Gatsby the Great

posted by Jory on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 0 comments links to me
Happy Wednesday, everyone! You want to know why it's happy? Because the trailer for Baz Luhrmann's Great Gatsby adaptation is finally here! Yay! (Ok, that's enough exclamation points).

Ok, so I have to admit, I've been waiting for this trailer in both excitement and dread. Don't get me wrong, I really do love Baz Luhrmann. I love his style and his pace and his vividness. But...when I read Gatsby, I read it as a slow, melancholic ballad that just did NOT seem to mix with anything like "Moulin Rouge" or "Romeo + Juliet."

Look at that Gatsby smile.
There was a film made in 2000 starring Toby Stephens as Gatsby and Paul Rudd as Nick Carraway. Sure, it's not as exciting as a Luhrman film, but it is a darn good faithful adaptation of one of my favorite books. It has the melancholy, the jazz, and almost a film noir experience. Also, Rudd made me not hate Nick. I'm not saying it should be compared to the new Luhrmann film, but I do think, if you liked the book, you should check out this one too.

That being said, now that I've seen the new trailer, I'm as excited as ever. It definitely has a freshness to it that I can't dismiss. Baz has not only adapted but transformed the classic in a way that is going to bring life to the 1920s (something that I haven't really seen before in a film). I'm not going to criticize if it's isn't as faithful an adaptation as the Stephens version, because then what would be the point in adaptations and remakes in the first place? Part of the wonder of transformative works is seeing how different people interpret and express the same initial idea or story. I, for one, am really looking forward to this experience.

So, without further ado, the trailer:

By the way, if anyone is interested...I wrote a lesson plan for teaching Great Gatsby to high school students, and I would be more than happy to share it.

Welcome to Day Two of the Meg-A-Thon

posted by Jory on Wednesday, May 16, 2012 0 comments links to me
Disclaimer: This is one of my longer posts, but bear with me. I've got pictures. And ice cream. (Oh, but the ice cream is just for me. Sorry.)

This is the banner I made for Meg's Facebook contest. I didn't win. But it's okay. Because the winner's banner was quite nice. (Notice the change in cover styles since that blessed summer day in 2001.)
Hello fellow Meg Cabot readers. You're obviously here because of the Meg-A-Thon made of awesome, because I usually only get about 4 hits on my blog (and I'm pretty sure they're all from my mother).

Not that I'm bitter or anything.

But seriously, I'm very excited you're here. Welcome to my humble virtual abode. And, in the words of my grandpa, "take off your coat and stay a while." We can have tea and scones and, of course, talk about Meg, since that's why you're here anyway.

I met Meg, hypothetically, on a very special day: my 14th birthday. (Well, officially it was two days after my birthday because I was in Kentucky for work camp on my ACTUAL birthday. But whatever, I like to acknowledge that the first Princess Diaries book was released on my actual birthday because it makes it seem serendipitous.) See, here's the thing, back in 2001, before the first Harry Potter film created the massive hysteria - forcing non-readers everywhere to crack open the book, making reading officially cool - I was considered the weird kid who didn't take advantage of the full passing period because I preferred to get to my seat early and spend the extra time reading a few more pages. So, when I returned from Kentucky, and my mom told me I could pick out my own birthday present, I naturally directed her to Borders.

(::sigh:: RIP, Borders).

I remember it like it was yesterday. You'd think my mother would have been glad that I was so devoted to reading and expanding my schema, but no. The whole way there she kept shaking her head, asking me if I wouldn't prefer to go to the mall and get a new outfit for the upcoming school year. But I was adamant.

When I walked into Borders I made a beeline for the Young Adult section. Back then, it was only a row and a half of shelves. (I know. It's horrifying.) Being that it was brand-spanking new, the Princess Diaries book was on special display. But I passed right by it. I don't know why I did this. Maybe it was because it was (Meg, if you're reading this, I apologize) pink, or maybe it was the tiara on the cover, but whatever the reason, my brain was clearly not functioning at its full capacity at that moment.

I remember picking up a few books and checking them out (one of them was Go Ask Alice, which was recommended to me but, to this day, I have not read) until I got to the section of the shelf where "Cabot" popped up again. Here's the difference: someone had placed the Princess Diaries on the shelf with its back cover facing me. Something about that Doc Martin boot on the back cover (I mean, I HAD those boots) caused something inside me to stir. I grabbed the book and read the excerpt and I KNEW. I knew I had to have this book. I knew that somehow, some way, Mia was me in some alternate universe, and the author had reached into my soul and found a way to reach out to me in manuscript form.

Okay, that's a bit dramatic. But seriously, as soon as I read that back cover I felt strongly connected to it. Also, it might have been the reference to Baldwin, because I had a huge crush on Alec Baldwin when I was a kid (who didn't? I also had a crush on Bill Clinton before the whole Monica scandal thing went down, so maybe my judgement wasn't the greatest. Don't judge me, I was 10.)

Anyway, the Princess Diaries not only made me journal my life religiously in the event that someday my life might be as entertaining and exciting as Mia's (unlikely), but it introduced me to chick-lit and that honest, confessional style of writing that has been perfected by our esteemed Meg. Not only that, but it made me realize that I don't have to become as famous as Meg to be a great writer and if I can make one person laugh the way Meg has made me so many times,well, then I have succeeded.

Geez, I'm such a suck-up.

I've read all of Meg's books, including her first published novel ever, a romance novel that she released under a pseudonym. I recommend her to my friends and random people I meet any time I have the opportunity. (Seriously, sometimes I just shout "Read Meg Cabot!" across the street to strangers.) I reread my favorites (which change year to year) in between my heavier grad school reading. And last year, I finally got to meet Meg (not hypothetically) in Naperville, IL at a book signing. She was charming and beautiful and everything I imagined her to be. I only wish I had had the foresight to bring that romance novel I mentioned because I think she would have gotten a kick out of that.

Any book Meg writes, I know I'll read and love. But there will always be a special place in my heart for the Princess Diaries. It was released on my birthday. I was 14. Mia was 14. I grew up with her (albeit, maybe a little faster, because when Forever Princess was released in 2010, Mia was graduating from high school while I was graduating from college). But no matter how old I get, Meg keeps me young.


P.S. I've made it a habit at bookstores to shelve books with the back covers facing out, now, because sometimes it's just as, if not more, aesthetically enticing as the front. And let's face it, we do judge books by their covers, but sometimes we just need to get the full picture.

Three Weeks of Meg Cabot
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Archery is Sexy

posted by Jory on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 0 comments links to me
Archery has been really hot in shows and movies lately, and this makes me super happy. So, to prove to you all that archery is sexy sexy, I have compiled a list of awesomes that rock the sport.

1.The Huntsman. 
Jamie Dornan plays the Huntsman - you know, the one that's supposed to kill Snow White? - on ABC's hit Once Upon a Time. He handles all weapons quite adeptly, but he's particularly rad with the bow and arrow. But I might be just a little biased. Also, his yummy Irish accent doesn't hurt. (Gotta love an Irish bloke).
2. Legolas. 
To this day, it is Orlando Bloom's greatest role. I mean, I loved Pirates and I really loved Elizabethtowm - sup, Cameron Crowe? - but we all first fell in love with the elfish blonde with the wicked aim.
3. Hawkeye.
Okay, so I'm only a novice Marvel lover. I've read Spider-man and loved all the recent Marvel movies (especially X-Men). But other than that, I'm pretty unknowledgeable. So, I didn't even know who Hawkeye was until the end of the Thor movie. And I know I've seen Jeremy Renner in other movies, but I can't really place him. Either way, when I realized that the Avengers included a kick-ass archer with the coolest arrows I've ever seen...well, you could say I was pretty excited. And he didn't disappoint.
4. Robin Hood. 
There've been numerous Robins...but we all know Cary Elwes was the greatest. Just look at that mustache. A man in tights TIGHTS tights
5. Katniss. 
When I read the Hunger Games, I thought it was so cool that its heroine was not only a crack shot archer, but shooting with handmade bows and arrows. I'd really like to make my own now. I've never shot barebow, so I was a little confused by the appearance of Jennifer Lawrence's form before I realized the difference. Apparently she trained pretty hard and became quite a good archer. Of course, posters and scenes from the film aren't going to represent her skills too well because they movie makers are more concerned with her just appearing bad ass.
6. Me. 
I shot for about two years in college and it was awesome. If you haven't tried it, it's one of the most therapeutic activities. You can relieve so much stress, just make sure you turn your elbow out because if that string hits it at that high speed you'll be sure to regret it. Also, it can be cathartic if you're pissed off at someone because you can just imagine their face in the bullseye (or just tape a picture in there). Anyway, I had to leave archery behind when I left Cali. I miss my bow. I wish I had a huge backyard to set up a target on.

Mix Tape Monday: All The Sand In The Sea

posted by Jory on Monday, May 14, 2012 0 comments links to me
I heard this song at Starbucks the other day and I haven't been able to stop listening to it.

Also, while I was at Starbucks, I saw a lady with pink hair wearing pink shoes, pink leggings, a pink skirt, pink shirt, and a pink vest... she looked like a flamingo. I'm not sure how this is relevant. Just felt like I needed to tell someone.

"All the Sand in the Sea" by DeVotchKa
All your precious souls
have been bought and sold
for bargain basement lows
to common criminals

Now you are having visions
Adverse flying conditions
over seas transmissions
to anyone who will listen

Waiting for the drums to kick in
you want to free your earthbound limbs
I am gonna count to three
then you are leaving here with me

Are we wasting all our precious time?
Chasing dollars chasing dimes
german english japanese
all the sand in all the seas
it's all in place
it's all laid out
as we speak it's going down
Oh don't forget me
Here's the part that always gets me

You float across the room
your lips are in full bloom
pedals fall from your mouth
have you found me out?

we've been here before
a lovers civil war
I will wait religiously
don't forget you came here with me

Are we wasting all of our time?
Chasing dollars chasing dimes...

Frank Turner Friday: Somebody to Love

posted by Jory on Friday, May 11, 2012 0 comments links to me
I know it's late, y'all, but I've had a very busy Friday. Normally I don't work on Fridays, but I rearranged my schedule this week since today was my friend's last day and I wanted to be there. It was her last day because she's finished her Masters and is done! And she's gone ahead and gotten herself a big girl job. I'm  proud of her. I'm going to be really lonely in my cubicle now, though. I have no one to chit chat with, anymore. I'm going to have to start talking to myself again.

So anyway, congrats to everyone who is graduating tonight!

I'm going to be lazy tonight and just post vids - no lyrics - but if you don't know the lyrics to this song I no longer have faith in you, anyway. Frank Turner covering Queen's "Somebody to Love."



Get To Know Me

posted by Jory on Wednesday, May 09, 2012 0 comments links to me
A few things that I love
(I should be writing that paper right now. Oh well.)
Diet Coke. My life force.
Writing. Especially in awesome
notebooks from Granada.
My Macbook. His name is Cooper.
My brilliant niece. She, coincidentally,
loves Jelly Beans.
My Fossil necklace. I'm a Fossil snob.
My Fossil purse, wallet, and
 wristlet (not pictured).
Sweets. Of the homemade variety.
Starbucks. And, consequently,
the Rewards program.
Clouds. Especially before/after a storm.
Reading. Good books.
Pez. The key to my heart.
My evening commute.
Road trips.
Motorcycles. Helmets are sexy.

DIY Summer: High Waisted Bikini

posted by Jory on Tuesday, May 08, 2012 0 comments links to me
So.... I'm really into high waisted shorts and bathing suits right now. 

Norma Jean

Well, I'm a chub. We all know this. Therefore, finding a suitable bathing suit (haha, suitable suit) is a nightmare. I have a very lovely bikini top that holds the girls in just fine (Yes, I did). But, have you ever noticed how bikini bottoms tend to create/enhance the whole muffin-top effect? Yeah. They're super tight so that they don't fall down when you dive into the pool. (Happened to me. Not once, but twice. First time the bottoms; second time, I jumped feet first and my top decided not to go down with me). Not so good. Therefore, I have accepted a self-proposed challenge to make my own high-waisted bikini bottoms. I've found numerous different methods, and I'm willing to try 'em all if I have to. Because I'm not going to miss out on any more summer fun just because I'm self-conscious of my tum tum.

Here are the most helpful ideas I've found:
1. Use an existing pattern and make my own (from One Avian Daemon)

2. Create your own pattern by cutting up one of your old bikini bottoms (from Bowlers and Buttons)

3. Alter a one-piece (from Burda Style)

So just curious, to all the dudes, how do you feel about the high-waist bikini comeback?
Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Mix Tape Monday: Teenage Dirtbag

posted by Jory on Monday, May 07, 2012 0 comments links to me
Feeling a little nostalgic. I loved this movie in like 8th or 9th grade.

I'm a sucker for an underdog. But really, who would wear that hat in New York?

 This guy's voice is already so high that when he sings like a girl it's pretty believable. Another of my favorite songs from this album - yes, I bought this album (a CD, remember those?!?) - is Hump 'Em and Dump 'Em. I'm sad to say that at the ripe old age of 13, I had no idea what that meant. I was a naive. Also, "Love is a Mutt From Hell" is particularly profound. Key lyrics - "He takes advantage of me/He even knows when I pee."

"Teenage Dirtbag" by Wheatus
Her name is Noelle
I have a dream about her
She rings my bell
I got gym class in half an hour

Oh how she rocks
In Keds and tube socks
But she doesn't know who I am
And she doesn't give a damn about me

Cause I'm just a teenage dirtbag baby
Yeah I'm just a teenage dirtbag baby
Listen to Iron Maiden baby... with me

Her boyfriend's a dick
He brings a gun to school
And he'd simply kick
My ass if he knew the truth
He lives on my block
And He drives an IROC
But he doesn't know who I am
And he doesn't give a damn about me...

Cause i'm just a teenage dirtbag baby
Yeah i'm just a teenage dirtbag baby
Listen to Iron Maiden baby with me

Oh yeah, dirtbag
No, she doesn't know what she's missing.
Oh yeah, dirtbag
No, she doesn't know what she's missing.

Man I feel like mold
It's prom night and I am lonely.
Lo and behold
She's walking over to me.
This must be fake
My lip starts to shake
How does she know who I am?
And why does she give a damn about me?

(and she said)

I've got two tickets to Iron Maiden baby
Come with me Friday - don't say maybe.
I'm just a teenage dirtbag baby
Like you
Ooohoo Hoo Hooooooo

Oh yeah, dirtbag
No, she doesn't know what she's missing.
Oh yeah, dirtbag
No, she doesn't know what she's missing...

Frank Turner Friday: Sons of Liberty

posted by Jory on Friday, May 04, 2012 0 comments links to me
I love me some celtic sounds, especially when they're mixed with rock/folk music. Dang. Here's the song, listen to it because it has the violin. The video is great because Frank is just an amazing, fun performer, and he plays the violin solo exceptionally on the guitar, but I still prefer the violin in the studio version. Check it.

The studio version:

And the live version:

"Sons of Liberty" - Frank Turner
Once an honest man could go from sunrise to its set
Without encountering agents of his state or government
But a sorry cloud of tyranny has fallen across the land
Brought on by hollow men, who did not understand
That for centuries our forefather have fought and often died
To keep themselves unto themselves, to fight the rising tide
And that if in the smallest battles we surrender to the state
We enter in a darkness whence we never shall escape

When they raise their hands up our lives to possess
To know our souls, to drag us down, we'll resist.

Watt Tyler led the people in 1381
To meet the king at Smithfield and issue this demand:
That Winchester's should be the only law across the land
The law of old King Alfred's time, of free and honest men.
Because the people then they understood what we have since forgot:
That a government will only work for its own benefit
And I'd rather stand up naked against the elements alone
Than give the hollow men the right to enter in my home

When they raise their hands up our lives to possess
To know our souls, to drag us down, we'll resist.

Stand up Sons of Liberty and fight for what you own
Stand up Sons of Liberty and fight, fight for for your homes.

So if ever a man should ask you for your business or your name
Tell him to go and fuck himself, tell his friends to do the same.
Because a man who'd trade his liberty for a safe and dreamless sleep
Doesn't deserve the both of them, and neither shall he keep.

Because it's Wednesday

posted by Jory on Wednesday, May 02, 2012 0 comments links to me
Wednesday is seriously my longest day. And today is possibly the worst, because the semester is wrapping up and I have about 6 huge things due in the span of the next 6 days. But you know what makes Wednesdays a little better? Flight of the Conchords, that's what.

Key quotes:
"Then you sort out the recycling
That isn't part of the foreplay process but it's still very important"

"Tripping sensuously over my pants" (in this version we get the "sexy dance")

"You know when I'm down to my socks it's time for business
that's why they're called business socks, ooh"

If you want a dramatized version, just be aware there might be some nudity:

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