May 2017

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We had our first snowfall last night. Around nine o'clock, we began to spot the first fat snowflakes among the rain, and by eleven o'clock, it had changed over to all wet snow. It was sticking a little on the ground by the time we went to bed around 1 AM, but when I eagerly peeked out the window this morning, I was disappointed because it had all melted already.

In the mountains, however, there is quite a bit on the ground. Bobby is currently pacing around the house waiting to be picked up by a friend to go up to Jay Peak, where it's estimated they got about 6 to 7 inches (15 to 17 cm). They'll "earn their turns" by hiking the mountain and snowboarding down. Power to them! That sounds like a lot of work, but Bobby is over the moon.

At his colleague's house about 15 minutes north of us, she posted a picture on Facespace with about two inches (5 cm) on the ground, so it seems we just missed it being cold enough to stick, which isn't particularly surprising, since we tend to be a couple degrees warmer here in the valley than in the surrounding areas.

Yesterday, we went to the matinee show of Vermont Vaudeville. We loved it. The show was held in the beautiful still-undergoing-restoration Hardwick Town House. It was hilarious. I think they cross-pollinate a lot with Bread and Puppet; I recognized some of the actors from B&P shows.

It was a really miserable day yesterday: in the mid-40s F (about 4C) and this constant, omnipresent, drizzly rain. We decided to pack it in for the evening. We'd had a stupendous and large lunch at Positive Pie in Hardwick, so we grabbed some Chinese food at the Wok 'N' Roll in Newport and rented three movies from the video store.

We moved up here for a variety of big reasons related to lifestyle, ideals, and emotional health, but we constantly discover little things that we love and never expected. Having a video store is one of them. An old-school, locally owned video store, not a Blockbuster, certainly not a RedBox. Bobby and I love movies, and one of our favorite ways to spend an evening is seeing a movie in a theater or renting one at home. Yet neither of us are particularly wild about streaming movies. The reality is that we live in the middle of nowhere and have satellite Internet, and the nights when you most want to watch a movie at home--when it is raining or snowing--are the nights when the satellite Internet is least reliable or, during storms, may not work at all. We also like having the cases to hold in hand, to read the reviews and the blurbs, look at the cover and the stills that have been chosen, see if the movie was presented at any festivals or won any awards, etc. Discovering we had a video store up here was an amazing find for us.

During October, we rent mostly-to-all "scary" movies. New England Video has a special where you can rent three non-new releases on Saturday night for three bucks and keep them for three days. Since we're expecting poor weather this weekend and three bucks for three movies is an amazing deal, then we rented three scary movies. Last night, we watched one called Frozen--no, not THAT Frozen--about a trio of college kids who get stuck on a high ski lift after hours. It was the stupidest thing ever! It appeared they were citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (I will avoid using the term that Vermonters use for this particular type of tourist from that particular state), skiing/riding at a fictional resort in Massachusetts, but there managed to be man-eating wolves? It was awful! But of course, the awfulness is part of the fun for scary movies a lot of the time. All the same, this wasn't the kind of awful that I recommend watching.

We've rented a few this month that I've really liked. Dawn's 2016 Haunted October Movie Recommendations )

So speaking of Haunted October, my own Haunted October is going well and so not-so-well at the same time. It's going well because I am still hooked on the story and write at least a little of it every day. I don't think I've had a 5000+-word day, but I've had a handful of occasions where I manage a few thousand in a sitting, which is good. But it's nowhere near being done, which looks like it won't be ready to post even part of on Halloween (since I don't like to post unfinished work), and at this point, it also threatens my NaNoWriMo aspirations, since I'm not going to put it on hold to start something new. So at this point, I probably need to just call it "Tamlin" and forget about the Haunted October piece. I can't bring myself to be disappointed in myself, however, for missing a self-imposed deadline because of my enthusiasm for a story that has been in my head for years.

Last night, I finally got to some sinister supernatural monkey business. Yes, JUST LAST NIGHT. I still have a lot of story to tell.
I started doing this last year, since discovering the Majestic Theater in Gettysburg means that I do actually get the opportunity to see many of the Academy Award nominees each year. (We live just far enough from Baltimore and DC to make it impractical to go there just to see a movie, and our local theaters don't tend to show them. Good movies being one of my great loves in life, this was one of the grievous facts of living in Carroll County.) I actually managed to see all the Best Picture nominees this year except for Whiplash, which is being ridiculously released on DVD/On Demand on Tuesday, two days after the Oscars, and as far as I know, it wasn't even at the Majestic.

What Dawn would have voted for if she were in the Academy. Spoilerish. )
Cut for talking about all the death, gloom, and sadness in pop culture this week. )

Rewatched 'Dead Poets' Society.' Thoughts on that. )
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Thanks to the Majestic Theater in Gettysburg, I have seen a higher number than usual of the Oscar-nominated movies this year. So here are my picks in the categories where I feel qualified enough to defend an opinion on the topic. Spoilers abound beneath the cut.

Dawn's Academy Award Picks )
Last night, Bobby and I went to see the new Hobbit movie for the second time (in England! which makes it extra cool!), so I am now prepared to review it properly. The first time we watched it was at the Mythmoot screening, so it was 1) at 9 AM after waking up at 6 AM, 2) in 3D, and 3) I was all O.O about the upcoming conference. I understandably missed a lot and didn't want to be unfair and/or look like an idiot by reviewing a movie that I nodded off during at a few points (because of the early hour and cozy darkness, not because of the quality of the movie).

Like the first installment, I enjoyed the movie. This is also the point at which I will make my requisite preface that I treat PJ's Tolkien-based movies much as I would a work of fanfiction, i.e., I need to try to enjoy someone else's vision of Middle-earth rather than to expect that PJ will have magically created mine. So I will not argue about breaking canon so much as I will analyze how his decisions worked on their own merit.

Spoilers Ahead )
Bobby and I went to see The Hobbit last night at a midnight show. Midnight shows aren't something we get to indulge in often, but we decided quite a while back to make an exception given someone's *ahem* Tolkien obsession. We bought our tickets as soon as they went on sale and took the next day off (today) from work. Admittedly, last night, I wasn't feeling very awesome by the time it came to leave, but arriving at a theater packed with fellow Tolkien geeks had a revitalizing effect, and at 11:59 PM, the show began.

The Rest beneath the Cut for Spoilers Sake )
Bobby and I went on a date last night and saw Hugo. He's been itching to see it since we saw a preview before, I think, J. Edgar that somehow completely evaporated from my mind. (We went to see J. Edgar mid-week and I was very tired--the likely explanation.) So I took him at his word that I told him that I thought the preview looked promising, at the time. He conveniently failed to mention that it was 3D until we were walking up to the theater and I saw "Hugo--3D" on the marquee and whined a bit; 3D movies (even when the 3D is used for spectacular effect, as indeed it was in Hugo inevitably look rough to me. I don't know if it's because I have preternaturally good vision (I do) or what; I know no one else who experiences 3D movies like I do. They're distracting and prevent me from becoming fully immersed.

Nonetheless, Hugo was a damned fine and absolutely beautiful movie, although I do not agree with it on all points. (Do I ever??)

Spoiler Alert )
Friday night, Bobby and I shelled out the arm and leg required to see the re-release of Disney's The Lion King in 3D, despite the fact that I avoid 3D movies on principle. (The Real Country Movie Theater* did have it in 2D ... at 12:55 in the afternoon. We couldn't quite fit that one in.)

* So called because, shortly after moving up here, Bobby and I went to the movies in Westminster--and it is a normal Regal multiplex theater located in the Westminster Towne Mall--and while standing in the lobby, a woman walked by, gazing about herself pie-eyed, and breathed out in wonder, "Wow ... so this is a real country movie theater!" Bobby and I have known it as "The Real Country Movie Theater" or just "Real Country" ever since then.

Normally, I don't dig re-releases either, but The Lion King was hands-down my favorite movie for a significant portion of my childhood, so I gave in to the sentimentality and nostalgia of seeing it again on the big screen. In the summer between 8th and 9th grades, I watched the video just about every day. Eighth grade, I had a posse of girlfriends who were also writers like me, and we gave each other Lion King code names based on our personalities. I was Ed, after the laughing hyena, because I was the crazy one. The nickname Ed stuck for many, many years after, with my sister calling me that into college.

Warning for Perhaps Overthinking the Children's Classic )
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I would like to issue a dire warning to all movie fans out there before I confine the rest of my ranting behind an LJ cut: Big Animal Movies™ are on the loose, masquerading as normal movies that you think you might want to see. It behooves us all, as moviegoers who demand quality entertainment, to visit our local IMDB to verify that there is no risk of a Big Animal Movie™ attack in the show we are about to see. Big Animal Movies™ are not a joke and they are not funny--they are dangerous. And only you can protect yourself. Remember, the best thing to do when faced with a Big Animal Movie™ is to back away slowly, don't make eye contact, and always keep your distance.

Soooo...Primeval )