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Elif Geris

I’m a Creative Writing major at the University of Illinois at Chicago, which does not have a journalism program.

My (and your) response to that: WHUCK?!

But it’s okay. Almost as much as I love to report world events to you, I love to write fiction stories that normally entail someone getting lost somewhere. And a lot of the time, I get my writing inspiration from music; Royksopp, Radiohead, Air, Regina Spektor. To me, music completes everything.

On the side of writing, I play piano, sing and write music.

And do impressions. My mockery inspirations range from Kristen Wiig’s “Penelope,” to high school classmates, to Bill Hader’s eyebrows, to 1940s film actor voices. One of my favorite impressions is a kid in my high school senior year trigonometry class who didn’t seem to understand much of the concept. But he, nevertheless, would constantly utter the word, “Troo,” while the teacher was explaining an equation.

A lot of the time, I just like to ridicule my own existence. I like to add a Southern twang while speaking Turkish or French; every Turk I’ve met has told me I have a very noticeable accent, and that my sister’s is…well…less blemished. And I enjoy acting like a Sim with her and fellow “ The Sims” players. Sool sool if you’re reading this!

Speaking of Sims, my traumatic experiences with The Grim Reaper taught me how to really take care of myself.

I recently do not like people who are too mysterious. The movie, Drive –which I give a 70% – taught me to stay away from attractive people, who stare at you for extensive periods of time with doughy eyes.

I admire quirky people like Kristen Wiig – one of my greatest idols – who are unafraid to make themselves appear ugly or “Target Lady” to make other people laugh. I like to think that my insignificantly pathetic moments serve just that purpose.

There’s a “pAAHsitive” spin!

Push gravity down: Chance The Rapper, John Maus and Fiona Apple

Chance The Rapper, John Maus and Fiona Apple

When changing seasons are dragging you into another semester of school, and into another age, into more drama, more breakups (especially if you’re Taylor Swift), and you suddenly find yourself nearing the other side of the hill, run as fast as Fiona Apple in “Dull Tool.” Apple’s vibrato runs parallel with the rapid pulling of the violin bow as she laments the idleness of communication. Stagnation is the last thing on your list in places where nature controls time, and time controls nature – you. Race faster than the numbers that force your path like the banging of a kick drum and sharpen the dull tool so as not to get caught within the slow pace of joy in the beginnings. Win the race against time and take the job market by storm, by disallowing others to win you over – emotionally and professionally.

“Hey Moon,” I said, when it lay on its back, ready to take on its next form. Winter break came to an end and so did the visibility of a proper night sky. Arriving back at school may pose as another segue to darkness in the fortress of a library, but once you exit, you may become pleasantly surprised by the clear, glittering sky above you, with John Maus’s “Hey Moon” emanating through your eardrums. Or the flashing lights that illuminate the snowy ceiling, drawing you back to the top of the red rods of the soaring Willis Tower.

Now change your pace and glide across the slippery surface of outer space that the quad comprises with Chance The Rapper’s “Brain Cells [prod. By Peter Cottontale].” Instead of slipping, allow the watery particles to push you across the semester. Don’t look down, and relax with the sporadic piano arpeggiation that accompanies Chance’s carefree and confident emissions. Float above the soaked, intermixed ground with The Rapper’s vocal stream as it flows through you like purple water. Forget the things that broke you. Glide – don’t let the books take you down.

Epic Proportions Tour brings new and deserving musical talents your way

Help your school discover new music with the Epic Proportions Tour

Anchor Artist and co-owner of the Epic Proportions Tour, Gabe Kubanda is bringing his brand of acoustic indie pop along with 2 other amazing bands to colleges, high schools and military bases across the nation this Spring.

“There’s NOTHING more proportionally EPIC than one lone guy on a stage with his acoustic,” jokes Gabe to a Dallas crowd. Known for his interactive live shows and intimate, yet humorous songwriting style, Gabe loves to mess with the audience, sometimes even in the middle of a song.

Co-headlining the tour with Gabe will be Rocktronica band Lost In Atlantis and fun-pop rock band Halocene. Both bands tout female lead vocalists, but with widely varied styles. Check out the official videos for Lost In Atlantis’ single “Tek No” (http://youtu.be/k1h2lj8flCQ) and Halocene’s single “Sometimes” (http://youtu.be/EB9dOyE-DBU).

This “admittedly” unique tour is a boon for colleges on a tight budget, student-programming boards wanting to provide a different concert experience to their students, or activity leaders looking to remove some of the headache/funds out of planning a big concert.

As opposed to most talent agencies today, EPT provides amazing bands, a full iPad-driven Stagescape sound system (courtesy of Line 6), all the gear and a crew for a drastically low price to colleges. By packaging these bands together, traveling in one tour bus, and using alternative fuels when available, EPT is able to keep their costs low to the benefit of cash-strapped schools. They also play concerts for our men and women in uniform, and perform for free at high schools. In addition, EPT is able to partner with great charities like Keep A Breast to provide free giveaways at each concert, and promote awareness of social issues.

Gabe mentions: “We created this tour for one reason:  To bring deserving bands to deserving fans.” And the exposure doesn’t just end after the Spring Tour. EPT is in talks to produce a rockumentary/reality series about life on the road, based on all the live concert/behind-the-scenes footage acquired on each tour, and Gabe Kubanda and Lost In Atlantis have just been confirmed for a string of west coast tour dates on this summer’s widely anticipated Vans Warped Tour 2013. After that, it’s another three-month college tour in the Fall of 2013.

To request the Epic Proportions Tour at your school, email info@epicproportionstour.com or visit the official facebook tour page at www.facebook.com/epicproportionstour to get some free songs!

College Soundtrack: Lost In Atlantis, Gabe Kubanda and Halocene

Gabe Kubanda, Lost In Atlantis and Halocene

A sea of colors pours from the mouth of Lizzy Rosnowski to preface the collaboration of instruments in “Tek No” of Lost in Atlantis, and accompanies the drummed heartbeat of the song – the deceptions and angst that come with the start of another semester. Lost in Atlantis brings you your new school season with all its new challenges – roommates whom you deemed your good friends only months ago, or your core classes creating confusion concerning your major; run with the stampede that is the professional world, and use Lost In Atlantis as a guide. As though a female version of Silverstein, let the yearning of Lizzy Rosnowski, and the persistent guitar riff of Lost In Atlantis tear through you via “Tek No,” and help you make your mark. Don’t let the small moments ruin you – rather fight back, and become what you want to become.

An avid and devoted Muse fan, I can’t help but to fall into the deep, determined bass line intro of “Sometimes” from the album, “Can You Hear Us Now?” of Halocene. The intro immediately reminds listeners of the tenacity in “Hysteria” off the worldly “Absolution” album of Muse.  Although the vocals of Addie Nicole are not quite a male falsetto, they are easily comparable to the youthful clarity that comes from the throat of Ellie Goulding. The band has covered “Lights,” a popular hit from the debut album of Ellie Goulding. With persistent guitar strokes and a surprising bridge that brings the sound of sporadic illumination, Halocene throws its listener back into the hasty desperation that Addie Nicole is conveying with a backing vocal that wails for support from “you.”

Finally, with acoustics that contradict the determination of Halocene and Lost In Atlantis, comes Gabe Kubanda with “Across The Room.” The vocals of Gabe Kubanda narrate the timidity that only his guitar and vocal progressions can clearly convey, as the soft, flawless string section brings the setting to life. It’s that burst of confidence needed to finally get the number of the beautiful girl at your college party whom you may never see again unless you seize the day. Gabe Kubanda has an untainted falsetto, which bridges the gap between these juxtapositions, and leaves the listener yearning for more.

A Muse to just guide you

Just along for the “Ride”

Where to next? Ask MUSE, as their new “Follow Me” begins with the beating heart of front man Matthew Bellamy’s son’s soaring sonar of a heartbeat. Let the pounding of your heart symbolize the pounding of your feet on the quad’s gravel as you make your mark this academic year. Though the ultrasound may seem like the recording of a crowd of marching protestors to match the band’s past common themes, it is the contrary. Don’t let the toils of college turn you into a sizzling robot. Staying calm, but remembering what and who means the most is vital. Bellamy’s gargantuan honey vocals implore patience and understanding that his footsteps will forever be visible. Whoever your role models are, don’t let a shadow of a loaded schedule cover the path you wish to see.

Instead, “Ride” with Lana Del Rey. What sets you free? Follow those footsteps to the place where the breeze kisses your skin as you pass. Don’t let the squeaking in your tin legs distract you from the dose of melancholy you should allow yourself once in awhile. Del Rey emits an orchestral sound from her throat like that of the pouring sun’s rays, which blossom out of the orange strings. The agony in her “don’t leave me now” is brought down with the setting of the sun at four p.m., but lifted once again with the reunion of her soul with her passion. Don’t fear Lake Michigan’s bite on your nose; hold your knowledge and love close.

But really, “Wasting Time (feat. Chance The Rapper)” may indeed be the time spent dwelling. The bass opens this Kids These Days song much like an indecisive heart that beats anxiously, waiting for the outcome of a choice. When there’s a fork in the road, love can be lost and so can the self. Chance The Rapper laments of a lost love, and of regret, his downtrodden vocals contrasting with the tunes of the trickling guitar. The water under the bridge flows inevitably, no matter what the choice is. KTD vocalist Liam Cunningham trades off turns with Chance, and Vic Mensa, the band’s resident rapper as they exchange their own struggles with individuality.

Keep in touch with the whos and the whats that give you, you.

Yeardley Smith talks about being Lisa Simpson

and her line Marchez Vous

How do you mainly express yourself?

I love words. I think letter writing is an art form. But at the end of the day, I believe deeds are the most authentic form of expression.

How did you get started in voice acting?
I did a new play at a grubby little theater in Los Angeles, a few months after I arrived in 1986. I think 17 people saw that play, but one of them ended up casting “The Simpsons” shorts on Fox’s ”The Tracey Ullman Show” a year later. She remembered me and said right away, “I know who should play ‘Lisa Simpson’!”

Do you have any voice acting idols?

I am genuinely in awe of my fellow Simpsons actors who all do multiple voices and do them beautifully and effortlessly. I’m also a huge fan of Charlie Adler who voiced both ‘Cow’ and ‘Chicken’ on the late ’90’s cartoon series Cow and Chicken. Pure genius!

Who are your idols in general?

 I’m inspired by people who pursue their dreams and follow their instincts. To me, this is the fastest way to happiness. So James Bond is at the top of my list –and so is Santa Claus.
 

Any favorite writers? Scriptwriters or authors of novels?

You can’t go wrong with Dr Seuss — ever.

How do you mainly express yourself?

I love words. I think letter writing is an art form. But at the end of the day, I believe deeds are the most authentic form of expression.

I understand you have a novel out, “I, Lorelei,” and it has some similarities with “The Simpsons.” Writing the novel, did you draw any inspiration from “The Simpsons?”

Not consciously, though ‘Lisa Simpson’ and ‘Lorelei’ are smart, funny, über-resourceful, and take no prisoners. Basically, they’re who I wish I’d been at ages 8 and 11, respectively.

Do you and Lisa Simpson have anything in common?

I’d say one thing we have in common is that we both excelled at something at a young age, and that automatically sets you apart from your peer group. For instance, I did a lot of school plays from age 10, on. By age 14, I was doing professional theater. Some of my classmates thought that was cool; others thought I was just showing off. Lisa is in the same boat given her brilliant academic achievements. The writers on the show always make fun of her for not having any friends. I had friends as a kid, but I’m not sure I ever felt as though I really fit in.
 
What do you and don’t you like most about Lisa’s character?

I love her sense of humor! She’s so funny! I’m less fond of her standing on a soapbox and going off about some meaningful cause. Only because if we make Lisa too preachy and forget she’s a kid, she becomes really tedious.

You initially auditioned to do Bart Simpson’s voice. Why was that your first choice?

It wasn’t my choice. In animation, they always have women do the voices of young boys because our voices don’t change. I think the producers of “The Simpsons” were just throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what stuck that day. I’d never done voice-over at all when I auditioned for “The Simpsons” So I, personally, didn’t have a preference. But, even so, I knew it was a stretch to say I sounded like a boy.

What were your thoughts of the show before starting recording?

The premise of the Simpsons “shorts” that began on “The Tracey Ullman Show” was so off-the-wall I wasn’t even sure what the job was when I went auditioned for it! But I’m usually game for anything so I didn’t care. By the time we spun off into a half hour series, everyone said Fox was crazy to put a cartoon on in prime time — it hadn’t been done since “The Flintstones.” The first half hour episode of “The Simpsons” aired on December 17th, 1989. It was a Christmas special called “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire.”  After that the show was unstoppable.

What’s it like to work with international superstars like Mick Jagger and Anne Hathaway?

I loved meeting Mick Jagger. I mean, come on! It’s MICK JAGGER!  I can’t say he felt the same way about meeting me. As in, he seemed rather underwhelmed when we were introduced. LOL!  Anne Hathaway was grace, incarnate: beautiful, funny, willing, and tall! Loved her.

What was the hardest part about doing “The Simpsons?” Did you ever have a sick day that you couldn’t record? Side note: What’s been the worst thing to happen during recording?

There’s nothing hard about doing “The Simpsons.” It’s the best job in the world.

What inspired the decision to start designing shoes? And what inspires the style behind your designs?

I love fashion, and I think shoes make or break your outfit. When I realized I didn’t have beautiful shoes that were comfortable enough to keep up with my busy life, I was inspired to be the solution. But I didn’t want to just license my name as a celebrity designer, I wanted to be the designer –I’m an all-in type of girl. I knew nothing about making shoes when I started Marchez Vous two and half years ago; now I know more than I ever imagined!

My motto has always been: “Screw it, let’s do it!” (Thank you, Richard Branson.) I don’t worry about the hows. Instead, I surround myself with extraordinary people who share my enthusiasm and passion for getting where we need to go and then we just go. Marchez Vous is no exception. Now we’re at Zappos, and about 30 high-end boutiques around the country. It’s a fantastic adventure and we’ve only just started!

McKayla Maroney jokes about her internet memes

McKayla Maroney responds with a photo emulating her silver medal face

The joke on the street, McKayla Maroney, joins in on the laugh around the internet meme that ridicules the disappointment on her face from when she won silver in the Olympics. 

The variation of memes includes a photo of McKayla Maroney’s scrunched lip, paired with raised eyebrows and crossed arms that cover her silver medal. One of the memes reads “Psh. Didn’t wanna pay $8,986 in taxes anyway.” 

Another McKayla Maroney meme is a photo of the USA gymnast looking down at the camera with raised eyebrows, her posture straight. Across the photo read the words, “Oh you vault? Never heard of you. [sic]”

So in response to the internet memes, the 16-year-old cheerfully joked, “I am just not impressed with anything.”

McKayla Maroney also posed in a photo with fellow gymnasts Kyla Ross and Aly Raisman in bathrobes, emulating the original look of dissatisfaction on Maroney’s face.

On The Late Show with David Letterman, Maroney sat with her four gynastics teammates, and told Letterman about the fun they had after they noticed the internet meme.

Entertainment Weekly contributor Annie Barrett referred to McKayla Maroney as the “Posh” of the team of five, and said that she stole the show.

“After I did it, the girls kept pointing it out, ‘You’re doing that face again,'” Maroney said.

One of the memes even features an animated version of Maroney wearing the look of disappointment alongside the animated cast of “Charlie Brown” as they eat at a long table.

Jodie Foster sticks up for Kristen Stewart via "The Daily Beast"

Jodie Foster’s thoughts about the media

Jodie Foster saw all the fire Kristen Stewart has been under for cheating on Robert Pattinson, and decided to speak up on her behalf.

Foster starred in Panic Room with the 22-year-old actress in 2002, and took a stand against the flying judgments from the public in her The Daily Beast article.

Jodie Foster highlighted the options for a young, famous actor, and what she would do if she were a young, famous actress today. Jodie Foster, plain and simple, said she would leave the industry, or at least re-evaluate her career before immersing herself in what she believes to be an inevitable mass of “drugs, sex and parties.”

As someone who has survived the Hollywood industry for 46 out of her 49 years of life without excessive media attention or judgment, Jodie Foster wrote about a tool she wished someone like Kristen Stewart had.

Foster wrote, “I would only hope that someone who loved me, really loved me, would put their arm around me and lead me away to safety.”

Jodie Foster wrote of a technique to avoid such judgment, but does not actually know how she did it.

Foster lamented about what would become of the stories writers put great amounts of thought into without sacrificing their actors into the limelight. Jodie Foster said the media “lift up beautiful young people like gods and then pull them down to earth to gaze at their seams,” referring to stars like Kristen Stewart whose name has graced the cash registers of almost every grocery store.

She continued, “Clarice would never have shared the awful screaming of the lambs to Dr. Lecter.”
 

Kris Humphries giving Kim Kardashian Hell?

Kris Humphries wants a trial so he can move on

Reportedly trying to maim Kim Kardashian’s career is Brooklyn Nets player Kris Humphries.

Kardashian referred to Kris Humphries as a “cancer” who emotionally drained her, and whom she refuses to let walk away without showing him who is boss.

Kardashian alleged that, “He told our producers he would destroy my career and me if the show wasn’t edited right,” adding, “It’s all on camera and it’s going to backfire in his face.”

The famed reality TV hottie hopes the outtakes of Keeping Up with the Kardashians will prove to the judges involved in a probable divorce trial how “manipulative, vindictive, petty” and “fame-hungry” Kris Humphries is.

According to Taletela.com, Kris Humphries plans to use evidence involving Kanye West against Kardashian.

But also according to Taletela.com, Kris Humphries is not about to let this divorce affect his career.

In the meantime, West defends long-time buddy and new girlfriend, Kardashian in his song, “I Wish You Would/Cold.” Not only does he defend his new love interest, but he also bashes Kris Humphries in the song.

A Kris Humphries source said, “He is focused on the upcoming NBA season and wants to leave all the childish games to Kim & Kanye, and he is happy moving on from all her bulls—t.”

Focusing on his $24 million contract with the Nets will help Kris Humphries move on from Kardashian.

FindLaw.com blog contributor Andrew Lu wrote that, “While Kris Humphries may have strategic reasons to take the Kim Kardashian divorce to trial, the decision could be motivated by spite as well.”
 

The Powerball winner of $337 million is unidentified

The roll-over value of $337 million needs a home

The last person to win the Powerball jackpot of 2006 won $365 million, and Wednesday’s drawing had people dreaming about what they would do if they were the lucky, unidentified winner near Detroit who would have taken home $241 million.

From what is known, the winning Powerball ticket was purchased from a Sunoco gas station just north of Detroit.

Wednesday’s winning ticket amounted to $337 million, an inflated result from Saturday night’s Powerball roll-over. The initial Powerball offering was $253 million.

According to CBSNews.com, the winning numbers from Saturday’s Powerball drawing were 6, 27, 46, 51, 56 and the Powerball-winning prize of 21.

Tickets are sold all the way until an hour before the Powerball drawing, at 10:59 p.m. ET. Five numbers are drawn from 59 white balls, separate from a drum of 35 red Powerball potentials. From that drum, one Powerball is drawn.

“I would travel; quit my job and travel,” said a 7/11 customer to an NBC correspondent, when asked what she would do if she won a Powerball drawing.

When The Associated Press reached out to the winner, he or she was too busy to talk, according to NBC.com.

But the Powerball winner was not the only winner Wednesday night. Of those eight who bought million-dollar tickets were two people who lived in Indiana, along with winners who lived in Kansas, Kentucky, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

A $50,000 bonus will be awarded to the Michigan Lottery for selling the winning Powerball ticket.

"The Enquirer" worries for the health of Macaulay Culkin

Allegations of Macaulay Culkin’s possible drug problem grow

Following accusations and unwelcome concerns that Macaulay Culkin is overdosing on heroin, with only six months left to live, the Home Alone star’s representatives released an angry statement in complete denial.

But The Enquirer supports the belief that Macaulay Culkin has a drug problem. The Enquirer was right about Whitney Houston’s dangerous habit, which is proven by her recent death.

The pattern here is clear. Houston had some of the same representatives as Macaulay Culkin, and at the time of suspicions of Houston’s problem, she refused to take any blood tests.

The Enquirer released a statement by its representatives that advised Culkin to be cautious. This was despite the furious responses by Macaulay Culkin’s representatives.

The statement by The Enquirer’s representatives read, “Our advice to Macaulay is to seek professional help to avoid the same tragic fate of other beloved celebrities, including Whitney Houston, who died earlier this year.”

The statement continued, “We believe that the former child star should be doing everything he can to get the treatment he so desperately needs — and which could have saved the life of his friend Elijah Rosello. Her family confirmed to The Enquirer that she did drugs with Macaulay before her drug-related death in March.”

The representatives of the publication even offer Macaulay Culkin a blood test if he should choose to take one.

According to NZCity News, the parents of Macaulay Culkin saw photos of the former child star keeled over, his hand gripping his stomach, as though he is about to vomit in the street.

Culkin’s stepmother Jeanette Krylowski said, “Now we’re hearing he is denying the allegations – but it certainly looks like he is on drugs. He looks awful.”