Friday, October 1, 2010

Dangerous situations

Today I had two "What the hell am I DOING???" moments.

You know the ones, where you start doing something that seems perfectly reasonable and safe at the time, and then all of a sudden it hits you that this may possibly be one of the stupidest things you've ever done? Those times.

I was riding in the car, and we were going around a bend, and I said to myself, "Holy crap. I have put myself in a very small thing on wheels, going like a hundred and ten miles an hour on a very skinny patch of road. Why on earth have I done this? Am I an idiot? The possibilities that this thing will crash and I will DIE seem very likely at this point in time. The ancient Romans would probably never have done something this stupid. I mean, alright, they thought it was smart to throw criminals in to fight with lions for everyone to watch, but honestly, if you think about it, this is not that much less stupid than that was."

Which brings me to my second "What the hell am I DOING????" moment.

I was petting my dog, and it occurred to me, "Wow. What if my dog suddenly realizes that in actual fact, I am not nearly as nice to her as I am to most of my people-friends (although admittedly I rarely snuggle with my people friends) and that, if she wanted, she could kill me (assuming that while my dog is smart enough to realize this, she is not smart enough to realize that she would probably not have any food if I were dead) or at least that she could bite my hand off to teach me to be far nicer and not ignore her."

This may seem like paranoia, particularly the second, but I think one should have these moments of paranoia every so often, to remind oneself how utterly bizarre (and sometimes idiotic) the things we do really are.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Love the Way You Lie

A couple days ago I listened to Eminem's 'Love the Way You Lie', featuring Rihanna. I really quite enjoyed it, despite it's being horribly depressing.

Essentially, I believe it's about a couple in an abusive relationship who fight (I mean REALLY fight) and then make up and have a FANTASTIC period, and then fight again. Another one of those instances where the only thing standing in the way of their love is the fact that they can't stand each other, and the only thing standing in the way of them breaking up is the face that they really really love each other.

And then I watched the music video. And I spent the majority of it going, 'Okay. This is good. I like this. And that is clearly Megan Fox, but who the HECK is the guy with her? I KNOW him."

So I went and looked it up - the music video is starring Megan Fox, and Dominic Monaghan, probably better known as Meriadoc Brandybuck in Lord of the Rings.

I'm sorry, Dominic Monaghan? It's not that I object to his being in it, per se, as he does a good job, and I think upon watching the video I felt what I was supposed to feel. (revulsion and attraction) And it's not that I have anything against people who were in family films doing adult stuff. But I'm trying hard to imagine Eminem's thought processes with this.

Eminem: Hmm, who would be PERFECT to be the guy in my abusive-yet-passionate relationship? I KNOW! Everyone's always wanted to see their favourite hobbit beating up his girlfriend, stealing alcohol, and smashing walls! Let's destroy some childhood memories!!!!! YAY!!!

However, I am morbid and I love to wallow in melancholy, so of course I like the video. Go watch it if you too are morbid and melancholic.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Favorite characters

I was browsing the Intranet (Which is how it should always be spelled or pronounced. Intranet.) today, and I saw someone making a list of their favorite literary characters. I thought I would do the same.
THIS WAS FREAKING DIFFICULT. I have far too many favorite characters.

Anyway, here we go.


10. DEATH - Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels

9. The Colonel - Looking for Alaska
He is much less well known than any of the others. I would hope that the brilliance of John Green's dialogue would remedy that - alas, I suspect that the Colonel's love of certain four-letter words will do little to recommend him. Critics have described Pudge (the MC) as a modern-day Holden Caulfield, but I think the Colonel is far more similar. I hate Holden Caulfield with a passion, but I think his temperament works better as a side character than a main. As stated before, John Green writes brilliant dialogue, and the Colonel never fails to make me laugh and make me cry.

8. Viola - Twelfth Night
Some of her speeches are simply beautiful. I think Twelfth Night, like a great many of Shakespeare's plays, is a play about love - however, I think Twelfth Night is the play with the most variation of love. There is obsessive love, loyal love, master/servant love, friendship love, sexual love, married love, and of course, sibling love. I adore the notion that Viola is not merely dressing as a man because she has to, but because it is somehow keeping her brother alive. It is also a play about secrets - Viola has a bizarre secret, but fortunately she is living in a world full of even weirder secrets. She is also very fun to play. I am someone who thoroughly enjoys playing both males and females, and in this part I got to be BOTH.

7. Gollum/Smeagol - The Lord of the Rings
I still say that Gollum is bipolar, and for some reason people laugh at me when I say this. I don't mean to be funny - Gollum IS bipolar. I love the simplicity of the character, and, at the same time, the complexity. I love how everyone seems to forget here's there, even when they're sitting right beside him, and then suddenly, he'll do something frightening or clever. I love his anticlimactic death - it's so fitting for such an anticlimactic character. And it makes me happy that, for a few moments at the end he was reunited with the ring.

6. Moritz Steifel - Spring Awakening
In both the musical and the play, Moritz never fails to astound. His quiet, frightened demeanor gives way to a startling, blazing happiness whe he realizes he has his promotion - but even the happiness seems harsh and frightening. There is something desperate about it, like a drowning rat. Moritz's final scene, rather than breaking my heart, makes it sing for him. Moritz is at his most vividly alive at this moment. He is the most filled with passion at the moment when all he is trying to do is run away from his passion. It is a beautiful scene, and I envy the actor who gets to perform it a thousand-fold.

5. Emilia - Othello
Emilia is a very different character from Viola. Viola, for all that has happened to her, still retains much of her innocence and sweetness. Emilia has none. Probably due to being married to Iago, she has a harsh, cruel view of marraige and life in general. Her husband neglects her, caring only for his plans. The only person whom Emilia seems to genuinely care about is Desdemona. In Shakespeare, there are shockingly few tender scenes between two women. All the scenes between women are generally comic, as in Twelfth Night or Merry Wives of Windsor, or horribly tragic, as in Titus Andronicus. The duologue between Desdemona and Emilia toward the end of the play manages to be sweet and loving, despite the content being very frank. Emilia reveals some of herself to Desdemona, showing her pain and anger at her husband. Desdemona, innocent thing that she is, does not know what Emilia is talking about, but sings a song to her about a woman whose husband is unfaithful. Emilia's death scene recalls this scene, and made me cry. I also love how Emilia is willing to, and does, fight for the death for what she believes in, despite two very powerful men (Othello and Iago) telling her that her input doesn't matter.

4. Stephen Maturin - The Aubrey-Maturin novels
If you know me well, I'm sure you've heard me yammer on about Jack-and-Stephen. My profile picture is of Stephen. But allow me, now, to explain myself. Stephen Maturin is a perfectly well rounded character, mostly because he is based off of his author. He is short and unattractive, oblivious to proper etiquette, a wonderful physician, a wonderful spy, and an avid naturalist. But the thing that makes Stephen one of my favorite characters is primarily his relationship with Jack Aubrey. They are so dissimilar in almost every way - Jack lives very much in his time, he is one of the last great heroes of the olden days. Stephen is what could probably be called a 'modern man' - he thinks that many of the things that Jack does foolish and old-fashioned. Jack is a sailor. I suspect that salt water runs in his veins instead of blood, and he is hopeless on land. Stephen is... not a sailor. Very much not. He is clever and quick on land, and a complete idiot at sea. The only thing they have in common is their passionate love of music. Jack plays the violin. Stephen plays the cello. They have not known each other very long, but they have been through so much together that they share a very special bond. Stephen calls Jack by a number of endearments, such as 'my dear', 'brother', and 'joy'. It is a rare literary friendship they share - there are not many books about two middle aged men, unrelated, who share such a tender bond, especially in such and action-filled book.

3. Mercutio - Romeo and Juliet
I have heard many people say that Romeo and Juliet are not the stars of the play. And it is true. Shakespeare had to kill off Mercutio, or the sweet, arrogant, and unbalanced character would have stolen the show. Mercutio's death marks the moment when the play turns from a comedy to a tragedy. That this alive young man should be lying dead is shattering. He is this play's Moritz - his death plunges all the other characters into turmoil. My theory on the special insanity of Mercutio is complex, and sounds somewhat cheesy. Nevertheless: I think that Mercutio's being - his soul, his 'self', whatever you want to call it - is too big for his body. Your average person has their inner self all nice and contained, being controlled by their brain. Mercutio's being, too big for him, whirls round and round, bringing new thoughts and ideas far too fast. This causes him to be slightly... off. So he talks and talks, and with his stunning thought processes, by the time he's finished his speech, he's forgotten where it started.

2. Iago - Othello
Who hasn't been fascinated by Iago. Millions before have searched for a motive in him (other than the ones Shakespeare gave, which, apparantly, just aren't good enough.) Why do / love Iago? I could expound on his fascinating qualities, and behave like I actually know what I'm talking about, but the fact remains that the real, or at least a major reason that I love him is this: He's sexy. Now, watch me as I try not to seem shallow. It has nothing to do with appearance. Richard III has the same qualities. He's a seductive, smooth villain, and he comes to us and seemingly opens his heart, confiding what appear to be his deepest wishes, most secret thoughts. And we willingly follow him as he dupes Othello, horrified and entranced by how clever Iago is, but thinking secretly all the while that we would not be so easily fooled. And then, at some point, it clicks. We HAVE been easily fooled. Iago is dragged in at the end, and goodness knows what we are expecting, but it is not this. stripped of his soft, talkative, sexy exterior, Iago is now hard, and remorseless, and...silent. This is perhaps the most disconcerting quality of the deposed Iago. We expect Shakespearian characters to talk to us - it is something we learn very early. Shakespeare's characters like to talk. So Iago's harsh, cold silence is immensely worrying to us. We wait for him to shout that he was only kidding about not talking, but the shout never comes. Everyone onstage has stopped paying attention to him, but we are waiting for him to talk. Iago never fails to trick us. Every singly time I expect the ending to be different. I don't think anyone expects Iago to go though with it. When he comes on in the final scene, you imagine he's angry because he never intended Desdemona to die - but when he stabs Emilia, and when he dragged on for that final moment, you realize that he's not remorseful - he's angry because he got caught. He changes from a delightful villain (the kind where you purr 'he's sooooooo evil!') to someone genuinely scary.

1. Mrs Lovett - Sweeney Todd
Part of the reason is just Sondeim's music. It's beautiful. I also love her because she can be played so many different ways, as proved by Angela Lansbury, Patti Lupone, and Helena Bonham Carter.
Angela Lansbury plays her very silly, flighty, and talkative. This enhances the feeling that Mrs Lovett was just as fooled as everyone else by Sweeney's plan - to her it was almost fun, and she never caught on that it was PEOPLE in those pies.
In the concert version, Patti Lupone plays her very jittery and, frankly, somewhat insane. This gives the feeling that Mrs Lovett has seen many things more horrible than people baked in pies, and it has damaged her permanently. This Mrs Lovett, as well, never seems to realize what, exactly, she and Sweeney are doing.
Helena Bonham Carter played her very knowledgeable - as though Mrs Lovett knows the whole time what will come of these shenanigans, but she is willing to continue with them because she loves Sweeney so much.
Part of the other reason I love Mrs Lovett is her relationship with Sweeney. Neither looks capable of multiple murders. In 'A Little Priest', they are downright cute. It shows, like Sondheim says in the final reprise of 'The Ballad of Sweeney Todd', that Sweeney is not a uniquely horrible person. ANYONE could snap that way. Few people know the lengths that human beings will go to for love. The coupling of Mrs Lovett and Sweeney gives the air of people who have to make it work - nothing's perfect, but we do what we have to. They are two lost souls, thrown together under unusual circumstances, and this is the root of their love. I think Sweeney does love Mrs Lovett, in a way. She is not Lucy, but she is there, and she is helping him, and she is a constant in his life. This is why her betrayal is all the more painful - because she was the only thing in his life that he could count on.

That is all. I hope you enjoyed it. What are YOUR favorite characters?????

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Lady Gaga


Seriously. I managed to go nearly seventeen years of my life without hearing any Lady Gaga, ever. You would think they would play her in stores more often, but apparently not.

Anyway, I likes it. I enjoy Lady Gaga. It is RIDICULOUSLY catchy. RIDICULOUSLY.

Also, people keep telling me how weird her music videos are and how they make no sense unless you're high. I have never been high, but I don't find them THAT strange. I find Owl City's Fireflies a lot stranger and no-sense-making.

One thing that is strange but nice about the Telephone music video is: Most music videos follow the story of the song exactly. In Telephone, it has it's own weird story, and they just happen to sing Telephone. This is quite nice and original.

As far as I can see, the story of Telephone goes thus:

Lady Gaga is in jail. We do not know why she is in jail, but it is presumably just for being Lady Gaga. She enjoys some experiences typical to all female jail-cells, such as fighting and kissing and fooling around with Caution Tape. Then she gets a phone call from her boyfriend, whom she does not like. She wishes her boyfriend would stop calling her.

Then Beyonce shows up and bails her out. They drive away in a spectacular red truck that I want. They are in LURVE and have some sort of plan. This is adorable.

They go to a diner, where Beyonce's boyfriend is. He is, in no uncertain terms, an absolute jerk. So Beyonce poisons him, and, with some help from Lady Gaga's mad sandwich making skillz, they also poison the rest of the diner. Then they dance in American Flag underwear, to celebrate their mass-killing.

Then, after changing their clothes yet again, to some cool beekeeping/wedding dress things, they drive into the sunset, holding hands. This is adorable, and, I must admit, I got warm fuzzies.

The only confusion I had was why they had to poison the rest of the diner - but presumably they had done something to make Beyonce and Lady Gaga very very angry, and we all know you don't mess with Beyonce and Lady Gaga.

As far as I can see, most of Lady Gaga's music vids are STRANGE, but not ridiculously so. I mean, I have seen many a music video that is contains far stranger things than Lady Gaga dancing in her fantastic outfits.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Super powers and Script Frenzy

First new post in a while!

So I was just reading my friend Daniel's blog, ( and someone asked him: If you could have a superpower, what would it be? He said, 'fly invisibly'.

Why does everyone say fly? (No offense, Daniel. I understand that yours was probably a snide commentary on how often people say those two things) Why? Everyone says fly. Seriously? I was watching something recently that had a very good answer:

If you could fly, scientists would catch you and lock you up and dissect you, to find out what the heck makes you fly and how they can do it too. Yes. They would.

After watching District 9, it is apparent to me that scientists dissecting you is not a happy ending, and not something to desire.

So if I had a superpower, it would be the ability to find things, people, and the end of awkward silences.

This month is Script Frenzy! A whole lot of people write a 100 page script in a month! Huzzah!

Anyway, mine is turning out very well, except it's too short. I killed off another character today... now I have three left, and eighty-one pages to go.

What is my play about? It is about Death, True Love, Coming of Age, Kick-Ass fighting, and there's a twist ending.

Actually that's not true, but I figure you're more likely to read and/or perform it if I say that then if I say, 'it's a macabre surrealist commentary on realism and the structure of our day-to-day lives.' Plus I sound incredibly pretentious the second way. But it INCLUDES Death, True Love, and Kick-Ass fighting. Fighting, anyway. Someone hits someone else. And then stabs them repeatedly in the throat with a knife.

Am I morbid? Does this sound morbid to you? Good.

Oh, I forgot! It's a musical. The book of a musical, at any rate, because I discovered that I am crap at writing music and/or lyrics. But it can't not be a musical, because the plot revolves around it being a musical.

Ooo, and none of the characters have specified genders or names. Do you have any idea how hard it is to write a play without having any of the characters say the words 'he/she, his/her, him/her, girl/guy'? No, I thought not. And they aren't named, they're labled as #1,#2,#3,#4,#5,#6, and #7. And before you ask, NO, it's not called "Seven". It's called "; the musical". Pronounced "semicolon the musical".

Anyway, that's all. The end. Goodbye.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


For the last few weeks, I had a... well, I suppose it would be a part time job, because, even though i actually worked there full time, it only lasted for two weeks. So part time.

It was at a university bookstore, and I discovered something.

Being a cashier is one of the most fake, intimate, thought-provoking, and generally enlightening things ever. Plus it builds nerve and people skills.


FAKE: The entire experience is fake. I don't really care all that much if these people are doing well. I don't care if they have a nice day. I don't know them. I like them, I suppose, but if they are having a horrible day, then the only way it will affect me is if they are nasty to me. And then I won't like them anyway.

INTIMATE: Despite being, on the surface, fake, it is also incredibly intimate. Most of them give me their CREDIT CARD, which in today's culture, has and is nearly everything that represents them. I am holding and handling their credit card.

THOUGHT-PROVOKING: Generally all the things that make it intimate make it thought provoking. I am responsible for their happiness at this very moment. I could take a large amount of their money, forcing them to interrupt their day tomorrow and complain to Returns. I am powerful and knowledgeable in their eyes. I have the knowledge of The Cash Machine. The little tag around my neck gives me knowledge. It's kind of a scary thought.

ENLIGHTENING: it is a fantastic way to people-watch. I know a lot I didn't know about man in general. Unfortunately it is hard to put into words, and is more just a *feeling* of enlightenment.

NERVE AND PEOPLE SKILLS: I flagged down a waitress at a restaurant yesterday!!! This may not seem like much, but, having previously no nerve, I wouldn't have done it.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Years...

Happy New Years, all!

I have no resolutions. Is that sad? Yeah, it probably is. That or really arrogant.

Oh, wait. I'd really like to finish all my schoolwork by May. So that's one.

I can see where this is heading. I'm going to continue to write about my resolutions, and by the end of this post I will have lots. But frankly, I'm bored, and I don't want to talk about my lack of resolutions. We'll leave it at one.

Oh, oh, I just remembered something!!! Oh, I want to talk about it! Huzzah!

So basically, I was reading Famous Magazine, (I collect them. Because they're free and easy to get) and in the back they always have the magazine 'asking the readers' something. And this month (or actually it was December) they asked them:


And there were various comments. The first two I didn't know. The second two were, frankly, somewhat stupid. (Casablanca and Julie and Julia)

But the third... well, the third was spectacular.





Okay, first of all. Person, did you READ the script? The plot synopsis? The reviews? The TAGLINE? What about these things led you to believe that Sweeney + Lovett = true love and sexytimes?

Also, when has Sweeney + Lovett EVER equalled true love and sexytimes. That's right. Never. It always means throat-slitting-fest/human barbecue.

Now, maybe you meant Depp + Bonham-Carter = true love and sexytimes. But, in my experience, Depp + Bonham-Carter usually means that Tim Burton is doing something twisted, and he can't get anyone but his wife and Johnny Depp to do it.

Okay. And even if you went into the movie entirely unprepared, without ever seeing a movie, what about the REST of the movie made you think it would have a happy ending? Or, indeed, any ending other than throat-slitting-fest/human barbecue?

I could rant about this for hours, but I have to go to work. So tell me.

What do you think? Am I biased and irrational to assume that EVERYONE knows the ending to Sweeney Todd by looking at the poster? Did you guess the end (or at least that the end would be unhappy)?

Let me know.