There is something inherently wrong about walking into a large room overflowing with college students to be met with complete silence.
I wasn't late, they weren't waiting on me; it was just quiet. Eerily so. The first thing to come to mind was "who died?" but the somber expressions and more than a few teary eyes stayed my ever-irreverent tongue.
Somebody had died, they told us. They found his body in his dorm Sunday afternoon. They would tell us his name after his family had been contacted.
How about that? Somebody died over the Thanksgiving weekend and his roommate or RA had to find him. There's a sad irony in that.
Everybody was still and quiet; it was strange. Even after the meeting had broken up and people had returned to their dorms in twos and threes, for once respecting something enough not to immediately text everybody they know about it, the overlaying sadness was palpable.
It's a small enough campus that I probably saw this guy, whoever he was, in the halls, but I didn't know him. It would be odd to mourn a stranger's passing; I find it odd to mourn the passing of people I know. It's not a callous detachment so much as a weird (probably unhealthy, probably jaded) sort of desensitization.
The deaths in my family have been grandparents and great-uncles who have lived full lives. It was a shock when I got to college and somebody only a few years older than me died in a car crash, then a semester later the girl who lived directly above me died in a tragic crash worthy of an action film (she tried to pass a big tanker truck and ended up underneath, then the whole car was somehow flung out from under, across the highway, and ended up upside down in the opposite ditch). She was a few months younger than me. I had her on Facebook. Then the coworker from the campus Post Office who'd given me all the best advice my freshman year-- she died in a car accident, too. No less than seven others in the past two years have died in car crashes. Even on the iciest, most-treacherous-driving-conditions days at home in high school did anyone die. The only classmate I knew who died before I got to college was Lamar, in kindergarten-- he had leukemia. On top of that, the radio in the Post Office (which is huge and was probably manufactured several years before I was) is set to a very southern Minnesota station that plays the farm reports and funeral announcements over the noon hour every day. Corn production is up this season, buy pesticides, hog market is down $4; Jane Suchandsuch died at the nursing home last Saturday, she was 97. Funeral services will be held on Thursday at YadaYadda Funeral Home in her hometown. Bill Soandso died this morning after a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer...
Death is inevitable, and I've never been good at being sad. Keep moving forward and all that. We can't change what happened, no matter who it happens to. But the grief in the building was oddly tangible. It gave me a headache like I'd been the one crying.
I went and saw it as early as possible on Wednesday when it came out, and then again last night. Wednesday, I didn't do much 'critical thinking' about it, as I was too much in the mood of HARRY-POTTER-FINALLY-CAME-OUT-AND-I'M-WATCHING-IT-RIGHT-NOW! It was a really good audience, though. Despite one idiot down front yelling "Play the movie already!" halfway through the previews, they chuckled at all the right parts and were quiet when it needed to be quiet and only one person all-out squealed when the Inferi finally grabbed Harry's wrist (side note: I thought they did that bit well in particular; anybody who'd read the books was expecting it-- or anybody who's seen how the tense part of movies go, really-- but they showed the water being all still and foreboding several times and no hints of animated corpses, then BAM!, madeya jump). When the credits rolled, everybody was just quiet and a few of them were nodding and it was like "yeah, that's how it goes," which was nice.
I saw it again last night, though, and I find myself a bit more willing to critique it. It definitely has that "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" feel to it, a transition into the next movie/book. The scenes were kind of rushed together to touch on all the important plot points more than to form one cohesive movie; it's open at both ends, what with picking up right where Order of the Phoenix left off, and setting the board for Deathly Hallows in the last scenes. I still liked it, though; it's Harry Potter! I like the more adult texture the movies have taken on as Harry grows, particularly because JKR kind of did the same thing with the books, the situations (and vocabulary) growing up with him. It doesn't match Prisoner of Azkaban, but it's certainly done well. However, I'm developing the opinion that Rupert Grint is the best actor of the three in the Trio, and he really doesn't get enough scenes. Nor do the older actors, paricularly Alan Rickman, which makes me sad.
Last night's viewing, though, involved the lady sitting behind me who had never gotten past Prisoner of Azkaban reading the books, so she was astounded with a number of events. It was nice to see her reacting the way to the movie that I remember reacting when I read certain happenings in the books. Ah, nostalgia. She was with a real asshole, though, that kept laughing at her about how emotionally invested she'd managed to get herself in a couple of fictional characters, and by the end of the thing I was about ready to hit him on her behalf (if not my own, for I have an unreasonable dislike for those who talk in movie theaters; there is a special circle of hell reserved just for them, I believe).
Anyway, my favorite part was definitely Felix Felicis, without a doubt. Highly entertaining. A close second is when Ron took Romilda Vane's love potion. Great stuff. And whatever his name is that plays Draco Malfoy was excellent as well, and whoever they got to play Blaise Zabini (has it been the same actor the whole time??) was very nice to look at, even when he was just sitting and looking superior at the Slug Club dinner.
So that's my babbling on HBP. Is it sad that I caught myself applying twitches from the movie to plot lines out of fanfics I've been reading? I thought it was.
Yeah, I think I like it. I'm pretty sure. I might need to go see it again, though, just to be safe... : )
Why is it that my computer always contracts an annoying debilitating virus just when I've found a good fanfic? I don't even remember what it was called, but my computer took it with it when it stopped letting me click on things. *le sigh (again)* Now I've turned my laptop over to the campus tech services people (again) and they're going to do their best (again). Is it sad that the guy at the desk practically had the issues tag filled out for me before I got the laptop out of my backpack? Cheeesewoof. They've had it for just long enough and I've been talking to just enough people about computer issues that I'm starting to get nervous about them having to wipe the thing or something to get it working again. I don't have any backups of my word documents!! Not Good!
It makes me sad just thinking about the possibility... There's about 200 pages of Identity Crisis (that's my newest Superman story on ff.net if you want to read it) that I haven't posted because these damn bridge-chapters are a pain in the kneecap. About 30 pages of The Veil (that's hg/ss on ff.net and TPP) yet to be posted, and I actually managed the good, creepy tone I was going for! With Latin chapter names and everything. Then there's all the stuff that I haven't posted because it still needs work, but I still want to get it online eventually, and all my lovely papers for school and things.
The fun bit is that my desktop, when I turned it in, had Alan RIckman on it, sitting in a classroom with bright blue chairs (I think I found the picture on Google, but I don't remember) and glaring out at the lense. It was kinda creepy, when the desktop loaded but I couldn't click on anything and I just had Alan Rickman glaring out at me. Funny, though; especially the fact that the tech services guys are going to have Alan Rickman glaring at them, too. I dare them to wipe the thing when they've got the Glare to contend with!
That's wishful thinking, though. I doubt the Glare will have any real effect on their ability (or inability) to save my computer(again). I liked it better when it was just my printer that acted up.
Can I just take a moment to point and laugh at the 'big three' executives? Goodness sakes. We wonder how their companies have so many issues, but then have a look at how they're handling this whole issue: they show up for the meeting in big ol' private jets, then their HR (their HR) people have to tell them that maybe that's not the best idea, and then pack them off in their nice green hybrids for the second powow. Really? Seriously? Shouldn't they be a bit more aware of things than needing their poster people to clear their throats from the back of the room and make a suggestion...? And the fact that it's more about image than them actually caring is kind of lame.
And since when does a government with a free market bail out companies anyway? I might be sitting on the wrong side of near total ignorance, but I didn't think that was part of the game plan. Like dead-heading flowers; the bad ones, the brown ones, the ones that aren't producing things we need at a competitive level, get picked off and the stronger ones are allowed to grow ... right? And yes, I get that the whole economy wouldn't fair so well if these big auto companies were to go under, but won't we do worse, in the long run, if the problem isn't addressed ASAP?
And then there's the irony that the government is talking about bailing them out in the same month that they had to take the national debt ticker down because it ran out of digits.
I don't know. I'm not a political person, I generally play by the 'keep your head down and hope you have a job at the end of the semester' rule and hope things pull through, but man. This. is. ridiculous.
Your soul is painted the color blue, which embodies the characteristics of peace, patience, understanding, health, tranquility, protection, spiritual awareness, unity, harmony, calmness, coolness, confidence, dependability, loyalty, idealism, tackiness, and wisdom. Blue is the color of the element Water, and is symbolic of the ocean, sleep, twilight, and the sky.
Mkay, yay for the next teen sensation... I decided not to like these books, and then I read them. Basically, end of story. Read 'Twilight' because a friend at home is OBSESSED (and I mean obsessed, all caps for a reason there) with them; then I decided to read the next one because my sister (the preppy one that pretends she doesn't like Harry Potter, yeah, that one) had it. After I got done being mad at Edward for leaving, I finished it off and read the third one last Saturday, and the fourth one last Sunday. I figure I like them if I read them that fast :)
So maybe I'm not quite so completely overtaken by these things as I was (and still am...) with Harry Potter, but I've decided to like them, right?
But the movie made me sad.
Overall, I liked it, mostly. Good things: awkwardness between Bella and Charlie; awkwardness between Bella and Edward, so far as conversation went, at the beginning; Bella's truck; casting; plot adaptation. Bad things: Edward looked constipated when he was trying not to rip Bella's throat open in biology; the sound effect that went with the glittering; most of the framework for the shots. I think that's my biggest thing-- the director didn't do a very good job so far as setting up the shots properly-- I'm no expert, but I've watched my fair share of movies and I've taken a few film classes: the actors seemed to get the emotion right, but the shot wasn't right for supporting it, so it looked off or cheesy. Yes, there were quite a few (don't deny it) cheesy lines, but if the shot had been put together right, the audience would've been drawn into the moment and it would've been okay to be cheesy.
That's what I've got to say-- glad I got to see it opening weekend! Honestly, I didn't know how many teenage girls were in this town until I was waiting to get into the theater!!
woo-- finally back at school... usually that's not something I get so very excited about, but this year it means that the internet on my laptop is finally working again which is sweet.
So, major plus- internet, major minus- class starts monday... 'til then, I've got band camp. woohoo-- it's hard to get geekier than that! The band's a little bigger this year than it was last year-- a whole 53 people now-- so that's a plus. 6-8 hours outside marching around on the practice field isn't my idea of fun when it's the middle of August. The good news, we've already got the drill down for the first show; the bad news, now Dr. G (the director) will expect us to get the drill for the other shows down in three days too. That's gonna suck, I just know it!! And how do I manage to do this every year?? I never play my flute in the summer, so I always get all sore during band camp. You'd think I'd get light-headed from the constant air-troubles and irregular breathing, but I'm fine with that-- it's the tongueing that's killing me. The roof of my mouth seriously hates me, of all things. Geez.
Gotta love it, though.
Bring on the 21credit semester, the three different English classes, and the crazy roommates...! OOh! I got new roommates. I actually knew these ones (and yes, it's plural-- there's 3) before I moved in, met them in band last year. We moved into an apartment across the street from the dorms (technically they're still campus apartments, but only when They want the rules to apply-- such as the dry campus bit, and a number of on-campus fees, but it's considered off-campus when it comes to scholarships, so I lost about 1,000, which sucks) Sunday, which was fun. They're all a bit crazy, though-- which explains why they're my friends. At the moment, they're driving me crazy, though--- when stressed they tend to somehow revert to a 17-year-old-boy mindset. They whine and complain, they talk very loudly, and they're suddenly obsessed with alcohol and sex. I can honestly say that I'm not part of that party-- that's the bit where I go hide in my room and write more fanfiction until they step back up to our usual not-teenager-but-just-almost-adult age level.
Now I just have to manage to get enough sleep during these last days of band camp to make it to class Monday morning!
So I was camping way in the boondocks of southern MN when Dark Knight came out-- I had a 24hr reprise from the camper to go to a bonfire with a few friends from school who happen to live on the edge of boondocks, MN, during which I pestered them shamelessly with my geekiness. Namely, all I would talk about was how I hadn't seen Batman yet and it had been out for, like, 14hrs.
I got home Sunday. I saw it that night-- then again Monday before I had to work.
Is that not the best movie, ever??
Prettysure I'm gonna go see it again tonight.
I read a review of it right before I went to see it (that being on the car ride home from the campground) and it said that the superhero in these superhero movies can only be as good as its villain-- that's totally true!! and Heath Ledger's Joker is by far the best villain in recent superhero movies that I've seen, hands down. He better get that Oscar, he totally deserves it.
Mkay. If I say much more I'm gonna spiral into a four-page fangirl gigglefest or something and generally frustrate myself about not having figured out how to do the link thing so that I don't have to worry about spoilers and whatnot... k, I'm gonna go geek out now-- I have to find my Batman t-shirt before my next viewing...
Oh my GOSH! China was AMAZING! yay for visiting another continent, I mean wow. Yeah, I'm pretty pumped. Happy to be home, though, I must say. I even managed to figure out how to get a picture from the trip into a userpic here. For me, that's pretty darn good, all things considered :) It was great (in case I haven't gotten that point across well enough...). We (that being a small portion of the band from school- there were twelve of us including the director) flew to Toronto first, which was plenty fun. I've been there before and did all my sight-seeing, so I was able to sleep and whatnot. My roommate actually ended up getting pulled away while we were in customs and had to talk to the scary immigration people (we think it was because she lives on a farm and has therefore been in contact with farm animals and, apparantly, that's a red flag...) so Toronto is now her least favorite place on Earth. I, personally, found it kind of amusing. After a night in Toronto we had an incredibly long, incredibly boring flight to Beijing. 13 hours! Thirteen. That's a lot of hours. Luckily, there was the in-flight movie thing. We all had screens and everything (sorry, but I was particularly impressed by that bit). I was able to catch up on my movie-viewing, which was nice; I was only disappointed we had the exact same movie options for the flight home. Oh well. I surivived-- and the Other Boelyn Girl was a particularly good movie. And I watched 27 Dresses again. Twice. Still good :) Jet-lag sucks, though-- we took off from Toronto at 545p (I think) and got to Beijing 13hrs later at 545p. Yeah, we didn't do much that first night except find the hotel and sleep. Beijing was pretty darn sweet, though, once we were all rested. Our tour-guide was great, even if she talked ALL THE TIME, but that's her job-- it would've been nice to have a half an hour of zonking out time on the bus to and from various tourist traps, though. Anyway- we saw all the big things, I think. The Temple of Heaven (very cool, liked the old people in the park doing tai-chi and feathered-hackey-sack), the Great Wall (helluva climb, but I'm glad I did it-- we even performed at the little shop area near the Wall, but the performance sucked so I'd rather not dwell on it), saw a few of the stadiums where the Olympics will be held in a few months (the swimming one was particularly cool, in my opinion, particularly at night-- and the bird's nest), visited Silk Alley (got damn good at bartering, thankyouverymuch), and the Forbidden City (that place just kept coming! the Imperial Gardens or whatever they were called were really beautiful, though-- this was also the one place we managed to lose anybody, and it was hilarious because we lost Kyle and Dan, and it was just like them to be the ones to get separated. maybe you have to know them, though)... lots of stuff. I think I prefer Shanghai, though, really. We didn't spend as much time there, but we actually had a little bit of downtime to sit back and enjoy things. Really spectacular, though :D The hotel was better, too-- it was a Holiday Express (teehee) but it was just nice. And it had free internet access in the lobby. That was a plus. Favorite bit in Shanghai: the Garden we visited. It was fricking amazing. I have no idea how to spell it, though. It was called the Ewe Garden, or the Eu Garden, or something. It sounded like the way you say 'eu' in French, if that helps. I dunno-- the word meant 'to make your parents happy in their old age' or something like that, and the parents the emperor built it for died about six years before it was finished. Sad, really. LOVED the garden, though. Of everything. A garden. It's weird, I know. We performed at a huge theater that was the official theater of the arts for Shanghai or something (I was really too overwhelmed by it to remember the name, I think) and it was another AMAZING thing. The way it worked was that we (the band) had gotten shuffled around because we were supposed to join a mass band and play that way, but the other bands that would make up said mass band ended up ducking out. SO, we were shuffled in with out men's choir, who were matched up with the Miami University choir from Ohio. (Yeah, I don't get it either). Our men's choir was about 10 strong, their men's choir was about 60 strong. So a 70 person men's choir with a small band accompaniment (we weren't arranged that way at the Great Wall, unfortunately). It was sweet! First of all, I love men's choirs. Not only do you get to look at them (and there were definitely some good ones on stage), but they're singing. The Ohio guys sang a rendition of Amazing Grace (it was called something else, but I can't remember what) and it was seriously amazing. I mean, holy-cows-on-a-stick-I-almost-peed-my-pants amazing. Seriously. Anyway- it was big, it was musical; we did two encors. Wizard. Wow. Holy shit. Insert appropriate stupefied exclamation here. That's never going to happen again. It was just wow. It was a great way to cap off our trip, I think. We flew out the next afternoon (haha- Ohio had to fly out at 4a and it was raining-- one good thing about being a small group is that you fit on the afternoon flights!), back to Toronto. This time, roomy wasn't detained in customs, which was a plus. Sorry to be random, but Pizza Pizza is the sweetest pizza place ever. It's in Toronto, it was the best pizza ever, I was happy-- it did not contain duck, random unidentified vegetables, nor was it drowning in mystery sauce. Don't get me wrong, I was surprised to find that I actually liked most of the food we had on the trip (especially the duck), but a nice, simple slice of peperonni was just what the doctor ordered- and it was an exceptionallygreat slice of peperonni. Anyway, it was good. And there was no watermelon. I'm really tired of watermelon-- it was the cap on every single meal in China. Every single one. It really is good to be home, though. Even if I have to go to work tomorrow.
Yay for summer-- finally able to, y'know, relax. And there's actually sunshine, that's a plus. There's one week left until I leave for China (quite excited). Of course, that first week that I was home for summer was the one where they had that huge earthquake. Not so much fun. Still looking forward to it, though; first trip overseas! I should probably be checking my email more often, though, because I just looked today (when the family computer finally got back from the Geek Squad after being de-virus-ified) and there was about twenty new emails from my band director (the China trip is a band trip) about the do's and don'ts and what we need to remember to pack. teehee. This'll be fun.
In other news, I've been greatly enjoying reading books because I feel like it instead of because I have to get to page two-hundred-eleven for class on Tuesday. So... I wrote a book review... because I felt like it... yeah
‘The Android’s Dream,’ by John Scalzi
If the opening lines—“Dirk Moeller didn’t know if he could fart his way into a major diplomatic incident.But he was ready to find out.”— weren’t enough, I suspected it would be a good book when the two primary characters introduced in the first chapter were dead at its summation to make way for chapter two’s protagonist/antagonist coupling to introduce the protagonist described in the synopsis found inside the book’s jacket (Harry Creek) in the third chapter.
“The Android’s Dream” was intelligent and witty, as well as heavily based in the fictional politics between made-up alien races, religions sects, and our potential future selves.I’m probably the least politically inclined person (ever) and it easily held my attention.My only complaint was his comma use, or lack thereof, that drove me up the wall—not that Scalzi didn’t use commas, just that I had an English professor last semester that was a bit obsessive about comma use and, lucky me, I ended up falling into the habit of using a lot of commas that technically fit but don’t have to be there, and Scalzi chose not to use a whole lot of commas.Yeah.
While the title and cover art (at least of the edition I found at my nearest library) suggested a plot involving an android of some kind and had me thinking along the lines of Will Smith’s IRobot or something, the Android’s Dream was actually a rare and significant breed of sheep.The location of this sheep or someone in possession of its DNA (this is science fiction, after all) was the base of the plot.Quite entertaining.The basic premise was that an alien race (the Nidu, as it were) needs a specific breed of sheep (the Android’s Dream) for a coronation.The Secretary of Trade (of Earth) is asked to find one to avert an interplanetary crisis (brought onto the table by Dirk Moeller and his farting incident as hypothesized in the opening lines).The task is delegated (eventually landing in HarryCreek’s lap) and there you have it.
Overall, this was a really good read.It was 394 pages hardcover (another reason in itself to read it for Harry Potter fans, if you’re really looking for an excuse) and I got through it in two days-ish without cutting into my usual summer twelve hours, though the twelve hours were rearranged a bit as I stayed up late to get through just one more chapter that turned into five more chapters.It had the adventure and the sci-fi and the wit to be truly entertaining, with the tiniest dash of romance.Not a good recipe for cookies, but quite decent for a good read.
Good Quotes: these are from various points throughout the book, but can’t be called spoilers because they probably won’t make much sense out of context—however, if you’re going to get all offended about it, skip the rest… I don’t know how to make a cut to a separate bit, and these won’t be anything but mildly amusing, if anything, anyway so just relax.
“…’Here, this one’s good: He apparently assaulted a flower vendor on the mall because one of the bouquets was telling him he kicked babies…’
‘It probably had daisies in it.’”
“Lars-win-Getag was surprised as anyone when he cut short his bellow, replaced it with a wet gurgle, and then pitched forward dead, following his center of gravity to the floor.”
“It was the proverbial dirty job.But equally proverbially, someone had to do it, and HarryCreek was surprisingly good at it.It took a special human to look various members of various alien species in whatever organ it was that passed for their eye and tell them that a visa request was denied, or that the State Department was aware that assassins were plotting to kill them on their trip back to their homeworld, or that due to a memorable bout of public drunkenness on the Union Station carousel, which resulted in alien projectile vomiting on terrified human children there for a birthday party, their diplomatic status was this close to being revoked.In his time, Creek had done all these and various other.”
“’So you’re still enjoying your job, then…’
“‘I don’t know if enjoy is the word to use… that would imply a certain level of sadism, enjoying giving people ‘bad news’.’”
“No legal fabricator in Virginia, Maryland, or WashingtonDC had a log of an Anally Inserted Nidu Enrager being manufactured in the last year or so.”
“… after about the thirtieth time Acuna pressed that vending machine button Archie reconciled himself to the idea that the rest of his life would be counted in hours and that at the end of it he was likely to be a snack for the monstrous alien that was now asking him about his religion.”
“…There was a shipwide wrenching and an immense noise as Promenade Deck vacuum doors, cleverly disguised as floors and walls, sprang up and out and connected together with an alacrity that made Lehane want to track down their designer and send him or her a congratulatory fruit basket.”
“’Robin,’ Creek said.‘Do you trust me?I mean, do you really trust me.Trust me as in if I tell you something you’d be willing to do it, even if it seems irredeemably insane.’
“Robin stared at Creek for a minute, then started laughing.‘Oh, God, Harry,’ she said, finally.‘Since I’ve met you what have we done that’s not been insane?Do you even realize how ridiculous our question is at this point?’
“’So that’s a ‘yes’?’ Creek said.
“’It’s a ‘yes,’’ Robin said.‘I trust you with my life, Harry.It’s worked for me so far.So hit me with what you’ve got.’
“’Well, let’s start with the big one,’ Creek said.‘You’re your own nation.’
“Robin considered that for a moment.‘For your sake, that had better not be a comment about the size of my ass,’ she said.”
So yeah, good book. I just finished Anne Rice's "Interview with the Vampire" too and I'm headed for the science fiction section shortly to have a go at another in the series. Gotta love it. Oh, and I managed to post another chapter to 'Identity Crisis' just now! I'm accomplishing things today!
See you in about a month when I'm back from China. Hopefully I won't get infected with malaria or something because that would suck. Enjoy summer! Yay for Vitamin D!