Monday, February 28, 2011

Winston Churchill For President!

No matter what your feelings on Obama are, Winston Churchill is not the answer. If crazies panic that Obama may be secretly not born in the US, how in the world are they going to feel about an openly British zombie as our president?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

How Not To Watch the Oscars

Never watch the Oscars in a room full of chatty people who don't really watch movies. They will spend the entire time:

1) Complaining they don't know what any of these movies are. Why do they keep winning all these awards?

2) Accusing me of Googling the answer to questions like, "Who's that famous actor who's presenting an award whose name the other presenters JUST SAID LIKE FIVE MINUTES AGO?"

3) Talking about whether or not tights are cool.

4) Asking me what is happening. (After Colin Firth wins Best Actor: "So how many awards are left?" "Just one." "Oh, yeah, Best Actor, right?" "Uh, no. They just gave out Best Actor." "That was who that guy was?")

5) Asking if it's over yet.

I'm sure they're very nice people. But I should never watch anything with them again.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Songs That Tear Me Up Inside

Sometimes you listen to a song and it just breaks you. These are just a few for me.

3. "Mad World" by Adam Lambert. (Also Wise Guys and original sad Gary Jules version.)
4. "Hallelujah" - any version, but I'll post the John Cale version here.
5. "A Wolf At the Door" by Radiohead. (I don't even know why this one breaks me. It just does. It's also the only Radiohead song I listen to on purpose. Also, strong language in this one.)
7. "I Crush Everything" by Jonathan Coulton. (Yes, it's about a giant squid. That somehow doesn't make it any less sad.)

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Crazy Wil Wheaton Dream

I watched an episode of Big Bang Theory featuring Evil Wil Wheaton right before I took a nap. This is what ensued.

I dreamed I had a poster of Wil Wheaton and this girl I didn't recognize, but she was apparently another geek culture person. They were wearing all these expensive clothes with little arrows telling you how much everything cost. I then found out that they did a one-time off-Broadway show where the two of them started off in their underwear with piles of random (not always there) clothes sitting on chairs, and between the two of them, they had to try to put on as many of them as they could. This was a huge hit and they decided to make it into a TV show, where the finale would be the actual show and the episodes leading up to it would be a documentary showing how they got the show going.

Turns out it wasn't just them on stage for this show, they had a whole bunch of animal friends who frolicked around the stage as well. But these weren't just like... animal performers. These animals were apparently trained professionals in various careers. It was rather like a heist movie, where they go around looking for the best safecracker.

I tuned into the episode where they were gathering a spider. They had already collected, I believe, a monkey, a hippo, and an octopus (which wandered around on land and they for some reason fitted it with a red sweater), and now they needed a spider.

They chose this terrifying desert spider that was about the size of my fist, and how did they get its attention to get it to join their team? Wil Wheaton went near it, and it didn't seem interested in him, so he ran away from it, and it RAN AFTER HIM and CAUGHT UP WITH HIM while the voiceover droned on about how it was a super fast spider. NO KIDDING. It then tackled him by jumping on him and sitting on his chest to keep him from getting up.

At this point the announcer says, "This is one of the few spiders where, if it sits on you, you can look into its eyes and it looks back in yours." It's true, this spider had enormous red eyes, but that did NOT mean I wanted to look into them.

They went on to tell more things the spider could do - for example, I think it sang - and how that would be helpful on the show, but I'm afraid I've forgotten a large portion of that.

If it weren't for the terrifying spider, I might watch this show. Wil Wheaton's cool. Other nerd culture people I don't know are cool. Tiny theatrical productions are cool. And the premise is SO STRANGE I would probably be watching it to figure out how these extremely smart animals got to be show producers and stuff. And hopefully at the very end it would tell us why the octopus had to wear a sweater.

Introvert Misconceptions

I ran into a forum thread tonight that asked if education was a good field for introverts. What followed was a horrible bunch of bizarrely misinformed and prejudiced statements that kind of offended me... and it is HARD to offend me.

Some of the statements I found there:

It doesn't mean you have to be a full-blown extrovert, but if you cannot get the message across to the students in an effective way then you may end up with a problem when your school starts judging your teaching future by how many students pass the standardized tests. As far as administration, you still have to be able to communicate with parents, handle students, etc.

Misconception #1: Introverts can't communicate.
This is nonsense. Of course we can. In fact, in some situations, we may communicate *better* than extroverts because we tend to plan out our conversations and seriously think before we speak, weighing all the options and ways our responses might be taken. If pushed to give immediate answers, yes, we may come out a little garbled. But the insinuation that introverts make bad teachers because they can't communicate information is nonsense. (As a matter of fact, most of the teachers I've run across who don't communicate clearly are extroverts - they would get sidetracked, ramble, and include unimportant information.)

Introverts just don't have the skills, or desire to work well with parents, kids, and other staff.

Misconception #2: Introverts don't have people skills.
This is also not true. I know lots of introverts who are extremely socially successful, and lots of extroverts who are not. That's a completely unfair generalization. Everyone needs to learn social skills from the get-go, both introverts and extroverts, and some of each will fall by the wayside.

Misconception #3: Introverts don't have the desire to work with people.
Just because we tire of social interaction faster than extroverts does NOT mean we never find it rewarding. I am going into education with full knowledge of how much interaction I will need to have with students. But, you know what? Teaching people about theater is something I'm extremely passionate about, and it is well worth the fact that I will be tired by the end of the day. Yes, there will be days when I'm socially exhausted and just want to get away, but I care about this career. I'd rather have a job that I love enough to let it sometimes drain me.

Since they're introverts, they don't care if they are well liked.

Misconception #4: Introverts are relationally apathetic.
Of course we want people to like us. Many introverts act like extroverts because they think it's the only way people will like them. (Which, according to this thread, seems to be the truth.) Just because we need our alone time doesn't mean we don't feel a need to belong. Some may care more than others, but, seriously, we have feelings and everything. I promise.

To conclude...
I'm bothered when people make these kinds of statements about introverts, because it means that people don't actually know what introverts are. They hear the term, find people they deem socially inadequate, and saddle them with that label, leaving those of us who are well-adjusted, social, fairly friendly introverts with this horrible stigma.

Introversion is not something to be fixed or something you can "put up with" in someone. It's responsible for making so many of my favorite people who they are. Just like extroversion, it is a gift.

(If you're interested in reading more about introverts, check out The Introvert's Corner, The Introverted Church, and The Power of Introverts, all fantastic blogs by introverts.)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Rock and Roll and Rick

By the time Rickroll jokes stop being made, they'll be retro and cool to make again. It's a neverending cycle, like All Your Base.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Micro Review: The Haunting (1963)

"...crashing against a big tree." Does the size of the tree really make a difference?

Meep! Adult and old Abigail looks like a man. Is that what happens when you grow up in a haunted house?

Is Hill House a farm? What's a farmhand doing there? Will I ever take this movie seriously?

Theodora doesn't get a last name. Sad.

The little girl's name is Dora. I can't help hoping she's the last-nameless Theodora on the board. That'd be awesome.

I want the caretakers to be GHOSTS!

Don't blink. Don't even blink. Blink and you're dead.

Yes, absolutely, BACK UP into the dark.

Yay, Russ Tamblyn!

"Now I know why people scream." Was this something she spent a lot of time pondering?

Whoever's at their door doesn't know how to work a doorknob. They SAID it wasn't locked.

The guys were RIGHT OUTSIDE THE DOOR, and never heard the crazy loud pounding?

He comes here looking for ghosts, sees something rush past his door... and assumes it's a dog? He's a terrible ghost hunter.

I'd quote Blink, but I already did.

"Dizzy like a fox"? Are foxes known for being particularly dizzy?

Oh, now I'm all disoriented because it's spelled "Crain" instead of "Crane" like I thought.

Theo's not responding. My prediction: DEAD.

Man. Theo's kind of a jerk.

I thought I was tingling because I was somehow scared, but turns out my hand just fell asleep.

She's Canadian, apparently. "Haunted hewse"?

The wind sounds like a giant grumbling stomach.

I only have 15 minutes left, but I'm falling asleep again. MUST STAY AWAKE.

Totally not buying her transition to crazy.

That's the most terrifying staircase ever. What is this, a lighthouse?

She can't die, or we won't have a narrator for the last 10 minutes.

Markway jumps back and forth between believing in ghosts and not. He seriously doesn't believe she saw Mrs. Whosis for real?

Well, at least she'll only kill herself smashing into the gate. I was all worried Russ Tamblyn would die too.

It's a rare haunted house movie that only kills off one person out of four...

Well, that was uber silly. Probably important, but mostly ineffective for me. Ended up at 932 on FlickChart.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Suffocating in a Warmer Culture

I saw my school's production of Steel Magnolias tonight. Although it was done extremely well (kudos to the six actresses in the show!) I spent the entire time feeling the same way I did when I watched the movie: suffocated. Gasping for air. Yearning for space. And thinking, I am so glad I don't live there.

I am heavily drawn to colder cultures - big cities. The northeast. I haven't ever been to Europe, but I hear it's largely cold culture, and it's incredibly appealing to me. This probably connects with the fact that I'm extremely introverted and need my space and my privacy to feel loved.

The south, however (and small cities all across America, but especially in the south), are a much warmer culture. Life is centered around relationships, and the opportunities to form relationships are many. Even more so here than in other places, an introvert's relational distance may be seen as unfriendly. You are expected to let people into your life in ways that I am just not all right with.

In the town where Steel Magnolias is set, there are no secrets allowed. In fact, when one character reveals a secret she's been holding onto for a few weeks, everyone is offended that she kept this from them. Everything is discussed. Nothing is held back. And, more than that, the people around push for everything to be discussed.

I understand that this opens opportunities for sharing and all that sort of thing. But to a cold culture introvert, it feels nosy and impolite. I do have a support system. I have people I talk to when I am in need of guidance. Demanding, however wittily and lovingly, to be let into that level of confidence stops being about me and my friendship. If you're not willing to let me have privacy where I need it, you're not really concerned about me, you're concerned about yourself and how left out you feel that I'm not sharing everything with you. In fact, even among my closest friends, there are still things I don't talk about until I'm ready. If you push me to talk about them earlier, I'm going to feel pressured, threatened, and unloved, and I will most likely end up sharing less and less with you.

What some people see as friendly or encouraging, others see as invasive and threatening. Extending the invitation for me to share with you is one thing -- insisting I share with you right here and now is completely different.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

James Earl Jones Reads Justin Bieber

As Derek Webb said on Twitter about the acoustic version performed at the Grammys: "ok, seriously. that acoustic bieber song had 5 words in it. and 4 of them were 'baby'."

Micro Review: National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)

I'm assuming when they say Wally World, they're not actually going on vacation to Walmart...

I wish I could play Pac-Man on Mapquest!

If my parents were singing "Jimmy Crack Corn," I'd put on headphones, too...
(To clarify: This is not a reflection my parents' singing, but rather on the song "Jimmy Crack Corn.")

Buttoned or unbuttoned? MAKE UP YOUR MIND!


This is like every bad host home story ever.

No good can come of vacationing in a place that can spell neither "camp" nor "comfort."

"Despite all the problems, it really is fun, isn't it?"
"No, but every day brings fresh hope."
Love that.

Car stalker girl is passing illegally...

"A dead person breathed on me!"

I just laughed out loud at tying Aunt Edna to the roof.

Wow. Those are some intense crazy eyes.

That marital spat got settled a lot faster than I would ever have expected in a comedy.

Praying for no vomit-in-the-face jokes. This movie has been above that so far.

I'd be exceptionally nervous about riding rollercoasters when they were doing repairs on some of them...

...It ended up at #551 on FlickChart. Is this a thing now? That that's where my new movies will always land?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Best. Punishment. Ever.

Micro Review: Die Hard

My reactions to Die Hard, as tweeted on Twitter account specifically for writing down movie thoughts as I have them. Nobody follows it because liveblogging annoys 99% of the people alive.

What is this lip pursing thing Bruce Willis keeps doing?

"What would I do without you, Paulina?" Maybe you'd learn to say goodbye before you hang up. Darn movie phone etiquette.

Who wants to ride in the FRONT seat of the limo?

I hope Christmas music plays through this whole thing, but I have a feeling it'll come to an end once the actual action starts.

I just realized I've only seen Alan Rickman old(ish) in movies. It's so weird to see him young.

Wow. Baby Alan Rickman REALLY bears a vocal resemblance to Benedict.

This building is gorgeous. It makes me a little sad to see it torn up in action sequences.

It's the Barefoot Avenger!

That's a great villain line. "He didn't see it this way, so he won't be joining us for the rest of his life."

I keep losing track of why he's going where he's trying to go.

Are you even allowed to sing "Let It Snow" in a town where it doesn't snow on Christmas?

"Yippie-ki-yay, Mr. Falcon!" Or "melon farmer." Whichever version you want.

One of those policemen keeps looking like Bill Murray. They called GHOSTBUSTERS!

Yeah, you may wanna run from that giant fireball you just created...

Smarmy American friendliness is not a virtue when dealing with European terrorists. Or, ya know, people in real life.

I'm trying to remember the last movie I saw where the FBI was the good guys...

Oh, SNEAKY of you, Hans! Although it's kind of hard to hide when you have a distinctive Alan Rickmanesque voice...

It's making my feet hurt just watching him try to walk.

It's going to be hard to explain to someone unfamiliar with the situation why that window is covered in bloody footprints.

Even if you're a bad guy, it's freaking scary when your opponent starts laughing for no reason before you kill him.

There is so much blood on both of them, it's like a vampire love scene.

Now will someone please give him some shoes?

Well, that's done. Not bad. Kept my attention pretty well for an action flick. Lands at #551 on FlickChart.


I haven't had a blog, an actual blog, in a very long time.

This is going to be where I post my thoughts. Thoughts that, for whatever reason, aren't going to end up Facebook. Maybe I'll try condensing serial posts into this. I don't know. I don't even know how often I'll post.

Right now I'm musing on a conversation I had with a friend. This friend believes very strongly in honesty with people when something's bothering them. In my interactions with this friend, I found that she pulled me to talk about things that were bothering me. "It's not good for you to stuff this," she said, "because then it just explodes."

Lately, though, I've been reconsidering.

Stuffing seems to work for me. It never started exploding until I started talking to people about it.

You know how sometimes saying something makes it true? I've found that is definitely the case when I'm mildly annoyed...except saying it not only makes it true, but makes it stronger. So what starts off as "That was an uncomfortable question you asked me, I wish you hadn't done that" turns into "They ALWAYS ask me these STUPID questions and I HATE it" whenever I talk to anyone about it.

Sometimes it really is a better idea for me to just leave it alone, and by the next day I've forgotten I was frustrated with them at all. Now if I'm still annoyed with it the next day, chances are it's not something that's going to just settle down, and I should try to get it settled.

But there's no reason to voice my minor annoyances all the time. There's no reason to call attention to the negative.