Friday, December 30, 2011

Harriet Fucking Vanger

The inevitable prologue: holy hell it's been a very long time since I've written a blog post - and yeah, I do say that a lot, but lord, it's been a good two weeks since I've published, and it's become an honest void in my life.  It's not entirely been due to my busyness at all; in fact, I feel like I've done a whole ton of nothing in my weeks off from school, yet somehow in my lethargic vegetative state I've managed to waste away an entire month and I'm already facing the start of my second semester of school within days.  (not to mention the surely harrowing move-in - I move back to my residence on New Year's Day - and my mom has looked at me with a straight face and said "Matt, don't drink on New Year's Eve.  You can't be hungover whatsoever on January first."  To that, I looked at her and gave her a very Lisbeth Salander "please" which will become shockingly relevant once I get this directionless tangent out of my system) I've somewhat digressed substantially: point is, I've done nothing over my break, so you might think that I'd have all the time in the world to write limitlessly, but my with my laziness came an absolute draining of creativity.  I feel it noteworthy to even note I haven't touched my NaNoWriMo story, and I regret that my creative drive has disappeared completely.  However!  Here I sit on December 29th at 11:50pm on my gorgeous new Macbook Pro that my dear parents bought me for Christmas this year with a sudden urge to rejuvenate my authoritative flair that I cherish about myself.  I have a slew of potential post ideas swirling around in my mind, but only with a progression of time will you and I both witness that static translated in text.  Likewise, I have countless ideas about future creative writing prospects - in fact, two whole stories altogether - and I'm sure my need to procrastinate over the school year will give me enough of a kick in the ass to get to writing.  (Christmas, by the way, heralded the same sense of deflation that it always has for me, considering the idea that within minutes the entire construct of the holiday - that is, the build up and the holiday cheer and whatever else - collapsed within minutes once the final presents remained unwrapped on the floor and the last family member made their way out of the door.  I'm not ungrateful whatsoever, though, and it was a good holiday.  Also worth mentioning: Christmas 2011's movie with Amy was The Adventures of Tintin which I'm still in disbelief about being an animated movie it looks that real but otherwise the movie was simply good, nothing more, and I'm still upset that my good for nothing local theater didn't get Carnage with Kate Winslet or A Dangerous Method or Shame with my favourite actor Michael Fassbender)

Bless you, reader, for sticking with me throughout that insufferable rambling, but you must understand that for me not writing for weeks, things needed to be said.  We finally come to the topic of the post, which is, if you haven't guessed by the title reference, my pseudo-review of David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the American adaption of the (fantastic) novel of the same name by Swedish author Steig Larsson.

With ease, I read the book within a two week time period, but given that I read it during the height of my first semester, I'd say my feat was impressive.  It isn't so surprising, then, to hear my report that the book is bloody fantastic.  While I was initially leery because of the prolonged and somewhat slow start - which I realize is a definite necessity to establish the complexity of the upcoming plot - the book quickly switched into a high gear nearly doubling its intensity with every page turn.  Perhaps what made my reading experience more enjoyable was the mystery of the plot itself: I don't mean to sound egotistical, but usually conclusions to books or films are predictable if not logical and predictable to me, but I can honestly that the conclusion to the murder-mystery left me awestruck and I could hardly see it coming.  (I wish I could say the same about its sequel, The Girl who Played with Fire, but I actually correctly guessed a large part of the ending a couple hundred pages in; it was still a fantastic and gripping read, and in addition to my inevitable creative writing derived from procrastination, I'm sure I'll launch into The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest - I've only read the first chapter to make satisfy my aching heart left wounded from the second book's cliffhanger - as an escape from my studies) Within minutes of finishing Dragon Tattoo I sped towards the nearest computer screen and took in the 2009 Swedish film adaption, eager to see the words onscreen.  I also think it's worth noting that I enjoy foreign films, even though the ones I have the opportunity to watch are probably the more "mainstream" ones, but I've never let the idea of subtitles deter me from watching a movie or discrediting its value because I have to actually engage myself at a higher level - goodness, the thought!  That being said, it was not because the film was in Swedish that I disliked it - unfortunately I was accused of that by someone when revealing I disliked the adaption.  I'm not usually a book purist (that is, I don't watch movies and complain about slight deviations from source material; the Harry Potter movies are nearly flawless and they changed the books heavily), but the unnecessary changes to the plot were somewhat jarring and, honestly, uncomfortable.  The logical mystery deduction was removed from the Swedish film - an aspect that largely fascinated me about the book, specifically the work with the photographs - and the film, therefore, somewhat felt more heavy handed in its leading the audience through its overly complex plot.  That being said, the performance of Noomi Rapace as the antihero Lisbeth Salander was still very incredible.

But, damnit, I prefer Rooney Mara.

Usually - and I've blogged on this subject once before - I'm against remakes.  They're truly unnecessary.  Truthfully, I like the logic behind it: yes, remakes work toward the broadening of a film's accessibility to a newer audience, whether it to a new generation (with, say, A Nightmare on Elm Street starring, oh, look, Rooney Mara!) or to a present society seemingly against the idea of reading subtitles while watching movies.  However, what is in theory is not always translated: I would be on board with the idea of remaking Hollywood classics or whatever else if the remakes were actually good, but remakes usually exist merely as slaps in the face to its predecessors.  Naturally, then, I was leery of the American Dragon Tattoo on principle, even though I wasn't necessarily a fan of the original to begin with.  The moment I knew it was David Fincher at the helm - the director of Se7en and Fight Club and Zodiac and The Social Network and need I say more? - my faith was restored.  (I'd consider Fincher to be one of my favourite directors, actually, up there with Tarantino and Nolan - his visual style is delicious) The trailer to the remake was, I would honestly say, the best trailer for a movie I've ever seen, trumping even Watchmen's trailer which was miles better than the movie itself.  My anticipation grew like a wild fire, and upon hearing that the release of the film was pushed forward by a day, I became satisfied in knowing I'd get to see the movie one day sooner.

What is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo about, you might say?  (I've been asked the question a few times, and when faced with offering a synopsis, I struggle) As simply put as possible, it's a graphic mystery.  On more elaborate terms, the movie (now I'm fully speaking of the film at hand) follows two protagonists: the first, a disgraced journalist named Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) is hired by Henrik Vanger, an elderly Swedish businessman, to investigate the disappearance and murder of his niece, Harriet, forty years prior to the action of the narrative; the second, a hard-edged and simply badass researcher Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara, who will be nominated for the Best Actress Oscar - mark me - and she will hopefully win), who the film initially follows through her struggles with an abusive guardian before she is pulled into the Harriet Vanger investigation alongside Blomkvist. (Lisbeth had previously written a report on him, and its in-depth content - suggesting her hacking of his personal files - alerted Blomkvist to her researching [and hacking] abilities) As I quickly mentioned, the film deals with the investigation into the strange disappearance, and as a familiar viewer I was still as pleased with the intricate mode of investigation as ever.  Note, a few sentence ago, that I described the film as a "graphic mystery;" there's a ton of violence and nudity and profanity and, most unfortunately, rape.  The scenes of rape were far less horrific than the ones in the original, but that doesn't mean that they weren't any less horrible to watch - they were.  I wish I could be able to say the rape was necessary, but I wouldn't even convince myself if that were the case.  Instead, I'll state fact: the books were written as a response to violence against women, and by labeling the female protagonist as a rape victim grounds her in a very real-world problem, though it also functions as a device to inspire sympathy for Lisbeth as well as an excuse for her borderline psychotic tendencies.  Still, she's a damn badass.

I thought the film was incredible.  As mentioned, I love David Fincher's visual style, and the film was no exception: it was gorgeously shot, streamlike and glacial, layered with a fantastic score.  Worth mentioning are the opening credits: holy shit.  I can't begin to explain them - set to a cover of "The Immigrant Song" by Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O - but damn, I would see the movie for a third time on the basis of seeing the credits once again.  (okay, I wouldn't, because I loved the movie so much that I would see it again anyways, and I can't wait to add it to my personal collection) I guess I can attempt a vague description: strange.. strange imagery, people made of a black substance, splashing together and snaking and setting itself ablaze and sprouting wings and okay, see, that sounds absolutely ludicrous, but I'm not kidding when I say they are stunning.  And hell, that's five minutes into the movie: there's still the movie to get to.  Like I've said, the visuals are stunning, and it seems somewhat crude to notice set or composition or lighting while a character is getting beaten up or shot.  Again, as I've shed a glimpse of light onto, I believe that Rooney Mara's Lisbeth is deserving of an Oscar, and I truly wish her all the best not only with this upcoming award season but also with her future career which I'm sure will explode.  The commitment is astounding: gone is a beautiful girl with wide eyes and long brown hair; instead on screen is a hardened young girl with varying stages of mohawk with bleached eyebrows and piercings everywhere (Mara actually pierced her eyebrow and nose and lip and nipple for the role) and tattoos, among them the large spanning dragon on her left shoulder blade giving rise to the title itself.  She, like the rest of the cast, speak in Swedish accents, and Lisbeth's drawl and hint of sarcasm is, for the lack of a better term, pleasurable to hear.  (I do like her voice a lot) Rooney Mara makes the film her own, yet the entire spectrum of the cast offers a solid performance.  Something funny to note is the carelessness of every characters' smoking and drinking: in fact, every scene involves some sort of substance abuse, appearing as careless as the sex between certain characters whose names I will omit (but are probably guessable) for the sake of not spoiling those who have yet to see the film.  And, yes, see the film.  The conclusion of the remake diverges from the close of the book - a commercial just came on TV and I still get chills at the images as well as a sudden shudder of pain as I noticed said advertisement contained a flash of a certain kick from one of the rape scenes - but dare I say it improves upon the novel slightly in its offering of a more logical outcome.

I say to you: go see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  I would list it among the top five films of the year, and I would honestly see it for the third time; I would wager that that speaks volumes - I'm so familiar with the outcome of the mystery and yet I'm still so eager to rewitness the film.  Go see it.  And take me with you.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

It's a Christmas miracle!

This Christmas season, to me, has been stuck on fast forward.  I can't believe we're already ten days away from Christmas Day, that we're already half way through December, that I've been done with school for about three weeks and I'll already be back in another three months - it's all very strange to me, but then again, I shouldn't be surprised considering the past few years of my life (save for the summer) have zipped by my eyes in a flash.  I can already flashback to Boxing Day of last year, disheartened by the thought of Christmas being a full year away, yet here I sit today, facing my family's Christmas tree and distanced from the day only by ten sleeps.  (I feel like a kid, counting time with 'sleeps')  If you're familiar at all with my post from last year about my thoughts on Christmas, you might recall my somewhat lukewarm feelings to the holiday.  I consistently feel like a Grinch or a Scrooge whenever I lament about my indifference to Christmas, especially when juxtaposed against friends or other people I encounter who are absolutely gaga over the holiday, listening to holiday music endlessly and existing as giddy as when they were children in anticipation for Christmas morning.  I need to make it clear: I don't hate Christmas, oh no; in fact, it's sometimes quite the opposite.  I do like Christmas, but I don't love it.

It's tough to explain.  I feel that Christmas, to me, is largely centralized on the build up to the holiday rather than the day itself.  Even as a kid, I've found Christmas Day to be anticlimactic, and the feeling has only become stronger and more aware now that I'm mature.  It's the (pessimistic) truth: I'm far more excited with the idea of Christmas than Christmas itself.  My excitement is based entirely in the commercials, the decorations in every corner of everywhere you visit, the thought of presents being exchanged between good friends and family and from Santa.  When I say Christmas Day is anticlimactic to me, I mean this: yes, gifts are exchanged and family is together (and, in my case, I'm with my best friend at the movie theaters upholding our tradition of picking a movie and seeing it late Christmas night), but Christmas is quite literally over around two or three in the afternoon for me.  Here's a quick rundown of my Christmas day traditions: my sister and I wake up early in the morning (you'd think we're still children) and force my parents awake and tear open the few gifts we have; then, around noon, my mom's side of the family comes over; after pestering once again from my sister and I, we open the rest of the gifts from grandparents and my aunts and uncle, and then.. well, Christmas is over.  You may say that my statement is based entirely on the consumerist outlook on Christmas considering my definition of the holiday concludes the moment the last gifts are had.  Allow me to continue: after the gifts are opened, all traces of what makes the day signified as "Christmas" is gone; instead, it becomes merely a family gathering which is to inevitably end in some sort of argument, and as I said, once they're all out the door at night I find myself at Famous Players watching an awful musical or a horrible Reese Witherspoon romantic comedy.  (for the sake of interest: two years ago we saw Nine and last year was the suicide-inducing How Do You Know; this year, fingers crossed the theaters gets the Kate Winslet Oscar-bait movie Carnage) Christmas, aside from the gifts, is really over.  Yeah, yeah, the real spirit of Christmas is togetherness and communal love and blah blah blah.  I've ever experienced that.  Again, you may say that I base my definition of Christmas entirely on the consumerism of gifts, and, honestly, there's no use in arguing otherwise: yes, I care quite a lot about the presents I receive (and give - I'm not a brat), and there's nothing much to the holiday aside from that.  Returning to the idea of the holiday being anticlimactic, I mean that in a matter of minutes, the entire "Christmas spirit" collapses to a sudden conclusion.  Weeks upon weeks of anticipation and holiday music and decorations lose meaning immediately, and I personally can't help but always feel deflated on Christmas Day once everything 'officially' winds down.  My parents usually take the tree down the day after Christmas, once again adding to the quick conclusion to a very, very drawn out anticipated holiday.  The anticipation never quite matches the day itself.

In all honesty, I'm not one for the Christmas music or movies or television specials - even though I've stated that they are what makes Christmas an exciting holiday for me.  I suppose, then, it's an overall combination of the "Christmas spirit" that proves to be intoxicating: I hate Christmas music, but when coupled with seeing decorations and lights strung up on houses illuminating the streets and Santa Claus perched in the mall it's difficult to avoid subjecting yourself to the excitement of the season.  It's as if Christmas is a force, and not a singular holiday: the day itself is largely mediocre, and it's in the force of the holiday, what with the music and decorations and excitement and gift purchasing and wrapping and gingerbread houses and cookies that the holiday becomes the staple of the year with respect to cheer and excitement.  I then return to the idea that sometimes I'm like Scrooge and Christmas isn't overly exciting to me some years (last year certainly; this year, not so much): it's because I really despise Christmas music, and I grow to hate the stupid Christmas commercials I see on endless loop on TV.  Then again, my hateful feelings are somewhat dashed when I look up to see the Christmas tree in my family room or the stockings hanging on the mantle or the idea of my Macbook sitting in a wrapped box beneath the tree awaiting for my eager hands Christmas morning.  Goddamnit, I want that Macbook.

It's undeniable that Christmas is almost entirely based on consumerism.  (don't worry, I'm not about to launch into some cynical rant about the injustice of this) As I previously said, I define my Christmas excitement by the commercials - consumerism - and the decorations - consumerism - and the gifts - consumerism - and.. you get the idea.  In fact, I've proven this point already by failing to mention until now that Christmas actually is a Catholic holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus.  I'm not overly religious so I've never treated the day as a religious holiday; it's always been about the gifts, as it has been for everyone when they were younger.  Even if I were interested in diverting my intense stock into the material side of the holiday, it would be impossible to do so, considering my parents are literally Grinches and go through the motions of the holiday - this holiday, to them, being only and entirely about the gifts.  My parents only buy me and my sister one 'big' gift; an iPod or a new phone or a new gaming system (when that happens it's a combined gift) or what have you.  When they struggle to find that one gift, Christmas becomes hell: I dislike this aspect of my family's Christmas, considering that when I tell my mom there isn't anything 'big' that I need she gets angry, and then I refuse to ask for something expensive and unnecessary for the sake of it.  It's sticky, and I wish Christmas wasn't like that for my family.  I feel like this might be one of the most scatterbrained posts I've yet written, because I feel like I'm arguing one aspect and then flipping to the other side - specifically, what makes me think this now, the fact that I've made it somewhat clear I value the material side of Christmas (the gifts) rather heavily yet my least favourite part about Christmas is the gift from my parents.  I feel as though, in some way, my investment in the holiday as a consumerist one might stem from the fact that my parents have always made it entirely about the gifts, both being barely religious and always out to please their children.

Apologies for the scatterbrained post.  There's nothing cohesive to my writing, and as I said already, I'm fully aware that I've probably played my own devil's advocate and proved the opposite to what I was saying.  In fact, I don't even know what I was meaning to say: I started off by saying that Christmas is meh to me, yet I've effectively both made it clear that I hate everything about Christmas while I love everything about Christmas at the same time.  Who knows, really.  Maybe you've just been blessed with my thought process, considering what goes on in my mind is always as confusing and jumbled as what I've just written.  Maybe I'm drunk.*

*I'm not

Friday, December 9, 2011

2011 in film

2011 was a pretty big year for movies, too.

(let's see if my shot at reviewing the films I saw over the year fares better than my music list.  A quick disclaimer [unfortunately, a necessity]: I need to reiterate that everything is my opinion, but I think I'm in safer waters with movies because film has a much smaller spectrum than music meaning there's a lot less room for disagreement.  That isn't to say that disagreement isn't possible, oh no.  That's the magic of opinion: as an individual you're able to like or dislike whatever the hell you want, and you'll always find someone who agrees with you just as easily as you might find someone who disagrees with you.  I realize some people did not find Bridesmaids funny; I did.  I realize some people don't like superhero movies and therefore didn't like or even see X-Men: First Class; I did, and I loved it.  With all that in mind, in the opposite sense, I likely will speak poorly of a movie you might've enjoyed.  I say for one final time: this is based entirely on my opinion, and I do not act as if what I have to say or how I view things or what I like to be absolute ruleIt is, after all, my blog, and if you're uninterested in what I have to say, spend your time elsewhere)

What was I saying?  Right.  2011 was a pretty big year for movies, too, and to strike up the spirit of annual tradition, I'll echo what I did at the end of last year and consider the movies released in the year.  Much like last year, I can't see how ranking a list would be productive: of the hundreds of new movies made in 2011, I probably only saw a handful of them - in fact, I don't even know if I've seen more than ten - so it wouldn't be logical to make a ranked list of what I've seen when something like The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 would end up at number 10 because it happened to be one of the few I've actually seen and therefore, by default, it must appear on my list.  (if that were to happen, I would certainly not enjoy being pointed at and deemed "he who listed Breaking Dawn on his list of the best movies of 2011") So, instead, I think it'd be more effective to consider the movies I've seen as 'good' or 'bad' - think of it as a series of mini movie critiques.  Regretfully, I have yet to see a handful of films: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has yet to be released, and I'm ridiculously excited to see it and judging from the promotional material it looks absolutely fantastic; I've been meaning to see A Dangerous Method and Shame and Melancholia and a whole slew of other Oscar bait movies, and therefore once again it would be incorrect to treat this list as a "best of" if something like Bad Teacher appears just because I've seen it and haven't seen Shame.

(one final time: this is not my list of the best movies of 2011, because trust me, Sucker Punch or Bad Teacher would be nowhere near a list of that nature; instead I'm giving snapshot reviews on a handful of movies I actually saw.  Just to be clear)


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

20 of 2011

It's the end of the year again!  Much as I did last year in December, I've decided to make a year-end list detailing my picks for the twenty best songs of 2011.  A disclaimer before I begin: this list will be biased.  I tried my hardest to be as objective as possible when valuing the music of the year, but to assume that I would omit album tracks from Born This Way would be foolish: to me, it was one of the more defining albums of 2011 so in keeping with my outlook (that is, the fact that I personally have listened to it most this year) I do, in fact, list some of the album fillers as the best of the year because - to me, and I cannot drive that point enough - they are, and if anything to come out of this list, I'd love it for you to at least consider listening to some of the songs you aren't familiar with.  Take my word for it: I objectively made quite an extensive list of songs from 2011, good and bad (you'll find I hated hated hated the most popular songs of the year, but you'll read more about that in my extra special Worst Five Songs of 2011 list), and in knowing that I hope it's evident that the fact that Gaga songs still appear means that they are just that good.  Okay, I got that rant out of my system.  Anyways: yes, Lady Gaga appears most on this list, but she does not dominate it.

As I said, I tried as hard as I could to remain objective, considering not only my personal enjoyment of the songs, but it's no secret that my taste in music is somewhat rather mainstream; I certainly do not think that whether or not a song is played on the radio is indicative of its quality, and the fact of the matter is the ones I like are the ones I'm most exposed to.  For an example of my objectivity, (and this song does not appear on the list) I nearly included Katy Perry's Last Friday Night (TGIF) because even though I don't necessarily enjoy it, I realize that it's a finely made song and has experienced astronomical popularity and success this year.  I constructed my list giving credit where credit's due to particular artists, because even wearing my Gaga tinted glasses on the world (this is an expression.  I do not own Gaga tinted glasses, whatever they may look like) I realize that she is not the only musician on the planet with talent - and no, I'm not saying Katy Perry does, but that's immaterial.  Another point to touch base with is the idea that my list is not the be all end all of definitive lists: I know for a fact you will likely disagree with me at multiple points as you continue down my top twenty, and I'm certain my number one choice is not the best song of 2011 to everyone; once again, it's the best of the year to me, and I only hope you find joy from reading my list as opposed to offended anger at my choices.

My final disclaimer: choosing songs from 2011 was tricky because I encountered the permeability of what it actually means to be released in 2011.  What I mean by that is that you will likely find a song or two that was officially released in 2010: for example, a Katy Perry song (using her as an example once again) appearing on this list first came to be on her 2010 album, but it was officially released as a single in 2011 and therefore I've made it eligible.  By extension of that, I hope I don't screw myself over for next year: if one of the album Gaga songs that I've included becomes a single next year, I'll have to ignore it on my list next year.  (I encountered this with Katy Perry [again] this year: I listed E.T. as one of my top twenty last year, but it became a single this year, meaning I could've used it and would've, if not for already using it)

I've gone on far too much.  Here's hoping you enjoy reading my list, and that you find something new to listen to!  (hit 'read more' to carry on - it's a long one!)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

November round-up

Yet again I find myself astounded by the rapid passing of time.  It's hard to believe I've already completed my first semester of third year.  It seems like literally yesterday I moved away to residence and was buying textbooks and getting lost when finding the right classroom on time on the first day of class; now, I've handed in my last papers and thrown out particular notes that I have no care to ever read again and am gearing up for my only final exam (ha, only one) in a week's time.  True, I'll actually be completely free from first semester after I finish writing that last exam, but now living at home and seeing my best friends again has returned my life to normalcy, and to be honest the thoughts about my exam are and will continue to be on the back of my mind until the day before I have to write it - studying is for the weak.  Until then, I'm enjoying having cable on TV once again (let alone even having a TV) and home cooked meals every night and the knowledge that a friend is probably a phone call away.

Towards the end of the first semester - really, the entirely of the month of November - I couldn't help but feel like my room and the rest of my townhouse quickly became much less like a home to me.  Perhaps it was a delayed reaction to the homesickness I figured I would've experience when first moving away: instead, my first month away was perfectly fine and quickly adaptable, but the feeling faded as the finish line of the semester rapidly approached.  I found myself looking to hear from my mom more frequently throughout the weeks, and my every motion was governed by the idea that, hey, you're moving home in x days!  (funny, though, I've already been driven up the wall by some of the stupid things my parents have done or said, but I'll always prefer living at my home) Perhaps it was due to the increased time I spent alone in my room behind a closed door which quite honestly felt like a prison sentence.  Perhaps, by extension of that, it was because my house quickly lost its homelike qualities.  Either way, the final few weeks of the semester were hectic: at least one paper and/or test per week (including three papers and one test on the last day of class) my stress shot through the roof, but as usual looking back on it now, completed, it seemed like only a marginal obstacle.

Aside from my moving home, November has come to a cohesive conclusion for me.

"There's a small animal living on your face"

 I grew a bit of a beard throughout November.  It wasn't officially done for Movember though the idea of the month long event urged my decision to try it out.  (maybe that's also why I went beard and not mustache: mustaches are creepy and my dad has a mustache and I'd prefer not to resemble my dad or look creepy) Mostly I left it up to the fact that I wasn't going to see my family for the majority of the month because I know they're rather judgmental and I'd have to explain myself for wanting to try out how it looks on me.  I still have it.  I like it.  I think it suits me.  The reception has been rather nice and rather unexpected - that is, aside from my parents.  Literally the first words coming my mother's mouth when she came to pick me up was "I don't like that" before she offered me a hello and a hug.  My dad hasn't been any better; he cracks jokes about me, telling me I look like a homeless person and that I shouldn't go out in public looking like how I do.  I suppose my decision not to shave it off is now derived from the idea that I'm tormenting my parents every time they look at me.  That, and because I've decided I might be able to keep it as a protest until they buy me a Mac for Christmas.  (which, they've said, will not happen, but I think otherwise)


My quest to write a fifty thousand word piece of fiction throughout the month of November was essentially a failure: I wasn't able to reach the high goal within the parameters of the month given that my free time was quickly diminishing because of the stresses of school and other infuriating things, and that when I did have free time, I watched Dexter, and I watched a lot of Dexter considering I've now caught up to the current season on TV.  As of November 30th, my official word count settled at 38,153, which I'm still ecstatic about reaching despite its failure to the mission.  I've astounded myself in many ways: first, that I was able to come up with a concept and pursue it enough to actually want to write about it; let alone actually writing about it, finding a few hours late at night to excitedly sit down and type up a fury.  There were days that I hammered out a few thousand words in a few hours, and at times when I wasn't writing I would constantly be thinking about where I could take the story and if it was plausible and if more events were needed to be inserted at the beginning or end or what have you.  Of course, I'm not stopped just because November's over: to stop at 39k words and admit failure would be literal torture to me, and I would feel entirely unsatisfied and unaccomplished in the incompletion.  I'm looking forward to writing without the pressure of a time limit - I won't have to force myself to write until two in the morning because I had to get another two thousand words on paper ( screen?) to keep myself on the right track toward hitting fifty thousand.  Now, even, I look ahead to the possibility of drawing my story to a conclusion long after 50k, or even before - I have no way to tell how much longer it will take to tie itself up.  All I know is it's a long road ahead of me: I still have to draw the story to a close before I edit it, and I know the editing process will be extensive given that my precedent is absolute perfection and my philosophy is that a piece of writing is never perfect because of the infinite possible combinations of words together; the same thing can be said billions upon billions of different ways, and knowing such, I'm striving to hit as close to my standard of perfection as possible.  I literally cannot wait for my friends (those who've asked, that is) to read my work, because only then will I feel like an accomplished author.  The future reader will actually take time away from their life to read my book written by me, and that concept thrills me.

S'all I got for now, folks!  Now that I have a lot more free time I'm sure the frequency of my writing will amp itself up once again, so stay tuned.