Filtering by Tag: 1920s

When You're Old

Hi ho, old things! On May 30th, I celebrated my birthday! Overall, it was a pretty quiet day, but someone remembered...

This little guy with the birthday hat is the Wii Fit Balance Board. He's very lively and cute. Mostly I step on him while exercising. I love the birthday hat and confetti - quite a wonderful thing to see before beginning the day's workout.

If you're a writer, you know that getting work done means putting your butt in a chair in front of a computer. The only body parts burning calories are your brain and your fingers... and that's not enough to stave off the packet of Oreos you ate after dinner. One my post-graduation goals has been to lose what I call my MFA weight: the weight I gained, especially in my last year of grad school, chained to my revision notes and grading.

Persistence. I have the same attitude exercising as I do with my writing. Obviously, haha. Long dormant muscles are emerging. I'm feeling great.

After a delicious lunch of fruit and homemade tamagoyaki (sweet, grilled egg), I took a break from my daily writing to watch some shows, read, and enjoy the fleeting sunny sky before the usual afternoon rain came crashing through the clouds.

Using my time wisely (of course, haha), I've been able to make a dent in my Netflix list (and watching PBS). Three shows have gotten my complete and utter attention: Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, Keeping Up Appearances, and Waiting For God. I highly recommend all three, especially if you love wit.

Keeping Up Appearances: Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced "Bouquet") reminds me of at least two of my family members. She's obsessed with manners, so Hyacinth is hilariously at odds with her embarrassing sisters.

I watched this show a lot as a kid, so it's been great to see it again now. It's even more funny.

Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries: Brand-new show. I started watching it on PBS after my mom said, "Hey, there's a 1920s mystery show on Friday nights." And then I collapsed in a fit of startled excitement. Watching this show makes me want to forget my other writing projects and start the second book set in my nautical 20s fantasy world (the first of which was my thesis). I don't know which aspect catches my breath more: Miss Fisher's outfits or Detective Inspector John and Constable Hugh. The price suddenly dropped dramatically on Amazon, so I'm now the proud owner of Season 1.

Waiting For God: I love, love, love this show. The dialogue is sharp, witty, and smart. The show follows Diana and Tom, two troublesome residents of the Bayview Retirement Home. I have an unhealthy fascination with "the idiot" Harvey Bains. Never have I seen such a well-developed villainous-yet-likable guy.

This was another show I watched as a kid. This time, of course, I'm happily drowning in all five seasons, soaking up as much as I can. I'm determined to use as many phrases and snide remarks from the show as possible (Hence, the greeting I gave you on this post - it's something Tom says to Diana all the time, haha).

Annnnnnnnd Figment News!

My flash fiction piece, "Here Is A Heart," won Figment's "Find Your Inner Strength: The Sweetest Dark Flash Contest!" Yesterday, my story, along with the runner-ups, were featured on the front page.

To me, the most exciting thing about the contest was that it was judged by Shana Abé, author of The Sweetest Dark. I've read her books since junior high, so it was an incredible opportunity to have her read my story.

I'm working on catching up with everyone's amazing comments on my stories! June is certainly bursting with surprises, haha!

Favorite Films of Buster Keaton

Anyone familiar with by blog, and especially my tumblr, knows how much I love the silent film comedian, Buster Keaton. To be honest, it hasn't been a long affair - I discovered him back in October when TCM had the entire month dedicated to Keaton films. But I was hooked immediately. Needless to say, I stayed up as late as I could on Sundays so I could be mesmerized by his skilled acrobatics, hilarious stunts, and expression-filled "stone" face. And that wasn't enough. I bought a box set containing the bulk of his silent films and I've also gotten a few smaller collections that are the numerous short films he did later in life (after MGM screwed him over) that never came close to the golden years of his silent films (though, in my opinion, they're still fun to watch. It's a treat to hear Buster's voice and he is, even without creative license, still as talented as he had always been).

Silent film, in general, has been an exciting new world for me. I discovered it in the fall - my gateway drug, in a sense, had been Mary Pickford. Even though she was a famous actress that did so much for film as we know it today, getting a hold of her movies is extremely hard (and the ones that are available are super expensive). I'm hoping that, like with Buster, having TCM dedicate a month to her will help fix that. So although I'd love to kick back with a bunch of her films, I had to expand my exploration of silent films before finishing with her movies. I tumbled right into Buster at that time, haha. 

The great thing about silent film is that, when you watch one, it feels like you're being told a secret. The characters are delightful, the music funny and sometimes extremely catchy, and, as a viewer, you are engaged with the film at a higher level because you have to watch the character's expressions and fill in the gaps. It's not that hard, really. A good silent film is easy to follow. 

Buster Keaton is fantastic in those regards. Sure, he's funny, but humor has never been enough for me to engage in a particular actor or actress. He's an artist; his films are surreal and risky and Buster knows how to grab a viewer's attention. Of course, it helps that he's been performing acrobatics and athletic feats since he was a baby (no joke) and that it's a marvel to watch him fall gracefully and dive under moving cars and dodge trains.... yep. The characters he plays are consistently sympathetic, charming, and melancholy. If you're a fan of Ziggy comics, you'll connect with him immediately, haha. 

I could probably go on and on about him until I'm blue in the face, but I thought that it'd be better to show, rather than tell, my favorite Buster films. I've chosen gifs from my top favorites in two categories - feature-length films (45 minute - 70 minute movies) and short films (only about 20 minutes). The gifs respectfully come from tumblr, haha. 

Most of Buster's films can be found online, so I've linked the titles up to youtube. If you like one, please click away! This post is inspired by my friend, Namie who recently posted about her favorite studio Ghibli Films

Feature-length Films

1. Sherlock Jr.

2. Seven Chances

3. The Cameraman 
(The only one not available in full - so I just linked a clip of Buster getting a kiss, haha)

Short Films

1. The Playhouse

2. The Scarecrow