Friday, April 29, 2011

Badass Movie One-Liners (inspired by Molly Weasley)

The new Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows trailer, which includes a clip of Molly Weasley vs. Bellatrix Lestrange, had me all but jumping up and down in nerdy enthusiasm last night. So without further ado, I give you a list of badass movie one-liners, inspired by J.K. Rowling's awesomest mom ever. Anyway...

"NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!" -Molly Weasley, future Deathly Hallows movie

"I don't believe in no-win scenarios" -Kirk from Star Trek

 "The name's Bond...James Bond" -James Bond, from James Bond (duh)

"My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die" -The Princess Bride

"I'll make you an offer you can't refuse" -The Godfather

Often, badass lines are accompanied by equally badass actions. For example, the "Luke I am your father" card would not be nearly as effective if Darth Vader hadn't just cut off his son's hand. So the whole line is more like *hand chop* *scream* *Darth Vader says coolly* "No, Luke...I am your father." *audience horrified gasp*. Likewise, these next few...

"For Frodo" *charges the gates of Mordor* -Aragorn

"There is only one Lord of the Ring...and he does not share power!" *throws himself off tower* -Gandalf

"YOU SHALL NOT PASS!" *slams down staff on tiny bridge* -more Gandalf

"Fly, you fools!" *falls and dies* -Gandalf again

"I find your lack of faith disturbing" *force choke* -Darth Vader

As you can see, Lord of the Rings has a lot of epic lines. They're epic movies. Same thing with Star Wars. I could keep listing these, but then this post would be really, really long and I would reveal myself to be even nerdier than you already think I am. ;) Besides, I kinda want to hear your favorite badass lines...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I've been a bad blogger...

Well, I've been a bad blogger (say that one five times fast). At least this month. I've only had five posts for the month of April, nothing particularly interesting to say, and have barely tweeted or shared posts to Facebook where people might actually be directed to read them. On the plus side, you all have been patient and nice enough to comment on my posts this month, so thanks. :)

Most of that is due to Hell Week and finals week; some of it is due to me writing reviews instead; and some of it is just me being lazy. Sorry about the lazy part. Hopefully, my life will get itself back on a normal schedule for the rest of this last term and May will see a more prolific blog! But first I have two questions for you:

The first is easy. What would you like to read about? I generally just ramble about my interests, but if there's something particular you'd like to read, go ahead and leave suggestions. I do have all those now-deleted movie reviews, the rights to which should belong to me again...

Secondly, I have been thinking about putting ads on the blog. Just thinking, mind you, because it's a step I'm wary about taking. Obviously it's worked for some people, but Google gets to choose the ads that would appear, and then there's the principle of the thing. I'm really only considering this because I got a lecture from the parental unit about "not selling your services cheaply" and "taking advantage of opportunities" and "don't you know what you can do out there on the Web?" Thank you, Mom and Dad, I do, and probably know a lot more than you about it. So what if I can earn half a cent every time someone clicks on an ad? Is it worth it? Am I compromising some vital blog principle? Probably not, but still...


In other news, I have roles in two one-act plays this term and will be taking the course "Writing Creatively About Science" with Dava Sobel, acclaimed science/historical fiction writer and author of Galileo's Daughter. Fun stuff.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Very Hyperactive Easter To You All!

What are you doing this Easter? Besides gorging yourself on candy? ;) Or bouncing off the walls? Or drinking wine or whatever you gave up for Lent? (I am watching YouTube!!!)

A side note (ooh! A shiny distraction!!): Maybe it was watching the Dr. Who Christmas Carol last night, but I'm getting this urge to watch The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It's the two biggest Christian holidays and World War Two all in one movie. :P Actually, though, the reason I'm thinking about Dr. Who and A Christmas Carol is because it related uncannily well to the Easter sermon today, "Thieves in Paradise," with the reading from Luke about the thieves on the crosses next to Jesus. One had a deathbed conversion and Jesus told him he would go to Paradise/Heaven. Which reminded me of A Christmas Carol, of course--though there's not actually anything overtly Christian in the story; and in the time period, Christmas wasn't officially celebrated--but you can probably see where I'm going with this. Deathbed/end-of-life turnarounds, even for Scrooges.

And now I shall endeavor to calm down and tell you about something IMPORTANT--a great post by my twitterfriend and blogger Andi Judy Black (@JudyBlackCloud on twitter), writer and MFA-student-to-be. Anyway, being a writer and writing for writers, she did a charity spotlight about books. Books for soldiers, that is, an organization that takes donates for books and other care packages for soliders overseas. Read about it here => http://judyblackcloud.wordpress.com/2011/04/23/charity-spotlight-books-for-soldiers/
and I encourage you to register as a volunteer and donate.

Another link for your amusement--the contest winners from this year's Peep Show: http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/peeps-show-v/2011/04/11/AF3NYHSD_gallery.html If you don't live in D.C., Maryland, or Virginia and don't know about the Peep Show, it's a contest in marshmallow peep dioramas, sculptures, and art. This is its fifth year. (Would I spam you with porn? Really? Trust me and click on the link! These are hilarious.)

And if you don't know what marshmallow peeps are, or their very interesting properties, you may be interested in some humorous scientific research: http://www.peepresearch.org/index.html. Also, before you eat one of these cute, harmless-looking little marshmallows, you should know that THE EYES OF PEEPS CANNOT BE DISSOLVED. So when we wipe ourselves out in nuclear war, the only records of life on this planet will be cockroaches...and peep eyes. How's that for a nice thought?

As you can see, I have consumed way too much sugar and am going to go crash now. Have fun with Easter, Books for Soldiers, and marshmallow peeps. :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Outrageous Fortune

"To be or not to be; that is the question--
Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer
the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
and by opposing, end them."

Et cetera. It's from Hamlet (in case you didn't know/in case that play has not quite penetrated every part of popular Western culture), and it inspired the name of my college's online literary magazine. Outrageous Fortune. Coincidentally, it's the only online college literary magazine made up of undergraduate work only, and it's run professionally--like literary magazines in the "real world," the editors may not publish their own work. The only graduates allowed to submit to the magazine are MBC alumnae, and I their work is published on a separate page. So if you're an undergrad or know any artistically inclined undergrads, tell them to submit--poetry, prose, and art! :)

Anyway, I'm blogging about this because Outrageous Fortune has just launched their new Spring 2011 edition and I'm in it! I was in a previous edition for my poem "Prayer" (which you can find in the archives if you feel like looking). This time I didn't submit poetry, as you might guess, but photography--my photo "Country Church #2" can be found in the Art section. My roommate's poem about unrequited love also got in, and there's loads of great poetry besides. I haven't had a chance to look through the whole thing yet, so I can't tell you my favorites...not that I'd want to bias you. ;)

Wouldn't it be great if instead of "Get free ipod! Click this link!!!" spammers said, "See awesome poetry, prose, and art! Click this link!!!" and then led you here: http://www.mbc.edu/outrageousfortune/

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Reflections on Lent, Kittens, Libraries, etc.

So I gave up Youtube for Lent, but I'll get to that in a second. First of all, Shiloh Rules is over and the performances went wonderfully. Secondly, I am in denial of finals week (finals week? What finals week? What on earth are you talking about, voices?) And thirdly, this is National Library Week. I am celebrating this week dedicated to America's libraries by tweeting twaiku -- twitter haiku in 17 syllables and 140 characters. For example: "The boy is embarrassed / to be at the library-- / and then he sees her." The twaiku contest is hashtagged #nlwtwaiku and the prizewinner gets a $50 Amazon gift card (which the winner will, of course, use to buy books).

But back to Lent.

In the past, I've given up chocolate, soda, fast food, and makeup. One year I decided to write a poem for every day of Lent -- I produced a few haiku and a weird poem about roadkill, but I soon discovered that Lent vows kinda go the same way as New Year's resolutions. You tend to forget them after a week or two. But I gave up YouTube for Lent this year; I've kept to it despite the at times horrendous temptation; and I honestly think it was not a good decision. I'll even go so far as to say it was a bad decision. This has been one of the most depressing Lent seasons of my life (whether related to YouTube deprival or not). Which I suppose is sort of the point, but still.

Oh, well, I guess I shouldn't complain. Maybe a more depressing Lent means my life will be proportionally more cheeful after Easter. But then some things about Lent are just absurd. For instance, the Presbyterian church didn't technically even start celebrating Ash Wednesday until the 1970's. Even today many Protestants think of Lent as a "Catholic thing." And did you know that the only reason you can't say "Alleluia" (or hallelujah, take your pick) is because a long time ago some people decided it sounded too pretty for such a serious, depressing season in the Church year?

Being honest with myself, though, giving up YouTube has gotten me more into the spirit of Lent...even if I haven't been to a single church service since starting college. (Don't tell my dad.) I use YouTube to watch videos about humor, current events, movie trailers, music, A Very Potter Musical, and of course adorable kittens (don't judge me). Basically I decided to give up a very large chunk of "things that cheer Laura up after hours of school and rehearsal." No wonder I'm feeling down, right?

Still, here we have an interesting philosophical question. By giving up YouTube, I have realized how much I really use it as a kind of music and humor therapy. I have Pandora, but it's not the same as watching Dudamel conduct Danzon No.2 (many <3 to Dudamel, and to that eargasmic piece). Therefore, I will never take YouTube for granted again and when I permit myself to return to it after Easter, I will be that much more appreciative. The question is: if I actually use YouTube to enrich and enjoy my life, would God/Jesus rather I did not give it up? Or would they rather me be gloomy because I can't watch/listen to adorable kittens? Ok, ok...but in all seriousness, wouldn't God want you to enjoy life? Rather than plunge into a mini-depression every Lent season? Perhaps someone should check suicide statistics for the 40 days of Lent. Or is said mini-depression supposed to make you enjoy/appreciate life more by comparison?  Are you supposed to realize that some people have no interest in Dudamel or eargasms or have never seen a cute kitten in their lives?

I think we can conclude from this that I gave up something harmless for Lent; that watching YouTube in moderation will not destroy my soul; that YouTube is not as frivolous as I probably thought it was when planning my Lent; God likes kittens; Lent should teach you some kind of lesson, whatever the hell it is; and you should not take little, frivolous, harmless things like YouTube and kittens and Dudamel's hair for granted.


In other news, I auditioned for the one act plays this term. *fingers crossed*

Friday, April 8, 2011

Shiloh Rules

My posts this month have been very spotty (nonexistent really), for which I apologize. Recently I've been working on a play that is consuming the greater part of my life and health. As assistant stage manager, I'm basically the Cinderella of the theater: I get there half an hour early to sweep the floor, organize everyone's stuff, call out lines when the actors forget them, make sure people have their props, do odd jobs, put everything away at the end of the night, and finally, stay late to wash all the dishes. What did I say? Cinderella.

It's very time-consuming but worth it--there's a lot of fun that goes along with it and the play, Shiloh Rules, is awesome. It's a comedy-drama (I would call it a "dramedy,"  but I hate that word) about Civil War reenactors. Specifically, the 144th Battle of Shiloh--and the women in competition for the title of Best Female Reenactor of the Year. The North is represented by Miss Clara May Abbott, Union field nurse and "Angel of Antietam." Her assistant this year is Meg Barton, a college student who's in it for the extra credit. The South is represented by Mrs. Cecilia Pettison, a true mystery--no one knows where she comes from, and she seems to really live in 1862 (mentally, at least). Cecilia's assistant is LucyGale Scruggs, a FedEx route tracker whose real job seems boring and lifeless compared to the reenactment. Meanwhile, the "Widow Beckwith" (Buckie Beckwith, cookhouse provider, newsletter publisher, and profiteer) sells artifacts and souveniers--some legally obtained, most not--to both sides, and the African-American Ranger Wilson patrols the park looking for any illegal activity, seriously annoyed by these crazies who want to act out the Civil War.

The play is all women (being a women's college, we tend to do a lot of those). The comedy is highly entertaining, and the drama gets genuinely disturbing. I've had a blast being crew for this play, even if it has destroyed a good part of my physical and mental health. Blogposts will be much more frequent after Sunday the 10th, our last performance...

Moral of the story: Crewbies are overworked, underappreciated members of the theatre world who do a lot and don't sleep nearly enough. Next time you see a show--whether it's on Broadway or at a local college--look at the pretty set, listen to the sound effects, ooh and ahh at the light design, and admire the costumes and cool props knowing that there are a lot of people backstage who put that together and made the actors look good. Obviously I'm not biased at all...

In other news, I wrote a new book review--The Abhorsen Trilogy Book One: Sabriel. http://www.brighthub.com/arts/books/articles/113273.aspx