Friday, November 27, 2009

New Moon

Wow, two posts in one day!

I just saw New Moon and I have to say that the entire time I kept thinking, "Wow, this is like a real movie!" I'm not sure what that means, exactly. It's not as if Twilight wasn't a real movie. Ha. I made a funny.

But seriously, I am very pleasantly surprised. New Moon was my least favorite of the Twilight books, mostly because it seemed s-o-o-o-o-o l-o-o-o-o-o-o-ng. The first time I read it I kept skipping ahead every few pages going, "Okay, can something happen now, please?" But in retrospect, I think that the book isn't really that much longer than it needed to be. I think we're supposed to get a sense of time just dragging on bleakly and seeing nothing in the future to look forward to, because that's how Bella feels for most of the story.

But I digress. The movie is an extremely faithful adaptation. There were only a couple of things that really felt condensed or were noticeably reordered. Sometimes an adaptation's insistence on adhering that closely to the source material can spell disaster for the movie. In this case, though, despite a slight lack of story in some parts, the world of the film was so convincing that it didn't matter, at least not to me. And I think the screenwriter must have taken some night classes or something.

So, yeah, I liked the movie. Suck it, Ebert!

To read my post on the Twilight books, click here .


The Puritan settlers in Plymouth colony ate a meal of vegetables, bread and strange wild birds to celebrate their survival of a cold New England winter and to thank God for their health and freedom. Legend has it that each Pilgrim had only seven kernels of corn to eat, but even that was a bountiful feast, and they gave thanks for it.

We tell little children that Thanksgiving is about being thankful for the things we have, but it is so much more than that. The Puritans faced displacement from their homes, stormy seas, cold and inhospitable lands, the loss of loved ones, and still they thanked God for their blessings, even when it seemed they had none.

Yes, we should be thankful for our homes and families, even the conveniences and comforts of modern day life, but let's not overlook our true blessings: life, health, freedom, and the love of our Savior.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Superheroes Anonymous

--I wrote this as a one-act play for a creative writing class, but I always thought of it as an SNL sketch.


FLOYD, Captain Valor

PAM, The White Raven

GREGORY, one half of The Incredi-Twins

CRAIGORY, the other half of The Incredi-Twins

FELICIA, Probability Girl

BASIL, Superheroes Anonymous group leader

Scene: The basement of a community center. A table with a pitcher of water and a stack of paper cups stands to one side. The characters sit in a semicircle on metal folding chairs. The superheroes wear civilian clothing and stick-on name tags. Basil wears a black turtleneck and skinny jeans and has a soul patch. He reads from a clipboard.

BASIL: Okay, people. First of all I'd like to welcome all of you to the first ever meeting of Superheroes Anonymous. Welcome. Welcome, welcome! A little about myself. My name is Basil and I, just like all of you, used to be a superhero. I know it can be hard to adjust to normal life after you hang up the tights, but that's why I'm here to help! So now why don't we go around the circle and introduce ourselves. [Standing] Hi. I'm Basil, and I'm a superhero. [Sits back down; turns to Craigory on his right] Now, how about you?

CRAIGORY: [Clearing his throat] Uh, okay... do I have to stand up?

BASIL: If you feel it in your heart.

CRAIGORY: Oh, um, no... no, I don't feel it in my heart. [Basil shrugs and smiles] Okay, well, hi. I'm Craigory and I'm a superhero.

BASIL: Hi, Gregory.

CRAIGORY: No, not Gregory. Craig-ory. [Points to Gregory] That's Gregory. [Gregory gives a small wave] See, our mom, she wanted to name us Greg and Craig, because they rhyme. But Greg is a nickname for Gregory, right? So she figured Craig must be a nickname for Craigory, so that's what she named me.

PAM: Oh, you're brothers!

GREGORY: [nodding] Twins.

FELICIA: [jumping up] Is it hot in here?

[Felicia walks quickly to the water table and pours herself a cup, gulps it down, then pours another, which she drinks while the others continue talking.]

BASIL: Ah, twins. Why don't you tell us your story, Craigory?

CRAIGORY: Well, being twins was part of our identity--

BASIL: Of course, you feel defined by your twin, you feel you can't be your own person... classic child psychology.

CRAIGORY: No, I mean it was part of our super identity. We're the Incredi-Twins.

[Felicia pours herself yet another cup of water and gulps it loudly, still holding the pitcher in her other hand.]

PAM: [To Felicia] You okay, sweetie?

[Felicia nods.]

BASIL: Go on, Craigory.

CRAIGORY: Okay, well... About ten years ago we discovered our powers... well, we thought they were powers. Now it's more like a curse. See, I can move stuff with my mind, and Gregory can--

BASIL: Let's let Gregory tell his own story.

CRAIGORY: Oh, okay... so, uh, you know, everything was great for a long time. We saved a few cities, defeated a few super villains... everyone loved us. But then, about two years ago or so, I started... I don't know... changing.

BASIL: Changing? How?

CRAIGORY: I wasn't just using my power for good anymore. See, I used to only use it to move really heavy stuff that I couldn't pick up myself. But now I was using it to pick up the TV remote... to make the fridge door open and a beer come out and into my hand... I got lazy.

BASIL: [sagely] Ah, yes. The most common superhero pitfall.

CRAIGORY: So, yeah... that's why I'm here.

BASIL: You're in the right place, Craigory. Let's all give him a hand, shall we?

[Everyone claps. Felicia throws her cup away and, still holding the pitcher, returns to her seat. She drinks from the pitcher as the conversation continues.]

BASIL: [Looking at Floyd] Now, you've been awfully quiet, sir. Would you like to go next?

FLOYD: [Already sitting tall, he straightens even more] Oh, all right. Hello, everyone. My name is Floyd, and I am [heroic voice] Captain Valor!

[Everyone looks at Floyd meaningfully. He notices their expressions and drops his bravado just a smidge.]

FLOYD: Sorry. Old habits, you know.

BASIL: That's okay. Hi, Floyd. Well, of course, we all know who you are, but why don't you tell us your story, anyway?

FLOYD: Very well. I was born on a cold winter's eve to a young Romanian woman with a--

BASIL: You don't need to tell your whole story. Why don't you start with when you discovered your abilities.

FLOYD: Oh. All right. I was a young man of nineteen. I fell from a fourth-story window, and, as I saw the ground rushing toward me I had enough time to think, “I wish I could fly,” and the next thing I knew I was. Flying, I mean. So, of course, I had to find out if I had other powers. I can run extremely fast and I am very, very strong. Plus, I'm not too shabby at Jenga, but I don't think that's because of my powers.

BASIL: Mmhmm.

FLOYD: So, anyway, My experience was much like Gregory and Craigory's. I fought crime, I prevented disasters, and, most of all, I rescued people. That's what I became addicted to.

BASIL: Rescuing people?

FLOYD: [nods] Yes. It got to the point where I was rescuing maybe forty, fifty people a day. Sometimes they didn't even need rescuing, but I couldn't stop.

BASIL: Wow. Thank you Floyd. Let's give him a hand, everyone.

[Everyone starts to clap, but they are interrupted by a loud SCREAM offstage. Floyd, Pam and Felicia all jump to their feet. Gregory and Craigory look alarmed. Basil looks panicked, but not because of the scream; it's because he's lost everyone's attention. He tries to call them back.]

BASIL: Now, everyone, don't worry about th--

FLOYD: Someone is in danger! We must help them!

BASIL: No! Sit down!

[Gregory and Craigory move closer together and talk in hushed whispers to each other. Floyd begins to pace quickly. There are more screams, then a cry for help.]

SCREAMER 1: [offstage] HELP!!! OH NO!! WHAT IS THAT?

SCREAMER 2: [offstage] It's a MONSTER!! Run!!!!!

[More screaming.]

FLOYD: [stops pacing] Okay, everyone, what are your powers? We need to figure out how to defeat this monster, whatever it is!

PAM: I am the White Raven! I can become invisible and I can manipulate electrical charges.

FLOYD: Can you propel them in bolts? [Pam nods; Floyd turns to Felicia.] And you?

FELICIA: I'm Probability Girl.

[Everyone stops and looks at Felicia blankly for a second.]

FLOYD: And that means...?

BASIL: Everyone, please, we need to calm down. We've been making some breakthroughs, but if you all go and use your powers now we'll lose all that progress!

[Everyone ignores Basil.]

FELICIA: It means I can calculate probability, odds, fate. Sometimes I can even change it.

CRAIGORY: [in awe] Cool.

FELICIA: [blushing and giggling] You really think so?

BASIL: [standing] People, please! Have you completely forgotten the reason you are here? You're supposed to STOP BEING SUPERHEROES!

[They finally turn their attention to Basil, gaping. Floyd stares at him hard, a spark of recognition.]

FLOYD: Hey, I know who you are. I'd know that shout anywhere. You're my arch nemesis, the

Crude Cretin!

BASIL: I don't know what you're talking about. I'm just--

PAM: Hey, you're right. It is him. I thought he died in that meteor storm a few years back.

FLOYD: So did we all. But that must have been part of his diabolical plan.

BASIL: We really need to get back to--

FELICIA: Yes! He wanted us to think he was dead!

GREGORY: So no one would bother him while he made the next step in his plan to rid the world of superheroes forever and take control!

[Basil stares at everyone, wide-eyed, panic rising.]

CRAIGORY: Superheroes Anonymous was just a ploy, a way to get us to stop using our powers!

FLOYD: [a horrified gasp] To stop rescuing people!

BASIL: All right, fine. You caught me. I am the Crude Cretin. You have divined my evil plot. But you can never stop me! The monster that rages outside will soon destroy the entire city, leaving nothing but blood and dust! You will never be able to defeat me! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

FLOYD: You disgust me.


FLOYD: Come on, everyone! White Raven, Probability Girl, Incredi-Twins! With our powers combined, we can rid the world of the Crude Cretin and his vile beast!

[The superheroes surround Basil, who shrinks down, collapsing on the floor.]

BASIL: Ahhhhh! Noooo! No! Nooo... [his head falls to the ground, then silence.]

FLOYD: Now, for the monster! Follow me!

[A battle cry as the superheroes rush offstage.]