November 30, 2011

Stephen King's 11/22/63 eBook Giveaway (Expired)

November 30, 2011  

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - NOVEMBER 07: Stephen K...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeI'm a member of Klout, a site that measures your overall influence across networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. I joined because I heard on Twitter about new users getting Spotify accounts before they were released to the general public. What I like about Klout is that was only the first perk. You get perks when you reach certain levels and are influential about the right topics. I recently got one that I would absolutely love to use, but I'm not going to. Stephen King is my favorite writer, so I've been anticipating 11/22/63 in traditional book form. I don't own it yet, because getting King books for Christmas is somewhat of a tradition. So, I'm giving it away. I also have an extra copy for...

No, wait a minute. I checked out the link and it looks like the perk I got just this month has expired. I had already claimed it, but I guess they didn't have enough to go around. That doesn't make sense. They should have called it what it is then: a coupon. Apparently clicking "claim" really doesn't reserve anything for you, even though you get a download link. So, now I'm annoyed with Klout and Simon & Schuster for not making it clear that what you were getting was a promotional code instead of a guaranteed copy. Oh well, no use in harping on that. Klout made up for it with a paperback copy of Bag of Bones. This one I didn't have to claim twice for it to actually be mine. But I already have this book, so I might give it away here...might.
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November 25, 2011

In a Dark Corner I Found a Frightened Rabbit

November 25, 2011  

The Scottish indie rock band Frightened Rabbit was formed in 2003, so why did I only learn of them today? Like the first time I heard Mumford & Sons' "Little Lion Man," Frightened Rabbit's "Head Rolls Off" is a keeper with a refreshing sound, engaging voice, and interesting lyrics that I immediately connected to. How could I not with simultaneously depressing and uplifting lines such as, "When it's all gone, something carries on"? I'll be listening to this little gem many times over. And also like Mumford & Sons, I will be buying The Midnight Organ Fight just from hearing this one song. I can't believe my life has been devoid of this for the past three years. Thanks go to Aweditorium for playing it.


I'm not a music expert or critic. I love what I love and there will be no excuses or compromises. The music that grabs me can come from any genre. But finding a new artist that I will stick with is a truly rare thing that only happens once or twice a year.

November 20, 2011

Halloween Playlist for Thanksgiving

November 20, 2011  

Usually Halloween lasts the entire month of October for me, and even part of September. TV channels start playing the movies, the air gets a bit chilly, and people burn their leaves, all putting me in a creepy mood that lasts up until the day after Halloween. Then we immediately start thinking about Christmas, helped by stores that assume we need to be reminded way too early. Now that it's almost Thanksgiving we should be thinking about being with family and giving thanks, basically Christmas without presents; a nice holiday if you like your relatives. I just never thought Christmas music was right yet at this time of year. It takes over the radio too quickly. Since Thanksgiving is in between two tuneful holidays, and has not very many memorable songs of its own, no real musical identity, why not borrow from Halloween as well as Christmas?

Of course, I'm not really serious. It's just that this should have gone out on the Saturday before Halloween, but we got slammed with a huge snow storm, and I've been busy since. More than 950,000 people lost power in Connecticut alone, so some of this was written while using a 12-year-old but never used, breathe-and-it-shuts-down, you-can-have-hot-water-OR-the-refrigerator, and don't-even-think-about-using-the-stove-or-microwave-or-washing-machine generator. The piece of shit was replaced at the first opportunity, five days into the outage.

Also available at YouTube, if you prefer, so you can just play the list and avoid my blather.

I'll start this off with one of my favorite songs ever (well, technically two...actually more than that because each Saw movie had another version of it). My lovely iPod decided to play it as my lullaby on Halloween night. It certainly tops my list, no question. There is a strange and persistent beauty in its rusting metal, dilapidated nightmare.

November 15, 2011

Here We Go Again ~ Save Fringe

November 15, 2011  

You have got to be kidding me! I just learned from @FringeTV today that last week's episode is its lowest rated. If you're one of the many who have refused to even try Fringe because you think it's just another cold or silly sci-fi show then you have been severely misled. Just like any other genre, there are plenty of misses to go with the few hits. Sometimes it takes a little work and patience to search out the special ones. There are a number of examples of great sci-fi - Firefly (another Fox tragedy), Doctor Who (especially during Tennant's tenure), the Battlestar Galactica reboot, Babylon 5, and Quantum Leap being among my favorites - and Fringe belongs right beside them. If you're one who tried the first episode or two and said "meh," then you didn't give the story a chance to unfold. It is beautifully layered, with incredible acting and realistic writing, even if the situations are kind of out there. 

It's not a CSI case of the week, if that's your aversion. It's also not Lost, drowning in its own mythology and only asking questions. Fringe presents weird, awful, interesting things and tells us why and how and engages our minds. But more so it makes us feel for the characters, both regular and guests, such as this season's almost serial killer who was kept sane by one person's love, and the scientist with Alzheimer's whose husband attempted, through her work, to bring her back, the one that somehow received such a low rating. The show isn't all standalone episodes, even if that's what it seems like to only an observer. ;) And it isn't only serialized to make it hard to get into at any point and, therefore, unenjoyable. Although, if you start late then you will spoil the most emotional reveals. It is a lovely combination of the two. There are fantastical stories, humorous moments, a lot of suspense, and, most important of all, a tremendous amount of heart.

But thanks to the Nielsen's you may not find out until it's too late.  I really can't abide by them. The Nielsen families are certainly not a big enough group. Yes, they're supposed to be diverse, but you can't ever know what's going to appeal to someone based solely on their economic and family status. It's also such a tiny group as to not really matter at all, but it does to the advertisers.

And Fox seems only to advertise to those who already watch the show. I barely see any promotional attempts beyond a couple commercials a week, one of those immediately after the episode that just ended, and the Youtube videos from FoxBroadcasting, which are made by the people who work on Fringe; i.e. those who actually take tremendous pride in the show. The Fox network itself seems to think that we're supposed to do all the marketing for them. The numerous fan sites have done so much more work on the part of Fringe, but their reach is tiny compared to what Fox could do if it wanted. Fox hasn't cared since the beginning. Don't let them cancel this series before its time. Or start petitioning Syfy right now to pick it up. I would forgive them all their horrific decisions with this one perfect act.

So, please give this show a chance, or you will no doubt be kicking yourself years down the road when you finally do give in to a friend's nagging and find out that it was not only one of the greatest, most affecting shows, with believable and well-rounded characters that you would want to know. A show that expertly reinvents itself when the story requires and moves at a satisfying pace, but one that was also over too soon and maybe not even given a proper ending because so many dismissed it without a thought. Fringe has fans worldwide, as evidenced by the "Where is Peter Bishop" fan video, which you can see in the related post. The reason for that is it can appeal to anyone who has loved and lost family, anyone who is in some kind of relationship. Isn't that all of us?

Update (11-16-11): The DVR numbers gave Fringe a 64% ratings jump this week. Though, most DVR'ed shows only count if they are watched within three days, I think I read before that someone at Fox looks at seven days, which is the only reason Fringe was saved last year. This is news to be slightly relieved about, but don't take any of it for granted.

Click here to watch one of the best scenes from season 2. I chose this one because it doesn't spoil any of the major storyline.

Related Post//
Apparel from the Fringe

Psensational Psych Videos ~ Certainly Not Boring

  

I just lost my great uncle today. It just so happens that I went on Twitter a few minutes later and the first post I read, which had been retweeted by Timothy Omundson, led me to this video. It cheered me up a bit. If it had been any regular day, I would have been laughing hysterically. After watching I looked at the description, and the vidder said that Psych had helped her get through two deaths in her family. How fitting.

November 9, 2011

Hit Me With Your Best Screenshot ~ Fringe:Novation

November 9, 2011  

Follow this link to see my favorite screen capture from last week's episode, "Novation," at FringeFiles.com.

I just found FringeFiles the other day. I thought I'd heard of it before, but I never went there. I don't know why. Turns out it belongs to FringeTelevision.com, which I've visited many times. Fringe Files has over 600 pics just from this one episode, and more than 74,000 from the last four seasons. I shall now say Holy Crap! That is a massive amount of effort on their part, but I would expect nothing less of fans of an imaginative and superbly-acted show that constantly renews itself in surprisingly dramatic ways. Amazing job. Big hugs. :)

November 5, 2011

Here is Peter Bishop ~ Consequences

November 5, 2011  

Consequences: Fringe is all about them. It's something I mentioned the day before I watched this, and now you get to hear it straight from executive producers Joel Wyman (@JWFringe) and Jeff Pinkner (@JPFringe). They talk about Peter being the focus this season and the audience being right there with him because we remember how everything used to be. If our hopes for a happy reunion don't pan out, if they drop everything that's come before, I'm sure it would only be a setup for the next season. The writers know every inch of the story they're creating and are well aware of our love for it. They surprise us, break our hearts, and know how to make us beg for more.

Note: This was supposed to be published last week, but the huge east coast snow storm knocked out the internet and power. Still running on a generator seven days later.


Related post //
Fringe Cast Interviews ~ Novation

November 4, 2011

Sound Design in Dead Space 2

November 4, 2011  

Part of the reason I love and am terrified of Dead Space 2 are its terrifically creepy and just plain horrifying sounds. Check out my favorite scene and the wonderfully twisted audio minds of the game's creators at Console Life.

November 2, 2011

Voltron Live Action Short

November 2, 2011  

Can you guess what my favorite cartoon was as a kid spanning the mid '80s to late '90s? I'll give you five tries. Care Bears? They were adorable, and I *am* Grumpy Bear (also Grumpy dwarf and Oscar the Grouch), but no. Inspector Gadget? I was already old enough by then for him to annoy the living crap out of me. He-Man or She-Ra? Cool tiger and horse, but that's not enough. That counts as two, cheater. Transformers? Close. Probably number three on the list. I will always love a big sentient robot that can turn into a car. Okay, then it's gotta be Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Getting warmer. Donatello is my guy. And that damn Nintendo game was freakin' hard for a 10-year-old! Okay, so how about Voltron? Finally! Seriously, the answer was in the post title. By the way, you didn't win. I said five guesses not seven.

To me, Voltron was the best. It's the only one I ever dreamed about, and, strangely enough, I dreamed about it not in cartoon form but live action. It wasn't so much the stories or characters that I gravitated towards; it was the lions, which is how I assume it was for most. I was hooked as soon as I saw them form Voltron for the first time. They were so cool that if I were suddenly rich enough today, a life-sized red lion replica would be the first thing that I spent money on, and it just so happens that Timothy Omundson (Carlton Lassiter, also fondly known as Lassie, the hilarious no nonsense cop on Psych) is playing the red lion pilot in this. It's only a couple minutes long, but packs in tension, emotion, and the isolation of being dead in the water. There's a lot of heart in this tiny gem.

I would get out of the pool on a hot summer day just to watch Voltron. No time to change, I'd sit on a few towels and let the air conditioner freeze me. For that half hour I was immovable. So, when I see something like this, something that's not a parody and actually takes the material seriously enough to be believable and quite damn good, that's impressive. I just want to give a big hug to all involved.