Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Sorrow to Come:

Sorrow everywhere. Slaughter everywhere. If babies
are not starving someplace, they are starving
somewhere else. With flies in their nostrils.
But we enjoy our lives because that's what God wants.
Otherwise the mornings before summer dawn would not
be made so fine... the waterfront
is three shuttered caf├ęs and one naked light burning.
To hear the faint sound of oars in the silence as a rowboat comes
slowly out and then goes back is truly worth all the years of
sorrow that are to come.
-Jack Gilbert, A Brief for the Defense

Your Voice:

Some people hear their own inner voices with great clearness. And they live by what they hear. Such people become crazy… or they become legend.
    -Jim Harrison, Legends of the Fall

Monday, September 29, 2014

Blogs & Relationships:

Blogs are like relationships. Sooner or later you get bored and need something else to distract you from really living your life.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Silver Linings: The Novel

When I run, I always pretend I am running toward Nikki, and it makes me feel like I am decreasing the amount of time I have to wait until I see her again.
― Matthew Quick, The Silver Linings Playbook 
After seeing the film, the Silver Linings Playbook, there was something I didn't understand. Why would Tiffany be so interested in Pat? Generally, a young, beautiful woman doesn't pursue an older, unemployed guy recently released from a mental institution, who lives at home with his parents.

In the book, Tiffany was actually a few years older than Pat. Moreover, Pat had been married for about about ten years and had been in a mental institution for the past four years, not eight months as in the film. That would have made Tiffany about twice as old as she was in the film.

In the book, Tiffany also cared much more about the dance contest. She had participated in the solo event the past two years and won an award each time. This year, she wanted to be in the couples competition and the goal was to win, not obtain an average score of at least five.

According to Tiffany, she was scouting Pat for endurance, strength, and perseverance as a dance partner. Hence, Pat's strenuous workout regime was attractive to her.

The book, though, was not that good. It was written in the first person from Pat's perspective and he seemed like an idiot. He kept referring to the "bad place," which was the mental institution. 

I'm surprised the novel got made into a film. However, Tiffany's motivation for her behavior was clearer in the book. 

Could It Be True:

It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it.         
-Oscar Wilde

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Silver Linings, The Film:

I was a big slut, but I'm not any more. There's always going to be a part of me that's sloppy and dirty, but I like that. With all the other parts of myself. Can you say the same about yourself fucker? Can you forgive? Are you any good at that?  
The Silver Linings Playbook is available on Netflix. I loved the film. The great thing about this story is that it introduces two dangerous characters that are willing to take action to get what they want. They're not passengers in life, they're drivers.

The opening scene introduces Pat. He's just getting out of a mental institution where he's been incarcerated for sometime for beating up his ex-wife's lover. As a condition of his release, he's required to live with his parents, take psychotropic medication, and see a psychiatrist regularly. Pat will do almost anything to win his ex back.

He exercises strenuously to lose weight he put on before his wife's affair. He already looks like he's in good shape. He reads novels because his ex is an English teacher and he wants to impress her with his knowledge of literature, and be able to compete with the ex's lover, who is highly literate.

While exercising and reading is admirable, Pat comes across as crazy, stupid, and violent. Nobody can get through to Pat that it's over with his ex, not his family, friends, or psychiatrist. But there is one person that finds a way through: Tiffany. Her great passion is dancing, but she needs a partner.

Tiffany at first attempts to use her beautify to get through to Pat, but it doesn't work and we learn something likable about Pat. He means what he says. He loves his ex and would do nothing to endanger his chances of reuniting with her. Pat cannot be seduced. It's his superpower. But Tiffany finds Pat's weak spot. She offers to pass a letter to Pat's ex and Pat cannot resist. As a condition for acting as Pat's liaison to the ex, Tiffany demands that Pat become her partner in a dance competition.

It seems a bit like dirty dancing, but it's more like crazy dancing and it works. Two thumbs way up.

Friday, September 26, 2014

A Total Circus:

Life has been reduced to a series of long periods of boredom in the office punctuated by high-octane “experiences” which you can rack up on your list of things to do before you die. That’s not really living: that is slavery with the occasional circus thrown in.
– Tom Hodgkinson, Brave Old World


In war between individuality and conformity, the individual is always outgunned.
-Suki, The Scribbler

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Enjoying the Sadness:

I enjoy being sad. There is such pleasure in weeping. Tears are just laughter in liquid form. What I like best about being sad is that I get to write things I otherwise never would.

Once I watched a comedian joking about being a foster child. He said the foster system was where a child is taken from an abusive situation and put in another abusive situation that is no better. He used to play a game when he went shopping with his foster mother. The shopping game was about how much stuff he could hide in his clothes. He laughed about state child support paying for cable at his foster home and his real father being in prison.

It brought tears to my eyes and they must have been from sorrow because I wouldn't laugh at child abuse.

Ever Been In Love:

You ever been in love? You find yourself acting out of character, betrarying everything that you've ever believed in, and you can't stop because you don't want to.
-Suki, The Scribbler

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What I Write For:

I write for everything and nothing and sometimes for myself but mostly I write for you.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Hand Drawn Cards:

Did you know Nintendo started out in 1889 as a company that sold handmade playing cards? To this day, Nintendo manufactures and sells playing cards in Japan. The company also organizes a contract bridge tournament called the Nintendo Cup.

In English, Nintendo translates as "leave luck to heaven." The most profound thing about the company is the Nintendo Wii. Before performing a hard reset, the Wii informs you:

Everything saved will be lost. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Ender's Game:

Have you ever thought of saying screw the system? What if you ordered items online and when the delivery person leaves them on your doorstep, you claim you never received them? What if when checking out at one of those self-service checkout registers, you took a couple of items each time without paying? What if instead of paying for films and music, you downloaded them for free from file sharing websites? (Everyone pretty much does that already).

What's the point of following rules if the games is stacked against you? You're just going to lose anyway. That was the lesson in Ender's Game. If Ender Wiggins followed the rules, he would lose, so he ignored them.

If you haven't read the novel or seen the film, I won't spoil it for you by telling you what happened. It was a great novel. You should definitely read it for yourself.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Can't Get Past It:

"Do you think it's possible for a cat person to switch to being a dog person?" she asked.

"Oh, it's possible. I did it."

"Really? Why?"

"There was girl, and she had this little dog, a Pomeranian. It was a great dog. And the girl was pretty special."

"Do you miss her?"

"Yes, I miss the dog."

 "No, silly, the girl."

"Yes, I miss her too."

"If the girl was so special, what happened to her?"

"I accidentally killed the dog and we couldn't get past it."

Monday, September 15, 2014

Minecraft Sold:

In the news today, Microsoft bought Mojang for $2.5 billion. Mojang is famous for one product: Minecraft. Minecraft is like Second Life in that there are no specific goals for players to accomplish, allowing players a large amount of freedom in choosing how to play the game.

Although Minecraft is hugely popular, it has never appealed to me. The graphics are primitive and everything appears block-shaped, even spherical objects, like the sun and the moon. Here's a screen-shot of a scene from Minecraft, showing a couple of sheep:

Impressive, isn't it? If Microsoft is willing to pay $2.5 billion for Minecraft, how much would Second Life be worth with its vastly superior rendering system?