December 31, 2014

2014- A Brief Look Back

It's been one hell of a year!

Stuff that happened to me:
  • Wrote and presented my senior thesis! Made me fall in love with Buffy all over again and also exposed me to the worlds of Women's and Gender Studies, Whedon studies, pop culture studies, and more feminism!
  • Graduated high school! Whew! What a rush! Had a kickass high school career I think, and I'm still in close contact with many of my friends. Love you all because you're awesome and have had such an impact on my life.
  • I was introduced to the wonderful band Halestorm which kinda kicked off my rock music taste/obsession! Still a favorite of mine to this day!
  • Played in Carnegie Hall! For all that AYS was complete ass garbage, tour was absolutely amazing! Just getting to be in such a marvelous hall and on stage where so many greats had stood was so awesome, and we kicked ass up there! Super happy 'bout that; that memory's sticking with me!
  • I got into and now attend college! What a rocky first semester, but as I look back, it was actually pretty nice. Homesickness did indeed encapsulate a good portion of my time in the beginning, but that faded pretty quickly once classes started and really kicked into high gear. Made a few friends, and had some sick classes! Can't wait for next semester!
  • I'm all caught up on A Song of ice and Fire!!! GRRM, give us Winds of Winter now, dammit! Best fantasy series I've read in a good long while; Dance with Dragons has become one of my favorite books of all time, so that's awesome.
  • I also read some other amazing books this year. Nervous Conditions and its sequel, The Book of Not, were both outstanding (the former is my fifth favorite book of all time)! Gone Girl was simply amazing and is another one of my favorites. My Whedon Studies obsession has made me read some amazing essays and books on the subject of Joss Whedon's tv shows (in particular is the awesome collection of essays called Reading Joss Whedon, which also made me rewatch Dollhouse), so that's really cool to me too.
  • I've begun work on a book! Not sure when (if ever) this thing's gonna get finished or if I'll even ever have a complete chapter out, but I've got some ideas down and a few pages at least. The writers conference I went to this summer really springboarded this project, and I learned so much up there; the people in the class were some of the most intelligent and kind and inspirational people I've ever met! So thankful for that opportunity! Going back next summer; can't wait.
  • Movies!!! I had some great cinematic experiences this year, from Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which I would consider one of the best Marvel movies ever done, all the way to Whiplash, which was one of the most thrilling experiences I've had in a non-action movie to date! I also had to sit through some unfortunate cinematic disasters (*cough*-Age of Extinction-*cough*), but overall, this year in film was pretty hoss!
This year was awesome for me! It was tough, there were sad moments in there; we lost people, we gained people, a lot of shit happened; a lot of amazing stuff happened too. On the whole, this year was one that I won't soon forget, as much because of what's going on in the wider world right now as because of what's happened in my personal life this year. Here's to a solid 2014 and here's hoping for an even better 2015!

December 28, 2014

Top 7 Best Movies of 2014 (with 3 Honorable Mentions)

As with any top 10 worst list, there's always a top 10 best list alongside it, though this year's list is going to be kinda different for a few reasons. First, I didn't see nearly as many movies as I saw last year and of those movies that I did see, I really only could think of about six or so that really stood out to me. Also, this list will feature three "honorable mentions", because I did happen to see films this year that weren't from this year that I had not seen before. So those will be included here because they are awesome (though mostly they're here to get this list up to ten slots). Anyway, without further ado, let's get to it!

December 27, 2014

Shadowcon Overviews: Lindsey Stirling

Shadowcon presents
An opinionated analysis of
Lindsey Stirling's career from 2010-2014

I have been a fan of Lindsey Stirling for the past four years or so now, and there are few people besides her who I consider to be personal heroes of mine. Her story of succeeding even when everyone said she couldn’t make it on her own is one of inspiration and, if not talent, then determination to see one’s goals accomplished. She is someone for whom I have had deep admiration because of her independence and her success in the face of resistance. She has influenced my love of the violin, broadened my tastes in music, and Lindsey was, for all intents and purposes, my first personal hero- I discovered her on my own, met her in person on my own, and was personally invested in her and in what she was doing. And yet, my views on her have changed drastically since I discovered her four years ago. I no longer find myself overcharged with energy after a new music video comes out, no longer head-in-the-clouds excited when she posts a photo to Instagram, and no longer impatiently waiting to get to the next new song because it can’t come fast enough. Instead, I’m rather irritated when a new video comes out, I generally pay no attention to her Instagram exploits, and I am far from holding my breath hoping that a new song will come out at all. So what changed? What happened to her? What happened to her music? What happened to me and my feelings towards her as an artist and as an inspiration?

With this Overview, I intend to take a look at how Lindsey Stirling has changed both in terms of her style and music, but also how she’s changed as an inspiration to me, how she’s developed over time and the effect that that’s had on me. None of this is to say that I don’t think that she’s not influential or unimportant; on the contrary: she’s helped me through a lot of personal trials and hard times and that’s great. But maybe that’s enough. Maybe that’s all she needs to do, and maybe she’s done that to the best of her ability, and I can move on. So take this for what it is: just another Overview per my Christmas/New Years tradition. It just happens to be of a different kind of genre and subject matter.

December 18, 2014

Top 5 Worst Movies of 2014

Okay, so I haven't done a list of Top 5 Worst Movies since like 2011! Y'know how long ago that was??? That was like three years ago holy shit does time fly!

I didn't do Worst Movies for '12 or '13 because honestly, I didn't see a lot of bad movies those years (though I will say that it could also be that I just forgot about all the shit that I saw during that time). But with this year, I saw a lot of crap, and it all stuck with me unfortunately. I feel bad too, 'cause like three of these movies I saw with friends and I'm like "I'm so sorry I dragged you to this; please forgive me!" But anyway, let's get started!

December 11, 2014

A Rant Regarding Feminism (kind of)

Alright, so I really don't like to talk about politics or social justice on this site because it has fuck all to do with the content I'm covering and what this space is for, but, being a WGS and English double major, I write and read (mostly read) a lot about this stuff on Facebook and I had this little rant that turned into a big rant that then became too big to put into a single Facebook post... anyway, I thought I'd share my feelings on this issue (or I guess this is multiple issues??? I'm not as well aware of the language of this genre of blogging as I should be) and see what everyone thinks (because god knows the internet is a great place for discussing these types of things).

December 8, 2014

I Have A Soundcloud (plus some related news)

So, just yesterday I got myself a Soundcloud account which I'd thought about doing for a while, but I didn't really know what Soundcloud was. Oh, I still don't really have any idea what I'm doing up there besides just uploading my music for the world to hear, but this does at least give me an outlet to share some of my compositions and arrangements!

For the past week or so, I've been working on a new medley, this one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe music! This is by far the longest piece that I've created, arrangement or otherwise, and it's one that I'm super proud of because for all my problems with Marvel Studios and their films, the music is definitely not one of them! I wanted to pay homage to the awesome superhero tracks used in the films for phases one and two (barring Age of Ultron which isn't out yet, but I know I'll have to add it in once the film comes out!) This is something that I've worked hard on, and it's I think some of my best work, for whatever that's worth. So, I present to you A Maddening Marvel Music Medley, which you can check out here! It's kinda long, clocking in at a good 9:50, so just letting you know that.

So that's all for now. Just wanted to share that with you guys. I hope you check it out and like what I have to share with you all!