Wow! There’s only FIFTEEN more days until Christmas and my family still hasn’t gotten the majority of our Christmas Shopping done! *gasp*. Nor have we taken our Christmas Card Picture, let alone Printed the Christmas Cards, although they have been designed for a while now… in fact, they’ve undergone several touch-ups and tweaks. Hm.

This time of year, I think is especially nostalgic, as I’m sure many other people do, though not necessarily in a religious/Christmas-y way… maybe in a more secular ALL-INCLUSIVE HOLIDAY SEASON way, or in a Hanukkah or Kwanzaa way. I’m constantly reminded of Christmases from ages ago… like that one when (I’m fairly certain) I micro-waved my grandmother’s Baby Jesus figurine in her brand new microwave oven. More likely than not, the microwave wasn’t functioning, but I like the idea of a Microwaved Jesus. And the Colombian Christmas Carols that I grew up with constantly assault me with memories from AGES ago… for instance the one about the little Donkey–“Mi Burrito Sabanero”–always makes me think of tiny-little-me riding a very small donkey toy thing around my grandparents’ living room.

on Ben Gibbard’s Former Lives LP

I’m probably not the only person that has developed mixed feelings over Ben Gibbard’s first solo album Former Lives. Don’t get me wrong–I think the album is worth every penny, and also worth the (in my case emotional) wait¹.  But there’s something a little off about it. I mean, obviously it isn’t like anything Death Cab has ever done, though he’s the one that writes the songs. If he’d wanted it to be like Death Cab’s stuff, he wouldn’t have gone solo, right? But some of the songs don’t quite feel Gibbard-y. Not like The Postal Service’s stuff, or like Death Cab’s stuff, which has always felt intensely personal, even when they weren’t meant to. I mean, listening to Something About Airplanes is so laden with… college-boy angst. It reminds me of John Green’s first novel, Looking For Alaska. And “Title and Registration” on Transatlanticism is just… so poignant and relate-able even if its not a cop that pulls you over asking for the some legal documents, only to unleash a barrage of memories of a former lover who deserted you. It’s always reminded me of people I’m not friends with anymore. And like all the stuff you amass during that time that you’re friends with them that means something to you. I always ask myself what the heck do I do with this? throw it out? I never do. Comparatively, none of the songs on Former Lives really inspire any zeal. None of them really make you want to cry your eyes out, or laugh your troubles away (yes, laughing is very cathartic. Especially when Monday Morningis on. It is simply beautiful).

However, there are some GREAT songs, such as “Lady Adelaide”, which reminds me of DCFC’s “What Sarah Said” on Plans, although the melody is a lot happier; the story runs along the same lines. “Lily” is also quite good, despite the fact that it’s not “Monday Morning”, meaning it is not about Zooey Deschanel, which saddens me a lot².  My Second Absolute Favourite, “I’m Building a Fire”, is also Wonderful. It is slightly reminiscent of “I Will Follow You Into the Dark”, although much happier-sounding. My absolute favourite, “Teardrop Windows” is actually one of his best songs EVER. I mean, it is so pleasant to listen to! and the music video is just charming!

I can only conclude that he was definitely going for a different vibe. I did read that this LP wasn’t meant to be quite so biographical, despite the fact that a) it was a SOLO album, b) and it covered “eight years, three relationships, living in two different places, drinking then not drinking”.

I’m pretty happy with it, overall. It’s a very pleasant addition to my music library (30% of which is made up of DCFC! because I haven’t got all their albums/EPs). I’m so happy for him!

If you want a more professional/less amateurish review, check this one out, by Ian Cohen on Pitchfork, and this one on Rolling Stone, and this one on  the LA Times.

For further Enlightenment, check out HuffPost’s Michael Hogan interview with Mr. Genius himself.

 

¹Admittedly, I had to wait just over a month to get it. And the fact that Sandy  interfered with my two-month-long campaign for my parents to take me to Ben’s show in New York just made it worse. But, take my word for it, it is great.

²UGH. WHY DO I HAVE TO CARE SO MUCH ABOUT THIS?

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On Things Ending…

I’ve been giving this quite a bit of thought recently, and I’ve come to the conclusion that everything really does eventually come to an end. And as a young person, as a teenager, I think I’ve been denying this truth for the past 15 1/2 years of my life. Because it’s frightening, really it is, that something that has become so regular and so normal that you don’t even give its existence a second thought can just cease.

And people say, optimists, mostly, that it’s alright because old things have to end in order for new things to begin, but what about a child with cancer? Or a widower who commits suicide? How can you say that these things just have to happen to make way for newer, better things? I don’t believe that for a second. But these things happen, anyways. And I guess the crushing, horrible question is simply, why?

It’s an awful feeling, to wake up and realize, there will never be another Artemis Fowl book. Or, I will never see that person again because they just moved halfway across the world (by the way, I am NOT talking about you, Allie, because I know I will see you again someday). Or, that person is dead; they will never interact with anyone, let alone me, ever again.

Why do things have to end, especially prematurely? Like, I understand that authors can only write about one topic for so long and that the elderly have immune system issues and become sick and die, but the disruptions to this ordinary timeline-why do they happen? Is it just because there needs to be a balance in the world? That endings are sewn into the very fabric of time just like beginnings?

The perfect example to sum this all up is: How come Steig Larsson had to die so suddenly in the middle of writing his Millennium series? And who really knows the answer to these kinds of questions? God? Does God sit there and pick and chose who has to die, what has to end? I certainly don’t think so. I don’t think any being is directly responsible; I suppose it’s just an as-yet incomprehensible part of how our universe works.

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First, a HURRICANE and now SNOW??

If you live in the New York/New Jersey Area you might be shaking your fist at the sky, and wondering Why On Earth are We Getting a Nor’easter After FREAKING HURRICANE SANDY?

Don’t we have enough to deal with for the next few weeks? I mean, there’s people in my school who aren’t getting power until sometime in the next couple of weeks! It’s nuts, considering that we’re in one of the least-affected areas! The worst that happened around here were downed power lines, fallen trees and in extreme cases trees on houses. But now we get snow. It’s been snowing steadily since about 1pm; first it was that awful melts-when-it-touches-the-ground stuff, and by the time I was on my way home (3-ish?) it was starting to stick and then melt. And about an hour and a half ago it really began to stick. there’s probably around a half inch outside. How fun!

The (only) upside, it seems is that it makes me feel less weird about the fact that Christmas Commercials are airing already.

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I’m going to be upfront, and admit that I haven’t watched every movie in existence. Most of the movies I’ve watched were made no more than a decade before my year of birth. That is to say, 1996. But I think it is safe to say that I’ve watched some of the MOST AWFUL movies you can imagine. Just a heads-up, (500) Days of Summer and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy won’t be there. Sorry. They are two of my favourites.

The Last of the Mohicans (1992)

Oh yes, I went there, Historically Inaccurate Movie Fans! this is officially one of the WORST films I’ve ever watched! Not only was it an impossible plot to follow due to the fact that all the actors LOOKED THE SAME, but it is really gory at times. I know it is hard to keep your eyes on the screen when a really angry Native American fellow rips an equally angry English Soldier’s heart out, and like, squishes it. In fact, all of my US History I Honors class knows this. IT IS NOT FUN.

Lord of the Flies (1963)

I wasn’t a really big fan of William Golding’s much-acclaimed Lord of the Flies because I found it really hard to follow for the first eight chapters or so, which is really unfortunate, considering the whole novel is just twelve chapters long. It might have been, in part, that my English teachers chose the most random questions ever, like ‘Who gets sand kicked in their eye?’ (spoiler alert: a littlun does!), but also that the book moves really slowly. The movie is a little like that, and also seeing LITTLE KIDS on screen makes it a lot harder to LIKE the story. I mean, THEY ARE SO YOUNG! and they are doing ALL THIS STUFF! like, how the frack do they just go back to being REGULAR CHILDREN? HOW!!!?!?!?!?!?!!?

Manic (2001)

Okay, so I really didn’t watch the movie just the trailer. And I know I am Zooey Deschanel’s and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s BIGGEST FAN, but no. I AM SORRY, NO. It freaked me out. FREAKED ME OUT.

The Losers (2010)

Oh Dear Lord. I was constantly at a loss, wondering WHY THE HECK ANYONE WOULD WANT TO BE IN THIS MOVIE, because it made absolutely ZERO sense. The only redeeming fact was Chris Evans. Let the Nonsensical Captain America fangirling begin.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

Why? WHY? WHY? Can somebody please tell me why? Would it really have been that bad of an idea to just stop making these movies after Elizabeth and Will were married and then separated? Weren’t our hearts ripped to tiny enough shreds by then? Didn’t Johnny Depp get tired of being permanently associated with ‘gay’ pirates? (Also, did the guy at MacLaren’s pub really think Marshall, and inevitably, Johnny Depp looked like a gay pirate?).

Amadeus (1984)

This particular film depicted arguably the world’s best musician in a particularly scary light. I mean, this man was A SLOB! so unlike the GENIUS we learn about from books, etc. He drank, he was arrogant, he was… a human male! And just to avoid misinterpretations (because, let’s face it, there are bound to be some) I mean that he wasn’t as Perfect and Genius-y as I’d been led to believe as a child. I mean, he was still a genius, but not a Genius.

The Twilight Saga 1-5 (2008-2012)

In sixth grade, I read the first three Twilight books. And then people went nuts over the movies, and how GREAT they were, and how the cast was SO HAWT, GURL, and how EDWARD was so MUCH BETTER THAN JACOB and vice versa. And HOW IT WAS THE NEXT HARRY POTTER (spoiler alert: never gonna happen). And then my common sense kicked in. Let’s just say, I don’t believe in Necrophilia. No matter how sparkly the corpse is. Nor do I accept Zoophilia being marketed to young women. Geez.

 Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)

This movie was highly depressing. I mean, I should have seen it coming from the title itself, but this was just too much. I guess this is why I never read the books…

Nanny McPhee Returns (2010)

I think there were only two reasons for watching this movie when we rented it: 1. It was Nanny McPhee and 2. It had Maggie Smith listed as a cast member. Sadly, this  movie was almost entirely unrelated to the first Nanny McPhee; no mention whatsoever of Anna or the kids. And Maggie had a total of five minutes of screen time  More or less.

Get Him to the Greek (2010)

My sister and I are very big Katy Perry fans, so when we heard that she had supposedly met Russell Brand while shooting this film, we begged our dad to rent it for us. Our sole intention was to, you know, see who this Russell Brand guy was. But we ended up being more or less scarred for life. And trying not to implode every time we saw Carla Gallo on Bones as Daisy Wick. God. The Nightmares…

Role Models (2008)

Again, a movie we watched solely out of devotion to a movie star. In this case, the askfjgasd Paul Rudd. I should warn you, this is just the first of our (read: my mom’s and sister’s and my) Rudd-driven movie choices.

Our Idiot Brother (2011)

Before you say anything, look at the cast. Paul Rudd, Zooey Deschanel, Rashida Jones, Elizabeth Banks, Adam Scott and Emily Mortimer. See?

Freaks & Geeks: A Look at Our Favorite Teen Misfits

I only recently started watching Paul Feig and Judd Apatow’s Freaks & Geeks thanks mostly to the fact that school hasn’t been open for the last week (c/o: Super Storm Sandy). Also, I think it was way overdue. I mean, you don’t watch Bones  for three or four years without knowing that our beloved John Francis Daley was in this cult fave. Also, I was re-reading everything on the Rookie Mag archive and found this. Also, Rashida Jones guest starred. And so did a bunch of other awesome people.

Let’s have a look…

Freaks & Geeks. A List of Epically Awesome Characters.

The Weirs.

  • Mr. Weir: Dear Mr. Weir is Lindsay and Sam’s  super-strict, highly-opinionated father. He likes looking out for his children, and it is easy to tell he really cares for his children. I mean, he wouldn’t be as hard on Lindsay as he is for “falling in with the wrong crowd” (aka: the Freaks) if he didn’t care for her.
  • Mrs. Weir: Sam and Lindsay’s mom reminds me of Reba‘s Barbra Jean. That is to say, a goofball. She’s very much the type of mother who makes a big fuss over everything because  she’s afraid her children are growing up too fast. Especially with Sam in high school.
  • Lindsay Weir: Lindsay is Lindsay. She’s a geek turned freak. She’s as close to a Real Teenage Girl as you’re going to get from a TV show. And I say this not only because she’s so perfectly confused and Are You For Real-ish, but because she makes total sense as a person who is still trying to find the sense in the world.
  • Sam Weir: I have to admit that if  I had a younger brother, I would like him to be like Sam Weir. Heck, I kind of wish my younger Cousin Harry would kind of be like Sam: firstly, he (and his friends Bill and Neal) love SNL, which in my opinion is actually the greatest creation c/o the Gods of Comedy. Secondly, Science Fiction. Thirdly, who wouldn’t want a little brother who looks out for them like he does for Lindsay? I know I would.

The Geeks.

  • Bill Haverchuck: I admit, I’ve had a lot of fun at Bill’s expense. Like, in that episode when the Freaks coerce Lindsay into throwing a keg party, and Sam Neal and Bill switch their keg for a Non-Alcoholic one and Bill ends up getting drunk (with the real stuff) while watching Dallas. He’s very gawky and Out There. He’s the Geekiest of the Geeks. He’s also super allergic to peanuts.
  • Neal Schweiber: Neal has a really big crush on Lindsay. He’s also a self-proclaimed comic-genius and a ladies’ man. (Spoiler Alert: he really isn’t). He’s the most outgoing one of the three, and as a result always want to be the center of attention.

The Freaks.

  • Nick Andopolis: He’s probably the nicest of the freaks, and it seems he genuinely cares for Lindsay, as opposed to Daniel who in my opinion, is a jerk. He’s a pothead. He also owns a 27 piece drum set. He’s really a sweet guy.
  • Daniel Desario: He’s one of those people who seem really cool, but really are not-so-cool. I, frankly don’t see what Lindsay sees in him.
  • Ken Miller: Picture That 70’s Show’s Steven Hyde and yeah… that’s pretty much it. However, he’s considerably smart, and caring underneath the sarcasm, etc.
  • Kim Kelly: She’s a…uh… an interesting character. She’s Daniel’s on-and-off girlfriend. She has a reputation at school, for having sex and doing drugs. She also lives with her psycho mom, and her step-father. She and Lindsay become best friends as the series goes on. She is also (although to a far lesser extent) a personal hero of mine.
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WHAT ARE THEY TRYING TO DO TO ME???? OHMYGOODNESS WHAT ABOUT BENEDICT AND KATE? AND LEO? AND LAUREN? AND JUSTIN? OHMYGOODNESS. NOT COOL. GOSH, USA. WHAT THE FRACK.

TVLine

USA Network has opted not to renew Fairly Legal for a third season.

“Sarah Shahi is undoubtedly a star and we’re thrilled she’ll be joining our sister network NBC on Chicago Fire,” the cabler said Thursday in a statement to our sister site Deadline, which first reported the news. “We are proud of Fairly Legal and thank the very talented cast and crew for two fantastic seasons.”

RELATED | USA Network Sets Return Dates for Suits, White Collar and Necessary Roughness

As mentioned above, Shahi recently booked a multi-ep arc on NBC’s freshman fireman drama, playing a love interest for Taylor Kinney’s Lt. Kelly Severide.

It was announced Wednesday that USA Network has also scrapped Common Law after just one season.

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Ben Gibbard’s “Teardrop Window” Video

DCFC frontman/ Imaginary BFF Ben Gibbard just released the “Teardrop Windows” video, from his Former Lives solo album.

Reason #100 Ben Is FANTASTIC: He’s too nice to go bad.
Reason #101 Ben is FANTASTIC: He’s Normal.

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Rookie » The Power of Negative Thinking

Rookie » The Power of Negative Thinking.

I kind of spazzed when I read this… considering what my last post was… OHEMGEE ROOKIE IS MY MIND TWIN.

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The Time Halloween Got Cancelled Thanks To A Storm (for The Second Year In A Row)

So it seems Mother Nature really has it out for us, Halloween-loving folks, here in the East Coast… because it is the second year in a row that we’ve gotten a storm! Right before Halloween! *insert sarcastic cheering here!*.

You might be asking yourself ‘Why the heck is a person her age making such a big deal out of it? Is she secretly a third grader passing for a sophomore in high school?’, and my answer to you is maybe. I mean, Halloween has always been a fun thing for me: dressing up, getting candy, going to Halloween parties, eating the aforementioned candy… it’s always been loads of fun! I’m not going to say it hasn’t been creepy at times, what with all those stories of Satanist cults abducting/drugging children, and child lurers and pedophiles taking advantage of the occasion… but it’s always been fun…

Anyways, losing Halloween due to Storm-related damage is a bummer, no matter how old you are. Last year, for instance, my sister had a meltdown because my parents wouldn’t let her go Trick-or-Treating in town due to downed power lines. And what’s specially upsetting this time around is that Maddy was supposed to go dressed up as The Doctor, and I was going to cosplay New Companion/Literally The Nicest Dalek Who Is A Human Oswin Oswald. like, hello! EET EES ZE DOCTOR AND OZWEEEN.

But we’ll see what happens now… we haven’t got school tomorrow, and possibly won’t have any for the next few days… 

If you are, or have been affected by Sandy do stay safe! and obviously DFTBA!

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