Sunday, April 17, 2011


     Ms. Julie Yoo's blog, http://sl5lynn.blogspot.comis the blog I'll be responding to for this last assignment post. :)

     Three of your posts particularly stood out to me the most, but I think they were all really well done.

1. Meant to be...
My favorite line from this post was: "Fate can obviously be very frightening for many people and that's where free will comes in to play, people will do almost anything to avoid what they don't want to experience." Well said, there are so many stubborn people in this world that have problems with acceptance. Maybe it was your fate for you to get fired from that job so that you could find a better one. But that chance got ruined since you tried with all your might to change the course of your fate and get that job back. And it's a shame, because people don't realize that other opportunities are available to them. I don't think that fate could exist on its own without free will because like you said, "they will be in denial and attempt changing their fate with their power of free will." People assume free will as a tool to use whenever there is a glitch in their so-called fate and they're just taking advantage of it.

2. You Are Beautiful --
When I read this post, there were multiple times when I just shouted (excuse the language) damn straight! If you were to actually write that novel, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. You really spoke your mind about the major problems of high school that we all know of, and I could feel the heat! Your whole last paragraph especially was really compelling. The line "I want to write about some of the real stuff that students in high school can experience and have that one character that changes it all." If only there was some actual people like this at our school! But regardless, to heck with all that phony fluff that most authors nowadays are writing about. Typical scenarios of best friends backstabbing one another and causing huge drama over a sappy love triangle and ending happily in some twisted way. What the heck is that? That's not real. So I agree with you, and teens need to be hit with reality and awakened. P.S. I disagree with you when you said that this is cliché, I don't think it'd be cliché at all. We're lacking in these types of novels and the more the merrier!

3. Vonnegut's Funk -- originality
"I hope other authors were inspired by his writing that their is freedom when it comes to writing. People should stop trying to copy each other, instead they should focus on how to be different. The fact that he succeeded being original, is very inspiring." This idea of being free and being yourself is such a powerful thing. Everyone has the capability to be original because everyone is different in their own way, but it's just that not everyone has the desire to do so. Vonnegut received no proper schooling in writing whatsoever and he's impacting the lives of everyday students through his words of wisdom, without even realizing it. I think that there is freedom not only when it comes to writing, but also just in living.

Overall, amazing blog Julie! I loved reading your ideas and opinions on not just the novel itself, but on relate-able topics as well. :)

BFF's fo lyfe

My BFF, Tralfy
     Tralfy and I go wayyy back, we've been diaper buddies for as long as I can remember and my favorite memory of us is me high-five-ing him, forgetting that that was his face...this happened more than once.
...Hopefully you realized that this has never happened and never will. But it's too bad, because I was gonna start slapping people and use the excuse that all I did was high-five their face.
...Just kidding, all jokes aside, I think that if Tralfamadorians were real, we'd get along pretty well. Tralfy would be the type of friend who I could go to for advice. If I lose someone who was really special to me, Tralfy would remind me that that person is perfectly fine in every other moment, just not this particular one. It probably sounds ridiculous believing in this piece of "advice." The truth is, I don't. I'm not taking this literally or word for word. I interpret that "advice" as believing that that person is still with me in every moment that I live in.
     Tralfy's vocabulary only consists of deep, thought-provoking phrases, so this will probably confuse the heck out of me at times, but also be helpful as well. Tralfy would help me see the world and my life in a new, abstract perspective so that I'll never view things just the way that I want to see it. Tralfy would broaden my vision of the world, expand my horizons, help me do things I never thought I could achieve in life...just by talking.
I am a Tralfamadorian, seeing all time as you might see a stretch of the rocky mountains. All time is all time. It does not change. It does not lend itself to warnings or explanations. It simply is.

Kurt the Turt-le

Kurt Vonnegut in animal form.
     Kurt Vonnegut is a human. What if he wasn't? He'd be a turtle. My Three S's will explain my reasoning for this transfiguration:

1. Slow
Turtles on average walk at a speed of about 0.09 m/s, which is about 0.2 miles/hour, which is about 450 feet in 25 minutes. It took Vonnegut 23 years to write SH5. I'd say they both fall under the definition of slow. One of the main reasons why turtles walk so slow is because of the heavy shell that they always have to carry around on their backs since it's part of their skeleton. The shell of a turtle represents Vonnegut's' "shell-shock" (pun intended). The dark gray cloud of emotional scars that was always hovering over Vonnegut contributed to why it took so long to complete the writing of SH5. It was attached to him and he didn't even want to look back on his war memories in the first place. The suffering was almost dragging him down in a way, yet he didn't stop for 23 grueling years.

2. Solitary
Most turtles are solitary creatures. They usually live/travel alone unless during mating season or laying egg season (I don't really know what it's called). Most are aggressive and/or territorial if they are with others as well. Vonnegut was not exactly the "social butterfly" and that wasn't important to him. He was independent, he didn't rely on others so much and he took responsibility for his own actions. However, just because he wasn't social doesn't exactly mean that he was looking for a fight. I feel that he kept most of his emotions bottled up inside of him, almost mysterious.  

3. Suspense
Could you imagine watching a scary movie starring an evil vengeful turtle? "Oh no, evil turtle's coming to get me!" It wouldn't even be considered a scary movie because you'll always see him coming. It's not like the victim is going to stand there and wait until evil turtle crawls on over and attacks. Similarly, Vonnegut had no taste for suspense. As we all witnessed in SH5, Vonnegut revealed the beginning and ending and whatever else in between of the story in just the first chapter. He didn't believe in it, because he didn't want us so focused and anticipative on what would happen next.
"There is no beginning, no middle, no end, no suspense, no moral, no causes, no effects. What we love in our books are the depths of many marvelous moments seen all at one time."
-Kurt Vonnegut

Dodge This

      Whenever I'm just chatting with my friends online, I read what they type out to me in my head but I read it in the voice of the person who is talking to me. And I can picture, depending on what we're talking about, the expression on their face. It's a little..different and hard to explain, but this same thing happens to me whenever I read a book as well. I always picture what the setting would look like in my mind. Only utilizing the adjectives that are written in it, I watch the "scenes" like a movie and hear the different voices of each character. Although not everyone has this type of "ability", I'm sure I wasn't the only one who thought of "The Matrix" after reading the scene of Billy getting shot at.
     Let's refresh our memory:
"And on the third day of wandering, somebody shot at the four from far away--shot four times as they crossed a narrow brick road. One shot was for the scouts. The next one was for the antitank gunner, whose name was Roland Weary. The third bullet was for the filthy flamingo, who stopped dead center in the road when the lethal bee buzzed past his ear. Billy stood there politely, giving the marksman another chance. It was his addled understanding of the rules of warfare that the marksman should be given a second chance. The next shot missed Billy's kneecaps by inches, going end-on- end, from the sound of it." (pg. 33)
Action-wise, this scene definitely does not compare to the rooftop scene in "The Matrix." The context doesn't really match up either...or the setting.  Of course, Billy didn't have the audacity to attempt and avoid the bullets like Neo. However, just the idea of the 2 bullets skimming past Billy gave me the visual of Neo's crazy back-bend dodge.
     Since this connection between this war scene in SH5 and this battle scene in "The Matrix" was so vivid in my mind, I felt that this would fit well in an actual SH5 movie. Personally, when I pictured Billy pathetically standing there on the road, I imagined the first bullet coming towards him in slow-motion right up to when it was just about to skim his ear, and then switch to normal speed and it'd zoom past. Same with the second bullet, slow-mo at first and then zoom past his kneecaps. While the camera is getting all this, I imagined shooting this scene as a side view full shot, so the audience could spot the bullet heading for Billy's ear. Then, circle around him to the front for the second bullet.
     With the film technology of today, this scene could probably be achieved fairly easily, and I think it'd also really capture the personality of Billy Pilgrim: pathetic, emotionless, dazed, a noob, all from one scene.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Kurt Vonnegut as a Massey Mustang

     Imagine if Kurt Vonnegut was a student at Massey. Walking the halls as every other, attending class and getting involved in school clubs.....sike. I don't know about you but when I picture Vonnegut on the same level as me as a Massey Mustang, I don't visualize some participative goody-two shoes. I see an outsider who skips class and doesn't put as much effort to do work or become a social butterfly.
     After learning about Vonnegut's past, I know that he didn't exactly receive schooling to become a writer. No one taught him how to write, he created his own style of writing. This fact contributed to how I pictured him as a student. As someone who didn't have the determination or desire to sit 6 hours a day listening to how he should do things, when he could very much likely teach himself. Vonnegut seems like the type of person who blends in yet stands out at the same time. He wouldn't try and fit in and be a follower, but not doing so would make him different from the rest. A quote that just popped into my head relates exactly to what Vonnegut's motto might have been like: "You laugh because I'm different, I laugh because you're all the same."
     I can see him hanging around the smokers' pit, off to the side, just thinking on his own, the other smokers not acknowledging his presence, yet not minding it either. He wouldn't be a bother to anyone. His teachers would appreciate the quietness (at times) and his fellow classmates would just let him be and have nothing to say (except maybe the occasional "do you have an extra pen I could borrow?").
     I'd say that Kurt Vonnegut would like attending Massey, and none of us would mind it as well.

The Lazy Song

     I want people to wake up. To wake up and see the permanent indents of their own behinds on their couches. Face it, our society is lazy. I bet if you take a handful of average people from my generation and throw them into the "outside world" with an abundance of trees and no electricity, they'd crack. Now, I don't want to sound hypocritical because honestly, this is my generation and I'm a lazy person too. There's always going to be those days, no matter who you are or when you were born, when you "don't feel like doin' anything" and you "just wanna lay in your bed." That's normal and a part of life. However, what makes it worse is that it was never always like this. Life was different back then. I mean, walking itself was a means of transportation and nowadays people are driving to go to their neighbor's. So much has changed and we've become ignorant.
     What I'm trying to lead into is that if I were to ever write a novel, it would be dripping with satire. I would target all the big problems in today's society (such as the increasing couch potato rate) by mocking them. I want my novel to trigger a reaction that opens peoples' eyes to see forreal-ity...just kidding, but you know what I mean.
     Laziness isn't the only thing I'm going to be satirical about in my novel. I have to backtrack a few steps and find out how we got this lazy in the first place! The answer? Technology. Development, research, inventions, updates, it's crazy. Especially with all the modern-day inventions people are coming up with just to "make our lives easier." For example,
Since it's so difficult to dunk a tea bag in water.
or even
Since it's too much work to bend down and lift a toilet seat.
You see what I mean. Our minds and bodies are conforming to this world way too nicely, it's like we lost our dignity. Other authors would also agree with me:
There are millions of these types of satirical cartoons about this same topic of technology leading to laziness. What better way to reveal public problems than to do it by getting a laugh out of them. You'll hold their attention and they won't brush it off as a joke, because they'll be able to relate to what I'm talking about.

     Just to end this off, I thought I'd add in this one last picture. It's pretty irrelevant, but it falls under the topic of inventions.
I want one!


My worst nightmare...
     "Haaappy biiiirthdaay toooo yoooou!" Christine blew out her 8 candles with a satisfied breath of air and smiled at the blinding flashes of multiple cameras. "pizza. cake. playground. presents. pizza. cake. playground. presents." was all that was running through her head. She came back to reality and saw everyone already digging into the pizza. She wanted to be the first one to climb up into the skytubes and feel as if she was on top of the world, so she started to scarf down a couple pieces just to prove to her dad that she'll be playing on a full stomach. As she was starting her second piece, everyone was nearly finished and ready to get their play on! As if they had to evacuate the building, Christine's mob of friends stampeded to the playground leaving her behind. Ditched. She stopped (eating), dropped (the pizza), and rolled (/ran) toward the play area when she was immediately jerked back. Turning around, she saw her dad's "nuh-uh-uh" face; you know, the classic:
"No way josé"
"Christine, remember the buddy system, find a buddy, and always stick with her. Don't ever let her leave your sight." Christine's dad is a worrywart. Christine sighs, "Yeah, yeah, now l'eggo of me!" Christine's an eager beaver. Heading for the play area, Christine grabbed the first familiar face she saw and said,"Hey *Jill, let's go up in the skytubes! Race you there!" Someone reached the top and looked out one of the windows and said that this place looks like Disney World. That was me.
"*Jill, doesn't this pla-", Christine looked back and swallowed the rest of her sentence as she saw no one around her. Ditched. Already panicking, Christine started crawling through one of the tubes but reached a dead end. She tried to retrace her crawls yet it looked like a different path. She was trapped in a tubular maze of colour...

     ...Staring at her own closed eyelids, Christine saw flashes of different colours and heard a soft bass beat thu-thumping in her ears. Opening her eyes, she looked up and spotted the coloured disco ball spinning to the rhythm of the music. Multiple couples were swaying around her. Someone grabbed her hand and pulled her to the dance floor. Christine opened her mouth about to scream for help when that "someone" exclaimed, "C'mon Christine, dance with him just once!" Christine crinkled her eyebrows together then slowly released them, realizing that this was her best friend trying to perform some kind of puppy-love-blind-date set-up. "Whoa, hold up, peer pressure!" Christine wanted to disappear into the crowd but when she started taking a few steps backwards, everyone conveniently moved out of the way. Ditched. And now 7 pairs of eyes were watching her every move, including her clueless "blind date." Sighing, Christine started walking toward the center of awkwardness just as the DJ started blasting an upbeat party song...

...The ringing in her ears, the hardcore beat in sync with her thumping heart, the suspense rising in her every step, the paranoia of someone following her..."man, do they match the music with your emotions on purpose?", Christine thought as she crept along the corridors, laser gun in hand. She was illuminating under the UV lights and her vest and gun was glowing blue. Magnum was her game name, and she was at rank 5 out of 20. Trying to keep up with her fellow teammates, they were racing to find their opponents' red base and take them down. "Blue base has been hit. Blue base has been hit." The robotic voice from above echoed throughout the maze. "Ugh, are you kidding me?!", *Brittany shouted. She has a short temper. *Brittany gathered up all her anger and converted it into motivation, dashing through the twists and turns. Christine tried to keep up yet made a wrong turn and stopped short at a dead end. She heard *Brittany's shrill voice, "Ha! Found you, and now its 1 against 9, get outta here sucker!" "wait..1 against 9....then that means the rest of the red team.." Christine slowly turned around and met face to face(s) with nine glowing devils. Ditched...

*name changed for privacy reasons