Monthly Archives: March 2016

Kid Movies

As a parent I have the pleasure of watching a lot of movies aimed at kids. Sometimes it’s the same movie repeatedly. I don’t mind, most of the time, and I understand. There are movies that to this day I can repeat verbatim because I watched them so much as a kid. The problem I’m finding is that my wife and I like to discuss the movies.  We try to rationalize the world they are set in and fill in the holes. It can be fun. There is one movie though that annoys the hell out of me.

Bolt.

For those who don’t know, it’s a movie about a dog who doesn’t know it’s an actor. It thinks that it really is a superpowered dog who has to protect his person. Things go wacky when Bolt escapes to find his person.

Sounds fun right?

Considering the people who made it know how movies work, it isn’t. Ignoring the multiple animal cruelty laws they would break every time the camera rolls and the fact that Bolt somehow survives being locked in a box filled with packing peanuts & shipped from Hollywood to NYC, it is completely it still has plenty of problems. The movie opens with an action scene that spans a city. It’s quickly revealed that it was a set and all the cars were props. Everything about it was setup, even the backdrop is fake. The punchline of the joke is that the shot is ruined by a boom-mic poking into the scene.

My daughter has rediscovered her love of this movie & it’s back in rotation. I’m tempted to steal a page from my parents book & just have it disappear.

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Filed under Movie Reviews, Rant

Idea Wrangling- Pixies

One of my favorite books when I was little was The Borrowers. I love the idea of little people coexisting with humans. Living in the walls, crawlspaces, and forgotten attics while they carefully scavenge things while living in secret. In fact, one of my first stories was about being shrunken down and my adventures.

As a parent now I spend a lot of time watching animated movies. While I might be watching cartoons and such without kids the selection would be different. For a good stretch of time one of my goblins loved the Tinkerbell movies that Disney had going. We watched them quite a lot and, as we usually do, my wife and I started to overthink the stories.

The place they live is called Pixie Hollow and they have Pixie Dust, but they are all called Fairies. Not once are any of the characters called Pixies. They did come up with the name ‘sparrowmen’ for the male fairies (which is a cool term) but the Pixie/Fairy thing wasn’t answered. Granted, I didn’t read the attached books. If that is where the information rests then I have yet to disturb its slumber.

Couple with the movies such as Epic (shudder), Strange Magic, and The Secret World of Arrietty  I’ve started to consider an attempt to start a project.

This is the part where I try to organize some of the rambling in my head. You have been warned.

It would be set in a town, or city, where people live unaware of the little world around them. There would be different sorts of people (fairies, pixies, & brownies) as well as small magical creatures. Animals would play a part, but most would lack the ability to speak. Pixies and brownies would not have wings while living in buildings, crawlspaces, and such. The main separation between those two peoples would be nomadic vs a settled way of life. Fairies would have wings and stick to parks and gardens.

Magic is something I’ve considering as well. Each kind of people would have their own sort of magic. It would be tailored for to fit their way of life. Honestly, I’m still trying to figure it out. Fairies would have magic based around plants. Pixies could have something connected to scavenging, tracking, or maybe even camouflage. Brownies would have magic similar to Pixies, but I was thinking something closer attached to crafting.

Luckily, I’ve got the plot settled. I’m worried about how to get the tone and world settled. Thanks for reading.

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Filed under Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Writing

Personal Update- Feel Free to Skip

I like to think that I’m very open about health. Specifically, mental health. Growing up it was always just kind of known that the men in my family had depression. No one really questioned it, but we all knew. Mental health wasn’t a pressing issue, you kept your head down and went on. That’s how it was.

When I got older I decided to take things into a more serious light. I sought out help. My GP directed me to more qualified people and treatment began. While I’ve always thought that I’ve had depression it turns out I was wrong. Anxiety and OCD. I found this odd as I never even considered OCD as a possibility. It turns out that it isn’t just arranging things just so, or cleaning your hands constantly, there are a lot of other symptoms to it.

I’m being treated now. It helps a lot. I can look back on how I was and see the progress I’ve made. If anyone were to ask me I would tell them that getting assistance for mental issues is a big step. It’s not one that most people like to talk about and it’s a lot of internal struggle to make the effort. Seeking help is completely worth it. The process takes time and honesty, but there is progress.

One of the most important things I have ever learned is that asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness. Letting your troubles pile up because you’re too afraid for others to see what’s going on is. It’s the equivalent of lowering your drawbridge to allow entry, not putting up a white flag.

Great, you say (you being the hypothetical reader who I said could easily skip this post), mental health is a good topic. Why is this something you’re talking about now?

Well, there’s been some extra stress as of late and I’m seeing the cracks in my new foundation. A couple of weeks ago I had a panic attack, it wasn’t the first I’ve ever had, but it was the first one since I’ve been getting help. It set me back a couple of days because I was mad at myself. After that some other things happened, I don’t want to get into the details, but it was stress. A lot of freaking stress.

I’m seeing old habits crop back up. While they aren’t as bad as they were, I still don’t like that it’s happening. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to indulge these old routines to ease the pressure. I’ve been doing the little ones, the ones I don’t see any harm in, but I don’t want it to snowball. Before I was getting help it was hard to leave the house.

There is an appointment coming up. I’m going to mention all these things to the person helping me. I know that it will get smoothed out. I’m just still adjusting to this new arrangement. My new foundation isn’t yet set and I’m seeing cracks. It’s nerve-wracking.

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Filed under Rant