Archive | November, 2008

I need people to stop telling me…

24 Nov

That I need to read these damn books.

I read a little of Twilight.

Now that would be useless to read, since I saw the movie.

I just glanced through a few pages of Breaking Dawn. It sits on my kitchen table where Libby left it.

And I hate to say that I still don’t want to read the other books.

Why?

Why don’t I want to read the other books, even though I loved Harry Potter?

Stop comparing Harry Potter with Twilight.

They are not one in the same.

Why?

Because J.K. Rowling is a writer, an amazing writer. And Stephanie Meyer decided that one day after she had a dream, that she’d write a PG rated book about vampire love. That’s it. What I see in the books and hear from my sister about the parts that I didn’t read, are gimmicks to make the book more interesting. The switch from Jacob’s POV from Bella’s, the three months of nothingness in New Moon. J.K. didn’t have to do that. She had a self-sustaining story, enough to fill 7 huge books.

Another huge difference between Harry Potter and the Twilight series–STUFF HAPPENS IN HARRY POTTER. I’d rather not sit through hundreds of pages of angsty Bella thoughts. I like shit happening. And yes, maybe some stuff happened in Twilight, but it was so void of dialogue and actual stuff, that they had to add things to the movie to make it longer. With Harry Potter, they had to CUT SHIT OUT. Because so much STUFF HAPPENED.

It’s not that I’m against first-person POV. I love first person POV, but make it witty, and have voice. Bella’s voice is nothing more than Stephanie Meyer’s voice, but in first person. She didn’t transform her language or rhetoric very much. I just wish that people would let me like the books that I like, and leave it at that. I can be subjective. PEOPLE ARE SUBJECTIVE. They like certain things. Personally, I don’t like so much whiny stream of consciousness. I hate Hemingway. I like it when things happen. I like Snow Falling on Cedars. Catch-22. And the entire Jessica Darling series. If you want to read a good series about angsty teenagers, read Sloppy Firsts, Second Helpings, Charmed Thirds, Fourth Comings, and the yet-to-be-released Perfect Fifths. I know, the titles are a little cheesy. But the books aren’t.

So yes, I liked the movie. And no, I didn’t like what I read of the books, so I won’t read the rest.

Let it go.

❤ Abby

It’s a new Day And Age

24 Nov

I’ve been waiting for the Killers’ new album ever since I saw Brandon Flowers’ twitchy performance on SNL, donning peacock shoulder pads. The anxiousness wasn’t so much out of excitement, but out of curiosity. Because “Human” as a single was a throwback to Hot Fuss, before the boys got all scruffy and washed off the eyeliner.

Now, with Day and Age, the eyeliner hasn’t come back, but the boys have glammed it up a bit since Sam’s Town. Flowers is rocking the sparkly keyboard once again, and the synthesizers have made their way back to the recording studio.

So was my curiosity quenched?

Why yes it was. Very much so.

Since both “Human” and “Spaceman” had a other-worldly feel to them, I expected the rest of Day and Age to be the same. Flowers said himself that Day and Age was “Sam’s Town in space.” Or something like that.

I particularly liked “Dustland Fairytale,” a neat little ditty that has a intro like the Killers drank a pint of Elton John before they started recording. It’s not too long, a keen 3:46, but still epic enough to stick in your head. It reminded me of “Glamorous Indie Rock and Roll,” an outtake from the US version of Hot Fuss. If you haven’t heard that one, I highly recommend it. But with “Dustland,” I like the simple but charming lyrics, “Now Cinderella don’t you go to sleep / Its such a bitter form of refuge / Ahh don’t you know the kingdoms under siege / And everybody needs you.”

Day and Age sticks with the same lyric style as Sam’s Town, but gets more creative with the melodies and instruments used. Some of the songs, like “A Crippling Blow” and “Joy Ride” sound like they almost belong in a different decade, with the emphasized tambourine and distorted guitar licks. “Joy Ride” is probably my least favorite song on the whole album, because the melody is too simple and repetitive and sounds cheesy with the saxophone, almost Flock of Seagulls, 80’s movie soundtrack-ish.

Numerous songs on the album feature oddball voice part, like in “This is your life” where the song starts with almost tribal vocal riffs, which shows that Flowers and the gang got even more creative with their song writing after Sam’s Town didn’t do so well critically. But what I especially liked was the story aspect of all the songs, and how it left me with a picture in my mind, like a book. And Flowers stuck with his raw vocal power on this album, like he did on Sam’s Town, after departing from the stylized, studio created voice from Hot Fuss.

For sure, Day and Age seems like Sam’s Town in space. Some, glamorous, synthesized, cultural hodgepodge space.

If space is really like what Day And Age makes is out to be, that’s a space I’d like to visit.

❤ Abby

Okay, fine. I saw it.

21 Nov

My sister dragged me to go see Twilight last night, at midnight. And I hate to say that I kinda liked it.

And this is coming from someone that didn’t read more than 50 pages of the first book, someone who didn’t have a preconceived notion of what Bella and Edward were supposed to be like, so I’m completely unbiased with this.

But just to tell you, when I did start reading the book and I heard what everyone was telling me about it, I was like, “that sounds like a good movie.” And it was.

Even though I’m not a fan of the books, I possibly still could have had some sort of biased opinion, seeing that I’m still technically a teenage girl and Rob Pattinson is so undeniably attractive. I mean, come on, HE’S CEDRIC DIGGORY!

Oh how I wish it would have been HP 6 in that theater last night, but I’m not too bitter.

I’ll break it down.

From being in a film studies class all quarter, it wasn’t easy to ignore the soundtrack, which was pretty damn awesome. It mixed some alt rock and classical and Radiohead for God’s sakes. I didn’t see Radiohead on the soundtrack 20 minutes ago when I started downloading it, and I never would have thought that Thom Yorke would have lent his music to such a film. Radiohead barely let their music be on iTunes until the last album came out.

But that’s not my point.

In my class, we’ve been taught that sound “bathes us in affect.” And I think that the angsty soundtrack added to the plot, definitely, and one can never ignore soundtracks when thinking about the quality of films. The Graduate is a key example. I especially liked the Claire De Lune part, in Edward’s “bed”room.

I didn’t have a preconceived notion of how Bella was going to be, but I had an idea, since I’ve seen Kristen Stewart in two other movies-The Messengers, where she was an unhappy, self-conscious teenage girl, in The Land of Women, where she was an unhappy, self-conscious teenage girl, and now in Twilight, where she was an unhappy, self-conscious, hopelessly-in-love-with-a-vampire teenage girl. So her personas don’t change much. She does a good job being that character, how she awkwardly slips over her words and does more emotion than actual speaking. But I don’t think she smiled much at all. And if I was with that handsome hunk of man, I’d be smiling all the time.

It would be hard for anyone not to notice the underlying message of abstinence in this film. Come on, Edward wanted her [blood] so much, but he couldn’t take it, because he loved her and wanted to keep her safe. And when they did almost let themselves do the dirty dirty under the sheets, he pulled himself back like a giant magnet was on his back. I would have liked to see some more kissing, preferably. My sister even said that their was more kissing in the book, so it wouldn’t have hurt, since Rob Pattinson is one of People’s sexiest men alive this year. And that I agree with very much so.

His portrayal of Edward was good. He played the brooding, damaged, unbelievably sexy vampire quite well. And then all the girls in the theater swooned. Seriously, the first time he was on camera, they all hooted and hollered. The last time something like that happened in a movie was when the 3rd Pirates came out and people cheered when Johnny Depp came on screen. I just couldn’t help but see Cedric in front of me, but that soon changed. The complexity and confusion that both Bella and Edward felt were both interesting and endearing, because you got to see the change in the relationship and how much he actually cared for her.

That part kind of baffled me though. Like, how long was it before Bella knew that she loved Edward? Not very, and that seemed a little odd. In the same way that I thought Romeo and Juliet was a bunch of crock as well. People don’t go that crazy head over heels for someone that quickly. It just doesn’t happen. And the way that Bella just kept wanting him even after he told her to leave him alone and the said that he might kill her. “I don’t care. It doesn’t matter,” she said. Really? In real life if someone said that they were a vampire and they wanted to kill you, would you still want to be with them?

I liked the secondary characters too. Bella’s friends were a good light addition to the otherwise dark story, and Alice was just so friggin nice. Although her and her “siblings” had way too much caked on white makeup. That makeup artist could have made them look more naturally undead. But I don’t think the secondary characters got enough screen time. I don’t think they got enough backstory, which is what made this story much shallower than say, Harry Potter. I hate it that people thought that if you loved Harry Potter, that you would love Twilight. Just because their was some sort of magical quality. J. K. Rowling is a writer. Stephanie Meyer isn’t. She said it herself. She had a dream, and expanded on it. There wasn’t a lot of stuff happening in this story, but there was a lot of understanding of Bella’s and Edward’s inner turmoil.

That’s what I liked. I did like the dynamic between them, and the constant sexual tension, even if it really meant that he wanted to drink her blood. I liked the cool tones that it was shot in because it made it seem so much more WASHINGTON. Oh, and it really looked like Washington, so that was good. It rained. A lot. And it rains. A lot. I liked this movie because it was 2.2 hours of guilty pleasure. 2.2 hours of story that really only needed 2.2 hours to tell. That’s why I didn’t read the book. It wasn’t a story that took an entire book to tell and I didn’t want to invest that much time into reading something that I could enjoy in 2.2 hours. I’ll see the next one, mostly out of curiosity. And to stare at Rob Pattinson for another couple hours.

But just one last thing, when the hell did vampires sparkle in the sunlight? I read Dracula. Dracula didn’t sparkle. Lestat didn’t sparkle.

But honestly, does it matter what I say? Does it matter what any critic says? No, because like Harry Potter, there will always be a crazed fanbase. Even if Twilight had sucked, teenage girls would still go out and see the next movie.

❤ Abby

Works sucks

19 Nov

Specifically Petco.

You know why?

Because they do. And they forget about people in exchange for policy. We did have a fun work environment. We did, seriously. But now it’s just turned into a bucket of shit.

Metaphorically, not quite literally, but still. It sucks.

I honestly don’t know if I want work there anymore. I mean, April’s quitting, Glynda might soon, Lori’s stressed and unhappy, Annette got fired (although she deserved it, she was a nice person), Kelsey might quit, and they fired Roger. So….yeah. I’m angry, and I’m saddened that this economic crisis has turned this once happy workplace into such a frenzied environment, where quotas come before quality and the next dollar comes before decency. I hate it. I hate corporate bullshit. I feel like I can’t quit quite yet, because I need money over break, and I know that I will make a lot of money over the Christmas holiday. But after that, I see no point in staying. I mean, my doctor said I had to a long time ago, and I could easily get job that pays much better and is happy. Petco’s not happy right now. No one is happy, and I don’t like working in a place like that. But I know that if I were to quit now, I would letting my friends down, and I can’t take that guilt, because they already have screwed themselves over enough now that they fired Roger, but not to be overly confident, but I think I’m the best bather in there, apart from Glynda, who’s now a groomer for good. I think that they can’t afford not to have me there over the holiday, but if I was angrier, which I don’t really know what could make me more angry, I would quit now, just to be spiteful. Just to give them more inconvenience because they suck.

I just wish that I hadn’t worked so hard to keep my job two weeks ago. I regret it now, because now, I would have rather had them let me go to make right now easier. But it’s not, and I’m going to stick it out through the holidays, just to make money. However, I will be looking for a new job. So if you know anyone around town that’s hiring, please tell me. Preferably no huge corporations (aka Target). No Target.

Fuck you Petco.

And I don’t care if this makes them fire me. OOOO, I POSTED ANGRY MESSAGES ABOUT MY WORKPLACE ON THE INTERNET, WHAT OF IT? FREEDOM OF SPEECH BITCHES.

❤ Abby

Greatest singers my ass

18 Nov

I’m a music geek. I like good music. I don’t listen to music just for great voices. I listen to it for great songwriters, great musicians, and normally great voices are the last of my worries. They have to be able to carry a tune though. But Rolling Stone is being a little biased here. They just released their list of the 100 greatest singers of all time. And Bob Dylan is in the top ten, above Freddie Mercury and Robert Plant. Lou Reed and Iggy Pop are above Steve Perry, and Prince is below Prince. Now, I’m not saying that all of those people are good musicians, they are, but RS clearly missed the point. Stevie Nicks and Annie Lennox are down in the 90s and Kurt Cobain is number 45. I love Nirvana. I do, but Kurt couldn’t sing for crap. The thing that people loved about his voice is the depth and emotion.

Thom Yorke is an anomaly though. I’m not sure if 66 is a fair number for him. Radiohead is great band, one the best bands to come out of the 90s, but in terms of sheer vocal talent, not sure if Thom Yorke belongs at number 66 when Ann Wilson was completely omitted. Seriously?

Some other snubbs include Eddie Vedder, Ella Fitzgerald, and I can’t really think of other ones right now, but the whole list of bullshit.

I say, my list of the top 20 best singers are:::

1. Freddie Mercury
2. Nina Simone
3. Sam Cooke
4. Ray Charles
5. Ella Fitzgerald
6. Annie Lennox
7. Robert Plant
8. Tina Turner
9. Aretha Franklin
10. Bono
11. Janis Joplin
12. Stevie Nicks
13. Otis Redding
14. Jeff Buckley
15. Bjork
16. Stevie Wonder
17. Jim Morrison
18. Michael Jackson
19. Johnny Cash
20. Joe Cocker

So yeah, we rock.

❤ Abby

You know what’s awesome?

17 Nov

Protesting.

I’m so proud of Seattle. I can’t express my sheer joy at the fact that almost 6000 people showed up to the Prop 8 rally and march yesterday. Sadly enough, I couldn’t march because my car was parked outside Volunteer Park. But when Sarah and I arrived at the park at 10 am, and soon after, a whole buttload of people starting to fill up the park, including gay people, straight people, children and tons of dogs. There were at least 3 horse-sized Great Danes and a cute little Boston terrier who practically cleaned my face. I can honestly say that I’ve never felt such a communal spirit. I loved it.


I liked her enthusiasm.

Sarah and I made signs on friday night, but we didn’t have to. They actually had a table where you could make signs in the park. It was so amazing to see all those people there, all because prop 8 lit a fire under their butt about marriage equality rights. I’m so happy that people are smart. I’m so glad that people stand up for what they believe. And I’m so glad that I live in Washington. Seattle–you rock. You rock because some lady welcomed the protester marching down West Lake naked on her apartment balcony. Because there were nearly no counter protesters. Because the cops helped the rallyers down the street, not kept them from marching.

I love Seattle. I swear, when I get done with school, I’m trying everything that I can to move there, without going bankrupt.

Sarah and I literally sat at an intersection on West Lake for 25 minutes, taking pictures of protesters and waving in support. I just wished that we could have stayed, but we would have gotten lost walking back up to Volunteer Park, and it was a long walk back. And plus, I had to pee really bad. And I had to be back to the school to work on the paper, which I did, and that photo of the kids, with the little sad-looking girl, is the fucking front page photo. Boo yeah.

I’m pretty proud of myself. And I’m proud of everything who attended the rally.

Oh goodness it was awesome.

Technology doesn’t want me to remember things

13 Nov

I can’t seem to shake the feeling that my means of technology wants me to forget my past.

I’ve had numerous instances where I misplace my USB drives, although that could just be my forgetfulness. Every desktop computer I’ve ever owned has crashed and destroyed hundreds of GBs of information. And my iPod never can move mp3s from my computer to the next. Then again, that could be the fact that I have a Apple. But I’m not trying to contradict myself–I’m trying to make a point.

The 2nd PC we ever owned, one my now 25-year-old cousin built, decided to hate me and delete all the material saved under my name. That included all photos that I had saved, any old homework, and all of my half-written short stories that I never bothered to finish. But the worst of that one was the 1000 songs I’d saved on that computer. Back then, I thought 4 GB of music was a lot. If I knew back then how much music I would have now, I’d fall out of my shoes.

Four years later, after my Dad bought us a new widescreen PC downstairs, I was a junior in high school. It was a year after I’d joined Outlook, and I had already invested myself in writing my “manifesto” as it’s come to be called. Thirteen pages in, our computer crashed, contracting some virus from Limewire. My Dad wasn’t surprised, and he blamed it all on us. Again, all the information I’d saved on the computer–gone. Dad had to flatten the hard drive and reset all the date. Thankfully, I had most of the memories still locked in my head and on the pages of my journals that I could recreate the story from where it started. And now the manifesto, given the title “Hotel California” sits in the Outlook room, forever in a binder, saved within plastic page protectors, like a sort of time capsule.

And just this summer, one year after I got my own laptop, that same PC that Dad flattened three years ago went kaput again. I think by now, it’s given up completely. In turn, I’ve given up completely on PCs. I will forever be a Mac. Even though I slightly love John Hodgemen more than Justin Long. But this one hurts the most. This time, the lonely PC downstairs went slowly. Over time, the Internet stopped working, then the RAM gave up, making the simplest tasks all-day ordeals. For some reason, my father decided that it was the hard drive however. So he took it out, thinking it was some kind of cancer on the computer. To tell you the truth, I think the PC has been on its death bed for a couple years now. But Dad wanted to save it. He extracted the supposedly diseased hard drive and installed a new TERABYTE hard drive. He took out the small, sad, and sick heart of the computer and replaced it with a new, big and healthy heart. That heart may have been sick, but it had GBs of memories–photos to be more exact. As much as I wanted to computer to work–seeing that my with it not working, my sister was interfering with my laptop time–but I didn’t want to lose all the things that I loved.

It may sound cheesy that I had memories on the computer, but we don’t have physical photo albums anymore. My mom has dozens of them in a trunk at the foot of her bed. I have about 7 of them in a box under my bed. But I have hundreds, possibly over a thousand photos on my computer right now, from a year and a half of use time. I don’t even know how many photos were on the PC downstairs. I just know its way more than I have now.

I lost more than I have now. I’m so thankful that I’ve always kept journals, but photos speak so much louder than words. And much easier, since I might possibly lose the ability to read my own handwriting in the future. I know that I should move on from the past, from Outlook, from high school, from before I was sick, but the thing is–I can’t. Those things are so much apart of who I am today, that it’s impossible to forget those things. That’s why it saddens me to see parts of the Outlook in particular falling apart. I won’t be specific, since I don’t want to single anyone out. But what I had saved on the PC downstairs was years of memories and events and trips that I didn’t want to forget. And now I don’t have the option to even try to remember those things. From all that’s happened in the last year and a half, things get lost in the all the hustle and bustle of illness, and college, and mental breakdowns, and friendships lost, and relationships started, and relationships lost. I don’t have the luxury of looking back on the simpler times, before the shit hit the fan.

And I can’t help but wonder if that was intentional. If fate and karma needed me to forget. If fate and karma used those things that I normally trust so much to put away those memories for good. In a sense, to destroy them. I don’t have that time capsule to open up years from now.

And it makes me sad.

❤ Abby