Friday, May 29, 2009

"Straightenin' curves, flattenin' hills..."

Poetry Editor Joseph R. Trombatore has accepted my poem "Summer Snapshot" for the July 2009 issue of The Houston Literary Review.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Louise Lombard Out of NCIS: Los Angeles's Hanh Nguyen reports that, among other recasting, Louise Lombard is out of NCIS: Los Angeles. I liked Macy and her history with Gibbs. What happens now? New actress in the same role? New character altogether?

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Memorial Day Story

This Memorial Day is also the birthday of an ex-Marine friend of mine from college. We met in an Intro to Film Appreciation class, and every few years he'd drop into town and we'd inadvertently see a classically bad movie of the 90s.

Though I've lost touch with him, I haven't forgotten him. He was the major inspiration for the protagonist of one of my personal favorite stories, "Home".

Recently on Crimespree Cinema

Jeremy Lynch has posted my DVD review of Taken.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Crimespree #30

My copy of the latest issue of Crimespree Magazine arrived yesterday, featuring my Blu-ray review of Quantum of Solace and an ad for The Lineup: Poems on Crime 2.

Crimespree is celebrating its fifth anniversary with a special deal.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

NCIS: "Aliyah"

A great finale, and by that I mean one that was the proportionate culmination of not only this season's events, but also events flashing back to Season 3. I didn't find Gibbs's decision a shock; it wasn't his decision after all, but Ziva's.

Did this remind anyone else of Justice League: Starcrossed, wherein the League discovers Hawkgirl's Thanagarian agenda? The same seeds of doubt have been sown, and we'll see what comes of them next season.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Getting Warmer

The weather in New York isn't consistently warm yet. There's as much rain as sun, it seems, but I thought I'd warm up my blog background for summer anyway. Orange Julius, anyone?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Smallville: "Doomsday"

I've blogged before about my overall dissatisfaction with season finales, many of which are loud and chaotic, and all we can do is see who hasn't fallen off the cliff. After eight seasons, I know what to expect from a Smallville season finale, so much so I almost didn't watch.

My questions from tonight are:

Henry James "Jimmy" Olsen? A cop-out, but one of the best attempts at bridging the show's continuity with other tellings of Superman. Still a gyp. Why didn't Chloe just resurrect dead Jimmy?

Lois finds a Legion ring allowing her to escape a bloody fight with Tess, but her displacement potentially messes with things more than Jimmy's death. What will become of her?

Clark chooses to reject the humanity he's learned. We know that won't last because Superman is all about human qualities.

And so I find myself disappointed, but no more so than usual. Whatever happens, I've still enjoyed enough episodes this season to get the DVDs,

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

NCIS: "Semper Fidelis"

An FBI agent is shot while on protection detail for a poker game at SecNav's house. NCIS must work with the FBI and ICE to find the killer. Way more interesting to me was Tony DiNozzo's showdown with Michael Rivkin. Rivkin has been killing terrorists NCIS would prefer to question, and both Gibbs and Tony have warned him off, but everything leads to climactic fight to the death in Ziva's apartment.

I think it was something of a cop-out to have Ziva arrive after Tony had filled Rivkin full of lead. I would have liked to see her choose to save one of them. Despite their backstory, Ziva's relationship with Rivkin seemed very abrupt. What happened to her crush on Tony? I guess we'll find out next week, when the team heads to Israel and Gibbs makes a "shocking" decision.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Big Bang Theory: "The Monopolar Expedition"

As has become the custom on many season finales, the characters are given something to do in story time corresponding with the three months of real time between seasons. Taking the chance to go down in history as the provers of string theory, Leonard, Howard, and Raj agree to go on a three-month expedition helping Sheldon search for monopoles at the magnetic North Pole.

The news surprises Penny, and Leonard starts to wonder if he should go or stay. Penny presents him with a Snuggie and gives him an extra-long hug. He asks her what these things mean, and she downplays them as friendly gestures. Only after they say goodbye does she admit to herself she doesn't want him to go.

A familiar scenario made fresh by the characters and the actors playing it.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Lineup and CrimeWAV

You can now hear the Lineup episode of CrimeWAV:

Richie Narvaez reads his poem "Metro" and Patrick Shawn Bagley's "110 M.P.H. in a Stolen Pickup".

I read my poem "Four Minutes", "Prayer of an Arson Investigator" by Sarah Cortez, "Don Henley Will Be Mine" by Misti Rainwater-Lites, and "Visiting Hours, State Pen" by Amy MacLennan.

Stephen D. Rogers reads his poem "A Whisper of Smoke".

And Christopher Watkins reads his poem "A Wild Flaw Amongst Us".

Thanks once again to CrimeWAV host Seth Harwood and producer Mystery Dawg Aldo Calcagno.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Boldly Going

Three friends and I are going to see J.J. Abrams's Star Trek reboot tonight at 10. I want to say I'm not enough of a Trekkie to do this sort of thing, but clearly I am, and so I give you my favorite Star Trek movie lines of all time:

Khan, I'm laughing at the superior intellect.

SPOCK (a tie)
I have been and always shall be your friend.

Ship...Out of danger?

SCOTTY (spoken into computer mouse)
Computer. Hello, Computer.

UPDATE: Star Trek's action kept me on the edge of my seat; its humor kept me laughing; its pace kept me pleasantly unaware of running time. I can't ask for more from a movie, let alone a Star Trek movie. Like Daniel Craig as James Bond, Chris Pine pulled off a performance all his own while paying enough homage to make the character recognizable as Jim Kirk. The same can be said of the other bridge crew players, especially Karl Urban's Bones McCoy.

Does the movie need Leonard Nimoy? Maybe not, but his role successfully signaled a passing of the torch. I'm ready for more. Now.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

A New Lineup

Click on the image to enlarge.

The Lineup #2 just went on sale at Click, buy, enjoy. Copies are coming to Murder By the Book in Houston and Once Upon a Crime in Minneapolis in the next few weeks.

Cinco de Flash Fiction Challenge

I've lost count, to tell you the truth, so I'll take Patti Abbott's word that this is number five:

In the early nineties, a book was published where each story shared a single concept: "a wedding cake in the middle of the road."

None of those stories were flash fiction, but let's see what we can do with that idea in a limited number of words.

Stories should be around 750 words, but anything under 1000 wrds is good. You can set your wedding cake on a road on Mars, in Montana, or anywhere at all. In other words, all genres are welcome.

The "wedding cake in the road" can be the main idea or a sidebar-so long as it's in there--like the gun in Plots with Guns.

Mystery Dawg will publish stories on Powder Burn Flash where no blog is available.

June seems like a good month for wedding cakes so let's shoot for June 4th.

Please don't post your story before June 4. Also let me or Gerald So or Aldo know before then. (You can always opt out if it doesn't work out).

I can see your cake in the road already!

NCIS: "Legend, Part Two"

This week's concluding episode nicely tied Macy to the investigation into Gibbs's revenge killing of the drug lord who killed his first wife and daughter. It also showed off the OSP team's talents to my liking, especially Sam Hanna's (LL Cool J) fluency in Arabic. Meanwhile, the plot served classic NCIS well, as the Mossad operative ruthlessly hunting down a terrorist cell was romantically linked to Ziva.

I don't know what to make of Special Agent Callen getting shot in the street near the end of the episode. Did Chris O'Donnell back out of the series? A cliffhanger into the possible series premiere? We'll see.