Star Wars Trailer Reaction

Today I had the pleasure of hearing Pablo Hidalgo of Lucasfilm speak at my college. He is a former Creative Communications grad and now he’s a Creative Executive at Lucasfilm. He is also a part of the Lucasfilm Story Group that created the plot for the upcoming movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. On top of this, the new Star Wars trailer was uploaded to YouTube on Oct. 19—it already has 52 million views—and the Kinda Funny crew obviously had to do some analysis on it. I’m happy they did a Reacts video, and that they discussed it for topic one of the GameOverGreggy show this week. So with all this Star Wars talk going on, I decided I’d give my thoughts about the trailer and the upcoming movie.

I will preface this by saying that Star Wars has a place in my heart, but I am not a hardcore fan. I’d say I’m the “average” fan. I don’t know all the lore, and I never sought out any complementary materials to the movies. I do love the original trilogy, which I saw for the first time when I was very young—I remember my parents renting the VHS tapes for me around the age of four or five. I’ve seen the originals a few times since then, and I believe they hold up today. I was a teenager when the prequel trilogy came out, and I’ve seen them a couple times, but I’m not a huge fan. They are definitely not as good as the originals for multiple reasons, but paramount among them, I’ll say the stories are weak, as are the characters.

Now with all that said, I’m pretty excited for this new movie! I’m so ready to dive back into the Star Wars universe, meet these new characters, and see the main characters from the original trilogy again. I’ve watched the new trailer about eight times, and every time I hear the Han/Leia love ballad I get chills. I love the shots of Darth Vader’s melted helmet, the falling tie fighter, and every scene with Kylo Ren. Luke Skywalker’s absence from the trailer and movie poster has me very curious (as is everyone else)—I’m almost buying into the possibility he is actually Kylo Ren. I’m very curious about John Boyega’s character and whether or not he is a jedi (I’m hearing multiple opinions that he is not). To me it feels like Daisy Ridley’s character—who appears to be Han and Leia’s daughter—is going to be the star of the show, and I wonder if she’ll actually be our main jedi.

My expectations for Star Wars have never been higher. I think that everyone who worked on this movie handled it with care and consideration of what the fans want, and I think it’s going to be an exciting first entry to a great trilogy.

Let me know what your thoughts are about the trailer, and how excited, or uninterested you are about the new Star Wars movie, in the comments below!

Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens opens December 18, 2015


Hardest Times of Our Lives

Tim Gettys brought the serious feels with his topic this week. He asked, what have been the hardest hurdles we’ve had to overcome, or the toughest times in our lives?

I started thinking along the same lines as Tim, thinking about people in my life that have passed away. Death is one of the hardest things to deal with, and it’s something everyone experiences, so I understand why it’s a typical starting point for most people.

Tim, Nick, and guest Adam Sessler brought up how it feels when those we care about are going through a tough situation, and that really resonated with me.

I’ve lost both my grandmothers at different points in my life. When I was 14 my mom’s mother passed away, and then at 21 it was my dad’s mother. More than how badly I felt at those times, I felt worse for my parents. Seeing the two people I love the most go through such terrible pain is a horrible feeling.

Aside from death, a hard time in my life involved the job I held in my early 20s. I was working at a Domino’s Pizza and attending university. I was paying my university tuition and other bills with the income I made at this job, so it was crucial to work as much as possible.

At one point, money was “going missing” and my boss suspected me of stealing it. As part of the management team, the money in the store was our responsibility, and since we were the handlers of the money, we were easy suspects. My boss wasn’t going to fire me without proof that I was stealing. What she did instead was remove me from my management position and ask that I temporarily switch to delivery driver. I wasn’t stealing, so I was fine with this switch. My thinking was that eventually she’d realize I was not the thief, and would switch me back. Still, this period of time was very stressful and I genuinely worried about losing my job.

A few days into my life as a delivery driver, I had the very bad luck of being in a car accident and totalling my car.

In one fell swoop my life changed, and I felt the weight of all the stresses of school, work and money, all at once. I was worried I would now lose my job, I worried about paying my bills, I was angry that I was being falsely-accused, I was sad that I’d lost a bit of my independence (in losing my car), and amidst all this I was prepping for mid-terms.

In the end, my boss moved me back to my old position, and for a short time she regulated my hours and had someone “somewhat” supervise me. They then determined I was not the thief and things went back to normal. Though I’m glad the situation got resolved, those few weeks we’re incredibly stressful, and definitely one of the hardest times in my life.

When thinking about this topic, my mind also went to hard times that will happen in my future.

I’ve been thinking about my parents a lot lately. My folks are in their 60s and have their share of medical issues—as does anyone “getting up there” in age. I’ve thought about what it’s going to be like when they pass away, not having them in my life anymore, and how hard that is going to be.

People always tell you to spend as much time as possible with your parents, because you will regret it when they are gone. I find that I consciously think about that statement often—which is a good thing—but at the same time I always feel like “life gets in the way”. And I know that sounds like a terrible excuse, but I also know that everyone can relate to that. In the video, Nick brought up the feeling of distance between him and his parents due to their respective lives, and that’s a hard feeling. But it happens.

Bottom line, no matter how much time you spend with your parents, you’re going to miss them when they are gone, and you’re going to regret not spending more time. The message I would leave you with is to never take your parents time for granted. Remember that you have a limited time together. So enjoy the moments you have, and visit/call your parents as much as you can.

Hopefully that hard time coming is in my very distant future, but it is something I think about now that I’m getting older, and especially because my folks are getting older.

Leave me a comment and share a memory of a hard time in your life, or a trial you had to overcome. And most importantly, CALL YOUR PARENTS!

Music Recommendations

Loved topic three this week of the GameOverGreggy Show. The guys talked about their different knowledges and tastes of music. They’ve talked before about bands and artists they love, but it was great to hear some album recommendations and their reasons for why they do (or don’t) listen to music often.

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who says they don’t like music. I wonder if such a person exists? I do know people who don’t listen to music regularly and I’ve always found that surprising. Music is so important to me, and much like Colin, I believe it’s because music played a big role in my childhood.

When I was a kid, I would sit at one of my dad’s record players for hours, playing 45 after 45 (a 45 is a smaller vinyl record with one track on each side). My dad is a music lover himself and he has built a pretty substantial record collection. I remember he was always interested in what records I would pick out, and which ones I was most drawn to. To his credit, he never forced his favourites on me. He simply shared his love of music.

I also remember taking music with me everywhere. When I went out with my family, I would listen to a Walkman in the car. I used to tape my favourite records to bring with me, and the act of making a mix-tape was a regular occurrence. Eventually, Walkman’s turned into Disc-man’s, and I remember having friends burn me CD’s all the time. Then the MP3 player was born. I got my first MP3 player when I was 14. It only held 30 songs, but that was a huge step-up from listening to the same CD over and over, or carrying a CD binder with me, and I loved it. I chose those 30 songs with care, and the ability to update those songs with the click of a button was amazing.These days, I have an iPod that carries nearly 3000 songs, and as always, it travels with me everywhere.

It’s funny, I don’t remember when my dad first showed me how to place the needle on a record, and I think that speaks to just how young I was, listening to those tunes. YouTube and iPods have made it so easy to listen to music that I don’t play those records as often anymore, but those memories are among my fondest. Hours spent playing and switching over records has changed to hitting the skip button in iTunes, while I’m surfing the Internet. Still, whenever I want a dose of nostalgia, I turn on the old record player, listen to the crackle of the speakers as the needle touches down, and sing along to songs I’ve known my whole life.

I could go on forever sharing memories of music. Even now while I write this, I’m listening to music, and each song stirs up an emotion or memory of a time in my life. I’m ending this topic the same way the guys did in the video above: with a few recommendations.

*Artists you should check out: Broken Bells, Frank Ocean, Iron & Wine, J. Cole, Joshua Radin, Matthew Good Band, Our Lady Peace, Phoenix, Pixies, The Postal Service, The Shins, Stars, The Tragically Hip.

I’d also love it if you’d share a music memory or two with me in the comments. While you’re at it, give me some recommendations! I’m always looking for new tunes.

Should You Travel?

The GameOverGreggy Show featured a guest this week, and I think his topic deserves some more attention: Should You Travel?
One day, Jacob Spellman decided to buy a one-way ticket to southeast Asia—not knowing when he would return—and his adventure ended up lasting a year and a half. He wanted to share his experiences with the Kinda Funny Community, encourage people to travel, and find out what the Kinda Funny crew thought about travelling.

For the most part, the guys seemed content to stay in the United States and use their time off to relax at home, rather than travel abroad. To be fair, they all travel quite a bit around the U.S. due to their jobs, so I can see why they would feel that way.

I had the privilege of travelling to Europe and the United States last year, so I’m here to stand with Jacob and say, resoundingly, yes, you should travel! Especially while you are young and don’t have as many responsibilities.

When I graduated from university, I knew I wanted to take some time off to pay some student debt, and save some money. My twin sister graduated at the same time, and she had found an opportunity that allowed her to live in France for the year. I, along with her boyfriend and our friend, decided that this would be a great opportunity for us to do some travelling, and visit her along the way. This was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!

I had never travelled outside of Canada before, and my travelling within Canada consisted of family vacations. My trip to Europe was so eye-opening and wonderful, it’s hard to describe in words just how important it was. We got to see famous landmarks, meet interesting people, eat delicious foods, and do some exploring as well! It was tons of fun, and I’m happy I got to share it with some important people in my life.

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My trip to the U.S. was a one city stop to a place that is very important to me: New Orleans, Louisiana. I decided to embark on this adventure solo, and I couldn’t have been happier with my experience. Going on a trip by yourself can seem scary at first, and some might think it sounds lonely. Well, it is a bit scary, but travelling by yourself forces you to step outside of your comfort zone, and I think everyone should try it at least once in their lives. On my trip, I met other interesting travellers, so I wasn’t often alone, but when I was alone, it allowed me to do and see the things that I wanted to. The majority of people I met were also travelling alone, and that sort of bonds the experience together with yours. There is a certain camaraderie that forms.

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These two experiences are so important to me and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. So to anyone who is thinking of travelling but is a little scared to do so, don’t be! Jump in with both feet and enjoy the ride! I recommend staying in hostels, whether you’re travelling in a group or by yourself, as that is the best way to meet other travellers. Also, go into it with a care-free attitude, an open mind, and do things that take you out of your comfort zone.

Let me know in the comments what you love about travelling, or what scares you about it, and tell me about places you aspire to go to one day!

The Coolest Words You Don’t Know

Best topic this week was topic 3: The Coolest Words You Don’t Know. Tim asked guest “Grimecraft” how to be cool, and for him to teach them more slang words. Grimecraft went on to talk about the meaning of “sus” and “lit”, which reminded me of my own experiences with slang and how out of touch I already feel with “the kids” and I’m only 24!

Let me start by saying, I hate “on fleek”. Hate it. Don’t know if I’ve spelt it right. Don’t care. Hate, Hate, Hate it. I’ve always liked “on point” and by my understanding they mean the same thing, so why would you make it sound much sillier. “On point” was fine.

While listening to this topic it reminded of two things: asking a teenager what “turnt” meant, and the type of slang my friends and I use.

First off, the story of “turnt”. I started hearing people say “turnt up” and “get turnt” and I’ll admit, I had no idea why “turnt” had become a thing. I sort of understood that it meant party hard or something like that, but why “turnt”? Well, I chose to ask an 18-year-old coworker of mine to fill me in. Nothing has ever made me feel older than this whole experience. I thought I was fairly “with it” for what’s going on in pop-culture, but having this conversation made me realize I’m a bit out of touch. I think I’ll stick with “get lit” or “lit up” in reference to partying.

My favourite slang is probably using the word “sick” to describe something awesome or cool. I definitely overuse “that’s sick”, and I should probably stop. I also replace the word awesome with “dope”, which to the right people doesn’t sound that stupid. I used to say “hella” when I was a teenager, which basically meant “really”. I’ve since been informed that “hella” is a San Francisco thing and that many people still use it there. Last couple I’ve heard recently are “salty”, to describe someone who is bitter or aggravated about something, and “thirsty”, to describe someone being desperate.

Oh and I almost forgot, is “bae” still a thing? How about “swag”? Let me know in the comments if they are, and while you’re at it, tell me what slang you’ve heard lately, or slang that you still use today. You’re all hella dope peeps who are always on fleek and I hope you’re always turnt!