Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Back

So I'm back from Wisconsin.
I have a ton more stuff to write, but it'll have to come later, for many reasons.  In the meantime, though, I'm thinking of changing the name of this blog to "Subliminal Intent."

Thoughts?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Probable farewell

So I'm heading up to Green Bay, WI from the 21st 'til the 28th.  I'm not sure if I'll have blogging-access, so this may be a week-long hiatus.

In the meantime, I have a question:
How many people actually read this blog (without having to have me tell them to)?  I'm curious.  Do me a favor and comment on this post, no matter who you are.  If you have to make a blogger account, then SO BE IT!
Thanks. :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Reformat

As your ears and eyes have noticed by now, I've made some changes. First of all, the blog is now wider. It always bothered me how narrow the posts were. Now they're nice and wide. Actually, they might be too wide now. I might end up narrowing them eventually.

Also, I added a music playlist to the side of my blog. Bwahaha; your ears are at my mercy!
(though if you can't stand it, don't whine.  Click the pause button.)
That first song on the list—"Bring Me To Life" by Evanescence—has been my favorite song since 2003.  I forgot how much I loved it until now. =D

Now, see, all of this was made possible by the fact that I finally figured out how to edit HTML code. This means that I can now do whatever I want to my blog now. Yay. :D

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Random noticings

So I'll be heading up to Green Bay, WI for Christmas.  That'll be really great, I love my family up there, but rarely get to see them.  I'm very excited. :)

I saw G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra again.  I actually liked it the second time; I'm not sure why.

I also saw New Moon, just for the heck of it.
UGGGHHHH.  That was frustratingly... frustrating.
EDWARD IS A JEEERRRRRRRKKK!!!!
Seriously! There is NOTHING redeeming about his character in that movie! At all!
It's really bad when the entire point of the story (the Edward/Bella relationship) makes absolutely no sense.
For further thoughts, I direct you to the below video review, as done by an overly excitable fake homeless person.  It's pretty much the greatest thing since sliced cheese. (caution: slightly foul language)

 

And check this out: I had a conversation a few minutes ago about the possibility of grasshoppers wearing underpants, when Elisabeth correctly pointed out that technically, at that point, if the grasshoppers didn't wear anything else over the underpants, their "underpants" would be overpants.

This is very important, as it puts an end to the "Superman wears his underpants on the outside" debate.  Technically, Superman wears overpants.

That is the thought with which I shall leave you.
Farewell, faithful readers.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Importance

I have a dilemma.

I feel like school doesn't matter.

It's weird, but I feel like I should be doing things that matter.  Slaying dragons, fighting hordes of goblins, firing torpedoes down the exhaust port of the Death Star, etc. Those are fantastical things, of course, but the point stands.
It's easy for me to understand why the big life-or-death things matter.  Somehow, though, I can't seem to comprehend why school is important.  I know why it's important, of course. But I don't feel it.  I don't have that drive to succeed in school.  The irony is that I technically have the ability to be the perfect student.  Seriously; I have the absolute best personality type for being a student, and I've got more than enough mental ability to take whatever the school system can throw at me.  Despite that, however, I have no motivation for it.  All I've got are vague promises that "one day it'll pay off," and that I'm "building my future."

I also realize that by ignoring school, I'm essentially dooming my hopes and dreams.  And, probably most disturbingly, that doesn't bother me nearly as much as it should.  I guess in a weird way, my hope has faded considerably over the past few years.  I've still got hope, but apparently not enough faith and will to carry it through. 

No one needs me; there's no princess who'll be doomed if I don't do the right thing.  The only person that'll be hurt (other than emotionally, of course) by my failure is me.  And I'm beginning to care less and less.

I don't know what to do.  I want to be the person who can stand up and make the right choices, but I feel like I don't have any real reason to.

I don't have a cause to fight for, and it's driving me insane.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Boredom leads to surveys

Surveys lead to anger. Anger leads to hate.  Hate leads to suffering.

Not really. I just felt like quoting Yoda today. :P


1- Have you been asked out?
Um... once or twice.  I dodged them both, with varying degrees of smoothness.

3 - What's your middle name?
Gregory

4 - Your current relationship status?
Single

5 - What's the first thing you do when you wake up from a nap?
Go check my computer for new emails, blog comments, facebook notices, etc.

6 - What is your current mood?
Worried about school.

7 - What color shirt are you wearing?
Black under a gray zip-up jacket dealie ting.

8 - Missing something?
No?

9 - Current Favorite Quote?
12:50:45 AM Angela: I worked my ass off cooking and cleaning. 
12:51:09 AM Aaron Ross: be sure to find it before it runs away
12:51:47 AM Angela: Are you kidding?  My ass is so stupid, it wouldn't be able to find it's way out of a box.
12:51:55 AM Angela: Though, sitting is kind of complex, now.
12:52:14 AM Aaron Ross: how are your legs still connected to your torso?
12:54:45 AM Angela: I'm like Rayman.  My legs and body are connected by... magnets... or something. 
12:54:51 AM Aaron Ross: ah
12:54:52 AM Angela: My ass is purely for aesthetics.

10 - If you could go back in time and change something what would be?
Eeeesh.  I'd not say a bunch of things that I said.

11 - If you must be an animal for one day, what would you be?
Dolphin, maybe.  Or a tiger. :D

12 - Ever had a near death experience?
I think I've probably had several dozen and not known it.  Driving is dangerous when you're flipping through songs on your iPod at the same time. o_o

13 - Something you do a lot?
Procrastinate.

14 - The song stuck in your head?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSN6et9eze8

15 - Least favorite household chore?
I'm kind of at the point where I don't really "hate" any of them.  But laundry is definitely up there; it's just annoying because it needs to be done all the time. -_-

16 - Name someone with the same birthday as you?
KATE BECKINSALE. O_O (sorry for the caps; I just found that out)

17 - When was the last time you cried?
It's been a while.

18- Have you ever sung in front of a large audience?
o_O  Clearly you do not know me if you need this question answered.

19 - If you could have one super power what would it be?
Flying.  No question about it.  :)

20 - What's the first thing you notice about the opposite gender?
Approximately how closely they resemble an Elven princess. (scale of one to ten)

21 - What do you usually order from Starbucks?
I don't drink coffee, you mindless caffeine-drone!

22 - What's your biggest secret?
Um... well, I kind of [REMOVED] [REMOVED] for this [REMOVED]. I feel bad about it, because it's not my place to [REMOVED] [REMOVED] [REMOVED], and [REMOVED] not even anywhere near here.  I really need to [REMOVED] [REMOVED] [REMOVED], but I can't seem to be able to. =/

23- What's your favorite color?
Blue.

24 - Do you still watch kiddie shows or TV shows?
I watch animated series that are made for multiple age demographics, but nothing specifically aimed at children.

25 - What's on your walls?
Superman poster and... nothing else.  I like to keep a clean-looking room.

26 - What are you?
The last survivor of a distant planet, sent here to aid mankind with my amazing powers.  I'm also heir to the throne of Gondor and the Captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise. (starship, not aircraft carrier)

27 - Do you speak any other language?
Little bit of Sindarin.  I can also read a few other fictional alphabets, like Kryptonian and Aurebesh.

28 - What's your favorite smell?
Her perfume.

29 - Describe your life in one word!
Imaginary.

30 - Have you ever kissed in the rain?
=/

31 - What are you thinking about right now?
The last question.

32 - What should you be doing?
Not thinking about the last question.

33 - Who was the last person that made you upset/angry?
Myself.

34 - How often do you talk to God?
Not as often as I should.

35 - Do you like working in the yard?
Mowing the lawn is kinda fun.

36 - If you could have any last name in the world, what would you want?
My own last name has certain... uses.  If all goes well, I'll be able to explain that on June 3rd, 2017.

37 - What is your natural hair color?
Dark brown.

38 - Do you have many friends?
Um... I'm really not sure anymore.

39 - Who is your role-model?
Superman?  Uh... my dad?  (Jesus is too obvious an answer)

Friday, November 27, 2009

I've been TAGGED!! O_O

TAG:

Do you like to write?
Absolutely.

Favorite books?
Eeesh. Ultimate Spider-Man, Tolkien's entire Legendarium, the Star Wars expanded universe, The Zombie Survival Guide, The Harry Potter series, etc. I don't read nearly as much as I'd like to, so most of the books I read are related to movies that I like.

Do you compose music/write songs?
Erm, no.

Do you like poetry?
A little bit. I once wrote an entire short story in rhyme.

Love someone so much who made you cry?
Honestly, I can't cry when I'm alone. Don't know why. Often it's felt like I should, but I can't.

Broken a bone?
Nay!

Been in a police car?
Nope.

Been on a boat?
Yup. :)

Fallen asleep in school?
Well.... I am homeschooled, and I have definitely fallen asleep while "reading my textbook."

Did you sing today?
I actually did quietly sing the first two lines of "Go Go Power Rangers," and I hummed the Star Trek theme very loudly.

KFC, Popeyes or Church's?
KFC! Duh. :P

Chick-fil-a or What-a-burger?
Chick-Fil-A, all the way.

Starbucks or McCafe?
Um... I don't drink coffee.

What's your favorite time of year?
Late Spring/Early Summer.

Do you ever talk to yourself?
Uh. Do imaginary people count? o_o


Do you have a favorite treat you like to buy on occasion?
Plenty. I'm sure it's not healthy. :P

Do you believe the Bible is the literal Word of God and is infallible?
Aye, Captain.

What's your favorite sport?
Uhhhh... Kung Fu?

What color is your iPod?
Black.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
New York. I think it'd be awesome to live there, actually. :D

If you could go to any fictional place, where would you go?
I'd take a tour of Middle-Earth. Lothlorien, Minas Tirith, Hobbiton, the Grey Havens, etc. (if you recognized all those names, I congratulate you.)

Do you love to write or do you just like writing?
Love it, when it works correctly. :P

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Writer/Master Martial Artist/Swordmaster/Husband/Father

Favorite animal?
Wolf, maybe? No! TIGER. ^-^

Favorite song?
Evanescence - Bring Me To Life.
Though "Arise" by Flyleaf is really awesome for me right now. Especially at 2:57.

Do you like school?
Only sometimes. My priorities are totally out of whack, so I view school as a distraction. I desperately need to change that.

Are you a people person?
Um; sorta?

Do you like to talk?
Depends on the subject. I normally stay quiet, but if it's a subject that I have an opinion on, I will be very forceful with my words. If it's something that I have a moral issue with, there's nothing that can stop me from arguing to the death over it.

Favorite food?
Anything involving bread, cheese, meat, or salt. (Pizza, Burgers, Steak, Chicken, etc.)

Hobbies?
Writing, geek-subject-researching, DAYDREAMING, swordplay, podcast-listening.

Favorite author?
Erm... I don't have one anymore. =/

Favorite weapon?
The sword. Always and forever. It's more than a weapon: it's a symbol, its master's every emotion and thought metal-wrought, gleaming with passion.

Is this a fun tag, or are you getting bored?
I liked that last question. ^-^

Do you like Hannah Montana and all those girly people and movies like High school Musical?
I like Glee. That's it.

What are you scared of?
Oh, god... Uh...
Being left alone, like a social leper.
Becoming one of those fat, disgusting people who live alone and do nothing but read comic books and argue with their equally-disgusting friends about which superhero would win in a fight. I'm dangerously close to that one.
Being rejected by the one who should be my love.
Not being honorable or willful enough to live up to my potential.

Favorite flowers?
Daisies. They're the friendliest flower. (watch You've Got Mail)

What is the expression on your face?
Thoughtful, yet slightly annoyed.

Color of your eyes?
Dark brown.

Who are you going to tag and why?
Well, I don't really have anyone else to tag. :/



By the way, Kendra, I thought you might like this:
Abstractions
It's my "deep writing" blog. Where I post my non-joking, serious stuff. I don't normally link people to it (hence why it's not on my profile page), but I'd really like for you to see it. :)
My best ones (I think) are The Metal and its Master, My Desire, She Runs, Androgynous Boys Are Dangerous, and A Lonely Walk.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Lois Lane


So I've never really understood the character of Lois Lane in the past.  She's brusque, often unkind, and not always likable.  She's entertaining as a character, but I've never understood why Superman would want to be with her.

Recently, I was thinking about a certain girl, and why I like her.  See, most people talk to me with a certain level of respect or deference.  It's kind of nice.  This girl, however, doesn't.  She can be very sweet when the occasion calls for it, but she will also treat me as an equal, and humorously call me out on things when I'm wrong.  In a weird way, I really love that about her.  I love that there's someone who can prove me wrong about something, yet still remain lovable.
As I was thinking about this, it hit me:
This is why Superman likes Lois Lane.

Superman has the odd privilege of seeing two sides of Lois: the sometimes-berating Lois who works with Clark Kent, and the weak-in-the-knees Lois that loves Superman.  In this way, Lois is both an equal and a lover.  In the best Superman stories, Clark Kent is not the bumbling character seen in the Christopher Reeve films (great as they are), but a very intelligent character who uses cleverness to hide his identity, not deception.  (Watch the video below)



Lois and Clark are equals.  Clark doesn't really get that from anyone else.  Everyone else in the world literally looks up to Superman in awe; Lois is the only woman in the world who treats him like a real person.  This makes perfect sense, since Clark is a generally humble person who wouldn't want a girl that just fawned over him all the time.  And, in addition, he still gets to see her more vulnerable, ultra-feminine side every time he saves her from something.

So yeah; I finally get it.  After all these years, Lois Lane's place in the Superman mythos finally makes sense to me.

Granted, the girl that inspired this revelation is nowhere near as rough as Lois, but maybe that's a good thing.  Still, I do have the dilemma of being romantically invisible, so I've got the Clark Kent side of things down pretty well.  Now I just need to figure out the Superman angle...


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Memory

So I'm going to attempt to start something among my blogger-friends.
I want you all to post photos of objects that have great sentimental value for you.  Maybe throw in a few family/friends photos as well.

I'll start.

If you've been paying attention to recent posts, you'll recognize my desk.

Way down at the bottom of the picture is Kira, the first computer I ever built from scratch.  I actually bought the parts and put them together, with no prior knowledge of how to build a computer.  I never quite got her to run perfectly (the motherboard I got was really cheap), but she's my baby.  One day I'll rebuild her, better and faster.


To the immediate left of my desk is my bookshelf.  On it, you can see the three pillars of DC Comics: Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.  Below, I've got shelves of book-geekery, including such titles as The Star Trek Encyclopedia: A Reference Guide to the Future, Jedi vs Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force, and four hardcover volumes of Ultimate Spider-Man.
You might also notice a pile of swords and lightsabers stashed in the space between my shelf and my desk.


Yet another step to the left, a Superman shield poster adorns the back of my bedroom door.  There's a gash in it from when a couple friends of mine accidentally slashed it with a plastic sword, but I don't really care.

This is my Master Replicas Force FX Luke Skywalker Lightsaber.  I named her Shelley.  =D

This is an assortment of random little objects that mean something to me.

Going in chronological order...

This was a wallet that I got as a "toy" in a kids' meal at Wendy's when I was seven.  It was actually a really good wallet that served me well for many years.

This is a bouncy/flashy ball that I got when I was ten.  I took it on my first-ever family road trip (to California), and I always get a really weird sense of warmth and comfort when I look at it.

This is perhaps the one that means the most to me.  It's a note that my friend Emily wrote to me after my dad died in 2004.

Basically, she wrote that she was praying for me, and that she was always there if I needed encouragement.  It was the first time that I think I understood that I had friends who really loved me.  (Even if she didn't explicitly say it)  Emily and I had a kind of silent caring friendship afterward that I really treasured.

This was the CPU to my first PC. (not Kira, but the one that my dad had given me before I'd built Kira.)  I guess there's nothing special about it; I just like the idea of still owning the "heart" of my first PC.



Yet another thing that Emily gave me; a souvenir from when she and her family went to Disneyland.  It's a personalized "passport" from the Star Tours ride.  It's pretty cool, since it's basically a physical link between me and the Star Wars universe. (yes, I am a geek. I know.)


This is a keychain from the driving school that I went to while on Summer vacation in Wisconsin.

This is a broken penny. It was fired through a machine down at NASA's visitor center in Houston.  That was a fun trip; it was basically a field trip / road trip for my homeschool co-op.

BWAHAHA! I have now posted pictures of my former peers on the internet! The stalkers will come for them soon. o_o

This is a page that was added to my co-op's comedic version of Macbeth.  What was funny about it was that it was completely false.  While the rest of the cast were going to follow this page, a buddy and I had conspired with our teacher to actually throw in a super-climactic lightsaber battle.  For no other reason than I wanted to have an awesome lightsaber battle. (if I could find the pictures of it, I'd upload them)


Lastly, this is a photo from my senior prom. (Yes, homeschoolers have proms.)
It wasn't exactly my favorite event, but I'm still really glad that I went.  It's hard to explain.

Well, that's it.  I've probably got more, but that's it for tonight.
Feel free to leave many personal and normally-intruding question-comments; I'm in the mood for nostalgia anyway.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Intolerance, hypocrisy, and other stuff

On a forum that I frequent, this post came up:

I had to remove a couple people from Facebook. I don't care if you are a Christian or not, but if all you are going to do is quote scripture goodbye. I don't care about your politics either, and if all you are going to do is post one sided "news stories", then goodbye.

I friend people because I:

A. know them in real life
B. want to know what's going on in heir lives

not because I wanted to be preached at. F**k anybody who does that.

This is very representative of what I feel is mass hypocrisy on the part of many secular Americans.  They get offended at mere quoting of scripture (not even specifically at anyone, no less), yet call Christians "intolerant."

It's like the whole "you're so hateful, I hope you burn and die" argument.  It's hypocritical, intolerant, and ignorant.  More than that, it's hateful.  It's one thing to disagree; it's another to react viciously to the mere mention of something other than your own belief (or lack thereof).

Stupid, stupid, stupid people.
Ugh.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Legend of the Seeker

Legend of the Seeker is the TV series adaptation of the Sword of Truth fantasy novel series.  When it premiered, it had an EXTREMELY cheesy pilot episode that had literally the most derivative plotline I have ever seen.  Seriously.
Despite its relative terribleness, the show had potential.  At the very least, it could be described as "a bunch of hot people fighting with swords."  Which is cool.
Since the entire first season was put up on Hulu last Summer (and no, it's not still there. =( ), I decided to watch more of the show.
At episode #8, something odd happened: the show got good.  Despite the fact that the plot revolved around leather-clad female dominatrixes (is that redundant?)—which should be the first indication that the show is cheap and pandering—the underlying themes of pain, loyalty, and self-sacrifice were surprisingly well-expressed.
From that point, the entire show kept a certain level of depth that was comforting.  Nothing too mind-blowing, but a little bit above average.  Definitely enough for my swordfight-loving mind to be satisfied.

Season 2's premiere just aired tonight.
At this point, I feel like I should get on my knees and thank God.
This show is seriously amazing.
This season is practically dripping with depth, has the best action seen yet, and appears to have production values that rival the most expensive shows on television.

Y'see, there was always a part of me that wanted to love Legend of the Seeker.  The main character, Richard Cypher, is pretty much the archetypal hero.  He's a young man whose home was burned down by evil forces, then discovered that he was the fabled hero who would defeat an evil dark lord and bring peace to the land. (see what I mean about the derivativeness?)  What I really like about Richard, though, is that he's got a good heart.  He can instinctively seek out the truth, and is driven by his compassion for others.  You don't see too many heroes like that on TV these days, so it's refreshing.  On top of that, his swordfighting style is exactly like mine (as I imagine it would be).
For those who don't know, I spend quite a bit of my free time choreographing swordfights in my head.  When I daydream, a sword is almost always involved.  When I listen to music, I often judge it by how well it would work as background music for a swordfight. (overly emotional alternative rock and metal work best)  And when I watch Richard fight, it's like I'm actually in the show, guiding his movements.  It's weird, but also really fun.

So yeah. I love this show now. :D

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Desk

I am a genius.

Let me explain.


So I have this computer desk. It's a tower corner desk. It looks something like this one below:


It doesn't look anywhere near as nice as that one, but it's the same basic design.  The main difference is that on my desk, there's another smaller shelf above the one you see the monitor sitting on in that picture.   It's supposed to hold the monitor up at eye level, but it only creates problems for me.  Here's why:


I got a new Macbook for Christmas last year.  I love it.
The problem is that it's longer than the distance between the end of the monitor shelf and the end of the main "desk" shelf.  So essentially, my desktop was too short for my Macbook to fit.  As anyone who's ever used a laptop will know, it's always easier to use a desk than your actual lap.

So today I had an idea.  "Why not just take the monitor shelf out entirely?!"
So that's what I did.
=D


I now have enough room for both my Macbook and my PC monitor.  As an added bonus, I can now hook up my PC's sound system to my Macbook, and have awesome sound.  W00T!

Hero

People often ask me why I have such an interest in stories of heroism. Superman has long been a fictional idol of mine, and my favorite fantasy characters are always the ones with innate traits of heroism.

In part, it's because they portray ideals that I believe in: selflessness, compassion, and strength through fear.
In truth, however, it all comes down to one simple fact:
The hero gets the girl.

That's all I've ever wanted.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Comment!

So I have this new story I've been working on, called Teen Justice.
I need people to read the story and comment on it.  Comments are important; they keep me going with it and give important feedback.  I need to know what things you guys like about the story, so I can figure out how to proceed.

Thanks, people. :D

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fight to Live

My thought for the day:

Don't live to fight another day.  Fight to live another day.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Camaraderie

I've recently been playing a lot of Lego Star Wars with Trey.
Trey, for those not in the know, is a seven-year-old boy (his birthday was two days ago) who, along with his Aunt, lives with us.  He doesn't really have a strong male figure in his life, so I guess I qualify as both an older brother and a semi-father figure.  He definitely takes after me in a lot of the same ways that I took after my dad.
We like a lot of the same things, including Lego, Star Wars, and video games.  Naturally, therefore, one of our favorite activities is playing an amalgamation of the three: Lego Star Wars: The Video Game.
For his birthday, he got a Nintendo Wii (Yay!) and Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga.

The game is awesome.  It's got playable Lego versions of every character from the entire saga.  Luke Skywalker? Check. Luke Skywalker in his outfit from The Empire Strikes Back? Check.  That four-armed diner owner from Attack of the Clones?  Check.  Those Royal Guard guys that always stood next to the Emperor with those cool pikes, but did nothing? Check.  Four different versions of Obi-Wan Kenobi, each with slightly altered lightsaber combat styles that correspond with his evolving fighting style from each of the first four episodes? Check.
Even better is the fact that it's really fun, yet simple enough for Trey to understand.  There's a great feeling that comes from fighting alongside a little brother against the forces of the Empire; it's completely irreplicable.  When Trey (as R2-D2) plugs into a nearby computer system and opens a door, while I (as Luke Skywalker) defend him from blaster fire using my lightsaber.  It's that feeling of of cooperation, of brotherhood, of camaraderie.  It's amazing.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Geekdom and TV Shows

So I decided awhile back that I didn't want to make this into a geek-blog.  I think it may have been an attempt to (A) get myself away from my constant mental fixation on things of the geek realm and (B) impress a certain girl with my not-geekness.

But hey, geekdom is, in truth, what is often on my mind, so maybe I shouldn't avoid it so forcefully.

But, that being said, geekdom is only part of my post today.

I've been watching several TV shows lately: The Office, 30 Rock, Stargate Universe, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars.  I've had rather different opinions on all four of them.

The Office:
Still funny, even if its concept is getting a little more soap operaish and less flat-out funny. Still, though, this clip may be the best thing I've ever seen in my entire life:


30 Rock:
This may be my new favorite comedy. It's dazzlingly well-written, quirky and charming as all get-out, and somehow manages to balance everything into a single visual narrative that's so entertaining that it boggles the mind.
I love this show. :D

Stargate Universe:
Eh. This iteration of Stargate is much more in line with Battlestar Galactica, which sounds good on paper. Unfortunately, it's a little boring at times. Well, most of the time, actually. It's enjoyable enough to keep watching, but it still seems to be stuck in the same place after five whole episodes. Oh well. It's definitely got potential, so I'll keep watching.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars:
So last season, my main complaint was that the episodes were too self-contained, and didn't have enough consequences for the entire overall story. Well, now we have episodes that practically run straight into one another, thus creating an interesting dilemma: the episodes don't have real endings. Now that I've got my wish, I suddenly wish that I could take it back. I would prefer it if I didn't have to wait a whole week or three just to get a complete story. Ugh.
Oh well. The animation is better than ever, and the story is definitely more mature this time around. Yay?

P.S.
Dollhouse is still weird.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

WILL YOU STOP?!?

Can my friends-who-are-girls PLEASE stop getting together with stupid guys?
Seriously, they're not that hard to spot.

Monday, October 12, 2009

English Academia is moronic

So I've come to a sad conclusion:
English academia is really messed up.

Doing a ton of research last week, I discovered that "published essays," which are, essentially, the pinnacle of literary criticism and discussion, are incredibly flawed.

They are perfectly adequate as a technical medium, relying mainly on the citing of sources and the repetition of main points.  However, they lack real artistry: that ability that language possesses to sweep the reader up into a vivid mental journey through the dense forests of detail and irony; to carry the reader's mind through the endless circles of human paradox; to enrapture the soul of the reader in a whirlwind of knowledge and perhaps-truths.

(See how awesome that was?)

I have a rather unique mental ability: I can read the English language to the point where my mind essentially rides its words like a flowing river.  When a sentence is written incorrectly, it jars my brain as if I've just slammed into a rock in the middle of the stream.  That's how it often feels when I read a "professional" essay.

Academic writing is so stiff and overladen with detail that it's sickening.  It's making me seriously reconsider any ideas that I had before about becoming an English teacher.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Weird.

So I liked this one girl for a long while.

And I think her boyfriend (whom she is now broken up with) may have been/is gay.

Not quite sure what to think about that. On one hand, it's like "wow; I feel so much better about myself now that I can see how pathetic he is" (for basically lying to her and himself by pretending not to be gay).
On the other hand, it's like "she still completely ignored me and dated him for all that time. Does that make me even more pathetic?"

Thursday, October 8, 2009

In Noctem



Carry my soul into the night
May the stars light my way.
I glory in the sight
As darkness takes the day.

Ferte in noctem animam meam
Illustrent stellae viam meam
Aspectu illo glorior
Dum capit nox diem

Cantate vitae canticum
Sine dolore actae
Dicite eis quos amabam
Me numquam obliturum

Sing a song, a song of life
Made without regret
Tell the ones, the ones I loved
I never will forget.

I'm Stuck

So I'm a rather huge dilemma.

Like, possibly life-altering.

I've never actually told anyone this before, but here goes.

So, as I said in an earlier post, skipping classes was a very very very bad idea.  I got stuck in a place where I couldn't even start going back to class again because I was so far behind.  Well, now it's the same situation, but far worse.
Basically, nothing's improved.  I'm doing alright in one of my English classes now, but the workload for even that one class is getting pretty steep.  My History class is a blessing in that there are no assignments other than tests, so as long as I stay up-to-date with the material then I should be fine.  My other three classes are not going so wonderfully.

I've already missed one major assignment in my British Lit class, I'm extremely far behind on my English Grammar class (and my teacher is very unlikely to be forgiving of my absence), and my grade in my German class can only be saved by an act of God.
And I have tests for all five classes the week after next.

Now, see, here's the thing: what do I do at this point?  Do I just drop my classes to save my G.P.A.?  If I do, then I'll have wasted a couple thousand dollars in student loan money.  If I don't drop the classes, and work my absolute hardest on all five of them for the remainder of the semester, can I get anything better than a C in each of them?  I mean, the only class I'm actively attending is the one that's the most demanding, and I'm doubtful that I can get an A in that class despite the fact that English is by far my best subject.  If I work hard and actually do things right from here on out, then can I still get anything better than a 2.5 grade average?  I mean, because I transferred this semester, my G.P.A. is wiped clean and brand-new.  My 3.29 grade average from my last school won't do anything to help my current G.P.A.  And what's that going to do for me? It'll only hurt my chances of getting a good job and qualifying for some desperately-needed scholarships.  It's like there's nothing I can do.

And I feel horrible about all of this.  I really don't understand why all of this happened.  I've never been a bad student before; in high school I was beloved by all my teachers, and was known as one of the best and brightest students.  Heck, my personality type is statistically the best for being a student.  So why on Earth have I acted so stupidly?

It's a cycle; every semester I screw up, but promise myself that it'll be better next semester, and that I'll actually put in effort and do things right.  And every time I believe it.  I went into this semester thinking that I was doing great; that I was finally going to live up to my potential, make my mother proud (or at least get her to shut up about all my negative qualities), and pave the way for my future.  And somehow I started crashing within the first week.  I don't know how it happened.  I was on-campus, waiting for my class to start, but when it came time for me to walk to my classroom, I just walked straight to the parking lot and drove away. It's not like I didn't realize what I was doing; it was a conscious choice.
It's weird; I often feel trapped at school. Like it actually hurts somehow to go to class.  I didn't feel that way at TCC; it was fine there.  At UTA, however, I feel like I'm climbing into an oven when I force myself to walk through the door and sit down.  It's not like the school is bad or anything; it's a great school, and I actually like it a lot.
There's just something strange in me that feels like it's being torn out of my heart when I go to school.
Maybe it's that, for once in my life, I actually need to focus on something that doesn't directly involve my imagination.

See, I'm an only child, and was homeschooled my entire life.  I spent most of my early years at home, with nothing to do but delve into my own imaginary adventures.  Even later, when I actually had friends that I saw semi-regularly, I was stuck in my own head.  And it's never stopped.  Seriously, it's weird.
I have a strange kind of comfort in the fact that I can retreat into my imagination whenever I feel the need to do so.  If I'm ever lonely, I instinctively imagine that I've got a friend with me.  It's so habitual that it's actually harder for me to actually clear my mind and force myself to realize that I'm alone.  Which may be why school hurts so badly: it forces me to actually deal with the real world and give it my full attention.  Now, I can do that in most circumstances anyway, but only if it distracts me enough or interests me enough to keep me from feeling that empty feeling that I get when I realize that all I really have to do is school and nothing else.
I don't have a family; not really. My mother doesn't count. (it's complicated)
I don't have a girl to love, despite the fact that she-whom-I-do-not-yet-know dominates many of my thoughts.
I have some friends; I really do appreciate them more than they know. (if you're reading this, then apparently you're among them.)
But overall, I feel like I'm lacking a measure of comfort; like the reality of my life is a carpet of steel spikes.  And I have no idea what to do about it.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Jealous?

Many of you will be familiar with this scenario.  Guy A ("Clark") is friends with (and sort of likes) Girl A ("Chloe"), but Girl A is dating Guy B ("Ian").  Clark is a genuinely good person, and suspects that Ian isn't that great of a guy.  Being a good friend, he brings this up with Chloe.

Let's see how this plays out.

Clark:  Hey, Chloe, I wanted to talk to you about something.
Chloe: Sure; what's up?
Clark: Well, it's about Ian.
[Chloe becomes suddenly suspicious.  Her eyes narrow, and she slightly frowns.]
Clark: I don't think he's that great of a guy.
[Chloe becomes defensive and irritated]
Chloe: Why would you say something like that?
Clark: I heard him talking to some of his other friends about "some girl," and not in a really nice way.
Chloe: And, what? You think he was talking about me?  Come on, Clark; have you never said anything stupid just to impress your "bros?"
Clark: No, I haven't, and--
Chloe: Oh, that's right, because you're SO PERFECT.  Y'know what, Clark? It's not your business who I date.
Clark: No, that's not the point. I was just concerned for you!
Chloe: So making judgments about the guys I like is being "concerned?"  The world doesn't revolve around you!
Clark: Hey! I was just trying to make sure you didn't get hurt!
Chloe [firmly]: That's not your job, Clark. Leave me alone.

Chloe assumes that Clark is jealous, which he very well may be. However, Clark is, of course, correct in his assumption, and Chloe ends up being hurt.

Now, here's the question:
Was it right for Clark to say something in the first place?  After all, it was technically "not his business," but he acted out of concern for his friend's well-being.
It's true that Chloe probably would never have changed her mind about Ian, no matter what Clark said.  There was no way for Clark to do or say anything without being labeled "the bad guy."

I have been "Clark" many times before.  And I always will be.

Now, I don't always bring up the issue.  Sometimes I think that the girl in question is capable of figuring her current beau out for herself, so I leave her to do that.  However, that is often not the case.

No matter what, I am not going to just shut up and sit idly by when I have think that someone I care about is going to be hurt.
Girls, do me a favor and give me the benefit of a doubt, okay?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Empty bliss; Selfishness

So I was continuing my now-ritualistic re-watching of Smallville--my guilty pleasure teen drama show (I think it's like my personal version of Twilight)--and something struck me. The characters in that show are actually good people. (at least in Season 1)
Not many popular stories today actually have that essential quality: good old-fashioned family wholesomeness. I hadn't really noticed it much when I originally watched the show because I was twelve at the time, and innocence was all I knew.

Now it's hitting me: this world is seriously screwed up.

I'm tired of hearing people whine and complain about life, throwing out profanities with every other breath. I'm tired of people spreading hate and mistrust, passing off their strife-mongering as "wisdom." I'm tired of people tearing down everything that's good, just, and honest only to satisfy their own anger and self-loathing.
I hate the fact that over the years, I've almost become one of them. When I was young, I was idealistic and hopeful. I honestly believed in doing the right thing for the right thing's sake. I believed in being unselfish, even if others weren't. I was a good kid.

I've been jaded over the past few years. I made the mistake of falling into the false promises of the world, and forgot who I was.

I don't know exactly why I changed. It might have been the fact that my dad died in 2004; I don't know. I know I changed a lot that year, and I thought that it was for the better. I matured a lot, and I shifted my priorities. But perhaps my priorities were shifted the wrong way? I think they may have been.

I've thought a lot lately that I don't feel myself; I think now I understand why.

Luke 18:16-17
But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."

While watching Smallville tonight, I recaptured how it felt to be me at age twelve. I don't know if I thought of myself as such at the time, but looking back now, when I was that young, I acted and felt like a child of God. I had a constant sense of peace. (the peace that passes all understanding?)
I felt that peace when my dad died, too, despite the fact that he was my best friend in the world and I'd just lost him forever. I honestly believe that it was a combination of God's amazing grace and the prayers of countless friends and family members. However, at the time, I, in my ignorance, had figured that the peace I felt was a sign that I was doing things right; that I was growing up and becoming my own person. Maybe that was the problem? I chose to follow my own desires rather than letting go and letting God do the leading. It wasn't a conscious thing; I had no idea that I was doing it.

I do remember that within ten seconds of finding out that my father had died (of natural-yet-random circumstances, for those not in-the-know), I immediately thought "what do I have in my life that's good now?" My immediate mental answer was the name of a girl that I had feelings for at the time. It was at that point that I thought that I needed to grow up and make my own family, because my current one was broken.

Not long after that, my mom told me that she had had a type of revelation: that I wasn't fatherless, because God would be my father.
I mostly ignored that, and that was a mistake.
I chose to follow my own desires, rather than do what was actually right. Whereas before I had always done the right thing just because I was a good kid, at this point I had changed. I stopped knowing what the right thing to do was, and started trying to figure it out for myself. It wasn't instinctive like it was before, and it wasn't me.

I want to go back to how I used to be. Honest, genuine, and responsible. (not that I'm a "bad" person now, but still.)

My grandfather (who was a pastor for many years) said something very interesting to me once: there's a difference between "love" and "like." Love is an action, not a feeling. It can be a feeling, but it doesn't need to be. You don't have to like someone to love them; you can love them by showing them kindness, patience, etc.
I think that in my youth, I had that "feeling" of love. I was a genuinely loving person because love was in my heart. I had a kind of intrinsic joy. I hadn't been jaded by life's struggles, and I didn't live in fear of loss. Nowadays, my heart is tempered too much by my thoughts; I have to pass everything through a mental filter. Well, no more of that.

I'm going to be different. I will not simply trudge through life trying to accomplish vague goals that I set for myself. I will be my best, not simply because I choose to be, but because I choose to be the kind of person that wants to be. It's a mindset, and one that I've forgotten until now.
For the first time in a long time, I think I'll sleep well tonight.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Music

I've been putting together a list of music tracks that I relate to on some deep level. Each song either seems to resemble me or is something that I feel a strong personal connection to.

Harry in Winter - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (soundtrack)
It's tinged with a strain of sadness and loss, yet still powerful at the same time. Melancholy yet vivid. I feel like that all the time.

Angel Main Theme (The Sanctuary Extended Remix) - Darling Violetta
The opening theme to the TV series Angel. The deep tones of the cello in the opening lead straight into the rock, which is awesome.

Bring Me To Life - Evanescence
This may be my favorite song of all time. Seriously. It's got amazing emotional strength and kickawesome guitar riffs.

All Along The Watchtower - Battlestar Galactica: Season 3 (soundtrack)
A weird Indian-style cover of the Bob Dylan song. Until you actually see/hear its significance in BSG, you probably won't like it. Once you do, however, it's amazing. Its morally confused nature fits perfectly with the types of moral questions that BSG asks of its audience.

That Thing You Do! - That Thing You Do! (soundtrack)
It's just a catchy 60s-style pop rock song from the greatest 60s-period-piece-movie of all time. I listened to it on repeat for about a year straight when I was twelve.

Drink Up Me Hearties Yo Ho - Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End
The theme from POTC has always been a favorite of mine, and Hans Zimmer took it to amazing heights in the end credits of the third movie. It's got two new added musical themes, one that's just an extension of the main theme (like a bridge), and another that works extremely well as a love theme for Will & Elizabeth. It's like he found the tone that heartstrings resound at, and played it for all the world to hear.

Enterprising Young Men - Star Trek (2009 soundtrack)
This is the new theme for the 2009 Star Trek film; it's great. It's essentially an adventure theme in space. Now, it's true that Star Wars had that already, but Trek is science fiction, while Wars is fantasy. The fact that this track takes the "we will reach the stars" angle of science fiction and adds fun to it is great. Unlike Star Wars, which is set in a Galaxy far, far away, this theme for Star Trek seems to say "Hey! You can have amazing adventure in the real world!"

May It Be - Enya - The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
This is the song that plays over the end credits of The Fellowship of the Ring. It's great; it's filled with acknowledgement of immense hardship and sadness, yet encourages hope through it all. I find a lot of solace in that. And half the chorus is in Sindarin, so that makes is awesome in my book.

The Fellowship Reunited / The Return of the King - The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
This is the stuff that plays over the ending scenes of Return of the King. My absolute favorite part is at 2:15, where the music seems to climax. It's a unique theme that seems to represent the final triumph of good, as well as Aragorn and Arwen's long-awaited marriage. Of all the musical themes I've heard in films, this one seems to be the one that I keep going back to. It's "the end." After all the struggles and heartbreak of life, there's a final reward of hope and undying love. It's essentially the musical form of what I'm constantly waiting, wishing, and fighting for. It's who I am.

English is fun! (or it SHOULD BE)

Hey Internet!

So one of my English teachers is slightly.... bitchy.
I don't mean that in a really bad way; I just mean that she's extremely strict about certain things that simultaneously do and do not make sense. I got my grade for my first English test today, and I got a 67. Seriously. An ENGLISH exam.
It took me about twenty seconds of looking over the test to realize that it wasn't my actual knowledge that was the problem; it was the fact that I seriously didn't know what she wanted out of my written answers. By my estimation, I should have gotten somewhere between 80 and 85 on that test. That's not super-great, but it's a far cry from a D+. Now, see, I've gotten bad grades on tests before. It's something that I deal with when it happens, and I never ever complain when it's actually because I messed up and didn't study. This instance, however, is me getting a bad grade not because I didn't know the material well enough, but because I didn't know how much information my teacher actually wanted. Every teacher has their own individual grading style--like a language--and until you learn that style (it takes only one test, usually), you very well may end up screwing up.
This is why most teachers drop one of the test grades; they know that at least one test will be a screw-up for completely legitimate reasons. Unfortunately, I really doubt that this teacher will do that. I'm thinking of talking with her next class about it. I might use the "even if you don't change *my* grade, at least consider dropping a test in your future classes." That way I can show that I'm not just out for myself in that argument. That's right; I am sneaky and oft-manipulative.

Oh, by the way, readers, DO NOT SKIP CLASSES. IT IS A BAD, BAD IDEA!!!!

Yeah, so I started skipping classes every now and then during the last few weeks (which is about 80% of the entire semester thus far), and now I'm really sunk. It's not horrible, but it's to the point where I have a couple classes that I can't/shouldn't show up to until I do the reading to actually catch up to the class. And considering that I have HORRIBLE study habits, that means that I am essentially locked out of my own classes until I change my ways and become a better person.
Yeeeeeahh....... I am never skipping classes like this again.
EV-ER.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

9/19/09

What I'm thinking at the current moment:

I love the X-Men.

Halo is fun.

School is slightly frustrating.

I need to develop focus. I really don't have much of that.  I figure that if I can actually learn to study and put all my energy into doing well in school, I can ace it.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

More, please.

I was browsing the web when I happened to come across these fan-made images.



See, Wonder Woman is one of my favorite superheroes, and one that goes largely unappreciated. She's not just someone who smiles and flies around in an inbisible jet; she's an Amazon warrior and ambassador for peace. (yes, that is somewhat of a contradiction)

The artist responsible for the above images did some really amazing work, and I desperately hope that someone at Warner Bros. sees those images and takes a hint.

Please, someone make a Wonder Woman movie. Now.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Snowballing

There's a rather large aspect of geek culture that I'm beginning to despise: snowballing.

Geeks/nerds/whatever tend to react to films, TV shows, books, and other major forms of geek media with a herd mentality.  For instance, Transformers 2 originally had a very mixed response from the geek crowd, but has now become a generally reviled film, to the point that many geeks will make strong absolute statements. ("Transformers 2 is utter ****. Anyone who likes that film is obviously stupid.")
Other such films include Star Wars Episodes I-III, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men 3, and Spider-Man 3.  Now, I have immense problems with most of those films as well, but I would never say that they are completely and unequivocally wrong in each and every way.  Yes, the Star Wars prequels are a bit disappointing.  Yes, Wolverine made Logan's story far less compelling than the comics did.  Yes, Spider-Man 3 was a mess of a film.  But does that mean that it's wrong to like those films in spite of all that?

Other films are often put in the reverse position, and placed on a type of "geek pedestal" that must not dare be challenged. (The Dark Knight, for instance)  However, instead of merely "defending" these stories, many of these fanatical people take it a step further and actually attack those who have differing opinions.  Some people say that The Dark Knight is too slow and weary; are those people absolutely wrong?

It frustrates me to no end when people don't see that being so aggressive and arrogant in their opinions is just hypocritical and moronic.  What does any person gain when they attempt to tear someone else's credibility asunder?  Does it make them feel better about themselves?

Can't we just enjoy our stories without having to critically analyze every minute aspect of fictional works that are becoming increasingly more complicated as time goes on?

Ugh.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Of the Undead

When zombies attack, will you be ready?

I know I will be.

For the past few months, I've been gathering information on the possibility of a Zombie attack.  Mainly, I've been reading a very intensive book on the subject:


This event has been proven to be a serious threat, as shown in films such as Dawn of the Dead and its spiritual successor, Shaun of the Dead.

However, there is another threat which could prove even worse:

The return of the dinosaurs.




As we have learned from Jurassic Park, these creatures cannot be tamed, nor can they be controlled.  They are vengeful, savage monsters who will hunt us down until they have exacted their revenge upon us, and WE are the extinct ones.

Undoubtedly at this moment you are very frightened of this danger, as am I.  However, the real threat is even greater than you realize.

What if these reptilian monstrosities were to become even more deadly, by way of some terrible chemical agent?  It is doubtless that the more creative minds among you have already reached my same conclusion:

Zombie Dinosaurs.




I apologize if I may have frightened you with the above image, but I felt that it was necessary to get the message across.  In truth, you should be frightened.

Imagine the endless horrors.  Dinosaurs that cannot be killed by traditional means, scouring the earth, slaughtering what humans they find and infecting those they cannot kill.  Due to the fact that they are not human, they might in fact be able to move quickly, unlike their human zombie counterparts.
The smaller saurians (such as Compsognathus) would act as quick, vicious disease carriers, infecting entire groups of humans with deadly precision and agility.
Others, such as the above pictured Velociraptor, would be hunter-killers, capable of both brute strength and lightning speed.
Finally, the worst of them all would be the the large dinosaurs.
With the Zombie virus infection, these dinosaurs would no longer bleed to death or be able to die by any means other than a killing blow to the brain.  This presents a major problem with large dinosaurs, as they have extremely small brains, and would be almost impossible to kill with traditional firearms.  In the case of many large dinosaurs, the brain is also protected by a large, thick skull.




How on earth would you fight these things?  The answer, sadly, is unknown at the present.  But we must continue to seek the answers, before we are too late.  I urge each and every one of you to spread the word.
Make a zombie survival plan.  Stock up on basic supplies.  Vote for political candidates who support anti-Zombie research.  The apocalypse is nigh, and we must be ready.

Behind the sparkles

.


Statement:

Twilight is emotional porn for women.

















(you know it's true)

Friday, August 28, 2009

First week of College

I spent the past 2 years at Tarrant County College, but that wasn't a "real" college.  In nearly every possible way, it is nothing like a University.

This Fall, I transferred to the University of Texas at Arlington.

It
Is
Awesome.


It's very "new." While other schools seem a bit run-down or old, UTA has taken great care of itself. It's clean, slick-looking, and has a bowling alley. I don't ever bowl; I just like knowing it's there. :)


I like to sit in the leather chairs on the top level of University Hall (the building where students go to "hang out."  As a matter of fact, that's where I'm typing from at this very moment.

It's nice and cozy.  The first time I went to go sit down here, all the couches and chairs were pulled together so that there was no opening.  I had to vault-jump over the couch on the left; it was pretty cool.
On the first day of class, I sat here during my 2-hour break between classes, innocently blogging about the injustices of Star Wars publishing, and three guys sat down in the same little seating-square.  One of them, noticing that I was browsing the net, asked me how to get his laptop online (because it is rather complicated), and I helped him out.  In response to my apparent friendliness, the other two guys started introducing themselves to me and bringing me into their conversation.  Of course, this is college, so there are really no standards or morals for conversation.  I really don't need to hear about all the different not-to-be-mentioned things that a guy and his girlfriend do with one another.
They seemed friendly at least, though if I never saw any of them again, I wouldn't be unhappy.

[side note: at the current moment, there's a guy sitting in one of the seats across from me that looks a bit like 1977-era Mark Hamill. It's kinda distracting.  I feel like I need to shake his hand and tell him how great he is.]

Two days later, whilst in the same chair (I love this spot), three girls (not the stereotypical shallow/hot/whatever college girls you see on TV) sat down right at my left.  I noticed that one of them was about 4 feet tall.
After sitting there for awhile and pretending not to listen to their conversation, I interjected with a comment about something they were discussing (the effect of drugs on essay-writing).  They were apparently impressed with something I said, as they kept talking to me.  I eventually learned that the short one was named Allison, and that she was an English major and hopeful novelist (she joked that we were "academic soulmates"), another of them (dark hair, blue eyes, about 5'7'') was named Courtney Cox (I kid you not!), and the last one (average height, red/brown hair, video gamer) was named Diana (I think).  They were nice.
Allison and Diana left for class after awhile, but Courtney stayed around for a bit. Eventually I realized that she was only hanging around so that I wouldn't be left alone; that was nice of her.  I think she feels a bit lonely: she lives on-campus, but her roommates apparently have other friends that are higher on their priority list than her.  We told each other that we'd be sure to hang out more when we next see each other.
I think I'll be her friend. :)
[side note: I really shouldn't be listening to the love theme from Attack of the Clones while I write this; I think it's giving this story a slight romantic edge that it doesn't have in reality.]

Oh, that reminds me.  I think my Star Wars fandom has reached a critical point.  Every time my teacher would mention an aspect of literature, I would immediately think "that's just like Star Wars! =D"
Now, if and when I ever did make a Star Wars reference in class, it was also a very good point. I did, however, get unofficially labeled "the Star Wars reference guy."
I'll have to find clever ways of not mentioning it directly.

I'm getting to go home early today because my afternoon class is only on Monday and Wednesday. :D
I'm gonna go home and play a--wait for it--Star Wars game.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Seriously.

I am sick of certain girls being recognized as desirable.
I mean those girls with obviously-fake blonde hair, way too much eye makeup, skin that's so tan it's disturbing, and that "f*** off" look in their eyes (or on their lips, depending on whether or not you dare to make eye contact). Those girls who you always see talking on their cellphone, leaning sideways into that "I am so pissed right now" stance, and being upset about things that honestly don't matter (like their appointment for their obviously-unnatural hair).

Does anyone still think those girls are hot? Honestly?

I am sick of that always-present idea that girls have to be so skinny that it's unhealthy.
Ladies: there's a certain point at which you can actually become too skinny. It's not attractive.

I've walked around several college campuses in the past couple months, and noticed this at all of them.

Is the world at a point where every guy has to be an obnoxious jerk (who can't help but tell you how he got his piles of muscles through hours of daily weightlifting) and every girl has to be an obnoxious bleach-blonde zombie?

UGH.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Smallville


Back in 2001, when I was twelve, Smallville started airing.  I had heard about the show, but didn't think much of it.  I was a big Superman fan, but I was more interested in "Superman" stories, not "how Clark Kent became Superman" stories.  The fact that Smallville seemed to be taking some rather large liberties with the story (such as creating the idea that Lex Luthor and Clark were best friends while Clark was high school) didn't exactly excite me either.

However, it so happened that Smallville aired right after my mom's favorite-show-at-the-time, Gilmore Girls.  When we left the TV on that channel for a few minutes after my mom finished her weekly ritual viewing, Smallville came on.  The "preview" for the episode involved a football coach who'd somehow gotten the power to control fire.  At this revelation, the still-childlike geek in me squealed.  Who cares about overall story quality when you've got live-action superhero stories coming every week? For a twelve-year-old, that's like someone giving you a free $50 bill every week.  It's amazing.

It was very interesting watching Smallville at that point in my life.  Even though I was a good three years younger than the characters in the show and never even attended public school, I could still relate to the stories.  It's been said that the Superman character is unrelatable, but I found Clark Kent's portrayal in Smallville to be the most relatable story I'd ever seen.
Clark is a truly good person; he chooses to walk the straight and narrow because it's the right thing to do, even though he has to make sacrifices.
He wants to be with the girl of his dreams, Lana Lang, and he actually ends up saving her life many times.  However, because he must keep his powers a secret, he can never tell her just how much he cares for her, nor can he show her who he truly is.  I can't tell you how many times I've felt that way: how I wanted to be with someone, and thought "if only she knew."
Clark is also an alien.  He doesn't know exactly where he's from, where he's supposed to be, or what he's supposed to do.  All he does know is that he's destined for greater things.  Now, I realize that it might sound egotistical of me, but I feel much the same way: like there's something inside me that just wants to leap into the sky and take flight.  However, much like Clark in Smallville, I have no idea how to do that.
Come to think of it, Smallville may have been responsible for my obsession with wearing Superman T-shirts in my early teen years.

I recently started going through Smallville again, right from the beginning.  I'm surprised at how much I'm loving it every bit as much as I did when I was twelve.  It's full of sometimes-cheesy teen drama and storylines that are completely contrived, but somehow I'm wholeheartedly enjoying it.  Maybe it's the generally-hopeful message that it gives me; maybe it's the fact that for once there's a story about a teenage boy who's a genuinely great person; maybe it's that Allison Mack is adorable.

Whichever is the case, Smallville is entertaining me once again after all these years.  I am pleased. :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

In Hindsight


So 2007 was a very, very weird year for me. In only three months, I graduated from high school, became a legal adult, started going to college full-time, began working at my first real job, and moved to a new home. It was insanity.

Somehow, during all of that, my brain apparently stopped working. I recently went back through my archives of MySpace messages, phone IMs, etc.
DEAR GOD.
Something must have been seriously wrong with my brain. I wrote some of the weirdest, over-emotional, smothering, desperate-sounding, awkwardly flirtatious things-I-never-would-have-imagined-I'd-say. I wrote things that I don't even think I honestly meant at times.

If I could erase the memories of everything I said that year from my friends' brains, that would be great.
In fact, if you guys wouldn't mind, follow along with me; I've written up a tutorial.

1: Click on My Brain.
2: Go under My Memories > 2007 > Aaron > Dialogue
3: Right-Click, then click on "Select All," then click "Delete."
4. Be sure to empty your recycle bin.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Old Republic - Jedi or Bounty Hunter? ACK!

So I've been totally obsessed with the upcoming game Star Wars: The Old Republic.



I'm super-excited to play as the bounty hunter and Jedi character classes.
I want to be that light-side Jedi who deftly and expertly takes down hordes of Sith.
I want to be that amazing Bounty Hunter who defies the Sith Empire and chooses to fight for the other side.

*sigh*

:)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Battlestar Galactica: Words Cannot Express


The 2003 re-imagined version of the classic television series Battlestar Galactica is something truly special.

It began as a 4-hour TV miniseries, which tells the beginnings of the story:
Somewhere in the galaxy, in an unknown time or place, the human race colonized twelve planets, and forged them into a society much like our modern United States. At some point, they created the Cylons, a robotic race of beings, who then turned upon their masters and began a bloody war. An uneasy treaty was struck, and the Cylons retreated into deep space. Decades later, the Cylons return and proceed to completely wipe out the human race with nuclear weapons. Only 50,000 survivors are left, fleeing from the Cylons in a barely-working group of civilian ships protected by the last remaining military Battlestar, Galactica. Their goal is to find a new home: a fabled planet named Earth.

This sounds like a fun Sci-Fi series, but it is, in truth, a Science Fiction series--yes, there is a difference. "Sci-Fi" is a slang term used to refer to any story involving fantastical technology, but true "Science Fiction" involves things that are much deeper.

It is my belief that the original Science Fiction story is the Greek myth of Icarus. Icarus, who attempted to reach the heavens with his wings made of wax and feathers, fell to his death when he flew too close to the sun, melting the wax on his wings. The first modern Science Fiction story is Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, which deals with the theme of mankind attempting to obtain godhood, and the horrible consequences that follow. Another story is that of The Time Machine, which suggested that capitalism would ultimately bring about an extreme social class distinction that would destroy humanity.
All true Science Fiction asks us questions: How high can we fly before our wings of wax melt? Can we play God? What are the possible consequences of our current actions?
Science Fiction may not always come to the correct conclusions (as The Time Machine illustrates), but its point is no less well-made. Science Fiction uses theoretical ideas about technology to realistically examine future possibility, which may inform modern action. How many times have politicians cited the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four and its concept of "Big Brother" as realistic and terrifying outcomes for possible government rule?

In today's world, we have endless hordes of sci-fi TV series, films, games, and books. Many of the more popular franchises, such as Stargate and Star Trek, have become more focused on maintaining an enjoyable story, rather than telling a meaningful one. There's certainly nothing wrong with surface-level entertainment, but for something that truly makes statements about modern society and gives you something deeper, Battlestar Galactica reigns supreme.

Battlestar didn't seem so amazing at first. Its premiere miniseries was striking in its ultra-realistic style and fictional culture that closely resembled our own, but it wasn't necessarily a super-engaging story. Once the TV series actually started up, however, things began to change.
It soon became clear that this was a show like no other: while other TV series relied upon "characters," Battlestar relied upon "people." The cast of the show was portrayed in such a realistic manner that it rarely felt like watching a rehearsed show; it felt like peering into something real that was happening somewhere out there in the universe. By the 3rd season, the show had reached incredible levels of depth.
A complaint often raised against the show was that it relied too heavily upon sex, and that's a valid point. Those seeking to watch a show where they can "live through the characters" might find Battlestar problematic, as it portrays a universe in which nearly every major character makes serious moral errors. This is, however, part of the point: Battlestar portrays a world in which society's structure has been almost entirely broken down, and people are now forced to find truth for themselves, independent of any guiding rule. It's a sociological dissertation, examining ideas of religious belief, good, evil, life, death, and human rights.


The entire United Nations assembly actually held a conference in retrospect of BSG, inviting the cast and crew of the show to speak on the real-world issues that the show dealt with.



Two days after that conference, the UN rewrote their charter to no longer refer to different cultures with the term "race."
That's right, the UN actually did something. Because of Battlestar Galactica.

I do not personally agree with every position that Battlestar Galactica takes, but that does not lessen the significance of its existence. It truly is the pinnacle of modern Science Fiction, holding up a mirror to our own society and forcing us to look in a painful mirror of jagged edges and harsh truths.

So say we all.


So say we all.



So say we all.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Superman

I'm not sure why I haven't blogged about it yet.  Superman: one of my childhood obsessions.

There's a cynicism in culture that seeks to keep people rooted to the ground: to keep them from moving beyond the muck of average life.  They say that morals are relative; that life is unchangeable, yet you should make it yours.  They say that tradition has no place, and that social rules are mere barriers perpetuated by an aging and unenlightened society of hate-mongering elders.  In this world of semi-anarchy, Superman stands as a symbol that refuses to sway in the face of social collapse.  The superficial onlooker would assume that Superman is an unrealistic, outdated, and boring cultural icon.

When I was five years old, I first saw Superman on TV, played by Dean Cain.



For a five-year-old living in the 90s, that show was freakin' amazing.  Even at that age, I was enthralled by the show's themes of justice, kindness, and laser vision.

At one point, when I was nine, I came to the realization that superheroes' abilities are physical representations of their values, beliefs, and personal strengths.  Superman's amazing powers are a reflection of strength of character, and it is his character that makes him "super," not his physical powers.  I realized then that Superman was truly an ideal: a representation of all that is good, just, and loving.  Anyone can be "Superman," merely by choosing to make the right decisions and genuinely caring for people.

It's been said that love is a choice, not just a feeling.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

If that doesn't describe Superman, I don't know what does.   Superman isn't a great person because he has powers that put him above other people; he's a great person because he was raised in the American midwest by God-fearing farmers who taught him the value of life and the importance of doing the right thing--even when it's not easy.  I hold to these same beliefs, and therefore empathize a bit with the character of Superman.

Superman is the last survivor of a long-dead planet; the only one of his kind.  Every one of us has felt that way at some point in our lives: alone, rejected, misunderstood, etc.  There are few of us who do not have multiple "identities," striving to be honest with some and keep important secrets from others.  All of us have certain desires that seem unattainable, yet strive forward with the hope that one day our struggles will not be in vain.  Superman knows that keeping every living being on the Earth safe is an impossible task, yet still he fights on.
Superman represents the best we can be: someone who always makes the right decision, and is unwaveringly caring.

Even more than that, Superman can fly.  He's not stuck to the ground; he can fly above and away from it all. He's not simply restricted by his moral code; he's freed by it, as we all should be. Doing the right thing doesn't hold us back, it makes us better.  Yes, there are sacrifices to be made, but at the end of it all is hope, joy, and love.

And heat vision.  =D