The 6 Year Fluke

Yesterday was June 6th, 2012, the day my brother graduated the 8th grade. Why is this a big deal other than the fact he’s moving on to high school in the Fall, and in all essence another stepping stone in this complicated and exciting thing we call Life? I graduated the 8th grade on June 6th, 2006, exactly six years ago.

I don’t want to say it’s creepy, but it kind of is. Creepy and interesting at the same time. He graduated at the age of fourteen, as did I. The only things that were different were the size of the space in which the event was held and the time. His was in the evening and mine in the morning.

Throughout the entire ceremony, I couldn’t help but think that I was back in the auditorium of my middle school, listening to everything the teachers and staff had to say to the graduating class. How we have all four years of high school ahead of us, how we can do anything we set our mind to…The one thing I don’t really think they elaborated on was how the real world will be. Granted, we were fourteen year olds, who already knew the dynamics of what it was like outside the school walls, but not to the extent that we would be faced with in high school and thereafter.

I often wonder if I’ve made the right decisions since that fateful day on June 6, 2006. Not that I’ve made the right decisions really, because only I can decide what decisions are right and wrong, but whether or not I’ve accomplished enough. The individuals I went to school with in junior high and high school have achieved more than I, but they’re not me and I’m not them. I’m my own person and I’ll do what I like on my own terms. No one else’s.

Yesterday was my brother’s 8th grade graduation, and I think he’ll be just fine come high school in the Fall. I have every ounce of confidence in him.

It’s amazing how time flies.

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The Nerve/The Legend

Something just came to my attention. Well, a while ago actually…I’m not sure if it matters or if it’s that big of a deal, but I think it proves a fact. People will gravitate to someone after something very tragic happens. It’s almost like no one pays that much attention to that person, and then when something unexpected happens, they flock to the scene. It seems like that’s sort of what happened with late actor Heath Ledger. My friend brought it up, and it had me thinking a bit.

You’re probably asking how I came to this realization…I saw the movie Lords of Dogtown for the first time, and my friend brought it up before the movie started.

As bad as it might sound, it is true. After people learned that Heath Ledger had passed, it seemed like all of a sudden people were huge fans of him. It seemed like everyone immediately recognized him as the Joker in The Dark Knight, completely forgetting about the movies he’d played in before, probably because they didn’t know the movies he’d played in prior to The Dark Knight. Focus only on a movie everyone knows, instead of the ones that got him the start to be able to play in his most well-known picture. That’s original.

With all honesty involved here, I first fell in love with Heath Ledger as an actor when I saw 10 Things I Hate About You. I didn’t know that it was a modern adaptation of The Taming Of The Shrew until I’d seen it a couple times and found out from my sister, but that didn’t really make a difference. He played the character of Patrick Verona perfectly, and I don’t think the movie would’ve been the same without him as the rebel who ends up having a little of a soft side.

The next movie I’d seen Ledger in was The Patriot, as a part of a school project in the 8th grade. I’m pretty sure I’d missed the beginning of the movie because I wasn’t in school when it started, but I’d seen the rest of it. His role as Gabriel Martin, a patriot’s son, is a far-cry from that of Verona in 10 Things but that’s the entire idea of acting. I distinctly remember that some of the girls sitting in front of me thought that he wasn’t bad-looking, which honestly, he wasn’t. They thought this for most of the movie until…They found out that he was one of the main characters in the controversial, award-winning film Brokeback Mountain. I can’t say that I wasn’t shocked upon learning that Heath Ledger was to play opposite of Jake Gyllenhaal in the particular role he was in, but I didn’t lose any respect for him. Yeah, I was pretty surprised and what have you, but whether you’re in a provocative role or not, something new to you or not, it doesn’t change you as a person. You’re still the same person once you leave the set of whatever movie you’re shooting or whatever it is you’re doing. Some people, I think, don’t understand that.

Another Ledger film, that I still haven’t seen all of, is Candy, filmed in his native of Australia. From what I saw of it, the movie isn’t hard to follow, but is very raw and real. The story of Candy revolves around the complicated and deadly love between artist Candy and poet Dan. Their love that was once strong and stable, gives way to Dan’s heroin addiction and swirls into something they never saw coming. Like any movie that focuses on more of the real world than some are willing to accept, it really makes you think about how some people live their lives and what happens when some kind of dependency ruins a part of them or in the process, destroys someone else. The other film I still haven’t managed to watch all of is A Knight’s Tale. I swear, it’s been on a million times and I’ve never seen the whole thing. A Knight’s Tale, inspired by The Canterbury Tales, came out after 10 Things and seems to be one of the movies other than The Dark Knight that people seem to recognize him in. Don’t get me wrong, The Dark Knight displays one of Ledger’s best performances via the Oscar that he won, but there was more that led up to that point. While Candy shows real life in a present-day, on the receiving end of an addict in love with the two very different things in his life, A Knight’s Tale shows real life in a completely different time, on the receiving end of a squire who fills his dead master’s shoes, literally, with his jousting talents.

The last movie I saw Heath Ledger in was, as with almost everyone in the entire world, The Dark Knight. Before I’d seen the movie, I heard a lot about how the classic villain wasn’t the same criminal that was portrayed by Jack Nicholson or that of Cesar Romero before him. Every actor has their own way of portraying characters and Ledger’s rendering was no exception. While Nicholson and Romero’s interpretations of The Joker seemed clean and well-kept (for a criminal) as far as make-up and clothing go, Ledger’s version was more gritty and rough, via the smudged make-up and cleverly stylish mismatched clothes. Out of all three actors’ perspectives on the classic character and his deranged nature, it seems like Ledger’s interpretation was unexpected. The very core of his character bleeds with the corruption and insanity of a society driven under, something that previous outlooks didn’t display in such the manner that you get chills down your spine.

Most people are quick to believe that The Dark Knight is the Australian actor’s last movie before his untimely passing…and they’re right for the most part. The fantasy film, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, would have been Ledger’s final finished movie, but everything doesn’t always work out how it should…Oddly enough, the movie still manages to work out. The main character, Tony, is able to go travel through this imaginarium (via the title) and as he travels, his image changes. Upon Ledger’s untimely departure, the role of Tony was taken by Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell, working out perfectly since Tony’s character looks different every time he goes through the imaginarium. Even though the film didn’t finish with Ledger fully present, I would still like to see it for myself and see how good it is.

The whole time I watched Lords of Dogtown, I wasn’t thinking about the comment my friend made beforehand, but how I would’ve like to live in California in the 1970’s. I could honestly picture summer, the sun all around, watching people skateboard in empty swimming pools, so care-free without a worry in sight. Aside from the fact I was thinking about summer in California, I felt pretty educated because I honestly never knew where the sport/culture of skateboarding started. I had really never thought about it, and after the movie ended, I still felt proud that I knew how it all started. It’s pretty amazing how something so simple as a way to kill time could be the next big sport. I was also amazed to know that the movie was written by Stacy Peralta…The Stacy Peralta. One of the three individuals that started the skateboarding movement and went on to become a legend. That definitely made me smile. Just learning and knowing how the legends actually became legends, it was 100% worth it.

Seeing Dogtown was (as I just said) definitely worth it. Not only did it feature the beloved and missed Heath Ledger, but it also showcased the origin of how skateboarding started and how the legends came to be. That’s the beauty about movies sometimes, you learn little (or big) facts that you never knew before. May Mr. Ledger rest in peace and the heart & soul of skateboarding live on.

Life is a joyride of non-stop ups and downs. Live every day and regret nothing.

The most fun I’ve had in a long time…

My best friend, Chelsea, and I decided to hang out. It used to be almost like a tradition every since the 8th grade to hang out every weekend and in the summer. Just one day devoted entirely to the two of us hanging out. Sadly, this summer and this past school year, we’ve been pretty much failing horribly on that tradition, and yesterday was a rarity. A good one at that.

We walked from my house to our usual hang out spot, Ridge Park Square. We didn’t have much to talk about because we had been talking almost all weekend and the majority of the week. It was drizzling and very humid! I literally broke a sweat walking, and I usually never do, but I did. The heat from outside pretty much evaporated when we walked in Starbucks, and the large (or as frequent Starbucks patrons would say “Venti”) Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino was, no lie, the best I’ve had to date. While we sat there, observing a couple new paintings on the wall, we talked about how our summer was going. She showed me her class ring she’d gotten for her birthday, then proceeded to tell me about the craziest dream pertaining to the ring. Pretty crazy. XD

After Starbucks, we walked around the Square, still talking about the most random of things. We went into a couple stores and I was absolutely freezing in every one of them. Granted, the A/C was on in all of them, but still. I had the most insane goosebumps. We walked into Bath and Body Works and as usual, I was overwhelmed with smells. Citrus. Vanilla. Peppermint. You name it, it was there. Only a few steps in, and I stumbled upon a new collection called American Grown. There were different body washes/hand soaps with real extracts from different fruits in the U.S. All of them smelled amazing, and just like the real thing, with the exception of the scent entitled ‘Montana Sky’. That smelled like Dawn dishsoap. I ended up purchasing ‘Siesta Key Lemon’.

Walking out of the store, it wasn’t as humid as it was before, but it was still pretty warm. It wasn’t drizzling anymore, which was good. Usually, Chelsea and I have a routine. We hit certain stores, one after the other. Today we wanted to change it up a bit. The two of us got Amp energy drinks, and made fun of the ridiculous pictures in magazines on the shelves. While standing outside the store, we talked about how lame some people’s Myspace pictures look. I don’t have a Myspace because I think it’s extremely overrated (Yes, I said it! Strike me down where I stand XD), but she does, and I some times go on to check hers out because it’s public. She noticed that some people totally knock off other people’s pictures, and I think that’s really stupid. She told me that someone pretty much copied the pose and set up of this one picture of this girl we know from school. Coincidentally, the girl whose picture was  being copied, was at the same store we were at. I smiled at that, and texted her when I got home.

Feeling unusually adventurous, we decided to walk to Best Buy, then across the parking lot to Taco Bell. While in Best Buy, we looked at different cell phones, and she showed me the type of laptop she got as a birthday present. Then, we went through all the alphabetized CD section, despite the fact no one really buys CDs anymore. The last time I got CDs was 2 years ago for Christmas. Growing totally bored of standing around, looking at CDs (possibly loitering…lol), we left the store and proceeded to walk across the parking lot to Taco Bell. On our way to awesome food at cheap prices, she told me that there was the rumored possibility that Avenged Sevenfold might be playing with Metallica when they come to our city in October.  Her and I both saw Avenged in February, and it would be the coolest thing to see them again. Finally, we made it to Taco Bell, even though it wasn’t even that far. It just made me smile ’cause I haven’t been walking that far for awhile.  She ordered a chicken burrito and I ordered a supreme chalupa. Don’t ask me why exactly it’s called a chalupa. XD It’s still really good.

Not feeling like eating it inside, we walked past Best Buy and walked back to the square and ate at the tables outside of the Cold Stone Creamery. A couple minutes after we sat down, some guy with a Taco Bell bag sat at the table across from us. He then, got up, threw his bag away, and went inside Cold Stone Creamery. We both laughed because that was our plan. Taco Bell then Cold Stone Creamery. She told me that when he got up, he looked at me and smiled. My face turned red and I wanted to hit her with my Jack and Sally tote. I still smiled.  We then left the table and went inside Cold Stone. Chelsea got Lemon Italian Sorbet with Country Time Pink Lemonade and sprinkles, and I got a signature ice cream, a Strawberry Blonde. Strawberries, whipped cream, crushed pie crust, and caramel sauce never tasted so incredibly awesome! XD We then walked back to Starbucks and sat down outside, eating our awesome ice cream, waiting to be picked up by my mom.

It was the most fun that I’ve had in a long time. I had a blast hanging out with her. She’s one of my best friends and it’s always fun to hang out with friends. I hope we can do something like this before school starts.

Friends are some times the most sanest people you know.