The Disaster Artist by Greg Sestero & Tom Bissell

Oh, what a treat when a friend of mine showed up the other day with this book in his hands. My husband got first dibs on it, but the second he was done I nabbed it up.

First to preface, I have to say that if you have not watched the cult movie The Room, you’re doing yourself a great disservice. If you’ve never heard of it, The Room is a film that was written, directed, produced, and starring Tommy Wiseau about… well your guess is as good as mine about what it’s about. Love? Betrayal? Drugs? Football in tuxedos? The word ‘hi’? Sex? Death? Rooftops? Red roses? Who the hell knows? Tommy Wiseau knows…I think…

Here’s the trailer, maybe you can tell me what it’s about?

Lost a few brain cells after that? Yeah, I know the feeling.

So, the movie is about Johnny, played by Tommy Wiseau, who has a “perfect life” with his cute blonde fiance Lisa, and job that he’s up for promotion. Enter Mark, his BFF who Lisa finds herself unable to stop having sex with. Thus, hilarity ensues. Lisa and her mother have the same conversation about it about 8 times. Mark seems confused every time Lisa calls him over. Tommy can’t stop saying “oh, hi” to everyone…it’s madness I tell you, madness!

The Disaster Artist is written by the guy that plays Mark, Greg Sestero, about his experiences with Tommy Wiseau and the making of The Room. Turns out, Tommy and Greg met during an acting class and became unlikely friends, and eventually roommates. Greg writes about Tommy’s odd outbursts, accent that can’t quite be placed, mystery surrounding not only his actual age but where he’s really from. Not to mention the unknown origins of the $6 million budget for The Room that Tommy independently financed himself. That’s not a typo… SIX MILLION DOLLARS went into making this movie. Step back for a moment… the budget for Pulp Fiction was $8 million. Granted it was made 9 years before The Room, but it stars some of the biggest actors in Hollywood – John Travolta, Sam Jackson, Uma Thurman, Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Ving Rhames, Bruce Willis…the list goes on!

Ahem, I digress. The point is, Tommy Wiseau is a strange man with strange origins and a strange accent and strange emotions and this book is about Greg’s experiences with his strange friend making the disaster of a movie that The Room is. Actors and crews quit and are replaced. Tommy can’t remember the lines he wrote himself. He refuses to let anyone ad-lib or rework any of their lines to make them even remotely normal for natural conversation. Sets are broken down only for Tommy to decide at the last-minute he’d like to add a new scene there.

The entire production sounded like a fever dream, and let me tell you, this book is a page turner. I couldn’t believe one man could be as strange and intriguing as Tommy is, only to turn the page and find him one-upping himself! He makes Ed Wood seems like Martin Scorsese.

Word on the street is that Seth Rogan is going to produce a movie based on this novel starring James Franco as Tommy and Dave Franco as Greg. It will be interesting to see if the Franco brothers can pull off this madness.

And now for the crochet!

At first I tried to crochet a spoon, but couldn’t quite get it right after three attempts so I gave up. The reason for the spoon you ask? Greg recounts in the story that the set Tommy had ordered to be built for Johnny’s apartment wasn’t dressed at all with any decorations, pictures etc. So he ordered some of his crew to get some picture frames. When they came back wanting to replace the pictures in the frames with actual photographs, Tommy told them to forget it. The stock photos that were in the frames were all spoons. Tommy felt it didn’t matter…

Since the spoon wasn’t working out, I went with a football. I lost count how many times the guys in this movie toss a football around, but it’s a lot. The funny thing is Greg said one day they were all told to put on the tuxedos that were bought for the eventual movie premiere (which no one thought would ever actually happen). The reason for dressing in tuxes? Tommy decided he wanted to film a scene where the guys are tossing a football around in tuxedos. Is this ever explained in the movie why? No, absolutely not. And from Greg’s story, it seemed by that point people stopped trying to question Tommy and just went with his insane ideas.

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Before I tucked all the ends in, I snapped a picture of what I had created and called it a “hot mess”. I thought for a second just leaving it at that, because that really sums up the movie well!

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 The pattern I used for the football can be found clicking here.

Read –  February 16th – February 20th
Goodreads Reading Challenge – 5 books down, 45 to go
9gag’s Reading ChallengeA nonfiction book.
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Has anyone seen The Room? I’m curious to see what the Francos and Seth Rogan do with this movie adaptation. What are your thoughts?

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

One of the books on this year’s reading challenge is to read a book by an author with your same initials. Luckily I was able to not only find an author with my initials, but with my first name as well…huzzah! I didn’t even have to think twice running to the children’s section of the library to check out Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Actually, I read that and it’s precursor Little House in the Big Woods.

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Both books were written in the early to mid 1930’s, about Laura Ingalls childhood living in the woods of Pepin, Wisconsin USA, and then later moving to a prairie in Kansas near the town of Independence. The books are written in the third person and isn’t a literal autobiography of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s life, but the stories come from her childhood memories.

Being children’s books, I know I’m not the target audience, but I actually found myself enjoying the stories. These aren’t my typical go-to for entertainment either, like I’ve said in the past I’m more of a horror/sci-fi/fantasy girl myself. But there was something charming about the simplicity of the writing style, and the life they lived in the late 1800’s.

Little House in the Big Woods was mostly about life during the fall harvest and winter. Their Pa bringing in lots of meat and salting it to store all winter for food. What I found most charming was how wonderful Laura and her sister Mary felt on Christmas morning, because they each got a pair of new mittens. Period. In today’s world of iPhones and Playstations and Black Friday massacres, it’s nice to read about girls just happy with a new pair of warm mittens.

Little House on the Prairie saw the Ingalls family moving from their big woods out west to Kansas into land belonging to Native Americans, because Pa Ingalls got word that the government was opening it up for settlement. What I loved was after traveling they came to a spot that Pa decided was right where he wanted to build a house, then he went and got logs and started to do just that. Imagine people doing that today! I was really taken aback by the amount of racism in this book toward the Native Americans, especially from Ma Ingalls. Both of these books are a good reminder that things haven’t always been as they are here in the crazy 21st century.

 

And now for the crochet!

 I probably got a little too literal with my crochet item for these stories as I did with The Maze Runner, but whatever it’s only my own rules I’m following here!

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There was no pattern for this “little house”, I just did rows of 15 single crochet in back loops only, at the top I tapered down decreasing at the beginning and end of each row.

 

Read –  February 10th – February 15th
Goodreads Reading Challenge – 4 books down, 46 to go (counting these as one since they were short)
9gag’s Reading ChallengeA book by an author with your same initials.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

I’ve never watched the show from the 80s, has anyone else read the books or watched the show? What did you all think?

The Maze Runner – by James Dashner

Well, clearly I’m going to have to start reading faster if I’m ever going to have hope of getting through 50 books by the end of 2015. Admittedly, binge watching the entire run of Dexter with my husband the last few weeks hasn’t helped any… We are near the middle of February and I’ve just finished my 3rd book for the year, The Maze Runner by James Dashner.

I’m a sucker for YA novels. Yes, I’m in my 30s. Yes I like “grown-up” books too. But there’s always something about YA novels. Generally the ones I like are fantasy, sci-fi, or horror which are my three favorite genres. And don’t even get me started on dystopian stuff. Ever since I was 10 and watched Stephen King’s The Stand miniseries on TV I’ve been in love with these post apocalyptic settings.

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So this brings me to The Maze Runner. The main character Thomas finds himself without any memory of who he is, or even how old he is. All he knows is his name. He finds himself in a place called the Glade, a big open space completely surrounded by large walls with openings out into a massive maze. The only inhabitants of the Glade are other young boys, and they all arrived in the Glade the same way he did, missing all their memories.

Out in the maze a group of boys called Runners well, run, all day every day looking for a way to get out of the maze and back to the real world and hopefully their families. There’s also some really horrible creatures out in the maze called Greivers that everyone wants to avoid. Something is odd though, because while Thomas doesn’t remember anything, several things about the Glade seem familiar to him, and some of the other boys seem to think he’s familiar too. Things really begin to break down for the boys when a girl shows up…

I liked the mystery surrounding this story. There was clearly something up with the Glade and the maze, but none of the boys could remember anything. As the story progressed bit by bit Thomas began to piece things together. I also like when books have made up curse words and things like that, the kids here all call each other shuck faces, I may have to steal that one for myself! I’m going to start calling my friends damn muggle shuck faces…at least until someone hits me!

I thought it was a fun read, and definitely recommend to those who like YA or dystopian books.

 

Now, for the crochet!

This was probably too much of an obvious choice… but I decided to crochet a maze for this one.

MazeRunner2 MazeRunner

There was no pattern for this, I just crocheted a square of half double crochet stitches, and then slip stitched the maze free-handed on top of it.

Read – January 18th- February 10th
Goodreads Reading Challenge – 3 books down, 47 to go
9gag’s Reading ChallengeA book by an author you’ve never read before.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham

I have been obsessed with the show Gilmore Girls since I first laid eyes on it. I’m not just throwing the word “obsessed” around lightly here, either. I’m talking an I’ve-actually-tried-to-talk-my-husband-into-moving-to-Connecticut level of obsession here. The fact that I’m going to be 32 in a little over a year and don’t have a well-read 16-year-old daughter, a cool wardrobe, a plucky can-do attitude, a quirky best friend named Sookie, and extremely rich parents that I want nothing to do with, is, well, frankly depressing me thinking about it!

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Anyway, back to the book at hand. My husband being the awesome guy that he is bought me this book authored by the Lorelai Gilmore herself, Lauren Graham, as a Christmas gift this past year. I’m going to admit, this isn’t generally my type of go-to book. Had I read the premise without the level of love and dedication that I have for Lauren Graham, I may have skipped over it completely. Normally if there isn’t a wizard, or some off planet battle, or historical vampires, or otherworldly beings, or some bleak future where we’ve all destroyed ourselves, I’m not all that interested. I know I may be glossing over what are probably perfectly wonderful books, something I’d really like to change.

Set in 1995 New York City, Someday, Someday, Maybe is the story of wanna-be actress Franny Banks. As we join Franny in her story, she’s 6 months away from the deadline she’s set herself to actually make it as an actress. If she’s not where she thinks she should be, she’s packing it all up and moving back to her simple life with simple goals and a simple career…and things aren’t looking so hot for her.

I really like the fun, fresh voice of Lauren Graham’s writing. Franny reminds me a lot of myself, she suffers from anxiety and self-doubt that I can totally relate to. The book is also broken up with Franny’s filofax entries, which basically becomes a character all its own. There are even a few passages written out as scripts are, and the has-been film student that I am and constant movie geek, I loved that extra flair!

So I’m here to say even if you find yourself leaning more toward horror, sci-fi, and fantasy like I myself do, give this book a try..someday, someday, maybe?  He-he see what I did there?

Now, for the crochet!

At first I fretted that I wouldn’t be able to crochet anything tangible from the book. The major themes of finding inner strength and courage, scripts, acting, etc didn’t really seem to lend itself to my idea of crocheting something inspired by the book. So I had decided if I couldn’t think of anything from the book itself, I’d crochet a little red jacket like the one on the cover. But, then it happened. I found my inspiration. Just as Franny has given up on herself, no job, no prospects, no love interest, no agent, nothing… she sees a red balloon.

But then I see there is a balloon, a single red balloon floating in front of the taxi, its white string just brushing the windshield, before the wind pulls it past us and it drifts up, up, up, and out of sight.
“You see that?” The cab driver says to my reflection in his rear-view mirror.
“Yeah.”
“How’d it get this far and not go pop?”

-Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham

This red balloon, as Franny begins to further reflect, is a metaphor for her life…how did she get this far and not pop? I knew the red balloon was a perfect symbol for this story, and I finally had my crochet inspiration.

someday someday maybe Balloon balloon book

For this, I didn’t have a pattern, I just made it up until it looked semi-balloonish to me.

Read – January 4th – January 18th, 2015
Goodreads Reading Challenge – 2 books down, 48 to go
9gag’s Reading ChallengeA book by a female author.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts?

Introduce Yourself

A fellow blogger suggests in his post that as a blogger you’ve got to introduce yourself. I thought now would be a good time to do that, I’ve had the ability to read and review my first novel of the year, but as of right now am just a few pages into the novel I’m reading now (Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham) so I know it will be a few days before I have a full legitimate posting for ye dear readers.

My name is Laura. I pronounce that “Law-ruh”, but apparently about half the world pronounces it “Lore-uh”. That used to be a big pet peeve of mine and I’d jump on the opportunity to scold anyone saying it “wrong”. Sometime after high school or so I kinda just let that go, though. I’ll answer to Lora, if I have to…but I will silently hate it every time.

I turned 30 last year. I don’t feel 30, though. When I was a little kid a lot of the adults around me were in their 30’s, and they seemed a lot older than I seem now. I still like to eat sugary kid cereal, I still read YA novels, I still like a lot of the movies and cartoons aimed at kids…but I’m also obsessed with horror and dark stories and movies. Go figure.

I’ve been married to my husband for a little over 5 years, though we’ve been together since I was 19. We still don’t have any kids. I know being 30 that window of safely having children is closing on me fast. We do hope “someday” to have them, sometimes time just gets away from us. We do have 2 cats though, and some days when I’m crocheting with my fuzzy blue house robe on and my hair in a frizzy mess pilled on top of my head with two cats flanking me I’m safe knowing at least I’ve secured my spot as a crazy cat lady.

My day job sucks. I work as a subject matter expert for a call center. AKA I get to talk to all the lovely people screaming and cussing for a supervisor. I wont exhaust anymore of my time going into that, though.

I’m a big fan of being a fan of things…if that makes any sense. The first time I knew I loved being a fan was when I was a teenager and completely obsessed with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Listening to them made me feel like I was in on some sort of secret that only the other fans of them knew about. I saw them in concert twice when I was 16, and almost a decade and a half later I got to see them again a couple of years ago…I totally cried when they came out on stage. My mom used to tell me about this time she saw Paul McCartney live in the early 90s. She said there was a group of older fans near her and they were crying, and I thought that was completely crazy! Well, I know what those Beatles fans were going through now.

Other things I’m completely obsessed with are – Stephen King, The Gilmore Girls, Muse, Harry Potter, The Avengers, Tom Hiddleston, Supernatural, Doctor Who, David Tennant, loose leaf tea, and of course reading, writing and crochet!

I have epilepsy – temporal lobe epilepsy to be exact, anxiety, and almost certainly something wrong with my gallbladder.

That’s basically me in a nutshell.

Once I’m done with Someday, Someday, Maybe I will let you return to your regularly scheduled programming of book reviews and crochet inspired by the book.

hat

Me making a face and a hat I crocheted a few days ago.

A New Adventure

As New Year rolled around, bringing in 2015, I was glad to be closing one of the worst years I’ve been through. As we all do, I began reflecting on my year and my life, finding myself wondering yet again why I hadn’t accomplished anything. A friend called me sometime after midnight of the New Year asking if I’d like to join him in some of his New Year traditions, telling me that the things you do on New Year day are supposed to set the course for the entire year. So, going by this New Year superstition, if I spent January 1st reading, writing, and crocheting, I’ll have one hell of a happy year!

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I thought if only I could find a way to do all three together – read, write, and crochet…

That brings me here, to this little blog. I’ve reviewed books before and enjoyed it, because there are few things in life I love more than talking endlessly about a good book. Except, maybe crochet. Really, it was my husband’s idea. I told him that I was thinking of making a book review blog again, but everyone has book review blogs, so what would make mine different? I don’t know where he got the idea, but he suggested that after I read the book I crochet something inspired by it, and post the crochet along with the book review.

So, here I am, ready to read and crochet through the year. Oh, and thanks to Goodreads, I have pledged to read 50 books this year. So, visit me again soon!