Trailer Breakdown for Big Hero 6

16 Jul

Prepare yourself for the next production from the absolute darlings who brought you Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen. That’s right, and just in time for you to stop hating  Disney for forcing everyone and their grandmother to sing “Let it Go” every hour of the day!

If you’ve been following any sort of entertainment news, you are likely to be aware that along with Star Wars, your soul, and the better part of the internet, Disney now owns Marvel. Whether this news has you happy or the other thing, your heart is definitely three sizes too small if you didn’t find some joy in the Big Hero 6 full-length trailer that just came out yesterday.

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“All right, let me get this straight…

San Fransokyo? Is that near San Franjose? I want a Cloudy with a Chance of Meet-ups.bh_3

“A man in a Kabuki mask attacked you with an army of miniature flying robots.”

*Googles “Kabuki”*

*Feels cultured*
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“Microbots!

Ohhh, microbots. Thank you, Hiro, see, the other thing was unbelievable.bh_5

“Max, tell him!”

“Yes, Officer.”

Good enough for me.bh_6

Uh-oh. That bad boy is backlit. A sure sign of being irretrievably evil.
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Look at Hiro’s face. He knows the ins and outs of cinematic lighting.bh_8

“Microbots.”

If you’re still typing that, we got a whole other problem.

“Yeah,bh_9

“He was controlling them telepathically with a neuro-cranial transmitter!”bh_10

Doesn’t matter to this guy.bh_11

Is it wrong that I want an opera number here? Some kind of “Down Once More Into Darkness” episode? I think I’m onto something.bh_12

“Come on!”bh_13

“I am not fast.”

“Yeah, no kidding! Go, go, go, go!”

See also: Me and anyone who tries to get me to go anywhere
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“So Mr. Kabuki was using ESP to attack you and…bh_16

“Balloon man…”

No comment on that? What sort of trash happens in San Fransokyo that leads you to look bored at the domesticated Stay Puft Marshmallow Man?

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Mmm. Oh, and reader, that strange, warm feeling bubbling up inside you? It’s the desire to hug an animator. And it’s totally normal.
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That face. That is the face of a man who has seen some seriously screwed-up stuff.

Tell us your secrets
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“I know it sounds crazy.”bh_22

“Kid, how about we call your parents and get them down here.

Whoa whoa, sore subject man. Haven’t you heard any superhero story ever? Insensitive.bh_23

“Write your name and number down on this piece of paper and we’ll -”bh_24

(My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark plays)

(Consequently, everyone watching gets up and parties)bh_25

“We gotta catch that guy. But first -bh_26bh_27

♪You want me to change, change, change, you want me to change♫bh_28

“You’re gonna need some upgrades.”bh_29

♪Girl you’re amazing just the way you are♫
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For a boy genius, he’s a little slow on the whole distribution of mass concept. Why don’t mysterious balloon robots drop into my lap? It’s because both my parents are so alive, isn’t it?

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So this is present-day/near future How to Train Your Dragon right? Or, actually, How to Train Your Robot? No judgement meant, I am more than okay with that.
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“Did I not instruct that box 5 was to be left empty?”
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“A lunatic in a mask just tried to kill us.”

In this movie adaption, original comic fans will be surprised to know that Go-Go Tomago’s code name is now “Captain Obvious.” And we don’t really get to see him, but the driver of this bus is so over this movie already.

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“How cool is that! I mean, it’s scary, obviously, but how cool!”

Tuffnut, it’s not like this is new to you. And yes, we know it’s you, take off that beanie and put your Viking helmet back on.bh_41

I love it when Disney does that.bh_42

Aw man. Usually when I see a character so obviously prepped for merchandising I get a little cringey inside, but Baymax.. Look at him. Just look.

I want seven of him.bh_43

“What’s wrong with you?”

“LooOOw battery,”
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“You home, sweetie?”bh_45

“Weee jumped out a wiindow!”bh_46

“Who is that?”

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“We jumped out a windooow.”

Nice save.bh_48

Yasssbh_50

“Shhh”bh_51bh_52

Hey, hey. You nailed it, baby.bh_53

Fall! Get it? Fall! *laughs into the sunset*bh_49“Fuuurry baby!”

*eyes widen*

The word cat is obsolete and I could not be happier.

Fall movies! Bring it on. I’m jumping up and down about this movie, but I can’t shake the feeling that Big Hero 6 is leaving a gold mine buried up by not exploring the (clearly) tragic backstory of iron policeman there at the beginning. (I’m calling it now: Big Hero 7. Look for it 2017.)

[Proper] Trailer Breakdown for Doctor Who Season 8

15 Jul

 Off the heels of the last two skimpy DW teasers, the good people of the BBC have gifted us with an official full-length trailer for Doctor Who’s eighth season, and it features not only the explosions that you loved so much from the earlier teasers, but actual shots. From the show. In good lighting. 

I think I should not be this excited but I’ve still been waiting for this moment for months. So let’s begin, shall we?

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I love that opening. It’s deliciously vague. What’s this going to be a trailer for? Sherlock? Copper? A history program and/or short summary of the Revolutionary War? Who knows dw8_4

You would think that somewhere along the last three regenerations, the Doctor might have thought, “Hey – I’m literally seconds from blowing up into a freaking volcano of regeneration energy. Maybe I should keep the TARDIS in park. Just until I’m not disoriented and/or screaming in agony.”

Boy needs a designated driver.
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No, not you. (Who calls a time machine a cow?)dw8_7

“Life returns.”

Coming from a species who routinely dies out every ten minutes, I’m inclined to believe it.dw8_8

“I don’t think I know who the Doctor is anymore.”

Coming from the girl who has seen (and saved) every version of the Doctor? Coming from the girl who had a personal adventure with three different versions of this guy simultaneously? Don’t get me wrong, heavy grief over the loss of Eleven forced me to eat the better part of a jar of nutella, but if anyone can be graceful in the face of regeneration, it should be Clara.
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“Life prevails.”

Then again, as I am experiencing physical pain watching Twelve not double over and put his full weight on the rails like Eleven used to, maybe I shouldn’t judge Clara for this one.
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“I’m the Doctor.

(He repeated, as his self-confidence tapes told him to.)

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And to think, just eight years ago, we gave Christopher Eccleston half a store mannequin arm, told him to strangle himself with it, and called it good.

What a time to be alive.dw8_13

“I’ve lived for over 2000 years.

(You know, since back when that mannequin arm move was movie magic)dw8_14

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 “Yours is bigger than mine.”

“… Let’s not go there.”

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Classic companion shot. But ah, lest we forget, we’re taking on another young grasshopper this season!

So what do we know about Danny so far?dw8_17

… If my calculations are correct, that he’ll fit in just fine.

“I’ve made many mistakes.
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“It’s about time that I did something about that.”

I like your snappy little suit. But, hey, you’re talking about the bowtie, aren’t you? I resent that, sir.

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“Where are we going?”dw8_22

“Into darkness.”

What was that Doctor? Did you say the TELEVISION CROSSOVER MANKIND HAS ONLY DREAMT OF

I did a thing and I'm very proud

COS THAT’S WHAT I HEARDdw8_23

“Here we go again.”

Welcome back Madame Vastra and Strax! Never once, watching your first episodes so many years ago, did I think you would make trying to convince people to watch this show so much more complicated and weird. Thank you?dw8_24

#ButFirstLetMeTakeASelfie

(Don’t worry, I kind of hate myself for making that reference)

All right, let’s get real for a moment. Life’s treating you hard, isn’t it? Sometimes you wonder if it’s all worth it? You’re looking for some ray of hope, some glimmer of joy in this dark world.
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Well, BBC is here to say: you’re welcome.

Go on, squeal. You know you want to. And frankly, I feel kind of lonely sitting here squealing by myself.
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And don’t worry, to keep those joyful expectations  in check, the BBC has thrown a little bitterness and destruction in there. Just for you.
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And… robot crusaders? I’m down.dw8_28

“The British are coming!”

I’m not joking give me a Revolutionary War episode it would be so cool
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I know it’s probably too much to hope for, judging by Clara’s very much not ancient Roman attire, but all I want is for her to be talking to a member of the Sibylline Sisterhood from “Fires of Pompeii” here. Obvious bonus points if it’s Karen Gillan.

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And, if you look closely, you can see the Doctor Who producers collectively denying the rainbow-skittle-makeover the Daleks got early in season five. I don’t think anyone minds.
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And of course, Sexy hasn’t changed. Still begrudgingly going along with the whims of a man who consistently brings home strays and drives her mid-regeneration. That’s love for you.
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“Clara tell me: am I a good man?”

Tune in for Doctor Who this August to see the Doctor  played by a moody teenager having an existential crisis!

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“I… don’t know.”

And don’t miss Clara, played by his mom, who wonders where this new attitude is coming from.

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And by the by, I would never diss Nine’s mannequin arm scene. That was classic.

Trailer Breakdown for Doctor Who Season 8

9 Jul

 If you’re on this blog of your own free will, chances are that you’re familiar with BBC’s two recent, feeble attempts at  teasers. Each lasted an exhaustive fifteen seconds, didn’t have a single well-lit shot between them, and they still managed to make me and DW fans everywhere weep with joy and mourning. It’s a true art.

So today I have a treat for you.

Ever since Doctor Who Confidential was canceled, we’ve been deprived of some of that behind-the-scenes action that was so fun to watch after each episode aired. That’s why I am pleased to present to you today, the genuine minutes of the boardroom meetings where these teasers were discussed and digitally edited. It wasn’t easy to get these notes, and bits of them are burnt, so I might be leaving some parts out. Just bear with me.

MB: “We want this look at the Doctor to be memorable. Important. So blow some of that garbage up in the back.”

KW: “Garbage?”

MB: “The TARDIS.” 

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MB: “Brilliant. Again.” dw_4

RW: “Ken and I had a couple ideas too,”

MB: “Sh. One more time.”

RW: “Okay.”dw_5

MB: “It’s beautiful.”

RW: “Can we put in some talking?”

MB: “Whatever.”

“Clara, be my pal, tell me: am I a good man?” dw_6

“I don’t think I know who the Doctor is anymore.”

KW: “You know, this is not how reflections work. Or eyes.”

RW: “No one asked you.”

MB: “I’m so bored right now. Cut to black.”

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MB: “Okay kids, now I want the Doctor Who Teaser Mark II to have everything that made the last one great.”

RW: “That’s reasonable. What was that?”

MB: *Turns out lights and sets table on fire*

KW: “Right.” dw2_1

MB: “Okay, everyone, strong beginning. Let’s go stronger.”

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MB: “SECONDARY EXPLOSION YES”

RW: “Sir,”

MB: “MORE”dw2_3

MB: “AGAIN BUT WITH LESS LIGHT”

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RW: “Sir, we’re all a bit worried about the mental state of the viewers. Any way that we could give them a break?”

MB: “Fine. Give them a shot of that old dude and some of that ‘dialogue’ trash you won’t shut up about.”

KW: “Thank you.” dw2_5

“I see into your soul, Doctor. I see beauty, divinity, hatred!”

KW: “Is it just me or was that line more Captain Jack-esque than Dalek?”

MB: “Okay, you two have had your say.”

RW: “You don’t mean” dw2_6

MB: “HAHA YES BOOOM”

KW: “What! Where are his other organs? This is not how x-rays work!”

MB: “Shut up and give me a close-up of those hearts.” dw2_7

MB: “NOW MAKE THEM EXPLODE”

RW: “SIR NO”dw_7

The last few pages of the transcript are in ashes. I heard Michael Bay was fired from the creative committee some time afterwards.

(Don’t worry about it. It probably gave him more time to work on Titanic.)

Barely-Even-A-Trailer Breakdown for Mockingjay Part I

2 Jul

On the one hand, I could spend time lamenting how much I’ve neglected my blog and how many trailers and notable events in the geek community that I’ve missed. Or, on the other hand, I could simply start making up for lost time.

Well, I’ve always been a sucker for a late grade.

Last week, the Hunger Games movie franchise advertised its intentions to break our hearts and make us pay money for it by releasing the first teaser for Mockingjay Part 1. Part 1, you ask? They’re making us pay twice as much money and a full year in between to break our hearts?

Yes, I answer. Pay attention.

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Coming at you live from the studios that have been solely responsible for the trauma and murder of seventy-five generations!

*applause from audience being threatened with machine guns*mckj_2

“Since the dark days, our great nation has known only peace.”

*person in audience coughs and is immediately shot in the head*
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“Ours is an elegant system: conceived to nourish and protect.”

Why don’t I feel like this is a movie trailer? I know it’s just a teaser, but it sure feels like a commercial for something else.

And why do I suddenly want to buy an iPhone 5s?mckj_4

Of course. It looks so much better now.mckj_5

Oh wow. This feels more like an apple commercial than apple commercials do. Good to know not everything changes when your country converts to a child-killing government to keep the peace.mckj_6

“The districts are the body. The Capitol is the beating heart.”

Fun fact: No one came to Snow’s poetry readings as a young twenty-something, and that’s why he’s so bitter.mckj_7

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.mckj_8

“Your hard work feeds us, and in return, we feed and protect you.”

I can think of a couple of districts that aren’t feeling that feed part as well as you think they might.

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It takes a big man to sacrifice the lives of others’ children. Panem is so lucky.
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Peeta what have they done to you

You look so clean

“But if you resist the system, you starve yourself. If you fight against it, it is you who will bleed. I know you will stand with me, with us, with all of us, together, as one. And then, you too can wear a snappy white jacket.

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“Panem today, Panem tomorrow, Panem forever.”

Ain't it Fun -- Paramore

Fun fact: I hide behind pop culture references to hide my deep pain.

mckj_12Mockingjay, Part 1.

And additionally, much like an iPhone, the next one will come out a year after this one, and it will crush the dreams of millions!

(It’s possible that I have a knowledge gap where apple products are concerned. Yes? No?)

See you in November, tributes.

After the Credits

31 May

“Wait,” I whispered. “What?”

The secret scene after a Marvel movie. Familiar enough. I take you, then, to the theater I recently shared with a few dozen others watching X-Men: Days of Future Past (perfect, highly recommend). And more specifically, I take you to the end-credits scene, and to the comic book-born figure who was finally getting his close-up on the big screen. However, for the moment, his presence was lost on us. So I bring you to another familiar thought related to Marvel end-credits scenes: Who is this guy?

I had a wavering suspicion, but I wasn’t confident enough to say it out loud.

“Who is that?” my sister leaned over and asked.

“He seems too skinny,” I whispered feverishly to myself before panicking with a louder-than-preferred, “I don’t know!” 

“We’ll google it,” she resolved, quiet purpose in her voice.

I inwardly groaned and chastised myself for my ignorance. But my small whine of failure was nothing compared to the woman at the back of the theater.

“AUGH!” she screamed. And I do mean screamed. “WHY DON’T I KNOW HIS NAME! WHY DON’T I KNOW HIS NAME!”

The struggle is real.

By the way, though I can hardly take credit for it since I lacked the moral strength to own my conviction, my original suspicion of the character’s identity was correct thanks goodbye

This is one of the reasons I adore Marvel movies so much. The right kind of people go to see them. The ratio of people who are desperate to see these movies to people who come along begrudgingly is far weightier on the side of the first, and certainly far better than many other movies I see in the theaters. You can hear the passion in the crowd – everyone either loves the Marvel cinematic universe, the comics universe, or both. Either way, there is a lot of passion packed into that crowd.

I find that the comic book fans tend to accompany the cinematic fans. It makes the experience more interactive. They always sit together, and you can tell which is which, because at any given moment, the two are looking at each other like this:

It’s not only this way with Marvel movies, but with nearly any well-done (or otherwise) book-to-movie adaption. When you know how the story is vs. how it ought to be, it’s hard to keep quiet.

And after the credits roll, specifically with Marvel’s deliciously ambiguous after-credit scenes, everyone turns to the reader to interpret. Not always so much because they’re confused, but because the reader is having a fit in the aisles, waving their arms, going,

Whether the adaption was done well or not, a reader is always a mess after a movie.

Exhibit A: Did you see the internet after the first installment of the Hobbit came out? People were rioting in the [virtual] streets.

Exhibit B: What about after Catching Fire? Parades. Balloons.

Exhibit C: Percy Jackson. (You just started weeping, didn’t you?)

I read Hunger Games before I saw it, so I have that reader’s perspective – and yet I am baffled to no end about how angry people are that Madge was left out. This minor character, who had her name mentioned maybe three and a half times, became the freaking Mockingjay to the readers’ cause.

See, when someone loves something, and someone else comes along and rearranges it, it’s not hard to understand that there would be emotional upset. I think what irks us the most, though, is that it becomes canon. Obviously, it doesn’t change original, proper canon, but in this grand, cinematic universe, we have to accept something other than what is familiar.

And that’s not fair. Every feeling rebels against that sort of change, and rightfully so.

This passion for the story, whether fury over a change, or outright joy over a film’s faithfulness, is what makes readers such an adventure to catch a movie with. Alternately, the reader will always need someone less involved in the story to explain things to. It’s a beautiful, symbiotic relationship that everyone should experience.

10/10, highly recommend.

I suppose all this is to say that when a reader invites you to go see The Fault in Our Stars this week, say yes.

They need you.

Fighting for My Rites

21 May

Every family has a thing.

You know, as in that family that drinks vegan shakes three meals a day, the family obsessed with dogs, cars, saving people, hunting things, or the family business.

My family, as you may know from previous posts, has been greatly influenced by the outdoorsman that is my father. This affects things that would otherwise be more normal. Our living room walls, for example, are a zoo, but the dead kind. Our vacations revolve around my dad being able to catch a fish at some point. And my sisters and I have to shoot a deer and catch a Steelhead before we are allowed to move out, or as Dad has since put it, before he will consider his three daughters adults.

I got my hunting license at twelve, and therefore dropped my first deer that year as well. Half-way done.

But the Steelhead? Not so much.

On my way to my first Steelhead trip when I was fifteen or sixteen, Dad warned me about their catch difficulty, saying, “the Steelhead is the fish of a thousand casts.” So eloquent. It was like the opening line of a poem. I lifted my head and silently accepted the challenge just before Dad continued, “So count.”

Oh, you’re serious.

I got up to eighty-five that day. No bites.

The next time I think I raised it to one hundred thirty. Maybe a couple hundred fifty next time? Who knows.

My counting only grew less enthusiastic and/or accurate. And of course, the Steelhead continued to swim around me like they could smell my naivete. She’s only at four hundred seventy-nine, I heard them gurgle to each other once. What a child. Hold back, Jim, let her sweat a little.

SOMEONE TELL ME THEY CAUGHT THE JIM THE FISH JOKE PLEASE

The best part was that I am already not the world’s most talented fisherman – not for lack of practice, mind you – so with every new person we had along on our endless stream of fishing trips, I had a new tutor who thought they were going to turn my sad, unskilled form into some sort of angling wizard who can call fish like a mystical freshwater siren.

If you have not been raised the way I have been, let me explain you a thing: I have been fishing (and just fine, thank you very much) since I was two years old. Two years old. So when a fishing guide, who has never met me, looks at the way I’m holding a rod and deduces that I don’t even know what a fish is, it’s more than a little frustrating. No amount of authoritative “Uh-huh”s, “Yep”s, or “Mhm, Got it, thanks!”s will get you anywhere in this position.

It’s a thought process that has infected almost every guide I’ve ever fished with; it happened again just a little while back, on the day I finally ensnared the elusive Steelhead.

We started the day off with two hours of rain, followed by two more hours of radio silence, briefly interrupted so my dad could reel in a Steelhead. (Factor these in if you’re doing the math on my mood)

When my fish hit, it took several minutes to reel the angry thing in, amidst the constant coaching of our guide, who seemed to be under the impression that at any moment I might give up and toss my rod to the retreating fish. But when it was near enough, he grabbed the net, dipped it in the Nestucca River, and pulled out the Steelhead I’d been waiting for.

My dad was nearly as excited as I was. I had done it. I was on my way to adulthood.

As Dad went for his camera, the guide posed next to me, cradling my catch. I motioned for the guide to give the slimy symbol of maturity to me. This fish, right here, this is my crowning achievement! The fish of a freaking thousand casts. My fish. Let me hold my dang fish.

He gave me a skeptical look and conceded a small part of its belly for me to hold on to for the picture.

“Should I -” I began, still motioning. I want to hold my fish.

“It’s pretty strong.” He said with a touch of finality, holding tighter to the fish’s tail.

I am a very short girl and I detest confrontation, so I am not often intimidating. But the eyes are the windows to the soul, so, even non-verbally, I must have said something vile to that boy.

Therefore, I can only assume that fish was fighting his poor wrist something terrible (without actually moving) and the young man had far too much chivalry to allow me to suffer as he did. With my fish. My fish. Those two words echoed in my head. You know how you don’t care about something until it’s threatened? The rapport I formed with this fish in the eleven seconds the guide and I jointly held it for pictures grew as strong as that which I share with my dearest possessions.

So when he said, “Okay,” hefted it from my empty hands, and turned to the side of the boat to let it swim free, I went full-scale three-year-old on him.

My fists balled up. My jaw dropped. My eyebrows furrowed so hard I believe I grew a unibrow. It’s a bit of a blur now, but I think I may have stamped my foot.

The guide’s back was turned and, unfortunately, I couldn’t bring myself to say a word.

But my performance only needed one audience member. My darling daddy, formerly occupied watching the fish just nearly escape, glanced up at my face and his eyes widened. In that moment, he didn’t need to see a fast-maturing seventeen-year-old. He needed to see his youngest daughter wearing an expression he recognized from years and years of the cruel world mistreating her.

“Hey, oh, can she let it go?”

“Oh, sure.”

So I, and I alone, let go of my lady fish’s tail to set her free.

Steelhead caught. Rite of passage finished.

And that’s how I threw a tantrum in an effort to convince my father that I was an adult.

Real Life?

19 May

(Click here for this post’s year-old predecessor)

My current moment of celebration has been brought to us by this fact: I graduated high school last Friday night. 

It follows then, that now I’ve been on the receiving end of a surplus of advice and/or inspiring comments. I’ve been told both that my life has finally begun and that nothing really changes after graduation (Don’t be a motivational speaker, friend). Mm, and yes, my college plans have been questioned seventy-nine times in the past three days.

But even that is not enough to bring me down at the moment. I had a blast graduating, I did so with some terribly cool people, and I am super stoked to no longer be asked what school I go to, or what I’m doing after graduation. (the spirit of the second question will still be present often, but I choose to at least appreciate the change of tense)

I am no longer a high schooler. 

This is joyous news.

But I have a mission in today’s post, one that I must not forget – the geek speech. I mentioned this topic last year, when I got super stoked about putting fandom references in my grad speech and wrote a post (linked above) about how I would let you in on it someday.

That day is here. I have linked every otherwise-unidentified reference for explanation purposes.

 _________________________________________________

*pats microphone*

First off, what a turnout!

How wild is this, huh?

All we did was complete twelve years of schooling. And now look at us. Dressed in glorified trash bags. How far we’ve come.

But where to begin on the list of people we couldn’t have done this without?

I do feel like it would be an injustice not to give a shout-out to my school curriculum, so as much as I’d like to ignore Abeka and Saxon, I do have to say thank you to Adventures in Odyssey and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego for being the thinly-veiled education machines that made up a good chunk of the important things I learned in my school years.

And of course, I have been immeasurably blessed by the people in my life. My friends are the best, most fantastic friends I could ask for, and my family is beyond marvelous. I can not say enough good things about them, and I could not have hoped for anyone better to be raised around. My parents, especially, have been so much better to me than I deserve. I want you all to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you are loved. By so many, and so much, and by no one more than me – except maybe One. I thank the Lord for you daily, which leads to the next order of business – thanking the Creator who made every bit of this possible. Thank you for your strength, your wisdom, your unconditional love, and of course, for this moment. For all these bright young men and women who are ready to get down to business to defeat the tons of opposition that we may face.

After all, the protagonist of every story finds herself in a battle at some point.

And we’re all stories in the end. Just make it a good one. Cos it is, you know? It’s the best. Remember, all of our stories have already been written by the best author our universe has ever produced – or, actually, the best author that ever produced our universe. And stories are not meant only to entertain, but to teach. There are lessons in stories. The moral of the Three Bears, for instance, is never break into someone else’s house. The moral of Snow White is never eat apples. The moral of WWI is never assassinate the Archduke Ferdinand. What will our stories tell others? That’s up to us. But we really ought to make it interesting, make it inspiring. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. And you know God does not create anything that doesn’t make some sort of glorious difference in the world. After all, no artist can resist signing his work.

The world didn’t come with any extra parts, but it didn’t come with any that were interchangeable either.

We all have something that no one else has, and that thing is exactly what the world needs, and the thing we need to give away.

In his book Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis wrote, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” This place is not our home. But any good houseguest knows that you should leave a place in better condition than when you first arrived in it. It’s no different here – except that you don’t usually find opposition when you try to clean a guesthouse.

The world, however, will do what it does best and tell us to do what everyone else is doing, and to stick to the status quo but the status is not quo. The world is a mess, and we just need to… school it. It is our job to educate the world, to go and make disciples. Be fishermen, be fishers of men. So we’ll beat on, boats against the current. And, I don’t know, fly casual.

Madeleine L’engle once said, fittingly, “When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown up, we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability. To be alive is to be vulnerable.”

This isn’t my favorite truth to accept, but it’s definitely a pre-requisite. I don’t pretend to be grown-up now, but I know I’m on that road. I mean, all children, except one, grow up, but our pace on that journey, the way we deal with the walk, who we become along the way is all on us. And this milestone we call graduation, it means growing up far, far less than it represents it.

Regardless of age, you have always been important, you have always been something. Age just reveals the facts that always were, and experience uncovers the you that always was. Never let people look down on you because you are young. Set an example.

And if you’re ever discouraged, the world gets on your back, and you find yourself beating yourself up and saying that now would be a really good time for you to grow up – don’t ever allow yourself to be downtrodden. Growing up is an adventure, not a destination – and that’s your secret.

You’re always growing up.

Thanks for sticking with me today and for the past years.

Catch… you… later.

_______________________________________________

In closing, I just want to extend the warmest thank you to my excellent friends who used the moment after to yell out,

“No you won’t!”

Dreamboat Eyes

28 Apr

I’ve told you before how much I love A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’engle.

I’ve definitely already discussed my adoration for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

So as I’ve just recently returned from a trip to OSF to see A Wrinkle in Time adapted for the stage, we can safely assume that I have no plans to ever stop talking about the experience ever ever.

That’s what this post is for. You’ve been warned.

This was a Christmas gift from my sister Jennifer, so she was my traveling buddy this time around. Therefore, she was the designated receiver of slaps and elbow nudges.

(When I get excited, I have the unfortunate propensity to physically attack the nearest human being. It’s totally endearing.)

We walked into the Angus Bowmer. Slap. Slap slapslapslap.

Calvin walked on stage. Nudge. nudge nudgenudGENUDGENUDGE ELBOW STAB.

(Jen is has to be a good sport.)

As the actors milled about the stage [see also: taunting us] waiting for the play to begin, Calvin lay down and and began to practice his spin with the basketball in the air. And it hurt me a little. I played basketball until ninth grade, so I have experienced that particular drill too many times to not be nervous watching someone else do it. (Dropping the ball can go so wrong. Eventually, that basketball is either headed for your nose, the sloshiest part of your gut, or, by some ill-intentioned miracle, three hundred feet away. I found that each one happened to me with the same frequency.) So when Calvin actually did drop the ball and had to do the scramble of shame to go grab it, I felt that we connected.

It doesn’t take much. I make a lot of friends with people who are unaware of our friendship.

I make a lot of friends with people who don't know about our friendship.

After all, he was dressed like a Weasley, and they’re a friendly bunch for the most part.

When the lights lowered and the play began in earnest,  the actress playing Charles Wallace opened up a copy of A Wrinkle in Time and read aloud,

“It was a dark and stormy night.”

It felt like reading the book. Every cast member eventually filed out, each one alternately reading a line or two of the introduction and helping Meg (Alejandra Escalante) act it out. We quickly met her mom, saw the rumors about her dad, understood her sibling relationships, and absolutely felt her pain and confusion. The only thing that went through my mind in between the gaps of adoring thoughts for the beloved characters, I had only thoughts of adoration for the actors.

I have been way too excited for this play from the very beginning. Of course it started when I heard it was going to exist. I mean -

  • Favorite book
  • Favorite festival
  • Favorite medium of entertainment

And then I found out  Joe Wegner was cast – the fantastic actor who, evidently, was born to play Calvin. Then Alejandra Escalante, the talented, perfectly-cast, and adorable Juliet from OSF 2013. Mark Bedard, the amazing man whose voice I’ve had a crush on since She Loves Me 2010, and Dan Donahue, the marvelous actor whom I’ve been missing since Hamlet 2010, and Kate Hurster, the spectacular actress whom I have seen in possibly every single OSF play for the past five years. (no complaints. That lady is Wonder Woman)

 

The dialogue was verbatim from the book.  Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which were represented perfectly and adorably. The affection every character felt for the others was almost tangible. I adored every bit.

But like any spectacle-sporting girl who’s ever enjoyed a romantic comedy, one of my favorite scenes had to be in the twins’ vegetable garden, after Meg’s brief homework session with Calvin.

I mean, come on. Any scene that has the opener,

“Jeepers. Your braces sure shine in this moonlight,”

Is going to be a good one.

I admit to [and embrace] every drop of cliche associated with the following, but seeing as I blushed when I read the scene for the first time, you can imagine how I reacted when Perfect-for-Calvin Joe Wegner clumsily wiped off Meg’s glasses and  announced,

“You know, this is the first time I’ve seen you without your glasses. You’ve got dreamboat eyes.”

I kid you not, the entire audience collapsed into giggles like a classroom of second graders.

Meg’s reaction was just as priceless.

Nothing better.

And this is coming from someone who is fiercely in love the book. A book adaption is almost always a little bit of a disappointment. In fact, I was certain, going in, that they would try to find a way to squirm out of doing Mrs. Whatsit’s transformation. I was preparing myself to mourn its absence, but I didn’t really blame them in advance. Because how could you portray that onstage? That’s ridiculous. They can’t do that.

They did do that.

Perfect.

Short version: I loved this play. The whole audience seemed to. That affection is precisely why it had to be perfect, and also why it was. Wrinkle in Time is a story about love and how it destroys obstacles.

Mrs. Whatsit loved Meg into a solution for her problem. Meg loved Charles Wallace out of his enslavement. Calvin loved Meg out of her loneliness. The whole Murry family is held together by love, and the love needs to be almost corporeal in such a production, for both the original story, and for the audience. It was. I felt like I had received a hug from everyone involved in it.

I’m not even certain how to properly describe it.

You should just go watch it instead.

Seriously though.

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?

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