Archive for January, 2013

Look! It's so shiny and NEW!

It’s so shiny and NEW!

So, there’s this thing which is a quiz which you take which tells you everything you need to know about yourself. Also, the logo thingy is so cool. I love how it combines iconic letters/typefaces. So clever. :)

Well, it only tells you what you’d be/where you’d be in different fandoms. It’s kind of epic, and I was so excited about this nerdy awesome thing that I wanted to post about it. So, I’m just going to go through everything and express my opinions of WHO I AM.

Harry Potter: Well, this is cool, because for obvious reasons Gryffindor is pretty epic. Actually, Gryffindor is really epic. To be truthful, though, I was hoping for Ravenclaw, because I just like Ravenclaw. However, I like Gryffindor, too.

Hunger Games: So this means I’m starving and struggling to stay alive? It could also mean I’m a good archer. I wouldn’t mind that. :)

Twilight: I’M NOT A VAMPIRE! HALLELUJAH! But if you ask me, Bella is just as bad as any vampire (except she doesn’t sparkle, which is definitely a plus). In any case, I’m so glad I’m not distantly related to Edward. *breathes a heavy sigh of relief*

Lord of the Rings: Ah, poop. Well, after seeing other people’s results, I guess that being man isn’t rare at all. I still would have liked to be an elf…which I also realized isn’t a rare thing at all. (Not that I thought it was rare. I mean, elves are just epic! Who wouldn’t want to be one?!)

Star Wars: YESSSSSS. Jedi, I am. Makes me happy, this does. So pleased, am I. Lightsaber ninja, I am. Er. Jeez, they could have mentioned that talking like Yoda is a hazard of the job. Worse things, there are. Ahem.

Divergent: YES I get to jump off buildings and trains and just…*happiness*

His Dark Materials: I don’t know this fandom.

Mortal Instruments: I don’t know this fandom. (Though if the werewolves here are anything like the werewolves in Twilight…oh crap.)

Percy Jackson: This just makes me so happy. It would have been kind of cool for them to tell you what cabin you’d be in at Camp Half-Blood, too, but I’m content knowing that I would be at Camp Half-Blood. (Hopefully in Athena…or maybe Zeus…but mainly Athena…For some reason, I just like smart people. Like the peeps in Ravenclaw and in Athena’s cabin.)

Chronicles of Narnia: This is good, I suppose. There’s really nothing else I could be (except for human; that’d be okay too), so…yeah.

Game of Thrones: I don’t know this fandom.

Dr. Who: I don’t know this fandom, but I’m assuming this is good…maybe?

Delirium: I would be a little bit concerned if anybody was classified as cured. That would just be…disturbing. So I’m glad I’m not (I don’t think there was a chance of me being cured, anyway, but it’s just reassuring.)

Star Trek: I don’t know this fandom, but I think Klingons are bad, so that isn’t good. Their name is funny, though. It reminds me of a window cling. You know, like a window cling-on? Klingon? Never mind. Goodness, that was corny. *bonks self with a frying pan*

Battlestar Galactica: I don’t know this fandom. But being human is always pretty good. Usually.

Let me know in the comments what your fandom identity is (or link to your blogs if you posted about it)! I’d love to know! Also, comments make me happy. And happiness is a nice feeling to have, ya know?

See you when I see you! (Which might not be for a while…this is my second post of the day, after all. I’ll…well, I’ll see you when I see you. Like I said.)

So…yeah! (It’s okay if you don’t get this joke-catchphrase-whatever; I only expect a few peeps to recognize it. ;))

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You have to admit it. Villains love to talk.

They don’t mean to be so talkative. Villains are supposed to be cool, dangerous people who don’t say anything and just nod at their ax man to chop off people’s heads. But a lot of authors end up making their villains talkative, and therefore giving the hero plenty of information to defeat the villain with.

For instance: Let’s say Joe is the villain, and Sam is the hero. Sam is just going along, la-dee-da, and gets caught by Joe’s henchmen. OH NO. So Sam is being all brave and stuff, struggling against his handcuffs, whatever, and stares up at Joe insolently as Joe paces back and forth in front of him. Joe clasps his hands behind his back, looking for all the world strong and lethal and all that good villain stuff.

And then Joe begins to talk.

Actually, first Joe laughs his evil, maniacal laugh. (That’s a whole separate post in and of itself.) And then he begins to talk. Usually it goes something like this:

“Oh, dear Sam, why struggle? Your strength is no match for my evil awesomeness. In a little while, I will have you sent to my chambers of doom where you will be killed very slowly and very painfully. After you are dead, I will use my minions and my secret ninja power which no one knows about (SHHHH!) to take over the world. First I will attack New York, zeroing in on the Empire State Building. Then I will move onto the other larger cities, et cetera, et cetera. You shall be helpless to my incredible power! Because you will be dead! MWAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAA!”

In doing so, Joe has effectively told Sam everything he needs to know. So if Sam escapes (which he will, because he’s the hero, and, sadly, heroes tend to have superhuman survival powers), he’ll know exactly how Joe will take over the world, and will be able to thwart him easily.

This makes the villain seem dumb.

Villains are not supposed to be dumb.

See, villains are supposed to be smart. They have to be incredibly smart to take over the world. Duh. But it always seems that the villain’s smartness completely fails him once he has the hero under his power. Once that’s accomplished, it’s perfectly fine to reveal his nefarious plots of doom, because of course the hero won’t escape. You would think after alllll of those stories of hero-survival, villains would pick up the hint that maybe it isn’t okay to tell your worst enemy everything they need to know to defeat you.

Of course, the villain could be so full of himself that he really believes the hero won’t escape. In this case, why does it matter if the hero knows what’s up or not? He’ll be dead anyway. No matter what the villain thinks will happen to the hero, there is no scenario in which it would be good to keep him so informed. It’s just DUMB.

I recently finished reading the Percy Jackson series (mini-celebration! I’ve completed the first goal on my 2013 reading challenge!), and while I really enjoyed the books, Rick Riordan fell into this trap occasionally (okay…pretty often). As the series progressed, he didn’t do it as much, but in the beginning of the series, he let his villains talk. And that was how Percy could escape them all (most of the time…all of the other times Percy just used his wits, of course. Or Annabeth’s. ‘Cuz she’s the smartest. Or they didn’t escape at all and died. I’m kidding. Maybe). While this talkative-villain alternative is definitely convenient for the author, it’s really annoying to read it. I have to suppress an urge to roll my eyes and/or throw the book down in irritation when I come across this kind of scenario. It just gets old. And boring. And also, the reader can tell that the author didn’t really want to put much effort into this part, because otherwise the hero would find everything out using his brain.

But as an author, this option can be…very tempting. Why go to all the trouble of writing extra scenes when you can dole out all of the information in one? From a length perspective, this looks very appealing. You know you’ll have to cut thousands of words from your novel anyway; why ramble when you know you’ll just cut it? Well, I can assure you that while going to the trouble of making your hero find things out the hard way is irritating at best and downright frustrating at worst, this option is a lot better than just handing the information over with a cherry on top.

In other words, if your villain ever feels like going on a spiel about his plans to your hero, it’s time to get out the duct tape. For the good of the story. And the world.

Batman

Posted: January 21, 2013 in Movie reviews, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Oh, look. It’s another movie review! You are allowed to sing with happiness. If you’d like, given the subject of this post, you can hum the theme from the [recent] Batman trilogy. Actually, don’t. Seeing as that theme only comprises of two notes, it would get rather monotonous. So just ignore that suggestion.

Anyways, this time on Andrea’s Movie Reviews, we (well, I) will be reviewing Batman–the 1989 version. I’ll get around to reviewing some or all of the Nolan Batmans once I watch them again, for clarity’s sake. However, during this review, I will be drawing parallels between the older movie and the new trilogy. If you don’t like comparisons, this review probably isn’t for you.

Also, I’m only going to review the first movie in the older series, so aptly entitled just Batman. I haven’t watched any of the other installments, and probably won’t for a very long time, or ever.

Another thing I would like to make clear: I will not always be reviewing new releases, or movies that are still in theatres, just because I don’t constantly watch movies at the theatre (though I do so an awful lot…). I hope to review almost every movie I watch, be it at the theatre or at home.

Now that we have the all cleared up, onto the review…

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The storyline of Batman is very similar to the storyline of The Dark Knight–although both of them vary in some major characters, such as Batman’s love interest, the two are pretty much the same story of the conflict between Batman and the Joker. To make a long summary short, the character of Jack Napier–a member of a crime organization–is sent on a mission and fights with Batman. During the fight, Napier shoots at Batman, who deflects the bullet on his super-strength ninja armor, sending it back at Napier, where it rips his face open. Despite Batman’s attempts to save him, Napier falls backwards into a vat of chemicals. He survives, of course (this isn’t a spoiler). But his injuries deform his face, and upon seeing his reflection in a mirror, Napier is driven to insanity and transforms himself into the Joker–one of the most iconic villains in Batman’s history, and just a creep in general. Because he’s so insane, obviously he wants to blow things up and destroy the world, beginning with Gotham City (where the entire film takes place). So, Batman needs to stop him. Why? Because he’s Batman.

Let’s begin with the actors.

Michael Keaton plays Batman (also known as Bruce Wayne, the multi-bajillion-millionaire who lives all by his lonesome except for his good and faithful servant, Alfred). He didn’t do a terrible job at it. But I just wasn’t impressed. Truth be told, I didn’t love Christian Bale when he played Batman in the Dark Knight trilogy. But I did like Bale’s acting style better. He brought more…emotion to the character. And yes, the script of the 1989 film wasn’t the greatest–you have to work with what you have, and they didn’t have much. But still, Keaton just didn’t impress me at all. He didn’t stand out as a superb actor, or even a great actor. Which isn’t good, because when you’re playing an iconic superhero role model what-have-you, you have to be at least memorable. What good is a superhero if nobody remembers he’s there? There’s no point.

Jack Nicholson plays Jack Napier/The Joker. I was very apprehensive when I began watching this movie, because I knew the Joker would be the central villain. Having already seen The Dark Knight, I didn’t think anybody could even come close to being as brilliant as Heath Ledger in the role of the Joker. And guess what? I was right. Now, this is not to say that Nicholson did a bad job. In fact, I think he did a perfectly splendid, great job. He certainly has the maniacal thing down. But that’s where it goes wrong: Nicholson’s Joker, while infused with so much insanity, so much hysteria, failed to make me really fear him. Sure, he was pretty frightening–but only in the kind of way children are scared by circus clowns. I didn’t really get a “maniacally lethal” vibe from Nicholson. I only got a “maniacal” vibe. And it’s true that the Joker (as a general character) is completely off his rocker–he’s a psychopath, no doubt about it. But he’s an intelligent psychopath. And he’s a terrifyingly dangerous psychopath. And I didn’t really feel that, watching the movie.

Kim Basinger played Vicki Vale–Batman’s romantic interest. There is no Rachel Dawes here. And that’s okay, because the character of Vicki Vale is pretty great, too. While not a district attorney, Vicki is a reporter, which gives her a solid reason to be interested in what Batman’s doing. And Vicki is a strong character (although she certainly screams a lot when in danger), and uses her brain instead of fainting in times of distress. Basinger did a fine job with the role, in my opinion.

Before we move onto other topics, I’ll just make a quick note about Alfred, because, really, a Batman without Alfred is a Batman with no point. Michael Gough played Alfred in this version of Batman, and I think he’s equal acting-wise with Michael Caine, who played Alfred in the Nolan trilogy. They both add a sense of humor to the role, and they both make the character lovable.

Well, now that the actors have been addressed, we have to move onto the serious issue that has caused my rating of Batman to decrease:

The logo.

I mean, it’s just so…meh. Compared to the new logo, it’s…well…crappy.

Just look at it:

Black and yellow? Who even does that?

Black and yellow? Who even does that? It kind of looks like some toddler toy logo–not the symbol of a great and powerful superhero.

And then look at new one…

Batman logo_new

So sleek! And also, weapons can be made (and were made) from it because of the pointiness of the wings. Quite an improvement.

You can just tell that there’s mastery at work in the new logo, while in the old one…not so much. What kind of bat has rounded wings like that? It looks like some kind of cheesy bumper sticker.

Anyways.

Batman was directed by Tim Burton–yes, really. I didn’t believe it, but it’s true. So that’s pretty cool. Burton has improved over the years, but Batman wasn’t bad at all. (Although perhaps it’s a good thing Burton directed this in his earlier years, because can you imagine if Batman was portrayed like Willy Wonka in Charlie in the Chocolate Factory? Goodness gracious.)

I was also surprised and very pleased [Translation: I screamed.] when I saw in the credits that Danny Elfman composed the music. Having seen and loved the original Spiderman trilogy, which Danny Elfman composed the music for as well (those famous arpeggios! Heavenly…). This score, while not as genius as the Spiderman score, was quite excellent. Very action-y. :)

Having seen the epically cool Bat-cave and Batman’s armorer-thingy (with the cool white ceiling and all of his screens) in the Nolan trilogy, I was…pretty disappointed with the two in this version. Well, actually, there’s only the Bat-cave, which holds his armor and all of his screens as well. There are not as many screens in this Bat-cave. Which makes it appear less…daunting. Cool. Whatever. But for an older-ish film, it did a pretty cool job.

Also, one aspect that didn’t change from the older Batman trilogy to the Nolan trilogy was Batman’s Batman voice. You all know it. The low, slightly raspy voice in which he proclaims his signature catchphrase: “I’m Batman.” And I found that voice just as hilarious as in the Nolan Trilogy.

Well, that commences this review. In (almost) conclusion, my overall rating of Batman is: 3/5

In (actual) conclusion, I shall again leave you with a quote from the movie which is more or less iconic, and which I shall certainly be spouting off over the next week or so:

“Hey. I’m Batman.”

In 2013, I am making an ambitious goal.

I am going to read 50 books total within the year.

Never mind that I made that exact same goal last year. I reached it, even managing to read 56 books in 2012. I consider it a successful year.

Moving on. My epic friend Erin has begun a unique reading challenge entitled Erin’s Epic Reading 2013 Reading Challenge that I think I shall participate in. So, here goes:

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  • Read a book by a favorite author: Everlost, by Neal Shusterman. I’m a huge fan of Shusterman; I fell in love with his writing after reading Unwind, UnWholly, and Bruiser. I can’t wait to get started on Everlost.
  • Reread a favorite book: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. The movie of Catching Fire is being released on November 22nd of this year, and of course I have to reread the book before seeing the movie. I might end up rereading the entire trilogy, as I did before the release of The Hunger Games, but I’m reading Catching Fire for sure.
  • Read a classic: Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. After listening to the music and seeing the movie, I now must read the book. I’ve heard that it is long and tedious, but I SHALL PREVAIL! I’m not going to try to tackle this very early in the year, though. I have to prepare myself before I begin, of course.
  • Read a book you normally wouldn’t read: How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr. I don’t typically read contemporary YA fic, but the premise of this book seems intriguing and I have read many good reviews on it, so I’m prepared to give it a try.
  • Read a book recommended by a friend: The Percy Jackson series, recommended to me by Erin. This is more than one book, and I’m not guaranteeing that I’ll finish the series at all, but I’m going to try to. I read The Lightning Thief a long while ago and then kind of just left the series. And now I’m back. So, I’m sort of cheating, because I’ve already begun reading the series, but because there are still multiple books left in it for me to read, I’m considering it a legit thing. :)
  • Read a book in a genre you wouldn’t normally read: The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I watched the movie (yes, yes, I know, major faux pas; read the book before watching the movie and all that…) and really liked it. I never, ever read historical fiction. Occasionally I’ll read historical fantasy–even that doesn’t really seem historical because of the magical elements in it, though–but historical fiction is something I avoid like the plague. Since I so enjoyed the movie, however, I’m going to venture into the genre just this once.
  • Read a book primarily about dragons: DragonQuest by Donita K. Paul. This is the second book in the DragonKeeper Chronicles, and I really liked the first book, DragonSpell. However, I don’t really remember much about it. So I think I shall reread DragonSpell (or perhaps just skim-read it), and then move on to DragonQuest. Whatever the case, I’m excited about it. DragonSpell was a little bit slow pacing-wise, but I’m told that the series picks up in intrigue after that. So I’m excited. I love dragons. Dragons are BEAST. Pun intended.
  • Read a book you started but never finished: Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi. When I first read it, I couldn’t get into it and just really disliked it all-around, so I’m not quite sure why I’m going to try reading it again. The premise does sound intriguing now, however, and I don’t really remember much from when I attempted to read it beforehand, so perhaps I’ll like it more now. Who knows?
  • Read a book retelling a fairytale: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer [Not to be confused in any way with Stephenie Meyer.] This is the second book in the Lunar Chronicles, fairytale retellings mainly focusing on Cinder–Cinderella turned cyborg. The first novel in the series, Cinder, was absolutely epic and I cannot wait for Scarlet–which will add Little Red Riding Hood to the story–to be released in February. There are many other fairytale retellings that I am anxious to read, but this one tops the list.

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So, that completes Erin’s Epic 2013 Reading Challenge! If you have any book recommendations, et cetera, leave them in the comments; I’d love to hear them!

Here’s to 50 books in 2013! *raises glass of strawberry slush*

So, I’ve been mulling over a new idea for this here blog. Once in a while (or twice in a while; really, whenever I feel like it), I’m going to post movie reviews on here. I can’t say how often [it will sort of depend on when I watch movies, of course…], but I plan on doing so semi-regularly. So…here we go! *cue happy Disney music*

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For the grand opening ceremony, I will be reviewing Les Misérables, which was released by Universal Pictures on December 25th, 2012.

**Note: I have not read the novel, nor have I seen the musical. Just so you know.**

To begin with, I had very high expectations for this movie. I have never been a die-hard Les Mis fan, but a few weeks earlier I checked out the music book from the library and fell in love. I soon was frantically researching the movie, anxious for it to be released.

After years of endless waiting (I’m kidding. It wasn’t long at all.), I went to see the movie with a friend, hopeful and extremely excited about it.

Here comes the part of the review where most critics would say “But it ended up being a complete waste of time” or “I soon realized my expectations should not have been so high”–something to that extent. But me, I’m not like most critics, for one, I don’t feel the need to rip every movie apart just because it’s cool or something.

So, here on this blog, it is the time for me to mention that I LOVED THE MOVIE IT WAS INCREDIBLE ITS AWESOMENESS IS PRACTICALLY UNPARALLELED AND…AND…I can’t even.

For starters, here’s a brief summary of the plot.

…Ahem.

About that.

I forgot that ‘brief summary’ and Les Mis do not go together. Er. A guy is hunted down by the authorities and does a lot of stuff and people die. Um. For a long summary, you can go the Wikipedia page right here. The story, though overwhelming at first, is a masterpiece–there’s so much conflict, and so much happening that the movie never gets boring at any point.

Moving on. The actors. I loved every actor, really; Hugh Jackman was perfect as Jean Valjean–his voice and the emotion he packs into every song is kind of crazy in the best possible way. Anne Hathaway, portraying the role of Fantine, was excellent, as always. I will admit I have never disliked Anne’s portrayal of any role, and this one was no different. Amanda Seyfried as Cosette and Eddie Redmayne as Marius, Samantha Barks as Epónine, and Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen as the Thenardiers were all wonderful. Now, onto the controversial one…Russell Crowe as Javert. There has been much speculation on his performance; many have said that Crowe’s acting suffers while he’s trying to hit his high notes. While I will say that Crowe could have emoted a bit more without me minding at all, I really, really don’t think he did a bad job. In fact, I liked his portrayal of the role very much. The character of Javert is rather intriguing (I have an odd fascination with most villains, and this was no exception), and I think Crowe captured the character well.

Another aspect of the movie is that it is all singing. When I say all singing, I mean it in a loose sense of the word–there was almost always music, but the characters spoke at times, as well. Some people I know were deterred from seeing the movie by this fact. Now, I didn’t find this fact at all strange–though that might be because I’ve grown up listening to soundtracks from musicals and don’t care if an entire musical/movie/what have you is sung. The storyline of Les Mis terribly intrigued me, and given the many superb actors and the epic music I had heard from the musical, I didn’t mind that the entire movie would be sung. And while I was watching it, I found that I wasn’t bothered in the least. There are musicals that would be positively awful if they were completely sung–imagine lines like “Hand me that letter!” or something to that extent would sound really dumb if they were sung. But none of the lines [at least, none that I can remember] in Les Mis sounded dumb. All of the songs are beautiful in lyric and melody, and they were delivered with such emotion by the actors that I was quite in awe. In other words, if you’re on the fence about Les Mis because of the entirely-singing thing, don’t be. The constant song doesn’t seem intrusive at all, in fact, I think it adds to the story.

The cinematography of Les Mis was beautiful. Some shots–in particular, during Stars and before Javert’s big, ahem, life and death decision, were taken at angles that were just cool and added an artistic note to the movie. Sometimes the camera would take a second or two to come into focus when there were close-up shots, which bothered me at times, but for the most part the cinematography was ace.

The music, written by Claude-Michel Schönberg, is beautiful. The melodies truly soar, and each song has a unique feel to it. The lyrics, written by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel, are equally impressive; there’s a kind of poetic fluidity to them, which is noticeably lacking in any pop song today. As such, I appreciate the lyrics in Les Mis all the more.

All in all, I really loved Les Mis. The movie was just…absolutely spectacular. I highly recommend it, unless you hate singing. In that case, don’t watch it. Simple as that.

To be official, I will give a rating of the movie, out of five (You know, the typical system: 5 being best, 1 being terrible…).  And…drumroll please…*drumroll machine turns on* Okay, that’s enough, all right? Enough. ENOUGH! *drumroll machine breaks into a million pieces* …Anyways, the rating I give to Les Misérables is…5/5! Woohoo! Congratulations, everyone involved with this movie! You have earned my respect, my admiration, my happiness. And, let’s be serious. That’s really all you need.

In closing, I shall leave you with a quote that I have been incessantly yelling for the past couple of days:

“Who am I? I’m Jean Valjean!”

2013. Twenty-thirteen. Two-zero-one-three. The phrase doesn’t roll off your tongue like 2012 does, but this type of thing is kind of set in stone. If I had it my way, the years would not be labeled in dull numeric order. How about we name them all something original? Instead of 2013, how about we have The Year of Cupcakes and Superheroes? I think that might be a bit more appreciated, and it would certainly be a lot more interesting. But of course, it’s a sort of unchangeable thing. Ah, well.

I realize that I haven’t blogged in a while, and I also realize that trying to do this weekly blogging thing isn’t working. I generally hate schedules. So from now on, I’m blogging whenever I feel like it. How about THAT?

Anyways. It’s the new year. This means that throughout the world, people are making resolutions for the year of 2013, most of which will be broken before January 2nd dawns. Unfortunate, yes, but that’s the way we humans are. Me, I don’t do the resolutions thing. My opinion of it is that if you want to do something, for example, go for a run every day, then just do it. Who cares if you’ve “made a resolution” to do it? The only thing that matters is that you actually do run every day. All of the official stuff is completely unnecessary.

Of course, you may not agree, in which case, that’s fine. If it motivates you, make a New Year’s resolution. If it doesn’t, don’t. It’s pretty simple, actually.

All right, now that we have addressed the new year, what else has happened that’s exciting? Oh, I suppose I should mention that the world didn’t end, although many people were convinced it would do so, allegedly according to the Mayan calendar. I really don’t feel a need to fill anybody in on this, because if you have internet access, it’s more than likely you know every thing there is to know about this thingamajigger. Now, after December 21st, a lot of people felt the urge to start making snide and witty comments such as “Oh, look! We’re still alive! In your face, suckers!” or the like. And to be completely honest, it’s beginning to get tiresome. Very tiresome. I mean, every snide-and-witty person is pretty much making the same comment with a little different wording. For sure, the belief that the world was going to end on December 21st was an utterly ridiculous one, but now that it’s January 1st, everybody knows that the world didn’t end, no slimy aliens came to decimate the populace, and there was no apocalypse of any kind. So I think we should all just chill and move on in life. Dwelling on the fact that the world didn’t end will not accomplish anything whatsoever.

Ahem.

Onto lighter topics. Let’s see…all I really have left is Christmas. Yay! Christmas! Er. Yes. Christmas.

…Well, it appears I have nothing significant to say on the topic of Christmas. It was merry. Yippee.

Hmm. As you may or may not know, it has been often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. I have been meaning to post some photography/graphic design-y stuff on this blog, so now will suffice, I suppose. Anyways, it will save me the trouble of writing a few thousand words.

Anyhow, here is some random photography for your viewing enjoyment. All of the editing done on these pictures was done on PicMonkey, Pixlr Express, or Ribbet. (Or all three.)

Specimen #1:

Water droplets 1.0

This is a picture of a leaf with water droplets on it, as you might have surmised. I enhanced it and added a few overlays to give it an ethereal, rainbow-ish look.

Specimen #2:

Train 1.1 leviathan

I like to call this pic “Leviathan train.” I’m not quite sure why. It kind of reminds me of something from a steampunk novel, such as Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. So I believe that is the origin of the title, though I cannot be entirely sure of that fact.

Specimen #3:

Yellow bud 1.0 bright

I only enhanced this pic, to make the colors pop and bring the flower bud into focus. But it turned out nicely–typically when I’m editing photos, I like to bring out the shadows of the image, because I’m just dark like that. But in some cases, such as this one, I wanted to make it more vibrant. So I did.

Specimen #4:

The Scat 1.2 fairyish

This pic is of an amusement park ride that ended up being perfect for editing. In this edit I added a butterfly bokeh overlay and some colorful, fairy-like overlays as well. Overall, I think of this edit as my fairy-ish edit, even though I hardly think fairies would be likely to ride any attraction at an amusement park.

Specimen #5:

The Scat 1.1 color splash

This is the same photo as above, only in this edit I went absolutely crazy. I didn’t really think, I just kept adding overlays and effects until I deemed it finished. And I ended up with a sort of techno, paint-splattery feel. I actually like it quite a bit.

And so you have reached the end of my first blog-gallery-thingy. I hope you enjoyed it, and if you didn’t, well, then, I guess you don’t need to stick around.

See you when I see you! [Virtually, of course; unless you’re one of my “real-life” friends, who I do see in person.]