Movies I Want To See, In List Format

Inspired by Heather, here's a list of movies that I want to see before 2007 be done. And read on for there is a surprise after the list... (Sherry).

1. Lars & the Real Girl
2. Across The Universe
3. Martian Child
4. Fred Claus
5. Enchanted
6. Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium
7. Love In the Time of Cholera
8. Bella
9. Gone Baby Gone
10. Atonement
11. Alvin & The Chipmunks (I know. I don't care.)

Let me know if you've see any of these and whether you liked them (please don't spoil the ending). And now for the surprise...the long awaited Ask The Readers #2! Beowulf. Do I see it or not? Why?


Ask The Readers #1

I've decided to start a couple of new regular segments, if you will, on my blog. This is the first of one of those segments. Ask the readers. I think its name is rather self-explanatory, don't you?
Anyway, I am trying to make the best Christmas mix CD ever. I can tell that I am going to be crazy invested in Christmas this year-- not the gifts, mind you. So I would like for you, the various readers, to tell me what your favorite Christmas songs are. Please tell me the title and who performs the version you love most. I also am looking for a version of "O Holy Night" that both includes the second verse and isn't too showy vocally. Hopefully, you guys can help me with that too!
Now comment away!
ETA: I should have done this first, but I've added the list of songs I currently have. I haven't had a chance to listen to some of the specific ones, but I'm looking forward to it. Haley and Sherry, it's neither Bing Crosby nor Emery for "White Christmas." It's Otis Redding. Oh, and if there's no artist, I'm still looking for the perfect version.
1. God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings by Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan
2. White Christmas by Otis Redding
3. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
4. All I Want for Christmas by Mariah Carey
5. Christmas Is All Around by Bill Nighy (yes, from Love Actually)
6. O Holy Night
7. Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee (thanks, Sherry)
8. Do You Hear What I Hear
9. Happy Christmas (War is Over) by John Lennon
10. Silent Night
11. That Christmas song by The Chipmunks
12. My Grown Up Christmas List by Kelly Clarkson
13. O Holy Night by Eric Cartman



I am having a bad day.


Number Ones

Go here to find out what the number one song was on major milestones in your life.

When I was born -- Eye of the Tiger by Survivor (yes, I'm aware of the awesomeness.)
When I graduated from high school -- Maria, Maria by Santana
When I turned 18 -- Doesn't Really Matter by Janet Jackson (she can shut it)
When I turned 21 -- Crazy In Love by Beyonce (I can't tell you how awesome I think this is)
When I graduated from college -- Yeah by Usher (ft. Lil Jon & Ludacris)


Books For Sale

To make room for new books and things on my one allotted bookshelf, I am selling a few books. The way it will work is like this. I am going to post a list of books for sale below. Please comment to this post the ones you would like to purchase (first come, first served). If we need to work out shipping, email me AFTER you comment with your list. Unless otherwise noted, all books are $1. N stands for new, HB for hardback. If there is a *, that means I have previously used the book in classes, and it may have markings and highlighting. Any other questions, just ask! Happy browsing!

  1. A Room with a View by E.M. Forster (N) $2
  2. The Stranger by Albert Camus
  3. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  4. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
  5. The Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson
  6. My Antonia by Willa Cather*
  7. Don Quixote by Cervantes
  8. Isben: Four Major Plays
  9. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  10. This Present Darkness by Frank E. Peretti
  11. Piercing The Darkness by Frank E. Peretti
  12. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  13. Dubliners by James Joyce*
  14. A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
  15. East Of Eden by John Steinback
  16. History Of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters by Julian Barnes* $3
  17. Murder In the Cathedral by T.S. Eliot
  18. Best American Short Stories of the Century (Anthology)* $5
  19. White Oleander by Janet Fitch (HB) $3
  20. Basic Theology by Charles Ryrie (HB, N) $5
  21. Jesus & the Gospels by Craig Blomberg (HB)* $3 (no dust jacket)
  22. Shadow Of the Almighty by Elisabeth Elliot


Brief Book Review: The Talented Mr. Ripley

Normally, I would make a picture like this smaller, but I needed the blurb of text at the bottom to be readable, as I am using it as a starting point for my (quasi) review. I'm refraining from a brief plot overview because it's now also a movie, and anyone can easily find out the plot. Suffice it to say that Tom Ripley is a murderous sociopath. What is most interesting about this novel for me is the character of Ripley, who The Daily Telegraph describes as amoral, hedonistic, and charming. As the narration (3rd limited) follows him, the reader receives everything he or she needs to know without being told explicitly. Show rather than tell, you see.

What is more, the reveal of the true nature of Tom, mentally disturbed, unfeeling, completely self-centered, is rather subtle in places. For instance, Highsmith (the author) establishes in various places the depth of hatred Tom has for others around him (and perhaps more importantly, the lack of love for any person). And certainly, his admiration of, love for, and obsession with material possessions is evident on each page. Indeed, at one point Tom even explicitly considers his love for possessions. What is refreshing is the author's restraint in connecting the dots; rather, she trusts the reader to put 2 and 2 together.

All in all, The Talented Mr. Ripley is a fascinating, albeit imperfect, account of the depravity of a disturbed yet talented individual. He is charming but cannot abide the company of others for long for fear of being found out. He fantasizes about murder. He may very well be a clinically determined "serial killer," though I'm inclined to doubt that characterization (he usually gains from the murders, so there is always a direct motive for the killings beyond simply the urge to kill). Though it's obviously not for everyone, if this review has interested you, I would recommend giving it a whirl. I found it to be a quick, easy read, and I enjoyed the novel.

*As this stands to become a recurring format on my blog, I would like to state for the record that none of these reviews will be professional. I will not discuss ad nauseum the strengths and weaknesses of each book I read. In fact, I will only promise 3 things: I will not reveal the ending unless the novel in question is over 100 years old; I will discuss whatever interested me about the book, even if that means that I discuss how uninteresting it was; I will say whether I liked it or not.


Book Sale!

Yesterday, I woke up at 6 a.m. On a Saturday. Why? Because the Greenville Literacy Association was having their annual Really Good, Really Big, Really Cheap Book Sale. And it is all of those things, unless you want new hardbacks. Those will run you from $5 to $10 a pop. I took $20 to the sale with me. I knew that the vast majority of that budget would go to trade paperbacks. I spent $1 at the classics table for 2 books, and $1 at the used hardbacks section for 1 books. I got 9 books from the trade paperbacks section for $18. (I actually have no idea why I'm giving such a rundown. Oh well. It's already typed.) Want to know what I got? Sure you do!

  • The Talented Mr. Ripley, Patricia Highsmith
  • Life of Pi, Yann Martel
  • The Good Husband, Gail Godwin
  • Atonement, Ian McEwan
  • Notes On a Scandal: What Was She Thinking?, Zoe Heller
  • The Hours, Michael Cunningham
  • The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini
  • Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, Patrick Suskind
  • The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri
  • The Shipping News, E. Annie Proulx (this was the used hardback)
  • Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
  • Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy

So, if you've read and enjoyed any of these, let me know what you think. I'm currently about halfway through The Talented Mr. Ripley. I'll most likely post a quasi-review of each after I finish them, mostly to make myself read in a timely manner.


Mix CDs I Once Made

Keep It Tight
Bohemian Like You – The Dandy Warhols
Lollipop – Mika
Best Days – Matt White
She Is Beautiful – Andrew W.K.
12:51 – The Strokes
Everybody Got Their Something – Nikka Costa
Don’t Let’s Start – Common Rotation
Fat-Bottomed Girls – Queen
I Like It – Sammy
Together Forever In Love – Go Sailor
American Music – The Violent Femmes
To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High) – Ryan Adams
Can’t Get Next to You – The Temptations
Ready To Go – Republica
What I Got – Sublime
Take Me Anywhere – Tegan and Sara
Canned Heat – Jamiroquai
Bohemian Rhapsody -- Queen

Keep It Loose
Paint the Silence – South
I Found a Reason – Cat Power
A Love That Will Never Grow Old – Emmylou Harris
One Headlight – The Wallflowers
Not Ready To Make Nice – The Dixie Chicks
I Know, I Know, I Know – Tegan and Sara
Shelter – Ray LaMontagne
I Can’t Take My Eyes off You – Melanie Doane
In My Life – The Beatles
In The Sun – Joseph Arthur
Nobody Loved You – Manic Street Preachers
Fade Into You – Mazzy Star
Float On – Ben Lee
Glass Vase Cello Case – Tattle Tale
Love Song for a Vampire – Annie Lennox
Honey and the Moon – Joseph Arthur
I Will Follow You into the Dark – Death Cab for Cutie
Nightswimming – R.E.M.


Last Call

Last call for Mix CD Swap participants! You have until midnight tomorrow night (EST) to sign up. See this post for that process. As promised, here is a more comprehensive explanation of the rules and process.

What happens after the matches are posted?
You have 4 weeks to make a mix; the deadline for having your CDs in the mail (or your playlists uploaded) is Sept. 12. Your partner will appreciate you emailing when your mix is in the mail. If you can, give him or her an estimate of how long it will take to arrive.

How much does it cost?
You will most likely need blank CDs and postage, but there are alternatives to those costs. Regarding postage, there is no suggested method. You can spring for delivery confirmation, but in general the cheapest option will do.

Do I need to put my mix in a padded envelope?
Yes. The CD will also need to be in a case.

Postage is a problem this round/I'm running out of time/I'm interested in alternatives to burning and mailing a CD:
You are welcome to upload music to a private website or a place like YouSendIt, either .zip-ped or individually linked, or in a folder – doesn't matter, but please do the following: type up a playlist for your partner's reference, and please post the link in a private email to your partner, not on this blog.

Are a playlist, liner notes, and cover art required?
Only a playlist is required. Liner notes are optional, but fantastic – this is your chance to tell your partner why you love the music you are sharing. But if you are short on time, liner notes and cover art are definitely optional. Additional details in the playlist beyond artist and song title are excellent, particularly if you are promoting lesser known artists. You might consider including the album title and release year, but of course that is optional as well.

What kind of music should I put on my mix?
Whatever you like! There are no rules for the actual mixes. Just put in whatever you're feeling at the moment and what you think people should know about. You are welcome to browse your partner's website (if applicable) for ideas. You can also do a themed mix at any time (more on this later). But the primary purpose of the mix trade is to share your tastes and your creativity. As such, everybody might not like each song on his/her mix, but everyone will have been exposed to new music. Hopefully, each person will discover someone new they enjoy, too!

Can I specify the type of music I'd like to receive? As a general rule, no. See above. If you are genuinely worried that you might receive something offensive, however, email me and we'll discuss your concern, involving your partner if necessary.

How long should the mix be?
You should aim to fill up as much of your chosen media as possible. If you're sending a 74 minute CD-R, for example, you should try to fill up as much of that 74 minutes as possible.

Yay! My mix has arrived! Should I thank my partner? Yes, that would be nice. And your mother would encourage you to do so as well, and you know it. Emails are fine for this.

What if I don't receive my mix by the deadline? It could just be that the mail is slow. If you have not heard from your partner that your mix was sent, try contacting him/her again, and let me know. If you still do not hear back, I will try to get an answer for you. Hopefully it was either the mail's fault or Real Life intervened, and you can still get your mix from your original partner. But...

What if my partner flakes?
If it's three or four days past the deadline and no one's heard hide nor hair of your partner, either I or a volunteer from the group will send you a mix for this round. Don't let it sour you on the process. It happens to the best of us.

Hey, themed mixes sound legendary. What kind of themes are we talking about?
Creativity knows no limits here. One mix CD that a friend of mine made for someone was songs about the sun-moon cycle of a day. As in, the songs started with sunrise and went to moonlight. It was awesome music too. If you want some suggestions, though, here you go:

Songs To RAGE To
Songs You Love That Make Your Friends Roll Your Eyes
Songs For Driving
Songs For Rainy Sundays In Bed
Songs That Make You Swoon
Songs That Remind You of High School/College
Love Songs
Breakup Songs
Songs that have a name in them (e.g., "Levon," "Mandy," etc.)

Well, that should clear up any confusion and let everyone know what is expected. Any further questions should definitely be emailed to me, or you could post them in a comment. Please don't hesitate.

Matches will be announced August 15!


Good Things That August Brings

Legs crossing the street
Originally uploaded by manganite
1. The Age of Staci. Yes, for you neophytes, I was indeed born in August, a month without holidays. Indeed, only a month without holidays was suitable for my birth, as I would grow up and demand that everyone close to me celebrate my birthday all month. There is no August, you see. Only The Age of Staci, which will be brought to it astonishingly brilliant climax on the 27th (translation: that's my birthday).

2. The Mix CD Swap. It will be loads of fun. Hurry-- you only have till the 14th to sign up.

3. This movie. I loved the book.

4. The Really Good, Really Big, Really Cheap Annual Book Sale. Mmm. Books.

5. The probable beginning of Tiny Pumpkin Season.

6. Back to school shopping-- I miss buying school supplies, y'all!

7. My learning that my favorite perfume ever has NOT been discontinued. There is so much joy there. Oh, Hugo for Women. Just you wait.


Mix CD Swap

mix cd covers
Originally uploaded by thisisloveforever
Who's up for some new music? I'm hosting a mix CD swap, and you might ask, if you were prone to asking questions, how does such a thing work? It's fairly simple. First, email me and let me know you want to do it. I'll need your name, address, email, website/blog (if you have one), and whether you're willing to ship internationally (just in case!). After the sign-up round ends, I'll email each one of you with your partner's info. I'm thinking that it might be best to give everybody a month to get their CDs out. After you make the CD, just mail it out (please use some padding!) and wait for your own CD to come to you. In a couple of days, I'll post another entry with some more fleshed out rules and guidelines, but I think that covers the gist. Sign up, get your partner, make a CD, mail it.

Oh, and if you join the swap, please link back to this entry from your own blog/website. The more, the merrier, yes?

I'm giving the sign up round two weeks. So, hurry...you only have until August 14th to sign up.


Recent Purchases

Up first are these lovely earrings on sale at Amazon. They are just long enough for me, and they are really, really lightweight. I have this weird fear that, as I get older and skin starts to sag, my holes will sag too, and I'll get those scary earring holes where it looks like the earring might fall through the bottom of the ear any moment. But these are lighter than some studs I've had, so I feel confident wearing them all the time.

I wish more and more people loved Joseph Arthur. Probably lots of you know one or two of his songs, like "Honey and the Moon" or "In The Sun." But, let me just tell you-- he is really good. Sometimes, guys with guitars who do a lot of mid to slow tempo music bore me, unless I'm resting in my room or something. Not Joseph Arthur. Heather, I feel confident in telling you that you're going to like him. I'll be sending you some stuff in the mail soon to soonish. Anyway, this album is called Come To Where I'm From, and I highly recommend it. Also, check out Arthur's website over there on the sidebar.

As you may or may not have seen on TV or in the mail that they send you, like LOOK AT US PLEASE, Pier 1 is having a large summer sale. A lot of the stuff I went for was gone when I got to the store near Haywood Mall, but I'm sure that there will be more items for sale when I go back. I picked up 3 of these votive holders, which were not on sale. That is okay, however, since their everyday price is $1. ONE dollar. You probably have a hundred and six or seven (what is the sales tax now?) pennies in your house somewhere. These are good quality candle holders too. Thick enough glass, and the votives I purchased from Pier 1 didn't stick to the sides after they were all used up. I let the wax harden back up, and it just kind of popped up from the holder. That probably has more to do with the actual candles, though.

So, that's what I'm loving. You? What products do we all need to know about?


Top 5 At the Moment

I has a flavor
Originally uploaded by the boy on the bike
1. Lolcats (cat macros) are hysterical. The photo to your right is an example of a lolcat. You see, one takes pictures of his/her cat and makes up very funny captions, using a distinct dialect native to cats. These are all over the place, and I have looked at pages of them and cried from laughing so hard. Facebook introduced an application to have random lolcats pics inserted into your profile; LJ has several communities. I wholeheartedly endorse this phenomenon.

2. This article from McSweeney's. Very funny.

3. Dresses. I have suddenly become this girl who loves to wear dresses or at least skirts. Don't ask-- I have no idea how it happened either.

4. West Elm. Pretty, pretty.

5. Overheard In The Office & Overheard At The Beach. The original link in this chain was Overheard In New York, which is still funny and updated quite frequently. They have also added Celebrity Wit and Overheard Everywhere. Recently, though, my favorites are the office and the beach. So, if you eavesdrop, submit some particularly funny/ridiculous conversations. I need more reading material!



So, I've just decided to take a much-needed vacation at the end of the month. Since hotels and such are expensive, I've decided to stay in G-Vegas, though I am hoping that my friend Angela will let me stay in the green guest room in her much-nicer-than-a-hotel house. Seriously, it would be so posh. My vacation would start at 12:01 pm Friday the 22nd and continue until Sunday the 30th. I plan on mostly sticking around here, though I do want to drive up to some spots in the mountains, perhaps to Table Rock.

I also want to go here. I love water parks so so much. I've never been to this one, but I know that I shall spend lots of time in the lazy river. Sure, it's not going to be a huge water park, but it will do, especially for the price. Long and short of it, I'm tremendously excited about the vacay at home (sorta). Lots of lounging in store, let me tell you. Has anyone else ever done the vacation at home? How'd it work out for you?


Check It Out

Go here to read some funny passive-aggressive notes. Seriously, I laughed a lot.

make more coffee
Originally uploaded by williac



Go here. It's my wedding webpage from The Knot. It's not completed yet, but it has a good bit of information up-- how we met, most of the wedding party, date, time, place, registries. Drop by and sign the guestbook if you want!


Doing it like Heather

Here are the top 10 songs I'm currently digging (in no particular order).

1. "Make Your Own Kind of Music," Mama Cass

2. "New Shoes," Paolo Nutini

3. "Rollerskate Skinny," Old 97s

4. "Girlfriend," Avril Lavigne

5. "Fidelity," Regina Spektor

6. "In The Sun," Joseph Arthur

7. "Goodnight and Go," Imogen Heap

8. "Float On," Ben Lee (a cover of the Modest Mouse song)

9. "Every Little Thing (He Does Is Magic)," MYMP (yep, a cover of The Police song)

10. "To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High)." Ryan Adams


Off The Beaten Path

Kenn and I wanted to rent a movie yesterday, but, for some unknown reason, we bypassed the Blockbusters. We instead went to the nation's 3rd largest rental chain Family Video. They are the largest privately owned chain, and they are located in 14 states so far. So why the shameless plug? Well, I didn't get a job with them, but I am switching from Blockbuster forever. The location I went to had a better selection of titles. Kenn and I rented Jesus Camp, and Josh and Caleb both got to choose a DVD to rent for five days for FREE. Our total cost? $1.37.

Of course, for the first month, everything is 50% off. So, it would have been $2.74. For a new release and two kids' movies (five day rental for the kids and a two day rental for the new release). Older releases? Rent for five days for either $1 or 50 cents. They are open from 10 a.m. to midnight 365 days a year, like Blockbuster. Yeah, like Blockbuster, except better.


Link and Catch Up

This made me laugh harder than anything I can remember in a long time. I had tears in my eyes, folks.

Also, we did go to the circus. We did get a dog. He's a red heeler, a type of Australian cattle dog, and we named him Ringo Starr. He tries to herd us. We went on a weekend trip to Gatlinburg. I also got engaged and bought a wedding dress. I am planning a motherload of picture posts soon.

How are you doing?



Tomorrow is a big day for my boys and me. First, we're going to the Greenville Humane Society to get a dog! The two little boys don't know yet, so they aren't bouncing off the wall-- that would be me. I'm so excited. The dog will live with Kenn, but I'll be over there so often it won't really matter. At least, this is what I tell myself.

After the puppy picking (heh), the four of us are going to see the circus! Again, Kenn and the boys have all been before. I have not. I'm probably the most excited. We have 9th row seats, which aren't too shabby. The seats are mid-price range, but we had a coupon and everything. An hour before the show starts, any ticketholder can come into the arena and meet the elephants, clowns, and other circus folk, as well try on oversized circus costumes. I'll try to post pictures afterwards.

I feel very soccer mom-ish...Weird.

I enjoyed my snow day break. Now that I'm back at work, though, I keep thinking of things I'd wish I'd done. Not things like play in the snow, have a snowball fight, etc. I did those things. What I really mean is that I keep thinking of movies I own and can watch over and over (Love Actually, Mean Girls, Wedding Crashers). I'm all like, "I should have watched that!" Eh, I'll watch 'em soon. This section has no point.

Rambling. I'll end it here (mercifully).


My Boys