Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Here's a terrific story about 12-year-old Grant Mower, who not only designs dresses but hopes to design a gown for First Lady Michelle Obama. Be sure to watch the video at the link; it's very cool. Here's to a kid who knows who he is and what he wants out of life at such a young age! And I hope the First Lady takes Grant up on his offer.
12-year-old boy designs dress for first lady Michelle Obama (KSL TV)
Okay, I confess -- I have become a fan of the latest incarnation of the My Little Pony TV show, called My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. No, I haven't lost my mind. The show's popularity among adult men has taken the show's creators by complete surprise. We're called "bronies," and if you want more background on the topic, here's the famous Wired article about us. It's really very simple -- Lauren Faust, the force behind the show, trashed the saccharine sweetness of older My Little Pony shows and replaced it with sharper humor and the same girl-power sensibility she brought from her work with her husband Craig McCracken on his hit show, The Powerpuff Girls. (Faust also worked as an animator on two wonderful animated feature films, The Iron Giant (directed by Pixar veteran Brad Bird) and a forgotten treat, Cats Don't Dance (directed by Mark Dindal, who went on to direct Disney's hugely funny The Emperor's New Groove).) Faust has managed to make the new My Little Pony show innocent and fun without condescension or over-cuteness. It's more enjoyable than you might imagine, and yes, I cannot believe I am singing the praises of a TV show based on those silly toys from the 80s!
What does this have to do with the video above? Simply that I love semi-obscure references, in this case creating a parody (in the old-style sense) of a song by Stephen Sondheim for one of the episodes of MLP: FiM. The song was adapted by the show's composer, Daniel Ingram. I about fell out of my chair when I saw this! Not since I encountered the first semi-obscure Shakespeare reference in an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 have I been so tickled. The song above is derived from "Putting it Together," from Sondheim's Pulitzer Prize winning musical, Sunday in the Park with George (one of my two favorite musicals, along with West Side Story). I love the tribute, and wonder what Mr. Sondheim thinks about all this.
Here's the original song (above) included in this scene from Sunday in the Park with George, featuring Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters. The comments section on YouTube already has quips from bronies who've just discovered this; and yes, that is Brent Spiner in a portion of the scene.
And if you're interested, here's the complete episode of MLP: FiM (above) that contains the parody song. Enjoy! As Rainbow Dash would say, inclusion of Sondheim references instantly makes this show 20% cooler!
P.S. Bonus video below! There are pony mashups, of course. This is the first thing I ever saw the ponies in, even before I caught up with the episodes of the show. It's a mashup of the trailer for The Dark Knight with images from MLP: FiM. And it ... is ... AWESOME!!!
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Is anyone else excited? I'm excited! I will probably explode from excitement before the year is out, but, yeah! I'm excited!
Seriously, I haven't looked forward to a movie this much since the days of the original Star Wars trilogy. And I expect Chris Nolan's flick to be much better than any of those! I've loved every movie I've seen by Nolan, particularly The Dark Knight and Inception.
The Dark Knight Rises Teaser Trailer at YouTube
Sunday, July 10, 2011
My short story/novella "Sinews of the Heart" will be published as an e-book next year by WolfSinger Publications! The story is set in a post-apocalyptic world where human civilization has fallen in a war with anthropomorphs. A family of anthrotigers hiking across the Yellowstone Territory comes upon a hidden family of humans. Whether to kill the humans or let them go is a decision that has dire consequences for Nikki, a twelve-year-old anthrotiger, whose true identity her father refuses to acknowledge. It's a compelling story of coming-of-age, forgiveness, and the importance of being true to one's real self. Plus, it has furries!
"Sinews of the Heart" is one of my favorite tales, and I'm very happy that it has finally found a home. I'll post an update when the e-book becomes available.
Drawing from here.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
This is for everyone who is upset about the CAYLEE ANTHONY case.
That case is over. Our jury system has decided, rightly or wrongly, and it is a system we should prefer since I, for one, do not wish to live in a police state. I hope you feel the same way, too. We seem to have forgotten that many other murders, including that of children by their parents, occurred during the time since this crime was committed.
But if you feel bad for hurt kids, it is time for you to step up.
There are children out there now, ALIVE, who need your help. Children who have been kicked out of their homes for being gay. Children who have been raped and abused by their parents and protectors. Children dumped on the road for simply being a nuisance. Children who have run away because they simply could not take it any more.
These children aren't always pretty and they aren't always sweet. But they goddamn sure could use your help.
Give to The Trevor Project or to the Ali Forney Center. Or find a children's home or charity in your town and give. No money to give? Then donate time and work. GET OFF YOUR COMPLACENT BUTTS AND HELP THE CHILDREN WHO SUFFER TODAY.
Leaving your porch light on will help no one. DOING SOMETHING WILL.
Photograph from here.
Monday, July 4, 2011
My novel The Glasschanger's Child is now available in an Amazon Kindle edition! This one is a contemporary fantasy-adventure tale with some fascinating characters and lots of interesting twists.
Young Ciar Allyn pleads to the heavens for news about her vanished father, but the only reply is a gold glass star given her by two mysterious faeries. Years later Ciar discovers the Fledglings, a free-spirited band of mytho-magic creatures seeking Ciar’s powerful star aboard their fantastic flying vessel Orpheus. Ciar learns that her father was secretly a glasschanger, a powerful wizard who left Earth to help the Fledglings save the throne of their home world, Klyrrok. Swept up in their quest, Ciar fights side-by-side with werewolves, a gryphon, a man made of blue glass, the goat-god Pan, an abrasive and well-armed guardian angel, and a world-famous opera singer who sometimes turns into a tiger. Together the Fledglings battle an evil wizard and his cheerfully sadistic henchmen to save Klyrrok’s true king. But only Ciar’s growing mastery of her newly discovered glasschanging powers can carry the Fledglings to final victory.
This novel is one of my favorite creations, and I hope you enjoy it!
The Glasschanger's Child is now available in a print-on-demand paperback edition (just follow the link to Amazon) and in other e-reader formats. Also, some independent bookstores have the print-on-demand paperback edition available, too. Check with your favorite book retailer!
The Glasschanger's Child at Amazon.com
Sunday, July 3, 2011
THIS VIDEO IS AWESOME! It comes from Cedar Cove, the park where I used to volunteer. Gunny and Sierra are littermates, and I love them both. Sierra especially was my sweetie during my days at the park! It is so awesome to work with these cats. Tigers are the most amazing and beautiful animals I have ever seen. I really miss them.
Look at how big those two tigers are in the video, and then check out how they looked when they were itty bitty little kitties! This picture was taken by Cedar Cove's founder, William Pottorff, who raised these cats himself. That's Sierra on the left looking up, while her brother Gunny figures he'd better get some eatin' done before his sister takes the rest!
Cedar Cove Feline Conservatory & Education Center
My animal pix at SmugMug, featuring thousands of pictures of Cedar Cove's cats!