Friday, January 17, 2014

Descending into Oscar madness again…

Last year I blogged about the Oscars, or rather, the attempt made by my friend and I to see all of the Oscar-nominated films for 2013 before the Academy Awards aired.

You might not have picked up on this already (seriously, though?), but I love movies. I mean I LOVE movies. I’m not picky either. I’ll watch anything and give it a fair chance.  Well, almost anything. I don't watch a lot of porn. Or movies with "devil" in the title. But “Plan 9 From Outer Space” is one of my favorites, if that tells you anything.


Yesterday, the nominees were announced, and picture me doing a Snoopy dance over here. My friend and I have gotten a good jump on seeing them, thanks to getting prepared for the Golden Globes — much better than we’d done last year, that’s for sure.

So I thought I’d share my opinions so far on the nominees in case anyone who reads this is crazy enough to attempt Oscar-movie marathons with me, even if it’s only in spirit.

Best picture

"12 Years a Slave" — Fantastic movie. Definitely deserves the honor.

"American Hustle" — LOVED it. Excellent cast, great story, good directing. Overall, highly entertaining.

"Captain Phillips" — Eh. I thought it was overrated. Tom Hanks did a great job, but the story was stressful and depressing in a very non-entertaining way. Basically, too gritty for my tastes.

"Dallas Buyers Club" — Haven’t seen it yet!

"Gravity" — (ashamed) Haven’t seen it yet, even though Sandra Bullock is my favorite actress.

"Her" — Surprised me. I didn’t think I’d like it AT ALL, but it was very thought provoking. Definitely didn’t hate it. I can see why it was nominated.

"Nebraska" — Incredible movie. Funny. Poignant. It’s my second favorite on this list, second only to…

"Philomena" — By far the best movie on this list, in my opinion. It’s a touching, funny, poignant film. Honestly, I already think it should win this category.

"The Wolf of Wall Street" — Haven’t seen it. Kinda don’t want to, but I will for the sake of this task.

Other Oscar nominees I need to see: Blue Jasmine, August: Osage County, Ernest & Celestine, The Wind Rises, The Grandmaster, The Great Gatsby, The Invisible Woman, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, The Book Thief, Alone Yet Not Alone, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, All is Lost, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Before Midnight, all of the documentary films, all of the foreign films and short films. Basically, a LOT of movies. Gosh, I'm already tired.

Other nominees and my thoughts on them:

“Saving Mr. Banks” — Surprised it didn’t get a best picture nomination, and even more surprised Emma Thompson got snubbed. She’s incredible in this role.

“Prisoners” — It got a nom for cinematography, but why didn’t Hugh Jackman get picked for this movie? I thought he did a better job in this than in Les Miserables, which he did get nominated for last year.

“Inside Llewyn Davis” — I hated this movie. Seriously, I don’t know why everyone thinks it’s so great. I mean, if you're going to have a movie with zero plot, okay. Character-driven films are awesome. But make sure your character is likable and not someone 90 percent of the audience can't connect to.

“Frozen” — Totally deserves the best-animated film award. I’m calling it now.

Are you as crazy about the Oscars as I am? What are the best movies on this list that you’ve seen?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Mad lib review from special guest Meankitty: Angeli by Jody Wallace

The one and only Meankitty
Today I'm letting my blog go to the cats. One mean cat in particular.

A while back, I was very fortunate (I think?) to have On the Scent reviewed mad-lib style by Meankitty and her typing slave, the witty author Jody Wallace. You know what mad libs are, right? You fill in a list of words by type and then insert those words into a story. Except Meankitty calls hers Bad Libs because they're bad. Bad as in mean, but also bad. I suppose this is the easiest way for a cat such as Meankitty to review a book. It involves no actual reading of the book in typical lazy cat fashion, and, hey, the results are pretty darn funny! That's why I offered up my blog to Meankitty today to write a Bad Lib Review of one her human's newest books.

Without further ado, please welcome the feline queen of snarky book reviewers, Meankitty...

Bad Lib Review of Jody Wallace's "Angeli" by Meankitty

Recently I, Meankitty, had the nauseating sensation of reading ANGELI by Jody Wallace, who is my human. I read a lot of generous erotica so this science fiction romance was a smelly change of pace. Stinky, smelly, stenchy, odiferous, and so on. In some ways it reminded me of The Little Mermaid except with melting adult characters faced with carefully happy situations.

The book starts off with Adelita and Gregori faced with an ambidextrous challenge. Both characters behave loyally about this. One loyally refuses to use the left hand, while the other refuses to use the right. Their determination to eschew ambidexterity is a massive stumbling block! Cats, for example, can scratch equally well with right paws and left paws and back paws and front paws. Ambidextrous challenges would not set us back long, but then there's the whole thumbs thing, and anyway, what was I talking about?

Right. ANGELI, the lastest stupid book my human published. When the character Nikolas is introduced, in a scene involving hopscotch, the plot really starts to get purple. It's adjective adjective adverb this and blah blah melodrama that. Nikolas is truthfully no Jennifer Lawrence, who is definitely not purple, though I hear her language is sometimes quite blue. And don't even get me started about the character Ship. The involvement of Ship in the narrative will leave readers strong...strongly in favor of reading a different story, ha! The story expertly -- I have to give my human SOME credit -- continues until it seems all photo frames are lost, and the ending will choke you. No, that's not choke you UP, that's choke you, like somebody tries to forcefeed you some pages of a book or a large vitamin pill, and you're like, 'EW, I WILL KAK UP A HAIRBALL' and so you do, on the comforter. The pace of the story was like riding in a boat with a driver who is generous on a road that winds through mountains. Since boats don't really sail through mountains very well, unless it's on a mountain river, in which case, you're probably going to crash into large boulders, you can hazard a guess what that means about the pacing.

If you are looking for a way to spend 2 days, this book is definitely an option. Another option would be starting a cat sanctuary. A better option, in fact! Well, that's a better option than most things. Anyway, the characters and plot of this book are so HUGE compared to other books on the market today. My human defintely is long-winded. Granted, the feline content in the book was tiny, which is a travesty indeed, but no author is completely high. In fact, I'd venture to say MY author human is rarely high. She's kind of low, skulking most of the time in her recliner. I can easily jump over her. All in all, ANGELI is a long tale about giddiness, cleaning and fusobacterium. You will be tired if you pick this one up!

Rating: 67 catnip mice and a weak cake. I'm not allowed to eat cake, so that's pretty sucky.

He’s no angel…
Gregori’s last mission is to save Earth from the demons threatening to take control. He doesn’t care if he survives as long as he averts the impending apocalypse—until he meets Adelita, a human refugee, whose spirit and determination give him a renewed reason to fight. And live. He’s falling for her, despite the fact he’s told her nothing but lies and there can’t possibly be a future for them.
Adelita can hardly believe the archangel Gregori, sent to save mankind, has lost his faith and his edge. After he saves her from a demon attack, she vows to help him recover both by any means necessary. But can she keep her own faith when she learns the truth about who and what Gregori really is?
Please visit typing slave, er, I mean Jody Wallace's author website to learn more about Angeli, which is actually a really great book, despite anything Meankitty might have otherwise indicated. Learn more about Meankitty by visiting the Writer & Cat blog or the official Meankitty website.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Fun Fridays Feature: Remembering Some of the Celebrity Hotties I've Met

Last night I was fortunate to have been invited to a preview screening of "The Legend of Hercules" starring Kellan Lutz before it released widespread in theaters here in America. The movie, okay, but I might have drooled over Kellan's frequently bare chest and silently reminisced more about the time I met him rather than paying attention to the movie itself. When I got home, I logged onto Facebook and skimmed through the posts for a fellow author's release party on Facebook. Kellan's hot picture was posted there, along with lots of other hotties--some of whom I've had the pleasure of meeting on occasion. It sometimes takes a lot of restraint to keep from posting Yeah, he hugged me or Yeah, I touched him or Yeah, he smells really good up close because that would make me seem like either a sex fiend or a crazy person or an attention seeker. Possibly all three. And I don't like to gloat. Much. But I will now. Heaven help you all if I ever meet Henry Cavill because I will never shut up about it. Ever. Sigh. If only...

Anyway. In honor of Kellan's new movie, and because I haven't done a Fun Friday post in a while, I thought I'd share the details on some of my, er, encounters with famous hotties.

Kellan Lutz
I met Kellan in July 2009 when he was in Atlanta for a Twilight convention. Yes, I attended a Twilight convention.  With my niece. Confession: I wasn't all that interested in Kellan at the time. I mean, I liked him okay as Emmett, but I didn't find him all that attractive. Neither did my niece. We were more interested in the other guests on the lineup. Then Kellan came out and did a Q&A with fans. Whoa, mama. He was way hotter in person than he'd been in Twilight. I mean HOT. The more he talked, the more I began to dig him. He's big into animal rescue and shared how he'd rescued his only dog at the time. Awwww. The niece and I immediately went and bought tickets to get his autograph....and waited forever to meet him because everyone else had been sucked into the Kellan vortex too.

There's something about Kellan that only comes across when you meet him, I think. The man oozes charisma. I think it's the way he looks at you. He has the most amazing eyes, and he's smart enough to look into your eyes when he greets you, making you feel like you're the center of his universe for those few seconds of connection. He rendered both me and my niece into blabbering imbeciles simply by looking at us, smiling, and going above and beyond to try to engage us in brief conversation. We walked away, and my niece--who has never been all that affected by hot male celebrities--was blushing and said, "Wow!" It was awesome. Kellan is a really nice guy. And way hotter in person. Trust me on this.

Ian Somerhalder
I've been a big Ian fan since he was on "Lost," but I didn't develop a serious thing for him until he started playing Damon on "The Vampire Diaries." Who didn't? When he came to Dragoncon a couple of years ago, I immediately bought tickets for a photo opp and autograph session with the man. I didn't care how much it cost. I was psyched! Then the big day came, and honestly, Ian showed up late (he got held up filming, I was told), and he turned out to be a lot shorter than I was expecting--awkward for a woman who's 6'2"-- but when it was my turn to snap a picture with him, he aimed his gorgeous blue eyes right at me, said in that smooth voice of his, "What's up, Superwoman?" and held his arms out wide, prompting me to fling myself into his arms and squeeze the poor man hug him. Then he smiled at me, thanked me for waiting, and all was forgiven. It was a very brief encounter, but one I'll never forget. Thanks, Ian.

Joe Manganiello
Me and Joe, 2012
Oh, Joe. Sigh. Another of my Dragoncon conquests, I've actually met Joe twice on two separate occasions. The first time, I got his autograph and chatted with him. On that occasion, he started singing "Angie" by The Rolling Stones to me, asked if I got that a lot, and then promised never to do it again. The next year, I decided to do a photo opp with him for the simple fact I'm freakishly tall and it's darn hard to find a guy taller than me. Joe is a lot taller than me. This convinces me we're meant to be together. I just have to convince him of that. 

Anyway. The photo opp. When I went up to Joe to take my picture he said, "Hey, I remember you!" squeezed me to his side--the man smelt really good, too. His cologne was...yummy--and when I went to move away, he held onto me until I looked at him, then he smiled and said, "Hey, thanks for coming and seeing me again." Another all-too-short encounter, but one I will never forget. 

Jensen Ackles
 Considering how crazy I've always been about Jensen, I wish I had a better story to share, but sadly, it's more of a non encounter than an encounter, and it happened a long, long time ago. Jensen was on "Days of Our Lives" at the time, and he was in my hometown for a charity event. I actually was supposed to interview him for the newspaper, but he got here late due to filming that ran over and messed up his schedule. So I didn't get the one-on-one interview I'd been hoping for. I did get to meet him, very briefly, but he hadn't slept in 24 hours and was tired and probably a little bit cranky. Even so, he did sign a picture for me and let me take his picture, and he was nice about it. I know lots of people who went to the event to see him, and all these years later, they still gripe about how rude "Eric" was that day. Jensen wasn't rude to me, but I know he had a rough day and might not have lived up to everyone's expectations. Celebrities are people, too, you know. It didn't turn me off him at all, obviously, and I live in hope I'll get to meet him again someday.

So there's four of my hottie encounters. I could talk about the time Patrick Dempsey came into the deli where I worked and I made a complete fool of myself, or I could talk about how I kept hugging Dean Cain the time I met him. Or maybe the time I went to a press junket for "The Hunger Games" and talked to Liam Hemsworth, or how John Barrowman grabbed my behind, or that time I interviewed Blake Shelton. But I think I'll save those for later.


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