28 December 2009

Terminator Salvation (review)

Director: McG
Starring: Christian Bale, Sam Worthington
Grade: B

I sit down to watch this movie, and the first thing I notice is that the movie title is announced twice. First in the subtle-cool way I like movie titles to be announced. Then in the zoom-out-from-the-background-to-reveal-the-title way. And then I saw that the opening credits were also done twice. I didn't notice until I saw the name of the director for the second time. Someone, somewhere did not do their job good enough.

Fear not, for this movie is redeemed by Sam Worthington. Dear Sam, your plot beats out Christian Bale's. Love, KL. It's easy to see why. We have awesome-handsome melancholy dude with a heart who somehow managed to murder his brother and two police officers. The details of said murder were never clarified, but it's just background story. Sam's character Marcus Wright just needed something to get his ass on death row. He signs away his body to science, and BOOM! We wakes up post-battlefield in 2018. Poor guy thought he was dead. He also thought he was human. His development was smooth. When he discovered his innards, his reaction was great. And then he got over it. I liked that a lot. Discover, mull, get over it. I LOVED how Marcus refused to accept himself as a machine. Way to defy The Machine, man. And his actor played it very nicely. Sam Worthington, I <3 u.

I believe Christian played the role stoic. You can tell his character was shocked from the way his face froze and how Christian failed to blink. But I think his wife, played by Moon Bloodgood, could have used more screen time. She was pretty good. I did not like her pregnant. Why have a child in the middle of the war? It makes no sense. To live on? Once the machines find out, that child will be a target. Not to kill, but to capture and use as bait. I feel sorry for the little guy. He'll be one helluva protected soul once he comes out.

Just a few slip ups that I did not like. Like when the fuel tank explodes. I really don't know what kind of explosion it would generate, but something tells me the explosion it caused packed too much of a punch. Then again, this is Hollywood, so I shouldn't expect nothing less than grandeur explosions from gas fumes. But it still urks me.

The special effects were seamless. Nicely done. The machine parts looked so real when Marcus's skin was blown off in places.

And this movie wasn't about the action! Too many action movies concentrate on the action! This one had good characters and a unique plot. And maybe that is tearing me away from seeing that this movie really is about action. If that's the case, I don't care. Because I like the plot, I like the characters, and if you're making this solely for the action, then I don't see it. End of story.

24 December 2009

Avatar (review)

Director: James Cameron
Starring: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana
Grade: A

This movie is highly recommended.

I think I've seen this plot or something similar before. But I'm pretty sure this is the way that plot is supposed to play out. Man gets an opportunity for a new life. Same man is used to gain inside information on native species. The native species is the biggest obstacle standing between the human company and their goals. Man has no reason to say no --- until he falls in love with the native species.

I knew the ending early on. I mean, he has nothing to live for on Earth, right? Of course the story will play out as it does. Then again, I'm starting to predict movies as they go on now. Disappointing as it is, I find it fun. Whatever doesn't fulfill my expectations gets a few brownie points. So I am jumping for joy that the ending is not the happily-ever-after-for-everyone ending. People die. And because people died I wasn't sure if more people will die. Then I was on the edge of my seat wondering if they will live or die . . . and then I sighed with the outcome.

One of the notable features of this movie is the women characters. I probably wouldn't have noticed unless I read an article in USA Today that my friend pointed out a few mornings ago. Now that I think about it, any woman featured in the movie was not going to let someone rescue her. Trudy, the pilot, is a go getter who won't take orders she doesn't like. We first meet Dr. Grace demanding a cigarette, and she exits murmuring something about taking samples. She's also very confrontational. And then there's Neytiri. She helps lead the battle against the humans, shows Jake the ropes about her people, and murders the Annoyingly Determined Bastard. I like her too.

This movie is riddled with special effects, but it's not bad. You get so lost in them that you forget what you're looking at is entirely made up. And they're so detailed you can't even pretend they're not real! James Cameron spent four (almost five) years working on the plants and world of Pandora. That is dedication to be respected, people.

James Cameron pushed technology for this movie. Although most of the movie is computer animated, he had help from the real people. He built the set and placed censors and cameras at nearly every point. The actors were dressed in suits with the same censors attached in more places than recommended (as in, instead of three censors on an arm, they had ten). So when they filmed the scenes, adding the CGI would be easier and more detailed than ever before. And it's done so seamlessly you don't even remember it's not real! I think I said that before. A linguist was hired to work on the native language, and the actors had to break normal human habits while working (like nodding your head to say yes and other small things like that). It's great!

I feel like I've seen this kind of plot before. But this is that plot done right. Go see it. You'll like it.

18 December 2009

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog (the unofficial review)

It's VERY safe to say that I am officially in love with Neil Patrick Harris. He acts SO well I don't think I can express my joy about it. And he's cute. I told my friends about my crush, and then I said it was a good thing there was no social stigma for crushing on a homosexual man. Then secret codename Ricks pointed out I would do it anyway even if there was a social stigma. So yes, I'm totally crushing on Neil Patrick Harris. Besides, he can sing!

And because of finals, you all will get a real review later. Instead, make do with these lists I compiled.

Favorite Songs:
Brand New Day
On the Rise
Bad Horse's songs

Favorite Quotes:

Captain Hammer (holds up fists): " . . . Because these are not the hammer." Pause. "The hammer is my penis."

Billy: "Love your hair."
Penny: "Huh?"
Billy: "I-I-I-I-I love the air."

Billy: "I want to do something great with my life --- like Bad Horse."
Penny: "The Thoroughbred of Sin??"
Billy: "I mean . . . Ghandi."

Captain Hammer: "Especially that guy, he smells like poo."

Groupie 2: (holds up picture of Captain Mal) He signed this.

Dr. Horrible: "Anarchy, that I run!"

Groupie 2: "This is his dry cleaning bill"
Groupies: "For sweater vests!"

16 December 2009

DO NOT DISTURB: Finals in Progress

It's finals week. You know what that means?

It means my desk is overridden with dirty dishes and my floor is strewn with essay prompts and outlines.

It means I'm wearing sweats I don't even know are clean.

It means my mind is slowly deteriorating thinking about the daunting task but slowly recovers the more I study and write outlines.

It means the next time my parents see me, I'll be as gittery as a squirrel and as intellectual as Neil Postman.

It means a slow, quiet descent into insanity until Saturday when all hell breaks loose.

It means I got another issue of Popular Science and I can't even read it.

It means Christmas is a little bit closer.

It means I should get back to studying.

14 December 2009

SPOILER ALERT!! Do not read if you are not caught up with Dollhouse!!!

I like Joss Whedon on most days. His shows are witty, nonsensical at times, and usually very well done. Truth be told, I never got through Buffy the Vampire Slayer -- but only because my former roommate took the DVDs home last year. Yes, there's an Internet, but I'm just too lazy. Besides, Buffy's "sister" weirded me out. Firefly is amazing. The only issue there is its short life. I never saw Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog . . . yet. You can peacefully rest knowing that it's on my do-to list when I get fed up with studying.

And then there's Angel. Probably the only show where I got so fed up with the thick plot I skipped Faith's return and Cordelia's magical pregnancy. I did notice Cordelia slowly being written out, and the camera angles that favored her figure so she didn't look pregnant. But when it got to the point where a conflict in one episode still wasn't resolved ten episodes later, I knew there was some sort of problem. The episodes lost their need for the viewer to feel closure and satisfied at the end of the day. And it bugged me so much that I skipped two story arcs. I still understood what was going on, but I don't like the long arcs. One thing at a time, Joss. One thing at a time.

I was very disappointed with Dollhouse this weekend. At first, I was excited. Echo was on her own in the world, she meets a Spanish woman who seems to be in the same pickle, and they are befriended before getting separated. SUDDENLY! Adelle DeWitt is demoted, Echo is a nurse and training to release the rest of the Dolls, and Topher masters remote wipes andthensome. THEN Adelle gets her old job back by being the Queen Bitch of the House, and Boyd and Ballard are in cahoots. In one episode! But I suppose the only problem was Adelle's demotion. There was mega-potential for more character development, particularly humbling development, and it wasn't there because she rose too soon. Echo returns and is put in isolation.

And because there were two episodes again this week:
BAM! Echo's headaches increase. She's in isolation to make Ballard squirm. How his squirming is harming Echo is not answered. WHAM! Alpha is on the loose again and is killing Echo's clients who truly love the person Echo becomes. KAPOW! Echo's out of isolation and helps the explanation to Topher that she is now self-aware and the Chair will have nothing to say against it. PEW! (missile launch sound) Alpha's in the building and fighting Ballard. And through this craziness, Topher figures out Rossum Corporation's Master Plan. Scary. BUT THE MADNESS NEVER ENDS!!!

The flaw here: Joss Whedon went too far too fast. What uncomfortably fit in two episodes could have easily squeezed into at least four maybe more. My guess is he doesn't know when FOX will cancel this show, so he wants to get it cancelled at a good place in the story. But that's just a guess. I did not like Dollhouse this week. It was way too fast and there was way too little development. Better luck next time, Mr. Whedon. Much better luck next time.

12 December 2009

Flaw Finder

Believe it or not, I there is one thing I do not like about Joss Whedon. No, it's not his sarcasm. I LOVE the sarcasm. If you do not like Joss Whedon, it is probably because you do not find humor in sarcasm. I hear he's really sarcastic on the set of his shows, but its the humor that brings everyone together. Good chemistry.

Sarcastic humor aside, the single thing I dislike about Joss is the thick plots. If the plot is so thick you have to explain the entire season episode by episode to a newcomer, then something is wrong. TV shows should work to keep everyone up to date on the latest happenings and what has happened. If they fail to do that effectively, then you're just catering to your current viewers.

Example: Angel. This is, I admit, the only Joss Whedon I watched all the way through besides Firefly. But I did skip a ton of episodes. Why? The plot was too thick and each episode didn't really solve anything -- they usually made their situation worse. Finally, it got to the point where I skipped a bunch of episodes (I missed Faith's return, apparently). Then I think I skipped some more until Jasmine came along. I figured that was a good restarting point. But even then, the plot was uber-thick. I very much liked Season 5 when Angel's gang runs the new Wolfgram and Hart. It was episodic, it was nice. You could tell the budget was limited because they barely went anywhere other than the office building, but I still liked it.

And now I'm getting sad because Dollhouse seems to be following that same trend. I still <3>

This has been an early morning rant by yours truly.

06 December 2009

District 9

Director: Neill Blomkamp
Starring: Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope
Grade: A

The film opens and ends with mock interviews setting the scene. We hear the story about the arrival of the aliens in South Africa through excerpts of these interviews. At the same time, our main protagonist is set up. He's a man with a position by the name of Wikus van de Merwe newly promoted to move the aliens out of District 9 and into another location further from the city Johannesburg. Problems arise later in the movie when Wikus is going around evicting aliens from their shack homes.

The plot for the movie could have easily portrayed Wikus as a military captain who has to switch alliances to get help. I like the way the movie plays with that concept better. Wikus was an office man. During his time going around District 9, he inhales a chemical that slowly turns him into an alien. His only hope is the alien that made the chemical -- a smart alien by the name of Christopher Johnson. Wikus and Christopher agree to help each other achieve their goals.

I loved the developing friendship between Wikus and Christopher. The only thing bringing them together was their need for the other's help, but they seem to grow fond of each other as the movie progresses. It really warms my heart. I also like Christopher's son, a curious little alien who wants to go back to the aliens' home planet. That kid is badass. His father taught him how to work alien technology, and it brought good things that made my stomach flip at all the right places. Besides, it's not often you see an entire room of gangs downed in one shot.

The fact that Wikus is played by a no name actor is also amazing. He is a solid actor. His character was great, his screams of pain were legitimate, and I loved the small things he did. When he first boarded the sweet mecha thing, little probes drilled into his forehead. His swearing and head jerkiness during that was legitimate. There was also the plant at the beginning of the movie. His wife tells the camera that he used to make her little random crafts. This is important at the end of the movie in sweet ways.

The entire movie was filmed with a hand-held camera. Which really added to the documentary style of the whole thing. It added to the dusty plains, tan color scheme look. Every once in a while, the characters would refer to the camera. Wikus would push the lens away so he could puke. And a few blood splatters hit the lens, which I liked.

The special effects were AMAZING. That is a trait that I didn't notice until I walked out of the theater. Everything was merged so delicately everything looked legitimate. I had to remind myself a few times that the movie is really science fiction and there isn't a giant piece of land in South Africa that holds 2.5 million aliens. Nothing was clean-cut and pristine, and everything that happened was actually real. Nothing I could pick up on seemed something out of Hollywood.

Go see this movie. It kicks butt.

29 November 2009

I'm Late for a Very Important Date!

Famous Through-the-Rabbit-Hole Stories (that I can name off the top of my head):
- Alice in Wonderland
- The Chronicles of Narnia
- Spirited Away

Last Monday I did something different after Working Title. Instead of going straight home, I went and hung out with some people at an apartment. We tried to write for a while, but there was inside jokes and YouTube videos and other procrastinating things going on. Then we popped in Spirited Away directed by Hayao Miyazaki. We did the geeky thing and watched it with English subtitles.

Afterwards, we talked some more, and found ourselves on the topic of through-the-rabbit-hole stories. And because we're a group of writers, we asked what our personal through-the-rabbit-hole stories will be.

I thought a lot about this the past week, and I decided on a few things. See list below.

Aspects of my Personal Through-the-Rabbit-Hole Story:
- Twins
- Steampunk
- Airships
- Real Names and Identified Names
- Numerology
- Perhaps a little Astrology
- Deals/Contracts and their dangers/flaws within the naming system
- Capitalism/Commercialism will go with that as well

The world keeps growing the more I think about it, so I'm just going to stop the list there. Allow me to explain the main focus of my thoughts during the week: Names.

In my world, a person will have their Real Name and their Identified Name. Their Real Name is the name their parents gave them at birth. A Naming Ceremony was had, and the Name is rightfully theirs. As the child grows, their parents call them another name -- their Identified Name -- to get them used to it. Real Names are hidden because deals and contracts take up a big part of the society. To know a Real Name is to hold the power to control an individual.

Numerology will play somewhat of an important role. A job will only hire someone with a certain number because they're known to be hard workers. Persons with the Spirit Number of 5 will be a certain demographic in the population just like Heart Number 9 will be another demographic. A person is completely out of their mind if they do not know their own Numbers. To fit into this idea of mysticism, I will also throw in some Astrology because some people will want to predict their future as written by the stars. I believe my person will defy these notions that the future is predictable -- but then someone will point out that the mini-prophecy was fulfilled because the notion was defied. Cycles like that amuse me.

Airships and steampunk are involved because steampunk is awesome. It fascinated me as a child, and it continues to fascinate me now. Twins are involved for the same reasons. I've always wanted to meet my identical twin. If not to see how I would interact with myself, then to meet someone who is me genetically, but is not me in everything else.

My challenge to you:
What is your personal Through-The-Rabbit-Hole story? Think about it, and then post it on your blog if you have one. If you do not have a blog, my comment section is open for you to release your creativity.

Okay . . . GO!

27 November 2009

On Those Against Christmas

Have you ever wondered what your great-grandparents complained about? My theory is that they complained about the convalootin' television set and how they never had that in the "good ol' days". Just like our grandparents (or parents) are complaining about the convalootin' iPods and games systems and how they only had THREE television channels when they were growing up.

And guess what? I think we'll be complaining to our grandkids about their new gadgets and we'll be saying things like, "Back in the day, we could only get 32 Gigabytes on our iPod Touches!" And they will either look at us like we're crazy or wonder how we made it through life with such a monstrosity.

I wonder how many hippies in the 60's and 70's complained about the commercialization of the holidays just like a good portion of the population complain today about the same thing. And I wonder how much the world really changes through time.

And then I think about first semester Latin. Our professor brought in graffiti found in Pompeii. It's mostly stuff similar to what we write. "This woman is a whore" and "this guy does a lot of girls" and so forth. There's even some swearing. And then here's the "this person was here" and "this thing rocks" or "this thing sucks". What kind of graffiti do you see in bathroom stalls? That's right --- all that you've just read. All that was found in ancient Pompeii. All that was probably written in castle latrines in the medieval period, and what's been written all over fifty year-old desks at old universities.

People don't really change. They still fear the same unknown. Old conservatives reject the new and try to keep tradition alive. Young liberals bring in what they think will work; and some of it does.

Christmas has been commercialized for years. You wanted this and that when you were five years old, and you thought nothing of the kids in the allies to have to eat a soup kitchen if they know what a soup kitchen is at all. No thought crossed your mind of donating to the Salvation Army. Why? Because when you're five years-old, all you can still think about is yourself. And some people don't grow out of that. They failed sharing when they were in kindergarten, or they did so much as kids they think they're making up for it in later years. Or maybe they just think highly of themselves.

Christmas is supposed to be about joy and spreading peace to the world. I know it's hard to ignore, but if commercialization bugs you that much --- ignore it. Yes, I went shopping today. I also got a annoyed at a few Christmas carols. But that doesn't matter to me. I'm looking ahead to the days when I can give my dorm mates their presents. I really want to know if Dad will appreciate my gift to him. And I wonder if the spirit of gift-giving is something they did a thousand years ago as well.

So for those who are complaining about Christmas in the media:
Cry me a river, build me a bridge, and get over it. Take what you want from the season, and forget about the rest.

We're the first generation completely surrounded by the media. This is by the fault of no single person. If you're going to be angry at anyone, be angry at yourself for not accepting your world for what it is. Take what joy you can from what you want, but please don't rain on my parade.

Because I'm that person that decorates a week before Thanksgiving, and tears everything down the weekend after New Year's Day. If that bugs you, don't bother complaining. I'll just walk away.

15 November 2009

This Works Much Better with Three People

A while ago, a friend and I were bored in class. So we did the game where one person writes one sentence, and then the next person writes another. But you can only look at the previous sentence before you write yours. This would have worked better if our usual trio was completed.

(secret codename) Ricks

Mr. Piggles was pissed.
Even thought his name wa Mr. Piggles, which is a pretty bad-ass name.
In any case, those damn neighbors were hanging around his rabbit den again.
He already told those mofos that he was out of crack, but they wouldn't listen.
So he did the only thing a crack-dealer knew how to do: he took out his shot gun.
BANG BANG! went the gun, and Mr. Piggles knew that he ha to get away before the popo showed up.
It was a good thing his passport didn't expire yet --- it's been five years since he hid himself at his grandmother's in British Columbia.
Those damn lazy free-loadin' Canadians.
Mr. Piggles would prefer Cancun, but Canada is at least two thousand miles closer.
Its also cheaper -- BAM!
When he arrived at his grandmother's later that week, he discovered she died and sold her house.
Good thing he had brought his shot gun!
BAM BAM and the house was his.
Damn Mounties forced him into hiding in the Yukon, thus pissing off Mr. Piggles even more.
So the moral of the story is - don't piss off the Mounties.

07 November 2009

He's Just Not That Into You (movie)

What I really liked about this movie was that there was no single main character. One character does some voice-over narration at the beginning and at the end, but she is not the main character, so let's just call her by her character name: Gigi.

Gigi works with another woman, Anna, who is experiencing complications in her marriage. Both work with Jennifer Aniston who has Ben Afleck as the "perfect husband" except he doesn't believe in marriage. Anna's husband is cheating on her with a curvy blonde (Scarlett Johansson) who likes the platonic relationship she has with Conor Barry. This same Conor Barry went on a first date with Gigi at the beginning of the movie. Conor has a close friend, Alex, who works at a bar and starts giving Gigi advice on men. And Conor is the client of a newspaper advertiser (Drew Barrymore) who discovered the complexities of online dating.

So the complexities of the characters help to make the movie. Individually, these stories are short and wouldn't take long to get through each of them. And while some stories seem to get more emphasis than others, you are no less in love with the characters with less screen time. The fact that they're edited together in a nice and coherent way makes the movie a pleasure to watch. Also, because there are so many stories intertwined, the movie is longer than the standard romantic comedy.

My favorite story is Jennifer Aniston's. Her character takes some crap from some relatives because she's not married yet, but then her father comes up and says "You've never done what the others have done, and that's why you're my favorite daughter." She realizes the men her sisters married were jerks, thus she appreciates her boyfriend-who-doesn't-believe-in-marriage more than she realized. It made me warm and fuzzy on a cold day.

So go see this movie. It's good, interesting, and will definitely make you smile. And if you're a man, see it anyway because you can definitely get some awesome pointers about what a woman really wants in a relationship (if that's what you're looking for, that is).

I will try to update more often. The fact that school is slowing down for a while will help.

31 October 2009

NaNoWriMo vs. Schoolwork

NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow.

As much as I want to do it, I'm very doubtful I will have the time to write 1667 words a day. Neither would I have the story. Let's face it, the plot I conceived for this particular project does not seem very long. I even outlined it, and I don't think it's full-novel length worthy. At least not 50k words.

I feel like this weekend is pivotal because it's the beginning, but I also have to:
a) review a movie at least once more for my Film project
b) figure out a thesis for my English paper
c) research and create an outline for Journalism

School comes first, though. For now, it will always come first.

There is one other thing. I've been writing my other, bigger project recently, and I'm feeling that more than my NaNo story. Sorry Nano, you're going to have to wait. I have school and a story to finish.

More about my revelation about my own writing style next post. And you'll eventually hear about Working Title, but I've been hard pressed to get to meetings on a regular basis, so that may or may not be working out. I'm seriously trying, but it's hard when things are due Wednesday and Monday is your only day to do them.

18 October 2009


Starting to get more into stories again after a haitus full of school work. Finally bought an interesting book by Orson Scott Card. Until I post something again, here's something to entertain you:

14 October 2009

Whip It

Director: Drew Barrymore
Starring: Ellen Page, Kristen Wiig
Personal Rating: B

I do not consider myself an expert on movies, but I do think I have good taste. I'm not picky (like some co-workers of mine), I don't set my sights too high, and I like to think that I'm a good judge on what appears to be something I'd like when I watch movie trailers.

I was excited to see this movie because I liked the look, I like Ellen Page, and the Badger Herald gave it a decent review. There is also full contact, all women roller derby involved. The cinematography was nothing special. I enjoyed the dealings with the mise-en-scene. Editing was also fairly decent. But what I really liked about this movie was the message behind it.

Here we have a teenager who dislikes the pageants her mother forces her to attend. Right off the bat, she bashes these pageants by announcing that she would like to have dinner with Amelia Earhart instead of someone lamely inspirational. She does this with blue hair. Then we track this same teenager (named Bliss) as she works her way to independence from under her mother's nose. She discovers a world of independence and strong female roll models (haha) who she strives to become. These are women who didn't attend a great college, but they still love life away from the mold of what's acceptable and what isn't.

It should also be noted that when things hinted at wavering, Bliss was the one who stepped up to reveal her lies. She was not called out on anything to her team, and I think that's saying something. Her parents did discover her lies, which made things that way worse, but it only made another message stronger. "Just because you found a new family doesn't mean you throw the old one away," so says Kristen Wiig's character Maggie Mayhem.

I also enjoyed how the romance didn't work out. Bliss was not going to be "that girl" and her choice was final. It just shows that a woman doesn't need a man in her life to be the best she can be. Another good message in the movie.

Although the motto for the movie seems like I've heard it in every other inspirational movie ("Be your own hero"), this movie does take it to another level. At least another placement on a shelving unit. Be your own hero, but don't do it because you have to save the world. Do it because you have to save you.

03 October 2009

On Badgers and Articles

Badgers currently winning against Minnesota. Ten minutes to go, fourth quarter. Go Big Red!

In other news, an interesting website posted an article about the difference between plot and story in regards to books. I thought it was interesting and relevant enough to post.

Yes, it's been a while. Yes, I am not on a standard system of blogging on a specific date. But neither is Patrick Rothfuss. But you have fun with my links while you can. And if you like surfing links on blogs, check out this one.

Next post will be about Working Title (if I can remember).

Minnesota just scored. Bastards!! They still suck.

23 September 2009

NaNoWriMo and Writer's Workshops

The Union started a writer's workshop that meets Mondays at 7p. It's called Working Title. My first meeting with them was last Monday, one week after the kick-off. It was a very welcoming atmosphere. We reviewed poems written by our own Sarah. I enjoyed those poems. They had depth, good symbolism, and interesting themes. One of the poems was about something none of us were familiar with, which I commend her for. "Write what you don't know," my high school creative writing teacher said once.

I plan on going back. They were a good group of people. And I liked their insight into the small things, which isn't usually taken with people who read your stories. "This is good," is the most annoying feedback you can get as a writer.

Speaking of writing, NaNoWriMo is November. I just made my account.
Username: Morike

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. More details can be found on their official site. Basically, the point is to get writers to write 50,000-plus words during the entire month of November. They even have tips on what to do when you finish. My November looks pretty promising at the moment, but we'll see how things go. I have a paper, a midterm, and a shot-by-shot movie analysis due that month. We'll see how this goes . . . .

Haven't gotten a chance to read much lately, besides TC's occasional short story. I may not review anything for a while, but stay tuned anyway.

14 September 2009

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Grade: A

The moment I realized my homework has been discarded for a full day (a few hours at the time of realization), I knew that I had to finish this book if I needed to stay on top of things academically. Surprisingly, it was easier than I thought to focus in lecture this morning when I had fifty pages left to read. I just finished this book and here are my immediate reactions.

We still have old Katniss from The Hunger Games with us. She continues to be stubborn, thoughtful to a fault, and skilled in activities we could only dream about doing ourselves (like knot-tying and archery). Despite her ability to work through Haymitch's subtle messages, she still can't figure out the larger picture, hence her "smart to a fault" comment. The moment the new Head Gamemaker flashed his fancy one-of-a-kind watch, I knew Katniss had an ally when she didn't. The realization of the full rebellion falls short from her lack of ciphering through this information, so do the reasons that she wasn't fully informed in the first place. I'm hoping the next book will even this out.

I was slightly disappointed in Cinna's character in this book. The Hunger Games featured him as a charismatic friend and confidant who will help Katniss through a revolution. Because of circumstances in the book, however, she loses him as a confidant. The more we got of him, the more I felt we lost some of his charisma too. He was no longer a guiding light, just a helping hand. I expected him to be more involved in a rebellion than was revealed and to answer the question of why he specifically chose District 12 to be his district. His stunt involving Katniss's dress made up for some of that, but not all. By the way, that was fantastically surprising in all the good ways. Despite his fading, the last you see of him still hurts. Pull through, Cinna!

I also have something to say about the pace of the book. At first, I thought it was quick, jumping over bits of information from the first book and skipping some of the more boring but develomental scenes. Still, I have to give the benefit of the doubt to the author. If you're writing a YA book with this much information and story and a page limit, what else are you going to cut out? Of course, information from the previous book shouldn't have to be elaborated upon. This is a sequel, so whatever happened in the first book should be knowledge for all who read the second. As for the scenes, sometimes it felt like jumping around. First she's walking in the woods, and the next thing you know, she's talking to Prim without a hint of doing anything else. Of course, we as readers should be able to know what she'll do between the woods and home, but I still got the jumping feeling.

To add to all this, I absolutely love this book. Peeta is just amazing, and his reconciliation in the beginning makes things much easier on bith the reader and Katniss. Haymitch is his usual self, but more bareable. Katniss's mother gets a bit more of a spotlight, and we finally see how Haymitch won his Games. We also get more of Gale in terms of what went on with him during and after the previous book. To add to this characterization, Katniss is personally threatened by President Snow. So now she must choose between trying to win over the president to smooth things over, and letting the rebellion take place while risking everything she holds dear.

A great book, a great story, and highly recommended.

09 September 2009

Student Orgs and Dorms

Apart from learning a ton about studying abroad, I also checked the Student Organization Fair. And I found a creative writing group calling themselves Working Titles that meets Mondays at seven. It works with my schedule because I'm open on Mondays and would love to get feedback for my work. Now the question is, which should I bring for the kick-off?

There's always The White Lady, which is the first story I think whenever I hear about something like this. And there's also We Were Once Friends which is set in my Modified world but more character driven than most other stories. And I'm also daydreaming about working on a third story, longer than the others, but more fiction based. It's a love story between two teenagers, except they're both young women. I tried writing this when I first got to the dorm, but I wasn't inspired much. And now that school started, and I looked through the latest draft of Resistence, I'm writing that now. But that's something I don't want to show anyone until I'm absolutely sure I'm finish with it. Just because it's gone through so many changes over the years that I don't want to show someone one version, and then completely change it on them a few months later.

Oh the possibilities!

I'm also interested in the WUD Publishing Committee. I wonder if I can drag anyone with me to the kick-off. Except I don't know any other writers in the dorm, and I haven't been advertising that I like to write. Asking to read something is so annoying. I don't want to give them some half-assed story only to get the same lame feedback ("This was good."). That's so annoying.

06 September 2009

Journalism Assignment

As my first assignment as a second-year college student, I am challenged by figuring out which form of media has made the biggest impact of my life. It should be noted that I am currently multi-tasking by blogging and watching Firefly at the same time. "Two by two, hands of blue." I feel sorry for those officers who died.

So which media has made the biggest impact of my life? Certainly not television. Yes, yes, I'm watching Firefly (and easily distracted by it, I might add) but it's not the biggest media impact of my life.

So then I thought about the Internet. You know, social networking and Facebook and all that fun stuff. That seems reasonable enough. But then I got caught with the evidence backing up my claim. Or rather, I didn't make a thesis the way the professor wants it. That's worth looking into.

I also thought about books. Where would my life be if I couldn't read and write? Can I include notebooks and word processors as part of the media? But that's not a few people broadcasting/delivering information to many people. Mass media suggests a few people talking to many people. Notebooks and word processors are not mass media, but books certainly are. I like reading, and I like reading what's interesting. But between Tamora Pierce and Sarah Dessen, I can't tell you what kind of books I like. I mostly read fantasy, but I'm currently reading Edgar Allen Poe for English. There are many authors I haven't read, but I have definitely read some of the basics, discluding Danielle Steel. My claim?

Books have the greatest impact in my life. Why? Because they are interesting? W?hat is my warrant (a phrase left unstated that must be true for the thesis to be true)? I like interesting books.

The hard part is evidence. What's my evidence that books have the greatest impact on my life? Well, the amount I read for one. I have the ability to read two books a week. Does that always happen? No. But I can still do it.

There's got to be more to the evidence than that. We can also add that I'm aspiring to be a writer. Therefore, it is logical that books would have a great impact on me if my life choice is to become a writer. A writer has to read to improve their writing, just like an athlete has to watch sports to improve their game. A singer must listen to others sing to improve themselves. If you cannot see the competition and learn their techniques, then you might as well not improve your skills. That is why a writer reads a lot. Besides, it's fun.

And because good things come in threes, we need a third piece of evidence. It shall be the feeling of being lost whenever I do not have a book to read. I could be a textbook, or a newspaper; I just need something to read so I don't go crazy by myself in my dorm room. Some sort of recreational reading is preferred, but I have read some interesting news artcles before. I also enjoy the occasional magazine and graphic novel.

Here's my evidence.

Evidence #1: I can read two to three books in a calendar week.
Evidence #2: I aspire to become an author.
Evidence #3: I feel lost whenever I do not have a book to read.

Thank you for reading through my outlining troubles. Your prescence in my blog is much appreciated. Please comment.

03 September 2009

This Scar Better be Awesome

In which I go to college and kind of lose inspiration. Isn't that wonderful?

And what's more, I cut my finger at work. It's kind of gross but kind of cool at the same time. Mom said that nothing is cool and gross at the same time ~ I beg to differ. Yes, going to the hospital alone was kind of frightening, but I got through it. And now that I've talked about it, I can think about it without tearing up anymore.

For some reason, I'm the sort of person who feels emotional and understands why well after the episode. I guess I'm too analytical when it comes to something like that, or the habit of constantly asking myself "Why?"

Why am I crying? Because I've waited an hour to get my finger fixed and now the blood is too clotted for stitches, which I would feel much more comfortable with instead of this dinky clear band-aid. But I'm not about to argue with a doctor. I'm just a ComArts and English student. What do I know about medical science and treatment?

Mostly what my mom taught me and what I learned in books, but that wasn't supposed to be answered.

I'd post a picture, but it's covered in band-aids. At least for now. Until the skin meshes back together. When that happens, I am anticipating a pretty awesome scar.

What's your favorite scar?

29 August 2009

Moving In to Welcome Week

About yesterday~ish, my Chair and I packed up and went back to school. We are currently lounging in our spacious room, listening to the roomie and her boyfriend just chat about nothing. They also have music playing. I'm sure they don't mind that I'm listening to them. Besides, I'm not paying much attention.

So I am mostly unpacked. Nothing is in a suitcase or anything, but there are small things to get yet. Like a bin for my things on the shelf, so it looks organized. We're planning to do something with a shelf built into the wall, but we're not sure yet. And there is the remains of a fireplace ~ no longer able to be used because of fire hazards. That does not eliminate any possibilities of garland and stockings at Christmas, though. Which means we'll probably decorate for other holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, and Easter. And we're totally cool for sharing stuff. I have a giant tub of hot cocoa to drink and she lurves hot cocoa.

I had my vocal "audition" earlier today. It's not an official audition, I think, so I wasn't too nervous. Plus, it was all of five minutes, so I wasn't too worried about my performance. I trust my voice is good enough for a decent placement somewhere. They asked about my attending the vocal class, which will be Tuesdays and Thursdays, and I think I told them I wasn't sure if I was open or not but yes, I would be willing to do that as well. All in all, they seemed to really like my voice, so I'm now enlightened.

After my audition, I wandered the music section of the Humanities building to find the choral board for Tangled Up In Blue or Redefined, but got lost, walked in circles, and gave up. I guess sign up sheets aren't up yet. So now I'm going to spend some of my time thinking about my favorite popular song and how I would sing that for an audition. I should also ask my friend (codename AlEB) about the commitment. I have to leave time for writing and studying and a social life. But extraciriculars might make up for a social life. It's still nice to know when they meet and if I'll have to switch my work schedule around or not.

Lots of fun stuff around the dorms the first few weeks. Welcome Week is always fun. There's a Target shopping adventure tonight, so the roomie and I are going to that. It should be fun! I can't wait.

25 August 2009

A Great Many Things

A great many things are happening in my personal life. It does not seem like a great many things, but I'm deciding to be simple for the sake of saying "a great many things. . . ." Simple many things these are, but they are great in numbers.

The major thing is that I'm moving on Friday. Which means I'm starting to pack away clothes before realizing that I should save some for the days leading up to Friday. But don't worry --- someone was nice enough to deliver a batch of freshly laundered clothes to remind me. Unfortunately, I packed away my underwear before I did this. Oh, brilliance, wherefore art thou gallavanting away from my mental workings?

Speaking of clothes, I wonder where my bag of new clothes went. I didn't get many new clothes. My cousin was nice enough to give me a few coupons for a couple stores, and Mom naturally gets sweat deals from Kohl's. But I got a couple pairs of shorts the other day, and I have no idea where they went. So I have to scour my room for a missing Kohl's bag. Darn packing mess.

I forgot to tell my roommate I have a small white cabinet thing. I use it to store the printer, and whatever goes in the drawers varies. Currently, there is an assembly manual in the drawer, and a duvet in the door.

I am currently home alone. Normally, I would bee line to the piano for a performance to myself, but there is packing to be had and lost clothes to be found. And Shinedown to be listened. Heard? Anyway, I'm currently listening to Shinedown. I couldn't tell you my favorite songs besides the fact that I like "Second Chance". And that Cyanide something-something Suicide song was pretty good.

So much to get done, I don't know where to start. Perhaps the clothes. Wait for me, Cool New Shorts, because I am coming! I promise!

21 August 2009

The Inspiration of Dreams

What inspires you to write?

I tend to accumulate a conglomerate of ideas. These ideas come out of nowhere. What would it be like to fly among the clouds? The idea of buses and how they operate. Islands floating in the sky because the ground is either stuff of legend or uninhabitable. Pretty soon, I have a fantasy setting involving a group of islands. Now that I know where things are taking place, what about characters? Since I think characters make themselves when it comes to plot, then I should think of a plot. What will go on in this setting? I don't know, but if all else fails, I throw in a rebellion.

This is a slow process for me. My fastest stories are almost always based on dreams.

Every once in a while, I have a dream that seems more like a story than a dream. I once dreamt Uma Thurman was the last hope for a small family so she piloted a white robot until she died. Another dream featured children on what my mind acknowledged as the moon (despite the endless fields of leafy bushes and the Rockies on the horizon) and how some organization wanted to experiment on their minds for research on psyhic powers. Another dream featured a girl in a train station imbedded into the base of a mountin. She wanted to visit her sister, but an attendent wanted her to visit Mount Kilimanjaro because he believed she to possess special powers that will activate the mountain.

I didn't write the last one as a story, but I still find it interesting.

What inspires me to write? The need to daydream, a fascination with daily themes, and dreams.

What inspires you to do what you do?

13 August 2009

New Schooling Issue: Going Abroad

Two weeks until I move back to school. Five days until I'm done with work. I can't wait for my single week of summer. This semester's goal: Research Study Abroad. Applications aren't due until early October, which means I really have to move my butt!

I was encouraged to check out scholarships, grants, and programs from other schools. I'm interested in Oshkosh, but I might also see Steven's Point, Green Bay, and Minnesota (Twin Cities). I'm fairly open as long as I get the program I want. Brussels is still wanted, but Gelway is looking really interested too.

I can justify the expense for Gelway, though. It's in Ireland, and students like to travel. At least half of the total comes from other expenses, travel included. So airfare will take up a big part of expense if I go to Gelway. But it might be a cheaper program.

Another interested program is a summer class in Paris on film, but that's debatable at this point.

Prague is the cheapest so far, but there are different programs for that and I only looked at one. Soeul was another one, but judging by Mom's expression, she doesn't like the fact that its Korea. Sapporo would be great, but I doubt I'll be excepted since they take preference to students who studied Japanese first. And England would be nice, so I'll have to research those programs more.

Ah, if only this were easier!! Or maybe it's just me. Meh . . .

PASSPORT! I need a passport.

08 August 2009

Pontiacs and Social Experiments

First off, we got a Pontiac Vibe. Good car. I like Pontiacs.

Because it's Saturday, I decided to head out with a friend, codename TC. I told him I would pick him up in the new car. He liked it and we arrived at Barnes and Noble. Funny things ensued. We found a book called "Unwind" that was really interesting. About an America where children aren't touched until the age 13. Between the ages of 13 and 18, their parents can choose to have their children "unwound", that is, their organs donated to another who needs it. As interesting as that book sounds, I bought another book because it's "big and thick and made for adults." Think about that a moment.

Afterward, we ended up at the local DQ. We ate outside and watched cars drive by. It didn't talk long until we started waving at them. When only one out of a good many waved, I decided to document this as a "social experiment". I recorded how many cars waved back to TC, how many looked but didn't do anything, and how many didn't look at all.

Didn't look means we did not see the driver or passengers turn to look our way. Look means we did see them turn their heads.

Our results:

No Look: 29
Look: 2
Wave/Reaction: 1 (honk)

Comments in notebook:

TC wanted to pretend to puke with his very milky (at that point) soft serve to see how many would swerve to avoid him. He decided against it. Besides, the stains of old attempts would have been seen on the pavement.

We gave leeway to the guy who drove by in a Mini Cooper . . . just because it's a Mini Cooper. Those things kick ass.

It was determined by both of us that the annoying guy driving by on a moped is NOT on a boat like he was singing. If he were on a boat, he would have a car, and even then he wouldn't be in a car cause he'd be on a boat!

04 August 2009

It's a SAAB Story

I've been told I can really lay on the melodrama: . . .

The best car in anyone's world is always a piece of shit. Scrap metal to most people, but heaven to me. I called mine MLE. She got through my senior year, two summers, 5+ plays, and my little brother. She was my cousin's first car, my uncle's car, then my parents' (technically). So, because of this technicality, she's being traded against my will. This is her public tribute.

MLE has dysfunctional locks. They're supposed to be automatic, but they only worked in good weather when you're alone. If, by chance, you find yourself in the middle of a torrential downpour with three passengers, the locks won't work.

The window controls were backwards. You had to push 'down' to make the windows go up, and push 'up' to make the windows go down. Luckily, the sunroof did not have this problem.

The CD player never worked. We found that the latch that accepts CDs was broken and didn't bother to fix it. The tape deck decided to go late last summer, which eliminated the option of listening to an iPod while driving. So the driver and passangers were stuck with the radio if they so choose. And don't get me started on the equalizer --- I don't even know what it does.

MLE did not have A/C, but she could roll on the heat like nobody's business. But her defogger didn't work the greatest, so it took ten minutes for the windows to clear. By that time, I was already pulling into the school parking lot.

I just learned her airbags don't work either.

MLE had the courtesy to break down with my Dad driving at noontime. The transmission failed last winter. Her next big breakdown occured while I was driving on the highway this summer. I just got her home, but the damage was already done. She's so heavily corroded on the inside, that it's about time we scrap her. I'm sure she can last a little more, but the 'rents don't want to risk it. They don't trust her.

She had it long coming, but she'll always be my first car.

Farewell, MLE. My SAAB Story. The Best Car in the World. I'll hold you in fond memories.

1991 SAAB 9000 CD Turbo
The Best Car in the World

30 July 2009

Too Much Fun For One!

So I kinda cheated and made two. But it's so much fun I might just make a few more. ^_^

Cover #1

Cover #2


1 – Go to “Fake Name Generator” or click http://www.fakenamegenerator.com/

The name that appears is your author name.

2 – Go to “Random Word Generator” or clickhttp://www.websitestyle.com/parser/randomword.shtml

The word listed under “Random Verb” is your title.

3 – Go to “FlickrCC” or click http://flickrcc.bluemountains.net/index.php

Type your title into the search box. The first photo that contains a person is your cover.

4 – Use Photoshop, Picnik, or similar to put it all together. Be sure to crop and/or zoom in.

5 – Post it to your site along with this text.

27 July 2009

Who is Morike?

The summer before my freshman year in high school, I attended a summer music camp. Probably one of the worst weeks of my life, as student life was startlingly similar to college and I wasn't even ready for high school just yet. Also, I was extremely shy, had low self-esteem, and didn't know how to reach out to make friends. Luckily, I managed to make one friend who helped me get through the week. We shared the same interests in Japanese anime, and she had even picked a Japanese name for herself. I followed her footsteps and picked one out as well -- Moriko.

High school started a few months later. Another friend asked me to help out with back stage theatre, so I did. (Why not? I thought) As is tradition, tee shirt orders were passed around to everyone. There was also an option to have something written on the back. As per my chosen Japanese name, I worte down "Moriko". A few weeks later, when the shirts finally came, I recieved my shirt to find that "Moriko" was changed to "Morike". I was dismayed at first, but I soon got over it.

It's been an online alias ever since.

And for the record, it's pronounced [moh-ree-kay], no syllable is accented more than another. I'm personally fond of this name. It's unique, not really Japanese, and (I later discovered) a Guild of Wars goddess.

If you ever come across a Morike on a random site (like YouTube), send a greeting (or hilarious video).

23 July 2009

On Mornings and Trains

I was driving to work this morning and thinking about twelve year-old geniuses (curtesy of my current book) when a train burst through the trees on the side of the road. I caught my breath, and immediately thought of majestic and fun chase scenes back when the world wasn't so developed. A man running through fields with mustangs, both chasing and being chased. So I chased and was chased by the train. We were going the same speed, me slightly faster. No one won, no one lost.
I gave up when I came to my turn, since my turn goes over the train tracks. I had thought that I would be closer, but there was already a line of cars. And more cars came, but could not turn on the road. I felt those cars somehow broke the connection I had with the train. It was our own mini traffic jam. But the end of the train wasn't far. As I rolled over the railroad, I looked to my left to see if I could see the train, perhaps glimpse that majestic chase scene again.
It had already disappeared behind a bend.

20 July 2009

A Movie is Not a Book

It always urks me when people don't like a movie because it was different than its book.

1). Let's say, here we have a book. It's 365 pages in length, and surprisingly full of detailed action and character development. Normally, that would make it a great book. However, if we are to put everything on the big screen, we have a few difficulties. A normal screenplay is roughly 95 to 125 pages in length (read this link for more details). Therefore, we have to condense 365 pages into less than half its length.

A person able to accomplish this feat and still produce a great film to match the great book is a rare gift. Hollywood should worship the ground they walk upon.

2). When dealing with different mediums of stories, there WILL be changes. The audience changes, the way the story is told changes (i.e. first person to third person - a movie is always in a third person point of view). And the story is not being displayed because one person is doing this for their own enjoyment. The story is being displayed because a handful of people wanted to make a two-hour movie out of a 365 page book.

The addition of more people opens up a new door.

3). A movie is a collection of interpretations, not just one interpretation. We have our 365 page book again, only limited by the imaginations of its readers. Let's say, we have five people who read the book. The Director pictures the monster's horns curled inward, the Producer imagines the monster's horns curled outward, and the Screenwriter completely forgot the monster had horns. So what happens? They collaborate their views to create a final product. We are not getting the vision of a single person (maybe we are, depending on the director), we are getting a compliation of visions by multiple people.

So the next time you walk into a movie expecting to see its book counterpart: don't. You will always be disappointed.

19 July 2009

Is it August yet?

I miss college. The life, the homework, the wandering on my own for hours on end. The working on your feet for five hours straight. But what I mostly miss is being able to sleep in.

Getting up at quarter to seven in the morning every morning is not fun. Next semester, my classes start around ten, so I'll be betting up at nine. Which works because that's when I naturally wake up anyway. Even so, I would much rather be at school, even with homework.

But this is a post expressing how much I miss college. I can't wait to meet my new roommate. I'm totally psyched about my CommArts 350 class. And I am pretty sure I will make an actual effort to talk to professors, especially if it's a class for my better interest. I can't wait to get everything all organized.

I fell I should do something for August, but I don't think I will. I started working backstage at a play near my area, and last week went really slow. Like a busy slump. Every day is a boring day. You find yourself wishing for late August every five minutes. I need something to keep going, both at work and at home. But when you're doing random jobs no one else wants to do, it's hard to do something for more than a single day.

And that's why I miss college. Life goes fast, and you feel like you're living. I'm not yet suffocating, but I'm finding it hard to catch a good breath once in a while.

10 July 2009

Bad Guys need more substance!

I'm at a point in my life where bad guys need more than a monologue to justify their means. If an author can write an entire story detailing how a bad guy became a bad guy, then I can accept them as bad guys. But if all it takes is a single monologue for a bad guy to describe themself, then they just fail.

I don't like the presence of evil for the sake of a balance between good and evil either. It's a good idea, but never done the right way. Good and evil is in everybody. That's all a matter of what you choose to act upon.

I thought of a story concept involving four powers: Day, Night, Twilight, and Dawn. Obviously, Day and Night symbolize the standard good and evil powers at play. Then what's Twilight and Dawn? Twilight is the powers of the Night acting for the Day, and Dawn is the opposite. There was no obvious line between good and evil in this story. It's supposed to illistrate that it doesn't matter what sort of powers there are, good and evil is all a matter of point of view.

Which is kind of why Sith bug me. Unless I look deeper into the creation behind the Sith of Star Wars, I just see the standard good vs. evil. But wait. Jedi trust their feelings, but they don't act on them. They can't do some things other people can, like fall in love and get married. Sith, however, act upon their feelings. If they're angry, they go on a rampage. But what if they're happy? Do they still smile and walk with a bounce in their step? Jedi have to remain calm at all times. I've never seen Jedi exchange jokes before, have you? And so we have a fine way to blur the lines of good and evil. Good means suppressing emtion so it doesn't cloud your judgement. Evil means using the Force to your own will.

I can't mention Sith and Star Wars without mentioning Anakin too. This guy is BA in episodes IV - VI, and then he gets a whole freakin' trilogy to explain his story. That's just sweet. Props to you, George Lucas.

If you want a good story, blur the lines of good and evil. What makes a person good? What makes them evil? Is it accepting only the 'right way' to do things? But isn't a good person supposed to consider all options before making a sound decision? That involves tainting your hands sometimes, doesn't it? But if a decision is made for the right reasons, surely that must mean their hands won't be tainted. But isn't that what the standard bad guy is doing? They don't believe they're wrong. Oh, the possibilities with this kind of thinking!

If ever you want to write a good story, think of something where good and evil are blurred. If you have a story on one side, you must have a story on the other. Let the reader figure out all that goes on.

There are always two sides to a conflict. There's Side A and Side B. The third side, Side C, is a combination of both sides to discern the Truth, which is always somewhere in the middle. That is the kind of story I want to read whenever I sit down. I don't want "good vs evil", I want "are they really doing the right thing?" It's this way of thinking that makes a really good story.

06 July 2009

Happy belated Independence Day!

Looking back, a lot happened this weekend. Let's recap:

Thursday: First day of rehearsal. Alternater in car snaps while driving home.

Friday: I can't remember. Lots of lodging around. Write short story.

Saturday: Wisconsin Singers performance at park. Lightly burn face. BBQ with family friends. Fireworks with friends not seen all summer.

Sunday: Start editing short story. See movie with family.

And that's where I've been for the past while. I'll try to update more often.

25 June 2009

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (a review)

This movie was awesome. I can't stop thinking about it, and I'm debating going back to watch it. Just like I went back (not really) to see Star Trek and Terminator Salvation.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is just like its prequel. Explosions and action up the kazoo, a laugh in every scene, and the occasional corny joke for those who saw or know the old television show. And just like its prequel, this movie shall be overplayed and still highly enjoyed. I can't wait until it's on DVD, personally.

The movie takes place two years after the first movie. Captain Lennox and his team lead a government division known as NEST. In league with the Autobots, NEST hunts down the Decepticons still running around Earth.

Meanwhile, Sam and Makaela are still together. Sam is leaving for college when we first see him. Shortly after his arrival, fellow freshman Allison sets her eyes on Our Hero to his displeasures. And Leo, Sam's roommate, is a conspiracy theorist running a website up-to-date on all the alien stuff happening throughout the world.

And while trouble brews in our young hero's life, the Decepticons are on the move. Optimus Prime receives an ominous message saying "The Fallen shall rise again." Now NEST must try to stay ahead of the Decepticons, a feat easily said than done. Who are the Decepticons after? Sam Witwicky, who started seeing the symbols of the Cybertron language.

This isn't the best movie in the world, I admit, but it's damn well interesting enough to keep you on the edge of your seat. And Michael Bay finally made it to the Guiness Book of World Records for Largest Explosion in a Movie with Actors Present. We knew he could do it eventually.

When I saw this movie, the theater was packed, we waited an hour before it started, and I walked out thrilled and excited and wanting more. Great movie. Go see it. Highly recommended if you need something to spike your fun level. But don't expect a great drama to play out. This movie is more fun than anything.

I have to say, I fell in love with the title song: New Divide by Linkin Park.

22 June 2009

Action and Transformers

I am absolutely in love with action movies. When things go boom, I am happy.

And Michael Bay delivered things that go boom very well in Transformers in 2007. Two years later, I'm anticipating the same things -- but with better robot fights. I still put a Transformers wallpaper on my desktop to celebrate opening week of the movie. Unfortunately, I cannot go at midnight, but I can go the Wednesday it opens! ph34r m3 ph0r I $h@11 k0nqu3r!!!

As a tribute to action movies, please visit this link.

And now, I shall revisit the world of Optimus Prime to get pumped. This week shall be gloriously mechanic! *manic laughter*

18 June 2009

A story is good, but the Ending rocked my socks!

There are times while venturing through a good story where I fall head over heels for the ending. That's right, the ending. The rest of the story can me whatever it wants to be, but my heart stops for the final moments, the conclusion, the resolution. And I will summarize two endings for which I easily melt, however, I will not name these stories by title.

I don't want anyone mad because I ruined anything. If you happen to discover the titles as you read, I'm sorry. I tried my best not to name anything directly. My apologies if I ruined a good story for you.

Ending #1:

Our Hero, through circumstances within his control, uses his brains and resources to eventually take control of the world. This is bad, because he becomes a tyrant and uses his Super Ability to get people on his side. In cahoots with him is His Friend, who gains a title almost as high as Our Hero's. You hear cryptic conversations between them occasionally. A red flag should be raised.

In what was supposed to be a final battle, Hero's Friend is caught in an explosion and the good guys leading the rebellion against Our Hero's tyrannical reign are captured. While they are being paraded about before their execution, a Symbol appears and assassinates Our Hero, thus sparking a street riot to free the good guys.

It turns out, and I think this is brilliant, that Our Hero and His Friend staged this assassination to unite the world. Before that, the world was split into separate beliefs involving the giant superpower government and what-not. In order to really bring peace between the different factions, they all had to be united under a common enemy. And Our Hero sacrificed himself to achieve that. Adding to the brilliance is the fact that Our Friend didn't really die, he becomes the Symbol that assassinates Our Hero!

I saw that, flipped, and watched it again because I loved it so much! Oh, the brilliance!

Ending #2:

Over the course of five years, Our Hero battled Stereotypical Villian so he can both save the world(s) and return to the life he had. He finally learns that now that the battle is over, he can't return to his previous life. But he's assured he will gain by going to this new life rather than lose. Our Hero states to his Mentor that it seems unfair to fight for something, and then never find out what would become of it. Mentor agrees that it's unfair.

Turn page, and we are greeted by the life Our Hero led as if he didn't spend five years crossing the universe. We see him on his death bed (or close to it), and Mentor comes in with a box of scrolls stating he has a story Our Hero has to read. Our Hero wrote those scrolls, documenting his adventure those five years.

I just sit and mull that over again and again. I love that ending too.

Do you like endings, Dear Reader? May I hear of them?

13 June 2009


There's a quaint peninsula in my state untouched by Wal-Marts and commercialism.  There is a Piggly Wiggly, but you have to give them some credit.  This place is known for cherries, beautiful sunsets on the water (weather permitting), and more shoppes and restaurants than should be allowed.  At least five hotels in a single unincorporated town, long stretches of highway, and the occasional homemade candy shop also add to this fabulous place.

(Sunset at hotel - Day 2)

My family usually spends about a week up there.  We stay at this little resort with an outdoor heated pool that reaches six feet, a bonfire pit, boats and bikes to rent out, and a water view for every room.  Lovely place.  I love it up there, but only for so long.  Unfortunately, once you explore all the peninsula, there's not really anything to do.  Unless you do something you've never done before (like go horseback riding or see a production of the Peninsula Players - which we've never done, I might add).  

(At park in Sister Bay - Day 3)

I'm happy to be home, but I do kind of miss it.  But only a little.  You can only be cut off from society for so long before you just want to go home.  You want to visit the library to see if they actually bought anything recent while you were gone.  There's only so much shopping you can do before you want to go to a store that you actually enjoy, like Forever 21 or Target.  

(Twilit colors driving home - last day)

It's a wonderful place, don't get me wrong.  But vacations are only a small reprieve from life.  I have to admit, it's nice to see the changes that happen at home after being gone for so long.  It's like not really adjusting to life previously, but mere adapting to the changes that happened in your absence.  It's what makes coming home from college so fun.  

What is your favorite vacation spot?

07 June 2009

Good Stories plus Recommendations

I'm a fan of good stories. Not necessarily in a specific medium, but good stories in general. I've played a fair few video games (RPGs, mostly) that have some gripping plotlines. They snatch your heart and force you to continue playing until the end. And when you finish, when you beat that last boss, you breath a sigh of relief and watch the credits roll with a satisfied feeling in the pit of your stomach. It's the same feeling you get when you watch a particularly good movie, or finish that great book you've been reading all afternoon. You know it's a good story when you feel like you've just been on an adventure, and you don't regret going one bit.

When you open a book and it takes you away in those first couple pages, you know you nailed a good story. Or when you start a game or television show and you can't think of anything else until it's done. If a movie has you hooked from the opening credits, and you spend the end credits sitting in the theater trying to mull everything over. These are tell tale signs, but you can get the same feeling from stories that just really excite you.

So here is my multi-medium list of good story recommendations. Please note that this list is not extensive and limited to favorites of that particular medium. They do not reflect everything I have ever
experienced. I tried to limit the list to those that were particularly good instead of those that I just really liked on a personal level. It hasn't been a grueling process, but it did take time.

Perhaps I'll blog reviews on all these recommendations. Keep a sharp eye for them. They'll be scattered thoughout the archives once they start to build up.


Full Metal Alchemist
Death Note
Gundam Wing

Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling
The Inheritence Cycle by Christopher Paolini
The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Anything by Tamora Pierce

Mars by Fuyumi Soryo
Nana by Ai Yazawa

Castle in the Sky
Princess Mononoke
I Am Legend
The Dark Knight
The Back to the Future Trilogy
Star Trek (2009)
The Notebook
Star Wars
The Whole Nine Yards
The Princess Bride
Robin Hood starring Kevin Cosner (please tell me if I butchered his name)
V for Vendetta
District 9

The Phantom of the Opera
Jekyll and Hyde: The Musical

TV Shows

Video Games
Kingdom Hearts
Final Fantasy X

Recommendations of your own? Post them in the comments!

04 June 2009

The Chair

When I was little girl visiting my best friend, I always enjoyed a big, unique chair in their basement.  It was shaped like a bowl, hard to get in and out, but remarkably comfortable.  I could sit in that chair and watch television for hours.  Unfortunately, there was playing to be done, and I had to leave the chair.

In high school, I recalled that chair and it's comforming feeling.  I remember visiting that friend and watching Back to the Future in that same chair.  It wasn't until years later, as I was finishing my senior year in high school, that I vowed that I will buy a similar chair.  This chair would start my collection of furniture as I headed forth into the world.  It would be the start of something.  What that something is, I still don't know.  But it started something.

And so I bought this chair.  I learned that what I called a Bowl Chair was officially named a Papasan Chair.  And it came with a foot stool, a feature my friend's chair did not have.

My Chair is not named, beyond The Chair or My Chair.  It's a wooden frame, beige-ish colored cushion.  During the first two semesters of college, it accumulated a vast range of snack crumbs and a small rip in the seam.  There may be a print of my body on it, but I don't see it.  Usually covered in half-clean clothes and pillows, the Chair isn't getting much use now that I'm home for summer.  Beyond storage, that is.

I am sitting in it now, a few pillows at my shoulders and head.  It's comfy.  The twilit evening echoes through the open window.  My computer plays Rie Fu.  And my eyes are being burned by the brightness of the screen.  But it's peaceful.  I can easily fall asleep right now.  

Good night, random surfer.  Keep on the look-out for when I figure out how to get a story up here.  I await the day with joy.

03 June 2009

First Time Blogger

Hello random surfer!  It is I, a being you may refer to as Morike.  My sincerest apologies if this bores the hell out of you, but fear not.  Return, and you shall be entertained my whimsical fantasies!  Perhaps you'll read a tale of great adventures.  Maybe you will hear how crappy my day has been.  Or maybe you're just here because you're my friend and I bugged you to visit.  

Fear not.  This blog will serve more of a purpose!  Until next time, I bid thee farewell.  I await your second coming with much excitement and anticipation.