Friday, December 31, 2010

AFI, Part I:

I decided, since I couldn't think of a single thing as sufficiently interesting (as me), that I would do a post, actually two, maybe three, about my seeming obsession with AFI.

I'll start by telling everyone who they are.  AFI, A Fire Inside, is a band with no particular scene, or, a least, none that I can decipher accurately.  They have been around since 1991, started as most bands do, in a garage.  AFI didn't gain international fame until 2006 with the release of their seventh studio album DECEMBERUNDERGROUND.  I heard my first AFI song, Days of the Phoenix, sometime in 2001-2002, my sister turned on MTV, I think, and the video was playing.  She was too busy to turn it right away and so we ended up watching the entire thing, for whatever she was doing I am eternally greatful.  I didn't know too much about the band and no one else that I asked had ever heard of them.  Ever since I heard that first song, what most diehard fans consider to be their best, I was hooked and have never looked back. 

In 2003 I was in the seventh grade and their album Sing the Sorrow was released.  I knew then that I had found a band that I absolutely LOVED.  I listened to them consistantly, and went and bought their entire back catalogue.  Most people, however, did not see what it was about them that was so enticing to me.  They heard their older stuff and could not see anything of value there.  Sure, there was a lot of yelling and anger, but unlike other  music of the same catagory most of their songs at the time were comical and did not express a direct desire to commit suicide, which I appreciated, since at the time there was a slew of bands gaining popularity that all said the same thing:  that they were a group of sad men that only wanted people to feel sorry for them.  (Not to say that I don't like some of these bands:  Hawthorne Heights, My Chemical Romance, HIM, The Used, all of these bands have a special value to me, I love them all differently.)

AFI, after the release of some of their later work did get a lot more serious and they did delve into their feelings a bit more, so much so, actually, that by the release of DECEMBERUNDERGROUND a lot of people were placing them in the catagory of emo bands, although I will argue against this all day.  They never, to me at least, act in a manner that would be considered as self-loathing and for this I am extremely grateful. 

One thing that I was always mad about was that they never came to NC in concert.  It was so infuriating  because all I ever wanted to do was to see them in concert, but, at the time that I started to listen to them they did not do smaller areas or even large areas where they did not have a substantial number of fans, mostly because they were not that well know and couldn't afford to play shows where they would make an acceptable profit.  And so, last year, with the release of their latest album, Crash Love, when they announced that they would be playing as close to me as Myrtle Beach I knew that I was not going to miss my chance tosee them and planned a road trip with some friends to see the greatest show of my life, turned out to be the worst day of my life...

Until next time, here is a video, from 2009's Crash Love:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Catch up and Harry Potter

So, it's been a while.  A little over a month.  I have been so busy with school and work, and (previously) Nano, which, I am proud to say, I finished with a just smidgen over 50,000 words.  My story is no where close to being finished, however.  I am still writing part one, of three.  I'm taking a break to write a short story, which I haven't done in a while, and am really excited about it.  It's a ghost story, my favorite kind, and deals with a stressed college kid--write what you know, right?

I was informed of a blogfest by Wordscrafter that I have decided to participate in.  Its task, challenged by Michael Gesu over at In Time..., is to write a 500 word scene with the characters from Harry Potter, themed around a holiday.  Since I really needed something to take my mind off of final exams and just school in general, I decided to participate.  And since I absolutely LOVE Harry Potter and am going through withdrawals at the moment seeing as the week-long Harry Potter Fest on campus is over, and I've already seen the new film twice, and I don't have time right now to re-read the books again, which is what I would usually do after a film, I thought that this would be a good type of therapy.

Well, it was really hard to get it down to this few words but I did it and I hope you all enjoy:

"Hello, Hagrid," Harry said, his voice resounding against the walls of the Great Hall. 
Hagrid turned around, swinging one arm wildly, knocking over tiny Professor Flitwick standing on a chair slightly in front of him to the right, whom Harry hadn’t noticed at first. The little man tumbled off his chair and at the same time a large crashing noise echoed through the hall as, somewhere that was still blocked to Harry by Hagrid’s mass, something fell from suspension to the ground. 
Flitwick only grumbled to himself.
Hagrid lifted Flitwick up, not as gently as he would have liked, and sat him back on his feet, where he got to repairing the pile of broken, glass ornaments. 
"What'd ya need, Hagrid?" Ron asked, standing next to Harry and looking just as concerned.
"Well, I was actually hopin' you'd bring Hermione, no offence, she's better with charms than the two of ya, but we'll manage. I need ya to help me with the trees if ya wouldn't mind. There's more this year than usual with the Yule Ball and all and it'll take me all day without magic, and Flitwick, he don' like me too much."
Harry looked at Ron and could tell that he was thinking the same thing: that he wished they had brought Hermione as well.  The fact that Hagrid had asked students for help, under the table, no less, was a sign that he was embarrassed of his apparent oafness.
They followed Hagrid to the front entrance of the Hall, into the snow, and saw a huge pile of green trees.  Harry looked at Ron; his only advice was to raise his eyebrows and shrug.
“Well,” Hagrid said.  “We better start.”  He lunged forward, grabbed a tree by the top in his massive hands and pulled it from the others and then started back into the hall, dragging it behind him.
“How does he expect us to move these?” Ron asked.
“You’re pretty good at levitation.  We could try that,” Harry suggested.
Ron didn’t seem to like having the responsibility of the trees placed on him, but pulled out his wand nonetheless. 
He pointed it at the pile of trees and took a deep breath.  “Wingardium Leviosa!”
The tree on top lifted, wobbled and then, right when Ron was sure he had it sufficiently balanced, listed and fell from the air, crashing a few feet away from where it had started.
Harry was laughing. 
“It’s not a feather,” Ron said, angrily.  “You try it!”
Harry moved in front of the trees.  “We’ll shrink them,” he said, seeming quite proud of the idea.
“Reducio!” He bellowed.  The trees billowed as if hit by a strong gust of wind and then burst into flame.  He looked at Ron, and then toward the Great Hall, a burning bonfire behind them, as Hagrid and Flitwick raced their way.  They tried to smile, awkwardly, however. 
“Get out, GO!” Flitwick screamed, and then looked up to Hagrid with anger.
Hagrid looked at the burning trees and sighed.  Harry and Ron backed away slowly, hoping to escape any possible rage, and then ran once they rounded the corner.

I originally had in this information about the golden egg and the Fat Lady, and Ron (comically) waking up, but it wouldn't fit in the "no more than 525 words."  I like this and I hope everyone else does.  And thanks to Michael for having this contest for all us Potterheads!

*Edit:  I realize I did this wrong, by not including myself, and if I have any time before Saturday to write another, I will.  Either way, I had a lot of fun writing Harry Potter.