Sunday, August 28, 2011

Six Things Sunday -- movies on TV

I'm a bit wonky when it comes to certain movies. I have to watch them if they are on TV -- even when edited for time and content. No matter what, if I'm flipping stations and I see one of these films is on, I have to stop and watch it. So I thought today we'd do a "six things Sunday" of my must-watch movies.

You may question my taste, but these are all great for procrastinating the weekend away. I don't own any of the DVDs, nor would I rent them. There's no need, because they are all on some sort of Spike/ FX/ AMC rotation, it seems.

These are in no particular order.

  1. Pitch Black. Damn good sci fi, really, and you haters can keep quiet. I do put my fingers in my ears and say "Lalala" whenever the term "Furian" comes up. Really? That's the best they could do when coming up with a name for a people know for their, well, fury?
  2. Chronicles of Riddick. It's got Dame Judi Dench in it... and you know you want to know how Riddick did with his five-year plan.
  3. Hellboy. One of the best comic concepts turned movie. Plus, I'll watch anything with Ron Perlman in it. Problem is, he's in everything! (Tangled is great, by the way)
  4. Hellboy II: The Golden Army. See above.
  5. Constantine. This has been the longest running must-watch movie on the list. Even Shia LaBeouf couldn't ruin this for me. I love Tilda Swinton as the androgynous, really evil angel. I was excited to see on IMDB that a sequel is in the planning stages.
  6. Serenity. This one is even on Watch it Now on Netflix, but I'll still watch it on TV. I kneel at the alter of Firefly.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


When I first bought my house, I took a picture of the front. On later inspection, I saw perched on one of the wires -- phone or cable -- a green bird. I treated it like some sort of cryptozoological study. I had a jeweler's loop out in moments, saw it was some sort of parakeet or maybe a lovebird. I assumed at the time that someone's pet had become free.

Later I learned that New Orleans has a population of parrots. My bird book suggests they are monk parrots, a feral population established from escaped pets.

For the last decade, I've treated my occasional sightings of them with joy and wonder. I would see them in palm trees, hear them as they perched on wires or squabbled in the neighbor's magnolia tree. Most of the time, I saw them up around Elysian Fields, near UNO, in the palms that lined the median, bright flashes of green midst the dark foliage.

This year, though, it seems a population has finally made the permanent move into the Bywater. I see and hear them everyday now. I love it. It makes me feel as if I'm truly in a tropical setting. I munch on my pina colada snow ball and watch them dance on the power lines and try to invade the purple martin nesting boxes. They eat dates from a laden tree. Their shrieking -- not as articulate or ensnaring as a trained macaw's -- fills the air.

I know I shouldn't enjoy invasive species, but could something so cute and comical really deserve my rancor? I'll save it for the starlings.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Moving forward

I wrote a short story this week, which is great because I haven't written anything in a while. It's part of Magpie's story, and can be added to that book when I get back to working on it, but it stands alone. I just need to up the magical realism a smidge more before it's done.

Tomorrow is my first day back at work after a pretty good summer vacation. Coincidentally, I just started watching season four of The Wire, in which Pres has become a middle school math teacher in the Baltimore Public School System. Watching what he goes through reminds me a lot of my first two years in Orleans Parish. It's also making me nervous about my first day with kids in a couple of weeks. I spent the last three years with the same class of students, moving up with them, so it's weird having a new group.

I hope to get back to work on some longer writing soon. Hopefully finish Magpie one of these days. The second book is really the hardest, I think. It's taking me forever.