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.