Culture Consumption: January 2015

Happy Super Bowl Sunday! Before the day gets super-crazy with our upcoming annual Super Bowl Party, I thought I’d go ahead and post my January stats for 2015. As always, if you want to discuss any of these, just say so in the comments.


1) Low Midnight by Carrie Vaughn
2) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
3) Acceptance by Jeff VanderMeer
4) My Real Children by Jo Walton

Short Fiction

None in January


25 individual issues read in January, but the TBR pile for comics is HUGE. There’s a lot I need to catch up on.

Annihilator #1
Annihilator #2
Annihilator #3
Annihilator #4
Coffin Hill #12
Coffin Hill #13
Coffin Hill #14
Copperhead #4
Gotham By Midnight #1
Lazarus #13
Low #3
Low #4
Low #5
Ody-C #1
Operation S.I.N. #1
Shadow Show #1
Sleepy Hollow #3
Supreme Blue Rose #4
Supreme Blue Rose #5
The Massive #30
The Walking Dead #135
Wolf Moon #1
Wytches #1
Wytches #2
Wytches #3


* = repeat viewing

Batman Begins*
Draft Day
Into The Woods (In theaters)
The Dark Knight*
The Dark Knight Rises*

Television Shows

A note with television: these are the shows I completed in the month of January, not a list of everything on-going that I’m still watching.

American Horror Story: Freak Show
Boardwalk Empire, Season 5
Galavant, Season 1
Homeland, Season 4
Penny Dreadful, Season 1

That’s it from me! Also, feel free to share whatever 2015 stats you’ve got! How many books? How many movies? What were your favorites? Lay them on me!


Nice is Different Than Good

I’ve mentioned it before, but during my senior year of high school, the music and theater department produced Into the Woods. As a member of the top choir, participating was part of my grade, and while I auditioned for the witch, I was sick and wasn’t able to sing worth a damn that day, and I ended up as Cinderella’s step-mother. Into the Woods was a fun, challenging musical, but I daresay it was the best musical we did during my four years there (which included Once Upon a Mattress, Music Man, and South Pacific). When I was auditioning for vocal performance scholarships, one of the professors was quite surprised we’d performed the musical, and I could hear the incredulity in her voice and the unasked question, “And was it any good?”

It was damn good.

But it’s funny, because as Red Riding Hood so aptly puts it, “I know things now, many valuable things, that I hadn’t known before.” While I understood intellectually some of the themes of the musical when I was in high school, watching the film adaptation nearly fifteen years later put some things in stark relief. The Baker’s Wife’s “Moments In The Woods” has a far deeper meaning than it did when I was in high school, and while I always got the innuendo in Little Red’s “I Know Things Now,” there were other things I simply couldn’t appreciate about the story and its themes until I was indeed older.  In high school, I loved the mishmash of fairy tales and how musical explored what happens after happily ever after. As an adult, I appreciate so much more.

The movie was fun. Great. I absolutely loved the voices of the cast and promptly downloaded not just the soundtrack, but the special edition soundtrack that’s the movie’s entire score (at least, that’s what it looks like: I haven’t started listening to it on repeat yet). If you’re a fan of the musical, you should know the second act has been heavily adapted. Some things happen that weaken the power and the motivation of the Witch’s “The Last Midnight,” and the movie doesn’t do the proper time jump between acts, which would’ve helped a lot for the uninitiated viewer, and helped really drive the themes home at the end. Be that as it may, I went with a friend who’d never seen the musical (or sang in it), so we had a good discussion afterwards. She enjoyed it, and I made her promise to see the stage production with Bernadette Peters on DVD/BluRay because it’s amazing and it’s what we all memorized when we did this back in high school.

And while I downloaded the movie’s soundtrack, I really want to dig through my old boxes and find my copy of the original Broadway recording. Hearing the music just brings back memories, and this musical is a delight.

To be fair, I would really love to see if anyone has a video recording of my high school‘s performance of it. Because that would be hysterically awesome and scary to watch. Scary, because hey, looking at an 18 year-old-version of myself, and also the fear: what if we weren’t as good as I thought we were? There is an inherent weirdness in high schoolers playing all the roles, where watching the movie, the age difference really helps drive the points and themes home. But still: it’d be awesome to watch.


Currently Writing: Codename: Magic Twins
Last night’s word count: 688 words
Total word count: 8,230 words
If you’re a writer, do you know how you get those moments where you think of something for your plot and you realize you’re actually an evil genius? I had one of those moments today, but the trick is how to make it work without completely deflating and depressing the reader. Must ponder.

Currently Reading: Jeff VanderMeer’s Acceptance
I got to read today before and after chili consumption. Good deal. I’ve just hit a plot detail that has perplexed me, and I want to keep reading to find out what this crazy story is all about. Damn those Golden Globes for distracting me…

Next up: Monday, work day, yay? I have a counseling session tomorrow, and I know my husband will be engrossed watching the National Championship Game. Fun times. Oh, it’s gonna be a crazy week….

Today’s headline brought to you from — you guessed it! — Into The Woods. You can hear Lila Crawford’s rendition of “I Know Things Now” here. Damn, this girl is good.

All Hail the Furminator!

I’ve been following author Cherie Priest for a good many years now, and by following, I’m talking about the legal, read-the-blog-and-all-her-books kind of way, not the stalker kind of way. At any rate, some time ago, and it’s been so long I don’t remember what year it was, she posted about a handy little cat brush that her cat adored, which was impressive since — if I remember correctly — her cat didn’t like being brushed.

This caught my attention. Obviously, because I have a cat, but also because at the time, I’d only get to brush Storm Shadow for so long before he decided the brush was his mortal enemy and he’d turn around and attack it.

I figured if this brush worked for Cherie Priest’s cat, maybe it’d work for mine too. So I bought the Furminator.

And it did not disappoint. In fact, I was so happy with the the product I bought brushes for my family members who also had cats. I’ve heard that dog owners who’ve bought the brushes have been thrilled as well. Of course, with any product, you can’t make everyone happy, and the version I use is quite old, not the one that’s currently for sale on the website.

I should note this post is not meant to be a shill for the product. No one’s asked me to post this, I’m not getting paid for it, etc. No, the reason I’m talking about it is to tell a little story about my Friday evening.

You want to know how much my cat loves being brushed with the Furminator? When he sees me get it out, he will literally run over and jump in my lap to get brushed. And while getting brushed, he will also drool.

That’s how much he loves the Furminator.


Currently Writing: Codename: Magic Twins
Last night’s word count: 1,113 words
Total word count: 7,013 words
Ended up writing far more than I expected last night, and I ended up really liking the scene that came out. When you’re discovery drafting, sometimes characters surprise you. I’m starting to wonder if my hero’s love interest is actually who I thought it was when I began.

Currently Reading: Jeff VanderMeer’s Acceptance
This is only taking a while because I’ve had very little time to read. This weekend doesn’t look promising on the reading front either, but I’m enjoying it so far. I swear this trilogy belongs in the same category as the television show Lost and the comic book series Morning Glories, and I hearby declare that category as “Weird-Ass But Fascinatingly Wonderful Shit.” I mean “shit” in the best, coolest way.

Next up: Saturday, I shall finally go see Into The Woods, which I’ve been dying to do ever since I heard this movie was coming out. My expectations are in check for the second half, but I still can’t wait to see the whole thing on the big screen. When I was in high school, we did this musical my senior year. I was Cinderella’s step-mom. We also hope to finish watching the final season of Boardwalk Empire. Two episodes left!

Oh, and also on Saturday? I shall make lemon pie.