adventure, Clara Oswald, destruction, Dr. Who, Dr. Who Dark Water/Death in Heaven, friendship, Good vs Evil, horror, Jenna Coleman, Love, Michelle Gomez, Missy, movie review, Movies, Peter Capaldi, science fiction, space ship, TARDIS, The Doctor's Meditaion, Time Lord, time machine, trust
Dr. Who: Dark Water/Death in Heaven
Last night we saw the movie Doctor Who: Dark Water/Death in Heaven, the TV show’s two-part eighth season finale, now out on the big screen. This movie, along with the prequel The Doctor’s Meditation (which came on after the movie) gets all the fans excited for Season 9, which begins this Saturday. Peter Capaldi stars as the twelfth Dr. Who, and Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald, his faithful sidekick. Together they team up against Michelle Gomez as the mysterious, evil Missy, who plans the annihilation of humankind with her Cybermen. With his trusty TARDIS and amazing screwdriver, not to mention the help of his friends, it’s up to the doctor to save the day.
Dr. Who is a fascinating mixture of horror, sci-fi, and adventure. The show is often silly, and sometimes even dorky, but also uber-creepy. It is unsettling. I get nightmares from watching it! And yet, I keep coming back for more. Why is that?
This show has run for an amazing fifty years, with various reincarnations of Dr. Who and his numerous companions. What is it that makes Dr. Who so popular? Is it the TARDIS? I mean, who wouldn’t want to have a time/space-traveling ship disguised as a British telephone booth? Or a screwdriver that can do just about anything? Or perhaps it is the eccentric personality of the extraterrestrial Time Lord, who for some reason loves human beings and does everything he can to help them? Or maybe it’s the themes of the power of love and that good will conquer evil that run through the series (and you know how I feel about happy endings.) Whatever it is, get ready for another captivating season of Dr. Who.
adventure, blogging, Blogs, Cat Girl's Day Off, cat lovers, cats, Chicago, Chicago Cubs, comedy, communication, Cubs, Ferris Beuller, Ferris Beuller's Day Off, film production, high school romance, humor, kidnapping, Kimberley Pauley, Movies, Natalie Ng, Talents, Talking to Cats, YA, YA fantasy, YouTube
Book Review: Cat Girl’s Day Off — by Kimberley Pauley
This book was hilarious! I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. Set in a modern day Chicago where people have important Talents (superpowers), teen Natalie Ng (pronounced ‘Ing’) only has the embarrassing talent of being able to talk to cats, and she doesn’t want anyone to know about it. But when she sees a YouTube video of a popular celebrity blogger carrying a yowling cat, she is the only one who realizes that the cat is telling everyone that his person has been kidnapped, and that this woman holding him prisoner is an imposter. Natalie and her friends set out to rescue the real owner of the cat, and at once everything starts to go wrong. We begin with the familiar landscapes of a smart, funny, but shy teenage girl who has a crush on a certain guy at high school, and we head straight into filming a tribute to Ferris Beuller’s Day Off, where her star-struck best friends are less than helpful. It’s up to Natalie to be the brains behind the rescue, and we see her character grow as the fun continues. Rollicking adventure and desperate attempts to stop the villain follow, and of course the cats end up as the heroes. I enjoyed Natalie’s personality, but I enjoyed the antics and comments of the cats even more. If you’ve ever wished you knew what your cat was saying, think again. This lighthearted YA Urban Fantasy was definitely a good read!
It has taken me a few years of starts and stops, but I am finally finished my niece’s quilt. Yeah! I stitched the last of the binding today while listening to the movies Fellowship of the Ring and Breaking Dawn 2. As you can see, Rocky likes it too. I sure hope Stephanie likes it. A lot of work and love has gone into this quilt. I have enjoyed creating something beautiful, and I hope that when my niece looks at it, she will remember how much I love her. Now I’d better get writing. NaNoWriMo awaits!
It’s so cold out there! I wish I could stay inside by the fire with some hot chocolate and a good book. If you are looking for something to read, try Heartland, by Davis Bunn.
Cowboy JayJay Parsons has no idea is going on. One moment he is on a bus heading to California, and the next moment, the bus is in an accident. He wakes up and finds himself in the wardrobe room at Centurion Studios in Riverside, California. Stranger still, he is starring himself in a television series called Heartland, which the studio plans to make into a feature length movie. JayJay finds a set of his own ranch with horses, a cranky sister, a beautiful leading lady, and a nefarious studio manager who wants to take down Centurion and its owner and will stop at nothing to make sure the movie fails. What’s worse, JayJay’s whole life to this point may be just the script coming from the writer’s imagination. But JayJay is a hero in all senses of the word, and his honest, friendly, straight-shooting approach to life, even this strange life he finds himself in, will be the catalyst that changes a doomed movie into a blockbuster, and changes a fragmented group of hardened, harried Hollywood people into a dedicated team of friends.
I closed this modern fantasy with a grin on my face. I like stories where the good guys win. So, bundle up, grab a good book, and stay warm!
aliens, astronauts, Books, Cape Kennedy Space Center, civilization, Columbus, culture, galaxies, Gene Roddenberry, Gravity, humanity, invasion, Isaac Asimov, Jules Verne, man on the moon, Moon, moons, Movies, Niel Armstrong, planets, Ray Bradbury, Sandra Bullock, science fiction, space, space program, Space the Final Frontier, spacefarers, spaceships, Star Trek, stars, starships, Wrath of Khan
This past weekend we went to see Gravity. I really enjoyed the movie, and Sandra Bullock did an amazing job. The movie reminded me of a family vacation to the Cape Kennedy Space Center where we saw the relics of the space program. I was amazed at how flimsy everything looked. We sent them out into space in the equivalent of tin foil, duct tape, and binder twine. I was and still am so impressed by the bravery of the astronauts.
On July 20, 1969, my family gathered around the old black and white television and watched Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. His words, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” stirred my heart and fired my imagination. We puny humans had actually made it to the moon, and someday we would build a ship capable of going to the stars. In the meantime we could ride along with dozens of writers who would transport us to new planets to meet alien people and learn about their strange cultures, writers such as Jules Verne, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, and Gene Roddenberry.
While at college, I discovered the Star Trek TV series and instantly became a Trekkie. This fascination continued through the years with each Star Trek TV series, movie, and book that came out. When my sister gave me the set of Star Trek movies for my latest birthday, I immediately tore open the package and popped a DVD in the machine. “Space… the Final Frontier. These are the continuing voyages of the starship Enterprise. Her ongoing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life forms and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.” (Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan) These words still thrill me.
What is it that fascinates us about space? Some think about how we are thousands of light years away from the nearest star, how immense space is, and how beautiful the galaxies are. They learn about gas giants, black holes, and why some stars are red or blue. But some of us look up at the vast blackness sprinkled thick with diamonds and think, ‘What if?’ Some create fierce aliens intent on using humans for food or slaves. Some are intent on blowing up our planet to make way for a intergalactic freeway. Some of our spacefarers are like us, eager to explore and learn, wanting to find out what’s out there. They come in peace. In other scenarios, we are the aggressors out to conquer the alien races, not taking the time to listen, learn and understand.
In all of these wonderfully creative books and movies, we are asking the question, Is there anybody out there? Are we alone, or are there others like us? And if so, what will happen when our two civilizations collide? Beneath our fascination lies deeper questions. Can we learn to be better human beings, to have more compassion for each other, to see our common humanity in spite of the awkward, strange outer trappings of our appearances, languages, cultures, and memories?
Until recently, scientists were convinced that there was no one else out there. (This reminds me of what people told Columbus about sailing off the edge of a flat planet.) But I am convinced that someday we will boldly go where no human has gone before, or they will come here in a similar effort. We will meet, and it will be amazing. In the meantime, we can watch, read, and dream.
adventure, Alberta, anniversary, California, Canada, happy anniversary, humor, husband, joy, laughter, Love, marriage, MASH, Movies, Scrabble, sense of humor, Star Trek, story, wedding, wedding dress, wife
Happy Anniversary to my wonderful husband for 32 years of adventure, love, and laughter. One of the most important things we’ve learned is to have a sense of humor. After our wedding in Alberta, Canada, we were driving down to Sam’s parent’s house in California, when we noticed smoke billowing out of the trunk. We pulled over to the side of the road to find out what was going on. It turned out that the wires that connected the trailer to the trunk had come loose and had burned holes in our clothing, including my wedding dress. I looked at my ruined wedding dress and cried. But Sam hugged me and said, It’s our marriage that’s important, not things.” When we got to California, Sam’s mom stayed up all night sewing me a dress that I could wear to the open house the next day. Looking back on these thirty-two years, we’ve had our good times and bad times, but a sense of humor has always come in handy. We’ve moved twelve times, raised five children, and vacationed in Canada, Greece, France, Belgium, Italy, England, and Scotland. We spent a lot of time playing in the ocean, learned Greek, found Sam’s Greek relatives, had many wonderful reunions with our families, watched a lot of MASH and Star Trek together, gone to many movies, read books, and played a lot of board games. (Our wedding present to each other was a Scrabble game, and we still play it regularly.) We’ve both worked with youth for many years and we’ve treasured the experiences. We’ve had our share of heartaches, but we’ve learned to be patient and keep our eyes on the goal. Our love has grown into a tree. It’s been a great adventure, and we look forward to many more.
Action movies, Anne of Green Gables, blood, character development, Chick Flicks, chocolate, cry, dessert, DVDs, explosions, Girls' Movie Night, gore, guns, guts, laugh, Love, Movies, Red 2, romance, story, violence
On Friday night we went to see Red 2. My husband and sons loved it. It was a typical male action/comic book, shoot-em-up, blow-it-up, car chase movie. Yes, on one level it was funny. The violence was so over the top that it became impossible and ridiculous. But I came out feeling as if I’d swum in blood, as if I had been buried under a mountain of dead bodies. Really, since when is killing people funny?
What ever happened to movies where character development is important, where emotional and personal growth occurs? Why don’t we see any sweet stories, like Anne of Green Gables? Where are the movies about real people who learn and grow, who overcome great odds and do the right thing? What about movies that are safe for kids to watch but still have a solid plot, well-developed characters, and an interesting setting? What happened to love stories that are romantic, not graphic? Why does Hollywood think that the only thing people want to see is gratuitous sex and violence? I’m sick of blood, guns, naked bodies, and cars exploding. I want a girl movie — what guys sneeringly call a Chick Flick. I want to laugh, to cry, and to be uplifted.
So, in protest of all the guy movies I’ve had to endure, I’m holding a girls’ movie night. We’ll sit down together, enjoy a moving DVD, cry, laugh, talk, eat a delicious dessert that involves chocolate, and thoroughly enjoy ourselves. Does anyone have any recommendations for a good movie? Does anybody want to join me?
What do you say when you wake up and feel blah: a day when you’re at the end of your rope, and there’s nothing you can think of to say? As Mary Poppins would tell you, the answer is Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Ha! I feel better already. My favorite movie from childhood was Mary Poppins. I enjoyed the books about Mary Poppins, by P.L. Travers, but Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, and all the other wonderful actors in the movie brought the story to life for me. I loved the uplifting message of the movie, the wonderful music, the happy ending, the imagination and possibilities that it presented. There is truly nothing that can keep us down or stop us from achieving if we just believe in ourselves. So if you find yourselves having a Blah day, just put on a CD and start singing on of the songs from Mary Poppins.
Last night we watched the Academy Awards, the event where the who’s who of Hollywood pays tribute to its own for excellence in film, the MC cracks tasteless jokes, and we see the amazing results of plastic surgery and Botox. The best part of the evening was when the cast of Les Miserables came out and sang. They deserved the standing ovation they received. We saw Les Miserables (the 2012 movie musical adaptation of Victor Hugo’s great novel) in December, and it was very moving. The actors gave stunning performances, not only the stars Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, and Amanda Seyfried, but all the actors, down to Daniel Huttlestone who played Gavroche. The music was incredible. I knew going into the movie that I was going to cry, and I did. I hoped that Les Miserables would win an Oscar for best picture, but they got beat out by Argo. Le Mis still gets my vote for best picture of the year.