The Natatorium

An emporium of oddities from around the world, complete with somewhat informative plaques that almost never match the item they are meant to be describing.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

I'm Drowning in Footwear!

More like drowning in fan fiction. Ugh. It's a horrible addiction, worse than the Buffy episodes themselves. Especially this one. Not the best-written story ever, but geez. Escapism much?

I best keep quiet, though. Hannah gets very embarassed when I mention fan fiction. She nearly had an anurism when I said the forbidden phrase in the Mudhouse the other night ("You can't say 'fan ficition' in the Mudhouse!"). She's probably just covering for the fact that she's a closet fanfic writer herself. Oops, did I spill the beans?

I can't really say why it is that I haven't succumbed to the dark and shameful world of fanfic authors.... probably has something to do with laziness. I've come very close, but I'm proud to say that no geekishly-obsessive fantasy-fueled sludge has yet oozed from my pen. I'm really not being very kind to fanfic writers in this post, am I? If any of you are reading (except Hannah), sorry. Really. I'm very, very sorry. ::snigger::

My room is still a mess, and yet I acquired another pair of shoes tonight. Mom castoffs, but still. There are shoes everywhere. And sweaters. And books. It simply doesn't end.

Classes start in two days (well, technically one now). My loungy laziness must come to an end; I'm about to become a working full-time student again, and, for next week anyway, a single mom. My parents are jetting off to Florida again, so I'll have grades, a job, and a kid to manage. Should be fun. Good way to get me back into a responsible swing.

Saw Phantom of the Opera tonight. V.v. good, though oddly enough, there were parts that I found myself thinking, "I so could have directed/designed/written/lighted/costumed/scored that better." In fact, as arrogant as this sounds (and I know it sounds really arrogant), I feel like I could have made that movie better. At least I could have improved the lyrics. And maybe some of the melodies. I dunno. I guess my recent immersion in the study of music has made me overly critical, but I guess I expected more from Andrew Lloyd Webber. Doesn't he understand that the dialogue needs to climax at the same time as the chorus? Doesn't he realize that a meandering melody takes all the power from a character's strong words?? I can't believe I'm saying this but.... Disney has him beat here. I know, I know. You scoff. But seriously. In the Disney movies, the melody always matches the lyrics, and the songs allow the characters to say what they need to yet somehow the musical structure keeps up.... I'm sorry, but Tim Rice is a very cool guy.

The one thing I will give cred to Phantom for is that Christine's good guy, Raoul, wasn't boring. He wasn't a little nancy wuss, as the 'good guys' sometimes turn out to be. I wanted to root for the Phantom, but Raoul won me over. Good job, Raoul. Even with a cheesy romance novel name, you got me with that graveyard scene. I think part his amiability (word? sure. why not.) lies in the fact that he didn't get stuck with any of the crappy melody-dialogue that Mr. Phantom did. I'm afraid the guy they cast, in combination with the weird songs, just made it impossible for him to pull off the badass-ness necessary for him to be really alluring. The guy they cast for him was just all wrong. Raoul had a better voice, Raoul was more attractive. I thought the Phantom was supposed to be seductive, and they tried to make him so, but it just wasn't working for me. One thing poor impotent Phantom did get, though, was the BEST FREAKING THEME of the WHOLE OPERA. Those of you who have seen/heard it know what I mean. There's nothing like a grandiose descending chromatic scale on a huge pipe organ to declare to everyone I AM THE BADASS HERE, SEE? LOOK HOW AWESOME MY BLACK CAPE IS!

Huh. I didn't mean for this to turn into a full review, but while I'm at it, I might as well sum up: plot, v. good. Music, okay*. Dialogue, needs work. Casting, good except for Phantom. Acting, good. Sets, fabulous.

If you're not as picky as me, you'll probably love it. You should see it just for the amazing visuals. Like my cousin said, it was like a giant, moving, two-hour painting. Stunning visuals.

*do we need bad 80's techno-beats and TSO-esque electric guitars? NO. No, Andrew Lloyd Webber, we do not. It's set in freaking 1870, we do NOT NEED MODERN MUSIC. The pipe organ and the timpani is enough to give everyone goosebumps, Mozart and Beethoven did without electricity and so can you. Just keep it strictly old-skool orchestral plzkthnx.

I realize I'm heavily channeling Mimi Smartypants in this entry, and for that I apologize. The girl's an amazing writer, she doesn't need me stealing her personality. I swear though, it wasn't on purpose. Just seemed right.

The entry title was an extremely obscure Spike quote btw. I didn't expect anyone to get it, but it seems fitting.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Dream a Dream... of Death

I know, it's so cliché to be preoccupied with death, especially at my age. I'm not, really, I've just gotten myself infused with too much death-themed media recently. I've been watching some of the more serious Buffy episodes that deal with death, and I've been reading The Lovely Bones. I guess I could blame these things for the recent rash of death dreams if I wanted to, but in reality I'm sure it has a lot more ot do with my actual life at the moment than with the worlds I escape to.

In dreams, death means change, so it makes sense that I would be very death-oriented in my dreams these days. Things are changing for me, again, which I guess is a good thing. New job, new semester, new people in my life. There is one thing that bothers me though--if you throw yourself towards death in dreams, does it mean you're throwing yourself toward change (a good thing) or that you're being self-destructive (a bad thing). I had one of those tunnel dreams, only it was more like a dark cave, not scary but earthy and natural with a sort of nurturing dirt floor. I came to a point in the cave where it forked off; to the right was a tunnel that I couldn't see down because of the blindingly bright light coming from it, and to the left was a tunnel that I couldn't see down because it was pitch black. I got the feeling that the dark tunnel was angled downward and full of earth. I knew I should go into the light, but suddenly, as though I had no control over myself, I was diving into the dark tunnel, down and down, feeling the soft, moist earth grazing my skin and starting to envelop me. It wasn't a scary experience in itself, the dark and the dirt, but I was afraid because I felt that I'd made the wrong choice, I knew it wasn't the way I was supposed to have gone.

In the midst of the falling and enveloping, I woke sharply and was in my room looking at my curtained windows. I started to think about the dream a little, but then the phone rang and I woke up for real, not looking at the windows but with my face pressed against the pillow. A dream within a dream. I think my mind pulled me out of the tunnel and back to a safe and familiar place because I didn't want to know what was going to happen next in that hole. I didn't want to see where that darkness would lead me.

I suppose I have nothing to worry about. It's not like I'm actively pursuing darkness or anything. And anyway, soon I'll be back at school, and between classes, work, and family, I won't have enough time to brood and contemplate and dream and obsess about my subconscious anymore.

So, yay.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

So This Is The New Year

It pretty much feels like last year. New Year's Resolutions are pretty much made to be broken, so I don't make them. I do, however, set a few guidelines ("They're more like guidelines, really.") for myself to follow in the coming year. Last year's guidelines went well, so I think I'm going to keep them again this year.

Guideline #1. Draw closer to God, focus on following His plan for my life, work on discerning what that plan might be.

Guideline #2. Focus on responsibilities; be successful in school and at work.

Guideline #3. DO NOT under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES *fall* *in* *love*.

All of the guidelines are extremely important in maintaining my life as I wish it to be. I've got a cushy little non-suicidal setup here, I'm going to stick with it as long as possible.

In other news, I was interviewed by 417 Magazine last night. Then I watched Garden State. V.v. good.

Oh, and don't ask how my New Year's Eve was, because it sucked. It's a very long, involved, complicated story that has evovled over the past 6 years. Anyway, it was just bad, except for one brief interlude of dancing. In fact, I was so miserable that it was the one time in my life where I really, truly, desperately wanted a drink. But of course, no alcohol was to be had. Ironic.

Okay kids, your turn now. Here's the part where you share all of *your* New Year's Resolutions and the rest of us proceed to tempt the pants off of you until you break them.

I didn't mean that literally. If anyone has dirty resolutions involving pants, feel free to keep those to yourself.