Let’s Talk Politics: “Not My President”

I’d like to take a moment to briefly reflect on my interpretation of “Not My President.”

Imagine your place of work, whether it’s an office, a kitchen, a retail shop, anything. You’re entry level, but make far more than any other entry level positions in town and have a lot of potential for growth if you continue at your job. Someone walks in, either to make a purchase, as an investor, or for an interview. You notice they’re wearing a cross around their neck. Out of his office, bursts your manager/boss. He screams at the man yelling that white Christians are not allowed in the store/office, pointing at the door and yelling at him to leave. He does this every time he sees someone with a cross. When the man asks why, he continues screaming, calling the man a murderer and telling him that his faith is wrong. He says that the man must be evil, citing the crusades in his tirade about violence. Now, you cannot leave your job, because if you did, you’d have no way to pay your rent or put food on your table for you and your child. You’ve considered leaving, but nowhere else in town is hiring or they cannot offer you as much as you’re getting now, and you’re barely getting by on your current salary, not to mention that you love your job, aside from your boss. Every time your boss does something like this, your respect for him gets less and less until you need a way to express that 1. You cannot respect him and 2. His views do not represent how you think or feel. You begin to say to yourself that he’s not the boss of you, shortening it to “Not My Boss” which you use in quiet retaliation.

With most people I have talked to that say “Not My President” they are not denying the fact that Mr. Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, nor that they are a resident of the United States. Instead, they are trying to make a statement that his words do not define or represent them.

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Career, Writing, Hair, Writing, Movies, Writing, Random Adorableness, and did I mention Writing? – December 2016

It’s official! I’m a video game writer! Last month, a VR game I’ve been working on at my company launched. This is the first game that has been released that had any of my writing in it (I named the items in the game, wrote their descriptions/upgrade text, and wrote the tutorial). It may sound boring, but so far, it’s been the most exciting thing I’ve done in my game dev career!

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A still frame from our Dev Diary video

I think in the final cut the “Big Red Button” logo was removed, but this is the image that I was able to get.

My hair is growing back in many patches on top of my head, so that’s good, but it seems I’m still growing more bald patches faster than I’m regrowing hair. The whole thing is rather disappointing. I’m still glad that treatment seems to be working and I’ve been doing a pretty decent job of trying to ignore the problem and just focus on other things in my life. It’s kind of working, but I still have my moments where the whole thing just gets too real and makes me way more upset than it probably should.

I’m excited to announce that I’m nearly 90 short stories in, and have yet to miss (or even be late) on my noon daily deadline (although I’ve posted a few early by mistake and accidentally made some scheduling errors so that not all of my posts go up at noon… but overall those have been pretty rare!

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This is one of my favorite stories I wrote for this month.

I saw a lot of movies this month. Well 3, no four? Maybe 3? In order, I saw Dr. Strange (maybe that was last month, I don’t remember), Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Moana, and of course Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. (I saw Fantastic Beasts, Moana, and Rogue One twice each, so maybe that’s why it’s felt like so many movies). Anyway, I’ll be posting my reviews for all of those movies as soon as they’re finished, so be sure to keep an eye out.

Which leads me back to writing! I just posted my first review on this site Creative.co. I meant to post it on a site called “MoviePilot” but apparently I don’t know how to internet… anyway, you can read my Kubo review (the same one that’s on this site actually) here. I have no intention to stop posting my reviews here on my site. In the coming weeks, I plan to export my existing movie reviews to Creative.co, or MoviePilot, or whatever, as well as write a few new ones. Because of my flash fiction challenge (To write a 100-365 word stand-alone short story every day for a year. These can be found on my other blog, Let’s Get Creative) it will be difficult for me to chug out reviews endlessly (and, let’s face it, I don’t watch all that many movies), but I’ll try to continue to add to my writing!

Oh yes, and I did promise some random adorableness. Recently, I found a series of memes about me. Well, not me exactly, but they’re uncannily similar to how I act and react to a lot of things. When I found them, I jokingly whined that I was clearly “normal” and this was proof. The tumblr series is titled “I think I love a Derp.”

Anyway… I saw this one comic and started laughing so hard because a few weeks ago, I took a picture of the guy I’m dating holding up a Hank plushie at the World of Disney in Downtown Disney, Anaheim… and the resemblance to the comic was so close… he added his pic to the comic <3…

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Also, I failed hard core at Christmas shopping this year, so if you got a “meh” gift, sorry!

The Other Woman – 12/14/16

ponce-de-leon-ballroom-side-largeI was at a beautiful gathering; a gala maybe? I wore a gorgeous floor length gown that glittered when I twirled and was dancing, slow dancing, maybe the waltz in a grand hall with a marble floor. The hall had giant intricate pillars that lifted for miles and I truly would have felt like a princess except for an aching feeling in the pit of my stomach telling me something was wrong. Servers carried platters of champagne and finger food by me as I danced with him. I looked over his shoulder anxiously, looking for anything suspicious, but all I saw were happy party goers minding their own. It was nearing the time I had to leave. I had a work party or something I needed to make it to, but I wasn’t planning on going. He was up to something, something he didn’t want me to know. I had been with him for a while now, and my gut told me there was something he was hiding. My head did the rest, thinking the worst, as I searched the room, looking for her. Nobody looked out of place. When it was finally the last moment I could leave and get to my other engagement on time. I excused myself, parting with a hug and words of well wishes. I headed toward the door, but ducked behind a magnificent pillar, he didn’t seem to notice. It didn’t take long for her to appear. Her gown was beautiful and she seemed a bit younger, but I was too far away to get a good look. Her long blonde hair looked natural, but as I got closer, I could see her darkened roots.

07e4ae4dcd8eef3e11a1864752b62684-d4khunt.jpgWith all the stealth of a graceless bull in tap shoes, I marched to his side, placing m hand on his arm while they danced. He gave me a surprised look, but didn’t appear alarmed. Neither did she. I began to question if I had been wrong the whole time, and cut in, lying that I’d gotten a text message saying my meeting or party or whatever had been postponed. The other girl stayed close at my heels as we danced, waiting for the moment I stepped away, a moment I didn’t plan to give.

After a while, my manners got the better of me. I turned to her and introduced myself as Amy. She smiled at me. A genuine smile, like one you’d see on a kid usually picked last for kickball being the one chosen first for a team. My man stopped dancing and looked at me, his face clearly embarrassed.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “I should have told you a while ago.”

My stomach turned to knots as I anticipated the gut punch I already felt coming.

“This is my daughter, Suzie.”

Father Daughter Dance.jpgAnd with that, before my eyes, Suzie transformed from the beautiful young woman that she was into a small, child; sweet, adorable, and full of life. I smiled at her, a real smile.

“It’s great to meet you.”

I shot her dad a look that I was hoping said “Why didn’t you tell me?” but he just smiled and shrugged.

~Awake~

Writing Exercise #6 – Chatter

Writing Exercise

Write a story using nothing but dialogue. Try to describe the setting and emotions in a natural way but do not add narrative.

Response to Exercise #5

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Class was mind-numbingly boring. He’d already read the chapter being discussed and had no questions except for ones he knew the teacher wouldn’t answer. As he sat at his desk, eyes glazed over and feeling like the teacher was speaking like the adults in Charlie Brown, he decided to sharpen some of his pencils, at least it would look like he was doing something. As he grabbed his sharpener, the shavings all spilled out on his paper, he mumbled inaudibly under his breath, he knew he needed to replace his sharpener. Instead of sweeping them of his paper, he drew a line behind a smaller shaving, making it look something like an airplane in flight. And with that he was hooked. He began drawing everything from birds to lions, people, to Christmas trees, rearranging the shavings to be fun accents like dresses and fans, hair and feathers. Before he knows it the lecture is over. His teacher is hovering over him, staring at his page, no longer making unintelligible noises, but instead trying to hide her amazement as she told him how he ought not to draw in her class and needed to pay attention. She resisted giving him a detention slip and he nodded before quietly sliding his phone out of his pocket and snapping a picture of his creation. He crumpled the page and threw it in the trash on the way out, he had plenty more pencils and he’d also read ahead for his next class, U.S. History.

 

Note: This post’s upload time/date was edited to fit into the scheduled posting timeline.

NaNo, Hair, and Politics – November 2016

Warning: This post does contain my political views. If you do not wish to read them, please do not read or stop reading after the section about my AA.

imgres.pngAgain this year, for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) I tried to write a novel. I didn’t get very far, especially because I was also trying to get my daily flash fiction writings done (success!) and keep up with life in general (I survived the month so successful again). Definitely had to fail somewhere though, and for the fourth year in a row now, that failure came from not finishing my novel (which is a bummer because I was really excited to get one done. I haven’t scrapped the story though, and plan to get back into writing it soon.

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This poor kid… At least the hair I do have can be styled so nobody is the wiser 😮

Again with the hair. Wanted to do a quick update. I had a new doctor this month, well a RN I think (I’m terrible with what medical terms are) but he was nice. I now have another patch, this one on my left temple, bringing my total up to four. The one on my right temple got larger, but the top of my head has about 30% regrowth. The spot on my left is still small, and I’m hoping it will stay that way! I’ve mostly stopped crying about the hair loss. I’m still pretty bitter about the whole thing, but I’m starting to accept it (months later). I am, however, glad to know that there’s some regrowth going on and I’m trying very hard to stay positive, but it’s a difficult order to fill.

 

fightingdonkeyelephant.jpgThis Thanksgiving, I had a very strange, very upsetting political conversation with my family that resulted in me storming off into the night. I do feel bad about leaving, but finding out what I learned proved more upsetting than I imagined. There were members of my family, family that I see often, that were able to justify themselves turning a blind eye on issues that I find to be very important. See, I’m a supporter of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and most of the equality things that surround it. When I found that they weren’t I tried to understand why, but whenever I tried to explain my reasons, explain that the “all lives matter” is a way to sweep the situation under the rug, I was outnumbered and spoken over. Since my immediate family, mother, father, brother and close friends all have similar thoughts on the matter, seeing the spike in violent hate crimes, seeing the percentages of unnecessary deaths to blacks compared to other ethnicities, I couldn’t quite get why anyone living in a large metropolitan area couldn’t see it. When they told me that “everyone struggles, if you want to get out of a bad situation bad enough, you just pull yourselves up by your bootstraps and do it,” my heart sank. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. It was, to me, like telling a rape victim that she wanted it, that she had it coming. Not quite the discussion I wanted to have over the Thanksgiving turkey.

Looking back, I don’t think I walked out because of their views, I’ve had civil enough conversations with enough people of opposing viewpoints to be able to have a discussion. It was a combination of learning the intolerance of my close family (and trust me, they made a few rather shockingly racist comments) the realization that I wouldn’t be able to bring some of my closest friends to large family gatherings without scrutiny for things about them they were born having, and the fact that my opinion was being drown out and ignored, with no area to give my reasoning or express my opinions/beliefs. It’s very frustrating to be told you’re fundamentally wrong and given no opportunity to defend or explain your beliefs.

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Note: This post’s upload time/date was edited to fit into the scheduled posting timeline.

Infiltration and Sky Base – 11/1/16

MB2-GIF-2.gifMy trial, to prove I was who I said I was, was to walk through a hallway, riddled with Indiana Jones style booby traps. The floor tiles would depress if I put too much weight on the wrong ones. If they fully depressed, then the walls would spit arrows at me. Or at least that’s what I believed would happen. As I walked tile to tile, I prodded the next stepping place, testing it with some weight to see if it budged. After making some nearly fatal miscalculations and having a great deal of luck on my side, I made it through on a very unceremonious path. The time it took me, however, gave me away, and soon, my escort was calling for guards to take me away and imprison me for both impersonation and treason. I ran. I knew that there were others in my group, like the redhead woman, whose long wavy hair looked black when she pulled it into a tight braided bun. The other man with me decided to run as well. We quickly scaled the wall of the mansion’s courtyard and made it to the outer edge of the palace before we were stopped. Apparently word had not yet spread to these men, as we were able to convince them we had be exiled, and not charged as treasonous prisoners. They sent us to be marooned on a small sand island, that was really more of a sand bar than an actual island. As the tide came in, it became clear that the whole island would soon be underwater, and the nearest landmass was too far to swim to, especially fully clothed in noble attire. Just then, I remembered I had the ability to fly, and scooped up my comrade and carried him to the next nearest island, one that had trees for shelter, didn’t look inhabited, and most importantly, wouldn’t go underwater with the tide.

playing on the sand bar

After a short while, the locals who were hidden at our arrival found us. When they realized we were not actually of the royal guard, or whatever it was we were attempting to infiltrate, they explained to us that they too were part of the resistance, and this was one of their bases. I showed them my rank and explained to them that I believed the redheaded agent had double crossed us and was working with the enemy. They disagreed, telling me that she’d gathered a great deal of intel that we’d since been lacking, including the coordinates that the enemy had of all of our bases. I was shocked to find that my base, the floating sky base, was one of the ones listed as known, and it was scheduled to be raided and destroyed soon.

flying-sky-city-wallpapersFrantic, I needed to warn my people, but fortunately, the islanders had already beat me to it. They told me that they’d sent for an evacuation and that the inhabitants were headed toward a secret sky base, one that I didn’t know existed. I sent my captain, the man I’d saved from the water, to go lead the sky ships safely to their new location, speeding up time for them to ensure their success. Meanwhile, I was also able to see that the enemy captain’s ship would transform each night, changing it from a floating ship with sails to a luxurious modern building, that floated. I remember thinking something about a worker’s union, but that was about the extent of that.

1e9b0e56453739b078b7cbec318c2dee.jpgNearing the end, my vision flashed over to what appeared to be the third member of my initial group. The woman with dark red hair. She was in a beautiful, bright room, with mirrors and high ceilings. I heard someone ask “When did she get those tattoos?” When I looked at her back, I saw what they were referring to, but it didn’t look like tattoos to me. My view honed in on what I finally realized were the laces of a corset, the corset of a white wedding gown, with names scrawled across them. When pulled tighter, the names changed, and I finally realized that they were credits, to my dream…

~Awake~

Ride Review: California Adventure’s Hollywood Tower of Terror

What is it?

In Disney’s California Adventure, there’s a Twilight Zone themed ride called the Tower of Terror, which opened on May 5, 2014 and that will be closing on January 3, 2017 to make way for a re-themed ride “Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!” For the past month, the park has been running a “late checkout” which allows guests to ride the attraction in complete darkness.

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Concept for the remodel

 

 

The Good

tumblr_nkclj1pcmc1tw2a73o4_r1_1280This ride is amazing. The first time I rode it I was grinning ear to ear because of my love of Twilight Zone as a kid and how great that it was that Disneyland’s California Adventure incorporated it into their park. The entire building is themed, sometimes even having live period music. Much like the Enchanted Tiki Room’s waiting area and the Haunted Mansion, the story is introduced in a waiting room, playing a synopsis about the strange occurrence that occurred in the hotel themed attraction and readying guests for what is to come ahead. After, the line leads through an amazingly detailed boiler room area full with a furnace and antiqued set-up.

When the ride started doing their “Late Checkout” where guests rode in total darkness, I knew I wanted to check it out, but was surprised to find just how much more terrifying it is without lights or sound effects (aside from an eerie narration). During the 2-3 minute ride, the pauses before the drops seemed to drag on forever – letting each rider feel the tension and anxiety in everyone else, even when they couldn’t see their hand in front of their own face. Everyone was holding their breath, myself included, as the usual cues for when the fall would begin were absent.

unnamed.jpgSomething cool, is after you get off the ride, but before you reach the gift shop/picture area under the staircase, you can see the a set of feet sticking out from behind a crate. When facing the stairs as if you would walk up them, the feet are under the right-hand staircase. Ask a cast member to show you if you have trouble finding them, it’s definitely worth it to see in person.

 

The Not-So-Good

Although I think it is a good thing, the overall ambiance of the ride is about as “creepy” as the Haunted Mansion (my favorite ride), but may scare young children. If you’re planning to check into the hotel (ride this attraction) expect the line to be an hour to two hours long, and fastpasses go pretty quick, especially now that the ride will be taken out, which is disappointing considering how popular it is. It’s also important to understand that the ride does close frequently for maintenance and in cases that it breaks down, but tends to reopen in a couple of hours. If you don’t like free-fall rides, or are afraid of heights/falling, this ride is not for you, as at the top of it, doors will open up, giving riders a view of the park, before dropping them to a 130 foot free-fall.

os-disney-tower-terror-guardians-galaxy-rumors.jpgI think it’s also important to note that the Tower of Terror ride in Orlando Florida is a bit more interesting than the straight drop in Anaheim’s California Adventure. The Hollywood Studios (Orlando) ride moves not only vertically, but horizontally, taking guests through different rooms, which was less plausible in the Anaheim location because of the physical space available for the ride.

Final Thoughts

9stars

Overall, I’d give this ride a 9/10. Even though it’s nowhere near as anxiety-causing as other free-fall thrill rides, such as 6 Flags Magic Mountain’s Lex Luthar Drop of Doom, it’s a fun, fairly family friendly attraction that will add some adventure and excitement into your California Adventure Trip. Remember, the ride will be closing January 3, 2017, despite petition to keep it open, however there are not currently any plans (or rumors) to close other The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror rides at other Disney parks.

towerofterror_mgmOther parks that have The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror Ride:

  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Orlando, Florida – USA)
  • Tokyo DisneySea (Tokyo, Japan)
  • Walt Disney Studios Park (Paris, France)