Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Books in August, 2010

So this has been the longest month ever. I got home from Deutsch Camp on the 8th, and was afraid that I'd have no summer left. But the last 2 and a half weeks have been the longest weeks ever. I just want the cold to come. And school work and schedules. What does all this have to do with the books I read this month you ask? Nothing. I just felt like complaining about August, my least favorite month. Onward, reading ho!

1. Spindle's End, Robin McKinley
This book was a complete head trip. I guess it's my new favorite fantasy book ever. It dealt with all my favorite themes like sacrificial love. It was really thick and magnificent and I want to marry Barder.

2. Fever 1793, Laurie Halse Anderson
This was really good historical fiction. Actually it was too good. It had so much FACT that it distracted from the story. I think it could have been improved by being about 100 pages longer.

3. The Death of Adam, Marilynne Robinson
A mind-blowing book of essays on modern thought. Family and Puritans and Prigs were my favorites. I never thought I was the sort who would like reading theology but I have proved myself wrong this year.

4. We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Shirley Jackson
This book was like a children's book, but for adults. It had the same magical, meandering, plotless beauty that children's literature does so well. It read like a fantasy but it was completely probable, the author did a magnificent job plotting it.

5. Heretics, GK Chesterton
My third book of his, and my second of his theological endeavors, this book really convicted me. It's amazing that something written almost a hundred years ago could still be so relevant and true. Read it now.

6. Flowers in the Rain, Rosamunde Pilcher
This was a lovely collection of short stories. They were all romantic and ridiculous and very British and very beautiful. It was just escapist loveliness.

7. The Dreamer: The Consequence of Nathan Hale, Lora Innes
This is actually an online graphic novel, but I am counting it because I read it. It is everything that a girl who spent her childhood watching Liberty's Kids could want.

8. Cannery Row, John Steinbeck
I think that I'd rather read about the midwest than about Yorkshire or something. There is a kind of gloomy magic to be found in stories about American landscapes. This book was pretty plotless but absolutely gorgeous. It felt labored over, and that's a beautiful thing.

Yeah, I didn't read that much this month. It was too hot to read. Today was such a waste of a day. Yawn.

Monday, August 30, 2010

30 Days in a Day or Love Song to The X-Files

Well we did it. We finished the nine seasons and two theatrical releases also known as The X-Files. This is a bittersweet time for me. It was a wonderful journey, probably the most fun I've ever had watching a tv show. Can you think of a better way to put all my new Phile knowledge to use than a 30 Day Meme... IN ONE DAY?

Day 1: favourite season.
Season 5. The middle season. It kind of pans out equally in both directions. Season 5's mythos was great. I am a sucker for all things Spender Family. It also is home to some of the best motw episodes. Post-Modern Prometheus, Detour, Pine Bluff Variant, Bad Blood. Also would it be shallow if I mentioned that Scully and Mulder's hair looked particularly awesome this season? I would call season five 'Classic Files.'

Day 2: least favourite season
I honestly do not dislike any of the seasons. Picking a least favorite feels like wrong. But I guess that season 2 and season 8's motw episodes were not quite as awesome as the other seven seasons...

Day 3: first episode you ever saw
Drive. I was in awe of it. I had never seen anything like it and I just wanted more, more, more! I mean, Drive is hardly even a shippy episode but I knew that Mulder and Scully were destiny. It was just this adrenalin rush.

Day 4: favourite female character
MONICA REYES. The Monica haters can just get out of my fandom. Mulder may be my all-time favorite fictional character, but even I'm not dumb enough to hate on Monica just because she isn't him. She sleeps in fancy bras because she wants to. She has a gorgeous apartment. She likes whale songs. She is Scully's friend. She has Mulder's passion, his drive and his emotional connections to everything with Scully's grace and integrity.

Day 5: favourite male character
WALTER SKINNER, also known as the Killer Donut. The development of his character and relationship with Scully and Mulder through the show was amazing. The way he rises to the occasion in season 8, his fierce protection of Scully for Mulder's sake. Sacrificial love at it's best- he gets nothing out of it, but he does it anyway. And I love how he has his own path to accepting The Truth. Everyone needs a friend like Skinner on their side.

Day 6: favourite villain
Whenever Cancer Man and Diana shared screentime I had trouble not shielding my eyes. T'was truly painful. Cancer Man is the biggest, baddest villain of course, the Greater Good villain, the Ben Linus of the X-Files only worse. And then Diana is the one that makes me squeamish because Mulder trusted her and Spender had to work with her. Scully hated her of course, but that was a bit more jealousy.

Day 7: favourite episode
Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose. A laugh out loud funny episode that made me tear up at the end. Clyde Bruckman is probably the X-File's masterpiece when it comes to guest characters. And for a motw episode, it really dove into character development.

Day 8: favourite monster of the week
Prometheus. The script in this one was insane, my favorite X-Files script hands down. The scenes in the diner are just perfection. And of course, is there such a thing as a better way to end an episode than with Mulder and Scully dancing to Cher with Mutato? It distanced itself from the show, turning the whole episode into an ironic, metaphysical fantasy that captivates you as a caricature of the show as a whole.

Day 9: favourite Mulder moment
When he reads Samantha's diary in Closure and the final scene with Samantha in that same episode. Her arc remains my favorite on The X-Files, because it is essentially Mulder's arc. I thought it was wrapped up in a beautiful way, I don't think they could have done it better. It really gave Mulder a chance to let go and David Duchovny room to show off his acting skills.

Day 10: favourite Scully moment
In Beyond the Sea, when she gives Boggs the smack-down. We'd never seen Scully angry before, or impassioned like that. But here she was, on the verge of believing the only thing Mulder refused to believe. Her father had just died, her partner was dying and she just exploded. I think it is one of her strongest moments, and yet one of her most vulnerable.

Day 11: favourite Skinner moment
When he shoots Krycek in Existence. Basically Skinner did what everyone else had been too afraid to do for six years. He just killed him because that was what was needed to be done. Krycek had hurt too many people, and he had just had enough. THANK YOU KILLER DONUT. I had been screaming at someone to shoot Krycek in the head for two seasons by that point.

Day 12: favourite Doggett moment
Sunshine Days. Not moments, I know, but he was so free and easy and loveable. He believed for the first time... and it was over. His moments with Monica in this one is also awesome, but mainly I can say his "A to B to C" theories. LOVE YOU BABE.

Day 13: favourite Monica moment
How do I begin to describe Monica Reyes? Monica Reyes is flawless. But my favorite moment of hers is when she finds Doggett in Mexico in John Doe. It was then that I realized that she was the sweetest, sincerest, loveliest thing to grace The X-Files. Doggett was a better man for having her, Scully was a better woman for befriending her and Mulder was a better man for meeting her. Her grace and passion continue to amaze me.

Day 14: favourite Lone Gunmen moment
The poker game in Three of a Kind. Actually they were at their best that entire episode.

Day 15: happiest scene
The end of How the Ghosts Stole Christmas because, excuse my Milagro reference, loneliness is a choice, and they chose not to be lonely.

Day 16: funniest scene
This glorious scene from Dreamland.
"I’m Mulder. I’m really Mulder. I switched bodies, places, identities with this man Morris Fletcher the man that you think is Mulder, but he’s not. Of course you don’t believe me. Why was I expecting anything different? Your full name is Dana Katherine Scully. Your badge number is… hell! I don’t know your badge number. Your mother’s name is Margaret. Your brother’s name is Bill Jr and he’s in the Navy and he hates me. Lately, for lunch, you’ve been having this six-ounce cup of yogurt, plain yogurt, into which you stir bee pollen because you’re on a bee pollen kick even though I tell you you’re a scientist and you should know better."
Also Bad Blood, Small Potatoes, Rain King, Arcadia, Improbable.... ♥

Day 17: most dramatic scene
In This is Not Happening, when Scully finds Mulder dead on the ground and goes running back to find Jeremiah. It was just so tense and desperate and I found myself holding my breath. Scully's had a hard life but I've got to say, this was her most dramatic moment.

Day 18: most heartbreaking scene
In Sein und Zeit, when Scully confronts Mulder about his mother's death. The lack of music or any sounds other than them in this scene was what made it so stressful. It's very lonely. As sad as many Mulder/Scully moments are, you know that they both survive, that they have each other in the end. Mulder's mother really is dead. He has no family to speak of. It is the only X-File I have cried at.

Day 19: favourite Mulder/Scully moment
The end of Existence. Because that was the first concrete on-screen moment. Season eight alludes to the Mulder and Scully romance that was cleverly kept in the background through the seventh and sixth seasons. And then, finally, in Existence, you get to see that. The truth we all know.

Day 20: favourite Mulder/Scully phone conversation
"Mulder? Are you sure it wasn't a girly scream?" I love these phone calls because already in the third season they were already calling each other when they were bored. They've always had an adorable codependent relationship. Also, "Her name is Bambi?"

Day 21: an episode you hate but everyone else loves
Hate is a strong word, but Tithonus wasn't like the best thing since the invention of Wonder Bread. In my opinion. It was too much like Clyde Bruckman...

Day 22: an episode you hated at first, but now love
At first? I've seen most of the episodes once. So I will change this question to, "what is the most underrated episode?" Pine Bluff Variant people, where is the love? Skinner is so awesome in it and Scully's uber concern for Mulder's terrorist habits are really funny. And Mulder gets his fingers broken which is not funny, but seriously awesome.

Day 23: favourite mytharc or reoccurring storyline
Spender-Mulder family drama. It's amazing to imagine that at the heart of all these messed up (albeit lovely) people is CGB Spender... just waiting to ruin everyone's life.

Day 24: favourite title for an episode
Folie a Deux because that pretty much sums up the X-Files. "You are my one in five billion."

Day 25: favourite kiss
I'd love Mulder and Scully whether they had on-screen kisses or not, that is the magic of Mulder and Scully. My favorite kiss on the X-Files was the one that made me fall out of my chair with glee. The Alex/Martia kiss in Patient X. Their story was a completely sexy and evil surprise. And Alex totally comes from BEYOND THE GRAVE to protect her.

Day 26: favourite season finale
Requiem kicks ass. It was like a family reunion gone bad! Marita and Krycek and the Gunmen and BILLLLY and that symbolic baby. It was very epic, you could tell it was all downhill from here, it had a Dues ex Machina feel to it. In th end when Scully tells Skinner she's pregnant and he's all like, "I LOST MULLDER!" I was just asdfghjkll;hgd!!!

Day 27: favourite scene, EVER
Like, ever? Like, the most bestest scene ever of all the scenes to love? That is roughly 8,926 minutes to root through! I shall punk out and say the end of The Truth because it fills me with warm fuzzies. "Maybe there's hope."

Day 28: favourite FTF moment
The whole chasing-the-truck scene. From the part in the car up to the cornfield scene. It is sort of a quintessential X-Files moment. It's like the middle of the movie which is right in the middle of the show. I think most people who have never actually watched the show would think of those scenes. The bees, the helicopters.

Day 29: favourite IWTB moment
The scene in bed. After all those crazy years they can still lay in bed and be normal. What I loved about IWTB is that Mulder and Scully have been living pretty normally for the last few years. Scully finally got her neat (okay, really messy) little house and nice little job. It'd be awesome to have a mytharc movie where Scully and Mulder get back to staring down our alien overlords, but didn't they deserve a few calm years?

Day 30: favourite quote
SURE. FINE. WHATEVER. I use this quote daily in my daily life.

I am never going to watch any other television. THIS IS THE END.

Ode to the decade I failed to pay attention to.

It's okay. I was young. I only enjoyed the Magic School Bus/Reading Rainbow part of the 90's. But the father away we get from them and the more I examine them, the more sure I am that their aesthetic was the best aesthetic everrrrr.

Scott Pilgrim, Plumtree, 1997. So girl bands in the 90's were just supior to girl bands now. Actually, there aren't even girl bands anymore.

Harry Potter, 1998-2007. I was so late to the Harry Potter party it's pathetic.

Business-Lady Suits. Like Moonlighting suits, the ones that everyone but me think are ugly.

Speed, 1994. Reasons why I love this film: 1. The 90's fashion. 2. Exploding trains. 3. Keanu's Hot Bod. 4. Keanu and Sandra being adorable. 5. Keanu and Sandra making out. 6. Defusing bombs is a mythical hobby of mine.

The Cranberries, 1993. My favorite 90's music ever, they are just so

The X-Files, 1993-2002. Television has never been the same, The X-Files influenced basically everything.

Lovely Grunge. I long for a time when this was appropriate going-out clothes.

The Chicken Doesn't Skate, 1996. Probably the best book for 8-12 ever written. (And by best I mean funnest.)

Clueless, 1995. That was harsh, Tia.

Victorian Goth. My sister wants to reinvent herself as a Victorian Goth but the current fashion industry is not complying with her dreams.

Sixpence None the Richer, 1992-2004. The best, Christian rock band ever. I dare you to find better. Their biggest hit Kiss Me was released summer 1998.

Okay, the end. Today was pretty boring apart from the Baja salad from Wendy's.
I have so many books out from the library, I can not possible read them all in time. *stresses out* Why do they insist on all coming at the same time?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Alicia Keys

I like her. A lot.

No One, Alicia Keys. 'Kay bye.