Tuesday, September 27, 2011

alien language

Falling asleep in class is a serious problem for me. Scratch that. It's the lecture classes that are my weakness. I honestly start off alert but, sure enough, 20 minutes later I start dozing and my notes look like I scribbled down a dead language in fury.

It's not my fault I swear. You aren't a boring teacher. I just need around 9 hours of sleep and if I don't get it at night, my body finds a place to make it up. Especially if it's inconvenient.

I really could sleep anywhere. In class, on the ground, in the car (not driving obviously), on a couch. It sucks that I fall asleep in class-- but I really don't care. It's what makes me who I am + makes for really funny stories.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

laid back forever

I use to think I was a high strung dramatic person. I know I'm dramatic, but it's funny dramatic. Lately things have been serious dramatic with sorority stuff & friends. Life can sometimes be a drama, but does it have to be that way 23 hours of the day? I guess so.

I want to do well in school, but I also want to have a social life. However, how do those who go out 4 times a week manage?? I don't get it. Life seems to be a paradox and I am always in the middle. Like, ALWAYS. It's a funny thing to think about how some people care too much, and some too little.
I'm in the middle. The middle child. The middle of a friend battle.

I like how all of my friends are laid back. Can everyone be that way?
Don't get me wrong, I love drama. I'm a girl so I love talking about it & gossiping.
Some people love it all the time. TOO MUCH TOO MUCH.
It's a lot to handle and I can barely handle myself sometimes.

Get me through the semester. Let me be a good friend. Let things work out.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Radically Boosted CGI

Once I sat down in the theater for the highly anticipated Rise of the Planet of the Apes, I couldn't contain my geeky mind. How will the special effects look? Who is doing the score? This movie has a lot to live up to considering its' predecessor. And no, I'm not talking about the 2001 remake.
    If you have seen the 1968 original Planet of the Apes with Charlton Heston, you realize what retelling the story means to fans. It must be done well and must not be a copy of the original. Thankfully, this movie explains the process of how Earth became a planet of apes. The character Will Rodman, played by James Franco, is a scientist searching for a cure to Alzheimer's disease, not only for the company he is employed by, but also for his father, who suffers from the disease. Will and his team experiment with medicine on apes, which makes one in particular more intelligent. All of these events lead to one ape, Caesar, who Will is close with, discovering that the apes bend to the will of the humans. Caesar realizes that this must be stopped and hostility between man and ape ensues.
    Weta Digital, the special effects team that created Gollum for Lord of the Rings, worked on Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Andy Serkis, who actually provided the movement and voice for Gollum, brought Caesar to life in this movie. The CGI in this film has made the character of Caesar and all of his ape companions believable. Often this type of imagery is used to create robots or explosion scenes, but this story uses it to humanize an essential non-human character. The CGI was very impressive and took great strides in its credibility. This film, although not a remake, reminded fans of why they loved the original. A few mini tributes were added throughout the film. Caesar's mother is named "Bright Eyes,” a tribute to what the apes called Taylor, Charlton Heston's character. When Caesar is in captivity he is often treated in the same manner as Taylor was when the apes experimented on humans. About three lines are direct quotes taken from the original. And finally, my favorite homage, a glimpse of a Charlton Heston movie plays on a television in the background right before a suspenseful breakout from captivity by the apes in the 2011 movie.
    Although I was enamored by the production of special effects and storytelling, there were one or two things I could have done without. There is a scene where the character Dodge Landon, who works at the Primate Sanctuary where Caesar is kept, decides to let his friends tour the cages where the apes are held. His friends are all drinking beer while Dodge harasses the apes. The girls in this scene act stupid and screechy, while the boys act macho and idiotic. It seemed like these characters had nothing better to do on a Saturday night than get drunk and go look at monkeys. This part of the movie felt unnecessary and boring. The rest of the film I thoroughly enjoyed, with its suspenseful and inspirational soundtrack and realistic imagery of the computer generated characters.
    Rise of the Planet of the Apes would please any audience member who enjoyed the computer graphics of Avatar or Lord of the Rings. To any fan of the original who is wary of seeing it, for fear of one of their favorite movies getting ruined, I recommend that you see this one. A great effort was put forth when it comes to special effects and storytelling in general. This movie has made great strides in cinematic effects, but the story is not lost within them. The audience can relate to its main messages of self-empowerment and freedom as well. Rise of the Planet of the Apes will take you on a journey through believable CGI and memorable tributes that will leave you wanting to watch it again and again.

Welcome to the Monster Ball

On April 4th, 2011, the city of Tulsa knows that a concert is in town. Thousands of little monsters gather downtown at the new BOK Center to see Lady Gaga. When you are at the Monster Ball, the arena is filled with continuous deafening screams. All of her fans don eccentric pieces of clothing or accessories to show their "Mother Monster" her impact. Quite a few of these outfits are replicas from music videos or television appearances. The lights shut off and the fans know that the show is about to start. A purple light comes up and a silhouette of Lady Gaga appears.
    Lady Gaga is a pop artist with multiple chart-toppers and number one records. However, she is infamous is for her outrageous outfits and being outspoken about certain topics. Gay rights, bullying, and being who you want to be are messages she constantly stands for. This anti-bullying message, which has been in the media quite frequently, is and will be relevant to anyone growing up who has felt disenfranchised or alone. Perhaps that is some of her appeal, these subjects are so easily identifiable to many kids struggling to find out their place in this world that they take comfort in knowing someone who is famous felt the exact same way. The lyrics of her songs are a testament to her ideas of feeling detached from society. But, a lot of her songs are mainly great dance singles.
    The first song, "Dance in the Dark", begins and, true to her form, it is intensely theatrical. Gaga sings while remaining completely still and only moving on the chorus of the song. The audience then sees the stage with an electric green truck in the center with a keyboard in the hood, and neon words and props everywhere. She plays some of her more popular records like "Poker Face," "LoveGame," and "Telephone". The stage continuously changes throughout the show, as does Lady Gaga. Although the glitter, props, lights, instruments, and costumes make the show a true spectacle, the most entertaining part of the show is when Lady Gaga is at the piano. She hammers away at the keys and belts out her ballads. "You & I" and "Speechless" are among her powerhouse anthems she sings at the piano. These songs showcase her natural talent and ability as a pop artist. Everyone in attendance can see how passionate she is about her music and how she loves the dramatic theatricality of each performance.
    The Monster Ball was a concert unlike any I have ever seen. Gaga played numerous number one hits. But, she also sang some of her unreleased demo songs like, "Glitter & Grease" and "Vanity", which only her most devoted super fans know. She preaches the message of self-love, which each little monster can relate to and screams for. The Monster Ball is a show for anyone who loves theatre, electronic pop, fashion, powerful ballads, hard rock, or someone who may be lost or confused in their life and might need direction. Maybe Mother Monster has just the words or lyrics to help you.