Sunday, April 18, 2010

Day 5: My favorite quote

No fanfare needed, here's just a few quotes I love.

"You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness." - Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

"We save our lives in such unlikely ways." - Neil Gaiman

"I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars." - Og Mandino

"Brighten the corner where you are, and you will light the world." - Dean Koontz, From the Corner of His Eye

"Now I'll only think about you if it's raining or it's not." - 'Jolene' by The Weepies

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Day 4: My favorite book

I almost blogged yesterday. I was this close. Oh well.

So, my favorite book, eh? My canned answer (as in, the one I tell myself is true for ease of answering such a question) is Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. And it's a great book, don't get me wrong. But I read it years ago; I think when I was a college freshman. I've read a lot of great books since then, and there were plenty of lovely ones before. Middlesex is deep and kind of heavy, but still I love it. It's about hermaphrodism, incest, sexuality, and acceptance. It's a coming of age story. And yes, it was an Oprah Book Club choice (I'm okay with that).

Another great book is The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Yeah, it's about a guy who can time-travel, but it's not a scifi. It's a drama and a romance. It's about what it's like to love someone who uncontrollably disappears sometimes, and lives his life out of order. It's sweet and tragic.

Poster for the recent movie, which I thought was enjoyable.

But I don't just like books that are kind of a bummer. And I don't just like books that are considered 'literature'. I like popular fiction, too. I don't really buy into the distinction. I mean, sure, there's a difference in the writing styles, but I don't think that you should bother with making yourself 'look good' by only reading 'literature'. I will read anything, as long as it's halfway decent or at least entertaining. I do follow the practice of ditching a book if I'm not into it by 50 pages (not a hard and fast rule - I've quit books after 100 pages or even halfway through). The latest book I've stopped reading was Atonement by Ian McEwan.

So, some other stuff I like: the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett (hilarious satirical fantasy), From the Corner of His Eye by Dean Koontz (good thriller), anything by Neil Gaiman (invariably fantasy, sometimes a bit creepy), The Stand by Stephen King (a huge apocalyptic novel), Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson (great fantasy with some romance thrown in), the Harry Potter series, and Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (awesome techy scifi).

There you go! A sampling of some of my favorite books! I think you should just read whatever suits your fancy. Even if it's Twilight, because yeah, it was addictive.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Day 3: My favorite television program

Yeah, so, I'm awful at posting every day. Anyhow, here is the post in which I will go on and on about Doctor Who! And possibly some other shows.

But first, Doctor Who!

A promo for the 2005 series

So Doctor Who is an old British show; it started in the 60s. I wasn't aware of it until rather recently, when the new version which started in 2005 had already had 4 seasons. So I started with the 2005 season with Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor and Billie Piper as Rose Tyler, his companion. I was hooked almost immediately. It didn't take me long to power through the first season, at the end of which the Doctor, a Timelord who can regenerate with a new face and personality, does so. So the second season has a new actor playing the Doctor: David Tennant.

David Tennant as the Doctor

At first I thought, oh no, it will never be the same, but then I started liking Ten even more! Season Two was great, then Season Three had a new companion, Martha Jones, played by Freema Agyeman. I loved Rose and hated to see her go, but Martha was alright. The best episode of the season by far was "Blink," which was the first episode I saw and also written by Stephen Moffat, who was the creator of the show Coupling, another UK show I love.

Freema Agyeman as Martha Jones

The fourth season featured another new companion, Donna Noble, played by Catherine Tate. The character had appeared once before in the Christmas special before season three, and I didn't much like her, but she was much better in this season. It was a pretty good season, though it had some very bad episodes as well.

Catherine Tate as Donna Noble

The fifth season has just started, with a new producer, the wonderful Stephen Moffat himself, a new Doctor, Matt Smith, and a new companion, Amy Pond, played by Karen Gillan.

There have been two episodes so far, and so far it's brilliant. Love it. I already really like Matt Smith and Karen Gillan as well.

From episode 2, "The Beast Below"

So, basically, to summarise: Doctor Who is a British sci-fi show mostly directed towards kids. However, it can be deep and scary and often has elements of romance, so plenty for me, as well. Also, it is silly and campy and sometimes quite hilarious. There is a wide range of tones depending on the episode. It really has something for everyone (people with completely opposite tastes have been known to like it equally). It varies widely in quality, but overall is very good. You do not need to like sci-fi whatsoever to like it! So give it a go! The fifth season would be a fine place to start if you don't feel like playing catch-up.

From the opening credits

I will briefly go over a few more shows that I love.

-Veronica Mars - A high school girl works at her father's private detective agency on the side. It's funny, sassy, dramatic, and very compelling. Kristen Bell stars.

-Skins - Follows the lives of teens in Bristol, England. Quite engaging, dramatic, sometimes funny and quirky. Very addictive.

-How I Met Your Mother - Sitcom about a guy telling his kids how he met their mother by showing what led up to it (hint: it's the fifth season, we still haven't met the mother). It's absolutely hilarious.

...And that's about it for right now! There are other great shows, but those are the ones I've been most currently into.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Day 2: My Favourite Movie

Well, crap. I already missed a day. But that's because we did trivia last night, and I didn't have time since I didn't go home first. Trivia was in Alexandria this week, and it was pretty decent, though the place got pretty smoky at 9 o'clock. So anyway! Time for: my favourite movie. So for a while now I've been saying it's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It's sweet, but also weird. A bizarre love story. I like it a lot.

But there are certainly other movies I really like. The Lives of Others is one of those, as is The Talented Mr. Ripley. Those are kind of darker, and very clever. I enjoy a clever film. I also like watching sweet romantic comedies like Love Actually, or mindless action like, most recently, the new Clash of the Titans (though that last is definitely not a favorite). So it would be a lot easier to pick my favourites from each genre (and even then, still hard). I know "it totally depends on what mood I'm in" is a crap answer, but there it is, the best I can do.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Cover songs of note

While I'm thinking about songs I would like to share with you some cover songs I found thanks to Lists Galore.

First up, this cover of Hey Ya! by Matt Weddle of Obadiah Parker (no, I've never heard of them either). It features a big bushy beard guy singing a folk version of the song quite beautifully, and the video uses clips from the original video in an interesting way.

Kind of completely opposite almost is this screamo version of "Such Great Heights" originally by the Postal Service. I found it amusing and was surprised that it worked as well as it did for me.

If you haven't already heard of the YouTube sensation that is Julia Nunes, you should definitely check her out. She is cute and talented. Here's her cover of "Accidentally in Love."

I was already a Jonathan Coulton fan but I had never heard his version of "Baby Got Back"! It is fabulous and you will love it, I hope.

And, finally, I never thought I would say this, but there is a version of Single Ladies that I actually kind of like. And here it is (it's by Pomplamoose, how cool is their name?).

Day 1: My favourite song

If you know me, you know I find it hard to choose favourites. But I'm going to try.

There's one song I can listen to over and over and over again and still love, so perhaps that's my current favorite. It's "Nineteen" by Tegan and Sara. I love them, I love their atypical voices and alternative style. Their songs are so simple but so infectious.

This acoustic version is a bit different than the one I have but you can see how awesome they are here.

Jeff and I have also been really obsessed with Laura Veirs lately. Here's the video for "Cast a Hook in Me" which I've been humming almost constantly.

One last song to make note of is "The Taste of Ink" by The Used. It has been one of my favourites for a long time and is the inspiration for my blog title. Despite no longer really being into screamo or whatnot in general, I still love The Used.

Trying to get myself to write...

So here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to complete the following 30 days of blogging meme:

Day 01 — Your favorite song
Day 02 — Your favorite movie
Day 03 — Your favorite television program
Day 04 — Your favorite book
Day 05 — Your favorite quote
Day 06 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 07 — A photo that makes you happy
Day 08 — A photo that makes you angry/sad
Day 09 — A photo you took
Day 10 — A photo of you taken over ten years ago
Day 11 — A photo of you taken recently
Day 12 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 13 — A fictional book
Day 14 — A non-fictional book
Day 15 — A fanfic
Day 16 — A song that makes you cry (or nearly)
Day 17 — An art piece (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.)
Day 18 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 19 — A talent of yours
Day 20 — A hobby of yours
Day 21 — A recipe
Day 22 — A website
Day 23 — A YouTube video
Day 24 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 25 — Your day, in great detail
Day 26 — Your week, in great detail
Day 27 — This month, in great detail
Day 28 — This year, in great detail
Day 29 — Hopes, dreams and plans for the next 365 days
Day 30 — Whatever tickles your fancy

Starting, well, today, probably! And hopefully I'll be able to blog for 30 consecutive days. (PS - got this meme from here)