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Aliteracy

hummingbird
http://technorati.com/lifestyle/article/aliteracy-the-dangerous-step-above-literacy/

I have noticed this alarming new trend. It's not that people can not read, it's that they will not read. They will not read signs, coupons, notices, anything that may have any impact on their lifestyle. It seems to be going hand in hand with the trend of not paying attention to your surroundings. And frankly, it's scary.

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Les Misérables

hummingbird
I first saw the musical on Broadway in 1999, and was totally blown away. Have been a rabid fan ever since. Bought the original Broadway cast recording (not the cast I saw, sadly, because their Eponine was much better than the one on the CD), got the book on the musical, read the novel, have followed any and all news articles about it.

I was very, very interested when I first read about them making a movie based on the musical. At once anticipative and apprehensive, I sincerely hoped they didn't mess it up (Hollywood does have a tendency to make a sow's ear out of a silk purse when it comes to Broadway, after all).

Finally had the chance to see it this afternoon, and am very happy with it.

There were a few changes made from the musical; lyrics snipped here and there, bits added. Most of the changes made it fit better with the book, like having Gavroche deliver Marius' letter to Cosette. (I also liked the elephant statue). I am very glad they didn't whitewash, mock or cut out the religious parts; the theme of forgiveness and redemption is absolutely central to the story.

Hugh Jackman's singing voice was higher than I expected, though still a good performance. Russell Crowe's singing is very weak for the part; it really should be sung by a near-operatic baritone or bass. "Can carry a tune" isn't good enough. I was very pleased with Colm Wilkinson's Bishop; he was really a beacon of goodness.

Anne Hathaway's performance was just beautiful and heartbreaking. I heard more than a few sobs in the audience during her scenes. Samantha Barks' Eponine was likewise very well-done and sympathetic. The children were also very well cast. They even expanded Young Eponine's role a bit, showed how the Thenardiers were more or less raising her to be as crooked as they are (poor kid never had a chance, did she?)

I was doubtful of the Thenardiers' casting, but they did a fantastic job. The scene where they pretend to love Cosette and she's not buying it was a particularly good one.

I will definitely be seeing this one again, and buying the DVD.

Sandy

hummingbird
Prayers and best wishes go out to all those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

I have in-laws and a couple of friends in that area, and I do hope they're all okay.

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Second day of spring?

hummingbird
The last few weeks here, winter and spring have been playing tug-of-war. One day it'd be 65° F, the next we'd get freezing rain. And here it is, the second day of spring, and this is the view outside my front door!



Where was this when we needed it three months ago?!

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Happy Arizona Day!

hummingbird
Today is the 100th anniversary of the state where I was born. There's probably all sorts of stuff going on there. I bought a commemorative T-shirt for the occasion. http://www.shopaz100.com/apparel/mensapparel?product_id=53

Oh, and Happy Valentine's Day, too. ;)

Yeah, yeah, I know, boring post, figured I'd better post something to let everyone know I was still alive.

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hummingbird
Yep, still alive, still here. Fabric store job is busy as all get-out, but I knew it would be. It's funny that the customers are complaining about the lines; gosh, who'd have thought that a fabric store would be so busy right before Halloween and Christmas?! Duh!

Hubby's getting irritated with his job and is starting to look elsewhere. I wish him luck, but jobs are still scarce, even if you do have a university degree. I hope he does find something that he'd enjoy and pays decently with benefits.

Son's growing like a weed, finding new and various interests. I really wish I had the energy he has!

Autumn is on its way, and here, it's beautiful. I'll try to get some pictures and post them.

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hummingbird
We bought the new Weird Al CD when it came out, have been listening to it almost constantly since. IMHO, it's his best album since 1999's Running With Scissors.

First, the cover. The picture would not be out of place on a heavy metal album cover. Somehow, I never pictured any of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse wearing a Hawaiian shirt, unless that pattern is supposed to be "Pestilence". ;)

Now, the songs. A good mix of styles, from current to classic, rap, rock, dance and, of course, polka.

"Perform This Way" -- parody of Lady Gaga's "Born This Way". Funny, clever, a little pointed, very enjoyable. Great video, even if the computer superimposition of Al's head onto the dancer's body doesn't always synch quite right.

"CNR" -- pastiche of the White Stripes. Good, on-target style parody, though I could've done without a few of the lyrics. :shrug:

"TMZ" -- parody of Taylor Swift's "You Belong To Me". Brilliant lyrics. Truly, I like this version better than the original.

"Skipper Dan" -- pastiche of Weezer. Ouch, this one hits a little too close to home. Very good song, but probably the saddest one Weird Al has ever done.

"Polka Face" -- the obligatory polka medly.

"Craigslist" -- pastiche of The Doors. This is one of my favorites on the album. Ray Manzarek's keyboards really make the song, and Al does a bang-on vocal imitation of Jim Morrison, who must be looking down from rock and roll heaven with a big grin. :)

"Party In The CIA" -- parody of Miley Cyrus' "Party In The USA". It's not bad, but I guess you have to have heard the original song (I haven't) to appreciate the song.

"Ringtone" -- pastiche of Queen. Almost, but doesn't quite work. Al is a fine singer, but not nearly in Freddie Mercury's league, and you can hear his voice straining from time to time to hit the more operatic notes.

"Another Tattoo" -- parody of "Nothin' On You" by B.o.B featuring Bruno Mars. Another one whose original I haven't heard.

"If That Isn't Love" -- pastiche of Hanson. I think if that were my S.O., I'd have to slap him upside the head a few times. Still a pretty funny song.

"Whatever You Like" -- parody of T.I.'s "Whatever You Like", and the only Weird Al song that has the same title as the original. The original was a fantasy, this song is the reality. Sad, but true.

"Stop Forwarding That Crap to Me" -- pastiche of Jim Steinman. Another favorite. I really wish this song had come out a few years ago; I would've forwarded the link to my aunt who kept sending me the anti-Obama spam!!!

9/10 stars. A fun album, worth a lot of listens. :)

So much for the end of the world

hummingbird
Looks like Harold Camping got his figures wrong. Gosh, what a surprise. Not.

It's sad that so many people got suckered by him, giving away all their money, leaving their jobs and schools, etc. Now they're stuck.

Many times, someone has predicted the end of the world, fleeced people for lots of money, and, anticlimatically, it never happens. You'd think folks would figure it out by now, especially since the Bible did indeed predict that jerks would be doing this. These con artists are relying upon people being too lazy to do the research themselves (it's not like a Bible is difficult to find, you know?). And too stupid to learn from past mistakes. It's very sad.

For the record, I am a Christian, I do believe that Jesus will return, but only God knows when. It's pointless to try and even guess when; it's our duty to live our lives in the best way possible and follow His teachings. Yes, that includes doing the required reading so you don't get suckered by con artists.

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hummingbird
...along comes this bit of news from my former home state.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42602561/ns/politics-more_politics?gt1=43001

Birthers, give it a rest already! President Obama and the State of Hawaii have both proven, over and over, that his birth certificate is legit and he is indeed an American Citizen. And how come no other president has ever been harassed, over and over about his birth certificate? This is nothing but thinly-veiled racism, and we all know it. Kindly remove your craniums from your kiesters and join the rest of us in the 21st century, kthx.

I am so glad I'm out of that right-wing hellhole. I think the heat has fried too many brains there.