a week's worth of random thoughts
two things on the brain recently, movies and playoffs. i was sick over the weekend with yet another sinus thing so i spent a lot of time on my couch watching dvds and sports. here are my thoughts, in no particular order.
in retrospect, people in the 70s had a comical view of utopia, at least as it was portrayed in logan's run
. for what it's worth you couldn't film my utopian vision using a southern california mall as a set, although my utopia might wind up being a little bit disco.
good will hunting
was actually a pretty good movie. sometimes you look back on movies you thought were good and find them lacking from a more recent perspective but that was not the case here. i forgot how well robin williams played his role.
calgary must be rocking these days. makes me wish i was up there for some of the fun. i'm the biggest bandwagon fan because the only times i've ever cheered for the flames was when they were in the stanley cup finals, but go flames.
minnesota is doomed, indiana is done. detroit will put up a good fight but succumb to the lakers, as much because of favoritism as skill and bulk (aka kobe and shaq). the nba has more in common with professional wrestling than with any real sport in terms of a level playing field. who you are determines what calls you get. it's like watching figure skating, and that's why i care less and less each year. when does the nfl season start?
will the disaster movie genre ever die? how many more movies can they make whose entire plot consists of "giant wave/storm/asteroid/monster wrecks los angeles/new york/washington d.c."? there's something freudian about the whole thing.
and finally, being sick sucks - unless you have someone sweet to be sick with.
the pseudo-science of taste
this week i dicovered pomegranate
juice. i don't mean i invented it, i just found it at the grocery store and bought some. according to the makers it's by far the highest concentration of antioxidants in juice form. according to me it's delicious, but i do also like taking it to those bastard free radicals.
but don't trust my opinion unless your taste is similar to mine. my taste buds are tuned to very tart things like straight cranberry juice and sour patch kids, yours may not be. taste is a very personal thing. i'll eat almost anything, but some people are very picky. nothing wrong with that either way, it's all just how your neurons interact when presented with particular stimuli.
it is hard sometimes though to account for other people's taste, even when you can see clear patterns. soccer moms love mini vans. germans love david hasselhoff. watching the brick and board breaking competition on espn tonight it's clear that people who like kung fu also like 80s hair styles. i have to think that there is some genetic factor at work at some level. whatever it is that makes you want to break a brick with your elbow must be physically related to whatever it is that makes you think a rat tail with a mohawk is cool.
still, there's no excuse for david hasselhoff
the movie that launched a thousand something
went to see troy tonight. i'm not a person that makes a habit of seeing summer blockbusters on the opening night but it looked like it could be good and getting tickets to any movie in marin isn't hard considering there's a theatre for every 10 people in the county.
it's not exactly historically accurate, but then the story of the trojan war is a legend not the washington post. brad pitt was looking a bit puffy, like someone over-inflated him. he and eric bana took turns looking stoic, or solemn, or stolid but they're both buff and take their shirts off a lot so no one minded. all i know is that i never need to see brad's ass again. the actress who played helen was probably the 5th prettiest girl in the movie, after the girl who played eric bana's wife, a couple of the extras and orlando bloom. odd casting choice for the face that launched a thousand ships. brian cox lived up to his name, dicking everyone around as the megalomaniacal agamemnon. just in case you didn't get the point that he was a bad man early, he hammers it home in every scene. most of the characters were painted with a pretty wide brush, so that wasn't a big surprise.
overall impression = easily mocked but quite enjoyable.
picking something to blog about has always been a passive exercise for me - just wait for inspiration to hit and then go with it. that goes a long way to explaining the irregular schedule of updates i've followed, and the random assortment of topics i've written about. sometimes when i'm awash in interesting stimulus there's a cascading flow of ideas and i have to pick just one at a time, and other times nothing seems to strike my fancy (but i think that's partly because my fancy isn't a very big target).
it's not always a lack of energy at the root of the dry spells either. art for me is much the same way. i like to draw, but if i'm not inspired to draw i quickly lose interest or get frustrated and shift my efforts to other activities. i haven't been very inspired to draw for literally years now. that skill has been put on the back burner while my creativity has been channelled into my job and other new experiences and activities like computer art, photography and yes, blogging. my zeal for art is not dead, just dormant, waiting for the right gust of fresh air to catch its sail.
the thing i haven't figured out is what triggers the shift of focus. sometimes i discover a new thing that i haven't tried before and want to explore the possibilities, but many times i come back to a past enthusiasm and resurrect it. if i had more control over the process i'd have wanted to spend more time drawing over the last few years. it's an ennobling activity, and one with a tangible reward that can be shared. i'd be a more consistent blogger too.
i think though that creativity is better served by unpredictability. it should be a bolt of lightning not the tick of a metronome, otherwise it too would become tedious like duty and obligation. but that doesn't mean that i don't want to stand next to the lightning rod to make sure i get zapped as much as possible.
it's been a while since i've posted and that's because my folks arrived on wednesday and i've been pretty busy since they got here. they've had the premium package tour of the area - mt. tam, muir woods, muir beach, golden gate bridge, coit tower, fisherman's wharf, marina, giants game, marin civic center, napa wine tasting and a whole lot of shopping. it's been an exhausting few days for everyone but at the same time it's made my surroundings fresher to see other people experience them for the first time. there's a ton of very interesting stuff around here, and it's a huge shame when it becomes familiar and mundane.
it's aways been a little weird to have my parents come visit me in places i live. i'm definitely a different person when i go back home than i am when i'm living by myself (although moreso in the past than now) so it causes a little cognitive dissonance when the two worlds collide. it also makes me evaluate my lifestyle in a new light, which is good. not that there's anything radical about my lifestyle in the grand scheme of things, but my roots are fairly extreme in their conservatism.
introspection is a healthy thing, and paradoxically looking inside yourself is helped most by seeing how other people see you. things that i take for granted about my life are completely foreign to my parents and having them around illuminates those aspects. i have such a weird mix of experiences that i can't imagine anyone else parallelling them in their own life. maybe that's true for everyone, we're all unique after all. in any event, probing the differences between my point of view and other peoples' is a good way to ask interesting questions about the underlying structure of my personality. it makes me investigate whether i like me, and if i'd want to hang around me. asking those questions has been the strongest impetus for change in my life because i've often disliked the answers. i'm not saying that i believe what everyone else thinks of me, but getting outside yourself gives you a fresh perspective and that can be a welcome push out of a rut.