Friday, September 30, 2011

Important Announcement Coming Tomorrow! (I think.. maybe)

You might be saying to yourself, "Self, where did that Chris Phillips guy go?  He should get off of his lazy butt and post something.  There is no leeway for posting irregularly in this economy!"  And I think that's a bit harsh and deserves a bit more consideration, but I haven't posted in awhile and wanted to let you know that I am going to post tomorrow (most likely) and announce something really neat (if that something happens) so be, like, really ready for it.



Monday, September 19, 2011

Worst Movies Blogfest

Good Morning.  It's time for another Alex J. Cavanaugh signature blogfest!  Today I'll take you on a magical journey through the worst 10 movies I remember watching.  I'll be honest.  I have a decent eye for movies.  Mostly I avoid movies I know will be bad.  The Mrs. on the other hand?  Not so much.  Her picks account for a majority of the worst movies I've ever watched, some so bad I can't even recall them to put them on the list.  Here's what I do remember:

10 Captain America
This one was terrible because it completely blindsided me.  Good actor and cast overall.  Great previews... and then Bam!  Let's fight over a Norse Crystal of Legend during WWII with giant unrealistic tanks and bad laser effects.  Come on Marvel!  You just made a good Thor movie.  How hard can this be?

9  G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra
Tough concept, but still.

8  Steel Magnolias
I know there are some out there who would argue this pick.  I had to watch this in 8th grade.  The teacher (who I'm pretty sure was evil) put these movie on a list for us to vote off of:
-Tommy Boy
-Billy Madison
-Steel Magfrickenolias
Knowing the guys would split their vote the girls got their way.  I immediately left the classroom after and punched a kid and peed on a fire hydrant just to regain a small fraction of my lost manhood.

7 Ghost Ship

Transformers 2:  Revenge of the Fallen
Spoiler alert!  The revenge of the fallen is that you have to sit through this movie.  shhh.  don't tell.

5  Babylon A.D. 
Vin Diesel in a sci-fi?  Worked in Pitch Black.  Not here.  It's one of those where you go, wait! What???  That's the "plot?"

4  Larry The Cable Guy:  Health Inspector
The pride of Nebraska right here.  The film opens with Larry peeing in the shower.  It pretty much doesn't get any better from there.  After watching it I wrote a letter to the studio asking them to change the copy on the cover to, "They'll give anyone a movie."  Did not take.

3 9th Gate
I've never laughed so hard or long at the ending of a movie.  Literally five minutes.  This movie is great for 9/10's of it and then bam!  Wait a minute... it does suck!  And it's so jarring it's comical.  Almost worth a watch just for that.

2 2012
Because of my VIP hollywood access I was able to procure a copy of the original script for this movie.  Ready?  K. 

[The earth splits open.  Insert 1.5 hours of cgi effects.]
Cast:  Oh noes!  Ahhh!  Save us and stuff!

[They all get on Armageddon boats.  One narrowly misses Mt. Everest, which is now a small peak sticking out of the ocean. There is an emotional speech about how if we can't save everyone why even go on?  Insert more cgi.]
Emotional speech giver:  If we can't save everyone why even go on?
Cast:  Oh noes!  Save us more!
[At the last minute they miss the peak and don't die.]
Cast: Yay!

1 Valentines Day
 This movie was worse because we watched it with friends.  Both girls thought it looked great.  I had to explain to my wife that if the preview flaunts the actors, has no good quotes, and you still don't know what it's about at the end of the preview... don't pick it.

That's my list.  It's infallible.  L8ter. 

Next person on the tour: Lydia


Friday, September 16, 2011

Happy Birthday to Blog! Choose Your Own Adventure

My blog is one year old today.  Just like a real-life human one year older my blog is cute, wiggly, and smells like milk is oozing out of both ends!  BTW you were supposed to get me presents.  Jerks.

That's okay.  Not really, but I'm moving on.  Mostly because you're still getting me a present.  
Your present to me (unless you want to FedEx me cupcakes) is to choose your own adventure by picking a classic Chris Phillips blog post and then telling me how great it was and how much my blog means to you and the such.  Because remember, the greatest sitcoms of all time run clip montage shows when they run out of funny yet touching plot-lines or they just want to take a break but still cash checks.  This is like that only without clips or a moral or my blog being a sitcom.  

Here are your choices for classic postage:

As always, choosing more than one will increase your risk of getting nipple infections by more than 42.7%


Thursday, September 8, 2011

First Campaigner Challenge

This is a part of the first Campaigner Challenge.

If you are not a Campaigner, you will have to come back another time as the challenges are all a big secret.  I'm not even supposed to tell you how secret they are.

Anyway, here's the rules:
Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem. Begin the story with the words, “The door swung open” These four words will be included in the word count.

If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), use the same beginning words and end with the words: "the door swung shut." (also included in the word count)
My entry:

The door swung open.  Bill peeked his head around the door frame. 
"What are you doing in here?" he asked.
"You sure?  You dashed out of the room in such a hurry."  Bill gave an inquisitive sniff of the air.  His brow narrowed and a frown spread across his lips to match the shape.  
"Ahh.  Eww!"
"Sorry.  Polish food."
The door swung shut. 

Have a nice weekend.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Exclamation Points!

Most authors shy away from exclamation points because they get that if their sentence has meaning, they don't need to dumb it down by pointing it out!  Also it makes the reader feel like they are being shouted at if you use them often!  But then again, maybe the reader deserves it!  It can also make you feel a little stupid if the author felt the need to use ! to tell you the sentence was important!

In quality writing exclamation points are primarily used in dialog to indicate tone or expression!  Most of us would agree this is the correct usage!  One exception is that kids books use them to show sentences that are more important or weighty than others!  

While that makes sense, I also think we confuse kids with how we teach exclamation points!  As a second/first grade teacher I taught some of the more basic building block types of writing lessons kids get in school!  For my grade levels there were four traits we looked at on a rubric!  Those traits were, Ideas/Content, Organization, Voice, and Conventions!  The rubric went to 4 points total!  My last district put a high emphasis on voice (and then proceeded to teach voice poorly!)  Basically if they didn't have two or more exclamation points, they dropped from a 4 to a 2, which is failing!  

Because, how do you know kids really meant what they wrote if they haven't thrown exclamation points like confetti all over their page?!  Sometimes you could justify it back up to a 3 if you argued a bunch, but according to the rubric it was a two!  So after awhile kids just started ending sentences with them!  If that doesn't get adequately taught out of them later in life they won't know any better!  I don't remember learning the proper usage of them until college!

You may or may not have noticed by now that all of my sentences end with an exclamation point!  That is because everything I'm saying is important and noteworthy!  

One other important note about exclamations is that they are much funnier if you make a long line of them and toss in a 1 here and there like you got really excited while typing them in!!!!!1!!111!

I would ask what you thought about exclamation points here but then my sentence would end in a question mark instead of this guy -->!


Monday, September 5, 2011

Guerilla Operations North American Defense Squadron of the Future, subtitled: A Long Line of G.O.N.A.D.S.

*This is a mock query I posted on the World's Worst Query Forum at*

Dear Agent,

It is the future now.  War has ravaged what is left of The United States of America.  A really bad war!  It is up to Duke Manchild's great grandson, also named Duke Manchild, to resurrect G.O.N.A.D.S. (Guerilla Operations North American Defense Squadron) in order to set things right once again.  Duke and the newly assembled  G.O.N.A.D.S. team of heroes must fight an evil organization known only as S.H.R.I.N.K.A.G.E (Shadow Hessian Remnants Infiltrating National Kombat Agencies to Grow Evil.)  And just like it always seems to go for the G.O.N.A.D.S. team, things get hairy!

This third installment of my previously unpublished smash hit series, which includes G.O.N.A.D.S. I and Baltic Allied Lightning Liberation Squadron (B.A.L.L.S.) completes the series and gives it a happy ending.  I think it is the best book because it is in the future, so the team not only shoots bullets, but bullets with lasers inside of them!!!  G.O.N.A.D.S. OF THE FUTURE, SUBTITLED: A LONG LINE OF G.O.N.A.D.S. is complete at 60,000 words, if you count chapter headings and labels for the maps I drew so everyone would know where things were happening, otherwise it's 30,000 words.  Last time I contacted you, you asked what genre this book was.  After looking up the word genre I've decided it is an Action Drama.  I revised the books like you suggested, I didn't get what you were saying about point of view so I just put in more fight scenes and love scenes.  My point of view is that this book rocks!!!1!

Anyway, let me know.

Your Pal,
Broseph McDude. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Choose Your Own Adventure Friday

How do you want to feel today?
Too Cool For School  (warning:  potty words ahead)

Angry at your father  (warning:  potty words ahead)

Warning:  Failure to pick only one will result in instant contraction of rubella.