Eleanor’s Corner

Julie Plum: Crap Exorcist

What total and utter crap.

Update: Violet has informed me that this does not actually constitute a review. I don’t think this particular book deserves any more of my time, but to appease my sister, here we go. Begin rant.

Brief Synopsis: A 16 year old girl runs around a (literal) ghost town looking to exorcise a demon accompanied by 2 friends and a useless tagalong boyfriend.

That’s it. That’s the whole story.

For some reason, this town in Anywhere, USA (but totally MidWest, let’s be honest) is completely evacuated of all living inhabitants because of a single demon possessed boy. Apparently there were no priests or any other kind of professional that could have been called, so bring in the inexperienced teen!

This quickly brings into questioning, who is paying this girl? Is the city paying her? Are there even still city officials/finances to pay her?? And what happened to the people who did live in this city? Did they just find the demon possessed and pick up and go? Is this why the city in Footloose became the city in Footloose? These are not questions to disturb a certain author, it would seem.

Whatever the back story, young Julie Plum, our “heroine” (and I’m seriously stretching the meaning of the word), takes to her first exorcism. Followed closely by her friends who are really only there to carry giant books of Latin incantations. –I would like to note how easy it just was to convey the idea that Latin incantations were spoken. It literally took no Latin. This chick wrote out e v e r y incantation that was used in its entirety. I swear I skimmed through half the book, because why would I ever take the time to read through a language I don’t speak or understand.-

At least her friends had some kind of use. Because otherwise we would only be left with her fumbling, bumbling boyfriend. This guy screwed up every attempt at the exorcism. It actually took them the entire book to exorcise a single demon because this idiot wouldn’t just stay in the car!

Above all else, all I can say is: Girls, just leave it to the (extremely attractive) professionals.

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Benedict Cumberbatch and his Undeniably Snape-like Voice

First of all, I would like to start by saying that the fact that Violet feels so strongly about an off-handed comment on the similarities of 2 men’s voices is absolutely ridiculous. Seriously, Vi, had I known this whole argument would have been triggered, I would have kept my opinion (no matter how simple and plainly obvious it may be) to myself.

Now, to the matter at hand. To Mr. Cumberbatch’s credit (and to Violet’s), he is indeed a fantastic actor. On this we will always agree. I will also stop to note that Alan Rickman is an amazing actor. (As for Snape, well, that path may just be a little too dark, too treacherous for a simple blog post. A discussion for another time, perhaps.)

*Side note: For a fun, interactive activity, try singing Benedict Cumberbatch to the tune of Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust.”

And as different as these actors/men may be, you cannot combat that both of them (especially when Alan Rickman is portraying Snape) have deep, methodical voices. For the sake of argument, we will use Benedict specifically as Sherlock. Both Sherlock and Snape have an ever-running inner monologue that the audience/other characters are not necessarily privy to. So, when they speak it is very calculated and direct. I will give you that Snape will draw things out whereas Sherlock speaks quickly, but in terms of sound and sound alone (the only thing on freakin trial here), there is a definite similarity. So much so, that he has been asked to do impressions on late night shows:

Now to looks. While I can appreciate a man’s talent, I will not be so blinded as to say his… unconventional, shall we say, features are attractive. Maybe calling him a weird alien was out of line, but still.

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No, actually, I stand by my statement.

He is a weird alien giraffe man. Just look at this candid photo:

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See what I mean?

Violet, you are my little sister, and I love you dearly, but I cannot with integrity admit that he is a gorgeous anything. However, I will say, he is a sight to behold (however you wanna take that).

Man Buns: Hot or Not?

Okay, so, this is an issue on which my sister and I are, to say the least, divided. And it’s an issue that is just so very important.

We’re talking about man buns. That is a bun- on the head of a man.

I’d like to start my argument with this:

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I mean, I really don’t think I need to say more, but just in case (and just for good measure, and really just cuz I can):

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Just look at its majesty.

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Looooooook!

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It’s almost too much… And yet…

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And don’t. Do NOT get me started on the glory that is Jason Momoa

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I mean, the man knows how to bun.

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Game of Man Buns:

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I can’t even handle it.

In all honesty, I don’t even know why this is up for debate. Clearly, the man bun is in. I’m right. And that’s all that matters.

Broadway Baby: My Life is Ruined

She won’t. stop. SCREAMING!

Yes, it is true. The movie no one wanted or even thought should ever actually be a thing is now indeed, a thing. Boy Parade is making a movie. A not just any movie. One that takes place (kinda?) on Broadway. That place is sacred, man, come on.

What we’ve gathered (once I calmed Violet down) is that Danny plays Billy (is that a Billy Elliot nod? Cuz it needs to not be) who flies to New York to become a Broadway star only to be rejected by everyone (art imitates life, you see).

So, he decides to write his own show with the help of older brother, Eric who plays Chris, supposedly. I swear to you, he is slated as “Chris,” but in one of the scenes IN THE TRAILER, they flat out call him Eric. Did no one notice? Does no one care? Is he really just too dumb to be able to respond to a fake name? My money’s on one, if not both, of the latter two.

Miles and Justin P play a Bert & Ernie type couple named Robbie and Ronnie… seriously… who are choreographers (honestly, if that right there was the whole movie…. I’d watch it).

And Justin T is a DJ (named DJ apparently? Is it a job, it is a name? Who cares!) who is enlisted for some reason or another for this Broadway show.

The main song (which I have already heard the 5 second clip way too many times for my sanity’s sake) is called “Boys on Parade” and, from what I can tell, it sounds remarkably like me gagging.

I know that Violet’s going to make us go on opening night, which means that we’ll be lining up by 7, as if someone were to be ahead of us. Her excitement is at dangerously high levels. I swear, I just saw her looking up colleges in New York (purely coincidental, I’m sure).

Well, until this monstrosity hits theaters and Violet stops talking (singing, screaming, etc) about it, I’ll just have to use this pillow to muffle my own screams. But, oh, are they of a different variety.

Freaky Friday Make-Overs

And I mean freaky.

As Violet so perfectly explained previously, we decided to do sisterly make-overs on one another. And as just about anyone could have expected, the results left much to be desired. So much so, that someone literally deleted all the pictures! I did not break a sweat, and my ankles nearly (thanks again for those deathtraps you strapped to my feet) for nothing! Without further ado, here’s what happened.

What I Did For Her:

I decided that my goody-two-shoes of a little sister needed a major update. I replaced her sweater ways with leather. So much leather. So good. Specifically, I gave her a black leather skirt, biker boots, and a simple white tee. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the vest to complete the look (because, apparently my room “looks like a tornado went through.” Moms are great, aren’t they?).

With her dressed so perfectly, we moved onto make-up. Such an ensemble requires heavy, dark eyeliner and lips as dark as the blood of your enemies. I had to cake on the blush just to try to give her some color, because, let’s face facts, that girl is pale as a ghost!

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I mean, if I had the skill, this is what she should have looked like

Body and face were done, so next was hair. And yes, I did give her a man bun. Because, sadly, my own hair is just far too thin to sustain the glory, so I must live vicariously (which I do whenever she sits still long enough…. so, usually when she’s reading. I can get away with anything then, she literally will not notice). And here, I must point out that had you let me give you bangs, IT WOULD HAVE LOOKED FAR LESS MAN-ISH!
Hide the sheers all you want, but I guarantee you, I will find them. And Mom’s not home, Violet. Mom’s. Not. Home.

Overall, I made this mouse of a girl into an edgy woman. Seriously, who doesn’t want to look like a 26 year old biker chick? Get your brain checked! It was magnificent.
What She Did to Me:

First off all, out of what can only be described as vengeance/envy, she pinned back my bangs. My signature, my love. Gone. Then, she proceeded to curl every hair (seriously, though, why does that take so long?) into an angelic, half-up do *insert gagging noises*
“Ridiculously gorgeous” she said. It was a beehive. Seriously.

She then clad me in a black circle skirt, white blouse (do you seriously iron your clothes?!), and pink cardigan. And it was not a subtle pink. I got lacy bow tights for …. “edge.” Edge?! Lacy bows are not edgy, sister dear. And those shoes! Your picture is misleading!! That pink makes them seem cute and unassuming, but those black monstrosities you strapped me into were lethal! That strap is not decoration. They are meant to prevent the breaking of ankles, which I assure you, I would have still managed had I stayed in them a second longer.

Finally, for make-up, she ran a couple brushes and a tube of lipstick over my face and called it made. The natural look apparently means naked-faced to this one.

Basically, by the end, I was all ready for church.

If there is a lesson to be learned, I think that it’s to just leave each other’s styles alone (even though, you actually looked amazing… And you should get bangs).

Supernaturally Amazing

I feel as though it is my duty to talk about and praise the greatest show that has ever existed. So, I present to you: Supernatural.

Let me begin with the two greatest arguments I could give you.
First:
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And second:
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Need I say more?

Vi said I do. So, allow me to explain.

Violet and I have been obsessed with this show since we started watching a couple years ago. (Well, I say we’ve been watching it, but really I’ve been watching it while Violet watches slivers of screen between her fingers.) I’m completely caught up, but she still has a little ways to go. I couldn’t hold off any longer. She makes us watch it in the middle of the day- completely taking away from the essence of the show!- so, I tend to binge watch after dark (so spooky!).

Lately the show has gotten into more arcs so that there is a common theme/challenge to overcome over several episodes or throughout a season, but to be completely honest, I would be just fine having them simply beat the crap out of demons and other supernatural beings week after week and nothing more. The larger story is great, but for me, it just takes away from the action and slows everything down at times. And, my, how I do love to watch the action.

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Not surprisingly, I am a Dean girl (dem bowlegs doe). I mean, let’s be real, he kicks some serious butt. He asks few questions and fires from the hip. And above all, he protects his sensitive little brother (sound familiar?).

Don’t get me wrong, Sam’s great and all, but he does contribute to the aforementioned slowing down (with the exception of SPOILERS, VI! soulless Sam. I could actually get on board with some soulless Sam. OKAY, YOU’RE GOOD.)

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Basically, if you’re looking for some quality, kickass, entertaining television, stop your search. This is it.

The Hunger Games Reviewed

*WARNING: SPOILERS*

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Violet and I finally got the chance to watch The Hunger Games. I was so psyched to see it. Action, girl power- I’m all over it. Overall, I liked the movie, but there were a few things I found confusing (and, yes, that could be because I was ravenously hungry and had to keep getting up to refill my popcorn- I’m getting my money’s worth. And when did concessions get so expensive?? I just want some popcorn and red vines, maybe a slushy, I shouldn’t have to sign over my first born. The Hunger Games, indeed. But I digress).

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So delicious, so expensive

Apparently, it was a book first? I mean, seriously, who even takes the time to read (oh yeah, my dorky little sister. Love ya, sis!). So, that girl was getting sooooo emotional the whole time. I mean, right at the beginning, the little girl… what was her name? It was weird. I looked it up. It was Rue. That’s a weird name. That chick died real quick and Violet was in hysterics sobbing! I’m like, you knew her for 15 minutes. She said it’s much more hashed out in the book, but again, who can take the time. Also, wouldn’t reading ahead have made you more prepared, sister dear? I mean, death is right in the description.

So, here’s the thing. 24 unwilling (for the most part) kids are thrown into an arena to kill each other, right? So…. I don’t know, maybe just don’t kill each other! You could all band together, use your random skills, and just leave. I mean, who’s really going to stop you? It seems like every adult has some kind of handicap. You could take them!! So, do it! If I had directed this movie (…if I had written the book?), it would have been far more baby revolt (Note to Self: Write a screenplay titled Baby Revolt). And, yes, that kinda happens at the end, but I woulda been going strong the whole dang time.

The ending also seemed pretty open-ended, like they left it open for more movies. Is there more to the book? Does it keep going after the games end? Update: Violet has informed me there are actually more books, so that explains that. Hopefully, they take a page outta my book (see what I did there?), and start putting some people in there place. That being said, as horrible as the capital is, that is one fun wardrobe. Ooooh! Halloween plans!!

Seeing as Hollywood did not take my genius direction on how the story should have gone, here’s what I really don’t understand. Those district 1 and 2 guys, right? They have literally been training all their lives and then v o l u n t e e r to be in the Hunger Games.

HOW DO THEY NOT WIN????!?!?!

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I’m sad they’re dead because of the…. story line

Seriously! Like, did you guys not realize just how much killing would be involved or that the other kids are actually going to try to kill you too?? They came in hot and ready, taunting and teasing, then just keel over! And Katniss, scrappy and agile as she may be, really should not have stood a chance. (And really, guys? Not one of you can climb a tree? Was that not in your training regimen as children?) It’s just not realistic.

After all that, I’d like to end on a positive note. And let’s be honest, Mystique, Thor Jr., and Shorty McShort all did a great job. I guess it does take some talent and work to really get a rise out of a viewer, right?

The Parade of Boys I Never Asked For

*Insert long gratuitous sigh*

For those unfamiliar (though Violet should have already sorted you out… especially if you’ve ever talked to her for more than 3 seconds or simply stumbled in the the shrine she calls a bedroom), Boy Parade is the newest boy band marketed as though they were the sexiest, most talented beings.

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No one else just gets to be this

The breakdown (much like my mental state at this point):
Danny: The little twerp who sings and plays tambourine. We have no idea how old he is. Violet says 14-16, but really, the kid’s like 8. Oh! And he wears a top hat. Seriously kid, a tambourine and top hat do not Stevie Nicks make. Stevie Nicks is a goddess saint sent to us all from above, and you- well, let’s just say- you are not.

Eric: Lead guitar. Doesn’t seem like the brightest bulb in the chandelier, and yet has somehow asserted himself as sole lyricist (at least he’s credited as such).

Miles: Plays bass. Doesn’t speak, so much. He just kinda glances over a lot at…

Justin P: Rhythm guitar. We also don’t hear much from him, but I am just soooo certain that he and Miles are in a relationship. They totally love each other. You can contest, but I have seen them in person! I’ve seen it. It’s there!

Justin T: The drummer, and easily the most attractive of the bunch. The only one I don’t mind looking at, and he’s shoved to the back. He’s got some great hair, and oh what I wouldn’t give to see it in a man bun!

*Note: They actually use both Justins’ last initial… And they rhyme! Literally, I cannot just say “Justin,” Violet will correct me.
As you may have noticed, my dear little sister is clearly obsessed, whereas my feelings toward the “band” are… less than favorable. But, being the great sister I am, Violet and I spent our Spring Break driving cross country, following the boys as they toured.

They have a couple of popular songs (that Violet will NOT stop singing!!!). She thinks they’re so romantic, but let’s think about them for a second, really. One of them is “Staring Through Your Window.” …Are you kidding me? I shouldn’t even have to point out how creepy that is!! Why is he outside her window? Does she know he’s there? Is she ignoring him, because he’s now creepy and annoying? Should someone maybe call the police (at least the band so we can hear some good music)?
The second song is “The Only One.” This also raises some questions for me. Boys, there are 5 of you. Are you all singing about the same girl? (I mean, I know Miles and Justin P aren’t, but still.) I would imagine there would be a riff between them if they are all pining after some unfortunate, unsuspecting female. But maybe that’s just me.

The trip itself:
The driving wasn’t too bad (even when a certain someone just can’t stay awake while in a moving vehicle for more than 2 minutes!). But, those times of solitude were when I could finally cut out the incessant whining of tiny Danny and listen to something else. And I am a big enough person to admit that when Vi was awake and were listening to Boy Parade’s one full album on repeat, there are times when one must simply accept it, go numb, then warm inside (much like freezing to death), and just sing along. Am I a martyr? Yes.

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Should’ve ordered this before we left

Towards the end of the trip, something happened. It was a defining moment, and perhaps the lowest of my life. During the infamous “The Only One,” they decided to choose an “only one.” They wanted to pluck a young girl from the crowd and make her night. Maybe they wanted a challenge, maybe they are just that stupid, but that night, that “only one” that they chose after scanning the crowd was not my screaming, inconsolable litter sister. It was not some girl who had begged and pleaded and cried to her parents for tickets. No, above all these willing adolescents, they chose me.
I was dragged on stage by Danny’s grimy little baby hands as he tried to sing to me about how I was clearly the love of his life. Danny, please, save yourself some embarrassment for after puberty. I tried my hardest to not show my outright disgust of the tiny gremlin, but according to Violet, I was unsuccessful. Please, Vi, just photoshop your face over mine. We’d both be happier. I even tried to scoot towards the back to get closer to Justin T, but I guess I looked shy, because I was forced further forward and into the gaze of a tambourine boy (definitely not man) as he wailed about his undying love.

Another night, post-concert, when we were just so exhausted and I was a little scared to be behind the wheel, Violet and I stopped at a Denny’s for some food and coffee. It took a couple cups until our eyes were opened wide enough to realize that the restaurant was buzzing quite a bit for being around midnight. That’s when we realized they was there. I couldn’t get away from these guys!
Violet so desperately wanted an interview, and as she usually does, looked to me to utilize my undeniable charm and talk to them. My reaction was to hide behind my menu (whether it was from them or from her, I still don’t know. I’m telling you, I’ve never been this tired!). After averting confrontation (with the band. Vi had some words), the group left the restaurant and simultaneously, Violet without.

All in all, I still only mildly tolerate the band. And I’ll say it was all pretty worth it just to see the look on Violet’s face at every venue when the lights went down as the show started. It was this ridiculous child-like giddiness, but it was pretty adorable. At least, I think it was. It was kinda hard to see clearly through my own grimacing.