Sunday, December 23, 2007

Man Cold

This is, without a doubt, one of the funniest clips I have ever seen. Mom, you will especially love this. Oddly enough, Mike didn't like it much. Perhaps it hit too close to home.

The next clip brings back fond memories of Lunds. What the man points out about the price is true, no matter where you buy a cake. Don't ever tell a baker that you're looking for a wedding cake, unless you enjoy being screwed.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

"As they say, 'Teaching is a profession.'"

It was the last day of my media class yesterday. Everyone had to present on their final project. Meaghan and I finally finished our wiki. It now has pretty videos and more detail. We should get a gold star for it.

My classmates, Nathan and Chris, who are also great to get together with at 12:30 in the afternoon, the day before Thanksgiving, presented on mockumentaries. They created an awesome video that is posted on Nathan's blog. I hope you go see it. It's a good time and sure to give you some laughs...well probably a lot of laughs.

Verb: It's What's Happening

Among some great references in their video, I think Best in Show is hilarious. If you haven't seen it, there is a clip in the video that is spot on. My favorite mockumentary is Drop Dead Gorgeous, about a small town beauty pageant in Minnesota. I wanted to find a clip from the beginning of the movie, where one woman states, "We like to leave that to the sin cities, AKA Minneapolis/St. Paul." But I couldn't find one, unfortunately. Also, I think this movie has bonus points for me because it was shot around where I grew up, so I know where all of the locations are. Fun stuff.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

To: Red Forman

Dear Dad,

I hope you're doing okay. I went Christmas shopping today. I think even my hands began to swell after being in the mall for too long.

I thought of something you might like. It is in this blog: an early Christmas present from your dearest daughter, who never ceases to impress and amaze you. It is a music video about Barack Obama. I know you probably think I sing this song every day because I love him so much, but I really don't. Honest. I thought this would make you smile and think fondly of the family liberal...I'm really not that liberal...well I guess compared to you I am.

And so, as I stood in the middle of Borders, wondering what you would hate more: a calender of John McCain, a calendar of Hillary Clinton, or a "Countdown to 2008 Bush" calendar, I thought maybe I should go easy on you this year. So, part of your present is to show that I have a sense of humor about my own political opinions, not just one at the expense of yours. Merry Christmas!

Your Daughter, who you love despite her being brainwashed by the liberal media and liberal university

P.S.: Which calendar would you hate more? Because that's the one you're getting.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

No Name Calling if You don't Check Out the Unit...Meaghan!

See aforementioned partner's blog to understand my title.

For our final project, Meaghan and I put together a unit for a class on Shakespeare. This would be the final unit and culmnating project where students are expected to apply techniques and issues discussed in class to a modern adaptation of a Shakespearean play. These would include, but most likely not limited to, looking at symbolism within several of his plays, using the different critical lenses to understand differing perspectives, and comparing and contrasting traditional film adaptations to its corresponding play.

Some examples of modern adaptations might be Hamlet and The Lion King, or The Taming of the Shrew and 10 Things I Hate About You.

Evaluating criteria would be a 5-6 page paper in which students are required to look at a play discussed in class to a modern adaptation. Obviously they would be graded on grammar and organization. Students will need to discuss three important elements between film and text, like character, setting, plot, scene selection, etc. Students must also address at least one critical lens and how it applies to both the play and adaptation, using specific examples from each.

You can go to our wiki and check out the entire plan if you are so moved:

Maggie's Wiki filled with fun and magic!

Here is an example of my favorite Shakespearean adaptation. It is Scotland, P.A. Mom, cover your ears, because there is some strong language. This is the scene from the original play, MacBeth, in which Lady MacBeth hallucinates still having the blood stain on her hand. In this film, it is a burn. But I love this adaptation because it's so true to the play, yet also true to it's modern setting. It does a good job of addressing issues of power and right, but also incorporates cultural and social aspects of America.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

What Makes an Awesome Cover Song?

Being Cartman helps, in my personal opinion.

Meaghan and I presented on cover songs last Thursday, and I must say it was pretty good. Music is for sure Meaghan's specialty, so I kind of let her do most of it, to be honest. I think she has a better knowledge base for it, and more experience with it, anyway. I mainly discussed covers that had been done in movies, covers of the Beatles, and South Park.

I still cannot get over the fact that the most covered song in the history of music is The Beatles' "Yesterday." Fine, it's a good song, but I definitely don't think it's their best work. Not only that, I have yet to hear a decent cover of that song. But maybe I have nightmares of 10th grade choir in which we sang that song...over and over and over. So perhaps I am biased against it. Anyway.

I was very excited to find out that Meaghan wanted to use Alanis Morissette's cover of The Black Eyed Peas "Humps" song. I had seen this video a few months back and thought it was great. I can live with the Black Eyed Peas and some of their music is okay, but Fergie makes me want to hit my head against a wall. I think it's pretty obvious from their own video, as well as the lyrics, that she doesn't feel like she has much going for herself besides wearing little, or uncomfortably tight, clothing in terms of musical talent (in the rest of the world, we would call that a "stripper" rather than "musician"). Morissette's, cover does a great job of taking a song that really is crap, and proving it. The first video is the original music video and the second is Alanis Morissette.

I have also posted a cover by Travis doing "Baby One More Time." I wanted to show that I don't hate all pop music. I like this song now (NOT the Britney Spears original). It shows how a simple song like "Baby One More Time" has the potential to be good in the hands of a real musician, rather than the cheap and ridiculous concoction of the music industry.

And finally, while I am not normally a fan of South Park, I find Cartman's covers quite hilarious. I think the thing that Cartman does is add his personal touch, yet still keeping true to the song. I think this is key to creating a great cover. I like his cover of "In the Ghetto." But then again, I don't care much for Elvis. My favorite, which I have posted for your listening pleasure, is his cover of the Styx' "Come Sail Away." I have yet to listen to it in its entirety without nearly laughing myself to tears. Call me silly, but I love it!