Sunday, September 29, 2013

50/50 Challenge: More Movies

More movies, which is ok by me. There is so much good buzz about the new movie with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney (two of my faves) "Gravity" but it just doesn't look that interesting. I want to want to see it. But I won't.

I heart JGL
Last week it was two movies with two cuties: Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Chris Hemsworth.

JGL is adorable. I loved him in "500 Days of Summer" and thought "Brick" was a fantastic flick. He just has a lovable characteristic about him and did you see him on Jimmy Kimmel? Enough said.

Then, there are those hot Aussie Hemsworth brothers. Too bad that younger Liam is mostly spotlighted now for his dysfunctional love life, but soon he will be back in the Hunger Games spotlight where he belongs. Going up against his brother for "Thor 2" and it seems like Chris Hemsworth might be pulling ahead as the most desirable of the two.

More movies but I did read a book even though I can't add it to the list. I had to reread "Defending Jacob" even though I read it once this year already. I just forgot how it ended. I remember I didn't like it the first time I read it, but really thought the ending was a good one the second time. No new books to add though. Doesn't look like it's going to happen, reading 50 books this year. Not happening.

In other random news, the new San Diego Downtown library is opening tomorrow!

Movie #60: Don Jon
Movie #61: Rush

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Nano, Nano

You know what I miss about college? I mean besides the keg parties and late night Taco Bell runs and sitting up late nights in coffeehouses having deep conversations about life? I miss my creative writing people. All the people in my creative writing classes who kind of just marched to the beat of their own drummer, who understood me and I understood them in ways even beyond even my closest friends. They were my people. My weird, introverted, creative people.


I also miss my creative writing classes because I was held accountable for my writing. I knew every week I should have five or ten or fifteen new pages written to be critiqued and analyzed and made better, so that at the end I'd have a story. It might be a really shitty story, but a story nonetheless.

I wrote a story about a girl with dad issues. Yawn. And then one about a girl who went a bit crazy. Cliche. But I had tons of ideas and story starts. I filled out notebooks. I didn't even have a computer in college much less my super slim, convenient Chromebook that I have now. I couldn't save things to my Google Drive to access from anywhere. I had to go to the computer lab and drone away with the rest of the undergrads and honestly, the buzzing sound of overhead lights doesn't really get the creative juices flowing.

I wrote a lot of my stories at Java Break in Lawrence, KS. It was (hopefully still is) a 24-hour coffee house that had different rooms filled with smokers and caffeine and people with ideas. I wrote on a yellow legal pad most of the time. I wrote and wrote with a pen. Holy shit, I kind of admire my younger self for having the dedication to do that. Writing even a Christmas card now cramps my hand. I can't imagine how I did that.

When I graduated college, I moved to New York for the same reason that every other wannabe writer moves to New York. To become a writer. I was dedicated to this task and by that time had a laptop and I pounded away on it writing about my New York experiences and then I started a novel. I wrote and wrote and wrote. I typed up enough pages to constitute a book. I left it alone and never edited it and then years later I started reading it and three-fourths of what I had put my blood, sweat and tears into was complete and utter crap.

Learning what I have since then, I need more snappy dialogue, better character development. The kinds of things I look for in the writing I read now. Since then I've written nonstop but nothing that is lengthy and in no way on the great triumph it would be to write a book.

That's where Nano, Nano comes in. I say this in a Mork & Mindy way, obviously, but NaNo(Mo) is National Novel Writing Month which begins in November. What better way to tackle my long lost, but not forgotten dream? I have signed up, not that that means much of anything. It's more to have a support and to commit. But I am going to write a novel in one month, thirty days. 50,000 fucking words. That's what I'm going to do in November.

When I think about it if I took away the multiple times I check Facebook, my email or Twitter and add in the other times I watch reality show or Scandal reruns and substitute writing in there, I could do it.

I mean, I CAN do it.

I am GOING to do it. I'm writing a book. Hopefully, it's worth reading. Hopefully, at the end of November I don't want to burn it. I am going to bind it and set it on my shelf. If it is good, I may try to market it. But let's not get ahead of myself. I have to write it first. Then, edit it. Then, edit it again.

I have October to convince myself this is going to happen no problem. Nano, Nano.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

50/50 Challenge: Almost to 60

It's almost officially fall which means that the holiday season will be here before you know it, which means that 2013 is nearly over and time is ticking to complete my challenge successfully. If I locked myself in my room and never did anything else for the next few months, I could read the remaining number of books necessary to meet the fifty goal. But that's not going to happen. It's not pessimistic, just realistic.

In the meantime, I cruised past fifty movies on my way to 100. I might as well keep keeping track until the end of the year, why stop now?

Movie #57: Closed Circuit
Movie #58: The Family
Movie #59: Prisoners

Sunday, September 15, 2013

I'm Getting Older...

I'm getting older. I embrace this fact because I know that with every day that passes I'm learning something that will prove to be invaluable to my life. I'm in my 30s now so I know better. I don't know everything, but I know better. I know that sometimes people don't act the way we want them to. Before I had a bit of Pollyanna idealism and I thought that every person is inherently good at the core, but now that I am older I know that a) that is not true and b) it is not my job to pull the good out of people. If I give a person an opportunity and they continuously show me that they are crappy, then that is my answer. There is no hidden, deeper solution, no message to be decoded.

I'm getting older so I know now how to filter opinions. For every person out there that wants to see me succeed, there is a person that will throw a wrench in my plans whether it be indirectly or directly. There will be advice received whether I like it or not and negativity spewed in my direction by people who are mostly just miserable in life. I understand now how to filter this. I used to take it all in and think that because someone said something about me that it was true or I second guessed decisions based on other people's beliefs of what they thought I should do. I still take it all in, but now I filter out what I don't need. I have trained myself to literally tune out the noise brought upon by those wishing to stir drama or spread negativity.

I'm getting older, so it seems like I should be marking accomplishments. What did I achieve this year that I didn't last year? What milestones of life have I fulfilled? The beauty of getting older is that you can set your own pace. People find that you are old enough to make your own decisions and/or mistakes so they don't badger you as much when you don't do things on their timelines. And if they do, I always just resort back to the filtering lesson.

There is a lot I learned while in my 20s and a lot more to learn now that I am in my 30s. It's good though to feel comfortable in my own skin and have the ability to recognize my setbacks and downfalls and address them head on. It feels good to not have to live up to anyone else's expectations and know that it is my opinion that matters, especially when it comes to living my own life.

I'm getting older and I am excited for what lies ahead.

Sunday, September 8, 2013 - Working Title

The premise behind the website would be sort of the antithesis to Hallmark cards. Clients would hire me to send an email to someone that has done them wrong in the past telling them how much they suck as a person. It would have to be email, so it wouldn't cost any money.
I am legitimately thinking of starting a website called I may have to get copyright from my boyfriend as he coined the phrase first (or likely stole it from a television show or movie). It could alternatively be called or a more succinct

But Courtney, isn't that a bit childish? Don't you think it's better to take the high road? Sometimes, it's not. Sometimes even if you take the high road, it doesn't mean you have to keep your mouth shut. I used to believe that people will live through their own karma and it's not up to me to point out their massive shortcomings, but I see now that that's just silly. Calling people out for being assholes may be unladylike and while it might not change anything in the long run, it still might feel nice in the short-term and really, doesn't life boil down to instant gratification? Let's not pretend that it doesn't.

As I was thinking about it, telling someone to "die in a fire" might be borderline threatening, but I figured there's not too much harm to it because it's not as if I am performing voodoo. Don't tell me that there aren't choice words that you would like to say to someone or have someone say on your behalf.

Yes, I know mean shouldn't be addressed with mean and that we're to turn the other cheek and all that. There are times though that I feel we are doing the jerks of the world a disservice by not doing a PSA that lets them know that you know they suck. This idea actually comes from a slightly more violent idea I also had where people would hire me to go punch people in the junk much like in "What Happens in Vegas." Clearly, that was directed for a certain audience.

If you haven't guessed yet, I am highly protective of my friends and family who I feel have been wronged. I am also a big believer in seeing justice being served even it's in an elementary, perhaps borderline immature way.

Serious Slacker

The darkest places in hell...
I haven't made much progress at all with my 50/50 Challenge. Even when I thought I was on quite a roll, I feel like I've come to a slow almost standstill. I did read Inferno by Dan Brown in about a weekend even thought it was what felt like 1,000 pages long. I enjoy his books. They're fast reads and discuss lots of interesting things about art and history and symbols and I find it fascinating, if fictitious. It kind of makes me want to read Dante's work again, even though I'm sure that thought will be cut short when I start to wade through that clunky text. 

This book took a little longer to get started on than his past ones, but still once I got into it, I couldn't put it down. I can't say what my favorite of his is, maybe The Lost Symbol because I freaking love information about the Masons. All the secrecy, I think.

While the likelihood of me reaching my 50/50 goal looks dismal, I still have not given up hope. I am having trouble finding new books I want to read. And then when I do find books to read, it becomes difficult to finish them! #booknerdproblems

In other news, looking forward to the return of Scandal, Top Chef and American Horror Story in addition to the beginning of The Blacklist. #couchpotato

Did she really just hashtag in her blog? You bet your pants I did.

"The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality during times of moral crisis." - Dante Alighieri

Book #19: Inferno by Dan Brown