Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Lodgepole.

Well the vacation is almost over. Which makes me sad, but it will be nice to be back in my own home again, on my own schedule, with all of my own things, and of course my new bed. So yesterday was really busy for me. I and my friend that I am staying with wen and cut 8 dead trees for firewood for him for during the winter since his only source of heat is a wood burning stove (told ya I really was staying up in the mountains). I don't know how people did logging back in the day without chain saws, but what we did took quite a long time, and we got cut down a lot of wood. These were very, very tall trees too. The type of trees are called lodgepole, although they're a type of needle, evergreen tree. When they came crashing down, they really came crashing down; I wish I could have gotten some video and pictures of it all happening, but I think the camera was safer not being present. I was wiped out by the end of the day, but I wasn't done yet. With only a few minutes to spare, I attended my orientation for graduate school, which my first class begins next week. It was a little overwhelming with everything that has to be done with school and then work on top of that, and anything that has to do with my writing and in particular the publishing of Book II. After all of that, my friend made some more deer steaks and we watched the film Jack Reacher which stars of course Tom Cruise, along with Rosamund Pike, and David Oyelowo. Well I thought that the film would absolutely suck, but it didn't. It was entertaining and a good puzzle film to figure out, and I have to say that I pretty much nailed it about half-way through the film. I'm not going to go into what the film was exactly about, but essentially Tom Cruises's character was trying to clear up this one sniper guy's name who was accused of killing five "random" people. Tom Cruise did a good job, although the performance wasn't much of reach since it was similar to what he does on Mission Impossible. Rosamund Pike, who is a very talented actress, kind of disappointed me in this film. Her character was annoying and naive. It was entertaining though, and I suppose I would watch it again, but if you never see it then you'll be fine. I've giving it an "Admirable Ability" but I wouldn't go so far to recommend it. Well my mind is blanking out on me, so I will leave it at that. Oh there we are now I remember! Apparently the Obama cabinet and administration is finally going to take military action against Assad and his Syrian regime since the evidence is overwhelming that he was killing civilians with chemical weapons. I would like to writer that it is about time, but that is something I should have written a year and a half ago and more. It will be interesting to see what exactly is done, and how effective it will be, not to mention who will benefit most from the intervention. With Russia and Iran on Syria's side, I am most curious to see how they will react, and how it will effect what is going on in Egypt and Afghanistan. As long as the people of Syria come out on top and their tyrant is eliminated, that I think is what matters most. Now I'm done. May the Force be with us all.

Jack Reacher trailer


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Week 1 Over. 1 Week Left.

I am loving my vacation. I went on a fishing trip and caught a bunch of fish which lasted for a few days. Floating down a river with pleasant company and a pleasant view is just amazing. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed fishing, which I haven't done in well over a decade, but my grandfather did an excellent job of instructing me on the basics, so it all came back to me quite easily. It was a peaceful, albeit long trip which drained me and I got a little sunburned, but in the end it was quite the experience. Yesterday I acquired the urge to do a little bike riding down the mountain, which was lovely. I had my i-Pod on and was cruising down the gravel paths having a blast. I even talked to a bunch of people once I got out of the mountains and got some reception on my cell phone. I was not prepared however, for the trip of bicycling back up the mountain. I don't know what the hell I was thinking! Honestly, it was ridiculous. I hadn't gone too far when I was getting tired already, so I had to take a lot of breaks because having the apparent "man of steel" complex that I possess, I thought that I wouldn't need any water so I didn't bring any. It was a very, very hot day with the sun shining and it was very dry. Therefore by the time I arrived back at the place that I was staying at, I was....to say the least about half dead, or rather felt it. I am most likely never doing that again, and I am even hesitant to go on a hike, which I typically love to do. I think I need to get more in shape. Last night I went on a ride along with my friend that I am staying with who is a deputy for the sheriff's department here in Montana. 7pm-7am; it was a long night, but I made it through without falling asleep at all. We had some adventures looking for some juvenile delinquents, and had to take some kids home who were out doing God knows what at 2am. Apparently the parents didn't have a clue about what their children were doing, and one mother didn't even care that her son was out and about; she was drunk or high on drugs. I felt bad for the kid, and I hope that he's alright considering mom had a few random "gentlemen friends" present. It was definitely a memorable adventure. I have the rest of the week for my vacation before I head back home to work, and to graduate school. World news is grim, apparently there was another attack in Damascus, Syria where the Assad regime used chemical weapons on its people. Apparently the Obama administration and cabinet is "weighing" all options seriously as over 100,000 people have died so far, with no end in sight. I watched this one news show where one of the commentators stated that there needs to be more public and political debate before any military action is taken. Somehow I don't think that will be very comforting to the people in Syria.

Pompeii trailer (looks pretty good)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The 2013 Montana Adventure Thus Far.......

Driving 15000 miles is quite....a long time. Getting out of Wisconsin wasn't too difficult, Minnesota I don't really remember too much because I drove through that without much difficulty and it was late in the night/evening. The same thing pretty much went for South Dakota. I concluded the first leg of the adventure at 1am in the morning Mountain Time, and fell asleep in the back of the vehicle I was driving in a hotel parking lot for about five hours. I then began driving at 5:30am and didn't stop again until I arrived at my destination around 5:30pm. If you ever drive across the breadth of the state of Montana then God bless you; it is long, with loads of construction, and the people who drive there are nuts, or at least the majority of the people I came across. In all fairness though, the people in Wisconsin drove equally nutty too. I have never been so exhausted while driving before in the early morning hours; I almost nodded off a few times, and experienced difficulty focusing on the road. Fortunately no one else was present during those precise moments. Aside from those difficulties I almost did get in a few car accidents because of stupid drivers, but God and my guardian angels were keeping the morons from running me over. For the most part it was a boring and long drive, especially the last bit. Going back will....be equally difficult at times. I think I shall fly next time around. So I am here enjoying my vacation in the mountainous side of Montana, relaxing and enjoying the natural landscapes. So far I've done a lot of nothing, eaten deer steak, fired a bunch of guns and then cleaned them, and now I am now embarking on a fishing trip. Should be great. Let me get back to the day I shot a bunch of guns. Now I am not a "hick" "redneck" or anything remotely connected with those American colloquialisms. There is something exhilarating about shooting something destructively powerful at non-living targets. So I shot a shot-gun, .40 caliber & sub-compact version as well, .22 rifle caliber, and then my all time favorite the AR-15 assault rifle. I cannot begin to say how much fun it was shooting this assault rifle, and I was being monitored and taught by my friend a trained expert as he is a member of the sheriff's department. This is the individual that I am visiting; we go back all the way back to my first year as a freshman in college. We shall see how the fishing goes over the next couple days; apparently the fish that are available to be caught are about three feet long and more. I am also reading this fantastic and interesting book called "I Know You are Lying: Detecting Deception through statement Analysis" by Mark McClish. Think of it as being similar to the show Lie to Me except that this writer focuses more on the words written and spoken by individual more than body languages and other physiology. It has been quite a fascinating read thus far, and if you are interested in deception detection then you should read this book and look into this man's research. Well that's about it for now. Ya'll have an excellent day tomorrow.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Secrets of the Universe........

It has been a long work week, but I have nearly finished. A half day of work tomorrow, and then off to my vacation. Granted I will be driving all of the way there, but at least I will be doing it in style, and not with a mountain of stuff in the vehicle that I will be driving. Soon I will be reclining back in hammock listening to river slowly rush passed me as mountains surround me. It's going to be nice. I just finished packing and preparing, and I also finished watching Men in Black 3. Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith and Josh Brolin with Emma Thompson. Not a bad cast, an interesting story, poorly written, bland characters, and boring action. Honestly this was a very "C" like film. Tommy Lee Jones was awesome, Will Smith annoys the heck out of me as the character in this film; he has this irritating attitude which drives me nuts. Perhaps I am more like "K" than anywhere close to being like "J". At any rate I am not going to go through the entire plot which involves time travel, various/infinite possibilities of the future, and famous iconic people who are deemed aliens. Hopefully they will stop and not make anymore films. I am giving this film a "Yearning Ability" as there was nothing notable about it, interesting, compelling, or overly amusing. I guess it was entertaining, but I can't say that I would recommend it. The first one though, which was released in 1997 (wow I cannot believe it was that long ago; I was only 11!), will always I believe remain a classic, even as it ages. I can't say very much for the news though. The situation in Egypt is dangerously spiraling out of control; I'm at a total loss of what to write. I guess some people don't know what to do with liberty when they have, and I guess to many who still live in places like the Middle East or Southeast Asia, religious principles will always remain more important than people. It's a real shame. Meanwhile, the Western governments continue to look on and wash their hands of the whole affair. Another shame. The whole bloody world is unraveling piece by piece, and I'm going on vacation. I guess that was perfect timing, because if I want to be anywhere in the entire world when it unravels, or if there is a zombie apocalypse, it would be Montana. Take care people of world, and watch your back. Humans are real bastards when the chips are down.

Men in Black 3 trailer

Game of Thrones Season 3 deleted scene (found this, and wow, 
I found it very interesting and insightful).

Monday, August 12, 2013

"Once Upon a Time There Were 4 Little Rabbits...."

Apparently when I was in kindergarten I was in part of a play that adapted the story of Peter the Rabbit; interesting how I just figured that out now 20 years later. So work kept me nice and busy, but not much interesting happened there. I came home and during dinner watched Miss Potter, which obviously is a biographical story of sorts about Beatrix Potter, the author/writer who wrote the various stories of Peter Rabbit and company. It stars Renee Zellweger as Beatrix Potter, Ewan McGregor as Norman Warne, and Emma Watson as Millie Warne. It is a remarkable case that they assembled, with a beautifully written script (Richard Maltby Jr.) and marvelous cinematography (Andrew Dunn). Miss Potter is attempting to get her stories published and along the way meets Mr. Warne who enthusiastically assists her concerning this endeavor, and slowly the two begin to get closer. Despite the potential for scandal and disregard for what others think, Miss Potter defies atypical societal expectations and does what she wants; not what it expected of her. This was a delightful film, truly something worth watching again, and I do suggest that everyone else watch it as well. I'm giving it an "Admirable Ability." I tell you, as a writer, that British countryside is so magical looking; it could compel any individual to write with such vivacious excellence. The stars of the show did so well and gave such heartwarming and heart wrenching performances. A truly excellent film; I cannot keep from saying it. Well my vacation draws nigh, and I have done very little to prepare for it yet. I can't believe I am beginning to become that procrastinator that puts things off until the last moment and then rushes it all together. I used to be so organized and on top of things. Oh well. I suppose that's what comes from having so much going on. I think while I am on vacation that it would be an excellent time to get some writing in, but we'll see. Goodnight everyone.

Miss Potter Trailer

The Story of Peter the Rabbit

Sunday, August 11, 2013

"The Sheltering Has Begun....."

Ordinarily I stay away from supernatural films unless they are well done or have a good cast that I enjoy seeing on film. I bent the rules for The Exorcism of Emily Rose, The Woman In Black, The Omen (original), and now 6 Souls because I wanted to see the actors/actresses. Jonathan Rhys Meyers is an incredible actor, and I saw him in all seasons of The Tudors and other films he has been in as well. He is also going to be starring in an upcoming film series The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, which I believe opens next week. Anyways. Julianne Moore was also in it, and it had been a while since I had seen her in anything. The Hours was the last thing that I saw her in I believe. Both of these individuals did very well in the film, especially Mr. Rhys Meyers; he played a role which required him to act out in several different personalities, and he did a heck of a job. Now the story goes that Julianne Moore's character is a forensic psychologist trying to figure out how this one man, Mr. Rhys Meyers, could possibly have at least two distinct personalities. She begins digging, and eventually she finds that something far more sinister is going on, something that began over a hundred years in the past. In all honesty I thought that this was going to be a psychological thriller with the main heroin attempting to outwit and maneuver a criminal mastermind of sorts, but it turned out to be more of a supernatural thriller, and not a very good one at that. The beginning of the film was good and all of the characters started out very well, but then once it was obvious that the "answer" was by supernatural means this man was experiencing different personalities, well it just became another really, really creepy film. Make no mistake, I will have nightmares tonight probably. So if you enjoy creepy films, then this is definitely for you. The music by John Frizzell stood out for me; that man can really compose some super creepy film music; props to him. I won't ever be watching this film again most likely, so I'm not going to recommend it all, but if you're into that kind of thing then go ahead; I'm sure you wont be disappointed, but I am no aficionado of creepy and horror films. So yesterday my sister and I went and saw Josh Groban in concert at the Ravinia in Chicago. Although it was more like we listened to him live, since we didn't have seating in the amphitheater, and due to the limitless scores of people sitting in the grass it was also difficult to obtain a seat with a good view. Even though he had some competition from the cicadas, he was fantastic and quite humorous. I look forward to seeing him live once again, although this time having a seat where I can visibly see and listen to him perform. It was good fun though; my sister and I had a blast getting to the event, including a rather hilarious encounter with a sprinkler and a very....passionate couple. Don't ask. Then on Friday (this is what I get for not blogging every night; I have to summarize all of my interesting adventures in one entry) I had this charming gentleman from the United Kingdom shadow me at work for a bit, he had a fascinating perspective on life in the U.S. vs. life in England in regards to politics, healthcare, career choices and benefits. He also knew history very well, so we chatted about that; apparently the United States had a sort of colony in Liberia, but I think I need to check that out since I had never heard of that before he mentioned it. I always love to speak with people who aren't from the U.S.; people all over the world are so different, and it's refreshing to see the world through another's eyes. Well my vacation is just around the corner! I just have to make through this week, and then I take off! Have a lovely week everyone; goodnight and good luck.

6 Souls Trailer

This is what the venue looked like, although you can't really see us. 
I did not take this video by the way.

Masters of Sex trailer (looks....interesting to say the least, but I'm not quite certain what to really think).

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Love Is a Battlefield!

Speaking of battlefields (severely metaphorically) I recently returned this past weekend from helping my father move, which is why I was MIA for that period of time. For the most part nothing overly eventful happened. I was viciously attacked by a cat though, which shed a lot of blood on both hands of mine and both feet leaving severe lacerations and once again leaving no doubt in my mind that I hate cats. Also, a piece of wisdom to offer; never move furniture, or help anyone move their belongings unless you are wearing shoes and socks. Do not wear sandals. Rural Wisconsin is nice to visit, but I don't think that I could ever reside in such a place permanently again. I have become to much of a "city man." Wisconsin does have good meat and cheese though, as well as outdoor parks, camp grounds, lakes and such. My father actually took me out onto his boat Sunday for a spin around the lake, which was very relaxing, and at times exhilarating. Can't say much for work or writing; they've both been going and that's about it. I've been getting some good ideas for future projects, but all of that seems so far away at the moment. One day perhaps I will get the opportunity to flush out all of my projects into something creatively productive, but for now they'll just have to wait. So this evening I thought I'd take a break from serious, dark, and dramatic and thus I decided to watch 13 Going on 30. It stars Jennifer Garner, Mark Ruffalo, Judy Greer, and Andy Serkis. So there was a very talented cast, but I'm not going to go all in-depth with this film because that's just what it wasn't about. This film was about fun and entertainment, and it certainly captured all of that. There was humor, romance, a little drama, good characters, and an interesting story line. I have 3 older sisters, so I understand the main character's point of view. So there is this 13 year old girl (Jenna) who wants be popular, fun, cool, and apparently  30 years old. She get's her wish on her 13th birthday and fast forwards to that very time frame in her life, except she's also still 13 in her head. As she rediscovers her life, she finds that she became popular and everything that she ever wanted. She also finds however that she lost something, amongst many things, her close friend Matt who she struggles to get close to once again in an effort to understand how they grew apart over the years. It's a really fun film that you don't have to think very hard about; just sit back, let go and enjoy it. Many could say that it is a "chick flick" but, hey look at it this way; a man directed it, it stars a man, and it was also partially written by a man, produced with men, and of course is about the dynamics of relationships between a man and a woman/girl and boy.You see, it's all perspective. Well lots to do, so I am going to sign off; good night and good luck.

13 Going on 30 trailer

Her trailer (very interesting is all I have to say. Good cast, and it will be nice to see Joaquin Phoenix in action once more.)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Here Comes the Fall.

Happy August 1st everyone! Although I am certain for many of you the beginning of the new month was yesterday. Time speeds on. So I heard back from the publisher, and they've extended me a contract offer, which I've looked over very carefully. I raised a few questions to the production manager, which I have yet to hear back from before I sign anything over. There's also a matter of my book being edited, once again apparently, which I am not thrilled about, but I have a solution in the wind for that potentially. I really want to get the ball rolling on this so I don't have to split a ton of time when I am in graduate school come September, but knowing how the publishing system works, I don't know how likely that will be. Here's wishing for the best. Work has been so much better this week since my supervisor has returned from vacation. We can manage without her, but she brings something to the workplace which makes it oh so much better and easier to deal with the various situations that come our way. I began watching the 5th and final season of Damages, and I have to admit that so far I am really impressed with this season. Usually shows get progressively worse after the 3rd season or so, but Damages has continued to get better, and more twisted and dynamic with each passing season. It has excellent and compelling characters and storylines, and the writing is truly astounding. Glenn Close and Rose Byrne are amazing actresses with an immense amount of talent. It should be interesting to see how the show finally ends. It you haven't seen it yet, then you should highly consider watching it. I do have to warn you though, it is very, very intense. Apparently Russia has granted Mr. Snowden temporary asylum until his case is completely reviewed. I'm not entirely certain why the administration is shocked about this; after all, the enemy of my enemy is my friend, right? I believe someone once said that once in the KJB always in the KJB, and President Putin was in the KJB. Fascinating little historical anecdote. It sucks when there isn't really a whole lot of good news to share; the Syrian civil war is deepening and worsening, Egypt could be plunged into a civil war as well too. Meanwhile the United States and Europe are completely on the sidelines keeping their hands off. That should even be a far more interesting historical anecdote. Well I must be off. Take care world, and goodnight.

Damages Season 5 trailer

Glenn Close on the Final Season of Damages

Ian McDiarmid discusses playing the Emperor (I thought this was a lovely bit.)