Saturday, March 30, 2013

An Early Morning Post

It's about 5:40am on my day off.

Just woke up from a dream about Pico.

Despite his inbreeding, he died of old age, not illness, as far as I could tell. Though he must have had a tumor on his adrenal gland(s) if his hair loss and subsequent hair gain was any indication. He outlived any hamster I've ever had. And I have had more hamsters than I want to count.

In my dream, he was sick. He had large tumors on his sides (which another hamster of mine had many, many years ago). He was very sick and going to die soon. But despite all of this, he was still very sweet. My friend, Jhenn and I were watching and holding him and trying to make him comfortable.

Then I had to leave. Jhenn left and my mom appeared. We were getting ready to go and I just started crying and crying about Pico. My mom and sister and I were supposed to be going somewhere so we were all trying to shuffle out with me unable to see through my tears or hear over my heart-broken sobbing.

So I woke up and cried and cried. And I miss Pico with a sort of attached pathetic-ness that I've never experienced before with any pet I've ever had.

My mom days that most dreams about dead animals are visitations. Not long after he died, I had the most horrible nightmare that I hurt Pico and he cried. That nightmare still haunts me and brings tears of guilt to my eyes, even though it wasn't real. And there is no way that was a visitation from Pico. I can tell you exactly why I had that nightmare and where came from, but that's another story.

I've actually only had one other dream about Pico since then. And now this one.

While it was a very sad dream, it may be a visitation for this reason: the people in the dream with me. Not a lot of people understand my attachment to such small, short-lived animals.

Except Jhenn, who also gets attached to her small, short-lived animals and who was torn up by the loss of her rat several months before I lost Pico.

My mom, who has always been very understanding and supportive about everything, including the loss of those little lives that are so important to me.

My sister, who, growing up also shared a love of our little pets and who always tried to cheer me up by bringing a hamster to come visit me.

My brother could have been added to that list, he's pretty sensitive about such things. Even my dad could have been there-not because he understands my connection, but because he knows that they are important to me and that it makes me sad.

So there you have it. I felt very compelled to write and share this. Even before 6am on my day off. Thank you for listening. And thanks to the people in my life who care about their pets and about me enough to understand and comfort me.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

NDK 2013 Costumes Part Two

Yay, NDK!

I have made some progress on my costumes for this year. Woo!

My Jareth costume is beginning to get pinned and sewn. It took me time and motivation to finally cut out the interfacing. I hate interfacing. I know it's necessary, but I still hate it. So that is happening, slowly but surely.
My little set up on my desk due to lack of sewing table. And that is "Spaced" playing on my laptop there. Love it.
I did manage to finish the vest! Yay! It will be mostly hidden so its a good warm up piece. It just needs a fastener or two--I'm thinking snaps. I will go get those today. Yay! So excited!
Front.

Back.
Though in the process, I managed to irreparably bend two pins...  Maybe I need more pins, too...

I have been doing research for my Rogue costume. Do you know how hard it is to find good unitards in green or yellow? Very hard. Especially because I don't want to spend 50$ for a unitard I still have to paint anyway. Also, depending on the places you are looking for such items, the *oddest* things pop up. I didn't know they made such outfits. Anywho...

I am at the point where I am ready to look at some costume and dance shops to see what I find. I don't want to paint a whole suit, so green or yellow is preferable. I probably won't find that at a dance shop, but I can look at the local costume shop. I can also get gloves there. Rogue's are yellow.

For Isaac's Gambit costume, I have been wracking my brains about the armor on his chest. In the course of my research, I found a brilliant idea: a costume chest! Wow! Epiphany! So that is something else to get at the costume shop.

So that's about it for now. I am off to the craft and costume shops! And the bank... which is less fun...

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Blog About A Video Blog

Sorry about my lack of blog posts lately. Life is so stressful these days.

This is a little post to share something I thought was neat done by Sean Caspian: Draw My Life - Sean Caspian's Story.

I like this idea in general. And if I were ever to do video blogging (don't count on it-I hate the sound of my voice), this is the kind of style that would interest me.

I hope this trends. I would be more interested in video blogs done with this style in mind. And there are so many creative, fun things to do without even showing your face. And they don't all have to be life stories, though I liked the couple other drawn life stories that I watched after Sean's. I just think the idea is cool and unique. Plus, Sean tells a good life story, right? Enjoy!

Friday, March 22, 2013

A Little Stress Relief

I have been insanely stressed the past couple of weeks. This has been caused by my applying to grad school on the fly.

I was going to apply, and going to apply. But the application wasn't up for the longest time. By the time they put the application up, I was so sure that I didn't stand a chance of being accepted. So I didn't finish it. Plus, the application fee was 50 dollars, which is a ton of money for me right now between paying a mortgage and bills, etc. I finally got up the courage (and funds) to apply.

And I have until the end of the month to get everything in. Luckily, I already had several things ready. So I ordered and sent all of my transcripts. One didn't make it. After almost two weeks, I had to call in a panic and have them send another copy. The coordinator keeps up with what they receive from me, which helps.

So all my transcripts made it. Good. I sent my letter of interest and resume priority mail, which they got.

They had my GRE scores from last year.

Which leads me to my three letters of recommendation. I thought I had three lined up from last year. Apparently I was wrong.

My mentor from my internship sent his right away (of course, I had a copy of it that I attached and sent) because he's sweet and amazing.

One of my teachers couldn't because of the time constraint. Which is really my own fault. That was upsetting, but luckily I lined up a couple of backups. So my previous manager and friend wrote me one and it was sent and has been received. Sadly, it is not an academic letter. Last year when I researched, I was supposed to send academic letters, but the coordinator didn't say anything about that in her e-mails, just "letters of recommendation." I figure three total is better even if one is not academic than only having two. So that's great, right?

Except that...

One of my teachers has been busy and on vacation. She was my favorite teacher so I really, really want her letter, but she hasn't written it or sent it yet. I am seriously on edge waiting for her to return. She said she would write it, so I hope it's in time. It makes me sick to think about it. But at this point, there is really nothing I can do. She gets back Monday and the deadline for receiving my letter is April 1st so it has to get written and sent ASAP. But I don't want to be mean and pressuring so I haven't said anything to her. I e-mailed her the documents she asked for and I told her the deadline. What else is there, right? Except that I am super stressed about it.

In addition, I have been working more than 30 hours for the last few weeks. I actually am almost hitting 40. And I have three tutoring students that I have to prepare lessons and review for and then there is time actually spent meeting them. And I got a new student on the fly. So I work almost 40 hours per week and do hours of review and prep almost every day and then I actually meet my students. Needless to say, I have been insanely stressed.

For a while, I was so stressed and anxious that I could hardly sleep. Then it changed. I became so stressed that every time I began to feel overwhelmed, I was completely overcome with exhaustion. Which wasn't really helpful, honestly. On the plus side, I was sleeping. Sometimes during tutoring prep I would literally fall asleep over my notes and take naps. I drank tons of coffee and had no trouble sleeping all night long. I guess the sleep was nice, but I never felt rested. At work, I'd start to worry about letters and about tutor prep and I would just get so tired I could hardly function. As you can imagine, I haven't been the best person to be around, and I think Isaac bore the brunt of that.

Isaac promised some fun on Saturday, my only day off. Now that the school has everything except that last letter, and all my students are on spring break next week, I just had to make it through work this morning until I could catch a break.

On one of the worst days, Tuesday, after my horrible meeting with my teacher who couldn't write my letter (not actually horrible because she couldn't write it, but because I am so awed and intimidated by her that I make the biggest fool of myself when I'm around her, which doesn't even give me a chance of earning the approval that I so desperately want from her-it was very emotionally and physically draining-still is, I guess) that I bought these lovely tulips for myself.

Thursday I had my last two tutoring sessions. I drank SOOO much caffeine that day. I actually don't want to tell you how much because I should probably be ashamed. But I had to stay awake to finish prep and go to my sessions alert and motivated. So I drank lots of coffee all day long. I worked in the morning, of course. Then I came home to prep. But, to relieve a little stress, I decided to take a long, luxurious shower!

I used some of my nice, expensive detoxifying soaps and scrubs. I shaved my legs. It was so nice and relaxing. I almost felt guilty taking that much time for myself, but I definitely needed it. I felt like a new woman after that-a woman who could get through the tutoring prep, tutoring sessions, and work this morning! So nice.

And then Isaac and the rats have helped out here and there. Aww, cute ratties! Don't you just love them?!

Lol, Romulus licking my lips because I was drinking beer and he and Remus like beer. Not that we let them drink beer. We aren't that bad of rat parents. Some people will be creeped out my this picture...
The cutest picture of Remus being a flat rat! He was out playing and decided to just chill for a while!
And I haven't seen my friends in forever, I feel. Which I'm sure doesn't help my stress levels. A few people came over to hang out on St. Patrick's Day, but that's it. A friend of mine is in town for a while and I get to see her tonight! Yay! And another friend of mine and I have been having nerdy nights alternating watching Cowboy Bebop and Firefly. That's material for another blog post. But that will happen tomorrow along with Indian food, so I am excited. Finally, a little relief from all this stress! Thanks for listening. And sorry for my poorly constructed sentences and paragraphs. You should have seen it before my proof-read...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Women in Star Trek

Time for a feminist-related Nerdy Ravings post!

Yes, I am a feminist. I think all women should be. This is a great topic for another post. Moving on.

As a feminist nerd, I tend to be attracted to nerdy things with strong female characters. And as a person who is highly interested male-female relations, I like to see how men and women get along when the woman is a strong female character.

Which leads me to Star Trek. Obviously.

Have you seen the original Star Trek series? Yeah.

I am actually least familiar with the original Star Trek. From what little experience I have, female characters tend to be sex objects of the ever-womanizing Captain Kirk. I am not a fan of his. And I certainly hope William Shatner was not taking himself seriously during the making of this series. I love Spock (who doesn't?). McCoy, Sulu, and Scotty are great fun.

And then there is Uhura. Who is sort of a side character, but is important to the crew in general. But that's about it. Sex object central for women in that series.

In the new movies, I still love Spock and hate Kirk. Go figure. And love Uhura. And love Uhura and Spock together (aww, the romantic soul inside me just laps that up!). In having to stick with the original series there are not a lot of strong females. Which is OK considering the context in which they have to work. I think Uhura is cool enough to stand on her own.

And we move to Star Trek Next Generation. A series I am a bit more familiar with.

Lots of good male characters here: Captain Picard, Commander Riker (who doesn't think that face is oh-so-handsome?), Data (who I just adore), La Forge, and Worf (another one I am fond of who has the worst luck ever).

Strong females? Sort of. Briefly we have Lieutenant Yar, but mostly Doctor Crusher and (arguably) Counselor Troi.

I tend to argue against Counselor Troi, myself. It's like they were trying to put a "strong" female on the bridge, but ended up with a rather stereotypical, all-understanding female thing. And has anyone noticed how sometimes her accent goes wonky? Where is the actress from? (Apparently England, but her parents were Greek so I guess that explains it). Anyway, I guess I appreciate the efforts of the Star Trek franchise to include a female...

I loved Lieutenant Yar. Besides being Chief of Security (get it girl!), I may have had a little crush on her! She was cute and tough. Awesome. I was so sad when she left.

Doctor Crusher, however, is a good start for strong females. She has had her share of bad experiences in the past, but is still a strong individual and a talented doctor. And a great single parent to boot. Good for her!

I also think an argument can be made for Guinan. I love her. She is so sure of herself. She would make a better Counselor than Troi to my mind.

And occasionally you have Ro Laren, who is more of an aggressor if you ask me. She's strong, but a little rough around the edges. As the series continues, I tend to like her more. And the episode where she, Guinan, Picard, and Keiko are turned into little kids? Priceless!

Finally, a couple of good female role-models for us female fans.

Lets move on to Star Trek Deep Space Nine.

I used to watch this and Voyager with my dad growing up, so I remember them best.

Again, good, strong male characters: Captain Sisko, Odo (whom I am rather fond of), and Worf and O'Brian from Next Generation. Quark is actually a favorite of mine. And then there's Doctor Bashir. I kind of can't stand him. He's probably the only doctor character in all of Star Trek that I don't like.

Females? Major Kira! And Jadzia Dax! So not too many females, but these are good ones! Kira is second in command to Sisko--finally, a woman with more power in the male-dominant hierarchy! And Jadzia Dax is just awesome. She has a lot of influence and knowledge, but is very strong, confident, and independent, as well. And I liked her and Worf together. Again, that romantic part of me! Poor Worf. That part sucked. And I didn't like Ezri Dax much...

Now we're getting somewhere!

And lastly for Star Trek Voyager. The series I have the most experience with.

We have good men and women here: Ensign Kim, Leiutent B'Elanna Torres (one of my favorites and B'Elanna is a cool name!), Seven of Nine (who I have very mixed feelings about--sometimes I love her for her intellect, but I hate her for the fact that she is also there as a sex object), Chakotay and Tuvok (they're OK), and the Doctor (love him).

First time I get a leading lady: Captain Janeway.

This stems from an argument that Isaac and I had about Star Trek. Very important, I know.

He told me that Captain Janeway was a bitch. To which I responded that, no, she's a woman in power who doesn't speak like a stereotypical woman.

Have you ever read articles about how men and women talk to one another? And how women usually talk when they are in a position of power? Fascinating! As such, I have done a lot of reading in this area. If a woman is in power, there seem to be two different ways for her to communicate, especially with men who rank beneath her:

1. To talk in a more "feminized" fashion. By this I mean that she tries to be too nice. And women in this category constantly end sentences with a question. For example, "These products need to be over here so that they are with like products. That way customers can find them easier, you know?"  I worked under a woman who talked like this constantly. She was the assistant store manager and the general merchandise manager. She had the most power second only to the store manager. If you are one of these women, at best, men beneath you will just think you are lenient and nice, at worst, they won't take you seriously.

2. To talk in a more "masculine" fashion. If men talk to other men or even women, this is usually how it works and no one will notice anything. If a woman talks like this, she is usually called a bitch. And not just by Isaac.

So think about it. If you think Janeway is a bitch, why? What is different from the way she talks to her underlings? Doesn't Captain Picard talk to his underlings in the same way? Yes. But since she is a woman, she gets a bad reputation. She's not mean or nasty, she's in command. Just like the male captains. She never orders anyone abut needlessly, she's not catty. Go watch some more episodes if you don't believe me. She's not a bitch. She's a strong woman in power.

And good for her! I like Janeway. And if I have daughters, I would much rather they look up to Janeway than Troi. Janeway is very strong, independent, collected, and organized. She absolutely does not need men to do anything for her personally. And I admire that. And aspire to that.

Which is why I like Star Trek Voyager. I know not everyone does, but my feminist sensibilities crave it! Hooray for strong female characters!

And now we have been re-watching much of Voyager and Isaac told me he agrees with me now--he thinks he was picking up on her not speaking like most women and being in a position of power. Isaac is as much of a feminist as I am, but he doesn't always pick up on such subtleties. Now he knows and likes Janeway just fine. Time to view her as a person, not as a woman.

Thank you for reading this edition of Nerdy Ravings. Til next time!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Celebrating 100 Posts!

I made it to 100 posts! Wow!

I want to use this post to try to get some feedback for my blog.

What do you like? What don't you like?

Is there anything you want to see more of? Or less of?

Does anyone have suggestions for me? This goes for anything: style, what I should include, post ideas, anything.

While my views have been pretty good, I actually have gotten very few comments. I know you're out there, readers! Let yourselves be known!

I look forward to your feedback!

Unless is goes along the lines of, "I hate David Bowie and you shouldn't post about him." In that case, too bad. Otherwise, I hope you will share your (constructive) thoughts with me!

Thank you all for reading! It makes me happy to know that I actually have readers out there! I appreciate your support!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Star Trek and Technology

Here is another Nerdy Ravings post for you all. Because, surely, I don't have enough nerdy posts.

I saw this on Facebook several days ago and couldn't stop thinking about it.

Huffington Post: 3D Printed Food: Is It Any Good?

If you follow that link, it takes you to an interesting video about 3D printing (which is amazing, by the way) and using it to possibly make food.

Like the replicators in Star Trek, yes?

Evil Cupcake (see her blog here: http://iamevilcupcake.com/) and I had a little Twitter conversation a while back. I tweeted that I wanted someone to develop holodecks for the home. Let's be honest, how cool would that be?? Evil Cupcake replied that she wanted a food replicator (because all the chocolate you could ever eat!). About a week or so later, I found the above article.

Awesome, right? Isn't technology amazing!

And this reminded me of a book I have called Physics of the Impossible by Michio Kaku. Here is a link to the Amazon.com page for this book: Amazon.com: Physics of the Impossible. If you pay any attention to the world of physics, the name Michio Kaku ought to ring a bell. I swear he's in everything.

He's amazing. I can't believe how much information that man has in his head. I am a great admirer.

In his book, he explores the possibilities of all sorts of "impossible" things. Like invisibility cloaks (any Harry Potter fans out there?) phasers, force fields, and teleporters (Hello Star Trek!). He has a bit in there about the Death Star as well (we don't want to leave out the Star Wars fans, after all). And, of course, time travel (Doctor Who, will you please join us?)! Plus so, so much more. It's a nerd girl's (or boy's) dream!

He explains things in a way that is understandable, too. I am a science person, but physics is certainly not my area of expertise. Despite that, I greatly enjoyed the book. It is fun and educational all at once!

When I took my physics classes, we watched tons of cool, sci-fi related documentaries (probably because my teacher was a nerd, which is awesome!). Here is one that is more recent, but similar to the one I watched: The Universe: Science Fiction, Science Fact. I love this. The whole first bit is about transporters and Star Trek. Here is one that I thought was so cool from Kip Thorne (another good physics name to know) concerning Carl Sagan's book, Contact about black holes, worm holes, and time travel: BBC Horizon - 1996 The Time Lords Part 1, BBC Horizon - 1996 - The Time Lords Part 2, and BBC Horizon - 1996 - The Time Lords Part 3. I love these. Check them out!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Girl's Night Out

Looking for a fun girl's night out? I have a great suggestion for you!

A friend of mine found a Groupon to a place called The Beauty Bar. At the last minute, three of my girlfriends and I (plus Drew, a guy friend of ours. Who is straight, btw) went to Denver to try it out!

The Groupon itself was good for one drink and a mini-manicure--two for one, I think. Normal price is $10 for one drink and manicure, so it's not expensive normally. But be sure to bring some cash to tip the bartender and the manicurists! Ours were all wonderful and sweet!

They have a few different, tasty, and colorful martinis to choose from.

And they have two manicurists come in during the evenings (until 10pm) to do your nails! Here we all are, "gettin' our nails did!"

Yep, there's Drew!


 
The Beauty Bar has several different locations besides the one in Denver: New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Austin, Brooklyn, Chicago, and Dallas! Check out their website link above!


Lovely!
We all had lots of fun. I think Drew even had a good time. Afterwards, we went to meet a couple other friends for dinner. All around, I would say it was a successful evening! It was nice to feel pampered and girly for a while. Super fun!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

NDK Costumes Part One!

Woo! Ready for NDK-related posts? I am!

I know I have posted a couple things about my Nausicaa costume, but this is official!

My costumes this year:

Nausicaa (obviously)

Jareth from Labyrinth (for real this year)

And Rogue (Isaac will be Gambit) from the old X-men cartoons! You know, back when Rogue was cool and bad ass.

And perhaps return of the Katamari? I hope so!

What I have so far:
The main pieces of my Nausicaa costume: the dress and leggings. I need leg warmers and a belt. Oh and I need to find a way to make the cartridges on her dress. Maybe the mask? Maybe a wig? Oh, and gloves.
My Nausicaa dress.
All the pieces for my Jareth costume have been cut and I am beginning the pinning and sewing! Yay! The belt is finished and I have leggings and gloves. I still need a wig and contacts. I may need boots as well.

Here is the pattern I am using:

Here is what I need it to look like:

 And here is how I alter patterns:


For Rogue and Gambit I have nada, zip, zilch.

So there you have it! Better be ready by September!

Friday, March 8, 2013

David Bowie's "The Next Day."

On the afternoon of March 6th, I got a phone call from an acquaintance of mine. In it, Ryan (fellow David Bowie fan) told me that the CD store nearby only had one copy of "The Next Day" left. I quickly made my way over and got the last copy that had the bonus tracks on it! Yay!
Me and my new David Bowie paraphernalia!
I also picked up this snazzy new DB shirt from Target which my sister told me about via text the night before. Awesome shirt! Because I needed more... I only have enough to wear a different one everyday for about two or three weeks straight... Moving on.

Despite having gotten the CD before it was even technically out, it took me a few days to listen and process.

As a DB fan, I am already inclined to like it. And I did. But, sadly, it wasn't my favorite. I think with time it will begin to grow on me. The song and music themes are more dark or sad, reminiscent of "Earthling," I'd say. I don't have all of David Bowie's CDs (yet because have you seen how many he's done???), but "Earthling" has been my least favorite so far. I started out with a lot of excitement leading to some mild disappointment mixed with intrigue.

When the first song, "The Next Day," came on, though, all I could think was, "He's still got it!" I love listening to that voice. Which brings me to one of the things I dislike about the album aside (and which I disliked about "Earthling"): I don't like it when they do funny things to alter DB's singing voice. I don't like using all of that technology to make his voice sound strange and demented. He has such a unique, wonderful voice. I can't imagine wanting to change the sound and cadence. Can I call myself a purist?

The second and third time through, I liked it more and more. The only song that I just do not like (which means I will skip it on my iPod a lot) is "How Does the Grass Grow?" I tried, I thought reading the lyrics would help (and it did, a little), but I am just not crazy about it. Not because of his voice, just because it's dark. Though not necessarily darker than the rest of the album. "The Next Day" was also dark, but I liked it better for whatever reason.

I still like "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" and "Where Are We Now?" is my favorite. I enjoyed "(You Will) Set the World on Fire" and the one love song, "So She."

As a small side note: Did anyone else notice that the music at the end of "You Feel  So Lonely You Could Die" sounded a lot like the music at the beginning of "Five Years?" Anywho...


Overall, a little dark for my tastes. However, once it gets all mixed in with the rest of my DB music (giving me 200 DB songs!) I'm sure it will be fine.

Four Years Ago Today...

Pico and Gary were born. Those who follow my blog may be familiar with my hamsters that I loved so much.

I bought Raya on March 6, 2009 and two days later, March 8th, she had two babies: Gary and Pico.

They were very important to me. (See End of an Era.) I got more attached to them than I probably have to most of my pets (and I really, really love my pets).

I have been really bummed lately and missing Pico. It took me a while to realize that the reason could be his birthday approaching. Even after almost a year of him being gone and my life being so busy, I still manage to miss him like crazy. Sometimes I wonder if that feeling will go away. I suppose with time...

While I miss Pico with a pathetically sad ache, I always remind myself of our pet rats that we have now.

I'm sure some of you remember Romulus and Remus?

They are just as fun and adorable as ever. I can't get over how cute and silly they are. We love to have them around and they are so playful. They have brought so much to our lives already, and they are really only about 7 months old. Lucky for us, we still have years with them.

So while I am and have been feeling down about Pico, I am still so glad that we have Rom and Remus. I feel very lucky to have such wonderful pets!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Happy First Birthday Positively Miscellaneous!

Happy one-year anniversary!!! Yay!!!

My first blog post was published one year ago today. Happy b-day blog!

It has been an interesting experience, so far.

Sometimes people ask what I blog about, which usually gets a blank stare in return and a vague, "all kinds of stuff."

Sean Caspian asked and when I said the above, he asked if it was an idea dump. I think that is an apt description, don't you? But I knew that, going in, hence the title "Miscellaneous."

It is kind of fun for me to look at the progression of my blog. During the year I have had a total of 94 posts (too bad I didn't synchronize and get 100...) and 4421 page views! Yay

My least popular post was my very first post, Drumroll please with a whopping four views! Whew!

The post that generated a decent amount of response (though not all through blogger, but through friends of friends and Facebook) was the nerdy Birthday Coaster Set with 128 views. It was my first post that got over 100.

Some of the pages that got good responses were lists, like Everything I Need to Know About Life... as well as various lists of Halloween/Christmas movies and TV shows or music. The Halloween party posts and some of the costumes and NDK posts got good numbers, some over 100 and some close to 200.

The two pages that have been viewed the most are: "I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food" and "Love people. Cook them tasty food" which currently have 273 and 333 views respectively. Amazing! Apparently I need more posts like that. Except that I am not much of a cook.

That's pretty cool, right? I've been pretty excited about my views and progress. There is an audience out there for everything!

Thank you all for reading and supporting my blog and my ambitions to be a blogger! It has been fun and I hope you continue to stop by! Thanks much to my friends who help me out and especially to Wyatt Kane for making my blog a project to help me out!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Silly Videos to Watch While Bored

A couple nights ago, I found out that some of the silly online videos that I grew up watching have never been seen by some of my friends.

It is high time to correct this! And share some funny videos with everyone!

(I think this counts as a Nerdy Ravings post.)

First of all: Legendary Frog. Legendary Frog has been around for many, many years and is still making videos. Here is the main website: The Legendary Lilypad.

I have a few nerdy favorites from Legendary Frog:
1. Kerrigan's Big Invention. This is a silly video involving the original characters made by Legendary Frog.
2. One Ring to Rule Them All 2. Number two is the funniest. And it references this video by Leonard Nimoy: The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins. The third video in this series has some good moments, too.
     Tangent: This is funny! xkcd: Single Ladies
3. Final Fantasy Tribute. Hysterical FF sing along.
4. The Matrix Has You. I highly recommend the first one: There is No Spoon. The very last video in the series is OK, too.

Most of my friends, at least, know Potter Puppet Pals. The first two were Bothering Snape and Trouble at Hogwarts.
1. In Trouble At Hogwarts, if you freeze frame it when Voldemort is killing Snape, a star appears. If you click it, it will take you to a little video of Ron singing. It's funny if you haven't seen it and if you are familiar with Harry Potter, of course.
2. On a related note, even tho it's not puppets, it is very funny: Snape: I'm Too Sexy.
There are two PPP that have mysteriously disappeared. Both were Flash videos, not the live ones. One was a silly little video of Hermione listening to Brittney Spears. And there was one of Snape singing a song. I cannot find either video anywhere, sadly. Here is the Snape song. It is the original song, but not the original video (the high-pitched voice at the end is supposed to be Ron): Potter Puppet Pals Adventure. The song is good enough to post this random and odd video made by a fan.

Here is an old one: Ill Will Press, featuring Foamy the Squirrel: Ill Will Press:: Home of Neurotically Yours.

Admittedly, most of these are not quite my taste in humor, but there were a couple I liked. After talking with my friend, Krissy, who remembers them well (she says the new ones are no good), I decided to post a couple of the ones I used to watch and like. And some of them, while funny, I will not be posting here for obvious reason if you watch them.
1. Foamy Thoughts.
2. Club Advice.
3. A Musical View.
4. 5 More Minutes. This may be my favorite. "Now is time for you to rise and bring forth your squirrel to the bagel shop!"
5. Spell-A-Casters. "You're just some weird little goth person who watched 'The Craft' one too many times!"
6. Free Your Mind. Obligatory Matrix episode.
7. Small, Medium, Large. I posted this because I work at Starbucks, but still find this funny. Fun fact: Starbucks started with two sizes: short (8oz) and tall (12oz) and later added the grande (16oz) and the venti (20oz and "venti" means "20" in Italian or something).
8. Dating Advice. Yep."You do not need a significant other to live life."
That's all I will post for those. Apparently the artist has kept going with these since about 2002/2003. These are all from the first couple of "seasons" and that's about all I have seen.

"Sincerely, Your Lord and Master, Foamy!"

Let's see, what else was "viral" before YouTube came around? (Gasp, there was a time before YouTube???)

1. Llama Song.
2. Badgers. I still do that little bouncing dance when I see things that have badgers on them... Like in the liquor store with Isaac once and he thought I was totally mental... Plus variations:
     a) Badgers: Lord of the Rings Style.
     b) Potter Potter Potter Weasley Song.
     There are others, but I'm not going to post them all.
3.Numa Numa. This was my introduction to this song (which is actually a sweet song- "Dragostea Din Tei" by O-zone translates to "From the Linden Tree," I believe). This guy is awesome! I admire his rocking out in front of the camera. It got lots of views and I think the guy was embarrassed because his roommate put it up. I still think it's fun.

Anyone have good ones to add?

Friday, March 1, 2013

David Bowie's New Song

As many of you know, David Bowie celebrated his 66th birthday by announcing a new album, which comes out (in America) the 12th of this month. It is called "The Next Day." He released his first single, Where Are We Now? at the same time. I love this song. I highly recommend listening to it (the video is strange, but try listening to the song without the distraction of the video).

Within the last few days, David Bowie released another song from the new album. It is called The Stars (Are Out Tonight). If you are a DB fan, you should listen and watch the video. Tilda Swinton (she played the White Witch in "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe") plays his wife, which is cool. She is a very unique-looking lady, and that fits DB's style.

"Stars" are a theme David Bowie began using early in his career and he has always held onto it. His association with stars in space correlate to big stars or celebrities on Earth. And he often mixes the ideas: space aliens becoming rock-and-roll musical stars. He also explores the destructiveness of celebrities. From 'Space Oddity' to 'Starman,' 'Star,' 'Ziggy Stardust,' 'Rock-and-Roll Suicide,' and 'Moonage Daydream' to 'Makin' My Love (Like a Shining Star),' 'New Killer Star,' and so many more, his star themes show through.

I think the video for "The Stars" is weird (and occasionally a little disturbing). And the song itself is reminiscent of past DB styles, but sadly, not any of my favorites. The main thing in the video that kept my interest was the other "David Bowies" (usually accompanied by his "wife" as she must have been in those days) that were following him and his wife around. Fascinating! Because DB has always had all of the androgyny going for him, it is difficult to tell if the young "DBs" are male or female. Due to DB's history, I think that is appropriate.

I listened to the song again, without watching the video, and that helped me out. I like the song just fine without the odd video distracting me. The lyrics are interesting if you listen closely. The song and video seem to show this strange disconnect between David Bowie as he is now and as he has been in the past. Those persona are still around, however, which becomes pretty evident in the video. The fact that he still wants them around comes across in the lyrics:

"They burn you with their radiant smiles
Trap you with their beautiful eyes
They're broke and shamed or drunk or scared
But I hope they live forever.

"Their jealousy's spilling down
The stars must stick together
We will never be rid of these stars
But I hope they live forever."

I found this article from NPR about it: David Bowie's New Song Is....

While this new song is not my favorite, I still think it is fascinating and new. And it is about David Bowie. How can you not like that aspect as a DB fan, right?

But I still LOVE "Where Are We Now?" That song is beautiful. So if you aren't a big fan of the new song, just focus on that!