Monday, May 11, 2009

dragons, rabbits, and willie nelson.

currently listening to: Carolina by Ben Gibbard
best lines I read today: "So now books were her only friends. She'd read Lord of the Rings so often she could recite whole scenes by memory. It was not a skill that aided one in becoming popular." - from Firefly Lane by Kristen Hannah

Bunny Wars. A few weeks ago I went to The Macaroni Grill with my family. Instead of table cloths, TMG uses sheets of butcher paper to cover the tables. The waiter writes his name on the table (upside down!) with crayons. Then he leaves the crayons behind, which is awesome if you have a five year old nephew, like I do. 

Or if you like to color on tables, like me. 

Whenever we're at the MG, I can bank on at least one thing happening. My brother always sits down to the table much like Picasso to a blank canvas. He takes a crayon in hand (or sneaks one away from my nephew) and leans close to the table, plotting his creation. He draws the exact same thing every time. He calls it his great masterpiece. Meet Dragon: 

Dragon started in high school when Chase was taking notes on Beowulf. Which means, initially, Dragon was Chase's artistic interpretation of Grendel. No wonder Beowulf was so terrified. 

For too many years, I spent my time at the MG table frustrated because I couldn't write my name upside down (my dad managed to write his name upside down AND backwards last time we were there!). Chase always draws Dragon facing toward my plate, as though the monster is trying to torch my delicious pasta creation. Enough is enough. No more time wasted on writing my name. I decided it was time to create a noble hero to challenge Dragon in our ongoing TMG Epic. A hero who could slay the beast. A hero who would make the Dragon tremble. Success has been achieved.

Meet Roderigo the Dueling Rabbit: 

Chase leaned down to look at the bunny, then looked at me and said, "Uh ... did someone shoot out its eye?" I narrowed my eyes at my brother, "If someone did, it would not matter. Roderigo is fearless. Also, legless." Isn't he a cute protagonist!? He just bounces around happily with a pink sword defending the world from Dragon.  :)

So that's what we do at restaurants while my parents talk amongst themselves, wondering if their two twenty-something offspring will ever show signs of maturity.

Who would you pick to win in a fight? Dragon or Roderigo the Dueling Rabbit? (Dragon doesn't breathe fire. He breathes diesel fumes.)

I heart aliens with bowl cuts. Actually, I heart JJ Abrams. The man was the mastermind for Alias, which is one of my most favorite shows ever. I miss that show so much. I still feel like I owe him, so I try to watch his stuff. I can't get into Lost (I don't like shows that never ever resolve), and the previews for Cloverfield made me car sick, but Star Trek looked promising. 

So I saw the movie. And I thought it was fantastic. I'm not a Star Trek fan, but I might even see this movie again before it vacates theaters. It reminded me a great deal of Star Wars. Cute guys. Epic Journey. Main character with daddy issues. The special effects were great (I love it when movies don't make all the aliens/creatures/whatever look computer generated. Sometimes it's okay just to put on a monster suit.* Good call, JJ!). The most interesting part for me though was Spock. If you're not a fan, allow me to enlighten you: Spock is an alien, who hales from a planet called Vulcan. (Or maybe he is Vulcan and he hails from ... Vulcanville? I am getting confused.) Anywho. Most Vulcans (I assume ...) have no emotion. They only run on logic. Spock, however, is half human. Thus his emotions are always waging war with the more logical side of his brain. If you're a boy growing up in Vulcanville, your friends make fun of you for allowing your emotions to show. Much like if you're a boy growing up on planet Earth. 

One day some people up to no good started making trouble in Spock's neighborhood, so Spock joined the Star Fleet instead of joining the Vulcan Academy. Then he was around humans constantly, humans who are, by nature, emotional creatures. So the whole emotional/logical battle comes to the forefront again and again. And that makes for some really really interesting characterization. I think that's what makes a movie a winner for me, regardless of genre. Characterization is the reason I didn't like any of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies after the first. It seems like the first one focused so much on the people (yay!) with some cool effects tossed in. The later ones seemed to revolve more around effects with a little bit of (silly) story tossed in**. Star Trek has a great story and great visuals. Here's an interesting blurb from Owen Gleiberman's Entertainment Weekly blog: 

If you had to boil down a hundred years of science fiction -- from H.G. Wells to Philip K. Dick, from Metropolis to 2001, from Robby the Robot to Darth Vader -- to a single cautionary sentence, it might be this: In the age of technology, human beings, as a race, have become so ruthlessly intelligent that they’re threatening to turn into the machines they invent. It doesn’t matter whether the sci-fi character in question is a robot, an android, a cyborg, a rogue A.I. computer, a Big Brother on surveillance camera, or a giant-headed alien invader: All are metaphors for man evolved into Automatic Man, stripped of “feeling” in an age of cerebral overdevelopment. All are pop projections of a society built, increasingly, on the cult of mind over matter. (Read the rest of the article here.)

Thus, Spock's war with his emotions is particularly relevant. Did anybody else catch the movie? I also saw the preview for Up and squeeled. I love movies with 1.) cute chubby kids and 2.) fun, sassy elderly folks. Up has both. Opening weekend, I am there. 

Love Story la Vida. This video makes me happy. On the guy's site, he says he did the composition for his daughter, who is a fan of Taylor Swift (if you listen closely you'll hear Swift's "Love Story" smashed together with Coldplay's "Viva la Vida"). Don't they sound pretty together? 

I'm seeing Bob Dylan in concert this summer. Excitement! Willie Nelson is also there ... fun?  Let me know what's new with you this week :) 

* I think this is good advice for any situation in life. 
** Though the second movie did yield one of my favorite movie moments ever. Davy Jones walked on screen with his nasty octobeard and Sarah said, "Ew. That's why I don't eat at Red Lobster." L. O. L. 


  1. Congrats on getting to see Bob Dylan.
    The Love Story - Viva La Vida mesh sounds awesome! I love that her dad did that for her:) And everyone seems to have loved Star Trek. I like to think I'm too cool to be a Trekkie but maybe it's the other way round? Not cool enough...?
    Being artistic myself (ahem), I predict your brother is the next Picasso.;)

  2. Oh my goodness. The Love Story-Viva La Vida mashup was gorgeous! Loved it!!

    Regarding Star Trek...I've never, ever liked anything Trek-related. But I did like the new movie. Of course it didn't hurt that the new flick owes a lot in my mind to Star Wars, which I love and adore. LOL! I thought the new cast was just fantastic...looking forward to the inevitable sequel. :)

    Oh, and Roderigo the legless, one-eyed dueling rabbit is awesome.

  3. I'd have to go with Dragon. He looks a little more mobile, being that your bunny is 2-D and legless. No offense of course ;)
    I'd also have to say that's as far as I had time to read, and I'd have more of a response had I been able to read on...sorry.

  4. Love Story + Viva la Vida= pure amazingness
    I love Roderigo!!!
    And as always I am entertained by your footnotes :)
    Sad news of the day... my roadtrip has been postponed until further noticed :(

  5. *further notice not further "noticed" go me....

  6. Sarah, give Star Trek a try. I'm not a Trekkie either (the show always looked kind of silly to me - the dialogue and humor and all) but this is really different than all my early impressions :)

    Ruth, I liked the cast too! Captain Kirk is a cutie (and the thing was well acted blah blah blah).

    AP, It is not the size of the bunny in the fight, but the size of the fight in the bunny! (Though I suppose the fact that he's leggless and only has one eye is a bit of a disadvantage... :)

    Kay, Roderigo appreciates your vote of confidence! Let me know if you reschedule your road trip. :)

  7. 1) I just sent the link to that video to everyone I's STUNNING!!

    2) I used the quote you have from the Velveteen Rabbit in a paper about "becoming" this thank you!

    3) I am thinking about reading "Firefly Lane" this it worth it?

    4) I only have three days of high school left! Say a prayer for me:)

  8. Lindsey, I'm quite attached to that quote as well. I love it when a children's book takes this really profound idea and makes it so simple and beautiful. I'm glad you like it too :) I'm half way through Firefly Lane and so far I think it's great. My best friend reccomended it to me and we both like it because it revolves around two best friends. I think it's going to have a smidge of romance thrown in, but it's most about these two girls growing up together and going their separate ways. The characters are great. It's a great summer read, I think. I'll let you know my final report when I'm finished. And I will definitely pray for you! That's so exciting. Yay for new adventures :) Where are you headed in the fall?

  9. I know I am soo excited! I am going to Auburn in the Fall and I can't wait...I am hoping the summer is wonderful and filled with great experiences, but I also hope it goes by quickly! I can't wait to move on:) Thanks for the recommendation about the book though. I will definitely go pick up a copy for me and my best friend!