Tuesday, July 31, 2012

No More July.

The day was singularly uninteresting and boring. I accidentally spent more time on the computer doing frivolous things than I anticipated that I would be, but I managed to all of the other stuff that I wanted to do throughout the day in the end. I finished another Modern Warfare Story; The Sword and the Shield: Bonds Stronger than Fear, and slowly but surely I am slowly making my way to the end of the series. It's taking forever, but I think I will be satisfied with it when all is said and done. After watching the Olympics 4 days in a row I decided to take a small break. You could spend hours and hours everyday if you sat down and watched just the coverage on NBC alone, which is pretty incredible if you think about because they don't even show a quarter of all the events. Speaking of the Olympics. China got the gold last night for men's gymnastics team, which they deserved with their amazing performances. I have to make a cruel joke right now about that though. After their terrible preliminaries, the Chinese government probably threatened to kill their families, or without something or promise some kind of tortuous punishment if they didn't turn it around. And low and behold the team performed fantastically. That probably didn't happen, but I wouldn't put it past the Chinese government. However, the athletes performed and they are the ones who got the gold because of all their hard work. It was irritating to discover that Britain received silver and Ukraine bronze only to discover that Japan complained to have the judges reevaluate their team star's poor performance. Japan then was awarded the silver and Britain got the bronze knocking Ukraine completely off. That sucked, and the initial decision should have been final; oh well though. The U.S. men's gymnastics team place 5th, which is remarkable considering how much they sucked despite having a great beginning. Can't win them all. Apparently Michael Phelps won two more medals tonight adding to his already vast collection making him one of the greatest Olympians of all time according to the commentators. The United States and China seem to be tied with the amount of medals won so far, but the Olympics are far from over. Oh yeah and week 5 of In Treatment was good and it seems to be picking up with only 2 weeks (discs) remaining in season 2. From the looks of it season 3 only has 4 weeks (discs) so there will be more episodes per disc, or the season was just incredibly short. Hopefully the patients will be more interesting. Ciao!

Cloud Atlas Trailer (a very long trailer to an apparently complex film. The Wachowskis latest film. It should be very....interesting to say the least.)

Skyfall the Latest Trailer

Monday, July 30, 2012

Getting Along.

Well at the moment the United States isn't doing so well in men's gymnastics like they should be in comparison to the qualifying round. I'm uncertain how Great Britain, Ukraine, China, or South Korea are doing, but as for the United States it doesn't look very hopeful so far. Hopefully the evening changes. Medals have been good for the U.S. in Synchronized Men's Diving where they took Bronze (although China was fantastic in this event along with Mexico), Gold in Women's Beach Volleyball, Gold in Women's 200m Backstroke (it was Missy Franklin's first), and I think that's it...at least that I watched or can remember. Before all of that though I was able to get some writing done, but didn't get it finished before the Olympics were on so I will have to finish it tomorrow. I don't know how commercials are throughout the world during the Olympics, but there have been quite a few good ones that I've seen. I posted one of the best below. The rest of the day was boring and the job search is yielding very little, picky or otherwise. And from the looks of it the economy continues to slow down even more, and not just in the United States but the rest of the world as well. That sucks for many reasons, but what's worse is that the Syrian civil war continues to get worse, although after the Iranian Foreign Minister's threats to those helping the Syrian resistance, people might galvanize around the rebels. In other news, Mathew Grevers just got the gold for the 100m Backstroke. Another gold for the U.S. and Nick Thoman won the Silver. Well that's it for today and the week has begun in earnest. Enjoy the last day of July.

John Cleese Olympic Commercial

The Odd Life of Timothy Green Trailer (this looks good surprisingly).

Hope Springs Trailer (looks good, but I'd have to see it to know).

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Just Keep Swimming.

It was cycling as I got up this morning and went to men's volleyball and some other events that I can't remember before I went on to something else. Later on at night I watched ladies' gymnastics, lots & lots of swimming and then a little bit of diving. I never knew there could be so many different kinds of swim races; I keep getting lost at what they're doing and haven't have done yet. A lot of qualifying was tonight and the medal stuff is tomorrow. The U.S.A. women's gymnastic team did very well, although I saw some of Great Britain as well and they seemed rather good. It's annoying as NBC only shows a very limited amount of the competition of anything. When I was chatting with my mother, I suggested that perhaps in the United States all of the television networks could divide the Olympic events amongst themselves instead of NBC having a monopoly. Well as far as the 2012 Summer Olympics go, tomorrow should be good as there are medal events whereas a lot of tonight was just qualifying. The rest of the day was very uneventful and boring. I haven't been as disciplined with writing lately as I would like, but there are other things that have my direct concern more than whether or not I am writing and posting something on my website. So at the moment the U.S. ladies' gymnastics teams is on the balance beam at the moment so I'm going to finish watching that along with some more swimming before I call it a night. Hopefully everyone's last July weekend was a good one.

Ryan Lochte on his Olympic Journey

Saturday, July 28, 2012

And The Games Are On!

So the first event I saw was Women's Beach Volleyball, although I could have watched cycling and basketball, but that wasn't really something that interested me. So team USA seems to be doing well so far, although Great Britain and Japan seem to be doing rather well too. At the moment I am watching the Men's Gymnastics qualifying rounds, and good lord are those men strong and disciplined! Unfortunately the Chinese team in gymnastics hasn't been doing so hot, although I did see a number of good performances. The annoying thing about seeing things taped is that you are at the mercy of the broadcast station's schedule and what they want you to see. Oh by the way, the more I thought about the opening ceremony from yesterday, the more I thought that I liked the beginning of it with the Pastoral contrasting with the Industrial Revolution; Kenneth Branagh was a very nice touch. Still after that though, I wasn't a big fan of the remaining stuff, although the lighting of the torch was impressive. Anyways. I wrote a review of the book Inheritance and almost continued to write another Modern War Story, but I wasn't really feeling it when I sat down to write, which is weird because I've felt that way all of this week. For a writer that is very frustrating, and I despise forcing myself to write, but sometimes that's what you have to do in order to get anything done. Well after my marathon to read through the final Eragon book, I will now be returning to reading about Napoleon and the French Revolution. I can't believe that in 3 days it will be August 1st! Time never stops, not once, not at all. So right now there is Women's Swimming going on, so I'm going to watch that and keep going until midnight. I hope the world is enjoying the 30th Olympics, and enjoying it's weekend as well. Let us not forget the people of Syria and other oppressed nations that are fighting for their freedom.

Ryan Lochte after he wins the gold medal in 400 meter individual swim

The 2012 U.S. Men's & Women's Olympic Gymnastics Teams

Friday, July 27, 2012

Let The Games Begin!

As I type this up I am finishing watching the opening ceremonies for the 2012 Olympics in London, Great Britain. The parade of nations just finished and they are finishing up the rest of the show. Unfortunately I did not see the Beijing Olympic opening ceremonies in 2008, but the pictures I saw looked incredible. As I watched what had been planned for London, it struck me as...boring, silly, and I hate to say it because of all the hard work put into it, but a lot of it was just dumb or rather lame. It was an interesting perspective, but it seemed a little too...disjointed and random; not a lot of fluidity to the narrative it attempted to give. Anyways, it's passed and now the real attractions can take over. I have attempted to decipher how to watch everything that I want and yet I still find it difficult, but I am going to find a way as apparently there is a way to watch every single event. I have to admit that the commercials during the opening ceremonies were...interesting to say the least. Before that I watched week 4 of In Treatment and it actually was much, much better than all of the previous weeks so I remain hopeful as there are only 3 weeks left (3 discs). Oh yes, and of course I finished Inheritance today, although I stayed up until almost 4am this morning to finish it before I decided to put it down. It was a good book, I didn't care for the ending, which took forever to end actually. And yes I was for the most part correct in my predictions, and it's ending was very similar to The Return of the Jedi and Return of the King which I just noticed that those two titles are very similar. Huh? I wonder if George Lucas thought of that when he came up with the title. My critique I will save for later, but I thought that it was interesting in the acknowledgments in the back of the book he said that he would one day return to the world of Alegaesia and write more about Dragon Riders and the characters that inhabit that world. Hopefully his writing style will have matured more when that happens. So as the torch is about to be lit and brought into the stadium I am going to call it a night.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Powering to the End.

There are just some days when you can't think of a really good or catchy blog title. It's funny as I was sitting down to type, I was trying to remember what day it was. Not having a full time job has certainly been throwing me off. So today I powered through almost 200 pages of Inheritance and still I plan to read more before the night is gone; there was a good portion of it that was easy to skim through as it was full with unnecessary details unrelated to the plot. Since I kind of critiqued the book yesterday, I won't do so tonight and save the most of it for my book review of it. Unfortunately the only bit of writing at all I was able to get done was a score review of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Pt. 2. I didn't give it particularly good ratings, but there a few bright spots to an otherwise dull score by Alexandre Desplat. Did some cleaning in the apartment and then decided to make some cranberry bread, which I haven't tasted yet as it is best served cooled, but it smells incredibly tasty. Last year when I bought cranberries I got quite a few bags and froze them, since cranberries don't seem to be sold year round which is lame, or I have yet to find out how to purchase them. As I was reading the Wall Street Journal several headlines were about how the American economy might slump back into recession, and that Americans aren't spending enough, which is making me think, "perfect timing for not having a job, nor being able to find one." So yeah, that end isn't going very well. Life is going to get very, very difficult soon. I guess God is going to have to really pull out all of the stops to amend this problem. I think my picky behavior is about to morph into.....desperation sounds like too strong of a word, but that would fit the bill fairly accurately. Here's to far better dreams than I experienced last night; Freud would have had a field day with interpreting my dreams, and speaking of that I had another one of those dreams within a dream. It was rather strange.

Procession (selection from The Deathly Hallows Pt. 2)

The Tunnel (selection from The Deathly Hallows Pt. 2)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Emerging From Fantasy.

Wow. I just emerged from reading two hours straight of Inheritance and earlier in the day I read several hours of it as well. Come to think of it, my mind has been absorbed in that book for many hours of yesterday and today. It is close to 850 pages long, and I am doing my utmost to power through it as quickly as possible, which is easy because there are so many superfluous details that they are simple to skip over without missing anything important. He likes to write out in detail the action when his characters to fight scenes and so forth, which is good in a way because the readers then see what the author sees, although I just get confused when I try to transcribe what I read into the visual part of my brain. As a writer, I've tried rather to describe how the characters feel when fighting and minutely describe their actions. I believe Tolkien did that when writing Lord of the Rings. He stayed mainly away from writing out the action of fights and battles and explored mainly the characters thoughts and feelings, that is if I remember correctly; it has been a while since I have read the books. So far the book is...okay I suppose. I really want to discover if my predictions were correct. Mr. Paolini is depriving the reader and his characters of hope and victory every opportunity he gets, which makes me think that when there is finally victory and hope is restored that it will be a great moment in the book; something sacrificial probably. Think Return of the Jedi from the Star Wars saga; hopelessly outnumbered, outmatched, and overwhelmed and the good guys shouldn't win, but they do because the arch-villain overestimates his allies and is overconfident of his powers. In essence, Galbatorix gets killed by his own servant while trying to kill the hero, Eragon. I've taken a break from the French Revolution which I will return to shortly as I should be able to finish Inheritance in a matter of days at this rate, at least I hope. I did a little writing, but since I had been reading so much, my mind just wasn't in it so I am saving a big chunk of it for tomorrow. Had lunch with a very, very good friend of mine which was like a miniature vacation in a matter of speaking. Hopefully I sleep better tonight. I couldn't fall asleep last night, so I read until it was almost 3am. Those early morning hours are a good time to get reading done.

The Hobbit Production Blog #8

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Reading & Writing.

Actually now that I think about it, for a good part of the day I spent a lot of time reading. But, I didn't read my Napoleon biography (although I was hoping to get around to it). Finally I got the last book from the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini Inheritance from the library today. And I'm going to read it after I post this blog. I've almost read a hundred pages or so, which is the nice thing about this book is that it is light reading and several of the details which he writes about are easily skipped over. I must admit that his style still sounds very amateur like, but people still like him. I actually just finished editing/proofreading a friend's mini-dissertation for grad school. That put me in the mood to return to higher education; I forgot how much I missed academia and studying psychology. Hopefully in the next year or two I will return and get a masters degree in something in the field of writing or psychology. Applied for another job today, so we'll see where that goes, even though I am hoping that I get it since it revolves around me utilizing my writing skills. I did watch week 3 of In Treatment season 2 and things picked up a little more, but still many of the patients and their problems are boring. I keep hoping for someone to have a really crazy or weird problem, but so far nothing really out of the ordinary garden variety of psych problems. So finally I got the proofs to the 2nd edition of The Curse of a Warrior all taken care of and according to my cover artist I should have printed proofs to look at soon. Hopefully everything is smooth sailing from here and I can get on with the second book.

Christopher Paolini Interview

Monday, July 23, 2012

Friends Make Life Better.

Often you hear the phrase "it's not what you know, it's who you know," which I believe has a lot of truth to it and goes to show that being friendly towards others and being in general an amiable person versus a rude, ungrateful, gossipy, and negative helps one more in the long run when it comes to surviving this expedition called life. I actually spoke to a number of friends today, which was a very pleasant surprise. Even though I am not a huge social butterfly, I enjoy communicating and spending time with my friends. So no writing today, but to segue with what I wrote above, one of the friends I saw and spoke with today was helping me try to get a job where she works at. I did some testing at this place to see if I am desirable enough to interview for the position. And my friend was very encouraging and helpful along the way, and we'll whether or not I obtain employment there and put an end to over a month's uncertainty and consternation ever fluctuating inside of my head. The nice thing about this place is that it isn't too far from where I live, although one wrong turn was all it took to get lost, but fortunately I found it just in time. Leaving though, I didn't follow my gut instinct and went home via a very, very scenic route; I wouldn't encourage that for the average driver as I almost got hit by a few nuts. Hey, what's life without a little excitement. The rest of the day was filled with whatever, relaxing, reading, talking and that's about it. Oh just a little interesting side note, President Obama's administration has finally admitted that the U.N. has utterly failed in their mission to acquire peace in Syria and are now apparently attempting to find ways of removing Assad from power. I wonder what changed their minds, or rather what made them finally realize after 13 months that Assad wasn't going to be going anywhere voluntarily? Hopefully this new assistance isn't too late, and their lack of early help won't damage any future positive relationship with the new government of Syria when it comes about. The next few weeks should prove interesting, and the Olympics begin this week with the opening ceremonies starting Friday I believe. Watching the events though will be quite....interesting from how I hear NBC is planning their broadcast coverage.
Abbot & Costello Comedy Sketch (saw it and it brought a smile to my face).

Abbot & Costello Comedy Sketch "Who's On First" (a classic; I couldn't resist).

Sunday, July 22, 2012

"You Should Never Trust an Employer."

So I was reading The Book of Genesis in the Bible this morning and came across the story of Jacob working for his uncle Laban, and how his uncle gave him his daughter Leah instead of Rachel. Suddenly my mind went to Fiddler on the Roof when Perchik is teaching Tevye's daughters his...interpretation of what the story meant. I don't actually agree that you shouldn't trust your employers, but you should just be very careful how you behave and what you say about who and where you work. So of course I had a hankering to watch the film after that, and while I was watching the film I filled out a job application which was....an interesting experience; haven't done that in a while. In morning I did a little shopping so I could make home made tacos, which turned out be delicious (I have a very special old family recipe for the seasoning for the meat), and I watched Law & Order while I read the Sunday Paper. Golf would have been preferable, but I haven't hooked up my antennae to my television yet. It was actually a very relaxing and lovely day, mostly. With all of that written I feel like blah; kind of weird. Getting ready for something new always makes me a little anxious, and tomorrow I'm going to "test" for a potential job, so wish me luck with the whole experience. So I'm going to get some sleep and chill. Hope that everyone enjoyed their weekend, and if you saw The Dark Knight Rises I hope that you found it entertaining and enjoyable without any difficulties or problems. I might see it again this week, or maybe next week just to nail down my thoughts for certain on how much I liked or didn't like it.

A Scene from Fiddler on the Roof (one of my favorite)

Wedding Scene from Fiddler on the Roof

Saturday, July 21, 2012

An Ultimatum.

Not a very original or witty title, but my mind was struggling. Where did the day go? I kept relatively busy today with work and pleasure. Was able to review Han Zimmer's score for The Dark Knight Rises and also did a small bio page on James Horner since I reviewed his score for The Amazing Spider-Man. It was a rather relaxing Saturday and it was nice to not have to contemplate whether or not I was or wasn't going to restrain anyone, referring to my previous job. It has been well over a month since I have been unemployed, and Mr. Picky may not have very much room to be picky much longer in regards to obtaining paid, full time employment. Although a silver lining with this whole situation is that hopefully I will never have to worry about restraining another individual ever again; I really hope I didn't say that too early. Syria seems like a toss up at the moment, and nobody is comforted by the fact that the "Joker Killer" was shy and odd, not to mention a Ph.D candidate for a neuroscience program. I bet that university is wondering how someone like that got through their screening process, which I am certain at this very moment they are looking to revamp how they select their students. I almost watched Batman Begins but in the end I decided to watch The Bourne Ultimatum instead. I think it might be my favorite of the 3 films, although I didn't care for the first film at all; it annoyed me for some odd reason. Once it again it was very warm out here in sunny southern California, but thank God it cools off at night, although I have a sneaking suspicion that August may not be so forgiving. Summer is halfway over, and the largest summer blockbuster films have come and gone; ironically, the only major one left I believe is The Bourne Legacy, which has the potential to be very good, but we'll wait and see.

Superman: Man of Steel Trailer

"Bane Chant" from The Dark Knight Rises (not on the official soundtrack, but it is what is used to derive one of the main motifs for the film).

How to fight like Jason Bourne

Friday, July 20, 2012

An Agent of Chaos.

*My apologies for the highlighted color. My blog is experiencing some technical difficulties which I am going to try and iron out with Google.

It seems so much of today, and most likely this weekend will revolve around the film The Dark Knight Rises. Whether its about similarities to the problems being presented in the film as parallels as to what is happening politically and financially in the world, or whether psychologically unhinged individuals are stealing the opportunity to indulge their delusions, or just average day to day stuff. So I get up this morning and go see the film and get to the theatre about forty minutes early to the showing that I wanted to see. It was already sold out and it wasn't even 10:30am yet and the showing was for 11am. So I had to wait and see the 11:30am showing instead; I was rather disappointed, but whatever. I wasn't anticipating so many people. i overheard one of the ticket people making a comment that it had been like that all day already and was supposed to continue on in that fashion for the rest of the day. True to form, as I was leaving the theatre after the film was over there was a gargantuan line outside waiting for the next showing and it was about 2:30pm at this time. So yeah, this film was certainly an event that took up a good portion of the day. I enjoyed it, but it is very dark and there are few laughs and light hearted moments. A fantastic cast, a good screenplay, and a fantastic director. If you want it to be more than just entertainment, there is much to think about within the characters and story content of the film. The rest of the day I was playing catch-up and trying not to melt while I did so. Aside from the review of the film, I didn't get any writing done, but I think this week I have done fairly well with all of that. I continued on with week 2 of In Treatment season 2. This was a better week, but it still lacks the punch and excellent drama of the first season. In many regards it is much tamer and therefore boring and uninteresting, but I am hoping that it will pick up soon. I'm going to use The Dark Knight Rises as a segue into world affairs. Syria. Greece. Spain. Occupy Wall Street. The Arab Spring. The European Debt Crisis. The World Economic Slowdown. The U.S. Recession & Bank Bailouts. In the film Selene Kyle states to Bruce Wayne that a storm is coming, and indeed such a violent storm came to Gotham and tore it apart. The news about the future is grim, and an economic apocalypse is likely to happen all across the globe because of the poor economic shape of many countries and the extensive debt that many of them are in. It would be like a domino effect, impacting nation by nation. Cutting benefits and increasing taxes are what many governments are doing while also increasing their country's debt. People will grow weary of a limited amount of people enjoying great wealth or entitlements at their expense. A fire will become ignited by charismatic individuals, or perhaps one, and it will not be a pretty picture for civilized life or government. Read up on the French Revolution if you wish to know what real anarchy is like. Just like in V For Vendetta people will rise up against the government and demand change, perhaps in unison, perhaps in mass chaos and then figure out all of the details later. Public anarchy is very real thing, and the closer the world continues to creep towards an economic apocalypse without solving any of the debt, taxes, or entitlement issues the more likely it will become. If the government won't change, then the people will change the government. It is that simple. History is replete with instances like these, and all of us know how much history likes to repeat itself frequently. I'm not trying to blacken the future, or sound like a conspiracy person, but I am merely writing this to bring people to some sense of what the future could hold if the government doesn't figure it out. I am thinking first and foremost of the United States of America since we have an important election year coming up, but also every single country out in the world; no one is exempt from this potential. The Dark Knight Rises I believe on some level demonstrates/represents in a creative way what could happen to the countries and governments of the world. People should be very concerned about what is happening in their government and country and be kept up to speed on everything that is going on. Okay I'm done, and you have to remember that I'm a "glass is half empty" kind of person. So don't get too downtrodden or depressed or anything like that, just be concerned and conscious of what is going on so you can make wise and informed decisions. Hopefully the governments of the world will do the same thing. If not and all of this happens....well....I have a nice little safe place in the mountains to wait it all out.

The Dark Knight Rises Documentary

The Dark Knight Rises Trailer

Selection from Han Zimmer's Score (#3: Gotham's Reckoning)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

How Very Elementary.

I would have tot say that today was a very good day, and relatively productive as well. I think I did everything that I wanted to do from reading, to writing, to cleaning, to relaxing, to doing nothing, to editing, and so forth and so on. I finished and posted another modern war story The Sword and the Shield: More Than a Terrorist. It's a good edition to the overall story being told and I finally begin my downward spiral of the end of the series as I unveil the "master plan" of the villain. I also began editing the chapters from the first part of a Tale of 3 Brothers. My hope is to polish up all 38 chapters and get any other little details before I begin writing the last part of that series, that way the second part is that much richer and interesting, which according to my planning it should be. I felt like watching Sherlock Holmes played by Jeremy Brett today. If you're unaware of his performance of the great detective then it is a real shame because I personally believe that he is the best Sherlock Holmes brought to life by any actor, and then next is Robert Downey Jr. and then Basil Rathbone, followed by Peter Cushings who makes a far better Van Helsing in my opinion than Sherlock Holmes. Anyways "The Second Stain" is the episode that I watched, and it is I believe the first episode that I ever saw with Jeremy Brett in it and what got me interested in that particular series. I have the great luck and fortune to own the entire series on DVD along with the miniature TV films that the series made, all for British television so you know it has to be good. Many of the episodes though are also on Netflix in case you're interested in checking it out. I prefer the Watson from The Return of Sherlock Holmes season as opposed to the Watson from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes season (which was essentially season 1). All of that may seem a little extreme and ridiculous, but I am a huge Sherlock Holmes fan. I've been reading it since I was at least in 2nd grade (8 or 9 yrs old) and I watched the Basil Rathbone films when I was that age as well. I've always loved the character since I can really remember. So over the past two days or so it looks like the Syrian resistance to the Assad regime has begun to make things happen since no one outside of their country seems inclined to do so. Many are calling this a turning point in the civil war. I certainly hope so for the people of Syria's sake; there's been enough innocent bloodshed, and the longer this war goes on the more festering hate there will be afterwards. You know, in reading about Napoleon I am learning a great deal about the French Revolution and boy was that a messy, bloody, horrible, and disorganized affair. But is that what people think about when they think of France now? Food for thought.

Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Interstellar Super Mutant Virus!

I don't know how many times I have written this on my blog, but I hate being sick, especially when I am trying to sleep. Wow, last night was dreadful. I woke up so many times with my nose stuffed like a Christmas stocking and my throat sore and like the river Nile, along with a headache, mouth ache, and ear ache that would have made an elephant jealous. Thank God for modern medicinal aides. I took some nasal spray and some ibuprofen and called it a night, which did help me immensely better but it could have been better. Oh well. Everything almost today tasted blah, and I felt blah too. I commented about something in my room when I was waking up and my voice sounded like Darth Vader's when he has a cold. Fortunately the entire day wasn't all that bad, but it was enough to sap me of all my creative energies. I'd hate to jinx it, but at the moment I feel good, aside from my head feeling slightly.....lightheaded. Can't have everything. So a good portion of the day was chilling and staying hydrated, and that's that. Although it was rather warm out today, but according to my sister that lives in Illinois, it was 103 degrees Fahrenheit there. Yuck! I am very lucky and blessed to live in San Diego. When being sick, usually there is very little to share as this form of survival is rather boring. I do have a feeling though that the rest of the week will not be like that. Some interesting news is that the Red Cross has officially called the Syrian conflict a civil war and therefore subject to the Geneva Convention (according to what I understand). If I understand this correctly, then any further atrocities will be treated as war crimes, and I heard the number of dead (conservative) is 17,000. We'll see if "do nothing" remains the U.S. government's position after the elections in November. All Americans should think about that when they vote, not just ourselves.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Back in the Chair Again.

I think I might know why I was getting all of those headaches. At first I thought that I had a tooth problem, then I realized that my sinuses were hurting and also draining along with my mouth hurting as well. I have a cold, or some kind of similar virus. Fantastic. I never used to get sick this much, and then all of a sudden my immune system is ridiculous. Oh well. Aside from that the day went very well. I got some writing done. I was actually working on the Tale of 3 Brothers, which when I actually sit down and begin writing it, will be very good I believe. I was working out details of characters, places, and creatures today so I'm a little more organized when I sit down to write the story this time around; it is after all 12 years later. Did some reading and relaxing, and then later on I resumed my In Treatment regimen and began season 2. On some levels I was disappointed, but on some I was pleased. Looks like a good cast, although the patients with their problems seem a little boring and predictable. There's nothing really juicy and dicey, and I think I've already figured out at least one of the patients. Perhaps I'm mistaken and things will get very interesting. Made some gingerbread bread tonight; actually just took it out of the oven early, really early. Thank goodness I caught it in time as it was beginning to show signs of being....shall we say "too done." Always be careful when your oven runs hot; a good rule of thumb may be to never pre-heat when that's the case. I guess I should follow my own advise. I think my headache is blocking the influx of information to my brain, because now I can't think of anything else to write. So in that case, Ciao!

In Treatment Season 2 profile documentary

Clone Wars season 5 clips (The first one is my favorite!)

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Labyrinth of Cyberspace.

Right as I was logging on to blog tonight I came across a headline about passengers on some Delta Airline flights that found actual needles in sandwiches that they were consuming. Ouch! I don't even want to imagine that happening to me. The moral of the story: be careful what you eat on airlines, and don't ever eat anything from Delta, unless you want severe...indigestion. So today was very routine and busy. I was online editing my website, www.escapistnow.com, for quite a long time and I also posted a review of The Amazing Spider-Man soundtrack by James Horner. Definitely a score that I recommend to listen to and add to one's catalog of film scores. I did some more reading on Napoleon, who is turning out be quite an interesting individual the more I read. He was a lieutenant colonel at age 22 or so, and although he was Corsican he, after some wretched circumstances that happened on the island, pretty much thought of himself as French from 1793 (approximately) until his death it seems. He failed so much and tried so hard before he became great; it kind of gives me hope. If such men can rise from the ashes of defeat again, again, again, and yet again then so can I and any other individual who persistently pursues her or his desires. I suppose one automatically thinks that Napoleon automatically became great, but there is so much in his struggle and I am still in his young adult life (20's). After reading the newspaper (pretty much bad news all around on average) and eating dinner, I watched Pan's Labyrinth, and despite some fairly grisly violence I love that film. Guillermo del Toro created a visionary, creative masterpiece; not to mention I love Gothic fairy tales and excellent drama which is what the film is. It is fantastic, and if you like good drama, fantastic films, and a sumptuous visual feast then you will love this film. Oh, and my headaches thank goodness are nearly gone at last. Not certain what I did, but I am glad to be rid of them. Here's still hoping for good things for the rest of the week.

Make-up and Creature design for Pan's Labyrinth

Scene from Pan's Labyrinth (happens to be one of my favorites).

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Radical Notion.

"You're waiting for a train...." Inception is truly an inspirational film from a creative point of view, and as I watched this evening it actually would be a very radical notion to think that some of us may be dreaming in a way similar to what transpires in the film. It is of course improbable, but not impossible. I've experienced several dreams where a "kick" happens and I jump up in bed awake, or the notion that you don't know when your dream begins except that you're the middle of what is going on, or that dying in the dream usually wakes you up. Although I swear one time in a very recent dream I died, only to find myself in another dream and then wake up from that one; I have a very interesting unconscious. Many dreams I have had felt incredibly real to me. One thing I cannot stand about dreams though is the slow motion effect; for instance you're trying to outrun a man trying to shoot you and you're going really slowly around the corners, or slogging your way through grime and muck. It is one of the things about dreams I hate the most, or the visuals and sensations one gets when one needs to use the bathroom. As a psych person I could talk about dreams and the unconscious for a long time, but I have a feeling all of that would bore many of you, and yes I am aware that those two things have Sigmund Freud in common with each other and yes I happen to like his psychological theories a lot as they seem to make sense to me. Anyways see what I mean. Today was just another Sunday where I read the paper while I watched Law & Order and then later on did some more reading on Napoleon, and then some random relaxing. I have to admit that when I made myself salmon this evening along with assorted vegetables and rolls for dinner that I am getting closer to cooking fish really, really well. I have to get the cook time a little more perfected, and then I have got to work really hard with the seasoning. I use pepper, salt, and a smidgen of curry powder. All of that works fairly well, but it gets a little old after a while. I'm going to cross my fingers, pray, and be very positive that this is going to be the week that shapes up for me to discover the job that I have been searching and waiting for since I was fired over a little over a month ago. Here we go.

Inception Documentary

A scene from Inception

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Headaches Galore.

I don't know what the problem is, but I have had so many headaches between now and yesterday that it is beginning to drive me bonkers. Even as I write this the back part of my head is throbbing. I woke up this morning to a having a headache, and last night I went to bed having one as well, and I had some small ones throughout the day. The weird thing is that I don't feel stressed and I seem to be getting enough sleep, and those are usually the two main reasons why I get headaches if any of that is off. Not getting enough food can be one as well, but I don't think that is a problem, although I have had to change my dietary habits since I got fired to save money and food, but I'm not starving thank goodness. It's just the weirdest thing in the world; hopefully I don't just naturally have high blood pressure already, since is hereditary for my mum's side of the family. Fortunately they're only irritants at the moment, although for a good part of the day I felt like crap but am better now. Hopefully it will last into tomorrow. Today wasn't that exiting, although my plans were going to be but of course my body wasn't in agreement. A friend of mine asked me to see some San Diego Comic-Con with him, which I was going to do but...well I already mentioned that. My life really has sucky timing when it comes to so many things. So I chilled, did some reading, and spoke to some of my family for almost three hours combined on the phone which was why I didn't watch a film or anything in the evening. Despite having a headache that seems to be getting worse by the moments, I am going to pull out my soap box again. Syria. I read about another massacre today where at least 200 women, children and men were murdered. Kofi Anan's response was that he was "horrified" making it the third or fourth time he has been "horrified" by what the Assad regime has done and will continue to do until it is cast aside. The whole world is turning a blind eye to the suffering of the Syrian people. I personally believe it is only a matter of time before Assad is out of office. However, when the portrait is un-hung and the dictator is hung, who will the new Syrian government remember as allies and those that helped their people? I personally would like the United States to be counted as a friend and ally; we have enough enemies in the Middle East. A pity very few in Washington D.C. seem to think that way, or in the rest of the world for that matter. End of soap box. Have a rest of a good weekend everybody!

Mark Hammil on being the Joker's voice in animated Batman series.
Was on Youtube and thought it was pretty interesting.

Friday, July 13, 2012

It Seems Like Generations Ago......

Back in 1995 Star Trek: Generations was released into theatres and grossed approximately $118,071,125 with a production budget of $35 million, and I was surprised to find that it was rated PG, not that it should have been rated higher but I thought that it was. I remember seeing it a few years after it was off the big screen. It was probably the first substantial bit of Star Trek: The Next Generation that I had seen; I don't think I had been watching the series very much at that point. It was weird to watch the film in whole since the last time I had seen it my father had edited a VHS version of it and I think I might have been about....12 years old or so maybe a little younger. It's pretty much as I remember it mostly, but I was very thankful that version of the Enterprise ship crashed. The newer class of ship in Star Trek: First Contact was far better, not to mention a far better film as well. After that point the films kind of sucked really bad, but Star Trek: Nemesis could have been better if they had worked on the screenplay a whole lot more. It was great to see William Shatner reprise his role as Captain Kirk, and he will always be my favorite Star Trek captain/commander of all time, and then I like Captain Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager, followed so far by Commander Sisko Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and lastly by Captain Piccard. There is something about his annoying stickler ways on Starfleet policy, and his rigid sense of duty that irritate me; I prefer a little more cleverness and brevity in a commander, and someone who isn't afraid to bend the rules and perhaps occasionally break them for a greater good. So enough about Star Trek. The day was good I suppose. I had a good family friend come out and chill for a while. We chatted about politics, life (and how much it can suck), college, and The Sword in the Stone. I got some writing done, did a little of reading of my Napoleon book, and was able to relax for a bit. If it wasn't for these massive headaches throughout the day, it all would have been fantastic. I would have liked cooler weather, but I am not going to complain and jinx it all. At least it hasn't been as hot here as it has been in the Midwestern United States. Hopefully my headaches are gone tomorrow. Have an awesome weekend everyone!

William Shatner & Patrick Stewart on Star Trek

Star Trek: Generations Trailer

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Family of Another Kind.

I have my immediate family made up of my parents and sisters, and then I have my extended family made up of aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins and so forth, and then I have my second family out here in California. I have actually known this family since fall of 2005 and have been joining them for all sort of holidays and special events. They are a very gracious and kind set of dear people, and I am immensely thankful that they have taken me in so to speak and made me feel like I was home and that I am a part of their family. I had dinner there tonight  and we all hung out for a while and had a fantastic time; there was steak, grilled asparagus (which is more amazing than you'll ever believe), corn on the cob, and then of course apple pie for dessert (I think I had three or more slices). Not only was the food scrumptious, but all of the company was as well. That took up most of the evening and before that...well I wasn't doing too much, and then I was reading so my day was fairly uneventful. There we are. I'm going to shoot to get some writing done tomorrow, not quite certain what I'll write though. Maybe I'll write a little of everything. Once again my head is throbbing, this time all over, so I'm going to relax and watch some Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Ciao.

Oz The Great & Powerful Trailer (It looks.....good at times, and then it gets me a little concerned. Honestly I don't know what to expect, and aside from James Franco, I'm not certain about the rest of the cast. Who knows though, maybe I'll like it...even though I didn't like what Sam Raimi did with his Spider-Man trilogy, especially with who he cast. He was the director of those films and this one).

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Dinner with Friends.

Today was very busy. Did my normal routine and then cleaned the apartment for my dinner party tonight with, which took a very long time to do.  I guess that means that I should clean more often. Anyways, after that I saw down and finished writing that short story from last night: The Sword and the Shield: Grieving the Living. It took me forever to finish it off, so it's kind of long, but I really like what I did with this part of the story. Hopefully I will finish with the Modern War stories series before my self-appointed deadline in November, because it is taking me longer to write all of the stories than I originally thought, but fortunately I have plenty of time before the deadline. Dinner was great. The food was scrumptious and the company was fantastic. All of us laughed so hard and had such a good time, I can't wait for the next time! The molasses cookies that I made for dessert were of course a huge success, and I even have few left over for a midnight snack. Well I can't think of anything else to yack about, which in my case might be a good thing, but now that I think about it today marks a complete month since I was fired (in my opinion unfairly, but whatever) and I am still looking for a another job. I am hoping that I find another job really soon, preferably that I like, but like I mentioned before I'm not opposed to working just to survive. Have a fantastic rest of the week everyone.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Out of Treatment.

Well today didn't exactly go how I originally planned it, but in the end I think everything balanced itself out pretty good. Did the usual stuff in the morning and first half of the day, actually that was most of the day now that I think of it. Huh. I guess I'm making a routine even when I'm trying not to. I didn't get to read any of my Napoleon book, but I just finished up some writing that I had been doing for about 3 hours give or take. It was a short story that I wanted to post tonight, but I was running out of steam along with this huge headache right next to my occipital lobe (the back of my head). Thus I decided to finish up tomorrow and post it then. So I finished watching In Treatment season 1, and I have to admit that the season finale, or rather the last week was a huge let down and very flat. I was supremely disappointed and hope that they make up for it in second season. Overall the 1st season was good, although it had its ups and downs, but I really enjoyed the show overall and wished that they could have made longer episodes with just as many. That however would have been a colossal undertaking, so I suppose I'm content with what there is. Even though it isn't reality, it has certainly helped give me insight on my own desires to go into private practice one day as a psychological therapist. I believe I could handle all of the challenges that counseling patients would provide, but I would certainly never have my office at home; I can't imagine having that sort of work be brought to my home, not to mention revealing where I lived to all of the potentially crazy and broken people that I counseled. As a show though, very good and yes I'd recommend it to people who like good character development shows, and ones of course based from a psychological perspective. It's ironic. I began watching this show the very day I was fired from my job, which tomorrow will be an exact month since that happened. Right now my headache is pounding like an angry elephant so I'm going to exit and do something about it. Have a great week!

In Treatment Season 1 Documentary

In Treatment Season 2 Trailer (looks...interesting to say the least).

Monday, July 9, 2012

Some French History.

For some reason my days tend to go in cycles of high productivity and enjoyment, to tapering off and then sinking really slow on morale. It's kind of weird. Fortunately today was marked by high productivity. I cleaned up around the apartment and did some chores, and I did a tiny bit of writing. While I was doing technical work for my website, I listened to the Prometheus film score and did a review. I was a little let down when I listened to it after having watched the film and thought that it was really good. The score though by Marc Streitendfeld, although fit the action very well on the screen most of the time, isn't something you'd want to listen to by itself. He's a good film composer and I was disappointed by his efforts, but the main theme/motif for the film is amazing! And as I mentioned above I was doing some editing on my website; you know checking all of the links to make certain they're not broken and what not. I was looking at all of them and wow, I have a lot of pages to look at these days. I've had this website up and running for over 3 years now and have accumulated a large amount of material on it; it would take me several hours to check all of the links and make any necessary adjustments. I suppose it could be worse. Nothing new on the job front except no job yet. And of course I keep reading about how the economy is slowing down even more again, so I and several other people are getting kicked while we're already down. Isn't life great. So I went to the local library near me and was horrified to see how small it was. I swear ever since I moved away from Oshkosh, Wisconsin every public library has become increasingly smaller, and smaller despite though moving closer to larger and larger cities. However, I was able to make a good selection on the biography of Napoleon: The Path To Power. I had always wanted to read a bio on the man and now seemed like the perfect opportunity. For me, why read books written by men about how to be successful in 5 easy steps who have only really experienced superficial success, when you can read about a man who was born of ill regard and became the Emperor of Europe. Read the real success stories of really successful people if you want the "secrets" to success which mostly seem to be perseverance, hard work, and upstanding character...in my personal opinion at least. So far it has an interesting beginning, and the author isn't boring me yet, but I still have over 500 pages to go so we shall see how long my interest can remain. I'm going to try and do some serious writing tomorrow, but with the heat beginning to rise it may prove a difficult challenge. Perhaps I can write at the library?

"Life" A Selection from the film score Prometheus

Marc Streitenfeld on scoring Prometheus

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Next Series.

Sunday is one of my most favorite days to relax for some reason. I got up today and went through the paper and watched the original Law & Order for a bit, and then spoke to my sister. My favorite cast from that show is: A.D.A Jack McCoy (Sam Waterson), Det. Lenny Briscoe (Jerry Orbach), Det. Rey Curtis (Benjamin Bratt), D.A. Arthur Branch (Fred Dalton Thompson), A.D.A. Abbie Carmichael (Angie Harmon), and Lt. Anita Van Buren (S. Epatha Merkerson). It is also my ideal cast as well; a pity not all of them were together for longer. There were times when I was thinking that I would do some writing, but then whenever I would get the opportunity and time, and drive would just not be there. I know I have the children's book to write since I got done with the story outline and all, but lately I just haven't been feeling the motivation to write; no passion whatsoever, kind of like a flat line on a heart monitor which really sucks. Perhaps it's time I begin writing something else instead, and wow I just got a brilliant idea! Love it when that happens. For me as a writer new ideas for stories just come out of anywhere and developing them is the part I love the most. Then it comes time to sit down and pen the chapters...well not always the part that I prefer, but it is the part that matters most since it is the phase which gets you to a roughly finished project. Hopefully this week will I not only find a job, but that I will also get things moving along on the 2nd edition of The Curse of a Warrior and my website; I think I need to update it a little. Since I finished Star Trek: The Next Generation I began watching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine a couple of days ago and I actually like it so far. I like how different it is so far from is predecessor; Captain Picard was obnoxious I found. Such a good loyal, obedient, upstanding soldier it drove me nuts; I prefer to have someone who isn't afraid to bend the rules ever so slightly and within reason. I am going to finish that series, and then I am going to begin Star Trek: Voyager. So it looks like I have over another year and a half to go on that account, or longer depending on the frequency of episodes that I watch. I try not to become an addict to television shows; I think I need to pay a visit to the library tomorrow and get myself a good book. Well, let's see what the week holds. May the Force be with us all.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Intro (Really, really good use of brass instruments; an incredible motif).

Saturday, July 7, 2012

"I'm Only Here for the Food."

Keeping oneself busy seems to help when attempting to continue to look at the bright side of life instead of all  the negative occurrences that are happening to it. So in essence today was much better than yesterday thank goodness. I didn't get much accomplished, but I do rationalize that it is the weekend. There were a few jobs that I almost applied for, but I didn't have all of the requirements for one, and the other job which would have been perfect was from the same company that I was fired from; talk about cruel irony. I am hopeful that I am getting closer though now to finding the right job, and career; it's kind of tiring simply choosing a job so that it pays the bills, and it sucks that so many people have to go that route in life. I'm going to try and get a job that I want though, and if I need to take a job to survive, well then I guess I have no choice. I didn't mention about what happened in week 8 of In Treatment because I was out of sorts yesterday, but I was right; something really, really big happened, and twice for that matter. It was an astounding week, and I am eagerly anticipating the last week of season 1; I can't wait to see how everything is tied up, and if anyone is coming back for season 2 besides the therapist. I did get some writing done, but only a little. I was partially distracted setting up the voice command system for my lap top computer. For the most part it went well, and  I actually began to use it when writing my story, however it quickly became a pain in the neck and was taking longer than if I was just typing. It also has difficulty with certain sounds that certain words make when spoken; you have to manually spell them for the computer to get what you're saying. The whole idea works, but I would like to just speak flow of consciousness without having to worry about whether or not the computer understood me. I watched Ever After tonight for some odd reason as it had been on my mind lately. It's an old family favorite that my siblings and I quoted a lot; I guess I was perhaps feeling rather nostalgic yet again. Fantastic film that made me laugh a lot and remember more humorous times at least, not necessarily always better, unless it was because my family was still just that; a whole family together not separated by space, time, or woes. Have a good night and a great rest of the weekend everyone, and hopefully your July is going rather well so far.

Ever After Trailer