Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Game of Thrones, My Obvious Trap

I don't know why, for one moment, I thought I wasn't going to find Nirvana watching Game of Thrones. It's practically a Sara Douglass descendant and everything that could possibly wrap me into a show and worry about my sanity at the same time: incest, accents, political snakepits, and attractive people. Oh, and swords, must never forget the swords. It's utterly fantastic, and it made me realize just how sick, heartless, and dramatic I need my tv shows to be. That's the formula of how to trap me into your show, Hollywood; ancient lands and the sickest people crawling on the Earth with crowns on their heads and swords on their hips. This show was so good, I don't even particularly mind that there isn't as much magic and sorcery as I would've liked with my sex and accents. I somehow got sucked into all of this political drama; it makes me really, really wish Anonymous had gotten the HBO treatment.
What made me interested was a picture of Cersei that I saw on a news website. I was like "Okay, she's gorgeous, and I want her to be Selene in my never-gonna-happen Greek mythology movie." Found out where she was from and researched her part of the show and damn, bitch got problems. Honey, I don't care how close you are with your brother, but you cannot sleep with him. And them let him get you with child. More than once. No wonder your son looks wonky. I didn't let the Dollangangers get away with it, so neither with you.  It really freaked me out when I watched the show for the first time yesterday and realized that her sexy twin brother was the guy I had cast as Hercules. Dammit. Their dwarf brother is awesome too, and he's probably one of the most enjoyable characters on the show.
That Stark family is something else, and are not in any relation whatsoever to Iron Man, to my disappointment. Their youngest daughter, Arya, looks just like a young Lucy Hale, who happens to play a girl named Aria in Pretty Little Liars, and is one awesome human being already. She appears to be the only one with morals in this show so far, aside from some of her brothers. Their dad, Eddard Stark, found a dead wolf and her pups in the forest, and let all his kids have one. Epic. Wish that was the story of my life. I'm expecting more drama from them, especially where it concerns poor Jon Snow, their illegitimate black sheep.
Everybody else is still pending for me, since I've only seen three episodes so far. But dammit, they have me hooked. Now all they need is Mads Mikkelson as some hot honor guard captain for a Mediterranean king and I'll be injecting it into my bloodstream. How obvious is it that I'm pissed at Clash of the Titans for killing Draco?

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Newsroom? More of That, Please!

HBO, you didn't get me with True Blood. You got me interested with Game of Thrones and Big Love but I have yet to give those shows attention. You have, however, hooked me with your smart new drama The Newsroom. Oh readers, you haven't seen it yet? If you're ready to be inspired and mentally stimulated, then you ought to check it out. Need more incentive? Let me direct you to the next paragraph.

Aaron Sorkin's newest creation stars Jeff Daniels as successful news anchor and editor of  News Night Will McAvoy, whose success is is largely stemmed from not offending everybody. But his affable on-air image was shattered when he impulsively and bluntly goes on a rant about America's low standing compared to the rest of the world at a university Q&A. Now, three weeks later, the majority of his staff leaves, including his executive producer Don Keefer (Thomas Sadoski) due to his off-air poor treatment of his employees and rough attitude, leaving him only with his accidental assistant Maggie Jordan (Alison Pill), his blog-writer Neal Sampat (Dev Patel), and a few others. Charlie Skinner (Sam Waterson), Aaron's boss and CEO of ACN, hires Mackenzie MacHale (Emily Mortimer) as Aaron's new EP, who shares a difficult and hostile past with the news anchor, and she brings along her senior producer Jim Harper (John Gallagher, Jr.). The show revolves around the new team's efforts to change the pace of the news program while dealing off-air predicaments.
I watched the pilot for the first time last night, and I was absolutely blown away. This show starts with the most epic, and brutally honest, rant I've ever heard, and the show pretty much tells us that the majority of the country is stupid, but we can fix that. It's a smart, and surprisingly funny, written show that inspired me to get informed about the world around me. And if that's the reaction I have, then less-lazy people than I should watch it.
I plan on recommending this show to everyone, even if they may not understand it. The characters are immediately loveable, the dialogue is great, and the behind the scenes look of the newsroom is incredibly interesting. If you want some smart and thought-provoking television, then watch it, and follow it.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Anime Fathers

This is where my Kayla-ness completely kicks in. I spent my last post talking about my awesome dad, and I started thinking "What about anime dads?" (Yes, anime pops up quite frequently in my mind.) I got to thinking, and there are a lot of unsung heroes in the tales of those animated heroes who got the ball rolling in the plot or just supported their kids the best they can in that crazy little country called Japan. So this post is going to be celebrating some anime fathers I feel don't get enough credit. Here's your hurrah, you guys!

Soichiro Yagami
(Death Note
Children: Light Yagami, Sayu Yagami 
Police Chief Soichiro Yagami had a steady job and an almost perfect family. Then his son Light had to become an anonymous, supernatural serial killer known across the world as Kira and screw that up for him. Soichiro had a strong sense of justice, becoming so determined to catch Kira that he quit his job as police chief in order to continue pursuing him once the police force was under Kira's influence. Aside from being just an awesome and dedicated man, he was also a devoted father. His job kept him from home a lot, but when ace detective L accused Light of being Kira, Soichiro was quick to defend his son, even though he allowed L to investigate him. During Light's imprisonment, he demanded to be locked up too, and was more than relieved when it appeared the Light was innocent. Although Light eventually sacrificed his own father to further his power as Kira, Soichiro remained supportive of his son and blissfully ignorant of the monster he spawned.

Koumyou Sanzo
Children: (adopted, kind of) Genjo Sanzo
Poor Koumyou Sanzo didn't have a live moment in any of the Saiyuki series, only appearing in flashback, but what we do know is that he, out of the goodness of his heart, took in the orphaned Kouryuu and raised him as his own. Koumyou proves to be the major influence on Kouryuu, taking care of him and teaching him how to survive in adversity and strife. When Koumyou is struck down by a demon, he christens Kouryuu as Genjo Sanzo and makes him a Sanzo priest. Throughout the series, Sanzo will remember his old master's lessons and quote his words of wisdom. Without him, Sanzo would've grown up knowing no love or kindness from another.

(Dragonball Z)
Children: Raditz, Goku
Aside from his movie Bardock, The Father of Goku, Bardock doesn't appear alive in the series, and his direct influence is minimal since he died shortly after Goku was sent to Earth, but his last actions made him an admirable character. The Saiyin planet Vegeta is pretty much under the rule of weird-looking alien overlord Frieza, and while on a genocide mission on another planet, Bardock is given the gift/curse/whatever of premonitions by one of the survivors of the planet. After that, he begins seeing his planet's end at the hands of Frieza and decides to fight for the survival of his people, even though he has to fight alone. Because we needed to be exposed to the glory that is Dragonball and Dragonball Z (Dragonball GT can grow a real pair of draognballs, in my opinion), he and planet Vegeta died in vain, leaving less than 10 Saiyins alive elsewhere in the universe. In his final moments, he had a premonition of his infant son, Kakarot (who we affectionately know now as Goku), defeating Frieza as an adult, he died smiling in pride of his son.

Shigeo Hanabishi
(Flame of Recca)
Children: (adopted) Recca Hanabishi
This brave-ass man took in some random ninja-baby and raised him as his son. Blam! So yeah, he fibbed Recca's past to him, and the two argue a lot, but he loves that boy he was his own, and worked endlessly to take care of and support him. I don't know this character very well because this series hurts a little part of my brain, but I always admired this man for what he's done for Recca. Aw!

(Yu Yu Hakusho)
Children: Unknown son, (descendent) Yusuke Urameshi
Obviously, I'm not commending Raizen on the parenting of his own son, since, you know, there wasn't any; he had a one-night stand with a human and ran off. But when his descendent Yusuke had died for the second time and was resurrected by the demon blood Raizen passed down to him, he did not hesitate to help him kill the guy who took him out. When Yusuke went to the Demon World to meet him, he made Yusuke realize that most of the demons he fought were practically invalid and he just jumped into a whole new world of nasty. His appearance was short, due to him eventually dying of hunger, but he inspired Yusuke to find another alternative to end the rule of the demon kings in the Demon World. After seeing all of Raizen's friends, former enemies, and training buddies show up to pay their respects for their deceased friend, Yusuke realized how special Raizen was to demon-kind, and wished he had gotten to know him better.

Children: Sesshomaru, Inuyasha
I don't know how Inutaisho was when it came to raising his eldest son, Sesshomaru, but he died without a second thought to protect his human mistress and their newborn son, Inuyasha. Inutaisho was a wise and powerful dog demon who continued to astound and test people half a century after his death. He left his sons two swords, both to bring out better qualities in themselves and two keep them from killing the other, since the swords couldn't fight in battle against the other. It's a tragedy for Inuyasha that he doesn't get to know his father.

Minato Namikaze
Children: Naruto Uzumaki
Naruto's parentage was one of the worst-kept secrets of Naruto. Minato, the Fourth Hokage of Konohagakure, died protecting the village from the Nine-Tailed Fox shortly after sealing the beast into his newborn son, but that didn't mean he wasn't a boss father. He sealed the beast in Naruto not only to protect the village he loved, but also to help strengthen his son and hoped that the village would see him as a hero. That last part didn't work, but having the Nine-Tails inside of him gave Naruto a lot of power. When Naruto finally met an imprint of his father, he punched him in the face for sealing a monster instead of him, but they talked and Naruto became proud of who his parents were. Minato was renowned for his power, his wisdom, and his dedication to those he cared for, inspiring people long past his death.

These are the anime fathers I cared to remember. I know, that probably didn't sound nice, but do you know how many orphans are in anime? Or sucky or just forgettable fathers? I'm glad I remembered these guys. Part of that would be because at least two or three were hot, but at least something kept them in mind.
Happy Father's Day, everyone!

My Dad

My first memory of my dad involved us living on the campus of one of our community college's, sitting on our front porch while we ate barbeque potato chips. I don't know why that was the memory that stuck, considering I almost downed a bottle of nail polish remover while living there, and I don't even know if that memory was real, but that's something I hold on to. I guess it's because it's the first memory of my dad, and that's precious in itself.
My family tells me a lot of stories about my dad and I when I was younger: how I only ate whatever he fed me himself, how I followed him everywhere and did what he did, and how I'd cry if he wasn't around. I don't remember a day in my life where I didn't love and admire my dad, and you can see it in everything I do and say. The greatest compliment I've ever gotten was when my grandmother laughed at me and said "You look just like Todd right now!" That made me beam, because being just like my dad has been my dream for the past two decades.
I consider my dad to be the greatest man in the world; he's absolutely hilarious, no matter what the situation, even if we're having a fight, he'll make me want to laugh and blow my whole argument. He's got one of the biggest hearts out there, and he's dedicated to the people he keeps in it. He's so smart, and he inspires me to educate myself, because it's never a regret to be one of the smart people. He's got to have the strongest resolve on earth, especially to keep being my dad, because I know I had a few years where being my family member wasn't an easy job to have. I'm proud of his successes, of his bravery in life and in his career, and I'm especially proud to be Todd's daughter.
In my twenty years of life, I've had my mother walk out on me multiple times, some of my other family members let me down and deliberately try to hurt me, but I've always had my dad. He never gave up on me, never stopped loving me, and taught me so many things about myself and life in general that I know for a fact I have the tools to navigate this insanely world with at least a good sense of humor. Life completely screwed me in the mom department, but if I had to pick this life with my dad in it, or a life with a typical picket-fence family, I'd choose this one every day out of the week.
I see bits and pieces of him in myself more and more every day, and it's an incredible feeling. My dad makes me so happy and I love him so much. The impact he's had on my life is tremendous, and I know that if I didn't have him to look up to and depend on, I'd be in an awful place in my life. Or at least less awesome. I don't want to be a person that wasn't influenced by him.
Todd Bailey, thank you for letting me be your daughter, which is a shining honor, and for being my dad, which is the most divine of blessings. Every achievement I make, I'm thanking you, and every good decision I make instead of falling for the same traps many of my peers fall in, you get credit for. I'm a funny, smart, creative, loving, strong, determined, open-minded, curious, forgiving, decent, helpful, dependable, responsible, honest, and brave young woman because of YOU, and if I make you proud every day of my life, then I'm on the right path. Every life I touch and make happy is because you made me a person that's able to do any of that. I've still got a lot to learn and grow, and I'm looking forward to it, because you'll be there to watch me do it. Wherever this life takes me, I'll always be your baby.
I love you, more than my own life, and that will never, ever stop.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Boybands and Virginity: The Unspoken Trend

With groups like One Direction and the Wanted making themselves known to the charts (and the fantasies of teenage girls), it seems like the boyband phase has come back with a vengeance. Every several years, it seems like American teens need to get excited about a pop act, and we need a lot of variety in that act. Cute boys who can sing and dance seem to be exactly what we want on the menu right now.
But I happened to notice a trend in Hollywood that seems to pop up right around the time a boyband or two begin to collect fans as tribute: virginity. Yep, the v-card decides to make itself known once again, and this time around, athletes like Tim Tebow and Lolo Jones have been waving their white flags with pride.
This is something I've realized recently. Don't see it? Let me remind you.....

New Kids on the Block
NKTOB assembled in 1984 and found popularity with their second album in 1988, Hangin' Tough. But back in 1985.....

Brooke Shields
Actress and model Brooke Shields admitted in her autobiography On Your Own, that at age 20, she was still a virgin. Then later, we had.....................

N*Sync and the Backstreet Boys
 The Backstreet Boys and Nsync, arguably two of the most popular boy bands in American music history, were at the height of their success in the lates 90's and early 00's, right around the same time of...

Jessica Simpson and Britney Spears
  Megastar Britney Spears and pop singer Jessica Simpson were popular for their conflicting sex appeal and claims of virginity, Jessica stating that she planned to wait until she was married. More recently for us 90's kids.....

Jonas Brothers
The Jonas Brothers reached fame in the mid-00's with Disney, appearing on the hit shows like Hannah Montana and Disney Channel original movies Camp Rock and Camp Rock 2, even getting their own show Jonas L.A. The fam-band had huge success, even drawing comparisons to the Beatles (not by me, let's just get that fact straight). They also famously wore purity rings, promising their parents and God to remain pure until marriage. Hey, that sounds an awful lot like....

Jordin Sparks and Miley Cyrus
Jordin Sparks slammed MTV VMA 2008 host, Russell Brand, for making of the Jonas Brothers and proudly showed her purity ring as well. Even Disney starlets Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez (exes of Nick Jonas, coincidentally) both wore purity rings for a while. Now, in 2012, we have....

One Direction
....five boys, trying to convince us that we don't know we're beautiful (hate me, Directioners, hate me). We have yet to find another band (aside from the Wanted, but do we really count them?) to contend them for the #1 spot, but while we're waiting......

Tim Tebow
Athletes like football player Tim Tebow and Olympics gymnast Lolo Jones have come out of the white closet. And once again, virginity in Hollywood is drawing interest.

Maybe boybands and virginity being popular at the same time is coincidental; maybe there's no correlation between the two at all. But this looks pretty legit to me. Maybe some scientists have already done a study about it and I just didn't notice, but I thought this was a pretty interesting discovery. Why does abstinence spike when boybands do? Do record sales go up when purity pledges are signed? The world may never know....

Monday, June 4, 2012

Swim Day!!

Today, my roommate, my friend, my brother, his friend, and I decided to go swimming. My friends and I have this tradition for the past few years where we sneak into apartment pools to swim (since our town doesn't have a public pool). We usually go at night because we're all night owls, but today we wanted to do things legit. We usually like to go to a specific apartment complex because their pool is absolutely beautiful and has an amazing hot tub.
So we get there, suits on and towels ready, and there are people there, and the pool's for residents only. No problem, my roomie, our friend, and I sat poolside while the boys swam in the pool. After a while, more people showed up (who obviously didn't live there either), and some lady came out and asked if we lived there. What was our answer? "Yes" we said (we hadn't even hit water yet). But then another lady came out and asked us which apartment we lived in, and then caught us in that lie, so we got kicked out. Fortunately for us, so did everyone else.
At this point, only 20% of us had even hit water, and they day was still young, so we all agreed to go to the lake and swim there. No chance of getting kicked out there! So we drove out to the lake, which was about a 20 minute drive, and hit the beach. We had a blast; the boys skipped rocks and wrestled around while us ladies did some swimming and then chilled out on the beach. We spent a nice chunk of time laying out and having fun before coming home for some dinner. All in all, it was a pretty great day! Lake, I forgive you for your rocks and dead beached fish for the great time you provided us!