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Music That Speaks to Me

Lately I’ve been thinking about music and what type of sounds I connect to. I am a lover of almost all tunes (ranging from Bon Iver to The Wanted) but I can’t help but relate to certain sounds. Like the crescendo of a Mother Falcon song or the strings of the quiet yet ferocious lyrics of David Bazan. It’s an understatement to say that music has changed the course of my life. If I were to describe myself by just one band or one musician, I’d have to go with Anathallo. Crazy instrumentals, insane lyrics but a big, beautiful sound.

Tell me, how would you describe yourself in one band/musician? Go!

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5 Things that I’m feeling in Minneapolis

Hello dear friends!

I just recently moved to Minneapolis a few months ago and am interning at Venture Expeditions. It has truly been an adventure so far and I plan to start updating this bad boy more and more. In honor of my new city I decided to write a list of things that I enjoy about the great city of Minni-Apples.

1. This city was made for CYCLING

I never have been so blessed with so many bike lanes! Literally, they’re everywhere. To get anywhere in the city I can take 5 different bike lanes or freeways and be on my way. Minneapolis has its own bike freeway that goes across the city and through the woods and pops you out to 50 new coffee shops. And if you do find yourself on a street without that little bike symbol, do not fear! Your passive-aggressive Minnesotans are used to little hipsters like you who roll up your right pant leg and ride a fixed gear, no brakes. You won’t get run over a million times like Joseph-Gordon Levitt does in this 1:30 minute preview of Premium Rush.

At least he's wearing a helmet!

2. Mall of America

Yes, I do know this is the girly-girl at heart speaking out right now but come on, this mall has every store that you can think of along with its own theme park. What more could you ask from a mall? Nothing! I’ve had a chance to experience the mall several times and its simply put, the Minnesota Miracle. Also, if its too cold for you to go outside for a run you can always go inside and run a few laps and come out running about 3-4 miles easy.

like, woah

3. Apple Picking 

Friends, if you have yet to experience the joys of apple picking then I’m sorry to say that you haven’t lived a fulfilling life yet. All you have to do is drive 30 minutes out of the city to an orchard, pay to eat some apple cider donuts and have a cup of cider then you go and pay to pick your own apples only to go home and make apple cider donuts and apple cider. What more could you ask for? Here’s a super adorable picture of me in an apple orchard.

Come look how cute I am

4. Winter Clothes

In previous Texas winters I have looked down upon all of those silly girls who spend hundreds of dollars on fancy coats only to wear them 2 days of the year. Now I get to be one of those silly girls but I have an actual reason! Although I do figure that I’ll by dying in February to break out my shorts but until then I’ll embrace the beauty of a gorgeous coat. In celebration of this, my parents got me my new best friend from Anthropologie.

Oh beautiful coat, how I adore thee!

I just got a job at REI and I cannot wait to splurge a little bit on some cute winter gear. Snow, you will not be feared because I will be well prepared!

5. Fall 

Oh yes, the biggest plus of leaving in Minneapolis are the leaves. Outside of the office is a sea of yellow, green and brown sprinkling down as the wind blows by. When the sun comes down and hits them just right, oh you’re in for a treat.

I caught this bad boy on the ride home from work

Those are just a few of the things that I’ve been digging here in Minneapolis. I’m sure there will be many more to come.

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Updating on Life

In three days, fifteen of us have ridden over 200 miles from San Diego, California to Yuma, Arizona. I want to do this for everyday of my life. All the mountains, blue skies, gas stations and new friends swell my heart up three sizes too big.

Thank you Lord for everything that you’ve done and will do. Thank you for good stories that I’ll tell my grandchildren. Thank you for all the conflicts in my life. Thank you for my sore butt. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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Van Gogh and The Unwritten

So maybe I’m reading too much into the visually stunning artwork (oh wait, that’s what I’m supposed to do) in Mike Care and Peter Gross’ comic book The Unwritten but some of the strips in here remind me so much of Vincent Van Gogh.  The cover artist, Yuko Shimizu takes the same technical approach in presenting fire in the second cover as Van Gogh depicts the wind and the clouds.

 

squiggle lines as grass

Tommy and Tom (or is it Tommy?) consumed by Van Gogh flames!

Why is this important though? Well, if my understanding of Post-Impressionism and of Van Gogh is correct, these artists were deeply studying the idea of perception and gestural projection. How the individual sees and interacts and then translates into a medium may appear abstract but in truth, it is a wonderful representation of reality. As for The Unwritten, every time this use of thick lines and abstract representations occur is when there’s a transition of reality occurring in the story line. This blurs the line of what we see as real but within the entire context of the story you’re never sure what’s real and what’s just part of a story. As Count Ambrosio says, “Stories are the only thing worth dying for!”

rawr

That line literally terrified me. It forced me to realize that any religion, belief that comes my way derives from some story. For some reason, to me, a story has a slight negative connotation. Not really negative, more like it’s childish and foolish. If you replace the word “story” with “narrative” the connotation has this 180 degree turn. “Narrative” doesn’t sound right but it has this mature notion about it.

After finishing the first two volumes of The Unwritten I came away with the same feeling I had when I left Mulholland Drive. When the comic book got to a part where it goes on to a different story line I had the same feeling of suspension during the opera scene from Mulholland Drive. I didn’t quite comprehend what I was holding, but I could still sense the immense power that the story contains.

While I was reading The Unwritten another thing I realized is how the story connects with so many literary dynasties and other media outlets. It kind of seems that the more I read complex stories, the more I see connections to one other. Even the simple fact that the introduction to volume 2 was written by a writer for Dr. Who seems crazy eerie to me. Do they all meet up at the Villa Diodati and tell Dr. D what to teach us?

I guess the easiest connection to make from Dr. D’s teachings and The Unwritten is the fandom culture. Fans of Tommy Taylor are engrossed in the tale and even though they play a subservient role to the main characters, they make me question reality. At first, it seemed like the Tommy Taylor franchise worked seamlessly with their fans and even supported their crazy theories by making them the head of the fandom in New Zealand. In reality, I couldn’t see the drastic measures of love and adoration (aka stalking) that the fans do for Tommy Taylor in real life. Although there is the paparazzi there is not the same kind of collective gathering as there is in The Unwritten (excluding Tommy-con).

This story absolutely captivated me. I don’t even understand why I’m writing this blog entry right now, I should be reading the next volume(comes out March 2011…same month as the last HP movie hmmm…).

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Floyd and WALL-E Are Not Related

I’m only good at two video games: Pokemon and Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Other than that, I’m horrible at video games. It might be that I always played with my older sibling who always had to crush me and play better than me so I never got to experience video games on my own (other than Pokemon and Ocarina). So when I encounter video games I have never played before, it can become a little emotional.

This guy made his very own WALL-E. I need one.

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Dr. Who is Everywhere

Yup, it’s true. Dr. Who has been on my mind (though it hasn’t blown up this time) and every Monday, Wednesday and Friday I seem to discover him in some new medium. Sadly, the first time I heard about Dr. Who was this summer when my friend Laura (who seems to be popping up on all my posts…) talked about what television show she has been watching lately. So before we discussed Dr. Who extensively in class, I already knew about Dr. Who’s amazing-ness from a 3rd party.

Although I loved getting to know Dr. Who, the worst way to get to know him is through the radio show. His British accent is difficult to understand when lunch is approaching and the story keeps switching to different view points. Really, the story is interesting but it’s so hard to follow. One easier way to digest the Dr. Who radio show would be to listen to it in 15-30 minute increments, take a quick caffeine break and get back into it. Also, I kept on glancing over at the projector screen of the face of Dr. Who thinking that he had moved his lips or the screen had changed. Once I figured out that I was staring at the same photo I missed a bit of the dialogue. The radio show wasn’t has suspenseful either, I just wasn’t scared like I was when I watched an TV episode of Dr. Who. The concept of the story was interesting but it didn’t tell the story like I’m normally used to. Also, the British have a different style of storytelling than the Americans do. Whereas we rely more on gags and over dramatic plots, the British stories that I’ve seen are much more sarcastic and subtle. This makes it much harder to understand when I’m used to the typical boisterous American TV shows.

However, Dr. Who the TV show is fantastic. I loved watching the episode “Blink” and I was sitting at the edge of my seat clasping Lindsay’s hand the entire time. Even though the graphics were pretty cheap looking (hence the photo) I was still really frightened by everything. I enjoyed the complexity of the storyline but I could see the sequential plot that’s used in most of the other episodes. Dr. Who reminded me a lot of House, even though the story within each episode is complex, the series itself isn’t. I could watch 10 episodes of Dr. Who a day and probably never get bored with them.

When I read the comic book of Dr. Who, the one thing I was most fascinated about was the style or art in the comic book. Instead of the classic solid paint style seen in most comic books (like Scott McCloud) Dr. Who is colored in this beautiful, fluid watercolor. It creates a really intense picture and makes it more sci-fi. The story itself was good, but not quite as entertaining as the television series and not as boring as the radio series. I would read more of them if that meant I could look at all the pretty pictures. And who can argue with philosophical cybermen? They were just plain funny. The last strip just made my heart weep with joy over

The computer game, Blood of the Cybermen was beyond fun. It was a little slow, hard to maneuver everything but it was so much fun. I think that also had to do with playing with Erica and putting the volume way up and laughing every time we got a Jelly Belly card. Video games and I go way back but ever since I got into college and didn’t bring my game systems with me I haven’t been into them as much lately. So whenever I get the chance to play a game for school, I jump at the chance (Planetfall, I am so excited for you). I liked being a part of the story as it unfolds. Even though figuring everything out is pretty easy, it was cool to think that it was I who created the story and not the people at BBC. The story itself wasn’t all that interesting but hey, I get to push big slabs of ice and kill cybermen with steam.

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My mind just blew up

The David Lynch film, Mulholland Drive, is insane and spectacular. I am still completely confused as to what happened and why it happened but viewing the movie itself is an extreme experience. Even though I hate the creepy feeling that you get from the film, the second I got out of class on Friday I had to see Lynch’s 10 clues. Knowing that Lynch is crazier and more mind blowing than I can imagine- I know the storyline contains more depth than the classical theory founded by Lost on Mulholland Drive. However, that’s the story that makes the most sense to me, the one that I appreciate the most and the one that I’ll agree with. I do appreciate how Lynch supports and loves different theories from his fans, he really loves how the mind tinkers with different ideas.

This reminds me of how some of my friends are obsessed with Lost. My one friend, Laura, will search for all the different rabbit holes to clues about the next season’s episodes or about side story lines to the show. This complex narrative really engages her in every facet. Personally, I don’t dedicate enough time to the television to keep up with complex television shows. I’ll watch a few episodes and get hooked- like Heroes or Lost; but after a few weeks I’ll miss an episode because of some sorority function or ultimate or anything and I’ll lose track of what’s going on.

When I was in junior high and high school I would eat with my family on Sunday evenings and then we would all sit down to watch 60 Minutes and The Simpsons together. After that, I would stay tuned to FOX and watch Arrested Development. I absolutely loved that show. There was a lot that I didn’t understand but I loved it. I liked how every week something new about a character was developing and how I never really understood the time structure, but it made me chuckle. To me, what makes a story complex is how you have to think about things. Like the difference between abstract art and kitsch, Pollock versus some sleazy poster, complex and simple. It makes things more difficult, so if I miss that one episode of Lost and try to skip to the next episode, I won’t understand anything. Entertainment settles in easier when you don’t have to think; that’s why people are attracted to the simple rom-com. However, there will always be the appeal of the complex narrative and that’s why crazy surrealists like Lynch are still kickin’ it.

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