Saturday, April 30, 2016

IN APRIL

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books:
Saint Thomas Aquinas, by G. K. Chesterton
Up from Slavery, by Booker T. Washington
The Call of the Wild, by Jack London
On Writing Well, by William Zinsser
The Gift of the Magi, (short story) by O. Henry

movies:
Rickie and the Flash 
*Walk Don't Run 
Zootopia 
The Wedding Planner 
How to Loose a Guy in Ten Days 
Interstellar 
Mud 
Failure to Launch 
This Means War 
Fool's Gold 
Huntsman: Winter's War 
Sahara 
The Goonies 
Ferris Bueller's Day Off 
*The Man of Steel 
Superman 1, 2, 3, and 4

tv:
Psych 
Once upon a Time 
Heroes (the first two episodes) 
Flash

Best movies I saw this month: Rickie and the Flash, Mud, Sahara, and the Superman movies. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

style

by Maira Kalman

"Style takes its final shape more from attitudes of mind than from principles of composition, for, as an elderly practitioner once remarked, “Writing is an act of faith, not a trick of grammar.” This moral observation would have no place in a rule book were it not that style is the writer, and therefore what you are, rather than what you know, will at last determined your style. If you write, you must believe - in the truth and worth of the scrawl, in the ability of the reader to receive and decode the message. No one can write decently who is distrustful of the reader’s intelligence, or whose attitude is patronizing.

Many references have been made in this book to “the reader,” who has been much in the news. It is now necessary to warn you that your concern for the reader must be pure: you must sympathize with the reader’s plight (most readers are in trouble about half the time) but never seek to know the reader’s wants. Your whole duty as a writer is to please and satisfy yourself, and the true writer always plays to an audience of one. Start sniffing the air, or glancing at the Trend Machine, and you are as good as dead, although you may make a nice living.

Full of belief, sustained and elevated by the power of purpose, armed with the rules of grammar, you are ready for exposure. At this point, you may well pattern yourself on the fully exposed cow of Robert Louis Stevenson’s rhyme. This friendly and commendable animal, you may recall, was “blown by all the winds that pass/And wet with all the showers.” And so must you as a young writer be. In our modern idiom, we would say that you must get wet all over. Mr. Stevenson, working in a plainer style, said it with felicity, and suddenly one cow, out of so many, received the gift of immortality. Life the steadfast writer, she is at home in the wind and the rain; and, thanks to one moment of felicity, she will live on and on and on."

Strunk and White, The Elements of Style, page 120

Monday, April 25, 2016

xx

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Think as wise men do, but speak as the common people do.
- Aristotle 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

rich & strange

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Nothing of him doth fade
but doth suffer sea-change
into something rich and strange.


{from The Tempest, by Shakespeare}

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

rejection & will

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At the start, it takes [...] a resolute and brave 
rejection of one's defeatist attitude. Then, 
perhaps for quite a while, it takes an 
unwavering will to do the job no matter 
how hard it may be. {Dale Carnegie}

Sunday, April 10, 2016

more powerful

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"A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities." 
- J. R. R. Tolkien

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Zootopia | Review

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(this review is spoiler free)

When Judy Hopps moves from Bunnyborrow to Zootopia to begin her dream career as a police officer, it’s a city nestled happily with nature, a place where any animal can be anything.

There’s action around every corner of Zootopia, popping up as naturally as the carrots of Judy’s family’s farm, and jokes as abundant as the bunnies of Bunnyborrow. The story is surprising and flows with purpose through streets crowded with giraffes, polar bears, marmots, sloths, elephants, and rams, and then stops before you’ve quite realized you’ve reached the end and that feeling of excitement from the midst of the action is left still intense to mix with the satisfaction of a good ending.

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Zootopia is about making mistakes and trying again. It’s about knowing people for who they are and not by their stereotypes; not recognizing foxes and bears as bad guys, but as foxes and bears. Recognizing fear for what it is and learning not to blame it on people, but grow bigger and braver with love.

Zootopia is a world of colors and beauty. There’s more to see than you can grasp in one viewing. You’re left constantly groping to see everything as the story moves on. And that’s delightful. That the world is bigger than the story you’re hearing today. There’s always more, exciting and new. It’s like Zootopia’s superstar Gazelle sings:

I messed up tonight, I lost another fight
I still mess up but I'll just start again
...
I won't give up, no I won't give in
'Til I reach the end and then I'll start again
No I won't leave, I wanna try everything
...
I'll keep on making those new mistakes
I'll keep on making them every day
Those new mistakes.

my rating: 4/5
content: Rated PG by the MPAA for some thematic elements, rude humor and action.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Always Impossible

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"It was always impossible, 
that's why the people loved it."
- Alex, Madagascar 3

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Shop Boys

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"If there's one thing I've learned about all my years watching Earth, is that people aren't what they may seem. There are shop boys, and there are boys who just happen to work in a shop for the time being. And trust me Tristan, you're no shop boy."  
- Yvaine, Stardust