Friday, December 31, 2010

2011

Another year has come to a close; to be honest, I drafted an entire "2010" post, but I decided against it when rereading it as it seemed to be too cliche and sappy.  I'm at place as an English student, I love my friends, blah blah blah, I've changed as a person but only slightly, snore.

If anything that 2010 produced, it was this blog, my baby, Haus of Matt.  What began as a silly idea one August day with two readers became something much larger, what with regular readers and even readers in other countries than mine.  A lot has changed; the blog has undergone a face lift, and if you were to go back and read some of my first entries I'm sure you'd find a definite change in thematic material but especially my writing style.  I'm proud of my feat, keeping this up regularly.  In all honesty, I makes my day when people tell me how they love reading my posts or how they laugh at what I have to say or how they marvel at my writing abilities.  Nothing else makes me as happy as being complimented to my face; do so, and you'll make my day!  (do it today and you'll make my year, haha) For the upcoming year, trust that I'll be keeping up with my writing here; it's become too important for me to stop.

What do I have to look forward in 2011?  Well, not much.  I suppose come April I'll officially be half way through completing my university degree - that's wild, huh?  Come May 18th I'll be half way to 40.  Yikes.  Early 2011 I'll begin my ridiculous obsession with Lady Gaga's new album, Born This Way, and I'll likely never listen to any other music again for the rest of the year.  Next summer, I'll likely explode due to being such a nerd, as there's a massive amount of new superhero movies coming out - I can't WAIT for X-Men: First Class, not to mention the final Harry Potter.

On a personal level.. I'm not able to come up with any New Year's resolutions.  There isn't much I need to change about my life - I don't have many bad habits, let alone habits that hinder my well being.  Maybe it's just a sign of how comfortable I am with how and who I am; there's nothing pressing I need to change or nothing I need to attempt doing or what have you.  A few hours at the gym may not hurt.

If anything, I'm looking to keep things constant.  I hope to keep in good contact with my friends, to maintain the friendships I have now and make them better than ever.  I hope to keep up with my new found success in academics, and I'm sure that's more than doable.

Well, anyways.  I hope everyone has a happy and healthy 2011, and I should only hope that I'm lucky enough to have the same!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Pande-freaking-monium

Every year, I'm brimming with excitement at the idea of going Boxing Day shopping with the money I managed to scrape up through the Christmas rigmarole; every year, as my dad navigates through over crowded parking lots, I neurotically fear for my life as though we'll end up in a head-on collision with other eager shoppers; every year, I slowly lose my excitement throughout the crowd, left behind in each store, one after the other.  I don't know why I'm always so eager to go shopping on December 26th, because it usually results in the same two things: disappointment at the lack of deals, as well as red hot anger at the stupidity of people.

Well, this year, I was in fact successful in my conquest; perhaps the switching of location - Sherway Gardens instead of Square One - gave me additional luck.  I came away with a new shirt from Guess and a fly new jacket from a store from Amsterdam called Scotch & Soda.  Success!  My crowd-clubbing payed off!

Despite being lucky with my purchases (although I can still hear my wallet weeping), one thing never changed - stupid, stupid, STUPID people.

If there's anything I hate in this world, it's people.  That may come as a shock, given that social interaction is so vital to a happiness, especially mine; however I love time alone as much as anyone else.  On a bigger scale, I hate the general public; collectively, I find that large amounts of stupid people prove to come together to make large, stupid crowds.  People are selfish, rude, obnoxious or just plain stupid, and when thrust into the narrow hallways of shopping malls rabid with the disease of blind consumerism, they prove to be the biggest frustration to press my buttons and make me fume.

Have you ever found that when two people are heading in the direction of crossing paths - specifically, you crossing in front of someone else, or even just walking in their direction - YOU are the one to shift your stance to let them by or change your footing to avoid a collision?  In all honesty, I've NEVER been in a situation where my path is unbroken, where others stepping one foot to the left to let ME by; it's always me to make sure that I'M cautious of where the other person is going.  Now take that, and amplify it by a factor of 50.  I don't think I walked a single straight line today - people walking EVERYWHERE, so rude to notice you're walking, too, or so oblivious to your presence that they collide into your bags or shoulders (it happened), and rather than offering an apology scoff at you.  In fact, today, if I had a dollar for every person I spotted walking with their eyes down looking at their cell phone, I'd have enough money to buy two more of my new jacket - and that says a lot, considering the one I got was expensive to begin with.  Jesus, is it so hard to part from your BBM for five minutes?

I also have to say: why on God's green earth would you decide to bring your decrepit grandmother who can't walk more than two miles per hour or stupid six-month old baby in their tank-sized stroller to a goddamn mall on Boxing Day?  Here's where I tread the line of being rude, but it's the honest truth; people with strollers think it's THEIR right to soldier straight through a crowd, because oh, watch out! my baby!  Well, fuck off.  You idiot yuppie parents: a stroller will NOT easily navigate through an already tightly packed store, let alone on a day like today where people are literally shoulder to shoulder staring at isle upon isle.  I will not move for you just because you need to get by, because I am here for a reason.  I will not caution myself in my own goals to make room for you and your little gargoyle who should have been left at home with a grandparent, babysitter, friend, or savage dog.  A wolf would also suffice.

Likewise, I can't stand the people who walk slow.  I realize not everyone moves at a top speed - well, that would make them all the more ridiculous, running to The Bay - and I myself keep a regulated pace, not crawling though not running, but fast enough as if to advertise "hello, I'm here to shop and do what I need to do, and it's an added bonus if I'm done with time to spare."  Relating to my mention of decrepit elderly people: why would you let them tag along if they have trouble walking?  Why inject them into a situation with people running at top speed, where their slow speed is nothing but a hindrance on everyone else?  Well, maybe I'm lying: I don't care for their well-being, if they're stupid enough to come to a busy mall on Boxing Day then oh well if the soles of my shoes happen to trample them.  Okay, that's overly harsh.  The things I say for a laugh..

I can't stand people who suddenly stop in their tracks, or form immobile groups staring incredulously at their surroundings as if they'd just been returned to Earth from their alien adventure.  If it's busy, it's likely that I'll be pressed against you heels; likewise, if you come to a complete stop because you're a stupid fuck, I'll probably hit into you out of unpreparedness for your stupid decision.

Boxing Day is just the solid representation of everything wrong with Christmas - so much so that even I am aware that I am indulgent of the craziness (I'm an aware hypocrite, commenting on my own actions and my own kind).  Our society has been brainwashed into a mode of buy buy buy, and the ideal has infected our minds like a plague, controlling us into thinking that we simply MUST take advantage of the deals at hand.  Spending for the sake of spending.

Well, anyways.  There's a whole lot of wrong with my Boxing Day escapades, but I think I've made myself comfortable with being so spiteful - or, at least, comfortable enough that I'll be back again Boxing Day 2011 feeling right at home with yelling at idiots.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

364

As I was anticipating, Christmas wasn't much this year.  The spirit never caught up with me, I didn't really look forward to it, and today proved to be one of the worst - if not the worst - Christmas I've had in my life.  Somehow, thinking with my heart instead of my head seemed to screw me over far worse than being selfish.  I have no remorse for the end of this Christmas season, and after everything, if anything, I feel as though my heart has frozen over against my will.  I'd go on, I'd go in depth, but that wouldn't do me any good.  Boo freakin hoo, right?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sweet girl


This semi movie review of Black Swan has been inevitable, given that I've been unsuccessful in getting the movie out of my head since seeing it on Sunday night.

I don't really know where to start.  I guess I'll say that it was a very, very well done movie brimming with eerie good performances.  I'm more than certain that this year's winner of the Best Actress Oscar will be Natalie Portman who convincingly portrays an innocent ballerina who is driven slowly to insanity in her pursuit of perfection.  Given the pattern already in the nominations for the Golden Globes or SAG Awards, it also looks like Mila Kunis will at least be nominated for Best Supporting Actress; while she was good, she wasn't amazing by any means - or, at least, not when compared to Winona Ryder as a disturbed ballerina fallen from her prime or Barbara Hershey (who I was compelled to look up after seeing the movie) as Natalie Portman's frightening mother.  Mila Kunis has come a long way since That 70's Show, though, and I'm a fan.

I also need to note that - at least to me - the movie was falsely advertised; when it comes down to it, it was largely a horror film.  Here's what I saw it as in the trailers: a movie about the competition between two ballerinas for the lead in the company production with psychological thriller aspects.  Oh yes, the thriller is still intact; what I was shocked to find was that the competition between the two - Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis - is nearly non-existent, and that the central conflict is an internal one in Portman's Nina.  Nina's obsession with perfection is what manifests the idea of Kunis' Lily as trying to sabotage her; Nina sees small instances of disturbance as treachery (such as, for example, Lily coming in late to an audition and slamming the door causing Nina to lose balance while dancing) and soon begins to lose herself in the idea that Lily, along with others, are out to get her.  I wish that the movie WAS more about rivalry, but I feel that my surprise to the more internal insanity had me all the more invested.

If anything to describe my experience of this movie, I'll use a list of words: unsettling, uncomfortable, shocking, disturbing.  Like I said, the movie felt like a horror movie; there was an overall backdrop of some foreboding presence over the entire movie, and I constantly had my guard up as I figured something was bound to happen or pop up.  Towards the end of the movie at the height of the protagonist's decent was where I was curled in my seat half covering my eyes; instance after instance had me jumping a good five feet from my seated position causing my heart to skip and pound.  By that point, I guess, the constant whispering noises throughout the movie up until that point were taking their toll on me (neat trick.  Nina hears voices everywhere, and upon coming home after the movie late at night, I was sure I did to, my mind replaying the laughter and whispering and projecting them into what I thought was real life lurking in the corners of my house).  I'll forever be haunted by the image of a character's sudden and downright terrifying self mutilation, as well as the apparition of that character in another's kitchen after whispering "sweet girl" from the darkness.  I get shivers thinking about it.

Aside from the suspense, I found the movie was considerably gory, though not in the sense of a slasher film like Friday the 13th or Saw; instead, we were given long lasting shots of realistic, disgusting injuries, as Nina's nails constantly bleed (leading to something DISGUSTING), for example, or her "rash."  I much preferred the style of gore presented in this movie; I'm far more affected and unnerved by cracked bleeding nails or bones breaking than I am when I see a stupid horror movie character get stabbed comically.

As I said, I can't stop thinking about the movie; I can't stop thinking about the disturbing images, but mostly, I'm still sorting out what was real and what wasn't.  The audience is subjected to these confusing instances - including sex and murder - and we're left to decide whether it actually happened or if it was in the confines of Nina's mind.  If anything, I'll say that the movie is one big metaphor.  You'll see what I mean when and if you ever watch it (or if you already have), specifically in things like the feathers.

If you think you can stomach it, I highly, highly recommend the movie; in fact, I've already decided that I need to see it again eventually to straighten things out in my mind about what's shown.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas blues

Only now eight days away, I have yet to get into the Christmas spirit this year.

Perhaps it's due to my parents' resistance against the Christmas phenomenon - and yes, I say phenomenon, but getting into a rant about the true meaning of the holidays NOT being consumerism is a whole different story and blog post on it's own.  I won't go there.  I digress; my parents, year in and year out, always make comments about how they don't want to put up lights outside or a tree or our inside decorations.  And year in and year out, my sister and I protest their decision to the point of victory through sheer annoyance on our parts.  And so, for another year, the tree went up with great reluctance; the majority of the decorations remained boxed, aside from the stockings and tree trimmings and the occasional nutcracker; and the whole decorating process was filled with hot headed argument.  Perhaps now when I look at the tree across from me in the family room, I see a transparent representation of holiday love and cheer.

Perhaps it's because Christmas is very chopped up this year - I'm having Christmas on Saturday, the 18th.  Here's how Christmas usually works for my family: my dad's side consists of my nonna and my dad's four siblings and their kids (my cousins) and in one case, their kids too; my mom's side is my grandma and grandpa (or Nanny and Baboog, for your information.  My mom's Armenian, so that's what we call them.  Yep, I'm half Armenian, it's weird to consider given that I'm actually half Middle Eastern) plus my mom's two sisters, neither of whom have kids and only one of whom is married.  Usually, Christmas Eve is when we see my dad's side, and Christmas Day is comprised of the morning between me and my parents and sister as well as the day itself with my mom's family.  My one aunt and uncle, however, are going to Australia for a month, and are leaving Christmas Eve; therefore, to accommodate for them, we're doing the family Christmas on the 18th.  Christmas Eve is still intact, though completely devoid of anything cheery, given that presents are completely nixed; Christmas Day will still be intact, just without my aunt and uncle.  Therefore, I'm thinking this severely segmented Christmas takes away the whole magic behind it; the 18th doesn't seem like Christmas even though we're doing the whole shabang, but maybe it's me not letting myself be ignorant to the date.  You'd think more Christmas events would mean more Christmas spirit.  Nah.

Perhaps it's due to the fact that this year's Christmas seems to be a rush.  The malls have been even more packed than usual (or, it feels like it) and looking for gifts is a downright task.  Along those same lines..

Perhaps - and I'm thinking this might be the realest of all - it's because I've been now told on multiple occasions that I'm mind numbingly difficult to buy for and that it's frustrating.  My parents, in fact, are constantly reminding me they don't have anything for me; this might be because I didn't ASK for anything, because I'm completely aware that I don't NEED anything and I don't actually WANT anything (maybe it's a sign of my humbleness, or the fact that I'm comfortable with my life.  I don't know, again, beside the point).  But it's concerning - and it always has been, not confined to my parents or to this year or Christmas - that apparently I'm so frustrating to give to.  I'm not materialistic; you may think I'm judgmental, and sure, I can be, but I would never dislike a gift because it's just that - a gift (no, this isn't me just being nice - it's the honest truth, and stands unless the gift is something completely left field like women's clothing or a potted plant).  Is this apparent difficulty a sign of how much people might not actually know about me?  I would say that what I'm interested in is fairly easy to see, so it's concerning if this is the case.

I just don't know.  Maybe my mind will be changed when I start to see family or all my friends again.  Or maybe, I just need to sit down and watch a good solid block of Christmas programming, including Rudolph, Frosty, and Christmas Vacation.  For now, I'll just keep being a Scrooge.

Rent or skip: 2010

As I flew through the songs list with ease, I always knew in the back of my mind my next step would be a list of my favourite movies from 2010, being that it'd be logical and given that I'm such a huge fan of movies, it'd be a piece of cake.  It's quite the opposite.

Music is much more accessible; with movies, I had to consider multiple things, and my field of choices is narrow.  I first had to have seen the movie, then I verify that it is indeed a 2010 release and not an older movie that I watched in the year; then I'd have to like it, and then I'd have to pick not one but ten.  I quickly found that that was impossible.  I hardly went to the movies this year, and the times that I did, I came away hating what I had just seen.  As well, I'm in no place ranking the best movies of the year, as I missed out on some - I haven't seen the majority of the Oscar contenders; some haven't even come out - and therefore it'd be improper for me to list a movie like A Nightmare on Elm Street as "my 6th favourite movie of the year" simply because I've SEEN it and haven't seen something like Black Swan or The Kids Are Alright.  (I want to see both)  Maybe in some cases, the movie has yet to be released - well, I guess I'm only thinking of one specifically, and it's Tron Legacy.

Therefore, my alternative is this: I'll pick ten movies that I HAVE seen this year, and rank them from worst to best, using subheadings ranging from The Amazing to The Ugly.

(I also look forward to this list much more than I did to my music list, as I find a person's musical tastes are subject to more scrutiny, probably because there's such a wide range to choose from and I visibly stuck to the mainstream.  Movies are movies - independent movies are just as moving or excellent as blockbusters, and had I seen some lesser known films in 2010, I would've included them.)



ALICE IN WONDERLAND
I hated this movie.  I knew, somehow, that going into the movie I wouldn't like it; I was right.  Not that it wasn't well done; in fact, quite the opposite.  The movie is visually spectacular, and the use of special effects were impressive (at times).  Despite all that, there was just something preventing me from enjoying the movie - the story wasn't really all there (it still felt like a string of encounters with strange characters) and the characters were difficult to relate to.  I was no fan of Johnny Depp in this movie, and had I not seen the exact same character everywhere in every movie she's in, I would've enjoyed Helena Bonham Carter.  I tried my hardest to enjoy the movie, but my attempts came up short; I couldn't deny the fact that despite it all, I hated it.

THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE
I really don't have much to say here, it's a given.  If anything, though, it was a definite improvement over New Moon, but that doesn't say much at all.  I think a movie's fate is instantly sealed when its headlining stars are Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson.  (I must say I need to commend myself from not launching into an I Hate Twilight rant, picking out all the flaws, but it's been so overdone that it's not effective anymore.  It's like making a parody of something that's already a parody itself)


BURLESQUE
Yikes.  Speaking of a movie's doom when considering who starred in it.. when you have Christina Aguilera, a singer turned actress (when has that ever actually worked?) up against Cher, who looks like she needs to get back to her crypt.. there's nothing but horror to come out of it.  I full well knew that going into the movie, I was doing so for a laugh - in addition to seeing two of my favourite actresses, Kristen Bell (who, I would say, stole the movie as a psychotic burlesque dancer in a downward spiral) and Dianna Agron (completely shedding her Glee image in the two minutes she's onscreen by screaming and swearing).  Not even they, or the music, could save this movie.  Far too long, far too laughable.

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET
As a horror movie by itself, it's certainly better than those made these days; visually disturbing at times, the movie goes beyond the run of the mill horror movies out there, with stupid premises and over-reliance on gimmicks.  However, I think one of the biggest flaws is the fact that the jump scares become so constant that they become uneffective - I'd much prefer more disturbing scenes with the horror upfront (as the movie does) than the expected scares from right around the corner.  Now, as a remake, it too is better than most - but I'd be remiss to not mention that the original is miles better regardless of the time period and budget / technological restrictions.  One thing that was improved upon was the concept of micro-naps, where characters are so tired that they become delirious and start dreaming while conscious.  That element added a level of stress while watching the movie, but the effect soon wore off after the first ten or so jump scares using the tactic.


IRON MAN 2
Back in 2008, I had little to no expectations for the first Iron Man, and even though I'm a pretty huge fan of superheroes, I had never payed attention to Iron Man at all (and I therefore didn't know about the characters or villains - though I had vague ideas).  Needless to say, I was completely surprised, as I enjoyed it immensely and thought it was actually well done.  The sequel is no different, which is commendable in itself, being able to match the success and quality of the first.  Just as funny, just as action packed, and mindful of the addition of so many characters, a feat which many superhero movies before it have failed at (I'm looking at you, Spider-Man 3).

KICK-ASS
I loved this movie.  Completely loved it.  I would consider it as an great, but that's just my inner fanboy, since the movie isn't technically as good as the ones I've listed as "better."  I was like watching the pages of a comic book come to life on screen, as characters and violence are both realistic and cartoonish at the same time.  The movie is a perfect example of pure entertainment, and I'm more than confident in 2011's X-Men: First Class in the hands of this director (Matthew Vaughn).


HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PT 1
If you've read this blog at all, I'm sure you're already well aware of my thoughts on the seventh film in the series.  To be honest, my outlook improved on my second viewing, since I knew what to expect.  Still, the movie felt a bit drawn out, forcing the few actual events occurring in the first half of the book over a far too long period of time.  Then, I'm faced with the question: do I prefer this - long, half of the story, but keeping most if not all of the aspects of the book, or the entire book as one movie, risking a rushed pace and the omission of some important facts?  Aside from that, I would have to commend the director's effectiveness in making a Harry Potter film work OUTSIDE of Hogwarts, the staple for the past six movies.

THE SOCIAL NETWORK
This movie was a pleasant surprise for me; I went in hearing good review upon good review, good recommendation after recommendation.  While at times dry or slow, the real strong points are the performances by the cast; I actually came to loathe the character of Mark Zuckerberg, wanting to desperately punch him in the face, so I guess that's completely due to the effective acting onscreen.  Even Justin Timberlake was better than I expected, though it was difficult to get over him as an actor; he was never his character but always Justin Timberlake playing his character.



TOY STORY 3
I cried.  Maybe that's an indication of how effective this movie is.  It was absolutely heartbreaking to witness this movie, especially the end, as I felt like my the ounces of childhood I still was hanging on to were completely vanquished.  Being the English student I am, this movie was like the archetypal loss of innocence, as I practically grew up with the first movies and the characters; now that it's done, I come to realize that so is that part of my life.  Maybe I'm being to sappy, who knows.  I had my reservations going into the movie given that the first two are nearly untouchable in their quality and given that there was such a large space of time between making the second and third, but the third didn't miss a beat and was as good, if not better, than the first two.  I don't even know if I can handle the devastation of watching it again, hah. 

INCEPTION
Hands down, the greatest movie of 2010 - I expected nothing less from Christopher Nolan, and am now eagerly awaiting The Dark Knight Returns.  If you haven't seen this movie, shame on you; if you have, you're already aware of everything amazing about this movie, and I need not even explain it.  The plot is extremely complex and mesmerizing; the characters are diverse and well played; the entire movie is an adrenaline rush, and I was on the edge of my seat both times I saw it.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Play them on repeat: 2010

Given that the year is quickly approaching its close, I've already been giving thought to some year end themed blog posts; I figure I'll do something similar to one of my facebook notes from last year, where I talked about my year in a nutshell, about what I learned or how I changed or what have you.  And then, I was struck with an idea: maybe, in addition to those personal culminations of the year, I could have my own say in the top music or movies of 2010, much like other reputable websites do come December 31st.

And so, we have the first of such lists: I thought it would be a fun idea for me to create my own Top 20 of the best songs from 2010, ranking them and reasoning.  I do this lightheartedly; my word isn't law, and as much as I tried to stay objective, you'll see that a lot of the songs likely appear due to my personal likes for them.  But then, on the flip side, you'll see that I included some that aren't exactly my favourites, but even I can step back and affirm that 1. they are undeniably good songs despite the fact that I might not personally like them, 2. that they were popular and sold well for a reason, and 3. that Lady Gaga wasn't the only artist with worthwhile hits in the year.  In fact, to (probably) your surprise, the number one spot isn't occupied by a song of hers.  Nor is the second.  (The third, well.. we'll see, I'm sure I'm bound to edit the order as I go along)  I realize that the majority of them are radio offerings; I'm not so much an indie fan anymore, so yes, it's fairly mainstream, but even so, I tried to stay objective when valuing the songs with the biggest impact in 2010.  Of course, there are notable omissions - there's my personal preferences.  This list isn't a be-all end-all of lists - the songs here are merely my personal choices and (sometimes) favourites.  Ready?  Me neither.


CROSSFIRE : BRANDON FLOWERS
I'm sure you've never heard this song on the radio; in fact, chances are you've never heard it at all.  I couldn't deny it, though, since I like it so much.  Truth be told, I'd much prefer Brandon Flowers to go back to The Killers, as his album as a whole was less than good; but of any, Crossfire reminded me most of his former band, and after seeing the video so many times on MuchMusic, you can't help but like it.

WHAT'S MY NAME : RIHANNA ft. DRAKE
I'm very hot and cold with Rihanna, but this is undeniably one of the better singles she's had as of late - even with the sometimes annoying repetition of 'oh na na, what's my name.'

POWER : KANYE WEST
I'll say it now, and I'll probably end up saying it again: 2010 was the year of Kanye West.  I'll say it myself, I was never that big of a Kanye fan, especially not after the Taylor Swift debacle; My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy more than changed my mind on him.  Sure, maybe sometimes his egotistical ways irk me, but it's undeniable that he knows how to make a great song - Power being no exception.  (it just happens to be my least favourite of any appearing on this list)

GRENADE : BRUNO MARS
I would rank this song higher except for the fact that it's relatively very new compared to some of the songs on my list.  I like Bruno Mars' voice - he makes songs like Billionaire and Nothing On You bearable - and I adore this song.

ERASE ME : KID CUDI ft. KANYE WEST
Another case of "not really being a fan," this time because of seeing him live; the second time I saw Lady Gaga, Kid Cudi opened for her, but I ended up loathing him because his set was over-long and I wanted to see Gaga perform already, damnit! I'm a big fan of this collaboration with Kanye West, though; so much so that I checked out Cudi's entire sophomore album, and it's a diverse good listen.

ANIMAL : NEON TREES
This is one of those instances where I feel like a follower or a hypocrite; I hate when more 'unknown' bands hit the airwaves and suddenly explode where countless upon countless people jump on the bandwagon of being a fan.  In that sense, I feel like that; I love this song, but I'm completely aware that I owe my awareness of it entirely to the radio despite the fact their CD came out a while ago.  It's just one of those songs that you can't dislike.

ROCK THAT BODY : BLACK EYED PEAS
Speaking of things you can't dislike.. the Black Eyed Peas are quite the opposite.  I'll be the first to say that I'm NO fan of them; the times of I Gotta Feeling were excruciating, and they've topped themselves with the god awful The Time (Dirty Bit).  Despite all that, I'll give them kudos where kudos is deserved: Rock That Body is a solid song, and when coupled with Imma Be in a nine minute version complete with an unbelievably amazing transition between the two, the song is a fantastic listen.

E.T. (FUTURISTIC LOVER) : KATY PERRY
Much like Rihanna, I'm very hot and cold with Katy Perry.  Her songs are usually the devil incarnate: I HATE California Gurls; Teenage Dream was once sweet and enjoyable before the radio overplayed it; and Firework is gratingly shrill.  However, I couldn't seem to ignore her completely; credit is where credit's due, and Katy Perry had a very good year in 2010.  Therefore, instead of acknowledging her singles, I chose the strongest song from her album Teenage Dream - E.T.  The song is completely out of the box when considering it as a pop song, and I think the branching outside of the normal is what makes it especially special.  I seem to have this liking of stutters in songs, too.  (in this: 'kiss me, k-k-kiss me,' etc; others: 'papa-paparazzi' or 'ale-alejandro'.. just a trend)

RUNAWAY : KANYE WEST
Sometimes, the video makes or breaks the song; the video for Runaway - a 35 minute movie of the same name, or, specifically, the 5 minute excerpt where the song itself plays - gives just another rap song some level of beauty.  (watch the video, you'll see what I mean)  Kanye's live performances of the song just elevate it even more - I would recommend watching his performances of this and 'Power' on Saturday Night Live.

GHOST : FEFE DOBSON
I have to give it to Fefe Dobson: she was able to create such a strong song despite being, well, Fefe Dobson.  I too laughed at first when I heard "and now, a new song from Fefe Dobson!" on the radio, but my mind was changed quickly after hearing it multiple times.

DANCING ON MY OWN : ROBYN
I've been aware of Robyn - a Swedish pop singer - since hearing one of her songs on So You Think You Can Dance and instantly falling in love with it.  I was never a big enough fan to keep up with her, though, until I read in multiple places that her new album (Body Talk Pt 1, and its subsequent "sequels") were pretty amazing, and I'd have to agree - Dancing On My Own is a stunning, haunting song, and believe it or not, I think you've heard it before if you watched this year's MTV Video Music Awards.

SPEAK NOW : TAYLOR SWIFT
Again, speaking of things you can't hate!  I'm as much of a fan that I can be of Taylor Swift - meaning, I can only like her so much since I'm not a 13 year old girl.  I can't exactly relate to her lyrics, although I'm fully aware of why she is so easy to relate to. It's no secret that Taylor Swift isn't the best of singers on a technical level - her live performances are rarely any good.  Her strength is in her songwriting abilities, and this song is the perfect example of unique lyrics.  Where else do you hear about brides wearing gowns shaped like pastries?

COMMANDER : KELLY ROWLAND
Beyonce who?  This year, Kelly Rowland began to get a lot of attention following her collaboration with David Guetta; the first time I heard Commander, I was in Costa Rica, and I was instantly mesmerized and in disbelief that it was Kelly Rowland, or Beyonce #2.  After that, I started hearing the song everywhere - in commercials, the video playing on Much - and it's such an infectious club-banging song that you'll want to get up and dance.  (I don't)

DOG DAYS ARE OVER : FLORENCE + THE MACHINE
Another instance of guilt: I feel like I've jumped on another bandwagon here as I'm aware that Florence + the Machine had a following before hitting the airwaves.  The abnormal structure of the song and the absolute power of Florence's voice meshes together to make a unique song that I'm still loving despite hearing it everywhere.

ROMAN'S REVENGE : NICKI MINAJ ft. EMINEM
Of course, I can't ignore Nicki Minaj!  Options to pick to include on a best-of list are slim: her debut CD is sub par, and her singles each have their own annoyances (specifically the idiocracy of 'You see right through me, how do you do that shit? repeated over and over in Right Thru Me or the horrifying looming presence of Annie Lennox on Your Love).  Roman's Revenge, however, is pretty amazing.  It's a heavy hitting rap song where Nicki and Eminem take turns spitting out the most vulgar lyrics you can think of; the song is a cartoon of itself, and it reaches the point of being "so bad it's amazing."  The ending where Nicki screeches in a fake British accent is so over the top, that even when it gets to be too much, it provides for a good laugh.

ALEJANDRO : LADY GAGA
How could I ignore Lady Gaga?  Well, I can't.  My personal all time favourite song of hers, I was overjoyed to know that Alejandro was selected as a single - though my happiness faltered when it didn't garner the greatest of receptions, since it broke her string of number one songs and didn't catch on as well as her previous singles.  I recognize its daring; the video itself is marginally controversial, and as a pop song, it's extremely unorthodox - it especially seemed out of place on the radio.  But then, the fact that it DID receive acclaim (just not on the same level as Telephone or anything before it) is something only Lady Gaga could pull off and only shows her relentless strength as an artist.

ALL OF THE LIGHTS : KANYE WEST & ..EVERYBODY
Impressive, impressive song; you must have some SERIOUS cred if you're able to incorporate so many artists on one song - including Rihanna, Fergie, Kid Cudi, Alicia Keys, and fucking Elton John.  I would rank this much, much higher - maybe at the top of the list - if it wasn't for some of the more questionable verses (I'm looking at you, Cudi and Fergie); despite them, the song is still pretty amazing.  Besides, it ends with an Elton John piano solo - cool.

TELEPHONE : LADY GAGA ft. BEYONCE
Gaga, not number one?  (Bad Romance was released in 2009.  Otherwise..)  This song and accompanying video is more solid proof that Lady Gaga isn't going anywhere; she was able to put together a near 10 minute mini-movie of completely unrelated subject matter and set it to the tune of a song superficially about dancing at a club and making it, simply, iconic.  Things you'd never think to put together work in this song: the song uses a harp, for instance, and the pairing of Gaga and Beyonce is conceivably strange until you hear the product.

LOVE THE WAY YOU LIE : EMINEM ft. RIHANNA /
LOVE THE WAY YOU LIE PT II : RIHANNA ft. EMINEM
Technically, my number two spot is a tie; on the flip side, it's merely a recognition of both songs as a whole, as that's what they essentially are.  Both use the same Rihanna sang chorus; both differ in showing two sides to the same story.  (obviously, Eminem's viewpoint in the song most dominated by him - his own; Rihanna's answer in hers)  It's a shame that Rihanna isn't releasing hers as a single, as I'd even go so far as to say that it's simply beautiful.  Eminem's offering, on the other hand, is an excellent rap song to sing along to, pretending you're a rapper - maybe after a few drinks.  Eminem's is another instance of the radio overplaying and killing a song, but I can still see that it deserves the accolades it deserves, and I'm personally pulling for it to sweep the Grammys since Gaga's Bad Romance was shockingly overlooked.

And now..

MONSTER : KANYE WEST ft. JAY-Z, NICKI MINAJ, RICK ROSS & BON IVER
AMAZING, AMAZING SONG.  There's nothing else I can say (eh, eh).  Kanye West does it again; it's safe to say that this song single-handedly reignited my love for rap music - yep, those were the days in Grade 8.  This song is truly incredible, and each featured artist does their best to top each other with their spitfire, heavy hitting verses.  No contest, however - Nicki Minaj wins hands down.  If any song on this list to download (if you haven't heard it), THIS IS THE ONE.


I actually had a lot of fun putting this list together, and god bless you if you actually read it all.  Jesus, this is long.  Who knows, maybe you'll find a few songs that peak your interest?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I'd rather take O.W.L.s

Despite my ignorant bliss of having time off from school, I know that my exams are looming just around the corner; I've pushed off studying for them as much as possible, opting to play the Sims on my computer or read the entire series of Harry Potter (I'm nearly through with Prisoner of Azkaban).  It's now Tuesday, and my first is on Thursday, and I know that I can't avoid it any longer.

I have three spread out over five days - one day on, one day off, until I'm finally finished by 3pm on Monday afternoon.  I'd consider myself very lucky that my first semester wrapped up so quickly, as I sit back and heckle my friends who have exams up until Christmas (I'm kidding); my happiness is soon dwindled when I know that I return to class on January 3rd.  That sucks.

As per usual, I'm going into exams - specifically, only one this time - with the fear of failing a class.  I won't, I never have and I never will, but the fact that everything I do for BIO206 ends up falling short gives me little hope for the final exam.  I can't win with that class; so much impossible detail for even more impossible expectations.  I calculated that I only need a 25% on the final to pass, and that's doable, although I'd love it if I came out with something that RESEMBLES a respectable mark.

But, for the first time, I'm actually going into exams with security.  I know I can bomb my Science Fiction exam and still come out with a high 60 - even though I'd have to write in a different language or be completely incoherent to fail that exam.  It's nice knowing that extreme amounts of effort actually do pay off.  This just serves as yet another reminder that my strengths are completely in the realm of English and that I am where I should be.

At this rate, time has been flying already; before I know it, it'll be Monday afternoon, and I can resume my status as lazy lazy lazy for another three weeks.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

R.I.P. blog

Just a quick one: I pretty much just partook in the assisted suicide of my blog when I changed my Facebook profile into the "New Facebook."  First off, it's ugly as hell.  The thing that's worst is that the "About Me" box is now removed and relocated and only accessed when actually clicking Info, therefore meaning that my blog audience has probably PLUMMETED since it now takes effort to reach the link.  Sure, maybe I have regular readers, but I know I don't have many; the causal reader is now likely vanished, the constant updating of "last update on:" will probably mean nothing, and to be quite honest, this post may be the first of many to start collecting dust.  Oh.. no.  Will I have to start shamelessly plugging the link to my blog in status updates, crossing the line of desperation?

I repeat.  Oh.. no.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Welcome to December

Time has FLOWN.  It seems only yesterday I was complaining about going back to school, fearing for my venture into the world of humanities, but here we are: it's December 1st, classes are over, and I've once again found myself in the comfort of sitting in the same spot day in and day out.

I'm certainly excited for the Christmas season and for the upcoming reunion of sorts when I see many faces who have been missing in my life.  (As I put it to one of my friends, "we all get to be reunited with each other's glorious faces" to which she replied "you're going to make me cry")  Plans are already formulating - including a "drunk day" and the braving of a savage night of Moonlight Madness at Mapleview - and provided my work schedule doesn't restrict me much I hope to take in as MUCH as humanly possible.

Of course, there are still exams to worry about, but call me a slacker when I say I want to at least enjoy the rest of the week until buckling down.  I've also decided to only study in sequential order, and given that I have three exams over five days each padded by a day in between, I'll focus my attention to each for an intense 48 hour session of cram cram cram.  Who knows, that might be my downfall.

Aside from that, I don't have much to look forward to - maybe a few movies or TV shows or books I want to finally watch or catch up on or read; maybe I'll get to writing since I'm upset with myself for missing NaNoWriMo - thus meaning my blog will likely become a hotbed of monotony!


Also, just an added note: it's come to my attention that my blog is actually being Googled, and if you type 'hausofmatt' into Google I'm the first result.  Bitchin!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Lint licker

You're such a [expletive] [expletive], you [expletive] [expletive]!

No, that isn't actually a cohesive sentence.  Although I bet if you gave me enough time I'd find something colourful enough to fill those voids..

I recently got to a bit of thinking - all inspired by minor things I've heard within my family, or what have you.  Specifically, I'll reference something of interest to me: Glee.  It's pretty funny, although the writers have really dropped the ball recently (I would launch into how much I hate that they've made a certain annoying character so central and that it would be more appropriate to call the show 'Kurt's Adventures plus His Friends', or perhaps 'Glee: the Show About Very Special Lessons' but that's a whole 'nother story) and I think it's the music that keeps it fresh and keeps me tuned in.  Anyways, I digress; point is, I usually watch it with my family, and whenever a risque joke comes up my mom or dad usually do the slow turning glance at me as if to make me feel even more uncomfortable.  To use an example there was the time that Brittany and Santana were making out on Brittany's bed - woah, if you don't watch the show you'll certainly be going WTF? - and Santana says something about how she's getting tired of all the 'scissoring.'  This prompted my mother to scoff and my dad to say "everyone on this show is lesbian."

When was it that censorship in the media became so lax?  I can remember the day where the use of the work 'fuck' automatically ensured an R rating; now you can safely use it a handful of times in a PG film, in addition to flashing a bum or showing a bit of blood.  The media has become exceedingly liberal; MuchMusic, for example, is the first instance in my mind where I've heard the use of 'shit' aside from HBO; in fact good old channel seventeen is now showing uncensored episodes of Jackass at 4:00pm on weekdays.  (it's beyond an awkward situation where you happen to be watching an episode and the parents start slowly trickling in, home from work and stopping to glance at the TV when Johnny Knoxville and the gang decide to have their semen tested for quality.  This did happen.  Last Tuesday)

Perhaps censorship has become so relaxed because parents have.  No parent wants their child witnessing a movie bloodfest sprinkled with gracious nudity and sex scenes (I'm lookin at you, Watchmen) or playing a video game where the prime objective is to assassinate terrorists - but the fact of the matter is, kids witness or play these things anyways because parents let it happen.  Perhaps the censorship boards have decided to completely disregard boundaries as if to punish parents for their lack of discipline.  You don't care what your kid watches?  Then here, here's some boobs at 5:00pm on cable.

Is it marketing's fault?  I've read online that Glee sometimes gets flack for their raciness at times - prime example, look at that who GQ scandal (which by the way: what the hell.  Do children even read GQ?  No.  So let Dianna Agron take off her clothes).  But: I've NEVER seen Glee as being a family show to begin with - this is the show with teen pregnancy and blink-and-you'll-miss-them lines about racism and sexism and sex; with careless sex as a pressure on teenagers.  Yes, the fact that it's about teenagers almost automatically installs some sense of family familiarity, but I've always appreciated the show for its adult humour.  So then, to the problem of marketing: they don't market it as a satire, but rather as "look, we're a musical!"  Even then, for something like Glee, the marketing of being a musical is integral to its success commercially; it then again boils down to parental stupidity.

To parents, then, I say: you know that censorship has become liberal and that even 'family-friendly' shows border being inappropriate, so control your kids (or yourselves for that matter) accordingly.  Censorship has long been rapidly heading toward becoming obsolete, as previously mentioned by the amount that the MPAA lets into a low rated movie or by the liberal attitude channels like MuchMusic exhibits.

We're living in a world where ignorance simply won't do anymore.  In that sense, I see the breaking down of censorship's walls to be nearly refreshing; we can't lie to ourselves that an audience really does want to see blood and guts and nudity and swearing, and we know that these things exist in the world, so why not just show the world for what it is.  Maybe this is all because I'm old enough that I can watch and buy whatever the hell I want, and maybe my freedom in what I choose to expose myself to is influencing me to say 'shame on you!' throughout this entire thing.  I wasn't aiming at a formulated answer - I never do; it's just something to think about.  Isn't that the point?

Now fuck off.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Runaway

Last day of class is on Monday! Conveniently, however, I have the following due: a Shakespeare paper worth 20%, a Science Fiction paper worth 40%, on top of a 20% midterm in Cell Biology.  It's safe to say that I'm heading straight towards exploding, since I have much to do but little time to do so, what with the whole commuter thing (you really have no motivation to do work at all when you get home past 9pm) and with the fact that I still have a job (therefore taking half of my weekend).  I get frustrated in not knowing which order to focus my time in, considering I know that if I take a bit too much time on one thing, the last thing of focus will get the least attention and will probably yield the worst result.

So I'm going to complain for the sake of complaining, not for answers - because there aren't any.  I get that every single class has its own agenda, but does it really make sense for every class to make their final culmination before exams on the same day?  Maybe it's just my luck having those three classes ending on the same day, that could be it.  Maybe professors put too much stock in students, believing them to start that big essay weeks before it was even close to being due.  I think if everyone was capable of that I wouldn't have to groan at the constant stream of facebook statuses bitching about exams or so much work or what have you.  (I escape participating in that annoyance by posting here on my blog where I figure the only people reading are the ones who probably care enough to hear it)

Specializing my complaint: to a certain biology prof, what the fuck?  Is this test necessary?  This is our third massive test - out of four, for a half year course.  All are all-inclusive, meaning I unfortunately can't throw out the useless crap I crammed in my mind for the first two.  This professor is expecting far too much of us, or rather, far too much work from a student body who is far LESS interested.  That class is (was) enjoyable for the reason that people starting snapping back at her to the point where she'd make snide comments about how everyone doesn't like her or that she's a bitch, and while we do agree, I couldn't help but resent her more because of her smugness about it.  (the class was also enjoyable for the people I was with and I'd be lying if I said I DIDN'T pick up BIO207 to keep the good times going on through the year - because I certainly did)

I pretty much feel like exploding come Monday.  I wish I could let off steam, but when I actually did, it turned out a bit sloppy (if not successful?).  My only motivation flashing in my brain is that in less than 96 hours (including sleep) I'll be free of all this, at least until exams kick in.  The 96 hours to come, though, will be a tough one.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

It's Levi-O-sa, not Levio-SA

It baffles me to discover that some people - including my sister, SHAME ON YOU - have never read Harry Potter.  It's strange to hear that people only four or five years older than my generation - or even people the same age as me, for that matter - look at Harry Potter as childish, or stupid.

To be perfectly honest, Harry Potter has pretty much been my entire life.

I remember getting Chamber of Secrets from my aunt for Christmas in 1999.  I remember looking at the cover and trying to read a few pages before I decided it was stupid; I'd never heard of Harry Potter before and I simply wasn't interested.  (maybe the fact that it wasn't the first book deterred me from trying it out?) It wasn't until a year later that I happened upon Sorcerer's Stone that I decided to sit down and give it time.  Of course, I was hooked instantly, and I sped through the first three books in a flash.  Since then I've been buying each of the books the moment they were released, and the speed in which I'd finish each book quickly lowered despite the page count increasing.  For the record: 1. Harry and Hermione belong together, goddamnit, and 2. Nineteen Years Later disgusts me and I was very tempted to rip the pages out and just remain ignorant to them for the rest of my life.  Aside from those few missteps - and perhaps aside from the fact the books had to come to an end - I have no complaints, and I say to JK Rowling: you done good.

Of course, the movies are a different story, and I think I've seen all of them except for Prisoner of Azkaban on opening night.  I appreciate them as an entirely different medium that the books; I'm not one to leave the theaters with my nose in the air, complaining about how much the director cut out or how off a character's appearance or portrayal was.  Mind you, I still do note these things, but they don't bother me; picturing something different is inevitable since we imagined the world of Harry Potter differently in our minds.. and yeah, I do point out that they cut things out like Peeves or the Dursleys' goodbye, but I don't let that govern my feelings for the movies.  I love them all the same.

Shifting gears slightly: here is my half-assed review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part I), which I had the pleasure to see last night as soon as humanly possible for me.

I thought it was good.  Maybe pretty good.  Great?  No.  Amazing?  Not exactly?  OMG BEST HP MOVIE EVAR!!!!  Nowhere near.  (Order of the Phoenix holds that title.  Gorgeous movie)

Here's my reasoning.  (I realize I need to explain myself to pretty much the entire world) I was thoroughly entertained; by the end of it, it felt very short (reasons later); and when it hit the great notes, it hit them HARD.  The Seven Potters sequence was perfect; the Ministry invasion made me squirm in stress; Godric's Hollow made my skin crawl and I cowered quite a bit; and the Malfoy Manor finale was pretty much exactly how I imagined it, if not even better and more intense.  I felt close to wanting to shed a tear for our recently deceased [spoiler alert], but it never really hit me since I never overly liked the character.  Oh, and the animated Three Brothers tale was pretty damn impressive.  ...and oh, same with the locket stuff.

But the thing is: while there was a lot happening, it was a whole lot of nothing.  I never liked the camping-relocation deal they did in the book, and given that the book was split into two books, I knew that it was inevitable that the majority of the movie would be the great wilderness adventures.  I found myself wanting the camping stuff to wrap up, and it didn't help that a whole lot of the conflict was Ron-Hermione heavy.  (Although the movie was a bit of a dream for an ignorant H/Hr shipper) Another thing I didn't appreciate was the fact that the movie felt tailored for book readers; my sister, the shameful family association I have who hasn't read the book, admitted she was pretty confused by the end of the movie, and I see her point.  The movie relied on far too much remembrance of the previous movies to recall characters or plots or specific details (not a personal problem but I can't help but imagine my parents watching it), and significant details were rushed and easy to miss.  Even I didn't exactly hear Ron when he told Dobby to take Ollivander and Luna to Shell Cottage; of course I knew because I was looking out for it and anticipating it.

The final thing that bothered me - and maybe my bigger bother - was the fact that I couldn't get past the knowledge of knowing that the ONLY reason this movie exists is to set up the second half.  Plots began but weren't resolved; things like Bellatrix's hair landing on Hermione's jacket were clear things to set up the motions of the second film.  I get that plots couldn't get resolved since the book was split; I just felt that this movie was a bit of a cash grab, and that it merely (and only) sets the stage for Part II.

That being said, though, I'm itching for July.  I can't hardly wait.  I know, though, that I WILL cry when the last movie is over - this major part of my life will all be coming to a close.  And so I look to July 15th equal parts excruciating (Crucio!) anticipation and remorse.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ch-ch-changes, or: A note about blogs

As I've said before, I feel that the internet (especially things like Facebook, or in this case, blogs) is a slippery slope: it takes little for people to realize that they've shared far too much and that what they've shared is now visible by, technically, the entire world.  In that sense, that's where my argument deviates away from things like Facebook (where you can set privacy settings) and specifically zeroes in on blogs (where, in my case, it isn't exactly accessible by the entire world but rather is only read through referencing links that I myself have provided).  Despite having a much smaller audience, the fact of the matter remains: a personal piece of information willingly posted is still on the World Wide Web, and even though it isn't accessible to strangers (to mine or anyone's knowledge), it CAN be simply because it's there.

Now, I don't completely frown upon the sharing of information - I've pretty much said everything there is to say on my Facebook profile (my paranoia is nulled by the knowledge of there being privacy settings).  When considering blogs, I do realize that it's an outlet - perhaps even a therapeutic one - and that the word "blog" is pretty much a fancy term for "public online diary."  As I previously said, I don't frown upon getting personal; it merely comes down to a person's own discretion and their comfortability with their audience gaining personal insight, however deep it may be.

That being said, I'm not overly comfortable with it; I know my own discretion and line.  I'm not sure if you've noticed - if you haven't, bonus! - but a certain "infamous" blog post has ceased to exist, mainly because it was hanging over me like a black cloud and I was never fully comfortable with getting really, really personal (or at least by my standards).  That, plus a few more reasons (ah! too personal), caused me to hit the Delete button and even go back and re-read my previous entries and edit them with a Personal Filter switched on.  I was never too bad about that until recently.

On that note: I've noticed a LOT has changed since I started this.  Even the style of my writing has somehow matured - to be honest I look at my earliest posts and I hate hate hate the way that they're written.  Can't do much about that; can't restart everything since I've put so much into creating and writing and distributing (you'd be surprised at how affective just the one link on my FB profile is).

Perhaps the biggest difference - and one that relates to the first half of this glob of text making everything cohesive - is the shift in topic.  My blog has gone from a ridiculous satire peppered with occasional Matt branded outbursts or rants (still humourous) to something resembling what my diary would look like if I had one (I don't).  I've gone from talking about the idiots on Wheel of Fortune and Katy Perry's boobs to [topics deleted].

(In all reality, though, it really hasn't.  My last two posts were about Ke$h(it) and things I hate.  I guess what I really mean is the concentration of personal seriousness has increased in the more recent postings on my blog, and while it may not have been overly evident, it glared at me in the face)

And to that I vow a change.  I vow to edit my posts before I post them - not only skimming for over personal sharing, but for a nod of approval in the way I've written it (I never proofread my posts hence spelling mistakes or, in my case, horrible writing style).  The biggest of all: I plan to get back to the ridiculousness - I noticed I missed a prime opportunity for commenting on those Glee GQ pictures - but I plan to maintain an overall sense of professionalism and maturity.

All that being said: pop culture / daily life, let's start getting outlandish so that Matt can comment on you.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

More things I hate

Many things in this world bother me to the point of absolute frustration.  Here's a few more:
  • I really hate pedestrians.  Pedestrians are so goddamn stupid.  Just because you have the right of way doesn't mean you have the right to stop in the middle of the sidewalk at the end of my driveway when I was clearly going to start reversing and stare at me as if I was driving with the intent to mow you down; you also don't have the right to walk down the middle of an isle in a dark parking lot with absolutely no lighting and then curse at me when I suddenly have to swerve and slam on my breaks when I notice your stupid movement without any warning.  Have you noticed that when you "wrong" a pedestrian, they stand there and just stare at you, mouth hanging open?  Well get the fuck out of my way before I actually hit you, please and thanks.
  • I hate overachievers.  Take, for example, some kid in my Science Fiction course, who, today, raised his hand more than ten times and got to the point where my professor stopped his sentence, looked at him, and said "I NEED TO FINISH THIS."  Not to mention after class, things such as "I hate that guy" and "I want to stab him in the head" were overheard.
  • Not so much a clear cut "I hate ____", but rather a mini-rant at something that really bothers me.  I'm deeply bothered when it comes to the disrespecting of people's interests.  Now, in a relationship of any kind (friendship, familial - but mostly friendship since you can't choose your family), there's obviously common shared interests which drew you to the person in the first place (in addition to everything else that can possibly be shared in common with someone).  That being said, you're not contractually forced to like everything the other person does: in that sense, there's a mutual understanding to respect each other's interests.  For example, I don't watch hockey, but the person I'm thinking of doesn't particularly like Lady Gaga - that doesn't mean we hate each other and it doesn't mean we trash each other's investment in such interest (by the way I hope YOU don't mind I've used you as an example for that hahaha).  I don't appreciate when interests are forced onto me, so I don't force interests on others.  Sure, it works sometimes: you can suggest something or mention something you saw or heard; if the other person likes it then they like it.  If they don't, they don't, and we're at a respectful agreement.  When the line is crossed and a person's interests are disrespected.. that's when I'm not so happy.
  • Look, a second bullet for the same topic!  No, I'm not commenting on how some people might hate, say, Gaga (again) when I love her.  I don't care.  The instance that really sparked my fuse happened last night, so here's where I'll launch another "I hate ____": I hate when I'm told by someone to "chill out" because "it's just a movie" - gee, thanks, I had no idea Hogwarts and Harry Potter didn't exist.  NO WAY, now my heart is broken (by the way, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is what this specifically pertains to - I saw a commercial and noted how excited I was to see it and bummed that I'm without company to see it opening night and got the aforementioned response).  God forbid I grew up with something my whole life and that I show a level of excitement for a temporary, two and a half hour escape from this stressful world I'm living in now.  While I've long tolerated the indifference I get when I mention a trivia fact about something I like - I don't anymore - I won't stand for the instance where the fact that I like and enjoy something is looked at in a negative light.
  • I REALLY hate a certain professor.  Please don't scream at us when the class average is 54% - there's clearly fault in your "teaching methods."
  • In truth, I hate holidays; maybe more specifically, I hate the build up to holidays and how much I personally buy into them.  Take, for example, Christmas; I love the anticipation to Christmas Day, the commercials on TV and the decorations and the lights on every house down the street.  I hate that come Christmas Day you open two or three boxes and bam, "Christmas" is done by 9a.m., and it's just another run of the mill family dinner where conflict is bound to arise.
I hate many more things, but not enough to keep going.  I've given you enough hatred!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Tik tok, there goes your fifteen minutes


Try to tell me that this is not a sign of what's wrong with the world (or, at least, the music business): Bad Romance never reached number 1 because it was blocked by Tik Tok.  Tik Tok also lasted in the number 1 position for - get ready - nine weeks.  Flash forward to today, where We R Who We R only just debuted at the number 1 position, being only the 17th song in history to do so on the Billboard Hot 100.

(Before I go on, I realize there's already a few things to clear up in just my opening statements - shockingly all Gaga related: no, I'm not being biased to Lady Gaga.  I'm sorry, but even if you hate BOTH Lady Gaga and Ke$ha, you'd realize that Bad Romance is a FAR superior song, and I don't care what anybody says against that, it's that blatant.  Also, when I refer to stats and position numbers, I'm referring to the Billboard Hot 100, which I'd hazard is one of the most reputable charts there is, and it's certainly the one with the most weight and prestige.  Sure, Bad Romance might've hit number 1 on Kiss 92.5's Hot 3 countdown or Muchmusic's Top 30, but who gives a shit about those?)

In all reality, the reason why I love Lady Gaga so much is because the woman can sing.  There's no denying that - in fact I believe that her live show is persuasive enough to turn haters or indifferent minds into believers or even fans (I've witnessed this personally).  Yes, it's a truth that some of her songs do rely on autotune and the likes, but the fact of the matter is she doesn't use it as a crutch.  Unlike Ke$ha.

This rant isn't solely aimed at Ke$ha alone, but it just so happens that she is the embodiment of everything that's wrong with pop culture these days.  I remember the days where being famous meant having some sort of measurable talent, but now we're swarmed with lowlifes who get our money because we're lulled into thinking what they present is worth something.  The same can be said outside of the music industry: people like Paris Hilton, famous for nothing, or people like the cast of Jersey Shore, who are getting more money per club appearance than someone meaningful to society like a teacher or nurse makes in a year.

Again, yes, I'm a bit of a hypocrite (that seems to be a running theme with everything I post here - I take a stance and then can support the opposition).  I have Ke$ha on my iPod; I watch Jersey Shore.  I take these as nothing more than face value entertainment, and I can say that I'm in no way supporting Ke$ha's music career as all the songs of hers I have are illegal.  So as I said - brainless entertainment.  From brainless entertainers.  To be perfectly honest, though, I wouldn't be missing anything without these things in my life - another sign that their presence is really unnecessary.  I watch or listen to that type of "garbage" as just that - garbage, or popcorn entertainment.  If I want something more meaningful, I'll switch the station or even talk myself out of the digital age and open a book.

I can see a faint light ahead: Ke$ha actually shows some level of vocal capability in her newest song Cannibal, where she revisits the "ooh-ooo-oh-ooo-oh-oooh" from her first song Tik Tok (you'll have to get past the growls, the grunts, and the lyrics such as "I am cannibal!" or "now that I'm famous, you're up my anus."  Can't believe I typed that.  Who the fuck writes that?).  Mind you, that could just be the autotune singing.

When it comes down to it, though, I think the only people/singers that deserve to be famous are those who are capable of giving us the real deal in real life.  Think: how was someone like Ke$ha discovered if she literally can't sing live?  You surely must exhibit some sort of talent before being ushered into a studio where you can mask your lack of talent behind computers.  That's why I'm a firm believer of why a person's live capability of talent should be a measure of their success.  That's also why I'm a fan of Lady Gaga; she goes as far to have an acoustic version of EVERY song, and if you strip down the computer effects and you get raw talent.

I'll just sit around and wait until people like Ke$ha fizzle out.  I don't give it long; but then again, you never know.  I'm looking at the same society that puts a garbage song like We R Who We R straight to the top of a chart based on sales.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Free falling

First, let me say again that the internet, specifically blogs and other personal outlets of the sort, are all slippery slopes; too easy is it for us to quickly lose our censors, to get too personal for our own goods.  In this respect, I'm a hypocrite: I'm sure I've divulged personal things here - none all too personal, of course - and likely the few sentences I have planned in my mind might overstep my hypocritical boundaries.

I'm on cloud nine.  It definitely helps that I think I aced the test I wrote but two hours ago - thank god for CAUUCA and UGUAGUA (read them aloud.  That's how we study around here at UTM).  But seriously, I think I've fallen.  Hard.  Like down two flights of stairs hard.

Stopping there; the point about this was that I'm obscenely happy.  The forthcoming week looks like a good one.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saturday, October 23, 2010

To you

I can remember the summer after graduation.  I remember the times where a plan with friends would fall through, and I'd be a bit disappointed (or, at least until I'd go to sleep; I'd forget about it in the morning).  I remember my mom always asking why - my parents usually ask mid-day "are you doing something?" and I would answer "probably" - and I answer I don't know; she'd then say "you're going to university in a few months anyways, and you probably won't talk to these high school friends anymore."

It's funny to me that some people are shocked to know that the greatest friends I have in my life are the ones that I've known since my age was in the single digits (or in one case since grade eleven) and STILL talk to, see most, and ultimately love.  Extended family, hearsay comments from other people - all saying that it's an oddity that I'm still as good as friends with these people that I was back in the time where we'd see each other daily.

And I say to them: what's so strange?

I don't see how growing up and moving away (well, in everyone's cases but mine) should serve as a splinter to the quality of friendship between two [a group] of people.  I'm sure distance plays a factor in other friendships - I can see that maybe going to school across the country might make maintenance hard but even then, friendships can stay as strong as ever.  That being said, it doesn't even apply to me - my best friends all go to school probably about an hour (give or take) in all directions from the Burlington mothership (not to mention that four of us represent UofT).

Now, of course, I've made my own friends at school - otherwise I wouldn't be a functioning person.  But I wonder, Did (for example) my mother expect that new friends automatically equate to replacement friends?  I value the friends I've made on my own, and when I made these friends, I didn't do so to replace the others; nor are they "placeholders" - meaning that every friend I have I value as much as the other, regardless of how long I've know them.

I think the fact that I still have my same best friends is only a testament to the type of people that they are.  I've long thought that assigning measures of "effort" in a friendship is ludicrous - the fact that none of us need to put "effort" into talking to each other daily (or even sometimes, dare I say, weekly), I think, shows the level of friendship.  We're comfortable with each other, and we know that in x amount of weeks when we reassemble, it'll be as if we'd seen each other just the day before.  Initially, yes, friendship requires effort; by this point, when you love a person/people enough, effort isn't a necessity.  I may argue that friendship might thrive completely in the void of effort; instead, it thrives through being natural.

Point is, after all those words that circle themselves over and over (I have that tendency), I needed to say how much I love them.  (I would've put the word 'you' but that's broad, and then I'd look like a jerk if I had to put a disclaimer saying something like 'oh... not you' ... but then maybe I do love you, even if you don't fall under the specific group of people I'm referencing ... or maybe I simply don't like you at all.  You probably wouldn't like me... so then why are you reading this blog? ... I'll leave it at 'them')*  Now that we're older, we're all much wiser (mostly), and the memories we create are that much more memorable.  Almost in a stick-it to my mom, to my extended family, to anyone scratching their heads - I'm very sure that these are the same people that I'll be friends with in ten years.  In fact, I expect to make speeches at all of their weddings.

I hope this at least made them smile.  To you!


* the credibility of this blog post just plummeted.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Things you probably didn't know about me

I suck at updates!  To be honest lately I literally don't have much to talk about.  There hasn't been much going on in my life noteworthy; there isn't much I feel like reviewing or critiquing or yelling about.  I could rant about the GQ Glee photoshoot that Lea Michele and Dianna Agron did but a) it'll probably end up looking a bit like my Katy Perry post and b) I'll definitely end up being very biased to one of the two (shame on you Lea! Dianna.. carry on)

I've had the idea of doing a little "about me" post for a while, but rather than listing the things you probably already know about me, I've decided to list things you probably DON'T know about me, ranging from easy going trivia to (borderline in-depth) opinions.


I can't sing.  I wish I could.  My casting in JCS was largely due to Mr Guidice liking me - I don't even think I sang for the audition, and when they asked if I had a song prepared from the musical I gave a firm "no" and they retorted with an "ok, bye."  I sing a lot to myself when I'm alone or when I'm driving, but I'm so off-key it's embarrassing.

I have this love for animals.  It kills me when I hear about animal violence; to be honest I'm not overly comfortable when I consider the meat I eat.  In that sense, I can understand the vegetarian point of view, but I know that at this point in my life I wouldn't be able to do it.

Life's dream: being a contestant on Wheel of Fortune.

I've never seen a vast majority of classic Disney cartoons.  Cinderella - nope.  Pocahontas, Bambi, Dumbo - none of them.

I love reality television.  I've watched Survivor since the first season - yeah, impressive - but this is the first year that I've looked at it and I've decided not to watch.  I think after 20 or so seasons it's all been the same to me.

Although we live in such a technological communicating society I find I still don't fully understand it.  I sign on facebook daily now out of obligation; there's really nothing I do other than play Bejeweled Blitz for ridiculous amounts of time.  While I'm constantly attached to my Blackberry and feel lost when I don't have it on me, I really don't see such a necessity for constant contact.  Blackberry Messenger might've been the worst thing that's ever happened to me in that sense - I'm at my most accessible in a physical and literal sense, though not quite mentally.  In the same realm, I feel like the internet is a bit of a slippery slope at times; I could even interchange the word "internet" for "blog" but since I'm a blogger I'd sound like a hypocrite.  At times, a person completely logged on to the technological society can open themselves a bit too far; can burn bridges without discretion.  Because of that, you don't see much personal ongoings here - you see things about Katy Perry's boobs and yetis.

I'm fairly absent minded; I say things without putting any weight behind them, and the times where another person were to go "what?" are times of weakness.  I've always thought I'm opinionated - in fact, I can say I'm very opinionated - but my problem is I'm not so expressive.  I can make my mind up on something, but I don't have enough fact or proof behind it.  In a debate, I'd win due to being too stubborn.


Expect a sequel of sorts to this - much like, and I promise, some more entries to the Things I Hate vault.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Staring at a wall

This post is a bit of a hodge-podge of topics, though I think they're all cohesive enough with an underlying theme tying them all together.  (I'm such an English student)

First off: my updating skills have been absolutely HORRIBLE, and for that I apologize.  When was my last post, a week ago?  Again, apologies - though I'm not sure if I have any readers frequent enough to care.  (Maybe one or two)  I think it's a combination of two things: that there's nothing going on in my life (more to come later) and that the only big event occurring has been pain, pain and pain (more to come... now!).

As I've previously talked about to DEATH, my wisdom teeth were pulled on Tuesday.  Tuesday night was a bloody mess - do I intend the pun?  Oh yes - and overall my Glee watching experience was not a positive one (it does not help that Quinn has been snatched).  Wednesday was considerably better, but I decided not to chance school, since I had to be there Thursday for an exam; I decided to bide my health and not push it.  But here we are now: wounds healed, I believe; pain to a minimum, stifled by a heavy dose of painkillers; but more importantly, and most unfortunately, a knot of paranoia in my stomach.

I stupidly have scared myself into a corner after reading countless horror stories of post-wisdom teeth removal horror stories - now I'm convinced that I'm developing dry sockets, but I'll spare you the gory details: in a nutshell, they involve the fact that I used a straw immediately after surgery, dislodged a blood clot, and am now (mentally?) experiencing sharp pains (even penetrating the painkill of the pain..killers) even up to my eye.  That's what google told me, being signs of dry sockets.  And now I'm at another standstill, wondering if I'll wake up in the morning to excruciating pain.  Time will tell.  I hate time.

The other big topic tied to my discomfort with staring at a theoretical wall is the reminder that I'm alone in Burlington - again.  Not that anything's changed from the last time I've lamented about this - just the fact that last weekend, Thanksgiving, I had all my loved best friends at home and in one place again; and technically, come the end of the weekend, I had to go through another sort of goodbye, I'll still be here, that I've done time and time again.  My Friday night is so far consisting of watching CSI reruns and playing classic Pokemon Gold (YUP!), and it makes me slightly unhappy knowing what's beyond my walls, my city.  Aaaanyways.

Blah blah lament lament

Tomorrow has something going for it, definitely: Wonderland!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Gridlock

I'm stressing as hell about my upcoming wisdom teeth removal.  Perhaps what's stressing me out worse is the week I have after Tuesday's surgery: an English paper due in class on Wednesday, an Ecology midterm on Thursday, and a planned trip to Wonderland's Halloween Haunt on Saturday.

My dentist has already patronized me and practically yelled that I'm "not taking this surgery seriously."  Okay, well - I'm a UNIVERSITY STUDENT.  This is beyond inconvenient.  You think I planned to have an essay and a midterm right after my damn wisdom teeth were pulled?

And nearly everyone I've talked to about my dilemma looks at me with a dire, stone cold face.  Nobody's assured me that maybe, MAYBE I'll be healthy enough to go to school on Wednesday to at least hand in my essay; instead, I get horror stories of doom about how I won't even be able to walk the day after.  I've accepted that I'd have to go bruised and swollen; and yes, I know that my healing will be entirely up to chance and yes, it doesn't look so good, but I'd like some maybes or blind assurance.

Am I royally fucked?  Will I miss the deadline to physically hand in my paper, and will I be completely stoned when trying to write an exam?  I hate that this is up to chance, and I hate that I have to sit and wait until the day of.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Matt's Guide to the Creatures of UTM

I promise you, this will be the most ridiculous thing you will ever read.


Arguably, things I hate became one of the more popular posts here, specifically the part about the yeti.  I thought to myself: Well, there are a whole lot of yetis at UTM that aren't even yetis.  Instead, in the woods of Mississauga, there lives a whole hoard of mythical creatures - and by that I mean people that me and my friends have singled out and given nicknames.
  • The YETI.  Quickly becoming one of the most popular creatures, we see the Yeti around a lot.
  • YAN.  Everyone knows this guy.  No explanation needed.  (pretty much, he's a SUPER awkward guy who is always in every lecture and every tutorial/lab for some reason.. he has absolutely NO social skills, and yeah you can look at me and call me rude, but he constantly hovers around you breathing his stank breath and unwelcomely interjects with the weirdest things)
  • The GING.  Yan's main squeeze.  But by that I mean the girl he usually stalks around and awkwardly inserts himself into her conversations much to her displeasure.
  • BUCKBEAK.  Originally the creepy guy who stared at one of my friends in his calculus tutorial, I coined the name Buckbeak because one calculus class we were like "let's assign Harry Potter names" (...) and he certainly resembles a hippogriff.  A new revelation is that he added another of my friends on facebook, somehow knowing her full name.
  • The RABBIT.  A girl who looks like a rabbit who cut in front of me at the vending machines once.  Bitch.
  • PLASTIC MOUSE.  A former roommate of a friend, this girl's face looks fake like a plastic mask while at the same time looking like a rodent.
  • SALLY SLUR.  One out of two of Plastic Mouse's minions.  She has a slur.
  • DEIDRIKA McWEAVE.  The second of the minions.  Some girl who everyone thinks is hot but she has this limp ugly weave extension.
  • The GRIZZLY BEAR.  Some guy in my Science Fiction class who looks like an awkward grizzly bear who constantly talks about the ENDING of each of the books out loud and obnoxiously.  He's spoiled 2/3 for me.
  • The CRAZY RUSSIAN GUY.  Another famous one everyone can recognize around campus.  A crazy looking Russian guy who literally runs around campus with a rolly backpack and is always wearing a full on suit.
  • STANKFACE.  Not a personal nickname (I'm responsible for most); he's a guy who has a lot of common classes with me and my friends, and one of my friends has a serious problem with his face for some reason.
  • The SICKLY GIRL.  A girl who weighs 50 pounds.  I'm sure of it.
  • PORKO.  The biggest of them all.  This charmer barrels toward you in the search of food.
  • STARBURST GIRL.  Why would you wear neon purple pants, a neon orange shirt, and have a neon purple bag?
  • And the greatest of them all.. SNUBBULL.
I hope I'm not forgetting anyone!

By the way, yeah, this can be taken as pretty mean, but more importantly I've meant this as a joke.  It's not like many people read this blog, and of those people I will bet all of my limbs that anyone mentioned doesn't read this, let alone know my name.