"No. Stop it. You stupid ball joint."
"I can't believe I wasted that much time on something that looks that bad."
"Well, that looks really nice from this one angle, but it's not connected to anything and there's no way of doing so without completely rethinking the torso."
"This is the fourth time I've rebuilt this torso just to replace a freaking axle."
"Ah, screw it, I can't be bothered with custom legs."
"Can't make sounds ... parents are asleep ..."
"I just KNEW I had another one of these somewhere ..."
"Well, at least I didn't screw up the color layering!"
The fact that people dislike John Green is not something that particularly bothers me - after all, no one will be universally liked or appreciated. Like everyone, he has flaws - but most of the criticisms I saw of him were blatantly untrue slices of Internet hearsay. Reasons given were illegitimate and that made me kind of sad.
But I really had to withhold judgement, I thought, until I had the chance to read one of Green's novels, books which seem to elicit sharply divided opinions. When I had the opportunity to read The Fault in Our Stars, I would have been remiss if I hadn't taken it.
So I did. I read the whole thing in about six non-consecutive hours. (I'm a pretty fast reader.)
The end result was just sort of ... meh.
Regardless of my positive opinions of him as a video blogger and person, I have to say that he's actually a really bland writer. I'm not going to comment on the story itself because one cannot blame the "problematic" aspects of a story on the writer (which is the origin of most legitimate-looking John Green hate)*, but I can comment on the characters.
Green's characters don't have individual voices. Sickly, bookish, introverted Hazel speaks with the same advanced eloquence as the public-high-school-educated Gus. But it's not just there - alcoholic Van Houten is as well-spoken as his continually frustrated assistant Lidewij, and the parents of the main characters - aside from the tear-prone father of Hazel are practically indistinguishable from one another.
I could legitimize Hazel and Van Houten - perhaps Lidewij as well - but the fact that the dialogue of any one character could be given to any other character with only a little bit of recontextualization is not a good sign. Throughout the whole book, not one person spoke in the way that normal people speak.
It was, by extension, impossible for me to feel any kind of sympathy for these characters. Granted, I haven't cried over a fictional character since I was about four years old, but I was kind of thinking that it would change because everyone always goes bananas over John Green's ability to wrench waterworks from the eyes of his readers.
It's not like I was expecting some kind of modern classic from whence quotes would be hewn for books whose publications are four hundred years distant. But for all the hullabaloo of John Green's writing abilities, I would be lying if I said that I wasn't a tad bit disappointed.
* TFiOS, for its shortcomings, does not romanticize cancer, or illness, or disease in general. I've lost two of my grandparents to cancer, and it's not pretty at any age. Given Green's background, which he has talked about extensively, anyone who claims that TFiOS romanticizes disease is hearing it from someone else and/or completely skipped the passages where the characters discuss just how disturbing/dangerous doing so is.
According to the government, I am eighteen years old, but that's actually not quite true. I'm still seventeen until around 7:30 PM.
So for around nineteen and a half hours, I'm in the twilight zone - both a legal adult and not.
Also, general update because last I told anyone here it was still before the concert on the third. That went extremely well and actually had a pretty decent turnout, mainly because they stuck a few string players on the program between my performances, which gave me some time to relax backstage. There was some fun with getting a substitute page-flipper, and I talked about the music of Sorabji at length with the John Green lookalike who ended up filling in at the post. I also gave a brief speech before my second onstage appearance to discuss the selections I played next - that they were dedicated to a young legally blind piano-violin prodigy.
The second concert, featuring works from everyone in the workshop, actually had less turnout than mine but was still a grand success despite the technical difficulties that arose. I returned the favor by flipping pages for the fellow who filled in for me, and I played the piano part of a piece that was originally going to be for viola, piano, and percussion but ended up just being for viola and piano because a percussionist could not be procured, leading me to make some last-minute edits to the piano part. Though there were a few slips, they sounded less like mistakes and more like intentional gorgeous messes.
Also I wrote and performed a rap at an open mic night (a performance impressive enough to accrue compliments over multiple days), played ultimate frisbee up a hill in pouring rain while enjoying a concert of flamenco music (the encore was a cover of Hotel California that was, in my opinion, better than the original).
Today/Tomorrow (it's late) I'll be at my grandmother's house for my birthday, eating ice cream cake (accept no substitutes), drinking one of the few blueberry sodas left from our adventures in Maine, and beginning to figure out what life is like as someone who is legally allowed to drink alcohol in Canada.
Would have gotten more practice but I met this girl who is in the film program but is pretty handy with a piano despite a lack of formal lessons, and ended up spending a majority of the of the day showing her around the music building, finding grand pianos and an old out-of-tune double bass before going up an old staircase to the back of a concert hall. We struggled to find the lights at first, but once doing so we found all of these random percussion instruments and ended up doing an impromptu duet on a glockenspiel.
I'm really excited.
So, within the next week, I should be:
- Playing the piano part of a fellow composers' song, which she'll be singing at open mic night next Wednesday
- Playing and singing Tom Lehrer's brilliant song "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park" at aforementioned open mic night
- Continuing to practice the recital pieces I'll play on July 3rd - next week aaaaaaaaaaa
- Finish writing, practice the piano part of, organize the rehearsals for, and present a piece for viola, piano, and percussion on the 11th
- Possibly a performance of a piano trio that was recorded last December but is still the only trio that has not had a public performance - if this happens, I'll be at the piano with aforementioned fellow composer on the violin and one of her friends on the cello
Which is insane.
At some level I feel as if I may have bitten off more than I can chew, but, to quote Leonard Bernstein: "To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time."
... except not.
I'm finally starting on the BIG THING that Pablo and I have been talking about for a while, but - and this is SUPER EXCITING NEWS that I literally only had confirmed earlier this week - I must practice and prepare all of the pieces that I've ever written for solo piano because I'm having a RECITAL DEDICATED TO THEM.
A RECITAL DEDICATED TO MY COMPOSITIONS AND I'LL BE PLAYING THEM. THIS IS A MAJOR EVENT.
It'll be part of a composition workshop that I've attended and had great fun at for the past two years, but this is a much bigger deal, for in the concerts that have capped them off I've played the piano part of various trio ensembles. I'll do that again this year (piano, viola, and percussion), but I get THIS AS WELL.
In terms of number of pieces played this will be the most and longest I've ever performed at one sitting.
It's EXACTLY TWO WEEKS FROM NOW TOO LIKE AHJSAHJASJKHFGUASGKHSAHJSAHJFSHJGASFFHFAK I"M REALLY SORT OF UNPREPARED FOR THIS I MUST GET TO WORK IMMEDAITRELY
He's the lord of all strangeness. - Ignika: Nerd of Life
How awesome is Sumiki on a scale of 1 to 10? - Waffles
42. - Black Six
[He's] the king of wierd, the prince of practicality, the duke of durr! - Daiker
Sumiki is magic. - Cholie
Sumiki says, "Do I creeeeeeep you out?" Yes, he does. - Waffles
Sumiki is a nub. He's cool, but he's still a nub. - Ran Yakumo
"What is a Sumiki?" You may ask. But the answer to that is still unknown, even to the Sumiki itself. - Daiker
LISTEN TO SUMIKI - Cholie
Sumiki is best snickerdoodle. - Takuma Nuva
BZPower = Sumiki + McSmeag + B6. And Hahli Husky. - Vorex
What's a Sumi? Does it taste good? - Janus
I would have thought Sumiki wanted to reincarnate as a farm animal. - Kraggh
EAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH - Kakaru
Sumiki: the horse_ebooks of bzp - VampireBohrok
Everything relates to Sumiki. No really, everything. - Daiker
He's in worse mental condition than I thought. - Obsessionist
I'm just wondering why I'm looking at some cat dancing ... I suppose the answer would simply be "Sumiki." - Brickeens
I was like a beast, screaming through the mind of Sumiki at the speed of sound. I.. I wasn't strong enough to stop myself. What I saw was the end of infinity, through which one can see the beginning of time, and I will never be the same. - Portalfig
I imagine the 13th Doctor will be rather like Sumiki, at the rate we're going. - rahkshi guurahk
I was quite sure Sumiki had another set of arms stashed somewhere. - Bfahome
Note to future self: don’t try to predict Sumiki, he’s unpredictable. - Voltex
Let's be honest, I would totally have picked my main man Sumiki to lead my goose-stepping night killers anyway. We tight like that, yo. - Xaeraz
10/10, would Sumiki again. - Bfahome
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Every week, I post a new "Tuesday Tablescrap", a small MOC not worthy of a topic, but something to post and inspire me to build more.
10/25/11 - Duplo Flower
11/1/11 - Slender Man and Masky
11/8/11 - Bizarre Black Spaceship
11/15/11 - 2001 Monolith
11/22/11 - My Little Slizer 50
11/29/11 - Punching Bag
12/6/11 - Thunder and Escorts
12/13/11 - Three Concepts
12/20/11 - Kaxium Alternate
12/27/11 - None (Christmas Break)
1/10/12 - None
1/17/12 - Volant
1/24/12 - Nidman's Chute Shoop Shop
1/31/12 - None (Brickshelf down)
2/7/12 - None
2/14/12 - Atomic Lime
2/21/12 - Spearhead
2/28/12 - Glatorian Kahi
3/6/12 - Seeker
3/13/12 - Skyscraper
3/20/12 - Microphone
3/27/12 - Toa Vultraz
4/3/12 - Flammenwerferjüngeres
4/10/12 - Umbrella
4/17/12 - Lime Beetle
4/24/12 - Special - Flame Sculpture
5/1/12 - None (BZPower down)
5/8/12 - Purple Ninja
5/15/12 - The Original Sumiki
5/22/12 - 7/24/12 - None
7/31/12 - Tahu
8/7/12 - None (BrickFair)
8/14/12 - Special - Chess Set
8/21/12 - Heavily Armored Wasp
8/28/12 - Spaceship Drill
9/4/12 - Scuba Vehicle
9/11/12 - Orange Guy
9/18/12 - Strange Flying Thing
9/25/12 - Goblet
10/2/12 - None
10/9/12 - Aim .............................. Down
10/16/12 - Gold Bot
10/23/12 - Teal Mech
10/30/12 - Special - Teal Mech (#2)
11/6/12 - Bits and Pieces
11/13/12 - Two Spaceships
11/20/12 - TARDIS Interior
11/27/12 - Christmas Creep
12/4/12 - Toaraga
12/11/12 - Fireplace
12/18/12 - Abstract Duckling
12/25/12 - None (Christmas)
1/1/13 - Black Bot
1/8/13 - 1/22/13 - None
1/29/13 - Handheld Rhotuka Launcher
2/5/13 - 8/6/13 - None
8/13/13 - The Hinklebot
8/20/12 - Special - Post-Apocalyptic Piyufi
Formerly known as the Bring Back Teal Club, the Unused Colors Society is a club that serves to promote colors that are little-used or discontinued, such as teal, old purple, or metallic blue.
Akuna Toa of Sonics
Popup2: The Camel
~System Of A Down~
Thunder on the Mountain
Toa of Vahi
WORT WORT WORT
Toa Kuhrii Avohkii
Toa Neya 2011 Edition
~prisma son of dawn~
.: WoLVeRINe :.
The Great Forgetter
Thomas the Tank Engine
Oh my miru
Element lord Of Milk.
Lexuk Toa Of Insanity
Michael J. Caboose
Lord Kaitan de Storms
Toa of Dancing
The Oncoming Storm
Toa of Pumpkin
Toa Zehvor Blackout
Lord of Ice
Zarayna: The Quiet Light
Vorex: Keeper of Time
Toa of Smooth Jazz
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If you learn one thing in life, learn this:
You should never, ever question why demons would possess a soda.
just a heads up - Cthulhu would probably eradicate mankind before bringing back Bionicle
so yeah, all I'm saying is, please think twice about this okay
nothing gets democracy flowing like erratic capitalizatION
[the NSA] couldn't say no when I offered them an ostrich farm in exchange
Sumiki -- nice try but we all know Toa Mata Nui stuffs its bra
have we mentioned hats
Shhh, I'm trying to focus on the negative to justify my dislike of history.
Also a long line of really great hats.
You have a great understanding of history, but don't forget, war, murder and other poor decisions are also huge characteristics.
To be fair, I am the one responsible for the invention of Mafia in the 1320s by seventeen bored italians locked in a mine shaft.
It's a long story.