Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Best Star Wars Episode I Movie Review Ever!

This review of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace is actually more entertaining than the actual movie was. I'll warn you, it's long - over an hour, but broken up into smaller segments in case you don't want to watch all at once. But if you're like me, then once you start watching, you won't want to stop.

If you have ever wondered why Episode I was SO much worse than the original trilogy. If you couldn't quite put your finger on what went so very wrong, you'll enjoy this. The maker of these videos, Mike from Milwaukee, is very detailed, and very accurate in his amusing criticism.

As a writer, I enjoyed, and learned from his details about what was wrong with the characters, the pacing, and plot. His examples were excellent. I'd like to think I would never make such mistakes, but if George Lucas could do it, then little beginner me need to keep a close watch on myself. I know I'm going to look at the characters in my Work-In-Progress a little more closely now.

One last warning - these videos are not kid friendly. Not awful, but I'd say maybe PG-13 for the language and. . . well, I don't want to ruin some of the other stuff. Just review it before letting your kids watch.

Here's the first segment. You could search RedLetterMedia's youtube channel to find each segment (there are 7 total), but /Film is where I first watched these. They have them all in order already for you, with a little written commentary introducing each.

Enjoy.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Happy Towel Day

I have honored Towel Day in my heart for several years now, but this is the first year I will be officially celebrating. By that I mean, of course, keeping my towel with me all day.


Towel Day :: A tribute to Douglas Adams (1952-2001)


Towel Day honors the memory of Douglas Adams, genius author, technology enthusiast, radical atheist, and passionate environmentalist. If, by some unfortunate circumstances of your life, you have not read any of Douglas Adams works, please go immediately and remedy the situation. This is 2011. No one should have to live like that.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Get A Grip

I was driving along, all stressed up as usual the other day, and read a bumper sticker on the car in front of me. Well, not a bumper sticker, but one of those metal frames that go around the license plate; I'm just not sure what they're called. Anyway, it said, "Get a grip: It's only a lane change."

Those words totally struck me.

I've been all worried about everything lately. Worried about getting healthy, looking for a new house, am I doing a good job with my kids, does my writing suck, am I getting the hang of the new office at work, do I keep my socks in the best spot, and so on ad nauseam.

What this license plate frame seemed to be saying to me was: Don't freak out about the big picture right now. Just get in the right lane. Simple. Do the simple, small things you know you need to do. That will take you where you need to go.

I started thinking about how the lane your in can take you someplace completely different than the lane right next to you, over a long enough distance. Roads are crazy things some times. It isn't always intuitive what lane will take you where you want to go. Some exits go one way, and others loop back on themselves to take you a different way. It may feel like you're headed in the wrong direction for your finial destination, but if you're in the right lane, you'll get turned and twisted around until you make it there in the end. To get where you want to go, you don't always have to make radical changes. Just make a lane change. Then keep going.

After I had all these deep thoughts, with "Life is a Highway" type metaphors running around in my head, one little part of may brain suggested that maybe it was only a snarky comment aimed at pushy drivers. I refuse to accept that though. It calmed me down so much, and made all my neurotic stresses feel suddenly so manageable. I have decided it was a very deep message only disguised as snark.

Isn't it cool when you stumble on something like that?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

May Health Update

Frankly, I'm pretty depressed about my weight loss efforts. I thought I was sticking to the plan very well. Missing my calorie goals occasionally, but hitting it most of the time. Over 90% on target there. Keeping up my walks, and adding in at least 3 days of 1 hour sessions at the gym with weights and cardio.

Then I got on the scale. I lost a whopping 3/4 of a pound.

It's depressing.

I've also been measuring, because every weight loss expert I've ever read, or listened to, or heard about says to, but I don't know if I'm doing it right. Apparently I've lost about an inch and a half around my waist, and an inch from my hips. I'm just no confident I'm measuring in the right place, or even in the same place every time. It's a problem with a big tummy and no obvious waistline.

Regardless, all this work is supposed to be good for me, so I'll keep it up. I'm more exhausted than ever, but I do't know what else there is for me to do. I don't want to stay how I am. So. . . onward.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Comming Soon in Stories for Children Magazine

I have story scheduled to come out in the August/September Back to School issue of Stories for Children Magazine.

This may be a little early to announce it, but I'm just so jazzed to have something positive to write about. I can't help myself.

The website is pretty neat. I read a handful of the stories they have posted the by young authors, and plan to go back and read more. Some pretty cool stuff. Check it out.