That Girl With A Blog











{August 31, 2009}   Just a quick note…

I love blogging.

Top 3 things about blogging so far:

1.) Mike Budai knowing my blog.
2.) Brian Frazer commenting on my Myspace.
3.) Getting free music. (Thanks Signal to the Ocean Estate!)

And a runner up:

The search terms never fail to make me laugh. Today was “Coraline + jockstrap”. Never a dull moment.

Hopefully, this week will be a lot less busy than the last, so I’ll have lots of things for you! More books, maybe some sports, and some tunes. All for your enjoyment, so stay tuned!



Birth Control

So today, I went to my gynecologist for my mid-year checkup and to get more birth control. I get there to find out that the price for my birth control has MORE THAN DOUBLED. This is not through my insurance. My insurance pays for the office visit, but I buy the pills through the clinic. My birth control went from $12.50 per month to a staggering $25.50 per month. In a matter of six months! Fucking Christ! That’s $306 a year for birth control. I just keep reminding myself that it’s still cheaper than having a baby, but seriously, WTF!?

I have never understood health insurance not covering birth control, but covering shit like Viagra. Seriously. The cost of the average pregnancy/child rearing is WAY MORE THAN SOME FUCKING PILLS, buddy! Delivery alone, a normal, healthy delivery is estimated at $7,737, that’s TWO YEARS worth of birth control. That doesn’t even include all those doctor visits and prenatal care. That is delivery, provided that everything goes smoothly.

I did get a notice from my health insurance a little while ago telling me that they now “covered” birth control. Bull shit. My copay can be anywhere from $20 for generics to $150 for stuff like Seasonique. The one and only birth control that I have ever found that I actually liked (which I am not on because the clinic doesn’t have it) is $60 a month! I’ve just been sucking it up and taking something else because it was cheap and effective.

I’m going to have to call my health insurance later to make sure that it’s only going to be $20 per month, but if it is, I’ll start getting it through them. It may not seem like a lot, but that’s a savings of $66 over the course of the year.

It’s just so frustrating and I’ve hit this point of, “What can I do?”. Even going through a fucking clinic has become outrageously expensive. You know, you see these women with tribes of fucking children because they didn’t have the goddamn sense to use contraceptives, or if they did, they didn’t use it correctly and got pregnant anyway. I understand that no contraceptive has 100% effectiveness, and that the pill fails sometimes even if you do take it correctly, and for those women, I am truly sorry. But back to the beginning…where the fuck are these women getting the money to pay for all these children? Me. You. All the other fucking taxpayers. Because I have the fucking sense to take my birth control every day because I know that I do not want children, I pay out the ass.

And you know what fucking sucks? I would get a tubal ligation in a FUCKING HEARTBEAT and no doctor will do it because a.) I’m only 24 and b.) I don’t have any children. I will sign your fucking waivers, I will not sue you in the event that I decide I do want children (fat chance). It’s just so frustrating! It’s my fucking body, why can’t I do with it what I want to fucking do with it!? If fact, you can take ALL MY GODDAMN ORGANS! Give them to someone who wants them. Just give me some drugs so I don’t grow a mustache and I’ll be fucking golden!

I need to look into other forms of birth control I think. Rings and IUDs and patches and shots and that Mirena mushroom thing and just some other fucking options. Anyone have any comments about those? Have something full of hormones shoved in your vagina? If you do, let me know how it worked out for you.



Sorry for the lack of posts this week, everyone, it’s been crazy times. I promise I have lots of things coming for you: books, movies, music, and more! Stay tuned!

From Shelby Proie of Save Our Oceans Now:

Click on this picture to buy this shirt!

Click on this picture to buy this shirt!

We have set up an international call day on Sunday September 13, 2009 (the day before Lolita arrived at the Seaquarium in 1970) we are asking people from all around the world to call the SQ, along with write them emails, and fill up their comment box on the website this day! Hopefully by the flooding of calls, etc. we can get them to shut down the phone lines and jam the server for their website!

You can say something like this: “Please retire Lolita the killer whale. I understand she is important to your business, but she has been in the same small tank for more than 39 years now. Her family is still alive in the wild and there are thousands of people willing to pay for their retirement. Captive dolphins and whales have been released before very successfully and Lolita is a great candidate. Until she is retired, my family and I have decided to boycott Miami Seaquarium.”

Here is the info to contact the Seaquarium:
4400 Rickenbacker Causeway
Key Biscayne, FL 33149
phone: (305) 361-5705
http://www.miamiseaquarium.com/contact/contact.asp

You can go to: http://www.countrycodes.com/ to show you how to dial to the United States.

You have the power to help Lolita get retired back into her natural surroundings where she can be with her family, please take the time to pass this info on to people you know who may be interested. Also feel free to record yourself calling the Seaquarium or make a small video saying how you feel about Lolita and that you support her retirement then send them to me and I will make an international collage of everyone.

Thanks,
Shelby
www.savelolita.com
shelby@savelolita.com

Now, no matter WHERE you live, you can help Lolita! YAY!



{August 21, 2009}   Coraline!

Coraline(This is really my first movie review? I don’t know why I didn’t do this sooner. Stay tuned for more!)

I just recently got to see this movie and I’m kicking myself in the ass for not going to see it in the theater! Coraline finally has her very own movie! She’s gone through a novel, a graphic novel, a video game, and even a musical, to finally hit the big screen.

For those of you not acquainted with the story, it’s based on the novel by Neil Gaiman. Coraline Jones and her parents, Mel and Charlie, move into Pink Palace Apartments, a development chock full of weirdos. Coraline’s parents are severe workaholics working on a gardening book, therefore spending little time with Coraline, leaving her to explore the house and the nearby woods. Coraline quickly befriends…if you can call them friends at this point, Whyborn (god, I love that name, but we’ll keep with with the slightly less diminishing nickname, Wybie) Lovat and his haughty black cat. Wybie’s grandmother is the owner of Pink Palace Apartments and has warned Wybie to stay away, since Grandma’s sister vanished from there years ago.

During her thorough sweep of the house looking for something to do, Coraline discovers a small door. After hounding her mother to peel off the wallpaper and open it, all that they find is a brick wall. Bummer. Soon after, Wybie brings Coraline a doll that he found at his grandmothers house that bears a striking resemblence to Coraline, down to the blue hair and raincoat. Later that night, Coraline is woken to the sound of mice, who lead her back to aforementioned door, but this time around, things are a little different. The door is now a swirly vortex of awesome! What kinda kid wouldn’t jump right into that? So Coraline crawls through the portal and finds herself in an alternate, albeit very similar world. Coraline finds her Other Mother, her Other Father, a blessedly mute Wybie, and recreations of her neighbors, who Coraline enjoys far more than the normal ones. On her first night there, Coraline’s Other Parents tuck her into bed, and when she wakes up, she’s back to the real world.

Things quickly go awry in the Other World, when her Other Parents invite Coraline to live there forever. All she needs to do is sew some buttons into her eyes. Coraline is not so down with this idea, in fact, it’s just plain creepy. That night, Coraline finally falls asleep, but when she wakes up, she’s still in the Other World. Oh noes!!! She confronts Other Mother, who reveals herself to be a spider-like monster and puts her in a mirror until she can learn to act like a daughter. In the mirror, Coraline meets the three ghosts of the previous children, one indeed being Wybie’s great aunt. Coraline them makes a pledge to find their eyes and free them for good.

Wybie rescues Coraline from the mirror and she returns to the real world to find her real parents have gone missing. She returns to the Other World to find that her delightful Other Neighbors are just pawns of the Other Mother. I don’t want to give too much away, but she’s required to perform a series of tasks to find the eyes, release her parents, and the other children. You’ll just have to watch that part for yourself!

I love how creepy it was! At the end, I was completely on the edge of my seat. It was fantastic! And so well made. Directed by Henry Selick (James and the Giant Peach, Nightmare Before Christmas) this movie definitely takes on a Burton-esque vibe, which I am all about. Selick really does bring Gaiman’s imagination to the screen in a 3D whirlwind of whimsy and splendor. It’s a beautifully formed modern movie with a good old-fashioned tale of a background. Stunning to look at and a pleasure to watch, this movie is now on the list of my top favorites! A!

Also, if you buy the 3D collector’s edition, you get FOUR PAIRS of 3D glasses, which I thought was pretty sweet. If you’re gonna get this movie, might as well go balls to the wall and get the collector’s edition!

Coraline’s Site



{August 20, 2009}   Third Eye Blind – Ursa Major

Third Eye Blind - Ursa MajorAfter six long years of putting up with their damn excuses, Third Eye Blind has finally released their fourth album, Ursa Major. The best part? It was totally worth the wait.

It’s so easy to dismiss Third Eye Blind in that wave of mid-90’s radio rock like Train and Matchbox 20, but people who have really listened to Third Eye Blind know what’s up. Even after six years of vacant, musical space, people will still defend them to the death. And this album just backs them up even more.

This album will be blared from open car windows on sun-filled summer days. This album will be played when life simply sucks. This album will be played when memories are made. That’s just what Third Eye Blind does.

Lit - A Place in the SunIt’s got it’s radio hits, including the first single, “Don’t Believe A Word”, a political commentary with a damn catchy tune. Speaking of that 90’s vibe, it’s got this Lit thing going on with it. Perhaps it’s the duality of the vocals. Remember Lit? The one hit wonders with “My Own Worst Enemy”? Yeah, I love that album, so fuck off. I love shitty 90’s music and you can’t stop me! Wow, went way off on that one, but yeah, other hits include the guitar and angst ridden, “Can’t You Take Me?”, and I’m thinking “Water Landing”. They released a track not that long ago called “Break Me” that I think eventually morphed into this song. I liked the tempo of “Break Me” more, but it’s still pretty sweet.

And don’t worry, there’s still those Jenkins style acoustic-inspired tracks that we’ve come to expect. “Dao of St. Paul”, “Monotov’s Private Opera”, and “Bonfire” come to mind, the last being the best of the three, with a sing-a-long chorus and Jenkins’ soothing vocals.

This album has something for everyone…catchy pop songs with parasitic choruses, politics, broken hearts, masturbation, and lesbians. Who knew? Really, it’s a well rounded album and it really has lived up to it’s six years of hype. There’s rumored to be another album coming out, Ursa Minor, comprised of the tracks that didn’t make the cut for Ursa Major. I was really wondering what happened to songs like “Red Star”, “Persephone”, and “Non-Dairy Creamer”. (I watched the track listing for this album on Wikipedia change almost monthly for the past six months) Hopefully, they won’t make us wait another six years for this one! B

Third Eye Blind’s Site



Budai's Pinball MachineWell, once again, the PAPA Tournament has come and gone and I find myself with an intense longing for pinball and bad carpeting.

I did terrible this year, as I always do, but I had loads and loads of fun. I sunk more tokens into that machine on the left than I though humanly possible. I was kinda bummed that we had to use tokens this year. I came with rolls of quarters in tow for this, dammit. I could have put them in my fists and punched bitches. It was amazing to see this machine in real life though. Pictures do not do justice to the “hippy-dippy” ness of it. And yes, those girls have ice cream. I don’t know why this pleases me so much, but it does.

Bumper ActionThe sheer amount of patience required for this would make me go insane. Upon meeting Mike Budai, it seems that my brain died. I had so many questions regarding the building of this, and I seemed to have forgotten them all. Also, might have been all that tequila consumed before we got there. Goddamn birthday margaritas. What did I expect? From what I remember, he found this machine in working order, and art-ed it up. It seems like it would be so intimidating, with the sheer amount of space to fill in addition to the limitations provided by bumpers and flippers and whatnot. It turned out so super awesome, though, and I think I won the most on that one. I could have imagined that, however.

Me and Mike Budai!<- Hey! That’s me and Mike Budai! Look at that. I got some sweet merch and lotsa pictures. I swear, if it wasn’t for said merch and sweet pics, I may not have actually believed that Friday happened. At this point, I was stuttering and sweating and trying not to sound like a ‘tard. I think I failed. And just so you know, Mike Budai has a kickass stern face. See all those pinball machines in the background? Imagine that, but sooooo many more. It’s amazing the amount of pinball machines they can fit in this place. And seriously, they had both Joust AND Dig Dug. What more can you ask for. Well, I could politely request that they were in working order, but it was nice to be able to just gaze longingly at them. And perhaps drool a little. Not enough to damage the goods, I promise.

Brian Holderman's Machine

This machine was super sweet, too. You know, I’ve seen Brian Holderman’s work before and enjoyed it, but never really knew who did it. So now, it’s nice to be able to put a name with an image. I think he did a shirt for the Arts Festival this spring? I could be totally wrong on that one, though. If you click on that picture there, it’ll take you to his website, full of fun, cutesy, creepy little things. And some more pinball love. I feel like I’m so out of touch with Pittsburgh anymore, but that’s a whole other blog, I suppose. Long story short: It’s awesome to see so many talented people coming out of the woodwork these days. And to see so many of them working together. And dear god, I love this style. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted in a Pittsburgh art scene!

Drunken birthday times!Anyway, back to the birthday festivities! Somehow, we conviced Mike to come to Cantley’s. How that happened, I’m not even sure, but it rocked my evening. We had some celebratory birthday drinks and I talked his ear off. He’s an excellent conversationalist though. Everything from art to music to skating to marriage to peanut butter. Yes ladies, he’s married. After that, the good people that are my friends dragged my drunk ass home and we played silly games until the wee hours of the morning and, somehow, continued drinking. I thought that this was a fabulous idea…until I woke up with a killer hangover at 3pm on Saturday and had to go to my mother’s house for dinner. Mom food is some serious hangover goodness, though. Pizza rolls and chocolate milk, I could not ask for anything more.

Thanks to everyone who made it happen! You guys are awesome!



{August 18, 2009}   Lolita thanks YOU!

LolitaYou guys made it happen! The Miami Seaquarium did not win EITHER nomination on Go City Kids!

Dave and Mary Alper JCC Summer Camp won Best Day Camp and Jungle Island won Best Tourist Spot.

Lolita – 1, Seaquarium – 0

See what people can do with a little effort? Please don’t stop now! Go to the Orca Network website to see what YOU can do for Lolita!

Thank you again for all of your hard work everyone!

For other links, visit here or here.

Other than that, sorry for the lack of posts the last few days. I promise blogs on Third Eye Blind, pinball, and possibly vintage cars. Stay tuned for more good stuff!



{August 13, 2009}   PAPA Love!

PAPAI looooooooove pinball. And it just so happens that the PAPA (Professional Amateur Pinball Association) Tournament is in my hometown…and on my birthday.

The glorious people associated with PAPA have transformed an old warehouse into a pinball haven! Oh the sounds of flippers and geekdom. Actually, I knew people that worked in that warehouse years ago…they made those hair net things that go around turkeys. Now, it’s pinball. Who’da guessed?

Budai Pinball Machine

Mike Budai's Pinball Machine

And know what makes it even better this year? MIKE BUDAI MADE A PINBALL MACHINE! It will be there. I might dry hump it a little. He’ll also be there, at least on Saturday morning. I am not the keeper of Mike Budai’s schedule, but I hope to have a run in. His birthday was yesterday…go send him some birthday love here or here.

Here’s the schedule for this years festivities:

August 13 – 11am – 12am
August 14 – 9:30am – 2am
August 15 – 8:30am – 3am. Wow. That’s THIRTEEN AND A HALF hours of hot pinball action. Fuck yeaaaah.
August 16 – 9:30am – 5:30pm

Budai Pinball Print

Mr. Budai will be selling similar prints at the tournament this year!

See the site for actual registration times. I don’t do the whole competitive pinball thing, but I will surely lose my life savings in quarters.

That’s FIFTY FOUR hours of pinball. Oh sweet jeebus, help me. To quote some Fear and Loathing: “…know your dope fiend. Your life may depend on it. You won’t be able to see his eyes because of tea shades, and his pants will be encrusted with semen from constantly jacking off when he can’t find a rape victim.” Except it’s beer and pinball, not semen and rape. The dope would be okay though.



One Dangerous Lady - Jane Stanton HitchcockI love books written by/for rich people. I know, I know. It’s like my own version of celebrity obsession, but chances are…much more deceased. Like in the 1800’s – early 1900’s when the only people who could afford to write books were rich and entitled. Oftentimes, (did I really just use that word?) it was little more than an account of daily life. What their meals were, what parties they attended, which servant they were banging, and dropping the “N” bomb a lot. Hey, it was the 1900’s.

This book kind of reminds me of that, but a modern tale of sordid romance and murder! Duh duh duhhhhhh!

One Dangerous Lady by Jane Stanton Hitchcock features New York socialite, Jo Slater, and her magnificent band of merry millionaires. Well, some not so merry, I suppose. Yacht-aficionado, art collector, and aristocrat, Russell Cole has mysteriously vanished and one sordid mystery after another unravels.

You know, it’s always so damn hard doing these book reviews. Where can you go without giving it all away?

This book’s really quite indulgent. Like when you’re done, all you want is some chocolate and a cigarette. All wrapped around an extravagant and suspenseful mystery. Mmmm.



John HughesFrom NY Daily News:

John Hughes, whose coming-of-age movies captured an American teenage generation between Elvis Presley and Britney Spears, died Thursday of an apparent heart attack while walking on a Manhattan street.

He was 59.

Hughes, a Michigan native who lived in Illinois, was visiting his family in New York, according to a spokeswoman.

Matthew Broderick, who starred in Hughes’ 1986 hit “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” said he was “truly shocked and saddened by the news about my old friend. … He was a wonderful, very talented guy and my heart goes out to his family.”

Hughes’ 1984 film “Sixteen Candles” established him as the signature teen filmmaker of that decade, and made “John Hughes movie” into shorthand for a sometimes agonizing but ultimately upbeat look at teenage years.

“Sixteen Candles” made a star of Molly Ringwald, and he directed her again in two subsequent films, “The Breakfast Club” and “Pretty in Pink.”

Ringwald said she was “stunned and incredibly sad” to hear about Hughes’ death.

“He will be missed – by me and by everyone that he has touched,” she said in a statement on People.com.

Some of the actors in his films, including Ringwald, Andrew McCarthy, Anthony Michael Hall, Ally Sheedy and Judd Nelson, became known as the Brat Pack.

In contrast to raucous 1980s teen comedies like the “Porky’s” series, Hughes films were sweet, often sentimental. Their heroes and heroines, who started out feeling like misfits, were rewarded for the basic virtues of good hearts and decency.

He kept them from being simply throwbacks to some romanticized earlier age by effective use of realistic teen dialogue.

Hughes was working as an ad copywriter when he broke into showbiz by selling jokes to comedians like Rodney Dangerfield. He went to work for the National Lampoon and scored his breakthrough by writing the screenplay for the 1983 hit film “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” which starred Chevy Chase.

That film showcased Hughes’ ear for droll absurdity. When the dimwitted brother-in-law of Chase’s character is grilling dinner and says he’s using Hamburger Helper, Chase mutters that yeah, that’s good with a little meat. The brother-in-law says, “You add meat?”

His high school movies centered on the girl who doesn’t feel pretty enough, the guy who feels like an idiot, the arrogant bullies who pick on them, and the awkward moments they endure before it all works out.

Hughes’ movies also featured lavish and smart use of music.

Hughes did a few more teen movies, including “Weird Science” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” then scored with “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” in 1987 and even bigger with “Home Alone” in 1990.

After that, however, he headed for the exits. The last film he directed was “Curly Sue,” in 1991. In 1994, he retired from both the film business and the public eye – which he had never enjoyed.

His last public project was writing an independent film, “Reach the Rock,” in 1999.

Hughes is survived by his wife, Nancy, to whom he was married for 39 years, and two sons, James and John.

Wow, it really is a terrible year for celebrities. I think I speak for all the brains, the athletes, the basket cases, the princesses, and the criminals when I say that he’ll be sorely missed.



et cetera
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