Mediocre, Mediocre, Mediocre, Mediocre, Whoa… that was awesome

26 09 2009

I haven’t felt this convinced about the goodness of a film while leaving a theater since… maybe ever. It’s one of those indescribable things. It had reached that level of goodness where I no longer care about plot holes. I no longer care about suspension of disbelief with regard to CGI. In my mind, District 9 was perfect.

I have never been able to pinpoint the characteristics that make movies click with me. If I had to make a list of my top ten movies right now (of which District 9 would be one), three would be animated, two would be sci-fi, three would have a major element of romance, four would have major elements of fantasy, two would be action-packed, two take place in the modern world. Really, the only thing similar between all of them is that when I’m watching them, the rest of the world disappears in a way that no other movies can achieve. There are good reasons why I should never be a movie reviewer.


District 9 finally reminded me what it’s supposed to be like when you watch a movie for the first time. It reminded me that it’s actually worth sitting through all those mediocre movies while waiting for the one to come along. Eventually, it will come.

I don’t know if I want to see District 9 again. All of my favorite movies also have the characteristic of me being able to watch them multiple times without losing any splendor. But I’m afraid to find out that isn’t the case with District 9. It was such a wonderful journey the first time, I can’t say if the second runthrough would live up to such high expectations. I’m neutral on District 10. People can complain all they want, but I always withhold judgment until it is released and at least the movie critics get a grasp of it.

I think my favorite movies are a great insight into myself as a person, eclectic as I am, and I find they usually are for other people as well. What movies just clicked with you?

Something amazing, I guess

31 03 2008

Wow, everything seems to be stalling. The news is pretty standard for this time of year: March Madness, more on Iraq, political scandals. I just had a Spring Break where absolutely nothing happened. Looking back, it’s hard to tell if it even happened at all. So now I feel like the little boy on the tricycle from The Incredibles:

Now all I have to decide is whether I’m going to just sit here and wait for it to come to me or go out and search for it myself. It’s quite a dilemma. I’m running out of things to think about.

The things you find stuck to the bottoms of sandwiches

15 02 2008

As a practicing Catholic, I observe Lent.  As is the tradition, I sacrifice things during the Lenten season and/or push myself toward different goals.  I keep them all in my mind, however, preferring to judge for myself whether or not things are being accomplished.  Among my choices for this year, I chose to forego the French Fries at the university eateries.  While I try not to make a habit of getting them in the first place, the rest of the food they serve is often disgusting in comparison.  As a result, I occasionally feel as though I’ve been cornered into getting them, when really it’s just that I’m usually not in the mood to try the ethnic experiments they usually serve.

Today is Friday.  I got a sandwich for dinner (meatless of course).  Pressed into the underside of the sandwich was, lo and behold, a French Fry.  I had already taken several bites before I noticed it was there.  How peculiar.  Clearly some telepathic person has a vendetta against me.  I’d like to know who that person is and ask them to leave my mind to myself.

The haunted fountain revisited

7 02 2008

ObservationsYesterday I witnessed something strange: a water fountain on a path outside turning on and off for no apparent reason as I walked by. One could make the case that this was just a strange coincidence, that there is clearly something about the situation I don’t understand. However, just like yesterday when I reasoned that perceiving something with two senses implies that it actually occurred, witnessing the same coincidence twice means that there is no coincidence at all. And yes, it happened again.

It happened with similarity that nearly mirrored the first incident. I wasn’t paying attention when suddenly my ears are filled with the sound of trickling water. I look over and the same fountain is running again. I swear I would have stopped and checked it out, but I was in a hurry and kept walking. Just like last time, I took one final glance backward, and it was off. Creepy.

The next time I passed, I decided it was time to understand the workings of the fountain. I approached it and, as expected, nothing out of the ordinary happened. I pushed down the button. Moments later a spring of water shot out. I let go of the button. The water stopped. It’s amazing how a fountain doing something so ordinary can seem so odd.

Finally, I realized what I was supposed to do all along. The next time I passed the fountain, I drank from it. It was a quick drink, and the water tasted fairly normal, but it was a drink nonetheless. I have passed the drinking fountain multiple times since and nothing peculiar has happened. Hopefully this means I put the spirit attached to the fountain to rest, and it will no longer be there to haunt the passers-by. At the time, I was hoping for a “walking in to the light” moment like the ones on TV shows like “Ghost Whisperer,” but I suppose that was expecting too much. Perhaps I’ll simply never know what really happened.

Springing in the rain

6 02 2008

ObservationsI was walking across my university’s campus today beneath cloudy skies and a slight drizzle. Suddenly I heard a trickling of water that definitely was not natural. The source was a drinking fountain, found unnaturally just off the path in the middle of the green area of campus. I always wondered why they put it there, but it never really bothered me. This time, however, it was running, causing a full spout of water to be flowing out. The button was not pushed at all. I thought about thinking that it was an awful waste of water, but remembered first that the university probably wastes thousands of times that amount of water constantly elsewhere on campus.


I knew I wasn’t imagining it due to perceiving it with two senses. When simply hearing, smelling, or feeling something, it can be difficult to discern whether or not the event actually occurred. When both hearing and seeing, as I did, one can be fairly confident it actually happened. And, of course, that is also the best time for yet another curveball to be thrown. Glancing back just for a moment because I had witnessed something unnatural, I saw that, lo and behold, the drinking fountain was not running anymore.

I have concluded that the drinking fountain, for whatever reason, wanted me to drink from it. It clearly had no motion detection device but found a way to turn on and off while I was near. If not the drinking fountain itself, then the spirit of the drinking fountain, a guardian ghost of the fountain wanted me to drink from it. Unfortunately, people tend not to drink from water fountains when it’s raining, maybe because it’s simply ironic to pull water up from the ground to drink when it is dumping in bucketloads on your head. Regardless, I will reflect on this event and decide whether or not I should venture near the possessed drinking fountain again.

What it’s all about

16 01 2008

I have never been a rebel. In fact, had there been a “Least likely to rebel against the powers that be” award in high school or even a “Most likely to rebuke those who rebel against the powers that be” award, I probably would have won them. I am not particularly proud of having appeared that way to the student body – I probably should have gone out on limbs and risked my dignity a little more often – but it still wouldn’t have changed how I feel about school rules and other forms of chaos prevention (i.e. the law). However, following rules has never stopped me from standing staunchly behind my contrary views of the world. If there is one important thing that people should know about my opinionated nature, it’s that I try never to speak (or in this case write) in ignorance. If I have no clue what is going on, and you ask me for my opinion, I will say I have no clue. However, if I have given some thought to the subject, and you think I have gone out of my mind, you had better watch out for the steamroller, because I ain’t backin’ down. That said, I am very open-minded when it comes to others’ perspectives. Just because I stand firmly behind my own beliefs doesn’t mean I can’t accept that there are many other possible interpretations of things. Still, some people are just plain wrong.

I had to write a paper for school recently, explaining my thoughts on an online essay about what it takes to be great. I fumbled around with my thoughts for a long time before starting because the essay had left me completely baffled. The sentences as they added on to one another just compounded into one giant force of ignorance and childishness. I considered giving a normal expected response on the essay about it’s “helpful guidelines” and “keen interpretation of life’s unfortunate truths,” but I couldn’t bear to stamp my name on such ridiculous lies. Instead, I wrote everything I felt in such a sincere fashion that the teacher could not have concluded I was mocking either him or the essay. While I probably would have made the ending a little less harsh and re-worded some of my sentences better, this is the exact form that the last paragraph took:

“While I agree the intention was noble, and the essay is well-written, I unfortunately got nothing out of it other than an obligation to come up with my own definition of greatness. Unlike the author, I would not simply include those who are ridiculously wealthy, even most philanthropists, because I think success cannot be translated into a currency. Furthermore, even if we follow the ideas presented, there are many hugely successful people who stumble into “greatness” and wealth with a single feat or discovery regardless of both hard work and talent. People find wealth different ways. People find success in their own personal ways. People find greatness when others label them as great. This article means little to me as a result.”

You may now be thinking I’m a hypocrite, that this is its own form of rebelling. Maybe you’re right. Or maybe, just maybe, the ones rebelling are those who recognize the essay as trash and choose not to write about it truthfully. Maybe the teachers who tell us they want us to learn to express ourselves as individuals but teach us to conform into thought patterns like them are the rebels, the hypocrites. And regardless of whether or not any of this even makes any sense at all, this is what The Fourth Side is all about.