Friday, February 24, 2012


A couple weeks ago I felt like going to the bookstore.  I love bookstores but don't go to often because A) I already have a huge pile of books to read, B) end up spending too much money...and books are often cheaper online, C) end up spending a lot of time there, and D) I am trying to read more on my Kindle to keep my home a little less cluttered.  However, the bookstore shopping experience cannot be replicated online.  Browsing the covers, picking up a book and flipping through it, staff recommendations, just seeing the shelves and shelves of books.  It's a much more rich and satisfying experience than shopping for books online.  To me, it is all pretty glorious, I had a wonderful evening checking out books.

I have previously mentioned my like of young adult literature here.  Walking into a bookstore and seeing the huge space for young adult literature makes me really happy on the inside.  I am envious of the kids that get to grow up with such an array of seemed in my day it was Judy Bloom, the Hardy Boys, a handful of classics like Tom Sawyer or Treasure Island and that was about it.  I know there was more - I got into Lloyd Alexander and the Three Investigators books to name a few...but it was no where near the amount that is available today.  There seemed to be a big jump, you books for young kids and then you had books for high school age, but this middle school years 4th-8th grade level books had pretty slim pickings.  I remember going to a bookstores and them having one, maybe two shelves of young adult lit...and there was nothing over 250 pages, even 200 pages was hard to find.  I am envious that kids now get sweeping seven book sagas where they get thicker each volume, the final volume ending up being nearly 800 pages.  That would have been so awesome to me back then.

Still when I go into a bookstore, I am awed by the immensity of the young adult section...bookcase after bookcase, shelf after shelf.  It is all great...except for this:

Now, I don't hate this in and of itself...I just hate how big of a chunk of the young adult section that it actually takes up. 4 and a half bookcases worth.  I understand why - Twilight was huge and people want to cash in on some of that.  And just like the horrible romance novels for adults, these romance novels exist for teens.  But it disturbs me that it has to be paranormal romance.  A few are fine, but it disturbs me a that there are so many more paranormal versus regular romance tales for young adults.  I know not every girl is going to have unrealistic expectations because of these, but I am sure some will.  How will they every be happy if they don't find their vegetarian vampire, werewolf with a heart of gold, or angel that gives it all up for love?  And what about for guys...some have to feel some pressure to live up to an imaginary standard (similar to how girls feel pressured by society super skinny or super beautiful.  Sure it is all in there minds, but that type of thing could sure mess with you if you had low self-esteem.  I myself had enough problems comparing myself to knights and war heroes...and they were just people.  I know it was all in my mind now, but when I was younger there were times when I just didn't feel good enough for whatever girl I happened to like, because I hadn't done anything special.  At least my goals of being special were humanly possible.

Admittedly, I haven't read these books, so I could be mistaken...and I doubt most kids and teens take them seriously, but still that can sink into your subconscious.  I'm just saying, step out of the paranormal romance section once in a while, try some normal fiction or romance - don't dream of something that doesn't exist.

I also found this hilarious.  The paranormal romance bookcase is right next to the non-fiction bookcase...the only problem is that the romance spills over an covers 3/4 of the non-fiction.  2 measly shelves for non-fiction.

I'm glad the kids and teens of today have this great selection of books.  I found it sad that I couldn't find most of the books that I enjoyed as a kid.  There were a few scattered about and it made me smile to see them, but they seemed almost quaint next to the modern teen books...books that can be amazing and dark.  Darkness didn't much exist in the majority of books for young adults when I was in the age bracket (which is probably why I started reading Stephen King so young).  Hunger Games, with kids killing and dying all over the place?  There is no way that would have existed 20 years ago.  It is nice to see the gritty worlds that authors have now come up with.  I look forward to reading through more of you in the near future.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Grey

****Spoilers Below****
If you haven't seen the movie The Grey with Liam Neeson and want to, you may want to skip this post as it is bound to have some spoilers

Sidenote: I haven't had an art class since 6th grade...and even then I was not great.  However, I've kind of felt like drawing a little bit, so I figured I would try it out for the blog.  I would like to learn to draw better, so I figure the best way is to just draw a little bit...even if it is stick figures.  So below are some of my (awesome) illustrations.

Nearly every week, my friend Cam and I (and whoever else will join us) go to a movie.  This started with Billy Joes...and although we haven't found a good place to replicate that experience but we still usually have a good time - good movie or bad.

A couple weeks ago we went to see The Grey.  I think we all walked out thinking that it was an OK...nothing spectacular but a decent action flick.  The Grey is just full of horrible and disturbing situations to make the characters and audience feel uncomfortable. For example...

Isolation and loneliness in the middle of nowhere:

 A plane crash:

Possibly freezing to death:


Watching friends die and/or get eaten by wolves:

Lost in huge forest in the middle of nowhere:

But the scariest, most disturbing part of the movie:

Liam Neeson's Toe Thumbs.  I don't think Liam actually has toe thumbs (unless there was some kind of light saber accident on the set of Phantom Menace) but it definitely looks like he does.  Unfortunately, once you see them you can't stop seeing them.  They are forever burned in my brain and I think that will be all that I will now see of Liam.  Hopefully not.  I really enjoy him as an actor...but I don't like close ups of his thumbs.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Awful Advertisements

Am I the only one that does care to see animated
babies with diapers full of shit?
Advertisers usually don't understand me...or at least they do not make ads and commercials that appeal to me. In fact, not only do they not attract me to the product, but they actively turn me against the product.  I don't hate commercials.  Yes, I often skip them as much as possible when watching shows on DVR, but I am also known to rewind and watch a commercial if something catches my eye.  However, instead of making me want to buy a product commercials today often make me avoid it instead (and if I really like a commercial, I will probably support the product - that just doesn't happen often).  A good example would be the Hardees commercials where basically they insinuate you are not a man if you aren't eating their thickburger, mega-four patty burger with a pound of cheese and bacon.  I guess I am not man, because I could never eat that much.  I loved the slider mini-burgers that Hardees offered, but once the new ad campaign started Hardees never entered my mind because I didn't want the thickburger.  I didn't feel like the customer that they wanted (and I believe they discontinued the sliders shortly thereafter because they didn't fit in their new manly approach).

The current* commercial that drives me nuts...LUVS.  Of course not having a child, I am not the audience that they are trying to reach...but I really can't imagine who this ad is supposed to entice.  It is mildly more entertaining than a traditional diaper commercial...the first time...but it filled me with anger once the initial shock was over.

I thought this was a new ad, but I guess it has been around for over a year.

Yes, you heard that right..."Poop, there it is."  And the babies are having a shitting contest.  "What happens in diapers, should stay in diapers."  "Heavy Dooty Blowout Protection." Really Luvs?  Everything about this ad is distasteful to me.  I respect you for trying something new, but this doesn't quite do it.  I'm glad I didn't have to see a diaper having blue liquid poured into it, but listening to a modified Tag Team song is even worse.  I hate this commercial so much.

I am not the only one either...doing a quick search this ad made many "Worst Ad of 2011" lists...I just had not seen it until a few days ago.

*One of many...the AT&T cell phone "So 46 seconds ago" commercials make me want to punch people in the face. Charmin bears piss me off because everyone knows that bears use rabbits. Those ads on facebook that say "Bet you are too dumb to pass this quiz."  Anything with the Carfox. etc...

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I Laugh So That I Don't Cry (not really)

I logged onto the interwebicon this morning and up pops Yahoo! (one of the 3 options dictated by work), I was confronted by the following image:

All I could think was "Ughhh."  I am not the biggest Motley Crue fan in the world, but I do enjoy them (except their cover of Anarchy in the U.K. - really Vince, could you say  the end "DESTROY" in a less tough sounding way?).  Escpecially, I enjoy the song Kickstart My Heart.  That song does exactly what it says, it is just like a feel good, make you get going song.  It is energizing.

I knew this commercial was going to have this song...what else could it be.  Now, I don't hate the Kia seems like a decent, cheap mid-sized sedan.  However, it is not the car that would ever pop into my mind when I think of Kickstart My Heart.  Full of trepidation, I click the link and watch the video.  It is actually pretty funny and at least there wasn't dancing hamsters.  I'm not gonna say they sold out...because that is just dumb, if I had the chance, I would totally be Wayne's World and be going "Nuprin? Little.  Yellow.  Different." every single chance I got.  Not a sell out, good job making money, I say to the Crue.  It is just a strange fit to my mind, but then I guess people don't really write songs about low end, midsize sedans.  I guess I do have to say thanks to Kia for not using Train's Hey Soul Sister (as that has been in way to many commercials) or Limp Bizkit's Nookie (as that is one of the worst songs of all time).