Saturday, October 6, 2012

Skillfull Saturday: Poetry

Normally this would be the day I share a video of myself performing some skill. However my camera on my computer isn't working, and I didn't get any suggestions. But this was the perfect opportunity to try a different skill. One of my housemates suggested writing a poem. This is what I came up with:


Alone with nothing to cling to
What is this life I live?
I’ve tried to keep my head up
Still I find myself lost

Years of school and nothing to show
No clue what I’m doing
Searching for what I want in life
Still I find myself lost

Why am I so apathetic?
Daily joys have run away
Routine to distract my tired soul
Still I find myself lost

Why should I get out of my bed?
I’d rather slip away
Yet I wake eager for some hope
Still I find myself lost

Which reigns supreme, logic or dreams?
Settling for safe bets
Giving up and choosing plain life
Still I find myself lost

I hope you enjoyed the poem. Maybe some of you can read this and know that you are no alone. This is the end of my first week blogging and I will return again on Monday. If you have any suggestions for a skill for next week or if you want my opinion on any music, tv show, or movie, just let me know. Peace.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Film Fridays: Looper

I'm guessing that most of you haven't seen this movie yet because it just came out last Friday. Originally I was a little skeptical of the movie based on the trailer. However, I am easily swayed by critics. When I saw the universally positive reviews from both critics and audiences alike I decided that I had to see the movie.

The movie stars Joseph Gordon Levitt (JGL) as Joe Simmons in the year 2044. Crime is on the rise and the economy is slowly collapsing. In 2074 time travel is invented but soon outlawed. Crime bosses secretly use this technology to send people they want killed back in time to dispose of bodies more discretely. Joe works as a looper, who are the hired assassins that kill the people that are sent back in time. He runs into a problem when his future self, Bruce Willis, is sent back in time to be killed. JGL is surprised to see an older version of himself and in his distraction gets knocked out and Bruce Willis escapes. The rest of the movie is JGL searching for Bruce Willis in hopes of killing him and "closing the loop." Meanwhile Bruce Willis is on a mission to find the "Rainmaker" who is the boss in charge of the entire looper system. If he can kill the rainmaker in the year 2044, the looper system will never be created.

Some extra details I think you should be aware of are: first, there are a couple nude scenes that I was not expecting and were absolutely unnecessary. I'm not just saying that. The nudity seriously had nothing to do with the rest of the story and carried no important significance. Secondly, JGL looks so freaky.  I'm telling you to prepare yourself now. When I say freaky I don't mean eerie or psychopathic. I mean he doesn't look like a normal human being. The nose is strange but I can get over that. The contacts in his eyes are just so scary looking. And lastly, in the movie about 10% of the population are telekinetic or as the call it TK's.  Some creepy stuff goes on because of them.

This movie was great. Yes it was a little graphic at times, but that is expected because it is an action movie. The movie is interesting because it gets you thinking. After the movie I kept trying to figure things out. It was a really enjoyable movie and I would definitely recommend seeing it.

My rating: 90%
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Entertainment Weekly: B+
Roger Ebert: ★★★½

Thursday, October 4, 2012

TV Thursdays: Modern Family

This was such a hard decision, choosing which TV show to start with. But my decision was soon made after I turned the TV on last night, excited to watch the new episode of Modern Family, when I was shocked to see in place of my beloved show - Local Public News. Why would ABC tease me with the premiere last week and then fail to air the next episode this week?

But onto the actual show. Modern Family follows a mockumentary format similar to The Office or Parks and Recreation. There are three families that are followed who are in fact all family. One family is an older man who recently got married to a younger Colombian woman. His kids are part of the other two families: a gay couple and a stereotypical couple with three kids of their own.

This show is hilarious. All of the characters have something special to offer.  Honestly though, the non-Pritchetts are my favorite characters. It's really hard to pick my favorite, but I probably have to say Gloria. She is so loud and over the top with her emotions and facial expressions. Maybe I can just relate to the ridiculous faces. But seriously, her character is so funny. Cam is also extremely flamboyant and not afraid to create a scene.  Then there's Phil.  I love Phil so much. He thinks he's so cool but in reality he's just so painfully awkward. I feel like I might be him when I'm older. That's a scary yet hilarious thought.

A few random facts you might not know. Sofia Vergara who plays Gloria on the show is a natural blonde. If you don't believe me look it up. Also despite the age difference on the show, the actors who play Alex, Luke, and Manny are all the same age in real life. And have you ever thought Claire looks familiar? That's because she played Jack's wife on Lost.

Some of my favorite episode are:

1) "The Kiss" - Alex likes a boy and Haley tries to get her to do something about it. Also Gloria is honoring her dead grandmother and guilts Jay into performing "rituals." This episode has so many funny story lines and great quotes.
            "Your kids don't need to know who you were before you had them; they need to know who you wish you were, and try to live up to that person. They're gonna fall short, but better they fall short of the fake you than the real you." - Claire

2) "Caught in the Act" - It is Phil and Claire's anniversary and their kids catch them in the act while trying to deliver breakfast in bed. Meanwhile Gloria accidentally sends Claire a rude message over email.
   Quote:     Phil: "We were, as they say, having sex."
              Claire: "That's not a euphemism. That's actually what we were doing."

Okay I'll keep it down to two because this is getting long. But this show is awesome. The best season by far is Season 2.  It's now onto the 4th season and the first episode was very promising. My biggest complaint though is Lily. Yes the old Lily didn't do much, but the new Lily is kind of annoying. Besides that I love the show. Haha. If you haven't watched the show I would recommend you start ASAP.  The episodes are short and you can easily breeze through the seasons. Enjoy the show.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Web Wednesdays: Sporcle

Ok. Before I go into any details here is a link to their homepage:
What exactly is Sporcle? It is a website filled with nearly 300,000 timed quizzes. Now I know what you're thinking.  Why would I want to take a quiz when I'm not in school? These quizzes are more diverse than you could ever imagine. There are quizzes on anything from Harry Potter, to famous logos, to listing all 50 states.

The biggest  challenge is that all of the quizzes are timed. These quizzes can last from anywhere between 1 minute and 20 minutes. The longer quizzes are for topics such as listing the 100 most commonly used words in the English language.

Maybe you're still not fully entertained by this site. If you are like me and are competitive, after you finish the quiz you can check how well you did compared to everyone else who has taken the quiz. I love it when I take a quiz and see that I made it above the 90th percentile. This feature is definitely one of my favorite parts of Sporcle.

And the topics available are so numerous that you can easily find something that interests you. Here are some of my favorite quizzes I have found:

1) Harry Potter Top 200 - Name the top 200 most mentioned characters in the Harry Potter series
2) The Oscars! (2000s) - Name the winners of the 6 major Oscars categories between 2000-2009
3) MLB Teams - Name all of the Major League baseball teams
4) Movie Posters - Name the movie based on the poster (there are a series of ten of these quizzes)
5) And some of my favorite quizzes are the most popular baby name quizzes. Seriously there are so many of them from most popular baby names in 2011 to most popular boy names in the past 100 years starting with J. I just love seeing what names have been or are popular. Do people really name their kids Bryleigh, Kimber, and Journee? If this is the name of your second cousin twice removed, I'm sorry.

Maybe you already knew about this site. Maybe you didn't. Either way I would I strongly advise you to at least try a few quizzes. Hopefully it will cheer you up a little or make you feel really smart.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Testimony Tuesdays: My Strange Addiction

I have a confession.  I am addicted to...

Holiday Decorations!

Okay. Maybe I'm not addicted but I thoroughly enjoy them. I don't know what it is, but I love the sight and smell of holiday decorations. This mainly applies to Halloween/ Fall and Christmas decorations. The other holidays I could care less if there were decorations available.

Since it is the beginning of October I will focus on fall decorations. My roommate Miguel thinks that I'm obsessed with pumpkins. But really, what is more representative of fall besides brightly colored leaves and pumpkins? Pumpkins come around once a year and they fill me with the autumn spirit.

But on to my affinity for decorations. I love walking into Michaels and going straight to the holiday decorations. When I walk down the aisles I am filled with a childlike wonder. The smell of cinnamon pine cones only adds to my entrapment by the decorations.  I generally am lured towards the more realistic decor. As you can see below, I enjoy fall leaf garlands, pumpkins, and crows.  It's almost like bringing the outside indoors.

At my parents house I have decorated most of my life. I am even asked to come home specifically to decorate.  It is very therapeutic for me and I have become pretty proficient by now. Certain decorations definitely have locations where they work best, but I try to change it up every year and create new displays.

So there you have it. I love to decorate and to find unique pieces to add to my collection. If you ever need help decorating, you now know who to call.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Music Mondays: Anthem Lights' Cover of One Direction

For those of you who saw this on my page already, I'm sorry. Actually, I'm not sorry because this cover is truly fantastic.

Let's get back to the music. Here is the amazing cover I found last week:

And if you have an iPhone and the above video doesn't work for some reason, here's the direct link:

Amazing, right? Now some of you might be asking, "One Direction? Really?" Yes! When I first heard about One Direction I did have my doubts. Another teeny-bopper, Disney style boy band was not what I was interested in. However, after hearing "What Makes You Beautiful" I was changed. With their catchy melodies and easily memorable lyrics how could you deny a taste of One Direction's tempting music.

I can enjoy popular tunes on the radio just as much as the next person. What I'm a sucker for is mashups that are done well. If someone can change the feel of the song on top of creating a mashup, they have completely won me over. Anthem Lights takes upbeat pop songs and blends them in a very raw and vulnerable medley.

The cover itself starts with a simple vocal rendition of "Gotta Be You." This is followed by a quick transition into "One Thing." Each member of the group surprised me with their voice. However, for me the shining moment is when the fourth singer comes in with "Something's gotta give now." His voice is so soothing and pure. Yes there is a slight rasp, but every time his voice gives me chills.

If their solo performances are not enough for you, the harmonies are the tipping point. I'm not sure how your speaker system is, but if nothing else listen to the video through a pair of headphones. When you take the time and listen to all of the harmonies, you will hear what I mean.

Simply, this cover is phenomenal. They even managed to thrown in a plug to Backstreet Boys. I'm definitely a fan.  I hope you all enjoyed this song because when I found it I could not stop listening. Maybe you will find yourself in the same position.

The Beginning

So...this is my attempt at starting a blog.  It all stemmed from a simple thought I had that I wanted to share some of the awesome things I find, but also to share a little about myself.  No, I am not an excellent writer, nor do I think that my blog will be turned into a movie like Julie & Julia, which is an excellent movie by the way.  I simply want my blog to be a resource for other people.

My format.  Recently I have had a lot of time, so this is my plan.  I will bravely attempt to create an entry each day except Sundays.  I know what you're thinking.  Everyday?  Isn't that excessive?  It may seem that way, but my blog will follow a weekly format.  Here it is:

Music Mondays: I share either a song, album, or video and give my opinion.  I will most likely feature music that I enjoy, but if a song is particularly popular I might give my opinion even if it is negative.

Testimony Tuesdays: I share some fact about myself.  Hopefully it is interesting and new to the readers.

Web Wednesdays: I share something I have found online that I think is insightful, funny, relevant, or just cool.

TV Thursdays: I share my opinion on different TV shows.  I will include what I think about the most recent episodes of shows that are currently airing.

Film Fridays: I share a movie either that I have recently seen or one that I am particularly fond of.  If I see a film in theaters I will definitely discuss if I think it's worth seeing in theaters or if you can wait until it comes out on DVD.

Skillful Saturdays: This day scares me the most.  I attempt a new skill every Saturday.  On these days I include a video showing my attempt.  Sadly I know that I will definitely fail some of these.  But it gets me trying new things and there is good news for my readers.  These skills I attempt are determined by you.  Simply provide suggestions and I choose the most popular.

I hope that you will enjoy my daily entries.  If you like what I have to say share it with your friends.  And so the project begins...