Tuesday, August 31, 2010

We'll still have the summer after all

It's August 31st.

Four months ago, I started my glorious summer break.  Four months ago, I stressed about school, but decided to push it off until "its relevant."  Well, now it is.  Summer's over, and school starts in a week.  I'm mostly upset, though partially relieved that my life is going to completely shift gears into something fresh and new.  No guarantees that I'll feel the same after a month or so, begging once more for the summer months to come quickly.

This summer I got my first job.  I know right?  About time you lazy moose.  I enjoyed the last bit of April and all of May without work, but figured something actually had to be done about the finance situation.  So as if by a rift in the space time continuum, or by divine intervention, I was hired somewhere.  I did enjoy it, and I still actually do, but anyone who I've talked to knows my frustration with the amount of shifts I've gotten, or more precisely, the complete LACK.  I'm now conflicted as to whether or not I should keep it through the year; I could do weekends, but I don't want my shiny one shift a week to interrupt plans.  It's hard now being the only one not moving away, my friends in different places all around me, and I know I want to use my time off from class to make a world tour of campus visits.

This summer I got the chance to travel to Costa Rica.  The trip overall was a bit of a nightmare, including three room changes due to no air conditioning or septic smells, a lost wedding ring, a temporarily lost cellphone, and to cap it all off, a horrible injury.  Aside from all that, the weather was nice, the scenery amazing, the sun hotter than hell.  I also went zip-lining through the rainforest, which was indescribable, and I'm completely grateful that I can say I've experienced that in my life.

This summer I saw Lady Gaga for the third time, and for the last time (for now).  I know, it's a bit extreme, seeing the same over and over, but we know how much I love her and how much she changed everything from tour to tour, so honestly, it's a different experience every time.  I'm waiting for new material, so that I don't waste money on the same setlist.  There's only so many times I care to see Teeth performed live.  (yeah I hate that song)

This summer, aside from all that, I didn't do much.  There were weeks on end where I'd go without contact from any of my friends, and where I stayed around the house watching movies or aimlessly surfing the net or writing, because, yes, this summer I actually started and am still writing a story.  I can't say I'm ever pleased with what I write, but the fact is that I had enough motivation this summer to start that I'm still rolling.  I didn't go many places this summer aside from the traveling; Wonderland still remains a mystery to my 2010 self, but I look forward to the Halloween Haunt and repeating the good times from last year.

Can I say I'm happy with my summer?  To some extent.  I think it depends on the day or week; it was a roller coaster from fun to boredom to fulfilled expectations to some unfulfilled.  Like I said, I'm partially glad that I'm going back to school, just for the change of pace.  It'll be a different story Tuesday morning.

X-Men: The Last Straw

Of any post here, I'm sure that this'll be the one with the least possibility of an audience, and I might be lucky if you read it at all, because I know what you're thinking: lol, X-Men.  Anyways.

I've always been a huge fan of superheroes; I love the mythology, I love the science fiction, or even oppositely at times, I love the realism.  There's just always been something about the idea of having superpowers that I've been infatuated with.  Of any, I love X-Men the most.  I used to watch that god awful cartoon every Saturday morning as a kid.  I remember pretending picnic tables were the X-Jet, and whoever I pretended to be depended on who I was with.  (I was usually Cyclops. Represent) So, naturally, I kept the interest as I grew up, getting more into it with different video games (I guess by normal standards I'm a "gamer"; but come on, arcade X-Men fighting video games are AWESOME), and yes, I even read X-Men comics.  (Not anymore - I swear to you - considering the timeline I kept up with religiously was discontinued a few years ago)

Yes, I even loved the movies.  The first one, I was always proud that my uncle was a part of the crew (it's true, he worked on the lighting), and I absolutely LOVE the fact that they filmed it at SPENCER SMITH PARK, meaning that yeah, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry and James Marsden DID in fact hop over those big rusty chains, "approaching" the Statue of Liberty.  Even if you're no fan, how cool is that?  The second one was miles better, and for a while X2 was my favourite movie; that is, until 2006.

X-Men: The Last Stand came out, and I think I saw that four times in theaters.  Even then, I was aware of how sloppy and lazy the movie was, and how it paled in comparison to its predecessors; but at the time, I was tired of having kept up with the production for over a year that I was in awe with finally witnessing everything on screen, seeing a new group of characters jump from the page (or out of the 90's flashy cartoon costumes) in front of my eyes in motion.

Then I watched it again this past Sunday.

To be honest, it's probably one of the worst movies I've ever seen in my life.  Anyone who's seen it, I'm sure you can attest to that.  The complete shift from the greatness of the first two is too jarring to ignore; the characters who had grown and become complex are now completely wasted, either dying after five minutes of screentime or becoming background characters, completely irrelevant and useless.  It's truly one of the most sloppy movie I've seen.  It's blatant that they went for ACTIONACTIONACTION with nothing past that.  The dialogue is cringe-worthy and embarrassing.  It's full of mistakes, too, including perhaps the most inexcusable mistake I've ever witnessed - even my dad, who is completely oblivious to anything in movies except for explosions, said "Come on!" when the goof in question occurred.  I can't even explain it without shaking my head, but to keep it concise, it's basically that in one shot it's complete daylight and in the very next shot with the same positions and no time lapse, it's pitch black.  Really?

To be honest, though, when it hit the right notes, it really hit them.  My favourite scene of the trilogy happens about mid-movie, the fight between Jean and the Professor at her house.  Pretty amazing, but not enough to excuse the poor excuse for an X-Men movie.  Phoenix sucked; instead of a fiery god we get a zombie with black eyes who has bad PMS.  They eliminate the main character of the comics, Cyclops, after five minutes of screen time; I felt a bit of relief that this wimp version of the character was put out of its misery, but it's still inexcusable that they shifted team leader and Jean-lover to Wolverine.  Characters who used to be badasses in other versions are now background filler, taking a backseat so that Halle Berry can prance around, gloating of her role and pay increase.  But I digress.

The movie pretty much destroyed any credibility the franchise had, and was strictly and blatantly a cash cow.  It succeeded in that aspect.

I don't even want to talk about X-Men Origins: Wolverine, because that movie is a travesty, and I hate Wolverine.  It's sad when people refer to the X-Men movies as "Wolverine 1-4", I've seen it happen.

I do have a bit of faith, though.  X-Men: First Class officially starts filming today; a prequel to the events of the first movie WITHOUT Wolverine (thank god) set in the 60's with a sleek, retro and global feel.  Awesome.  It's also got a pretty heavy hitting cast, starring James McAvoy (Atonement, Wanted) as Professor X, Michael Fassbender (Inglorious Basterds) as Magneto, January Jones (Mad Men) as Emma Frost (WOOO), and freaking Kevin Bacon as the villain Sebastien Shaw.  I'm overjoyed to be seeing some new characters on screen (the Hellfire Club, Banshee, Havok), and I pray it's a quality film.  We'll see in June.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Can I have an X?

It's my life long dream to be a contestant on Wheel of Fortune.  For as long as I can remember I've watched the show, starting as a little kid and watching it with my grandma.  She still lights up when we're together around 7pm and I say, Wanna watch Wheel of Fortune? with a smile.  Last year I even applied to be a contestant, but no dice, obviously.  It's a bit farfetched, and they pick old people.

They also pick idiots.

Take, for instance, the episode I'm now viewing.  It's College Week.  This girl seems alright.  Seems smart.  Well...

The puzzle's subject was College Life, how fitting and sickeningly humourous.  I don't want to brag (bragging about guessing a Wheel of Fortune puzzle.. yeah I'm a loser.  It's a reoccurrance lately) but I figured it out after a few letters up on the board.  I've always been good with word puzzles.  This bright young female didn't get it quite as quickly, and I get it, not everyone is quick to solve.  The more she called out letters the more it became obvious that she didn't know what it was, as she called out all the letters of the last word in order.  Again, whatever.  But the puzzle now looks like this:

_ e i n _
_ r a n t e _
s c h o l a r s h i p

And what does she guess?  "Can I have a W?"  The sound in the audience only highlighted how stupid she is, as they all gasped and groaned.  YOU IDIOT.  Now I purposely didn't tell you what the puzzle was - "being granted a scholarship" - and honestly, even if you, my wonderful reader, DIDN'T know what the answer was, I'm sure you would have logically deduced that there must be a "d" at the end of the second word, and there must be a "g" at the end of the first, thereby revealing the g in "granted," also.  Even if you didn't figure out either of those letters, were lucky, or didn't know what the puzzle was, I know you knew that a "w" would not fit.  Wein_?  _einw?  Wrante_?  _rantew?

I get that there's pressure when you know you're playing for thousands of dollars and are on national television, but it gets under my skin when I know I'd slaughter my opponents if I were ever on the show, but instead have to sit back and watch stupid, stupid people.

If I were ever on the show, I'd keep spinning for maximum winnings; I wouldn't guess the puzzle when there's a huge amount of money to be made (people do that.  "Can I solve?"  No the fuck you can't.  Go make money); I'd guess letters appearing more than once when I land on high amounts on the wheel (people don't do this.  If there's clearly a multiple, and you've landed on $5000, please guess it, and don't guess the lone Z).  Above all, I'd win, and I'd look good doing it.  Until then, I'm fine with yelling at my TV.

A life, you say? No no, none of that


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fear factor

To be completely honest, I'm a very faint hearted person; it doesn't take much to scare me or to make me jump out of my skin.  I'm afraid of clowns; I have a paralyzing fear of snakes (so much so that I feel my blood freeze and my heart skips beats when I see one in the pet store.. hence the pet store is on the list of places to avoid); I've always been unnerved when I'm in the dark, alone or otherwise; I picture the scariest things possible in my mind and convince myself that they're in my room when I'm trying to fall asleep or they're around the corner when I'm forced to make the perilous journey to my bedroom after hours.

I think one of the things I'm most terrified of in this world, even though fictitious, is the idea of an exorcism.

I've never seen The Exorcist in it's entirety, and I have no plans to.  However, I know almost everything about the plot and the disturbing events of the movie - it's something I do, read up on movie plots and trivia; I know, that sounds like a loser thing to do, but I'm so into movies that I just read about everything, know about every upcoming film, and clearly my seemingly neverending knowledge on movies (even those I've never seen) is no doubt in part to my constant surfing of IMDB.com.  Anyways, I digress, point being that I know the sequence of events of The Exorcist that I can practically say I've seen it.  I'm perfectly content never hearing the demon's voice.

However.. the face.  I'd never have imagined I would have become so emotionally distraught by just an IMAGE.  With my luck I stumble upon a picture of Linda Blair almost daily (the dangers of the internet), in her bloody and devilish glory.  (in fact, it's never my fault - there was a picture of the bitch on KISS92.5'S WEBSITE.  The fuck.)  Writing this, I'm picturing her face, and it's literally giving me chills, and I can guarantee myself I'll have nightmares about it tonight.  The truth is the image has even gone so far as to give me night terrors, where I wake up in such an utter state of fear that the darkness surrounding me causes me to take an even longer time to calm myself down.

(By the way, if one was to ever link me to a picture of the girl from The Exorcist.. I honestly don't think I'd be able to forgive them.  That's just proof of the EXTENT of the damage this image has put on my mind.  coughSteph)

Even the spoof at the beginning of Scary Movie 2 scares me pretty bad.  Again, it's the cut up face and the vacant eyes.  Kudos to the make-up department.

Now that being said, I've seen movies like Exorcism of Emily Rose.  To be honest I laughed during it.  Yes, the idea of demonic possession was still quite unnerving to me - I didn't like the idea, I didn't like the horror prying on beliefs, so I guess in that aspect the movie did its job.  It just didn't have the same weight as The Exorcist, and I know I might be "unqualified" to make that assumption having never seen The Exorcist, but again, my well of movie knowledge is good enough to say that I can.  I think another big factor is maybe the fact that Emily Rose is Deb on Dexter, and I love Deb, or maybe the fact that her face wasn't cut up.

I'm usually able to suppress thoughts about the idea for good amounts of time, provided I don't see the image online.  The commercials for The Last Exorcism lately haven't been doing me much good.  Again, no cut up face, but I think this time I'm being most affected by the grittiness of the movie, the realism they've cemented. Maybe another factor is the fact that she's loose, unlike my good friend Regan, who spends the majority of her possession tied to her bed.  Good thinking, priests.

Now, I know what you're thinking: Grow the fuck up, Matt.  You're probably even thinking that I'm very pathetic, talking about how just a .jpg has caused me to become a bigger scaredy-cat that Shaggy or Scooby Doo.  And I say, go ahead.  I don't care.  This is me, this is real, and that's that.

What say you: would watching The Exorcist cure my irrational fear, or would it make matters worse?  I tend to think it might be the same philosophy as, say, driving.  Driving a car terrified me, and therefore I stayed away from it, only increasing the fear in my mind whenever I could.  Now I'm completely fine with it, and even enjoy it (not saying that I'll enjoy the movie after I watch it.. fat chance).  Or would watching the movie damage me even further?  I'm not entirely sure.  I just know today's not the day.

Or tomorrow.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Smile for the (papa-) paparazzi

Why is it that whenever someone pulls out their camera to say, "Smile!", I feel like I'm completely ready for a great picture, feel like I'm looking like
But then I see the final photograph, and I look a little bit like
Why, God?  Why have you punished me with the gift of being so unphotogenic?

NOTE:  I don't actually think I look like Brad Pitt; in fact I don't actually feel like I'm overly attractive at all.  Similarly, I definitely do NOT think I look like Fergie, either (even though we know that Fergie is a post-op man).  It's all just a humourous representation of how good I think I may look before the camera's flash and how bad I actually do look after.  So let's all lol together.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Let the Right One Remain an Original

Dear Hollywood,

Was there any real necessity to remake a perfectly good movie released only two years ago, just so that Americans don't have to read subtitles?

Yours truly,

Based and the novel of the same name by John Ajvide Lindqvist, Let the Right One In was a 2008 Swedish film following Oskar, a twelve year old severely bullied at school and who dreams of violently squaring revenge on his tormentors.  He then meets Eli, about twelve herself, who just moved into his apartment complex.  Eli is strange; she smells, she's cold, and she's dressed inappropriately for the weather, barefoot and in a flimsy shirt despite the winter temperatures (yes, she's a vampire).  They began a strange relationship; curiously, Eli's appearance correlates with a sudden murder in Oskar's neighbourhood..

The book on which the movie is based is truly amazing; the amount of subplots and characters interwoven and unknowingly connected unfolds at an accelerated rate with unbelievable suspense.  The movie, of course, omits more unnecessary characters to keep the pace constant, all the while capturing the core of the book - the strange relationship between the young Oskar and the seemingly young Eli - in beautiful visuals.  It's tough for me to pick which I preferred.

Although in Swedish, with subtitles, I found myself forgetting that I was reading nearly ten minutes into the movie - not that it impacted much, as dialogue is sparse throughout the film.  Visually, the movie is absolutely stunning; being a bit of a fan of cinematography in movies I was in heaven with this movie.  Due to an Academy loophole, the movie was unable to be submitted for the Best Foreign Film Oscar, even though Sweden had selected it as its candidate.  Although the movie is centered around vampires with occasional flashes of intense gore, it stands as an incredible film from a cinematic point of view.

Imagine my reaction when learning it was rushed into being remade for North American audiences, due in your theaters on October 1st.

The story has been Americanized.  Oskar is no longer Oskar; Oskar is now Owen.  Eli, changed to Abby - thus effectively eliminating a plot point (I'd say, but I'd spoil too much).  If fact, one of the biggest plots (and twists) of both the book and original movie has been removed, in fears of it being "too intense" for American audiences.

You know, all it comes down to is Americans - or, more correctly, North Americans, including us - are too fucking lazy to even consider watching a movie in a different language with subtitles.  There was no reason to remake this movie aside from that; sure, it's considered to some to be a classic, and classics are as of late being remade; but the movie came out TWO YEARS AGO.  In no way is it outdated; in no way did it need a twenty-first century face lift.  Coupled with the laziness of this generation, the remake is an obvious attempt to keep relevant to the sudden influx of vampire pop culture.

To play my own devil's advocate, the director seems passionate about the source material - both the original and the book - and seems genuinely excited about the film.  The footage in the trailers nearly seems like a carbon copy of the original's imagery, which might be a good thing for the remake, since the original was so beautifully shot.  On the flip side, it could be viewed upon as lazy copying.  Also, the kids playing the two leads are respectable and good actors - Boy from The Road, and Hit Girl from Kick-Ass.

Sure, you can sit there and decide I'm just a stubborn believer against remakes, but that may very well be the case.  I fail to see any reason that such an excellent film needed to be remade.  Distribution to a wider audience isn't a valid reason, as the Blockbuster ten minutes away from my house had three copies of the original.

All I can say is... if Pan's Labyrinth is the next on the list to be remake, there'll be hell to pay.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Cinema Studies, Shakespeare & Stress

With about two weeks (give or take a few days) left until my sophomore year in university starts, I can't help but feel the stress mount with every passing minute.  I feel like I'm going into this year a fresh new student all over again, experiencing all the fears I've already overcome once more.

The fears of the new and unknown come with the fact that I've completely switched my area of study for this year.  As you probably already know, I went through a bit of a rough year as a forensic science student; my grades were absolutely abysmal, no doubt a result of a combination of a lack of interest, calculus, and a certain chemistry professor.  In a way, I'm thankful (despite my now permanent deficit when considering my GPA), as it took failure to prove to my parents that, Hey, I'm an English student, you fools.  Although they still occasionally shake their heads and lecture me on the "dead ends" of an English degree, they've come to terms.  To some extent.

The fact that I've switched majors means that I'm going into second year not knowing the basic fundamentals about how humanities courses work; thankfully, my first semester is a bit of a "transition," as I consider it, since I have both my biology courses then with a few English, as if to culture me before I dive into a semester of strictly humanities come the winter.

There's also a massive stress put on my shoulders - that I NEED to excel this year.  If I falter, I'll get the "I told you so" from my parents (along with a good yelling).  I'm going into what I've said to be my greatest strength, and there's no room for any error.  If I can get over that stress, or if I can quickly start pulling off good marks, I'm sure that stress'll fade.  A bit.

We'll see how the year goes.  If all else fails I'll become a friendly hobo.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

She's got both hands in her pockets

It's no secret I'm a huge fan of Lady Gaga; saying "huge fan" might not even cut it.  Instead, words like "obsessed" or "crazy" or "crazy obsession" would fit the bill a bit more.  So, with this, I suppose I'll recount the history of myself becoming a bigger and bigger fan of the world's greatest artist, and I'll definitely be addressing the fact that Ms Germanotta has become such a huge gay icon, and the effect that has on me being a straight male fan.

It was 2008.  The song Just Dance started circulating the airwaves, and a great deal of people started to take notice; in fact, my friends, some of whom don't like Gaga at all nowadays, were onboard with the Just Dance craze.  It wasn't until a results show of So You Think You Can Dance did I first see Lady Gaga perform, where she donned the glasses which spewed the message Pop Music Will Never Be Low Brow, extreme shoulder pads, and a leotard covering next to nothing, crotch-wise.  Met with strange looks from the friends I watched the show with, I'd say, Come on guys, that's Lady Gaga!

Come August, when The Fame was released in Canada, I figured I liked Just Dance enough to check out the rest of the CD.  Appearing on my iPod in alphabetical order, the first song to come on was Again Again - and, by the time it was over, I couldn't bring myself to move on to the next song without playing the song again, again, again.  Even now it's one of my favourites.  In all honesty, the amount of songs I like on The Fame is greatly outweighed by the songs I DISLIKE.  I hate Poker Face.  I'm no fan of Money Honey or Brown Eyes or Beautiful Dirty Rich; however the amount of love I invested in the songs I did like more than compensated, and it was enough to cement myself as a fan.

The hits rolled on, the outfits got more outrageous, and more and more people took notice, though developed their own dislike for the singer.  I survived the Poker Face era, hating the song, though grateful that it propelled her to such fame; I was indifferent with LoveGame, feeling that it was superficial and honestly immature and embarrassing to hear on the radio; Paparazzi was next, my absolute favourite from The Fame, though it was my mom's least favourite, so I never got to appreciate it on the radio much.  At that point, if ever, was the time that I was becoming a big fan.  The video was the first of hers to become an event, and the accompanying performance at the VMAs was amazing, what with the blood and the hanging and the chill-inducing vocals.

The point that I became a massive, obsessive fan was when I had the opportunity to see her live, the night before the MMVAs, at the Kool Haus.  Being ten feet away from her onstage is an indescribable feeling; the magnetitude of experiencing the full blown force of her talent was UNREAL.

By that point, The Fame era was coming to a close, and The Fame Monster began to flourish, coming with a change in Gaga.  At first I was leery; I loved the bubbly Fame outfits and personality, and with the change came a confusion: Why does she look so different?  At first I thought it was a nose job, but I came to accept that it was maturity, and the loss of bangs with her wigs and heavy makeup.  At this point, her music videos became colossal events, and the album spawned bigger hits - Bad Romance, Telephone, my personal and all-time favourite Alejandro.  I saw her twice during this era; once, only days after The Fame Monster was released, and as I witnessed The Monster Ball 1.0 she thanked the crowd for knowing the lyrics to every new song despite only having days to do so; the second time, just a month ago, with the revamped setlist and stage (2.0) though the shame sheer force of talent onstage in underwear.  I eagerly await the release of her next album, to come in early 2011 with the title to be revealed as a tattoo on her body; until then, I'll bide the time by listening to the steady stream of unreleased song leaks I shamelessly play on repeat.

No more of that nostalgia.

The thing I've struggled most with as being a fan of Lady Gaga is the fact that she's become such a big advocate for the gays.  She makes it clear she loves her gay fans.  She spoils herself with glamour and has made a big part of her image about fashion.  Her songs are pure pop.

Let me say that I have absolutely nothing against the gays; in fact I can say I support them.  Love is love.  Nobody has a right to impose on a person who they can and cannot love.

Being a straight male, I've found it hard to be such an open fan of Lady Gaga, for reasons quite obvious.  Being a male and liking such a gay icon, I've been subject to accusations that I'm a homosexual - I'm sure if anyone knows me and has lurked my Formspring they'll see that harassment is nearly a daily routine, and that certain assholes are completely unable to accept the fact that, hello, I am straight, I've said so, and really, there's nothing above that than the person saying so themselves.  Idiots are idiots.  That being said, I find that I can't wear a Lady Gaga shirt in public without thoughts in my direction, equating "Male + Lady Gaga fan = gay."

This all culminates to this thought: I'm angry that in today's society, things are labeled "straight" and "gay" interests or habits or opinions or anything.  Sports: "straight."  I don't play sports because I'm "gay", but because I'm straight with no coordination.  Lady Gaga: "gay." "She supports the gays, a huge part of her is fashion, her music is 'feminine.'"  I don't listen to her music because I'm "gay;" I don't like her because I like fashion; I don't like her strictly because she's a gay advocate; I like her because she's TALENTED, because she's DIFFERENT, because she EVOLVES (which many artists are completely incapable of doing).  I'm sick of people writing off interests, habits, opinions, on face value.  I'm sick of stereotypes.  Are all homosexuals "feminine" and "into fashion?"  Absolutely not.  Are all straight men "football jocks" who like "rock music?"  Absolutely not.  (and I use quotation marks to prove the point - otherwise, I'd be a hypocrite, using stereotypes and completely defeating my purpose)

And so, I say to you, as a straight male, I love Lady Gaga.

That quickly evolved from brainless prose to intensity, didn't it?  Either way, I'm a Little Monster for life.  I'm her biggest fan, I'll follow her (until she loves me?) until I die.

Let's get things rolling

Sup, blog world?

I think it was only a matter of time before I got myself one of these things.  Nearly all summer I've been looking for a creative vent, and since the story I've been trying to write is at an indefinite standstill, I needed to look elsewhere.  Then, I was turned onto getting a blog after a certain someone did, too, and here we are now; me, content in finding an outlet, although the summer's soon to be gone in less than three weeks.  Better late than never?

And now for the introductory blather.  I'm Matt.  Probably, if you're reading this, you know me.  I shouldn't even say probably... I should say definitely.  So yes, I'm the same old Matt you know in person, or as a profile on Facebook, or wherever else in this world my consciousness has manifested itself.  19, very tall, I'd pride myself on saying I'm a nice guy, maybe even a hilarious one.  UofT is the hell I call my university.  I read a lot, I watch a lot of movies, I listen to a lot of Lady Gaga.  Me in a nutshell.

This blog will become my fuck you to the world, in all honesty.  I sure do sound like quite the cynic based on these few lines, don't I?  Anyone close enough to me knows that I'm a very angry person, so more often than not the posts here will probably be quasi-explosions of the ranting nature, as there are many topics floating around in my mind giving me grief.  On a more positive note, and perhaps a less rude one, I'm intent on starting up with writing movie reviews; a dream job would be working as a movie critic, and I realize I can't wait around until that opportunity lands in my lap without actually putting in some sort of effort.  Instead, I need to build a foundation, and although this may seem as juvenile or even pointless, I can start with my portfolio here where an audience (even if they're peers) can read them.

So, without further ado, the Haus of Matt.
(lame title?  I kinda think so.  It's quite obviously a play on Gaga's creative Haus.  Anything more creative in your minds?  Lemme know!)