HIM – Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice, Chapter 1-13

The band that identifies itself as a “love metal” band follows its 2007 release, Venus Doom, with Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice, Chapter 1-13. In its thirteen-year career, HIM has unleashed anthem after anthem, such as “Join Me,” “Buried Alive by Love” and the American success, “Wings of a Butterfly.” The most recent album since Screamworks garnered mild success with “The Kiss of Dawn,” “Bleed Well” and “Passion’s Killing Floor,” featured on the Transformers soundtrack album. Screamworks is, as I believe each of the three albums since and including 2005’s Dark Light have been, a break from the band’s previous work, since it takes on a bit of a more uplifting and happy tone, songs such as “In Venere Veritas,” “Scared to Death” and “Katherine Wheel” acting as examples.

The album opens with the aforementioned “In Venere Vertias,” which opens the album with Ville’s hook, “Let’s fall apart together now.” Venus Doom is an album with which Ville took the opportunity to experiment with his voice, especially on the title track, and he continues to do such on this album, especially on this song, beginning the chorus of the song in a relatively high register with the word “have,” which then rapidly spirals downward into “no fear.” Something that I have always loved about HIM is that it takes risks; it loves to make use of new ideas, and that is exactly why I wholeheartedly disagree with those who have told me in the past that the band is repetitive; no two albums, especially not since and including Dark Light, sound the same.

“In Venere Veritas” works as a great way to begin the album, a lot of energy and a lot of poetic beauty, something that has echoed throughout all thirteen years and seven albums of the band’s career, beginning with 1997’s Greatest Lovesongs, Vol. 666. “Scared to Death” rings with utterly beautiful melodic beauty, while the sheer energy of “Heartkiller” makes it act perfectly as the album’s first single. Other standout tracks include the ballad “Disarm Me (with Your Loneliness),” the desperately seeking “Love, the Hardest Way,” the ridiculously catchy “Ode to Solitude” and “Acoustic Funeral (for Love in Limbo),” which despite the misleadingly dark title, is probably one of HIM’s happiest songs yet. I enjoy, however, every single song on this album. It is the first album in at least a year to which I can’t stop listening, because it is that highly addictive.

The album is definitely one of HIM’s best albums yet, which, to me, says a lot, since the band tends to release masterpiece after masterpiece. This album and 2005’s Dark Light are probably my two favorite albums to date. Something that I love about HIM is that they tend not to repeat ideas and sounds but instead consistently move forward with new and innovative ideas and sounds, and Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice, Chapter 1-13 is no exception, departing from Venus Doom, which Ville has described as a cross between Metallica and Bullet for My Valentine and instead creating a sound that he has described as “the first time [that] HIM does acknowledge that there is such a thing called happiness.” It is so different, in fact, that many HIM fans are criticizing it for that very reason, but Ville is a new man, sobered up but still making amazing music. I give the album a well-deserved five stars out of five.

St. Patty’s and Randy Kehler

I’m sure everyone from Oswego is out on break right now having a great time! I know I am. I’m sitting in the sunny San Diego going to the beach, hanging out with my boyfriend, and getting ready for my first St. Patty’s Day as a 21-year-old! I gave up drinking alcohol for Lent though, so it’s kind of anticlimatic seeing as how I can only drink O’Doulls for the night. But I don’t think that St. Patty’s Day should be all about drinking (although that’s how it’s marketed nowadays).

I remember back in kindergarten when it was St Patty’s in Sacramento, Calif. We went to the cafeteria for lunch and when we came back, our entire classroom was ransacked by “Leprechauns!” There were little green footprints painted on the walkway up to the front door. Once we went inside, we saw that all of the chairs had been overturned and there were more green footprints all over. Our teacher told us that we had to search for the pot of gold the leprechauns left, so we embarked on a treasure hunt all around the room, fearing at the same time that these rambunctious leprechauns were hiding behind the bookshelf watching us try to find their gold.

Now that was fun. I compare that to last year when I went to a party where people had to search for gold coins at the bottom of a vat of jello shots. A little different outcome, I’d say. While in kindergarten we walked away with a bag of chocolate and a stomachache, we now walk away with green jello on our shirts and a hangover in the morning. It doesn’t have to be all about drinking, but drinking does add fun – as long as it’s done responsibly. If you’re laying on the floor in a pool of your own vomit, that’s not too cool, especially if you don’t remember the night before! So.. whether you’re going on a treasure hunt for chocolate or a hangover, take part in modesty!



For those of you coming back to campus next week: come out March 24th to Lanigan 102 at 7:30 p.m. Pro-Peace Council is hosting Randy Kehler, a long-time activist who will be addressing the history and philosophy of nonviolence. For 30 years Kehler has been actively involved in the nonviolence movement that includes the likes of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. He will be coming to Oswego to lead the discussion on why nonviolence is important in this present time of war, terrorism, genocide and hate crimes.

The talk is free and there will be refreshments afterward, also for free. If you’ve never attended a speech on nonviolence, now is the time to come out and see how relaxing and uplifting talks like this can be!

Wednesday, March 24th, Lanigan 102, 7:30 p.m.

First Day of Practicum

I don’t believe that it is required for the class, but I figured that for my EDU 303 (Field Placement) course, I would keep a journal, and since today was my first day, today, I wrote my first entry, and I figured, what could possibly be better to share on the blog? Surely, everyone wants to know what my very first day in the classroom with a position drastically different from that of a student was like, correct? Anyway, the following is the journal entry that I wrote today. In the future, I will simply post the entry without this introduction, but I wanted to do it this time just so that everyone reading is fully aware of what they’re reading.

I was very nervous before starting my Practicum today. I heard a fair number of people tell me that Corcoran High School is “a rough school,” and when I got to the school, I immediately noticed two police cars outside of the school. Nearly the entire population of the school is African-American, and my Practicum teacher, Barb Patapow, says that she has some students that are reading at no higher than a third grade level. She allowed me the opportunity to read some of her students’ work, and many students complained that The Tragedy of Julius Caesar was “to” difficult for them to read and even admitted that English is difficult for them as it is. What especially felt strange but invigorating about this experience is being in a classroom in which I did have some sense of authority and was not a student.

Every other Wednesday, Ms. Patapow doesn’t have any English classes in the afternoon, because Corcoran uses a Block Scheduling method, and I therefore talked with her for a great deal of time and then observed a study hall. There is little order in the study hall or in the school itself for that matter. There was a total of five students in the classroom. One girl walked past the classroom before Study Hall began, and she headed to the bathroom. She told Ms. Patapow that she was going to have a friend braid her hair. When asked if she’d be returning, the girl answered, “Maybe.” Study Hall consisted primarily of students watching the most recent Romeo + Juliet film just for the sake of it, and surprisingly, this quieted everyone, as they actually did pay attention to it. Obviously, I will have a lot more on which to comment when I actually observe an English class.

Mother Earth Week

MOTHER EARTH WEEK APRIL 18 – 24, 2010

Mother Earth Week (MEW) is Students for Global Change’s spring week-long festival that focuses on sustainability, environmental awareness and ecological education. Filled with workshops, tables, speakers, documentaries and the culminating Oswegostock concert, MEW reflects the importance of sustainability today and the college community’s part in taking care of the earth.
Monday through Friday (not Wednesday due to Quest) there will be presentations during the day and documentaries at night, highlighting the theme of MEW.

Everyone is invited to put together some sort of presentation, be it a workshop during College Hour, a table in the Campus Center, a speaker, a brochure or an artistic display along the lines of the four topics of the week.

We also need help with planning our Oswegostock outdoor concert planned tentatively for Saturday afternoon. We’d like different bands to sign up to perform, as well having recitations of poems and environmentally-geared readings.

Monday is the social aspect of environmental awareness (i.e. environmental justice, water crises, psychological effects, arts, music, lifestyle, etc.).
Tuesday is the economic aspect of sustainability (i.e. consumerism, globalization, fair trade, ecotourism, etc.).
Wednesday is Quest day. There will be a sustainability fair focusing on local businesses and their sustainable practices. Clubs are encouraged to set up tables to represent some aspect of sustainability that pertains to their organization.
Thursday is the political day for environmental awareness (i.e. environmental policies, legislation, corporate control, grassroots, etc.).
Friday is the scientific aspect of the week, the meat of sustainability and environmental awareness. The day will focus on climate change, weather disasters, local agriculture, green technology, pollution, etc.
Sunday and Saturday, the beginning and end of MEW will focus on having fun and enjoying our earth! There will be lake clean-ups along the shores of Lake Ontario, as well as fun in the sun activities. Saturday will host the Oswegostock concert where everyone will be encouraged to hang out in the quad listening to music and enjoying food.

If you’re interested in learning more about the week itself, or if you’re interested in being a part of it (which we strongly encourage), contact me at s4gc.osu@gmail.com for more information.

Just a few pictures from last year:


Speech on the environment on Quest Day
Dave Sargent’s electric car
Air day!

Thoughts on My Last Semester

Hey everybody!

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged it up and I promise I will have something nice to blog about once my time frees up, but being a senior in your last semester can take a lot out of you.

Lately I’ve been focusing my time on getting my school work done and making sure my fraternity is running smoothly. I’ve been elected president of my fraternity for the Spring 2010 semester so being responsible for 30 or so guy’s everyday proves to be an around-the-clock job. I’m in the process of writing a bunch of papers and abstracts for my Creative Writing: Non-Fiction and Media Law class aside from my informative presentation on Greek life I just presented today for my Public Speaking course. I’m still working at Cooper Dining Hall, but I had to cut down on my hours so I had more time to get my school work done.

For my journalism capstone, I’m partnering up with my friends at Alumni Development to create a newsletter that’ll be focused more towards students who have graduated with a degree in Communications, Media, and the Arts. That’s on top of my 20-page paper that’s due sometime towards the end of the semester.

I’m supposed to be hearing back from graduate schools this month as to whether or not I’ve been accepted into their journalism program. After a hundred dollars in application fees and several weeks of application preparation and interviews, I’m ready to figure out what’s my next move in life.

It’s not all bad and stressful though. I’ve recently picked up a great girlfriend who’s as ridiculously awesome as I am. I also have this great class concerning culture in the media that has us look into the culture of pop in advertisements and the media. We write short papers and discuss certain topics like comedy in advertisements as well as how women are viewed in the media as well as men and why things are marketed the way they are. It’s a fun class, I recommend it.

I don’t mean to put a damper on any aspiring college graduate, but it definitely takes a lot to get to graduation. It’s all worth it in the long run when you walk up to the podium to grab that piece of paper you’ve been waiting all four years to receive.

I’m counting down the days till May.

A Dedication to My New Friend

His first day home :-)

 There have been so many great things in store for me and I must say there has never been a dull moment! This semester started off very well with a slice of joy; I have a new friend who has brought me so much joy lately. It all started on a computer, I went on Google, searched, searched and searched, I added some sites as my favorite, and I also made a few phone calls to some ads that seemed promising. I even made a few arrangements, however they didn’t go any further. Believe me when I say everything happens for a reason, so after a thousand phone calls I lost hope and decided that I was going to give up, but with every new day I felt as if there was a calling I did research after research after research. With every new ad I fell in love all over again and the search never ended. One day I went on this new website and that’s when we made our first connection I made an arrangement that seemed so far fetch but I was still willing to follow through. My dream came through on February 6, the day I met my college companion. His name is Scooby and he is a handful of joy, ever since I had him I have to say the days seem brighter and he is truly a companion. I never understood before how people could speak of their pets in such a special way, but now that I am on that boat I could certainly feel the waves. There are so many stories to share about this little man, he has such an attention-grabbing personality, he is making the end of my undergraduate career so much more interesting, and I am loving every bit of it.

Diaspora-Do you know what it means

Diaspora is the Oswego theme this year.

It means a lot of things to me but check out the official definition. I am a displaced Lithuanian and there are no other Lithuanians that I can find :( However, but when I read about diaspora and I see others going through the same thing, it makes me feel better.

Today I wanted to share what diaspora is with you and maybe you can find someone from your culture :)

I am going to this poetry reading next week to learn a bit more about it. If you are American generally you can say at least some part of your family feels dispersed.

Poetry reading and discussion by poet Li-Young Lee
Date: March 2, 2010
Time: 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Occurrence: Mar 2, 2010
Location: Auditorium, Campus Center

Description: Li-Young Lee is one of this country’s premiere poets, using his breathtaking, beautiful written and spoken word to tell of home, family, love and the spirit of humanity. Book signing to follow reading. Free. 312-4581.

Global warming doesn’t exist

Dear Mr. Global Warming himself,

Al Gore, come on. Washington D.C., South and North Carolina, Texas, Delaware and Arkansas all got a TON of snow a couple of weeks ago. GLOBAL WARMING DOES NOT EXIST!

I mean, don’t even regard the fact that the ice in the Arctic is melting causing a drastic change in temperature of the Atlantic Ocean which in turn is creating a shift in the ocean patterns creating greater, more intense storms.

Also, don’t pay attention to the fact that parts of the Northeast and Northwest, which are used to having pretty blustery winters, are seeing almost less snow than parts of Virginia and Delaware.

Most importantly, don’t pay attention to the amount of snow that’s melting from parts of the Arctic that’s submerging Bangladesh, which eventually might be completely underwater.

Listen, Al Gore, our children are out on our lawns in February creating igloos. Don’t worry, we’ve set one aside for you.

Snowstorms in D.C. = no such thing as global warming. Let’s put our money back into coal and unhealthy consumption habits because quite frankly, Copenhagen was a waste of money. The Kyoto protocol is just another way for the Chinese to try to take over the U.S. And, the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and increasingly Pakistan are just humanitarian, democracy-spreading wars and not battles over who controls the oil in the Middle East.

Us politicians here at the White House choose to side with Rush Limbaugh and Senator James Inhofe and tell the truth about global warming. It doesn’t EXIST. We still use the money that the oil lobbyists pump into our “public” accounts to buy ourselves nice vacations to the Caribbean and to add to the overall carbon footprint of humans. We would know if global warming was true because the oil companies would tell us that we’re polluting and destroying the earth and atmosphere. But, they’re not telling us, so we’re not going to believe the scientists.

GLOBAL WARMING DOESN’T EXIST, AL. Take your humanitarian realism out of here. D.C.’s only big enough for politicians who know the difference between winter storms and global warming.

Sincerely,

Global Warming Skeptics
A.K.A. All Republican Representatives and Senators and Lawmakers in D.C.

Are you serious? Are we really second guessing the facts? While I am not always 100% convinced by scientists on the latest genome discovery, I am extremely confident that what they’re telling us about climate change and global warming has a huge significance in our lives.

Michael Reilly said it really well in his article the other day, “Massive piles of snow in and around Washington, D.C. brought out the climate loonies.” Senator Inhofe was one of those “loonies” who immediately starting griping about how Al Gore was sensationalized and completely false.

I’ll admit that while Gore’s presentation was a bit dramatic; it did show us very important details. Humans are contributing to the processes of the earth, and we’re speeding them up! We’re putting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than ever before.

According to NASA’s Web site, C02 has never been at the level it is now in hundreds of thouands of years.

The problem with this “debate” (although evidence is very compelling to say at the very least that SOMETHING is happening to our environment) is that people don’t understand the facts. They’re going off of those who interpret the facts say, and in this case, politicians decided to be the ones to interpret. This, in Al Gore’s case, worked out for him in a good way because his name and face on the “Inconvenient Truth” gave it tons of publicity. But, in the reverse, the fact that he was a politician saying this gave other politicians the opportunity to use their celebrity to be muckrakers and ween out the “facts.” In truth, it’s all just sensationalized because no one knows for sure what is going on.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the U.S. puts it simply for us to realize:
– Human Activity Has Increased Greenhouse Gases in the Atmosphere
– The Climate is Warming
– Human Greenhouse Gas Emissions are Causing Climate Change
– Climate Change is Projected to Continue During This Century

Change is coming. We can choose to either change our habits and try to reduce the effects we’ve had on the environment. Or, we could choose to keep on keeping on, and follow the advice of Senator Inhofe and others, and say that we have no responsibility or accountability for the changing climate.

Once again, it’s your choice – make it.

EndangermentFinding_ClimateChangeFacts

Busy start to spring 2010!

I apologize for my absence on the blogging since the end of last semester, but here’s a little update as to what’s been going on in my life:
Over winter break, I stayed in Oswego all but one week. I worked at Maurices and in the point, our student involvement office. The director of off-campus affairs and myself started to plan a spring picnic on Mother’s day at Breitbeck park here in Oswego. Our vision is to give back to the community for all their support throughout the year and celebrate the youth! There will be food available, games for the younger children, recreational activities and a ‘pamper mom’ station. We’ve collaborated with many businesses in town to have their support at the picnic. I’m really excited to get this project going, I hope this will continue on for years to come! I’ll be graduating soon and so will the student I’m working with to create this event.
Secondly, the assistant director of sustainability and myself have created a “GO GREEN TEAM” as well as coordinating a green kiosk with support from campus life, the department that runs the campus center and all the events that take place within. The Kiosk is designed as a ‘learning through involvement’ tool for students. We’ve allowed this to serve as a community service project for many students a well. I’ve had a lot of students inquire and donate their time to volunteer. We have created 16 weeks of sustainable topics that students can choose from to create their own kiosk week! The actual kiosk itself is made from recycled materials and is about 9 feet long. It’s awesome! In coordination with this, I’ve worked with students for global change, who Katherine Raymond is apart of (shes a fellow blogger, check her out!) to help us with it.
I’ve also been quite busy working with our Civic Engagement coordinator on a sustainability fair we’re hosting on Quest day. Quest day is a day when one, we don’t have any classes and two, it’s a chance for students, staff and faculty to showcase what they’ve been working on! The sustainability fair will run from 4-8pm in the ice arena. There are sooo many vendors coming and the biggest one being GM and their fuel cell car! We’re hoping to draw in a large audience for this event and I’m sure we will. There is a lot of faculty working on the event and I’m excited for it. It’s actually going to be on my 21st birthday too!
My last blog I was thinking about Italy and now…. I’M GOING TO ITALY! I can’t begin to describe how excited I am! I’ll be earning 6 credits while abroad for four weeks. I’ll arrive in Rome, the city where my professor is actually from! Then, we will travel south to Altomonte, the southern part of Italy. I have heard so many great things I’m exicted! There’s a mud spa that students have bragged about and I’m actually going to get to experience it! I’ve begun to budget my money so that I’ll have plenty of spending money! I’ve also started my passport process, which is an extremely long process I’ve discovered. Financial aid will help cover the majority of the cost and I’m looking at flights. I found one for about $970 round trip which is relatively inexpensive!
Aside from all my extra curricular activities, seems like I don’t attend class huh? Well I do I promise! I really enjoy all of my classes this semester. Which is weird, because there is usually one that I’m not a huge fan of but I can honestly say, I like them all! I’ve started dipping into my business courses for my minor and I started to second guess myself as to why I didn’t major in business, but then again I really love PR! So, I can’t complain ☺. I’ve also been searching for some graduate schools and I’ve fallen in love with West Virginia University. I love the mountaineer football for one, two I love the mountains and three they have a great corporate communication program (should probably be the number one reason for liking the school :-p)
So anyway, there’s an update on my life for now, there’s a lot more to come as it is time for the new Student Association president. I’m acting as the campaign manager for a candidate and it’s getting intense, the elections are March 10 and 11. I’ll update more about this later!

Have a wonderful day☺
P.S we still have snow, but it’s Oswego, we’ll have snow until about April. I really enjoy it though, it’s something to talk about 30 years from now and gives the city character☺

Good Semester

So, the disc came today, for which I am really thankful. Basically, if you didn’t read my last entry, I talked about how I have been experiencing problem after problem with my computer but how luckily, my mom sent me a Windows Vista Installation Disc yesterday. It thankfully arrived today, so for now, my computer is fixed. It makes me happy, because it has been stressing me down for well over a week now. Anyway, as promised, I would like to discuss how my classes are going so far.
I really feel like I am having a great semester. As I’ve said before, I feel like I am finally taking classes that I am interested in, that I want to be taking, and my mind is therefore a lot more engaged than it has ever been. I absolutely love my Lit class, and I love my EDU class, both of which are classes that I need to teach. With those classes, I am required to be placed into a Practicum, but I still have not been placed. Luckily, I am not the only one, since a lot of other students have not been placed, either.
I do have my worries. I don’t have a car, and I don‘t foresee myself having a car any time soon, either. I simply don’t have the money, and my parents won’t help. My placement will most likely either be right in Syracuse or in the Syracuse area, which is a good forty-five minutes away, so I have to worry about a ride. My EDU 301 professor said that I don’t need to worry, because when I do get placed, I am to tell her so she can share with my class as well as her other classes what day and time I have so that she can try to find me a ride. “No one should go without a ride,” she said, with which I agree.
My EDU class is an hour and twenty minutes long, but I find that the time goes by rather quickly. It’s a discussion class, and it’s actually a lot of fun. I like the way that the class is situated. It doesn’t resemble a lecture class in any way, shape or form. Desks are not lined up in columns facing the teacher, and I’m sure that you’ve had classes like that; I know that I have. Instead, we are all seated circularly, so that speaking to one another and making eye contact while doing so is easy. I feel very safe and comfortable in that class to express my opinions and say what I want to say, and the professor is a lot of fun.
My English class isn’t too bad, either. As I said before, I am reading Moll Flanders, which, to say the least, is tedious, as I have also said before. Next is Clotel, which probably isn’t going to be much better. Who knows, though? In eleventh grade, I read 1984, and although it was slow, I initially didn’t think that I was going to like it very much. Now, that is one of my favorite books of all time, so I shouldn’t pass any judgment just yet, I suppose.
Then, there’s my Creative Writing class. I really like the class, but there seem to be so many rules. I don’t understand how there can be so many rules to writing creatively, because the key word is “creatively.” Different people write differently, and I don’t think that there should be any rules to how you open a short story, for example, but apparently, there are, and what it has effectively done is make me feel like everything that I have ever written up until now is amateur, which I guess it is. I mean, I am not a professional writer, but take S.E. Hinton, for instance. She couldn’t have taken any college courses on how to write, since The Outsiders (a classic) was published when she was a teenager. Some people are just good writers innately. However, as I said, for the most part, I really feel like I am enjoying this semester, despite the heavy workload.