The Sun-Day Forecast 11/29/09

This week around the JMU community (aka the last week of classes this semester!) :

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Exam Jam
Feeling overwhelmed by all the stress that comes along with finals? Come out to UPB’s late-night dance party Exam Jam to alleviate your troubles. Your body and your brain will be thanking you after taking a study break this Thursday night. Bring your friends and enjoy dancing to the musical selections of DJ G, eating some free food, and have the most fun you’ve ever had during exams!
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Funny Freakin’ Friday

They don’t make them like Evan Wecksell anymore. As one of the funniest and most energetic performers to emerge from New York’s comedy clubs and musical venues, the Comedian and Singer/Songwriter is often compared to comedic superstars Adam Sandler and Stephen Lynch.

You might have seen Evan on national television on VH1’s I Love the 80’s 3D, I Love the 70’s II, and I Love Toys.

The Grafton Saga: New Movies

The Time Traveler’s Wife

“Clare has been in love with Henry her entire life. She believes they are destined to be together, even though she never knows when they will be separated: Henry is a time traveler–cursed with a rare genetic anomaly that causes him to live his life on a shifting timeline, skipping back and forth through his lifespan with no control. Despite the fact that Henry’s travels force them apart with no warning, Clare desperately tries to build a life with her one true love. Based on the best-selling book by author Audrey Niffenegger.”*

Gamer

“Set in a future-world where humans can control other humans in mass-scale, multi-player online gaming environments, a star player (Butler) from a game called “Slayers” looks to regain his independence while taking down the game’s mastermind (Hall).”*

*synopses from imdb.com
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Viewer’s Choice: January at Grafton!

As an organization, we are very proud of the fact that we are able to bring two different movies to our on campus movie theater every week. Movies have been enormously successful so far this year, and we want to show our appreciation. Our Film Director has asked that we start a viewer’s choice….. that’s right, you get to pick what you’d like to see at Grafton!

For the month of January, the options available for you to choose from are:

Thanks for your input!

Also, make sure to check out what else is going on around JMU with UPB’s blog!

Confronting Life With Love

In a world where college students feel so much pressure to succeed, academically, socially, and physically, it is extremely easy to get stressed.  We, as college students, can get stressed out by anything from having two tests and a paper on the same day, three meetings one night, not getting to the gym, or a text back from that somebody on Saturday night.

When everything gets out of control people sometimes turn to negative influences.  For some, going out on the weekends progresses into nightly binge drinking and possibly addiction. Others may feel too overwhelmed and burdened into depression.  Both of these things have the unfortunate possibility of turning into more serious issues such as self- injury or even suicide.

These issues are definitely not easy to confront or talk about.  Recently the Founder of To Write of Love on Her Arms visited JMU to tackle these issues head on and give encouragement that these issues can be solved with the proper help.  There are numerous resources on campus to help with these issues.  At a time when exams and papers are piling up it’s easy to be stressed out.  However, it is important to not let stress get out of hand and turn into more serious issues.

At the end of the day a grade, missing a meeting, or having one argument does not define who you are as a person.  If you are someone you know is suffering from any of these potentially serious issues I encourage you to “spread the love” and help that individual or yourself seek help.  All of these problems can be solved with support and love.
-Anonymous

Giving Thanks for Thanksgiving

Each year Thanksgiving comes and passes like any other holiday. I might argue that it is the purest holiday. It lacks the commercialism of Christmas, the novelty of Halloween, the complete BS that is Valentine’s Day, and you can don whatever color you choose. I can think of no better reason to have a holiday than to give thanks for everything in our lives and spend some quality time with extended family members, rarely seen. Okay, that’s enough sappy stuff.

We all know the two real reasons people LOVE Thanksgiving. Food and the movie, “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.” I personally have such a high passion for both that I am torn trying to decide which I like better.

First, the FOOD. We all know the smells; the enticing aromas that begin to emanate from your mother’s kitchen a day or two before Thanksgiving, the epitome of all that is delicious. Next, comes the sampling. I for one am convinced that my mother has been systematically trying to poison my entire family, so I have put my life on the line for years by testing everything she makes in preparation for the big day. Clearly, it is a slow acting poison.

As the day approaches, wardrobe becomes a major concern. Everyone simply understands that massive quantities of food will be consumed. It doesn’t matter if you are dieting, training for the Olympics, or are UPB President Annie Blewett. As I begin my search, I half-mindedly consider wearing sweat pants, which would be highly effective, yet inappropriate. Eventually, I give up and accept that I will most likely look like Jared before he heard about Subway and it doesn’t matter what I wear because every button will pop and every zipper will be broken anyway.

The day arrives. Everyone knows the feeling of helping their mother with last minute food preparations. Poor mothers, they are usually stressed to the point of a nervous breakdown. I honestly could be more helpful attempting to burn my house down than actually helping my mother cook. It ok though, I’d rather watch the parade anyway.

Finally, family is in place, prayers have been said, the old people who never want to eat first have been forced to go, and it is time to eat. I personally enter a fairy tale land where spontaneous singing and dancing is allowed and fill my plate to paper plate capacity. At this point I am lost to conversation. I am completely focused on my food, eating as if Kanye West might pop out at any moment and interrupt me. I am in my happy place.

Reason number two for loving Turkey Day, “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” is just an awesome movie. Need I even elaborate?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

– Steven Butler

Taking Exams or Taking Woodstock?

The time of death for all social activities is quickly approaching: exam week. However, before we get there we have to suffer through a week of relaxation, hanging out with friends, and spending time with your family. Oh the horror! However, Grafton is with you as always and we have a special treat for the Wednesday and Thursday before Thanksgiving break, November 18 and 19. A special double feature of Taking Woodstock is going to be playing, for the regular price of a whopping $2.50 with only 50 cent popcorn. $3? No, I’m not joking… it really is that cheap.

I’ll be the first to admit, I have no idea what Taking Woodstock is or what it’s about. To answer the first question- Taking Woodstock was premiered at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival before opening in NYC and LA. Based on the memoir Taking Woodstock: A True Story of a Riot, a Concert, and a Life written by Elliot Tiber, the film follows the production of the Woodstock Festival of 1969.

Elliot Tiber (played by Demetri Martin), an aspiring interior designer, is helping out his parents who are experiencing some financial difficulties with a barn which has been turned into a motel. In order to raise money, Elliot plans on holding a musical festival but his plans change as he hears of the difficulties which face the Woodstock Festival organizers. He offers his permit for the land and the motel for accommodations. There is some opposition and hatred posed towards Elliot andother helpers of the festival, but it is quickly taken care of and he works hard with his family in order to make money. In the movie we, the viewer, do not get a chance to see the musical performances as Elliot makes a LSD-trip with a couple in their VW Bus. I will leave off the summary there, so as not to ruin the ending of the

movie, but there is more to be seen from this psychedelic movie.*

So as Thanksgiving approaches, consider giving your poor, tired mind a break from the hassle of trying to learn Calculus formulas, the purpose of that random red scarf in that English short story, or the intricacies of economics. Instead, let your mind relax and follow a great story of one of the greatest concerts ever put forth by our humble little country.

~Christine

*summary adapted from Wikipedia

Inglorious Basterds……An Inglorious Problem

I’m sure you all remember the issue we had with The Hangover, and how we had to delay the showing at Grafton because the production company decided to keep it in theaters for an extra couple weeks. Unfortunately, we have the exact same problem with Quentin Tarantino’s new box office smash, Inglorious Basterds. Universal Pictures has decided to put the film in major theaters for an extended period of time to get more Oscar nominations. I’m sure the film won’t have a problem with getting any Oscars, but who am I to second-guess a production company’s decision? So what does that mean for us? It means that we are unable to get a copy of the movie to play at Grafton for the first week of December. We considered just bringing it to Grafton in January, but it comes out on DVD release December 15, so it will already be on DVD for a month when we come back after January.

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So if you’re huge Tarantino fans (like myself) and were waiting with bated breath for Lieutenant Aldo Raine to make his appearance here at JMU, just put the movie on your Christmas list and hope that someone special understands your need for obscene amounts of comedic violence.

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Of course, we can’t leave you hanging with just a chick flick before finals, so we have selected another action-packed movie as a substitution for Brad Pitt and his WW2 scalping and skull-bashing. Gamer is a film with Gerard Butler (you know him as King Leonidus from 300) where Butler is an inmate on death row and he and his fellow inmates are the subjects in a Call Of Duty type shooter game called Slayers. People around the world are playing Slayers on their PS3s and Xboxes, but instead of controlling imaginary digital figures, these players control Butler and the other prisoners in a life or death battle for survival. To give you a glimpse at the tone of the movie, here’s a quote from the movie, taken from imdb.com.

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Ken Castle: [seeing Hackman] Look at it. The new face of Slayers. Pure, crystalized horror. Two stories high and bathed in bloody red. He is what they want.
Geek Leader: They love Kable.
Ken Castle: They do now, but when they watch their hero die right in front of their eyeballs so sharp and vivid it feels like you could reach out and touch the wet flesh, they’re going to change their point of view. They’ll be seduced by the power of violence; the dominance. It’s human nature.
Geek Leader: Kable’s made it through 28 battles. Every player in the game has tried to take him out.
Ken Castle: Yeah, Kable’s the perfect soldier. He’s a tactical killing computer. His only vulnerability is the nanex itself; the *ping*, the delay between Simon’s commands and Kable’s ability to execute.
Geek Leader: So why should this one be any different? Who controls him?
Ken Castle: [long pause] No one.

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Again, we apologize for the inconvenience and I encourage you to check out Gamer for your pre-exam study breaks!

– Katelyn

Recollections of My First Semester with UPB

As a new member of UPB’s Special Events Committee, I have discovered a smorgasbord of greatness. Thus far, from planning our events to the meeting the people involved, I have had a blast. I must wonder, where was I two years ago? I’m a little bummed I got started so late into my college career with this organization, but never fear, my junior standing allows for more time to immerse myself into this pool of cool.

Amy RemmerI wasn’t sure what to expect upon becoming part of the UPB community. I had heard of the events before, but had not really thought twice about them (except the Late Night Breakfasts….those are great!) With this being my first semester on the job, I have had the chance to experience all the UPB events, and I’ve got to say, it’s been incredible.

With such high quality events, one must consider the people involved. They must be great and hard working, right? Not only are they dedicated to bringing the best events to campus, but they are also really funny! I didn’t think an event like the Ghost Hunter could be so much fun, but these people have me in stitches! I’ll admit that I am easily amused. For example, I was making a banner the other day forTo Write Love On Her Arms UPB’s blog, and you better believe I thought my stick figures were hilarious. Not only do I think everyone else is hysterical, I think I’m a hoot too (doesn’t say much for my standard of funny, but it makes everyone else feel good about themselves.)

I’m having a fantastic time working with these people and they are making everything so much fun. An event that I am really looking forward to is tonight’s awareness speaker, Jamie Tworkowski, who is coming to campus to speak about his non-profit organization, To Write Love On Her Arms. I hope I will see you all there, seeking a way to help the people you know and love who are suffering with depression and addiction. Come to Festival Ballroom tonight, November 16th at 8 PM for this free, empowering event. It’s going to be truly amazing.

– Amy