A Very Short Blog More Than Likely Leading to Another Blog Later

Just a few quotes as I’m writing a short story about a vampire, and hoping to be done by the end of this week along a new coloring, but I’m realizing the story goes where the story wants to go.

I equally like vampire and zombie movies, but if I had the choice between meeting one in actual life, I would pick the vampire.  The death appears to be quicker unless you meet one that likes to prolong things.  Humans who were sadists, then turn into vampires remain the same.  I might be able to convince one who is mentally healthy to spare my life, but who knows.

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On the flip side, zombies are also dead, but have much less going on inside their brains.  I could probably outrun a few slow moving zombies, but many of them in all directions, more than likely not.  There is no hope if they are fast because I’m not a sprinter by any means.  The thought of getting eaten alive doesn’t sound all that fun, but neither does fangs piercing my skin.

I don’t have any ambition to live forever if given the chance, and I would rather not dumb myself down to the status of being zombied out, so the lesser of the two would ultimately be the vampire that doesn’t sparkle.

© 2017 Pisaries Creator

Book Recommendation: The Cuckoo’s Egg

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I had recommended this book before in a previous blog before I even finished it, but I don’t think I had shared it on my Facebook or LinkedIn page at the time so here it goes again. This is one of those books where you don’t judge a book by its cover or subject matter. I find espionage a highly interesting phenomenon, but computer espionage? Come on? How interesting could it really be? It sounds rather boring. I’m sure it is in most cases, but it is quite interesting when you have the right person writing about it.

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Cliff Stoll infuses the right amount of factual information with his own personal quirks and hesitancy. You will see this when he is dealing with the FBI, CIA, and NSA. His lifestyle of sewing quilts and making homemade milkshakes when he was not being a systems administrator was in direct contradiction to the later relationships he formed with the “spooks.” You couldn’t have picked a more unique person to unravel this story piece by piece even if you tried. It is a page turner, and I mean this sincerely. You will doubly enjoy it if you are into non-fiction thriller/mystery.

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Stoll doesn’t mince his words, but still you know he has a kind heart within him. He comments on certain things that seem unrelated to the hacker, but it does serve a purpose in the long run. This book is as relevant as ever given our current political times. I won’t spoil the ending, but I wasn’t too surprised that certain things happened the way they did. This was as much a cat and mouse game as it was a catalyst for things to come in the computer world and in his own personal life. I will conclude with the message of fixing the smaller problems is usually adequate, but sometimes it isn’t, and when it isn’t enough, watch out because who knows what will appear.

Want to Read The Cuckoo’s Egg? Great! Click here!

© 2017 Pisaries Creator

Movie Recommendation: Away We Go

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Produced: Peter Saraf, Edward Saxon, and Marc Turtletaub
Directed: Sam Mendes
Written: Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida

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This is a dramedy directed by Sam Mendes. The person responsible for directing the hit movies American Beauty and Road to Perdition. Away We Go is the journey of a married couple, waiting for their first child to be born. Their original plan of living close to his parents is spoiled when they surprise Burt (Jon Krasinski) and Verona (Maya Rudolph) of moving out of the country. This is when Burt and Verona decide to go on the road in search of the best place to raise their child. Along the way, they observe differing parenting styles of family and friends, and come to an understanding of what kind of parents they want to be. They also finally discover where they want to set down their roots. This film has a good supporting cast and the most recognizable names of Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jim Gaffigan, Allison Janey, and Josh Hamilton. While this didn’t have the widespread reach like American Beauty, it is well worth the watch if you desire a lighthearted movie with the right amount of serious moments.
© 2017 Pisaries Creator

 

Movie Recommendation: Argo

Produced: Ben Affleck, George Clooney, and Grant Heslov
Directed: Ben Affleck
Written: Chris Terrio, Tony Mendez, Joshuah Bearman

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I saw this in the theater when it came out in 2012. Argo was the kind of film that really had you at the edge of your seat even if you were aware of the end result. It is about a CIA operative, Tony Mendez, who plans the rescue of six United States embassy staff from Iran in early 1980s. He is portrayed by Ben Affleck, and convincingly I might add. This was the perfect role for him. The success of this mission is dependent upon the assistance of Hollywood and cooperation from Canada. Mendez goes through the motions of setting up a production company with a green lit script, fake crew members, and as you probably guessed it, the location of Iran.  You watch to see if the six will survive this mission with Mendez leading them hopefully to safety.  I’m pretty sure you can guess which way it went, but in case you don’t or don’t want to know ahead of time, I won’t say anything else except watch this film. You won’t be disappointed especially if you are into historical dramas and/or should I say Ben Affleck.
© 2017 Pisaries Creator

 

Hollywood Screen Legends and Those Missing in Action

The lack of diversity in Hollywood has been on my mind off and on the last few months. The whole debacle of the “White Oscars” and the unfortunate mistake of naming La La Land as this year’s Best Picture, which I think was an honest mistake in all regards, only fueled the fire.
I watched an episode of Charles Barkley’s American Race that aired on TNT, I think a few weeks ago, but these weeks are all blending together for me. It is almost June, which means summer will fly by, and then it will be fall. Once October rolls around, you might as well pack up the ghost and get out your Christmas tree or Menorah or whatever else you have tucked away in your closets.
Getting back to the topic at hand, the consensus is there isn’t much respect for Barkley doing this docuseries. The few reviews I did read weren’t that positive. I felt a little bit bad for him. It did lend to reinforcing my belief that it is hard for Hollywood to change when the people running the studios are White males between the ages of primarily fifties to seventies. It goes hand in hand that the people in power are usually the ones with strongest voices. They have the most resources. They make the majority of decisions. They are the ones who are heard over all the yelling in the background.
I typed out a list of the greatest screen legends from AFI, male and female, and only one person that I recognized that could be viewed as a minority was Sidney Poitier. This doesn’t take away from the talent of everyone else on this list because they are included for very obvious reasons. Don’t get me started on my admiration for Humphrey Bogart. The thing is I would bet my hands there were equally as talented non-White ethnic actors and actresses during this time. They just weren’t given the chance to shine because Hollywood is hard enough as it is to break into, and when you add race into the mix, it makes it that much harder.

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A recent example is the uproar over the James Bond casting on who would replace Daniel Craig. I think pushing the comfort boundaries would do us some good as a whole. It isn’t that White actors wouldn’t fulfill the role properly, but thinking a White actor only needs to replace Craig doesn’t make sense to me. Yes, he’s a British spy, but I highly doubt Britain is only made up of White people. Times have changed, but I also realize people like familiarity.
I think in many cases where it involves a minority character it is damned if you do and damned if you don’t meaning if you are a writer, someone will view your character as a stereotype. If you only cast physically fit or attractive people for your main roles or even extras, then you are somehow fat shaming everyone else. There isn’t an easy solution to making Hollywood more inclusive because on paper it looks simple, but realistically it takes a bit more work.
I find it equally perplexing that movies with some content, where you have to think a little bit, bomb in the box office. I can only chalk it up to people getting used to the remakes and superhero movies made year after year. I’m actually hoping for the next phase to start, and one that incorporates a wider range of subject matter and use of actors/actresses.  I give thanks to those who continue to push to push the boundaries, and for making movies I like to watch. 
© 2017 Pisaries Creator

Book Recommendation: Falling Leaves

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Falling Leaves is an autobiographical story about Adeline Yen Mah.  It explores the hardship she endured while living with her father and stepmother. She was born into privilege, but like many girls born into Asian countries, there were cultural forces that sent her reeling backward.  She didn’t have the same luxuries as her brothers, and when compared to her half siblings, she hardly existed at all. With the help of her aunt, Adeline is able to survive at school and beyond. The last chapter I found the most interesting. It dealt with the reunion of the family after a long absence. You can feel the tension slice through the air at times, but also the realization that some things need to be forgiven, but never forgotten.
Explore Falling Leaves on Amazon
© 2017 Pisaries Creator

Book Recommendation: Serendipity Series (for Children)

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This is a little departure from my normal book recommendation.  It might be because I’m getting to the age where my perspective on life is changing.  I’m also doing some good old fashion reminiscing of the days past.  The books in this series were my favorite way back when, and definitely read them more than once.  I made sure they remained in my arsenal even though they are miles away.  I recommend these books to anyone with children.  The main characters are animals, realistic and imaginary, but all have universal themes weaved into the stories.  The stories end where you can take away a moral code.  The author, Stephen Cosgrove, created this series because he could not find inexpensive books to read for his daughter when she was young.  I encourage anyone to read them because I believe they are something that special.
Explore on Amazon
© 2017 Pisaries Creator

My Life = Write, Read, Color

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It’s been quite a while, eight months, since I’ve colored anything of significance.  I managed to color two designs for two different relatives until I screwed up the one I really wanted to get done.  I then dropped the frame on the floor, denting the corner of it, so it wasn’t such a great day.  That was about two months ago so I’m still working on redoing the design.  So much to do, so little time.  The story of my life.  The story of most lives.
The good thing is after what some might call soul searching, I started rewriting my love story again and from the beginning.  You have to start with A and end with Z.  I’ve circled backward and forward quite a few times with this rewrite, trying to wrestle within myself the need for perfection, and knowing it doesn’t exist and cutting ties with it.  Yet, I know it’s the right choice to push myself to be a better writer, and feel good about so far. Let’s face it.  We all have to start somewhere.  We all have to do things we don’t want to do (including the nitty gritty stuff in writing).  Then after I’m done, hopefully by the end of this year, my roommate will critique it so it can get even better.
My next coloring is structured, but sometimes I need to design with a little more freedom.   If you haven’t seen my other colorings, feel free to visit my blog.  I look forward to working on my trilogy in 2018, but I’m learning patience is a necessity and luxury in life.  On a concluding note, I hope the writers out there keep writing, the artists keep arting, and everyone else do something creative.
© 2017 Pisaries Creator
 

 

The Hollywood Trend of Remakes and Reboots

There’s a Hollywood trend going on: the rebooting of long past television franchises and remakes of films already recognized for their great acclaim. I have no issue with this, but what does open my eyes is the sloppy decision making along the process in some productions.
I know viewers have an investment in the original because they tend to hold allegiance to what they already know including myself. I’m willing to give most movies a chance as I did Halloween by Rob Zombie, but when the light on the candle blows out in the first few scenes, I’m not clamoring to watch the second remake.
I won’t name the television show I tried to watch on Netflix recently. I wanted to hop on this bandwagon, but I could only get through five minutes of it before removing it from my queue. So why did I stop watching it? Because of the acting overall and especially of what I would say is the main character’s acting chops or lack thereof.
I began to think of the scenes from the 1980s series where the original actress understood the nuisances of the character. I thought maybe I was being too harsh on this new actress, but I don’t think I’m asking too much. It’s hard to get past people who force the acting. She sounded more like an actress in a body vs. a body in a body.
This finally leads to my movie recommendation where I think the original and remake are solidly worthy. I’m sure you’ve heard of the zombie movie, Dawn of the Dead. As a closing note about movies, what happened with the belly flop of King Arthur this weekend? I was hoping it would do well in the box office because I like Charlie Hunnam as an actor, and it looked like an interesting movie. I will have to read about its demise later. Happy movie watching everyone and good night.
© 2017 Pisaries Creator