I loved Firefly. Still do. I’m not quite as huge a fan of the movie Serenity.
I’m relieved that, thanks to the near-miraculous success of a grassroots fan campaign (“Can’t stop the signal!”), a movie was made that squared away the plot mysteries of Joss Whedon’s futuristic fantasy space universe show, but Serenity is vastly different in tone. In the movie, the crew have to risk everything to save everybody, and death doesn’t just lurk around every corner: it jumps out and claims victims. Serenity is anything but serene.
My husband and I recently re-watched the series on Blu-ray. Some of the dialog is memorable enough that even now we can speak it along with the characters. The characters and the pretend space-frontier setting felt thoroughly familiar and welcoming.
What is it about this fragment of a season of a show that makes it so lovable, so enduring? Say what you want about Joss Whedon, he has the ability to create people and places that we truly wish existed—and somehow, that makes them real, or real enough.
This bookshop in Clementi does not sell ANY books.
None. Zero. Not even the bestsellingest of the bestsellers, like you’d find in an airport.
What does it sell? A third of the shop is electronics, another third is stationery, and the last third is full of rectangular objects that are made from paper, ink, and glue and resemble books but are actually test-preparation materials, created for the sole purpose of keeping up with the Joneses—or rather, getting ahead of the Lees and the Tans.
I scowl but I feel like wailing.
THIS is what a bookstore should look like.
That’s the Barnes & Noble near where my parents live. It’s not the biggest bookstore in the city. It’s just a bookstore. One of many—a couple dozen, at the very least.
Okay, so probably all those retail bookstores are struggling, and maybe someday, possibly even soon, Barnes & Noble will die. Certainly many companies have fallen and will fall before the might of the mighty Amazon.
What Barnes & Noble will certainly never do, however, is turn into some sort of awkward amalgamation of Best Buy, Staples, and Kumon.
Hopefully other Popular stores in Singapore will continue to sell books as well as electronics, stationery, and test prep stuff. The one at Marine Parade still does.
Here she is launching her book at Kinokuniya, Singapore’s best-known downtown bookstore. She answered questions posed by another writer friend, Elaine Chiew, read an excerpt aloud, answered audience questions, and signed and sold all the copies she brought with her. It went great!
On the way into the store, I noticed Jo’s book on one of the tables in the aisle. She’s in good company, wouldn’t you say?
What should have been a twenty-four-hour, three-airport trip from Atlanta to Singapore turned into a thirty-plus-hour, five-airport trip.
I watched another seven-and-a-half movies.
The reason my trip got longer was that at some point while we were flying over Canada, someone on the plane had a stroke. We backtracked to Minneapolis/St. Paul to get him off the plane and then the plane had to be refueled and paperwork filled out.
I missed my connecting flight at Tokyo Narita Airport because of the delay. Delta issued new tickets, but I had to collect my luggage and wait for Delta to put me on a bus to the Tokyo Haneda Airport (about an hour away). Delta gave me about $20 in meal vouchers which I used to buy a nice dinner at a katsu restaurant.
It was a lot of extra travel time, but it wasn’t really so bad for me. I spoke with a guy who had been on a flight from Florida to Atlanta before being re-routed on the flight from Atlanta to Narita, and his new flight to Seoul took off a couple of hours after mine.
Obviously the one with the worst luck was the man with the stroke. I hope he’s okay…
I remember what they said to us at Mammoth Cave: once you start the tour, there is no magic button to get you out if something goes wrong underground. Similarly, it takes time to come back from the sky when something goes wrong on a plane.
Pfft. The movie was just one huge, holy mess of CGI action scenes.
Also, how the heck are Metropolis and Gotham like just across the bay from each other? Gotham is undeniably New York City, and I always thought Metropolis was Chicago. Surely they can’t BOTH be New York?
Also, I’m tired of plots built on the idea that the public has turned the tables on heroes and has started criticizing them for their actions. The first few times you could argue that it’s necessary and interesting, but does every superhero movie have to be like that now?
Also, The Lego Batman Movie handles pretty much all the same themes that this one does, but it’s fun to watch—and this one wasn’t.
I’m glad I watched it, because I watched the movie before it (Man of Steel) and after it (Wonder Woman), and there was a kind of gap in the overall story, and now there isn’t. Wait, that’s not true… I still haven’t watched Suicide Squad. I didn’t realize that was part of the DCEU timeline.