Happy Birthday, Ferris!

Well, it’s just me and Ferris here for his big day. Two years old at last, which I suppose makes him no longer a puppy, technically. (At least, that’s what his dog food says, and who am I to challenge dog food?) How are we going to celebrate the big day? Well, I’m going to go and pick him up a new toy on my way home from work, and then I thought I’d give him something extra tasty for dinner. (For the first while of everyone being away, he went on a hunger strike. That only lasted two days, thankfully. Apparently his stomach won out in the end. He’s eating normally now.)

For all the excitement of the first while of having a puppy, he really is a marvelously well-behaved dog. I leave him at home with free rein of the house when I go to to work, and I come back to find him just patiently waiting for me. He doesn’t get into anything he shouldn’t. Doesn’t gnaw on things he’s not supposed to. Doesn’t (generally) bark for random reasons (or no reason at all). As long as we take him for a mile and a half walk each day, he’s pretty content.

There’s a time each evening around 7 when he gets pretty rambunctious, and it’s typically when we’re watching something as a family, but if I’ll just sit down on the floor with him, that usually makes him happy and quiets him down.

He’s got a number of quirks special just to him. For one thing, he adores vegetables. Every time Denisa is making dinner, chopping up cauliflower or lettuce or carrots or peppers, he comes running, then sits right by her side, ready to eat any of the scraps that might be left over. He really seems to love the crunchiness of it. He’s also a big fan of peanut butter, so we’ve finally figured out how to clean out the inside of the peanut butter jar: give it to Ferris. That provides him with at least a half hour of entertainment.

He gets scared easily by very random things. If someone blows their nose, he’ll head for the hills. Mainly it’s unfamiliar noises that send him for a loop. There’s a spot at the top of the stairs that he likes to retreat to for safety, and so if he gets frightened, that’s usually where you’ll find him. He also has a penchant for standing on stairs in a very awkward manner. He likes to have his hind legs on a higher step, so he can stand on his front legs and just look like he’s standing normally.

These days, he’s a wee bit less hyper when we have company over. It’s taking him a long time to get used to the idea that Other People can come into the house and not need to be jumped on and licked extensively. But we’re making progress there, at least. He would definitely be the world’s worst guard dog.

He used to like to rip apart any toy we got him, but he’s caught on to the fact that if he rips the toy up, he loses the toy, so these days he’ll happy just chew on it without tearing any heads off or stuffing out. He’s got a fox toy right now that squeaks when he bites it. I don’t know why we thought getting a squeaking toy was a good idea at all. But he seems to enjoy it.

He’ll be off to Dog Camp when I head out, and I expect he’ll pick up all sorts of bad habits, but that he’ll also have a grand time. In the meantime, I’ve got to go pick out a dog dessert for him to celebrate with this evening . . .

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Like what you’ve read? Please consider supporting me on Patreon. Thanks to all my Patrons who support me! It only takes a minute or two, and then it’s automatic from there on out. I’ve posted the entirety of my book ICHABOD in installments, and I’m now putting up chapters from PAWN OF THE DEAD, another of my unreleased books. Where else are you going to get the undead and muppets all in the same YA package? Check it out.

If you’d rather not sign up for Patreon, you can also support the site by clicking this PERFECT PLACE TO DIE Amazon link. It will take you to Amazon, where you can buy my books or anything else. During that visit, a portion of your purchase will go to me. It won’t cost you anything extra.

A (Brief) Update on the Memory Thief Movie

Longtime readers might recall that more than five(!) years ago, there was a big announcement about The Memory Thief getting made into a movie and getting a sequel. And then four years ago, I announced who I’d found out the screenwriters were. Since then, you’ve heard . . . nothing. And today, that’s not going to change that much, but there is *something* to tell you, and so I thought I’d let you in.

The book was originally optioned by 21 Laps and Fox, back in the days before Fox was bought by Disney. Before that sale went through, things were actually looking promising. They’d finished a screenplay that people liked, and they had the attention of a director who wanted to do it. Then the big mouse stepped in and bought the fox, and even then, things looked okay. Disney was letting Fox movies do their thing.

Until X-Men Apocalypse. This was a Fox-produced movie that did so poorly at the box office that Disney pressed the big “stop” button on all Fox movie projects, essentially canceling them all unless exceptions were made. The good news? The Memory Thief adaptation even made it past that.

While all of that was going on, my publisher for The Memory Thief was bought out by a new company that wasn’t all that keen on doing books. They’re more focused on movies. It’s hard to publish a sequel without a publisher, and so the sequel has been thrown into limbo. I have the rights back for both books, but no publisher at the moment. If a movie were ever made, I’m sure that would help the books come back to life.

And as for the movie? Well, it’s still . . . somewhere. At least, the option has been renewed multiple times I know this, because I’ve cashed the check and spent the money. So somebody somewhere still likes the project enough to be shelling out a bit of cash to keeping it alive. The latest check just came through, so it is definitely still not dead. Where is it in the greater scheme of things? All I know is they’re working on the screenplay. I don’t know if they’re revising it, or tweaking it, or scrapping it and starting over.

And you now know everything I know about the movie. Maybe five years from now, I’ll be able to give another update.

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Like what you’ve read? Please consider supporting me on Patreon. Thanks to all my Patrons who support me! It only takes a minute or two, and then it’s automatic from there on out. I’ve posted the entirety of my book ICHABOD in installments, and I’m now putting up chapters from PAWN OF THE DEAD, another of my unreleased books. Where else are you going to get the undead and muppets all in the same YA package? Check it out.

If you’d rather not sign up for Patreon, you can also support the site by clicking this PERFECT PLACE TO DIE Amazon link. It will take you to Amazon, where you can buy my books or anything else. During that visit, a portion of your purchase will go to me. It won’t cost you anything extra.

And They’re Off!

Denisa and the kids headed off to Slovakia yesterday. (Actually a day late. Lufthansa emailed us Saturday to let us know they canceled both her flights Sunday, and rebooked her on Delta and KLM for Monday. The good news is that they upgraded her long flight to Delta+, which meant more legroom for the gang, and she got into Prague an hour earlier, which meant she had an easier connection to the train.) I’ve heard from them already, and they all arrived safe and sound.

This means I’m at home alone for the next while. One of the first orders of business was making a trip to the store to get the necessities. All I bought was high end root beer, marshmallow matey’s, three packs of Annie’s mac and cheese, and two things of Ben & Jerry’s. That ought to hold me over for a few days at least. (Denisa did leave instructions about this thing called a “cauliflower” in the fridge, and how someone’s supposed to eat it. Ferris might help me with that. He’s a sucker for cauliflower.)

Speaking of Ferris, he is Not Happy. Apparently I’m fun in small amounts, but not nearly as much fun as people 18 and younger, or people who feed him vegetables. (Hence the cauliflower bribe consideration.) So far he’s basically just sat around the house looking as sad and lonely as possible. He takes breaks now and then to go stare longingly out the window. I’ve tried to tell him they’re not coming back any time soon, but apparently he thinks I’m an inveterate liar.

What all am I going to get done while they’re gone? We’ll see. I already have a fair bit that I do as a baseline each week, but I remember from the last time I was alone for a while that I usually end up feeling like I have a lot more time on my hands. (It’s also a big plus that anything I tidy up actually stays tidy until I personally mess it up again.) I have some projects in mind, but we’ll see if I get around to them. Really, if I can just get the house in a bit better order, I’ll feel like I’ve accomplished something.

I’ve also had some friends invite me over for a couple of the days, so I won’t be entirely alone. Between that and running back and forth to the house to make sure Ferris hasn’t exploded (or exploded the house), I’m sure I’ll be plenty occupied.

Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s some Ben & Jerry’s calling my name . . .

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Like what you’ve read? Please consider supporting me on Patreon. Thanks to all my Patrons who support me! It only takes a minute or two, and then it’s automatic from there on out. I’ve posted the entirety of my book ICHABOD in installments, and I’m now putting up chapters from PAWN OF THE DEAD, another of my unreleased books. Where else are you going to get the undead and muppets all in the same YA package? Check it out.

If you’d rather not sign up for Patreon, you can also support the site by clicking this PERFECT PLACE TO DIE Amazon link. It will take you to Amazon, where you can buy my books or anything else. During that visit, a portion of your purchase will go to me. It won’t cost you anything extra.

Movie Review: RRR

I know. Two movie reviews in a row from me. How did you get to be so lucky? It’s just that I’d heard such good things about a new Indian movie that was on Netflix, that I just had to check it out. RRR is the latest from what I gather is a very well known Indian film maker, S.S. Rajamouli. While I have heard about Indian movies, I haven’t actually . . . watched one of them. This seemed like an excellent opportunity to correct that oversight.

What did I know about Indian movies going into this one? Not a whole ton, to be honest. I knew they really liked to put song and dance numbers into films. I knew I’d seen some snippets from what were very bad looking films that got made fun of online, but I also knew that India has a thriving film industry. Word on the street was that RRR was just full over over the top action sequences, with a really high production value.

Oh yeah. And it was over three hours long.

With that kind of buzz, how could I refuse? Denisa and Daniela were away last night, so I approached Tomas with the idea. “Three hours long?” he asked. “We’re going to need provisions.” So he headed to the store and got some ice cream, chips, salsa, and candy. MC went to bed, and we settled in for the long haul, not really knowing what to expect.

You know that bit in the Princess Bride? “fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, miracles”? It’s got pretty much all of that. Maybe it’s missing giants. I honestly can’t remember. All I know is that for three solid hours, I was thoroughly, completely entertained. Start to finish.

At its heart, RRR is a buddy movie. Two guys end up being best friends, not knowing that they’re on polar opposite sides of a revolution in India against British rule. In that loose framework, Rajamouli jams in just about everything you can think of. The fight scenes and action sequences are all over the top in a way that would make the Fast and the Furious movies look on in envy. Just when you think the film can’t possibly give any more, it does. (I wanted to post the trailer for the movie here, but I felt like it gives too much away. Avoid it.)

And yes, there are song and dance numbers. And yes, it gets overly melodramatic from time to time. The British also come across as almost completely evil. But you roll with all of it, and you just enjoy the ride. Forget about physics and pesky things like believability. Rajamouli just draws you into a world where a man can face off against 1,000 and come away victorious.

I had a great time with the movie. 9/10. It’s TV-MA, but purely for comic book violence. It seemed more like a PG-13 to me. You should definitely check it out. And the best news? Rajamouli has other movies on Netflix, waiting for me right now . . .

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Like what you’ve read? Please consider supporting me on Patreon. Thanks to all my Patrons who support me! It only takes a minute or two, and then it’s automatic from there on out. I’ve posted the entirety of my book ICHABOD in installments, and I’m now putting up chapters from PAWN OF THE DEAD, another of my unreleased books. Where else are you going to get the undead and muppets all in the same YA package? Check it out.

If you’d rather not sign up for Patreon, you can also support the site by clicking this PERFECT PLACE TO DIE Amazon link. It will take you to Amazon, where you can buy my books or anything else. During that visit, a portion of your purchase will go to me. It won’t cost you anything extra.

Movie Review: Operation Mincemeat

At some point, I lost track of most of the new movies coming out. I think it’s because I knew I wasn’t going to see them in the theater, so why not just wait until they made it to one of my streaming platforms? The disadvantage to this is that I have no idea what many of the new movies are about. Many just didn’t make it onto my radar at all. The good news is that I can find movies I haven’t heard of at all, and then be pleasantly surprised.

Operation Mincemeat came out last year. It stars Colin Firth in a story based on a real life incident in World War II. The Allies needed to invade Italy, and the only logical place to do it was in Sardinia. Hitler knew this, so Sardinia was well defended. What the Allies needed to do, then, is to convince Hitler that they were actually going to invade somewhere else, so that he’d move his defenses there, instead. To convince him of this, they came up with an idea of having a body wash ashore carrying top secret documents that detailed the Greece invasion. But it’s one thing to have an idea. Making it work is entirely different.

I really enjoyed the movie. It had solid acting, and it was a real pleasure watching as these different characters worked through scenarios to try and guess what the Nazis would do in response to their actions. (If we do X, they’ll do Y, but they might anticipate us doing X, so we should do Z, etc.) Yes, we all know that ultimately Hitler lost the war, but that doesn’t take away from the tension of this singular incident. Everyone who watched it with me had a great time.

As a quick aside, I wanted to speak up in favor of good, but not great, movies and media. It’s something I have to remind myself from time to time. I’ll look through reviews, searching for something that’s highly rated. This one is a 6.6 on IMDB, and I debated watching it. The thing is, at that number, it could be a 5 or a 6 for me, in which case I’d rather just avoid it, or it could be a 7 or an 8, in which case I’d have a good time watching it.

Also, if I watch too many of the same kind of movie, it just gets . . . boring. I’ll call in the Pixar Problem. Pixar generally makes really good movies. Fantastic movies. They’re excellent produced, heartwarming, funny, and worth watching. But I’m getting to the point that I just don’t really care about Pixar movies coming out. It almost feels formulaic to me by now. I don’t know how they move past that. It’s not the CGI; it’s the way their stories are constructed.

Yes, I get it. I’m complaining that a movie studio is making movies that are too good. But if they make enough of them, close together, then they all sort of drown each other out. Marvel is playing very near that territory now. When you feel like you’ve seen the movie before you even watch the movie, you lose the desire to watch it at all.

In any case, back to Operation Mincemeat. It’s on Netflix right now. 8/10. Check it out.

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Like what you’ve read? Please consider supporting me on Patreon. Thanks to all my Patrons who support me! It only takes a minute or two, and then it’s automatic from there on out. I’ve posted the entirety of my book ICHABOD in installments, and I’m now putting up chapters from PAWN OF THE DEAD, another of my unreleased books. Where else are you going to get the undead and muppets all in the same YA package? Check it out.

If you’d rather not sign up for Patreon, you can also support the site by clicking this PERFECT PLACE TO DIE Amazon link. It will take you to Amazon, where you can buy my books or anything else. During that visit, a portion of your purchase will go to me. It won’t cost you anything extra.

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