Sep. 25th, 2016

shadowkat: (warrior emma)
Beautiful day, sunny, crystal blue sky, mild temperatures...had a lovely walk down to a street fair on Courteylou Road, which was approximately 3 miles. And later to the fruit and veggie store on Church and Beverly in Kensington, Brooklyn. Tried to go church up in Brooklyn Heights, but after the subway platform added yet another row of people, to the extent there was barely any place to move, I bailed and walked to the street fair instead. There's no train service south of Church Avenue, so everyone is taking shuttles to Church, add to that, they have less trains on the weekends.

Picked up a couple of gluten-free baked goods, cinnamon buns, cupcakes, brownie, chocolate nutty bar, and apple-raspberry tart. (I really shouldn't have -- since you know, sugar. And sugar is a bit addictive. But alas..I did. At least I didn't binge eat all in one day. So progress.) Also goat cheese (again shouldn't, but goat cheese so not too bad), yellow beans, red onion, and raddishes - which were good ideas.

Came home, ate lunch, and proceeded to watch two things on the telly.

1. Wreck-it Like Ralph - charming in places, but mostly irritating and I had mixed feelings regarding the message. So, it's all well and good to want to rebel against your programming and do a different job, a new job, but at the end of the day -- that's the job you were meant to do, you stick with it, and just finds things you love about it. Like I said, mixed feelings. Yes, you should find ways to like what you do and your life, but I'm not sure "settling" makes sense, and we should have the ability to choose our lives to some extent.

After seeing these things, I'm happy that I do not have children.

2. Van Helsing -- felt a bit like the Strain meets The Walking Dead. I liked it better than both, which surprised me. There's three interesting characters in the middle of it - a female African-American Doctor, who got bitten and turned into a vampire, a super-powered young woman who can fight and potentially cure vampires, and a military guy sent to guard both of them - but not clear on why. Add to that a bunch of survivors. All hold up in medical facility in a post-apocalyptic world.

What happened? A couple of presumed inactive volcanoes in Wyoming, erupted, along with a few nuclear warheads, and dropped toxic black ash on everything and blocked out the sun. Vampires, long hidden underground, rose because there is no sunlight.

The story starts with Vanessa Van Helsing waking up from an apparent coma and fighting off a bunch of vampires. Flashbacks tell us what happened to bring this all about. The show jumps back and forth in time, which could be a bit jarring but wasn't, surprisingly enough. It's possible that I'm just used to it -- so many television series like this narrative trick.

It held my interest at any rate, and wasn't too scary, so I'm sticking with it. I couldn't watch The Strain and The Walking Dead -- too violent and too scary for my taste. So keep that in mind - in regards to whether you'll like Van Helsing.

[As an aside, the Nielsen ratings company has chosen my parents as a ratings household. My mother is rather amused by this turn of events. She's in her 70s. When she loved television and watched a ton of it, the Nielsen's ignored her. Now that she could care less about it and rarely watches, they select her as a Nielsen's household. See this is why I think the Nielsen's are bogus and television market research is idiotic. My grandmother had also been selected once as a household, along with a friend of mine...which is how I know what is involved. They basically keep a journal or in some cases give them a box that records what they watch. ]
shadowkat: (warrior emma)
1. I've decided that Facebook is dangerous - it keeps giving me tempting distractions, and ahem, somewhat expensive ones. The latest? Aaron Sorkin teaches a Master Class online in Screen Writing - that's right for the sum of $90, you can take a 36 lesson course on screen writing from Aaron Sorkin, who wrote amongst other things, the screenplays for The Social Network, Steve Jobs, A Few Good Men, and the television scripts for The West Wing and Sports Night. Starts out with character development, then discusses "research", which gave me a complex -- because I hate research. Someone at my workplace asked me if I do any research -- I said that I tend to use what I know already and blend it in. But that's not exactly true, I do inadvertently research -- I'm just insanely fast and accurate at it.
If you know how to do it right -- you can pretty much find what you need on the internet. It does help if you took a couple of legal research courses and library reference courses, and ahem, worked for a library reference company. And have a family filled with information junkies. Not to mention an avid interest in what other people do for a living.

For my last book -- I researched gun shot wounds. And guns. Also looked into PI's and what was required to be one. Identity theft. And shifting funds from one account to another.

Everything I wrote was loosely based on something someone had told me or I'd seen.

So, complex aborted.

Sorkin does say something interesting about dialogue in the video that reminded me of something a creative writing prof told me once. (BTW all of my fiction writing instructors, including my father, were men, the only female writing instructor I've had was for poetry. Which may or may not explain a lot about my writing style.) Anyhow, what he states is that "dialogue is where the art comes in, taking the words someone has said, holding it in your hands and then punching them in the face with it" and "it's not just that dialogue sounds like music to me, it actually is music." A creative writing prof, it was in a Gotham fiction writing course, that you should think of dialogue as two characters jockeying for position. It should be written like an action scene. If it doesn't further character and/or action - don't do it.

Few handle dialogue as well as Sorkin. And he's right - there's a rhythm to it. I adore Vince Gilligan's dialogue. And oh, the guy who did Justified. Diane English had good dialogue, and Shondra Rhimes...hit or miss.

He also says that no one ever has started a sentence with Dammit. I'm not sure that's true. After, all, "Dammit, Janet, I love you" is rather famous.

2. Finished watching Notorious and tried Son of Zorn -- I don't know, me and the television critics do not appear to be seeing eye-to-eye at the moment. Their two favorite new sitcoms, The Good Place and Son of Zorn, did not work for me. Son of Zorn -- I found unwatchable.
Just cringed all the way through it. It seems to take the worst bits from The Family Guy and melds them with The Office. It's another satire meets parody, which don't work for me. I'm beginning to realize that American satire and parody don't work for me at all. I don't know why. Every time I watch it, I'm either bored or cringing. (shrugs)

Notorious -- on the other hand, was rather intriguing. It's not what I thought it was going to be. I thought it was going to be a bizarre legal procedural like Bull. It's not. It actually has more in common with last year's THE CATCH and HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER.

The set-up? Julia (played by Piper, from Covert Affairs) is a top-notch producer of a Cable News Series that breaks the headlines on high profile crimes before anyone else does. Her source is a top rung defense attorney, Jake, who often feeds her exclusives on his cases, which she helps twist in his direction. They have a close friendship and a touch of sexual chemistry, but obviously chose long ago never to act on it. Their pack is never to lie to each other.

Along comes a high profile case, with twists and turns, about a high profile tech billionaire who allegedly run down a 15 year old kid. Except he didn't do it. And he may have been having an affair.
And his wife may have been having an affair. Then his wife ends up dead...and wait, maybe Jake, his attorney was involved?

Two former Buffy vets guest star, Marc Blucas as the Julia's soon to be ex-boyfriend, and August Young as Jake's brother and partner.

Also, Aimee Teagarden of Friday Night Lights is one of the attorney's working for Jake.

I'm not sure it totally works, bit jarring in places, but it held my interest and I'm curious about what happens next. The critics hated it. Not sure why.


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