Day twenty-nine. The ThinkKit folks want to know if we’ve invented any new words in 2013. To this, we simply say:
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In 2014 I have but one goal. Everything else is secondary to my primary concern of correcting a long-standing shortcoming of mine, something that’s been gnawing at me for over thirteen years. Namely, in the coming year I plan to – at long last – beat the final stage of the Nintendo 64 game Perfect Dark.
Obviously a goal so lofty requires some planning and preparation. Therefore I have set aside this time today to craft a strategy for finally defeating the so-far unbeatable Skedar Queen. Here’s my step-by-step plan of attack, to be implemented beginning 1st January, 2014.
1. Learn to play guitar.
Over the course of learning to pluck the strings of a standard-issue acoustic guitar, I surmise my thumbs will have grown calloused enough to effectively wield an N64 controller.
2. Practice, practice practice
Fortunately, my copy of Perfect Dark still has my middle-school-era game file saved on it. I will therefore be able to run through a regimented series of practice rounds in the Skedar Ruins. I think about thirty rounds per day should do it.
3. Transcendental Meditation
If memory serves, confronting the Skedar Queen puts me on the verge of a heart attack every time. Since uncountable attempts to best her have yet to yield success, I only get shakier and sweatier every time I try. The solution to this, then, would be to begin regularly practicing TM to steady my heart, mind, and trembling/slippery hands. In my zenned-out hands, Joanna Dark will reign victorious at last.
4. Entomology Course at IUPUI
The Skedar – Joanna Dark’s nemeses – are a race of insect-like warriors. Indeed, their nigh-invincible leader is their Queen, much like an ant queen, only bigger and with guns. I plan to take full advantage of this buggy weakness by studying up on insects in a college-level course on entomology.
Just try and stop me and my SuperDragon laser gun when I know all about the weak points of your thorax and respiratory spiracles, Skedar Queen!
So that’s the plan. I think it’s more or less foolproof. When I can finally put Perfect Dark behind me, I might even finally have the confidence to invest in a gaming console from after 1996.
I give you the most interesting man in the world.
I don’t know if this link will work WordPress is being real weird with videos…sorry I tried. But if it doesn’t work just search his name he has TONS of great footage/videos out there.
I discovered this crazy genius of a man this year and he’s changed the way I view A LOT of things like music, lyrics, language & humor.
He oozes with raw talent. What’s really interesting is that all of his performances are improvised! His music can go from complete gibberish to insanely soulful beats that you wished was a hit song!
All in all… I wish Reggie Watts could replace my car radio.
Emily (Know No Stanger)
Hey! Ryan here again.
I’ve been thinking – or rather, lamenting – on my penmanship for years. I’ve been disgusted with my handwriting for as long as it’s been since it stopped improving; that puts the impetus of my lamentation at about age 6, by my reckoning. Since it’s not likely to change anytime soon, I tried to think of other ways I could validate my handwriting style, which has been referred to more than once as “serial killer writing.”
I imagined a world where I was entrusted with typesetting every marketed, shared, or otherwise distributed item. Never mind that not even the local used car lot would appoint me with this task; indulge me for a second and imagine…
There’s a quiet dignity about it, I think. A personal touch. I mean, I’ve never wanted to eat at Red Lobster before, ever, until right now.
So that’s something.
A very surprising and exciting moment in Know No Strangers year was when we got asked to perform at the first Indianapolis Tedx event held in the Toby theatre located in the IMA.
Every year we put on an epic Optical Popsicle event (next year will be the 6th time?!). So this was nice to have a chance to show something on a small scale to an audience that maybe was there first time seeing something like this. We had a blast coming up with this heartwarming original story about the history of Indianapolis.
Happy Sunday, everybody. Ryan here for Know No Stranger.
As this year draws to a close, I’d like to pluck the tongue from my cheek to reflect a little on the past twelve months: one of the reasons we love Indianapolis so much is the never-ending inspiration and opportunity it provides us to forge new and exciting creative endeavors. Looking back, 2013 was an artistic nirvana. I’m incredibly grateful for the challenges presented to us, the chances taken on us, and – on a personal note – the relationships that resulted, those between me and my KNS brothers and sisters and those between KNS and other organizations who continue to breathe creative life and awe into us.
Here’s but a taste of what we’ve been up to since the ball dropped on 2013:
Reconnecting to Our Waterways challenged us early on with a proposition: to tell the story of the five Indianapolis waterways while inviting the citizens of Indy to heed the call of conservation. The creative freedom those lovely folks allowed us resulted in one of my favorite KNS projects to date: the ROW Show, as we lovingly refer to it, includes a cast of anthropomorphized rivers – each with an original, rollicking song and dance number of their own. I don’t know that I’ll ever tire of Eagle Creek’s stirring, swelling solo.
We were invited to take part in TedX Youth’s Indianapolis installment, the theme of which was “Balance.” There was a bit of a misunderstanding but I think we nearly hit the nail on the head at any rate.
One of the most exciting opportunities we had this year was to create an original story and perform it at the 2013 Spotlight show at Clowe’s Hall. We came up with “Wildwood,” our approximation of an old-timey fable told with puppets being transported along a conveyor belt. Being lifted onto the stage via the orchestral platform was, personally, a highlight of my year. I’ve never felt so much like Beyonce.
Then there was May’s “The Hunt,” a regional, 24-hour scavenger hunt. Seeing teams come together to rise to the challenges we cooked up to be nigh-impossible was a total thrill. If we didn’t say it before, thanks, guys, for indulging us and rising to the occasion! Here’s Hunt winners Team Rhymes With Orange, flashing the Jerry MacGuire VHS’s that pushed them over the edge into the victors’ circle:
In June we had the privilege to take the stage at WFYI’s Kids’ Day in the Park downtown, for which we dreamt up recurring character Tony Rex and his Rexercisers, Doc Sock (a mad scientist made of cotton), and a Franki Valli cover band of intergalactic travelers.
Then there was October’s Optical Popsicle Hi-Five Live, our annual blow-out of fun, community, and general zaniness. Indianapolis graciously embraced us on October 18th: the audience that night were too wonderful for words. We were honored to share with the crowd at the Athenaeum that night our new friends: Jamie Snodgrass, a Class-C Mulberry Scout; the E.L. wire puppets taking their first steps in “Look Who’s Walking Too;” Jack, a heroic cop on a speeding bus who resembled that guy from The Matrix; celebrity hybrid ghost Whoopi Goldblum; and a marooned set of seafarers with a rumble in their tummies. All of this, plus the involvement of amazing guest performers like Kai, ArtSpark, and Sweet Poison Victim was set against the backdrop of a fancy-pants awards show in which we honored our hero, action star Lance Thunderson, with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Though, to be fair, our long-suffering stage manager Wallace Wimbley would be all too happy to point out that that didn’t go exactly as planned.
I could go on. I could continue to gush about you guys, your humbling and incredible support, and how excited we are to have the chance to hang out with you and work with you to create interactive and engaging art. I’ll digress, however, and simply close out with one final remark:
We can’t wait for 2014.
via Wallace Wimbley:
What? What is that you’re asking me, now? Strangest thing I’ve seen all year?
Strangest thing I’ve seen all year…
Well, I mean, for crying out loud, I can barely see at any rate! But if you really wanna get into it, listen: it’s been a madcap, roller-coaster year for old Wimbley here. Let me think.
Well, of course, seeing an army of what was, by my count, at least seven-score dachshunds and miniature Schnauzers – held at bay but by the grace of goodness and a leash, mind you – barking and snarling at yours truly when I took the stage at Germanfest in the Rathskellar biergarten… Hoo boy, well, that left an indelible impression, let’s just say!
Of course these old peepers were subject to a variety of terrifically exciting (and nerve-racking) things over those weeks working with Know No Stranger to put on the best Optical Popsicle yet (Hi-Five Live, we called it)! I mean, you got exercising dinosaurs, the ghost of Whoopi Goldblum, and a rousing musical number all in one show, you’re bound to lay eyes on some whackadoo stuff during rehearsals! *chuckles*
Not to mention I watched the most famous action film star, arguably, of all time float away after his head literally ballooned up – this, mind you, after the yutz sucker-punched me. Guh, I’m still outta whack in the neck-to-lower-back-and-hip area from that ordeal.
But come to think of it, I saw something far stranger than any of that earlier this year. You’ll get a kick outta this. Listen. So I’m at the, uh, shopping center there downtown, and this guy in the Macy’s, right? He shows me this battery-operated toothbrush! I’m not kidding, it’s like right outta The Jetsons. I don’t know if you’ve seen this, but I’m thinking it’s gotta be pretty hard for an average Joe like you or me to just have it in the home, you know? What, am I a Rockefeller? Stop it already. Anyway, I think about that a lot. What an age, what an age…
What’s next, a vacuum cleaner that does all the work for you?
WALLACE WIMBLEY is an accomplished producer and finagler of local live theatre and a frequent collaborator of Know No Stranger’s. Also, a surrogate uncle to pretty much everyone.