how to be me

how to be me:

-go to Chick-fil-A drive-through
-order a number one, no pickles, with a lemonade
-pull up to window
-pay for food
-take drink
-drive off without food because you’re an idiot
-drive back around while girl at the window gives you a weird look
-park
-get out of car and smile because you’re an embarrassed idiot
-take the walk of shame over to drive-through window
-wave like an idiot to the person waiting in their car
-grab bag from girl at the window and apologize for being an idiot
-go back to car
-drive away as fast as possible
-park somewhere far away to eat your sandwich free of embarrassment

congratulations, you’re now me

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At least one Ninja Turtle is paying attention.

Jeremy-Howard-Donatello-Ninja-Turtles-Movie

I never did get around to detailing my thoughts on the Michael Bay-produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but I did discuss it a fair amount with my friends, and the single biggest complaint I had was that it never slowed down. It was a frenetic and frenzied blitz from start to finish, never really allowing itself to breathe or let its best assets (its characters) marinate in your mind.

That’s actually a big reason why I feel the original Turtles movie (1990) was – and remains – so great. It wasn’t a movie with nonstop action, worried that dialog might bore the audience. It has a strong sense of deliberate pacing, which allowed the four brothers to appropriately display their differing personalities and show off the ways in which they interacted with one another.

So I was delightfully surprised by a comment from Jeremy Howard, who plays the role of Donatello in the newest Turtles flick, that indicated he felt the same way. In an interview with Comic Book Resources, Howard said, “I’d love to see more interaction with the Turtles, more quiet moments where we get to see how they think and what makes them tick.”

Considering I wasn’t really a fan of much of anything in 2014’s TMNT, this is a promising thought from someone directly involved. It doesn’t mean that’s what we’ll get, but at least someone’s acknowledged it.

Hybrid Showdown!

09_comparo_insight-vs-prius_group3_1k-thumb-555x370

You know that scene in the movies where two souped-up muscle cars pull up to a stoplight, side by side, and start revving their engines loudly as the tough-guy drivers stare each other down before peeling out and racing off once the light turns green?

Now imagine those two muscle cars are actually fuel-efficient hybrids, which are completely silent when idling. And instead of trying to impress/intimidate one another with loud engine revving and intense eye contact, the two drivers are actually just a couple of socially awkward nerds who are staring a hole in the traffic light and pretending not to notice one another until the light turns green and they quietly drive off in opposite directions.

Because that’s pretty much what happened when a Honda Insight pulled up next to me in my Toyota Prius on my way home from work today.

Thanks for reading in 2014, upward and onward in 2015

I haven’t been posting nearly as much as I’d like in recent months, but I suspect that will change soon (which sounds like a promise every blogger has broken at some point).

I appreciate every single view I’ve received and want to thank everyone who’s cared enough about my opinion to read what I have to say.

I look forward to engaging with you all even more in the coming year. 😀

How We Value Art

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the way we value art. We watch movies and play games, and then assess their value by assigning a number. It’s like saying, “Your work, effort, time and creative vision are worth this number. Next.”

Too often, we outright dismiss something without even taking the time to consider everything that went into making it. We’re all guilty of it – I know I certainly am.

Can you imagine pouring your heart, soul and mind into something, only to have some snot-nosed twerp or pretentious neckbeard on the internet blow it off – without even reading the actual criticism – because some reviewer gave it a less-than-stellar score?

Something just feels inherently unfair about judging creativity in this way.

I realize that a numerical score is what the lowest common denominator will best understand, but as a general standard, creators, artists and content producers deserve better than that. They deserve a real, honest critique.

Now, I understand that not everything – be it a book, song, movie, game, poem or whatever else – is truly created with expression/experience in mind. There are many, many works that are vapid and made only with the intent to cash in on a fad in the most lucrative way possible.

But that doesn’t mean our criticism has to be just as flat and one-dimensional.

I’d rather giggle.

The word “giggle” is one of my all-time favorites. It’s not an onomatopoeia, but it still carries a rhythm that makes me grin just for saying it. It’s juvenile in the best way possible. I’d rather giggle than just simply laugh. Giggling is sillier and more joyous. It’s genuine, pure and entirely visceral.

Adults laugh, guffaw, chuckle, chortle, snicker, smirk and sneer.

Kids giggle.

I’d rather giggle.

An example of why Miyamoto and Nintendo are so great

Here’s a portion of an LA Times interview with Miyamoto:

“It’s not that I don’t like serious stories or that I couldn’t make one, but currently in the video game industry you see a lot of game designers who are working really hard to make their games seem really cool,” Miyamoto said. “For a lot of us at Nintendo, it’s difficult to decide what cool is. In fact, it’s a lot easier for us to laugh at ourselves. It’s almost as if we’re performers. Our way of performing is by creating these fun, odd and goofy things.”

This is a wonderful example of why I love Nintendo so much, and so much more than any other developer. Their games are focused on fun and not on the trendy and superfluous.