weaponsofmassdelight

Mutual Assured Delight

Time-Crunched: On Writing

Like Colin, I too have been insanely busy ever since school has started.  Being the second sophomore ever in AP Physics at my high school is kind of intense.  That said, I don’t have a lot of time.  This post is hastily being thrown together in the few spare minutes I have between my seemingly endless pile of homework and band practice, so I apologize for its poor quality and I hope I can write something more enlightening and worthwhile later.   But for now, here are my crunched-for-time thoughts on creative writing:

Do it.

Seriously.  Go grab something to write on and write with and write.  It doesn’t matter what or how long it is, but just write something so surreal there is absolutely no chance it could actually happen.  Write a three word summary on alien invasions.  Write a novel starring Ben Franklin and his long-lost time-travelling brother.  Write a grocery list-esque poem about absolutely nothing at all.

The weight that is lifted in just a few minutes of scribbling nonsense onto a napkin is the most freeing feeling you will ever experience.  The best part?  No one has to see what you’ve written.  These silly little thoughts are for your eyes only.  Keep your friends close and your notes closer.  You never know when one of your after-work poems will inspire your next fanfiction, or screenplay, or novel.

This is why I always carry a blue pocket notebook on my person.  I never know when I might find something worthy to write down.  Some of these gems of thought have evolved into something more, starring in a short story or emerging as the plot for my NaNoWriMo novel.  But the majority of them stay in that little blue notebook, hidden away from the rest of the world until they’re ready to grow up.

So I dare you.  I dare you to find your own little blue notebook and embrace the art of creative scribbling.

~Rizzo

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Still Roses

Oh wow. It has been a while. Those first weeks of college can be hectic.

Summer is the month of regret.

As I sat on the oven top stoop, with tear stains or sweat stains (To be honest I can tell the diffrence between the two anymore), I pricked my finger on a Rose stem. This Rose had seen better days in months of yester, for the few petals groping on the stem had decay to brown due to lack of water and nutrition.  The everwatching big brother of light had no mercy on the majestic flower.

I swatted away at  battalions of flies that seemed to stalk me like a pack of carrion birds. The insect vultures neither bit nor landed but waited with carnivorous expectations. The cacophonous buzz of nails on a chalkboard.

But the Rose, Oh the Rose!  This treasure, long lost to the nature that binds and separates us all, did not die alone though it did die in vain. As the barbed beauty rolled betwixt my frail fingers a hemophilliatic event occurred. A most grotesque humor can be found in the bleeding out of veins. We expect the dams  to break and Niagara falls to occur. Poseidon’s wrath is supposed to occur underneath that thin layer of skin.  All of the gods and the angels and the devils within these unholy celestial spheres are supposed to wage war for forty days and forty nights underneath the garb storms and over the tarp of earthquakes leaving no survivors nor space left to breath in the toxic air that they created.

But that does not happen. The blood slowly drips upon stoop, like a leaky faucet. And through no fault of the Rose (for I indeed am the one picked it its beauty and not the glistening pricks) the petals and and blood continues to helplessly fall until they mix together and become one.

And so I lay on the stoop in this horrid season of regret, with the eye of god blinding me. The blood, our blood, still falling  over itself with no hope of return to the way it once was.

And the the blood still falls to the stoop.

And the vultures still descend to feast.

And I still  sit

and

exist.

The Joys of LARPing

 

Once a month in southern part of New Jersey, a magical occurrence happen for three suns and two moons. During this time the steadfast brick wall between reality and fantasy crumble  peeling away of preconception of belief and the unknown. As the dust settles and the earth lays to a rest a new land is formed. This land  is full of nefarious necromancers and wise wizards. This land is full of  elegant elves and ominous ogres. This land is safe haven for the weak and the strong, the fast and the slow, the fearful and the fearless with every other imagination of being ever to be spun on the spinning wheel of creativity and wonder.

This land is Evermoore.

 After  two painful months away from the South Jersey based LARP( That’s Live Action Role Play Playing) Mystic Realms, I finally found my way back to the Glory of Guildenhall. I had picked out my  deep elf costume(always a work in progress) and made the heart wracking decision of what kind of ears to purchase (halfing, regular,  or incredibly long anime ears)  and was set for the weekend. On the first night, I was able to experience a side of LARPing that I have never touched before. I was able to NPC. 

NPC stands for non player character. A non player character is a person or thing that helps the storyline and is not character that earns status or point for completing tasks. This can range from being a happy mushroom that throws spores to a hero from an era long gone that needs the players help in fighting spirits.  NPC’s help characters earn gold/items and move the storyline along. They are the framework of the mighty building known as The Story. On friday was given the opportunity to play an ogre. The experience was incredible. It was as if I was able to finally see the wires behind the computer. Needless to say, I plan on doing it again.

In under 80 hours I fought killer ants, became a gypsy hunting ogre, and evaded semi sentient moving lava. I was able to experience a different world from different eyes and truly suck the marrow from life.  LARPing is not the an escape from reality, as many people are led to belive, but an augmentation of existence. Live Action Role Play for me is a portal to experience different people and emotions that would be difficult to imitate in my regular life. So far, I have only attended two events, so take my word with a large shaker of salt. Maybe I am completely wrong and I am still in the honeymoon phase, with the stress of reality of cold hard truth eventually bearing its fangs me.

I don’t think so though.

I have spoken with people, both older and younger, who have been  LARPing for years. It seems to me that going to these events have made their regular lives not fade into shadows, but brighten to the height of a million suns. One day I hope to be able to look back at this post not just with fond memories but also with the same enthusiasm that I have now.  I look forward to writing more and more about my adventures into this brave new world.

                                                                   -Grant
Live Any Good Adventures lately?

 

Pictures of Possiblity

Oh God, I hope you are radioactive!

Today while I was walking home from the library(uphill none the less. SoCal is very hilly) I came across a spider hanging from its web, enjoying a freshly prepared fly for dinner. Beads of swear tiptoed across my face as a shoved my left hand into my pocket, fishing for my small grey camera. I almost never get pictures of bugs, especially arachnids. Like a zebra being stalked by half-starved lion in the plains of Africa, spiders seemed to have a sixth sense when it came to me wanting to take pictures of them. As my fingers clumsily changed the settings of the camera to adjust for the ever falling sun, my mind began to wander as my soul began to wonder.

What if this Spider is radioactive?

I know what you are thinking.   Get your nose out of the comic book and find yourself a girlfriend you damn geek(or boyfriend, we don’t judge). Just bear with the ramblings of a growing geek. What if the spider was a radioactive escapee from a lab?

What if it bit me?

What if it gave me powers?

What would I do?

I have come across many people who have wondered why Ben Parker had to die and why Peter has to go through so many hardships so early on. Very few heroes had such hardships after their back story was told. Being called a menace, getting turned down by the Fantastic Four, and so many bills. Would it not be better for him to just be in the right place at the right time and the sky’s open up for him?

Well, no.

Daydreaming as I took amateur shots of a spider in the dark led me to the conclusion that Peter Parker had to go through these hardships. If I received amazing powers without a reason to act, I would probably have done what he initially did. I would be taking the easy way out and cashing in on the success( I think in one episode of the 90’s show we meet a  Peter Parker who des just that). I came to the conclusion that although we don’t always need a reason to do good, sometimes a good push is needed to take the plunge.

Satisfied with my average photo and delightful daydream I walked home. In the dark. Apparently I don’t have the power to stop time while I day-dream. Who knew!

-Grant

(with great power comes great action shots. Nooo, that’s not right at all)

Under the Covers

 

Under the vast canvas of a slighty worn black comforter, the characteristic light from a chipped silver gameboy advance sp illuminated the darkness of my prepubesent room. The screen was blank though, an odd thing for any gameboy held in the slender hands of a boy to be. No, this gameboy had more pressing duties at end. Yes, this console was the lantern that lit the way towards knowledge. Under those covers late at night I read books about magical beings an places. Hudden from a candid world( and a mother’s after bed time rage) I would dive into a sea of wonder.

More than a decade (and many strong prescription glasses) later, I find myself still diving into the paper dreams that I found at a younger age. I found myself recently at the other side of the country and found myself(lets face facts, I was drawn to it by some mystical force) at a local library. At that library, a magician was doing an event based on the national summer reading programs theme for the summer, dreams. This magian was not only entertaining, but insightful. He pointed out that there are two types of dreaming. Dreaming when you are asleep, as in dreams, and dreaming while awake. Magic and getting into an amazing book is the latter. During both experiences, belief and reality are locked on suspended animations. Dangerous dragons and magical movements happen right before the eye and in the head. We are dreaming while wide awake.
I know that I talk about this alot, but I cannot stress this enough. Hug a librarian. They are the gate keepers and the  key holders and the sandmen to dreams and fantasies beyond your wildest dream. I have been involved some way or another with the library system for as long as I remember, and it has benifited my a thousan folds over.  The library is truly a place full of dreams and dreamers.

Dreams are todays answers to tomorrows questions- Edgar Gayce

-Grant (I dream of a world where a good live action Last airbender movie is made)

Polite Poetry seven

texture-designer-grey-fur

Grey Headed Soul

Grey hairs fill my soul

what was first simply weeds in a garden

is now an Amazon, blocking out the sum

The temples of my heart

Varicous veins older streaming as if they were the Nile Delta,

Telling tales of Ages long past hidden ‘twixt decpreit ribs.

Where did the time go-

Can time be lost

Or maybe father time simply grows old

outdated

with grey locks covering his ears and heart

And I-

I foolishly march on

with clippers in hand and dye in the other

Scrambling after the footprints of Gilgamesh

denying myself of the rite of passge of time

For a grey headed soul is not a signal for a last meal of sorrow and regret

but a message from the gods that It has only just begun.

Avatar the Last Airbender: when East meets West

I wrote this a long time ago, so be gentle.

Ionic versus Pentatonic.   Nuclear family versus extended. Chopstick versus fork. For as long as the cradles of civilization have been around, there has been a difference between Eastern Culture and Western culture that has gone beyond the physical separation by the Ural and Caucasus Mountains.  Whether it be by the main differences in philosophy and religion or the way to hand a business card, it obvious that there is a major divide between how things functions between the cultures. However, every so often lightning strikes and that great red line dissipate to create something truly awe-inspiring.   In the year 2004 at Comic-con, the world saw lightning struck once again. Avatar: The Last Air bender was ready to shine.

Like many great animated television shows, ATLA(Avatar The Last Air bender) began in Burbank California. The two men who came up with the main idea were Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko in 2001. It took them only two weeks to come up with the idea and pitch it. By February of 2005 it was an overnight hit. Since that fateful day there has been three seasons, a few hour long specials, and a successful second season to grace the avatar universe. The Avatar universe tells the story of Avatars, one person every lifetime who has the ability to use all four of the elements in comparison to only one, to bring harmony to the land. ATLA tells the story of how Aang, an avatar trapped in a block of ice for 100 years, and his companions defeat the fire nation after it had waged an all-out war for domination. Avatar: The Legend of Korra, is about the Avatar after Aang named Korra who must live in a world where although people with elemental abilities live in harmony,  a resistance of normal people is formed to stop bending.

So why is Avatar special? Well, that is multi-part answer. One would be the fact that Avatar is a serious drama.  Even though there is humor involved, most notably involving the character Sokka and his trusty boomerang, it would be a lie to say that ALTA does not tug on the metaphorical heartstrings. The creators masterfully play with music, storyline, and character developments that make mature characters that are relatable despite the odd universe in which they live in. I found myself emphasizing with Anng’s attempt to get Katara to notice him and crying with him when the frustration of being born into responsibility became too much to handle.  What we were given was a show not just for the demographic of 8-11. We were given an epic story that blended western and eastern ideas to give a masterpiece. It is understood early on that eastern philosophy, art, and martial arts heavily influenced the show. The amazing thing was, it was not based off of tired old stereotypes that would often show up in western shows including Eastern elements.  ATLA was a celebration of Eastern culture.

Recently, Avatar: The Legend of Korra was renewed for a second season. A greater diffusion between western and eastern history/ideas is created, with jazz and automobiles painted next to Chinese folk music and bamboo trees.   The future for this show is unknown to everybody except the small group of dedicated artists in Burbank. What is known is that Avatar will continue to meld the hearts of mind of Eastern and Western fans for years to come.

God I love the track Team.  (M. Knight Free since  ’05)

-Grant

Woh…this thing is causing a divide. I kind of agree with him though.

GeekOut

Editor’s note: When he’s not teaching the Internet how to fist-fight, why being weird is awesome or how to self-publish your own books, Joe Peacock tours the world, showing his extensive “Akira” art collection. He also cosplays as a six-foot-two-inch, 310lb Powerpuff Girl to fill the hollow pit that is his need for the wrong kinds of attention.

There is a growing chorus of frustration in the geek community with — and there’s no other way to put this — pretty girls pretending to be geeks for attention.

San Diego Comic-Con is the largest vehicle, but it’s hardly the only convention populated with “hot chicks” wearing skimpy outfits simply to get a bunch of gawking geeks’ heads to turn, just to satisfy their hollow egos.

Now, before every single woman reading this explodes, let me disambiguate a bit. I absolutely do not believe that every girl who attends…

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Why Kids are Geeks (and why we should all strive to be kids)

Whether you adore little kids and their positive outlooks on life or you loathe their constant caffeine-like high and grubby, fidgeting hands, let’s face it:

Kids are geeks.

In fact, kids are, and always will be, the only pristine form of Geek that will ever walk the Earth. With their innate sense of being themselves, children have yet to be corrupted and trained to hide who they are, what they love, and what they believe in to fit the mold society (parents, peers, and the media) presses against us.  A child will stare at a handicapped person, not with pity or horror, but with innocent curiosity on why that human looks like a robot with their prosthetic leg or why they are in a wheelchair with a tube in their nose.  It’s this innocent curiosity that we lose as we get older when we’re taught not to stare at, point to, or question anything that isn’t deemed ‘normal’.  It’s this innocent curiosity that allows humans to grow and learn about themselves and others around them.  It’s this innocent curiosity that we need to soul search for as we get older, with more layers of security added as each birthday passes.

I love kids.  I work with them all throughout the summer, volunteering for the children’s programs at my local library and as a CIT for a day camp.  It’s with these kids that I feel most comfortable, because I know they aren’t going to judge me.  They don’t care what race or religion I am as long as I push them on the swings.  They don’t care what my sexuality or gender is as long as I help them find the book they’re looking for.  If I am kind and friendly to them, they like me.  That’s all that matters.  And that should be all that matters as we get older, but how quickly we are blinded when we are placed in the orderly line set to keep everyone organized and the same.

Humans need to learn from their smaller form, and strive to be like them in the sense of unconditional love (not unlike that of a dog’s), acceptance, and zest for life.  Sure, we want to grow up from the days of temper tantrums, but we don’t want to lose sight of the most important values to have.  If every single person showed just who they are and accepted others in the way a kid does, we’d have a lot less hate, bigotry, and anger in the world.

A true geek isn’t just an expert on their topic of choice, whether it be movies, books, comics, or other nerdy things.   A true geek isn’t just someone who reads under the covers at night to avoid an early bedtime or tries to defeat the next Pokemon gym leader before the school bus comes in the morning.

A true geek is in touch with their inner child.

~Rizzo

(Oh, I probably should introduce myself.  I’m Rizzo, and Colin is my Musically-Inclined-Older-Brother-I-Never-Had.  I do have a real older brother, but we’ll talk about him another time.)

Polite Poetry six

              

                            Ellie

The tiny pattering of feet fill her head

growing in intensity as the dream shrivels away

She lays outside letting the raindrops batter her porcelain frame

What happened to the balloon that would never allow her string to be tied down

the helium of life is gone and her string

oh that string that was tethered around my arm and lifted me up

it is wrapped around the leg of that chair.

the exhilarating cries anticipated has all but been replaced

replaced with the sobbing. the rain.

Tell me, what can this hopeless balloon vendor do

do without your laugh that was more precious than any amount of helium gas.

Tell me

How can I help you float above the falls?

I do not own any of the characters from Pixar’s Up. All rights go to Pixar, my heroes.  -Grant

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