Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Monster Ball

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Well now here comes the moment of truth. My sister and I took a little trip to the American Airlines Center yesterday (July 23rd) to Lady Gaga's Monster Ball sponsored by Virgin Mobile. I, of course, am a fan of Gaga, but my sister (who wasn't) was a little weary, skeptic and scared about what was going to happen (and more concerned about seeing Kidd Kraddick). Well what did happen?

We arrived at the American Airlines Center, thanks to Jeanine (our GPS), safe and sound at around 6 p.m. to claim a front row parking spot in VIP Blue parking. As we were preparing to get out of the car, and informing both of our parents that we were safe, THEY appeared. Who is they? As Lady Gaga calls them: "Little Monsters". First off, an elderly couple starting sucking face in the parking lot right in front of us. But they weren't the "monsters". The monsters awaited us near the North Entrance. It was simply fascinating to see and a little shocking what some girls and guys would wear. Seriously, there was a guy in 10 inch red heels and red tape covered his exposed nipples where leather didn't. And then, Lady Gaga appeared right in front of me, and then another one did, and then another, and another, and...well you get the picture.
I must admit that I was a little weary myself of coming to this concert because I didn't have front row seats...but I thank God that I didn't! Because the front row didn't even have seats. So a mosh pit crowd of about 500+ people had to stand for three hours in high heels! Ha! Me and my sister did have some seats that were high up...but to be honest...we still had a really great view of everything.


Watching this band play was like watching a XXX movie live and in person. I have never been more shocked! The lead singer Justin Tranter wore only a pair of glittery high heels, see through skin colored tights held up by garters and a shirt with a straitjacket on top. So it's easy to say, he was more than willing to moon the entire audience and drop expletives that would make your mom faint. You should have seen the look on my sister's face!!! You should have seen the look on my face when the first song SPW belts out is "I Can't Pay My Rent, but I'm [Explicative]ing Gorgeous". I hate to break his heart, but he has the looks that only a mother could love. The funny story is that Gaga used to be the opening act for SPW at a New York Bar where only two people showed up. And now look how things have changed!!! Luckily, Tranter did put on more clothes later on during his 30 minute performance.

Lady Gaga

2 hours, 14 costume changes (it took several short intermissions) and 1 talented singer makes for one heck of a show!!! Gaga started off with "Dance in the Dark" and she never let up. This was not just any ordinary concert...this was a performance...a party...a liberation (as Gaga would say). And boy does she say a lot! I think someone should hire her as a motivational speaker because she can boost anyone's self esteem aside from possessing brilliant dry humor. She made it clear that The Monster Ball was made just for her fans who didn't quite "fit in" and who were "picked on" because they weren't very pretty, because they weren't very skinny, because they weren't talented, because they couldn't sing, because of sexual orientation and just everything. Gaga made everyone feel comfortable...made them feel like a family...made them feel special. I could have sworn there were some points where she was on the verge of crying from wanting to save everyone from some form of torment.

As far as the whole music/performance presentation is concerned, it was simply amazing (and blushingly dirty). It was bright, colorful, fun, enthralling and the singing was great too. What a concept!!! As far as outfits, my favorite would have to be her angelic fairy outfit. I don't know how she did it, but her dress/headgear moved and she spread wings and just had to be seen to be believed. Favorite performance of the night was "Paparazzi" when she slayed a large "Fame Monster" fish on stage with flashing lights from cameras and a sparking bra (seen to believe again). However, all of her performances were great and powerful.

There were four big surprises of the night. Firstly, Gaga played a new song called "You and I" that she premiered at an Elton John event a couple of weeks back. Secondly, she donated money from ticket sales to her favorite charity for homeless people. Thirdly, she called an audience member during the middle of the concert and gave them front row seats. Fourthly, Gaga's mother was there.

All in all, Lady Gaga didn't disappoint and was well worth every penny! Her message of love, harmony and tolerance was heard loud and clear. My sister literally left raving about Lady Gaga (even though she doesn't agree with some of her standpoints). I think the words, "best show I have ever seen" slipped past her tongue. She was so excited that she felt the urge to run up to the most outrageous "Little Monsters" and get pictures with them (while I snapped a few others by themselves). SEE BELOW...

Little Monsters

Lady Gaga (pictures taken that night from various Facebook sources)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Music Muse: She's Got Me Like Nobody

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When I first stumbled upon Stefani Germanotta, she was singing about red wine and dancing. It was all good fun, it was a catchy little tune and I moved on with my life. And then there was that fateful car ride with Leah Mitchener, Carlos Robles and I think Patrick Donawho was there too. Well anyways...we were jamming to some radio station (trying to avoid hitting a pedestrian from Whitley) and on came a little number by Miss Germanotta about reading her "Po-Po-Po-Poker Face". Consider me intrigued as I tried (still trying) to get that song out of my head days later. So I did a little investigating and found the cult following of "Lady Gaga". Actually, the cult following was in early bloom. I moved on with my life (with "Poker Face" playing on a constant loop in iTunes).

And then the 2009 Video Music Awards happened. Lady Gaga was scheduled to perform later in the show, so I decided to check out her performance and see what she was all about. I had no idea what to expect. Well, it started off with a scream and a crash. Whaaaaatttt??? A curtain rises, and a fallen Gaga is revealed. From that moment on, I was enthralled as she belted out "Paparazzi" with immense passion. Her singing was real (opposed to lip-synching), her performance was stunning and she made millions gasp (you can actually hear it). It's usually at that gasping point where my hair stands on end....don't judge me.

It was at this point where the cult truly began, and the name Lady Gaga became a household name whether anyone liked it or not. She is known for her music, her eccentricity (that includes her outfits inspired by Amazonian Grace Jones), her political/social standpoints and her lifestyle. She certainly is not "normal" by society's standards as she makes her cultural imprint on us all. Yes, there is an imprint. She is #4 on Forbes Celebrity 100 list of influential people. Forbes also listed Gaga as #1 on web rank and #1 in social rank.

And the main point about this post is that I am going to see her tomorrow night in Dallas. I'm not sure what to expect, but believe me, I will let you know what happens!!!

This is THE PERFORMANCE that sucked me into her mad little world:

Photo provided by Google

Monday, July 19, 2010

More Than You Need To Know - Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe was once asked, “What do [you] wear in bed?” Her reply simply was “Why, Chanel No. 5, of course.” Marilyn Monroe’s life and afterlife has always interested me and I have researched her several times in the past. Today I will inform you about her.

The Life

Marilyn Monroe original name was Norma Jeane Morteson and was then later changed to Norma Jeane Baker. Norma Jeane according to “overcame a difficult childhood to become of the worlds biggest and most enduring sex symbols” (A&E Biography, 2007). Norma Jeane was born June 1, 1926 in Los Angeles, California. No one knew that she was to become, according to, “a personified Hollywood glamour with an unparalleled glow and energy that enamored the world” (2006).

Norma Jeane never knew her father and her mother became psychotic and was swiftly sent to a mental institution. Norma Jeane spent most of her early life in foster care and in an orphanage. Norma Jeane knew the only way out of the orphanage was to get married. So that is exactly what she did to her boyfriend at the time. Unfortuanly he had to go serve in the war in the South Pacific in 1942.

While he was away Norma Jeane did play! She went to work in a munitions factory where she was later discovered by photographer David Conover who classified her as a “photographer’s dream” (, 2006). When her husband returned in 1946, Norma Jeane was already a successful model. That same year, Norma Jeane obtained her first movie contract and divorced her husband to pursue her career. states that with Norma Jeane’s first movie contract “she began calling herself ‘Marilyn Monroe’ and dyed her hair blonde.” (A&E Biography, 2007) However, it wasn’t until the 1950’s that Marilyn Monroe’s career took flight with the movies The Asphalt Jungle and All About Eve. She later sealed her acting career with a kiss with the movies Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), How to Marry a Millionaire, There’s No Business Like Show Business (1954), and The Seven Year Itch (1955).

However Marilyn Monroe grew tired of these bubbly blonde movies and later went on to take more dramatic roles which she gained mostly acclaim for. However, she went back to comedy in Some Like It Hot with Jack Lemmon. She won a Golden Globe Award and Best Actress in a Comedy.

Her last three films mirrored the downfall of Marilyn Monroe. The first two were Let’s Make Love (1960) and her last completed film The Misfits (1961). Her third film was supposed to be Something’s Got to Give (1962) opposite of Dean Martin. She was fired from the production because of excessive absences and the movie was put on the shelf.

The Love

Now let's get seedy. Marilyn Monroe's love story starts as Norma Jeane Baker when she marries her boyfriend Jimmy Daughtry to get out of the orphanage life style. states that Daughtry described Norma Jeane as “a sweet, generous, and religious girl…who liked to be cuddled” (2006). While overseas, Daughtry heard about a hot new model that all of his bunkmates were ogling and decided to take a peek himself. Imagine his surprise when he found out that it was his wife! Their marriage only lasted 4 years from 1942-1946.

On January 14, 1954, Marilyn got married to baseball star Joe DiMaggio. They were happily married until Joe grew insanely jealous as Marilyn went overseas to entertain “the boys”. Joe didn’t feel comfortable having thousands of men ogling his girl. Their marriage lasted about nine months. They dubbed their marriage ended because of “conflict of careers”.

On June 29, 1956, Marilyn married playwright Arthur Miller. According to, Arthur Miller “wrote the part of Roslyn Taber in 1961's The Misfits especially for Marilyn” (2007). Unfortunately it wasn’t her greatest movie role and her marriage had already ended. However, she managed to win the female World Film Favorite in 1962.

Her greatest romance was more of a love affair with the President of the United States John F. Kennedy. No one truly knows the extent of their affair, but it was clearly evident that there was one. There was several steamy phone calls between both brothers, letters, and Monroe’s disillusioned fantasy of becoming First Lady according to (2008). During JFK’s 45th birthday, Marilyn Monroe was chosen to sing the traditional birthday song. But she changed the lyrics to “Happy Birthday Mr. President” and she sung it as sultry as she could in a skin colored, skin tight dress that had to be sewn onto her body. One clear indication of their affair is stated in the book Conspiracy. It offers the evidence of “the Rolex watch given to JFK by Marilyn Monroe, inscribed with the ‘Heartfelt Plea’: ‘Let Me Love or Let Me Die’ ” (Charlotte Greig, 2006). Some even believe that Marilyn Monroe was double dipping with Robert Kennedy, but there is no clear proof.

The Death

On August 5, 1962, the world was stunned with shocking news. Marilyn Monroe, age 36, was found dead in her bedroom with pills in one hand a phone in the other. But there are several questions that still remain. Did Marilyn Monroe OD on Nembutal capsules, or die from a rectally-administered barbiturate enema, or was she murdered? According to, “The actual events that surrounded Marilyn's death will probably never be known” (2008).

Marilyn Monroe was known to be suicidal and have serious mood swings. So the committing suicide angle is highly reasonable. The question is why did she commit suicide? There have been many reports, even by cops, that Robert Kennedy was last seen leaving Monroe’s home the night before she was found dead. Some say that he broke the news to her that his brother wanted nothing to do with her anymore. While others believe that Robert killed her because she was threatening his family’s reputation by knowing too much. It has also been said the CIA, Mafia, and the FBI also had it out for Monroe.

Many believe that there is proof that Monroe was murdered. It has been said that miles and miles of wiretaps were found in Monroe’s home in the ceiling. In one of the tapes, a “little red” diary is mentioned that supposedly holds the truth why the Kennedy’s would want to kill Monroe. The “little red” diary was never found. Many say these claims are true while other’s do not. It depends on if you believe in the conspiracy or not. What everyone does know for a fact is that Marilyn Monroe’s death was a shock to everyone.

I shall now end with a quote that I believe sums up Marilyn Monroe’s life. “Hollywood is a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul”.

photos provided by:

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Popcorn Worthy? - Inception

READER BEWARE: Opinions Are Expressed Below

In the un-inspired and un-creative doldrums of modern cinema where talking animated dogs, hamsters and blue cat people are hitting the market like wildfire and movies that shouldn't be re-made are being re-made...imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon the most thought provoking, mind bending (and mild headache inducing) movie I have seen since...well...since ever! Inception has restored my faith in Hollywood.

But don't consider me too surprised. Christopher Nolan, the man at the helm of this movie, has already brought us the mind-boggler Memento, The Prestige and has managed to rejuvenate the crumbling Batman franchise with a eagerly anticipated third installment on the way. So I already considered Inception a must see. But the question was...a must see what? The trailers, synopsis provided by the studio and the cast was certainly revealing nothing in depth. I found out why. There is NO WAY to merely describe this movie in words. It must be seen. Everything that I had guessed this movie was about was completely wrong, and there was no single point in the movie where it became predictable. It always manages to keep you guessing...even the awe inspiring (and emotional) end that will keep you on the edge of your seat and breathless as the credits begin to roll. I'm not a you will just have to go see it to find out!

As far as acting goes, Leonardo DiCaprio does his usual troubled, tough guy acting job and chooses another script that involves a dead wife who messes with his mind (not literally as in Shutter Island). Ellen Page is still brooding from Juno, Joseph Gordon-Levitt proves that he can act and do the most intense fight scene since The Matrix (BETTER than The Matrix...actually), Michael Caine pops in for a bit, Tom Berenger is looking old, Cillian Murphy should just stay evil (although he was still good as a good guy), and Tom Hardy became a name to look out for.

However, none of these actors could hold a candle to the lovely, haunting performance of Marion Cotillard (Leo's vengeful dead wife). When Cotillard came on the screen, the theater always fell dead silent (after everyone took in a sharp intake of breath) and those pesky teenagers even looked up from their glaring cell phones to watch her jaw dropping performance. And her eyes, that woman could kill anyone she wanted to with those gorgeous eyes. It was those eyes that drove a grown man to scream out (not me) in horror as she seemingly looked straight at us. It is safe to say that Cotillard commanded the screen and should get an Oscar. Will she? Now that is another story. The Oscars are soooo disappointing. One flaw of this movie is that they could have used Cotillard as a more central and diabolical villain than having no key villain at all.

And all I have to say for the movie's music is...Hans Zimmer. When you put Nolan and Zimmer is a perfect marriage in the cinema world. The music perfectly portrays this deep, haunting and powerful movie.

It's all just a dream within a dream, within a dream, within a dream, within a dream. Confused yet? That is the second flaw with this movie. It is hard to follow at times, and the dream setting is no help at all. I will not lie about that. Hence the headache I mention above. This is not a shove some popcorn into your mouth and drool while watching action sequence after action sequence movie. There is a level of involvement and you must listen and watch.

So all in all, Inception is Popcorn Worthy and possibly the greatest (and most inventive) movie of this decade. Inception is certainly going into the annals of classic-dom.

4.8 Popcorn Kernels Out Of 5 (because I wanted more of Cotillard and for some confusion throughout)

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