Saturday, December 28, 2013


(edit: this image courtesy of my dad, who occasionally likes to sneak in and do things to my blog when I'm not looking. I can only assume it came from Google Images)

I saw Sharknado last night.

If you haven't seen it, you should sometime, especially if you can see it for free or watch it on Netflix. I hesitate to recommend that you pay a whole lot to watch it, because it really is a terrible movie, but it's terrible in that it's funny, like a bad horror movie.

Like, seriously. The premise is that sharks are flying through the air. You know nothing good can come of that.

But if you haven't seen it, know that there will be spoilers (SPOOOOIIIIILLLLEEEERRRSSSS!!!!) ahead.


Honestly... What can I say about Sharknado that hasn't already been said? There is site after site on the Internet that lists all its flaws. The goofs section on its IMDb page is stuffed with notes.

A guy gets swallowed whole by a shark that fell out of the sky conveniently right on top of him. But it's okay- he was holding a chainsaw at the time, so he was able to cut his way out. But wait, there's more! While he was in the shark, he found his friend who had just recently fallen out of a helicopter and been swallowed up by the same shark! And she was still alive! What luck!

Yeah, it's just ridiculous, and I laughed at a lot of things. But there's really not a lot for me to say that hasn't already been said by just about everyone else, so I'll spare you the repetition and just hit a few points.

Do they get points for creativity?

Ahhh... Hmm. I think that you really have to draw the line somewhere between creativity and complete, utter, total implausibility.

For example, you'd have to have a really good explanation as to how a shark could survive being in a tornado for as long as those sharks did. Especially since sharks need to be under water, and you can't be under water in a tornado. So... they need a bit more creativity.

The writing was more than a bit flawed. My dad and I discussed how they must have had a checklist of tropes and crossed them off one by one (here's the TV Tropes page so you can decide for yourself: Some moments were very awkward, forced. But I'm not sure it's really worth talking about the writing when we have sharks falling out of the sky and seemingly targeting people as they fall to their death. And sharks that just happen to snap at helicopters while they're twisting around in a tornado.

The acting was fine, I guess, considering what the actors had to work with. Nothing really memorable. The drunk guy in the beginning wasn't bad. We kinda went back and forth on whether he would survive to the end. At first we thought he was going to die just because he seemed inept and stupid, but then we thought he was going to be the token funny guy. It kinda surprised us when he actually did die pretty quickly.

The one thing that bothered me the most... That's a hard decision, right there. This movie is full of awful, awful stuff. But the thing that I think bothered me the most was all the nonsense with the helicopter and the tornado.

You can't fly a helicopter in a tornado. You can't fly a helicopter right next to a tornado. It doesn't work that way. The air isn't still around a tornado. The helicopter would get sucked in or blown off course.

But the most ridiculous idea this movie came up with (and yes, I'm going to say this even more ludicrous than a tornado full of live, attacking sharks) is that you can stop a tornado by throwing a bomb into it.

I live in an area that experiences tornadoes quite frequently. I'm not an expert on tornadoes, but I know that you can't defuse them with a bomb. It just doesn't work that way. Frankly, it's a bit insulting that the movie is basically saying, "Hey, people, why are you letting all your homes get destroyed and all your neighbors get killed? Don't you know that you can just make a tornado disappear by throwing a bomb into it?"

And you know the worst part? Some yahoo is probably going to try it now.

Aside from the tornado idiocy, it really is kind of enjoyable to watch the movie just because of how bad it is. I would definitely recommend watching it, although I would never actually buy a copy of it. I can't wait for the RiffTrax guys to get their hands on it.

And there's going to be a sequel! What joy!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope the year has treated you well and that you're enjoying the holiday season with friends and family! I hope next year is even better!

Santa Claus brought me Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 for Christmas! I was playing around on it, and I thought I'd whip up a little Christmas card to thank everyone for reading my blog! I really appreciate your readership and support.

Did you know that this Christmas marks my one-year anniversary of owning this site? One year ago today, my dad gave me a framed screenshot of my blog to let me know that I was the new owner of I was so excited! I didn't post until New Year's Eve, though, because I couldn't decide what to write about!

I'll have to think of something special to do for the anniversary of my first post!

Until then, Merry Christmas! May your new year be full of comfort and joy!

Gingerbread Cookies

Making and decorating gingerbread cookies is a beloved Christmastime tradition in my family. I really love to go all out with the frosting and candy. This year, my supplies were a little limited, but I was able to come up with a few fun things...

The Dark Cookie Rises

For some odd reason, we had black frosting... So why not?

Look up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Supercookie!

I love his hair!!!

Team-up: World's Finest Cookies

(My dad poked Supercookie's hair. You probably couldn't tell, though.)

Maybe next year I'll make the entire Justice League!

Here are all the cookies that my sister Mikayla, my friend Angi, and I made. Some were more successful than others.  

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Random Fact #20

Random Fact #20: If the rice package says to let the rice simmer for 20 minutes or until all water is absorbed, that doesn't mean you can set a timer for 20 minutes and leave. "Until all water is absorbed" might happen sooner than 20 minutes can pass.

In other words, I should not be allowed to cook.

Look at all that burned rice stuck to the bottom of the pot. I am not looking forward to cleaning that up.

"But Rebecca, why would you leave something cooking on the stove unattended?"

Well, I mean, I was only in the next room... I had a clear line of sight to the pot and everything... *mumblemumble*

"But why wouldn't you check on your food every couple of minutes?"

Because... Because I am just not a good cook.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Dreamlocked Is Now Online

Ladies and gentlebloggers, I'm proud to announce that my graphic novel is now on this site for your perusal! To find it, simply go to the tab that says "Online Portfolio." There, you'll be able to read Dreamlocked, the graphic novel that Sawyer Traver and I spent months working on. Even if it looks like it took five minutes, I swear we spent months doing it. Making a graphic novel is exceedingly hard work, and I have a newfound respect for graphic novel and comic book artists.

I sneaked my online portfolio onto my site a few months ago, since I was applying for an internship that required one. I didn't make an announcement about it because I was still trying to work out a few kinks, but consider this my formal announcement!

My online portfolio is comprised of works I've written for my creative writing and English courses at the University of Alabama. These are the works of which I feel most proud, and the works I think are most fit for internet viewing.

If you were interested in Blue Justice, the poetry chapbook about the butt-kicking policewoman that I created last spring, I also uploaded that. I tried so very hard to include the cover in the file, but when I included the image in the PDF, the image always came out distorted and discolored when I uploaded it to Google Drive. I'll be working on that with my technicians, but in the meantime, I've provided a link to the blog post in which I uploaded the cover.

Enjoy! And if you run into any problems while browsing, let me know in a comment. I'm sure there are probably a few kinks that I haven't yet worked out...

Thursday, December 12, 2013

It's Done

It's done.

Dreamlocked is finally complete.



I finished the art last night, and my partner finished all the InDesign work today. We met at the library to print it all out, and of course something was messed up that we had to scramble to fix at the last minute, because nothing is ever easy, but we managed to fix it and get it turned in with time to spare.

And if I ever stop being mad at it, I'll put the pages in order and put a copy in my online portfolio so y'all can see the finished project.

But for real. In order to finish on time, I penciled and inked six pages in five days, on top of all the other final exams and essays I had going on. Considering an average page with pencil and ink took me 3-4 hours to complete... Yeah, it was not fun, and I did not sleep very much. And THIS, kids, is why you should NEVER leave projects to the last minute.

And with that, ladies and gents, I am a free woman. I am completely done with finals! Woohoo! Time for Christmas!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Non-Shenanigans Art Post

I'm taking a break from my paper and working on some penciling. I drew an expression on the main character that I'm extremely happy with, and since I'll probably destroy it when I ink it, I wanted to share it here for the world to see.

The character has an encountered a sphinx in a labyrinth and has struck a deal with it: an answer for an answer. If Darcy can solve the sphinx's riddle, the sphinx will tell her where to find the lost queen. If Darcy answers incorrectly, however, the sphinx will kill her.

In this panel, Darcy has just heard the riddle and is thinking something along the lines of "Oh #$@&, I have no idea!"

Good luck, Darcy.

The weird hands may or may not be fixed when I ink the panel. 

Lost Thumb Drive: Finals Shenanigans Part 4

Somebody left a thumb drive in the computer I'm working on right now, and I'm really tempted to see what's on it. I don't think I will, though. I wouldn't want somebody rooting around on my thumb drive if I happened to leave it plugged into a public computer (that is, if I used a thumb drive, which I don't). Leaving it alone just seems like the polite thing to do.

See?! I can behave well! I still belong on the nice list!

I feel really bad for the person to whom this thumb drive belongs, though. I hope they're not desperately looking for it right now, with five minutes until their paper is due...

"Slaying" Song: Finals Shenanigans Part 3

Have you ever considered that the word "sleighing" sounds a lot like the word "slaying"? They're practically the same word.

So there's that line in "Jingle Bells" that goes "What fun it is to ride and sing a sleighing song tonight!"

Sometimes I imagine a big, huge, warrior-type guy, maybe like Thor or Beowulf, skipping across a battlefield, whacking people at random, singing, "What fun it is to ride and sing a slaying song tonight!"

That's not Christmas-y at all. I'm definitely going to be on the naughty list this year.

You guys, I promise I have Christmas spirit! Lots of it!

$1 Coffee: Finals Shenanigans Part 2

I was sitting with two friends in the computer lab earlier, but they both just left. How rude!

Before they left, we discussed the free hot chocolate and coffee provided by the Honors College for people working in this lab. My friends told me I should prepare cups of coffee for everyone. I agreed, saying that I would deliver cups of coffee to everybody who walked in.

Then one of my friends told me I should sell the coffee and make a profit.

I think that would definitely get me kicked out of the Honors College, but it does sound funny.

A few more ideas like that, and I'll end up on Santa's naughty list. How terrible to go the entire year with good behavior and mess up at the last minute...

Sometimes when I'm writing papers, I get bored and lonely, and I start posting on Facebook every five minutes. I decided that I'm going to post all my random thoughts here instead. I'll keep it going throughout finals week and see what other shenanigans I get up to.

Finals week, man. Anything goes!

Fleece Navidad: Finals Shenanigans Part 1

I'm pretty sure someone's already made this joke. Sorry, not trying to be a copycat!

But I'm listening to Christmas music on YouTube while writing this paper and doing other finals things, and I came across a version of "Feliz Navidad" in which the singer literally sounded like he was singing "Fleece Navidad." So I had to do this.

Oh, I'm up to no good. I'm getting into all kinds of shenanigans in this computer lab. For example, I just discovered that my spinny chair has a lever thingy that makes the seat go up and down.

If they wanted me to be serious, they shouldn't have provided me with unlimited hot chocolate.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Dreamlocked Page 2: Before and After

Good news- I was able to fix up the first page of my graphic novel project. That means I didn't have to start over from scratch. Starting over from scratch is something I really don't have time for.

In fact, I almost don't have time to write this blog post, but I thought I might as well take a short, short, short break while switching gears. After this, I gotta study Shakespeare. That final's tomorrow morning- yikes!

Unfortunately, my first draft of the second page was unsalvageable. I had to start over again from the beginning. It was kind of nice that I didn't have to think about the layout- I put all the panels where they were originally, except for the new margins and gutter space, although I did change a few things. Sometimes the changes were necessary in order to fit the new panel sizes better, and sometimes I just tried to save myself some time by not drawing an extra person or an entire new body. Unfortunately, time is short, and I can't afford to make each panel a masterpiece.

But here are the two pages, the before and after.  You're really gonna have to squint to see the first one because it's only in pencil and I don't have time to darken it right now, but I think you can see the important stuff pretty easily. Enjoy!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Shakespeare Memes

I made five Shakespeare memes for a bit of extra credit in my Shakespeare class. Here they are, with just a bit of explanation! Slight spoilers ahead.

Success Kid Horatio (Hamlet)

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOI- well, if you know anything about Shakespeare and/or tragedy, then the fact that people die in Hamlet is probably not news to you. But the last scene of Hamlet is especially bloody. There are only a few characters (I mean characters important enough to have names) left alive onstage at the end because everyone else has died in various ways, and someone comes in to let everyone know that two other characters died offstage. So surviving Hamlet is pretty impressive. I was thinking mostly of Hamlet's friend Horatio when I made the meme.

Yo Dawg Shakespeare (The Taming of the Shrew)

The Taming of the Shrew is set up with a frame story- a noble finds a commoner passed out drunk and decides it would be great fun to take him back to his home and convince him that he's a noble when he wakes up. They bring in some actors to entertain the "noble," and the play that they perform for him is the main action of The Taming of the Shrew.

Challenge Accepted Petruccio (The Taming of the Shrew)

In The Taming of the Shrew, a bunch of men want to court a young lady named Bianca. However, Bianca's father refuses to let anyone court her until her older sister Katherine is married. The problem is that Katherine is a shrew- she's argumentative and hard to get along with, she doesn't behave like a proper young woman should, and no man is able to woo her. Desperate to court Bianca, Hortensio asks Petruccio to woo and marry Katherine, mentioning that there's a considerable amount of money involved. Petruccio's response? "Challenge accepted."

Bad Luck Antigonus (The Winter's Tale)

In The Winter's Tale, King Leontes completely flips out because he thinks his wife and his best friend, who is a king of another land, are having an affair and that his newborn daughter isn't really his. Therefore he forces Antigonus to take the baby out to the woods and abandon her there. Antigonus doesn't have much of a choice, so he follows orders. But no sooner does he put the baby down than he spies his own personal doom and we get one of the most famous stage directions in all of Shakespeare: "Exit, pursued by a bear."

Stare Dad Leontes (The Winter's Tale)

The aforementioned King Leontes just wants his buddy King Polixenes to stay with him for a bit longer, but Polixenes has been away from home for nine months and is determined to go. Leontes asks his wife Hermione to convince Polixenes to stay, and when she does, he agrees to stay a bit longer. Because Hermione did exactly what he told her to do (gasp!) and Polixenes finally broke down and agreed to stay (scandal!), Leontes jumps to the entirely logical conclusion that Polixenes and Hermione are having an affair.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Finals and Frisbee

I took the oral half of my French Pronunciation and Phonetics final today.

People always tell me that, since I studied in France for a month and I've been taking French classes for years, the oral exams should be a piece of cake for me. And I would be inclined to agree, except for that the exams don't just include talking.

There are way too many rules about how to pronounce things in the French language. I mean no offense-- I love French a lot, but I'm getting rather exasperated with all this nitpicking.

Like, the rules for liaison. In some instances, you're supposed to squish two or more words together so that there's no break between them and the sentence flows more smoothly. In other instances, you are absolutely forbidden to squish two words together and you must let a break exist between them. And in still other instances, the squishing together of words is completely optional.

That part bothers me the most. Why is it optional? If you're going have all these rules, why not just have a right and wrong way to say things? At least I can't get the optional ones wrong on the exam, right?

Wrong. We have to read most sentences twice, once with the maximum number of liaisons possible and once with the minimum.

There are plenty of detailed rules about when the liaison is obligatory, forbidden, and optional, and naturally, there are exceptions to the rules. The rules are hard enough to remember when I'm scrutinizing sentences with a pencil in my hand, marking all the different types of liaison. They're much harder to remember when I'm reading aloud.

I feel like my oral midterm was kind of disastrous (I don't know because I'm too afraid to look up my grade). My problem, aside from having not memorized all the liaison rules, was that I launched into each sentence without looking at it first. It's like sight reading a piece of music for an audition without taking your given time to look through it first- not a good idea.

This time I forced myself to slow down and think about each sentence before I read it aloud. There's really no room for error because I was speaking into a microphone and my professor will be able to listen to the recording as many times as he wants. I'm not sure if I did any better than I did in the midterm. I felt okay as I left the office, but you never know.

It was a fantastic day. The weather was between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit all day, which is definitely NOT supposed to happen in December. I wore shorts and a t-shirt. It was awesome. As I exited the foreign language building and let the beautiful outside air wash over me again, I felt a sense of complete freedom, and I suddenly knew exactly what I wanted to do next.

I wanted to play Frisbee on the quad.

If you've followed this blog for a while, that probably doesn't surprise you. If you're a newcomer, then suffice it to say that Frisbee is one of my favorite pastimes ever. We have a big, treeless area on our quad that's perfect for tossing the old Frisbee around, and I take advantage of that perfection pretty frequently. I have a light-up Frisbee so that I don't have to stop playing when night falls. I brought a Frisbee with me to Europe and played at least once in both France and Ireland. It all started in high school, where there was always a Frisbee flying around the band room. It just makes me happy.

You know how they say "It takes two to tango"? Well, it also takes two to play Frisbee, and the combination of my busy schedule and my friends' busy schedules has led to very little Frisbee this semester, which is a crying shame. I'm so glad I found someone to play with me today. It was such a good way to unwind from my final exam, and it was good exercise, too!

Maybe I'll have Frisbee therapy sessions on the quad next week so people can unwind after their finals.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Grammar Cartoon: Affect and Effect

One of my friends texted me today with some questions about what seemed to be a paper she was writing, and of course I dropped everything to discuss the difference between "affect" and "effect" with her and to describe the different ways those two words can be used.

"Affect" is a verb- if you "affect" something, you have an "effect" on it.

"Effect" is usually a noun. An "effect" is what happens when somebody "affects" something.

("effect" can also be a verb, like to start or to initiate, but this definition was irrelevant to our conversation and I hardly ever see it outside of the phrase "to effect change," so I'm not going into that here)

In the world of cause-and-effect, "affect" is the action someone takes- coincidentally, "affect" and "action" both start with the letter A. Another way to remember it is that somebody must "affect" something in order to have an "effect" on it, so in a way the word "affect" comes first, and A is the first letter of the alphabet.

Naturally, when I tried texting all this to my friend, she got majorly confused, because what the heck did I just say in all that? (and why am I so gleeful to be discussing grammar?) So I scribbled out a quick picture.

My friend is in the band with me, so she knows about our band director, who often requests that we "hustle" to our spots in between each run. He claims that, if we move quickly, we will positively affect the band. He always pronounces the word "affect" like "ay-fect," with a long A sound, emphasizing that the word he is saying starts with the letter A.

So I drew this cartoon:

It's sort of a before-and-after thing. Before the band was positively impacted, the clarinet player had to hustle. By hustling, she affected the band. After she hustled, she could see the positive effect that her hustling had on the band.

I actually think about grammar like this a lot.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Two New Pages - Inked!

Hey, y'all! Guess what- I'm alive! And to make up for my prolonged radio silence, I've got two new pages of my graphic novel project to show you.

The resolution looks really crummy, for some sad reason. Just pretend it's really pretty.

A lot of things went wrong with the inking on these two pages. Shaky hands, globby ink, pens that wouldn't work on downstrokes, tracing the wrong lines, smudged ink, failed attempts to draw people in profile, attempts to be artistic that just looked dumb...

Like I said, just pretend it's really pretty! It looked really, really awesome before I inked it, I promise. All things considered, the art doesn't look too bad.

The new character who appears in the bottom-right panel is the Scarlet Pimpernel, a character from Baroness Orczy's novel of the same name. I based his design off of Douglas Sills' portrayal of the character in the 1997 musical based on the book.

I just noticed that the backgrounds got much less detailed on the second page. Whoops!

My partner was having to crop the panels in order to make them fit on the page in InDesign, so I started using roughly the same margins she does. Margins are important. 

Yeah, in the middle of the uppermost page, I drew a rectangle and wrote "just put a black rectangle here." Because... come on. Much more easily done on a computer.

Hope you enjoyed! I made the awful realization today that this week is Dead Week and finals start next week. Actually, my finals start on Thursday because my French final is split over two days. I am still sort of freaking out about this realization. I'll try to keep posting (I mean, I'll definitely be working on this graphic novel project, so I ought to have something to show you every day), but if this post is followed by more radio silence, you'll know why.

Also, NaNoWriMo is over. I gave up on finishing my novel within the month, because November is just too busy a month for your average college student, but I do plan to finish it when I can. I really can't wait to get back to it. For now, I'll just celebrate breaking my record for number of words written! I'll get it next year!

And if not, I'll definitely get it the year after that, because then I'll be out of college and hopefully working at a grownup job and hopefully it won't have homework.

Oh, look! It appears I'm rambling again, as I often do on this blog. I had intended to end the post with the paragraph that started "Hope you enjoyed!" but then I just kept remembering things I wanted to tell you all. It's been a while since my last post, and I have things to share!

For example, I'm twenty-one now! Yaaaayyyy!

The reason I'm sitting here in the library writing this right now is that the fire alarm went off in my dorm about quarter past midnight and I decided that, if I was going to not be allowed to go to bed, I would try to get some work done. And I did. A little. I was going to get more work done, but then I decided I should write a blog post instead. It is this kind of reasoning that gets me behind on every single project I ever do.

Okay. Wrapping it up now. For real. Thanks for reading! Signing off.