Monday, January 18, 2010

Hey-O!

So, I realize it's been a million and a half hours since I last posted about Trazzler in August. After a stunning defeat, I took my bruised ego and my bat and went home. I didn't feel like playing anymore.

However, it's a new year. And I figured maybe I should get my head out of my ass and start writing again. Plus, lots has happened since last August. Spent some time in California and Hawaii (lots o' LOST actor sightings). Decided to get myself on a life plan so I'm starting school in a week and moving back into town (well, in theory...haven't found a place to live yet, but I've been trying. I think there might be a blog about Craigslist and the dos and donts of posting ads coming in the near future. I mean, people, please. If you smoke pot...maybe make mention of that with a little 420 reference in your ad. Cuz I love Bob Marley, but I don't wanna live with him. If you don't believe in television, and have only blow-up furniture in your living room...again, make reference of that. I don't need to meet you. I don't trust people who don't believe in television. Heathens).

Been busy. But that is no excuse. At the moment I'm taking a break from Facebook, so I'm putting that out here because I'm sure some people are confused as to why I've suddenly disappeared and I don't want them to think I de-friended them. I suppose you could say I de-friended all of Facebook. It's not permanent...just a hiatus and I temporarily suspended my account. Realized I was spending waaaay too much time on it and it had become a time suck.

I'm not going to lie - I've only been off the FB for 6 hours and I keep thinking, "Well...I could just log in real quick. Then I could deactivate it right after. It wouldn't be a big deal." Good lord. It's a good thing I'm not a smoker or an alcoholic. I don't know if I could quit anything as serious as that. Yeesh.

There you have it. Short, sweet and to the point. And I will attempt to at least write once a week. Adding that to my list o' resolutions. Other resolutions? Find a place to live that is not a hovel. So far, that one is proving hard to resolve than I originally thought. I feel like all the weirdos from California have migrated East especially for my roommate/apartment hunt.

Ta for now :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

If you're not reading SurvivingGrady.com...

Then what are you doing with your time at work? I mean, honestly. I can think of no better way to avoid doing work.

Big ups to my boys Red and Denton over at SurvivingGrady.com for posting a link to the Trazzler writing contest. Here's hoping I can swing a few last minute votes to propel me back into the Top 10.

It's been awhile since I've written (bad), but I didn't want to bore with any lameass stories (good). Basically all I've done for the past 2 weeks is pimp myself out like a $2 hooker for Trazzler votes. And business has been slow.

Here's the haps: Trazzler is holding a travel writing competition, in which anyone can compete as long as they can coherently write about their own "oasis." Easy enough. Winner gets 10k and 2 weeks on assignment in New York City. Um, yes please! If I win, I promise to run around New York City in my "Best Girls Root for Boston" tee. Because, well, the best girls *do* root for Boston.

The theme of the contest was easy enough. My oasis? Bolsa Chica State Beach springs to mind immediately. As well as the Christian Science Center reflecting pool - but not for any religious reasons, mind you.

Since it's been almost 2 years since I've been able to surf because of this crap car accident/spinal fusion fiasco, I figured I might as well relive my surfing glory and write about Bolsa.

So I did.

And I made it to the semi-finalist round. While there are currently 203 semi-finalists, I like to think that I made it because I can actually write. (I believe there were over 1000 entries to start.) No, seriously. I've managed to consistently stay within the Top 15 for most of the voting period. To be honest, I was actually within the Top 10 for much of the past 2 weeks. Until about 3 or 4 days ago. Suddenly I was dropping in the ranks faster than Lindsay Lohan after a night out in Hollywood. I just couldn't seem to garner anymore votes, even though I knew of specific people who had yet to vote.

Oh yeah, did I forget to mention? I can see everyone who votes for me. Cue evil laugh.

While this experience has made it very clear that I will never run for any sort of political office, I'm willing to do what it takes to get into the Top 10, including harassing my friends to within an inch of their sanity. At least in the finals, the Trazzler peeps pick the winner based on skill. And I'd much rather lose based on skill than not being able to get people to vote. The whole thing sort of reeks of Student Council elections where I'm the band geek up against the Head Cheerleader or something.

So today is the final day of voting. I'm currently about 30-40 votes behind the 10th place contestant. I don't have delusions of grandeur - I'm not aiming for #1. I just need to be in #10 by 7:59 pm EST tonight. That's all.

If you're feeling generous, go here and sign-in with your Facebook account, click "Add to wishlist" and that's it. You've just voted for me. For those without FB accounts, you can sign up up here for a Trazzler account so you can vote for me. Make up a fake name for all I care, as long as the email address is valid, that's all that matters.

Help a poor, mostly unemployed girl with loads of medical bills out, won't you? I feel like getting that old dude from those Christian "Adopt-a-Foreign-Kid" ads to be my spokesperson. Maybe I should post a picture of me sitting at my computer, looking forlornly out the window, wishing I, too, could be outside whooping it up over my minimum-wage paycheck and PBR.
:)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Worst. Potter. Film. EVER.

I suppose I should post *SPOILER ALERT* here. In case you've not read the Harry Potter series, or not yet seen any of the movies, or you've been living under a rock for the past 8 years and have only now just crawled out, blinking and squinting, trying to protect your eyes from that bright shiny orb in the sky, otherwise known as the sun.

If you'll excuse me, I'm still trying to wrap my brain around the crapfest masquerading as a Potter flick that I finally saw yesterday. I do believe my immediate reaction to the end of the film was, "Are you fucking kidding me?"

Now, I understand that when books are turned into films, you can't keep every little nuance and detail, otherwise the movies would be a million years long. As is to be expected, most movies never live up to the book they're based on. One exception? Bridget Jones' Diary. That is the first time I ever walked out of a theater going, "Wow, that was so much better than the book."

What? Helen Fielding isn't much of a writer. Sorry, Helen. Is the truth. While the idea behind the book was amusing and different, the actual writing was, well...kind of dull. At least to me. The movie version was simply fantastic. The first movie, that is. The sequel was rubbish. As was the second novel.

Anyways, what I'm saying is that no one generally goes into the movies thinking, "Oh. I just know they're going to stick to the story exactly as it in the novel, and they won't add or delete anything. I can't wait!" Especially not when the books in question are over 600 pages long.

What I don't get is why screenwriter Steve Kloves apparently fancies himself a better writer than J.K. Rowling herself. You know, the creator of this series. By this I mean the fact that he decided to leave out crucial, significant scenes from Book 6...but then added some random scenes that were never in the book.

Seriously?

No.

If you're going to cut things out (important things!!), then you do not get to make up new scenes. Sorry, in no way is this acceptable. And I can't believe J.K. Rowling signed off on this script. Especially with this particular book. I mean, christ almighty, Book 6 sets up the ending to this magnificent story. Do not cut out key plot details about Horcruxes. Don't just glaze over Dumbledore's death. He's Dumbledore. Does he not deserve a better ending then just a quick, "Aveda Kedavra" and then, plop, he's done? It was completely anti-climactic, in my opinion. I barely had time for a reaction, given how fast it was all rushed through.

While I was annoyed with all the silly love crap, it was actually in the book so I'm fine with it being in the film. However, I don't agree with keeping all of that and then just casually adding in the Horcrux storyline, like it was a side dish to teen romance.

Having read the book(s), obviously, I know why Harry crams a bezoar down Ron's throat to save him from the poisoned drink. Do the filmgoers know? Doubtful, as they never explain it in the movie. We're just supposed to accept that Harry knows everything about potions...when in reality, he only knows these things because of the Half-Blood Prince's potions book.

Do filmgoers really understand the whole Half-Blood Prince storyline? Ha, I don't think so. The way Snape throws out that line, "Yes, I'm the Half-Blood Prince," it was almost like an afterthought. Like Kloves forgot to mention it earlier and, "Oops. Oh yeah. Hey, Rickman, get on that would you?"

What really irks me is the film's ending. In the book, when Dumbledore petrifies Harry underneath his invisibility cloak so he cannot help Dumbledore fight Malfoy, and later, Snape. In the movie, Harry looks like a fool, standing beneath watching all the action - no invisibility cloak in sight (no pun intended), no petrification needed. And since when does Harry listen to anything Snape tells him to do? The whole thing was just out of character.

Plus, in the book, there is a huge battle between the students and teachers of Hogwarts versus the Death Eaters. It is a fantastic scene, culminating with Hagrid picking up the body of Dumbledore to bring him back into the castle. I was devastated while reading this passage. I couldn't believe Dumbledore was gone. It killed me - almost as much as when Sirius died.

In the film, none of this happens. For crissakes, they don't even have a funeral for him. In the book, it is at Dumbledore's funeral Harry decides he's not returning to Hogwarts the next year because he has to finished what Dumbledore started. He's heartbroken over the loss of his favorite headmaster, his father figure since starting at Hogwarts, and determined to see this to the end. In the film, he doesn't even seem all that upset about it. Hell, I wasn't even all that upset about Dumbledore's death. It was passed over so quickly that you don't even have time to get upset. There better damn well be a funeral flashback in the next movie or I'm going to call for Kloves' head.

I will give the film props for the wands raised bit at the end - when all the students and teachers raise their wands in salute to Dumbledore and vanish the Dark Mark overhead. However, that does not make up Kloves' utter disregard for the story.

Other things that irritated me? Where's Kreacher and Dobby? Where's Bill and Fleur - will there not be a wedding in the next movie? What about the Dursleys? The rest of the Order of the Phoenix? I wouldn't be surprised if the entire first scene of Deathly Hallows ends up on the cutting room floor. Suddenly, Lupin and Tonks are together, no explanation necessary? We're just supposed to accept that Ginny and Harry are in love? The Ron/Hermione tension was more believable - at least previous films have included some of their love/hate thing. For example, Hermione getting mad at Ron for not inviting her to the dance in Book 4. Ron getting jealous of Viktor Krum, etc., etc.

But Ginny and Harry...it's just not believable. The movie forces it on us without any detail. Bleh. Over it.

As a whole, I just feel like the whole movie was disjointed, leaving filmgoers to fend for themselves. And that's not the Harry Potter way.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Hee, hee, Zac Efron.

Is it wrong that I want to rent 17 Again? Cuz, I really, really want to. Something about Zac Efron acting like a young Chandler just appeals to me.

So, I realized the other day that, without a job or any money...I don't really have much to write about. Hence this blog taking a nosedive. When you don't leave the house much, there's not much to report on. Sure, I could write about tv, but as we've already discussed, I hate reality shows and there's not a lot going on in the world of television in the summer. Monk and Psych started last week and while I enjoy them immensely, I don't really want to write about them.

Actually, I take that back...I do love the fact that Psych has been ripping on The Mentalist in its promos lately, and even in last week's episode. Hi-larious. Love it. Mostly because when I heard the premise for The Mentalist, I immediately thought, "You've got to be kidding me. A fake psychic? Um, hellooo, USA already has a show about a fake psychic. And it's awe-some. Why must there be another?"

Alas. I realize they are different shows - Psych is a comedy, whereas The Mentalist is drama with a bit of comedy injected into the dialogue. Doesn't matter. Still makes me laugh when Shawn takes jabs at it.

So yeah, that's about it. Nothing very exciting to discuss. Still job hunting with no luck. One day, one day...

Monday, August 10, 2009

The world of online dating.

As I get older and head towards spinsterhood, I continue to get gentle (and not-so-gentle) nudges from friends to "Try online dating!" "C'mon, just give it a go, sign up for Match/eHarmony/insert other smarmy online dating site here."

Yeahhhhh, no. See, I spend enough time on the computer as it is searching for a job, doing the social networking thing, surfing the 'net for things I can't afford to buy because I don't have a job. I don't want to find a guy online, too. Because, honestly...at some point, I need to get outside. And, correct me if I'm wrong, isn't being out in the world how people found dates and mates years ago?

I think Liz Tuccillo sums it up perfectly in her novel, How to Be Single (not a self-help book, btw, but just a novel): "In the good old days, online dating was considered a hideous embarrassment, something no one would be caught dead admitting to. I loved that time. Now the reaction you will get from people when they hear you're single and not doing some sort of online dating is that you must not really want it that bad. It has become the bottom line, the litmus test for how much you're willing to do for love. As if your Mr. Right is definitely, absolutely guaranteed to be online. He's waiting for you and if you're not willing to spend the 1500 hours, 39 coffees, 47 dinners and 432 drinks to meet him, then you just don't want to meet him badly enough and you deserve to grow old and die."

I completely agree with her. Is this what it's come to? These days, if you're not doing online dating, people think you're nuts and clearly you don't deserve happiness in love and life. Because, how can you not be doing online dating if you have any intentions of getting married/being happy some day? Hello! Get with it! Yet, 15 years ago, you were creepy if you posted personal ads in the newspaper. How attitudes have changed.

I dunno, it's not for me. I tried it once and it just creeped me the hell out. Maybe because I don't want to shop for a boyfriend the way I would shop for a pair of jeans online? I don't want to sift through the pile, looking for the perfectly ripe, non-bruised, ready-to-eat man, like I would an apple at the grocery store. Maybe I don't want to choose men based on their profile only to find out, hours/days/weeks later, that he was full of shit and most of the stuff in the profile was a big fat lie. I already know enough men who lie constantly.

The other thing is, online dating is really about the photo. And like I've said before, what if your "One True Love" takes a really bad picture? You'll never click on his profile and discover that he's "The One" - that he rescues sick puppies, cares for the elderly and tutors orphans in his off time from being a neurosurgeon.

And to be completely honest, my single status is less of a concern for me than my lack of a job/place to live/money to pay bills. I've never been a girl who sat around pining for a boyfriend, bemoaning my singledom. I've never understood those girls - you know, the ones who can't seem to function unless there is a man in their life. The serial monogamists, who flit from one longterm relationship to the next. I mostly look at them and think, "What is wrong with you? Why can't you be alone?" It's really weird to me. I don't get it. I like being alone. I like having no one to consider in my plans - if I want to go somewhere, I go. I want to see a movie? I go. I don't have to worry about someone else's schedule or whether they want to see a different movie.

I want to take a trip? I take a trip - to wherever it is I want to go. Or rather, I used to. Having no money cuz kind of out the kibbosh on that for now.

Sure, having a guy in my life would be nice for various reasons, but I'm not going to spend hours on the computer looking for said guy. I dunno, online dating sort of reeks of desperation to me. Because the only reason you are on those sites is to "Find a man/woman and get married!" I don't mind meeting people online - I've made a few good friends via the internet (MySpace, blogs, the like). But the thing is, it just sort of happened. We weren't looking to meet, we just happened to meet and that was cool. No alterior motives, no pressure. With Match, eHarmony, etc...the point of those sites is to date and get married (mostly). I think that's my problem with online dating. You go in with a motive. It's not just, "Hey, maybe I'll make some friends." It's, "I will find a man if it kills me. "

If some of the guys I've met via the internet became more than friends somewhere down the line, that's fine. I'm not anti-dating. But to hunt down a boyfriend in the same manner I do a job with a list of requirements/special skills/etc., well it just seems weird. Forced. Unnatural.

But hey, if it works for you, then all the power to ya! Just don't try and convince me that my life is somehow lacking if I'm single and not trolling the interwebs for a husband. I've got enough problems in my life without adding a man to it at the moment. To each his own, eh?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away...

Last night I saw Paul McCartney play a show at Fenway Park. At 67 years old, Paul rocks harder than most musicians half his age. It was really a spectacular show. I gotta give the guy props. For nearly 2 and a half hours, he rocked out without taking a single break. Never even saw him take a sip of water - it was nuts.

Granted, I didn't know all the songs, but it was still a good time. Having a dad who is a huge fan of the Beatles, I'm well-versed in the Beatles catalog, but I don't know much of his work from Band on the Run and I had never even heard of Fireman. The older ladies in the crowd were bopping and singing along, reliving their youth and screaming with abandon whenever Paul hammed it up for the crowd.

What's kind of funny is that, although I am fully aware that the man is a musical legend and icon, I didn't get too excited about seeing him. To be completely honest, I think I would have been much more excited about seeing Jason Mraz. I'm still disappointed I couldn't scrounge up the cash to see his shows the past two nights in Boston. I mean, it's MRAZ!

Oh, and a quick note, cuz I am sure you are thinking, "Wait, she couldn't afford Mraz, but she went to Fenway to see Paul McCartney? Am I missing something?" Yes. Yes, you are. A friend of mine had an extra ticket, and after trying to find someone who could go that could also pay for the ticket, she asked me. I'm not insulted that I was a last choice - she's well aware of my financial situation. So she told me it was on her. In exchange, I'll make her some delicious homemade BBQ pizza - my specialty. I'll find other ways to pay her back that don't include monetary compensation.

Quite honestly, if I had the money to see McCartney, I probably wouldn't have gone. Not because I'm not a fan of McCartney. On the contrary, he's a legendary musical icon. I'm just not really a fan of stadium shows. While it was super cool to see a show at Fenway, I probably will never go again. If I had my choice, I would prefer to see artists play in smaller venues - small clubs, coffeehouses. While it's highly unlikely that I'll ever see Mraz, Jack Johnson or Jamie Cullum play a small coffeehouse, I'm still holding out hope. (Actually, Mraz played an acoustic show in town yesterday, but you had to win your way in. I kept calling the radio station and getting through, but alas, I was never the correct caller.)

I would have liked to bring my real camera with me to Fenway last night, but I was afraid I would get turned away so instead I brought my point-and-shoot. Which basically means, any photos taken after dark came out crap. You can't take quality shots of people moving around at night with a point-and-shoot. They never look very good. I did take a few videos, but have not downloaded them yet so I don't know how well they came out. Mostly I took them in hopes that the audio would come out good enough so I could have my dad take a listen since he was pretty jealous over the fact that I was going to see Paul and he wasn't.

All in all, not a bad night out in Boston. It's been awhile since I went out around town. Funny how when you have money, life gets a tad more enjoyable. Crazy!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Reality TV. And why I hate it.

So, I was thinking about what I wrote last week regarding reality television. I should probably be more specific, eh? Because there are some reality shows I do enjoy. However, they are a specific genre of reality show. For example, tonight a new season of America's Best Dance Crew begins. Now, this kind of reality show I can get behind because there is a point to it. Like Star Search of old, reality shows that are, in essence, talent shows, are fine with me. ABCD, America's Got Talent, hell...even American Idol (of which I am an outspoken, adamant non-fan - don't even get me started on how much I loathe Idol), have a purpose. They don't really seem like reality shows, really. Am I right?

To be completely honest, even though I enjoy dance reality shows, I'm not someone who watches any of them religiously, and I've never voted for any contestants. If I could remember to DVR the shows, I would so I could watch the performances only and fast-forward through the judging. Cuz honestly? I don't care what JC Chasez has to say about a crew's dance routine. No offense, JC. I just don't. I want to see the dancing. Same thing with America's Got Talent - I only started watching it this year because my parents are big fans. It's ridiculously cheesy, but I enjoy watching the good performers. Again, though - I'd prefer to just fast-forward through the filler and only watch the routines. The Hoff doesn't amuse me as much as he amuses himself, apparently.

All of this could be a result of me being a huge dance freak. I love anything related to dance. It's sort of a sickness. Movies, television shows, theater performances - the more dancing, the better. And all kinds of dance - tap, hip hop, krumpin, jazz, whatever. It's all good. As someone who has a tap shoe signed by Savion Glover sitting on her bookshelf (For real. I made him sign one of my old tap shoes after seeing him perform live), it's safe to say that if there is dancing involved, I'm going to want to watch it.
Shows like Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations are okay, too. Because again, there is a point. He's inviting us to come along to explore whatever city/country he's visiting. It's not about how he got into a tiff with his cameraman the night before and now they're not speaking. He's not getting drunk and hitting on inappropriate people. (He very well may do so, but it's not showing up on camera and for that, I thank you, Travel Channel.) It's not about him per se. I mean, it is, given that it's his show, but he's just the host. Again, not a show I watch religiously, but I can appreciate it - being a travel junkie, I'm always up for an educational show about a place I've yet to go (and some places I've already been).


When it comes to real reality shows, however, I loathe them.

Hate them.

Despise them.

I think you get the picture.

I want them to spontaneously combust and go to the place where tv shows die. Real Housewives, the Bachelor/ette, Survivor, all of them....please, go away. I don't get exactly why it is people are obsessed with them. Why would you want to watch someone else's life on tv? Go out and live your own!

I will cop to once being a huge Real World fan, however. In my defense, it was when it first premiered. At that time, we'd never seen anything quite like it. It was new. It was a novelty. Seeing what happened when you filmed a group of people 24/7 was adventurous, entertaining, and interesting. Then MTV added Road Rules - a show which not only allowed me to live vicariously through these weirdos traveling the world, but it was amusing to boot. So, yeah, I was a fan. Chances are, if you're in my age group, you were, too. Don't try to pretend otherwise.

However, there comes a time for everything to go gently into that good night. Unfortch, MTV doesn't seem to agree, what with the millionith season of RW on television currently. Ugh. Thanks, I'll pass. I have no need to watch a bunch of drunken idiots make asses of themselves. I saw that firsthand in college, thankyaverymuch.

These days, it's like, "Holy crap. Can the tv people not come up with anything remotely entertaining that doesn't involve some douchebag or plastic bimbo making an ass of themselves?"

Apparently not. And the viewing public, by gobbling up this televised garbage, only encourages tv execs to cram more of it down our throats, because they figure, "If people are watching Kim Kardashian, maybe they'll want to watch (insert some other useless celeb)!" Ugh. So, thanks a lot, viewing public. If you'd just stop watching the ridiculous Housewives, or the self-absorbed celeb reality shows, maybe we'd get some quality programming. Sigh.

So hopefully this clears everything up, with regards to my reality show diatribes. As you were...