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I Have A New Movie Idea

It’s about a classically trained chef.  His parents are the heads of this major restaurant empire, with dozens of restaurants, cooking shows, cook books, and pre-prepared meals.  He’s expecting to take over the business when they retire, but his parents aren’t sure.  They know he’s a talented and passionate chef, but they’re not sure he can handle everything that goes into running a major corporation.  So, they propose a test.

They decide to give him one of their recently acquired restaurants.  It’s a small place, with a lot of potential, but that hadn’t been doing very well.  If he can turn that restaurant into a successful business, then they will name him as their replacement when they retire.  He’s frustrated, but he accepts.  He has no choice.

When he goes to the restaurant, he finds a place that’s been run down by a bunch of people who just don’t care.  They’re not exactly surly, just apathetic, which, as someone who cares deeply about making eating a truly wonderful experience, incenses him.  He watches them for a couple of days and realizes that they are all under the impression that, unless you’re the head chef, your job isn’t very important.  He has to make them understand that every job in the restaurant is important, whether you’re the waitstaff presenting the food or the wine steward making suggestions to customers.  The smallest thing can be extremely important, even just properly stirring the sauces.

So, he gathers them together, and gives a stirring speech.

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Hogwarts Houses

I find it really interesting the way that people say which Hogwarts House they’re in with such certainty. Like, the same way they say their zodiac sign or their Myers-Briggs type. It’s not even “If I lived the Harry Potter books I would be…” It’s just “Well, since I’m a Gryffindor…”.
And, by interesting, I mean actually pretty weird.
 
Of course, I would think that, being a Neutral Good, ENFP, Team Instinct, Slytherin, Gemini who was born in the year of the Metal Rooster.

A Dragon’s Hoard

There are three primary misconceptions about dragons.  The first has to do with a dragon’s hoard.  Despite what has always been believed, a dragon’s hoard didn’t have to be gold.  Oh, it could be, certainly.  On more than one occasion it was.  However, for the most part, this was a rumour, spread by the hunters to gain the help of the greedy.

You see, for a dragon, the hoard had nothing to do with value (as we humans perceive it), but about the collection itself.  I knew of one dragon whose hoard was rocks.  Not even particularly large or colorful rocks.  Simply, rocks, such as you could find anywhere.  Another dragon made a hoard out of waste and refuse, accidentally creating the world’s first garbage dump.  Though the surrounding cities and villages were the cleanest by far, none wanted to live downwind from her lair.  A third dragon had actually made an attempt to hoard water, and was in the midst of diverting a river to his home, before a clever villager showed him the beach (where the dragon happily lived out the remainder of his days).

Another misconception about dragons is that they are violent.  Not so.  Dragons attack under one of two circumstances.  When they (or their family) are threatened or when their hoard is threatened.  I have never seen a dragon go out of its way to willfully harm any living creature, unless that creature attacked it first.  In fact, one enterprising city actually formed a lengthy partnership with a dragon.  In exchange for adding to the dragon’s great hoard (in this case, books), the dragon would protect the city from invaders.  This was a price the dragon paid happily since, from the moment the citizens started adding to her hoard, she perceived them as family.  This story, unfortunately, has a very sorry end (I won’t go into details, as I’m sure you’re already familiar with the tragedy of the Library of Alexandria).

The final misconception about dragons is that they no longer exist.  This, I can assure you, is a complete and utter falsehood.  Oh, there’s far fewer of them, certainly.  They’re also much smaller than they were in days past (imagine, the size of a canine, rather than an elephant).  Their hoards have changed too, and they’re much sneakier about collecting them.  I’m personally acquainted with two dragons, one of whom collects socks, another of whom collects keys (this latter dragon I met when he attempted to make off with my keys!  I was able to retrieve them, most fortunately, by purchasing him a key cutting machine.  Now he only borrows keys, and adds the duplicates to his hoard).

I was a child when I met my first dragon (the first of several, as it would turn out).  He was young, just as I was, and very curious (just as I was).  His collection, I would come to find, was trees, and his hoard was the very forest that attached to my backyard.  I’ve tried, many times, to write this story, but each time I came across one major failing.  I was attempting to write my story, when I should have been writing his.  So, in honor of the Dragon of Alexandria, I commit pen to paper and our story begins.

Nighthawks

Something you’ll learn about me is that, more often than not, I have no idea why I like something.  Generally, I’m pretty good at self-analysis.  I’m good at figuring out why I’m sad or angry.  I’m good at figuring out my motivations and, usually, calling myself on my bullshit.  But I’ve never been good at determining why particular works of art or pieces of music touch me more than others.

Nighthawks may well be my second favorite painting of all time.  Perhaps it’s the atmosphere it conveys; perhaps it’s because it feels like there’s a story just waiting to be told.  Maybe it’s just because this is my favorite type of restaurant (IE: local, small, utterly unfancy).

I’m sure a trained critic could go on about the choice of colors or the angle of our view or the somewhat ambiguous nature of these characters.  All I know is that I feel a connection to this piece.  That’s enough for me.

As A 2-Year-Old Understands Gender

I was just thinking about this conversation I had with my son a couple years ago.  He was two, and, as such, referred to all women as “Mamas”, all men as “Daddys”, and all children as “Babies” (regardless of age).  So, we were working on the words “Boy”, “Girl”, “Man”, and “Woman”.

My wife:  Okay, what’s mama?
My son:  Mama girl!
My wife:  That’s right!  What’s daddy?
My son:  Daddy big guy!
My wife:  *laughing* Okay!  And, what are you?
My son:  I’m Iron Man!
Me:  He seems to have a pretty good grasp on genders.
My wife:  Yeah, I’d say so.