Monthly Archives: August 2011

Gemstone: Tiger’s Eye

Another gemstone that fascinated me when I was a child was the tiger’s eye. I believe my first tiger’s eye was on a small sample card of gemstones that was given to me by my grandfather when he’d returned from visiting Nevada. It was the one stone that I watched changed in the light like a hologram when moving the card around. The chatoyancy of the tiger’s eye is a result of microcrystal fibers within quartz.

Today, the tiger’s eye is still one of my favorite stones. Besides being beautiful, it is said to be a grounding stone to help with stability and helps to balance physical and emotional energies, as well as helping to improve insight and self-confidence. Sometimes tiger’s eye is worn for good luck and protection.

Tiger’s Eye – Gemstone Photography by Shannon Hudnell

Goldstone: Copper and Blue/Purple – Healing, Protection, Psychic Qualities

Goldstone fascinated me as a child. I was about five years old when someone had given me a child-size thick gold-tone bracelet that clipped over my wrist. In the center was a beautiful goldstone. The bracelet made me feel special, like an Egyptian goddess. I treasured that bracelet for years, but sold it on eBay a few years ago when I realized I couldn’t possibly wear it anymore.

Copper Goldstone

It wasn’t until recently I learned that goldstone isn’t a gemstone at all, even though many people claim it to be. Often referred to as aventurine glass, goldstone was invented in the seventeenth century by the Miotti family of Venice. There are also claims that monks accidentally discovered the process, but there is no documented evidence of that.

The stone is made from glass with reflective sparkly particles, such as copper, cobalt (blue), and manganese (purple). Each element produces different colors. Being that goldstone is manmade, does it give it any less qualities of healing or metaphysical value?

There are claims that copper goldstone has healing and energy properties, blue goldstone helps communication, and purple helps to open psychic awareness. They are used in meditation, healing, and charms.

Copper is known for its healing and protection properties. Since copper is a conductor, it can be used in energy charms. Cobalt is also said to have healing properties, and its blue color is said to help in removing creative blocks and aid in psychic abilities. Manganese  is claimed to have healing properties as well, and is said to have shielding properties in protection charms.

Blue/Purple Goldstone

Dr. Bean – an overgrown flop character, lack of structure

Dr. Bean is probably the worst thing I’ve ever had to read in my life. The fact that the movie’s box states: “The Ultimate Disaster Movie” isn’t a joke. I haven’t seen the movie, but reading less than 20 pages of the script made me want to blow my brains out. (Why would any university would have its students waste one moment reading one page of such crap?)

Character:
Although the script intends for him to be funny, Bean’s character is flat and lacks any depth. Why does this character act like such a moron? He’s a grown man acting like a child. The question is never answered, as the script also lacks a circle of being. I felt like I was reading about Pee Wee Herman.

Bean has been pawned off by his coworkers to go to America, apparently because no one wants him around. An overly passive character, Bean accepts and goes to another museum and insists on everyone calling him “Dr. Bean”, which also makes no sense, because he’s not a doctor. It isn’t until the very end Bean is in a hospital scene, but that is purely to fill in the script’s lack of everything else.

Structure:

There is lack of dialogue throughout the script, which leaves very little whiteness on the pages. The first several pages of the script are choppy. The scenes could have been a little longer so it made more sense instead of going back and forth every ten seconds between Bean’s idiocy and the people planning to can him.

At the beginning of the script when Bean hides from the security guards, what was the point of that? It didn’t help the story move forward, there was no dramatic playoff, and there is no mystery at all. It only added more stupidity.

The museum scene with Bean covering the nipples of the women in paintings in front of the schoolgirls was not only unrealistic, but preposterous. He works at a museum yet tries to hide the fact there are nude paintings? Just plain dumb.  He thinks the girls might be offended, or is he offended? Is this the writer’s way of letting us know that Bean is an overgrown creep?

I stopped reading after about page 20. I couldn’t take another minute of my time on this disaster.

The Sweet Hereafter – Bitterness and Greed

The Sweet Hereafter is a terribly poignant movie. There are several underlying themes of the script, including transformation, guilt, regret, blame, revenge, and deceit. But mostly, the entire script is an awful cycle of deceit and blame.

The inciting incident occurs when Mitchell is in the car wash when his phone rings, and his drug-addicted daughter Zoe is on the other end. Incidentally, the blues song that plays at the end of this scene transfers over to the next father-daughter relationship between Nicole and Sam. The following scene takes in an airport bathroom with yet another father diapering his baby girl while Mitchell observes. I believe the writer purposely chose to connect these three things to demonstrate the dynamics of father-daughter relationships, and it also shows us three different lapses of time.

Billy and Mitchell speak at the gas station, and Billy refuses to join in the lawsuit. This gets in the way of Mitchell’s case. He needs Billy to testify, because he is the one that followed the bus that morning, and he is a critical witness. Mitchell gets desperate and even goes as far as blaming television and shopping malls for paralyzing children. (Billy is the only one in the script that points out that the whole town is blaming each other for an accident.)

Each character seems to blame someone else for something. Risa told Mitchell of a drunk man named Kyle feeling trapped by his life and blaming his wife. Later, Mitchell convinces Wanda and Otto that there is no such thing as an accident, that someone is to blame. Wanda, even after dismissing the thought of a lawsuit, begins to look for someone to blame, to go to jail, and then agrees that a lawsuit is the right choice.

Mitchell blames himself for his daughter’s condition. His constant thoughts about the past and his conversation with Alison on the plane shows that he feels regret, and his constant talk about how all of their children are dead reveals that to the audience that his daughter died a long time ago. He had the opportunity once to allow Zoe to die when she was a baby, but he was determined to save her from the spider bite, and he keeps daydreaming about that incident. Is he feeling guilty that he didn’t allow her to die then instead of watching her slowly kill herself with drugs now? Or is he feeling guilty that he no longer has control over helping “keeping her calm and relaxed so that he doesn’t let her little heart beat too fast and spread the poison around”? Zoe blames her father for having to sell her own blood to make money, because he refuses to send her anymore.

Early on in the script, Nicole observed that children made Delores happy. During her deposition, she lied and accused Delores of speeding and causing the crash. On one hand, it seemed as if Nicole viewed Delores as the Pied Piper, taking the children away to a faraway place, some place “strange and new” over the mountain. Nicole was the lame one left behind in a wheel chair, and all of her playmates are gone, just like the poem. On the other hand, it seemed like she did Delores a favor by forcing her to leave town. Nicole also seems to blame herself that she is the only child that lived.

Nicole’s purpose for blaming Delores was also revenge for Sam’s abuse. She knows that Sam wants money, so lied in order to punish him. As Nicole reads the Pied Piper story to the children, she is symbolically reading about herself. As the Pied Piper plays his flute, her own father is robbing his daughter with his incestuous relationship, making promises that he never kept. She ends up using this to her own advantage in the end, taking control of her own life by demanding what she wants and placing blame on both of her parents for what they did or didn’t do. At the same time, Nicole also sees Mitchell as the Pied Piper, misleading the town into believing his lies. She sees right through him. Mitchell blames Nicole for screwing up the entire lawsuit. He sees it going downhill fast, just like the bus did before it crashed. He argues with Sam over Nicole’s testimony and blames him that something isn’t normal about a child that would do such a thing.

The script also hints that Nicole blames herself for allowing Sean to sit next to her on the bus on the day of the crash and making Mason moved to the back. Could Mason have also lived if she hadn’t made that choice? Risa also seems to blame herself for not allowing her son, Sean, to stay home on the day of the crash when he begged her. Coincidentally, Risa was almost run over the same day, and Sean glared at Doris as if she was to blame.

There are a lot of symbolic references in the script. For example, Wendell’s application of enamel on the crack in the tub correlates with the crack in his relationship with his wife Risa. Billy’s shower washes away the enamel, in much the same way he’s taking away whatever it is Risa once had with her husband. Risa replaces the enamel over the crack when Billy leaves the motel – symbolically covering up their affair.

Another symbolic reference is when Sam paints the wheelchair ramp green. He is looking for money, and the ramp is symbolic of what he is looking for in the lawsuit. He later paints it red, which is symbolic of blood – or life – as his daughter was the only child spared in the accident.

Delores equated the children as berries. Children were the fruit of her happiness, and she genuinely cared for them. She refers to them as “my kids”. At one point, she even doubts herself and begins to blame herself that perhaps she could have been speeding on the day of the crash. (Ironically, her husband Abbott and Delores both say that a true jury are the peers in a person’s town.)

By placing the events in a non-linear fashion, it shows the parallel events in each character’s lives. In the end, it all fits together beautifully. The viewers want to know what really happened in with the crash, so by placing it at the end of act two, not only does it cause suspense, but it allows the writer to place the miscellaneous twists and turns surrounding the crash in different perspectives. Each character, even if they don’t leave the town or physically die, ends up in “someplace strange and new”, leaving behind the life they once knew.

Arrested Development – Pilot Breakdown

Although several characters are in the comedy Arrested Development, the protagonist is Michael Bluth. He’s the main character surrounded by an off-the-wall dysfunctional family and the only one that seems to have a grip on reality. Since Michael is the only sensible one in the script and changes over time, and the others are bizarre and don’t change, I believe him to be the protagonist over the rest.

Michael wants to be a partner in his father’s developing company and thinks he is going to be appointed, which is the inciting incident on page 6. This is where the story arc of Michael’s character begins, and at this point he is tolerant of his family’s oddities. He has all of these plans on how to run the company while his father is retired. Michael learns of his family’s spending of company money on things unrelated to the company, and assuming he will be made partner, he begins making announcements that the spending has to stop.

However, when his father announces at the retirement party that his mother, Lucille, is going to be the partner, Michael’s dreams quickly vanish. He knows that his mother could never run the company, as she is too involved in herself and spending money on needless things. Michael decides he is done with the family and begins thinking about his next move.

When the father, George, is arrested for defrauding investors, the family is in a panic. No one else knows how to run a company, much less figure out how to deal with its financial trouble. When Lucille announces that her other son, Buster, will take charge instead, Michael announces that he is done with the family’s selfishness, because he knows that Buster (who has panic attacks and no focus) could never handle the company on his own either. Michael is hurt and feels unloved, so he decides to leave the state and interviews for a job in Arizona.

Buster eventually has another panic attack when he is confronted with actual knowledge of and running the company, and the family decides that they need Michael. He tells them no, but then when he visits his father in jail, his father convinces him that he really does love Michael and did not want to involve him in the legal issues – which is why he didn’t make him a partner. Michael believes him and begins to have a change of heart. He also notices his son’s sadness about having to leave and quickly realizes that he should stay in California with his family, because family is number one.

On page 7, the theme of the script is revealed when Michael announces that the model home is a fake, including its contents. When prospective buyers come to the home to take a look at it, Michael and his son quickly pretend they are also shopping and announce how much they love the home. This happens again in a later scene with Lindsay and George-Michael. The home is symbolic of everything else in the family that is fake – George’s investments and cowboy persona, Lucille’s equal love for her children, Gob’s magic “illusions”, Lindsay’s love for Tobias, Tobias’s (closeted) homosexuality, Buster’s knowledge of everything, and George-Michael and Maeby’s odd incestuous kiss to try to fool their family. It seems that everything is fake except the protagonist.

The Tick vs Auld Lang Syne

The theme of The Tick is power, and I chose this because each character or object holds a power in some fashion. The Noodge’s power is that he knows a secret that cannot be told. The scythe’s power is time travel. Brainchild has power to stop time and destroy things. Tick eventually gains power with his own scythe by defeating Brainchild. Time holds power as to whether or not Arthur and Carmelita kiss.

Tick’s need is to find out how time works in relation to Father Time and Baby New Year, which is held secret by Noodge. He must find this out in order to “save the day” so to speak.

How each page in the script moves the story forward as related to the Tick, Arthur and the Noodge:

Page 1: Establishes the protagonist, the Tick, and the fact that he’s at a New Year’s party.
Page 2: Tick’s sullen friend, Arthur, is introduced, and Tick tries to cheer him up.
Page 3: Arthur gets angry that Tick is annoying him, but admits that he is nervous about something. Tick realizes that it’s about a girl, Carmelita.
Page 4: Tick tries to console Arthur, but he is shameful about something that happened a week prior. The countdown to midnight begins.
Page 5: As the countdown is ticking, Tick pushes Arthur and Carmelita together, waiting for them to kiss, but the crowd becomes frozen.
Page 6: Tick realizes that Arthur and the others are frozen, but can’t figure out why. Noodge is introduced.
Page 7: Noodge is described as a majestic type of being and announces his power (or curse).
Page 8: Noodge gets angry at Tick for slurping his drink in midair and tries to tell Tick about something of importance.
Page 9: Noodge uses his power to unfreeze Arthur. Tick and Arthur still don’t know why everyone is frozen.
Page 10: Noodge tells them he is forbidden to inform them about the fabric of time, even though Arthur begs. Father Time and Baby New Year are introduced in a flashback.
Page 11: Noodge informs Tick and Arthur that something has stopped the natural order of things, which is why time is frozen. We see that Baby New Year cannot come to earth until his predecessor departs.
Page 12: A scythe appears to Tick, and everything that Noodge says he can’t reveal he actually does reveal by saying “I can’t tell you…” what power the scythe holds. It is revealed there is a villain involved.
Page 13: Tick realizes that he is holding the scythe that will help him find the villain. Tick and Arthur vanish.
Pages 14-15: Tick and Arthur are at the crossroads of time, but they don’t know where they are.
Page 16: Tick and Arthur realize they’re at the crossroads. Tick gets run over by a car.
Page 17: Tick is okay, both realize they’re unsafe and get out of there using the scythe.
Page 18: The villain, Brainchild, is introduced. We learn he can freeze time.
Page 19: Brainchild reveals that he has put Father Time on life support. Tick and Arthur show up and realize Brainchild is behind it.
Page 20: Brainchild confesses he used Father Time’s scythe to go back in time to Christmas in order to destroy everyone. Tick II appears and takes the Scythe from Brainchild.
Page 21: Brainchild accuses Tick of cheating, because there are two Ticks, who are glorifying that they won.
Page 22: Arthur encourages Tick to pull the plug on Father Time, but Tick can’t do it. Father Time does it himself and dies.
Page 23: Noodge reappears, explaining that since Father Time has passed on, that Baby New Year can come through.
Page 24: Noodge watches the New Year’s party continue. Arthur and Carmelita kiss, but Tick hides the view from Noodge.