Monday, February 24, 2014

Blog Under Construction

"So," I said to myself, "I should probably make my blog look nicer. I think the picture at the top should be smaller."

"I agree," I replied, and so I went to work on a cool picture.

Then I found out that Google automatically "enhances" colors, meaning my picture, which had a "Haunter in the Dark" feel, now looked like it had been taken in Ireland, because the grass had become unnaturally green.

And I found out the only way to make it stop was to, you guessed, SIGN UP FOR A GOOGLE PLUS ACCOUNT.



Why? Why is Google so obsessed with forcing it upon us? I have literally no use at all for Google Plus.

And, to make things work, every picture must now be given a title. Yeah. Because the blog title was not enough title for this place.

So, for now, the blog is under construction, and I must seriously consider whether or not to move over to WordPress, which at least doesn't punch you in the face every time you want to do something.

THANKS FOR NOTHING GOOGLE.

They're standing outside my window because I typed in "Google is going to take over the world" in the search bar.

Has anyone seen John Connor? I think we need John Connor.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Ragnarok!

So, in case you guys weren't aware, Ragnarok happened yesterday.

It was okay. Apparently Heimdall (that black guy from Thor, remember?) blew his horn last year, but no one noticed because everyone was too busy complaining about how the world didn't end the year before.

So there I was, sitting in my house, trying to write up an interesting story to post on this blog, when suddenly, Ygdrassil started shaking. I mean, I think it was Ygdrassil. It may have been a train going by, I'm really not sure.

Then some giants showed up. Or they could have been the Hawkeyes football team. I don't really know much about these things. They started playing "Ride of the Valkyries". That was tasteful.

A lot of really bad things happened. Odin was eaten by a wolf. I heard some people whining about how wolves were coming back. They didn't seem to notice the giants. Thor killed that snake from Anaconda.

Then a lot of strange things happened. The sun vanished for a bit, but then it came back. Also Loki showed up in that ridiculous-looking hat of his, and everyone pointed and laughed. It was pretty funny.

So apparently this is a new age. Nothing has really changed, and Nidhoggr even helpfully took away all the corpses. He went to space, or something. There seems to be more beer. At least, the leftover gods gathering at the bar drinking and talking about what just happened seems to indicate the abundance of beer.

I was hoping we'd all have cool new hairstyles, but that hasn't happened either. Really, this was all very anticlimactic. I'm hoping the next apocalypse is more fun.

Warning: Contains swear words, nonsense.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Book Review: Frankenstein

First off, let me point out one thing: The question "who is the real monster?" is far too black-and-white, far too simple, for this book.

To be fair, it was kind of long and rambling. What we are basically getting is this scientist’s letter to his sister, recounting Victor Frankenstein’s tale, a huge chunk of which is the creature’s reminiscence. This wasn’t necessarily bad. It is also an interesting look at how one can gradually fall into evil (although thus far The Picture of Dorian Gray is doing a much better, and subtler, job at this).

For those few people living under rocks, the story recounts the life of Victor Frankenstein, whose early loss of his mother has driven him to find a way to bridge the gap between life and death. To this end he studies the old alchemical masters, whose names you can find in any Lovecraft story. By piecing together various body parts he does indeed create a sentient being; but he is so horrified by what he has done he has fled.

What follows next is the embodiment of the phrase “come back to bite you”. The book is a good exploration not only of sin but of what happens when we ignore or do not deal with our sin. Because Frankenstein fled from taking responsibility for his actions, the creature was left to wander on his own. He begins to learn by living in an abandoned part of a house next to a poor country family; but their reaction to his hideous countenance fills him with hatred. From there, the creature has his own fall.

That is the part people overlook. The creature had begun to learn right and wrong, and wound up choosing wrong. Other people’s actions can affect our own, but in the end we can still decide whether or not we take a particular action.

Another part that struck me was how the end showed two different reactions to remorse. While it took forever for Frankenstein to finally admit his responsibility for the thing he created, he fled his evil deeds, refused to commit them a second time, and showed true repentance in the end. The creature pursues Frankenstein for the purpose of murder and does not show any remorse or concern until Frankenstein is dead.

The question about “who is the monster” is inaccurate, because there is no actual monster. Instead, there are two flawed characters who both experience the pain of sin.



While the book is tedious at times, it winds up being a very compelling read.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

100 Themes Challenge: Vacation

     “Let’s go down this path instead!”
     The little boy in the Cubs cap waved back at his brother, gesturing down an old, overgrown trail. His brother groaned audibly at it.
     “Mom said make the circuit and come back! I’m not following you down every damn trail in this place!”
     “Mom said not to say damn either!”
     “You just said it too!” the older boy shot back. Alan rolled his eyes as his younger brother flipped him off and ran down the trail. He’d rather be down at the lake. Chasing Daniel wasn’t a vacation for him.
     He took his time, anyways. Daniel would get freaked out from being alone, like he always did. He’d come back. Meanwhile, Alan could check his phone. Even here they had a cell tower nearby.
     It must not have been close enough. The signal kept flickering on and off, even when Alan stood still. Probably his phone instead. He kept telling his parents he needed a new one. Now if Daniel got them lost in the woods they wouldn’t be able to call for help.
     But he’s not going to do that, Alan thought. It was a small circuit. This trail probably just looped around farther and met the bigger one again.
     “ALAN!”
     Daniel’s scream drew his attention. He was tempted to brush it off, but the kid did actually sound kind of scared. Alan shoved his phone in his pocket and picked up the pace.
     At first, he didn’t see anyone on the trail. Then he saw what happened-the little idiot had gone off the trail, and probably thought he was lost. But no-Daniel was just staring at a huge black lump in front of him.
     Suddenly, Alan understood.
     “Daniel!” he hissed. “Get away from that!”
     “It’s…it’s dead…” Daniel replied, his voice shaking.
     Alan’s head cleared a little. If that bear was alive, it would have definitely woken up by now. Still, he tiptoed forward into the underbrush.
     The closer he got, the further his heart sank.
     The bear was dead all right, not least because something had got hold of it and torn it apart. No wonder Daniel screamed.
     “Come on,” Alan said, sighing a bit at the future nightmares this would no doubt cause. “We’d better get out of here.”
     “What could kill a bear?” Daniel whispered.
     “Probably lots of things.” Although Alan couldn’t think of any at the moment. “Let’s get back, we’ll go take a swim, all ri—”
     Alan turned, and realized he didn’t know how to get back to the trail. That was strange. He didn’t think they were that far off. He could still see it when he walked over. Now, all he saw was dense underbrush and tall trees.
     “Umm…”
     “Are we lost?” Daniel asked.
     “Nah…nah, we just need to walk back that way. That’s where the trail was.”
     Uncertainly, Daniel nodded and followed.

    Ten minutes later, Alan was using worse swears than just “damn”.
    “It was here! We walked straight from here!”
     “Maybe it moved,” Daniel said.
     “Paths don’t move, you idiot.”
     “This one does.”
     Alan rolled his eyes. He didn’t need Daniel’s wild imagination right now.
     “Look, let’s just…find water. A stream, a river, anything. That’ll lead us somewhere.”
     “There is no water. Just trees.”
     Alan glanced over at Daniel. He was very pale now.
     “Don’t be so creepy,” he said.
     “I’m just telling you what he said.”
     Alan huffed at him.
     “Come on. I think I see a deer path. That’ll lead us to water one way or another.”

     Now Alan had no clue where they were. Once or twice he pulled out his phone again to see about a signal. It was still doing the same thing, still flickering in and out. Even the phone light was doing it now, spazzing out and causing strange shadows to dance on the trees. Alan wasn’t even sure how long it had been. The clock wasn’t working either.
     Daniel was walking behind him almost mechanically now, and Alan felt a tremor of responsibility. This wasn’t like yelling at him from the back porch. The kid really needed him now.
     “Hey, we’ll figure something out. If it comes to it I’ll tuck you in a tree branch, how’s that?”
     “He’s already going to do that.”
     Now Alan was seriously creeped out. He had ignored the first comment; this one he couldn’t let pass.
     “Who are you talking about?”
     “The forest man. He said we have to stay here forever.”
     “There’s no forest man. If there was, I’d ask him how to get out of here.”
     “He won’t let us out.”
     Alan shivered, then knelt down in front of his brother.
     “Daniel, there’s no forest man, understand? I know you’re scared and trying to explain why we’re lost, but it’s got nothing to do with a forest man.”
     Daniel cringed.
     “You’ve made him angry now.”
     “Daniel, please! Don’t try to weird me out, okay? I’m trying to find a way out.”
     Daniel just hugged himself and shivered. Alan put a hand on his shoulder and guided him forward.
     After about five more minutes of walking, they came upon the bear again.
     “What th—”
     “He’s here now.” Daniel’s voice had become a monotone now. He inched closer to Alan.
     “Who’s here?”
     Alan looked around, and saw nothing. The sun was getting pretty low, casting long shadows through the forest. Some of the tree branch shadows looked like they were waving around, but Alan knew that couldn’t be happening.
     “We get to stay on vacation forever,” Daniel said, his voice suddenly rising almost hysterically. Alan didn’t get a chance to ask him what that meant; he found out soon enough.



A/N: Slendy, I said, I don't have time for this. But he just stood there. Menacingly. Next time I'll just start playing the Markiplier interview. That'll show him.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Mini-Review: Welcome to Night Vale

There is a town in the desert. The town is right next to a forest. It is circled by black helicopters. The sheriff has secret police. There is a vague but menacing government agency. Of course the pyramids were built by extraterrestrials, what were you thinking?

Welcome to Night Vale.


This is a podcast created by Joseph Fink. It takes the form of a radio show in the small desert town of Night Vale, where strange happenings are incredibly normal. From the dog park patrolled by hooded figures, to the faceless old woman who secretly lives in your home setting your refrigerator on fire, to host Cecil’s love life, things can get crazy. The show is deadpan humor at its finest, and the commercials are to die for.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Parody 5: S1, E10: Anvilievers

In MedLab, an adorable child is being examined. Since this is Straczynski we’re talking about, the child’s chances are slim, to say the least.

Kid: Am I going to die?

Franklin: Nah. I’m never wrong! We’ll just open you up and put you to rights!

Dad: BUT HE HAS A SOUL.

Franklin: …wait, what?


C&C

Ivanova: Azimov can’t find their way here and they’re stuck in Raider space.

Sinclair: You can send Garibaldi!

Ivanova: And I’ll hover over the console for a while. And I’ll make a quilt. And socks. Lots of socks.

Sinclair: I’m not sure, I could be wrong, but I’m getting the impression you might kind of want to go find the Azimov?

Ivanova: Oh, you know. Possibly. Maybe. If you really really want me to. I was rather attached to the socks idea.


THE GLOPPIT, BY J. M. STRACZYNSKI

Franklin: Well, adorable child, I have this gloppit egg, and you have to hold it nice and sing Michael Bolton songs to it.

Kid: …sounds totally legit.


THE BET OF SORROW

Nurse Lady: And now you’re giving him fake eggs?

Franklin: Hey, it helps. I will fix this! NO MATTER WHAT! I bet you a steak dinner!

Audience: *facepalm*


SO REMEMBER THAT PILOT EPISODE?

Franklin: I need a steak. For a bet.

Sinclair: And the Shakespeare Company wants fingle eggs? What the hell are fingle eggs? Anyways, how goes the Adorable Child Case?

Franklin: They won’t let me operate. Didn’t you order Dr. Kyle to operate on Kosh?

Sinclair: I can’t keep ordering unauthorized operations.

Franklin: I DON’T LIKE THIS CONVERSATION ANYMORE.


G’KAR IS A JERK

Mom: Look, if you can talk to Franklin, he won’t do the surgery.

G’Kar: …nah. It’s not like you can help Narn at all.

Mom: You’re a jerk!

G’Kar: IT’S CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT DAMMIT.


LONDO IS ALSO A JERK

Londo: Quite confusing, yes. I’d have to talk to the Council, and I’d have to talk to Centauri Prime first. It would cost a lot, and all that damn paperwork.

Dad: In other words…no.

Londo: Well…yeah. Now out with you. I must find my pink robe!


AND KOSH IS JUST KOSH

Dad: You could totally convince Sinclair.

Mom: Look, how would you feel if someone did surgery on you and you didn’t authorize it?

Kosh: There's really not much you can do at that point lol.

Mom: …


AND NOW, THE ANVIL OF RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE

Delenn: Well, yes, the situation sucks badly. But we can’t intervene in the spiritual matters.

Mom: Wait, you’re doing this because of your beliefs?

Delenn: Aren’t…aren’t you doing this because of your beliefs?

Mom: …


IVANOVA FLIES A SHIP

Guy: Raider ship on the way.

Ivanova: Just keep on tiptoeing.

Guy: Ships don’t have toes.

Ivanova: Shut up!


INCREDIBLE EDIBLE EGGS

Sinclair: Hi Adorable Child. What’s that?

Kid: It’s a glowing piece of goo. He thinks it’s real and makes me sing Michael Bolton songs to it. Don’t you evaluate your medical personnel for psychological problems?

Sinclair: Uhhh…tell me, Adorable Child, do you want to live?

Kid: Oh God yes. But I’d like to keep my soul too.

Sinclair: I had an operation and I still have a soul.

Kid: That’s because you weren’t born of the Egg.

Sinclair: …that sounds important?


SINCLAIR MAKES A WISE DECISION

Franklin: But the kid is gonna die!

Sinclair: But he thinks he’s going to lose his soul. And it’s going to freak them all out. Can’t do it.

Franklin: I…but…what?

Sinclair: It’s going to freak EVERYONE out.

Nurse Lady: Hey, Shon the Adorable Child is getting worse.


AND DR. FRANKLIN MAKES A TERRIBLE DECISION

Franklin: Nurse Lady, you could totally go take a walk and leave us here in MedLab all alone with these sharp instruments.

Nurse Lady: Sounds legit.


IMMA FIAH MAH LAZAH PEW PEW

Ivanova: Well looks like tiptoeing didn’t work! Jam the raider ship, I’ll go deal with him!

Guy: But orders were to—

Ivanova: I GET TO SHOOT THINGS YAY!


AND THEN SHON BECAME THE ANTICHRIST

Kid: HI MOM AND DAD!

Mom and Dad: GAAA DEMON CHILD DEMON CHILD!

Kid: D-:

Franklin: D-:

Mom: All right, we know you did what you thought would help. But we can’t forgive you. It’s time for his Great Journey.

Franklin: Umm…okay? Well, that didn’t end so badly.


FRANKLIN DISCOVERS GOOGLE

Nurse Lady: You get the steak dinner, I guess. Here’s the research on these people.

Franklin: Oh look, a lamuda for the Great Journey, which sounds a lot like death…SONOFA—

Franklin races to the parents’ quarters only to discover the Great Journey has commenced, and lo, tragedy occurs.


IVANOVA BROKE THINGS BUT IT’S OKAY

Garibaldi: So how was it?

Ivanova: Oh, quiet.

Garibaldi: And your ship was damaged by accidentally ramming a raider.

Ivanova: Oh look, a happy child with his parents!

Garibaldi: Did someone say irony?


NO, SERIOUSLY, “GLOPPIT EGG”?

Franklin: Poor Gloppit Egg…poor little Gloppit Egg…This is the tale…of Captain Jack Sparrow…


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Let's Talk J.K. Rowling in a Serious, Mature Fashion

This picture never actually gets old.


"YES, YES, MINIONS, FIGHT FOR MY ENTERTAINMENT! MUAHAHAHAH!"

SERIOUS FASHION. SERIOUS. MATURE. FASHION.

*ahem*

Let's talk about J.K. Rowling and her Big Reveal of the Shippy Variety. A leaked bit of interview by Emma Watson showed that J.K. Rowling kind of sort of regretted pairing Hermione up with Ron. Now, for those who were around, the ship wars going on between Book 5 and Book 7 were...horrifying.

All I said was that there plenty of context clues regarding the R/H pairing! Ahhhh!!!

Now, to be fair, J.K. Rowling also called the Harmonians (as they like to be called-it's hard to make a portmanteau of the names "Harry" and "Hermione", but goshdarnit they managed it) "delusional", which led to a lot of really funny emails to Emerson Spartz.

Then, suddenly, in an interview with Emma Watson, she said she was wrong, and Hermione should have been with Harry.

No, wait, that's not quite what she said.

The entire article is here. What J.K. Rowling actually said was, to sum it up, it could have gone either way, and that Ron and Hermione were different enough that they might need outside counseling, which isn't a big deal in this day and age.

So, that's not actually a big deal. It's fabulous, actually, that J.K. Rowling is looking at her characters as more than just characters in a book; they are real to her.

So let us stop this time of war. Let us stop throwing things at one another, shouting over the Internet, and generally kicking up a ruckus. Let us...

Wait a minute. Wait.

J.K. Rowling said Luna and Neville wouldn't actually get together.

VILLAINESS!!!!


Friday, February 14, 2014

Why Anti-Valentine's Day is a Dumb Idea

Look kids. Loook kids. KIDS. Pay attention here. You're already raging, you in your deliberately messy "lounging at home, look I have nowhere to go" outfit. You're mad at me. How could I say such a thing? I, the happily-married woman? Clearly I have no context with which to understand your emotional pain dislike of commercialized holidays.

Valentine's Day has become a day to celebrate romance. I could go into the commercialized aspect of it. Commercializing holidays is always something of a problem, but we already know that. No, I'm going into the group of people who are not angry at Valentine's Day for being commercialized, but simply for existing.

These are the people who do not have someone with which to celebrate romance. They find it personally offensive that other people do, and are actually flaunting that fact with their romantic counterparts. How trite! How unfair!

That is probably why you do not have someone with which to celebrate romance. Who wants to date someone who's going to sit around and complain about people having nice things they don't?

And you know what? I do have a clear context with which to understand your issues. Once everyone left elementary school, I didn't get Valentines, except from Mom and Dad. I was Charlie Brown, guys. And you know what? That can hurt sometimes. It can make you wonder what is so dreadfully wrong with you. But instead of focusing on that, I focused on the fact that I've yet to figure out how Mom got her pancakes heart-shaped without using a mold of any type. (I tried it once. They looked more like real hearts than cartoon ones.)

I didn't focus on what I didn't have. I focused on what interested me. And you know what? That works. (As long as your interests aren't in the realm of murdering your romantic counterparts. That too would explain your single-status.)

So, this Valentine's Day, instead of raging about the fact that people have something you don't, find something fun to do. Heck, you can totally ignore it if you want to. Make it just another day. Just stop trying to ruin things for everyone else just because you can't have it too.

Don't be this cat, guys. Don't be this cat.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Book Review: A Visit to Highbury and Later Days at Highbury by Joan Austen-Leigh



    Rare indeed is the Austen sequel that lives up to the original work. I’ve already praised Sanditon and Letters from Pemberley, but there is no fitter person to write a sequel than one of Jane’s own descendants. Joan Austen-Leigh’s continuation of Emma, one of the most beloved Austen novels, does justice to the original while expanding on characters we heard little from in the book.

     Like Letters, both books are epistolary novels. Mrs. Goddard and her newly married sister Mrs. Pinkney exchange letters regarding the events in their lives. In the first novel, Mrs. Pinkney is unhappy with her new marriage and writing to her elder sister for relief. Mrs. Goddard responds with news of Highbury, such as her parlour boarder Harriet Smith making friends with the great lady of the town, Emma Woodhouse…

     We see the events play out from Mrs. Goddard’s viewpoint, at least as far as she can see. Some points stretch credulity, but one can chalk it up to small-town gossip and Mrs. Goddard having excellent observation skills after running a school for so long. The familiar plotline makes it comfortable to read while the new elements make it different enough to prevent it from being a mere re-read.

     In Later Days at Highbury, the sisters continue their correspondence, with some additions. Mrs. Pinkney’s marriage has improved, and Mr. Pinkney’s niece has been sent from the West Indies to attend the fashionable school next door, much to her misery. Meanwhile, Mr. Woodhouse and Mrs. Bates have finally passed, bringing great changes to Highbury, and Miss Bates has left to live with the Churchhills, though Mrs. Goddard is concerned that she will miss all her friends. Mrs. Goddard acquires two new parlour boarders, sisters who greatly resemble the Musgroves (they’re called Ludgrove) from Persuasion, and decides to try her own hand at matchmaking…

     While not as tightly plotted as the first, it’s still an interesting read. Austen-Leigh takes elements from several other novels (such as the Louisa plotline) and weaves them nicely into the fabric of the story. She also gives us a view of what she thinks the future marriages from the original novel are like. Clearly the Knightleys are all that they promised to be; and the while the Churchhill marriage seems happy, Frank himself hasn’t changed much at all.


     Overall these are both pleasant reads that re-introduce a familiar setting while still keeping the readers attention.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Book Review: William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope by Ian Doescher


     By this time everyone is pretty well aware that Star Wars drew on a lot of ancient story elements that have been used by writers for centuries. The hero’s quest, the tragic backstory, the love triangle, the two comic relief sidekicks-all these are so common that no one blinks an eye when they get re-used over and over, unless they want to accuse J.K. Rowling of being a hack because they can’t figure out how else to criticize the Harry Potter series.
  
Although she does have an army of Death Eaters to take advantage of the chaos caused by the shipping war she started. She may or may not be working in collusion with SPECTRE.


     It occurred to Ian Doescher that Star Wars had all the elements of a fantastic Shakespeare play. So he re-wrote it as one of the classics. And he does a fantastic job of it.

     The dialog between Hans and Leia greatly resemble the verbal sparring that we see with Benedick and Beatrice (no surprises there-this kind of pairing was most certainly made popular because of Much Ado About Nothing). R2D2 is cast as the wise jester, a character Shakespeare loved. He pretends to stupidity so he can arrange events behind the scenes. And poor C-3PO cannot hold his sharp tongue despite his great love for R2.


     It’s a playful and remarkably well-written book. I advise all Star Wars fans to go read it. NOW.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Parody 5: S1, E9: Dumbwalker


KOSH HAS A PLAN

Talia: Ohai Kosh.

Kosh: I have important things for you to help me with. It’s all set up. See you at the hour of scampering.

Talia: …what.


DOCKING

Some alien chick arrives from Minbar wearing an epic cloak. This is apparently too much for Na’Toth’s tender sensibilities.

Na’Toth: OMGWTFDEATHWALKER? *tackleslamfacepunch*

Everyone Else: Lolwut


BACKSTORY!

Na’Toth: You see, Death Walker is Mengele ON CRACK. Because she killed my grandfather via her crazy mind machines, I must now kill her.

Sinclair: But Death Walker would be old. Unless there’s some important plot reason for it…


THE TROLLING BEGINS

Talia: Well, looks like everything is ready. But I don’t understand.

Kosh: Well that’s a three edged sword.

Talia: Umm…

A guy dressed like a pimp walks up.

Abbut: Kosh! You brought a date!

Talia: I’M JUST THE TELEPATH HERE.

Abbut: I’m a P-rating 23. It’s legit, right?

Kosh: Scan Abbut.

Abbut: Ooh, it TINGLES. Telepathic dragonfish!

Kosh: Yertle the fly.

Talia: WHAT.


DILGAR IS REALLY QUITE TASTY ONCE YOU GET USED TO IT

G’Kar: That was pretty awesome Na’Toth. But Counselor Ha’Rok was going to bargain with Jha’Dur about one of her discoveries.

Na’Toth: Can I eat her flesh?

G’Kar: The Kari wants her alive.

Na’Toth: I’ll eat her flesh LATER.

G’Kar: That’s disgusting. Save some for me.


CATCH? WHAT CATCH?

Jha’Dur: So the Wind Swords let me hang with them. They said you have a hole in your mind.

Sinclair: So I heard. Shouldn’t you be old?

Jha’Dur: I found a way to prolong life! An Arcanum!

Pendergast: CURSES.

Jha’Dur: We can give it to everyone by the end of the year! It’ll be awesome!


THE TROLLING CONTINUES

Kosh: Quid thirty one.

Abbut: Table house.

Kosh: Well, that’s it. See you at the hour of longing.

Talia: I’m so confused!

Kosh: Listen to the music, not to the song.

Talia: BUT I DON’T LIKE MICHAEL BOLTON!

Then Abbut pokes at Talia’s mind and she has a flashbackmirrorspaz.

Talia: I need to lie down.

Abbut: I need a pastrami sandwich!


BABYLON 5 HAS AN ETHICS DEBATE

Garibaldi: She’s a bad person, and she should feel bad! (And also be shot out an airlock.)

Franklin: But they need her to help them with the immortality serum.

Garibaldi: And what happens if the League finds out?


G’KAR PARTAKES IN A GILLIGAN CUT

G’Kar: Sinclair’s going to smuggle Jha’Dur off the station! I’d better make sure the League finds out.


IMPROMPTU NUREMBURG TRIAL!

Kalika: She needs to die a really bad death!

Sinclair: I have to obey orders.

Kalika: You’ll have to go through us.

Sinclair: Okay guys, let’s go back. We’ll have a meeting.

Jha’Dur: Lol pathetic.

Sinclair: Sunshine, I don’t want to be tried for murder any more than you do.


TROLLING FOR DAYS

Talia: You don’t even need a telepath!

Kosh: But it’s fun!

Abbut: Don’t you want more flashbacks?


WE FOUND A WITCH MAY WE BURN HER

Garibaldi: Where’s Kosh?

Sinclair: Trolling. Anyways, onto the trial! Make your speech, Kalika.

Kalika: The Dilgar were Space Nazis! Really bad Space Nazis!

Londo: Well the Dilgar didn’t mess with us SUPER AWESOME CENTAURI, so I say we let Jha’Dur skip along on her way.

G’Kar: We vote yes! But the trial has to be held on Narn, just ‘cause.

Kalika: That’s just stupid G’Kar.

G’Kar: Nope.

Sinclair: Kosh has no opinion, as usual, because he is far too busy trolling to care. I vote yes. Lennier?

Lennier: Err…we, ah, vote no.

League: WHAT.

Kalika: SCREW YOU GUYS, I’M GOING HOME.

Sinclair: Well, that went well. So, the Wind Swords totally hid Jha’Dur then?

Lennier: Does South America talk about their Nazis?

Sinclair: Not since that twins debacle.


TROLLING FOREVER

Kosh and Abbut continue holding the silliest conversation ever.

Then Talia gets a flashback.

Talia: Hey, creepy guy in the shadows!

Creepy Guy: Lol hi! I’m going to smash this bottle and try to stab you.

Talia: DO NOT WANT.

Kosh: We’re done here.

Talia: WHAT IS THIS I DON’T EVEN.

Abbut proceeds to open up his head.

Abbut: TTYL! Here, have this data crystal from my head.

Talia: He’s the Borg? What was on the data crystal?

Kosh: A trapdoor.


THIS WON’T END BADLY AT ALL

Sinclair: I think the League should have their scientists help her and as soon as the serum is ready we can put her on trial.

Kalika: And shoot her out an airlock?

Sinclair: And shoot her out an airlock.


HAVE WE MENTIONED JHA’DUR IS A NAZI

Sinclair: It’s going to be fun when you’re put on trial.

Jha’Dur: You’re so silly. See, the main ingredient for the serum has to be taken from another person. So you’ll kill each other to live forever! It’ll be hilarious.

Pendergast: *FACEPALM*


C&C

Everyone is watching as Jha’Dur’s ship flies away, and Kosh wanders in for no apparent reason.

Jha’Dur: Oh lololol I totally trolled them lololololololo—

Vorlon Ship: *zappunchbitchkill*

Me: YEAHHHHH!!!!! *fistpump*

Everyone else: OMGWTFIMMORTALITY?

Kosh: Moral of the story: No immortality for you. Kthxbai.


COMPLAINING

Talia: I’m having an issue with Kosh.

Garibaldi: So are we.

Talia: I had to mediate some deal between Kosh and some Borg named Abbut, but all they did was troll me.

Sinclair: I think the Vorlons are scared of telepaths.

Vorlons: You’d like to think that, wouldn’t you?

Garibaldi: Kosh has done a lot this episode, hasn’t he? I bet it’s plot relevant.

Sinclair: WHY IS EVERYTHING PLOT RELEVANT?



A/N: BUT SERIOUSLY EVERYONE GO READ CABINET OF CURIOSITIES.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Movie Review: 42

I remember the first time I learned about Jackie Robinson. It was one of those biographies for kids, and it wasn’t, as you can imagine, very detailed. It was good, and it fueled my enthusiasm for baseball, but it didn’t really give a good view of the challenges Robinson faced.

To give a bit of background, there was indeed a time when baseball was not segregated. It wasn’t until 1867 that a minor league formally segregated the baseball teams. (Ironically after the Civil War and in a Northern state-Pennsylvania.) And when famous white players began refusing to play with or against black players, the major leagues followed.

So when the general manager of the Dodgers, Branch Rickey, announced his intention of signing on a black player, the fit hit the shan, as the phrase goes.

The movie does an excellent job of portraying the struggles, as well as how a lot of people simply went along with the zeitgeist, rather than any particularly strong feelings against blacks. (Although, as basic psychology will tell you, the more you act a certain way, the more your mind will adjust to it.)

Branch Rickey, as he states in the movie, was looking for a good player, but also one not afraid to take on the establishment. Robinson was not the absolutely best player in his league, but he had also been arrested a few times for what we would now call “civil disobedience”.

The movie starts out showing this, as well as showing Jackie Robinson in one of his acts of civil disobedience. He gets the call from Rickey, who says that he wants a black player “with the guts not to fight back”. Robinson is placed with the Montreal Royals, and begins to make a name for himself; and then he was signed on to the Dodgers.
The movie portrays the initial antagonism of both opposing teams (some of who refuse to play, and one who got the Dodgers’ hotel to refuse them when Robinson came with them), and with many of the players.

One of the most powerful scenes is when the Phillies’ manager, Chapman is shouting racial epithets at him as he tries to bat. It’s so vile that the team, despite many of them disliking Robinson, came together to his defense. At one point during this we see Robinson down in the dugout, beating a baseball bat to bits against the wall in frustration.

Another scene shows a player approaching Rickey, complaining about some hate mail he had been sent. As a response, Rickey opens drawer after drawer of letters addressed to Robinson, threatening to kill him, his wife, and his child.

And of course, the final scene is the most iconic. While fans spew their vitriol before one game, Pee Wee Reese comes up and throws an arm around Robinson. This picture has been immortalized both in newspapers and in a sculpture.


Robinson’s willingness to take on this tremendous role paved the way for the desegregation of baseball, and this movie does a good job of portraying his contribution.

The Reese and Robinson statue in Brooklyn, NY

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Book Reviews: Letters from Pemberley and More Letters from Pemberley by Jane Dawkins


     It’s very unfortunate when you get through all of Jane Austen’s work. Unfortunate, because that means you have no more Jane Austen to read. And when you try to delve into the scary world of fan sequels, you get…mixed results. Take, for example, the delightful continuation of Sanditon I reviewed before; and then take anything by Emma Tennant, and burn it before it infects all of your books. (The only thing worse than badly-written fanfiction is badly-written fanfiction that disregards the Great and Powerful Canon.) Then again, even a good writer can mishandle Austen’s material. (See: Pemberley, Death Comes To)

     Of course you also have the in-between stuff. I’ve read quite a few sequels/prequels that are merely…okay. A lot of Amanda Grange’s prequels are this way; merely interesting reiterations of what the novels themselves already told us. Luckily, I found something that is not simply “meh”, and does not turn any of the characters into Opposite World versions of themselves. (Looking at you P.D.)

     The book is, as you can tell, letters from Pemberley; a one-sided look at Lizzie and Jane’s correspondence during their first year of marriage. It is certainly a comfort read; it was one of those books I pull out when I want to read myself to sleep. Lizzie chats to Jane about the day-to-day life in a big house such as Pemberley; the interesting neighbors (who closely resemble other Austen characters); and preparing to enter a higher society than she is used to. (This is Lizzie; of course she pulls it off charmingly.) It also throws in little details that are only hinted at in Pride and Prejudice, such as Darcy learning to tease a bit more, and Jane dealing with the incorrigible Mrs. Bennett living so close.

     It was a fun, light read that thankfully expanded on the universe while staying true to Jane Austen’s work.


     The sequel, More Letters from Pemberley, follows a period of several years. It is just as comfortable a read, but somewhat bittersweet. The growing family goes through several struggles that will afflict everyone, regardless of wealth or class. Lizzie maintains her vivacious personality but we watch as she matures over the years. This is an excellent sequel to the first book and still stays true to the tone of Austen’s novels.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Movie Review: Monsters University


     I think we need something lighthearted after that HORRIFIC DEFEAT OF DOOM.

     I admit, I cringed a little when I heard they were making a prequel to Monsters Inc. I have a fear of these sorts of things, because generally speaking, prequels and sequels are terrible.

LUCAAAAAAAAAS


     However, I was pleasantly surprised by this prequel. We begin with a tiny Mike Wazowski on a school tour to the Monsters Inc. factory, where he impresses one of the Scarers by sneaking into a child’s room without anyone noticing. This makes Mike determined to become a Scarer as well.

     He enrolls in Monsters University and is given a similarly nerdy roommate, Randall who is now at least 80% more adorable (the fangirl squeals were heard ‘round the world) with thick-rimmed glasses, but finds himself at odds with the Big Monster on Campus, Sully.

     I liked this little twist on the backstory. It develops the characters even more fully and actually explains the various relationships in the original movie much better. Randall might start out a nice guy, but he is weak and succumbs to peer pressure. Years of doing this lead to the horrible character we meet in the original. Sully is riding on his father’s reputation and must learn that he needs to put some effort into his life, which leads to the easy-going but hard-working guy we know and love.

     I also liked that the movie didn’t have the usual moral of “you can be whatever you want” often seen in these types of films. Although it was a foregone conclusion, Mike’s journey to understanding himself is the center of the movie. He really wasn’t cut out to be a Scarer at all; but he makes an excellent coach and assistant to Sully. Several of the characters actually learn to understand and use their true strengths. The movie shows that each occupation is necessary and praiseworthy.


     So, I’m happy to say that this really was an amazing prequel for Monsters Inc. It’s kid-friendly and fun for adults to watch as well.

The adorableness spawned a thousand fanfics.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Shipping wars, extermination break out in Denver


     In a shocking update to the previous report, shipping wars have now begun in Denver, Colorado.

     Hordes of Romionites took to the streets, proclaiming J.K. Rowling as the Dark Lady, and insisting that a resistance must be developed against the blasphemy. Harmonians threw slurpies from the roof tops and promised to "taunt them a second time". The fight was joined by enraged Broncos fans, who began setting things on fire, before remembering that setting things on fire pretty much solved no problems at all.

     In the midst of all this chaos, the army of salt shakers that had previously murdered Punxsutawney Phil descended upon the hapless city. Their single-minded advance on the Broncos stadium left the other fighters bewildered, exterminated, and occasionally making "squee" noises, similar to the people following the salt shakers and insisting "they're really kind of adorable".

     The salt shakers made short work of the Broncos stadium, leaving it in ruins. They appeared to then turn on the city, but the combination of the raging shippers (and falling slurpies), the Broncos fans still setting things on fire despite knowing it was a bad idea, and the sudden appearance of a blue box, from which a strange man ran out shouting things and waving a screw driver, caused the salt shakers to flee into a portal, to the dismay of the fans.

     Word has it that the shipping wars have thus far died down, mainly because they've been taken to the Internet instead.

     Insurance claims have been made for numerous objects, including transforming vehicles that were extremely angry to have been set on fire.

     The blue box disappeared after too many fans clung to it asking if "they could come too".



     Let these strange, bizarre events be a lesson to the next Super Bowl teams. Losing a game can mean the end of reality as we know it.



SHIPPING WARS 2: THE HARMONIANS STRIKE BACK


And lo, on that day did Lady Rowling speak blasphemy. And the Harmonians rejoiced, and a great mourning fell upon the Romionites, and the shipping wars began anew, with greater force than ever before. Mugglenet was annexed, and Canon Harbor bombed, and then did Michael Bay thus threaten to make an explosion-laden movie of the events...the Internet was a dark place indeed...

In other news, an army of salt shakers murdered Phil the groundhog today.

No one was sad at all.

Reports have confirmed that the salt shakers are making their way to the Broncos stadium. Word is that it involves some kind of "threat", although man-on-the-street interviews confirm that many people find them "cute" and they "just need hugs" and wonder if they "can keep them".

This is why the Daleks keep invading Earth.

More on this as events unfold.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Dear Denver Broncos


     Well, it's that time again. Time for you to win the Super Bowl.
   
     No, seriously, win it.

     "What if you don't?" Hmm...

 

That's a real nice stadium you have there.


It'd be a shame if something...


















HAPPENED TO IT.