30 January 2009

The A-Team

 Yes, 20th Century Fox is planning a big-screen version of the 1980s series The A-Team. The action will be updated to the present day, with the quartet serving their tour of duty in the Middle East instead of Vietnam. Joe Carnahan (Smokin' Aces, Narc.) in believed to be in negotiations to direct the movie.

I watched the original show in the 1980s and I still remember the opening sequence voiceover:
'In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire... The A-Team.' [queue the amazing signature theme tune]
So, who should be cast as Col. John 'Hannibal' Smith (George Clooney?), Lt. Templeton 'Faceman' Peck (originally played by Dirk Benedict [who was also the original Starbuck in BattleStar Galactica]) [Christian Bale perhaps?], Capt. H.M. 'Howling Mad' Murdock (can anyone replace Dwight Schultz?) and Sgt. Bosco B.A. ('Bad Attitude') Baracus?

And who can forget such memorable catchphrases as 'I ain't gettin' on no plane!'?

So, if it is released will you go and see it? Do we think 20th Century Fox can do it justice? And who can still remember the theme tune?

27 January 2009

The Risotto Affair

On Sunday night I attempted to cook risotto. It looked like risotto (texture wise), it just didn't taste like risotto (or at least how I think risotto should taste since I've never actually tried it). In all honesty it actually didn't taste like much of anything except vegetable stock. I followed Jamie Oliver's basic risotto recipe although, after reading it again, I forgot Step 4...

On paper I should be a good cook. My mother and both of my grandmothers were all exceptional cooks and my brother is a trained chef. However, when it comes to actually cooking I'm rather pedantic: I HAVE to follow a recipe EXACTLY (no deviations or experimentation). Most chefs cook by taste - I don't trust myself enough for that. However, it was rather obvious on Sunday that my risotto was missing something (taste), the question is what?

All of this palaver reminds me of one of my favourite Christmas novellas - A Man for All Seasonings (Day Le Claire), which is part of Harlequin's Christmas Treats anthology. The premise for the novella is this:

'Maddie Wallace is desperate. Her soon-to-be fiancé and his family are coming to her home on Christmas Eve, expecting an elaborate dinner. There’s only one problem: She doesn’t know how to cook. Solution: Purchase the sexy, Italian chef, Joe Milano and hope he can help her out of her jam. Unfortunately, she soon discovers that a man and a woman, a kitchen and food is a guaranteed recipe for disaster of romantic proportions!'

I love this novella. It has me in hysterics over Maddie's attempts to learn to cook and in awe over Joe's patience with her.
"What the hell do you mean you can’t cook?" Joe demanded.
"Just what I said," Maddie replied.
His brows jerked together. "You mean you can’t cook elaborate meals, right? You can fix easy items. Like... You can grill a steak, yes?"
"No."
"Scramble some eggs?"
"Not a chance."
He glared in exasperation. "Boil water? Do you think you could do that?"
"You don’t have to be so sarcastic. I could boil water if forced to. But the only thing I need it for is coffee and I have a machine that does that."
"Then how do you feed yourself?"
"It’s simple." She marched past him and snatched up the rolodex centered on the kitchen counter. "I pick a card and dial a number. Thirty minutes later there’s a knock at the door. I answer, pay the delivery man, then sit down at the table and eat what he’s brought. Voilà! I get fed."
"Please tell me you’re joking." He took the rolodex from her and flipped through it. "You’re not joking. Dio! You know all the delivery men by name. And what are these dates? Do you keep track of when they come?"
"No. Those are their birthdays," she muttered.
"Their--" He seemed to have trouble breathing. "And the names in parentheses?"
"Their kids."
"Gumdrop? Larry from The Parthenon named his son Gumdrop?"
"Oh. That’s his dog. He doesn’t have kids."
"And this?" He pointed to a notation on one of the cards. "What is this beside Chet’s name?"
She blushed. "Blue scarf. "That’s..." She cleared her throat. "That’s what I knit for him last Christmas. A blue scarf. He doesn’t like red."
Joe closed his eyes. "Of course, he doesn’t. I should have realized."
"Kevin’s the one who prefers red." She flipped to the next card. "See?"
What books have you read that harmoniously meld food and romance together?

Updated to add: Thank you to Kerry for kindly explaining how block quotes work!

25 January 2009

What to Buy?

I have been very lucky over the past few weeks to win two Amazon giftcards (from CL Wilson and Michelle Buonfiglio at Romance B(u)y the Book). My dilemma is this: what books should I buy? A friend recently lent me Ginn Hale's Wicked Gentlemen, which I loved, so that has been added to the list. Anne Bishop's Black Jewel series is also there. (Is anyone else apart from me hanging out for the release of The Shadow Queen?).

What books am I missing that I just need to read?

22 January 2009

Reviewing

Once I finish reading the last 50 or so pages of To Darkness and to Death (Julia Spencer-Fleming) I will be turning my attentions to Demon Angel (Meljean Brook). As promised earlier, I am going to attempt (please note this last word as it is rather important) to review it. And this has got me to thinking: how does one actually go about reviewing a book? What should I be specifically looking at/for? Or is it just intuitive?

orannia
Updated to add: A friend has kindly lent me Wicked Gentlemen (Ginn Hale) so I will be starting that tonight before turning my attention to the joys of Demon Angel.

20 January 2009

20 January

Today is an auspicious day. It is the inauguration day of the 44th US President. It also happens to be my birthday.

orannia

16 January 2009

The 2009 Support Your Local Library Challenge

The 2009 Support Your Local Library Challenge is being hosted at J. Kaye's Book Blog. Here are the guidelines:

There will be three sizes of challenge:
* The first is to read 12 books from your local library in 2009;
* The second is to read 25 books from your local library in 2009;
* The third is to read 50 books from your local library in 2009.

You decide which one of the three challenges is best for you.

1) You can join anytime as long as you don’t start reading your books prior to 2009.
2) This challenge is for 2009 only. The last day to have all your books read is 31 December 2009.
3) You can join anytime between now and 31 December 2009.
4) When you sign up under 'Mr. Linky', list the direct link to your post where your library books will be listed. If you list just your blog’s URL it will be removed. If you don’t have a blog, leave the URL blank.
5) The goal is to read 12, 25, or 50 books from your local library in 2009. Please decide which when you sign up and don’t change it.
6) The books can be audios, downloads, children’s, YA. As long as it’s a book, format and target age group does not matter.
7) Feel free to post a link to your reviews in the comment section. That way, we can visit your blog and read your review. Also, feel free to join the Yahoo Groups and post your reviews there.
8) BLOGGERS: Link/Post your reviews here.
9) If you have any questions, feel free to ask or email me at jkayeoldner@yahoo.com. Comments usually get a quicker response.
***Update: You do not have to decided on your books ahead of time. You
can add or subtract from your list during the year.***

I have decided to sign up to read 50 library books:

1. Fire Study (Maria V. Snyder)
2. King of Sword and Sky (CL Wilson)
3. What Angels Fear (CS Harris)
4. To Darkness and to Death (Julia Spencer-Fleming)
5. Demon Angel (Meljean Brook)
6. All Mortal Flesh (Julia Spencer-Fleming)
7. Wolfsbane & Mistletoe (Anthology)
8. The Defiant Hero (Suzanne Brockmann)
9. I Shall Not Want (Julia Spencer-Fleming)
10. Swallowing Darkness (Laurell K Hamilton)
11. Touch the Dark (Karen Chance)
12. Mélusine (Sarah Monette)
13. The Shadow Queen (Anne Bishop)
14. Into the Shadow (Christina Dodd)
15. Angels' Blood (Nalini Singh)
16. Bone Crossed (Patricia Briggs)
17. Into The Flame (Christina Dodd)
18. Flat-Out Sexy (Erin McCarthy)
19. Salvation in Death (JD Robb)
20. The Virtu (Sarah Monette)
21. Talk Me Down (Victoria Dahl)
22. Silent on the Moor (Deanna Raybourn)
23. Demon Moon (Meljean Brook)
24. The Dangers of Deceiving a Viscount (Julia London)
25. A Wallflower Christmas (Lisa Kleypas)
26. Lover Avenged (JR Ward)
27. When Gods Die (CS Harris)
28. A Plague of Poison (Maureen Ash)
29. Storm Glass (Maria V Snyder)
30. Scandal (Carolyn Jewel)
31. Broken Wing (Judith James)
32. Gale Force (Rachel Caine)
33. Twilight (Stephenie Meyer)
34. Sweet Spot (Susan Mallery)
35. The Mirador (Sarah Monette)
36. Where Serpents Sleep (CS Harris)
37. DawnKeepers (Jessica Andersen)
38. HaveMercy (Jaida Jones & Danielle Bennett)
39. Hunting Ground (Patricia Briggs)
40. Cast in Silence (Michelle Sagara)
41. The Back Passage (James Lear)
42. The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie (Jennifer Ashley)
43. Heir to Sevenwaters (Juliet Marillier)
44. Bloodhound (Tamora Pierce)
45. Coyote's Mate (Lora Leigh)
46. Promises In Death (JD Robb)
47. Grimspace (Ann Aguirre)
48. As Shadows Fade (Colleen Gleason)
49. Men of the Otherworld (Kelley Armstrong)
50. Shadow Magic (Jaida Jones & Danielle Bennett)

FINIS!

51. What Remains of Heaven (CS Harris)

Reading Challenges

'Tis the season for reading challenges, or at least that is how it appears, and a number of the sites that I frequent, including Kerry's Saving My Sanity and Christine's The Happily Ever After, are listing their reading challenges for 2009. To help me find just the right reading challenge, Kerry directed me to a very comprehensive list at A Novel Challenge.

After careful perusal, I have decided to undertake J. Kaye's Support Your Local Library Challenge. For those of you that know me, this is not as much of a challenge as it might sound as I borrow the majority of my books from the library. However, I thought it sounded like a good introductory reading challenge.

So, what reading challenges are you undertaking in 2009?

14 January 2009

Etiquette

While sourcing and posting the cover for Patricia Briggs' Hunting Ground, Kerry pointed out to me that it is considered good blog etiquette to say where you found said item and provide a link, thus allowing the reader to track through the links to the original source. And all of this has got me to thinking - what are the unspoken rules of good blog etiquette? What do I need to know while posting to ensure that I don't antagonise, insult or annoy anyone?

orannia

12 January 2009

Hunting Ground (Patricia Briggs)

Hunting Ground is the second book in the Alpha and Omega series by Patricia Briggs. And isn't the cover just gorgeous?

08 January 2009

Books 2009

Most people probably think I read to much, but I don't care. Actually, that's not true - I'm learning not to care (and it's a slow but ongoing process). Reading keeps me centered because it's my form of escapism.

At the beginning of 2008 I decided to count how many books I read throughout the year. It wasn't a challenge; I didn't have to read a certain number of books per month or certain types of books. The total for 2008 was 95 (yes, 95) and a list of those books can be seen at Library Thing.
To be honest I am rather surprised at the total and so was my brother. He has challenged me to read 100 books in 2009. I'm not sure if it is feasible, especially at the moment when I'm finding it rather hard to concentrate, and I don't want to lose my enjoyment of reading in an effort to 'read more, read faster', so I'm just going to count the books I read this year (as per last year) and see what I end up with come 31 December 2009.

I didn't review any of the books I read last year. I've never been very good at telling people why I liked a book, just that I did. However, since I am meant to be attempting to express myself a little better, I am going to try to review the odd book throughout the year. Apologies in advance if the reviews make no sense whatsoever. Last year, Katiebabs challenged me to review Demon Angel by Meljean Brook (a new author for me), so *deep breath* I am going to accept the challenge and (attempt to) review it later this month. Please wish me luck.

orannia

05 January 2009

Walkabout

The Australian Aborigines undertake a spiritual journey know as a walkabout. My mother often used the term to explain my continual wanderings from the family home when I was young; the term was also used by Dr Stephen Franklin, a character on the science-fiction show Babylon 5, who went on his version of a walkabout in Season 3.

Over the past year I’ve come to the realization that I need to go walkabout – not literally, but figuratively – because I don’t want to spend the rest of my list just existing. I want to enjoy life and, if possible, be happy. Furthermore, it is the New Year, and the New Year is often a time for resolutions. So, this year, I have made two and, by choice, they are not specific. (I've found that with specific resolutions you either keep them or you don't...in my case it is usually the latter.) Both resolutions will be a work in progress but both are more than important, they are necessary.

1) To feel comfortable in my own skin (not just physically, but also emotionally and mentally)

2) To find what makes me happy and what inspires me

Both are a big ask, but you have to start somewhere, right?

So why the blog? It’s to help me learn to express myself and not to be afraid when doing so. I’m sure I’ll edit each post numerous times (this one is a perfect example) before posting it, but I hope to reduce the amount of editing as I go. And as for what the posts contain….I haven’t got that far yet. Probably anything and everything – whatever pops into my head. Books more than likely. Comments are more than welcome.

Thank you for stopping by.

orannia