My NovelAmazon and CreateSpace are running a publishing competition right now. I've entered the latest draft of my 2011 NaNoWriMo novel in it. It took until last week, but I finally came up with a title for it. I'll know on 13 February whether I'm one of the 400 to advance to Round 2, or if I'm one of the 9600 whose pitches weren't sufficiently compelling. I feel fairly confident about the novel itself, but not the pitch. We'll see.
National/International NewsThere's been no shortage of discussion about gun violence, rape culture and the debt ceiling. I've already said pretty much everything I have to say about those topics. If I should have an epiphany of some kind I'll be sure to share it but until further notice, I'm against gun violence and rape and I'm against using the debt ceiling as an excuse to sabotage our government from within. In short, I'm a typical leftist lemming.
MoviesYesterday, I went shopping. Best Buy has their Upgrade & Save promotion going on again, where you take them any DVD (except, of course, burned ones or porn) and they give you a $5 coupon good toward any Blu-ray Disc $9.99 or more. I took in a pair of DVDs and got Glory (on sale from $14.99 to $9.99 - $5 Upgrade & Save coupon = $4.99) and The Sting Universal 100th Anniversary edition Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy combo pack ($14.99 - $5 U&S coupon = $9.99). My baby brother surprised me at Christmas with a $25 Best Buy gift card so these cost me nothing out of pocket. I'm gonna go back before the promotion ends and trade in a couple of more DVDs.
I also went to the Village 8 to see Argo. I reviewed it in my Letterboxd diary, but the short version is that I thought it was terrific. It entered my Flickchart at #75. Rarely have I been so emotionally invested in a modern-era movie. The last was Slumdog Millionaire. The odd thing is that this was the third time since October that I've been to the Village 8. My last visit before that was in July, 2008 to see The Spy Who Loved Me. I grew up going to the Village 8. It's the second-run theater in Louisville, which means it's the cheap theater. We didn't go to a lot of movies growing up; more than a lot of other kids I knew, but a lot less than I think the average family probably saw. We had the benefit that my mom was from Louisville and liked to take us out there to go window shopping in a mall or to see a movie and then play at a park; that kind of day-killing stuff.
My doctor, whom I absolutely adore, has been transferred to a different office just a block away from the Village 8 so I'm going to try to make a point to catch a show there whenever I go see her. It's $3 and literally just a block away. I'd be a fool after spending the time and gas to go see her not to go see a movie there, too. Plus, there's no shortage of new-release movies I kinda wanted to see but missed for one reason or other.
I've gone by myself to see a handful of movies over the years. I love it. Somehow, even the chatter from other people seems less distracting when I'm by myself. I just get lost in the movie, oblivious to those around me. Sometimes I've found that who I saw a movie with has colored how I felt about it, and that's true for seeing a movie by myself as well. Argo was magnificent. I thoroughly enjoyed The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which I saw in December also at the Village 8. Several years ago, I saw Gone Fishin' at the Oldham 8. It was mediocre and boring, but I'm almost certain I enjoyed it more by myself than I would have had I seen it with someone else. I don't know why that is, but I believe it to be true.
Speaking of movies, I've racked up some Movie Cash lately. The day after Christmas, Target advertised Finding Nemo on Blu-ray for $12.99. I was able to get Walmart to price-match that, and it included Movie Cash to see Monsters, Inc. in 3D. I've always loved the animation and the premise of that one, but the story itself bores me. Still, since it was paid for by the Movie Cash, I saw it on New Year's Eve just the same. That door chase scene was amazing!
Walmart had an assortment of Warner Bros. Blu-ray Discs priced at $7.88 that included $7.50 Movie Cash to see "any" Warner Bros. movie in theaters through 13 February. I bought The Shining, one of my friends's favorite movie - and one I still haven't seen - and used the movie cash to see The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey at the Oldham 8, which has recently been purchased by Regal Theaters. Fun fact: One of the chains Regal owns is United Artists. One of the five original founders of UA was D.W. Griffith, who was from LaGrange, KY - my hometown, and where the Oldham 8 is.
Disney Movie Rewards also just offered $10 Movie Cash to see any Disney movie in theaters as a reward. I had enough points in my account that I was able to redeem for the maximum allotment of four, meaning that I get to see Oz, the Great and Powerful for free in March. Disney is also releasing Marvel movies these days, and I think I'll get to use my Movie Cash to see Iron Man 3 in May and Thor: The Dark Shadows in November. If not, I'll find something else to see. No worries.
There's also a Movie Cash promo from General Mills right now. Buy two boxes, get a code for a Movie Cash ticket valued up to $12. Between a coupon my grandmother had and a sale Kroger was running, I was able to buy two boxes of Fiber One for $6.58 with tax - little more than half the value of the ticket, which I'm going to use in full in two weeks to see Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid at Cinemark Tinseltown in their XD auditorium ($12.50). I should go back for some more cereal, not that I can eat the damn stuff. My mom can, though!
My HealthSpeaking of my stupid Crohn's-infest guts, I've had a minor flare that came on just after New Year's Day. I went on a Prednisone taper, came off it for nearly a week and just last night felt it start all over again. Obnoxious, but not particularly alarming or anything. Several of my Crohnies have had a far worse run of things lately, which saddens me. I always feel helpless when I hear of what they're facing, no matter how often it happens. 2012 was a great year for me emotionally and on the Crohn's front, but it was absolutely wretched to a lot of my friends and pals. I'd appreciate if 2013 would be kinder to them.
ChristmasI finally took down my Christmas tree earlier today. I've been meaning to do that for a couple of weeks now, but I've spent most of that time either in bed or the bathroom. When I have been out of bed, I've scarcely had the energy to do much more than pop in a DVD and flake out on the futon. It's finally down and back in storage now, though I just realized I overlooked the lovely Christmas cards I received this year. I haven't exchanged Christmas cards with anyone in several years, but I found I rather enjoyed sending and receiving them this past Christmas. It's something I think I'll do again this year. It's kind of neat to get a Christmas card mailed to you from across the globe!
101 Things in 1001 DaysIt occurs to me that I've not done a single thing on my 101 Things in 1001 Days Challenge list in quite some time. I haven't even finished writing up 101 things to do, which is funny because "Finish writing 101 things to do" is actually one of the things I do have on my list. If I ever regain any energy, I'll look into trying to do something on the list, or at least add some things to it.