Over two thousand years ago something rather extraordinary occurred, and today followers of Christ remember that event. Imagine your best friend being tortured, beaten, mutilated and killed before your eyes, of which he was innocently condemned. Imagine watching your son agonize in death and not being able to do anything about it except watch. Imagine watching your mentor, your teacher, your guide being torn away from you and tossed about like second rate trash just because people didn't like him or what he was teaching. That is what Mary (Jesus' mother), Joseph of Arimethea, and John (the one who wrote the Gospel of John) all experienced because Jesus hadn't become this ethereal, eternal spiritual figure yet; to them he was a man who could miraculous and great things. Yet he was still a beloved son and brother (to his biological brothers & sisters, I do not refer to spiritual brothers & sisters), a dear friend, and a revered and looked up to teacher. It would have been something to personally know, meet, and talk with Jesus back when he was on the earth. I kind of wonder what he was like in his teenage and young adult years. Did he make any close friends, what kind of adventures did he have, and what kind of conflicts was he involved in? Perhaps when I enter the afterlife I shall find out. So while I celebrated Easter, I also cleaned and washed my car and my sister's car, which took a very long time to complete, but both look resplendent without all of the salt on the exterior body. Also there is nothing like celebrating with a humorous film like The Emperor's New Groove which of course stars the amazingly hilarious David Spade and John Goodman, along with the late Eartha Kittt, and Patrick Warburton. It's a classic and still gets me roaring every single time. Well my finger got jammed from the dog walk last night and made it difficult to sleep through the night, and of course every time I try to move it, pain just lights up across my finger and arm. Not pleasant, but it seems to be getting a little better. Hopefully it will not interfere with my ability to work tomorrow, or the rest of the week. March ends today, and Game of Thrones Season 3 begins tonight. Hopefully it won't be as much of a disappointment like G.I. JOE: Retaliation was. Cheers to the new week and the new month. And so far no nuclear war, so lets keep our fingers crossed and keep everyone who is in harms way in mind.
The Crucifixion of Christ from The Passion of the Christ
First things first. The worst news. North Korea has declared war on South Korea, and has revealed plans to strike the U.S. on its very own soil, apparently as far as Austin, Texas. For some odd reason this isn't causing as large of a splash as it should, considering the North Koreans have one of the largest standing armies in the world and a nuclear arsenal as well. Not helping matters is that their leader is out to prove himself, and their military is brash and stupid, but intelligent enough to create a highly explosively, and dangerous combination. Hopefully, North Korea doesn't go for the Hitler strategy of threats and appeasement, otherwise we could be in for a very dark future. So, let's keep all of the South Koreans in mind, along with the Japanese, Chinese and everyone else who is stuck next to North Korea. But we should also keep in mind the harshly oppressed civilian population of that country; those people suffer and most don't have a single clue as to what is beyond the barbed wired fences of their lives. Alright, now for not as bad, bad news. I saw G.I. JOE: Retaliation today in IMAX 3-D, which I have to admit is some of the finest 3-D on a film I have seen almost yet. It was very immersive, and I actually felt and did dodge stuff that was coming at me; that is what 3-D is supposed to be about, not just scene depth. Honestly though, I much preferred the first film to this one for a number of reasons: the first film had much more dynamic action sequences, it was filmed with much more dynamic and interesting taste, I liked the characters more (of which there were far better ones, and more interesting stories), I preferred the villains more, the story and plot line, it was longer, and it was technologically more interesting with far more interesting weapons, instead of just plain guns and plain shooting action, that wasn't that dynamic or interesting. There was just a lot of carnage. Ray Stevenson as Firefly was so awesome and cool, and the best villain, even though Cobra Commander was back and looking bad as ever, but he hardly had any screen time unfortunately. Channing Tatum (Duke) had less screen time than I thought he was going to, and came off as annoying most of the time. Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes were....fine, but nothing new, better or necessarily different. Jinx was present, but not done very well whatsoever; no personality, hardly any dialog, and not much of a fighter, or interesting one. Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) was the biggest mistake of this entire film, Bruce Willis (General Colton) was the second. The presence of these two men made the film less of a serial film, and more of a simple action film like Die Hard. Not something that the first film was like, where it was constantly exploring the dynamics and relationships of ALL the major characters involved. Lady Jaye was fine, but was only brought on because she was "hot" not because of anything else, and they utilized that when filming her. Flint had potential, but really came off as annoying on several occasions; neither one of their characters were explored at all hardly. I'm giving it a "Yearning Ability" and if you want to see it fine (try to see it in 3-D to make it worth seeing in the theater), if not then you aren't missing anything. It was entertaining, but I found the first one far more entertaining and interesting than this one. Nothing really set is apart from any other shoot em up action film out there on the market, but G.I. JOE is supposed toe be different, and this film was a let down as I had really high expectations for it, even though "The Rock" was going to be in it. Well I got injured while walking the dog, so I'm going to go nurse my "wounds" and finish putting my laundry away. Such an exciting conclusion to the end of the day right.
My work week has come to a stunningly welcome end. It has been quite busy and at times quite stressful, but today when I was working with a client, I realized how rewarding it could actually be as well. I suppose that's part of the conundrum of my job/career; high stress at times, but with the potential to have a good deal of personal satisfaction. Anyways. Writing has been nominally non-existent, although I did come up with a good idea today while I was driving through all of the wretched city traffic around lunch time today. Of which I suddenly cannot remember. How maddening. Oh well, perhaps it will come to me tomorrow when I don't think about it. My sister and brother in-law got a dog, chocolate lab, and it's still a puppy but has a good bit of training already. I wish that I had that much energy as he does, I wouldn't be so tired after work perhaps. I just finished watching Lions for Lambs which stars Meryl Streep, Tom Cruise, Robert Redford (who also directed it), and Andrew Garfield. It was honestly somewhere between boring and bad, or most likely both and everything in between. It certainly wasn't one of Meryl's better roles, nor Tom Cruise for that matter. There were 3 separate story lines that kind of wove together towards the end of the film, but it was very confusing and choppy at first; certainly not Robert Redford's best moment, although his performance of his character very compelling and the only part of the film that was remotely interesting and worth watching. Andrew Garfield's character annoyed me so much though unfortunately despite his vast talent. The film is about a journalist interviewing a U.S. Senator about a new plan to....deal with the military problems in Afghanistan, then there is a professor trying to persuade a student to stay the course in class, followed by two dudes in the military fighting side by side in Afghanistan. It was a small intimate film, but it wasn't put together very well. I'm definitely giving it a "Yearning Ability" and I don't think I would recommend anyone to watch it. We shall how productive the weekend shall be. I would like to hope for something, but with my current track record, I don't know how possible that is. Oh I hope that everyone has been keeping an eye on North Korea, and their threats to target South Korea and U.S. bases and soil, not to mention that Iran is very close to acquiring a nuclear weapon. These are only some of the examples of a world void of leadership, not to mention the nasty Syrian Civil War which continues to only escalate and displace people aside from the 70,000 people plus that have been killed. I have a feeling that U.S. President Obama is going to have a very rough 2nd term as his power wanes and fizzles in the world, and domestically as well. Well good luck everyone and good night.
So the last few days have been busy, busy at work as I take on more and more responsibilities the more I shift away from training. Still have some training left to do, but very soon I will be fully.....fledged as a staff I guess you could say. So far so good, although I will revisit that thought in a couple of months, but I can say for certain now that the people I work with are wonderful, and that I've found usually makes all of the difference in the world. I watched this documentary this evening on Myanmar (also known as Burma) the title of which was "They Call it Myanmar." It was stirring, interesting, fascinating, yet very heart wrenching. Here are a great and proud people, with such immensely rich culture and history, and they are the most destitute and isolated country in Asia. I know very little about the government and country, but lately things have been changing, and hopefully the change will continue in a positive way towards complete and functional democracy. Apparently back in 1800's I believe the British Empire invaded, ransacked the country, and then took the queen and king to India where they remained and died; the last of the Burmese royalty. My goodness; the French and British have so much to be ashamed of concerning their history (those two colonial powers are responsible for so many modern conflicts because of their actions during their imperial expansion). To describe the common person's condition is impossible to do with words, and the Myanmar military government really should be ashamed of itself for how it has been treating its people. There is so much I could write about what I saw on the documentary, but one thing stood out to me. Since the country is so heavily steeped in Buddhism, and thus people believe fervently in reincarnation and karma, they remain hard working and complain little no matter what seemingly (according to the narrator). I found that remarkable; how so many people could have essentially nothing, but yet still work hard and not complain. In Western culture, even the ridiculously wealthy and the poor supported monetarily by the government, whine and complain about what they don't have, rather than be thankful for what they do. You know what those two groups of people have in common (mostly); oftentimes they did not work for the money they received. I think there's something to be said of personal pride, dignity, and honor when you earn the money you collect rather than just have it given to you. Anyways. Those people need to be kept in everyone's thoughts; prayers, contact to your government representative, whatever it may be. On a lighter note, I watched Date Night starring Tina Fey & Steve Carell with my sister and brother in-law. It was so hilarious; I laughed so much. I need that every now and then; humor is a great antidote for too much reality. Have a good night everyone.
So I finally saw Les Miserables the recent film musical version, and honestly I really don't understand what all of the hooplah was about. I mean visually it was quite stunning, and orchestrally as well, but there was too much singing. There needed to be more dialog then there was, and I found many of the songs quite boring and flat, not very interesting or catchy. The film was also darker and more depressing than the one that has Liam Neeson and Geoffrey Rush in it. I love musicals, and ones that are adapted to film, and believe me this film had several good songs and many excellent moments, but there were more boring and uninteresting songs than dynamic, fun, or stirring songs. Everyone's performances from Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, and yes even Russell Crowe, who I thought delivered quite a good vocal performance despite what everyone was saying. Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter were welcome comic relief thank goodness; those two really know how to perform in a musical. Tom Hooper did an excellent job directing the film, and the cinematography by Danny Cohen was phenomenal. It was really quite well put together, which of course it gets high marks for, but I just don't know if I could really watch it again, or at least watch it anywhere in the near future. It came across as quite boring; there's no way else to explain it. I give it an "Admirable Ability" of which I'm sure people will scorn me for it, but I've seen excellent and good film musicals, and this one was neither. More dialog and less singing would have behooved this film, because after all that is what a musical is; you go for the music. I was disappointed to say the least. Earlier in the day I watched Slumdog Millionaire which was fantastic; that film really did deserve all of the Academy Awards it earned. Dev Patel was amazing. He's a very talented young man, and I hope Hollywood takes advantage of his talent. The story though and the characters in general were very compelling and interesting, along with how the film was shot. Danny Boyle is a really good and fresh director, and I look forward to seeing what else he can come up with, even though I didn't really care too much for his Olympic Presentation last year. I give the film a "Strong Ability" and highly encourage people that enjoy well done films to watch it. So that wasn't my entire day, but aside from some cooking, chatting, and lazing around that was essentially all that I did. Oh and I think I might have found a place to call my own due my sister's fantastic assistance. Well good night people of the world and good luck for this week.
Dance Sequence from Slumdog Millionaire (this is so great. A.R. Rahman knows how to craft a good song).
Watched The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey last night and even though it was on a relatively small screen and little surround sound, it was still as awesome as it was on the big screen. Did some major grocery shopping a couple of hours ago, and then as I was about to pay, I discovered that they couldn't take credit, and I couldn't remember my pin number for my debit card. So stuck in a fix, I called my bank and found out that they couldn't give me the pin over the phone, so after brainstorming with my sister, I decided to race back home to get my check book, and then I had to race back to get my groceries while they held them for me. I don't know if I've ever quite raced as fast through a city quite like I did then. Anyways. Crisis of sorts was abated, and now I have one day left before I return to work; I cannot believe I'm thinking that way after swearing I wouldn't live weekend to weekend. Such a depressing way to live. Oh well. Today I was supposed to get some writing done, and I was so close. I sat down with everything, I was watching more lore on Game of Thrones and then I fell asleep, and then later on I was talking with my sister, and before I knew it the time had slipped away from me. I guess if I really had wanted to write then I would have done a better job of prioritizing my day; perhaps I'll get lucky tomorrow. I feel like there is some interesting news to share, but I can't think of anything. Well I hope that everyone's weekend is going well. There is only about one week left of March, which I cannot believe, and soon it will be April. Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana as Groucho Marx says.
I can't speak for every part of the world that experiences glacial or near arctic like weather, but here in Illinois it has been ridiculously frigid lately. Between the wind and the cool weather, going outside has been equivalent to having icicles piercing through the flesh on one's face. It has not been pleasant at all. Fortunately, though as Spring has officially begun, I am hoping that the weather will begin to earnestly warm up. Work today was very busy and very productive now that I am emerging from training and diving right into the daily grind of what we do at my place of employment. Luckily enough for me I was busy, but not stressed or overwhelmed as I was initially on Monday, when the weight of everything came crushing down on me like a lead brick. I'm still attempting to find a consistent regimen for my life, but it is difficult considering my current circumstances. I have a feeling though in April that I will be able to begin to nail that down concretely. I can't really say that I have done much in the way of writing unfortunately as of late; motivation on that angle continues to be hard to find. I think I'm tired more frequently because I'm working five days instead of four now, and I'm not certain if it's just psychological or truly working that extra day that does it in for me. Having three days off is more preferable, even if I work longer all of the other days, but that's just my own point of view. As you can see from the picture next to these words, I watched Ratatouille this evening after of course my mother (who is visiting) made this deliciously scrumptious dinner of pasta, cheese, and Italian sausage; she also made key lime cheesecake, but I still remain too stuffed to try it yet. I really enjoyed that film, and I noted that although I am not a huge food eater, I certainly do love to cook and bake food for people. Not certain why, but everyone I cook for seems to be alright with it. Oh, less than a week and G.I. JOE: Retaliation will be released in the theatre, and yes I am very eager with anticipation about this film being released. I really enjoyed the first film (unlike many people), so I am really hoping that having "The Rock" & Bruce Willis in it doesn't kill it, even though it is an action film, and those men are action film stars. Anyways. The world is still around, Syria's civil war looks like it might be entering the weapons of mass destruction phase, North Korea's threatening to use theirs, and meanwhile the U.S. federal politicians can't figure out how to straighten up the budget. All in a day's work I suppose. There it is folks. I wish I could share more about my job because it is so interesting, but everyone these days is becoming so sensitive about words that I dare not risk it; I wan't to keep this job so I can eventually return to San Diego. Good luck and goodnight.
History and Lore of Valyria (Game of Thrones)
History of House Tyrell & Robert Baratheon's Rebellion (Game of Thrones)
I thought that all of this was rather fascinating, and there's more of them on YouTube if you're interested in that sort of thing. I guess being the writer and lover of history that I am is why I find these sorts of things so interesting.
It was a rather long day at work. I'm beginning to get into my casework, and boy do I feel like a small fish in a very large ocean. It's amazing what all of those stress hormones do to your body and the exhaustion that they cause, not to mention what happen when you don't get enough sleep. I think I took something like a 45 minute nap after I got back home, and I still feel exhausted. Hopefully the rest of this week will not be like that, otherwise....well, that could prove to be difficult. Some interesting news from around the world; A Russian, Alexander Dolmatov, killed himself because the Netherlands denied him asylum from Russia. Apparently he had worked for the Russian government as a top experimental scientist who feared for his life, so when he learned that he would be unable to remain in the Netherlands, he wrote his mother a note telling her that he would not be coming back, and then he hung himself. According to rights activists, the Russian political climate continues to get worse, so it is unfortunate that the West is not accepting of Russian dissidents. So hopefully as things begin to get more as they were during the era of the Soviet Union, and as dissidents come out, the West will be more inclined to help those people out. Also with Syria, it seems like the Syrian Rebels are beginning to form a government, and France is pushing to lift the arms weapons embargo on the rebels. So perhaps Bashar al Assad will be closer to his end, as over 70,000 people have died, and over 1 million have been displaced; something that the entire would should be ashamed of, that this civil war has gone on this long. Tomorrow The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey comes out on DVD, and then next week is when G.I. JOE: Retaliation is released in theatres, of which I have been looking forward to since it was supposed to come out last year. Hopefully the 3-D was worth the wait.
Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone! Yep it was a lovely day, despite the snow and cold. My dear, wonderful sister made Irish stew, soda bread, and some sort of chocolate potato cake. All of it turned out so delicious and yummy, I just ate a whole ton. Which is part of what I was up to for a good part of a day; all of that scrumptious food just doesn't cook itself. Although I only helped out here and there, my good sister did the rest, while me, my brother in-law and nephew enjoyed eating it immensely. It struck me as comfort food, because after the entire meal, you just wanted to crawl up on the couch and go to sleep, which I almost did but I decided to clean up the kitchen since my sister did all of that hard work. It was a good end to a rather lovely day. Now I didn't get any writing done per se, but I continued to brainstorm for my epic story, which I am still not entirely certain which way I want to take it; either to the screen or a lengthy fictional series. Who knows, but I am just continuing to develop everything right now. With work and graduate school on the horizon, I'm trying to figure out how my writing fits into all of that, and I haven't quite figured that out yet as well. I really need to finish up the Tale of 3 Brothers since I pretty much said that I was going to, but I need to get off my lazy backside and focus on it a whole lot more than I have as of late. I was going through the chapters I had already written and was taking notes and editing it up here and there, but I suppose I was finding that rather tedious at the time, but alas I need to get back to that. Ah, there's so much to do, yet so little time, and little motivation for writing. I also need to begin gearing up to write book 3 of my trilogy, as book 2 is still being edited. I swear I wish I either had more time or more money; that way I could do everything myself, or pay outrageous amounts of money to get everything that I want done, done speedily, or at least in a reasonable amount of time. Work begins anew this week as I prepare to fully launch myself into my career as the days of training are now essentially behind me. Wish me good luck and everyone have an excellent week.
Game of Thrones Season 3 "Beast" Spot
Bates Motel Trailer (this is apparently supposed to be quite good)
So being back in the snow sucks. I miss the sunshine and warmth of San Diego, but life must go on, and I am more determined than ever that I shall return to San Diego. Dear lord, I sound like General MacArthur. Anyways. I got back into the swing of things at work just like I had never left, except now I essentially have my own caseload! Yes it is official, I am almost done with training, and very soon I will be up to my neck in a lot of hard work, but good work. I believe that my current job will do so much for me, and I shall acquire a tremendous amount of experience which will be immeasurably helpful in the future. I had a busy day at work, but I wasn't as exhausted as I was yesterday; getting in late from a long trip and then getting up early the next morning isn't the greatest idea in the world, but I survived and money is money. I certainly need a lot of that right about now. So tonight I watched this film called W. directed by Oliver Stone which was released back in 2008. Now, it is a biographical take on former U.S. President George W. Bush (43rd U.S. President). Josh Brolin did an uncanny performance of the man and it was quite good, as did most of the actors and actresses which included big names like: Colin Hanks, Toby Jones (Karl Rove), Jeffrey (Colin Powell), Thandie Newton (Condoleezza Rice), Scott Glenn (Donald Rumsfeld), Richard Dreyfuss (Dick Cheney), Rachel McAdams (Laura Bush), and James Cromwell (George H.W. Bush). I will be honest, this movie was done in very poor taste and fashion. It was an obviously, purposefully written negative depiction of G.W. Bush, not to mention the writing sucked. Instead of focusing on his strengths as a President, governor, successful business owner, man, family man, or even as someone who overcame alcohol abuse Oliver Stone chose to focus on what he and many perceived to be his weaknesses. No President is perfect, some are from far it, some are close to it; but not even George Washington escaped this. It was difficult to watch the film mainly because it was a blatant propaganda film against the former U.S. President. I mean the characters were interesting, there was a compelling story there to tell, but Oliver Stone hated Mr. Bush so much, that he focused on that instead, and therefore he ended up with a mediocre film at bestdone in extremely poor taste. I'm giving it a "Poor Ability" and I hope to never have to watch this film again, and do not recommend it to anyone. Our perception distorts reality. Just think all of the messes humanity would be able to avoid, if everyone simply tried to see things from their enemies' and detractors' point of view, rather than their allies and themselves all of the time. Well, have an excellent weekend world; I know that I am going to try and do that. Oh congratulations to Pope Francis; I wish him all of luck and hope that God's grace is never far from his side.
Which one would you want to be? (or woman). I personally would want to be a good man, because I believe that it is good men who become great, and who remain eternally great into the afterlife. Whereas great men like Hitler & Christopher Columbus, and King Saul from the Bible simply live their greatness and are remembered for their greatness, but once everyone (including them) pass into the afterlife the greatness fades as it looses its worth because who cares about acts of greatness when you are living something greater than anything they ever could be. Well I'm not going to get into any ethical/philosophical monologue. But all of that was introduction to say that I watched Oz: The Great and Powerful today. You know I remember seeing previews and thinking that it was probably going to be bad, so my expectations were low, but after watching it today, I was actually quite pleased how it turned out. James Franco as Oz was a really good choice, although based on simply the previews it may not seem that way, but as the character he brings to life...well Oz the Great & Powerful. what I liked most were the witches though and the dynamics with them. Mila Kunis was perfect of the reason I won't write, but she did a fantastic job as Theodora. Rachel Weisz as Evanora was also a fantastic choice and played her character quite well, which also had a surprise. And Michelle Williams as Glynda was another fantastic choice. I loved the witches and I love how they connected them, their story, along with all of the other events to the original Wizard of Oz. The visual effects were really quite stunning, and the music by Danny Elfman was delightful; not quite as good as it should have been considering how amazing of a film composer he was. I was waiting for the ruby slippers to appear, but they didn't and so I'm wondering if that is going to be what the sequel is about, or rather the next the film. Who knows. This definitely was an adventure story, and although the acting was quite good for the level of film that it was, you certainly aren't going to watch it for character development as it is a plot driven film. It was entrancing though, I didn't get bored with it at all, and I would love to see it again; I really, really liked it. Now I want to see the original film, and Return to Oz (which is a fantastic film, which truly reflects the feel of the books). I'm giving it a "Strong Ability" and I really recommend people to go and see it; families will enjoy it as well as people of all ages. The 3-D was quite stunning, and although I wish I would have seen it on a larger screen, I have to admit that whoever rendered the 3-D on this film did an excellent job as things really jump out at you which is how I prefer 3-D to be, not just depth. So it's my last night in San Diego, which I am very sad about. I had a good time though with all of my dear friends who I shall miss so very much. I had excellent food, of which all I will say is BACON!!!! I am a very fortunate and blessed person to have so many friends that are truly good people. I had a lovely vacation, and now it is time to go back to reality, and the snow. Hope that everyone is having a lovely week. Good night and good luck.
Ever since I arrived in beautiful, and now sunny San Diego (it was quite rainy the first few days that I arrived) I have been busy and on the go every single day seeing people and doing things. I suppose you can either relax on your vacation and do nothing, which is what I am currently doing, or you can go out and about. I've seen several good friends and old co-workers and have been having a blast! The wedding was fantastic last Friday, and I would like to say belated congratulations to my dear friend Daniel and his lovely wife Julie; such wonderful people, and they will in turn have a wonderful family. I did some dancing, which was fun, but a lot of catching up with friends and even made some new friends which was awesome. That's actually been the core purpose of this trip; to spend time with all of my dear friends that do not live in the U.S. Midwest, which is very lucky for them. I traded snow for sunshine and heat; flat plains for mountains, and a fun and lovely city for....well, let's just say something that is not those things. I love San Diego, and miss it so much. One day I shall return and I think I want to make it quite permanent, or at least for a lengthy part of my life. I love it so much here, and not just because of the sunshine and lack of cold and snow, but I do enjoy the culture and the people, not to mention all of the amazing things/activities that one has access to. Aside from getting my masters degree, one of my more pressing goals is returning to San Diego, and the more that I am in this city the more adamant I am about returning. It also helps when you have people that want you to come back and don't want you to leave; well my friends, it shall be...eventually. A couple days ago I honed my chess skills and played a game that was I think at least 3 hours long, and even though I lost, it was a lot of fun and helped me grow as a chess player. Losing isn't necessarily a bad thing in that game, that is if you attempt to learn from your mistakes and not duplicate them. I also have enjoyed the stimulating conversation that I have been having with all of my friends, which is also something that I don't always have ready access to unfortunately, or at least as frequently as I would like. Well since I've been on vacation and so busy I have been out of touch with the world and the news so I have no idea what is going on, except that North Korea continues to threaten and inch closer to engaging in open nuclear war with the U.S. and South Korea. Thankfully if memory serves correctly they do not have long range capability to reach U.S. soil, but there are a lot of other countries in their path like Japan. It is becoming quite the bloody mess. In popular news (at least for me) I was correct in calling that Star Wars: Clone Wars animated series is coming to a close, although I don't know if they are going to end with a season 6, or if they are going to end with a film, but they have something up their sleeves and it is supposedly quite awesome so we shall see. Apparently they are also developing some other series about Star Wars during an era which hasn't had much done on it, so that should be interesting to see where that goes. I guess Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher are all returning for the 7th Star Wars film, and I believe that is official now, and it should be quite....interesting to see how they create the films with an already familiar cast, or at least partially. So many things are changing, and we shall see if it is for the better; in the end though, it is only a set of films and shows set around something fictional...at least I think. A few days left in paradise before I have to return to a place which is certainly not that. Oh well, it has been great so far.
My vacation in San Diego began yesterday when I flew in, and boy it feels fantastic to be back in San Diego, and I'm just not referring to the climate. I love this location, and even though it has been raining and rather cloudy it is truly wonderful to be back! Yesterday was very long, which is why I am writing this now, but it was a lot of fun. It was awesome seeing my dear friends again after so long, and the wedding party that I am a part of has a really good group of people together which makes the entire thing completely awesome. The rehearsal went well yesterday (the ceremony is today in the evening), as did the rehearsal dinner which was at this one Japanese sushi restaurant, and although I didn't have any sushi the beef teriyaki was amazing, and of course the service and company was exquisitely delightful. Afterwards the groomsmen went to this bar and cigar lounge where we chatted and had a little beer. It was a nice conclusion to a splendid evening and a very long day. I was actually quite surprised that flying out of O'Hare in Chicago was so easy. I got my boarding pass quite easily, flew through security, and had a simple time getting on board the plane. I did get stuck between two people though and was really cramped for space, but the whole point was getting to San Diego, which I did, so I suppose it was worth all of the sore muscles. Take-off went quite well, but I wanted to strangle the pilot on our landing. I don't like roller coasters, so when the plane would drop in altitude for brief seconds all of a sudden my heart leapt into my throat each time. I didn't get any motion sickness from that though, so I was quite lucky. Well I have to start getting things together for the wedding tonight, so everyone have a lovely rest of the day because I certainly shall!!
Snow, snow, snow, snow. I hate snow. Why does there have to be snow? So the city was pretty much shut down because of, you guessed it, snow. I left work early because the roads were so bad, and it was still snowing, which it pretty much did all day long. My brother in-law and I were shoveling late at night and it was still snowing. I thought I would go and see Jack the Giant Killer in the theatre, but they were closed because of the "bad weather," but honestly I don't know what all of the fuss was about. I have driven in far worse weather than that which I experienced today. Oh well. I relaxed at home and got a few things done, and really tried to nail down my itinerary for my stay in San Diego, which is much more difficult than it sounds. I watched Twilight: Breaking Dawn Pt.2 tonight. It was okay; nothing really bad, nothing really good. An obviously vast improvement over all of the previous films, and at least Bella was the least awkward she's ever been in any of the films. There was an epic battle in the end, which was quite impressive, but of course there was a twist. I won't spoil it if you haven't seen it, but my sister thought that it was rather anti-climactic, I didn't mind it as much. I'll give it an "Admirable Ability" because after all, it's still twilight, and there is nothing enduring about these films, although there could have been if they had been done far better, but alas they were not. Kristin Stewart just isn't that good of an actress. Robert Pattinson was fine, although I don't understand what all of the sensation is about. Taylor Lautner was...slightly brooding, and slightly obnoxious, but rather static. Dakota Fanning was awesome, as was Jamie Campbell-Bower, and Michael Sheen. For what it was, I think it ended the series nicely, but I would have gone a completely different direction. On the news front, Hugo Chavez is dead. I would essentially call him the wannabe dictator of Venezuela, who was very unfriendly towards the United States and very friendly towards Iran and those individuals who are opposed against the U.S. and our allies. I do not doubt that he, Qaddafi, Stalin, and Hitler to name a few are all sharing stories. Hopefully to eventually, even sooner, to join them will be Bashar al Assad, King Jung Eun, Vladimir Putin to name a small few. I have no respect or care for individuals who trample on human rights and personal freedom for the sake of power, or any other reason for that matter. The world is a far better place without such people. Good night everyone, and good luck.
It was a long day at work, although for a while I had a long lull, and then all of a sudden things got really busy. I really need to get more sleep. I would expound more, but I don't want to repeat history. Looks like a ton of snow is going to hit the Midwestern U.S. again; lucky us. I hate snow. Sunshine and warm weather are now my preferences. I cannot believe I actually ever loved the snow and cold weather. Anyways. I watched the season finale for Star Wars: Clone Wars season 5, and yes although it is only a cartoon targeted at children, I am going to blog a little bit about it. After 5 seasons an extraordinary thing has occurred and I am about to spoil the episode. Ahsoka left the Jedi Order, Barris betrayed the Jedi Order and the Republic, and Admiral Tarkin is on the rise. Not to mention Tim Curry now does the voice for Chancellor becuase Ian Abercrombie died unfortunately, and he actually doesn't do too bad for a man who does a fake Russian accent pretty well. The Jedi Sabotage arc has been very interesting and compelling in a Star Wars story kind of way. I'm kind of curious now what will happen to the series now that Disney is in charge essentially as the animated series gets closer to Revenge of the Sith. Not to mention it should be interesting to see how they divide resources between the filming of the new trilogy and possibly also creating season 6, that is if they actually make another season. Well there it is. Have a great night everyone.
Well Moulin Rouge isn't my most favorite musical by any stretch of the imagination, but after seeing for the first time after watching it in the theatre back when it was released in 2001, I found it much better this time around. It is unfortunate that Baz Luhrman had to direct it as the core story was fantastic and the actors and actresses equally brilliant. There was just so much weird/obnoxious craziness peppered in between the best bits that I found it rather tiresome, although it was quite visually stunning, but strange. Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman were perfectly awesome, and not bad singers or dancers either. I believe it won two Oscars and was nominated for quite a few more. The songs I think are more enjoyable than the film as a whole, but I think perhaps the overall viewing experience would be increased if one were to see it on a larger screen, so that the visuals would be far more impressive for lack of a better way to communicate it at the moment. Anyways. I did some more writing today, even though I was not able to get as much done as I would have liked, yet again of course. My research is slow going. I was looking at ethical theories to get a feel as to what my antagonists and protagonists would think and or believe. I watched a few videos on YouTube from a former philosophy professor of mine from college. He helped clarify a few things for me, but there is still more work to do. I have to find a story, character motivation, or a setting on which to have the story take place. So many things, so little time; quite vexing. Saw some interesting previews today, which I posted below. There quite a few delightful things being released and it's rather fantastic. Pleasant news for today, although I am certain there are dreadful things happening, but that will always be the case until the end. Here comes the work week again, although mine will be a short one because I will be flying to San Diego on Thursday!!!! I'm very excited about that.
"Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" from Moulin Rouge
The Bible trailer
Vikings Behind the Scenes
Aristotle's "Virtue Ethics" (look for the remaining 3 parts on YouTube)
I was so completely exhausted yesterday that I went to bed at 10pm, which isn't something I haven't done for a very, very long time. This new work schedule is taking me a little while to get used to, but I'm working on it slowly but surely. There's a few political things I would like to mention really quickly: President Obama really needs to learn the difference between Star Wars and Star Trek if he is going to use the references for public use. I mean, come on; know pop culture if you're going to use it and try to get people to like you by referencing popular franchises and quotations, otherwise just steer clear of it. The United States Government is still standing since the sequester has began; the apocalyptic future has not yet occurred as the President, some Republicans, and Democrats have foretold that it would. U.S. Vice-President Joseph Biden gave gun advice to point a shot gun at a doorway and shoot if you suspect or see intruders, and someone actually did take his advice and ended up shooting someone and was detained by the local authorities. Make your own theories and jokes on the situation, but I don't think he was thinking all the way through when he spoke; I don't think he is going to run for President. And I will leave it at that. Lastly, John Kerry was essentially validating the Iranian government, and I won't even begin to write about my opinion of how he is handling the Syrian Civil War. In short, President Obama and his cabinet have been making a lot of gaffes lately, so the next couple of weeks, months and years should be quite interesting, and or hilarious. So I sat down and did some writing today. I keep changing my mind about what I want to write, so at the moment I'm thinking about writing a major, epic story which either will be a screenplay or a fictional series. I'm not certain which approach I will take, but it doesn't matter because I'm still creating all of the plot and story details. I watched more of season 2 of Game of Thrones and I realized that I like very few of the story lines that take place on the show, not to mention all of the gratuitous sexual content that happens on the show especially the kind that displays rather disgusting and perverted sexual practices like incest, rape, and intercourse with foreign objects. I honestly don't even know why that show is so popular, aside from Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen (can't remember who the actress' name is). I will though watch season 3 when it debuts March 31st just to see what happens to the characters, because I would like to see all of the presumed villains hang, or die a miserable death. I do Like Tyrion, Vaerys, Baelish, Daenerys, Rob Stark, Tywin Lannister and Arya Stark, but that's about it as of now, or at least that I can remember at the moment. Well I'm sure there's more that I could write about, but I think I have yacked about enough useless information for one night. Hope that everyone is having an excellent weekend.
Abbot & Costello Meet Frankenstein trailer (one of their better films. Watched this film tonight and laughed so hard. So many good memories, and this was the age when Hollywood made spectacular comedic films. It's a pity they have gone out of vogue).