Nuclear Fission

I am splitting this blog into two separate entities.

This page, which I have re-christened "A Silvertongued Serenade," will be home to my writing, photography, art of various kinds, rants (both silly and serious), and anything else of a less-than-personal interest level. I have some fun traditions I'm dying to start, including (but not limited to) Claymore beverage of the week and local treasure of the week. If anyone has any suggestions, I'll take 'em! Also, which sidebar/footer items do you enjoy, and which do you skip over? My page is getting a lil bit cluttered, as you can see ^_^

The new "Dustland Fairytale" will function as a journal and will contain those stories of life that have a less universal appeal, such as my latest concert adventure and How I Spent My Weekend At Ravin's. These posts are generally longer and more detailed, which I've found to be a turn-off in other people's blogs. In case you actually like reading about my life, we've got a shuttle bus that makes regular trips over there and I'm sure we can arrange a visit for you. Click here to go!

Love, peace, and neutron-firing apparatuses,
Miss Rex

I dare you to move

Last night Boyfriend and I drove to New Hampshire to see Switchfoot (which was really excellent of him since he doesn't even know their music). The show was at the same place I saw Cobra Starship last fall. Boyfriend was amazed at how much the town resembled his hometown, but we concluded this place was better because it had a lot more stuff to do, even if it was a little on the seedy side.

It was 7:20 when we got to the venue. I must say that I am entirely sick of getting huge black X's drawn on my hands every time I go to a show. It used to be a bragging right - I'd go to school the next day and it was like "LOOK AT ME! I went to a show last night." But now they're just a Scarlet Letter (as I told the bouncer) that makes me look and feel inferior. I don't want to drink at shows. I want to rock out. I just don't want to sport the double stigma, especially if they're giving out wristbands to people over 21 anyway.

We showed up just in time for Ours, the opening act. At first I was impatient to get to the good stuff, but one song was enough to convince me that this WAS the good stuff. Imagine that Freddy Mercury of Queen and Matt Bellamy of Muse somehow pooled genes, add a dash of Anberlin's Stephen Christian and a pinch of Dream Theater's James LaBrie, and you've got the vocalist of Ours, a real skeleton of a man but with a vocal versatility I've never seen in anyone before. He got his highs and his lows, steady and vibrato, and every so often he'd get really into it and lavish us with a scream.

In spite of my many comparisons, the musical experience was something entirely new. One of the guitarists played part of a song on the teeny tiny little strings between the nut and the tuning knobs. There was a girl playing keys and a guy rocking the violin, one of the guitarists had dreads, and the bassist was out of this world (talentwise, not lookswise - I qualify this because usually when I talk about bassists it's to say how sexy they are, but this one was just downright talented). Then there was the drummer - ohmygosh the drummer. I was reminded of Mute Math's Darren King; he was that good. Not as intense, maybe, but his beats were every bit as inventive.

On top of all that, the dark sound was augmented by really excellent lighting - lots of red. I bought their CD the second the set ended. It's not as good as the live show but still worth a listen, especially this one:

Switchfoot played second, and to me it was everything rock shows should be but aren't. Again the lights were an integral part of the set, creating something of an old-skool atmosphere while adhering to new-skool rules. Flashy but classy, you know? They played us a few new songs and I'm super stoked for Hello Hurricane, coming out this fall (wiki says November 10, which is too far away if you ask me!)

I've always loved Switchfoot concerts because they're like the albums on steroids. Everything you love, but with the added bonus of singer Jon Foreman's energy and charisma. He climbs the drum set, he screams into the pickups on his guitar, he jumps off the stage and wanders around the audience.

Which brings me to the highlight of the show! Jon jumped down from the stage and started meandering toward the back of the club, where we were standing. There was one of those metal bars a little way behind us to keep people away from the sound and light equipment, and he decided it looked like a jungle gym so he climbed it. I moved closer to take pictures.

The song ended and people were all crowding around to touch Jon's hand. Having endured six years of failure to have any interaction with this legendary band, I was naturally among them. And here my five feet, ten inches of tall served me well: Jon decided I was the right height to be his spotter, took my hand, and leaned on me as he walked the bar.

At the other end he stopped and, still balancing, introduced the band members. I was a bit too starstruck to remember anything he said beyond that except for this: "Hope is not something you keep in your back pocket... sooner or later it takes form and becomes something real." There is something different in that man. Every so often he'd look down at me and I could see it in his eyes. It's enough to make me live a different kind of life.

Then, STILL LEANING ON MY HAND, he started the next song - "Dare You to Move." "Everybody's watching you now," he sang, with a smile at me because everyone was.

Boyfriend was none too happy with me after Jon went back up on stage. "He would've fallen if I'd just walked away," didn't make things any better, nor did "he's married with children" or "I've only looked up to him for six years." But I bet if he meets Blind Guardian, he'll understand.

After the set, we found my friend Jo-Yo and I tried to figure out where the after-show acoustic show was taking place, but the band hadn't tweeted it and all our companions wanted to leave so we gave up. BUT NEVER FEAR, for the two of us may take a little road trip to see them again next weekend! To be continued!

The Second Storm (Ingraham Rhodes translation)

The Seven Storms define the history of Myriad. At this time, three have occurred; four are yet to come. Please see “prophecies” (page 1236) for information on the latter storms. The following is Ingraham Rhodes’ translation of the ancient literature, originally written in Irvish by Modungo, the first Great Rhetor of Marcador.


In the beginning, Men were young and mindless, no different from the creatures that crawled, swam, slithered, and flew. There was but one realm at that time, for it was Ildiago: the time before the separation. Versitas was the only reality, and Myriad did not yet exist.

Then the High Cadant, Fëanáro, conjured the First Storm, which gave birth to the world of Myriad and bestowed upon mankind the gift of hope. He set the Andasi the task of crafting dreams for Men, and these dreams fostered the hope that raised Men above the creatures of the earth.

Fëanáro made his dwelling place atop the Mount of Acharia, the mysterious kingdom of the air, which was shrouded to all but those whom the High Cadant wished to see it. He ruled all from the clock room at the pinnacle of a glass castle atop the Acharian mountain – for at that time, Versitas and Myriad were as one and all passed freely between them. Andasi communed with Men. Hope held fast, for despair was, as yet, unknown, nor had Death shown her face. Peace reigned supreme for many centuries.

But the equilibrium between man and muse displeased one of the Andasi. The rogue, Jamus, looked down upon Men and their reliance upon the dreams they borrowed from the Andasi. He saw them as inferior, weak, and altogether undeserving of inspiration.

And so Jamus severed ties with the other Andasi. He dreamt up the first nightmares and set them loose to punish unwary dreamers. For the first time, Men came to understand fear. For the first time, hope and happiness had to be sought rather than merely enjoyed. If they were not found, Men sank to great depths and committed evil crimes against one another and against the muses.

Fëanáro called a council of the Andasi. The seven monarchs and some of their underlings were all present, most notably: Asa of Séasia, kingdom of the sea; Tamoura of Fairbeam, kingdom of the sun; Haligh of Jadessa, kingdom of the earth; Modungo of Marcador, kingdom of the word; Femar of Nomaçao, kingdom of the heart; Alassea of Lokkenshire, kingdom of the clock; Adayla of Acharia, Fëanáro’s daughter and princess of the kingdom of the air; and of course, Fëanáro himself, High Cadant and king of all Myriad. The rogue was present as well, and Caukkor, the great goldsmith from Versitas. They all gathered in the clock room, kings and queens and lesser Andasi united for the last time. Grandfather clocks stood against the glass walls of the round room at twelve, nine, six and three o’clock. The High Cadant’s throne was stationed in front of the clock at twelve, and the others’ seats were arrayed about him in a circle.

Said Fëanáro unto the rogue, “Why have you done this?”

“My lord, whatever you say, I do not see what I am doing as wrong,” entreated the rogue. “Andasi of the council, hear me now, so that you will not be persuaded against me by muses who would choose to gild the reality.

“Men are weak and stupid. They have become utterly dependent upon us. They suck us dry like leeches, leaving no dreams for the very creators of dreams! What have they done that they should be considered worthy of our service and sacrifice? Naught! For they are animals, no different from the birds that fly and the fish that swim. Therefore join me! Together we shall restore the realms to their proper order!”

“Proper order indeed!” exclaimed the Empress Haligh, and the Andasi voiced their agreement.

The High Cadant rose from his throne and strode around the clock room, anti-clockwise as was the custom. “Jamus,” said he as he passed the ninth mark. “Thrice have I given you my warning. This is your last chance to retract what you’ve said and turn from your wicked ways.”

“Your Majesty, I do not retract what I’ve said, nor do I repent.”

Heavily Fëanáro lifted his hand. The clocks around the room fell still and silent, and the only council members moving were the High Cadant himself, his daughter the Princess Adayla, the rogue, and the Versitan goldsmith.

“You know the destiny that awaits you if you do not change your ways,” said Fëanáro. “It has been written since time began.”
“The prophecies are not unalterable,” said Jamus. “If the people about whom they were made choose to act differently than we foresaw, they become irrelevant.”

Said Fëanáro, “I cannot choose other than I have. My son, I hoped it would not come to this. I do not wish your destruction.” He sighed, fingers squeezing the bridge of his nose while he thought.

“Jamus,” said he at length. “Though I change not the prophecy, this promise I give you: I will delay its fulfillment, that you may have time to see the error of your ways. But if you do not, you know what I must do. Do you agree?”

“I do,” said Jamus at once.

“Caukkor, Adayla,” said the king. “Seal the contract.”

The man shuffled forward. He was bearded, bespectacled, and short, even by the standards of Men. Though by all appearances he had been around since time began, he was yet quick of body and wit; for at that time, the bodies of Andasi and Men did not slow down or pass away.

He approached Fëanáro and drew a small, golden dagger. The king held out his hand, and the Man slit the palm, collecting some of the blood on his knife.

Adayla then drew her own golden dagger and faced Jamus. The rogue hesitated, glancing at the king: surely this girl was not to take part in a sacred ritual of blood?

Fëanáro nodded, and Jamus offered his hand to the princess, who cut it without flinching and gathered the blood on her blade.
While the other two watched, the girl and the goldsmith conjured a white flame and used it to distill the droplets of blood, muttering fragments of magic as they did so. Then they stood, each with a smoldering crimson gem suspended magically above an outstretched hand, and faced the others.

“With this forging, thee I bind: each to the other for all of time,” said they in unison.

Then Jamus, in defiance of the contract, interfered.

“I have made my choice,” said he, “and time shall change it not. I will take Myriad for myself, and then there will be no more Men leeching our dreams from us.”

The white flame created by the goldsmith lashed out to reclaim the bloodstones. Lithe Adayla of the Kingdom of Air sprang up and hovered out of the fire’s range, clutching the stone to her breast, her spirit fighting to hold the magic in place until it settled and sealed the contract.

But Caukkor suddenly felt the weight of his years and fell to his knees. The fire quickly engulfed him – a whirl of hot ash – and presently he was gone. This was the first death.

“Aha! See what I have made!” crowed Jamus. “How do you like it, Fëanáro? I call it death. When a Man has lived out his span of years, then he shall be taken from life, to spend the rest of time in the Kingdom of the Dead.”

Adayla drifted slowly to the ground. “There is no kingdom of the dead,” said she.

Jamus laughed again. “Oh! But there is! What was once the Kingdom of the Clock shall henceforth be the dwelling place of the dead. So have I said, so shall it be. The people of Lokkenshire will serve me from now on.”

“Alassea won’t allow it,” said Adayla.

Jamus paused, as though considering this. Then he swept across the floor, disregarding the anti-clockwise tradition of the Clock Room, and faced the Queen of Time. He then reached out and, by all appearances, drew her spirit from her body. “She shall be queen of the Kiragati,” said he. “Not living, yet never dying; for I have fractured her spirit and she can be neither alive nor dead.”

“What a monstrous thing to do!” cried Adayla, brandishing her dagger at him.

“Peace, my daughter,” said Fëanáro. “Jamus, you have done quite enough for today, I think. Just remember that, although you may disregard our agreement, you were too late: the magic did take. You have time, as I promised, but I will not forget what else I promised.”

With that, the council was revived from its sleep – all, that is, except Alassea; what spirit remained in her shadow of a body had been magicked away to Lokkenshire. The council’s eyes were on the rogue, however, and her absence at first went unnoticed.

Fëanáro opened the door of the grandfather clock at six. To the council’s surprise, it did not merely open on a pendulum and weights, but on a faraway vista. The Andasi saw dunes of blood-red sand undulating under a relentless blue sky. It was through this portal that the king drove Jamus.

“Andasi of the council! Lend me your magic!” he implored. The Andasi gathered around the clock.

But something was taking place.

From the rogue’s skin emerged a creature none of the council had dreamed of. Like a lion, it was, but blacker than the darkest night or the deepest sea; so black was he that the red sand at his feet became washed out and dull; all the light of the bright blue sky behind him was dimmed as if he had absorbed it into himself and grown none the brighter for it. His mane was made of fire that burned white around his snarling face and fiery white eyes. He dwarfed the very desert he stood upon, straining ever higher til his face scraped the dome of sky and rent it.

Then, with a sound like thunder, the realm of Man was ripped away from the realm of Muse. The realm of Versitas healed at once, filling in the space where the realm of dreams had been. Around the Andasi’s world, which came to be called Myriad, there was nothing but a vast empty space where Men had once lived.

The council was thunderstruck. Said King Asa of Séasia, “What is this trickery?”

“There’s no trickery, boy,” growled the lion. “Now you see what power we have – and we’ve wasted so much of it on Men! No more, dear muses. Dream the dreams you would have for yourselves, and leave the animals to die as animals must.”

Immediately, Fëanáro sealed the door on Jamus. Brightness returned to the room.

“Andasi of the council,” said he before anyone could speak. “It grieves me that one of our number has turned on us in this way. Indeed, until it happened, I am sure many thought it impossible.

“A new order of things has come upon us. When Men dwelt among us, they dreamt with the entirety of their minds, bodies and spirits. Now only their spirits shall commune with us. I cannot say what else may come of this.

“Jamus has been confined to the Sangrine Desert in the wastelands of Nomaçao. For the time being, he cannot leave. However, be advised that dreaming Men should not be allowed anywhere near there henceforth.”


This concludes Modungo’s account of the Second Storm.

***In case you didn't notice, this is an excerpt from my work-in-progress, Before the Empty Moon. If you want more, check out my other excerpts (though most of them have already undergone revision since these posts).

An early draft of the prologue
A fragment of Chapter One
S'more Chapter One
In which our heroes find themselves in an alternate reality

What say you? Drop me a line!
Peace, love, and Hurricane Danny,
Miss Rex

In with the new

It's a new school year, so I thought it would be appropriate to share some things that are new in my life.

1. I have a new blog. There's nothing on it yet, and unless you go to my school there probably isn't going to be anything on it that will interest you. But if you want to take a look at what I'm doing in my journalism class throughout the semester, you can see it here. There will be no negative repercussions on A Dustland Fairytale. Everything I would have posted here will still be posted here. Now there's just more to love!

2. I have a new project. Last year I completed the Epic String Project:

Now, having seen that this size purse is barely sufficient to hold a cell phone and some mints, I have begun The Doubleplusepic String Project:

Where the last purse incorporated 48 strings of embroidery thread, each reinforced by folding in half (and thus making the true string count 96), this one will include 60 strings, which should add maybe an inch to the final product's width.

It's gonna take a while. But, I will be amused in chapel!

3. An odd phenomenon took place last spring, namely, that all of my friends suddenly stopped taking pictures of each other and the things we did together. It had been a long time since I'd changed my profile picture, and a friend of mine was looking to add some portraits to her photography portfolio, so we did a little photo shoot. She did a really excellent job, and I would encourage you to check out her website! Here are a few of my favorites from the shoot:

4. (Last one!) Yesterday was my birthday, and as I mentioned in my last post, Boyfriend came to visit. Feast your eyes on the glorious, ADDtastic sparkledom that is my birthday present:

Why yes, I do have the most fabbity fab boyfriend in the world, thank you.

Peace, love, and Scum&Emperor,
Miss Rex

"I'm a good lesbian!"

True confession: even though I like to pretend I’m BA, at heart I am a bona fide goody two shoes. Yet the beginning-of-term hall meeting always fills me with a sense of dread, especially on the issue of visitation. Nothing ever changes (except that we’re now allowed opposite-sex guests on Thursdays), so why does it feel like the visitation laws get stricter every year?

Hours: 5-10PM Mon-Thurs
5-12AM Friday
1PM-12AM Saturday
1PM-10PM Sunday

There will be “no excessive public displays of affection” in the privacy of your room. This means, beyond clothes staying on, you may not kiss and you may not lie down together (commonly called “snuggling” or “spooning”). And they will know if you try to pull one over on them. Lights must be on. Door must be *fully* open.

However, you may have a guest of the same sex at any hour of any day. You may have the lights on or off, however you like ‘em. You may have the door open or closed – no one cares. And, you may snuggle or spoon as much as you like.

Doesn’t this seem a bit suspicious to you? I’m starting to suspect my school wants students to make the switch to lesbianism (or, conversely, gay…ism?). Last year they made a big deal about “understanding and accepting students who belong to the LGBT community” even though their lifestyle is “against the Bible.” We must “show them Christ’s love” and “not alienate them,” since school should be a “safe” environment for everybody.

Note, it does NOT have to be a “safe” environment for traditional male-female couples who, at our age and regardless of religious inclination, WILL become sexually frustrated if they are not allowed some small amount of physical affection with their significant others. Have you SEEN the pageants our male students put on? Good gravy!

I do not condone “liberated” mentality or “experimentation.” I’m not asking for sexy time in the dorms. I do, however, condone healthy physical relationships between committed couples. Why is that such a bad thing to so many Christians???

Okay, I wouldn’t care quite so much, except my boy is coming to visit for my birthday, and it would be great if we could make out even a teensy weensy little bit. So sue me.

Yeah, I live in a fishbowl. 's pretty sweet.

I want THIS for my birthday:


So I moved in at school on Monday. The process gets a little less painful each year, though they always seem to pick the hottest, most humid day of the year for this event. I'm starting to believe it's not a coincidence. Worse, I now live on the third floor of the same building I've lived in for the past two years. As if traipsing up one flight of stairs after a typically weighty meal at the dining hall weren't bad enough, now I get to lug myself up TWO flights of stairs! Lucky me! Who needs a gym when you live on the third floor?

Well anyway, my three roommates have also moved into our former lounge of a dorm room. As far as on-campus housing goes, the Fishbowl (so named because two whole walls consist of nothing but windows) is truly the best you can get without making the step up to an apartment. Except for the furniture and visitation rules, I'd say it's even better because of the view. But, we aren't allowed to have upholstered furniture, which sucks because how are we supposed to entertain company without chairs, and we don't get apartment hours, which means we still only have 5 hours of visitation a day. For those of you who don't go to a Christian college, visitation hours are hours during which you're allowed to have guests of the opposite sex in your room or hall. Gay, right? Almost literally.

Since classes have yet to start, the only exciting bit of news I have to share is that I swam across Gull Pond and back yesterday. It's a heckalot bigger than it looks! And, there is a metropolis of seaweed in the middle, which likes to entangle breathless swimmers and force them to thrash about for their very lives.

I could have drowned.

I think I found my new workout regime!

To Infinity

Last week I had the privilege of seeing my good friends in Kiros play a show. The first time I saw them, Spontaneous Concert Enthusiast and I ended up getting Taco Bell with them and eating in their van. The second time (2 days later) I drove through rush hour traffic by myself to see them play at some random church where they would be the only people I knew. Somewhere in between, SCE and I joined them for a frigid game of disc golf that involved a lot of embarrassment on my part, which resulted in Neil taking his frisbee away from me so I wouldn't lose it, and subsequently throwing it in a half-frozen swamp and losing it himself.

But back to the original story.

I picked up Ravin and The Pantsless One and we drove out to the show. We got lost, and when we finally found the place it turned out the be the same small church they'd played at before. I WAS COMING FROM THE NORTH THEN, OK? And this time we came from the south. Through the really shady part of town with like, boarded up factories where kids smoked weed all day. No, I'm not stereotyping, jumping to conclusions, or even exaggerating: driving home again, the entire town reeked of Mary Jane.

We found the church and went in. After a minute I spotted Tyler, the drummer, and tackled him with a hug. Tyler has long hair, sweet glasses, and the greatest sleeve ever (it's based on a verse from Ezekiel. It says so on his wrist.) After that we found Ryan, the guitarist, who also got tackled with a hug. Equally long-haired. Less inked. Much sillier (and that's quite a statement if you've met Tyler). Then I found Neil, the lead guitarist, who to me was sort of like the Scarecrow to Dorothy - I got to know him first and thus grew to like him best. The comparison was made perfect by the straw hat he was wearing, which I stole and Gill changed the price tag to read $100.50 (it was only .50 before). At last I ran into Barry, the clean-cut lead singer/bassist. He's got a lot of heart and passion - but offstage, the other guys tend to overshadow him with their antics.

We also met a fellow I dubbed "Buzz Lightyear" because I didn't catch his name and he'd already dubbed us "Mandy, Candy and Sandy" (without anyone telling him my name was Mandii o_O). After that, it was only right that I return the nicknaming favor. He was excited to meet some people that weren't little youth group kids. We were, too. Everyone else there (except the band) was a little youth group kid. I forgot how much that holier than thou vibe drives me insane. But in my impressionable high school years, I was one of them, so I can hardly criticize. They put on a skit before Kiros played, which is only worth mentioning because the kid who played Jesus was later overheard devouring popcorn and telling his friend how blazed he was.

Then the guys finally took the stage. Unfortunately, there were a lot of problems with the audio, and even after a mid-show five-minute break for a hula hooping showdown between Tyler and Ryan, the issue still wasn't resolved. I was sorry Ravin and TPO didn't get to see them at their best, but. Water under the bridge.

We hung around after the show and I invited the band to Dairy Queen, promising that we would pay for their ice cream. They wanted to make sure they spent time with all the fans, plus they had to pack up their gear, so it was a while before we got out of there. I was so hungry that Tyler went to find me some pizza, and when he brought back a slice of pepperoni, I devoured it. Someone kept squirting at me with a water gun and it was really pissing me off.

We finally hit the road, with the kids Kiros was staying with in tow, only to find that Dairy Queen was long closed. We ended up at another pit of fast food filth, McDonald's, where Ryan thoroughly infuriated the lady taking orders by asking why certain items weren't on the menu if they were, in fact, available. Then, while we waited for our ice cream, he stuck his finger up my nose. All I have to say about that is, someone recently told me that "unwanted penetration" is the definition of rape.

But maybe I deserved it. I did, after all, try to fish the $20 he stole from me out of his pocket when he wouldn't give it back.

We annoyed the hell out of the Mickey's staff until someone remembered that we had lil babies with us, who needed to be brought home at a reasonable hour, and we parted ways. Ryan made me promise to wear my heart shaped sunglasses to the show the following day and stand in the front row right where he plays so he could take them and wear them during his solo. I promised. I nabbed Neil's hat again and said he could have it tomorrow. Hugs all around, and then Ravin, TPO and I drove back to Ravin's house, enjoying that delicious buzz that comes from a night full of good music, good friends, and good ice cream (and had nothing to do with driving through Weedville.)

Ikea, do you kea?

I know, I know... bad pun, especially since Mama Swede says it's not even pronounced "eye-kea." Gotta trust the Swedish lady on this one. BUT BACK ON TOPIC. Have you ever been there? Pants down, most terrifying shopping experience of my life! The building was big enough to host the Vans Warped Tour, comprising a massive showroom and an even more massive warehouse, where you have to go track down the item you found on the showroom floor by aisle (#1-1000) and bin number. Then you gotta lug the furniture all the way to the checkout, where you get to sit in the shopper's equivalent of rush hour WHILE STARING AT THE SCRUMPTIOUS FOOD BEING SOLD FOR SICKENINGLY LOW PRICES JUST BEYOND THE CASH REGISTERS.

All of this for a CD storage rack. Would you believe nobody sells them anymore? We tried Wal*Mart, Target, Sears, F.Y.E., Home Goods, and some local furniture consignment shops, all to no avail. The problem is all this newfangled mp3 nonsense. If people would just buy compact discs the way they did in the 1990s, stores would carry space-effective storage racks for them, but NOOO. CDs are SO 2000-and-late. We've got to be PIRATES, yo!

The Swedish Mama pronounces it "Ick-ea," and I must say... I like that name better.

Let's get down to business... to defeat the Huns!

I have a confession to make. Now, they say the more sins you confess, the more books you will sell; let's see if it works for my video scholarship entry,"Econopalooza!"

When I went to bed last night, I was going to give up. I was going to send out a mass e-mail this morning saying "thanks for playing, try again." Because everyone I knew had pulled out all the stops and I still couldn't get out of fourth and fifth place, so it seemed silly to keep burdening people with the responsibility of voting for the thing.

BUT THEN, I woke up today to find myself in THIRD, which is just one step short of SECOND and the $1000 that come with it, and two steps short of FIRST and the $5000 that come with that. Someone somewhere must have done something right, and I thank you, whoever you are. Please keep voting, as there are only 2 1/2 days left in the contest! Every victory is a small victory; let's not let it slip away!

Peace, love, and Mulan,
Miss Rex

A person's a person, no matter how...

I just got back from seeing District 9 with Boyfriend, and I must say - WOW. This is the first original storyline I've seen in ages, and for that I salute writers Neill Blomkamp (who also directed it) and Terri Tatchell. Not too many people bother making up their own story these days.

Without spoiling anything, here's the scoop: an alien spacecraft has been stationed over South Africa for two decades, and the sickly aliens found inside it were placed in "district 9," which became a slum and a center for inter-species hate and crime. Wikus Van De Merwe, while trying to evict the aliens so they could be relocated somewhere farther from humans, stupidly gets himself covered with a fluid the aliens have spent 20 years developing to fuel their mini-ship back to the mothership so they could get the heck out of here. This causes our hero to turn into an alien, and he's consequently rejected by his own species. So, Wikus teams up with one of the extraterrestrials, promising to help him return to the mothership in exchange for the antidote that will make him human again.

The best part about this movie is that it pushes the audience into the situation. What WOULD we do if a slum of aliens suddenly abutted our city? How should they be treated? Surely not as humans, for they are not humans. Yet in my opinion, and this has nothing to do with my actual review of the movie but I shall subject you to it anyway, they should be treated with the same respect as humans because there is something inwardly the same. Throughout the story we see that they care for their families, they have formed a functional society, they are incredibly intelligent beyond our scope of understanding, and that they are capable of acceptance and loyalty to others, even those who are not of their kind. None of these things are possible without a soul, and it must be the Christian in me speaking when I say that anything with a soul deserves the same respect as a human being. Of course, the characters in "District 9" felt differently, shooting at the aliens before trying to understand them - but it was done out of fear, and we all know that's exactly how the government would react if this really happened. So props for realism.

I was also impressed with the appearance of the aliens. Technology just keeps getting more amazing. The really impressive thing, though, is that they're a far cry from the standard model of an alien. Think skeleton meets a double lobster meets Davy Jones from the second installment of Pirates. Sick, right?

The marketing strategy for this movie was freaking brilliant. You've probably seen signs around your city saying things like "humans only bathroom." The theater we went to was marked "humans only theater." The ad campaign caught my attention way before I ever had interest in the movie itself, or even knew what the signs were for.

The downside to "District 9" is the sheer amount of graphic violence. Kiddos, this movie is rated "R" for a reason. Granted, unlike many modern movies that depict violence for dumb reasons like "because we can," this violence actually seems necessary to the plot, as the hero will die if he doesn't blow people up with nuclear blasters stolen from the aliens. But it's still. Gross. Even though my boy's taste in movies has desensitized me more than I realized until I walked out of the theater tonight.

Like so many trendy movies, "District 9" used footage shot with a handheld camera. That is my pet peeve about action flicks. It's impossible to follow events when the camera's all over the place and not even pointing at the action. This is no reason to miss out on the experience; the Bourne movies are way worse. It was just a little too much of a good thing. If they'd chilled out on the shake it would have been a nice touch, considering that they tried to pass the film off as a documentary.

I won't give away the ending, but the movie definitely sets itself up for a sequel. There was a time I would've said "just give me the whole story. I need closure before I leave this theater." However, considering that EVERYTHING gets a sequel these days whether it needs one or not, it's nice to know that there are still some issues to be resolved in the inevitable "District 10."

The Bucket List

In light of the fact I won't be a teenager much longer, I've been thinking a little bit about death. Actually though, I've been thinking more about life, specifically all the crazy wonderful amazingtastic things this world has to offer that I'd like to do before I kick the bucket. So here it is, that epic tome of everything I've always wanted to do as well as some things I've only recently realized I wanted to do. First Edition, to be amended.


1. Visit all 50 states
2. Go to Australia
b. Scuba dive and see the Great Barrier Reef
3. Go to Japan
4. Go to Scotland
5. Go to England
b. write a book there
c. go backpacking
6. Trans-America road trip
7. Trans-Atlantic sea voyage (sooner rather than later since I need the experience to write my next book. If you can hook me up with that, PLEASE DO SO. I'll be forever indebted to you.)
8. Learn the constellations
9. See the Northern Lights
10. Take a flight in a hot air balloon
11. Kiss someone at the top of a Ferris Wheel
12. Go parasailing
13. Take a spin on one of those Miyazaki-esque flying machines (no, I don't mean an airplane; these have a little motor and a big parachute, and are just for one person).
14. Live on Coronado Island
15. Live in Colorado Springs
16. Live in a sphere. They have spheres you can rent for a weekend in the Canadian rainforest. I kid you not.
17. Have a room full of clocks.
18. Have my own tower (a lighthouse would also do.)
19. Go white water rafting through the Grand Canyon (can you do that? If not, I can settle for somewhere else. If I have to.)
20. Hike the Appalachian trail
21. Learn to surf
22. Ride an elephant
23. Work on a farm
b. Have a milk cow
24. Go wassailing
25. Be in a band
26. See Mutemath live in concert
27. Have my book made into a movie
28. Catch a drumstick at a show
29. Meet Switchfoot
30. Attend an integrated or all-black church regularly for a year
31. Have a record collection
32. Have a song written about me
33. Go to Hogwarts castle


Long live the scene!

"You can ride to the top, but you can't ride on my cock." At least that's what Gabe Saporta says in one of the tracks off Cobra Starship's new album, Hot Mess. So why can't I shake the fishy feeling that this formerly unknown dance-pop band has collectively ridden somebody's cock by collaborating with Gossip Girl's Leighton Meester on their recent single? Okay, Gabe only teamed up with Meester because he was totally crushin'; I can't accuse him of ulterior motives (um, at least not as far as the band's popularity is concerned). But you can't deny she was the magical ingredient that went *SHAZAM! AIRTIME!* for this otherwise obscure crew of neon NYC rapscallions.

Potential hypocrisy aside, the new album: Is it hot, or is it just a mess? Well let me tell you, my friends, it's not just hot. And it's not your typical mess. It's a HOT MESS. It's the same old Cobra, plus a surprising jazzy undertone and the faint aroma of musical (if not actual) maturation. The same old tongue in cheek is apparent in such titles as "Living in the Sky with Diamonds." The same old we-don't-give-a-shit attitude still reigns, lyrically and even stylistically. The same old infectious beats and melodies beg that the volume knob be turned all the way clockwise. Before you can say "Move Like You Gonna Die," you'll be dancing your neon little heart out. Same old, same old - but there's nothing worn out about the new album. It's enough of the old to placate the fans and enough new to keep things interesting. I think my favorite track is "You're Not in on the Joke." Because for some reason, Gabe Saporta stuttering "tongue in cheek" is delicious.

Now if you'll pardon me, I'm having a hard time keeping my butt in the chair. If you wanna dance you know where the party's at ^_~

By the way, don't forget to vote for my video today! Thanks to my SITstas, Mr. Condescending, and everyone else for the incredible support - keep it up!

Peace, love, and Oxford commas -
Miss Rex

Be my hero!

Remember that video scholarship contest that I asked you all to vote for a couple weeks ago? Right - how could you forget? WELL. My entry is now one of ten semi-finalists and it needs YOUR votes to win! It's up to you: will I receive first prize, $5000 toward my education? Second prize, $1000 towards my education? Even if I don't place 1st or 2nd I will still receive $250 toward school, and that alone is entirely thanks to you guys!

Please take 30 seconds to watch my video if you haven't, and vote for it between now and August 25! You can vote once every 24 hours until then.

If you'd like to be reminded to vote daily, please join my Facebook group and I'll send reminder messages! If not, that's okay, but please vote at least once!

We're almost there! Thanks everyone!
Peace, love, and godspeed on the devil's thunder -
Miss Rex

Costumes for the Zoo


I visited my good friend Jenniferin at school today since she'll be leaving the state soon and heaven knows when I'll see her again. We had dinner at Bugaboo Creek, which was no less delicious for the talking wildlife accosting us every few minutes. I kept yelling at them that I was gonna eat them next. That shut em up real good.

Then we went to the mall and made fun of fashions. We had such a grand time that I couldn't resist sharing some of our finds.

Hello Rainbow Brite.

I call this one Buffalo Stripes. Don't do it or I'll put you in a zoo, you animal.

Someone call Joseph. I found his amazing technicolor dream coat.

I call this one the Barf Boob Dress. There's just this nondescript mess cascading down the breastal area as if you simply could not hold down that blue raspberry slushie a second longer.

Ah yes. The modified yellow polka dot bikini, which she wore for the first time today. I'm not sure who "she" is but she should be fed to lions for wearing this.

Would you look at that! We've got a lion right here. Oh wait, that's just another hideous shirt that deserves to BURN.

Good thing we've got Moltres over here to light it up for us.

I mean really, at this rate, you might as well just wrap yourself in a picnic blanket and call it quits. What's that? They're charging money for that? Oh... why so they are.

Peace, love and Pokemon.
~ Miss Rex

This is the end of a really sad story.

Tonight Boyfriend and I had the pleasure of driving half an hour to The Pantsless One's house to, allegedly, drink and play Rock Band. However, the two of us wound up sitting alone in the basement while the others upstairs "waited for Mike." When we went up there to see what had become of the elusive Mike, we found the three of them applying for our friend Shark's loans. Then we went to Wendy's, where I made Boyfriend buy me fries that I really shouldn't have eaten. Then we went back to TPO's, where Shark demanded we watch Dracula even though I was pulling for Ghostbusters and even had Boyfriend on my side (which never happens when we're choosing movies). After convincing the rest of us, those three disappeared again and Boyfriend and I sat in the basement without them, watching a movie we didn't want to watch, while they smoked pot without us and didn't even offer us any (not that I'm into that shit). So we drove half an hour home and here we are. The end.


Hey everybody! Sorry it's been so long. How I have missed spilling my guts to each and every one of you! Let's catch up, shall we?

Last week I had the opportunity to go behind the scenes at WBZ. My neighbor, Mr. Ed, took me to work with him and I got to meet the people that make the news happen. Or, I mean, make it appear on TV. Not that it wouldn't be awesome if my neighbor was involved in an international circle of crime responsible for every calamity you see on the news.

Mr. Ed gave me the grand tour and introduced me to tech people, writers, newscasters, and most notably, Ken Barlow the weatherman, who let me push the button that makes the clouds move across the screen. I got to sit in while Jack Williams and Lisa Huges did the 10-and 30-second teasers that air between shows and suck people into watching the news. Mr. Ed filmed and edited those suckers in like thirty minutes flat. He was temporarily working a night shift and sharing an office with Sean, the producer, so I got to meet him too (and got mistaken for his girlfriend by Jack Williams XD). He does that thing I do with videos, where he tries to fit too much stuff in not enough time. Unlike me, he's got someone else (Mr. Ed) trimming to make it fit, and that's where the pressure really happens. Lucky Sean.

Overall I was really impressed at the team they had over there. It's a very well-oiled machine. As much as I'd hate to get in the way of that, I hope there'll be some opportunity for me to get involved, maybe as an intern or a PA or something. Mr. Ed says he'll let me know. Fingers crossed.

Sunday night I saw my birth mother and her husband (who's not my father). I've met Momma once before... not counting the nine months I spent inside her. She was nervous, and even Hubby was cautious lest he do anything to offend us, but everyone relaxed more as the night went on. We took a walk down to the Reservoir and I caught Momma up on some of my recent adventures. Then we lounged in the living room and Momma showed me pictures of their boat on the canal by their home in Florida, and the family at their cabin in Maine. Someday I hope I can visit both in real life, but for now I'm keeping things on my parents' turf (that is, the ones that raised me) until they're comfortable letting my birth parents have a more significant place in my life. Which would never, ever be before the parents I've lived with for twenty years; they've been there through it all and no one could ever replace that.

Other than that, it's been the same old same old... although with my job, nothing is ever really the same old. Sad that I've only got three days left with my kiddos.

Til next time! Peace, love, and toe socks.
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