reality of suburban life. (I know, it’s the age-old tale of fish out of water, but I promise it’s worth a watch.) Mike isn’t as big of a fan but it’s not like he runs out of the room when it comes on. (Although he DID delete it once because UK was getting ready to play and instead of just switching the receiver to the other DVR, he decided it would be easier to just cancel the recording. And it was the Halloween episode! Which I’m sure was hilarious! Oh yes, he heard about my feelings. My angry, angry feelings.)

 

Mad Men: Look, I get it. I haven’t shut up about Mad Men in any of my posts lately. I’m aware! However, Michael is just as obsessed with it so it’s by FAR the show we watch the most right now. And! Did you guys know that I was unaware that the new season hasn’t started yet?? Because I wasn’t! I was actually trying to reign in our obsession just to stretch out the time we had with all our favorite chain smokers because I thought the current season was too far gone and I would have to wait for it to hit Netflix. NOT SO. It doesn’t start until March 25th! So basically what I’m saying is that Sunday nights are officially booked come the end of March! Smoke ’em if you got ’em!

So, tell me. Am I missing anything? Obviously we watch way more shows than this but the rest are my regular trashy, reality tv lineup and the regulars like The Office, 30 Rock, The Walking Dead, Community, etc. Seriously, there has to be some show out there that is going to be the next big thing and I’m unaware of it. Because really, I am NEVER on the cutting edge of television!

 

 

Making Some Cutbacks

February 9, 2012

As I reviewed the current DVR schedule I came to grips with an issue I didn’t want to admit was happening, but it’s true. We are overcommitting ourselves to the television. There are just entirely too many things that are crowding up our DVR and last night I took the time and re-evaluated the shows we REALLY want to watch. (I know. We’re just wallowing in the 1% sorrow of it all… Such first world problems we have… Right, Christina?)

OUT

Desperate Housewives: I know. It’s the last season! How could I?? Well, I’ll tell you. You may or may not remember the Great DVR Disaster of 2011, but it involved me accidentally deleting everything on my DVR. This included a ton of DH episodes I had yet to watch. When that happened I gave up recording it for the rest of the season with the intent of renting it or something so I could catch up and watch the final season as it aired. Well, my plans were sidetracked by… I don’t know… other television shows, probably, and I never watched season 6. Even though I kept it on the schedule the episodes were just piling up and last night I deleted them all, plus the timer for the show. Goodbye, ladies. You were fun while you lasted.

Glee: Oh. MY. GOSH. I don’t even know why I pretended to be ok with this show still being on my DVR… I’ve hated it since the second season… I can’t stand Rachel. I can’t stand Kurt. I can’t stand Mercedes. Basically, I hate all the characters, I think the storylines are cheesy and the acting is awful. I kept thinking, “Maybe it’ll get like the first season again…” but one day I was trying to watch it and Mike came in. He took one look as the characters broke out into some ridiculous song and dance and said, “There is no way you’re actually enjoying this…” and he was right! I wasn’t! I was watching it because I felt forced to because it was taking up space on my DVR. I don’t know. It just got to the point that I felt like it was trying too hard and that’s when it lost its magic. You shall not be missed, annoying high school students of McKinley High.

90210: Yes, feel free to judge. I’m a lover of all things 80s (well, this is more 90s, yes…) and I’m of the rare breed of people who actively love remakes of 80s things. I don’t feel like they’re tarnishing the originals. I can’t explain it, really. I just love them. Point is, I got super excited when they announced 90210 was making a comeback so I immediately set the DVR to record all the episodes. I’m not even going to pretend like I didn’t love it from the start. I totally did. But then, life got busy as life is wont to do and it got pushed to the back burner on the stove of Television Shows I Must Watch. Then the episodes started stacking up and before I knew it I had missed like 10 episodes. Once I”m ten episodes behind, there is no going back. So, yes,  90210 got deleted. Farewell, West Bev friends. Don’t OD on cocaine and die after I leave!

Also not making the cut were, Mike’s black and white movies that he claims “help him fall asleep at night.” (Not on my watch, pal. That is precious DVR space you’re wasting!) and Secret Circle. Now, I realize a key part of my problem is the fact that I keep turning to the CW for new shows. I never said I had mature taste in television. I don’t. I’m ok with it.

However, with all this free time I now have the chance to burn through Mad Men on Netflix Streaming.  It shall be glorious. Now tomorrow I’ll give you a list of the shows that I’m currently obsessed with and you can judge me some more. Sounds fun, right?