I Love Me Some Good Entertainment!

Yesterday, I had the great pleasure of watching, with my mom and sibs, one of the most wonderful romances of our time, "The Notebook". Based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks, this story has it all; phenomanal acting (Rachel McAdams plays as the fantastic female lead, Allie), a nicely paced plot, a riveting story, and true-to-life characters. I love well-done romance stories, because they make me believe that anything is possible. Even if you love someone who is in a different social class, and you don't see them again for years and years, you can still pick up where you left off if the love is strong enough. The guy, Noah, as an older man, had to live with his wife suffering from dementia, she couldn't remember who he was, but he still loved her, and she him. This movie had such beautiful moments too; in one part Noah and Allie are just dancing at night in the middle of a street, and in another part, the couple is rowing on a lake covered with white geese, and the birds don't fly away. This movie was also a very sad story, because Allie's parents, especially her mother, did not approve of the relationship, and she kept the 365 letters that Noah wrote away from her daughter. How mean! There were other parts that made my mom cry. Strangely, I didn't cry, because I usually do if the story's really good and it makes me feel for the characters. In any case, if you like epic romances, then you should see "The Notebook", unless of course you've seen it already, in which case you know what I'm talking about.

Also, I wanted to rant about an excellent book that I read entitled "In His Own Write", by John Lennon. It is a collection of simply strange and wonderful poems, short stories, and doodles by the former Beatle! I loved reading this book, first of all, because it was small. It's a volume one could easily finish in about an hour, probably less given motivation. Secondly, the illustrations, the doodles John Lennon includes can only be described by me as dream-like. There's one with a woman flying over a desert or something, and another one with a man surrounded by strange, different-sized birds perching on him. Last of all, I enjoyed "In His Own Write" because of John's unique language and vocabulary that metaphorically throws the dictionary out the window. One of his stories start out like this:
"One fat morning Eric Hearble wake up with an abnorman fat growth a bombly on his head. 'Oh crumb,' said Eric Hearble, who was a very very, surprised."
No, you're reading that correctly. John Lennon mispells, rearranges, and sticks in words whenever and wherever he darn well pleases. It's his book, isn't it? His writing style is reminiscent of that of Lewis Carrol, or even Dr. Seuss. I believe that "In His Own Write" should be required reading in elementary schools everywhere, so the children can laugh and laugh at the nonsensical writings of the great imaginer himself, John Lennon.

Oh, and as an afterthought, I stayed up late to see the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and the Colbert Report, two comedy news-shows that I absolutely love. How is it that the writers are so clever that they make the current health-care debacle, the wild town-hall meetings, and the still ever-growing concern of the environment's well-being, laughable matters?

Oh yes, I do love me some good entertainment!


Status Report

Here's a list of things that have been happening with me lately.

1. One of my computers got attacked by a nasty virus, so now it doesn't connect to the Internet. Luckily the hard drive is still intact, so all the files and stuff are safe. To blog I have to use this other slower laptop that has Internet, but is a bit of a pain to use. Well I should be thankful for what I have rather than moping about what I don't have I guess.

2. I've taught my siblings how to sing the "Animaniacs President Song", so now I am a master of world geography, American geography, and American history! Thanks Warners! (Speaking of which, it would seem as if I have passed over my "Animaniacs" phase. But no matter what, I still think that show is the best thing since "Seinfeld".
  • Which I've seen in it's entirety. 9 seasons! Saw it all on DVDs in 2007. It's just a little thing I do.
3. Ever hear of the magic duo by the names of Penn and Teller? One's a big guy who does all the talking and the other's a short guy who doesn't say much. Together they have a magic act that is as comedic as it is baffling! In 1992 they did this PBS show called "Behind The Scenes", and it was a ten-part series that taught kids about different forms of art (painting, music, dancing, theater, sculpture, even photography) in a light, entertaining, Sesame Street-esque way and introduced some professionals in the field. Guest stars include Matt Groening, Bobby McFerrin, the Blue Man group, and one of William Wegman's weimariner dogs. Look the show up on Google or something. It's pretty cool!

4. Lately I took out a DVD from the library that was a beginner's voice lesson, and me, my sibs, and my dad all watched it together. It was pretty good at first, because it had some pretty good excersises, like yawning, and making crazy sound while stretching, and practicing full vocal range by doing a siren-like noise from the lowest note you can do to the highest. After that, it taught how to distinguish each of the notes on the major scale (instead of naming the notes "Do Re Mi", they're just 1 to 8) and then we learned how to recognise the different intervals. Then the host started singing these unfamiliar songs that made me feel so sad, like "Ah Poor Bird", and "Deep Blue Sea". They make no sense! (Here are both sets of lyrics in small print so they won't be too much of a bother.)

Ah poor bird, take your flight,
far above the shadows of this sad night

Deep blue sea, darling, Deep blue sea
Deep blue sea, darling, Deep blue sea
Deep blue sea, darling, Deep blue sea
It was Willy what got drown'ded,
in the deep blue sea.

You see? Absolutely pointless! My dad said he felt the same way about songs like "It's Raining, It's Pouring", because as a kid, he felt sorry for the old man who bumped his head and couldn't get up in the morning.

5. Today me and my siblings saw for the first time "The Simpsons Movie". How did I like it? Well let me put it this way: It was well done, considering the following:
  • It's based on an animated TV show which anyone can see for free.
  • The humor is adult-oriented, meaning if I had seen it at any other time in the past I might not have appreciated it.
  • The plot a bit far-fetched, but aren't most movies like that anyway?
In other words, I respect the many people who put together the Simpsons Movie and made it possible, and I must admit that I laughed and enjoyed watching it. The animation was good, and the hype that it got 2 years ago when it was released was definitely called for. I remember at the time I thought it was a stupid idea for a stupid show. I still think that the Simpsons are stupid, but I can at least acknoledge the cleverness of its stupidity. Feel free to scratch your head and go "huh?"


Book Review: The Magic Behind the Voices

This treasure trove is an inside look at 40 voice-over artists from Mel Blanc, Daws Butler, and Paul Frees, to Maurice LaMarche, Rob Paulson, and Tom Kenny. I love reading this book (I haven't quite finished it yet) because for someone like me who is absolutely fascinated by animation and voice-acting in general, it's very eye-opening to read about what these people had to go through and how they all got recognition and success for their efforts. Adrianna Casselotti, the operatic voice of Disney's Snow White, couldn't get another acting job afterwards because her voice was too recognizable! Frank Welker is the man behind an uncountable array of speaking and non-speaking animal characters (from Abu the monkey, Flit the hummingbird, and that doggy-footstool from Beauty and the Beast, to Mr. Plotz, Ralph the Guard, and Runt from "Animaniacs", to the voice in the Mattel "Farmer See 'n Say" toy that says "The cow says Moo-ooooooo"!) Casper the Ghost, Rocky J. Squirrel, and Bart Simpson were all played by women (Norma MacMillan, June Foray, and Nancy Cartwright respectively)! It's a cartoon triviast's dream! If you're like me, check out this book!

Anyway, because of this book, I decided to give the show "The Simpsons" a try. As far back as I can remember, I used to think that the uncannily popular animated TV show was just a bunch of bad-mouthed badly animated garbage starring a mediocre family with questionable values. But since reading about people like Dan Castellenata and Nancy Cartwright, and how they had (and continue to have) such a good time doing the voices of Homer and Bart Simpson, that I decided if they like it, then maybe I could give it a chance. Of course I am aware that for them it means a nice, steady income as well as a barrel of laughs, but still. Me and Bettina started out by watching the very first episode from late 1989, "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire". Funny enough that the series starts off with a Christmas episode. Anyway, Homer doesn't recieve his Christmas bonus at the nuclear plant and has to dress as a department-store Santa to make ends meet, Bart gets a tattoo but then has it surgically removed, and in the end, they rescue a racing Greyhound named Santa's Little Helper. I never thought that I would say that "'The Simpsons' are okay", but now I find myself typing out those words on my computer. And they're true. Sure their family is dysfunctional to an extreme, but underneath it all, I can see the love that the Simpsons have for each other.

Along with "The Simpsons", I now have a newfound respect for Maurice LaMarche (The Brain of "Pinky and the Brain" fame). He is such a talented guy! Have you seen the "Pinky and the Brain Christmas Special"? In this episode, Brain concocts a plan to take over the world by mass-producing these hypnotizing dolls and distributing them around the world by way of Santa's sleigh, and Pinky writes a letter to Santa, which he forgets to mail! Please, click on this link to see the Climax! I mean holy cow! Was that not one of the saddest, most touching moments in animated television or what? Somehow I remember seeing this show when I was who-knows-how-young, and I didn't think much of it. Now I can't stop thinking about it! I should have known. These people were probably the same ones who came up with the dramatic climax in "Wakko's Wish" (not to be confused with the last part of the movie, where all the strings are tied up and everyone lives happily ever after and all that jazz).

Okay, my review is over. You can go home now.


I made an Art Blog!

And you can visit it at this link:http://artofannette.blogspot.com/
I made this new blog because I need my artwork to be seperate from my day-to-day life. I imported all my "Doodle Collections", paintings, and even my homemade greeting cards onto my new blog, so if you want to see all my glorious creativity all in one place, you're in luck! Thank you to those readers who have been so supportive and helpful to me, in my quest to hone my skills and impress people! Comments are highly appreciated and I read them all, so if you have something to say to me, then say it! Just don't say it behind my back!