Friday, June 25, 2010


Michael Jackson died one year ago today. In his memory I am going to eat tacos (his favorite food), drink orange gatorade (his favorite pre-concert beverage), watch his music videos on a projector screen, listen to his music, and talk about him incessantly.

You should do the same.

Also, if you want to remember specifics of his greatness, check out this post.

One year ago today I was laying in my bed at the Barlow Center feeling very ill. I had stayed home from the museum that must not be named that day because I had a high fever and felt so crappy. I remember taking a shower around 3pm, and feeling so nauseous, tired, and dizzy in the shower that I started to blackout. I saw spots and everything was going black, so I sat down and tried to regain control. I was very sick. Somehow I was able to get dressed and make it back to bed. I fell asleep for several hours, and right after I woke up, Stephanie called, her voice full of panic and tremors, to tell me that Michael Jackson had died. 

Let's just say it was kind of a bad day.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

"I disagree with Dumbledore on many accounts... but you cannot deny he's got style." -Phineas Nigellus

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was released on June 21, 2003. It was the first Harry Potter book that I had to wait for, and that is possibly the reason why the book means the most to me.

It really is my favorite. People think I'm crazy when I try to convince them it is the best Harry Potter book. But really. It is. The best. Many claim that Harry is grumpy and mean and full of "angst" in HP5, but I think that his random spurts of anger are totally legitimate (haha, watch "Potter Puppet Pals: Wizard Angst" for a perfect display of this attitude). HORRIBLE things were happening to him, and any normal person would lash out. Harry isn't perfect, and he shouldn't be. Perfect characters are boring (exhibit A: that one dumb vampire that I don't even want to say the name of on my blog). Harry acts like a normal adolescent BESIDES being totally justified in his reactions. AND, I promise that all you book 5 haters out there would like it better if you read it again from THAT perspective. I promise it all makes sense.

Plus, think about how pivotal the book is. It gives SO MUCH background and introduces key people and places (aka the Ministry, the Order, Umbridge, several Deatheaters (Bellatrix anyone?), THE PROPHECY). The fifth book sets up the next two. It is CRUCIAL to the development of the story, and is super entertaining at the same time. AND, it's the longest, and more Harry Potter is always a good thing.

Anyway, that book contains a solid chunk of three chapters that I claim as the best three chapters in Harry Potter. I don't want to argue why they are the best. They are the best because they are my favorite.

In fact, the quote in the title of this post comes from one of those three chapters.

And the chapters are: 27. The Centaur and the Sneak, 28. Snape's Worst Memory, and 29. Career Advice.

I love them. But I'm not going to describe what is in them because I am 100% anti-spoiler. My number one Harry Potter rule: no spoilers.

So anyway, the point of this post is to commemorate the seventh anniversary of this great book. Happy 7th year, book 5.

I got my copy of Harry Potter 5 at Media Play in Ogden. This was before I was a pro at Harry Potter release parties. I went up to Northern Utah that week and weekend to spend time with relatives. I was with my Uncle Dave and Aunt Sherry for about a week, but then went to my cousin Nicole's house to get the book. I remember being super worried about hanging out with her to buy and read the book, because I wasn't sure that she would want to read like ALL DAY like I wanted to. It is funny that she wondered the same thing. Worries were not necessary, however, we were equally excited to get that book into our hands and read and read until we were done.

I brought my wand and wore my Harry Potter pajama pants (they had flying cars on them) to the store, and we sat in line for hours. The party was fun because of what we were waiting for, but the really awesome Harry Potter release parties I experienced came in later years :).

I remember getting my book and not thinking that it was real. I had literally dreamed about holding that book in my hands for nearly 3 years. It was a tad overwhelming. And I remember screaming like the whole way home.

We took three days to read the book. We wanted to read a ton, but we didn't want it to be over too soon. I think three days was perfect. We read it chapter by chapter, pausing at the same parts together to talk everything over. We ate strawberries and pineapple when we took breaks from reading. And we slept out in the living room after falling asleep talking about the books, and then woke up to keep reading before breakfast.

It was the most fun that I had had with Nicole in several years. I love her so much, and Harry Potter gave us something to connect to, together.

And that is my commemoration for book 5. It is just such a good book. And I think it changed my life a little. :)
I just realized how much I talk about famous men on this blog... and don't talk about my own life.

But I can't say that will change.

Maybe a little.

"200 degrees, that's why they call me Mr. Fahrenheit...."

Freddie Mercury, ladies and gentlemen. I can't believe it took me so long to realize what an amazing singer/artist/musician this man was. I mean, really? Freddie, Freddie, Freddie. There are no words to describe.

In the words of Lynne, which I think are pretty accurate, "Freddie Mercury defies all expectation."

It's so true. He's CRAZY. He is like a constant surprise. The one thing about him you can count on, I guess, is for his voice and performance ability to always be amazing.

I don't know why I have this thing for music artists that are weirdos. Exhibit A: Michael Jackson. Exhibit B: Freddie Mercury. Oh wait, I know exactly why. They are fascinating. They are extraordinarily talented, like I'm talking mind-blowing skills, and really, they are just true artists. You know what I mean? There are artists who paint and artists who sculpt, and then there are artists who make music and actually treat music as art. They respect it, and they use their talent to enhance the art- further it- do more with it than had been done before. So many singers claim to be artists, when they are not. You cannot be an artist without changing your art in someway by what you do.

So Freddie had an unusual past. He was a Parsi-- a Zoroastrian whose ancestors migrated from Iran to India. He was born in Zanzibar, went to school in India, and then moved to England with his family when he was 17. They were fleeing Zanzibar for safety reasons- to avoid the Zanzibar revolution. It was in England that he me Roger Taylor, Brian May, and John Deacon- the other members of Queen.

And I guess the rest is history. I don't need to talk about the impact that Queen has had on modern music. We all know and love Queen songs. "We are the Champions" anyone?

But I do need to pay tribute to Freddie's skills as a performer. In 1985 Queen performed for 72,000 at a charity event called Live Aid. As a response to the performance, on critic wrote: "Those who compile lists of Great Rock Frontmen and award the top spots to Mick Jagger or Robert Plant, etc all are guilty of a terrible oversight. Freddie, as evidenced by his Dionysian Live Aid performance, was easily the most godlike of them all."

The "godlike" description brings to mind a comment that I read on YouTube under a video of a portion of the Live Aid performance (and seriously, ya'll should watch it). The comment read, "Elvis Presley is the King of Rock and Roll. Michael Jackson is the King of Pop. But Freddie Mercury is the god of Music." I'm not saying that I agree, I mean, obviously I love both Elvis and Michael more than I love Freddie. But, the quote makes a good point towards the amount of sheer worship that Freddie received from fans. Plus, it's just kind of funny.

My current favorite Queen songs--- that I would recommend to all and everyone.
  1. Don't Stop Me Now (Seriously, one of the funnest songs I've heard in a while. It's fast and clever and upbeat. And just so fun to sing. The title of this post comes from this song. And it is actually the reason for my new obsession. Because I found this song. Thanks to Dani, actually).
  2. Too Much Love Will Kill You (A beautiful ballad that showcases Freddie's amazing range and emotional attachment to his music.)
  3. Let Me Live (OMG. Gut-wrenching, this song. The story is so real. The woman portrayed needs to leave poor Freddie alone. Let him live!! Sample of the lyrics: "Why don't you take another little piece of my heart/Why don't you take it and break it/And tear it all apart.")
  4. No-One But You (written and recorded, I believe, after Freddie's death, so he doesn't actually sing on it. But the other members of Queen do a beautiful job, and I really think that the song is about Freddie, and moving on without him.)
  5. I Want to Break Free (Okay, seriously, you have to watch the video for this song. Freddie is dressed like a woman, but still wearing his mustache. It's just. so. perfectly. unexpected.)
  6. Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy (ha. hahaha.)
  7. Another One Bites the Dust (I didn't realize until a couple of days ago that this is actually ONE OF THE COOLEST SONGS EVER!)
  8. Under Pressure (with David Bowie. Can you get any better than that?)
Video of Freddie being really awesome at Live Aid. 

The end of Freddie's story? He died of bronchopneumonia brought on by AIDS. People suspected that he had AIDS for years before it was publicly announced, and when he finally did announce his condition, he died 24 hours later on November 24, 1991.

FINALLY, GUESS WHAT????!?! I own a song in my iTunes called "State of Shock." It's a Michael Jackson song that I have somehow overlooked. But guess who is featured in the song?? FREDDIE MERCURY. Bam.

Oh, and one last thing. The man had terrible teeth.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


So, update on the Mr. Downey movie watching.

I watched The Soloist the last couple of nights (it just took a while to finish it), and I actually really liked it. I usually don't like movies that are dramatic and hard to watch with difficult life situations (exhibit A: Pursuit of Happyness). But I liked this one. It made me want to help people. Be better.

It made me want to be a reporter, actually. A newspaper columnist. A writer. It made me want to find stories, write about them, and then change people's lives as a result.

And Robert Downey, Jr. was fantastic. Oh how I have a talent crush on him. And a real crush. And Jamie Foxx was absolutely amazing. And whoever did the make-up did a really good job at making everyone actually look bad- like they were normal people who don't get a facials every other day. I appreciated that. To an extent. (the authenticity of it at least... but really?)

It was a little artsy and weird, which is something that I don't always appreciate. But as a whole, I appreciated the movie. And the acting. And the message. And the fact that it makes me want to be a writer.

That's all.