Friday, June 29, 2012

John Carter: The Books - In 2 Minutes

With all the John Carter love rolling around here on this blog and making y'all people nauseated, I figured I'd do some research and discover what REALLY makes Captain Carter tick. I wanted to find out what it is about him that makes those of us who love him love him, and those who kind of sort of really hate him, you know, hate him.

So I've started reading the books. I'm on the fourth in the series, Thuvia: Maid of Mars. And I must say that I'm charmed. In sort of an eye-rolling puh-lease kind of way. These books were published a hundred years ago. They were ground-breaking and laid the framework for books and movies like Dune and Avatar. They deserve some respect.

So it is with this respect--and my proverbial hat off to those on both sides of the John Carter love-aisle--that I give you: John Carter of Mars, the Books. In 2 Minutes:

Hello there, puny earthling. I am John Carter, God of Mars. They don't actually call me "God," but I'm so full of natural impulsiveness, brazen fighting skills, earth-muscles, and the ability to get out of every bad situation simply by showing up, that they might as well. Call me a God, that is. That last sentence was so long I feared you might have lost my train of thought. I know I did.

You must wonder how I, John Carter of Earth, Captain of the Somethingth Cavalry, managed to find my way to Mars. I wonder too. I found myself here after passing out in a cave in Arizona, lying around for a day or two until I couldn't take it any more and then just sort of standing up out of my body. It was freaky. Especially when I saw myself lying on the ground fully clothed and looking like I was dead---then looked down at my separated-self and discovered I was entirely naked. I mean like, buck. Or as they will say in the future, and which will be wildly incorrect, "butt."

Scarce had I considered the nakedidity issue when I looked up, saw Mars, and wuhBAM! I was sucked up onto it. Just like that. I have no explanation. Like, ever.

The moment I arrived it became clear that Mars has pitiful gravity which turns me into a superhero and solves all of my problems before they happen. But since that would make for a boring story I make sure to leave a few obvious problems unsolved. You know. For fun. In any case, I can bounce around and kill people merely by saying my name to them, and everyone on Barsoom knows it. Even all the peoples I've never heard of and don't know I exist. They do too.

So, I was captured by Tharks, then fell in love with Dejah Thoris who was also conveniently captured. I mean, who wouldn't? The woman was conveniently naked. Butt. However, being the Southern gentleman I was, and despite having lived smack in the middle of the Victorian era where people were clothed to within an inch of their lives, I barely noticed. At all. Except to say that Dejah Thoris was naked. Nekkid. Nakedy-woo-woo. Nay-hee-hee-ked. Seriously, being naked wasn't a problem at all for any of us. Except for every time we tried to walk, or ride, or jump, or fight in the desert and sand tried to get all up into our . . . never mind.

Right. I am a man of great action and little thought. I can't take all this talking. To make a long story short, here's how things went:

"Hark! A beautiful [NAKED] woman! And some green men! And wait! Some Ebony-skinned men! And Wait! Some yellow guys! And wait! Some white guys with auburn hair that are here but not here! And some Therns which are holy and wear bad blonde wigs! And behold all of the tunnels under Barsoom that no one knew were here but figure into every story! Tunnels full of Stygian darkness. Stygian, I tell you! In case I haven't made it clear, all darkness on Barsoom is Stygian. You can use that if you like.

"Zounds! I am beset by wild beasts/red men/yellow men/first born/tree-guys/thoats/other big elephantine things! I shall fight and slash and beat 50-to-1 odds and . . . oh wait. Never mind. They went away. I don't know why, but I'm grateful. Another moment and I'd be dead. Except probably not because I'm John carter, and no one on this planet is like me . . .

"WAIT! Who's that kid? He says his dad died just about the same time I left Barsoom the first time! And his mom mourns and is beautiful! And wow! He leaps around a lot and fights like a Virginia Cavalry man! And he kind of resembles me!

Who could he be?

"Well, I shall disguise myself because the bad guys I am following and whose conversations I have overheard at exactly the right moment to learn stuff that will later allow me to save ALL OF MARS--except I'll forget it for a few moments, but then right before everyone dies I'll remember that the code to save Mars is: Left 18, Right 32, Spin Counterclockwise on both knees, hum the third verse of the Star Spangled Banner, and do the Hokey Pokey--is one they will kill me for if they know I overheard it. And besides I need to save Dejah Thoris who is in a perpetual state of kid-napped-ness and who, despite the total coolness of her character in the movie, pretty much does nothing in the books but disappear from behind me without me knowing. That and be naked. 

"And now for something really different: I am disguised as a Yellow Man of Mars with a black beard and mustache and yellow skin. No one knows who I am, even my most familiar enemies who know I always disguise myself because I've done it forty times. ZOUNDS! Look over there! It's Dejah Thoris! Who I am here to rescue! Again!


"Gasp! My enemies have captured me! They are unmasking me! "haHAH! Yes! It is I, John Carter of Earth! Mars! Whatever! You did not recognize me because of my brilliant disgui . . . wait. Oh. I see. Dejah didn't know who I was because . . . Ah. Who'd-a-thunk?"

"Okay. I'm tired. I'm going back to Helium to become Warlord of Mars, and my son (which is who that kid turned out to be; who knew?)--taking a leaf out of Bella Swan's book, except without the sparkles, and calling himself Carthoris--can take over. (See what he did there? He combined Dejah's name with mine. So it became "Carthoris". That, my friends, is how you become a best seller.)

Okay. The end. I'll probably die here on Mars, but not for like a thousand years since time is different up here. But I'm too tired to explain it. I'm going to nakedly ride without a saddle on a thoat all the freaking way back to Helium through the sand while fighting multi-colored Martians off, but not bleeding to death from my naked wounds of nakedness. See you next time I get sucked back to earth. Dejah says Hi."

The End.
"John Carter and the Diaper of Mars!"

And P.S. - For reals, I love these books. They're a hoot. And extremely imaginative. Great summer read!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What you can learn from Judy Garland

I have been watching a documentary about Judy Garland and the gal just fascinates me. They say she was such a genius because she could look deep within herself and find the truth of how she really felt. The darkness, joy and sadness didn't scare her. She found a way to express her emotions through her dream.

My friends, you have a talent that is yours alone. No one else can see the world like you do. Along with that, no one else can feel the emotions that life brings like you do. To be the best at your chosen field you have to be willing to feel the emotions that life brings and then express them. Express your joy, your pain and even your humor.

I'm rooting you on as you chase your dream!

Friday, June 22, 2012

New Yawk City! Girls in Dresses and $700 Shoes.

Start spreading the news, baby. I just got back from New York City! And it's a crazy-pants cool town. There are people absolutely everywhere on that 2-mile wide island. Do you want to know what that sounds like? Click below for the restaurant we ate in last night: (You can leave it playing if you like the ambience it gives our blog.)

Manhattan is like a living animal. It crawls and creeps and literally never sleeps. And people of every size, shape, and color roam the streets. Contrary to popular belief, they're very helpful and friendly--once you get past the crusty outer layers. I got lost in Central Park and was rescued by a boy from Mali and his bicycle before I died. He pulled me along behind him in a little cart and only charged $20 to get me out alive. After I talked him down from $40. He spent the entire ride turned completely backward on his bike seat to chat with me about his country and what he thinks of New York. Like, the dude never looked forward except when he seemed to sort of just know that there was a traffic light ahead. Then he simply . . . glanced. I sort of had a heart attack, but hid it and acted all nonchalant and New Yorkie. Yorkish. Whatev. Then I forgot to tip him. But at 20 smackers, I think he did fine.

Later a friend of ours took my huz and me to a Yankees game at the new stadium.

In box seats, thank you very much.

At which game the Yanks busted their winning streak and lost, no thank you very much.

Our pal Mo is a miracle of friend-making and connections. He introduced us to everyone who was anyone at the stadium, including Tony Orlando--who shook our hands like we were so pleased to meet him, bless us--and a major league pitcher whose name I can't remember but it starts with "Chris." It was a crazy night for famous people. I even saw Regis Philbin at the Marriott Marquis right beforehand ("REEGE! HEY REEEEEGE! OVER HERE!" I did not scream or faint or otherwise palpitate.)

Well folks, I was only in the city for 2.5 days and it got completely under my skin. I want to go back. I want to buy the $700 gladiator sandals I saw at Bergdorf Goodman. (I mean they were HALF OFF! One has a moral obligation to buy sandals when they are half off.) I want to sample the Godiva chocolate covered strawberry-banana skewers. I want to break into Julliard and put on a recital for myself. I want to eat at the Boathouse in Central Park (except I'd never find it and we'd die of starvation.) What a place. What a character.

Here is a striking thing I noticed about The City:

Women wear dresses. A lot. And they know how to walk in them. This woman, whose dress barely hung about her frame in the fluttering breeze, scampered like a marathoner in those little heels. I had to run to keep up with her. And she marched along like the energizer bunny, block after block. I could use that stamina.


And the I'm-Blurry-Because-Janiel-Was-Trying-To-Be-Sneaky-And-Take-My-Picture-Without-Me-Knowing-But-I-Totally-Knew-Look-At-My-Blurry-Expression dress. Saw a lot of little flowery things like this out on the streets. Along with the women wearing them.

And color? Did I mention color? And South-Pacific-ness?

I'm really liking this little plaid number on the right. Also the green one behind. This was inside a FABU Thai restaurant called "Room Service" (go figure) where I ate purple glass  noodled Pad-Thai with scary seafood that had little legs and fur and I don't want to talk about it. But it was good.

Oh! And honey, this town has shoes. I didn't get a lot of pics. Okay, only one. But trust me. There are shoes. Great is the shoe-y-ness of New York City. Check out those bad boys down below. New Yawk chicklets hike miles in sky-scraper shoes like those.
 And often they pay $700 for them. 

I fit right in. 
Yep. My Left Foot. No idea where the right one is. Probably off getting lost in Central Park, because THAT'S WHAT I DO.

These are very classy shoes. You might think they are some common brand like, oh, say, Sketchers or something. But no. These are the exceedingly expensive Squetchiérs-- an haute couture foot covering. Haute, I tell you. Their chicness is obvious if you look at the width of the toe-box and the green tint of the, you know, green part.
(I don't actually know how this picture got on my camera. I didn't take it.)

Well, to make a long story less long, if I lived in The Big Apple (or as they say in France, "The Big Apple"--except with a French accent), I would wake up every morning and dress in something like this, from Bergdorf's:
(ignore the bag-lady reflected in the glass)

Or this:
(The "Westie Skirt," cousin to the "Poodle Skirt." Note the poodle in the corner. Clever, these New Yoikers.)

Then I'd ring up Paul Cartier and see if I could borrow something from his collection, because my neck was lonely:
Mmm. This would do.

And I'd jump into my Aston Martin:
(After asking 007 to get out, because, excuse me, he borrowed it twice last week)

And roll on down to Trump Tower for a nosh with my gals:
(I'm thinking we probably would not eat in the waterfall though. Wouldn't want to get the Aston's seat wet. Mine neither, for that matter.)

And then I'd finally wind up the day by gazing out upon the City from my corner apartment overlooking Central Park. Except it would be Times Square because that is what I can actually afford:
(Cool how I got the carpet pattern to reflect and overlay the city, yeah?)

This was a pretty great trip.
You should totally go.
Or maybe you've been.
Have you?
What is your favorite thing about Manhattan?

Next time, I think I'll shall take in some theatah.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

You gotta fight for your dream

Today I learned a valuable lesson-put your money where your mouth is.
Every week I write a post to inspire you and myself as well. The business of chasing dreams can get draining from time to time. Each Wednesday that rolls around I tell you to never give up. Push through the exhaustion and hard times.

Well, yesterday I had the worst day. I am taking Intermediate Algebra and I am banging my head against the wall to get a 70%. The deadline to withdrawal from the class was yesterday and I seriously considered dropping the class.

And then I thought of you, yes you. My dear friends who inspire me every day. All of you are talented in so many ways and you fight for your dream. I can't give up on Algebra. I am going to stay in the class and slug it out. And I am going to do so because of you.

Thank you for inspiring me, for reading our blog and for being so incredible.

Friday, June 15, 2012

If Prometheus Were Wall-E

I think this pretty much puts Prometheus into perspective. 

Yep. All it takes is good cutting and some shrieky violins.
I hope that when I die and get to see my life flash before me this guy does the editing

Also, I think I'm going to hire some musicians to start following me around and providing mood music. A good theme song turns making a grilled cheese sandwich into a food fight to the death.

I'm telling you, people: success in life is all about the creative team. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

How to deal with road blocks when chasing your dream

It's no secret I adore sports, especially in the summer. This year we have Wimbledon, the Tour de France and the Olympics Games. I just read a quote from LoLo Jones, the track and field star, in US Magazine, "I use the downs to propel me for the ups. Hurdles aren't road blocks to me, they're opportunities."
At first I scoffed when reading this quote because sometimes the road blocks to our dream can be quite disheartening. However, they are beneficial. They strengthen your resolve.

Let's face it, our talent is something that will ebb and flow. One day you will be on top and the next you could be sinking. These plateaus are vital while chasing our dream because they remind us why we want our dream. We can't treat the rejections as anything more than an opportunity.

You're gonna go places my friends. Never forget your dream is gonna help people.

Friday, June 8, 2012

ACK! I FORGOT IT WAS FRIDAY! Plus: A Cool Irish Painting.

Oh. My. Heart. I totally thought today was Thursday. Even though I went to my writer's group yesterday, which only happens on the first Thursday. Even though I had my first Thursday lunch with a dear friend. Even though my huzz gets home from Canada/Boston/Vermont today which is a Friday.

Now see? This is what happens when we are over-scheduled. Or as Russo would say, Frazzled. In the best of times I can schedule two things at the same time, and never shall the conflict meet in my brain. Until I'm at one event and someone from the other event calls me and says, "Um. Are you coming?" And then I have chocolardiac arrest (because I am always eating chocolate) and wish I could splinch myself and be in two places at once.

Ah well. *sigh* Nothing for it except to apologize. And hurry up and write a blog post. And eat chocolate. 

WAIT! Also, here's a cool thing for you to look at--because when we are frazzled we need moments of peace, and this painting totally provides that. It's lovely. This was officially voted Ireland's favorite painting. It's by Frederic William Burton and is called "Meeting On The Turret Stairs." And I borrowed it from the PJ Lynch website which I hope is okay because I'm not claiming it's mine. (Mr. Lynch is an amazing illustrator and artist. You should go look at his work here.)

Gorgeous. *sigh* Now go read some summer romance.
And eat chocolate.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What to do when you're frazzled

Let's be honest, this week I have been frazzled like no other. I am facing one of my biggest fears in life-college algebra. As a result, I have had to take 3 tests this week. On top of that, I am sick as a dog with a cold. What do you do when stresses piles up on you? Follow John McEnroe's advice-"Shrug it off."

Granted I would rather take Mr. McEnroe's other path to dealing with stress, stomp around and cuss but we don't always get what we want. No, we must deal with the stress and then shrug it off.

Stress is nothing when chasing your dream. Shrug off the stress, my friends.

PS-If you wanna smile, here's a famous McEnroe moment. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekQ_Ja02gTY

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Avengers! PruView by Caytelynne

Hello! As they say, I'm Baaaa-aaack! And today I have a totally awesome pruView of The Avengers. This movie looks amazing and superhero-licious. In fact, it's so full of superheros that I couldn't keep track of them and had to write them down. So pleez forgive if you see me looking down at my notes once in a while. But what are you gonna do? They all look alike, these superheros, right?

So. Let's eschew the adoo and move right into my pruView of (dun! dun! duuuunnn!) The Avengers!

That's it! Thank you! And I love my earrings! Thanks! Buy!
Also I bought a new lipgloss for this pruView and it's all shiny and makes my lips look like they keep disappearing.
'K thanks!