Life, art, and complaints of Cat Razim

Friday, July 1, 2011

Book Review – Catching Fire (Hunger Games Trilogy Book 2)

If it wasn’t clear in my last post – GO READ THE HUNGER GAMES! NOW!!

I seriously finished the second book about 20 minutes ago and while I clench the third and final book in my arms as I type this dying to know how it ends, I figure I should take a break and reflect on the second book. Maybe review? We’ll see how that works…

Now see, it’s hard enough to write a review the first time around since you want to just type and spoil away, unforgiving because in your mind EVERYONE should have read this already. However, it’s even more difficult to write something on the second.. now I have to be careful not to spoil the first or second book. I’ll try and be as careful as I can.

So… beware what’s below.


posted by Cathy Razim at 12:24 am  

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Book Review: The Hunger Games

I’ve felt awful this past year. Aside from all the unneeded stress I’ve been piling up in my life, I haven’t been reading. What? How can I not READ?! Well. I’ve been doing tons of writing (that is beyond awful, I assure you.) But I haven’t been really reading. I do have a few books here and there that I started but haven’t gotten around to finishing. Remember that episode of Are You Afriad of the Dark where this kid never finished a book and the characters came to life? Well, if it’s true then expect a news report of my death at the hands of a samurai and a computer hacker off stage of a auto-biographical school play of a very flamboyant teen. Throw in some zombies for good measure and a very hot detective for the NYPD.

However, the other day I was at Target. A quick “in and out” shopping day (pffft. yeah right). I needed my command strips to hang a few new wonderful posters. I know the layout , and I knew to weave around the stationary (I LOVE PENS!) and past the book section towards the kitchen stuff, then the toys to get to said strips. (Everyone has a “route” right? or am I the only one?) And of course, I kept my hands in my back pockets through the ink filled wonders (COLOURED SHARPIE PENS ARE NOW IN PACKS!! AGH!) but took them out too soon when I reached the books. Hunger Games for $7!! HELL YES!

I’ve heard great things of this series. Nothing specific. I knew the very VERY simple premise. I had grown weary of Young Adult fiction since This Crap Came Along. (it shouldn’t have made it past the publisher. What drunk intern thought this crap was pasible for the public, I’m not sure.) But yeah. I read the first chapter, and was immediately HOOKED.


posted by Cathy Razim at 6:29 pm  

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Lingering feelings over the Dead.

May the 4th be with you.

Sorry, that was a small distraction. In contrast to the past few years where there was nothing but distraction in the news. You know, big issues like the recession or Health Reform being pushed aside for stupid little “Are you sure you’re an American, Mr. President?” It’s weird. Since Sunday night no one has focused on anything else besides Osama bin Laden, his death, the compound he lived in, it’s location, his body’s disposal (he’s sleeping with the fishes now). Political Pundints have been taking their Ritalin! Finally, they’ve only had the subscription for years…!

I’m not saying that it isn’t big news. It is! The face of evil of our generation has fallen.  If you’re fortunate enough to know someone who was alive during Hitler’s reign and remembered the day he finally fell, you’d probably hear similarities between how people reacted then to how they are reacting now.

“But where are the photos?” I don’t think we need the photos. It’s a shame that we’ve become so cynical of a society where there is no more faith in words or trust. Even if the President did release the photos, there will be the conspirators that shout, “shenanigans!” (Edit: Actually heard a good argument for showing the photos from Jon Stewart on the Daily show. It is important that we be exposed to the gruesome aspects of war. We haven’t been. All we have are video games where the bodies fade away “and a gold coin appears”. Hah, Agreed Jon.)

Though, as an American and a Human Being, I’m quiet pissed at how some people have been acting and what others are saying. I love social media, but the gossip and misinformation that spreads is a poison that must be dealt with. Not censored. I’m not one for censoring, I mean just plan untrue facts and one-sided truths that friends and family mindlessly copy/paste from each other. It spreads faster than wildfire and my twitter and facebook feeds are filled with this sludge. Though, If I didn’t want to get angry, I’d stay off the internet. But it’s unfortunately the only way to access the truth and whole story behind the misleading dribble. Fox news is the worst. CNN hasn’t been much better lately. Everyone has their own agenda.

If we wash our hands to help stop the spread of disease, why not do the same with misinformation?

But the comment that have inspired this post has been this joke that has lately invaded my feeds-

So, Osama bin Laden is standing before God waiting to hear his punishment, when God gets a tap on the shoulder.
Behind him stands 343 firefighters, 72 police officers, one K9 officer, 3,000 American citizens & over 5,000 soldiers. “Don’t worry, God, we got this!”

Why does this bother me? Besides the obvious disregard for religious belief,  it’s another hint at how self-centered American are. Al-Qaeda has been around since 1988. Since then it has inspired many other terrorist groups such as the Taliban. bin Laden was the founder of Al-Qaeda and thus inspired the radical ideals that caused the death of THOUSANDS more than the sum given in that statement. Does anyone else care?

Do you?

Because I haven’t seen or heard anyone point out the total death toll of this man.

And finally, here is my cynicism – No one has mentioned the hate he has inspired in all of us. The almost unnoticeable quick glance you gave someone at the airport? Suspect. Paranoia. The racism and the names. Osama did more than just plant hijackers on planes and smash them into buildings, or send suicide bombers into markets. He has done more damage to us mentally and emotionally than any body count. And that has not died. No. It still lives and continues to grow and spread. His Death toll is high, but those he infected is higher.

posted by Cathy Razim at 8:53 pm  

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Some People Suck… ep1 – Itawamba Agricultural High School

If you haven’t heard yet, a school in Mississippi has cancelled prom because a girl wanted to take her girlfriend as her date…

Really, Itawamba Agricultural High School? Really? You cancelled prom for that?

I mean, think about it in a statistic you can understand… that’s a couple less-likely to face teen pregnancy…

And what about those poor wallflower kids that go with their friends instead? Why force people to go with a person of the opposite sex? Think I’m kidding? “A Feb. 5 memo to students laid out the criteria for bringing a date to the prom, and one requirement was that the person must be of the opposite sex.” (source here, near the end of the article… ) Seriously? It’s a requirement?

I heard of this through the twitter feeds. @realjohnGreen , an author I follow, one part of the Vlogbrothers, and a great Nerdfighter shared the story, and has suggested we fundraise and throw a prom for every student of the school, regardless of companion!

I say let’s do it.

posted by Cathy Razim at 3:23 pm  

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Artists and technology…

What is it about technology that makes some people utterly useless?

I had a class last quarter (because RIT still has trimesters and it’s better, damnit!) that the professor used a stand-alone projector/speaker system. Not one class with him went by where he didn’t make a snide comment about technology. “It’s the projector, it screws up the colour.” “The speakers don’t work.” “The projector doesn’t project the entire screen. School of technology, heh.” “The copier must’ve screwed this page up.”


It’s not like he’s new to all this. Some of his work is digital…

But it isn’t just him. Many artists in my school are fearful of technology. Someone openly admitted to me once that she has her boyfriend check her email because she doesn’t know how to turn on the computer.

Granted, I might be spoiled in my knowledge of how a computer works because my boyfriend and I built our own computers a few years back. Back in high school I taught myself the basics of the computer and programming websites. I feel, however, that if you gave it the time of day most of what you need to know is common sense. Even with a new computer, fresh out of the box, you knew where to plug in the monitor and the keyboard because the plugs fit in perfectly-

So why is it like trying to fit a cube into the opening shaped like a circle for these people!? really!? We had presentations for our finals and some of us brought our own laptops. One person had an older Mac and was trying to force the VGA, or the new mac proprietary video plugs into places it didn’t fit. I had to say something at this point. I grabbed the laptop, noticed it was a DVI connection and grabbed a DVI to VGA adapter from my bag to save the day.

Because I’m the only loser I know who carries around a DVI to VGA…

Oh dear readers… when it was my time to present my final, I indirectly handed it to my professor… I gave a quick rant that it isn’t Technology’s fault… the problems existed between chair and keyboard. (One person actually got it. Thank you friend in the back.) I also said that it hurt some people’s feelings when technology got the blame when it wasn’t at fault. No one takes care of it!

I got a small applause for that. My Professor didn’t say a word.

But it isn’t hard to learn! Why are artists fearful? Is it this hatred that it’ll make crappy art to replace hand made art? No… It’ll be crap art because PEOPLE will make crap art on the computer. The computer is a tool, just learn to use it, and it can do really amazing things…

posted by Cathy Razim at 8:32 pm  

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