It’s Spring Break- I’m Outta Here!

I know it’s been a while since I’ve written, but I’m back and here’s the reason why… it’s Spring Break!  Yippee!  Took a final last week and only got one wrong, so that was nice, and then my doctor left to go to Mexico (like he does every year around Easter).  This week, I am assisting our female doctor, but I’m only going in today, and I went in on Monday.  I had my birthday earlier this week and took the day off to get my hair colored and join a gym.  I had gone to the gym to tour it last week and I liked it, but I wanted to wait before I signed up for anything.

I am not a very physically active person; and my younger sister is always the person to remind me of that because she plays basketball and boxes and works out every day.  Once, she was doing pushups in our room and I just walked up and placed my foot on her back and said, “This is my leg workout for the day.”  She fell to the floor laughing and we still joke about it to this day.  Anyway, the manager of the gym was very polite and enthusiastic and I liked the way the place looked, so I came back earlier this week and took a membership.  I am having my first training session this Saturday.

I also have to sort through paperwork for my externship.  Yay!  Paperwork.  Not fun.  And definitely not how I want to spend what little time off I have left.  I just want to sleep in till 8:20, then lounge till after 9:00; watch an A-Team episode with breakfast and coffee, then write until my fingernails split; and maybe go to my other jobs when I have to.  See!  I’m not even off off.  I’m just taking a break from school.  But, I’m trying not to take a break from life.

And on that note, it’s been real!

The Fillmore, Philadelphia – Sabaton

Last week, I got the best birthday present to date.  My brother and I drove to Philadelphia so that we could see Sabaton perform live.  We left Tuesday morning a little after 10:00 and started our drive to Philadelphia.  My brother drove for most of it, but we switched when we were almost to the city.  It was almost ironic fate as I hate driving in cities.  The roads are too narrow, the turns too weird, and the idiots too numerous.  But, we made it to our hotel on the banks of the Delaware river and crashed.

We brought our bags in, cleaned up and went looking for the venue.  The GPS was a little confused, as were we, but we did find it and checked out the parking.  Once we gauged everything, we returned to our hotel because we still had two and half hours before the start of the concert.  In all honesty, we probably could have stayed in our room till about 10:00.  There were two cover bands before Sabaton: Cyhra and Kreator, and they took about that long.  But… we went around 6:30, and stood in the cold for an hour, and were let through the doors around 7:30.  We went out onto the floor, had a hard time deciding if we wanted our coats off, finally made the decision, and then stood in line to get some Sabaton shirts.  Well, he got a hoodie, and I got a tank top.

We listened to a bit of Cyhra and Kreator after getting our paraphernalia, but Kreator almost blew my eardrums out and we stepped into a quieter area to recoup.  There, we waited for Sabaton to start.  When we saw the sound guys taking out and testing their guitars and mikes and drums, we started getting twitchy excited.  Then, they announced the band and they came out on stage.  The screaming was thunderous and people started crying, “Sabaton!  Sabaton!  Sabaton!”  We joined in.  These are the songs they played:

  1. Cliffs of Gallipoli
  2. The Final Solution
  3. Primo Victoria
  4. Sparta
  5. The Last Stand
  6. Winged Hussars
  7. Resist & Bite
  8. Uprising
  9. Carolus Rex
  10. Gustavus Adolphus
  11. Night Witches
  12. Swedish Pagans
  13. Screaming Eagles

They played till almost midnight and my brother and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  He crowd surfed three times, filming for the last one.  There was a ‘mosh pit’ (friendly rough housing at a rock concert) that was going on beside us at one point, and I was smacked by somebody who got pushed.  I went flying in a complete 360 degrees, but many helpful hands saved me from landing on the floor.  My brother tried to put himself between me and the ‘violence’ but sometimes, he partook of it.

When we finally made it back to our hotel room, it was after midnight, and my brother just crawled into bed.  I took the time to remove my makeup, get changed and brushed my teeth before I went to sleep.  Of course, the alarm went off all too soon, but the breakfast and coffee was worth it, and then it was the long trek home.

I was sad to leave, almost hoping for an encore performance, but I will remember that concert and the fact that I did get to see Sabaton live.  It will probably be years before they come back and when they do, I hope to be waiting for them.

And on that note, it’s been real!

Prairie Dog Poppers

I know what you’re thinking.  You’re looking at the picture and the title and wondering, “What could this be about?”  Well, I can tell you it’s about funny little observations I’ve made while being a hostess, and most people do it.

Now, everyone hates to hear that there is a wait of any kind for a table.  They want to sit down right then and there and order their food and drink and eat immediately.  Nice, right?  Well, on Fridays and Saturdays at most establishments, you have to wait a few minutes.  Sometimes longer.  Don’t get all pissy about it.  Accept it as a fact of reality and life and you’ll find inner peace.  I’m kidding… but, seriously, shut up instead of winging about waiting.

Anyway, at my restaurant when I tell people to wait, I always scope the joint and see them looking around, as if them staring at desirable tables will somehow make them get up faster.  Hate to break it to you, but that isn’t going to happen.  We have a couch before our fireplace, and frequently I tell people to sit there while they wait to get them out of my hair.  A few minutes later, as I glance around, I’ll see somebody stand up and look around and maybe even point to a table.  You do realize that people can see you, right?  You’re not suddenly gifted with invisibility.  Reminds of the Cone of Silence from Get Smart.  We all know how that turned out.  They look silly and tables that are already seated and eating or talking, give them looks.  They pop up like prairie dogs and I have to chuckle.  I gave you a wait that was ex amount of time long.  And you’re already impatient five minutes in?  Gah!  The prairie dogs are on the loose!

In other words, when a hostess gives you a wait time and you sit down, don’t pop back up again to check on a table.  People will be judging you.

And on that note, it’s been real!

The Greatest Dwarf Known to Man

I think we can all agree that one of the most loved characters in Game of Thrones is the dwarf, Tyrion Lannister.  The dwarf, second son of Tywin Lannister, has advanced greatly as a character in the show.  He’s gone from being a wanton little drunk, to being a wise Hand of the Queen.

The journey that Tyrion has taken has been one of trial and error and controversy.  When we meet him in Season 1, he’s plying his ‘trade’ in a brothel in Winterfell upon arrival in the pilot episode of the series.  He’s the black sheep of the Lannister family; having bad relations with his father and sister.  However, he is very close with his elder brother, Jaime Lannister, and his niece and nephew, Myrcella and Tommen Baratheon.  Nobody can fault Tyrion for not thinking of his family and putting them first.  He just also has to think of himself every once in a while.

In the first season, Tyrion is a little drunk runaround with no power, and he knew it.  That’s why he had all the time in the world to drink and sleep about.  In the second season, he is given power by Tywin Lannister, his father, to act as Hand of the King in his stead during the war.  Tyrion comes into Kings Landing with fire and brimstone; basically to clean house and control the temperamental and impulsive behavior of his nephew, Joffrey Baratheon.  Joffrey immediately takes an even greater dislike to him because Tyrion is challenging him every step of the way and basically calling him an idiot.  Tyrion takes control of Kings Landing when Stannis Baratheon lays siege to it.  They ‘win’ because of the timely arrival of Tywin and the Tyrell forces, but they really won because of Tyrion’s ingenuity.  At the end of the second season, Tyrion has been pushed to the side by his family.

In the third season, Tyrion still has a position on the small council, but it is now a minor role as Tywin is Hand of the King.  He is merely a pawn in the clutches of his family, forced to marry Sansa Stark so as to get an heir to Winterfell.  However, Tyrion takes pity on her in light of all she suffered at the hands of Joffrey previously.  He does not consummate their marriage and instead does everything he can to protect her.  However, that all changes when Joffrey is mysteriously poisoned at his wedding in the fourth season and he is accused of the crime.  Near the end of the fourth season presents Tyrion with a great betrayal: the companion, Shae, whom he was very fond of, lied about him at his trial and was in fact, sleeping with his own father.  Needless to say, the end of season three was very emotional for Tyrion.

Season 5 sees him being escorted by Varys to Slaver’s Bay, where Daenerys has taken up residence and is freeing the slaves.  However, he gets drunk and separated and is kidnapped by a banished Ser Jorah Mormont.  They journey together and run afoul of dragon scale diseased people and slavers.  That is how Tyrion eventually meets Daenerys Targaryen.  At first, they are suspicious of each other: he’s the brother of the man who killed her father; and she’s the daughter of the Mad King, who wanted to burn everyone.  They start off on rocky ground and have to work their way up to a level of respect and trust that we find them at in the latest season.  Of course, they don’t like ways the other does certain things, and they have to talk it out.  But, that’s when Drogon lands and flies off with Daenerys, leaving Tyrion in charge of a(nother) battle torn city.

And… Season 6, Tyrion is dealing with Missandei and Greyworm, both of whom think his more diplomatic approach to, well… everything, is not how Daenerys would want it.  Tyrion gets frustrated that nobody sees the benefit of his plans.  Nobody except Varys.  The Master of Whispers works with Tyrion to get sh*t done around the city in Daenerys’ absence.  And then, she returns with a hoard of Dothraki at her back and an awesome Season 6 battle finale (for Daenerys) takes place.  She now she has an armada and an army.  She also now has a Hand.  Daenerys asks Tyrion to be her top adviser and he accepts.  We don’t know his reasons until the next season.

Season 7 sees both the Queen and her Hand in difficult straights.  They land on Dragonstone easily enough, but it’s easy to take an abandoned castle.  However, doom follows them when they start to lose allies.  First, the Greyjoy fleet under Yara is destroyed by the one under Euron.  Then, the Sand Snakes are defeated and Ellaria Sand is imprisoned beneath the Red Keep per Cersei’s orders.  And… Greyworm and the Unsullied army are trapped at Casterly Rock (also Euron’s fault).  Because she was following Tyrion’s advice when all the sh*t went down, Daenerys blames him to an extent, and turns to the visiting Jon Snow.  Since Tyrion and Jon had a decent relationship when they met previously, Tyrion really doesn’t have a problem with it.  Or, does he?  He finagles the meeting between Cersei, Jon, and Daenerys.  He even convinces Cersei to join them in the fight against the Night King (even though we as the audience know that she’s really trying to stab them all in the back).  And then he sees Jon going into Daenerys’ cabin and he looks disappointed.

Disappointed because he loves her.  Daenerys seems to have that effect on men.  The only problem is, she seems to be oblivious to ones that will really make her happy.  Not saying Jon is a bad guy by any means; he’s just not the guy for her.  Both her and Tyrion are rulers, and I personally believe that they should rule together.

And on that note, it’s been real!

The Importance of a Good Character Death

Everyone knows when they read a book or watch a movie that there is a chance a character they really love is going to die.  Either the character was the funny/supportive friend, the wise mentor, or even a love interest, no one is safe!  If one show/series of books has taught us that, it’s Game of Thrones.  George R. R. Martin is notorious for killing off many good characters that we all loved or came to love.  First example would be Ned Stark, as played by Sean Bean.  Ned Stark was the perfect character: loyal to king and wife, a devoted father and a good master.  That’s probably why he needed to die (per Martin’s logic).  But then, that set a precedent for most of the character deaths on Game of Thrones.  They were all good characters.

Now, everyone who has read/watches Game of Thrones, has probably also read/watched The Lord of the Rings.  J. R. R. Tolkien created a world and any good characters; most of whom live to see peace come to Middle Earth.  Honestly at the rate GOT is going, who is going to be yet living at the end of this final season?  Nobody!  Of course, GOT is on a larger scale than LOTR simply because there are more books in the series.  So, I guess there are more characters to kill off, but they are usually the good guys.  That’s my problem.  Tolkien understood the importance of having a well placed death of a good guy, but he didn’t do it often.  Obviously in The Fellowship of the Ring, we believe Gandalf has perished, and Boromir sacrifices himself to save Merry and Pippin.  In The Two Towers, Hama is slain while defending Helms Deep (this is from the book, not the movie, where he still dies, but in a warg attack).  In The Return of the King, we see Theoden die in combat at the Battle of Pelennor Fields.  Also, if you recall, Halbarad, one of Aragorn’s Dunedain Rangers, also dies in battle.  That’s four good characters who died.  That’s less than one hand by a finger.

For GOT, you’ve got the characters as follows:

  1. Ned Stark
  2. Khal Drogo
  3. Robb Stark
  4. Catelyn Stark
  5. The Blackfish
  6. Commander Mormont
  7. Pyp
  8. Grenn
  9. Osha the Wildling
  10. Rickon Stark
  11. Benjen Stark
  12. Talisa
  13. Hodor
  14. Jojen Reed

And probably a couple of others we’ve all forgotten.  Many, many, many deaths.  It is important for certain, key people to die in order to give the heroes or heroines a reason for finishing the job as it were.  There have to be deaths so that somebody can say, “Their deaths will not be in vain.”  Just, don’t kill everybody who ever showed a whiff of goodness and decency.  That’s why there’s this meme:

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And on that note, it’s been real!

 

The Day We All See Red

I know it’s a day late, but hush up!  I have things I want to say, and I was too busy yesterday to say them.  For little children, the possible meaning of Valentine’s Day is lost on them in their innocence.  They see the candy and immediately associate it to a day like Halloween.  Then comes the actual valentines you can give out.  They cut haphazard designs and give them to their teachers, parents, or even their siblings.

As they mature, they start to realize that Valentine’s Day is not meant for family, but for your romantic relationships (if any).  Now, I’ve always been single for Valentine’s Day.  I was homeschooled, so I never had a beau growing up.  I made valentines for my siblings and candy bags with my sister for every other person in the family.

When I got into high school and went to my technical school, there was one guy I kind of had my eyes on, and so when the appropriate time came, I made him a valentine.  He thanked me for it and politely told me that he was not interested in having a relationship in that moment and that he just wanted to be friends with me.  I was fine with that.  Fast forward to a couple of years later; I had watched my older sister have a relationship with a wimp, break up with him, and then go through the anxiety of ‘did I do the right thing?’ afterward.  It drove me nuts!  Why get into a relationship if this was going to happen and you were going to degrade into a babbling creature in sweatpants and a jar of peanut butter?!  Needless to say, I started working in reception for my doctor and I had two other jobs, so I was like, “I’m too busy to have a boyfriend, so, I won’t!”  Easy solution, right?  Except for the guys who would always ask to only work with me and say those oh so nice things about me.  Which is all well and good, but, they got predictable after a while.

Now, I’m here.  I’m almost twenty-three years old, I’m going to school/working in what I want to do, and I have met a man who interests me.  He actually send me a dozen red roses yesterday.  I found them on a table in my house after I went to a physical after school.  I liked that instead of sending me a blown out bouquet, I got a simple one with a lot of meaning.  It made me smile and I placed them in their vase and on my desk.  Of course, now I will probably have to explain to my dad where the flowers came from.  Sh*t!  But otherwise, I truly did enjoy my gift, and our ‘actual’ Valentine’s Day will be this weekend.

And on that note, it’s been real!

Female Villains: Best Written By Men

If you’ve read my title and aren’t offended, congratulations!  If you read it and are, get over it.  I’m a woman and I’m giving an honest opinion of what I’ve seen of female villains in movies and shows and how they are portrayed.  And I’ve discovered that the best female villains were written and scripted by men.  Here’s why.

A woman is going to write a female villain in terms of ‘how would I act if I was evil’.  All well and good, but she’s also not likely to be honest about it because she doesn’t want people to not be able to relate to her female villain.  In her attempt to make them relatable, she makes them too weak or nice in a way.  Not good!  When you make a female a villain, make them a conniving b*tch because that’s what a woman is when she’s angry, or has plans for world domination.  Now, not to say all men have female villains down pat.  They make mistakes too… why?  Because they’re human like us and nobody is infallible.

An example of a bad female ‘villain’ is Maleficent, as portrayed by Angelina Jolie in the 2014 movie of the same name.  It was written by a woman about one of Disney’s most iconic villains, and she made her good.  The mind positively boggles.  The movie had a low reception from moviegoers, with a score of 51% on Rotten Tomatoes.  Their critique was Jolie’s performance was good, but the script and the idea that Maleficent was the ‘heroine’ just didn’t fit.  And most loyal Disney fans would have preferred the traditional Sleeping Beauty story with Jolie playing the green-skinned villainess as she was supposed to be.  We all know that even though the movie was named Sleeping Beauty, Prince Philip, and Flora, Fauna, and Merriweather were the real heroes.

Now the example of a good female villain would be Hela, portrayed by Cate Blanchett in Thor: Ragnarok.  She was powerful, terrifying, eerily attractive, and above all: a cold-hearted b*tch.  Thank you, male writers!  I have tears in my eyes!  Hela was the perfect villain and Cate Blanchett did an excellent job with bringing her to life.  She was devious, vengeful, spiteful, and strong.  You hated her, but at the same time, you admired her.  She knew what she wanted from life, or, death as it were; and she knew how she was going to get it.  Things just conspired to get in her way, but she certainly wasn’t a villain who was a pushover.

Now, that’s not to say that women can’t do female villains, it’s just rare for them to be honest enough with their character to create a foe worthy of their protagonist.  When I created my main villain of my trilogy, I just stopped analyzing and let the character speak to me.  Princess Rae dan Kae of Capricorn, killed her mother when she was born because of the curse of a pair of horns that protrude from her temples cutting her open.  Her father blamed her for his wife’s demise, but never said anything directly to her.  Rae dan Kae is the unspoken heir to the throne, and is too terrifying for any man to approach to ask for her hand in marriage.  She is conniving and plans to subjugate the other nations to her whim and will.  Her father thinks he makes the plans, but she is really the influence over him and many others in her kingdom.  She kills because she can, and her moods are unpredictable.  Rae is incapable of love and the only true emotion she is possession of is contempt.  Everyone else and all other nations are beneath her and her idea of Capricorn.  She was the perfect opposition for Zodia in every way, and when I wrote their clashes, I really enjoyed myself.

Well, there you have it for that problem: the dilemma of worthy female villains.  Careful with humanizing them because you could possibly take away those traits that will make them truly despicable.

And on that note, it’s been real!