Friday, November 11, 2011

Lack of Posts

Sorry about the lack of posts recently.  I'm finishing some final edits on my novel and getting ready for the query process.  I will start posting again soon, hopefully this weekend with another Doodle of the Week. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

DOODLE OF THE WEEK #8 Bud the Duck Stuck in Mud

Bud...Bud.  He isn't very smart.  I found him, the other morning just like this, after he woke me with his loud quacks.  He was somehow stuck in mud.  How did it happen?  I didn't know yet.  I guessed that maybe his feet suctioned and he wasn't strong enough to pull himself free.  I saw him flapping his wings but that failed, too.  A strange thing happened next, or maybe it was just the sleep in my eyes, but I think I saw some other ducks trying to pull him out with a rope.  None of them were strong enough, and they left Bud, abandoned to his spot.

HELP!!!

So what did I do next? I did what any reasonable person would.  I pulled him out from the mud.
I expected to be showered with gratitude and thanks, but instead I got a look of horror.  His wide eyes danced all around, the lower part of his beak quivered. I think he thought I was going to eat him.  So I tried to clean him up quick and I let him go.

A few days later I went to investigate this treacherous mud and guess what I found?  Concrete.  Yep, he must have fallen asleep while it was still moist, and then it thickened around him.

Luckily for him, I found him before it dried completely.  Otherwise Bud the Duck would always be stuck.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Mini Movie Review- Super 8


Best movie of the year so far.  Might as well call it Super Gr8.  I loved this move so FREAKING much!  It felt a lot like Spielberg's old movies, ET, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Goonies (he produced that one).

It was funny, scary, sad, happy.  Sometimes almost all at once.  The music was great, it reminded me of ET.

The child actors in the movie were amazing.  It's funny when I hear people say that child actors can't act, but they definitely can, it's just a matter of getting the best out of them, and good directors do that.  Directors like Spielberg, and now JJ Abrams.

I also liked how the kids in this movie actually looked like regular kids.  Many movies these days have kids that are 3-5 years older than the character they play, and look like they came from a Gap ad.  There's something endearing about kids that have a few flaws.

It's not a perfect movie by any means, but it's definitely a blast.  I think younger kids would be scared if they saw it, there were parts that even made me jump.

Oddly enough, it has nothing to do with the Super 8 Motels.  :)



4.25 Super 8 Motel logos out of 5

Mini Movie Review- Green Lantern






As always, I try to keep things as spoiler free as possible.

Recently I went to the drive-in.  Where I live, the drive-in gets you two movies for the price of one, and you can bring in your own food.  I usually reserve the drive-in for movies I have low expectations for, or for movies I don't want to spend as much money on.  I was super stoked for Green Lantern all year, until I saw the reviews last week.  I usually try not to let critics get in the way of enjoying a movie, but this one is at 25% or so on Rotten Tomatoes, and when that many critics hate a movie, there are usually some problems.

As such, I went in with low expectations.  Even then, I wasn't blown away.  The idea behind the Green Lanterns is cool.  They can create anything their "will" allows, just imagine it and they can create it.  The movie never lives up to the limitless possibilities imagination can create.

Ryan Reynolds did a good job, he actually was one of the best parts of the movie.

One of the baddies, Hector Hammond, is played by Peter Sarsgaard. That dude can squeal.  He squeals this insane scream I think 3 or 4 times.  I bet he had fun playing that character.

Most of the special effects were pretty awesome, especially on the world of Oa.  But movies are more than eye candy to me.  The movie felt oddly paced, had some cheesy dialogue, not enough action and the ending felt anti-climactic.

That being said, I somehow still managed to enjoy myself during bits of the movie.  Some of it was funny, or clever.

But this movie should have been amazing, possibly best movie of the year (outside of Potter) but as it stands, its a slightly above average comic book movie.

Don't believe the hate, it's not as bad as Batman & Robin or Daredevil.  When (or if) you go just sit back, try not to think too much and you might find yourself having a somewhat fun time.  I also think if you have a 9-13 year old boy, he would definitely dig it.


3 out of 5 springs under a Semi

CREATURE WORKSHOP #3 Dandylion

dan·dy

[dan-dee] noun, plural -dies, adjective, -di·er, -di·est
–noun
Informal . something or someone of exceptional or first-rate quality: Your reply was a dandy.
 
First-rate?  Thanks for the explanation Dictionary.com.
  
Lions, the four legged variety, are majestic and cool animals.  They are also known for their brute strength and their bites.  They truly are the king of beasts.
 
Dandelions are the worst if you want to get rid of them.  Spray 'em, pick 'em, they come back every year.  They sit on your lawn, like they are giving you the finger every time you look at them and say, "Yeah, I'm back.  There's nothing you can do about it."

So what happened when scientists went too far, like in Jurassic Park, and combined the DNA of Taraxacum officinale with Panthera Leo?

THEY CREATED A MONSTER!

Cross-eyed jerk...



Definitely, as the description implies, they're first rate.  FIRST RATE A-HOLES! Yeah these little buggers are tougher than snot to kill.  They will bite and like crickets at night, they never shut up.  I have to wear earplugs when I'm mowing my lawn, because they shout insults.  Just this morning I was trying to sleep, and outside the Dandylions were at it again, arguing about something pointless.  This was the gist of our conversation.
 
I had just rolled out of bed and I heard them shouting at each other.
 
"You keep playin' with grass, I told ya it's bad fer ya."
"You can't tell me what to do, dad."

I opened my window and yelled at them.

"Shut up! I'm trying to sleep!"

"Oi!  Lookit, it's the wee man," the male said.

"Mine yer own business," the cub said.
 
"C'mere man!  Lemme see yer toes," a Dandylioness said.  "I got sumfin' fer ya."
 
"Ya got some weed-b-gon?" 

"Oh ya!" the male said. "Come try it again on us."

I rubbed my eyes so I could see clearer.

"Just be quiet fellas, alright?  I'm trying to get some shuteye."

"Oh, sorry," the male said, but he had a smirk on his face, "Shh...everyone shad up!"

Just as I was about to close the window, the Dandylions obviously wanted to make me angry, because they all started roaring as loudly as they could.

"AHHHHHH ROOOOOOAAAAAR!"

"ROOOAAAARRRRR!"

"RAH RAH RAH!"

So what did I do next?  I got out the earplugs.
Click to expand for more details...

This picture is of the jerks living nearby.  The cub at the top right, lighter than the others, he gets scolded quite a bit.  Apparently he has been eating lots of grass, and well, it's not very good for Dandylions, they are meat-eaters.  The Dandylioness' usually aren't as pleased about the bickering.

TIPS ON REMOVAL
 
Flamethrowers are effective.  Fresh out?  Yeah, me too.  Get some flammable spray and a match and your set.  You could try weed-b-gon or some other equivalent, but weed killers only kill weeds, and these are something more than just a weed.  They are genetically enhanced anima-weeds.  
THEIR CREATION
The government started creating these things as a form of psychological warfare, intended to annoy the enemy to death.  But unfortunately they were even more resilient than the government realized, and they lost control of them.  Now they're everywhere.  They usually hide within the ranks of regular dandelions because they blend really well.  

They are carnivorous plants, and they lie in wait.  When I mow my lawn I always wear high socks up to my knees.  If I am wearing some shorts I get some strange looks, but hey, its better than losing a chunk of my leg.  I remember the times when I used to be able to lay on the lawn comfortably and point out different clouds to my friends or family, good luck doing that now.  Too dangerous.

Maybe I should ditch the grass and just get some rocks.
  
  
 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

DOODLE OF THE WEEK #7 The Parakeet without a Pair of Feet

Poor little Parakeet.  Cleaning his cage is an absolute mess.  Because of his stumps for feet he has to have a flat surface at the bottom of the cage without bars or holes, otherwise he gets his legs stuck.  Because of this there isn't a tray to slide out, unlike with the cages with bars, so when it's time to clean everything has to be scrubbed.

Drinking water can get awkward...

How does he do with perching?  Not really well.  Without those long claws wrapping itself around a branch, Parakeet without feet has to straddle the branch and use his wings to balance his weight.  It's a very sad and pathetic sight.

His songs are somewhat muffled as well, seeing as how he is constantly brushing his beak against the flat ground.

Sometimes he can walk, but it's very awkward, like the clown in the circus on those leg extender things.  With each step you are afraid the clown is going to lose his balance and topple.

Poor Parakeet without a Pair of Feet.

So, I have had two parakeets in my life, neither were ever as interesting as this doodle.  One flew away, and one passed away.  However I have a story about a friend's Parrot that I would like to share.


I remember my friend got a Parrot and they had it in a big cage out for display.  I thought the Parrot was really awesome, well, at first anyway.  The thing bit me, like, all the time.  My friend's mother told me that he sensed fear, but I wasn't scared of him until he bit me.  So why did he bite me the first time, then?  

Anyway, as the little moron that I was, my friend and I decided to take him out of the cage.  And guess what the Parrot did?  No joke, the thing flew right at me.  His wings weren't clipped, so he had no problems chasing me around the house.  A little later my friend and  I had escaped into the bathroom.  For my friend it was a game, no one was biting him, but for me, it was life and death.  Safe at last, I thought.  We sat in the darkness for a moment, I flipped the switch of the light and guess what?  The Parrot had managed to land on my friends shoulder just before we slammed the door shut, undetected.  I swear I've seen things like this in the movies.

So I ran out of the bathroom.  I didn't have anywhere else to go but up the stairs.  He was catching up to me.  I remember turning around and pleading (well maybe not out loud) and seeing the glint in the eyes of the bird.  They were pure red evil and there was nothing I could say to change its mind.  It wanted to kill me.  I still have the image in my mind's eye, almost like it was in slow motion, the wings flapping, the hideous noise it screeched as its beat clicked.  I thought it would go for my eyes, so I curled up in a ball right on the stairs.  He attacked the back of my neck and pulled off skin and let me tell you, it hurt!  I still have a small bump on the back of my neck from the attack. My friend's sister saved me.  Apparently she could pick up the evil bird without any issues, and it calmed down straight away.

So, I guess the moral of the story is, if something hates you, don't play with it.  It's bad news.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

DOODLE OF THE WEEK #6 Tabby Cat vs Flabby Rat

Have you ever opened your window and heard a stray cat hissing in the alley below?  Maybe try listening closer next time, wait and see, you might soon be hearing the sounds of an epic fight to the death.
Don't get too close, it's gonna get messy.

Only the toughest cats survive on the streets.  Sometimes you will see the results of their fights on their face, paws, or legs.  Rats on the other hands are born survivors, they can squeeze through the smallest places, and when necessary they are vicious, vicious fighters. 

So... rats are gross.  Cats are scary.  There isn't even a word to describe what happens when these two creatures get together and duel.

Not a big fan of either species.

Now I want to point out that some cats are okay.  I have had friendly neighborhood cats come up to me and greet me, just for the sake of saying hello.  However, I have met just as many crazy cats that would surely eat me if they were three times their size.

We had a cat growing up, her name was Sweepy.  That cat was absolutely insane.  Some of my siblings told me that I provoked her whenever she attacked me, which is absolutely not true.   The cat loved to sleep on my sister's bed.  I remember walking into her room, and petting Sweepy.  She was purring, happy, eyes closed, and I swear I DID ABSOLUTELY NOTHING STUPID.  I didn't pull her tail, or rip out a hair.  I was just calmly petting her along her back and then the next instant the cat bit my nose and clawed my cheeks.

Demon cat.

This next picture isn't Sweepy.  I just did a google search for tabby cats and this is what I pulled up. 
Seriously if this cat was big enough, he would eat you



Some rats actually are okay.  I had a pet rat named Copper growing up, she was given to me when she was a bit older, but she would come to me when I called her name.  Copper was cool, but the rats crawl into your home and poop on your floor?  Not so cool.

I never realized how smart rats were until I had one.  That's the scary thing about them, you kill one and fifteen more take its place.  Rats definitely benefit from humans being the dominant creatures on the planet.  With our garbage and food everywhere, they are in heaven.  Perhaps the rats are plotting to take everything over at some point.  No one would suspect vermin.

Imagine finding this rat's poop in your kitchen

This is where the cool cats come in place.  The cool ones are the good guys.  The nice cats that would come up to you and sleep next to your leg, they are the ones fighting the good fight.  Keeping the bad rats in the sewers.  Perhaps they are enlisting the smart rats, the good ones, as spies, so they can thwart any type of rat plan.  

This is the only possible explanation for why only some rats, and some cats are cool.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

BAD MOVIE POSTER #2 Last But Not Leashed

This poster took me forever, because I had to draw everything in MS Paint.  The logos though, some of those I used courtesy of www.flamingtext.com.


Synopsis:

Undefeated Scruffy Muttroo is in the dangerous and ultra-competitive dog racing ring.  It's all he has ever known since he was just a pup and his undefeated status is the only thing he treasures.  He is used to the people at the dog pound treating him poorly.   But when Scruffy gets one small taste of freedom during the massive doggy breakout, he beomes determined to escape from dog racing forever.  There's a catch though: for Scruffy's plan to succeed, he will have to come in last place.  Is his dream of being off the leash worth the shame of defeat?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

DOODLE OF THE WEEK #5 The Knocktopus

A giant Octopus crawls from the ocean onto the pier, causing widespread panic among the people.  His eyes narrow on a man, heavier set than the others, and looking absolutely delicious.  He slides with his tentacles after him.

The man runs as fast as he can but he can't hold up the pace for long, this is the first time he has run in probably three years.  Easy pickings, the Octopus thinks.  Soon he snatches the man, but finds holding him still more difficult than he expected.  His suction cups are still moist and greasy from sliding out of an oil polluted ocean.

The man has a free arm flailing about, appearing to do some sort of twist, almost like a dance while inside the coils. 


"Just hold still!" the Octopus mutters. "Stop squirming!  This will only take a sec."

The man breaks another arm free.  With an exasperated sigh, Octopus' eyes dance around for something that could help him.  He sees a sign that reads "Bob's Hardware."  With a giant tentacle he crashes into it.

"Bingo," the Octopus says.

He procures a hammer and aims it at the man's head.  Biting his tongue, the Octopus concentrates and...

WAM!

The man is knocked unconcious.

NOW THAT'S A KNOCKTOPUS!

 
The Knocktopus!

I guess the moral of the story is not to build hardware shops on piers.  Who is going to hang out at the pier, buy some soft shelled crab and a necklace made out of shark teeth, and then a drill, or a 2x4?  No one.  It only arms the octopi, and makes their job easier.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Book Review #1! Beyonders: A World without Heroes

I really like this book.
Brandon Mull is a good writer and very good storyteller.  I hadn't actually read any of his books until a couple of months ago when someone recommended I read the Fablehaven series.  I borrowed all the books and read them all in two weeks.  That's about as glowing of a recommendation as I can write.

The Subtitle

After I finished reading Fablehaven, I looked to see what his next book would be.  I remember only seeing the title, and I thought, "Wow, what a lame subtitle."

A World without Heroes

I didn't have anything else to judge it on.  All I had seen was the title.  I think for a debut author, it might hurt them more to have a vague subtitle, but Brandon Mull is a New York Times best selling author and has an established fan base.  So even if the subtitle isn't very good, it wouldn't hurt him any.  People have read his books and know they are good, and that says much more than any cover or title would.  Doesn't mean I can't have a little bit of fun with the subtitle though, eh?

A World with Bad Guys
I have no qualms with Beyonders as a stand alone title.  But did they want to save ink and call it A World without Heroes instead of the real title A World Where Bad Things Happen and No One Does Anything About It?

I can imagine the back snippet now... Jason was a boy that was eaten by a hippo and taken to a mysterious world.  To his great surprise he watched a grandma fall down and break her pelvis and no one helped her.  It was a world where bad things happen and no one does anything about it...

That subtitle could mean so many things.  What is a hero to begin with?  Does that mean no firefighters? Police?  I know some people's heroes are their parents, a teacher, a clergyman.  I suppose that when I saw the cover he was talking about a knight slaying a dragon type of hero, but remember I only saw the title first.
 
Besides, don't most stories start out with a situation where people are in need of a hero, and the main character has to become that hero? If that's the case, this subtitle doesn't really distinguish the book from most other fantasy novels.

More Fun

I love to throw Harry Potter references in my reviews if you haven't noticed, probably because it's my favorite series.  What if J.K. Rowling decided to title Chamber of Secrets this instead:

World with Magic!


Granted, after the popularity of the first Harry Potter, Rowling could have called it Harry Potter and the Big Magic Turd and people would have bought it, because they knew it was good. 

I am not one to put lots of spoilers in my reviews, but I can tell you that the subtitle "A World without Heroes" definitely makes sense and is relevant to the story.  But just because it makes sense, doesn't make it good.  Why call the Harry Potter finale Deathly Hallows?  Instead call it Harry Potter:  Big Magic Fight.

Back to the Review


I wanted to mention at the beginning of my review that I loved the book because I am sure it may sound like I am bashing it, but I am just having some fun.  One of the cool things about Beyonders is that, unlike Fablehaven (which I also like quite a bit), my impression is that Brandon Mull knew exactly where he was taking the story from the get go.  Sometimes Fablehaven dragged on through the five books, but overall it was a great story.  But with this one, I didn't have any problems there.

It's also fun seeing the progression of Brandon Mull as a writer.  Each book he writes seems to be more well written than the last.  I think he borrows some ideas a little bit from Harry Potter, well, the Deathly Hallows in particular, but that's alright.  I didn't think it was a blatant rip off by any means.

It took about fifty pages in before it really grabbed me, but once it did, it never let go.


4 and 1/2 Hippos out of 5. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

DOODLE OF THE WEEK #4 Flyon, Skyger and Cheetair

Sorry about the lack of posts this week, been busy, but I have some fun things planned for this week so please check back!


The Sensational Set of Flying Felines!

People have short memories.


Remember when Flyon (world's first flying lion), injured from a fight with his arch nemesis Cheetair, managed to save the world from a speeding comet?

Of course you don't.

Remember the other member of the Sensational Set of Flying Felines, Skyger (world's first flying tiger) defused a nuclear bomb in the middle of Manhattan with his eyes?

Definitely not.

No, what everyone remembers is the Sensational Set being seconds late to stop Cheetair from destroying a building with his volatile missiles.




CHEETAIR


The awful, treacherous, villainous and overall jerk. The world's first trillionaire. Jealous of the Sensational Set's ability to fly, he has created numerous weapons of flight. With a limitless bank account, he has been able to create missiles that shoot almost as fast as the speed of light.

He once held the position of President of the United States, but it lasted only a few days because Flyon exposed him for selling Nuclear Arms to terrorists.

He has stated numerous times in his speech that it isn't safe for the world to rely on Flyon and Skyger to fix the world's problems. The Sensational Set has no issue with the world becoming more self-reliant, but, when duty calls they must answer. Cheetair has taken his opinion too far, trying to destroy Flyon and Skyger. He creates problems in the city, paying mobsters, arming drug dealers, helping bank robbers, all to try to force the Sensational Set into an early retirement.



FLYON

The more powerful of the Sensational Set. Some hypothesize that he is actually a being from another planet. He wears a mask to protect his identity, and he took Skyger on as his apprentice. Those that he has saved say he has a soft green glow about him, perhaps something to do with radioactivity.

A few weeks into Cheetair's presidency he revealed top secret photos of Flyon's creation. An Air Force plane carrying a Nuclear bomb lost control of its engines and crashed into an erupting Volcano somewhere in Africa. The radioactive lava shot across the valley, leveling entire forests.  Instead of melting Flyon, it merged with his genetic makeup.

Once Flyon learned of his powers, he has spent his life giving out justice.






SKYGER

It wasn't long after Flyon began his journey that he realized he couldn't do it alone. No one knows exactly how he found Skyger. Some theories say that Skyger was trained by reclusive monks that know the secret of flight. Others say that Flyon has shared radioactive lava with him. Some even say that hidden under his cape is a jet pack.

Regardless, Skyger has proved to be an essential part of the Sensational Set.


The next time you look up in the sky, search for the Sensational Set. Just a glimpse will give you luck for a whole week!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mini Movie Review- The Beaver


As always I try to keep spoilers to a minimum.

I went and saw The Beaver with my wife on Monday. It's supposed to be sort of a comeback for Mel Gibson. Seems to me that Mel has a really big mouth when he is drunk. It also seems to me that his whole career has been somewhat tarnished because of his big mouth. My thoughts?

I don't watch an impressive movie trailer and say afterwards to my wife, "Oh man, he is such a good person, lets go see that movie right away!"

No, like most people I go to see a movie to be entertained, and I suppose sometimes to learn something new. Unless the movie is a biopic, the actor isn't playing him/herself. The actor is portraying someone else.

Obviously, I too have limits, it would be tough for me if the actor was a pedophile in real life. How could I focus on the story, when there is a gross creepy man(or a woman!) on screen pretending to be someone else?

Well back to The Beaver. Mel Gibson, as always is a very good actor. Jodie Foster is also a very good actor. I like the new Chekov from Star Trek, Anton Yelchin in just about everything he is in. He plays Mel Gibson's son in the movie, and they actually look a bit alike.

The movie is dark, darker than I expected anyway. I don't know why, but from the trailers, I thought it would be something different. Not to say I didn't like it, because I did, but I wanted it to be a little happier.

One part I absolutely loathe is a graduation speech at the end. I don't know what it is about graduation speeches in movies, but I almost universally hate them. I recently went to my wife's law school graduation and the speeches at those were NOTHING like the ones in the movie. This isn't the first movie I've seen a graduation speech and I was left thinking, "this is completely ridiculous, who would say this in a graduation speech?"

Don't let a bad graduation speech deter you though.

The Beaver isn't going to blow you away by any means. It's a good reminder that Mel Gibson is in fact a good actor(good person? I don't know him personally so I couldn't answer that.) The movie has some funny moments. I don't think it's a movie you have to rush out to see in theaters, but could make for a good Netflix rental.


3 out of 5 tree stumps

Sunday, May 22, 2011

CREATURE WORKSHOP #2 Pigasus


Name one mythological animal that has gotten the shaft more than Pigasus.  Name one!  Yeah, you can't.  Let's face it, pigs aren't pretty animals.  My wife will try to argue they are "cute" or "sweet" or "intelligent" but they are in no way majestic.  Through rare documents dated centuries ago, I can in fact vouch that Pigasus personally flew Perseus to battle the Kraken (not to be confused with the battle of the "cracklins" -- my wife insisted I include that).  But when they carved the statue of Perseus riding on the back of a pig, people scoffed and said, "yeah, right, like pigs could ever fly, that's not realistic."

When someone says to you, "Right, when pigs fly," what they are really saying is "Right, that will never happen."

HOW INSULTING TO THE POOR PIGASUS!

Despite the hate, Pigasus keeps trucking along...


Because there is almost nothing on the "unipig" variety of Pigasi, I will give you some of the finer points.

-Some pigs can fly.  Those that do are part of the Pigasi family.

-Some pigs have a single horn, like a unicorn, some don't.  Rumor has it, that all Pigasi at one point will grow a horn.  Not only that, there is a possibly that a farm pig you saw win the blue ribbon actually is a Pigasi.  Perhaps instead of becoming bacon, the owner should allow it to age, grow wings, and after hundreds of years, a horn.

ALMOST A CELEBRITY

I have close sources that tell me that Pigasus had at one point been portrayed properly in the new Clash of the Titans movie.  However Warner Bros changed its mind at the last moment.  I have located the following memo:

Dear Director,

Thank you for making this movie.  You are super good at making movies.  I really like Incredible Hulk.  Maybe we can play golf tomorrow?  

Anyway, this is a business correspondence so enough with the pleasantries.  The Board of Directors and myself have seen the concept artwork for the movie, and I have got to say we are thoroughly impressed.  Our one point of contention is the Pig.  What is a pig doing flying?  I think audiences will have a hard time believing in both the Kraken AND a flying pig.  Scratch it, or you're finished.

Warmest Regards,

CEO Big Wig


Such a shame!  Poor...poor Pigasus.

Sigh...what could have been...

Next time you pick up a Greek Mythology book, ask yourself, why not Pigasus?  Rick Riordan had a great opportunity to end the prejudice against Pigasus in Percy Jackson. I think it would have worked splendidly.

Your day will come, Pigasus.  Just wait.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

DOODLE OF THE WEEK #3 The BAMster!

Every once and a while there's an action hero that was so incredibly awesome that people still quote the movie...

"I'll be back." -Arnold in Terminator
"Yipee Kiyaa Mother ******!" -Bruce Willis in Die Hard
"When you're pushed, killing is as easy as breathing." - Sylvester Stallone in Rambo

There are some movies not even close to the popularity as the ones above but they still get great quotes.  Such as Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando.

"Going commando..." 

Wait...I'm not sure that one is in the movie.  And that isn't being really tough...going commando.  I'd hope Schwarzenegger didn't really go commando in Commando.

Here is the next action hero that will be stuck in pop culture references for generations.  Look out G-Force.  It's the...

Yeah.  I told you...it's awesome!

This Hamster is full of so much "Bam" that he is an entirely different species.  Yes, he is the BAMster!
Most hamsters use their cheek pouches to carry food.  Bamster uses his to carry an entire tank, weapons locker, and also grenades...lots and lots of grenades!

"Don't touch that water bottle!  It's rigged to blow!" -The BAMster!
"I'm gonna make you wish you bought a parakeet!" -The BAMster!
"Touch that chew toy one more time and we will see what gets chewed." -The BAMster!
"Eat sawdust!" -The BAMster!

One memorable scene from the movie:

RANDOM BYSTANDER
Hey, that mouse just blew up that house!

BAMSTER
I'm no mouse, honey...

Bamster spits something onto the foot of the bystander.  

RANDOM BYSTANDER
Eww... what is-


KABOOM!


Alright, well that's all I have for this doodle.  Any other quotes you think BAMster would make?  Sound off in the comments! 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Dark Knight Rises- Bane Revealed!

I read comics occasionally but my collection is small; I'm a bigger fan of the movies.  I am so excited for the Dark Knight Rises, the sequel to one of my favorite movies.  One villain in the new movie is Bane.  You might remember him from the so-bad-it's-good Batman & Robin movie, with Arnold Schwarzenegger...


Yeah...he was really cool...


In that movie Bane was a mindless muscle-head wearing a luchador mask.  He just did what Poison-Ivy told him to and grunted, "BANE!"  What was the point of putting him in the movie, couldn't they just throw any muscle-head in there?  That movie really pissed me off, because Bane is one of my favorite Batman villains!

Anyway, I won't turn this into a rant about the Batman & Robin movie, that movie has already been bashed enough.  In the comics Bane is super intelligent, strong, and patient, very very patient.



My favorite Batman story arc is the Knightfall one.  In this, Bane comes to Gotham and stages a breakout of Arkham Asylum.  Joker, Two-Face, and other baddies are sent free and Batman is working around the clock to get them behind bars again.  Bane waits in the shadows while Batman's strength deteriorates.  All the while Bane knows Batman's alter ego is Bruce Wayne.  He wants to break Batman's spirits, and not only that, he breaks Batman's back.


Side note: I am glad Christopher Nolan didn't decide to throw in a Joker wannabe in the Dark Knight Rises.  I think it's a good idea to move away from Joker and do something radically different.  A villain that is a match for Batman both mentally, and physically.

When I first heard that Bane was going to be in this movie, I was so pumped!  I have been waiting anxiously to see what Bane would look like in the new movie, and finally we get a glimpse.

Yeah, this time Bane is serious...

There is also a picture of Christian Bale that has been circulating the interwebs.  The rumor is that this leaked photo is from a makeup test for the Dark Knight Rises after Batman had a confrontation with Bane. 
Oww...





Dark Knight Rises comes out July 20th, 2012.


Oh and this is me, in my luchador mask...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

How to Create a Terrible Movie Poster

Idioms!  Find lots of Idioms and turn it into something fantastic (sarcasm)!

I have a poster that I am working on, called "Last but not Leash," a pun on the "Last but not Least" idiom.  Pretty easy stuff. 

DEAF FROM ABOVE

Not all my titles are based off Idioms, sometimes other common sayings like "Death from Above."  Which is the basis for my Deaf from Above poster.

After titling it, I work on finding good (terrible) slogans.  "He had the voice of an angel... if only he could hear himself sing." Something extra cheesy that you can imagine a narrator saying during a preview.

That all fits with the Deaf from Above poster.  Sometimes I will add other slogans into it that I really liked.

After this, I do a drawing, what I want it to look like, the basic outline.  Here is my example:

Oh yeah, amazing right?
 
Then I give the drawing to my friend, Brando, who is a pro at Photoshop.  We brainstorm a list of cast members and then he finds the images we need and molds them into the poster.

I've got other groan-worthy posters on the way!  Please check back!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

DOODLE OF THE WEEK #2 Dragon on a Wagon

So I was saving this post for tomorrow, but because I am going to be busy, I am posting it now. 


YES!  A DRAGON ON A WAGON!


You might be asking, "Why exactly would a dragon need a wagon?  A dragon has wings."  To which I would reply, "A LOT OF REALLY COOL STUFF!"

When I had a radio flyer growing up, I took it all over the neighborhood with me.  Sometimes I would throw my toys in it, or take cherries from my neighbors tree.  I remember having jars of bugs that I found, or just whatever I found interesting, like rocks or branches.

One memory of mine is of my friend Aaron and I going down a steep street in the radio flyer.  He was a little older than me so he was steering.  When we started to pick up speed Aaron bailed onto a neighbor's lawn.  I was pretty scared, I hadn't steered before, and if I went to the bottom of the street I thought would get hit by a car at the intertsection.  I turned hard and the whole wagon toppled over.  I was left with scrapes and cuts all over my knees and elbows.  I probably would have just lied there on the ground crying, wallowing in self pity, but a neighbor at the bottom of the street came out to help me.  He had a beard and I rarely saw him, so he scared the crap out of me.  He only wanted to help, but I remember desperately heaving the radio flyer back onto its wheels and running away, back up the street.

Do you have any wagon memories you would like to share?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Why I Stopped Reading This Book

I was reading a middle grade novel up until yesterday afternoon.  It was probably around page 115 when I finally had enough and I put the book down and said, "No more, I can't take it."

I respect my fellow writer, and that book is that author's pride and joy.  There is a whole series based off those same characters, and maybe the series gets better, heck, maybe even this same book gets better if I just flip the page, but I don't want to.

I can see reasons that the book is so successful, at least in small doses because there are some good parts.  I normally get through a book like this in a day or two, but I had been reading it on and off for a week.  I just couldn't get into it.  I had given up a few days earlier, but yesterday I renewed my vigor and forced myself to read some more.  I read a good chapter and started thinking, "Alright, here it's starting to get good," and then BAM!  Villain infodump.  Then I closed the book for the final time.

Main reasons for putting it down:

Multiple POV
-I really despise multiple POV when you hear one character's thoughts in a paragraph and then the next one you hear the other character's thoughts.  It always feels jarring, no matter who writes it.  Fablehaven did a good job with this: Seth and Kendra both had their own POV but it was either separated by chapter, or a clear break in the same chapter.  When they were both in a scene together you only got one POV, not two.

Maybe later in this book there is something that absolutely couldn't be done without multiple POV, but I'm not going to read that far to find out.  Think of Harry Potter: it's all from Harry's perspective (for the most part).  As for his good friend Ron Weasley, I didn't know exactly what he was thinking all the time, but the author usually made it clear enough that I got the idea.

Data Dump
This was the final straw for me in this book, information on the villain came in the form of a data dump.  Tons of information TOLD to the reader, not shown within a few paragraphs.  It's boring and reads like a textbook. 

This is just my opinion.  Now that I got thinking about Harry Potter...maybe I should read one...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

DOODLE OF THE WEEK #1 Parrot and his best friend Carrot

Another one of my soon to be regular features!  The Doodle of the Week!  I had a supervisor at work once that loved my silly post-it note drawings so much she had them all over her desk, stuck to the computer, on the edges of her cubicle, etc.  Anyway, I want to share some of them. 


I had to edit this one a little bit because it had smudges, so it doesn't look like much of a post-it note anymore. 

PARROT AND HIS BEST FRIEND, CARROT

As you can see, Parrot is telling his very good friend Carrot something hilarious.  Is it a secret?  Are they planning something?  You tell me.  Sound off in the comments!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mini Movie Review- Thor



One of the things I want to do on my blog is include movie reviews, book reviews and such.  Today I am going to post on THOR!  I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible.

Before I heard about the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, I hadn't really planned on seeing this.  The trailers made it look really cheesy, and I don't think they gave the movie the proper justice it deserves.

To start off Chris Hemsworth, the actor that played Thor was absolutely perfect for the role.  I've heard that Kenneth Branagh was brought in to direct because of his role in Shakespeare plays.  It's a good thing too, because the things that Thor said could have come out ridiculous.

The special effects were pretty awesome.  Asgard is really picturesque, sometimes I wanted the movie to freeze so that I could look at all the little details.  The fight scenes were fun, Thor's hammer was pretty sweet too.

That said there are some problems in this movie.  I think Jane (Natalie Portman) didn't feel fleshed out as a love interest.  I didn't see any reason for her to like Thor besides him being proof that her science is correct, and lust.

The villain was solid, not spectacular.  All in all a very fun popcorn movie.  



I give it 4/5 Thor Hammers!  Go check it out!

What I am Working On

Currently I am waiting to hear back from all my test readers on the first book I will try to get published.  It is titled Leprechauna.  So far the response has been pretty positive from three of my test readers, but I want the book to be as perfect as possible before I start sending it out to Literary Agents, so I have at least one more revision to do.  I have assembled a list of about 70 Literary Agents that fit my criteria.

I have a previous book that I have no intentions of trying to get published titled Refusing the Dawn (No, it's not about Vampires).  It was more of a learning experience, and eventually someday I will do that book justice with a rewrite.  Leprechauna on the other hand has been easy and very fun to write.

While waiting for the feedback on Leprechauna, I am researching for my next project.  Books don't typically end with cliffhangers, so one of the main reasons that writing a series is difficult is because each book has to standalone. 


Yep, this is what I am reading right now

My next novel is about a magical blacksmith hammer (sounds dumber when I say it like that). It's a Middle-grade Fantasy.  So far I am having a good time creating the world for it and such.  Maybe this project will be on shelves at some point?  Gotta hope.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

BAD MOVIE POSTER #1 Deaf from Above

Another one of the fun things I do in my spare time is come up with terrible movie tag lines, sometimes these tag lines turn into crappy movie posters.

CLICK THE IMAGE FOR BETTER VIEW




Synopsis: Being deaf, Benny Horace (Bieber) has never heard himself sing.  At the urging of a neighbor he goes onto American Idol to show his talents to the world.  However he has prior commitments to his local church choir.  He could make millions after a major record deal and sing non-religious songs, but he would have to forsake those he loves.   His voice is so beautiful that those around him say...it's angelic.

CREATURE WORKSHOP #1 The Wolfrog


Creature Workshop: a place where animals, mystical creatures, plants or other things merge together to create an entirely different being.  I am planning on doing one of these about once a month. 


BEWARE, THE FOLLOWING MAY DISTURB YOU!
Due to the dangerous nature of these majestic creatures, only an artist rendition exists.  How did this person get the rendition, you ask?  I have no idea.  The depiction was found in an old gator hut in the southern part of the United States, deep in Wolfrog territory.  They are creatures notorious for their massive appetites and aggressive temperaments. 

The following is that depiction, probably drawn in the last moments of the artist's life, I present to you the only living rendition.



Scientists hypothesize that this is a male Bull Wolfrog.  Notice along the ridge of its back is a patch of mane.  Manes are exclusive to the Bull Wolfrog subspecies.  Their cousins of the Arizona desert, for example, are hairless and known for their nearly impenetrable scales.    

This Wolfrog also appears to have a long battle scar on his side.  Locals near the swamps in the southern U.S. have often reported the terrible sounds of Wolfrogs fighting for territory. 


WOLFROG SAFETY

Really there aren't many known ways to survive a Wolfrog attack.  However I am lucky enough to have a transcript of an interview I did with the foremost expert on Wolfrog Preparedness, Dr. Suze Norman.

ME: Hello, Suze, thank you for your time talking about the sensitive subject of Wolfrog attacks.

SUZE: You're welcome, thanks for having me.

ME:  So, for those that are going to listen to this, tell a little about yourself.

SUZE: I have a degree in Zoology from Oregon State University.  Originally I planned on studying more docile creatures, such as lions, bears, and such, but I was immensely fascinated in the subject of Wolfrogs.  My former partner, Jim, unfortunately died by the hands...err...mouth of a Wolfrog. He had collected some documents from the Narváez expedition during the 1500's.  No one really talks about the part when they went through Tampa Bay and ran into a pack of Wolfrogs.  Jim fought to get his works published, but unfortunately, Wolfrogs are a touchy subject for a lot of people, the media will not admit their existence, it's the white elephant in the room, no one wants to talk about it.  So his works were never published.

ME:  That probably makes things tough for you, in your studies, being able to feel validated?

SUZE:  It is, but my work is deeply rewarding, even if it is just for myself.  I have found some small publishers that might be interested in publishing his work.

ME:  That would be great.  So, let's talk Wolfrogs,

SUZE: (Laughs) Yes, let's.  Wolfrogs are nocturnal, so if for whatever reason, someone is crazy enough to travel in the Bayou at night, the best thing I can recommend is to travel by day.  Unless you are unlucky enough to stumble on a Wolfrog lair, you shouldn't have to worry too much during the day.  Now some say my ideas are a little crazy, but if you travel at night it's best to travel in a pack of three or four people, not necessarily to protect yourself--there isn't much that can be done if a Wolfrog attacks...(Long Pause) but really if you are with others, there is a better chance of survival, statistically speaking...say a Wolfrog catches your friend.  Well that gives you precious seconds to escape.

ME: Leave your friend?

SUZE:  The thing to understand is once a Wolfrog catches you, there is nothing that can be done.  Their powerful legs allow them to jump twenty feet in the air, their long teeth are so poisonous they can put the victim in cardiac arrest within fifteen seconds.   I'd say, its best to travel in pairs, because it gives you the best chance of escape.

ME: That's a bit grim...

SUZE:  (Interrupts) There's nothing cheerful about Wolfrogs, and I'm a blunt person.  If there are more people than four, the next best thing would be to split up.  With two groups traveling you can listen for the screams of the other group and avoid it.

ME:  What about guns?  I mean couldn't someone realistically shoot and kill a...

SUZE:(Interrupts) No.  Not realistic.  These are not gators.

ME:  Alright...well say you are by yourself?

SUZE:  By yourself?  Maybe make peace with God?  I suppose if you have a really strong will, you should run in unpredictable patterns.  Zig zags, hopping, sudden stops and turns.  If you find a bone, (preferably not your own) you can toss that and sometimes a Wolfrog has been known to succumb to doggy instincts. 

END OF INTERVIEW

That is all I am willing to share on the subject, the rest of the tape details the gruesome deaths of several well-known researchers. 

So, best advice to anyone, avoid the swamps of the south, and avoid the deserts of Arizona.