Death Note

The movie begins with a sky view of rain over Tokyo City at night. There are many quick shots from different view tops of the buildings, before the camera settles on a final location. It pans in to an alley where a black notebook falls lightly to the street. There is this still shot of the notebook in a perfect circle of dry asphalt whilst the surrounding road is drenched in rain. This image shows the unnatural presence the notebook has in the human world. The next few minutes show compilations of a hand writing in the notebook before jumping to the death of a person. As a movie adaptation of a book series, I find this as an interesting angle to show first on the society’s views on the plot device, before introducing any characters. It seems this might have been the easiest way to shorten a book series, which has been adapted almost word for word earlier as a 37-episode animation, to fit into a 126-minute film.

At the 9-minute mark, the writer in the notebook is finally revealed. The music brings tense feelings and a sense of anxiety of who the person who is causing these deaths is. There are a couple of scenes introducing this character as Light and shows through his interactions with people at school and around his girlfriend on what kind of person he is on the surface. Through some clues from the female lead, Shiori, and the background characters, it is easy to determine the both of them are in law school. The next minutes have a few flashbacks show how Light had lost some faith in the justice system before discovering a notebook in an alley. This is where the plot device is explained. Light learns that the notebook belongs to a Shinigami, or God of Death in Japanese. With it he is able to kill anyone whose name he has written down while thinking of his or her face. With his strong sense of justice, Light commits to using this item to rid the world of crime.

After these explanations, the scene changes to a police station where detectives are trying to figure out why so many criminals around the world are suddenly turning up dead from heart attacks. It introduces the main antagonist, in part, known as L who is a mysterious private investigator. This slowly leads to one of my favorite scenes in which L broadcasts a worldwide live news broadcast where he challenges the mystery killer dubbed Kira. Light feels insulted and tries to kill L only to shortly realize he had fallen into a trap and killed an impersonator instead. This scene is adapted in sync with the book and show word for word and is most likely done so because of how well it show L’s genius at gaining clues as well as his cunning ways on how to obtain them. With the scenes the movie goes from a singular story of the morality involved in choosing whether or not it is right to kill the most vicious of criminals to a game of cat and mouse between two intelligent individuals trying to find one another. The rest of the movie includes thrilling scenes on how closer both are to finding the other and the many obstacles in the way.

When adapting from an already existing source, many directors try to focus on story arches differently.  In this case, a character from the series called Naomi is given a larger role in the movie from being a minor obstacle to a major threat against Light. In the movie, Shiori is also given a large role considering she was only in one chapter of the book as a girl who had a crush on Light in high school to his love interest. This gives a more soft side to Light when they are shown together. With the inclusion and expansion of these two characters, the ending of the movie was a shock to both crowds that have and haven’t seen the series. If there were anything I would change in this movie, I would give more emphasis on the lengths Light goes through in the beginning on rationalizing about the rights and wrongs of having such a power as well as the fear he first experienced with that knowledge and how he tries to hide the Death Note before L’s investigation.

 

https://www.patreon.com/Kamia

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The Internship

Originally, I was assigned to do my internship at the Cimarron in Mission, TX. On my first day, I was told that the restaurant was closed for the day and to call back tomorrow. On the next day, I was unable to work, because the manager wanted to fix the schedule. The third day was when I got to meet Chef Danny. I was there for thirty minutes meeting some of the workers while the manager was looking over the paperwork. I was excited to be at such an exclusive place, but due to a change in their policy the management was not able to carry on any more interns. After the decision, I was assigned at the last minute to work in the school cafeteria with Elia and Robert. Patrick Woodin, who is in charge, was nice and is trying to keep me on a regular schedule. He gave me a time sheet to keep track of my hours. On the first day of my internship I meet the people who currently work there including: Chef Julio, Cook Anita, Fry Cook Will, Sandwich Prep Cook Olga, Salad Prep Cook Ashel, and the cashiers Angie, George and Maribel.

The first thing I learned while working with Julio was how to properly chop onions, before going straight into making baked rice. There was three parts water to every part rice. The water was flavored with chicken base before being baked. After that was done, frozen vegetables were added to the hot rice and allowed to cook in the steam given off. I also learned how to make loaded and mashed baked potatoes. After the spuds were rinsed and baked, they were drowned with a layer of ranch dressing and coby jack cheese. I made baked potato soup for the first time and had to keep in mind the salt content. Spices should always be added last. I also made small portions of Chicken Cordon Blue which was breaded chicken breast filled with cream cheese spread and black forest ham. It was fried lightly before being baked. When making lunch portions of chicken cordon blue it is very important to keep in mind the amount of filling put inside. I also got to bake chocolate chip, oatmeal and macadamia nut cookies. Using a recipe I made Chicken Guisada by myself and Fideo soup.

When working on Catering orders, it is important to think on presentation as well as giving a variety. Olga and Ashel don’t work on Fridays, so it was Elia who taught me about what she learned to make the sandwiches. I learned how to assemble sandwiches with the correct amount of portioned ingredients. Each one is made exactly alike through weight measurement and tools such a scoops and ladles. Very rare is eyeballing an ingredient allowed. We made tuna salad, chicken salad, turkey breast and black forest ham sandwiches. Each type was divided in half between wheat and white Italian bread. The same thing applies when it comes to making the salads for the lunch line. Ashel told me that every salad is weighted for 6 ounces of lettuce before portions of toppings are added into the carton. Before making the salads, prep work must be complete first. I made Caesar, Chop Salad, Garden Salad, Southwest, Greek, Apple Cranberry and some side salads as well as fruit salad cups.

One Friday, I learned how to deeply clean a fryer with Robert by the fry cook, Will. First the oil was drained out of the fryers one at a time and deposited into the designated outside container unit. It was very nerve wrecking pushing the bucket outside with fear of being burned. After that, Water was poured into the fryer and using a tool, gunk was wedged out and dumped. When Will was showing us this, he overestimated the about of water to pour for the rinse and accidently overflowed the oil. It had to be mopped up three times before we could work on it again. After that the fryer was filled with water again and a chemical solution was added. Will explained that this solution was very corrosive to human skin and that inhalation was very dangerous so we were supposed to be very carful. I have never seen Robert as tense as he was then. With the water boiling and the chemical mixed in we very carefully scrubbed the fryer walls, baskets, holders and grates with wire scrubs and tongs to not touch the solution. In total it took over three hours to clean the fryers and carefully rinse out the chemical. I hope to never have to hold my breath while cleaning again.

The week after that I was told to report to school very early in the morning to learn how to make breakfast for the masses. Having to wake up early to make breakfast was an unforgettable experience. I had to wake up at three AM in order to make it to school on time at four. Once there, Anita said that eggs were to be prepped first. In a total of twenty-two quarts of eggs were used for the breakfast line every day except for Friday. These eggs were blended with an industrial sized blender and mixed with four cups of lemon juice, garlic and salt divided in two containers. The lemon juice was added for its acidity and was used to prevent discoloring of the eggs when they were being served on the breakfast buffet line. Eight quarts were cooked separately as scrambled eggs while six were cooked with partially fried potatoes sticks. Of the eight, a third was mixed with chorizo in a separate hotel pan once they were finished being cooked on the stove. While the eggs were cooking, sausage and bacon were baked in the oven, beans were made in a boiling pot, oatmeal was simmered in warm milk on the stove, and tortillas were flipped on the grill. After everything was ready breakfast tacos were rolled and pancakes were mixed. Anita makes the pancakes by eyeballing milk, eggs and pancake mix and whisking it together. On Fridays, we made Chiliquilles with sliced corn tortillas that were sliced yesterday and baked it with cheese and salsa after lightly pan frying the strips.

For the past month, I have been left solely in charge of the breakfast and lunch buffet line. I had to learn how to correctly serve portions and roll custom tacos during the morning hours. During lunch, I had to time and figure out when to request for a certain item before it ran out. This was a long process, but I think I go the hand of it. Most of the time, it is just me unless someone else decides to come help. I have noticed there are regulars that order the same thing every time. It’s kind of weird. When I am not serving food, I am also left in charge of restocking the drinks when shipments come in. I also have to fill the fountain drinks with four buckets of ice as well as the salad bar and dressings bar with one and a half each. While on the line, I learned how to clean the Panini sandwich press and the steamers. The sandwich pressed had to be scrubbed hard to get the cooked on crude off. A wire brushed was used for this. After that it was rinsed with a moist towel, because the machine was still hot. I also learned how they brew the coffee before the morning breakfast can be served. One whole pack of coffee grounds is added into a filter and left to brew that way. Normally it is measured for the amount of people, but I guess in a store setting it is fine to use so much.

Since I am left in charge of the serving line, there are not many opportunities to cook. When I get a chance to be in the kitchen to fetch something a customer has asked for, it’s for a short time. On a few occasions I have been able to toast some tortillas for customers if Anita is not able to. On a certain day, Will showed me how to make cheese burgers if the line runs out. With this knowledge, I was able to figure out how they made Salisbury steak. First one needs to get the cooked burger patties Anita earlier made out of the warmer and place the amount needed on the grill. Than add some juice from the pan they were being held in to get a sizzle. Burgers are flipped twice while steaks are flipped three times. When making burgers, the buns should be heated on the grill too. After flipping the meat, American cheese is added on top of the patty to melt before being assembled and wrapped into a cheeseburger for the line. For Salisbury steak, the patties are arranged in a half hotel pan and premade brown mushroom gravy is poured on top.

I have spent most of my time this summer learning how to serve food in a cafeteria setting as well as getting items such as ice, salad dressings, chili, nacho cheese, chopped chicken, sliced lemon, tortilla strips and shredded coby jack cheese ready to be served. I have learned to restock drinks and chips as well as portioning syrup and tarter sauce into small cups. When I was allowed to cook, I learned as much as I could. I have been offered a job here by Patrick, but I think I am going to pass on that offer. I don’t mind serving food if I am getting paid for it, but I already do that at the Boys and Girls Club of Zapata County and am able to cook at least at What-A-Burger. All in all, this has been an interesting internship.

 

https://www.patreon.com/Kamia

 

Five Typologies

According to Merton, there are five typologies in which a person may have a cultural goal and a means to attain them. There are many ways to describe this, but using recent events may be my favorite. In terms of this past election and how people may have voted, a conformist may have gone to the voting booth with no doubts that his vote will determine the outcome. An innovator wants their vote to count, but may feel the process won’t work, so will try to commit some form of fraud. A ritualist has given up hope that their party will win, but still votes because they feel like it is what they are supposed to do. A retreatist believe that their vote won’t matter, as well, and refuses to take part in the election. They will skip voting. Finally a Rebel does not like the current two-party system and will choose to vote for a third party candidate that has different view to the societal beliefs of the current.

 

https://www.patreon.com/Kamia

Roots of Sociology

In the Industrial Society in which Karl Marx saw developing from the Feudal Society he began to notice two distinct classes that names changed depending on the type of society. The first is the Bourgeoisies whom turned from land owners to those who had the means of production. With these means of production (property) they were able to establish the creation of jobs, wages for those jobs, and type of living allowed to their workers, which he called Proletariat. To Marx you either owned the means of production or were a worker in this two-class system. Any who saw themselves as the other, he would say to have a false class consciousness. Max Weber saw Marx theory and agreed with him but added two determinants stating a person’s class status was determined by their power, property and prestige and usually needed only two.

 

https://www.patreon.com/Kamia

Pumpkin Ales

Only seen as a seasonal item, Pumpkin Ales are released around the fall and winter times. Each is brewed differently, yet most are spiced with seasonings such as pumpkin pie spice, ground ginger, nutmeg cloves, cinnamon, and allspice. Some brewers like to add chunks of pumpkin inside the mash, while others use puree or pumpkin flavorings and extracts. The Ale itself is normally mild with little to no bitterness. Varying on what it is spiced with several are more malty than others. Many will contain a starchy, slightly thick-ish, mouthfeel too. The Top five brands of Pumpkin Ale are Schlafly Pumpkin Ale, Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, Cigar City Good Gourd, New Belgium Pumpkick, and Timmermans Pumpkin Lambicus.

 

https://www.patreon.com/Kamia

Hors D’Oeuvre

French for “outside the work”, hors d’oeuvres are commonly served in very small, bite-sized portions as an appetizer before a meal or sampler for food-consorts. Usually served on a large dish held by a waiter, butler or even in a buffet table. Because they can consist of meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, vegetables, grains, pasta, fruits baked goods and sauces; there is no end to the possibilities when creating a treat.

There are savory and sweet hors d’oeuvres as well as coming in hot or cold. Generally cold hors d’oeuvres can be divided into five ranged categories based on preparation, ingredient or presentation. The different styles include: canapés, crudités, dips, caviar, sushi and sashimi.

The Guidelines for preparing hors d’oeuvres consist of four mainly. They should be small and consumed in one to two bites. They should be flavorful as well seasoned without being overpowering. They should be visually attractive. They should complement whatever foods may follow without duplication their flavors.

Canapés are tiny open-faced sandwiches, classically. Constructed from a base, a spread and about one or two garnishes, there are many modern interpretations to the style. The most common canapé base is a thin slice of bread cut into an interesting shape, like a triangle or crescent, and toasted.

 

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Day Born

Once upon a time, the world was in darkness. Within that darkness were creatures. These creatures had different sorts of abilities. The most common was to see in the dark. One day a foolish deity allowed his older brother to trick him into believing that these creatures were suffering and scared in the dark. He thought long and hard until he came up with an idea. He created a wide blanket of fire to light up the darkness. He hung it up in the sky when most of the creatures were awake. The light was so bright and very harsh on these poor creatures’ eyes. Especially the ones with the power to see in the dark.

 

Blinded and in pain, the creatures ran from the world they had loved and hid deep within the ground. When the ones that had stayed woke up, they blinked their eyes several times in wonder. What was this strange new world? It felt and smelled like home, but it didn’t look the same. One little girl called out for her mother, unknowing that the woman had to flee from the intense pain. Abandoned by their friends and families, the remaining creatures were filled with sorrow while the ones that fled were full of rage and hate. Why did they have to suffer by this new light?

 

Realizing his mistake, the deity thought long and hard on how to remedy this tragedy. He didn’t know how to pull off the blanket that had been glued tightly to the sky. Seeing his pain, his little sister wove a blanket of her own. Attaching it to the ends of his blanket, she hung a cloth of night. Instead of perpetual darkness, however, she added millions of dots of light within its silk. Watching as the blanket rotated with the sky, the two siblings smiled as the families were reunited.

 

https://www.patreon.com/Kamia

A Night In Mystic Forest

While walking down the dirt path, I saw endless rows of dark green bushes and tall oak trees. The clear sky had turned cloudy and dark as night came forth. I should have listened to my grandmother’s warnings about the forest, but it’s too late now; I’m lost. I just wanted to find my dog, Jay.

“Hello, little boy… What are you doing here?” a smooth and cold voice spoke from above me. I looked up to see another boy in a tree with piercing red eyes, bright, blond hair and a sharp, pointed tooth sticking out of the side of his lips. He jumped down and gazed deeply into my light brown orbs.

“Ano… I was just looking for my dog.” I reply as he runs his fingers through my messy, brown hair. The way his eyes scan me sends an uncomfortable chill up my spine.

“You are a human, correct?” he questions suddenly as a toothy grin forms on his features. What a weird question to ask; of course I was human. Wasn’t he one too? I answer his question honestly, gaining a menacing laughter emitting from him.
“This is great! I was looking for a delicious looking meal!” he exclaims before he bites my neck, so suddenly, with those sharp, long front teeth of his. I fall into a paralyzing state of shock as I realize what has happened. He was drinking my blood, my god given life force, thus debilitating me completely. I never had believed the stories the elders would tell, yet they were true. Vampires really did exist! It’s too bad that I wont be able to confirm it to others. If only I hadn’t gotten caught like this. As I fall into an eternal darkness, I notice something that I should have before. The older boy was wearing a blue dog collar with a tag on it. A tag that read, “Jay”.

The Pearl

On the soft sand of the calm beach, where the twilight shines perfect enough, two teens met everyday. They loved each other deeply, yet two people were trying to tear them away. The first was the girl’s father, whom didn’t want her in any kind of relationship. The second was a jealous friend whom wanted the girl for herself.
One day, the boy wanted to prove his love to her. He swam in the ocean and looked for a certain oyster on the reef. When he found one with a beautiful, soft lavender pearl inside, he jumped for joy. He ran to the local jeweler and had it placed in a ring.
The next day, he waited for his lover on the quite shore, the ring hidden in his pocket. Hours passed by, yet she never came. Sad and worried-some, the boy went home.
In the morning, he found out that the love of his life died, murdered by the very friend whom cared for her. Grief stricken, he decided to meet up with his love in death, by drowning in the very beach that they met. The ring was buried on the decaying fingers of Grace.

 

https://www.patreon.com/Kamia

My Friend

                On the fields of corn, under the dull full moon hidden behind the clouds, was a small boy around the age of three. He had dark brown hair and light hazel eyes that held a sense of innocence. He wandered around the tall stalks playing a game of hide and seek, until he came across a pair of teens. The oldest was a boy with golden blonde hair; the other was a girl with baby blue hues. They kissed and hugged unknowing of the young lad. He watched in awe as they continued their actions.
“Why are you trying to eat her face off?” his innocent, small voice asked, catching the eye of the man. The suspended kiss made the girl pout as she sat up. She waved the little boy over, and he came quickly, his shoes lightly touching the grass.
“He is not trying to eat me.” She answered with a small giggle, “He was just showing his love for me.” The young boy just gazed at her, not really understanding what she meant, but shrugged it off quickly. The teen boy looked at his girlfriend with passion in his eyes; she stared right back with a smile. When he opened his mouth to say something, a ghoulish roar sounded from somewhere within the field. The teens stared in horror toward the area. The young man felt his courage possess him as he ran to the spot, yelling back for the girl to stay put. She obeyed and held the little boy close to her, hoping for this to be a prank. Hearkening the surrounding, she pulled out some treats to distract the little boy from the situation.
The young boy looked around for a clue, but all he saw was the endless rows of corn. “The outhouses are the only thing near by, but tat sound came from here. Where and what is it?” he asked himself as the silence derision him even ore. He knew the concealment of this thing couldn’t last forever. Just when he was about to give up and go back, he felt something punch him hard in the face. He quickly looked around but saw no one there. Who hade the audacity to punch him then run away? “Who was the coward?”, he asked himself. He was as mad as a bull, until he heard his beloved scream. “Nancy!” he called as he ran back down the path he thought he came from. Tears of rage filled his eyes as he ran as fast as he could in the direction of Nancy’s vexed and desecrate screams of pain. The only problem was they came from all around him. He grabbed his head in frustration, trying to bock out all the sounds. He wished over and over that this once perfect – turned terrible night was no more that a bad dream. “Nancy, where are you?” he cried as he fell to his knees.
Suddenly, her screams ceased, giving the distinctness of her death, but not before she yelled, “Johnny!” He ran faster than ever before, down the final path.
“Nancy, please be ok!” Please be alive! Please don’t die!” he begged in his mind. He was in such a hurry that he didn’t watch where he stepped, sending him to trip into the hard, cold, and damp, sticky ground. Getting up to his knees, he stared in horror at the dark red liquid spread all over the palms of his hands. Too afraid to look ahead, he turned his head to see what he tripped over. It was the small, left arm of the girl he held hands with. The deep purple gem stone ring on her finger shined with the red spots in the moonlight. With tear-stained eyes, he finally looked up at the “clearing” in front of him. Blood was splattered everywhere from the grass to the corn high about his head. Her disembodied corpse lay on the ground.
The worst of it all was the little boy, sitting in the middle of the mess, eating the candy that was given to him. Johnny just stared at the small kid in shock. “How could he just sit there, like nothing happened? Why didn’t he try to save her? How could he do nothing?” he thought. He ran as far as he could until he got to an exit of the cornfield, leaving the boy behind.
He found his truck and drove off into town where he headed to the police station. Once there, he yelled like a mad man about Nancy Heartmen’s gruesome death. He told them everything, from meeting the boy to finding her everywhere. They had their suspicions towards him, of course, the sheriff had him sent home and told him to relax, and that they would send a car up to the field to check things out; they did.
At three-thirty in the morning, Johnny snick out of his house, unsatisfied. He knew they suspected him. He knew the Heartmen’s would blame and hate him when they find out in the morning. He didn’t care; all he wanted was to kill the monster that took his bride from him. He pushed the truck off the curb and down the street very carefully, so he wouldn’t wake the neighborhood. When he was sure that no one would hear, he got inside and placed the keys in the ignition, thus turning it on. He drove down the five miles to the cornfield and parked it on the side of the road. Through the rear view mirror, he noticed a patrol car at the edge of the field. He opened the door, got out and walked over to the passengers’ side of the car. Inside he saw one body without its head and blood splattered on the windshield. He crept into the cornfield as silent as he could be, walked towards the middle. His stomach twisted, turned, and jumped as he saw the once fresh, now dry crime scene.
“Oh, Nancy… I’m so sorry that I couldn’t save you… I’m so sorry I couldn’t protect you… I’m sorry I couldn’t keep my promise…” he closed his eyes in grief and stood there. Time seemed to go on forever, even though it was a minute or so.
“Be glad you weren’t there; you would have suffered, too!” a creepy clownish voice chuckled in front of him. His piercing hazel eyes opened to glare at nothing. He turned around thinking the voice might have moved behind him or something like that, but, once again, there only stood the corn stalks.
“Who said that?” he questioned loud enough for the next town to hear. The tone of his own voice startled him slightly. “Who’s there?” he yelled again.
“I’m here…” the spooky voice replied from everywhere this time. Johnny blindly swung his fist in front of himself, to hit someone, but this someone, he could not see. Terror filled his eyes as realization came to him. An invisible person murdered Nancy. He stood there for a while, his fist holding tightly to the invisible shirt. After what seemed like forever, he finally snapped out of his scared stat.
“You killed her, didn’t you? You killed Nancy! You killed her!” he screamed as he wildly started beating the transparent being. He continued until a green ichors splattered on his face, shirt and ground. He kept at it until he felt the life fade away, not to mention the body. He was finally force to stop when he felt nothing but air in his grasp.
“Why did you kill Coco?” a recognizable innocent voice asked from behind him. He turned around to see the little boy from earlier. “Why did you kill my best friend?” he asked again.
Johnny looked at him confused. This three year old was friend with a monster, how could that be? “Coco?” he asked.
“Coco is my imaginary friend, but that’s ok…. I got a new one…” he spoke the last part eerily with a wicked grin. “I don’t need him anymore… he always got in the way of me making new friends, anyways. Now, would you like to be my friend?” he spoke as he morphed into a gruesome creature, and tore Johnny apart entirely. Of course, he got two new “imaginary” friends, by the names of Nancy Heartmen and Johnny Carnes.

 

https://www.patreon.com/Kamia