Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day

Did anything unusual happen for you on this once-every-four years date?  Nothing much here. Turned out to be a dreary day with rain off and on.   In fact, this extra day has always seemed like just another day, just lengthening the already short month of February, my least favorite month.  And I just felt tired and bored today since I didn't have to work because the delivery was canceled yesterday.  I keep hoping something new will happen and I can leave this job for something new, but enough about that.

I certainly would hate to be born on this date, as I would be confused as to how old I really am.  Yes, I know you really are the age you get when you subtract your birth year from the current year, but your birthday would only occur every four years.  A few celebrities have this birthday, including actor/model Antonio Sabato, Jr. (born on Leap Day in 1972) and rap musician Ja-Rule (born in 1976).  Other notable leap day babies or "leaplings" can be found here.

The big story of today was the death of Davy Jones of the Monkees.  In addition to being a musician he was also an actor, notably appearing as himself on an episode of  "The Brady Bunch," which TV Guide rated #37 among its 100 Greatest Episodes of All-Time in 1997.  He recently appeared in a "SpongeBob SquarePants" episode. RIP.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Quiz: What Color Blue Are You?

You Are Sky Blue

Dreamy and creative, you the potential in everyone ... and everything!
And while you strive to have an ideal life, you are pretty mellow about it. You know your time will come.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Quiz: What Would You Win an Oscar For?

You Would Win Best Original Screenplay

You are insightful and expressive. You've always been a natural storyteller.
You know how to hook an audience, entertain them, and surprise them at the end.

Where people see everyday life, you see an engaging plot with interesting characters.
You notice details that other people ignore. People you've only met once or twice live inside your head.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Quiz" What Color Ideas Do You Have?

Your Ideas Are Blue

When you think, you tend to have very detailed, well thought out ideas.
You take your time with your thoughts. You are a deep thinker who likes to explore every possibility.

Your ideas tend to be very innovative and perceptive. It's amazing what your mind can come up with.
Your mind is energetic and alert. You are "always on" and thinking of new things. It's hard for you to relax.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Valentines Day Post

Today being Valentines Day,  I had a flashback to those boxed Valentines that kids used to send and receive during grade school. You know, those with currently popular cartoon characters and punny Valentine messages like  "I'm dragging without you" alongside of a picture of a dragon.  I remember getting these things and I'm sure most of you do too.  I don't know what I did with all the ones I got throughout grade school, but I'm sure I don't have them anymore.

I still see these for sale, such as those pictured at left.  All this makes me wonder, do children today still get to celebrate Valentines Day at school?  Though I'm not a parent, I've heard stories of grammar schools canceling celebrations for Halloween and Christmas, either eliminating them entirely or replacing them with nonsense like "Fall Parties," "Harvest Festivals" or "Winter Parties."  I'm now wondering if Valentines Day is meeting the same fate or if it will later if it already hasn't.   Having such memories of such events in school, it seems sad kids today will miss such a thing.  I mean, they can get a whole week of for Thanksgiving (in my day, we only got Thanksgiving and the day after off),  but they can't have a shortened school day for events like this? That makes no sense.

As a single person, my enjoyment of Valentines Day is from munching on  Valentine candy. mostly the candy hearts.  I've had several boxes of these this year before today.  Today I got a box while getting groceries at Safeway.  I suspect all this candy will be half-off everywhere tomorrow.  Somehow I forgot to look for the Valentine candy corn this year.  We get candy corn at my work, but I haven't had time to stop and buy any.  As many of you may have seen, candy corn isn't just for Halloween anymore, and you can expect to see the pastel-colored version for Easter soon.  We may have already gotten that one; I may just have not seen it yet.

Well, whatever you're doing or eating tonight, Happy Valentines Day!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Books I Can See Becoming Movies

With so many books being adapted into films, it makes it harder to find time to read the book first, something you will see in my last few posts.  It seems like film producers can't seem to find ideas elsewhere, so they turn to the written novels.  And now there are novels that seem ripe for movie adaptations, something that might just come true.

I recently Googled the phrase "books that should be moves" and other variant phrases and came up with results such as the one here.   Unfortunately I do not know about many of the books mentioned in this link or the one contained on the link, so I can't say I agree on any of those.

However, I have recently read a few books that I can see be made into movies.  So I'd like to offer my list of books that should be made into movies.  I have read all of these, so I will be prepared for the movie, should it ever materialize.

1. Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews.   Three women who have been friends since Catholic grammar school are renting a summer house in North Carolina.  One has just lost her job at a bank, another is betrayed by her husband and has another problem looming ahead, and the other is insecure about herself and the man she loves.  Along the way one falls for the landlord, who is about to lose everything he's ever cared about.  A stranger who's on the run from her abusive husband then rents out a room with the others, using an alias.   All five begin questioning what they thought the knew about life and are looking for changes and a path to forgiveness.
The plot of this one just screams movie, something I thought the whole time I was reading this one.

2. Thin, Rich, Pretty by Beth Harbison.  Two women who were once outsiders at a summer camp 20 year earlier and their camp nemesis, a once-spoiled and rich girl are the focus of these.  Holly, one of the two,  was plump and desired to be an artist and the other, Nicola, wanted to be pretty.  While at summer camp in the 80s, the two pulled a prank on their rich and spoiled nemesis, Lexi, something that has repercussions two decades later. Now 20 years later, Lexi is totally broke, her father having left all his possessions to her stepmother, who keeps everything, including Lexi's childhood home. Lexi must find a job and new place to live, but has trouble doing so without previous work or rental experience.  Holly is now a gallery owner about to get married, and Nicola a near-famous actress.  The title refers to Holly's desire to be thin, Nicola's to be pretty and Lexi's desire to be rich.
Beth Harbison's book "Shoe Addicts Anonymous" is already being made into a movie. I have yet to read that one, but see this book as a possible film. again, it has a plot that seems film-worthy.

3.  Cleo: The Cat Who Mended a Family by Helen Brown.  A woman doesn't plan on taking home one of her friend's kittens until she sees the smallest one of the litter.  A tragedy hits the family just before the kitten is delivered to their home, and the woman isn't sure if she can keep the cat until she sees something that she is sure has vanished from the family forever.   As a result the kitten becomes the family pet.

This one reminded me a bit of "Marley and Me," and seems to have the same sad film factor that the movie based on "Marley" had.  

4.  Homer's Odyssey by Gwen Cooper.   Though Gwen Cooper already had two cats, shoe fell in love with the eyeless kitten she saw at her vet office.  Though everyone though he'd be a underachiever,  the kitten eagerly  became friends with all who crossed his path.  One very gripping scene in the book takes place during the 9/11 attacks when Homer and the other two cats are trapped alone for days in an apartment building near the World Trade Center.

I feel the same way about this one as I did about "Cleo" and "Marley." All are touching pet tales, and this one and "Cleo" would make wonderful family films.

5. Goodnight, Tweetheart by Teresa Medeiros.  Sort of an epistolary novel for the Twitter age, this book focuses on writer Abby Donovan, who's putting of things including working on her next novel (she nearly won a  Pulitzer for her first one) When her publicist signs her up for a Twitter account, she becomes hooked and gets taken under the wing of one of her followers.

This could be the "You've Got Mail" for Twitter.  AOL and Facebook have already gotten films, so why not Twitter?

6. The "Night World" Series by L.J. Smith.  Her "Vampire Diaries" books have already been adapted into a TV show, and this series also deserves some adaptation.  All nine books focus on members of the Night World,  where vampires, shapeshifters, and witches live among humans without their knowledge.  The protagonist of each book (always a teenage girl) faces challenges including the soulmate principle.

I can really see this as films, though it would be challenging since there are nine books, with a tenth soon to be out as the conclusion.  Perhaps a cable movie series might work in this case.   Or the first three books can be combined into the first film, the next two in the second one, and so on.  

This is all I have come up with.  I'm sure these aren't the only books I'll find film-worthy.  I'd planned on including "The Host" by Stephenie Meyer, but while Googling, I discovered it is actually being adapted.   This I had not known previously. I have the feeling I'll feel that way about more stuff I have yet to read.  But at least I have read all of these before the possibly hit the big screen.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Movies Based on Self-Help Books?

Almost two years ago, I was waiting to get "He's Just Not That Into You" from Netflix and (just before I received it, I saw it for sale at work).  A while before it arrived in the mailbox, I looked at the plot description on Netflix which stated that the movie was based on  the best selling book by Greg Behrendt.  Having been guilty of not reading a book before seeing the movie adaptation, I decide to seek this out at the library, only to find it was a self-help book.  WTF?  I wondered.  Do I need to read a self-help book for this reason?  I decided that was not necessary. And how do you base a movie on a book that has no story? Sounds like it could be boring. And the plot lines would have to be contrived.  Sounds like something someone might do in a creative writing class: take a headline, newspaper article, or something from an advice book with no plot or storyline and create one.  Yeah, that could be fun, depending how creative different people are.

When I looked up the movie on, there was a question asking of there are other books based on self-help books and the answer reads:
Mean Girls (2004) is based on the non-fiction book Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence (2002) by Rosalind Wiseman, founder of the Empower Program, a national violence-prevention program. Wiseman's book describes how female high school social cliques operate and the effect they can have on girls. Sex and the Single Girl (1964) is based on the guide for single women of that title by Cosmo editor Helen Gurley Brown. Although not explicit by today's standards, the book was considered somewhat shocking at the time due to its assumption that single women could be sexually active. Woody Allen's Every Thing You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask (1972) was inspired by a 1969 sex manual of the same name by David Reuben, M.D. Warum Männer nicht zuhören und Frauen schlecht einparken is based upon the No.1 best-selling book Why Men Don't Listen and Women Can't Read Maps.

I haven't seen  any of those, except "Mean Girls" (I have the DVD).

Well, it seems that this idea is becoming more popular now.  Last Saturday, one the previews during "One for the Money" was for an upcoming movie that was said to be "based on the best-selling book." I wasn't surprised to see that, until I saw what the title of the movie and book on screen: "What to Expect When You're Expecting."  This is the title of a pregnancy self-help book.   I then remembered about "He's Just Not That Into You," about how a filmmaker is is turning some self-help book into an ensemble romantic comedy.  And then there this upcoming flick: "Think Like a Man," based on the self-help book "Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man," by comic Steve Harvey.

I'm not yet decided if I'm going to see either of these, but at least in these cases, I won't feel guilty about not reading the book first.  No need to, since I'm not expecting and don't need to think like man (or do I?)  Enough on this, however.        

I can't imagine what they'll adopt next.   If "What to Expect..." does well, will the cast be reunited for "Your Baby's First Year"?   And heaven help us,  are we going to see films based on "Men Are From Mars,  Women Are For Venus"  or "I'm OK, You're OK"?   What can we expect from these?