Month: February 2014

Why?

I’m sitting in the computer lab at school right now and I’m bored A.F. so I decided to post something here on my blog. I’m stuck at school right now because I have a class in an hour and a half. I’ve been doing homework basically all day today and I am totally sick of it. So I’ve decided to ask a series of questions that I invite anyone to answer.

Why does windows 7 not have a calender planner? I realised this when I was in a computer class (for people who don’t know how to use a computer–I was in the wrong place) when the professor was explaining the different widgets on the desktop, and an elderly man in the class asked if you could write on the calender. Now this may not seem so odd at first, but think about it: This is Windows 7, and calender planners have been around forever. We have them on our phones, why not on our computers? Seriously, this should come standard.

Why am I crazy about Asian girls? Specifically, Vietnamese. I’m married to a vietnamese girl, and I enjoy anime. I liked asians before I met my wife, but now it has gotten ridiculous. What makes asian girls so attractive?

Why does our world use science instead of magic? I know this one sounds a little ridiculous, but I LOVE fantasy. Sword and sorcery is my favorite genre, and I thoroughly enjoy D&D. This one doesn’t really need an answer, but just think about what life would be like if you could be a wizard. What kind of spells would you use? How would you use them? What would be your wizard name (if you have one)?

Why doesn’t “The Force” exist? Another one for y’all. Wouldn’t it be awesome to be a jedi? Move stuff with your mind and flip around with a sword made of laser? “Oh, I locked my keys in my car.” Use the force, Fox *Click* “Sweet.” Would you be Jedi or Sith?

Why is chocolate so delicious?

What is the meaning of life?

What came first, the chicken or the egg?

Is there life beyond our Earth?

Pancake or Waffle?

Bacon or Sausage?

Hashbrowns or House potatoes?

Color or Colour? Armor or Armour? Neighbor or Neighbour?

Why is there a silent “k” in Know or Knight or Knot? Is it to distinguish them from no, night, or not? If so, why isn’t there a silent “k” in well vs. well or well?

Why has english changed so much over the years? Why don’t we still spell show as shew? Why don’t we still say words like alway instead of always?

Why do people hate Obama?

Why do people give up on life?

Why was G.W. Bush considered stupid? Why was he voted in?

Was there life on Venus before it heated up?

Was Atlantis real? Is it still around?

Are there other universes? I want to go to them.

Why is poke’mon still around? And Yu-gi-oh?

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Critical Analysis of a Short Story (Eng 101 Essay)

So I had to write a critical analysis essay on a short story for my English 101 (critical thinking) class, so I figured I’d put it up on here. Since I know that not everyone has read the story I wrote the essay on, I’m also including a link to the story: “How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie” by Junot Diaz

And , without further adeau, my essay:

Uncle Tomming

     The short story “How to date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie” was written by Junot Diaz, a writing professor at MIT (Colbert Report), and follows the seeming advice of the narrator as he walks the reader through exactly how a date will or should go with a “Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie.” In this story, the narrator addresses the reader in a very casual sort of “how-to” language, and uses specific situations and language to support the ideas presented in the narrative, and to make a bold, yet subtle statement about racism in America:

Dinner will be tense. You are not good at talking to people you don’t know. A halfie will tell you that her parents met in the Movement, will say, Back then people thought it a radical thing to do. It will sound like something her parents made her memorize. Your brother once heard that one and said, Man, sounds like a whole lot of Uncle Tomming to me. Don’t repeat this.

[…] Black people, she will say, treat me real bad. That’s why I don’t like them. You’ll wonder how she feels about Dominicans. (99)

The narrator begins by addressing the reader as “you,” which he does throughout the entirety of the text. The very casual language he utilizes, such as “You are not good at talking to people you don’t know” implies a familiarity with the listener. This has the function of making the reader feel more comfortable with the narrator, and making them more open to the internal messages of the text. When he says “Your brother once heard that one,” he relates to someone whom the reader may feel a close connection to. Even if the reader doesn’t necessarily have a brother, the idea of a brother further implants that idea of loyalty and closeness. The narrator supplements this sense of trustworthiness by using confident language: a repetitive use of “will be,” “will tell,” “will sound,” etc., gives a sense that he knows—for sure—what he is talking about.

Once the reader has been led to feel an attachment with the narrator, they are more easily receptive to the messages thrown into the text. Here he mentions “the Movement,” which is referring to the African-American Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968), whose goal was to end racial segregation in the United States. This gets the reader thinking about a sensitive, political topic, even amidst a seemingly pointless (except for its entertainment value) story about a teenager trying to get laid. “Dinner will be tense,” shows the awkwardness between different peoples; in this case, it’s between not only a boy and a girl, but a “Dominican” and a “halfie.” Here, the narrator begins to mention the importance of “the Movement” to the girl (as well as her parents) by saying “It will sound like something her parents made her memorize.”

The narrator then states “Your brother[‘s]” response to her story: “Man, sounds like a whole lot of Uncle Tomming to me.” “Uncle Tomming,” is a reference to the culture-shaking novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which is a story about an African-American slave named Uncle Tom, and, according to Wikipedia, “helped lay the groundwork for the Civil War (Kaufman).” This reference to Uncle Tom is implied to have been taken offensively when the narrator says “Don’t repeat this” in response to the “halfie[‘s]” story. The implication that the “halfie” is upset by the comment is hinting at the sensitive subject of race and racial equality. The fact that “your brother” would say something like that also implies an amount of racial insensitivity amongst Americans, which shows that people are starting to look at these topics as something for the history books. The idea of racial inequality being something from a time long-passed is supported when the girl starts her story with “Back then,” showing that even she looks at it as old-news.

The idea that racial stereotypes aren’t a modern problem anymore is blatantly shown to be untrue throughout the entire essay with comments such as “the white ones are the ones you want” (98). Even the title implies significant differences in ethnicities and the way that people look at each other. When the girl states that “Black people […] treat me real bad,” the narrator again, is addressing the topic of racism as a very real problem for many Americans—something that stems from all peoples, and breeds only negative emotions: “That’s why I don’t like them” is an example of those feelings. These general statements such as “Black people” and “I don’t like them” lump everyone of a single ethnicity into a single body, and shows one person’s feelings towards an entire people based—likely—on the actions of a few. Lastly, the narrator says “You’ll wonder how she feels about Dominicans.” This is another example of the negative feelings that are bred when the subject of racism is raised. The narrator addresses the worry that the listener might feel when put in a situation where someone has opinions about an entire people without intimately knowing the individuals. This goes back to the first line of the passage where the narrator says “Dinner will be tense,” where he then goes on to explain that what should be a pleasant date will turn into a minefield of sensitive topics.

“How to date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie” is—at first glance—an entertaining story about a person (presumably a young man by the language) explaining to the reader/listener how to successfully go on a date with girls of various ethnicities, and when accepted as nothing more than that, is quite entertaining. However, when the text is broken down and the internal messages are brought into light, this seemingly innocent story is revealed to be a very powerful statement about racial prejudices in America. The narrator shows that, while some people may consider racism something from the past, others still have strong feelings about the different peoples of America.

Works Cited

Diaz, Junot. “How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie.” Literature to Go. 2nd Ed.

Ed. Michael Meyer. Boston: Bedford St. Martin’s, 2014. 97-100. Print.

“Junot Diaz.” Colbertnation. Colbert Report, 25 March 2013. Web. 24 Feb 2014.

“Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 14 Feb. 2014. Web. 25 Aug. 2014.

Kit Fox Plays D&D

Hello all, in this installment of Kit Fox Says, I’ll be sharing with you my latest and greatest undertaking. As the title suggests, in this scene, I’ll be sharing with you my recent experience playing D&D (Dungeons and Dragons 4e). In case you don’t know what that is, I’ll share with you a brief explanation:

D&D is a tabletop roleplaying game based on the fantastic novel series: The Lord of the Rings. In this game, you create a character and then assume the role of said character in a world invented by you and your friends. The goal of this game is to go on adventures and have a good time. At least, that is what it is supposed to be.

We began by meeting up at my friend Wyatt’s house. There were four of us. Myself, Wyatt, Angel, and Captain Whacko. We each pitched in and got ourselves a couple of pizzas, then picked our characters. I went first, and choose Beerus, the Dark Elf Warlock. Captain Whacko went second, choosing Copius Danks, the Elf Rogue. After Whacko, Angel picked Valen, the Half-Elf Paladin, and Wyatt went last, settling with some gender-ambiguous half-elf chick. Then we began.

So far, a good start. Wyatt was DMing (Dungeon Master-ing), and started us off in a prison. We were chained and beaten (cue the S&M jokes), and managed to sneak out when Copius picked the lock on his manacles and freed the rest of us. Fortunately, as we were escaping, the prison fell under seige by an orc raiding party, and we were able to fight our way out. After beheading several of the orcs, my character, Beerus gained a thirst for killing. Honestly, I had never seen this side of myself before–except for that one time in Seattle, but I’ll leave that for a later time.

After busting out of the Asylum, our group re-cooped ourselves in a nearby temple to the Sun-God. After skillfully avoiding the guards, we decided it a good idea for us to leave under the cover of night and seek safety in another land. First, we needed to get arms and armor, and paid a visit to a friend of ours who owned an armor-smithy. Unfortunately, when we asked him for armor, he informed us that his armor had been stolen and if we wanted it, we would have to get it ourselves.

So off we went in search of the thief, whom our smithy friend named “Falconi.” His mansion was said to be somewhere in the slums, and so we had to wade our way through sick, homeless people in order to get to our destination. We found it with relative ease, and approached the door stealthfully. We approached the door. There was a rustling inside. I reached for the doorknob and-

And that’s where it ends, I’ll let you guys know what we find on the other side.

The Hobbit

I just watched the Hobbit. I saw it once a few years ago but I couldn’t quite remember so I watched it again on Valentine’s Day with my wife.

I like this film.

But it was long. This film is so long! But of course, this isn’t unexpected. All the Lord of the Rings films are absurdly long. I realize that it was just the first of another trilogy, but I was really quite bummed when nothing really got resolved. I also felt like Gandalf was different from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and while it was sixty years prior, he looked older, sounded older, and acted like a crazy old man compared to the former. It was something I noticed and it distracted me from the story just a little bit. 

It was however, nice to see some of the old favourites, such as Saruman and the Elf Goddess chick. The effects were also amazing, I love the way the dragon looked, even if they only show glimpses of him. The dwarves–I don’t even know how they did that. Anyway so the language is good, plot is good, spectacle is amazing, character is alright. 

All that being said, I can’t wait to see “The Wrath of Smaug”!

Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus

So I just finished reading “Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus.” Here are my thoughts on that:

If I could sum this story up in one word, it would be “Misery.”

This book was published in 1818, and was written by Mary Shelley, wife of Percy Shelley, a famous poet of the romantic era. Mary was nineteen years old when this book was published, and it is one of the most famous, timeless novels in history. Amazing. I am seriously jealous of this girl. I mean, as a writer, I find myself very, very jealous.

I honestly didn’t know what to think going into this novel. I saw that it was less than two-hundred pages, and so thought that it would be an easy read. I was wrong. The language in this book is amazing, and while I understood most of it, I found myself occasionally reaching for my dictionary

Anyway, so I knew that this book was a classic, but I didn’t realize what that meant. Seriously, this book has stood the test of time–200 years and still relevant. Also, it’s nothing like the Frankenstein we grew up with. The whole thing is just a mind-blower. Anyway, I really recommend this novel to anyone who hasn’t read it and can handle its eloquence.

I also want to turn this into a movie. . .

Kit Fox vs. The Skunk (Part 2)

Last we left off, I was engaged in a vicious battle with “The Skunk”. . .

The two of us squared off against each other, my back to the wall–actually, door. Tony’s door. His razor sharp claws had just missed their mark when I elegantly dove out of the way, beautifully planting my face (and body) against the door. Drool dripped from the mouth of my foe as he prepared another strike. I had dropped the rake during my expertly executed dive and now found myself unarmed against a deadly (smelling) enemy.

“Prepare to eat dirt, Fox!” his breath was as stinky as the rest of him, and I found myself feeling nauseous when he spoke.

“Silence, foul beast! Your terror ends here!” I took my battle-stance, known as Downward-facing Fox, and readied my strongest defense. He leapt at me, fangs gnarled and dripping with slobber. I rolled onto my back, swinging my legs at my target–his face. THUNK! Contact. My heels smashed into his soft, furry nose like a wrecking ball into a sack of pillows. He didn’t stand a chance. His chin snapped back and his body flung forward, colliding with the backside of my legs, then he fell to the ground, Thump.

“Ye-eah! Who’s yo’ daddy now Skunk!” I stood triumphantly over my fallen enemy. “You mess with the Fox, you get a steel-plated heel to the nose! Hurts, don’t it!” My jests were for naught though, since the Skunk was out cold. Oh well, the life of a superhero is an anonymous one. That’s why I have this blog–to tell all of you about my heroics and whatnot. Anyway, after saving the neighbourhood, I returned to my den and resumed my slumber, where my dreams were filled with skunks. . . which I skillfully annihilated one-by-one. It was a good night.

Groupthink Repost: Excerpt from EoN

Sylas looked up at the sign hanging above the doors, The Raging Bull, “Interesting name for a tavern,” he chuckled to himself. Dekar ignored him and stepped through the swinging doors, Sylas caught them before they swung into him and promptly followed his brother into the building. They were immediately struck with a blast of heat and noise and the smell of roasted potatoes. Sylas had forgotten about his hunger, and the scent reminded him of the burning in his stomach.

The tavern was filled with people, all talking and laughing in good humour. A few people were laid out, stone-cold drunk in a corner near the fireplace. The brothers walked over to the bar to take a seat when they heard someone call their names in a cockney accent, “Sylas! Dekar! Is that really you?” They looked and saw a middle-aged man walking up to them. He had a full head of long, untamed, rose-coloured hair that curled around his cheeks. He had the belly of a drunkard and dark, stained teeth. The brothers exchanged glances of embarrassment.

“It is you! Dekar! How are you old friend!?” the fat man spread his arms out for a hug, but was met with a boot to the chest–Dekar’s.

“Who are you?” his voice had a hint of irritation.

The man coughed and regained his stance, albeit wobbly, “You don’t recognize me? I guess I can’t blame ya’. It’s me, Lit’l Goby.” The name seemed to strike a nerve with Dekar. Sylas looked to his brother.

“Do we know him?” Sylas didn’t recall the name.

“Goby? What happened to you? You’re. . . old. . . and fat.” Dekar eyed the fat man suspiciously.

“Of course I’m old, it’s been nearly thirty years since ye last saw me. I thought you two were dead.” he slurred his words and had to lean on a nearby chair to keep his balance.

“You know him? I don’t get it, Dekar who is he?”

“It’s lit’l Goby. Mrs. Russels boy.”

“You mean that little red-headed boy we found drunk in our house that one ti–oh. I guess that makes sense.” Sylas looked at that drunk man who stood in front of them. “We really were gone a long time, huh?”

“Looks that way.” Dekar grabbed Goby by the collar and set him down on a bar stool. “Sit down you drunk bastard.” Sylas called one of the barmaids over and asked for three glasses of water.

“Are you sure you don’t want to try some of our famous Red Ale? Your friend here really enjoyed it.” The barmaid smiled a flirty smile at Sylas and stepped in close to him.

“Yes, I’m sure. The water please.” Sylas gently pushed the barmaid off of him. She was an attractive young girl, with supple breasts and long, golden locks. She couldn’t have been more than fifteen years of age, and before, Sylas would have graciously accepted her advances, but the shock of seeing someone from their past in such a pathetic state held his mind elsewhere. The girl left with a sneer to fetch the water. Sylas turned back to his brother, “What are we going to do about this?”

“First, we’re going to sober him up. Then, we find out what happened while we were gone.”

 

In response to: Daily Prompt