hug, Alice

What in the Name of ...?

Things I Don't Understand About the World

Extra masochism points for me!
hug, Alice
ellie_sparks
 So I sat down and watched Eragon (don't look at me like that. It was on, OK?)  And did a movies in fifteen minutes type thing.  I wrote it as I was watching, so it's kind of long.  Whatever.  Enjoy!



Voiceover: I may or may not be a character.  Maybe I’m Brom.  Hell, I don’t know.  Here, have some boring exposition, ripped from the slanty opening of Star Wars.

Director: Ssh, don’t give away the source material!

Voiceover: Sorry.

Director: Here, have some helicopter shots and overdramatic lighting!

Arya: I’m trying too hard.  

Eragon: I don’t seem to be trying at all.  Dude, why is there a smoke machine under the stone-egg?  I should probably be acting here, but I don’t want to.

Arya: I’m about to be tortured. I should probably stop smiling!

 

Me: We’re only 9 minutes in. This will be painful.Collapse )</div>


Vampires Don't Sparkle
hug, Alice
ellie_sparks
  Yesterday, I was painting my room because it was the only room that hadn't been painted since we moved a few years ago.  The room is fairly large, and has a lot of doors and corners and trim, so I spent the day edging.  GrammarMom came in, and we started talking about books (this happens regularly in my house), and she brought up my grievances with Twilight, because her knowledge of the series is cursory at best.  As usual, we came back to "The vampires SPARKLE??"  And then I said something magical:

 

"Vampires don't sparkle."  Suddenly, I thought of the Bailey School Kids books.  Remember those?  Sure you do!  A set of tokenized elementary schoolers repeatedly became quite suspicious of the various adults in their life, who all seemed to be some sort of mythological creature or legendary person.  Titles included Martians Don't Take Temperatures, Ghosts Don't Eat Potato Chips, Pirates Don't Wear Pink Sunglasses, and, of course, Vampires Don't Wear Polka Dots.

 

In every case, the person in question acted quite a bit like whatever the kids assumed them to be (the Martian was greenish and seemed to have some wicked powers, the pirate said "arr!" a lot, etc.).  But something about the person sent up a red flag to the kids as not what the creature was supposed to do, which was always the title of the book.

 

Hi, I'm calling for a consultation on a possible vampire.Collapse )


Review of Tinker Bell
hug, Alice
ellie_sparks

It’s no secret that I’m a GrooveLily fan, though the technical term is Petal Pusher. What you may not know is that I’m a huge fan of Tinker Bell, and have been for ages. I forget who first started calling me Tink, but it dates back to when I was a blonde (now I’m a brunette, and in the interim I was a redhead). I think the reason I like her, and the reason we’re compared, is that she’s tiny and doesn’t take crap from anyone.

 

So was I excited when I found out GrooveLily was writing the opening and closing song for the second Tinker Bell movie? You bet your bottom dollar I was! Two of my favorite things colliding, without any interference from me!

 

But whoa there -- what if the movie sucks? What if it drags GrooveLily down with it? What was the first movie like, come to that? Well, I decided to find out. This review will be pretty long because I’ll bw writing it as I watch the movie. Ready? Here we go!

 

 

Why do I feel like all of this is happening in the Weasley's back garden?Collapse )

 


Review of Sleeping Beauty
hug, Alice
ellie_sparks
Which one? Well, multiple, actually. I just bought off iTunes the GrooveLily musical, "Sleeping Beauty Wakes," which I'll be placing next to the old Disney version, for the sake of juxtaposition.

I actually looked up the old version of Sleeping Beauty on YouTube because, frankly, I remembered very little about it except for her dress changing color at the end of the film, which tells me nothing about the actual film. All I knew was that it was hailed as one of the Disney classics, and that the main character, Aurora, is one of the princesses who has been slapped on half the merchandise in the Disney store.

I'll be placing the stories side-by-side in terms of the sequence of events, despite the fact that the GrooveLily musical does not have a linear progression, and jumps back and forth between two storylines. Also, most of my information about the progression of the story comes from the digital booklet that came with the album, so I may be missing a few things.

Or she might just be bland and vacant, I could go either way, really.Collapse )

Further developments in the Big Kahuna
hug, Alice
ellie_sparks
 This is the e-mail I sent to a former prof, at an institution I only temporarily attended.  The only changes were made to the coded names.

And this is why I spent yesterday evening hurling shoes at my door.Collapse )
 
I promised to keep you posted, so this is where I stand currently.  Basically, The Jerkwater Institution doesn't officially support screenwriting.  They do playwriting, as part of theatre, but screenwriting has to be part of a larger film project, and I don't qualify anyway because I'm a writer and not a director, which is BS, but there you are.
 
To complete my Big Kahuna as intended, I have two options:
1. Get the annual adjunct professor of screenwriting, who I will have never met, to serve on my committee.  Also, there may not even be one because of massive budget cuts.
2. Convince a large, bearded superhero to serve on my committee via e-mail and possibly phone calls, when he already has a full course load as a professor at a different college that I maybe should have attended to avoid this rigmarole.
 
I also have the option of 
3. totally changing my Big Kahuna to not have any screenwriting at all, and get a totally different committee.
 
I'm not overly fond of the first idea, and unless you know any large, bearded superheroes eager for the job (and how many of those do you know, anyway?), it looks like I'll be going with curtain number three.
 
And this is why I spent yesterday evening hurling shoes at my door.
 
Best,
Ellie
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The Culinary Enthusiast's Version of Twilight
hug, Alice
ellie_sparks
 Book 1

Setting: The town of Forks, founded by the survivors of the Disaster of Chewandswallow.

Local police chief, Charlie is sent a cake by his ex-wife to make up for the whole leaving him thing.  Everyone in town knows about the cake, because the town is so boring that the sudden arrival of baked goods is big news.  Edward learns about the cake, and proceeds to think about it.   A lot.

Edward: Mm, what a delicious cake!  I would like to eat the cake, but if I do, there will no longer be cake.  Woe is I (1)!

Other males: We want to eat the cake, too, because we are devoid of baked goods here in Forks!

Edward spends much of his time breaking into the Charlie's house to stare at the cake.

Alice: I want cake, too, but God! Get a life!... if you steal the cake, can I decorate it?

Edward: SHUT UP,  ALICE.

James: It's my cake now!!

Alice: Dude, someone stole your cake.

Edward: Hell to the icinged NO!!!

Alice, Edward, and some other, non-important people steal back the cake and return it to Charlie, who is kind of wondering why everyone is obsessed with his cake.  Edward continues to stalk the cake.

Edward: I love you, cake, and I will never, ever eat you.

The cake: says nothing, because cakes don't talk (2).

Book 2

Edward: I love you, cake.

The cake: ...

Edward: But for my own good, and yours, I must leave you.  Farewell, cake!

The cake: ...

Edward leaves to do... well, something.  Meanwhile, the entire population of Forks is STILL OBSESSED WITH THE CAKE.

Jacob: Now that Edward's gone, I can take up Stalking the Cake Duties (3)!

During this time, the cake falls off a table, but defies Murphy's Law and doesn't get smushed.

Alice: I heard that your cake fell off a table.

Edward: NOOOO!!!! If the cake is gone, I must be, too!

Alice finds out the cake is actually OK, retrieves it from Charlie, and finds Edward.

Alice: DON'T DIE!!! See, the Cake is OK!!!!

Edward: I'll never leave you again, Cake!

The cake: ...

Book 3

Edward: I want the cake!

Jacob: No, I want the cake!

The cake: ...

Charlie: Seriously, it's JUST A CAKE!!

Alice: I know! I haven't even decorated it yet!

Book 4:

Alice decorates the cake, and Charlie gives it to Edward because he's TIRED OF PEOPLE BREAKING INTO HIS HOUSE TO STALK THE CAKE.

Jacob: ... I still want the cake.

Edward: If I eat part of the cake, then no one can take it from me!

Edward eats some of the cake.

Jacob: YOU RUINED IT!!!

Edward: But I made you this other cake! See? It's just for you!

Jacob: Oh, thanks, man.

Evil people: Jacob, where did you get that cake?

Edward: I made it for him.  See? Here's the recipe.

Alice: It's very similar to this other cake from South America.

Evil People: Right, off you go, then.

Edward: I love you, cake!

Jacob: I love you, other cake!

The cakes: ...

Charlie: SERIOUSLY, WHAT IS GOING ON???




1. I don't care how Shakespeare said it, grammatically it should be woe is I, not woe is me.  Take that, Billy!
2. God, how much less annoying would THAT make the book?
3. Because clearly, learning how to bake or finding a pastry shop would be too logical hard.

My Weekend from Hell
hug, Alice
ellie_sparks
 As you may have guessed from "The Major Players," I spend most of my time at the Institution, which is many miles away from my home.  The roommates also live here, and have their fair share of drama, mostly because hey, we're a hall of lady-types, except for Tall and Depressed.

So my hellish events actually began on Tuesday, when I saw the results of my application for a writing Big Kahuna (the Big Kahuna is what you need to leave the Institution).  I was denied, because apparently screenwriting doesn't count as writing.  For those of you going WTF?, I was similarly confused, but apparently screenwriting is classified as film and video.  You also have to apply to have a film and video Big Kahuna, and the deadline for that was weeks ago.

To attempt to rectify the situation, I fired off approximately two billion e-mails, such as to Shy Advisor and other people.  NO ONE HAS GOTTEN BACK TO ME.  Except for Shy Advisor, who merely said something along the lines of "Huh.  Well, that sucks."

I even told the writing people that I would be willing to change my Big Kahuna to feature a different kind of writing.  The person in charge went "Huh, I have no idea what the protocol for that is.  Let me check on that for you."  This was the last I heard.

Now, here's the thing about the Big Kahuna: once I officially announce what it's going to be, I will be eating, sleeping and breathing it for at least the next year.  If I don't complete a Big Kahuna, I don't get to leave the Institution.  And as much as I love the institution, it's temporary, and I would like to leave it.  My roommates were unsupportive, except to say "Huh.  Well, that sucks."  I'm not sure if Absent Twin even knows about my problems.

So this is what's hanging over my head, and meanwhile the end of the year is approaching which means SMALL KAHUNAS OUT THE WAZOO.  I finished one on Saturday, and the other (which I just found out is total bunk and will need to be rewritten) on Sunday.  Both while quite behind on my sleep schedule and/or totally out of it.

Why did I get so little sleep?  Because I slept in Adorable Artist's bed Thursday night.  Why did I sleep in Adorable Artist's bed?  Because her ex-boyfriend, henceforth The Dickwad, was prank calling her using his friend's phone and calling her a bitch, and she felt uncomfortable sleeping alone.  Adorable Artist's bed was not made for two people.  It was barely made for one person, as all beds at the institution were.  So I didn't sleep very well Thursday night.

On Friday, Adorable Artist and I did heavy lifting-y things, despite being tired and out of it.  We've been volunteering for a local artist of children's books.  For some reason, Awkward Illustration Man decided that Adorable Artist and I should collaborate on a book.  He also apparently decided that Adorable Artist's sketches will always be great, and my text will always suck.  So he lit into me for the second time about how my text isn't working, despite the fact that he doesn't work with text himself, ever, and never even collaborates with writers and thus knows nothing about text, and I am going to be doing a writing Big Kahuna if anyone bothers to get back to me ever.  Sorry, but this guy thinks he's God.

So that night we all (and by "all" I mean all the girls, except for Absent Twin) stayed up late to watch a movie about teen pregnancy in a religious school.  Again, not a lot of sleep.

Saturday was supposed to be fun, because it's the Institution's annual spring event, but it did not go well.  First of all, it was fairly cold and rainy, and this event is held outside.  Secondly, no one told me they when they were going to the event, and just went.  I noticed about an hour later that the hall had gotten very quiet, and by the time I arrived, everyone had already done all the fun stuff without me.  Third, I had to leave briefly to go change (I was underdressed for the weather) and take a Motrin, because oh by the way, it was the first day of my period, when I get cramps and generally feel icky.

Once I finally got back, we listened to a local band (whose amps were turned up too loud), and some smokers stood way, WAY too close to us.

Here's something I neglected to mention in my previous entry about smoking: I am very, very allergic to something in cigarette smoke.  I don't know what unnatural, DNA-mutating ingredient it is (yeah, that's why smoking gives you cancer: because it MUTATES YOUR DNA), but it sends me into anaphylaxis.  I'm on a nasal allergy spray that minimizes the effects, but still.  It's not healthy for me to be anywhere near smoking people.

So I ran off (no one came along to see if I was OK) and breathed on a wall for a bit.  Then we chilled in the dorm for a while, had a very anticlimactic barbeque dinner, and I worked on my Small Kahunas for all that evening, and all day the next day.

Weep.

The Major Players
hug, Alice
ellie_sparks
 I'm probably going to be writing about my life a lot, but it's all going to be in code, so here are the main players (I KNOW I'll be writing about these people).
The Relentlessly Genial BenedictineCollapse )
Family Types
• GrammarMom: My mother, who is obsessed with organization, both of life and of language.  She likes to ask dozens of probing questions about my life, but never actually discuss how I'm feeling.  She drinks lukewarm tea by the gallon and leaves the cups, the only thing she never picks up, all over the house.
• LaughingDad: My dad, who I talk to quite well when home, but only then.  He never is online, and I hate phones, so there you are. Very little communication on that front.  He has the loudest laugh I've ever heard in my life, and likes to explain things.  He REALLY likes to explain things.
• Sister Girl: My older sister, though in recent years I've wondered how someone so much older than I am can have so many moments of immaturity.  She is 1. Very impractical, 2. Totally indecisive, and 3. Completely incapable of not being in a serious relationship.  All other aspects of her personality change depending on who she is dating.
• Grinning Freak: Sister Girl's current boyfriend, who grins awkwardly.  Always.  His main personality trait is that he behaves like a petulant 12-year-old, and is rude to GrammarMom.  Sister Girl thinks he's great.  The longest conversation I ever had with him involved him telling me about a video on Youtube about people having sex with goats.
• Merry Matriarch: My maternal grandmother, who likes to ask my mother dozens of probing questions about her life, but never actually discuss how she's feeling.  Drives GrammarMom crazy.  My only remaining grandparent.  I'm totally her favorite right now.
• Aunt Religion: Merry Matriarch's other daughter, who I don't see except on holidays, because she spends most of her time in Bosnia.  After the Car Accident of Doom, Aunt Religion decided to reach out and try to get to know me, which I appreciate.  She has nice taste in jewelry, which makes for awesome Christmas presents.  Is "close friends" with a monk, the Relentlessly Genial Benedictine.
• Childish Brother: Sister Girl's ex-fiancé, who she dumped with no warning.  She almost immediately got together with Grinning Freak.  Childish Brother thinks of himself as my big brother, but I think of him as my little brother.  He's very innocent and looks like a hobbit.  Everyone except Sister Girl prefers him to Grinning Freak.

Roommates
• Adorable Artist: One of my favorites.  She does a lot of cool art stuff, though not all of it is really my style.  She's also kind of a tomboy, but she can be girly.  We don't have the same taste in music, but I love her dearly.  There are not so nice moments, though, where she can get a little pissy and won't tell anyone why.
• Present Twin: I call her that because she's the one who's around most often.  Adorable Artist likes to talk to Present Twin about her problems, but I'm not sure how effective that is.  Present Twin isn't really that in touch with her emotions, or with anyone's emotions, but she's nice enough.  She wants everything to be just so.
• Absent Twin: As evidenced by her name, she's not around much.  Between her awkward boyfriend who doesn't like to hang around and the amount of time she spends off doing work, it's a wonder we ever see her.  She's the one I probably know the least about.
• The Noisy One: She's just weird.  I love her, but I will never, ever understand her.  She loves humor-challenged 80s movies and Twilight, so I guess her taste is a little suspect.  Also, she claims fat-free and regular foods taste exactly the same, which I think is BS.  She's obsessed with men, boys, and phallic objects, and curses frequently.  Often at odds with Present Twin.
• Tall and Depressed: Just moved in after his girlfriend kicked him out.  He suffers from OCD, panic attacks, and nightmares, but it's hard to tell because he's such a cheerful spaz.  There are times when he dwells on his girlfriend kicking him out, but those are getting better.
• El Beardo: Doesn't really live with us, but spends a lot of time hanging around.  He has a truly unfortunate beard that he refuses to shave.
• Next Door Sweetie: The title says it all.  She's kind of sister-like, I guess.  We exchange cheek-kisses when we see each other.

Miles Away, but Close to My Heart:
• Tea Fellow: My dream guy, who likes to send me mixed messages.  When we first met, he was dating someone else, and couldn't date for *reasons* but now we're both single and I have no idea what he's thinking.  Recently he seemed to give me the "Let's just be friends" talk, but it was hard to tell (again, mixed messages).  Lives a few hours away.
• Munchkin Mayor: My former roommate, who makes me feel tall.  She's had a few problems in the past, but I think she's getting back on track.  She's totally my best friend.  She ships Buffy/Angel and Ellie/Tea Fellow.  She lives about halfway between the Institution and home, so I visit whenever possible.
• Saftig: Which is German for juicy, because that's the only way I can think to describe her.  She used to spend all her time in my room when Munchkin Mayor and I lived together.  Now she lives hundreds of miles away, and we don't talk as often, but I still adore her.  She's very warm and open and hilarious, and also ships Ellie/Tea Fellow.

People Who Tell Me What to Do:
• Stoic Boss-Lady: My supervisor at my part-time job.  She's very nice, but it's hard to tell what she's thinking.
• Awful Singer: The owner of the place where I work part time.  He likes to sing to me, but he's not very good at it.
• Shy Advisor: He's supposed to tell me what to do at the Institution, but mostly he just gets out of my way and lets me do stuff.

Other people will probably show up, and there may be people you see listed here who won't be as important as I think they will be, but I'm fairly certain I'll mention these people.



A Few Words About Smoking
hug, Alice
ellie_sparks
 As the title of my page indicates, this is so I can vent all my thoughts on things I just don't get in this world.  I'm plenty intelligent, so please refrain from posting "ur so stoopid" kinds of responses, OK?

So my first thoughts are on smoking, because clearly I'm in a PSA.  I just don't get the allure.

Sure, I understand the concept behind cigars, because in that case, it really wasn't about the tobacco.  It was about the fact that cigars were phallic symbols, so it felt especially masculine to meet up with the other men and smoke cigars and drink brandy and play cards.  Because what's more masculine than a flaming phallus?

In later years, they realized that the men smoking these big, manly cigars were hacking up big, manly hunks of trachea.  Perhaps the amounts of smoke these people were inhaling were... dangerous?  Perish the thought!  I personally wonder how it took so long for people to catch on that smoke inhalation is dangerous.

So they decided to make a much smaller smoking implement, seemingly on the thought that after you smoke one, you're done, and it's not nearly as much smoke going straight into your lungs instead of O2.  That's right kids: cigarettes were the healthy alternative to cigars.  Around this time, they were heavily marketed, because they were new, and supposedly healthy.

The problem was that these cigarettes were not as manly and phallic as cigars, so you had to smoke a whole lot of them to get your manliness back.  This was not good because, as cigarettes have a greater percentage of tobacco in them, they are more dangerous and harmful to your internal organs than cigars.  Also, women started smoking, because cigarettes were easier to handle than cigars.  Between cigarettes and corsets, it's no wonder women fainted so often.

But this was at a time when no one knew the dangers.  We didn't really know until the 70s and 80s how dangerous they were.  Now we do, so WHY ARE PEOPLE STILL COMMITTING EXTREMELY SLOW SUICIDE????

What reasons could you possibly have?  

"I don't care about my lungs.  Or dying young." Get some therapy, you wacko!
"It's cool."  Yeah, death is great!
"It looks artistic." Especially when you cough up your lungs onto a canvas!
"It's a social thing."  What's the conversation, who's dying the fastest?
"I like how it smells."  Well, other people don't, necessarily.  Stop inflicting your poor sense of smell on other people!
"It's sexy."  Mm, yeah, rotting teeth and yellow fingernails are my dream date.
"It relieves my stress."  Get a stress ball and take up yoga!  I can almost guarantee you'll live longer.
"It means I don't eat."  True, it is hard to eat and smoke simultaneously.  I'm concerned that you may be anorexic.  You and the first person should start group therapy.
"Quitting is really hard."  Also true, but WHY DID YOU START IN THE FIRST PLACE?

Honestly, can someone explain the appeal?  How sociopathic do you have to be to ignore all warnings and endanger both yourself, and others around you?

And that was today's rant.  Join me next time.

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