January 29, 2009

My Rating System (for movies, at least)

As I ran into a friend yesterday who thought my analysis of movies, "...needs some work," I decided to explain why my ratings may seem either low or high for whatever movie I review. Upon further inquiry, I found that this person was most annoyed with me for giving Bella three and a half stars (not on here, on Islas). First, that was just after seeing the movie. Upon writing a full review, my rating might rise, or, quite impossibly, fall. Second, I rate movies so that getting five stars means you have to be one of the three best movies I've ever seen, at, say, the point of my death. That's probably why I'm not going to be giving out either five- or zero-star ratings. Quite simply, the two extremes are, for me, not to hand out to just any good or bad movie that comes along. Currently, I think The Dark Knight and Life is Beautiful are the best guesses I have now for those top three.

Thrice-in-a-lifetime apocholyptically vile.
Disastrously loathsome.
Fairly dreadful.
One Mile Over Mediocre.
Quite fantastic.
½ (between)
Thrice-in-a-lifetime breathtakingly heavenly.

I hope that explains why I'll probably be giving mostly ratings varying from two and a half to four and a half. I haven't seen a lot of horrible movies. The closest is probably Madagascar, and I'd probably still give that thing two and a half.

Your insanely confusing, fairly determined, and slightly offended writer,


January 25, 2009

Ketchup Ch. 3 Finished

Here's the third chapter, whole and complete.

3. Home

Jack's home was extraordinary, and yet plain. It was a small, abandoned apartment building outside of the main city. To him, it was valuable, not only because such things were rare in his town, but because he did, in fact, call it home. He lived alone, yet he had several pets which were quite good for him.
The apartment that he primarily lived in was fairly large, and, over the years, had become as well-furnished as any five-star hotel would be. In the manner of such, there was, at a certain place, a large screen TV. However, Jack had, with his own hands, made it. It was a few feet across and seemed to have a very large block of wood behind it. For your woefully uniformed readership, I'll reveal it's purpose quite simply. It was a computer.

Around this time, I ran out of time describing his house because Jack decided to go find something to eat.
He made scrambled eggs with more minced bacon than any pig could live through seeing. He also had more oil in the pan than would be healthy for just about anyone. However, he'd done this multiple times and wasn't dead yet. That was, in a good bunch of areas, his philosophy for defining what to do. In a good dose of others, though, he put sense and morals into a decision.
In a few minutes, he had some steaming yellowish matter stuffed into a tortilla which could only be home-made. Jack was incredibly industrious.

"Hands up!" a voice said in a voice which couldn't exactly be identified as anything in particular.
"Not with breakfast, Xink. I could use some orange juice, though, thank you," Jack said.

Xink was a computer. Yes, you probably guessed by the time that you read this, that she was the large block behind the screen. I only say "she" because it's a term used quite admirably on ships and countries. Xink's gender had never been accurately defined, and, I, as the author, see little reason why robots should be so mercilessly segregated as we humans have been.

"I don't have any more orange juice, sir," Xink replied in a tone which suggested with almost painful obviousness that it wasn't true.
"Oh, quit your bawling, you great brown blockhead," Jack said mercilessly.

"Yes, mastah," Xink said, sniffling a bit. A clear glass glass full of fresh, cold orange juice popped out of almost nowhere and landed on his table. Sadly, orange juice is fairly transparent, so, me saying his table was splattered with orange liquid would be just plain evil. However, it was true that there was orange juice all over the table. Jack licked the juice off of some of his more reachable areas. Xink sighed, the table was wiped up in a second, and Jack drank his orange juice. He might have drunk it, but I haven't tested the Hangoverer's Guide to Hanging Over with orange juice.


He was drinking his juice when a bullet made a uncannily clean hole through his glass. It also made a bit of noise, but it's most important that it made a clean hole, and that it was remarkably uncanny. Though his expression would convince anyone who didn't know him well that he was totally unbothered by this occurrence, he was rather surprised and slightly worried. He was aware that his bones wouldn't have set perfectly yet, and, for this reason, he didn't enjoy the idea of another bullet in him. Especially outside the main city, where the nearest doctor professed ardently that he was a reincarnated gorilla king. On most occasions this wasn't a problem, thankfully.

Jack's instinct would have been to miraculously jump onto the ceiling and release a gas which would only effect his unseen opponent, but all this ballyhoo was entirely unnecessary. Jack's hand was covered in orange juice. Dramatic effect would demand that I say blood there, but, in this case, there is no such reality. Orange juice dripped down his arm and onto the table, which he had been utilizing to browse the internet and occasionally check his security cameras. And, one should know, spilling Jack W. Rabbit's orange juice on a bright morning like this was considered by the general public to be a suicidal action. In reality, however, Jack would only imprison the intruder for a few days.


Jack was surprised. The intruder stepped from the shadows which not even I, the author, noticed before, and stepped up to Jack. If Jack hadn't trained him himself, the intruder would have been on the floor with up to five broken bones. As it was, Jack had trained him, and, by some insane change in motion, the intruder sat across the table from him, quite unhindered by Jack's attempt to put him into awful pain.

"Socks!" Jack whispered, looking, as well as humans can imagine, like a ghost. Socks was, in fact, the chap's name. Why was not as obvious. If I decide to, I, the author, will crank out some insanely impossible story of how he was noted from Jack's other friends by his socks, but, for now, I need only mention the phrase "North Pole", and the words, "really", and "cold".
"Jack!" he thundered, shaking Jack's hand as if he still needed to warm his up, "You've grown, old sock!"
Jack attempted to gather his wits a bit. He seldom doubted that Xink had hidden some of them under the TV stand. In reality, however, most of them had been stashed away by his part-time housekeeper in a suitcase in the attic. Jack had a fairly large supply, so he wasn't keeling over yet.
"So why are you here?" said Jack, seeming, only partly, to cope with his good friend and student's return from the far away and desperately cold upper regions of Earth.
"I'd like to borrow the Flycatcher."
"You want to borrow the Flycatcher?" Jack said, incredulously, "That thing's almost older than I am!"
"But it's fast," Socks retorted, smiling, "And fast is what I need."
"Well, you can have it, but it's been a while since it worked properly."
"What do you mean? It worked perfectly back when..." Socks trailed off, looking troubled, "When it wasn't in pieces, right?"
"Right. I took it apart a while ago. Needed the parts for a new thing. What do you need it for?"
"I want to plant a second base on the South Pole," Socks replied, looking slightly nervous.
"Ah. Why didn't I guess?" Jack said.
"You've been too smart to mess around with that stuff for years, Jack. Face it."
Jack coughed.
"I've had to do a lot mobe guessing than you'd care to imagine in the last few weeks."
"Ah, well. It's what humans do."
"That is so cliche."
"Sorry," said Socks, quickly putting on an accent which seemed to mix both Texan and British with a smidgen of Microsoft Sam.
"Anyway," said Jack, "I've got something else that ought to serve you at least as well, probably better, than the Flycatcher."
"Come on. I'll show you it," Jack said, standing up. He walked over to a tattered-looking grandfather clock and took a large sledgehammer, aimed it carefully, and, despite Socks' startled cry, smashed the clockface in a full foot. It was whole and unharmed. Jack slid the grandfather clock to the side, revealing a passage roughly four feet tall and two feet wide. The clock face remained, sticking out of the wall. It let out a sad note that indicated it wasn't perfectly protected by the plexiglass cover on its front. Jack led the way, on hands and knees. Socks followed, and, at Jack's order, slid the grandfather clock back to its original place, blocking all light from the passage.
Or that's what it looked like, to one so constantly exposed to places entirely covered in snow and ice. To Jack, it almost looked bright, mostly because of the amount of time he spend outside at night.
Jack flipped a switch and, though Socks never guessed, they'd exited the passage several seconds ago. They were in the middle of a large hangar, hundreds of feet wide and deep, and over twenty feet tall. Jack started walking over to a small blue ship that looked capable of high speed chase, not only in the air and on wheels, but on artaficial legs.
"I can't use this," said Socks, "It looks like it can only fit one person! Two, at best."
"That's right. Only one person," said Jack, looking a bit proud, "but its cargo hold can carry more than the cargo hold of your everyday commercial jet."
"How?" Socks said incredulously.
"Um, trade secret," Jack said, looking a bit nervous.
"Ok, so, how much do I have to pay?" Jack walked around the ship for several seconds.
"Well, I'd charge you fifty thousand," Jack said. Socks winced. "But you're my friend. Because of that, I think I'll lower it to a straight forty nine thousand nine hundred ninty nine and ninty nine cents. A whole copper Lincoln to take home with you." Jack handed him a penny.
"You know, I don't carry that kind of money around. In fact, I've only got twenty thousand in my bank account."
Jack raised his eyebrows. "You thought I was serious?"
"No. I was just making sure you meant what you said."
"Oh. Ok. Well, feel free to borrow it, but it'll still be forty thousand if you want to buy it. Considering what it can do, that's very, very cheap."
"Thanks. I'll be sure to bring the regular load this November. Use it well," said Socks.
"Ah. Yes, thanks for that, too. I hope you know how to use it, because it can do one blinkin' unbelievable pace."
"Yes. More than four times faster than the Flycatcher."
"Right ho. Toodloo."
"Toodles, Socks," said Jack, shaking his hand, "I hope you find one of those crazy monsters one of these days."
"Sometimes I wonder whether I should just sit back and wait for one of them to find me."
Jack grinned. "You'd know best, I guess," he said, waving. Socks jumped into the pilot's seat and flipped a fairly large green switch. The machine hummed to life in a manner not unlike the roar of a well-revved twelve-cylinder engine. The only difference was that, though it did move the spirit as a car would, the noise was much less. The Hyperjet had been designed for much more than speed. Stealth had also been a major factor.
The cockpit closed, and the Hyperjet hummed off the floor. A wall-wide door on the other side of the hangar opened up several feet, and, playfully, Jack thought, Socks threw the throttle forward. Jack thought he could hear him screaming with unrestrained glee over the low hum of the craft while it rocketed off.

After about a week's thinking, I think I might have chapters in the introduction, explaining why I'm doing what I'm doing, or something. Just a thought.

Your somewhat happy, overly horrible, and hectic writer,


January 24, 2009

Inkheart - Heartbreaking

Today, I bring to you a review of the fairly recently released movie, Inkheart.

Inkheart (PG, 2009) (●●●)

This movie is based off a book by the same title, which I've read once myself, and been read once again by another.

The acting was pretty good. The scenery was good, occasionally. The plot may have been good, but I read the book, and so, I must say it's nothing better than twisted. The amount they think they had to change to make it into a movie was appalling. This is the sort of movie I woe having ever been made, because it doesn't conform to the book in the degree, or perhaps sense, that I'd love it to. It seriously would have been better if they made a movie straight from the book, word for word, action for action. It wouldn't matter if they had to make it in two, three, four movies, it would have been better than this. Easily.

There are so many things wrong with what happens in it that I don't feel like typing them all in. The vague relationship begun in the first book between Meggie and Farid is made so absent, when it comes to indication of either party caring the slightest bit about each other, that they could have cared as much for each other as a turtle cares for a titmouse. Except for vague indications from certain other characters, it would be hard, having not read the book, to realize that Farid liked Meggie.

There were many parts of the book that I would have literally loved to have in the movie, but were not there. Why? They didn't have to cut, nay, mince the plot of the book, take a smidgen of the real thing, dress it in special effects, and present it on the silver screen as if we are meant to like it.

Dustfinger. Take him, just for a second. They showed one, short, short, short scene with him breathing fire. It was cool, sure. But in the book, there were at least two scenes where he breathed fire, one of which was probably minutes
long in anybody's imagination.

Capricorn. He's evil. He's evil. He's evil. So don't make him basically joke about duct tape! It may be funny, but, in the book, you never, ever, ever got the impression, I think, that he liked joking in such a way. He'd joke about slitting peoples' throats, burning down farms with inhabitants included, but duct tape? Excuse me. He's evil.

The beginning of the book, now that I read it again, seems vaguely childish, but it was, compared to the movie's beginning, priceless. There's so much in the beginning that means so much in the story.

Mo. He gave the secret away way, way, way too easily. This has something to do with the previous point, but, still.

In the book, too, there was throughout a true show of the love of books. Elinor wasn't strict enough. We just saw one or two of Mo's bookkeeping tools. We never saw him "doctoring" a book. Meggie didn't have her book box. Their home was also almost totally excluded, which is a
huge loss. Their home was a library. And it was their home. Being that most of you probably have lived in a home, that ought to mean something to you.

The ending was an ending. In the book, there were things truly unresolved. In the movie? Everyone went home happy. I don't even think of it as a fairy tale, but the "happily ever ending" bit with fairy tales applies quite well to the movie. The ending of the book let there be a sequel. The ending of the movie means, if there's a sequel, it will, when it comes to plot, have to be more horrible than the first.

My advice? Get the books back out and read them, cover to cover.

UPDATE: Sigh. I keep forgetting when things happen.

Your highly impressionable, book-toting, and slightly movie-bashing writer,


January 18, 2009

Who'd Want to Be A Christian Unless They Wanted To?

I just decided that, because I haven't posted in a while, and because my head may not contain all the critizism that this idea can receive, I'll post it.

The idea came to me a few days after breaking into a cold sweat, wondering whether I really was saved, or not. It may not comfort you as much, but, I'm not in a cold sweat right now. Except my hands. And that happens whenever I try to convey an idea or opinion to a comparatively large audience.

Sadly, the title kind of gave the whole thing away. I was almost completely consoled from the doubts I was having when I realized that few non-Christians would break into cold sweats, worrying whether they
were Christians. I totally understand how unreassuring this could be to some, but, to me, it allowed me to feel quite more sure of my faith.

Conclusion? Basically, and, in my worldview, assuming you believe in Jesus Christ as your one and only savior, if you worry about your Christianity, you're probably a Christian. This argument is not meant to settle a lot of things, but it sure helped me.

I doubt I thought of it first, either...

Your slightly enlightened, somewhat worried, and non-generically unwise writer,


January 12, 2009

Belated Post (1 of ∞)

Hullo, there. I just wanted to drop in and say a bit about what I've been doing. First of all, since the day I got my video game (Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy), I've been playing it unhealthy amounts of time. It really ticks me off that I've finished everything except the very, very, very last thing. It's just too hard. I've acquired at least thirteen million studs, and yet, I'm not particularly gratified. This makes me feel guilty for not hugely appreciating one of my siblings' gift to me.


I've also tried to reinstall Ubuntu on my computer, and, because of a certain operating system which I installed after it, I can't boot Ubuntu. Daddy's been sort of voulenteering his talent to remedy this, but who wants to get down and get working when there's an OS to bash?

We also had the blessed privilige of visiting some friends and watching a movie...namely 

What's Up, Doc? (1970-80s) 

Honestly, I have never, never, never seen a funnier romance in my life. The girl...wait. There are two, but, when I say, the girl, it shouldn't be too hard to tell, after watching the movie, there's only one I could possibly be talking about. The girl was just totally unequalledly epic. She was the most shameless lady I could possibly imagine, and the somewhat vague but nonetheless near five-star impersonation of Bugs Bunny was a fine touch. I'm a little annoyed that it got a mere G rating, but it does almost live up to it. The lady just won't give up on the guy. It's not particularly his fault, but he kind of threw her off a buidling and she didn't so much as mention it. She lived, though. There's some aspect of her that's hard to place, but I think she knows how to smile like there's no tomorrow. Something like that. There's no regret.

Siiiggghhh. I definitely want to see it again.

Oh, yes. I might also start a several-part course in basic computer terminology.

Your school-laden, (UPTDATE) egg and eye-frying, and photo-taking reporter,


January 01, 2009


Happy New Year, World! I'm alive! Sort of! I'm sick as a dog! I decieved Gina like three times last night! I feel great! Inside! Or something like that! When it comes to the more...outsidish aspects of me, I feel sick. And I'm aching in about six places. And I'm not particularly happy, mainly because of the aforementioned.

May your computer blow up one day so you're forced to go outside and have some real fun, your God be proud of you, your schoolwork be defeated, your life be happy, your body be well, your friends and family be ever closer to each other, and your Sharpies well-used.

Oh, well. Hullo, 2009. Praise God we've all lived this long. May he bless us all in the months to come. And years.

Your sick, half-dead, and/or braindead (been watching way too many Youtubes for the last, what, three, four, five days?) writer,