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?