Friday, December 28, 2012

Facebook Friends #8

Photobucket

Mitch Morebuff
Hello Facebook! I am ROCKIN' the no-shirt look!!!
Bertha Buff'nstuff Likes This


BB Tween
I totes got a babysitting gig! Falcon City concert here I come!
Rainbow Sunshine Who for?

BB Tween The Frazzled Boys

Lorenzo Literate I'll start a memorial fund for you. Tombstones aren't cheap, you know.

BB Tween It's only the oldest boy and the triplets. The twins are going to be at a slumber party, and the youngest girl is going to be with their grandma. It'll be much easier than last time, and with the price they pay for sitters, I'll be rich by the end of the night!
Lorenzo Literate You'll be dead by the end of the night. You know Alex Grey, their last baby sitter?
BB Tween No.
Lorenzo Literate Exactly.
BB Tween Oh Please.

T.M. Info
Is it bad if your snot is sometimes yellow, sometimes green, and sometimes orange?
Mrs. Info If you have a medical question, why don't you just come ask me, instead of plastering this information all over Facebook for the world to see?
T.M. Info So, apparently you don't know me very well, mom. :p
Lurking Liker Likes This

Ima Bean
Have a birthday.



Lorenzo Literate Um, I know that you are a very disturbed young... woman(?) but why are you posting this? It's not anyone's birthday today.

Ima Bean Glozz. Chewvanka, en Glozzio.

Lorenzo Literate Yeah, I thought as much. I wish you would find yourself a good therapist.

Ima Bean Actually, this is my therapy. I'd go insane in real life if I didn't have the internet to be insane on.

Lorenzo Literate Wow. For once, you make perfect sense.

Ima Bean And thanks be to thou, oh mighty Man of Mystery. Fleetgrass to your dozens of Grandkittens.

Lorenzo Literate And we're back to bizzaro-ness.

Mamma Frazzled
Did you know that it is entirely possible to burn down a swimming pool? WITH water in it?
Grammy Happy Oh my! Those little scamps!
Mamma Frazzled Well, it's out now. Even the fire department couldn't figure out how they managed to do it.
Aunty Uncle Why was there water in it? It's the middle of December!
Mamma Frazzled Well, that's something you'll have to ask the children who were supposed to be building a snowman. I was busy cleaning up four boxes of cereal and a gallon of milk that the triplets had dumped down the stairs when all this happened. If I didn't have my night out to look forward to tonight, I think I'd go insane.
Lorenzo Literate And this is what you have to look forward to, BB Tween!
BB Tween Stop trying to scare me. I'm bringing a bunch of DVDs and candy. They'll behave. I hope...

Sally Sharitall
















Lurking Liker Likes This
Joyful Exclamations EEEEEEEP!!!! SO CUTE!!!!

Izzy Illiterate SOOOOOO CUTTTTTTTTTTEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!1

Rainbow Sunshine This is the most adorable thing I've seen all day, Sally! :D

Joy Lyrical My Heart! It's melting!

BB Tween SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!

Katie Catlover Heaven! I've died and gone to it! This is the most adorable thing in the universe!

Lorenzo Literate Good Grief. Nothing like a kitten to make the internet melt into a goopy puddle.

Winston Q. Eyeglasses HobbitQuest: The Movie opens this weekend! I'm leaving now to camp outside the theater! :D
Lorenzo Literate I'm torn. On one hand I wish to avoid this movie like the plague, as it is sure to be one of the most popular films of the year. On the other hand, it has its roots in a classic 20th century novel. I can't decide whether I should shun and ridicule it for how "Mainstream" it is, or praise it for how culturally significant it is. One thing's for sure, the book will be better.

Marty McMacho I was going to make fun of lil' Winston, but it looks like you're a bigger target than he is! What a geek! BA HA HA HA HA!!!!!
 
Amy Aminal
During this sad holiday season let us remember the millions of turkeys needlessly slaughtered every year. We need to do something people! This madness must end!
R.W. Republicrazy I'll help! All those dead turkeys will need someone to dispose of their bodies! I'll eat them!

Ferdie Foodie I'll help! Dead turkeys are my favorite kind of dead bird to eat!

Amy Aminal You are sick individuals you know that?

R.W. Republicrazy MWA HA HA HA HA HA!!!

BB Tween
Getting ready to go babysit! Anyone got a bulletproof vest and a hazmat suit I can borrow?
Lorenzo Literate We are gathered here to mourn the loss of a life cut tragically short, by the cruel hands of crazy, maniacal, and possibly rabid children.

BB Tween Oh, stuff it, Lorenzo.

Gloom Lyrical
Caught in a downpour, beset by ravens, and stalked by evil clowns. Misery follows the forlorn and forgotten. - FamousDepressedWriter
Joy Lyrical Wow. Aren't you a little Debbie Downer.
Ferdie Foodie Mmmmmmmm.... Little Debbies.... :P

David Duvvie
Miss my Luvsie-Pie!!!!
Lori Luvvie Miss my Duvsie-Pie!!!! How's your new job going?

David Duvvie Terrible. I hate it, but being a Quality Control Specialist at the castor oil factory was the only job I could find after the deodorant factory fired me.

Nosey Nellie Why'd they fire you?

David Duvvie Apparently I wasn't sniffing "Deep Enough" to tell whether or not the deodorants were working.

Lorenzo Literate Dude, I never thought I'd say this, but compared to what you've got now, that armpit-sniffing job sounds amazing!

Izzy Illiterate
My cuzin jut had a babby!!! It so cute!!! it a gril!!!1
Lorenzo Literate Jennie had a gril?

Izzy Illiterate YeS!!!!

Lorenzo Literate Wow! That must have hurt! How big is it? How many steaks can it hold?

Izzy Illiterate wut?

Lorenzo Literate It it propane or charcoal?

Izzy Illiterate hu??/

Izzy Illiterate y r u askin such werd questins?

Izzy Illiterate r u makin fun uf me agin?

Izzy Illiterate I MENT GIRL!!! YOUR SO MEEN!!!!

Lorenzo Literate That was too easy. :D

BB Tween
Anyone want to come over and help me find the kids? We're playing hide and seek and I can't find them...
Lorenzo Literate I knew you were in trouble when you accepted the job.

BB Tween I'm not in trouble. We're playing a game. Apparently they're really good at it.

Lorenzo Literate Ok. Just keep telling yourself that as you play on Facebook while the kids are missing.

BB Tween I'm on my ePhone while I look. I'm not irresponsible!

Lorenzo Literate Sure...

BB Tween GTG. I just heard them in the living room.

Lill Sloshy
WHO WNATS TO HAV A PRATY FOR THIS NEW YEARS!!?? ILL BING DRINKS!!!
Lill Sloshy ANONE?
Lill Sloshy SOMEONE?
Lill Sloshy WHY WONT NYONE AXEPT MY INVINTASHION!?
Lorenzo Literate Sorry, I have a high class gathering to attend. And please turn off your caps lock.
Izzy Illiterate wow. rood much loezno? Sorry Lill, I'll be at Roxy's that night. You're welcome to join us, we won't be drinking much more than sparkling grape juice though.
Lill Sloshy SNODS BORING ILL HAV MY OWN PARTY DRINKS FOR NYONE WHO COMS!!!

BB Tween
I'm pretty sure I never imagined that I would ever know firsthand what the sound of a grandfather clock falling onto a glass coffee table was...
Lurking Liker Likes This


Betsy Etsy
Just finished making a brand new quilt! It's made of upcycled cloth diapers and washcloths! It's so cute and environmentally friendly! If anyone wants to buy it I'll let it go for 50% off!
Lorenzo Literate *Runs in terror*
Lurking Liker Likes This
Izzy Illiterate o go away lernezo i cant by it, but i hope you sell it!

Vaguely McDramaPants
If you can't say anything nice then you have serious problems!!!
Izzy Illiterate AMEN SISER!!!!

Nosey Nellie
What's going on Gurl? Text me!

BB Tween
The kids were so well behaved tonight! AFTER they broke the entire living room...
Lurking Liker Likes This


Indie Pendant
Happy Holidays Everyone!
Rainbow Sunshine You too Indie! :)

R.W. Republicrazy How dare you use such an offensive Term! It's CHRISTmas!!!!

Rabid Liberal For once I agree with Indie! No one should ever wish anyone a Merry Christmas! Not evryone is Christian!

Indie Pendant Oh for pete's sake! Well, I DON'T agree with you! I only wrote that because there's a whole bunch of holidays going on this time of year, and none of them are happening today! I went with a generic friendly greeting! You two should stop making something out of nothing! Good Grief!

Rainbow Sunshine
If everyone in the world would stop looking for things to be mad about, the world would be an even more beautiful place to live.
Lurking Liker Likes This

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Cartoons!

I love cartoons. People who tell you that cartoons are only for children have obviously lost all sense of fun in their lives. Try going back now and watching the cartoons you grew up with as a kid. I can almost guarantee you that you'll get so much more out of it than when you were a kid. (Unless you only watched weird 70's/80's cartoons. Then you'll just start asking yourself, "What was I thinking?!")

I remember a quote from someone who wrote the original Looney Tunes shorts who said they did not even think about making the cartoons for kids. Their goal in making the shorts was to make each other laugh. It just so happened that children liked them too. That's how you know you're doing it right, when you've got something that anyone of any age can watch together and everyone enjoys it.

When I was little, I just liked the bright colors and funny characters in cartoons, but as I got older I began to see that there was so much more to them than just falling anvils and "Bad ol' Puddy Tats." Animation is an art form. It can be used for any genre, not just comedy. The programs and movies that I watch now cover a wide variety of themes, and not all of them make you laugh.

For me one of the biggest joys of watching an animated film, provided that I don't get so swept up in the story that I forget it's an animated movie at all, is just watching purely for the artistry of it all. Whether the film is hand animated, or done using a computer, if it's done well, it is a thing of beauty to watch. I have recently started watching Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki's films, and they are nothing shot of gorgeous. The films that he and the staff at Studio Ghibli make, put many American studios to shame in how detailed and rich the artwork is. They are like watching living paintings. I may have to write some reviews of some of my favorites here.

But this post is not about movies, it's about TV shows. As I said in my Disney Channel Reviews post, I watch a lot of animated programs. I've already done a very thorough review of my favorite, Gravity Falls. It continues to get better and better. Since I wrote my review, I have an even higher opinion of it than I did before, if that's possible. The quality of the writing just keeps getting better. I wish it were scheduled more often though. There haven't been any new episodes in almost three months! If it were a drug I'd probably be going into withdrawal. :p

In addition to Gravity Falls, the Disney Channel has two other series that are almost as funny. First up is Fish Hooks. Fish Hooks is a crazy, random, riot. It is so full of random humor that sometimes it can barely hold its plot together. The characters are completely off the wall crazy, and the animation style is very unique. It sort of a mix of flash animation with photographic collages. It's pretty different than most shows I've seen, but it works. The show is about a school of fish. A "High School" of fish. It has all your basic high school stereotypes in fish form. The show takes place in a pet shop where all the fish tanks are connected. The fish themselves are all animated regularly, but the backgrounds, and any other animal or person is a collage. There is not much to say about the plot. It's about the crazy adventures that three fish, Oscar, Milo, and Bea, have as they attend high school. If you don't like random humor, you probably won't like Fish Hooks, but if you do, you'll love it.

Phineas and Ferb is the the other show on Disney. 6 months ago if I were asked my favorite cartoon, I definitely would have said Phineas and Ferb. But then Gravity Falls came along and... Well, Phineas and Ferb is now second. But just because I now love Gravity Falls more, doesn't mean I love Phineas and Ferb any less. It is still one of my absolute favorite shows. The characters are all excellent, the writing is hilarious, it is very random, but always maintains a coherent plot, it also uses music in a way that most shows do not, and it does it well.

On its face, Phineas and Ferb is a show about two step brothers who build giant complicated inventions, and their older sister, Candice, who always tries to "Bust" them, by tattling to their mother. That's only half the show though. The boys own a pet platypus named Perry who is, unbeknownst to them, a secret agent, who sneaks off every day to fight his arch nemesis, an evil "Genius" named Dr. Doofenshmirtz. It's one of those shows where you just need to watch it to understand why it is so funny. I can't explain it well enough on my own, you just need to see it for itself.

There is also an animated show on Disney XD that I watch, but it is very different from the shows on Disney. The show is called Tron Uprising. It is not at all a "Funny" series. It's a spin off from the Tron movies, and I watch it mainly for the artwork. It has some of the most stunning animation I've ever seen. Half the time I'm not watching for the plot, I'm just watching for the visuals. It's basically eye candy. :)

The plot is about a world inside a computer where the "Programs" all look like people in shiny light suits, and they drive light cycles. They are all under the rule of an evil program named Clu, and there is a program who is working with Tron (The main character from the movies) to overthrow him. I hate to say it, but sometimes I get bored by the writing. The visuals are what makes up for it for me. It is a very cool looking show. If you liked the Tron movies, you will like this show. I don't really recommend it for just a casual watcher though. It's good, but there are better shows out there.

On Cartoon Network, there are a bunch of series' that I watch, all of which are completely different from these. First up is Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It takes place between Star Wars Episodes 2 & 3, and while mainly following Anakin Skywalker's apprentice, Asoka Tano, it also can go off and have an episode starring pretty much any Star Wars Character they've created. It has pretty unlimited possibilities storytelling-wise. This show has gotten flack for "Looking like a video game," but I don't care about that at all. It may not look "Real" but it's computer animated. They weren't trying to duplicate reality. I think the design is very good. The writing is better than that of some of the Star Wars films, and the characters are great too. If you like action/adventure you should love this show.

Also based on a movie, is the series Dragons: Riders of Berk. It is based on the movie How to Train Your Dragon. The film that made me believe that Dreamworks had real potential as a serious animation studio. Dragons is about the same five viking teens from the movie, after the dragons have become accepted by their society. When it first aired I was a little disappointed. The animation was excellent, but the writing was a little weak. Since then, however, the writing has vastly improved, and I now look forward to every new episode.

On the completely opposite end of the spectrum, tone-wise, is The Looney Tunes Show. Basically this is a sitcom starring the Looney Tunes. I wrote a review of it over a year ago, HERE. Since that time my views of the show have evolved somewhat. By the end of season one, I still really liked it, but I didn't feel it was quite as good any more. I thought the writing had gone somewhat downhill, and that some of the characters, had changed into something that their classic counterparts were not. Daffy especially just seemed over-the-top mean sometimes. I mean, he's always been a comedically mean character, but sometimes it seemed to me that he just went too far. As a whole, the show was still usually pretty funny, it just didn't feel exactly like "Looney Tunes" anymore. Thankfully these issues have been resolved! After months of waiting, they finally brought the show back recently, and the writing was back to being it's greatest again. I now can highly recommend it once again.

One of my favorite "Non-Comedic" shows of all, including live action, is an animated series called Young Justice. It is the best super hero show I have seen since I was a kid watching the Animated Superman and Batman series' in the '90s. I have loved the DC comics characters ever since then, and they are all perfectly represented in this show. The animation is awesome, the writing is excellent, and the characters are all great. The show follows the "Sidekicks" of the Justice League, Superboy, Robin, Miss Martian, Aqualad, Speedy, Artemis, and Kid Flash. There are many more characters that join the show later, but these are the ones the show began with with.

When it first started, it kind of seemed like another Super-Powered Teens kind of a show. Not that that's a bad thing, the show was still awesome, it's just that "Super-Teen" shows have been done before. As the season went on though, it just got better and better, and when season 2 began, the show somehow managed to get even better than before! It flashed forward 5 years. The main characters are now all adults, some have abandoned the group, and may have even joined the "Bad Guys." The dynamics have completely changed, to the point where it almost seems like a new show, but that is a good thing. There are now even more "Kids" joining their "League," and some of the oldest ones are trying to convince the "Adult" Justice League that they are good enough to be full fledged members of the Justice League, instead of just "Sidekicks." The stakes are now higher as some of the Justice League seems to be being framed for crimes that they don't remember committing, but there is video evidence proving their guilt. The Young Justice League is trying to fill in where the "Adults" can't go and investigate, because they are no longer trusted.

Anyway, enough of my rambling on that show, if you can't tell, I REALLY love it. :) Unfortunately it also suffers from really bad scheduling. I haven't seen a new episode in months. I'm hoping that the new year will bring new episodes. I really need a Gravity Falls and Young Justice fix. :)

And those are the cartoons that I currently watch. If you like animation, I highly recommend any of them. If you think cartoons are "Only For Kids," I highly recommend rethinking your life. You sound like you need a good laugh. :)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

It's Over!

One week ago I finished school! After two and a half years, I have my Associates of Art degree. And I am so glad to be done with school! (For now anyway.)


This was the worst semester Joel and I have had so far. We had one more class to take to earn credits required to graduate. Math. We chose to do Statistics. The adviser we spoke with said it was easier than regular college math. It was not. It COULD have been. The math itself was not that difficult, but every problem was a word problem, and none of them gave you the formula you were supposed to use. It was pretty much a nightmare. I almost didn't get a good enough grade to graduate. In the end Joel and I both got C's. The lowest grade allowed for someone to graduate. Normally I would have hated such a low grade, but after this terrible class, I was just glad I passed and could move on.



The other classes I had were all much better than the math class. I had a class that basically was supposed to help you get a portfolio together to show to future employers or schools. That was simple. I'd already had a similar class at ITT Tech, so this was pretty much an easy A. I also took Photography 2. I had a lot of fun with that one. I expanded on my Beanie Baby idea from last semester, and took a lot more pictures, in a bunch of different styles.


I will get the rest of those pictures up on my Photography Blog eventually.

My other two classes were both graphic design classes. They were my best two classes this semester. I had forgotten how much I enjoy doing graphic design work. I had a lot of fun in those classes. The first one was Typography, and the second was another Photoshop class. I learned so much in both. The teachers were very helpful and the lessons were all interesting. When I eventually go back to school, I think I will take some more graphic design classes. The programs are so detailed that it's almost impossible to learn everything they do, but I'd like to come close. I really like working with them.


Right now I am not sure what's next. Eventually I would like to go on to get a Bachelors in photography, but after the stress of this semester I feel like I just want school to be over with for awhile. In the mean time I am keeping my eyes open for jobs, and looking into 4 year schools. Maybe by next fall I'll have been away long enough that I won't mind the thought of going back.

Friday, December 14, 2012

I Know Everything

"I know everything and you don't!"

"Everyone who agrees with me is a genius, and anyone who disagrees with me is an idiot! "

How would you feel if someone walked up to you and said either of these things to your face? Would you ever go up to someone and say that to theirs? I would hope not. Why then, do so many people seem to have no problem doing just that on Facebook?

Today something huge happened in the news that sparked five million and three Facebook arguments about a hot button political topic. I posted nothing. I never do any more. In fact, anything I have written on my blog in the past that could be deemed "Political" or "Controversial" I have probably gone back and deleted.

Why did I do that? Why don't I post my opinion out there so everyone knows exactly what I think, feel, and believe? I used to. When I first joined Facebook I made sure everyone knew all my opinions on everything.

Presidential election coming up? Post an article: "This is why Candidate #1 is Awesome, and Candidate #2 is the spawn of Satan!"
Hot button issue in the news? Post a status update: "Side I don't agree with is either stupid, or evil! Or stupid AND evil!"

After a few years of this, I realized that it never got me anywhere. All I ever got were affirmative comments from the choir I was preaching to, or comments from someone I had unknowingly offended telling me how incredibly wrong I was and proceeding to detail why I was wrong. I'd argue back, but that would only continue until one of us got sick of arguing and quit, because no one ever changed anyone's mind via Facebook.

Arguing on the internet is one of the most pointless and childish things that the evolution of social networking has brought about. It does nothing but flare tempers, raise blood pressure, and break friendships.

As I said, this post came about because of a huge news story that brought a huge controversial political topic back into public debate. In the middle of the sewage plant that was my Facebook wall today was a post from Blimey Cow with a link to their video on this very topic. Their comment was, "Just a Gentle Reminder Today."



Blimey Cow, as always, thank you for your rare insight.

I wish more people would wake up and realize that just because they believe one thing, doesn't mean that absolutely everyone else in the world needs to know about it. And just because they believe something doesn't mean that they are right and everyone who disagrees with them is wrong.

There have been lots of things over the years that I have come to learn I was wrong about, and I've been big enough to admit to myself that I don't know everything. But I never once came to that conclusion because of someone's rant on Facebook. Any time my beliefs about anything were changed, it was because I took the time to look at both sides of an issue, and kept an open mind.

An open mind, and a willingness to listen to opposing viewpoints are what changes opinions, not a 5 sentence rant on Facebook. Or a blog. Which begs the question, why did I even write this? :p

Saturday, December 8, 2012

U Spel bad 6

Do I even need to introduce these posts any more? YouTube, Facebook, whatever. If it's got a comments section you're going to find morons. Here are some.

Correct spelling capitalized in bold.


Mite

Whoever wrote this MIGHT as well go play in the sandbox. They'll find their intellectual equals there.


Thypoon

I think this was intended to be TYPHOON. Yeah. Even a non-proofreader should have seen that massive mistake...


Inspiretional

Though it looks like they tried to spell inspirational, it was from a comment telling someone that they were their INSPIRATION. "You are my inspirational!" Whatever they were going for, they had a very poor grasp of the English language. But then again, this was from a comment on YouTube, so what's new?


Engish

I think you need to learn ENGLISH.


Suffored

My eyes SUFFERED when they passed over this sad excuse of an attempt to spell.


Awquard

What's AWKWARD is that you think you can spell.


Doode

DUDE, just stop before you hurt yourself.


Walles

I never knew that WHALES was such a difficult word to spell.


Heanen

It's a good thing that good spelling isn't one of God's requirements for entry into HEAVEN.


pi love it!

How did you manage to misspell a one letter word?!?!? (I)


Pachephalosuares

Wow. What kind of a moron doesn't know how to spell PACHYCEPHALOSAURUS? I mean, seriously! Is it that difficult? :p


Quartintiend

The person who edited the Wikipedia page I found this on needs to be QUARANTINED before they infect the rest of the internet. What's that? It's too late? Well, that stinks.


Rech

That's pretty sad. (REACH)


Bacaus

You're dumb. BECAUSE.


Vynil

I suppose I'll forgive you for this one. Even I wasn't 100% sure how to spell VINYL. I just knew you were wrong.


Obiusly

OBVIOUSLY you didn't proofread. Or you're just dumb.


Dieing

Correct spelling is DYING, and you're helping to kill it.


Yeasterday

What is this? A new holiday celebrating the wonders of yeast? (YESTERDAY)


Diffrant

You spell bad. The End. (DIFFERENT)


Penyada

Granted, PINATA isn't an "Every-Day" type word, but really? THAT'S how you want to spell it?

Friday, December 7, 2012

Disney Channel Reviews

When my brothers and I were younger, our Saturdays were spent watching Even Stevens, Lizzie Maguire, and whatever other shows that ABC imported from the Disney Channel. Ever since then, I have tried to keep up with most of the Disney Channel's programs. There's something about them that offer a break from reality in a way that regular sitcoms do not. For one thing they are cleaner, but for the most part I just find them to, overall, be funnier than a lot of what you find on regular TV.

Since I've been in school the last couple of years I've had to severely limit what I watch, or I'd spend way too much time in front of the TV. Since school is stressful enough, I have found that I prefer the silly fluff from the Disney channel to the usually more cynical comedy on regular TV.

Since most of my "TV Time" has been shows from the Disney Channel, I decided to do mini reviews of each show from the Disney Channel and its "Brother" Network, Disney XD. For those who don't know, Disney felt that not enough boys watched their station, so they made another channel with the specific intent of targeting a male audience, Disney XD.

The best show currently on the Disney Channel is Shake it Up. The very basic plot is two girls, join a dance show called "Shake It Up Chicago." The show revolves around Rocky and CeCe in their regular lives, as well as behind the scenes of Shake It Up Chicago.

When it first started, I wasn't really sure about this show. I thought the dance music was catchy, but the humor was not nearly as good as Wizards of Waverly Place. "Wizards" had previously been my favorite. However, the show has really grown, and it is now one of the most consistently funny shows on the Disney Channel. This is due not only to the writing, but also to the great characters they have created. Especially the secondary characters, namely Gunther and Tinka, the foreign exchange student siblings, the main reasons I kept watching in the beginning.

Aside from the characters, I love the music and the dancing. I've always liked techno and electronic type dance music, and that is what the soundtrack of the show is built upon. The dance numbers are usually very creative, and they've had some great guest dancers on the show. Sometimes it's just jaw-dropping to watch the way they move. It leaves me wondering how some of their moves are even humanly possible. All in all this show gets my highest recommendation.

The next show is "Good Luck Charlie." 20 years ago this would have worked well as a show on a regular network. It's just your regular family sitcom. There is no "Gimmick" used to sell the show like most Disney Channel shows. There are no rock-star kids, wizards, psychics, twins on cruise ships, families from the future, or anything else that one might find on the Disney Channel. It reminds me of the shows I used to watch when I was a little kid, Full House, Family Matters, The Cosby Show. Shows about families where the comedy is driven by the characters themselves.

In the first season, the plot usually revolved around Teddy Duncan, the teenage daughter. The title comes from her catch phrase that she uses in her video diaries that she makes for her baby sister, Charlie, (Charlotte) to watch when she gets to be her age. But that aspect of the show is not quite as important anymore, since the other members of the family almost all get equal screen time now.

Unlike most other Disney Channel shows, the parents also play a significant part in the show. In most other Disney Channel shows, the parents are side characters who are not seen very often. Most of them aren't even featured in the opening credits any more. In Good Luck Charlie the parents are always around, and even though they have quirky personalities, like most Disney Channel characters, the parents are not treated as stupid, which I have found to be refreshing.

Aside from the parents, Teddy, and her baby sister, the rest of the family consists of Teddy's older brother, PJ, and her younger brother Gabe. P.J. is the stereotypical "Dumb guy" but he is written in a way that is just hilarious. Gabe is pretty much the "Bad Child" of the family. He is always getting in trouble and has been involved in an ongoing feud with their next-door-neighbor Mrs. Dabney, since the beginning. This season, (season 3) Charlie is now a toddler with a speaking role, and their parents have given birth to a fifth child, a baby boy named Toby. This has not done too much to change the dynamics of the show, as there has always been a baby present, but it has made the show a bit more interesting.

The writing on Good Luck Charlie is consistently good, and all the actors are great. Combine that with the nostalgia factor of the "Family Sitcom" and this show is one of my top favorites.

A relatively new show is Jessie. This one is another family sitcom, but it is about a very non-normal family. The mother and father are a famous model and filmmaker, who, in addition to their one biological child, have adopted 3 more kids from various places around the world. The parents are almost always away, so they they have a nanny and a butler to care for the kids.

The main character of the show is not any of the kids though, it is Jessie, their nanny. In the pilot episode she moved by herself when she turned 18, to New York from Texas. She winds up with no place to go and is discovered by the youngest daughter, Zuri, adopted from Africa, who has just terrorized her most recent nanny into fleeing. She gets Jessie to come home with her, and Jessie winds up accepting the job of nanny to these four wild kids. The other main character is the butler, Bertram, who pretends to hate the kids, but you can tell he secretly loves them all. Aside from the humans, the other main cast member is a 6 foot monitor lizard owned by the most recent adoptee, a ten year old boy from India named Ravi.

I really like this show. Unlike a lot of recent Disney Channel Shows, it started very strong, with great writing, and has pretty much stayed strong. Along with Shake it Up, and Good Luck Charlie, Jessie rounds out my top three favorite shows on the Disney channel.

Now we come to the not so great among Disney's programming. That's not to say that these shows are necessarily bad, but they aren't as good as my top three.

A recent trend on almost all of the Disney Channel Sitcoms, Especially on Disney XD is to make what I would call a "Live-Action Cartoon." Basically, there is absolutely no way that the things that happen on the shows could happen in real life, nor are the characters themselves the least bit believable. This is not always a bad thing, but it took me quite awhile to get used to it. The first show that I started noticing it on was Pair of Kings on Disney XD.

Pair of Kings is about two brothers who discover that they are joint heirs to the throne of a tiny tropical island nation. It is an okay show, but you can definitely tell it's a "Kids" show. They rarely even try to write it for adults as well, unlike the shows on the main channel, whose humor can usually be appreciated by anyone. The best part of Pair of Kings is the kings' evil younger cousin Lanny. I always like evil characters when they are played for laughs. Sadly, the kings themselves are usually way too "Over-the-Top" stupid to make me really like them as characters, which is too bad because the actors themselves are pretty good.

I don't expect this show to last much longer. The longer this show has been on the air the worse it has gotten. Michel Mussoe, one of the actors who played one of the titular brothers, has now left the show, so they invented a third brother from out of nowhere to replace him, and the writing has really gone downhill. I rarely find it funny any more. I can't say that I recommend this show to anyone, unless you're pretty bored and just want an amusing diversion for a half an hour.

The next show that I noticed the "Live-Action Cartoon" feel to, is called A.N.T. Farm. A.N.T Farm airs on the main Disney Channel, and as a "Live-Action Cartoon" it is significantly better than Pair of Kings.

A.N.T. Farm is about a group of child prodigies who attend a special program for prodigies at a high school. These are all kids who are not High school aged. Most are around twelve. The show follows their exploits as they try to make their way through school with all these kids who are so much older, but so much dumber than they are. When the show first began, I was expecting a regular sitcom, not a "Live-Action Cartoon," so when the grown-ups and other older characters started acting like complete idiots, I thought it was one of the stupidest shows I'd ever seen. It had no plot development and completely one-dimensional characters. What I didn't realize at the time was, that was the point. None of the stupidity came from bad writing, everything was written like that intentionally. Once I realized that you were not supposed to take ANYTHING on the show seriously, I found that it was actually very funny.

A.N.T. Farm is silly fluff with no substance, and that is a good thing. It's just random and funny. It almost fills my "Random" void left when Wizards of Waverly Place ended. To give you an example of how unrealistic the show is, the school mascot is not even a real person. It looks like a man in a wolf costume, but it isn't. It's basically just a living costume. It probably lives at the school, It doesn't eat, It doesn't even speak, but somehow everyone still understands it. It's things like that that make the show so random and off the wall, that I really enjoy it now. If you like random humor, I highly recommend that you watch A.N.T. Farm.

Back on Disney XD, we have the show Kickin' It. It's about five karate students and their teacher. I can't say I recommend this show though, even though I really like the characters and the actors. The writing is usually so weak and juvenile that it rarely ever gets out of "Mediocre" territory, which is too bad, because there is some good talent working on this show.

Similarly, Disney XD has another show called Lab Rats. I like this show better than Kickin' It but I have the same criticism. Weak writing. Lab Rats is about three Bionic Teens and their step brother. I like the characters, but the writing swings from really good, to really bad, so I still can't recommend that one either. A.N.T. Farm really improved since the beginning though, so I'm still holding out hope that Lab Rats could do the same.

Back on the main channel, there is a show called Austin and Ally. I think this is Disney's attempt at recreating the success of Hannah Montana, except in this case, the main character/singer is a guy. It is the least cartooney of the cartooney shows, but all the characters are still very one dimensional. I don't mind this in the side characters. I think they are hilarious, but the two main characters I sometimes find rather annoying. They are very talented musically but they don't seem to be able to just "Be funny" like the side characters are. The show is not terrible though, and it can be funny, so while I don't give it a very strong recommendation, I will still keep watching it myself.

I was going to finish this post with my review of this next show, since it is the newest show on both Disney and Disney XD, but I really wanted to end the post on a positive note, so I'll end with the second to the most recent show and get this one over with first.

The newest Disney show is called Dog With a Blog. Believe me when I say that I hate that I am writing this, but Dog With a Blog is the worst show that the Disney Channel has ever had. It's about a family who gets a dog that can talk and he has a blog. It has decent acting, but the writing is downright awful. Maybe I'm being too quick to judge the show, but it has been five episodes so far, and it has shown zero improvement. In fact, the most recent episode I saw was the worst one yet. So many moments where I literally cringed with embarrassment at how bad it was. I almost feel like never watching it again, but I am still holding out a sliver of hope for improvement.

I hate that I am being so negative to this show because I really wanted to like it. The star is G. Hannelius, who has had previous roles on other Disney channel shows,such as Sonney Witha Chance and Good Luck Charlie. I really liked her in those roles, so I was happy to hear that they gave her her own show. Sadly, she deserves so much better than this. I hope the writers either get their act together or Disney execs just axe the show and start over. I liked G. Hannelius on the other shows, but with the material she has on this show, I can not even say I like her character here. The best part of the show is the youngest girl. She is an awesome little actress. She is very funny, and usually the only bright spot on the show. I see real potential in her. All in all, my recommendation is do not watch this show. Instead, switch over to Disney XD and watch their newest show, Crash & Bernstein.

Crash & Bernstein is about a boy named Wyatt. He is the only boy in his family. He has no dad, it's just him, his mom, and three sisters. He hates how girly his life is. To make matters worse, on his birthday his sisters bring him to "Build a Bestie" which is like the Build a Bear Workshop, except you make a doll. He get's so mad at his sisters for this "Gift" that he starts yelling that he wished he had a brother to do guy stuff with. A brother who had weapons and they could destroy stuff together. As he's programming the machine to build the doll he's yelling a litany of violent characteristics, and ends up typing them all in as descriptions for what he wants the doll to be like. And then he names the doll Crash. When he gets home, the doll comes to life, bursts out of the box, and proceeds to wreak havoc on the household. It's exactly what he wanted in a brother and he loves it. And all of his sisters hate it.

What makes this show so funny is that this doll is basically a purple Muppet. Though this is not an "Official" Muppet, this thing is most definitely a Muppet. It is operated by Tim Lagasse, who is also a puppeteer for Sesame Street and the Muppets, so he has the "Muppet" humor down pat. The writing is hilarious, the comic timing is spot on, and the actors are all great.

Crash & Bernstein, is so far the absolute funniest show that Disney XD has ever had. I loved it from episode one, and I genuinely look forward to new episodes. In fact, I think I look forward to Crash & Bernstein almost as much, if not MORE than I do Shake it Up.

These last few weeks of school with finals bearing down on me and my stress levels at their highest, watching Crash & Bernstein has been a huge stress relief for me. It is a welcome dose of laughter whenever I get a new episode to watch. I can not recommend this show enough. :)

So there you have it. My reviews of Disney's current line up of live action sitcoms. As you can see, they have a wide range of quality, from really good, to really bad, but there is probably something there for anyone. Unless you hate hilarity or require profanity to find something funny. If so, then I doubt you'd be looking to my blog post about the Disney channel for advice on what to watch.

The Disney channel is not the only thing I watch though, and coming soon I will have another blog post about the cartoons I watch as well. I did a whole post on Gravity Falls recently, but I have a bunch of other animated shows that I watch as well that every animation fan should be aware of, so stay tuned!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

TRUE FACTS!

It all started when a friend shared a story on facebook about onions soaking up the flu virus, protecting the people around them, but becoming poisonous in the process. The whole thing sounded like a bunch of nonsense to me. She wondered if it was true, and one of her friends checked Snopes. Of course it turned out to be a mess of lies. I mentioned that a lot of people make up junk "Facts" just to spread them around Facebook and e-mail and get people to fall for them. She then suggested that I make up my own "True Facts" for a blog post. At first I just did this one for her.

Did you know that if you leave three quarters of an apple in a bowl of lemon juice for three weeks and sprinkle it with Cinnamon, Curry Powder, Cayenne Pepper, Paprika, and pencil shavings at EXACTLY three o'clock at the end of the third week, it becomes a miraculous cure all for warts, Rheumatoid Arthritis, the common cold, AND a delicious fruit salad!? True fact!

Then I thought about it, and I decided it would be fun to do an entire post like that. So I did. :)

TRUE FACTS!!!

Did you know that boxed mashed potatoes actually contain no potatoes? They're made of ground cotton, powdered limestone, and soy. The flavor comes from the butter and milk you add. True fact!

Did you know that the Wizard of Oz was based on a true story? However the Wicked Witches were not actually evil. The Munchkins and Winkies were. The witches were keeping them in check so they would not rise up and conquer the entire land of Oz. Shortly after the witches were brutally murdered by an invader from Kansas, the Mayor of Munchkin Land led the army of Winkies into The Emerald City and took over the capitol. He and the Lollipop Guild are still ruling the land to this day. True fact!

Did you know that 7 years ago last Monday, a man in Thailand ate 3 times his own body weight in bologna and hotdogs and then exploded? The very next day, workers at an Oscar Meyer plant in Tennessee began complaining that [quote] "They's a daggum Chinaman goin'aroun' smashin' things with a biggol' pype!" [end quote] No one believed them, and then three weeks later the factory blew up. True fact!

Did you know that mathematics used to be a form of torture used to interrogate prisoners of war? True fact!

Did you know that tarantulas are mammals? True fact!

Did you know that koalas eat pigeons? True fact!

Did you know that pineapples are sentient life-forms? True fact!

Did you know that eating plain bacon grease cures cancer? True fact!

Did you know that wart hogs are just really old pigs with bad skin? True fact!

Did you know that owls and kangaroos are involved in a secret war that most of humanity knows nothing about and are battling to become the dominate species on the planet? The winner will eventually rise up against all of human kind and force us to become a race of slave tailors because, as the dominate species on the planet, they will obviously need to start wearing clothing. True fact!

Did you know that whales are not native to earth? They are actually from Venus, and came here as refugees, over four thousand years ago when Venus got too close to the sun and started boiling them alive. True fact!

Did you know that licking envelopes causes tongue rabies? The only cure is to drink seven tablespoons of ketchup mixed with 7up and soy sauce. True fact!

Did you know there is no such thing as food allergies? Picky eaters invented the "Condition" as an excuse to be picky eaters. All doctors are notorious picky eaters themselves, so they almost always go along with the charade. True fact!

Did you know that monkeys are just squirrels wearing really bad human disguises? They were never able to fool anyone, so they went insane and pretended to be a whole new species. True fact!

Did you know that bees are just giant lice wearing fur coats and jet packs? True fact!

Did you know that potatoes are just apples who hated the sun so much they moved underground and grew all deformed and nasty looking, due to a severe Vitamin D deficiency? True fact!

Did you know that the Godzilla movies are actually all documentaries? Japan has some very strange wildlife! True fact!

Did you know that grass is not a real plant? It was actually invented in an ancient Babylonian factory about 5000 years ago. No one knows where they got the technology to invent something like that. Some speculate that it may have been a gift from Venusian diplomats who were scouting for possible home relocation areas during the Global Warming scare on their planet. True fact!

Did you know that elephants aren't real? They are an imaginary animal created as a prank by a college student in 1876. Any supposed elephants seen in zoos are actually hippos wearing a garden hose on their snouts. True fact!

Did you know that in China they have a legend about a mystical beast named "The Arugula." It looks like a blue cow but is has flippers instead of legs, and it get around by flapping them spastically to fly through the air. That's all. The Arugula is actually the world's most boring legend. True fact!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Reading Rainbow Remix

PBS just released another remix, and it is just as good as the previous 3. :)



Reading Rainbow was one of the main shows I watched as a little kid. I was always a reader, but this show reinforced not just my love of reading but learning as well. I was exposed to so much more information about that world thanks to this show. I hope kids today have a show this good to spark their imaginations, and foster a love of learning.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A GOOD Santa movie?

This week I watched a "Santa" movie, and I didn't hate it! Normally Santa movies annoy me. They annoy me a lot. They always seem to recycle the same jokes, and they are always full of "Holiday Cheese." Not this one. "Rise of the Guardians" is probably the best "Santa" movie. I've ever seen.

Granted, when I first heard about it, I expected an epic fail of lame-ness. In a nutshell, the plot is this:
Jack Frost teams up with Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy and the Sandman, to fight the Boogeyman, who is giving all the children of the world nightmares. That to me sounded like the lamest movie plot ever, and I did not want to see it. At all. Then I started seeing trailers.



I had to admit, it didn't look half bad. My cousin Sasha really wanted to go see it. She recognized it as based on a book series she had seen and said it was really good. After I saw another trailer in the theater, I was finally convinced to go with her. I am really glad I was. The movie is so much better than it sounded.

When I first heard about it I assumed that it was all about Santa, which as you may have guessed was a complete turn off for me. I did not want to watch another Christmas Santa movie. But that assumption was wrong. First off, it's not even a Christmas movie, it just happens to have Santa in it. Also, Santa was only one of four SIDE characters, and the MAIN character was Jack Frost. But even if Santa had been the star, it would have been cool. This was no Jolly elf with a chubby tummy, going Ho-Ho-Ho. This Santa is a massive, muscular Russian. He has Tattooed arms, and he fights with two swords. I'd watch a movie about this guy even without the other characters. None of that was even the best part about him though. Most Santa stories have the elves making all the toys. Not this Santa. This Santa claims that he just lets the elves THINK they are making the toys. They are pretty much little walking, giggling sight gags, like Christmas versions of the minions on Despicable Me. The real toy makers are a massive army of Yeti. My inner Cryptozoologist is quite pleased with this. :)

The other characters are all much "Cooler" than normally portrayed as well.
First up, the Easter Bunny. He's not a fluffy little cottontail bunny. He's a giant Australian Jackrabbit with an attitude.
The Tooth Fairy is not your regular princess/ballerina/fairy in a TuTu either. She seems to be part hummingbird, and she has thousands of much tinier hummingbird-fairies to help her with her job, which turns out to be about more than just collecting teeth.
The Sandman still seems a little on the chubby and cute side of the scale, but his powers make up for it, and he turns out to be very cool in his own way. (Dinosaurs + Manta Rays = Awesome. :) )

Jack Frost has been portrayed in many ways over the years, but this version is the best. He's kind of a rebellious teen/punk type of character in the beginning, despite the fact that he's about 300 years old, but by the end he's become a full on hero. There was actually a lot of depth to his back-story and character development, something you don't normally get out of a "Kids" movie.

The Boogeyman, AKA, Pitch Black, also turns out to be a great Bad Guy. They could have made him out to be a "Silly" sort of villain, but they did not, he ended up being a dangerous and formidable foe, and the film was much better for that.

All in all, I really enjoyed this movie. If you have kids, or just like animated films yourself, I highly recommend this one. :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Best Movie of the Year

Monday night my friends and I all met for supper, then walked to the theater to see Wreck-It Ralph. We've been planning to see this movie for a long time now, and I am happy to say that none of us were disappointed. There was something for everyone in the movie.

I can't believe I'm going to say this about a non-Pixar movie, but Wreck It Ralph is the best movie I have seen all year. I loved Brave, but Wreck It Ralph was better.

When I first saw the trailer for this movie, I had high expectations. It looked very funny, and it was a Disney movie. Disney has been making a lot of great movies lately, so anything they put out I automatically expect more from than your average movie.

When when the first critics started seeing it and giving it good reviews, my expectations were raised even more. Then the animation blogs I follow started giving their reviews, and they were all reporting that it was so much better then they had expected it to be. By the time I got to the movie I was just hoping I wouldn't be let down because I was expecting an awesome movie.

It FAR surpassed my expectations. I was so surprised by how great this movie was! I don't usually see movies in the theater twice, but if I was given the opportunity, and I had time around my school/work schedule, I would not even hesitate to see it again.

From watching the trailer, the story seems pretty simple and straightforward. A "Bad Guy" video game character, Wreck-It Ralph, decides that he doesn't like being the bad guy any more, so he abandons his game to find a new one in which he can become a hero. Not too long after the movie gets going, it becomes pretty clear that there is a lot more happening in this movie than just Ralph's story.

The entire movie takes place inside an arcade. All the video games are connected to a central station, and the characters are able to travel into other games to visit, so long as the arcade is closed, and no one is watching. Sort of like a digital version of Toy Story.

Eventually Ralph ends up inside a racing game where he befriends a "Glitch" a character that was apparently not even supposed to exist. The glitch wants to be a part of her game but is being mercilessly tormented by all the legitimate characters. Ralph steps in and helps the glitch, but soon realizes that there is more going on behind the scenes than anyone in this game realizes.

I can't give away any more in case you decide to watch it for yourself, and you really, really should, but suffice it to say that this movie's story is so much richer than your average animated movie. It came as no surprise that during the end credits, the animators thanked the team at Pixar for helping them work on the story. No wonder it was so good! Pixar always puts story first, so having them work on this movie, even though it was not a Pixar film, was an extremely good idea.

As I've said before, I love redemption stories. I love it when a "Bad Guy" becomes a "Good Guy," and at its core, that is what this movie is. The fact that the story is so much deeper than that is just the icing on the cake. There are so many twists, turns, and surprises, that I can't see how anyone could go into this movie and leave, NOT loving it.

There is so much more I want to say about the movie, but to do so would spoil way too much plot information. The only thing left that I CAN say is go see it!

Friday, November 9, 2012

U Spel bad 5

Time for another edition of "Spelling, Dum-Dum Style." Or, as it is officially titled: "U Spel bad."

If you are one of the many internet users who helped contribute to this list, then weep with the shame of knowing that everyone online is probably mocking you behind your back.

And if you did NOT help contribute to this list, then rejoice! Because everyone knows that you are better at life than ANYONE who misspells a word! At least, that's what I tell myself anyway...


Vothering

BOTHERING. Really, is proofreading THAT hard?


Dinmite

DYNAMITE? Maybe. That single word was the entirety of the comment. At least they knew enough to capitalize...


Seance

Stop relying on spell check. It may give you a correctly spelled word, but it won't always give you THE correctly spelled word. Besides, if you can't spell SENSE on your own, then you need more help than spell check can possibly give.


Groop

You're kidding right? You REALLY don't know how to spell GROUP?


Gyipse

Wow. You spelled GYPSY so wrong, you befuddled even my spell checker. I'd congratulate you, but really, being an exceptional misspeller is nothing to be proud of.


Alrady

I'm sure someone has ALREADY informed you, but you need help.


Paddy

The writer meant PATTY. I'll forgive their mistake, because they realized their error. How do I know? Their very next comment.


i man patty

*Facepalm*


hiliarous

Single word comments lacking capitalization, punctuation, and correct spelling are not HILARIOUS, they're just sad.


Union

Yeah, this may look correct, but they were trying to spell ONION. It's a sad day for the American school system.


AMAGING

Yes, it is AMAZING that typing everything you write in all caps makes you seem even less smart.


Imaginig

Yes, it looks like they were trying to spell imagining, but forgot the n, but in the context of the comment (Which was completely void of structure, spelling, grammar, and punctuation) this word should have been just IMAGINE. Either way, it was a massive failure, just like it's author.


Kust Becasue

Proofreading is a necessity, JUST BECAUSE you type WAY too fast.


diney

As a diehard Dizgeek I am extremely offended that not only did you misspell DISNEY, you didn't even capitalize it!


Your awesone!

And your misspelling of YOU'RE has become so commonplace that it would not even be worth mocking, were it not for the fact that you misspelled the word directly following it.


Viewoder

I don't even know what they were going for here. Reading the comment I think they were attempting to spell VIEWS. No idea what's with the extra letters.


You ate a really good artist

I sincerely hope you meant ARE.


Birned

I fully believe that you BURNED all of your spelling books instead of reading them.


Afended

I'm OFFENDED by your ignorance.


Bettee

Everyone on this list needs to learn to spell BETTER. And for this last person, I mean that LITERALLY.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Comic Review

I never thought I'd review a comic strip. I've done Movie reviews, TV reviews, Book reviews, but doing a comic review never even crossed my mind. Until today.

A blogger that I  enjoy following is Jen Yates, who runs Cakewrecks and Epbot. Today on Epbot she shared this strip.


I thought it was mildly amusing, and I was really drawn to the artwork, so I clicked the link to the site it came from, a webcomic called "The Abominable Charles Christopher."

I didn't quite "Get" the title at first, until I went back and started at the beginning.


The main character seems to be a Bigfoot. An "Abominable" Snowman.

At first it didn't seem to be about much. There didn't seem to be much of a plot line, it was just this Bigfoot, Charles Christopher, and he was not having a very good day. during the first few strips, getting caught in the rain, stung by a bee. Not hilarious, but great artwork. As I read it became pretty obvious that Charles Christopher himself was completely mute, and he seemed very childlike, he even has a pacifier. Without the other animals, it would have almost be a pantomime strip.

The plot seemed a bit slow, but I did find the dialogue of the background animals to be funny. The best thing was the artwork. If the artwork hadn't been so good, I may not have read very far and moved on to something else. As I read, I noticed a background plot about a party devloping. The animals around the forest were talking about it, but Charles was oblivious. The party storyline culminated here.


The next strip took a different turn and showed that this was not going to be your ordinary "Funny" comic strip.


It was followed by this strip,


This made me think that maybe this was just a one time thing, meant as a set up for the cute scene of Charles holding the bunny. I was wrong. The more I read, the more I realized that this strip was developing a very rich mythology.

Here's a strip from a little later on.


I got sucked in completely after this strip. It went in a direction that I definitely did NOT see coming. The plot of this comic is so much more detailed than your average newspaper comic strip.


If you choose to read this for yourself, prepare to fall in love with that fox.

I spent about 4 to 5 hours tonight reading the entire archive of strips. That's about 5 years worth. Though it's not quite as much as you would think, since the author, Karl Kerschl, only releases one strip a week. He works at a comic book company, so he has another job to keep him busy. This is just his own project.

I loved it so much that I am seriously considering buying the books he has so far released. The only problem is, the first one is only available in paperback. Not that there's anything wrong with paperback, I just really love hardcovers. I doubt it will ever be available in hardcover though. The hardcover edition is sold out and he said it is way too expensive to get more made, so he chose to get paperbacks for the second printing.

The story has gone so far from these first strips. There have been so many new characters introduced, so many new plot lines started, and it has become one of my absolute favorite comics ever. It can be downright hilarious at times, but also extremely moving. I was shocked at how emotionally involved I got with this story! There has been more than one moment that was just "Punch-In-The-Gut" heartbreaking that if I had dwelt on it for too long, I'm sure the tears would have started flowing. I won't spoil anything for those of you who want to read it, but I will warn you, if you cry easily at sad movies, be prepared to cry at a COMIC STRIP.

If you have a few hours to kill, or you just want to read a few at a time, I can not recommend this strip highly enough. It is one of the best things I have read in a long time.

The website can be found HERE, but I highly recommend starting at the beginning, which you can find by clicking HERE.

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Great Wreck

I don't post about too many movies on my blog before I go see them. Once in awhile though, I make an exception, and today is one of those exceptions. Usually my exception are for Pixar films, and while this movie is not a Pixar film, some of the same talent is behind it. The movie is called Wreck it Ralph, and it's about a video game. On the surface this seems like a rather uninspired plot, but this movie promises to be so much more than what it seems. Before I continue, you should watch a trailer if you haven't already.



I love movies like this where a "Bad Guy" becomes the good guy, MegaMind is probably my favorite movie like this. Any story about redemption, will almost certainly have my attention. And the fact that so many classic video game characters are making cameos in the film is just the icing on the cake. :)

These are not the only reasons I am excited for the movie though. A few weeks ago I found out that Owl City was doing a song for the film. That news in and of itself was enough to get me excited, but today I discovered he has just released a music video for the song. As Disney's marketing department was almost certainly hoping, it has made me even more excited for the movie than I was before, and I am doing my part to spread the news. :)



I will most certainly be going to see this one in the theater, and if you are a fan of video games, or even just Disney films in general, you won't want to miss this one either. :)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Observations of a Grocery Store Checker

I have random thoughts at work sometimes. I decided to collect a few of them for a blog post.

Here they are.



A smash and the sound of little feet running for dear life are not a sound one likes to hear.

Cute little old ladies cease being cute when they dislike something's price.

The Express Lane: For people with full carts who are just too impatient to wait their turn.

Grocery stores are a very popular place to bring gravely ill children. "Clean-Up in aisle 7!"

Bratty children get all the candy their screaming little heart desires. Good little children get squat.

Want to witness grown-ups throwing tantrums? Run a massive one-day only sale and run out of 24 packs of toilet paper. Wait for the late-comers...

I believe there may be a cult around here somewhere that doesn't allow their members to shower or use deodorant. That's the only logical explanation for some of the gut-wrenching smells I have to endure. They wouldn't go out in public like that on purpose would they?

Food Stamps are such a blessing! Now all the poor people won't ever run out of pop and candy!

This job helps one learn self control. For example, I have learned how to NOT punch angry idiots with filthy mouths square in the face! Yay, Me! :D

One extremely nice, kind, considerate, empathetic customer, right after a nasty, rude, thoughtless, mean customer, completely makes up for how stressed out that horrible beast of a person made you feel. Yay, humanity! :D

Monday, October 1, 2012

U Spel bad 4

It's that time again! Time to take a look at how the people of the internet decided to fail humanity once again.

Read on and feel suoperior know that you wouldn't never ever make a mistank like these.

Most of the intended words have been capitalized in bold, otherwise you'd never know what they had tried to spell.


Duuuu

That is so not how you spell that. DUH.


A whooo

That's really what you think a wolf sounds like?


Of corse

OF COURSE you do.


Hawaain

This is just sad. (HAWAIIAN)


Mithical

This may just be sadder. (MYTHICAL)


Fist

I know I won't be the FIRST to tell you, but your spelling is awful.


Scarry

It is just SCARY how many times I have seen this misspelled this way. Or maybe it's not ever misspelled. Maybe they are just referring to people who are covered in scars...


Replie

I don't know how to REPLY to that...


I am not a graphics atrist!

Clearly you are not a spellings atrist, either...


Congraduations

I know what you are thinking, and you are wrong. This was in response to an engagement announcement.


Haf

Just because people pronounce HAVE wrong, doesn't mean you need to spell it wrong too.


Stuppid

You think you can insult someone when you spell STUPID like that? I'd call you stupid as well, but I think I just feel sorry for you.


Whopps

WHOOPS, I think you missed the school bus. Every. Single. Day. Of. Your. Life.


Jealus

Are you JEALOUS of my superior spelling skills? Yeah, didn't think so. Your IQ would have to be a lot higher for you to understand why you should be.


Ubber

One might argue that UBER isn't even a word, at least, not in English, but even if it were, you managed to mess it up.


Favroite

You are definitely not my FAVORITE speller.


heha

Can you misspell the onomatopoeia for laughter? Apparently yes.


Gret

"Wow. Your spelling is GREAT!" he said, his voice dripping with sarcasm.


Sleec

This one even I wasn't sure of. In the context of the post, it may have been SLEEVE. But I can not be sure. It was a long post, with many misspellings, run-on sentences, and almost no punctuation. Noah Webster would have broken down and wept at the sight of it.


Enuf

And with one horrifying mistake, his stupidity broke the entire internet. (ENOUGH)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Family Reunion

We recently had a family reunion in Ames.


It's very rare that all of my mom's siblings are able to get together all at once.


My Mom's cousin Kyle was there with his triplets. Ava is just the cutest.


This is my Great Uncle Dick, her Grandpa.


Their baby limo. :)


My Parents


Our family, minus James, who had to be at police training that day.

It was a fun day of seeing family we don't often get to see. Hopefully it is not long before we have another one. :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Worlds and Oceans of Fun!

School takes up way too much of my time these days. I don't have time to just sit down and write any more, so this post has been in the works ever since we got back. Actually, it has been in the works since the first night of the trip, because I started writing it before I went to bed in the hotel room. It just took me forever to edit it, and edit the pictures, even though there's weren't many. So, finally, here is the full story of our trip to Kansas City, Missouri, to Worlds and Oceans of Fun.

Joel and I left for school that morning at 11. We had class at noon, it was the first day of Portfolio class. It didn’t last very long, as most first days don’t, and after class we went into Council Bluffs to buy sandals for our trip. I had bought some Vibram Five Fingers, but they did not arrive in time, so I needed sandals. Walmart was completely out of all sandals. Good grief Walmart. What were you thinking? You’re supposed to have everything! They did have a huge display of Hunger Games merchandise though. I seriously considered a tote bag. It looked like a good bag, but for some reason I did not buy it. And I regretted that decision ever since. I really should have bought that bag.

When we left Council Bluffs we went straight to Robert and Rachel’s and hung out until it was time to go pick up Alex at 5. We then went to Arby’s to drop Ariana off with her grandparents. I had a mushroom and swiss sandwich. With extra mushrooms. It was okay. I’m not a huge fast food fan. I think the others were much more enthusiastic about the place. I also had onion rings and jalapeƱo poppers. They were not very good. The sandwich was much better than the sides. I won’t be ordering those if I end up at an Arby’s again.

We drove a long time listening to music on various devices to varying degrees of success. We’re all huge Dizgeeks, and Owl City fans, so most of the time we listened to Disney soundtracks and Owl City songs. Alex and Amanda had also gotten a bunch of songs from both Julian Smith and Rhett and Link, so we listened to them as well. After a long time of listening to our laptops/cell phones/iDevices, I suggested we stop and get a cassette tape converter to connect to our devices and play them through the car stereo. So we stopped at a Wal-Mart. Alex bought a converter and I bought an extension cord so any of us could use it, no matter how far from the front we were sitting. While we were there I thought this would be the perfect time to remedy my poor decision to NOT buy the hunger games bag. Of course, they did not have a gigantic display like the Council bluffs Walmart. They only had a DVD display with some really cheap string-bag type backpack things. Not what I wanted. So disappointing.

After driving for hours and getting turned around due to our old nemesis, road construction, we finally arrived at our destination, the Embassy Suites! My only thoughts as I looked through the rooms were the lyrics to Julian Smith’s “Nice Hotel”.



Everyone wanted to go swimming, but I was way too tired, and stayed behind to get ready for bed. And write this. And I wrote this. So now I’m going to bed. :p

Fade To Black...

The Next Morning...

Rooster Crowing...

Okay, I think I just beat this joke to death. Poor thing. I promise I won’t do it again. :p

I got up in the morning at around 6:30 and got ready to go. At between 8 and 8:30 the other two started making noise in the other room. It turned out they had stayed up almost the whole night. Everyone had except for me. And even though I missed out on all they had done, I was still glad, because I was the only one who got anywhere near enough sleep. The rest were groggy and miserable for awhile until they had had enough food, caffeine and exercise to wake them up.

Rachel said breakfast would be provided by the hotel, so we all went down together. On the way I took a couple pictures, because the place was really cool looking.




I have had absolutely zero experience whatsoever with fancy hotels, so I did not know what was in store for breakfast. It was basically a huge feast, made to order eggs, omelets, meats, biscuits and gravy, cereal, fruit toast, rolls, muffins, pretty much every kind of breakfast food and I didn’t even go around and look at everything. I ordered a veggie omelet, which the server made right there while I waited. Then I had a mini Danish, and a mini cinnamon roll. With that I also had sausage and bacon. To drink, I had a glass of soy milk, and a glass of cranberry juice. Everything was amazing. After breakfast we went up to pack, which I had already done, but the others still needed to, so instead I changed into my swim clothes because we decided that we’d all wear our swim clothes all day. This would be my first time in any pool since I was about twelve, so I had just bought a swim suit and a shirt made for swimming called a rash guard, made out of a lighter material than a regular shirt.

After everyone had gotten ready to go, we all went to pose for pictures for Rachel. She had some really good ideas for pictures involving the height of the building. I gave her my camera so she could take a few for me as well.



Of course I blinked.

After that we all loaded into the minivan and headed off to the parks. They weren’t that far away, and we got there early enough that we got a good parking space. We checked in and started walking. We walked a lot. I would say at least half the day was spent walking. The terrain there is very uneven as well. None of it is flat. it’s all small hills, so we definitely got our exercise that day. The first ride we rode was the Fury of the Nile. It was not terrifying, but for someone like me who is not used to that kind of thing, it was unnerving. I got soaked, and Shaina got soaked, and Joel and Robert, who WANTED to get soaked, did not. Following that we rode what appeared to be a mild log ride. Yeah, right. It was fun for awhile, then all of a sudden we were climbing up a hill. and I knew that a drop was coming. Once again I got wet going down a waterfall. After this ride some went one way and a few went another. Shaina and I wanted to go on a ride that spun around in a circle and swung it’s arms like a sideways swing. It was the best ride all day in my opinion. The funny thing about it though was that it started raining right before we got on. It was just a mild sprinkle, but we were going so fast that we got wetter on that ride than we had on the two actual water rides! I gave Alex my camera to take some pictures of us.



If you look close you can see the rain coming down in the pictures.

After we got off the ride, Alex suggested we try some Frozen Yogurt. We had never had it before, but we had heard about it on Rhett and Link’s Good Mythical Morning show on YouTube, and we wanted to try it. There was a very large selection of flavors, plus tons of different toppings, including a large variety of fresh fruits and berries. It was really good, though rather expensive. We learned right away that the prices there were much higher than if we had gone to a restaurant outside the park. I had decided earlier that I would not worry about money that day though, so I didn’t mind too much. We ate our yogurt while we waited for the others to get done with their ride. They had gone to a much more popular ride and had a very long wait.

When we got back together we ended up splitting up again, with Rachel, Alex, and Amanda going back to the vehicle for Amanda’s swimsuit, while the rest of us kept walking. And we ended up at... A roller coaster. I was under the impression from the picture on the map that it was a mild ride. It was just an itty bitty roller coaster compared to their giant roller coaster, “The Mamba.” At least, it was just an itty bitty roller coaster according to the illustrations on the map. Unfortunately the map was a big fat liar. That was one of the least mild ride I’ve ever been on in my life. I got a headache from the ride. It was not really fun at all. I wasn’t scared, I just didn’t like it. At all. I wish I did. I really want to like those kinds of rides, but as of right now, I am not a fan. I like the rides that gradually ease you into the thrill. Not ones that just drop you over an edge and cause you to get a headache.

After the roller coaster was a lot more walking. And more walking, and a lot more walking. After a ton of walking we eventually went to Oceans of Fun where we met the girls who all insisted we ride a giant water slide where you get into a really big tube and speed down to a pool. The four girls took one down, and us three guys took the other. Maybe it’s because I can’t swim, but this was the scariest ride I rode all day. I’m pretty sure I would rather ride the Mamba than that one again. I was sure the tube was going to flip over and drown us. Alex, who HATES thrill rides, and didn’t even want to ride the swinging one with Shaina and me, loved this one. I still can’t figure this out...

After that terror, I wanted to just go into a pool. Getting out of the tube ride made me want to just stay in the pool we landed in, but we couldn’t or we’d risk getting run over by the next tube that came careening down at a billion miles an hour. Nearby there was another pool that mimicked the ocean, and we decided to try that one. You waded in and the further you went, the deeper it got, and at a certain time, every ten or fifteen minutes, the tide would come in. I put on a life jacket because I wanted to go out as far as I could, but I can’t swim. Unfortunately I made the mistake of going too far, and I couldn’t get back to a depth where my feet could touch the bottom. Joel, Robert, and Rachel all ended up having to push/pull me back. After that I was fine. The tide started to come in and I rode that for awhile, but eventually I decided to go back to the shallow part. Then I realized just how strong the waves were! When you’re riding them you really don’t notice, but when you’re standing and one hits you, it’s enough that it almost knocks you over! If I’d been a little kid, I probably would have been knocked over.

After we got out of that pool we went to a smaller “Kids” pool that was only 4 feet deep, but had another tubing slide. This one was just one person at a time though. Everyone insisted it was fine, but over half the people who did it ended up flipped off the tubes under the water. I was not fine with that. If I knew how to swim maybe, but I don’t so I don’t want to be dunked under the water unless I am completely in control of the situation. I’ll dunk myself under the four foot deep water, but I don’t want the tube doing the flipping.

Shaina and I ended up staying in that pool and just relaxing for the rest of the time that Oceans of Fun was open, which wasn’t very long, sadly. I could have stayed there the rest of the day and been fine. I’ve discovered that I love being in the water. Just as long as I’m not in danger of drowning. The rest of our friends went back to the giant tube slide, while we hung out and played with some giant floating hippos. Thrill seekers would find us to be a rather boring pair, but we had more fun with those hippos than should have been allowed. :p

After Oceans of Fun closed, we went back to Worlds of Fun. Robert, Joel, Amanda and Shaina All decided to try "The Mamba," While Alex, Rachel, and I waited safely at the bottom. After they got off, Shaina wisely decided to never do that ever again. The others however, all wanted to get back on and experience the terror all over again. And that time I got pictures.




When we left there, Everyone but Shaina and me decided they wanted to go back down “The Fury of the Nile” again, so we watched them as they got on and then went to wait for them at a 50‘s themed diner.



When they got back, we went inside to order supper. And most of us promptly turned around and left. Earlier I said I had decided not to care about money, but when I went in and saw that they were charging over 8 dollars for a hamburger, I decided that I had lied to myself. My big breakfast and the frozen yogurt from a few hours earlier were still keeping me going, and I was just fine with waiting till we left the park to find a more reasonably priced restaurant.

After the ones who decided to allow themselves to be overcharged were done eating, we started walking again. We all decided to go on a “Taxi Ride” which ended up extremely popular for some reason. There were SO many people waiting in line for it. We were standing in line for a good half hour at least! And it was a rather boring, mild ride, so I can’t really figure out what made it so popular. During the time we were waiting, it started pouring. Thankfully, we were under the shelter and because of the extremely long line, by the time we got to ride the cabs, it had stopped. The ride lasted only a small fraction of the time it took to wait for it. Joel decided that he wanted it to be a thrill ride and tried to drive the thing as crazily as possible. He was not very successful, but if it had been possible I think he would have derailed it. :p

After the taxis, we again split into two groups, Robert, Joel, and Amanda, who wanted to be all extreme, and Shaina, Me, Alex, and Rachel, who did not. We rode some mild rides instead, some boat swings, and a train, with the cheesiest, most annoying tour guide who ever lived. The train ride itself was fun, but that guide... Good Gravy... Ham and cheese with extra cheese, and more cheese sauce on top! After the train, Alex and Rachel decided they wanted to go on the bumper cars, which is a ride that I do not understand its extreme popularity. It only lasts like two minutes, yet you have to wait in line for about twenty. All that waiting just to awkwardly drive around and try to plow into perfect strangers, all while the worlds most boring rave is happening. I’d do it if the ride was longer and I knew all the other drivers, but I have no desire to have pretend fender benders with strangers.

We all met up again after the bumper cars, but I’m not really sure were everyone went after that. I know some went to ride the train o’ cheese again, and Shaina and I went to try to find the Ferris Wheel. It ended up being closed because a storm was coming in, so we headed back to the diner. Eventually we all met up again and decided to leave. It was after dark, and most of us were starving and ready to get out of our swim suits.

We decided to go to a Pizza Hut for supper and to change out of our swim suits. It was not a very good place to change, and it was definitely not a CLEAN place to change, but it was still much better than a gas station bathroom. That would have been a nightmare...

After we changed, we all ordered our food and talked. We all ordered different things. I ordered a large supreme pizza for Shaina and me. I would have ordered us a medium, but they didn’t offer stuffed crust in a medium, and I wanted to try the stuffed crust. I don’t think I’d tried it before then and if I had, it had been many, many years. Yes, I have led a sheltered life... :p Sadly, I was not very impressed with the stuffed crust, and I would have been perfectly happy with normal crust.

After supper it was very late. Like ten or eleven o’clock at night, late, and we still had to drive all the way back to Nebraska to pick up Ariana, and then all the way back to Iowa. I can’t remember much about the drive home. I was drifting in and out of consciousness for a good deal of the way, until we stopped at a Walmart around 2 or 3 because Robert needed to rest. At first I stayed in the vehicle. I think I slept some. I don’t remember. I do do remember thinking of the Hunger Games Tote Bag again, and I asked Alex if she could look around for it. If they had one I would come in and buy it. Eventually she came back and told me she had found some, so I went inside. I bought the bag and for good measure I bought a keychain of the Mockingjay as well. Hmmm... Am I getting too into this series? I might need to reign in my fandom... :p Well, considering how the Twilight fandom behaves... Nope, I’m definitely not too obsessed. :p

After walking around, “just looking” for maybe an hour, Alex found me and told me that they were getting ready to go. I decided then to get my very first energy drink. Yes, I have never before in my life consumed an energy drink. You know, sheltered life and all... :p I decided on a Starbucks energy drink. Not a coffee drink, or a pop-like drink with tons of HFCS fake nastiness, but one made with fruit juice and “Green Coffee” whatever that is. Supposedly it was healthy. It wasn’t bad, and it did keep me awake for the rest of the night. Sort of.

A few hours later we arrived at Rachel’s parents home. It had stormed off and on, so we were MUCH later getting there than we had planned. Robert had had to drive a lot slower than he would have otherwise. Joel got out while we waited for them to collect Ariana and get her strapped in. It looked like he fell asleep on their lawn. I’m not even sure if Rachel’s mother even noticed him. She came out and was handing out pop to everyone. Rachel’s mother will always offer you food or drink, even in the dead of night. :)

After waking Joel up, we all got back in the van and headed for home. And then we ran into fog. This of course slowed us WAY down. We drove for at least twice, if not three times as long as it should have taken to get home. By the time we pulled up to Robert and Rachel’s it was almost morning. And then their garage door wouldn’t open, and they had no key to get in. And the key to Joel’s car was inside. After trying everywhere on the house for an open spot, it was burgling time. Joel and Robert literally broke into their house. Thankfully it was still dark and no one was around to call the cops. “Help! Police! There’s a motley crew of people and a baby surrounded by luggage watching two guys cut open a screen and crawl into a house!”

Somewhere between 6:30 and 7 we finally got home. I think we had estimated that we would probably be home around 2. So, yeah. That didn’t happen. At all. Needless to say, we slept in. Way in. I think it was around 2 in the afternoon when I woke up that day.

You know the old saying, it’s not the destination, it’s the journey? That certainly held true for this trip. The parks were fun, but some of the most memorable things happened outside the theme parks. All in all, this was probably one of the best trips I’ve ever been on. I know that’s not saying much, considering I come from a very non-traveling family, and I’ve hardly been anywhere, but I had a lot of fun, and I can’t wait until our next trip. :)