Thursday, October 29, 2009
Well, I've been to USU theater productions before and - dang, they are awesome. This was no exception. These are my initial thoughts:
- Holy cow - Sweeney can sing! There was one note he held for - I swear, two minutes. And - how many guys can sing about "pretty women" and his lovely little daughter while offing people left and right. Kind of felt bad for the guy. Awesome performance (the guy who played Sweeney is in one of my roommate's classes - I wonder if he'd give out autographs - ha ha)
- Mrs. Lovett - is insane. And the girl who played her was amazing. I think it's harder to play crazy, funny characters than serious, dramatic roles for the simple fact that it's hard to ham it up and keep a straight face. I admire people who can do it. Brilliant performance!
- One of my mission companions had seen the Tim Burton version of Sweeney Todd and she had told me how people sit in Sweeney's barber chair and once he kills them, they slide off the chair down into the place where Mrs. Lovett makes her pies. Well, that's all well and good for movies (Tim Burton is a freakin' creative genius), but I was curious how the stage production would pull that off. Basically - not to spoil anything - the "dead" actor just kind of slides off into a trapdoor. It's pretty slick. I wonder how long they had to practice to look dead but still get down the chute without breaking something. Personally, I would probably whap my elbow or land and break my ankle. I'm sure my screaming in pain would break some of the suspension of disbelief for the audience. Just a hunch...
- Mad props go to the... well, prop department (ha ha... heh...) It never ceases to amaze me what they come up with for scenery and stage.
- Toby for the WIN!!! Dang, that kid is a crazed little bugger. And he pulled off creepy like nobody's business (it's always the innocent ones) I thought Mrs. Lovett was a piece of work. I didn't see that one coming - honestly, I thought the kid was dead. But he offs Sweeney? Granted, by that point, Sweeney was a broken shell of a human being, but Toby rubs it in nicely. I'm just sad that he won't get his muffler now... aw...
- And how 'bout Johanna shooting the prison guard? About time she showed some gusto. (Anthony's a wuss... does he ever find out that Sweeney was Johanna's father? Does Johanna find out, for that matter? Just curious...)
All in all - you USU theater peeps did a great job. Hats off to you - 3.5 out of 4 cannibalistic meat pies (razors are extra - just in time for Halloween).
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I'm so glad I met her! I haven't felt like I could talk to anybody about my problem because they'd think it was stupid or I was being selfish - and to be honest, I do feel a little selfish for feeling this way. But Keshia set me right - I don't have to feel selfish because everyone has something that weighs them down. But you need to walk out that door and thank the Lord for this day because it's a blessing. Stop living in the past, enjoy the present because that's what God gave you (direct quote from Keshia - considering what she's been through in her past, it carries a lot of weight). And everything is going to turn out okay.
I really owe a lot to Keshia - even though I'm supposed to be helping other people on my mission, she helped me a lot with my confidence and... well, to use her words: Before I went to Florida, I was Fluff. Now I'm a Rock. And because of my experiences, I'll be a Rock for my husband and children. And don't doubt because Satan wants you to doubt. But we can kick his sorry behind out of our lives!
(I'm just trying to get this all down before I have to go to work - and I had my blog up before Keshia called, so it was convenient)
She might even be coming up to visit - I felt bad when she asked me when I'd be coming to see her in Florida and I told I didn't know because I just don't have the money. But she said that was okay because she might have it worked out to where she could come up here next year. And to call her anytime, day or night.
It was good to talk to her.
I know Heavenly Father is mindful of us and He answers our prayers in unexpected ways. He answered mine today.
It's time for a blog dump! Oh, I went back and back to see how long I've been blogging (not on Blogspot, but other places) and my first blog was posted more than four years ago. Aw... the memories ^_^
Letssee... (ooh ooh - "New Moon" TV spot - pardon the ADD moment... okay, I'm back) ... the actual week was okay - nothing crazy to report. My second job asked if I could post my articles on his blogs, which amounts to some extra hours (yay!!) Then the weekend - I went home because our stake was having big devotional at the Manti Temple (like, in the upper priesthood room; like, a once-in-a-lifetime big deal thing). That was pretty sweet and I enjoyed it.
Also, we had our family Halloween party (apparently, this tradition started while I was on my mission - it's a tradition I can support, though). A few nights before, I decided I was going to go as one of the Twilight vampires (didn't have a particular one in mind, just whoever), so I had to scramble for what I needed. I had makeup (I'm fair-skinned as it is, so I just had to go a little paler) and some cool looking high heeled boots. I went online to see how to be a Twilight vampire and they all said you had to have colored contacts, which I can see. But I already wear prescription contacts and getting colored prescription contacts for one night is pretty stupid (I'm NOT going around with yellow eyes in real life). But - intelligent me, forgot the button-up shirt that I'd found to wear, so I had to turn my Gators shirt inside out (lucky it was black). But it was cool. When I go to the Scream on Friday, at least I won't be leaving parts of my costume other places.
(TV-ADD Moment: Oh jeez, these Redskins stink...)
The party was fun - got to see some cousins that I don't always get to see. Then Saturday, Mom and Dad went to the Utes game and I stayed in Delta with my sisters and the dog.
I have a beef, however - Why is it that Utah State's football team, who aren't exactly headed for any championships anytime soon, can get on ESPN, but the two teams in the state that are ranked in the BCS (Utah and BYU) have to cater to the small fish at Versus and Comcast? We have DirecTV at home and the idiots at Comcast has bought out Versus and said that no one else can carry that channel. Versus was the ONLY chance Mountain West fans had to watch the games on TV because we have to have that insanely retarded mtn. channel - it's not even big league enough to spell anything out, I'd like to point out (hate you, Dave Checketts, HATE YOU!!!) It sucks that I can watch every NFL game that I want, but I can't even get a simple local college team on TV. Sigh... an argument that's been levied for at least three years and probably will be revisited until the rest of forever. It's like universal health care - no one wants it, but they snuck it through and now that we have it, we can't get rid of it.
Oh well - the Utes won. BYU got spanked. Even though they beat BYU, TCU is fast becoming the Patriots of the Mountain West - where the crap did they come from, can we please shut up about them and will the Utes please beat the snot out of them? I just don't want them beating MY team, that's all.
(TV-ADD Moment - I usually love adaptations of "A Christmas Carol," but this Disney 3D version looks like a hack job just so they can have a kiddie 3D Christmas movie. Hm...)
And last night, I got back at 12:30 am - and I'm getting a cold (Zicam, NyQuil and orange juice are on hand), so I am wiped out.
PS - Amazon.com is selling Sarah Palin's new book for $9.oo for pre-order (plus shipping - amounts to about $13.00). Beats the nearly $30 that it will be once it's out. Just a little free promotion for Governor Palin (future President Palin ^_^)
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Wow - had an excellent Institute class today (given - I've never had a non-excellent Institute class. I've long since determined that, like Apparating inside Hogwarts or outrunning Edward Cullen or the Detroit Lions having a winning season, this is impossible). I gained some great insights that apply to me and quite possibly a lot of people and I feel compelled to share them.
Currently, I'm in a class on the Pearl of Great Price. It's a short book, but it's chock full of great doctrine, if you dig deep enough (oh boy, do we ever dig!) Right now, we're talking about the Creation and how science and religion add up, but that's not what intrigued me today. It's something our teacher said. At the beginning of class, he held up a brick and asked us all to list as many uses for a brick as we could in 60 seconds. So, we did - at the end of the time, he asked us to tell us how many things we thought of - the class average was around 15. To illustrate the point, when he would do this exercise as a student, the class would come up with 30-50 uses.
Conclusion: we are less creative and imaginative nowadays. We let other people be creative and we just be entertained by their creativity.
To tie all this into the Creation, he asked us a series of questions: What does God imagine? What kinds of things does God daydream about (inasmuch as He would daydream - just go with me here)? What does the Greatest Creative Genius in the universe imagine in His free time? And how does that show our potential as His children?
He said some things that really struck me that I want to share. Of all God's creations, we are the only ones that have the ability to imagine - to create literature and art, to build a space station, to develop the Internet, to reason, to philosophize. BUT - what does that amount to in each of us?
And this is the one that hit home: Are you letting someone else's imagination stifle yours?
I had to think on that one. I've been working on a novel since high school that has gone through so many incarnations, for better or worse (I hope better). Sometimes, when I find a fellow writer friend, I will share some of my ideas because I am so in love with this story and the characters and I really, really, REALLY want to write it and I want to have a sounding board. But sometimes (not all the time, but now and then) the person I share it with says "Why did you call your town X? That sounds a lot like the town from book Y." Or even - I'll read a new book and there'll be something in the plot that resembles something I've included in mine, and that'll frustrate me because I feel like I'm the last one to the table and I can't do that now because someone else did. For instance: I picked up a book that retells the legend of King Arthur from the perspective of the women in the story and one of the characters had a piece of jewelry that resembled something I had one of my characters own. And I'd never read this book before - it was pure coincidence! (not to mention, English majors are conditioned to be deathly afraid of anything remotely resembling plagiarism. It's like the swine flu of the literary world).
Sadly, I concluded that I do let others' imaginations stifle my own. And it's not solely reserved for my writing, either. I've wanted to pursue a Masters degree since I knew it was something I could do, but I wasn't sure what I wanted to study - I had a boatload of options and Masters degrees in any field of English are highly specialized. You have to pick Medieval Literature or Studies in 20th Century American Folklore or Literary Fiction or Poetry ... the list goes on.
While I was on my mission, I decided that I wanted to do it in Library Science. So, when I got home, I started researching programs, picked one that felt right and began applying. I am in the ending phases of the application process and I am very pleased with myself and there are others who are happy for me. But - there are a few that give me funny looks when I tell them I'm getting my Masters degree to become a librarian. It's like "You'll have spent six years in school just to be a librarian?"
Honestly - it hurts. And I started to second-guess my decision, just like I second-guess my story decisions. Decisions that I have pondered long and hard on (yes, I think LONG and HARD on my story - I've worked on it this long, it's going to be good, gosh dang it!) And I hate second-guessing my decisions - makes me feel like all the work I've done is a waste and I'm no good at anything. And even though the criticism might not really be worth my time or even energy, somehow it gets stuck. It's something I have to deal with - that's when I go to the people whose opinion really does matter - usually a member of my family or a close friend and they put me straight and all is well with the world.
But the lesson in Institute really helped. It's nice to know that part of my purpose is to be creative (shoot, creation is one of God's hobbies, why can't it be one of mine? Maybe not on the plane that He operates, but I can work in my own sphere. "Worlds without end" "My words never cease" - sounds like a pretty creative God to me).
I have a really creative mind, you know (at least, I like to think so). I don't mean to sound prideful or full of myself, but I'm a good writer and it's something I enjoy (and I love books and nothing would thrill me more than to be a professional bookworm ^_^). I just have to stop taking what other people say to heart as much as I do (unless it's warranted - but that's on a case-by-case basis).
That's my story - hope it helped any of you creative-imagination-driven types out there. What do you think? Let me know! (even if it's bad - hey, if I'm ever going to be published, I need to get used to negative feedback).
And I'm going to post this now before it gets any longer. But it's something good to muse about (ha ha - "muse" - no pun intended ^_^)
Monday, October 19, 2009
I guess it's time to move on. As I listened to Melissa's book, I realized how little I have to do with that fandom anymore (that I probably never had much to do with the hardcore geekery in the first place). Oh, I'm still excited about the next Harry Potter movie and the possibility of going to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park in Orlando - but Leaky has gone too liberal for me (or maybe they always were and I had the excitement of the books to disguise it).
I dunno... between dealing with the "Dumbledore is gay! Hooray!" puke-fest and the socialist HP Alliance, I feel like my fandom's been hijacked by people whose opinions routinely spit in my face and insult me on a personal level constantly.
A note related to Dumbledore's sexual preferences: as part of my playing catchup, I listened to PC's "Harry goes to Comic Con" live show. Here, Melissa and several others were part of a Harry Potter panel. Most of the audience, it seemed, were there for things other than Harry Potter. Someone, not of the HP fandom, brought up the question of what Dumbledore's "outing" had done to the fandom. Someone from either the Sugar Quill or Fiction Alley (neither of which I frequent, seeing as how I am not a fanfiction devotee) responded that it was great because they finally had ammo to throw at all the "hateful" people who requested that fanfiction be kept clean and that homophobia has no place in Harry Potter, so get out you intolerant non-homosexual religious person, you!
That's not exactly how it was said, but that's how I felt after she said what she said. And the fact that people cheered for it just rubbed salt in the wound. It's the first time that a podcast has made me cry. Honestly, I thought all that hullabaloo would die down and life would go back to normal, but I guess it hasn't and it won't.
I don't believe homosexuality is moral or even natural - BUT I don't believe that makes people who have chosen to be homosexual inherently evil. I believe they are human just like the rest of us and, just like the rest of us, they make mistakes that can thankfully be forgiven through the Atonement. The choices they make are between them and their Creator and none of my business.
Don't Harry Potter fans know what it's like to be laughed at and ridiculed for something they treasure? Sorry, but my moral values are a touch more deeply held than my love of Potter and they come first. I never knew that Harry Potter fans could be bullies, but when you get to interview JK Rowling and are on Scholastic and Warner Brothers' speed dial, I guess there comes a point where you become "The Man" that you fought so hard against.
(As an aside, I laughed during the Wizard Rock chapter when the DeGeorge brothers of "Harry and the Potters" fame, who had worked so hard to flourish and not sell out of mainstream rock and "stick it to The Man" suddenly became "The Man" of Wizard Rock when they told Alex Carpenter of "The Remus Lupins" that he couldn't perform unless he was opening for the Potters. Talk about hypocrisy. I was happy when Alex told them - in effect - "screw you" and continued to play. I knew there was a reason I preferred his music over the others.)
Mission life changes you. You see things you once loved in a new light and, sometimes, that stuff has to drop out of your life. I still enjoy the Harry Potter books, but the fandom continues to disappoint. I'm not ready to give it up completely - I promised myself I would finish listening to all these PotterCasts - maybe some kind of redemption is possible, but I doubt it. However, I hear Twilight has a big following - maybe I can find some intellectual grownups over there.
Or, maybe I should just read the books and forget about any kind of fandom interaction. I know I'll listen to my own theories.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
This has gotten me so infuriated. Number one: Rush Limbaugh can't buy an NFL team, but Keith Olbermann can flap his gums during analysis on Sunday Night Football? And people say it's not the same thing, but Olbermann is involved with the NFL's public image more than Rush would be because Keith is on TV. Tell me what is wrong with this picture because I'm apparently too stupid to get it.
Honestly? Fans don't care who the team owner is - unless your team stinks (which, the Rams are awful - sorry, it's true). NFL fans knows the name of one, maybe two people who owns any professional sports team (everyone knows who Jerry Jones is because ESPN craps their pants every time someone associated with the Dallas Cowboys bends down to tie their shoe). The players don't care because they get paid as long as they play well - even some who don't play well get paid. To my knowledge, no active NFL players have said anything about his bid for the team (I've heard some vague reference to "players who wouldn't play" for Rush, but none were named. Granted, that came from the players unions, so I don't know how reliable that information is).BUT... the lovely players unions have to get involved (which, because of the unions, there may be an NFL lockout next year). And Commissioner Roger Goodell... I really respected him because the NFL hasn't had a lot of problems other pro leagues have had largely due to his efforts, but his comments on Rush's ownership of the Rams are hypocritical, especially after he let Michael Vick back into the league (which, great that he's forgiving and what-have-you). Even the owner of my Colts, Jim Irsay, has to give his two cents and that ticked me off (to illustrate my earlier point, this is first I've heard the name of the Indianapolis Colts owner and I've been following them for a good ten-twelve years).
Number two: Rush has been a big fan of the NFL for a long time. He references football quite often on his show and discusses it when it comes up, to the chagrin of some listeners that would rather Rush "stick to the issues." But it's something he enjoys and, honestly - it's fun. After a day of deconstructing liberal idiocy, everyone needs hobby. So, Rush has had success in his career and he wants to use his OWN MONEY to dabble in a hobby of his and they all say "Oh no, you can't do that because you're controversial and we can't have any controversy in sports" (Controversy? Sports? No...) Rush has given the NFL quite a bit of free airtime on his show. It's mostly water-cooler-type talk, but it's still coverage. Next question: Is this how you repay someone who has been a fan for years and years and now has the means to be involved on an executive level? Good grief - you let the morally-image-challenged Fergie buy a share of the Miami Dolphins but nobody's getting their shorts in a wad over that.
99.9% of controversy around Rush comes because the idiot out-of-context media can't quote him right on anything. I've listened to Rush since childhood and I am hard pressed to think of something that was LEGITIMATELY racist (you know, something that wasn't sarcasm or a joke. I guess conservatives aren't allowed to joke. Add that to the list right underneath "like football" - by the way, to any liberals that are lurking around here, I was making a joke.. Go ahead and take me out of context and run me through the mud. I eagerly await a call from Katie Couric - wait, I wouldn't even have that much notice, would I?).
The Rams need help. They are 0-5 (good grief, the Detroit Lions, who were winless last season and are perpetually awful, have a better record than the Rams) and have stunk for a while. I've said it since it was announced Rush was part of the bid to buy the team: Rush knows football and he would certainly be an asset to any organization that wants to win. And I have to point out that (A): Rush wasn't even the head of this operation. Dave Checketts was (which, I'm not a Checketts fan for reasons too numerous and too unrelated to get into here) and (B): The Rams aren't even officially up for sale yet (the organization is only reviewing the team's ownership, which means there's a chance they won't be sold at all - correct me if I'm reading this wrong).
You know, my mom is the biggest fan of the St. Louis Rams and has been since she was a little kid - she was vindicated when they first won the Super Bowl. And I liked them too. And I wished they would do better. But after this nonsense, I hope they pull a Detroit Lions (and they're on the road to it). Apologies to St. Louisians, but this is so ridiculous.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Just what you all wanted to know, I'm sure.
PS, The Colts won tonight. They basically won in the first half, so we football TV watching-types have to suffer through listening to Chicken Neck try to make a 28-9 game exciting. I almost feel sorry for Tennessee, but it's their fault for not playing better. But my vomit reflexes at all the Austin Collie-love are getting more and more under control. I guess it helps when he scores touchdowns for your team. It would make it easier if they didn't keep referring to the fact he went to Zoobie-land. My flashback reflexes are as good as any (again, I blame Collinsworth. Everything bad that happens is Collinsworth's fault because I can't stand the idiot).
Oh - here's another question that people can't seem to shut up about: According to the NFL Players Union, it's not okay that Rush Limbaugh wants to buy part of the St. Louis Rams. If it's so terrible that a political commentator wants to be involved in professional sports, why in the world is Keith Olbermann doing analysis for Sunday Night Football? I'm more irked that Dave Checketts is connected with the deal - it's his fault I can't watch the Utes on KJZZ anymore - him and his stupid mtn. scheme to fund his retarded soccer team. But that's neither here nor there.
If anyone stands to gain, it's the Rams. They've pretty much sucked the last few years (sorry, Mom, it's true). Rush Limbaugh is a football guru. He's not going to make a bad investment on a team that stinks (notice he's not buying part of the Detroit Lions). Insofar as owners have a bearing on team success, he's going to protect his investment by doing everything in his power (hiring decisions and what-have-you) to help the team do better. So - if players want to win, they can tell the players union to put a sock in it.
I'm pretty skeptical of players unions anyway (actually, unions of any kind are bad news). They're the reason professional seasons get locked out and everybody loses out on watching the games. As far as fans are concerned, players unions are run by Satan himself. Oh for the day when he is bound!!
(That was a long PS)
Saturday, October 10, 2009
(Does anyone else have a weird mental image whenever you hear "So-and-so is on Twitter?" It sounds like some kind of drug.)
But here's another thing that I'm annoyed about: they just keep ragging and ragging on Twilight! And I am very upset by it. In my view, you cannot compare Harry Potter and Twilight in terms of content and story. Harry Potter is a coming-of-age fantasy story about a kid who has to defeat evil. Twilight is a semi-clean romance/fantasy novel geared toward teenage and adult females (and their boyfriends or husbands that want to impress them) about a girl who falls in love with a vampire and they have to find a way to make their relationship work. The only thing HP and Twilight have in common is that they're fantasy. Hell, they don't even take place on the same frickin' continent! (well - "New Moon" goes to Italy for a short stint, but that's about it). I personally think they are both very well-written and geared for their audiences, which are certainly NOT the same. The only reason - and I mean the ONLY reason - they get compared is because they both gained huge fanbases so quickly (and Robert Pattinson was in the fourth Harry Potter movie). I enjoy both for different reasons and there is nothing wrong with it.
This reminds me of the idiotic "competition" between the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings movies back in 2001-2003. It's so incredibly stupid. You are allowed to like more than one thing - it's not going to kill you. Honestly, you really don't even have to like anything, but give it a rest already! Sheesh.
I have to say this: I was initially impressed by Twilight because it was a fantasy/romance (and I am a hopeless romantic-type, so I tend to gravitate toward those things), it was a vampire novel, which I usually eschew because most vampire stories are all about sex (like, graphic, X-rated porno sex. No. Thank. You.) - but this one WASN'T. And it was good!! It also didn't hurt that Stephenie Meyer is a Mormon - REPRESENT!! I was excited because here was a member of the LDS Church that was having success in a genre related to the one that I want to pursue in my own career and I wasn't sure if I could do it and still keep to my deeply-held values and standards. But Stephenie Meyer did (at least, as far as I know) and that gives me hope in my own goals and ambitions (not saying she hasn't come into her own share of negativity, but you get that with anything).
PC isn't the only place that I've seen HP fans getting their panties in a bunch over Twilight. A well-loved HP icon maker on LiveJournal even is on this tirade (or was a few months ago - I was looking at some of her stuff). And the PotterCast I'm listening to mentioned that one of the wizard rock bands (I forget which one - everyone and their Kneazle has a wizard rock band) made a snide comment about Twilight, saying it was the Hannah Montana of fantasy (idiot - why do you say stuff like that at ComiCon?) And, as far as PotterCast is concerned, I guess it's just John Noe being John Noe (darn Slytherins).
You know, just because the media are a bunch of blowhards that can't make any kind of substantial comparison doesn't mean we fans have to be at each others' throats. Both Twilight and Harry Potter tell good stories that haven't been told before. If one isn't your cup of tea, you don't have to trash it. Until Stephenie Meyer says something snotty about Harry Potter or until JK Rowling says that Twilight is retarded, I want everyone to keep their inane opinions to themselves. If anything, just be happy for one another's success. Good grief, MuggleNet is affiliated with a fansite for Eragon (or they were last I checked) - which, Christopher Paolini isn't exactly Shakespeare. But, hey, there is plenty of fandom love to go around for everybody. I for one am willing to give anything a chance (Exhibit A: Philip Pullman - I finished the entire Golden Compass series before I decided that I didn't like it. And I haven't picked it up since. But I don't go on fansites or whatever and say "OMG U SUCK!" because that is a waste of my time and energy (and there will likely be people that do that to me if my book is ever published).
Seriously, people - get over it.
I know this is old news, but I want to carp about it because I didn't get to when it first happened. And it was all over the place, but that's me and my blogging.