Lub

It’s saturday night and I am somewhere near devastated.

My boyfriend and I can no longer be together.

And by boyfriend, I mean…
tcm-asia

Truthfully, TCM has been closer to me than some boyfriends, so you might understand the confusion.

Up and down the guide I scrolled tonight, searching for my beloved station. But a replacement channel delivered the bad news… In a small description under the program information, it simply said: “Turner Classic Movies was removed by Turner Networks”

…NOOOOOOOOO!!!!

This is worse than a text message break-up (with which, I have unfortunately also had experience).

Apparently, Dish Network could not resolve contract issues with Turner Broadcasting (as the internet informed me), therefore, it lost several Turner affiliated channels. I’m sure to most Dish customers, this is no big loss. To me, it is the loss of the only fandom outlet for my off-center interests.

I only watch three programs devoutly on television: Project Runway, Downton Abbey, and TCM.
Considering that Project Runway and Downton Abbey both have 12 or fewer shows per series, you may deduce that watching films on TCM is at least 70% of my television watching regime. (please do not depend on any true math skills for these solutions because I certainly didn’t use any)

To say that this news is a blow, is putting it lightly.

Classic movies are not a common fascination for the average twenty-seven-year-old (as you might imagine), so I do not know many people who share my interests. Of course this doesn’t dissuade me in the least, after all, I could make the same assessment about most of my interests. But it’s not like I can get suggestions from friends or swap favorites with anyone.
TCM fulfilled this for me.

Best of all…

THERE WERE NO. FREAKING. COMMERCIALS!

Well, I suppose it’s inevitable.

True love has been torn apart throughout history.
Perhaps we will someday be together again. Like when I have another cable provider.

Excites It to a Healthy and Lively Action

New York Times – Front Pages 1851 to ___ caught my eye when I was at the book store. I wanted to look at the papers from the 1850s for both the news of the time and the writing style. Of course, like newspaper readers of any time period, I was caught up in the advertising.

Look at the numerous and varied ailments this remedy promised to “cure”:

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My personal favorite is “Imaginings of evil”.

Versatile indeed.

T’was She

I often look at newspapers.
I say look because I might read a story or two if they catch my eye but, truthfully, the pertinent use of my newspaper is to look for job opportunities. Every Sunday I am sure to scour through the classifieds to see if there are any potential openings.
Looking for jobs is like my fourth job.

The usual routine was not any different this Sunday as I leafed through the sections looking for Business and Real Estate once again. However, this time I was stopped by a familiar face with a recognizable mole.
Was it?
My eyes moved across the page to the bolded words printed next to the picture. There it was. Her name! And it was in my…. local… newspaper.

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Marjane Satrapi.
An article devoted to one of my most influential authoresses and her work.
I was ecstatic.

My introduction to Ms. Satrapi’s work was in college where I studied children’s literature as a minor. I fell in love with her story-telling and her point-of-view. Her book Persepolis not only assisted to break me into the world of graphic novels, but also, to a small piece of middle-eastern history. Admittedly, with out her fascinating stories, I would have likely remained somewhat ignorant about Iran and its culture.

persepolis

It was (probably) 2009 when I first read this book. I am not sure how widely known her work was at that time, but I had never heard of it or its author. Today, I find Persepolis in the “Must Read” section of most book stores. This being true, it is odd that I have not found many fellow readers of this enlightening book.
I suppose this is why I was so very glad to find an article publicizing her wonderful graphic novels and films.  (Yay!!)

Perhaps it should have been obvious, but this article had a local relevance that served its true purpose in the long run. It wasn’t just that this interesting author was being highlighted, but that she is soon to be in town as a speaker.

Oh, but how one’s hopes can raise up and drop down again in the matter of one solitary  paragraph…

“The Parisian will bring her world view to Toledo at 7 p.m. Oct. 22 when she’ll appear at Authors! Authors! in a question-and-answer format with Kurt Franck, executive editor of The Blade. The talk in the McMaster Center of the Main Library is sold out”

 

……….(NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!)

 

I am disappointed that it is a bit too late to have found that she will be speaking, BUT I am consoled in finding that the same speaker series will host another  important authoress of mine, Sandra Cisneros!
Come on April!

But that’s a discussion for another day.

Westerns are the Besterns

Apparently, Back to The Future III is not a beloved movie.

In fact, the common BTTF trilogy reviews I’ve been given are as follows:
“I love the first movie and I like the second one, even though it’s a little goofy, but I’ve only seen parts of the third one and I didn’t really like it.”

OR

“The second one is my favorite when they go to the future, but the first one is good too. I’ve never seen the third movie but it looked stupid and I don’t like westerns.”

Well.
I love the third movie and you can’t stop me!!

Photo credit to some guy named Brian on the internet, who probably also took this from somewhere else on the internet.
Photo credit to some guy on the internet who probably also took this from somewhere on the internet.

My own (0% scientific) study has led me to a better understanding of this popular opinion. It is not simply a dislike of the third Back to the Future movie but a universal dislike of all westerns!

How can this be?!

I have loved westerns for…..ever, so, no I do not understand this seemingly wide-spread disgust.

I am a writer.
Well….
I have studied creative writing, anyway. So, I am at least a bad writer. Although I do hope to have works eventually published, admittedly I am not very diligent in my goal. I get caught up with other aspects of life (and blah,blah, blah, other excuses). The thing is, when people ask me what I am writing, I am always hesitant to give the answer.

Why is that, you may wonder?
I am writing a western.
Yes.

“Oh… I don’t like westerns. But I’ll read yours!” they say.
Well, thank you, I guess….
but what’s not to like about westerns?

What is it they dislike so much?… Horses?… Standoffs?… Boots?…Dirt, maybe?

I have been doing a lot of research. I have to.
Reading Charles Portis, Laura Ingalls Wilder, a few chapters of McCarthy’s Blood Meridian, and watching ten thousand Sam Elliot starring, Louis L’amour adapted movies do not make one a western writing aficionado. Apparently.

Alright, my knowledge of the American West is a bit wider than I am letting on (and don’t worry, I have seen lots of John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, and Robert Duvall related works) but, to be sure, there will be a lot of studying in order to have a book of some quality.
In truth, there are so many aspects in which I need clarification. Not only do I scour the internet for information, but if I see a book that I think might be remotely related (and helpful), I will pick it up, as long as the price is reasonable.
Here is an example of such as book:
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I don’t intend on having a train robbery(s) in my novel, but the book is still a useful tool of information.
How the plans were hashed, the kind of people involved, the justice system etc. There are even interesting little tidbits I picked up as in a case where the useful evidence for law enforcement was the track of a “gambler’s boot”. Had never heard of such a thing.

I want my book to be as accurate as possible and yet in-keeping with my own writing style. I don’t want it to be written as a 19th century author would, but I do want the characters to have 19th century voices and perspectives. Still completely immersed in the 19th century American west, I suppose.
Since I am clearly working with a small window of interested readers, perhaps my goal should also be to make my writing so good that it will turn some of the nay-sayers. After all, it was an exciting, strange, and uncharted new place and time, how can this not interest so many people?

Anyway, back to the third installment of Back to the Future.

It is a silly movie, yes and is even a bit more romantic than the other films. I’m sure however, that these are the qualities that attract me so strongly to this film over the others and while I am passionately in love with all three of these (somewhat ridiculous) movies, number III will always be my favorite.

With this devotion to westerns – silly or serious- I will continue to defend this genre and hope to someday convert those who seek to destroy it. 🙂

Underlying Manifesto

I have recently been informed that reading five books at the same time is… irregular…..
Say whaaaaat?
And by this, you don’t have to imagine me as some form of Ganesha with abnormal amounts of appendages for book-holding.
Nope.
I just don’t have a definite need to start and finish one book before going on to the next.

But I have learned that mine is strange behavior.
I was discussing a forthcoming, long work day with a friend last week. He told me he hadn’t brought along a book for the (likely) four hours of boredom he would be facing. For a schedule in which I would normally bring at least three books to pass the time, he hadn’t even brought one! The reasoning he gave was that he had been waiting on a book for over a year and it was going to be released the next day. He explained that because of this, he couldn’t begin a different book as he was going to read this wonderful, magical, anticipated book once he could purchase it on the day following.

What kind of nonsense was this?!? Such an alien concept to me.

After asking other book-reading-humans (trust me, they can’t all be titled this way) about their reading habits, I found that yes…
I am….
a book-reading-alien.
“How can you keep the stories straight?” They asked me.
And, well, I don’t know!
There are so many things to think about in life. How do I keep all those things straight?
….exactly.
THUS, It can not be so very abnormal to read several stories in the same space of time.

It’s not as if I have some crazy story-compacting, super-power brain. Trust me. My A.C.T. scores, I’m sure, would prove that impossible.

If I haven’t already brought my dedication level down by several notches, I am now going to admit to you that I also do not recall ever having stayed up all night reading and/or finishing a book.
This is not to say that I do not have very deep connections to books. My favorite book I have read 3 times. Many of my favorites have exorbitant amounts of underlined, meaningful passages (which is one of the reasons why I do not like to lend out my books… embarrassment). So, this should be evidence enough that my books, and the stories within them, are important to me.

Perhaps I am reaching out.
With billions of humans on this planet, one can make the assumption that others share the same idiosyncrasies. I however, have not found them in my limited circle of friends/acquaintances.
In fact, this has been a common occurrence in most facets of my life. That is to say, it doesn’t much bother me, but I figured why not use the means I have in finding others who might share these interests and idiosyncrasies.

Alien as we may be to some, I’m sure I’d love to find the other habitants of my native land.

And somewhere in these rambling lines of mine is the underlying manifesto for my necessity in creating this blog.