Randomosity on Fridays

This always happens to me when I walk into a video store (soon to be obsolete): all the movies I've ever had interest in seeing just disappear from my head. Poof. Gone! Just like that. I'm left standing in a room full of movies and no idea what I want to rent.

So what I'm really talking about is I was going to do another Paper Hangover Friday Five about covers I'm enamored with, but I can't settle on individual ones. Wither's cover comes to mind, but that's sitting on my table right now. Basically, I think the art departments are doing some really lovely work these days for the YA section and it's too much for me to contemplate at this time.

Very RANDOM Randomosity it is!

1. I celebrated Easter with some buddies this past weekend. We had an Easter Egg Hunt, and it got pretty competitive. There were several rounds.

2. On Monday, I found out that my little niece hunted Easter eggs too but only went like 3 rounds before she had enough. My niece is 4. My friends and I are all at least 2 decades older than her, and we hunted Easter eggs most of the late afternoon.

3. I suspect the homeless cat from next door is sleeping on my car at night. My proof? The driveway light keeps flashing on (it's motion sensitive), and there are paw prints all over the hood of my car. There's a circular spot of concentrated paw prints where it probably settles.

4. My sister and I watched the Game of Thrones pilot together (well, she had to leave halfway through). It was entertaining because our commentary went thus:

[Man orders other man to keep searching for whoever in ominous wintery landscape]

Me: Hey, doesn't he look kind of like Matt Damon?

Sis: Yeah, mixed in with a little Josh Hartnett? He has a snobby-ish accent.

Me: Yeah, yeah! Like a Haldir-type accent!

[Creepy stuff happens, people start dying]

Me: Oh crap, what's happening?!

Sis: I think we missed a lot of important dialogue.

[Later in the show, when we meet the people of Winterfell...]

Sis: Oh my God, is that- is that a guy with long sideburns tied under his chin into a beard?!

Me: Um, yes.

Sis: *dies laughing* WHO DOES THAT?! I mean, when I was like 5, I thought about doing that, but he's like a grown man!

Me: *laughing because Sis is hysterical* Wait, I think we missed something important again! Hey, Robb Stark looks kinda familiar...

Sis: He looks like a young Guy Pierce.

[Later, when more characters are introduced...]

Sis: Augh, who's that creepy-lookin' kid?

Me: Uh, I think that's the prince?

[Ned Stark's oldest daughter seems interested in him.]

Sis: Nooo, is she into him?! But he's so weird looking! Her brother's way hotter!


Sis: *flails*

[We meet the Queen and her twin brother]

Me: Wow, golden boy.

Sis: Yeah, seriously. He looks like someone too, like...

Me: Oh, like that guy in that TNT or FX or something show about a firefighter?


Me: YES!

Sis: Yeah! Oh, and we just missed that part.

5. New Kids and Backstreet Boys performed as their new super-boyband NKOTBSB on Dancing with the Stars this week. I think it's the first time they've performed their admittedly catchy single "Don't Turn Out the Lights." It's pretty epic.

This weekend, a friend said he was waiting for this (our love of BSB) to become embarrassing, to which I replied, IT WILL NEVER BECOME EMBARRASSING.

Happy Friday, everyone! You ready for May?

What's your random this week?

P.S. The LA Times Book Festival is happening this weekend at USC. Anyone in the area going?

P.P.S. I think all this Royal Wedding coverage is a little crazy, but Anderson Cooper's coverage is pretty hilarious. I'm also going to sleep now (it being Thursday when I write this...well, technically Friday).


Books to TV/Movie

I feel it has been a while since we have had a substance-y sort of post. Part of this is due to Real Life sneaking up on me and Alz with a vengeance, but we will persevere! Maybe!

In the mean time, please bear with us and our short and/or random posts, which brings me to today's topic.


I bring this topic up because I'm trying out HBO's TV series adaptation of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice series, Game of Thrones. There's enough intrigue to keep me interested, and it's prompted me to want to check out the books (I've heard of the series before but never really knew what it was about).

This is a bit of a reverse in that usually, people talk about how they've read a book/book series and how they're excited to see the adaptation. In my case, there's been quite a few adaptations recently that have piqued my interest in the book(s).

I don't actually have anything insightful to say here, except that I think I generally enjoy TV/movie adaptations. It's fun to see worlds and characters really come alive, so to speak, and I think with the crazy advances we've had in movie-magic technology, it can be a real treat to see works of fantasy and sci-fi especially translated to the screen.

Of course, the ones I can immediately think of are the good ones, and we all know there are bad book adaptations. Oh goodness, how we know.

It's tough, after all, to satisfy everyone when book worlds and characters are so near and dear to their fans. And as anyone who has had to summarize a story knows, it's REALLY HARD to condense plots and characters and events and still get the same sort of punch originally delivered in the book.

It also matters how the people translating the book to other media view/treat the original work. I think when the people doing the adaptation have respect and love for the source text and aren't thinking about it in terms of the money-making (franchising) side, it shows through in the translation.

There's also that in-between place where the show/movie is really different from the book, but is somehow still good - just in a different way. Usually, it's because it still captures the spirit of the novel. I have a few of those on my list.

These are my somewhat random thoughts on the subject.

Here's what I'd like to ask you:

What do you think about book-to-whatever adaptations?

What are your favorite / least favorite show or film adaptations of books? Have any recommendations for me?

Anyone else watching Game of Thrones? If you've read the books, how does it compare so far?

See you all Friday either for Randomosity or Drooling over Book Covers. I've yet to decide. :)


Randomosity: Five Things You Wish to See More of in Fiction

This week we're joining in on the Friday Fives hosted by Paper Hangover.  In our case, we're zeroing in on the YA dystopian/supernatural/scifi/fantasy scene since that's what we've been tearing through this year and last.  Below is a sampling of books we've read recently (as well as a few read less recently) and which springboarded these ideas.  Some books contain things we like and want more of, while others have problems/issues we've seen overdone.  Some books contain both.

FIVE things we'd like to see more of in these types of books:

1. Dystopian that's not all about bringing down the regime.   It's cool that dystopian is the name of the game nowadays in YA, but most of the ones we've read lately culminate in rebellion, revolution, and the downfall of the tyrannical government.  It'd be nice to read a story where the world is dystopian but the story doesn't hinge upon destroying the current world order.  The main character does not have to be the Mockingjay.

2. Female characters who are badass without necessarily literally kicking ass. E.g. Claudia in Incarceron, who goes for what she wants head-on by forging her own path through intelligence, political maneuvering, and manipulation.  Or Mae in Demon's Lexicon - normal teenage girl thrust into extraordinary circumstances, who maintains badassity without actually busting out secret ninja moves or super powers. She does it all by being true to her character - stubborn, loving, and brave.  Don't just tack on "and she knows Thai kickboxing" as if marital arts are a necessary component of badassity.  (Incidentally, if you check out the top rankings for "badass" on Urban Dictionary, nowhere does it say one must physically kick ass to be badass.)

3. Love triangles where it's not immediately obvious who the heroine/hero is going to end up with.  You can be Team Jacob all you want, but admit it--you always knew Bella was going to end up with Edward.  Even if you hoped otherwise.  The same goes for most YA love triangles, wherein a hero(ine) is presented with two love interests, and you always know which one s/he's going to end up with.

4. More YA main characters who are dudes, and hopefully they actually sound like dudes.  90% of the YA we've read in recent years has featured female protagonists.  Granted, the target market for YA seems to be a mostly female audience, but it'd be nice for there to be some guy protagonists too, who sound like guys.  Not to stereotype what males "ought" to sound like or anything, but sometimes male protagonists written by female authors end up sounding forced, artificial, or (for lack of a better word) girly.

5. More family dynamics. Where are the parents?  Yes, parents can be an inconvenience when you want to go on an adventure or get involved in shady relationships, but part of being a teen is dealing with your parents.  You can love them or hate them, resent them or desire their approval, or all four, but your parents are never a non-issue.  We're not asking for wrenchingly deep emotional exploration of parent-child dynamics; we're just asking that the protagonists deal with and think of their parents in realistic terms, as opposed to not even thinking about them.

So, folks, that's our five!  Do you agree or disagree that there's a lack of the above?  Do you have any book recommendations to fill these empty spaces on our YA shelf?


Wordless Wednesday: Other Stuff We Do

So, we do other stuff besides writing and reading.

Free-hand writing/calligraphy


Chillaxing at the beach

Most recently, this was part of a Beloved Bears collab post at visual artist Jessica Gowling's blog Nature's my Friend. Check it out if you also love bears.


See more of Alz's crafty skills at her jewelry/craft blog: Sparkling Rampage.

Manatee (and other creature)-making


Besides writing, what other fun things do you do? Curious minds want to know!


Randomosity on Fridays: iPad 2 Version

While I love my PC with all my heart (of stone) and soul(lessness), I have to admit that occasionally I am, once a while, slightly and somewhat tempted by the shiny new gadgets and gizmos that Apple whips up.  It took me until last year to actually break down enough to buy an iPod nano.  I reasoned that the nano was a good choice since I just wanted something to play music and didn't want to waste the rest of my life downloading apps and playing with a touch-screen, which is why I didn't spring for the iTouch.

I have since wished, wistfully, that I had gotten an iTouch.  Internet at your fingertips is such a tantalizing prospect, you know?

But now I've set my sights on a new goal.  I want an iPad 2.

1. iPad 2: Why? Because it's a super-shiny awesome tablet, sleek and slim and sexy, it's 2nd gen so they've worked out those 1st gen kinks, and everyone else wants one and I want to be popular and want one too, okay?  And if all the other kids jumped off a cliff, I'd jump off too.  Plus it fulfills my nerdy Star Trek desire for a PADD.

2. This week I swung by Best Buy on a whim. I merely wanted to stare longingly at the iPad 2 display, knowing that they would be out of stock, and so I went and stared until a sales associate came up and told me that they were, in fact, in stock, all models of iPad 2, a shipment had come in 10 minutes ago, and did I need any help?  I was all HOLY CRAP YES I'LL TAKE ONE and he went to get the keys to the cupboard only to unlock it and find that all the wi-fi units had already sold out.  Even he was shocked and kept insisting that it had only been 10 minutes and the shelf had been full to here, really, seriously 10 minutes ago.  He was very apologetic and I cried tears of blood and went away in sorrow.

3. Some company in the UK is selling Swarovski-encrusted iPad 2s.  As Krispy can attest, Alz loves the Shiny, and accordingly I upgraded my desire from plain iPad 2 to CrystalRoc iPad 2.  At ~$5600 a pop, they are a tad on the pricey side, but for that much Swarovski-bling it's not unexpected.

Source: CrystalRoc

4. And then I found out that there's an even better iPad 2 out there.  A 24k diamond-studded-Apple-logo ammolite-and-T-rex-bone-framed iPad 2 featuring an additional flawless 8.5 carat diamond inlaid in platinum with even more diamonds surrounding it, courtesy of Stuart Hughes.  I'm sure I can scrounge enough change under the couch cushions to come up with the ~$8 million necessary to buy one.  There are only two in the world, mind you, so I'd better act snappy.

Source: MTV Geek

5. But since I do not foresee an iPad 2 (crystal-encrusted, 24k, or otherwise) in my immediate future, I decided to do the next best thing: I made myself a gold manatee with bejeweled eyes.

So that's my iPad 2 tale so far.  I don't want to order one because I have commitment issues combined with a desire for immediate gratification and the intellectual knowledge that all I want is a new toy to play with, so I'll just lie in wait for opportunity--and then I will strike!  For, as they say, opportunity knocks but once.

What do you think about the iPad 2?  Is it overhyped? Do you want one anyway?


Library Week 2011

Wow, it's already that time of year again! No, I don't mean Tax time (though that is true too, eek).


Well, we all know libraries are awesome. So, I'm going to take a slightly tangential approach to this expression of my library love. 3 words: Books and Beyond

At some time during my middle school years, the city library received a grant. That grant was used to create a "youth committee," which was responsible for creating a library newsletter every 3 months or so. That newsletter was called Books and Beyond.

The youth committee consisted of student volunteers, and the newsletter was filled with book reviews, fun literary facts and games, and author spotlights. Too bad the YA section was still rather lacking and that the blogsophere wasn't so buzzin' with blogging authors back then.

Not all of us were straight-up bookworms, but we did love to read and talk about books, and we were all, in some way or another, a type of nerd (holler!). So if it weren't for this thing the library set up, I wouldn't have had this fantabulous experience (or read A Separate Peace for the 4th and final time even though it's in my dislike pile). I also wouldn't have this EPIC thing to share with you.*

I give to you this very special advice column.

Disclaimer: Advice is not to be taken seriously. The following was written by high schoolers - worse, high school versions of me and my friends. We thought we were really funny. (I think we still do.) It was all written in jest. Seriously.

Need Help? G Dawg Gives Advice!

Q: Dear G Dawg,
I'm in love with Orlando Bloom and he's in love with me. He contacts me through secret codes in his movies and public appearances. His bodyguard even shoved me once at a premiere in a meaningful way. I contact him by writing him everyday and sending him presents on weekends. It's been two years and I'm ready to take our relationship to the next level. What's my next step?

A: Dear *cough* Bloomluvr,
A girl's best weapon is jealousy. I suggest you start dating Brad Pitt to make Orlando jealous. But you'll have to make some sacrifices. For example, you must change all of your screen names to "Pittgurl" or "BradsAngel." It'll be worth it, trust me. Once you pierce Bloom's heart with your arrow, he'll be eating lembas bread out of your hands in no time.
Best of luck,
G Dawg
P.S. Invite me to your wedding. I'll bring my boyfriend, Tom Cruise.

Q: Dear G Dawg,
I can't stop drinking soda. Please help!
Thirsty a.k.a. Soda-Jerk

A: Dear Thirsty a.k.a. Soda-Jerk,
OH MY GOD! Do you WANT to kill yourself? You've started down a dark path full of destruction. It will take great courage and will power to defeat this demon. You may have withdrawals and wake up from nightmares in a cold sweat. Heck, why are you still reading this? Find a doctor before it's too late!
Deeply concerned,
G Dawg

Q: Dear G Dawg,
When I graduate on June 18, it will be the last time I see my friends. I'm really worried. What will I do without them? What if I make no friends in college? What will I do?

A: Dear My-Best-Years-Are-Behind-Me,
I've asked around and it seems like you don't have any friends. None of the people around you plan on talking to you after the hats fall. College can be a scary place. Too bad you'll have to live through it alone. Hopefully, your mom still likes you.
G Dawg

Q: Dear G Dawg,
I don't want to carry my books around because my homies will think I'm not down wit it. What should I do?
P Unit

A: Dear P Unit,
I had the same problem with my homies and found the solution through personal experience. Get a boyfriend or a girlfriend and make him or her carry your books for you.
G Dawg

Sadly, G Dawg is no longer in the house for advising, but Loquacious Luce is equally up to the task. So if you have any pressing questions you would like answered, please do send them along to us by comment or email. Loquacious Luce is here to help you.

Q for YOU: What have libraries done to enrich your life?

*This mock-advice column was actually written for our high school newspaper, but we did it because we didn't want to write 2 Senior Goodbyes. We'd already done one for the library newsletter, so we wanted to have fun with the newspaper one.


Randomosity on Fridays

Hello lovelies! It's the end of another week, and let me tell you, the day job is kicking my butt. So sorry for the lack of inspired postings from me. I'm lucky I have Alz to cover my slacking.

It was nice and hot last weekend, so I got to start wearing some of the cute spring clothes I bought, but alas, it turned all cold again yesterday and today. The weather needs to make up its freaking mind already. IS IT SPRING OR NOT, Weather?!

Tangents aside, here's the Friday 5.

1. The sister, in all her ubiquitous internet surfing, stumbled upon (somehow, I know not how) Justin Bieber's doppelganger - a 22 year old singer/songwriter on youtube. Oh, and she's a 22 year old young woman named Dani Shay.

But seriously, she and Biebs are like twins. I've never seen two random people look SO MUCH alike. It is truly UNCANNY. Take a looksie: What the...

2. So I found out today that there's a SEQUEL to The Adoration of Jenna Fox coming out this year. It's called The Fox Inheritance. Color me EXCITED!!!

3. We bought this fluff ball of delightfulness on Sunday from Target.
My name is Sheepy or possibly Baaa!
Isn't it so cute?! It's super soft too and squishy, and I am known to have a love of most things small and roundish! Also it was only $5.00. Look for his brethren in the Easter section.

4. The sister is STILL holding Liar Society by LiLa hostage. I'm supposed to finish writing my section before she'll hand the book over, but like I said, the whole day job thing has been kicking my butt lately. But I want to read it! The sister only has like 100pgs left to read!

5. Speaking of the sister and Liar Society, from looks and tidbits I've heard, she and Kate might totally be friends. For one, my sister now has pink hair (just the bangs and some on the sides). Like non-photoshopped actual pink in her hair (and blue and violet...). (The dye is sadly fading out now though.) She also has a great love for Starbucks. In fact, she got her Starbucks GOLD card this week.

And that my friends is all I have for you this week. What's your random?


Promo Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth (104 pages)

Krispy pointed me in the direction of HarperTeen's promotion for Divergent, which consists of the first 104 pages available online. I'd heard a bit of hype but had been unimpressed by the premise. Nevertheless, I thought I'd give it a chance. Turns out I'm even less impressed than I thought I'd be, though I do have food for thought now on what makes dystopia work and how this book is so far an example of unsuccessfully fudging it.  I kind of want to read the rest, but I'm not going to stand in line for this book.

Divergent by Veronica Roth (first 104 pages)

Pros: Interesting exploration of virtues in society (hopefully this is expanded on throughout the novel), eventually manages to maintain some narrative tension near the end of the 104 pages
Cons: Insufficient world-building, laughable pseudo-science, implausible societal structure

Intellectual Rating: 3.5 out of 10 stars
Emotional Grade: C-

Book Blurb: In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves…or it might destroy her.

*Warning: SPOILERS for content in the promo pages*

Alz's Take: I'll be frank: I was unable to suspend my belief long enough to buy anything in this excerpt even though I walked into it with an open mind. It's a YA futuristic dystopian novel and the great thing about dystopian novels is their haunting plausibility—that oh-crap-I-could-see-this-happening-someday feeling. But the society that has arisen in this book is so implausible that I can't ever see it working out in any realistic sense.

The tension seems to hinge on the fact that factions are more important than blood and family, that the faction is your family, and it's actually stated somewhere that to be factionless is worse than death. Which is great and all, except that factions are so stringent about codified behavior that even idle moments must be appropriately spent, i.e. the Erudite must read books and newspapers during lunch and the Abnegation must always give up their seats on the bus to other passengers, etc. And I just can't believe in a society where people's behavior must conform to one of five ideals at all times—and yet there doesn't seem to be any sort of enforcement so far other than, say, familial disapproval and chastisement.

On the one hand, this could be an interesting exploration of how social enforcement can replace governmental enforcement, but the book doesn't seem like it's going in that direction. It seems to be more about internal politics—the Abnegation faction provides selfless leaders for the government (and in fact they run the council and make all the decisions), but they're at odds with the intellectual Erudite who provide teachers and researchers, and then there are the Candor lawyers and law-people, the Amity counselors and caretakers, and the Dauntless, who guard the city perimeter, although the heroine is so uninterested and boring that she specifically notes, "Their primary purpose is to guard the fence that surrounds our city. From what, I don't know" (7).

Which brings us our first-person heroine, Beatrice Prior. As far as heroines go, she's not particularly remarkable. Oh, she's struggling with whether or not to choose Abnegation, since she loves her family and thinks the lifestyle is admirable but doesn't really feel it in her heart. But if she chooses another faction, she'll become an outcast forever from Abnegation to the point that her family will basically disown her—which seems like is pretty much the norm for people who traitorously chooses to switch from the faction they were born into.

Beatrice doesn't have enough personality for me to connect with her for most of the excerpt. She starts to develop a little more chutzpah and individuality later, but 100 pages is a long time for me to develop mild interest and empathy in a main character.

Krispy frequently accuses me of being a prediction-monster and it happened again in Divergent: I could tell exactly where the story was going both from the info blurb and reading 2 pages into the excerpt. Nothing happened to surprise or amaze me, except the laughable "aptitude test" that's so hyped up in the beginning and that Beatrice is so anxious about, and the equally ridiculous cult-ish Choosing Ceremony (which as Krispy noted is basically Hogwarts and the Sorting Hat but without the magic and the songs) where there are giant bowls of elements representing different factions (rocks = Abnegation, water = Erudite, earth = Amity, fire = Dauntless, glass = Candor) over which the choosers must slit their hands with a knife and spill blood upon the bowl of their chosen faction.


For me to believe in a dystopian society, there must be both elements of plausibility and logic. For instance, in Incarceron by Catherine Fisher, we actually get very little background about how the current society came to be: There were the Years of Rage that left the moon half-destroyed and then people agreed that rather than destroy themselves with constant change, they would artificially create an ideal time from the past (i.e. the Victorian Era) and live forever in the trappings of that time period without change and therefore without war—even though there is still technology (albeit generally forbidden) and people of course cheat now and then with it.

In Suzanne Collins The Hunger Games, Panem is the country that has arisen from the remnants of North America after some huge unspecified disaster, and then there's the Capitol that rules thirteen satellite districts—well, twelve districts now, since the thirteenth one rebelled and the Capitol blasted it off the face of the earth, and ever after as a reminder to the other districts that resistance is futile they implemented the annual Hunger Games where two children from each district must participate in a mandatory-to-watch televised fight to the death.

Allie Condie's Matched features a dystopian society that at first looks like a utopia, where technology is advanced and everyone is happy and taken care of by the Society. The background is that many years ago, humankind nearly destroyed itself with an excess of choice—too much media, too much information, all leading to too many problems. So after some big huge vague disaster, the survivors formed the Society, which decided that only the hundred best things were to be saved, like the hundred best poems, and the hundred best songs, etc. In current Society, airtrain drivers don't need to know how to cook and factory workers don't need to know how to grow flowers; even the production of crops is handled so that only one set of workers knows how to plant, and another knows how to harvest, and another how to preserve the food—the idea being that everyone must work together and contribute to Society in order to survive.

These three examples are all more-or-less plausible dystopian societies arising from the ashes of vague disasters—you can see the logic that led these people to where they are today.

With Divergent, in the 104 pages the only background info I've gleaned so far is part of the Choosing Ceremony opening speech, where this guy says that decades ago, people realized that it wasn't politics or religion or racism or anything that caused war—it's because people have crappy personalities and are naturally inclined toward evil. So people divvied themselves up into factions according to what they believed was most evil: the Amity faction hates aggression, the Erudite hate ignorance, the Candor hate duplicity, the Abnegation hates selfishness, and the Dauntless hate cowardice.

If this were not a dystopian set in Chicago, I might be able to buy it—like if it were set in some similar-but-not-our-Earth setting, or was set like a thousand years in the future (granted that I'm not sure exactly when this is set, but their level of technology seems comparable to modern standards), I'd be less sneery. But I can't make the leap from our current society to a society like the one presented in Divergent without a whole lot more explanation.

Alz's Conclusion: I was very cynical throughout this entire excerpt, but the book did manage to pick up the pacing a little and raise both tension and stakes in the very last ten or so pages. I hope that the story will continue to pick up and that more social themes will be explored, and that there will be a boatload of worldbuilding to make the setting more plausible and palatable. While I wouldn't break down bookstore doors to buy Divergent the moment it hits the shelves, I'm interested enough that I'd maybe get it at my leisure from the library someday or steal it from Krispy if she happened to acquire it.


Randomosity: Final Edition

I'm sorry, my good chums, but today is finally the day that I wash my hands of this foul business once and for all, and cleanse my soiled palms with the soap of righteousness and rinse them with the water of ambition. Today it's time to come clean. I never wanted to be a writer. I despise it with all my heart (which is made of stone) and all my soul (of which I have none left, having bartered it off in bits in pieces over the years). I shall deny my true self no longer and I desire nothing more than that all of you witness my transformation.

It will be even more dramatic than this in reality.

For you see, my dear friends, from now onward, I shall be true unto myself and let slip the dogs of war bindings of society to become what I have always been inside. Hearkening back unto heritage most ancient and ancestry most prestigious. I shall heed the call of the wild and listen to the birdsong of truth. I will deny no longer the pangs of conscience that have plagued me since that dreadful day I decided I would become a writer or at least a contributing member of society. You know what I'm going to contribute now? I'm going to contribute this:

But I will not be just any ninja. No, I will be a ninja who sails on the high seas, Ninja Pirate Captain Alz of the U.S.S. Enterprise Serenity Black Pearl Happy Mermaid, fighting for truth and justice, striking in the dead of night, raiding in the name of Alz. That's right, I shall be so magnificent that I raid in my own name.
I'm on a boat!

Yes, from this day of April 1, 2011, henceforth shall I be a ninja pirate. The world is my cookie, and just you watch it crumble.

What are your master plans for today, O chocolate chips?