Sunday, January 18, 2015

A letter to Grandma: the nightmare of Disneyland....

1/18/15


Dearest Grandma,

A veritable mountain (or at the very least a considerable hill) of snacks has been arrayed, packaged, and even scheduled for our trip to Disneyland. Various kindnesses have made the trip possible, mostly in the form of monetary contributions by A’s father (who is also funding our tickets thereto).

"A" even measured our children in order to determine in advance the rides to which they’ll have access, as though to catalogue their amusement capacity.

My approach to Disneyland is to be that person assigned to the kiddie rides (though I hope with no one else’s children). When N and H were babies (in their respective Disneyland-baby eras) I was happy to enjoy California in February or November, sitting on a park bench and rocking a little one to sleep in a stroller while the breeze rolled across some overly charming pond and other more enthused Disneyites hurried busily past in brightly colored throngs.

It takes little to amuse me, and even less to repulse.

Take the gum-coated walls of rides with lines longer than that of most public “people processors”: the DMV or the post office at Christmas; even if by some miracle the devoted custodial crew took an evening to scrape seeming decades worth of thoroughly masticated synthetic rubber off a column there’s still the black of similarly encrusted human finger residue everywhere one can place a hand. It’s a nightmare.

But I digress…

Apart from a recent stomach virus we’re all doing well. N boasts of being “bitten” by a green praying mantis. H still finds her way into our bed each evening and finds a parent to cling to like an appendage, even on the occasions we put her back into her own bed (repeatedly). 

We’re fine, but who knows what terrors Disneyland may harbor…

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Idyllic environs

Amber and the children remained at home while I caught church between the hours of 10:00 and 11:30, leaving just after sacrament because I suspected that Amber’s reasons for staying home would make it unconscionable for me to leave her with two darling but increasingly unruly children. It also happened that a chap sat next to me, greatly disturbing my personal space and —although I’m not really that esoteric—his presence came with an odor. Okay, so he smelled stale. Like he needed to be hung on the line for a while or freshened with a dryer sheet; that, or it might have been my imagination...

We finished the day with a riotous bout of children wailing, parents shouting (or doing their meager best not to) and all of that; so we high-tailed it to the mountains in search of a hike (the final determination of which was the culminating focus of interparental rage). We hiked two miles in a round trip that included children on hips, on shoulders, in arms, sitting down on flat terrain in a mistaken attempt to slide, lying down on the dirt as though it were a welcoming blanket, and poking at the dirt with sticks while fidgeting parents prodded them onward. There were the idyllic environs:  towering pines, soaring blue skies, a pristine lake (named Mary, no less), quaking aspens, and wildflowers like sprinkles on a misshapen green sundae.

But then there were mosquitoes. Not one, not two, and they were not tiny, or imperceptible, but a ravenous net laid across our path in a guerilla-style attempt to rob of us of our much needed blood protein as we flew—er, or haltingly trod and sometimes stood still—down the mountain, swatting, swiping, and sometimes cajoling the wingéd menaces.


Noah happily shouted in echo as we neared a natural “chamber” on our way down. (His father may have unwittingly started it by hooting just minutes before.) My intellectual method in accelerating his descent: “Noah, move your butt!” Alas, tomorrow may betray marks both external and internal resulting from this latest display of shenanigans, but it was one of those efforts, not quite herculean, which nonetheless remains worth the venture.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Wizard Lord

Noah, Hannah and I played “Wizard Lord” before bedtime. It involved Noah being the eponymous ruler, and he was not merciful in the least. He wanted me to hunt for people. We collected stuffed animals, my lord and me, and stuffed them under the piano bench and kiddie table in the front room, our overcrowded dungeons. Then I did my best British accent and pretended that his Waldorf doll, with flowing mane and leaf-emblazoned cape, was a hero bursting from his cell. Thence proceeded a wizard battle the likes of which no one has ever seen (or will likely not care to…) I would often conjure an invisible shield of some kind to repel his spittle-laden sound effects, and he would retaliate by attempting to seize my little hero with his hands, which as anyone knows is cheating. There were at least a few forms of magic involving bums, instigated by me, no less. Then Noah resorted to magically altering my hero until at last we arrived at a largish Winnie the Pooh, who received a thorough pummeling, no doubt for impersonating a wizard.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Where can I turn for peace?

On a rare child-free date night my wife and I went to see Star Trek: Into Darkness via some tickets Amber won in some contest. And it was typical of J.J. Abrams, in that the dialogue was snappy, tensions were high, there had to be some scantily clad female, and oh, the fightiness. I cannot pretend I am not a part of the mass populace beleaguered by repeated exposure to violent content. I grew up watching movies like Terminator and Die Hard, etc. Perhaps the continued milieu of fatherhood has made me more aware, or my resolve to no longer watch R-rated fare has by contrast increased my antagonism to its gratuitous inclusion in the Hollywood blockbuster. Whatever the cause, I felt that not only on a moral level, but an artistic one, that there were at least a few moments where the throttling, the bone-crunching, and the repeated pounding could have been cut much shorter, and allowed us contemplation, a denouement before yet another surge of seething testosterone.

My experience (indeed, my lifetime of media saturation) demonstrates how a thoroughly layered exposure to violence, sex (even implicit or mere innuendo), and other forms of moral decay can wreak havoc on internal peace and self-esteem. As I watched punch after punch I wondered if I'd ever feel comfortable exposing my son or daughter to the irresponsible wreck of media immorality that is now so ubiquitous as to be malevolent. Where, indeed, can I turn for peace? Certainly not to Hollywood (or most any media market, for that matter).


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Why zombies? and Zone One

I've thought a lot about zombies. Not as much as those who believe a zombie apocalypse is approaching, of course, but a lot. (I believe a stupid people apocalypse is much more likely.) Most of my mental cycles deal with why the recent zombie craze? Why are zombies compelling? Tonight I finished Colson Whitehead's Zone One, a book about society trying to rebuild itself after a zombie plague decimates the population and rewrites the definition of civilization, or perhaps by contrast illustrates its fragility or fallacy. Whitehead's writing is thick with delicious metaphor, both micro and macro. That is, most every sentence rings with irony and implicit parallels, but the story overall, pensive and thoughtful, is an exhaustive essay on human existence.

As I read it, not only did I rediscover my intellectual limitations, but came closer to solidifying what I think drives the collective obsession with zombies and things-generally-apocalyptic. Some thoughts: 1) The zombie apocalypse is total, in part because it is a secular armageddon. There is no deus ex machina to deliver even the most righteous. All are potential fodder for an endless turmoil, a hell without the added color of fire pits or pitchforks. It is also total because there is no shore, no harbor, no refuge from its presence. In a zombie world, there is no peace, no real protection. 2) Death by zombie is the most gruesome death the imagination can conjure, excepting perhaps becoming a nest in which an alien larva pupates and then exits. It is gruesome not just because one is eaten, but because one is eaten by a rotting corpse. Exsanguination by supermodel vampire does not come close to being surrounded by the voracious, putrescent undead. 3) The apocalyptic tale (especially with zombies) is rife with primal adrenaline, thick with fight-or-flight emotion. I'm always kicking the character out of the door, perplexed when they don't run, or when they foolishly try to hole up in a run-down house and hope the boards will hold. 4) The zombie apocalypse is really a fictional guise for the aforementioned quite plausible stupid-people apocalypse, in which otherwise sane people give in to an underlying behavior to rape, pillage, murder, etc. if the economy tanks, governments dissolve, global warming leads to global scarcity.

The above ideas were in existence long before I read Zone One, but now I posit (or repeat Whitehead's emphatic observation) that a major reason why we fret so much about an apocalypse is how it will likely render our current existence obsolete, meaningless. The voice of the book, whether in its main character's head or in an all-seeing monologue goes on at length about the world that existed before "Last Night" without ever feeling truly redundant, painting it as an illusion, a thing to be ridiculed or scoffed at, as I suppose one did the days before the Great Depression when fleeing the Dust Bowl and a husk of a farm in a faint hope of work farther west.

Whitehead also illustrates how fleeting so-called civilization is, as though it's really just a coat that humanity put on because it was en vogue, but that it was never our true nature.

However, I also note that at least for Mark Spitz, the main character, the post-plague misery legitimizes his previous isolation, his withdrawal from companionship, his lack of place in the previous world. And magically, his mediocrity in a life structured by incremental achievements makes him seemingly invulnerable when the only criteria of success that matters is survival. (It gives me a smidgen of hope that I'm not so very different from Mr. Spitz in that I have achieved little in this incremental life.)

As with numerous other forms of entertainment, this one boasts profanity par excellence, if only when Whitehead allows his soldier "sweepers" some very sailor-like commentary. I confess that I tried to stop myself from reading and hadn't the willpower. The sentences devoid of f-bombs and the like were all so dripping with delicious language. The proverbial mess of pottage scenario.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Unofficial Rental Rule



When I arrived home I was told that we were to have an unprecedented neighbor meeting. This meeting ultimately involved a very redundant (and I would argue semi-pointless) discussion of noises, real and perceived, with the lower apartments being primarily victims and the upper apartments (primarily us) being the abusers. Apparently we should not simply walk, but float. Our neighbor (upper) has lately been reduced to tip-toeing around his own apartment, trying to sail from doorway to doorway w/o disturbing his downstairs neighbor. All of this in addition to my own sins leads me to believe that the apocalypse already happened. This is some sublevel of hell, wherein no one knows the unofficial but glaringly obvious rule about rentals: there will be no real privacy, let alone silence. Let's face it, when your bedroom is adjacent to the abode of another household, whether above, below, or to its side, you will not only be disturbed but will likely disturb someone else. It’s the ipso facto form of suffering that most rational people accept as part of being an apartment dweller as opposed to a home owner. You want silence? Try headphones. Try sleeping pills. Try a drive far, far away but do not expect to have such living at most twenty feet away and just a few measly wood joints apart from three other households.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I wooted, even though I cannot woot.

Hello, absentee followers and non-existent aficionados. I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack. I've doffed my curmudgeonly resentment because the light of the Whedonverse has, once again, restored my faith in Hollywood's storytelling capacity.

Most of the movie-going planet has already seen the Avengers, bought a T-shirt, and returned to their respective sweaty-male-scented caverns. I saw it for the first time, admittedly with some reluctance, given that even the most devoted of geek-geniuses have succumbed to the withering aura of marketers and monetizing producers, and then betrayed yours truly.

But this time I found myself so enthralled, so stirred by the fantastic whoosh of it all, that I wooted. That is, woot, as in a shout, a yawp, a huzzah, etc. Of course, I had only the scarred and ragged vestiges of a throat so it sounded like the wheezing crack of pubescence, but yes, there was wootage.

At one point I even shouted (internally) my love for Joss Whedon. No other knows better how to make the funny moments funny, the supernal moments supernal, and the tragic moments as heart wrenching as they should be. Oh, and snappy dialogue. He does that.

Thank you, Mr. Whedon, for joining them without getting beaten. Keep 'em coming.

Friday, October 30, 2009

"Art Insights Oct 29" work convo

K: so art insights last night...i'm not sure whether i liked it or not. i had a hard time following exactly what he was saying, though the main concept was clear.
Lord of the Goblins: I don't think he knew (or knows) what he was(is) saying
K: thank you!
Lord of the Goblins: It was a matter of semantics, really
Lord of the Goblins: I'm a proponent of what I think he was trying to say
Lord of the Goblins: which is that denigrating one discipline in favor of another is not only narrow-minded but limiting
Lord of the Goblins: or that because art becomes commercial that it ceases to be meaningful, even avant garde
Lord of the Goblins: In other words, perhaps the most promising aspect of postmodernism isn't its cynicism, but the promise of eroding traditional boundaries in favor of a more inclusive, interweaving artistic global society
Lord of the Goblins: one in which new ideas are possible because one can straddle multiple disciplines/ideas simultaneously
K: awesome
Lord of the Goblins: like the paint splatter commercial
Lord of the Goblins: or a fine artist also being very commercial
Lord of the Goblins: not all commercial fine artists go the way of Thomas Kinkade
Lord of the Goblins: :)
Lord of the Goblins: but, that too is a statement that doesn't fit into this broad expansive new age of art
Lord of the Goblins: of course, one wonders how to express an opinion, even a judgment (which I think is still crucial) in a world where "it's all good"

Friday, September 04, 2009

K, this blog's for you...

Lord of the Goblins: should you care to grace my blog with your ever-welcome company, it's http://captainredguy.blogspot.com/
Lord of the Goblins: feel free to comment! you'll be the first one who does! (or you can remain ninja-like and hover in a cloud of smoke)
K: sweet! I wanted to ask but...i'm glad you offered it.
K: some people aren't in to having everyone they know read their blog...
Lord of the Goblins: don't mention it! and I wish more people I knew would
Lord of the Goblins: because I'm much more personable in blog form ;)
K: ha ha. :)

Yet another convo from workie

Lord of the Goblins: do you swim for fun? that is, do you not only do it to make those of us slackers feel bad? ;)
K: Yes, it's definitely something I look forward to, not dreading. I enjoy it.
Lord of the Goblins: I confess I would be very nervous swimming
Lord of the Goblins: 1) I don't have a figure that belongs in a swimsuit; 2) I, despite having some rigorous training at age three, can only manage a clumsy flounder when trying to do laps—I excel only at the frog stroke
Lord of the Goblins: (I say age three but I exaggerate, as usual)
Lord of the Goblins: (I also call it the frog but reliable sources dub it the breast stroke)
K: i was going to comment on how I like that you call it the frog stroke! i think that's the first time i've heard it referenced that way. :)
Lord of the Goblins: well, that's me! Mr Original
K: That's okay that you don't like swimming. A lot of people don't. And it is kind of uncomfortable being in a swimsuit, but once in the water, all is well for me. :)
Lord of the Goblins: I shouldn't say I don't like swimming
Lord of the Goblins: Once upon a time I tried to do it to avert the impact of running
Lord of the Goblins: but I was a lazy swimmer
K: cool!
Lord of the Goblins: and the pool, was... er, untidy
K: ugh.
Lord of the Goblins: yeah, I don't like swimming with dead insects
K: oh, i see. yummy.
Lord of the Goblins: what did you think I meant? poop?
Lord of the Goblins: lol
Lord of the Goblins: sorry, still a five-year old in there somewhere
Lord of the Goblins: been trying to kick him out
K: i was thinking of a glob of hair and dirt i saw on the bottom of the pool this morning in the shallow end. (not as clean by the end of the week).
Lord of the Goblins: naturally, I have some dignity, a man of my caliber will not swim with poop... dead bugs, yes, but never poop
Lord of the Goblins: lol
Lord of the Goblins: ewwwwwwww!
Lord of the Goblins: hair... ewww ewww ewwwwwwww ewwww!
Lord of the Goblins: blech. amen.

Monday, August 24, 2009

A recent convo at work, which, given my current temperament, I thought at least mildly amusing.

Slug-A-Muggle: KB or Kb or kb?
B: kilobits or kilobytes?
Slug-A-Muggle: lol
Slug-A-Muggle: hold on
Slug-A-Muggle: bytes
B: KB
Slug-A-Muggle: k

It's a dry computer version of Flik's hurried stammering: No! Ha ha ha! Sorry. No, no, see it's classified in the DMZ, gotta go ASAP, you know, strictly BYOB. Bye!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What the?? or Armageddon approaches

Jonas brothers, Jonas brothers, Jonas brothers!!!... where are they?

I'm sorry but when I came across this photo in the news, I couldn't help notice the poor onlooker's troubled countenance. It makes me wonder if Miley Cyrus was at all embarrassed to be pole-dancing in front of her peers. (I dare not consider her doing it in front of another demographic, however... *shudders*) It seems to me that we have another would-be Madonna on our hands, just rarin' for the sickly side of the limelight enjoyed by other artists-turned-media-hookers: Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Britney, Christina, etc., etc., etc.,

Monday, August 10, 2009

WOW! No, really!!!!

Well, I thought I was over WoW or Warcraft in general... and then this! Blizzard really is out to get us...



I kinna believe it!!

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Death Cab for Cutie days

I'm reminiscing: reviewing my earliest blog entries, recalling the LIZ factor, even conceitedly relishing my old poetry as if it sprang from someone else's melancholy mind; the Death Cab for Cutie days, the peanut-butter-saltine-cracker-sandwich days, the movie-a-week days, and being-lost-and-found-at-the-same-time days. I miss them. Truthfully, I miss my blog friends. I call out to you folks through the ether and bid you a warm virtual clap on the shoulder and a hearty hello. Until next time...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

G-farce or People Are Stupid

Look out! They're coming from the sky and they'll pee anywhere!


Okay. Alright. I get that some of you hard-working Americans think you're doing yourself a HUGE favor after a long work-week by going to a theater to absorb yet another gluttonous downpour of mindless drivel, thanks to the now very unscrupulous, artless moguls that are master over Hollywood (and perhaps, the world). But THIS! THIS is number one?! At all? THIS managed to exceed the earnings of a wonderful film like the latest Harry Potter ANY weekend?

I suppose parents will coyly suggest that this movie is perfect for the kids. Nay! NO! It will turn your children into the horde of video-gaming, consumerist oafs who use dude repeatedly and end up setting themselves on fire and then posting it on YouTube.

So please, please America, I beg you! Turn away from this detritus and stop stupidity at its root!!! C'mon! Do it for the children!!!!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

From an instant messenger convo at work...
Count Dookie says:
I'm not your typical male
so any considerable levels of testosterone and/or sportiness
and I shut down
I just don't want to talk to anyone who says dude profusely
or seems to have the emotional capacity of concrete
K says:
no male bonding for you, ha ha. No, that's cool. I can relate a little when it comes to girls who primp and keep the drama coming.
Count Dookie says:
I'm talking specifically about the kind of guys who form an informal group like "Team Awesome" and who use those long tables you see in every church building to do some impromptu bobsledding at a ward activity, or cannot seem to funciton without emitting hoots and hollers
in short, I really cannot abide a neanderthal
though doubtless everyone else may impressed with them
if I recall, there was a time that I admired their hooligan bravado from afar
but just didn't understand it
and now have come to fear it
though once I may have chuckled at it
K says:
That is awesome. I totally know the kind you're talking about and i usually keep as far away from them as possible, too.

Harry Potterin' (I coined it! It's mine!!)

From an e-mail I sent on July 15th...
We saw [Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince] beginning at 11:59 pm...[Tuesday evening, the 14th] there was a costume contest (I'd call it a "get-up" contest, since so much of Harry Potterin' draws from one's own scarf collection) in which Amber competed, but unfortuntely didn't win (there was a flock of boisterious thespians charming the audience from the outset). Amber did a lovely turn as "Tonks," the pink-haired witch in love with a werewolf, even performing a flourish with her cape to woo the crowd, but to no avail. These thespians came as predictable "Harry, Ron, Hermione, ... Hoo!" Who? Who but a giddy young thing dressed (sparingly) as Hedwig, Harry's owl. Still, their exuberance had won everyone over. These four were part of a group that formed an impromptu choir that happily entertained the rest of the crowd with a song from "Potter Puppet Pals" of YouTube notoriety. ("Snape, Snape, Severus Snape... Dumbledore!!...")

As you know I'm wont to tear movies to shreds, and despite myself I couldn't help but laugh when I believe I was meant to, mourn when it was intended, or just be enthralled over all by the movie. It struggles during some of the first few moments, especially if you've read the book recently and observe some of the changes made, but on the whole I can say that I'm in love with this movie. I'm putting it right up there with some legendary favorites, because David Lynch, the director, seems to have treated the Potterverse with uncanny sensitivity, if only for the fans, and yet managed to compress the considerable length of the book into a cohesive, charming, and I daresay epic couple of hours. I could go on gushing, but I think I'll let you discover for yourself the estimable joys of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince...

Thursday, July 02, 2009



I saw the above while perusing Ryan Wood's links. It's by someone named Ani, in Bordeaux, France. It's possibly the most charming thing I can recall seeing for a long time. Perhaps I've become resentful of illustration (to the extent that I've begun loathing a lot of it) because I cannot seem to find the time to do it.

Just thought that if anyone should read this, they'd get a kick out the ogre's expression, the lovely glow billowing across his bulk, etc.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Le sigh

Thankfully I have emerged from my young days of summers past of braving the risky summer movie roulette wheel and regularly having my hopes dashed (not to mention my pocket book) a little wiser. No, I will NOT be seeing the new Transfomers movie, prompted both by the fear that the aforementioned stirs within me but numerous reviews and my wife's persistent scoffing.

I did find an article that in a tangential way reflects my current thinking.
The general critical response to Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is mostly a mad rush to find the right metaphor to describe how it feels to be trapped in a working food blender for two and a half hours. Although many critics have also generously found time to despise the plot, the characters, the dialogue and the special effects, it’s the two and a half hours that seems to grate the most. What does this movie think it is? Titanic?

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is indeed way too long, but that’s part of movie-making this year. At the recent Cannes film festival, film after film unspoiled at unconscionable length — “two and a half hours is the new 90 minutes,” someone said...

...In this company two-hour movies — like Ang Lee’s Taking Woodstock — seemed modest. But not as modest as Wild Grass (Les Herbes Folles), a lovely little bit of ambiguity by French master Alan Resnais that managed to tell a complex, teasing little story of love and obsession in 104 minutes. It was announced this week that Wild Grass is coming to the Toronto film festival, along with another movie from a legendary director, Manoel de Oliveira’s Eccentrities of a Blonde-Haired Girl, which is also about love and obsession. It runs for 63 minutes.

Significantly, Renais is 89 years old and Oliveira turns 101 in December: they understand about time. It’s precious, and who has two and a half hours to spend on robots?

Taken from canada.com

Monday, June 22, 2009

I'm not much for politicking and its accordant contention, but this flash movie by JibJab is just too awesome to resist...
Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

More antics...

K says:
Yeah...I meant to explain further. As you would guess, I prefer quiet entrances.
Darth Vitreoussays:
again... ninja
I find that happens more when I leave...
my exits can be "spectral"
but I'm almost the first one here and there are three people present
so I have to say "hi" or else they might feel slighted...
but you can be a ninja...
I won't MAKE you say hi...
I'll just try to be better at detecting the faint passage of air to my left or right
and be prepared to dodge shurikens and nunchuks
*I apologize: there's really no way to describe the subtle movement of a ninja without making it sound like a fart*

Transformers Revisited

A recent messenger convo with my boss: (I'm Darth Vitreous).

Darth Vitreous says:
I have a confession to make
W says:
yes?
Darth Vitreous says:
I recently discovered that I'm angry at the Transformers movie
W says:
Pray telll
Darth Vitreous says:
I liked Shia LeBeouff
and I LOVE the Transformers
especially good ol' Optimus Prime
but two things destroyed that movie (and possibly the franchise) for me forever
W says:
*gasp*
Darth Vitreous says:
1)John Turturro
2)Megan Fox
I think I posted something about this on my blog
lol
but John Turturro's character was neither funny or fearsome to me
and he had to be either
but was annoying
and awkward
W says:
I concur, I didn't see his character as necessary
Darth Vitreous says:
Megan Fox does not represent 99.9% of the high school level population on this planet
and not many girls I knew would slither around a car like a centerfold
that is, she seemed (and still does) like a hormonal ploy
and that irritates me
the character would have been much more interesting if she were less Maxim-esque and more bookish, quirky, intelligent, dramatic, spooky, sullen, etc.
that is, if she were a character and not a pin-up
those are my two main problems
the one saving grace is Peter Cullen's voice returning as Optimus Prime
W says:
indeed; had they had someone different I don't know that I could have seen the movie...
Darth Vitreous says:
this is what I posted on my blog on July 4th, 2007
I won't bother with summary, etc. but will say that fans of the cartoon will feel a renewed sense of manly security when they hear Optimus Prime's booming, pseudo-synthesizer radiating in voice over and reminding we measly humans that all will be well. The voice (done by Peter Cullen, who, incidentally, is also the voice of Eeyore) silences the noise of terrorism (a la rumors of war), government and corporate corruption, or even the daily mundanities of trying to muck out a living. It's downright therapeutic. I may just get the movie only to replay those moments when I'm stressed.
W says:
well said!
Darth Vitreous says:
I just had to get that off my chest...
lol

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

On Putrescent Pond...

I chanced upon this in a random search about a disease caused by fecal matter in swimming pools (don't ask, I saw a commercial once), and saw the author's name. It's just too stupendous!!!
Enjoy!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Jedi Knight: Jedi Outcast


Some screenshots from the good old days, when one could while one's life away using Jedi powers playing capture the flag.

I loved to use the codes to summon twenty Luke Skywalkers to come to my aid, or to have bad and good Jedi scrap en masse. Naturally such epic battles crashed my computer. A lot.





And then were times I'd just spawn characters from the air using noclip, or hover over them, force-lift them up and drop them, or blitzkrieg them mercilessly.







And then on occasion, I'd actually play online :) (To the clan of JC2—may its legacy never die—and other good-humored gamers, thanks for the memories!)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

LearnKey


This is what I spend my time (occasionally) doing at LearnKey in Cedar City. I make slides to tell people how to use programs or develop business acumen. I also listen to movie soundtracks and do little animations...

Friday, February 06, 2009

Painting III Project

Calling all models w/in the Cedar City area! :) I am an Illustration major at SUU, and am currently doing three paintings that could be called "fantasy portraits." My project demands three different figures in dramatic costume. (I'll be photographing you in said costume.) I'd really like to get my painting underway, and I could offer a (very) modest compensation (as in $10 or so for a solid hour's time).

The following are the ideal models I have in mind (expecting average height for costume purposes):
1) Female, age 20-35, light blonde (long hair), blue eyes, fair skin, body type: slender; mood words: fear, alarm, melancholy.
2) Male, age 20-35, dark brown (very short- "Caesar"), dark eyes, dark olive/pale brown skin, body type: built but still having a neck; mood words: sullen, weary, angry.
[3) Female, age 20-35, red hair, green/hazel eyes, freckled skin, body type: slender, petite?; mood words: fierce, suspicion, pensive.
If you approximate the above descriptions, (even if you don't have the exact hair color), please contact me!
There's no modeling experience required, but a talent/taste for acting would be ideal!

The best way to reach me would be via e-mail (with included photos of yourself!)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Twilight

So I haven't seen the movie, and despite my wife's protests, likely won't before Christ shows up. Still, we're sitting together at the SUU library and looking at reviews. Metacritic.com includes some scathing stuff. Peter Vondar Haar of "Film Threat" quips "Q: When is a vampire not a vampire? A: When it goes out in daylight, sees itself in a mirror, doesn’t drink human blood, and still manages to suck."

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Love Your Body, Drop Dead Refreshing!

So here I am, trying to be productive: as I'm waiting for LiveTrace ™ to do its thing, I look for poster contests, something to get my perennially stunted art career going. I go to the first viable link that Google coughs up—which this time, miracle of miracles, happens to be the first link on their main list—and I arrive at a "Love your Body" contest, which, while being clearly out of my purview, since it seems that their winners—(that I can see)—have all been female, nonetheless seems worth investigating. So, as per the instructions in the contest, I attempt to familiarize myself with just what Loving One's Body means. In perusing the offending ads, I chuckled... at this.
And what made me laugh wasn't the clearly sexual overtone of the image; clearly, using an image of a woman as a vessel for liquor, and that too shapely (and therefore not in line with any equitably realistic portrayal of the female body) is offensive, not just to women, but men also (whether they know it or not). But at first read I truly thought that "OFFENSIVE TO WOMEN" was part of the ad. "Offensive to Women. Drop Dead Refreshing." It smacks of the Man Show, of course, but NOW had plastered Offensive all over the ads it deemed (and rightly so) degenerate. I missed it! A case of male insensitivity? or is it just poor visual communication? You decide... (I hope not so much of the former...)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Twice dumbstruck

Twice today I've been dumbstruck by the frightening parallels between declining Book of Mormon civilizations and the global downspiral I'm reading about in the news. The Book of Mormon tells that the ancient societies of this continent began their destruction with elitist notions of fashion, on a number of occasions. I'm interpreting things loosely here, but when Mormon records that pride, in particular that which had to do with the "wearing of costly apparel" preceded a division "into classes" and a subsequent persecution of Christ's apostles, even so much as to attempt to murder them, I see the tell-tale warning regarding our day. According to a study by labor economist Lynn A. Karoly, the income gap in the United States is widening, with, in fact, the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.

I also just read a remarkable article about the housing crisis in the New York Times dated Monday, April 14th, 2008 (today) that uses fairly circuitous language in placing blame for economic woes. Isn't it clear to everyone that the United States has again placed the world in crisis because of an irresponsible lust for prestige, or at the very least for property? According to the article by Mark Landler, the struggling housing market's effect is rippling across the globe, mostly induced by a lack of consumer confidence, even across the Atlantic. In markets where things were hot, like East Europe and Hong Kong, things are cooling considerably. Yet much of the language lays blame to some economic deus ex machina, the proverbial hand of fate, for the problem. It seemed reminiscent of the peoples of the Book of Mormon, who would reject the wisdom of the prophets and then lament their dead, their starvation, etc. though had they heeded God's direction they would have continued to prosper.

I'd use more references to make the correlation more apparent, but I've lingered long enough and need to get home to my sweetheart and son.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

YES! I BELIEVE IN HARVEY DENT! and, if pigs have learned to fly, Hollywood



It's happened to me again. A few years ago I would spend nearly every weekend at a movie theater, compelled by the power of fast-paced movie trailers and the general buzz of "blockbuster" to believe. Some time last year I didn't think that the upcoming summer would be as incredible; let's face it, after paying decent money to see films like Baby Geniuses and Catwoman in one's lifetime, wouldn't one expect to stumble out of a Saturday morning matinée—it was the "Early Bird" at Cinemark—and feel as though one had been bamboozled? In a major studio somewhere there's a chortling bulbous-nosed, ruddy-complexioned bigwig with a fat cigar who has me to thank for it.

And yet here I sit, enthralled by a series of movies that look to restore my faith in Hollywood. (I know, I know I'm a glutton for punishment—this and other frailties have already been elucidated here in my corner of cyberspace.)

Here's my tentative wish list for this summer



Whew!!! Links galore!

At any rate, folks... I'm a gonna' be watchin' movies come May!!!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

In the Name of the Killjoy




Egad. Sakes alive. *&$%@# all ta' ...---well, you know. Why? Why Hollywood!?! Why would you reduce something as mirthfully goofball and miraculously playable as Dungeon Siege by making a shoddy Uwe Boll (a la Blood Rayne!---gah! I know! I know!) flick out of it! I speak of In the Name of the King, a film which prematurely attempts to associate itself with a much grander picture. Now, I won't berate the cast. I think Jason Statham, Ray Liotta, John Rhys-Davies and Leelee Sobieski, to name a few, aren't the worst players in the world. If anything it might be mildly amusing compared to Eragon, which, as you know, oh faithful cyberspace, was cinematic feces. But then Eragon also touted Jeremy Irons and John Malkovich in its cast.

I know that to most of the planet, video games are cultural detritus, technology's answer to several millenia's culmination of male aggression and sexual objectification of women. Still, in a few ephemeral moments, one is truly transported to beautiful landscapes, vividly visceral battles, and profound moments of masculine introspection. Immersion of the kind that only video games can produce asks more of a director than a peripheral preproduction and a fly-by-night screenwriter.

I dare not rant more. It just sickens me that my periodic delight has become so much fodder for feeble storytelling.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Tomorrow is an important day. It will mark one month since the uprisings in Burma were at their peak, and yet little has changed for its people. Here's the info from Campaign for Burma (U.S.):

Saffron Revolution in Numbers (From Asia Pacific People's Partnership on Burma (APPPB)

In total there have been 227 protests openly defying the military regime. On September 24 alone, over 1,000,000 people took to the streets in 26 cities and towns across Burma, marching for freedom and a better life.1
In total, demonstrations have taken place in 66 cities across the country in all 7 states and all 7 divisions.2
So far an estimated 3000 protesters have been detained. This includes at least 1,400 monks and nuns3
On August 21, 13 leaders of the 88 Generation Students Group were arrested. On average, they have already spent 30% of their life behind bars.
In the bloody crackdown that began on September 26, more than 200 people have been killed.4 The ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) only claims that 9 have been killed.
In the crackdown, 1 Japanese journalist was killed, at least 5 other journalists were arrested and 10 were injured or harassed.5
Before August 21, there were 1158 political prisoners in Burmese prisons.6
At least 1,000 people have been disappeared during the Saffron Revolution.7
At 11am on September 28, the SPDC shut down the country's only public web server. This prevented Burmese people from getting urgent messages to the world
The protests started after the SPDC increased the price of fuel by as much as 500% 90% of families in Burma live near or at the poverty line ($1 US a day).8

1 Forum for Democracy in Burma (FDB) estimate
2 FDB estimates.
3 Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) estimate
4 DVB estimate

5 Reporters Sains Frontiers (RSF) (30 September 07), 'At least five journalists arrested in Rangoon,
including Japanese daily’s correspondent',
6 AAPP,

7 AAPP,

8 United Nations Survey


It may seem that a place like Burma (now called Myanmar) seems so far away. But the calamities, the casualties, the human rights abuses are very real. Go to www.uscampaignforburma.org to see how you can help.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Sunsets and snacking on salami

We're settling in: couches have all been aligned, the litter box properly located, and various accoutrements recently sheared of a year's worth of dust have sprung up on the walls. Some shattered ceramics from a trip to Mexico have been gingerly daubed with Gorilla glue; other items have been spruced or discarded. We've discovered nooks and crannies, attic space and crawl space, not to mention a backyard that's just large enough for the odors of neighboring animalia (and their ordure) to dissipate long enough to allow basking in sunsets and snacking on salami.

What's more is that even whilst typing in a library crying impending academia I am hopeful, even believing in a future that smacks of stability, serenity and joy.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

TRANSFORMERS---more than meets the eye!

Much to my chagrin I was wooed alongside nine year old boys and thirtysomething video gamers (ahem! er, uh *cough cough*) by some really bracing pacing in the latest Transformers trailer---I think it was when I saw Fantastic Four 2 (ahem! mrrrm *cough cough*)---and I came to see yet another Jerry Bruckheimer/ Michaeal Bay effort, a CGI-glutted, rock 'em sock 'em, adrenaline packed, testerone-laden excuse for two plus hours of my day. Surprisingly, I wasn't as disappointed as I thought I would be! (How's that for the cup is half-full?)

I won't bother with summary, etc. but will say that fans of the cartoon will feel a renewed sense of manly security when they hear Optimus Prime's booming, pseudo-synthesizer radiating in voice over and reminding we measly humans that all will be well. The voice (done by Peter Cullen, who, incidentally, is also the voice of Eeyore) silences the noise of terrorism (a la rumors of war), government and corporate corruption, or even the daily mundanities of trying to muck out a living. It's downright therapeutic. I may just get the movie only to replay those moments when I'm stressed.

It was the above, however, that caught me off guard. While the Transformers are in fact souped up courtesy of legions of computer artists, they're still very much the ones we remember in the 80's, (well, except in one scene where Bumblebee "lubricates" on a covert agent). Furthermore, Shia LaBeouf is the saving grace of the movie. He's unavoidably likeable, of course, but he also plays the awkward teen wanting a car to impress the girl like a pro. That journey, which lasts maybe one third of the film (or so it seems) is the one that ingratiates, even inures me into thinking I might just give a ---well, you know.

However, this is, after all, a Michael Bay film, and what would any summer blockbuster be without a whole lotta destruction? Trust me, if you're looking for CGI wonder, you'll find it, but you may get more than you wished for... Maybe I'm getting old, but action for the sake of action annoys my inner being. I'm much more interested in how any story element (action included) affects the characters. In other words, the stakes for the characters are what make the action important. Mere survival or even victory (even against giant robots) isn't enough for me to shout "wahoo!" In Transformers, I stopped caring so early that by the thousandth explosion or rolling robot, I could no longer take anything on screen seriously.

But then, what did I expect from Bay and Bruckheimer?

A few random items:

  • There's some random wacky robot doing an acid-tripped Johnny 5 impression throughout the film--- I can't be scared by that, but am I supposed to be?
  • Why did the female lead have to be like something out of FHM? (Fact is, I wonder if she hasn't been in FHM.) The largely male demographic of this particular movie will unlikely not need any help augmenting their drool capacity, nor their penchant for dreaming foolishly that they're perfectaly capable of dating such a person by any means save an extraterrestrial car. I feel to say to my fellow geeks, abandon such an enterprise! Find a real woman, these pin-ups aren't for you.
  • More than a few human beings get annihilated in terrifically gory and or excruciating ways in this movie, including a scene where MegaTron actually flicks a human being away like a bug. Such reminds me of a film instructor who despised Paul Verhoeven for a scene in Total Recall, wherein Ahnold uses a human body for a shield. Is this the nature of blockbuster according to Bruckheimer? The film employs the line "Without sacrifice there can be no victory" throughout, but I wonder if it shouldn't be "Without attrition there can be no box office success"?

Monday, July 02, 2007

Pieces of radioactive evil...

Brace yourselves.
I have the answer to one of life's greatest mysteries. You ready? I can't tell but I think some of you are standing up. That's right, you're STANDING UP while reading my blog!!! Siddown, dangit! I know the fundamental reason why we grow old: bills. Yep. That's right. You heard it here first, folks.

Granted, the bills themselves are innocuous pieces of paper to the physical senses, just ink and shredded, pulpified, dehydrated tree--(the butchers!)--- but to the emotional mind, they're caustic pieces of radioactive evil, the parchment equivalent of hordes of zombies hungry for human brains!! I'm suggesting in my not-so-subtle yet inimitable style that it is the fear of bills that is the root of all suffering, gray hairs, tomato-eye, and the generally stuffy malaise of adulthood.

I don't say that work isn't good for the soul, but doing custodial work just to keep the health insurance industry er... healthy, is not my cup of tea.

Oh, and forthcoming, but not right soon, is my rant of all rants on the plight of the humble custodial worker! CUSTODIANS UNITE!!! Now is the winter of our discontent...

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Why oh why???













A few gripes---

  • Why oh why didn't they let Genndy Tartakovsky take care of the live action versions of Star Wars Eps 1-3? The Clone Wars vols 1 & 2 are so expertly paced, so deliciously attentive to character development, in short, so incredibly competent that it begs the question: who let George Lucas do Star Wars anyway? When an animator can outshine the live-action version by intergalactic leaps and bounds, why would we accept anything less? I say this realizing that it's a dead horse, but beating the thing just never gets old, and the conundrum proves no less mystifying. I also realize that's a run-on. Sue me.

  • This may be old news, too, so brace yourself. Batman Begins is one d*** good movie. I had to say d***... ---okay, I had to say "d" because I haven't the vocabulary required to render my exuberance adequately any other way. I suppose I'm a latecomer to the Christopher Nolan fan club, but I'm ready to graduate to full-on disciple. Of course, if he wrecks The Dark Knight, as have other recent directors and their sequels... ahem!---I'll pour acid on his effigy. My opinion of Nolan is that he's honest. Barring any arguments about the inherent dishonesty of cinema as a whole, he manages to please without pandering, treat and tease at the same time. He respects his audience by not bludgeoning them over the head. (Contrastingly, watch Spiderman 3 for conspicuous plot disclosure given by cartoony newscasters, no less.)

So I've got more... boy do I, but those are just a couple of items I needed to get off my chest.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Up at 5 a.m.

Recently I finished "On Writing" by Stephen King. I learned that 1) Stephen King is just as good a writer as I remember and 2) I need to pull my proverbial head out of my butt. Mr. King writes four to six hours a day, as I recall; did even when he was teaching English and raising kids. So it's up at 5 a.m. I guess... Oh, and I'll be reading instead of checking out Smallville from the library and trying to recall my glory days of online video gaming. By the way, I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a healthy primer and a kick in the pants on "the craft."

Thursday, May 24, 2007

A perplexing murk...

I'm weary. Deeply. I can't imagine what it is to be drunk or doing drugs; as it is I'm staggering without standing up. Part of it is no doubt a mild depression, the sulken scurvy of the custodial worker; the other part(s) remain a perplexing murk. Trust me, it's not that I'm scouring toilets for a living, but that I'm doing so over and over and yes, over again.

Some high-falutin' CEO might stoop down from a lofty pile of money and tell me that it's my fault. I made poor choices, lived recklessly in opposition to my own internal wisdom: I've made my toilet, and now I have to bury my face in it.

Yes, yes, I know I'm going to SUU soon. Yes, I understand I'll likely have a shot at a much better job, but the plodding will go on, as it does in most jobs given the notorious label of "stable."

Ah well, here's to the liquor that is stale air.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Spaces between my teeth

There's no better blog fodder than a visit to the dentist, or in this case, the dental hygienist. Alas, I have no cavities, but suffer from gum disease, or so they say---conspiracies galore!---and needed some brutal oral cleansing. Perchance this debilitating tooth barnacle stems from my love of pastas? No! No... I dare not blaspheme against such celestial starches.

Whatever the cause, the hygienist took great delight in impaling, scuffing, stabbing, scraping, and out-and-out gouging away my gum decay, er... or something less rhyme-ey. I vaguely recall having a remote control in my hand and CNN International reviewing over and over myriad terrorist actions abroad, and yet, were a bomb to explode on the floor above us I would only know it if the ceiling collapsed on my face. Such is the fearsome intimidative powers of dentistry. I say (facetiously, of course) in order to combat "terror"ism, we must employ a greater dread. Send armies of orthodontists to the Middle East, and a bomb would be a smidgen less excruciating. Well, not really.

Why I chose to leave news of renewed hostilities in Algiers and continued troubles in Pakistan on the television while the lady hygienist did her professional best on my gums I don't know. Naturally I couldn't even enjoy Stargate: SG-1 while someone was spraying my own salivary goo into my eye, and then shoveling out spaces between my teeth I didn't know I had (but probably should).

What was strangely more excruciating is that this particular hygienist was an art major at BYU years ago, had dated one of my painting professors, and knew the faculty. She seemed eager to discuss my experiences, goals, etc. (and her frustrated hopes of marriage) and I, drowning in my own spit and trying not to lacerate my swollen tongue on the hook dangling ominously next to it couldn't say my own name intelligibly, let alone have an engaging conversation. Picture someone at the dinner table trying to communicate with numerous random dental utensils protruding from their yap and the bottom half of their face the relative consistency of soggy pizza. Humorous, no? Suffice it to say I emitted something like, "Vischewow Arrrh... Kasshsandwa Baweee... Gwawik De-ahn... etc." At times, I border on Kelsey Grammer-like (Frasier) erudition and vocabularied sophistication, evincing at least the facade of intelligence, perhaps here and there sprinkled with lofty wit---(I've never been brief, so wit ever eludes me). At the dentist's I am reduced to Cro-Magnon buffoonery, and herein the chuckle Bill Cosby refers to rears its ugly head. I have no doubts that this hygienist couldn't help herself. She HAD to continue asking questions because she delighted in seeing me struggle to press sound past my water-logged vocal chords without showering the room in a foul elixir of blood, phlegm and at least one-year-old victuals.

Well, I've survived, dearest readers, and it's on to the next challenge: how to ingest anything before work when my mouth is as good as cotton?

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Cobwebbed corners and thinning crowds...

I wonder how the "real" bloggers do it. How is it they can invest so much time into their corner of webverse and sound witty or wise on a regular basis? I, for one, am now just coming to the stupid realization that I'm not witty---well, specifically, that I'm not witty every day; furthermore, that my dalliance with Internet dominance (having still to flourish and provide me with a mutant zombie army or any similarly gruesome symbol of might) was fostered mostly by vainglorious notions of my capacity to entertain or enthrall. Yet, my corner shows more than a few cobwebs and an even thinner crowd of enthusiastic onlookers. (Cue tumbleweed.) Does anyone read this, er, besides my mother-in-law? (Props, etc. to you, "L," and your brood).

After having asked that question two too many times, I should know the answer.

Nonetheless, I feel reluctant to shed this little appendage, be it quaint and shabby or resplendent. I'll still probably check-in, if only to fumigate. Ciao! (Cue dreary echo.)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Good background noise

Charles in Charge: perhaps the most ridiculous show that television has ever produced. It's loaded with wacky moments, winsome smiles, and a bodacious blonde girlfriend (in every season, methinks). It's also almost NEVER funny, but when one laughs, one does so embarrassed for the 1980s and Scott Baio. Tragically, I remember the day when I thought it was "cool."

Are we watching anyway? You betcha! I find that when a program requires no brain cells, it makes for good background noise. Still, some questions arise: Who hires a college-age male to babysit their children? At what point did those hairdos make sense, and to whom would they be alluring, save perhaps a wild bison? These and more mysteries await the intrepid viewer of creepy Charles in Charge.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Tears have been shed... pajamas donned.

So our cat, the Queen, the Lovely, the Chub-chub, the inimitable crazy, the Mona, has been extradited --(we hope temporarily)-- and we're flying our flag at half mast. We've emptied a little tin of cookies from work and broken into a Christmas basket of junk food from the Plaza Hotel management. Tears have been shed. Pajamas donned. Oh, and we're watching the X-files. This truly is the day the music died.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Having your patience slammed repeatedly produces dramatic tension...

We went to see Eragon ---spoilers follow--- last night, and despite my usual attempts to expect next to nothing of a film I got my hopes up. I only wish I could say I wasn't disappointed. To the credit of the film-makers, (most likely the CGI wizards) the dragon, Sephira? was nothing shy of adorable at first and then alternately austere, menacing, coolly majestic, and convincingly scaly and serpentine. I even liked her voice (Rachel Weisz). There are even a few moments where due to my inherent geekdom I thrill at the thought of having a dragon for a soul mate. What Eragon primarily suffers from is the Harry Potter syndrome, that is, the movie translation of the books is hurried, stilted, and therefore embarrassingly undramatic. With so much plot to cram into the typical two hours, there are few moments where we can "absorb" the rustic charm of the token village, brood alongside a villain, or become truly elated at the "pinnacle" (intended or not) of the film.

The grand champion of fantasy films at this point, Lord of the Rings, manages to choose character-building moments at crucial points in the film. We see very little of Boromir in terms of actual screen time and yet he dies in quite a serene and stirring crescendo toward the end of the film. Though I've seen it now at least ten times I can't help but tear up. Conversely, the titular character of Eragon almost expires in a stunningly overplayed aerial duel with a hammy (and unsurprisingly creepy) "shade" sorceror, and yet I really didn't blink an eye.

No doubt some would say I'm being unfair. After all, Lord of the Rings took a much longer time to conceive and by an accomplished philologist, instructor, and well, a highly intelligent Brit. Eragon was conceived by a 15 year-old (or so I'm told) and as seems likely an American. One story had a touch of history, of legend, of poetry to it. The other has easily recognizable conventions and sometimes silly names. Naturally the film-makers couldn't be blamed for the tremendous differences in dramatic quality their films would produce. Yet, Peter Jackson's insistence that the production design for the Lord of the Rings be conceived with a pseudo-documentary realism, (that is, Elves really did exist, Sauron and the ring, etc. were more than just the wondrous products of a refined intellect) seems to have produced a conceivably "real" style of dress and architechture. In Eragon only the dragon seems "real."

Likewise the performances in the latter are less moving, more plastic. Numerous times in the movie I'm reminded that I'm actually watching a movie. No fantasy film worth its salt can really survive unless it's inured me into the emotional reality of its characters, enchanted my senses, enthralled my sensibility into believing in dragons, etc. Few tears are shed; however, numerous grimaces, growls and grunts issue forth. In this film as in many of its peers the villains are tragically more convincing (or at the very least "moving") than its heroes. Sad to say, despite a roster of at least a couple of noteworthy actors the aforementioned immersion never took place. Most disappointingly, John Malkovich is incredibly goofball. His slow drawl took me back to Mice and Men, and I was more worried he was going to headlock someone and love them to death than to wreak havoc and darkness on some poorly outfitted resistance. Not threatening, certainly not intense, unless you think having your patience slammed repeatedly produces dramatic tension.

Likewise, if you're looking for the delicious dialogue of LOTR, you'll have to go home and watch the DVD. This movie has some moments of charm, even charisma, but they are few and far between. The rest is more often than not derivative ("there were... complications") and vapid.

However, if you're looking for a musical score that attempts to cue every emotional moment (perhaps desperately trying to buttress weaker moments) you'll get one. I expect a perfect musical score (especially one that will invariably become domineering) to mesh with the cinematic visuals. I shouldn't notice it trying to elevate my emotional resonance. Not so here. The score (as with a number of other elements of the film) tends to sound cheap: overdone here, under-finessed there---something one expects of a "B" movie. Truthfully, it's a waste to have spent this much time writing about it.

In conclusion (though I'm far from done) I'd say that the film-makers should have backed up, closed the author's eyes and reduced the plot and savored the high points, (er... or point), like Sephira. I would have attempted to find actors who had at least a meager love for the book, though I doubt anyone on THIS movie reads Eragon once a year, or is part of the fan club. If they were, they would have tried to make a film that honored the book, instead of a flick that fitted the book inside of it, regardless of how it mangled the pages.

At one point during this awkward movie, I actually whispered to my wife, "When is this movie going to be over?" As such, using my usual standards for the quality of a movie, I'd say wait for the dollar theater, but not for the rental (unless you have a large group). Waiting to rent the DVD may be too much money.

Friday, December 15, 2006

A room full of silk flowers

It's been ages since I wrote anything, and for once I have good reason: I'm busy. I do not mean to say that I have no time to write, only that once I've crossed our lil' apartment's threshold after a long day of walking through tunnels, sweeping a perpetually dirty floor and organizing a room full of silk flowers--(try doing that and still feeling macho at the end of the day! hah!) I don't feel inclined to put my weakened fingers through further punishment. (The carpal tunnel I was gifted with through video gaming exacerbates the fun of operating a broom, perhaps the simplest of tools). Nonetheless, I feel I owe it to moi, sole proprietor and visitor to this, the last serenely isolated corner of cyberspace, to keep on 'a keepin' on.

Honestly, I admit I look forward (faintly) to the random reply of a stranger and the even still more unlikely comment from a friend/acquaintance/pseudo-relative, etc. So, if you're out there, say something!!! :)

In addendum, I should explain the foregoing reference to silk flowers via update. Since August of this year I've been working for LDS Floral Services (a la Temple Square) as a materials handler. 1) I do not design the floral arrangements, and if I were to try, several women of various sizes and athleticism would turn into martial arts warriors with pink hair and pummel me. 2) Floral Services is an indoors operation. We put lights and decorations galore on those towering Christmas trees that exist in a climate-controlled environment. The most we fear from nature on a regular basis is spiders and gravity.

One of the abnormalities arising from said position is that we're sometimes obliged to organize a malevolent quotient of silk flowers from time to time, and must venture deep into a crevice of the LDS Conference Center known only as 4M. Cue the "bwah bwah bwaaaaaaaaaaaaah!" and violin accompaniment here. It is a room designed with the sole purpose of dulling the senses, diminishing will, and instigating rubber-band volleys into its grey gloom. Time has no meaning, color no bounds. What is a peach lily in one spot turns red-orange in another; all variety of hues of every color imaginable (even those you dare not consider) exist in one warped rainbow mass of shelved silk flowers. If you linger too long... they stare back at you. Furthermore, the ruling class in Floral Services is despicably right-brained, so the flowers ebb and flow, radiating from one grouping to another. In short, the place is sheer madness, and we're lucky we made it out alive. Going back is always, ALWAYS a last resort.

Here's to hoping I won't be a "flower boy" forever.

Captain Redguy, signing off.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Innovative self-cheerleading

In response to the not-so-anonymous :) I wish to clarify that the higher being with which I am familiar doesn't desire anyone to be in a state of denial but on a course of aspiration and progression, and while I am one who questions the dubious outcome of "fake it till you make it" I realize that the road to "perfection" requires some innovative self-cheerleading, even self-hypnosis in a case as self-aware as mine.

And artist or no, I'm concerned that I not even begin to set my self apart so as to justify my considerable penchant for selfish languor or cantankerous ruin. Having different challenges I find myself resorting to unusual strategems in order to conquer and even momentary victories only reveal a new (and simultaneously old) series of trenches.

Naturally, the cycle will only end once I assume my right to choose my path instead of allowing the wind to toss me to and fro (James 1:6).

Nonetheless, a whopping thanks for your ever kind and generous commentary.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Melancholy and other forms of madness...

Since I have no reputation there's little to stop these mini-diatribes from turning lunatic, lewd, malicious, etc. except that I wonder if there's not some record being made in heaven. My thoughts are already sometimes black, and if I were to double their darkness by loosing them here it would be catastrophic to my dwindling spiritual ego and reverse any residual accolades remaining were I to repent.

It's funny that I'd always had a peripheral understanding of agency, of right vs. wrong and yet never discerned the devilish grins swimming in my melancholy and other forms of madness.

I keep wishing both that I had never gotten myself so mired and that I had some uniquely sympathetic earthly soul who could share in the comprehension of my utter stupidity. :) Lest I become too much like the adversary, who wishes that all become miserable like unto himself I'll forego furthering the aforementioned.

Le sigh. Let's hope I find better days.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Ka-ching!

Are there any other retail workers out there? Specifically, are there any other sufferers of retail labor? Sad but true the blogosphere probably has a host of whiners, rant-and-ravers, etc. but I have to say my whimsical piece about the absurdity of being a cog in the machine.

Such absurdity emerges in its most banal when for the hundredth time I've recommended the M&M two for a dollar special to a diabetic; as I'm unfazed by a monolithic wall of cigarettes peering back at me with cancerous fatality; when I can't end a conversation without saying, "Thank you! Have a nice day!" and so on.

Customer service wouldn't irk me if I could while away more than a few minutes conversing with the talky spinsters, the charming college-goers, the winsome moms and spit-fire fathers instead of scuttling them the moment they have their receipt. Lines in retail/grocery shouldn't be divided based on the number of items but more on the mood of the individuals. Doubtless the conversationalist line would have fewer patrons, but that's as it should be since we'll have to talk longer anyway. You'd have a robotic high-speed register clerk at your "I left the iron on, water boiling, my teenage daughter and a mangy, tattooed guitarist together on the couch" line, so they could hear "Hello. Receipt. Thanks for coming!" and rocket to put out whatever fires were plaguing them in due time. There's also the line for cigarette buyers, which would boil down to little more than a dispenser that would require them to show their I.D.--here the receipt, a bag, and perhaps even "Hello" would be moot considerations--more intrusion than adequate customer service.

I suppose retail in general is aggravating because it, like the DMV, the post office, the airport, etc. is little more than a people processor: managers tend to think more in numbers than faces (customer service anymore boils down to "Ka-ching!" instead of courtesy and community--call me a cynic) and the store's geography itself is meant to induce superfluous purchases rather than to provoke warmth or to foster happiness.

Granted, this may be more of my malcontented bile issuing like a deluge onto the already encrusted sickness of cyberspace, but I've reached my ceiling of empty courtesy. I'm taking back humanity, one Walgreens at a time. LOL.

Seriously, it seems to me that like our politicians--thank you, George Carlin--Walgreens, if indeed it is a grey hulking machine sucking people in and spewing them out minus a prescription and a few 4x6s worth of money, is only symptomatic of us as a whole, both collectively and individually. I can't blame the corporate machine; whether acting as a component or penniless opponent I still have to take action. No one robs us of our agency, our fresh air, our love, or our enduring happiness but us. Doubtless I have yet to fully embrace that lesson, simple though it is.

Now, lest I lose the inertia momentarily granted by thoughts not entirely my own, I'll tear myself away from parasitic technology and try doing something truly productive. Adieu.