Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hurt so Good

So I'm not exactly the "war movie" type; aka I'm not a dude! I don't really enjoy watching a bunch of stuff blowup and watching guys make foul jokes about the female anatomy. But the Hurt Locker is so much more than that! Raw emotion just spills out onto screen. The main objective of a film is to take you out of your own reality and place you into this fictitious world created on screen; this film does just that. I cannot say that I truly understand what it is to be a soldier but through the characters in this film I feel as though I am somewhat let into this world. A world where your throat gets so dry that you cannot swallow; a world where your life is constantly on the line, a world that you never really leave. The Hurt Locker captures this realism so well I believe because writer, Mark Boal spent time with a bomb squad. The Hurt Locker follows a group of EOD's (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) on their journey through Iraq. Director. Kathryn Bigelow has laid out beautiful images for us and has made every scene mean something; exactly what a great film should do. I do not want to say much more because I think that this is a film that you owe it to yourself to see.

Check out the trailer

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Justin Timberlake: Is his Career Cooked?

Not even close, just roasted. Justin will be honored at Harvard University as Man of the Year with a roast, and will also receive the Hasty Pudding Pot trophy. Justin is in good company in being honored with this award with the likes of James Franco who was last years recipient. The smooth singing and dancing Pop Star is acknowledge for his talents; he was deemed "one of our generation's greatest entertainers" by the University. And I would have to agree. For those that don't know me, I'm a big JT fan; ever since those 'Nsync days when I would plaster up Teen Bop Magazine pictures on my wall (Wow, can't believe I just admitted that). However, I have grown with Justin and been taken on the journey from Justified to FutureSex/LoveSounds and concur with Harvard's decision. Justin continues to get better! He has also branched out into acting; and from his stints on SNL, to his role as the comedic relief in "Alpha Dog" he certainly has solidified himself as an all around entertainer. Which also must be why Glee is interested in having him on the show in the upcoming episodes! Clearly, Justin's career is nowhere near done, and I think there is still more great performances and music to come. I cannot wait to see what he brings our way next!

Justin Video Collection

Justin talks about Glee

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Crying is Hard Work

Kelly woke up that Monday morning feeling nothing. People passed her off as stoic and cold hearted after Jimmy died. She sat up and slid over to the edge of her bed. Her eyes closed tightly she began to think about him and how much she loved him. But nothing happened. It was as if her eyes were experiencing a draught.
Kelly and her family all lived in a small four bedroom home in Indiana. The streets on her block were mainly all the same. They consisted of a cream siding and the only thing that varied were shudder colors. Her best friend Britney lived only a few houses away. They’ve been friends since kindergarten. Their families even got together on holidays.
Kelly was starting middle school tomorrow. While most kids would be excited she dreaded the first day. Everyone was going to ask her about it. She just knew it. Jimmy’s accident had only happened about three weeks ago. It stung, like a freshly acquired flesh wound. Her Dad avoided the office like it was the plague and worked from home. Kelly’s Mom use to work as a receptionist for a local dentist until Jim was born, then she decided to be a stay at home Mom. Everyday after the accident she would scour the newspapers for jobs.
Normally, school mornings consisted of her Mom still asleep and her Dad getting ready to go into the office. But this morning was different; she was greeted by the smell of toast, eggs and bacon. Usually Kelly just grabbed a bowl of Trix and sat in the dark at the kitchen table. Looking into the kitchen she saw a Norman Rockwell painting of her family. Her Dad at the stove finishing up cooking the eggs and Mom pouring three glasses of oj and getting ready to carry them over to the table. The morning news was on at a low volume in the background.
“What’s going on here?” Kelly said as she grabbed some plates and silverware to take over to the table.
“We just thought it would be nice to all have breakfast together today. Especially with everything that has just…” Her voice trailed off as she set the glasses of orange juice down on the table. She looked over at and gave Kelly a kiss on the forehead as she walked back into the kitchen.
“Aren’t you going to be late for work Dad?”
“Oh I don’t have anything until a meeting at nine; A perk of being your own boss.”
“Oh.” Kelly mumbled as she sat down at the table and began to dig in. The food tasted good but was hard to get down. She could feel it get stuck in the back of her throat yet forces it down. *gulp* *gulp* *gulp* she smiled at her parents, she knew how hard they were trying to make everything ok. After breakfast she went to get ready for school.
As Kelly got dressed for the day she came across the cheerios t-shirt that she wore almost everyday that Summer. Jimmy had made fun of her for it.
“Aren’t you too old for that Kel?” he would say. She didn’t cry at the funeral. It made her feel even worse that she couldn’t cry. She was sure people thought she was strange. One day Kelly overheard her Mom’s friend Sue say that Kelly may need therapy. The thing is, it isn’t that Kelly didn’t want to cry. She really did.
Although Jimmy was younger than her she enjoyed their time together. He made her feel like she could really love and take care of someone. He had this great way of making her not feel selfish. Kelly helped him with homework and would sometimes even skip plans with her friends just so she could take him to the park. Kelly finished getting ready and ran to say good-bye to her Mom and Dad before she left. She hugged them and flew out the door.
She was running down the path in the front yard and caught a glimpse of it. When she saw it, images started to flood her brain. Kelly’s face went from cream to pure white. She remembered it all. Hanging up on Britney, running down the steps; It was as if Kelly was an outsider looking in on her life. What a sight it was at the Scottsdale residence the day Jimmy was hit by the drunk driver; her Mom yelling and screaming, her Dad trying to comfort her as best he could and Kelly just standing there like a neighbor’s child who carelessly wandered into the yard not realizing the gravity of the situation. Red and blue lights swarmed over them as if they were at some morbid disco. She watched the drunk stumble out of his car as the cops grabbed him and shoved him into the back of their squad car. A drop of red blood trickled down his left cheek of the man, quickly disappearing into the deep charcoal that was his complexion. Dad was the only one able to muster up the courage to lift Jimmy’s small, fragile body.
Kelly bent down to pick it up and stopped; she froze. Her hair fell in front of her face obscuring the view of the red toy truck that sat in the front yard. She brushed it out of her face and took another look. Jimmy was still gripping his red truck when he was hit, it must have fallen out when her Dad picked him up. Finally, she picked it up and put it in her pocket. Without warning the sprinkler system turned on quenching the thirst of the heat tortured grass and soaking Kelly; bringing her out of her comatose daze.
The bus stop was only a block away; Brit and Kelly always met up and walked over together. Kelly hadn’t talked to her since it had happened. When Britney saw her she looked as if she had seen a stranger.
“Oh, hi” she said. She stared down at the ground when she said it. Her feet shuffled around in her brand new adidas sneakers she was wearing. It reminded Kelly that she had broken the ultimate kid rule. You were always supposed to wear an entirely brand new wardrobe on the first day of school. Although Kelly and her Mom had gone a few weeks ago in the midst of all the chaos Kelly had forgotten this crucial rule. She didn’t have time to go and change so she was stuck with what she was already wearing.
“Hey, how’s it goin?”
“Not bad…got these sneakers yesterday, they only had one red pair left in my size too. Why are you all wet?”
“Awesome. Run in with the sprinkler”
“Oh. So, I know you’re going to get this all day today but I’m your best friend and I deserve to know…so, how are you?” Britney pushed her blonde hair out of her face as she the late summer breeze kept blowing back. Kelly was distracted by Britney’s fight with Mother Nature. She eventually uttered:
“Yeah, I’m sorry I haven’t called or stopped by. I’ve been…ok, just…ok.”
“I understand”
They walked the rest of the way to the bus stop in silence.
Finally the bus pulled up; Its engine rattling loudly like someone with congestion in their chest. It smelled of a mixture of gasoline and body odor. She took a seat toward the middle with Brittany. As she sat down her legs stuck to the fake leather seat making it impossible to move around comfortably. After a minute or two Kelly glanced up to see Jacob Derringer staring at her.
“So I heard from my Mom your brother was killed by some nigger, that’s too bad I had every intention on picking on that little fruit cake this year.”
It hadn’t occurred to her before but maybe black people were inherently bad. On TV she watched them kill people and sell drugs. She had always thought that that was fake since it was on tv. However, when she saw the same things on the news or would catch a glimpse of an article that said the same thing she thought maybe it wasn’t fake. Kelly had, after all seen their devious ways first hand. It wasn’t a white man that killed her brother.
Even though she hated Jake; She concurred with his idea and thought to herself “fuck those kinds of people.” Just as she was beginning to justify the mistreatment of black people and her thought were culminating into a mountain of hate the sound of screaming broke her train of thought.
“Shut up dickhead” Brit yelled almost spitting in his face. Kelly said nothing. She wanted to knock him so hard he went flying out of the bus window but before she could Britney did it for her.
“Make me, wench!”
Britney’s hand went flying through the air like a helicopter blade, aiming for Jake’s face. Finally she drew blood. A red river flowed down Jacob’s left cheek.
It was an awesome sight to see him get a beat down from a girl. But that’s not what Kelly wanted. What she really wanted was to be invisible. Kelly looked up and down the bus wanting desperately to move away from this kid. There were no empty seats in the back and she couldn’t embarrass Brit and make her sit near the front with her. So she resorted to trying to go back to sleep.
After a while Kelly opened her eyes and saw the “Welcome to Evansville Middle School” sign. Rubbing her eyes a few times she then adjusted herself in the seat. Everyone anxiously waited to be released from the bus. Finally the front doors of the bus screeched open and everyone jumped up and fought for space in the aisle. Kelly just waited for the perfect opportunity then hopped in.
She dropped her stuff off at her locker and said bye to Brit as she headed off to homeroom with Mrs. Weigold. This was the first year that Britney and Kelly didn’t have all of their classes together. They were pretty devastated. The only thing that consoled them was they would have lunch together. Kelly entered Mrs. Weigold’s classroom and felt a chill go down her spine when she saw the math posters up on the wall. Math made her feel ill. Once the class introduced themselves with a goofy warm up game they went straight into learning about the quadratic formula. When the bell rang kids began to go off to their next class in herds, like packs of wild animals. Kelly was about to join them when Mrs. Weigold says “Kelly, can I have a word with you please?” She thought to herself it was only the first day what could have she have done? Quickly, she tries to think if she had fallen asleep during class. Kelly walked over to her desk and as the last person left Mrs. Weigold began to speak.
“So how is your family doing? More importantly how are you doing?” Who did this lady think she was? I didn’t even know her Kelly thought.
“We’re fine”
“Well Principle Hassly sent out an e-mail to the staff here so if you need anything just let us know.”
Now that the entire school knew, this was going to be the worst first day of school ever and Kelly was sure of it.
Instead of going to second period with Mr. Johnson, Kelly skipped. It was English class. She would just get the assignment the next day. Kelly didn’t want to deal with anymore sentimental offers of compassion from people who did not know her and more importantly, people who didn’t know Jimmy. She snuck into the bathroom after the “talk” with Mrs Weigold and stayed there for about five minutes in order to make sure there would be no more student traffic in the hallways. After a moment she stuck her head out of the bathroom and scouted out the area for any monitors. Once the coast was clear Kelly darted for the nearest school exit. It turned out it lead to the back lot of the school. A few yards away were the soccer fields which were cluttered with gym classes playing kickball or soccer or Frisbee. Kelly blended in with them and then eventually wandered off into the wooded boundaries that surrounded the fields.
It was nice to just be away from everything; her Mom and Dad pretending to be ok, teachers who were so far removed from her life but prying into it, jerk-off classmates. Suddenly footsteps were heard coming toward her. Kelly looked up to see a young woman probably in her mid twenties walking in her direction with an angry look on her face but as she got closer Kelly saw that it was a look of concern. The woman’s dark skin was illuminated by the afternoon sunlight.
“What are you doing out here young lady? You should be in class.”
“I know, it’s just that…it really sucks in there.” At this the young woman laughed and sat down on a stump next to her.
“You’re telling me? I have to come up with lesson plans and then starting next week I start coaching the girls soccer team.” She wasn’t like the other teachers she had ran into today. Kelly liked her. This woman really cared about her and listened to what she had to say.
“Well, shouldn’t you be in class?”
“It’s my prep. period and I came outside to get some books out of my car noticed someone over here.
“Are you going to make me go back in?”
“Not right now but if you’re not back inside before the end of this period I’ll drag you back in myself.”
“That sounds fair”
“What’s your name by the way?”
“Kelly Scottsdale”
“I’m Ms. Ingle and I believe you’re in my next class.” She got up and walked away. A breeze flowed through the air rustling the tree leaves making Kelly shiver a little. She put her hands in her pockets and felt the cold metal against her skin.. She had almost forgotten it was there. Kelly began to feel the tears flow down her face like a waterfall. She sat outside for another minute or two and then headed back inside to see what this Ms. Ingle lady was all about.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Helping Those Who Cannot Help Themselves

Unless you've been living under a rock the past week you cannot escape the powerful images and news about the situation in Haiti. Last Saturday Haiti was hit by a 7.1 earthquake, killing thousands and destroying homes, schools and their hospitals. It is hard to imagine everything you know just being wiped away in the blink of an eye. And although we are halfway across the world from Haiti and it people it does not mean we are not affected by their devastation and the toll it has taken on their people. The great thing though, is that we can help. Last night, many celebrities gave their time and talent to the Hope for Haiti Telethon orchestrated by the one and only George Clooney. During the two hour event you could call in and donate whatever you could, to the cause. In case you missed the event, you can purchase the live performances on itunes and the proceeds will go to help Haiti. Also, you can go on the Hope for Haiti website and make your gift there. Please consider doing so, it can truly make a difference in someone's life.

Check out some pictures from the Hope for Haiti event

Some of my favorite performances

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Representing the 412

For all my Pittsburgh peeps...pretty funny stuff!

Some Light Reading

If you're like me and have trouble getting through novels, not because you're not intelligent enough, but you simply just don't have the attention span. Then look no further then the upcoming issues of GQ and Rolling Stone. Now, I'm someone that truly looks forward to a new magazine coming out. It's like finding a prize in my box of cereal in the morning; It's grrreeeat! Lately, I've been in a magazine slump reading and re-reading my current Women's Health partly for the articles and partly because the most badass chick ever, Pink, was on the cover. What is great about the upcoming issues of both of these magazines is that the men who grace the covers are equally as interesting to read about as well as look at. I'm talking about none other than Johnny Depp on GQ and John Mayer on Rolling Stone. Depp is part of the 25 Most Stylish Men in the World. Mayer on the other hand is tackling something deeper and opening up about his past relationship with Jennifer Aniston. So be sure to grab your coffee and doughnuts, and by the time you're done with your breakfast of champions you will have delved into some great reads to start your day!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Tom Ford: The New Andy Warhol

So, is it possible to go from fashion designer to film director? That is the question looming behind Tom Ford's new work of art, "A Single Man". Ford, the former creative director for Gucci who revamped their line and increased sales by ninety percent and now developed his own line has branched out and decided to design art on the big screen rather than your jeans. Based on the book by Christopher Isherwood, "A Single Man", Ford brings Isherwood's words to life in overwhelmingly vivid images. Ford attempts to portray the emotion of a man who plans to end his own life because his partner has tragically died. All of this takes place during the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, which adds the element of suspense. As I watched the trailer, I could not help but to think of Pittsburgh's very own Andy Warhol, another openly gay man who pushed the envelope with his ideas and images that he catapulted out into society. Both of these men have created works of art that force us to imagine the world around us in a whole new way.

Check out the trailer:

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Buried Life: Teaching Us How to Live Life to the Fullest.

They say, "You cannot help others unless you help yourself first." Well, never has a statement been made truer than by the boys of "The Buried Life," MTV's new show premiering January 18th. Duncan, Ben, Dave, and Jonnie are four young men who travel the country making their dreams (as well the the dreams of complete strangers) come true. It's such an easy question, "What do I want to do before I die?". But SO much harder is to achieve the answer to that question. This show is a glimmer of hope in a world where people so easily give up on their goals and aspirations. There is so much more to this show than what meets the eye. This is not four young men clowning around like Johnny Knoxville and the Jackass crew (not that there's anything wrong with that)! So I challenge you all to ask yourselves: What do you want to achieve before you die? As for me, I want to write a screenplay that will truly inspire someone and touch their soul.

Check out the boys' bucket list:

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Hanson+Radiohead =Pretty Darn Good

One word comes to mind when I think of Hanson; 'Mmmbop' that even a word? Now, though, after being in and out of the music scene for the past few years, I can think of a couple of words to describe them...pretty. darn. good! Despite the fact that they started as your "run of the mill" pop band, one thing that always set them apart was that they played their own instruments. Once they grew up the content of their music and their ability as musicians grew as well. Recently, I was introduced to their cover of "Optimistic" by Radiohead off the Kid-A album. Since I consider Radiohead by far one of the best bands to come out of the 90's, I do not say this lightly when I say Hanson holds their own with this cover. And apparently I'm not the only one that thinks so. Revivl Music New and Feature agrees

Check it out for yourself!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

"Stereotypes are bullshit"

I am such a sucker for reality TV, anything from The Hills to Jersey Shore, so why did I think a new season of The Real World be any different? I watched the first episode, well...because there was nothing else on that night. Now I'm pretty intent on watching every episode. I fee like Michael Corleone; "Just when I thought I was out... they pull me BACK IN!" What is interesting about this cast is Mike Manning. Mike is well built, smart and such a sweetie. He is as American as apple pie, and you can tell just by looking at him that he is perfect. But Mike will be the first to tell you looks can be deceiving and not something you should judge someone by. This bisexual male (although he doesn't prefer any kind of title) teaches us all a great lesson, which is to be who you want to be and that things cannot always be separated into such simple categories. Great article where mike comments about god, growing up and life without classifications!

For those without a dvr...coverage of the People's Choice Awards

If your are like me and aren't at home to catch the big game or your favorite show since you're busy slaving away for "the man" and also don't have the luxury of a dvr here's what you've missed at the People's Choice Awards.
Complete List of Winners

The stars...

Carrie Underwood looking gorgeous

Whether or not you fell in love with vampires in '09 you certainly can't deny them in 2010!

While some of the cast may be missing from this pic there is nothing missing from this breakout show of 2009 and anticipation grows for it's return in 2010!

The People's Choice Awards kicks off award season and is pivotal and also in my opinion one of the more meaningful award shows since it speaks for the common viewer. The one that sit on the couch in sweatpants with Dorito crumbs on their lap. I also enjoy this award since it is a cheat sheet or a guide rather as to what catch up and watch or listen to.