Winner, winner, chicken dinner (and review of my cake batter)

Ha. I knew the title would catch your eye. Doesn’t food always catch the eyes of humans? But this post has nothing to do with food. It’s about a lame achievement I made this April.

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Now, you must play the fanfare I won for winning Camp.

Well, no one awarded it to me but myself, but I think I deserve it, right? I wrote fifteen thousand words. The track is seventeen seconds long. That’s about eight hundred eighty-two words per second.

(Off-topic: I could listen to the Lego Universe Soundtrack for hours and never grow tired of it. The mix of brass and violins and interesting percussion is so intriguing, and the feeling I get when I listen to them is nothing short of an adrenaline rush. They have been my life soundtrack for a year or so now and I’m not growing cold on them. Brian Tyler is awesome! Here’s the link to the entire soundtrack via Youtube: Link! My personal favourites are Rocket Escape, Battlegrounds, Monument Race, Blastoff, Nimbus Plaza, Nimbus Station, Red Blocks, Pet Cove, General Forestry, Forbidden Valley, Ninjago Monastery, and Battle Against Frakjaw, which I have linked for your convenience. You can thank my brother Mac for this discourse, because he was the one who got me hooked on this.)

So, my Camp project. It was an idea made up a couple of weeks days hours before camp started. I wanted to write a story about feudal Japan, but it would have bugged me if it were inaccurate. But I didn’t want to go and do a bunch of research on feudal Japan. So I just infused Japanese culture into somewhere that I never expressly mentioned was Japan, I’d be good, right?

Bam. The Taiso Senshu was born. And it probably won’t make a bit of sense because I sprinkled too many Japanese words in it. So many that I’m not even going to bother identifying them for you. Now is a good time to practice your context clues. 😛

The story’s track was different when I began writing it than when I finished it. When I began, I was writing a story about Kaori Sasaki. She was the niece of the main taiso kyoshi and thus steeped in taiso since birth, practically. But the only other female senshu wasn’t a very shining example. She had one chance to prove herself to the other senshu or else she’d have Hanoka Norman’s fate.

As much as I liked that story, the story I finished with went something like this:

Akio Hayashi was trained from birth to infiltrate the taiso senshu and give the Farukon the information leading to their fate. He was supposed to not say a word, to avoid camraderie with the enemy. Yet, in an accident, he breaks his vow of silence by accident, and strikes up an unlikely alliance with Kaori, the only senshu he deems worthy of his time. (Akio has an extreme superiority complex.) But now he’s got a problem – stay loyal to the Farukon, or stay loyal to the senshu?

It’s a lot better reading it, I promise. There were several things I needed to fix, though, and here’s a long to-do list of those things.

  • Change the setting slightly
  • Focus the plot
  • Re-do the POV from an all-Kaori to a half-Akio, half-Kaori
  • Change the details I ended up changing

I’d give The Taiso Senshu a 3.9/10 right now. Maybe once I’ve baked my cake batter, it’ll taste better. (See what I did there?)

Did you win Camp? How many words did you write?

{Tess}

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Movie Review: The Fate Of The Furious

Precautionary statements:
This review will contain major SPOILERS. If you don’t plan on watching the film, or if you are the kind who likes to know everything about a flick before watching it, then this is the review for you.

This review also will get rambly at parts, so stay with me. I have a lot to say about it.

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

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Yesterday, courtesy of my wonderful mum, I went to see The Fate of the Furious. I hadn’t been to theater since The Peanuts Movie, so I was pretty excited…but a little turned off by the previews, I might add. Seriously, it was a 3-2-1-1: three sensual movies all rated R, two beat-sheet action films, one really creepy horror film. Seriously, no one needs to see movies about playboys, mummies coming back to life, lifeguards who obviously aren’t doing their jobs, or anthromorphic apes fighting humans. Apes have the wrong anatomy to ride horses, anyways!

But there was one film I actually did want to see. How many days is it till Dunkirk comes out?! Look forward to a review for that this summer :).

After kind of being shell-shocked by all the evil previews, I was quite relieved that the film finally began. If you want a rundown on the plot, go Google it. 😛

I went into this film without having seen any of the previous films or a true action movie (National Treasure doesn’t count, does it?), so I was eager to see what would befall my adventure-loving spirit.

Content-wise, this movie is pretty good for PG-13. There is a good bit of swearing, but certainly less than Band of Brothers. I really don’t see that as a problem when the ones watching it know not to imitate, i.e, anyone over 13. Frequent uses of the “Big Five” swear words, plus a couple of British ones (we’ll get to that!). There is only one scene with racing party girls (you know, the one’s at the beginning and end of those car-racing games at the arcade), and it barely lasts thirty seconds. I was forewarned, and you can be too – look away when you see the first one. When you see an engine out of your peripherals, then you can look back.

Action. Sooooo much awweesommme acctionnn. I have a weak spot for things blowing up and big brawls and whatever, so I was really excited. Seriously, cars began to drive themselves. Seriously, whoever has a GPS in their car needs to tear it out. That’s terrifying to think that your car could be one of the ones that Cipher hacks to fly out of the parking garage onto the convoy carrying the nuclear football. Or one of the ones she controls to chase said convoy. And the part where they have Dom trapped in the grappling hooks? AWESOME. Until he hoses them and flips all their cars. 😥

The story of this started right after the movie started. There was no fiddling around waiting for something to happen. Seriously, Cipher was introduced in the third scene. But the previous two weren’t unimportant either – for someone who hadn’t been following these characters for seven movies, I liked Dom the minute I saw him. And when he agreed to race for his cousin’s (or was it his nephew’s?) car, I was like, “Yay! A race!” The Cuban N2O won after all. I would never have thought of throwing the car in reverse to avoid the rapidly flaming engine. He won, but threw the car into the ocean. And gave his cousin/nephew (I can’t remember which) his ’70s Impala. Wicked!

The characters of this film were the kind that you liked on sight. I loved Dom and Letty the moment they leaned over the engine, Luke Hobbs the minute I saw he was a family man, Deckerd the Brit the minute he began to trash talk. Well, my like for Deckerd may have been because he was British. And that he didn’t get riled up when Luke told him he was going to beat his blank like a Cherokee drum.

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Left to right – Deckerd, Rhodes, “Mr. Nobody”, Roman, Cipher, Dom, Letty, Tej, Ramsey, “Little Nobody” Eric, and Luke.

My personal favourite out of these characters was Letty. I loved to see a combat-boot-wearing, kick-your-rear kind of woman who’s not catty, who’s sensitive but not flowery, and believes in Dom no matter what everyone else says. She didn’t over-wear her makeup. She wasn’t a throw-in because the team needed a girl to make the sexist activists happy. She wasn’t an advocate of feminism (finally!) She was an honest-to-goodness good character, and her attitude toward the others was something that should have been modelled long ago.

Letty is on the team because she wants to help. She isn’t trying to “show everyone what girls can do” or “show the men that she’s just as good as they are”. In fact, she’s the one who supports Dom in everything he does. Even when the rest of the team is convinced that “Dominic Toretto’s gone rogue”, she still believes that he knows what he’s doing. Which pays off in the end, because he did sort of know what he was doing. It was when his son got involved that things got complicated. Whoa, spoilers. :P.

I have to say that my favourite scene was when Deckerd gets Baby Toretto, later named Brian, out of the plane. It is extremely funny.

I found out from my mom that the reason they named the baby Brian was to commemorate a cast member who died in a horrible car crash. That was a nice way to remember him without CGI (I was shocked to find out that you could do that!).

Some people say that this film is unrealistic, but hey, isn’t every movie? I really think this flick was fun, action-packed, and awesome. If you’re not touched by swearing, then I would suggest that any action-loving person go see it.

I’m sorry this was sort of scribbly, but with a movie as free-flowing as this one, I figured the review ought to be the same way.

Final verdict:

YEA!

(for good characters, non-stop action, and visual appropriateness. AND BRIAN TYLER DID THE MUSIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

{Tess}