Friday, February 19, 2010
I knew that Tim Burton's version of Alice In Wonderland was going to be a darker and more twisted version of Disney's original 1951 cartoon, but I had no idea how far down the rabbit hole they'd gone until I read an article in the Wall Street Journal this morning, entitled "Disney Invites 'Goths' to the Party". Hmm...
Then I read that the movie soundtrack featured Robert Smith, lead singer of the Cure, and contained songs by modern artists like Shinedown, Tokio Hotel, Wolfmother, and Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, and immediately went to see if I could find a sampling online. I did, and you can listen to the soundtrack here on a really cool site called Almost Alice.
Disney has not only aimed this movie at the 18-34 female crowd (as opposed to the 6-11 girly princess crowd), they've entered into a marketing partnership with that good old American Gothic subculture store, Hot Topic. (In fact, if you live anywhere near Hollywood and are a Johnny Depp fan, today would be a good day to head over to the Hollywood Mall, where Disney and Hot Topic are hosting a massive event where Johnny and other cast members will be mingling with fans, and some of the bands featured on the soundtrack will be playing live.) T-shirts, hats and jewelry, all taking over prime display space previously held by promotional merchandise for "Twilight" fans. (Move over, Edward!)
What's even more interesting is the creation of a brand-new line of Victorian-style frocks by designer Sue Wong, that will be sold in high end stores like Neiman marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. Can you say gorgeous?
All in all, I applaud Disney for taking a step closer to the dark side with Tim Burton's vision, and though I have no idea whether I'll be buying any merchandise, I can't WAIT to see the movie! Watch this trailer for a trip into the dark world that awaits Alice:
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I just found out this morning that I've been nominated for TWO awards at Love Romances Cafe!
Silent Night, Haunted Night has been nominated for "Best Paranormal Book 2009", and I've been nominated as "Best Paranormal Author 2009" - woot!
This is an award that's voter based, so you guess it - I need your votes! (Why did the song "Ain't Too Proud To Beg" just pop into my head?) Voting instructions are below, but I've already gone and made it easier for you: JUST CLICK ON THE PINK AND RED "BEST OF 2009 NOMINEE BUTTON ABOVE, and it'll all be filled in for you!
In case that doesn't work for you, or if you'd prefer to do it yourself, here are the manual voting instructions: To vote, email Dawn Roberto at email@example.com with your choices. Be sure to put "LRC's Best of 2009 Awards" in the subject line of the email. (This is important because anything else will get deleted.) In the body of the email, put:
Best Paranormal Book 2009:
Silent Night, Haunted Night (Terri Garey - Avon)
Best Paranormal Author 2009:
Voting closes on Feb. 22nd. Thanks in advance for your help, and I'll let you know the results when they're announced next week!
Monday, February 15, 2010
While perhaps not the most romantic movie to watch on Valentine's Day, I very much enjoyed seeing The Wolfman this weekend. The cinematography was beautiful, and the casting was excellent (if you can overlook the fact that Benecio del Toro is not the most verbal or the best-looking guy in the world, which makes him perfect for the Wolfman). I appreciated the fact that they took care to remain true to many of the original aspects of the story: a remote estate, a man troubled by mental illness affected by a curse beyond his power, a beautiful woman endangered by love, and even the gypsies (including Maleva, who knows all).
Then they threw in some added twists which I won't spoil here, but really worked (nobody does cold and crazy the way Anthony Hopkins does it, baby!), but they didn't get carried away with them, which would've ruined everything.
Even the excess blood, guts and entrails didn't bother me in the least, which is more than I can say for all the slasher/scream movies out there. The special effects were good, and the atmosphere was moody, somewhat grim, yet still beautiful.
All in all, I give it a 7 out of 10. It you go expecting a jaw-dropping, over-the-top experience, you're going to be disappointed. If you want to experience The Wolfman as it was perhaps meant to be when they made it originally, go see it.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Valentine’s Day is such a girly holiday, isn't it? We women want (and expect) some visible token that our special guy is thinking about us: flowers, candy, a card. Doesn't have to be big, doesn't have to be expensive, just needs to be there.
Guys, on the other hand, have very low expectations of Valentine's Day (according to my husband, who claims most men's only goal on February 14th is to stay out of trouble by not forgetting it!). Getting lucky is a bonus. :-)
But what to get him? Here's a few inexpensive ideas for the man in your life to share the love on Valentine's Day, or any other day:
Is he a sports fan? How a hand-written IOU stating that during the next televised game he watches, you promise no interruptions of any kind and his favorite snacks on a tray beside the couch?
Does he work too hard? How about a Saturday or even just an evening when he can be completely alone – no kids, no yardwork, no dinner dishes, no honey-do list. You take the little darlings to the movies, to your sister’s, to the mall, or anywhere that gets all of you out of the house for a while.
Hobbies? A magazine subscription to Car & Driver, Runners World, Muscle & Fitness, Field & Stream or Sports Illustrated shows you’re paying attention to his interests, even if you don’t share them.
Does he cook? A new saucepan or a sharp set of knives isn’t out of line for the man who fancies himself a gourmet. If his skills are limited to the grill, a new set of outdoor grilling tools is probably well overdue.
A deep thinker? Can’t go wrong with a gift certificate to your neighborhood bookstore, and the promise of an uninterrupted few hours browsing to his heart’s content.
Dad of the Year? A special photograph of the kids – either taken by you or professionally done – nicely framed in a masculine style.
Does he like sweets? Who doesn’t? How about a freshly baked batch of chocolate chip cookies, or a bag of Hershey’s kisses to take to work?
Of course, if all else fails – never underestimate the old saying “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”. Cook the man something, and after dinner, who knows...
Just how special and romantic was that card he gave you?
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Look at this painting - a bit macabre, wouldn't you say? It's called Skull with Burning Cigarette, and looks like it belongs on the front of a t-shirt. It would be perfect for use as someone's online avatar (if they're of a Gothic bent), or for say... showing up on someone's blog (if that someone leans toward the spooky.) :-)
I found it yesterday when I was doing some research on the book I'm working on, and was shocked to see it that it was done in 1886, by an artist I would never have expected: Vincent Van Gogh.
He did this one, too, which is much more distinctive, utilizing the vivid colors and frenetic brushwork that characterizes much of his general body of work, and is titled, simply, "Skull".
I actually prefer Skull with Burning Cigarette, because it shows a sense of humor I wouldn't have expected to find in someone like Van Gogh - he was evidently a very troubled individual who was extremely lacking in the sense of humor department. All those landscapes, all those still-lifes, a life marred by mental illness and an early death by suicide, four years after painting Skull with Burning Cigarette.
Perhaps he already knew what was coming, and wanted to view Death as a friend, not an enemy. (Yo, Death... can I borrow a ciggie?)
Anyway, I like it. Wouldn't hang it in my living room, but I like it.
Sunday, February 07, 2010
The day Hell freezes over will be the day I believe Justin Timberlake (Justin Timberlake?!? Really??) can actually get hot girls to pay attention to him other than in carefully scripted music videos, like the one I just saw on Fuse TV.
Get real, Justin. I've got some frozen marshmellows for you to roast over those Hell fires. Oh, wait... they're frozen.
Thursday, February 04, 2010
On June 5, 1996, my family got the devastating news that my mom had been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Average life expectancy after diagnosis was 2 1/2 years, preceded by slow paralysis of the entire body. There are exceptions to this, of course - noted physicist Stephen Hawking, for one - but the outlook for my mother was not good as she was already having issues with her walking, her balance, and her swallowing. Mom and I sat together in the neurologist's office as he delivered this difficult news, and one of the few coherent questions I could ask was, "How?" His answer was that there was no rhyme or reason to this disease, and it could strike anybody, at any time, at any age. He then added (as I later wrote down in my journal), "We've noticed it always seems to strike nice people."
Unfortunately, my dear, sweet mom was not one of the lucky ones - a few months later she was bedridden and on a respirator, unable to walk or breathe on her own. She lived the last 18 months of her life tied to a bed and a machine, and passed away less than 2 years after her initial diagnosis. I remember thinking very clearly how much we take for granted the simple act of walking - the ability to stand up and walk to the front door, the fridge, the dinner table, the yard. It was then I made up my mind to start walking daily for exercise - quite simply, because my mom couldn't. Twelve years later I still do it, and plan on doing it until I can't anymore, because I'm so very conscious of how quickly the ability to walk can be taken away.
This year, I'm participating in the annual Florida Walk to Defeat ALS, which will be held on March 13, 2010. One of my sisters is a Team Captain for her firm, and has already raised almost $400.00 for the cause - you can see her page and her progress at http://web.alsa.org/site/TR?px=2582385&fr_id=6237&pg=personal . You don't have to walk to donate.
Keep in mind that every 90 minutes a person in this country is diagnosed with ALS and every 90 minutes another person will lose their battle against this disease. No racial, ethnic or socioeconomic boundaries.
And no cure. Yet.