Monday, December 13, 2010

I Don't Like MySpace

DISCLAIMER: I know many people out there are fans of MySpace, but I'm not one, as this song will show you. I hope you will respect my opinion on this matter, whether you agree or disagree with it. Enjoy!

To the tune of "I Don't Like Mondays" by the Boomtown Rats

The silicon chip inside my Mac
Gets switched to overload
No wonder it was blocked at school today
It's more than bad enough at home
And I never will understand it
'Cause kids said it was so cool
But I can see no reasons
That this site's is any fun
Why did I even to this site go?

That is why I don't like MySpace! (3x)
I wanna take the whole site down!

MySpace pages are just so busy
It just makes me wanna hurl
And, after all the shocks
My computer is locked
It's so against what I learned in Web school!
Used to think that my Web block reeked
I know now I wasn't missing anything
This dumb site I'm leavin'!
And I'm not returnin'!
This trash I do not need, oh!


Down, down, take it all down!

And, I'm going to go read a book now
Because I need to clear my busy mind!
Hey, the school is open for techno-learning
And the topic today is Web Design!
When MySpace they access
And their computer's crashin'
All that flashy stuff is exactly why!
And that's just one reason
Out of many reasons
Why MySpace really needs to die, die, oh...

'Cause the silicon chip inside my Dell
Got switched to overload
And, after I had to force restart
I won't go on there again!
And I never will understand it
'Cause the kids said it was so cool
But I can see no reasons
That this site's any fun
Why did I even to that site go?

That is why I don't like MySpace!
That is why I don't like, I don't like...
I wanna take the whole thing down!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

It's Electrifying!

Yes, I admit it; I watch the new version of The Electric Company. I've talked about watching it on Facebook, and none of my posts about it have gotten any replies. At first, I was only watching it because of Jenni Barber, the cute, Ashley Tisdale-esque blonde who portrays Lisa Heffenbacher. However, after watching it a few more times, I realized that its appeal is more than just who stars in it.
As usual for this blog, I'm going to take you back into past experiences I've had: From 1995 to 1999, I was a pretty avid computer game player. Most of the games I played were edutainment titles; that is, ones that were both educational and entertaining. I had everything from Dinosaur Safari (conceptually similar to Pokémon Snap, but with dinosaurs instead of "pocket monsters") to Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? (who doesn't remember that one?) to even Let's Explore the Airport. There was a edutainment software maker back then known as The Learning Company (TLC for short, though not in any way related to the cable TV channel) that made games that included both learning and arcade-style action. Looking back, I can say the plots were a bit, for lack of a better word, stupid. Midnight Rescue! involved you reading passages to get clues all the while taking pictures of robots in order to find out which one the Master of Mischief was hiding in, and if you lost, the school got covered in disappearing paint. (I think there were--and still are--a lot of kids who would love it if their school disappeared. Anyone remember "Deck the Halls with Gasoline"?) Spellbound! had you training for and then competing in a spelling bee against those same baddies. Treasure Cove! had you capturing sea stars, who, because of a spell, only spoke in riddles, to get clues to find gems and a puffer fish.
All those plots seem absurd, right? Well, those games' plots had a lasting effect on me. Seriously, even in recent years, I have watched some shows and movies with inane plots. Want a list? Princess (a 2008 ABC Family movie,) Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie, Bloodhounds, Inc.: The Ghost of KRZY, Dragon Ball: Evolution, Fred Claus, and there's probably others. So, the plot of each Electric Company episode (This guy is stealing all the Fs! Why is he doing it? He must be stopped!) doesn't bother me, because I've seen it all before. In some ways, plots like those, nonsensical as they are, remind me of my childhood, which was a much simpler time.
I'll end by saying this: You may think that it's wrong for me to watch things like The Electric Company. I can't help but disagree; I think that everyone, no matter what age, has an inner child, and he/she lives on well past the time we've reached adulthood. I've decided to completely embrace my inner child. If you don't like that...there's the door.

Friday, December 3, 2010

My Lifelong Love for Calendars

It's pretty much an annual tradition in my family: After Christmas, we go to a place that sells calendars--usually the calendar store in a nearby mall--and buy them for half off. My mom and I have both done that almost every year, if not every year, for at least the past decade. She usually gets a Thomas Kinkade one; I usually get something related to pop culture and/or trivia. Over the years, I have had calendars of everything from Scooby-Doo to Wallace and Gromit to Garfield to Hilary Duff to Jeopardy! to Digimon to Star Wars to Harry Potter to even iCarly.
Maybe I'm just weird, but I always look forward to buying calendars after Christmas (or getting them for Christmas.) They may not be high-tech gadgets, but they do look nice on my wall, and they don't take much effort to change every month. I will admit, sometimes the torn-off pages from Page-a-Day calendars (aka desk calendars) can make a mess, but I still like ones with trivia because they're fun.
Truth be told, I've actually found creative uses for calendars after they expire. One time--and this won't surprise those of you who knew me back then--at the beginning of 2005, I cut out all my favorite pictures from my 2004 Hilary Duff and Lizzie McGuire calendars (notice that's plural, because those were two separate calendars) and put them on my wall. I ended up taking them down in March, though, because that was when I made the switch to Anne Hathaway. Even beyond that, I once made a collage that consisted of cutouts from a Harry Potter calendar, as well as pictures of Facebook friends, and other random images.
Who knows? I might not be alone in my love for calendars. Some might say that I have a love for things that tell time, because I also have had many clocks and watches--mostly digital ones--over the years. In fact, it wasn't until recently when I became unable to use both wristwatches I had--the band broke on one, the battery went dead on the other--that I started using my cell phone as a timepiece. That's probably what everyone will be doing in the future, though; plenty of people of my generation started doing it well before I did.
Any comments?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Day 1 of 30: My Favorite Song

Now, this one is a bit tough. I have a number of songs I like, and right many that I love. I'll narrow it down to six, and give you the reasons why they are my favorites:
  1. "Above All" by Michael W. Smith: I've heard dozens of worship tunes in my time, but none has ever affected me in the way "Above All" did when I first heard it. I can still remember hearing it for the first time at a youth rally back in 2003, and feeling so moved, almost to tears. If you've heard it, you probably know exactly what I'm talking about.
  2. "Can't Back Down" by Demi Lovato and the cast of Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam: This song is a protest anthem, in the vein of the 80's Twisted Sister hit "We're Not Gonna Take It." I've always liked protest anthems--I've even written some--and "Can't Back Down" also talks about standing up for what you believe in.
  3. "Got My Mind Set On You" by George Harrison: Okay, so, this song might be lyrically rubbish, but the music is so catchy. Every time I hear it, I can just imagine people dancing all around me, no matter where I am or what I'm doing.
  4. "The Imposter" by Kevin Max: This song has been the top played track on my iTunes since 2006. I think getting it around the same time I got my first iPod helped it gain that status. Anyway, it sounds great, and I haven't even gotten burned out on it, though I don't listen to it near as much as I used to.
  5. "Tell Me Something I Don't Know" by Selena Gomez: The movie Another Cinderella Story may have been dreck, but this song from the soundtrack is amazing. I just can't stop listening to it.
  6. Track One from Top Gear (yes, the Super NES game): I don't play video games anymore, but this track just makes me want to dance. I added to my iPod this past weekend, and it's been played on there at least once every day since.
Okay, that's it for now. Later!

30 Days of Me: The List

I stumbled on this delightful blogging activity while looking for a quotation. I think it'll be a fun thing to do, since I've (sort of) hit a wall with what to talk about on this blog. So, here's the list:

Day 1: Your favorite song
Day 2: Your favorite movie
Day 3: Your favorite television program
Day 4: Your favorite book
Day 5: Your favorite quote
Day 6: Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 7: A photo that makes you happy
Day 8: A photo that makes you angry/sad
Day 9: A photo you took
Day 10: A photo of you taken over ten years ago
Day 11: A photo of you taken recently
Day 12: Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 13: A fictional book
Day 14: A non-fictional book
Day 15: A fanfic
Day 16: A song that makes you cry (or nearly)
Day 17: An art piece (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.)
Day 18: Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 19: A talent of yours
Day 20: A hobby of yours
Day 21: A recipe
Day 22: A website
Day 23: A YouTube video
Day 24: Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 25: Your day, in great detail
Day 26: Your week, in great detail
Day 27: This month, in great detail
Day 28: This year, in great detail
Day 29: Hopes, dreams and plans for the next 365 days
Day 30: Whatever tickles your fancy

I will start with Day the next post. :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Who's in the Wrong?

DISCLAIMER: I know my "parody"'s title is stupid, but I really couldn't think of anything better. If you can, tell me somehow and I'll edit it. Also, I know the song starts off a bit negatively, but keep reading and you'll see why. If you have something to say about this, please comment. Enjoy!

To the tune of "Self-Esteem" by the Offspring

La, la, la, la...

I killed you off for the tenth time today
I still remember how you attacked my ways
I envisioned myself saying ugly words
I thought you should have been nicer to nerds

Now, I know; that's middle school
Everyone there was so immature
That even applies to me
Back then, I did numerous sinful things!

Ohhh, yeah...

Fantasy plans to hurt you aren't right
Especially for a Child of the Light
Those thoughts have just got to go!
And, I know that, because God's Word says so!


That standard I used on you also applied to me!
And, I sit there saying you shouldn't harass a disabled kid
But, you will always be less guilty of that than me
Because, I did just that and then some to my own sister!
That's the past, so it doesn't really matter!
We're all sinners; that's in the book of Romans!
So, in the end, I'm the one that is being unfair!
Right? Yeah!

I've said I'm guilty of sin
And, I'm more so than I'd like to admit
But, Jesus has given me a perfect score
My sins are remembered no more!

I don't know where you will go, but
When you die, but you do not have to suffer
There's the Good Book; give it a read!
Follow His teachings and you won't be suffering!



Christmas Fantasy

DISCLAIMER: Okay, first off, although part of the story this ballad tells is rooted in reality, most of it isn't. I'm sure you can guess which parts are true and which aren't. This is an attempt at making my friends laugh, so I hope no one is offended. Anyway, enjoy!

To the tune of "Christmas Wrapping" by the Waitresses and Miranda Cosgrove

"Bah, humbug!" That's way too strong
This is my favorite holiday
But I've never been less happier
Then I have been the past few days

I've spent this year not doing much
Thanks to this recession
Where is the job meant for me?
Come on, I'll take anything!

This year's fun stuff:
Music, movies and TV.
Idol this season was sublime.
Who was your favorite? Siobhan M. was mine!

So, I traveled miles just to see
Miss Magnus, and I did cheer!
Still, I have to lament
That I did not get to meet her.

Got her picture on my desktop.
Her songs have earned many plays.
She's coming out with an album.
When will I hear it?!!

Now it's Christmas time, yeah, once again.
We usually don't travel much,
But friends we're going to see
All the way up in New York.

I've spent way too much time
Preparing to go on this trip
And really worrying
'Cause I'm not used to traveling.

The New York trip starts today
And I'm just not excited.
Got many things for the long ride
Like books, snacks, and my gray iPod.

Merry Christmas?
Not sure if I'll have one this year!

Now, we're traveling through tons of snow!
Mapquest's directions were so not right!
Now, we're in Massachusetts
And this car will not go?
Guess it's just them and me
At the closest hotel we could find.
It's Christmas Eve, time to relax.
Although what happened really stinks!

That night, I had some time to myself.
Trying to sleep, but there's some party
Going on in the lobby below.
Maybe down there I should go!

My parents said, "Yeah, it's okay;
You deserve to celebrate!"
So, made my way down to find
People dancing all around.

There's some girl I see
With sunglasses; she's dancing
Hey, I think that's Christian rock!
Let's jam to some dc Talk!

So, me and that girl, dancing we did go
To that band from the nineties!
And, when she takes her shades off, it appears
That she's Siobhan Magnus, my new crush this year!

"I'm spending this one alone," she said.
"My heart's broke; my boyfriend just dumped me."
I said, "Well, can I spend it with you?
I've got nowhere else to go, too!"

So, those holidays, we talked and laughed!
We had quite a lot in common!
I thought this year was an epic fail,
But it isn't with this ending!

Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!
I'll probably never beat this year's!

[For Siobhan. May you and I meet some day.]

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Infatuation Vs. Real Love

During my eighth grade year, from September 2001 to June 2002, there was something that, despite being insanely popular with most if not all of my classmates, I openly mocked. It wasn't a movie, a video game, a TV show, a book, a musical act, or anything like that. What was it? Infatuation, also known as puppy love. It was quite commonplace for kids at my middle school to claim to be "in love" with someone and then say the same thing about someone else two weeks later. I repeatedly talked about how stupid it was; I said that it was not real love, because real love is what 1 Corinthians 13 describes. Of course, I was just as guilty of it as they were; my infatuation just had a different target: a celebrity who I will not name. Naturally, that trend continued for many years, and it brought huge Hollywood crushes such as Hilary Duff, Christy (Carlson) Romano, Anne Hathaway, and, yes, even Siobhan Magnus.
That last part is kind of funny when you think about it. If you look at my Facebook friends list, you'll see that a pretty large percentage of my friends around my age have been in long-lasting relationships; quite a few of them are even currently engaged or married. They love they've found is real; I, however, am still stuck in puppy love mode, and it doesn't seem like I can get out of it.
I've talked a lot about crushes on this blog and in my Facebook notes. I've talked about the celebrities, yes; however, I've also talked about failed attempts at romance, like "Rewind" and "Lois," as well as the three people (who will remain nameless) that "Love and Rejection" were addressed to. Even songs on my iPod--besides ones I've parodied--remind me of former or current crushes. Just look at my playlist: "Total Eclipse of the Heart," "I'll Stand By You," "White Flag," "In the End," "Please Don't Leave Me," "Take It on the Run," "Steel Bars," "Listen to Your Heart," "It Must Have Been Love"...and it doesn't stop there!
People might wonder: Why do I have such a focus on the topic of romantic love? Well, honestly, I don't think I'd really be able to escape it if I tried! If I were to get rid of every single song, book, or DVD that had any sort of romantic elements in it, I'd have barely anything to watch, read or listen to! I would even have to get rid of my entire Star Wars collection! Even doing that and leaving Facebook again wouldn't keep me from being bombarded by references to romance, though. I see it while I'm just out places, like the library or Wal-Mart. It's even on commercials and all over all news sources (TV, newspaper, websites, etc.)
Even beyond that, I think--and this is just my opinion--that part of my focus on romance (and members of the opposite gender, for that matter) is based on a long-time quest for love. I've had girls completely break my heart, and there was not one thing I could do about it. In some cases, it was my fault; I had a female BFF for over 3.5 years, and we're not even friends any longer, because I fell in love with her and couldn't stand the sight of her with any other guy. I could blame her for starting the friendship, since, IMO, she did; however, neither of us had any idea what that was going to cause, for good or ill. It's my fault, anyway; I couldn't just be that good of friends with a girl around my age and not start to have romantic feelings. Many have said that's normal for people my age, but that doesn't make it any less painful.
Now, I'm going to finish this post with a statement that is only for the females on my friends list: I know, sometimes, I've come on too strong in my interactions with you. There have been cases where someone said something, but sometimes it doesn't even need to be said; I can just tell. I will admit that there are right many girls/women I know--and I will NOT name any names, nor will I tell you if I do if you ask me--that I have a slight crush on. However, I promise you that it is completely good-natured. I do not want to be even partly responsible for ending any romantic relationship you are in; I'd imagine that, if I were, you probably wouldn't even want to be my friend anymore. Frankly, I still see myself as a kid in some ways, and sometimes, I forget that I'm 22 years old and could possibly be a threat to an adult romantic relationship. Oftentimes, while interacting with female friends, I feel like a fifth grader with a crush on his teacher, not someone who is technically an adult interacting with another adult. Maybe I'm not using the right words to express my feelings here, but I hope you get the gist of what I'm saying. If at any point I'm making you, your significant other, or anyone else uncomfortable, you've got to tell me. One final thing: If you are a married female friend of mine, and I tend to hang around you a lot, I know quite well that you and I are just friends. Can we be good friends? Of course we can! However, it'll only be a friendship, and I've accepted that.
Okay, I'm done. If you want to talk to me about what I've said, IM, message or e-mail me.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What I'm All About

DISCLAIMER: I'll do this ApologetiX-booklet style and give you footnotes so you'll know what I'm referring to. Enjoy!


To the tune of "What We're All About" by Sum 41 (from the Spider-Man soundtrack)

Nobody else spends any time reading?
Well, I don't really care; more books I'm getting!
Get the best ones I see, I just can't resist them!
I read one every day, they're like a little vacation!
I read about disasters
And Anne's dragon masters*
And planetary battles with lightsabers and blasters
I've read LaHaye's version of the end of the world**
And Peretti's fight between angels and a demon horde***
You sit around watching every single football game?
Sorry, but I find the NFL completely lame!
Hated P.E., but loved to sit down
At school and read about whatever I want!
There's so many at my library!
I read so much, some think it's scary!
I'll enjoy a book while my pizza is bakin'
Then, after I eat, I go right back to readin'

Books! They're what I'm all about!
They're all that and more!
You should check 'em out!

"Have you seen the newest film?" That's what people love to say!
Now, you can watch them in more than one way!
I love films that have action and/or are funny
And, I'm also a little bit DCOM* crazy!
Yes, I admit it; I'm a big movie fan!
Love ones like Daddy Day Care or X-Men!
But sometimes I like childhood throwbacks!
It's my personal way to bring the '90's back!
Superhero films are a great feast for the eyes!
Other great films can make you laugh and then cry!
When they animate completely with CG,
The entire film can keep me engaged!
Yes, I do always use some self-control
When I see the rating, I know when to say no!
Still, often to the library or MovieStop I go!
I say, "Hey, that came out? I didn't even know!"

Films! They're what I'm all about!
They're all that and more!
You should check 'em out!


Well, I love my music, it feels so good to my ears
There's no better sounds anywhere that I can hear!
And, I've been collecting music for about ten years!
iTunes Music Store has some awesome deals!
Take a look at this disc, this new mix I'm makin'
It's got both TobyMac and Michael Jackson!
Play it loud, and shake my entire bedroom!
Around the neighborhood, you can hear the bass boom!
Don't ask me why I like what I like!
I like various things, entertainment of all types
Whether it's on printed pages or discs!
I don't even care if it was a big hit!
Spider-Man I'm watchin', reading the Thoenes*!
I like it all, books, music and movies!
So, if giving me a gift is what you want
To do, then you need to think of...

Tunes! They're what I'm all about!
They're all that and more!
You should check 'em out!

Books! They're what I'm all about!
They're all that and more!
You should check 'em out!

Films! They're what I'm all about!
They're all that and more!
You should check 'em out!


Verse 1 (Books):
* Anne McCaffrey, also known as the "Dragon Lady."
** Left Behind.
*** This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness by Frank Peretti.

Verses 2-3 (Movies and Tunes/Conclusion):
* Disney Channel Original Movies.
** Bodie and Brock Thoene, authors of historical fiction.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

How You Remind Me (That You're Only Human)

DISCLAIMER: If you're not my friend on Facebook, you probably will have no clue as to what or who I'm referring to, so, don't waste your time with this. For those that are, I do want to say that, in this rewrite, I've made brief references to true events involving celebrities I like. If you want to know who/what I'm talking about in those, please let me know and I'll explain. The song parodied is allegedly the most played song of the 2000s, so I'd think most of you friends of mine have heard it. Anyway, enjoy!


To the tune of "How You Remind Me" by Nickelback

For 5.5 years I have been your fan
Despite some people's horrible harassin'
Then, last night, while watching Dancing
What I'd only heard about, I did see first-hand

And, this is how you remind me
This is how you remind me that you're only human (2x)

Yes, I like you; I'm not sorry
And, I understand you're not with Disney
You I'd have forsaken
If I hadn't thought of Hellcats and Alyson
And, you've done wrong, we all have
I'll just continue to pick out what I'm watching
And, as everyone says,
Your career isn't done yet!
Yet, yet, yet, no, no! (2x)

I knew that you'd done things like that
I heard about them when I was in high school
I'd say, "What you did was SO BAD!"
But Paul wrote that all have sinned in Romans 2
And this is how you remind me that you're only human
This is how you remind me that you're only human

You're not perfect; is anybody?
That trailer doesn't make Diaries any less funny
It was just because I'm human
That I let my own heart get broken
And, I won't take your pics down
You're still on there with Luke Skywalker
And, as everyone says,
Your career isn't done yet!
Yet, yet, yet, no, no! (4x)

I really loved Alice in Wonderland
Maybe you could do something like that again
Something like that I would go see
But your current film is not for me

That is how you remind me that you're only human (2x)

I didn't give up on Ashley
Even after that absolutely horrid CD
Let's not forget T, Mike, and Kevin!
That cover was like a tune from a Wal-Mart album!
And, we do wrong; we're human!
That's the problem with us normal people!
And, this needs to be said:
Yes, you can be forgiven!
Yes, yes, you can be forgiven! (REPEAT UNTIL END)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Library Love Song

DISCLAIMER: This "song" is meant as a tribute to certain people, as you'll see in the dedication after the lyrics. However, the "you" mentioned in this song is not included in the people the lyrics are dedicated to. Anyway, enjoy!


To the tune of "This Love" by Maroon 5

I don't know why people don't recognize
That the old way of libraries has died
They think, there, nothing but books you'll find
Well, they are quite wrong, I can frankly say
Books are still there today
But there is so much more!

Movies, and some new to DVD
Rent them for free, unlike Redbox or Blockbuster
Music on CD, there's all genres
Metal and rock, soundtracks and oh, so much more!
Oh, oh, oh!

You know budgets are tight in these times!
Anything that people find
To save money, they won't mind! (Oh!)
Well, so much money you could save
If you'd take advantage of
Your town's own library!
Yes, I mean you!

PCs, connected to Internet
You can e-mail and even join Facebook
Audiobooks that you can download online
And, if you want, you can transfer them to your new iPod!
Oh, oh, oh!

Praises I will still sing
For public libraries
'Cause going to them I really like
(I said, "Like!," yeah, that's right!)
I'm not just dropping hints!
I'm strongly suggesting this!
What I said is true!
Going to the library is something you should really do!

Yes, I love my local library!
They have books, movies and so much more!
And, the librarians are so friendly!
They're just so sweet, way better than at any bookstore!
Yes, I do quite enjoy reading!
But I also like movies, music and more!
I borrow all that stuff for free
Lots of reserves, and even Inter-Library Loans!
[Repeat Until Fade]

(For those who work at public libraries, especially the people who have become good friends of mine, such as Lydia, Kristi, Teri, Rosa, Nanette, Janie, Tina, Anne, Georgia, Valerie, Elke, and anyone else there I forgot to mention. I am very proud to call you my friends.)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Audio with Imagined Visuals

Despite being a bookworm, I do love (some) music, (certain) TV shows and (select) movies. As fun as reading is, sometimes it's nice to have a audio and/or visual feast that you don't have to just imagine. In fact, usually, when I read, my books have a "soundtrack." What I mean is, I'm usually listening to my iPod, CD player or the radio while I'm enjoying a book. Of course, even being enveloped in a fictional world doesn't stop me from hearing the songs playing, and sometimes "seeing" something that has nothing to do with the novel I'm reading.
This is going to be hard to explain, so bear with me: Sometimes, when I hear certain tunes, I imagine things. I say "imagine" because I know I'm not really seeing them, but, in my mind, they're right there. Some of the music-induced visualizations are things that would only exist in fiction, anyway, although probably not in a book. Often, what I see in my mind's eye while listening to those songs makes them even more enjoyable. Here's a partial list:
  • When I hear George Harrison's "Got My Mind Set on You," I can see a woman (who bears a striking resemblance to one of the girls in the music video for R.E.M.'s "Stand") standing in the same room as me doing a somewhat crazy dance.
  • "The Way" by Fastball evokes images of young people riding around in a bright red convertible.
  • Lately, while listening to "Come Out and Play" by the Offspring, all I can think of is me and Siobhan Magnus doing a duet of that song. The way I imagine it, all I have to do is say, "You gotta keep 'em separated!" in a strange voice! How hard is that?
  • The Polyphonic Spree's "Section 23: Get Up and Go" elicits images of a music video starring my friends during the ending credits of a movie.
  • Josh Groban's Italian song "Canto Alla Vita" has an opening that, for some reason, makes me think of a group of people doing the Robot (as in the dance.)
  • I saved the best for last: Every time I hear "You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)" by Dead or Alive, I see in my mind a Super Smash Bros.-style battle between one or more people who bullied me in middle school and myself, and, true to the song, it takes place on a quickly spinning record player. Yeah, there's a reason why Nintendo hasn't made and never will make a game like that.
All that may sound completely strange to you, but keep in mind that I know all that I described "seeing" is imagined. It's not like you're going to see me sitting in Starbucks thinking I'm talking to the dancing woman when I'm actually just sitting there by myself and looking like an idiot. I know it's not real, and all those things I mentioned do is make great songs even better.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

On Long Movies and Home Video

NOTE: Some of you may have noticed that, when I tell stories about other people on here, I'm very vague on details as to who the people are. The reason I do that is because my job is to relate stories, not embarrass people I know or have known. This blog is public, and I don't think anyone wants his or her name and a story from his/her life put online for all the world to see, so I respect them and (I'm guessing) their wishes, whether they are/were a friend, an enemy, or otherwise. I realize I didn't always do that in my Facebook notes, but I really should have. Still with me? Then, here we go.
I've referred to this story more than once on this blog, but here it is anyway: Back on Christmas Day 2001, two people--not saying who, only because this blog is public--went to see The Fellowship of the Ring with me in theaters. I was expecting it to be good, but, to this day, I consider it the worst experience I've had in a theater. It wasn't the people that I went with; one of them even said he/she didn't care for the movie, either. There were some other factors, though. We arrived so early at the cinema--I'm guessing it was to beat the crowds--that we had to sit on a bench in the hallway and wait for the workers to finish cleaning the theater's floor. After we got into the theater and sat down, the screen was showing nothing but slightly flickering white. It wasn't the flickering that bothered me; it was just boring to look at, although one of the people I went with joked, "This is the short film before the movie; it's called Polar Bear in a Snow Storm!" We were subjected to the normal advertising and trailers, and, as I've said, the actual movie was longer than most if not all I'd seen before, whether in theaters or on video.
Other people had their criticisms of Fellowship, like how it wasn't true to the book or how it didn't have an end, neither of which bothered me. In fact, after getting other long movies on DVD, I've realized that maybe I would have enjoyed it if I hadn't watched in a theater.
Let me explain what I mean: Many successful movies are better on the big screen than on the small screen. I can still remember loving The Incredibles in the theater and hating the same movie on DVD. The problem I usually have is that, no matter how enjoyable a movie is, I can't sit still long enough to watch one that's at least 2 1/2 hours--sometimes even shorter than that--in one sitting. With a DVD (or even a VHS tape, for that matter) it's possible to stop in the middle of it and resume watching it later. Theaters don't and never have had that option, though.
This whole "watch a movie in parts" thing is not just some hypothetical situation. I've done it more than once, and I started doing it before even starting this blog. Some films I've done just that with--I won't list every single one--include: Harry Potter 2-5, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, multiple Star Trek flicks, Batman Begins, and The Dark Knight. Those sound like movies I would like, right? Well, I did like them! In fact, I own every single one on that list, and all of them except for Batman Begins were bought after I'd already seen them.
Now, as I said, there are times when seeing a movie in a theater makes it better. I still lament about not seeing Spider-Man 2, my favorite film of all time, in theaters. I imagine it probably would have been great. There are some films that are made for--by that, I mean, only good on--the big screen. Conversely, I love Daddy Day Care, but I don't feel like I missed out by not seeing it at the cinema. Why? It's not that it's not a good film; it's actually quite cute and funny. It's only because it's a family comedy, not a special effects-laden blockbuster.
Of course, that's just my opinion. If you like watching long movies in the theater, then, go for it! There's nothing wrong with doing it that way; it's just not the way I prefer to do it. You understand, right?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I remember where I was; do you?

As pretty much everyone around the world knows, today is the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I know some people would want to start ranting against the political right, especially George W. Bush, when that topic comes up, but I'm not going to discuss anything like that, and, if you put anything like that in a comment, it will get deleted. Instead, I'd like to talk about where I was when I first heard about not only this tragic event, but also other ones I can somewhat remember that caused nationwide, if not worldwide, panic.
I'll start with 9/11. It was right at the beginning of my eighth grade year. The school day had barely even started when my good friend Jakob got picked up to go home, and he was not sick, nor did he have an appointment. I didn't even know what was going on until I got back home, and I saw only a few minutes of the news before I went to my weekly counseling session at my church. When I got in the building, they had CBS News playing in the fellowship room, and I can still remember my counselor saying a prayer at the end and praying not only for me, but also for the state of our nation.
April 16, 2007 was probably the most traumatic national event for me, because I had (and still do have) some friends at Virginia Tech. It made things even worse that I didn't even know anything of that sort was going on until I just innocently logged into AOL Instant Messenger like I did (and still do) pretty much every day, and saw Away messages like, "Let's hope and pray everyone is okay at Virginia Tech," or something like that (it's been so long, I can't remember.) I was quite glad that all my friends were okay, and that incident taught me a lesson: Even though in countless fictional stories--from classic Disney animated movies to R-rated, graphically violent action flicks--killing someone (or a group of people) brings peace, it rarely does in real life. When you do as that Cho guy did, not only do you end a person's/people's life/lives, but you also bring serious emotional pain to that person/those people's family/families.
February 1, 2003 was, while not as tragic as the events I just mentioned, still terrible. For those who don't remember--and I wouldn't say this if it wasn't for at least one person I've talked to who is older than me and doesn't remember this incident--that was the day the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated upon returning to Earth. I was watching ABC's Saturday morning block (known as ABC Kids) as was usual for Saturdays back then, and I was waiting for Lizzie McGuire to come on. Out of nowhere, the national news comes on. At first, I thought it was just some short educational program, but it stayed on, and that's when I realized something was wrong. I had it on mute, so I turned the volume up, and all they were saying at first was that NASA had lost contact with the astronauts aboard Columbia, and they kept going back and forth from the same person to the typical, "In case you're just tuning in..." summary. Eventually, they ended up saying the shuttle was gone, and that all the astronauts inside were dead. My mom was asleep through all this, because she had worked the night before. I told her about it as soon as she woke up, and it shocked her as much as it did me. Even WGN decided not to show Star Wars: A New Hope that afternoon like they were planning to, only because of that event. As bad as it was, I'm glad it didn't happen when I was little; back then, I wanted to be an astronaut, and a tragedy like that would have devastated me.
There are many other tragedies I could talk about. There was the Asian tsunami on December 26, 2004, which was quite horrible. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was as bad if not worse; although forecasters did correctly predict where it was going to hit, and some people did evacuate, the storm was among the deadliest natural disasters of any sort to hit our nation, and seeing all the debris, as well as people mourning their loved ones lost in the storm, just broke my heart. The Columbine shooting in 1999 is an event I remember more because of the aftermath than the actual event. At the time, I was a student at an elementary school where my mom worked, and they talked about a code phrase--no, I'm not going to name it here!--that meant the school was under attack. I also remember my friends' mom not wanting them to play GoldenEye for Nintendo 64 because it was very similar--at least, to her--to Doom, which supposedly inspired Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold to do as they did. Although I know tons of people, my friends included, had fun with that N64 game, I can still somewhat understand my friends' mom's feelings; seriously, do you want any of your kids to grow up to be mass murderers? Didn't think so. One of those friends told me during summer of 2000, about a year after they'd moved hundreds of miles away, that a guy he knew had gotten in big trouble, including not only suspension from school, but also a summer-long grounding by his parents, only because he told the bus driver that she didn't want to drive the bus on the last day because something bad was going to happen, and, because everyone was up in arms about school security back then, the bus driver took it as a threat and wrote the kid up. That same fear was proven by an incident involving me early that following school year, but we don't need to get into that.
This might sound trite, but here it is anyway: No matter what happens, God is in control. Some people think recent events are signs that the end is near, and that may be true; however, as I've heard at least one preacher say, it could just as easily be a thousand more years until Jesus comes back. I don't believe in that December 21, 2012 stuff; after all, research just shows that it's the end of their calendar, not the end of the world. People who get all up in arms about that mess sound as ridiculous as a kid saying, "Oh, no! My Camp Rock calendar only goes to December 31, 2010! After that, life as we know it is going to come to a complete end! I better warn all my BFFs!" (No, I do not have a Camp Rock calendar. I have an iCarly one.)
Any comments?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

On The Spelling (And Misspelling) Of Names

You probably have noticed, based on my blog posts, notes, e-mails, statuses, messages, IMs, comments, etc., that I am somewhat of a stickler for spelling, grammar, and punctuation. I used to be unafraid to tell people when they spelled or punctuated something incorrectly, even sometimes after it was too late. Most people, especially in this digital age, use spell check quite a bit. Although spell check does help, it is not, and probably never will be, a 100% solution. Spell check will catch when you misspell a long as it isn't spelled like another word. I've seen cases where it was obvious, at least to me, that just that happened, one of which was, "Without them I would be a wreak!" Yes, the person who wrote that meant "wreck"; however, the reason the spell check didn't pick it up was because "wreak" is just as much of a word as "wreck" is. In the past, I've been just as guilty of it as other people; that's why, if I have time, I try to read over what I've typed--I don't write things by hand if I can help it--and make sure that I've said what I wanted to say, and used the right words.
When it comes to names, though, things get a little dicey. There are some names that have tons of different spellings, some of which you can see a few examples of if you look through my friends list. For example, I have three friends named Crystal, as well as one named Krystal, and another one named Krystle. Those are all pronounced the same, yet the spelling is different. Differences in the spellings of names used to confuse me; I can still remember when I was a lot younger and a family friend sent a book called _______ Goes to Town. (Sorry, but not only do I not want to give out my name, even my first name, for all the world to see, but I also hate my name for reasons we don't need to get into.) When we received the book, my mom said, "Oh, look! It's got your name on it! That's so nice of her to send you that!" I looked at the book and at least thought, if not said, "That's not my name!" Why? Because it was spelled one letter different than my actual name.
Although different spellings of familiar names do allow parents to be creative, and make their children more unique, the spellings can also be quite hard on teachers. I went through public school from kindergarten through twelfth grade, and I saw some varied spellings of names. My best friend from seventh grade until high school graduation--yes, we still are friends; quite good friends, in fact--was named Jakob. It was pronounced just like Jacob from Genesis (or Jacob Black from Twilight, for those of you better versed in vampire stories than the Bible) but the spelling was different. At first, his name's different spelling wasn't a big deal; it didn't take the teachers long to get used to it, although one P.E. teacher at our middle school thought his name was Jakoby, and it wasn't. As far as I remember, there wasn't anyone named Jacob in the entire team. However, when we got in eighth grade--and we had the same three core teachers as we did the previous year--things got a little confusing, at least for one teacher. That teacher was preparing for her wedding, which was taking place during Christmas break of that year, and, as (I'm guessing) is usual for weddings, she had to send out invitations. One friend or family member of the groom's was named Jacob, spelled just like in Genesis. Problem was, she'd spent over an entire school year getting used to writing my friend/her student Jakob's name with a "K," that she nearly wrote that on the wedding invitation, despite the fact that her groom's friend/family member didn't spell it that way. I'm sure that kind of thing could happen, and probably has happened, to a lot of people.
Now, on the topic of misspelling of names. Again, I'm not going to give out my name, but I will say that my name is usually spelled correctly by others. Some people have had trouble with my last name, but, at least it's easily spelled, though I grew quite tired years ago of hearing people, including myself, spell it over and over. Some people hate it when other people misspell their names. I've always wondered why they did, but, since that hasn't been much of a problem for me, I can't really say I know how they feel. If I had a name that was easy to misspell, maybe I'd feel the same way.
You may think that, if very few people misspell my name, then I don't really have to deal with misspelling of names. That's not true. Although some people have misspelled names of friends, including Jakob's, it seems like most of the misspellings of names I've encountered, mostly online, have been of celebrities. You probably know that I used to be a big fan of Hilary Duff and Lizzie McGuire. Well, during that time, I saw people--both ones I knew, and ones I didn't--write things with typos like "Hillery Duff" or "Lizzy Maguire". I never was offended by people doing that; usually, it was just because Hilary and Lizzie weren't anywhere near as important to those people as they were to me. When I switched to Anne Hathaway, it didn't stop; in fact, people were worse about spelling Anne's name than they were Hilary's. People spelled her first name without the "E," and they spelled her last name "Hattheway." The misspellings increased even more after I became a fan of Siobhan Magnus; since making her my No. 3 celebrity crush early this year, I've seen everything from "Siobahn" to even "Sioben".
If any of you reading this have made any of the mistakes I've described here, I'm not making fun of you; like I said, I understand why you and others have done that. Seriously, if it wasn't for spell check, I'd have made some misspellings of proper nouns, including not just people's names, but also place names, including geographical locations, that would shock you. Just recently, I was typing a note on Facebook that, unfortunately, got deleted because of a glitch. Anyway, I was making a reference to the Philadelphia Eagles--I know that doesn't sound like something I'd refer to, but it made sense in the note--and misspelled the city's name when I first typed it. Someone who is a huge fan of that NFL team probably would spell it right most if not all of the time. However, I'm not a football fan, nor do I live anywhere in Pennsylvania, so that city's spelling isn't important to me, just like the proper spelling of Hilary Duff, Lizzie McGuire, Anne Hathaway and/or Siobhan Magnus isn't important to you, because most of you friends of mine aren't and never have been their fans, and even those who were weren't as big of fans as I am/was. Proper nouns are often harder to spell than other parts of speech, especially since they don't follow the pronunciation rules that most non-proper-noun English words follow. So, if you want to talk about somebody and/or something I like, don't think I'll be offended or even the least bit upset if you misspell his/her/its name, because I won't and never will be.
Any comments?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Should They Stay Or Should They Go?

To the tune of "Should I Stay Or Should I Go?" by the Clash

People, you've got to let me know:
Should they stay or should they go?
Some say my crush on them is fine
Others say it's just a waste of time
So, you've got to let me know:
Should they stay or should they go?
Some peeps say, "Please, please, please!
Just shut up 'bout the celebrities!"
But others don't say anything like that
Instead, the pictures they attract
Well, come on, and let me know:
Should they stay or should they go?

Should they stay or should they go, now? (2x)
If they go, I'll be in trouble
But, if they don't, I'm seen as evil
So, come on and let me know!

Oh, man, this folder is elite
(Anne Hathaway and Ashley Tisdale)
These celeb pictures just can't be beat
(Roberts, Emma and Smithson, Carly)
So what if they've never met me?
(Siobhan Magnus and Kelly Clarkson)
I don't even expect them to ever date me!
(Amy Adams, Janell Wheeler)
Come on and let me know:
(Allison Scagliotti-Smith)
Should I keep them or let them go?
(Selena Gomez, Genevieve Gorder)

(Evan Rachel Wood, Danielle Panabaker)
That's what's up!
*bird sounds*

Should they stay or should they go, now?
(Scarlett Pomers, Demi Lovato)
Should they stay or should they go, now?
(Katie Stevens, Emily Osment)
If they go, I'll be in trouble
(Krystal Meyers, Annie van der Pol)
But, if they stay, I'm seen as evil
(Clemence Poesy and Emma Watson)
So, come on and let me know:
(Anna Paquin, Katija Pevec)
Should I keep them or let them go?
(Lonni Paul, Crystal Bowersox)

Should they stay or should they go, now?
(Amber Tamblyn, Zooey Deschanel)
Should they stay or should they go, now?
(Rebecca St. James, Aly Michalka)
If they go, I'll be in trouble
(Famke Janssen, Frances O'Connor)
But, if they stay, I'm seen as evil
(Victoria Justice and Lea Michele)
So, come on and let me know:
(Traylor Howard and Sabrina Soto)
Should they stay or should they go?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Trivial vs. Serious/Friends and Unfriending

I know those are two completely separate topics, but they've both been on my mind quite a bit recently. Before I start, I'm going to warn you that, although I'm not going to name names, you might find yourself mentioned in this post, and you might not like what I have to say. I'm going to try to refrain from turning this into an angry tirade against anyone, friend or not, but parts of the issues I'm going to talk about are things I take very seriously, even though some people think I shouldn't. Still with me? Then, here we go.
First off, on the "Trivial vs. Serious" post. If you're my Facebook friend, then you can see on my profile the things I've posted lately. There's been everything from song lyrics to quotations from Madeleine L'Engle and J.R.R. Tolkien to reviews of books using LivingSocial to a joke status about killing Barney to a status of nothing but palindromes to four links to this site, two of which were to parodies. Now, I have gotten comments on some of those things. I understand not getting comments on my book reviews; some of my friends rarely if ever read, and most of those who do read even just some of the time aren't really into the whole sci-fi/fantasy/superhero genre, which is fine. However, there have been some posts--statuses and other things--that I thought were much more deserving of comments than the things that actually did. For example, look at this status message I posted not too long ago:

: I'm weird, I'm different, I'm strange, I'm unique, I'm a little crazy and I'm sensitive...and I'm PROUD OF IT!

That was posted for no other reason than an attempt to feel good about myself. After all, countless people, even before Facebook, were telling me things like, "Stop being so self-deprecating!," "Stop putting yourself down!," or "You should have more confidence!" I would guess that my posts about my low self-esteem were what caused some people to remove and/or block me on Facebook. Yet, despite all that, when I make a post that says I'm proud of my differences, it doesn't even get a single comment or even a "like."
Can't you understand how that makes me feel? Based on that, it seems like you all think I should continue to lament about how worthless I am, instead of trying to feel good about myself. Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but, when a status message of palindromes gets ten comments, yet a declaration of confidence doesn't elicit a single response, it makes me feel horrible.
Now, I'm not saying that everyone on Facebook--me and all my friends included--should never post anything silly and/or trivial on their pages. Still, I don't want to be silly all the time. Seriously, do you want to have a Facebook friend like Larry the Cucumber? I don't mind making a joke from time to time, but, there are serious things that are, in my opinion, just as deserving of recognition, if not more so. If you're stymied as to what I'm talking about in a post, then, by all means, ask me about it; people have done that before, and I was more than happy to explain. I don't expect all my posts, serious or not, to get a boatload of comments, but, I do expect some recognition for something that people have been asking of me since before I'd even heard of Facebook.
Just so you will know: My dislike of a lack of comments on what I post isn't just because I want attention. It's because, any time I post something other than a review, and don't get a response of any kind, it makes me feel like I've done something wrong. That feeling is not unfounded; in fact, it has a story behind it: Back in early 2007, I posted a note on Facebook asking my friends, who were pretty much all college-age, if they wanted to do something during the summer. When it came to possible activities, I didn't say what we could do; I said all the things we couldn't do. I never got a reply, but, I just figured no one looked at it, which, although I didn't like that, I didn't sit there and lament over it. Then, the next year, I did the same exact thing, and at least two friends said they were offended. I was shocked! Why didn't anyone tell me that when I'd posted essentially the same thing a year before? Ever since then, when nobody comments on a status, blog post, or note, I feel like I've done something wrong. Maybe I shouldn't feel that way, but, I do, because that story is exactly what I think of when no one comments on my non-review posts.
On to the second topic: Friends and unfriending. I think most people on Facebook have been unfriended by someone. There are various reasons why: repeated invites to dumb apps, annoying/disturbing/etc. posts, or even someone you just haven't talked to in a while, among others. I can see why people do that, although, the reasons I named haven't been that big of a problem for me, especially the first one.
Now, let me say this as clearly as I can: I am not jealous of anyone's friend total. Frankly, whether you have five hundred or over 1,500 friends, it doesn't bother me. Why does unfriending bother me, then? Because of its implication that a friendship has ended.
You may think that this is something that Facebook started, but it isn't. Even if I'd never joined any sort of social networking site, there are still broken friendships that I'd lament about. I can still remember old childhood friends (Robert M., Ben C., Cody D., Korrey and Kevin D., etc.) that I have heard absolutely nothing from in years. For all I know, they might not even be living in the same hemisphere as me. I don't sit there and dwell on it, but, sometimes, I get reminded of them because of things that I see, hear, or read. All it takes is a brief mention of Jumpman, tether ball, hypnotism, PlayStation or other things relating to one or more of those friends, and it makes me start thinking, "I wonder what happened to him [or them]?"
Here's the thing: Even though losing contact over time with friends isn't fun, being unfriended on Facebook is, in my opinion, much worse. Why, you ask? Well, two people losing contact usually isn't a sign of any personal issues between the two; but, when someone unfriends someone else on Facebook, it often--though, as I realize, not always--means the person being unfriended has done something wrong in the other person's eyes. I've seen that very thing happen to me on Facebook more than once.
I know some of you have said that I shouldn't even care about the people that have unfriended me. However, the reason I care is simply this: What did I do wrong, and how can I keep from doing the same thing again so I won't lose any more friends? There are some types of posts that I don't do anymore, because I know that they offended people, whether they removed me or not. I don't like losing friends; I never have.
Any comments?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Favorite TV, Movie and Literary Moments

You all probably know that I love entertainment, especially TV, movies and books. So, now, I present some of my favorite snippets of dialogue and/or narration from things I've seen or read. Read these and see if you don't laugh.

Maxwell Smart: Chief, I have to say this whole thing really stems my plans. I can not get over the fact that 23 is a traitor.
Chief: Sand trap!
[they crash through a sand trap]
Maxwell Smart: Now I know how you must have felt when you thought I was a traitor, it is demoralizing!
Chief: Tractor!
[they crash over a tractor]
Maxwell Smart: Argh, I don't know how I missed it, I am usually very observant.
[they crash right into a swordfish]
Maxwell Smart: [car comes to a stop] Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
Chief: I don't know. Were you thinking, "Holy cow, holy cow, a swordfish almost went through my head"? If so, then yes.
-- Get Smart (2008)

If something goes wrong with an e-mail you send, you'll get an e-mail from (which sounds like a character from Tron Meets the Exorcist.)
-- An old America Online for Dummies book I used to have

Brad: I got detention.
Jill: How could you get detention?!
Brad: Everybody gets detention sometime!
Jill: It's the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL! No one ever gets detention on the first day of school!
Tim: I wouldn't say, "No one," honey.
-- Home Improvement

Bill Gaither: How stupid can you get, Mark?
Mark Lowry: You ain't seen nothin' yet!
-- I Do Believe music video

[Celebrities are trying to imitate Colin Mochrie]
Kermit the Frog: No, no, no; this is Colin. [goes behind "square," then comes back up with his face flattened]
[audience laughs like crazy]
Tom Bergeron: He's the Jim Carrey of felt!

Jiminy Glick: [to Martin Mull] You know, I just loved you in Adam-12.
[awkward silence]
Tom Bergeron: Wasn't that Martin Milner?
Jiminy Glick: Oh, yeah. He was good.
-- Hollywood Squares (1998-2004)

[Chelsea and Eddie watch as some psychic friends Raven has made are moving objects with their minds]
Eddie: Whoa! Chelsea, did you see that?
Chelsea: Yeah, I know. Gosh, that was a lot of pepper.
Eddie: Chelsea, that thing floated!
Chelsea: Yeah, it's still way too much pepper.
-- That's So Raven

When Jacob heard that grain was available in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why are you standing around looking at one another?"
-- Genesis 42:1 (NLT)

-- Garfield (obviously ;])

[Elisha, during a creation/evolution debate] turned in her desk and glared at him. "Those bones support the muscles that keep you from pooping in your pants, in case you didn't know! But if you think you don't need yours..." She groped in her handbag and pulled out her wallet. "I will gladly pay for you to have yours removed!"
-- Hangman's Curse by Frank Peretti

Mr. Lunt: [to Pa and Larry, while Junior is sitting nearby] You know, those lobsters there remind me of my Aunt Tanya. You'll never believe this, but my Aunt Tanya was a lobster!
Pa Grape: Yea, right.
Mr. Lunt: I'm serious! Whenever she fell asleep, we used to pull at her tendons and make her legs move.
Pa Grape: Surrre.
Mr. Lunt: No, really! We tried it at the church picnic once, and we actually got her walking across the table!
Junior: What?!!
Mr. Lunt: Hey! They told me to ad-lib! If there's no script, you take what you can get, my friend!
Pa Grape: True, but you gotta admit: that was odd.
-- Outtakes from Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie

"That camera makes me look fat! I'm not really that fat!"
-- A former local celebrity (who will remain nameless) in the middle of her weather forecast

Mrs. Bitterman: Since you're here, I'd like you to fix my desk.
Assistant: Fix your desk.
Mrs. Bitterman: And, while you're at it, you can oil my chair for me.
Assistant: Oil your chair.
Mrs. Bitterman: You know, not everything is an innuendo!
Assistant: Innuendo.
-- It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie

Cruella: Congratulations! You have just won gold, silver and bronze in the Moron Olympics!
Horace: Who won the gold?
Cruella: SHUT UP!
-- 101 Dalmatians (1996 live-action film)

Ayel: Your species is even weaker than I expected...
[chokes Kirk]
Ayel: You can't even speak!
[Kirk garbles]
Ayel: What?
James T. Kirk: I've got your gun!
[shoots Ayel]
-- Star Trek (2009)

Captain James T. Kirk: I can't believe I kissed you!
Martia: [transformed into Kirk] Must have been your lifelong ambition!
-- Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

"I be the Teletubby, wubby, wubby, stinkfish! Uh, that one white dude, uh...what was the question? Wuuuuuuuuuu-Taaaaaang!"
-- A fake quotation from rap star ODB in a joke article about a Game Informer staff member running for President

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Advertising and the General Public

It's been said often--at least, from what I've read--that the amount of advertising is on the increase. Not only do you see it during TV commercial breaks or on billboards, but you also see it on websites, at the movies, sometimes even in the form of "product placement" during the movie, and even in video games. It seems like you really can't go anywhere or do anything without seeing some sort of advertisement.
Now, here's the thing: I understand the purpose of advertising: to sell products. Advertising can be informative; sometimes, movie posters and trailers are the easiest way to find out a film's release date. Like a lot of things, advertising is good in moderation. However, in the past decade or so, it has just gone into overkill. Not only did the Spider-Man GameCube game (and, I'm guessing, the PS2 and X-Box versions of it, as well) have real-life company logos like MetLife featured in it, but, also, while I was at a library in my city today, I was looking at an issue of Teen Vogue--which is not a magazine I have ever read before, mind you, and the only reason I was looking at it was because it featured Victorious star Victoria Justice--and the first fifteen pages were nothing but advertising, and it continued after that! That is entirely too much!
Truth be told, the power of advertising is difficult to overcome. So many products advertise themselves like they're something they're not. For example, way back in 2002, I went to see the movie Snow Dogs. The previews showed the dogs talking, making the movie look like it was one of those talking animal flicks in the vein of Disney's original 101 Dalmatians, but live-action instead of a cartoon. However, the movie did not deliver that. Although the dogs did talk, the only scene that they did so in was a dream sequence that Cuba Gooding, Jr.'s character had. Outside of that, the dogs did nothing but bark like normal dogs. The movie was still cute and fun, but I've always wondered if some people, especially little kids and their parents, didn't feel cheated when they watched it. There have been other movies that I've only heard or read about--The Village and Land of the Lost currently come to mind--that also had quite misleading previews, according to my sources. Yet, because of what the previews promised, people still went to them in droves, and a good part of them ended up wishing they didn't.
I would hope that, sometime in the near future, advertising will tone down a bit. However, with ever-evolving technology, it probably won't. New technologies will just mean new ways for companies to push their products, and there isn't much that can stop them from doing it. Frankly, I've had about enough of excessive advertising. Has anyone else?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Get Off Facebook (A Message To Myself)

DISCLAIMER: I know right many people consider themselves Facebook addicts, but this is not directed at you, no matter who you are. There is only one person who this is directed at: ME. So, don't think I'm expecting you to go learn Klingon, because I'm not, though, if you want to, great! Still with me? Then, here we go.


To the tune of "The Look" by Roxette

Please, please, no more!

Got so many friends
Do you truly know 'em?
Pages for the fans,
They've really overdone it.
Wanna know my thoughts?
Get off Facebook.

The site's bringin' you down
But you're still spendin' hours
On it, despite your frown,
Your pouty little glower.
Again, here are my thoughts:
Get off Facebook.

Get off Facebook! (4x)
There are so many other things that you could do
Yet, staying on that social site is what you choose!
Like I said:
La la la la la
Get off Facebook!

Facebook is nice
When used in moderation.
But addiction's not right.
It just brings you down.
Go read a great novel.
Get off Facebook.

It's gotten out of hand.
Go jam to MC Hammer.
Watch some Nickelodeon.
Laugh at Carly and Sam.
See Tori Vega's new dance.
Get off Facebook.



Put in Spider-Man.
Or, maybe, the sequel.
Learn to ride the tram,
Or how to speak Klingon.
Your depression will stop
Without Facebook.

And you'll go:
Na na na...
Don't need Facebook!

Don't need Facebook! (4x)
I have found so many other things to do!
And being on there so much just made me blue!
And you'll go:
La la la la la
I'm off Facebook!

Chatting with friends is okay to do.
But you should not stick to it all day like glue.
So I say:
La la la la la

Na na na...
Get off Facebook!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Addendum to the Previous Post

Okay, first off: If you haven't read or don't remember the Facebook note I wrote entitled "On My Parodies," then please read it. You don't have to go on Facebook to find it; I re-posted it on here as the post before this one. Don't continue any further until you've read that post; I mean it.
So, now that you know some of my feelings about my parodies. However, I've had things I've been meaning to say for a while that I wished I put in that note. So, I decided to make an addendum. I had two points earlier today; one, I know exactly what it is, but I've forgotten the other one. It'll probably come to me in the middle of the night, long after I've shut this thing down.
So, my fourth point is: There are some parody ideas I've thought of that I'm never going to use. For quite a while, when I've heard songs randomly--on the radio, on TV, in movie soundtracks, etc.--I've thought about how I could rewrite them. I can still remember riding to a Cub Scout meeting in 2000 and hearing Smash Mouth's "Walkin' on the Sun," which I recently parodied as "You Are My Number One," an ode to the lovely and talented Anne Hathaway. Even though I wasn't much of a parody writer yet--the only written one I had to my name was one of dc Talk's "My Friend (So Long)"--all I could think of while hearing that Smash Mouth song was rewriting the lyrics to be about Mario Golf, which was my favorite Game Boy Color game at the time. The only line I remember coming up with was, "You might as well have got a hole in one," or something like that. I never did write any parodies about Mario Golf, which is a good thing, because, despite the fact that I loved it and the reviews were positive, I knew very few people who would even give it a shot, just because it was a golf game. Still, the idea was there.
Sometimes, there are ones that I think of and immediately decide not to write. There are multiple reasons why that can happen. One is because--and I'm confessing here--sometimes the idea I have is something that I shouldn't be writing in any form, whether it be parody, poem, essay, or anything else. I know I've said before that I'm not one for crude and/or suggestive humor, but, I guarantee you, if you didn't like that "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues" parody--which was deleted from this site because at least one person was offended--I've had some ideas that would send you into shock. I don't like to even think those things, but, those kinds of crude/obscene/etc. thoughts are still floating around in my mind, mainly because of the corrupt world we live in.
Another reason can be because the message I want to convey just doesn't fit the song. Could you imagine a song like "Got My Mind Set on You" (a new favorite of mine) being rewritten to talk about painful things, like failed relationships or friendships? What about an angst-y song like "Bring Me to Life" becoming an ode to a person I look up to, whether it be a teacher, a friend, or even a celebrity? Those themes don't fit the moods of the original songs, right? That train of thought has helped me understand what makes a good fit for a rewrite. One time, I remember thinking about taking Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs' "Little Red Riding Hood" and turning it into a song praising a friend of mine. I immediately realized that the mood of the original song was supposed to be creepy, and that my message wouldn't fit.
Yet another reason is that I don't want the parody to seem like a joke when it isn't. I realize that, when I gush about celebrities in parodies, there's little chance they're even going to read them. However, there are ideas I've had that I scrapped within seconds of thinking of them. For example--and you're going to laugh at this, which is exactly why I never went through with the idea--I once considered making "Bring Me to Life" into "Bring Me a Wife," which was going to be a prayer to God lamenting the fact that I've always been single, yet so many of my friends are engaged or married, and asking Him to send me a life mate now. You're probably laughing your head off at this point, and rightly so; that's why I never sat down and wrote it.
I'm about to veer a little off-topic here: I am not the only one who has had a bad idea about rewriting a song to make it your own. Some people argue that ApologetiX has had at least a few bad ideas, while others think that the whole idea of a Christian parody band is horrible. They have a right to their opinion, though I'm not sure I agree with either, despite not being a fan of the band anymore. This, though, isn't about them. If I remember right--this was a long time ago, as you'll see when I tell the story--the planners of the 2000 Democratic Party convention were planning on using the Lou Bega smash-hit "Mambo No. 5" as the theme song for the function, and were going to make it their own by substituting US states for the names of the girls, i.e., "A little bit of Montana in my life." However, they ended up not using it, because so many people, including even the commentators on TV, just thought it was going to be a big joke. Why did they think that? Simply because the original song had the lyric, "A little bit of Monica in my life," and that was only a year or two after the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal. So, don't think I'm the only one with bad musical ideas, because the planners of the 2000 Democratic Party apparently were, too.
Back on topic: One last reason--at least, it's the last one that comes to mind right now--is just because, even though the idea seems great, when I sit down to write it, I just can't make it work. Many months ago, I thought about turning "It's All About the Benjamins" into "It's All About the Facebook Friends," which would have been an ode to all the many people that make Facebook enjoyable. I sat down, began to write it, and just got so stuck that I closed the window without even saving what I'd written. A similar thing happened when I recently--that is, no more than a few weeks ago--attempted to turn the recent huge B.o.B./Hayley Williams hit "Airplanes" into a song about how I wished real life was like fiction. I had the perfect chorus: "Can we pretend that X-Wings are right outside blowing up Death Stars? I was like was like fiction now, fiction now, fiction now!" I'm sure all of you know that's a Star Wars allusion, but I also was planning on including the line, "That's why I'll never marry Maddie Fitzpatrick!" which is a reference to Ashley Tisdale's character in the Disney Channel sitcom The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. Honestly, as good of ideas as those last two parodies I just mentioned sound, I really don't know if I want to try my hand at writing them again, because I'm afraid I'll just end up getting stuck after barely even starting, just like I did the first time in both cases.
Well, it is getting quite late, and I need to go to bed, so I'm going to end this. If the other idea I had comes to me, I'll write a second addendum as soon as I get time. Later!

On My Parodies (Facebook Repost)

NOTE: If you're my Facebook friend, you might have already seen this. This post is taken directly--yes, it's verbatim and unedited, except for the correction of one small punctuation mistake on my part--from a note I posted on Facebook in May. If, for whatever reason, you didn't see it or don't remember it, but you have read my parodies, then please read this, even if you are my Facebook friend. The next post will be an addendum of sorts, so look out for that. Enjoy!

I thought about making this a post on Blogspot, but I then realized that it's easier to tag people on a note. If I tagged you, don't worry; I'm not upset with you or anyone else. I just need to explain some things about my parodies.
First off: Despite them being called parodies, their intent is almost never to be funny. Some of you may already know this, but, for those who don't: I have been writing parodies since I was in middle school. My first ones were of songs by dc Talk--look them up if you don't know who they are--and were usually complaints about things in my life, or attacks on people I had problems with (not that I'm saying that was okay.) Although they may seem laughable now, especially considering that they were written by somebody who didn't even have a full understanding of what the original lyrics said, the intent was serious. I needed a way to vent about problems in my life, and that was one of the ways I did it. If you've read some of my more recent parodies, like "Love and Rejection," "Evil Things," or "You'll Never Know," you can see that I still do that from time to time. Even ones that may sound humorous, such as "You Are My Number One" or "The Siobhan Magnus Song", aren't intended to be. I've only written one parody that was supposed to be funny, and that's of a song probably few if any of you have heard.
Second off: I don't intentionally do songs that people (friends or otherwise) don't know. Most of the songs I've parodied recently have been songs that were also redone by ApologetiX, a parody band I used to adore. The band said that the songs they were parodying were popular at the time of each album's release, and that's probably true. However, they have been recording CDs since 1997, so some of the songs that were big hits then might be forgotten now. One such example is Bush's "Little Things", which I parodied not too long ago. ApologetiX redid that song on their 1997 album, which fully consisted of redone songs from that era, like "Loser," "Come out and Play," and, yes, "You Oughta Know". I've heard the original versions of those songs played on the radio in the past few years, and I've also seen people around my age refer to or recognize the songs, despite the fact that, at the time those tunes were popular, those people were probably too young to be into music. However, when I wrote my parody of "Little Things," no one I showed it to had heard the original, even people who had heard "You Oughta Know". I will admit that, when I started writing parodies in middle school, the songs I redid were usually little-known, especially to the people I went to school with. That was only because all I listened to at the time was Christian music, and I hadn't gotten into ApologetiX yet, so I didn't know any secular tunes well enough to write an entire parody of them while being at school and not having access to any music. That's been one of the things I've tried to combat in recent years. There are plenty of songs (Christian and secular) on my playlist that I could easily write new lyrics to, but I know that very few if any of my friends would even know the songs. Maybe some of you could come up with some suggestions of songs I could parody. It's up to you.
Lastly: Parodies are my version of writing music. You all probably know that I have little musical talent. I can't sing, I definitely can't dance, and I'm pretty sure that playing an instrument isn't in my future. Not only that, but the musical scale has always confused me, which is one of the reasons I didn't take band or orchestra in school. If I were to make up a tune, and write lyrics to it, chances are I'd forget how the tune went. So, instead of writing my own music, I take tunes that I hear various places and make them my own. I wouldn't mind having some of my parodies recorded, just so I could hear what they sound like, but I think that if that were to happen, it would have by now. Who knows? Maybe, one day, some people who have great musical talent will record "Love and Rejection," "The Siobhan Magnus Song," or "The Ultimate High-School Crush". Until then, though, I'll just continue writing them as a way to get my feelings out.
Any comments?

Monday, August 2, 2010

"Nobody wants to hear that!"

For those who don't know, my mom is a huge fan of Southern Gospel music, especially that of the Gaithers. She has a bunch of their albums--mostly on CD--and even a few of their videos and DVDs. I have to admit that I'm not really a fan of the music, but the comedy bits are hilarious. Although Mark Lowry may be the best known comedian from those albums/videos, there are others, like Taylor Mason. One scene from the Australian Homecoming DVD had the Gaither Vocal Band--minus Mark Lowry, who had left the GVB at that point, but has since returned--up there talking, and Bill Gaither mentions that then-fellow GVB members Guy Penrod and Russ Taff have six kids and five Grammys, respectively. David Phelps, another GVB member, starts mocking Bill--in a joking fashion, of course--saying, "Russ has got five Grammys. Guy's got six kids," two or three times, and then says, "Nobody wants to hear that!"
The comedy went on from there, but, that's not my point. Lately, I've been wondering about the things I say, whether it be in Facebook statuses or notes, on this blog, or even in person, and whether anyone wants to hear them. When thinking of things I've posted in the past, sometimes I hear David Phelps' voice in my head saying, "Nobody wants to hear that!" I have heard of at least one case where someone went on and on about essentially nothing. Some people in my old youth group mentioned a guy who was part of another youth group that went on a mission trip with them--I didn't get to go, but we don't need to get into why--who did just that. My fellow youth group members were quite bothered by him, as you'd expect.
Truth be told, whenever I write a note, blog post, or message, I have a topic in mind. Sometimes, though, after posting/sending it, I wonder whether or not anyone really cared, even if people commented. Seriously, who wants to read about my fascination with a name that some people can't even pronounce? Why would anyone care if Anne Hathaway thinks of herself as "not very pretty"? What's the point of writing a song (that is, a parody) about some failed friendship with a girl I barely knew but wanted to date anyway?
I may be wrong, but, if I were to guess, I would say the majority of my 360+ Facebook friends have hidden my feed. I can't say I blame them; I've hidden other people's feeds because of the things they talked about, sometimes for no other reason than that what they said just never interested me. Even some people who do comment on some things I post won't even read others. For example, one friend who comments quite regularly on my book reviews using the LivingSocial application on Facebook openly admits that she's never read my parodies. It's not anything against me; it may be that she might not even know the original songs, which probably doesn't make my parodies very fun to read. There are plenty of things on Facebook that I don't really pay attention to, either.
So, here's what I want to know: How can I make my writings--particularly my statuses, blog posts, and occasional notes--more interesting? I have the grammar, spelling and punctuation down pat, so all I need is something worthwhile to write about. Any suggestions?

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Shout-Out to My Female Friends

DISCLAIMER: If you don't know me, then you probably won't know who or what I'm talking about here, so, I'd strongly suggest you read something else. Also, even if you are mentioned in this post, some of the references I'll make will only make sense to the people they're intended for. Still with me? Then, here we go.
I think most people who truly know me that most of my at least somewhat good friends are female. It isn't surprising, when you consider that I was raised in a house full of women. So, in this post, I'm going to address each of my good friends of the female persuasion. This is in no order; remember that.
First and foremost, I have to thank my very best friend. Emily, you are amazing. I honestly can say that I have never had a friend even remotely like you. I know that we don't get to talk much anymore, with you being busy with wedding planning and all, but know that I'm still on your side. Also, and I absolutely mean this, I really do wish you and Alan all the best. Thanks for being an amazing friend.
Brittany, or, should I say, Brii, I can honestly say that I'm very glad we've become friends. We've had some awesome conversations, and I hope we can continue to chat, although I know you've been busy with starting your singing career and all. You are a wonderful person, and I hope we do meet again at some point; after all, it's been three years since we last saw each other! Thanks for being an awesome friend.
Lydia, or, as I say at the library, Ms. Lydia, I know things have been hard for you recently. Still, the strength you have shown in the face of all that adversity is quite admirable. You're always looking out for me, even when I'm not even at the library. I'm very glad to know someone like you. Thanks for everything, especially for being a top-notch friend!
Ashley G., aka Asland, I know we haven't seen each other in a long time, but I'm very glad that you have become my friend, because you are an amazing person. I have enjoyed chatting with you and getting to know you better. Thanks for being a wonderful friend!
Christina K., I realize we didn't talk that much in high school, but I'm very glad for the friendship we've had over the past few years. I hope that our friendship continues for many years to come! It's nice having a fellow nerd as a friend; we can talk about technology, books, sci-fi/fantasy, etc., for a long time. Thanks for being a first-rate friend!
Cari, you have been my friend on Facebook almost from the time I joined! I am so glad that you have stuck around; quite a few of my original Facebook friends are long gone from my friends list. I really enjoy chatting with you, especially the way you tell me things exactly as they are. Some people would call that blunt, but you're truly my friend, so you know that's the only way to talk to me. I hope to see you again at some point, although we've both been talking about it for a while, so it might not happen. I'll still keep up hope that it does, though. Thanks for being a splendid friend!
Kristen, I know we haven't seen each other in four years, but, thanks to modern technology, we have continued to stay in touch, and it has been great. You are a great person, and I am very glad to know you. Thanks for being a terrific friend!
Lorie, we've only known each other for about a year, but you have been such a good friend to me during that time. Every time I see you, you get a big smile on your face and give me an even bigger hug, and it always makes me feel great inside. Thanks for being a first-class friend, and enjoy that book!
Krystal A., it just seems like you've been hit with one thing after another lately. Despite that, you always have a big smile on your face when you see me, and that makes me happy. I realize we've only been friends a matter of months, but it's been great, and I hope it continues for a very long time. Thanks for being a fabulous friend!
Stacey, every time we interact, whether it's when I see you at the shoe store, or just chatting on Facebook, you always lift me up. It's great knowing I have a friend like you, and I hope you and I will continue to be friends for many years to come. Thanks for being a divine friend.
Crystal J., I know things haven't been good for you lately, and I know you've been quite anxious. I probably would be, too, if I were in your situation. Still, you're a wonderful person, and I know that, with God's help, you'll get through it. Thanks for being a stellar friend!
Last but not least, Tanya, it made me sad when I saw you were no longer my job coach. Nevertheless, I'm very glad that you still want to keep in touch with me. Although we haven't had one in a while, I look forward to the next time you and I have a chat on Facebook. Thanks for everything!
Any comments?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sci-Fi/Fantasy and Me -- The History

I've referred to my love for science fiction and fantasy several times on this blog. Some people love that kind of stuff; other people hate it. Well, I wouldn't say that I have always been a fan of fantasy and sci-fi. In fact, there were some sci-fi/fantasy things that I really like now but was hesitant about getting into. I will explain all that and more in this post.
From as far back as I can remember until I was in middle school, I didn't have much exposure to fantasy and sci-fi. I did have at least one Star Wars and one Star Trek themed game on my Commodore 64, but I didn't really understand them, because I'd never seen any of the movies. Although I read a lot, most of what I read was technical manuals and realistic juvenile fiction. I do remember a family member turning on Star Wars back in 1996-97, but I was too involved in a Garfield book to pay any attention to the movie.
In sixth grade, I made two big steps into the sci-fi/fantasy realm. One was enjoying the book A Wrinkle in Time. We were assigned to read it, and I didn't think I'd like it, because I had tried reading it in second grade and just couldn't get into it. (Part of that was because my jerk second grade teacher called it "one of [her] favorite books when [she] was younger," which made me dislike it right away.) After reading it, though, I ended up enjoying it so much, I read the sequel A Wind in the Door, even though it wasn't required. The other big step was watching (and paying attention to) a Star Wars film for the first time. The same family member I referred to earlier turned on The Phantom Menace for him and I to watch, and I loved it!
Over the next few years, I read and watched even more sci-fi/fantasy. In seventh grade, I read A Swiftly Tilting Planet, which is the sequel to A Wind in the Door and wasn't required either. We were assigned to read Anne McCaffrey's short story "The Smallest Dragonboy" that year, and I enjoyed it. I still remember that laser disc (or was it DVD?) clip our teacher showed us, where McCaffrey insisted that she wrote science fiction, and proceeded to name the chemical elements the dragons in her stories breathed in and out, and said, "I don't have any Cinderella characters in my story because Cinderella was a wimp!" (For those who don't know, I have read quite a few of McCaffrey's works over the past year or so.) I eventually saw the original Star Wars trilogy, as well as Attack of the Clones. Spider-Man got me into comic-book movies, and I absolutely hated The Fellowship of the Ring because of how long, drawn-out and boring it was.
Now, you may be wondering where the Star Wars books came into the picture, as well as when I got into Star Trek. Well, I'll start with the SW books: Back in 2005, around the time of the theatrical release of Revenge of the Sith, a guy at a yard sale in my neighborhood was selling some SW novels. I bought a couple, because I wasn't sure if I'd like them. Well, when I read the first one, I was blown away! It was amazing! I went on to read dozens of other SW books and enjoyed (most of) them! Now, for Star Trek: I was even slower getting into ST than SW. The first Trek movie I attempted to watch was The Final Frontier, and it bored me so much, I gave up on it well before it was over. About three years later, though, I watched Nemesis, and thought it was superb. I went on to at least attempt to watch all the films, and while most of them were at least somewhat good, I couldn't get through Wrath of Khan nor The Motion Picture. The first Trek book I read was Federation by the incredibly talented Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, and it was quite good, too.
In closing, let me say this: I love all kinds of sci-fi and fantasy, including series not even previously mentioned, like X-Men, Batman, Narnia, and Harry Potter. However, there might come a day when I am no longer a fan of any of that stuff. I'm still in my twenties, and people say that your tastes change a lot when you're that age. So, who knows? I might find some other genre(s) to latch onto. In fact, I have read some historical fiction and mysteries lately, as well as watched a romantic comedy, and really enjoyed all of them. Maybe one of those will be my new favorite genre. We will see.
Any comments?