Thursday, August 31, 2006


It seems Thursdays are turning into "Tidbit Thursdays" with everything that is beginning to happen these days, there is a lot to keep everyone in the local area and otherwise informed of things; Thursdays are sometimes just an extra day to read the story usually posted on Wednesdays. Either way, things are really beginning to jump here and it feels good, even though I sometimes get a little nervous about it all. See for yourselves: ...

Fiction - Sleepy Hollow Inn
Yes, the installment is almost ready to go. M. Davenport required some time to re-work a section because Davenport, not I, were dissatisfied with. It feels wonderful to work with someone so professional. We both seem to be learning a great deal from each other. You will have the next installment of "The Sleepy Hollow Inn" tomorrow, barring anything bad happening or my arthritis acting up horribly as it has been acting up of late.

The Lexington Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation
I am now working with the local chapter of the Arthritis Foundation. Lexington's chapter has only been around for two years. Now hubby and I have volunteered for whatever and anything we can do. It feels good, and I wrote about it in my LJ, which I will probably cross-post here. It is important to keep taking the fight to the disease and keep researchers funded to help end this thing.

It feels strange, Dear Readers, to tell you the truth. I've been fighting this disease since I was 2 1/2 officially, and now, well, now I'm 45. That's all of my life really. I've fought it on a personal basis, here in my body, and now am fighting it in extra ways which has helped to give me the new breath, the new wind I've needed for quite a long time to keep fighting it.

Looking for Arthritics
It doesn't matter what type of arthritis you have. It can be osteoarthritis to gout to rheumatoid to many of the other forms out there. As soon as I can I will provide a list of the types. Don't want to forget or leave out anyone with this stuff. Even fibromialgia is considered part of the arthritic core!

I know there are more arthritics here in Lexington. If you want a friendly face, voice or person you almost know to contact, feel free to reach me at so you can get involved too. Being a part of a unified front does make a difference in how you feel. I can attest to that first hand. The more we are together, the more we can stand stronger, and besides, Wouldn't it be really super just to have a place where people understood where you are coming from? I know I really feel less stressed than I have for quite a while. There IS something you can do. We'll figure something out for you to do, on the good days, through the bad days and any other day in-between.

Even if you don't want to be involved deeply, there are support meetings here in Lexington. The next one is going to be on September 11th. Come and join us there because we know what you're going through which helps to let you know you are not alone.

Bull Riding in Lexington, KY Area
The Arthritis Foundation, Lexington Chapter, is having a bull riding! Can you believe it? It even has the approval of PBR (Professional Bull Riders) and it is said that a lot of the riders who will be appearing in Las Vegas for the finals and championships will also be appearing in the local event. It is being held in Harrodsburg at the Harrodsburg Fair Grounds. I will provide more information as it is discovered.

St. Andrew's Heritage Festival
St. Andrew Antiochian Orthodox Church is having its annual heritage festival. It will be September 30th thru October 1st. There will be traditional foods from Mediterranean to Serbian and Russian. Traditional sweets from all over, and entertainment! Want tickets? Contact me at and I'll hook you up with some!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A Quick Note

"The Sleepy Hollow Inn" by M. Davenport is here, but, unfortunately I don't have enough time, at present to post it because there is a small bit of editing that needs to be done per M. Davenport's request. So, it will appear later today.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

My Take on the Three Bean Soup

There are a lot of recipes out there for Three Bean Soup and some of them are really good, but not one of them hit my palette the way this one did of my own creation, combining several recipes I already had.

2 cans black beans
2 cans pinto beans
1 can white/navy beans
Salt & Pepper to taste
Chili powder
1/3 cup of water
Corn starch
Warm water

In a nice cooking pot, soup pot, put 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil in the bottom of the pan. Put pan on medium heat. Chop up 1/2 to a 1/4 of an onion depending on size and drop into the heating pan. Chop 1-2 cloves of garlic, depending on how much you like the taste of garlic. Cook until tender. Add the beans, including as much of the liquid as you would like and 1/3 cup of water. Raise the heat to medium high. As the beans begin to heat, salt and pepper them and if you think there isn't enough liquid, just add some more, but only in small increments because if you have too much it is very difficult to get the water cooked out of them.

As the beans begin to bubble add cumin to taste and chili powder. The cumin I begin adding in about 1/4 teaspoon increments until I get the flavor I want; and adding the chili powder in about the same amounts. I have never reached a Tablespoon yet of either I don't believe. Stir through thoroughly.

Open your favorite box of noodles and put them in, letting them cook directly in the beans. If the soup is not thick enough for you put 1/2 tsp. corn starch in some warm water, whisk it through good and pour this into the soup. If you don't put it in some warm water first you have a big chance of having some lumps in your soup.

Cooking time, about 30 minutes total. Makes 4-6 servings.

For more recipes check out The Ox and Hare Inn.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Yes, there should be poetry here...but...

My dear hubby has been under the weather this weekend, so no poetry for today, but it will make an appearance soon, you just can never tell when.

-- The Editor

Friday, August 25, 2006

I live?

Sitting very quietly today. Have had a migraine for two and a half days. It feels good to be able to sit up and not feel as if my head is going to roll off my shoulders and on to the floor and used as a ball by my dogs.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Sleepy Hollow Inn, Part III

The Sleepy Hollow Inn
By M. Davenport

There are some things I do in my day-to-day living that would amuse or horrify the die hard Dracula worshippers. I enjoy "New Age" music a great deal, for example. It is the modern equivalent of what is known now as classical music, although classicists shudder at such a thought. (I am sure it is there somewhere inside and they are fighting it tooth and nail to keep from admitting it.) Kitaro is my favorite modern composer. For some vampire enthusiasts they create the image of a vampire rising at sunset with Bach playing in the background before they go out into the night accompanied by techno rhythms and blood. These people frighten me.

I enjoy movies and television as well as true theater. Again, there are some who argue that if vampires really did exist they would prefer their known form of entertainment, i.e. plays and classical music. It is not the vampire who is stuck in time (although there are a few who change slowly), but the people who want to keep a certain time alive in their imaginations I believe.

My views upon the Internet are much the same as anyone else's: I adore it! There is so much information there at your fingertips! And to be able to communicate with someone in Japan in real time and not have to wait months for a written reply by ship simply boggles my mind a little, even now. It is a wonderful, mind-expanding tool. As with everything else, it can be abused and I have known several, vampire and human alike, who have become addicted to it. This addiction saddens me whereas many other addictions do not because this addiction lets people avoid living life instead of attempting it. They hide behind a computer screen and have their relationships never knowing truly if the other person is indeed what they say they are, or even who. It is a cocoon they create for themselves and dare not let themselves change into something, someone grander.

All of this ran through my head as I did a quick search of my guest's writing endeavors.

Veronica James was not in the running for a Pulitzer, nor was she considered an up-and-coming Stephen King. She was, however, considered to be quite prolific and had managed a novel each year for the past five years and had even won several prestigious writing awards, as well as a Hugo for her latest science fiction piece. Veronica James had been compared to Isaac Asimov and Gene Roddenberry for the modern times. Her latest work was a book of poetry which was really quite good from what I read in excerpt. I love poetry but find a lot of modern poetry to be lacking in content and filled with foul language which is a feeble attempt to shock you into not noticing there isn't an image present throughout. This was different and I ordered myself a copy through Amazon.

So armed with this information, I went in search of Mrs. Veronica James in order to greet her properly. She would receive the celebrity treatment of one Jonas nickels. That being me.

Veronica James was outside in the nippy September air. She had on dark rimmed glasses and held herself quite regal and poised on the porch swing. The notebook I had seen earlier was lying in her lap while she tapped the end of her pen on her lower lip. Her eyes were looking far away. Was she seeing a new world or just re-creating this one? How often, I wondered, did she re-create Edward James?

I started to go back inside when she heaved such a heavy sigh my heart, if I had one, went out to her. It was filled with thousands of words that had no meaning, or perhaps too much.

"Am I disturbing your ruminations?" I inquired with a slight bow. Women still like that despite Women's Liberation.

"No, please, come and sit by me." Veronica James' voice was soft and accented slightly with an almost Southern hue.

I took my place beside her on the freshly painted porch swing. It creaked slightly with my added weight as porch swings often do in complaint. This was a sound that never changed through the centuries. As long as there were porch swings, there would be that sound, and, for a brief moment, I was tempted to recall my own childhood and the long flowing skirts of my mother. It was difficult not to wander into my own past, but I managed and wa glad. Some memories should be relished like good expensive chocolate or a lover's impassioned kisses.

"Are you hard at work on a new adventure?"

"No," she said, "just collecting notes for a possible one." I smiled and she smiled back. She was really quite a beautiful creature with long flowing hair and gentle eyes that always held a hint of sadness in them. How had Edward James landed her? This was one of Life's great mysteries I was sure and hoped my curiosity would not ask the one question of how they had met and gotten together. Luckily I was saved by a question she asked me.

"Tell me, Mr. nickels, do you believe in God and the Devil?" Mrs. Veronica James turned and faced me then. It was plain upon looking in her eyes that this wasn't a writer's ploy, but a genuine question, and one she hoped I would answer. But, what I wanted to know was, why?

"Yes, yes I do." How could I not being what I am! "I don't believe the Devil is in red pajamas with horns and a tail, but I am pretty sure he exists."

"And God?"

"Again, I believe He exists. And I don't think He is an old god out of touch with time and humanity. He is waiting, I think, giving people, as a whole, time to grow up. But people are regressing instead of moving forward spiritually," I said.

"So, you believe miracles still happen?" I nodded. "I do too," she said, and relaxed visibly.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Writing Related

Writer's Digest is having a short story contest. Just follow the link for all of the necessary information to it.

Elizabeth Bear, a prolific writer of modern fiction, including science fiction, has a wonderful LiveJournal you should check out. She talks about writing and the art of writing. I find her most amusing. Check her out at matociquala at LiveJournal. Her main website is at Elizabeth

And also at LiveJournal alg is an editor at Tor Books and gives some good advice on submitting works and writing pieces to her as well as elsewhere. She also has Anna's Red Pen where she talks more about writing, but usually her LJ is the place to be. It is more real and you can also see an editor as a real person, not someone in a tower far away with a pen filled with never-ending red ink.

Monday, August 21, 2006

I have been sitting here in my house going over all of the things I need to do. The list is relatively short and goes something like this:

(1) Kitchen - Dishes, clean off table, get garbage out, org for more room

(2) Writing - Go over #29, find places to sub, work on Trai, LJ, Blog

(3) Me - call doc, yoga, prayers, Bible reading, work on game, decide on lib day.

(4) Other - fix a good supper, hubby to class

Not a bad list really. It just happens that today my arthritis is acting up which means a good lot of stuff isn't going to get done, at least not as I would like for it to. Still, some things on my list have been marked off and later, perhaps, I can get even more of it off so I can look back and say I did something good today, other than writing. Of course, writing will usually be close to the top of the list.

Monday Poetry

By H.A. Handy
Copyright (c) 2006 by H.A. Handy

The desert surrounds
Filled with lush green things growing
People moving about their lives
Continuing on.

The desert surrounds
Voices raised in greetings
Smiles upon strangers' faces
Time advancing and retreating on tides.

The desert surrounds
Alone amid the bustle
Satisfied with something most
Dare not understand.

The desert surrounds
I see the way out
The path lined with daisies
Golden bricks upon the ground.

The desert surrounds
A table amid the gluttony
Strewn with papers, pens, and inks -
An oasis in the very center of insanity.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Mary of Chocolate

Mary of Chocolate
Mary of Chocolate,
originally uploaded by hahwriter.
I find this wonderful and oddly frightening. I can see the Virgin in this. Do I believe it is a miracle? It may be this woman's miracle because she needed something to help her get through something very difficult. The Divine does give us little reminders we are not alone when we really need them, and I believe this one may jave just been for this woman. If this is the case, I am thoroughly glad she has this sign to help her get through....

Sometimes I truly believe the Divine, God, works in quiet ways just so we will have to slow down and look at things a little more in order to take stock of a lot of great, miraculous things He is doing for us, and with us.

As long as the chocolate image itself is not worshipped I see nothing wrong with this. I believe it is a good thing all in all.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Diary Dear

Today is Saturday, and, like most Saturdays, there were plans made for today. Good plans involving friends and an out-of-doors-fair and goggling wonderful pretty shinies. Alas, it was not to be. Rain came. And thunder. And lightning creased the sky here and there with brightness. It looked so far away and was just so calm in its power I found myself unafraid and just watching it. Watching it flash and dart. I let myself go into the roll of the thunder and felt...lighter, as if it was washing away much of the sorrows that have been fighting to accumulate somewhere inside of me while Life and friends and Love itself was struggling to keep the sorrows at bay. I believe the Life, Love and Friends won to be honest in retrospect.

Now the sun is shining outside my window. It dances on the grass and bamboo of the back yard and causes me to smile. I smile because, well, the rain has ended and we have survived it, even though Winter is nearing with each passing day. It is so easy to forget Winter even exists when the sun is so bright and warm upon your skin. Without Winter would those of us who adore Summer adore it so much?

There are still a number of good warm days to love and adore yet. The rainy days will also increase, but maybe, just maybe this year the Bleak will not over-whelm me and my household. Maybe there will be good things to think and admire and the bleak, cold days that are to come will turn into something different. Something happier. Something good.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

JonBenet Ramsey Suspect Finally Arrested

JonBenet Ramsey, the little six year old beauty queen who was found murdered in her parents' home may finally get to rest in peace, because someone has finally been arrested in the case. He wrote letters to JonBenet's mother telling her how sorry he was for what happened. Yes, I know there is going to be a book out of this sad story, and I am going to read it. From what I have been able to glean from the Internet, he was a teacher in other countries and has confessed to killing the little girl. He was hiding in Thailand and is currently being extradite back to the United States. Will he make it to the court room? I hope so. I really do. There is still a large part of me that wonders if her parents still may have had something to do with it all. Did they know? And why did the man write Patsy Ramsey letters? Yes, this is complicated.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Celebrations Continue

Sorry Dear Readers, but currently have company. I promise I will bust the buttocks I possess to get everything caught up so you can read the next installment of "The Sleepy Hollow Inn" story.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Recipes and goodness

Yesterday was my birthday, sorry there wasn't a poem.

Today is post-birthday, so, due to the headache and still almost-full stomach no recipe.

Tomorrow, things will be back to normal I hope.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Saving Fish

My husband has a large 55 gallon fresh-water fish tank. He has about eight koi of various types and all of them are different. Earlier one of them became ill and it was my job to sit with a bowl of treated water while my husband ran to the store to pick up a few things he needed for the tank. Along with holding the fish I had to make sure and keep prodding the fish (gently I assure you) so it would keep breathing and not die.

All of our fish have names and this one's name is Dart because he is one of the ones who go running around the tank at high rates of speed and then, usually, will jump his head out of the water or rise up like a dolphin and make as big a splash as possible. Dart is about six inches long now and he is a nice looking fish. I didn't mind baby-sitting him.

Now my husband is finishing up cleaning the tank just to make sure that none of the other fish get sick. As for Dart, well his condition is still undetermined at this time. He is still alive. He is swimming on his own. But he seems to be blind or unable to see very well.

Dart is one of the larger fish my husband has, but, to be honest, he is one of my favorites. I have three of them - Dart, DirtyNose, and JJ. They actually seem to have personalities. Maybe I am just projecting personalities on to them, but they are some of the larger fish we have had for a while and since I am the one home most of the time I get to benefit from watching them more than my husband gets to.

Sometimes, when I'm really stuck on a story, really in pain, or sometimes just have the blahs, I go sit quietly in the living room and watch the fish. Sometimes, a lot of the time, I will mute the TV just to have the quiet and the sound of the water splashing in the tank. And I sit there and watch the fish. Usually the dogs will come close and lay beside me. It makes for a pretty content scene and setting.

I have never worked hard to save a fish before. It has made me feel quite good. I really hope Dart makes it. I really do.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Sleepy Hollow Inn, Part 2

Sleepy Hollow Inn
By M. Davenport

Part II

Veronica and Ed James contacted Mickey six months prior to their visit. As I said, we were booked for months in advance. It was mid September when they arrived. The weather was not quite so hot as it had been in the summer, and the nights were growing cooler than they had previously been. The visit was a treat for Veronica who was quite a lovely, though somewhat sad creature. Ed made it plain the evening I met them that he was indulging Veronica’s romantic side. Mickey informed me later he had done the same thing upon their arrival.

It wasn’t the couple’s wedding anniversary or one of their birthdays. It was just a treat. A treat for Veronica.

“She has always wanted to spend a couple of days in an old house like this,” Ed James informed me that first evening. He was a big man, square shouldered and barrel chested. Construction was his business and he was quite proud of the firm he ran. Although this Mr. Edward James wasn’t the one who had made it into a multi-national, multi-million dollar company. His father, Martin James had taken over from his father and went global. Ed James could not stop talking about the business prowess of his father.

“Dad saw the world as one big resource, as yet untapped at the time. He started making bids, and winning them, in Canada and Mexico first, and branched out from there. I brought in the computers and business boomed.” Ed James was such a modest fellow. He was the total contraposition to his wife.

Veronica James was a busty, petite red head with natural curls that fell down her back to bounce along as she walked. The eyes that looked out at the world were in intelligent hazel. She was quiet whereas her husband didn’t understand he could even be silent. Veronica moved quietly about the house that evening with a jade green book in hand and a thoughtful look on her face.

“She fancies herself a writer,” Ed said as she passed us to go outside to roam the sparse grounds. She had on a tattered brown sweater. “She’s had a few things published. Mostly in women’s magazines. And she won some writing thing. I don’t know what it was called, even though I went to the awards dinner. Some romantic thing,” he added with a heart-less laugh and snort. “It is seven o’clock. Mind if I make myself a drink?” I really didn’t believe it would have mattered if I had approved or disapproved because he had already reached the bar and when he was informed he could not “make his drink” but that Mickey would be happy to serve him, he ordered a Jack-and-coke.

Mickey smiled at Ed and went about making the requested drink. It was quite obvious to anyone who would take the time to notice that my dear Mickey found half of our current guests (we only had one couple) to be almost repulsive. Mickey had interesting senses about people in general. They were almost ferral in their depths, and quite accurate usually.

I had not seen anyone get under Mickey’s skin so deeply so quickly. It had been quite a while since I had seen disgust in Mickey about any of our guests.

With the husband safely tucked away at the bar, I decided it would be a good opportunity to speak with the wife, but not before doing a little research. Mr. James obviously knew very little about what Mrs. James did and cared little for her writing. I thought it prudent to see what she had had published. It would be a shame to be entertaining a potential Pulitzer Prize recipient or the up-and-coming new Stephen King and be totally ignorant of it.

I am sorry all for the delay in getting this out to you today, but Hubby has been playing on the computer ALL day and am just now able to post this for your reading enjoyment.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Day, As It Ends

I could have sincerely done without today. It has been physically and emotionally painful and I really just want it to end and life to somehow miraculously get better. Yeah, I know, it isn't going to work that way.

Did manage to get down some words on NWP yesterday and not one single jot today.

I feel as if I am falling into a gigantic vat of black goo and it is going to try its best to eat me whole. The only ray of sunshine I have is the NWP, and books. Reading voraciously right now. Have even started keeping the old journal of "books read" and little notes about each one.

Does peace and security exist or is it just a fairy tale we adults are fed to keep us going, keep us moving in some semblance of a forward direction? Does it matter that the forward direction zig zags and backtracks upon itself just as much as it advances forward each with an agonizingly slow pace?

Don't worry, Dear Readers, tomorrow there is fiction (fingers crossed) from M. Davenport.

Recipe Tuesday

I am in love with cooking pockets. Here is one I came up with for fish.

tilapia, 2 per person
4 garlic cloves
1/2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
salt to taste
red pepper flakes, to taste

On a piece of aluminum foil sprinkle a little extra virgin olive oil. Salt and lightly pepper the fish with red pepper flakes (more if that is your taste). Peel two garlic cloves and give them a tap to smash them a little. Place one between the pieces of fish and one on top of the fish. Put the butter right on top and close the foil. Bake in a preheated oven at 375* oven until done. Usually takes no longer than 20 minutes.

Serve hot with rice, a salad and or some wonderful green beans. Tasty and healthy. I like that.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Poetry Monday

One of Those Days
By. H.A. Handy
Copyright (c) 2006 by H.A. Handy

Too hot outside
Too cold inside
No hot coffee
Too much stuff is in the floor
Life goes on
It whirls at you like
A propeller of chainsaws
It's one of those days.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Drugged Thoughts

I am trying an experiment - I am going to attempt to make a contemplative post, or funny post, or just a post every day along with all of the other things appearing on The News.

In looking back at today I find myself being quite thoughtful. Today is the Feast of Transfiguration. This is when Christ went up onto the mountain with Peter, James, and John and was transfigured before them and Moses and Elijah appeared.

It is also the Blessing of the First Fruits. As its name suggests, it is the blessing given to farmers with their "first fruits" of the harvest. My husband took in a couple of peppers, his resume', and I took in my NWP saved to disk just for this purpose.

When the "first fruits" were blessed I felt relaxed and heavy. I knew this novel was getting done and would reach the October deadline set for it. I also knew this one has the best chance of them all at this point. It fills me with a sense of responsibility and creativity. It makes me feel like the writer I am supposed to be.

Had to take some of my stronger medications today when I got home. My right leg has hurt so much and so badly today I actually asked if we could go home. I don't do that, as in NEVER. Now, I am going to lay down and try and get my body back into some semblance of good.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

A Married Saturday

Today has been one of those days where hubby and I have just sat and watched movies and things we had recorded for the week on the DVR. Exciting, I know. This was one of those "married" Saturdays you never plan or expect, but enjoy profusely when they arrive.

There were points today where we sat in the same room and chatted while a movie played in the background and I jotted things down in my journal. There were other times where neither of us said anything for several seconds, perhaps minutes, and we were both quite pleased and relaxed with the silence.

Neither of us wanted to cook so we ordered Chinese in and ate and watched movies on the TV and enjoyed the moment without worry of it repeating or if we were going to do anything later on.

Friends called and asked us to get out and go shopping late and we begged off this time because neither of us wanted to leave the confines of our nest.

Nest, that feels like a good word to use for today. It was a "nesting" day, a day where we were content to be only with each other. Happy to be sharing space together, and familiar enough with each other that we didn't need words all the time.

It wasn't one of those romantic, cuddling days where all we wanted to do was cuddle on the couch or in the bed and watch TV. It wasn't one of those days where we wanted to get out and have a date and do something nifty with each other, or anyone else for that matter. It was a day of being married and being happy with the person we are married to.

I thought about this some today. It surprised me how easily we were together, and how quiet we could be, and not feel separate. Feeling separate does come sometimes, but that is usually when one of us is dealing with an issue we haven't talked about with each other, and dread the moment when we do. Today was nice.

Not "nice" in the negative sort of way. You know what I mean, when someone says someone else is "nice" you know they are pretty much a bland person, or haven't really shown their character or personality yet. But, NICE...that "nice" where everything is just as it is supposed to be and everything is quiet. Nice. Like when a guy sees another guys car and says appreciatively "Nice." Today has been like that - a nice nesting day.

Yeah, a good day. A day you can sink your teeth into and enjoy fully and look back on with nothing but smiles and happiness.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Sometimes There Is No Pleasing The Man

Yesterday's News was a bit long. Sorry. To be honest, though, I thoroughly enjoyed writing that piece. Hopefully some of the good natured fun I was having shows through.

Today the News could be filled with many little entries. I am not at all sure quite yet.

Husbands are sometimes horribly hard to please or understand. I know they say the same things about us wives.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Bad Guy Being Rescued

originally uploaded by hahwriter.
It just hit me a after reading my very lengthy post that I did not have a photo of the bad guy! How silly of me. So, here he is, Mr. Own Davien. Yeah, wouldn't want to meet him on a cold winter's night near an alley wearing a warm coat. I don't believe it would matter if he had a coat or not. Nasty fellow. Nasty.

The Migraine Scene


Last night I saw Mission Impossible III. I am not a big fan of the Mission Impossible movies, even though Tom Cruise is handsome and really has to be in good shape to play in these movies. The series I adored and still watch the re-runs of. The series was more of a team effort, not just one agent with everyone else supporting him alone. There was a lot of action and adventure, and even a pretty good story surrounding Ethan Hunt, Cruise's character. I enjoyed the movie. I did not love the movie and want to own it afterwards. I am even glad I was able to see it on the big screen. I guess you could say I am luke warm where this movie is concerned . . . except for one scene.

In the movie, Ethan Hunt is trying to get out of the IMF (the Impossible Missions Force) and wants a life with his fiance' who ends up being his wife (Julia Meade played by Michelle Monaghan). A superior informs him that the one person Hunt trained and even recommended for a job had been taken hostage. This one person is Lindsey Farris (Keri Russell). A pretty blond. Hunt's mission, if he chose to accept it, was to get her out and get her back to the states. She was being held in Germany by a really nasty man by the name of Owen Davien who was played by Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Davien is the kind of guy who tortures for fun. How do we know? Because he tells Hunt what he did to Agent Farris was "fun." Yeah, he's a bad, bad man. Perhaps it is needless to say, Ethan Hunt and his team (the only returning member is Ving Rhames as Luther) get the girl and after giving her a massive dose of adrenaline straight to the heart, get her to a helicopter just as she begins to go into serious pain where her head is concerned just as a pretty good helicopter chase ensues. Luckily for Lindsey Farris, Hunt tells her, "This is adrenaline. And you're going to feel it."

Hunt, using a gadget, discovers an electrical charge implanted in her head. It is priming and preparing to go off. The only way to save her? To shock her heart with a defibrillator and then shock her again to bring her back. Piece of cake. Or it would have been had it not been for the helicopter chasing them and shooting nasty missiles. Hunt gets the onboard defibrillator and has to wait for it to charge, as well as save a team member from falling out of the helicopter. Just as the charge is counting down at three seconds, the explosive charge goes off in Farris' pretty blond head and she is no more. There is angst in the helicopter and on the ground. Farris' death is covered by a car crash on I-95. The chewing out Hunt and his superior Musgrave (Billy Crudup) by Lawrence Fishburn as Theodore Brassel is not pleasant.

Hunt gets the bright idea of going and capturing Davien and without authorization plans on kidnapping the fellow while he is in the Vatican at a charity function of some kind. (We never know what the charity function is for and the Pope is never seen, which I found to be a little odd.) Of course Hunt and team do exactly as they have planned, capture Davien and on the transport plan back to the states Davien tells Hunt, "You know what I'm going to do don't you? I am going to get her, the woman, and I am going to make her cry, and bleed, and make her call out your name. Then I am going to kill you in front of her. Remember your friend in Germany? That was fun. Fun." For some reason I believed this character when he said it. He was cold. Scary cold.

When Hunt and team land and Davien is placed in a transport van the convoy begins easily. It doesn't last. There is a drone that begins shooting missiles. A helicopter filled with black clad, German speaking mercenaries who have only one agenda - free Davien. They do.

Once Davien is free, Hunt begins a mad race to the hospital where Julia works before Davien's henchmen can get to her. There is only seconds, perhaps minutes between the time when Davien is rescued and Julia goes missing. Davien has connections somewhere it seems.

Hunt is captured by Brassel because he, Hunt, is considered to be a rogue agent. Musgrave helps him escape and sends Hunt's team to him in China where Davien has said that he will spare Julia's life if he gets this thing code-named "The Rabbit's Foot." It is a biological agent.

Hunt and team succeed. Hunt takes "The Rabbit's Foot" to Davien who has him get into the back of a spiffy white limo and a vial of nasty brown liquid where Hunt is told, "Drink it. No questions." He does. Passes out. When he wakes, there is a nasty looking man there saying "Good morning" as he shoves something that looks like an ear-piercer up Hunt's nose and pulls a trigger. Hunt passes out again. When he wakes again, Julia is across from him with Davien beside her, and Davien has a gun. It does not look good.

Davien keeps asking where The Rabbit's Foot is and Hunt tells him, "I gave it to you." Davien keeps asking. Hunt keeps trying to buy Julia time. Davien shoots Julia in the leg. Hunt is racking his brain trying to come up with an answer. Davien says, quietly, almost placidly, "I am going to count to ten and if you have not told me what I want to know I am going to shoot her when I reach ten." Hunt has nothing else to tell Davien. He broke into a top-secret Chinese lab, stole the biological agent requested, nearly got killed in Shanghai traffic a dozen times over chasing the thing when it slipped out of his hands, had drank the icky brown stuff, and given, as far as he knew, Davien the correct thing!

Davien reaches ten. Julia dies. Hunt is more than devastated. More than shocked. Davien walks away and at the door begins whispering to a man we cannot see.


Before Davien is "removed" from IMF custody and Julia is taken, Hunt and Luther de-code a microchip Farris had sent to Hunt. It was a video message that said she thought Brassel had set her up! Yeah, the man top guy! The guy who wanted Davien caught so bad he couldn't hardly sleep at night!

It isn't Brassel who sits down across from Hunt. It is Musgrave. I thought that was a pretty good plot twist. He begins grilling Hunt on whether or not Farris bought his snow job that Brassel was trying to set her up. Did anyone else have a clue it was him or was everyone still buying that it was Brassel? Musgrave gets up and goes over to Julia. "Don't touch her!" Hunt roars. Musgrave rips the tape from off of Julia's mouth and part of a mask comes off too! It isn't Julia, it is Davien's assistant. The assistant he blamed for him getting caught in Rome!

Musgrave tells Hunt Julia is alive, but won't be for long, unless they get the information they need from Hunt. After talking to Julia to verify she is indeed Julia and is indeed alive Hunt escapes in a cool way. See the movie. It's cool. It isn't all that plausible, but it is Mission Impossible after all.

Big run through Shanghai. As I said, Tom Cruise really needs to be in shape for these movies. He flat out booked it through a good portion of this movie. I know there are tapings in movies, but he had to be in good shape none-the-less to do these things.

Hunt finds Julia! She is alive! She is tied and handcuffed and duct taped across the mouth. Hunt grabs his head. He looks like he is having a migraine. Now the movie becomes very interesting for me because I have been fighting migraines off and on for an entire week. The bad ones where all you can do is lay down and pray it goes away, or you die. There isn't much choice it feels like when they are that bad. Ethan Hunt/Tom Cruise looked like that. Davien tells Hunt, "I've activated the charge in your head. Remember what I said? She was going to bleed?" Shot of Julia. She has a few bruises and a few abrasions. So she has bled. "She was going to call your name?" Shot of Julia as Davien rips off the duct tape. She begins asking Ethan what's going on, and calling his name as Davien begins to beat the absolute crap out of Ethan hunt.

Hunt begins fighting back. Hunt gets more crap beat out of him. "Remember how I said I was going to kill you in front of her? Well, I'm going to kill her in front of you," Davien says and begins walking back toward the gun lying on the floor. Hunt looks at Julia. Julia looks at Hunt. There is calm trust in her eyes. Hunt charges Davien and the beatings are reversed.

However, as Hunt is giving Davien his beating, he is grabbing his head. He is using his elbows. He is fighting in a brutish, lethal fashion I can easily see a person with a migraine fighting with! I sat there and watched this scene and kept thinking, "Kill him for all of us who have those damnable things! He gave you yours on purpose! Get him! Get him!" I wanted to scream it out loud! I wanted to jump up and down and hoot and holler! But I didn't. I felt like it. But I didn't.

Hunt kills Davien.

Hunt frees Julia. Shows her how to take the safety off of the gun and reload it and gives her an extra clip. "Point and shoot. That's all it is. Point and shoot. Identify your target and point and shoot." All the while he is telling her this he is rigging a basin with water and turning on and off a power switch. When he has done all of this he explains he has a charge in his head and as he sits down on the floor he says, "I am going to die unless you kill me." I chuckled. Julia's response was, "What?" Yeah, I can see it. "Turn it on, then off. You can bring me back. Don't forget the off." As Julia begins to turn on the switch while Hunt is holding live wires (or soon to be live wires) he says, "Wait! Wait!....I love you. Don't forget the off."

Switch is thrown. Switch is off. Ethan Hunt is dead on the floor. Bad guys are coming. If Julia Meade had never held a gun before she did some mighty fine shooting and took out a miscellaneous mook and Musgrave to boot before beginning resuscitation procedures. It is looking as if Hunt may be no more. Then, voila! He is alive! Julia is in his arms! A gun is in his hand pointing at the dead Musgrave! "You did that?" he says, very bemused, quite proud.

Julia finds out Hunt is a member of the IMF. Hunt is given an interesting set of papers by Brassel. Hunt and Julia head off on their way to their honeymoon. Roll credits.

Yeah, the best part of the movie for me was the migraine scene. It was retribution. If someone purposely gave me a migraine, yeah, I'd go off on their ass too.


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Catching Up on the Flip Side

Sorry about no recipe for yesterday all. It was dang hot here. In fact, it was SO hot (how hot was it) the Internet connection became quite wonky. Now that my friends, is hot.

Also because of heat, we do not have the next installment for "The Sleepy Hollow Inn" because M. Davenport's AC went out and Davenport is now recovering from heat exhaustion while trying to repair it and Davenport's computer is at the computer doctor trying to recover some of its files so we can indeed have the next installment of the story!

It appears heat is the topic for many blog subjects recently. I have visited my usual ones and I can say "heat" appeared quite a lot in the subject line. For myself I didn't think it was that hot and unbearable. The dogs needed to go outside so I just went out there and sat for a little while and some things came to my attention that made me quite grateful for the AC we have here at the house. Namely, the birds.

I am a big fan of listening to the birds and providing them with as much seed and water as I can. Today, while sitting outside and being very grateful to be warm and happy I noticed the jar flies were quite lazy and not at all loud. Only a few hearty souls were there to make their summer song. A lone monarch butterfly came swooping in to the gardenias planted in the pots along my ramp and I was still caught by how they flew: it looks as if butterflies sometimes are tied to a string and someone is pulling it up and down in a jerky fashion to make the wings move and thus keep their adrift. The big thing though, was the absence of bird song. The trees were a droopy green and all around me was shade. I saw birds sitting quietly with their bills open and their wings dropping in the mulberry tree, but not one peep or warble was heard. A lone cardinal male came swooping in from a neighbor's tree looking for a possible hand out, or maybe just shade, because he looked to make sure me and the dogs were not a direct threat and then headed for the shade of the bamboo.

Me and the girls came inside, drank us a hearty amount of water and then settled down with the air conditioning. It felt good to be comfortable and I am going to try and make sure Hubby can put some water out there for the birds. I just don't know in what yet. I miss hearing them sing. That makes me happy. It means summer. Summer is indeed here, now we just need to help the little birds wet their pretty sounding whistles. For all of the heat though, and the current absence of bird song, I am still most thrilled it is summer.