Hello World

Hello World

Hello World has the distinction of being the very first poem I ever wrote, circa 1997.

hello world,
what are you doing on my front step?
guess it’s my turn to shine in the spotlight
i don’t think i’m ready yet.
i still have things to do here in my castle
that you wouldn’t understand.
i’m perfectly fine on my own.
and in the end, i’ll die sad and alone.
don’t burden me with your problems, you say.
i’m just a member of the silent majority,
you say.
how am i supposed to refute that?
do i need to seek professional help?
pay my hard-earned money,
money to people who don’t need it,
to tell some scholar/academic my “problems”,
when common sense dictates
what i already should know?
you are merely a robot,
programmed to listen, to obey,
another infamous,
good boy gone bad rocket scientist,
to tell you to cry, to suffer,
to touch, to adore.
but you can’t feel, can you world?
we’re silent partners, world.
and i wonder is your partnership a blessing?
a wake up call from the gods,
reassuring my immortal salvation.
excuse me, who are you?
i’m so confused.
i’m alone in my principles.
ground glass in my oatmeal cookies,
the blood from the wounds
taste just like ketchup.
i let you rotate, world.
spin and weave your pretty little lies
to create a purple haze.
a fog to envelope me in sorrow,
a cloak of forgetfulness.
the summer air is heavy.
my heart beats like a drum,
my knees are weak,
and i’m sweating bad.
won’t you come inside?
i’ll turn the cold air on, so you’ll be okay.
see my eyes world?
i’m mentally undressing you,
so i know how you feel when you’re like me.
when you’re naked,
all the carnal feelings of the flesh
play tricks on your mind.
the core of your star-studded sex
is calling for me.
sadly enough, sex rocks my world.
they say Catholic schoolgirls are hypocrites,
a starved brand of sexual innocence
in a plaid skirt,
sucking on a cherry lollipop.
if that’s so, send me to hell right away.
so i’m a liar,
i tell you one thing and do another.
world, i change, i cry for you,
i feel for you.
the incense lingers in the air,
like the treachery that you told me.
before we go our separate ways,
please know that i’ve tried.
i never lied, i never cheated,
i never stole; everything else was a go.
how does it feel
to be reminded of your imperfections?
i don’t even know
if the words on this page make sense,
but flawlessness is not you, world.
you cry, you wail, you gnash your teeth,
and i undergo your pain
in the depths of my soul,
but i still feel as though i can’t trust you.
i depended on you for comfort, friendship,
and the occasional episode of casual sex…
and even now you deny me.
look at me.
i’m still the lanky,
raven haired beauty you ordered.
i’m just a pawn in your chess game,
a piece of beautiful garbage.
but then again, i’m not.
your tears are my tears, world.
i feel unloved, unwanted,
not needed sometimes, world.
i only undressed you because
i’ve always been naked in front of you.
i try to be different,
which defeats the point.

love, peace, and adobo grease, Guilliean
love, peace, and adobo grease, Guilliean
Sacred Three by MKS

Sacred Three by Mutya Keisha Siobhan

I could wax poetic about one of my favorite UK girlbands and the drama they’ve gone through over the years to put out great, earworm-friendly pop music.

But I won’t.

There are mounds of articles that do that all for me.

The three founding members of Sugababes – Mutya Buena, Keisha Buchanan, and Siobhán Donaghy – released their comeback single in 2013 as the newly christened Mutya Keisha Siobhan to great fanfare. Right around the release, I kept reading these uplifting articles, bucking for these girls to do it right this time around.

“Flatline” is a slice of pop perfection that still plays well today and will continue to do so. It’s catchy, smooth, and really embraces their harmonies. Check it out below:

I’ve been following and supporting these girls since I first heard their record. I’ve bought both Shiv and Muts’ solo albums. I was BEYOND psyched when they got over their differences and decided to come together as a new unit. And I was blown away by the videos that were leaked from their live gigs. YES, the Sugababes have come back to save pop music from itself!

Unfortunately, it seemed as if the nostalgia train for talented musicians wasn’t enough for 2014. Their debut album – termed The Sacred Three or Sacred Three, depending on whom you spoke to – never materialized. Over the next few years, official tracks and demo versions began to leak. I’ve been dying to hear these songs since they announced their comeback.

So whatever audio I could scrabble together from YouTube searches – and my heavens, there was a lot! – I’ve put together my own tracklisting, based on the strength of each song.

  1. Flatline
  2. Drum
  3. I’m Alright
  4. Love in Stereo
  5. Boys
  6. Today
  7. Love Me Hard
  8. No Regrets
  9. Too in Love
  10. Burnt Out
  11. Summer of ’99
  12. Back in the Day
  13. Lay Down in Swimming Pools

Based on the strength and sound of each song, I think if you were to play it front to back, they would work well in this way.

love, peace, and adobo grease, Guilliean
love, peace, and adobo grease, Guilliean
The Three Musketeers

The Three Musketeers (2011)

Originally published March 19, 2012

I didn’t have high expectations for this movie, even with an all-star cast of Christoph Waltz, Matthew Mcfadyen, Ray Stevenson, Luke Evans, Milla Jovovich, Mads Mikkelsen, Logan Lerman, Orlando Bloom (in supreme supervillain mode, amped up to 11), or a cameo by Til Schweiger.

It was a fun romp nonetheless. It didn’t add any mystique to the Musketeer pantheon, but I don’t believe it took away any prestige. That’s all we can ask of our adaptations nowadays.

Compared to other Musketeer adaptations, this film wholly embraces the swashbuckling romance we come to expect from a Musketeer movie. But the action was very post-Crouching Tiger, East meets West, like “The Musketeer” in 2001 with Justin Chambers.

The filmmakers used Xiong Xinxin, one of Jet Li’s stuntmen as their choreographer in that film. I know this sounds like I see this as a detriment, but I don’t. If anything, it lends credence to the source material. We must fall back to the great literature for the stories, even with the advancement of the technologically improbable in period movies where ordinary people can run up walls and do it slow motion.

My only true complaint is with the dialogue, which was cliched. When Athos (Matthew Mcfadyen) says “anyone who tells you otherwise is either a fool or trying to sell you something,” my cheese antennae went off the charts. I felt it oversimplified the rage he truly felt.

Buy the movie!

It fit in the context of the film, but I almost felt it was a disservice to the source to make the language modern. It rubbed me the wrong way. On the other hand, with the action being so modernized, I suppose the language had to follow suit. I am torn, and have no outlet to reconcile my feelings!

Another thing about the story is how quickly we fall back to Leonardo Da Vinci as the go-to MacGuffin in adventure movies. Surely there must be another reason to propel a story without falling back to Da Vinci and the hope that his machines would bring. I honestly don’t care about him as a precognizant inventor anymore. Yawn.

The rivalry between Mads Mikkelsen’s Rochefort and Lerman’s D’Artagnan was hilarious to watch, although I didn’t really feel there was much there. Furthermore, the whole Indiana Jones introduction of Rochefort? Very funny. Shoot first, ask questions later!

I like how they explained Logan’s American accent away by saying he was from Gascon. I don’t think there was much chemistry between Logan and Gabriella Wilde either. She played Constance Bonacieux, one of Queen Anne’s (the lovely Juno Temple) ladies-in-waiting. She was a little dull for me.

You know me, I want the females in the movies I watch to push the boundaries, even if movies are a man’s world and they cannot write well for a woman. Luckily, Milla Jovovich as Milady nailed it for me. She chewed up every scene she was in and spit it out with glee. Again, I believe her dialogue could’ve been better, but her husband wrote and directed this movie. She looked beautiful, as only a loving husband could frame his wife. And damned if she didn’t sell me on her overall awesomeness.

The movie ended on a cliffhanger, opening the door for a sequel. However, I have to agree with Milla; Summit dropped the ball promoting this movie. It could’ve been much more than it was promoted as.

I want to see the Duke of Buckingham (Orlando Bloom) and his fleet of ships and fancy new airships frolic about. Not quite sure if they could use Twenty Years Later directly, or if they’ll just stay within the first book to keep the story going, or go completely off the rails and have it be a truly historically accurate epic picture.

Also: Christoph Waltz for president! I wish he could’ve had more to do as Cardinal Richelieu. He’s so amazing, I’d buy an audiobook of him reading the phone book, no joke.

love, peace, and adobo grease, Guilliean
love, peace, and adobo grease, Guilliean
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Blood That Shames the Red, Red Rose

“Are you sending me home, ma’am?” he asked, coughing into the damp air.

The violent movement sent a fresh flood of claret to struggle against the haphazard field dressing.

“Yes, soldier, you’re going home,” I sighed in contempt.

I signaled to our radioman to order the medevac to grant this boy the illicit dignity of losing his final breath on American soil.

love, peace, and adobo grease, Guilliean
love, peace, and adobo grease, Guilliean
D23's Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

D23’s Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives at the Ronald Reagan Library

My September 2012 trip to the Ronald Reagan Library featuring Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives.

love, peace, and adobo grease, Guilliean
love, peace, and adobo grease, Guilliean
bellagio, san gennaro feast, heart attack grill, the mob museum

Bellagio, San Gennaro Feast, Heart Attack Grill, The Mob Museum

I celebrated my best friend A’s birthday here in Vegas, and we did a bunch of touristy things.

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee: celebrating the temporary Muhammed Ali exhibit at the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Arts
Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee: celebrating the temporary Muhammed Ali exhibit at the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Arts

First, I took her to the Bellagio conservatory and then she wanted to see Fiore di Como by Dale Chihuly. I was basically killing time until the San Gennaro Feast started.

San Gennaro Feast, May 2017

San Gennaro Feast was held at the Craig Ranch Regional Park. San Gennaro is the patron saint of Naples, Italy. It was the first time I had ever gone to San Gennaro, even though I’ve been living in Vegas for over 12 years! There were so many options to eat! Lots of booths to shop at, carnival rides. I had chicken parmesan and then a dozen cinnamon donuts for dessert.

Mob Museum facade

On Thursday, we went to the Mob Museum. It was my first time there. Thankfully they give you a wristband so you’re welcome to come and go all day. The Mob Museum used to be a post office/courthouse for the city. It’s a stone’s throw from Fremont Street. The location is choice. You couldn’t have asked for a better location.

While we waited for the school group to finish their tour, I walked her over to the Heart Attack Grill. It used to be Jillian’s, an arcade that doubled as a live music venue. During my emo stage, I spent a LOT of time at Jillian’s. It was a trip going back now that it’s the Heart Attack Grill. The restaurant has that Dick’s Last Resort vibe: vulgarity is an aspect of the experience. You really have to have thick skin when going there.

heart attack grill
heart attack grill

I was pounced on for not wearing the mandatory scrubs they give you. The waitress nurse didn’t see me when she was fitting A. So another waitress attacked me for not wearing one. “Attack” is a strong word. Yelled at very forcefully is being kind. Like, I’m not the one who forgot I was there! That’s part of the experience though.

heart attack grill menu
heart attack grill menu

I don’t normally eat early in the morning so I had no appetite yet. Which is just as well: if you don’t finish your food, they spank you. It happened a few times while we were there. I was telling A that some fellas probably didn’t finish their food on purpose so they could get spanked by the hot waitresses. There’s maybe 1-3 items you can share but the rest you HAVE to finish on your own, in the restaurant. Can’t take food to go, cash only.

The Mob Museum occupies the old U.S. Post Office and Courthouse
The Mob Museum occupies the old U.S. Post Office and Courthouse

The Mob Museum itself was fantastic. I had been meaning to go for a long time but I could never fit it into my schedule. Thankfully, A was down for going. This is how we spend our time together: being nerdy and going to museums. Just by virtue of being a history geek, I picked up on a lot of the history of Vegas and Clark County on my own since living here.

Replica of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre

For a city that builds and implodes every few decades, the city lives and breathes history. People get this idea of what Vegas is, but really, it’s like any big city with issues. But our story is unique because it was built on the greenback, legally or illegally. What can other cities say that? I highly recommend going, if you’re ever in Vegas. Take a couple of hours, get out of the heat and away from the crowds, and experience our unique origin story.

Display at the Mob Museum
love, peace, and adobo grease, Guilliean
love, peace, and adobo grease, Guilliean
Call Me When You're Desperate ('Cause I'm Like a Lawyer on Love Potion No. 9)

Call Me When You’re Desperate (‘Cause I’m Like a Lawyer on Love Potion No. 9)

The “I hate love,” “I love love” playlist.

To be listened strictly on shuffle to get the full effect of how love makes us ADD.

  1. A Toast to the Men – Willa Ford
  2. Baby I’m Yours – Arctic Monkeys
  3. Bum Like You – Robyn
  4. Call Me When You’re Sober – Evanescence
  5. Desperate – The Killers
  6. Giving Him Something He Can Feel – En Vogue
  7. Goodbye Doesn’t Mean I’m Gone – MMC
  8. I’m Like a Lawyer with the Way I’m Always Trying to Get You Off (Me & You) – Fall Out Boy
  9. I’m Sorry – Jessica Riddle
  10. It’s Warmer in the Basement – Cobra Starship
  11. Let Me Love You – Charlotte Church
  12. Love Potion No. 9 – The Searchers
  13. My Wonderful – Jessica Simpson
  14. One Foot In – Sugababes
  15. One Night Stand – The Pipettes
  16. Out of My Mind – Duran Duran
  17. Pornography – Client
  18. Sukiyaki – 4PM
  19. Sweet Dreams My L.A. Ex – Rachel Stevens
  20. There’s a Good Reason These Tables Are Numbered Honey, You Just Haven’t Thought of It Yet – Panic! at the Disco
  21. This Love – Maroon 5
  22. Twisted (Flavahood Sexual Healing Remix) – Keith Sweat
  23. Weekend Love – Spice Girls
  24. When You Say Nothing At All – Alison Krauss & Union Station
love, peace, and adobo grease, Guilliean
love, peace, and adobo grease, Guilliean
apocalypse now redux

Apocalypse Now Redux (2001)

I wrote my final paper in my Senior Seminar on the effect of photographs on the war effort in Vietnam. I wanted to somehow include films – which gave me the excuse to watch movies for the next few months. When I did my initial research, Apocalypse Now and The Deer Hunter would show up in my searches constantly. So I decided to watch them.

Knowing what I know about movies in general, and because of the age in which I watched it, I feel that I’ve seen the plot of Apocalypse Now elsewhere. I haven’t read “Heart of Darkness” by Conrad, on which the film was more or less based on.

I love the smell of napalm in the morning. Smells like…. victory.

Lt. Col. Bill Kilgore 

Robert Duvall is brilliant in this movie! His short appearance sets everything up for the rest of the film and you know it can only go downhill from there.

Buy the movie!

Random aside: my dad served under the officer who first deployed napalm in Vietnam. We think Dad’s exposure to the napalm in Vietnam aggravated his diabetes. His diabetes wasn’t diagnosed until he got back from his tours. So when I saw that famous monolog, my heart kinda broke.

We produced these soldiers. We train them as best as we can, but ultimately, they have to make knee-jerk decisions on the battlefield. I have so much respect for people in the military because of that. People don’t know what these men and women have to do in the heat of the moment. I’m not sure I could do the same. But I trust them to make the right choice.

Of course, the original film was released a scant four years after we left Vietnam officially. The wound was fresh. It still is, especially with the prolonged wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We compare those wars to Vietnam all the time.

The lasting impression it made on me was would I let my demons eat me alive as they did to Willard and Kurtz? I love it when a movie leaves me with questions because it makes me take a deeper look at myself. Not a lot of movies do that anymore.

So I would recommend watching it if only to know what it was like in-country. Apocalypse Now gets under your skin and won’t let go. I wouldn’t say you come away with a lot because it ends pretty succinctly. But it definitely makes you question life in general.

love, peace, and adobo grease, Guilliean
love, peace, and adobo grease, Guilliean
Blue Bell Knoll

Blue Bell Knoll: A Fairy Story

Once upon a time – because all good fairy stories start out like that – there was a little girl.

The little girl was blessed with hair as dark as the time before dawn and eyes like the blue in your sky. She was little, but not too little, and young enough to be born last and treated forever as such.

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