Tuesday, April 21, 2009

To build Bridges, Cannonballs, and Tongues.


A short list of words to describe the World of Goo.

You build towers and bridges with balls of Goo. Millions of Goo balls. But not all at once. And they come in various colors. And they each have their own laws of physics, personality and hey they might even be sleeping. And you have to take into account gravity and weight and the wind. And it’s a challenge. It reminds me of Portal. And that is a good thing. It was short, sweet, and had more to do with puzzle solving than button mashing. (not that there’s anything wrong with a good button masher.)

Oh, and I watched the whole credits for the world of Goo. No, not because my husband has finally convinced me all good little gamers sit through the entire credits. I sat through the credits because before I realized the game was over, so were the credits.

Yes. The world of Goo is made by the 2D Boy game studio. There are 2 boys making video games. And they rock at it. Three cheers for 2d Boys and their gooey goodness.

Take a look and become a follower of the Goo!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Babysitters Club gets Graphic

Mary Anne Saves the Day: a Graphic Novel by Raina Telgemeier

Day 13 of BEDA

I'm all for graphic novels, but this may be taking it one step too far.

The Babysitters Club series written by Ann Martin has now been adapted to graphic novels. I can't help but wonder, is it really necessary? Martin's books are mostly dialogue and scene development anyways, so I have admit I don't really know if there is a need for graphic art. She also keeps her chapters short and sweet, so again, not so complex we need detailed drawings to help crack the Babysitters code.

Let me know, am I over reacting? How do you feel about turning a series like this into graphic novels?

Divine iPod Intervention

Day 12 of BEDA

Sometimes you just know there's a greater power out there, and today it was ruling my iPod. Have you ever had one of those days where every song you listened to was part of a personal soundtrack?

Here are the songs and the quotes that mysteriously made it's way to my ears when I had my iPod set to random. Just in case you're building a soundtrack for yourself right now, check out these tunes:

No Doubt's "Hey Baby" from Rock Steady -
"With a stranger in my face who says he knows my mom. And went to my high school."

The Killers "All These Thing's That I've Done" from Hot Fuss -
"I've got soul but I'm not a soldier"

Chiodos "Bulls Make Money, Bears Make Money" from Bone Palace Ballet -
"Your wearing your skin like its too tight"

T.I and Justin Timberlake "Dead and Gone" -
"That part of me left yesterday, the heart of me is strong today. No regrets, I'm blessed to say"

Red Hot Chili Peppers "Love Rollercoaster" from the Beavis and Butt-head do America Soundtrack -
"One, two. One, two, three. I've got a ticket so ride with me"

Trapt "Head Strong" from Trapt -
"Conclusions manifest, your first impression's got to be your very best."

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Year the Swallows Came Early

Day 11 of BEDA.

The Year the Swallows Came Early by Kathryn Fitzmaurice.

"Things that look just right come undone quicker then the last day of summer" - Kathryn Fitzmaurice

Occasionally you will read a book that not only speaks to your heart but gives you a shocking sense of clarity. I picked up this book because I was bored and it was short and I figured I needed to try to read something that wasn't fantasy for a change. It's good to live in the real world every now and then. It was almost as if fate drew me to this book, which is ironic because in a subtle way Fitzmaurice talks about fate. She shows that there are some parts of life that are unavoidable, but that doesn't mean there isn't a choice.

When Eleanor "Groovy" Robinson is betrayed by the person she trusts most in the world, she begins to see life from a new set of eyes, and those eyes are dark. She perfectly explains the aftershock of a tragedy when she says "there's no way to track time while trying to understand something completely different about a person you thought was someone else." Who hasn't felt that time stands still after huge shock or unexpected change? As the season progresses, Eleanor realizes that betrayals aren't always as black and white as they seem, and neither are her perceptions. The relateability of her struggle to find her place in this new world that fate and choice have created for her makes this a book a real page turner.

This is an amazing story about how one group of loved ones redefine what it means to be a family and having honest acceptance. One of the more powerful debut novels I've read in a long time, this is a book that can speak to any person in a period of change.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Mixing up too much Sir Mixalot

Any one else getting tired of Sir Mixalot besides me? First, the song. Then, about six years later an episode of Friends where Ross and Rachel are singing the song to their daughter, Emma. Then last month a skit on SNL. Now the Burger King commercial. Seriously, enough already!

Actually, I don't really mind the Burger King one. It's pretty funny, which is why it's the video of the week (if you want to see it, just follow this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5X4TSbGreA). I guess I like it because it's back handedly making fun of SpongeBob even though it's promoting the show. I know I'm the only person in the world who feels this way, but I HATE SpongeBob Squarepants. Well, not him so much as that ridiculous squirrel in the astronaut suit. I have just one question, why is she wearing an astronaut suit when she's under water? If she needs to breathe, isn't a scuba mask a better choice? Seriously!

But really, let's let that trashy song of the 90's fade away. It lost it's luster with me about a decade ago. It's time to move on. Brittany Spears has made enough ridiculous songs this year alone for some good spoofs.

For all the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Fans...

The Frandidate by Jim Benton

This is a little shout out for all of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans out there. (oh, and day 9 of BEDA. I didn't forget, I had technological issues this weekend!)

Meet Franny K. Stein, mad scientist, whose inventions for disaster end up being a disaster. With the same kind of humor you find in Kinney's books, this series is sure to entertain audiences of any age. Benton is a the bridge between the Captain Underpants books and the Wimpy Kid books. It may be a random blend, but it's a well constructed blend. I didn't know kids books could talk about politics and other social issues while still having weird cartoons and pictures every few pages. Now that I've read it, I can't imagine going back.

So if you're looking for a read-alike that doesn't feel like a copy cat, be sure to check out this series.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Step into the Enchanted Forrest

Dealing With Dragons by Patricia Wrede

Enter day 8 of BEDA and the Enchanted Forrest series, where wizards are wicked and dragons are your best friend.

It’s no secret, I’m a huge fan of stories that play off stuff we know and love. If it’s a fairy tale, all the better. This is a fantastically funny series that isn't afraid of teasing the expected plot line. Wrede is so clever when writing this collection. While the books are the best when read in order, each book is so entertaining you don’t need one to follow the other. But I want to tell you, read them in order. Each book is told through the viewpoint of a different member, working it's way through the generations.

Where women are kings, mirrors have attitude issues, and soapy water (with a little lemon) brings unexpected surprises, this series is sure to provide high class entertainment.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Love Being Haunted by the Black Ghosts

BEDA Day 7

I know the Twilight soundtrack has been out forever, but I can't seem to get it out of my CD player. Actually, I can't get off the third track. The Black Ghosts has this a-MAZE-ing song "Full Moon" that rocks my socks. I'm addicted to it so I figured, why not make it the song of the week?

I don't know why, but every time I hear this song the word "deconstructed" pops into my head. It isn't really deconstructed. It is a solid and well organized piece. I think what makes me think deconstruction is it's exposure of all its nuts and bolds. This band cleverly tears apart it's components and builds it back up piece by piece. For some reason hearing them lay those parts on top of each other makes the ending so much more powerful then the beginning even though it's basically the same thing. Oh, and to top it off, it has a killer base line. A good base line can make or break a song, and this is the perfect example of how much better the song is because of that line. And the ending has this random bell note that goes back to that deconstructed thing. That note is so unexpected, but after hearing it, you can't help but think it's necessary. If they were to take it out now, the song would be ruined.

Musical logistics not your thing? Don't worry lyric lovers, this song will be right up your alley. Seriously, check this out: "But I don't know where I am and I don't trust who I've been". Stellar.

Want to give it a listen? Check out the Twilight soundtrack today!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Under a Twilight umbrella

April showers may bring May flowers, but a Twilight umbrella is sure to bring fan obsession to a new level.

Starting April 11, for a mere $25 you can purchase your very own Twilight umbrella. That's right, Robert Pattinson will actually be able to protect you. I know it's not as steamy as when he sucked to venom out of Bella so she could remain human, but I'll take what I can get.

Actually, the company that is putting out the umbrella has a whole bunch of other Twilight goodness, including Edward dolls and life sized cut outs. Now that will warm the chill from any storm!

Get Teen Ink-ified

I know I'm only at day 5 of BEDA, but already I'm starting to get a little tapped out. Who knew 30 days of creative writing could be such a challenge? I know I can find something interesting to talk about for a month, but sometimes a girl needs some inspiration. So while trying to help myself out today, I visited one of my favorite websites, Teen Ink. To give you a feel for the vibe this site is offering, read their quote of the day by Jack London: "You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club". Nice.

Teen Ink is a magazine where everything is teen made and teen produced. I've seen a few websites where the people who are reviewing books and music are teenagers, like I Heart Daily, but this is one of the few sites that I know of where the things they are reviewing are also created by teenagers. Seriously, everything. Including non-fiction books.
It's about time there was a sight out there that showed what teens are really capable of. What makes Teen Ink even better is that it's not new, they've been around since 1989. Kind of cool that the people who are writing for this magazine today weren't even born when the magazine was launched. It just goes to show that the voice of young people is strong, powerful and continually needs to be heard.
Speaking of being heard, you should read a poem that I found today, "Our Relationship Would Be Easier if You Would Just Play Nice," by Megan B. Gilford. Very powerful. Gilford's voice is fresh and fierce and knocks a lot of modern adult poets out of the water. Think your writing makes Gilford's look like child's play? This website also let's you know what you have to do for them to publish your work.
So if you're looking for a new magazine to follow, check out Teen Ink. You won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Gossip Girl creating fashion designers?

Beda Day 4

So I'm sure you've heard the phrase "art imitating life" but what about the other way around?

Much like her character on Gossip Girl, Jenny Humphry, Taylor Momsen is apparently going to be launching her own fashion line in the very near future. I can't help but ask the question, if she wasn't one of the stars of a fashion forward TV show, would she even be interested in being a designer? And if her character didn't design such stellar stuff, would we be interested in her line? I'm the first to admit that I get a lot of my fashion advice from trash TV like everything on the CW and reality shows, but I don't for a second think that the actors are the people who make these decisions. It was really just a fluke that Sarah Jessica Parker had her own sense of style pre-SATC, and because of that I find myself going to the show stylist pages rather then the stars when I want to know what color is in or if I should wear headbands.

But who knows, maybe Taylor knows her stuff. I usually see her on the what to do lists instead of the what to don'ts. I guess it doesn't really matter whose making it as long as GG keeps showing it. Lets just hope Momsen doesn't become a funkified diva like Little J...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Rapunzel's Revenge

Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale

Welcome to the Wild Wild West of Fairy Tales and day 3 of BEDA.

If you know me at all, you know there are three things that I love: music, fractured fairy tales, and Ben and Jerry's Chubby Hubby Ice Cream. And while I tend to go on and on about how great the ice cream is, (Come on! Peanut butter filled chocolate covered pretzels in chocolate ice cream! What's not to love?) nothing is more delicious then taking a story you know and love and changing it to something almost unrecognizable.

That's what we have with this stellar graphic novel. I've been having this long standing debate with friend of mine about whether or not graphic novels should be considered quality reading. She has some doubt. So all of you doubters out there, you need to check out this book. Forget everything you know about fair maidens waiting for a man to stumble against some random tower and save the day. This princess is the key to her own success.

Normally I hate westerns. There's something about all that sand and sun and sweat that instantly makes me head for the showers, and possibly the ice cream isle. But as soon as I saw Rapunzel lasso her braids around a tree in this book to plan her escape, my skin started crawling in the best way. That's right, a hair lasso. James Bond was never so clever. And while it is great to read about it, seeing it beautifully illustrated adds a level of cool that no regular book can.

So in some ways, graphic novels are the fractured fairy tales of the novel world. I'll never get enough of taking something expected and making it cooler. Now if only I could grow out my hair...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Lemony Snicket-isms

Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid by Lemony Snicket

Day 2 of BEDA.

I love books that are supposed to impart some wonderful words of wisdom or some little anecdotes that are apparently there to make life wonderful. I love them because they are ludicrous. Lemony Snicket gets it right. Instead of writing about the wonderfulness that is right around the corner, he, in is very Snickety way, tells you how to push past the rubbish and keep on trucking. That life doesn't need to be a bed full of roses to get something good out of it. That's the sort of wisdom I can get behind.

Don't believe Snicket is an untapped source of wisdom? Check out this witticism:

"Having a personal philosophyis like having a pet marmoset,
because it may be very attractive when you acquire it,
but there may be situations when it will not come in handy at all."

Genius! So maybe it isn't a witticism, but I think it's safe to say a Snicketism.

30 days of blogging

I've been catching up on my favorite blogs when I saw the coolest thing from Maureen Johnson. She has committed to blogging every day in the month of April. How awesome is that? So, in a complete groupie movement, I decided I would be a follower and join the BEDA movement. So here it is:

1. Blog every day in April.

I commit to this idea and am determined to create something EVERY DAY in April, including weekends. Every day, I will find something to say. I embrace the reality that there is always something to talk about, if you are willing to take the time to look for it. I, Tina H., from Mentor Public Library, promise to blog every day in April.

Now, in true Tina fashion, I started a little late, so I will actually blog every day until May 3. So I guess I'm taking the BEDAPTED challenge (Blog Every Day in April Plus Three Extra Days).

For information on my bogarted mission, visit: http://maureenjohnson.blogspot.com/2009/03/blog-every-day-april.html

The Reformed Vampire Support Group

The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks

No doubt about it, the best part about working for a library is seeing stuff before everybody else does. I'd like to say it's being around people, or the free exchange of information and technology, and while all that's well and good, it's really the new stuff. We get paid to be on the cutting edge. In fact, people ship us stuff early, before it's even officially on the market, before they even do the final spell check, so we can get a taste of what's hot before the riots start at the check out counters. Bet you didn't know being a librarian instantly makes you VIP.

I just finished the coolest book of 2009 because of this pseudo-celeb status; The Reformed Vampire Support Group. It's due to come out mid-April. If you think you know vampires, you need to read this book. While Twilight makes the land of the undead seem intriguing, stealth, and sexy, Jinks shows you the side of vampires that won't make it to the romance section. Senior citizen vampires with walkers, vampires with mothers, and vampires with anxiety disorders entertain you from cover to cover as these characters are brought together through group therapy to thwart their desire to kill. No vampire book is complete without a little lycanthrope, and the werewolves in this book are just as hilarious and demented as the blood suckers. Throw in a little accidental staking and a spontaneous road trip and you have a recipe for success, along with a new found thirst for mortality.

Ready for some therapy? Get on the request list today!

Seether crawls out from under the covers

This week I have been laid up with some HORRIBLE sinus disgustingness. (Oh, haven't you heard? When you're sick you can make up words). I don't know about the rest of you, but I hate being so sick that you can't do anything but watch daytime law shows who all have some sort of "shocking" DNA baby-momma-drama revelations. It causes a person's mind to wander in circles like a stationary bike.
Speaking of going around in circles, is anyone else a little done with the Flo Rida cover "Right Round"? It totally rips off that 80's song "You Spin Me Round" by Dead or Alive. Great groovin' tune, but really, who are you fooling? Nothing original there except the scandalous lyrics.

Don't me wrong, I love a good cover, but call it what it is; somone else's. I firmly believe you can make a remake special and sometimes re-doing something is neccessary. When I shoot pool I call it the red-head-re-do, which I suppose really only applies to me, but there people who can do it right. There are bands who really know how to apply a fresh sound. Take "Careless Whisper". Seether, who I have loved way before that Amy Lee girl ever did, recreated a George Michael classic. I sort of wish that I could have heard this version first because it is so, so good. I can actually see them never dancing again, just standing there like melancholy wall flowers *sigh*. Mediocre song retold by a fantastic artist = great cover.

Sometimes really great songs are redone by even better artists. There is nothing like a music icon paying homage to a not-so-distant masterpiece. Think about the Johnny Cash remake of the Nine Inch Nails song, "Hurt". If his version doesn't make your heart ache, then no loss ever will. And I will never forget when I went to a Motely Crew concert and they opened up their show with System of a Down's "Suite-Pee". Midgets and clowns never seemed so right.

So here's for not covering up the good stuff, but for reinventing it, making "Careless Whisper" the song of the week.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

It’s History, only not…..

April brings rain and history. Well, history in story form. It’s Historical fiction month here at MPL and of course we have suggestions for you. Did you really need to ask?

Octavian Nothing by M.T. Anderson
The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbel Bartoletti
Miss Spitfire by Sarah Elizabeth Miller
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Al Capone Does my Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
In darkness, Death by Dorothy Hoobler
My brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier

Graphic Novels:

Maus : A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman
Peace Maker by Nanae Chrono
Laika by Mick Abadzis
300 by Frank Miller
Ruse by Mark Waid
Samurai Champloo by Masaru Gotsubo