Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Let's Talk Books

I haven't digested a book in such a long time.

The kind that you pick out from Barnes & Nobles that seems interesting on first sight, and in which you find out after reading the synopsis, is indeed interesting, and you mentally pat yourself on the back for choosing it.

Impeccable instinct for greatness, no?


The other day, let's say 25 days ago, I bought "The Hunger Games," because I want to see the movie, so I feel it's right to read the book first.

Man oh man O'Reilly, I'm liking it so far.

Think of North America, aka the United States, as a now communist Capitol called Panem, a place that has become tragic in ruins due to the cruel and harsh government, that is then separated into 12 Districts. In order to keep the districts from revolting, the government has one girl and one boy of every district between the ages of 12 to 18 compete to the death against each other called "The Hunger Games," which is filmed on live television for everyone to see. Katniss, the 16-year-old heroine of the book, steps in when her newly 12-year-old sister, Prim, is called to be a contestant of the games. To save her life, Katniss offers herself in her sisters place, and from then on, the book goes deep into Katniss's survival in The Hunger Games.

I haven't gotten the chance to fully engross myself in it, which I plan to do tomorrow under my covers since it's that time of the year where under the covers is the best spot in the house (if under, or next to, the heater is already taken).

It's the kind of book that I think I needed to get back into the motion of being an avid reader again. It's doing me justice. And this semester of school has been so smooth and unstressful that I feel I have the right to actually sit down, read a book, and not worry if I'm wasting my time since I have hmwk.

Not to mention, the movie has such a great ensemble cast, from Jennifer Lawrence who has grown on me so well, to Josh Hutcherson who I saw grow up on screen, to Elizabeth Banks who is adorably funny, Stanley Tucci who is one of the most charming actors in my book, Woody Harrelson who is a regulating badass, to effin' LENNY KRAVITZ?! If I wasn't interested in reading it before, the cast alone would have had me racing to buy it then. 

LENNY KRAVITZ.

After that I shall read "A Dirty Job," by Christopher Moore, about a man that after having a baby girl, has people he loves dying all around him, and then must take on the role of being the Grim Reaper. Christopher, as I noticed upon reading the first two chapters, has a great way of turning this tragedy into a sarcastic bundle of humor. MUY BUENO.

Many of his books have a black comedy turn to it. Usually involving the paranormal fads we fall in love with or with death in general, which are situations that would irk us, he brings them out and turns them into enjoyable books, for unemployable subjects...

And being able to do so is never a bad thing. It can actually be tricky. So if you do it and do it right, such as Christopher Moore, then you deserve praise. In which he gets in book sales.

I plan to purchase more of his books. Just after I finish this one. In-completion is not flattering.

Another book I'm going to have to purchase, just out of curiosity and critical acclaim. Many magazines that I read that actually have sections in which they review recent books released to the public that are practically grabbing them by the hair in attention have been going apeshit for a book called, "The Marriage Plot."

Apparently, the is the most recent work from author Jeffrey Eugenides, who has written many critical acclaim books (just found out one of them was "The Virgin Suicides," in which the movie starring Kirsten Dunst and Josh Hartnett was based off of) but took a long hiatus, hence his epic return with "the Marriage Plot." The book, about a love triangle not similar to the Archie comics but similar to Bridget Jones diary in some sort of sense, has been getting critical acclaim. The look of the book alone is interesting, and the fact that it's the book everyone keeps talking about from magazines to book clubs, it seems like it will become a new purchase pretty soon. Not sure when, but soon.

Last but not least is a book I had the pleasure of sampling many times and in which I grew excited over for every sampling because I just KNOW the lengths of how great this book will be.

First off, let me just get off my chest that I love and look up to Mindy Kaling. Seriously. Not only is she hilarious, but she's odd, quirky, has a shrill voice that resembles a girl that hasn't embarked on the journey of puberty yet, is small and petite, isn't skinny but struts her chubby size (as she's classified herself), loves fad diets and messy celeb scandals and isn't afraid to say that. In a day and age where everyone wants to seem chill and not into that "superficial business," Mindy OWNS it.She really doesn't care if you think it's superficial. Hell, SHE thinks it's superficial. But she admits to the guilty pleasure. Not only that but she's had such a journey to where she came from, where she's been and where she is now. From the samples I've read alone, I've come to the conclusion that 1) We could be best friends. Literally. This book is so best friend-y... 2) Her advice is spot on. Especially when she talks about her not understanding or wanting to be a part of one night stands... her reasons were legit. 3) She has an awesome job. Comedy writer, hello! 4) She's adorable, even in writing. When your cuteness spews throughout the pages of your book, you've got a major boost of cuteness. 5) She's underrated, unfortunately. But fortunately because it keeps her grounded. She's aware of being known but unknown, giving us the level of fame she'd like to obtain in one of the chapters of her book.

Sigh . . . Oh Mindy. "Is Everyone Hanging Out without Me?" will be read and devoured and instilled into my brain.

Let's see if I can read these four books before the year ends.

Reign of the Pixar Redhead!

Literally just a few minutes ago, I saw the trailer to Pixar's latest endeavor, "Brave." And after being teased with fan art, folklore looking movie posters, and the occasional, "Brave to be the best of Pixar bunch..." headlines from a few of my favorite blogs, I finally got a trailer to back all that action up.


Merida is a skilled archer and impetuous daughter of King Fergus and Queen Elinor. Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin, surly Lord Macintosh and cantankerous Lord Dingwall. Merida's actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric old Witch for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish. The ensuing peril forces Merida to discover the meaning of true bravery in order to undo a beastly curse before it's too late.

I really do enjoy the trailer... Visually Pixar never fails, of course. And when it comes to the story, Pixar gives you a well in depth movie that does little in failing us, as well. A story about being put into a mold that you hate to be placed into and breaking out of that mold to do the things you want to do and to use the freedom you have... It's a story all of us are facing. Just not faced with Kings and Queens as parents and living in an era with no toilets... Or panties, for that matter. 

I'm thoroughly entertained by it, but wanting more of what the story is about, which means it had the balls to being a hit trailer. Hit trailers give you just enough to want and to see more, but not EVERYTHING,  because they want you to be filled with suspense and curiosity, and in which you will, which urges you to purchase your theater ticket opening night. The only thing is, I know there is a witch and a wish involved, in which they barely presented in the trailer, which could be a good or bad thing. I think adding it would have helped in getting people excited, as compared to it just looking like a movie about a girl wanting to rebel because she's better than the boys. And did you see Merida's hair?! Oh my word, I paused the video around the 0:40 mark and gazed at that mane of red. That beautiful mane of red. I wanna pet it. I wanna braid it. Gah, I just want it! I'm a freak for redheads, sorry.

Also, the nerve of some people to compare it to "How To Train Your Dragon," just because you see a few vikings roaming around the film when dragons have absolutely NOTHING to do with the storyline... C'mon, people. Broaden your horizons, why don't you. Step away from comparisons, and just enjoy it for what it is, yeah?

ANYWHO... Will you be watching?

NEW FAVE: Girl on Guy

Honestly, I know a crumb sized amount of people that listen to podcasts. I know a pea sized amount of people that KNOW about podcasts but in which don't really pay attention to them, because to be frank, finding a really good podcast to dedicate and hour and change of your life to is difficult. I used to listen to them a long while ago when I got into the gist of iTunes. Then I stopped because there really was nothing great to listen to

Until now . . .

Aisha Tyler, this beautiful tall glass of woman who you've seen hosting the long ago show Talk Soup on E!, kicking ass in the movie "Balls of Fury," and who stars as Lana Kane on FX's hit animated TV show "Archer," has used her talents to bring us the podcast series, "Girl on Guy." Ooh. Kinky.

But all jokes aside, the stand-up comedian/actress/nerd heroine/author has brought us a refreshing podcast that I've been listening to for the past two days. She brings us topics that only the WHOLE PACKAGED FEMALE can bring: Sex (duh), girl talk, men, video games, comics, zombies, music, food, booze (and lots of)... I mean, I only discovered these podcasts last night. Yes, not exactly two days ago but it seemed that way. But regardless, I listened to it right before going to bed, and made sure I listened to it as I was trying to pry myself out of bed. 

And I must say, Aisha may be easy on the eyes, but her voice is engaging. And not to mention the way she talks, which is mega relatable with a slap of fun, potty-mouthing, and a shitload of "DUDE!" She brings in some awesome guests, such as ?uestlove, Chris Hardwick (his podcast episode is one of my faves), Zachary Levi, and even the women of Archer, another episode which I looooved. It's cool when she tlks wit hthe guys, but when she's surrounded with the girls, especially girls that are just as whimsical and raunchy as she is... ENTERTAINMENT.

If you've got iTunes, download her podcasts HERE.
Visit her website HERE.
And follow her on her Twitter and Facebook.

Just... check her out. Aisha nevers fails to be awesome.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

According to Fat Joe, Hip-Hop Is Run By Gays

Now, before you click on this post ready to feel a certain way toward Fat Joe and what he has to say about your favorite genre of music and the artists that shape it, hear him out. I clicked the play button ready to hear his sentiment; a household named rapper back talking his musical community...


Until, of course, I watched the video. And a lot of what Fat Joe says is not nonsense, but truth.

If you aren't in the mood to watch the video, Fat Joe explains that there are, indeed, gay folks in the hip-hop community. Some are too afraid to come out due to their status in the industry and what it can do to their reputation, but in the meantime they bash the same people who they are. And to Fat Joe, it's sad to him that in the year 2011, hip-hop rappers and their fans are too afraid to step out and say that they are gay. And that we may not know it, but even the pioneers and moguls of hip-hop can be gay, as well.

I have absolutely no doubt in that. It seems a bit impossible for there to be absolutely no such as gay folks in hip-hop. Many video vixens and famous prostitutes who have done sexual acts for said rappers have come clean in autobiographies and such, stating that they've seen who some rappers affiliate with when it comes to sex... It doesn't stop at just women.

What's most sad is that there is so much homophobia in the black community alone, that if there were to be any hip-hop artists or moguls who came out, respect would be lost. And it shouldn't be that way, of course. But, it is. Which is what Fat Joe is touching tone with in this video.

Do you agree?
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