Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas songs

well today's Christmas and I thought I'd celebrate it the same way I celebrate every day... with some great music!

In no particular order, here's seven of my favorite Christmas songs

"Making Christmas" -Nightmare before Christmas

Nightmare before Christmas was one of my favorite movies when I was younger, and this song is the perfect background music for wrapping presents and setting up the tree.

"Christmas In Hollis" -Run DMC

This song used to always be on rap city during the holidays. Whenever I hear it, it reminds me of being in middle school and waiting for winter break to come.

"You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch" -How the Grinch Stole Christmas

This is another classic from a great Christmas movie. I had actually forgotten about this song until several weeks ago when I heard it on the bus to my relay exchange zone in the Tuscon Marathon. Anyway, it's great Christmas song.


"The Mistletoe Jam (Everybody Kiss Somebody)"
-Luther Vandross

My mom used to play this song every Christmas and if the song is good enough for her to play every year, it's certainly good enough to be on this list. Also, it's Luther Vandross so you know it's legit! RIP, Luther.

"Santa Clause Goes Straight To The Ghetto" -Snoop Dogg

Even though this can never touch the original James Brown version, I couldn't resist putting another mainstay of the Rap City holiday lineup on my list. That being said, I'm still not sure that I agree with everything on Snoop's wish list... the '64 Chevrolet would be nice though.

"Christmas Wrapping" -The Waitresses

This is a little different from the other songs, but I feel like it gives a realistic description of how I feel about Christmas sometimes... I just want to take a break.

"This Christmas" -Donny Hathaway

This is a classic (I know... that line is probably getting old by now)... not much else to say.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Gran Torino

I just finished watching Gran Torino (I know... I'm a little late) and I would have to say that I am very underwhelmed. Perhaps my expectations were undeservedly high (It got four stars, I heard good things from other people who saw it and I recently re-watched The Good, the Bad and the Ugly), but I would have given the film a less than spectacular review regardless of the hype. Overall, I feel that Gran Torino is a film that set lofty goals for itself and then failed to meet these standards. While I could nitpick about stuff for days, what bugged me the most was the crappy dialogue, the sub par acting and the unbelievable storyline. (I know those are pretty sucky names for a categories, but Gran Torino was a pretty sucky movie so I guess they fit).

In terms of dialogue, I feel like this movie really abused it's 'R' rating. the fact that there are no restrictions on the language that's used doesn't justify making every single word in the script offensive. This movie reminded me of a clown car, but instead of trying to stuff men with wigs and makeup inside of a Volkswagen, the writers attempted to fit the maximum amount of racial slurs and epithets into a two hour window. While I understand the fact that Clint Eastwood's character is a stubborn, prejudiced old man, it seems a little ridiculous that every other word he says is an insult. I thought people were supposed to be friendly and wise when they got old, but it seems like time has only turned Walter Kowalski into a potty-mouthed prick.

Even if the dialogue in Gran Torino had been halfway decent (I mean that in terms of both quality and content), it probably wouldn't have helped much because the horrible acting would have masked any flashes of brilliance from the writers. Apart from Clint Eastwood, who was pretty convincing as a scowling old bastard (I think he had the same angry scowl for at least 90% of the movie. I wonder if he made that face when he was little and it just stayed that way), most of the cast members seemed to half-heartedly stumble through their lines. What's even worse is that the actors with the most screen time were probably the least talented people in the cast (actually, it's not fair to say that they're not talented... maybe they'll get better with age). I would describe the performance the boy who plays Thao as a combination of Ben Stein (Bueller, Bueller) and a shy robot. I'm pretty sure a tired fourth grader sightreading lines off a teleprompter could have delivered the lines with more passion and eloquence than he did. Anyway, it kind of ruins the movie when the actors aren't good at their jobs.

Apart from the writing and acting, the thing that annoyed me the most Gran Torino was the riddiculous plot. I don't know if aging action heroes are a new fad or something, but Walter Kowalski's brand of geriatric justice seems a little far fetched to me. I just find it a kind of hard to believe that making finger signs, barking orders and grimacing would really strike fear into the hearts of the local gang members (I think violent criminals start to lose respect for you when you have as many wrinkles on your neck as you do on your forehead). Even the parts where he actually shows shows his real guns are less than impressive when you actually think about them. In one of the scenes, it shows Thao and Sue's cousin with some kind of machine gun thing. I'm sure that he or one of his homies could have unloaded half a clip before Walt's old arthritic fingers even grasped the handle of his gun. The odds are definately against our aging hero in these circumstances. You can say that I'm over-analyzing this or that I'm not getting the big picture, but I'm just not buying the idea that an ornery old man can intimidate gang members with cheesy tactics, befriend teenagers with racial slurs and somehow become a beloved martyr.

Thanks for reading this excessively long movie review. I hope that you were able to gain something from reading that other than the knowledge that I have some pent up frustration and a lot of free time. Honestly, I think you should take my reviews with a grain of salt. this was just my opinion and the only way to really know if Gran Torino is any good is to see it for yourself. Anyway, happy Holidays, folks!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Song of the Moment: "Hybrid Moments" -The Misfits

This song introduced me to the Misfits, and after hearing it, I was hooked. I love how they were able to combine the subject matter of old horror movies, the simple, fast-paced riffs of punk rock and strong, operatic vocals to make great music. Although the band continues to perform and put out new material, I was never a big fan of their work after Danzig left... It's just not the same.

Thing that I'm currently anticipating: I guess I'm pretty excited for tomorrow. I get done with classes pretty early on Fridays, and I was planning on going to Tempe Marketplace to look for some dress clothes and then watching the women's basketball game at six followed by the Winter fancy dance thing at seven... sounds like a good day.

Doodle/image of the day:
Math class gets pretty boring sometimes... and I was listening to The Prodigy before class... yep.












Random Thoughts: Today, my the dorms put on a "Platform 9 3/4 Block Party" in the dining hall. I know I might be a little bit biased because I'm not a huge fan of Harry Potter (I read the first four or five books and then I kind of lost interest. Now, it kind of annoys me because people reference the series all the time and I rarely know what they're talking about), but I thought it was kind of stupid. First of all, a block party is supposed to be outside on a city block... not in a dining hall that is nowhere close to a street. Also, why would you make the party platform 9 3/4 themed? the dining hall has no connection to a train station. Why not just make it Hogwarts themed?

I'm sorry that rant was so long... I just had to get that all out of my system

Also, this might sound snobbish, but if you think the Barrett dining hall looks like the Great Hall in Harry Potter, you should see the Cranbrook dining hall... It kind of pwns Barrett in terms of Hogwartsness.

Today, I totally failed at conversation. I was in the elevator with a girl today and, after we finished the usual "how's it going?" greeting, she remarked that it was cold outside. In response, all I could muster was an unintelligible mumble of "cold... no good". I repeated this a couple times until she could understand me... and then the elevator was awkwardly silent until she got off on her floor.

I just ate a whole bag of LifeSavers Gummies (wild berries flavor). On the nutrition facts, it says that there's five servings per container. I probably shouldn't have done that.

Perhaps I'll go into more detail about this later, but I'm not sure what I should wear to this fancy shmancy party tomorrow night. I have a suit, but I don't really like it (it's not very fitted, and it makes my body look very large in comparrison to my height and the size of my head). Also, if I want to wear my suit, I need another tie (my black skinny tie doesn't look good with the suit). On the other hand, I could wear my plaid pants... but I need a tie for that as well... and I'll either look completely ridiculous, underdressed or like someone who just stepped out of the 1960's.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Rap Video


I was messing around with Windows Movie Maker last night, and I decided to make a video. Obviously, my rap skills leave something to be desired... but that's why I'm in college.

p.s. If you went to a Montessori school, you might recognize a couple of the images.
Song of the moment: "White Rabbit"-Jefferson Airplane

This song has been stuck in my head all day. Unless you've been living under a rock for your whole life, you'll probably realize that it's all Alice in Wonderland references.

Thing that I'm currently anticipating: Finals. I'm a little bit nervous, but it'll be kind of cool to go through my first college finals week.

Doodle/image of the day:

I'm on my laptop right now and I don't have any pictures on my hard drive. Also, what's better than the Wu-Tang symbol? Rza, Gza, Raekwon the Chef, Ghostface Killah, U-God, Old Dirty Bastard, Method Man, Masta Killa and Inspektah Deck... you know the deal... straight from the slums of Shaolin... Wu-Tang Killah Bees!







Random Thoughts: I'm in my Religions of the World classroom right now and it is hot as hell! It must be at leat ninety degrees in here.

Today, we were talking about poop at lunch (don't ask me how that started), and somehow, I managed to say something that made the situation more awkward than it already was. when I realized this, I said, "that didn't come out right"... that just made things more awkward.

I feel like there's a flaw in the way the Barrett Dining hall is run. There are no trays and they give you tiny portions. because the portions are so small, I always want more food, but since there's no trays, I burn off all the calories from the little portions on my way to get seconds. As a result, I usually get hungry an hour or two after I eat.

Actually, I'm hungry right now.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

top 5 SNICKERS commercials

I would like to start by saying that I have no affiliation to Snickers candy bars or the Mars company as a whole. I'm only writing this because I'm a fan of chocolaty goodness and funny
commercials. Basically, I just wanted to show everybody my five favorite Snickers advertisements... so here they are





5

For number 5, I'm taking it back to 1997. this commercial is really simple, but I really think it gets the point across well. Everybody's been in a situation like this where they just screwed up something major and now have to fix it. It's times like this when we look to crunchy peanuts and caramel for comfort. Thanks, Snickers... you were there when I needed you.

4

Everything about this commercial is great. Every line is quotable, and it always makes me laugh. Also, it's got Patrick freaking Ewing in it... what's cooler than that? (actually, a lot of things... Dennis Rodman, Shawn Kemp, David Robinson, Vince Carter, Charles Barkley, Kobe, etc...). Seriously, even though "The Beast of the East" has put on a little weight since his NBA days, it's still great to see him back on the court.

3

I remember watching this commercial in between halves of a Colts victory over the Chicago Bears (Devin Hester's kickoff return was nice though too). I know that there was a lot of controversy over whether the ad was inappropriate or homophobic or whatever, but I thought it was excellent and definitely deserving of a spot on my list.

2

First, you've gotta love Mr. T (I pity the fool who isn't a Mr. T fan) and I like most things that have to do with tanks, yelling or destruction so this is pretty much a given for me. When you add the fact that the soccer player gets called out for "acting like a crazy fool" and the comparison of the peanuts in a Snickers bar to ... well... you know... it makes for one epic commercial.

1

There's so much awesomeness in this commercial... the catchy song, the guitar that's randomly behind the chair, the weird way the guys look at each other, the fact that the guy is alone at a random desk amidst huge rolls of fabric, the way the guy whispers, "the world" at the end... this is one of my all time favorite commercials. I wish that guy would come and help me enjoy the next Snickers I eat (eww... not in a weird way... I want it to be like the commercial. Get your mind out of the gutter)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Song of the moment: "I Will Always Love You" -Whitney Houston

I'm pretty sure Dolly Parton did this song first, but this will always be the definitive version for me. It is also what I think about when I think of Whitney Houston. I know that, recently, she's been more famous for her marital issues and alleged drug abuse, but Whitney has made some pretty good songs throughout the years, and this is definitely one of them.

Thing that I am currently anticipating: My laundry being finished. I had no clean undershirts today... so I had to wash some.

Doodle/image of the day:



















Captain Short Shorts is basically one of the most awesome super heroes ever

Random Thoughts: Today I'm wearing shorts for the first time in at least a month (not including running shorts)... but I'll probably change when my laundry is done. I guess i don't really like having my knees exposed.

I really want a denim vest... like a jacket with the sleeves cut off. I know it might make me look like a loser, but I don't really care. All I have to do now is find a cheap jacket that fits well... and isn't ugly.

Do they have lots of sales on Veterans Day? I haven't been watching enough television to see all of the commercials for stuff.

Why did I go run at 6:30 this morning? I could have run at 8:00 and it would have been just as cool out. I'm kind of tired now.

Is it strange that I wear my jacket more often when I'm inside than I do when I'm outside? The air conditioning here is super legit... too legit... to quit.

My room is dirty again already... dangit!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Eric = Anakin

Warning: this will only make sense if you are familiar with the current season of Gossip Girl and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Alright... so I was watching Gossip Girl last night and Eric made a comment about how Jenny is turning into Darth Vader because she is now a power-hungry, tyrant with no regard for her former friends and family. This immediately caught my attention because I am a pretty big Star Wars fan (I'm not one of those obsessive people, but I've seen all of the original movies several times, and I've seen most of the prequels at least twice). However, at the end of the episode, Eric's boyfriend realizes that, in an effort to save Jenny from her destructive path, Eric has reduced himself to her level of backstabbing and petty conniving. Realizing that Eric has undergone a fundamental change in his nature, Eric's boyfriend proceed to dump him... but that's beside the point.

If you think about Revenge of the Sith, Anakin changes in a similar way. Whereas he is initially optimistic and enthusiastic about the Jedi teachings of honor, respect and the rejection of anger, he begins to change when he realizes that these methods don't always yield the intended results. In Revenge of the Sith, Anakin has a vision that his wife will die in childbirth (He's not even supposed to have a wife... Jedi are too busy defending the galaxy and stuff to have time for serious relationships). After realizing that he cannot prevent this occurrence through traditional Jedi means, he turns to Senator Palpatine (A.K.A. the Darth Sidious) for help.

Sooo... what's the connection? Like Anakin, Eric is frustrated with his lack of results when he tries to save Jenny by conventional means. Because of this, he uses lies and the help of Blair (A.K.A. the Queen Bee of Manhattan... even though she's not as pretty as Serena) to supplant the former hierarchy with a new one where Jenny is not the ruler. Also, I think Eric looks a little bit like Anakin... no?

In conclusion, Eric is pretty much like Anakin Skywalker circa Episode III (probably like halfway through the movie... not at the end where he gets his legs chopped off). Hopefully, Eric will be able to see the error in his ways before it's too late... but if not, the trust fund teens and socialites better lock their doors at night because there's a new Sith Lord roaming the Upper East Side!


change while you still can, Eric
Song of the moment: "El Farol" -Santana

There's not that much to say about this... it's a good song by Santana

Thing that I am currently anticipating: Tomorrow... no school, video games, movies and lots of homework for all of my classes. What could be better than that?

Doodle/image of the day:



















Sorry about my crappy camera skills, but you get the idea... right?

Random thoughts:
Sometimes, after I eat something, I can taste it hours later when I burp. Today at lunch, I had some Italian sausage and pasta... now, I can sort of taste it in my mouth even though I had lunch three hours ago. Is it weird that I kind of enjoy it when that happens? It's like my stomach's way of saying, "remember lunch... that was good. I would give you a high five if I had hands"

On Sunday, I ran in the Phoenix 5k and 10k. I decided to do the 5k race because I wanted to run fast. I didn't do as well as I would have liked, but I'm still happy I did the race. However, on my complementary t-shirt, it only says "Phoenix 10k". What's up with that? is the 5k cool enough to warrant a mention on official race apparel. I feel so neglected :'(

At the race, they gave out free bananas so I took a bushel (I don't think it's called a "bushe"l... is it called a "bunch"? "bunch" sounds funny). I like bananas, but not that much. What am I going to do with all these bananas?

I like eating, but I'm not so keen on cooking... and I hate cleaning... that's why I order pizza!

I wonder if it hurt when Tupac got "Thug Life" tattooed on his stomach... I've never gotten a tattoo, but I could imagine it being pretty painful. I wonder if he cried. I wouldn't cry... but that's because I would never get "Thug Life" tattooed on my stomach.

I have no idea why a big chunk of text is underlined... it just happened and I don't know how to fix it.




Monday, November 9, 2009

Berlin Wall

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall (or that's what I thought... I know it fell in 1989, but I had no Idea of the specific date... I just saw some stuff on the internet about it this morning that looked pretty legit so I decided to run with it) In honor of this important anniversary, I thought it would be nice to take a look at some other walls and wall-related stuff.

The Great Wall of China
















You have to admit that this is a pretty epic wall. It was built between the 5th and 16th centuries to keep out invading dudes. Also, it's over 8,000k long and you can see it from space!

The "Green Monster"


















I'm not a big Red Sox fan (Yankees = World Series champs... take that!), but the "Green Monster" at Fenway park is notorious for crushing hopes of many would-be home run hits.

"The Wall"

How could I talk about walls without mentioning Pink Floyd's classic rock opera about an isolated dude who builds a wall? If you ask me, that's pretty wall-related. Anyway, it's a great album and a confusing movie (I haven't seen the whole movie, but I can't immagine it making that much sense to me even if I had)

The wall that Humpty Dumpty fell off

















The tragedy of Humpty Dumpty is a well known part of everyone's childhood. If it wasn't for the wall, poor Humpty might still still be with us today (probably not though... he would have hatched or rotted by now).

When I think about it, why did they need the king's horses to help fix Humpty? I could understand why all the king's men would be needed (actually, I can't. why did the king even care about humpty... he's just an egg), but horses obviously don't have the fine motor skills needed to fix an egg... they don't even have opposoble thumbs!

"Stonewall" Jackson



















In case you didn't know, "Stonewall" Jackson was one of the most famous and skilled military Commanders in American history. Even though the Confederate army was eventually pwned by the Union forces, "Stonewall" gave Abraham Lincoln and his buddies plenty of grief until he died of pneumonia.

Hadrian's Wall















I have to admit that I totally forgot what this was until someone reminded me today (thanks, Spencer), but Hadrian's Wall was commissioned by the Roman emperor Hadrian around 122 to defend the Roman Empire in what is now northern England. It was around 117k long, and it was made of rocks and stuff... that sounds pretty cool to me.

The Fourth Wall
























the Fourth Wall is probably my favorite wall. It's that thing that separates the actions and events that occur on stage or screen from the real world that the audience lives in. It's kind of hard to display an imaginary wall in a picture... so I put a funny web comic up where the Fourth Wall is broken instead.

Wall-E


















Last but certainly not least, there's Wall-E, the lovable robot from the movie. I haven't actually seen Wall-E (I know... shame on me... if anyone has a copy, can I borrow it?) so that's all I really have to say about him.
Song of the moment: "In The Light" -Led Zeppelin

Actually, I'm not currently listening to this song (I'm waiting for my class to start), but it was stuck in my head on the way over here. Anyway, it's a pretty good song. Basically, it's eight minutes of awesomeness.

Thing that I am currently anticipating: "Gossip Girl". You can say what you want, but that show is oddly addictive, and the thought of watching it tonight makes Mondays more bearable.

This (along with my lack of facial hair) probably doesn't help my case for keeping my "man card", but I can build really good fires and I eat a lot of bacon... take that!!

Doodle/image of the day:


























I must confess that this picture is a few months old, but it got no love on Facebook :( I thought that my anonymous blog readers might appreciate it more.

Random Thoughts: I really enjoy short stories. I like them because they're easy to read, and they have interesting/confusing endings... short stories pwn!

I think I might have poor circulation in my toes or something. it's like 75 degrees in here and my toes feel like ice cubes... and I don't mean the "Straight Outta Compton" ice cube... actual ice cubes made of frozen water.

I have two leather shoe laces and I don't know what to do with them. they're too long to make a bracelet, too short to make a belt and a necklace is kind of weird... and all of my shoes already have laces.

I really want to change into something more comfortable, but I'm already wearing comfortable clothes. I think that I'm just used to the ritual of changing my clothes after school. However, when I'm already wearing normal clothes to school, how much more normal can I get after class? Does that make any sense?

I'm sooo hungry... but if I eat now, I won't be as hungry for dinner in half an hour. Life is hard.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

No Shave November... and facial hair in general

Although November often brings about thoughts of Thanksgiving, Veterans day, football, fall leaves and the high school cross country state championship meet (maybe I'm the only one who thinks about that last one), the eleventh month of the year should also conjure thoughts of No Shave November. That's right... the month-long celebration of all things hairy. If you're not familiar with No Shave November, the name pretty much sums it up. For the month of November, you decide not to grow out a particular hairy area of your body that would otherwise regularly shave. While NSN is usually associated with guys and facial hair, it's open for all genders and areas of the body (personally, I think it's a little gross to think about women growing out their leg hairs and stuff, but it's a free country and they have as much right to grow their hair as anyone else).

Alright... cool. Now that that's settled, here's the second, more awkward portion of this post. Basically, I think an awesome beard and/or mustache is one of the most badass things you can put on your face (that's a pretty stupid statement... what else can you put on your face besides facial hair? Glasses, tattoos, piercings... that's about it). Facial hair is like a cool spoiler or body kit on a car... it takes something ordinary and makes it really awesome. Also, if worn correctly, facial hair can raise a dude's (or woman... I guess. There's no need to be sexist) level of manliness exponentially. Think about it... would Gandalf be as awesome as he is if he didn't have his sick beard? (or conversely, would Legolas be as lame as he is if did have a beard?) Would people allow Santa Clause to break into their houses and eat cookies if he was naked-faced? NO! The facial hair factor is clearly very important in many situations. Furthermore, a hairy face is a sure-shot way to attract the ladies. Why do you think all of those 1970's porn star guys had mustaches? (actually, that's kind of gross... I've never heard of someone being complemented on their porn-stache... you should probably just forget that I ever brought up porn stars and facial hair in the first place... ewwwww). Even if the particular woman you are trying to woo is initially unsuportive of your wiskers, I can gaurantee that she'll come around in time (I can't actually gaurantee that)... women are naturally attracted to awesome beards.

Now for the sad part of the post... after spending the last half hour typing about the positive attributes of facial hair and NSN, I must inform you that, as far as I know, I am physically incapable of growing an awesome beard and/or mustache. Despite my best efforts, I have never been able to grow anything more than dirt-stache, a cluster of hairs on my chin and a few scraggly outliers on my neck. What's the deal here? Did I not eat enough hormone-infused fast food as a child? Do I need to chop down a tree or start a bar fight in order to upgrade my man card to platinum status? Was I chosen by God to maintain a baby face for the rest of my life? (actually, if that's the case, I shouldn't complain too much. that's way better than some of the stuff he told Abraham to do). Oh well... I guess there's nothing I can do about it. I'm still participating in NSN regardless of whether or not I actually have any hair to abstain from shaving.

Oh yeah... here's some cool beard pics:




















I'm BAAAACK!

You may have noticed that I haven't really posted anything over the last week. My Bad... I got so caught up in other things that I forgot to post here. I know... shame on me for putting things like homework, sleep, my social life and being lazy ahead of blogging on the interwebz. However, that's all going to change (maybe). From now on, I'll try to fulfill my responsibilities to my many readers (who am I kidding? I'm pretty sure I'm the only person who actually subscribes to this blog) by regularly posting meaningless information about my life. In order to make up for my recent absence, I will now post a number of short, random updates... Yeah!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Paranormal Inactivity

Before I say anything else, let my start by start by explaining that I am not a fan of horror movies. For some reason, it's difficult for me to suspend my disbelief and buy into the idea that there are ghosties or goblins or possessed toys are haunting people and messing up their lives. Even so, I went into go see Paranormal Activity last night, expecting to pretty scared. from what I'd heard from other people, the movie was supposed to give me nightmares or make me crap my pants in fright or something like that. However, once I actually saw the movie, I was extremely underwhelmed. how can this be the scariest movie in years when nothing happens!?! I know the plot was supposed to build slowly and be realistic, but the most exciting thing in the first 45 minutes was a creaky door. A CREAKY DOOR!! Maybe poor house maintenance could be scary if you're Bob Vila or Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor, but normal people suck it up and go back to sleep.

Even when the action did pick up, it was very limited, and it was surrounded by long periods of boring jokes and crappy camera work. Basically, the movie was like an episode of "America's Boringest Home Videos" or some excessively long, low budget episode of "MTV Cribs". I'm pretty sure all the action could be compiled into one ten minute Youtube clip... and it would still be boring. That's because every time the "demon" visits the couple, the same thing happens. Let me summarize it for you...

The couple hears loud footsteps
Guy: "wtf was that!"
Girl: "Aaaaah"
The door creaks
Guy: "bring it on, demon!"
Girk: "honey, don't provoke it"
Guy: "my bad"
The couple cuddles together in fear
The camera cuts off

If it wasn't for the fact that I kind of had to go to the bathroom throughout the whole movie (and it was supposed to be one of the best movies of the year), I probably would have gone to sleep after the first twenty minutes. Maybe in real life, demons are extremely boring characters, but if you want me to pay $7 to watch them haunt people, I think they should spice up their act. Seriously... I think I watched a video about noble gases in High School Chemistry class that kept me more entertained than this.

Ultimately, if you like watching people do normal things in front of a video camera, interspersed with random disturbances by a the lamest movie monster ever (more lame than the alien in Signs), Paranormal Activity is probably the film for you. However, if you'd prefer that something actually happens during the 90 minutes that you're staring at the screen, I'd suggest an actual movie with actual actors, actual camera work and an actual plot.

p.s. If you can think of anything that would change my opinion about Paranormal Activity or Horror movies in general, feel free to comment.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Song of the moment: "Check Yo Self"-Ice Cube

Classic Ice Cube song... with an even more classic beat. This song can will never be on the same level as "The Message", but it hits hard nonetheless. Oh yeah... did you know that this video is part two to the "it was a good day" video? Maybe I'm stupid, but I never realized that. Here's both videos combined... idk why I didn't just post that in the first place.

Thing that I'm currently anticipating: umm... I'm not really sure. I guess I have to go to the bathroom... sort of.

Doodle/image of the day:




















Random thoughts: My air freshener is supposed to smell "powder fresh". Although it was my idea to buy it, I'm starting to regret that purchase. My room smells like baby powder all the time.

Why is it that, whenever I spray my air freshener, it always ends up landing on me or whatever I'm trying to eat at the moment?

The other day, ASU sent me an e-mail to say that there was a "cold front" coming. Apparently, weather below 65 degrees is cause for concern, and students need to "dress appropriately" for the weather. I think they should send an e-mail when it's 115 degrees. That seems like it's a little bit more dangerous than a low of 47 and a high of 61.

Yesterday, I locked myself out of my room for the fourth time. It seems so evil to make a door that I can lock from the inside on my way out.

My bathroom smells pretty gross, and I'm not sure what to do about it. I kind of miss community bathrooms. They were always relatively clean.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Loveless Marraige

Yesterday, instead of working on my English paper, I was looking at clips of Everybody Loves Raymond on Youtube. Here's one of the funniest videos:

Although this video is meant to be humorous, it made me think about whether or not Frank and Marie's marriage was really loveless, and what things should be valued in a relationship. Throughout the show, Raymond's parents fight and bicker constantly, yet they have been together for over four decades (I just made this up... I don't know how long when their marriage is supposed to have taken place. I assumed that Robert and Raymond are in their forties and they were born after Frank and Marie were married). Also, despite their tumultuous relationship, Both Frank and Marie seem to take pride in their marriage and the amount of time they've been together. Situations like this beg us to ask the questions, "what is a functional relationship?" and "how can one determine whether to suck it up and live with the situation, try to work it out or simply walk away and cut their losses?" Honestly, I'm not really sure... are you?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Song of the moment: "Mother's Lament" -Cream

Not all music has to be serious and, If I'm not mistaken, this is a classic English pub song. There's nothing spectacular about this... it's just a great band fooling around.

Doodle/image of the day:



















Random thoughts: I feel weird today... when I woke up, I felt sick so I went back to sleep. I also slept from brunch until dinner. I've been in a sort of daze ever since

For every five of Kanye West's good lines, there's one really stupid one that makes no sense. Of course, that's not counting what he says outside of his music. In that respect, the ratio's a little more even.

It's only 11:00pm, but it feels really late

I guess I'll go watch Mulan now

Forgot About Dre

It seems like nowadays, everybody wants to talk like they've got something to say, but nothing comes out when they move their lips, just a bunch of gibberish because mother----ers act like they forgot about Dre. If you've forgotten about Dr. Dre, shame on you. Andre Young is a very talented and influential rapper and producer hailing from Compton, California. Here's a couple of his hits to jog your memory:












you're welcome

PB&J on Wheat Bread... Back from the Dead!

I was bored so I thought I'd make a scary sandwich... Boo!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Kwanzaa: Myth vs. Reality

Although it's only October, I thought that now was as good a time as any to dispel some myths about one of America's most misunderstood holidays. I'd like to start by giving a brief overview of Kwanzaa and it's origins. Next, I'll clear up some common misconceptions, and I'll end with my personal thoughts on the issue. If you feel that I have made any false statements, feel free to let me know.

What is Kwanzaa?: Kwanzaa is a non-religious holiday that was created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, a professor and chairman of black studies at California State University, Long Beach. In creating Kwanzaa, Dr. Karenga intended to give African Americans a chance to celebrate themselves and their history. Also, Kwanzaa was intended to promote values such as unity and self-determination in the black community. Kwanzaa has no basis in any single African country or tradition, but rather is a celebration of Africa as a whole, drawing infuences from various harvest festivals throughout the continent. Kwanzaa is an annual celebration that occurrs between December 26 and Janauary 1. For each day of Kwanzaa, a candle is lit, libations are poured, one of the seven principles is refelcted on and small homemade gifts are exchanged. While Kwanzaa was originally created for African Americans, it does not specifically exclude anyone.

Common Misconceptions:
Kwanzaa is an African Holiday: Although Kwanzaa is based on certain African traditions, the actual holiday was created by a dude in California.

If you celebrate Kwanzaa, you don't celebrate Christmas: Kwanzaa is not a religious holiday. This means that you can celebrate Kwanzaa regardless of your religion.

You have to be black to celebrate Kwanzaa: I don't think Kwanzaa has any restrictions on who can celebrate it. If you want to bust out your Kinara and light some candles, I don't think the Kwanzaa police will bust into your house and arrest you for not being black. Anyway, black people have fought racism for too long to become racists, themselves (that's what I'd like to believe).

If I give my black friend a Kwanzaa card, he'll appreciate it: I know it may seem politically correct, but I honesty don't know anyone who actually celebrates Kwanzaa. Unless your friend is really into that stuff, he's probably just as confused about it as you are.

My thoughts about Kwanzaa: Personally, I'm not a big fan of Kwanzaa. Although it was created with good intentions, I feel that, similar to Chappelle's Show, Fubu, The Boondocks, and that stupid "Read A Book" song, Kwanzaa ultimately creates more stereotypes and misconceptions than it dispels. While these types of things might be helpful for their target audience, the general public often gets a skewed view of them that lacks the same background and history. This causes confusion and false assumptions. Furthermore, I feel that it is inappropriate to link my identity as an African American to some sort of Pan-African ideal. While I do recognize and take pride in certain physical and genetic connections to people from the African continent, I cannot specifically trace my heritage to any one particular African country, and thus I see myself as more of an American than an African. Also, as a black person, a man, an American, a college student and many other things, I feel that I would rather live my life as a complex human being than waste it embracing a set of contrived and fraudulent traditions.

I hope that helped clear things up about Kwanzaa

p.s. I don't intend to offend anybody who celebrates Kwanzaa. If that's what you like to do, that's perfectly cool with me.
Song of the Day "Soul Of A Hustler" -Sun-N.Y

Most people only know Sun-N.Y from when he beat Jin on Freestyle Friday, but his 2005 debut album was pretty good. I haven't heard anything that he's done since then, but, from what I've heard, "Soul Of A Hustler" is his best song. Although the subject matter is nothing new, the raw emotion in his delivery really separates this from other similar songs. Overall, it's a really powerful track, and it definitely deserves a listen.

Thing that I am currently anticipating: I'm going to a corn maze tomorrow. I'm kind of excited... even though I'm not too keen on being lost in the dark.

Doodle/image of the day:



















Random Thoughts: I'm not a big fan of serial television dramas. They are far to confusing for me to understand, and they require constant viewing. I enjoy, comedies, reality t.v., documentaries and sports far more.

Some guy started playing "Thriller" on his laptop before my Philosophy 101 class started... wtf?

I always get really excited when I have notifications on facebook, but I rarely have the motivation to respond to people's wall posts and messages and stuff

We've started taking notes in class... I should probably write the stuff that's on the board down...bye.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Happy Hump Day!

Today is Hump Day (in case you didn't know, every Wednesday is hump day... I'm not some kind of sex maniac), and who would you rather celebrate with than the master of "hump", himself (no, not Wilt Chamberlain)... Shock G a.k.a. Humpty Hump! That's right, here's Digital Underground and the "Humpty Dance"!

Fred is a Tool

As my fruit snacks clearly illustrate, Fred was by far the lamest character on Scooby Doo. Honestly, he had about as much personality as plank of wood (haha... remember "Plank" from Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy?... that's not what I was referring to), and he seemed like the 1970's version of a "bro" (orange ascot and white sweater: Fred :: polo with popped collar and aviator sunglasses : bro). I think that Fred's only real purpose was to babysit his idiot co-workers (and velma) and to drive the Mystery Machine. If you think about it, he was the only one who was really fit to drive; Scooby was a dog, Shaggy was stoned, Velma was practically blind and Daphne was slightly more intelligent than the common house fly. Basically, Fred was being used by everyone else in the gang, and that is a major act of toolery on his part.
Then again, Scooby Doo probably isn't the best cartoon to analyze. It was a poorly-animated and excruciatingly formulaic kids' show from the '70's about a pothead, a ditzy redhead, a nerd, Fred, and a great dane who drove around in their psychadelic van and solved mysteries... yeah.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Song of the moment: "Killer Wolf" -Danzig

I'm not sure whether I like Glen Danzig better in the Misfits or Danzig (I haven't really lisltened to Samhain too much so I can't comment on that). Danzig definitely has more variety and a heavy metal/blues flair, but the original Misfits has a lot of raw power and great song concepts.

p.s. Is it me, or do all Danzig videos look the same. This looks just like the video for "I'm The One"

Thing that I am currently anticipating: My advising appointment. I'm meeting with my advisor tomorrow. Once I get that done, I'll be all clear to sign up for classes when they come out.

Doodle/image of the day: I'm currently in class (chill out... it's not like the teacher is saying anything that isn't in the book) so I can't upload pictures at the moment. this smiley face will have to be good enough for now :)

Random thoughts: I've gotten so used to multitasking during classes that it I feel weird sometimes when I'm only taking notes and paying attention. Is that bad?

Last night, I was at this math review session and I was actually able to help someone with their homework! It made me feel really smart.

It is really hard doing facebook graffiti (or using M.S. Paint) with a laptop touchpad thing. Mice are much better for detailed jobs like that.

I am pretty thirsty. What if I dropped dead from dehydration on my way back to my room? That would suck. I would probably donate my organs t whoever needs them... and a cannibal could have the rest of me.

My teacher is talking about Mao (not that Mao)... but it reminded me of Meow Mix


Did that last thought make any sense? If not, you should click on the links... it still might not make sense.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Song of the moment: "Fair Weather Fan" -Louis Logic

This is not my favorite Louis Logic song, but I think it's an interesting critique of hip hop fans, underground music and the pressures that artists face. Also, I really enjoy the beat.

Thing that I am currently anticipating: actually, it's a secret, but it has to do with ghosts and candy... nobody reads this blog anyway so it's okay if I sort of give it away (I didn't intend for that to rhyme).

Doodle/image of the day:
Just in case you think that I spend all my time doodling and blogging, here's a picture of some actual notes that I took in math class. Cool, right?
















Random thoughts: I should really fix my bike

Every time I use facebook chat, my computer momentarily freezes whenever I get a message. It's like my computer's way of telling me that I should be studying or doing something else productive instead of having meaningless conversations with old friends.

Actually, I got a message when I was typing that last thought and I had to type it over again.

It seems like most of my friends in college have some sort of moral objection against sports. By the way they talk about football, you would think that the coaches and players were part of some sort of conspiracy to commit human rights abuses or kill puppies or something. I always thought it was pretty cool to catch a one handed hail mary pass in heavy coverage or dunk from the free throw line in a game, but these people make it seem like it's a major faux pas on par with wearing white socks with dress shoes or a polo shirt with a tie... oh well

My water bottle is starting to smell funny... should I wash it out or can I just rinse it? It's made of stainless steel if that makes any difference.

Napoleon Dynamite

While I was at Target the other day, they had movies at sale prices ranging from $5 to $10. Although they offered a number of classic (or what I would consider classic) films including American Psycho, Silence of the Lambs, The Talented Mr. Ripley and Full Metal Jacket, I decided to purchase Napoleon Dynamite. While this movie may not have the same level of drama or plot development as the others, it is still one of my all-time favorites. This is because of the humor, the scenery and the overall spirit of the movie.

As a fan of awkward humor and quirky characters (The Office is one of my favorite T.V. shows), Napoleon Dynamite makes me laugh out loud every time I watch it. The combination of plausible situations and unusual outcomes is something that's extremely funny to me, and the minimal use of outlandish gags and complicated set-ups helps give the jokes a more natural and believable feel. Another aspect which I found entertaining was the dry, emotionless delivery of many of the characters. Whereas many comedies rely on over-the-top, energetic acting, it seems like Napoleon Dynamite took a more subtle, minimalist approach in terms of acting. the slow, monotone voices of characters like Napoleon, Kip and Pedro added an extra level of humor to their unusual lines. As cliche as it sounds, sometimes, less is more.

Although the acting took a backseat, the backdrop of the movie played a major role. Maybe it's because I'm from a state with lots of people, buildings and trees, but the scenery in Napoleon Dynamite is one of my favorite aspects of the movie. Almost every outdoor shot is against a background of mountains and farmland. The vast expanses that Napoleon's world are both bizarre and oddly comforting. Perhaps it's a result of playing too much "Oregon Trail" (I always died trying to fjord the river) as a child or maybe it represents some sort of natural rejection of the pressures and crowded feelings of urban life today. Regardless of the reason, the plains and mountains of Idaho are appealing to me, and I feel that such a unique location is the perfect setting for Napoleon Dynamite's cast of quirky characters to reside.

Lastly, I enjoy Napoleon Dynamite because of the overall feel of the movie. The film has a 1980's to mid 1990's vibe to it. This is present in subtle ways which include the music selection, the use of VHS and cassette tapes and some of the clothing choices. Other aspects of the film even provoke comparisons to 1980's teen movies. However, the humor and lack of overused plot conventions keeps the film from feeling campy and predictable. This ability to create endearing characters and an interesting story without resorting to trite plot choices and cliches was something that I particularly enjoyed. In movies today, it's become a sure thing that there will be a makeout and/or sex scene, a bold (and cheesy) display of affection, jealousy between friends over someone that they both have feelings for and a serious event that causes the main character to rethink his or her views. Napoleon Dynamite is able to still be a great film without an awkward love triangle between Napoleon, Deb and Pedro or Napoleon dedicating his dance performance to Deb in order to regain her friendship. Furthermore, even without all of these things, Napoleon and Deb mysteriously make up, and all of the main characters (even Uncle Rico) find some sort of happiness by the end.

Ultimately, Napoleon Dynamite may not have riveting monologues or extravagant special effects, but it still should not be written off as generic teen comedy or a sign that film as an art form is dead. For a movie that was made without profanity, sex, generic plot conventions, a large budget or a fancy Hollywood studio set, I think that it's pretty damn good, and I laugh every time I watch it... but that's to be expected. What the heck would you do in that situation?... gosh!

In honor of Napoleon Dynamite, here's one of my favorite scenes:

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Song of the moment: "Represent" -Nas

Classic track from a classic album. Regardless of people's thoughts on Nastradamus and "Oochie Wally" and all the random beef, this album cemented Nas' place in hip-hop history.

Thing that I am currently anticipating: Breakfast. I know I always talk about food, but it's parents visiting weekend so they're probably going to make something good to impress all the visitors.

Doodle/image of the day:
I generally don't doodle that much on Saturday mornings... I'm too busy sleeping, running, showering and watching youtube. Instead of a drawing, here's a picture of me from earlier in the week. It's a little washed out, but I think it came out okay.















Random thoughts:
On the weekends, I generally try to go to bed at a reasonable hour so I can wake up to run in the morning... all the juicy stuff seems to go down after 1:00am though :'(

The washers and dryers here are really annoying. It seems like the timers on them are completely useless. If it says my clothes have five minutes left to dry, I will come back in five minutes and they will say three minutes left. It makes me angry

On a related note, the download bar on my computer seems to display completely useless statistics as well. first it will say that there's ten minutes remaining. A second later, it will say there's five seconds.

I'm sorry that these random thoughts are not particularly well put together or structured. My mind's not in it at the moment. I forgot to put on deodorant... and I feel like I should pretty soon. I can't concentrate when I need deodorant.

that last statement isn't as gross as it sounds. I took a shower around twenty minutes ago, and I've been sitting in my computer chair since then.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Song of the moment: "Some Cow Fonque (More Tea, Vicar?)" -Buckshot LeFonque

I know this song from the Men In Black soundtrack, but Buckshot LeFonque seems like a pretty cool group. There isn't much info online about them, but they seem like they're worth checking out.

Thing that I am currently anticipating: I'm not really sure... at the moment, I'm content. I'm perfectly happy with embracing the now.

Doodle/image of the day:
I had a math quiz today, and most of the questions were about material that wasn't in the homework or test review. We covered this material briefly last week, but I spent very little time studying it, and still do not completely understand it. Needless to say, I did not do very well on the quiz. This image reflects my feelings on the issue.







Random thoughts: currently, the weather in Tempe is hovering around 100 degrees. because of this, I dressed accordingly in "manpris" (if you don't get it, click on the link) and a t-shirt. However, on my way to class this morning, I saw people in outfits ranging from shorts and tank-tops to ugg boots, jackets and winter hats. When I asked my friends about this, they said that people in Arizona try to wear jackets any chance they get becuase there aren't enough truly cold days to justify only wearing winter wear when necessary. That's weird.

My legs hurt

I know I already ranted about Arizona's irrigation issues in an earlier post, but today I saw a guy spraying a hose at an already muddy patch of grass for at least ten minutes... that's ridiculous!

In a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, the actual cup part is chocolate. Maybe, it should be called "Reese's Chocolate Cup that Is Filled With A Strange, Oddly-Textured, Peanut Butter-Like Substance". I think it's kind of Catchy.

Despite the strange peanut butter, I actually really enjoy Reese's Cups... but I don't want one right now... I think I'm dehydrated.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Best Waffle Ever

I had an Amazing waffle for breakfast this morning. Here are some pictures.















first, I made a regular waffle with some raisins mixed into the batter (I wanted to use Craisins, but they didn't have them today). Next, I got some bacon and stuffed it inside the waffle. Finally, i covered it with syrup, and enjoyed my creation. I actually try to make waffles like this quite often, but this one was especially tasty.

Fortunately (for the sake of my arteries), I don't have enough time to do this on a regular basis. It's only for weekends and other special occasions.
Song of the Moment: "Curtains" -Elton John

This song only had one play on my itunes, but after hearing it now, I think I like it. I expect "Curtains" to get many more plays in the future.

Thing that I am Currently anticipating: Lunch. Although I'm not that hungry at the moment (I had a pretty large breakfast), I am looking forward to the social aspect of lunch. In my opinion, there's nothing better than spending quality time with friends.

Doodle/image of the day:












Random Thoughts: This weekend is the Grand Opening of the Barrett Honors College at ASU. It seems kind of weird for there to be a grand opening for something that has been in use since August.

Because it's the Grand Opening, there are lots of adults (real adults... not eighteen to twenty-year-olds) walking around with suits and nice clothing on. It was funny seeing the contrast at breakfast this morning between the enthusiastic, well-dressed adults and the sleep-deprived, pajama-clad college students.

Why is it standard for waiters and movie theater attendants to wear bow ties and other forms of formal attire? I think it takes away some of the class and refinement of a tuxedo when it becomes the uniform for popcorn-fillers and ticket-rippers at every movie theater across America. I don't mean to offend or demean people who do these jobs... rather, I just feel that the utmost formality shouldn't be required when you're selling tickets for Freddy Vs. Jason or March of the Penguins.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Song of the moment: "Live As It Gets" -Reef the Lost Cauze


Thing that I am currently anticipating: The weekend. I know it's only halfway through Wednesday, but I'm already in need of a break. Lately, sleeping has become my new favorite hobby, and it's difficult to fully enjoy this pastime when I have all these classes in the way.

Doodle/image of the day:


The picture is a little old, but I found it in my notebook today.
















Random thoughts: It really annoys me that I can't write while I listen to music. I was listening to 21 questions (yeah, I know that's it's kind of a love song... and it's by 50 cent, but it's still good, and I haven't listened to it for a while) and I had to pause it to rant about random crap on the internet

This morning, from the moment I got in my room to the moment I got to the dining hall, it took me 30 minutes. That's ridiculous! I know it probably takes about four or five minutes to take the elevator downstairs and walk to the dining hall, but 25 minutes is still a lot of time to take a shower and get dressed. Ideally, I would like to get ready in about fifteen minutes. I figure this will give me enough time to have a waffle, bacon, sausage, potatoes, and maybe a danish or some oatmeal for breakfast. Also, I would have time to fully digest this meal so as not to endure stomach discomfort while I ride my bike to class.

you know that saying, "roses are red, violets are blue, etc..."? Aren't violets purple? Thus the name, "violets". My theory is that this poem was written by a man (duh... but wait, there's more). The reason being that color blindness affects 7% of men whereas it only affects .4% of women (for more on colorblindness go to http://www.hhmi.org/senses/b130.html ). If the hopeless romantic who wrote this could not identify the color red, he might very well have believed that violets are blue. On the other hand, some violets do actually look bluish. You be the judge.