Archive for the ‘Rant’ Category

Overwhelemed By Time; Underwhelming In Blog

Alright … I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with a few things. A lot of them are self-inflicted, so here goes a ranting, venting, probably dull blog.

I’ve never considered myself much of a writer although I usually attribute this to finding the inspiration to write well in only a handful of subjects. And, of course, these are the usual culprits: NBA basketball and the historical/statistical analysis of it, funny or amazing stories in which I am a participant, and my own musical exploits. Every now and then I can pull a decent telling of some random topic from the very center ‘tween by buttocks but these are very few and very far between.

Essentially, what I’m trying to set up here is another rant about the “blog voice” that I care to bring up from time to time (and now that I just did a search for “blog voice” across [stanus.net] I didn’t really find any posts to link to … so maybe I’m wrong on this). Anyway, I would love for this site to ultimately morph into post after post of the latest update about my band (ex: “tonight we played this setlist at this show and I think it went well because …”) or about the latest funny story I’ve been involved in (ex: “tonight, our usual Lost viewing turned into a drinking game that ended in nudity …”). Meanwhile, I’d continue to write about basketball on my NBA Sim blog.

“What in the world is preventing you from just doing this, already?” you may be asking right about now. Well, the answer is simple: me! I’m blessed/cursed with a super creative imagination that has currently loaded up so much of my free time with (insanely fun [to me, only, usually]) hobbies. These hobbies have been slowly sucking out all of my free time and I believe I’ve even become addicted to several of them. Sometimes, when I’m asked to stop doing them and go out and try something new or fun I put up a mini-tantrum like a little child. It must look silly: “What … you want to go to trivia night??! No, I will not stop determining who is 1989 Michael Jordan’s close based on 82-standardized game schedules and pace-adjusted stats!”

Wow … I’ve really gotten astronomically far from where I wanted this post to go, so here goes a little salvaging!

I’ve come across a few friends’ blogs – one from the past that is no longer updated and one that has just begun (NSFW). Both have extremely well-defined blog voices (Brigette’s blog was all about her adventures – both large and small – due to her love of traveling while John’s blog is both an outlet for his razor wit and his descriptions of living a life very much like a Larry David characters).

Anyway, with the help of these blogs and other eureka moments, I’m starting to come to a realization … I’ve been going about things a bit backwards for quite a while. Don’t put the focus on what makes great blog posts and try to squeeze them out. Instead, focus on what makes an exciting life and you’ll get effortless, great content.

Current Mood: Procrastinating emoticon Procrastinating

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Mini Blog: Still Vulcan

Me (answering phone): “Hello?”
Random Voice: “Hi … when do you guys close today?”
That’s right: I’m still getting Vulcan Materials calls.

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Mini-Blog: Google Chrome

I’m tired of how slow Firefox has gotten and I can’t stand how it screws up on YouTube and other video sites every now and then. It’s still a new development … but it might be a permanent one: hello, Google Chrome!

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Mini Blog: No Heat

I’m actually wearing a hat in the office today. We’ve had no hot water for 2 nights and no heat last night. Yes, do the math, that means no showers for two straight days!!!!

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Mini Blog: 9 Work Days

I’m on my ninth day straight of working in my office, putting in an average of over 8 hours per day. I could really use a weekend.

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Mini Blog: Synchronicity

Synchronicity: the hopelessness I feel watching the Mavericks lose by 24 today mirrors the same sentiment I have for this project I’m working on in my office at 3:38 on a Sunday afternoon.

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Heroes, Shmeroes

Photo © 2008 NBC

The magic of Netflix introduced me to one of my new girlfriends this year in the awesome sci-fi/Gilligan’s Island remake, Lost. In fact, I managed to put aside enough time to watch all four season in a span of five months! Unfortunately, once I caught up to the current season (which happened to be the final episode of said season) I was left in the cold for months: Lost wasn’t returning until mid-January! I had built up my show-watching muscles and now they would wither and atrophy without sustenance … something needed to be done.

Enter Heroes. In so many ways it’s painfully obvious that Heroes is NBC’s answer to ABC’s Lost: both shows feature an international cast suddenly finding themselves in different environments amidst supernatural circumstances. Clandestine relationships between characters are revealed as viewer’s delve into the backstories via flashbacks. Both series are such sweeping epics that they necessitate long-winded narratives reminding you of what happened in previous episodes so you don’t get too lost. Anyway, I finally got through the first season of Heroes and I’m here to say …

… it stunk! Yes, me, a comic-obsessed kid (and still a comic-reading “adult”) couldn’t stand this show about a group of super-powered individuals attempting to save the world. Nay! Whereas Lost’s most stunning acheivement is solid, dependable consistency (ok, so there were a handful of cheesy elements early on like the polar bear), Heroes is nothing but hit-or-miss (and mainly staying in the miss category). And this has to be the result of poor planning. Every single element of the show is dictated by what needs to happen to clear up what went wrong in the previous episode. There were countless times when a character’s fundamental directive is changed between successive episodes. I get so tired of the lame “well, I was secretely waiting to do this the whole time! Earlier, when I was against it … I was lying!”

Absolutely no sense of time is adhered to. My favorite example: in a late episode a character stops at a Chinatown store with a friend to get something fixed. There, he stumbles upon a person from his past who proceeds to train him in martial arts. After this training session (which is long enough to necessitate a costume change into a dogi and learning a killer move to take out the badguy), the character leaves and wonders where his friend whom he arrived with went. Do the writers really expect us to believe his friend waited in this repair store for the hours? days? weeks? it took for all the martial arts lessons? Don’t even get me started on the fact that the martial arts trainer was someone who, again, completely flipped motivations within the span of episodes.

This isn’t a spoiler: the bad guy can “steal” people’s powers by cutting their heads open and figuring out how their power works. He explains this by saying he was a watchmaker and loves to see how things work. Ok … as I mentioned in my previous post, I’m perfectly fine with suspending my logic when watching entertainment. I assume his power is stealing people’s powers just like his good guy nemesis. But in an earlier episode a scientist looking for superheroes reveals that this bad guy is actually a regular human being. Now, I’m either forced to believe just by looking at a brain this regular guy can learn a superpower or that, somehow, someone was, again, lying. Ugh … such tired, lazy writing.

Sorry, Heroes, I will not be devoting any more time for other seasons with you. Besides, come mid-January I’m going to have an hour less of free time, anyway.

Current Mood: Excited (about another show involving hoops and a ball) emoticon Excited (about another show involving hoops and a ball)

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Turkey Wrap

I’ve done a lot in the past couple of weeks. And I don’t want to write about any of it! For some reason I have no trouble contributing to The Doh Drop or Project NBA Sim – my two other blogs I manage – but [stanus.net] is hurting for inspiration. But I’ll grip the bathroom walls tightly and try to force one out here.

Quantum of Solace
My dad came to visit New York City two weeks ago and (as Schumie would say) we had a ball! The first highlight of the weekend was seeing Quantum of Solace. We checked it out in the huge Lincoln Square theater (we were in the pyramid-themed room). I’ll try not to spoil the movie for you but … it sucked. The Bond girls were absolutely unnecessary (really … another female spy? This is getting old) and the villains were turds. It seemed like all of a sudden the director realized they were at the end of the movie so there had to be a fight and an explosion. How is it Bond was able to incapacitate three Mi6 agents … in an elevator … while handcuffed but had trouble defeating the lame, nerd villain at the end? I’ll suspend my logic for any movie but once the movie throws it’s own rules out the window so goes any respect I have for it as well.

The worst part was the comparison a week later. I watched Casino Royale for a second time a couple of days later and realized that Bond hardly says a word in the new movie. Sure, Daniel Craig’s Bond isn’t a dandy at all (which sucks … come on, let’s have a character flaw somewhere in this superman) but at least he had a style in Royale. In Solace all he does is say a quip and then shoots people. Ugh … every bad action movie from the 90s rears it’s ugly head again. That being said, I can’t hate any Bond movie because I’m FOND OF BOND so I give it 6 out of 10 sucked-in Daniel Craig cheeks.

I would like to note that I went to the theater two days before seeing Solace there to make sure it was the right theater that I thought it was. As soon as I got to the entrance I was surprised to see that … Daniel Craig was standing right outside the entrance! It was some film festival and 30 photographers along with a fence separated the two of us but it was still a moment to remember 🙂

Knicks vs. Mavs
My dad must have done some massive planning as his visit coincided directly with the Mavericks coming into town to take on the Knicks. I knew he wouldn’t be able to stay away from Madison Square Garden with the threat of entertainment of that quality so I decided to get tickets. Oh, that and I had already committed myself to getting rediculous good seats for the game, anyway. So we showed up for the slumping Mavs who had lost 5 straight. The game, unfortunately, was more of the same as the boys from Dallas never led at any moment in any of the four quarters.

… But they did tie at the last second and dominated in overtime! Huzzah! It was actually a great game though games where the correct team wins always seem to be better than those other unmentionable matches. And since Dirk and I were in the same building the Mavs have only lost 1 game. He just needed his inspiration back, I guess 😉 Alright, although there were several stories from the game, I’ll let the matter go since no one else likes the perfect sport of basketball 🙁

Thanksgiving
I had Thanksgiving and the day after off from work so I took an Amtrak train down to the Commonwealth of Virginia for the annual Mills Thanksgiving festivus. It was fun to see all the cousins show up (even with a new cousin-in-law!) and was just long enough where I didn’t go crazy. Seriously, when I am finally in charge of Thanksgivings they will be something very, very different (is it sad that I am a 27-year old man who still receives orders to do certain things on Thanksgiving?). The feature presentation form the night was when Stever went up against cousin Zack’s wife, Alexandra, in a heated Saved by the Bell trivia contest. It was kind of like the NBA All-Star game where both sides were just silly and goofing off at first but then the competition started getting serious. I don’t know if I could declare a winnner between them but I definitely declared a loser.

Before getting to my grandparents house in Harrisonburg, VA Stever and I stopped by the old stomping grounds at JMU where we walked, photographed, and (in my case) swiped memories. I grabbed a broken-off brick from my freshman dorm, Ikenberry. Maybe I’ll copy Stever and paint something on it, who knows. It’s interesting to note that – should I keep the memento – I will continue to bring a broken, dirty brick with me in each of my future moves.

After dinner I drove my mom’s car back home where I finally played a Wii for the first time. In a turn for the cooler, my dad has gotten back into video games. He’s obsessed with the Tiger Woods golf game for the console and I got to experience the gay-mote … I mean wii-mote action in person!!! Instead of a full, natural golf swing he does a whipping motion at the bottom of his swing where he would normally come into contact with the ball. It must be seen to truly be appreciated. Anyway, I still find the wii-mote wand – in its current form – to be a bit gimmicky. I mean, I enjoyed playing the sensor games in the arcades (I remember one where you were a cop and depending on where you’d move your character would duck or dodge bullets) but only for a gag. Then I’d immediately go back to the skill games of Street Fighter II or the like for hours. For casual gamers this is obviously a godsend but for me, I dunno. I’ll try to keep an open mind but my first impressions didn’t do much to convert me. We’ll see how the next gen goes.

Virginia Tech vs. UVA
Over the weekend I was also given the opportunity to witness the craziness of division 1 college football in person. Now, I had actually been to a Virginia Tech game back in 1999 but the experience was worlds different. My view was from the marching band stands and I was rooting for JMU who never had a chance (and who got their asses destroyed). This time I was with Cassie (a UVA alum) and her sister (a Tech alum) so I got to see the full spectrum of insanity. I can’t say I understand it (I have many reasons why my love for the Mavs is different but I won’t bore you here with those airtight reasons of pure fact) but it sure was an interesting study in human psychology.

We (along with father, “Papa Mel”) arrived at the campus at the downright batshit time of 7:45 AM to an empty parking lot outside a really nice “frat” house. It wasn’t the type of frat house I was used to – this one was more of a social club. Very nice and nothing like the beer-drenched debautery I was familiar with. Slowly, the place filled up with Virginia Tech alumni – all in their maroon and orange glory – and all way over the age of 50! One man even pulled out a hand-cranked calliope that played the Tech school song (complete with bell-ringing Hokie statue)! It was fun for a while but I probably didn’t drink as much as I should have for when we made the trek to the game at noon I was freezing (it was so cold it actually started snowing towards the end of the game).

Oh yeah, I was also dressed as a UVA fan since Cassie demanded I root for her team (so far this always happens at away games where every giant man thinks I’m some huge fan of the opposing team and messes with me). Actually this time it wasn’t so bad since we were in the alumni section of the stadium. The game was close and (dare I say it) entertaining with the Hokies winning 17-14. Luckily, I thanked my amazing decision to not drink at the game for when we all finally got back late that night I was the only one not experiencing some form of a hangover!

There you go … a busy couple of weeks condensed into a blob of a blog. It was messy but I managed to get it all out! And don’t worry, I feel another one coming on soon 😉

    Site Updates:

  • Changed Netflix sidebar widget to show my latest movie reviews

Current Mood: Relieved emoticon Relieved

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A Fire Under My Ass!

I was recently reading Cassie’s old LiveJournal (and no, I probably shouldn’t just hand out that link) and loved how there were so many bite-sized posts. When she had something deep to talk about the blog would be big, but most were just quick snapshots of what she was up to or what she was thinking about. They’re so honest and funny and have no meaning whatsoever but it has given me new purpose in my own blog.

For a while now this thing has become way too bloated and corporate. My posts are super-long, edited, and punched up to be more entertaining than originally written. I still would love to have all my great stories written in their best formats here, but I’m going to also try moving into smaller, spontaneous postings as well!

For example, I noticed a few months into this year that I had written 6 blogs each month and decided I’d try to go a whole year doing so. Well, now I shall throw this accursed net from off my shoulders and shall blog to my own heart’s desire until the crowds shout for mercy! And I will respond with a resounding “no!” and continue to blog even more. There will be no stopping me! Hopefully.

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  • Monday, August 4th, 2008 at 17:36 | #1

    …This might have just won my “Worst Dohblog of 2008” award

Give Me a Break

So Baller ‘Bama has now distanced himself from “controversial” Reverend Jeremiah Wright … this isn’t breaking news. But, let’s be honest with ourselves. This is a knee-jerk reaction to public criticism over things Wright has said in the past. It’s no mere coincidence that Obama has taken a hard-line stance against the Reverend in just the past few days.

But I have to say … what is the fucking controversy, people? Is questioning the complicity of his country’s foreign policy really so oft-putting to “mainstream” America? Ok, I’ll grant you his conspiracy theory of HIV being created to kill black people is out there. But, take a second … is that really any crazier than fervently believing in an invisible, almighty cloud person that is super-concerned with one species of animal on a planet? In my opinion, this guy has been saying crazy shit all his life. Hell, he’s been getting paid to do it for three decades!

So, as far as all the sound bytes of Wright criss-crossing the internet superhighway in a YouTube sports car: These rants that are probably 5% of his Sunday service are pretty much at the same level of craziness as the fairy tales that take up the other 95% of his speaking time.

Controversial? All of this seems rather (insanely) consistent to me.

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  • Tuesday, May 6th, 2008 at 16:33 | #1

    Favorite Books: Anything written by Dean Koontz

  • Wednesday, May 7th, 2008 at 06:30 | #2

    lolz @ ‘almighty cloud person’! That guy sounds pretty cool!