Monday, October 24, 2011

Twilight. Seriously.

Or, how I stopped worrying and learned to admit that I read the "Twilight" series.

Every year, I take a long vacation from work between the Christmas and New Years holidays. During those glorious eleven days, I do . . . nothing. Ejemplo: last year I played (and beat WHAT UP) the Harry Potter LEGO game and read 2.5 books.

Golly, I seem to be starting a trend of fibbing to you guys. Actually, I tell people I read two and a half books. In reality, it was four. It was the entire "Twilight" series. All four of 'em.

It spawned from several factors. See, at work, I sometimes feel like I don't have a lot to talk about. My coworkers watch a lot of reality TV and sports, and not many of them are in to comics or movies or general nerdery. And - and this is an observation, not a judgement - not a lot of readers in the group either. So my ears perked up when all my female coworkers started talking about books, even though they were talking about Twilight. I thought to myself that one day I might pick up the series at Half Price Books, but nothing really ever came of it.

And then for Christmas, a coworker bought me the first book. So I read it. And then I went out and bought the next two (going so far as to ask the cashier for a gift receipt [oopsy! see last blog post]), and then I downloaded the fourth for my android kindle app. And I read every single word.

Guys, they're really not good. I cannot in good conscience refer to them as literature. But good GOD did I devour them! I will say that I like the author's take on the (spoiler alert!!) shapeshifter origins, and her development of that mythology. But in all honesty, other than that I got nothing. It really does read like the diary of a particularly verbose 14 year old. I don't know that I can put into words the exact reason I had to finish; just to say that I did? To have something to talk about with my coworkers? Maybe I just kept hoping to "get it"? But I never did, and I giggled at inappropriate passages, and I never really grew to like a single character.

So then I saw the movies. I DID. I DON'T KNOW WHY. Well, I think I really did see the first out of morbid curiosity. Even people who love the books said it was terrible, and my friends who refer to movies as "films" said it was one of the worst cinematic atrocities ever committed. I don't know that I would go that far, but yeah . . . it was pretty bad. So then I watched the second two, because at that point I was all "well fuck it. I'm already in this deep . . . " and they still weren't much better.

Which brings me to my point. I saw a commercial for part one of the finale tonight. You guys. YOU GUYS. It's going to be so bad! So awful!! I mean, the plot of the fourth book is just . . . just . . . ludicrous doesn't even begin to cover it. It is such a shark jumper that from here on out we should change it from "jumping the shark" to "giving birth to a half vampire." Oops, spoiler alert again. Sorry. If you've ever seen Simon Pegg let loose an exasperated "UGH," that's exactly the vibe I'm going for here.

So, my point is this: I'm totally going to see it. Probably not on opening night (but I bet I will muster that for part two), but I'm totally going to see it. Not to troll, not to be ironic, but just to have a great time enjoying something that will have no lasting impression nor change my world views in any way.

And please, do not take away from this post that I am making fun of "Twilight" lovers. I would never in a million years do that, because aside from my own hang ups about being judged, I would never call anyone stupid because their entertainment isn't my bag. I truly would not. I'm going to have something to talk about at work if it kills me.

If you've not read or seen the previous works, this will probably mean nothing. Or maybe it will make it even better, I don't know. Just watch and tell me this will not be epic (on whatever level you choose):

And just for shits and giggles I encourage you to read the comments. Now those people you can judge.

We Interrupt This Monday Evening for Some Metal

Or, how I learned to stop worrying and love the Oxford comma.

Friday night I had the distinct pleasure of seeing both a band I never thought I would get to see, and a veritable metal legend. I've taken a pause in my giant bowl of buh-sketti-O's long enough to tell you all about it.

Cards on the table - I totally lied just there. I just wolfed down the rest of the O's. So now I can continue unfettered . . .

We saw Otep and Cavalera Conspiracy Friday night. At - seriously, are you ready for this? - McGuffy's House of Draft. McGuffy's. For any of you from the Dayton era that were at any point from, oh, 1985 on maybe, in to any kind of shitty metal, you know what I'm talking about. For those of you who aren't/weren't, I am so sorry that you do not. McGuffy's is one of those local legendary joints that waxes and wanes in both its popularity and reputation. Let's put it this way: Queensryche, Dream Theater, Dio, and countless other legends have played there. But so have I. So there you go. It has an eternal beer stank, but also guitars a' la Hard Rock decorating the walls.

So I, my fella, two of his friends, and approximately 100 Daytonians ventured out to see some metal. I have to tell you - I've been a quiet fan of Otep for quite a long time. I was working at a record store and a coworker put in Otep's CD, then watched my face. I wasn't into a lot of cookie monster metal, but this stuff had a groove and I was digging on it OK. Then my coworker said "by the way, that's a chick." AND I FELL IN LOVE WITH OTEP. Their live performance did not disappoint. They were - oh my god you guys, I'm gonna say it, I'm gonna say it - tighter than Tool on two possibly three of the four Tool performances I have seen. Seriously. Cavalera Conspiracy was also super fun, and - personal achievement - I was within like five feet of a pit. Side note - before the show Jason made a comment about Max's dreads possibly being held together by poo, and that might not have been a joke.

Guys, I kind of lied to you again. This is not a post about metal. I led you here under that guise, but what I really want to talk about? Dub step. Seriously. Both Otep and Cavalera Conspiracy took to the blackened stage to some haaaaardcore dub. I loved it. I really wanted to find out who it was, but couldn't think of a single person to ask in that Red Bull Metal Stank crowd. Not one person.

I only learned about dub step a few months ago, and I guess by that time it was already cool to make fun of it. But screw you guys, I listen to what I want! I thought I had reached a point in my life where I was completely unafraid to be into things that aren't looked upon as "real*." Art, music, movies, TV shows, I thought I no longer cared and had well reached an age where if you judge me because of what entertains me, you are the douche. Learned an important lesson Friday - apparently I'm not quite there yet. So now I have to spend literally minutes on the world wide web trying to figure out those sweet sweet sounds that rumbled my belly and made me want to dance like a French hipster before two crusty metal bands took the stage.

*Uck, god, case in point. I just popped over to another blog site and I saw the following: "Any fans of REAL music out there, I urge you to go see band-X."

So, I aim to update this blog a lot more frequently. I can't promise there will be anything of note here, just random thoughts and an occasional rant, I'm sure. But recently I've been chock full of excuses as to why I don't write (editorially and creatively) and the jar just emptied. So stay tuned, friends and neighbors. Or better yet, chime in and start a conversation!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The World's 419,000,001st Harry Potter Blog

Or, how I stopped worrying and learned to love the end.

In almost exactly four days, I will be crying. On the off chance that my pal Jeremy reads this blog - Jeremy, I sincerely and wholeheartedly apologize, 'cause it's gonna be "Titanic" all over again (which, incidentally, is another far more emarassing blog entry all together). I already mist up at just the posters, and have dropped more than a few tears during trailer viewings. I solemnly swear I will be a hot mess.

My point for making this post is not to recap the series or even to list my favorite moments, though I would be remiss for not mentioning one - learning Gary Oldman would play Sirius Black (suck it, crazy zealots - I already know what the Rapture feels like, and it's quite nice). Fans of the Potterverse don't need it and non-fans don't want it. No, my point is a little different.

Today a tumblr post was reblogged by countless young'uns. "Reblog with your earliest memory of Harry Potter." Most of the replies consisted of "I was 6, my mum used to read it to me and my siblings when we were going to bed at night."

Friends and neighbors, I was 21 years old when "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" was released in the US. I probably read it while sipping a cocktail. I know there are others out there like me - grown ass women and men who still maybe kinda hope that one day we will get our Hogwart's orientation letter in the mail. Adults who are so invested in this mythology that a half-second glimpse of Lupin and Tonks in the trailer sends us into fits of weeping (no? Just me? Whatevs). We are out there, and we love Harry's world just as much as you.

I do not feel "less than" my young fellow fans. Not at all. I don't believe that I am less of a fan because I watched Harry grow up but didn't get to grow up with him, and I believe that is JK Rowling's ultimate triumph. She took an idea about the basest needs - loyalty, friendship, honor, family in all its forms, love, and oh yeah a little magic, and cleverly disguised it with the most amazing and colorful characters and situations . . . so we wouldn't realize that what we were reading was actually good for us, too. She put spinach in our brownies. Reading/watching a Potter story always makes me feel amazing.

I am a little jealous of my younger fans, truth be told. I am completely jealous of those of you that were read to as children. Even though it never happened (and sadly never will), thinking of my mother reading me a Potter story would definitely be my patronus memory. And I assure you if ever we meet at the Wizarding World, I will be running around like an idiot with my newly purchased wand, flinging curses with the best of them. *

To paraphrase Alan Rickman, who in turn paraphrased the Queen herself: When I am 80 and in my rocking chair reading Harry Potter and my friends ask "Still, after all these years?" I will reply "always."

*apologies in advance to my fella, who I regularly beg to take me to Disneyworld

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Obligatory "Five Best" Post, Article A

So I'm sitting here watching "Superman" and I thought to myself "this wouldn't be in my top five. My top ten, definitely. But not five." And then I thought "wow, you never update your blog. That's lame. You should totally blog about your top five. E'rybody else is doing it." So here goes.

But first, two truths must be known:
Truth the first - "The Godfather" is the definition of "perfect movie." But it is not on my list.
Truth the second - The Star Wars trilogy transcends such trivialities as "lists." Therefore it is not included on this one.

Seriously this time - here goes.

1. True Romance. I love this movie so much that I have a tribute permanently marked on my left foot. Here is a movie that delivers exactly what it promises. It's the most romantic movie ever made, and on the rare occasion it falls into romance-cliche territory, it's done so flamboyantly that you just don't care. Faceless Elvis, stoner Brad Pitt, Remy, Balki, Cuuuuuuh-reepy Christopher Walken, Gary Fucking Oldman - and those are just the bit players? Seriously. Come on. Seriously. And PS - I like Tony Scott's ending best of all.

2. Harold and Maude. The second most romantic movie ever made. Currently a memorial for the right foot is underway. What else can I say about Harold and Maude? It's hilarious, it's touching, it's eye opening, and it's beautiful. The end.

3. Goodfellas. I'm pretty sure this is the movie that caused the eye opening "oooooooooohhh. This is what it's supposed to be like." I think this is the first movie I recognized in my own estimations as "brilliant." And probably the first time I ever identified a tracking shot, even though I definitely didn't know that's what it's called. And I am STILL a giant sucker for a tracking shot (WHAT UP, "Children of Men"?)

4. The Wizard of Oz. This is on my list more out of nostalgia than of respect for the amazing technical achievements of this movie. I acknowledge them of course, but I don't know enough about them to care as much as I care about how I used to wait ALL YEAR* to watch this with my mom, after she made Pillsbury breadsticks and Cheez Whiz. Even at that young of an age, I would imagine what it must have been like to see that on a screen, and see Dorothy open that world into pure colorama magic. And it still give me goosebumps.

5. Pi. I love this movie more for its subject more than it's killer cinematography, its 8 billion shots, more than all its awesome innovativeness. It's a subject that has fascinated me for a long time - mysticism and math (and I really wish I were smart enough to research and theorize on the subject) - and when I learned there was a movie about it I was super excited. So it's pretty kick ass that the movie turned out to be awesome, right?

So yeah, there's my five. Honorable mentions, you ask? Hmm. Fellowship. M. The Birds (because it scarred me FOR LIFE). Superman. Watchmen (Yes, Watchmen, shut up). But be sure and stay tuned for:
Kathleens favorite records! Only one from each band, greatest hits don't count!
Kathleens favorite shots! The question is not "will there be a tracking shot?" but "how many tracking shots will there be?!!?"
Kathleens favorite . . . oh hell, I don't know. I just know I need to update this thing more often.

*see kids, back in the day our Beloved American Icons were not whored out for the all mighty dollar and you could only watch movies like "The Wizard of Oz" once a year. But I suppose that's another blog post entirely . . .

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Trent Reznor Won a Golden Globe

Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Age.*

Last Sunday, Trent Reznor won a Golden Globe. I imagine he'll probably win the Oscar, too, and I hope he does. He was humble and genuine, dressed in a classic tux with a high and tight haircut. He was so . . . grown up and appropriate. This is by no means a complaint - I would not have wanted him to get up there in vinyl sleeves and bondage pants to flip off the HFP - but it was very, very offputting.

My introduction to Nine Inch Nails came in 1992 0r 1993. I was with my friend Jenny Queen in her VW Rabbit. We were probably on our way to The Tavern to smoke cigarettes and drink coffee. She pulled a casette out of the console and said "have you heard this yet?" I was fascinated. A black cassette?!? What is this? I had seen the transparent cassettes, many of my butt metal bands released in that particular variety, but never a black cassette - with blue writing, even! I was intrigued. "Um, I've heard of them. I've been wanting to check them out!" I honestly cannot remember if this was truth. No matter. She said "every song on this album is about sex," put the cassette in and quite literally, my life changed.

Out came this tinkering, this angry, metal tinkering. I was instantly smitten. And oh Lord was she right - every song was not only about sex, but it was also about "bitch, you FUCKED me up," and that was insanely cool. It was new, it was identifiable in a way that most of the music I had listened to never was. True, I had never actually had sex, but I sure did know what it was like to get hurt, and since I was 15, I think it's very safe to say that a large part of me WANTED to have sex. I think it was probably somewhere during "The Only Time" (yeah, you know what part I'm talking about) that I realized I was listening to the coolest thing I had ever heard.

And I still think it's one of the coolest things I've ever heard. While "The Downward Spiral" is probably a better record, I don't know that it will ever be my favorite. PHM has since been remastered, but I don't even know if I want to hear it. I like that home production, and I would probably even listen to it on cassette, if I could.

My point, since I should probably have one, is that seeing Mr Reznor up there, looking and acting like a responsible adult, made me assess my own mortality. That's a poignant way of saying "made me feel old." I'm so happy for his well earned success, but the man that helped me discover sexuality . . .

Is all growed up now.

Jenny Queen is now a popular country singer in Australia, and has worked with some amazing alt country musicians.

Kathleen Coyle blogs twice a year and is still a weekend goth.

Trent Reznor is still wicked talented. And sexified.