Must We Continue Listening to the Ravings of a Lunatic?

I’m not very good at ranting. I used to be really longwinded in the grand yesteryears of bygone days, but that passed sometime around high school and I have been pretty succinct ever since. Naturally, this makes opinion posts relatively difficult. I admire those who are able to drag out an entire blog post composed entirely of his/her opinions. I generally have to throw in funny gifs and poorly-constructed jokes to distract from the fact that I’m floundering. If you’re still following my blogs then you haven’t noticed yet, and I thank you for your oblivious patronage.

As I was discussing this shortcoming with my friend, Keilah, she suggested I write a blog post with a bunch of little rants instead of one long train wreck. So, for the next 491 words, I hope you enjoy my list of 10 Things I Have Words About.

  1. Rubik’s cubes. I don’t get it. I’ve watched the YouTube videos. I know the algorithm thing. I just can’t get it right.
  2. People who hold grudges. As a woman, I am technically supposed to be one of these people. I’ll admit, I will probably maintain passionate disdain for vampire novels and boy bands for… well, ever. However, I’m generally not very good at staying mad at someone long enough to reply curtly to a text or shoot them an icy glare the next time we meet. It’s not like I’m judging people who hold grudges, because it’s not by my own good will that I’m not one of those people. There was probably just some dumb luck floating around in the gene pool that happened to drift my way.
  3. People who think they’re smarter than they really are. Oh, wait, that’s me.
  4. People who think they’re funnier than they really are. Me, again.
  5. Coffee drinkers. I don’t have anything against coffee. I love the smell, and if you throw enough milk and sugar in there, the taste isn’t bad either. My problem is that I can’t actually drink coffee, because my body tends to overreact. I get headaches and stomachaches at the slightest whisper of stress. I don’t get stressed out. My body does. In the same way, when I drink something with more caffeine than a diet Pepsi, I start shaking like a cannibal… Ok, so maybe that comparison was a little weird. For those of you that don’t know, consuming human flesh makes your hands shake. I learned this from Book of Eli… Good movie. Anyway, I hate coffee drinkers because their bodies probably don’t send them into a fit after every little coffee fix.
  6. Women drivers. I suck at driving. And I’m a woman. Beware.
  7. Diet drinks are bad for me. I can’t even begin to count how many people have seen me drinking a diet Pepsi and said in an I-know-everything-because-I-have-access-to-the-internet tone, “Y’know, diet is actually worse for you than regular.” First of all, I don’t care. Second, I have diabetes. Which means emphasis on the “die” part if I drink regular soda. Third, no. They put chemicals in diet that they don’t put in regular, but they also leave out an entire meal’s worth of carbs. And I’m being literal when I say that. There is an average of about 60-70 carbs in each can of regular soda. This is the equivalent to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a bag of chips, and an apple. Or a cup of rice/pasta and a taco. That’s a lot. And you drink that alongside a full meal. Sometimes when you go out to restaurants, you drink several. So leave me alone.
  8. Laziness/procrastination. I’ll write this one later.
  9. Redundancy. The extent of my intense hatred for redundancy is intensely extensive.
  10. Cats vs. dogs. You know, Melanie… You know.

Charmed and Dangerous

Middle school is one of those weird transition periods. It’s the time between childhood and young adulthood, cooties and first kisses, cartoons and big-people shows. It’s the time when most people start watching television that is technically for adults, but cheesy enough to tickle the tweenage fancy. That show, for me, was Charmed.

It’s a story about three Halliwell sisters who discover they’re witches with magical powers.

Prue is the oldest, and she has the power of telekinesis.

Piper is the second oldest and has the power to temporarily stop time in small areas.

As she grows stronger, she can eventually blow things up too.

Phoebe is the youngest and has visions of the future. As her powers grow, she can also sense other people’s emotions.

Oh, and she can levitate.

That always seemed kind of random to me.

So the premise of the show is that these sisters are from a long line of powerful witches that (depending on the generation) have either fought for good or evil. They find a Book of Shadows in their attic, which is essentially the magical Wikipedia. It has information on demons, monsters, dark lighters, white lighters, goblins, fairies, vampires, werewolves, furies, curses, spells, potions, etc.—basically anything magical or supernatural past Halliwells have encountered. Using this tome, they set about trying to destroy as much evil as possible with the ultimate aim of defeating The Source (the King of the Underworld).

During one of the sister’s battles, the eldest Halliwell (Prue) dies. Then, for reasons that are much too convoluted to go into, Piper and Phoebe discover they have a half-sister, Paige. She is also a witch and has kind of teleporting power called orbing.

This is a fairly common ability, but what’s unique about her is that she can use it as a kind of telekinetic power.

Which is conveniently similar to Prue’s power.

In any case, the concept itself isn’t terrible. It’s kind of like how I feel about Twilight. The premise had a lot of potential, but the execution was a flop. I’m honestly not sure how the show lasted for 8 seasons. The pacing was way too slow, the writing and characters were cliché, the music was mellow dramatic, the cinematography was awkward, the effects were as bad as the first seasons of Doctor Who, and the acting was total cheeseballs. I really expected better from stars of a once-popular show, but I’m almost certain the actresses were chosen for their bra size. Especially since they never wore sensible demon-fighting clothes.

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This is also the kind of attire they would wear to work everyday. Paige and Phoebe were both professional, and they wore tube tops to the office. Mind you, Piper owns a club, making her clothing choice more excusable, but she also dresses the most conservatively out of all her sisters.

Needless to say, I’m sure the story wasn’t all the the viewers were interested in. If it had been, I’m sure it wouldn’t have limped on for so long.

There is one redeemable moment in the series, though.

My favorite scene from all the episodes is in “Hell Hath No Fury” where Piper (who has been transformed into a kind of demon) is forced to confront Prue’s death. Holly Marie Combs portrays Piper beautifully in this, really translating her anguish in one of the (very) rare moments of good acting.

Once you work your way past the creepy face tattoos, it is a really terrible scene, in a really good way. Though it doesn’t make up for the entire show, it reminds me that there’s always one jewel in every pile of cheese.

Of course, I’ve since matured to much more sophisticated shows like Futurama.

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And The Office.

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But Charmed will always hold a place in my heart . . . and my Netflix queue.

In My Expert Opinion

I would definitely classify myself as a music buff.

I’ve been taking piano lessons for almost five years, I listen to practically everything from rap to classical (and have fairly discerning tastes), and I used to watch Glee.

I feel like this all qualifies me for the title: Resident Expert of All Things Musical (I’m also The Resident Expert of All Things Martial Arts (having watched Karate Kid (I think I watched the very first one and the one with Will Smith’s kid) and Kung Fu Panda (I actually watched both of them (of course, I was already an expert on Kung Fu after watching the first one, I just raised my level of proficiency by watching the second one)), but I digress). And as an expert, it is my obligation to share my semi-professional opinion on various elements of the music arena.

Today, that element happens to be the classic mash-up.

Now, this is where my Glee training comes in, because I didn’t even know such a thing existed until the sixth episode when the Glirls and Gloys split into teams to have a mash-up competition (whoever created and performed the superior mash-up won the competition or whatever (I don’t really remember the episode, I had to look it up on Wikipedia)). Since then, I have listened to over twenty mash-ups and now have a well-versed ability to judge the success or failure of any given performance.

I’ve seen some not so great mash-ups. Like the Glee “Halo/Walking On Sunshine” song.

This mostly has to do with the fact that I don’t like the songs “Halo” or “Walking on Sunshine.” Putting the two together only intensified my feelings of irrational distaste. The girls really drug themselves down, though, when they dressed up in my least favorite color and danced like four-year-olds doing the wave at a Justin Bieber concert.

Then there are some more fun mash-ups that take songs I don’t particularly enjoy and make them into an abnosome (abnormally awesome (word courtesy of Heather Harney)) concoction. For example: “I Knew You Were Trouble/As Long As You Love Me” by Mike Tompkins.

I’m just going to say it, this guy is a freaking genius. Not only does he create an amazing song sung entirely a capella, he also looks smokin’ hawt as he does it.

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Am I right? (FYI, you have to agree with me or I will kung fu you.)

When it really gets down to it, though, there is one mash-up that I like more than the others, and not for the reason you would expect (although those who really know me might be able to anticipate it (though I doubt it)). The song is “Let Her Go/Let It Go” by Sam Tsui.

The reason this is my favorite is not because the singer is especially talented (he’s pretty good sometimes, but he’s only so-so on a consistent basis) and it’s not because he’s attractive (he’s meh (weird hair)). It’s because he manages to juxtapose two very different tones into a subtly poignant song. By combing Elsa’s relief at finally gaining freedom through isolation and Passenger’s remorseful pain at letting her go, I find myself with a song about resolved indifference.

Here I stand

And here I’ll stay

You only know you love her when you let her go

The cold never bothered me anyway

The kind of indifference that comes from people whose hearts are so cold that they are no longer bothered by the pain of lost love. I just love how sadistic that is.

Normally, I would try to make some kind of disclaimer in which I assure my readers that I’m not someone psychopath that gets off on other peoples’ pain. I would make the case that just because most of my favorite songs are sad ones and that I enjoy them so much because I actually get my kicks from experiencing the singer’s pain, it doesn’t mean that I’m any less normal that the rest of you.

However, as the Resident Expert of All Things Musical, I don’t have to justify anything to you.

And as the Resident Expert of All Things Martial Arts, if you don’t agree with me, I will send my legions of [insert cliché] to destroy your [insert valuable object] and kidnap your [insert name of favorite pet]. So [insert ominous warning].

Any questions?

You’re Better Off Blonde

My best friend is a Hufflepuff. This means she likes to help people. Naturally, I take advantage of this. That’s why she’s staying over tonight so she can help my mom move tomorrow. That’s also why she’s the main inspiration for this post. At first, we looked up funny cat pictures, hoping to find inspiration, but we didn’t have much luck. The closest we got were posts on murder and drugs from these two pictures:

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Then, I told her she should just ask me a question and I would answer it in post form. This turned out to be a rather fruitful endeavor. What follows are the answers to the question: “How does being blonde affect your day-to-day life?”

  1. Telling blonde jokes is so much more fun. For someone with a dark and sarcastic sense of humor, telling self-deprecating jokes is one of life’s grandest joys. For instance:

What do you call an eternity?

Four blondes at a four way stop.

See, this is funny, because it pokes fun at my intelligence and draws attention to how terrible of a driver I am.blondparking

  1. People just accept the fact that I can’t drive. My hair color and my gender work for me on this one. I practically have a get-out-of-jail-free card, because I can claim that I saw the “Sale” sign, but I didn’t see the glass . . . or the door . . . or the people. If they don’t buy that, I can just shrug and say, “I’m a woman. I can’t comprehend the concept of spatial relations. If you want me to stop killing people, get me a chauffeur.”
  2. I get to use my intelligence as a secret weapon. Generally, when I first introduce myself, I say something sarcastic and humorous. In middle and high school, I was “the funny one.” It’s just my thing, so telling blonde jokes seems natural to my personality. This makes it exceedingly easy to catch people off guard when I have the inclination to make a remark that amounts to more than a half-hearted commentary on the latest SpongeBob episode. This is going to be fun to use on my future husband. Don’t tell him. Remember, I’m more intelligent than I look, and will find a way to make you pay.
  3. I get to look more like my sister. I’m a natural blonde. My sister is not, but she dyes her hair to look like me. Well, not really. But she loves me. She won’t admit it. But I know it’s true. Anyway, for better or worse, I look like her.

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         And that’s why blondes are better. Ta da!

Halloween Church Shindig Date

“So you going on a date tonight?” I ask my sister as she types an address into my mom’s GPS.

“I’m just going to the church to help him out at his booth.”

It’s a date.

“Him” is a guy named Justin that she’s stayed up talking to for the past couple weeks. I guess he’s manning a booth at his church’s Halloween shindig and she’s going to help him do whatever it is that people do at Halloween church shindigs.

It’s a date.

“I don’t look like I’m trying too hard?” she asks my mom as she flounces her hair one more time.

My mom says no, but from the amount of perfume Megan’s wearing, all of our noses would beg to differ.

It’s totally a date. And I can say that, because she never reads my blogs. She’d kill me if she knew I was plastering her business all over the Internet, but that’s what she gets for not taking an interest in her sister’s livelihood.

“Do you want to write that I gave her a curfew?” my mom asks after reading that last bit.

I guess that means I have the stamp of approval from her, so I guess I will write the rest.

Mom says Megan has to be home by 1am tonight. That seems completely reasonable to me, but since Megan is 18, she’s compelled to challenge every decision mom makes.

“I would like you home by 12:30-ish,” my mom texted her earlier today, “Definitely no later than 1.”

“What about 1:30?”

Mom’s too quick for that. She knows that if you give Megan an inch, she’ll take as much as she can get away with while still keeping her phone privileges. “I don’t know this guys from Adam,” she responds, “he’s all the way out in Molalla, on Halloween night . . . 1.”

“It’ll be fine,” Megan so expertly reassures, “It’s a church function and there’s going to be a lot of other people there. If I feel unsafe at all then I’ll leave.”

Ooh. That was good. But mom stays the course.

“That’s fine. 1am.”

“Would you feel better if I called you every once in a while and let you know what’s going on?”

“You’re still driving late at night with other partying drivers. Text me every now and then, yes. Definitely that you got there safely.”

“I’ll be careful . . . Jordan is the bad driver.” I’d be angrier if she was lying. Unfortunately, she’s not. Still. Way to throw me under the bus, sister dear.

“Yes, she is.” (love you too, mom) “But country roads. Dark. Poor lighting.”

I guess Megan finally relented, because that’s where the text conversation ended.

Mom has designated me the official curfew officer. That means I get to sit up until 1am, because she can’t be bothered to do it herself.

I don’t mind much, though. It’s not like I have my own life. I don’t need a life. I have Netflix.

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I laughed when I saw that picture for the first time. My grandma heard me, and she asked what I was laughing at. I showed her the picture and said I didn’t think she would understand it.

“Jordan,” she said, sounding offended, “You have no faith in me!”

So I let her read it.

“Do you get it?”

She didn’t get it.

My Favorite Sociopaths

After reading Levi’s post on his recent inauguration to Homecoming King, I naturally pictured the first king I could think of. In this case, it was . . .

Moriarty from BBC’s Sherlock.

Then, as I contemplated my favorite villains, one sociopath led to another and I thought of . . .

The Joker from The Dark Knight

I just love these two. Their type is the kind of antagonist I love the most. People who do bad things for the sake of money or revenge or power are too easy to understand. Those are basically normal people who have decided to indulge themselves, compromising their morals (to varying degrees) for the sake of satisfying their desires.

Where’s the intrigue in that? I mean, I’ll admit that some of my favorite movies have fairly ordinary villains: Sutler in V for Vendetta, the Chinese and Russian mobs in Safe, Chick Hicks in Cars. And sure, they all provided an essential conflict in their respective movies. Without them, there wouldn’t have been a story. But they’re not the reason I enjoy watching those movies over and over again, because they’re all eventually reduced to nothing more than common cowards, gluttons, and fools.

I want an antagonist I can tear to pieces a million different ways and still find something new. I want a villain that exchanges every answer with another question.

I want someone who sets fire to a mountain of cash, because he doesn’t care about the money.

I want the man who has made it his goal in life to destroy his equal, simply because he is bored.

That is why I love Moriarty and The Joker.

It’s funny, though, to think that at first glance these two characters seem immensely different.

Surely, where Moriarty is cold, calculated, and methodical, Joker is passionate, wild, and unpredictable.

While Moriarty disguises himself as an average person, The Joker disguises himself as a female nurse.

However, these are actually indications of how alike they are. Both men are immoral homicidal sociopaths railing against slightly less homicidal and fairly more moral sociopaths (for those that argue Bruce Wayne isn’t at least a little crazy, explain to me why a sane person would sacrifice his life and his fortune to become a masked vigilantly—I mean, really). Both are incredibly intelligent and fantastic liars. Both are more than they appear to be. This is easy to see with Moriarty, but is also in The Joker’s case since, at first glance, it would be easy to dismiss him as just another rambling lunatic. Really, they’re not so different.

Because they’re both jolly good fun.

In the end, though, I’d have to say The Joker is my favorite. Call me crazy (or not) but there’s just something really impressive about a guy who is better than most women at applying makeup.

Stop! In the Name of Love

I thought I’d start this post about love with a completely original poem that I didn’t rip off from anyone at all.

Love is patient

Love is kind

Love is a pain

In my behind

I know, I know. It’s brilliant.

I’ll be selling signed copies in the lobby for fifty bucks a pop. Sounds unreasonable? Well, love is unreasonable. That’s the point. It’s downright irrational.

I love a lot of things: wrap around porches, early American poetry, Mentos, the theater, digital watches. But there is one thing I don’t love: children. I like them well enough when they’re not climbing all over me, pooping, and leaving their toys all over the place, but I don’t have an irrational love of them (or a rational one). Kids have just never been on my radar. I don’t get warm fuzzies when I see a baby. When I envision my future, there’s never a kid in the picture. It’s not like I intentionally leave one out, it was just never there.

To blame this on my “masculinity” would be unfair.

Yes, I have a waffle (compartmentalized) brain. No, I don’t use emotions to process events in my life. Yes, I flirt with girls (usually more than guys). But this doesn’t mean that I’m not very much a woman.

I compartmentalize enough to function in different worlds (personal, academic, professional), but not so much that I lose my personal essence. I am logically and rationally oriented, but I have felt deeply enough to know that it’s impossible to truly reach the depths of loss and charity. And I can’t help my undying charm and animal magnetism; it’s just how I talk.

To say any of these traits are inherently male or female would be flawed, though, and to say women are more likely than men to be kid-people would be even more flawed.

So, no, I don’t know why I’ve never particularly liked children, but therein lies my whole point: love is irrational.

For some reason, I love my cousin’s baby. Before tonight, I had only ever seen her once when she was just a couple days old. She wasn’t even cute yet. Her head was the wrong shape and she was red in unnatural places. She cried and smelled and drooled. She was downright annoying. But I loved her.

For some reason, she was different form all the other babies I had ever seen or touched. For some reason, I loved her in a way that I didn’t love anyone else. It’s not that I loved her more. I just loved her differently. The way you love a baby.

Naturally, I set about trying to rationalize this. This was like locking myself in a round room with the goal of finding a corner. But after several months, I found a corner: I don’t love Lyla despite the fact that she is a baby, I love Lyla because I don’t think of her as a baby.

I think of her as family.

Of course, even this can’t quite explain it, because this implies the irrationality lies not in me loving a baby, but in me loving my family. Good luck to anyone who tries to tackle that can of worms, but I wash my hands of this business.

I guess all I can really do now is appreciate the fact there is at least one baby out there that I actually enjoy being around. And who knows, maybe she’ll make a kid-person out of me yet.