Booking Through Thursday: Books Into Film

What book would you love to see turned into a movie?

Every so often, I hear rumblings about movie or TV versions of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods and Sandman, and I’d really love to see both.

But I figured I’d turn to my Goodreads account and progress for this.

Lawrence Block’s A Walk Among the Tombstones got made into a movie–which I enjoyed and recommend for crime fans–but I’d like to see the rest of the Matthew Scudder crime novels get adapted, too. I didn’t read A Walk Among the Tombstones, in part because I’m trying to read the Scudder novels in order (I’m on the first, The Sins of the Fathers) and the older ones are really hard to find–but I like the way Liam Neeson played the character and I liked the way the film was done, and I’d like to see them work with the other books.

I also just realized why The Sins of the Fathers is called The Sins of the Fathers. Good job, Lawrence Block!

I’m also reading Stephen King’s Dreamcatcher and Bag of Bones, both of which have been adapted in some form, and both adaptations are said to be not very good. That said, I do still want to see them to see for myself how they turned out. I imagine Dreamcatcher is pretty disturbing, if done well, but could be pretty terrible in the wrong hands. And I can’t picture Pierce Brosnan as the protagonist in Bag of Bones, but hey.

Most of all, though, I’d be really curious to see how an adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ Out of the Silent Planet would go, mostly in terms of cinematography. It’s a movie that could look great and just be great, but it would also be difficult to do well.

Oh, and of course I’d love to see a film version of my newest favorite, Tess of the D’Urbervilles.

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Last weekend was the usual–walking, eating out, cleaning out Paul’s apartment some, generally hanging out otherwise. Then Tuesday night, my mom and I headed out to see the Psychedelic Furs.

I never win anything. Brandon’s always had the reputation for being the lucky one, and there’s an infamous family story about how when we were little, Brandon won a stuffed animal at a Mardi Gras game with pull-tab tickets and I won nothing and started crying, so all the relatives around me basically just threw down cash because they felt bad and let me draw until I won, too. And I think I still have the bear I won, which my parents nicknamed “Costly.” In retrospect, it was super nice of everyone to pay for me to play just because they felt bad for me.

But the point is that’s basically the way our lives have always gone when it comes to any sort of gambling or game of chance or contest–Brandon wins, I don’t, except once every so often. I won 20 bucks on a scratch-off my mom gave me for Easter, and I won those Psychedelic Furs tickets through a random drawing in the promo company’s newsletter. They do it every week. They list three upcoming shows and give away two sets of two tickets for each, and all you have to do is reply to the e-mail saying which one you’re entering and give your contact info. And since I like a few Furs songs, I figured what the hell.

I got the e-mail saying I won in the airport coming home from Brandon’s coot-camp graduation, and I had a logistical “oh shit” moment thinking about what to do about it being on a Tuesday night and who I could get to go with me. Honestly, I had a moment where I thought maybe I should just say it ended up that I couldn’t go and tell them to redraw for someone else, but I asked my parents–the first go-to when it comes to concerts with post-punk ’80s bands–and my mom was interested, despite it being between board-meeting nights. But I got the day after off, and we went.

I was planning on driving since it was at Mr. Smalls, which is outside of the city, so I drove to my parents’ from work. But because I hadn’t driven into the city from there in awhile and my mom’s car is bigger than mine, she felt better driving it and didn’t mind the city driving as long as I gave good directions–and that’s usually just a matter of not giving my dad’s directions, which aren’t so much directions as they are a list of unhelpful possibilities. He’s good for saying, “You can go any way you want,” which isn’t helpful for someone who’s either unfamiliar with the area or isn’t used to driving in the city. Or anywhere, really, because he does it everywhere. And I caught myself saying the same thing to Paul a few days ago and hated myself for it.

Anyway, we were gonna have dinner at this new little Italian place nearby, but it turns out they’re not actually open for dinner–they close at 5. So we went to Applebee’s instead, which I’m growing increasingly unimpressed with. It’s not that they’re bad, it’s just that it’s food I can get elsewhere better. And then we headed into the city.

I was concerned about the show being general admission standing room because since my mom had a blood clot in her leg a few years ago, she has a little trouble with it. I’d asked the venue multiple times on Twitter about seating and they never responded, which was really frustrating, but turns out they do have some balcony seating for an extra 20 bucks or something, which isn’t bad when the show’s free to being with. But when my mom scoped out the view from up there, she decided she’d rather stand and be closer to the stage. I have to give her credit for holding out. When I made a comment about it, she said, “I’m not old yet.”

As for the show itself, it was great. I was honestly impressed and didn’t expect for it to be so high-energy, but I’ve already written all about that over at AXS.

As for that Wednesday off, I spent it mostly lounging around my parents’ house. I was hoping to maybe get together with someone for lunch or something, but everyone works. Boo. But I did enjoy having a day to myself, like I always do. And one of the ways I know I’m starting to get burned out on my job is that despite having a decent number of days off in the past few weeks–including a full week off–I still don’t feel like I’ve had a vacation or downtime. That could be attributed in part to the fact that I spend some of my downtime writing articles or trying to publish my creative writing, but I doubt it. I don’t feel like I’m actually working when I do those things, and they’ve never made me feel like I wasn’t enjoying my free time, with the exception of my last few months at IYS. It’s more like the time feels like it goes by so fast before I have to go back to work.

And then there’s the fact that a few of my coworkers warned me yesterday that the supervisors have been walking by my cubicle and staring at my computer screen as they go.

Friday Five: Mail Order

  1. What is your most recently mail-ordered item? As in an item actually ordered through the mail? Hasn’t happened probably since my mom ordered stuff as a kid. But I do order stuff all the time online that is delivered to me via mail, the most recent being an aluminum wrap ring that says, “Expecto patronum.”
  2. What’s a catalog you’ve always wanted to order from but never have? I can’t think of any titles, but my mom gets a few interesting ones that have really fun things in them, from collectibles to clothes.
  3. What is physically the largest item you ever mail-ordered? My largest online purchase was probably my humidifier.
  4. What catalogs do you still receive in the actual mail? I get ones from New York & Co. and Victoria’s Secret. Used to get Delias, too. RIP.
  5. What are some obscure or unusual catalogs you’ve received? I don’t normally get any, but my mom has gotten some interesting ones with sort of novelty items.

As always, from Friday 5.

Friday Five: Paddles

  1. What experience have you with canoes, kayaks, and rowboats? With those specific vessels, not much, but I do have more experience with, say, inflatable rafts down the Youghiogheny.
  2. What experience have you with ping pong? Not much. I was taught how to play it and I did, but like many games that require coordination, I didn’t care.
  3. If you were spanked as a kid, which of your parents’ implements did you fear most? Their actual wooden paddle. And for the record, I don’t think spanking is an effective, fair punishment. I know there are right and wrong ways to do it, but I don’t think hitting a kid to get them to behave in a certain way is good.
  4. What experience have you with live auctions? Well, I have attended some–Geibel’s spring auction fundraiser includes a silent auction and live auction, and although I’ve been present for the live auction, I’ve never actually participated.
  5. When were you last up a creek without a paddle? I really don’t know!

As always, from Friday 5.

Friday Five: Vinegar and Brown Paper

  1. What kinds of vinegar do you have in your pantry? Just white distilled, and I’ve never even used it for cooking–it’s mostly for cleaning my humidifier, and some occasionally makes its way into the laundry.
  2. What was the last purchase you made that was carried home in a brown paper bag? Salsa earlier this evening at the farmer’s market!
  3. What home remedies do you swear by? A method I learned for helping unclog ears when I got really sick the summer Paul and I started dating–lie down on the good ear with a hot, wet washcloth over the bad one, with a cup pressed over it. The heat and moisture helps relieve the pressure, and it helped me out a lot when I didn’t have anything else to use for it. I also swear by things like tea and honey for colds.
  4. How many Jacks and Jills do you know? There’s little baby Jack, a semi-distant cousin with that number of times removed shit or whatever, and then there’s also semi-distant cousin Jill on the same side of the family.
  5. How would you rate your gift-wrapping skills? Horrible. Zero out of 10. I once tweeted that my gift wrapping looks like it was done by a one-armed toddler with a hook for a hand.

Almost a week late with this one from Friday 5!

Booking Through Thursday: Poetry

It seems like I’m always asking about actual books … but what about poetry? Do you read it? Write it? Like it? Not like it? Do you prefer song lyrics? (Because we can all agree there’s a relation between poems and lyrics, right?)

I do read it, although I feel like my poetry collection is seriously lacking. Part of the problem is when I find poets I like, especially classic poets, I don’t just want “selected works”–I want the full collection. So holding out for that means I’m missing a lot right now, but at least I can collect from contemporary (and sometimes local!) poets. I’m starting to love poetry more as I find more. Modern poets are using language and form in really great ways, but I also love the rhyme and rhythm of the classics. In fact, rhythm is one of my favorite things about poetry.

I have written some poetry, but it’s rare and I have zero confidence in it, mostly because it’s not a form I was taught and it’s not a form I usually work in, or one that I’ve read a lot of. I mean, as much as I enjoy it, I’ve read far more prose and I write prose, specifically creative nonfiction. So there’s the typical self-doubt that comes with writing as it is, and then there’s the special kind of self-doubt that comes with working outside of your usual form.

Generally, I don’t prefer song lyrics, although I think the two are closely related enough and some songwriters are talented enough that I do think there’s a lot of overlap, and in some instances–and I know some might disagree with me on this–I think the only difference between a poem and a song is music. That said, I think there are plenty of terrible lyrics in music, with mainstream pop and modern country being the biggest offenders.

Bottom line: I’m all for poetry. I need to read more, we should all probably read more, and those of you writing it–keep on keepin’ on and teach me your ways.

As always, from Booking Through Thursday.

A

The weekend was pretty nice.

Paul got sick, although he suspects he has allergies. We were originally going to go out to Greensburg, but he didn’t feel up to it and I didn’t, either, having flown home and rode almost an hour back from the airport, so we decided to see how he felt Saturday and Sunday and go from there. Turns out he never felt up to it until Monday, but the advantage to that was it got us out of an outing with his parents.

That was almost a shit show. After originally not having plans for Mother’s Day, his mom decided Friday night she wanted to go to lunch–out in Washington, under the guise of convenience for Paul and I. The problem was no one ever checked to see if maybe I had plans with my own mother for Mother’s Day, especially considering I do ask her in advance, and my plans were an hour away and an hour before this scheduled lunch. I was suspicious that it was an excuse to try to invite themselves over to the apartment since Paul’s pretty much moved in. Paul did call and amend so that he suggested either we eat elsewhere–like in Greensburg–but it ended up that we were going to skip lunch and just go visit the house later in the afternoon instead. All of it got scrapped when Paul got sick and called that morning to bail. And despite suggestions, and even my own suspicions, that maybe he was just bailing for the sake of it, he really did sound like shit and he really was coughing shit up. Never good.

So in the meantime, I carted over presents and some little things Brandon sent with me, like his boot-camp yearbook, professional photos, and some souvenirs to Meloni’s for a Mother’s Day special they were having that Mom decided she wanted to go to while Dad and I were still in Ft. Leonard Wood after she heard an ad on the radio. Her original plan was to go to the casino, even though when I asked what she wanted to do, she kind of shrugged and was like, “It’s just another day anymore.”

But our lunch was nice. We made a quick Target trip afterward, then I hung out at the house, Kelly stopped by to get the things I’d brought from Brandon for her, and then Mom and I went to visit with Kimmie and Aunt Barbara, our godmothers. Which was nice but brief–by then, it was already evening, and Paul wanted me to stop by his apartment in Greensburg to grab a few things and gather his laundry to do sometime in the future, most likely this weekend.

Meanwhile, Paul got hired permanently at his job in town! And while I’d love to just up and hunt for a new, nicer apartment, I have two months to do it and I’m not really feeling like hunting and settling for something if I don’t find something good.

So for now, I guess we’ll stay where we are and I may look into other jobs. And then maybe take the housing situation from there.