A Few Quick Thoughts on Captain Marvel

So, you all by now should know that I am a huge fan of the Marvel movies. At the end of this week, the latest venture–Captain Marvel, starring Brie Larson–hits theaters. Unlike previous MCU films, this one has been generating enormous bad publicity and has met with some backlash. Rotten Tomatoes has been trolled by angry fans, and the new rumor is that many at Marvel/Disney, even CEO Bob Iger himself, are unhappy with everything that is going on.

Before I begin, though, let me just say this. If the movie isn’t out yet and you haven’t seen it, don’t post bad reviews (or, for that matter, any kind of review). It’s a dick move.

I’ve purposely been trying to steer clear of the entertainment news, as it has caused quite a lot of spoilers for the last few major movies I had had my heart on going to see with an open mind, so I couldn’t intelligibly look at a lot of this shit and see if any of it was tabloid news. Let’s just pretend, though, that it’s not.

Brie Larson did make some sexist, racist remarks about white men. It’s disgusting. I have yet to see any indication of a sincere apology come out of her mouth. And this is the chick Kevin Feige wants to lead the MCU moving forward after Avengers: Endgame? What a sure fire way to start killing he greatest franchise ever made, buddy.

When DC made Wonder Woman, they beat Marvel to the punch. The first major female superhero movie featuring one of the most powerful female heroes ever. Even if you disagreed (or in my case, hated) how Zack Snyder dealt with the DCEU you could not argue that Patty Jenkins did one HELL of a good job with Gal Gadot’s movie.

Now, as these arch rivals always do, Marvel is trying to outdo DC by doing their own female-led superhero outing. Only this time, they have decided to elevate a B-grade hero into the most powerful superhero to ever exist within the MCU. A real feminist rallying right there, but a huge departure from the source material. Not that the MCU is very accurate when it comes to the comics anyway, but still. They spent several movies building up Thor and the Hulk. Cap always seems to last a little longer as the series goes on. Tony Stark’s armor evolves and evolves. Now they are pretty much pushing them all aside to make room for their own Superman-wannabe, Captain Marvel.

It’s a really bold move, one that I worry is going to backfire. Disney already had a horrible, embarrassing failure with Star Wars: The Last Jedi. While it brought in the big bucks, fans were so disappointed that they never went to see Solo, the first Star Wars flop that really shook them all to the core. And with the enormous earning potential that the final Avengers Film is going to have at the end of April, it’s logical that they will be hesitant about Captain Marvel ruining Endgame, especially since she is going to make her second appearance there.

I hope it all works out in the end. I love the MCU, always will, no matter how bad Captain Marvel or the backlash of it gets. I probably won’t see it right away, but I will make a point to see it. If it’s good, I might see it twice. And even if it sucks, there is no way I will not be seeing Endgame a few dozen times, even if Captain Carol Danvers Marvel is in it.

Such a great time to be a comics fan.

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Writing Rule 3: The Importance it Setting Goals

Here is another one that can also be applied to everything else in life.

Years ago when I decided I seriously wanted to be a writer, I set myself a number of mostly-unrealistic goals. Sometimes it was a thousand words a day, and a couple of times I even dared to try to match Isaac Asimov’s 4,000 plus words a day.

As of last night, my new goal is 150 words (not counting whatever I write on here).

Psychologically, reaching a goal–small as it might be–on a consistent basis does wonders for one’s self-esteem. At the end of the night you would have actually accomplished something instead of laying in bed at night saying to yourself “tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow…” over and over only for nothing to get done when tomorrow actually comes. Even if it’s just a few words of a story the story is being told. Eventually, the story will all be out on paper and then you really will have done something.

If you ever feel like life has plateaued on you, set yourself a little goal or two and go after them. Lose a little weight. Clean the house. Save an extra few hundred bucks by the end of the month.

Write a short story or several.

Don’t go into writing blind. If you don’t know exactly what you want to write. Just start writing. But give yourself a stopping point. If you get to that point and feel like going on, that’s great! But don’t let yourself start without helping yourself out. Again, let yourself have a little “limit” so that you can give yourself a break but still be able to say “I did something today.”

Now, onto my own goal for the night…

Weight Loss Progress (Day 1)

I’m definitely feeling it a little bit, but I am hanging in there.

For breakfast I enjoyed another chocolate peanut butter Fit Crunch protein bar and some water, which ever since I discovered them over the weekend at work have been a blessing in disguise.

I just finished my first healthy lunch in quite some time; cottage cheese and peaches with the tiny remnants of the Fit Crunch bar from yesterday.

Seriously, I really need to post a review on those because they are SO DAMN GOOD!

For dinner I may end up having a grilled cheese and some tater tots. Not the healthiest thing in the world, but at the same time not too unhealthy. I think if I drink solely water and have a healthy breakfast and healthy lunch as long as dinner doesn’t go completely overboard I’ll still see some great changes in the coming weeks, especially when I start exercising every day.

Not a diet, and certainly not a crash diet. Just a lifestyle change. That’s all it takes…

Writing Rule Number 2: Finish What You Start

I borrow this one from Robert Heinlein, who I’m sure in turn borrowed it from somebody else. This kind of goes along with what I was saying yesterday, about focusing solely on one story or book at a time before moving on to the next one.

Man, if I had simply followed only this one rule over the years…I can’t imagine how many flash drives I’d have filled to the max with stories and books that I had finished. Alas, my new laptop has…zero.

I find it funny that a lot of this writing advice can be applied to the real world, as well. Commitments, not only to our storytelling but to everything else, are not taken for granted much anymore. It’s easy nowadays to make a promise to someone and then break it without giving it as much as a second thought. You can quit a job without worrying about it, cheat on your significant other without feeling too much remorse, and just not be there for someone when they need you the most even though you said you would be.

As writers, we make a promise to our souls whenever we start jotting down a story or bit of dialogue or whatever seems to come out of our brains first. It is a very special connection we have with our imagination, one that I don’t think anybody else in the creative world can have. To not finish what we start is slapping our subconscious across the face and allowing what could be one of the most unique ideas ever to fade away into nothingness, never to be thought of again.

I know this is pretty deep, overly-dramatic thinking about it, but it’s true. Our ideas are our own, and when you find your calling as a writer there is only a finite amount of time you have to tel your stories. I have wasted a great deal of my own time by not sharing the stories that come to me.

I vowed last night that that would never happen again.

Wedding Weight Loss!

Alexis and I have a date set! By the end of September, we plan on being Mr. and Mrs. John Siebelink.

Like most couples planning on tying the knot, we both decided that it’s time to start losing weight so we can look our best for when the big day gets here. What better day to start than a Monday!?

I already have most of my eating plan figured out, minus possible tweaking I will be doing as time goes on. For working out, until I can get back into a full-sized gym with weights and machines we are going to make use of our apartment complexes little workout room. What I’m most excited about, though, if eventually buying myself a swim suit and taking full advantage of the indoor pool here. I’m thinking an hour a day of swimming on top of other kinds of working out. There’s no better full-body workout than swimming.

For breakfast here in a few minutes after I spend five swallowing my vast collection of vitamins and supplements, I’m having a Robert Irvine Fit Crunch Bar. I will be writing a little review about those bars on here in a little while, because they definitely deserve one. Cottage cheese and fruit for lunch with maybe a scoop of peanut butter for good measure. I can always trust my fiancĂ© to figure out a healthy dinner, and all of this will be guzzled down with water. I finished the last of the Pepsi last night, my sole addiction…

It’s time to start making things happen, because there is no postponing the wedding. Have to look my best for when one of my biggest dreams finally comes true…

The First 150 Words of 2019 and a Whole Bunch of Firsts

If we are going to be technical, it’s more like 161 or somewhere around that (I already turned off the laptop or I would check).

Those are the first words of fiction–and science fiction–I have written in the year 2019. The first line came to me while I was walking home from work late last night, and by the time I got home a little bit more of the story had come to me. What really got me excited about the plot of this new story, though, is the fact that unlike the past many attempts at writing fiction there is not a single element of mystery or detection anywhere in the story. This tale, when it is finished, will be my first pure science fiction story in over a year.

Another cool thing about this one is that in the end it is going to be a full-length story. The last couple of SF pieces I wrote were all flash fiction, all less than 2,000 words. Even though I only have a tiny bit written so far I can already tell that it will surpass the flash boundaries. It really will be unchartered territory for me.

Yet another bit of groundbreaking is the fact that unlike previous efforts in the science fictional realm, I am actually trying to put more effort into the actual science aspect of the genre. Instead of soft science fiction like a lot of it is nowadays, I am making my first attempt to write hard science fiction (the kind where the science is detailed and probable and entirely important to the plot). To be specific, I am focusing on both biological and cultural anthropology in my story.

Even though I am dead exhausted from two open-close shifts in a row, I almost want to turn the comp back on and keep on writing!

No title yet (I normally don’t even bother with one until it’s all said and done unless one comes to me) but at least the story is being told. I can’t tell you how many of these have come and gone inside my head over the years without even having a chance or reaching paper.

One thing is for certain, though. The story is going to be told!

That, my friends, is the most important thing about being a writer.

Why Do People Hate Babies So Much?

A question I never in my life thought I would have to start a discussion about.

See, for the longest time I considered myself pro-choice. It was one of the only liberal beliefs that I held. But lately for some reason I have taken a big about-face when it comes to abortions, and after Cuomo’s glorious round of applause after signing New York’s newest abortion bill into law I am vehemently against abortion except in the extremest of cases.

The way I look at it is, even a fetus in the earliest stages of development is still a human being. For a human being to kill another human being is murder. It’s convenient for these pro-choice activists to claim that a fetus is not a human being because a fetus can not be seen or held or touched the way a normal baby can. They refuse to acknowledge deep inside the coveted womb the fetus is moving around, absorbing nutrients, and developing into one of us. It’s a human being. It’s not an animal or a virus or a Volkswagen Beetle on the assembly line. Why do people hate babies so much?

Now, let’s put abortion to the side for a moment. Very recently, there was a breaking news story about a mother, father, and nephew who were all arrested for their roles in the murder of the parents’ teen daughter’s newborn son. Apparently, they wanted to spare their family the shame of a child born so young and out of wedlock. They have succeeded in shaming their family far worse than the baby ever could, but that doesn’t excuse the savage barbarism of the affair.

That’s one of the downfalls of social media, though some might consider it a blessing. It reveals a shit-storm of stories like this that probably have always happened, just without the publicity. Thanks to Facebook and Twitter and the like, there is no hiding from this sort of thing. And with more and more and more stories about abused and murdered babies and children popping up on the various feeds, it again begs the question–why do people hate babies so much?

It’s not an answer I can give you in this blog, ladies and gentlemen.