Tuesday, January 24, 2012

2012 Oscar Nominees

The nominees were announced today!

I love the oscars, it's the only awards show I watch, and I look forward to it as soon as Christmas is over. I usually don't get around to seeing all the movies by the awards, but I try to get as much as I can.

For Best Picture, I've seen 3 of the 9, and I'm disappointed Girl with the Dragon Tattoo didn't make it. I hope Moneyball doesn't win (it probably won't) because even though it was a good movie, I didn't think it was THAT good. If I had to pick a winner, I think it'll be The Artist. I think that movie is going to sweep a lot of the awards. But I'd be really happy if Hugo did well, though I don't know if it will get Best Picture. I keep hearing good things about The Tree of Life, but I really have no interest in seeing that at all.

Rooney Mara was nominated for Best Actress! I'd be super happy if she won, and she definitely underwent the biggest transformation out of the other nominees. I like Gary Oldman a lot in Best Actor category, even though I don't know how I felt about Tinker Tailor. (I didn't expect it to be so long and so slow, plus my shoddy knowledge of history didn't help to fill in the gaps.) I need to download all the albums for the Best Score nomination, which is one of my favorites. I love what they've been doing in recent years with the live orchestra and the dancers.

Movies I'd like to see before the awards are: A Separation, Jane Eyre, Anonymous, Beginners, Albert Nobbs, Midnight in Paris, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. And I'm rooting for Dragon Tattoo and Hugo for everything. I'd love for either of those movies to win Cinematography (the opening titles for Dragon Tattoo were amazing) but that category has amazing competition this year with The Artist and The Tree of Life, so I don't think either of those have a chance.

I'd love to have a party for the awards, but I'd be kind of weird, "Hey everybody, come over to my parent's house!" especially when they go to bed so early. That will have to wait for my own place. (Next year?!?!?) I hate all the other awards shows, but the Oscars I love! And come on, Billy Crystal is freaking hilarious. I also thought Hugh Jackman did a spectacular job, plus I have NO COMPLAINTS about staring at him all night.

Update 1/25: Here's an interesting article about those who were snubbed.

Monday, January 23, 2012


So, what has Gina been doing lately? It seems like nothing, and too much. I was running around all last week, and boy is my room a mess. (Laundry, I hate you!) This post is everything you could possibly want to know, minus the juicy bits. I'm trying to make up all my blog homework from the past two weeks, so I apologise for the lack of lyrical beauty and thought-provoky-ness.

Knittingwise, I finished my first fingerless mitt! But the bad thing about doing gloves is that as soon as you finish one you have to make another. That's okay though, I really like the pattern. Need to make the thumb bigger on the next one, so I am going to add two stitches (for 15) to the thumb gusset. Also, I successfully knitted a whole 30 stitches on circular needles! Yay me! The gloves are supposed to be completely on circular needles, but I must have spent 6 hours over two days trying and ripping them apart until I finally settled for back-and-forth knitting and whip-stitching the sides together. The first one turned out well, I think, especially for being my first patterned project.

Quiltingwise, I really need to get some work done. The knot block is half assembled. It's a lot of straight sewing, and get's kind of boring. I joined a Saturday Sampler class at a local shop (Pennington Quilt Works), so I'm excited for that, too. That starts February 11, and what you do is you show up and pay $30, and they give you fabric and the first block pattern. If you finish the block, the next month when you come in you get the next pattern and fabric for free, and after a year you have twelve different block and learned  twelve different methods, so you can sew them together for a sampler quilt. And no, I still haven't finished the binding on my Daughter of Smoke and Bone quilt. It's been sitting in Phil's room, with only two feet done. =/ Those two feet took me soooo long, and the quilt is 6x7-ish, so that's a ton of horrendous whip-stitching. Also, Amy (quilt-teacher extraordinaire, as well as Phil's mom) convinced my mom to start quilting, so that'll be a lot of fun!

Readingwise, I finished up Dawnthief by James Barclay last week, and it was very good but didn't quite reach the ZOMGAWESOME threshold. I didn't write a review because I just didn't feel like it. I had very few complaints. Actually, just one. More dialogue tags would have been useful. Otherwise, loved the characters, and I'm eager to read the second one. I'm now reading Archon by Sabrina Benulis, which I was SO excited for, and it's extremely well-written and the world is intriguing, but she has a problem with keeping track of her characters and her scenes, and angels and demons are possessing people and I can never keep track of who is possessed and by who and who is themself (a word?)... It's frustrating, and doesn't lend itself well to reading in ten-page spurts. This makes me sad, because the prose is lyrical and the world is fascinating, but I am SO LOST. I'm reading the words but not absorbing anything, or I find myself daydreaming and reading the same paragraph over and over.

Moviewise, I saw The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo again (that makes four!) and it was still so good. I may be able to hold off until it comes out on DVD now. Rooney Mara does such a good job. An interesting note, I watched a few interviews with her, and she sounds like a fruitcake when she is being herself. And not in a good way, but an airhead way. I wanted to go see Haywire as well, but we never made it. Maybe next weekend. Also watched Devil's Double and Crazy Stupid Love through Amazon. DD didn't go to the depth I thought it would, and CSL was cute. I love how all the characters were related to each other in unexpected ways.

Ok, I'm bored talking. Maybe I'll do Writingwise and Regarding the Junk-Heap That is My Bedroom: Director's Cut another time.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Outside the Cubicle

So, I was one of the lucky chosen to write about myself in the "Outside the Cubicle" column in our office newsletter. It's really hard to talk about myself, especially in the third person, but I actually kind of like what I came up with. Since the newsletter is extraordinarily dry (there used to be a funny column, but it wasn't relevant to work so it was nixed) I tried to lighten it up. Behold, the first entry into the Published Works of Gina Rinelli:

Gina was a science kid for most of school until she realized she didn't want to stare at petri dishes for the rest of her life, and so became an English major her junior year of college. She played softball for several years and sold her soul to play clarinet in the marching band, but has yet to get it back. At Penn State, she did ballroom dancing and pretty much forgot everything in the meantime, even though it was a lot of fun. Lately, she's been moonlighting as a ninja.

Gina doesn't know how to sit still. She collects hobbies, which at any given time may include quilting, knitting, bookbinding, sewing, or other ridiculous art projects that never get finished (but never drawing, because she can't). Most of the time she is reading or writing, and since she's a supernerd those are always science fiction or fantasy. Far too much of her paycheck is funneled via IV into the Barnes and Noble Support System, and if you give her a chance she can talk about books all day long.

She has an addiction to the movie theater and goes almost every weekend, but always smuggles in her own snacks, including (but not limited to) Chipotle, Chinese food, and/or ice cream. Netflix Instant Streaming is probably one of the coolest things ever created, next to antibiotics and modern medicine (she's a fan).

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Some Motivation

First, read this article. It's a goodie.

It's good to hear that I'm not the only one who doesn't write for weeks. In fact, I'm trying to get myself back into it. I didn't write for a week after finishing the outline, and yesterday I wrote a whopping 256 words. O_o Slowly but surely I guess I'm getting back into it, but I wish it was going a bit faster than slower. I like the story I have in my outline, but I'm dying to have the characters come alive. I need to carve out time at night. I either sleep or stare or at best read, and I hate carrying my laptop in to work and never opening it because I can't keep my eyes awake by the time I get on the train. I need to slow down on the knitting and the quilting, or make time chunks to do each of them. I've been running around a lot lately, and I started going to the gym again, so that is crowding things as well. But that's NO EXCUSE, GINA. =] Get crackin!

Monday, January 16, 2012

2011 Bookshelf

My bookshelf is in need of some major revamping, so I thought I'd start over for 2012. I didn't want to just delete everything, though, so here it is just for reference.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Writing Update

I FINISHED MY OUTLINE!!!!!! It's just... so awesome. It's my first time, too. I'm no longer an outline virgin! I have always either abandoned an outline or abandoned a manuscript partway. This has a WHOLE STORY. My plot-block is broken! Can I say it again? IT'S SO AWESOME.

And now, for a little bit of this:
When writing a first draft, write with abandon. Write fast. Put your head down and charge. I write with an outline because it makes it less likely that I’ll get stuck. But even while writing the outline, I’m just trying to get to the other side. If I get bogged down, I move on to the next thing. Then I go back again and again, filling in the blanks. I move quickly because it helps me to outrun the voice in my head, the voice of doubt and judgment and nitpickery.
-Leigh Bardugo

Monday, January 9, 2012

Worldbuilders 2012

I donated to Worldbuilders today. Have you?

Worldbuilders was created by cool-as-shit fantasy author Patrick Rothfuss. The Worldbuilders team matches 50% of all donations made before Jan 31. It's a great charity, and publishers and authors donate tons of books as prizes. For every ten dollars you donate you are entered into a lottery to win all kinds of really cool book stuff. Collector's editions, series, ARCs, signed copies... I'm poor and I only donated ten dollars, but the way I see it every bit helps.

Currently Obsessing...

Everneath by Brodi Ashton. Not really interested in reading the book, but what a gorgeous cover!

Dancing on your aftertaste - "Old Flame," Kimbra. What a sad line about a breakup, or loss in general. (And no, not THAT, you dirty mind.)

"I hope your world burns in just the right hue." - @Silverkun, via @seananmcguire. At first glance it's sad, but then I thought how your world can burn with passion (ie, "the right hue") and it changed everything. I love this line.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Great Character Arcs

I just started watching the eighth season on NCIS on DVD. In the second episode, "Worst Nightmare," a thirteen year old girl is kidnapped and the team, with the help of the girl's ex-spy grandfather, are working to get her back. But the plot arc is not the interesting part of the episode.

Three college students are at NCIS for a short internship for a class. They are sent to Abby, Ducky, and McGee for the case. McGee's intern is a finance major and is completely not interested in helping. He doesn't want to stay the extra hours to work the case, especially since he only took it because "it was the only class that fulfilled the requirements and didn't meet on a Friday." There are several spats between him and the agents, like when he tells DiNozzo they could make a killing in the private sector a Tony replies "But then who would catch the bad guys?" and McGee keeps giving him menial tasks because he's still upset about the quips against NCIS.

Little things start to change his perspective, however. He is impressed that Gibbs would put everything on the line when he takes money out of the evidence locker to ransom the girl, when Gibbs is fully aware of the repurcussions if he was caught. He sees a "proof of life" video of the little girl, and gets choked up watching it. Finally, the girl is reunited with her parents, and he says how he could get used to the good feeling, catching the bad guys and saving the innocents. After all the hassle he gave the NCIS crew, McGee hands him an application for the student program at NCIS. I love that! =] Such a great arc, where the attitudes of all the characters change for the sake of one character's arc, and we know that the intern will be changed forever after what he saw there at NCIS.

It's a great episode, and I would highly recommend watching it. It's full of humor in typical NCIS style, but also gets emotional and dramatic at times. I wonder if the writer of this episode is the same as the writer of "Bounce." (Another of my favorite episodes. Season 6?)

And if you don't watch NCIS, you should totally start.

Sunday, January 1, 2012