Monday, May 26, 2014

Song Lyric Game: Answers!

If all has gone according to plan, today I am in Rhode Island/Massachusetts. So here is a scheduled blog for you guys!

Here are the answers to last week's song lyrics game! How many did you get right?

1. Ain't no way for me to love you if you won't let me.
Ain't No Way- Glee Cast

2. I'm not surprised, not everything lasts, I've broken my heart so many times I stopped keeping track.
Haven't Met You Yet- Damian McGinty & Cameron Mitchell

3. No man, no madness, though his sad power may prevail, can possess, conquer my country's heart, they rise to fail.
Anthem from Chess- Linda Eder

4. When I'm with you, baby, I go out of my head and I just can't get enough, and I just can't get enough.
Just Can't Get Enough- Glee Cast

5. I gotta get through this, I gotta get through this, I gotta make, gotta make it, gotta make it through.
Gotta Get Through This- Daniel Bedingfield

6. Hark, how the bells, sweet silver bells, all seem to say throw cares away.
Carol of the Bells- Pentatonix

7. I know this pain, why do you lock yourself up in these chains?
Hold On- Wilson Phillips

8. Aww, kittens! Look at the puppy! Cute little hamster! Chinchilla! Death!
Pet Shop- Weebl

9. Bossy's thin as a fishing pole, Bessie's flat as a flounder.
Another Dead Cow- Bat Boy the Musical

10. I'm not a witch, I've nothing you've heard, I'm you, you, you.
I'm Not a Witch- Roomie

11. Who's to say what's not okay, the breakaways will outlast, will outlast.
Outcast- Glee Cast

12. I hope you hang yourself with your H&M scarf.
Ur So Gay- Katy Perry

13. I can smell the death on the sheets, covering me, I can't believe this is the end.
Deathbed- Relient K

14. I wanted to be with you alone and talk about the weather.
Head Over Heels- Tears for Fears

15. Tonight, tonight, the Tonys were tonight, and Elton's Billy was all the rage.
The Eleven O'Clock Number- Neil Patrick Harris at the Tonys

16. They tried to make me go to rehab, but I said no, no, no.
Rehab- Glee Cast

17. I'll never be a knight in armor with a sword in hand or a kamikaze fighter.
Someone To Fall Back On- Jason Robert Brown

18. I am not dead yet, I can dance and I can sing.
He Is Not Dead Yet- Spamalot

19. Was I the only one to notice human nature doesn't work that way?
I Need a Hero- Chris Rice

20. We are standing at the crossroads and now it's time for you to go your way and me to go mine.
My Friend- Plus One

21. Very superstitious, writing's on the wall.
Superstition- Glee Cast

22. Hello, yes, this is Dog.
Telephone Dog- Weebl

23. She grew up on the north side but now she lives in Darwin.
Rhitzy Rhitz-

24. Alas, alas for you, lawyers and pharisees, hypocrites that you be!
Alas For You- Godspell

25. Sometimes I kinda miss the old XJ9 that we used to call Jane.
Todd the T-1000- Jonathan Coulton

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Song Lyric Game!

If all has gone according to plan, today I am in Pennsylvania. So here is a scheduled blog for you guys!

Well, this seems like a good time to put together a song lyric game, though I did do that fairly recently, but they make for an easy scheduled blog. The best part is, since I'm on the road, I don't know how often I'll be checking email, so your comments may not get displayed right away. That way nobody can cheat by reading everyone else's answers. :-) Though I suppose you could all still Google the answers. But whatever. I don't think anyone's been cheating anyway.

Answers will be posted next Monday.

1. Ain't no way for me to love you if you won't let me.
(Cover version)

2. I'm not surprised, not everything lasts, I've broken my heart so many times I stopped keeping track.
(Cover version)

3. No man, no madness, though his sad power may prevail, can possess, conquer my country's heart, they rise to fail.
(Cover version.)

4. When I'm with you, baby, I go out of my head and I just can't get enough, and I just can't get enough.
(Cover version.)

5. I gotta get through this, I gotta get through this, I gotta make, gotta make it, gotta make it through.

6. Hark, how the bells, sweet silver bells, all seem to say throw cares away.
(Cover version. This is, um... a LOT of covers. Heh.)

7. I know this pain, why do you lock yourself up in these chains?

8. Aww, kittens! Look at the puppy! Cute little hamster! Chinchilla! Death! A stack of goths!
(That is the entire song.)

9. Bossy's thin as a fishing pole, Bessie's flat as a flounder.

10. I'm not a witch, I've nothing you've heard, I'm you, you, you.

11. Who's to say what's not okay, the breakaways will outlast, will outlast.

12. I hope you hang yourself with your H&M scarf.

13. I can smell the death on the sheets, covering me, I can't believe this is the end.

14. I wanted to be with you alone and talk about the weather.

15. Tonight, tonight, the Tonys were tonight, and Elton's Billy was all the rage.

16. They tried to make me go to rehab, but I said no, no, no.
(Cover version.)

17. I'll never be a knight in armor with a sword in hand or a kamikaze fighter.
(This is one of my favorite songs in the entire world. If you don't know it, you should look it up IMMEDIATELY.)

18. I am not dead yet, I can dance and I can sing.

19. Was I the only one to notice human nature doesn't work that way?

20. We are standing at the crossroads and now it's time for you to go your way and me to go mine.

21. Very superstitious, writing's on the wall.
(Cover version)

22. Hello, yes, this is Dog.

23. She grew up on the north side but now she lives in Darwin.

24. Alas, alas for you, lawyers and pharisees, hypocrites that you be!

25. Sometimes I kinda miss the old XJ9 that we used to call Jane.

Well, uh, good luck with these. A lot of them are... really weird and obscure. And not in a cool hipster way. In a "why do you even have this song?" way.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Blog Business: Vacatioooon!

So I'm off on a road trip around the northeastern U.S. with my sisters over the next two weeks. I'm going to poke around and see if I have any fun random things I can schedule to be posted during that time so you guys don't have to go entirely without a blog, but if I don't find anything, I'll be back... well, probably Wednesday, June 4th. I'll be back home by the 1st, but I don't know that I'll have written anything by that Monday.

When I come back I suspect I'll be doing some picture blogs of the trip. I'm excited -- we get to visit some family and some old friends, I get to knock off the last two contiguous U.S. states I haven't visited, and we get to see Norm Lewis in Phantom of the Opera in NYC, so that's pretty much completely awesome.

I shall close out this meta blog with a video of Norm Lewis so you can all be as excited about me seeing him on stage as I am.

Friday, May 16, 2014

My Pandora Stations

(Sorry about no blog Wednesday -- I'm having trouble keeping up with blogging these days, but I'm trying to be more intentional about planning ahead so I don't have last-minute "I HAVE NO BLOG" snafus like this week.)

I'm a big fan of Pandora, and I've created a pretty fun selection of stations to match all the various moods and situations I like having music for. So I thought I'd give you a pretty quick rundown of the stations I have set up at the moment. For each station, I let it play three songs (not counting ones I voted down because they didn't fit) to give you an idea of the kinds of things I get here.

Workout Music - As you would guess, this is the music I have set up for when I exercise. Basically, it has to have a driving, steady beat to keep me on track as I walk around. It's much easier for me to walk when I have a beat to walk to. I like a variety of genres, so I seeded it with Adam Lambert, Eminem, Michael Jackson and, of course, "Eye of the Tiger."
First three songs that come up: "Don't Stop the Music" by Rihanna, "Sweet Child O' Mine" by Guns N' Roses, "September" by Earth, Wind & Fire

Lady Rappers - While I can take or leave rap as a genre overall, I really like female rap artists. So I seeded this station with Nicki Minaj, Missy Elliott, and Iggy Azalea, and now it is awesome.
First three songs that come up: "Fancy" by Iggy Azalea, "Pound the Alarm" by Nicki Minaj, "Work" by Iggy Azalea (it went back to her again because I had to skip a couple that were just R&B)

Sacred Sunday - A year or so ago, I discovered that religious choral music is much, much better for putting me in a worship mood than just about anything else, and I figured it would be a good idea to have that as its own station. I really don't KNOW a lot of religious choral music and hardly ever recognize anything played on this status, but it's more about finding the right sound than collecting a specific set of songs. It's very much about the atmosphere. The station gets its name from a room I used to frequent that played this style all day every Sunday.
First three songs that come up: "Give Unto the Lord" by Edward Elgar as performed by St. John's College Choir, "Hymn - Anthem on 'Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones" by Healey Willan as performed by the Elora Festival Singers, "Crux Fidelis" by Sir Lennox Berkeley as performed by St. John's College Choir

J-Pop/K-Pop - Another genre I don't really know a lot about, but I'm growing to enjoy it more and more. There's an infectious cheeriness to the Asian pop sound.
First three songs that come up: "Scream" by 2ne1, "Gangnam Style" by PSY, "So Cool" by Sistar

Classic Folk Rock - Seeded with comfortable folk favorites like Joni Mitchell, Simon & Garfunkel, and Peter, Paul & Mary. There's just something very soothing about this sound to me, and I love having this station available.
First three songs that come up: "Time of the Season" by The Zombies, "The Times They Are A Changin'" by The Seekers, "Carolina In My Mind" by James Taylor

1970s Collection - I just didn't have anything in my collection yet that was very 70sish, and I figured I should, because variety is awesome! Seeded with songs by The Bee Gees, Donna Summer, and "I Will Survive."
First three songs that come up: "Boogie Oogie Oogie" by A Taste of Honey, "Let's Groove" by Earth, Wind & Fire, "Fresh" by Kool & The Gang

My Old Christian Songs - I may not listen to almost any of these songs anymore, but I love the nostalgia of a song showing up and making me go, "Oh, my gosh, I haven't heard this in FOREVER." This is a pure nostalgia station. Anything newer than my high school years is voted down.
First three songs that come up: "I Promise" by Stacie Orrico, "Imagine Me Without You" by Jaci Velasquez, "Always Be My Home" by Rachael Lampa

Praise and Worship Radio - Yes, I do occasionally have an occasional desire to hear some praise and worship stuff. Not very often, and it's mostly background music, and I vote down every single Casting Crowns song that tries to play... but this station does exist.
First three songs that come up: "How Deep the Father's Love For Us" by Phillips, Craig & Dean, "Forever" by Chris Tomlin, "Blessed Be Your Name" by Travis Cottrell

80s Pop - One of my favorite rooms to hang out in on was one that only played 80s music. It may not be a very deep decade as far as pop music goes, but it sure is a lot of fun.
First three songs that come up: "Separate Ways" by Journey, "How Will I Know" by Whitney Houston, "Come On Eileen" by Dexy's Midnight Runners

Boy Bands - Oh, how I love ridiculous boy bands. They get a station all to themselves.
First three songs that come up: "Bye Bye Bye" by *NSync, "As Long As You Love Me" by Backstreet Boys, "MMMBop" by Hanson

Jack Johnson Radio - I created this one a long time ago and never got around to changing its name, but it's basically a radio for smooth easy listening singers like Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, and the occasional Michael Buble.
First three songs that come up: "Good People (Live 2008)" by Jack Johnson, "Free Fallin' (Acoustic) (Live)" by John Mayer, "I Won't Give Up" by Jason Mraz

2000s Radio Hits - To capture that time starting around 2001 or so when I started sneaking secular music on the radio :-) The time frame on this is a little wobbly, as I occasionally accept new stuff, but in general I like to keep this focused on about 2001-2007.
First three songs that come up: "Walk Away" by Kelly Clarkson, "I Gotta Feeling" by Black Eyed Peas, "E.T." by Katy Perry

Big Band Jazz Vocal Swing...Stuff - I seeded this one with Frank Sinatra and then just walked away. So it plays a LOT of Frank Sinatra. I should maybe mix it up and put some other standard singers in there too.
First three songs that come up: "I've Got You Under My Skin" by Frank Sinatra, "Ain't That a Kick In the Head" by Westlife, "On the Street Where You Live" by Dean Martin

Wonky Pop - I was delighted the day I found out there was a name for this genre, since I kept falling in love with artists that sounded like this. This station was seeded with Kate Miller-Heidke, Lily Allen, and Kate Nash, and although it plays Regina Spektor more than I'd like (she just feels far too serious to be lumped in with these others) it's still a super fun station.
First three songs that come up: "Ride This Feeling" by Kate Miller-Heidke, "One Of Those Days" by Joy Williams, "Eet" by Regina Spektor

Film Scores - Movie scores are pretty cool, though weirdly difficult to narrow down on Pandora. It keeps just wanting to put instrumental stuff in here, and I ONLY want movie scores. Also, their method of naming movie scores is the WORST. Half the time the song title is just the name of the movie itself. Ever so confusing.
First three songs that come up: "The Shawshank Redemption" by Thomas Newman, "The Road" by Nick Cave & Warren Ellis, "Gladiator" by Hans Zimmer

Random Instrumental - This station is mostly for giving me good background noise while I'm working on stuff. It's not really meant to be listened to.
First three songs that come up: "The Moon Is Down" by Explosions in the Sky, "More Than Scarlet" by Decoder Ring, "Moon" by Little People

Help! I Can't Be Sad! - Although the title kind of implies that I want help to be sad, it was actually intended to say the opposite: that I am sad, can't deal with it anymore, and want to feel better. I seeded it with a few of my foolproof happiness songs.
First three songs that come up: "God Only Knows" by The Castaways, "I Got You (I Feel Good)" by James Brown, "Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry

Christian Stuff I Don't Hate - Seeded with the few Christian artists I actually genuinely enjoy for non-nostalgia's sake. Lots of Derek Webb, Chris Rice, Jars of Clay, and Nichole Nordeman. Good stuff.
First three songs that come up: "I Hate Everything But You" by Derek Webb, "The House of God Forever" by Jon Foreman, "Where I Land" by JJ Heller

Groovelily Radio - I like Groovelily and find their sound extremely unique, so I was intrigued to see what a station based on them would give me. Mostly it's a lot of female singer-songwriters... which is OK, it's a cool bunch of stuff.
First three songs that come up: "Here With Me" by Dido, "Ironic" by Alanis Morissette, "Don't Speak" by No Doubt

Geek Rock - Pretty sure this one is exclusively seeded with Jonathan Coulton. I can't remember if I added anyone else in there. Maybe some Ben Folds? Either way, this is my nerd rock station.
First three songs that come up: "The World Belongs to You" by Jonathan Coulton, "Go Kart Racing" by Garfunkel and Oates, "One Little Slip" by Barenaked Ladies

Disney, Etc. - The "etc" is there because I'm not sticking strictly to Disney. I'm also allowing songs from other children's movies like An American Tail or Anastasia. This ended up being weirdly difficult to pin down because it kept wanting to include showtunes, but it's pretty solid now.
First three songs that come up: "I Love To Laugh" from Mary Poppins, "Love Is an Open Door" from Frozen, "I Wanna Know You" by Hannah Montana & David Archuleta

Random Showtunes - My musicals station. Though the selection of musicals available on Pandora is pretty dismal.
First three songs that come up: "I'll Cover You" from RENT, "Defying Gravity" by Idina Menzel (a pop-ish CD single version), "Cell Block Tango" from Chicago

The Most Depressing Songs in the World - I seeded this with "Hallelujah," "Brick" by Ben Folds, Gary Jules' version of "Mad World," and, I believe, "Wolf at the Door" by Radiohead (the only Radiohead song I've ever liked). Because sometimes I just need to wallow in sadness for a li'l bit before I can get over it.
First three songs that come up: "Hallelujah" by Jason Castro, "Long Nights" by Eddie Vedder, "Falling Down" by Joe Purdy

Embarrassing Pop - This is for all the cheesy, ridiculous, happy pop that makes me smile but isn't necessarily something I'd want to brag about loving.
First three songs that come up: "Biology" by Girls Aloud, "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" by Backstreet Boys, "Rockstar" by Hannah Montana

Sleep - This station is intended to help me fall asleep. Lots of soothing tunes here, nothing that's going to make me want to dance.
First three songs that come up: "Better In Time" by Leona Lewis, "The Luckiest" by Ben Folds, "Brick" by Ben Folds Five

Summer Vacation - I can't remember exactly what I seeded this with. Some Jack Johnson, some Beach Boys, and some reggae. Anything that made me feel like summertime.
First three songs that come up: "See What Love Can Do" by Eric Clapton, "Love Is" by Alannah Myles, "Stand By Me" by Ben E. King

Comfy Old Pop - There's some crossover between this and the Sleep station, but mostly this is a lot of Billy Joel, Phil Collins, and Elton John. Songs that just make me feel comfortable to listen to.
First three songs that come up: "She's Got a Way (Live)" by Billy Joel, "You Can't Hurry Love" by Phil Collins, "Don't Ask Me Why" by Billy Joel

Rainy Days - Seeded with a few particularly melancholy songs by Peter, Paul & Mary, Chris Rice, Derek Webb, and The Carpenters, this is not an overtly depressing station so much as it is just... for rainy days, where everything's mellow and a little sad.
First three songs that come up: "Same Girl" by Jack Johnson, "Sweet Pea" by Amos Lee, "Everything'll Be Alright" by Joshua Radin

Awesome Christmas - This one is pretty eclectic, as my favorite Christmas songs are pretty eclectic. I really suspect I'll end up using Spotify for Christmas music than Pandora, but we'll see.
First three songs that come up: "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" by Matthew West, "Christmas Is All Around" by Billy Mack, "Joy to the World" by Casting Crowns (I don't hate them when they're singing songs they didn't write)

New Cool Pop - This and my Embarrassing Pop station were created pretty close to each other, because I wanted to specify the difference between the pop I was kind of embarrassed to admit liking and the stuff that I was like, "No, this is cool, I'm allowed to be publicly a fan."
First three songs that come up: "Sunday Morning" by Maroon 5, "Chariot" by Gavin DeGraw, "Wordplay" by Jason Mraz

Happy Punk - I just put Bowling for Soup and Relient K into this station and got back more of the cheery pop punk stuff I like. I DO allow more melancholy stuff in here occasionally, but the overtly emo stuff gets voted down. I want this station to be music that makes me smile.
First three songs that come up: "My Girl's Ex-Boyfriend" by Relient K, "Ocean Avenue" by Yellowcard, "Swing Swing" by The All-American Rejects

Before-Me Rock - My classic rock station, with heavy emphasis on Aerosmith and AC/DC. Though I should probably make sure there's more Queen in there than there is. There, Queen has been added to the list.
First three songs that come up: "Shoot to Thrill (Live)" by AC/DC, "Slow Ride" by Foghat, "No One Like You" by Scorpions

Phew. All right, those are all my Pandora stations. Do you use Pandora? What mood-specific stations have you created?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Adios, Community

My all-time favorite TV show, Community, got canceled this weekend. It went out on a high note, thanks to the return of its creator Dan Harmon, who followed a mediocre fourth season with a really entertaining fifth one. As a tribute to this amazing show, here are a few short clips of some of my very favorite moments.

What were your favorite moments? Share them in the comments!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Top 5, Bottom 5: Hitman/Assassin Films

Well, since I've finished up Skye, I'm going to have to come up with actual blogs to fill my Fridays until snarky times start up again. I meant to write something real yesterday, but that never happened, so here's a quick blog I threw together after watching my 20th movie about hitmen/assassins... at least according to Flickchart.

Top 5:
1. In Bruges (2008, #197). I need to go back and rewatch this one, since it's been quite awhile, but I laughed super hard. When morbid humor gets it right, it really works for me.
2. Road to Perdition (2002, #426). Another one I should rewatch. I remember really loving the cinematography and thinking it was a surprisingly moving film.
3. Looper (2012, #446). A fun sci-fi flick that did pretty much exactly what I wanted and expected out of a time travel movie.
4. The Boondock Saints (1999, #541). This was the 20th one I saw, so it's fresh in my mind, and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. There's an odd over-the-top campy quality to the whole thing that I liked a lot.
5. The Manchurian Candidate (1962, #550). This is a CRAZY movie. Its insane plot tries to merge serious political drama and futuristic sci-fi silliness, and it should never have worked, but I have to admit I really enjoy it.

Bottom 5:
5. Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005, #1818). Really all I remember about this is how bored I was. I don't care for Brad Pitt as an action star, that's for sure.
4. Pulp Fiction (1994, #1524). I watched this when I really was too young to understand Tarantino, and now that I know I like his other stuff, I really need to rewatch this one as well and see if I like it any better. I just haven't gotten around to it yet.
3. The Professional (1994, #1491). There are some cool actors involved here, but I just couldn't get into the story.
2. The Bourne Identity (2002, #1480). Generic bland action stuff I can't really appreciate. I never watched any of the others in the series.
1. Buddy Buddy (1981, #1376). I'll be honest, I don't remember most of this, and if I can't remember a Billy Wilder flick, something has gone terribly wrong.

What are your favorites? And for that matter, who are your favorite fictional hitmen?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Musical Spotlight: Fiddler on the Roof

I haven't written anything in this series in over a year, and when trying to figure out what I wanted to blog about today, I realized I was in a very Fiddler-esque mood.

Fiddler on the Roof is, after The Music Man, probably my favorite older musical. With music by Jerry Bock and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, it made its Broadway debut in 1964, with Zero Mostel in the lead. In 1971 it was adapted into a movie starring Topol, who played the lead role on the London stage. The original Broadway production won nine Tony Awards and became the first musical in history to pass 3,000 performances in its run. It was the longest-running Broadway musical for almost 10 years (until Grease, which is not nearly as good).

I have been able to see this show live twice, once at a dinner theater in Illinois, and once on Broadway with Alfred Molina. Both productions were deeply moving, but that's less because of the special power of the individual productions themselves and more because the show itself is just very, very good.

Set in 1905 in Russia, it follows the story of a Jewish milkman named Tevye, his wife, and his five daughters (although only the oldest three are really relevant to the plot). As the world around him changes and his eldest daughters each push for non-traditional independence, he struggles to maintain his cultural and religious traditions. It's a beautiful, moving, often funny story about the difficulty of holding onto faith in the face of resistance, as well as the the question of when it's better to hold onto tradition and when it's best to abandon it.

After that extremely long intro, on to the music! Here are five of my favorite songs from the show. All clips are from the movie version, which is one of my all-time favorite musical movies.

1. Tradition
This is actually probably my least favorite of these five, but it so perfectly captures the feel and the theme of the show that I had to include it. In it, Tevye talks directly to the audience. He introduces us to his town, Anatevka, and its most important inhabitants. The song does a great job of portraying this small community held together so tightly through their shared traditions. It may be more monologue than singing, but it's a great show opener.

2. If I Were a Rich Man
This is probably one of the most well-known songs from the show, and it's definitely one of my favorites. It's a fun, upbeat song where Tevye daydreams about what it would be like if he were wealthy, instead of having to work hard all the time for just barely enough to feed his family. The gleeful painting of a world in which he never has to work and where all the men in town flock to him for advice makes me smile.

Like much of this show, its humor and cheerful is intermingled with wistfulness. I especially love the section where he dreams about being able to just sit and study the scriptures all the time. The song slows down and you get the sense that his wish isn't just about the fun of idleness, but that he finds his faith and all related things deeply meaningful, and having the time to pray and study scripture more is really one of the things he wants most.

3. Sabbath Prayer
Partly I had to choose this because this one is never anyone's favorite. This gorgeous little song is set up simply as a prayer they say over their family every Sabbath, and while I think it's one of the most lovely melodies in the entire show, it kind of slides under the radar. My favorite part is the very end, where the family is joined by the entire chorus singing the song as well. It really brings together again the idea of shared culture and shared tradition binding the community together.

4. Sunrise, Sunset
This song was one of my very very favorite showtunes for quite a few years. It takes place during Tevye's eldest daughter's wedding, and while at first listen it seems a bit bleak and dark for such a happy occasion, I absolutely love it. Very few of the songs in this show are all-happy or all-sad. Instead, every happy song has some mourning mixed in, and every sad song has some hope. In this case, as the older generation watches a young girl get married, they think of how quickly time passes and how this young couple will now have to make their way on their own, working together through both the good and the bad times.

And, of course, this song is followed by a great deal of happy celebratory dancing, so the wedding music isn't all sad.

5. Far From the Home I Love
Another sad song with a beautiful, beautiful melody. In this song, Tevye's second daughter is leaving home to join her soon-to-be husband, who has been exiled to Siberia for his political activism. In this song, she tries to explain to her father that she is making this choice freely, that even though she dearly loves her family and hates leaving them behind, her new home is wherever her husband is. While the song's bridge is more positive in tone musically, conveying the idea that she truly loves the idea of spending her life with this man, wherever he is, the song overall is one of saying goodbye, even knowing that she may never have a chance to see her family again. It's sad and beautiful and I love it.

If you are unfamiliar with this show, I highly recommend the movie. It's a very well-done adaptation and well worth the watch.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Potential Facebook Statuses (Part 2)

Back in November I posted a blog about using to generate random Facebook statuses for me based on statuses I had actually posted. I've been playing with it again and have decided to share a few of my favorites with you, along with occasional commentary.
Bryce Who uses magic to do illegal things.
This is just me introducing you to one of my friends, I guess.
But then Elvis Presley and Taylor Swift came over to watch Community?
Hey, if Elvis and Taylor are going to visit my house, of course I'm going to make them watch Community. I make everyone watch Community.
Doggone it, dainty veins, why you shouldn't eat my puppy
I shouldn't have to provide a list of reasons why my veins shouldn't eat my puppy.
Writing an article about sensorineural hearing loss doing research for stupid slimy toy, take it
Those two topics are not at all connected, but I guess I'm going to write about them anyway. TAKE IT.
Yesterday, Lumps pooped on our Xbox, which then searched Bing Translate told you can
Thankfully, Puppy has never pooped on our Xbox. And I hope feces-activated search engines never become a thing.
Zombie? New fun week.
I love how casual this one is. "Ah, well, zombies. Another fun week."
I refuse to TALK ABOUT today TOE CRAMPS.
I refuse to allow BluRays on sale, they are kansas. Thanks, Swype.
These two were back-to-back. I refuse a lot of things.
And you fall into a dog.
There's something oddly poetic about this one to me.
I like the screams of 1000 devastated people.
This one is not so poetic.
I like drama, and missed the window.
There is only a narrow window for drama, you see.
Um, I actually ready to sleep tonight and wake up
If I'm ready to sleep and wake up, can't I just stay awake?
Mostly I'm annoyed that BluRay cases are not cheering for anything
Well, that is irritating, but whatcha gonna do about it?
Mom At first we will have $40 I used that helps a group called them over. Anyway. I hate you
What started off as a message to my mother ends on a rather awkward note.
Yesterday, Lumps was threatening to watch one peanut butter sandwich for dinner, Lumps has NO idea
I actually posted this one on Facebook when I found it. I love how scornful I sound. Dumb Puppy and her sandwich-watching ways!
The last 3 hours, with currently 1100 reported in our sink.
...There are 1100 reported hours in our sink?
I'm not going to make an awesome guy.
In fact, I would be a terrible one. Mostly on account of being a woman. Unless I'm talking about actually building one.
OH GOSH THEY definitely played with pins.
I am far too excited about this.
I like 6 forks. Wha?
What kind of madness is this? Liking 6 forks?
Last night's dream Missy Elliott wanted to stop pooping in five days!
Missy Elliott should probably be concerned if she is continually pooping for five days straight.
I like The screams of different types of hearing loss and I say that kind of humor.
There's a whole comedy genre of "screams of different types of hearing loss." That's my kinda comedy.
Go home! Go home! Character 2 and Mamma Mia. I just took a dark turn.
In comparison to that last status, this one isn't actually as dark as I seem to think it is.

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Quest for Skye: Chapter 39

Guys, we've made it.

We're on the very last chapter of this atrocity.

Without further ado, let's finish these last few pages.

Last we saw, Skye was dead (yay!) and everybody raved about how awesome she was.
The dedication of the new playground took place on what would have been Skye’s twelfth birthday.
Ya know what would have been nice? Building that instead of a zipline while she was alive. Ya know, giving her something that she actually asked for.

They're also dedicating a wing of the clinic to her, which is actually kind of nice and appropriate. Just before Morgan's about to head off to the dedication, his secretary asks him if he can talk with a couple whose daughter has just been diagnosed with Batten.
“I always have time for families of girls suffering with Batten. The dedication is in thirty minutes, so I’ll have to make it quick.”
These two sentences back-to-back amuse me. "I always have time! Except when I don't! Like thirty minutes from now! But aside from that, or any other time I'm doing anything, I have time for them!"

So she shows the couple in... and it's the reporter who Morgan and Lance the Tennis Player threw in clinic jail, and his wife who hacked their insecure computers and made all the girls with Batten die.


Morgan considers not helping them at first, but then he remembers Skye and how nice she was, and decides he'll allow their daughter to be a patient.
He looked at the adorable child. Her jet-black hair wrapped around her face.
Um... like this?
Her parents followed, holding hands. They smiled at each other, finally having hope. They knew their child would have the best possible care in the world.
Though it is kind of too bad their hacking destroyed the future cure and all the current medication. So they really don't have THAT much more hope.

The Klitous' daughter is named Venus, because apparently all little girls with Batten have to be named after something above the earth. Skye's real name is even the name of a comet, in this book. Maybe Rothdiener is secretly obsessed with space. OH GOSH PLEASE LET HIM WRITE A SCI-FI STORY SOMEDAY THAT WOULD BE RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME AND HORRIBLE

So they go outside to the dedication...
Morgan’s face lit up when he saw Mrs. Scott. “I’m so glad you came, Mrs. Scott.”
Guys, that's Wheelchair Lady.

Morgan urges Skye to steal Mrs. Scott's photos, submit them as her own, and keep the $10,000 prize that Mrs. Scott deserves, and he dares to invite her to this dedication and look her in the eye?
Mrs. Scott smiled. “I was delighted to donate money toward this cause.”

Just one more chapter indicating that Morgan is the worst person on planet earth.

Mrs. Scott asks if she can move to the clinic because she's lonely. She does say she's rich, so I guess we don't have to feel bad about Morgan stealing thousands of dollars from her, but, ya know, Morgan's rich too now that he has all of Skye's money, so he certainly doesn't need it either. Morgan says, sure, she can move to the clinic.

Morgan gives a long speech to the crowd about how awesome Skye was. It's all the same stuff we've heard before, so I'm not going to quote most of it here.
He continued, “Many times Skye would tell me in that cute voice. ‘I think we should have a playground right here.’”
"And so I spent thousands of dollars installing a handicap-accessible zipline instead because I figured that was a smarter use of my daughter's money because I am an idiot."
Morgan went on, “It’s not a coincidence that we had this dedication today, Skye’s twelfth birthday. The ten thousand dollars that Skye won with her photo started this fund.”

And now he's flaunting it right in Mrs. Scott's FACE that they stole her photo from her.

So all the kids wander around and play in the playground, when this happens.
Their thoughts were interrupted by a small, but sassy voice. “Dude, can you please move... you’re blocking progress.”
Just to remind everyone, THIS is what Skye said when she first met Morgan: "Hey dude, you’re blocking progress. Either go in or step aside, please."

I commented at the time how weird it was that a little kid would phrase things this way. And now, lo and behold, we meet the second little kid who phrases things this way. Skye has clearly been reincarnated. Or maybe, since Skye is essentially Jesus, this new little kid is the equivalent of the antichrist?

The girl introduces herself as Samantha, doesn't have any idea who Morgan is (she asks if he works there), but apparently has Batten. I don't know what she's doing here, since she's clearly not a patient -- Morgan and Tammy don't know her. Did they just send out a worldwide invitation to all little girls with Batten and their families? Also, if this girl has Batten and is the same age as Skye, her disease should be way further progressed than this. The only reason Skye's wasn't was because her parents were giving her secret experimental drugs.

So, essentially, we have a Skye clone for no reason at all.

Or MAYBE Morgan's just hallucinating this little girl. That would be the most awesome answer of all.

Dr. Rozak approaches Tammy and talks vaguely about being shocked by the results of her physical (which she has not seen yet). Although we as the audience all know that, duh, she's pregnant, he decides not to tell her about her shocking results, instead giving a long rambly speech about how he's supposed to play Skye's video when a miracle happened. So he gives her the video camera with Skye's message, and she watches it, while displaying apparently no concern whatsoever about the fact that something about her physical health is shocking a doctor.

Skye essentially reveals Tammy's pregnant and says she prayed for it, and there's a lot of other annoying rambly Skye that I don't have the patience to snark (gosh, I hate this kid) so I'm just going to skip through it and continue on.
Noticing how distraught Tammy was, Morgan rushed to her expecting bad news. All she could do was hand him the doctor’s report, and replay the video. . . . He let out a loud breath, and shot a questioning look at his wife. Tammy nodded, confirming that the report was accurate.
Well, I mean, all they have to go on that the report is accurate is the report itself. It's not like they've done secondary testing or anything. So essentially she's just saying, "Yes, what you read is what I read too." That's fine, that's an appropriate response, but this paragraph makes it sound like Tammy's saying, "Why, yes, I have verified that the report is accurate by, um, feeling pregnant" or something.
Morgan closed his eyes. He could almost hear Skye’s laughter and see her in heaven . She was running through the park, flying her kite with dozens of butterflies following her. Her loving parents looked on.  
Gratefully, he raised his hands toward heaven, reaching for the Skye.
Once again... so much for God. It's not like HE was involved with this miracle or anything like that. Nope, it was all Skye.

And that's the end of this book.

We made it.

I never have to read about bouncy-haired girls ever again.

Although I may be subjecting myself to some more Rothdiener in the near future. His latest book in the series has just been released for Kindle, so I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to purchase it so I can tear it apart as well. It's not often I find such a treasure trove of awfulness.

I'll be taking a break from snark for a few weeks (probably until June, as I'm going on a long road trip at the end of this month and won't have so much blogging time) but then I have a few possible options for another snarky series. I'll be asking you guys for your opinions on what I should work on next, so keep an eye out here.

Thank you so much for following along with me on my journey of reading this terrible, horrible, no good, very bad book.

In the meantime, I have to figure out how to condense all my disdain for this book into normal-sized reviews for Amazon and Goodreads...