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Being You

If you were on the golf course with me yesterday (which you weren’t unless your name is Jeff, Bud, or Frank), then you’d hear me chirping about the Chuck Klosterman book I’m reading which is titled X. It’s his 10th book and there isn’t much new material, but mostly a re-publishing of articles that may not have been found in his books, but in magazines like GQ and the New York Times. It’s light reading and I’m breezing through it, but the themes of his interviews and opinions are similar. He is very aware of the “truth” and how self perceptive the people he is writing about are.

One takeaway is that the people who are successful are themselves and not trying to be someone else. The odd part about this to consider is “what if you aren’t that talented?” What if being yourself just sucks? He’s interviewing Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Halen, Taylor Swift, and Tom Brady. These people can be themselves because they are so talented. For instance, Taylor Swift told how her record label tried to convince her to stick with country instead of going with a pop album. She trusted her instincts and did it the way she wanted and the rest is history. Do you know how many people have horrible instincts?

Here’s another a 2017 example of a person who is “being themselves” and it’s going to go horribly. Mckayla Maroney making music.

You were an Olympic gymnast, not a singer. I’d give her chance of success about .1% of going in a positive directiion. I’ll give her a lot of credit for trying, and I’ve never heard her sing before, but my inclination is that if she didn’t know she was a singer early on in her life, she didn’t just become one. She’s being true to herself, at least she thinks she is, but she’s heading in a wrong direction. Then again, whose to say it’s wrong? Rnningfool?

I’m sure I’ll be posting a lot more about what I’ve been reading because I’m always fascinated by Klosterman. I like him because he is an expert in sports and music which I tend to think I enjoy. He’s also way smarter than I’ll ever be and interviews the cream of the crop. If I could name a person I’d like to hang out with at a bar, he’d be one. I imagine it would end poorly as he’d realize I’m about a 2 on the intellectual scale and I get the feeling he’d be saying, “do you understand” a lot.

Hint: The capitalization of his name

By | 2017-07-10T10:35:40+00:00 July 10th, 2017|Books|0 Comments

Taking Recommendations

A photoshop creation where I should have quit before I started.

I’ve eaten about 7 Chips Ahoy cookies today because I bought some whole milk at the store. What I like to do is stuff the whole cookie in my mouth, take a swig of milk, and it’s fantastically tasty. I don’t normally eat junk food but I’m making an exception because I hardly drank much alcohol this weekend (compared to last weekend) and didn’t get out of line. I exercised both days and will feel good starting the week. This was my intent.

I imagine most of you, ok none of you, read the other blog Sam has on his blogroll. It’s his friend from college and he writes more like an academic than a human being, but that’s coming from me, you can judge for yourself. He created a post that listed books that he’s read and recommended. In my sobriety, I decided to read one of the suggestions titled a Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (this got a please read this book).

It read it on my Kindle, so I’m not exactly certain how long it was, but I think I saw 617 pages online. Amount of pages means nothing because of font size but I started the book on Wednesday and finished it an hour ago. There were 9 chapters and I’d estimate each one took about and hour and half to finish. It’s about 12-15 hours of your time to read.

Before I go into the book, I haven’t read a fiction novel in quite some time. I’ve been bouncing between hobbies, TV series, and movies so reading was a welcomed change.

This guy was based off of Owen Meany. Know who?

My book review of A Prayer for Owen Meany is that it definitely elicits emotion. I found myself laughing at some absurdity of the characters, genuine laughter, and the end is a tear jerker even though you know what happens throughout. It was the right amount of religious talk combined with the current affairs of the Vietnam war not to put me off. I don’t mind reading opinions of religion and fate as long as it’s not forced down my throat. I was a big fan of the way “the shot” came together at the end. I’d give the book an 8/10 for its entertaining style throughout. Owen a 10/10 as a character.

As my title is plural, I also watched the Abyss on Brookes comment of, “you haven’t seen the Abyss?” Brookes and I have varying tastes on movies so I always like to see what he loves and then see if they fit my mold. Most often they don’t, but I think it’s more fun that way. Onward to the Abyss

Not a knock against the movie but one of my least favorite characters of all time is Gina from Scarface. How stupid can you be to let Tony stake your beauty salon? She was also Vincent’s GF in the Color of Money who I also wasn’t a fan of so I have notable disdain for Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. She also annoyed me in The Abyss. Fortunately she was saved by Ed Harris who is a cool actor in general.

The Abyss is a movie about a psycho navy seal who is hell bent on rescuing, or setting off a nuclear war head, so the Russians can’t get it. This nuclear war head happened to be on a submarine that crashed, and I’m not sure here, by some magic. In order to get the war head from the submarine, the Navy had to aboard this gas drilling company’s rig deep in the ocean. Some stuff happens on the ship with people dying and the Seal getting increasingly nervous. Lindsey (Gina from Scarface) sees some more magic, then a bizarre battle of submarine controlled ships takes place, the war head floats to the bottom of some trench, Ed Harris becomes Jesus Christ and Saves Lindsey from certain death, and then Ed Harris breathes water in order to float to the bottom to disarm the warhead. A wildly odd happy ending occurs when the magic saves the day.

I read a bit about it and the footage they got and what they put the cast through was intense. The scenes were amazingly shot, especially the under water ones. James Cameron ahead of his time obviously. The ending was a bit hokey and that kind of ruined it for me. It was entertaining but nothing to write home about. Sorry Brookes. 6/10.

THE ABYSS, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Ed Harris, 1989, TM & (c) 20th Century Fox

 

 

By | 2017-03-26T20:42:35+00:00 March 26th, 2017|Books, Movies|2 Comments

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

thegirlonthetrainThis book was released on February 1st, 2015. It’s a 336 page work of fiction that I read in 2 days (~6 hours) because I enjoyed it that much. I was enthralled thorugh 90% of it and was disappointed by the end. I thought I had it figured out at 71% but this book twists and turns.

It follows an alcoholic named Rachel whose life is a mess. She rides a train and gets herself involved in other people’s lives from what she sees on the train. She gets black out drunk one night and visits her ex-husband and a major event occurs which she spends the rest of the novel piecing together. The author must have been an alcoholic because she is pinpoint on Rachel’s character and what alcoholics go through.

gilronatrainThe story unfolds with more details told by date (and time of day) which was initially confusing but you get used to.  There are 3 characters who tell the story from their perspective which was a neat way of understanding how each character perceives their world. The book definitely kept you guessing which is why I enjoyed it.  It is also being made into a movie so if you don’t read it, you’ll hear about it.

By | 2016-11-08T10:00:40+00:00 June 10th, 2015|Books|1 Comment

Hunger Game Hype?

Let me begin this post by writing that I have read all the books in the trilogy. The first book is an 8/10. It’s a quick, easy read and its pace is the best thing about it. Meaning that you want to continue reading and the book only takes 5-10 hours to read. The characters are very minimally developed. You get a feeling for who they are and what they are about but there isn’t any significant description into the characters. A complete far off example to explain this point. I am reading the Fountainhead by Ayn Rand and each of the characters represents something whether it be individualism, capitalism, or communism and they all speak like they are thinking about that underlying theme. I know I’m comparing a literary masterpiece to a young adult novel but I think that has to put the Hunger Games in perspective. The idea behind the Hunger Games is interesting and well told and the ups and downs of Katniss is exciting. Like I wrote, it makes you want to keep reading to find out the ending. However, that’s where the good times end.

Aside from the fact that I thought the ending of the first Hunger Games was stupid, books 2 and 3 are horrid. Seriously awful. The 2nd book is a lame remake of the first and the 3rd is just bottom line boring. I never FELT anything for the characters. I didn’t care if Katniss chose Peeta or Gale. The pages kept turning but the feelings stopped. The first book had me wondering if Katniss would make it through the games or what twist was at the end, whereas books 2 and 3 lost the emotion. So I understand the hype over the movie and all but this is not a glorious series. It has one decent book followed by 2 stinkers. This is way, way too hyped up.

By | 2016-11-03T15:32:44+00:00 March 23rd, 2012|Books|0 Comments

Saturday Review – Hunger Games

Let’s just assume I posted this yesterday. I read the book the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and I want to share my thoughts on it because I’m sure a lot of people have read it years ago. It was published in 2008 but with a movie coming out in the near future, it is in the headlines. I like to keep up with our current culture so I figured I’d read it. I finished it in about 4 days and it’s a pretty quick, easy, fun read. There aren’t too many characters to concentrate on and the story really moves. Catniss is an interesting main character and I thought the first person viewpoint was ideal throughout the book. I wouldn’t say this is the best book on the planet but if you have a few days with nothing to do, it’s an enjoyable read. I did think the ending of the games was pretty bizarre with the mutts and Cato.

By | 2016-11-03T15:18:26+00:00 January 22nd, 2012|Books|2 Comments

Klosterman’s “Killing Yourself to Live”

I read the Klosterman book “Killing Yourself to Live” in a day and took a few thoughts away from it. I’ll reference some parts and than I’ll give my own thoughts. I think this post will be interesting because most people will never read a book, but some people will feel forced to read this entry because they are bored. The book is about Klosterman taking a road trip to famous musicians places of death. There is also a lot of discussion about Chuck’s love life which I don’t find as amusing but still fun to read.

I’ve had a theory that life on earth is purgatory, because life on earth seems to have all the purgatorial qualities that were once described to me by nuns… Sometimes I think that the amount of time you live on earth is just an inverse reflection of how good you were in a previous existence; for example, infants who die from SIDS were actually great people when they were alive “for real, so they get to go to heaven after a mere 5 weeks in purgatory.
Purgatory is a state or place in which the souls of those who have died in a state of grace are believed to undergo a limited amount of suffering to expiate their venial sins and become purified of the remaining effects of mortal sin. His theory is saying we are all dead and are lucky to “die” to get out of purgatory. It doesn’t really make any sense though because if you take care of your body you are prolonging your life, thus being healthy is actually bad for you and vice versa. I just thought it was interesting.

What Nixon loved was that Kissinger always knew what to do without being told; this struck me as one of the most insightful definitions of true intelligence I’d ever heard. I really like this as well. I know a lot of people who are “smart” but they need to be told how to be smart. Engineers have the stereotype of being smart people but they have no common sense. You need to tell them what to do or else they aren’t effective. They are smart at what they know, but it’s not true intelligence. Smart people figure things out for themselves and do it themselves. Relying on others isn’t really smart, it’s just leeching.

Lucy Chance once told me an anecdote about schizophrenia. There is a particular hypothetical question physicians ask patients they suspect to be suffering from this particular ailment: ‘A man and a woman are married for 10 years. The husband suddenly dies. At the funeral, the widow meets another man and deeply enjoys his conversation. They talk for two hours, and it’s exciting and reassuring. The following week, this same woman murders her own sister. Why do you think she committed this act of violence?’ Now, if you ask a normal person this question, they’ll usually theorize that the widow was talking to her sister’s husband, and that she committed murder out of desperation and loneliness. However, schizophrenics (supposedly) provide a specific (and very disturbing) answer to this query with remarkable consistency; they inevitably say, ‘Well, she obviously wanted to have another funeral, because that same guy will probably show up again.’ I thought this was funny because it says “a normal person will usually theorize…” and after I read the first half, I couldn’t think of any possible reason.

“Don’t you understand that when people say a party is starting a 9:00, they actually mean the guests are supposed to come at 10? That’s just common sense.” I will never buy that logic. In America, parties that are supposed to start at 9pm actually start at 10 pm. However, rock concerts that are supposed to start at 9:00 pm actually start at 9:45. Movies that are scheduled for 9pm don’t begin until 9:09. Sporting events set for 9:00 pm begin at 9:05. However, television shows that are set for 9pm do start at 9pm, unless they’re being broadcast on TBS. (written in 2003) I thought this was pretty funny because it’s true. I don’t really get it either. I’m just a punctual person and his description is exactly what happens and it really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Just comical.

“People never show you what they’re truly like until you see them go ape-shit.” This was a hilarious passage he was having with a guy who purposely pissed his future wife off just to see her go nuts. I really haven’t seen too many people go completely ape shit but when someone is getting way too mad about something, it does show a different side to their personality. I can’t even think back to the last time I went truly ape-shit. I wasn’t very happy when I asked for a sesame seed bagel and got a plain, but that probably didn’t count.

If you buy this book because of this post, comment and let me know. I expect 0 comments.

By | 2016-11-03T15:16:45+00:00 September 19th, 2011|Books|0 Comments

Klosterman Question from IV

You are placed in the unenviable position of having to compete for the right to stay alive. You will be matched against a person of your own gender in a series of five events – an 800 meter run, a game of Scrabble, a three round boxing match, a debate over the legalization of late term abortion (scored and officiated by reputable collegiate judge), and the math portion of the SAT.

In order to survive, you must win at least three of these events (your opponent will be playing for his or her life as well). However, you (kind of) get to pick you opponent: you can either (a) compete against a person selected at random, or (b) you can compete against someone who is exactly like you. If selected at random, the individual could be of any age or skill level – he/she might be an infant with Down syndrome, but he/she might also be an Academic All-American linebacker from Notre Dame. IF you pick “the average human,” he/she will be precisely your age and will have an identical level of eduction, and the person will be a perfect cross-section of your particular demographic – he/she will be of average height and of average weight, with a standard IQ and the most normative life experience imaginable.

So whom do you select? Or – perhaps more accurately – do you feel that you are better than an average version of yourself?

It’s very tempting to pick at random. Personally, I have a decent mix in these particular events. In the 800, I’d expect to beat almost all randoms. I’d probably lose in Scrabble but that might be giving a lot of credit to the tards in our society. I’d think I’d do pretty well in a fight against a random person because I have endurance and a better build than most. I’d basically concede the debate even if it’s against a child. My math is pretty good and better than most but certainly beatable. When I weigh this all together I feel like I have an edge against a random but if I get match up against a hybrid of Dan O’Brien and Professor Emmett Brown, I’m toast. Is that worth the risk of going against an average human?

Yes, I’d obviously pick the average human. Not many average 6 ft 170 pound people are beating me in a half mile race. The scrabble would be a toss up because I don’t play. I have to think I’m winning most fights against Joe Blow. The debate could go either way as I’m not completely inept but my feelings on abortion don’t come to mind often. So that leaves me with 2 wins, 2 either ways and my Math SAT was 640 or so back in the day. I’m sure I’d probably get a 500 now which would leave me teetering. Two sure things and 3 toss ups give me a 3 shots at a 50/50. The chance of me losing 3 coin flips in a row is (1/2)*(1/2)*(1/2)= 1/8 or 12.25%. I think that’s right (if it’s wrong my math would probably get lower) so I should have a 87.75 success rate against an average bro. The chance of getting a random superstar is probably pretty slim too but betting my life against that just doesn’t seem smart. I’m going random. What about you?

By | 2016-11-03T15:26:26+00:00 August 15th, 2011|Books|1 Comment

Chuck Klosterman’s 23 Questions – #8

8. You meet the perfect person. Romantically, this person is ideal: You find them physically attractive, intellectually stimulating, consistently funny, and deeply compassionate. However, they have one quirk: This individual is obsessed with Jim Henson’s gothic puppet fantasy The Dark Crystal. Beyond watching it on DVD at least once a month, he/she peppers casual conversation with Dark Crystal references, uses Dark Crystal analogies to explain everyday events, and occasionally likes to talk intensely about the film’s “deeper philosophy.”

Would this be enough to stop you from marrying this individual?

I’m not sure how important it is that the movie is Dark Crystal because I haven’t seen it. I used Wikipedia and get an idea but it seems to be a darker version of Labyrinth created by Jim Henson of the muppets. It looks absurd and the puppets seem laughable, Neverending Story type characters. Instead of Dark Crystal I’m just going to substitute “a movie that probably isn’t very good but has a cult following and appeals to some but not all.”

This would 100% get on my nerves. I’ve already wrote in a previous post that I think finding a perfect person isn’t really impossible and there are many fish in the sea. Now, someone constantly relating to a movie that I considered good is one thing, but I have a feeling that a Dark Crystal type movie isn’t going to be up my alley and this one little quirk would make me eventually hate the person. I sort of feel like I could make an analogy to me constantly quoting Step Brothers for a phase of my life. I would think a person would get annoyed with me and just eventually deliver an ultimatum. It bothers me when CK4 keeps saying “to be candid.” You don’t have to preface your sentences by telling me you are going to be honest because what about all the sentences when you don’t say that. It’s just something that your brain is triggering because you can’t think of something better to say. So if that one tiny point gets on my nerves, I can only imagine how tired I would get about someone referring to the Dark Crystal. I feel like I should probably watch this movie before I really can make a good answer to this.

On the flip side, I would like to think that I can overlook a person’s “flaw” if everything else about them is perfect. To be candid, I could probably do this without much problem. If they were going to be attractive, smart, funny, not a bitch, and we got along fine, I really think I could get past this tiny obsession with a movie. I would think in the back of my head “how on Earth is everything able to relate to this movie,” but a deal breaker, all things considered, probably not.

By | 2016-11-03T15:28:46+00:00 May 23rd, 2011|Books|2 Comments

Chuck Klosterman’s 23 Questions – #7

7. Defying all expectation, a group of Scottish marine biologists capture a live Loch Ness Monster. In an almost unbelievable coincidence, a bear hunter in the Pacific Northwest shoots a Sasquatch in the thigh, thereby allowing zoologists to take the furry monster into captivity. These events happen on the same afternoon. That evening, the president announces he may have thyroid cancer and will undergo a biopsy later that week.

You are the front page editor of The New York Times: What do you play as the biggest story?

I don’t just answer these questions like a tard and say the Loch Ness Monster because it would be the hardest to catch or the Sasquatch because of it’s rarity. I try to think why is Klosterman asking the question. I wonder if the order of events have anything to do with the question. Meaning, that since the first two happened earlier in the day, I wonder if there would be any work already done making it difficult to switch the first page story which would be a hassle. Assuming it doesn’t matter, I think the question tries to gauge how much importance you put on political matters. The President having cancer seems like a front page story in my mind and I really don’t care that much about politics. You’d think the health of the most powerful country’s, most powerful person would be a bigger story then a Sasquatch being captured. The legacy of both beasts though is pretty substantial but not getting on my front page if the President has cancer.

By | 2016-11-03T15:28:39+00:00 May 22nd, 2011|Books|1 Comment

Chuck Klosterman’s Questions – Question 6

With 0 serious feedback, onward we go. Question 6.

6. At long last, someone invents “the dream VCR.” This machine allows you to tape an entire evening’s worth of your own dreams, which you can then watch at your leisure. However, the inventor of the dream VCR will only allow you to use this device if you agree to a strange caveat: When you watch your dreams, you must do so with your family and your closest friends in the same room. They get to watch your dreams along with you. And if you don’t agree to this, you can’t use the dream VCR.

Would you still do this?

There’s no way I would do this. I have had some really funky, perverted, cruel dreams. If people knew what my sub-conscious thought of sometimes, you’d look at me like a complete nut job. I’m pretty much an open book with this blog and I share mostly everything but some of my dreams are pretty far out there. I know it’s just a dream but I think there may be some inner truths found in dreams that can possibly come out that I just would rather not share with people. Everything is really a matter of perception and how you perceive me is how I am in your eyes. You perception if formed by how the way I control how I act. Now if you saw my dreams, you’d perceive me from a view that I wasn’t controlling and that could get ugly. Plus I don’t hold dreams as full truths which would be totally misleading.

By | 2016-11-03T15:28:31+00:00 May 19th, 2011|Books|4 Comments