Sunday, August 28, 2011

Things I Really Hate

(well, DAMN!  I haven't posted in a while.  Not to worry, though: I'm moving into residence in a week and I'm sure I'll have an abundance of free time and suppressed creative energy)

This post is the long overdue sequel entry to one of my own personal favourite posts, Things I Hate.  (read it here - jesus, I wrote that a year ago - or in fact even read its sequel, More Things I Hate, found here.  I guess that makes this a trilogy!) So, naturally, here are some of my pet peeves, which I, yes, hate.

The use of the word "true."  It makes my mind numb when the person you're speaking to says "true" as a substitute for saying anything with meaning as a response to something you've said.  The only time I ever use the word true as a response is when it's functionally appropriate, such as during a discussion with differing opinions and a valuable statement is made where I say to myself, "oh, that's true," or when in agreement with a fact of actual truth.  Shoot me dead if I ever respond to your meaningful statements with a "yeah true;" I'd much rather just flat out say "sorry, I'm not exactly interested in what you're talking about" instead of half-assing a "true" as a "suitable" oral placeholder for apathy.  (That's exactly what I consider the use of the word to be nowadays.  I can't count how many times people talking to me just mutter or type a "true" after I go on and on, and honestly, sometimes it's like a slap in the face.  "You're talking to me?  I don't have enough brain function or care to offer rebuttal, so I'll just say 'true' and hopefully you'll shut up."  The use of the word true is like an easy way out of a conversation, only when you use it, you're making it clear that you're not invested or interested at all)

Receiving one word answers.  Again, seriously, just slap me in the face.  It's like talking to a disrespectful brick wall when you constantly are answered with one worded answers like the almighty "true" to things you've legitimately said for the sake of effort fueled socialization.  I take it as serious disrespect and disregard and honestly, it pisses me off to no end.  I'd much prefer no answer over a half assed "yep."

When people leave their blinkers on while driving.  Seriously, dumbfucks, there is a flashing light on your dashboard and a loud, annoying ticking noise.  Flip your damn blinkers off.

Incorrect use of apostrophes.  An apostrophe is not supposed to be used on a plural noun.  You see it on facebook constantly: "I have the best friend's in the world!" or "work suck's!"  (it's sad, but it happens) Good god, people, learn simple grammar.

Hell: spelling mistakes.  How hard is it to spell!?  It baffles me to know people are able to advance through the ranks of education while still spelling like a caveman.  But im not a gud spellar!  Get an education.

Now I'm just on a full on rant roll: spell check.  Yeah, it's a good tool for when you make silly mistakes, but I feel like spell check is a crutch for idiots who can't spell any better than when they were in the third grade.  I feel like society nowadays is dependent on the easy way out: so many things have been simplified to the basic of terms by advancements in technology that laziness is only amplified.  Say, for example: for school, computers are now sold with some sort of microphone that transcribes everything a professor says in a word document, so that student would then lean back and pay even less attention.  I understand using something like that if you legitimately need it, but come on, how lazy can you get?

Now I'm in a rage.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


This is my 100TH POST.  Today, August 17th, is the ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY of HAUSOFMATT being up and running.

A year ago today, I thought to myself it'd be a good idea to get into blogging.  One full year later with actual followers and a hundred fully written and created posts, and I'm astounded I'm still going.  I'm beyond ecstatic in knowing that I was able to create something of my own and sustain it for as long as I have; I look back at what I've written sometimes with a weary eye, but tonight, I look back and can't help but feel proud at my accomplishment.

Here's to another year and another hundred posts!

This time, I'm not leaving without you

Is the world ready for another incomprehensible Lady Gaga video?  No?  Okay, so here's Yoü & I.

The entire "Yoü & I Era" has been touch and go for me, and it hasn't really even taken off just yet.  Following The Edge of Glory - the third single which was wildly and widely successful - and its beyond lackluster video (five minutes of gyrating on scaffolding, smashing), it's safe to say I was a little bit apprehensive about Gaga's direction.  When Yoü & I was released, I was both disappointed and relieved: disappointed, because she's been playing the song for over a year, and that songs like Scheiße or Hair or hell even Americano were now still waiting on the sidelines for their chance as the successful singles they will be; relieved, though, because, judging by The Edge of Glory's success, conservative Gaga (though a risk) has proved to be just as successful with her fanbase and exponentially effective with newer and older fans alike.  (my mom much preferred Glory to Judas) In that sense, Yoü & I is the last safe choice for a single, and while I appreciate that and can foresee astounding success for it based on its safety and commercial appeal, I do wish she would've picked something edgy and something new to a public that might've already heard Y&I before.  But that's just me being picky.  I'll keep complaining until I hear that thumping German gibberish on the radio.

I've been appropriately hyped for this video, so imagine my joy when stills of the video began to leak this afternoon and Gaga herself rushed the release - she had promised that the 1000th tweet on her Twitter would be the video, and despite a deal with MTV to premiere it on Thursday, she promptly tweeted "FUCK." "THURS." "DAY." as her 997th, 998th and 999th tweets before finally releasing the video because damnit, she wanted us fans to see it.  I think my family has some sort of magical pull with Gaga on our birthdays: on my birthday, the album leaked, and today was my sister's birthday, and bam, video.  Too bad we need to wait until January for my mom to prove herself.  Maybe by then - Scheiße video!!

Look: if you go into the video thinking you'll fully understand it, you're a fool.  If you come out of this video thinking you've pieced together a storyline, you're an idiot.  Sure, there's some sort of story underlying everything, but not everything will be a cohesive story; instead, I take each of the massive "scenes" of the video - say, Robotic Gaga, Corn Gaga, Creation Gaga, Mermaid Gaga - as each representatives of a set-piece, and what I mean by that is each, while seemingly all the same, are rather different "mini-stories" representing the same theme - relationship.  To say that the Gaga created on the machine by the scientist is the same Gaga as the mermaid who is the same Gaga as the bride at the end is foolish: instead, the Creation Gaga may represent a love that is manufactured and is doomed to work due to the scientist wanting something out of her that she can't give; the Mermaid Gaga may represent a strange love (okay, I don't really need to ever see a man fucking a mermaid ever again.. ever.. again).  All these set-pieces of ideal or damaged love are tied together by Gaga on her piano while overshadowed by Jo Calderone, her male alter-ego representative of her on-again off-again now on-again boyfriend Lüc Carl.  (oho, get the "ü" now?  And oh my gaaad he's from Nebraska) Another common thread to the video is the Robotic looking Gaga, who Gaga herself said has walked from New York to Nebraska - hence the bloody feet - in search of her love.  She comes to a creepy ice cream man on her journey, and I guess his telling her that they're out of chocolate causes her to collapse on the ground.  Whhhhhyyyyyy?

Bottom line: the fact that it wasn't directed by a professional director is blatant - though, not as much as TEOG or Judas.  The last professionally directed video was TELEPHONE: Alejandro and Born This Way were both filmed by photographers, and everything since has been filmed by Gaga's own team.  Gaga: hire a professional director!

On the flip side, though, Judas and this are both masterpieces, and the visual quality to this video is astounding.  The saturated earth tones are beautiful, as is the cinematography.  Visually, she's en pointe: I found myself actually liking the blue wig, and she's never looked more beautiful than sitting on the piano in natural makeup and clothes.  Mind you, I always laugh when she does her troll run across the screen.  Fuck the police!

All in all, I'm very pleased with the video.  Anything would've been better than The Edge of Glory, and better it was.  My biggest gripe is the apparent incoherence and that Gaga's vision sometimes gets muddled (do I even understand Alejandro yet?  No fucking way), but I blame that on the decision not to have professional direction or editing.  And while I'm not yet entirely to terms with the choice to have Yoü & I the next single, I'm beyond satisfied with the video and the idea that I know it'll be commercially successful.  And damn, it sounds good on the radio.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Health, is that you?

For the past week, I've felt like dying.  Today, I feel like I could:

It's never fun when you get something bronchitis (I'm certain that's what I had); it's even less fun when it happens during one of your final weeks of summer.  I haven't seen my friends since last Sunday, and knowing that my summer vacation was slowly trickling down the drain as I was confined to the couch under a blanket in front of the TV was disheartening.  Prepare yourself for the grimy details.

It all started on Monday, my first day back from my camping trip.  My parents and I have decided that my sickness was probably due to my lowered immune system from camping, and I would agree with them: I'm not an outdoorsy person, and therefore, it would make sense that my immune system was at its lowest defenses when coming off a weekend where I was beyond my comfort zone, was cold, slept poorly, and ate like crap.  On Monday, however, I felt something creeping up; I hate that feeling, but when it comes, I immediately start downing cold and flu medication and drinking orange juice.  (it's a superstition of mine.  I think I drank 8L of Sunny Delight last week)  That feeling in my throat started to pain me, and there was a build up of phlegm at the back of my throat which made me feel icky.  I assured myself "it's only phlegm" and I began my overdramatic spitting as much as I could to get rid of that shit.  I forced myself out to see my friends' soccer game, but even there I began to feel strange waves of nausea and I knew things weren't looking the best.  That night, I shivered under my covers while sweating.

I woke up Tuesday with barely any energy.  My whole family was home, and the cleaning ladies were due to come; I tried staying awake until I gave up and went back to my room and kept my door shut and slept.  I slept until 5pm.  I woke up exhausted with my throat raging.  I kept myself awake to watch my regular shows on Tuesdays but went to bed once more with a bleak future - I was to work in the morning at noon.

I called in sick on Wednesday without hesitation.  I had another night of chills with a fever (I took my temperature and it was about 102F - damn) and woke up now congested and still exhausted.  I spent the entire day on the couch, in and out of consciousness.  I finished the fifth season of Grey's Anatomy and I suppose my emotions were running high but I wept like a bitch throughout the last four episodes of the season.  (Izzie and Karev's wedding was beautiful.  I bawled.  George died.  I bawled.  Izzie kept kinda dying and I bawled every time)

On Thursday I felt like absolute shit.  I did much of the same all day, watching Planet Terror and Death Proof and Mulan and V for Vendetta.  It became hurtful to even speak; by that time, my ears began to hurt in signs of an ear infection, and my threatening nausea never let up.

Come Friday I drove myself to the walk-in clinic, hardly able to properly speak.  (I sounded like a stereotypical sick person, unable to pronounce my Ds and other difficult consonants) The doctor told me it was nothing serious.  Fuck off.  I got what I wanted, though, my antibiotics.

My health never improved over the weekend, but symptoms slowly began to drop off one by one.  Thankfully, my fever broke, and I was finally awarded the chance to have a night full of uninterrupted sleep.  The nausea went away, as did the symptoms of my ear infections and sore throat - I could finally once again swallow food and drink without absolute pain and disgust.  It all came down to my completely blocked nose - I literally couldn't even breathe at all through my nose.  Then, eventually, and I can't remember when it happened between now and Sunday, but I was able to sniffle once, and this massive feeling of something dislodged behind my nose and miraculously I could breathe again.

I'm mostly back to where I should be now.  I can breathe and talk and eat properly, although sometimes my throat feels raw which is to be expected considering I was only able to breathe through my mouth for a good two or three days.  I look back at the previous week and am somehow astounded that I didn't end up killing myself to give up; it was devastating to keep waking up every single day with no improvement of health despite resting for more than twelve hours a day and pumping myself full of juice (I can never drink water with a sore throat because it tastes like sore throat but eventually I could drink warm water) and soup.  I'm absolutely relieved that I can resume what I called my life and at least enjoy what I have left of the summer, but this summer has been disastrous thus far, what with this and my broken knee back in May.  Who the hell breaks their knee?

Well, anyways.  I'm back to health, mostly, and I feel like hopping on some coffins.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Barely alive

I haven't posted in a while - the injustice!

This past weekend I went on a camping trip with some of my friends.  It's no secret that I'm not an outdoorsy person, but I didn't break any bones this time.  I had fun, but with every willing trip I take I only reaffirm myself of my disdain for all things in the wild.

I got back Sunday afternoon, thankful for my electricity and plumbing and legitimate food and mattress.  Then, because God loves me so much, I started feeling sick on Monday.  Two days later and I swear I'm on my deathbed with the flu.  I've been sweating non-stop even though I'm absolutely freezing.  It really isn't that fun; googling remedies and watching Grey's Anatomy don't exactly help matters since they both bring out the extreme hypochondriac in me and I'm convinced I'm somehow dying.  Pray for my health!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


It's no secret that in my house the topic of me being an English major in university is taboo.  My study focus remains unspoken amongst me and my parents; they've long given up asking me about the courses I'm taking, about my grades, about my plans in the future.  To say my parents - maybe I should revise that and specify it more as my dad rather than my mom - are at least at terms with my area of study would be a lie.  Instead, my university experience has become strangely and uniquely independent; I've lived at home for my first two years but even with that, my parents have had absolutely nothing to do with anything I've done aside from clicking Pay on my student bill.

My dad takes jabs at the courses I'm taking or have taken which led me to stop telling him anything about my major in the present.  Whenever the topic of university came up, whether it be through my extended family or my parents' friends asking me about my year, my dad would always say things like "Oh, yeah, he's off learning about children's books."  I'd fire back; I'd always say "I took that course for interest as an elective to fill a requirement of my major;" after a while that argument grew stale and I've learned to take his remarks as it is.  Naturally, then, I haven't even told him about the courses I'll be starting in just a month's time - I doubt he'd like the idea of French, German and Italian Cinema, or Canadian Drama or Romantic Literature from the 1800s my three semi-writing-semi-communications-semi-journalism courses.

My mom isn't much different than him when it comes down to it; she just shows signs of still being a compassionate human being through her decision not to mock me.  My previous two years of schooling brought forth minor breakdowns along the line, and I always looked out for the time when I could talk to my mom, alone, about my stresses.  Now, no matter my stress, whether it be about a scheduling conflict or worries about juggling eleven courses (don't worry they're not all in one term) or what have you, the conversation always turns to her question, "but, you'll get your PhD, right?"  I answer her "yes" to get to the things actually bugging me.

My after university plan is, truthfully, hazy.  I do plan on going to graduate school for English, and depending on my stress levels or debt or level of sanity or hell my desire to continue with schooling, I'd like to continue on to get my PhD as well.  I don't exactly know what I'll end up doing with my English degree, but if going on for my PhD is the case, I'd love to become a professor.

I had a conversation - or maybe argument is a more fitting term - about this topic with my friends recently about the stigma post-secondary - or even post-post-secondary - has.  People nowadays go to university because that's what society tells them to do; as a result, the weight of having a university degree is far less than what it used to be.  It's no longer prestigious; it's the new norm.  Now, to be a "cut above," one must go on to grad school to set themselves apart from the new norm, having a university degree.  Really, though, even that is something society enforces on you: I believe that the level of degree has never and will never equate with getting a good job.  Yes, some opportunities are only available to you if you have a Masters as opposed to an undergrad degree, but I don't agree with the social "ranking" of occupations out there.  I'm a believer that the perfect job for someone isn't the job with the most credentials or highest salary - the perfect job for anyone is unique, and if it doesn't require a PhD or if it does require a college diploma or if it doesn't even require anything, so be it.

With that in mind, my plans to continue on past university are simply because I enjoy learning and I'm looking to seek a higher education than what I have now.  Some people are in university now because that's what everyone told them to do, that it's become a means to an end since now it's commonplace to have a university degree.  I don't think like that.  Back on topic - that's how my parents do.

My dad tells me I should be a lawyer or a surgeon.  When I say it's not what I want to do, he gets upset with me; when I say that it's something I'm not capable of doing, he gets angry.  I can say that I'm a smart guy, sometimes brilliant (hahaha), but I know that I'm nowhere near smart enough to be a doctor.  I get that it's my parents' obligation to always say otherwise - I am their kid, after all, and they'd be bad if they were like "yeah, you're right, you're average" - but it's infuriating when they equate a happy life with the best job out there.  Honestly, I'd live a very happy life if I was a high school English teacher.  Saying that to them breaks their heart every single time.

I guess I'm lucky in the sense that I actually do want to do what my parents want me to - that is in respect to continuing on to grad school or further.  I know to myself that I'll be doing it because I want to, because I want to keep learning, and because I want the sense of accomplishment and be able to look back and think to myself I've reached my intellectual capacity.  The way my parents would see it, though - it'll look like I'm doing it because society has told me that it's the only way I'll get a good paying job.  I suppose, to them, if I slap a PhD on myself, they'll be happy, even if it's in something like English which they frown upon to begin with.

If all else fails I should just get famous.