Let’s Talk About Captain America: The Winter Soldier

4 Apr

First, though, as a matter of course, we have to discuss how you should in no way be here if you haven’t seen the movie yet; that, however, is of secondary importance compared to the fact that you are sitting here, wasting time on the internet (of all places), when you could be wasting time watching Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Come on. Where are your priorities?

Back to the matter at hand. If you’ve continued this far, you’ve seen the movie. So let’s talk.

Let’s talk about how this movie did the truly impossible thing and made me want to take up jogging. For at least three minutes. With Sam Wilson. On your left.

Let’s talk about,

“I have the exact same glasses.”

“You guys are practically twins.”

“Pff. I WISH.” 

Let’s talk about Natasha and Steve being one of my favorite on-screen brolationships to ever bro. And, obviously, we just have to talk about how “Public displays of affection make people very uncomfortable.”

“Yes, they do.”

Unfortunately, talking about it is easier said than done, as most things tend to be. I found that a lot of the emotions induced during the course of this movie aren’t of the efficiently explainable variety.

For example, instead of saying, “When Abed (Danny Pudi) made his cameo, I felt such an emotion that I felt as though my brain went completely offline as I gasped like someone drowning and smiled so largely that I gave myself the laughter lines of a ninety-year-old woman,” it would be much easier for me to simply go –  “ABED”

or “DR. ARNIM ZOLA”

or “I’M SORRY SITWELL, DID YOU JUST SAY ‘STEPHEN STRANGE’?”

Seriously though.

or “I’M WITH YOU ‘TIL THE END OF THE LINE.”

I really do want to talk about that. Steve is known for never giving up in what he believes in, and he believes in his best friend Bucky - it was the only thing he could do for him.

“Not a perfect soldier, but a good man” has rarely been better displayed than it was in this superlatively well-made film, and it is one of the things that makes this movie so worth seeing, so worth talking about, and so very, very worth flailing about in your theater seat, disturbing the general peace, and very nearly jumping into your sister’s arms screaming during the post-credit scenes (this is a great way to bond, by the way).

Because you’ll wait for those scenes, right? Both of them?

Don’t you dare let me down.

Speaking of which, that’s the final thing that needs to be discussed here.

Know what? I want you to be there with me. Let me just take you on a little tour of my cozy corner of the theater last night, during the first post-credit scene.

*Men speak ominously in laboratory-like chambers*

*Ill-intentioned men speak of activating the twins*

*Camera pans to adjacent prison cells, one containing Wanda Maximoff and the other, her brother Pietro*

*Three years pass*

// So can we please talk about this movie?

The Sound[s] of Settling

26 Mar

I care about things a lot. You get that, don’t you? Both of us can be enthusiastic about a world of ridiculous stuff. Barrages of whatever-it-is-now that we get excited about lead us into some of the most inconvenient series of emotions we’ve ever had or ever will. It’s kind of terrible.

Oftentimes, that inconvenient excitement is expressed in rather adoring and/or eccentric ways. I find I’m much more likely to find a self-proclaimed Fanboy/girl who has drawn numerous pieces of fanart of their favorite subjects than a self-proclaimed Fanboy/girl who thinks that such an outpouring is excessive. It’s just the way we are.

That being the way we are, we as fans like to seek out people and things that go well with our obsessions. This includes music. One of the biggest pulls for a song in the first place is how much it relates to its audience – we like to look for ourselves in our music. We want the  songs we listen to be able to be featured on the soundtracks for our lives.

In light of this fact, I’ve taken the liberty of finding a couple pieces that relate to me a little too well, or at least to the fangirl aspect of me.

Feel free to see if you can relate.

Piano Song by Meiko.

/I try so hard not to notice/I try so hard not to care/I try so hard not to know that you’re not here/But I’m counting down the hours/And I’m counting up the days*

*Oh, don’t pretend you’ve never counted down to a season, movie, or book premiere. You know what you did.

/I try so hard not to show this side of me*

*And we have all been there. Hiding a fan nature is exhausting.

The song goes on to describe how the singer is jealous of the people who get to be around the object of her attention, because “I don’t think they know just what they’ve got.”

Guilty. Not proud, but guilty.

And very  not alone, I think. In fact, a little bit ago, I saw a pin on Pinterest of Tom Hiddleston kissing a young woman, directly above a meme about a mourning fangirl who had been left in the dust. Apparently, Hiddles and his pictured lady have broken up now (as I learned from the three dozen or so relieved comments below the image), but I felt that the whole frantic ordeal caused by the picture really revealed something about fangirls.

Not sure what, but something.

How’d that gif get here? Totally not applicable. Not at all. I’ll delete it later.

But for now – next song!

Better Life by Paper Route.

/All the bridges that I’ve burnt/All the new ways that I hurt*

*How you as a fan will inevitably feel when you become immersed in a new story that is destined for tragedy.

/You gave up and I lost track/When you love someone who don’t love back/It doesn’t matter who’s at fault/Nothing matters now at all*

*Oh look, the you have now become infatuated with yet another fictional character/actor/musician. Just another day in the life ( ha, life, hilarious).

/I might have have said too much/I might have said too much/I won’t forget your touch/I’m saying too much*

*The second you realize you’ve been talking about Star Trek for twenty minutes to someone who started hating your guts exactly ten minutes ago.

And of course, as the title of the song breaks through the surface of the lyrics, the singer reminds you that “a better life, a better life is waiting.” This bit is reminiscent of the voice (of reason?) in the back of your head that sees the trouble you go through for all your cosplay, feverish album-buying, and clunky emotions. It lays an incorporeal hand on your shoulder, and reminds you that this is probably not the best or most productive thing you could be doing with your life.

Quick, pause the song. You don’t need that kind of negativity.

Next up:

Maintain Consciousness by Relient K

Our concentration, it contains a deadly flaw/our conversations change from words to bla bla bla*

*The voice (of reason?) is back

We took prescription drugs/look how much good that did/well I think I had a point/but I just got distracted/lately it just seems to me/like we’ve got the letters ADD/branded into our mentalities/we simply can’t focus on anything

*sweats nervously*

And that one thing of the moment/that we all happen to like/will only very temporarily kinda break the cycle/of the double-edged sword/of being lazy and being bored/we just want more and more and more/till it’s all we can afford*

*Okay, now stop immediately. I know I sound like a broken record now, but there’s nothing bad, wrong, or silly about enjoying things. Nothing whatsoever.  Being enthusiastic about something that means a lot to you is a beautiful thing, and this song is not saying that it isn’t. But I personally find myself needing to make sure not all that joy of mine is boxed up in one, temporary facet. There’s a lot out there to deserve our attention. Let’s use it wisely.

/Cause it’s completely up to us/to maintain consciousness

________________________

There. Now, if my life were a musical (and it is), then you would have just gotten a preview into which songs would be featured. ::

What songs do you want in your life soundtrack?

Sweet Spot

20 Mar

Today’s post requires an explanation. 

I’m taking a class at a local Christian College (the Kilns) called Personal Calling and Mission. For the midterm project, everyone had to give a “sweet spot” presentation to illustrate what each individual was passionate about, and to apply learned concepts in the class. The following post was my sweet spot presentation (given in speech form), so know before you dive in: It has nothing to do with pop culture, it’s quite personal, has no pictures, and, for a blog post of mine, it’s lengthy, my friend.

Quite lengthy. Should you choose to proceed, do so with caution.

__________________________________

I have a name, but it might tell you more if I told you something different about myself: I am an INFP. According to the well-known Briggs Myers personality test, that stands for Introvert, Intuition, Feeling, and Perceiving.

In my case, or a condensed version of it, that means I’m a sappy, wildly imaginative person who’s bad at small talk and has a sometimes questionable work ethic.

I admit to a certain amount of temptation during the test to manipulate my answer. I was kind of hoping for a different personality type. I didn’t have a certain one in mind, but I was shooting for a specific niche, a sort of divergent style of personality with a whole new combination of letters (e.g., WOW), and it would lead to a secret encoded page in the back of the book that said, you were meant to do, no doubt about it, [fill in the blank].

That didn’t happen.

I actually ended up with the same personality as someone else in the class, which kind of felt whatever the opposite of empowering is.

I found myself wishing, against all the force of my common sense, that I had gone first so I didn’t, heaven forbid, look like a copycat. To explain away that last statement, I want to remind you, I’m the youngest of three daughters, and the closest in my family to being a toddler.

My prologue to this class, Personal Calling and Mission, starts several weeks ago. I was looking over the term’s available classes with a friend, and she pointed to one I was thinking of taking, and asked if at the end of the class, someone was going to hand me a slip of paper identifying my true calling in life.

I responded, pretending to joke around, “I certainly hope so.” I’d be lying if I said I didn’t continue to hope so throughout the class.

A lot of things scare me, but few so much as the future and the massive and potentially damaging effect that I am capable of having on it. This fear, I’m sorry to say, definitely crept into my early approach to the class. For example, as I was writing down my five-year-out goals, I initially held back – because what if, in five years, I look back on these goals and haven’t accomplished them? Are my grades in this class dependent on the 22-year-old me being a successful adult? I feel very uncomfortable placing so much responsibility with someone I have yet to meet.

I think that says a lot about me.

And whose goals and priorities don’t shift through the years?

When I was about seven years old, I wanted to be a professional singer. I sang all the time, to the point where my parents were forced to institute a “no-singing” rule at the dinner table. Of course it seemed like the eventual best choice to sing and get paid for it. That’s what a life calling is all about, anyway, right?

Today, due to many, many issues with it for me, the singing dream is gone. But one thing that stands out to me about that age in my life is from when that dream was still alive and well.  I had just told an older friend about my aspiration, and she replied,

“Well, every little girl wants to be a singer.”

True. But few things really tear down a dream like being told that the dream is commonplace – and not only commonplace, but a rite of passage, a phase that you’ll eventually get over.

I’ll concede that it was a realistic point of view, but in the worst way. Reality has its place, and that place is at least three kingdoms away from the hopes and dreams of seven-year-olds.

Furthermore, I believe I stressed earlier that the last thing I don’t want to believe that I am a copycat. I’ve certainly never wanted to believe that I belong in a collective group entitled, “every little girl,” a group that will one day collectively grow up and develop realistic aims.

I find, however, that that little soundbyte has stuck with me.

Of course, it’s been several years and dozens of “when I grow up”s since then. I’ve been through detective, spy, librarian, waitress, receptionist, married to a rich guy, masked vigilante, and coroner, but as of the past few years, I believe God is calling me to write in some fashion. I would love that to include a career as an author or screenwriter, but I haven’t gotten to look at God’s road map yet.

It’s wonderful to know at least a facet of your calling, and to be able to meet with others who seem to have the same one. I have a lot of writer friends – being a writer surrounded by writers is the best thing in the world in a way. There’s a whole community of people who think like you, share ambitions with you, and can help you, but in other, more selfish ways, there’s also a downside. For example, you see firsthand just how much better your friends are than you at doing the thing you love. You see how many people there already are in the career field, doing the thing you love, and then, if you’re me, there’s also a little voice that chirps every so often in the back of your head,

“Well, every little girl wants to be a writer.”

Even without the original statement that this one is derived from, I believe I would still feel this particular anxiety. It’s a very me fear. I’ve already said I don’t want to be in the “Every Little Girl” class, but it it’s even worse to worry that I won’t even be part of the acceptably gifted ones in that class. The writers that inspire me so much are the ones I’m terrified to be compared to.

As a result of this sort of fear, I have found myself in a trap: believing that to succeed in my own eyes means to succeed in the eyes of everyone else. Therefore, to improve in this area, I start to think that everything about me has to point toward my someday writing something that everyone will like.

Earlier in the class, when we were writing our short-term and long-term goals, I remember being a little bit disappointed with mine, as they turned out to have nothing whatsoever to do with what I want to be when I grow up. However, if I have learned anything in this class, it’s that “what I am when I grow up” does not stop or start with a career. It’s just in the mix somewhere. Furthermore, if our primary calling is to make God happy and my principal aim is to make strangers like me, then I’m doing it very wrong. Why would the opinion of a clay pot mean more to me than the opinion of its potter?

Everyone has their own areas of expertise and “transferable skills,” as the class text, Live Your Calling calls them, and there’s only one opinion of how we use ours that should matter to us: the One who created them.

My transferable skills started with writing, editing, and designing/creating for preferred career inclusions.

Those three are  things I love – and coincidentally, things that seem to fit well into my personality type.

The book’s description for INFP said, among other things, that this particular group of people care intensely for people and ideas, and are drawn to careers in which they can foster growth and development in others. I really found this to be true in me.

Now first: Lord knows I am not exactly qualified to be the wellspring of growth and development. I still get a stomachache when I think about paying bills, and I’m undoubtedly long overdue for most of my impending maturity. But what I do learn, I want to pass on. And what I have learned, I have always learned through what I love: through stories, and though words.

The whole art of words has grown and evolved, and it is always shifting into some new, beautiful medium to touch more people. You must love words; you must love the magic of communication to learn.

Words were never meant to be kept silent. If something is worth writing down, it is worth being sung, spoken, shouted, or whispered. More often than not, it is the verbalization that makes the words something special. As flames lick at anything to come too close, voices ignite words with a new life, unlocking the potential energy and turning it kinetic.

You won’t ever be able to avoid it– there’s a sanctity in words, and we’ve all experienced its glory. Even if that’s not something you tend to think about, you will always notice when that glory is spoiled. For example, I feel I can safely assume that all of us have had that terrible moment, in a classroom, in a Sunday school, in a club, etc. The group is eventually asked to volunteer to read a selection out loud and as that one kid raises his hand, he lifts up the words in print, and he slays them. Every word containing over seven letters has been stretched to an unbearable seven syllables, punctuated with question marks and nervous laughter.

In that moment, as you try in vain to block out the near heretical voice, you realize there is something magical in words written and spoken well, and it doesn’t take much to break the spell.

People have used words to build wonderful causes for the advancement of good and to raise armies of terrible evil in equal measure.

The gift of words is so powerful that God literally filled volumes with his own purest and truest of words just for us.

How crazy is that?

One of the best bits for me in those heaven-inspired volumes is in Deuteronomy 31:8. It says, “And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be discouraged.”

I always feel, when I read my Bible and trip over a verse about fear, anxiety, and discouragement, that God is trying to kindly slap me in the face. I do find most things terrifying, and as I said earlier, one of the primary subjects in that broad “most things” category is the future.

My typical strategy for overcoming fear or discomfort is pretending the cause of that fear or discomfort does not exist.

For a very vivid example, when my dog, whom my family and I had had for as long as I can remember, died, I didn’t even tell my oldest and closest friends about it for a week or longer. My infallible logic was that if I didn’t think about it or admit it, it didn’t have to have happened, and I didn’t need to be sad about it.

That might be more sad than pathetic if it happened years and years ago, but it didn’t. It happened last August.

So it follows that when I’m scared of the future, I tend to pull on my forever-young attitude and pretend none of my questionable and lazy choices will ever have an adverse effect on my life.

One of my core values, as I found during the course of this class, is laughter/fun. And there’s nothing wrong with that – but when it starts to take precedence over another of my core values, truth, then there is a serious problem.

That’s what I’m trying to change. If anxiety and the avoidance of it is the driving force in my decisions, then I’m not going to live up the potential God created me for.

That’s what I love about Deuteronomy 31:8; it’s tailor-made for fearful people. It says “He goes before you.” God is with you now, absolutely. But not only that – he’s already been there with you. He’s been there before you, with you, and after you. He is eternal – no matter how much we’ve messed up and we will mess up, we are incapable of messing Him up. He created us on purpose, and He personally tuned our unique weaknesses and strengths. He knows very well what we can’t handle, and He’s given us every gift that we possess to handle what we can. There’s no way you can cling onto God’s arm too hard. If you were to even ask Him to carry you for a while, He wouldn’t refuse.

He hasn’t refused so far.

He knows this path, and He’s far steadier on it than you or I will ever need to be.

Every little girl wants someone like that.

I know I am beyond blessed to be one of His little girls, and I believe that knowing that is the first half of anyone living their calling.

The rest is faith.

Trailer Breakdown for The Maze Runner

18 Mar

You’ve noticed, I’m sure, the signs of the new season. Spring, when one’s thoughts turn toward YA novel-to-movie adaptions. In honor of the occasion, 20th Century Fox has released the the official trailer for the Maze Runner. You’re very, very welcome, they say in soothing tones to the crazed, trilogy-wielding teenagers outside their building.

Please, friends, enjoy the trailer, and then join me in trying very hard not to scream about this trailer in public.

*rickety elevator sounds*
mr_1mr_3mr_4

Aw. It’s like being born, but more fully-dressed and more people judging you for being alive.mr_5

But just as sweaty and confused, I think.
mr_6

“Day one, Greenie. Rise and shine.”

There was a boy called Eustace Scrubb Gally, and he almost deserved it.mr_7

“What is this place?”

What is This Place, the new album from Thomas of the Glade. Featuring the hit single, “Why Is Everyone Here So Obsessed with the Words ‘Klunk’ and ‘Shuck’?” mr_8

“Can you tell me your name?”

“I – I can’t remember anything.”

Between YA novels and the Bourne movies, I feel like memory loss is the best thing that could happen to my personal story arc.mr_9

Aw, what a peaceful little community. As far as freaky post-apocalyptic futures go, this one is rather nice.mr_10

“Who put us here?”

 Alby’s name is a little bolder than everyone else’s name. I’m going to believe that he deepened it a few minutes before Thomas popped out of the box for the streamlining of the Glade tour. He does look pretty proud of it.mr_11

Dystopian Boy band shot. I approve. Nothing seems inherently bad about this place so far.
mr_12

“We don’t know.”

And yet you seem pretty chill about the whole thing. It’s whatever. Our lives are just kind of shrouded in mystery and a sense of evil.mr_13

“What’s out there?”
mr_15mr_16

“The Maze.”

“Newt! I know what we’re gonna do today!”

It is wonderful to see you here, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, and especially with more than one line per twenty minutes (hopefully).

mr_17

Aw man, beautiful set design. Love me some ominous clouds. The place is seeming a little less friendly.mr_18

“Every night, when those doors open,mr_19

“The runners look for a way out.mr_20

Well, that’s certainly a spiffier-looking map than I imagined it to be. But then again, I imagined the Hunger Games cornucopia as woven out of straw, so maybe I shouldn’t talk.mr_21

mr_22

“No one has ever survived a night in the maze.”mr_23

[more visible in actual trailer]

[however, still visible enough for me to realize that my imagined version of Grievers, one that looked like Roz from Monster's Inc., was very, very wrong]

[But again, I'm apparently not very good at this visualization thing]mr_24

“What happens to them?”

If you’ve noticed that exactly 100% of the things Thomas has said so far have been referring to his utter ignorance of everything, then you can feel sure that he is portraying his literary counterpart correctly. And all of the readers, for that matter.mr_25

Confused? Good. Settle in for two hours of the emotion known as “wut.”

In related news, it took me three years to even get a shot this bad.
mr_26

-by James Dashner-mr_27

“We don’t belong here.”mr_28

Is that supposed to be a Beetle blade? I pictured that rather differently. It was totally woven out of straw in my imagination
mr_29

“No, that is not slime. You are secreting mucus!”mr_30

“I think it’s time we find out who we’re really up against.”mr_31mr_32

This looks like the Incredibles.mr_33

This really looks like the Incredibles.mr_35

“Everything started changing the moment you showed up.”

Shut up, Eustace. You’re not exactly the best with change.mr_36

Let me guess. Four-movie saga for three books? *flips table* mr_37mr_38

“It’s a girl.”

And the oscar for best facial expression goes to Ferb Fletcher.mr_39

And while we’re on the subject, I would like to direct your attention to how the faces from left to right are a brilliant scale from “NOPE” to “about bloody time.”
mr_40

“Thomas!”mr_41mr_42

“Oh my gosh, Teresa, not in front of my friends.”
mr_43I see you driving ’round town with the girl I love, and I’m like -

(Read it again in a whisper, to a twisted version of the original tune. Experience enhanced by ten points.)

mr_44

That’s a very clean skull. Do they have a taxidermist class in the Glade, or have they been saving it for years for this occasion?
mr_45

“Why are we different?”mr_46

“What if we were sent here for a reason?”

Okay, so all the new kids speak in a series of questions that people are tired of answering.
mr_47

And anyway, if no one else is going to sing “baby, we were born to run” I am only too happy to volunteer.mr_48mr_49

“You’re not like the others,mr_50

“You’re curious.mr_53

Like, “curiosity killed the cat” curious, or like “you’re a freak” curious?mr_54

I’m gonna put you down for “both.”
mr_55

“But if you want to stay here,mr_56

“Not yet, Ferb.”mr_57

-Scene added for glorious hair-wooshing-mr_59

“I need to know that you’re going to follow the rules.”mr_60

“lol yolo”mr_61

Newt and Gally need to get together and even out their reactions a little bit.
mr_62

Oh, look. Claustrophobia. Haha, excuse me for a moment.

*has panic attack*
mr_63

*has separate panic attack but in a good way*
mr_64

“Coming soon”? That is the worst thing you could say. Try August 13th.

That’s almost soon! I feel like someone should give a pep talk or something. Okay, here you go: Be careful. Don’t die.

(Who am I kidding)

One Nerdy Turn Deserves Another | Volume 2

5 Mar

Explanations for today’s traditional post:

Exhibit A, Exhibit B, Exhibit C.

(You probably should have seen this year’s theme coming. Press play for the full experience.)

But getting on with the first order of the day -

Dear Jennifer: you’re twenty-freaking-one.

I don’t think I’m equipped to handle this. You’re growing up too fast. I need to be comforted. I need a shock blanket.

Sorry, I’m fine, this has been coming for a while, I suppose. It’s time to celebrate!

And I know just how.

And you shall have -

(Which is delicious, by the way. I checked for you.)

The world would like to thank you, Jennifer, for over two decades of you. You done good. Many thanks for being the Annie to my Abed (is that a thing now? Buzzfeed quizzes, once completed, become a part of your soul’s identity, right?) on our many trips to the dreamatorium. Here’s to many more?

You know, I’m not entirely certain about those quiz-delegated roles. I like to think we’re more Troy and Abed.

(And this way we still get to keep the Dreamatorium)

No matter the outcome of pillow fort vs. blanket fort wars, the interference of the darkest timeline, or one of us leaving the community to sail around the world on a boat left to us by a freaky old man, I love you, and I’ll be there to support you.

(More in spirit than in flesh, if the freaky-old-man-boat thing happens.)

By the by, I’ve realized something truly earth-shattering – all those times I jokingly wrote in your birthday cards,

“(insert appropriate number here) years until you can legally drink!”

THERE ARE ZERO YEARS LEFT. YOU CAN LEGALLY DRINK RIGHT AT THIS SECOND. 

But of course, now that you are no longer a minor, I just want to be the millionth person to warn you not to get too crazy.

Weird stuff happens, love.

Mm. That was probably the worst way to convince you to not get plastered. Wait, come back, I have more reasons!

DARKEST TIMELINE, JEN. THE DARKEST TIMELINE WILL ENSUE IF YOU DRINK IN EXCESS. PARTY RESPONSIBLY. AND MAYBE DON’T ROLL DICE JUST TO BE SUPER SAFE.

But of course, there’s some value to be able to drink. All your your non-minor friends (major friends?) may finally admit to you that beer is totally gross, but they have to pretend to like it since they live in Oregon. They may at long last come clean about how “oaky” is not even a thing as far as wine flavors go, and it just sounds cool. 

And of course, when I turn 21, I get to just show up at your house for an impromptu boys’ girls’ night!

Oh no, I just turned our Troy/Abed into Dean/Abed STOP ABORT MISSION

Back on track:

Just remember today, for the rest of your glorious twenty-first year, and basically your life in general -

You are smart,

Stunning,

a joy to be around,

Reaction GIF: clapping, excited, happy, Joel McHale, Community

and you are more loved than you can imagine.

I hope you never doubt any of that. May God bless you and keep you in your twenty-first year, and have the very happiest of birthdays.

Trailer Breakdown for Guardians of the Galaxy

19 Feb

Welcome, family, friends, and fangirls/boys.

Coming up on the horizon is a new Marvel movie, and a pretty bold one, considering that it introduces five new characters to the cinematic universe that it has never seen before. So, as would be expected, there’s a fair amount of introduction footage in this preview, as opposed to other Avengers trailers, which basically just have to say, “Loki is in this one, give us your  money.”

The official teaser was released yesterday morning, an exhaustive nineteen seconds, six of which were dedicated to title sequences. This special-effects-flavored snack held us over until supper, and now? Join me in welcoming, analyzing, over-analyzing, and going on rabbit trails that ultimately have nothing to do with the full trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy.

gog_1

The  noble silhouette – always a fine way to introduce a hero.

gog_3

Or, you know, this guy.
gog_4

Well done, Peter Quill. You’ve unlocked the badge “Discount Indiana Jones!” gog_5

“Drop it! Now!”

gog_6

“It belongs in a museum!”

“Yeah! Hey, cool man, no problem. No problem! At! All!”

It takes a big man to admit he’s been beat.

Or, you know, this guy.gog_7

“Who are you?”*

*The question every wannabe superhero dreams of being asked**

**Trust me, I knowgog_8

“Starlord.”gog_9

“Who?”gog_10

“Starlord, man! Legendary outlaw?”

Face it, honey, you’re no Harriet Jones, Prime Minister.gog_11

gog_12

“Forget it.”

A for effort and delivery. It’s what’s inside that counts.
gog_13

*angel chorus that always accompanies Marvel sequence*

*I’m not the only person that hears that, right?*gog_15

“We arrested these five on Xandar, check out the rap sheets.”

Good. Thank you. Jotunheim and Svartalfheim weren’t hard enough to say.
gog_16

“Drax, AKA the Destroyer. Since his wife and family were killed, he’s been on a rampage across the galaxy in a search for vengeance.”

Everybody – Drax: Abridged Versiongog_17

“Gamora! Soldier, assassin. Wanted on over a dozen counts of murder.”

- And here as a constant, green remind that yes, we are in space.gog_18

“Rocket – wanted on over fifty charges of vehicular theft and escape from lockdown.”

Here as proof that Marvel can do anything it darn well pleases.
gog_19

“What the hell -”

“Groot. Been traveling recently as Rocket’s personal houseplant/muscle.”

Here as more proof.gog_20

“Peter Jason Quill. He’s also known as Starlord?”

“Who calls him that?”

“Himself, mostly. He’s wanted largely on charges of minor assault, public intoxication, and fraud.”gog_21

“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know how this machine worked.”

Stay classy, San Diego.
gog_22

Oh summer. I remember that.

*shakes fist at polar vortex* Curse you, Elsa.
gog_23

Mm, the “Abbey Road” of movie posters. I can already see it on pinterest, faded out with some inspirational quote from the movie on it. 30 repins, 27 likes. 2 comments from trolls who hated the movie.gog_24

*Hooked on a Feeling by Blue Swede plays*gog_25gog_26

“Hey hey hey!

Robin Thicke? Are we not safe from you even here?

“That’s mine.”gog_27

*song continues playing*
gog_28

“Son of a – hey! Take those headphones off right now!”

Yes. Fear the handcuffed man. He’ll bite your legs off.gog_29

*Blood-curdling yell blends with swelling music*gog_30

And now, a brief interlude from dialogue while we remind you about all the characters you think you may have imagined -gog_32

A big welcome to Rocket and Groot in a shot you never thought you’d see on the big screen,

gog_33

introducing MouseRat (Any Parks and Rec fans in the audience today?) as the obligatory half-naked man,gog_34

U.S.S. Enterprise’s Uhura as the obligatory completely-naked woman,gog_35

aaand this plume of fire and smoke as the obligatory explosion. Huzzah!

But I know what you guys are thinking. You heard that Karen Gillan, the actor who portrays our beloved Amy Pond, was going to be in the movie. Yeah, Amelia, you say. Little Scottish girl. Where is she? I promised her five minutes, but the engines were phasing. I suppose I must have gone a bit far. Has something happened to her? gog_36

… Amelia Pond hasn’t lived here in a long time.gog_37

I know, Drax. It hurts me too. I wanted to see Amy again, but not like this… never like this.gog_38

Ooh, do we get another explosion?gog_39

Yes, TV understands us.gog_40

But seriously, three cheers for Karen Gillan. She makes bad look so good. (Megamind reference not a coincidence – bald, blue minds do think alike)gog_41

Oh, I left out one of the most important introductions: Zoolander‘s Mugatu as Del Toro, or that-guy-none-of-us-trusted-with-the-aether-at-the-end-of-Thor:The Dark World. Seriously, who chose to give the aether to this dude? Who was in charge of this decision?gog_42

What’s that? You forgot the characters again? Have no fear, Marvel has prepared for this moment. Half-second montage – go!gog_43

Snacks Destroyer

gog_44

Roots, The Sonic Screwdriver’s Worst Nightmaregog_45

Marvel Does What It Wants
gog_46

And Starlord.gog_48

“They call themselves ‘The Guardians of the Galaxy.’”

(You’re hardly one to scoff, Mr. Wreck-it-Ralph)gog_49

“… What a bunch of A-holes.”

IIIIII’M HOOKED ON A FEELING I’M HIGH ON BELIEVINGgog_50(Said in an attempted dead-pan voice as I jump up and down and clap like a seal) This movie looks pretty good.

If Marvel does right by itself, this movie is going to have countless tie-ins with Avengers: Age of Ultron. So you’ll want to watch it for that. Maybe there are a couple of other reasons. And who knows? It might be just as spectacular as it seems.

Summer has way too many reasons to be here right now.

Language Tutoring

17 Feb

I don’t speak sports.

I feel so un-worldly when I’m reminded of this.

Whenever the people around me start speaking fluent sports, and I have to be the stereotypical girl going, “Sorry, could you say that slower?”

The recentish Superbowl and currently-unfolding Olympics are good examples. At the Superbowl, I casually rooted for the Seahawks and was casually delighted when they grinded the Broncos into a pulp, but I can’t say I watched any more than ten seconds of the game at a time.

(Actually, I think I speak for a couple other people out there when I say the only reasons I tuned in for Superbowl Sunday were the Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and Tom Hiddleston In A Helicopter Drinking Tea Superbowl trailers.)

“A stiff upper lip is key.”

With the Olympics, my response is rather similar. I mean, of course I’m watching events and rooting for the USA.

(I’m not a terrorist)

The whole concept of the Olympics is magnificent, and nobody really disagrees with said fact (cough*terrorists*cough). But I do wish I got more pumped about the whole spectacle – I think it comes to down to an altogether lack of plot.

But some people, as I’m sure you’ve noticed if you know a few of what we call homo sapiens, really, really like sports. Everyone has an area of expertise as far as conversation goes, and a certain sports and/or sports is a very common one.

Take pastors, for example. They, like everyone, have their own areas of expertise. I had one several years ago who liked to throw up clips from Men in Black and Lord of the Rings when he thought it helped his point, and even if it didn’t exactly, I always enjoyed those Sunday mornings.

However, a different pastor, a guest speaker at my church a couple weeks ago, is one of those sports fans we’ve heard so much about, and half of his sermon was a football analogy. I tracked, but I was pretty grumbly about the whole ordeal, mentally griping at him about his connecting with a few people at the cost of alienating others (And obviously, this whole “church” institution is for me alone, so he should clean up his act).

And then I realized something truly horrific.

This. This is what people must feel like when I make a fandom reference.

That, my friend, is a serious problem.

I don’t worry about that on here, of course, if you can’t stand my subject choice, you can feel free to close the web page anytime you please – but in real life, I have indeed been annoying in this way before.

Shocker, isn’t it.

At least pastors don’t hunt me down, open a conversation with an obscure football reference and then proceed to tell me to at least try football because “OHMYGOSH it’s so good, it’s got these really complex players, and you never know what’s going to happen next, and when you start to love it you can come to my house and we’ll have a football marathon, eat football-themed foods, tell each other football-themed pick-up lines, and we’ll collectively try to convert more and more people to our cult fanbase!”

It’s like looking into a terrible football-flavored mirror.

See now, I say that football is the opposite of things I understand.

But I think I understand the people who love it way more than I ever meant to.

I once shared an airplane flight with a kid who adored golf, and when he found out the in-flight entertainment was free viewing of the golf channel, he was ecstatic. I remember trying my darnedest to detect hints of sarcasm.

I mean, excited about golf? Excited about watching golf? He even mumbled, as he set up his iPad to watch the channel, “it’s kind of the only reason I would watch TV.”

Oh, cool, I thought, there goes hours of my best conversation fodder.

Which makes me sad.

What I do speak, I speak rather well. However, as a friend of the family put it best,

“… my second language is just speaking louder.”

You don’t want to talk about my favorite pieces of story-telling? Um, then *ahem* DO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT MY FAIR LADY? OR WOULD YOU RATHER HEAR ABOUT SCIENCE FICTION HEY COME BACK

I have found myself being a jerk about a lot of things that other people love, but I never cease to be frustrated and hurt when people are jerks about what I love.

That’s a little bit backward.

For those predispositions to even out, I need to change one.

I don’t know if any of you share this cross with me, but if not, that’s okay – this has mainly been a stern slap across the wrist for myself.

I need to learn a couple other languages.

And Many More

6 Feb

365 days ago, as Wipeout chirped from the television in the empty living room across the hall, I sat cross-legged in my room and grinned at my computer.

I picked up my phone to text my mom and let her know that a staggering twenty people had clicked their way onto my blog.

As an afterthought, I let her know that, by the way, I started a blog.

Happy birthday, Freak of Fandom.

happy (3371) Animated Gif on Giphy

She’s grown so much since that February 6th with one post, one page, one view, and a low-quality header portraying a smiling weeping angel.

cropped-mikki-100.jpg

Exhibit A

(I have no idea why I thought that image would invite people in)

How time flies. Still, I shouldn’t get too carried away in the celebration just yet – it’s important to make sure that my blog is healthy and progressing normally. For this purpose, I turn to the internet’s incorporeal pediatricians -

What are some of the developmental milestones my child should reach by twelve months of age?

“From eight to twelve months of age, your [blog] will become increasingly mobile, a development that will thrill and challenge both of you. Being able to move from place to place will give your [blog] a delicious sense of power and control—her first real taste of [virtual] independence.” ~ healthychildren.org

I am really not sure I trust my young blog with anything so enticing and dangerous-sounding as a “delicious” sense of power – but I suppose she did get a bit of a taste, maybe this past December with the Time of the Doctor trailer breakdown that got over 1200 hits the day it was published (1000 more than I’d ever gotten before).

More developments to expect in a healthy child blog:

Language Milestones

  • Pays increasing attention to speech
  • Responds to “no”
  • Babbles with inflection
  • Tries to imitate words
  • Repeats sounds or gestures for attention

She seems to be on track. I like to think she’s doing rather well in the first milestone, but maybe not spectacular in the second; however, she does the next three items almost exclusively (never really stops), so it sort of averages out.

Growing up so fast.

This outlet has been here to document a truckload of my reality-based events – my DC trip, the chronicles of my first bow hunt and first real job, and that time I totally dissed a rainbow for wifi (still kind of annoyed with myself about that).

And of course, the force of the fiction has been strong with this one as well – Freak of Fandom has carried me through the end of Lizzie Bennet Diaries and the start of Emma Approved, the break-up and make-up between me and Once Upon a Time, the anticipation and aftermath of Sherlock season three, and far, far too many instances of  me quoting River Song’s “spoilers” and thinking I was still being original and cute.

But the coolest thing about this is the people I have gotten to connect with.

You guys.

You are beyond fabulous. Some of you I knew before the blog, some of you I met in the midst of the blog, and some of you through it – but you guys are all awesome, and your encouraging words never ever go unappreciated.

I am so honored that any of you would choose to hold my hand through this process.

God bless you lovelies, and thank you all so very, very much!

(By the way, mom, I know it was you who clicked on my blog 1200 times in a row last December. Love you.)

All that’s left now is to gear up for another year, and, as ever, be of good cheer, dear friends.

(Music helps)

Happy birthdays and unbirthdays to everyone!

This week on “I Have No Idea What I’m Doing”

29 Jan

I debated with myself for a long time about whether or not it would be a good idea to write a post about my job, what with the internet being a free service and my employers knowing about its existence. I soon realized however, that as I am the only one at my job that I have anything bad to say about, I really can’t make things worse for myself than I already have.

I hope I haven’t just subconsciously dared myself to say something ridiculous and embarrassing.

First: I really like my job, and I feel so blessed to have it.

However – with any new experience eventually comes blatant evidence of lack of experience.

I have never gotten so many consecutive paper cuts in all my years, nor have I ever endeavored so valiantly to communicate via telepathy with a fax machine. I certainly never before imagined myself alternately saying, “screw you” and “thanks, honey” to a copy machine so many times per day.  Yet here I am, and in a way, I suppose I am living my childhood dream – my chair does spin, after all.

This is my first proper job I’ve held that doesn’t involve looking after children, so all my victories are of the variety that you can’t get other people to be excited about. For example, whenever I take a phone message that doesn’t involve me calling the person on the other end “Patrick” (that’s another story), it’s cause for celebration.

Thankfully, the bulk of the customers who come in are regulars, so if they ask me to do something that leads me to adopt a deer-in-headlights expression, they can usually walk me through my job.

I’m getting better, I really am, but I also believe my entire learning curve can be summed up in two statements from my supervisor when she was first training me how to print checks:

Exhbit A:

“You’re a natural!”

(said after I successfully fed check forms into printer bypass tray)

Exhibit B:

“Oh. You’re not a natural! Haha!”

(said after I successfully printed checks upside down)

One day she taught me to book-bind, which was probably my favorite task so far. I was about half-way through when I decided I was really good at it. Not a single sheet punched incorrectly, I was wasting nothing. And I was fast, faster at this task than I was at anything else I’d tried.

I rocked. I was on top of the universe. I was on a roller coaster that only went up, my friend.

And then when I was looking over my impeccable work, my supervisor pointed out that I had forgotten to put one paper in every booklet.

One paper.

One sheet of paper in each booklet.

I spent the next two hours ripping the combs out of every single booklet and re-binding them again. Usefully, I didn’t cut any (really? any?) of the bindings as short as I was supposed to, so I was able to just re-use them. Silver linings!

When the customer who’d ordered the booklets came to pick them up, she indicated the last page and said she was hoping that it would be the other way around.  My supervisor apologized, but the customer waved it off, laughing, “Don’t worry about it, you can do it next time. It’s not like I would make you un-bind them all!”

My supervisor laughed. My boss laughed. I laughed.

Hilarious.

All this to repeat what a wiser man than me once said:

sucking at something is the first step towards being sorta good at something

Behold the sophisticated hipster version of a disjointed dialogue from a cartoon yellow dog named Jake -

Sucking at something is the first step towards being sorta good at something.

Can I get an amen?

This is basically to encourage myself and everyone who’s ever been in this sort of situation.

All that bother I described was a couple months ago. I’ve gotten better. I’m growing some roots.

In fact, a couple of days ago, my supervisor dropped a freshly-printed batch of robot stickers on my desk. I nearly squealed.

“I thought you’d like them,” she said, smiling. So I have been discovered.

But this event begs the question – was it the Star Trek  and Doctor Who references, or was it maybe the Marvel poster that I put up in the ladies’ room that tipped her off about my severely eleven-year-old-boy-esque tastes?

We may never know.

“It’s a Three-[Episode] Problem.”

26 Jan

Today in America, Sherlock season three, episode two, airs officially for the first time.

Today in the UK, or for everyone who has successfully tricked their computers into thinking it is the UK, it’s just another day in the new age of Sherlock hiatus.

Nine episodes from 2010 to 2014…

And welcome back to the waiting room, everybody.

Anyhow, due to the unpredictable nature of the internet and its inhabitants, if you have not properly watched the whole series yet, chances are you’ve at least had some element of it spoiled for you.

If you have not, simply continue reading and I promise that you will.

(That was a warning to the spoiler-shy. Be gone with you.)

I’m not trying to run a review blog here (for lots of reasons), but I need to talk about these episodes. I can’t not talk about these episodes. However, after several years of knowing myself, I’m aware that my tendency to wax eloquent (some pretty words for “never shut up until banned from all forms communication”) will force any conversation of mine about Sherlock into the space of novels, rather than chapters.

To be fair, there’s just too much to talk about – the Moriarty-Mind-Asylum, Sherlock’s even-more-of-a-jerk-than-usual bit, Molly’s serious over-correction after getting over Sherlock (meat dagger?), Mycroft’s unrealistic weight loss expectations…

Anyway, to take it all down a bit for post form, I’ve decided to condense each Sherlock season three episode into a study on one sentence, then two, then three.

Because that’s how many episodes there are.

Just three.

(weeps quietly)

The Empty Hearse:

  • So we actually never find out how he did it?

Fine, we got the most credible solution at the end – but not from the mouth of Sherlock so much as from the Sherlock-flavored mind of a severely cray-cray Anderson. Rude. I think Sherlock, of all people, would be able to disregard John’s little “I don’t care how you did it” speech (speak for yourself) and tell him anyway.

No artist can resist signing his work.

The Sign of Three:

  • Choosing Sherlock as the best man is simultaneously the best and worst decision John has ever made.

I would pay good money to have someone (Sherlock) flip over the reception table mid-speech, go “Let’s play MURDER,” and then proceed to solve the crime of the uncomfortably tight mandated belts.

It’s also worth mentioning that this episode made me irrationally afraid of ever wearing my own belts ever again.

  • TELL ME ABOUT THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM.

I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THIS MORE THAN I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BUDAPEST, FOR GOODNESS’ SAKE

His Last Vow:

  • Magnussen made me want to sanitize everything I own.

Fantastic villain.

And by fantastic, I mean, utterly disgusting. However, a good friend of mine did critique the episode by saying she felt like she didn’t hate Magnussen enough.

I pretended to understand.

I don’t understand.

(And yes, I really should have that on a t-shirt)

  • Oh sweet mother of pearl, Mary Watson, what the heck.

Surprise, everyone. I know that a lot of us were suspicious when Sherlock deduced her to be a liar in episode 1 (along with a number of other things identified by the Sherlock-vision floating deductions), but I definitely saw no words reading “crazy-pants assassin” flying around her pretty face.

  • And in answer to the episode’s final question,

I present to you a short text-message exchange between a friend and I.

wasp_

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