Flora the Red Menace, among other things

                I have many things to say and I am not totally sure where I am going with this yet… So try to keep up? No, I suppose I should say: I will try to be as clear as possible.

                I guess I will go back in time and start at last Tuesday (May 15th). It was 11AM and I had just turned in my two final papers of the semester and had all of my finals completed. I was sitting in my room packing when I remembered that I needed to make a phone call to Mark Krikstan. Who is Mark Krikstan you might ask. Well Mark is one of the founders and the Artistic Director of the 1st Stage Theater in Tysons Corner, Virginia. I had talked to him a few weeks earlier and he offered me a summer internship at the theater, however it was not until that Tuesday morning that I had any idea when I would be starting. Our conversation went something like this… Me: I am moving out of Mason today. Mark: Oh great, well can you start tomorrow? We are opening the show Flora the Red Menace this week and the stage manager could really use some extra help. Me: YES!… *Hang up* Talk about jumping into something.

                Before I talk about the internship, let me talk about the 1st Stage. It is a great, small, theater that opened its first season about four years ago. Mark Krikstan was actually a theater teacher at a local high school who “retired.” By retired he actually meant giving himself more work to do. Mark along with the other founders wanted to create a professional theater in the Fairfax County area because at the time there were only two other companies. I fell in love with the space and the theater after seeing The Glass Menagerie about a year ago. Then I went and saw the endearing play Almost, Maine. I unfortunately did not get to see Side Man play that finished its run a couple of weeks ago, but it was critically acclaimed. It was also reviewed by well-known papers like The Wall Street Journal. Basically, I am saying the 1st Stage is very up and coming and is a wonderful theater to have the opportunity to work with.

                Wednesday night came around and I made my way to the theater. I still had no idea what I would be doing. When I got there I was told to do odd jobs and I was eventually told to watch the rehearsal of Flora to get a feel for the show. I felt this sense of tension over the subject of the play and as I sat waiting for the rehearsal to begin something felt off. There were sounds of frustration from the director, stage manager, and choreographer. The head of lighting was cranky because he had not slept and still had to design the lighting cues (and I was thinking… The show opens in two days and you are not done yet?). Then I was looking at the set wondering if it still needed completion or it was supposed to look that way (thankfully it was the former). You can imagine that I was also thinking, oh goodness this show has too many problems, no wonder everyone is so stressed. Much to my relief, I decided it really was quite good and there were just a few kinks that needed to be worked out, but nothing major. If nothing else the acting, singing, and dancing (especially the tap dancing!) were amazing. I immediately knew there is a lot I can learn from these actors. As for the issues with the play, they don’t really impact me and well it is not necessary to go into them.

                When the director, Susan Devine, called for a break half way through the rehearsal I introduced myself to her and the stage manager, Colleen Stock. I was told that there was no one who would be backstage during the show. My job would be to be present at each show to be back there to pick up the pieces if there are any catastrophes. Because I am almost always in a state of confusion, I agreed, I was just thrilled to be there, but really I had no idea what I was agreeing to. Susan had me stick around at the end of the play so I could be introduced to the cast. My thoughts at that moment: Oh no. I am literally being thrown into this show two days before it opens; the actors are going to think I am this annoying college girl. I will just be in the way. I have no tech experience so I do not even know what I am doing. I have no idea what it is like to work with real non-high school actors. I have not even worked with college actors yet. Great. Cool. Yay. When I met them they all seemed glad that I was there, but this was kind of public, no one was going to fulfill the actor stereotype yet.

                Thursday night, I returned to the 1st Stage and talked to Colleen. She told me to go put glow tape everywhere and to reintroduce myself to the actors and ask them what they would need from me. I found out that my main job would be to help a couple of the actors with their quick-changes. And no one seemed to hate my presence! Whoot. They seemed really happy to have me there as a matter of fact. After some drama with props being misplaced I learned my second job: keeping track of the props. Score. But really. No sarcasm. I had another job that is slightly helpful! Realistically for most of the show I read or get angry at a Rubik’s cube. Nonetheless, I would say my first two nights as an intern were a success.

As questionable as it may have initially seemed, this production of Flora is really great. Admittedly, it is kind of an odd play. I have wondered what the playwright, David Thompson, was thinking when he wrote certain scenes. I guess it would also help if I explained the musical. Flora the Red Menace is focuses on Flora (Dani Stroller) and her “family” who are poor artists trying to make a living in New York City in the 1930s. Flora is introduced to Harry (Joshua Dick), who introduces her to the world of Communism. That is basically the play in a nutshell. It is not the most plot filled play ever written. However it is really funny and the choreography and blocking are very creative and clever. The music is another fantastic reason to see the show. The musical director, Paul Nasto, is basically a genius. He wrote a completely new score for the show that is absolutely incredible. Also, each actor really captures the essence of his or her character and brings this fantastic energy and vibrancy to the play. If you like over-the-top characters you should really come see Flora.

Opening weekend ended up being a success. There were only a couple of clothing disasters- thank goodness. One guy liked the musical so much on Friday night that he came back Saturday night with flowers for each actor and made a donation to the theater. Apparently, this was also the only musical he has ever liked.

I am just truly excited for the next few weeks and honored to have the opportunity to work in this production. Everyone has been so nice to me and I am really grateful for being able to work with such a kind and talented group of people.


If you would like to watch Flora the Red Menace here is the link to the 1st Stage website: http://1ststagespringhill.org/

There are five shows a weekend. Friday and Saturday night at 8PM. Saturday and Sunday afternoon at 2PM. Sunday night at 7PM. It runs until June 17th.

If you want to say hello to an unknown blogger after the show, I will be backstage probably sitting on a sofa in the dark.

Also, if you are interested read this interview with Paul Nasto: http://dctheatrescene.com/2012/05/18/paul-nasto-new-sound-for-flora-the-red-menace/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+DcTheatreScene+%28DC+Theatre+Scene%29

 

Flora the Red Menace, among other things

                I have many things to say and I am not totally sure where I am going with this yet… So try to keep up? No, I suppose I should say: I will try to be as clear as possible.

                I guess I will go back in time and start at last Tuesday (May 15th). It was 11AM and I had just turned in my two final papers of the semester and had all of my finals completed. I was sitting in my room packing when I remembered that I needed to make a phone call to Mark Krikstan. Who is Mark Krikstan you might ask. Well Mark is one of the founders and the Artistic Director of the 1st Stage Theater in Tysons Corner, Virginia. I had talked to him a few weeks earlier and he offered me a summer internship at the theater, however it was not until that Tuesday morning that I had any idea when I would be starting. Our conversation went something like this… Me: I am moving out of Mason today. Mark: Oh great, well can you start tomorrow? We are opening the show Flora the Red Menace this week and the stage manager could really use some extra help. Me: YES!… *Hang up* Talk about jumping into something.

                Before I talk about the internship, let me talk about the 1st Stage. It is a great, small, theater that opened its first season about four years ago. Mark Krikstan was actually a theater teacher at a local high school who “retired.” By retired he actually meant giving himself more work to do. Mark along with the other founders wanted to create a professional theater in the Fairfax County area because at the time there were only two other companies. I fell in love with the space and the theater after seeing The Glass Menagerie about a year ago. Then I went and saw the endearing play Almost, Maine. I unfortunately did not get to see Side Man play that finished its run a couple of weeks ago, but it was critically acclaimed. It was also reviewed by well-known papers like The Wall Street Journal. Basically, I am saying the 1st Stage is very up and coming and is a wonderful theater to have the opportunity to work with.

                Wednesday night came around and I made my way to the theater. I still had no idea what I would be doing. When I got there I was told to do odd jobs and I was eventually told to watch the rehearsal of Flora to get a feel for the show. I felt this sense of tension over the subject of the play and as I sat waiting for the rehearsal to begin something felt off. There were sounds of frustration from the director, stage manager, and choreographer. The head of lighting was cranky because he had not slept and still had to design the lighting cues (and I was thinking… The show opens in two days and you are not done yet?). Then I was looking at the set wondering if it still needed completion or it was supposed to look that way (thankfully it was the former). You can imagine that I was also thinking, oh goodness this show has too many problems, no wonder everyone is so stressed. Much to my relief, I decided it really was quite good and there were just a few kinks that needed to be worked out, but nothing major. If nothing else the acting, singing, and dancing (especially the tap dancing!) were amazing. I immediately knew there is a lot I can learn from these actors. As for the issues with the play, they don’t really impact me and well it is not necessary to go into them.

                When the director, Susan Devine, called for a break half way through the rehearsal I introduced myself to her and the stage manager, Colleen Stock. I was told that there was no one who would be backstage during the show. My job would be to be present at each show to be back there to pick up the pieces if there are any catastrophes. Because I am almost always in a state of confusion, I agreed, I was just thrilled to be there, but really I had no idea what I was agreeing to. Susan had me stick around at the end of the play so I could be introduced to the cast. My thoughts at that moment: Oh no. I am literally being thrown into this show two days before it opens; the actors are going to think I am this annoying college girl. I will just be in the way. I have no tech experience so I do not even know what I am doing. I have no idea what it is like to work with real non-high school actors. I have not even worked with college actors yet. Great. Cool. Yay. When I met them they all seemed glad that I was there, but this was kind of public, no one was going to fulfill the actor stereotype yet.

                Thursday night, I returned to the 1st Stage and talked to Colleen. She told me to go put glow tape everywhere and to reintroduce myself to the actors and ask them what they would need from me. I found out that my main job would be to help a couple of the actors with their quick-changes. And no one seemed to hate my presence! Whoot. They seemed really happy to have me there as a matter of fact. After some drama with props being misplaced I learned my second job: keeping track of the props. Score. But really. No sarcasm. I had another job that is slightly helpful! Realistically for most of the show I read or get angry at a Rubik’s cube. Nonetheless, I would say my first two nights as an intern were a success.

As questionable as it may have initially seemed, this production of Flora is really great. Admittedly, it is kind of an odd play. I have wondered what the playwright, David Thompson, was thinking when he wrote certain scenes. I guess it would also help if I explained the musical. Flora the Red Menace is focuses on Flora (Dani Stroller) and her “family” who are poor artists trying to make a living in New York City in the 1930s. Flora is introduced to Harry (Joshua Dick), who introduces her to the world of Communism. That is basically the play in a nutshell. It is not the most plot filled play ever written. However it is really funny and the choreography and blocking are very creative and clever. The music is another fantastic reason to see the show. The musical director, Paul Nasto, is basically a genius. He wrote a completely new score for the show that is absolutely incredible. Also, each actor really captures the essence of his or her character and brings this fantastic energy and vibrancy to the play. If you like over-the-top characters you should really come see Flora.

Opening weekend ended up being a success. There were only a couple of clothing disasters- thank goodness. One guy liked the musical so much on Friday night that he came back Saturday night with flowers for each actor and made a donation to the theater. Apparently, this was also the only musical he has ever liked.

I am just truly excited for the next few weeks and honored to have the opportunity to work in this production. Everyone has been so nice to me and I am really grateful for being able to work with such a kind and talented group of people.

If you would like to watch Flora the Red Menace here is the link to the 1st Stage website: http://1ststagespringhill.org/

There are five shows a weekend. Friday and Saturday night at 8PM. Saturday and Sunday afternoon at 2PM. Sunday night at 7PM. It runs until June 17th.

If you want to say hello to an unknown blogger after the show, I will be backstage probably sitting on a sofa in the dark.

Also, if you are interested read this interview with Paul Nasto: http://dctheatrescene.com/2012/05/18/paul-nasto-new-sound-for-flora-the-red-menace/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+DcTheatreScene+%28DC+Theatre+Scene%29

 

To all of you college kids new(ish) to our Nation’s Capital or to all of you kids who have lived in the Metropolitan area for most of your life, or to just anyone else, I am about to do you a favor. No need to thank me. I will, when I feel so inclined, share with you some of the treasures of Washington DC.

I am going to start with a place that I have loved since I first walked in. My love rekindled when I strolled in there after a visit to the National Cherry Blossom Festival last weekend. This wonder is known as Kramerbooks & Afterwords Café. You walk into Kramerbooks and it is exactly the way a bookstore should feel: small and crammed yet it has every book you could ever think of. It has books you never see at Barnes and Noble like these random Oxford Introduction books on every subject you would ever need to know. There is even greatness found in the classics: there are probably five unique and interesting additions of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. If you are like my lovely suitemate and want to collect as many additions as possible, I suggest you go over to Kramerbooks as soon as possible. I am pretty sure I cannot adequately put into words how brilliant this bookstore is.

There is also a café and bar at Kramers. I unfortunately cannot attest to their quality because I have yet to eat there. And of course I cannot judge the quality of their alcoholic beverages… However I can assure you that it is popular. When you walk around the block and end up behind the indoor/outdoor sitting area, it appeared as though every table was filled. Personally, I am waiting to go over there on a Saturday night and pretend to be a hipster while I listen to their live music.

Any who, if I haven’t convinced you enough, Barack Obama and family have also stopped by.

Really though, if you love bookstores or have that dream of opening your own bookshop one day, check Kramerbooks out. It is an experience.

Location: 1517 Conn. Avenue, NW. - Just Above Dupont Circle

Website (Don’t be discouraged by their sad looking website): http://www.kramers.com/index.html

PS. I have really missed blogging so hopefully I will not go on a hiatus anytime again soon!

To all of you college kids new(ish) to our Nation’s Capital or to all of you kids who have lived in the Metropolitan area for most of your life, or to just anyone else, I am about to do you a favor. No need to thank me. I will, when I feel so inclined, share with you some of the treasures of Washington DC.

I am going to start with a place that I have loved since I first walked in. My love rekindled when I strolled in there after a visit to the National Cherry Blossom Festival last weekend. This wonder is known as Kramerbooks & Afterwords Café. You walk into Kramerbooks and it is exactly the way a bookstore should feel: small and crammed yet it has every book you could ever think of. It has books you never see at Barnes and Noble like these random Oxford Introduction books on every subject you would ever need to know. There is even greatness found in the classics: there are probably five unique and interesting additions of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. If you are like my lovely suitemate and want to collect as many additions as possible, I suggest you go over to Kramerbooks as soon as possible. I am pretty sure I cannot adequately put into words how brilliant this bookstore is.

There is also a café and bar at Kramers. I unfortunately cannot attest to their quality because I have yet to eat there. And of course I cannot judge the quality of their alcoholic beverages… However I can assure you that it is popular. When you walk around the block and end up behind the indoor/outdoor sitting area, it appeared as though every table was filled. Personally, I am waiting to go over there on a Saturday night and pretend to be a hipster while I listen to their live music.

Any who, if I haven’t convinced you enough, Barack Obama and family have also stopped by.

Really though, if you love bookstores or have that dream of opening your own bookshop one day, check Kramerbooks out. It is an experience.

Location: 1517 Conn. Avenue, NW. - Just Above Dupont Circle

Website (Don’t be discouraged by their sad looking website): http://www.kramers.com/index.html

PS. I have really missed blogging so hopefully I will not go on a hiatus anytime again soon!

Snubbed: Harry Potter at the Oscars
The last chance for the Harry Potter franchise to be recognized in a major category at the Academy Awards has come and gone and as always it was not. I realize this was announced weeks ago, but better late than never.
The film received only three nominations, all of which were technical aspects of the film: art direction, make-up, and visual effects. Don’t misunderstand, these are all well-deserved nods, but I have two problems with this. First, I almost wonder why the Academy bothered because I do not think HP will win in any of these categories. Six of the eight Potter films have been nominated in technical categories in the past, yet none have ever received the prize. This seems pretty ridiculous to me. For example, in 2011 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 was nominated under the visual effects category, but lost to Inception. Both films had exceptional visual effects, but what made Inception better than HPDH1? In 2005, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban lost to Spider-Man 2 in the visual effects category. This one bewilders me because the visual effects team for HPPA expanded the Hogwarts castle to be bigger than ever, had to create a hippogriff, a werewolf, dementors, and the several other creatures new and old to the story.   
My second problem with the film solely getting technical aspects is that the Harry Potter films have actually become good movies. The acting and adaptation aspects were always the weakest points of the franchise, however that has definitely improved. Moreover, HPDH2 is at least at the level of the other films nominated this year. It was better than the incomprehensible The Tree of Life. It was at least as good as (but indeed different) Midnight in Paris. HPDH2 received the best reviews from critics of any HP film and it is internationally the third highest grossing film in history. This is not just because it is a Harry Potter film. If that were the case than every movie would have made the same reviews and made the same amount at the box office. Being the last film of the franchise helped, but being a high-quality movie brought it to the top. It bothers me that the directing of David Yates was ignored because creating these films is certainly no small task. He had to deal with Warner Brothers, a very detailed author, and very vocal fans. Further, the brilliant acting of Alan Rickman and Ralph Fiennes was pushed aside. Alan Rickman embodies Severus Snape in the films and was able to capture the character’s complexities. Ralph Fiennes expertly embodies Lord Voldemort through his chilling slithery voice and physical decisions. It just does not make sense that the Academy did not acknowledge any of these men.
I cannot come up with a reasonable argument for the Academy in this case. As someone who loves movies, HPDH2 really deserved more recognition than it received. Hopefully the Academy can prove me slightly wrong and award the film with at least one Oscar, but that is probably asking for too much.
Links:
http://oscar.go.com/
http://www.usmagazine.com/entertainment/news/daniel-radcliffe-harry-potter-deserved-more-oscar-nominations-201272
http://www.imdb.com/boxoffice/alltimegross?region=world-wide

Snubbed: Harry Potter at the Oscars

The last chance for the Harry Potter franchise to be recognized in a major category at the Academy Awards has come and gone and as always it was not. I realize this was announced weeks ago, but better late than never.

The film received only three nominations, all of which were technical aspects of the film: art direction, make-up, and visual effects. Don’t misunderstand, these are all well-deserved nods, but I have two problems with this. First, I almost wonder why the Academy bothered because I do not think HP will win in any of these categories. Six of the eight Potter films have been nominated in technical categories in the past, yet none have ever received the prize. This seems pretty ridiculous to me. For example, in 2011 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 was nominated under the visual effects category, but lost to Inception. Both films had exceptional visual effects, but what made Inception better than HPDH1? In 2005, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban lost to Spider-Man 2 in the visual effects category. This one bewilders me because the visual effects team for HPPA expanded the Hogwarts castle to be bigger than ever, had to create a hippogriff, a werewolf, dementors, and the several other creatures new and old to the story.   

My second problem with the film solely getting technical aspects is that the Harry Potter films have actually become good movies. The acting and adaptation aspects were always the weakest points of the franchise, however that has definitely improved. Moreover, HPDH2 is at least at the level of the other films nominated this year. It was better than the incomprehensible The Tree of Life. It was at least as good as (but indeed different) Midnight in Paris. HPDH2 received the best reviews from critics of any HP film and it is internationally the third highest grossing film in history. This is not just because it is a Harry Potter film. If that were the case than every movie would have made the same reviews and made the same amount at the box office. Being the last film of the franchise helped, but being a high-quality movie brought it to the top. It bothers me that the directing of David Yates was ignored because creating these films is certainly no small task. He had to deal with Warner Brothers, a very detailed author, and very vocal fans. Further, the brilliant acting of Alan Rickman and Ralph Fiennes was pushed aside. Alan Rickman embodies Severus Snape in the films and was able to capture the character’s complexities. Ralph Fiennes expertly embodies Lord Voldemort through his chilling slithery voice and physical decisions. It just does not make sense that the Academy did not acknowledge any of these men.

I cannot come up with a reasonable argument for the Academy in this case. As someone who loves movies, HPDH2 really deserved more recognition than it received. Hopefully the Academy can prove me slightly wrong and award the film with at least one Oscar, but that is probably asking for too much.

Links:

http://oscar.go.com/

http://www.usmagazine.com/entertainment/news/daniel-radcliffe-harry-potter-deserved-more-oscar-nominations-201272

http://www.imdb.com/boxoffice/alltimegross?region=world-wide

Don’t worry guys, I have returned. I know you were worried.
I want to discuss a group that you will most likely only see if you attend George Mason University. However, I feel like bringing it up anyway. The Mason Improv Association, MIA for short. The MIA is run through Mason’s theater department and performs what is called long form improvisation. Basically at each of their shows, they ask someone from the audience to come on stage who has an interesting story to share. After getting enough information, MIA performs a number of short scenes that were inspired by the details of the story. It fascinates me how these actors are able to integrate these details into a scene they make up on the spot and it always seems to be hilarious. I am not even going to bother trying to give an example because you would just stare at your computer screen thinking that I am an idiot. I will say that there was always someone in the audience laughing.
At MIA’s shows they also invite a local comedian or improve group to perform. This time around it was a guy named Andrew Cook. I would provide a link or something so you too could bask in his hilarity, but he does not seem to obviously exist in the internet world. So never mind. Just believe me?  
The bottom line, if you go to GMU or just decide to show up one day I recommend checking out MIA.  

Don’t worry guys, I have returned. I know you were worried.

I want to discuss a group that you will most likely only see if you attend George Mason University. However, I feel like bringing it up anyway. The Mason Improv Association, MIA for short. The MIA is run through Mason’s theater department and performs what is called long form improvisation. Basically at each of their shows, they ask someone from the audience to come on stage who has an interesting story to share. After getting enough information, MIA performs a number of short scenes that were inspired by the details of the story. It fascinates me how these actors are able to integrate these details into a scene they make up on the spot and it always seems to be hilarious. I am not even going to bother trying to give an example because you would just stare at your computer screen thinking that I am an idiot. I will say that there was always someone in the audience laughing.

At MIA’s shows they also invite a local comedian or improve group to perform. This time around it was a guy named Andrew Cook. I would provide a link or something so you too could bask in his hilarity, but he does not seem to obviously exist in the internet world. So never mind. Just believe me?  

The bottom line, if you go to GMU or just decide to show up one day I recommend checking out MIA.  

I wouldn’t call myself a romantic, but I also won’t say I am a pessimist about love. I am a sucker for beautiful weddings and stories of couples reuniting under impossible circumstances. I am pretty sure I will swoon over any guy who writes a song for me. However, one celebrity has done this to a point that seems to resemble desperation. I’m guessing coming off as desperate is not a sure fire way for a guy to get the girl. I’m referring to pop artist Bruno Mars.
Before I get attacked by angry fan girls, Bruno Mars is a talented singer. He is also a talented musician. Mars can play the drums, piano, and guitar. But I’m sorry fans I am getting really sick of his songs. They just sound so hopeless and groveling. There are two songs that specifically come to mind: “Grenade” and “Marry You”, both from the album Doo-Wops & Hooligans.
As many know “Grenade” is about this girl who Mars would do anything for and protect her from the world, yet she doesn’t appreciate him. Here is an excerpt of the lyrics: “To give me all your love is all I ever asked/ ‘Cause what you don’t understand/ Is I’d catch a grenade for ya/ Throw my hand on the blade for ya/ I’d jump in front of a train for ya/ You know I’d do anything for ya/ See I would go through all this pain/ Take a bullet straight through my brain/ Yes I would die for ya, babe/ But you won’t do the same”. Now what I don’t understand about this song mostly is that Bruno Mars realizes that this girl doesn’t love him, yet he is surprised that she won’t die for him. Why would that surprise him? Just get over it. She doesn’t like you and that is it. Bruno Mars, you are not going to change her mind. I’m sorry if she didn’t treat you well, but that’s how some girls are. They suck. Just please move on. “Grenade” appears so desperate for a girl. I assume he wants a girl sympathetic to his pleas, but honestly I just think Mars sounds stupid.
“Marry You,” is not as bad to me, but it is still really weird. Basically in this song, Mars is asking this girl to marry him while they are drunk because it would be fun and nice. Again some lyrics to provide context: “Who cares if we’re trashed/ Got a pocket full of cash we can blow/ Shots of patron/ And it’s on, girl/ Don’t say no, no, no, no/ Just say yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah”. To me this just sounds like a cry for love. I realize that it is not unheard of to get drunk and married (in the lovely city of Las Vegas). I am also not a psychologist, but I am going to say this anyway. When people reveal either through speech or actions something very emotional while drunk they tend to mean it. It’s just like a lot of time when someone says “just kidding” or “I didn’t mean it,” they really did mean it. Anyway, “Marry You” seems like a song in which a desperate pop artist is calling for someone to be his true love. The message is sweet I suppose, but Bruno Mars seems to get too serious too quick.
Rant over. Not that it matters. I don’t really see what the problem is, I’m sure Bruno Mars can get any girl he wants.

Lyrics provided by: www.metrolyrics.com

I wouldn’t call myself a romantic, but I also won’t say I am a pessimist about love. I am a sucker for beautiful weddings and stories of couples reuniting under impossible circumstances. I am pretty sure I will swoon over any guy who writes a song for me. However, one celebrity has done this to a point that seems to resemble desperation. I’m guessing coming off as desperate is not a sure fire way for a guy to get the girl. I’m referring to pop artist Bruno Mars.

Before I get attacked by angry fan girls, Bruno Mars is a talented singer. He is also a talented musician. Mars can play the drums, piano, and guitar. But I’m sorry fans I am getting really sick of his songs. They just sound so hopeless and groveling. There are two songs that specifically come to mind: “Grenade” and “Marry You”, both from the album Doo-Wops & Hooligans.

As many know “Grenade” is about this girl who Mars would do anything for and protect her from the world, yet she doesn’t appreciate him. Here is an excerpt of the lyrics: “To give me all your love is all I ever asked/ ‘Cause what you don’t understand/ Is I’d catch a grenade for ya/ Throw my hand on the blade for ya/ I’d jump in front of a train for ya/ You know I’d do anything for ya/ See I would go through all this pain/ Take a bullet straight through my brain/ Yes I would die for ya, babe/ But you won’t do the same”. Now what I don’t understand about this song mostly is that Bruno Mars realizes that this girl doesn’t love him, yet he is surprised that she won’t die for him. Why would that surprise him? Just get over it. She doesn’t like you and that is it. Bruno Mars, you are not going to change her mind. I’m sorry if she didn’t treat you well, but that’s how some girls are. They suck. Just please move on. “Grenade” appears so desperate for a girl. I assume he wants a girl sympathetic to his pleas, but honestly I just think Mars sounds stupid.

“Marry You,” is not as bad to me, but it is still really weird. Basically in this song, Mars is asking this girl to marry him while they are drunk because it would be fun and nice. Again some lyrics to provide context: “Who cares if we’re trashed/ Got a pocket full of cash we can blow/ Shots of patron/ And it’s on, girl/ Don’t say no, no, no, no/ Just say yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah”. To me this just sounds like a cry for love. I realize that it is not unheard of to get drunk and married (in the lovely city of Las Vegas). I am also not a psychologist, but I am going to say this anyway. When people reveal either through speech or actions something very emotional while drunk they tend to mean it. It’s just like a lot of time when someone says “just kidding” or “I didn’t mean it,” they really did mean it. Anyway, “Marry You” seems like a song in which a desperate pop artist is calling for someone to be his true love. The message is sweet I suppose, but Bruno Mars seems to get too serious too quick.

Rant over. Not that it matters. I don’t really see what the problem is, I’m sure Bruno Mars can get any girl he wants.

Lyrics provided by: www.metrolyrics.com

(Source: brunomars.com)

On New Year’s Day I was at the National Museum of American History in Washington DC. Near the entrance was this board with sticky notes next to it. The museum asked its visitors to write their New Year’s Resolutions for America. It is interesting to see what people want to see change (I tried not to judge too much). Well, I did feel like judging the four people who said to get rid of speeding cameras… I mean really, of all things? I did appreciate those that were very real about what aspects of America they really wanted to see improve… “Congress should stop yelling at each other!”—Wouldn’t we all love to see that? Hopefully 2012 will be a good year and the world won’t end.
What do you think America’s New Year’s Resolutions should be?

On New Year’s Day I was at the National Museum of American History in Washington DC. Near the entrance was this board with sticky notes next to it. The museum asked its visitors to write their New Year’s Resolutions for America. It is interesting to see what people want to see change (I tried not to judge too much). Well, I did feel like judging the four people who said to get rid of speeding cameras… I mean really, of all things? I did appreciate those that were very real about what aspects of America they really wanted to see improve… “Congress should stop yelling at each other!”—Wouldn’t we all love to see that? Hopefully 2012 will be a good year and the world won’t end.

What do you think America’s New Year’s Resolutions should be?

(Source: )

Here is some “food for thought” I have been mulling over and here is a warning:

The video above may cause severe ear pain, death from laughter, and loss of brain cells.

I realize I am behind on this, I have just discovered Bravo. The song Chic, C’est la Vie was released to the world in June 2011 by The Real Housewives of New York City’s own: Countess LuAnn. This is the worst song I have ever heard. If you can even call it a song, I mean The Countess is basically just talking the entire time. Maybe she was inspired by Kim Kardashian’s big non-hit, Jam.

What does not make sense to me is how can LuAnn listen to this and think, “Wow, I just sound so great!” or “These lyrics are so meaningful and not-shallow.” It doesn’t make any sense. If I ever release a song in my life time like this, please trap me in a room with Justin Bieber and a hundred of his fans.

The point: what do Chic, C’est la Vie and Jam have in common (besides making you want to rip your eardrums out)? They are both “sung” by reality starts. They have enough money already don’t they? They embarrass themselves on national television enough as it is don’t they? Why add insult to injury? I really want to know what makes reality stars think that their sudden fame means that they also have sudden talent.

Maybe it is my fault. Well, maybe it is also your fault. It is the fault of every American who watches reality tv with complete understanding of how trashy it is. We are inflating the reality tv star’s sense of self by watching their shows. By that I mean, all of the attention Americans give to these people is undoubtedly going to their heads. We are pushing people like Countess LuAnn to believe they are something that they are not, and then we go and laugh at them. Then, awk for us, they have the last laugh all the way to the bank.

Even with all this, I do question common sense. I mean really, how could anyone think a song like Chic, C’est la Vie would make you look good?

If you want to hear any other attempts at reality television stars singing, click this link: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2010/06/16/the-situations-rap-and-other-reality-stars-singing.html

You know who is really great? Brad Goreski. Yes, he is the guy pictured above in the cheetah (leopard?) print suit. As silly as this would look on so many people, this suit looks fabulous on him. Now, “who is this guy?” you might ask. Goreski is a celebrity stylist and stars in Bravo’s new docu-series It’s a Brad Brad World that premiered last night (January 2nd). He is best known for being Rachel Zoe’s former assistant as seen on The Rachel Zoe Project. Now that Goreski has parted ways from Zoe, he is trying to make it big in the fashion industry on his own.
I know I am not alone on my reasons for thinking Brad Goreski is really great. For one thing (which I suppose makes sense given his career choice) is his sense of fashion, but also importantly his understanding and love of color. Goreski always uses color in bold ways. You can see his style for yourself by looking at PAPERMAG’s "Styled Like Me" shoot, in which Brad styled and modeled. He just always looks awesome. Brad Goreski is also completely adorable. It is partly the glasses, bowtie, and goofy smile. It’s also the way he interacts with boyfriend Gary Janetti and his two dogs and the funny thoughts that come out of his mouth (“Well, I can’t sit around and wait for people to call me and book me on jobs. No, I’m a man of action. I get my ass to Physique 57 and I sweat… If people aren’t going to hire me for my styling, at least they’re going to hire me for my cute thighs and my cute ass.”). Then there is the mysterious conflict with Rachel Zoe. Zoe has cut Goreski out of her life and “character assassinated” him for no clear reason, yet Goreski still has nice things to say about her.

Brad Goreski just seems like this nice guy who really loves his job. He loves dressing people in clothing that looks good and (thank goodness) he is good at it. If you are in need of a stylist choose Brad because he is definitely going places.
For more read: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/12/20/brad-goreski-on-styling-his-new-show-leaving-rachel-zoe.html

For more watch: It’s a Brad Brad World, Mondays at 10pm on Bravo.

You know who is really great? Brad Goreski. Yes, he is the guy pictured above in the cheetah (leopard?) print suit. As silly as this would look on so many people, this suit looks fabulous on him. Now, “who is this guy?” you might ask. Goreski is a celebrity stylist and stars in Bravo’s new docu-series It’s a Brad Brad World that premiered last night (January 2nd). He is best known for being Rachel Zoe’s former assistant as seen on The Rachel Zoe Project. Now that Goreski has parted ways from Zoe, he is trying to make it big in the fashion industry on his own.

I know I am not alone on my reasons for thinking Brad Goreski is really great. For one thing (which I suppose makes sense given his career choice) is his sense of fashion, but also importantly his understanding and love of color. Goreski always uses color in bold ways. You can see his style for yourself by looking at PAPERMAG’s "Styled Like Me" shoot, in which Brad styled and modeled. He just always looks awesome. Brad Goreski is also completely adorable. It is partly the glasses, bowtie, and goofy smile. It’s also the way he interacts with boyfriend Gary Janetti and his two dogs and the funny thoughts that come out of his mouth (“Well, I can’t sit around and wait for people to call me and book me on jobs. No, I’m a man of action. I get my ass to Physique 57 and I sweat… If people aren’t going to hire me for my styling, at least they’re going to hire me for my cute thighs and my cute ass.”). Then there is the mysterious conflict with Rachel Zoe. Zoe has cut Goreski out of her life and “character assassinated” him for no clear reason, yet Goreski still has nice things to say about her.

Brad Goreski just seems like this nice guy who really loves his job. He loves dressing people in clothing that looks good and (thank goodness) he is good at it. If you are in need of a stylist choose Brad because he is definitely going places.

For more read: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/12/20/brad-goreski-on-styling-his-new-show-leaving-rachel-zoe.html

For more watch: It’s a Brad Brad World, Mondays at 10pm on Bravo.

This is post 2 out of 2. Enjoy and I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays.
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoM7dHqDw14&feature=mfu_channel&list=UL

Movie: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Director: David Fincher
Writers: Steven Zaillian, based on the novel written by Stieg Larsson
Starring: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, and Christopher Plummer

This is post 2 out of 2. Enjoy and I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoM7dHqDw14&feature=mfu_channel&list=UL

Movie: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Director: David Fincher

Writers: Steven Zaillian, based on the novel written by Stieg Larsson

Starring: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, and Christopher Plummer

Hello everyone! So This post is actually a video post. I have provided the link below. Also, it is in two parts. I apologize in advance if this is an absolute disaster, but I figured I would give it a try.
Review: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoh8WoRsLs8&context=C3720293ADOEgsToPDskJxzLrF9fLXMoR54Ed4Ckiw

Movie: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Directed by: Guy Ritchie
Writers: Michele Mulroney, Kieran Mulroney
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Jared Harris, and Noomi Rapace

Hello everyone! So This post is actually a video post. I have provided the link below. Also, it is in two parts. I apologize in advance if this is an absolute disaster, but I figured I would give it a try.

Review: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoh8WoRsLs8&context=C3720293ADOEgsToPDskJxzLrF9fLXMoR54Ed4Ckiw

Movie: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Directed by: Guy Ritchie

Writers: Michele Mulroney, Kieran Mulroney

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Jared Harris, and Noomi Rapace