Latest Entries »

  • Morgan Freeman introducing Kenny Chesney is perhaps one of the most incongruous things I have ever seen. Also, Morgan Freeman steels his fashion tips from Kanye West.
  • Everybody but Craig Ferguson is horribly unfunny when presenting awards, especially when they are supposed to be funny
  • Three people in the audience knew what Led Zeppelin was.
  • If they play Watchmen at regular speed it will last for about an hour and will be half as “visionary”.
  • The RAP PACK! Get it! If you don’t get it, it’ll be in black and white to give you the full effect. But it’ll just be desaturated instead of optimized to, you know, look good.
  • Although I enjoy MIA’s Paper Planes, “no one on the corner has swagger like us” gets pretty inane when repeated over and over and over again.
  • MIA is an upsidedown lady bug or something.
  • The Grammy people feel the need to offset the awesome created by the likes of Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney by teaming them up with The Jonas Brothers and Dave Grohl.
  • Not only is Dave Grohl on the same stage as McCartney, he is taking Ringo’s place (who is still alive, by the way).
  • The Grammy people also seem to know that I am only watching for Radiohead.
  • Shiny suits of all colors are, apparently, cool.
  • I automagically tune out all country music.
  • Thom Yorke can’t not dance funny when he sings. He’s almost as bad as John Mayer’s sing-y face. Despite, or perhaps because of, this, Radiohead’s performance was freaking awesome.
  • The Grammy people know I will keep watching for Neil Diamond.
  • SAM JACKSON!
  • I feel like I could enjoy T.I. if he didn’t have that stupid hat on.
  • Obama has more Grammys than Kanye. Or something like that.
  • The words “Yes we can” said by a rich white guy is… kinda funny.
  • Smokey Robinson is still alive.
  • I generally like the songs in the commercials better than those performed in the actual show.
  • Josh Grobin: The Most Boring Man in Music.
  • Neil Diamond is still alive. And still kind of awesome.
  • Why isn’t T.I. performing with The Diamondator? He performed with everybody else.
  • Paul McCartney upstaged Diamond from his seat.
  • Bo Diddly is a great song no matter who plays it. Also, a great dude.
  • Gary Senise is a strange strange man to be on the Grammys.
  • Especially strange to be introducing Lil Wayne.
  • Those girls during the New Orleans thing are gonna have a lot of bad luck.
  • will.i.am and T-Pain. I love people with punctuation in their names. Even more-so when they have awesome hats.
  • Lil Wayne seems to be an amalgamation of a bunch of young and old people. Interesting.
  • This Bob Dylan/will.i.am commercial really ticks me off.
  • More Zooey D., please. Pretty please. Pretty pretty please.
  • Radiohead can’t catch a break. But at least Robert Plant won the big thing.
  • New Theory: if Radiohead wants a Grammy, they need to get old. Quick.
  • You can’t play out Robert Plant. It’s kind of stupid.
  • Woo. More Stevie Wonder. Hopefully he can get away without geting bombarded by Jonases again.
  • Playing commercials over Stevie Wonder seems kind of screwed up. Like playing out Robert Plant.

So, that’s all. Hope you enjoyed. I’ll update this more often now that I’m settled into a routine at school.

Advertisements

I don’t really like this song, but it works well as a title for this post.

Today I had an excellent conversation. It was me and John and Kathy and we were talking about things I love to talk about (the power of literature and an intelligent discussion of religion) in a really cool way. It was purely intellectual and that is something I don’t experience often. But this isn’t about that.

Ever since I have known John I knew he didn’t have the same interests as I did. Nothing is more different about us than what pop-art we appreciate most. He is a music man and I am at my best watching a great movie. I always got the impression that he didn’t take my interest in film as seriously as I took his appreciation for music. If we disagreed on who we though was a good band or what kind of music we listened to, I always felt like I deferred to him because it was his thing. I didn’t feel the reciprocation, though, and that kinda sucked. Whenever I would try to talk about movies he would groan and roll his eyes. Tonight I confronted him about it and he said that he would groan because I said he should see Tropic Thunder and other such films and then he did and he hated them. After I explained how instead of saying he should see these films I was only trying to convey how I felt watching them (AKA I laughed a lot), he began to see that I wasn’t quite getting the respect for my chosen art that I felt I deserved. He vowed to try to understand that I was coming from the same place he was coming from but in a different mode of transportation. Then we both cut our thumbs and we signed our names in our own blood. It was great.

So, in conclusion, Tropic Thunder is a movie that everybody will love and enjoy 100%.

As many of you know, I am an amateur photographer. I have another blog where I post one picture every day and these next ten shots are my favorites from this year. I’ll go into a little more depth than normal on these because I like them so much.

10.

This is a sculpture that my mom got for some holiday (I think). It was taken towards the beginning of the year. I really like what goes on with the shadow and the character looking out of the frame. I think the grayscale works, too.

9.

Taken at the Hartford Auto show a month or two ago, this color was great. The black stripes just add to the awesome, I think.  I’m really happy with the focus that I got on this one.

8.

This is from Horsebarn Hill at the very highest open point on the UConn campus. It was a kind of crappy rainy day earlier and I thought I would take the chance to go up to the hill and see if I could get some wide shots of the campus. As the light was fading I saw this line of clouds move in and then I realized that the sun would be setting right as they were passing over me. I only touched this up to recreate the colors that I saw that afternoon.

7.

I love the depth of focus on this one. It really captures the crunchiness of the leaves. Also, it looks cool. This was taken on one of my many photowalks around campus.

6.

From this Sunday, this is the only picture on the list that was taken with my new Canon XSi. It is also my new desktop background. I love it so much.

5.

From the same day as the cloud picture above. I had recently watched The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford and I wanted to see if I could recreate the look of that film. I think I got pretty close. I also love the focus on this one.

4.

I think this one was taken towards the end of fall, even though it looks a lot like a spring picture. This is perhaps the best color I have gotten in a picture. I think it is beautiful.

3.

This isn’t the technically best shot but I think the beauty of it balances the so-so technical work. It was raining one afternoon after work at my summer job. We had just pulled into the driveway and I saw the sun shining while the rain was still falling. I crouched pretty low to the ground (I didn’t want to lay down for obvious reasons) to get as much sky as I could. I wish the background trees and house weren’t there, but I think the reflection works just as well even though the top half could have been better.

2.

Two days before my birthday I captured this on my way back from one of my classes. I enjoy shadows and how they are a version but not exactly the same as the real thing. I thought getting the very bottom of the actual tree and having the rest be in shadows was pretty great. I think I did it by accident, though. Which is lucky for me.

1.

As you can see, I like pictures of trees and nature and stuff. This is about two weeks after the previous shot and I think it is kind of amazing. I feel weird talking about my pictures like this, but there it is. Fromt this picture you would never be able to tell that the lake was actually a gross, duck crap filled pond. It looks like something out of Lord of the Rings, I think. All of these pictures are even better in a bigger size which you can see if you click on the pictures.

So that’s it. See you later for other Top Ten lists!

You are never (as in never ever ever ever) the only one. Never. Ever. You can stop writing “Am I the only one who thinks…” because you aren’t. There are millions of kajillions of people on the internet and I am sure that unless you don’t exist somebody else on it shares your sentiment. I would also ask you to remove “I’m sorry but…” from your sentence beginning repertoire. Don’t say it if you’re gonna be sorry about it before you even begin. That is all! Until next time!

Your TV at home is not as good as a cinema screen. It isn’t. No matter how big it is it isn’t a multi-story screen. And no matter how good your sound system is it isn’t as good as the sound systems in the theater. Yes, it may be more convenient and pleasant sometimes to watch a movie in your house rather than go to a theater but you have to admit that it is no comparison. A filmmaker intends for his or her movies to be seen in a certain way and, like it or not, they usually know best. You can’t say you saw a picture of the Mona Lisa or Saturn Devouring His Son on the internet and say you saw what the artist intended. You can get a feeling, an impression, but nothing compares to the real deal. Yes, movies are for entertainment but they are also an art form and it is important to recognize this. So, when you feel like boasting about your great home setup, just stop and remember that you are an idiot and go out to your local cinema to support the arts.

And also Chanukaha and Kwanzaa and Solstice and Winter Related Celebration of Something. Or Thursday.

Also, I found out today that Leonard Maltin gave Blade Runner a 1.5 star rating. Perhaps that was just the original cut (which has a bad reputation) but that is just stupid. He is officially an idiot.

I haven’t been with you for a week. I should be posting more because I have no school work to do. Anyways, here are some things I have been thinking about, if it interests you.

There seems to be a general feeling on the internet that advertising in any way is bad. And, while I agree that if we could just get a stat sheet or something for every competing product and chose what we want to buy from the information on the sheet it would make for an easier and less stressful time for everybody, I don’t think the advertising business is going anywhere. I do not believe that all advertisments are evil or the cause of the fall of man or a sign of the apocalypse or a mark of the general stupidity of human beings because I don’t think that human beings are stupid. I seem to be the only person on the internet with an optimistic outlook on life and humanity. The fact that we fall for a viral ad or that the Twilight movie was number 1 at the box office doesn’t mean the whole race of human beings is condemnable. It just means that some of us are stupider than others and we will have to deal with this. There have always been stupid people and there always will be stupid people. And I don’t necessarily think that people who laugh at ads are stupid because I am one of them. I will applaud a great ad instead of jumping straight to a “what does this mean about humanity as a whole” angle. Who gives a crap? It’s 30 seconds of fun or cornyness featuring a certain product.

That went on for too long. Sorry. I don’t blame you if you didn’t read it all.

In the immortal words of that one song, “Christmas time is here.” This, of course, means lots of Christmas music and merriness. If you would like a definitive list of all that is good and Christmasy, here you go:

  • Movies:

A Muppet Christmas Carol

Brazil

Die Hard (NSFW video)

  • Music:

Get Behind Me, Santa! – Sufjan Stevens

Christmas in Hollis – Run D.M.C.

Little Drummer Boy – David Bowie and Bing Crosby

Ok, that’s enough.

Oh, one more thing! The new camera is pretty darn awesome. Check out my other website for awesome pictures!

This is my final paper for my Modern English Literature class. I got an A- on the paper. I hope you enjoy it.

Opening lines are important. They can be exciting (“It was a pleasure to burn.”) or boring (“Opening lines are important.”) Sometimes the author just wants to set up where the rest of the book will take place and sometimes the author uses the opening line to set up the tone and actions of the rest of the book (“All this happened, more or less.”) A. S. Byatt’s opening line to “The Thing in the Forrest” goes like this: “There were once two little girls who saw, or believed they saw, a thing in the forest.” From this we get our two main characters (the girls) and what happens to them (they see a thing in the forest) but we get the most important piece of information from what is set off in commas: “or believed they saw”. Byatt never clarifies if they actually saw the thing in the forest or if they imagined it or if it was something in between but she does imply that it doesn’t matter if they saw it or not. They believed they saw it and that is all that matters. There is a line from the 1994 classic film The Santa Clause which says, “Seeing isn’t believing. Believing is seeing,” I think that this sentiment is what Byatt is trying to convey, and I agree with her.

There is nothing in any book that matters that says there is a difference between perception and reality. The reality of reality is that reality is relative. We see what we want to see and discard everything else. The NBA might as well not exist since I never watch it. For all I know Alice really traveled down the rabbit hole and Jonas could really receive all of the memories of the past and hold on to them for everybody else. All it takes for one thing to be real is to believe it is so and it only takes a closed mind to deny all of the different realities provide by literature and our imaginations. The thing that separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom isn’t language or prehensile thumbs; it’s the ability to think of things that can never exist. As long as we continue to dream of and write new worlds and scenarios and most importantly believe in these scenarios we will be a prosperous species.

When I was an engineering student I would get dirty looks for reading a work of fiction instead of an instruction manual or blueprint because the fiction didn’t really exist and instruction manuals are useful and real. My fellow students were going to make the world a better place through sheer force. They would perfect everything and make everything easier, faster, stronger, better. They knew they could build the best mousetrap ever because they understand the world and how it works. There would be no need for fiction or stories of the future and the past and the never-going-to-happen because reality would be perfect. I yelled at them about their shortsightedness and arrogance in my head. They were being taught that only what was real mattered to their studies and I became afraid of our future. I overheard and took part in many discussions about how stupid and boring the Freshman English classes were because the world of fiction had no bearing on what was actually happening and that they were wasting precious time they could be spending learning about stress tests and load bearing beams reading stupid stories about things that couldn’t even happen! These are the kids that would get a LEGO set and build a giant box instead of an arctic base or a moon rover. A lack of imagination as a child led to the future of our society being doomed. Luckily I got out of there as fast as possible and retreaded to the happier reality of fiction.

When a good reader reads they learn as much about how the world works as an engineering student learns from a lecture. They learn about how people interact with people and how they deal with situations and how to be a good human being, even though all of the events and people and reactions are made up by the author. They can take the make-believe and believe it can be made. The unwavering belief that anything is possible as long as the believer keeps on believing is the most important aspect of life. If we can perceive anything as reality we can change reality to whatever we want. If we apply this concept to everybody on the planet and everybody that will ever be on the planet we can truly perfect the human race. We can create the best of all possible worlds through imagination and belief. We can use fiction to change reality for the better and we can use reality to create even more fantastical fiction. We can spread all ideas everywhere and give everybody the option to think about how they think things should be and we can change things.

Alright, enough of this changing the world business. That can’t really happen anyways. It’s just a pie-in-the-sky idea, taken from an idealist’s brain and translated into lofty ideas about reality and fiction. Everybody knows that only the real things matter. How much money do I really have in the bank, how much does an education really mean, how much does this essay really matter. None of it is going to change much of anything. We shouldn’t get our hopes up for a better future. In all likelihood the world will be just about the same when I die as it was when I was born. Sure, the technologies will change and there’ll be more people in the world but none of it will make much of a difference. I certainly can’t change much for myself, much less anybody else. I might as well go read an instruction book and learn how to make things work better than they do now. It’s not like a believing something can be better will actually make the thing better. Unless. Unless everybody believes in the power of belief. If everybody fully understood the power of belief and the effect it has on reality they would truly become wholly realized as human beings. We would appreciate every possible reality presented in fiction and non-fiction as being possible and we would be better for it. Even our engineers, misguided though they may be right now, could become better at what they do if they dared to dream about things that nobody dreamt of before. If they just got past the idea of “impossible” they would realize that impossible doesn’t exist. They would recognize that the only the impossible is impossible, everything else will work if you believe you can find a way to make it so.

Welcome to finals week.

I am in a not so unique position because my birthday comes a little more than a month after Christmas. This makes for an extended gift recieving season which suits me just fine. This year is a little different, though. I only want one thing for Christmas and my birthday combined (although I suppose I wouldn’t spit at anything else on my My Amazon.com Wish List ) and that is a new camera. I got a camera for my birthday two years ago and I have enjoyed using it all these years. Now, though, I want to move on up (to the east side?) and finally get my dirty mits on a dSLR (digital single lens reflex). The Canon XSi is the top choice for my entry into this wide and wonderful world of sports cameras.

It is perhaps the sexiest camera I have ever laid eyes on. I cannot guarantee that I won’t kiss it when I finally own one. The only problem is that it costs about 600 bucks to buy it. Ouch. As a college student I have a very tight budget and even with both parents working together it’s still kind of a close call. So, if you want to see a new camera in my hands even half as much as I do (and would like to help me get there), I invite you to donate a little to my paypal account. I’ll put the button at the bottom of this post and on the sidebar so you can donate any time you want. I appreciate all of your support (even if it’s just verbal (or written, since this is the internets)).

Would you like to help me buy a camera?