A New Story Emerges…

I’m writing a new story, and it’s about…

…a platypus.

Yes, you read that right. 

Anyway, it’s super cool and I’m having loads of fun writing it. I haven’t published any of the chapters yet because I still need a cover, and I’m also hoping to round up a little audience to present it to. 

Now, you’re probably wondering why you should even consider reading my dumb story about a platypus, so I guess I ought to give you a little elevator pitch to give you a little idea of what this story is about:

Everything is chipper for Mr. Platypus. So chipper that it couldn’t possibly be right if he didn’t have his fair share of concerns. In fact, Mr. Platypus has come down with an illness. But this is no ordinary bug; no, he has been plagued with curiosity. And as anyone with even two cents in their wallet could tell you, curiosity always means trouble. This is the tale of Just What Exactly Happened To Mr. Platypus, because god knows you’ve been dying to find out.

Vague, I know. But that’ll make the actual reading part more fun! Are you excited yet?! 

Anyway, regarding my other story Marion’s Hideaway that I have still yet to finish, I’ll probably finish it eventually. All I know is that this new story has been really fun, and my focus is on that for now. 

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Do You Guys Want Me To Finish Marion’s Hideaway?

I really have taken my time with Marion’s Hideaway, the book I’ve been writing on Wattpad. And, oddly enough, I just don’t feel like it belongs in book format. It’s something I want to visualize, I want to make it if I ever get into the entertainment industry, preferably as an animated feature.

The question is, do people really care about me still going ahead and wrapping up the story in book form? I just don’t feel that proud of it, and I feel like the story could be presented much better. I really hope you guys communicate with me on this. I have lots of other stories I want to write.

My Writing Truly Comes Alive At All The Wrong Moments

I take online school, and every now and then they have these “discussions” where they give you a subject and ask you to write about it a certain way. I always tend to have way too much fun with these. Here’s my latest one, and I honestly think it’s the most absurd one yet.

This was the assignment:
“Research building codes for ramps such as wheelchair ramps, boat ramps, or loading docks. Choose a building code for a ramp and describe the relationship between the lengths involved using geometry vocabulary such as hypotenuse, adjacent side, and opposite side. Use right triangle concepts from this Unit to find any unknown lengths and angle measures of the ramp. Be sure to identify the type of ramp. Explain if the building code of your ramp makes sense and do the same for the other building codes posted for the discussion. Discuss why there are building codes for ramps and how you think they are determined.”

With all that in mind, this is what I wrote:

Ramps for Gramps: A Mediocre Look Into What Any Of This Means

It goes without saying that I know absolutely nothing about this subject, but ignorance has never stopped me from opening my mouth, now has it. So, I’ll retire to what good ol’ Google has to say. I went ahead and interviewed him. Saint Google scratched his head at my inquiry, but he went ahead and told me what he knew; he is all-knowing, after all.

“The maximum slope of a ramp is 1:12” he sang as a choir of sassy black angels kicked into full gear. “The maximum rise for any ramp shall be 30 inches.” he belted in silky smooth falsetto, as the angelic black choir broke off into brain-melting harmonies. “The minimum clear width of a ramp shall be 36 inches” he continued as I tried to not die from this excessive amount of knowledge that was being loaded onto me via toe-tapping inducing R&B. “Also, don’t forget handrails.” he barked, and my mind imploded.

I had to be hospitalized. I received a bouquet of flowers and an apology letter from Saint G. confessing that he might’ve gotten carried away. I thought to myself as the doctors pushed me down the halls in a wheel chair; I thought about how much I still don’t know about those ever-so-elusive ramps.

(Feel free to condescend in the comments below)

I can assure you that when I write another one of these, whenever that may be, I will gladly share them with you.

TV Review: House of Cards (Season 1)

“The road to power is paved with hypocrisy, and casualties.”

I love me a good drama. I love that nail biting feeling you get after a cliffhanger. But politics? Not so much.

I think it’s safe to say that AMC’s Breaking Bad changed the realm of serial entertainment for the better, and I’ve noticed a large amount of shows focusing on stories similar to it, with the spotlight being given to people with dreams of climbing up the ladder of power and becoming the “kingpin” of sorts. The difference between Breaking Bad and House of Cards, however, (besides the fact that one takes place in a meth lab and the other takes place in the White House) is that while Walter White took his time becoming the revered Heisenburg, right from the beginning of House of Cards, we know exactly who Frank Underwood is; scheming, hungry for power, ruthless, ambitious in all the wrong ways, a villain, essentially. And just like Walter, you just can’t help but love Frank, with his 4th-wall-breaking quips to the audience and all.

Frank Underwood isn’t satisfied with his role as a congressman, and he’s set on getting to the top, whatever that may lead to. His wife, Claire, is ambitious too; perhaps not as mercilessly, but she believes in power. When House of Cards focuses on its characters, I feel it shines brightest. When the political complexities and democracy take the front stage is when I feel my attention wavering, and this seemed to happen more frequently in the first few episodes than anywhere else. But later when things inevitably heat up, I found myself thoroughly enjoying myself.

There’s one thing I noticed that I’d like to mention:

Let me bring up Breaking Bad again. Walter White was oddly successful most of the time, and it was always deeply satisfying watching him succeed. Of course, there would be instances where everything blowed over and he had to take drastic measures, but overall, he was very good at achieving what he wanted. The funny thing about Frank Underwood is that even though he seems all-powerful, his plans almost never go smoothly. He’ll ask the President for his trust, his plain will fail completely, and he’ll go back and ask for his trust again. Frank is not invincible. He’s extremely persuasive, but he can’t always rely on this to get out of trouble. He really is balancing a house of cards. When I think of Breaking Bad, I think of a Jenga tower that keeps getting taller and taller until the very end where it all just topples over. A house of cards much better fits Underwood’s situation, as everything definitely seems likely to collapse, and the wind is always blowing. This makes for good drama.

The performances are great all across the board, I absolutely love the soundtrack, the picture is fantastic, and I found myself watching episodes fly by because I enjoyed watching so much. That really is a testament to how good this show is. However, I found myself losing interest when the politics would take over and it took me a while to even realize what was going on a lot, mostly because I instinctively turned my brain off when people started talking about passing bills and acts and “Wait, what is this about?” was a question I asked an embarrassing amount throughout the thirteen episodes. All that aside though, I’m excited to dig my teeth into season 2 and the soon-to-be-released season 3.

So, what do you think of House of Cards? Perhaps you have yet to see it, and if so, are you interested?

Did you enjoy this little ramble? If so, consider following The Critic’s Canvas for all your critical needs.

What the First Year of The Critic’s Canvas Looked Like

I started this blog on January 10th of last year, completely on a whim. I was in 10th grade, sitting in a computer class bored out of my mind, and my thoughts really kick in when I’m bored. I thought about how I had always really enjoyed writing, and how I loved reading biased criticism over stuff. So, I thought, why not try doing it myself? I was extremely excited about it. When I started, I tried to post something every single day, and it was so much fun. Seeing my site get views and new followers was addicting. Around March, I had hand surgery, and obviously that made keeping the site running pretty difficult, but I continued to write soon after. Obviously things have changed and evolved since the beginning, but I’m actually very proud of my first year. Thank you to everyone who has ever read anything I’ve posted on here, and a special thanks to everyone who has followed so far. It’s a very good motivation when people actually read the stuff I write. WordPress concocted a nifty little summary of 2014 for The Critic’s Canvas, showcasing the number of views received, most popular posts, etc. Check it out:

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,800 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 47 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Chapter 10: Climate Change is Available Now!

Marion’s Hideaway returns after a (much longer than anticipated) hiatus! Since it’s been a very long while, and I’ve gotten many new followers since I last updated, I’ll fill you in on what this is.

Marion’s Hideaway is a story I’ve been working on for about two years now. It started as a completely ridiculous tale created from me and a few friends playing the “Story Game”, where you go around and create a story together. It’s just fantastic. I really believed in the story though, and I took it, refined it a bit, and started writing. However, the story has changed tremendously since then. I took my new imagining for this story and started writing it on Wattpad, a wonderful site where you can write your stories, as well as read other people’s works.

Anyway, you can read the latest chapter here.

Want to start from the beginning? Just click here.

Movie Review: Her (2013)

Oddly enough, for the past couple of years, it’s been unexplainably difficult for me to convince myself to sit down and watch a feature-length film, but this past weekend I actually went on a total movie binge, watching all the films that everyone seemed to be raging about for the past while or so, along with a few others I had been previously interested in watching. One of those films was Her, and out of all the movies I watched this weekend (a total of 6), this one seemed to resonate most with me, ultimately making me feel the need to write my thoughts down.

Quick little spoiler free review, as I will go into full detail in the real review: Do you like a good love story, honest and introspective looks at humanity, social commentary on the relations between people and technology, Scarlett Johansson’s uber sexy voice, awkward phone sex, the feeling of bittersweetness, and waist-high pants? If so, you’ll probably enjoy this movie.

SPOILERS PAST THIS POINT. TAKE CAUTION.

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I live in an age where going anywhere without your smart device is terrifying, where we rely on these devices for many of our activities. I mean, I think it’s pretty awesome to have this computer in my pocket at all times, in fact, I’m writing this on my iPod Touch right now. But every now and then I put down the iPod and realize just how little human-to-human interaction I actually have. Sometimes I just have this burning and painful desire to go outside and meet someone, make new friends, fall in love, to live. Most of my social activity happens behind my iPod screen, and I hate it. I take online school, so I don’t leave my house for education. I’m a rather introverted person, so most of my hobbies involve me sitting alone in my room. I saw a bit of myself in Theodore.

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He’s lonely, hungry for sex, scared of commitment after coming off a divorce, and he makes a living writing loving letters for other people to send to their own loved ones. He’s pretty much a walking corpse, that is until a new technology is released: the OS1, a sentient AI capable of evolving as humans do. He installs it, chooses a female voice, and thus Samantha is born. She organizes his e-mails, proofreads his letters, and makes him feel alive again. They quickly bond, and Theodore finds himself putting in his earpiece often just to talk to her. Samantha longs to have a body, and to be able to physically be around Theo, and he wishes for it too, so he can embrace her. And next thing you know they’re having a kind of phone sex. They start a relationship together, and it all seems to work perfectly…until he starts overthinking the fact that his partner is a computer.

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Anyway, I figure that if you’re reading this you’ve seen the movie, so you know what happens. This movie is beautiful, tragically so. In fact, it even kinda depressed me for a while. This movie just really instills that desire to connect.

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Was it wrong for Theodore to fall in love with an OS? Honestly, I have no clue. But there’s no denying that the love between Samantha and Theo was beautiful. But then you remember that she claims to love over 600 others. Apparently that increases her love, but honestly, I just didn’t look at her the same after that confession. I really hope an OS like this is never invented, because if it is, my chances of creating new human relationships would probably be zero to none.

But the bottom line is this: I love this movie. It’s lovely, yet strangely bleak and depressing at the same time. I really love this world and these characters, and it actually feels like this not-so-distant future could very well happen in a matter of years. This movie really made me think about my life, and even though it kinda bummed me out, I really love it.

Oh, and the music by Arcade Fire, as well as the original song by Karen O, are great.

So, what did you think of this film? Did you find yourself feeling? Or perhaps reeling in disgust? Let me know!

Did you enjoy this little ramble? If so, consider following The Critic’s Canvas for all your critical needs.

I'm just your humble neighborhood self-proclaimed loser.

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