I have not fail…

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Thomas Edison

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Smallpools!

I am writing just to let you all know how amazing Smallpools is.  For those of you who have never heard of Smallpools, it is a band THAT IS AMAZING!!!!!  Sorry, I know that using all caps and several exclamation points makes you question my credibility and seriousness as a writer, but I can’t oversell these people.  Listen to Dreaming and you’ll know what I mean.  Actually, listen to any of their song; they’re all good.  All of the songs have these catchy melodies that make you want to get up and dance.

Now for some good news, bad news Remy Charlip style:

Fortunately: These guys have amazing songs

Unfortunately: The band’s only been together a couple of months

Fortunately: You can’t tell!

Unfortunately:  Since Smallpools hasn’t been around that long, they only have recorded about four songs

Fortunately:  All of the songs are deliciously fantastic!  In most albums, there’s only four or five songs that are good enough to listen to Over and Over (song from album)!

Please give them a listen!

*I know this is the second post that I’ve done on music I like.  This probably won’t be my last.  

Disney is Changing

Today I was watching Disney Channel and I noticed something new.  Now, before any of you judge me for being outside of the seven-year-old girl demographic, let me explain.  Occasionally, when nothing else is on, I watch Disney Channel.  The good shows remind me of simpler times and the bad ones guide me into my ranting mood.  I’m not in second grade anymore, but Disney still makes me happy.  Anyways, the channel has these segments during the commercials called “Make Your Mark” in which kids show how they have made a difference or followed their dreams.  Usually, these things are kind of cheesy, but this one wasn’t too bad.  It was about this one kid who made documentaries that looked like pretty professional stuff, but that’s not my point.  During this segment, the boy introduced his family which included his sister and his two moms.  This is the first that I have seen of Disney (ABC and ABC Family not included) showing any consideration when it comes to the gay community.  When it comes to gay issues, Disney has played it safe, not wanting to lose viewers because a difference in beliefs.  However, if Disney is making the step, though minuscule and cautious, I think it will usher in changes for Disney, and if Disney is okay with it, maybe we can all learn to be okay with it.

I think that by portraying gay people on children’s television can show children at a young age that being gay is normal.  Maybe after this goes on for a couple of decades, all of the hatred will go away.  I know I’m getting a little excited over something so insignificant, but I think change is good, and I’d like to see it before the end of my lifetime.

642 Things to Write About

I recently bought a book titled, 642 Things to Write About and the name just about says it all.  The book gives its reader prompts followed by space to write the reader’s answer.  Prompts range from Write a letter to the reader of a novel you haven’t written yet to A person is standing on a soapbox in the park, yelling at passersby.  What’s going on?  The idea is to get the reader’s (writer’s?) juices flowing and inspire him or her to be more creative.  For example, I responded to one of the prompts and it filled me with the compulsive need to write a post about the book.  I highly recommend it for you writers out there who want to let new ideas into your head organs.  The prompts are very creative and are usually at least a bit humorous.  If you ever find love in your heart to shell out seventeen bucks for a book that you’ll write half yourself, you will enjoy your purchase.

Public Broadcasting

Here’s my big idea: the United States should create it’s own equivalent of the British Broadcasting Corporation.  We need a television station that can deliver news that isn’t tainted by bias.  Now before some of you attack me for being contemptuous, let me explain.  The major broadcasting companies are owned by big corporations (NBC is owned by GE and ABC by The Walt Disney Corporation) and the shows are funded by big company advertisements.  If you were a broadcasting company, would you be more concerned about telling the whole truth, or about keeping the people who pay the bills happy.  The answer is easy for most broadcasting corporations and unfortunately, we Americans are being taken as fools.

And for those of you out there who would like to counter with PBS (or whatever other public broadcasting stations exist), let me ask this: how many times have you ever throughly enjoyed a show on PBS?  If that number was more than three, answer this: how many times have you throughly enjoyed something on PBS that wasn’t educational or in a historical setting?  I think I’ve narrowed down the options to almost none.  And this is my point.  Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy sitting down for an hour or two to learn about the African savannas and the Edwardian era is one of my top twenty eras, but sometimes what we need is to laugh.  I think that public broadcasting can be revolutionized.  Shows similar to what is popular on ABC or FOX can be popular on this channel and give those big corporations a run for their money.  These new shows would bring more viewers and a wider fan base.  With more viewers and a wider fan base, the channel could begin to sell merchandise to fund its shows (this is how BBC makes a large sum of its money).  Best of all, the news station on this channel would be the best around because it would be the most creditable.  The news station wouldn’t have the heavy pressure of conveying a positive message of its parent company(ies) or advertisers; its only concern is bringing the whole truth to the public.

I don’t really see much problem with this idea, but that might be me idealizing it too much.  For those cynics out there let me remind you, there would be no commercials (except, well, for the occasional, “This program is brought to you in part by… and viewers like you”)!  Let me say it again; there would no commercials!  No people smelling garbage cans scented like flowers, no more dogs running after bacon, just TV!  Isn’t that what most people want?  Aren’t commercials just the bane of your existence?

This is just what I think.  Please, let me know if you agree or disagree!

Calling All Grammar Nerds!

I have a problem with incorrect grammar.  It genuinely bothers me when people can’t even speak their own language correctly.  I can deal with the difficult stuff (nauseous vs. nauseated), but when people mess up basic second grade grammar, it upsets me.  It’s on social networking sites like Facebook that I really see the worst of it though.  I begin to understand why America isn’t on top intelligence wise when I see some of these.  There, their, and they’re, is it really that difficult to know which goes where?  And then there are those who substitute of for have so it’s should of, would of, could of.  Then I sigh and wonder if I need to give my friends a lesson on beginner English.  Don’t even get me started on those who write like this: ill c u sum time 😉 (for the record, I have no problem with winky faces).

I think I do have a real problem though.  During conversations, I find myself thinking, whom, not who; lie, not lay; envious, not jealous.  I completely understand that this whole article makes me sound like a horrible, shallow, pretentious, person, but bad grammar really is my pet peeve.  And isn’t that what pet peeves are supposed to be?  Something that actually isn’t that bad, but you cringe at the thought of?  Something that, when you complain about it, makes you sound like an old lady?

That was just what bothers me.  I hope I didn’t offend anyone.  I only say these things because I am so passionate about grammar (even if it sounds weird).  Please comment below!

Half the Sky

I recently began reading Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.  I haven’t really gotten that far because I have a tendency to read anything that looks interesting to me, so I am currently reading six books, and a fast progression can be difficult because of this.  Like I said, I’m not very far and I am already shocked beyond belief by some of the things mentioned so far.  I never realized how bad it is.  The book is a collection of of stories that the journalist couple heard about discrimination against females.  Some of the cruelties left me with my mouth dropped open in disbelief.  In just three chapters I read of men in Pakistan throwing flesh burning acid at their wives for disobeying, nightmarish brothels that forced little girls from their homes and broke their spirits, and of women being burned at the stake for god knows what.  Did you know that in developing countries the boys are given preferential treatment as compared to their sisters?  If a son is sick, the family will take him to the doctor or hospital, but if a daughter is sick, the parents will wait out the illness to see if it passes. This isn’t even the worst part.  Now, with modern technologies such as sonogram coming to the countries, a woman can know earlier if her child is male or female.  If it is female, the woman might have an abortion because males are considered more valuable.  It’s just horrible that anyone would have to make that choice to give up a child because she is not good enough.  It’s horrible that that mother cannot have a baby girl because her family will drown financially without a boy.  The demographics of these nations reflect this new custom.  Fewer and fewer girls are being born each year, and those who are either die at a young age or are sold/ forced into prostitution.

Reading this book made me sick.  It made me disappointed in myself.  I have lived a comfortable enough life, but even then I complain.  This book motivated me to want to make a difference in gender roles in countries all over the world.  It has been determined that the best way to keep horrible stuff like this from happening is to invest in the schools in developing countries.  Half the Sky mentions programs that pay girls to go to school to earn money for her family.  I think I will find good program like this to give to and maybe it’ll feel like I’m making a difference.  I just know that I can’t be content knowing that worldwide, millions of girls are abused everyday.  If we don’t do anything, who will?

The biggest issue, I think, is that not enough people are aware of these atrocities.  I had no idea about some of the things that are going on.  Just knowing and understanding the problems can make a big difference.  So dear readers, I will try do my part and I hope that you try to do yours to help those whose voices just aren’t loud enough.

Ziva David

It was just (well, within a few weeks) that Cote de Pablo will not be returning to NCIS.  Some report that it is because de Pablo wanted to explore new paths, others say that t has to do with the NCIS star demanding more money.  If the second reason is true, then GIVE COTE DE PABLO MORE MONEY!!  According to some sources, Cote de Pablo just wanted to be paid the same amount as her costar, Michael Weatherly.  That’s fair enough, right?  I don’t know if I will be able to cope without Ziva being on the show.  She is so cool that every once in awhile, she inspires me to teach myself Krav Maga through Youtube videos for whole afternoons.  I emulate her.  Ziva David simply cannot go.  However, if she does want to explore new projects, I need to respect that.  And I promise that whatever Cote de Pablo is in post NCIS, I will watch no matter how moronic.

Ziva is leaving, and I need to find a way to be okay with that.  I really hope that Tiva (Tony and Ziva couple) finally forms before de Pablo leaves for good.  After that, maybe Ziva can come back as a recurring role.  I can deal with that.  What I can’t deal with is Ziva being killed off.  I know she’s a fictional character and all, but I just might have a panic attack and cry my face off if Ziva becomes another NCIS casualty.  What would be even worse would be the writers revealing Ziva as a double agent.  I have gained such a relationship through the TV screen with Miss David and so have many other NCIS fans.  It just would be wrong to change that positive perception people have of her.  If this happens, I’ll feel as though Ziva betrayed me, and I just can’t have that.

 

I’m really going to miss Ziva David.

Pompeii!!

Sorry, no I’m not talking about the volcano.

I’m talking about that amazing song by the British band, Bastille.  If you’re like me, you are a fan of alternative rock.  Unfortunately, not many other people around me are.  When I tell friends a favorite song of mine, they just give me a dazed look and after a few seconds say, “That’s by Kelly Clarkson, right?”  I usually then have to sigh and explain to them the odd name of the band and play them a clip of the song.  Even after all this, my friends still wouldn’t be as enthused as I was.

But that’s why there’s the internet!  Right?  I mean, someone out there must share my love for this song and others like it!

Back to the song.  Pompeii‘s brilliant and catchy melodies are what get you first.  They pull you in and force you to dance.  The tune is contagious.  Then you hear the lyrics:


And the walls kept tumbling down

In the city that we love

Great clouds roll over the hills

Bringing darkness from above

But if you close your eyes,

Does it almost feel like

Nothing changed at all?

And if you close your eyes,

Does it almost feel likeYou’ve been here before?

How am I gonna be an optimist about this?

How am I gonna be an optimist about this?

At first the lyrics do seem a bit silly, but after listening and singing to it a couple times, they made sense.  I think that Bastille is referring to the fact that we humans have not learned from our mistakes.  Our attitudes haven’t changed and so we keep messing up.

This could also stuck in a rut, not being able to break out of a cycle.  The person is unhappy with his life because after looking back on his life, he realizes that he hasn’t really done that much with his life.

The song might be making light out of a negative situation.  The character’s life “came tumbling down” in someway or another, but, “if you close your eyes”, he can remember when life was okay and it makes him feel better.

Or, you know, it could just be about the volcano.