Category Archives: Humor

Boundless Challenge: Week #11

OriginalPhoenix, I’m sorry I haven’t been keeping up with the Boundless Challenge.

Boundless

My last entry in the challenge was almost a month ago.

The point of the challenge is to write about how I “lived boundless” this week — to write about one example every week of me doing more than I thought I was capable of.

And, I really do hate to say it, but: Lately, my neighbor’s cat has been more boundless than me.

Since I used to have two dogs — they died after living long, happy lives — my neighbor’s calico cat — that hangs out around my house because I give her food — has, for the longest time, resisted actually coming into the house. She must still be able to smell the dogs. But, over the weeks she’s made progress.

Yesterday she jumped on my couch and stayed there for 10 minutes before running to the door and meow-ing to be let out.

The light is bad, but here she is:

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I call her “Kiki,”  thanks to Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989).

Why?

Because: Instead of delivering bread, Kiki the calico delivers “Aww!” Whenever I see her, I can’t help but go “Aww!” She always makes me do this:

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To get back on subject:

This week, I do have something to be Boundless about:

I finished the screenplay for my short film.

There will, undeniably, be more edits as I show it to people more knowledgeable about screenwriting than I. But, I’ve hit a wall: I feel like I’ve done everything for this screenplay that I, with my current knowledge of writing, can do. Hence why I consider it “finished.”

Have you ever felt like that? You write, and write, and write, and you get to a point where you look at what you’ve written and think I’ve done everything I can.

For weeks, my life has been relatively unexciting.

Just been trying to get more used to my job stocking shelves, since it’s the first job I’ve had in over 3 years. (School, family obligations, and soul-searching kept me busy during that time.)

When I’m not working, I’ve been listening to the Life is Strange soundtrack while I try and think of more ideas for screenplays…

…and spending time with my best friend. We hang out more frequently now, which I’m glad for. In my quest for awesomeness, I don’t want to neglect relationships.

What else has happened recently?

Well, thanks to Wild Woman Sisterhood

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…and some editing, I found a picture that captures what my short film is about:

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Regarding my short film:

I’ll write more on that later…

Thank you to TheOriginalPhoenix for inspiring me to get back to doing the Boundless Challenge.

Her fiery, phoenix-y awesomeness is just what I needed today.

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Update

Life has been strange this week.

And it’s not just because I’ve been playing Life is Strange.

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I’ve continued to make progress on a screenplay I’m writing. I’m hoping that, one day, it will become an animated short film.

I’m coming to terms with the fact that college, for the time being, is out of reach.

This week, acknowledging my limitations has been a big deal for me. Now that I know more about what I can do, I feel I’m more capable of knowing what I want to do.

More and more, I’m learning that I can’t please everyone — that I can’t do everything my family wants me to do. I know they only want what’s best for me. And, I will always be grateful for their love and support. But: When all is said and done, I have to do what makes me happy — not what makes anyone else, even my family, happy.

On another note: One thing I struggle with is pride.

So, I prayed: “God, give me more opportunities to be humble.”

And He did…

Word of advice: Be careful what you ask God for.

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I didn’t make use of all the opportunities to be as humble as I would have liked to be…

To put it another way: This week, I was all three of these people:

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Dumb and Dumber (1994)

In more ways than one, I devolved into the kind of person I hate.

I know this is all vague.

It makes me uncomfortable to talk about subjects like my struggle with pride. I don’t believe it’s because of  pride. Subjects like pride are just touchy. They make me do this:

Which is ironic.

Because: If you follow this blog, chances are you know that I’m all about being “emotionally naked” — being open and honest about one’s thoughts and feelings.

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And yet, here I am, building a wall for myself…

To end this post on a positive note:

Life is Strange: Chloe, Euthanasia, and Seeing All Ends

In Chapter 4 of Life is Strange, “Dark Room,” you are faced with a choice:

Euthanize, or refuse to euthanize, your best friend Chloe, who is dying from an injury that has left her paralyzed.

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I know that Chloe’s intent isn’t malicious. Her parents are up to their eyes in debt paying her medical bills, only a miracle will cure her, and she’s slowly dying. And here you come, her best friend Max, back in her life after 5 years apart. You spend the day with Chloe and, despite everything that has happened to the both of you, it’s like no time has passed at all. And with that in mind — filled with memories of the happiest 24 hours of her life — Chloe wants to make the only choice that, because of her condition, she alone is capable of making: The choice to die.

All Chloe wants is to be at peace. And she believes death is the means to that end.

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I looked up the Catholic Church’s teaching on euthanasia, to make the best choice that I could:

…an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator. The error of judgment into which one can fall in good faith does not change the nature of this murderous act, which must always be forbidden and excluded.
~Catechism of the Catholic Church, Section 2277

A part of me hated reading those words.

All I wanted was to make Chloe happy. To show her that I was everything she wanted me to be.

I’m convinced the only reason I didn’t cry during this scene is because I was dehydrated — I’m better now: got a glass of water next to me as I write this — and I turned the volume down so that I wouldn’t hear how Chloe took my refusal to grant her request. I had subtitles on though.

I couldn’t kill Chloe.

Even though she hates me now, I thought, someday, somewhere, she’ll understand.

I thought that because: This wasn’t Chloe’s end. There was a miracle that could save her: Max’s time travel powers.

And that realization got me thinking about God…

God, like Max with her knowledge of alternate realities thanks to her powers, knows more than we do. Like Chloe, we say “This is the only way,” and God, like Max, sits in a chair at our bedside, wanting us to know that there is another way:

“I am going to help you, but not like that. You have to believe me, Chloe.”

This scene taught me about trust.

This scene reminded me that I don’t have all the answers. And it’s because of that, that there are times where I need to do what Chloe refused to do and put myself in the hands of one who only wants me to be happy, trusting that they see what I cannot.

Chloe’s desire for peace reminds me of one of Kate Marsh’s favorite Bible verses. Kate being another friend of Max’s who wanted to die. It’s this verse that finally convinced her to not jump:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
~Matthew 11:28

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On a humorous note:

After I refused to euthanize Chloe, I realized I was glad to refuse her for another reason:

What if the police charged Chloe’s parents, or Max, with her death?

After all: There is no evidence to prove that Chloe died because she wanted to.

All I could think of was Ron’s words to Brick:

“Lay low for awhile because you’re probably wanted for murder.”

Life Is Strange, And Time Travel Is Weird

So… I just beat Chapter 5 of Life is Strange.

And I feel like I took all the drugs.

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Note to self: Never play Chapter 5 for the first time after you just wake up.

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Time running backwards.

I knew what I was seeing was just a part of the game, but a part of me wondered if I was still asleep and dreaming.

As I hid from Mr. Jefferson(s) in what I’m now calling “The Hell Maze” — I’ve officially heard “Gotcha!” enough for one lifetime — I honestly didn’t know what to think.

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I’m not sick, but I’m not well…

Is Max dreaming?

Is her sardonic comment from earlier in the chapter true and she really is in Hell?

I know Max says that what she went through was a nightmare, but it sure didn’t seem like it.

It’s like Max fell into the Fly of Despair.

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If I ever want to experience what it’s like to get high, sorry Walter White, you won’t make a customer out of me.

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Why?

Because: I’ll just play Life is Strange again.

Even though a part of me doesn’t want to.

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What’s worse:

I almost made the choice to sacrifice Chloe.

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I don’t know what to call that spiteful version of myself, so I’m just going to call her “Earl.”

As I talked to Earl, I realized that — gasp — actions have consequences!

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I wondered if it was right to cause so many people to die just to save the life of one person.

And Chloe was no saint, either.

But, I justified myself by remembering Luke 15:4:

“What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it?”

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The “lost sheep.”

And, after feeling like I went through Hell, I also just wanted to do to Arcadia Bay what I wish I could do to The Hell Maze, and destroy it.

That place put me through the wringer, and a part of me was happy to return the favor.

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Revenge is a dish best served cold.

I’ll write more about Life is Strange later.

For now, I need to de-stress by watching dog videos.

I’m Taking A Vacation

I’m taking a break from blogging.

The reason why is: It’s been hard to think of subjects to write about lately.

There is no theme on this blog — I just write about whatever is on my mind at the moment.

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And, lately, my thoughts haven’t been too compelling.

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I started this blog almost 3 years ago, during the beginning of what is still, in some ways, the darkest time of my life.

Thank you, everyone, for your love and support. It means a lot.

I’ll still read your blogs. I just need a break from mine.

“Let There Be Light” – A New Low For Christian Movies

A trailer for a new Christian movie was released.

And it is one of the worst things I’ve ever seen.

Let There Be Light (2017):

30 seconds in, and I thought This must be a parody of the trailer. Not the actual trailer.

But I was wrong. This is real.

I don’t know where to start…

The narration is the worst I’ve ever heard.

The dialogue is as subtle as a trainwreck.

The message — atheist converts after a deadly experience — has been done to death. (Pun intended.)

For example: Another Christian movie staring Kevin Sorbo as an atheist who converts: God’s Not Dead (2014):

And before you say “You’re just an atheist liberal,” as the name of my blog implies, I’m a Catholic, and my political views lean towards conservatism. My point is: I am the intended audience for this movie, and I hate it.

I hate it because it’s mediocre.

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If excellence declares the glory of the Lord, as Psalm 19:1 attests, than Let There Be Light is not an angelic host singing, it is nails on a chalkboard.

Movies like Let There Be Light are why I believe that the world doesn’t need more “Christian movies.”

What the world needs, I believe, is just more stories that portray goodness, truth, or beauty no matter where that goodness, truth, or beauty comes from.

“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.”
~ Philippians 4:8

Because of Philippians 4:8, I have found much to think about in, for example, stories about lesbian lovers…

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Life is Strange (2015)

…friendly forest spirits…

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My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

…and killer aliens.

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Prometheus (2012)

Watching the Let There Be Light trailer after experiencing the peace and beauty of Totoro’s realm…

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…I felt like Clark Griswold in Christmas Vacation (1989):

Here was a movie (Let There Be Light) that promised to show me (a Catholic conservative) what I, on paper, should love.

But, as Let There Be Light reminded me:

Appearances can be deceiving.

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Boundless Challenge: Week #9

Thank you to TheOriginalPhoenix for inspiring me to do the Boundless Challenge.

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Every Friday, I will write about one time during the week where I “lived boundless” — where I achieved more than I thought I was capable of.

This Friday, March 9nth, I want to celebrate the choice I made to start writing a screenplay for an animated short film.

Since I hope to study screenwriting when I return to school…

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…the best way to learn is by actually doing it.

So far, I’ve gotten much-needed feedback, and realized how much I don’t know about the craft of writing.

My “first draft” can be summed up by the image below:

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But that’s OK!

Why?

Because: I’m going to learn.

Sure, I’ll channel my inner Starlight Glimmer from time to time…

…but, with hard work and by the grace of God, I’ll write a story that, when read out loud, doesn’t make me want to do this: