Voices in My Head

I started writing a blog about this with a back story, but it got to be too long and I hadn’t even arrived at my point for writing it in the first place! So, I’m starting over here, without the back story.


Books.

I’ve always loved books, but that love hasn’t always shown itself by me actually, well, reading them. Sometimes I blamed my disinterest in reading on being forced to read in school. Other times I blamed it on my dislike for sitting still for very long or my waning attention span, thanks to technology and our ever increasing fast-paced world. I’d even found a comic on the wall of a book store with a “customer” saying to a clerk, “No, thank you. I don’t actually read books. I just like to be in their presence once in a while.” It described me perfectly.

Wringer audio book cover

One day in the library, when I was about 15, I happened across an audio book copy of Wringer. I’d noticed a few other students reading that book throughout the year, so I figured it must be good. I checked it out and retired to bed early that night to get in some “reading” before I went to sleep. I loved the book. If I remember correctly, I finished the whole thing that night and stayed up even later because I was inspired to write a story (which I finished in one sitting).

That was the first time I’d received a 100% on a book test at that school. I was so happy that I’d found a way to read that got me excited about reading again. To this day, I still remember the first line of the book: “He did not want to be a wringer. That was one of the first things he learned about himself.” I can still hear it in the narrator’s voice.

It really wasn’t an amazing story, at least not when measured by my tastes. It was the fact that it was an audio book. “Reading” was no longer tedious.

AudioBook

After that, with all the assigned reading and what not, I’d forgotten about audio books. More than ten years later, after taking a CD course on WWI from my library, I came across an audio book copy of The Hobbit. Being new to the world of LOTR, and completely in love with the new movie, I was excited to check it out. I also checked out a paperback copy to follow along whenever I wasn’t listening in the car. I loved it! I was so happy to have rediscovered audio books.

Less than a week after finishing The Hobbit, I wandered through the library where I was on holiday and came across The Fault in Our Stars by John Green; the audio book with a signed hardback copy next to it. Being a nerdfighter and fan of vlogbrothers, I’d wanted to read a John Green book for a long time. I finished it in two days.

TFIOS

In the almost two months since I rediscovered audio books I’ve finished reading five (four with audio, one without) and I’m currently working on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring. Before that, I’d read maybe 2-4 per year! (Not including required reading or group reading; that’s also only novel-length books because most fan fiction and Garfield comic books don’t count.) So, thanks to audio books I’m reading as much as or more than I’ve wanted. Yay!

It’s Friday!

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Sorry for my lack of posts recently.  A lot of stuff has happened to mess with my routine.  I actually started many posts, but I just haven’t finished them.  Now that things are more back to normal (minus the fact that I still have a dog — oh yeah, I have a dog now) I may start posting more again.  No promises, though.

Viggle Understands My Fandom!

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Have you heard of Viggle?  I know I just provided a link to the website, but I’m going to tell you about it anyway!

Viggle is an app for iOS or Android that allows you to earn points just for watching TV!  It’s brilliant!  You may have heard of Shazam, the app that lets your phone listen to a song and then give you information about it.  There have been so many times in my life when I could have benefited from Shazam.  The radio plays a song of which I really want to know the name or the artist, but the darn DJ doesn’t say!  (I’m thinking of a time before radio stations had live online streaming or feeds of what songs have just been played.)

Viggle uses about the same technology.  Turn on your TV, tap the big “V” check-in button, and Viggle will listen to your TV to detect what programme you’re watching.  (Don’t worry, if it can’t detect it for some reason after two tries it allows you to do a search and find it by name, keyword, or channel.)  It’s one point per minute, so watch an hour of TV and get 60 points!  Plus, in the “What’s On” tab under “Featured,” there is a list of upcoming shows that will give extra points for watching.  (Example: Comic Book Men was on last night listed as +100.  I received 30 points for each minute of the programme, plus an extra 100 points!)

This next part may sound discouraging, but honestly it’s not that difficult.  10,000 points will usually get you a $5 reward.  Don’t freak out on me!  It’s really not that hard!  I currently have over 130,000 points.  That’s after cashing in for some rewards, including a Viggle T-shirt for 37,000.  Yes, I watch a lot of TV, but part of my secret is to check in with a sports game before I go to bed.  It being the end of basketball season, I’ve been checking in at the beginning of any basketball game before going to bed.  I earn at least 120 points in my sleep that way!

Why did I finally decide to tell you about this?  Well, because Viggle recently excited my geek side.  Sometimes with featured programmes there is trivia available after checking in; an opportunity for more points!  As I was playing the trivia for Touch the other day, this question came up:

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I screeched with geeky excitement as I selected the correct answer, took screenshots for a blog, and revelled in the happenstance of my fandom.

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Of course I got it right! Shame on the 8% who completely missed that! ;oP

An Unexpected Fandom

I have only very recently become a fan of something that’s considered a staple for geeks.  (I won’t get into the reasons why I had never seen any of the movies nor read any of the books before now.)

Are you ready?  Wait for it…  I’m a new fan of the world of The Lord of the Rings!

What finally opened my eyes to the awesomeness of Tolkien?  The new movie The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.  I saw it and I enjoyed it, sure.  Then, the theatre on base was shutting down and had a Customer Appreciation Day on their last day open.  One of the free showings was this new The Hobbit.  So, I saw it again… and was enthralled!  My entire life I hadn’t been too excited about the fantasy genre (minus The Elder Scrolls and Fable video games, if they’re considered fantasy), but suddenly I was captivated.  I wanted to be in this world with the Dwarves and this lovable Hobbit, and I wanted to know more.

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A few nights later, I finally watched the first LOTR movie.  I was thoroughly enjoying it until about two hours in.  There had already been a few parts where I felt like the movie was soon to end, but at this point there was still a whole hour left!  I bore through the rest of the movie, but knew this wasn’t going to ruin the story for me in the long run.

The following Saturday, I watched the other two.  It was brilliant!  I haven’t yet watched them again, but I have seen The Hobbit a few more times :o) (which is a bit ironic since Hubby owns the LOTR trilogy and The Hobbit is still in theatres).

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About a week after I think I can say I truly became a fan, I found a book called “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Visual Companion.”  I didn’t see a price, and I always sleep on purchase decisions, so I decided to wait until the next pay day to buy it.  Before I left the store, I read the foreword by Martin Freeman.  I found it so precious (no pun intended) and that’s when I realised that I wouldn’t change my mind about it.  Still, I waited.

Less than a couple of weeks later, a family emergency sent me away from home for nine days.  (I planned on buying the book the next day, but the trip took precedence.)  The day after I returned, I did some shopping with friends, but since we didn’t go into that store I forgot about the book.  Four days later (this past Tuesday), I went there and remembered.  I went to the section of books — and it was gone.  There wasn’t a single copy on the shelves.  Oh, the disappointment!

So, I missed my chance at the movie companion, but I am reading The Hobbit.  It brings joy to my heart and giggles to my face.  I’m in love. n_n

The Three Musketeers

The book?

Nope. Sorry.

The 2011 movie?!

Haha, definitely not!

Err… The 1993 movie?

Yeah, baby!

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Sure, I was only six when this movie was released (actually, a bit over a month until I was seven), and I never saw it until a year or two later, but I still love it! It’s a great little piece of my childhood that continues to be an interest.

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Oy… Tim Curry is creepy enough as a *good* guy… o.O

When we first saw it, there were only two people Bro and I recognised. Porthos (Oliver Platt) was “that guy from Beethoven,” and we’ve just always known about Tim Curry, who played Cardinal Richelieu. (I’m pretty sure this movie was the first time we’d seen Charlie Sheen, who played Aramis.) Nowadays, it’s pretty much an all-star cast! Paul McGann, who played two characters: Girard –the ginger in a duel with d’Artagnan in the beginning– and Jussac –the Cardinal’s guard who comes to arrest the musketeers twice–, went on to play the 8th Doctor! When 24 came out, Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) is Athos. Hubby started watching Burn Notice and Fiona is Queen Anne (Gabrielle Anwar). Then, NCIS: LA comes along and we find d’Artagnan (Chris O’Donnell). Sorry, King Louis (Hugh O’Conor), I personally have not seen you anywhere else…

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Girard / The Doctor

No, you’re right. This movie doesn’t follow the book. Isn’t it rare, though, to find such a movie? And when we do find one, it’s usually not so great. (Frankly, there are a few things that I didn’t so much care for in the book that are excluded in this movie… but we won’t get into those.) No, this movie is a comedy based on the book. The very existence of the minor character Girard alone shows that it’s a comedy from the beginning. Charlie Sheen plays a priest-like character, which is so ironic it’ll bring anyone a giggle. Finally, the hilarity that Porthos brings is the best of all.

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“NOW we are prepared to resist you!” -Porthos

For those who were hoping for action, don’t worry — there’s plenty of it. This was the age of swords and duels, after all. There’s also a bit of romance for the chick flick lover in you. (Come on… everyone has seen at least one Meg Ryan movie.)

Comedy, action, a bit of romance, and a lot of familiar actors. Sounds like a great movie for which I would cuddle up and relax. I think I’m going to go watch it again…

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Those clothes make me miss the Renaissance Festival… :o(

 

The End of the World

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Welp… we’ve now come upon the day supposedly predicted to be the end of the world. Either the “experts” are wrong, or they never discovered the part where we first get transported to the year 5.5/Apple/26.

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To this day, that is still one of my favourite Doctor Who episodes. We’ve barely just met this Doctor and, through the eyes of Rose, learn that he’s now the last of his kind. (My guess is that it was at the end of the war that he regenerated into 9; whatever the final blow he was chosen to do that allowed him to live had still physically killed him. Just a side note, but moving on now.) He’s become a bit grumpy, but still lives to save his beloved humans. After finally accepting Rose as a companion at the end of the previous episode, he needs her to understand “this is who I am.”

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So, as your “Day of Doom” comes to a close, remember the 900-year-old Doctor when he showed us that we do, indeed, survive.

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Neither so I believe this one, but I find it amusing.

Birthday Geek

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No, the title of this entry doesn’t mean that it’s my birthday. (Although, it is this upcoming Tuesday!) I mentioned in a post back in October that it was a certain director’s birthday, and stated that I’m a bit of a birthday geek. Since December is one of the months with, like, a hundred birthdays, I thought I’d write about it now.

I’m a stalker by no means! I just happen to know things. IMDb is my current main source of knowledge. When I see someone in a movie or an episode of a TV programme, and I know I’ve seen their face somewhere before, I go to IMDb to help me remember. Birth/death dates are usually listed if the information is available. IMDb is how I know things like Jeremy Renner has the same birthday as Hubby (7 January), Christopher Eccleston is exactly two months older than my dad (16 February, 1964), and Don S. Davis (General Hammond from Stargate SG-1) died back in 2008 :o(.

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General Hammond

Of course, I didn’t always have IMDb at my disposal, but I still seemed to know everyone’s birthday. Sometimes while watching TV with my mum (I got this birthday geek thing from her), we would come across ET (Entertainment Tonight) and we would watch the end when they mention that day’s celebrity birthdays.

Today? It’s Ted Raimi’s birthday (best known for his role in Xena: Warrior Princess as Joxer). This birthday info in my brain is special: it’s directly from him to me! Back in 2005, I wrote him a fan letter via e-mail and included the inquiry about his birthday. (This was before I discovered IMDb.) He responded (which was exciting enough) and included his birthday (which just added the excitement that it’s only four days before mine).

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Joxer the Mighty

I used to be so good at remembering birthdays that I would make the joke that 20 years from now I may not remember your name, but by golly I will remember your birthday! “Hey, er… 18 December! How are you?”

No longer am I quite that good. One day, after I did finally discover IMDb, I randomly ended up on a birthday rampage! I looked for the birthdays of a couple of actors, but then explored a bit and ended up writing down three pages worth of birthdays. Trying to learn all of them in such a short period of time overloaded my brain and short circuited part of the birthday geek section. Not only did I learn few to none of the birthdays from that day, but I also forgot some I had known before and mostly lost my ability to remember birthdays like a photographic memory.

I am still good at remembering birthdays and other dates, but I’m only at about 70-90 percent my old self. Though Facebook can be a help where my memory falls short, it can also be frustrating when a friend doesn’t believe that I remembered their birthday without Facebook’s help :o(.

Now for the December birthdays! (Only from my head; no cheating and looking any up. No names of people I know, as usual.)

9- Mother-in-law
10- Former co-worker
11- High school classmate
13- Sis-in-law
13- Dick van Dyke
14- Ted Raimi
15- Garrett Wang
16- Two high school classmates
16- My “niece” (friend’s 2nd daughter; her 1st birthday!)
16- My “niece”s real aunt
17- Friend from previous church
18- Me!
18- Two high school classmates
18- Steven Spielberg
18- Christina Aguilera
18- Brad Pitt
19- Two Trekkie friends
20- Former co-worker
23- Martin Kratt
25- Jesus (observed)
25- Friend from previous church
26- High school classmate
27- Former co-worker
31- High school classmate

(I know there are still many that I’m forgetting…)