Thursday, January 31, 2008

ASOIAF Casting: Part II

Now for the "good guys," the Starks. This was my favorite House to pick, although they were also the hardest. I have a very specific idea of what they should look like. However, I think I've been very successful (if I do say so myself).

On a side note, how hot would the real children of Clive Owen and Cate Blanchett be? Wowza!

And I know that Brienne of Tarth isn't a Stark, but she was tied to Catelyn for a while, so I figured I'd just stick her in here.

Starks and Associates:

Ned Stark: Clive Owen
Benjen Stark: Ryan Gosling
Brandon Stark: Christian Bale
Catelyn Stark: Cate Blanchett
Robb Stark: Michael Anganaro (who you might recognize as the young William from Almost Famous )

Sansa Stark: Hayden Panitierre
Arya Stark: Hannah Marks
Bran Stark: Cayden Boyd
Rickon Stark: Spencer Fox
Lyanna Stark: Eva Green
Maester Luwin: Dan Futterman (seen in The Birdcage and A Mighty Heart)
Rodrik Cassel: Donald Sutherland
Roose Bolton: Kevin Spacey

Ramsey Bolton: Topher Grace (picked solely for his creepy resemblance in facial expressions to Kevin Spacey)

Old Nan: Maggie Smith
Hodor: Tyler Mane (seen as Saber Tooth, from X-Men)
Meera Reed: Jena Malone
Jojen Reed: Liam Aiken
Brienne of Tarth: Charlize Theron (think North Country)
Jory: Adam Baldwin (obviously the man has to be in here, and maybe one of the real Baldwins too...)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Song of Ice and Fire casting (it’s a fantasy series, so this is my fantasy cast): Part I

For those of you that don't know the series A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin, you won't understand this, and I pity you greatly. You should go read the series, and then come back and read this blog. HBO recently bought the rights to the series, and since then everyone's been talking about which big name actor they want to play the major roles. I decided to make my own, rather extensive list. So I've split it into the major Houses/groups and will be posting them over the next several posts. Obviously, I have to start with one of the biggest, most powerful houses in the great land of Westeros, the dreaded Lannisters. Hope you enjoy!

Lannisters and Associates:

Tywin Lannister: Rutger Hauer
Kevan Lannister: Paul Giamatti
Jaime Lannister: Aaron Eckhart
Cersei Lannister: Rachel McAdams
Tyrion Lannister: Tommy Flanagan (with a lot of special effects, of course)
Joffrey: Max Pirkis (Octavian from Rome) Myrcella: Jenna Boyd
Tommen: Chris O’Neil
Bronn: Cillian Murphy
Lancel Lannister: Ben Foster
Shae: Jamie-Lynn Sigler (seen in Sopranos)
Shagga: Vince Vaughn
Conn: Owen Wilson
Timett son of Timett: Ben Stiller
Osney Kettleblack: Liev Schreiber
Osfred Kettleblack: Charlie Sheen
Sandor Clegane: Daniel Craig
Gregor Clegane: Vinnie Jones
Illyn Payne: Daniel Day Lewis
Vargo Hoat: John Malkovich

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Aussie Open!

I have so many fond memories of the Australian Open. Two years ago I was working a 2pm-10pm job, so watching the 1:30am games live was both doable and exciting. There's not usually a lot of good TV on at that time, so it was great to have something to watch. The Australian Open is without question my favorite of the tennis majors because of it's casual atmosphere. It has none of the stodginess of Wimbledon, and fans go to support the players, not just to watch the game. They hoot and cheer, and boo when they don't like someone's attitude. I find myself cheering right along with them, even though I know they can't hear me through the TV.

I haven't been able to watch as much of the Aussie Open lately, now that I have an 8am-5pm job, but what I've seen has been really exciting. At the beginning of the year I'm sure everyone predicted a Federer-Nadal match for the men and Henin-Williams for the women. But none of those names are in the finals. Tsonga's putting on a show reminiscent of Baghdatis' run a couple of years ago, and Djokovic just crushed the mighty Federer. The women's matches have been equally exciting, with Sharapova looking to take it all against the young Ivanovic. As Moon would say, it's the hottest women's tournament ever.

At first, I was wondering what I would be doing this weekend with no football on, but then I remembered tennis finals. Am I more excited about the Superbowl or the Australian Open? I really couldn't say right now. I love cheering on the underdogs, and each weekend has them. I'll be rooting for Ivanovic and the Giants for sure, and maybe Tsonga too. It's been a great year for sports so far. I only hope the rest of the year is as exhilirating!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Coat rack reviews

I found myself yesterday afternoon engrossed in customer reviews on regarding coat racks. That coat rack is perfect, but it costs too much. That coat rack’s legs are noted as being unstable, I wonder if wood glue would fix the problem? This coat rack has good reviews but I don’t like the color. I want a coat rack that goes with my new end tables. But maybe in a few years the end tables and coat rack won’t be in the same room anymore, so does it really matter? I couldn’t help but laugh at what a sad and sorry person I’d become.

My life has changed a lot of late, seemingly overnight and inexplicably. I find myself going to bed at a reasonable hour, and being completely exhausted the next day if I don’t. When I drink I’m responsible about it and don’t find myself hugging a toilet all night or waking up to a massive headache. Just enough to get a buzz, thank you, and no more than that. I have a lot of errands to run tomorrow and don’t want to feel fuzzy. I watch the news every morning so that I can be a more informed citizen.

Less than a year ago I could stay up til 3am, wake up at 7 and be fine for the rest of the day. I’d get smashed every weekend and laugh at the stories we’d share for the rest of the week before a new drunken adventure would grab our attention.

A lot of you are probably thinking that these are all good things and why am I complaining? Yeah it’s probably healthier and I’m living a better lifestyle in general, but that’s not the point. When I graduated from college I moved away from home, got a job, paid taxes and did a lot of the regular domestic things: complained about gas prices, did the laundry, went to the bank. But I'd still party til dawn, hang out with friends, eat frozen pizzas around the clock. So I still felt young too.

Before I felt like I was growing up, but now I feel like I’m growing old. Maybe responsibility is a good thing in the long run, but I thought I’d have at least a few more carefree years before I started worrying about wobbly coat racks.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Old Me v. New Me

Whenever I write notes to myself I always use the second person, for example, “call your sister tomorrow and tell her happy birthday.” I used to try and be cutesy and write “I need to call my sister so I can say happy birthday!” but I hated writing it and hated reading it even more. I was indignant that the old me would presume to refer to me in the first person! But why would I hate that? I mean it’s not like I’m writing a letter to someone else; I’m writing it to me. So why would I phrase it like I was someone else?

That set me to wondering if maybe I was writing to someone else. Sure, I’ve got the same body as Future Me, but I’m not the same person that I will be tomorrow. Maybe tonight I’ll finish a puzzle, and that means that Future Me has accomplished more than I have now, and knows more that I do now. And has more memories than I do too. And I don’t think of Past Mes as the same person that I am now. I draw from the experiences the Past Mes have had and I share the same memories, but I don’t think I’m the same person that I once was. High School Me was shy and quiet, tried to keep a low profile, and quite frankly probably knew more academic knowledge than I know now. Today’s Me is much more outspoken, honest, and more experienced, and I like that.

I know this all sounds really dumb and more than a little weird, but I find it comforting. I picture Future Mes who have successful careers and spend fabulous vacations sunbathing in the Caribbean or wine tasting in Italy. I see a Future Me with a rambling country home and a yard full of dogs. I imagine a Future Me going on a book tour with agents and managers that I haven’t met yet. I see a wise and serene Future Me surrounded by grandchildren that I buy presents for that they don’t appreciate. I know that even if I’m not all these things now, someday I could be. I take comfort in knowing that I can change for the better, and hope that I will continue to do so for the rest of my life.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Top 10 Friends Episodes

Making this list turned out to be incredibly difficult, because I love Friends so much. Probably too much, really. But I finally got it down to ten episodes with only four on the honorable mention list. Apologies in advance to all those good episodes that didn’t get mentioned, but believe me, a lot of research went into this post.

Honorable mention:
The one with Princess Consuela (season 10, episode 14)
The one with five steaks and an eggplant (season 2, episode 5)
The one with the giant poking device (season 3, episode 8)
The one with Chandler in a box (season 4, episode 8)

10. The one with the jellyfish (season 4, episode 1)
Noteworthy moment - Ross and Rachel getting into a fight after he admits that he fell asleep reading her letter. Rachel: “Yeah, well it’s not that common, it doesn’t happen to most guys, and it IS a big deal!!”

9. The one where Ross finds out (season 2, episode 7)
Noteworthy moment – has one of the greatest ending scene during the credits, when Chandler bums Monica out by reminding her how much life sucks so that she won’t force him to work out. Only rivaled by the one where Ross pushes a mannequin down a flight of stairs as a practical joke and Rachel thinks it’s him.

8. The one with the holiday armadillo (season 7, episode 10)
Noteworthy moment – The episode ends with Santa, the holiday armadillo, and Superman lighting a menorah. Need I say more?

7. The one with the kips (season 5, episode 5)
Noteworthy moment – Ross is trying to tell Rachel he can’t see her anymore when she gets a letter from her mother telling her that the family dog, Le Poo, died. Rachel: “It’s Le Poo!” Phoebe: “I know it’s Le Poo now, but it’ll get better.”

6. The one with the prom video (season 2, episode 14)
Noteworthy moment - Phoebe: “It's a known fact that lobsters fall in love and mate for life...You know what, you can actually see old lobster couples walking around their tank, holding claws.”

5. The one with Phoebe’s birthday dinner (season 9, episode 5)
Noteworthy moment – Ross describes the fate of his and Rachel’s child when they’re locked out after Rachel’s imagination runs wild with worry: “The pigeon – no, eagle!—flew in and landed on the stove, bursting into flame. The baby seeing this, leaps to the mighty bird’s aid. The eagle, however, misconstrues it as an act of aggression and grabs the baby in its talons! Baby and bird still ablaze are locked in a death grip, swirling around in the whirlpool that fills the apartment.”

4. The one where everybody finds out (season five, episode 14)
Noteworthy moment – What I consider to be Phoebe’s best episode. She’s both clever, conniving, and witty. Phoebe: “They don’t know that we know they know we know.”

3. The one where no one's ready (season 3, episode 2)
Noteworthy moment - The only real-time episode that all happens in Rachel and Monica’s apartment. And so fantastic – includes the scene where Joey wears everything that Chandler owns. Could he BE wearing any more clothes?

2. The one where Ross got high (season 6, episode 9)
Noteworthy moment - The scene where all the friends start yelling, including… Rachel: “I wasn’t supposed to put beef in the trifle!” and Phoebe: “I love Jacques Cousteau!” Also responsible for some of the funniest outtakes in the entire series.

1. The one with the embryos (season 4, episode 12)
Noteworthy moment - Clearly the only non-noteworthy moment in the absolutely excellent episode is anything involving Phoebe’s plotline. But my favorite quote? “Don’t blame the questions!!!”

Thursday, January 03, 2008

2007, a year in review

Quick version: 2007 was awesome.

Long version: I think I will always remember 2007 very fondly. It was a HUGE year for me, more than I even realized until it was over. I began 07 in the Bahamas-- not a bad start! I went straight from there to my new job, which I quickly realized was a vast improvement for me, both financially and emotionally. Obviously a lot happened over those 365 days, but here's a quick summary of the highlights: I travelled to France, I went to Hawaii, I went to Florida, and I feel like I travelled somewhere else too, but right now I can't remember. I took a day-long writer's workshop, which motivated me to work even harder on my book and set a deadline to have it done by the end of 2007. I celebrated my 5 year anniversary with my boyfriend. I created my own board game. I had some pretty good scores in poker-- nothing huge, but big enough to keep me happy. Then I ended the year by going to a kickass New Year's Eve party, and yet still woke up in 2008 without a hangover!

Downsides to 2007 - obviously it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows, so here's a few of the negatives that happened. 1: I didn't finish my book. This is a big one. It's not really a big deal, but I don't like that I didn't reach a goal that I set for myself. 2: I got sick a lot. I actually got food poisoning twice, and I brought a nasty cold with me into 2008 that I'm not pleased with. Plus I think the holidays were a bit rough on my waistline (Florida food is largely based around frying and grease).

I feel like 2007 was the year that put my life in order. I'm finally starting to see a pattern, have some goals for my life that are more specific than, "don't die young, and have fun until you do."

So, taking all that into account, here are my New Year's resolutions:

1. Finish my book! Ideally sometime very soon, but certainly soon enough that I can have my peers read it and get back to me with ideas.

2. Exercise at least 3 times a week. I bought an elliptical specifically for this purpose and then neglected it for the entire month of December. Not good.

3. Put more citrus in my diet. This is especially important in the winter when it's not easy to come by. I've taken to putting wedges of lemon in my water (my illness had me craving lemons) which both makes the drink tastier, and makes me feel better. This is a habit I want to continue long into the future.

These are small goals, maybe, but I feel like at this point in my life that's all I really need to "have it all." I've got good friends, a loving family, a happy home. I have a good job, and a dream job in the works (fingers crossed). I have my whole future in front of me and it's full of potential, and a past that's full of happy memories. What more can a person really ask for?