Help yourself

No, I’m not talking about getting seconds at dinner. I’m talking about learning how to live better, healthier lives. I had a conversation recently with a friend who said she wished she realized sooner how much bad she was doing to her body with the food choices she made. Now she’s making a lot of changes to correct a health issue. She lives with extended family and is being met with a good bit of resistance. I’ve experienced the same thing. It’s not easy.

During our conversation, I said “It’s sad that we wait until we’re sick to take care of ourselves.” And this is very true. We grow up and do whatever we want as far as how we eat, whether we exercise, being proactive with our health. The United States is often touted as the fattest country on the planet. While we try to prevent body-image issues, we still have a tendency to put shame and blame on people who are not perfectly healthy. And the truth is that we don’t eat right, don’t exercise enough, eat and drink things that are bad for us, allow our government to go along unchecked with what they do to our food production and we take no responsibility for our own health.

Let me say it again: we do no take responsibility for our own health! Not until we get sick and realize what we’ve been doing to ourselves. We learn how to choose foods and how to treat our bodies by what we see our parents and the people around us doing. We all need to set better examples for the children around us. The adults, too. How can we expect our kids to eat right and stay healthy when we don’t show them that it’s an option?

Exploring healthy lifestyle choices is just as important as exploring career choices. Do something good for yourself. When you do, others see it and want to do good for themselves. It pays itself forward. There are two quotes that are fitting for this topic. The first is from the Bible: Physician, heal thyself. The other is from Greek philosopher Socrates: know thyself.

You cannot heal yourself if you don’t know what your body is doing. Know what you do to your body, know what your body can handle and do everything you can to make yourself the best possible version of yourself. Help yourself.


Monsters – A reply to Glenn Walker

WARNING: Spoilers! If you haven’t seen Godzilla yet, read at your own risk. 😉

GposterOver all my friends are just as weird and nerdy as I am, each in their own way. Like several of my friends I have been a Godzilla fan for a long time. Yes, I still need to replace the G-movie collection my ex kept (the hit order is still in effect). And yes, I admit to liking the 1998 Godzilla with Matthew Broderick and Jean Reno. Don’t be hating, just read. I will also admit to not watching any Godzilla movie after the 1998 version. All that being said, I was seeing mixed reviews as the first showings this year’s Godzilla were hitting the big screen. You can find one such review at Biff Bam Pop with my friend Glenn Walker. I was very excited to see the newest version since it was being lauded as a Hollywood version of the Toho Limited-style movies.

Now, last night I saw my favorite lizard, in 3D, and I have to say I absolutely loved it! If you’ve seen the original movies you know they have almost Shatner-esque over acting coupled with cheesy effects. This version of Godzilla has better effects but it still looks almost like slow-motion film of actors in suits during the monster fight scenes (except for the last scene, later on that). Yes, as my pal Glenn points out the two monsters Godzilla fights look strange and alien. I thought the male MUTO looked like a bat-praying mantis hybrid while the female looked more spiderish.

Let’s talk about the science. The actual science is what a lot of people despised about the 1998 version. But be honest. It’s a monsterGcavern movie. It’s supposed to be unreal and totally impossible. Monsters can’t actually come to live and roam the Earth, can they?! If had really believed that the Wasp Woman was a possibility in reality I would never have used make-up a day in my life! In this version, G-man is an ancient apex predator that feeds on nuclear energy, all of his species and the parasites (the MUTOs), going deeper into the Earth to get closer to the core as the outer atmosphere changes to support more human life. I thought this was a cool godzilla-2014-legend-14concept. Especially when they show us an underground cavern that is actually the remains of one of these giants, with ribs and a spine laid out in perfect order. And the weapon/self defense of the MUTOs being an electromagnetic pulse made it a formidable danger for our modern society, which is a nice nod to the dangers of nuclear bombs that was the unspoken enemy in the originals.

One point Glenn makes is that he noticed people cheering when Godzilla appears and that he’s viewed as a good guy instead of a destructive force of nature. I admit I cheered, too. There is a lot of human-based storyline in this movie and less of the actual monsters. Which is why I was thrilled to see the massive spinal ridges of G-man breaking the surface of the ocean when swims into the daylight. Godzilla was still very destructive. The tailspin knocking the male MUTO into a building to kill was a nice touch. I cheered then, too.  I would say the big lizard is more an antihero in this movie. He’s not there to destroy San Fran just because it’s there. He’s there to take down the giant lovebirds and restore balance. He does his job and goes home. I’m cool with that. _KF14095.DNG

Glenn’s review also breaks down the casting. I will say that it was disappointing to lose Cranston’s character so early but it was necessary for his son, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, to suffer the loss of both parents and realize the danger to his own family in order to keep going in the face of certain death. GfordAnd in Taylor-Johnson’s defense, his character is military. Training knocks all the squishy emotions right out of them. While not overly emotive, I thought the character was portrayed fairly accurately for the background he had.  I will agree with Glenn that Ken Watanabe’s Dr. Serizawa was perfect.

Okay, one last thing. My favorite part is near the end, the last of the monster fight scene. The mama MUTO is about to devour Taylor-Johnson, a bomb and the boat they’re on all in one vengeful bite. Godzilla, who we see fall right before this scene, pulls her new-godzilla-trailer-shows-first-good-look-at-the-monsterback, pries her mouth open, and shoots atomic fire breath right down the bitch’s throat. Then he rips her head off. Yes, I cheered. It was beautiful. And the least cheesy looking of the monster scenes, I may add. If you’re a fan of the monster genre I would highly recommend seeing Godzilla. I will probably go see it again. Yes, I loved it that much. And I will be buying it on DVD. I may even have to get a poster.


Keep digging

Many of my writing ideas come from the music I listen to. At the moment I’m working on a story to submit to an anthology. I’ve been struggling to nail down my character and her struggle in the story. There are some specific requirements for this anthology and I like the challenge of having to match them. It’s not easy. Especially when the barest hint of an idea is dancing around the skirt tails of my muse just out of reach.  At least until today…

I have had four or five different versions of this character in mind without anything definitive. While doing dishes this afternoon I heard a new song by the band Three Days Grace. Scenes started popping into my head. Dialogue, possible conflicts, different paths for my main character and those around her all started blossoming. That’s when you know you have the right song. I have lyrics in my notes for four or five other songs, all related to different parts of my story. But I needed this one to get it set in stone. I love it when a plan comes together.