Don’t Describe Movies as Sexy, Critics

Sexy is a very focused adjective, and I can’t help but think the vast majority of movie (and literary) critics misuse it. A person can be sexy, and due to the primarily-male quality of a pseudo-sexual connection with inanimate objects (in particular, vehicles), those can be sexy, too.

But scenes? Entire movies!? I just don’t believe that’s how that word works. When you walk out of a movie, you might say, “Well, that was gritty:”

It was so, soooo serious, guys!

Or “Wow, that was… indescribably awesome:”

Shawarma.

…but you will never walk out of the theater, turn to your friend, and say “Well that movie was sexy.”

You just won’t. That’s not how you use that word. STOP IT.

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THE SUN

THE ANCIENTS WORSHIPED IT AS A GOD

and then the brass section goes all “BBBUUUUUUUURRRRRMMMmmm”

Anyway, my family and Elba (she’s adopted (she’s not really adopted or related)) took a gander at the giant space dragons that eat the sun every few years.

Using two papers with holes in them spaced out and aligned, we were able to project a small image of the eclipse that could be viewed without inviting blindness.

On a side-note, my dad’s hands should be the subject of a Springsteen song.

Our angle to the eclipse made the projection ineffective, so we went for the next best thing: STARING FROM BETWEEN OUR FINGERS

WHAT DO YOUR ELF-EYES SEE!?!?!?

Then we went inside and watched the season finale of Sherlock. Seriously, didn’t it blow your mind like THREE TIMES? Next season is gonna’ be sexy.

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Girlfriend Information Packet

For my own amusement/self-aggrandizement, I decided to make the mistake of jotting down the things I would want in a girlfriend as a way of analyzing my psychological make up. Seriously, it gets bad. Wow.

Required Girlfriend Qualities:

1. Must have a firm grasp on figurative language and humor, particularly sarcasm and parody, in both speech and text, in both concrete and highly abstract terms.

2. Must have a substantial general knowledge base of philosophical concepts, history, language concepts, cultural touch points, etc. so I do not have to explain the stupid things that come out of my mouth too often.

3. Must be either open to concepts of nerdiness, or must not be overly obsessed in any particular nerdiness field, i.e. dressing like Hamtaro on the weekends.

4. Must have a reasonably stable self-image, such that she would not, say, dress like Hamtaro on the weekends, because seriously, if you’re relying on Anime nerds for attention you have catastrophic daddy issues.

5. That reminds me: NO DADDY ISSUES. Or Mommy issues, but really there’s a reason that Daddy issues are legendary. Daddy issues may include stupid tattoos, most piercings, and tendencies towards meaningless edginess, all to be determined case-by-case at my discretion.

     5;Clarification: Daddy Issues and having issues with her Dad are not mutually inclusive.

6. Must not expect me to understand any form of non-verbal communication or negative conversational undertones. I really won’t get the hint.

7. Must not expect me to remember times and dates not entered into my phone.

     7b. Must not expect me to remember much of anything, really.

8. Must not misunderstand my politeness as any actual desire to attend social functions.

9. Must be prepared for me to get grumpy when hungry, like a three year old that is inimical to all life. You are encouraged to tell me to stuff it, and then get me to a burger.

Preferred Girlfriend Qualities:

1. Preferably should not bank on my physical self-representation too much as an initial or lasting predictor of my personality and opinions, because seriously this hair and the fact that I usually wear slip-on shoes makes me look like a Stoner Rocker kid. In reality, I am a Sugar-Daddy maybe-kinda-Aspergery Nerdstrosity with a snobby streak. See? Much better, like Benedict’s Sherlock without all of those things that make him brilliant and successful at what he does.

2. Should be prepared for a defined but tacit disapproval of any and all bad habits she possesses, to be determined case-by-case at my discretion.

     2b. Seriously, Crack is bad, kids.

3.Preferably should be able to conceal her fear response when I enter hour two of a rant about Warhammer 40,000.

4. Should be confident enough to tell me not to do stupid things, and understanding enough to not misinterpret all of my horribly specific desires as a controlling personality, because I’m totally a sucker and a wuss.

5. She should understand or look up the Greek terms timê and sophrosyne. It turns out that I was born to be Classic Studies major.

My Limits:

1. I will not watch Nicholas Sparks, et al movies with you. Love, Actually is good. “You’re my personal heroin”, etc. is not.

2. I will not drink for baseless psychological reasons which you literally cannot talk me out of.

     2b. Ditto for dancing.

     2c. Ditto for most standard forms of young-person fun.

Secrets Revealed:

1. Hair-straighteners make me look somewhat like Trent Reznor.

2. Eye-liner makes very little difference on me.

3.You can never convince me to try on your undergarments. I have some timê, you know.

4. No, you can’t paint my nails.

As a Lawful Good Paladin, the following is true:

1. I am spectacularly obtuse.

2. If you dress sexy for what I subjectively perceive to be for my sake, I will feel bad for indirectly pressuring you to objectify yourself, and it may haunt me at night. I’m not White-Knighting in this case, I have some serious woman-respecting issues that tend to hang on the more severely chivalric side. As such, I will also be loathe to express meaningful, comparative opinions on clothing choices so as not keep myself up at night for fear of engendering undue social pressures. You will likely perceive all of this as me either not caring or being non-committal, but hey.

3. When I become tight-lipped, it is because I am trying to avoid breaking alignment.

4. When I have outstanding moral objections to someone, forcing me to be around them is inviting trigger-happy smiting. It’s not that I get in fights, I don’t, but I am quick with the condemning rejoinders when riled up.

5. I am stubborn to the death over my timê, seriously. I once shook off and physically engaged four guys who lifted me to try and get me to play Dance, Dance Revolution at a birthday party. I exceeded my theoretical nerd-strength, and the fourth and last guy to let go was thrown to the ground and choked because I particularly disliked him for ephemeral reasons, and wanted him to know it. I stopped when politely asked by a bystander. Really, I don’t dance.

6. In this vein, I take the word “No” and its variants seriously, when spoken with emphasis in a matter similar to casting a magic spell.

7. When I am unamused, I am one of the least amused people on the planet. I once yelled at my mother and my brother for writing “HAPPY GRADUATION” and other such encouraging things on my truck near the end of 12th grade, because I don’t like the idea of things being written on my truck.

8. While you may not be able to distinguish when I’m being funny or not normally, it is astoundingly easy to see when I am angry rather than annoyed or mildly perturbed once you have seen me angry, because I absolutely cannot hide it.

9. When I am truly angry or sufficiently offended, I lose all sense of my own mortality.

10. I will trust you to a near-insane level on most everything. Therefore, if this trust is violated, I may or may not engage in actions that somehow resemble the Wrath of Achilles due to a violation of my timê, and a requirement of fulfilling my sophrosyne as a Lawful Good Paladin, which in RPG terms pretty much always means trying to stab everything from petty criminals to Black Dragons that outrank you by 40 levels, simply because somebody has to stab them.

In return for these extensive things:

1. I will hold the door, open car doors for you, sternly tell you not to do bad things, encourage you in way-too-serious terms at times, and stubbornly insist that you are indeed attractive at all times against all resistance.

2. I will be loyal to the point of it being painful.

     2b. My definition of loyalty includes scorched-earth opposition to things which I see as damaging in some capacity to you, sometimes including esoteric psychological influences. I will call the cops on you if you commit a crime. I totally will. No, seriously, go ahead and see if I don’t.

3. I will be very understanding and patient about your guy friends, but refer to Lawful Good Paladin item 10 above.

4. You will be allowed to play with my hair in proportion to how game you are about humoring my nerdiness. Giving an RPG Campaign a good effort basically permits free-reign over my hair. The flowers will have to be removed before we go into public, though, seriously.

Oddly enough, this only amounts to a minor, white-noise level of insanity, because the loopiness and the Paladin characteristics sometimes cancel out.

Anyway, it really isn’t you, it’s totally me.

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Where Did This Hair Come From!?

It surprises me that I have long hair every time I look in the mirror. Also, sometimes I’m wearing a shirt that makes it all make perfect sense that I have long hair.

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Movie outfits that I’d wear all the time (and why I can’t)

Sometimes, you see someone in a movie and think, “I wanna be like THAT guy/gal/4-armed space alien”. Other times, you just want their coat.


Dracula (in lady-killer mode), from Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Seriously if I could cruise around dressed to the nines like that, that would be great. Seriously, look at that boss.

"Hey, Lady, I’m a scary creature of the night who drinks blood to live, I am an archetype of evil malevolence, but I can only enter your house if you invite me in."

"Come in."

Why that ain’t happenin’

Because I’m lazy, and I live in South Texas. It’s too hot to be cool. See what I did there?


Thor from… Thor

I am perfectly willing to go without the whole god of thunder thing, I could ditch the hammer. I’m okay with just being able to walk around in that epic suit of armor he’s got. You can’t not be the coolest person in the room when dressed like that.

Why that ain’t happenin’

Because the effect is ruined when you aren’t actually a terrifying giant of a man. Behold:


The Dude, from The Big Lebowski

The Dude clearly has it together. What he has isn’t much, but it’s together. He’s got the luxury of being picky about his half and half. Clearly, taking it easy has its advantages.

Why that ain’t happenin’

Because one does not simply assume the appearance of the Weed Messiah.

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Writing What You Know

Whichever of my many readers has tried to seriously write or actually does write fiction probably gagged a little bit upon reading that title.

Right, guys? I… mom, are you on your phone? Seriously? You are the only person in here AT LEAST PRETEND TO BE HAPPY FOR ME

Anyone that says that you should just write what you know should be electrocuted, but then again, I’ve never been electrocuted, so WHAT IF THAT’S JUST TOO MUCH!?

Still, there is something to be said for taking inspiration or knowledge from what you actually do know. You really can’t just suddenly write about shooting fireballs, because the big difference between Fan Fiction and an actual piece of writing is that it makes some sort of internal sense that at least reflects some basic understanding of external, real life sense. For example, I can forgive you for completely hand-waving anti-gravity on a starship by going centrifugblahblahblah, but you’d better pay attention to the limitations of that plasma gun, because if it starts out very specifically firing bolts of hot death and then you suddenly use it as a plasma cutter without referring to its ability to be adjusted beforehand you are not tricking me.

So, there is something to be said for knowing things at least a bit before writing about them. For my latest story, which you people have so unhelpfully not given me a title for, I looked at population density maps of Texas to determine where a landmark-less town that bordered on absolute nothing and that no one cared about might be located at some abstract point in the future (the answer was Temple, Texas), primarily so I could just make things up as I went along. You can still write fantastic, out there stuff, it just has to have some loose relation to human knowledge. For reference, purposefully ridiculous or abstract things don’t count here. That’s what makes them ridiculous or abstract.

The most difficult part of writing about things you have not experienced is when you have to write characters. Now, making a Wood Elf might be easy because no one has met one. You can justify almost anything in a universe you entirely created. But making, say, a human character of the opposite gender? If you blow it, you end up like Stephanie Meyers and write a rapey-sparkle-fairy because you accidentally the whole Y chromosome. Good enough for the pre-teen girl market, not so good for being remembered and keeping your books out of landfills. Funny thing: it’s useful to actually meet someone of the opposite gender before writing about them - I’m LOOKIN’ AT YOU, BRONTE SISTERS.

Yeah, I’m pickin’ on the lady authors. Deal with it.

Remember: A model does not count as an actual member of their gender or species, nor are they protected by the Geneva convention, being non-human.

Seriously, read up on how our brains work differently or something, but whatever you do, don’t just wing it. Strong female characters are not women that can play football just as well as the boys, and, like, totally take out the linebacker, and, like, put him in his place and stuff without messing up her eyeliner. Men are not allowed to compete against Women in Olympic sports (Curling does not count) because the Men would destroy the Women, unless it’s gymnastics, in which case flip that around. That’s just down to physiological differences.

When it comes down to it, Women don’t really do football, bro. I mean, yes, Samus Aran can take you out, but at the end of the day when all the Space Pirates and Metroids and all that bull is over, I’m sure she likes occasionally lookin’ pretty, and shopping sometimes. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that. As a side note, Samus is basically a sex object, so don’t read too much into that example.

Gender inclinations are not some invention of The Man that exists purely to keep you down, so chill. I know you may be in your college years, when you might forget how to gender and decide that the past several thousand years of human development are wholly and irrevocably backwards, but you’ll figure it out and remember you’re not bi eventually. The point here is that these things become a problem only when either you ignore them, or you stress gender inclinations to the point at which it’s insulting and two-dimensional.

Sure, it’s valid to do a more macho female character, but seriously, we all know Vasquez was a lesbian, despite her attachment to… that other guy with the smart-gun. He didn’t last ten minutes, so I don’t remember his name. Anyway, I never believed that was more than a gun-buddy (pun unintended) relationship for a second. Maybe that’s terrible of me, but seriously.

Ripley on the other hand is quite clearly feminine (the smallest underwear of all tiiime), but still went all “lemme strap a flamethrower to this gun and kill everything" at the end of Aliens. You see, it was because she had lost her daughter during her fifty years of cryo-sleep, had encountered an orphaned young girl, and had some mama-trauma(tm) to work out, which she resolved by not letting said orphaned young girl get chest-bursted. I am fully aware that her name is Newt, so don’t even start with me. In fact, her given name is Rebecca, so double don’t start with me.

Even then, Ripley didn’t whip out some magic judo. She had a bazillion weapons strapped to her, and got the basic drill on how the weapons worked from Hicks earlier in the movie. Acid blood or no, you do not attack a really ticked off person with a flamethrower while she’s standing over your eggs. They were the Alien Queen’s babies, and you aren’t gonna be the first guy to leap off the wall, because if you get an egg torched, big mama’s gonna bite your head off. Literally. Ripley survived that whole encounter because she had a card to play (a belt of grenades and fire) and enough angry to pull it off. There ya go, blue collar spacer lady does something awesome.

None of this makes that whole last bit of Aliens any less hardcore. In fact, it makes it more hardcore. Ripley ran in there thinking “I have no idea what I’m doing, but by God I will hug you and set off every one of these grenades if you do not give me that little girl back.” The final confrontation was her going “Alright, it’s on, now. I have a Class C license and this thing with absolutely no armor, but I’m ticked, so let’s go.” Again, no magic judo, it was brute force and throwing the powerloader on top of the queen into a pit. She wasn’t a Jedi, she was mad. Ripley’s strong because she won’t give up, not because she has any idea what she’s going to do when she doesn’t give up. She doesn’t have any inexplicable capabilities, it all makes some sort of real world sense.

I don’t know where I’m going to shove what, but something is getting shoved somewhere and YOU ARE NOT GOING TO LIKE IT

So that’s enough about the lady-characters.

Ladies, when you write a dude, we are both not complete morons, but will also not maintain a state of flower-buying forever. It’s not because we don’t love you, it’s because our concept of romance is different. If you have a bunch of guys in the friend zone and wonder where all the nice guys are, just think about that for a second. The lower, background part of your brain doesn’t want a nice guy, it wants a guy that can support a family, which in cave person terms equates to punching because your brain still thinks that Sabretooth Tigers are a thing. This is why you date douchebags. They chest-pound. Use the upper brain-bits please. I will cover why this matters later.

Guys, you can start paying attention again.

In a relationship, women, chemically-speaking, want safe babies and a roof, and men want emotional and sexual gratification. It’s not a two way street, it’s two separate one-way streets which are totally different, but the traffic has to even out between the two of them. The dude keeps the bills paid, and the lady occasionally takes off her clothes. Simplified? It’s called a generalization. Crass? Okay, possibly. Still basically true? Yep. That’s the basic biological model.

That said, I fully own up to Always with Richard Dreyfuss being a great movie, and Carnival of Rust by Poets of the Fall is the third most listened to song on my iTunes. You can know why a sunset looks the way it does and still think it’s rad cool, maaaan.

Now, you may wonder why I dove off into relationship advice. There are two reasons.

1. Demonstrating my understanding of relationship mechanics will obviously make me a more attractive mate.

Those goggles were filled with vodka. I’m so lonely

2. Because understanding how a successful relationship works is actually a HUGE DEAL when writing relationships between characters, or simply writing a character of the opposite gender to the author, because relationship mechanics encompass how the genders will act/react differently to things.

So, you can have a magnificently beautiful woman in your book who is impossibly graceful and wonderful and nice and smart and stuff - but she ain’t gonna jump up and dual-wield swords. I have a character in my latest story that is near-ethereal in her improbable grace, and she’s a surgeon, not a machine-gunner. So yeah, she sees blood and bodies, but is gonna flip out a little bit while the guns are going off. Different paradigms, there. If she were supposed to be a Field Medic, things would be entirely different.

Similarly, you can have a mega-buff dude who throws trucks to protect his woman, but if he watches her sleep and calls her his own personal heroin he is going to kill her, rape her, and wear her skin. IN. THAT. ORDER. The main character of my latest story is a PTSD Marine. He is therefore pretty good at killing people, but he has watched friends die of poison gas (it’s the future), and stabbing, and getting their faces blown off. He’s not going to think to buy a Hallmark card “just cuz”.

Seriously ladies, as a side note, if a dude is following you around at weird times he’s a stalker, and that never ends well. Call the police. Any man with a healthy mental state will speak to you on normal social grounds rather than follow you at all hours…

…Or he will just hover on the periphery of your social circle because he’s a wuss.

Then he will gradually become sad.

Then he will get crazy-straw glasses and fill them with vodka as he sits at home writing a blog entry for his mother to read and sobbing uncontrollably.

Where was I…?

Ah, um, please don’t make my eyes bleed by writing cruddy characters in a shoddy duct-tape world. Yeah.

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Senior Year Project of Win

I found an excuse to do a presentation on Warhammer 40,000 Space Marines in regards to Greco-Roman heroism in class the other day, and that put me in mind of the times a school project has aligned perfectly. For example, I had to do a presentation based on Gulliver’s Travels for English in my Senior Year of High School. I spoke about it, and then played myself out with a music video. It was awesome and was accompanied by the lovely music of Kamelot.

Oh, look, a Youtube video of it. Crazy. BEHOLD:

It was the end of the year project, so I was totally the only person to put in real effort. Just sayin’.

Not that I’m an over achiever, I friggin’ blew Senior Year. I passed, but dang.

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My Childhood

On a whim (I operate this Tumblr purely on whim, so that’s not really significant), I went and looked up the first episode of Gargoyles, aka one of the coolest shows ever. Inspired by that, I have here assembled the intros to the stupidly cool things I watched as a kid, each of which can be credited with making me so darn awesome.

We may have only had grunge and flannel shirts the rest of the time, but the 90’s had some pimpin’ kid’s shows.

Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers

If anyone ever spells it with a G on the end, they’re a poser. It’s morphin’ and everyone knows it.

I think it’s a good thing that this took place in the 90’s, because if Zordon had asked for teenagers with attitude at basically any other point in history, his place would have been trashed, and Alpha would have had to drag out like five Johnny Rottens or something. It could have been bad, is what I’m sayin’.

Transformers G1

LASERS. Just LASERS. And planes. And tanks. And trucks.

There is so little you need to know to watch Transformers - Autobots are good, Decepticons are bad. LASERS.

X-Men Cartoon

No words. Just…no words.

Some mother once said to my mom that she didn’t let her kids watch X-Men because it was violent. My mom responded by talking about the themes of prejudice and justice prevalent in the show, and how the X-Men did what was necessary and all that. All I knew: so much cool factor.

Those kids who didn’t get to watch it? They all unironically watch Nicholas Sparks movies. I KNOW it.

Gargoyles

Goliath was so. Frikkin’. Cool. He had rockin’ hair, too.

Gargoyles was some dark stuff, man. First twenty minutes of the series and you’ve already had a lot of people being thrown from buildings. It basically predated all the supernatural cop shows we’ve got now, but with 900 times more cool factor. In no other place can you find a waking up sequence as cool as in Gargoyles.

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All This Useless Beauty

As I survey my domain:

Pictured: My entire domain. Yes, I am making the post you are reading right now in this picture. Meta.

I notice that I have a ridiculous amount of random things all over my desk. I have no idea why. They have accumulated, bit by useless bit, over the course of the years. I’ve got a Dive Compass, a bobblehead of myself from graduation, an angel that protects against computer viruses, and a coin from Tamriel.

That helmet is totally a bell.

It’s not like I use any of these things, it’s not like I even look at them.

Me, watching that thing Toho Ltd. won’t let me show you. Also: not looking at the things around my screen. Ghidorah > Stuff

Everybody accumulates useless thing-a-mabobs, I know. But… why? I mean, seriously, here’s my crowning achievement in the useless department:

Real leather. Hand-made paper. Friggin’ Ren Fair, man.

I can’t write in that. Not unless I have something brilliant and earth-shattering to write in it, and even then, I should probably just put it on the computer so I won’t lose the secret to life a week after I jot it down. That is almost assuredly going to end up being a 70 buck Deathwatch prop. I hope you guys enjoy that!

Most of what I do is on the computer. It’s all digital, so why the fuuuuuuuudge do I have all of these things impeding on my space?

I’m totally not getting rid of any of it, so don’t bother asking.

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Titanic in 3D

I wasn’t old enough to have seen Titanic in theaters the first time around, and I am very glad I got to see it now. The 3D was well done and extremely cool, and you got handed this sexy thing when you bought your tickets.

I have seen the movie before, but not properly. Now, I have seen it properly - on a bighugegiganto-screen in a theater.

There are few films that can ever boast such a grand scale and presentation. It is a triumph of a cinema, but I’m sure you already knew that.

And if you didn’t: Bite me.

And yes, there was room on the plank for Jack, but they demonstrated as they approached that it was not buoyant enough for both of them. So, there.

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