Thursday, November 19, 2009
and see this pining all transforming
into the arms of the Georgia sun
I'd love to feel the heat the sunrise
Brushing rays across my windshield as if one dries
the streams from off my face
Yet I know you'll be there cause you'll know I'll want you to be there
And we'll say hello as you're smiling in love
And we'll sigh so relieved I believe because we will both know by
tonight we'll feel normal again
But until then
Our backs supported by a hammock
we sum up perfection like a handbook
and God knows it all too well
We'll take a walk to find a gift shop
Who would've thought the book that you bought
would never come off the shelf
I spent my life wondering
Wondering when I'd find you
I searched for all these years and now you're right here
I need you to know that
Everything makes sense when you're with me
Walk out into the sultry evening
Cotton breathing when the sea winds
brush the hair down around your neck
You hold my hand like it's the first time
and all the feelings that our hearts find
will be just what we expect"
So Relient k released their new album "Forget and Not Slow Down". It is seriously one of my favorite albums of all time. I love the above song, and "Sahara" as well. I have been studying, but not as much as I should be, but still more than I'm entirely comfy with. 6th year is a busy year, which is why I haven't been blogging as much as I'd like. Not that it tires me, it just takes effort, I guess. But I enjoy it.
Up until five minutes ago, I thought that spinach tasted like soggy grass and believed deep down that the people who liked it were secretly part cow. Now I think I might like it.
When I read King Lear, I find I relate to Lear more than I am entirely comfortable with. We are reading it quite a lot. I think it's my favorite play. I hope I don't get totally screwed over by my daughters due to their evil (or my jerkishness?) someday.
I finished reading "We need to talk about Kevin".
I am all sorts of out of sorts, or am I?
I am on my way to a higher options conference in dark of night with google maps and my bike (yet to be named) as my only companion. Wish me luck!
I am doing ok.
People were pretty miffed last night about the whole hand ball thing. Which is quite understandable. That ref is kinda suspiciously obstinate.
You are reading this (I can't see a way that sentence could be false! Unless someone was reading it to you, but I have no idea if that would still count as reading my blog).
This baaarely counts as a blog post. :P
"i am too panadol stoned for this conversation."- Laura F. -facebook comment.
What are you folk up to? Murder? Arson? Wedding plans?
Monday, October 26, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Watched some more Doctor Phil, and I noticed something! He has a facial tic. He closes his eyes from time to time with a noticeable force (Just in case any of you were thinking "That's blinking, Lorcan.), but what I like about that is that it doesn't make a difference. He never even brings it up, because it genuinely isn't important. One of the youth leaders at my youth group talks to kids at various schools about Jesus, but he has a stutter. I think that's really, really awesome. It's like, there's this thing that you'd think would hold you back, but once you actually look at it, there's no reason for it to, so they just went with it anyway.
I'm probably not being too coherent, I blame it on the illness. Bored out of my skull. I downloaded an emulator for a game I had when I was a kid. I'm uncertain whether or not this makes me a hypocrite. I mean, more than one usually would be. I'm anti-piracy, but then, I've always tended to follow my own ideas of what is fair rather than what the law would specifically state is acceptable. Then again, I have no idea about the law. I wish you could just google these things. You probably can, maybe I just haven't looked hard enough. At any rate, I owned the game as a child, we lost it, I can play it now, they've stopped selling it long ago, I don't see that as unfair. But call me out on it if you will. I beat it, anyway. It's called "Survival kids", and you play as a 10 year old boy or girl, shipwrecked on a desert island, with the goal to survive and eventually get off the island. This game has always tickled my fancy for various reasons. I mean, what 10 year old boy wouldn't dream of such an awesome scenario? Obviously without the whole fear of death and loneliness and stuff. Because you're ten. It's a good, fun game.
The idea of survival has always been a kinda fun scenario for me, I quite like the idea of self-sufficiency. Which can play to my pride when I mistakenly try to live without others' help. Which is silly and all.
"When I realize it
I’ve been playing through the same place
And I died at the same location after that
Never giving up, challenge against the disappearing stepping tiles
But soon only to fall off from it
If only I have the tools No.2
It’ll be easier to reach the other side but
No matter how many times, no matter how many times
I can’t defeat Airman
No matter how many times, I couldn’t dodge the tornado
Despite jumped behind and fire repeatedly
I got blown off eventually
I even tried rapid time firing
But it’s meaningless when I pit it against the tornado
So in order to win the next round
I can only reserve the E tank to the very last moment
When I realize it
I only left a little bit of life
And I use the E tank at the similar place
Never giving up
Not easy reaching Airman’s place
But I don’t have anymore credit
If only I have the leaf shield
It’d be easier to defeat Airman but
No matter how many times, no matter how many times
I can’t defeat Woodman
No matter how many times, I can’t dodge it
No matter keeping distance away and went behind
Eventually the distance will be shortened
I even tried rapid time firing
But it’s meaningless when I pit it against his agility
So in order to win the next round
I can only reserve the E tank to the very last moment
If only I have the tools No.2
It’ll be easier to reach the other side but
No matter how many times, no matter how many times
I can’t defeat Airman
No matter how many times, I couldn’t dodge the tornado
Despite jumped behind and fire repeatedly
I got blown off eventually
I even tried rapid time firing
But it’s meaningless when I pit it against the tornado
So in order to win the next round
I can only reserve the E tank to the very last moment" - Air Man ga Taosenai (Airman will not Die)
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I just watched TV today. I've noticed a sliding gradient of talk-TV shows. At the bottom, is Jerry Springer. You know, somebody's ho's been cheatin' on him, and dayyyumed if there ain't gonna be some big brawl in which half the noise is beeping and half the screen is full of securtiy.
Next on the list is Maury. At first, I fell for it's guise as a serious talk-TV show. But no. It is not. It is just Jerry Springer dressed up as intelligent. They still have secret paternity tests in which the drama is played out for maximum effect while we, the romans, get to chant and cheer while the proverbial lions of strife draw in for the kill. I actually turned it off at one point, I think there's a limit to how much of someone's personal life should be broadcast on international television. The subject was quite good though, I had quite an admiration for the guy in question. The man had decided that regardless of the results of the paternity test, he would stay with his significant other and her child. What I saw as impressive though was that she was only his fiancee. I mean really, he would be within rights to just up and leave, but he didn't. I admire that kind of commitment. When the woman found out, she ran off the stage, while the man reaffirmed his decision. As he held her in his arms offstage and told her how much he loved her, I couldn't help but realise that there was a camera crew surrounding them. It's kinda like: "Dude, give them a little bit of space?" Cripes. I can see why people freak out at the paparazzi like they do, I think having your worst moments filmed for people's interest is kinda messed up, needless to say enraging. I just switched the channel, with the slightest waft of shame for having watched Maury.
And then, at the top, is Doctor Phil. He's a classy guy, like a big loveable Texas teddy bear. Not to mention he reminds me of Nexus, who has earned the nickname "Dr. Phil" for his compassionate and caring nature. And that he likes to help people. I couldn't think of a decent adjective for that. At any rate, the topic of the day was commitment. And commitment-phobes. Interesting subject, not limited to just men, from the looks of it. It's a tricky fear, really. I think I'm a little young to be properly affected by it, or at least deal with it. But then, I could be wrong. I suppose the only fear I'd have is that if I got married it'd be to the wrong person and it'd all just fall apart or something. But luckily, I've got the redemptive love of Jesus in my life to give me a bit of a wake-up call and say: "Hey, I'd be there to help both of you work through any problems." I think when God left infidelity as the only excuse to get a divorce (And not even that, really, if you take what Jesus' said.) that that says a lot about marriage. That if God is present, two people can work through any problem together. Maybe I'm just showing some sort of naivete with that kind of talk, perhaps it's the truth, but in either case, I think he meant what he said, and that two people that had become joined wouldn't have to be caged to unhappiness for the rest of their lives. That fresh starts could be made, and love long dead could be resurrected. I think so, anyway. Is his arm too short?
And on to my last topic, of why God's way is the best way. On two counts. I think it's vital to marry someone that's a christian as well, otherwise I don't think one could expect God to work through them and with them if they'd really rather he didn't, or didn't believe at all. And another recurring theme in these stories was pre-marital sex. Which meant that the people had kids. And that, my friends, is trouble. Hahaha! Not kids, not kids! That came out wrong. But making difficult decisions about your relationship are made a lot more complicated when your decisions can deeply affect your offspring. On the one hand, having kids can keep you in the relationship, which can be good and bad, I suppose. You'll work at happiness a lot harder if it's the only option.
On the other hand, if you leave, you've just done a lot of damage to your kids, like it or not.
The last thing, I guess, is sex. Apparently the number one reason (or so says doctor Phil's cited research at least) that guys don't commit is because they can get sex regardless. Which isn't a very noble thought, in either case. I don't think you should marry just to get some nookie cookies. If that's your goal, you gotta re-evaluate some things. But I think your decisions will be a lot clearer and more objective if you're not up to your eyeballs in funky hormones. That, and the previously mentioned kids. I don't think any of those couples decided: "Well, I'm not ready to marry you, but what the hey, lets have some kids!". Birth controll is effective, but you can always get a Juno on your hands. I think abstinence just keeps things simple. But also probably a little dorky. But that's a small price to pay to avoid gettin' punched-up by yo' ho' on Jerry Springer and getting a headache from all the bleeping.
Maybe I just like saying "ho".
"Bros before hoes. Why? Because your bros are always there for you. They got your back after your ho rips your heart out for no good reason. And you were nothing but great to your ho, and you told her that she was the only ho for you. And that she was better than all the other hoes in the world. And then suddenly...she's not yo' ho no mo'." -Michael: The Office (US)
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
I am loath to fall prey to such fearfulness, but my brother had been feeling rather ill lately as well, and our good Doctor gave, in her professional opinion, a label of swine flu upon my brother. I really, really, really hope it's not swine flu. I'm fine with feeling like burning bacon fat for a few days, but I can't afford to miss a whole week of school! However, the growing ache in my stomach speaks a truth. I realised today that should I feel properly crap-tacular tomorrow, I will likely stay in for the rest of the week. Eugh. That would suck. But, such actions are necessary. I've watched one too many zombie movies to allow myself to become the guy who got bit but kept it to himself right up until the end where he turned and bit the protagonist's girlfriend. No sir. I am highly uncomfortable being by myself in a house for extended days at a time. I am going to have my brother take the modem to school in all likelihood of such an occurance. You do not leave a crack addict unsupervised for days at a time with heaping crack rock lying on the kitchen table, you do not leave Lorcan Murphy unsupervised for days at a time with an internet connection. It is just not done. But we shall burn that bridge as we come to it, in the words of a giant rat in a trenchcoat.
So here's what I've gotten up to today. I've been reading through "Inverloch", a comic by the same lady who does "The Phoenix Reqieum". It's a finished comic, so there shouldn't be the problem as detailed in my last post. I've got a flaming stomach cramp just now though, so I'm gonna cut it short.
This: Is quite pretty and fantasy-RPGish
This guy: Is pretty scary.
Aren't my days productive?
"And Rene Descartes/ was a drunken fart/ I drink therefore I am!" - Bruce's Philosophers Song": Monty Python
Monday, October 12, 2009
It is also long, with 485 comics in the archive. I am ashamed to say that I read through them all in a matter of an hour or two. My shame is because I have not appreciated the art. Really, truly, they are works of beauty. Which is what prompted my fury. If you are into webcomics, like myself, you have all eventually reached my current point. You begin a story, and find you enjoy it. Reading more. You grow an endearment to the characters. Reading more. The plot wraps its arms around you in an inescapable embrace of curiosity, reading more. You find you fall in love just a little bit with the world itself, reading more and more, becoming drunk with the sheer quantity of delicious fiction you are ingesting and then nothing. Stop. Halt. Comics update of mondays and thursdays. click to vote for top webcomic. Here's the forum. "NOOOOOO!!!" was my cry. It is a cruel fate for readers of webcomics, as if your latest novel was dropped off with the sunday paper. A literary booty-call. Just a one-night stand? But I find myself deeply in love with this comic, even if I can only see it unfold twice a week. I eagerly await thursday, my friends. I eagerly await.
New readers, start here!
"We have our own deity in Mishara, Professor. Magic is a myth, not part of our education. I can see the appeal though. It'd make being a doctor much easier." - Anya Katsukova, "The Phoenix Requiem, page 8"
One! "Rob and Elliot". Genuinely funny misadventures of two roommates. I realize I have just desrcibed about 99% of all webcomics ever, but this has more of a "machall" kinda feel to it. Funny, and light.
The other one is not funny. At all. I laughed about once, to be honest (at a white Nelson Mandela), but it is not a funny comic! It's about a gay guy with OCD. Which is a bit of an understatement. I will warn you, the first two pages are him and his boyfriend having sex. But it's not vulgar, honest! It charts the difficulties of the guy and his struggles with compulsions fears, and anxieties, and his stresses of dealing with other people. You feel kinda bad for him while reading it, mental illness is always horrible. I guess we all have our worries and fears, it's just difficult to see when people can't deal with it for medical reasons. Another thing about it is the depiction of his relationship with his boyfriend. I suppose there aren't too many examples of such relationships in the media, so it's good to see what they're like in reality, I think.
I suppose it is difficult though. If you've read Leviticus, you know God's stance on such relationships, and that God considers them to not be how he planned us humans to get along. But when you see that two people genuinely love each other, and even seem to show it more than some heterosexual relationships, what exactly is there to say? Complicated subject indeed. We discussed it in relatively large length at my youth group's weekend away. Inconclusive answers for the most part. One can conclude that being involved in a sexual relationship with someone of the same gender is not as God intended is about all you can really say. And "in the old testament" to be added, for further uncertainty. We are all aware it is not a choice. But with evidence to show that it is both something that you are born with, what are we supposed to say? We were posed with the question: "Is that fair?" and the only thing I could think of is "It isn't fair." I suppose why so many people become homophobic and hateful is because it's a complicated subject. It's easy to just say "it's their fault, they're responsible, it's bad!" and then staunchly stay to your own side without fail, certain that you are right. But when you look at the facts, there isn't anything to hold against them. Complicated, complicated, complicated. But there are some facts that each of us do know, as Christians. We cannot judge. We must love. God loves each of us equally. We are all equally sinful. And that's the facts I aim to stick to, above all else in such matters.
Well, that went about five miles off topic, here's the comic anyway! It's a deep little ditty by the name of: "I'm Crazy"
"Man, I'm hungry like nobody's business!"
"Well, when was the last time you ate?"
"I SAID IT WAS NOBODY'S BUSINESS!" - Rob and Elliot, "Rob and Elliot"
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
At any rate, the talk for the first meeting is all written up, and I am both eager and relaxed, which is a comforting change. I've done stuff like this a few times now, so the jitters of speaking to a bunch of people and saying: "Ok, so I did some digging in the word, and now please listen to what God hopefully says through me.". And experience gives the comfort that they're not going to chuck me through the B floor window. At least, they haven't this far. I'm exited for this year though. The kind and nifty Jonny Somerville is "getting some heads together" for a panel of questions about faith and whatnot for January, and it's not in vain when I say "Thank God!" That the teachers are really willing to get up to their elbows involved in the work this year Nicoley and I are both in 6th year, so we'll need them about when mocks and the inevitable Summer Quiz comes lumbering towards us.
The thing that troubles me though is people attending. Not just about CU, but the communities of faith I'm involved in at the moment. The kids club I help out at on fridays is at an all-time low of kids, and those that do come are mostly at their parents' enforcement, and those that do come tend to be more interested in yelling and grabbing as much notice as possible rather than listening to what we put together for them. Which sounds like "Children aren't serious all the time, ka-gasp!" But, seriously, they're looking to close the thing down. Which would leave me out of a job for friday evenings. And sure, it's volunteer work, but I've got kids to feed! Fictional or no, they still need to be fed. My current youth club too, has seen a drop in attendees. I heard from someone recently that youth workers are on the decline, that youth interest in Christianity wanes and waxes, and the jobs associated with that rise and fall as well.
That kinda frightens me. I've witnessed apostasy in friends before, and if honest-to-goodness scares the pants off of me. Was this all a trend? Was eternity just for a weekend? Scares me to death. The concept of apathy gradually working its way around your neck and applying pressure newton by newton until your faith's last breath leaves your body with a shuddering, silent whisper. Of course, many such deaths witness resurrections from the almighty, but still, whenever I see someone close the door on their faith, whether with a resounding slam or a faint click, I cannot help but wonder: "Will that be me someday?" Luckily, unlike most of my others, such a fear does not warrant worry, to me at least. Despite being the thing I fear most.
However, I am aware of my own hypocrisy. I am secretly a master of not showing up. I may be involved in various groups of believers here and there, but I know, deep down, I am well practiced at hitting the "Busy" button when God comes calling. I know this is something everyone struggles with though, so I'm fairly certain nobody's going to leave a comment saying: "Goodness Lorcan, you horrible sinner, I've never skipped out on spending time with God once!" And if you do post that comment, please include someplace we can meet up, because you need to teach me your secret! However, I'm aware that a checklist faith of "Pray for 15 minutes, read your bible, Christianity ticked off for today!" isn't good either. Tricky, all the same.
At the time of this writing, we had CU yesterday, and unfortunately about only 3 people made it, which was kinda discouraging. My lovely youth leader Jonathan gave me a call later on in the afternoon to check how it went though, and was very kind! He showed empathy and sympathy, and what's more, encouragement. He's a nice guy, that Jonathan. Welp, that's all I've really got to say for today.
Oh! Wait! I also had a Netherlandese person controlling my computer yesterday to help set up a video game client. Risky move? Undoubtedly. However, it seemed to have to have had no adverse effects on my system, besides a grinding horror at watching my mouse move around and do things of it's own free will. It rendered me with the niggling feeling like my computer was about to burst forth legs and arms, and out of the arms, saws, to rend me and my brother to pieces. Fortunately, no such slaughter occurred. It's crazy how much you can learn about someone just from rifling through their PC, it took the Rob (the techie in question) about five minutes to find out my address, video game preferences, and even who I am currently romantically involved with.
It was interesting, really, me, him, my brother, and another friend or two of his from the Netherlands were all talking while said Dutchman set up my videogame client. And in the fashion of young men acquainted with the internet, the conversation quickly turned to "hey, let's see where this bloke hides the porn!" It was a little shocking even to my own ears to say: "There's none. Search if you don't believe me, you won't find anything." Of course, the dude didn't believe me, and regaled me with tales of the last dude who made that claim, and the approximately 2.4 seconds it took for it to be proven false. I felt a sense of calm and removed peace to be able to be completely at ease as the guy rifled through my computer to set up the client, certain beyond a doubt that I had absolutely nothing to hide from him or anyone. I think we must be doing something right as followers of Jesus when the claims we make (In truth, mind you), are so fantastic and grand that people just don't believe us when they hear them.
Okay, maybe I was just a little ashamed about the fact I was over level 100 on mafia wars, but that's it! :P
"Why don't you stand up? Be a man about it? Fight with your bare hands about it now?" - Paramore: For a Pessimist, I'm Pretty Optimistic
Monday, October 5, 2009
Bleh. Like the shawshank redemption, there was word passed out today by none other than the teacher himself that one of our fellow runners had indeed escaped to greener pastures. And by greener pastures, I mean Table Tennis. Yes, Table Tennis, the Valhalla of Games options, where one can play one of the sporting worlds' silliest sports, dilly-dally about, or just do homework, while chatting amiably with friends, and for all I can conceive, sipping martinis. Alas, my friends Nicole and Brian already attend such a fabled option, and I am frequently taunted by their superior fortunes. So this is Lorcan Murphy with his rockhammer, desperately hoping he can get out to the Se Wateneo of table tennis. I need Nicole and Brian, they are the kinda folk who can get things, from time to time.
In different news, I am going to see Paramore in december, and am currently working my way into a liking of the band, which is easy-going. I'm thinking I'm gonna buy "All we know is falling" and "Riot!" thus far. I like the lyrics. Paramore seem like a pretty genuine band as far as I can tell, and that endears me to them. Honesty in their lyrics of equal portions trouble and mirth. Good listening.
I am not, however, going to buy "The Final Riot!", I do not think. It's "Riot!" But live. The latter part of the album is pretty freakin' sweet, but the first half is heavy-laden with concert speak, which has always rubbed me a the wrong way. Perhaps it is my ancient distaste for worship leaders who whip their congregations into a frenzy simply for the sake of a frenzy spilling over into a more secular setting. But all the same, when someone tells me to put my hands in the air, and encourage me to exclaim that I was "born for this", I am more likely to fold them over in reluctance and ask for an explanation of what exactly "this" is, before I devote my whole existence to whatever it is. Who knows, sweet and lovely Haley could secretly be talking about crack for all I know. It's happened before. I thought "Coin Operated Boy" was the most bittersweet song about impersonal sex while craving a deeper loving relationship, and boy, was I wrong. Insofar as the main object of the song's focus flew over my head like an airplane, leaving only an echo in it's wake, for me to flippantly look up and question: "Did anyone just hear something?". I am not one for casual declarations, I suppose. But that all said, I am loving their music.
"I put my faith in you so much faith, and then you, just threw it away." - Paramore "For a Pessimist, I'm Pretty Optimistic" (no emotional relevance, I just like that line in the song :P)
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Today, I have tried to live life more fully. So far, I have accidentally worn my underwear backwards all day, seen a small boy high on dentistry painkillers (who is now the face of a new charity, and seen Pee Wee Herman talk about crack. If that's not life to the full, I don't know what is!
Also, that dad is some kinda crazy mix of awesome, hilarious, and cruel for uploading that video! When dear David grows up, I doubt that teen Dave will have many kind words to say about becoming an internet phenomenon.
"Is this real?" "Is this gonna be forever?" - Aforementioned David.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Today was effectively "sprint day". Which was pretty lame. We did a warmup run of effectively the whole school, and then began just sprinting up and down the pitch. Sure, it was dressed up in various forms, but at the end of the day it was: "Run very quickly over here, and then back. Repeatedly, now!" Never before have I felt more like vomiting due to sport. We even did the aptly named "Suicides", which is just sprinting up and down a rugby pitch. And then our school's photographer, Mr. P, came to take photographs for the school newsletter. I was lagging behind in the group, and he kindly said:
"You look like a man who's having a good time there, Lorcan!"
"I think I'm going to puke. They did not mention this on the games options sheet. I was not informed!"
I am not sure if he took my photo or not. I am in two camps about my sweaty, nauseous, exhausted visage showing up in the school newsletter. Perhaps some will look upon it as a violation of human rights and bring down our current teacher to enforce levels of exercise that could be described as "Sane". On the other hand, I'm sure I really did look like crap. So that's not great.
I feel I could bring up my resistance to this scheme for religious reasons, for as it was written in first Corinthians 9:24:
"24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize."
And forsooth, as it was also written in Ephesians 6:13:
"13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."
So perhaps some sort of argument could be struck that I was not running the race in such a way that would allow me to, after having done everything, to be physically able to stand. All it would involve is some relative misquoting, come on!
The teacher is a relatively nice guy, don't get me wrong, he's a classy English guy who acts like a classy English guy to levels reaching Alan Partridge awkwardness, but the dude seems to have a borderline cruel streak when it comes to running. I understand his enthusiasm as a dude who does laps around the school pitches just for fun, but seriously, dude needs to realize that we're not all "athletes". And no matter what, never ever introduce a more challenging style of running with the phrase: "New regime." All anyone thinks of are Nazis. It's 6.6 miles next week, so if I come back reporting vomiting or profuse weeping, be not surprised.
I prefer a much more relaxed pace, I've never been much good at sprints. My skill lies not in power, but more endurance. I long for sturdiness and reliability over flash and bang. Steady minimum over unstable maximum. Short sentences over elaboration. :P Though of course like any other carbon-based life-form like us, I both long for and enjoy the peaks and valleys. Perhaps I simply choose to avoid them more often. But all things in moderation, including moderation, I suppose. I am in need of learning how to "chillax", as the kool kids say. I have found riding a flatter, unwavering line of existance not to be as satisfying as I once thought it would be. Don't worry though, I'm not going to go try crack or anything! XD
But enough of that for now. People need to stay open later, it was seriously irritating to find that both the barber and the banks were closed today. I never got that about banks. Open at 9, finish at four, never open on weekends. What is up with that? I'm not saying that the workers should be whipped to exhaustion, but seriously, just, I dunno, hire some new guys? Nobody else seems to have a problem with it. People's free time and the times banks are open seem to be two separated Venn diagrams. Never understood that.
Mal: I had a good day.
Simon: You had the Alliance on you, criminals and savages... half the people on the ship have been shot or wounded including yourself, and you're harboring known fugitives.
Mal: We're still flying.
Simon: That's not much.
Mal: It's enough.
-Closing of "Serenity", the pilot of "Firefly".
Sunday, September 27, 2009
I'm reading it, and it's pretty heavy stuff. Heavy like a heavy metal (In the chemical sense), where it can do bad things if it gets too deeply ingrained in your system. I find I can identify with most of the characters. That is, I find it easier to fear that I identify with the characters' shortcomings.
I can, unfortunately find myself in Eva's listlessness and blazze disposition with most things, in her continual dissatisfaction with life's events, in truth, I even have replicated her 10th birthday myself, building things up to impossible heights and then being disappointed even with the grandest heights. I fear for winding up like her, perpetually cranky, always withholding some snide comment like an unrejected poison. But luckily, I can relish the moments where I can step outside both myself and herself and find myself different from her complaints, and think: Cripes lady, chillax! And in those moments, I am comforted by that it is, for the most part, just a book. That once the shine is off the apple, it need not be a death sentence that the whole thing will rot entirely in a matter of time.
I find I relate with Franklin as well, to some extent. BECAUSE I'M AMERICAN, OF COURSE! Nah, though perhaps that might have something to do with it. He's got what could be considered lofty ideals and tends to be more in love with ideas and concepts than reality per se. Which could line up with me here and there, I suppose. But man, he can be a real douchebag to Eva sometimes, it's like: "Franklin, I have deep dissatisfaction with my life." "Take those feelings Eva, and cram them deep, deep down, and then never mention them again." His selfish attitudes are something I would fear to find within myself.
Kevin? Meh. I suppose I haven't read quite enough about him. But really, I don't relate well with him, at all. I have, in the past, had this fear that I could secretly be a crazy person. Well, proper crazy, not like, "I love to eat onions with pomegranate juice, isn't that crazy?" kind of crazy. Which I suppose, is why I did and did not read this book. I avoided it in case they described Kevin as "Enjoying video games, going to church, writing in his blog, surfing facebook, and also secretly being Lorcan." Then we would have a problem on our hands. But I kept a stiff upper lip, and decided to take this book, and perhaps any demons that reside within it, head on.
To my relief, from birth, given Eva's description, she might as well be named Rosemary. I had been told by Nicole that the book keeps a relatively neutral stance between nature/nurture, but seriously, His hobbies at 2 include all but "cackling maniacly and praying to Lucifer, father of lies." Perhaps I am simply not far enough in, at 4, he does seem more to be something of just a problem child. But at any rate, it is all ahead of me.
And if I may boast, I did figure out one of the major twists after only a few chapters :P
"I don like dat." - chilling words indeed.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
I remember your adblocker. That was really the last gasp of my surfing with you. I really did love it. Just a click or two, and suddenly I didn't need to be distracted by racy images on the Internet. I felt safe. But it's all fallen apart, Opera, it's all fallen apart. You can't stop imvu, you can't even hold back Evony! Evony, Opera, listen to what I'm saying! I'm sorry opera. I've just moved on. There's someone else. She's got a fiery disposition. And I'll be honest, she is a bit of a fox. I'm sorry Opera, but I've got to be honest with you. Firefox means what she says. When she says no to an ad, she means it, it isn't back immediately, and she can even stop any ad like it. For good. She can randomize pages. I don't know why you can't, maybe you've got some issues to work through. True, she doesn't have your speed dial, but that's something I'll have to live with, each browser is different. There's a lot I don't know about her, there's room for growth past where we hit the glass ceiling. Goodbye, Opera. I'm sorry, but I really think this is what is best for both of us. I... I'll see you around. Perhaps there is room for growth in the future, but, right now, this really just isn't... Goodbye.
"A good memory is not so good as a little ink" - Chinese proverb (which I will now quote whenever someone hassles me about writing on my arms :P)
Thursday, September 24, 2009
"I can repel a compliment with the best of them, karate blocking kind words back out into the atmosphere even as you try to share them about something I've done. But I treat the negative comments like P-Diddy at a night club. "Right this way sir. Here's the VIP section of my heart. Enjoy your stay." - "Prodigal Jon" - Stuff Christians Like
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
And the explanations. THE EXPLANATIONS. I don't know who wrote these things. I don't know if there is an interesting way to get these things across. But man, they have about two flavours: "No citations whatsoever" Where they basically say "So, this thing is great, because of A, B, and C." But they could be offering me Free ice cream day on Wednesday every week and I wouldn't know if it was really on the treaty or not. This applies for the opposition as well where they say the same thing, only with "lame" instead of "great". The second flavor is effectively, the Lisbon treaty. They like, took out a few sentences here and there, but you are effectively reading a considerably-sized novel about the history of the entire freakin' thing. Yes, I understand it's been around for a while, but at this stage it's just a toddler slamming the square cube into the star-shaped hole in his toy box. And for some reason every human being who explains it is always a 60 year old man with thick-rimmed glasses, grey hair, and a voice that could cure insomnia worldwide.
At the end of the day, it doesn't really make a difference what they say, because either it'll work or it wont. Hitler didn't start his campaign bragging about all the bombs that would be dropped on people's houses, and the Civil rights movement never knew that it would soar to the election of a black president. I see all these signs saying: "Lisbon: FOR JOBS" and then four feet down the road saying: "Lisbon: AGAINST JOBS". I suppose the real question is "Do you trust the EU?" And that is a very tricky question indeed. I think they need to break it up, have us vote on "Li" "Sb" and "On", so that you don't end up having to simultaneously secure human rights and screw over your foreign policy with your one vote.
What they need is a youtube video made by two amateurs rapping about what Lisbon means in underneath three minutes. At least one of whom must be black as per youtube's unwritten rule for all comedy groups.
"I'm not one to make political statements........... ........ ........ ..... ." - Jonathan Coulton -The President Song
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I'm trying to be more coherent in my blog posts as of late. I've heard that my blogs can be very difficult to understand and a little too rambly, which has put friends of mine off of reading it. Which makes sense to me. So I shall forgo the undistilled spewing forth of my thoughts like thick, black, crude oil, and try to create some fuel which is more useful, some food for thought that can be digested. So, calmly, I'm gonna try to go through one thought. This thought will be written about running 4.4 miles, but really it's going to be about a little more than that.
So, as I testified on Facebook some weeks ago, I had ran the 2.2 mile run our school offers during cross country periods. I had ran it without stopping to walk. And I was "Pretty well chuffed". This week, we were given the option to run it twice, and I decided to go for it. Lately, I have been trying to be more healthy as of late. I bike about 6/7 days a week for about 15 minutes, and as the fellow junior he-leaders of the 10-12's camp will testify to, I have been doing weights as well. As my friend Michael so eloquently put it: "You know what Lorcan? Being healthy is overrated. You're just going to live a lot longer, and then we're all going to die. And then you'll just be alive, and it'll be lame." I do love Mike! Being fit has always really been a bit of a bit of a point of contention for me.
Mostly for body image reasons. Which is something that guys aren't that well renowned for dealing with, but there you go. Ironically, not that I have problems with looking unfit. Indeed, I'm quite comfortable at leisure with what I have described as my "noodle arms". Some of the happiest periods of my life have taken place when I am incapable of doing more than one pull-up. I find it easy to have no problems with my appearance at my leisure when I am not making an effort. Because I really, truly believe the human body is a beautiful thing all by itself.
I mean, really. We are the most beautiful machines that we have ever known. Thinking about it, we are capable of so many, many things. Allow me to set a baseline. The baseline is the other 99.9999% of creation. Think pluto. Think barren, frigid nothingness in which not even bacteria can survive. Our bodies are absolutely saturated with muscles, able to move and curl, bend and twist, and what's more, exert a force on this world. Our bodies are so insanely complex that it takes years and years and years and years of study to really understand them. We have a system to take in energy to keep us going, a system to let us feel pain and receive feedback from our surroundings, a system to think and keep thinking and think about thinking and the past, present and future. I could go on and on and on, but I won't. I suppose I find us pretty darn impressive, is all.
The problem arises when tension comes into the equation. At total rest, I have no problem concentrating on this facet of our beauty in complexity. But when one starts trying to improve upon oneself, to try and put some ornaments on one's temple, it can get rather consuming. The trouble is the up and down. As one notices bodily improvements, it is natural to rejoice. But once you seek the ups, one can't help but notice the downs. Sure, you've lost weight, but what about that face? Sure, there's been an increase in muscle mass, but what about that stomach? It's always been a problem for me. In years past, I've just given up, because I don't like grey. I much prefer black or white. All-consuming Ferver, or total apathy. But now, I am trying to do what Rob Bell would describe as: "Living in the tension". Briefly explained, this means that instead of sitting in one camp or another, you do the harder, healthier part and try to seek balance rather than comfort. And that's what I'm trying to do. And you're all invited to the gun show! (Please note, if I am to ever go *BAM!* while putting on display any part of my body, it is my wish, being of sound mind and body that I am to be instantly brought to, and disposed of, in the nearest incinerator.)
So I've completely forgotten what I was going to say about running. Probably something about how nifty it is or something, I can't even remember. And no, I haven't forgotten that I'm supposed to finish my post about camp, I'm just choosing to deliberately ignore it!
"There's Luke, consuming American soil!" - Mantage.
Friday, September 4, 2009
I've taken to writing on my arms, dear Nicoley got me a nifty rub-on to-do list which I used this week in lieu of a homework journal. The trouble with it was, you couldn't rub things off the list once you had written them down due to the adhesive's effect on your skin, so I'm thinking of re-writing it with things to do that I'll never really finish ie: "Lorcan's to-do list: Pray for
Christian Union's going to be starting off in October. Yikes and not yikes, in some respects. Me and Nicoley are going to be running the asylum, which is actually pretty cool, but also a fair bit of responsibility. I tend to like some responsibility these days though. (Some). We've got most ideas sorted and whatnot so we're doing as little extra work as possible, it being 6th year and all. Still yet to settle on a day that suits most people and especially teachers. And CU leader's weekend away is happening in Ovoca next week, so that'll be pretty rad as well.
I'm heading over to Nexus' for this weekend, which is going to be fun! It's going to be Me, Phil, Damian, Jane, and Cat. So that's pretty rad. Holy crapola though, busy schedules, people! I think I am saying "pretty rad" too much. I am trying to improve my grammar, if only for the sake of my English grade this year. But it is trying work, like growing pains or kneading dough. All the same, Phil's should be good craic, with Metal gear solid 4 aplenty, friends, and, uh... Metal gear solid 4 aplenty!
Team fortress 2 has become a veritable touchstone of calmness for me, of late. I haven't actually played it this week though. Me, Mike, Damian, and Phil all have accounts on it now, after much request on my part, akin to Nicoley's hijacking of four friends to start blogs. But also akin to said hijacking, this has turned out well, we get together, join a team, lag out, backstab, yell, shoot, yell, and blast our way to victory and good times for all. I feel I am starting to develop a real sense of brotherhood with these 3 guys. A real, encouraging, and strong friendship, and that is really great for me. We occasionally half-joke about moving in together from time to time, which would be pretty rad were such a thing to actually develop, "Blue like Jazz" Style. We'd all be friends, then enemies, then hate each other, and then we'd all be closer than brothers by the end of it. Do I smell sitcom?
"Hooked into Machine/ Hooked into Machine/ Hooked into Machine/ I'm hooked into/ hooked into Machine." -Regina Spektor "Machine" (I've had it stuck in my head the past two days.)
Also, I am kinda getting into listening to the occasional bit of worship music. I have some German stuff, which makes me laugh and smile to myself because the only things I can understand are "Danke" and "Jesus".
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Today, I had to fix the two of them. New bike, and the Bonerattler, my mom's old bike, with no shocks. This was kinda tricky. Bicycle repair is one of those skills that I do so rarely that I must always work to recall it, yet frequent enough for me to still retain a sizable proportion of the information. It felt like what it was; maintenance. Like massaging a sore leg or trimming a beard, I felt like I was taking care of a part of myself. I think me trying to repair my bike is kind of like God repairing me. It takes a good bit of time to fix any one problem, and it'll eventually run into problems again, and it's ultimate physical end is death by wearing away, but with work, and in time, it can be a wonderful tool for it's purposes. I didn't mean to end the blog on a serious note, so I won't!
Phrases I thought or said while fixing the bike:
You stupid, stupid bike!
What's wrong? What's the matter?
Mr. Snail, did you eat my washer?
I find talking to whatever you're trying to fix is very good for maintaining patience. Turns out, the snail did eat my washer, the blasted thing crawled right over it, and when I picked him up, there it was attached to his slimy underside. Pretty interesting stuff. I set him down outside to let him on his merry way, and then accidentally stepped on him as I left the garage. It's a strange thing to accidentally end something's life. I mean, I'm not shedding any tears over it, but it's just uncanny that you can end something's existance without even noticing it, except perhaps for a helpless crunch beneath your feet.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
In the weeks and days running up to the camp, we had some get-togethers and barbecues, which was a pretty good idea on Andrew's part, his camps always have a real personal, bonding kinda feel to them. We did some videos (video) in preparation for the camp's theme: "Road Trip!". We made some signs, and then we finished it all off with a barbecue with some severely undercooked chicken. Blood gurgled up through the skin once you took a bite. I'd much rather have overcooked than undercooked. Eve would be at this camp, and we once dated, but I wasn't really as anxious about this situation as I would have thought I would have been.
Mise:"Ooooh, hey, can I have some gum?"
Eve:"NO! NEVER! YoubrokemyheartandIllneverforgiveyouforwhatyoud- Yeah, ok, here's some gum! :)"
She's a strange sort of lass. Really.
It is on these notes of day-to-day doldrums that this camp began on. No crowning achievements or sorrows to be brought with me, only my stumbling, continuous steps towards Christ and all he's about.
I forgot to bring my Aperture Laboratories Mug, I'm sad to say. We opened up with some Xbox and lazing around, which was good times for all, it's a real honor to see Nicole grow in her shmaaad xbox skillz, and a joy as always to be "That guy" who plays the game too much and wins most rounds. Campers soon arrived, and nicknames were in need of creation. Most everybody had a name picked out at this stage, but I was still flailing about trying to think of one. And then I thought of one. "Faceplant". You need a facebook account to follow that link, but I would reccomend following it, because it involves me landing on my face, which is good times for everyone, really. The trick is to jump, and roll. I remembered to jump. And then I landed on my face. And then it went on the internet. The next logical progression is that someone makes a dance remix out of it, but that hasn't happened yet (thankfully).
I was assigned to be a leader under the supervision of Ruben Tita, a good friend of mine who is usually a complete messer! I'd have to say he was probably the most "interesting" leader at that camp, so I was looking forward to working with him with eager hesitance, if that makes sense. I was assigned 3 kids who I've led before, from my church youth group that I help out at, as well as some new ones I hadn't met before. For once, I was actually pretty good at names, which is a marked improvement from this time last year when I had a notepad and went around writing people's names and general hairstyle and colour down in a notepad. Marked improvement.
Camp went well, I do actually quite enjoy leading of the children people, although it was really very tiring. I agreed with my group (whose names I memorized after about two days, I'm pleased to say! I like to think Jesus is giving me the skillz I need.) to get in the plunge pool with them in the morning (which would earn our team double points). But only if they went to sleep without staying up until three in the morning being loud and noisy and all it is that 10-12 year old children naturally do. This agreement lasted about half the week, before I just could not get myself up in the morning to do it. I think it was for the best though. I have a tendency to overwork myself in certain situations, and it really wasn't good for me. I felt like a canvas washed clean of it's painting, ready to have whatever scribblings my tired and doubt-ridden mind wished to scrawl.
And it is on those notes that I hit the mid point of the week, tired, stressed, and tired. I have this habit of usually worrying about things. That sounded redundant. Here is an example of how my mind works at it's worst.
Are you sitting on a chair? Ok. How long will that chair keep you up for? Sure, it's holding you up now, but for all you know, it could collapse at any second. You don't know everything there is to know about that chair. Quick! Get out and check it, try to make it better, even if only for your own peace of mind.
Said line of thinking troubles me in multiple aspects of life, from relationships to the future to myself, to who I want to be, to decisions, just loads of stuff, I guess. I don't like not knowing things, because then I'm afraid I'll do something wrong, and I don't like doing stuff wrong. So I get it in my head that if I think (worry) about it enough, I'll find the answers I'm looking for, and then I won't have to do anything wrong. Not very clever, but that's where I was at emotionally as the camp sat around the bonfire that evening, with group singing and good times for all (most).
"The leaders all act so differently. How am I supposed to know how I'm supposed to lead? What Am I supposed to do? I don't want to lead them astray."
*Everywhere we go-oh!*
*Everywhere we go-oh!*
"Eugh, what a freaking messed up concept to begin with, not knowing how to act. It's paralyzing. There's so many different people I could be, and I don't know who I want to be. Are some of them wrong?"
*people wanna know-oh!*
*people wanna know-oh!*
"Should I even be leading if I'm uncertain about these things?"
*Who we aaa-re!*
*Who we aaa-re!*"
"That kid's messing. If I punish him, he'll stop. If I reprimand him, he might also stop. If I leave him be, he might keep going or stop. If I encourage him, he'll continue. Should he stop? He's not hurting anybody. Yet. That could change, the messing could spread and get worse. What should I do? Please, someone else, do something. (Someone stopped him messing :P)"
*And where do we come from*
*And where do we come from*
"Oooh, hot chocolate"
*So we tell them*
*So we tell them*
"Just stare at the fire. 'What? No, I'm fine, thanks.'"
*We're from Ovoca!*
*We're from Ovoca!*
"I think I'd rather be anywhere than here right now. I just want to run away and come back sorted so I don't have to feel this way."
*Happy happy Ovoca!*
*Happy happy Ovoca!*
"I think I might cry."
*And if they can't hear us?*
*And if they can't hear us?*
"Don't run away. Stay here. It's hard, but you're of use. Just stick it out, things will get better. *sigh*"
Yes, I was not a very happy bunny that evening. I actually did end up just curling up under the stairs and crying that evening, which probably isn't a very pretty mental picture for people, but that's life! In fairness, I think it's safe to say that my plight was 3 parts actual problem and 2 parts tiredness, but all the same, that's how I felt at the time.
The next night was better. The next day went well, I started skipping plunge pool and excercise in favor of sleeping, to alleviate aforementioned tiredness. The day went as usual, until the evening, when me and Ruben had to put the kids to bed. We were pacing back and forth as usual, dishing out the occasional "Shh!" Where needed, And I sat down on one of unused beds for silent prayer and thought, which is all there really is to do in a dark room. I thought back to my youth, when I was just a kid. I remembered my first babysitter, Steven. He was a good guy. I remembered being at that age when even knowing one of "The big kids" was a tremendous privilege of trembling honor. Let alone having one take interest in you and joke and play games with you! Even in his free time, he always kept an eye out for me and my brother. At barbecues and other neighborhood gatherings of that kind, he'd make a note of coming and seeing how we were doing. I remembered asking him for tips on how to get past a tough level in Legend of Zelda, I even remembered what he smelt like. Which might sound strange, but to a young boy, even the smell of a human in transience from boy to man was something of wonder and intrigue.
And now, I was 18. I was in Steven's shoes. They were me. The leaders I met at my first 13-15's, I was them. In their place. In their power and ability and rank and privilege. Just by being me. Even though the kids were kinda crazy from time to time, I realized that I was now given the opportunity, the tremendous opportunity to be that force in these kids lives. A force of positivity, each interaction having the possibility to leave a mark on that child, good or bad. The power to be memorable to them, maybe even one day for them to look back in my position and see that cycle of growth and life. I was overwhelmed with joy and thankfulness to God for this, all of it. Joy at seeing how each of us leaders had this ability, thankfulness for being given such a truly amazing opportunity, and to be honest, a certain ease at realizing Steven probably didn't have his life sorted when he babysat us either. I just continually bowed and thanked God in my head for how this moment had touched my heart, it was a real eye-opener and heart-softener for me. Kids the next day commented on how I had been so sneaky, hiding between the beds. I rallied my courage and explained to them the situation of my thankfulness. The words I said left them contemplative, and I felt a certain triumph.
Many other things happened that week, but this is the bulk of them. And I think if I dragged this post out any longer, it'd reach the sun. There's my first week.
Friday, August 7, 2009
"G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" has about all the subtlety and attraction of an explosion in tight-fitting spandex. That's not really much of a metaphor either, because about half of the movie is either an explosion or tight-fitting spandex. We sat down to watch it, due to my brother's interest. "If only to see how much they
The characters are about as simple as it gets, character development is about as linear as railroad tracks, though you can see they did at least attempt an effort, insofar as to loosely leave a sticky note saying: "Yeah, yeah, we know. But at least there's explsions, right?". The only real non-exploding plot there is is the mysterious, yet frankly predictable relationship between the male protagonist and the female antagonist. There's a token twist here and there, but it's all fairly predictable.
And the movie is stupid. Really, really, really stupid. Like, about as clever and rational as something by Jack Chick. Weapons wielded by the good guys and bad guys really only function as the plot needs them to. Example: In the beginning, the bad guys, who can only really be described as an army of mooks based on the "Army of Two". They are impervious, unstoppable, bullet-proof killing machines, armed with Some sort of sonic weapon that can overturn army humvees, and oddly, cause explosions for no real justifiable reason. Now, I turn to my main man Newton's third law: "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction". Shots from these guns can flip transports weighing tons and tons, yet there is no kickback. I have fired a gun, before, ladies and gentlemen, and I can tell you, even the modest .22 calibre gives a little nudge when fired. About 15 minutes into the movie, I realised that there had been about 30 explosions in about 2 minutes, so I knew what I was getting myself into.
But then, the GI Joe team come in to save the day, with what one can only presume is some sort of superior bullets, because these previously impervious badasses now start getting gunned down left, right, and centre. But not before seriously threatening and nearly killing the only female member of the team, just to keep that masculine vibe going.
Later on, after some flashbacks, the bad guys invade the good guys' base, ninjas fight, turns out the ninjas are brothers or something, yadda yadda yadda, and once again, we see those sonic weapons. But now, our lovely protagonists can withstand a full-force shot from one of those to the chest and just shrug it off. Didn't those things cause explosions? Cripes!
Then, we go to Paris, and the bad guys have some nanoweapon thing. The good guys get some fancy exoskeleton suits, and start chase. They literally tear through the streets chasing this other car, crushing cars, buildings, and more cars as they go on their merry jog through the capital of France. Then, they take out miniguns and freaking open fire on the bad guys' car in the middle of the street. The main character feels massive regret over the death of one of his soldiers' deaths four years ago, but hey! Don't worry about that little 6-year old girl you clipped in the shoulder with a stray shot, no sir-ee! Little Franchesca will be just fine, and don't worry about all the car wrecks you caused, they're fine. And that building you just "Made a door" with? Don't worry about the collateral damage! Their insurance policy covers "FREEDOM"!
I can't help but feel that someone on the team was slyly trying to make some political commentary on America's problems with foreign policy. Oh, and the Eiffel Tower gets destroyed by the nanoweapon. But who cares! It wasn't the statue of liberty. Then again, maybe they really did care, what with launching explosive missles and opening gattling guns in civilian areas, I mean, that nanoweapon could have destroyed a building or something!
And then, right at the end, after all's said and done and we've gotten through all the flashbacks and character development and quickly-tied up romances, we find ourselves in the COBRA base, underneath the polar ice caps! But gasp! They're going to issue a self-destruct sequence! They're going to... 'Blow the icecap'? That must be code for setting off explosives in the base. Ah yes, it's showing a flashing screen of the base. Wait, but it's just lighting up a bunch of little red dots around the ice sheet above the base. Wait. Please, please no. No. No. Please don't. Yes, yes you are. But... Ugh. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, they're going to blow up the ice above the underwater base, and the ice will then fall and crush the base. Yes. That's right. The icecaps above the water will sink to the bottom, crushing the base. I found myself involuntarily cringing at this flagrant upheaval of not only science, but basic common sense. Ice. Floats. What in the name of Cthulhu was holding it up before? Hope? Steel Girders? The Kyoto protocol? I could feel Al Gore's heart silently break as I saw the polar icecaps sink underwater, defying a lesson anyone has learned when the put ice in a glass of water.
All that said, the movie had good action sequences. Yes, they did play up the fact they had two attractive-looking young ladies on the cast, but thankfully, they didn't sink to the frankly shameful depths of Transformers 2 with Megan Fox. Genuinely, most of the effects were fairly jaw-dropping, at least a few times, and the action sequences were quite intense, with a balanced blend of generic japanese swordplay, some cool gunfights, and yes, the aformentioned explosions every 5 minutes. Truth be told, I thought it was better than Transformers 2. Truth be told, I thought it was just beneath Harry Potter 6. It's got about no plot, cardboard cutout characters (for the most part, though there's the occaisional twist), but if your dad's paying for the ticket, then turn off your brain, sit down, turn off your brain, get ready for some explosions, turn off your brain, and enjoy the cheesy one-liners, entertaining action, and EXPLOSIONS.
They've got ninjas!
Friday, July 31, 2009
Speaking of freaky-stupid diets, I'm kinda on one. It's called: "food combining". Firstly, I know what you're all thinking, and I want you to know, I'm right there with you. I'm not much of one for "miracle cures" or "alternative remedies", because they generally just sound like snake oil to me. But, due to my mom's recent illness, she's placed herself on this method of eating because it helps her with abdominal pain, and stuff like that. She prepares unique meals for herself, and she offered to make some for me if I was interested. Truthfully, I kinda was. From her explanation, it kinda made sense, and I think that how most of us eat todat could be considered unhealthy (well, depending on how you eat!). Not that I'm eating especially healthy right now, but, well, to sum up: It was a new fangled thing, and I thought : "I'll give it a go!" And if it doesn't do anything, screw it. And if it does do some good things but is too big a restriction, still screw it. But if it works without too much fuss, hey, sure, why not.
The general idea is that certain foods don't digest well when mixed together, which makes enough sense, I suppose. Our mouth produces alkaline secretions to aid in the breakdown of starchy foods like potatoes and various other foods, and our stomach produces acid to aid in the breakdown of other different types of foods. And as any chemist would tell you, alkaline substances and acidic substances cancel each other out. So that's bad for the breakdown of foods and whatnot. The proposed solution is to try to eat conflicting food types seperately, like not having proteins and starches together in the same meal, or protiens with fats or oils. That's the idea, anyway. Interestingly, you can have green vegetables with just about anything else on the face of the planet, so that's prompted me to start eating more veggies, I had my first tuna fish salad a few days ago, I may even work my way up to tomatoes. But one step at a time, I don't want to do anything crazy, now. :P
I don't have fantastic digestion, so I thought I'd give it a go. If anyone's ever sat through a quiet movie with me, they can testify that my stomach makes a great series of noises, which are equal parts curious and frightening. Obviously I was relatively fine before I started the diet, so there's not really that much in need of fixing, but, hey! I'll try anything once, if it's beneficial. I'm usually quite hesitant about things like this, I always imagine specific diets to be almost like religions, where you try to convert people and stuff, resulting in a horde of atkins people outside your door, shambling about, murmuring "one of us, one of us", repeatedly. So I'm remaining rather cynical about the whole experience. You can still mix foods if you want, like the occaisional sunday roast with mashed potatoes, but the idea is to generally adhere to the plan. I'll know the tree by it's fruits; if it helps, hooray. If there's no positive change, out the window it goes. So that's my wacky new thing.
BUT! Not what I originally wanted to talk about. Ever been part of a dying world? It's a once-in a lifetime experience, really. Here's an example: Yes, quite a bizzare experience indeed. I had one of these recently, in a game of Team Fortress 2. Quite strage. Mid-game the server shut down, freezing everything. My turret, enemies, allies, even my arm was frozen across the screen, still in mid-swing, with a wrench in hand. The upper-right hand corner of my screen displayed "Server connection lost: terminating in 27.45 seconds." Sometimes it's just a spot of lag, and the game kicks back into gear, like a sputtering engine, and the game continues. But this was not one of those times. It was strange, looking around, knowing that even in this simulated world, it was all going to end. The very fabric upon which we were existing would unravel and cease to exist, with us ejected from the server, into some sort of multiplayer purgatory. All characters were frozen mid-action, I could see the fire erupting from a pyro's flamethrower to defend a sniper, it was all just so surreal, as the timer rapidly shrunk to nothing, ejecting me from the server. Bizzare. Similar scenario in one of my fave video games, "Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask". The world is ending, and everyone is panicking, some in denial, some seeking nothing more than reconcilliation to see the end of the world with their loved ones, it's all so strange. Just interesting that through this medium, we can experience something that in theory, we should only ever know once: The end of the world. Just an interesting thing to go through, really.
Oh, and PS: Just in a further thing about how Obama is pretty awesome, look up "beer summit" on google. He decided to help resolve an issue that represents so much tension in american society about racial inequality by taking the two parties, the instigtor and the instigated, and invited them up to the white house to try and talk it through over beers. That, ladies and gentlemen, is what I would consider a step in the right direction.
"It's the end of the world as we know it/ It's the end of the world as we know it/ and I feel fiiiiiiiine" - R.E.M. "End of the world as we know it"
Thursday, July 30, 2009
I went to DnD after seeing "The hangover" with some friends today, it was your generic crude comedy with wacky hijinks, male bonding and moderate sex. But the point I'm trying to make is, more and more I'm starting to feel grateful for my friends. Just from having someone to talk to to calm you down, to having people to hang out with, someone to share part of your life with, and someone whose life you can share with, it's just quite wonderful. We were walking down to the shops today to get some groceries for the DM's parents (we're nerds, I know!), and as we walked through a grassy field on the way, I looked behind me and noticed the most brilliant sunset, the clouds like tiny yellow fires spread sparsely across the horizon. I turned to see my friends walking with me, the entire world cast in a faint yellow glow, and I settled on a gaze for each friend, wanting to remember this moment, to lock it away as a memory, perhaps to keep me going through hard times when they come. A stage in life where we were all still quite new to shaving, each of us displaying some small quantity of the stubble of a young man, each on our own journey, but for now, together, as evening set, I felt truly happy. Not the sort of happy that is over-the-moon with exitement, but rather a certain happy contentment at knowing that I was blessed enough to have friendships with these people, to be a part of their existance, and to be friends.
"Pet weasels? God, they're like, living scarves, basically." - Alex Mac, our beloved DM.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
So it was just me and my dad who went to the gig. We ventured forth at about five o clock, got the luas into town, and got some tasty-awesome dinner at Yamamori's, on the quays. We then started the long trek to croke park. The opening band was the Kaiser Chiefs, and I could hear them singing "Rub-ay rub-ay rub-ay! ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ahhhh" as we approached the stadium. "This", I thought to myself, "Is gonna be sweet.". And sweet it was. We shuffled our way through the stadium, and as we went up the stairs into the opening, I saw it. it. The claw. THE CLAWWWWW. What I saw was beyond words, because it is too awesome to be adequately described. There is a picture of it here. You'd have to be there to fully experience the sheer prescence of this titantic metal monstrosity. It did a great manner of kickass things as the night progressed, which I will expand upon as I go. Upon first seeing it though, I was convinced that it would actually uproot itself and go on a rampage of destruction, like something out of "War of the Worlds".
Kaiser Chiefs were quite good, they played a good few songs from "Employment", my favorite (and only) album of theirs. Ricky Wilson, the lead singer, really brough a heaping dose of energy and exitement to the stage, jumping and swinging about like some sort of rock orangutang, he did this nifty thing during "I predict a riot", where he jumped up and down, but to maintain a good vocal read with the mike, actually swiveled his head around the mike as he jumped, it was quite interesting! He was actually rendered breathless at points. Then they walked off, and we waited a good 45 minutes for U2 to show up.
Now would be a good time for me to express my opinions towards U2. I like them, but I don't love them. I'd listen to them, but I'm not so enamoured by their music that I'd replay whole albums repeatedly. I prefer their older stuff, to be honest, but I know that most everything they've done is great. They're just one of those bands that I know are really good, and clearly they have talent, but they just don't sway me the right way. As for now, the only bands I could really say I loved are Relient k and Regina spektor, but that's another story. I like U2 though, and Live, they are amazing.
The show started off with Larry Mullen banging the drums as the rest of the crew came on stage, and started playing. The 360 video things was awesome, and I do mean awesome. It extended down for "City of Blinding lights", almost encompassing the band as they whammed away on their instruments, with multicoloured lights whizzing around them. Aweome. Bono almost seemed like a worship leader at times with some of the songs, I'm always suprised when I rediscover how spiritual their music is. It's pretty nifty. The concert was great! I can't really say much more than that. Well, I could, but I'm not going to. Music was great, and the giant claw was just a fantastic piece of engineering in the truest sense of the word.
About halfway through the concert, my dad recieved a text from Dick, asking if we would like to attend the afterparty. Obviously we answered yes, and after the concert was over, after much ka-rocking, we mosied our way over to the round room, where the party was being held. Me and my dad just sat around, in relative obscurity in a room full of people we didn't quite know, my dad would occaisionally point out people he was friends with before he moved to america, old acquaintances. We toiled away in obsurity taking advantage of the open bar, until my dad struck up conversation with one of dick's brothers, who then introduced us to his wife, and his other brother, and his wife, and they discovered that they attended the same sailing club, and a gay old time was struck up talking about boats and whatnot. I was shyly pleased with myself to be introduced with pride by my father as "My son", he seemed to relish introducing me, each time as though to point to some achievement and say: "I am responsible." It was an endearing experience.
And then Dick came up to the afterparty, walked directly over to us, and said: "Hey, would you like to come with me?". We certainly didn't argue. We walked around the park, found an elevator, and descended into the inner workings of croke park, through what appeared a bleak industrial complex. We walked past fancy black hummers, shining with importance, though I couldn't help feeling somewhat endangered by the sparse surroundings. We walked through a wooden door, and like Narnia, we were instantly transported into a place of wonder and whimsy, what I can only describe as a real "Backstage" kind of experience, with perfect lighting and crystal-styled chandeliers. I surveyed the room, my eyes hungering for celebrity.
And then, I saw the Edge. I freaked out, in my own mind, to some degree. I believe that the occurance of celebrity is overrated, the concept of people being so intensely popular for impressive, but often disproportionate reasons. However, that was all bollocks to me at this stage, my brain going: "Ohmygawditstheedgeheplaysthosesongsyoulistentoonyouripodsometimesandhesbeenaroundtheworldandplayedforfancypeopleandholycrapisthathowhereallydresses!"
I realised, and then enquired hurriedly and quietly: "Dad, I can't remember the real names of any of the band members, what do I do?"
"David is the Edge, Paul is Bono, Larry is the Drummer, and Adam plays the base.", he said, understandingly.
We stood around and chatted with more of my dad's old friends, I learned the story behind his nickname, "Tiger Hunter", apparently they all had nicknames back in the day, ie: The edge and Bono. In short order, David came over to me and my dad, and eyed me with some reasonable amount of notice, as he and my dad talked. My dad introduced me to him, and I shook his hand, sputtering: "I'm Lorcan, I really love your guitar playing, it's beautiful!!!!" (durrrrr). He and my dad continued talking, and The Edge would occaisionally glance at me with interest, I must have looked pretty starstruck, I suppose! We talked for only a few minutes, he asked me about school and the like, my dad informed me that I was planning to stay in Ireland, and he said of that: "Well, That's a good vote for ireland." He asked me if I enjoyed High School, and I told him about our school's policy against long hair, and he spake thusly: "Well, that's a pain in the arse". If our school re-attempts to change the policy on long hair, I guarantee we will use this quote in our campaign. He then had some important-looking person come up to him, whisper something in his ear, and then bid us farewell, off to do something awesome, one would presume. I bore a slack-jawed grin to my dad, and he went: "Yeah, pretty, cool, ain't it?" I then shuffled off to use the bathroom, and washed my hands. Then I realised I washed the hand The Edge shook, with some small note of dissapointment. I went back outside, hung out with my Dad and his friends, occaisionally looking over to see The Edge talking to somebody else, relishing the proximity to a celebrity, trying to form a lasting memory. He was funny, but normal. The kind of man I suppose one would be able to have a good time with, a "mate". But, interestingly, not hilarious. He was just like any other friendly, funny person you'd meet, except he is freakin' awesome at guitar.
In the taxicab ride home, my dad explained how he grew up with them, and explained to me how The Edge got his nickname: He was a shy young man growing up, usually remaining on the periphery of social groups, always on the edge. What a kickass nickname for such an unremarkable trait! I imagined swords, knives, living life on the edge, but the truth was much more interesting and endearing. My dad explained: He had always been a nice guy, and noted: "Did you see any of the other band members talking to other people?" "No." (The edge was the only one even there.) "Exactly. He's always been a good guy." In retrospect, that really was an incredibly kind thing to do, to hang out and take an interest in someone of little importance to you, because it would make their day. Pretty nifty guy all around. It was nice to hang out with my dad and get to know him better too. And the music was awesome too, but in honesty, for me, all three events were of equal importance: Music, meeting the edge, and getting to know my dad. It was a good night.
"Well, that's a pain in the arse" - David Howell Evans "The Edge" on the subject of The High School Rathgar's policy against hair beyond collar length for boys.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
I really hadn't had a bath in so long, I forgot all about how high the water should be, what a good temperature is, and wondered if, in my inexperience, I would accidentally give myself a head rush, pass out, and drown to death. But I really wanted that bath, so I decided to be Mr. Dangerous and take a bath. I know, I know, I'm a daredevil. I managed to find a suitable temperature and water height, and lowered myself into the water. Ohhhh man, how good that felt! I closed the shower curtain to close off the world, I was seriously wantin' some TLC to myself! I just soaked there for a while, letting the water warm my body, it was a seriously relaxing experience, lowering my ears and eyes under the water, hearing my heart thunderously beat in my ears, rushing blood to dissipate heat. I lowered myself a little lower, filling my nose with water. Rushing and spluttering to the surface was slightly less than relaxing. Ugh! I hate having water up my nose. Slowly washed myself, massaging the sore bits, almost rubbing the soap right into my arms and legs! Relaxed underwater for a little while longer. Ahhhhh. Just felt totally in sync with my body, felt very human and at peace with my flesh and all it's trappings. Almost want to head out to a masseuse to finish the process!
Stepped out of the water, towelled myself off, and put on some pyjamas. That last bit was quite nice, as I've basically been wearing the same sweaty work clothes all week, it was nice to get a clean set of coverings on. Then I just wandered over to my bed and flopped on top of it. Just sat there and sweat off the heat from the bath, and slowly stretched myself out, starting with my feet and finishing with my jaws. I just felt so in tune with my own body, I'd highly reccomend bathing to anyone who's feeling stressed! Still want to head to a masseuse though....