My Thoughts on “The Last Jedi”

Okay, If you haven’t seen the movie (The Last Jedi) and actually want to, don’t read this cause yeah, total spoilers here.  Also, these are just my personal opinions and thoughts. Yet another disclaimer, I didn’t hate the movie.  Let’s be honest, I’m a nerd, it is a Star Wars movie, the fact that my grandma took me to see the first Star Wars (Yes, I’m THAT old) movie when it came out plays into that.  She even bought me the soundtrack. (I wish I still had that!)

To start with, I’m not super well versed on all Star Wars “knowledge” and if some of the stuff I say is already explained “somewhere” please feel free to leave a comment and let me know.

Now on to the post.

Here are all the things that made me go “hmmm” in SW:TLJ:  I’m gonna go ahead and break this down by characters.

Rey: I’m gonna start with her character because I’ll be honest, this one makes my mind the craziest.  Coming out of the last movie I was so “meh” about her being that typical Mary Sue thing. (Forbes and I have a difference of opinion on what Mary Sue is. ) The fact that she could beat someone who had been trained since a child was utterly ridiculous in my brain.  So in that way, I thought surely in this movie with her joining Luke that they would show her actually sucking at something and Luke training her.  So, when the biggest thing close to that was her wacking at a rock, I was highly unimpressed.

Strong female characters are always appreciated. As a woman, I like that and as that woman, I also know that life gives us limitations, that to become better one must train.  That we grow over time and that no one is born all powerful, knowing how to do everything and can simultaneously rock a lightsaber with no training.  The frustration is strong in this one.  I really WANT to love this character, I do.  I found her whole “time” on the island with Luke was a complete waste of screentime. (I’ll get into this more under Luke’s thing) Oh, and how the hell did she get into the Millenium Falcon with Chewie, after she escaped presumably on Snoke’s ship? The mind boggles.  Okay, so there is that, now about her heritage.  HUGE letdown here folks, I mean seriously, they were nothing.  I can only guess that they thought the whole notion that anyone can be this all-powerful Jedi chick with no training and come from nothing is noble and such but yeah, I’m not buying it. It just made me question why I would even like the Jedi. If anything this movie made me not like them at all. Let me move on…

Finn and Rose: Ah, well. I stuck these two together and after Rey because apparently, they (the writers of this movie) want us to believe there is some romantic love triangle happening here.  First, I feel no connection between any of these characters. You could say they were friends but none of them really know each other minus the fact they have been through some events.  (I mean seriously, I got stuck in an elevator with some people for 5 hours and we aren’t even friends on Facebook) Who is like “I love you!”  after one event?  Sure, it was life and death, but seriously… Plot-wise, had they let Finn die heroically, I would have felt more for him.  I would have been “wow that was such a great thing for him to do for the Rebellion“.  The whole casino thing was a waste of screentime as well, as it did nothing to advance the plot and if they were trying to make us have “feels” for Rose, they were mistaken.   I really wish I felt more for these two but because they lumped them together I really don’t.

Leia:  *sniff* Leia.  This character I have loved since I was a child. For my (I wanna say 8th) birthday, my mom made me a Star Wars birthday, she drew and crafted custom hats, this is me sporting the Leia one.

Leia and I go way back

Leia and I go way back 🙂

Here is my sister sporting what looks like a Tuscan Raider one and my cousin Jenny wearing the Jawa one at the “kids table”

My sister and cousin

My sister and cousin

R2S2 cake

Blowing out the candles on my R2D2 cake.

Continuing on, as a little one, I wanted to be Leia.  She was my “Disney Princess“.  When Carrie Fisher died, I broke a little inside.  Even now typing this the tears begin to swell.  She meant something to me.  This character means something to me. This movie made me question what the heck the writers were thinking.  The whole “flying through space” thing was a bit much and why the heck, if she could “talk” to Luke at any point, did she not you know, check in with him and keep tabs. (I mean seriously…)  Also, No disrespect to VA Holdo, had she been the one to fly the cruiser through the fleet it would have been a meaningful death.  Also, if anyone with the force can essentially talk to anyone without having a personal connection to them, did she not try to send a message to her son.  Like, if my mom was babbling in my head every now and then saying how much she loved me and missed me, I think over time I might not be moved to kill my past. (or maybe I would, I don’t know, this whole thing just annoys my brain.) I did appreciate the fact that she actually hugged Chewie as it seems that was a moment that was missing after Han died, where she hugged Rey (a person she barely knew) rather than the wookie.  I felt that they made her character lacking in a sense. I get it, but I felt… unnerved by her part.

Vice Admiral Holdo:  For those of us who only have seen the movies, the relationship between Leia and Amilyn seemed contrived. (i.e. unnatural).  Where is my context people??  Give a girl something here.  There seems to be a lot of nods to other things in this flick but if you were to watch this as a standalone knowing nothing you’d be like “erm.  weird”.  Now, if you were like why is this woman so bitchy against Poe and not telling him anything was a poor choice, well, you are there with me.  The purple haired character though did do her noble part at the end, was kind of unimpressive as a person.  It felt shallow and basically, I was like, am I supposed to like this character?

Luke:  I have such mixed emotions with what they did to this character.  In a sense, he almost went full circle. In the first movie, he was kind of a whiny brat who turns into somewhat a hero and in this one, he was a cranky old man who turns into a dead hero.  Was he acted well, well yes.  I enjoyed how Mark Hamill played this part, though if I were him I would have been highly annoyed.  I mean, seriously, in what universe did he not learn that there can be good and people can change.  He saw good in his father, but in his nephew, he’s like, “He’s bad, he must die”, sure he changed his mind as he was doing it, but that moment made so much bad happen.

Poe: Here is a character I totally understand. He is trying to do the “right” thing but doesn’t have all the information so he kind of makes things worse.  Due to his demotion because he’s the “all in” type (in the process getting people killed even though he got the job done)  One thing I couldn’t quite understand.  If they figured out that the First Order was trying there ship, couldn’t they have found the transmitter on THEIR ship rather than trying to break into the dreadnaught?  For a comms there has to be a receiver and a transmitter, why were they going the harder route?  I like this character though.  I would like to see a movie that helps us understand HIM more. I think that would be interesting.

General Hux:  So, I recently binge-watched Black Mirror, so when I see this character I see him as poor Ash stuck in the attic. (if you haven’t watched Black Mirror, totally do) It kind of hurts me to see him tossed around by Snoke and then by Kylo.  I really felt that he was put in as comedy relief and then ends up as a bot that just repeats Kylo’s orders.  meh, he’s gotta hate that life.

Yoda: Ah Yoda, the Yoda from my childhood. But for the record, if they can do things as force spirts why the hell aren’t they doing more to help, just sayin…

Phasma: Game of Thrones fans (such as I) cry a bit as the “once janitor” turned rebel beats down the Head of the First Order guard.  *blinks* really? that happens?  We didn’t actually see her dead right? so… nah, she’s probably dead. sad face.

Snoke: *shakes head* He died way too easy.  The Supreme Leader connected Rey and Kylo?  weirdness galore.  Seriously, I’m at a loss.

Kylo (aka Ben Solo):  I’ll be honest, in the last movie this was probably my least favorite character.  This film I feel like he was the best.  His character has the most depth and really the most interesting to watch.  I feel kind of shorted on backstory as I felt that what they gave wasn’t enough.  We don’t know how/why the dark side found him, why the other young Jedi went with him…etc.  I want more.  Like I said, I feel like there was not enough.  Also, the whole connection thing with Rey is just odd. Am I the only one who feels this way?  Also, this guy has been trained since childhood and still can’t beat this girl who has no training?  shook.

So that is my breakdown on the characters I had something to say about. The hacker guy character and basically that whole casino thing is a pointless venture that should have been just tossed in a bin somewhere.  I think the movie ended up looking pretty but didn’t quite deliver a plot worth watching.  I kind of felt “meh” when it was over and kept talking about all the things I just didn’t like.  When asked if I liked the movie, I am like, “sure, it was a Star Wars movie”, this is really because of nostalgia more than content.  If I had to choose, I think I prefer Rogue One overall, as I felt that the characters were more interesting.  This just feels like they threw stuff together and didn’t actually give us anything.  The Empire Strikes Back is probably my favorite Star Wars film overall.  Why? because it was an emotional roller coaster, the characters drew us in and made us connect with them.  They should have used it as a guide for The Last Jedi if they wanted people to believe in this trilogy more.

All and all these are just my opinions, everyone has one.  I just felt that in sharing them maybe, just maybe, in putting it down somewhere my brain will let me just accept it and move on.

What do you think?

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What have you been doing?

Yesterday, By the time I came home from running my daughter back from her college class and doing a number of errands, I wanted to just sit.  I mean, my body was kind of hurting from working out at the gym the day before and I just wanted to do nothing.  Of course, it was 5pm and every one of my kids wanted to eat.  A mother’s work is never done.  So, I made dinner.  (Which oddly enough I think came out pretty well…. who knew Dollar Tree steak fries, that I seasoned, frozen broccoli and some garlic chicken breast would turn out so good… but, I digress.)  Where was I?

Oh, after making dinner and actually eating it, I sat down at my computer desk and thought

“Okay, maybe I’ll play some Fallout New Vegas.”

I proceeded to look for the controller and get the Xbox One all set up. About ten minutes in I was like

“Nope, not what I want to do…”

So, I changed the HDMI over to my computer screen and loaded up Netflix on a new tab.  Don’t judge me but I literally can have like 6 or 7 Chrome tabs open at any given moment.  (No wonder my computer hates me sometimes..)

Now if you haven’t had a chance to see the show Mindhunter and actually like weird shows about serial killers and why they turn out that way, this show is for you.  It isn’t way up there on my Oh Let’s Watch This List, but hey, I have been binging (is this how you spell this?) a ton of stuff lately and I’m still looking for something really good.  For now, this works.  But then… it hits me.

I’ve done “NOTHING” creative in a while.  I ponder this for a few moments…

“What have I been doing with all my time?” 

As I said before, binge-watching shows being one of them.  Also, Facebook, have you ever noticed how much time you spend just scrolling down that feed?  Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with looking to see what your family and friends are up to.  Honestly, some of my friends and family have way more interesting lives than I do.  But then I ask…

“Why is that?”

Why is my one high school friends always going to all the nerd shows?  Comic-Cons, Steampunk conventions, Themeparks and other neat nerdy stuff.  What about my cousin who is always searching for new places to do her daily walks.  I mean, I could (in theory) do these things right?  Do I want to do these things?

“What AM I doing with my life?”

GaryVee ( Gary Vaynerchuk if you aren’t following this guy and want a push to get you into gear, you should be, he’s on like all the social media sites) posted this the other day on Instagram… which kind of hit me in the face and it has been simmering there ever since.

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  • garyvee  THIS .. is mindset shit .. too many of you lost before you started cause you were looking for the excuse! Lets go … no one gives a shit about your problems, they’ve got their own ..focus on the good, look for he opportunity, ponder the alternatives, deploy perspective.. lets go …

I realized that the only thing stopping me from doing the things I want to do… is me.  I don’t feel good enough and keep using excuses not to do things. I know, you are probably saying to yourself, “Well der Em, we all know that!”  Me realizing this is huge though.

So, what did I do?  I kept the Mindhunter show playing because well, I need some kind noise when I’m being creative, and I started working on a drawing I’ve been thinking about for a couple of weeks now.  I literally had already done few quick sketches of it to see how I wanted the composition to be in my sketchbook.  This was around 8:30pm or so.  Around 1am, I looked up and realized I needed to go to sleep as I had to be up at 6am (You can see the previous post to see why that insanity is a daily thing..)

So, this is what I ended up with for my roughly 3.5 hours of work.

 

So yeah, instead of just sitting here vegging and doing nothing with my life for that time, I was able to actually produce something that kind of makes me proud.  So now, this begs the question…

“What have you been doing lately?”

Till next time…

~em

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That moment you realize…

That moment you realize...

As I was going to sit down with my cup of iced coffee this morning, I realized that I do the same thing every morning when I wake up. Unless I’m ill (which sadly does happen), these same things happen.  It almost happens like a program that is running through my head.  So what do I do… (I know I know, Em do we really care? bear with me though k?)

First..

The alarms, yes I said alarms because it really does take more than one.  They aren’t close to me.  One is Alexa.  Amazon’s Echo device AI that pretty much won’t shut up till I am loud enough for her to hear me.  God forbid I have laryngitis one day. Second is my cell phone alarm.  This one goes off and then tells me the weather and the current news.  I don’t remember installing this feature but I don’t hate it.  My cell phone alarm literally takes me getting up out of my bed and walking to my desk to make it shut up.

So yeah. I’m out of bed now.

I don’t know about you but I then must go to the bathroom.  I’m sure you know after sleeping the body must go potty!! or am I the only one this happens to?  Well, either way there I go… (watches as past me plods and bumps her way into the bathroom since she never turns on any lights)  While in there I make the mistake of looking in the mirror while I wash my hands.  This is when I pull out a clean washcloth douse it in hot water and press it to my face.  When did my eyes start sinking into the head like this and why the heck are my cheeks so puffy…  I digress.  After a couple of minutes of doing this a number of times, I now feel like I can leave the room to wake up my youngest daughter.  6am seems to be much earlier right after summer time.

Waking her up is either very easy or EXTREMELY difficult.  Some days I walk in there and she is already putting on her uniform. Others, I have to climb up her ladder and pull out her leg… (After rereading this I realized I put that I pulled “OUT” her leg, this oddly enough is not true, I pull “at” her leg… Though pulling out gives a really weird “she’s a barbie doll” image in my head, so yeah, kind of creepy, and we’ll go with AT. ) At thirteen years she is as tall as me, so it’s not fun.

Finally, she is moving.

I ask where her lunchbox and water bottle is.  We go through this every day.  I don’t know why she refuses to put her things in the kitchen when she gets home from school but there you go.  Same questions, different day.  Carrying said items into the kitchen, I then proceed to wash the water bottle, refill it and then put snacks into the lunchbox.  This is a process in itself because I don’t ever put the items all in the same spot.  Why don’t I do this and make things easier on myself?  Well, sometimes it is because it is fresh fruit or something that needs to be refrigerated or it is because I don’t want anyone to eat them and then she doesn’t have them.  Fun stuff.

Now, what I really want after doing that is coffee.  Like, I wanted coffee the moment I woke up but yeah, I basically have to bribe myself to get my morning chores done.  So I sort any dishes there might be from the previous night and do those before I allow myself the pleasure of coffee.  When it is colder warm coffee is great, but since it is still pretty warm I brew some Keurig coffee and then add it to a cup of ice.

By the time, I have coffee and the dishes are done. For me, doing dishes involves cleaning up the whole kitchen area. My mother is banging on my door as she is the one who takes my daughter to school.  I open the door “Good Morning Mom, she is coming.”  Door closed.  Now either my daughter is walking out with her bag towards me or I have to go and tell her four times she needs to hurry as her grandmother is waiting.  (Something which my mother isn’t too fond of)  Kissing her on the head, I wish her a good day as she walks out.

Now it’s time to feed the catch.  (Here, I meant to say “cat”, this is the problem with writing a post at 7am I guess. ) Who has been pretty much circling my feet since I waddled to the bathroom almost 45 minutes ago.  At which point, I make him sit down and pour 1/4 cup of dry cat food into his plate.  Why do I make him sit?  Well, basically before I started doing this I would end up pouring food on top of his head because he is a cat and has no patience.  Now he sits there and waits when I say “sit down”.  Yes, I know he isn’t a dog, but I was determined.  I change out his water after washing his bowl and look to see what I should eat.

I hate this part.  It is me first trying to figure out how hungry I am and then asking myself what do I plan on doing today.  Sometimes it involves a carnation good start shake with almond milk or it is actual food.  Today it was a bowl of cheerios with some honey on top.  I’ll grab something else after I drop my middle daughter off at school. After foraging for food I walk into my room, set my breakfast on my desk and make my bed.  I make my bed every single day.  It is a weird mix of the military training and me wanting to be able to say I accomplished “something” every day.

Now my morning chores are done and here I sit typing up this crazy post after realizing that I do these same things every weekday.  The weekends are a bit more lax (Grammarly is insisting that I put laxer but I swear that doesn’t sound right!!)  but yeah.  Do you guys do the same things in the morning or am I the only crazy person?  It is then that after I sit down at my desk that I pull out my daily planner and make a list of stuff that needs to get done.  Bed and dishes are immediately crossed off.  (Points added to mental score for the day at this point)  I wonder if I was to give myself points for everything I do how much I would rack up.

So yeah, that’s my morning in a nutshell.  Now, where is my coffee, omgosh did I leave it in the kitchen!!

*runs off the get it*

Till next time…

~em

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My Moment with the Backpack

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     Today I was walking through the bread aisle at our local grocery store and happened to notice that there was a backpack in a cart pushed over to the side of the aisle.  Just sitting there by itself and my daughter looked at it and said. “We should move from this section, you never know…” The way she said it obviously giving off implications that there might be a bomb in this unattended backpack.  This moment stands out to me because I got home and was like, “Why was that so scary?”

At what point did this threat become so real.  I mean prior to being in the military the closest I came to a moment such as this was how the airport would say, “If you see an unattended language please report it,” over the intercom.  (or something to that effect, I never actually worked at the airport and I didn’t go to very many places that involved plane travel so bear with me.)   After serving in the military, which included the Gulf War, I still wasn’t afraid in my own country.

For me it more was post 9/11 that I became aware that the violence could directly affect me and my children.  We were living in Ohio and literally lived next to the airport.  That was a very real fear at the time.  Now it seems silly.  Looking back we would have been fine had I stayed in Ohio, in my comfy 3 story condo. (mourn the loss)  I think living here in Massachusetts it was more the Boston Marathon incident that made it so personal and that these things could happen close to us.

Going back to that moment in the grocery store, there was that fear.  I think many people might have this sitting in the back of their minds and now and again it pops up.  My mind goes to a world that turns from this overstocked markets to one where we are wartorn, carrying around weapons and trading our possessions just to feed our families.

It is then that I realize that for some people THAT is their reality. That this exists in the world and that we would turn away people who are running from that life makes me sad.  Sad as a person.  Sad as a mother.  That it seems like that underlying fear that now rests there in the back of our minds tells us that it is okay that we act like that.  That we need to take care of our country, our families.  Do I deny that I want to do that? No, of course I want to help those close to me and around me, but I also want to be able to look back at my life and know that I was a good person, that I tried to be a positive being in this universe.

So yeah, just some thoughts I had in my head that I figured I would share.

~Em

Am I creative?

What makes a person creative??

This was the very first question that was posed to me for the start of this “Methods of Design” course at Full Sail.  My first class for 2016.  I sat there and stared at the screen for a long time just wondering, “Is it actually what I think it is?” and okay, lots of ground this could cover.

I mean seriously, What “does” make a person creative?  I  mean, everyone is creative in some sense, aren’t we?

Well, being the total nerd that I am the first place I went was m-w.com (or http://www.merriam-webster.com/) though I’ve always just remembered to type the first thing.  Lazy I guess.

Merriam-Webster said:

creative

adjective cre·a·tive \krē-ˈā-tiv, ˈkrē-ˌ\

Simple Definition of creative

  • : having or showing an ability to make new things or think of new ideas

  • : using the ability to make or think of new things : involving the process by which new ideas, stories, etc., are created

  • : done in an unusual and often dishonest way

This part caught my eye “using the ability to make or think of new things”.  So, having an idea really isn’t being creative until you put that thought into action or is it until you put it down on paper?  Are you creative just because you think of really cool things and spout them off to everyone? Well, maybe that just makes you a creative thinker and not a creative doer….

I think what makes a person creative ends up being is what inspires that person to act.   A person becomes creative when he (or she) takes that little idea running around in their dreams at night and turning it into reality.

So, am I creative?  I guess if you can call my poetic ramblings, scribbles on paper and this blog a product of my creativity than yes, by definition, I’m pretty creative.  Other than that, I’m basically just a little crazy and willing to put myself out there.

Oh, speaking about that…. it also asked, “if creativity could be taught.” This is something I am learning myself.  Someone prompted me towards a book called “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron.  This book is a little “out there” in a sense where it takes you on a spiritual path to opening yourself up to remembering how to be creative.  So if you aren’t really into that kind of thing or open to seeing things from that perspective it probably isn’t for you.  I’m enjoying reading it so far.

There was this quote by Pablo Picasso that I liked in it that said:

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”

Emily's Creative Child
I like thinking that there is a little Emily locked inside begging to come out and play again.  It gives me hope that there is more to my existence than just this 45-year-old mom who happens to be disabled and bored.

~~~talk to you later~~~

Oh, for this class I also had to make a site for my school work.  You can check it out at http://emilyjsmall.blogspot.com/   Presently it just shows the beginnings of my second assignment that involves taking a work of art that I wouldn’t hang on my wall and making it into something I find more aesthetically (I totally spelled this wrong like 3 times.  Thanks, Grammarly  for fixing it for me. ) pleasing.

~em

Just there on the desk…

Last night I finished my final presentation for my 3D Foundations Class (which basically taught me the basic of using the Maya application.)  I had to take 4 of the models that I created from image references, UV them, Bake an Ambient Occlusion on them and then import them into a scene.  Then had to take an artistic render image of this.  So, for a program I started the month of August knowing almost nothing about I think I did pretty well.

This is how that turned out.  I don’t know how “artsy” the picture I took is, but at least I got the silly models to stop glowing!  Apparently when I imported them I forgot to move some files beforehand and Maya did some funny stuff.
Small_Emily_Render_3DF_1508
so, I made the teapot, the fork, the candlestick and the spray can.  Slowly but surely I “will” learn this and be good at it!! *laughs*  ah well….

This month I have Art Fundamentals 2 … so you’ll get to see my lame attempts at drawing humanoids… I’m weeping over here just a bit, as the thought terrifies me. Give me some confidence k?

I used the picture to inspire some writing…. enjoy ❤

Today I thought about all the things on my desk,
the teapot you bought for me from somewhere out west.
There’s that stolen fork from the dive where we happened to meet.
Your friends thought it was funny, that you bought a stranger a treat.
Even the can of red spray paint is sitting on there.
Remember we used it to draw that heart at the faire.
I have that candlestick holder there as well.
It’s flawed just a little, but it makes my heart swell.
To remember the candle that was in it that day.
That united us together in such a special way.
So random the things I have on this desk.
But they remind me of us, so I like them the best.

Till next time…. ~em

If you see it…

I wrote this for an All Poetry new member contest, which I do not think I won honestly but I thought it was cute enough to share with you all…  basically we had to choose from a series of pictures and write something original for it. This was the picture I chose…

Picture 8 – Picture Credit – © beyond/Corbis

and here is the poem.  I gave the poem the title “If you see it”, which once you read it you will totally understand.

———————————————————–

have you seen my heart
it was lost to me
for I gave it away
oh so easily

where did it go
you must wonder I see
it was to a man who was
so much cuter than me

He wasn’t the right one
though I was so sure it was him
you’ll see when I tell you
oh how to begin…

the things he said
yes they seemed so right
the moments we shared
they blinded my sight

we danced under the stars
and toasted to the moon
a pretty little melody
that ended all too soon

so if you see it,
this lost heart of mine
just give me a call
pull a tab, drop a line.

———————————————————–

Let me know what you think 🙂

~Em