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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Back in the Day

I recently unearthed some photos of me when I started high school. I know I'm only a junior in college and that I'm not THAT much older than I was in high school. But man... I feel like I've changed a lot since then.

Anyway, I noticed that my hair (both on my scalp and my facial hair) went through some interesting changes throughout my time in high school.

So here's a picture of me when I was in 9th grade.

This picture was taken in my drama class. And I look 12 in it, don't I? Note that at this time, I had short hair....

Here's another picture of me in 9th grade.

I still look pretty young, but notice that my hair is longer. Oh, and I had no facial hair in 9th grade?? I never noticed that.

Look! A lunchroom photo from 9th grade!

So my facial hair was starting to grow in and my hair was growing even longer....

Then this happened.

LOL! Don't I look like Jesus in this picture?! I think this was the longest I let my hair grow.
Here's another pic with similar hair.

I guess I loved those photo booths in the mall....

So sometimes, I apparently tried to style my hair....

I remember in 9th grade my drama teacher made me shave my facial hair when I played Hugo in Bye Bye Birdie. I was annoyed but did it. Sadly, I have no photos from that time. (And I also had to wear a dress in the play!)

So anyway, sophomore year I took some more bad pictures.

Is that even me?! Sometimes people tell me that I look different in every picture I take. I can see what they mean.

And then I was in a production of Annie Get Your Gun (I played Mac).

That's me in the center with the chaps! Anyway, my dumb teacher made me shave my face again.

And I looked 10 years old and decided to never shave again!

So looking through this photos, I think I look best with short hair and with trimmed facial hair. Now if haircuts were free and if I weren't so lazy, then I'd look good all the time.... Oh well.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Everytime You Walk Out That Door

I've been moved into my house for a month now but never posted pics!
So here they is.

This is the front of my house.

When you walk in, you see the living room. But I forgot to take a picture of the living room! (aka, it was too messy to photograph!)

From the living room you can enter the kitchen!

I don't love the floor, but otherwise I like the kitchen. It's a good size and those tiles on the wall are brand new. And this is the first time I've had a dishwasher in my life!

Other side of the kitchen. Yes, that is Ariel getting back her voice (feat. me crying and singing "Part of Your World") on the fridge. And sadly, none of that cereal is mine.

The bathroom on the first floor is interesting....

For some reason, there are two showers in the bathroom. I use the one with the glass door. (Because on the opposite wall is a huge mirror... lol!)

Our basement doubles as a music room.

But it was too dark down there to get a good pic. Only this corner had enough lighting. Just imagine a bunch of other instruments thrown around a basement if you want to imagine the rest.

So when I was taking pictures, none of my housemates were home except for Ross and Christie and I didn't want to take pics of their rooms and put them on my blog....

But here is Ross and Christie's room.

Honestly, their room is usually not this messy. And I love that shelf on the wall!

So here's my boring room.

A. That lamp is a thousand years old, but it is SO strong. Looks bad, but works great!
B. That alarm clock is also a thousand years old, but it is SO loud!
C. A wooden tiger my ex got me from Ghana.
D. My paper on Derrida and deconstructionist theory! YUCK!
E. My Britney cup.
F. My poetry book! Don't read unless you're prepared to cry!
G. This chair/stool is terrible. It was in my room when I moved in so I used it (I'm so cheap!). But I hope to buy a new chair soon!
H. Puntabulous calendar! (Josh is jealous!)

In case you couldn't tell from those photos, I love windows! And my room has lots of window space! The only problem with that is that I don't have much room for posters, but I don't really mind.

And the one window looks out into my favorite part of the house: the backyard!

My backyard is pretty huge.

That's me in the back. I'm not even at the farthest limit; if I backed up any more I would be in the shade of the trees and wouldn't appear in the photo. But as you can tell, the backyard is very long.

Ross is growing a little garden in the backyard. You can see him above standing in his garden. To the left, you can see my neighbor's garden which is approx. 58 times bigger than Ross' garden! But I'm sure Ross'll get there one day....

Oh, and my neighbors grows mini-tomatoes!

Ross says they're not mini-tomatoes but what does he know about gardening?!

And here is a final pic: my favorite part of my room.

(A thirsty) Richard Parker, a window, and Fleetwood Mac's Rumours record all in one corner? What more could I ask for?!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

PRJNCT: Fan Favorite

Do you guys remember Project Runway: JNCT?!

Well it's almost time to unveil the final collections!
Yes, I know it's taking a long time, but our models have been busy going to school and work and we've had to wait on them! Malaria is finally out of rehab and Clifford just wrapped up her next feature film. So now, we're almost ready!

BUT, before the collections walk the runway, I need to know which designer you liked best this season!

Just like last season, I'm going to recap the season and give away a few awards before the final collection post.

So, refresh your memory and tell me who deserves the very special Fan Favorite Award!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Like She Never Left

As many of you probably know, one of my favorite singers released a new CD recently. Although she spent some time out of the spotlight while dealing with some drug problems and a harmful marriage, she has returned to the entertainment world with a #1 album and non-#1 singles....

I'm referring to Whitney Houston of course!
"The Voice" is back with her new CD, I Look To You. And I LOVE it!

Whitney recently sat down with Oprah (my idol) and told her about how her life sucked for a while. She told O how she was on three drugs (marijuana, crack, Bobby Brown) but is now sober and ready to return to music. I am so glad Whitney has her stuff sorted out. She truly is one of the best singers of all time (of all time!) and I'm so excited to hear new music from her.

She recently released a new video for her single "Million Dollar Bill." I love the song AND the video. She looks so happy and healthy in it!


If you haven't listened to the new Whitney CD yet, do so now!
I personally love "Call You Tonight", "Salute", and, if you're in the mood to dance, "For The Lovers".
And if you like sappy music, you can listen to (and watch the video for) "I Look to You" or "I Didn't Know My Own Strength".
OR, if you're not ready for new Whitney, you could always just listen to my favorite Whitney song.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Cover Me

In this week's Monday Music Moment, we're going to discuss covers.

I have a love/hate relationship with covers. At first, I automatically hated a cover if I heard the original version first. I eventually learned that this was unfair when I realized that many songs that I love are actually covers (Whitney's "I Will Always Love You" for example).

Now I actually like covers and sometimes seek them out. Radio 1's Live Lounge is one of my favorite things ever!

Here are just a few of my favorite covers:
Leona Lewis covers "Run" by Snow Patrol
The Noisettes cover "When You Were Young" by The Killers
Adele covers "Make You Feel My Love" by Bob Dylan
Paramore covers "Use Somebody" by Kings of Leon
John Mayer covers "Free Fallin'" by Tom Petty

But anyway, what I REALLY love, are random covers by people who aren't famous!

While some of them are actually really good, I think I've uncovered THE BEST for you below!

First up, my future wife/vocal coach: TINA CHEN!!

I love Tina Chen! Except that she said she doesn't like gay people in one of her videos :(
Maybe she won't be marrying me after all.

Next up is Omar Hantash. This kid is the little brother of Rosie O'Donnell and he is even more talented than his big sister!

What a set of pipes!

And here is some dude who goes by the name "Korean Boy."

He actually has a really good range! If you liked that vid, I highly urge you to watch his other videos, including covers of "Touch My Body" and "All I Want For Christmas Is You" by Mariah Carey.

So next time you come across an amazing cover like the ones above, please, post it in the comments section for my viewing pleasure!

We're All Precious

I am DYING to see Precious.

I first saw the trailer very early in the year after the film debuted at Sundance. It won the Grand Jury Prize for best drama as well as the Audience Award. And even more suprising in a way, actress Mo'Nique won a Special Jury Prize for acting!

The movie is about Precious, a young girl living in Harlem in the late 80s (aka, the time I was born!). Precious is abused by her father and is currently pregnant with his second child. The story follows Precious as she tries to cope with her abusive mother and school and all that. And basically it sounds really depressing which means I will LOVE IT!

Here are some reviews for it:
"The most unforgettable film I’ve seen . . . it is raw, electrically charged, heart-rending and completely shattering. . . . it’s a once-in-a-blue-moon experience that tests the boundaries of film, with an electrifying, positively Oscar-worthy performance by salty stand-up comic Mo’Nique, as the most monstrous mother on the planet." ~ Rex Reed New York Observer
"To simply call it harrowing or unsparing doesn’t quite cut it" ~ John Anderson Variety
"Raw, moving and somewhat akin to having a piano dropped on your head, Precious is a fable of abuse and redemption." ~ Liam Lacey Globe and Mail

Heart-rending?? Shattering?? Monstrous mothers? Unsparing? PIANOS ON THE HEAD?? Does this sound like my kind of movie or what?!

And I must mention one of the most interesting things about this movie.... Mariah Carey is in it!! And she is getting rave reviews. I know, you have to see it to believe it. But watch the video below and you will see that Mariah went the traditional 'go ugly for an Oscar' route. I hope she gets nominated just to shut everyone up about Glitter.

I predict some Oscar gold for Precious! If you aren't convinced yet, remember that Oprah endorses the film!

My twin Josh has already agreed to go with me ON OPENING DAY to see Precious. And if he cancels on me, I'm going alone! Can't wait!!

Oh, and I also wanna see Where The Wild Things Are. Besides from your sudden desire to see Precious, what movies are you looking forward to?

(P.S. I'm at work right now and our computer has no speakers. So I just watched the trailer with no sound and still knew exactly what they were saying the whole time! Yes, I've watched the trailer that many times.)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Female Versions of Hustlas '09

Did y'all watch Divas 2009 on VH1 the other night??
If not, don't worry: I invited over my bff Josh and watched it for you.

If you don't know what VH1 Divas is, here's a quick history lesson.
From 1998-2004, VH1 brought a gaggle of Divas together on one stage to see if they would get into cat fights and help VH1 get higher ratings. In their first run, they had all the biggest divas on, including Mariah, Aretha, Celine, Cher, Brandy, Whitney, Beyoncé, Diana Ross, RuPaul, Chaka Khan, Elton John and a bunch of others. (While they did have Stevie on for a duet with the Dixie Chicks, she never got to headline! ROBBED!)

Anyway, in 2004, they decided to add Jessica Simpson and The Pussycat Dolls to the Divas line-up and no one watched (duh) and the show disappeared for 5 years.

Well last Friday, it was back in full force!
The chosen Divas were:
Jennifer Hudson
Kelly Clarkson
Leona Lewis
Miley Cyrus
Jordin Sparks

Here's what went down.

Ex-American Idol judge Paula Abdul was the host of the event. She started out by lip-syncing her biggest hits (not including "Here For the Music" or "Dance Like There's No Tomorrow").

Sorry, I love Paula and am VERY sad that she won't be returning to Idol this year, but she should find a career path that does not involve comedy in any way.... Her joke delivery just didn't work and the whole thing felt awkward.

For example, she was at one point blessed with the presence of my wife Kathy Griffin.

And she awkwardly joked about how Kathy always talks about her and Kathy was thinking "This is why I make fun of you" but it was live so Kathy had to control her urges.

And that wasn't even the worst of it. Paula stumbled over to the front of the stage and starting wailing about how there was girl in the audience that she recognized. So Lucille II came on stage and awkward dialogue ensued for like three hours.

Eventually, Lucille II just stole Paula's shoes and bounced before her vertigo came back.

So anyway, aside from Paula's bad hosting job, the show was pretty good!

Things started with Jennifer Hudson, who did not sing "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going." Since she didn't sing our favorite song, Josh and I just talked about how weird her outfit looked.

Then, goddess Kelly Clarkson performed a beautiful, acoustic-like version of her song, "Halo pt. 2 (Already Gone)."

I loved the arrangement! And Kelly's performance altogether! She's so talented.

I think something else happened after that, and then Adele took the stage!

I'm so glad VH1 decided to include Adele in the line-up, since she's mostly known as a UK singer. I think she's so talented (especially when you consider that her CD came out when she was 19, yet sounds like something written by someone much older) and I can't wait for new music from Adele.

Leona Lewis performed her new single "Happy," which is decent but nowhere as good as "Bleeding Love." I normally love Leona, but something was missing in this performance.

Despite her amazing vocals, the performance was kind of boring since Leona didn't express any emotions.

The final Divette to perform was Miley!!!

Miley made up for the fact that she does not have the same vocal capabilities as Kelly, Adele, Leona, Jordin, and J.Hud by being the first Diva who seemed to have fun during her performance. People knock Miley all the time, but it's hard to deny that she is a great performer.

VH1 invited a few special guests to the stage to perform in duets.

Some were amazing.

Some were... unbalanced.

And one was kind of mystifying! They had Miley perform "If It Makes You Happy" with Sheryl Crow, and for some reason made the innocent teen sing the "I still get stoned" line!!

OH! And did I mention who else showed up? Some of the attractive cast members of True Blood!

But not Eric :(

So anyway, despite a few boring performances and one giant mistake in the line-up.... Divas was pretty good! I'm excited to see what they do next year. Who do you think will be invited to perform?

P.S. Isn't that a great group shot? Kelly and Jordin are making fun of American Idol, Adele and Leona are making fun of Americans, Miley is being ignored, and Jennifer Hudson is about to start crying.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ghosts in the Attic: Bad Dremes

I've always found dreams fascinating and worthy of reflection. When I wake up, I often think about my dreams for a while, trying to uncover the latent content. Sometimes I even write them down!

I don't really remember when my fascination with dreams began. But now I might have a clue.

Entry Dated April 11, 1996

Bad Dremes
On night I had a dream

that I saw a whit blue
and red thing in the bushes I

whent to what it was when I
toutch it I went some where it

was dark the the lights whent

on and this man was there he said
my time is out so beware and I
died that week

This short entry describes my future death. After checking out an American flag (?) in the bushes, I'm teleported to some hombre who tells me my time is up. Then I die on January 5, 1996.
For some reason, I ditched punctuation for this entry. I can only attribute this stylistic choice to the fact that my young mind probably thought by leaving out punctuation, the story would read much faster and feel more frightening.
And is that not the best drawing you've ever seen? (Click to enlarge, btw.) Dude next to my tombstone totally looks like a vampire. Must be Alex crying at my extremely well-crafted tombstone, holding a flower in his paw and wiping his eyes with a rigid tissue.

Bad Dremes
I was stuck on the wall
and monsters were stroming
my pain with thare fingers they
were singing my life with thare
words killing me softly with
song I scremd and died.

I must have been listening to The Fugees one night before bed....
My only comment about this entry: I wish there was an illustration.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

(They Drive Me) Crazy

I'm kind of easily annoyed.

Sometimes I feel like I should try to be less annoyed by stuff so that I don't turn into one of those grouchy elderly folk who complain about everything.
Most of the time I just think that everything should stop being so annoying :)

Anyway, here is a list of some of the stuff that currently annoys me.

"Fire Burning" by Sean Kingston

After making that terrible "Beautiful Girls" song, I prayed and prayed that Sean Kingston would disappear into obscurity. Then one day, I heard some song about a woman who kills everyone in a club by setting it on fire (only, that premise is much more interesting than the actual song) and noticed that SK was back to haunt me. Since then, I've heard "Fire Burning" on the radio every day, usually many, many times. This song annoys me for several reasons:
1. I hate it (the music, the lyrics, the 'singing').
2. It gets played WAY too often.
3. By playing this song, radio stations have less time to play good music (aka, songs I like, aka songs by me and Josh).
4. When he performed the song at the Teen Choice Awards, he LIP-SYNCED it! Come on. This is not a hard song to sing live. And it's not like Mr. Kingston was dancing or anything and had a reason not to sing live.
Whatever the reasons, I hope this is the last SK song I hear in a long time (aka forever). Oh, and I must mention the BEST line in the whole song: "She get it, pop it, lock it, drop it, that birthday cake." So not only did this arsonist set the club on fire, but she popped, locked, then dropped (oh no!) someone's birthday cake. What a wench.

The Well-Read Student

English majors know exactly what I mean. It seems that in every English class, there is ONE student who has read everything in the world and wants you to know it. The teacher may say, "Has anyone here read Hamlet?" And The Well-Read Student will reply with, "Oh! I read that. I liked it better than Othello, Macbeth, and Romeo and Juliet, but I didn't like it as much as A Midsummer Night's Dream or Much Ado About Nothing or The Winter's Tale." But they usually don't end there. They'll often continue with something like, "However, that might be because I'm a fan of his comedies more so than his tragedies! I also read everything by Dante so it's fun to compare them sometimes."
Their ranting is usually off-topic, often seen as a way of 'sucking up' to the professor, and never necessary for the class discussion. It's even worse when you're having some sort of literary argument with The Well-Read Student, who then seems to think that listing books they've read somehow helps them win an argument. Reading all of Shakespeare's plays doesn't mean you're right when we're arguing about Sylvia Plath! (Seriously, they think like that sometimes. Back me up ex-English major Josh!)
Plus, no one likes a teacher's pet! Unless that teacher's pet is me.... which happens a lot. But at least I don't blab on about every book I ever read!

No Turn On Red Signs

I understand the purpose of "No Turn on Red" signs.... I think. Wait, maybe I don't. I guess if a particular intersection is deemed dangerous and there's only one lane of traffic they put up a "No Turn on Red" sign so that they reduce the chance of an accident happening. Maybe. But if you're a smart/safe driver, you'll know when you can turn and when you can't. Right?
Anyway, these signs didn't really bother me in the past. But lately, I've been driving back home after a long day at school and for some reason, the three lights that I must pass on my way home are ALWAYS red for me. They're those lights that are green on your side for like 10 seconds, then red for 2 minutes.
I only need to make a right at one of these lights, which is the one with the "No Turn on Red" sign. Now I know I just sound impatient, but after a long day of work, meetings, class, then work again, I want to get to bed and not sit at a red light. And on Wednesdays, I don't get home until after midnight! So I'm waiting at this light for approx. 2 hours and there are NO OTHER CARS on the road, yet I still have to wait for the green light. It doesn't make sense.
I think that "No Turn on Red" signs should be between the hours of 9am and 7pm or something. Or they should be conditional, like those "School Zone: Don't Speed If There Are Kids Around That You Might Squish With Your Car" signs.

Curse Requests

In conversing with new acquaintances, the fact that I don't curse sometimes comes up. And almost always, someone says, "Wait, you don't curse?! Say 'the f word'!!" ....
Does anyone think this makes sense? I don't curse when I'm mad at people, when I lock my car keys in my car, when stuff falls on my head, so WHY would I curse because you told me to? This request is usually repeated for a long time and sometimes, the acquaintance will even say things they think will get me mad, to see if I curse.... So if you're reading this entry and haven't met me yet, you know what not to do when we meet.

Lady Gaga

I'm pretty sure that right now, Lady GaGa is the number 1 annoyance in my life. Here's why:
I wasn't a fan of "Just Dance" (which was super overplayed), but I did kind of like "Poker Face." I was not a 'fan' of Mr. GaGa, but I did think the song was good, fun pop music.
Then I started watching her interviews. Lady GaGa is the most obnoxious person who has ever lived (no hyperbole there). She is consistently rude to the interviewers and doesn't answer questions, turns questions into jokes and is confused into thinking she is making progress in gender equality (although she's NOT a feminist since she likes men and muscle cars........). Long story short, she's completely unprofessional, which annoys me.
If you don't want to participate in interviews, don't. But if you agree to be interviewed, you can at least be professional and answer the questions. And we all know that celebrities often submit 'off-limit topics' so that interviewers don't cross any boundaries. If Stefani doesn't want to talk about what inspires her (?!?) or the role of sexuality in her music, her peepz can make that clear with the interviewer before the interview and she won't be asked such questions.
What makes this worse is that Perez Hilton LOVES him some GaGa and calls her lack of professionalism "sassy," while he once called Britney Spears 'unprofessional' for her latest VMA performance. Yeah, that makes sense.
Basically, Lady GaGa is not as cool as she thinks she is. She keeps talking about how she's breaking down gender barriers... but she's not. Women talking about sex in their songs is not new. Madonna did it in the 80s and everyone else has done it since then. Dressing like Róisín Murphy doesn't make your style unique. Grrr. Enough of her. If I talk about her any longer, I might curse or something.

P.S. Alexander Skarsgard is in her "Paparazzi" video, which almost made me want to break up with him. But in the video he pushes Lady GaGa off a balcony, so I didn't make him sleep on the couch after I watched the vid.

So do we have any annoyances in common?
What annoys you most?
Am I too easily annoyed??