Well, that's even more than less than unhelpful.

School

Awkward Hugs with Lord Voldemort

Blimey, it’s been a while since I’ve updated this. (Seems like the way most bloggers start their posts–boring. So scratch that.)

OH MY GOD THERE’S A MONGOOSE BEATING UP A RABBIT WHILE JUMPING ON A POGOSTICK AND YODELING IN FRENCH BACKWARDS!

Much better. Well, the summer in Iowa is done (thank God)* and I’ll be heading back up to Minnesota in three days…three days…wow, now that I write it (type it–semantics)…it seems even closer. Time to pack! New this year, I won’t be heading back to the cities for school, instead I’m going to be heading even further into the northern expanse of Minnesota–Bemidji. Why?

Well, for the same reason any crazy student would change their completely feasible career major of English Literature for the completely less feasible career of Special Effects in the film industry. That’s right folks. I’m switching to art, with an emphasis in sculpture and digital design, in hopes of landing a job working with film conceptualization. Think Weta Workshop.

Which reminds me. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman(both from a completely magnificent British series called Sherlock) in The Hobbit are going to be absolutely brilliant. Not to mention Richard Armitage. Oh, British actors. You warm my heart. (And a shout out to Michael Fassbender, my new discovered actor over the summer, who gave Magneto some real flesh and did some amazing evasive maneuvers in Centurion avoiding crazy Picts. )

So. Bemidji. Gonna live with really great friends, the Thoofts, and I’m convinced it’s going to be absolutely brilliant. I can’t stop using the word brilliant as a description (there’s a tiny David Tennant in my ear saying it over and over). Maybe I’ll default to Christopher Eccleston: it’s going to be FANTASTIC.

And somewhere in all of this I want to end up in Scotland. So you explain my life path. It’s an adventure.

Well, that’s what’s happening here.

(more…)

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To Stormtrooper or Not to Stormtrooper, That is the Question.

Well, it’s been a bloody long time since I’ve updated this. Actually, I’m not sure how long it has been; however, I am fairly sure that it was at least before Christmas holiday which was WAY back in the middle of December, and I’m beginning to suspect, that it was even before Thanksgiving holiday when Into the Woods was going on. In other words–terrible blogging.

I’m a serial blogger. I blog to kill. Wait. That came out wrong.

It’s just that, when I’m consumed by other tasks, this goes on the back burner. Like a serial killer trying to appear normal. Okay, horrible metaphor aside, I’m just not great at following a routine. Unless of course I’m at work. Where I’m required to have a routine. (Hello, prospective future bosses!) That being said, I am now…drum roll please…gainfully employed! Woohooo!

Cue “Money, money, money…money!” Trump theme song. That’s probably copyrighted. And I might just possibly maybe definitely get sued for that one. Or at least fired.

Donald Trump does not approve.

Right, well then. What do I do, you might ask? My  least favorite thing–cleaning up after people, more specifically, taking out the trash at the university. Which is great fun when you’re in the dead of winter in MN. All complaining aside, it is actually great. No uniform. Get to wear the nose ring. No verbal communication. Get to have an ipod. Basically perfect.

Aside from the “surprise boxes” in the ladies’ room. I like to call them the “Hell No! boxes”. But that’s besides the point. Well, underneath it. Possibly above it or rather near. Not beside.

So, most of my time has been occupied by trying to juggle this new position and the copious amounts of homework sent my way. But I  do have a research paper on King Arthur that I should be working on very soon, so that should, at the very least, make things interesting.

Although, I might find it difficult trying to convince my professor that King Arthur was a very astute man in regards to the migration of coconuts. Get on with it!

Something else heading my way: I’m taking scriptwriting. We have to write a one act and short screenplay by the end of the semester. Hugely daunting tasks. Here’s the thing: I kind of sort of definitely want to do mine about a stormtrooper. A stormtrooper who is an artist (and/or dreams of participating in the intergalactic ballet) that must hide who he truly is in order to serve the empire. His dreams will never fully be realized, as he will die on the death star at the end of the one act because of Luke’s lovely aim. I’m thinking of making it less of a comedy and more of a focus on repressed people (by goodness, there are so many monty python references in this today!), more specifically, the lead stormtrooper who wants to be more than what he is. He wants to create; I’m also thinking of maybe having some internal conflict regarding whether or not he should be for the republic or for the empire. Just a few thoughts. Had to get that off my chest.

Couldn't resist. What with the Donald Trump reference above and all.

Right then. Go to bed, you sodding idiots. It’s 2:24 AM.


Those Russians And Their Potatoes For Making Vodka.

Well, right about now is the time when I should be studying for my British Literature final that takes place in t-minus six hours. But the public school system has failed me–they’ve allowed me to b.s. every document and test since the invention of the wheel. They’ve encouraged me to procrastinate and then use my eidetic memory to scan things for a couple of seconds and then remember them. They’ve rewarded me with good grades for slacking off. Eh.

This wouldn’t be such a problem if I wasn’t in love with Beowulf. Which was the first text we read for this class. Which left all other texts in its wake. Which left me unmotivated. Shakes fist at Beowulf for being so awesome. Because who really cares about Pope, Dryden, Herbert, Marvell, or Gray? Tyndale? (Okay, he gave us the bible, but I mean, who the hell does he think he is?!) Beowulf, and Sir Thomas Mallory’s Le Morte D’Artur have left a burning trail in their wakes.

Did you know that Beowulf comprises ten percent of our existing texts regarding Old English/Anglo-Saxon Literature? And who is it written by? ANONYMOUS. Huh? Huh?

This is where I ran into trouble on my playwright paper for my other literature class. I had absolutely no interest in what the people did or who they were–I’m more interested in the words they wrote–the words they crafted out of thin air to create a profound, unnerving, and ultimately poignant, meaning.

Oh. And this is the part where I shake my fist at grammar. Shakes fist.

I’ve noticed over the last year or so that I have slowly been losing my capacity to remember spelling or use the right form of a word. I’ll use “rolls” instead of “roles” even though I know the distinct meaning of both words. I’ll use “know” instead of “no” and vice versa. Is this a problem? Yes. But I guess it isn’t concerning me as much as it could be. Why, do you ask?

Because the times that I used those homophones incorrectly–I was able to effectively communicate a thought that had been cooking in the brain for quite some time. I’m finding that I’m more concerned with the general idea then what the structure of the words illustrating the idea look like. I’m more concerned with getting it all out on to the paper before I lose it all. My fingertips need to work faster to catch up with my synapses. Some things must be sacrificed in the process. In this case: spelling and grammar.

I’m definitely working on it though. No use giving something up that I’ve been perfectly able to do in the past.

Oh yeah. And for those of you wondering. I did spend time on wikipedia looking up vodka. More specifically Russian Vodka. WHAT A BUNCH OF POTATO MONGERS. You’ve got to love a people who can drink themselves under the table through the use of potatoes. Shakes fist at Russia for being so…well…Russian. (Insert In Soviet Russia joke here).

So. Studying for that final. Eh.


SOONER OR VADER: “GUNGAN CONTROL” (Column IV)

SOONER OR VADER: “GUNGAN CONTROL” by MO HENKELMAN

Think of the most annoying character that you could NEVER possibly relate to.  It’s a he (we think?); it has long ears; is rather orange; and has a ridiculous accent. No, he’s not your ginger neighbor. He is, in fact, a Gungan.

What does a highly weaponized piece of equipment have to do with gingers? Absolutely nothing. But this isn’t really about gingers.  Or weapons. This is about Gungans.

That’s right. Gungans. Highly aquatic amphibians (duh) that are surprisingly intelligent enough to deal with an intricate eco system while living in the waters of Naboo.  But as Qui Gon Jinn is quick to point out to Jar Jar Binks, “the ability to speak does not make you intelligent.”

First of all, and this just needs to be thrown out there–“Jar Jar Binks”–I mean, really? George Lucas–you couldn’t delve a little deeper to create a character with some depth? Who do you think you are? The director of some huge enterprise and hit so big that you will never have to do a movie again because of the franchise you created?! Okay, Lucas, I’ll give you this one. As long as you promise to re-edit some action sequences where the stormtroopers actually successfully hit a target.

On a scale of one to padawan braids, Jar Jar Binks would be a definite negative four.  I could rail on him for at least a couple more pages, but as the universe has already accepted his inadequacy as a character as general knowledge and fact, I will cease to expound and “get on with it” as I can hear John Cleese screaming in my right ear.

Nevertheless, our fellow Gungan Jar Jar Binks serves to illustrate one very important point: that the ability to speak does not make one intelligent. How about working on the ability to think? Maybe a few of us should stop exercising our freedom of speech and instead focus on our freedom of thought.

Oh. And on a side note: when Obi Wan Kenobi says, “why do I get the feeling we’ve just picked up another pathetic life form?” you should definitely listen to him. Or end up creating a Sith lord.


Nuns And Guns Are Vewy Vewy Bad.

So. I did a review on The Town for newspaper. As you already know. First, I’d like to cite the fact that all though North Central prohibits on-campus viewing of R-rated movies, they do not prohibit off-campus viewings of R-rated movies. So, basically, what we’ve got here–is a hypocrite (NCU) buying its own con.

My rejection letter:

“Mo-

I asked you to let me know ASAP when you decided what book/movie review you were doing before you wrote the story so I could approve it.  We can’t print your review because it’s a rated R movie review.  Our school does not support watching them, and it’s against school policy to watch them on campus. This particular movie itself has 141 F words in it.  It would be extremely inappropriate to print this article.
SO, with that said- is there any way you can write another review within the next 36 hours? If so, that would be great so we can put that in, and it won’t count against your word count for this issue and against your grade.  Let me know ASAP when you get this and the alternative review you decide to do.

— ———
Opinion Editor”

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Maybe if I wrote about daffodils and fuzzy feelings they would be more happy. And even less aware of the world that they live in.

😀


“The Town” or rather “Nuns with Guns”.

I had to write a film review for the college newspaper. Note the fact that I’m writing for a private Christian school, and as such, censorship is one of their things. Also. Apparently R-rated movies are evil. Which kind of puts me in a crisis situation since some of my favorite movies are rated R. Such as “In Bruges”and “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”. Finished with the disclaimer.

NUNS WITH GUNS by MO HENKELMAN

Yes, The Town is rated R. Before you all cross yourselves, avert your eyes, and organize a mass newspaper article burning–listen up. That’s right. With your ears. Or in this case–your eyes.

Arguably, it isn’t one of Ben Affleck’s best attempts at acting, but it comes pretty close to his best film as a director. Whatever slack Ben Affleck doesn’t bring to the table in acting is made up by Jeremy Renner’s near perfect portrayal of a trigger-happy, heist-friendly, psychotic anti-hero willing to kill for his friends. Renner’s portrayal causes a crisis of morality in the audience–should they support him or simply be sickened by this broken man? At times, the audience is championing this man and at others the audience is in awe of a brute that can be so merciless and violent.

Which defines Charlestown–the city with the most criminals, robbers, and murderers per capita. If you haven’t gathered yet, “the town” is “Charlestown”. The plot of the movie revolves around a group of professional bank robbers, and in particular, one man in this group–who falls for one of his former victims. Isn’t that always the case? It turns out that the woman they took hostage (and who Affleck’s character coincidentally fell in love with) may be the key to ending this band of thieves’ reign. Which Renner doesn’t really take a liking to. Most of the tension in this film is between Affleck and Renner (as Renner wants to eliminate all threats to their brotherhood). Also, we have Hamm (as the inspector attempting to pin the robbers) adding even more tension to the overall film as he begins to tighten the noose, so to speak, as he closes in on the “brothers”. The central themes of this film are revenge, love, and loyalty. How far will one man go to redeem himself? Far enough. On a scale of one to crazy bank heists, I’d give this an eight.

**********

Also. I’ve had to re-write my PG article four times. Never again will I do a lifestyle piece. Apparently I have way too much opinion. And you’re not supposed to use adjectives in a lifestyle piece. My editor can give up on life now.


SOONER OR VADER. My first go at Nerd Pop Culture Column.

SOONER OR VADER (Column One) by Mo Henkelman

If you were freezing to death on a really cold planet then I wouldn’t hesitate to shove you inside a Tauntaun. What? That’s right. I would totally cut that thing open and stick you inside there with all of its unquestionable innards. Because friends don’t let friends freeze to death especially if there is a perfectly healthy Tauntaun standing right next to them.

Animal rights activist, you say? I say, in this galaxy, a long time ago, that same animal rights activist would have appreciated my ingenuity in using all available materials. Besides. If they were freezing to death, I’m pretty sure that they would be the first ones in line to cut open their beloved Tauntauns.

Confused yet? It’s all right. For the ten percent of nerds who just got really excited about the mention of a Tauntaun, the other ninety percent just drooled on their lapels. For those of you who are currently wiping said spit off of your shirt, I’m here to give you a break. Here’s the super condensed version:

Luke Skywalker is a Jedi (a bad-ass that peacefully saves the galaxy through diplomatic reasoning and the use of lightsabers–we know–it’s ironic.) Han Solo is a hunk. They are in a galaxy far, far away and a long time ago; they also happen to be on a planet that is frozen–Hoth. Luke goes off on a scout mission (because they are hiding their Rebel base from the Empire–led by a really bad politician/dictator known simply as “Darth Sidious”) and he gets stuck in an ice storm. And attacked by a Yeti. I know. I know. Sasquatch in space. It happens. Han Solo manages to find him after much searching; however, Luke is not in very good condition at this point. He is nearly frozen to death. So Han does what any good friend would do. He cuts open his Tauntaun (which is a goat looking creature that stands on its hind legs and is used for transportation on Hoth) and shoves Luke into all of the Tauntaun’s lovely innards. Nice blue intestines. Anyways, this basically saves Luke’s life (although he does seem to have a pretty bad case of hypothermia).

And here we come to the point of the story. Sometimes, even if your friend thinks that you don’t have his back, you need to be the one to cut open that animal and shove him inside when he is in over his head. To put it straight–you need be willing to do something that the rest of the human race would view as ludicrous and utterly ridiculous in order to protect your friend. Don’t cave when they come before you with an awkward question or an issue. Be ready to deal with the mess that comes with being a friend. Be prepared to get down and dirty and leave with your hands a bit messy. As Christians, we seem to have an immediate conflict list that we stick to when presented with heavy issues.

1. Condemn the person. Completely forget about the whole “speck in his eye, log in mine” verse.

2. Pray for the person. (Usually thirty seconds will suffice).

3. Pretend the person never brought it up.

Yes, prayer is good. But maybe you should stop worrying about how messy it is to keep things separate. Be willing to sit down and battle with them. Be ready to walk away with some dirt on your knees. Or Tauntaun unmentionables on your hands. Life happens. People freeze. Will you be the one to sacrifice your Tauntaun for the good of that person?