PatD!: And then there was one

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Panic at the Disco! came to town and I couldn’t resist. I bought myself a ticket.

They were a particular favorite of mine in high school, these day they have been relegated to being a guilty pleasure. But lets be honest they are a very well played guilty pleasure. It all started with “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” and more recently, “The Ballad of Mona Lisa” and “Miss Jackson.” Brendon Urie, the lead singer, as always, is magnetic. There is something about his expression of music and passion of singing that really sticks with you.

Brendon was the only historical member of the band in attendance at the show I most recently attended, though, I recognized the always attractive Dallon Weekes from a previous show prior to his becoming a official member of the band. Brendon explained Spencer Smith’s absence however and all I have to say is  happy vibes and good thoughts for Mr. Smith as he starts on the road to recovery.

Give them a listen! I definitely didn’t regret it.

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Running Along

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Not long ago I saw a trailer for The Maze Runner the movie which will be starring Dylan O’Brien, Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Kaya Scodelario, both of whom I have enjoyed in other guilty pleasures ( Teen Wolf, Love Actually and Skins UK, respectively). Dylan is hilarious! While Kaya is really gorgeous. I am excited to see the two of them in more substantial rolls.

At the time I saw the trailer I know of the book but had not read it. It was no where on my reading list at all but I had heard quite a bit of buzz about it. I am always excited to read a book and then see the movie to look for similarities in my imagination compared to the movie industry, so I picked up the audiobook from my library.

The book was very good and very engrossing. I was surprised by how addicted to the story I was. The book is definitely written for boys which was refreshing. It was more spartan in its story but the story had focus and just enough detail, nothing superfluous. Thomas’s hot tempered nature was new compared to some of the idyllic heroes in books written by women. The story slowly eases you into the conspiracy behind the Maze, giving you little tidbits and making you hungry for more.

At the time I listen to the book I did not know it was a series and was actually a little shocked when I found out. I am starting the Scorch Trials soon though! I am a sucker for a good conspiracy and dystopian fluff.

The movie will be out September 19th of this year. Can’t wait!

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Hung Liu: A Window into China

I used to intern at the Byron Cohen Gallery and Hung Liu was one of their featured artists. Her work really spoke my heritage and my aesthetic inclinations. Even today I find myself reminiscing about her work every now and then.

She started her education and artistic career in China and then came to America. Her pieces are simple portraits enhanced by thematic adornments. I really like the historical feel to some of her pieces, especially in contrast to her bright and joyous use of color. Her paintings and tapestry are superb but the multi-layer lacquer pieces are my absolute favorite. Many of them feature large areas or even backgrounds of glittering gold and the multiple layers of lacquer give them incredible depth.

Hung Liu’s many subjects are diverse and have been taken from photographs or even tomb murals of historical Chinese royalty. They evoke a feeling of age that balances her abstract style. Then she has more traditional paintings featuring a mixture of modern figures and features which seem to be her window into China today. They don’t have specific themes or messages but just evoke certain emotions. The emotions while viewing her pieces is real. All her pieces have a fairy tale elegance and ambiance about them.

 

The Photos below do not do it justice and were all collected from google.

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image for "Hung Liu, Early Morning" is to be displayed hereThere will be a show in KC for her at the Sherry Leedy Contempory Gallery in memory of Byron Cohen. It will open Sept 5th at First Fridays and run until October 31st.

 

Let’s go back to Nickel Creek

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I already know that one of my Top Ten Moments for 2014 is the reunion of the band Nickel Creek. Granted they may only be back together for this one album but I will take whatever I can get. And god bless them for going on tour once again.

Their newest album after the the 7 year hiatus is A Dotted Line. It is new, different and still purely Nickel Creek as they have always been. Our beloved trio is “grown up”, world weary and wise. They are more fun, see the song “Hayloft”, more funny, see ” 21st of May” and more world weary, see the rest of the album.

They looked older and tired but they still had their camaraderie and humor. The thing I loved about their previous shows was all the anecdotes about the songs and how they came about and that has not changed for Nickel Creek. They are still just as adorable and entertaining as always!

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GODUS

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I am not a gamer but I have found myself crazy addicted to many a game via my phone or iPad. Words with Friends, Plants vs. Zombies, Dice with Friends,  Jelly Splash, Dots to just name a few. My latest obsession is Godus. I find most my games off top ten lists in the Apple App store. Godus’s icon is sleek and artsy looking and when I looked at the screenshots it was really gorgeous. And the premise, getting to play god, who can resist that?

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When I first started it seemed alright. The instructions are sparse and you really need to mess around to get a feel for it. It also seemed like a lot of responsibility all of a sudden trying to get my “followers” to the right place. The followers have some free will like the will to get lost or walk in the wrong direction so as god I had to keep them on the right path. I didn’t realized a lot of things. It took me a few days to figure out the how the cards and stickers worked and how to redeem them. I felt like an old lady when I finally did figure it out.

The goals for the game are to retain your followers and grow your civilization. They will evolve through the various ages and learn so your settlements can grow in complexity. Right now I am trying to add more and more farmers. The opposition is another settlement with a separate philosophy. At times you can find yourself losing followers to the other group. Fickle acolytes all of them. It is interesting trying to find the various challenges and it has a SIMS aspect as you shape the world “in your image”. There are side adventures called voyages. Theses are like little island puzzles. While I have figured out how to play I have to say I think I am getting worse at these voyage puzzles. I find myself losing followers on every trip.

If you are looking for something to really take up your time this should be a consideration.

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Just Read: Everything I Never Told You

If anything, do read Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. While narrative and perspective are often times jumbled between time, drifting precariously from the 1950s to the turbulent 70s, you can’t but help feel drawn to the conflicted nature of this debut novel.

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Ng’s debut centers around the death of middle sibling Lydia Lee and the black hole she leaves within the mixed race family. I found Lydia’s parents’ back story more compelling than the mystery surrounding Lydia’s death and in the end, when we are finally given the precise circumstances surrounding the unexpected tragedy, I found myself wanting more and slightly unsatisfied with the answers given…

Everything I Never Told You isn’t the best summer read I’ve devoured thus far, but it is an intriguing and oddly enjoyable one.

Recommend? Yes.

Obvious Child: Q + A

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Grace asked Mia:

1. When and how did you first get interested in this movie? Did you know ofthese actors before this movie?

I watched the trailer for it and recognized Jenny Slate as “Mona Lisa” from
Parks and Recreation. Also, it being billed as an “Abortion Comedy” spiked
my attention despite the filmmakers’ aims to disassociate from that
tagline.

2. How did the movie make you feel? Did it impart any feeling or message
upon you?

I appreciated that there wan an absence of message. The film, in my
opinion, was really about the struggles of a woman in her late twenties and
this “thing” happens to her and we follow this emotionally charged journey on how
she deals with life’s obstacles.

3. Do you feel the movie was trying I send a message?

No.

4. Are you familiar with this screenwriter? What other works of
theirs have you seen?

The filmmakers behind this indie hit are all first time, feature length
writers, directors and producers. Obvious Child was based on a short film
(which most full length films are these days) and collaboration between
these professionals

5. How do you feel about abortion? How do you feel about how NY was
portrayed in the film?

I “feel” that abortion is a choice. New York, or rather, Brooklyn
was fairly represented. I enjoyed the subtle comedy of Brooklyn vs.
Manhattan, rent, independent bookstores, and obscure comedy clubs in
Williamsburg.

Mia asked Grace:

1. Describe the audience where you saw this film.

I viewed the movie at the Tivoli Theater in St. Louis. We walked in right as it was starting so I don’t remember the other movie goers. I think there were 6-8 other people plus us three. My friend Kelsey remembers two older ladies behind us. I remember seeing a young couple in front of us.

2. Was it difficult to find a theater where this film was showing?

Yes! The AMC in KC said they would have it but kept changing the date. The Tivoli here did have it but only offered 3 showings and only one I could make after I got off work at five in the afternoon. Also the Tivoli in KC is pretty far from my house in suburbia so I have to make a serious effort to get out there.

3. What was your initial reaction to the abortion scene?

There was a palpable tension as we were watching. I kept expecting something, I am not sure, more unpleasant but it was so matter of fact and Donna and Max were so cute that it relaxed the whole situation. The scene where she is sitting with all the other women after the procedure is interesting though. I felt ambiguous about it. I think I was waiting for the characters reactions and she didn’t seem to feel strongly any one way.

4. Did your perspective change at all after seeing this film?

About abortion? Not really? Maybe I feel more comfortable about it if I have to have one? I am not sure I will know how I really feel about abortion until I am in that situation where I have to make a decision.

5. What is your biggest praise and complaint on Obvious Child.

OMG! (yes, I just oh my god-ed) Max and Donna were super cute! I love their quirky relationship. She kept doing strange bizarrely hilarious things and he liked her more for them! My biggest complaint was all the awkward jokes in her comedy routine. I am terrible with awkward humor. It makes my chest hurt with awkwardness.

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