Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Blogpost Concerning Many Things About Me

Due to some nasty circumstances beyond my control, this blogpost is the one that was supposed to go up on Sunday. But the whole point of nasty circumstances is that they're usually out of your control and so you can deal with this being a few days late. I have.
I promised some people I would blog about running my first ever 5k on Thanksgiving (yes, the infamous Turkey Trot) and I also promised some people I would blog with a review of the Broadway show Memphis, starring the man I was once convinced I was going to marry. So to those people, here we go:
The race. I started panicking that morning, particularly as I got the starting line. They line you up by miles: 4 minute miles, 5 minute miles and so on. I didn't know this. I was quite shocked the farthest back was 9 minute miles. Where were my 12 minute miles? No, forget about 12, where were my 15 minute miles? I started off with two of my cousins. One a runner, one not. I'm in the not group which was very obvious after RunnerCousin decided to place us near the 7 minute mile mark. Um, what? RunnerCousin also moved on ahead about 100 feet after we started. Good riddance. I mean, uh, good for her. The rest of the race (3.1 miles for you non-runners), I ran side by side with NonRunnerCousin, which was extremely entertaining but also ego boosting as it was me cajoling her along after mile two. I have to thank her for that. Anyway, we ran and ran and ran and walked and then ran some more. We missed the water station. Don't ask me how. One minute we were thirsty and the next minute we were thirstier as we spotted all the dropped paper cups and mostly full water bottles along the street. I would also like to give a digital shout out to the those awful people who were baking chocolate chip cookies along the race route. The was just plain cruel.
Anyway, both NonRunnerCousin and I finished. Ha! You thought I was going to tell you our time, didn't you? No way. Maybe next year. But probably not.
Onto the second part of this blog.
Memphis.
Mr. Pascal.
On Broadway.
I love New York City, I do, but I'm in there quite often and have made a new favorite hangout spot of Tribeca. Midtown is just too crowded, too noisy, too god-awful touristy for me now. And on the day after Thanksgiving? Not such a great place to be, at all. I made it to the theater without being suffocated, stampeded over, and shoved in front of a passing cab. That in itself was a feat.
But I promised myself I was only going to review the show and not bore you with mundane details from the inner working of my brain. Because God knows that's a dangerous place to be.
The show was good. The show was lively. The show was...interesting. Look at all those adjectives I just used! But I use them hesitantly because I'm not quite sure how I feel yet. I am not such a fan of that kind of music. I was also definitely not a fan of them using the 'n-word', not once but twice during the show. I know it fit the times but it's not a classy thing to do, even in a historical perspective, and so my respect for the playwrights decreased a little there.
But as you know, I went to see Adam Pascal perform. And boy did he perform. He plays a stupid, southern boy character, a role I thought was hilarious to see him playing. Also, it's the first time I've seen him act in a role where I was able to look past him and see the actual character. I am/was (what I'd say before about that slashy mark?) a hardcore fan but there are times when I admit he's not the greatest actor/singer at what he's trying to accomplish. I am please however, to say this was not one of those times. It is truly the best role of his career so far. And yeah, I did get quite the thrill at seeing him on stage and it set my little fangirl heart a flutter. That stupid grin drifted back on my face even after all these years.
I'm going to end it there because this turned out to be way too long. Kudos to those who read to the end and please know I mean it when I say, thank you!
~M. T. Rossi

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Movies vs. Books

Okay, another false title. There's no such thing. At least, not when you're comparing movies to the books they are based off of.
I've been known to get into pretty big discussions (c'mon now, let's not call them arguments) about books and movies, characters and actresses, line flubs etc. Mostly about big franchises too.
I know, I know, you think I'm going to take this moment to either bash or exalt Twilight since the new movie came out this week.
I'm not.
So if that's what you're looking for, go away. Don't read this.
JUST KIDDING. Please read this.
Even though my "discussions" began heating up around the first Twilight movie (I was fourteen and it went something like: No, they can't cast a British Edward! How dare they, they left out my favorite part! Jacob is ugly!) it actually started farther back with the Harry Potter franchise. While I have read and watched all the Twilight books and movies, I obsessed over Harry Potter. I really did; it was sad. And while I think Twilight and Stephenie Meyer are both ridiculous, I adore Harry and J.K. Rowling. I grew up with Hogwarts; I read the first four books in 2nd grade. My oldest brother offered me his hardcover copies for $60.
And I bought them.
Not to get off-track but it was somewhere along the journey of HP movies that I realized we have to stop judging the movies based on the books. Yes, everyone gets riled up and angry and happy when they realize who has/has not been cast but we can't compare the two. Why, you ask?
One: They are two entirely different mediums.
Two: Here's the thing. Everyone expects movies to come out how they envision a book in their head, or at least some sort of visual world the books is based on. But often that's not what the scriptwriters and directors are going for. They are not there to satisfy every little detail of the movie, to perfect every line down to what pop culture demands it be. They are simply there to bring the big picture to life.
Take the highly anticipated Hunger Games movie. I loved the books. Not so thrilled about the movie although I will say, I pass no judgments one way or another until I've seen it. Why? Because personally, I think it's going to be hard to put the big picture onto the screen. The Hunger Games is about the characters. Their thoughts, feelings, dreams, disappointments, anger. You can't always capture that in a movie. Perhaps that's why Twilight is so successful; there isn't much to go off of in regards to deep and complex character personalities.
The tricky part comes in when you start comparing the latest movies to the previous ones. I do it all the time. I just saw Breaking Dawn and while I promised this wasn't a review, I have to say, I didn't care for it. It comes off the back of Eclipse which was packed with action and adrenaline whereas this one....wasn't. Again, to me, Harry Potter just seemed to get bigger and better every time. Maybe that's the trick. Making each one more interesting than the last.
Well, that's it for this subject. I have plenty more to say (don't I always?) but I fear it would creep up on reviewing movies and my personal opinions on each one and you guys don't really want to read that stuff.
Also, I'm starving.
And there's tacos for dinner.

~ M. T. Rossi

Saturday, November 12, 2011

My Favorite Time of Year

How cliche is that title? Very. And perhaps not so truthful as I really do like the month of June when I can run around barefoot and take the dog for long meandering walks along the gorge. But since the time of NorthFace jackets, pumpkin flavored everything and a whole month off of school has arrived, I've chosen to embrace it with open arms. Right now, for instance, I'm extraordinarily happy. I spent the day at the mall, bought a new CD, ate a meal that actually filled me up and there's a puppy laying on top of my laptop. No seriously, there is.

Told you so.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to type around that face?
No, I'm not in my dorm room. Thank God. I'm somewhere east of school hanging out with family. These weekend getaways happen to be one of the reasons school is so bearable at this time of year.
As I mentioned before, I went shopping today. At the mall. For multiple hours. I was so proud of myself. I told myself I was going out to start my Christmas shopping and that I would be a good present buyer and start nice and early this year instead of waiting for the last minute like usual. Did that happen?
Of course not. Don't be ridiculous.
Instead, I walked away with a Forever 21 bag full of a shirt that now belongs to ME. Same with Target. Except with a CD instead of a shirt. Said CD is playing on my laptop and making me even more extremely happy. But that's not the point of this. The point of this blogpost, I suppose, is just to welcome in the new season that always seems to approach so fast but then takes so long to end. That sentence didn't make sense.
But here I am, welcoming in the twisted peppermint and fire place scented candles (the latter smelled awful!), gazing up in wonder at the thirty foot Christmas trees and 'aw-ing' at the little kids on Santa's lap. This time of year always makes me feel so hopeful and my big dreams always become wilder. I'm not sure what it is but there's just something about curling up in bed with sweats and fuzzy socks and watching a movie.
In ten short days, I get to head home for Thanksgiving *insert squeal here* and if you can't tell, I'm beyond excited. My doggy, my bed and my parents are all waiting for me not to mention the turkey, mashed potatoes and cranberry relish that I'll eat too much of. And er, the fact I may have, er, signed up to run a race on Thanksgiving morning. No, I've never run a race before but this is what happens when your whole family has no interest in watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Wish me luck.
Three weeks after that, I get to go home for a whole month!! So. Friggin. Excited.
Anyway, the cousin has just turned on Beauty and the Beast and I hear Aladdin is up next. There's a dish of chocolate sitting behind me and I can hear the puppy barking in the yard.
Yep, life is good.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Beginning of the End

This post was originally going to be about the upcoming hype of Breaking Dawn and the overall feeling towards franchises such as Twilight and Harry Potter. I was really looking forward to some hardcore defending of authors and filmmakers and so on. But...something else, a bigger, more impressive topic (can you imagine something bigger than vampires and wizards?) has slowly been building up steam in my mind. And I decided this would be a good place to let my feelings known about it. I will really try to keep the outright ranting to a minimum (this should be good).
The topic: Bullying.
Yes, I'm serious. I got the idea to switch the topic of the blogpost when I saw that #RIPSophie was trending on Twitter on this afternoon. Naturally, I clicked on it to see what was up even though I don't personally know any Sophie's, and so wasn't that alarmed.
Turns out that Sophie is another victim of bullying and it is thought to have committed suicide, tweeting about it moments before.
Stories like this break my heart. And unfortunately, they are much too frequent. When I hear about teens or even younger than teens committing suicide because of bullying, a thousand questions jump into my mind, each one an infection, spreading to even more questions that I don't think can ever be answered.
Why do people bully others? What do they get out of it. Joy? Relief? Are all bullies just sick, twisted people or are they the poor, misunderstand adolescents they've always been labeled as? Maybe a little of both? What right does one person have over another's life? What gives you permission to end a person's life? Why you? And why them?
When I was in elementary school, I was bullied. Quite harshly, in fact, as the girl put her hands on me quite a few times and left marks on my skin. Even just ten years ago, bullying was highly overlooked by teachers and school administrators. The principal of my school called me into the office and actually asked me this question: "Well, what are you doing to provoke her?"
I could only stare. Was he kidding me? I finally had worked up the courage to say something and they didn't even believe me. It was a harsh slap in the face; one who's sting hasn't quite faded.
Coming off that story, my next comment might be a little biased.
But...it's the adults that don't want to listen. I've said it many times before and I'll say it many times again...they see what they want to see and they hear what they want to hear. I'm trying my best not to sound like an resentful teenager. And I'll thank you in advance for not treating me like one.
But they don't listen. They didn't when I was nine and they don't now. Laws and rules are being put into place all over this country to eradicate bullying but it's not going to happen. Not until the people in charge take off the blinders that make them so susceptible to making these deadly errors in judgment. If a girl comes to you, as a teacher, a parent, an administrator, and she's fearful of a kid in the grade, listen to her. If your child comes home with his head hanging down and starts complaining about classmates, listen. For God's sake, if any child has the courage and strength to lift their head and whisper their shameful secret...LISTEN.
To all the bullies out there (and they know exactly who they are, as cliche as that sounds):
This has got to stop.
This victimizing, hazing, destroying of lives must end. Every single one of you has a light inside you, just waiting to be lit. Sometimes, that light is going to be hard to find and maybe you're even a little afraid of the dark. But that doesn't give you the right to go extinguish someone else's. Look around. Instead of tormenting, hold our your hand because chances are, the person next to you needs help striking the match just as much as you do. But I, along with countless others, are asking, begging you to be the beginning of the end. It might be the only chance you get (and I hope it's not) to change someone's life. So smile next time instead of saying something ugly. Hold your hand out instead of your foot. Make a difference.
I know this one blogpost (and it's a long one, I'm sorry) isn't going to change the world. Hell, I don't even know if people read this thing. But if you do, please don't shake your head and call it a rant. We're all at fault here. Take action and open your ears because sometimes those cries for help are muttered in whispers instead. Into pillows, lockers, best friend's shoulders. But you have the chance to help and if you do, I promise you one thing:
You will never, ever regret it.